Again, I have no excuse for updating late. I'm really sorry. =.=
Anyways, to those who reviewed chapter 14 ~ XwinterstormX, MercySummer, Diclonious57, MssCassandra, FORDGE, UltraPandaRoll, hijikata100, Chill8, Itachu, anita4869, darksky kristine26, MonkeyDAria, mamitsu27, Serenity Ma Sogni, Levisacooljagger, L Kagamine-sama, TheBigFatBear, Hikiri, OneLittleBlueJay, fluffykitty-san, Dorodorocatchan, RachelDanna, nonamae nonami 1, Chibi-tenshi808, YamakoDC, tamyyiia, BlackVelvetRose33, Guest (1), LaylaTheAngel, Guest (2) and Guest (3) ~ Thank you so much!
Disclaimer: I don't own Shingeki no Kyojin and sorry for Frozen references in here. I just love the movie. *^*
See You Later
"Levi... are you Rivaille-heichou?"
Levi let Eren's question brew for a moment as he pondered on what to say to the brunette. This is probably the most difficult question he'd been asked for the whole 18 years of his life. Though heaven knows how much he was hoping for that question to be asked by the brunette, he never actually thought that the day would come sooner than later.
But would it really do Eren good if he tell him the truth? Surely, telling the brunette who he really was would take off the heavy burden in his chest that's getting heavier and heavier since they met again.
Or would it just make him miserable? And guilty because of the fact that he couldn't remember Levi at all. That, he was though unconsciously, hurting the raven.
After all, what's more painful than having that only person you love forget about your existence completely?
"Levi-kun?" Eren's voice rang through the phone again when the raven didn't respond after a full minute. And Levi noted that the other's voice now had a tinge of worry in it.
"I don't know," were the words that came out of Levi's mouth before he could stop himself. He then let out a heavy but quiet sigh when he realized how stupid his answer was.
"Eh? You don't know? How come you don't know?" Eren asked, confusion in each and every layer of his voice.
Levi let out another heavy sigh. "What will you do if I tell you I'm Rivaille-heichou?" he asked back instead of answering the brunette's questions.
"I don't know."
"Eh?" Eren was taken aback by Levi's reply. He was expecting a yes or no answer, even a maybe, but not something like this. "You don't know? How come you don't know?" he asked, confused. Seriously, was 'I don't know' a possible answer?
Apparently, yes. It was.
He heard Levi sigh heavily on the opposite line before he spoke again. "What will you do if I tell you I'm Rivaille-heichou?"
Eren went silent at that. He never really thought what would he do if Levi did turn out to be the Rivaille-heichou he was looking for. All that mattered to him, when he decided to call the raven, was to ask and have him confirm his suspicions.
He stared at his palms for a moment as he contemplated on the question. Maybe he should've thought about everything first before he made the call. Him and his impulsiveness. "I... I don't know either," he answered reluctantly, turquoise orbs looking outside the window and into the night sky blanketed with stars. The sky is awake, he mused then he froze when something flashed in his mind.
"Heichou! Heichou!" he yelled as he ran to the corporal's office, not even bothering to knock.
"What, you shitty brat?" a cold voice snapped as a vague, small figure sat behind the desk, reading and signing documents to be submitted tomorrow. "And don't yell. It's already past midnight."
Eren squinted his eyes to see the man 's face clearly but couldn't. All he could make out was the black hair. Nevertheless, he shrugged. "Heichou, heichou, let's go outside! I have something to show you!" he said excitedly, like a child that was just given a shiny, new toy.
"I'm busy, brat and shouldn't you be asleep by now?" the man asked, still not bothering to look at the giddy brunette standing in front of his desk.
Eren huffed then he pouted, something that he wouldn't dare do if they were in public. But since it's just him and Heichou... "Who wants to sleep? The sky is awake so I'm awake so let's go out and play!"
"Tch, I'm too old for playing, brat," the man scoffed but he placed down the paper and pen he was holding, arranging them in a neat pile at the corner of his desk. He grabbed his coat as he stood up and Eren saw just how short he is. "I'll give you thirty minutes," he told the brunette. "Then after that, you go to bed."
Eren nodded enthusiastically as he let out a small squeal of delight. "Of course, Heichou! Come on, let's go outside!" He reached out and grabbed the man's hand, effortlessly pulling him outside.
"Tch, you're really a shitty brat, aren't you?"
"Eren? Are you still there?"
Eren blinked several times when he was brought back to the present. He pressed his index finger on his right temple to dull the small throbbing ache that was brought upon by the sudden flashback. That was a memory of his past life, right? "Sorry, Levi-kun. I just got distracted. The sky's awake tonight. It's beautiful, don't you think?"
"The sky's awake tonight. It's beautiful, don't you think?"
At first, Levi was weirded out with how Eren was talking about the sky as if it was a human being. The sky's awake? he mused as he got up from the bed and headed to the window. Looking up at the night sky, he saw that it was filled -almost covered -by stars glittering like diamonds and the northern lights hovering in different colours. A small smile then crept up to his lips when he finally realized what Eren meant.
"Who wants to sleep? The sky is awake so I'm awake so let's go out and play!"
The raven-haired male closed his eyes as he leaned his forehead against the windowpane, feeling its coldness against his skin. A feeling of nostalgia passed through him as he was being reminded of the past. Things were simpler in this life than in the past but he couldn't say that it was totally bad. There were things that made that titan-dominated life sort of bearable.
And Eren was in the very core of it.
"So what if the sky's awake, brat? You should best go to sleep for we have classes tomorrow," he said, curious as to how the brunette would react to his words. If he truly remembered at all.
"Nah, the sky's awake so I'm awake so let's go out and play!" Eren said on the opposite line, laughter in his voice, making Levi smile fully this time. "Come on, Levi-kun. Just for a few minutes?"
Not moving from his position against the windowpane, Levi closed his eyes and the image of the Eren he knew back then entered his mind. "You really are a shitty brat, aren't you?"
"Your shitty brat though."
"Smart-ass," Levi muttered, making Eren laugh on the opposite line. He smiled once more upon hearing the brunette's laughter. Admittedly, he love the sound very much. Back in the past, he rarely heard Eren laugh, as in a true laugh. It was always the maniacal, bordering on insane, laughter that he heard from the boy, unlike the one he's hearing right now.
It was music to his ears and he promised himself that he would do anything just to protect that laughter.
"Go to bed, Eren," he said as he pulled away from the window and headed back to bed. "I'm going to sleep now, too."
"Eh?!" Eren whined. "But what about playing outside?"
"Tch, what are you, a five-year-old? Maybe next time, brat," Levi said, totally relieved that the brunette seemed to have forgotten his original aim for calling.
"Okay, fine," Eren said dejectedly. "I'll hold you on to that. But Levi?"
"I'm going to remember you. Soon. I promise you that. Until then, please don't give up on me," the brunette said which made icy blue orbs widen in surprise. "Good night, Levi-kun." Then with that, he hung up.
Eren had long cut off their phone conversation but still, Levi just went on staring at the black gadget in his hand. Did he just heard what he thought he heard? Did Eren just promise he would remember him and soon?
A small chuckle left the raven's lips as he fell back down on his bed. Staring intently at the ceiling, his right hand went to his left side of the chest, feeling up his heart that was beating madly in his ribcage. Happiness was all he could feel at the moment. "Hurry up and remember me, brat."
"You think that Levi-senpai was Rivaille-heichou in the past?" Marco asked in clarification when Eren finished telling him and Jean about his and Levi's conversation on the phone last night. "How did you come up with such a conclusion, Eren?" the freckled-boy asked again before the brunette could answer his first question. "I'm just curious. You don't have to answer if you don't want to."
"Let me guess," Jean piped up when Eren began to open his mouth. The two other boys turned to look at him. "Rivaille-heichou visited you in your dreams and told you he's Levi-senpai?" he grinned mockingly, with the purpose of annoying the brunette even more.
Eren threw Jean a dirty look while Marco shook his head. Eren and Jean would really never change, would they? But no matter how troublesome these two could be, the freckled boy knew that he would never have it any other way. "Just ignore Jean, Eren. Did you happen to see Rivaille-heichou's face in your dreams or flashbacks?"
Eren shook his head. "No, both in my dreams and flashbacks, I never did once get to see Rivaille-heichou's face. He's always had his back to me," the brunette said then reluctantly, he added, "but his figure resembles like Levi-kun." Turquoise orbs then widened when he remembered something, making Jean and Marco to stare at him in curiousity. "I was wrong! I've seen Rivaille-heichou's face in one of my dreams and he seriously looks like Levi-kun!"
Jean stared at him wide-eyed while Marco had a small smile on his face. "That's a good sign, Eren. It means you're starting to remember him," he explained. "It was the same for me though it happened when I was a little kid. I remember things and events but couldn't see any of your faces then one day, I could see Jean's face clearly and I started to remember you guys one by one."
At this point, Jean was already blushing furiously while Eren laughed at his frienemy's flustered expression. "Oooohhhhh, Marco remembered you first, horse-face. Anything to say?" he teased.
"Fuck off, fool!" Jean yelled then he glared at Marco who laughed beside him. "Shut up, Marco!"
"Sorry, Jean." Marco tried his best to sound apologetic but failed because of the giggles that slipped past his lips. Jean grunted in annoyance as he crossed his arms and looked away from him. Clearing his throat, the freckled-boy turned back to Eren who looked as amused as he is. "I know a way to help you remember faster, Eren."
Eren's ears perked up at that while Jean looked at his best friend questioningly, silently asking him to explain. "What is it, Marco?" the brunette asked eagerly. At this rate, he would surely do anything just so he could make sure that Levi and Rivaille-heichou are one and the same.
"Hypnosis!" a deep yet obviously female voice suddenly yelled, making the three boys jump in surprise. Forcing themselves to look at the source of the voice and praying it wasn't a ghost (on Jean and Eren's case), they saw an ecstatic Hanji Zoe by the door. The brunette in glasses approached the three boys and dropped unceremoniously beside Eren. "Hypnosis could help you unlock the memories you're trying to remember, Eren. Memories not only from this life but from your past life or lives, too." she said then she smiled when Eren stared at her in disbelief.
"Y-You..." Eren was at loss for words as realization sunk in. "You're from my past life, too?!" he exclaimed then he looked at Jean and Marco for an explanation and confirmation of sorts.
Marco shrugged while Jean nodded. "Hanji-senpai was one of the higher-ranked officers of the Scouting Legion, Jaeger," the latter said. "She's the one who led the experimentations on the titans and on you, a titan-shifter, to understand their nature entirely." He then looked at the still grinning female beside Eren. "And I guess, it's safe to assume that she remembers the past, too."
"You're right about that!" Hanji exclaimed, jumping up in glee as she clasped Eren's hands in between her own. "Eren, I'm really happy to know that you're beginning to remember. Rivaille sure looked like he's gonna die in impatience of waiting for you to remember him." She then laughed when the boy looked at her in shock. "Pft! Of course I know Rivaille. Though I never told him I remember the past though."
"Who... Who is Rivaille-heichou, Hanji-senpai?" Eren asked breathlessly. Surely, if they could just tell him, he'll probably remember, right? After all, Rivaille was his lover.
"No, Eren. That wouldn't do," Hanji said while shaking her head, crushing Eren's hopes. "If we tell you who Rivaille is, it would just be meaningless. After all, what's the point of having you know him if you don't really remember anything or aren't sure of anything yet? It'll just hurt you and Rivaille even more."
"I agree with her, Jaeger," Jean said in agreement. "Though I don't care if you get hurt or something."
"You're such a tsundere, Jean," Marco said with a light giggle, making Hanji and Eren laugh. Jean blushed once more as he glared at the freckled boy.
"Stop teasing me, Marco!"
"You really sure you want to do this?"
Eren let out an impatient huff at Hanji's question. They were now at the lass' house -him, Jean and Marco -so Hanji could perform hypnosis on him. The lass in glasses wasn't the professional type -or if there were even professional hypnotists -but she claimed she knew a thing or two about that particular area. Being desperate, as if he was running on a deadline, Eren immediately decided to try hypnosis. Jean and Marco went along with them, worried about the brunette's welfare. "Just do it, Hanji," he said with patience lesser and lesser than before.
Hanji grinned as she nodded. "It's not empirically proven yet that hypnosis could actually help one remember locked memories but there are testimonies. And I, for one, experienced it." she said as she mentally prepared herself for what she's about to do later.
"You underwent hypnosis, too?" Marco asked, surprise in his voice.
Hanji nodded in confirmation. "Yes. I recalled about the past when I was seven and I began talking about it to my parents. They were about to send me to a shrink, thinking that I might be delusional or even crazy, when my aunt interfered. She performed hypnosis on me and that's when I was able to unlock the memories I was born with but couldn't fully fathom it." she explained.
Marco nodded slightly at Hanji's explanation and he couldn't help but empathise with the girl. He didn't miss how the brunette in glasses' eyes were tinged with sadness when she spoke about her parents thinking she was crazy and he felt something in his chest. He wasn't strange to such treatment. They were having a party back in middle school and just decided to do something crazy like spirit of the glass, tarot reading and even hypnosis. A friend of him did the hypnosis and Marco didn't thought that it would bring back memories of his past life that he didn't knew he have. When he told his friends about it, they gave him weird looks and called him crazy. Ever since then, he was left alone and sometimes bullied about it.
A pat on his back made the freckled teen look up. He got a bit surprised when he saw Jean looking concernedly at him. "You're not crazy, Marco. It doesn't matter what everybody says about you." he said.
"Yeah," Eren piped in as he went to lay down on the couch that Hanji directed him to. He gave Marco a grin when the latter looked at him. "I almost got sent to a shrink because of those memories and always got into fights. Don't let other people's opinions bother you, Marco. Those who matter to you won't care about those haphazard opinions."
"I agree," Hanji said as she pulled out a stool and sat on the side of the couch by Eren's head.
Marco smiled at his three friends as he nodded. "Thanks, guys," he said. Jean patted him on the shoulder.
Hanji let out another smile then she turned her attention back to Eren. "Are you sure you feel strong enough to begin now?" she asked seriously, like a doctor doing preliminary examinations on a fragile patient. "Rivaille would surely kill me if something happens to you so you better be honest with me."
Eren laughed a little at that. "Yes, yes, I am," he said as closed his eyes after loosening the collar of his shirt and removing his shoes. "Hurry up, Hanji. I want to remember Rivaille already."
Hanji chuckled as she covered Eren with a light blanket. "Okay, I will start now," she said as she sat back. Jean and Marco sat on the couch behind her, totally focused on her and Eren. "Are you quite comfortable?"
"Yes," Eren replied as he listened to Hanji shuffle a bit. Then he heard Marco and Jean gasp a little, making him curious. Opening his eyes, he stiffened when he saw Hanji pulling up a syringe filled with clear liquid. "W-What..." he began to get up but the girl pushed him back down.
"Don't worry, Eren, this is just a mild sedative," Hanji said as she rolled up the sleeve of Eren's uniform. "It'll help you relax."
"Are you sure?" Eren asked dubiously but he didn't do anything when the girl pricked his arm with the syringe. His turquoise orbs slowly began to close as the sedative began to kick in. "I didn't know... sedatives are being used... for hypnosis..." he mumbled, struggling to keep awake.
"It's an experiment of mine," Hanji said as she observed Eren's lax form on the couch. "Eren, don't fight it. Just let it go and relax," she gently coaxed when she noticed the boy trying his very best not to go to sleep.
"Mmm... Okay," Eren mumbled as he let himself slip away. Hanji's living room faded. It was dark and very warm and he felt like drifting away once more.
Hanji let out a noise of approval when she noticed that Eren was finally under. Pushing her glasses up to her nose, she sat straight on her stool. "Eren, I'm going to ask you some questions. It will be easy to answer them. You won't experience any pain or discomfort. You will just feel warm and very comfortable as if you're a feather floating against the wind. We will begin this morning. Tell me what did you do? Did you wake up late for school?"
Eren, in a very casual voice as if he was fully awake, told Hanji about his morning -from how he threw his alarm clock against the wall when it woke him up with its shrill tone to how he ended up telling Marco and Jean about his and Levi's conversation the night before. "It was really interesting though and it just fueled my own suspicion even more."
"What's interesting, Eren?"
"Levi-kun didn't confirm or deny my question if he was Rivaille-heichou," the brunette began. "In fact, he even humoured me about the sky being awake."
"And that fueled your suspicion?"
"And after your talk with Levi?"
"I went to watch the sky for a little bit longer until I got sleepy."
Jean and Marco watched and listened as Hanji brought Eren back in time to the day of his graduation in middle school, to the first time he's had his flashbacks, his huge fight with Mikasa, Armin and Jean, to his first day in prep school, even to his sixth birthday.
Eren Jaeger was by no means an ordinary boy. Hanji realized it as she listened to him. She was impressed with how vividly he could imagine his childhood memories as he regressed farther and farther into his childhood. It was fascinating to see this brash, young man, speak with the unclear, whiny speech pattern of a kid.
"Eren, let's go back a little bit more. In those dreams you've had, you said that they were very elaborate yet you tend to forget most of the details when you woke up, tell me, what's the most vivid image you could remember?"
"Rivaille-heichou," Eren murmured then he suddenly gasped as his turquoise orbs flew open, surprising the three other occupants in the room. "I lost control of my titan and Rivaille-heichou had to kill me! No!" he clenched the blanket tight, his unseeing eyes staring straight up at the ceiling. "H-Heichou..." the brunette sobbed, tears falling down his cheeks. "I... I promised Heichou I'd meet him in the next life but... but I'm scared..." he added, tears falling down faster and faster.
"Tell me what scares you, Eren."
Eren gasped once more as if he was unable to breathe. Jean acted like he was about to lunge and shake the other awake but Marco's firm hold on his arm made him stop. "It's alright, Jean," the freckled boy whispered.
"I... I can't..."
Eren was breathing in hard, quick gasps now, his sentences broken by his sobbing. "I... I don't want to... hurt Heichou... again..."
"Why? Why do you think you're hurting Rivaille?" Hanji pressed on.
"I've... I've hurted h-him b-back then..." Eren sobbed. "I... I think it's better if he... if he doesn't see me in... in this life at all..."
"Doesn't it hurt you, Eren?"
"Y-Yes, it hurts."
"And is that going to make you happy? By staying away from Rivaille?"
"N-No... B-But..." Eren stopped talking all at once then he began to weep like a child. "I'm sorry, Heichou..." he mumbled over and over again, his breathing becoming erratic. "P-Please don't hate me..."
"Hanji, you need to stop now," Marco said as he and Jean stared worriedly at Eren who was trembling and weeping on the couch, repeating his words over and over again. The two of them were surprised at the revelation -that Eren was unconsciously blocking out everything about Rivaille, so he couldn't, according to him, hurt the raven once more.
Hanji nodded in agreement. "We'll stop now," she said as he touched Eren's hand. "Eren, you're going to wake up now. You'll feel refreshed and well rested. And you will remember everything you told me."
Instantly, the sound of Eren's weeping died out and the brunette opened his eyes, confused for a moment then his eyes widened as he sat up. "Did I... Did I really think that?" he asked, looking straight at Hanji for any enlightenment.
Hanji nodded, totally aware of what Eren was asking about. "Yes, you might actually want to remember Rivaille but somehow, the inner part of you restrains you to do so," she explained then she smiled at the brunette. "Don't look so down, Eren. We learned something today. You just have to make amends with yourself, try to reflect how you really felt about remembering Rivaille. I think that's the only way to have you remember him. Have the courage to face your fear. Don't worry, we're all here for you."
Eren let out a small but nevertheless real smile at Hanji's words. "I'll do my very best, Hanji. Thanks," he said then he turned to Jean and Marco. "Thanks, guys."
"Anytime, Eren," Marco replied with a smile.
"Tch," Jean scoffed as he turned to look away from his frienemy. "You looked like a fool back there."
"Hahaha!" Hanji laughed as she slapped Eren and Jean on their backs vigorously, leaving the two spluttering. "Some things never really do change after all."
"The sky's awake so I'm awake so let's play!" Eren exclaimed as he dragged a short, raven-haired male out of the castle where they were currently using as headquarters.
"Tch," the older but shorter male grunted but he just let himself be dragged around by the brunette. "You're too old to play games, brat."
"But you still call me brat!"
"Because you are one."
"Hmpf!" The brunette pouted as he crossed his arms on his chest only to whine a few seconds later after he was whacked by the small raven. "That hurts, Rivaille!"
"Serves you right," Rivaille said as he sat on the grass, not caring if the ground made his uniform dirty.
Eren sat beside the raven then he proceeded to lie down so he could stare better at the night sky. With his arms tucked under his head, he turned to look at the man beside him. "Say, Rivaille, do you believe in reincarnation?" he asked.
"No," was the raven's blunt reply, making the brunette pout again.
"How killjoy," Eren muttered then he laughed when Rivaille glared at him. Then he turned serious. "I believe in reincarnation. I firmly believe that we'll get to be reborn in a life where there are no titans and just us, everyone, having a good life -one that we never really have here." He smiled then he got Rivaille's hand in his and held onto it tight, letting their fingers intertwine. "And we'll find each other again and love each other forever."
"You're really a shitty brat," Rivaille said after a few moments of silence. He cracked a smile when Eren rolled his eyes at him. "I'll find you, shitty brat. Wherever you are, I'll find you and when I do, I won't let you go."
"In the next life?"
"Even here, in this life," Rivaille said which made Eren blush. He let out an uncharacteristic chuckle before he dipped down his head and kissed his lover on the lips passionately.
Eren opened his eyes and saw Mikasa hovering over him. He sat up and looked around, realizing that they were at the back of the school, under the mango tree where he fell asleep. "Yeah?" Did he just dreamt about Rivaille-heichou and their promise again? If that was correct, he'd promised Rivaille two times already.
And that promise needed to be fulfilled.
"Eren, why are you crying?" Mikasa asked worriedly, effectively pulling the brunette out of his thoughts.
"Huh?" Eren mumbled as he reached out and touched his cheek, feeling the tips of his fingers getting wet. Was he crying in his sleep?
Then suddenly, nostalgia hit him as a series of memories flashed in his mind -Mikasa waking him up, the two of them gathering firewood, the Colossal titan appearing for the first time, his mother getting eaten by a titan, his father injecting something in him, them joining the military then the Scouting Legion and then...
And then that time where Rivaille-heichou saved him, Mikasa and Armin from a titan right after his second time shifting into one.
He looked up and watched that man, with his back to him, his cape fluttering against the wind, giving off the illusion of him having wings. The man with the double blades, coated in titan blood -Lance Corporal Rivaille, Humanity's Strongest Soldier.
"Eren...?" Eren could hear Mikasa's worried queries but she seemed far away from him and he couldn't really focus. Heck, he couldn't even see her. All he could see right now was the man with his back to him -Rivaille-heichou. Turn around and face me, he silently urged.
Then as if heeding to his silent command, the man turned his head, just enough for Eren to see ice blue orbs. "Tch, wake up, brat. It's time you remember me."
Eren blinked several times as he snapped up his head to see Mikasa looking worriedly at him. "Mikasa..." he mumbled, tears falling down his cheeks again. Damn, he's doing a lot of crying these past few days, wasn't he?
"Stop butting into someone else's business, shitty glasses," Levi muttered in annoyance when Hanji told him about what she and Eren did yesterday. Well, she told him after she revealed to him about her memories of the past. "You're still annoying."
Instead of getting insulted, Hanji just laughed at him. "But I know you're curious, Rivai," she teased, calling him of her pet name for him in the past.
"Shut up," Levi snapped then he stood up and went to the door. "Don't force Eren into doing anything that he doesn't want to. Let him do things as he pleases. I think he earned that after a life of doing things against his will."
The two of them fell silent when they remembered how Eren, as a titan shifter, was forced to undergo experiments and offer up his life and freedom to humanity, only to have humanity tear him apart. Levi clenched his fist unconsciously at that thought. "I'm leaving first. Tell Irvin to send me the email later." He was about to leave when Hanji called him again. "What now?"
"Eren really wanted to be with you, Levi. He's just scared. Don't give up on him, okay?" the brunette in glasses said with a sympathetic smile on her face.
Levi grunted at that. "No need to tell me, Hanji. I'd give up everything, even my life, but there's no way I would give up on that brat. It's a promise."
* Sorry about the hypnosis thing if something's wrong. Not really familiar with it.
** This fic's almost at its end. Just 2 or 3 chapters more. Thanks for supporting it up until here! :)