Before anything else, shout out to my good friends Ailyn and Dhafnee for persuading me to continue to write the story. Love you guys!
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN/ATTACK ON TITAN
The preliminary exam results were handed out to the students and their Math teacher left.
Sasha was horrified at the sight of her exam score. It was a big, bold 'F' written in red ink.
"Ugh! Why do I suck in math?!" She groaned in disappointment. Her stomach growled. 'Even my stomach thinks so' she sighed.
"Hey, Mikasa. What'd you got?"
"An A+" Mikasa answered in a very Mikasa way. "How about you Sasha?"
"Um… you know what? Forget it. Hehe. It doesn't really matter anyway. Heh"
Sasha smiled sheepishly. She scratched the back of her neck and regretted asking Mikasa, of all people. She already knew Mikasa is a straight A kid but she still asked. Ugh. Stupidity at its finest. She threw her palm in her face and exhaled. She should've just asked Connie instead but when she looked at him, she already knew the answer. She giggled.
"You got an F didn't you?" Jean smirked.
"Shut up horse-face!" She turned to Jean and glared at him.
"You only think about food all day no wonder why your score is shaped like a round potato." Jean evilly chuckled, mocking the crap out of Sasha while taking a bite from his deliciously-looking red apple. "Pota –"
"Say it and I'll break you neck!"
"– to girl!"
Sasha stood up from her chair. She swiftly snatched the half-bitten apple from his hand and shoved it into her mouth. Jean watched in shock.
"Hey! What was that for?!" Now he's angry.
"To annoy you and I haven't eaten any breakfast." She answered with her mouth full while munching the apple and then gulped it all. "My brother punished me for spending all of his savings on food yesterday. I was sick you know…and hungry!"
They were both growling at each other like two dogs ready to rumble. Everybody was looking at them. Marco was about to stand up and stop them when suddenly, the door opened. It was Shadis. The Keith Shadis.
"What is all with this ruckus?" The tall, bald, scary-looking man glared at everyone. "And Braus! Kirschtein! Why aren't you on your seats? I have very important information to announce and I need you to get your ass back on your seats."
"Yes, Sir!" They said in unison and spared each other abhorrent glances.
The room was quiet for a while. Then Shadis cleared his throat.
"Next week is the Fireworks Festival and you are granted a field trip to the west side of the city." The students gasped in astonishment.
"I hate to say this but this field trip is more of an outing than an educational trip. You are also given a chance to stay one night at the most famous hotel of Trost City. After the hectic preliminary exams week, the University heads, except me of course, decided to send you freshmen students to take a break. They included teachers for the trip and that's the only thing I agreed upon."
The students were so happy and can't help but shriek in joy and gladness.
"Mikasa, are you going?" Armin cheerfully asked.
"If Eren will go, then I will go too." Mikasa looked at Eren.
"Ah, hehe. I see… Um, Eren, are you going?"
"Of course Armin! The west side of the city is the beach! And you know what's in beaches?" Eren answered playfully and delightfully.
"Um, sand? And saltwater?"
"No Armin! Sexy ladies! I'm talking about ladies in hot biki–"
Before Eren could even finish off his sentence, Mikasa smacked him in the head.
"Ow! Mikasa!" He glared at her.
'Maybe asking Eren wasn't the wisest choice.' Armin told himself, feeling sorry for his best friend.
"SILENCE!" Shadis shouted in deep annoyance. The students stopped their chitchats and listened to what he was going to say.
"Don't celebrate just yet! After the said field trip, you will be assigned by pair and write a term paper about Titans!"
The room was then filled with but-we're-still-freshmen-to-do-term-papers kind of conversation. "I don't care if you're still freshmen! This is to test if you really belong to this top class. Hmm. I guess that is all brats. You are dismissed for lunch."
RING! RING! RING!
Shadis always know when to start and when to end. He is very keen on consuming his time.
'Right! Lunch. Guess I'll just have to steal again?' Sasha asked herself. She sighed.
"Hey Sasha! Come on! I know this is your favorite part." Connie grinned.
"Oh. Yes, I'll be there in a second!" She smiled. She stood up and crumpled her test paper then threw it in her bag.
'I'll go check on Levi later. Maybe he'd have a change of heart and feed me. Heh'
(In the school refectory)
Sasha sat next to Armin. Next to him were Mikasa and a distressed Eren in her arms. Across her were Connie, Marco and Jean.
'Tch. Why does the potato girl have to sit in the same table as me? We still have unfinished business. I'm totally gonna punch her in the face later' Jean told himself in disgust.
'Ugh. I just want to kick horse face's ass right now.' Sasha gritted her teeth and clenched her fists.
Without even noticing what was really happening, they were already glaring irately at each other.
"Hey guys. Stop it we're here to eat." Marco smiled nervously.
"You're both so annoying." Mikasa said coldly.
"Fine!" They said in unison. Jean looked away. Sasha tucked her arms.
"I'm going to wash my hands." Sasha stood up and went to the girls' CR.
"I'm going to the bathroom." Jean said.
"You're not gonna do something crazy right?" Connie teased.
"Ew! No way!" Jean grimaced.
He stood up and went on to piss all of his ire away. After he was finished doing whatever he did in the bathroom, he went out and saw the door of the girls' bathroom open. There he saw Sasha washing her arms intently on the sink; with her sleeves rolled up to her elbows revealing all her bruises and scars from all the beatings and whippings of her step mom and uncle. She was moping as she was washing away all the dead skin and dried blood from her wounds.
Jean felt his heart ache. He was shocked at the amount of scars Sasha had on her arms. She always wore a sweater or a jacket that's why he never noticed. He was not used to seeing their cheery friend in a very unhappy manner. Sure they had their fair share of nonsense arguments and Sasha may frown at it but it was different. It was heartbreaking.
'The fuck am I feeling this way?' he cussed to himself.
He was unconsciously staring at her. Sasha did not seem to notice, but Mina did.
"What?" he was confused.
"Why are you looking towards the girls' CR?! Are you peeping up on us?" Mina shouted at him furiously.
"There's no way in hell I'm gonna take a peek on you! None of you girls are as glorious as Mikasa so shut up with your false accusations already!" Jean hissed.
"Wow. That's just so rude Jean!" She hissed back at him.
Sasha walked past at them. She didn't even bother sparing Jean a short glance so he just followed her to their table. Everybody started eating already.
As he looked at Sasha, she was back to her usual happy state; smiling and beaming. That made Jean's curiosity grow even deeper.
'Not that I care but she's clearly pretending to be happy.'
"Sasha, where's your lunch?" Armin asked.
"Oh, I um…" She was unsure what to say.
"Would you please share your lunch with me?" She pleaded him.
Armin's eyes widened.
"But if you don't want to, I always know which way the kitchen is. As I told you earlier, I'm under my brother's punishment. I don't have any money and he hadn't even prepared me any –"
"It's fine Sasha!" Armin smiled. "You shared your meat with me last week so it is just right to repay you with half of my lunch today!"
Sasha's gloomy eyes were now filled with gladness. Her stomach agreed with her.
"Wow Armin! You are like the male version of Krista."
"I get that a lot. Heh"
"No! I mean, you both do good deeds and you both always feed me."
Armin blushed. "Um, thanks I guess?" he was about to split his cheeseburger in half when Jean cut him off.
"Eh?" the brunette and blonde were confused and so were the other people on the table.
"Here." He handed Sasha his Kyaraben.
"Stop bullying the little guy and eat it before I change my mind." He looked away to hide his face.
"Woah there Jean. You're doing charities now?" Connie chortled.
"It is very nice of you to do that Jean. You are a good friend indeed." Marco smiled brightly.
"Oh look! It's a Kyaraben! One rice ball must've been shaped like a horse, right Kirschtein?" Eren laughed to his self, Mikasa still eating quietly beside him.
"What did you say Jaeger?!" He was about to stand up from where he was sitting and knock out Eren when…
"Thank you very much Jean Kirschtein!" Sasha stood up and bowed her head. Armin still flabbergasted at how fast Sasha ate all the contents of the lunch box. Everybody else looked up to her but they weren't shock at all. Well, she's Sasha and as Shadis would say it, she is "lightning fast" so yeah, might as well include eating in the list of things she could do with the speed of lightning.
"Consider it as a favor and sooner or later you'll have to pay me ba –"
"Armin! You're still gonna share your cheeseburger with me right?" Armin nodded and Sasha shoved the food into her mouth. She munched happily.
"Dammit Braus! You didn't even let me finish my sentence." Jean rolled his eyes. Sasha did not pay any attention at him as she drank the bottle of water Marco offered her.
"Anyway, what's up with those bruises?"
He just couldn't hold it back. He was curious. But he was tactless and blunt in nature so he spitted it out not considering the fact that it is not the right time to talk about such private stuffs.
They looked at Jean, and then turned to Sasha as if waiting for an answer.
Connie spared him an angry glance.
Sasha spat out the water and coughed.
'Shit. How did he know?' she cursed herself.
"Sasha, are you alright?" the worried Armin gently touched her back.
"Ah. Ha! Ha! 'tis nothing y'know?" she reluctantly answered and faked her laugh.
"You know me. I'm hype and I always stumble upon sharp things."
Connie sighed as they bought her excuse and continued eating. But Jean knew something was off and that she was lying.
"I got to go now. Bye! And thanks for the lunch!" They nodded, except for Jean of course. She waved at them and hurried her paces.
"She's been acting strange lately." Marco exclaimed.
"Sasha is strange. She's not acting at all." Connie joked and Mikasa nodded in agreement.
"Did you see her bruises?"
"Jean!" Connie hissed.
"Oi horse-face! Are you dumb or something? She already said she stumbled upon something sharp. Don't you understand? Tch. I never knew horses suck at comprehension and listening." Eren mocked.
"Shut up Jaeger. I'm going after her."
He stormed off the room.
Sasha eagerly climbed the tall hedge to sneak up on Levi. At Titan High, hedges were used to separate freshmen's buildings from the seniors' to avoid them from disturbing and annoying the graduating students. Both parties are not allowed to roam on their opposites' premises unless permitted by an instructor or after their dismissal in the afternoon.
As Sasha found her most comfortable position in slipping her body in the tiny but strong branches of the hedge, she had a good view on his foster brother who was sitting by the window on the second floor of the building, his face resting at the palm of his right hand while looking outside. She can't help but admire his face – so calm and yet so deadly. She stared at him for a while when a pretty orange-haired girl walked towards Levi. She held a pink box in her hand and handed it to Levi. Even if they were too far, Sasha was certain that the girl blushed when Levi accepted it.
"I wonder if that was Onii-san's girlfriend. She looks so beautiful! And both of them are short. What a perfect match!" She giggled.
"Sasha!" Jean panted.
"I found you!"
"Whaaa? Are you gonna ask me to pay for the food from earlier already? But I don't have any money yet!" She quickly jumped from the hedge and ran off.
"Wait! Stop running! Dammit Sasha!"
"Jean please stop chasing me! I'm sorry for the troubles I caused you! I'm not gonna do it again."
"Sasha! It's not about that!"
Sasha is fast and is her endurance is one of a kind but Jean used all of his energy to catch up with her and he finally did. He grabbed her hand tightly. They were both out of breath.
"Stop it! I just want to say sorry."
"Eh? For what?"
"For asking you questions inconsiderately."
"Oh that's fine. You can let go of me now." She tried to get away from his grip and tried to run away once again. She hated it so much when somebody talks about her scars and bruises. It made her feel ugly and weak. But Jean was persuasive and pulled her close, unintentionally super close.
"Sasha, what's wrong?" He gazed into her eyes.
"I am also your friend. You can tell me everything you know?"
'Shit. Why am I even saying this? I usually don't care about people.'
His heart suddenly beat so fast. Sasha was surprisingly beautiful. Not as glorious as Mikasa or as alluring as Krista, but she was certainly beautiful in her own way.
'How come I haven't noticed this before?'
He shook the thought of his head.
Their faces were just too close to each other as if they were going to kiss.
"I told you Jean, I'm fi –"
A hit to his head
"Hey! What was that for?!" Jean yelled.
Another hit to their holding hands.
"What the –" He turned to the person who whacked his head. He studied the person's face; he was angry and exasperated. He studied the person's clothing; the Wings of Freedom badge – a senior student! (Freshmen were highly advised not to mess with the higher ups, especially THE HEAD OF THE STUDENT COUNCIL!)
"Get. Your. Filthy. Hands. Off. Her." The dark-haired lad narrowed his eyes ferociously at Jean and spanked his head again.
Levi pulled Sasha to his side and laced his hand with hers.
Sasha was shocked at the statement of her brother and so was Jean. He hesitated at first but he understood it wasn't a request and he doesn't want to get into any trouble so he obeyed.
"I don't want to see you near my Sasha ever again. You understand brat?"
Jean nodded half-heartedly and rolled his eyes.
"Jeez Sasha, I never thought you had a boyfriend." Jean walked away. He felt his heart ache. He felt a sudden disappointment like that of a high school boy who recently found out that his crush is already in a relationship.
"H-he's not my boyfriend!" she shouted but Jean was too far to hear her already.
Levi gently took Sasha's hand and poured out some disinfectant and rubbed it in her hands (here's Mr. Squeaky Clean ladies and gentlemen!), his look still annoyed.
"Come on." Levi grabbed her throughout the school and into the school's mini forest. He scowled at every man they pass by as if a lion shooing off potential rivals from her beloved lioness. They passed by Bertholdt; Sasha's childhood crush. Levi gave him a very special death glare. Sasha smiled to him apologetically.
Finally, they arrived. It was a peaceful place. They always go there whenever they want to blow off steam or just relax.
"Was that your boyfriend?" Levi asked coldly.
"What? No!" She blushed.
"Who was he then?"
"Just a friend of mine."
"Is that so? I don't want him to be your friend. I told you not to befriend males."
"What's wrong with you?" She protested. "I'm friends with Connie! He's a male!"
"What was his name?"
"Jean. Jean Kirschtein."
"Hm. I don't want you to go near that Kirschtein kid again."
"Why are you doing this?"
"To save you from heartbreaks."
'The fuck does he mean by heartbreaks?' She rolled her eyes.
"Then I don't want you to go near that orange-head ever again."
"Petra?" He asked perplexedly.
"So that's her name. She's so pretty and you two look so great together! Is she you girlfriend?" She was being honest. Part of her wants them to be together and another part of her does not. She's sort of jealous.
"Whatever. I don't want you to go near her."
"You're not going to protest?"
"You're unbelievable!" She tucked her arms in.
"I'm just kidding though." She grinned. "You two really look good on each other."
"Too bad for you, I wasn't kidding when I told you to stay away from that Kirschtein boy."
"Fine." She pouted. "I don't really like hanging out with him anyways."
The two sat on the ground and laid back on the tree behind them. It was not just some tree. It was what they both called The Tree of Promise because Sasha and Levi carved their promises to each other on the tree. Levi's promise was "To protect Sasha from any harm" while Sasha's promise was "To stay by Onii-san's side forever".
There was a silence for a while.
"Hey. I just remembered. She gave you a pink box right? What's inside of it Onii-san?"
"Right. I almost forgot." He pulled out the box from his bag. "Open it."
"But it's yours!"
"Whatever the content of that box is doesn't really matter."
"Mm. 'kay." She excitedly opened the box as if opening a bag of food. And food it really was!
"S-strawberries!" the smell was so delightful, it tickled Levi's nose.
"Here Onii-san. I know you love strawberries." She picked one piece from the box and offered it to Levi.
"Your fingers are still dirty." He ignored her offer and took a strawberry with his own hands instead.
"You're such a clean-freak it's so irritating." Sasha complained and shoved a lot of strawberries in her mouth.
Levi disregarded her annoying complaints about his allergies against unclean things and took out a large lunchbox filled with rice balls shaped like a panda. Sasha drooled at the sight, her eyes widened with joy and glory.
"Wipe your mouth Sasha. It's disgusting" He instructed as he handed it to her. She obeyed cheerfully and wiped her mouth with her sleeves. She took the lunchbox out of his hands and started digging in.
"I realized I was too hard on you this morning so I bought you this."
Sasha was too busy eating to even listen to his preaching.
"A word of thanks would be highly appreciated."
"Thanks." She said with her mouth full. She smiled at him. Her thank-you-so-much-smile was so genuine and heartwarming; it touched his heart and he couldn't help but smile back.
"Brat." He pats her head. "Now eat fast. Lunch break is almost over. I don't want to be late for my next class."
She nodded and continued eating her lunch gleefully.
(End of Chapter 2)
Definition of terms:
Kyaraben or charaben, a shortened form of character bento, is a style of elaborately arranged bento which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants. Source: Wikipedia
Hi. Sorry this chapter was so long! I did not reread it for spell/grammar check because I'm so tired and lazy. But anyways, I hope you liked it! :) Chapter 3 coming on your waaaay. *winks*