a/n: hi! i haven't written in forever, shit man. anyway, i got into snk and quickly fell in love with this ship. i had read a headcanon on tumblr that because eren and mikasa were so used to sleeping together as kids, they had a hard time getting to sleep at first when they joined the trainees squad, and no one was getting on it, so i just had to. i don't normally write fluff, so i have no idea what this turned out to be.
anyway, proceed, and enjoy!
warnings: flashbacks of mikasa's past, in italics.
Cold, so cold...
The mysterious men had put her father down like it was nothing; as if it was the sort of thing they did every day, as if it was no fault. Her father's head was down, hung low, as if in deep concentration at something in the floorboards - "Dad?" she called, but in the corner of her eye her mother was up and struggling, a knife in hand, blindly attacking men with faces she had never seen before. Her mouth was forming words but they fell on deaf ears; she was being told to run, run as far as you can, get away from here, Mikasa, please, please – she looked around wildly; where was she to go?
"Mom?" she called, but in mere seconds her mom had fallen, body slumping to the ground, almost gracefully. The stillness of her chest was something Mikasa could not comprehend, little tremors starting in her fingertips – why wasn't her mother breathing? Her mother's eyes, glazed over, held a faraway look, staring past her at something she could not see or fathom. What's there, mommy? She thought as she took a step forward – the trembling had traveled up to her hands and her arms, and she couldn't keep still. The mark her mother had carved into her skin throbbed, and she looked desperately behind her, finding nothing. Mommy? What do you see that I can't?
It was then that the spreading stain of red caught her eye, seeping through her mother's white dress and the black of her hair and into the floorboards beneath them, and as if watching everything from a distance she understood what had happened and what it meant and death and its intricate workings and how it could come so easily and suddenly it was cold, colder than it had ever been, colder than the unbearable months spent home when they didn't travel for the winter, colder than how she imagined the world would be if the sun had abandoned the earth and decided it did not owe its inhabitants anything, refusing to shine any longer –
She didn't feel it when one of the men grabbed hold of her, she only remembered being acutely aware that it had happened; she didn't feel it when he hit her across the face, rendering her unconscious and into a dream state that went on forever and ever and into eternity, seeing nothing but an endless sea of red behind her eyelids.
Mikasa shot up into a sitting position with a gasp, breathless. Fear had roused her out of unconsciousness; her hands were sweaty, gripping the blankets beneath her.
She turned to look sharply at Christa, who was sitting up and leaning towards her, a pained look on her face.
"Are you alright? You've been tossing around the past couple minutes, and – you're crying, what's wrong?"
Ah. So that explained why the girl looked like she was so undecided; she probably contemplated waking Mikasa but thought better of it. She reached up to touch her face, wet with tears just as Christa had told her. She hadn't even noticed, hadn't even known she was doing it.
"I'm alright," she whispered back, and the girl looked relieved. "I'm going to go get some fresh air. Get some sleep, Christa." She got up and out of the bed, forcing her face into something friendlier than a frown. "Thank you."
Once she had made her way out of the women's barracks, she stopped and took a long and deep shaky breath, rattling her chest and filling her lungs with the cold. She wished these things would stop coming to haunt her in the middle of the night – it was only the second night, and already she couldn't survive.
She lowered her face into the familiar material of Eren's old scarf, breathing in its familiar musk of the fields of Shinganshina. Eren, she remembered. The reason she was here and was doing this in the first place…
This wasn't her dream after all; she didn't feel a need to go out and make a point of obliterating all the titans, didn't feel the need to serve humanity this way. She always told Eren she would follow him wherever he chose to go, that whichever path he took she would always just be a step behind - but if she stopped and let herself get left behind, in favor of a more peaceful existence that didn't, in any way, remind her of what she had experienced and didn't drown her in nightly terrors, would he stop along with her? Would he even look back at her? Or was she just a nuisance, nothing but a hindrance between him and his dream? It terrified her to think of a life without Eren – he was her lifeline, he kept her alive, gave her a reason to keep herself alive; he kept her together. Without him the strings that kept all the pieces of her together would fall away and leave her nothing but a pitiful mess.
And then her life would go back to having no meaning. She was worthless without him, she supposed...
Her feet came to a stop on their own accord, and she looked up to see they had brought her to the men's barracks. Of course, she sighed, almost relieved. Growing up with the Jaegers and even the past year with Eren and Armin, she had been so used to getting through the night with Eren in the same bed with her, close enough that she could feel the natural exhilaration he had for everything he encountered coming off of him, warming her all the way to her toes. She had spent the first night convincing herself there were things they had to do separately, that she was nothing but a nuisance to him, that she had to stop clinging so goddamn hard to him, because although she told him she stayed around him to protect him from going into things recklessly, to try and repay a debt she could not, she also did it for another reason she could never admit out loud: she did it because she was selfish, because she wanted to always stay by his side, wanted to always feel the warmth he brought wherever he went, hoping to be in its presence.
She took a deep breath in. When she closed her eyes, all she could see was black, white, and red.
She quietly climbed the steps and opened the door just enough so she could get through, shuffling as quietly as she could, her footsteps soft and harmless. Her sights were blurring together, her tears obscuring her vision, but she let her instincts take her – she was brought forward by a need to be as close to Eren as she could, to have him tell her that everything was going to be alright, to remind her why they were doing this, why they were fighting, needed to hear his voice to get her through this nightmare.
When she finally found his bunk, she tentatively pulled at his sleeve. "Eren."
Her voice was weak, but if there was anything time had trained Eren to wake up to, it was the sound of Mikasa's voice.
"Mikasa?" He whispered hesitantly, unsure, upon seeing the shadow of a figure standing in front of him. He rubbed at his eyes sleepily, leaning forward in an attempt to see her more clearly. Even in the dark he could see her body shaking, see the way her face glistened with the tracks her tears had left. Her hair was long, obscuring half of her face, and he reached out to tuck the damp lock of hair behind her ear.
Her expression was unguarded and vulnerable, and in it he could see fear and an almost dullness to her expression – she looked so much like the nine year old girl he had found years ago, down to the white dress she wore, and it terrified him.
But she wore his scarf around her neck, a gentle reminder that things would never again be as they had been. Her hand still rested on his sleeve, its shaking intensifying; he gently pried her hand off and held it in one hand, his thumb drawing circles in her palm in an attempt to calm her down. His other hand pulled the covers back as he scooted over to make space for her.
"Eren – " she started, her voice cracking.
"Shhh. You don't have to explain. Now get over here," he said, patting the space beside him. She did as he asked, lying down on the bed, her head cushioned by the same pillow his was under, and he pulled the covers over them both. He lay on his side, hands in front of him; her hands cupped her face. They lay facing each other, the way they always did when they fell asleep, back when…. Her heart thumped, her body shutting down, he was so so so far away – maybe this hadn't been the best idea after all. She broke his gaze and looked down, ashamed. Maybe things were already changing between them...
She heard him sigh and was taken by surprise when he took both her hands from under her and wrapped both of his around them, pulling her gaze to his. His eyes, she saw, although tired, held the same fire they always did. Suddenly he pulled her to him, roughly, but almost gingerly, as if he had tried to restrain himself and failed. It spread a fire through her – restraint was something Eren struggled with, but he had tried, anyway, for her sake. He wrapped his arms around her and she sighed audibly, relieved, holding on to him and leaning her head on his chest. This was what she'd been used to; this was what she'd been missing. His heartbeat calmed her down, taking her away from the sights and colours and sounds that day had left in her memory, replaced instead by the unwavering thump thump thump under her ear. Sure and steady, just as Eren was.
His voice was sleepy, a drawled-out whisper in her ear. "Some people sleep forever when they go through bad things, they - they go into shock and into some sort of coma, sometimes they never wake up, but you were awake, and I'm - I'm glad you were, you kept yourself alive, I'm glad you heard me. You were a fighter even back then, Mikasa, you fought even when you didn't know you were. That's who you are and who you're meant to be, and we'll always be fighting to live."
He tightened his hold around her, burying his face in her hair, filling his last waking moments with everything Mikasa; here she was, in his arms, she was here, alive, and fighting with him. Nothing would be more reassuring than this.
His voice was a calm wave settling over her consciousness, and she could feel all her drowsiness and tiredness gnawing away at the edges of her mind, dragging her under, and she closed her eyes welcomingly. She could listen to him talk forever and ever…..
He felt rather than saw her muscles relaxing under his hold, and felt the way she went almost limp in his arms. He knew she could hear every word he was saying though, and he was glad; he needed her to hear it. He felt sleep wash over him, but before it could overcome him he gingerly pressed his lips to her forehead, pulling her closer and tucking her under his chin. "I'll always be fighting for you, so one day we can live outside these walls and see everything we've ever dreamed of. You deserve them, Mikasa... you deserve so much to be happy."
This time when her dreams go on forever, they are filled with the scent of spring Eren always brings to the sheets he sleeps in; filled with the vivid blues of the flowers in the fields of Shiganshina. They do not stifle her or press down on her until she is unable to breathe, until the ice fills her lungs; instead his warmth envelops her entire being and she stays in the shadow of his light, unable to remember how she could ever be cold when she had the sun right beside her.
a/n: i didn't really mean for eren being mikasa's sun to be a recurring motif, it just happened – i kept referring back to eren's…. passion, and energy, i suppose. anyway, i hope you liked this! below is an extra: the aftermath, definitely a more lighthearted take, and rushed lol. i only wrote it because i like seeing jean humiliated muahahaha…. it's an optional read!
It is Jean who finds them in the morning, alerting everyone with a surprised and horrified yell.
Eren and Mikasa lay on the same bed facing each other, dangerously close, their legs tangled together, carelessly positioned; Mikasa's scarf was unwinding from its familiar place around her neck, strands of her hair everywhere. She looked almost as if she had curled up into herself; Eren, on the other hand, was a messy sleeper, one arm laid carelessly on Mikasa's hip, the other behind him in what looked like a most uncomfortable position.
At the sound of a girly scream Eren's eyes instantly shot open and looked toward the source of the sound, only to find a red-faced Jean, pure mortification in his features. His yell had attracted the other boys, too, and soon they had gathered around Eren's bunk, whispering among themselves.
"Well, look at Eren getting some this early in the morning." Connie.
"What are you talking about?" He asked, shooting up into a sitting position and rubbing at his eyes sleepily.
"What is she doing here?" Jean shrieked, pointing a finger.
Eren looked down, eyes widening, suddenly realizing what was going on; he vaguely remembered Mikasa coming into the barracks, a little shaken, and him inviting her into his bed; he blushed a beet red, staring down at her sleeping form, something he was used to waking up to, now stirring and whining sleepily. A hush fell over the group. Usually Mikasa was a light sleeper, up and alert at anything that wasn't the norm, but there were nights and days when she would fall deep into soundless sleep; those were nights when she remembered, and when he would tell her the stories Armin's books had told him in turn, and when he would be careful not to shake her when he got out of bed and went on his way with chores.
He saw Armin, from the top bunk, lean down sleepily to inspect what the noise was all about, then flop back into the pillows when he saw that it was just Eren and Mikasa sharing a bed.
"Shut up man, can't you see the girl's trying to sleep? If any of you wake her I swear I'll kill you."
The door slammed open, rattling in its hinges – "What's causing a commotion so goddamn early in the morning?"
Crap. Shadis. Eren quickly looked down to see if Mikasa had been roused out of sleep, but she only snuggled closer to his arm, completely unfazed.
"Uh – um – errr, uhh…" Jean began, standing in front of the bed as if shielding it with his body. As much as he wanted Eren to get into the shit he deserved, he didn't want Mikasa to get punished.
"Get out of the way, Kirschtein, before I chop you up and make you a ritual sacrifice."
He stepped out of the way, hanging his head in defeat.
"Oh," Shadis commented on the scene before him, raising his eyebrows curiously. He turned his back on them just as quickly, walking off. "Not worth getting my sleep disturbed. 50 extra laps for both of you, Jaeger, and you can join them as well, Kirschtein, just because you've annoyed the fuck out of me."
In a corner Connie was snorting at Jean stuttering, trying and failing to defend himself.
"Now if none of you mind, I'm going to try and get a little more shuteye. You trainees better still be on the field same time as always, even if I decide to come three hours late. Blame your friends over here." The sound of all the boys groaning filled the room, bouncing off the walls.
"Wait, sir!" Eren called after him. "Sir!"
Shadis turned around slowly, his eye twitching. "What do you want now, Jaeger? An extra 50 more laps?"
"Mikasa wasn't feeling so well, sir, and I was wondering if she could be allowed to sleep in, I'll – I'll take her extra laps as well."
Shadis massaged his temples, groaning. "It's only the third day…. whatever, but I'm expecting twice what's normal from you, Jaeger. I'm sure Ackerman's capable enough to catch up on today's work. Leave your lady friend a note that she can take the day off, whatever, but you better be working your ass off out there today." And with that, he left.
The boys walked around in dazed confusion over the events of the early morning, and Connie was yelling about how Eren had to teach him his tricks of manipulating Shadis to get his way – but Eren merely looked down at Mikasa's peaceful expression and carefully detached his hand from her hold. He adjusted the scarf on her neck and absently played with her hair. He knew later she'd be screaming at him about how she didn't need a rest day on the third day, how reckless he was, why didn't he think this through, why didn't he just wake her up and let her run her laps, it's my fault you're exhausted, I'm sorry, I really shouldn't have barged in in the middle of the night – but a few extra hours of sleep wouldn't kill her. Neither would a lecture kill him. She'd just have to suck up her special treatment (he never got any opportunities to give her that); a few hours of peace would do her good.
He never wanted to see her so sad again.
As dinner came to a close and Eren and Jean had just hit their thirtieth lap, people started coming out of the mess hall; from the corner of his eye he could see Mikasa looking on disapprovingly. He rolled his eyes; he had expected that. Other groups of girls were staring, whispering to each other.
"Did you hear why that boy is running laps –"
"Then… who… bed… the other guy…"
"Maybe they caught him in bed with Shadis?"
Eren snorted as Jean turned a beet red, his expression one of murderous rage. "I fucking hate you, Jaeger."
"Hey, it's not my fault you weren't exactly secretive about your nightly affairs with Shadis."
"Shut the fuck up!"
a/n: so there you go IT'S OVER THANK JESUS. if you actually got this far please leave a review; they mean so much more than favs! keep truckin on u lil eremika shipper :)