Armin was tired, down to his bones, but he had another four hours to go. Going straight from his shift at the clothes factory to the bar was hard, and there was some sort of exhaustion permanently ground into his bones by now.
Marco was bar tending, and he looked at Armin with some sort of merciful expression as he set the tray down on the edge of the bar, by a few drinks that Connie had to come pick up. "Some guy walked in the back," he said softly to Armin. "Table 23."
Armin sighed. "Got it," and walked towards the back of the floor, his feet aching. Three hours and fifty-eight minutes to go. The man seated looked old from a distance, but he sat alone, and as Armin got closer, he realized that he was very young, with longer dark brown hair and eyes that were such a lovely shade of green they had to have been dyed. "Good evening," Armin greeted as the man looked up at him. He looked pretty drunk already, with a pleasant blush on his cheeks and a slightly far off look in his eyes. "I'm Armin," he said. "Can I get you anything?"
The man looked at him for a laboriously long minute, before saying, "your name."
Armin bit his lip, and said, "Oh, I'm Armin!" he said in an upbeat tone as if he hadn't just introduced himself a minute earlier, "but I meant, can I get you anything to drink?"
"Eren," the man said, and Armin furrowed his brow in confusion, before the man said, "Eren. That's my name. I want a gin and tonic."
"Got it," Armin said, scribbling it down just in case on his little pad. "I'll be back with that in a few minutes."
He checked on a couple other tables before making his way back into the bar, requesting the drink from Marco and punching it into the customer's bill on the computer. The bar was busy that evening, crammed with people making too much noise. Armin picked up a few empties off of the bar for Marco, taking them into the tiny kitchen to be washed, bringing out a shrimp cocktail that one of his customers had ordered 10 minutes before. He brought the shrimp out to customer, before getting back to the bar and finding the drink sitting on the mat. Sasha was chattering to Marco instead of doing her job, but that wasn't really Armin's problem, so he picked up the drink and set it on one of the less sticky trays and brought it out to the man—Eren.
Eren's head was in his arms, and Armin mused that perhaps he'd already a bit too much to drink as he looked at him, and maybe Armin should escort him to a taxi. But instead, he set the drink on the table, and said, "Anything else, sir?"
"Call me Eren," Eren said.
Armin said, "Anything else, Eren?"
"No," Eren said, his fingers curling a little around the neck of the little glass as he stared at it. "This is just fine," he said calmly.
"Alright, I'll be around," Armin said, getting back to work.
Armin continued his shift. He checked on Eren every fifteen minutes or so, and found that Eren was making very slow progress with his drink, and spent most of his time staring off into space. He asked him if he needed anything else, and Eren would say no. There were more interesting customers, sure—One of Armin's next door neighbors, Reiner, had tried to convince Armin to sit down with him and his roommate and in the process had spilled beer all over Armin's black pants, and another customer tried to tell him all about his ex-wife as Armin picked up several empty glasses from he and his friend's table.
Two and a half hours from his bed, Eren asked Armin to bring over the check, so Armin did so. Armin kind of wished Sasha or Connie had gotten this table, because it required exactly the lack of effort they were sort of famous for and it definitely wasn't going to put much in his pocket. He set the black book on the table and whisked away Eren's empty glass.
Two hours and twenty minutes from his bed, Armin walked over to find the table empty, Eren gone. He picked up a rag and got ready to clean it up, picking up the book first. He glanced in it, realizing that for the six dollar drink, Eren had left a fifty—and a piece of paper, that had the word "Jaeger" written on it, and an address. Reading it, Armin realized two things.
Eren Jaeger was the son of Grisha Jaeger, who had recently passed away and owned the factory Armin worked at—and the address was located in the richest district of the city.
A/N: Originally submitted to AO3 on 12-29-2013