Rumor Has It
A/N- Someone a long time ago asked for an awkward Eremika love confession and how everyone else would react to them being a couple and well…this is about as awkward as it gets. Set in the canon universe post chapter 50. It's 2:00 am so I'm gonna sleep now.
"I don't know about this, Armin…" the young Asian girl's gaze fell downward. "I mean…I just don't think it's the right time."
"Mikasa," Armin spoke calmly, "you two almost died last week. Could you really live with yourself if he died before you ever got the chance to tell him how you felt?"
She sighed, reaching her hand up to tuck a stray piece of hair behind her ear. This was ridiculous. She was a soldier. And a damn good soldier at that. Her life consisted of fighting and death and violence. Yet, here she was, sitting next to one of her childhood friends rambling awkwardly about her hopeless and irreversible feelings for his best friend.
Evidently her love for Eren was obvious. At least to Armin anyway since he had practically drug her into her bedroom and forced her to confirm his suspicions.
Now, here she sat, cheeks red with the heat of embarrassment as she stuttered through six years of repressed feelings.
"Armin," she began hesitantly, "I don't know. We're just fighting to stay alive right now…I really don't think this is the right time."
"Then when is the right time?" He asked. "Look, our situation doesn't look too promising. I'm not sure any of us are going to live through this anyway, so it's now or never, Mikasa." The stiff mattress squeaked beneath him as he turned to face her directly. "You either need to tell him that you're in love with him or your feelings are gonna die with the two of us. Are you really okay with that?"
The young girl hesitated. Was she okay with that? To be honest, she'd been so concerned about Eren's mental and physical health over the past few years that she had begun to neglect her own. He meant more to her than she could ever tell him. She'd tried the previous week when they had been seconds away from death. But even then, she wasn't sure if Eren understood what she had been trying to tell him. After all, neither of them were very good with words or emotions.
But she wanted him to know…she wanted to tell him and show him how much she really loved him and the nature of those feelings. Even if he didn't feel the same way…even if he never would…she couldn't live with herself if he died without ever knowing that. She couldn't let him believe that his life was a waste. Or that he had only been good for failed missions and strange experiments. After all, what greater fulfillment could there be than knowing you changed a person's life for the better? Than knowing how much that meant to them? Than knowing that they mean more to you than anything else in the entire world? She couldn't lose him without him knowing that.
"I have to tell him Armin," she spoke confidently. Not a single trace of embarrassment wavered in her voice. This was something that needed to happen.
"Exactly," her friend nodded with a knowing smile. "I'll help you, of course," he added quickly, speaking before she had time to change her mind. "If you want, you can practice talking to him with me. I'll let you know what I think sounds good and what doesn't."
"Thank you so much Armin!" She smiled. She was truly grateful that he went out of his way to ensure she made her feelings known. He was right after all. He needed to know how she felt.
At the time, practicing with Armin had seemed like a good idea, but she had neglected to think about the assumptions the others would make if they overheard the conversation.
Sasha groaned, reaching a hand down to rub her rumbling stomach as she walked down the empty hallway.
It was a Tuesday, which meant that she and Mikasa were on dinner duty for the night, and, according to her belly, dinner needed to happen fast! Maybe some soup with bread and boiled potatoes? But something more complicated would be much more delicious and rewarding…
"Mikasa!" She called out, her voice echoing off of the empty cabin walls. "Time to make dinner!"
Her feet stuttered to a stop in front of the door to their shared bedroom. So far, she had yet to hear her friend respond, and she was beginning to lose her patience.
Just as she was raising her fist to knock on the door, she caught a voice coming from the other side. She froze, straining to hear if the words were directed at her, but it sounded like Mikasa was talking to…someone else? Historia maybe? No…Historia left to gather more wood. Who else would be in there room?
Suddenly, the hunger inside her stomach was replaced with a brewing curiosity. Carefully, she pressed her ear against the wooden door and strained to hear more.
"It's just…ever since you saved me…you've just been so special to me," Mikasa stuttered. Sasha's face scrunched with confusion. Who on earth was she talking to?
"It's taken me awhile to realize just how I feel, but…" she trailed off. There was a brief moment of silence, and Sasha thought maybe she'd missed the next part of the conversation, but then, she heard the faint sound of Mikasa's voice once again. "I'm in love with you, Eren, and I'm not really sure if you feel the same way or not, but…I just really wanted you to know."
Sasha gasped, bringing a hand up to cover her mouth. She definitely wasn't supposed to hear that. Slowly, she backed away from the door before the creaking floor boards or the rumbling of her stomach could give her away.
"Oh my God, I knew it!" She thought to herself as she squealed into her sleeve. "They always seemed so close and they are just so cute together! Wait until I tell Connie!" She thought back to the bet they had made about a month ago regarding the nature of Eren and Mikasa's relationship. "He owes me half his dinner for a week!"
Quickly, she rounded the corner, anxious to get further away and be safe from getting caught eavesdropping, but as she turned, she felt herself collide with something approximately her size. At the contact, she fell backward with a thud.
"Sasha! What are you doing?! Shouldn't you be making dinner or something?"
Sasha groaned and opened her eyes to see Connie standing in front of her rubbing his own head.
"Here," he extended a hand. "I'll help you up."
"Connie!" She began excitedly. It only took seconds for her to ignore the stinging pain in her head. "Guess what I just overheard?!"
"Umm…" he eyed her cautiously, "we're…getting meat for dinner tonight?"
"No, but that would be awesome too," she trailed off. "Anyway, Eren and Mikasa are totally a couple now!"
"What? You're just making stuff up."
"No I'm serious, Connie! I heard them confessing their love to each other!" She insisted, grabbing him by the shoulders dramatically. "They're probably making out right now or something! Who knows?!"
"I don't know about you, but I don't want to know,"
"Do you realize what this means?!" Sasha interrupted excitedly. "You owe me half your dinner for a whole week," she smiled smugly.
"Shit," he mumbled, "I forgot we even made that stupid bet."
"This is the best day ever," she grinned happily. She turned to walk toward the kitchen, catching a glimpse of Connie's distressed expression. She'd have to pester him more later. This was a golden opportunity after all. Right now, she was just eager to get dinner started.
"Oh," she turned spun her head back around, "I wouldn't tell people about this just yet. Knowing Eren and Mikasa, they probably want to stay quiet about it."
"Yeah dude. I guess Sasha heard moaning and panting and everything," Connie continued. "I don't even wanna know what happened next."
"Damn it, Jaeger," Jean mumbled beneath his breath. Angrily, he glanced over at the supposed couple doing dishes. Their backs were to him, but he could only imagine what they were talking about. He could practically see the suggestive glances being passed. He could almost feel the brush of their hands underneath the soapy water. It made him sick.
"I don't know what to tell you man," Connie shrugged, walking off toward their bedroom.
Jean pulled out a chair and slouched down in it with a huff.
"So this is how it is," he thought, "I'm so nice to her. I treat her well. And Eren of all people wins her affections?!"
He studied her movements as she reached over and dried her hands on the towel. He felt his heart clench at the loving smile she gave Eren before bidding him a goodnight.
But was it really goodnight? Or would they sneak off into the woods to make love again? The thought about made him puke.
He watched her walk away, her black hair shimmering in the candlelight as she disappeared down the hall. He waited until he heard the click of the door closing behind her.
Abruptly, he flew up out of the chair and marched over to where Eren was standing.
"Listen, Jaeger," he spat. He cringed at the harshness in his own voice. Really, he had a lot of respect for Eren, but there were certain aspects of him that he could not stand. This was one of them. "You better take good care of her, you hear me?" He jutted a finger into the shorter boy's chest.
"Umm," Eren's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "yeah. Okay."
A brief awkward silence followed in which Jean attempted to figure out why Eren looked so startled and confused. But before he could ask, the other boy spoke again.
"Are you feeling alright?"
"Wha-what?!" Jean stuttered. "Don't play dumb, Jaeger! I'm not going to fall for that. Tch." He spun around and stomped down the hallway to his room, leaving behind a confused and bewildered Eren.
"Jean, are you alright?" Armin eyed the distraught teen beside him. "You seem a little out of it today, and Eren said you looked a bit ill last night after dinner."
"Oh I'm just fine," he growled through clenched teeth.
The two of them were put in charge of dusting the entire cabin, and Armin couldn't help but notice how distant and upset his friend seemed.
Curiously, Armin's gaze followed Jean's, which led him to what he presumed to be the cause of his irritated (more than usual) attitude; Eren and Mikasa.
Currently, the two of them were scrubbing the floor in the living room behind them. Jean's eyes rolled to the far right, getting as good of a view of the two as he could without making it obvious that he was both staring and eavesdropping. Even so, Armin was sharp as ever. After all, it was no news to him that Mikasa's attachment to Eren upset Jean greatly.
Armin glanced back at his two best friends chatting away as they scrubbed. Mikasa's skirt was tied back in a knot and Eren's pants were rolled up, but it hadn't prevented them from getting wet. Droplets of water splashed up with every scrub of the bristles against the wooden floor, soaking both of them. Still, they appeared to be enjoying themselves. Eren appeared deep in story and passionate as ever while also remaining completely oblivious to the half-lidded gaze Mikasa was eyeing him with. Her soft smile and shimmering eyes clearly reflected her love and admiration for the boy. It didn't take a genius to decipher her feelings for him.
Armin chuckled and turned his eyes away from the two, leaving them to the privacy of their conversation. It was none of his business anyway. Though he was curious as to whether or not Mikasa had gotten the chance to talk to Eren about her feelings.
With that realization, Armin's head shot back in Jean's direction to observe the look on his face once more. Perhaps…that was why he was so upset…maybe Jean knew something that he didn't.
"You know, Jean," Armin began carefully, "you can talk to me about anything." He felt a pang of guilt surge through him for a moment. He really did care about Jean and would gladly listen to his problems, but he knew full well that his own curiosity was the real reason he was offering to listen.
The guilt subsided after a brief moment. Quickly, he returned to his act.
Jean sighed, glancing back at Eren and Mikasa once more before his gaze fell toward the ground. "I guess I can trust you, Armin," he mumbled "You probably already know anyway. You're their best friend."
Armin brought up a hand and rubbed his cheek in attempt to hide the smirk spreading across his face. It appeared that his hunch had been correct.
Duster in hand, he slowly lowered his arm from the dirty shelf and continued.
"I heard from Connie who heard from Sasha that Eren and Mikasa are a couple now," he murmured. Even though Armin was beyond thrilled for his best friends, he couldn't help but feel a twinge of sympathy for Jean. He meant well after all.
"Oh," Armin tried his best to sound indifferent, "I actually didn't know that yet. How did Sasha find out?"
"Tch," Jean rolled his eyes, "they didn't even tell you? That's considerate." He shook his head and let out another deep sigh. "I guess Sasha was about to walk into her room and…good thing she didn't because I guess she heard them making love or something."
"Oh," Armin squeaked, honestly surprised by that bit of information. "Well that sure did happen fast…"
"Jesus Christ," the two boys jumped when they heard a voice behind them. Armin spun around to see Captain Levi sweeping the floor directly behind them, and judging by the look on his face, he had heard most of their conversation.
"Captain…" Armin trailed off, unsure of what to even say.
"I don't get paid enough for this shit," Levi mumbled. "Now stop talking about things I don't want to hear and getting back to dusting!"
"Sasha, could you pass the salt!"
"Sure thing, Connie! Just remember to save half of that loaf of bread for me!"
Mikasa sat at the dinner table with the rest of her squad minus Levi, who was outside doing something, and Eren, who was washing up after a hard day's work.
It almost felt like every other meal the group ate together- Sasha and Connie arguing about random things, Jean and Armin chatting quietly off to the side, and Historia picking at her food silently. This was how it always was, yet, the young girl couldn't help but feel like something was off.
After all, Connie never agreed to give Sasha so much of his food, Jean kept sneaking angry glances at her between words with Armin, and Connie, for some reason that was far beyond her, had been winking suggestively at her the entire day.
Her lips twisted in confusion. What was this tension she could feel between the six of them? And why was it there in the first place?
She shook her head. Weird things always happened with this group.
"Hey," Sasha suddenly spoke up, "where's Eren at?"
"I think he's washing up," Armin answered, biting into his bread roll. "That's what Mikasa told me anyway."
"Tch," Jean scowled, "of course Mikasa would know. I'm surprised she's not in the shower with him."
"Wh-what?!" Mikasa stuttered, unsure of whether to be angry or embarrassed by Jean's snarky remark. "Jean why would you-"
"Come to think of it, Mikasa," Historia piped up, "I never did get to congratulate you!"
"Umm," she felt her spoon slide through her fingers and heard it land in her soup with a splash. "I'm sorry, but I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh it's okay, Mikasa!" Sasha interutted cheerfully. "We all know!"
Mikasa felt a nervous heat pulse up her neck as her heart stuttered unevenly inside her chest. "Clearly they know something I don't," she thought anxiously.
"You…all know what?" She asked, dreading whatever answer they were about to give her.
"About you and Eren of course!" Historia answered.
"Oh my god," Mikasa felt herself go numb. What were they talking about? Where did they get the idea that something was going on between her and Eren? Beyond the fact that she simply had feelings for him anyway…
"Ummm," she began unsurely, hot embarrassment surging through her body, "nothing…is going on between me and Eren."
The conversation came to a dead stop as an awkward silence clouded over the dinner table for several seconds. The only sound that could be heard was the shower running a few rooms over while the six exchanged confused and alarmed glances before Connie broke the silence.
"Give me my damn roll back Sasha!"
"No! You already gave it to me!"
"Guys," HIstoria interrupted calmly, "I think we have more important things to discuss right now. Like how someone even came up with the idea that Eren and Mikasa had something going on…"
"Well," Armin began thoughtfully, "I heard from Jean…who heard from Connie…who heard from Sasha that…and I quote here…that 'you two are dating now.'"
"Don't look at me!" Jean threw his hands against the table, sending soup splashing onto the freshly cleaned floor. "Connie told me that…and I also quote…'Eren and Mikasa made sweet love into the night.'"
"Wh-wha-what?!" Mikasa let out a horrified squeak. This could not be real. How was this happening right now? "That's…not true at all!" She stuttered, burying her burning face into her hands.
"Wait a minute!" Connie interrupted. "Sasha is the one who overheard the whole thing…stop trying to pin this on me!"
"WHAT?! I know what I heard," Sasha shook her head and disbelief.
"And…what…exactly did you hear, Sasha?" Armin inquired hesitantly.
"Well, let's see…" Sasha's eyes fell downward as she searched for the words she'd overheard. "It was a Tuesday, so I was going to fetch Mikasa so we could make dinner…and…just when I was about to open the door, I heard Mikasa's voice. I can't remember the exact words, but it was something like 'I'm in love with you, Eren.'"
"I never told Eren that thought," She thought to herself, "what is she-"
"That sounds pretty solid to me," Connie shrugged.
"Think back, Mikasa," Historia reached out to grab her shoulder in an effort to comfort her. "What were you doing last Tuesday before dinner?"
"I was in my room," she recalled, racking her brain for more details, "and I was…"
Talking to Armin. She had been talking to Armin Tuesday night. Practicing…talking to Eren…with Armin…
"Oh my god,"
Her eyes shot up to meet Armin's horrified, waiting gaze. From the look he was giving her, she guessed that he'd had this mix up figured out for the last few minutes and had just been waiting for her to catch on so they could have this silent conversation through a glance.
"Hey, what's all the commotion about?" Eren yelled from down the hall. The creaking floorboards indicated that he was headed toward them. Quickly, Mikasa brushed her hair in front of her face to partially cover her flushed expression.
Mikasa watched him out of the corner of her eye as he walked into the kitchen, wet hair dripping down onto his naked chest as he flung the towel over his shoulder. She didn't dare make direct eye contact with him, but she couldn't help but notice how brilliantly green his eyes looked today.
"Oh…um…" Historia stuttered to find the right lie, "Sasha just shoved a whole roll in her mouth. That's all."
"It was pretty intense, man," Connie added before the room fell silent once more.
"I…see…" Eren nodded at them suspiciously. "Are you guys alright?"
"Hey brats," Levi yelled as he flung the front door opened. Eren spun around to hear what his captain had to say. "I'm venturing off further to get more wood. Behave yourselves."
He almost had the door closed behind him before he swung it back open forcefully. "And Jaeger," he added.
"No more fucking in my cabin," he shot Eren a terrifying look before slamming the door shut behind him for good.
"Wh-what?" Eren murmured, turning around to face his friends once more.
And Mikasa swore she could have died right there and not cared if Eren ever knew how she felt or not. Was it even worth it if it would cause this much embarrassment?
She held her breath as she glanced up at his handsome face, scrunched together with confusion. His mouth hung slightly open while his eyes searched his friends' for answers.
Someone, Mikasa assumed Sasha, was now giggling uncontrollably in the otherwise silent room.
"Does someone want to tell me what's going on?" He asked after a moment. "Are you all sure you're okay?" She didn't dare look again, but Mikasa could hear the confusion and concern swelling in his voice.
"Mikasa," he spoke her name and she jumped a little in her seat. "Why is your face so red? Are you ill?"
She clenched her teeth, keeping her eyes focused on a spot on the table. She might as well be ill. She felt as if she were about to throw up.
"Maybe," she mumbled. She pushed the chair back and it groaned as it skidded across the wooden floor. "Excuse me," she added, pushing past Eren and speed walking to her room. She couldn't get out of there quickly enough.
"Please, Eren. Just this one time I'm begging you not to follow me!"
But she could already hear his footsteps thumping along the floor as he chased after her. "Mikasa, wait!"
"I think I can explain all of this," she heard Armin's voice from the kitchen as she threw the door open and attempted to close it before Eren could reach her.
She wasn't quick enough however, and she felt a strong hand grab ahold of her arm while his other arm forced the door open enough for him to squeeze in. Clumsily, he tumbled into the room after her and closed the door behind them.
"Hey," he spoke softly, "could you please just tell me what's going on? I know I'm a jerk to you half the time, and I act like I don't care, but honestly, I'm probably just as worried about you as you are about me. I'm especially worried about you right now, so could you please tell me what's wrong?"
She felt her heart melt at his words and the warm honesty in his tone. She didn't get to hear him talk this way very often. How could she lie to him now? She really had no choice but to tell him the truth.
"I'm not sure that this is all connected somehow, but everyone's been acting weird today," he noted patiently. "Sasha keeps eating Connie's food and Jean keeps glaring at me…well…more than usual anyway…and Armin gave me this weird nod thing, and what was up with what Captain Levi said to me?" He continued, his voice become more impatient and confused with every word. "And why, pray tell, does Connie keep winking at me?"
"Eren I can explain," she interrupted, "I just…I…" she took a deep breath in, remembering what Armin told her. It wasn't just now or never anymore. It was tell him now or have him find out from the rest of the gang, and she wasn't about to let that happen.
"I'm in love with you," she blurted out, refusing to look him in the eye. She could feel her face getting red all over again as she continued. "But I'm not very good at expressing my emotions, and I wanted to tell you but I didn't know how, so I was practicing talking to you with Armin and Sasha overheard what she thought was my love confession to you and…well…it's not hard to imagine what happened from there."
Her gaze remained downward as she picked at her nails nervously. With every silent second that passed she came more and more anxious.
"This…isn't how I wanted to tell you, Eren," she added after a moment, hoping that he would say something. Anything. Just so long as it wasn't silent anymore.
She hadn't even noticed the tears trickling down her cheeks until he reached out to wipe them away.
"Hey," he spoke softly, "please don't cry. Look at me, okay?"
How could she ignore his request when he spoke to her like that? He hadn't even used such a gentle tone of voice after she watched her mom and dad die. She lifted her head up slowly and met his warm gaze. A soft smile spread across his lips and his gorgeous eyes brimmed with care.
"I know I'm a jerk," he began slowly, "I'm really hard on you sometimes, and I'm sorry, but it isn't because I don't care about you. I do care. A lot actually! And I just hate to see you act reckless because of me," he admitted. "Not only does it make me feel worthless when you save my sorry ass, but it would kill me if I ever watched you get hurt because of me," he reached up to trace the scar on her cheek.
"I'm no good with words or emotions either," he chuckled. "You know that. But I want you to know that I feel the same way about you."
She felt her eyes go wide at his words. "You…you do?"
"Yeah," he nodded hesitantly. "I do."
"You aren't just saying that to make me feel better, are you?"
"Of course not," he laughed. His warm hand brushed against her cheek, wiping away a few stray tears. "You've known me for years, Mikasa. Would I do that?"
"No," she spoke through a half laugh.
He laughed along with her and reached out for her hand, holding it tightly within his own.
"I know this whole situation is awkward right now, and it's not your fault," he addressed the immediate problem, "but I hope we can laugh this off, and," his voice trailed off for a moment, "after all this is over…after the titans are gone…I hope we can be together," he bit his lip and looked down awkwardly, "you know…in that way."
She smiled, taking note of how cute he looked when he was embarrassed. His pink cheeks, the way his eyes refused to meet her own, how he fiddled with his hands…it was all a part of him she never got to see. Though she loved this side of him too, she couldn't wait for tomorrow when he'd be back to his usually self, getting on her about following him around too much or something. Because that was the Eren she fell in love with after all. He was irritable and imperfect, but she loved him.
"Yeah," she closed her eyes and imagined it, "that would be nice."
"Besides," he added after a brief moment of comfortable silence, "everyone seems to think we're dating anyway, right?"
She smiled softly, squeezing his hand gently in her own.
Slowly, he leaned in and brushed his lips against her cheek lovingly, ghosting over the skin there. She felt her heart stop inside her chest as she held in her breath. Suddenly, she was six years old again, afraid to move for fear of scaring away the butterfly, and the last thing she wanted to do was frighten him. Not when she finally got him so close to her.
"Come on," he tugged at her arm, "we should get back out there and eat."
"Ummm," she wriggled her hand out of his, "I think I'll just stay in here. Behind closed doors where things aren't so awkward." She spun around and sat down on her bed.
"Second thought," she added, "you are more than welcome to hide in here with me. It's probably not safe out there for you either."
He smiled, her bed squeaking beneath him as he sat.
"You know," he spoke after a moment, "hiding behind a locked bedroom door probably isn't the best thing for us to do right now," he smirked. He was right…maybe one day they would just be able to laugh this whole thing off and remember it as the time they finally let their feelings be known.
"You're right," she nodded, "I think this is how rumors get started."