A/N :So, this is my little side-project to satisfy my need to write Mikaere romance as well as to provide myself with more writing practice. My main fic is Tears of a Titan, which is also Mikaere, but since I'm following the serious and dark tone of the manga with that fic, it's going to be a while before there's any explicit romance in that story. Too many characters to develop, too many themes and sub-plots to explore, which is fun in its own right, but I need Mikasa and Eren love NOW. :P So this will be my outlet for that. This story won't be very long, as I don't want to divide my attention between the two fics for too long.
I borrowed the basic premise of this story from the movie 'Taiyou no Uta' a.k.a. 'Midnight Sun'.
Music is going to be a an important part of this story. I'm gonna name each chapter after a song. Who knows, maybe you'll like the music I listen to? :)
This first song is by Carissa's Wierd, my second favorite band of all time. You didn't read it wrong, they spelled it as 'Wierd' on purpose.
Track 1 - Halfway Spoken Heart That Finds Comfort in Everything Until it Disappears Then it's Gone
For most people, the day begins in the morning and ends at night.
But not for Eren Jaeger.
The alarm clock at his bedside rang at 8:45 p.m. on what was to be the most important night of his life, though he did not know it at the time. To him, it was just like every other night : cold, dark, and lonely. All over town, people were having their dinners, preparing to wind down the day and wait for the next one. But Eren had only just woken up, or rather, been woken up by that infernal contraption beside him. Still half-asleep, he reached his hand out to switch it off, blindly feeling for it with pale, clammy fingers. He accidentally pushed it over the side of the end-table instead, sending the device falling onto the floor with a loud clang.
"God dammit," Eren mumbled as he forced himself up from his bed. The clock continued to cry out annoyingly as he stumbled towards it, like some puny human screaming helplessly in the face of an approaching titan. Grabbing the poor victim in his hands, he killed it off by pushing the snooze button on the top of its head, silencing it. The ringing in the room stopped, but the noise in his skull didn't. Massaging his aching head with one hand, he walked over to the window and pulled the specially made reflective window blinds up. He felt a winter wind blow into the room as he gazed out into the town. At night, the lights from hundreds of buildings dotted the dark landscape, a sub-par imitation of the starry sky above, yet beautiful in its own way. That was his world : dark and peaceful, yet lonely. So unbearably lonely.
Of course, he didn't have the time to contemplate his miserable existence. He had a gig to get to. As quickly as he could, Eren went through his 'morning rituals' : brushing his teeth, getting dressed and making himself a sandwich with plain margarine (jams were a luxury that he usually only indulged in every once in a while). Being a struggling musician wasn't exactly a glamorous lifestyle, but he managed to scrape by. The only things of any real value that he owned were his guitar, his phone which he used mainly as a music player, and his earphones. Sound quality was the one thing that he would never compromise, regardless of how many days he had to starve to save up the money for it. Because to him, music was everything. Only music could keep the silence at bay.
He was feeling a little sluggish tonight, and it took him a lot longer than he normally did to get ready. Realizing that he was going to be late if he didn't hurry up, Eren quickly swallowed the last bite of his rather plain sandwich and grabbed his guitar from his room. His apartment wasn't very big, with just a small living space that doubled as a kitchen, a narrow bedroom and a bathroom that needed some serious cleaning.
Outside his home, he ran into Mr. Hannes who was returning from work.
"Eren! Got a show tonight?" he asked the moment he saw the guitar-bearing boy.
"Yeah," Eren replied, giving the older man a wide berth. He could smell the stench of alcohol in his breath and it disgusted him. "You're drunk, aren't you? Figures."
"What's wrong with a little drink at the end of a long day? I put in a long shift at the site today, and the sun was hot as holy hell! I just decided to cool myself off with a beer or two, that's all! You're lucky that you don't have to face that giant fireball in the sky!" Hannes exclaimed, his face as red as a beet root.
"Whatever. I've gotta go, old man. Stop drinking yourself to death!" Eren said angrily before storming down the cramped hallway towards the elevators.
"Wait a minute, Eren! Hey, I didn't mean that," the drunkard called out to the seething young man, realizing too late that what he had said was unintentionally hurtful. Unfortunately, the boy never heard his neighbor's apologetic words, so quickly did he enter one of the open elevators and closed the doors behind him.
Once outside the building, Eren took his maroon colored scarf out of his bag and wrapped it around his face before heading off in the direction of town at a brisk pace. His flat was just a fifteen minute walk away from the entertainment district where the bistro he was supposed to play at was, so he could still make it if he hurried. It was windy tonight, the biting cold chipping away at his skin mercilessly as he made his way towards the bridge that separated his side of town from the side that he was going to. It was cold, but he barely felt it, so preoccupied he was with Hannes' words.
Damn that old man, he thought as he had a real love-hate relationship with his drink-loving elder, though he probably wouldn't admit to having any love for the man. Living directly opposite to him, it was inevitable that they would bump into each other often. Loathe as he was to admit it, Hannes was probably the closest thing to a real friend that he had. The man was good natured and kind enough, though very irresponsible and too much of an alcoholic for Eren's liking. He always felt bitter that people who didn't have to suffer his curse would waste their lives away with booze and other pointless activities. Even so, Hannes was probably the only man he'd trust in an emergency. Not that they were close, per se. They barely ever interacted with each other outside of the times when they crossed paths in the hallway.
Hannes' drunkenness wasn't what made him angry though. It was his clumsy words, spoken so carelessly. The old man probably didn't mean it, but Eren never liked being reminded of his condition. Ever since he was born, he suffered from a disease called xeroderma pigmentosum, or XP. It was a skin condition that made the ultraviolet rays of the sun potentially lethal to him. This was his wall. A wall that separated him from the normal life that he so desperately craved. He'd lived his life in the darkness for as long as he could remember, and friends were hard to come by in the dead of night. Sure, he could still meet people, but being nocturnal wasn't exactly conducive to making long-lasting friendships. Coupled with his overly blunt personality, Eren's life inevitably became a lonely one. That was why he tried to lose himself in his music. Because in the cold, cold night, no one was there to chase away the silence.
But that was his life, and he had to accept it whether he liked it or not. And so, he forgot all of that for the moment and arrived at the bistro just in time to perform his set. It was a modest crowd, and they barely even paid any attention to him, most of them more focused on their food and conversation than the young man serenading them with a variety of pop songs on stage. Not that Eren liked pop songs. He listened to a wide variety of genres, but pop was one of his least favorite. Pop sells though, so he had to perform such songs if he wanted to make a living. He was lucky to even get a gig. Most nights he had to busk around the entertainment district, which made for a pretty unstable source of revenue.
So, he did his work at the bistro, got paid, and then he went busking for some extra cash. Of course, those were not the things that made this the most important night in his life. It was on his way back home that night when he encountered an event that would change his life forever. Normally, he would have had his earphones on, blasting his favorite music as he walked home to escape the sunrise, but he'd left them at home, so he had to content himself with the sound of crickets as he approached the bridge he'd taken on the way into town.
Some distance from the bridge, the sound of a crying girl pierced the quiet. Eren looked up to see a silhouette balancing precariously atop the hand-rail of the bridge.
"Holy- What do you think you're doing?" he exclaimed, running up to the girl, though he didn't go right up to her for fear of causing her to dive into the freezing waters of the river below.
The girl didn't answer him. She didn't even look his way. All she did was cry as she rocked back and forth ever so slightly on her dangerous perch, completely disregarding Eren's presence.
"Hey! Answer me!" Eren said, a little more firmly than most people would have dared when faced with such a situation.
There was a short pause before she finally started to say something. "It's just so hard," she muttered between sobs, her whole body trembling violently in the face of the cold winter winds.
She must be freezing, Eren thought when he noticed that she was only wearing a simple blouse and a long dress.
"What's so hard?" he asked, inching a little closer to her in as subtle a fashion as he could so that he could try and grab her if things went awry.
"I want them back. Mom... dad... The world. It's so callous. So cruel," she continued tearfully. Eren noticed that she had a strange accent that he couldn't really decipher because of her crying. It seemed Asian. Japanese, maybe?
Eren wanted to feel sympathy for her, but instead, he felt somewhat annoyed. Perhaps it was a result of living such a lonely life for so many years, but he always felt that people who chose to commit suicide were not deserving of pity. Just like the blackboard nights dotted with chalk stars that he lived under, his world was black and white in the extreme. People who chose the coward's way out were just that, to him. Cowards. Unappreciative of their lives that were free from the restrictions that he was unfairly placed under. Of course, he'd never actually met someone on the verge of ending their own life, so he didn't know what he'd truly feel if he actually found himself in such a situation. He knew that he didn't want to see the girl die – he wasn't a monster, after all – but he couldn't help but feel irritated by her weakness.
"So you're just going to kill yourself?" Eren yelled, his tone a frustrated one. "You're going to kill yourself just because your life is hard? It's a good thing that I'm not you then, cos then I'd have killed myself the moment I was fucking born!"
Startled by his sudden outburst, the young girl turned to look at him, showing Eren her face for the first time. Her skin was pale from being out in the cold for so long, and her cheeks were stained with tears, but she was a very pretty girl, and he couldn't tell if it was his outrage at her apparent desire to commit suicide or her attractiveness that was making his face red with heat. He suspected that it was a little bit of both. Her hair was jet black and long, a perfect match for the flowing dress that she wore, and her eyes were a dull grey, yet in the moonlight, they shined with a strange brilliance that Eren had never seen before in his life. He didn't know for sure, but her features seemed somewhat Asian to him. She opened her mouth as if to say something, but Eren cut her off with his own words.
"Don't you think your parents would be sad if you went and offed yourself? Don't you think it's such a waste you just throw your whole life away when there are others who couldn't live a normal life even if they wanted to? If life wants to fuck with you, then fight!"
"Fight?" the girl said, her voice quivering as she tried to stop her sobbing.
"Yes! Fight! If you don't fight, you don't stand a single chance to win!" Eren continued, raising his voice as he did so. "There's so much left in this world for you! If you don't fight, then you're just throwing that all away! I can't lead a normal life, but you can! So you better fucking fight to survive, or I'm gonna be pissed, cos you'll be throwing away everything I've always wanted!"
Dumbfounded, the girl simply stared at this strange young man. Why was he getting angry at her for wanting to throw her own life away? Why did it matter to him? And yet, his fiery words had calmed her. She had stopped crying.
"So, are you going to get down from there or what? Um-" he said, a bit more gently this time now that he'd gotten the anger out of his system. It was only then that he suddenly realized how nervous being near the girl made him.
"Mikasa," she said, finally getting down from the railing. She didn't dare look him in the eyes. All she did was stare at her feet, unsure of what to do next.
"Yeah," Eren replied, somewhat at a loss as to what to say. The silence that ensued was awkward, to say the least. It felt like ages since he'd last talked to a girl alone like this. To his surprise, he noticed that his heart was beating at an outrageously fast pace as he approached the girl. He felt his body tense up as he stood before her, and when she suddenly sneezed without warning, he almost jumped out of his socks.
"You must be really cold," he said, taking his scarf off and wrapping it around the shivering girl's neck. "Here. My mom made it for me. Well, I mean, she's dead now, but- Um, I'm sorry, I don't know why I said that."
"No, it's okay," Mikasa said, her cheeks turning a bright shade red as she looked up and met his gaze. She felt her heart shut down for a second when she saw his strong and determined eyes, emerald green orbs that shined brilliantly in the warm twilight.
Eren wanted to say more to the girl, but his breath caught in his throat when he noticed the yellow and orange glint of sunlight peeking over the horizon.
"Oh, fuck," he muttered under his breath, an expression of dread washing over his features. He immediately turned around and made a break for home.
"Wait!" Mikasa cried. "Your scarf!"
"Keep it!" Eren yelled back as he ran off.
"Wait!" she called out as she tried to chase after him, but he was running too fast for her. "What's your name?" she yelled, but he was already out of earshot.
Eren made it back into the safety of his building in the nick of time. A few seconds later and he'd have been exposed to the sunlight. He was doubled over at the lobby, panting heavily, when he ran into Hannes again.
"What's wrong, boy? Owe people money?" he joked when he saw the exhausted boy.
"More like I nearly died," Eren replied, not really in the mood for his humor.
"Same thing, isn't it?" Hannes said with a light chuckle. "Hey, listen. About last night, I-"
"Yeah, yeah, I get it. Go to work man, I can take care of myself."
With a sigh, the older man placed a hand on Eren's shoulder and squeezed it before leaving him to go to work.
When Eren got back to his apartment, he immediately dropped all his stuff on the floor and pulled out a book from his backpack. It was his very own little inspiration journal, where he would scribble any ideas or just anything that inspired him in general, be it dialogue from a movie, lines from a poem, or lyrics from a song, besides his own original work.
Flipping to a blank page, he pulled out a pencil and put it to the paper, only to realize that he didn't know what to write. Eren put the book and the writing utensil down on his desk and took a deep breath to collect his thoughts. He'd nearly died not too long ago, but all he could think about right now was Mikasa.
Damn it, why did the sun have to come up just then? Fuck. I hope she's alright. What if she went and jumped anyway after I left?
His fingers reached instinctively for his neck to pull his scarf off, only to feel the bare skin of his throat. That's right! She still has my scarf!
It may be hard to believe, but Eren had never felt more helpless due to his disease than at that particular moment. He wanted so badly to run out and look for the girl, but he was trapped. In the daytime, his home was like his prison : four walls separating him from the outside world. So he sat there alone, and for the first time in a long while, he found himself hoping for someone to come and break him out. He thought that he'd learned to give up on hope long ago, but the feeling came to him unbidden. With a whole plethora of emotions racing through his head in a chaotic jumble, he decided to listen to some music to collect his thoughts, quickly fishing his earphones out of his bedside drawer. Putting the music player on shuffle, a Carissa's Wierd song came up, fitting his mood perfectly.
'Hoping that the warmth of snow will bring comfort with its grey,' sang the singer in the song, the softness of his voice enchanting in its overt melancholy. 'False light will glow from the lamp. I will shade to hide your pale face.'
The song chased the silence away from the room, filling Eren with calmness as he closed his eyes to absorb every bit of it. This was his element. Music, the medium of emotion. Every beat on the snare, every note on the guitar riff, every word and every syllable that the singer uttered. To him, this was the only thing that made sense in the world.
Opening his eyes, Eren picked up his pencil and wrote the date on the blank page : 4th of August.
He stopped a moment to think before writing on the paper.
A halfway spoken
heart, caught in the winter night.
Mikasa, her name.
It was a haiku, short and sweet. He didn't even know whether he had spelled her name correctly or not, but it was his effort to capture the moment while it was still white hot his memory. He sincerely hoped that Mikasa was alright, but there was nothing he could do to know for sure. Resigned, he put his things away and got into his bed, too tired to stay awake any longer. His life was hard enough without having to worry about some suicidal stranger, so he tried to push it out of his mind as he started to drift off to sleep, but try as he may, it was an event which he wouldn't forget for as long as he lived. It was the most important night of his life, after all, though he didn't know it yet.
Thanks for reading! Please review. :D