Note: Okay, here's the deal, I'm going to be writing a lot of these, well for now anyways. And for what small number of people that read this I want to know: Would you rather I post all the fics into one story, so it's kind of like a drabble? Or just post them separately? Honestly, I'd rather do it separate but I don't want to spam.
"Don't," Rivaille said, "It doesn't suit you." Eren doesn't listen.
Rivaille's kisses taste like smoke and ash.
The first time Eren tastes it, he pulls back immediately, coughs. Rivaille watches, almost with a bored gaze. When Eren recovers, Rivaille pulls him back in for another kiss and this time Eren lets him, though the taste burns his mouth. He's slightly surprised that Rivaille doesn't smell, even more surprised that he even smokes. It didn't seem right with the clean persona he built for himself.
"You're surprised," Rivaille notes as he lights another cigarette, inhales.
Eren wrinkles his nose, leans back. "I don't like smoking."
Rivaille shrugs casually, like 'What can you do about it?' The smoke hangs on his shoulders like a fog, wraps around him as a dear friend might. Eren's eyes flicker away, uncomfortable. People had different ways of coping.
"Don't," Rivaille starts with a voice of steel and disapproval, taps the ashes of his cigarette to the bin beside him. "This isn't some gross way of seeking closure, brat. I just like the taste."
"But," Eren protests weakly, "you're killing yourself." Don't you owe mankind your talents, your determination? He's just going to throw it away, Eren realizes.
"Tch," Rivaille says, annoyed, like Eren was some simpleton, "I throw myself in battle everyday. Isn't that dying? I get to choose my own death, Eren, don't fault me for that." The corporal grasps Eren's hair, pulls him closer, and his breath reeks of everything Eren hates.
Rivaille's gaze swallows him whole, daring him to breathe a word against him.
Eren kisses Rivaille first.
He still doesn't like the smoking. Whenever he sees Rivaille, he shoves the cigarette aside and leans down to capture his attention. Rivaille lets him.
"You're breaking my heart," Rivaille drawls when Eren steals the smoke from his exhale, and crushes the cigarette under his foot, "you know those aren't that easy to find."
"Your heart or the cigarettes?" Eren replies drily, and Rivaille only chuckles, bringing Eren flush against him, leans into his neck.
"I indulge you too much, brat," Rivaille says, bites his skin lightly. Eren winces.
"You're hurting me," Eren says in a petulant voice, resists the urge to shove Rivaille down and away. Rivaille only bites harder.
"You don't know what you're doing to me," Rivaille whispers later, as he drags another cigarette from his lips. Eren's too tired to argue.
"Hm," Rivaille says, carding a hand through Eren's hair as he looks away, "This is how that Mikasa girl feels."
"What about Mikasa?" Eren asks, yawning and leaning into Rivaille's touch slightly.
"Nothing," Rivaille answers, and stabs the cigarette into the ash bin. "Go to sleep."
The first time Eren tries smoking in secrecy, he almost coughs to death. He can't understand why Rivaille would like it, but he supposes that is the point. Each person needed something of their own and solely their own, didn't they?
The second time he has stolen the cigarette from Rivaille. He does better this time, except Rivaille merely plucks it from his lips and stows it back in his own.
"Don't," Rivaille says, "it doesn't suit you."
Eren only rubs the back of his head in embarrassment. "Yeah, yeah, I know you need something to keep for yourself, and no one else can have it, I get it."
"You're an idiot," Rivaille says, "you are that something."
He never gets to say goodbye. They rarely do in this life, but he's always expected he'd be the first one to go, not Rivaille. He doesn't want to believe it.
Eren is a coward, in this aspect at least. He draws out a dead cigarette on his lip with clumsy movements, so maybe his mouth would have something else to do than wake up with a dead man's name. He is not good at it, but like tradition, it will grow on him like a fungus, and eventually Eren will not question why his lungs burn and his veins sing, and it is something like courting Death, but isn't living another day just the same?
"Don't," Rivaille said, "It doesn't suit you."
Death doesn't look good worn on Rivaille either, Eren thinks, and endears Death with another long tasteful inhale.
Maybe, one day, Eren will be willing to say goodbye. (If the day ever comes). Eren does not measure deaths by sentimental value or effect, that is no use. They are equal in death, but this was different. If anyone had a chance of bringing down all the Titans, ofliving, it was Rivaille. He was wrong. Maybe, one day, Eren will be willing to accept things for the way they are: awful and so alone.
But for now, Eren wishes to stop coughing ashes of his name every morning, and grieving.
Someone- he doesn't remember who- he thinks it may have been Mikasa, vaguely, tells him the dreaded words that everyone is familiar with and therefore it is a betrayal that it is uttered (because everyone knows it does not help, it never will), "He wouldn't want you living like this, Eren. He would have learned how to move on, and he would have wanted you too."
"Don't," Eren starts softly, "measure a dead man's words against me, please. This isn't because of him." It is such a blatant lie it cuts.
He can almost pretend there is a sinful kiss where a cigarette should be. They let him.