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Pen Pals

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Eren Yeager was not good at the whole 'Summer' thing. He constantly wasted time playing video games and going out with his friends while his blacked haired sister trained for her stupid boxing club and Armin, who resembled a blonde coconut, studied like crazy.

This year he was determined not to just play PlayStation and get drunk with his classmates. Last term he'd signed up for a pen pal project to get some extra credits and possibly make some new friends. Historia had turned him on to it when she had told all their friends about some girl soldier - 'Ymir' - or something? Either way it sounded really cool. Hopefully he'd get an interesting infantry soldier with cool stories and lots to talk about!

Then again, what would he have to say that such a person would find interesting? Probably nothing. Either way he'd agreed to it now and he was a man who didn't back down from a challenge.

He had already procrastinated for days doing nothing but play Darksouls and thinking about what to write. He eventually he decided to just wing it and see what his pen pal would think. He grabbed his laptop over and sat up, typing out constantly to try get the perfect conversation starter. It was a lot harder than it looked. For about two hours he tried to make a cool interesting letter but each time he thought it came off wrong, too needy or shy. That wasn't what he was going for at all..

"Haah.. Fuck it.." He sighed leaning back tiredly. Whatever, he wasn't good with words anyway. He decided he was too bored and self conscious to keep writing any more. "Well, at least it's something to do." He shrugged. He edited his draft for the last time before printing it out. Mikasa would kill him if she found out he was writing to a complete stranger!

Once it was in his hands he re-read it to see if he had fucked up any gammar.

'Hi Sir/Ma'am,

My name is Eren Yeager, I'm just finished my second year in Collage (studying Photography). I'm looking for someone to talk to over the summer and maybe longer. So, if you want to write me back you'll find my info below along with my email and phone number.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!'

He sighed, that would have to do.. He folded it over and sealed the envelope making sure it was addressed properly and had he stamp on in the correct place. Well.. Now or never before he ripped it up and did the process all over again...

He headed down and pull on a loose hoodie before dashing over to send it and be done with it. He hesitated for a long while, pretty sure he had turned to stone. He made a brave face and stood up straight. You can do this, Yeager! He told himself before just letting go and watching his letter disappear..

Oh shit he fucked up! And now it was too late to change his mind! Damn it!

 

~Three weeks later~

 

The young man had just woken up and started up a new game when his mother had dropped a envelope on his lap while the brunet battled Skyrim 's many evil creatures. He gasped and instantly tossed aside his controller and tore open the Envelope to read his first and only response so far.

' Hello Brat. ' Eren blinked at the weird first statement. He shook it off and decided to give him a chance anyway.

'Hello Brat." There were a series of crossed out words and sentences where this guy had probably had the same problem Eren had almost a month ago. "I had nothing to do so I figured I'd write to you since it'd kill time. I got no one to write too so whatever. I don't got shit to say right now. I haven't ever really wrote to anyone before and I'm not good with words. But if you're dumb enough to write me back then that might be a pleasant distraction, I'm a Captain serving in Lebanon. I didn't know you needed to go to fucking Collage to take pictures. So yeah. Good luck and I'll see you later.

-Levi'

Eren re-read the letter a few times. Levi? No last name? Well... He seemed strange, this 'Captain Levi'.. The brunet couldn't help but smile at his letter. He seemed so awkward, it was cute.. He didn't expect someone in the middle of a war zone would be so shy sounding. It was sweet.

He was definitely writing back to that guy. He was fond of this Captain already~

 

Chapter Text

The sun was beating down on the desert-like terrain. The Captain had to resist the urge to take off his helmet, Erwin had given him shit for it last time, besides his hair was jet black so he'd usually end up feeling even hotter. He settled on pulling his flak jacket off. His mouth was so dry..

"Tch, how much longer do we have left?" He grumbled to the tall red-head next to him.

"What's wrong short-stack?~ Feeling the heat?" Hanji drawled shooting him a shit-eating grin.

"Are you not? It's like 200 degrees out here!" He sighed, letting his rifle drop down to his side and leaned on it. " Damn, this is so boring...Why do we have to be here."

"Well, Lebanon is a relatively new country and it's got Israel to the South and Syria to the East and North so it's in a difficult position."

"I know! It was a rhetorical question, Shitty glasses." The shorter man growled. "God.. This is so boring.. "

"Welp, someone needs to watch the border, at least we don't need to go out on raids or fight today." Hanji shrugged, getting serious again too. "Why don't you go get something to drink or write to you're family? I mean not one's coming through this checkpoint anytime soon?"

Levi was quiet for a moment, deep in thought. " I ain't good with words. Writing isn't my thing.."

"Ha! It's not like you need to write grade-A poetry!~ Just write to your mom or girlfriend. Actually, I've never seen you write to anyone before.. Why not?"

"None of your damn business!" He snapped, heading over to sit in the shade.

"Okay.. Well.. Maybe you could write to that pen pal thing?"

"What?! How damn depressing do you think I am!?"

"Well, think about it, it'd give you someone to talk to." Hanji mentioned softly. Silence settled between again.

Despite his reaction Levi began considering that pen pal thing.. He'd never really wrote anyone before and it might be nice to not be the only person with no one to write to..

 

Later when Mike and Nanaba came to relieve them for the night Hanji, being the pushy bastard they were dragged him to the Pen pal sign up post. Levi felt dread as soon as he signed the register. What was he getting into? Some damn housewife or high school kid doing a project would be stuck writing him.. Damn..

"There!~ Now you'll get a new friend! Here, I'll sign up too! Then we can trade if you don't like yours~" Hanji offered.

"No, don't bother.." He waved his crazy friend off.

"Nah, I was thinking about joining this anyway! My offer is still open anyway!"

"Whatever." Levi rolled his eyes. "I'm going to read this shitty thing." He sighed, waving his assigned envelope for her to see before heading to his bunk in the barracks.

"Tch, lets see what kind of idiot I got." he grumbled to himself, ripping open the letter.

'Hi Sir/Ma'am,

My name is Eren Yeager, I'm just finished my second year in Collage (studying Photography). I'm looking for someone to talk to over the Summer and maybe longer'

Levi stopped for a moment. A University student? Tch, great.. What would he have to say to this brat? He'd never been to collage. He hadn't even finished high school!

That aside, what would he even say to a complete stranger?! He didn't even know if they were a guy or girl! Eren huh? That was a girl's name wasn't it? But Eren? Wasn't that spelled with an 'I'? So was he writing some dyslexic wannabe photographer?

"Tch, screw it!" He grumbled, tucking the letter away into his rucksack to be disposed of later. He took off his boots and set about cleaning and polishing them for tomorrow.

Once he was done he lay back with his arms folded behind his head. For some reason he couldn't help but think about the letter he received.. ' Looking forward to hearing from you soon!' Tsk, not likely little miss Yeager! He may feel weird whenever he saw others writing to their family and friends but he wasn't that lonely!

 

Three days later however while Levi was leading his squad through simple emergency drills, Hanji who was undoubtedly snooping around at his bunk and discovered the letter and interrupted his training to confront him about it.

"Levi, my Dear!" She grabbed him from behind tightly. "You haven't responded to that sweet kids letter have you?!"

"Get off me! You reek of piss! " He snapped, elbowing his friend in the nose.

"Ouch! You're such a brat! Is my nose bleeding!?" The taller asked, dropping him and holding over said large nose.

"I hope so. And not that it's any of your concern but no I haven't and I'm not going to! I've changed my mind, give the letter to someone else. Now if you'll excuse me I'm busy!" He turned back to his confused comrades.

"Don't be an asshole! You'll write that poor child if I have to tie you to a desk and make you!"

"Go to hell! Everyone, fall back into position!"

"At ease! You're excused for the rest of the evening! Go have fun!" Hanji ordered over him. "Captain Levi is coming with me for a while."

"Let go you crazy sack of shit!" He ordered.

"I outrank you Mr Ackerman! This is an order; Write. that. child. back." Hanji ordered coldly, dead serious for once and daring Levi to disagree.

"Che.. Fine... I'll write to the little shit! But don't expect them to write back!"

"Good!~" Hanji's carefree demeanor was back suddenly. " 'Sides, the kid seems a bit lonely too~ I'm sure you'll be the best of friends in no time! "

'Yeah, me with friends. Shitty glasses has lost their tiny little mind' Levi thought to himself. But Hanji had pointed out a context he hadn't noticed earlier.. The letter did seem to be a bit lonely sounding now that he thought about it.. Maybe he could get something to write.. Something not half bad! Well... Not bad at least..

"Fine, go get me some paper and I'll think of something to send the brat.." The shorter of the two sighed. How did Hanji always beat him into doing things..

Once they were seated and Hanji saw Levi had started writing they offered to get some tea for him, knowing Levi was the kind to finish something once he got started.

It took him a lot of time to even write the greeting. 'Hi' was so informal and childish.. 'Dear' was too sappy... 'What's up' was just disgusting.. 'Hello' would have to do..

Eren...

No, that brat probably spelled it wrong. But then again if this girl hadn't then he didn't want to annoy her in his first letter.. 'Brat' Well that was all he could think off really..

He let out a helpless groan before looking around quickly to make sure no one heard him before leaning back.. Fuck.. What in gods name could he say?

'I'm in Lebanon' No that was a dumb place to start! He crossed it out right away.

'So you do-' Do what? Photographs?! Get your shit together Levi! You can take apart an m16, clean it and put it back together in the dark in less than 2 minutes yet you can't even write a damn letter with no time restrictions?!

'Where do you live?' What. the. shit. is. wrong. with. you. Not only do you have her address but you sound like some creepy stalker!! Just write to this girl! It's not so hard! Shit if Oludo can do it every few days then it mustn't be too hard!

He sighed and tried to think again.. 'Do you think you could send Detol?' Oh great, fucking great Captain, first thing you do is ask for something and make her think you're some OCD clean freak!

Good thing Hanji wasn't here anymore. He could only imagine the teasing he'd get for this..

Fine, he'd just wing it. Fuck it, he didn't even want to write to this 'Pen Pal' anymore!

 

After spending all his free time for about two or three days he finally got something that seemed passable. Well, Hanji couldn't say he didn't try now! The black haired Captain handed the letter over, not feeling particularly hopeful but at least he'd done it and didn't have to worry about it hanging over his head now.

 

Less than a week after it'd been sent Levi's second in command Eld came to him with a letter. "Sir!" he saluted.

"What?" Levi asked, finally looking up from his cleaning and almost gasping, no way had the kid wrote back already?

"This came in the post for you, Sir!" Eld held the letter out for him, seeming just as perplexed and surprised, Levi had never received anything before so this was already big news around his peers.

The Captain straighten up. "Did it now? Thank you, now get back to your duties, we're here to protect the border, not deliver mail!" Levi ordered, saluting Eld back as he ran off to do as he was told.

Well now, what was this? Why did he feel so excited and giddy all of a sudden? He felt like a school boy again, he quickly surveyed the room to make sure he was alone and not being watched before eagerly ripping open he letter and reading it quickly.

' Nice to meet you Levi! (Or Captain, whichever you prefer!),

I almost thought you weren't going to write back! Silly me. Well, it's nice to have a pen pal anyway. (I've never had one before)

You don't have to go to Collage for photography I guess but it's an advantage anyway, they set up galleries and have shows and festivals so it's easier to be discovered.. But Can you not call me 'Brat'? I don't mean to be rude or anything but-'

Levi had to stop already since he couldn't stop laughing. Dear lord, he got such an idiotic but adorable brat! It was relaxing to know he wasn't the only one who didn't have anyone to write to anymore and that this kid wasn't very experienced with Pen pals either. He was definitely writing this kid back~

Maybe Hanji could have some good ideas.

Sometimes anyway..

Chapter Text

' Nice to meet you Levi! (Or Captain, whichever you prefer!),

I almost thought you weren't going to write back! Silly me. Well, it's nice to have a pen pal anyway. (I've never had one before)

You don't have to go to Collage for photography I guess, but it's an advantage anyway, they set up galleries and have shows and festivals so it's easier to be discovered.. But Can you not call me 'Brat'? I don't mean to be rude or anything but it kinda makes me feel like I'm a unreasonable five year old.

You're in Lebanon? Weird, I thought all troops would be in places like Syria or Iraq. Not to offend or anything it's just odd to hear about that.

You wrote back in your own writing so I guess you don't have a computer with you so I'll write back by hand too! And Yeah, I guess I'm dumb enough to write you back again.. If you want anyway.

Can I ask why you said you were bored? And what your full name is? Thanks for writing back!

Stay safe!~

- Eren Yeager. '

 

Levi couldn't help feeling amused at how innocent and annoying Eren was.

 

She did write back to him so that was something anyway. He liked how she sounded in this, maybe writing to her wouldn't be as hard as he'd originally thought?

 

After all she seemed friendly enough, and she didn't take him too serious. Well fuck it he decided to see how far this pen pal thing could go.

The Captain smirked, he had the prefect idea of what to write now~

 

" To Brat,

Saying you don't want to be called a brat just makes you sound more like one. But pictures huh? What kind do you take or do you just take pictures of what you're told too?

Wow thanks, Lebanon is on the border to Israel and Syria and those aren't countries known for being peaceful and fucking swell. But for your information I was injured in Syria and sent here to train recruits and keep watch on the border. I don't allow terrorists out or guns in. It's not actually very interesting but it has it's moments.

I'm here to protect borders, not check out the internet all day. Well, actually it just cost a lot to use it. There's only public ones and it's probably older than Hanji's (a filthy lunatic I work with) socks. That probably doesn't make sense to you but take my word for it, Hanji is disgusting and never washes or get a change of clothes.

If you are dumb enough to write back then boy do I feel for you. You must seriously need some extra credit shit.

Why I'm bored? You answered your own question, idiot. I'm on border control. I'm stopping farmers, journalists and soldiers all wise enough to get the fuck out of here. Yeah well, like I said it's something to do.

Ackerman. Levi Ackerman. You're name's a bit odd by the way. "

Eren had waited so impatiently for this letter and pouted when he noticed the very first thing written in it was 'To Brat'.

Levi was such an asshole..

Oh, maybe not actually, he asked about his photography! That was something even if he was only asking out of politeness~ How much would Levi actually know about photography?

Tsk, no shit but Lebanon kinda seemed like a peace core place not an army invaded country. Ops, he was injured?! Way to go seem like an asshole Eren Yeager, you rude brat!
He wondered if he should avoid mentioning it but that might seem obvious and he was kinda curious his time.. He'd mention it in passing maybe..

Damn was he already after moving onto a sensitive topic? Jeez, Levi seemed really easy to offend if so.. Then again why would he bring it up if he hated this Hanji person? He guessed he could ask about that later too. Just to make sure he hadn't read the context wrong.

Ha! Levi was kinda funny in a dry way~ How cute. He decided to tease him later and try make sure Levi was joking around anyway.

Well now he had a full name to assign this stranger...

Levi Ackerman..

 

' Hi Levi, You're so mean!

Fine, call me a brat all you want, I'll call you something annoying back! You're lucky you seem to be nice despite your mean nick names.

If you're really interested then, I personally like to take pictures of landscapes and nature. But I do sometimes take pictures of my friends and selfies.

Sorry if I offended you! Oh really? What happened to you? Were you shot? ' There was a drawing for a 'gasping' cat. Or maybe it was a dog? Some kind of animal anyway. It was kinda cute.. 'Really? Well do you have any cool stories to share? I doubt you'll find anything I have to say interesting. Are you friends with the recruits or is it like in Full Metal Jacket?

Ha. Ha. That was sarcastic btw! Really? I guess if you're not in a war zone they'd have computers in there so that makes sense. Oh um.. Sorry to hear that I guess. Do you guys not get along or something?

No it's not like that! I just didn't have anything to do this summer, my sister is going off to nationals and my best friend is going to be studying constantly since he's going to be in his final year soon and he doesn't think he studied enough for it. I'm just going to be by myself so I figured why not, you know?

Haha! You sound like a real pessimistic grump! Well then, until next time I guess I better be going. I promised to go out to some get together at a classmates house later, good luck Captain Ackerman!~ '

Levi smirked slightly. This little shit was so cute.

Selfies? Weird.. What the hell was a selfies?

The drawing especially.. He actually laughed quietly at the reference to Full Metal Jacket.. How damn childish this brat was~

 

" Dear idiot,

You won't be able to tell if something annoys me, our 'banter' if you could really call it that since there's a while between our messages is purely written so there's no way you can tell if something truly bugs me.' Eren could already imagine the smirk on the other's face writing this. It made him laugh. This guy was so serious and up tight~

"By 'landscapes' you mean trees and buildings or some shit right? What the fucking shit is a 'selfie'?

Well not exactly. I got caught too close to a mortar shell. Shrapnel hit me pretty hard. I almost loss my left nut. And my leg. It's not that big a deal through. I just need time to recoup and I'll be back on the front-lines. Well a few I guess.. Me and Hanji once caught this really old couple armed to the teeth with automatic machine guns trying to cross the border into Israel. I dunno, I've never been to Collage and I don't have a sister or brother so try me I guess. Full Metal Jacket? Are you shitting me?! Hell no, there's a law in place forbidding commanding officers to punish one individual for something unless approved by the pig officers. Those idiots can't even load a pistol.

Duh, idiot. No, I get on with Hanji really. We're friends I guess.. Hanji is just hard to put up with and never showers which is very annoying when I have to stand guard with that four eyed fuck all day.

Alright, well I'll write back soon I guess. Don't go get pregnant now, idiot.

Until next time, Levi. "

Wow, Levi got hit by a mortar and survived!? This guy was so badass! He wanted to know more about him, he wanted to know everything!

Wait pregnant? Did he mean don't get someone else pregnant?

 

Eren blinked having to re-read that a few times..

 

No way did Levi think he was a girl?!

 

"Shit.. I knew I shouldn't have drawn that damn cat!" He whined, slumping back in his seat and covering his teal eyes, embarrassed beyond belief.

Chapter Text

Eren stayed in his room all day after that revelation.

Levi Ackerman thought he was a girl.

Why though? He didn't come across campy did he? What made that impression? Had he done something to make him think that? Was his writing that effeminate? He'd be lying if he said that he hadn't gone out of his way to write well to him.

After a few hours of fretting and reflecting he finally decided to just write to Levi and clear this whole mistake up! After all why should he sit here feeling stupid when he could just clear the air and be done with it.

'Ha, and I'm the idiot? I don't have to worry about getting pregnant, I'm a guy-'

He stopped suddenly. No that was mean and might insult Levi.. He crossed it out repeatedly. Don't be stupid Eren!

The brunet was struck with another realization.

What if Levi wants to write a girl?

After all he was a man, a man living in a boring military base with nothing to do except train and stand guard. He might want to have a sweet, cute girl writing him not some random guy.. The Captain was probably surrounded by other guys.

What if he stopped writing if he found out?

Eren had gotten surprisingly close to this guy. He looked forward to his replies all week..

What should he do?

 

At a loss, Eren turned to his favorite problem-solver and best friend Armin.

He'd texted him to see if he could come over stating it was an emergency. That might be an overreaction but he seriously didn't know what to do..

Armin was always good at this stuff and was one of the few people who could calm him down when he was freaking out like this or dangerously mad.

Armin told him to drop by his grandpa's place in a few minutes and they could talk. Eren felt a swell of pride knowing his book worm friend was willing to put his study aside to speak to him when he really needed it. Armin was a champ. He was lucky to have him.

Once he arrived Armin's grandpa let him in and offered him some scones and tea. Eren politely refused and made his way up to Armin's room, after taking his shoes off of course. Armin had a lot of carpeting in his house and unlike in his own they didn't want to risk tracking in dirt.

"Armin, you in there." He asked, knocking tentatively.

"Yeah, C'mon in. What's the problem Eren? I swear if I put aside my study to help you beat some stupid Darksoul's level I'll scream." The blond warned.

"Relax, nothing like that." Eren forced a laugh, letting himself into his friend’s room. No matter how many times he was in his friend’s room before he'd never get used to it. It was only a quarter the size of his own but so much neater. All his books and CD's were organized in alphabetical order, his clothes were neatly folded away under his bed or in the drawers and shelves and some of his figurines were standing on the dust free windowsill. Mostly of the solar system or models he'd made while he was bored.

"Then what is it?" Armin asked closing his laptop and patting the bed in front of him, suddenly seeming concerned, his eyebrows furrowed.

"Well ugh... Promise you won't tell Mikasa?" Eren asked, sitting where his blonde friend ordered.

"I won't unless I need to." Armin answered honestly after a slight pause.

"Che... That's the best I can get off you huh?" Eren tried to joke but Armin didn't look amused. "Fine.. Well.. Hear me out then. I started that pen pal thing that Krista was talking about and.. I got this guy but… Um..”

“Oh god Eren did you get some prisoner or something?!” Armin interrupted, covering his mouth as if to conceal his dramatic gasp.

“What-no! Not at all, I got a soldier. Why did you think I’d get a prisoner? You know what it doesn’t matter. That’s not what I need help with. He’s super nice and I like writing to him but the thing is.. He kinda… Thinks I’m a girl”

Armin who had been listing closely up until then burst out laughing. “Oh my Gosh Eren! That’s so funny!”

“Lay off Armin I feel dumb enough already.. You’re my friend you’re supposed to help me out not laugh at me..” Eren growled, Armin was lucky he was one of the only people he’d let laugh at him like this. Anyone else would have a fat lip by now.. “Please just help me. I like him but I don’t think he’ll want to talk to me anymore if he finds out. What if he wants to talk to a girl and isn’t interested in talking to someone like me?”

Armin let out a sigh. “Eren.. What am I going to do with you?” He starched the back of his head with a yawn. “If he’s been talking to you so far then maybe he won’t care and just be happy to have someone to write too? Why do you care so much if he stops writing to you? Wouldn’t you usually not care if someone spoke to you or not? Have you got a crush on soldier-boy?” Armin teased.

Eren glared at him in annoyance but listened to what he said. Well that made sense.. Levi mentioned not having anyone to write too.. Maybe he’d keep it up anyway? After all the Captain seemed just as bored as himself.. “What?! Go to hell! I don’t have a crush on him! I like talking to him that’s all!”

“Jeez.. I was just kidding.. Any way I’d say just tell him. I bet it was just your name that confused him.”
“What? Why?! What the hell’s wrong with my name?!” Eren growled.

“Nothing. But Erin is a girl’s name too. He probably doesn’t know it’s a boy’s name as wel. Armin shrugged. “You’re getting worked up over nothing.

“Hopefully…” Eren sighed. Maybe he was just worried over nothing.

I mean, it wasn’t like Levi would be mad right?

But how do you tell someone you’re not a woman? This wasn’t exactly an everyday occurrence..

What in the world possessed him to go get a freaking pen pal?

Were all pen pals this awkward to write to?

Chapter Text

Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up I just figured I'd ask, does anyone actually want this to continue? If not that's fine but if anyone is somehow still waiting for this I can try finish it off.

 

Just let me know. Thanks