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The Usual

Chapter Text

6.53am

 

Levi

 

"Honestly Hange, if you don't stop fucking calling me whenever you get bored I will block your number and never speak to you again. I am not fucking with you." I spat down the phone. That was the 4th consecutive morning my stupid best friend had called me at 4pm her time to tell me she was bored, and to be perfectly honest I was getting kind of bored of it. I was simply minding my own business, going about my daily routine on my way to my usual simple little cafe before and she had to ruin my schedule.

 

"You know I can always come back to the UK and move in with you again, that way I won't have to call I can just follow you everywhere" The maniac stated.

 

I stopped in my tracks. Move back? Why would she mention something like that so off-hand? The entire reason she moved away was so that she could pursue her dream career in science, and as far as I was aware she was having the time of her life.

 

"Why would you do that then, thought that shitty spider-island was heaven to you".

 

"It is, I love it here, its just..." silence on the call. I leaned against a nearby wall littered with posters of a circus from years ago, knowing I should probably get comfortable for whatever was to come. In my head, though, I worried for my leather jacket's cleanliness; at least I brought a suit to change into today.

 

"Go on, I won't take this piss" I quietly urged, not wanting to startle her but attempting to be supportive.

 

"You sure?" she asked tentatively.

 

I sighed. "Of course I am sure, now just tell me before I'm late"

 

"Okay. Well, the truth is... It's basically that...well really, it isn't a massive deal..but.."

 

"Spit it out four eyes its nearly seven" I huffed.

 

"I miss my snail!" she cried.

 

Her fucking snail.

 

"Hange..." I started

 

"Shortstack you do not understand, I miss my teeny-beany-weeny! Why did I ever think to leave him back home? Levi please bring my sweet prince bean here I miss him so much" she rambled

 

"I'm hanging up and putting my phone on do not disturb. Do not call me back, and once again, never call me that fucking name ever again" and I hung up.

 

There I was, getting worried for my friend, thinking something had happened to ruin her dreams.

 

And she missed her fucking snail.

 

I removed myself from the wall, checked my jacket for any stains and, satisfied to find it clean, resumed walking, when my phone buzzed.

 

Hange at 06:58

Sorry if I made you late, SHORTIE ;);)

Enjoy your poison and ask Erwie for bean pics! x

 

Levi at 06:58

Will do. Bye.

 

Hange at 06:59

Ty!

Now run before the smallest cafe in the city gets packed by all the people out at 7am! Double speed Corpral!

Ft later yh?

ly have a nice day

p.s. u smell

 

I often ask myself why I am friends with Hange. The truth is, she's the only person I have ever met to like my favourite band, muse, as much as me. That and the fact that as a friend she's incredibly kind, caring, sweet, and takes all the attention away from me from her entire presence. She is also hilarious but its hard to appreciate in the morning before a coffee.

 

I took a breath and continued to the coffee shop, walking through the doors at 7am.

 

7am is actually the best time to arrive at the shop as this is when they are just opening so no one else is there to come before me. It also means that I can sit for 2 hours with coffee and music and reading reports before changing into my monkey suit to sit in the office. This was my little escape from my borderline dull career.

 

"Usual mate?" the blonde behind the counter asked.

 

"What the fuck do you think Annie, yes the fucking usual" I said. I may have been slightly harsh in the eyes of most but we have this harshness in common so she never acknowledges it.

 

She nodded as I carried on into the shop to take my place. I always sat in the same seat whenever I came here as I believed it, like my time of arrival, was the ultimate. It was a seat that shared a power socket with the adjacent table (a socket you never have to argue for if you get in early every day), perfect sight of the whole cafe and close enough to the radiator that I won't freeze my bollocks off when it gets colder.

I took out my laptop and plugged it in, as usual, and went about setting up my area for the next two hours. I always had my coffee on the side next to the adjacent table, so that when my next one arrives (I ask Annie to have it with me at 8am) it can be placed on the other side away from anyone who might be sitting next to me clumsy enough to spill it.

As well as this, I have my incredibly important phone and bulky headphones, filled with playlists for every possible mood/walking pace/time of day/genre preference I can think of. This is a must for the perfect morning for me as I blast my music to officially wake me from my morning daze, but also because if I'm sat with headphones on, music blaring then no one will bother me.

 

Annie put down my double espresso "Here you go Vee".

 

"Cheers. And here," I passed her a tenner "for 7am and 8am. Also, grab a croissant on me for your troubles. Just this once"

 

"One of these days you aren't going to give me money for breakfast and I will forget I need to eat it, you know that right" she said, taking my money with a blank expression.

 

"Good thing I give you enough for at least 6 supermarket pastries so if I go on holiday you can still get some" I said, putting my headphones on. Annie knows by now that once my headphones are on, I probably won't take them off for two hours. And as I thought she would, she nodded and walked away.

 

Looking down at my phone I decided to listen to some foo fighters when a text popped up.

 

Erwin at 07:07

Are you still ignoring me? I hope you realise that you will have to speak to me one day or another as I am your boss Levi. Keep that in mind.

 

I stared down in disbelief. Why the fuck does he keep hounding me like this? Surely he knows I'm ignoring him for a reason, I don't understand how he can't accept that.

 

I re-read the text.

 

Levi at 07:09

Are you fucking threatening me, eyebrows?

 

Erwin at 07:09

He lives! How are you? Long time no speak haha

 

Erwin at 07:09

Or long time no talk because its phone haha

 

Levi at 07:12

Are you threatening me?

 

I pressed on, worried for my job's future.

 

Erwin at 07:12

I'm not anymore, because you replied! How are you? How are your dogs?

 

"Not anymore" I muttered.

 

I slowly re-read his reply, then read it again. I never told Erwin I adopted dogs, nor did I put it on social media.

 

Levi at 07:16

Listen fuckface, I don't know how you found out about my puppies but you are not allowed anywhere them, okay?

 

Erwin at 07:16

Go on Hange's instagram lol

 

I glared at his response. Of course. I went to her account from my texts and, sure enough, I was greeted by a screen grab of the FaceTime I had with Hange last night where I was showing her my dogs. The picture wasn't bad in itself, I was at my desk trying to show my friend the dogs without dropping them, the puppies looking very cute in the process.

 

My phone buzzed:

 

Erwin at 07:18

Soooooo what are they called then.

 

Levi at 07:20

Take a wild guess.

 

Erwin at 07:20

Has it got something to do with that band you and Hange love so much? If so thats boring and bad.

 

I then decided to ignore him. I don't care what he says but calling my dogs boring and bad is too fucking far.

 

Turning my phone to do not disturb, I clicked my playlist and opened my emails.

 

My project that I was focused on was for a new library in the town centre. I had been forwarded a draft for the computer model and was inspecting the shape of the building, trying to decide if it fit the client's description. That was until I heard a massive crash and shout to distract me from my work.

 

"BOLLOCKS! IM SO SORRY"

Chapter Text

8.01pm

 

Eren

 

“Come onnnnn Armi I want to go out” I whined to my roommate. It was our first night in the city, I was at the start of a three year course here and I would eternally regret not going out.

 

“This is so irresponsible Eren! You have a class at 8am and you will have a hangover and you won’t be able to focus! Then you won’t get notes on your first ever lecture and you’ll regret it and you’ll ruin your day and-“

 

“Armin, mate. Take a deep breath. I have no intention of getting pissed, okay? I just want to have a drink and start to learn my way around. I’ll have no more than 5 pints. You can keep an eye on me. That okay with you?” I put to my friend.

He always stressed, all the time about everything you could imagine.

 

“I really shouldn’t..” He looked down anxiously.

 

“What time is your first lecture?”

 

“Midday”. He sighed

 

“Right. That’s it. We’re going.” I grabbed my friends arm and started pulling him to the door.

 

“I am having no more than 2 pints? You hear me? I want a clear head tomorrow.” He protested

 

“I’ll keep an eye on you mate, relax.”

 

-

 

11.05pm

 

“Ereeeennnnnnn” The drunk blonde turned to me. “There’s a girl over there and she is reeeeeally pretty and she keeps looking here, I might go over and ask her out.”

 

 

Somehow, I had managed to nurse the same beer the entire three hours we had been out, but Armin had had quite a few by then, despite me reminding him he only wanted two. The pub was filled with people who looked about our age, and the noise levels were starting to get on my nerves.

 

 

I rolled my eyes. “Armin, you are in absolutely no state to ask anyone out. If you still feel the same in a few days then I will support you but I doubt she’ll say yes when you’re this rat arsed”.

 

I looked over at the girl sat at the bar, she had her fringed hair in a ponytail and was wearing a green long-sleeved short dress and knee boots. And we made direct eye contact.

 

“Do rats even have arses? HA! I bet they’re really fuzzy. Yuck why would you make me think about that, I need a head full of romantic date ideas for when I ask that girl out”. He burped “’scuse me”.

 

“It’s a well known phrase and you put the imagine in your own head” I looked up to see the girl walking over to us, continuing to look directly at me. “And you should probably think up some romantic ideas fast Armi because she’s coming over”.

 

“W-what?” Armin turned his head and was greeted by the polite smile of the girl.

 

“Hiya boys, you both undergrads?” the girl started, “I’m Nifa, and you are-“

 

“Armin” he stated, offering her his hand “pharmacology.” She accepted.

 

“English literature. And you” she turned to me, dropping Armin’s hand.

 

“Eren,” I smiled, keeping my hand grasped around my beer “Art history”.

 

“Oooh that’s very interesting! Do you paint” She said as she sat down in the chair opposite me.

 

“Sometimes, I prefer drawing though because I can do it anywhere” I replied slowly, trying not to appear too interesting. I looked to Armin, staring at Nifa.

 

“Maybe you could paint me sometime? We could go on a date or something…” she said.

 

My heart sank. I looked back to my friend as his head moved from Nifa to the table.

 

“I’m sorry Nifa but I’m not really interested in you, to be blunt” I stated.

 

“Why? What did I do wrong? Do you only go for edgy girls or something? I should’ve known from your weird band t-shirt and tattoo.” She spat.

 

I looked down at my one tattoo on show, a tiny skull stick-n-poke my sister did for me on my 16th.  I was wearing a white radiohead shirt and denim jacket, I didn’t think I looked edgy but I suppose I must do.

 

“I’m gay Nifa. It’s not personal, I just don’t like women in that way” I curtly responded.

 

The girl looked at Armin and back at me.

 

“Oh so you two are together then? Oh that’s so cute I love gay guys!” she smiled and turned to Armin, resting a hand on his arm “you are both so brave”.

 

“Armin isn’t gay. And I am not brave, I just like dick and that is just how it is.” I snapped.

 

“Ooh a bit touchy are we Aaron? Sorry I asked I’ll be on my way” she stood up and walked away. I didn’t even bother to correct her, I instead turned to my friend who was smiling broadly to me.

 

“Erenn yes my brother! You told that b-word! That was so cool” he squealed.

 

“Thanks” I grinned at the blonde “now finish your pint let’s go back”.

 

-

 

1.45am

 

Getting home took much longer than anticipated because the streets all looked the same in the dark. On the way, I had stopped by a 24hr maccies to get us some chips for the road, followed by a quick trip to a passing pharmacy for asprin. I had a feeling this would be appreciated by my blonde friend in the morning. 

 

Once we arrived in our room, Armin flopped straight onto his bed and mumbled something.

 

“What was that?” I asked tiredly, placing the asprin on his bedside table.

 

“I said goodnight my friend, sleep well” he spoke slowly, making sure he said the right thing before rolling over.

 

“You too, night” I smiled.

 

I walked to the kitchens to grab two glasses of water and walked right into someone.

 

“Oops! Sorry” the girl smiled, looking as tired as me but trying to appear alert.

 

I took a step back and scratched my neck, glancing at the girl with bright red hair and lip piercing.

 

“My mistake, should’ve been looking to be honest” I laughed. I probably shouldn’t have been so cheery but, for some reason, this girl seemed to emit joy.

 

“Oh its no trouble! I’m Izzy by the way, art history” she said, tightening her ponytail.

 

“No way! I’m Eren, art history” I grinned at the girl.

 

“Shut up! You’re the first I’ve met in this college doing it, that’s great!” she grinned back “have a favourite artist?” she said.

 

“Shit you really know how to put someone on the spot don’t you”.

 

She laughed

 

“Well mine is probably Georgia O’Keefe, if that helps”.

 

“O’Keefe huh? I love her New Mexico landscapes to be honest, the colours are so pretty” I said.

 

“What an odd comment” she mused “normally people only mention her vagine-esque flowers”

 

I smiled “Yeah well…” I trailed off “I just much prefer her landscapes”.

 

“Fair enough. Hey also you avoided my question!” she said.

 

“Probably someone like Marco Mazzoni to be honest… you don’t know who he is do you” I grinned

 

“Is he Italian?”

 

“Yes”

 

“That makes absolutely no difference I do not know who he is”

 

I laughed “It’s understandable. He’s a portrait artist and he only uses coloured pencils. I like him because I draw and I only use pencils so he’s kind of an inspiration” I blushed, a little embarrassed to be mentioning the fact I do drawings to someone on a first meeting at 2am.

Shit 2am.

 

“As much as I’m loving this chat, its 2am and I need to make sure my pissed friend is ok and bring him some water” I smiled at Izzy, “see you in the lecture tomorrow morning?” I asked.

 

“Well technically its this morning but fair enough, want to sit together?” she smiled.

 

“yeah sure alright mate, see you then!” I smiled back.

 

“Bye bro!” and she walked away.

 

-

 

7am

 

“FUCK” I shouted, desperately trying to find a shirt.

 

“Eren shut up, why are you up so early” Armin mumbled.

 

“I wanted to get a coffee before my lecture but I can’t find a top that goes with black jeans, black on black looks too edgy” I groaned “I don’t think I have a choice here”

 

“Wear your muse one, it’s cool. Now shut up” Armin rolled over “I’m sleeping.”

 

I laughed as I put on the top in question “Okay sleeping beauty. If the coffee shop is any good I’ll bring you back a hot chocolate or something” I picked up my bag and put in some lined paper and my pencil case.

 

“Eren for the love of all things pure and beautiful in this world please don’t buy a coffee, they’re so bad for your health” Armin slowly sat up.

 

“I’ll still get one regardless. Smell you later” I picked up my headphones and closed the door behind me.

 

“PILLOCK!”.

 

-

 

7.10am

 

Walking along the high street I noticed one thing, no big brand cafes were open this early. I know that they probably don’t need the long hours and that makes perfect sense, but that was no good for me if I wanted to make this a regular occurrence. I needed somewhere to get my daily coffee in order to function, I cannot survive off of filter coffee for breakfast every day.

 

I passed a bakery and the smell hit me. Sweet pastry. I felt my mouth water as my body directed me back to the smell and into the shop.

 

The counter was filled with an incredibly large selection of baked goods, in particular a pastry oozing with custard caught my eye.

 

“How much is that custardy pastry one on the bottom far right?” I asked the girl behind the counter.

 

“Oh that’ll be £2 mate” she said.

 

“Thank you,” I handed the two coins from my pocket “this place smells amzing!’ I said without realising. She didn’t seem to mind.

 

“I’ll tell my dad you said that, it’s his bakery." she said handing me my pastry "Maybe next time I have an early lecture I can try another thing here," I said, glancing at the other options "beats Greggs". "Thats because I make everything. Sasha by the way, guessing you’re an undergraduate?” she said.

 

“Yeah. Eren, art history” This phrase was becoming my identity.

 

“Oh cool” she said, not seeming to think it was cool in the slightest. I decided to move the conversation.

 

“So, do you have any coffee recommendations for this time in the morning?” I asked. 

 

“Yes actually” she smiled again, “if you follow the street a bit more you should reach café maria. My friend works there and I know they open at 7” she laughed at this, I didn’t quite understand why though.

 

“Oh brilliant, cheers for the pastry custard thingy!” I smiled and walked out, putting my headphones back on and walking along to find this café.

 

After a short walk and a really nice pastry, I reached the café with the red sign reading Café Maria, outlined in gold

 

 

I opened the door and walked right into an angry-looking blonde girl carrying a stack of plates.

 

The plates shattered to the floor.

“BOLLOCKS! IM SO SORRY” I yelled.

 

“You’re a fucking idiot mate, but I’ll let you off as you’re a customer. Still an idiot though” the girl said with a blank expression. Mikasa would get on well with her, I thought.

 

“Again, I am so sorry, I’ll pay for all this” I said, dropping to the floor to pick up the shards on the floor with the girl.

 

“Oh” she said, confused as to why I was helping “cheers for the help, bin to your left”, I turned to the bin to put my mess away.

 

“So what would you like?” The girl said.

 

“Can I have a flat white please-“ I stopped to look at her nametag.

 

“Annie, I’m Annie” she said, holding out her hand.

 

“Eren” I said, meeting her hand. 

 

“Well, I assume you’re an undergrad. Looking for a new local?” she said turning around to start on my coffee.

 

“Yeah. I do art history and I feel like I’d be able to work better if I have a coffee in me and have done a bit of drawing before class to get my brain in gear. I’ll probably take a coffee with me too” I said.

 

“Well, Eren, I never forget a face or an order so if you do decide to come back ill get you your flat white.” She said handing me my coffee.

 

I took a sip.

Shit.

 

“I think that is the nicest coffee I’ve ever had.”

Chapter Text

7.32am

Eren

“I think that is the nicest coffee I’ve ever had.” I stated.

Annie regarded me with a blank expression “Cheers, I guess”.

We stood in awkward silence before Annie broke it.

“Well are you going to sit down and do work or something or are we going to fucking stand here until whatever shitty lecture you have begins” she snapped.

Well shit.

“uh yeah ok” I said and turned around to find a seat.

I hadn’t looked at the cafe properly before entering with the whole crashing-of-the-plates incident, but it was pretty nice. Basic, but nice. Wooden floor, wooden chairs with red cushions, smooth wood tables, red and gold artwork of coffee beans on the wall. Usual coffee-shop things, but it seemed different somehow. I realised what it was all at once when my eyes fell upon the solitary patron sitting next to the radiator.

The man sat immersed in his work and he seemed to be surrounded by the colour black. His laptop, his headphones, his clothing, his bags and his hair were all varying shades of the colour.

His personal colour scheme easily fit with the decor, as the colour black usually does, but for some reason he seemed to fit in with the furniture as if that was where he was meant to be.

I walked in his direction absent-mindedly and suddenly realised I was standing in front of his table, but he didn’t seem to realise. I sat down on the table to his left and unpacked my bag.

I had decided to read up on some art history basics before my first lesson so that I was in the right frame of mind.

That had been my intention.

However, when I felt eyes boring into my head from the man to my right; I decided to say fuck it and do some drawing, maybe this way I won't get distracted.

I got out my pad and pencils and started to draw a hand when my phone started blare the intro for the muse song Assassin. How embarrassing.

I picked up the phone. “Hello?” I asked, realising I hadn’t bothered to look to see who was calling.

Ciao, Eren!” Answred my enthusiastic Italian friend.

“Nicolo, come va mio amico?”

“I’m okay, just wanted to see if you fancied coming for dinner on Wednesday with Armin or some of your new uni friends” He said.

“Yes fucking please!” I shouted.

It was well known within out friendship group that Nicolo was a wonderful cook. We weren’t particularly close but we went over every now and again for food, he came over every now and again to watch films with us. Not a particularly deep relationship, but a nice one at that.

I realised I had shouted and looked around, making eye contact with the man to my right.

Fuck. A beautiful man at that. His eyes looking into mine from afar seemed to be a light blue but looking closer seemed to be more silver or grey. His face was perfectly angular, his nose ending at a sharp point. His eyebrows forming into a tight scowl. His lips…

“Eren you flatter! I will make us some fish, unless Armani is off of fish again” continued Nicolo, whom I nearly forgot about.

I tore my eyes away and looked at my paper “Armin is still eating fish for now so that sounds lovely Nico, sei uni Stella.” I quickly replied, trying to pry my mind away from the beautiful creature sat to close to me, as I felt his eyes traced on me once again.

“It is no worry, my pleasure! Ok so I will see you both on Wednesday at around 4 for early dinner, I’m sure uni is busy for you both so I won’t keep you long. How is this?” He said.

I smiled, “Perfect. Thanks again.”

“It is no bother! Ci vediamo Eren, ciao!” He said.

Arrivederci”, I ended the call and picked a few pencils out to continue with the hand, I decided to draw a middle finger in respects to the man to the left.

I carried on for a bit before giving up and I moved my pencil, however, to the edge of the page and slowly moved so that I could look at the man again.

He was furiously typing something into his computer with another scowl on his face, which strangely made me smile. I looked to the back of his head ad noticed he had an undercut with a back tattoo slightly poking over his leather jacket. He’s cool I thought. I wonder what the tattoo is of.

I stopped moving my pencil and picked up my phone to attempt to distract myself.

Eren at 7.46am

Nico invited us to dinner wed at 4, hope thats Gucci w u

I wasn’t expecting a reply from Armin but I sent it anyway in the hopes of one. I reread the text without thinking too much about it and realised something rather interesting about it.

7.46am.

Hmm.

This felt important to me but I don’t quite know how.

“well shit me.”

Although my class didn’t start for another 14 minutes it was a 10 minute walk if walked slowly and I wanted to enjoy it with my music.

I stood up and started packing my things away carefully, trying not to smudge the middle-finger sketch while putting it into my bag. I then swiftly waved at Annie and left.

 

-

 

7.58am

 

I entered the auditorium and stared at the group before me. There had to be about 70 of us, much smaller than I thought.

I started walking up he aisle when I heard a mildly familiar voice.

“Eren! Bro c’mere!” I looked to see Izzy and smiled, making my way over.

“Morning sunshine” I said sitting down next to the red-head wearing a little miss sunshine top. Accurate choice.

“Same goes, how are you doing.”

“Good thanks, tired but good. You?”

“The same, pretty rough night last night, was quite brutal. You know how it is.”

“Indeed.” I grinned, “Maybe next time I can accompany you mate.”

“Sure! But as a friend I’m afraid, I’m spoken for.” She returned my grin, hers seeming more cheeky though.

“Well I’m gay so thats no problem.”

She lightly laughed “Thank the lord, I have a feeling you’ll be a good friend” she fished around in her jeans pocket and retrieved her phone “go on and add your number then.”

 

-

 

9.17am

 

I returned to the coffee shop a little faster than expected. I realised I had spent the entire lecture daydreaming about the man in cafe Maria and a part of me just wanted to see if he was still there. I luckily managed to get back without getting lost somehow, as well.

My luck ran out, though, as when I arrived his table was empty.

“Eren, how was the lecture?” Annie said, looking uninterested but her tone saying the opposite.

“Insightful, interesting what the professor had to say. Can I have a flat white and hot chocolate to go please?” I asked.

“Yeah sure.” She turned and before I realised, I was asking her the question.

“Who was that man who was in here earlier?” I blushed as I said it.

I heard Annie smirk “Developed a crush on grumpy pants already?”

“I’m just interested” I lied.

Annie snorted “Yeah sure. Well, he orders a double espresso every morning. One at 7am on the dot the second he arrives, one at 8am, then he leaves at 9am sharp for work. He’s project manager at some big architecture firm. I don’t know what else you want, his music is kind of loud and guitar heavy, he’s an arse-“

“Does this moody espresso-drinking punctual man have a name?” I butted in.

“Yeah” Annie said putting down the drinks.

“What is his name Annie?” I asked, almost desperately.

“Ackerman. Levi Ackerman.”

Chapter Text

6.58am

 

Levi

 

 

This morning was off to a good start. My puppies all did their business the minute I asked them too, my favourite suit was cleaned and in my bag to change into, I was wearing my most comfortable black jeans along with an incredibly comfy black jumper. And, best of all, Hange hadn’t called me this morning. 

 

I entered the cafe with my lips slightly sloped upwards, this morning could be a good one, I think.

 

“Oi, Annie. Usual, please and thanks” I said as I walked past the girl to get to my spot. However, when I reached it I realised it wasn’t as I anticipated.

 

That brat with the pretty eyes was sat where he was yesterday. Absolutely smashing.

 

I rolled my eyes and flopped into my chair, glancing at the boy. He was wearing blue jeans, rolled up at the ankles, and a black Metallica t-shirt. 

 

“Tch” I reacted to myself. What the shit was wrong with me, I should be looking at emails. 

 

I opened up my laptop and checked said emails, only to find more problems with the library. Some absolute turd had managed to get wooden tiles instead of panels for the exterior which wouldn’t do in the slightest, so I started my first rampage paragraph of the day to have a go at whomever it was. I was so caught up I didn’t hear Annie approach.

 

“Your coffee Vi” she placed the coffee in its normal space.

 

“Thanks Annie, here you are for your troubles” I handed her a ten pound note and she took and put straight in her jeans.

 

“No, thank you.”

 

-

 

8.46am

 

 

Engrossed in my work, I saw movement to my left and noticed the boy packing away. I had spent an embarrassingly long time this morning trying to look at him while working, staring at his lips and arms and hands as he drew a girl with a red scarf.

 

His girlfriend, surely.

 

He got up and went to the bathroom with all his things, not before stopping by the counter and asking for a flat white to go.

 

The minute the door closed I was up at the counter. 

 

“Annie, I’m paying for his drink. Who is he” I blurted out. I had seen he was most likely in a relationship with the girl in the scarf, and despite this I still wanted to learn about him.

 

Annie snorted “You’re funny Vi.”

 

I glared at her.

 

“Okay but quick because he’ll be back soon. So he’s an undergrad doing art history. He comes here to draw for a bit before lectures to, in his words, ‘get my brain in gear’.” She softly said, finishing the coffee. 

 

“Name.” I demanded.

 

“Fucking hell keep your pants on. His name is Eren, now go back he’s coming.” She smiled, although brief it was there. 

 

Eren. Finally a name to a face.

 

I went back to my seat and put my headphones back on, although I didn’t play music as I wanted to hear the interaction.

 

Eren returned from the toilets and was already reaching in his pockets to find his wallet when Annie stopped him.

 

“Don’t bother mate, already paid for.” At this I saw a shadow of a smile but it disappeared before I could get a proper look. 

 

“Annie you really didn’t have to buy m-“

 

“It wasn’t from me dips hit, now go to your lecture.”

 

Eren looked around the shop causing me to go back to pretending the work. 

 

I was the only other patron at the coffee shop that morning so he must’ve known I got it for him. Oh that is slightly embarrassing. 

 

I peeked over my laptop to see the boys cheeks turn slightly pinker in tone as he nodded at Annie.

 

“I see.” He grinned “I guess I’ll be off.”

 

And at that, he walked out.

 

 

8.36pm

 

 

As I sat down for my stir fry dinner I had but one thought on my mind.

 

Eren.

 

I wonder what he’s eating right now? Is he alone or with friends? Is he happy or stressed?

 

I shook my head, what is going on? I’m daydreaming about an undergraduate. Am I 12?

 

It isn’t a crush or anything though, I can just appreciate that he is attractive; and clearly has good music tastes, sounds nice when talking Italian and is stunningly pretty. 

 

Not good Levi. Not Good.

Chapter Text

7.31am

 

Eren

 

I’m late. Levi is normally there by now and has been for half an hour. Does he notice I’m not there? Is he thinking about me? 

 

Of course he isn’t, he’s probably too busy project-managing and emailing and scowling to notice a lack of me. 

 

Unless…

 

I stopped in my tracks. I needed to stop thinking about this random man. I am adamant to not develop a crush on him at all costs. This is not happening.

 

I’m late, I thought.

 

I carried on. Although I promised myself I was not obsessing over this man, I wanted to make it to cafe Maria to see him before my first lecture. Not because I was thinking about him all the time, no. I just wanted to…

 

Okay I guess there’s no excuse. I wanted to see him. 

 

I entered the cafe to be greeted by the familiar smell of coffee beans and the faint scent of cigarettes. 

 

“Hi Annie” I smiled “Can I have the usual please?”

 

I looked to the counter and saw that she had started making one 

 

“You’re a lot less reliable than Levi, I had your coffee waiting for you at seven but were you here you annoying shit? No. I had to drink it myself.” She rambled, presenting me with my coffee. 

 

I paid Annie and turned around to head to the little section I shared with Levi and noticed he wasn’t there. 

 

I sat down and noticed no bags were there either. 

 

Where is he? 

 

Where is Levi? I really wanted to thank him. Shit I shouldn’t even know his name. But still..

 

I got out my sketch pad and started to draw the empty chair that should’ve been filled. 

 

I wonder if he’s ok? He is always on time, did he oversleep too? Impossible. Then… did something happen on the way? Did he arrive and have to leave. 

 

I then came to a sudden realisation.

 

I missed the son of a bitch. I was worried for his wellbeing and I missed him. 

 

I went back to my drawing.

 

-

 

7.31am

 

After finishing my coffee, I packed up my things and decided to get a croissant. Levi was obviously not coming to the cafe. 

 

Should I get him something just in case on the way back? As a thank you for yesterday’s coffee?

 

No. Stop thinking about him, you’ve never spoken to him. You shouldn’t know his name. 

 

I walked into the bakers to me immediately surrounded by the beautiful smell of pastry and to the early morning grin of Sasha. 

 

“Eren mate! I was wondering when I’d see you again”

 

“Hi Sasha, how are you doing?”

 

“Bit pissed to be honest,” she started “My roommate Connie has a girl over tonight so I’m not allowed home for dinner and-“ she sighed “you don’t need to hear that shit but yeah umm I’m hungry” she smiled at this. 

 

“Well..” I thought, then an idea came to mind “I’m actually at my friend’s for dinner tonight and he’s an amazing chef, maybe he can make room for you?” I said.

 

Normally I wouldn’t invite strangers into someones house, and I wouldn’t ever dare inviting someone to dinner at a place that wasn’t mine. However, Nico was different. He preferred cooking for large groups because it was much less likely to get quiet that way. 

 

“Actually, if your friend doesn’t mind I’d like to take you up on that one” she said.

 

“Great! I’ll come here at around quarter to 4? It’s a 15 minute journey on the bus”

 

“Sounds perfect, cheers!”

 

I smiled and continued to look at Sasha, trying to remember why I was there in the first place.

 

“Uhhhhh Eren mate do you want something” she said.

 

“Fuck sorry uh.. just a croissant please”

 

-

 

7:55am

 

“My boyfriend is so fucking fit Eren you have no idea” started Izzy.

 

“Izzy. Please. I really cannot bear to hear about your sex life with your twenty-four year old boyfriend at eight in the morning for the second day in a row.” I sighed. 

 

The red-head giggled “okay-okay I’m sorry I’ll stop… but when you eventually get a boyfriend you aren’t allowed to talk about all your ins and outs, okay?”

 

I felt my face turn red and embarrassingly I immediately thought of Levi. 

 

My face went redder.

 

“Please never say that again.”

 

She laughed “Yeah well there is a lot of in and out involv-“ she stopped as my phone started to ring. 

 

“Yellow” I answered, trying to forget the conversation and once again not bothering to see who was calling me.

 

“Eren my brother, Armie says theres food being served tonight at Nico’s and I want to come”

 

“Hello to you too Mika, haven’t spoken for a day or two how are you doing?”

 

My sister snorted at me “Like you wouldn’t call me if something interesting had happened in your life. I reckon you’re bored out of your skull”

 

I sighed, aside from my small crush she had a point. 

 

“Fine! whatever, what about you anything interesting happen?”

 

“Well freckles thinks he can find out about the biological family I might have but to be honest I have no interest in finding any of them”

 

“Oh…” 

 

“Don’t get all sad on me, I’m happy with you guys I don’t need these people who left me when my biological parents died.”

 

I remained silent for a few seconds. 

 

“Didn’t mean to deep it holy fuck” I laughed at my sister as she continued “So I’ll see you at…” she said, waiting for me to provide a time. 

 

“Four o’clock at Nico’s” I smiled, it was turning out to be a proper dinner. 

 

“Cool. Bye” and at that she hung up.

 

I laughed at my sisters bluntness and put my phone away, turning back to Izzy.

 

“Sorry about that”

 

She smiled “No worries, sounded important”

 

“Oh it wasn’t, just my sister inviting herself for dinner” 

 

I stopped for a minute “Hey, would you and your grandaddy want to come to this dinner” I smirked at my joke. 

 

She lightly hit my arm “He’s not that old! And anyway, it shows experience” 

 

I made a gagging face. 

 

She laughed at that “Thanks for the invite but we have plans tonight, maybe some other time?” 

 

“Yeah sure, okay”

 

And then the professor walked in.

 

-

 

3:50pm 

 

“Eren, you are 5 minutes late” Sasha beamed as I approached the bakers. 

 

“Sorry?” I questioned

 

I had spent the last five minutes briefly walking through the coffee shop to see if Levi was there. I wasn't sure why, but I wanted to thank him for the coffee. When I turned the corner to see his bags in their usual place, however, I bolted out of the shop embarrassed at my stupid plan. 

 

"Shut up, come on lets go” And we went off to the bus stop.

 

The bus journey was spent discussing Nico’s cooking. Sasha made very clear that she was a fan of food and made sure to repeat it a few times before turning onto the topic of Italy and the Italian language. 

 

“Nico is Italian?” She said

 

“Yeah, it’s his first language anyway but he does speak English so don’t worry”

 

“Do you speak Italian then” she asked.

 

“Actually yeah I do. I speak Italian, French, German and basic Spanish” I smiled to myself. 

 

Learning languages was a passion of mine. My parents being German it was spoken around the house and because of this I was already bilingual. I loved having this skill and decided to learn French and Italian at GCSE. With these, I did them at A level alongside History of Art. 

 

After some more chitchat about nothing in particular, we reached Nico’s flat. 

 

I knocked on the door.

 

Ciao Eren! Benvenuto!” Nico enveloped me into a hug. 

 

Grazie per avermi” i responded 

 

“And who is this?” My friend said, leaving my hug. 

 

Sasha was staring at Nico and visa versa. They were there for a few seconds before I cleared my throat. 

 

“Nico, this is my friend Sasha. I hope you don’t mind that I invited her along”

 

“Not at all” Nico replied, not taking his gaze away from the girl in front of him. 

 

Sasha offered her hand and Nico took it, however instead of shaking he pressed his lips to her knuckles.

 

È un onore, miss Sasha”

 

She blushed, “Lovely to meet you.”

 

I rolled my eyes and turned around, not baring to watch Nico engage in his mating ritual of flapping his wings to impress the girl in front of him. 

 

I walked in to find Armin and my sister sitting at the table. 

 

“Hiya lads!” I beamed. 

 

“Hey” Mikasa stood up and came over, giving me a quick hug and peck on the cheek. “I was thinking of getting another tattoo soon, should I get something pretty like a plant OR should I get something to do with music” she blurted. 

 

“Well, I really want to get the other wing on my back coloured in because it looks a little strange having one blue. Aside from that, I think I only really want more to do with music or maybe something stupid like a rubber duck” 

 

My sister snorted. 

 

“Yeah I kind of want something stupid to be honest, can’t anytime soon but wait for my call”

 

I laughed, of course this would turn into a spontaneous thing. To be honest, I preferred it that way so that I wasn’t constantly thinking about what I wanted. 

 

I heard low talking as Nico and Sasha walked back in “Okay by friends, I will now get the fish” He grinned and walked out. 

 

“No way…Sasha? Sasha Braus?” Armin said 

 

“Armieeee!” Sasha ran into a brief hug with my friend. “Long long looooong time”

 

“You haven’t changed a bit” Armin giggled. 

 

“Might I ask where you two know each other?” I questioned. 

 

“Primary school, then Sasha moved to bloody America and we lost touch” Armin said.

 

“How cute.” Mikasa deadpanned. 

 

-

 

4:30pm

 

“Nico…This is incredible” Sasha said, eyes sparkling and staring lovingly into Nico’s eyes. 

 

“I’m so very glad you like it Bella” Nico gave her the same look.

 

Sasha blushed at this.

 

“Oh for fuck’s sake!” Mikasa spoke up, putting all the attention on her “You’re both single, I’m going tot assume you’re both into each other. I’m done and so are the other two people at the table so we’ll leave you two to it” And at that, she stood up and left.

 

I snorted looking at their faces before following suit and leaving.

 

“Well that was weird” Armin said “Haven’t seen her for donkey’s and now she’s completely captivated by our very own Nico”

 

“Captivated, more like immediately ready to fuck” Mikasa bluntly said, causing me to cackle and Armin to ferociously blush.

 

“Mikaaaaaa you can’t say that!”

 

Mikasa laughed at our friend too and eventually we were all standing outside the apartment block laughing at the situation we were in. 

Chapter Text

7.02am

 

Eren

 

I arrived at the coffee shop and my head immediately turned in the direction of where Levi usually sat and, to my delight, there he sat. He was wearing a long sleeved black jumper and his big headphones, and was completely immersed in his computer. I smiled looking at him. 

 

I turned to the counter to see my coffee waiting for me and reached into my pocket to retrieve my money when Annie stopped me.

 

“Morning Eren, that’s already paid for” she said, her face devoid of any emotion. 

 

I blushed. He had done it again, he had bought me a coffee for the second time.

 

“Then I guess I’ll have another of whatever he ordered for himself” I said. 

 

Annie smiled softly and prepared the drink for me while I put my things in their usual places, going up to the counter to collect Levi’s drink.

 

I picked up his double espresso and walked over to our section of the coffee shop, he was so busy he didn’t even notice me. I slowly placed the cup where there was a space in his paperwork before sitting back in my seat. 

 

I sat for a minute, thinking about my actions. What if he thought that was stupid? Does he think I’m copying him? Is he aware that I’m kind of flirting with him? Is he flirting with me?

 

I shook my head and got out my sketchbook to start drawing. I put on my headphones to listen to slipknot to wake myself up. I decided that today I would start a detailed drawing of some of the slipknot masks, being inspired by the music.  I was halfway through a study page of materials used on the masks when a tall man with blonde spikey hair came over to Levi. 

 

Levi jumped from his seat and confidently walked up to the man, giving him a hug and smiling whilst doing so.

 

I don’t think i’ve ever seen him smile before. It seemed to change his entire face, making him appear immediately younger than he looked at first glance and less intimidating. 

 

I had never thought about how old Levi is before, I realised, as I had never seen him stood up before. He was short and slim, but not skinny or lanky in any way. However, I also noticed the top of a tattoo peeking up from the neck of his jumper leading me to decide that he could be anywhere between 18-30. 

 

I carried on watching as Levi removed himself from the hug and directed his friend over to where he was sat, before pulling his headphones to rest around his neck. I immediately noticed the fact that Levi had at least 3 piercings per ear. That’s a little bit hot.

 

I turned my music down slightly as I saw the mans mouth open so that I could listen in to their conversation. 

 

“I’m not here for long Levi, just wanted to see how my best friend was doing in the world or architecture”

 

Levi chuckled and I felt my heart flip. He chuckled. 

 

“It’s fine Farlan, been some fuck ups by those below me here and there but this shitty project is going well. What about you? How goes the mechanics business?”

 

“If you want me to fix your car, you should just ask” Farlan chuckled. 

 

“My car is fine! I just was fucking wondering. Holy shit I’m sorry I asked” and just like that Levi was bak to scowling.

 

Farlan seemed to find this funny though as he broke into a fit of laughter. While trying to look away, I felt heard phone ringing and blindly picked it up; my phone silencing the men sat beside me.

 

“Hiya” I said, turning back to my drawing so to not show I was looking.

 

“Hi, it’s Grisha”

 

“Oh hi dad! All ok?” I noticed the men had started talking again but in hushed tones. 

 

“Just calling to see how my favourite son is doing at his art history degree”

 

“Well : one, you only have one son so by default i am your favourite. And two, it’s going good thanks”

 

I heard a soft chuckle and out of the corner of my eye i saw the edges of Levi’s mouth turned at something Farlan had said; immediately making me want to make him laugh that way.

 

“Good, I’m happy to hear that. Feels strange not seeing you every morning kid”

 

i sighed “Dad I’m coming up over Christmas it’s all good, alright?”

 

“Yes alright”

 

“I need to finish this study before i go to my lecture otherwise i’ll never do it so i’ll call you later?”

 

“Yeah ok, sorry mr.busy McUni, i’ll leave you do it” 

 

I laughed at my father “Love you” And at that i hung up, going back to my study. 

 

I sat drawing for a few more minutes until I saw movement in my peripheral vision and noticed Levi and his friend packing up to leave.

 

I didn’t get to speak to him! I didn’t thank him, there should have been small talk. I stopped drawing to take a sip of my coffee and contemplate the events that had just occurred. 

 

No words were exchanged, I think we looked at each other maybe twice? This is so annoying.

 

In my fury, i decided to go to my lecture early so i packed up my books and notes and was about to leave my table when i noticed a small post-it note.

 

I picked it up to see small and neat handwriting read :

 

Thanks for the coffee brat 

i’ll buy the next one 

 

-levi 

Chapter Text

7.00am

 

Eren

 

For the first time so far, I arrived at seven o’clock on the dot.

 

I had set my alarm slightly earlier, laid out my clothes and walked at a steady pace in order to get into the coffee shop at exactly 7.00am as I wanted to be close to Levi for as long as possible. I knew that nothing would probably happen, but at least I could be close to him and spend time in his general vicinity. 

 

I straightened my t-shirt and had a look at my outfit before walking in. I was wearing my black muse top again, with blue jeans and red converse. I had attempted to straighten out my hair but it had inevitably gone to its normal messy state. I walked in, not even bothering to conceal that I was looking to our corner, and saw Levi. He was wearing a long sleeved black top and what looked like black doc martens, while once again being completely captivated by his work. 

 

I smiled at Annie, who glared back, and walked over to where I saw my coffee that had been bought for me by Levi. I looked over to him while he remained consumed by work. I wonder what he’s doing? Is he messaging people or is he designing something? Does he like his job? What does he do when he isn’t working? Do we have anything in common? 

 

These are the kind of irrational questions that aren’t even remotely necessary. The real question on my mind about the incredibly handsome man I was currently staring at was if there was any possibility I would ever speak with him and where it would go. Would he be friends with me? Could I deal with the fact that I basically have a crush on him and still be his friend? That was what I really wanted to know.

 

I stopped staring at Levi  and decided that I would find the perfect drawing playlist. 

 

Once opting for some classics, I got out my sketchbook and started to do little studies of eyes. I started off with the eyes of those of the man on the front of the album cover I was listening to. As it was monochromatic I didn’t have to get out my colours so I decided to do a rare pencil sketch.

 

After drawing Lou Reed’s eyes, I took a quick glance at Levi. He was scowling at his computer while vigorously typing on his Mac. I then had a somewhat ballsy idea.

 

I turned my chair around so that I was facing Levi’s table and started to draw him. At first I tried not to look at him too much to not draw his attention to me, however after a few minutes of trying to draw without looking for too long, this ended and I was entirely staring at him. 

 

He didn’t seem to realise for a good while, or at least he was humouring me to give me the same angle while I drew. After about half an hour of staring at him, though, he probably and understandably got concerned as he turned to me to see what I was doing. It was only a slight movement where he looked at me for a few seconds to take in that I was drawing him until he he turned back to his original position to continue with his work. Although slight, I noticed it and began to regret my decision. 

 

Despite this, I continued to draw the man sitting in front of me. I had never spoken to him before, we had bought each other coffee once and yet I was doing this. Normally, I’d be incredibly shy with anyone I encountered but I suppose university must be changing me. 

 

Before I completed the piece; Levi took another quick glance over to me, but I was incredibly aware that he was only looking at me this time around and not at what I was doing. This, embarrassingly enough, made me blush like a little girl.

 

Then once I had finished my drawing and quickly scrawled my name at the bottom, I sat back slightly to look at the finished product. I was proud of it, to put it bluntly, and it was probably one of my finer works done at this speed. I almost didn’t want to give it away but decided that as he had noticed me drawing him I owed it to him.

 

I reverted my chair to how it was initially before I had moved it and waited for a moment. What I was about to do would determine my relationship with this man. 

 

I was about to inevitably ruin my relationship with the man sitting next to me, He would probably find me incredibly weird for this. Maybe he would be flattered? 

 

How would this affect us?

 

I leaned over to his table and tapped his elbow to alert him, before placing the piece of paper next to him. He startled as he looked up from his computer and immediately removed his headphones to pick up the piece of paper. 

 

He looked at it for a moment before catching my gaze and speaking in a low voice, almost to reiterate his voice was only meant for my ears in this moment. 

 

“Thank you Eren” 

Chapter Text

7.47am 

 

Levi

 

I looked down at the artwork the boy had placed on my table and fuck was it good. 

 

It was immediately recognisable as me, although messy and clearly a brief sketch, as he had nailed my hair and eyes and even my hands. I looked angry as I was scowling down at my laptop, but at the same time I somehow looked comfortable. This might be the kindest gesture anyone has ever made for me. I noticed his name written messily at the bottom. 

 

Eren.  

 

I looked up

 

“Thank you Eren” I put to the boy.

 

He smiled back at me and a slight flush appeared on his cheeks. “Do you like it, Levi?” 

 

My name seemed to roll off his tongue as if he had been practicing saying it since seeing it on my previous note. It sounded amazing. 

“Yes, I do in fact like it. I’m incredibly grateful for this”

 

Eren’s flush seemed to deepen here, but I said nothing, and simply smiled at him. I took this moment to look at the boy sat next to me.

 

He had sparkling emerald eyes, his face was strong but slim, he had broad shoulders, he was wearing a muse t-shirt, he had long arms and his fingers were covered in pencil lead and...

 

“Is that a muse t-shirt?” I blurted out, hoping I didn’t sound too crazed.

 

Eren looked down at himself before smiling and looking up to meet my gaze once again “Yes, it is a muse t-shirt. Good spot, are you a fan?” 

 

“Fuck yes am I a fan. Are you?” He nodded, looking at his shirt and back as confirmation. “Smart arse, fair enough. Favourite album?”

 

He paused for a minute and looked away from me while he was thinking “I’d probably say either black holes or origin to be honest. And you?” 

 

I felt my lips turn as I rolled up one of my sleeves to show the boy my muse album tattoo on my forearm, being a rugby-post from the Origin of Symmetry album cover. 

 

The boy’s eyes widened as he inched his face closer to my arm to view the artwork 

 

“Mate that’s so fucking cool.”

 

“Cheers”

 

“Really interesting artwork on that album cover through, I love how cloisinistic it is in form” 

 

I looked blankly at the boy. What the fuck does that mean? “Guessing that means you’re an art fan?” 

 

He smiled as he sat back “Yeah i do history of art undergrad. What gave me away?”

 

“Cloisinistic.”

 

“Ah. Basically means bold and flat forms separated by dark contours or lines. Some people say cartoonish I guess, but you can’t really say that in art history” 

 

I nodded slowly “Sure. You know you could’ve said anything just then and I would’ve believed you”

 

He chuckled, it was the kind of laugh that immediately made you smile (which it did). “Fair enough. Well you could say anything about architecture and I would probably believe you to an extent, regardless of the architecture topic in art history.”

 

I cocked my head at the boy, “And how the fuck might you know that I’m an architect then?”

 

Eren’s smile faltered as a light flush appeared on his cheeks “I um.. I might have asked Annie about you, I was just curious! Because you’re always here when I’m here and I guess I wanted to know-“

 

“Fuck me! Chill out, ok? I asked Annie about you too so we’re even there” I smiled, noticing the blush on the boy’s cheek darken. 

 

“You.. What? So we’re both creeps?”

 

“I guess that could be said. Tell you what it’s your turn so you go and buy this round and then you can fill in any loose gaps you have about me, you fucking creep.” 

 

He nodded and grinned again, walking towards the counter. 

 

-

 

8.02am

 

“Your double espresso” he placed it in the gap left in the scattered papers and post-its. “What’re you building?”

 

“Thanks brat. And a new library in the town centre, bit chaotic trying to get everyone in the right place right time all that”

 

He nodded “Fair enough”

 

I cleared my throat and turned in my chair so my body was facing his, placing my arm on the top of my chair. “Right, what do you want to know about me?”

 

“Hmmmm.. OH! I have a gooood one! Whats your Hogwarts house?” 

 

“Last I checked, Slytherin. Not sure what that says about my personality but yeah.”

 

The boy rested his head on his hand resting on his chair “It means you’re ambitious, a good leader, resourceful, clever.. It’s a good thing”

 

I nodded slowly to his words,”How come you ask my Hogwarts house and not my star sign”

 

He shrugged “Good point. Star sign?”

 

I laughed. “Capricorn. Now you tell me both.”

 

“I’m Gryffindor and Aries, March 30. Happy?”

 

“I’m content that we both shared this information with each other I suppose. Anything else you want to know?”

 

We spoke for a while after this, apparently he had a few ideas of things he wanted to know about me. Then suddenly, he surprised me. “How important are your friends to you”

 

I straightened myself and looked into his eyes to see the joke, but here was none. He was being serious.

 

“Interesting question. My friends are the most important thing to me in the world, if anything they’re my family.” I answered the boy honestly.

 

He smiled at this, obviously I gave the right answer. “Good.”

 

"Interesting question to ask" I prompted, interested to know what brought it on.

 

"Yeah well, my friend are quite important to me too Mr.Levi"

 

"Levi Ackerman, if you were wondering"

 

"Nice, I'm Eren Jaeger. Now that's sorted, Mr.Ackerman, yes friends are important to me"

 

"That's good to know. So who is your best friend?"

 

He smiled fondly "Probably my roommate Armin, but I'm quite close with my sister Mikasa"

 

"Tsk. Siblings don't count."

 

"Fine, expert of friendship, who's your best friend?"

 

I thought for a moment, "Either my friend Hanje or Farlarn to be honest."

 

He nodded "That information really is of no use, is it."

 

"Nope."

 

We both laughed at the stupidity of the moment. I watched as the boy then looked at his watch, once the laughing had cooled off.

 

 

“Crappppp I’ve got a lecture in 10 minutes.” He stood up, but continued staring at me. 

 

“Have I got coffee on my face or something, what the fuck is up?”

 

He shook his head as he smiled and leaned over me to grab a post-it note. He smelled of cinnamon with a faint scent of cigarette smoke, not that I noticed. 

 

Once packing his things away, he quickly scrawled on the post-it and placed it on his table before walking out immediately afterwards.

 

I eagerly stood up and picked up the post-it, to which I was greeted by his phone number. 

Chapter Text

8.56am

Eren

‘Crap crap crap craaaaap.’

i walked along taking to myself. what the fuck did i do that for? i’ve barely ever spoken to that man and he now has my phone number? what if he’s just a pretty face? who even fucking uses texts anymore when there’s snapchat and instagram or whatever? will he think that was childish?

I shook my head and carried on walking.

-

I arrived to the lecture hall to be greeted by the early morning grin of my red-haired friend. Izzy was sat in her seat, her orange corduroy bag saving my chair for me. She was wearing yellow dungarees today that she had embroidered with tiny little rainbow flowers with a plain white t-shirt. She always managed to put together something stylish in the morning and I envied her for this… she didn’t have to know that though did she.

‘You look like Ronald McDonald’ I grinned mischievously at my friend, we had started engaging in light banter whenever we saw each other so this wasn’t uncommon for us.

She feigned a gasp ‘ex-fucking-scuse me mr ‘i only own band t shirts and jeans’, at least i switch it up a bit’ and grinned right back at me as she moved her bag off of my chair.

‘I’ll have you know I do own check trousers AND a pair of shorts i bring out in summer’ I said as I sat down.

She gasped ‘That’s so creative and original of you. We should go shopping’

I laughed ‘maybe we should do that at some point in time in out lives…’

‘Come oooooon you’ll love it’

I sighed, ‘Fineee as it’s you. But nothing too weird please’

‘Define weird’

I motioned to her dungarees ‘I doubt they would suit me’

‘There’s only one way to find out’ she smirked, causing me to groan. Just then, out lecturer walked in and we both started to retrieve our notepads for the lesson.

We were still on basics of visual analysis of paintings which I was enjoying; but at the same time seeing how academic painters composed their art made me want to draw even more than usual. I then decided to go to the café later to do some sketching.

As we were sat on an edge the lecturer didn’t have the best view of uses he didn’t notice our stupid noughts and crosses games or the times we would play Pictionary together from random word generators and today was no different.

I was looking up a random word for my to try to draw when I received a text from an unknown number. I read the over and over and smiled to myself, adding the number to my contacts and giving it a name as I hoped I would be using this one again very soon.

 

Levi at 8.56

My turn next

L

Chapter Text

7.00am

Eren

 

I arrived at the cafe on time that Saturday morning at the usual 7am with the two croissants I had just bought from Sasha. She had commented on my big cosy jumper that I was wearing today but it was necessary as it was cold and I needed it. I walked in and was greeted to the sight of Levi typing on his computer, with my coffee on my table and his coffee on his. 

 

I walked over to my table and but my things on the floor, then proceeded to give the man his croissant and sit down in my chair. I didn’t have any lectures that day but I still wanted to be in the his presence, but he didn’t have to know that. 

 

Just as I was putting my chunky headphones on, Levi’s finger prodded my arm. I turned to look at him. 

 

“Thanks for the croissant brat” Levi deadpanned. He always tried to look emotionless when talking to people and it was almost convincing, but ever since that day I saw him with his friend I’ve been aware that he isn’t actually a robot. 

 

“Thats okay!” I smiled at him, seeming strangely over-happy to gain contact from him (which I was) and he began to turn around back to his laptop.  

 

“No problem…” I continued, then looked to my bag then back at the man whom was staring at me, waiting for me to continue  “Can I.. is it alright.. can I draw you again?” 

 

I looked down at my chucks. What the fuck? Why did I feel the need to ruin every small tiny moment with the incredibly attractive man sat next to me with my stupid requests to dra-

 

“Be my guest.” I looked up to see Levi smirking at me, ever so slightly, only to return to his normal facial expression of emotionless. 

 

I got out my pad and paper from my bag and looked up to see him facing towards me, ready to model. I grinned. 

 

“Soooo… croissants huh?” I began conversation, hating the silence. 

 

Levi darkly chuckled, “Indeed, thanks again brat. Brought me back to my childhood” he continued to stare at me. 

 

“Did you eat a lot of them growing up?” I continued, going from looking at the man to looking at the drawing. 

 

“Not to be a French stereotype or anything but yeah I ate a fair few.”

 

“You’re French?! No way I speak French!” I excitedly put to the man. French was the one language I spoke that I had no one to practice with, maybe this was an excuse to talk to him more. 

 

Stop it. This man is a stranger and you’re mentally planning a future of talking to eachother in French which clearly will never happen.

 

“C’est une belle langue” Levi suddenly said, seeming distant. Fuck did he sound good speaking French.

 

“Je préfère l'italien, mais le français est charmant”

 

“Fair enough. You’re quite the language expert aren’t you?” He seemed disinterested, but at the same time seemed to prompt me. 

 

“I speak Italian, French and German. I don’t really like German that much but it’s my family’s language so there’s that” 

 

“Oh you’re German, that’s cool. I liked Berlin” Levi said.

 

I nodded as I started to draw his lips “Don’t talk for a minute” 

 

He did as he was told and didn’t speak while I sketched his lips, but at one point he licked them which caused me to blush. I scratched my face in the hopes he didn’t notice, but I suppose I’ll never know. 

 

“Tell me about France” I mumbled after a few minutes, signalling I had finished drawing his lips. While he spoke, I thought. 

 

What is our relationship now? This man was a stranger not two weeks ago, I had a few chance encounters with the man where we spoke about music and now I’m drawing him? I really wish he knew I was attempting to flirt with him. 

 

“-but when my mother died, I moved in with my uncle Kenny in England and he taught me everything I know about architecture. He passed in my second year at uni but it was okay as I had my friend Hanji there who I think I mentioned to you.” 

 

I stopped drawing to look at the man “I’m so sorry for your loss Levi, that must have been really hard for you” 

 

He shook his head, making his hair briefly fall into his face before he pushed it away “It was a while ago now, anyway you don’t need to be sorry you didn’t kill her did you.” 

 

“NO! No I didn’t kill your mother! OR your uncle!” I blurted out.

 

Levi laughed, as in properly clutching his stomach and rubbing his watering eyes laughter at me. 

 

“It’s a fucking phrase you idiot, I know you didn’t kill them. Fuuuucking hell” He rubbed his grinning face and opened his mouth to speak again when his phone rang. 

 

He looked at who was calling and his grin fell, “One minute brat” he got up and walked away. 

 

I craned my neck to attempt to see him and I could just about make out what he was saying. 

 

“Farlan…Tomorrow…sure okay…cool…bye” He turned his phone off and came back to his seat. “Sorry about that, whenever my friend Farlan wants to meet up it’s usually last minute which I tolerate for him. I’ll let you continue” 

 

“Thank you” I quickly smiled then went back to drawing the man. 

 

-

 

We continued making small talk with eachother for another half an hour before I finished my drawing. “Done! Would you like to-“ I was interrupted by his phone ringing. 

 

“Sorry one minute” He got up again and answered his phone, to which I heard perfectly “They fucking did what? I swear to shit Erwin if you’re making this up to get me in early I will skin you… Fuck me okay I’ll come in, be there in 5” 

 

He came back over to me and sighed, “Thanks for this brat, but I have to go now.” 

 

I silently handed the scary man his drawing and shyly smiled. 

 

He quickly scanned, “Oh cheers Eren this is great. Okay I need to go, might see you tomorrow” And with that, he left 

 

-

 

An hour later, I had begun to walk home when Izzy called me. 

 

“Are you free tomorrow?” She suddenly burst into my eardrums.

 

“Hi, how are you Izzy? Nice to talk to you”

 

“Cut the shit are you free? I have a spare ticket to a gig tomorrow evening. You coming?”

 

“Where, when who” I said. 

 

“Little venue near that chicken shop we went to the other day, be there at 7. Tiny local band, my boyfriend and his friend are coming too but they’ll probably go off together so it’s all good” 

 

I nodded, “I’ll be there” 

 

“Great! Can’t wait, see you tomorrow” and she hung up. 

Chapter Text

December 25th, Australia

 

Hanji 

 

-beep beep- 

 

-beep beep-

 

-beep beep-

 

“Why- fuck! Wha-“

 

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Levi and Jesus, happy birthday to youuu,” 

 

He sighed, “Thank you, shitty specs. I really needed to hear that that at fucking midnight when I was trying to get some sleep” the moody midget grumbled down the phone at me. 

 

“Well it’s only 11 for me and I see that as a perfectly reasonable time to call my best friend and wish him a happy conjoined Jesus birthday!” 

 

He sighed “Fine, fine, whatever, thought that counts blabla. What are you doing right now then fuckface. Opened all your presents and that?” 

 

I looked over to my pile of sweets and chocolate in the corner of my room and grinned “All opened, now I plan to eat everything and then eat a full dinner” 

 

“Tch. Sounds positively sickening” there was movement on his side of the phone and I assumed he was getting comfortable “weather good and all that” he prompted, as if to get me to continue. 

 

“Weather is lovely, no snow or anything but perfectly cosy. How about you? What are your plans for your birthday and the big 2-5?”

 

“Well I had planned to finish a design plan for work, have a few pints and then make a pizza but unfortunately that hasn’t gone to plan as some stupid teenager wants to meet up with me”

 

“Awwwwwwww thats so adorable!” I squealed “how long has it been now, a month?” 

 

“He doesn’t know its my birthday and we’re having hot chocolate in a massive group, it’s not a date.” He snapped.

 

“You didn’t answer my question short-stack” 

 

He sighed dramatically “we’re not official but we’ve been talking to eachother for about 4-5 weeks ish” he murmured, causing me to squeal once again. 

 

“This is progress! I’m so happy for you little baby!” 

 

He sighed again “having hot chocolate with a guy and all his friends doesn’t really count as progress to be honest, but I’ll take it” he yawned. 

 

“Okay I’ll let you go back to sleep but I want you to call me and tell me how it goes later, okay?” I said wheeling myself in my deckchair in the direction of all my food. 

 

“Tch. Fine. Bye” 

 

-

 

-ring ring-

 

-ring ring-

 

“Levi! How was it? Did you meet and kiss and fall in love and now you’re engaged?” I squealed down the phone at my friend. 

 

“It’s fucking 6am for you why did you answer so quickly” 

 

“I pulled a page from your book and woke up early for a run. What happened? Tell me everything” 

 

“Tch. We didn’t kiss, we didn’t fall in love, we aren’t engaged. We had a nice time and hugged at the end and that’s all” 

 

“YOU HUGGED?! THAT”S SOOOOO CUTEE!” I wiggled my feet at the news “What did his friends think of you?” 

 

“Not much, we mainly talked about music and food to be honest. It was very relaxed and now I’m ready for Pizza.”

 

“Noooo not yet what else happened? Who was there?” 

 

“Ughhhhhhhhh so it was his sister, his best friend, some gross food-obsessed couple, a tall pda obsessed couple, two girls that were really close with eachother, some short skin-head, his ex, some freckled guy. Oh and Annie obviously” 

 

I gasped dramatically “His Ex?! What was he like, what’s the competition?”

 

“He’s taller than me” 

 

I barked out a laugh “Not a hard one to achieve but keep going” 

 

“He was annoying and selfish and looked like a horse” 

 

I froze and began to cackle, holding my stomach as I laughed at the statement. 

 

“I’m not joking! This brat’s face was so fucking long he could’ve been a pony!” 

 

“You didn’t say that to his face did you?”

 

“Of course not shitty specs, what do you take me for?”

 

“An arse” 

 

He snorted “You’re not wrong. Well I need to take a shit so I’ll be off. Merry Christmas hohoho and all that bollocks” 

 

“Thank you, I feel as though I’ve been blessed by Christ himself. Goodbye Levi.” 

Chapter Text

Eren

 

6.30pm

 

“If you don’t pick something soon you’ll miss the night out entirely.” Said Armin. 

 

I had been looking through my sorry excuse of a wardrobe for about half an hour by this point to look for something to wear for my night out with Izzy. As it was a small local band, I sadly didn’t own any of their merchandise so I had to find something else to wear but I still couldn’t decide if I wanted to wear something plain OR some merch of another band. 

 

“Hmph.” I sat on my bed directly in front of the tiny wardrobe and stared at it, pissed at my inability to make a decision. 

 

“Why can you not decide something so easy, just wear what you’re wearing now?"

 

I looked down at myself in my black jeans and white t-shirt “Is it not too boring?” 

 

Armin looked up from his desk where he had been focused on his studies and at me. “Just put on a jacket or something and if they’re good get them to sign the top or something which makes it a thousand times cooler.”

 

I nodded slowly as Armin spoke “Alright then mr.fashion genius, that’ll do. Are you sure you don’t want to come?” 

 

“Nope, plenty of stuff to learn and take notes from. Maybe another time” and he returned to his work turning up his classical background music. 

 

-

 

I arrived early to the venue itself as I was concerned I would get lost (which I did not, thankfully) and stood outside for a little while, scrolling through my phone at old pictures. I then stopped on a selfie from what feels like years ago with my ex boyfriend, Jean. 

We were together for 2 whole years from the end of year 10 to the end of year 12. We had always argued and played it off as playful banter but in the end it became apparent that we would work better as friends, so we decided to split ways. In a way, this was fortunate as his long-term crush Marco (AKA freckles) came out as bisexual giving him the perfect opportunity to go out with him. I was, of course, incredibly happy for my friends but slightly jealous that they had eachother and I had no one. 

 

“Oi, Aaron.” 

 

I looked up to see the girl that had been at the bar on our first night at university, Nina? I couldn’t quite remember. 

 

“Alright?” I blankly said, wanting to get the conversation over with. 

 

“Yeah thanks. How about you?” She said, moving a lock of her short red hair behind her ear.

 

“Fine, fine. Waiting for my friend” 

 

“Ohhh a friend” she wiggled her thin eyebrows “Is this a gay date?”

 

I tried to hide a smile, “Nope, just seeing a friend.”

 

She put a hand on my arm “You don’t have to hide it from me Aaron. You’re so brave to do what you do.”

 

At this point I really couldn’t hold in a reaction as I began to lightly chuckle. I’m brave for enjoying dicks? 

 

“Cheers.” I managed. I looked away from her face as a soft smile appeared. 

 

“I’m glad you feel as though you can talk to me, it makes me happy” she said.

 

I slowly nodded, not looking at her face and praying I would see someone I recognised. Luckily enough for me, I spotted my red haired friend walking over to the venue in black cuffed jeans with a blue power-puff crop top.

 

“Okay well I’ll see you around…you” I abruptly ended the conversation as I started to walk over to Izzy. 

 

“Rude” she grumbled as she stormed off away from the venue. Thank god she wasn’t going to be here for the gig, that might just ruin my night. 

 

“Hey, Eren” Izzy grinned as I approached “Who was that then?”

 

I shrugged “Can’t remember, don’t really care. Anyways, thanks for having me” 

 

She grinned “Cheeky bastard, no worries it’s a pleasure. Shall we?” 

 

We entered the door of the pub and she lead me to a staircase leading downstairs at the back. It was covered in posters and people’s names graffitied on the wall and stank of beer and sweat. 

We reached the bottom of the stairs and there was a woman standing there, and she stamped our hands with a star granting us entry to the venue itself. The doors opened and we were assaulted with the sound of chatter and distant background music over the speakers of guitars and drums. It was small, with a bar at the back with people milling around drinking beer out of plastic cups; and a brisk 7-metre walk to the stage. 

 

“Oh, theres Farlan and Levi!” Izzy squealed. 

 

I stopped walking and stared at the men stood a few metres away. Izzy ran over to hug her boyfriend, this being the man I had seen a few days ago at the coffee shop with the spikey hair. Stood next to them holding his plastic cup full on beer in his fingertips was the man whom I had been sitting next to for a little while now at the cafe, Levi. 

He was wearing a black Guns’n’Roses t-shirt and black jeans with black Doc Martens and was staring blankly back at me. I walked over. 

 

“Fancy seeing you here” I smiled at the raven-haired an in front of me, not seemingly being capable of saying anything of use.

 

“You two know eachother?” Izzy squealed, detaching herself from Farlan. 

 

“We know eachother.” Levi replied in his usual monotone voice, taking a swig of beer.

 

Izzy stared open-mouthed between Levi and myself briefly, but I still caught her gawk and subconsciously tilted my head in question. Why was this a big deal to her? 

 

“So how did you two meet?” She grinned, taking hold of her boyfriend’s arm only to have him place it around her shoulder. 

 

“He persistently sits next to me at the cafe. We didn’t have a choice but to meet”

 

I rolled my eyes, turning to face him “You’re the one that bought me a coffee first, remember?”. A slight smirk appeared on his lips.

 

“So I did, brat. So I did.” He shook his head as he looked at me and returned to his blank gaze to speak with his friends. “Who are we seeing again?” 

 

“I can’t quite remember their name but they’re local and the tickets were a fiver each so it’s worth it” Levi grunted in response. 

 

“Eren we should get out drinks and those two can go get decent spots in the crowd” Izzy said, coming over to me and taking hold of my arm. 

 

“See you at the front then babe” Farlan came over and kissed his girlfriend on the forehead before him and Levi stalked off. 

 

“I think I’ll have a beer, I don’t know about you. But only a weak one a-“ 

 

“Are you interested in him?” Izzy said.

 

I turned to face the grinning red-head, my face turning a similar colour to her pillar-box hair.

 

“What do you mean by interested in? He’s interesting! Is that what you mean?” I scratched my neck, suddenly feeling warmth spread to my ears with embarrassment.

 

“I mean, you’re interested in men as you have told me before. Whenever you look at him you seem to get these puppy-dog eyes and as he said you persistently sit next to him in his special cafe. Are you interested in him?”

 

I stared at the floor, taking particular interest in a piece of gum. “As I said, he’s interesting.”

 

“For the love of- you’re as bad as eachother. I’m pretty sure Levi is into guys, try being more obvious with your flirting with mr.interesting if that is what you mean. Just fucking do it mate life’s too short”

 

I sighed “Can I just have my beer now?” 

 

Izzy rolled her eyes and ordered our beers, constantly turning to give me a pointed look before looking back towards the server. 

 

-

 

“What did we miss?” Izzy said to the men in front of us, clearly not wanting to miss anything interesting.

 

“I was talking to Farlan about snails and he is still laughing about the fact that Hanji’s is called bean.” His face returned to its stony exterior while Farlan reverted to. Laughing about the snail. Average.

 

“Not much then, cool” Izzy grinned, moving to stand at Farlan’s side, before whispering to him as they started their own quiet conversation. 

 

“Why have you got a tattoo of an octopus on your bicep?” A voice from next to my ear spoke, causing chills to flutter up my spine. I turned to face the voice and was greeted to the sight of Levi looking at my arm with his eyes strangely close. 

 

“Oh the octopus was a random one. Me and my sister have a tradition of getting tattoos together as a bonding activity so I’m covered in loads of tiny stupid things like that octopus or the beachball on my ankle or the dagger on my wrist amongst others.” I blabbed. 

 

“Are all your tattoos random then” Levi had taken hold of my arm by this point and was looking at the tiny dagger next to my stick and poke skull.

 

“No, actually. I have a pair of wings on my back that I need to finish getting coloured at some point that are significant because of some stupid dream I used to have where I would fly and save people, I know weird. I also have a stupid Metallica quote on my chest next to the snake on the album cover.” 

 

Levi snorted, actually snorted. “You’re so stupid, a beach ball and non fully coloured-in wings from a flying dream”

 

“What, I like them! I bet you have some embarrassing ones” I said and I touched his arm. His initial reaction was to tense up but once he realised I was looking at his tattoos he relaxed and let his head fall back.

 

“Ask away, I know you want to brat.”

 

“Okay so first of all, these are all absolutely stunning! The lines are so thin and precise compared to my stupid fat pieces”

 

“Yeah they cost a fucking fortune as well but they’re worth it”

 

“My favourite is the solar system one, that’s pretty. What’s the significance of the stars that go under your sleeve?”

 

He darkly chuckled as he quietly responded, moving his face to look into my eyes “I have a tattoo of the Capricorn sea-goat on my upper back, one of the horns just peeks out, look.” He turned around and pulled down his t-shirt at the neck to show me the horns in question and he did indeed have a goat tattooed on his back, a sea goat at that. 

 

“Stunning,” I complimented the tattoo “Any others?”

 

He pulled his shirt back to normal and turned to face me “Well-“ 

 

The crowd erupted into noise as the local band walked onto the stage and turned on their amps “Are you ready to fucking dance?”

 

-

 

“Are you all having a good time?” 

 

The tiny venue seemed to ooze with positive reception, unanimously agreeing the band were incredible playing bluesy grungy heavy rock, and making it sound beautiful at the same time. 

 

“Our last one is a little slower so use it to make out with your S.O. or whatever, Or sway, we don’t mind!” Scattered applause went round the room as the soft drums began to play. 

 

I looked over to see Farlan and Izzy already passionately kissing next to us, swaying at the same time. I rolled my eyes and turned to face Levi, whom was watching the stage. 

 

Throughout the gig I had noticed his interest in the playing of the instruments, how he moved his eyes and head slightly along with the music and seemed to focus all his attention on the music itself. 

 

“What the fuck are you looking at brat? You’ve got a shit-eating grin thing going on.” The man whom I had just been staring at leaned in to whisper into my ear, causing me to smile more. 

 

“Nothing in particular” I casually replied, though, wanting him to return his attention to the music so I could continue to watch him. 

 

He rolled his eyes and turned to watch again; I had a small internal victory as my plan worked and I continued to watch for half of the song. 

 

After a little while, he turned to face me and crossed his arms. “Stop” He mouthed. 

 

“What?” I questioned, tilting my head to the side. 

 

“You’re staring. Do that often?” He said, leaning in to my ear again so I could hear him. 

 

“I wasn’t staring at you I-i thought I recognised someone be-“

 

“Like shit you did” He interrupted, moving to have his face an inch from mine. Then, all of a sudden, one of his hands came up to hold onto my face as he leaned in and kissed me.