A/N: I apologise for my sudden disappearance. I'm breaking out of this long-term hiatus to post this chapter before resuming. This one will probably last until December, until my exams are over. Also, I do read reviews and I'm really happy about them, but time robs me of the ability to reply so I'm sorry for the lack of replies to the recent reviews. They do give me the motivation to carry on with the fic :D
Additionally, here's a warning that the Japanese suffix of –san for Rivaille will still be used in this chapter despite English titles like 'Miss' and 'Mr'. I'm considering doing away with the suffixes and reediting the fic but that will be settled after I come back.
Gah I seem to be losing the ability to write, I'm really sorry if this chapter turned out crappy. I'll do better when all my exams are over OTL
Rivaille-san was late.
Eren tapped his foot impatiently as he waited in the usual spot of the library. The clacking of his bright red leather shoes on the wooden floor of the library only served to increase his impatience, and he began pacing back and forth anxiously on the carpet. Why was Rivaille-san taking so long? The fact that the cleaner was never late made this situation highly surprising, and as much as he tried to think of reasons to explain this unusual phenomenon he was not able to.
Catching his reflection in the windows, he stopped to admire his and Mikasa's handiwork. The two of them (with feigned ignorance of Armin's worried stare), had rushed out immediately after school to a secluded staircase to prepare for the date. Mikasa had helped him adjust his costume; fluffing up his wig and applying the necessary make-up needed to transform him into the wonderful appearance he had now. He had initial apprehensions about Mikasa and make-up; one would not associate the two together at all, but after seeing her smear the white cream on his face with the skilful and controlled movements of her butter knife, Eren was certain about letting his best friend work her make-up magic.
The tightness of his clown costume had him shifting the suit a little- it had been years since he had worn it and it was barely fitting him now- the costume clung to every corner of his body like wet glue, and he felt restricted, and even suffocated in that horrendous excuse of a clown suit. This is all for Rivaille-san, I'm doing this all for Rivaille-san, he muttered, reminding himself of his motivations.
Scratching his elbow- an itch was burning there, he walked to the end of the corner and peered out at the surroundings. Rivaille-san was still nowhere in sight. He resisted the urge to scratch a growing itch down there and focused on his itching armpit instead as he returned to his former position in the corner. Why was he so itchy? Was this a bad omen? Was Rivaille-san playing with him after all? Making him believe that he wanted to go on a date with him, only to not show up and laugh at him afterwards? Rivaille-san that cruel player! Eren's totally relevant conclusions had his heart shattering at the thought of being made a fool, and he felt a growing sense of irrational anger.
He stomped out of the library, his gaudy shoes flopping wildly as he did so, making the disgruntled library people glare at him again. He simply ignored them- settling the issue with Rivaille-san was more important. He needed to confront Rivaille-san about this cruel attitude; there must have been a reason for him acting as such. Eren refused to believe that he had been tricked. Rivaille-san was simply lost and was probably rushing to him now.
He turned around the corner and bumped into the cruel player himself. I knew he was rushing to me! Eren grinned mentally but unfortunately lost his balance. Stumbling a little, he felt himself being caught by the cleaner, who was staring at him with a lifted brow.
Rivaille-san steadied him with his strong arms, dusted himself and gave him another stare before heading into the library.
Wait, where is he going? "Rivaille-san!" He called out to the older man, who stopped in his tracks and turned to give him yet another long stare, making Eren feel a little uncomfortable. He regarded Eren from head to toe before asking curtly:
"Do I know you?"
Eren was shocked. Did Rivaille-san not recognise him? Even though I dressed up all for him! Eren was hurt at the thought, and he made his displeasure evident to the older man who, much to his disgruntlement, dared to pay it no heed.
"It's me, Rivaille-san! Eren, sir!" He attempted a friendly smile at the older man. It came out ten times creepier due to the horrendous make-up, making Rivaille shudder a little.
Rivaille considered the clown in front of him. This foolish-looking creature was Jaeger? He stared at the badly drawn make-up; the unevenness of the foundation unsettled him, and the crooked squiggles of red streaking all over his face made him seem more like an accident victim than a clown. It was a horrifying sight.
"What do you think you are doing, brat?" He crossed his arms and stared down the boy. He was beginning to be concerned for Jaeger's state of mind. The boy had been committing nothing but acts of insanity from the very first time he had met him. Rivaille wondered if the stress from school was getting to him. Poor boy, he thought. And he has sexuality issues too... Rivaille himself didn't face much school troubles when he was a student, so he could not really comprehend the brat's turmoil.
It'll be okay, I'll make sure of it. Rivaille was sure his plans for the boy would definitely cure his maelstrom of troubles. Without waiting for an answer, he turned on his heel towards the stairs leading to the third floor and strode off. Once he was sure the boy was following (or rather flopping after) him, he quickened his speed towards his destination.
Where are we going? Eren wondered as he stumbled all over while chasing the head cleaner. Rivaille-san's lack of reaction to his dressing up made him lose a little confidence, and he was starting to feel like a fool for wearing the costume in the first place. He scratched his chest to ease the burning itch there. The costume must not have been washed properly. He was itching all over! Gritting his teeth in an attempt to ignore the itches, Eren increased his speed and flopped after Rivaille.
The pair made quite a sight as they hurried down the hallway, the few students who saw them thought that a clown was chasing after a cleaner for reasons no one knew. They thought nothing of this particular situation though; the school was full of daily weird happenings anyway.
Eren almost bumped into the older man as he stopped abruptly in front of a wooden door. The plastic sign indicated where they were exactly- the girls' toilet.
Huh? The Ladies? Eren rubbed his eyes and stared at the sign again, moving in to get a closer look. Yup, it was the girls' toilet alright. They were going to the Ladies for their first date. Extreme mortification were the words to describe Eren as he mulled over Rivaille-san's interesting choice of a first date.
Perhaps Rivaille-san was inexperienced in romance; perhaps this was his very first date too! That's why Rivaille-san brought me here, he couldn't think of anywhere else! Satisfied with his reasoning, Eren took it upon himself to display his gratitude to the older man's efforts.
"How wonderful, Rivaille-san! I'm looking forward to this!" He cheered and clapped a little too enthusiastically for his liking. He didn't want to appear overly excited- he definitely did not want Rivaille-san to continue thinking that toilets were the best places for dates.
Rivaille, on the other hand, was overjoyed. Jaeger loved his plan! The boy was even clapping for goodness sake! Even though it made almost a negligible difference in his expression, he tried his best to give the boy a pleased look.
Stepping forward, he grasped the door handle, pulled the great wooden door open and wasted no time ushering the boy in.
The first thing Eren noticed was that the girls' toilet was rather different as compared to the guys. The walls were pink all over, as if there was a severe need to emphasise that this was, indeed a girls' toilet. Eren had a niggling suspicion that Rivaille had chosen the Ladies just because it was pink. Rivaille-san was a shy person after all, so he was using the toilet to express his thoughts. The bright pink of the toilet would hence represent Rivaille-san's pure love for him. Eren swooned a little at this thought.
The second thing he noticed was the sound of the light squishing of boots across the wet floor, and tracing the boots right up to their owner led him to discover a small and petite woman with brown hair, whose height almost reached Rivaille-san's, and whose small frown was enough to make Eren cautious in approaching her.
The brunette was dressed in the typical cleaner uniform, making it not much of a challenge to guess who she was. Almost the whole cohort of St Maria boys knew who this woman was- the beautiful and youthful assistant cleaner, Petra Ral. She had been the subject of a number of conversations in his class, enough for him to know that she was the only female cleaner in the school, and that there were rumours that she was harbouring a deep love for a certain head cleaner.
Which, if true, would make her his love rival. Eren judged from the unmoving frown on her face that she was wary of him too. He decided to test the waters.
Removing his hand from his earlier scratching of his armpit, he tried a small smile:
"Good day, Miss Ral. What brings you here to the third-floor Ladies?"
Miss Ral simply stared in disgust at his outstretched hand before disregarding it and turning to her boss and asking "Who is this clown, Corporal?"
Eren struggled to keep himself from laughing. Corporal?! What is she calling him? She must think we are in the military or something! He returned to stoicism as he felt the force of the brunette's glare on him.
Rivaille, on the other hand kept silent as he watched the interaction between the two. Things had got off on a rocky start for now, but with a little push, he was sure the two would fall fast in love in no time. This was a young boy's manhood at stake here! He began his introductions:
"Jaeger, this is Petra Ral, my assistant cleaner. You may call her Petra too. Petra, Eren Jaeger; your assistant for today."