Genre: Drama Romance | AU | Reincarnation
Pairing: (mainly) Rivaille x Eren
Summary: Being woven in his dreams and memories, Rivaille was at a loss. The second encounter with a certain boy made it even much worse than he thought it would be, especially when the boy is reaching his hands out to him again.
I don't own Shingeki no Kyojin, but this fanfiction is mine.
©AsakuraHannah at Ffn
A/N: Chp replaced, some errors change
Chapter 9 : Distance
Eren found himself himself unable to move. He blinked a few times to make his sight more tangible before his eyes, trying to make out a few figures. He soon found out that he was kneeling down on the ground, both of his hands were cuffed behind him. His own rasped breath could be heard as his heartbeat hammering against his chest, sweat running down his chin. He didn't know why he felt the need to break free as fast as he could. Heaving slightly, Eren struggled to move but he wasn't able to pull his hand away, the chains were attached to the heavy pole which was plunged deep into the hole in the ground. As soon as he raised his head though, he knew he was making a big mistake. His green eyes were staring up at the man before him who stood with short gasps coming from his mouth. His body was covered with blood as few pieces of blades thrust against his back, it was like someone, or some people threw several blades directly to him. Eren felt himself starting to lose control when he shout. No matter how hard he screamed, he couldn't hear his own voice. Tears spilling down his cheek while Eren gawked at the man in horror. His stance look familiar but he couldn't recognize him. All he knew, he was screaming and crying in agony which soon made him blackened out.
Eren gasped when he awakened from the nightmare in full force. He gave a shudder breath when he remembered what dream he was having. He slowly sat up, putting his hand on his chest to calm his heartbeat. After a few minutes trying to calm his breath, Eren closed his eyes. He felt slightly relieved that he was awake now. He never had any kind of nightmare that horrible before. Who was the man before him? He couldn't make out his face at all. Running his hand to his throbbing temple, Eren shook his head. He needed to forget about the nightmare for now. He threw the blanket away from his lap and swung his legs off the bed to head to the bathroom.
Eren stared at his reflection in the mirror, checking if his eyes were swollen due to the tears last night. He was glad that he didn't look like some pathetic boy who was just break up. Eren splashed his face a few times to wake himself more.
"Eren, it's time to get ready." Mikasa's muffled voice outside his room made him replied at her with a shout, letting her know that he was in the bathroom. Once he didn't receive any answer from her, he took it that she had gone away from the front of his room. He quickly took his shirts off and bath.
When he came downstairs, Mikasa had been waiting for him to eat. Breakfast had never been so quiet before, Eren noticed that Mikasa was feeling a bit faltered to pick a conversation.
When both of them walked towards the front gate without any word, Eren decided to finally broke the uncomfortable silent.
"I've made up my mind. I… I wanted to know the past, even though it hurt me." Mikasa turned her head sharply at him, Eren looked down from her bewildered look.
"Even though it hurt me." The brunet repeated, pressing the fact that he did not want Mikasa to object him. He was going to talk to Rivaille over this. He wanted the older man knew that he's willing to know everything he was supposed to remember.
Mikasa could only give a small sad smile at her brother when he walked past her with full of determination on his face.
"We are… still siblings, right?" Eren stopped walking outside the gate when he heard what she was saying. He quickly turned to face her, surprised when he saw the thin smile across her lips.
"Of course, but I don't want you to start with 'I did that because I'm your sister, I care for you' sentence." He cringed in disgust when he heard himself saying that. Mikasa couldn't stop her chuckled when it rolled out from Eren's tongue.
It was true though; she was like a mother figure, Mikasa didn't complain when she took over the job when their mother passed away. She knew she was adopted since Eren's mother couldn't have another child because of her illness, the fact that they became a family would never changed. She was Eren's childhood friend ever since they were babies. She was grateful that the Jaeger family decided to adopt her after her parent's death because of the accident. Mikasa was wittingly blaming herself for calling her father during his driving home, told him to get home faster since they brought her presents. The night when she found out her parent got their car crashed, she didn't cry until Eren comforted her with the red scarf he used to wear. He told her to cry when she wanted to, making her lose her cool by crying like a baby when she was supposed to be strong in a time like that. She was glad she got a brother, a cute one that is. The Jaeger family was happy that they could have a daughter in exchange.
Mikasa's train of thoughts disturbed when Eren voiced out his worry.
"Don't tell Dad I fainted. I didn't want him to worry." Eren reminded her. Mikasa nodded.
"He won't be back until tomorrow I think. I need to inform him that you've regained some of your lost memories, you know. You are still under treatment after all, Eren." Eren looked like he was about to object but then stopped; he knew he should at least let him know. The girl followed him when he started walking again after she closed the gate behind her.
"… I think you can enter your dad's room when he knew you've regained your memory." That statement made the boy threw a look at his sister, their eyes met for a second with Eren's eyebrow rose.
"Is there anything else that you've been keeping away from me?" Mikasa exhaled loudly.
"Nothing else other than that book Dad's been keeping you away from. Let's talk to him when he got back. Don't ask me about the book since you should read it on your own" The girl walked past him, ignoring his stillness.
"Fine." Eren rolled his eyes, he couldn't believe Armin and his own family were doing all of these to him. He'll know something soon enough. All he needed to think about now was talking to Rivaille to get to know more about his past life memories. Thinking about the man already made him excited, Eren bit his tongue. He surely didn't realize it but… He wanted to see him more and more. His hand unconsciously gripped his bag's handle tighter. It doesn't matter; he'll meet him soon and talk.
That was what Eren thought until they were in class, Eren's eyes gleaming with enthusiastic when he saw Rivaille came inside the classroom with his usual stoic face. His eyes found Eren's gaze and averted his eyes away, making Eren blinked at him. Wishing that it was just a simple ignorant act on Rivaille's side, he let it go. Deciding that he could have the whole day to talk with his teacher later, Eren focused on his lessons.
It was later when the lunch bell rang that Eren realized Rivaille rushed outside the room, as if trying to avoid any circumstance. Eren wanted to run after him, calling out for him, but he couldn't do that. He didn't want the other students have some weird idea about him chasing the teacher. Eren frowned as his mind drifted back to the previous day. Rivaille had been alright, unless there were some occurrence happened during his unconscious state.
"Armin." The blond who was taking out his lunch box looked at Eren curiously.
"After I fainted yesterday, Rivaille-san was the one brought me home, right?" Armin gave a nod, stillness in his mouth.
"I was wondering if he said something during my unconscious state." Eren's eyes were now boring through the entrance of the classroom. Armin knew what Eren was talking about.
"Rivaille-san didn't talk much. He just asked if you lost your previous life memory during the accident and also… he said 'sorry'." Armin had to lean closer to his friend to whisper his reply. Eren turned his head sharply to Armin, almost crashing their forehead in the process. He quickly drew back in surprise that Armin's face was closer than he thought.
"Sorry? What for?" Armin gave a hesitant look before answering.
"I told him you were hurt a lot during childhood, confused between dreams and reality. Maybe it's best if you better not knowing the past after all. I mean, you look so desperate and bewildered; I don't want you to end up hurting again. And he said he was sorry." Eren's eyes couldn't have gotten larger than Armin had thought. He flinched when Eren suddenly grabbed his collar forcefully, gasping at the harsh contact.
"Why? Why did you say that?" Eren's voice was pretty loud that the remaining students in class looking at them incredulously. They never thought that Eren and Armin would fight over something. Mikasa who was watching the conversation from behind quickly put her hand on Eren's grip.
"Eren, stop it." She reminded him about how easy he could lose control over his anger. Eren quickly let go of Armin, he hissed at him like a snake before walking past the blonde. As soon as he was outside the classroom, his feet brought him to run, eyes swiping the hall to search for the raven hair man. He spotted Rivaille was about to get inside the office.
"Rivaille-san." He called out. Eren's face drained when the man didn't stop or even budge to see who was calling him. He tried again but Rivaille only walked inside and closed the door before his face. The teen's feature went pale as his hand hovering on the door knob. He growled frustratingly while he ran his hands in his hair. What just happened? Everything was alright before, Eren was happy with the way things were. Now it was all crumbled into pieces. Eren threw a distressing look before he walked away from the office. He didn't want to cause commotion if he forced himself to go straight to Rivaille for having the talk.
Someone called him when he was about to head back to his classroom. He looked behind to meet with his senior, a third year student. Eren knew her, she was taking charge on the library's system, she's also a part of the student council. Her name was… Rico? Eren gave a slight bow to her when she walked up to him. There must be some errand to do.
"Jaeger, are you busy currently?" She asked when she stood directly in front of him.
"No, is there something I can help?" He offered with a smile when she nodded.
"Yes, the person who was in charge of sorting books in the library is currently on leave and there's no one to take the job for this week. We need some help with the sorting of the books that's been borrowed and returned in all sections. The boxes were starting to get full; we need someone to help out. I will take care of the payment, I knew you wanted that." Eren gave a nod before realizing what he just took was pretty huge in his hands.
"Wait, all sections? As in the first and second floor?" Eren went pale when Rico answered with a nod.
"I will double the payment, don't worry. You can ask someone to help you out for the sorting. I know Armin can help out; he's the most regular in the library after all. I'm sure he remembers almost all sections. Just give me the list of the books each day after you're done sorting them so I can input the lists in data." Eren pressed his lips together when he heard his best friend's name. He was slightly mad at him at the moment. Why now? He gave a tired sigh mentally.
"Alright, fine." He needed some income after all. Rico gave another stoic nod before walking away.
"Thank you, Jaeger." She said without looking back. Eren scratched his head.
Mikasa stared at Eren who was sulking while he picked up some books off the large box. She volunteered when she found out about Eren's job, she was the student council after all. Helping around the school was her job. They work along with Armin even if Eren asked the blonde with a pout on his face. Armin was currently putting back some books to the other side of the hall in the library according to the books sections. Eren was taking the books little by little from the 'return' boxes back to the counter, while Mikasa type the lists of the books in the monitor to be given to Rico to input them directly in a password protection data. They were moving pretty fast for the first day, until Eren sulked with his train of thoughts.
"Eren." She tried to distract him out of his thoughts, earning a questioned look from his eyes.
"You're spacing out." Mikasa stated, making her brother exhaled noisily. He picked up some leftover books from the box, feeling happy that he had almost done with the second box. He was dejected when someone mercifully threw in another pile of books into the box, not even caring to give them into Eren's hands politely. The brunet glared at his best enemy while the taller guy smirked down at him in return.
"What are you doing here, Jean?" Eren mumbled irritatingly, putting the books on top of the counter for Mikasa to check them. He bent down to take the books Jean threw in, grunting when Jean put his arm around Eren's shoulder pretty harshly.
"Even I have to return some books." Eren rolled his eyes at that, shoving him away.
"I'm impressed you even know how to read this thick book." He eyed the book he just picked, earning a glare from the taller man. Eren smirked when Mikasa snorted at his words, not even try to hide it.
"That's not nice when I was about to give you some tips on dating and stuff." Jean moved closer to Eren when the shorter of the two gave him questioning look. As much as he was annoyed with him, Jean was pretty sharp when it's about romance. Although Jean was pretty dense about his own.
"Oh come on, it's no use trying to hide it from me. I saw you dating our internship teacher." Jean gave a wide grin when Eren dropped the books from his hands in reflex and Mikasa's surprised look was enough to make the statement became the obvious truth. Jean could have been laughing instead if he did not receive a painful jabbed in his stomach when Eren elbowed him.
"Not too loud dumbass! You hate me so much that you wanted me to be expelled and make him lose his job?" Jean growled as he clutched at his stomach with Eren glaring daggers at him. After a few seconds writhing in pain, which Mikasa and Eren pretend nothing happened, Jean let out a soft forceful chuckled.
"That's big news, you know. I could never imagine you actually going out with someone. A man too." Jean was now rubbing his stomach, throwing a smug grin to Eren. The green-eyes boy was composing himself to not to throw a punch just to wipe Jean's silly grin off his face. Mikasa threw him a warning look when their eyes met. Eren looked down at the last book he was holding, pouting as he look to his side only to notice Armin heading back to the counter with several other books in his hands.
"This is the last one from the other side. It's empty at least for today. I think we can continue tomorrow." Armin said, handing the books to Mikasa. The blonde looked at Jean and Eren puzzled, noticing the intense air surrounding them.
"It's not like that at all, Jean. You are having a big misunderstanding here." Eren mumbled, to him, avoiding eye-contact with Armin.
"What? Did he rejected you?" At that Eren clenched his fist.
"Jean, mind your own business! Can't you shut up? Why are you getting so worked up on this anyway?" Armin and Mikasa watched in full alertness as Eren starting to be more furious.
"Why are you so mad? I was just going to help you out and giving tips for… you know… in bed…" Mikasa and Armin could faintly hear an invisible rope finally snapped off. Eren pulled Jean by the collar and shoved him savagely onto the counter. The boy gasped in shock, hissing when his head slammed against the top of the counter painfully. Jean sucked in his breath when Eren glowered at him while inching his face closer.
"Listen bastard, I'm not in the mood for jokes right now. If you expect me to go blushing or spluttering, then you are wrong. You are being rude! Get the fuck away from me." Jean struggled as the grip of Eren's hand on his collar tightened. Mikasa and Armin quickly pulled Eren away from him.
"Eren, let go of him!" Mikasa said, prying his hand away from Jean's collar to let the guy breath.
"What's going on here?" Rico's shouted in full of annoyance, glowering at them. They stopped when Rico arrived, earning a soft sigh of relief from Mikasa and Armin. Rico crossed her arms in front of her chest, lips pursing at the sight in front of her.
"Listen both of you. I don't want to see anymore ruckus in the library. Jaeger, unless you want me to pay you well, behaves yourself and do something with your temper! Jean, I could get you suspended for trying to pick a fight with your friend. Now, all of you go home! I won't tolerate these behaviors anymore." She turned around to leave them alone after glaring daggers for the last time.
"Damn it, Eren! Why are you so vicious?" Jean massaged his neck after he straightened up himself.
"You are the one who started it!"
"I was just joking around as usual! You are no fun!" Jean smacked his shoulder quiet harshly, making the shorter boy gasped at him.
"Stop it!" Mikasa scolded them, making Jean jumped at the loud voice coming from her. That's not enough to make Eren stop though.
"You should know that I'm not in the mood for jokes! Can't you read the atmosphere for once? You are pathetic! If it's not because of Armin, I already-"
"Eren!" This time Armin shouted at him. Eren stopped, surprised by his sudden outburst. He quickly realized what he had almost spilled out. The blonde was now furious.
"Look, I'm sorry if Rivaille distance himself from you because of my words, but that doesn't mean you can go around leaking my privacy!" Armin hastily walked past them after he ticked off. Eren frowned at him, watching him walk outside the library through the back door. Mikasa gave a loud sigh, she was tired with these boys. Really, they are so childish.
"What… What about Armin? I don't understand what you were trying to say here." Jean scratched the back of his neck, fully confused.
"You…!" Eren was about to throw punch at him for being an idiot only to stop when Mikasa stomped on his foot painfully. Eren cupped his mouth, trying so hard not to laugh out loud. He felt relieved when Jean crouched down, holding onto his aching feet.
"Jean, you are such an air-head. It would be wise if you also look around you for a bit. Eren, do something with your bad habit. You should learn to control your emotions. Apologize to Armin." With that she walked away from the two. Eren threw the last book he was holding back into the box. It fell with a pretty loud thud, making Jean jolt in surprise at the sound. As the brunet ran past him, Jean stayed immobile. He was confused on what he was supposed to do.
"I don't know anymore." He groaned out loud. His plan on trying to help out seemed failed miserably.
Armin raised his head when he heard footsteps approaching him. The sun was starting to set when Eren drew near his long time friend. Armin was crouching down near the vending machine, looking forlorn. When he saw Eren pacing slowly to him, he looked away. He did not object though, when Eren leaned against the wall, carefully made some distance beside him.
"I'm sorry…" Eren mumbled when Armin didn't say anything of him being there. He looked down to Armin when the blonde remind silent, playing with the can he was holding. Eren soughed and crouched down, sitting on the dirty ground.
"I shouldn't have said that… though I wonder if you ever… realize that… he won't look at you, no matter how much you try. Seeing that Jean is always with Marco." Eren whispered, staring at him closely. Armin finally raised his head to look back into Eren's green eyes.
"That's why it's better left unsaid. I'm not even planning to confess. How come you know about it anyway?" Eren rolled his eyes.
"How many years we've been best friends?" Armin looked down at the sentence, his lips curved into a smile.
"Is this the first time we fight?" Eren chuckled when he heard him.
"You are right… We… never fight before. I'm sorry for… being such a jerk towards you." Eren clasped his hands together while hugging his legs.
"I just don't want you to suffer anymore. It's hurt seeing you like that. When you were little, you look miserable, never laugh. You look in pain with those heavy burden around you when you told me your nightmares. I'm sad that I can't do anything about it. Sometimes you even shout in your sleep, waking up full of sweat when I woke you. Maybe you don't remember anymore, but it's terrifying, Eren. That's why, when you lost your memory including your past life, I felt relief. I felt like the other part of you can finally leave you alone. I'm sorry!" Armin clutched his head, shouting his apologize. Eren shook his head.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be so mean. I planned to tell you that I've made up my mind. I want to know the past; I want to know what happened. Rivaille said he wanted to atone something. I was curious of what happened to me, to us, in the past. That's why I'm so surprised when you said he was sorry. He ignored me today but I will try to talk to him tomorrow." Armin gave a nod.
"I understand." They looked into each other before Eren grinned. He stood up, offered his hand for Armin who took it with a smile on his face.
"We are still friends, right?" Armin asked, when he stood up, staring at Eren's wide grin.
"Of course, what kind of question is that?" the brunet laughed when he saw the look Armin giving him.
"Let's go home." Eren said, his friend nodded in agreement. Someone came out from the building just when they were about to walk to the gate. Eren looked at the man in surprised when Rivaille came outside, huffing at the boys when he saw them.
"Why are you two still here? Students should go home right after class." Rivaille said before quickened his pace. Armin patted Eren's shoulder, telling him to chase after Rivaille with the gesture.
"Rivaille-san!" Eren shouted, calling out to him. He threw a pain look when Rivaille didn't stop walking.
"Why are you ignoring me? Listen to me, I…"
"You are annoying. What do you want?" Eren stopped, aghast when Rivaille turned around to snarl him. When the brunet didn't say anything, he clicked his tongue.
"What? Why are you suddenly so clingy to me? Don't tell me that you believe everything I said to you during the last weekend?" Rivaile pulled out a fake smirk when Eren stayed still. Those green eyes gleaming in surprised, clearly Eren didn't expect him to say those sentences.
"You…" Eren stopped when Rivaille let out a soft chuckle.
"I was just trying to get your trust, wondering how fast you'll trust me. It's not fun anymore." He rolled his raven eyes and turned around from Eren. A car drove near the gate and Rivaille walked further away from the boy.
"No, that's not what I mean! Why are you lying? Rivaille-san!" Eren hastily ran to catch up with him but Rivaille had gone into the car, Irvin looked at Eren questioning. Rivaille just slammed the door shut, telling Irvin to start driving.
"Levi-san!" Eren shouted as loud as he could, tried to run after the car, tripping himself in the process.
"Eren!" Armin ran towards him, he fell on his knees beside his friend, eyes shifting between the car and Eren.
"You are a bad liar, Levi!" Eren shouted as his body trembling in rage.
"Eren, I don't think Rivaille had any reason to lie to you." Armin said, pulling Eren's arm to help him on his feet. Eren gritted his teeth when his eyes gleaming with tears. Eren looked down, he knew... He knew the man was lying.
'Damn it, Rivaille! What do you think I am? I won't be easily fooled! You are a bad liar!'
"Let's go home. I will stay the night with you." Eren slowly stood up.
"I know… I know he's not lying." Eren breathes, Armin watched at him sadly. A limo ran head towards their direction, making Eren and Armin looked behind. They were surprised when Jean opened the window and pouting at both of them.
"Get in." He commanded shortly, offering them that he would take them home with his limo. Eren and Armin had no reason to object him.
Irvin looked at Rivaille who stayed silent. He still didn't know what was going on, but he was sure that his ears were not playing tricks on him. Eren didn't just called Rivaille…
"Are you sure it's okay? Did he just called you Levi?" He looked back to the street when Rivaille didn't reply. His cousin looked like he was just being sucker punched. The dreadful look on Rivaille's face was enough to not to ask about anything at the moment.
Rivaille clenched on his pants with trembling fists.
'What have I done?'
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