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Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time. -Deborah Chaskin
"Ouch, he said you looked constipated? We need to work on your flirting skills Levi," Hanji laughed as she clasped a hand on my back. We were currently outside the castle ways with our 3DMG, preparing for our afternoon maneuvering class. I was pretty sure Eren was scheduled to be at my two o clock class, and a rush of excitement flowed through me.
I sighed and shrugged her hand off. Petra gave me a sympathetic look as she shrugged her shoulders. It was the nicest way of telling me that I was hopeless. I crossed my arms over my chest and clicked my tongue in annoyance.
"I was doing fine until Ackerman decided to show up," I grunted, recalling the stoic adoptive sister of Eren. She was a pain in the ass.
"Oooh, cat fight! You should've known you'd have competition Levi!," Hanji said as she posed her hands like cat claws, "You're gonna have to step it up."
"Yeah, yeah, I know," I said as I leaned against a big ass tree.
"I think you're doing good so far Heichou. You just need to warm up a bit, don't be so cold when you talk to him. You have to be able to let him in," Petra said as she readjusted her harnesses.
"Mhm," I said with a disinterested tone.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mike, Erd, Gunter, and Auruo walking towards us. I lifted my hand to shush the women. I didn't want the buffoons eavesdropping. Upon walking up to us, Mike began sniffing all of us. I rolled my eyes as I felt Mike's breath on my neck while he sniffed me.
"You smell different Heichou," Mike said with an inquisitive look.
I raised an eyebrow as Mike bent down and sniffed me again, "Tch, I don't know what you're talking about."
"That, my dear friend is the smell of lo—" Hanji began, but stopped when Petra clapped a hand over her mouth.
"Lotion!" Petra laughed nervously, "I let Heichou borrow mine because his hands were dry after bleaching his uniforms. Bleach is really harsh on your skin, you know? Heheh. He didn't want anyone to know because he was a bit shy."
All eyes fell on me and I snorted, "Got a problem with that?"
"No Heichou," they all replied and I faintly heard Auruo asking Petra if he too could borrow her lotion. She gave him a playful shove as she began conversing with Hanji. He smiled at her with a lovesick expression while her back was turned. Tch, they were clueless.
The group drifted into talking about another topic. I shot Hanji an icy glare and she smiled sheepishly. For someone so smart, sometimes the woman was really dumb. She knew that I couldn't let anyone else know of my intentions concerning Eren just yet. I didn't want any snakes whispering in his ear and supplying him with false information or gossip. I also didn't want anyone planting any ideas in his head. I wanted to boy to like me for me, not because some bone head told him to. After years of having everyone admire me for the hero they thought I was, I yearned for someone to like me for who I genuinely am.
That was something I admired in Eren. Although the boy was star struck when we first met, he quickly learned that I wasn't some super hero, and that I was just like anyone else. I had my faults and I had my quirks. The brat never felt afraid to voice his opinion, albeit he would do it in a timid manner, but he did it none the less. He never told me what he thought would please me. Eren would always speak his mind, unlike the other soldiers who were like mindless drones. We would have conversations about military planning and strategies while he cleaned my office and I did paperwork, and I loved to hear his input. He spoke to me with excitement and childlike wonder. Eren was able to look past my hero façade, just as I was able to look past his "monster" façade. When we were together, it seemed like we were normal, just for a fleeting moment. It was something I cherished.
Hopefully, I'd be able to get in some quality time with the brat today during our 3DMG class. The group of new recruits walked over to us while chatting animatedly. Eren was wedged between Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert. His face was jovial and relaxed as he laughed at something one of his friends said. A frown tugged at my lips. I wanted to be the one to make the shitty brat laugh. I kicked off the wall and signaled for the recruits to come over. A wave of silence fell over the group as my eyes crossed over them.
"You're all late," I deadpanned.
"But Heichou the class is at two and it's two now!" Sasha exclaimed.
She visibly flinched as I glared at the group, "To be on time is to be late. I expect you all to get your sorry asses out here at least ten minutes before any of my classes. I'll bet you lazy bastards didn't even stretch before coming out here?"
A low murmur erupted throughout the group as guilty looks where exchanged. I turned my attention to my nails as I let out an aggravated sigh, "And just what did you all plan on doing after you pulled a muscle out here? You'd be rendered useless. Petra and Auruo, give them a proper class on stretching. I hate to waste time, but an injured soldier would be an even bigger waste of time than wasting thirty minutes of maneuvering class."
"Yes Heichou!" they called as they took my place at the head of their group. The pair got the new recruits into formation and began the demonstrational class.
I let my eyes fall on Eren who was currently fairing far better than the other male recruits as they stretched. He was definitely more flexible than most. He certainly wasn't very muscular, but he was lean, and very lanky. It added nicely to his boy like charm. It was something I admired about the boy. He acted like a tough little shit, but in actuality, he was quite delicate, like a flower. If it wasn't for his titan healing, the boy's beautiful sun kissed skin would be littered with ugly scars and bruises.
The boy bent over and touched his toes with ease. I looked away to refrain myself from staring at the brunette's marvelously sculpted behind. I chewed my lip and willed the thoughts away as I gazed at the innocent, childlike eyes. Eren was like an angel, and I didn't want to sully his innocence before I finished wooing the boy. He had such a profound effect on my life and he deserved so much more. I was never big on affection and I certainly didn't want to spoil the shitty brat, but when I looked into those big puppy dog eyes of his, I felt like showering the boy in flowers and chocolates. Hell if Eren Jaeger wouldn't be the death of me. His warmth was enough to melt my cold heart.
I watched as Eren rose to his feet from his stretching position. He stumbled a bit and fell back onto Jean Kirstein. I narrowed my eyes as Jean shoved my angel off of him and berated him.
"What the hell Jaeger! Watch where you back up that fat ass of yours!"
"My ass isn't fat you bastard!" Eren yelled as punched Jean in the shoulder.
"Yeah right, that thing is humungous. It must be from having so many cocks shoved up it."
"What-? I'm not even gay you asshole," Eren growled.
As Eren's words rang through my ears I felt my stomach sink. I had never considered the possibility that Eren might not be physically attracted to men. The thought made my heart ache, but I wouldn't give up so easily. I always got what I wanted. So the little shit isn't into guys? We'll see about that.
When Petra and Auruo ended the stretching class, we moved into the 3DMG class. I let the others instruct the class because they didn't scare the brats shitless when they spoke. Besides, I'd always thought that actions spoke louder than words, so I decided I'd jump in if they need a demonstration.
"Since you guys are new to the Survey Corps, we don't really have a clear idea of how you all function as soldiers. We have designed a Titan simulation course, much like the one you went through during training to get a clear idea of your strengths and weaknesses. Keep in mind you have to control your momentum to be able to get a clean cut," Gunter explained, "if you aren't in control of your movements you lose your precision, and that's why you get shallow cuts. If you can control your momentum, you'll be able to get cleaner cuts."
"Also," Petra said, "sometimes you won't be able to go directly for a Titan's nape. If that is the case, you can make many superficial cuts to the muscle, like the Achilles' heel to stop a Titan's mobility before they heal. I want you all to focus on the precision of your cuts. We will shadow you as you move throughout the forest, understood?"
"Yes ma'am!" the group cried, eager to display their prowess.
As the group kicked off, I immediately began to shadow Eren. The kid was decent enough, but his maneuvering was subpar. His movements were too erratic and uncontrolled, much like his personality. He would shoot off in different directions without even thinking twice and he narrowly missed colliding with some of the other new recruits. He spun and twisted as he weaved through the woods with a look of fierce determination on his face. His movements were anything but graceful, but he continued to glide on. It seemed that he was still obsessed with killing Titans, even if they were fake in this case. I suppose I should applaud his enthusiasm however, because the brat looked so excited I thought he might wet himself. His blonde friend Armin struggled to keep up with him and eventually lost Eren, while Mikasa never missed a beat. I glared at the girl's back as I continued to trail Eren.
When he reached his first dummy Titan, he did a back flip and sliced the nape of its neck. The flip gave him enough momentum to slice it's nape in the blink of an eye, but his cut was shallow and not clean. He angrily mumbled to himself as he twisted around to examine his first cut. A few moments later his sister swooped in and nailed a much cleaner cut on the same dummy Titan. Eren clearly had some sort of inferior complex, because he twisted his face in annoyance after watching his sister perform.
"Mikasa you don't have to follow me everywhere! I know you want to protect me, but they're not even real Titans!" Eren shouted.
"But Eren-," Mikasa protested in a soft tone.
"Just go, okay? You're messing up my concentration," Eren said as he scouted the forest for another dummy Titan.
"Alright then," Mikasa said wearily as she tugged on her red scarf.
I couldn't help but smirk at the display. Eren was even more oblivious than I'd realize. The boy had two people pinning for his affections and he didn't even realize it. He was much too caught up in whatever was in his mind to even comprehend it. I shrugged it off as Eren stalked off in the opposite direction of Mikasa. I shot off in Eren's direction and our eyes met for a brief moment. Her angry glare met bored expression and I whizzed past her. She angrily mumbled 'damn shorty' before heading off. I felt my smirk widen.
As Eren continued to sail throughout the forest, he let out an excited cry as he closed in on a second Titan dummy. He did a half spin and sliced the nape of its neck. This cut was much better than the last and Eren wore a triumphant smile. He flipped over and circled the dummy Titan again and prepared to launch another attack. He performed another half spin and took a clean cut out of the dummy. Eren's smile grew even wider and he pumped his fist in the air.
He still had enough room for a third cut on the dummy, and Eren looped behind the Titan to land a third another cut. He did a complex spin and swung in to slash the titan again when he smacked heads with another recruit. Their heads met with a loud thunk, and Eren landed on the ground. The other recruit landed on a nearby tree branch and grasped his head in his hands.
"Augh, it's okay Connie," Eren replied as he rubbed his forehead, "Ugh, my head."
Connie moved in to give Eren a hand, but I waved him off, "Continue the evaluation, I'll deal with Jaeger."
"Yes Heichou!" the boy squeaked as he took off.
I landed next to Eren and sighed. The boy had landed a few good hits and he got cocky. And where did that get him? On the ground, on his ass. I looked at the pitiful sight that was Eren Jaeger. He gave me a sheepish grin as he gingerly rubbed his now bruising head. I rolled my eyes at the boy and extended a hand to pull him up. He smiled at my kind gesture and grasped my hand. His hand was large and warm, and rather clammy. But it felt nice in my hand, like a perfect fit. I gently pulled the boy to his feet and my hand lingered a few more moments before I dropped it to my side.
Although I was thankful for the boy's safety, I couldn't help but marvel at his apparent lack of coordination. The boy was a tall, awkward, klutz.
"Oi, shitty brat, are you alright?" I asked crossing my arms over my chest.
"Yes sir, I'm okay, just a few bruises," he answered.
"Good then. You looked like a bird with a broken wing out there Jaeger, not graceful at all."
Eren smiled sheepishly and nervously rubbed the back of his head, "I'm sorry Heichou. I was trying my best."
"Yeah, yeah. Don't apologize; you have nothing to be sorry for. You just need to work on your maneuvering, like your stance for instance. If you spin with your arms out, you will be in better control then letting your arms hang by your side like two limp noodles," I said as I looked at the boy.
"Like this Heichou?" Eren asked imitating trying the stance I described. He stood with his arms out and the triggers in both hands.
"Widen your stance a bit and bend your knees," I said.
"Like this?" Eren asked, eager to please.
At this point, my pulse quickened as I watched Eren. The sight was absolutely adorable. His brow was knotted in concentration and a childlike pout adorned his plump, pink lips. His brown hair was tousled and fell over his big, teal green eyes. I felt the urge to reach out and touch the boy. Even though he stated he had no interest in men, I couldn't give up my pursuit. Pride be damned, I would find a way to make that boy mine.
I bit my lip. I cautiously walked over to Eren and placed my hands of his hips, "No, like this."
I kicked his foot out a little and helped him plant his feet into a proper stance. His breath hitched in his throat as I touched him and his face immediately flushed pink. I was glad my face was hidden behind his back, otherwise, he would have seen my flushed face. Even though our bodies weren't touching, I could feel the heat radiating off the brunette. It was warm and inviting. I couldn't help but enjoy having the boy so close to me, and a small smile played at my lips.
I desperately tried to calm my beating heart; for fear that it might burst out of my chest. I took a deep breath and grasped his hips and moved him into a slow, mimicked spin. He was hesitant at first, but followed my lead none the less. His body followed mine as I guided him into the movement. It was like dance of sorts. When we were halfway through the spin I moved my hands to Eren's arms and made a slashing motion as we span. When we finished the rotation I reluctantly let go of Eren and took a step back.
"Get it now?" I asked.
"Y-yes, I think I understand," Eren stammered, his cheeks still pink.
"Good, this class is just about over," I said as other soldiers began flying over our heads," Come on, let's head back now, it's probably time for lunch."
After we made it back to the castle, I took a cold shower. I didn't want to wash Eren's scent from me, but I was covered in sweat. The cool water calmed my pounding heart. I felt I'd made a small progression with Eren, but I wanted so much more. When I finished showering, I met Hanji and Petra in the kitchen.
"Anything new happen?" Hanji asked as she began to fill her plate.
"Not really," I answered truthfully, "But I overheard that brat talking and he said he doesn't like men."
"I'm sorry Heichou," Petra frowned as she grabbed a biscuit, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. I'm not giving up just yet," I deadpanned as I filled my plate with food that didn't look entirely disgusting.
"Good for you, you persistent little thing! You're like a fungus that won't die," Hanji laughed as we headed toward the mess hall.
I shot Hanji a glare as we sat down at our usual table. Auruo, Eld, and Gunter were already seated and happily munching away. I set my plate down along with my cup of tea. I sat at the end of the table, facing an empty seat. Hanji plopped down next to me while Petra took the seat diagonal to me, next to Auruo. I pushed around the slop of potatoes on my plate lazily.
"Where's Mike?" Hanji asked as she chewed.
"Guard duty," Auruo answered.
Petra playfully shoved him, "Don't talk while you eat! You'll end up biting your tongue!" she chastised.
Auruo's cheeks flushed and he grinned madly. I rolled my eyes and sipped my tea. My eyes trailed over to Eren's table. Most of his friends were already seated and eating, but Eren was nowhere to be seen. As I turned my head, I saw him walking out of the mess hall with a plate full of food. His hair was disheveled and he had a bit of dried drool on his cheek. From the looks of it, he boy had just woken up from a nap.
Hanji eyed Eren with a devious grin. She locked eyes with Petra in some unspoken women's language, and they both nodded.
"Eren!" Hanji called out, "Come here!"
"Come sit with us Eren," Petra said with a friendly smile.
Those devious wenches. Eren glanced at my table with apprehension and then sent a longing gaze toward the table with his friends. He shifted uncomfortably and chewed on his bottom lip.
"Oh come on, you sit with your friends every day. What? You don't have time for us oldies?" Hanji asked with a pout.
"N-no Hanji-san that's not it at all! It's fine, I'll sit with you guys," Eren said hurriedly.
"Great, you can sit next to Levi Heichou," Petra said.
"Okay," Eren said as he set his plate down and took the seat across from me.
I grasped my tea and took a long sip. What exactly where those two playing at? I watched as Eren wolfed down his food. He devoured the mushy potatoes and the loaf of bread greedily and was creating quite the mess. He then proceeded to obnoxiously slurp down his drink, without wiping the crumbs away from his mouth. I would have scolded the boy, but watching his innocent eyes, I held my tongue.
"Disgusting," I heard Auruo mumble.
I felt my eyebrow twitch as I heard Auruo's rude words to Eren. Sometimes I wondered if the man was as grumpy as me. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a handkerchief. I sighed and wiped the crumbs from the boy's face before he could make a mess of his peas. He looked at me with wide eyes as I cleaned his cheek. He was probably confused by the kind gestures I was giving him. I had to admit, the look of confusion was adorable on his face. My squad members on the other hand, stared at me wide eyed and mouths agape, and I swore I felt Mikasa's glare from somewhere in the room.
"Tch, you're such a messy little shit," I scolded him; "Do you always need Heichou to clean you up?"
"S-sorry Heichou, I'll try to be a little neater," he said as he slowly spooned the peas in his mouth.
"So Eren," Hanji began as Eren shoveled the peas in his mouth, "do you have a girlfriend?"
Eren nearly choked on his food and quickly gulped down his glass of water. He looked at Hanji with his eyes wide. He nervously swallowed his food before he spoke, "N-no! I don't have a girlfriend Hanji-san."
I rolled my eyes. What was Hanji playing at? I already knew the boy was single, hell I knew he'd never had his first kiss just by looking at him. The boy screamed, blushing, hormonal bride, anybody could tell that. But Petra and Hanji looked like a hound that had caught onto a scent as they eyed him. Eren glanced around the table as he tried to avoid the women's gaze.
"Oh come on Eren, a handsome boy like you? Surely there's some girl out there's who has at least caught your eye," Petra teased.
"I-well not really," Eren admitted and he swallowed another spoonful of peas.
"Come one Eren, you can tell us!" Hanji prodded.
"W-well I mean Mikasa is pretty, but she's my sister, so that doesn't count. Krista is pretty I guess, but I think Ymir likes her. There was this girl Annie, but she joined the Military Police, and she kinda had a big nose. I really don't have much time for girls, I just wanna kill Titans," Eren answered childishly.
"Well since there aren't any girls who have caught your eye," Petra began.
"Perhaps there's a boy who's caught your eye?" Hanji finished.
Eren's face flushed a bright shade of red and he choked on his peas for a second time, "I-I'm not interested in men."
"Could have fooled me," Auruo murmured. Gunter and Eld silently snickered.
"Really! I'm not," Eren protested.
I quirked an eyebrow at the sudden shift in the conversation and eyed Hanji and Petra. I saw where they were going with this, and I was quite pleased. Those devious wenches.
"I think the young lad doth protest too much," Eld laughed as he sipped his tea.
"How could you know you're not interested in men if you've never tried it before Eren?" Petra asked kindly.
"I-I mean well," Eren stammered, "I just d-don't."
"Eren you know love isn't about the brain at all! It's all about chemicals and hormones actually," Hanji chirped animatedly, "and as unscientific as it sounds, love is mostly about what's in your heart. So let's think about it this way, do you find your friend Armin attractive?"
"N-no I mean he's handsome, but he's my best friend," Eren stammered.
"Reiner?" Petra asked.
"No, I mean he's handsome too and all but I told you I'm not-"
"I know, but bear with us okay?" Hanji asked, "Keep an open mind."
"Your friend Jean?" Petra asked.
"Ew! Horse face? No!" Eren said angrily. Eren's confused eyes and his flushed eyes glazed over me a moment and I smirked behind my tea cup.
"What about…" Hanji began stroking her chin.
She scanned the mess hall twice before her eyes settled on me with a smirk.
"What about…Levi?" she asked with a devilish smile.
The moment of truth was upon us as Eren stared at me with wide eyes. He opened and closed his mouth several times, and a small squeak escaped his lips. He took a deep breath before answering.