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Never Fall For a Punk

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Eren had never felt that a test in his physics class could be this stressful. It was the block before, and luckily a free block, so he was able to try and cram one of the hardest (by hard, he means that he seemed to be the only one in the entire classroom that didn't fucking understand the chapter) chapters in the entire several months of being in that class. It was only early October, but he still had felt that he was falling apart in that class. He had done well in high school, so he decided after his freshman year at Trost University, he would take physics that next year. 

What good was this doing? Nothing, aside from stressing him the hell out. 

Armin, bless his heart, was trying his best to refresh him on slope, but Eren had never been overly good at math. The only thing in math that he had succeeded in, was trigonometry. And that wasn't going to help him here. 

"Eren... why are you putting the x-coordinates there?" 

"I thought that's where you said they went??" 

"No, that's where the y-coordinates go. The x ones go over here." 

Eren groans, smacking his head against the notebook he had been trying to solve problems Armin had written out for him on. Armin purses his lips, hand slowly reaching up to awkwardly pat his head in comfort. It didn't do any good. 

"Eren," Hanji whispers, leaning over to whisper in his ear. "You do know what the slope equation is, right?" Eren lifts his head from the book slightly, groggily looking at his friend. "Y= mx+b, right?" Hanji smiles, nodding. He sits up a little more. 

"And you know what the formula for velocity is, right?" 

"Isn't that distance over time?" Hanji claps, grinning at him with white teeth. "You're not completely hopeless after all!" Armin gives him a weak smile, putting a hand on his shoulder. "And you didn't do half bad on the last test, now did you?" Eren rolls his eyes. "I got a B- on that test, Ar," he says.  Armin nods. "And you were always really good at physics, so don't let this one stress you out. You're just a little rusty, okay?" He shrugs, staring blankly at the scribbles on his notebook paper. Hanji then looks at her watch, squeaking a little before standing abruptly. 

"We have class in 6 minutes! We're on the other side of campus, you guys!" The two boys rush, Armin nearly looking as though he was about to get murdered. Eren rushes, but makes sure to grab his things with care. He wasn't thrilled to get to class, so he didn't exactly care how late he was. He just so happened to be friends and share said class with two over-achievers who were always top of the class and took about three different science classes at once. Well, Hanji was taking three science classes at once, while Armin was taking several English classes. 

How did they even manage? Yeah, Hanji was a Biochemistry major and Armin was studying literature, but Eren was an art major. He didn't have a care for any core classes, just mainly things that allowed him to be creative. He was overly grateful that he at least had his panting class after physics. 

Eren is dragged through the campus by his two friends, them both ahead of him and pulling him by each hand. It was a daily occurrence, having to rush to physics, even if they weren't late. Why did it have to be him that shared this class with them? Why couldn't it be Jean? Okay, Jean wasn't going to take physics, due to being a zoology major. Still, he hated being dragged every single day. It was embarrassing, not a fucking shoujo anime where you're being dragged by your crush through a sea of cherry blossoms. Sadly, this was real life. 

 

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"I can't believe I was the last person to finish my test in there," Eren says, a defeated expression on his face as they walked outside. It was rather warm that day, around 79 degrees when Eren had checked. "Well, you were taking your time, it makes sense. I'm just glad you got it finished," Armin says. Eren shrugs. "Yeah, I got it finished. Doesn't mean I did good." 

"At least you tried! I doubt you did bad!" Hanji yells, a smile on her face as she pushes her glasses up her nose. He offers her a smile. Armin turns to them, smiling lightly and breaking away from them. "I'll see you guys later! I have a class right now," he says giving a shy wave before walking off. The two wave and say their goodbyes as they continue walking. He still had nearly 20 minutes until his art class, so he was planning on hanging out with Hanji before she had to run to get to her chemistry class. That... That is the class she had, isn't it? It doesn't matter, she still had a class. 

"Dammit!" 

Eren jumps out of his thoughts, head turning to look at Hanji with wide eyes. She was searching through her bag frantically. When had she started looking through it..? "What is it?" Eren questions. She groans, stopping at a bench and rummaging through her bag some more before smacking her forehead. "I can't believe this," she whispers. Eren tilts his head at her. "What's wrong?" 

"I forgot my fucking chem notes. We need them today for the lab so I don't catch my hair on fire." 

Eren's eyes widen and Hanji chuckles, waving him off. "I'm just kidding. I won't catch my hair on fire but I might catch something else on fire." 

"You don't have time to run back and grab it, do you?" Eren asks. She shakes her head. "I parked further away today than I usually do. And I have class in 15 minutes." Eren shrugs a little. "You could always be late." She gives him a look. "And that's coming from you Eren Jaeger." He smirks a little. What can he say? He's always took pride in being fashionably late. "Is there any way you can get them? Or borrow someone else's?" 

She ponders for a moment before smiling and going back to her bag. She eventually fishes out her phone, unlocking it and pressing a random button to call. She waits patiently, her fingers tapping on her other forearm. Finally, apparently, someone picks up. 

"Oh my GOOOOOD you take forever to pick up!!" 

She smirks, listening for a moment. "Are you still at my and Erwin's place?" Eren listens awkwardly, remembering her mention and Erwin before, if only slightly. He didn't know much about her personal life outside of school, because he had only known her for about two months or less. Hanji wasn't one to necessarily talk about herself unless it involved her experiments, or even her science classes. He never knew why. 

"Could you grab my chemistry notes? They should be on my bed.... I know! I'll clean it soon, okay? Yeah, have Erwin get them then. Are you guys going to just go on his bike?" She makes a face, obviously listening to the other side. "I know.. Could you bring them to me in about 10 minutes? I have a class in 15 and I reeeaaalllyy need them. Levi you're so mean, Erwin wouldn't tell me no." Eren chuckles a little. Then her face lights up, her beginning to jump around. 

"Thank you soooooo muuuuuuchhhhh! I'll see you two in a few then!" Hanji takes the phone away from her ear, pressing the end call and smiling at Eren. She moves her bag, taking a seat on the bench. Eren reluctantly joins her in silence. 

"Who was that?" 

"Oh? On the phone?" Eren nods. "Ah, that was my best friend Levi. Him and my other friend Erwin were going to run by the motor shop to see if they could get a part in order to fix Levi's bike. They were luckily still at the house so they grabbed my notes and are going to drop them off on their way to the shop." Eren raises a brow. "You've never mentioned a Levi before." Hanji taps her chin. 

"Have I not? Oh well, he's not worth mentioning. He's kind of the biggest douche in history, bit of a clean freak too." Eren laughs. "And he's your best friend?" Hanji chuckles. "Yeah, him, Erwin and Mike are all my guys. We're all in the same gang." Eren jumps a little, eyes widening. "Y-you're in a gang??" Hanji releases a laugh, smacking her leg with her hand. 

"Not that kind of gang, silly. A motorcycle gang." Eren's eyes remain wide in shock. "You're in a motorcycle gang?? Hanji, I didn't even know you owned a motorcycle." Hanji smiles, nodding. "Oh yeah, I own a motorcycle. I can't believe you didn't know that." Eren gives her a look. "You never ride it to school." Hanji shrugs, nodding. "You're right. I should sometime, but I'm always scared that my bag is too big to fit on the back. I'm scared I'll loose it." Eren nods. "Makes sense, I guess." 

Hanji giggles, elbowing him a little. "You'll get to meet my boys! Erwin is a real gentleman and will give you a ton of respect, but Levi is harder to crack." 

"You said they were travelling here on the same bike?" 

Hanji hums, nodding. "Levi hates riding passenger on any of our bikes, but Erwin apparently wanted to ride and ended up convincing him. Levi usually rides solo. I mean, I do too if I'm not riding with Erwin." Eren smiles a little. "Sounds like fun." She nods excitedly. "It is! It really is a thrill. The sound of a distinct motorcycle catches Hanji off guard, who looks over to the street and begins smiling. 

"Wow, that took less time than I was expecting. There probably wasn't any traffic," Hanji says, grabbing her bag and slinging it over her shoulder. Eren awkwardly looks over to the motorcycle, that had pulled up on the curb of the street about 15 meters away. Then he's yanked up onto his feet and drug along across the green space. Eren's anxiety shoots through his skin. 

"C'mon Eren! You've gotta meet them!" 

Chapter Text

What was Eren supposed to say? How was he supposed to go about social interaction here? He didn't know these guys! Didn't even know they existed until maybe 10 minutes ago. This was all going too fast. Much to Eren's displeasure though, they arrived alongside the bike within several seconds as the passenger on the back jumped off of the bike. The bike was nice, Eren had to admit. It was a HARLEY DAVIDSON CVO bike in black and crimson. It looked as though it was recently washed and well taken care of, Eren giving mental respect to the owner. This must be Erwin's bike. 

Eren tears his eyes away from the bike, swallowing a lump in his throat as the passenger and the driver both removed their helmets, standing not 5 feet away from him. Geez. How tall was Erwin? Probably like 10 foot damn. He also had a strikingly similar facial structure and haircut to that of Chris Evans. That was it. Erwin was officially Captain America in Eren's eyes. There was no going back now. 

"I can't believe you made us come here just to give you some notes. I thought you would've had these memorized or something." Eren's attention quickly turns to the shorter man who had just climbed from the passenger seat. This must be Levi. He removes a notebook which obviously belonged to Hanji out of one of the side compartments and hands it to her quickly. She snatches it, jumping forward to embrace the smaller male. His eyes widen for a moment before they return to their previous cold composure. Eren allows himself to look the male over awkwardly, noticing skin-tight black jeans, black combat boots, a dark red t-shirt underneath a black riding jacket. He was slightly disappointed that he couldn't see the back. 

His eyes then shift to the tall male again, noticing very similar attire, the only difference being the not-so skinny jeans falling over a pair of black combat boots, a purple shirt underneath a very similar black riding jacket. He still couldn't see the back. Erwin laughs at Levi's discomfort, going in to hug Hanji after she let go of the poor guy. He hugs her tightly, sighing a little. 

"We're glad we got to see you though, right Levi?" Erwin says, raising an eyebrow at the shorter male beside him. Levi clicks his tongue, looking away from either of them. His cold stare lands on Eren, sending a sharp shiver down his spine. Was a look supposed to do that? Well, if looks could kill, Eren would be fucking dead. He notices the black haircut the male sported, the undercut not going unnoticed by the brunet, along with the several piercings that clung to his ears. 

"Who's he?" Levi questions, finger going to point out Eren, who was still staring and standing awkwardly behind Hanji. Hanji smiles widely, turning around to grab the male's arm, pulling him closer to the others. 

"This is Eren! Eren Jaeger. He's one of the new friends I made this year. The one from my physics class, remember?" 

Eren's blood begins pumping faster. She had mentioned him to them? What was she even going to say about him?? Eren tries really hard but he's still really fucking stupid. Eren's face flushes. Levi cocks an eyebrow at him, his gaze softening a little. Was that even possible? Eren was sure he had a burning hold in his face from the stare. "Ah, the art major? The one that's tall and bright?" Levi asks. Eren's face turns into confusion. She had said that? Note to self; thank Hanji for not talking shit behind my back. 

"That's him! Eren, this is Levi and Erwin. Those friends I was telling you about," Hanji says, turning to him and grinning. Eren smiles a little, looking from her to the others once again. "Nice to meet you guys, even if I hadn't heard overly much about you. I apologize," Eren says bashfully. Erwin's teeth begin to show, his smile growing as he steps forward. He holds out a glove-covered hand to Eren. "No need to apologize. We're not overly interesting anyway," Erwin sends a wink at him. "Yet, Hanji can't ever seem to shut up about you, or Armin." Eren gladly accepts the hand, shaking it with a firm grip. 

"I wouldn't say we're interesting either, but that's good to hear. Good things I hope?" 

Erwin laughs, releasing Eren's hand. "Yes, all good things. You seem like a great guy, I'm glad to finally meet you." 

Eren's eyes tear away from the tall male when Levi suddenly makes a move. He jumps a little, seeing him step forward, extending a hand of his own. "Yeah, I'd say they're good things. If you call you saying you suck at physics constantly but still manage to do really well in that class, then they're all good things. It's Levi, as they said before." 

Eren takes his hand, shaking it firmly as well. Levi has a nice grip, making Eren feel a little less dizzy shaking his hand versus Erwin's, even if it was relatively loose. "Nice to meet you, Levi," Eren says shyly, nodding. They release each other's hands, Levi waving him off. "You don't have to kiss up to me, I could care less," he says, turning around and grabbing his helmet off of the passenger seat of the bike. "Don't you two have class?" 

Hanji checks her watch. "I have 6 minutes! I should be getting there now. Don't you have yours soon too, Eren?" Eren shrugs. "I'll get there when I get there. I guess I should be heading there now though." Erwin chuckles, stepping forward and gives Hanji a light hug, giving Eren a pat on the shoulder before walking back to his bike. Levi only offers a wave. "We need to get that part for Levi's bike if we're going to go on that ride on Friday," Erwin says. "Hopefully we'll have it fixed by tomorrow if we're quick." 

"Tch. What do you mean 'we'? I'm not letting you touch my fucking bike." Erwin rolls his eyes, giving Eren and Hanji a look. Levi already had his helmet on. What day was it again? Ah, Wednesday. Sadly, only the middle of the week. "I'll see you guys later! Thanks a ton!" Hanji called, grinning and waving as Erwin gets situated, helmet in place and bike starting up. The two on the bike wave before both of Erwin's hands are back on the handlebars and Levi's are back to being crossed over his chest. They pull away, going into the traffic on the street. 

Hanji turns back to Eren, smiling at him. "Aren't they great?!" Eren nods, smiling softly at her. "They seem like great guys," he admits. They begin walking back to the campus halls in silence, just finding comfort in looking around, Hanji in her book to make sure the notes were in there. She smiles widely, signalling that they were. 

"Are they dating?" 

Hanji jumps a little, head turning to Eren. "What? Who?" Eren shifts his head, motioning in the direction behind them where they had been. "Erwin and Levi. Are they dating? I mean, I don't judge, I'm bisexual myself obviously. They were just sharing a bike so I didn't know." Hanji lets out a hearty laugh, snorting a little as she usually did. "Dating? Erwin and Levi dating?" She laughs again, stilling herself after a few moments. "No, honey, they're not dating. Erwin is far too straight and Levi is far too single." 

Eren cocks an eyebrow at her. "What do you mean by that?" Hanji looks at him for a moment. "I'm meaning, Erwin likes chicks and Levi likes dicks. Though, Levi can't ever seem to get any. He's been single for as long as I can remember. He fucked around with a few jerks back in high school, but it was never anything serious and Levi was never interested." 

"You've known them since high school?" She hums, nodding. "Yep! I've known the two of them as well as Mike and Nanaba since freshman year." Eren purses his lips. Sounds like his friend group. Except for Armin and Mikasa. Their friendship went back to elementary. Kindergarten, actually. 

Hanji curses under her breath, noticing the time. "I've gotta get going! I'll see you tomorrow, aight?" she calls, grinning at him as she began sprinting in a different direction than Eren was going. He waves at her, nodding and choosing not to respond. He continues on his route in peaceful silence. 

 

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"I can't believe I have that test Friday. I barely even get this fucking chapter!" 

Eren looks away from his sketchbook, obvious annoyance in his stare. "You know, Jean, if you paid attention in your class, then maybe it wouldn't be so inconvenient," he says. Jean gives him a harsh look. "I do pay attention. I just really fucking hate math." Mikasa looks at him with concern. "Why are you even taking a math class, Jean? I thought you were a zoology major." He grits his teeth. 

"I am a zoology major, but my mom suggested I take this class in order to freshen my math skills. Bullshit, I know." 

Armin whistles from his laptop, his fingers flying across it quickly as he types. Eren leans over, looking at the boy's screen. "It's for my literature thing. It's bogus, but I've got to have it done by Friday." Eren hums, eyes going back to his sketchbook. "Oh yeah. How did you guys do on that physics test you had today?" Connie asks, lazily eating at his sundae. Armin gives a polite shrug. "I'm pretty confident. Eren here isn't though." 

Jean's focus leaves his textbook. "I thought you were really good at physics junior year? What happened?" Eren shrugs, sighing as he continues to draw. What was he even drawing? He wasn't sure yet. "I've forgotten most of it. We are in our sophomore year of college, Jean." The male nods. "Fair point," he responds, returning to his book. 

Sasha walks up, taking a seat next to Mikasa. Mikasa stares at her sundae for a moment before cocking an eyebrow. "How many fucking sprinkles do you have on there?" she asks. Sasha gasps, going to cover her treat with her hands like a child. "Don't insult my eating habits!" she exclaims, reaching over to smack Connie's raised hand in a high-five. Mikasa clicks her tongue, shaking her head and looking away. Eren notices, giving her a look. 

"Why do you do that?" Mikasa stares at him blankly. "Do what?" Eren motions to her mouth. "Click your tongue like that." She continues her staring. "I've always done that, Eren." He nods. "I know, I'm just curious." She shrugs. "Just comes natural to me, I guess." Eren leaves it at that. 

"How was your day, Mikasa?" Jean asks politely, changing the subject from an awkward one to something more comfortable. Mikasa internally thanks Jean. "It was pretty great, thanks for asking. How was yours?" Jean chuckles, rubbing the back of his neck. "Pretty terrible. It's better now though." Mikasa nods firmly. There's several moments of silence, causing a period of awkwardness to begin. At least for Mikasa. Everyone else seemed rather busy. Eren was drawing, Armin was writing, Jean was studying, Connie and Sasha both were eating ice cream. Mikasa sighs, opting to take out her phone. Oh good, a text message from Christa. 

 

                                            ___________________________________________________

 

"You know, Eren," Mikasa starts glancing over at him from her spot in the passenger seat of his car. Eren hums, glancing at her for a moment before his eyes were back on the road. "You've been rather off today. Has something been bothering you? Is it the test that you took? Are you stressed about it?" Eren shakes his head, chuckling a little. "It's nothing, 'kasa. I just learned something new about a friend of mine today." 

Mikasa raises a brow. "And who's this friend?" 

"Uh, Hanji Zoe. You remember her, right?" Mikasa sighs, nodding. Hanji was cool, just a little clingy sometimes. She always set Mikasa on edge. "What'd you learn about her?" 

"Ah, I learned that she owns a motorcycle. Apparently she's in a motorcycle gang with several friends. Can't you ride a motorcycle?" Eren questions. Mikasa nods, looking out the window. "It's something my family does often. I learned when I was really young from my uncle. Why?" Eren shrugs. "Just trying to remember if you did or not. I met two of her closest friends today from her gang. They brought her her chemistry notes because she forgot them. They seemed cool. Erwin was super nice.. Levi was a little more self-kept. He at least made an effort to talk to me though." 

Mikasa hums, thinking for a moment. She had a cousin named Levi. He was shorter than her and knew how to ride a motorcycle as well. Could it be the same one? She knew he was in the area. Though, she hadn't talked to him since she was 14 and he was 16. Not like Eren would remember the guy very well. She keeps to herself. "At least you met some new people, Eren." Eren chuckles, nodding as they pull up to a stop light. 

"Speaking of meeting knew people, why don't you try being more social sometimes, 'kasa?" Mikasa snorts, crossing her arms. "You're one to talk." Eren purses his lips, nodding a little. Well, she was right after all. 

"Y'know, you could talk to Annie once in awhile. You've never really been overly friendly with her." Mikasa rolls her eyes. "She used to beat you up during freshman year, remember?" 

"That's because I kept asking her to show me some of her fighting moves! Remember when we were doing martial arts and such?" Mikasa nods. "I do, yes. Doesn't give her a reason to beat you up." Eren shrugs it off. "You still could talk to her. Armin tells me that she says she thinks you hate her or something. You don't, do you?" Mikasa shrugs. "I don't really hate her, just dislike her." 

Eren shakes his head. "Didn't Armin and Annie date or something during junior year?" Mikasa asks. Eren shrugs. "Armin never really let me in on his love life. I still think maybe you could try to be her friend. You're not a rude person, 'kasa." Mikasa shrugs again, shrinking down into her seat more. Could she really be nice to Annie? Maybe, but how was she even supposed to start a conversation? That would be super awkward. She was never good with social interaction, something her family liked to point out being due to her spending time with her cousin when she was younger. She was nothing like him. What a clean freak. 

"We're here." 

Mikasa looks up, jumping a little at the sight of her house. She unbuckles her seat belt, leaning over and giving Eren a friendly hug with a pat on the back. "Thanks for the ride," she mutters, picking up her bag from the floor between her feet. Eren laughs, waving her off. "Anytime, friendo." Mikasa gives him a look before slamming the door shut and running up to her house, the red scarf around her neck blowing around as she did. 

 

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Armin: Hanji is in a gang?!

Eren: Not a legit gang, Ar

Eren: She's in a motorcycle gang

It takes several moments of Eren strictly watching the icon signalling that Armin was typing before he got a response. 

Armin: Honestly I wouldn't be surprised, I've seen her wearing a riding jacket to class before with shorts or something.

Eren: ??? she has???

Armin: Yes, Eren she has. I can't believe how you're so blind all the time. 

Eren: c'mon ar, that hurts

Armin: Get some better texting grammar, and maybe we can talk. Speaking of, I have to keep working on my paper. I'll see you tomorrow. 

Eren: gnight

Eren shuts off his phone, setting it next to him carefully as he stares at his blank ceiling. Did he have any homework? Ah, nope. Thank God. The brunet sits there for a moment, thinking about all the other secrets his friends could potentially be hiding. Honestly, like Armin said, he was blind when it came to obvious things. It was all a part of his charm. Probably why he's been single for so long too, too dull to see anyone has a crush on him. After several moments he sighs, sitting up and considering getting ready for bed. 

Or he could make pizza rolls.

Yeah, pizza rolls. 

 

Chapter Text

"So what'd you think of Eren?" 

"How did you even get into our house?" 

Hanji groans, shifting from her stomach to her back, staring blankly up at the ceiling. "I know I talk about him and Armin a lot, but they're great guys. Very bright too. Armin usually jumps into it more than Eren. He's an art major, so that doesn't surprise anyone." 

"I asked how you got into our fucking house shitty glasses." 

Hanji looks up, head upside down as she stares at the shorter male. He was standing maybe 7 feet away, arms crossed over his chest, his usual expression. "Mike let us in," Hanji responds normally, smiling a little. Levi's brow twitches. "Us?" Hanji nods. "Erwin is in the bathroom." Levi clicks his tongue, walking over without another word to the couch that Hanji was laying beside. He plops onto it, crossing his legs as he grabs his phone from the table beside it. 

"Why are you on the floor? Shouldn't you two have better shit to do than lay on my fucking floor and stink up my bathroom? Shouldn't Erwin be at work?" 

"I was not stinking up your bathroom. In fact, I sprayed air freshener all over if that makes you happy," Erwin inquires, entering the room and passing them, heading into the kitchen of the house. Levi grits his teeth. "How charming." 

Hanji sits up abruptly, turning around to face Levi. She crosses her legs. "You never answered my question. What'd you think of Eren?" Levi shrugs. "That was yesterday, I barely remember anything from then." Hanji gives him a look. "Bullshit," she whispers. Levi rolls his eyes once again, turning his attention back to his phone. "He seemed nice. He wasn't a bad kid," Levi answers. Erwin re-enters the room, going over to take a seat on the couch near Levi, a coke in his right hand. 

"You don't have any alcohol in there? You wound me." 

"Wasn't me that went to the store a few days ago, it was Mike. Besides, you don't need to be drinking in my house. Coke is all you need." Erwin shrugs, nodding in agreement. Alcohol didn't sound good anyway. He takes a sip, sighing and turning his attention to Hanji. 

"Are you asking about Eren?" The brunette nods, smiling. Erwin smiles back. "He was very sweet. I'd like to get to know him better." Levi gives the blonde a side-long glance. "I thought you were straight." Erwin snorts. "I am. Don't know about you though. Besides, Levi, he wasn't bad to look at. Weren't you the least bit interested?" Levi shakes his head. "He was attractive, nice and smart. I don't know him very well though, so therefore, I'm not yet intrigued." 

Hanji's eyes light up a little. "Why don't you guys get to know him? Mike wants to meet him too," she says. Erwin gives her a look. "What do you have planned?" Hanji giggles a little, pulling her legs up to her chest. Levi notices her bare-feet. He cringes inwardly. "Aren't we going riding to that lake tomorrow evening? Why don't I invite him and Armin?" Erwin nods a little. "I'd be down for that. You, Levi?" Levi glances up. "And who are they going to ride with?" Levi questions, a certain snarky tone to his voice. 

Hanji shrugs. "One can ride with me or Erwin and the other can ride with any one else who wants them. That is, if they both come." Erwin leans over, nudging Levi with his elbow. "C'mon, Levi. Wouldn't that be fun?" Levi clicks his tongue. "I don't care. Invite them if you want, I could care less." The shorter male stands, leaving the living room and heading into the kitchen. Erwin glances at Hanji, smiling at her. "It'll be fine. Go ahead and invite them." Hanji's grin widens and she squeals, reaching into her pocket to pull out her phone, clicking on the small group chat in her message app. 

Hanji: I've got something to ask you guys tomorrow!!! :DDDDDD

Armin: Oh no. 

Eren: ???? 

 

                                                      _________________________________

 

"So Hanji invited you two to do what?" Mikasa asks, looking at the two suspiciously. Armin continues staring at his book, apparently attempting to finish some reading before his English class. It was lunch, so it was quite loud in the cafeteria. Why the trio decided to go to the cafeteria instead of a restaurant, Eren will never know.

"So you know that Hanji is apparently in a motorcycle gang, right??" Mikasa nods slowly, a bored expression on her face. "You told me yes... What about it?" Eren smiles a little bigger, taking a bite out of his burger. "She invited us to go ride with them. Isn't that awesome??? I've never rode on a motorcycle before." Mikasa hums. "Are you intending to go?" Eren shrugs, leaning back in his chair. "I dunno. Are you, Ar?" Armin glances at him shyly. "It depends. I might have to come in for work today right after classes get out. There's a book release today and apparently there's going to be a ton of people. They'll most likely need everyone who can come." 

Eren groans, laying his head down on the table in front of him. "I forget you work at a bookstore. It's usually quiet there, isn't it?" Armin nods before a worried look crosses his face. "Except when there's a popular book release. God help the workers who were trampled when Harry Potter and The Cursed Child was released." Eren rolls his eyes. "You talk as if someone died." Armin shivers. "I'm surprised no one did." After a few seconds, the blond returns to his work. 

"Can't you go by yourself?" 

Eren sits up, a worried look clouding his features. "I only know Hanji, Armin! I'll be so lonely..." 

"I thought you met two of Hanji's friends on Wednesday," Mikasa says. Eren nods. "I did. That doesn't mean I'm comfortable with them yet. I think I'd be okay with sticking with Erwin, but... I don't want to risk it!" 

"Then don't go, simple as that. Besides, I still might be able to go. Depends if I get the call or not," Armin says. 

"But I really want to ride a motorcycle!" Eren pauses, turning to Mikasa. "Hey, 'Kasa. You know how to ride a motorcycle, why don't you come with me?" Mikasa shakes her head. "I wasn't invited, Eren, you and Armin were. Besides, I'm supposed to go to an arcade downtown with Sasha and Connie tonight. I think Jean and Marco are coming too." Eren rolls his eyes. "Lucky. Why wasn't I invited?" 

"You were. You both were. I was just supposed to inform you to see if you could go. Looks like you'll both be busy though," she says. Eren sighs. "Yeah... I guess I'll go. It wouldn't hurt to meet new people too." Armin gives Eren a hand gesture. "There you go. See? You'll be fine if I can't go." Eren sighs a little. "When will you know for sure if you can come or not?" 

"Probably after physics or something. Who knows when my boss will tell me to come over, or if." Eren nods. "Fair point." 

 

                                               ____________________________

 

 

"You sure you can't come then, Armin?" Hanji asks, a frown forming onto her face. Armin shakes his head solemnly. "I've got work. Sadly, I'll be swamped." Hanji purses her lips, a hand reaching over to pat his shoulder. Eren frowns slightly as he steps over, hugging Armin briefly. The blond says his goodbyes before walking off in a hurry. Hanji sighs, watching him go.

"Poor kid. I hope he doesn't die tonight." Eren nods awkwardly. "Yeah.. Apparently it's a big deal." Hanji throws him a look. "Have you ever been to a book store when there was a new release? I swear, reading kids are freaky." Eren snorts. "And science kids aren't?" Hanji reaches over, smacking him, hard. "Oh, shut up. We're not that bad."

They walk in comfortable silence before nearly reaching the parking lot. "So you'll follow me home, right?" Hanji lights up, smiling. "Yeah! Then we can just drive to my place. I don't think I'll take my bike, since only a few of us are going. I don't want to take the liberty of having to fill it up." Eren nods slowly. "So, who all is going? And what're we going to do? You never really gave any details when you asked us earlier. Besides, why'd you invite us anyway?"

"Well, we're both coming, Erwin and Levi are coming, Mike and Nanaba are coming I believe... They're some friends we met in high school as well, they're also in the gang. Though, we'll be meeting up with Erwin and Levi at the house, Nanaba and Mike will meet us at the lake." Eren raises a brow. "Why are we going to a lake? It's early October." Hanji laughs a little.

"We're not going to swim there. Nanaba is apparently bringing a picnic or something and we're going to eat there. We do it often. Then we'll just ride around and such." Eren hums, anxiety filling his stomach a little.

"So, Hanji?"

"Hm?"

"Since you're not bringing your bike, what are the riding arrangements going to be?"

"Well, I guess we'll decide those at the house since Erwin and Levi are both taking their bikes, we'll just split up and ride with them." Eren swallows the heavy lump in his throat. He was always bad with confrontation, the mere thought of it setting him on edge. Hanji senses this, reaching over and patting his arm. "They're nice guys, Eren. They won't bite."

Eren smiles at her lightly, walking over to his car and pressing the unlock button.

"I wouldn't be so sure about Levi though!" Hanji yells from a few cars down, Eren's anxiety returning.  

 

                                                ____________________________

 

Hanji had kept saying they were near her and Erwin's house, but Eren couldn't be sure. He had only been in this side of town a number of times, so he wasn't exactly familiar with the area. Besides, what lake were they even going to? He definitely couldn't be sure. There was the faint noise of rock playing in the background from Hanji's speakers, it low enough so they could talk if necessary.

"Annnnnnnd... here we are!"

Eren jumps from his thoughts, his eyes scanning around to process the area. The house was a regular size, making Eren question what Erwin must do for a living. Did he go to college? Did he attend Trost? He had never seen him around, not even hearing Hanji mention that. He might have to ask him later. Eren knew Hanji volunteered at various medical and science places, so that must be where she got her money. Or a better look as a college student. Whichever.

The house's color was a light tan and there was a nice table with chairs up on the porch. Hanji moves to get out before she turns to look at him. "You coming? They're in the back most likely, so you're free to follow me." Eren gives her a small nod, smiling a little as he gets out himself, going to the back seat to grab his bag as Hanji did. He follows close behind her as she gets to the front door, unlocking it with ease.

They step inside, the faint smell of vanilla echoing through the house. It was nice and orderly, decently clean as well. It wasn't pristine, but it was homely. Eren liked it. "You can just put your bag in my room, I won't mind. We'll be coming back here anyway in order for me to take you home or whatever." Eren nods, humming quietly to himself as his eyes grazed the walls.

There were few pictures, the paint on the walls being a deep red. The hallway floor was wooden with no rugs, but he had noticed a large one inside the living room that they had come through. He smiles at the pictures he does see, many showing what must be their motorcycle gang. Seriously, how had he not known about this until two days ago?? This seemed rather difficult to hide.

They enter a room, Eren noticing that the bed was not made and that there were several textbooks and other various notes from experiments laying across the floor. Hanji smiles bashfully. "Sorry about the mess. Levi gets onto me about it all the time, but I can never bring myself to do it. I'll most likely misplace something." Eren chuckles, setting his bag close to the door near some scattered shoes.

"Is Levi like your mom or something?" Hanji snorts, going to cover her nose. "Ah.. Nah, but he is a clean freak. Hates germs. He cleans his house maybe three times a day or such. Mike helps, but Mike is overly lazy and isn't always home." Eren raises a brow. "Are Mike and Levi roommates?" Hanji nods. "Yep! Fitting, isn't it? I'm grateful that I don't like with Levi. I'd probably get threatened at least three times a day for not washing a bowl or something. Though, it would probably be the same if Levi and Erwin lived together." 

Eren laughs a little. "Sounds charming." Hanji smirks. "Oh, charming he is. If you want to call it that. More like a pristine baby or some shit." Eren nods accordingly, smiling a little. There's a brief knock on the door frame, which causes Eren to turn around and look. It was Erwin, much to Eren's surprise. Levi wasn't anywhere to be seen. 

"You guys are home a lot quicker than I would've thought. We're supposed to leave at 6:30 and it's only 4." 

Hanji tilts her head. "Huh? It's only 4?" Erwin gives a small nod and a hum, eyes moving from her to Eren in front of him. He smiles, nodding at him. "Good to see you again, Eren. Your friend Armin couldn't come?" Eren shakes his head. "No... He had work, apparently they were supposed to get swamped or something so he had to be there." Erwin purses his lips. "That's unfortunate, I would've enjoyed meeting him. At least we get you for the night, huh?" Eren laughs a little, nodding. "Yeah, I guess you're stuck with me." 

Erwin shakes his head. "I wouldn't call it that. Do you want something to drink? I have a feeling we'll be hanging out here for a bit." Eren smiles a little. "Sure, if you don't mind." 

"Not at all! Follow me, I'll show you where everything is. Also, you can take your shoes off if you want. Again, we'll be hanging out here for awhile." 

Eren turns his head, noticing Hanji slipping off her vans. Eren follows suit, removing his converse before following Erwin out of the room. The man could look good in anything, Eren notices. He was only clad in athletic shorts and a black t-shirt, feet bare, but still managed to look rather professional. Eren wonders what he does for a living, again. Maybe this is a good time to ask him. 

They enter the kitchen, Erwin walking over to the fridge. He opens it, bending over before pulling out a soda. "Is coke okay? It's the only soda we've got right now. Besides, I have no idea how old you are." 

"Ah, coke is fine! Also, I'm 21. I'll be 22 next March." Erwin stands back up, turning around and handing Eren the cold can as he shuts the fridge door. "That's good, I had a bad feeling that you were under drinking age. Though, I never offer alcohol to anyone unless it's my friend Nile. I'm 25, by the way." Eren opens the can, lifting his eyebrow. "Is he in your motorcycle gang too?" Erwin chuckles, shaking his head. "Ah, no. He's a coworker of mine. Want to sit down? We can go to the living room. Hanji will probably be in here shortly." Eren nods shyly as he begins following the much taller male into the next room.

They take their seats, Eren on a two-seater couch and Erwin in a rocking chair. "So, I forgot to ask you," Eren starts. Erwin turns his head, giving him his full attention. "What do you do for a living?" Erwin swallows his sip of his soda, humming and nodding a little. 

"I work at Sina Accounting. Are you familiar with that place?" 

Eren nods quickly. "Yeah! That must be a busy job, do you have time for biking?" Erwin chuckles. "I fit as much riding as I can into my schedule, yes." Eren continues to drink his soda. "Where do you work? That's assuming you work," Erwin asks, motioning towards him. 

"Ah, I work at Titan Bar & Grill. It's downtown, we get quite a few drunks." 

Erwin raises a brow. "Really?" Eren hums. "Yeah, you heard of it?" Erwin laughs a little. "That's our gang's favorite place. Except, we haven't been there since early August." Eren tilts his head. "Huh? Weird, I've never seen you there before." 

"Must've been working when we weren't there, I guess."

Eren nods. "Maybe." 

With that said, Hanji enters the room, smiling at the pair. "You two getting along?" Erwin raises his can, nodding. "Did you know Eren works at Titan?" Hanji stops from her trip to the kitchen, turning and staring at Eren in disbelief. "You work there? You just told me you worked at some bar, what the hell, Eren???" Eren chuckles shyly, rubbing the back of his neck. 

"Sorry? I didn't think it mattered." 

"Oh, boy. It matters now. We're going more often now, Erwin!" 

"Definitely." 

Erwin sends Eren a secret wink as Hanji enters the kitchen. The brunet smirks, his task of drinking his soda helping his previous nerves of anxiety to seize. 

Chapter Text

One thing Levi was rather good at aside from not taking shit from anyone, cleaning and riding a motorcycle was being somewhere at a correct time or whenever he really wanted to be. Though, this time, he was a little hesitant to get to Erwin and Hanji's. Yes, he wanted to go for a ride, but he was also socially awkward and didn't know how he was going to talk to Hanji's friends. Or friend, he should say. He had been notified that the other one wasn't going to be accompanying them along for the ride. 

He gets to their house at 6:30 though, despite his anxiety beginning to create sharp pains in his stomach. Why was he so awkward? These were his "friends", Eren should be the awkward one. Well not the only awkward one. 

Levi dismounts his VTX 1800 Retro Spoke, dusting off the blank paint a little as he goes to remove his helmet. Upon doing so, his phone begins to ring. He squints at it for a few moments before grabbing it. It better not be Hanji. With a satisfied hum, Levi answers the incoming call. 

"Mike?" he asks. "Is something up?" Better be important. 

"Hey, you know how Nanaba and I are supposed to get the food for the ride?" Levi sighs. "Yes, I know. But the more we talk about food and less about riding the more it seems like a picnic instead of a ride." He hears Mike chuckle from the other end. "I guess you're right. Though, I don't think Hanji's friend is going to want to ride for several hours for his first time on a motorcycle." 

"Who's he riding with?" 

"Beats me. I'd ask Erwin or Hanji. Hanji told me she might not even take her bike tonight." Levi's eyes widen in frustration. "Not take her bike?? What the hell?" Mike exhales in a sigh. "Yeah, apparently Erwin said that her bike is making a weird noise and he wants to look at it before she tries riding it for a long period of time." Levi grits his teeth, beginning to pace a little. "They could've done that after she got home. Erwin texted and said they got to their house at like 4 or some shit." Mike chuckles. "Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Besides, that's not why I called. I was wondering what kind of food we should get. We're about to leave Nanaba's now." 

Levi thinks for a moment. 

"Get some pizza or something. Maybe all different types so Hanji's friend won't feel left out. But maybe get Hanji something in order to piss her off." 

Mike laughs a little from the other side. "Are you sure you want to do that? Erwin might chew you out." 

"Let him, I couldn't care less." 

"Well, we'll see. You might just have to piss her off yourself, depending on what Nanaba wants to get." Levi shrugs. "Fair enough." 

"I need to go, we're about to leave. Seeya there, Levi." 

"Bye, Mike." 

Levi hangs up, shoving the phone deep into his back pocket before picking up his helmet from the seat, making his way to the front door. He steps up to it, taking a deep breath before ringing the doorbell. There's a bit of silence aside from Levi tapping his foot on the porch before it swings open, revealing Erwin. "Wow," Levi starts, looking him over, "You actually managed to change in time. Congrats," he says, stepping past the blond and into the house. Erwin laughs as he shuts it, turning around to face him. 

"Brought your charm, I see? Perfect." 

Levi rolls his eyes, looking around the living room. "Where's shitty glasses?" 

"Ah, they're both outside with Sonny and Bean," Erwin replies. Levi nods, turning on his heel to go through the kitchen to the back door. He looks through it, noticing that they were, in fact, playing with the dogs. Hanji was getting trampled by Bean, the large, brown lab as per usual. Eren on the other hand, was quietly petting the tan Chihuahua, Sonny while laughing at the havoc Bean was causing with his tongue. He could even hear Hanji's screams from inside. 

Erwin walks up, stepping past Levi in order to go outside to the back porch. Levi quietly follows him, sighing as he continues to stare at the two. "Bean! Get off of her!" Erwin yells, whistling afterwards. Bean perks up from licking Hanji, quickly darting to the tall male after noticing him. He jumps up on him, Erwin laughing as he goes to pet him. Sonny follows not far after, wanting to pay respects to his other owner after Bean was finished. 

"Levi! You made it alive!" 

Levi's gaze leaves the dogs and fixes on Hanji. "Yeah? I'm less of a reckless driver than you," he says simply, leaning down to pet Bean as he approached, sniffing the male's legs. 

Hanji finishes wiping the dog saliva from her face, replacing her glasses to where they belonged. Eren follows her as they walk over to the pair, quietly watching his shoes. Bean and Sonny run off into the yard, Sonny making sure to bark and yelp as they began playing. "I'm surprised you came with her, honestly," Levi says, crossing his arms and fixing his attention on the brunet. 

Eren jumps, not really expecting to be talked to. "Oh? Yeah, I guess I was just really interested. I've never rode on a motorcycle before." Hanji smiles at him. "You'll be fine! You'll be riding with one of them. They're both skilled." Levi's ears perk up, suddenly remembering something Mike had mentioned. "Oh yeah, shitty glasses?" Hanji looks over. "Yes, grumpy elf?" Eren stiffens his laugh. 

"What's this bullshit I heard from Mike about you not wanting to take your bike?" 

Hanji shrugs a little. "Erwin wants to look at it. Apparently it was making a weird noise a few days ago. Besides, I wanted to ride with one of you two!" Erwin laughs a little. "Well, it's after 6:30, so we better get going then," he says, walking back inside to head for the garage. Levi gives Hanji a look. "You're not fucking riding with me." 

Hanji's face falls as they enter the house once again. "Whhhaaattt?? Why not?" Levi clicks his tongue. "You'll scream in my ear the whole way, not to mention you'll squeeze my ribs out of my body," he says simply. Hanji chuckles, pushing her glasses up her nose. "I guess you're right. I prefer riding with Erwin anyway." Levi brushes it off, going enter the garage. Erwin was opening the garage door, letting a bunch of natural light inside the area, illuminating the two bikes that were carefully parked inside. 

Eren recognizes the one that Erwin had rode, but his eye falls on the other one. It was a deep purple, shining and sparkling in the light. He stares for a moment as Hanji walks up beside him, also staring at her bike. "She's pretty isn't she? She's a Harley Superlow. Super new." Eren smiles. "It's a shame that Erwin needs to look at her, or I'd let you ride with me and we could take her," Hanji says, turning to him and winking. Levi rolls his eyes. 

"Don't ever agree to ride with her. I've learned from personal experience." 

Eren turns, looking at Levi. Hanji simply sticks her tongue out before looking back at Eren. Her eyes widen. "Oh! You're going to need a helmet! Erwin!!" Hanji skips over to the blond, talking with him for a moment before she runs over to her bike. She pulls out a helmet that perfectly matches the paint on her bike, then turning to apparently search for another one. 

"Aha!" Hanji calls, turning around and smiling as she walks up to Eren, handing him the thing. He stares at it for a moment before looking back at her. "Um. Hanji? How do I put it on?" Hanji looks back at him from trying to put her own helmet on. "Oh! Sorry." She goes to help him and Levi sighs, walking away from the two. "Is your bike ready, Levi?" Erwin asks, finishing putting on his own helmet. Levi motions to the bike in the driveway. 

"That's what I was going to get," he says. Erwin nods, allowing Levi to finish his journey. He finally glances up from getting his bike ready when Erwin's bike starts, him pushing it down the driveway next to Levi's. 

"We ready guys??!" Hanji yells, running over to Erwin's bike and placing her phone in one of the saddlebags. Eren follows awkwardly, standing next to Levi's bike. "Hey, Levi? Eren is going to ride with you, is that okay?" Hanji questions. He turns to the kid, adjusting his own helmet. He looked funny in a helmet, very out of place. "Yeah, that's fine as long as he's comfortable." Eren simply replies with a smile. "Do you have your phone with you?" Levi asks. Eren perks up, tilting his head. "My phone? Oh, yeah, I do!" He grabs the device from his back pocket, showing it to the male. 

Levi holds out his hand, much to Eren's surprise. Levi rolls his eyes. "I'm not going to take it from you. I'm just going to put it with mine." Levi motions to the pocket near the handlebars of his bike where his own phone was placed. Eren finally hands it to him. Levi jumps at the sudden noise of Erwin's bike making a louder sound as he pulls forward, Hanji seated behind him. They pull up to the street, obviously waiting. 

"Okay, Eren. I know I don't know you very well, but you're going to have to trust me okay? I'm going to go a lot easier than those two for sure." Eren's eyes widen at his sudden concern. The brunet nods firmly, causing Levi's anxiety to slightly subside. He turns, getting onto his bike smoothly, looking at Eren and then to the places where Eren was to put his feet. He then starts the bike. Eren figures it out immediately, stepping on it and swinging himself around, his surprise growing with how close he was to this guy. Even if he didn't know him very well, and had only met him once, he had heard quite a bit about the guy within the past two days from Hanji. It's insane how much she opened up after he met Erwin and Levi. 

Eren situates himself better, jumping a little when Levi turns his head. "Alright, kid. You're going to have to hold onto something and I won't judge you if it's me, OK? I did the same my first time too." Eren sighs, nodding. "When was your first time?" Levi smirks under his helmet. "When I was 7." 

If that didn't soothe Eren's already burning embarrassment. 

Levi turns the bike with his feet until they're facing the correct way down the driveway before he begins riding down it. Erwin had already gotten the message, having already started down the street. Eren had thought that holding onto Levi was the only way he was going to survive, but after grabbing onto the male's seat, he was starting to feel confident. 

They went slowly down the street, obviously, only speeding up when they were onto a main road and outside of the neighborhood. Eren yelps slightly, hands going to awkwardly grab Levi's sides. The action startles the biker, but doesn't cause him to mess up in any way, and just continues his regular driving. Going through town was smooth, and Eren couldn't help but feel really cool as they rode. He didn't have a jacket like the other three, but that didn't exactly matter. It didn't dim his spirits. He was actually having fun. With people he barely even knew. His friends would applaud him. 

"Eren." 

Eren looks back ahead, meeting glances with the male in front of him. Levi knew the kid wasn't paying attention. "We're about to get onto the highway, so don't lose your fucking head, alright?" 

"Right! Got it!" Eren's steady and awkwardly grip on Levi's jacket tightens. Levi nods, turning his head back in front of them. Upon getting on the highway, even if it was a country one with nobody on it but them, Eren gets startled yet again, going and grabbing Levi tighter. "I'm not going to kill us, don't worry about it. Hell, I won't even go fast if you don't want me to," Levi calls over the wind. Yet, something causes Levi's attention to go elsewhere. 

Erwin's bike pulls up next to them on the paved, country road, startling Levi slightly. Wasn't this only a two lane? It wasn't like anyone was on the road at the time anyway, but that didn't stop Levi's mind to fall apart. Erwin never did reckless things. He notices Hanji's smirk and her tight grip around Erwin's torso before the blond's smirk. They were going the same speed, up until Erwin sped up a little, going slightly ahead. Levi grumbles something that was completely unnoticed to Eren before he slightly goes a little faster, keeping the speed with Erwin.

Hanji winks, most likely at Eren, who Levi notices had a grip on his jacket. Not that it was a problem, he just hadn't noticed it before. "Meet ya at the lake, boys!" Hanji yells, the voice nearly incoherent over the noises of the bikes and the wind. Hanji fist bumps the air with one arm, the other keeping a grip around Erwin as the blond speeds up, going around Levi's bike and zipping down the road with a speed that had Eren more breathless than he already was. 

Eren stares after them before leaning forward, putting his head to where Levi could hear him. "Hey, Levi!?" Levi doesn't turn his head, but hums loudly instead, alerting Eren that he had heard him. "Aren't you going to catch up with them?" Levi throws a look over his shoulder. "I didn't think you wanted to go fast? This is your first time, brat." Eren smiles at the random insult. 

"I wouldn't mind if you went fast. If only for a change!" Eren calls, leaning back a little, but keeping his grip on Levi's jacket. Levi sighs, pondering for a moment. The kid wanted to go fast, Erwin and Hanji were trying to be competitive and the only thing stopping him from being competitive, was Eren. He was Hanji's friend, not his. He didn't even really know this kid, so what would happen if he got hurt? Levi sighs in defeat, turning his head. 

"If we're going to catch up with them, then you're going to have to hold onto something other than my jacket, kid!" Levi yells, turning his head back around and quickly accelerating the speed of the bike. Eren squeals, a sound that normally would've been embarrassing, and leans forward, wrapping his arms around Levi's torso. Yet, he takes what Levi said earlier about Hanji into consideration, loosening his grip on him, but making sure he still had a tight hold. 

Levi didn't mind. 

 

 

                ____________________________

 

The timing of getting to the location went significantly faster than Levi would've thought, considering he was trying his hardest to get back up and behind Hanji and Erwin. It wasn't hard though, for Erwin had slowed down after awhile, thinking they weren't going to catch up. It was funny really, Eren had thought. Especially seeing their faces when they passed them. Hanji's laugh and cry of defeat was louder than the wind and the bikes all together.

They slow down, carefully pulling into a parking spot near two other bikes. Eren releases his now graciously awkward hold on Levi, apologizing quietly. Levi shut off the bike, turning to Eren and telling him that he can get off now. Now the only issue was getting his helmet off. He had tried following Hanji's actions, but they were difficult to remember.

"Would you like some help there?"

Eren stops fumbling with the bulky helmet, smiling bashfully at the male, who's helmet was already off and bike was already parked. Eren makes a noise in protest before he sighs. "I would at least like you to tell me how to take the fucking thing off." Levi snorts, smirking a little before poking at the string-like material. "It's tied between those two rings, all you have to do is untie them and then pull it off."

Eren fumbles with the material, successfully being able to take it off. He pulls the thing off of his head, moving his head around a little in order to calm his already messy hair. He doesn't miss the snort come from the other though.

"What's the snort for?" Eren questions, handing the helmet to the other male. Levi simply keeps his shit-eating grin, shaking his head at Eren's accusation. "Your hair, kid. It's all messed up." Eren gives him a look as he goes to fix it. And yours isn't? He wants to say, but that barrier of barely knowing the guy comes back to stab him in the gut. 

There's a few moments of awkward silence, in which Levi begins putting things away and ends up giving Eren back his phone. 3 missed texts from Mikasa. Wonderful. The all-too familiar noise of Erwin's bike stops his thoughts though, causing him to turn and wave at the approaching pair. He pulls into the spot beside Levi's bike.

"Did you enjoy it, Eren??" Hanji asks once her helmet it off. Eren smiles widely. "Yes! It was really fun, I can see why you guys enjoy it so much." Levi snorts a little, walking off in order to find where Mike and Nanaba were apparently. Erwin chuckles, fixing his hair as he walks to them. "I'm glad you had a fun time. We honestly didn't think you guys would catch up, Levi being so worried about having an inexperienced passenger on his back," Erwin says.

Eren offers a shrug. "I didn't mind. I told him to pass you guys actually." Hanji laughs at this. "Really? Awh, Eren, you're really beginning to fit in."

Erwin smirks. "Especially if you can get Levi to do something he isn't overly comfortable with. Even I can't do that." Erwin gives the brunet a thumbs-up, walking in the general direction of where Levi went off too, probably going to find the others as well. Hanji simply beams at him, bringing a pink color to his cheeks. "Hanji?" Eren questions. Hanji shakes her head, smacking Eren on the arm. Okay, he was even more confused.

"Y'know, Eren... You're the only person that's ever wrapped their arms around Levi's waist like that and lived without a complaint." She simply winks, beckoning for him to follow her as she darts off in the direction everyone else went. Eren smiles with satisfaction. 

He felt special. 

Chapter Text

Thank God they had pepperoni. 

Well, of course they were going to buy pepperoni. It was an iconic type of pizza, and thankfully it was. Eren probably would've cried if there had been pineapple involved though. 

"Eren, do you need a napkin?" Hanji questions softly, holding out one to him. He takes his gladly with a nod of his head, going to wipe away a tiny bit of sauce that had made its way onto the corner of his mouth. He sets the napkin next to his plate before reaching for his can of soda. This gives him a few moments to study everyone. They were all seated at a picnic table somewhat near the water. Eren was facing the lake, sitting in the middle between both Mike and Erwin. Quite a scary situation, he must say. 

Mike was tall, taller than Erwin if that was even possible. He had down-cast eyes and always seemed to be in serious thought, possibly studying something. He also seemed to smell Eren when he pulled him into a handshake. Levi lived with him? His eyes flicker to Levi, who was sitting across from him, then to Hanji across from Erwin and then finally Nanaba, who was across from Mike. 

Nanaba had blonde hair, cut short into a neat pixie-cut. He gives a nod of satisfaction. It was clean, it was nice-looking on her. Besides, she was nice. Eren happened to like nice.  

"Why're you staring at everyone?" 

Eren's blood boils in his veins for a moment as his eyes shoot up to lock with Levi's. He hadn't really noticed that Levi's eyes were suck a light, silver color that was very striking in contrast with his hooded lids. He tumbles over his words for a few seconds, silently cursing himself when he feels his face begin to heat up a little. What was so embarrassing? He had a reason. 

"He's just studying everyone, Levi. He's new, give him a break." Levi clicks his tongue, wiping his chin with his own napkin. "I was just curious. Also to mention that I asked him, not you," he adds, shrugging. Eren sighs, smiling a little. "Sorry if it creeps you out, I was doing it subconsciously," Eren says shyly. Levi shakes his head a little. "No, it didn't creep me out, I do it myself. I was just curious," he says again. 

Eren nods, returning to his nearly finished piece of pizza. 

It wasn't long that everyone sat in silence, patiently waiting for everyone to finish and such. What were they going to do afterwards? Go for another ride? Would he ride with Levi again? The thought sends several different emotions to pool into his gut. Did they guy like him? Did he not? He was difficult to read, nearly reminding him of-

"Hey, you done? I wanted to show you something." Eren snaps out of his thoughts, meeting Erwin's gaze from beside him. He does trust his voice, simply just smiling at him and nodding. Erwin at least knew how to make him feel comfortable in awkward situations. Well, he had succeeded in doing so recently. Erwin beacons him to follow him before slipping off the bench, grabbing his trash and throwing it into a nearby trashcan as he started walking towards a walkway near the water. 

Eren follows quickly, not wanting to keep the man waiting. He steps up beside him, Erwin staring off at a wooden boardwalk that hung over the lake at around 10 feet long. Eren looks at the man, then to the boardwalk. "Uh, Erwin?" Erwin visibly hears him, turning his head and blinking a few times. 

"Huh? Oh, sorry. I zoned out for a second. Wanna skip rocks and chat?" 

Eren quirks a brow at him. "Skip rocks and chat? I didn't expect a biker to ask me this." Erwin chuckles, shrugging his hands into his pockets. "Well, it is something we all do often when we take a break here. It's like out safe spot, a place that we can escape from the world to. Besides, you seemed uncomfortable up there. I figured I'd try to break that shell of yours," he says simply, nudging the brunet with his elbow. 

"Oh? Well thanks. I wasn't uncomfortable though. Just felt a little out of place." Erwin winks. "Don't worry, you won't feel like that for long." Just as the blond went to grab a flat rock from the scattered gravel and such around the shore, someone pushed past them, running towards the ends of the boardwalk. Erwin stands back up, sighing. "Don't fall off, Hanji!" he yells, a smile tugging at his lips. Eren smiles lightly. He really cared about her. 

Hanji yells, jumping up and down and excitement. Mike and Nanaba walk up, Nanaba shaking her head as Mike simply watched. "Gosh, she's too optimistic for her own good. Hey, Hanji?" Nanaba calls. Hanji stops, turning around and looking at the blonde questioningly. "Eh?" 

"Wanna have a rock skipping contest?" 

Hanji lights up, running back to the four. "You bet! Wanna go into teams or individual-" 

There's the faint sound of a rock flying, enough to catch everyone's attention. It goes along the water for quite a ways before eventually touching the water, skipping once, twice, three times... then four before sinking into the water. Eren's and everyone else's gazes turn to the culprit, who simply turns on his heels, wearing his expressionless facade.

He cocks an eyebrow. "Well? There's my throw." And Eren couldn't help but wear a sheepish grin. 

 

                           ____________________________

 

"Why do you always try to cheat? Eren's total was 20, you only had 17, Hanji," Mike says simply, chuckling. Hanji groans, covering her face with her hands. "That was my worst game this month!" she yells in defeat. Erwin simply laughs, patting her on the back. "You'll do better next time. Good job this time, Eren," Erwin says, directing his attention to the male. 

Eren blinks in surprise before rubbing the back of his neck. "Well... I used to do it a lot when I was younger. Besides, 20 isn't that big of a score compared to Levi's." Hanji growls. "Levi always gets the highest score." The said male smiles smugly. "It's not my fault I seem to have a better arm than you," he replies. Hanji smacks her head onto the table. Eren and Nanaba exchange worried glances. 

"Don't forget that one time Erwin and Gunther were tied," Nanaba says. Eren gives her a look. "Gunther?" Nanaba hums, nodding. "He's also in our gang, he was one of the four recruited in by Levi." Eren looks to Levi, who just shrugs. "I knew them from my work. Some of them at least, met the others later on." 

"Where do you work?" Eren asks. Levi meets his gaze. "Why do you care?" 

The blow hits Eren worse than it probably should have, but he shakes it off despite. "Because I don't think you're as mysterious as you play yourself out to be," Eren replies, a bit of a bite to his tone. Everyone stays silent for a moment, Hanji whistling after a moment. Levi holds his gaze before sighing. 

"Y'know, kid-"

"It's Eren. I figured you would've figured that out so far." Hanji whistles again. Erwin closes his eyes for a moment. 

Levi bites his bottom lip, drawing Eren's eyes to it. He sighs, choosing to begin talking again. "Okay, Eren. What's your last name again?" 

"It's Jaeger." Nanaba raises her brows. "That's a cool last name." Eren just glows at the compliment. He had never really been fond of his last name since high school. Mr. Pixis was a pain in the ass. 

"Well, Eren, you're right. I don't consider myself mysterious. I just don't enjoy talking about myself so openly to someone I don't know very well," Levi says. He crosses his legs and his arms. Eren cocks a brow. "I didn't think telling me about your work was a big deal." Levi nods at him. "I guess you're right," he says. "Well, I work at Recon Tattoos and Piercings. You know the place?" Eren nods. "It's where my friend Jean got his first tattoo." 

"Hm, don't remember him." 

Eren chuckles. "You probably didn't help him then. He's hard to forget." Eren takes slight satisfaction in the upturn of Levi's mouth. Maybe it wasn't a smile, but it was the first pleasant reaction he could get out of him this evening. "And where do you work, 'Mr. I'm Not A Kid'?" Levi questions. Eren sends him a look, complying nonetheless. "I work at Titan Bar & Grill. I've been told you guys go there often." 

Nanaba smiles. "Yeah, man. That's where we are if we aren't here or riding," she says. Eren smiles, making note to have them give him a heads-up if they were going to come by. "You work there? I haven't seen you there before," Levi asks. 

"I probably wasn't working when you guys were there, like I told Erwin and Hanji. I'm usually the main bartender." 

Levi tilts his head. "How old are you?" 

"21. I'll be 22 next March." Levi hums. "You're young for a bartender." Eren simply shrugs his shoulders again. "I get told that often. I never have any trouble telling anyone causing mayhem to fuck off though." Everyone chuckles, Erwin patting Eren on the back. "You know, Eren? I like you," Nanaba says, Mike nodding shortly afterwards in agreement. 

Levi hums again. "You're pretty cool. Also, when are we going to continue our ride? I don't think we came here to pout over a rock skipping game and eat pizza." Erwin smiles. "Yeah, I don't think we did either. Besides, night is coming quickly. We should go for a ride before we have to take Eren home." Hanji's eyes widen. "Oh, yeah! We need to take you home! I'm so sorry, I completely forgot! What time is it?" 

"Nearly 8:30," Mike inquires. 

"What time do you want to be home?" Nanaba asks. Eren ponders for a moment. His parents were probably home, which meant that they would be going to bed sometime before 11. Unless they were out getting dinner or something with some friends. He never knew anymore unless he heard it from his mom before going through the door in the mornings. "Uh," he starts, "sometime before 11 most likely?" 

"You don't sound very sure of yourself." 

Eren turns, giving Levi a slightly pissy look, bringing humor to the shorter male. "By 11 should be fine," he repeats himself. "Alright! We'll go back home around then-" 

"Don't," Levi says as the approach their bikes. Hanji gives him a strange look. He holds his hand out towards Hanji. "Just give me your house keys." Erwin raises a brow. One of those insanely present brows. "For?" Levi sighs. "So that Eren can get his shit from there, obviously." Eren gives Levi a sidelong glance. "Uhm... What do you mean?" 

Levi gives him a look in return. "What do you think? I'm taking you home so that these ones don't have to stop riding." Hanji moves forward to protest, but quickly stops when Levi holds his hand up. "He's riding with me, so it's my responsibility to take him home. I'll lock your house back up and leave them inside the plant on your porch for you if you want. I can't stay out late anyway, I have work at one point tomorrow, remember?" Erwin and Hanji exchange glances. "Are you sure, Levi? You don't have to take him home... He is my friend afterall," Hanji says calmly. 

Levi rolls his eyes. "You brought him here to meet us though, didn't you? We all know him now, so it's not an issue. Are you going to hand them over or am I going to have to break your kitchen window like I did two years ago?" 

Erwin bites his lip, reaching into his pocket and tossing the rattling keys in Levi's direction. He catches them effortlessly. "Erwin!" Hanji protests. Erwin shrugs. "I don't want to have to clean up that glass again. It was a pain," he responds. Levi hums in satisfaction, stepping over to his bike. "Get over here and get your helmet, brat." Eren gives the other four a worried glance, but follows his orders closely. 

 

                                _________________________________

 

The night sky really was beautiful, especially since they were just cruising and Eren didn't have to make an insane effort to hold on to the guy he was riding with. He stops looking at the sky, taking in how beautiful the stars really looked when they weren't clouded by city lights. He studies the guy in front of him a little more, the thoughts of their exchanges throughout the evening. He had been very sure of himself when he said he was taking Eren home, actually threatening the keys off of Erwin. It was a sweet gesture though, he had felt appreciated when he offered. 

More like threatened, but nonetheless. It was all good. 

They had been riding for what felt like hours, but it was enjoyable. They had passed the lake on a different road, it connecting to a bridge that went over a part of the lake. It was gorgeous when he saw it, the distant sunset touching the water in the perfect way. He could definitely get used to riding like this, with these people. Hell, even riding passenger with Levi wasn't so bad. He had a piss poor attitude, but Eren found it endearing. Weirdly endearing. 

"Eren!" 

The brunet turns his head sharply from the scenery towards the guy he was riding with. "Yeah??" Eren yells back in question, leaning forward in order to hear him. "It's nearly 11. Do you want to head back?!" 

Wow, it actually had been hours. 

"Eh?? Yeah! Thank you!" Levi nods, turning back to the road thankfully. "I'll get on the road for Hanji and Erwin's then!" he yells. Erwin, Hanji, Mike and Nanaba all notice them going a different direction, all waving and screaming their goodbyes. Then, they fade away, the noises of their bikes fading with the trees. Now, his anxiety was back. Yes, he had gotten to know Levi a little better, but he still wasn't overly comfortable with him yet. And here he was, allowing him to take him home. 

What if that wasn't his ambition? What if he kills him and dumps his body into the lake? Nah, he wouldn't be that kind of guy. Might have a temper issue and a cleaning obsession, but he didn't strike Eren as mentally psychotic. Then again, Eren's temper issue was worse. That probably came with age, Levi might have grown to calm it better. Or maybe he and always been able to still it when needed. He was also hard to read, something Eren assumed was with age. How old was he even?

Without realizing, possibly after around 20-30 minutes later, Eren notices that they've pulled up to Erwin and Hanji's street, their house fastly approaching. He sighs. He already missed the country-side air. It was less suffocating. Like he wasn't trapped in a wall or something. Levi pulls up their drive way, putting down the kickstand and turning off the engine. Eren jumps off, waiting patiently for Levi to do the same. 

He does shortly afterwards and the pair make their way up to the house. Levi carefully unlocks it with nimble fingers, letting Eren go on inside after he pushes it open. Eren rushes down the hallway, his helmet making everything seem dizzy. Oh yeah. This wasn't his helmet. He'll just ask Levi what do to with it. He finds his back easily in the dark, not bothering in turning on any lights as he turns, hurrying back to the front door. Didn't want to keep someone like Levi waiting. 

He reaches the door, jumping outside as Levi shuts it, locking it afterwards. "Uh, Levi?" 

"Hm?" 

"What do I do with this helmet? I borrowed it from Hanji and Erwin. Should I leave it here?" 

Levi finishes locking up the house, throwing the keys into the plant pot not far away. He fixes Eren with a look. "Like hell I'm taking you home without a helmet. Keep it, you can return it next time." Eren's heart jumps as he follows Levi back to the bike. "Next time?" Eren asks. Levi stops as he reached the bike, turning around and glowering at him. "Did you not enjoy tonight?" 

Shit. 

"What? Yeah, of course I did! I was just confused. You want me to join you guys again?" Levi sighs as he takes Eren's bag from him, no doubt attempting to secure it on the back. It wasn't hard evidently. "I wouldn't mind it. Again, you seem cool. You're also not a pain in the ass to ride with." Eren chuckles. "Should I feel special about that?" Levi gets on his bike, starting it up. Eren brushes off getting ignored, going to get onto the bike instead. 

 

                               _____________________________

 

With the help of Eren's directions, they successfully make it back to Eren's house with barely any communication. He shuts off the bike, giving Eren his cue to jump off, Levi getting off afterwards. He goes straight to getting Eren's bag, not a word in exchange. Eren waits awkwardly for him, trying to get his helmet off. He didn't want to still be wearing it when he entered his house. 

He gets it off, thankfully, noticing Levi was also holding his bag out for him. He takes it with a shy nod, slinging the strap over his shoulder. "Uh," Eren begins, situating the helmet at his side. "Thanks for the ride, I really appreciate it." Levi nods, crossing his arms. "It was my responsibility, don't worry about it. I guess this means I'll just see you later then." 

Eren jumps, smiling. "Y-yeah! Have a good night, Levi," Eren wishes, waving and starting up the driveway to his door. 

"Good night, brat," Levi mumbles, starting the bike. Eren catches it, smiling to himself as he gets up to his door. After a long time of searching for his keys, he eventually finds them in a side pocket and unlocks his door. The porch light wasn't on, signifying that his parents were not home. Well, at least he didn't have to explain to his mom why he was just dropped off by someone on a really nice motorcycle. 

Speaking of.

Eren turns around, catching sight of the fact that Levi was still there. Was he waiting for Eren to get inside? Just to be sure, Eren waves as he moves to put his bag back over his shoulder. Levi simply raises two fingers before driving off, the noise of his bike becoming softer with distance. Eren sighs as he steps inside, shutting the door and leaning against it. 

Did he just get involved with a gang? 

A motorcycle gang, but a gang nonetheless. He smiles to himself, replaying the feeling of wind rushing through his hair in his mind. Yes. He most definitely got involved in a gang. 

         

                                    ________________________

 

It was a Wednesday thankfully, giving Eren a breath of fresh air. He had, of course, seen and talked to Hanji at school and over text, her asking if he was sure he had a good time. Despite it making her feel really good, Eren did have a good time. Though, a reoccurring thing Hanji had been asking was if Levi had treated him nicely, because she was a little nervous leaving him completely alone with him. Apparently she was just scared he would chase her away with his "charm." He hadn't minded, Levi seemed like a cool enough guy. 

The main point Eren was happy that it was a Wednesday, was that it wasn't busy at Titan. There were a few people seated around the place at tables, eating their food and minding their own business. Thankfully, there was only one person at the bar. He was an elderly man who had stopped for a drink whilst his wife was conversing with some other lady. He didn't blame the guy. The women had been talking for a good 20 minutes. 

He was wiping down the bar when someone took a seat at the bar, and then someone else right next to them. It caught him by surprise, but was rather relieved when he noticed it was his two friends. 

"Hey! I thought you guys were busy?" Eren asks, grinning at them. Armin shakes his head, resting his chin in one of his hands. "Nah, I finished all of my homework so I decided to text Mikasa and ask if she was doing anything." 

Mikasa shrugs. "I had already finished my homework at the library, so we just decided to come here." Eren gives them a wave of his hand. "Awww, you two didn't have to come and see me," he says, grinning. Mikasa rolls her eyes. "You know, we could just leave then. If you don't appreciate our company that is," she says. Eren shakes his head. "Please don't leave me. Even if I'm happy that tonight is super slow, I would absolutely hate to get left here without anything to do." 

Mikasa shrugs. "Fair point, I guess." 

"So, Eren," Armin begins, "Did you finish your physics homework?" Eren ponders for a second, putting away the clean glass that he had finished drying. "Uhhhh... you mean the paper involving all those velocity problems or something?" 

Armin nods slowly. "Did you get it done? It was assigned today. I figured you finished it after your art class." 

Eren smiles a little. "Actually I went and got milkshakes with Connie, Jean and Reiner," he says shyly. Mikasa sighs. "I don't blame you, but at least I waited until after I finished my homework before hitting up Christa and Ymir." Armin turns his head, eyeing Mikasa a little. "I forgot to properly ask you... How did last Friday night go? I heard that Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie tagged along with you, Connie, Sasha, Jean and Marco. Did that go okay?" 

Mikasa sighs. "It was fine, nothing went wrong honestly. I even said hello to Annie." 

Eren gasps, eyes brightening. "You said hello to Annie?" Mikasa flips him off unconsciously. "I was being civil, like I usually am." Armin snorts. "Yeah, because flipping off your best friend is being civil, Mikasa." She glares at him. "Shut up, please." 

Eren chuckles. "Y'know, you remind me of what's-his-face when you're mad." 

Mikasa looks at him, squinting her eyes and tilting her head. "Remind you of who exactly, Eren?" Armin turns his attention to the brunet as well, both staring at him with a funny expression. "Um.. Never mind actually," he says weakly, turning back to his cleaning up around the bar. He could've sworn he cleaned that spot before, but it didn't matter. 

"Y'know, I'm surprised you hung out with Jean, Connie and Reiner today. You've been talking to Hanji a lot more outside of school now. What exactly happened last Friday?" 

Eren shrugs. "I haven't hung out with her outside of physics since then, it's just been texting, Ar." The blond shrugs. "Still talking. How'd it go, by the way? You never filled us in." 

Eren shrugs. "I met her, Erwin and Levi's friends, though not all of them. Apparently Hanji wants me to meet the rest of their motorcycle gang the next time I see them." Mikasa raises a brow slowly. "Are you sure you want to continue getting involved with their friend group, Eren? There's no doubt you'll probably be the youngest one." Eren snickers. "They're fun people, 'Kasa. I'm sure you'd enjoy them. Well, unless you were like Levi and didn't care to be involved in much of the conversation." 

Mikasa thinks for a moment. The more he talked about this Levi character, the more he started sounding like her- 

"Hey, do you guys want something to drink really quick?" Eren asks, eyes flickering to where the elderly man had been, but had payed and went back to his wife. "I can get you guys some soda or something." Armin waves him off, shaking his head. "No thanks, Eren. Thank you though." Eren smiles. "Of course! What about you, 'Kasa?" Mikasa sighs, giving into temptation. 

"If you're only offering soda, then give me a coke." 

 

Chapter Text

Everything looked nice outside. The way the trees were blowing in the wind, the way their leaves were beginning to turn into a yellow tone, the way that it was currently 60 degrees outside. Eren sighs, adjusting his chin on his palm, better perfecting his view. He was happy to have snagged a window seat. 

What feels like a wad of paper hits the back of his neck, momentarily snapping him out of his autumn daze. He turns his head, eyes piercing at the culprit. Hanji shrugs softly, a small upturn of her mouth visibly present. She motions discreetly as possible (probably in order for the teacher not to notice, who was currently lecturing on an outside-of-class project) towards the paper that had so miraculously hit him and got his attention. 

He shrugs defensively as he spots the paper, picking it up and making sure to sit up before the teacher noticed. The only one who had seemed to notice the paper aside from himself and Hanji was Armin, who was currently seated next to Eren, with a single, empty seat separating them. Armin preferred paying attention, whilst Eren preferred staring out the window and hearing about the lecture from Armin after the class ended. 

It usually backfired when he was called out. It was embarrassing. 

He carefully opens the paper wad in front of him on the desk so that he wouldn't look as though he was getting on his phone. Which he never did. Well, he couldn't even if he wanted to (which he did, believe it or not) because Armin had confiscated it upon Mikasa's request before the class started. Lame. Probably the reason Hanji had to throw a note at him in order to tell him something. 

My group of friends from my gang were wanting to head to Titan tonight for dinner after a ride. Levi would be a bit late, but Erwin was wondering if you were going to be working tonight?? 

Eren actually was working that night. He smiles, turning around and smiling over his shoulder, a smile staining his lips. Hanji returns it, making Eren actually happy for once to be working a shift. Wednesdays were usually quiet and slow, making Eren thrilled that he'd have something to do other than serve a few lazy customers and help wipe down tables. 

Something else hits Eren's arm, causing the brunet to turn his head. Armin was glaring at him, him having thrown the pencil apparently. Pay attention, Eren could tell Armin was meaning. The brunet swallows the lump in his throat, turning his (somewhat) full attention back to the teacher. Armin nods in approval, looking back at the teacher as well. 

 

                                 ____________________________________________

 

 

What to paint, oh what to paint? 

Eren definitely couldn't decide. He sighs, stepping back and resting a lazy, non-brush holding hand on his side, fingers gripping the sides of his painter's apron. He squints at the canvas, various shades of yellow were blotching the white fabric. It didn't look right at all. He inwardly groans, eyes scanning the nearly empty art classroom. Not even his teacher was in there at the time. This project was a free project, and wasn't due until the end of the term.

It had to be perfect! Not only was he finally able to express his art style, but this was going to be his final! Thankfully, it wasn't due for two months. Eren wipes the sweat threatening to pierce his brow, continuing to frown at the canvas. He sighs once again. He needed a new canvas, didn't he? There were various sounds of papers scrambling before a rather loud, yet easily over-looked, bell sounds throughout the building.

Eren takes his time, carefully making sure to clean his brushes off appropriately, cleaning his hands, dumping out his mucky water, properly putting away his apron, etc. Eren wasn't usually a perfectionist, but when it came to art he was very strict. He liked having his art things in order and clean, even if his style was never really one thing or another. Usually it was what just came to him. Maybe he should stop thinking so much about this project and just spend some time considering things that were going on with him at that time. It seemed easier. 

"Ey, Eren?"

The brunet turns, his green eyes squinting as he was returning to his table area, where his things were seated. He smiles widely as his friends enter the empty room. Reiner glances curiously around the room before turning back to him. "Where's your professor?" Eren looks around himself, shrugging his shoulders. "Honestly, not sure. She disappeared around the beginning of the period." Reiner hums, looking over to grab Connie, who was currently trying to touch what looked to be a wet sculpture. Couldn't be too careful.

"When do you have to work?" Jean questions, crossing his arms. Eren slings his bag over his back, walking over towards them. "Uh, I don't have my shift until 5:30. What time is it now?" Bertholdt's eyes check his watch. "It's just a little after 3:30, no need to worry now," he says, smiling at Eren. The brunet returns it, looking back and forth between the four guys.

"What're you guys doing here though?" he asks thoughtfully. Connie simply grins. "We wanted to hang out with you! And since you don't have work until 5, we thought maybe we could do something? Maybe go to the diner off of campus or something?" Eren considers it, nodding a little and thinking over his schedule.

"What about Armin? Is he coming or?"

"Ah, Ar? He told us he had to work at 4, so he left right after his class finished. It finished earlier than usual today," Jean says. Eren nods. "And what about the girls?" Connie groans. "Can we not hang out as dudes once in awhile??? Besides, Ymir was going to the library with Christa to do some work after their classes got out. Dunno about the others though."

Eren shrugs. "I don't mind hanging out with just us, I was just wondering about them. Besides, Mikasa gave me a ride to campus today due to me nearly sleeping in. I had an 8 o'clock class this morning anyway," he mutters as the five exit the art room, slowly making their way down the hallway. "I could give you a ride, I doubt Mikasa would care all that much," Jean says. Eren smirks at him. 

"What's this offer for? Did Marco ditch out on you giving him a ride or something?"

The tips of Jean's ears turn a faint pink and he elbows Eren in the side, causing him to stumble over a little. The brunet chuckles at the other's mumbling. "Marco only had one class today! It got out around noon, so I couldn't give him a ride even if I wanted to. Besides, stop fucking assuming things," he lashes out bitterly. There's a faint tap on Eren's shoulder, so he turns, meeting Reiner's gaze. The blond mouths out, 'He's so pinning,' which forces Eren to have to stiffen his laugh. Jean was right there, after all. 

 

 

                                                 _____________________________________

 

Eren had nearly forgotten what it was like to spend time with just his guy friends. It was calming, causing him to be more laid-back than he usually was. Mikasa could drive him up a wall at times. 

"So, you went to that party, and weren't able to get laid? Honestly?" Eren snorts. "Did you at least try to get with someone, Jean?" Jean grumbles something, crossing his arms over his chest as he further sunk into his seat. "It was a rough night, okay??" Reiner rolls his eyes, resting his hoodie-covered biceps onto the table. He looks directly at Eren. "The only reason he joined me at that party in the first place was because he had a fight with his boyfriend." 

"How many fucking times do I have to say that Marco isn't my boyfriend???" 

"Whatever, whatever," Connie starts. "I heard from Ymir that she dared you to drink more shots than her and that you actually won, but as a result, you couldn't walk and ended up crawling outside and crying by the front steps." 

Eren looses it, his snorts coming out faster than they had in awhile. Even Bertholdt has to cover his mouth a little. "He's an emotional drunk, I witnessed it," Reiner admits, smirking devilishly at the other male. Jean simply rolls his eyes. 

"Yeah? I was upset, and then you called about the party so I decided to go. I needed a drink, sue me." Connie shakes his head. "We're not judging, just saying that you're pinning." 

"Seriously bad," Reiner adds. 

"Really bad, you might need to get that checked," Eren points out. 

"You could always just check out Marco, if you know what I mean," Bertholdt says softly. Reiner claps him on the back, eyes crinkling as he laughs. Eren chuckles as well, Connie (of course) joining in as well. Jean even seems to start sporting a smile after several moments. He sighs, pushing that faint look away as he corrects his posture. "

"Okay, alright. I'm into Marco," Jean says quietly. 

Everyone pauses their humor, looking at him seriously. "W-what, seriously???" Connie stumbles over his words, shock reaching his face. Jean's complexion grows into a deep red. "Ha! I knew it," Eren says, happily grinning and directing it at no one in particular. "So you're admitting it? You're really into Marco?" Jean nods slowly, a defensive scowl on his face. 

"And? Is that a fucking problem?" Jean questions. He was defensive, unsure. Well, Eren wasn't exactly judging him. He was the last person to judge on other's sexualities. He, being bi himself, had had his fair share of crushes or interests on both men and women. It didn't matter. He liked chicks as much as he liked dicks. When he had come out to his friends, it was mid-junior year of high school. He remembers the day well, having made a pun involving the matter. Everyone had thought it was funny, up until they realized that Eren was freaking out and about to have a panic attack over the fact that he hadn't actually meant to tell them yet. He had something else in mind, it wasn't supposed to be like that. 

Nonetheless, everything went fine for him. Yet he didn't understand why other's in his friend group would feel really awkward. Ymir had broken the ice freshman year that she was strictly into girls and no one batted an eye. Then after it was obvious that Ymir and Christa were dating (Christa being openly bi), Marco had admitted to being into dudes for some extent. Eren had no idea what Mikasa's sexuality was, but he didn't dare question. That was her business. Armin was into girls for some extent, since he had dated Annie, and he knew that Annie was at least bisexual. 

Although, he didn't really mind. 

"So, are you bi?" Jean slightly glares at Eren. The boy raises his hands defensively, shaking his head. "I'm not out to get you, man. I'm into dudes too. And girls." Jean huffs a laugh, relaxing visibly. "I keep forgetting you're bisexual, Eren," Jean says softly. Eren nods, smiling. "Yeah. So there's literally nothing wrong with you being into Marco."

Connie, Reiner and Bertholdt all nod, smiling. "Yeah, the majority of our friend group likes people of the same gender a little bit. I mean, c'mon. Ymir and Christa," Connie reminds him. Jean laughs a little. "Yeah, you're right. But I don't exactly know if I'm bi yet? I only came to terms with the fact that I was into Marco senior year." Eren whistles. "You've been pinning for two years??" Jean smacks his arm. 

The conversation dies a little afterwards, the topic being shifted onto something Christa had said apparently, then leading off to how Mikasa and Annie were super awkward two or so weeks before. It was comfortable, nice even. He slightly dreaded having to go to work soon. 

 

 

                                                      _______________________________________

 

 

Eren was pouring a gin and tonic for one of his regulars when the faint noises of several bikes were ever so present in terms of being close. He had texted Hanji when he was leaving for his shift, asking when they would be by. She had mentioned sometime around 7, which seemed convenient enough. It was going to be pretty slow all evening. Wednesdays were both a blessing and a curse, in his opinion. 

The door to the grill opened, the creak of the door signifying their entrance (as if the loud voices of them talking and such weren't already so ever present). They step inside, Eren's coworker, Thomas, going to greet them. He locks eyes with Hanji, smiling a little as she begins grinning, tugging on Erwin's biker jacket. He was talking quietly to Mike and Nanaba before he turns, smiling widely at him. He, of course, returns the gesture. 

Nanaba and Mike also spot him at the bar, both waving politely. There were four others with them whom Eren didn't recognize. Must be Levi's friends. As he had assumed, due to Hanji's mention, Levi was no where to be seen with the group. Not that he cared or anything, but it was strange to not see Levi getting abused by Hanji or whoever. 

Luckily, the group was seated at a table near the bar, close enough to where they could make conversation. Thomas hands them menus, taking their random orders of drinks before he walks over, giving him an apologetic look as he looks it over. Of course, it's all alcohol. All except one root beer, which, with a smile, he thinks he can muster. As he makes all 8 drinks, he faintly listens to their random conversations. 

Most have to do with their days, a short girl (shorter than Levi????) giggling about something that happened involving who seemed to be her boyfriend?? Well, they were holding hands, after all. He finishes their drinks, signalling Thomas over in order to help him serve them. Eren smirks as he meets Hanji's gaze. 

"Alright, who had the girly drink?" 

"Sangria isn't that girly!!" Hanji fumes, reaching out and taking the beverage. Eren snorts, figuring it was her as much. Everyone else was a little more complicated, but it was eventually passed out and orderly. Eren waits patiently for Thomas to take their meal orders and leave before he begins talking once again. "Also, if you guys want refills, just walk on over," he says with a simple shrug. Hanji sends him a smile, Erwin throwing him a wink. 

"Ah, wait!" 

Eren stops his walks back to the bar, raising a brow and searching for who had called him. He locks eyes with a tall, buffer man with close-cropped hair that was a dark brown. He also had an eyebrow piercing, Eren notices. "You're Eren right? The one that these two haven't been able to shut up about?" Eren follows his finger to Erwin and Hanji, who shrug bashfully. Erwin chuckles. 

"That's the Eren, yeah," he says. 

The girl that he didn't know, who was holding hands with another one of the guys, gasps. Her honey-colored eyes were bright and her strawberry colored hair was swinging above her shoulders. "You're the one that Levi mentioned the other day??" Eren's mouth drops open a little. Levi didn't seem like the kind of person to mention others, so this was rather shocking. 

Another man, who he also didn't know, who was sitting on the other side of the first man who had spoken up, starts snickering. He had blond hair and a goatee, pulled back into a bun behind his head. "Levi didn't mention him once though, Petra." The girl turns her head, staring at him. "He mentioned him actually three or four times within the past two weeks, right Gunther?" 

Eren begins putting names to faces at this guy's conversation. "Yeah," Gunther starts, "Which is weird. Levi isn't overly talkative during work unless he's invested in the subject. He was talking a lot about the ride you all went on the Monday afterwards." Eren hums. He remembered that Levi knew a few from work. Hanji coos, batting her eyelashes at Eren. 

"Awwww, I think Levi is warming up to you, Erennnnnnn!" 

Eren scoffs, turning and continuing his mission back to the bar. "Don't be ridiculous, Hanji. I've only met the midget twice?" 

The other man, who hadn't said a word and was holding hands with the girl Petra snorts. "You sound almost just like him, honestly. Also, I can't believe you called him a midget?" Petra giggles. "Not that many people can live to tell the tale," she admits. "I'm Petra, by the way! It's a pleasure to meet you, Eren. Hanji has mentioned you millions of times to me before you even met Erwin. Now it's even more." 

Eren's face begins heating up a little. He usually hates being talked about, but he couldn't help but feel flattered. Especially if it was Hanji and Erwin doing the talking. Levi, on the other hand, had probably said some shit. Not that it mattered. 

"I'm Erd," the blond male says, smiling and waving. 

"I'm Gunther!" the other male says. 

"And this is my boyfriend, Auruo," Petra says with a giggle. He gives a friendly wave. Eren nods, giving a closed-mouth smile. "I'll make note of that. Also let me know if you guys need anything else, I need to continue my cleaning back here," he says awkwardly. With that, no one says anything and returns to their drinks, content smiles on their faces. 

 

 

                                              ___________________________________

 

 

 

"No! I'm fuckin' serious, this dude literally wanted a nipple piercing. I've never actually been so disgusted??" Erd says, laughing. Eren was leaning against the bar, chatting with the others at the table several feet away. "Honestly, I don't blame you. But why would anyone want a nipple piercing, especially a guy?" Erwin questions, raising a brow as he takes another swig of his drink. Thankfully, none had had very much to drink, so there wouldn't be a problem. 

Eren glances over to the clock which hung from the wall. It was already 9?? His shift ended at 10:30. Also, where was Levi? Hanji had said he would be late, but that doesn't mean two hours kind of late. 

As if almost on cue, the door to the restaurant opens with a creak of the door, causing everyone to glance over. There wasn't anyone else in the place except for Eren and the others. The place closed at 10 from Monday to Thursday, Friday being open until 12 and same with Saturday. Sunday, it closes at 9. Eren wasn't even sure why he was behind the bar at this point if there was no one else. Hell, he could be sitting with them. They had already started to hit it off. Especially him, Gunther and Eld. Petra and Auruo were exchanging disgusting glances. Eren wants to vomit. 

"Levi!" Hanji yells, throwing her arms up in the air. The man sighs, obviously tired as he makes his way over to the table. Damn, he must be tired. Anyone who would willingly sit between Erwin and Hanji has to be tired. Or drunk. "Sorry I'm late," Eren hears him mumble as he walks over. "Want something to drink?" Eren asks quietly. The male peers over, looking up at him from hooded-eyes. There were dark circles underneath.

"Just get me a coke, I don't want any alcohol this late." Erd whistles. "Rough day at work?" he asks. Levi looks up, an expression so deadly resting on his face that could cause a tough motherfucker to cry. Erd looks away. 

"You have no idea. Some asshole expected this intensely detailed tattoo and was determined for me to finish it within two days, so I've been busting my ass off for it." 

 Eren whistles as he walks over, setting the coke on the table and pulling a straw out of his apron. "You must be a hard worker," he says, a shit-eating grin on his face. Nanaba has to stop herself from chuckling. Levi sends Eren a glare, taking the straw out of its paper and placing it inside his glass. "I'm not wanting to hear your sarcasm bullshit tonight, kid." Eren rolls his eyes, walking over to a stray table and pulling up a chair, making sure it was between Mike and Erwin. At least one person away from the Grinch. 

"Didn't the guy know you have a life?" Gunther asks. Levi shrugs, sipping at his Coke with nearly pure content on his face. Eren couldn't get over the dark circles. The man needed sleep. "I needed to work on it anyway, I didn't want to start it and finish it long after the other. I was pretty determined. Curse me for that." Hanji chuckles. "Just shows that you're good at what you do," she says. Levi sends her a look. 

"When do you get a day off?" Eren questions. Levi locks eyes with him for a moment before they flicker back to his glass. "Thankfully, I get tomorrow off. These shits get to run the place," he motions to Gunther and Erd. Eren snorts. Erd smirks. 

"Good thing you do, you look like you're going to die," Petra chirps. Levi glares at her. "Don't you think I know that?" 

"Well, don't think you look that bad," Erwin starts. Levi raises one of his brows. Erwin smirks. "But are those bags designer?" 

The table looses it, everyone howling with laughter that Eren didn't think would actually come from this group. Erwin doesn't exactly hand out insults anyway. Hell, Even Mike looked nearly ready to bust a nut or something. Eren snickers, covering his mouth in order to not get his ass kicked if Levi was going to hand them out. Surprisingly, Levi smiles lightly. Where did Erwin get that affect? Honestly, Eren wishes he had it. 

The laughter dies down after several moments before Levi opts to speak. "You're paying for my drink and for my drinks for the next two weeks for that stunt," he says. Erwin shrugs. "Worth it in the end," he says simply, winking at Eren. 

"But honestly, Levi," Petra starts, "Should you even be riding when you're this tired? I mean, you didn't even add a punch to that order." Hanji nods. "She does have a point, little man." Levi clicks his tongue, finishing up his soda. "I'm fine, I got here, didn't I? Also, Eren." Eren perks up, eyes bright. "Thanks for the drink. And for staying here this late, there really isn't anyone in here, is there?" Eren waves him off with a hand gesture, smiling. 

"The place doesn't close until 10 anyway. Besides, I didn't mind closing up tonight." 

If it was at all possible, Levi had a hint of a smile on his mouth. It was nice. Smiling suited him more than scowling. Maybe he wasn't that big of a dick. "Also, shouldn't you be cleaning, or does your sorry ass not know how to do that?" Okay, maybe he was a dick. Erwin chuckles, patting Levi's shoulder before turning to Eren. "Sorry about our little clean-freak." Eren rolls his eyes, sighing and making a move to get up. "No, it's alright. Besides, this ass does know how to clean, thank you." Levi sends him a look that appears to be slightly cheeky and slightly pleased. 

Erd chuckles. "You tell him, Eren," he encourages, winking. Eren throws them a thumbs up though, going to begin settling the place. 

 

                                                      ___________________________________

 

The group leaves at exactly 10, letting Eren close down the place for 10:30. They left with awkward goodbyes; Hanji, Petra, Gunther and Erd giving him hugs, Erwin and Nanaba giving him a few friendly pats, and Auruo gave him a small wave before grabbing Petra's hand once again. Levi though, stayed back for a second. It was a little confusing considering his friends had already went outside. Eren raises a brow at the guy from behind the bar, him standing in front of it. 

"Gunther and Erd weren't too pushy were they?" 

Eren stares at him for a moment. "Sorry?" 

"Gunther and Erd. Were they alright? I know that they can get a little handsy whenever they get comfortable. I didn't want to hear that they had made you uncomfortable." Eren shakes his head quickly, going to dry one of the cups that he had rinsed. "No! They're great guys, why would they make me uncomfortable?" Levi shrugs. "I don't know you very well, so I don't know what makes you comfortable or not. I just know that I wouldn't want someone being so... loud and touchy if I had only just met them." 

Eren smiles lightly. "No, they're fine. Thanks for your concern though?" 

Levi adjusts the helmet that was residing on his side, turning to leave. "Whatever. Goodnight, brat." Eren furrows his brow. "Why do you call me that?" Levi stops, sending a look over his shoulder. "Eh?" 

"Why do you call me brat? I mean, this is only our third meeting, I don't think you know me well enough to call me that." Levi smirks a little. "You know, only brats would say that." Eren glares. "That doesn't mean sh-"

"Goodnight, Eren," Levi says sternly, walking towards the heavy door and letting himself out. Eren rolls his eyes, sighing. Something about that guy was incredibly annoying. Yet, he felt like he already knew him for some reason. Well, he was more rude than who he reminded him of, but that doesn't mean anything. He shrugs it off as his eyes leave the door, returning to his cup. "Goodnight, midget." 

~

Levi catches up with his friends, who were all scattered around their bikes. He had parked his next to Mike's, enjoying the spot decently far away from the other bikes. Also where no pedestrians could peer at it with their ungodly eyes. 

"Levi!" He hears Hanji call, eyes flickering over to her. He raises a brow, passing them and going towards his bike. "Yes, shitty glasses?" He could almost hear the smirk she was wearing through her laugh. It was taunting, annoying and overly cringe-level laughing. Like some scientist or something. Though, should he honestly be surprised? 

"Were you talking to Eren?" 

Levi turns around, looking at her for a second. "Is that illegal? I mean, you did want us to meet him." Hanji giggles, resting a hand on one of her hips. "You must be tired. I've never actually seen you flirt so openly. Never seen Eren do it either." Gunther and Erd whistle, causing Levi's face to fall into a hard glare. 

"What?" Levi questions. Hanji sighs. "Come on, Levi. He's a cute kid, I know you've noticed." 

Gunther chuckles a little. "You even made a comment involving his ass." 

"I had no idea you were capable of such, Levi," Erwin says. 

"Don't forget the fact that he left Eren a tip." 

"You fucking what???" Hanji questions. 

"He did. It was a 20, wasn't it?" Erd asks. Petra shrugs lightly. "I think it was? It could've been more." 

"Leeeevvvviiiii!!!!" 

Levi, on the other hand, had tuned out everyone's accusations, going instead to get his helmet on. He starts his bike, startling everyone around him. He hops on, pushing backwards with his legs in order to leave. He rides past them, finding it easy to tune out Hanji's yelling. Without a backwards glance, he gets onto the road. Yes, it was true, he had left Eren a tip. No one else remembered to, and since Erwin had paid for his drink, he decided it would be nice to leave a tip.

Though, the tip was indeed a 20. 

 

Chapter Text

Levi was tired. The month of October was always the worst when it came to poor choosing in tattoo ideas. People wanted nothing but scary, but they'd pick things that wouldn't really fit into any other time of the year. Some guy begs for a jack'o'lantern on his bicep? Cool, but he hopes that they realize how stupid that's going to look on St. Patrick's Day. 

And even more depressing, the later in the month it got, the worse the requests got. Don't get him wrong, Levi made sure that he was good at what he did. He did the requests accordingly, making sure that the customer was comfortable with what they were about to get before jumping into it. If they were going to get a lame tattoo, then he was at least going to make it metal enough that if they did regret it, it would still look cool. 

"Thank you, have a nice day, sir," Eld says, smiling and waving as the buff, most-likely-a-truck-driver leaves the store with a chime of the bell. Finally, it was nearing 2 in the afternoon, and Levi's shift was closing. That was hopefully his last customer. 

"That was a nice job, Levi," Eld says honestly. "Even if it was a tattoo of the boogeyman." 

Levi rolls his eyes lightly, still continuing to clean off his tools, replacing the ink back on the wall. "Can't forget the guy yesterday though," Levi starts, "He requested an insanely detailed one of Freddy Cougar." 

"Oh! I heard about that guy! When is his appointment?" Gunther questions, stepping into the main area. Levi sighs. "Next few days or sometime. Depends on when he emails me. I guess I'll just have to make it work." Gunther hums, turning his head towards Eld, who was moving some things around on the counter. "Are you doing anything for Halloween?" he asks. Eld pauses for a moment, thinking. 

"I figured we'd all do something together? The gang I'm meaning?" 

Gunther turns to Levi, who had managed to finally clean up his working space. "Did Erwin or Hanji mention anything about Halloween? It is this Friday." Levi shakes his head lightly. "I assume they'll want to go to a fucking haunted attraction or something." Gunther grins. "Petra had mentioned something like that. It sounds pretty fun, doesn't it?" Eld nods approvingly. 

"Besides, I think it'd be cool if Hanji invited Eren." 

"Ah! Eren should come!" 

Levi sends them both a look, clicking his tongue. "Tch. The brat has a social life, you know. He will probably be with his friends or something." 

Eld and Gunther turn to each other, shrugging and nodding. "You're probably right. Doesn't mean we can't invite him though?" Levi shrugs. "I guess you could, I would check with Hanji though." After saying this, Levi's phone buzzes. He turns his attention to it, an eyebrow raising. Speaking of shitty glasses. 

Hey! Are you still coming over to clean your bike or whatever?? I drove my bike to school today and my physics teacher assigned a stupid essay for homework, so I was thinking of bringing Eren over or something so we can work on it together??? Erwin wanted to see him too. 

Levi inwardly groans, turning to his coworkers. "I need to go, my shift is over and I forgot that I need to clean my bike over at Erwin's." The two males smile and nod, waving Levi off without a second word. The male grabs his things, exiting the store and attempting to get to the parking lot where his bike was parked. He furiously types a response on his phone. 

Don't you dare make that little shit ride with you. 

Aw Levi!! You don't even know him >:)

He has much more to live for than you. Besides, don't you ever think about how he might have a social life? 

He does, but honestly Levi, why do you care so much??? 

I have sympathy for anyone who is constantly roped to hang out with you. 

So you're meaning you, right??? 

Goodbye, shitty glasses. 

 

 

                       ____________________________________________

 

When Hanji had suggested to Eren that he could ride back to her place with her on her motorcycle, Eren didn't exactly know how to respond. Yes, Hanji's bike was pretty cool, but he also took what Levi had said to him in accordance. Apparently the guy knew that riding with Hanji was never a good idea, so he had only assumed that this was a good rule to live by. One the other hand, what did Levi know? He barely knew the guy, so should he really trust him?

That was debatable in probably three different ways.

Besides, he had already promised Mikasa that he'd help her and a few of his friends with the building of a haunted house that was going to be on campus. Apparently Ymir and Christa are involved in it.

Eren had been notified of the invite via his cellphone whilst staring blankly and angrily at his blank canvas. He still had no idea what to paint. A few ideas had come to mind though, them being somewhat on the line of how it felt to ride on a motorcycle. Granted, that was several weeks ago and he had only been once. There wasn't enough there to paint. Besides, how was he supposed to incorporate that into a painting itself? Eren curses himself. He shouldn't have chosen art as his major. Even if it was tempting and basically his life dream. 

Instead, Eren opts to answer Hanji. Even if it was a Monday (and a Monday where he didn't actually have to work!!) Eren still had told the girls and everyone that he'd pitch in. He probably couldn't back out easily now. 

Hey, Hanji. I'm sorry for not answering a few minutes ago. I'm still working on my final painting and such. I kind of promised a few of my friends that I'd help out with constructing the haunted house that's supposed to be on campus and up and running by the 31st. I won't have time to work on my essay today. 

Within minutes, there was a reply. 

Ah! No sweat, Eren. It was just a random thought. Would you want to work on it tomorrow or something? Or aren't you working? 

Yeah, I'm working tomorrow evening... I think tomorrow afternoon would work?? Maybe directly after class or something? 

That'd work most likely! Thanks for letting me know, Eren.

Of course! :)

The brunet sighs angrily, setting his phone down on the table a few feet from him before he was back to frowning at his blank canvas. Would it be too weird to paint someone's bike? Not that he had much reference, so he'd probably have to get a sketch from a reference point before he painted. He groans. Was that really what he wanted to do for his final??

 

                         _________________________________________

 

"You're planning on spiking the punch, aren't you?" 

"Ah Eren, you wound me. Why would do something along those lines?" 

Eren's face remains regular before he turns to Christa and Sasha. "Okay, guys. I think it's law now that Ymir doesn't get to handle the beverages." Ymir chuckles, walking past the brunet and ruffling his hair playfully. "It's actually true though, they're not letting me handle them. I'm mainly just for getting the costumes together and such," Ymir admits with a light shrug. "I don't blame them for restricting me." 

Eren makes a move to try and calm his hair, but a look from Armin tells him that it's a lost cause. He sighs, nodding and walking over to pick up a piece of the set that Mikasa and Annie had finished painting. He had noticed that Annie and Mikasa had seemed to be getting along better since they were forced to talk those few weeks ago or whenever. The girls begin painting on a different piece as Eren, Reiner and Jean successfully hang it where Bertholdt directs. 

"Do you think anyone is actually going to come to this thing? I mean, we all came last year when the others put it on but most kids came just for the music and concessions at the end of the haunted house," Annie questions quietly.

Mikasa hums. "Not sure. I came because Armin and Eren didn't want to go alone." Eren nearly scoffs, but keeps it in check. He wasn't really supposed to be listening anyway.

Annie laughs a little, a small smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "I remember that. You had to hold their hands," Annie says, nodding. 

"Hey! I wasn't scared at all," Armin says, pouting out his lip a little. Jean chuckles. "Wasn't scared? I think the two that were with us that did the most screaming were you and Marco here." The dark-haired male stands up, a blush creeping onto his face. "Hey! They didn't have to include Chuckie in there," he says defensively. Armin nods in agreement. "It was completely uncalled for," he says simply, crossing his arms over his chest. 

"I've never had you squeeze my hand for reassurance that badly since that really corny haunted house at the fair during the summer before our junior year of high school. You nearly started crying," Jean says, grinning. Eren throws him a knowing look. "But you weren't complaining, were you Jean?" he asks. Reiner giggles from the other side of the room. Jean simply glares, flipping off Eren when Marco wasn't looking. He gladly returned it. 

"Also, Annie," Eren starts turning and pointing a finger in her direction. The blonde simply stares at him, her pale, visible brow raised. "Mikasa didn't have to hold my hand. I wasn't even scared." Annie thinks for a moment before nodding. "You're right, you kept trying to punch the actors so Mikasa had to hold you back." 

Connie nods. "That sounds more accurate." 

"You have pretty bad anger issues, Eren. You should probably see someone about them?" Ymir suggests. Eren sticks a tongue out at her. "You should see someone, Ymir." The freckled female simply rolls her eyes playfully before getting back to work. 

 

                                  ____________________________________________

 

A few days later, falling on the 31st and everyone's schedules were rather packed. Eren had shared details about the haunted house to Hanji and Erwin when he was over at their house. They had apparently talked to the rest of their gang about it, everyone being free enough to ride over and check it out. Eren had mentioned that he would be a part of it, helping manage the actual party part of the attraction so that they could be able to see him there if they made it though. Erwin had just chuckled, questioning if it was a challenge. 

The attraction was supposed to start at 7, so it wasn't a problem for anyone. 

Eren paces around his room, the makeup for his costume already on his face and everything. For his costume he wasn't to wear a shirt apparently. When coming up with the theme, Reiner had came up with the idea of having everyone dress as these kinds of monsters that he had seen on a comic book sometime. Apparently he refereed to them as titans, making Eren chuckle. Reminded him of his work. 

Eren was apparently to dress as the Rouge Titan, as Annie had put it. She was dressing up as the Female Titan, Reiner as the Armored Titan, Bertholdt as the Colossal Titan and finally Ymir as the Dancing Titan. It was all silly, but thankfully Mikasa had been able to get the makeup and such right, even going as far as to paint his chest. It was a little awkward, but she was determined. 

"Don't you think it's weird? That I'm not wearing a shirt or anything?" Eren questions. Mikasa sighs, walking up to him with a messy brown wig in her hands. Eren eyes her for a moment before stopping and bending over a little, allowing her to put it on his head. It felt itchy. He turns when she finishes her fidgeting with it, taking a good look at himself. He didn't even look like himself!! How was anyone supposed to find him when they got there?? Besides, what kind of comments were Hanji going to make about his costume? He sighs. It was all for the good of the night. And the theme. 

Besides, he looked rather badass. Kind of batshit crazy. It seemed to fit his personality pretty well. 

"It's a part of the costume, Eren. Besides, Reiner and Bertholdt aren't wearing shirts either." Eren tilts his head. "Then what the hell are Annie and Ymir supposed to wear? They kind of have... you know.." 

Mikasa fixes him with a look. "Boobs?" Eren shyly nods, causing Mikasa to roll her eyes. "How gay are you honestly? I only thought you were bi, but you can't even say the word boobs." Eren sighs. "It's a weird word, okay? I don't enjoy saying it." Mikasa clicks her tongue. She was dressed as a pretty generic version of Asami from the Legend of Korra. Honestly, she made a pretty good Asami, though Mikasa was just a bit more intimidating than her. 

"What time is it?" Mikasa asks in a hurried tone, frantically looking around her room for her phone. "We're supposed to get Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie at 6:15." Eren grabs his phone from his back pocket, looking at the lock screen in a squint. "Uh? It's just after 6." Mikasa groans, grabbing her things quickly. Eren follows suit, looking around the room for his scattered things. He at least needed a jacket, it was chilly this evening. 

"Shit, we're going to be late. Come ON Eren!" Mikasa yells, leaving the room in a hurry. 

Eren follows behind shyly. "Honestly, 'Kasa... Are you sure you don't care about impressing Annie or something? You always get stressed when it comes to things involving her." Mikasa gives Eren a glare that he knows all too well, faintly reminding him of the various glares Levi likes to shoot around. Speaking of, would he be showing up? Maybe he could actually try and get on this guy's good side. He never felt like he was comfortable enough. 

"Shut up. She's just a friend.. Where are the fucking keys?!" 

"Mikasa, language," Eren teases, grinning. Mikasa flips him off as she successfully finds the keys, rushing towards the door. 

The drive to Reiner's wasn't long, so it there wasn't that much awkward silence before Eren was physically pulled out of his spot in the passenger seat of Mikasa's car. "Wha- Annie??" The girl looked completely different, though he could tell she used her real hair. Her stomach and such was all painted as well, all in really detailed muscle colors. It looked nearly real. She sends him a small grin before jumping into the passenger seat herself, shutting the door behind her. 

He stares in confusion at the two other guys on the lawn, who were both wearing jackets over their torsos just as he was. Thankfully he wasn't the only one that had to be bare-chested. "I'll uh, I guess I'll just ride with you two?" Reiner and Bertholdt both chuckle, shrugging their shoulders as they motion to the backseat. 

 

~

 

"Explain to me again why we're going to your college on Halloween night?"

Hanji turns to Levi and gasps jokingly. The gang was over at Hanji and Erwin's, all preparing to ride over to her college. They weren't dressing up or anything, they were just simply hanging out, checking out their bikes and such. Hopefully there would be a place to put all of these. Petra was going to be riding with Auruo, so that wouldn't be an issue, Hanji had opted to riding with Erwin, and Nanaba had even said that she'd ride with Mike. The only solo riders being Gunther, Eld and Levi. Typical. 

"Because Eren mentioned it to us and it sounds like fun! We didn't even do anything last year!" Hanji exclaims. Levi shakes his head accusingly, sighing. "Yes, we did. You dragged me and Erwin around town while you did trick-or-treating." Hanji pauses. 

"Oh.. I guess I did. Well, that doesn't matter. This year we're doing something really festive." 

Levi cocks an eyebrow. "And going to a lame haunted house put on by college students is festive?" Erwin walks past, patting Levi on the shoulder as he grabs a piece of candy from the kitchen counter. Yes, of course they had candy in the house. For themselves though, not children. Even if most were children at heart. 

"It won't be lame! Besides, Eren said that there's a party at the end of the attraction. He's supposed to be helping so he'll be in costume. He sent Hanji a selfie, it looks really nice." 

Levi turns his attention to the brunette. "Selfie?" She nods, grinning. "Wait, Eren sent you a selfie of his costume?" Gunther asks, walking up to her. She giggles, pulling out her phone and tapping a little before handing him the phone. He begins smiling. "Woah.... Eren looks really rad. And who are those other guys?" Gunther asks, pointing out someone on the phone screen. "Ah! Those are two of his friends. I think their names are Reiner and Betholdt." 

Gunther hands the phone to Eld and the blond has a relatively same reaction to the photo; just grins. He then walks over into the living room, showing Petra and Auruo, as well as Mike and Nanaba the photo. "Oh my goodness! Eren looks really good!" Petra chirps. Nanaba leans over, tilting her head and squinting. "Is that really his chest?" Eld turns towards Hanji's direction. 

"Yeah, is that really his chest?" Eld questions. Hanji hums. "Not sure, I've never seen the kid without a shirt." Levi's attention snaps to her. "The fuck? He's not wearing a shirt." Hanji wiggles her eyebrows at the shorter male as Eld hands her her phone back. She instead hands it to Erwin. "You'd like that, wouldn't you?" Levi simply rolls his eyes. He had only met the kid three times, all of them being semi-good exchanges. He had no romantic interest in him, let alone assuming that they were friends. He guesses that they were just on really nice terms. 

"Can I see the picture?" Levi asks, holding his hand out for Erwin to hand him the phone. Erwin simply smirks at him, holding the phone a little higher over his head. Levi walks over, attempting to reach the phone, but to no avail. He had it too high over his head. 

Levi glowers, not complaining as he begins walking in the direction of the front door. "I'm going to get my bike ready," he mutters. The door slams shut behind him, leaving everyone else in the house quiet. Until they all begin giggling. 

"I know we tease him a lot about it, but even if Levi doesn't think Eren is cute, there's no way that he'll be able to resist the way he looks in his costume," Hanji says, taking her phone back from Erwin and looking at it. 

 

          _________________________________________

 

Trost's campus was loud. They could hear Halloween festive music radiating all over the place. Levi even thought that he could hear screams. That couldn't be coming from the haunted attraction, right? They all park their bikes close together, a few even sharing the same parking spot. All except Levi's, he didn't want it being in the same one with anyone else's. 

It wasn't a far walk until they reach the building that Hanji points out as the cafeteria. There were students littered outside, all apparently for various reasons. Some were smoking, some were probably drunk off their ass (why not just do that inside?), some girls were dressed in slutty costumes and giggling about all the cute guys inside that were shirtless, and finally some were waiting in line. 

Even if Levi was uncomfortable, he was still rather curious. He hadn't expected this many to come to some lame haunted attraction. Maybe college students were into this sort of thing. The short male clings awkwardly to Mike and Nanaba, not trusting walking through this thing next to Erwin and Hanji, even less next to Gunther and Eld (who were probably going to be screaming more than trying to scare him), and didn't exactly want to be a third wheel by walking with Auruo and Petra. They were like his siblings though, and their relationship was one of few that didn't gross him out. 

They were taking small fines of five dollars per person, making Levi grumble a little as he smacked the bill into the waiting male's hand. He looked really nice, he was tall and his face was obviously dotted with little freckles despite the... was that face paint? His makeup had been done to where half of his face appeared as though it was burned off. Rather detailed, Levi must say. 

They go in in groups of 4-5, making him (sadly) put in a group with Mike, Nanaba, Hanji and Erwin. The inside was painted with dark colors, a lot of it resembling blood. There were faces all over the close walls, making everyone feel rather claustrophobic. There were a few random fake generated screams here and there, almost forcing Levi to roll his eyes. OK, the drawings and everything were a little better than he was expecting, but the screams were a little bit-

There was a sudden scream, that of an actor, who had jumped out of nearly no where and charged at them. Hanji was screaming, grabbing onto both Levi's and Erwin's hands. This was what he was afraid of, Hanji getting scared and him needed to get his hand amputated because it would have been squeezed beyond fix. He had to admit though, the guy did startle him. At least he didn't scream. 

There were a few more actors that jumped out and chased them through the maze, all of them being nearly identical involving makeup as the first male. The first was buff, blond and had some really detailed muscle makeup all over his chest. He wasn't Levi's type though. Another one was really tall, what looked to be a bald-cap on his head and even more intense muscle makeup. Still wasn't Levi's type. The third was a female, who also had some really fine detailed makeup. Her's looked almost as though it could've been real and she chased them throughout the maze. She wasn't that scary. Though, she looked as though she could kick ass. 

The final one was also a girl, (he thinks??) she had more skin colored makeup, but the latex was really detailed and she scrawled around on all fours. Out of all four, she was probably Levi's favorite, if he was picking. It wasn't all that bad in his eyes, but according to Hanji, it was almost as though she had a heart attack. Nabana and Mike were both smiling, quietly chatting about something as they exited the maze and into an area where just ahead was loud music, flashing lights and snacks. Levi didn't care to enter, but he did pay five dollars to do this shit. And after all, it wasn't all that bad. Erwin looked as though he was in pain as he held his hand (most likely Hanji) as the brunet loudly exclaimed things about the theme and their costumes. It was rather amusing to say the least. 

As they step up to where you're supposed to enter the party, there was one final actor. He was standing there, chest completely bare (as the others) and painted as the same skin-tone as his face. He had teeth painted outside his mouth on his cheeks and his eyes were dark, mostly covered by the messy wig he was wearing. He was quite toned, much to say the least, so Levi didn't have all that much shame in running his eyes over this guy's chest a few times. Maybe this thing wasn't as stupid as it had previously seemed. This guy was the closest thing you could get to Levi's type that he had seen... ever, actually. 

"Hey guys! Did you have fun?" 

Huh? That voice was decently familiar. Was it coming from-

"Eren!!! Hey! You should've been a part of that thing! You're costume is so much more sinister than the others!" Erwin exclaims, walking up to the male and patting him on the shoulder. Levi's blood runs cold as he takes a few steps back, hopefully out of sight as his face slightly heats up. 

Oh. 

Oh shit. 

Had he just checked out Eren? 

"I'm so glad you guys showed up! We've spent all week setting this thing up. Though, the theme was Reiner's idea. He should've been the first guy you saw." Yep. This was definitely Eren. He had just checked out Eren. The guy who he barely knew. The one that was Hanji's friend. The one that he considered a somewhat close acquaintance.  

"Hey, Levi! Did you enjoy it? Hanji never mentioned if you were able to come along or not." 

Well, fuck. He had been spotted. 

Levi nods as he meets Eren's gaze and the boy just simply beams. He barely knew this kid. He enjoyed being a little salty towards him and getting angered reactions out of him. He enjoyed teasing him. And now he's teasing you, Levi. 

Yeah, yeah. Just shut up already. He has him at a disadvantage here. 

"Well, there are drinks and snacks inside if you want to go and check those out. I'll probably be in there in a minute to make sure Armin, Jean and the rest of the gang know what they're doing. Mikasa should be in there if you guys need help or whatever, that's all I know." 

Huh? Mikasa? Was that a common name or something? It had to be. He would've heard that his cousin went here if it was the same Mikasa. He hadn't seen his cousin for several years. It almost made him wonder what she was doing now. 

Hanji smiles at Eren. "Thanks! I'm going to go and find Armin if I can! I want him to meet Erwin." Erwin grins. Eren chuckles loudly, easily being heard over the blaring music. Honestly, what was this shit coming through those speakers? "I think he's dressed as a bunny. You shouldn't have any trouble finding him." And with a small wave and awkward goodbyes to Eren, the group was heading inside the party. Shit. Levi was bad at parties. 

 

                                 _____________________________________

 

Like Eren had said to them, he was able to go back inside the party and was overly grateful. He was thirsty, and no one was there to take care of him when he was standing at the front area. Honestly, why had Ymir stationed him there in the first place? Probably to fuck with him. That sounds about right. 

The brunet carefully maneuvers his way through the several (drunk? dammit Ymir) college students gathered around the floor dancing to terrible dubstep remixes of shitty Halloween songs. A few girls had already hit on him this evening, and even if he was flattered, he was incredibly embarrassed. The girls weren't the only ones making comments on his body. There were a fair share of guys pointing out his abs, even asking if they could touch them. 

They had to be drunk. 

In a complete accident, Eren manages to run into Jean, who was dressed as a really terrible zombie. It was terrible, honestly. It didn't matter what Marco said about it. They jump back, startled before they begin laughing. "Did the maze close already?" Jean asks over to music. Eren tilts his head. "No?? I didn't think so, why?" 

"Ah, well I saw Annie come inside the party and walk towards the back room not five minutes ago." 

Eren shrugs. "I have no idea why she'd be ditching if it's still running. Maybe it did close??! I can see Ymir doing that." Jean snickers. "Yeah, I could too. Also, have you seen Mikasa? She was supposed to know where the candy corn refills were and I can't find here anywhere." Eren shakes his head slowly. No one told him anything anyway. "I'd probably ask Armin?? Maybe even Marco?" After a few moments, a grin finds its way onto Eren's face. 

"Hey Jean~ When're you going to ask Marco to dance?? Or are you going to have to get drunk first?" 

Jean glares at him for a moment. "Fuck off, Eren," he mutters, pushing his way past him and into the crowds. Honestly, where was anyone? He hadn't seen Sasha or Connie since this entire thing started, and not to mention Armin or Mikasa. Also, where were Hanji and Erwin? 

~

The party was loud, obnoxious even. Everyone was too drunk out of their fucking minds and all Levi wanted to do was leave. Erwin was talking to Mike about something not three feet away from him, Nanaba on the other side of Mike. They were in the corner hiding against the wall in order to stay away from predators. Predators being college students. 

They weren't a threat, just insanely annoying. 

They had lost Hanji not long ago, her having drug off Petra to do something, he had noticed. He could only send apologetic (if not just glares) Petra's way before the two were gone. Gunther and Eld had captured Auruo, most likely wanting to do some sort of drinking game with him. Poor guy. Levi had luckily been able to stay with the sane ones, the ones that wouldn't go and get wasted at some lame college party. This was crazy, but not nearly as crazy as some of the clubs Hanji had drug him to in the past several years. 

The male eventually spots Eren in the crowd, who was pushing through the people dancing, looking around the place as though he was trying to find someone. Until his gaze found Levi's steady one. Levi was feeling awkward. He hadn't meant to check out Eren, and when he did unconsciously, he felt dirty. He didn't know the guy overly well, just that he was smart, funny, kind, had anger issues, hated being called a brat and a kid and that his last name was Jaeger. 

Oh, and he seemed to like coke as well. Then again, who didn't? 

The brunet was making his way over to where they were standing, Levi feeling much more comfortable that Erwin and the other two were there with him. He wouldn't be able to function correctly. 

"Hey," Eren says awkwardly over the blaring music, moving to lean against the wall as Levi was doing. The male sends him a look. 

"Shouldn't you be doing something important?" 

Eren pouts out a lip. "Talking to you isn't important enough?" Levi shakes his head. "If anything, it's the least important thing you could probably be doing right now." Eren chuckles, head turning back to face ahead at all of the dancers. 

"Where's Hanji?" Eren questions after a little bit. 

"Shitty glasses? No idea. She drug Petra off a little bit ago. I feel bad for her, but not overly." Eren smiles. "You're really blunt, aren't you?" Levi steadily shrugs his shoulders, keeping his arms crossed over his chest, one of his feet against the wall behind him, supporting him. 

"I thought you would've figured that out by now, brat." 

Eren sends him a look. "Didn't we talk about this at our last meeting?" Levi smirks, raising a brow at him. "Oh? So you do remember our last conversation?" Eren nods. "You're not so easily forgotten," he replies. Levi hums. Fair enough. 

"Who were you looking for?" 

Eren turns his head. "I'm sorry?" Levi sighs. The music was too damn loud. "Who were you looking for? A minute ago or so. You looked like you were looking for someone." Eren nods, sighing. "I was looking for my friend Mikasa, but instead I found her in the back area making out with someone I thought she hated. I think they're both kinda drunk, but who knows right?" Levi chuckles. 

"So I went looking for someone else. If Mikasa is drunk and making out with Annie then I don't have a ride home after this thing." 

"And when does this thing end?" Eren shrugs, going to fish out his phone. The bright light it gives off highlights the seat on Eren's brow, though it didn't mess up his glorious makeup. Eren got the prize, his costume was the best. "Uh... It's nearly 10 now, it should be over around 12? The college doesn't want it going past then." Levi sighs, glancing over to where his comrades were. They were still chatting, most likely unaware of Eren even having walked over. Not to mention Hanji and wherever the hell she is. 

He guesses he can spare some time. 

"I'll take you home. Just make sure to come and find me when you want to." 

Eren stares at him for several moments, making Levi nearly think that he hadn't heard him over the music. "Really? You'd take me home?" Eren asks. Levi rolls his eyes, clicking his tongue. "Isn't that what you asked the first time? When I took you home?" Eren smiles a little, chuckling. "Well? You never strike me as the kind of guy who is serious about taking someone home. Especially when all I've been told is how solo you are," he admits. 

Levi arches a brow slightly. "Do I strike you as the kind of guy who isn't true to his word?" Eren quickly shakes his head. Levi motions with a nod of his head. "There you go then. Just find me when you're ready. Thankfully I don't have to work tomorrow," he says. Eren grins, nodding. "Yeah! Will do! I should probably go and find a few of my friends and make sure they're okay. Are you doing alright? Do you want something to drink?" Levi promptly shakes his head. Eren nods. "Alright! I'll see you around!" 

Levi lets him go with a small wave and the ghost of a smile on his face. Was he making a new friend? Hopefully, because Levi Ackerman doesn't like putting time and effort into something that isn't gonig to fucking work. 

 

                                   ____________________________________

 

It was nearly 12:30 before the entire thing was shut down abd they were able to push everyone out.. nearly 1:15 before the students had successfully put everything away. Eren hadn't been surprised, he figured several of his friends were going to be drunk. The ones that he had assumed being; Ymir, Connie, Sasha, Reiner and even Hanji. He had seen Petra dragging her out, the strawberry blonde sending him apologetic looks as she pulled her outside. He simply laughed, waving goodbye. 

There were others that he hadn't assumed. He had figured that Jean would get a hold of some, but he never touched the spiked bowl throughout the entire night. Annie was drunk and so was Mikasa (if there earlier makeout session wasn't enough proof already), and he hadn't really thought either would drink any. Mikasa would let loose once in awhile, but he had never seen Annie even make any social interaction, let alone drink something that would make her suck face she had only recently gotten reacquainted with. 

"I'll take Mikasa home," Armin says quietly, motioning to her as she sat a few feet away, playing a little on her phone. She wasn't completely drunk, but enough to where Armin was scared to have her drive. "Marco is offering to take Reiner, Bertholdt and Annie home and Jean is going to take Connie, Sasha, Ymir and Christa all home. Do you want a ride?" 

Eren shakes his head. "I've already got plans with Hanji's friends." 

Armin smiles lightly. "That Erwin guy I talked to seemed really nice. They both talked about you a lot." Eren grins. "I'm just glad that I've made friends with all of them. They're great people. Armin nods, patting his shoulder. "I'm glad you have too. Now don't keep them waiting, alright?" 

"Alright. Thanks, Ar." Eren waves goodbye, jogging outside of the cafeteria and around to the closest parking lot. Levi never told him where he would be with his bike, for Eren hadn't seen him after their little conversation earlier in the night. Thankfully though, he wasn't hard to find. He was leaning up against the bike, not putting his entire weight against it, staring off to who knows where with what appeared to be a cigarette between his fingers. 

It was chilly, and that made Eren extremely embarrassed for having made the male wait. He didn't make him, he stayed on his own. And it was true. Eren zips up his hoodie a little more, grateful for even then thin fabric over his bare chest. Whose idea was this again? Remind him to punch them in the face. 

"I didn't know you smoked," Eren says, approaching the male with caution. Levi turns his head, showing no signs of surprise. He blows a trail of smoke out of his mouth before dropping what was left of the cigarette, crushing it beneath the heel of his combat boot. 

"I don't," Levi begins, "I just do whenever I'm bored. I haven't lit one for over a year I don't think." 

Eren raises a brow, hugging his arms tighter around himself. "Were you ever addicted?" 

Levi sends him a look. "Addicted? To something as disgusting as that? You've got to be fucking kidding." Eren shrugs. "As I've said, I don't know everything about you." Levi complies. 

"Listen, I don't have a second helmet with me because I wasn't planning on having anyone ride with me anytime soon. Just make sure you hang on really well, even if I'm not going to be racing anyone tonight. Got it?" 

Eren nods firmly. 

Levi looks him over, the sight of his thin hoodie disappointing him. He purses his lips. "You're going to freeze in that," he says. And before he can say anything in protest, Levi was already removing his biker jacket. Eren squeals a little. What was he doing? That thing looked priceless. Someone like him wouldn't be caught dead in something like that. Though, Levi doesn't seem to mind as he holds out the leather for him to take. Eren doesn't shy away as he accepts it, pulling it over his frame. It fit nicely, but it was a little short. He snorts. Typical. 

This gives him a little bit to look Levi over. He hadn't ever seen him without his jacket, so witnessing him just dressed in what appeared to be a navy, long-sleeved shirt, was rather surprising. He looked nice, classy even. Still like a biker, but a biker with standards. Okay, more like a punk with standards. Well, that was a good way to describe him. 

It wasn't hard, holding onto the bike and Levi as they rode. The helmet just made the disgustingly synthetic wig on his head blow a little. At least it never blew off. Trost wasn't far from his house, so it took barely 10 minutes by bike to get there. Levi pulls into the driveway, turning off the engine as Eren jumps off. It was almost familiar. Though, he wasn't going to admit outright that he had been craving for another ride. 

He removes Levi's jacket, going to hand it to him. The male accepts it with careful tenderness, the jacket obviously precious to him. 

"What does the back say?" Eren blurts out. He had wanted to say thank you and goodnight, but that just simply wasn't enough. "Of your jacket, I mean." 

"Oh, well, it says Survey Corps accompanied by those wings. Why?" 

Eren shrugs. "I had noticed the wings, but never knew what it said. Is that what your gang is called? The Survey Corps?" Levi just nods. "It's kind of a dumb name, but I think it fits. I couldn't have come up with a better one."

Eren smiles. "Well, I think it's perfect." 

They stand there in silence for what feels like hours before Eren sighs. "Well, thanks for the ride back. I apologize for making you wait so long." Levi snorts. "Just don't do it again and we should be fine." The sting that Eren feels when Levi mentions a next time has him giddy. For whatever reason, he honestly couldn't place. 

Eren grins. "Have a good night, Levi." 

Levi returns it. "Goodnight, brat." 

Chapter Text

"Tell me again; what is your art final? You've probably told me before, but I've already forgotten."

Eren snorts. It was typical of her to forget things, so this didn't strike him as surprising at all. He was at her house, Hanji that is. They were both sprawled around her room, her laying on her back and her feet rested up against the wall is was touching, him laying on his stomach. They were studying and working on various amounts of homework. They both had a physics paper to be writing (it was due in two weeks when break was over), but were both managing to procrastinate.

Hanji had been staring at the ceiling for around 20 minutes, blinking a few times with her mouth hanging open. Eren had been reading the same paragraph in his open philosophy book over and over, each time still not gaining any more information than the last. Honestly, he felt as though the book was sucking information out of his brain. What was 9 x 12 again?

"I have to make a painting. Well, it doesn't have to be a painting, but I figured I'd do one considering it's what I seem to be best at."

Hanji hums from the direction she was in. He turns his head to look over at her. Her feet were still against the wall, her hands folded neatly over her stomach and her eyes wide and scanning the ceiling. Was she okay? Did he need to call Erwin? Maybe Levi? "What made you think of my art final anyway? It's not even due until the last class this term," Eren questions softly.

Hanji lightly shrugs, still not moving from her position. It was slightly scary, but she seemed to do that whenever something was on her mind. Better that than screaming, Mike would always say. "I was just curious. I remember that last month you were super angry about it, complaining all the time. You haven't mentioned it in awhile." It was nearing the end of November, students from Trost on Thanksgiving break. Eren was overly thankful for it. Ha. See what I did there?

"I haven't worked on it in several days. We're on break anyway, Hanji."

Hanji shifts a little, meeting his gaze instead of continuing to stare at the ceiling. "I know. But you stopped mentioning it even before break. What's the deal? Did it suddenly get easy?" Hanji asks, lips turning up into a smirk. Eren rolls his eyes. "I just think I have the hang of a topic, you know?" It was true. Eren hadn't had any trouble lately when staring at his canvas. There were various shades of blue, grey and black. He had a feeling he knew what he was painting, but he couldn't be sure. It was only in its early stages anyway.

"Oh? What's this topic?"

Eren simply sighs. "Not sure. I just paint as I feel."

There's a small snort.

"That sounded emo. Are you going soft on me, Eren?" Hanji asks playfully. He grits his teeth. "Oh shut up." The brunette howls with laughter, clapping her hands together before quietly placing them back to where they were before. "I'm just joking, Eren. You're a great dude." Eren raises a brow. "Uh... thanks?" Hanji sighs, clicking her tongue slightly. Reminded him of someone. "You need to stop riding with Levi. Why don't you ride with Eld? Maybe Gunther?" Eren just flips her off.

There are faint noises of footsteps coming down the hallway before a light knock sounds on Hanji's door and then the door is being pushed open a little. The crack reveals Levi (go figure) in all his glory. Huh. Eren didn't know he got off work this early on a week day. Mainly because his hours were usually really late. He guesses Levi's hours are all over the place, mainly depending on customers needs and desires. Oh, how he aims to please.

He pauses for a moment, awkwardly staring at the two.

"I'm glad you're at least home. Is Erwin at work?" Levi asks. Hanji nods. "Yep! He said he probably wouldn't be home until like 6," she says. Levi nods, noticeably licking his bottom lip. Eren looks away. 

"Why the fuck are your feet on the wall?"

Eren's eyes are back on the male, who had now comfortably leaned against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. Hanji snickers, kicking them off and sitting up right. "Am I not allowed to sit how I please in my own room?" Levi only rolls his eyes. "I'm not telling you how to live, I just simply asked." He glances over, locking eyes with Eren. "Feet are fucking disgusting. Especially hers." Eren chuckles.

Hanji gasps a little, placing a hand over her heart delicately in offense. "You wound me, Levi. Not like your bony feet are any better than mine," she adds. "I prefer to keep my socks on, thank you very much. Stepping in dirt directly and seeing them in general is not something I'm fond of."

Eren had known Levi since only over a month before, had talked with him various amounts of times, rode with him constantly on his bike, and here he was. Still finding out new things about the male. Interesting. Levi doesn't like feet.

Hanji smirks. "Then you better hope the next person you date doesn't have a foot-fetish, you gremlin. If you can even find someone who'd date your sorry ass."

"Tch." Levi looks generically offended. "Like you're one to talk," he replies, stepping back and retreating back into the hallway. Hanji laughs a little, shrugging. "He's right, you know. Yet, at least I have someone in mind." Hanji winks at Eren jokingly, pushing herself off of the bed and walking towards the door. "Should probably see what Levi came here for anyway," she mumbles. Eren smiles a little as he pushes himself up onto his knees, straightening the hem and the sleeves of his Trost hoodie. Yes, he had college merchandise. Call him a nerd, why don't you.

 

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"Eren left his philosophy book here."

Levi looks over at Hanji from his place upon a rocking chair, a book in his hand that he had brought along. She was entering the living room, the dark blue book in her left hand. Eren had left an hour or so before in order to get to work. Sadly, the boy still had to work on his break. Levi raises a thin brow.

"Is he going to die without it?"

Hanji bites her lip, inspecting the book carefully. "We are on break and he didn't seem very interested in reading it anyway. He spent 30 minutes staring at the same part of one of the pages. He didn't even turn the page," she says, laughing a little. "I guess he doesn't really need it. Besides, he'll probably notice it's gone within a few days and text me about it. I could probably give it to him this weekend since we're all still planning on going riding, right?"

Erwin chuckles softly from the couch, a newspaper in his hands. It was doing a decent job at covering his face. Levi could almost pretend that he wasn't there. "As long as it isn't terribly cold." Levi clicks his tongue in response.

"Weak."

Hanji fixes the shorter male with a stern look, placing her free hand on her hip. "Oi. Not all of us can stand the cold." Levi raises both eyebrows. "I never said I could stand the cold. In fact, I fucking hate it."

"Language, Levi."

"Sorry, I didn't realize you were my fucking dad. Whoever that prick is."

Hanji only snorts a little. Their exchanges were always priceless.

"Well, I guess I'll just put Eren's book back in my room.... Unless someone wants to take it to him?" Levi could already tell she was directing the sentence to him. He doesn't glance up though, simply turning his page with as much salt as he could muster. Hanji makes a frustrated groan. "C'mon, Levi. I'm giving you an excuse to see him." Levi looks up once again.

"Ah, sorry. I thought you were speaking to Erwin."

The blond male snorts loudly, moving the newspaper away from his face and laying it upon his lap. "You're a little shit," he says. Levi grins. "Limited edition too."

Levi turns his attention back to Hanji though, giving her a look. "You expect me to take Eren's textbook to him while he's at work? One that he doesn't even need at the moment?" Hanji sighs. "Maybe? Don't you want to see him?" Levi clicks his tongue.

"Maybe I don't. Why does everyone assume I see that child as something more than a friend who I usually have to give rides to and point in the right direction since the only role-models in our biker gang are nothing but seemingly more immature than him and his friends?" Levi questions, marking his page and closing the book. He places it on the coffee table, getting up from his cross-legged position in order to make his way to the kitchen.

"Sheeh, Levi!" Hanji calls. "I'm just teasing you. Besides, it's slightly obvious that Eren has a tiny interest in you." Levi peaks his head around the corner suspiciously. He sends her a look.

"Eren's a brat," he says simply, disappearing around the corner of the kitchen once again. Erwin and Hanji make eye contact. Well, they tried.

 

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School sucked once they returned. It was stressful, as they were thrown into several deadlines involving assignments they probably should have done during break. Thankfully, Eren and Hanji had both finished their essays. They probably would've forgotten too, had it not been for Armin. Ah, Armin. What a true angel he was.

November was over quickly, the early days of December coming. It had gotten chilly quickly, making it annoying if you had to go outside for something and you didn't at least have a coat on you. Hanji knew this for a fact (curse you, Sonny and Bean).

That hadn't exactly stopped the gang though from various motorcycle rides. Most days though, there were only a few that would want to ride, it being as cold as it was. Eren still enjoyed going, him bragging to Mikasa and Armin whenever he'd get to go. Armin would only smile, saying that he was happy Eren was able to make friends, despite it being a motorcycle gang. Mikasa rarely cared. her biggest concern was that he was safe, warm and would be getting home at a decent time. Though, he never knew how Mikasa would know if he got home late. Telepathy? Possibly.

His friend group had several changes too, most happening the first week or so of November. Mikasa and Annie were dating, much to the surprise of everyone in the group apparently. Eren wasn't shocked though. He had walked in on them anyway. Jean had asked out Marco, to which the boy had said yes. Weirdly, Marco was the more daring one in the relationship. The one to initiate hand-holding, the one to plan dates, etc. Jean? He was awkward, and it was the funniest shit ever. Eren had so much to tease him for now.

Everything else seemed relatively normal though. Actually, he and Armin had a hunch that Bertholdt had a crush on Reiner. Just a hunch though. Probably nothing more. Within his other circle, he had learned many things about them. The funniest thing about making new friends is finding out new details about what made them into who they were. Auruo seriously looked up to Levi, in the past apparently having tried to be him in order to impress Petra. The girl was constantly angry. Mainly because she had liked him for him, not him posing as someone who was like a big brother to her.

Gunther was lactose intolerant. Eld was scared of thunder storms and had been since early childhood. Petra was terrifying when mad. She was kind of the mom of the group, constantly making sure everyone was okay. It freaked Eren out to a certain extent. It was almost as though she could tell what was on his browser history just by staring at him. Hanji couldn't drink one or two beers before she was drunk. She was no where near the skill level that Erwin Smith possessed. Mike liked to talk, and would really get talking if you got him set on a certain topic. It was sweet, and Eren enjoyed having deep conversations with the guy.

Nanaba had a crush on Mike. Nearly all could see it, and it was just the cutest thing. She would watch him, and whenever he'd turn to her, she'd quickly look away. Eren was always hoping they'd get together. It was a secret ship of his and Petra's. Erwin liked romantic comedies and comedies in general. He had this barrelling laugh that could shake a tree right down to its roots if he was standing anywhere nearby. It was fun to watch them in his presence.

Last but not least... Levi had dimples. Whenever he'd genuinely smile, Eren could point out dimples on his cheeks. No one mentioned them, so Eren had never thought to search for them. It was until Eren told a terrible joke at near 2 in the morning with everyone at Mike and Levi's house that he got Levi to loose it. He had a nice laugh, and Eren enjoyed the way his eyes would crinkle when he would. The dimples were small, even taking liberty to show up whenever he'd just smile. Eren made it his life's mission to get Levi to smile more.

If that was even physically possible.

It was December 9th, a Monday night, so Titan was slow. Eren was working, and from what he could tell, there was a light array of flurries outside, carefully falling onto the ground. He smiles sweetly at the sight. As much as he really didn't care for Winter at times, this was what he looked forward to. Maybe if it snowed enough, he could cut class and blame it on the weather. The thought only excited him much more.

Eren's mind though trails back to his painting. Yes, he had plenty of finals in other classes that were to take place starting on December 16th, but his art one was the one he was most worried about. His last day of class before term ended and he got several weeks off for Christmas/Winter break, included his art class. He had until the last day of the term to get it finished. He'd shrug whenever he'd think about it. That was several days! A week or more at most! He had plenty of time. The only issue? Eren was still not finished, and he still had no idea what he was painting.

He had an idea though. There was the base of a motorcycle, so he only assumed that he would be painting a motorcycle. The downside though, was that the motorcycle was pitch black, various details of highlights strewn across it in a delicate array. The bike was no where near done, but it was still apparent as to who's bike it was. It was Levi's. The thought never surprised him when he finally placed his confusion. He constantly rode with Levi, Levi was the only one he'd ride with. Of course he was going to paint his bike!

There was another figure in the painting though. The form of what seemed to be legs standing next to the bike. Like hell he was going to draw Levi next to it too. He couldn't paint Levi accurately to save his life. Not like he had tried, but it was simply impossible. Levi was too proportionally accurate! He'd mess up somewhere, so he'd only have to make the person unrecognizable. Then his mind would trail back to Halloween. Back when that crystal clear shot of Levi leaning against his bike, not a shit given and a cigarette between his fingers as he blew smoke from his mouth. 

It was a practiced action, picture perfect. The image had stained Eren's eyelids, and he couldn't help but feel like that was what he was painting. He'd get it wrong, he'd so get it wrong. That didn't matter though, because he wasn't going to paint Levi. Levi's bike? Maybe. But Levi along with the bike? Not a chance.

The loud noise of the bar door opening caught him by surprise, forcing his eyes to shoot up and look at who was entering. Of course it had to be him, didn't it? Well, he'd better have a good fucking reason for walking in unannounced. Not that Eren really minded, but it was still safe to be slightly angry for no apparent reason.

Chapter Text

Levi gracefully waltzes up to the bar, sliding onto one of the stools with a grunt. He glances up to the bartender's face with a slight pout. Wasn't the kid supposed to ask him what he wanted instead of stare like a three year-old? Levi rests his chin in one of his hands, openly staring at the brunet, who was openly staring back.

"Aren't you supposed to ask me what I want, brat?"

Eren gasps quickly, eyes flickering away a little before a struggled laugh tumbles from his lips. "Ah, I'm sorry Levi. I was thinking about something. What can I get you?" Levi nearly chuckles at the boy's customer voice and shifts a little in his seat.

"I'm in the mood for mead, honestly."

Eren gives him a light look before getting to his job. There were several awkward moments of silence before Levi thought of a way to break it. He had never come here on hi"s own before, so he really didn't know how to break the ice very well. Yes, they had talked privately many times before, but the male still felt a little hesitant when it came to talking to Eren. It was weird, he couldn't place a reason. 

"What were you thinking about?" Levi questions suddenly. It catches Eren off guard a little bit, but nothing to mess him up with getting the things together. He turns, sliding the glass towards Levi on the table, which the man stops with an easy move of his hand. Eren places his palms on the bar, tilting his head.

"Are you curious, or just making small talk?" Eren asks. There was a ghost of a smirk on his face, pissing off Levi a little bit. "Should it matter?" Levi throws back, raising a brow and taking a sip. Eren purses his lips a little, shaking his head.

"No, I guess it doesn't," the boy responds. "Are you going to answer my question?"

Levi's brow furrows. "Are you going to answer mine?"

Eren playfully rolls his eyes, smiling. "Touche. I was thinking about my art project really. Now your turn."

Levi hums a little as he continues his sipping. He sets down the drink on a coaster. "I was making small talk," he replies. Eren snorts. "Straight to the point I see?" Levi shrugs his shoulders lightly, eyes hooded.

"I prefer just using blunt as a descriptive word. Shouldn't you be doing something important? Like working?"

Eren frowns. "It's slow tonight. I don't have anything to do." The brunet leans against the bar more, getting into as comfortable of a position as he could on that side. "Besides, my shift is over in an hour anyway." Levi smirks, favoring his drink a little.

"What are you doing here so late anyway? I didn't think you'd come here alone."

Levi sighs a little. Why did he come here? Sometimes he would come alone, but it was always awkward and he would only do that if someone stood him up. Usually Erwin, what a fucking douche. "Rough day at work, I'd say," he settles with, taking another swig. Eren raises a brow. "Are you keeping the boys in line?" Eren asks.

Levi smiles. "As much as I can. It was stressful. There was this one guy that wouldn't stop cussing me out, I swear Gunther was ready to bash his face in at any given moment," Levi says. Eren whistles. "Did you kick him out? Also, why didn't you let Gunther do anything?"

"Finally we were able to. He was a jerk, honestly. We usually don't get douches there, just people who either have no idea what they're doing, or they're regulars. Besides, if I let Gunther do it, I wouldn't have gotten any fun myself."

Eren tilts his head. "Did you do anything?"

Levi shakes his head. "I'm not a delinquent, kid." Eren pouts out his lip at Levi, his eyes hooding a little. "I'm an adult, Levi. You don't have to call me kid," Eren points out slowly. Levi shrugs, glancing away.

"How was school today?" Levi asks finally. Eren snorts. "You sound like my mom." Levi raises a brow at him. "I asked you a question, Jaeger," he pushes. Eren sighs, sitting up a little more in his lazy position. How Eren got paid full time when he was slacking like this amazed Levi. Though, he did seem to be a hard worked any other time. He'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

"School sucked, honestly. Classes were long and boring. Mainly just pondered my art project all day."

"What are you doing for your project? You seem rather hung up on it," Levi asks.

Eren thinks for a moment. "We're allowed to do whatever we want, but I decided on a painting."

"That should be fun, shouldn't it?"

Eren smiles, nodding. "It is fun! I just..." Eren sighs, "I just recently figured out what I'm doing with it."

Levi tilts his head a little to the side, staring at the male. "You've been working on this thing for how long now?" he questions.

Eren blushes bashfully. "Three months nearly..."

"And you only recently figure out what you were even doing?" Eren sighs, moving so that he wasn't leaning as much against the bar anymore. "I messed up maybe twice or so," Eren starts, hesitating. He had been thinking about this earlier, realizing that he had started to paint a motorcycle. Well, the motorcycle he remembered the most... Which was Levi's. Levi also happened to be sitting in front of him, patiently taking curiosity in his day-to-day life. While it was a little embarrassing, it made Eren a little happy that he was taking interest. Maybe he was interesting after all. Even to Levi.

Levi makes a motion with the hand was wasn't around his drink, which was sitting on its coaster. Eren sighs. "I couldn't think of something to paint, and every time I get artist's block, I just paint or draw until I figure out what I'm doing in order to work myself out of it." Levi hums, nodding. Eren swallows the small amounts of saliva that were in his mouth. Otherwise, it was just dry. Levi actually looked interested. In him.

"It wouldn't work, so I just kept getting a new canvas in order to start fresh ideas. Nothing was coming up, so I spent the last few months procrastinating and hating my work." Levi snorts a little bit, taking a sip of his beverage. "And you came up with a topic here recently?"

Eren nods.

"What is your topic?"

Eren pauses, struggling to get his thoughts together. It was a little awkward, trying to explain to the person who owned the bike he was painting that he was, in fact, painting his bike because it meant something to him. That would scare him away, maybe make Levi leave before his drink was even finished. He was just recently starting to get the guy to open up. Eren's face heats up as he continues staring back at the man in front of him, who was remaining steady eye-contact. How did he do that so effortlessly? It was nerve-wracking.

"I've been painting something that I've come to take interest in, something that has helped me take my mind off of various things. Well, recently," he puts simply, glancing at his fingers bashfully.

Levi continues staring at the male, taking in his soft-looking brown locks that fell messily around his forehead and over his ears. The yellow, dim lighting from inside the bar was shining off Eren's facial structure, highlighting where his shadows were, where his face shined the most. Levi could even pick up on the small amount of pink on the male's cheeks. Levi inwardly screams at his subconscious to shut the hell up.

"Am I pushing too hard?"

Eren's eyes shoot up quickly, meeting Levi's gaze. Levi chuckles a little, moving his glass in order to take a steady drink. He sets the empty glass down on the coaster, crossing his arms along the bar table. "I'm sorry if I am, I'm just curious. Hanji has showed me some of your sketches before. You're a wonderful artist," he compliments. Eren's cheeks flush and a smile spreads across his face.

"Really?? Thank you, Levi. I assume you're good yourself, being a tattoo artist and all."

Levi shrugs his shoulders lightly. "I guess I am, I don't like to be vain about it though, per say." Eren laughs lightly, eyes traveling to Levi's cup. His eyes flicker back to the male's, who was already looking at him.

Eren smirks. "Could I get you another drink? Mr...?"

Levi stares for a moment as Eren trails off and motions towards his empty glass. He then shakes his head and supposes that he really didn't know his last name. Huh, he could've sworn he told the kid.

"Ackerman. And no, I don't need another. I still have to drive back home anyway."

Eren stares for a moment. Could there be a coincidence? Was Ackerman a common last name? He had never heard of it before Mikasa, but there was that possibility. Maybe they were related, who knows. Eren would have to question him. Eren reaches across the table and grabs the glass, stepping over to the sink in order to rinse it out. He didn't feel like leaving it in there only to end up washing it later.

"By the way, you didn't push earlier."

The raven-haired male cocks an eyebrow. "Hm?"

Eren laughs a little, drying out the glass with a rag. "Yeah, I just didn't really know how to explain my painting to you. I haven't told anyone what it is yet, let alone let anyone see it," he admits. Levi hums. "You don't have to tell me, I won't mind. It'll just leave me curious though," Levi says lazily. Eren rolls his eyes openly at the male.

"Do you guilt-trip people often, Levi Ackerman?" Eren asks playfully.

Levi fixes him with a stare, lips up-turned a little. "Is that what you're saying I'm doing, Eren Jaeger?" Levi purrs, leaning more against the bar towards where Eren was. Eren's heart picks up speed as he realizes the current situation.

Did he just flirt with Levi? Of all fucking people? If it was flirting, was it even good?

Also.

Did Levi flirt back???

He regains his composure, clearing his throat and going to put the now clean glass away. "Well, you were just saying that if I didn't tell you, it'd leave you curious," Eren says, turning back around and walking towards the bar. He places his palms against the cold wood, it suddenly feeling nice against his warm body.

Levi hums a little, resting the side of his face in his palm slowly once again. "Why are you so curious, may I ask?" Eren questions, a playful tone in his voice. Levi shifts a little. Eren smirks.

Levi glances away for a moment before his silver eyes are back on Eren. "You're interesting. I just wonder what would make you so happy recently," he admits, shrugging his shoulders. It was the truth and he wasn't exactly ashamed of it. Eren was just driving him up a wall with his teasing tone. Eren makes a cooing sound, leaning forward a little on his forearms. He was only a foot or so away from Levi, and yet he still felt confident. What was he doing?

"You find me interesting, Levi?" Eren asks.

Levi sighs, thumb and index fingers going to gasp the bridge of his nose as he closes his eyes. "Don't push your luck, brat."

Eren suddenly frowns, previous vibe gone. "What's with you and calling me a brat, Mr. Grumpy."

Levi looks up, glaring. "Don't you dare call me that fucking name. I hate it when Hanji uses it." Eren chuckles.

"Too late~"

Levi rolls his eyes. "See? You are a brat. That's why I call you one."

Eren sticks his tongue out momentarily. "Rude," he mumbles. He sighs, grinning a little and keeping his proximity to the male. Levi wasn't moving, therefore, Eren wasn't moving. "I think my painting would be a good surprise, don't you think?" Eren questions. Levi continues staring blankly.

"Whatever you say, Eren," Levi complies.

Suddenly, the male turns, glancing at the clock that hung on the wall. Levi looks around, noticing that there actually wasn't anyone else in the bar. It being a very cold weeknight, it didn't surprise him. He turns back to Eren. "Do you have to lock up?" he asks. Eren simply sighs, going to stand up once again and begin cleaning up various things. Not that things were out of order due to the slow night, but so he could get out of there within the next few seconds.

"Yeah, I have to lock up. I can lock up now though, which is good. I'm sorry to run you off though," Eren says. Levi shakes his head, sliding from the stool and grabbing his various things. When had he taken off his coat, Eren wonders. He had never noticed him doing so. He quickly takes the money that Levi gives him for the drink, placing it in the cash register before turning back to spray down the bar. Levi was holding out a twenty without looking at him. Was he blushing?

Levi? Blushing? Same sentence?

How was this possible?

Eren slowly goes to take the twenty, a broad smile appearing on his face. Levi scowls as Eren takes it with nimble fingers, mumbling something along the lines of brat as he shrugged his coat back on. Eren smiles sweetly at the tip, placing it with grateful care into his pocket, not exactly wanting to fish out his wallet. "Thank you, Levi," Eren thanks. Levi only nods.

Weirdly enough, Levi waited for Eren to finish putting away everything, saying something about wanting to make sure his dumbass got to his car alright. Eren thought it was a nice gesture. The brunet rambles on about something involving his job that day as he locks the doors, turning onto the sidewalk to walk in the direction of his car. Levi follows silently, glancing between him and what was in front of them. All Eren was trying to do was make sure there wasn't any awkward silence, but instead it turned into one of his famous rants that Armin and Mikasa always voiced that they were tired of hearing. Levi though, didn't seem to mind.

If anything, the raven-haired male only found comfort in hearing Eren go on about various things, whether it was customers, school, his friends, his boss or even how he was feeling. It wasn't a very long walk to Eren's car, and Levi's was conveniently parked only a few spaces away. Eren pauses, taking a long look at the car Levi had just unlocked with the key fob. Levi looks at him, to his car, and back to Eren. He raises a brow.

"Can I help you?" he asks. Eren shakes his head a little before chuckling. "Sorry, I didn't really think about you driving a car. I've only ever seen you on your bike." Levi snorts. "Well I can't ride my bike tonight, Eren. Considering it's around 25 degrees Fahrenheit at the moment, and I don't care for hypothermia." Eren snickers, looking back to his own, white car.  He hears Levi sigh.

"Well, have a good rest of your night, Eren," Levi says, beginning to walk to his car. It was freezing, after all.

"Hey, wait."

Levi stops in his tracks, turning his head to look over his shoulder at the other male. He looked stiff, but was walking over despite. What did he want?

Well, Eren. Better ask now while it isn't completely awkward, Eren thinks.

"I know this is really strange to ask, but I have pretty much everyone's contact information in my phone, even if I don't regularly talk to them, from your gang, so I was wondering if I..." Eren sighs, "..couldpossiblyhaveyournumberbecauseitwouldonlymakesenseifIdidI'msorry." Eren shuts his eyes, pulsing his hands into fists. He hears a rough chuckle and opens his eyes only to see Levi right in front of him, his glove-covered hand reaching out. Eren eyes the hand, then looks up at Levi. Levi, on the other hand, rolls his eyes.

"Your phone, you brat," he says.

"Oh, I'm sorry! Yeah s-sure."

Eren fishes out his phone from his pocket, the content, bubbly feeling in his stomach helping him momentarily forget the cold. There were light snowflakes falling all around the scene once again as Levi tapped at the screen of Eren's phone for a bit before turning it off and handing it back to him firmly. The brunet smiles at him, studying the male's pale face, which was red with the chill no doubt.

"Ah, well thanks, Levi! Have a good night!" Eren calls, rubbing the back of his neck as he turned and walked back to his car and getting into the driver's seat. Levi lets him go with a polite wave, happy to get into his own vehicle and escape the chill. Though, he hadn't seem to notice it moments before. Maybe it's because the wind died down. He hums. It was plausible.

Later that night, somewhat closer to 11 pm, Levi received a message from an unknown number.

'Hey! It's me, Eren. I thought I'd text you so that you'd have my number too! Sorry if this is weird lol :)'

Levi could only smile. And reply.

 

~

 

Hanji was curious. Eren hadn't been able to look away from his phone all during physics. He was smiling, she could tell, and it only drove her more mad with curiosity. It was a disease that Erwin enjoyed teasing her about. It never bothered her. Had Eren gotten a girlfriend??? Nah, If he would've, he probably would have told her by now. Besides, he hadn't been acting this way the past several days. Was this recent?

Eren never texted this much. And that was actually saying a lot.

The brunette looks to Armin, hoping that he'd be looking at Eren too, possibly wondering who he's be texting. But of course, he wasn't. He was furiously taking notes as the professor wrote them on the board, not bothering to look at either of them at all. Hanji purses her lips. She's most likely have to ask him after class.

Once the professor dismissed them, Eren still didn't move much. Yeah, he grabbed his bag and his notebook, but he still was actively checking his phone, no doubt seeing if there was an update. Armin waited for the two and they all began leaving the classroom without much conversation. It was when they were getting close to leaving the hall, when they were putting on their coats and Eren finally put his phone in his pocket, that Hanji spoke up.

"Who were you texting?" Hanji asks curiously.

Eren looks over, adjusting the collar of his coat with his brows furrowed together.

Hanji rolls her eyes. "Don't give me that look. You were on your phone throughout the entire class! Who was so interesting that you had to text the entire time??" Eren was blushing now, causing the girl to smirk widely. They pushed their way outside the door, Armin visibly cringing as the wind hit them. It wasn't snowing, but there was snow on the ground, no sun in the sky, and the wind was not giving anyone mercy. Pretty gross, if Hanji had to say herself.

"You were texting the whole time?? Eren, come on! Exams are in a few weeks, and I need you to be prepared. Don't make me tell Mikasa that you aren't trying your hardest," Armin threatens. Eren shivers a little, whether be from the though of what Mikasa would do, or the incoming wind that passed through.

"I know, I know. I'm going to be fine, Ar. I was just texting a little bit. The conversation was good, okay?"

Armin sighs, shaking his head a little and pulling his coat closer to his body. Hanji wasn't having any of his bullshit.

"What conversation? Who was it???"

Eren blushes again.

"Do I know them?" Hanji questions.

"Uh, yeah. Pretty well actually."

"Are they from the Survey Corps?" Hanji asks. Armin raises a brow. "Motorcycle gang," Hanji inquirers, causing Armin to nod.

Eren nods.

"Is it Petra? I knew she gave you her number, but she's dating Auruo..."

"No, Hanji. It's not Petra."

"Erwin then? Wait, Erwin is at work..." Hanji ponders for a moment. "Nanaba?"

Eren shakes his head. "I don't text her very much."

"Mike?"

"Don't have his number yet."

"Gunther or Eld?"

Eren shakes his head. "Neither," he replies quickly.

"You don't have Auruo's number either, so I'm going to throw out a wild guess and say it's... Levi?"

Armin looks over quickly. "You mean the guy that Eren won't shut up about? The one he rides with?" Eren sends a sharp, yet questioning look to Armin. "I what? I don't talk about him a lot, Armin," Eren defends. Armin smiles a little. "Well, you do to me. Last time you went on a ride with them, you talked about this lame joke he told you at least three times within the same hour." Eren shakes his head, sighing and turning his gaze back in front of them.

'Wait... So is it Levi then??"

Eren sighs once again. "Yeah, it's him." Hanji gasps, jumping around a little. "When the hell did you get that???" she asks loudly, squealing.

"Uh, last night. I was working and he came in for a drink after work and sat at the bar. Last night was super slow, so I was able to get to know him a little better. I asked for his number then and he gave it to me. Well, I asked him because I have nearly everyone else' contact info, so it would make sense if I had his. We were just chatting a little." 

Hanji hums skeptically. "Levi doesn't usually give out his number, so you should honestly feel quite special, Eren." Eren turns to look at her, raising a brow. "Really?" he asks. She smiles, nodding. "It must mean he's comfortable with you," she says. Eren just nods, smiling a little to himself. He liked it when people were comfortable with him, it made him feel really good about himself.

There was several moments of awkward silence between them, the only sounds being there shoes squishing through the mush that had been created on the walkways. Why Eren bothered to come today was beyond him. It was most likely because of Armin if anything. The poor kid would com-bust from anxiety.

"So, when's the first date?" Hanji asks playfully, nudging Eren with her elbow.

The brunet quickly flushes, eyes widening before he's suddenly taking a different path in the general direction of the cafeteria and away from the other two's directions. "Awww Eren! I was joking!"

Eren shakes his head as he continues walking. He had wanted a coffee before his art class anyway. Thank God for his long-ass break.

 

~

 

Hanji was pacing  back and forth inside the science hall. She had maybe 10 minutes before her chem class started, and she was hoping to have a few choice words with Levi after hearing this new information. Levi, on the other hand, wasn't expecting a call from Hanji of all people. She better not have forgotten her notes again, because he was not about to bring her those fucking things.

"This better be important," Levi answers, sighing and continuing to stir his hot chocolate with his spoon, preparing to put a few marshmallows in it as well.

"It is important! It's about Eren," She responds.

Levi inwardly groans. He knew it was a matter of time, with how much the brat had been texting him. At least he had the day off.

"You NEVER give out your number! Why would you give it to him so easily??? That doesn't sound like you," she asks. Levi thinks for a moment as he drops the marshmallows into his drink. Why did he give Eren his number so fast? He knew it wasn't like him, because he hated giving it out to people he didn't like. Did that mean he liked Eren? Well, yeah. He considered Eren a colleague. A friend, even.

"Eren is my friend, so I thought it'd be fine that he have it. Besides, he asked rather politely. What a charmer," Levi admits, shrugging even if the brunette couldn't see it. Hanji sighs from the receiving end.

"He's a really good friend of mine, Levi. He's a precious bean that deserves to be protected at all costs, and I swear if you break his heart-"

Levi nearly chokes on the drink he was taking. He coughs for a bit, cringing as Hanji yelled into the phone to see if he was okay. He breathes for a few moments before speaking up.

"What do you think this fucking is? I have no reason to break his heart. I'm not courting the kid, you fucking moron."

Hanji chuckles a little on the other side. "He's really happy about becoming closer with you, Levi. He has plenty of friends, but he seems to really respect you of all people." Levi nearly scoffs at her remark. "-So I just want to make sure that you take that into consideration when talking regularly with him. Besides, exams are coming up and he needs to study you little Grinch," she says.

Levi sighs. "I'm aware. I told him to get to class at least four times. He wouldn't listen. He's rather stubborn, I've noticed. Also, shitty glasses."

"Hm?"

Levi grins evilly. "Shouldn't you get to class?" 

"Ah, fuck off. I'll talk to you later, punk."

"Bye, four-eyes."

With that, the line goes dead, and Levi carefully sets his phone onto the counter top. He goes to attempt at drinking his beverage again, finding comfort in it's heat and the fact that he didn't inhale it this time. He swallows his sip, staring at nothing in particular when his phone buzzes.

Eren.

He smirks a little. Eren might be his friend, and he might be a brat who he wants to help push in the right direction, but he was also a cute brat.

One Levi may or may not want to get more acquainted with. Even if it meant only friends.

Chapter Text

"What're you paintin'??"

Eren had assumed he was alone in the art hall, so he nearly shit himself at the startling voice suddenly so close. The brunet peers around his canvas, eyes wide and a small blush dusting his cheeks. It was Hanji. Of course it was. He had said he'd come over to her house that evening.

He had gotten permission from his professor to stay afterwards for a bit, and like the professor usually did, he was given access. He didn't really think about Hanji coming to find him.

"Hanji?" Eren questions, stepping away from his painting. He was a little ashamed of it, not exactly wanting her to see it yet.

It was due in a week, sadly. The last day of the term. He was a bit on edge, attempting to finish it before its deadline. He hadn't really told anyone what his painting was of, still feeling a bit self-conscious about it. Hanji was the last person he wanted to see it right now anyway. Especially with it about half done or more.

"I came to get you. You weren't answering you phone, also you promised to come over for dinner and such tonight. Our group hasn't seen each other for awhile. I figured you'd be working on your art anyway," Hanji says, walking over to where Eren's stuff was, scattered on a table. She sits in his seat, turning and smiling at him. Eren smiles back, noticing she couldn't see what was on the canvas from her position.

"Is it nearly finished?"

Eren hums a little, eyes moving back to the piece. It was really coming together, and it was very good so far if he did say so himself. One of the best things he's come up with in several years. Though, this wasn't something he really wanted to show off honestly. Mainly because he's afraid it'd be taken in a different direction.

"I'll be able to have it finished before it's due. I still have a few things to do, a few areas to paint."

Hanji giggles. "Hey, I know you've been super secretive about it, but is it okay if I see it?"

Eren looks over to her, eyeing her a little. He makes a sour face for a moment, pondering the idea a little. It was rather rude to hide it from her, but she wasn't the first person. He has hidden it from Mikasa, Armin, Reiner, Bertholdt, Armin, Jean, Marco, Connie, Sasha, Annie and whoever decided to walk in and try to pry it from his hands. They weren't happy, but respected his wishes. Reiner had even jokingly accused him of drawing porn.

For one, he was not painting anything inappropriate.

"I-uh.. I'll show you eventually, Hanji. I'd just prefer it to be finished before I show anyone."

Hanji doesn't pry, only gives him a grin before nodding. "Of course! I understand. You're just making me extra curious." She sends him a wink, to that Eren rolls his eyes playfully. He looks back to his canvas and sighs before going to push the easel towards its corner, facing towards the wall in order to be hidden, where he usually put it. He then washes his brushes and dumps out his murky water. Hanji frowns a little.

"Not going to paint some more?"

Eren shakes his head, grabbing his coat and his bag off of the table. He shrugs his coat on first before zipping it up and slinging his bag over a shoulder. "I think it's best if we head out now. What're we going to have for dinner at your place?" Eren questions, waiting for Hanji to stand before they begin their way to the hallway. The brunette sighs, biting her lip.

"I think Erwin mentioned something about spaghetti and garlic bread."

Eren hums, smiling cheekily. "Yum. Is there going to be dessert?" Hanji laughs a little. "Pretty sure Petra was going to bring something. I have no idea what it is though, Erwin made all the food plans and such. Someone's supposed to bring drinks too."

Eren raises a brow. "Is everyone from Survey going to be there?"

Hanji hums. "Yeah, everyone said they could make it. Why? Were you worried Levi wasn't coming?"

Eren had, indeed, not really thought of that possibility. So, he shakes his head. "I was just curious, I hadn't heard if everyone was coming or not," he says simply. Thankfully, Hanji leaves it at that.

 

~

 

"Honestly, Eren. I'm glad you decided to come," Erwin says. Eren was on his phone and leaning against the counter, texting a frantic Connie, who had send several photos of how Jean had fallen asleep at Reiner's house. He smiles a little. He needs to remember to make more plans with the guys sometimes. Erwin was stirring the spaghetti still, the smell of the sauce spreading throughout the kitchen and possibly out into the living area.

He looks up, smiling at the taller male. "Me too. I don't think I've ever really hung out with you guys like this," he says honestly. He slips his phone back into his pocket.

Erwin smiles lightly, not taking his eyes off his task. He slows the stirring a little. "I hope this becomes more regular, even if you've basically become a part of the gang," Erwin says, finally turning his head and winking once. Eren grins back.

"You're supposed to be cooking, not winking at the brat."

Ah, how could he forget Levi was only a room away?

The male leans against the same side of the counter Eren is on, only a few feet away. He crosses his arms, fixing Erwin with a plain look. Erwin rolls his eyes, chuckling a little. "Ah, I'm sorry, Levi," Erwin fully apologizes, not looking up from the pot, "Did I take your job or something?" 

Levi only snorts, shaking his head a little as he meets Eren's suddenly confused gaze. "I don't wink, for one. I don't think I've ever actually make that motion," he says. Eren smirks a little. "You've never winked at someone before? I'm calling bullshit now," Eren says.

Levi raises a thin brow at him. "Sorry if I have more classy ways of flirting with people," Levi defends sarcastically.

"Yeah, like calling someone a brat?" Ah, Hanji was in here now.

Levi turns his head to look at her. She laughs a little crossing the room in order to grab something, Petra on her tail with an apologetic look on her face. "Good to see you crashing the party, shitty glasses," Levi says, rolling his eyes.

"Party? This is kind of a lame party," Erwin says from his post, stepping away from the stove a little in order to join the conversation.

Gunther peaks his head into the kitchen as he passes by. "I have to agree with Erwin!" Levi glares at him momentarily. "No one asked for your fucking opinion of all things." Eren covers his smile with his palm.

 

~

 

Dinner was pretty relaxing and the food was wonderful. Honestly, he should've known that Erwin was a good cook. He looked the part of someone who had that sort of skill up their sleeve. Everyone was laughing, telling lame jokes about their days while eating and such. Auruo begins going on a rant about his work that day and accidentally bites his tongue, frustrating and worrying Petra to all ends. Eren was only surprised a little, even if he had seen it happen a few times. Levi watched closely and made sure no one was chewing with their mouths open, scolding anyone he caught. Thankfully, Eren kept his manners close by.

Dessert was good too. Petra had supposedly baked the cake, and it was safe to say that Petra was actually an angel sent from heaven. Everyone seemed to agree as well, furthering her blush to continue spreading across her face. Honestly, if Petra was a little younger, not dating Auruo and didn't remind him of his mother, he could potentially fall in love with someone like her easily. It wouldn't be hard. Yet, all those things still applied and she was too much of a good friend for Eren to even begin thinking about something like that.

"Hey, Eren?"

Eren looks up from his plate of his dessert, glancing around for the source of the voice. It lands on Nanaba. "Have you ever thought about actually joining our group? I mean, we've known you for a few months now. You fit in well here."

There are a few murmurs around the room in agreement. Eren can't really figure out how to respond to that. Join their gang? Wasn't he already close with them? What more did he have to join them? He didn't even own a motorcycle. Then again, Petra didn't either.

"Look at that, you're pressuring him."

Everyone turns their attention to Levi, who was sitting in a chair, legs crossed and a relaxed expression on his face. "He doesn't have to join us if he doesn't want to." Eren's brow furrows.

"And what if I'd be interested?"

Levi raises a brow. "You would? You don't even own a bike."

Eren motions to Petra, who was seated against Auruo, watching quietly. "Neither does Petra. She simply rides with Auruo." The murmurs start again, Hanji leaning over to hear whatever Erwin was whispering to her. Eren's jaw tightens at Levi's composed facade.

"So you'd just want to ride with someone all the time?"

Eren laughs a little. "Every time I'm invited to come along that's what I've done." He shrugs. "Besides, I enjoy hanging out with everyone. I don't have to be a part of your group to do that, I guess, but I still think it has a nice ring to it."

Levi hums, taking a sip of his soda. He sighs, setting the glass back on its coaster. "I'd say think about it more. I don't want us to buy you a jacket and such if you're not going to want it. Those things cost a lot, Eren." Eren nods, considering the idea. "Yeah, I'll give it some thought. It's whatever, right?" Levi shrugs. "I don't mind if you join. I rather like having you hanging around at our heels."

Eren would be lying if he said that didn't slightly warm his heart.

 

~

 

Later than evening it started snowing. It was heavy and made Eren's heart flinch a little. Hanji had given him a ride here and his car was at home. Yes, it was a Friday, so if worst comes to worst, it wouldn't be much of a problem to stay with Hanji and Erwin. He was a little nervous though to ask Hanji or Erwin to give him a ride. He didn't want to inconvenience them and have them drive him all the way home, just to drive all the way back afterwards.

It was awkward to ask anyone else anyway. Mike was going to take Nanaba home, that much was obvious since they rode together and Eren would hate to interrupt any possible alone time the two could get. Gunther, Eld, Petra and Auruo were all going to ride together, all having taken Auruo's car. He'd hate to make them have another stop. Levi was always a different possibility. Though, the brunet always felt like he was bothering the raven-haired male.

He enjoyed his time he spent with Levi, he really did like getting to know him. He just never really knew how to read Levi so he never knew how his presence affected the male. It was hard to explain most of the time.

"Oi."

Eren turns his head from the window where he was watching the heavy flakes hit the white ground. He wouldn't be surprised if it was difficult to get to work tomorrow. If he'd even decide to go in. Sleeping in on days like this seemed much more tempting than having to drive across town. He raises a brow at Levi. The man clears his throat. "Are you ready to leave yet?" Eren tilts his head and Levi rolls his eyes, and action that Eren was used to by now.

"I'm taking you home. How many times do I have to tell you that for you to understand that it's never an inconvenience for me?"

Eren smiles lightly. "I guess quite a few to get through," he admits. Levi chuckles. "Yeah, I guess I do." They stand there for several moments, eyes locked before Eren coughs and begins walking to the coat rack. He slips his coat over his shoulders, zipping it up and shoving his hands into his pockets to retrieve his gloves. Levi steps into the hallway, calling out a goodbye towards Erwin and Hanji, who where somewhere down there.

"Goodnight guys!" Is called in unison from down the hall and Eren grins. 

Eren follows Levi outside, the cold hitting him instantly. Yes, it was cold, but there wasn't much of a breeze so it wasn't as annoying as it could've been he assumes. He tilts his head up, letting the flakes fall around his face, opening his mouth a little to catch some on his tongue. Despite being 21, Eren was still a child. 21 going on 6, Mikasa liked to say often.

His thoughts are abruptly cut off though, when a ball of snow hits the side of his face. He gasps, wiping the cold from his eye as best as he could as he turns his head, meeting the eyes of none other than Levi Ackerman, who was smirking cockily. Eren blinks a few times.

"Did you just throw a fucking snowball at me?"

"Me? No, you're delirious."

With that, Levi turns around, staring for his car once again, pressing the button to unlock it.

Eren chuckles, grinning at the man before bending over and scrapping some snow into his gloves. He molds the best sphere shape he can before he's throwing it, the snow flying and making perfect aim. Right against the nape of Levi's neck, where his scarf wasn't covering. Levi pauses, dropping his keys and phone onto the soft ground in shock before he turns around, wiping the snow off of his neck as best as possible. He looked shocked, and if Eren wasn't seeking revenge, he probably would've been a little scared for his safety. In this case though? He was just happy for his aim.

"You're so fucking dead, Jaeger," Levi says, bending down quickly to grab some snow. Eren yelps, running back and somewhat away from Levi in order to get away, all the while giggling. Levi stops once he gets his snowball, then beginning to chase after Eren around the yard with the snow before throwing it. It hits the brunet's side and he yelps in defeat, grabbing some snow for himself.

Levi does the same, and it becomes a small, childish game of the two chasing each other around the yard with snow. Halfway through, Eren stops making actual snowballs and resorts for just throwing loose snow in Levi's general direction, doing a good job of covering the male in more places than one. The annoyed grunts he receives from the other are all the payment he needs. Levi though, was quite good with his aim and kept hitting Eren in the places he means to. The eye, the forehead, the neck, the back of his head, his chest, etc. Eren squeaks every time, yelling something along the lines of "That's not fair!" or "You're good at this for someone who doesn't know what fun is."

Finally, after Eren shoving a handful of snow down the back of Levi's coat and after Levi having shoved him into a snow bank, they catch their breath. They had been running around in the most childish manor for what felt like more than 5 minutes to Eren. Though, it was nice. He almost felt like it wasn't even Levi he was battling. Besides, the midget started it first. Some justice was needed.

"That was childish," Levi finally says, walking over towards Eren's snow bank.

Eren grins openly. "That was fun. I was surprised that Levi Ackerman of all fucking people would start a snowball fight with me," Eren says, pushing himself off the soft and wet substance to stand.

Levi snorts, rolling his eyes. "Still don't know what you're talking about," he says. Eren smiles warmly. "I still call bullshit," he replies cheekily. Levi only returns the smile. After several seconds Levi reaches a hand forward, carefully and lightly brushing some snow that Eren didn't even know was in the front of his hair. Levi just looks at him.

"What? It looked stupid." The male begins walking towards his car, bending down to pick up his keys and his phone, that had been forgotten in the snow. "Also, dust some of that off, I don't want a ton in my car."

Eren follows, brushing the extra snow from his body before climbing into Levi's weirdly warm car. Or was that him? He did feel rather warm. The image of Levi laughing and chasing him around the yard with snow and of him brushing snow out of his hair playing on a constant repeat in his head on the entire ride home, soft Christmas music playing in the background.

Eren smiles to himself, then over to Levi when he wasn't looking, noticing that warm feeling spreading to his chest too.

Chapter Text

Hanji had mentioned giving the painting as a gift. It was reasonable, and Eren would be lying if he hadn't thought about doing so. The painting was finished, standing a few feet away from him and (gladly) already graded by his professor. The hard part? Taking it home.

His friends had already seen it. Armin and Mikasa were shocked, saying it was one of the most realistic paintings he'd ever done. Most of his other friends liked it, saying that it seemed original enough. ('Isn't that the dude from the Halloween party??' Ymir had teased.)

"Honestly Eren, it's beautiful. I think you should give it to him." 

Eren scratches the back of his head. "He wouldn't think it was weird?" 

Hanji chuckles a little. "He might at first, but I would be too, if you just painted me all of a sudden. I mean, you didn't even use him as a model or anything. Though," Hanji sigh, "It's beautiful. And the thought is what counts." 

The brunette sends him a mischievous wink, furthering Eren's pink blush. "His birthday is coming up, it'd be nice. Doubling as a Christmas gift." Eren raises a brow. 

"When is his birthday?"

"Levi's? His birthday actually falls on Christmas." 

Eren gaps at her. "Seriously? That's kinda tragic." 

Hanji giggles, shrugging. "Saves me from having to buy two different gifts." Eren shorts at that. 

 

~

 

Thankfully, Eren had wonderful friends who helped him load the large canvas to his car. After several instances where Eren had to tell Reiner how to carry it, everything was fine. He had the canvas wrapped up for the travel, planning on wrapping it properly if he was to give it to Levi. He might as well, it'd be creepy to keep it or go give it to anyone else. 

"Really, Eren, it's a nice paining. Though, who was the dude you used as a model? He has a nice bike." Reiner laughs a little. 

Eren shrugs. "He's just a friend." 

Jean gives him a look. "Just a friend? Wasn't he one of those guys that came to the Halloween party? The one that you talked to once or twice?" Eren nods. "Yeah, why?" Jean smirks a little. "No reason." 

"If you're wondering if anything is up, I'm going to have to shut it down." 

Connie gives him a sly look. "C'mon," he teases. "Why don't you give it a try? Armin says you mention him a lot. Didn't you ride with him on his bike or something?" Jean gasps. 

"You never mentioned you rode on his bike," Jean says, grinning. Marco gives him a playful shove. 

Eren groans a little. Mental note; kill Armin. Drowning would be most effective. "I don't mention him a lot. He's a friend, I guess." 

"You guess?" Reiner asks, chuckling. Eren shrugs a little. "I mean, I guess it's how he acts regularly, but Levi is a strict guy." Jean snorts. "Strict guy, my ass. You've rode on his bike for crying out loud." 

Eren ignores the comment. 

"Are you going to give it to him? The painting, I mean," Marco asks quietly. The brunet sighs, opening the door of the hall, beginning towards the direction where the majority of their cars were parked, including his. 

"I think I will. I just hope he doesn't think I'm more of an idiot than he already thinks." 

Connie makes a noise resembling a snort, though he could never tell with Connie. "He thinks you're an idiot?" Eren nods slowly. "I think. Then again, he seems to think everyone is except for himself. He calls me kid and a brat. Sometimes even just my last name." 

Jean sighs. "Reminds me of someone, can't really place it though." 

"Doesn't Mikasa call you just Kirstein sometimes?" Reiner asks. 

"She calls you idiot too," Connie adds. Jean rolls his eyes. "Stop mentioning my 'been there done that'." 

"You never even did that," Reiner says. 

"Yeah yeah, shut up. How's she and Annie doing?" Jean questions. 

Reiner shrugs lightly. "Don't know. Annie is super quiet about it. Whenever I ask, she just smiles and tells me to shut the fuck up." The blond male snickers, shaking his head. 

"Eren? Does Mikasa ever mention Annie?" 

Eren gives a shivered look before shaking his head. "No, she won't. Super secretive." Jean rolls his eyes. "They're made for each other, all right." 

Yeah, Eren thinks. Made for each other. 

 

~

 

"You know, you technically never thanked me for helping you wrap that gift." 

Eren turns his head, glaring momentarily at Mikasa. "I could've done it on my own, thank you very much," Eren says, sighing as he walks over to said wrapped gift and lifts it carefully, heading for the door. "Besides, aren't you scared to give it to him?" 

Eren sighs. "Hanji said it'd be a nice gesture, I'm not sure though. He might think I'm creepy." 

"Well, I know I would." 

Eren fixes her with a glare.

"What? I mean, you didn't even use the guy as a direct model. You did it all from memory." Mikasa purses her lips as she follows Eren out the front door of Armin's house, making sure to call out a thank you and a polite goodbye in place of Eren's stubbornness. 

"How do you know this guy again?" 

"I told you," Eren starts, unlocking his car and carefully placing the canvas into the back seat before making his way around to the driver's side. Mikasa slides into the passenger. "He's in Hanji's motorcycle gang that I hang out with on a weekly basis or so." 

Mikasa rolls her eyes. "You've mentioned that, yeah. If you really know this guy, enough to paint him, why haven't I met him yet?" 

Eren starts the vehicle pulling away from the spot along the street and starting out of the neighborhood. "Because you don't know, and wouldn't know, anyone from the group." 

Mikasa bites a lip. "So, introduce me." 

"What? Why? You wouldn't care?" 

"I care about someone you've recently become infatuated with." 

The brunet scoffs, rolling his eyes. "I've only know Levi for like a little over two months, okay? Besides, I'm not infatuated. He's a friend, if that." 

Mikasa ponders for a moment. "How would you describe him? Is he rude to you?" 

"Eh, not as rude as he once was. Then again, Levi is decently rude." 

"How rude would you describe?" 

"He calls me a brat and a kid most of the time. Makes me question if I really am an adult. He calls Hanji four-eyes and shitty-glasses and likes to make random half-assed comments on Erwin's eyebrows." Mikasa chuckles, covering her smile. "He's good on a bike though. I never feel uncomfortable if I ride with him." 

Eren turns his head momentarily, giving her a small smile. "If you'd really want to meet them, I'd totally introduce. You already kind of know Hanji, but it'd be fun for you to meet the others sometime." Mikasa smiles lightly. "I'd like that." 

-

To much of Eren's luck, Levi was not home when the two dropped by to leave the gift before Eren could chicken out. He had taped a small note on it, hoping it wouldn't completely give him away upon Levi reading it. Sadly though, Mike wasn't home either, so they had to leave it on the porch so people passing by wouldn't see it and potentially steal it (if they'd even want his shitty painting.) 

Upon Mikasa agreeing with the painting's hiding spot, the two left, the brunet making sure to send Hanji a text, alerting her of his accomplishments. 

'Really? I'm so proud of you!' 

Even if the text had been simple, he still had a small bit of pride in his gut as they drove away, Mikasa's confused face lingering on him as they drove away. 

 

~

 

Levi's foot impatiently taps the hardwood floor of his kitchen, his phone pressed tightly against his ear, a hand on his hip and a scowl on his face. Not to mention how hard he was glaring at the fucking green-wrapped gift two feet away from him. 

Why wasn't Hanji picking up? It's not like the fucker had anything to do. Unless she was blowing shit up. That was probably it. 

"Yello?"

"Yeah okay, why is there a fucking present propped up against one of my barstools?" 

There was momentary silence on the other end before a shrilling laugh was heard on the other end. Levi had to move the decide away from his head and groan before putting it back against his ear, more lightly this time. 

"You must mean the big one right? Good, Mike brought that in when he got home." 

"Yeah. I'm assuming this shit is from you? Hanji, my birthday, also know as Christmas, isn't for another 8 days. You could've just brought me this then, you idiot."

"Eh? I didn't get you that." 

Levi pauses. "You what now?"

"I didn't get you that, Levi." Levi can hear her snicker. 

"Then why does the fucking note say, 'From your favorite dork'? That sounds eerily like you. Besides, if you didn't get it, then how did you know it would be here?" 

"Listen, Levi darling; I didn't get you the gift. My gift for you is probably ten times more lame than that one. I bet you'll really like it though, someone special worked very hard on that thing."

Levi blinks, trying to figure up an answer. Eventually, he just pressed his fingers on either sides of the bridge of his nose, and sighs. "So you know who got me this," Levi says. He hears an approving him from the other side. 

"Am I allowed to open it, or does this mystery person want me to wait? I swear to God if it's Erwin-" 

"Nah, it's not Smithy. Besides, I don't think they care when you open it. If you want to open it now, then go for it! Call me to tell me your thoughts if you open it tonight! I have to go though, you kinda called me in the middle of an experiment. Talk to you later!~"

He knew she was blowing shit up. "Yeah yeah, goodbye, shitty-glasses." He groans as the disconnected call noise erupts from the phone. He sets it down. "Thanks for nothing." 

He stares at the wrapped gift, eyes taking over it. It appeared smooth. A piece of art, perhaps? Levi clicks his tongue. Whoever bought him a picture or something should know he's quite picky about his art. 

Should he open it now? Would that be stupid? Isn't there a rule that you have to wait for Christmas or something? Levi shrugs it off, the curiosity snaking its way through his body and overriding the potential rule-breaking he was about to commit. He carefully picks up the gift, setting it on what he assumes is the front of (it's obvious it was) the canvas and slowly tears at the wrapping paper with lithe fingers. 

He was sure to be quiet, not wanting to disturb Mike potentially. It was near midnight, and the guy was an early-to-bed kind of guy. Successfully getting the paper off of the back, Levi turns the canvas so that it is sitting on its back and removes the paper. He makes sure not to rip it, always taking more pleasure in being neat so that there was no mess. He also took note as to not rip the note. He wanted to potentially decipher who it could have come from. 

Stupid people and their stupid mysterious cryptic notes.

He sets the discarded paper aside, eyes shifting back towards the canvas. And there they freeze, blowing wide. On the canvas was not only a beautifully detailed painting of him, but also of his bike as well. Pictured. He was leaning against it casually, looking off to the side, fingers grasping a cigarette as he was inhaling the tobacco. Around him and the bike were cool colors in a delicate array of blues and greys, helping the shine of his hair, his jacket, his skin, his eyes, and last but not least, his bike stand out more than anything. 

Levi was no model, he had never modeled in his life. Yet, here it appeared that he was a professional. Is this how they pictured him? He carefully places his fingers against the brush strokes, trying to comprehend that this was a painting and not an actual photo. Did he really look this fucking attractive to regular people? Because damn if he wasn't currently a narcassist. 

"Is this real?" He questions, nearly completely out of breath. 

This had to have been one of the most beautiful, if not the most, pieces of art he had ever seen and was having a seriously hard time comprehending that this was his. It was of him. It was currently on his table, sitting there. As a gift. He stiffens a small yelp as his eyes catch that if a signature on the bottom left-hang corner of the canvas. 

"Eren Jaeger"

The male begins frantically searching for his phone. 

"Yes?"

"Is Eren working tonight?" 

Chapter Text

Actually, Eren had been working that night. Though, as much as Levi could not find the words to explain how incredibly surprising the gift was, the weather said evening was supposed to be rough here and there. Instead of a small drive over to the bar, Levi had thought a phone call would have to suffice.

So, the man waited almost an hour after Eren's shift normally would get off to press on his contact to start the call.

Though, Levi was embarrassed. The boy must've spent forever on painting this only to give it away as a gift. Not to mention the money that was probably put into it and all of the detail. So he had ended the phone call well before Eren could have a chance to pick up the phone. He was a wreck.

Why me?

With a can of nerves and a whole lot of determination, Levi pressed the call button once again.

It rang for awhile, giving Levi a sense that he had waited too long to call and the boy had already gone to bed. But when the ringing had stopped and a groggy voice came through on the other end of the call, Levi yelped, throwing the phone as hard as he could at his bed. The small machine bounced, smacking solidly against the floor. The noise stung to Levi, but at that point he didn't care if it shattered.

"Levi?? Is everything okay?"

So his phone hadn't shattered.

He groans, getting up and picking up the phone off of the ground. Nope, not a scratch on it weirdly enough. He holds the thing to his ear, listening for a second.

"Eren. Sorry for calling so late," he says slowly.

"Oh hey! Don't worry about it. I had just dozed off when I heard my phone going off. Is there something you needed?"

Gosh, this fucking kid and his fucking optimism.

"Actually yes. I got home from work a few hours ago and noticed the random package on my porch. I had called Hanji and she wouldn't tell me who it was from. Though, by the fact that it's a painting and is done so well, I only assume it was you?" He listens to the silent end before there's a small chuckle.

"It was that obvious, was it? And here I thought I was being a little sneaky, ya know?"

"I mean you really left a note with it that said, 'Your favorite brat.' It kind of does sound like you," Levi adds.

Eren loudly groans. "AHHH I FORGOT ABOUT THAT! That's really stupid."

Levi can't help but laugh a little. "Don't worry about it, I thought it was funny."

"Good thing someone does."

There's a few moments of uncomfortable silence before the older man clears his throat.

"Well, thank you for the painting, Eren. It is... beautiful. I can't really express it," he says bashfully.

Eren snorts. "You're a bit of a narcissist aren't you?"

Damn if Levi hadn't wanted to hit Eren before, then he seriously did now.

"Oh my God, I'm trying to thank you. Fucking be quiet."

"Okay, please continue. I'm really glad you like it, I thought it was pretty good myself."

"It's honestly amazing. Why did you decide to paint me?"

"I don't know really. I just didn't have any inspiration for my art project until I met you. The painting I gave you I also turned in for my final, I just decided I wanted you to have it. It seemed.... weird for me to keep it. Also it was too good for me to want to throw away. But honestly. I'm really glad you like it, Levi. That's what I was aiming for," Eren says.

Levi grins to himself. "I really really do. I had wanted to thank you in person, but I figured I didn't want to bother you at work. I thought a phone call would do."

"Yeah! Phone calls always work. Besides, you could've come by if you wanted. It was super slow tonight due to the cold."

Levi internally damns himself. "Well, I'm glad I was still able to catch you before you fell asleep. Sorry to disturb you, I'll leave you to get back to that," he says.

"You definitely didn't disturb me. It made me really happy to see you calling me... I was a little nervous too though. But again, you didn't disturb me!"

Levi ignores Eren's little rambling. "Well, nonetheless, I'll talk to you soon, Eren."

"Alright! Have a good night old man."

Levi scoffs. "Goodnight you fucking prick."

To that, Eren chuckles. And Levi is finally free enough to have time to scream into a pillow.

 

 

Chapter Text

If Levi was one thing, it was short. Not as in short in stature (even if that was also true here), but as in short spoken. He was blunt, per say. He got to the point whether you enjoyed that or not. He was cold, harsh, and difficult in most standards. It was difficult to get the guy to warm up to you, Hanji had to admit.

Meeting him in high school was... different. He wasn't like most kids. Yes, he had a very similar style to some other students, but it was the way he wore it that made him stick out. He appeared to be quite fit for such a style. His attitude is also what made him stick out from the crowd. Yes, there were plenty of moody teenagers and that is what Hanji had deemed Levi as when they started becoming close. Honestly, if you asked her, she would just tell you that Levi has always been a moody teenager. There's absolutely no doubt about it. 

Yes, Levi was moody and difficult in every sense of the description, but Hanji had noticed Levi be soft before. While it was only a few times, there wasn't a doubt she'd seen it. Though one thing she didn't expect was that Levi would be soft to her loud and very proud, bright-eyed friend. 

Considering it was the month of February, it wasn't warm enough to have bike rides regularly. Though even on the days they couldn't ride, the gang would try as often a day possible to see each other. And it was obvious to everyone Hanji betted. There was absolutely no way that they didn't see how Levi had started acting. Ever since that stupid painting, Levi had been more prideful and smiley than ever. It honestly gave her the creeps. Demons weren't supposed to smile like that. 

If Levi was smiling at his phone she'd already know what was up. She'd question, and all she'd receive was a blank stare and a small 'Is that your fucking business?' as a reply. 

For experiments Hanji would bring Eren up in more conversations with Levi around to see how he would react to the conversation. So far she has observed him smile lightly to himself, chuckle, blush, engage in conversation, and finally glare at her. The last one was probably because Levi was, in fact, not stupid and probably caught onto Hanji bringing the boy up as much as possible. But what else was she to do??? She just wanted to see if her best friend was gay for her other best friend. Is that too much to ask for? 

But really if we're talking about this here, it wasn't just his reactions to the mention of the boy. Oh no, he would react as soft and light hearted to this kid anytime he said anything ever. Eren walks into a room Levi was in, Levi is already grinning ear to ear. Eren goes to talk to Levi, Levi is moving closer and whispering thoughtfully to him as though to keep their conversations quiet. No, their conversations hadn't gotten too long yet, but if text message conversations counted, Hanji would conclude they talk quite frequently. She can't even account for the amount they might talk while she isn't around. It was frustrating as all hell. 

"Hanji? What are you doing awake? It's 3 in the morning and you have a class tomorrow, c'mon." 

Hanji was sitting in her arm chair, gritting her teeth and staring at her lap top. She had stayed awake in order to get her tables and such on her slide show for her physics class the next morning. Though it appears that it was the next morning and she hadn't gotten shit done on said assignment. Stupid fucking friends and their fucking gayness damn them. 

She limply let Erwin pick up her laptop, closing it and carefully placing it on the coffee table. He went to pick her up too, shushing her complains that began to file out of her mouth in a string. He took we to her room and tucked her into bed, kissing the top of her head before making his exit. Even in her protest, Hanji felt satisfied, and drifted off to sleep moments afterwards. 

 

---

 

Physics was stupid, Eren had concluded. Yes, by the second week of the first term he had thought it was stupid. But, the more and more he was able to sit in that damn class he found it significantly more stupid. It made absolutely no sense to him! How did he pass the first term??? Why was he supposed to take a second one?? 

He had thought all the stupid classes would die after high school. Though, that might just prove him more stupid. 

Not only did Eren literally bust his ass the night before in attempt to get the assignment for this past morning finished, but he was assinged yet another thing to do. Luckily, it wasn't due until the next Sunday at midnight. But boy, did Eren hate papers. 

"You do realize staring sorrowfully at your blank computer screen isn't going to write that paper for you." 

The last thing Eren needed right now was Mikasa's lovely coated sarcasm. It hurt his feelings at how stupid she thought he was. Unless she had just been kidding this whole time, which seemed rather unlikely. 

"You don't have to point that out for me," he returns, not bothering to look over at her. 

She had been writing something in her notebook, occasionally glancing up to read off of her MAC. She was probably taking notes for one of her courses. At this, she lowers her pen, looking over at Eren with a solum expression. She sighs. "You have until Sunday night to get it done. Why are you worried about it now?"

He looks up. "Let's see... I have work a few days this week, I'll probably be seeing some friends this week as well as going for a ride with the gang on Friday." 

Mikasa perks up a little at this. "Is it really supposed to be warm enough?" 

"Well, Erwin said it would be, and Levi said that if it isn't we'll just bundle up more than we already would."

The girl hums, thinking for a moment. 

"Do you think I could come along?" 

This catches Eren off guard. Mika said had never asked to join him before. Mikasa didn't even know anyone. Though, what a better way to meet everyone am I right? 

"Why do you want to come along?" Eren questions. 

Mikasa shrugs a little. "Sounds interesting enough. It'd be cool to meet everyone. You talk about them so often though it feels like I already do know them." She smiles a little, flicking him with her finger. 

Eren rolls his eyes. "Listen, I don't talk about them that much."

"Yeah, I suppose you're right.... You talk about that Levi often." 

Eren glares at her for a moment. "I do not!"

"Oh boy yes you do. His name comes out of your mouth so much I begin to wonder how much he's on your mind." 

"He's just a friend, 'Kasa. I've told you and everyone that a million times." 

"Doesn't matter how much you say it, I'm still convinced you like him a little bit."

Eren blushes, and thankfully nothing more is mentioned about it. 

"I'll ask Hanji, but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to come." 

Mikasa grins. "Sweet. I might even bring my own bike." 

Eren gaps at her. "You have a bike?"

"Oh yeah. My uncle taught me and my cousin how to ride when we were much younger. I mean, I never got to ride as much as my cousin did because he was older, but I always found it to be a lot of fun. So of course I have a bike. I do need to ride it more." 

Really, Eren doesn't know what to say to that. He has so many questions but so little words that he'll allow to escape his mouth. 

"You... you literally have a bike and you never bothered mentioning coming with the group earlier?" 

Mikasa shrugs. "They're your and Hanji's friends. I'm not going to invite myself over even if I have a bike myself." 

Eren sighs. "I suppose that's fair. But yeah, I'll definitely see if you can come. And if you can, you're giving me a ride."

"Sure thing," she says, smiling sweetly at him. 

Around then, Mikasa's phone rings. Eren reads the contact out as Annie and doesn't say a word as the female leaves the table in order to step outside and answer the call. He had always wondered how they were doing. Yes, they were dating, but they were super discreet about everything. It wasn't genuinely frustrating for Eren because of how much he wanted to know. He had so many questions and no ways to get them answered. 

Mikasa returns, not bothering to sit down as she begins packing up her things quickly. "Annie needs me to pick her up, something happened with her car. I'll catch you later though?" 

Eren grins. "Sure thing! Tell your girlfriend hi for me," he says. 

Mikasa glares, flipping him off and making her way towards the cafe door. She honestly reminded him so much of someone but he couldn't really place who. 

 

---

 

Of course Hanji said yes. In fact, she had said the more the merrier. Eren had though this was seriously cool. Of all surprises Mikasa had been keeping from him, her having a motorcycle was by far the coolest one. And of course she would have a sports bike. She had a red and black Kawasaki Ninja. No, it was no flashy old bike like everyone in the gang had, but her's fit her all the same. It made Eren excited, as well as a little jealous. 

Now he really needed to get a bike of his own. He might have a leather jacket, but Mikasa still seemed a step ahead of everyone and she only knew Hanji. Even if it was barely. 

"Do you like her?" Mikasa asks, leaning against the bike. 

Eren grins widely at her. "She really suits you!" He exclaims. Mikasa replies with a warm smile. 

"That's good. I filled her up after I got home from school so we should be free to go. You'll need to point me in the right direction of this Erwin guy's house." 

Eren nods and Mikasa throws him her helmet. "I only have one helmet, so I'd prefer you use it instead of me. It just seems safer." The brunet reluctantly agrees, slipping it on over his head. It was extremely snug, so he was glad it wouldn't be a very long ride or he might die from the lack of blood circulation to his brain.

The pair get situated on Mikasa's bike before turning and driving away from the house. 

 

---

 

"So Eren is bringing his friend?" Levi asks. 

Hanji giggles. "Aw Levi. Are you jealous?" She asks jokingly. 

The man grunts, glaring at the brunette. "What the fuck kind of question is that? I'm literally just asking you if the stupid kid is bringing his friend," he says sourly, crossing his arms tightly. 

Erwin chuckles, entering the living room. "Yes, Levi. Eren is bringing his friend. What did you say her name was Hanji?" 

"Ah her name is Mikasa!" 

Levi is slightly caught off guard with this. Mikasa must just be some common name. Because really, he doesn't hear it very often, but it has to be common. It'd be... weird if it wasn't. 

Erwin hums, nodding. "Mikasa has her own bike too. Eren told me he had no idea she even had one and they've been friends since kindergarten." 

Good to hear. Nothing better than a couple of childhood friends with a long, shared past. 

Yes, it's true. Levi was a little bitter about Eren's friend accompanying them. Mikasa was one of Eren's friends that he never really seemed to hear about, just occasionally. So hopefully they weren't as close as Levi had suspected them to be. Levi really didn't know why he was bitter about it anyway. It wasn't like Eren didn't have a bunch of friends. The kid was a very friendly guy, that's just something that happens. There was nothing to be bitter about. Yet, Levi still found himself out to be this way. It wasn't like he was going to share it with anyone though, he knows what kind of teasing and whatever else he would receive from the rest of the group if he were to tell everyone he was uncomfortable with Eren's friend coming. Hanji would pitch it as jealously. 

But could it be jealousy? 

No. Most definitely not. 

There was a hearty knock on the door that stirs Levi out of his thoughts. He watches as Erwin moves across the room, just barely beating Nanaba to the door. He opens it, smiling and greeting Eren as he always would, and Levi can hear Erwin stop and shake hands with someone he couldn't quite see. 

Eren had stepped in before his friend as Erwin was speaking with her. The brunet makes eye contact with Levi from across the room, smiling warmly and giving a small wave. Levi's heart heats a tiny bit, the tingle reaching all the way to his toes. It was weird, it had been seemingly happening a lot. He smiles softly himself, returning Eren's wave with a nod. Eren's friend moves into the house before Erwin does as the blond shuts the door and Levi watches as she enters. 

And then his blood runs cold. 

"Mikasa?!" 

 

Chapter Text

Eren was anxious as fuck. 

From the looks of the awkward situation, Levi somehow knew Mikasa, and he sure as hell would be giving her shit about it later if it ended up being important. 

His comrade had stopped in her tracks upon hearing her name spoken so harshly. 

"Levi?" She asks, stiffening a little bit.

The air is tense, setting the onlookers in an anxious trance while the two emotionless bastards gapped at each other for several seconds. For Eren, this could determine his life or death. His suffering or his joy. 

Though, out of every outcome of this situation Eren could think up, none of them begun with Levi smiling of all things. But here he was, the bastard himself was smiling at his best friend like she was the sun in the sky. Eren couldn't determine if relief or annoyance was his current dominant emotion. 

Levi then continues to surprise the lot, moving towards Mikasa with his arms outstretched. Even more odd, Mikasa goes to do the same, the two meeting in a strong embrace with a few laughs thrown around here and there. 

Eren was practically shitting himself. 

After many awkward moments of everyone watching the pair excitedly hug, they release each other, Levi patting Mikasa hard on the shoulder. 

"I knew there were no other Mikasa's in existence when Eren mentioned your name. I feel stupid for not putting it together," Levi says.

"Honestly, I don't know why the name 'Levi' and the word 'motorcycle' didn't give it away immediately," Mikasa says, rolling her eyes. 

Eren still couldn't find any words to approach the situation, so he continued to stare. Ha hi though, was able to find some sort of sentence to spit out. 

"So... You two know each other?" She asks awkwardly, clearing her throat at the end of her sentence. 

Levi throws her a glare quickly, somewhat easing everyone's anxiety. At least he wasn't completely gone. 

"No. I've never met this female in my fucking life, four-eyes." 

Mikasa snorts, turning and giving Levi a look. "You seriously haven't changed. You're pathetic." 

Levi lightly punches her shoulder in response. 

"Do you mind clarifying how exactly you two know each other?" Eren finally questions. 

Mikasa smiles a little, putting an arm across Levi's shoulders. 

"Do you really not see the similarities? Eren, Levi is my cousin." 

 

--

 

Even if Mikasa was Levi's cousin that she hadn't seen in about 6 years, that didn't mean she had to hog him the ENTIRE evening. He invited her tonight. She shouldn't be leaving him alone. 

"You seem mopey," Hanji says, taking a seat on the bench next to the brunet. He had his face in his hands, elbows on his knees, and his eyes burning holes into the backs of the Ackerman-buddies' heads. It wasn't fair. He wanted to skip rocks with them too.

"It's not like they're the only people you can have fun with, Eren," Hanji says, and the boy looks to her. "You can hang out with me as well," Hanji adds.

Eren smiles a little bit, sitting up from his previous depressing position. 

"You're right, Hanji. I guess I just feel... odd. I've know Mikasa my whole life and I never knew Levi was her cousin." 

Hanji snorts a little at that. "You seriously had no idea? She never mentioned a cousin Levi?" 

Eren shrugs. "She might've, but like hell I'd remember from back then. I'm upset she didn't tell me recently." 

"From the looks of it, it seems that they had no idea about the other being associated with you." 

"I suppose that makes sense. I guess I'm just getting upset over nothing." 

Eren sighs, tilting his head back and looking up at the purple, dusty sky. It would be dark soon, and even chillier than it currently was. The footsteps approaching him and Hanji on the bench startled him, so he looked back to see Mikasa and Levi standing in front of him. 

"Yes?" Eren questions, smiling a little. 

Levi rolls his eyes. "How the fuck do you stand being her friend. I've forgotten how annoying she is," Levi asks, crossing his arms. 

This upsets Mikasa, for she turns to punch Levi's shoulder immediately afterwards. Honestly, it was endearing to see Mikasa show more emotion. She seemed relaxed and content, Levi as well. It was a good look for the both of them. 

"I'll have you know Eren happens to adore me. Hanji here as well." 

"You're still a menance," Levi whispers. 

Mikasa promoty crushed his toes. 

 

--

 

Everyone withing the gang had seemed very happy that Levi and Mikasa had been reunited, even if it was unexpected. Upon getting ready to leave, Mikasa and Levi exchanged phone numbers and promised to meet for dinner sometime within the next few weeks. Something within Eren was screaming that he should get some sort of reward since he had in fact, brought them back together. Though, he never mentioned anything, and gave a big smile and wave to everyone, including Levi before him and Mikasa took off on their own separate way from the rest. 

Eren felt awkward upon arriving home as he got off of Mikasa's bike. Thankfully though, the girl took it upon herself to break the silence. 

"I'm sorry that I totally ditched you for Levi tonight. I didn't exactly expect to see my fucking cousin of all people there. Especially since he's the one you talk about so often anymore." 

Eren's face heats up and he crosses his arms. "I do not! And you were the one who kept it a secret from me that he was your cousin."

"Eren, there are several men in this city who are probably named Levi. I apologize that I was supposed to pick my cousin out through a few doting words and story tellings." 

Eren rolls his eyes, shifting his weight between feet. 

"Tell me a bit about your childhood with Levi, considering I don't know it very well I guess," Eren says. Curiosity had been poking at his ribs for the entire evening, he was absolutely itching to know more about them. 

Mikasa shrugs a little bit. 

"Levi's mom was my dad's cousin, therefore Levi is my second cousin. Levi never knew his dad and his mother died when he was young, so he didn't have a strong relationship with her either, so his uncle Kenny took him in. Kenny is a... rough man, but he honestly did his best to raise Levi as well as an uncle with no experience could. Kenny is in a motorcycle gang, and has always been involved in some pretty fucked up shit, so Levi was exposed to that at a young age. He taught Levi how to ride a motorcycle and to fight, and I even got to learn those things as well during family get together's and whenever I'd be dropped off at Kenny's house. He might not be my uncle exactly, but he just kind of grew into that light for me. He has good intentions."

"I would see Levi whenever Kenny needed to go somewhere and didn't want to take Levi, or seem irresponsible in the family's eyes, so he'd drop Levi off at my house. He was annoying, but I still considered him my brother, since I was an only child and all. Him being one as well just meant he cared for me the same way. We were close and had similar personalities and interests. My mom still tells me to this day that I act just like Levi, even if it's been 6 years since she last saw him as well. Really, it used to annoy the hell out of me until I was older and missed him," Mikasa inhales, moving to speak again. 

"Kenny got involved in some shit about 6 years ago, which lead to him having to bail. It hit Levi pretty hard, and he wanted to fend for himself as he felt like Kenny leaving was his fault. He stayed with us and a few relatives for a year or so before he was able to move out by himself. I haven't seen him since he moved out," Mikasa smiles warmly in the distance. "I'm just so happy that he didn't die out there. Levi was involved in a lot of gang shit during his childhood so we always worried for him. It's good to see that he's doing well."

Mikasa turns, shrugging at Eren. 

"I'm sorry if that was long and boring. I'm just so surprised I saw him again."

Eren quickly panics. "No! Don't be sorry, I'm glad you told me. I feel like I understand him a little better now," Eren says, patting Mikasa's shoulder. 

She grins at him a little bit. "How could you possibly know him any better? Don't you quite literally study his every move?" 

With this, Eren squeaks and moves to hit Mikasa, but she dodges him, giggling loudly to herself. Finally, the girl moves forward and hugs Eren tightly. 

"Thank you for inviting me. I had a fantastic time," she whispers. 

Eren smiles, hugging his friend harder and closes his eyes. 

"You're welcome anytime you want to come, 'Kasa." 

Chapter Text

Levi never particularly liked Valentine's Day. It didn't seem to have much of a purpose, like why would you need a day where you showed your significant other how much you lust over them? Wasn't that something that could not only be done every day, but also in the comfort of your home? If there ever was anything that made him pleased with it though, it was the business his tattoo parlor received around that time.

Couples would show up leading up to and on the holiday wanting a matching tattoo of some sorts. Levi’s personal favorites were the ones who either wanted the face of the other on some part of their body, or their name. Levi always had a guilty pleasure for telling people who would persist they wanted that it was permanent, just in case their relationship wasn't. If anything, that upset people the most and it was entertaining and annoying in the same bundle. Nobody wants to be told that they’re making a bad decision. And when if they came in several months later wanting it covered up, Levi had the opportunity to silently hold his “told you so” over their heads.

This Valentine's Day was like any other, a few couples had come in, but thankfully they'd been booked with Gunther and Eld every time, so he didn't have to warn them about it being permanent and that they should back out immediately. Levi was always more harsh on them than his coworkers were.

Levi hears his phone buzz from a surface in his workspace. The Ackerman had been deep in his thoughts, tidying up different areas around his workspace. He looks at it for a moment before going to pick it up

Hey shorty! Do you wanna get a drink with Erwin, Mike and I tonight?? It’ll be fun, I promise!

Levi’s face forms into a scowl.

Why? It's only Valentine’s Day.

Becauseeeeee!!! We haven't hung out in weeeeekksssss!!! I miss your grumpy face :(((

The tattoo artist groans.

I don't want to go drinking with you. It's a weeknight, you have class tomorrow.

I've gone to class with a hangover before, grumpy elf

That’s not responsible. You should be focusing on your education. Besides, I have clients booked up all afternoon tomorrow.

Come onnn! We’re all single and sad, just come drink with us

Levi rolls his eyes, considering putting his phone away and continuing cleaning before his next client comes in.

Eren is working tonight ;)

Levi hurriedly types out a message before slapping his phone down on the counter and stomping away to find some paper towels and cleaner, earning looks from his coworkers and the few customers around.

Fine. Just this once.

 

--


“So, do you have plans tonight?” Mikasa questions, taking a short sip out of her coffee cup.

Levi shrugs, setting his cup down on the table in front of him. “Hanji messaged me earlier asking me if I wanted to get a drink with her, Erwin and Mike tonight. Apparently everyone is single and sad, so they want to go for a drink.”

Mikasa raises a brow. “Isn't Hanji aware there are classes tomorrow? It is the middle of the week, after all.”

“She is, but she doesn't seem to care about it. She's been to class with a hangover before, anyway.”

Mikasa offers a weak shrug in response, taking a bite out of her muffin. It was nice getting regular coffee with his cousin, Levi thought. It was good getting to see her more now, even if she was insanely annoying at times. He still loved her.

“I have a date with Annie,” Mikasa says. “She’s ordering pizza and we’re going to play video games at her apartment.”

Levi hums. That was right, he kept forgetting she had a girlfriend.

“That sounds rather sweet. Sounds like a lot more fun than my evening will be.”

Mikasa chuckles. “Where are you guys going to get a drink at? Titan?”

Levi scoffs. “More than likely knowing them. They can't seem to go anywhere fresh and new. Humans are creatures of habit, I suppose.”

“Eren will be working tonight. Not like it's a big deal: the idiot couldn't get a date anyway.”

“Him and I are in the same boat then,” Levi says, laughing a little.

Mikasa rolls her eyes. “You can't get a date because you're ugly as fuck.”

Levi sends her a harsh look. “Who taught you to speak like that?”

She sits back a little, eyes shifting towards the ceiling. “Let's see… ah yes, you and Uncle Kenny.”

“Fair enough,” Levi pauses. “It's funny though , you happen to look like both of us.”

At this, Mikasa sticks her tongue out, and earns a hearty chuckle from the male. “Are you indirectly saying that I'm ugly and Eren is not?” He asks.

“Eren isn't bad looking on the eyes. I used to have a crush on him when we were younger. Really, he's only ever gotten more attractive. Though, I'm not interested. And taken,” she says. Levi shrugs, silently agreeing with the statement. Mikasa then leans a little bit closer to him, squinting as she does so. “Though… You think he is, don't you?”

Levi tilts his head a little bit. “I think what?”

“That Eren’s attractive,” she replies.

“I never said I did.”

“Levi,” Mikasa starts, clasping her hands together, “you’re easy to read. For me anyway, but that's because we’re family. I can tell you think Eren is hot.”

“I do not.”

“Do too.”

“This is immature, Mikasa.”

“No, Levi, this is fact. You definitely think he's attractive. Come on, you have to admit it. I saw the way you smiled at him during that last bike ride. You like him, don't you?”

Levi pauses, glancing at the table for a moment. “I really don't know.”

“Do you think you want to pursue him?”

“Eren is just a friend, Mikasa.”

“That you want to pursue,” Mikasa finishes.

Levi fixes her with a glare. “You and Hanji seem to have it in your minds that I'm attracted to Eren. I'm going to tell you now that it's not true. He's just been a friend to me in this past 4 months. There's nothing more going on.”

Mikasa hums a little, finishing off her muffin easily. “It's okay if you do like him,” she says after clearing the food out of her mouth. “He likes you too.”

Levi looks at her for a moment.

“It's true! He does. You're quite literally all he talks about. Do you not remember he painted a picture of you and gave it to you for your birthday? Eren’s never done something like that before. Besides, if he's going to like anyone this much, I'd hope it would be someone who I know and trust,” Mikasa shrugs. “Besides, you two would look really dashing together.”

Levi doesn't say anything, just keeps a quiet look on her. Mikasa sighs.

“You don't have to believe me, but the signs are there,” she begins to stand, grabbing her things as Levi follows suit to do the same. They walk out to the sidewalk outside the coffee shop together, and begin to say their goodbyes, making plans to do so again in a few weeks whenever Levi could have an afternoon off. They hug, and Levi begins walking in the opposite direction of his cousin before he hears her call something to him. He stops, turning to look at her.

“If you break my best friend’s heart I'll kick your ass!” She calls, flashing a smile towards him and then turns back around, continuing to walk in the direction of her vehicle.

Levi only rolls his eyes and curses to himself. Maybe he should disown her.


--


Thankfully, the parking lot to the bar wasn't overly packed, so there wouldn't be an immense amount of people to witness Hanji’s potential hysterics as she would progressively get more and more drunk throughout the evening. Levi was there to babysit, nothing else. Hanji, oddly enough, hadn't teased him about agreeing to come seemingly on the fact that Eren would be working tonight. It wasn't important, but it seemed odd, making the male seem uneasy throughout the duration of their car ride to the establishment. Thankfully enough, Mike was a very quiet guy, and didn't have anything important to say to Levi as he trailed through his thoughts. He always liked Mike.

Upon arriving, Erwin decided it would be best if they sat at a booth, as it would be taking up plenty of bar room if they all sat up there. Erwin also hadn't had dinner and was wanting to order some food anyway. The decision was logical, and clearly upset Hanji as she wanted to be able to talk to Eren. With Hanji on her way to getting pretty drunk, he didn't need her sitting up there blabbering drunken lies to Eren about anything that involved Levi in particular.

They sat, ate, drank and conversed on the better half of half an hour before Hanji began wailing about needing another drink. Their waitress Mina was nowhere to be seen, as the bar was busy enough and she probably had many other duties to fulfill. Apparently, since Levi was the baby sitter, and sitting on the outside on his and Hanji’s side of the booth, it was his job to go up to the bar and order her and the others another drink. Erwin claimed he could put the drinks on his tab and that he'd cover it later, which Levi was very thankful for, but also concerned about. How much money did Erwin even have on that tab?

Eventually, Levi decided that it wasn't a big deal and marched his way up to the bar, sliding into an empty barstool near where Eren happened to be cleaning out a glass. The brunet momentarily glanced up and he flashed Levi a quick smile as he continued to clean.

“Levi! I saw you guys come in, but I'm sorry it's so packed that I couldn't help you guys out,” Eren says.

Levi shakes his head, smiling back at the young man. “It's no big deal, Eren. I actually need to get all of us another drink. Well, except for me. I do happen to have work tomorrow and can't risk going out and drinking when my job consists of skin and needles.”

Eren chuckles to himself, his pearly whites showing themselves. “I understand. I can get you some now.”

Levi waits as Eren prepares the drinks, watching him as he does so. He looks like a pro, and Levi would be lying if he said he wasn't a bit jealous. It was entertaining to watch him, as much as Levi would like to keep that to himself. The boy returns momentarily, having the three drinks all ready to take back to his drunk friends. Levi takes a careful hold of all three glasses and gives Eren a curt nod as a departure as Eren just smiles in response. Before Levi can get too far though, Eren calls his name and Levi turns to him.

“Do you… happen to have any plans after 10:30?” Eren questions nervously.

Levi awkwardly gives him a look. “I don't believe so. I think that's when Mike wanted to head out. Why?”

“Would you want to go do something with me? If you don't want to it's totally fine. I didn't know if you had work in the morning or anything.”

Levi smiles a little at Eren’s bashfulness. This is the first time either of them had asked the other to do something with them. It was sort of exciting to the Ackerman.

“Depends on what you have in mind, Jaeger,” Levi replies, smirking.

Eren chuckles. “I guess you'll just have to find out,” he responds, a playful tone was biting his words.

Levi shrugs to himself. “Why the fuck not. Let's see if you're any fun by yourself.” With that, Levi turns and walks back towards his table, unaware of the young man smiling widely to himself.

 

--


10:30 arrived sooner than anticipated, and Eren’s shift was ending, as was his friend’s amazing night out. In all honesty, Levi enjoyed hanging out with just the three of them. There was something about how they all interacted that made him comfortable, even if Hanji was spitting drunk. Erwin had a very dad-like presence and knew whenever Hanji needed to be done drinking. Mike always had crazy stories to tell them about his days at work and just about and they were always entertaining to hear. Hanji, despite how annoying she could be, was always there for Levi and he found her clinginess charming, in a friend sort-of way.

Levi informed Erwin of his established plans with Eren as they walked out the door, Mike and Erwin on either side of her to assist her walking. Thankfully, she wasn't as drunk as he had anticipated her being. All Erwin did in response was bid Levi a good night and smile at him as the two men carried their intoxicated friend in the general direction of their vehicle. Levi, on the other hand, followed Eren out of the bar, hoping they'd reach the kid’s car soon as the chill in the wind picked up, basically punching them in the face. Upon arriving at Eren’s vehicle, Levi began his questioning.

“Okay, dumbass. What plans did you have in mind for this evening?” Levi asks, shivering and pulling his coat closer to himself.

Eren laughs a little, pulling out of the parking lot. “Have you ever been ice skating before?” He asks.

Levi’s eyes widen instantly.

“You bastard. I fucking hate ice skating.”

Eren snickers. “What happened to you that made ice skating so tragic?”

“I went a few years ago with Hanji, Erwin, Mike and Nanaba. I was already terrified to begin with and I went to reach out for Four-Eyes and I fell and ended up injuring my knee cap.”

Eren gasps a little. “Wow really? What happened to it?”

“Nothing major, of course. The inside of the bone of my knee cap was bruised and I couldn't walk without a heavy limp for a few weeks. Thankfully, my work consists of sitting down and concentrating, so I never had any problems. The only problem was I couldn't clean the damn house for a few weeks so Mike had to do it for us.”

This causes Eren to laugh a little, but it ceases following one of Levi’s stern glances.

“Seems tragic. Are you too traumatized to go with me then?” The brunet questions, batting his eyes at his passenger.

Levi rolls his own and clicks his tongue.

“You're absolutely disgusting.”

Eren gasps at this as well, appearing offended. “You wound me, Levi Ackerman,” he says mockingly.

“Yeah, yeah. You’ll get over it eventually.”

 

--

 

“Eren this is fucked up. This is a horrible fucking idea.”

Levi was tense as balls, firmly holding his gloved hands against the outside of the wall while Eren attempted to pull him off of it.

“What's are you a goddamn cat?? Let go of the wall, Levi.”

“Are you ballistic? Never, fuck out of here.”

Eren groans, pulling harder on Levi’s torso. “You have to learn to face your fears, Levi!” He yells.

“This is one damn fear that's gonna stick with me, thank you very much,” Levi replies, much to Eren’s disappointment.

Eventually, Eren gives up, allowing Levi to hold himself against the wall. They weren't even on the ice yet and this was already turning out to be harder than planned.

“I'm not going to let you fall, Levi. I can hold your hand, and I happen to have some pretty fast reflexes,” the boy says.

Levi gives him a look, raising a brow. “I'm not going to be treated like a damn princess, Jaeger.”

“I'm not treating you like a princess. I'm treating you like a child, because that's how you're acting.”

Levi takes one hand off the wall in order to flip the younger man off, and Eren takes this as his chance, grabbing the other man's hand and pulling him away from the wall. Levi squeaks a little bit as he is pulled quite forcefully from his safe-space and Eren begins dragging his horrified form towards the ice. There weren't that many people out this late to skate. On the ice there were only around 2 other couples, and then there was another couple in the stands, talking to one another. Levi had plenty of room, and even if he was to fall, no one would be there to see it honestly.

“It really won't be that bad. I'll show you.”

Eren pulls Levi towards him more gentle this time, and puts the man against his side, wrapping his left arm around Levi’s back, left hand resting on Levi’s waist. His right hand crosses his own front and grasps Levi’s right hand in his own, holding him. Levi had to admit, as gay as this seemed, he was much more calm like this, even as Eren began slowly inching them towards the ice.

They step out onto it, Levi being able to feel the coldness of the ice better, though it wasn't uncomfortable. He felt a lot more calm against Eren’s warm, solid form.

“Okay. Are you ready to go out onto the ice?” Eren asks softly, leaning down so Levi can hear him clearly. Eren almost sounded nervous, and that was something he'd almost never heard come out of the young man. Even so, he trusted him, and gave a little nod in response.

Eren steps one foot onto the ice, motioning for Levi to do the same. He complies, slowly setting his right foot on the ice.

“I'm going to push off with my other foot, okay? You’re going to have to put your other foot down when I do so.”

Levi doesn't reply, watching as Eren moves his left foot towards the ice and follows suit. It was a little rocky, but ultimately, Levi didn't have to do any work. He was just sliding along with Eren holding him, and really it wasn't so bad.

 

--

 

Levi eventually got the hang of it and his pride came into check, therefore he then refused for Eren to assist him, aside from the occasional catch of the elbow, or the pull of the hand. Eren was skating backwards in front of Levi, ranting on and on about something that Jean did at lunch earlier in the week and how ridiculously stupid it was. Levi was listening as much as he could, for it helped him in not thinking about falling, but he also wanted to be able to be aware of his actions.

Without any warning, Eren falls backwards and smacks his ass into the ice, rolling onto his back afterwards. Levi gasps, stopping right in front of the brunet. Eren groans a little bit as Levi bends down to hold out his hand.

“Are you okay, Jaeger?” He questions, concern filling his voice and features.

Eren lifts his head, a big smile crossing his face. He lets out a hearty laugh and then reaches up to grab Levi’s hand. “You know, Levi. I thought you were the one that was going to fall.”

Levi’s concerned expression drops and is replaced with a glare. He drops Eren’s hand and begins to slowly skate away, hands shoved down in his pockets. He hears Eren call for him and struggle to stand up, the other male completely ignoring his desperate cries. In all reality, Levi was attempting to push down the heat that was climbing up from his hand.

 

--

 

Eren drive Levi home after they had finished skating, which hadn't been long after Eren’s tragic fall. The ride wasn't awkward, it consisted of Eren telling a story about his day and allowing Levi to include his input on the different events. It was relaxed, it was comfortable. Levi rather enjoyed it.

Upon pulling into his driveway with Levi’s guidance, Eren sets his vehicle in park and turns to smile at his passenger.

“Thanks for agreeing to come with me, I had a great time!” He says.

Levi smiles back lightly. “I did too, Jaeger. Hopefully I'll see you soon.”

“Yeah, for sure!” Eren agrees with a nod. “We should plan something to do together soon!”

At that, Levi can only find it in himself to nod and wave to the brunet as he shut the door of the car, making his way towards the door. It was chilly out, and despite having a great time, Levi was ecstatic to finally get some sleep.

Eren honks at him before he drives off and awkwardly hangs out the window in order to wave at Levi, making the other male laugh as he waves back. After unlocking the door to his house, he shuts the door, pressing himself against the back of it, thankful that Mike was not in the living room area. He sighs heavily, eyes closing a little.

Maybe he did have a thing for the brunet.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

If Levi wished anything, it would have to be that he could have some common sense. No one in their right mind would decide that it was a good idea to tell Hanji Zoe that they were crushing on one of their mutual friends. It would lead to pain, suffering and agonizingly awkward moments when the said friend was around.

He had thought about his last interaction with Eren over and over for the past two weeks and realized there was something there that he was starting to feel towards the kid. The one thing that sounded logical to Levi's absolutely rattled brain was that he should definitely tell one of his best friends how he was feeling. She would definitely know what to do about it.

Upon uttering his confession to her, however, she had begun screaming in an insanely high pitch that Levi didn't necessarily know how to handle. It was extremely annoying, and immediately following her screech Levi slowly lowered his face into his hands.

What was he thinking?

Telling Hanji was an insanely stupid idea and he should've known that.

"I knew it! I KNEW IT!!" the mad scientist exclaimed, pacing the room while laughing to herself.

Levi contemplated suicide, faking his death and running away to a different country. Every plan to get away from this immensely awkward situation was running through Levi's horrified mind.

"You do realize what this means right?! You can FINALLY be in a relationship and go on dates and get married and-"

Levi eventually raises his head from the encasing of his hands simply to cut off the excited woman.

"No one said anything about any of those, Hanji. All I said was, 'I think I have feelings for him,' nothing more."

Hanji turns around abruptly from her pacing away from him and gives him a look. "So you don't want to date him?"

Levi shrugs at this, taking a small sip from the beer he had grabbed earlier and setting it back on the coffee table. "I really don't know how I feel about him yet. He's a nice guy, don't get me wrong. He's very attractive as well, definitely my type. I just don't know if I'm ready for a relationship. I think you have to be at a sense of peace within yourself before you can truly care for someone else as well," he confesses.

Hanji walks over, sitting next to him softly on the couch.

"I've seen how you interact with him. I know you like him more than you let on and that you two would be great together."

Levi risks a glance at his friend for a moment before sighing and going to rub his temples with his fingers.

"I just don't know if I'm prepared to like him. It's been way too long since I ever thought about dating someone; I'm not so sure I know how to even be in a standard relationship. I don't know the rules or anything, Hanji."

The brunette laughs heartidly, smacking Levi in the middle of his tensed back. "Eren isn't going to care if you know the rules. Besides, there aren't any! Everyone is different, so I'm sure you'd be fine. If you're so worried about it, and if you decide to pursue Eren, just tell him you aren't sure what to do. As long as you aren't stupid about it, I'm positive that he'd be completely understanding."

It was solid advice, he had to give it to her.

Levi nods slowly, reaching for his beer once again when his phone decides to begin ringing from beside him. Retracting his hand in order to grab his device, Levi stops dead in his tracks once he reads the collar ID. Hanji perks up at hearing Levi's buzzing phone against the couch cushion.

"Who is it?" she questions. At her inquiry, Levi attempts to cover the contact name. "Oh, no one!" he squeals.

/Does he hang up?/

/Now was the worst time for this to happen./

Hanji ignores Levi's frantic behavior and swiftly grabs his phone from beside him. Levi lets out a sharp inhale as he goes to grab the phone from her.

"Hanji, give it back," he insists.

Hanji takes a short glance at the screen before her eyes begin bugging out of her head. She practically throws the phone at her friend, sputtering incoherent gibberish at his own gibberish.

"Levi! You have to fucking answer it!" she yells.

Levi begins waving his hands around, staring at the phone like it had slapped his own mother. "I can't just answer it! Who the fuck do you think I am??!" he asks
harshly.

"The phone is going to go to voicemail if you don't answer it and he may get the wrong idea!"

"I could tell him I'm busy later!"

"LEVI ACKERMAN"

At this, Hanji takes the phone back from Levi, swiping in order to answer the call and handing it back to Levi.

Levi begins to have heart palpitations as he begins whiper yelling to Hanji about how much he hated her. She motions with her hands for him to talk into the phone, and as much as he would like to not do that, he complies and lifts the phone to his ear as he swallows his raging heart and pride.

"Yes, Eren?" he asks, attempting to figure out how he normally sounds.

"Levi! Thank God you picked up! I have a favor to ask, if you're not busy, that is," Eren says cheerfully from the opposing end of the call.

Levi carefully clears his throat, his composure slowly returning to him. He was a grown ass adult, he could answer a simple phone call.

"What is it?" he asks.

"Okay, so Mikasa and Annie were going to see a movie tonight and Mikasa had wanted me to come with because I hadn't seen her in like a week because school sucks and is insanely busy, but I didn't exactly want to be third wheeling with them. I asked Armin but he bailed on me because of something stupid like Reiner needing his help with something school related. Anyway, I was wondering if you'd be able to come with us??? Pleasseeee, Levi!!! I'll even buy you a drink and popcorn if you come. I can't be alone with them, they drive me INSANE!!!"

Levi can't hardly understand what he's hearing due to Eren's intense speed of talking. After a moment of silence in trying to fully comprehend what Eren was asking him, Levi begins speaking again.

"What time is this movie exactly?" he questions.

"Awww Levi! You came through for me!!!"

Levi clicks his tongue. "Don't make this harder than it has to be. What time is this movie?"

The other end is silent for a moment and it almost makes Levi think Eren is reconsidering. "Uhhhhh... I think Mikasa said that it was at seven, but I can check with her and text you some more details if you'd like."

"That's fine. Just text me the time for sure when you find out."

"Thank you so much, Levi! I really owe you one!" Eren chirps, ending the call moments afterwards.

Levi sets the phone down on his lap, feeling his lunch begin to crowd up towards his mouth.

"LEEEVVVIIIII!!!" Hanji yells, hugging her friend tightly against her. This doesn't exactly help Levi either, as it only pushes his food from the previous meal further up his throat.

"Fucking let go of me you stupid rat," he groans, thankful for the sweet release following his complaint.

"What's going on in here?"

The two quickly turn, startled by the sudden voice of Erwin who had just entered through the front door, several grocery bags cluttering his arms. He raises a brow at them. "Did I miss something?" he asks.

At this, Hanji opens her mouth in order to scream the news to Erwin, but since Levi knew her all too well, he was able to slap his palm over her mouth, his other arm putting her in a headlock quickly.

"No, definitely not," Levi says, voice clearly strained from having to hold down the fierce animal who was attempting to spill the beans. It was best that Erwin didn't know of his dilemma. It was already a big problem that Hanji knew.

At this, Erwin begins chuckling and just shakes his head, walking to the kitchen in order to begin unloading his grocery bags.

"I don't need to know. But I hope you know I will find out eventually!" he calls in a sing-song voice. Levi rolls his eyes, still struggling to keep Hanji at bay.

He still regrets telling her anything.


--


Eren was frantically attempting to pick out an outfit for the evening. He had clarified the time with Mikasa and had been right when relaying his thoughts to Levi earlier on the phone. He had sent the man a message saying that the movie was indeed at 7, and all Levi had replied with was a thumbs up. It was somewhat disappointing, but Eren didn't expect anything else from him.

Eren was so perplexed on the severity of his outfit that he failed to notice Mikasa slinking into his room. She sat on his bed behind him, watching him as he struggled through different outfit ideas in his mind.

"I still can't believe you lied to Levi," she says to him, watching as he through a few shirts about, scattering them across the floor around his bed.

Eren turns around quickly, giving Mikasa an offended face.

"I did NOT lie to him! I simply stretched the truth," he retorts, resuming his digging through his closet.

"Oh yeah? And how would Armin react if he knew you used him in your little scheme to get your boyfriend to go to the movies with you?" she asks.

Eren groans, not turning around this time. He didn't have time to waste, he needed to stay focused even if he was holding up a conversation.

"He would probably be mad, but hey! I somehow managed to ask Levi out again!"

"We were supposed to go to the movies together. I haven't been able to see you in awhile, this wasn't supposed to be time for you to try and get in my cousin's pants," Mikasa states bluntly.

Eren sends her a glare over his shoulder, then turns to walk over to his bed. He softly sits beside his friend, sighing to himself and refusing to look at her.

"Look, 'Kasa; I really like Levi. I think that us hanging out more will let me build up a stronger friendship with him. I just desperately want him to make the first move, ya know?"

Mikasa rolls her eyes. "Levi is as thick as a rock. He isn't going to know you like him, and even if someone told him he'd try to think of an excuse as to why that wouldn't be true. He's kind of convinced that he isn't supposed to fall in love." Mikasa moves to caress Eren's shoulder and this time he chooses to look at her. "But I really do think he likes you. I've never seen Levi act around anyone like he does with you. There's a side to Levi when he's with you that I never get to see. I think you have a shot, but you've just got to give him time," Mikasa says, smiling at him.

Eren grins a little. "Thank you, 'Kasa. Hopefully he'll be able to notice and make a move on me. I'm going to make sure I'm hella approachable tonight," the brunet says, wiggling his eye brows at his friend.

Mikasa sticks her tongue out at him. "If I was Levi, I'd stay the hell away from you."

"Hey! Fuck you!" Eren yells, going to hit her with a pillow.

At this, she laughs and their little banter of pillow fighting begins, Eren's tragic search for the perfect outfit forgotten, only to haunt him later.


--

If Hanji hadn't forced Levi into his car at 6:15 that evening, Levi would've probably bailed. Look, he had an entire excuse planned out in his head that he had come up with during his time of cleaning Erwin and Hanji's kitchen. When he was stressed, that's what he would do; clean. Hanji had personally took Levi back to his own house in order for her to pick out the perfect outfit for him on his special night. Levi personally didn't care what he wore, he just didn't want it to be hideous.

Luckily, Hanji has a decent sense of fashion and Levi agreed with her on the outfit she chose for him. After dolling him up and bringing him back to her house, Hanji began telling Levi how he could make the first move on Eren that evening. Levi wasn't listening however, as he was just taking the time to let his raging emotions take control of him.

The more accepting Levi became of his feelings, the more he realized how much this "movie" sounded like a date. As he thought about it even more, he further realized how much their little ice skating situation sounded like a date as well.

He buries his face in his hands, screaming into them.

Hanji perks up a little, stopping her rant of how he could hold Eren's hand altogether.

"Levi? Are you okay?"

Levi drags his hands down his face, strained eyes peering over at his friend. He finally moves his hands from his face, the red marks from his fingers still present along his pale complexion. "Do I look like I'm okay, Hanji?"

She sits down next to him, putting an arm around Levi's shoulders. "Eren likes you. Anything you could to to make a move would be appreciated by him," she says, smiling and rubbing her hand on his shoulder in a comforting gesture.

"I'm not exactly worried about making a move, four-eyes. I just don't know if I'm in a good place to enter a relationship. I have a job that requires me to work most days and nights, leaving little time for him. He's even a part time students and a part time worker. We both have little free time. Besides, I just don't know how I feel about him completely. This is a really new thought to me," Levi confesses. He shrugs, lowering his head in defeat.

Hanji giggles. "But you're going to a movie with him," she says.

Levi raises a brow at her. "And?"

"And you clearly have some time for each other. Just do whatever feels natural, everything will go well!"

Levi shrugs a little, accepting defeat. She clearly had a point in the matter.

"Now," she starts, "Let's get you to your car so you can go to this little date of yours."


--


Eren was ragingly nervous. He had ridden with Mikasa and Annie, the ride being mostly awkward while his friends chatted quietly. Now, with the tickets purchased, Eren was waiting in the lobby of the theater for Levi, the other couple already having gone inside. The one thing that made him feel worse was how Annie had told him they could sit away from them in order to give them privacy. That had only escalated his nerves that were bouncing around within him.

Eren glances at his phone in order to impatiently check the time. It was 6:34 and Eren was starting to think Levi deserted him. He was disappointingly awaiting the text message from Levi where he would say something like work had gotten in the way of being able to come. Just as Eren's imaginary panic day dream began to truly set in, the doors to the lobby of the theater opened, catching Eren's attention.

Before him was the man he had been waiting for, and while a wash of relief covered Eren, a sense of bulging attraction did as well. Levi was dressed... Nice. Nicer than Eren had expected him to be dressed. Somehow the long coat and creme turtle neck sweater fit an aesthetic that Levi clearly had and Eren had failed to notice. The punk facade had faded away and an English professor aesthetic had come in.

"Eren? Hello? Are you even listening to me?"

Eren startles into the realm of the living rapidly and it visibly startles the man standing in front of him.

"Ha! Levi! Hi! Sorry, I was totally out of it just then," Eren says, laughing awkwardly and rubbing the back of his neck.

Eren sees Levi smile momentarily before the smile is forcibly pushed from the man's features. "Yeah, I could tell. Where's Mikasa and her girlfriend?" Levi asks
nervously, looking around Eren in hopes to see the couple standing close by.

"They already went inside to get seats. I figured I'd wait out here for you because, well, I have your ticket and you were the person I ended up inviting," the brunet
explains.

Levi nods approvingly, accepting the story Eren had relayed and he begins walking towards the concession stand counter. "Were you going to get something?" Levi questions.
Eren laughs a little at this.

"Theater food is too expensive for a college student," he says.

"Well, I'm not a college student. Do you want anything?" Levi asks.

Eren gives him a suspicious glance. "Are you wanting to buy me something, Levi?"

The shorter male shrugs, pulling his wallet out of his pocket. "You bought my movie ticket, didn't you? It's the least I can do," he admits. "Now, if you don't tell me
what you want I'm going to pick something out for you."

Eren squeaks a little, looking up at the menu, allowing Levi to send him a small glance of adoration.

"I'd take a Dr. Pepper and some Mike & Ike's if they have them," he says quietly. Levi chuckles softly at Eren's shyness and steps up to the counter in order to order drinks and candy for the both of them.

Once the cashier had finished getting their items together, Levi hands Eren his drink and box of Mike & Ike's, to which Eren thanks him quietly. The short walk to the show room was also awkward in Eren's opinion. He was sweating, full understanding of his crush hitting him like a ton of bricks. Eren's erratic breathing must've caught the attention of the other male, for Levi glanced in Eren's direction, a perplexed look on his face. How was Levi so calm and Eren couldn't even contain his composure?! So much for being hella 'approachable'.

"Oi, brat."

Eren quickly looks over, a startled squeak escaping his lips.

"You look like you're going to pass out, are you okay?" Levi asks, concern filling his tone.

"Yeah!" Eren sqwaks, "I'm fantastic!"

Levi shakes his head. He wasn't convinced, but decided not to press on the poor, startled boy any further.

They enter the show room, squinting a little in order to try and see better in the dark. Finally, Eren spots Annie and Mikasa. The two had chosen their seats on an end, another group of people only one seat away from them. He groans, there was no way Levi and him were going to be able to sit with them.

"They didn't save seats for us, it looks like we're going to be on our own," Eren says flatly, glaring daggers in the girls' direction. Mikasa sticks her tongue out, something Eren catches but slips Levi's notice.

The shorter male shrugs, beginning to look for two seats for them to sit in.

"There," Levi finally says, "-there's a couple seats in the middle of the top row."

Eren squints, attempting to see what Levi was seeing. Finally, he spots the two seats, thankfully with gaps between the people who were closest to them. He nods, beginning to walk towards the top row.

Once awkwardly seated, Levi and Eren both sigh, turning to give each other looks, then the two begin to chuckle.

Thankfully, in order to save Eren's dignity, they didn't have to engage in much small talk before the movie began.


--


"Okay, to be fair I didn't know Mikasa picked a romantic comedy," Eren says, laughing a little bit as he slurped on his milkshake.

Levi watches Eren conquer the milkshake with a look of question and disgust.

"I don't usually like them, but this one was funny," Eren says, lifting his head and grinning at Levi.

Levi quickly hides his look of confusion and nods accordingly. "It was pretty funny, and I hate romantic comedies," he admits, carefully placing a fry into his mouth.

Following the movie, Eren and Levi had talked briefly with Mikasa and Annie, mostly for Mikasa to ask Levi if he could drive Eren home as she was going to go over to Annie's house for the rest of the evening. Levi reluctantly said yes following Eren's outcry of embarrassment of potentially being a bother to the other man. Eren was no bother to him, the only reason his decision was reluctant was because he was a little nervous about being alone with the brunet. After exiting the theater and saying goodbye to Annie and Mikasa, Levi had suggested to Eren that they get dinner together. This was mostly due to Levi not having had dinner, but also because Hanji had mentioned something about taking him out to eat. Eren had been surprised, but complied, saying that sounded nice.

"I'm glad you liked it. It would've sucked if I would've invited you and you hated the movie," Eren says.

Levi goes to reply, but stops whenever Eren begins slurping at his milkshake again. "Didn't you just have candy?" Levi questions.

Eren looks at the other man in shock, momentarily stopping his furious attempt to finish the dessert.

"Uh... Yes? I'm an adult, Levi. I ordered it and am going to pay for it. I knew what I was getting into," he says, resuming his drinking.

Levi rolls his eyes. "You're going to get fat if you keep up that diet," Levi retorts.

Eren chuckles a little bit, sliding the empty milkshake glass towards the end of the booth table, going to grab one of the neglected fries from his plate.

"I work out regularly. I thought you knew this."

Levi gives him a look. "How was I supposed to know?"

Eren leans forward on his elbows towards Levi playfully. "You came to the haunted house on Halloween, didn't you? I was half naked that night," Eren says, smirking a little bit.

Levi's pale complexion shifts into a much brighter, pinker one before he clears his throat, almost having choked on his food. Eren laughs a little bit. "Does that ring a bell for you?" he asks.

The blue-eyed male slowly regains his composure, rolling his eyes at the boy. Following this, Levi throws a fry in Eren's direction, it landing square in the middle of the brunet's forehead. Eren sends Levi a playful look.

"You didn't answer my question, Levi."

"I'm not obligated to answer it, idiot."

Eren groans, shoving a couple fries into his mouth.

"Oi, do you have any manners?" Levi asks.

Eren sends Levi an offended look before beginning to chew with his mouth open, mortifying Levi in the process. Eren smiles successfully as Levi begins scolding him about how rude it is to chew with your mouth open and asking him if he was raised in a barn. The usual mom scolding lines.


--


The ride back to Eren's house was loud, mostly filled with Eren and Levi finally getting comfortable in their alone time together. It made Levi feel better that he was less tense, Eren seeming to open up a little more as well to fulfill his duty of being himself.

Upon arriving to the brunet's house, Eren began complaining.

"I don't want to go home. We should go do something else instead," Eren says, slumping in the car seat.

"No, it's already 10 and you have school tomorrow. Not to mention I have work in the morning as well."

Eren groans, going to unbuckle his seat belt.

"I could just come home with you," Eren says playfully, a look of regret passing his features immediately afterwards.

Levi coughs a little, feeling his cheeks heat up slightly. "Don't say things like that if you don't mean them, brat," Levi says.

Eren looks away momentarily, considering something before looking back. "And what if I did mean it?" he asks in a hushed tone.

Levi refuses to look at Eren, clearing his throat once again.

"I'm sure you don't. Now, go inside," he instructs.

"Yeah, okay, sure," Eren pauses momentarily. "Unless you want to walk me up there?" he questions.

Levi glares at him. "Do you seriously want me to?" he asks.

Eren gives a shy nod, so Levi complies.

The air begins to get tense once again as Levi turns off the ignition and steps out of the vehicle, Eren following suit. Levi walks with his arms closely wrapped around himself from the cold air. They don't look at each other as they turn towards the other and Eren awkwardly moves forward in order to talk.

At this, Levi looks up and they simply stare at one another. It was serene and peaceful for just a moment before Levi came to a collision within his mind. He voices his train of thought out loud, simply mumbling "fuck it" before grabbing the sides of Eren's face and bringing their lips to meet collectively.

Eren lets out a small noise of surprise, not exactly knowing what's going on before his eyes flutter closed. They stay like that for what could be forever, Eren didn't care. The brunet was just beginning to reciprocate the action when Levi leans back, carefully removing his hands from the male's face. Eren's eyes were open and staring simply into Levi's, a lustful expression donning his features before Levi panics. Levi steps away, appearing like a deer caught in the headlights of a vehicle.

"Fuck... I- I gotta go," Levi says softly, walking away quickly and nearly running to his car as Eren begins calling after him frantically, but Levi doesn't bother listening as his own heartbeat bangs recklessly within his head.

He drives off quickly, refusing to look back for he knows that Eren is running towards his vehicle. Silently driving into the night, Levi then begins to regret every choice he's made up until this point. He should have never gotten close enough to Eren in order to develop feelings for him. 

Maybe, just maybe, Levi wasn't meant to be loved.