Chapter 1: Lucid Dream
Disclaimer: I do not own Shingeki no Kyojin
Summary: Sixteen-year-old high school student Eren Yeager gets hit by a truck and passes out, bleeding out in the street. When he wakes up in a weird, gigantic steaming body with a pretty girl crying all over him, he thinks maybe dying wasn't the worst thing in the world.
I wrote this story for my own amusement. Modern Eren will more or less bumble through his life as a soldier. Mostly Eremika with some Rivetra and Yumikuri.
Edit: This story was more silly in the beginning because I wrote it for the heck of it, but it somehow ended up becoming more serious.
"Here you are."
"Thanks." Eren Yeager accepted the change and pocketed it.
The store's automatic doors opened and he walked out. The wind howled and pierced his skin through his jacket. Damn, should've put on a thicker jacket. But his mother had sent him out to pick up milk and he'd rushed out without donning proper layers, anxious to get back to his video game.
He blew out warm air from his mouth, watching it disappear as white mist in the freezing temperature. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his bus pass. Fuck! Eren cursed, nearly slipping on the icy sidewalk. He had another near slip before he was able to get to the bench and plop down ungracefully.
Eren pulled out his phone and texted his best friend Armin to see if he wanted to come over for the weekend. As he waited for a reply and his transportation, he opened a game and his thumb began swiping the screen. The cold numbed his fingers and slowed his reaction. This is my shittiest score since I first downloaded this game.
A truck came from around the corner, getting his attention. Black ice had coated the road, making it difficult to get traction and the driver lost control. But it seemed he managed to get control of his vehicle and Eren returned to his game. His head snapped up once more when he heard screeching tires and the frantic horn. Bright headlights blinded him just before he felt pain and pressure all over his body.
Motherfucker! Did I just get hit?! Eren started to slip into unconsciousness. Denial sprang into his mind. No way, no way, no way.
His senses dulled and everything became a blur. He could make out blurry flashes of red and blue and jumbled up voices. Fear took over.
His mind went dark.
When consciousness crept back in, Eren felt something warm against his body.
Someone was pressing their head against his chest, checking his heartbeat. Was he still alive? He could hear a steaming sound around him. The flashes of red and blue were gone. Drowsily, he wondered where the paramedics had run off to. He felt as if he were sitting up and he wanted to move, but his body wouldn't respond. Was he stuck?
The sun shone down on his face. It was so warm and bright and nice. Before it could hit home how the beautiful sunny day did not make sense in the middle of an icy December, a beautiful face came into view. Whoa, Mikasa?! His eyes widened, focusing on her lovely face, eyes filled with tears. Had she found him? Or did she hit him? Because if she was the one that hit him then he wouldn't mind it one bit.
Eren had had a massive crush on Mikasa Ackerman since the third grade but hadn't, in six years worked, up the courage to go talk to her. It was a source of constant teasing between his friends.
"Eren," her voice quavered as she said his name.
It sounds so good when she says it. Eren smiled dopily at her. "You so pretty," he slurred like a drunken idiot.
Then he passed out again.
"Eren, when I get back, I'll show you the basement that I've kept secret all this time."
Huh? What's going on? Eren watched the scene in confusion. "Dad? Is that me? Why am I dressed like a peasant?"
"Keep this key on you at all times," Grisha said as a little Eren stared at the metal object in his hands. "And every time you see it, remember. Remember that you must visit the basement!"
"What basement? We only have an attic." Eren checked his surroundings, noticing the trees. "What kind of weird-ass dream is this?" It was like he was watching a movie. Except he was in the scene but there were no cameras, lights, microphones, or production crew around.
"This injection will make you forget all of this." Tears were running down Grisha's cheeks. "So there's no use explaining now. Just remember this. You must retake Wall Maria and reach the basement!"
Little Eren stepped back, nervous and scared, holding his hand.
"Is that what I unconsciously think of Dad? A mad scientist?" Eren wondered, arms crossed. His father was a pediatrician. But Eren had never been afraid of needles so it couldn't be a nightmare. Even though it strangely almost felt like one.
"I'm certain this ability will help when that time comes!"
"Their memories will tell you how to use it!"
"The fuck is going on here?"
"Eren! You'll understand the truth someday if you visit the basement!"
"Hey, wait, is this what they call a lucid dream?" Excited, Eren squeezed his eyes shut. "On the beach! Mikasa and Katy Perry in a bikini!" He opened his eyes and was disappointed.
"If you want to save Mikasa and Armin, and everyone else, you must learn to control this ability!"
"Am I dead? Is this the afterlife?" Eren asked loudly, curious if any replies would come.
"Are you okay?" Mikasa's soft voice called out to him.
Eren's eyes flew open and he stared at his two friends sleepily. "What?" He gasped awake, feeling his body to check for injuries from the accident.
The lower half of his pants and his right shoe were missing. Why am I dressed like a hobo? He wiggled the toes of his naked foot. Mikasa and Armin were staring at him nervously, dressed in the same outfit. Eren might have laughed at what his best friend was wearing if it weren't for the people with swords surrounding them, who were also wearing the same dorky outfit, albeit sillier with a rose insignia instead of crossed swords.
"What the fuck is going on?" Eren was completely bewildered. "Who are those people? And what the hell is this place?" He turned his head to look back and his eyes almost fell out of their sockets. Holy shit! That's one big ass wall! His mind immediately went to cartoons. Is this Ba Sing Se? No, that's not right.
"Eren, are you yourself again?" Armin asked worriedly. "Tell them everything you know! I'm sure they'll understand!"
"Tell who what? I'm don't get this myself."
"Well, say something, you monster!" A bearded man yelled at him.
Eren gestured his head toward him. "Who's that? And why's he calling me a monster?"
"Some Garrison captain," Mikasa answered, fixing the man with a chilling stare. "He saw us pull you out of that Titan and wants to kill you."
Eren vaguely recalled being stuck in a steaming mass of flesh and Mikasa and Armin pulling him out as he went in and out of consciousness. Nothing made sense. Where was the truck? The bus stop? The city? The snow? Have I lost my mind?
"We're going to blow you right back to hell, freak!"
"You damn bastard!" Eren's mouth ran off ahead of his brain, annoyed by the constant insults. "You can't do that!" His words seemed to take them by surprise. "I know my rights! And I've seen a lot of lawyer shows like How to Get Away with Murder!" Truthfully, he hadn't, but it was on his to-watch list. Lawyers always scared the crap out of jerks, though.
His words earned him gasps of shock and horror.
"Did you hear that?"
"He says he's going to murder us and get away with it!"
"We should kill him!"
"What?!" Eren screeched, incensed at their apparent stupidity and inability to understand basic words. "Are you bastards deaf? I didn't say—"
"Trainees Yeager, Ackerman, and Arlert!" The Garrison captain talked right over him. "Your present behavior is an act of high treason!"
"Your face is an act of high treason!" Eren yelled back. Probably wasn't the wisest thing to do, but it came out automatically.
The man looked stunned for a second before flushing red. "Shut up! Try anything funny or attempt to move from where you are and we'll blast you to bits immediately and without hesitation! This is a direct question! What are you really?! Human?! Or Titan?!"
Does he want me to shut up or answer the question? Eren rolled his eyes. When was the freaky dream going to end? It feels so real. It seemed his imagination was wilder than he thought. He steadfastly refused to believe it was anything but a dream. Otherwise, it meant he was probably losing his mind.
"Eren, you have to answer!" Armin looked panicked.
"Liar! We all saw it! You emerged from the carcass of a Titan! We've allowed an unknown being—you—to infiltrate Wall Rose!"
"Dude, if you already decided what I am, why did you even bother asking?" Eren complained at the logic.
"Even if you are a member of the Training Corps as sanctioned by the king, it is well within reason for me to eliminate any risk as quickly as possible! I'm not wrong!"
He may as well have been speaking another language because Eren had no idea what he was saying.
"The Armored Titan that took down Wall Maria could appear at any moment now," the Garrison captain went on. "As we speak, the very survival of humanity is at stake! Understand?! We can't afford to waste any further manpower or time on you! I will bombard you with high explosives if I have to!"
"Indeed, their defiance is obvious," a young woman with glasses said, standing behind him. "It's unlikely we'll get any beneficial information from them. As you said, this is a waste of time and resources."
Meanwhile, Eren wondered if it was even possible to have dreams within dreams. He'd woken from dreaming about his father injecting him to this weirdness. Am I really having a mental breakdown then? Is this psychosis? But if the movies were right, it wasn't supposed to be like this.
"Sir! Now is our best chance!"
"We should destroy him while he's still in human form!"
Mikasa stepped forward, swords ready. "My specialty is slicing up flesh. I'll gladly demonstrate it if need be. If anyone wants to experience my technique then please, by all means, step this way."
Eren's jaw fell. She's so hot! Thinking about his crush took him back to the accident. That's right, I was hit! While he couldn't remember exactly what had happened, he had a feeling it hadn't been pretty. An uneasy feeling began to grow in the pit of his stomach. Eren eyed his surroundings nervously. He'd never had a dream this creepily realistic before. He was too frightened to consider it wasn't a dream but it was getting harder not to do that. He really hoped the accident hadn't caused some irreversible brain damage.
"Hey, Mikasa! Armin! What is all this?!" Eren asked, hoping for a logical answer that would explain everything.
"Mikasa! Attacking people won't help!" Armin tried to calm her down. "There's nowhere to run inside these cramped Walls!"
"I don't care who my opponent is. I won't let anyone kill Eren. I couldn't care less about anything else!"
"Really?" Eren perked up at her declaration. Maybe the place isn't so bad after all.
"We need to talk with them! None of them understand the situation!" Armin insisted still. "That's why fear's spreading among them!"
Eren observed the cannons pointed at them and the soldiers glaring murderously, holding up their swords. This is really real, isn't it?
What the hell had he gotten himself into? He looked at his hands, fingers twitching. They were too rough and calloused to be his hands. He shifted his body. In his mind, he knew it shouldn't feel like that even if it felt normal. He couldn't feel the soft skin of his stomach. Eren's eyes widened, fingers brushing his abdomen. I have abs! He felt his biceps, the muscles were thicker and firmer and more well-defined than they should have been. The body was his but it was also foreign.
Did I really die? His thoughts went to the bright headlights and the kaleidoscope of memories and feelings that came after. Did his soul come into this body? Was he in some different world? Admittedly, it would be pretty epic.
The smile on his face fell when he remembered the creepy dream with his father and his younger self. Were those this Eren's memories? The thought brought forth tidbits of other memories, quick flashes here and there: wrapping a scarf around a tiny Mikasa, having a meal with his mom and dad, pouring over a book with Armin.
Eren rubbed his head. It felt heavy and stuffed. More flashes appeared, but they were too quick for his conscious brain to fully comprehend. So if I'm here, does that mean this Eren is in my body? Or maybe he's napping in the subconscious mind while I'm in control? Just thinking about the mechanism of it all made his head spin. Mom and Dad must be losing their shit! Thinking about how devastated his parents must be about his accident dimmed his enthusiasm about this alternate world or whatever it was. His insides felt twisted up.
"I'll ask one more time," the Garrison captain screamed, snapping Eren out of his thoughts, bringing him back to his new strange reality. "What are you really?!"
Eren almost blurted out: A homo sapient, you fucking Neanderthal. But he really didn't feel like getting blown up today. "I'm human!" He kept the "duh" at the end to himself.
"I see. Don't take this personally." The man's arm began to rise. "This is just how it has to be. Because no one can prove that they aren't a monster."
"You dumb motherfu—"
"Eren! Armin!" Mikasa ran to them, ditching her swords. "We're going up the Wall!" She picked him up in one swoop.
"Whoa!" Eren said when his world turned upside-down. Hey, she has a nice ass.
The key around his neck fell out from under his shirt, reminding him of the strange dream. It also brought an onslaught of memories of being swallowed whole and transforming in the monster's stomach. That explained why he had woken to Mikasa checking his heartbeat and crying. Jeez, her Eren was one bloodthirsty little bastard, he thought, recalling the violence his new body's former occupant had unleashed in the so-called "Titan" form.
Eren broke free of Mikasa's grasp and yanked her toward Armin, suddenly knowing what to do. Throwing an arm around his best friend, he brought his hand up to his mouth as the cannon fired. I'll need to come up with a cool catchphrase for the future when I transform.
A golden-orange explosion erupted.
Eren grinned, on the shoulder of the half-skeletal half-muscle Titan. This is so fucking cool!
The screen of dust and steam began to clear up. The soldiers noticed the halfway formed giant and cried out in terror, pulling him from his excitement. Oh, right, they're scared of these Titan things. While the men and women around him lost their composure, he broke free to check on his best friend and his crush.
"You two alright?"
Armin gaped at him. "Eren, what is this?"
"A long story," he said, sighing. "But let's get out of here first. This thing's starting to vaporize." Eren stepped out from under the Titan's shelter of flesh and bone. There was plenty of cover keeping them hidden from the soldiers, for now. "I'm sure those clowns will attack again after this display."
"Eren, what happened?" Mikasa asked him.
"Long story short, Dad went full-on Dr. Frankenstein and injected me with some serum that gave me this ability. He said something about it affecting my memories," he threw that in there as cover for later because he didn't have all of the other Eren's memories. "It's why I haven't known about this ability even though he injected me years ago. And he mentioned it was really important to go to our basement. It's where the secrets about the Titans are, I think."
"What?" Armin gasped. "Why didn't he ever say anything before? He—"
"Right now, we have other things to worry about," Mikasa interrupted, staring intently into the steam.
She looks good with short hair, too. Eren mentally shook his head. Stay focused, Yeager, if you want to survive! He heard the soldiers talking outside the cover of steam. "What do we do now?" Eren asked, kneeling to rest. "I'm too tired to become a Titan again." He was sweating, his face pale.
"Armin." Mikasa turned to him. "What do you suggest?"
"You're the smartest person I know. If anyone can figure a way out of this, it's you."
"Yeah," Eren jumped in when Armin turned to him. He knew his best friend lacked self-confidence, which was utterly crazy to him because Eren and everyone else they knew could see what a genius Armin was. Only Armin himself was oblivious to his strengths, too obsessed with his weaknesses. "You always make the right call. I trust you," he declared.
"When have I ever done that?" Armin asked.
Oh shit. Eren didn't think he could cite the number of times Armin had saved his ass on Call of Duty as an example.
"Five years ago," Mikasa responded, much to his relief. "If you hadn't gone and gotten Hannes, Eren and I would have been devoured that day."
Eren listened to the soldiers and said nervously. "Dude, I don't wanna rush you but we're almost out of time."
Armin stood up, determined, and marched out. Go get 'em, buddy! Eren thought proudly.
Armin held up his hands.
"You've finally revealed your true self, monster! I'll do it! I'll give the order and kill you!"
Eren was tempted to flip him off, but he wasn't sure it was a crude gesture here as well. He didn't want to sabotage Armin's plan and kept his hands by his sides.
"He's not an enemy of humanity!" Armin proclaimed loudly.
And so they began arguing. Eren understood the gist of it, though he was sure Armin was bullshitting some things. I need to get my hands on a history book. He was able to keep up enough to figure out Armin had won. I knew he could do it! Captain of the debate team! Well, not here, but still. Eren's happiness at Armin's victory in the argument was short-lived, however.
"You motherfucking chicken shit!" Eren pointed accusingly when the captain's arm started to rise. "You lost! Take it like a man!"
But the Garrison captain wasn't deterred.
Aw, shit. Eren brought his hand closer to his mouth.
Thankfully, the day was saved at the arrival of a bald man who seemed to be in charge. And Eren was spared having to transform, which was fortunate because he really didn't think he had it in him to do one more transformation just yet. Eren could almost imagine his Titan-self resembling Naruto's close jutsu from the first episode.
"So, who's the weirdo?" Eren whispered to Armin after hearing the bald man expressing his desire to be eaten by a sexy lady Titan. Not that he disagreed with the sentiment entirely. Death from getting devoured by a sexy lady wasn't a bad way to go, Titan or no Titan.
Armin gave Eren an odd look, telling him Commander Pixis was the Garrison head of the Southern territories.
Eren nodded like he knew what that meant.
Pixis asked him about his Titan and Eren tried to answer honestly.
"I see," Pixis finally said, after listening to the explanation. "And in your basement, we will find the answers?"
"I think so, sir," Eren replied respectfully. They were centering an entire plan around him. He wondered if he should fess up. Yeah, that'll go real well, he thought sarcastically. They won't lock you up for being a lunatic. A lunatic with insane abilities they knew nothing about. Nope, not a dangerous combination at all. I'm dead if they find out.
"Do you believe him, sir?" Armin asked the commander.
"There is no proof what he claims is true, but I am willing to keep it in mind. I think I can tell when someone is being sincere or not. So I will guarantee your safety."
Eren relaxed, hearing those words. Pixis then asked Armin about his plan to use Eren's Titan abilities to retake Trost. Listening to them speak, Eren began feeling very nervous. Could he do this? He hadn't signed up to be a soldier and he didn't know how to be one. In fact, he tended to have issues with authorities at times. Dreaming about being a hero was a hell of a lot easier than actually being one. Everyone was expecting so much of him. What if he failed? I'm not their Eren! He did not want to do this.
Eren groaned internally. He just wanted to go home to his loving family and his beloved PS4. Was that too much to ask?
Like any teenager, Eren had always wanted superpowers. But he did not want to be responsible for keeping humanity from going extinct.
Then it hit him. Wait, there have to be other humans out there! The world was a big place. There was no way all of humanity could be here in this one place. There were probably smatterings of civilizations all around the globe. He felt better thinking even if he royally screwed things up, the species wouldn't go extinct. And even if by some chance humans did go extinct, it wasn't like anyone would be around to remember, right? Strangely enough, the sad attempt to cheer himself actually worked and he felt better. Just a little.
Pixis walked up to Eren. "What do you say, Eren Yeager?"
I say life should have a save option so you can start over when you fuck up. Alas, that was not an option. "I'll do it! I don't know if I can close that hole but I will give it my best!"
The rock they were talking about couldn't be that heavy for him, could it? After all, he could turn into a jacked-up 15-meter giant.
How hard can it be?
How to Get Away with Murder — Legal drama
Call of Duty — First-person shooter video game
Close jutsu — Ninja technique of creating intangible clones from the anime Naruto