A/N: Hello there! If you don't already know, I'm the author of Texts From the Survey Corps. I've decided to make a side-project that focuses on the actor AU of Shingeki no Kyojin. What are the actors doing when they're not filming? What kind of mischief and troubles do they get into? I'll be basing each chapter on an episode, so I definitely won't be covering everything, just the scenes I want to focus on.
Also, if they were actors they would obviously have different names, but since creating new names for them would be kind of awkward, I'll just call them according to their character that they play.
Chapter 1: To You Two Thousand Years Later
A small boy was lying near a large tree, surrounded by lush green hills and vivid violets. He suddenly gasped as his eyelids fluttered open, revealing stunning turquoise eyes the colour of the ocean. His eyes remained wide open as the boy tried to catch his breath. The cool wind was blowing his dark brown locks astray. As his vision began to focus, he noticed a girl in a worn pink cardigan and red scarf leaning over him. Her long black hair was flowing in the wind as well, but the boy was focused more on her grey eyes that flickered with - was it concern?
"Huh, Mikasa?" the boy murmured, still in a daze.
"We should head back," Mikasa said. She was still leaning over him, her steely eyes now unreadable.
"Why...are you here?"
She rolled her eyes and stood up. "You were sleeping, weren't you?" she scoffed. "Still think you're dreaming?"
"No...I think I was just having a really long dream." He sat up and folded his arms on his knees, trying to collect himself. For some reason, he was still breathing heavily, as if he had just run a marathon.
"What was I dreaming about?" The boy began rubbing his head in frustration. "I can't remember..."
He heard a clatter and turned to see Mikasa carrying a decent-sized wood pile on her back. She looked at him, and started in surprise.
"Eren, why are you crying?"
"Huh?" He immediately put his hand to his face, and sure enough, there were small tears in the corners of his eyes.
"And...cut! Good job, Eren and Mikasa! You two were excellent! Hour-break for lunch!"
Eren sighed in relief, quickly wiping the tears from his eyes.
"Not bad, Eren," the girl said as she helped him onto his feet. "How'd you do that? It's so hard for me to cry on the spot."
The boy grinned wickedly as he pulled out an eye dropper from his pants pocket and put it up to her face. "One of the adult actors gave it to me. He said it worked wonders when he was trying to pick up girls!"
Mikasa lightly slapped the bottle away from her face, rolling her eyes in exasperation. "Typical. Don't tell me you want to be just like him?"
"What's wrong with that? He's so cool and awesome!"
"Whatever you say, Eren. Come on," she said, pulling Eren away from the set, "let's go eat lunch with Armin before our break's over!"
The two kids began running toward their target, an extremely long table filled with gourmet sandwiches and quiches.
"YEAH, FOOD!" Eren hollered as he and Mikasa dodged and circumvented the adults milling around the table. He was only an arm's reach away from the treasure when he felt his feet leave the ground. Eren tried to speed up, but he realized that he was being held by the collar of his rough brown shirt.
"No! Mika's going to get more food than me!" he squealed. "Let me go!" He suddenly felt a punch to his arm. "Ow, what gives?"
"Your face," Mikasa deadpanned, retracting her arm before she could get hit by Eren's flailing limbs. "Does it look like I'm getting food as well?" The girl was suspended in midair like a string puppet. "Hannes, let us go! We're hungry!"
Eren hadn't even noticed the man holding the two kids in the air like rag dolls. The blonde hair laughed wholeheartedly.
"Aw, you guys are hilarious. Eren, you should've seen yourself when you were trying to run away. You looked like the Road Runner!" He continued to chortle. Suddenly, Hannes' laugh stopped short, and he gasped in pain as he let Eren and Mikasa down from their air prisons.
"Armin! I can't believe you punched me!" Hannes wheezed, rubbing his stomach gingerly.
"Right in the gut! And that's what you get for capturing my friends!" the small blonde boy yelled, raising his right fist in victory. "Let's go guys! Charge!"
And the three kids began yelling again as they grabbed as many sandwiches and quiches as they could gather in their arms.
"Well, that was fun," Hannes commented as he tenderly rubbed the spot where Armin had put a right hook to.
"Right?" a wry, baritone voice replied. A man with slicked-back blonde hair stood alongside Hannes, watching Eren, Mikasa and Armin flee with half the table's food in their arms and shirts. "I see Armin's right hook is getting better."
Hannes glared at the tall, well-built man. "Goddamn it. You've been teaching him, haven't you Erwin?"
"He's a great pupil. Learns quickly too," Erwin said, smiling as he thought of the feisty little kid who was quite different from Armin the character.
"Trying to make a mini-you, is that what you're trying to do?" the older man grumbled as he trudged to the food table. "Last thing we need is another Erwin Smith roaming the Earth."
"What's wrong with that?"
"Mmm! This is so good!" Eren said excitedly as he shoved a ham and cheese sandwich into his mouth.
"Ew, Eren! Chew before you talk," Mikasa giggled, biting into a large quiche. "But you're right, they are delicious."
The blonde boy smiled as the two stuffed their mouths full. "Watch out before you guys get stomachaches from eating too fast."
"Says the one who's already eaten three full-size sandwiches," Mikasa retorted, sticking her tongue out at Armin.
"Hey, I was taking my time cause you guys were taking so long shooting the scene. I was bored!" Armin spread his arms up into the air, taking in the clear blue sky and the same meadow where the other two kids had filmed their scene. "What else is there to do?"
"Practice your lines," Eren suggested.
"I've memorized them already."
"Talk to the other adult actors."
"They're doing their own boring adult thing," Armin whined, stamping his foot. "The only fun thing I've had is getting combat lessons from Erwin Smith."
Eren and Mikasa gaped at the blonde, the half-chewed sandwich almost falling out of Eren's mouth.
"The Erwin Smith? No way!" Mikasa exclaimed incredulously.
"Believe it, Mika. I bet if I was Armin instead of Armout in the anime, I could beat those bullies up like flies!" he bragged. "I bet I even gave Hannes a bruise when I punched him in the gut."
Eren smirked as he took another bite of his sandwich. "I don't believe you."
Armin's eyes bugged out. "What? How could you not believe me?"
"You don't have any proof."
"You can look at Hannes' stomach as proof. I bet there's a black bruise there by now!"
"Pff," Eren scoffed, "anyone can punch Hannes in the gut."
"How about I punch you in the gut?"
"Ha ha, you're so funny."
"Then what do I have to do to prove it to you?" the blonde begged, tears welling up in his eyes.
"Eren," Mikasa warned him, looking at him with stern eyes, "don't push it."
"I dare you to beat up the bullies in your scene."
"What the hell?" Mikasa looked back and forth between the two boys as they stared intensely at each other. "You guys are crazy. Don't do it, Armin. I believe you..."
Armin stood up, ignoring Mikasa, and collected the remainder of his lunch. "You'd better be watching then!" he called out as he headed back to the set.
"I'll be looking forward to it," Eren replied back. He went back to eating his sandwich as he watched Armin disappear from sight.
"Eren, you idiot!" Mikasa snapped, slapping his sandwich out of his hand. The boy stood up angrily in response.
"What's your problem, Mika? I was eating that!"
"My problem," she said, rising up to match Eren's height, "is that you hurt Armin's feelings."
"He was probably bluffing! Like a kid would get trained by the great Erwin Smith."
"But most importantly," Mikasa went on, ignoring Eren, "is that a bunch of unsuspecting kids are going to get beat up by Armin! You just sic'd him on those poor guys!"
The brunette gulped as he reconsidered what he had done. He had been hit by Armin's right hook before by accident, and it hadn't been pretty. The actors playing the bullies definitely didn't deserve that.
"Maybe you're right..."
"Of course I am, you twit!" Mikasa snapped. She tugged at his hand, like she had right before lunch. "Hurry up before he gets some damage done!"
"Alright, alright," Eren reassured her as they ran to find Armin. "If it's that scene, then it should be at the Shiganshina set."
"We have to be there in ten minutes anyway."
"Don't you every pay attention, Eren?"
Mikasa sighed, brushing her bangs out of her face. "I can't believe I have to take care of you two idiots," she muttered under her breath.
"Oh yeah? Then why are you friends with us?" Eren asked coyly, grinning wider as she spluttered.
"Shut up, idiot."
Eren laughed triumphantly. "Ha, I win!"
"Not if we don't stop Armin in time, you won't."
After ten minutes of bickering and running around the set trying to find the right building, Eren and Mikasa finally came upon the director surrounded by the cameras and the crew.
"Alright! Take one of scene four! And action!"
"Oh no!" Mikasa whispered urgently to Eren. "We're too late!" The two tried to stand on their tiptoes to see what was going on, but the people in the crew were blocking their view.
"Don't worry," the boy whispered back, "we'll make sure that it'll go okay. Come on, let's weave through these people and hopefully we'll make our way to Armin."
As the two kids began snaking their way through the crowd, they could hear snippets of the scene being filmed.
"What's wrong, heretic?" a mocking voice jeered. A laugh, then a grunt that could only belong to Armin as he was shoved haphazardly against the stone wall. "If you don't like it, hit back!"
Eren and Mikasa hurried their pace as they circled around the camera crew and behind the director's back.
Armin grunted again. "No way," he panted. "That would put me on your level!"
"What?!" the bully exclaimed, shock evident in his voice.
"You know what I said is true. That's why you're hitting me instead of arguing."
Eren and Mikasa were now in direct sight of Armin surrounded by three large teenagers. The bully with the spiky blonde hair was pushing Armin against the wall, and he was surrounded by a large-boned brunette and a slighter silver-haired guy with a wicked grimace. Even though Armin was being (unwillingly) manhandled by the bullies, he still had a fierce intense look in his blue eyes.
"Wow, great acting," Mikasa commented quietly to Eren. "He looks almost as angry as you do!"
"I'm not sure if that's meant to insult me or not," Eren muttered under his breath. "But yeah, he's doing really well right now. Which is why we've got to stop him from messing up!"
"Doesn't that you admit I won?" Armin fired back as the bully made a confused noise in the back of his throat. The three kids were taken aback with shock on their faces.
"Shut your damned mouth!" the blonde bully snapped back as he prepared to land a punch on Armin.
"Oh crap, he's going to do it," Mikasa muttered as Armin began to snap back his arm to right hook the poor guy.
"STOP IT!" Eren cried as he sprinted towards the four kids, Mikasa following closely behind with a grim look on her face.
"Huh? It's Eren!" the bully said, squinting at the rapidly approaching boy. "What's he doing here?"
"GAHHHHHH!" Eren screamed. The three actors playing the bullies slowly backed away warily.
"What the hell?" the grey-haired bully shrieked. "Don't attack us!" The three actors wrapped their heads around their arms and braced themselves...as Eren sailed past them and tackled Armin to the ground, sending a cloud of dirt and dust into the air.
"Ow, Eren! What gives?" Armin snapped as he tried to throw Eren off of him, to no avail. "I was going to prove it to you!"
"You don't need to prove anything to me!" Eren yelled back as he forced the blonde boy's arms behind his back. He then quieted down as Armin stopped struggling against his arm lock. "I already know you're a strong fighter. That's not proving that you've been training under Erwin."
"And that doesn't mean you should take it out on those poor saps," Mikasa said as she walked up to the two boys. "Look at them, you scared that guy to tears." She pointed to the large brown-haired bully who still had a shocked expression on his face, albeit with watery eyes that looked like they were going to overflow.
Armin glanced at them before looking down sadly. "Oh...I guess you're right. I'd feel awful if I actually hurt those guys." He looked up at his two friends and smiled sadly. "Thanks for stopping me, guys."
"No problem. Anything to help my friend." Eren grinned back.
"Great...can you get off me now? You're getting my clothes dirty."
The brunette laughed as he brushed dirt off his palms and got up with Mikasa's help. "Sorry about that. I didn't mean to actually knock you to the ground."
"It's alright. I deserved it anyway," the blonde replied as Eren helped him to his feet.
Eren was about to respond, but he was interrupted by the director as he marched up to the three kids.
"What do you think you two are doing? You're not supposed to be in this scene!" the director exclaimed, waving his script around erratically.
Eren and Mikasa squirmed under the director's gaze. "Director," Armin began, stepping in between his two friends and the director, "it was my fault. I told them to come onto the set because I thought it would make the scene really exciting and interesting. I mean, it is just a scene of me being beat up by a bunch of bullies. It sounds much more captivating if Eren and Mikasa come to my rescue, don't you think?"
The director scrunched his eyebrows as he massaged his invisible goatee. Armin, Eren and Mikasa glanced nervously at each other as each tension-filled second passed.
"That...is a GREAT IDEA!" the director exclaimed, eyes brimming with manic glee. "Why didn't I think of that? We could have Eren come in, with the bullies getting ready to beat the crap out of him until Mikasa comes in! Then they'd all run away!"
Eren pumped his fist in excitement. "Yeah! Wait...I'm not the one scaring them?"
"Sweet!" Mikasa squealed happily. She began dancing around in circles. "I get to own everyone!"
"That's not fair!" Eren pouted. "I want to be the big bad hero!"
"Just be glad the director's not yelling at you for cutting into the scene," Armin whispered into Eren's ear.
He sighed. "I suppose...and thanks for saving us from the director's wrath, Armin. That was some pretty impressive persuading."
"What are friends for?" Armin smiled as his arm looped around Eren's shoulder.
Their touching moment only lasted for a couple seconds though, as the director resumed his duties and began ordering everyone to prepare for the second take of the scene.
"Okay, we've wasted enough time as is! Time to start take 2 of scene 4! And...ACTION!"
Eren: Huh? Are you going somewhere Dad? Work?
Grisha: Yes, I'm going inland to see patients. Probably for five or six years. You guys will be fine on your own.
Grisha: Ha, I just spoiled the entire episode, didn't I?