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Stranger

Chapter Text

Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” filled the quiet, warm room. Mikasa lay in bed, eyes closed, fingers lightly tapping on her stomach as if playing the sounds herself. She felt the need to hum, but didn’t, and let the music carry her off to another realm. There was nothing more relaxing than dramatic music, Mikasa thought. Besides, she needed the help.

It was early in the morning, but Mikasa had woken yet again. It was the next day after the phone call, and Mikasa felt her heart surge slightly with recollection. That had been one hell of a phone call, and never had a stranger’s voice attracted her so before.

“Mikasa?”

Moonlight Sonata ended and Für Elise began to play, the sharp yet calming piano keys filling Mikasa’s ringing ears. She sighed lightly, in wonder, in exhaustion.

This felt a lot like a murder scene. Classical music in the background, the unsuspecting victim relaxing, unknowing as the killer stepped closer, knife pointed forward. As the song reached its climax, so would the kill. Mikasa shivered as Für Elise ended and a dub step version of Moonlight Sonata began to play.

“Is this Annie?”

The track was just as calming, but definitely more upbeat. It washed away the image of the creeping serial killer, and in its place Mikasa’s mind danced along, images of people using their bodies as instruments, as tools, twirling and twisting and curling in and around themselves. This time her foot twitched ever so slightly in time as the images in her mind shifted to a rather dramatic scene in a burnt down building, with the dancers all covered in ash, their faces pale and masked, elegant as they moved along the smouldering ground. Mikasa truly had an over active imagination.

“Well, not only is Miss Murder by Underwear hot, but her voice is too.”

“D-don’t say something like that to a stranger!”

Her speakers were truly magnificent. Mikasa felt the bass shiver underneath her bed, along the floor and right into her bones. Each thump from a speaker snapped her heart in two. She loved it. And perhaps the neighbours would complain soon, because the music was rather loud, but they rarely did. The walls were thick and mostly soundproof. Mikasa still strained her ears for her door bell or a knock, just in case.

“Stranger? I thought we’ve passed that stage in our relationship, Mikasa.”

“How did you find me?”

“I told you, I knew what to research. Can you believe we live in the same building?”

“What number is your flat?”

“Nu-uh, I’m not telling you.”

“All part of your mysterious allure?”

“Ha, exactly.”

It was a wonder. And while Mikasa truly did feel excited, and that perhaps the universe was telling her something other than ‘harass this poor stranger’, she was a nervous wreck. The piano came back into the song, the beats and bass fading away for the dramatic ending. Mikasa lifted her hands and pressed away at the air. She had played piano growing up, but hadn’t in a while. No doubt she was pressing the wrong invisible keys, but who cared? The song ended, the notes drifting and then fading away. Before the next song could begin, Mikasa switched her music system off with the remote, and then she climbed out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Maybe a shower would help, where the music had not.

XxX

After the shower Mikasa managed to fall asleep in the lounge, tucked away in the corner of the couch. She had been on her laptop, endlessly scrolling the internet until her eyes became too heavy. Luckily she was off, so she managed to sleep until three that afternoon. When she woke she was too rested to feel upset at all the time wasted. Her stomach, however, was not as content.

Mikasa decided to head out and have something to eat somewhere. She hummed softly to herself as she locked the flat, a small smile dancing on her lips. She felt fantastic, which was rare. All thoughts that would trouble her had yet to enter her mind. Until she turned around and spotted a short blonde down the hallway, walking right toward her. Mikasa nearly dropped her keys and sucked in a deep, sharp breath.

I’m not ready. I completely forgot. Oh god, what do I say? What do I do? Jesus, I’m a wreck. Get it together, Mikasa! It’s just a stranger.

And it was. Though the woman was in fact short and blonde, she had brown eyes and dark skin. She was not Annie. A small spike of disappointment hidden beneath relief washed over Mikasa. She shuddered, took a breath, lightly slapped her own cheek and then headed out for food. Though she told herself that she was being ridiculous, she couldn’t help from keeping a close eye on her surroundings, on the other people in the building. She could very well bump into Annie by accident, neither of them planning on it. Luckily that didn’t happen, and Mikasa had a lovely late lunch at a small restaurant down the street. It wasn’t that far, so she had walked. On her walk back home it began to rain.

Mikasa hurried and made it home without a hitch. She had been so concerned about her wet jacket—which was leather and expensive—that she forgot to be jittery as she took the stairs up to her apartment. With the door shut behind her, Mikasa hung her jacket and then headed for the lounge, in the mood to laze like a potato and watch a show. But her phone vibrated just as she sat down, and her heart did a small flip as she opened it and looked at the message.

Annie (16:02): You’re actually pretty cute when you’re terrified.

Mikasa frowned in confusion and quickly responded.

Mikasa (16:03): Terrified? What do you mean?

Annie (16:05): Saw you walking down the stairs. You looked like someone was after you.

Mikasa (16:06): You were watching me? That’s creepy.

Annie (16:07): Wasn’t intentional, I swear. I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. So where did you go?

Mikasa (16:07): Had lunch.

Annie (16:07): No date?

Mikasa (16:08): No. I ate alone.

Annie (16:09): That’s really depressing.

Mikasa (16:11): Eren and Armin won’t be back for a few days more. Being alone doesn’t bother me.

Annie (16:14): Sure, whatever you say. Hey, look at your Facebook quick.

Mikasa (16:14): Why?

Annie (16:15): Just do it, dumbass.

Mikasa rolled her eyes but did as she was told. When her internet had loaded and Facebook popped up, she saw that she had a notification. She clicked on it and was taken to a photo that she had been tagged in. It was a picture of her—a snapchat, to be exact—taken when she had been hurrying down the stairs. Clearly Annie had taken it, and the caption read: “found this terrified puppy running down the stairs”. Mikasa resisted the urge to smile.

Mikasa (16:20): You’re creepy, you know that?

Annie (16:21): I already knew that. So, what are you doing now?

Mikasa settled more comfortably on the couch. This was the start of a long, detailed conversation. Part of her wanted to ask the big questions, but she decided to leave it be for now. Instead she answered and switched over to a movie channel. When would Annie eventually decide to make a surprise visit? Mikasa was terrified, but a small part of her was excited. She was very lonely after all. Even if she wouldn’t admit it.