*this was originally for eremika week but i got lazy and forgot to post it here*

pairing: eremika/mikaere

themes: reincarnation, au

rating: k

summary: And the moment their eyes meet, it's like the stars align and the cosmos and the moon and all the bits of space have vanished into oblivion.

disclaimer: i own nothing

Ding ding.

The automated bell signaling the opening of the large glass doors, the indication that a new patron had entered, caused Eren to crane his head around the tower of sunglasses. He stuffed his cell phone into the back pocket of his jeans as he blinked around to locate the customer.

And there she is, between the racks and piles of clothing she stands, examining the store with squinted, gray eyes. Her black hair falls straight against her china-like complexion. Soft, pink lips purse and her fingers curl around her crossbody bag. She looks lost, out of place, in need of assistance; rescue.

And for some unknown, spine-chilling, mind-numbing reason, he feels that he has an obligation (and not because of his employment) that he has to help her, protect her.

He gulps, a sweat breaking over the crook of his neck as he haphazardly walks toward her; every step makes his heart beat faster and he feels like he knows this girl. Like she's a long lost something that he needs.

"Do you need any help?" He asks and it comes off too rash, like he always does, and she jumps turning at him. And the moment their eyes meet, it's like the stars align and the cosmos and the moon and all the bits of space have vanished into oblivion.

Her eyes blink as she gives him a once-over; his body thin but she can see muscles lining his arms over the short sleeves of his v-neck. His hands are strong and large and terribly calloused but above all else, they are familiar. Like she's felt them, knows them as well as her own palms; every line, every crevice, every nerve. His body is a map that she's read a thousand times over, a book she can't put down. Her eyes wander back up to his eyes; brilliant and turquoise like the ocean. Even though they are shocking, hypnotizing, it is like she has looked into them a million times.

It hits her that he asked her a question and she frowns. "I'm sorry, what was that?"

He chuckles and runs his fingers through his brown locks. "You, you just looked like maybe you need help?" He chokes and corrects himself. "Help finding something, like some clothes or-,"

"Oh!" She says, and her face lights up. "Yeah, um, I need something for winter, because it's getting so cold out and I need, like, a hat or mittens or-"

He doesn't mean to cut her off, but it slips out before his brain can even register. "A scarf?"

Her eyes go blank, as if in some far-off land before she blinks, her voice weary yet firm. "...yes, exactly."

Eren stares at her a moment too long, drinking her in. He nods, motioning toward the corner of the store. "Yeah, yeah, of course. We have some over here, I can show you, if you want."

A smile plays upon her face and she nods. "Yes, please. Thank you," her eyes dart to his nametag and her throat goes dry as he says his name, and it feels like a relief to the both of them that she says it. "...Eren."

He inhales sharply as he nods. "Oh, don't worry about it, um..."

"Mikasa," she says and it's urgent, as if she's been waiting years and years to tell him something so simple.

"Mikasa," he says to himself quietly, letting it run over his tongue as he shakes off the ever-so-evident deja vu. "Follow me."

He leads her to the rack of multicolored scarves, and she follows him as she hums along to the music blasting from the stereo. She grins, moving toward the countless patterns and running her delicate fingers through the fabric.

"Thank you," she says, digging through the pile and trying them on one by one. Even though it would be typical protocol to walk away, go back to the register or take inventory, Eren hangs back; watching her intently and inwardly criticizing each selection.

His eyes skim over the selection before he finds himself searching through the pile as well, looking for something something something that he feels in his heart, in his very being, will be right. And finally, he locates it, his fingers locking on the soft fabric as he runs his thumb over it. It is familiar and warm and right. It is Mikasa.

He whips around, scarf in hand just as she's taking off a green paisley scarf. Her eyes widen as he nears her, but every fiber in his body tells him what to do.

And so, he loops the scarf behind her neck, pulling her closer, and wordlessly wraps it around her neck, tossing the ends down unceremoniously.

Her breath catches in her throat as his eyes lock firmly onto hers, her mind racing before he breaks the forever silence.

"There. It's perfect," he says and she nods, surely, even though she hasn't even looked in mirror. Every single ounce of her tells her that it is perfect.

"I'll take it," she says, not looking away from Eren. Her heart is pounding in her chest, memories flooding back to her hazily. The same occurs within Eren before he nods knowingly, turning to walk to the register before abruptly spinning around, causing Mikasa to crash into him.

She stands there, hands braced against his chest for too long then socially acceptable and she backs up a little, arching an eyebrow up at him.

"Go ahead and take it, don't worry about it," he says.

Mikasa's eyes widen and she fiercely shakes her head. "No, Eren, I-I couldn't," she stammers before he places his hands on her shoulders firmly.

"I want you to have it, Mikasa. I-," he starts but he grunts and shakes his head at a loss for words. But she understands, because she feels the same way.

"Okay, all right," she murmurs, wandering off into her sea of thoughts before looking back up at him. "Thank you, Eren... For everything."

His heart stops for he knows exactly what, and when, she's talking about.

She starts to turn, walking out of the store even though every step feels heavier and heavier before he calls out to her.

"Wait!" And he runs to her. "I get off in like, half an hour. If you could maybe wait, we could go to this restaurant down the street and talk because I just feel like I know you, somehow, and I know that sounds ridiculous but I-," he starts to ramble nervously and she smiles, because he used to do it all the time; going off on tangents when he got really passionate about something.

"I really don't want to go to a restaurant, Eren," she admits and his face falls dejectedly.

Maybe this was all a mistake...

"I'd rather go home, with you," she says, her smile softening and then they both know.

They know.

He nods eagerly, flustered and exciting and full of emotion because he finally found her. After years and decades of searching for her, he found her. She found him.

They found each other.

After such a long while of waiting, they can finally be together again.