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A Crown For My Heart

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“So, who’re you going to crown today?”

Mikasa ignored Ymir’s question and shoved the rest of her books into her bag. Students around them were all talking and spilling out of the classroom, on their way to the cafeteria for lunch. She thought about the sandwich she had made for herself and felt her stomach growl.

“Are you ignoring me?” Ymir added, feigning hurt. “I have never been so offended.”

Mikasa rolled her eyes and shouldered her bag. “Ymir, you get offended on a daily basis. About things that don’t even concern you.”

Ymir scoffed and blew out a breath but she didn’t counter, and they both knew Mikasa was right. Historia was watching her carefully, though, and Mikasa felt her stomach sink a little.

“You really have someone, don’t you?” Historia asked.

Mikasa headed towards the door, her friends at her back. She chewed on her lower lip in thought. It had been a little over a month since she and Annie had started dating, and they hadn’t really told anyone. It wasn’t that they were hiding it. There just never seemed to be a good enough time, and Annie was so busy with practice and Mikasa with her studies. They spent all evening together over at the library or Mikasa’s place, and they kissed often underneath the moonlight. Mikasa smiled just thinking about Annie’s soft kisses, heart fluttering.

“Holy shit, that smile means that yes, you do!”

She sighed at Ymir and turned around to look at them. “Okay, fine. Yes I have someone.”

Historia’s face brightened. “Aw, that’s so awesome! I knew you’ve been happier than usual. We’ve hardly seen you after school, too.”

“So who is it?” Ymir prodded. She had a shit eating grin. Mikasa resisted the urge to cup her cheeks and tell her to stop.

She groaned. “Will you promise not to make it a big deal if I tell you?”

Historia and Ymir both nodded and huffed as if they wouldn’t. Mikasa knew they would. It was in their nature. They were idiots (but she loved them). It was about time her friends knew, anyway. She wasn’t hiding it. It was just… nice to keep it private, just between her and Annie. Especially since Annie was their school celebrity. All hell would break loose once the school got wind that Annie Leonhard was officially out of the dating pool. Mikasa inwardly cringed at the flak she knew she would get.

“I’ve been dating someone for the past month,” she started slowly. She waited, made them sweat and stare in expectance as they entered the cafeteria and headed to their usual table. Ymir’s face started to redden and Mikasa decided to put them out of their misery. “It’s Annie.”

Mikasa sat down, but her friends remained standing, staring at her in shock. Historia gathered her wits first and collapsed down in a seat. Ymir started sputtering, opening and closing her mouth like a goldfish. Mikasa snickered.

“Annie who?” Ymir eventually choked out.

“Not the Annie?” Historia added.

Mikasa rolled her eyes. “Yes, the Annie. Annie Leonhard. School hero and heartthrob. She’s my girlfriend. We’re dating. As in we’re gay. For each other.”

Ymir sat down slowly, then a huge grin split her face. “Holy fucking shit. Our nerdy Mikasa is dating the star of the school? This is like some cliché YA novel!”

“Ymir, that’s rude.”

“What? It’s the truth.”

Mikasa chuckled and pulled her food out. She didn’t care if people thought that she was a nerd. She studied her ass off, she kept to herself and she almost always had a book in her hands. Even the teachers expected to see a novel sitting on her desk. Some of them even asked for recommendations. She didn’t like to conform to social ideologies.  The jock and the nerd? No. It was just Annie and Mikasa. They were people, not stereotypes. Ymir, though, was an asshole.

“Have you fucked yet?”

At that Historia whacked her hard in the stomach, and Ymir fell forward, forehead slamming down on the table. She groaned in pain and despair.

“No,” she answered. “But we make out. A lot.” She grinned mischievously and chewed on her sandwich. Ymir was still down and Historia was starting to blush.

“So are you going to crown her? Or should she crown you?”

Mikasa waited until half of her sandwich was eaten before she even thought of a response. Historia was eating as well, absently rubbing a hand over Ymir’s back in comfort, even though she had been the one to smack her—Ymir knew it was coming, she could easily avoid it, but she always acted like an idiot.

“I don’t care who should or shouldn’t do it,” she said. “But I want to do it.”

“When?”

She shut her lunchbox and dusted the crumbs off her hands. “Now.” She pulled a flower crown out of her bag and stood from her seat. Historia’s eyes widened.

Their school had this weird yearly tradition, where before they went on block for exams, they had Flower Day. Students were encouraged to give flowers to their friend, family and crushes. Certain flowers meant certain things. An entire classroom was set up selling many different kinds of flowers, and the whole school had a sweet, flowery smell. Before this Mikasa had never much cared for Flower Day, but since she and Annie were dating, she figured it was time to care. She could have gone with a single flower, like a rose or something else with a significant meaning, but she instead chose a flower crown. It was made up of small flowers of different colours—purple, red, pink, orange and white.

Giving a crown to someone meant that she wanted to be with them forever.

It was cliché, and disgustingly romantic, she knew that. But she felt so much for Annie. They were so young, sure, but she felt like they could really last. Really, really last. She wanted them to. God, she really wanted to spend the rest of her life with Annie.

And that’s only after dating for one month. She was so fucking whipped.

“God speed,” Ymir told her cheerfully. Any trace of being winded was gone. She give a big, toothy grin and a thumbs up. Historia, though, looked concerned.

“Are you sure now is a good time?” Historia asked, glancing across the cafeteria towards where Annie sat with her group of friends. Mikasa followed her gaze.

Annie was seated on top of the table, right in the centre. People were crowded in around her, all talking to each other or trying to get her attention, but she was listening to music through earphones and tapping away at her phone. She looked really bored.

“Yeah,” she told Historia. “I’ll be fine.”

She didn’t need to steel her nerves. She simply made her way over to Annie. Some students started to notice the direction she was walking, and Mikasa could feel eyes starting to watch her. The farther she walked, the more people stared and the quieter the room became. Her stomach started to flutter then, but Mikasa inhaled deeply and forced her legs forward. Annie hadn’t noticed her approaching, not until Mikasa paused in front of her. She hadn’t heard anything, and there was no indication that she had seen Mikasa, but her eyes lifted from her phone and caught Mikasa’s and they stared for a long, silent second.

“What do you want?” Reiner—Annie’s rugby teammate—growled at her, as if her presence was an offence to him.

Annie tugged her earphones out and shoved them into her hoody pocket. A smirk tugged at her lips. “Lost?” she enquired teasingly.

Mikasa rolled her eyes. “Don’t be an ass.” She pointedly ignored Reiner.

Annie scooted closer until they were almost touching. “But you love it when I’m an ass, right? You think it’s hot. Everyone does.”

Mikasa held back a laugh. Instead she forced her face into a deadpan expression. “It’s a complete turnoff.”

Annie pouted. “You’re no fun.” Her eyes flicked down to the object in Mikasa’s hands, and then they widened. “Mikasa?”

Mikasa sucked in a deep breath. Annie’s entire group of friends had gone deathly silent, and they were all staring at her with piercing, judgmental eyes. Mikasa hated to feel herself flush. She lifted the flower crown slightly.

“May I crown you, Annie?”

Reiner snorted loudly. “As if,” he muttered under his breath, but loud enough for her to hear. “Loser thinks she has a chance.”

Annie’s eyes narrowed and darkened in clear anger, though Reiner couldn’t see it. “Actually…” she started, turning to pull her bag closer. She dug around for a bit until she pulled her own flower crown out, then she hopped off the table and grinned up at Mikasa. “Let’s crown each other.”

Mikasa’s grin matched Annie’s. She gently set the crown atop her blonde hair, and then she dipped slightly so Annie could place hers. When she straightened, Annie’s group of friends were staring with open, gaping mouths. Annie turned to all of them, glaring.

“This is my girlfriend,” she told them. “The one I keep mentioning. And you’re all pretensions fucks.”

She took Mikasa’s hand and tugged her forward. They kissed then, softly and unhurried. The cafeteria broke out in surprised, joyful cheering. Mikasa felt her cheeks burn hot and red. When they pulled apart, Annie was grinning stupidly and Mikasa couldn’t help but mirror her.

“I think it’s safe to say that I love you a lot,” Mikasa told her. “Like, really a lot.”

Annie took her other hand too and leaned into her. “That’s okay, I love you a lot too, Mikasa.”

Flower Day that year had been the most interesting by far.