Disclaimer: I do not own Shingeki no Kyojin. If I did, Marco would be alive and constantly be saved by Jean and they'd be together. However, the story belongs to Hajime Isayama. I am earning nothing in writing this apart from entertainment.
This story is devoted to all Jean x Marco fans out there. We've been through so much and still have the heart to ship these two derps. You're all wonderful and you fill my life (aka my tumblr page) with goodness. With love, enjoy this first chapter, everyone.
Shingeki no College
A Nice Guy
It was the first day of Junior year and Jean felt himself getting nervous. He didn't know why he was nervous, since he had been attending school here at Maria University for a whole two years prior to today, but he was.
Something about the first day just made him want to keel over and melt away.
By now, he figured he would have gotten used to this kind of thing. But no, for three consecutive years he got nervous on the first day. It was lame, incredibly lame, and he knew it.
As he walked down the hallway of the science building, he wondered what the professors would do if he just went home. Probably nothing. After all, it was his money that'd be wasted if he didn't go to class.
He'd never hear the end of it if he skipped out and one of his parents caught him. God forbid they find out he did something like that…
Good old mom and dad are what made him wish this university had some dorms or something so he wouldn't have to deal with their never-ending nagging. Especially his mom's.
When he walked through the door to his earth science class, he was a bit relieved to see that it wasn't full. In fact, there were only a handful of students in the room.
Given his personality and anti-social nature, he quickly took one of the seats at the lab table all the way at the back of the classroom and pulled out his notebook. He was ready for class to begin.
The instructor was up at the front of the class scrolling away on her cell phone. It looked like she was reading something that interested her because of that gleam in her eyes.
Great. It was probably one of those teachers who cared more about what was going on outside of class rather than in it…
Jean sighed and looked at the clock on the wall up near the door.
His eyes widened when he realized class wouldn't begin for another fifteen minutes.
"How the hell did I get here fifteen minutes early!?" he thought.
Well, he knew just what to do.
That snack machine he passed on his way inside the building was just calling his name. He had a few bucks to spare, considering he didn't have to pay any bills this month… apart from his phone bill, that is.
Leaving his booksack and notebook at his lab table, he got up and left out of the classroom.
If the freaking vending machine hadn't stolen two of his dollars, Jean would have made it back to class before the rush of students who were trying not to be late showed up. When he walked back into the classroom, with a small bag of fruit snacks, since the stupid vending machine kept saying it was out of everything else when it clearly wasn't, he saw that it was pretty much full now. The majority of the students seemed to have flocked towards the front of the class, oddly enough.
Thankfully no one had taken his seat.
In fact, the two seats to the left of his were unoccupied.
Of course, even when he wasn't around no one wanted to sit next to him.
As he walked down the rows, he noticed a few familiar faces in this class. Reiner, the big blonde guy in the front, and Bertholdt, the tall tan guy beside him, were two faces he rarely saw apart. It didn't surprise him that they were taking this class together. They were sitting beside that really short blonde girl who looked like she had a grudge against the world.
In the middle of the classroom was Ymir, sitting right beside Christa. Well, Christa's real name was Historia, but she got the teachers to call her Christa since they all asked the students what they preferred to be called. He only knew Ymir, and thus knew Christa, because Ymir was quite the hardass. She had a reputation around campus that said she wasn't to be fucked with, nor was the girl she was usually hanging around. And everyone heeded that unspoken order.
To his dismay, just before reaching his seat, he saw Eren Jaeger sitting in the row right in front of his own.
He and Eren did not get along.
That was the best way to describe the relationship they had without bringing up all the fights they'd had since they met last year. A total of 17, if one really had to know.
Beside Jaeger was his little companion, Armin Arlert. A studious and shockingly pretty guy who seemingly got along with everyone. How he and Jaeger were so close always astounded Jean.
If he recalled correctly, the two of them lived together with Mikasa. Though, he wasn't sure on the details. All three of them had lost their parents, at an early age. Well… Eren's father was alive, but he wasn't usually around. He was a doctor who traveled throughout the three walls of their kingdom, so it was basically like he wasn't there.
Beside Armin was Connie Springer. That kid was a dunce. The only thing he was good at was playing video games and throwing parties when his parents were out of town. Jean had never really hung out with him before, so he didn't want to say if he was a bad person or not, especially because Connie had been nice to him in the few times they'd run into each other. So he tried to be optimistic that maybe they could get along, if they needed to.
Without saying anything to Jaeger, Jean walked to his chair and took a seat. He made sure to fold his arms to give the impression that he didn't want to be fucked with today. It was specifically for Jaeger, in case he turned around.
Armin surprised him and was the first to turn and look at him. "Good morning, Jean." He said with a smile.
"Hey, Armin. Didn't realize you'd be in this class. Why aren't you in the advanced class?"
"Oh, you see, the advanced class was cut since it only consisted of a few students. It was to save money since… well, you know… Maria University isn't as privileged as Rose or Sina University."
"Hmm, that's unfortunate. Now you have to be stuck in a class with us idiots."
"I don't think of you all as idiots. You know that." The blonde boy responded sincerely.
"Just ignore him. He doesn't know anything besides how to be an ass." Jaeger said, looking over his shoulder with those annoying eyes of his.
Jean's eye twitched a few times as they stared each other down. This guy was already itching to throw down, and it was just the first day of class!
Armin looked over to his friend. "Eren…"
"Where's your body guard, Jaeger? You know she's the only reason you get out of our little scrapes with all your teeth." Jean said.
Eren turned completely around in his spinning chair. "Are you trying to start a fight? Because you know you won't win."
Jean could see Armin gulp, and he knew this was about to get serious. He recognized the signs of a fight between him and Eren by Eren's two closest friends. Armin, for the pacifist he was, would usually gulp or put his hand on his forehead disapprovingly. When she was around, Mikasa would usually stare him down until he left Eren alone.
The fact that she wasn't around to interfere had Jean ready to put this guy through a wall.
"Sorry I'm late!" someone shouted as they hurried into the classroom.
Jean looked at the person and immediately wrote him off as a nobody. He didn't know who he was, and he didn't care to find out, either.
Jaeger was literally begging for an ass kicking, so this was more important.
Just before he got up to deal with the asshole in front of him, the boy who had come in late started walking back his way.
"Is this seat taken?" the kid, who he could now see had freckles, asked innocently.
"No, you can take it." Jean replied.
The boy smiled and did just that.
Before Jean could say anything else to Jaeger, the teacher abruptly stood up and put her phone into her pocket.
"It's nice to meet you all! I'm your Earth Science professor, Hanji, Zoe! You should have seen everything you need to know in the syllabus, and I'd like to skip over it, but I'm required to read it with you all."
Jean stared at Jaeger, who had turned back to the front of the class, and grinded his teeth together. He really wanted to deal with him, but this wasn't the time or the place. The last thing he wanted was to be kicked out of class on the first day for fighting.
So after calming himself down by exhaling deeply, he turned his attention to Professor Hanji, who had just finished blazing through the syllabus.
"I'm glad that's over! Any questions?"
No one said anything. Most people were in shock by how fast this woman could read.
"Well! Then let's not waste any time, shall we? I'll get right to the notes!" the brunette professor continued, and then hurried over to the dry erase board.
Jean took this opportunity to try opening his bag of fruit snacks.
An outburst from Connie, who was playing on his PS Vita thingy under the lab table, caused him to rip the bag clean open and all his treats to fall to the floor.
"Shit… I can't have anything…" he cursed under his breath, before picking each one up off the floor and putting them on the corner of his lab table.
The boy sitting beside him noticed this and smiled. "Hey, don't worry about those. I have some, so we can share." He said to him.
Jean's eyebrow's furrowed. "Why-"
The boy pulled out a bag that was twice the size of the one Jean had and put it on the table. "I bought mine at the bookstore. They're cheaper than the ones in the machines, and you get way more. You can have as many as you want."
This was awkward. Like, incredibly awkward.
"I'm Marco, by the way. Marco Bodt." The freckled guy continued.
"Jean. Jean Kirstein." Jean replied.
Reaching out, he took a few fruit snacks from the bag lying in between him and Marco and ate them, before he started taking down the notes that Professor Hanji was writing on the board.
Even though she was explaining what she was writing, she was going a bit fast and Jean found himself screwing up a few times.
His paper was now half-full and far from neat.
After about five minutes into his note taking, Marco turned to him with a hopeless expression on his face. "What is it?" he asked the boy.
"Can… can I please copy the notes from your notebook?"
Jean raised an eyebrow in confusion. But he was smart enough to quickly realize that someone had either forgotten their glasses, or lost them, because he had seen him squinting a few times since Hanji started writing. "S-sure." He complied.
Scooting his chair over, Marco smiled. "Thank you so much! I forgot my glasses today because I was rushing to get to campus. I can see just fine without them, just so long as what I'm looking at isn't too far away haha."
"It's no problem." Jean replied, and then took more fruit snacks from Marco's bag.
His mother told him to cut back on treats, and he had tried to, but dang it, there was nothing else pleasurable he got out of coming to this low-budget university, so why not at least let his taste buds be happy?
Marco seemed much more concentrated on taking down the notes than he was about eating his own candy, but that was okay. In this moment, even though he hated to admit it, Jean was being somewhat social. He was getting friendly with someone… or… someone was getting friendly with him.
It's not that Jean had a bad personality or anything. Sure, he could be a bit disagreeable, but who wasn't from time to time? No, the thing that held him off from making friends was the recurring idea that he didn't fit in no matter where he went. And he knew that for a fact. Ever since grade school, he had trouble connecting with people. Jaeger was not the first person he'd fought with, nor would he be the last. It was just the way he was built, and he mostly blamed his father for it because he was the exact same way.
"What word is this?" Marco asked, and then pointed to it with his pen.
Jean could see that on the end, the boy had chewed away at it.
"That's 'petrology'. Sorry, I write my Rs and Ys funny…"
"No, it's okay. I don't have the best handwriting, either." The freckle-cheeked boy smiled, and slid his notebook closer to prove his point.
His handwriting was much more legible than Jean's was, that was for sure. It must have been hard for him to be all the way back here, where he couldn't see the board, and then have to take notes from pure chicken scratch…
For the few seconds that Professor Hanji erased the board to start writing again, Jean took note of Marco. Well, much closer note than he had before.
It felt like he had seen him somewhere before… maybe a long time ago. He wasn't sure. And so for now, he let it go and focused on other things about the boy.
Like, the way his face looked as he hurried to copy a few sentences from his notebook. It showed just how much effort this was for him.
At the end of class, he was still copying. So Jean decided to be nice. After all, this guy had done nothing but be friendly to him.
"You can take the notebook home with you. Just make sure to bring it back before class starts on Wednesday." He said.
Class was on a block schedule. This course was only a Monday and Wednesday course.
Marco's face lit up and his freckle-covered cheeks turned red. "Th-thank you! I'll bring it back before the end of the day!"
"Nah, you don't need to."
"But… don't you need this?"
"Nah, that notebook is for this class specifically. So you can just give it back before class Wednesday."
And that was the last thing he heard from Marco before the boy got up and headed off to his next class with Jean's notebook tucked away in his booksack.
The rest of the day went by without incident. Earth Science was just an inevitable place where he had to deal with complete shit.
It actually wasn't even a part of his major, it was just required that he take it.
Annoying. That's what it was.
The university higher-ups said something along the lines of making the students "well-rounded individuals" by making them take classes that they'd never need in their field of study.
Jean was a communications major. Therefore, the class seemed pretty irrelevant to him.
Other people he had recognized in the class were also taking it as a required course in fulfilling their science credits.
Jaeger was an animation major, and went on non-stop about how he wanted to make video games. Connie was also an animation major. Armin was double majoring in history and statistics, that little genius... Reiner was here on a football scholarship, or so Jean had heard. And Bertholdt was here on a track scholarship. He was sure about that because he'd seen him at track practice on his way home last year.
Christa was a counseling major, if that's what it was called, unsurprisingly enough. Helping people and trying to make them feel better about their crappy situations seemed to be right up her alley. Then there was Ymir. She was undecided, but might as well have been a counseling major too, considering how many classes Jean had seen her taking with Christa.
There was a rumor going around that she and Christa were dating, and she encouraged it. Christa never discouraged the idea, so he assumed it was true.
As he thought about the people who were either dating, or high on everyone's want to date list on his way home, he wondered exactly what was going on between Reiner and Bertholdt. Those two were always together. Always.
"Probably fucking in secret or something." He thought.
Then there was Marco Bodt. The friendly, somewhat soft spoken, freckles having guy he met this morning.
After getting inside his empty house and heading to his room, he put his booksack down on the floor and took a seat at his desk.
He wondered what kind of girl would date him. He wasn't the worst looking guy at the university and he had a decent personality... The kind of guy most girls probably wished he was.
If Jean was nicer to people, maybe he would go on more dates…
"Marco… when was the last time you hit on a girl…? And what does a nice guy like you even say to get some digits?"
After turning on the television and pulling off his shoes and socks, Jean laid down on his bed.
"What am I thinking about Marco for?!" he asked himself, and then closed his eyes.
It was nap time.
This story will also be hosted on ArchiveofOurOwn . org. This is important because it could be taken down from here because of how mature it will be.