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#cherry
kuromifive3 hours ago
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damn-stark2 days ago
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Ch.14 Violent Crimes
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Chapter 14 of Cherry
A/N: you guys will love the ending of this chapter ;)
Warning- ANGST, LONG CHAPTER! Violence, talks of blood, light gore and death, fluff, swearing, SLOWBURN.
Pairing- Jean Kirstein x reader
Episodes- 3x45-3x47
(Let me know if you want to be tagged)
鈥斺
Every year. On the same day, Kenny would travel underground, go to the same ceiling, across the same house. It was only his third time coming, but he hasn鈥檛 forgotten and he was never late. He told himself that he鈥檇 never look back, he鈥檇 leave you on Levi鈥檚 doorstep and just forget that he ever had a kid, but then your fourth birthday rolled around, the first birthday you didn鈥檛 spend with him and he needed to check.
All he wanted to know was if you were alive, he trusted Levi, he knew you were better off, but he couldn鈥檛 shake off that voice in his head nagging him just to get a little peek. He just needed to assure himself of two things; one that you were okay. After all, having you dead would be a waste of an offspring, or at least that鈥檚 what he always tried to tell himself.
Kenny also never made it his job to stick around for too long. He always made sure to stay hidden and not followed. He only stayed long enough to get a glimpse, like now, when he caught the glimpse of a yellow light shining out of the opening door from the house he was watching, Kenny caught two people walking out the house; Levi, looking just as small and exhausted, and you. You looked a bit taller now since the last time Kenny came to see you for your fifth birthday, your face was clean and your cheeks were full, you sported a nice pretty white dress, your hair was neatly done and out of your face, and you sported a smile, just as nice as the last three times.
That鈥檚 all he needed to see. As for his second reason to check on you, well鈥.perhaps it was too early to tell at the moment. But still, he needed to check.
But the longer he looked, the more he noticed. Like now, he saw your lips moving as you were running off about something he couldn鈥檛 hear, something Levi seemed to be hearing all the way through. What could a six year old possibly be rambling about, Kenny had to wonder.
Their imaginary friend? The way their fruit is cut? Their day to day life?
Nevertheless, he backed away before anyone could see him from down below and walked the opposite way of Levi鈥檚 house, the same way he had taken when he left you behind. He left with an unbroken rule. Besides staying hidden amongst the shadows, not approaching you was his other priority. Not like he could, you actually were never alone for him to even try. All he did was watch quietly from afar, never for too long, never caught, always once a year for the next six years. He never intended to stop, it had become a yearly routine he had gotten used to. But when he returned to his same spot the seventh time, for your tenth birthday, neither Levi, nor you came out of the house that day.
Kenny stuck around all day just to catch that glimpse, but you never came out of the house, he even dared himself to go get a discreet peek from the outside, but the house was dark, it wasn鈥檛 empty, just dark. Kenny later found out from the neighbor that you, alongside Levi and your housemates had moved above ground. Unknowingly making his sixth visit the last time he saw you. It was just too big above ground to try and look for you. All he could do from now on was finally leave you be, assure to himself that you were better off above ground now. He didn鈥檛 know when he鈥檇 see you again, perhaps never again. It was the perfect chance to finally forget about you like he had planned to do before.
But there was that pesky second reason why he always returned, why he never forgot to go see you from afar. The reason seemed senseless now since you were gone and he wasn鈥檛 able to see you. But all he could was hope now, even if he didn鈥檛 want to, he hoped for only one thing.
鈥斺
鈥淟et鈥檚 put all together,鈥 Hange began to say, their voice traveling out from the carriage they were laying on because of the wound on their shoulder. 鈥淏asically, Rod Reiss was after the Founding Titan, the Titan power inside Eren. However unless it鈥檚 in someone with Reiss blood, you won鈥檛 get it鈥檚 true potential. Though, even if Reiss obtains the Founding Titans power, they鈥檙e controlled by the First Kings will and refuse to liberate humanity from the Titans.鈥
However crucial the information being shared was, your mind felt like it was ripping in two as it stubbornly refused to stop thinking of the man you had left behind.
Worry plagued you. The question; Did I make the right choice? Was all you could think about the moment you climbed out of the cave and stepped into the starry night. It was doubt, something you hated having. It was the regret that Levi has always warned you about.
鈥溾ou鈥檙e forgetting our other option...鈥 Historias protest traveled through your ear, pulling half of your attention back to the conversation, and connecting her answer to Erens eager response to give himself up to awaken Rod Reiss' human form for the sake of saving humanity鈥擲uicidal Maniac. 鈥淔irst of all, the current plan is full of flaws. One, there鈥檚 no proof that you can undo Rod Reiss鈥 brainwashing. No matter how you restrain him, if he alters humanity鈥檚 memories, it鈥檚 over. Basically, there鈥檚 too many factors about the Founding Titan that we just don鈥檛 know.鈥
I hope he鈥檚 alright鈥攜our eyes followed the people talking, but your mind was yanked back to the battle that tried to keep your concern and regret your top priority. Or was it guilt? Guilt for cutting Kenny鈥檚 side.
It was all three emotions jumbled into one.
鈥溾ight.鈥 Mikasa鈥檚 words, like Historia鈥檚 voice before, managed to yank your attention back to focus on what you should truly be listening to, gaining advantage over your inner attentive battle. 鈥淓ven without having Reiss Blood, there must be a way to save humanity. That鈥檚 why he left you the key to the basement.鈥 Like before, you managed to connect her words to pieces of information your mind had thrown in while you were busy thinking of something else.
Now, Eren didn鈥檛 have to give himself up to the jaws of Rod Reiss鈥檚 titan. The plan he thought of was too risky, it鈥檇 be like going in blind. It would make the efforts his own father had made to take the power away from the Reiss family tyranny, pointless if given back. The better option to try and save humanity was to keep it with Eren, even if the question as to how exactly do you save humanity lingered. Hopefully what was hidden inside the infamous basement was going to be worth the risk you knew you鈥檇 all take.
鈥淲hat basement?鈥 Sasha quieres, her own mind answering for someone else. 鈥淥h, that whole thing? You mean it鈥檚 actually important?鈥
鈥淯h, yeah.鈥 Connie answers.
鈥淲e鈥檝e finally got a way to plug up the wall.鈥 Jean interjects. 鈥淭he way I see it, there鈥檚 only one choice.鈥
鈥淭hat makes life a little easier.鈥 Levi says.
鈥淚f it means anything,鈥 Hange chimes in, 鈥淚 agree with that choice. Though, are you sure about this Historia? We can鈥檛 exactly have a Titan like that wandering around inside the walls. One that big, we can鈥檛 restrain. Meaning,鈥 they point to the burning titan destroying everything in its path several feet beside your group. 鈥淲e鈥檒l have to kill your father and there鈥檚 no way around it.鈥
Suddenly with that comment, your mind fully focused on the conversation. The worry still lingered, but now you weren鈥檛 being pulled between the two sides trying to win your attention like a game of tug-o-war.
鈥淓ren,鈥 Historia spoke after a few minutes of silence. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry. Underneath the Reiss chapel. I really considered becoming a Titan and killing you.鈥
Your eyes widen just slightly and you can鈥檛 help but glance at Mikasa, seeing her own baffled reaction to Historia鈥檚 truth.
鈥淲hat鈥檚 more,鈥 Historia continued. 鈥淣ot even to save humanity. Only because I wanted to believe my father. I didn鈥檛 want my father to hate me. But now, it鈥檚 time to say goodbye.鈥 She finishes confidently, making you wonder how it was so easy for her to give up on her father like that.
Your gaze drops to your hands around your reins and you can鈥檛 help the probing question, why can鈥檛 it be that easy for you? Both Kenny and Rod had left. They both didn鈥檛 care for their daughters. They both weren鈥檛 good people. Kenny especially. It should be so easy trying to forget him, trying to go against him and unlatch from this attachment鈥ut why? Why can鈥檛 you?
Guilt maybe? You hoped that鈥檚 all it was.
鈥斺
鈥淵ou made the right choice,鈥 Mikasa spoke as she walked up behind you, her words filling the silence that had your mind spinning and had your attention unfocused from the brown pair of eyes that watched you two horses down, itching to reach you to express what he鈥檚 been wanting to say. But again, Mikasa beat him to his words. He never thought that the person he鈥檇 have to fight to gain your attention was your own cousin. 鈥淏eing a Scout comes first. What you did had to be done. It's your job.鈥
You slide your hand to your horse's neck and drop your gaze to the stone floor. 鈥淵eah,鈥 you exhale out. 鈥淚 know.鈥 She was right. You didn鈥檛 want to admit it, but she was. That was why you chose to come, because it was your duty, because if anything happened to anyone, you'd only regret it more. Still, that didn't do anything to keep away the worry, or the guilt. You still regretted actually not looking for Kenny. It鈥檚 what drove you to seek for some clarity. 鈥淭ell me,鈥 you mutter, 鈥渨ould you have done the same thing if he was your father? Hurt him I mean.鈥
Mikasa鈥檚 shadow overcast over your own figure's shadow when she stops just a couple inches behind you. Maybe it was dumb asking someone whos lost a father, a good father by the little you鈥檝e heard her talk about him, but you needed to hear someone else鈥檚 presptive, someone鈥檚 honesty. You've never known her to be a liar, so you hoped she was the right choice. 鈥淚f it came down to it鈥.yes鈥︹ She鈥檚 hesitant, you can tell by the way her tone lowered and the way she slowly spoke her response. It only made your doubt heighten. 鈥溾ecause I know if something worse would鈥檝e happened because I didn鈥檛 do anything to stop him, I鈥檇 regret it more.鈥
But your actions were from a fit of rage and betrayal. You weren鈥檛 even thinking that far ahead at that time.
鈥淲hatever happened in there y/n,鈥 Mikasa continues. 鈥淚t wasn鈥檛 your fault. You shouldn鈥檛 feel guilty. Understand that.鈥
You sigh and drop your hand off your horse's neck and begin to fiddle with your fingers, answering with silence but nodding in agreement even if you didn鈥檛 truly agree. Her opinion was still helpful nonetheless. Even with her hesitance.
鈥淐ome on,鈥 she points out. 鈥淚t seems they鈥檙e grouping over here.鈥 She waits behind you to follow you to the gathering group by the carriage Historia had been on.
鈥淗istoria.鈥 Levi says, 鈥渇orgot to tell you. We need you to do something.鈥
鈥淵es?鈥 Said girl answers while Mikasa and you fall behind Levi.
鈥淓rwins orders. When this battle is over since you鈥檙e the true successor to the throne,鈥 Levi continues to explain. 鈥淏ecome Queen.鈥
You blink in disbelief to Levi鈥檚 suggestion鈥攏o his demand. 鈥淭he Coup d鈥櫭﹖at was successful, but the people won鈥檛 follow a regiment sitting at the top. What we need is a story to spread. That true heir retook the crown from the fake.鈥
鈥淚,鈥 Historia mumbles, pausing and getting lost in thought to the news just thrown at her, letting others express their own disapproving thoughts to something significant.
鈥淯hm, Captain?鈥 Connie cautiously spoke his mind. 鈥淚鈥檓 sure you heard what Historia said earlier, but. Well, uh. By leaving her father, she really broke free from that burden, I guess you could say鈥nd yet again鈥︹
鈥淲hat?鈥 Levi demanded clarity. 鈥淚f you have something to say, say it.鈥
鈥淯h, Uhmm. I-in other words鈥︹
鈥淲hat Connie's trying to say,鈥 you blurt and continue for your friend, gaining every pair of nervous gaze from your friends, and an attentive look from Levi as he turns to face you. 鈥淗istoria broke free from the Reiss family and has finally found herself. And now you guys are forcing her into another role?鈥 Perhaps you were upset for the way he had so rudely spoken to you before, maybe you should be more hesitant to speak so boldly to him about a choice that wasn鈥檛 even yours, but Historia was a dear friend. You needed to speak for her. 鈥淚sn鈥檛 that unfair?鈥 You quirk your eyebrow and cross your arms over your chest.
鈥淎ll right,鈥 Historia interrupted before Levi could answer, her response making your eyes snap to her and causing your face to express your utter disbelief. 鈥淢y next duty is to be Queen, right? Understood.鈥 She lifts her eyes from the ground and meets your gaze along with those friends beside you. 鈥淭hanks for your concern. But whether or not it鈥檚 forced on me is up to me to decide, I think. However.鈥 She meets Levi鈥檚 gaze. 鈥淐aptain, I do have one condition.鈥
鈥淗mm?鈥
鈥淪ince my fate is on my own, I want to lay it all on the line.鈥 Historia finishes with determination fueled in her eyes. That鈥檚 all you could see. Which was good. You admired her for that.
鈥斺
鈥淚 hope leaving all the citizens down there is a good choice.鈥 You muse, stepping towards the edge of the wall. No matter how good of a Commander you thought Erwin was, this was definitely one of his bolder choices.
鈥淎re you doubting our Commander?鈥 Jean asks teasingly.
You scoff and lift your gaze to meet his. 鈥淣o. It鈥檚 a hell of a fucking risk. They already hate us as it is.鈥
鈥淲e have no other choice,鈥 Connie reminds you. 鈥淲e have to leave them if we want the Titan to come here.鈥
You look away from the ground, and step away from the edge that overlooks the city, after feeling as if the ground hundreds of feet below you spun the longer you kept staring at it. Instead you proceed to answer Connie bluntly as you follow them to the other side of the wall to watch the approaching Titan.
鈥淩ight.鈥 The plan. No matter what anyone protested, this Titan was an abnormal attracted to the high volume of human life; which is why he ignored the entire squad when it rode past him. Making the city perfect bait to try and stop it. Still it was a risky fucking plan.
Plus it鈥檚 not like soldiers from this side of the wall had any real battle experience. The most they鈥檝e seen is a gang brawl, and the most they know is how to take hush money. You would鈥檝e been better off with a new batch of cadets. That鈥檚 so obvious with how unorganized you heard the beat of the cannons every time they were fired.
鈥淭he ground cannons seem even less effective,鈥 You hear Erwin comment to Levi standing beside him.
鈥淥f course they are.鈥 Levi deadpanned, 鈥渢he walls cannons barely hit the nape, even with the better angle. What鈥檚 the problem?
鈥淚t鈥檚 a mishmash of soldiers.鈥 The commander answers. 鈥淐annons they scraped together. Superficial leadership. To top it off, this is a northern region. Unlike troops on the front lines, they have no battle experience. However, this is the best we鈥檙e going to get, and that鈥檚 a fact.鈥
鈥淵eah,鈥 Levi agress, 鈥渢hat much is painfully obvious. Yet again, your strategy for the Scouts boils down to another gamble. Just like everything else you conjure up.鈥
The closer the Titan got, the more you could see the craters on its body created by the canons that managed to puncture its flesh. Yet none were even close to hitting its nape. The wounds only healed back up. Hopefully the things Hange conjured up with the spares you could see them bring from the corner of your eye, will work鈥斺淓rwin! I brought the goodies! All the gunpowder, ropes and netting I could find! We鈥檒l have to assemble it ourselves though.鈥
You look away from the Titan and watch Hange and her inventions from afar, hearing their voice clearly from the edge you stood by. 鈥淥h and this!鈥 They refer to the barrel strapped to a small carriage and Odm gear. 鈥淭here鈥檚 another on the opposite side. The triggers are held in place so when it鈥檚 fired, it鈥檒l wind itself back up just like Odm gear. So, is the artillery doing any damage?鈥
Levi glances at the scene past the wall and answers with annoyance in his tone. 鈥淪lightly more than a pissing insect.鈥
鈥淭hen we鈥檙e really planning on using this?鈥 Hange questions and looks to what Levi glares at, missing your step towards her to add some piece of comfort to the situation after your own careful observation now that your mind was distracted by this battle, and not the mental one you pushed aside.
鈥淎ctually, your weapons should work.鈥 Hange鈥檚 head turns so they could look at you with their widened, curious stare. 鈥淭he Titans skin isn鈥檛 armor, it hasn鈥檛 been able to manifest any either鈥︹ you trail off as your eyes study that Titan, missing the stares you were now getting as your eyes gleamed with different bouncing theories fueling your brain. 鈥淪o just like canons, the blades connected to those barrels should hopefully puncture its skin. With a big enough explosion you could hopefully blow it to bits.鈥 You grin slowly. 鈥淟ike that pumpkin we blew up a couple years ago from the inside!鈥 You realize how you are and clear your throat before looking back at Hange to make yourself clear. 鈥淎gain. Hopefully.鈥
The corner of their lips tug into a happy grin and you see they want to add something, but Erwin stops their rambling before he knew they could start. 鈥淟evi, Jean, Sasha, Connie鈥.鈥 Erwin looks to you and then looks to Hange slowly inching towards you, deciding that it was better if you weren鈥檛 paired up, knowing from experience what happens when you do. 鈥淵/N, take care of that side.鈥
Without daring to argue against your orders, even if you wanted to because of a specific old man in your group, you had no choice but to listen and follow your friends to your given location.
鈥淪o Cherry.鈥 Sasha says when you catch up to her side. 鈥淏ack in that cave.鈥 A mischievous smirk slowly pulls on her lips and her big brown eyes meet Connie鈥檚 to share a quick snicker before focusing back on you. 鈥淭hat tall man with the cool hat and the beard was your dad?鈥
Great. Just when you managed to stop thinking about him, she brings him up.
鈥淯h,鈥 You hum hesitantly. 鈥淵es. Why?鈥
鈥淥h鈥.Nothing.鈥 Sasha quickens her step to walk ahead of you to hide her growing smirk, nothing about this sudden question making you drop the subject. You only fall beside her to continue probing.
鈥淲hy?鈥 You narrow your gaze on her. 鈥淪asha?鈥
鈥淚 see it.鈥 She says, making your eyebrows furrow deeper in confusion. 鈥淭he similarities.鈥
You scoff as you all finally come to a stop, 鈥渟imilarities? You saw him for what? A max of a few seconds. You couldn鈥檛 have possibly seen anything.鈥
Sasha grabs a barrel off the ground and turns slowly, peeking her head past the side of the barrel and studying your face for a second before smiling. 鈥淭here! That look! The scary look!鈥
Levi takes his own curious peek your way, stealing a lingering glance to study your face before letting his eyes get lost on the smokey horizon ahead to recall Kenny鈥檚 own face. He didn鈥檛 see it at first, but when he saw how your lip curled and your gaze pierced into the brunette, there it was, the similarities in the glares. How could he have not seen before? Then again Isabel had always told him she saw similarities between you and him. So he never thought much of it. Until now.
鈥淒on鈥檛 ya think, Connie?鈥 Sasha shoves the barrel in Jean's hands and grabs your chin to turn your face so Connie could see. 鈥淒idn't I tell ya?鈥
Said boy also begins to study your face as if it were some important expedition plan he needed to memorize. It was unnecessary, which is why you quickly pulled away from Sashas grip鈥攏ot like it worked. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 think so. Y/N isn鈥檛 scary. She鈥檚 like a kitten compared to her dad.鈥
鈥淭sk. Stop talking,鈥 you grumble. 鈥淎nd get to work.鈥 You shove past them and grab a piece of rope to tie it around the barrel Jean set on the carriage, noticing from the corner of your eye how Levi kept glancing your way. Most likely out of guilt. That鈥檚 what you hoped. Then again he was being honest before. Harsh, but honest in his way. He was just trying to snap you back to your task.
Still that didn鈥檛 take away from how he yelled at you in front of everyone. Yes you鈥檝e seen him lose his temper once in a while, but it was so rare when he lost it like that with you. It always scared you, it would鈥檝e made you cry when you were younger, but now it just pissed you off. The way he stopped you pissed you off, didn鈥檛 he always say you were free to make your own choices as long as you wouldn't regret them? It鈥檚 not like you were going to run away with Kenny. You just needed to make sure he was alright after what you did, after the cave collapsed. You wanted answers to what you were still scared to even learn. Didn鈥檛 Levi know that? Wasn鈥檛 it so obvious?
鈥淎ren't you the same person that thought that the Captain was y/n鈥檚 father just last night?鈥 Jean points out to Sasha, breaking you from your train of thought. 鈥淗ow are you saying this now?鈥
鈥淲ell,鈥 Sasha shrugs. 鈥淓ver since I heard the old man was her actual father, I鈥斺
You cut her off in a venomous tone, 鈥淚f you don鈥檛 stop talking about my father, you鈥檒l find yourselves accidentally pushed off this wall.鈥 You sneer through gritted teeth whilst you walk to the end of Hange鈥檚 weapon to make sure the triggers worked.
鈥淵ou wouldn't dare.鈥 Connie snaps. 鈥淵ou鈥檇 get caught.鈥
You look up at him and slightly tilt your head as a faint, smug smirk tugs on your lips. 鈥淣ever said I鈥檇 push you did I? I said 鈥渁ccidently鈥.鈥 Your smirk widens, making Sasha's eyes bulge as she seems to be filled with more excitement at the way you just proved her right.
鈥淚f the four of you don鈥檛 focus,鈥 Levi interjects after he secures the weapon. 鈥淵ou'll find yourselves cleaning horse shit instead.鈥
Neither of you say a word after Levi鈥檚 threat, you just finish the weapon and share silent knowing looks before you walk to the wall's edge as the Titan finally reaches the wall. And once it is close, they once again shoot the cannons at its nape, managing to stop its movements and ripping the flesh from the nape. But the moment it seems to give the right opportunity to finish it, the Titan shoots a wave of hot steam out of its body. It鈥檚 not strong enough to blow you away, and it鈥檚 hot enough to burn, but the heat is uncomfortable as it hits your faces, and the steam is thick enough to cover what lay around you, and strong enough to render the canons useless now as it changed the winds direction away from its nape.
All you could feel was the rumbling it鈥檚 hands caused as they crashed on the wall to lift himself up to its feet, showing its faceless head, and crater filled body. Through the thick cloud of steam it keeps producing, it causes some of you to miss how it鈥檚 guts dropped over the side of walls, almost crushing some soldiers if they hadn鈥檛 moved away. Something that none of you missed was it鈥檚 deafening roar that finally alerted the citizens below.
Still though you couldn't stand in awe, you all were quick to use the water in the barrels to cool down to continue working. As much as you hated feeling your clothes stick to your body, the cool water was refreshing. Just like the sound of Eren's transformation was too; you never thought that you鈥檇 say that, you鈥檇 never actually say it outloud, but hearing the lightning and hearing his roar, felt just as relieving as the water splashing over your body and seeing the steam clearing away from the area.
鈥淲e鈥檙e good to go!鈥 Armin shouted at your side from where he stood, causing Sasha to run forward pushing Hange鈥檚 weapon. Waiting however, just like all of you did, for Erwins sign while he lifted his flare into the sky and shouted, 鈥淟et the attack鈥.鈥 he paused for a couple seconds and then finished his command with the sign needed. 鈥溾ommence!鈥
After that, both Armin and Sasha, shot the grapple into the Titans hand to send the barrel towards its body to set off the explosions that wounded it just enough for it to lose its balance, and drop its head on the wall. It was just for a few seconds, but it gave Eren the chance while it was dazed and weakly picking its head up, to run forward and throw the explosives Hange had wrapped up like a present, into the Titans mouth. Having the heat it produced set the explosives off inside its body, just like planned.
And perhaps if this was any other day, and you weren鈥檛 upset, you鈥檇 celebrate with a proud smile, but all you felt when seeing the chunks of flesh shoot off into the sky, was a sense to get this whole thing over with.
鈥淎ll troops!鈥 Erwin bellowed his command. 鈥淔inish it off with ODM gear!鈥
Without a moment to spare, and with the goal to finish this beaming inside your mind and over the worry that had pestered you before, you shot off into the sky after the pieces of flesh. Doing so felt like the easiest part of this whole thing, afterall, all you did was spin through air and cut the chunks of flesh into pieces to stop it from growing back to its original form. Hoping as well, that one of the flying pieces of flesh was the nape.
Yet, as you swing your blade over a darker piece of flesh in hopes it would be your target, it proved to be nothing but another piece of meat, making you turn around in the sky to face your back to the ground, and bounce your eyes from piece to piece to see if you could find the nape鈥斺渇or fucks sake,鈥 you breathe out as you study the shape of each one your eyes land on. 鈥淲hich one鈥斺 you cut yourself off the moment your eyes land on a piece blazing red by the steam, and covered in what seemed to be bone, or stone. Whatever it was, that was it. The nape.
You lift your blade, and hover your finger over the gas trigger, but just as you鈥檙e about to shoot yourself forward, Historia鈥檚 familiar voice calls out to stop you. 鈥淵/N! Wait!鈥 Her eyes meet yours when you turn to face her and you see the same determination from before burning in her eyes. 鈥淚t鈥檚 up to me!鈥
You offer her a quick understanding nod, and a proud half smile as you stand down and watch instead how she sets after the nape falling down to the ground. Seeing as she pulls her hand back to swing her blade over the nape without hesitation. However, neither of you expect the explosion that set off after she gave the final blow; You only catch a glimpse of Historia falling down toward the ground before the bright light from the explosion temporarily blinds you, and shoots you back. Luckily though, you managed to shoot your grapple into one of the roofs below to keep yourself in the sky before you had the chance to hit the ground. Your vision returned seconds later and that鈥檚 when you caught as the pieces of flesh began to vanish. Meaning one thing.
鈥淪he did it,鈥 Connie mused loudly beside you. 鈥淲e鈥檙e done.鈥
Your eyes fall to where Historia landed, and you nod. 鈥淚t鈥檚 over.鈥 You pick up your gaze and glance between Jean and Connie. 鈥淟et鈥檚 go down.鈥
Now though, with the Titan dead, something else returned to mind. The pesky regret. Doubt. Worry. It was a pain so obviously expressed on your face now, that it looked almost as if the battle had been lost when the opposite happened. When you should instead be happy that it gave Historia the chance to successfully take her role as Queen and savior. But no matter how hard you tried to force all those pestering, negative feelings away. As much as you wanted to forget what you did just the night before, the memory burned into you more than the steam from the Titan did so you couldn鈥檛 and wouldn't forget. Which is why regret overwhelmed and dragged you into a dark never ending pit.
Still you smiled though. Your cheeks hurt with how hard you were forcing it on your lips, but it was easy to fool those around you. After all, the win was a reason to smile. You almost fooled yourself too for a little while; trying to make others believe that you were okay, trying to tell yourself to stay and forget almost worked. However the facade shattered, no matter how hard you tried to convince yourself that everything was fine, a specific piece of news broke all the efforts you tried so hard to keep up. It was unintentional too. They never meant to do such a thing. They actually tried to keep you fooled, but they were easy to read, their own guilt was easy to see through.
鈥淗ange, where's Levi?鈥 You look around them to see if you could spot the small man, but he was nowhere around the barracks, he wasn鈥檛 around Erwin, or Hange. 鈥淚 want to talk to him.鈥
鈥淥h,鈥 they mouthed nervously. 鈥淟evi. I haven鈥檛 seen him.鈥 They meet your gaze but they鈥檙e quick to glance away. 鈥淢ight be sleeping.鈥
You genuinely laugh and smile. 鈥淲e鈥檙e talking about the same man, yeah? Insomaic Levi?鈥 You narrow your eyes on them and try to read their eyes, but they keep averting them. 鈥淗ange? I haven鈥檛 seen him since this afternoon. Since a bit after we finished the battle.鈥 Your lips fall to a frown and you step closer towards them now that you feel something irk your bones, they back away, but you catch the sweat beads glisten on their forehead by the light of the yellow sun beams hitting their face. 鈥淗e鈥檚 not here is he?鈥
Hange nods and tries to follow Levi鈥檚 orders to not tell you where he's gone, but it was too late now, they didn鈥檛 need to tell you where he was, you knew instantly. He wouldn't leave otherwise. And well he shouldn't have trusted Hange to lie, they couldn鈥檛 really lie to you. They always cracked. Which is why surprises never worked as much as they did honestly try. 鈥淐herry. Wait.鈥
Your frown deepens and you sigh deeply, meeting their pleading gaze with a burning glare not intended at them. 鈥淣o. I鈥檓 going.鈥 You turn on your heels and storm away. 鈥淚 know where he is.鈥
鈥斺
In the air the strong smell of smoke still blew around in the slow approaching night air, even hours after the Titan had emerged from underground and demolished everything in its path while it traveled to the wall. The carved out path left the earth ugly, and it unfortunately stretched for miles. Or at least that鈥檚 what Levi thought. Perhaps in some ways it could鈥檝e been a beautiful evening, the sun was out and clouds slowly began to invade the sky, but the stench of blood, and the aroma of death made the evening depressing.
Kenny hadn鈥檛 died yet, he was close, and even with his heart still fighting to beat, he smelled like a rotting corpse. Why didn鈥檛 he die? He already answered Levi鈥檚 years long unanswered question, there was no reason for him to fight to be alive, his bleeding wounds and the half of his face that the rubble crushed wouldn't allow him to. Did he really want to live that much? Did he even think of you? His only daughter? Levi had to wonder.
Probably not鈥攊f he didn鈥檛 care why did he come into your life again? You were a sensitive person, Kenny didn鈥檛 know that, but you were, his visit didn鈥檛 help that. Is that why he came? To drive you miserable? Actually, if he couldn't be a father, like he said just moments ago after he answered Levi鈥檚 question, then why? Why did he have you? Levi needed to ask before he couldn鈥檛.
鈥淜enny,鈥 Levi muttered, his eyes flickering to the yellow flower beside Kenny鈥檚 dying body. 鈥淚f you couldn鈥檛 be anyone鈥檚 father, then鈥hy did you have y/n?鈥 His eyes returned to Kenny, and right before he could answer, he laughed, blood spilled out, but he laughed as if the question was humorous.
鈥淏ecause,鈥 Kenny groaned. 鈥淚 was selfish.鈥 He swallowed back blood that kept crawling up his throat. 鈥淚 thought鈥 could see things like鈥im. I wanted to be drunk off something too.鈥 Kenny's head drifted down and his eyes fell to the yellow flower beside his withered body. 鈥淢aybe she did do something to my cold heart鈥.but I couldn鈥檛 be anyone鈥檚 father.鈥 The humor that had lingered on his lips disappeared completely and his eyes remained on the flower. 鈥淵ou did a hell of a job though鈥.鈥 Kenny coughs out blood and his head tilts to the other side to look at the case beside him. 鈥淧romise me,鈥 he struggled to breathe while he picked up the case. 鈥淵ou won鈥檛 let her turn out like me. The world has a habit鈥f destroying the most precious things.鈥
With his last breath, his last effort before his heart stopped beating was to shove the case to Levi鈥檚 chest. His last words were seeking for a promise born out of a hope he held onto for a long time; that second reason why he always insisted on seeing you all those years ago.
The words surprised Levi, just like Kenny鈥檚 death left him in disbelief even if he knew what was coming. He couldn鈥檛 find himself being able to move a muscle, he kept the case pressed on his chest whilst his eyes stayed glued on Kenny鈥檚 corpse. Did the death of the man that left him affect him this much? He couldn't believe himself, his emotions鈥.and if he felt this way how would鈥
Just before his mind could finish writing up his question, his train of thought suddenly was broken by the sound of footsteps crashing the earth close by. At first he thought it was the same comrade he had come here with, but when he peeked his eyes over his shoulder and saw you, his whole body stiffened and froze over. It felt like even his breath caught in his throat. He could only move his eyes to study your face, noticing your anger right away, but not noticing sadness or grief. But that was because you hadn鈥檛 seen Kenny yet, Levi鈥檚 crouched body covered the truth.
鈥淟evi, why didn鈥檛 you tell me?!鈥 You instantly asked in a furious tone. 鈥淲hy did you make Hange lie for you?鈥 You stomp towards him, and he remains crouched. 鈥淲hy did you lie to me about coming here?鈥 You demanded answers and he remained mute, his eyes now on the ground. You proceeded to get closer and that was when he was quick to stand up to try and hide Kenny鈥檚 body from you, but it was in that slight movement as he stood up and his cloak moved to the side, that you caught a glimpse of Kenny鈥檚 body leaning on the tree.
The anger that had burned furiously in your eyes completely went out and was replaced with that sorrow Levi had searched for when you got here. Did you really love this man so much? He couldn鈥檛 help but wonder. It was such a petty, poisonous thought at a time like this, but he couldn鈥檛 help it, not when you looked like someone had ripped your heart from your chest.
鈥淒id,鈥 you mumble, your voice quivering and your feet glued to the same spot. 鈥淒id I? Did he,鈥 you gasp for air and feel your legs begin to shake as they want to collapse. 鈥淒id he die because of me?鈥 You ripped your eyes from Kenny鈥檚 body and looked at Levi with a watery gaze. 鈥淟evi?鈥
Said man stepped towards you and his eyes held your gaze as he shook his head and parted his lips to answer your heavy question. 鈥淣o. Don鈥檛 you see?鈥 He moved slightly to let Kenny鈥檚 body be more visible to you, so you could see the truth. 鈥淭he rubble caught him. That killed him.鈥
鈥淏ut,鈥 you mutter while your eyes spot the dark blood stained on Kenny鈥檚 hand, a thick liquid that still leaked through his shirt from where your blade had cut his flesh, and something that spilled from the half of his face that lacked skin. 鈥淗e鈥檚 bleeding鈥.Levi,鈥 again you look at him with a pleading gaze. 鈥淚,鈥 you breathe out shakily, feeling your throat burn with the need to cry as you hold back from doing so. 鈥淚,鈥 you clutch onto your chest as you feel it tighten because of the confusion that overwhelmed your head, the anguish that stabbed your heart and the anger that boiled deep within you.
Levi sees the pain so easily expressed in your eyes, through the tears you tried so hard to fight off, he wanted to try and at least comfort you. But when he tried putting his hand on your shoulder, he felt the sting on his skin of your hand slapping his away right before you turned your body to storm off without a word. Leaving Levi standing there now in more disbelief than ever before.
However rather than getting on your horse and riding back home, you walk towards the sunset and sit on the edge of the broken ground caused by the Titan. Instead of crying like you thought you would, you sit with your eyes dry to watch how the beams of sunlight from the yellow-orange sunset reflected on the crystal cave that you sat over, making it glimmer beautifully. Even through the destruction, and even through the sadness weighing down your already wounded heart, the beauty of the earth above ground never failed to capture your eye鈥擨 wish he could鈥檝e seen that. Seen this, before his dying breath. Why did he have to die before I came鈥斺淚 still had so many questions,鈥 you whisper to yourself outloud before you drag your legs back to pull your knees to your chest.
The air smelled sweet; like the sea of green grass around, like flowers from the yellow flowers scattered around you. The air smelled bitter; like the rain that was brewing in the approaching clouds. The smell of fresh air was soothing and helped calm your thoughts, it returned your regret as well; something more heightened than ever. Now all you could think about while you watched the sun disappear, was how if you left to search for Kenny like you wanted, then maybe, just maybe you could鈥檝e helped him enough to save him. He wouldn't be dead because of what you did.
And it鈥檚 not like you wanted to save him because you鈥檇 miss him after his death, he was never in your life in the first place. Perhaps you did have some love for him, naively so, but losing him wasn鈥檛 what compelelty crushed you. What left you in anguish was the questions he would leave unanswered, the question you had been afraid to ask before, the question as to why he left you? Did he actually love you? You needed to know鈥ut now you couldn鈥檛 ever hear an answer. Now you鈥檇 regret not coming after him.
Fuck.
You exhale deeply and keep your eyes on the horizon, keep watching the glimmer from the crystal until your eyes bask in the darkness of the night. That鈥檚 when you proceed to wrap your hands around your legs and rest your head on your knees until the sound of Levi鈥檚 voice breaks through the silence. 鈥淭he grave is dug if you want to bury him.鈥
You sit still and let silence wrap around you both until you could bring yourself to speak quietly. 鈥淚鈥檓 sorry you lost him too. He must鈥檝e been important to you too.鈥 You swallow thickly and pick up your head from your knees to watch the clouds hide the stars in the sky. 鈥淚 would鈥檝e understood you wanting time alone with him, but what I don鈥檛 understand is you lying to me about coming here. About coming to find him. I know you keep things from me, but鈥e was my father. I think I deserved to at least know you wanted to look for him. A passing comment, anything. I deserved to make that choice of coming with you or not at the end.鈥
Levi鈥檚 feet shift on the ground and a sigh leaves his lips before he answers in his usual calm voice. Even after you declined his attempt at comfort. 鈥淲hat did you expect to see, hmm? Kenny suddenly healed?鈥 Levi steps closer towards you, hearing you sigh and seeing you shake your head. 鈥淭hen? Nothing would've changed his fate. No matter if you came to look for him when you wanted, or if you came with me now.鈥
鈥淚 could鈥檝e tried something,鈥 you try to desperately prove him wrong. 鈥淚f I looked for him before. If I got here before.鈥 Your eyes fill with tears but you hold yourself back. 鈥淗e could鈥檝e lived. You don鈥檛 know that.鈥
鈥淎nd what then?鈥 Levi remarked, 鈥渉e gets to live to leave you again?鈥 He didn鈥檛 mean to be so harsh, but he wanted you to see the truth, he wanted you to not regret your choices. But it was too late for that.
You hug your knees tighter at the sound of his words and shrug. 鈥淎t least he would鈥檝e lived. At least I could鈥檝e had the chance to ask him questions I wanted answers for.鈥 You sniffle and drop your eyes from the sky. 鈥淟ike what I did wrong to make him leave me.鈥 Your throat burns and you try to fight the tears that clouded your vision, but they quickly escape your eyes this time.
Levi gasped softly at your comment and once again he remained still. His lips parted and he found himself not knowing what to do. He saw that you needed to be comforted again, but he knew you were angry at him for lying about coming here. You鈥檇 reject him again. Which is why he gave you space instead. He thought that鈥檚 what you wanted.
And yes, you were angry at him, but only because he lied. You understood why he was strict when you were in the cave, so you weren鈥檛 angry at that. Actually your anger didn鈥檛 matter right now. Right now you just needed him to comfort you, you just wanted to hear that he wouldn't leave you like Kenny did. You needed him more than ever, but he never reached over to hug your trembling body.
That only made you more upset. Not angry, just upset. More than Kenny鈥檚 death. More than burying his body ever did. You knew Levi wasn鈥檛 a person who showered you with affection, but you just needed something. A squeeze on your shoulder, a gentle stroke on your cheek, a half hug, or just simple words saying, it will be okay. But you got nothing from him.
His lack of affection turned the night bitterly cold. No matter how tight you hugged the cloak over yourself, the warmth didn鈥檛 comfort your body. It鈥檚 a chill that you could feel even in your bones. You thought that walking inside the barracks after returning would provide warmth, but the chill kept your body trembling. You were prepared to just sleep it off, or at least try to, but when you stepped inside the hall that led to the girl bunks after taking the long way from the stables to avoid walking beside Levi, there was a person who stood in the way of you going to cry in the comfort of your own bed.
鈥淛ean,鈥 you mutter in surprise, seeing said boy stumble to his feet after seeing you. 鈥淲hat are you doing here at this time?鈥 You glance to where he was seated to check for anything that鈥檇 make him be here, but his spot was clean beside the lamp that was set in the middle, providing a soft hue to the entire hall. 鈥淎re you okay?鈥
Jean nods, showing nonchalance even after you caught him in the hall alone. 鈥淚鈥檓 fine. Where have you been? You were gone for a long time. I thought you ran off.鈥
You feign a smile and shake your head. 鈥淣o, I just went out with Levi.鈥 Without pouring out any of your troubles, you just avoid talking about what happened so as to not annoy him. 鈥淵ou haven鈥檛 answered my question, what are you doing here? It鈥檚 late, shouldn鈥檛 you be asleep?鈥 You suddenly smirk at an incoming thought, 鈥渙r did I interrupt a secret meeting you were gonna have with someone?鈥
Jean scoffs and averts his gaze as he shakes his head at your comment. 鈥淣o. Why would I do that?鈥
You shrug, 鈥渂ecause boys have urges. I don鈥檛 know, you tell me.鈥
Jean answers with silence, even if your comment sounded stupid he couldn鈥檛 answer with something witty, at least not today. Rather he tries to meet your gaze, but just the slightest glimpse at you waiting for his answer makes him nervous. 鈥淚 was just here to鈥︹ he hesitates, but you don鈥檛 catch it. 鈥淚 was waiting for you.鈥
Your lips part and you can鈥檛 help but blink in disbelief. Words can鈥檛 even form in your mouth, deep breaths of air is all you could express. It sounded ridiculous, you might even look it, but his answer just left you speechless, it鈥ade your heart flutter. When you could form words, all you could whisper out was, 鈥渨hy?鈥
鈥淗ange said where you went when I asked about you after dinner,鈥 Jean shrugs, his eyes slowly meeting yours. 鈥淚 thought I鈥檇 wait to hear what you got yourself into.鈥 His cheeks burn a hot red tint he thought embarrassing, mostly because he thought that you would find it funny. But all you could think about was how happy him waiting for you made you feel, no matter how lame his excuse was. Even if you didn鈥檛 want to bore him with all your troubles that just happened, and you had no clue why he would bother staying up, knowing he stayed up late made your heart fill with a warm feeling.
鈥淭hank you,鈥 you genuinely smile and try to lie. 鈥淏ut I鈥檓 okay, really. I mean,鈥 you exhale and avert your gaze to your fiddling fingers. 鈥淚t鈥檚 like you said, right? Why should I care about someone who never tried to be my dad.鈥 Your bottom lip trembles and the smile you had offered him dropped to a frown. 鈥淗e鈥檚 gone, so now I won鈥檛 have to stress about him. I can鈥檛 miss someone who was never here.鈥 Your eyes meet Jean's gaze and you just try to shrug off what completely crushed your heart. 鈥淭hanks for staying up. It was sweet.鈥
You duck your head and try to speed off to your room, but Jean quickly catches your wrist and keeps you beside him so he could continue. 鈥淵eah, it鈥檚 weird that you鈥檙e crying over someone who was never there for you, but he was still your father.鈥 His grip around your wrists loosens and his voice softens. 鈥淚t鈥檚 okay to grieve.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 just,鈥 your voice quivers as you speak to the darkness lurking in the hall in front of you, 鈥淚 could鈥檝e saved him, you know. If I went to look for him like I planned, he could be alive鈥ven if he would鈥檝e left after. But now he's dead because of me.鈥 You turn to face Jean, catching his eyes shine a lighter tint of brown as the lamps fire reflected on them. 鈥淚 couldn鈥檛 even ask him why he left me鈥︹ you pause and let out a shaky breath, feeling like someone kept tightening their fist around your throat the longer you kept from crying. 鈥淲hat did I do wrong?鈥
Jeans lips parted in surprise and his hand slipped from your wrist, he couldn鈥檛 believe the words that came out of your lips. Did you really think you did something wrong? You were just a child. Kenny was the bad person for leaving you, for hurting you this way. Jean couldn鈥檛 believe you thought that way, it had to be a lie, some joke. But when he studied your face and saw the sad frown on your lips, the tears drowning your eyes as you held them back, he could clearly see your anguish and the sadness for something you shouldn鈥檛 be questioning.
And he hated seeing it, your pain. He felt like he wanted to shield you from ever feeling it again, it was impossible, he knew, but he鈥檇 do anything to have that control. All he could attempt to do to ease that pain, was let his arms wrap around your neck and press your body close to his. This time he didn鈥檛 need you to ask for a embrace, he just did it and it left you stunned.
Jean's sudden actions dried your tears, and stiffened your body for the few seconds you needed to recuperate and take in that he was hugging you. It was such a long moment that he was ready to pull away and quickly excuse his actions, but before he could step away, you slowly lifted your arms to gently wrap them under his arms and return his hug.
Now all you could think about was how his embrace made you feel assured and how it thawed away the coldness that had your body freezing. You could cry鈥攕ob now that you felt secured, but you still didn鈥檛 let yourself cry. You fought your tears and kept your eyes dry, instead you basked in the feeling of his thumb slowly stroking the back of your neck; it was soothing, you could fall asleep in his arms by how hypnotic the feeling felt. You thought your heart would race and he鈥檇 feel its thumping vibrations by how close he was pressed to your chest, but you felt calm. No pain, he eased that too, you just felt comfort.
Could you stay this way forever?
No. That was weird, he鈥檚 your friend鈥攂ut you can鈥檛 help but get drunk by that question.
鈥淵/N,鈥 Jean says by your ear, 鈥淚t鈥檚 not your fault. Kenny鈥檚 death isn鈥檛 your fault. You did what had to be done. You left the cave because it was your job. If you hadn鈥檛 you would have regretted it more. Besides,鈥 he breathes out, 鈥渘othing would've changed his fate. Or yours. He left you, it鈥檚 sad, but it鈥檚 done. Nothing you can do about it now but move on. Understand that.鈥
You rest your head on his shoulder and ball the material of his shirt in your fists. You nod in agreement to the truth he shared, even if he wasn鈥檛 asking, you nodded to something you needed to hear. It didn鈥檛 mean it stopped you from hurting though, but his words did help the conflict within you. Knowing Jean stayed behind just to talk to you, feeling his arms secured around you, made your heart happy and it set an assurance over you that Levi had failed to do. And no matter what you still had to process, you needed to tell Jean some part of that鈥斺渢hank you, for staying up,鈥 you whisper softly against his shoulder. 鈥淚鈥檓 really happy you did.鈥 You smile softly. 鈥淚t means so much to me, Jean. Thank you.鈥
鈥斺
The day after Kenny鈥檚 death and Historia鈥檚 win over the Titan that terrorized the wall, came her coronation. It was a quick matter because the people had 鈥渘o one鈥 to rule them鈥攈ow could they possibly live that way?
Regardless, surprisingly the people loved the young Queen that suddenly came out of the shadows, people crowded the streets just to watch the crown being placed on her golden head. It was surreal too, you did have to admit, there was just a majestic beauty in watching such a royal event, it was like something out of the books you read. Historia herself looked like some goddess you could never meet and only admire from afar, she seemed like a glowing illusion on that stand. But when she came down and joined you all on the ground again, she was just simply Historia. No glowing goddess, just a friend, a comrade and a simple girl.
A scared and troubled girl that is.
鈥淗old on鈥ou鈥檙e seriously doing it, Historia?鈥 Eren protested for the hundredth time as she, and the rest of your close friends walked down the castle halls after her coronation.
Historia鈥檚 hands clenched to fists and she nodded confidently, even if her eyes told a different story. 鈥淵eah, I am.鈥
鈥淢ikasa was just joking about it! Right, Mikasa?鈥 Eren looked at said girl.
鈥淎fter you smack him, tell him this.鈥 Mikasa contradicted Eren. 鈥淚 dare you to hit me back.鈥
鈥淒amn you,鈥 Eren groaned, his eyes shifting to you to plead for your help instead. 鈥淵/N, you think this is wrong right? I mean he鈥檚 your鈥e鈥檚 basically your dad! You can鈥檛 let it happen.鈥
You scoff and wave off his comment, instead you slap your hand on Historia鈥檚 shoulder and grin to counter Erens plea. 鈥淒o it Historia. Let this be your first act as Queen, he deserves it. Trust me he won鈥檛 do anything back.鈥
Eren glares at you and scoffs, 鈥渄amn you too.鈥 He looks at Historia again and continues, 鈥渋t鈥檚 not a real grudge, just forget it.鈥
鈥淚f I can't do this, how can I call myself Queen?鈥 Historia remarks.
You smile wider and pull your hand off the girl's shoulder to glance at Jean chiming in beside you. 鈥淗ell yeah, Historia. That鈥檚 the spirit!鈥
When your eyes shift to look ahead of you, you, like everyone else, spot the man you were talking about standing in front of a window that shined in the bright sunlight that casted Levi in a cold shadow. When he spotted you all coming to a stop near him, he stepped in the middle of your group's path, with his face nonchalant, hiding what he could be feeling at the moment. A fact that only made Historia鈥檚 attempt that more exciting.
Honestly, you didn鈥檛 think she鈥檇 actually do it, considering she looked like she was gonna shit herself, but Historia ended up surprising you. Before Eren could talk her out of it, she proceeded to let out an encouraged shout and sprinted forward, towards Levi with her fist tightly balled up. Said man saw her intentions and shifted his body to the side so when the girls fist made contact, the impact would hit his arm. Ultimately though not causing him an ounce of pain or a reaction right away. The only people who reacted right away, were your friends who exclaimed in surprise and excitement, while Mikasa and you smiled, and Historia cheered at her own accomplishment.
鈥淗ow鈥檇 you like that?鈥 Historia remarked smugly with a bright grin. 鈥淚鈥檓 the Queen! If you got a problem鈥斺
Before Historia could finish her practiced remark, her words came to a sudden halt as Levi鈥檚 late reaction baffled everyone. Rather than being angry, or remarking bitterly, Levi laughed and smiled softly before speaking in a soft tone. 鈥淭hank you鈥ll of you. I needed that.鈥
It was such a simple expression, but it was something rare for everyone to see, you were even left a bit surprised, and you鈥檝e seen him smile multiple times. His smile was also something so contagious, at least to you it was, everyone else鈥ell they looked like they saw a ghost, or saw a miracle happen. You couldn鈥檛 help but beam like a happy child at his reaction. But it was such a short lived reaction because then all you felt was remorse for not considering his own feelings yesterday, for being mad at him for lying.
Deep within the piling layers of your own shame, you still did seek an apology for how hurt Levi lying made you feel, because it was something he didn鈥檛 do. But you being hurt by it felt wrong now, petty, stupid. How could you be so cold and careless?
I need to apologize鈥攜ou think to yourself. Yet when you return your gaze to him, his back is facing you, and he鈥檚 walking far ahead now that the group scattered because of how speechless they were by him smiling. It felt like he was hundreds of miles out of your reach, even more so when Jean interrupted your attempts and broke you from your racing thoughts. 鈥淗ey can we talk?鈥
You snap your eyes to look at him, filing now with instant curiosity, and managing to shove aside your doubt and worry for now because of how nervous and scared he looked鈥斺渙f course.鈥
Jean exhales with relief and points his head to the hall past the long, elegant white and gold doors. 鈥淐ome on. This way.鈥 He wants to grab your arm, but when he lifts his hand to do so, he quickly drops it and just walks ahead of you to guide you further away from your friends. And since you couldn鈥檛 see him because he chose to walk ahead, at quick speed you might add, you missed the beads of sweat rolling off his forehead, his growing blush on his cheeks and the nervous and scared look expressed in his light brown eyes.
What you could see and note, was how his fists were very tightly clenched, and how deep and quick his back was falling with his heavy but quick breaths; still you didn鈥檛 want to point it out. Instead you just spoke up lightheartedly. 鈥淪o what is that you want to talk about, hmm? You gonna propose to me?鈥 You tease with a soft laugh. 鈥淲e鈥檙e gonna go from best friends to super friends?鈥 You grin brightly and ramble on. 鈥淚鈥檒l say I鈥檒l become that with you only if we make a blood pact like in that book I鈥檓 rereading. But I am surprised you want to be that, I always thought you liked Marco better than me. I鈥檓 surprised you鈥檙e actually still friends with me now that he's gone. Not that I mind us staying close that is.鈥
Jean processes everything that comes out of your mouth, but he doesn鈥檛 respond to any of your comments at the moment. He keeps his mind focused on what he was planning to say and reveal to you, he couldn鈥檛 lose the courage he鈥檇 built just to pull you away privately. He was going to go back to what you said though, just not right now. Right now he just needed to take advantage that it was a good day to confess his feelings towards you.
鈥淥ut here,鈥 Jean says as he opens the balcony doors to let you walk out first, his eyes averting yours until you both stand in front of one another beside the stone railing. In that exact moment where he faces you with his troubled look, is when you drop your smile and look at him with concern instead.
鈥淛ean, are you okay?鈥 You ask and step towards him. 鈥淲hat鈥檚 wrong?鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 just,鈥 Jean swallows thickly, his eyes meeting yours for a brief second before he couldn't handle seeing anymore of your sweet concerned gaze. Even being close to you to the point he could feel the warmth from your body radiate off you felt more nerve wracking, he could melt or just run away. 鈥淚-I鈥 wanted to tell you that I鈥︹
Jean stops and clenches one fist tighter, to the point his palm hurts with how deep his nails dug into his skin, whilst he uses his other hand to scratch the back of his head after he ducked it to keep avoiding your gaze. He tried to meet your gaze again but his heart only raced faster. He just felt so incredibly nervous looking at you no matter how many times his eyes had met yours throughout the years. It鈥檚 just that this time was different because he was putting your friendship that he valued so much, on the line.
Still though. He can鈥檛 help but ask himself how one person can make him so nervous? He felt kind of intimidated being so close to you. Unlike last night, he didn't have the courage to be so brave and say what was on his mind. Not with how beautiful he thought you looked under the sun's soft light. Not with how inviting and tempting looking at your lips felt, not with all the words that he kept stuck in his throat screaming to be let out and be heard by you and you alone.
Jean also couldn't handle your patience, he wanted you to yell at him to let out what he wanted say. But no. You had to wait even if it bothered you that he was struggling just to speak鈥斺溾ell,鈥 he continued, 鈥測esterday I realized that-that I couldn鈥檛鈥eep what I feel hidden anymore.鈥 He finally lifts his gaze, seeing you were clueless to what he was trying to get at. It made things that much harder because you weren鈥檛 expecting his confession. 鈥淵/N, I鈥斺
The balcony door suddenly swings open, cutting off Jean's words and revealing Levi. 鈥淐herry, we need to talk.鈥
Your eyes shift to him standing under the doorway and you nod. 鈥淥kay, I鈥檒l be there in a minute.鈥
Levi hesitates in his spot, his eyes glaring into Jean and contemplating on staying out until you walk to him, but he decides to step back inside and close the door. Albeit it wasn鈥檛 the same anymore.
鈥淪orry,鈥 you say, and look back at Jean, 鈥減lease, go on. He can wait.鈥
Jean exhales deeply and glances at Levi waiting in front of the door and decides to just drop it, it wasn鈥檛 a good idea anyway. You didn't even know what it was that he wanted to say, so you wouldn't even miss a thing. So instead he just brought up something else. 鈥淚 just wanted to thank you for saving me in the cave.鈥 Jean finally meets your gaze and a frustration replaces his nervousness. 鈥淲ithout you, I think the man would鈥檝e killed me.鈥
鈥淥h,鈥 you breathe out, feeling underwhelmed for some reason. 鈥淲ell, consider ourselves even. You saved me from falling to my death when you guys went to save Eren and Historia, I owed you.鈥
鈥淔ine then,鈥 Jean forces a smile. 鈥淲e鈥檙e even until I have to save your ass again.鈥
You scoff. 鈥淎s if I鈥檓 going to need saving. More like I鈥檒l help you since well, I鈥檓 stronger now. Faster. Smarter.鈥 You step back and step towards the door. 鈥淒on鈥檛 worry though, it鈥檚 cute that you need my help. Nothing to be ashamed about.鈥 You shoot him a smug smile and he just shoots you a narrowed look. 鈥淲e'll talk later. I need to see what Levi wants.鈥 With one last lingering look at Jean's way, you walk inside and leave him behind to instead join Levi. Feeling nervous yourself now.
Is he going to apologize?
鈥淐herry,鈥 he says whilst he guides you down the hall away from the balcony. 鈥淚 wanted to tell you that since Historia鈥檚 queen now, one of her proposals was to help the people living underground. And well she asked if I鈥檇 help her with that.鈥
鈥淥h, I see.鈥 You smile softly, 鈥渢hat鈥檚 good.鈥 Warm beams of sun hit your face as Levi and you walk by the big windows on the hall walls, the feeling kissing your skin should feel nice, but with what you were expecting to hear, the feeling felt kind of cold.
鈥淚 wanted to ask if you wanted to put some input too.鈥 He continues. 鈥淵ou wouldn't be able to join those meetings because they鈥檙e considered high ranked meetings, but you could tell me what you have in mind. I鈥檒l share it with the people in the meetings. What do you say?鈥
You were happy he asked for your input. You were, but that鈥檚 not what you seeked for. You just wanted to hear he was sorry for lying. A hug would be good too, he didn鈥檛 have to say anything, you just wanted to know that he was sorry. Was it wrong to ask? Maybe you鈥檙e just being petty and stupid for wanting something like that.
But you felt so cold and sad. What you wouldn't give to be in Jean鈥檚 arms again, he made you feel warm and assured鈥.as strange as that was to confess, your heart yearned for his comfort as you waited for Levi鈥檚 apology. Why couldn鈥檛 he apologize?
Or was it wrong of you to want it?
.
.
.
Tagged- @expectoscamander @greenygreenland , @that-soft-lesbian-friend @dai-tsukki-desu , @usernamehere91 , @avocadopoosae , @romancried , @victor-criss-bish @moo-moo-meadow @stareatceiling @padfootii
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dragonherder20302 days ago
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@cherrycoloredsoot !!!
I finally finished it!
Gosh this took longer then I wanted it too, but here ya go! I did my usual shading technique for more final pieces, and not toooooo sketchy for my line style. Who鈥檚 the seawing? Well he鈥檚 one of my personal ocs I thought would be good to use in this piece. In my mind she would be best depicted helping someone else while still being cheery.
She鈥檚 helping out a new patient, recently moved in and got into a scuffle with a cactus. Cheering him up with some long winded stories I presume. He appreciates it a lot
Hope you enjoy haha, it鈥檚 not worth the wait I know but at least it looks nice haha.
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art-noodlesa day ago
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i don鈥檛 often posts wips but here u go guys聽
i鈥檇 love to add more details but i鈥檓 lazy rn lmao. suit ver coming soon maybe (don鈥檛 count on it)
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justcatposts4 months ago
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鈥淪he loves to PLAY with (not eat) cherries 馃崚鈥澛
(Source)
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fruitblr3 months ago
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Marilyn Monroe wearing a cherry-printed dress designed by Jean Louis in THE MISFITS (1961) dir. John Huston + BTS photos
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tylerposey6 months ago
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TOM HOLLAND Cherry (2021)聽 dir. Russo Brothers
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