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No Cream, No Sugar

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Eren stared at the thick, white card he held between his fingers. Delicate and shiny gold lettering adorned the middle of the card. This was handwritten. It was fancy, it was expensive looking and it was extremely personal . . .

Eren had never seen a more hideous and offensive looking piece of paper. It arrived this morning, much like the Black Plague. It made Eren sick. It caused his stomach to churn and made him want to run or beat something up. And yet he carried it to work with him, letting it burn a hole in his pocket the entire day. 

~*~

Jean Kirschtein and Marco Bott

Request The Pleasure of Your Company At The Celebration of Their Union

Friday, the Fourth of October, 2019

At St. Maria’s Church at 10 in the Morning

At Sina Vineyard, 12 in the afternoon

Please R.S.V.P and Notify if You Will Be Bring a +1

~*~

Eren’s hands shook. Enraged was an inadequate word to describe how he was feeling. His first instinct was to toss away the card when a brilliant idea clouded his mind, and perhaps his judgement.

He needed to go to this wedding.

He absolutely had to. He also needed to attend with a hot person, make out in front of them and eat Jean’s stupid cake. Maybe make out on top of the cake.

Eren chuckled darkly. Yes, that is absolutely what needed to happen. But with who? Who should he take that was hot enough to make him jealous? Was Jean ever jealous of anyone in their past relationship . . . ?

Eren racked his brain trying to remember. His ex was a fiery person, much like himself, which caused more disputes than Eren could remember. Jean probably threatened to fight every single person who Eren happened to smile at, but . . .

But there was one particular dispute that will never flee Eren’s mind.

He leaned back in his seat, remembering the Christmas party last year with disdain.

It was Eren’s first year at the law firm, and he was keen on making a good impression across the board. 

“You need to be nice,” Eren scowled under his breath, shoving a hand forward to press a button on the elevator. “My new boss seems like a hard ass and I want to stay in his good graces.”

Jean stared back, unimpressed. “You’re getting worked up over nothing.” Typical Jean. Never taking shit seriously. 

Eren watched the elevator door close with furrowed brows, wanting to bite his tongue. He and Jean already argued four times that morning. The first was about Jean not doing the dishes, which then escalated to him not caring. The third argument was a couple of hours later, when Jean found gay Japanese porn on his computer— hey! You can’t go through my shit!

The fourth was about Eren working too much.

And for some reason, Jean still wanted to tag along for the Christmas party.

Eren suspected it was because Jean wanted to get wasted with a couple of people he’d grown to become friends with there. Like the summer associate Marco, or the bald headed junior associate Connie.

Whatever. Eren thought, smoothing over his usually wild hair that he gelled back for this evening. As long as Jean doesn’t make an ass of himself, we’re golden.

During the elevator ride up, Eren glared at his boyfriend. They’ve been together for a year now and he can start to feel the side effects of being around someone for that long. He and Jean started to argue, and that argument would escalate, and then Eren would be kicked out. Or Jean would be kicked out.

They never knew how to navigate together. Eren recently brought up couples’ therapy, but Jean seemed offended and now here they were: barely keeping themselves under wraps for a damn Christmas party.

Eren felt the weight of the present in his hand. He got Historia the secretary for secret Santa and he just bought her a neat stuffed animal from the cute hipster market down the street.

The elevator dinged open and he already saw a few people milling about the office, holding red solo cups and chatting aimlessly.

The pair began to shed their heavy winter clothes, with some bickering dotted in between.

“Hey, is that my scarf—?”

“No, it’s mine.”

“That’s mine, you dick—! Mikasa made that for me last year! I told you to not take my shit anymore, Jean!”

“So what? We live together and—“

“Eren, so glad you could make it.”

The pair froze in their tracks. That deep and velvety voice that domineered every conversation. It was thick, sweet and could only belong to one person.

Eren looked over and saw his boss, Levi Ackerman staring at the both of them.

As ever, his stare was passive with a hint of insolence. His jet black hair splayed over his eyes, which remained dark and flowering. He maintained an expensive suit with an expensive and shiny watch. This short man radiated power, which didn’t really have an effect on Eren himself, considering the two are always bantering. No one else in the firm dared to take jabs at Mr. Ackerman like such.

“I thought I smelled cheap hair gel,” Levi remarked, leaning forward and offering a hand.

Eren’s face broke out into a smile, meeting Levi’s handshake with his own. “Jean, this is my boss, Levi Ackerman. Levi, nice to see you. This is my boyfriend, Jean.” 

Jean cocked an eyebrow and glanced between the two of them. “It’s my pleasure. Eren talks a lot about you.” They shook hands briefly, Eren’s nerves being caught in his throat. 

There’s a twitch at the corner of Levi’s lips. “Is that so? In the best of graces, I would hope.”

“Yeah, we’ll see.”

That response garnered a death glare from Eren. Levi froze, not expecting such a hostile reaction. When he noticed Eren’s look, he cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Well, you two enjoy yourselves. Help yourself to some of our punch.”

Levi tilted his glass towards them and walked away, disappearing into the conference room where a large group of people resided.

Eren turned on his heels. “What the fuck was that about?”

Jean scoffed. “That’s your boss? He’s another crock of shit just like your last one! And of course he’s part Asian, too.”

The brunet could only stare at his boyfriend with disbelief. “You—He’s— he’s cool! And he’s good at his job! What’s the matter with you?! I thought we agreed to keep past arguments in the past.”

“No wonder you like staying late hours now,” Jean replied nastily, ignoring Eren’s sentiment. “When you’ve got this Adonis working over you. Is that why you like that Japanese—“

”Jean!” Eren hissed. 

His two toned haired boyfriend humphed, satisfied with the mental gymnastics he just achieved. 

Eren closed and opened his mouth, absolutely stunned by the hideous jealousy he was shown. He never knew Jean to be such a jealous person!

But little did he know how much Jean was projecting, since it was discovered that he was having a prolonged and quite passionate affair with Eren’s coworker, Marco.

And now, dumb and dumber are getting married.

Despite their quite messy breakup happening around this time that year, Eren forced himself to move on. His routine became that of going to the gym, crying like a little baby, masturbating, crying at the gym, crying while masturbating— listen, it was a lot of crying. Despite how obnoxious Jean was, the breakup really tore Eren apart. 

His therapist worked wonders for him. Expressing his feelings and working through them was something that Eren never excelled at, and having a licensed professional walk him through that process was healing time and time again.

He thought he was totally over it. His life slowly found its legs again and he began making strides in his professional life. 

But this slap in the face happened.

He should call his therapist, right?

Eren dialed Armin’s number instead. His therapist was out of town and the blond always knew what to do!

After a few dial tones, the call came through.

“Hey, Ar—“

“Eren, don’t go to the wedding.”

Large, teal eyes blinked. “Whu— how did you know that’s what I was calling for?! Are you spying on me?”

A sigh came from the other end. “No. Jean told me he was going to invite you. Something about making peace. I told him it was incredibly offensive and disrespectful, but clearly, he didn’t listen to me. Also, you never call me. We should talk more.”

Disregarding Armin’s last sentiment, Eren spoke again. “So do you have any hot nerd friends I can take to the wedding as my plus one?”

Silence came from the other end.

“Hello? Are you there? Armin—“

“Yes, I’m here,” Armin reassures his friend. “I’m just trying to think of one out of the thousand ways to tell you that this is a very bad idea. So Eren, this is the dumbest plan you ever birthed.”

A tan nose wrinkled. “Armin, don’t use that word.”

The blond continued. “If you go through with this plan, you will be a dark spot on a happy couple’s special day. I would recommend just not going. Stay home.”

That was not the response that Eren hoped for. A small, delusional part of his brain thought that Armin would be all for this tasteless and flashy idea.

“Well they invited me!” Eren cried childishly. “And they already started as a dark spot, considering Marco was complicit with being a side piece. Their love was bred from evil.”

“Yes, he did a shitty thing,” Armin agreed, his voice sounding strained with exhaustion. There was no doubt about that— Eren’s mouthed off Armin’s ear about Jean for the past year. “But you can’t crash their wedding! They want to make peace with you, and you want to damage that!”

Eren tightened his lips.

“Listen, I’m sure the fact that Jean was unfaithful haunts Marco. I don’t doubt that he’s paranoid about Jean as well, and he wonders every single day if Jean will do the same.”

“Well that’s—“

“So let them have a happy day,” Armin insists. “Just one.”

Eren drummed his nervous fingers on his desk, pondering his next move. On one hand, Armin was a very valuable friend who always had something rational or insightful to say. On the other, though, Eren wasn't used to hearing the word no. And when he did, it made him all the more determined. And like a ray of light, an idea crossed his mind. 

“I’m gonna ask Levi to go with me. Thoughts?”

“Absolutely not!” Armin’s voice went high. “You know Jean hates him! Eren, please—“

“Too late.”

“Then why would you even call me—“

Eren slammed his phone down onto his receiver, his arms feeling heavy with adrenaline. His heart was pumping and he was excited—this wedding was meant to be crashed by Eren. 

Standing up, he caught the brief glances of his fellow coworkers who quickly turned back to their work.

He cleared his throat and made his way into Levi’s office.

Opening the dark wood door, he spotted Levi adorning a pair of glasses, gloves and cotton swabs. He was meticulously cleaning one of the plants on his desk, his bright lamp aimed towards the leaf. The window behind him was half blinded by the pearly white shutters, lighting the room naturally. His boss was a clean freak, no doubt about that. That didn’t bother Eren in the slightest. In fact, it may have influenced him a bit, since his apartment no longer has that strange lurking smell.

Levi raised his brows. “Ah, Eren. Come, have a seat.”

Eren tightened a smile, following orders. He shut the door behind them and made haste to sit in one of the luxurious leather chairs he had in his office. The chair squeaked underneath him, making the lanky brunet adjust uncomfortable. 

“What brings you here?” Levi asked, shutting off the lamp and bringing his attention to his employee. He stripped off his gloves with a smack, making Eren's gaze waver.

“I would hate to interrupt something so important, but I was wondering if I could have the day off? October 4th?”

“That’s a month away,” Levi nodded. “Shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll be letting Hanji know as well.” 

Levi relaxed a fraction. He leaned back in his seat and opened his drawer, prepared to grab another set of gloves for yet another round of cleaning. 

“That’s a very lovely plant—“

“Out with it,” Levi stated flatly, slamming his drawer shut. He knew this wasn't just a meeting. “You look like you’re about to shit your pants. What’s the matter?”

Eren flinched at the man’s harsh words. He was sweating and tapping his foot impatiently— Was it super hot in here? Did Levi always keep his office at the same temperature as the 9th circle of hell?

Wait, the 9th circle of hell is ice, isn’t it? God, I really need to freshen up on my biblical references—

“Eren,” Levi spoke sharply, snapping the employee back into the conversation. “You know you can tell me anything, so out with it.”

What the hell is the matter with him all of a sudden? Why is he so nervous against Levi now? He’s always had the ability to make half baked insults towards the man and now he’s a jumbled mess. Of course, Levi was a scary boss but he wasn't a monster or anything, so what gives—?

“Well, I was just wondering if you could have the day off for October 4th as well?” Eren’s voice croaked. “It’s for a wedding.”

Levi responded monotonously. “Why. I’m not your girlfriend.”

“Please?” Eren begged. “It’s—It’s Jean’s wedding and all my friends are busy! You’re the only one I can ask right now.”

Lie.

“How do you know I won’t be busy?” Levi asked abrasively, making Eren scoff. 

“No offense, Levi, but you tell me all the time about Hanji and this guy named Erwin being your only friends and I just figured—“

“Okay, okay,” Levi snapped. “I get it. Fine.”

Eren’s employer pinched his nose bridge, a sign of irritation. The brunet watched him with a fated breath, his heart thumping in his chest. The raven mulled over his options in silence. 

After a weighted moment, Levi spoke again.

“You really don’t want to be by yourself?”

Eren nodded. “It’s impossible.”

“And you can’t stay home?” Levi asked, meeting Eren’s eyes.

An uncomfortable chill ran down Eren’s spine. Remembering Armin’s earlier words of advice, he suddenly gets uneasy with the thought of Levi judging him. Of course, there was no possible way to get Levi on board without revealing his true intentions. He wondered if Levi would back off after knowing this. Was Levi a bad person like that? Or a good person? 

“Hey boss! Wanna come with me to my ex’s wedding? He was super jealous of you back then and I want to emotionally punch him in the gut. You in?”

Eren frowned. The thought of getting up and walking back to his desk without another word sounds incredibly appealing. There was a part of him that urged him to do so and forget he ever came in here. 

But then, the unspeakable happened.

“Fine,” Levi digressed. “I’ll go with you. But you’re paying for gas.”

Eren lights up. No way!

“And you’re bringing me black tea three times a week at my discretion until the day of the wedding,” Levi added, satisfied with his proposition. “Then I’ll be a pawn in your game of pettiness.”

Eren smirked. “Sounds great, sir!”

“Deal, then?” Levi offered a hand forward.

“Deal.”

You won’t regret this!