Stardust

By thejapanesemapletree

Fantasy / Romance

In Which Eren Learns Whether or Not to Trust a Drunkard

Leaving behind the fall cool for warmer weather made Eren comfortable and drowsy. The path he followed was lined with a procession of hawthorn trees and berry bushes. The full moon and limitless stars glistened yellow and proud in the unclouded sky.

Eren made camp under a tree, using his jacket as a pallet and bag as a headrest. He watched the stars for a time, illuminating the darkness and dancing through the fallen night. He smiled, ever so slightly, as he wondered Since I watch stars, do stars watch me? Eren slept with the same smile on his face.

He dreamed of him and his sister playing ankle-deep in the Cöln River, splashing each other wet in the sunlight; he dreamed of his mother baking her cherry tarts and calling him down for dinner; he dreamed of playing schoolyard games with Historia and Marco and Mikasa; he dreamed of the fire lit nights and his father teaching him how to read. The thoughts were so joyous and wonderful that Eren could not comprehend he was dreaming or that they were the past and not the present. He smiled at the fresh pastry in front of him, his mother patting his hair…

"Excuse me…" whispered a bearded voice into his ear. "I would appreciate if you dreamed a bit quieter. They are nice and all, but they overlap mine and dreaming about food isn't good for my sleeping."

"Hum?" Eren asked.

"Keep it down, please," said the voice. "I need to sleep too."

"Sorry," Eren said, turning over. No dreams came to him after that.


"Breakfast!" the voice announced. "Get some while it's hot!"

Eren startled awake, shooting up against the tree and smacking his head. He swore and rubbed the sore area. A growl surfaced.

"Sorry about that, gent." the voice apologized. "I figured you would want some mushrooms and garlic before it's cold. It isn't fancy, but it's food."

Eren scrubbed at his eyes. He blinked, seeing the freshly cooked bowl of mushrooms. He took one between his fingers, eyeing it before taking a bite. The spicy juices washed his mouth and tongue. Eren thought it to be the most delicious thing he had every tasted. He popped the rest in his mouth and chewed slowly.

"That was very good," Eren said.

"Ah, thank you, lad," the figure on the other side of the fire said. "That is very kind of you. But we both know it is just a fried wild mushroom and that there are finer things in the world."

Eren looked towards the others steaming in the pan. "May I have some more?"

"What manners!" the little figure said, running fingers through his thick blonde beard. "Sure, if it is to your liking. They are mushrooms, not truffles, and yet you ask for more. Lovely manners."

"Thank you," Eren said quickly, taking the rest for himself.

Eren savored the mushrooms while his chef waited for him to finish. The stranger wore a hat with a large brim and a scruffy overcoat. He leaned against his traveling pack, sipping on a dented flask. Eren glanced at him and thought it very unlikely he was a man like himself, rather a dwarf or some other small and hairy creature.

"Nothing like a bit of gin to start of the morning!" the little man said as Eren returned the bowl. "It makes my day that much better." He tipped the container towards Eren. "Would you like some?"

The boy wrinkled his nose at the smell. "No, thank you."

The creature shrugged. "Suit yourself." He swallowed the last mouthful.

Eren put his bag onto his lap. "My name is Eren Jaeger." he supplied.

"Goodness, boy!" the bearded man exclaimed. "Hasn't anyone every told you not to give out your full name? Names are a source of power, and whoever has your name can take that power from you! Goodness, goodness, goodness…"

Eren stared at him in puzzlement.

The little man sighed.

"You see, lad," he began. "If someone asks who you are, you can say any number of things. You can say you are brunette, or you are male, or that you love fried mushrooms. And if they need a name to a face, Eren will do just fine."

He pointed to himself. "When people ask for me, they ask for ol' Hannes. Got that?"

Eren nodded with gradual comprehension.

That settled, Hannes packed up all of his belongings and snuffled out the fire. He loaded the pack larger than he was onto his back and set off at an extraordinary pace, dust flying in his wake.

"Wait!" Eren shouted, running with bag in hand. "Hannes, wait!"

The man stopped and hurried back. "Something wrong?"

"You are too fast…" Eren heaved, gasping for air.

Hannes tipped his hat. "Many apologies. I guess I am used to setting my own pace."

He went slower then, enough that Eren could walk beside him without working up a sweat. The little hairy man would point out some colorful flowers and birds, telling nonsense stories about them. Eren listened intently regardless.

They ate much of Eren's cheese and bread and apples and seeds for lunch. Hannes foraged and found some mint for tea. He built a small fire and boiled water in a kettle.

"Suppose you can tell me why you're around these parts?" the little man asked, blowing on his hot tea.

Eren took a steady sip, thinking. "I come from the village of Wall, where I live with my family. One night, my sister and I saw a falling star, and… She has always wanted one so I decided to get it for her."

Hannes raised an eyebrow. "Did she ask you to get it?"

"Well, no…"

Hannes began hooting with laughter. "You are getting it for her and she didn't even ask you to! That is not fair to the people who have asked for something impossible and not gotten it."

Eren frowned. "What does it matter whether she asked for it or not? She has always wanted a star because they are beautiful forever."

Hannes slapped his knee. "You are killing me, boy!" He simmered down momentarily, taking in a mouthful of tea.

"You know what I would do, lad?" he asked, leaning forward. "I would go right back to Wall. Only the stupid come into Faerie because the smart know only madmen await them."

Eren furrowed his brows, baring his teeth with a snarl. "Are you calling me stupid?"

"No, no, boy," Hannes soothed. "Just not much good will come to you here." He sighed and shook his head. "But it looks like you have your heart set. I am going to give you some advice, so listen well so you don't get yourself killed. First, never give anyone your full name. Second, do not mention anything about your little star to anyone. Keep it under wraps, for there is a jeopardous interest in such a thing. Finally, do not lie. You can get around that easily enough. Such as if someone asks where you came from say 'Behind me' and if they ask where you're going say 'in front of me'."

"I see…" Eren said in scorn, still slightly offended.

The duo cleaned up and set out on the road again. Hannes felt it opportune to guzzle down a large ale bottle, whistling all the while. Eren sneezed the reeking scent of alcohol from his nose.

"Do you think it will be far?" Eren questioned after some time. He noticed the path thinning, the breeze chilling, and the trees becoming grey. He shivered uneasily.

"How many miles to Babylon?" Hannes said, speech fuzzy. He looked about him without really looking at anything. "These woods weren't here last time I went this way…"

"How Many Miles to Babylon?" Eren repeated as the grey trees thickened. "The poem?"

"Three score miles and ten.

Can I get there by candlelight?

Yes, and back again.

Yes, if your feet are nimble and light,

You can get there by candlelight."

"That's it," Hannes said, voice clearer. He swung his head about and looked with more focus. He worried at his lip.

"It is only a nursery rhyme." Eren said.

"Only a nursery rhyme?" Hannes said chafely. "Maybe on your side of the Wall. Some over here would give most anything for the cantrip of that song. And back over there they sing such nonsense to babes… Eren, are you cold at all?"

"The wind has made me cold, yes."

"Can you see the path?" the little man inquired frantically.

Eren looked around him. He saw the great trees, masking all the light and sense of direction. The path he was sure they were on was gone, flickering false like a dying candle. The phantom trees consumed everything, quietly, without emotion or remorse.

"We're in for it now," Hannes squeaked in a small voice.

"What… Where are we?"

"In the serewood," Hannes admitted weakly. "The trees, we walked right into their trap."

Something fell from the upper branches of a tree, pure white like a fallen angel. A skeleton of a bird rested in the cool grass.

"We… We have to get out of here." Eren felt his chest seize up as he took a step back. The trees were crowding him, suffocating him, feeding off his fear.

"There isn't much point in running." Hannes said dejectedly. "We will be in their trap even if we run. It is my fault for not noticing. If I had just eased off the bottle a wee bit… Now you will never get your star, and I will never get my merchandise, and some poor chap will have to find our bare bones."

Eren slapped at a burning on his left hand. A leave fluttered downwards, scarlet on the edge with the boy's blood. The cut ran red. Eren was sure he could hear the woods laughing at him.

"Is there anything we can do?" Eren asked, sporting a strange confidence. The trees seemed to shuffle back as he stood taller.

"Only way is to find the true path. Even a serewood can't destroy the true path. It can only hide it, lead you astray." He sighed and began to sniffle.

Suddenly, Eren pointed with certainty. "There," he said. "The path is there. I know it is."

"Eren, if you are trying to get me to run-"

"Hannes," Eren spoke angrily. "If you win, you live. If you lose, you die. If you don't fight, you can't win! In order to win, you have to run."

Eren took Hannes' hand and jetted off down the path. The forest howled in anguish, ripping and tearing at the pair's clothes, raining razor blade leaves upon them. Eren's lungs were afire with fear, heart running at a quicker pace than he.

"To the left, to the left!" Eren screamed breathlessly. The serewood tried to squeeze around them, disorient the path, leaves and branches slicing from every angle. Eren swatted away the nuisances, knowing in his heart this was the path, this was the way out.

Hannes wailed, covering his eyes, tugging against the fleeing direction. "Come on, we are nearly there." Eren encouraged and tugged him along. He pulled him forward and into the sunlight.

The path spread out before them, straight and true, stretching out into the green beyond.

"We are safe…" Hannes breathed. "We are safe as long as we are on the true path."

He threw aside his pack and tumbled on his back in relief, looking up at the white light dripping through the leaves. Eren could hear the serewood shaking in fury.

"Do you have a bottle of sherry?"

"Hannes!" Eren yelled at the little man. "Did all of that teach you nothing?"

The hairy man chuckled, rolling to his side. "I am just kidding you, lad." He sat up and rummaged in his pack, producing a vase of amber liquid. "Honey-fire tea. Cost me two diamonds, a king's sword, a diviner's eye, and a dragon's scale. Best in the world."

Both had a cup of the luscious liquid. It warmed Eren to the core like a sweet, homely fire, pepping up his spirit tenfold. It seemed like a crime to ask for more.

"Good?"

Eren hummed in pleasure.

"Too good for the likes of you and me, unfortunately. But this seemed like a valid occasion." Hannes popped the stopper back onto the container. "Which way now?"

Eren pointed to the correct path. "That way."

Hannes nodded and gathered his things to continue. The grey trees began to thin after several hours and give way to greenery and vibrant flowers. When they looked back the serewood had vanished completely as if it had never been at all.

"Stop here," Hannes ordered. "There are some things we need to talk about."

Eren sat down and rubbed his feet. Hannes perched atop his travel pack.

"There is something I don't really get… Now tell me, where are you from?"

"I've told you I'm from Wall." Eren replied testily.

"Who are your parents?"

"My father is Grisha Jaeger. My mother is Carla Jaeger."

"Ah, Grisha…" Hannes stroked his beard. "I met him once, long ago. Gave me some shelter from the rain. Not a bad fellow if I do say so myself. Although his bedding opinions were not very pleasant." He scratched at his scalp. "… There isn't anything unusual in your family, is there?"

"My sister Mikasa can win fights against full-grown men."

Hannes laughed from his belly. "No, no, nothing like that. I mean a grandmother who was a famous enchantress or a warlock uncle or some faerie in the family tree."

Eren shook his head. "None that I know of."

The little man developed a plan. "Where is Wall?" Eren pointed immediately. "Where is the Temple of the Three Sisters?" Eren pointed again with assurance. "Where is Mount Maria?" Eren pointed once more. He did not know these places had existed before that moment or what they were, but he certainly knew where they were.

"Hum… Do you know where Her Highness the Pixie Queen is?"

Eren could not say.

"Do you know where Her Highness the Pixie Queen's Castle Utgard is?"

Eren knew when he pointed.

"What about Paris, France? The one you know?"

Eren had to think on that one. "Well… If Wall is that way I suppose it is around that direction."

"I see…" Hannes said while sorting through his thoughts. "You can find places in Faerie, but not your world, except for the boundary of Wall. You cannot find people… But can you find your star?"

Eren knew the location in a heartbeat. "There."

"That proves something but we still know nothing." Hannes grumbled. "Are you hungry?"

"Very." Eren confessed. "And I am torn up as well." The serewood had done a number at shredding his clothes. Even his leather boots were tattered.

"What have you got in your bag?"

Eren peered inside. "The rest of the food from lunch, a pen, a knife… My change of underwear, woolen socks… I should have brought more clothes." He said with distaste.

"Keep the rest of the sunflower seeds." Hannes tossed him the bag as he divided the remaining foodstuff.

"You saved my life." Hannes said over the bread and cheese in his mouth. "And I don't forget something like that. First we'll get you new clothes, and then you can go after your star. Good?"

"That is very kind of you." Eren said in surprise.

"Don't mention it." said Hannes. "Here, take my blanket…"


Mike should have known better.

He was a prince, an heir to Phoenixwing, an expert solider. He should have known that when him and Erwin and Levi stopped for the night that their lacquered oak wood coach and six pure-bred black stallions and robes of black silk and royal jewels would attract attention. Some good, for one of the beermaidens invited him for a drink later that night; some bad, specifically the thieves who slit his throat.

The brothers, dead and alive, laid their father's body to rest and announced his death before going on their journey for the star. It took an entire day for the carriage to descend from the mountains. The trio spent the night at an inn that served fish stew and bread for dinner.

Little was said to one another.

When it was dark and Erwin and Levi had retired to their rooms, Mike returned to the dinning hall, alone, to meet the lady who invited him. She smiled at his presence, brushing the short blonde hair from her eyes.

"Come, try the whiskey," she invited while breaking the seal.

Mike tested the air with a whiff, smelling the sugary lavender soap of the woman and the strong alcohol she held. He sat down across from her.

"What is your name?" he asked while she poured his glass.

"Nanaba," she answered. "And you?"

"Mike."

Mike and Nanaba had a festive night trying the range of wines and beers the inn provided. They laughed and drank and said nothing of real value. It was near sunrise when the pair slumped over the table.

Erwin and Levi awoke to find their companion dead. His throat was slashed, blue blood sprayed across the tabletop where it mixed with the red of the beermaiden's. His clothing and valuables were taken. He remained bent over, killed in his sleep, before he could even raise arms. Nanaba was the same way.

Erwin was put into a very bad mood. He ordered a manhunt for the criminals, for a search of his brother's belongings to commence. Levi saw the bodies off on their journey, back to Mount Maria to be buried in a proper grave. His face gave away nothing, blank and detached as always. Only his emotions were in turmoil.

The pair decided to part ways after that. Levi rode off on a single black stallion while Erwin continued with the carriage.

Neither wanted the other to know they were weak.


"Franz!" a voice shouted, a woman leaning out the window of her cottage. "Have you got the kid tethered?"

The man showed his wife the roped goat, the animal bleating in response. She giggled at the young goat, freckles highlighting her cheeks.

"Alright, I'll get the turnips!"

She shut the window and exited the house with a full basket. She clucked as her husband tried to take the load from her.

"Ah, ah, ah, tend to your own rat." she chided.

Franz examined the goat with a weed in its mouth. "I'm pretty sure it's a goat, Hannah." he said with a smirk.

She elbowed his ribs. It was the only place she could reach. "You know what I mean."

The couple walked together, going out of the woods and to the market. Strangely, when they reached the first crossroads, they saw a woman. She was sitting in the back of a small cart, tapping a ringed finger against the woodwork. She had her golden hair knotted up and a beautiful sky blue dress covering her body. A green cape spread behind her, hood down. Her sharp eyes found the others.

"What are your names?" Her tone was dry as bone.

"… I'm Hannah." Hannah spoke up first, voice wavering.

"And I'm Franz."

"Interesting…" she mused, rising to stand. She scanned the two, quirking her mouth as she saw the uninterested goat.

"Would you like to sell me your goat, Franz?"

Franz paused and looked at the kid. "We were taking it to market to sell for a florin…"

The woman reached into her sleeves. She pulled out a golden coin, presenting it in her palm. "I will give you a golden guinea. That is more money for you, isn't it? Do we have a deal?"

Franz looked down at Hannah hesitantly. The woman nodded, slowly, confusion crossing her eyes. Why would someone pay so much for a goat?

"… We have a deal."

Franz passed the woman the rope. The goat bleated, stomping in discomfort. The woman touched its head and it stilled, head drooping. Franz held out his hand for the payment.

The woman stared at the open hand blankly. She flicked her eyes over the rest of him and smiled. "I think a matching pair will do much better."

"What-"

The woman stretched, touching between his eyes and snapping. Whatever he was saying was lost as he crippled to the ground.

A soul in the mirror of the woman's cottage vanished.

Franz could hear Hannah begin to scream and see her drop her turnips, but for some reason he didn't care. He objected the noise with a single bleat. Even so close to the earth he was standing, balancing on four hooves.

"Franz…" Hannah choked, dropping to her knees. The goat who had once been her husband looked at her. It was a stupid, cross-eyed look of a goat, unintelligent, nothing like her Franz.

"Franz!" She clung to his neck, tears dampening her face. The goat bleated unhappily, teeth tugging at her shirt collar.

"Come along." The woman said, snapping her fingers again. The goat who was once Franz ripped away, going to stand with the other goat before the cart. The woman hummed as she fastened them to the vehicle.

Standing in the cart, the woman cracked an elegant whip. The goats reared up and began running, following the path into the forest.

Hannah was left alone at the heart of the crossroads, blind with tears.

"Franz…?"


Eren waited for the hairy man to reappear. He had taken Eren's clothing scraps, going to the nearest town to find him some better apparel. He promised to return as soon as he could. Eren huffed, the blanket of his smelling like unclean hair

Lights flashed about him.

What Eren believed to be fireflies were actually tiny people, glowing and fluttering and giggling about him. The bravest of them were cheeky enough to pull his pointed ears, causing him to shout and swat them away. Their laughs were like tiny bells.

One began to sing:

"Hankety pankety

Boy in a dirty blanket, he's

Off on a wild goose-chase to

Find a star!

Incontrovertibly

Travels through Faerie

Take off the blanket!

See who you are!"

Another sang:

"Eren Jaeger

Eren Jaeger

Whose knowledge of Faerie is meager

With 'hunter' as his cregger

Who lacks walking swagger

It is more of a stagger!

Mother caught by a begger.

Mren

Lren

Eren

Jaeger."

Eren threw his hat at them, face hot and red and angry. "Be off with you!" He screamed as the beings taunted him and made off with his new bowler hat.

Hannes found Eren still fuming.

"They said horrible things about my mother. How dare they." He spat.

"The little folks dare anything," advised Hannes. "And a lot of it's nonsense, but a lot of it is worth listening to. The trouble is finding out which is which."

"They said my mother was caught by a beggar."

"Oh, did they?" The little man laid out the new clothes across the grass. Eren could see the green earthy tones and sandy brown.

"These are your clothes now." Hannes announced. "Traded them. They do not fall apart like your others. And now you will not look so much like a stranger."

The little man assisted Eren in fastening the belt around his green tunic, pulling up the tall boots over his brown trousers. He was surprised how well they fit and how good they made him feel.

"There you are, lad." Hannes said. "A fine gent you are."

They ate the food Hannes brought back, consisting mostly of fish and beer. Eren passed on the beer, opting for tea instead. Hannes shrugged and enjoyed his alcohol.

"Now, lad," Hannes said, placing his bottle aside. "This will be my last gift for saving my life."

"You have done more than enough-"

Hannes raised a hand. "Hold on! You and your father have both done a mighty lot for me so I have to repay you. Tell me: since you know where the star is, can you tell me how far the star is?"

Eren pointed to the horizon and blurted out, "A man would have to walk for six months, only stopping to sleep, over mountains and deserts to reach where the star has landed." He pressed his lips shut in surprise.

Hannes nodded knowingly. "As I thought." He patted his pockets. "And you are not the only one looking for it. Remember what I told you?"

"Do not mention anything about the star to anyone?"

"Not that."

"Do not tell anyone my true name? Do not lie?"

"No, no, boy!"

"Then what?"

"How Many Miles to Babylon?" the man revealed, exasperated.

"Oh… The poem."

"Can I get there by candlelight?" Hannes repeated. "There and back again. Most candles won't do. You need yourself a special candle-wax. And it took a lot to finding." He fished out a candle-stub, nearly dead, and gave it to Eren.

Eren frowned at the rather ordinary candle. "What do I do with it?"

"What you do with all candles!" Hannes said. "Light it! But in a moment. Take this too."

He exhibited a chain, silver as moonlight. The sight of it set off warnings in Eren's mind. For what reason he did not know.

"It is made of cat's breath and fish scales and moonlight on water." Hannes informed. "The usual. You will need it to bring back your star."

"I will?" Eren asked, perplexed.

"Yes, yes, lad."

Eren allowed the chain to pile on his palm. It slithered to rest like the cool belly of a snake. "Do I keep it in my bag? I have no pockets…"

"Put it around your wrist for now. But you do have a pocket, on the underside of your tunic."

Indeed he did. It also had a buttonhole, perfect for his snowdrop. He pinned the flower there. It chimed at his touch.

"Now!" Hannes clapped his hands. "Lets get you going. Take the candle in your right hand, bag in your left. Yes, like that. I will light it for you. Afterwards, walk to your star and use the chain to bring it back here. You got to be quick since there isn't much wick left. No playing around, you hear? Feet nimble and light, alright?"

"Ah… Alright."

Eren gulped nervously. The little man lit the candle with a snap, the bright flame unwavering in the wind. Eren held the candle outwards and began to walk.

His next step saw him by a lake, candlelight reflecting off the water.

The next step he was in cold, high mountains, with animals bearing reflecting eyes.

He was then in the soft, creamy clouds, wholly solid and supporting his weight.

And then he was deep underground, utterly alone, moving through a cave.

The strangest was when he saw a woman in a great green cape in a cart pulled by two goats. A whip was raised over her head.

Finally, he entered a glade. The leaves whispered and the water splashed against the bank.

Eren continued, yet remained in the glen, surrounded by the ferns and branches and moonlight. He turned with his candle and looked for the star around him, seeing nothing in the darkness. However, he heard something over the talkative brook. It was a muted, dejected sobbing, sorrowing to hear.

"Hello? Is someone there?" Eren called out.

The noise stopped. Eren had approximated where the sound originated, seeing a faint light near the location. He crept towards the underbrush.

He cleared his throat. "Excuse me, but I'm looking for a star."

In response, a clump of grass and dirt flew from the bushes. It nailed Eren in the mouth, particles wedging in his teeth.

"What the hell?" Eren shouted, spitting out soil. His temper flared and he crashed through the bushes, enraged. Another clod greeted his chest, but he ignored it, ready to give the person a pummeling.

"Go away!" the voice said in panic. "Go away and leave me alone!"

Eren found a boy backed against a tree, chest heaving, cheeks wet. He tried to look menacing and frightening, glaring at Eren.

Eren froze.

The boy held up more dirt, prepared to throw it if needed.

His storm-grey eyes were orange and sore from crying. His hair was long and slightly frazzled, so silky and fair in was nearly transparent. His tunic was of blue silk, pants grey. The air around him shimmered like diamonds.

He looked so weak and helpless that Eren knew he could not harm him without guilt.

"… Please do not throw any more dirt at me." Eren asked, trying his best to be kind. "I didn't mean to upset you, but there is a star around here I need to find before my candle goes out."

"Well, I broke my leg." the boy said smartly.

"I'm sorry…?" Eren did not know what else to say. "But, the star…"

"I broke my leg." he repeated harshly. "When I fell. Now, go away!"

He threw the dirt pile and it landed at Eren's feet. Golden dust glittered from his outstretched arm.

"Just… Go away." he pleaded, covering his face as he sobbed.

"You are the star." Eren said, dumbly, in awe.

"No shit." he said sourly. "And you are a jackass."

"… I cannot argue with that."

Eren slipped the other end of the chain from his wrist, working it over the hand of the boy. Both braces tightened at the contact.

The star blinked at the chain, aghast. "What do you think you're doing?" He screamed in unadulterated hatred. He yanked at the chain, sobbing at his futile attempt.

"Taking you home with me." Eren said, a little embarrassed. "To my sister."

And then, in an unfortunate turn of events, the candle began to die. The wick burned for an ending second before the flame drowned in the wax.

Both parties stared at the pile of wax.

Eren glanced at the star, then at the dead candle, then at the unbreakable chain.

A roar was released into the night. The distraught and pained and infuriated noise rang clear for many miles.

"Can I get there by candlelight?" Eren screamed into the heavens. "There, and back again. Wall is six months hard travel from here!"

The star waited until Eren calmed enough to sit down, growling and cursing to himself.

"I want you to know," he said icily. "That no matter who you are or what you plan to do with me, I shall help you in no way shape or form and shall do everything and anything in my power to ruin your plans and devices."

"… Okay." Eren said. It didn't make the situation much worse. "Can you walk?"

"Are you deaf?" he snapped. "My leg is broken. I think you are not deaf, but stupid."

"Do you sleep?"

"Of course, dimwit! But not at night. I shine at night."

"Well…" Eren said, propping himself against his baggage. "Since I have nothing better to do, I am going to sleep. We've got a long way to go, so I suggest you at least try to rest."

The star mumbled to himself as Eren tried to usher on sleep. He wondered what Hannes would think when he did not come back. He wondered what Mikasa was doing on the other side of the Wall. He wondered what he would eat on the way back.

What do stars eat? he wondered before sleep overtook him.

"Stupid, ignorant, boy with wolf-ears and wolf-brain…"

The star sighed, looking up at the sky becoming light with sunrise. He propped up his broken leg which pulsed with pain. He leaned back, trying to get comfortable.

And then he, too, was asleep.

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