Author's Note:

I guess I just like to ship Levi with everyone? Ahaha, but seriously he holds a dear place in my heart, and Mikasa was the first character from SnK I fell in love with. So here's this because I think their dynamic would be interesting if explored further but I'm also too much of a wimp to do it in the SnK universe. So have this cute and fluffy AU instead.

Afternoon Coffee
a Shingeki no Kyojin/Attack on Titan (© Isayama Hajime) fanfiction

"black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love"
- the recipe for coffee

"He's here again."

"Who's here again?" Eren asks, peering over the counter to follow his adopted sister's stare.

"The one who always orders black coffee and nothing else." The subject of their scrutiny sits in the corner of their family's tiny café, the day's newspaper laid out in front of him and the small white china beside it. He's dressed in his usual business attire: black slacks, white button-up, silk cravat. Everything about him is pristine, from the neatly combed side-part of his hair to the polished shoes on his feet to the buttons on his cuffs. Something about him, Eren thinks, screams "clean freak."

"Well, a lot of our customers are frequent customers," Eren rationalizes. There's a look of suspicion in her narrowed eyes that he doesn't quite understand, and that he's sure he doesn't want to. "And a lot of them order the same thing. Most people don't like changing what they already like."

She doesn't look convinced. Mikasa watches the stranger drink his coffee and read his daily news for a moment longer before stoically declaring, "I think he likes you."

Eren chokes on his own spit. "What!?" His eyes dart between Mikasa and the dark-haired male, who continues calmly sipping at his drink, seemingly oblivious to his role in their conversation. "Are you crazy?"

The sudden darkness that crosses her face tells him, much to his mortification, that she is serious. "He looks over here a lot," she says. Sure enough, at that moment, the man's eyes move over to their conspicuous position behind the counter, and while Eren quickly ducks Mikasa has never been one for subtlety. She catches his gaze with a hard glare, holding it until he returns it to the newspaper. There's a slight upward tilt to his lips. "Hm."

"Hm? 'Hm' is all you have to say?" Eren hisses. "He knows you're talking about him!"

"He's not being very discrete, either."

"I've never seen him look at me once!"

"That's because you're always staring at Armin."


Armin pokes his head out from the kitchen and looks over to the counter, where he finds a red-faced Eren squatting on the ground and the ever calm Mikasa looking down at him. "Hey, guys." Eren yelps, spluttering and even more red, which makes Armin think that he's caught them in the middle of one of their plots. Mikasa's poker face, however, is as hard to decipher as ever. "I think the customer at table seven needs some help."

Immediately Mikasa's eyes go to the man who started all this trouble. "I'll handle this," she says, and Eren's too busy flailing on the ground to protest anyway. She strides up to table seven with her notepad and pen in hand, though the way she hovers over him feels more like she's going to interrogate him than ask if he wants a scone. "Can I help you?"

"Another coffee. Black," is all he says. He doesn't otherwise look up at or acknowledge her.

"Of course," she thinks as she jots it down in quick, barely legible handwriting, "he wanted Eren to take his order." She takes an extra moment to leer at him up close. "Our black coffee isn't that good. Why's he coming in every day to buy a three dollar cup of something he can buy in bulk at the supermarket? He must have ulterior motives."

Table Seven clears his throat, very aware of the way her eyes are trying to pierce through him. "Excuse me," (his eyes linger on the name tag attached to her scarf), "Mikasa Ackerman. Do you need help?"

"No, Sir," she replies. She notes, at the very back of her mind, that she doesn't like the way he says her name. "I'll be right out with that." Mikasa returns to her place behind the counter to retrieve the coffee, and lightly nudges Eren with her elbow. "I've done a little more research," she says, completely serious, "and he likes you."

Eren slaps a hand to his face. "Please, not this again..." While she prepares the new cup, he glances over his shoulder just in time to catch Table Seven's lingering gaze in their direction. Eren turns forward with a thoughtful expression. For someone so naturally gifted and intelligent, Mikasa's slow on the uptake.

"Table Seven's here again."

"Mikasa," Eren pleads, "I don't think you understand."

Armin, who's on break, catches the end of their conversation. "Who's Table Seven?" he asks. He follows the siblings' stares to the man in the cravat, who's drinking his black coffee and reading the DWI section. "Oh, he's been coming in a lot, hasn't he?"

"He likes Eren," Mikasa states.

While Armin's eyes widen, Eren desperately tries to clamp his hands over her mouth. "Don't go around saying that!" Eren snaps. "She's just saying that off a hunch. A hunch that's wrong. She's been spending too much time in here and the fumes from the coffee beans are getting to her."

Armin, choosing to give Mikasa the benefit of the doubt, turns to her with a weary smile. "Why do you think he likes Eren?"

"Ugh, don't support this, please..."

"He looks over here every day," she explains. "He stares at Eren. I can tell."

"How can you tell?" Eren asks, exasperated. "He has the same look on his face every day." He narrows his eyes and pulls on the skin beneath them, trying to imitate Table Seven's usual placid glower. "Besides, you're always standing next to me. How do you know he isn't staring at you?"

"I just know," she insists.

Eren and Armin exchange a look, with the former hoping for some kind of help and the latter understanding. "Well..." Armin observes Table Seven (and thinks that, surely, he must know the commotion he's causing behind the counter) with curiosity. "Maybe you should go find out. Ah, it looks like he's asking for something anyway. Why don't you go, Mikasa?"

"But he likes Eren," Mikasa says, and Eren flails.

"But you're the investigator here," Armin protests. "And you've got a better eye for this than either of us, anyway. Maybe with your help, Eren will have a date by the end of the day!" On top of looking like the mass of the world has been thrown upon him, Eren also looks like he actually wants to kill the blond.

With an affirmative nod, Mikasa walks over to Table Seven.

"Armin!" Eren hisses, grabbing his arm. "What the hell!?"

"J-just watch, Eren! I promise, it'll all make sense," Armin replies.

Mikasa comes back shortly, this time with a napkin in hand. "I think this is for you," she says simply, dropping it in Eren's hand. Scribbled right in the center of the napkin is a set of digits, with the name "Levi" written under it. Eren continues to gawk at it, even after she disappears behind the door to find clean china.

Armin, suddenly hopeless, sighs. "Well, it makes sense to everyone but her..."

"Mikasa," Eren calls from the other side of the café, which is unusually busy for a Wednesday afternoon, "table seven."

Mikasa rushes over to the table, her feet and back already aching from all the running. "It's busy today," Levi comments.

"One of the nearby companies let out early for lunch," she says, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear. "Do you want the usual?"

His eyebrows raise, in a mixture of surprise and amusement, before he nods. "Yes. Just the usual." As she turns to get his order, he calls out her name. "About the napkin—"

"Don't worry," she cuts in, "I gave it to him."

The smile she wears is beautiful, but not enough to distract him from her words. Confusion writes itself across his face. "Wait, wha—?"

"Mikasa!" Armin yells from the kitchen. "Can you get tables thirteen and five? Eren's still making the coffee for eight!"

"Excuse me." She bows, still smiling, then trots off to the other tables.

"He's still here," Armin points out. "Levi of Table Seven. It's been four hours."

"I think he's upset because you haven't called him," Mikasa tells Eren.

Eren stares at her like she's delirious, and he's starting to think she actually is. "Mikasa," he says, with as much patience as he can muster, "I really don't think you understand."

"He's getting ready to leave," Armin observes. "Mikasa, why don't you ask if he wants anything else and give him his check?"

"But Eren should—"

Armin suddenly takes Eren's arm, tugging him towards the backroom. "Eren has to help me restock the coffee," he says quickly, oblivious to the brunet's blush. "It got really, really busy today, and I think we're starting to run low. We should do it before the night shift comes, or else we'll never hear the end of it!"

Mikasa blinks when Armin swiftly pulls Eren around the corner, but shrugs and goes on anyway. "Ah, it's you," Levi says as he folds up his newspaper. "I'm ready for my check."

She nods as she flips through the notebook to find his orders. "Five coffees and a scone...? Well, he's been here for several hours." Mikasa quickly calculates the price, faintly aware of his eyes on her. "Here," she says, handing the small slip to him.

He takes it with the faintest hint of a smile. "Thank you, Mikasa Ackerman." She wants to remark that the way he says her name is too familiar and that they're not friends, but the foreign expression on his face strikes her. He pulls out some cash to cover the bill and tip, but pauses before giving it to her. "Earlier, I was talking to you about the napkin. You said that you gave it to him."

Though it's a statement, she can sense the question behind it. "Yes," she confirms. His confusion stirs thoughts of bewilderment within her as well. "I gave it to Eren. Isn't that what you...?"

"To the kid you're always running around with?"

The absolute incredulity in his tone, as well as everything that Eren and Armin have been saying for the past couple of days, raises a pink flush of embarrassment to her cheeks. "Y-yes," she answers, not as confidently as before.

"Wait. You think I'm interested in him?"

The pink turns bright red, and Mikasa desperately tries to cover it with her scarf. "Yes...?"

The look on his face suggests that he's caught between being disgusted and laughing at the entire matter. Levi doesn't say anything for a while, leaving Mikasa to try to sink into her scarf and the floor all at once. In end, he simply says, "You."

She blinks. "Huh?"

"You," he repeats. "The one I'm interested in is you. The napkin was for you."

"Oh." Realization sinks in fully, her eyes widening and her teeth biting down on her lower lip. "Oh."

Chuckling, Levi stands up and takes her hand. As she stutters, trying to retract it without actually trying, he unfolds her trembling fingers and places the money in her palm. "I have to go to a meeting now. I'll see you tomorrow, the usual." He pulls away to pick up his suitcase and drape his blazer over his arm, though he doesn't leave immediately, instead standing just several inches away from her. Still embarrassed, Mikasa can't bring herself to look him in the eye. "Don't worry, Mikasa Ackerman," he says, his quiet laugh giving her enough courage to raise her gaze to his face, "we're all prone to misunderstandings." With one last, long look, Levi turns on his heel and exits.

Dumbstruck, Mikasa returns to the other side of the counter, where Eren and Armin are waiting for her. Before she can say anything, Eren withdraws the neatly folded napkin from his wallet and lays it out in front of her. Smug, he says, "I think this is for you."