A/N: This final chapter is dedicated to Jerritan96 and purplenurpless, because without them this chapter would have taken a lot longer (and would have been a lot worse). Thanks for the inspiration to keep going and the confidence boost, guys!
"Get up, brat, and go get ready. It's your turn to be on patrol duty. I have to clean up the mess you made in my house."
Eren groaned as Rivaille shook him awake, opening his eyes a crack to see the older man glaring at him. He pulled the covers over his head, earning a tch from the other officer.
"It's like... 5am. Give me five more minutes... Or thirty..." Eren grumbled, only to have the covers ripped off of his body completely. He let out a whine, curling up to try and make up for the lack of warmth. Rivaille growled this time, grabbing the back of Eren's white tee and dragging him off the bed.
The younger toppled to the floor with a loud thump, jolted into full consciousness by impact of his head hitting the hard wood floor. Now he really was awake. He hissed in pain as he rubbed the back of his head, glaring at Rivaille's back as he proceeded to strip the sheets off the bed.
"Love you too..." he said, voice dripping with sarcasm as he frowned. Rivaille froze, before wadding up the dirty sheets and chucking it at the taller male. It took Eren off guard, knocking him backwards again. Rivaille walked past him as he finally stood up, taking the sheets from the younger male's hands.
"Go take a shower and get dressed. Unless you want to help clean?" Rivaille asked him with a raised eyebrow. That last part of that sentence was just laced with venom. Eren shook his head, paling at the thought. He did that once. Never again.
"Alright, alright, I'll go. But today isn't your day off, why are you having me cover for you?" this earned him another unamused look, only confusing Eren even more. Sure, the house wasn't as sparkling clean as it was before he started living here, but it wasn't like it was a pig-sty. Cleaning day couldn't wait until the normal two more days?
After a few more seconds of confused silence, Rivaille sighed. "I hope your sister is more intelligent than you."
Eren's eyes widened in comprehension as it clicked together.
"Mikasa's coming today!"
"Good. Now get the hell out of the house before I throw you in the washing machine with these bed sheets."
Eren thrummed his fingers against the uncomfortable plastic chair in the airport as he watched out the glass pane nervously. It had been 3 minutes since it was supposed to land, and there was absolutely no sight of Mikasa's plane. Rivaille watched dully as Eren continued to smack his fingers against the plastic over and over, making an obnoxious thump each time one of the digits hit the chair.
Finally he covered the other's hand with his own, making Eren jump and look at him in surprise. Rivaille scowled at him.
"Enough already." he said, his tone just a little bit softer than normal. "It's been 3 minutes. Flights run late all the time. And stop squirming around so much, unless you just popped a boner and you're trying to cover it up?"
Eren blushed, shaking his head and sinking down in his seat. Of course Rivaille was right. But the flight wasn't the only thing that was on his mind.
He hadn't seen his kid sister in close to 2 years. It had been 5 months since the incident - since Mikasa's relapse with cancer. He smiled inwardly to himself. Rivaille was probably right when he said that Mikasa had a stronger will to live than Eren did. Mikasa probably had a stronger will to live than anyone he knew, period.
Not that she was completely better, he knew, but they had decided to do purely radiotherapy this time - and she had received it well, making a rapid recovery.
Not 100%, but he was proud anyway.
Another glance to the clock. 5 minutes now. He had had enough. Jerking up in his seat, he flung out his arms with a stretch.
"I'm gonna-" Take a walk. The unsaid words died on his tongue as he knocked Rivaille's cup of coffee out of the man's hand with his jerky movement, flinging it across the tiled airport floor.
Rivaille's face darkened.
"Uh- I'll clean it up, I swear! Give me one second!" Eren jumped up, looking mortified. Before Rivaille even had time to say anything, Eren had spun around on his heel and was making a beeline for the men's bathroom. The older officer sighed, turning back toward the window.
When did that plane get there?
He sat up in his seat, scanning the area. It had already unloaded? But that meant that...
Directly in front of him he spotted a small figure with dark hair, tucked into a red scarf with a long, oversized-looking coat. She was stopped in the middle of a crowd of people, a small suitcase on wheels behind her, staring at him.
He stared back.
The grip on her luggage tightened, and she took a few steps forward, never breaking eye-contact.
Rivaille's deadpan facial expression didn't change at all.
This continued as she slowly took more steps forward, the atmosphere growing more and more tense with every inch. People were now giving the two of them odd looks, sensing the situation - she had a fierce look in her eyes that could only rival Rivaille's dull ones.
The young girl was a few feet away from Rivaille by the time Eren returned, still looking apologetic.
"I'm so sorry, here, I even got you a new-" his voice cut off as he followed Rivaille's stare to the little girl in front of the two men.
Hearing her name, she broke away from Rivaille to meet Eren's gaze instead. Eyes lighting up with excitement now, she rushed over to wrap her arms around his waist.
The paper towels and new cup of coffee forgotten as he placed them on the ground, he wrapped his arms around the younger girl's frame, lifting her up and spinning her around.
"Mikasa! Long time no see!" he said, laughing as she nuzzled her face into his neck. "Come on, come on. How have you been?"
She inhaled deeply, still glaring at Rivaille from over Eren's shoulder. Finally, she spoke.
Eren stroked her hair, amazed to see how long it had gotten. Finally, with one last squeeze he set her back down on the ground. "Did you already meet Rivaille?"
She stared at the older man with an unamused expression.
"O-Oh." he said, almost taken aback by her blunt answer. He sighed. "This is Rivaille. I live with him. Rivaille, this is my sister Mikasa."
Mikasa said nothing. Rivaille looked up at Eren from where he was still seated, one leg crossed over the other.
Eren frowned. "Anyway," he started, "Let's get out of here. I'll carry your bag, Mikasa." he walked over to the forgotten luggage, picking it up with relative ease. She really had packed light. "Let me just... Rivaille, do you have my phone?"
A frown was plastered on his face as he fished through his pockets. Rivaille sighed.
"Check the bathroom?"
A look of realization dawned over Eren. "Oh! Sorry guys, I'll be right back!" he said, sprinting off towards the restroom once again. Rivaille rolled his eyes, turning back towards Mikasa.
"Cat got your tongue, brat?"
She narrowed her eyes threateningly, taking a few more steps toward the older man.
"You smell like brother."
Rivaille's eyebrows raised so high they were almost one with his hairline. At first he thought that the girl was just shy, but it looked like she had a bold side to her. He coughed into his hand to avoid smiling, although it was tempting to provoke her more...
"Is that so."
Her lips pursed together, but before she could say anything else she was scooped up and hoisted onto someone's back.
"Okay! Back home we go!" Eren said, phone in hand and child on back as he took off for the exit. Rivaille sighed, staring at the small suitcase they had left behind.
It was going to be a long week.
By the time they got out of the airport and back in town, the sun was almost setting. Mikasa sat in the middle of Rivaille and Eren in the front seat of the older man's truck, looking out the window curiously.
"This is where you live?"
Eren nodded. "Yeah. Pretty different from the city, huh?"
She nuzzled into the scarf around her neck, not bothering to respond. The truck pulled into the driveway of Rivaille's house and the three of them climbed out, Mikasa with a little bit of help from her older brother.
Tugging her along, Eren didn't miss the way Mikasa's eyes widened once she saw the inside of the house. He grinned at her. "Nice place, right?"
Rivaille turned away from the two and headed toward the kitchen. "I'm starving. You brats want me to make something?"
"I'm not sure..." Eren let his voice trail off as he eyed the younger girl. Mom and dad had mentioned she might not have much of an appetite. She frowned.
"I'm fine. I haven't eaten so I'm hungry."
Eren's eyes lit up. "Yeah, just make whatever - Actually, throw that frozen pizza in the oven!" he called back. "I'm gonna help Mikasa get situated in the spare room, and then we'll both come down."
Hearing a grunt in reply, Eren continued down the hallway to the guest room. Setting the suitcase down next to the bed, he gave a backwards glance to make sure Mikasa was still following him.
"Okay! This is it. Me and Rivaille sleep in that room right across the hall, and the bathroom is the next door down - Are you sure that this is enough stuff for a week? Because it's really light."
She sighed as he stared at the suitcase with a concerned face. "I'm fine." Moving towards the bed, she unwrapped the scarf from around her neck and laid it next to the pillow. "Your house is really clean."
"Ah, yeah, Rivaille's a huge clean freak."
Eren frowned at her. "What's wrong with you? You've been really quiet all this time, I thought you'd be more happy to see me." he looked defeated, and Mikasa's face switched from unamused to surprised.
"I-" she frowned, face softening. "I just.. Haven't seen you in a long time, and I missed you, but now everything is about that other guy, and..." she trailed off, suddenly looking ashamed. As if something occurred to him, Eren's mouth was formed into an almost-comical "o". He dropped down to his knees, meeting eye-level with Mikasa, and pulled her into a tight hug.
Wrapping his arms around her smaller body, his eyebrows furrowed. "I missed you too. So much that it hurt. But," he pulled away, grabbing her shoulders and looking her directly in the eye. "Rivaille isn't a replacement for you, okay?" he pecked her forehead. "Is that all?"
She looked off to the side. "I'm worried about you. That guy is suspicious."
Eren had to hold in a laugh at her comment. He nodded in understanding - it was only a few months ago that he would have completely agreed with that statement. He placed a hand on top of her head, giving a couple pats just for good measure.
"Mikasa, I haven't been as happy as I am right now since I lived with you and Mom and Dad. 'That man' gave me a job, you know?" he pulled her into another hug. "I wouldn't be able to see him if it weren't for you. You shouldn't worry about me, it's my job to worry about you. I'm the big brother."
"Yeah, but you're an idiot."
Eren tsk'd, faking a pained expression. "Your words wound me! But it's okay. I can still do this no matter how dumb I am." And with one smooth movement he scooped the girl into his arms, carrying her bridal style.
"To the kitchen!" he said, taking off down the hallway and skidding to a halt by the kitchen entrance. Rivaille turned around, eyebrow raised when he saw Mikasa's face.
"I didn't think sibling reunions usually involved traumatizing your sister."
And indeed, Mikasa had a wide-eyed look as she wrapped her arms around her brothers neck, clinging to the back of his shirt for dear life. Eren scoffed.
"I wasn't gonna drop you!" he said, setting her on a chair and pushing it in towards the table. She relaxed, looking thankful to be able to touch the ground again. He gave her an unamused look and turned toward Rivaille.
"Is it almost done?"
"Get the paper plates, brat. Unless you want to be doing dishes later."
"I'll pass." he replied, reaching for the paper plates stored in the cabinet as Rivaille pulled the pizza out of the oven. The older man gave the greasy food a look of disgust - but he was tired, and so was Eren, so cooking something less disgusting and messy could wait another day.
Once the pizza was served onto each paper plate and all 3 of them were seated at the table, Eren dug in. Biting into the pizza before it had time to cool, tears formed in his eyes as the cheese seared his tongue.
"Owth, ow, owwth..." he swore under his breath, and Rivaille rolled his eyes.
"Show some self-restraint." he grumbled, cutting up pieces of the pizza with a knife and fork. Eren frowned.
"I wath hungry, okay?" he stuck his tongue out in an attempt to look at the damage. Rivaille scowled at the scene, brows furrowing in disgust.
"You look like a dog. Put your tongue back in your mouth."
"It hurths though! Hey, can you thee anything-"
"Don't come over here with your tongue hanging out like that when I'm trying to eat!"
Mikasa watched from the other side of the table as the two men bickered, chewing idly on her slice of pizza. Finally, after much deliberation, she swallowed her piece of pizza and interrupted their squabble.
Her voice was quiet but loud enough to get both of them to stop and look at her. She locked eyes with Rivaille.
"Do you love my brother?"
The air around them seemed to still as Rivaille pursed his lips, leaving the question unanswered. After a few seconds of silence Eren coughed, desperate to clear the tense atmosphere.
"It's getting pretty late, so I think I'm gonna head to bed after I finish. Mikasa, I'll tuck you in too."
She stared back down at her plate without another word.
Light filtered in through the pristine window as there was a shuffling sound in the room. Rivaille cracked an eye open to see Eren shrugging on his police uniform.
"What're you doing?" he asked, groggy. It was a rare sight for Eren to get up before him, and even rarer to see him actually get ready without having to be told. Eren turned around, giving him a grin when he saw the older man was awake.
"I'm taking over your shift today." he answered. Rivaille blinked.
"Why?" he propped himself up, squinting against the harsh morning light coming in through the window. Eren gave him a sly smile, and he felt his heart squeeze. Stupid.
"Because you need to spend some time with Mikasa." he said, tightening his belt. Rivaille groaned.
"When did I agree to babysitting?" he asked, and Eren frowned at him.
"It's not babysitting. It's quality bonding time."
Flopping back onto the pillow, Rivaille stared up at the ceiling. He knew that Eren had a certain stubbornness about him, and there was no way he was getting out of this one. He'd probably had this planned all along.
Lifting his head up again to sneak another glance at Eren, he realized the younger man was staring at him. He arched a brow.
"Um," Eren started, "The question that Mikasa asked last night..." He trailed off, looking embarrassed, before quickly waving it off. "Never mind! Take her someplace cool, okay? Don't sit around the house. Show her around."
"What's around here that she'd want to see?" Rivaille questioned. Eren shrugged.
"Take her into the city and go shopping then. Okay, I'm headed off! Mikasa's already up. See you later!"
And then he was gone. Rivaille stayed in bed for a few minutes longer, pinching the bridge of his nose. Clearly there were bigger issues than having to spend the day with a seven-year old.
Throwing on some clothes, he shuffled toward the spare room where Mikasa was sure to be. Unsurprisingly that was where he found her, sitting on the bed and scribbling something in a notebook. He coughed loudly, catching her attention.
"Kid. We're leaving in five minutes."
She narrowed her eyes at him, and he gave her a blank stare. "I didn't say I'd go anywhere with you."
Rivaille shrugged. "Alright, I'm leaving in five minutes, and you're welcome to stay here but Eren wanted-"
"Fine." she flipped the book shut, tossing it into the open suitcase. Rivaille smirked to himself. Predictable.
She stalked past him, headed toward the front door. He followed behind her, pulling the door shut as they exited the house and giving her a boost to climb into Rivaille's truck.
The drive started out mostly silent, with Mikasa staring out the window and Rivaille watching the road and fiddling with the radio. She looked outside in semi-amazement at all the trees- in the city there was nothing like it, especially not growing so randomly. Finally, once she grew tired of staring idly at the various bare trees, she turned toward the older man.
"... Where are we going?"
He responded without taking his eyes off the road. "We're headed into the nearest city. To go to the mall."
She tilted her head to the side, letting curiosity overtake her aloof personality. "You don't seem like the shopping type." Rivaille let out a small laugh.
"And you don't seem the type to judge someone's hobbies, but I guess we've all got our vices." he replied, a small smirk playing on his lips. He had to admit, despite her clear dislike for him, he liked the girl. She had wit for her age, and a realistic view on things. Being around her it was easy to forget she was only seven; he wondered to himself if that was just her or if being that sickly tended to do that to a person.
She didn't seem to have a comeback for this, and sat quietly again, staring out the window. But soon the trees turned into grey buildings, and she ended up asking the inevitable question-
"Are we there yet?"
He wasn't one for long car rides either, but thankfully the ride to the city was only about 20 minutes. Rivaille gave a nod.
"As soon as we turn this corner."
He'd never seen a kid so interested in knives before.
"I can't let you get a pocket knife. For one, I'm a police officer and Policemen usually don't encourage small children to walk around with knives. For two, you might actually stab me with it so I'm not taking my chances."
Looking put-out, Mikasa placed the knife back where she found it.
"What's with that red scarf thing you always carry around?"
Almost instinctively, the young girl tugged on her scarf at the question. Sitting at the mall foodcourt, Mikasa took another bite of her icecream cone and looked to the side.
"My brother gave it to me."
Rivaille gave it a long glance, noting it did look rather worn out. It was no wonder; the girl wore it all the time.
"Before he left?"
He leaned back in his seat, watching Mikasa carefully. She was fiddling with the end of the scarf now, having finished the ice-cream cone and staring back at him with a bored look. Finally, he leaned forward again, his gray eyes locking with her brown ones.
"Do you hate me?" It was a blunt question, and her eyes flickered when he asked it. Mikasa furrowed her eyebrows, as if she was contemplating, and then shook her head.
"No," she paused for a moment, before continuing. "I thought you were suspicious at first. But... Eren told me that I wouldn't even be able to see him if it weren't for you." she glanced downwards, breaking away from Rivaille's gaze.
"Besides, today was... Fun. Kinda."
Rivaille couldn't hide his smirk. He stood up from the table, making a motion for Mikasa to follow. Her eyes widened in surprise at the sudden movement, hopping down from the chair and catching up to the older man as he took off.
"Where are we going?" she asked, finding it hard to keep up with Rivaille's quick steps. He hadn't been this enthusiastic the entire day. He grinned just slightly to himself, the edges of his mouth quirking upwards.
"One last stop."
"I don't get it." the young girl said honestly, standing next to Rivaille and staring into the glass case. Rings and necklaces and other shiny pieces of jewelry made of gold and silver were spread out evenly, displayed in a way that the light hit everything just right and it was almost painful to look at.
"I'm asking you to pick a ring, brat." he exhaled sharply. "Just tell me which one you like."
"For who?" she asked, eying a small ring with a ruby in the center behind the glass. She never was a big fan of jewelry, but the way the red stone sparkled caught her attention.
Following Mikasa's line of sight to the ring, Rivaille pointed to the piece of jewelry.
"That one." he said, waiting for the man behind the counter to hand over the silver band. He held it up, examining it, before turning back to the dark-haired girl.
"Give me your hand." he demanded, sighing when he saw the girl hesitate. "What do you think I'm going to do, cut off your finger? Just let me see it."
Slowly, she lifted her hand up. He grabbed her hand, slipping the ring on, before dropping down on one knee. Her eyes widened in confusion, but before she could say anything he cut her off.
"You asked me last night if I loved Eren, and this is my way of answering. People can talk a lot of talk and say those 3 words all they want, but I'd rather show. You've known him longer than I have, and you probably aren't aware of it but he thinks the world of you.
"I'm no sappy, sentimental person but your brother doesn't want to you to think that you're locked out of his heart just because I'm here. I'm not replacing you and that's what that ring is supposed to represent. What I'm asking here isn't for you to give him to me, but if you'd let me join your family and marry Eren. I promise, Mikasa, that I will make him happy."
The young girl stared at him, mouth slightly agape, before she realized that her vision was swimming from tears threatening to overflow. Swallowing roughly, she gave Rivaille a serious look.
"... Promise to keep him out of trouble?"
"I'll keep him in line. You have my word."
She bit her lip, staying silent for a moment, before sucking in a deep breath.
"Are you sure? He's kind of dumb, and he does stupid things all the time and he never thinks before he speaks or acts."
He had to hold back a chuckle at the girl's observation. "If I've dealt with him this long I can probably handle him for the rest of our lives."
"... I wanna be in the wedding."
Rivaille released her hand, setting his palm on top of her head. "Deal. But first, I need your help..."
"M-Mikasa, it's freezing out." Eren chattered as he walked along the edge of the beach, dragging a bit behind his younger sister. She turned around to glare at him.
"I want to see the ocean before I go back."
Eren sighed, exasperated. "B-But can't you see it from inside the h-house? Do we h-have to be outside for this?" he asked, shoving his hands in his coat pockets. Mikasa silenced him by giving him a dirty look, moving towards the bench that faced the sea. Winter gave the beach an almost washed-out color, making the bright blue of the ocean turn a darker shade and the overcast clouds seemed to change the atmosphere completely.
Pouting, Eren sat down next to her on the bench, still shivering. She tucked her nose into her scarf, thinking that Rivaille better show up soon, because she was about to shove him off this bench.
"Are you sure you should be out here though? I mean, your condition..." he whined again, and she sighed. If Rivaille didn't hurry up-
But just as she was thinking that, a McDonald's bag landed square in Eren's lap. He looked up in confusion, to see Rivaille standing to the side. Eren gave him a confused look.
"I'm not sure how much a bunch of freezing brats have to eat, but just accept it." he cut the younger off, moving in front of him. Eren looked down at the bag, frowning.
"Well, we could at least go back ho-" he cut off when he caught a glance of Mikasa, her eyes flashing menacingly. "-Or stay here. That's fine." he finished, quickly opening up the bag. His eyebrows knit together in confusion at the small black box sitting at the bottom. Curiously, he lifted it out-
And his eyes went wide. There was no way this was what it looked like. Just to confirm, he flipped the small velvet box open-
Even in his shock, he didn't miss Rivaille dropping to one knee in front of him. Taking a deep breath, the older man finally spoke.
"When I met you you were a lying weasel, and it's probably a good thing because I don't think I'd ever want to marry anyone with the name of Eremin, cheeky brat. I could tell you that I love you, but anyone could say that, so instead I'm offering to take care of you for the rest of your life. Eren, will you marry me?"
Eren looked from the ring in his hands, to Rivaille, and finally to Mikasa. Her expression was unreadable as always, with her scarf wrapped around her, but he could have sworn there was a mischievous gleam in her eye.
"... Were you part of this?" he directed the question at the girl, and she only gave him a large shrug, smirking under the scarf. Rivaille sighed sharply.
"Hurry up and answer, brat, before we both freeze our balls off."
Eren grinned at him, pulling the ring out of the box and sliding it onto his ring finger. He studied Rivaille for a second, before standing up from the bench and sucking in a deep breath. He'd probably pay for this later, but-
Grabbing onto his shirt, he pulled Rivaille up from the ground, bending down to reach him the rest of the way and press their lips together. Taken off guard at first, Rivaille finally pressed back into the kiss, hands snaking their way into Eren's hair. He slid his hands down to the small of Rivaille's back, bringing him in closer.
He wasn't sure how long it had been when a loud "Ah-hem" was heard from Mikasa's direction on the bench. Pulling away, Eren laughed at her deadpan face. His eyes flickered back to Rivaille's, who was a mix of breathless from the kiss and impatient for an answer. Eren smiled.
"That's a yes, by the way."
You are cordially invited
to share in Rivaille and Eren's Wedding Ceremony on
March 18th, 3:00PM,
At the beach in front of Rivaille's big ass house
A/N: Wow who let Jean write the invitations
THAT ASIDE WOW THIS IS THE FIRST MULTICHAPTER FIC I'VE EVER COMPLETELY FINISHED this chapter was really long and also really hard to write because how in the world do you write child Mikasa and the way that Eren and Rivaille would act around a child Mikasa, I just don't know. I guess I can just use that ever-golden excuse "WELL RIVAILLE HAS A SOFT SIDE TOO!"
But anyway wow, if you actually read all 4 chapters you just made me incredibly happy and I love you a lot. Thank all of you for reading!