A lot of things make Ash Fischer uncomfortable. He only talks to his closest friends, making meeting new people hard. His best friend Dilan Himmel (pronounced Die-lan) is understandably overprotective. When Levi moves back to town and begins working for Erwin, he almost ruins all the progress Ash had made. In just a short time Levi turns Ash's world upside down.

Drama / Romance
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

I navigate my way through the bar to reach our table in the back, where my friends are waiting. Eren pats the seat next to him on the edge.

"Take a load off, Ash!"
Let me at least get a drink...
I put up my hand as if I was holding a cup and gesture behind me to the bar.
"Yeah, go get a drink buddy but hurry up!"
I roll my eyes and turn around. Jean's busy tending to a few customers but manages a wave. I step right up to the bar and lean over, reaching for a glass.
A kid I hadn't seen before grabs my arm from behind the bar. I immediately drop the glass and it shatters, drawing Jean's full attention.
"Levi, no! Let go!"
Confused, the kid drops my wrist as Jean closes the distance. I hold my wrist.
"Are you okay?!"
I nod, still unsettled.
"All I did was grab his wrist..."
I glare over at this stranger behind Erwin's bar.
Who the fuck is this?
"This is my fault. I forgot Levi was behind the bar. I'm sorry Ash."
I wave off his apology.
"Levi this is Ash, Ash this is Levi. Levi is our new security guard. He's known Erwin and the rest of us for years. Ash works here too, he's Erwin's bookkeeper. I'm sure Erwin told you..."
He just stares me as Jean cleans up the glass.
What is his problem?
"Is he even old enough to be in here?"
Look who's talking. Are you even old enough to drink?
"Ash is 23..."
"Why doesn't he talk?"
Jean looks at me for approval before continuing. I nod.
Might as well since he's apparently my coworker.
"Ash is mute."
I glare back over at Levi, waiting for him to respond. He simply picks up a new glass and sets it in front of me. Then he holds out his hand. I look at it, look at him, then at Jean.
"Oh um, Ash doesn't like being touched by strangers."
He drops his hand and goes back to staring.
What a good start. He thinks I'm weird or rude. Maybe both.
I catch Jean's attention. I point to Levi then bring my index finger and thumb close together.
He's a little small to be here, right? Kids can't work in bars.
Jean busts out laughing. Levi looks only a little confused.
"What does that mean?!"
"No, I know why you'd assume but he's a lot older than you think."
No fucking way. He can't be older than me.
I point towards me.
"Haha, believe it or not, he's older than Dilan (Die-lan).
Again I point at Levi then bring my index finger close to my thumb. I practically shove my hand in Jean's face.
"I promise you, what he lacks in height he makes up for in attitude."
I crack a smile but it's immediately cut short when Levi draws his leg back and kicks Jean in the shin. Before I can panic, an arm comes over my shoulders. I look up and see my best friend. I frown and point at my watch.
Late as usual. Giving a bad impression to the new employee.
"I know, don't turn into Erwin on me."
I smile and pull his head down to mine. I flick his forehead. We turn our attention back behind the bar where Jean and Levi are still fighting.
"What the fuck Ackerman?!"
"You saying I have an attitude problem Kirstein?!"
Ugh, they're giving me a headache.
Dilan looks down at me plugging my ears and reaches over to bang his hand on the bar top. Both Levi and Jean look over.
"Levi, for future reference don't do that shit around Ash. Jean, dude, you know better."
"Right, I'm sorry Ash."
I uncover my ears and nod. Levi glares at Dilan.
Oh, here we go. Again.
"Why not?"
I look up at Dilan and he's glaring right back at Levi.
Ah fuck.
I put his arm back over my shoulder which relaxes him a bit.
"Well I really don't want Ash to have a panic attack, do you?"
"Jesus, am I supposed to walk on eggshells around the kid?!"
He stomps out from behind the bar and heads in the back. I hold Dilan to me before he follows after Levi and does something stupid. I look down at the bar.
Stupid anxiety. Now it's going to be difficult for all of us to get along because of me. Because I can't even handle a little play fighting between friends. I'm so pathetic.
"Hey Ash, don't worry about it. I'll talk to him, okay?"
Jean gives me a sympathetic smile. I nod and wipe my face.
"Clock in and man the bar Dilan."
Jean goes into the back and Dilan hugs me tight to him.
"Why don't you go sit down with everyone babyboy? Try to cheer up and when Jean comes back out I'll have him bring you water."
I nod and get up. Dilan kisses the top of my head then ruffles my hair. I walk back over to the table and sit down next to Eren.
"You okay buddy? What was going on?"
Your friend is kind of a dick.
I grab my wrist and pat it, point towards the bar and bring my finger and thumb close together.
"Huh? I don't get it."
"Connie, you idiot."
Well spoken.
"He clearly just met Levi."
I feel like it's probably a universal symbol for short assholes.
"So what'd he do?"
Make me hate myself more.
I grab Eren's hand off the table and wrap it around my wrist.
I nod, gesturing towards the bar and picking up one of the empty glasses from the table.
This explaining shit is hard today. Usually, I sit back and listen or just text in our group chat.
"You reached for a glass and he stopped you? What, you didn't see him?"
Are you crazy? He's like 2 feet tall. I wouldn't expect a baby behind the bar.
I frown and bring my index finger and thumb close together. They all laugh. I lay my head down on the table. One of them reaches out and pats me on the back.

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