A/N: Hey there people...
So I got hooked on Shingeki no Kyojin fanficition last month and finally decided to make my own~ ^O^
This story will be a very loosely based version of the The Little Mermaid, both the Disney film and the original story, set in a somewhat modern AU.
Unfortunately, there will be no talking animals. )X Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Sebastian, but I don't think I'll be able to write them in without turning this story into a bigger disaster than what it already might be. XD
Disclaimer: I do not own Shingeki no Kyojin, The Little Mermaid, Pokemon, Code Geass, Fullmetal Alchemist, One Piece, or Death Note.
I DO own the cover art, however. XD Which is why it's of such miserable quality.
The day Levi found him, the weather had been beautiful.
The sky was so blue, it was nearly painful to look at it. A few white clouds drifted lazily as a slight breeze blew through the beach. It was one of those mornings where one was glad to be living near the ocean.
It was also perfect weather to take a walk on the beach, and it was then when Levi-
That's not how it fucking went. What the hell? Start over.
The day Levi found him, the weather had been crap.
The sky was an ugly gray. The thick, dark clouds crowded the sky were an even uglier gray. The wind blew with annoying, erratical strengths, sending sand spraying everywhere. It was one of those mornings where one was glad to be living inside a house.
It was perfect weather to simply crash and do absolutely nothing, which Levi was doing at the moment. Stretched out on his bed, one of his legs dangling carelessly off of the edge, the man was aimlessly staring at the spotless ceiling of his room.
Levi let out a quiet sigh, leaning the back of his arm against his forehead. It was really no good today.
There were some days in this house where he could actually get up and do something, and when he woke this morning, he had a feeling that this was one of those days... and it was not.
"Hrmng?" He felt a wet nose nudge his leg. Levi opened one eye reluctantly to glare at his large sheep dog, Bean, who pawed the ground impatiently.
"...Stupid mutt. Go walk yourself if you're that desperate."
If someone asked about Levi's employment status, he would say that he was a writer... a writer on a break, that is.
Very few people knew that Levi was the anonymous author of an extremely popular string of dark crime and mystery novels. Then again, very few people knew Levi actually existed.
Levi had never been a particularly ambitious person. He hadn't been expecting anything, really, when he had started writing. But from the start, his books had been on an unending streak of (rather disturbing, in Levi's opinion) popularity.
According to his editor, the number of radio and television shows asking him for interviews kept increasing and increasing, while the circulating theories about his identity were getting more wilder and wilder by the day.
It had been too much for Levi. He was not a spotlight person, was never one, and would never be one. Even if his identity was anonymous, the paranoia of someone finding out had been getting to him.
Eventually, Levi had cracked. As frankly as possible, he told his editor there was no way he could write like this with the whole world seemingly intent on hunting him down. He was going to take a break. A long break. Until things would calm down.
His family had owned a large summer house on a quiet beach near a small town. They hadn't visited it very often; Levi could hardly recall anything of it from his childhood.
But at that time, it seemed like the perfect chance for his escape. No city. No noise. No editor. No work.
So here he was, living like a NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training). Wasting his time with a goofy dog he hadn't even wanted to adopt and looking at the sea. Fabulous life, wasn't it?
This day was turning about to be no different than others.
Levi rolled over to his side, wondering if he should just sleep the whole day away.
It was then when he heard it.
"Wh-what the-" Levi managed to choke out as he instinctively slapped his hands over his ears, his usually narrow eyes widening as the piercing scream split the gray air like a sharpened knife.
Levi had never heard such a horrifying sound in his life. It sounded as if someone was being tortured. It sounded as if they were mercilessly being cut in half. It sounded... human.
The scream continued for a few seconds, then abruptly stopped as quickly as it had started.
Now half-sitting up, Levi glanced warily out of his window, still partly in shock. Just what in the world WAS that? Whatever that was, he was pretty sure it had come from the ocean. Bean, who had previously padded sullenly away, came bounding into Levi's room, yelping in shock.
His owner clenched his jaw nervously, the echoes of the scream still ringing in his ears. Levi knew that some animals, such as seals, could make sounds eerily similar to humans, but that scream just now... Levi fought the urge to shudder. There was just something about it that sent his stomach churning uneasily.
He continued to stare warily at the window, half-wanting to lie back now and slowly pretend he hadn't heard that scream. The thought was actually becoming very appealing to him, until-
Vrrrb. Vrrrrb. Levi blinked at the vibrating phone near his desk lamp. Reluctantly, he dragged himself near his desk and glanced at the caller id.
Oh fuck. Muttering curses under his breath, Levi swiped the phone up and opened it, closing his eyes and gritting his teeth as if preparing for a punch to the face.
He's hit, but it's a punch of words. "LEVI~~~~! YOU WOULDN'T GET WHAT I JUST FOUND OUT IN THE LAB-"
"And I would totally love to hear it, you crazy bat, but I've suddenly heard a scream outside my window, it sounds like someone is hurt, so I need to go NOWOKBYE."
"WHAT? A SCREAM? OOH, HANG ON, I WANT TO KNOW E-" Beep.
Levi massaged his temple, glaring at the phone as he slowly slid off the bed. God damn it all. Now that Hanji had called him, he'd actually have to go outside and check it out. The woman had an annoyingly uncanny ability to detect Levi's lies, poker face or not.
As if he could understand his master's words, Bean gave a happy bark before running once more out of the room to eagerly wait for Levi at the doorway. Hastily pulling on a plain collared shirt, Levi strode briskly into the cold sea morning air.
In a few minutes, he was walking near the shore's edge, his shirt collar flaring up in the wind while Bean loped about.
The black-haired man gave a slight "tsk" as the sand whipped into his clothes and his shoes. One of the main drawbacks of living on the coast. Sand could create so many problems... he'd have to make sure to shake his shoes out thoroughly before he went back inside.
Despite the bone-chilling shock the scream had given him earlier, Levi's present state of mind was filled with anger and bitterness from Hanji's call. In all honesty, he hadn't expected to come across anything in his "stroll".
So when Bean suddenly started barking frantically and bounding around, Levi made another annoyed sound, thinking that the big mutt had found another crab to chase.
"Woof! Woof! WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!" Levi's eye twitched as the canine's incessant barking began to get to him. There must be a lot of crabs... He finally turned to bad-temperedly stomp after Bean.
Despite his short stature, Levi caught up to the huge dog easily. "You mangy mop!" He raged, managing to snag Bean's collar in an effort to control him. "What the hell is making you so-"
As he spoke, Bean still struggled in his grasp, finally breaking free and causing Levi to snap his head up in the direction the dog was heading. "Hey-" Levi abruptly stopped, his eyes widening once more as his voice died in his throat.
Bean was not bounding around a bunch of crabs, as he had expected, but... a boy, sitting in the shallows. A boy Levi had never seen before. He seemed rather young, a teenager, definitely, his short tousled brown hair dripping with sea water as he vainly tried to push Bean away with tan arms.
It looked like he had been playing in the water before Bean had come up to him, but he didn't seem to mind the dog. The boy smiled brightly, revealing quite white teeth as Bean slobbered happily over his face. Sensing Levi's presence, he glanced up at the man with bright green eyes, eyes that seem to sparkle like the ocean on a sunny day-
... This boy... was actually quite good-looking...
To his utmost horror, Levi realized his mouth was hanging open. He promptly closed it, quickly frowning.
Finally tearing his eyes from the boy's face (because Levi had certainly NOT been ogling him this whole time), Levi glanced down and realized he was clothed in nothing but a... ...wait, what WAS that!?
As he looked closer, Levi realized it was a torn rag of what looked like an old sail mast with rope. His eye twitched. How someone could even TOUCH an article that came from Hanji-knows-where was beyond his thinking. Is THAT was teenagers were wearing these days?! Good grief... it was like he was some lone survivor of a ship wreck...
"Oi, kid," the black-haired man began curtly, taking a step towards the boy. "What do you think you're doing here?"
The boy only stared at him, his large eyes seeming to get wider at the sight of Levi while Bean continued to nudge his now unresponsive hands. After a few seconds, as if realizing he had only been gaping wordlessly, he suddenly lapsed into a flustered expression, fidgeting nervously.
"..." Levi raised an eyebrow. The boy seemed to panic more, turning towards Levi and making frantic hand gestures at his throat and at the ocean, none of which the man could remotely understand. "...you live around here, kid?"
The brunet paused hesitantly before slowly shaking his head.
"...you have any family here?"
"...you have a place to where you're staying at?"
A longer pause before... Shake, shake.
"...you ran away?" Levi questioned, voicing a suspicion that had been steadily growing for some time.
The boy's eyes widened even more as he immediately shook his head in response, scattering drops of sea water everywhere.
"...right..." Clearly unconvinced, the black-haired man sighed, looking at the brunet again. Great. Of course he would have to encounter a runaway like this. It would be impossible for him to just go and leave the kid now without seeming like a complete jerk.
There was a short silence, only broken by Bean, who ran back and forth between the two, still barking intermittently.
"...well..." Levi tilted his head to stare at the rather threatening sky. "Looks like a storm might be coming, so you'd better get your ass out of here. I don't want to be held responsible if you end up getting drowned or something."
The boy gave him an odd look, not seeming to understand Levi's words.
"...You better leave." Levi rephrased slowly. Could this boy be foreign? Levi was starting to find his silence a little unsettling. "Go. Walk away. You know?"
Still no sign of comprehension.
"Get up," Levi repeated, beginning to feel a bit of impatience. "Your legs are there for a reason, you know. Use them."
Much to Levi's frustration, the boy simply turned to the said limbs and also stared at them blankly.
"...what? You can stand, can't you?"
The boy bit his lip, as if in worry, then leaned forward awkwardly, placing his palms on the ground before shakily drawing himself up on wobbly legs.
Instinctively spreading out his arms in an attempt to keep his balance, the boy stared down at his quivering feet, his green eyes containing what almost looked like nervous triumph.
Levi continued to watch him, not understanding what was the big deal about standing, when the boy's temporary expression of pride was quickly replaced by panic as he suddenly lost his balance. Flailing wildly, he ended up crashing back into the water with a painful SPLASH!
Levi nonchalantly looked on for several seconds before shrugging and offering the kid his hand. "You look like you need help..."
Shaking his wet locks out of his eyes, the brunet glared at Levi before shaking his head empathically, drawing his hands behind him.
After witnessing several more stubborn and unsuccessful attempts, Levi finally reached out to stop the poor boy, grabbing onto his waist to stop him from falling again. "Hey, hey, quit flailing, you'll just hurt yourself."
Damn it, the brat would actually be taller than Levi if he stood straight.
"Could it be that... your legs are injured?" He gave the boy's legs a dubious glance. He didn't see any sign of a wound, but something was obviously wrong here.
"What a pain..." Levi muttered as he leaned down to better grip the boy's waist, hoisting him up onto his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He felt the boy stiffen, shocked, before quickly squirming in protest, clearly not happy about his position.
"Cut it out." The black-haired man snapped, inwardly wincing as his clean clothes came in contact with wet, sandy skin. "I really don't want to do this either, but at the rate you're going, you'll be stuck here until nightfall."
At those words, the boy reluctantly ceased his movements, his fingers digging nervously into the back of Levi's shirt.
"Tch. Relax, brat. I'm not going to drop you. ...on purpose, at least." Most people made the sad mistake of underestimating Levi's strength due to his height. Looks like the boy wasn't an exception.
Now laden with the mysterious kid, Levi began walking back in the direction of his house, Bean shadowing his step.
He shouldn't panic. It was going to be fine. Once Levi got back, he'd get the boy to spill where the place he came from and send the damn brat to wherever it was. Maybe Erwin would know-
A sudden punch to his shoulder abruptly pulled Levi out of his thoughts. Pissed, he turned his head back sharply to see the kid panicking and Bean barking frantically. "What-" For the second time that day, his mouth fell open.
In front of them, without warning, a huge wave had formed and was falling, a wave that was far bigger than what should be possible.
"The fuck?" Levi choked out in shock, managing to barely jump out of the wave's reach. Bean gave a loud yelp as half of his body got splashed by the salty spray that should not have been able to travel so far.
As the water slowly receded, Levi began to retreat farther inland, not taking his wary eyes of the coast. What the hell had that been, a miniature tsunami!?
To his surprise and relief, however, the waves continued their usual pattern at the shore, as if the abnormally large wave had never happened.
"..." Well, that was strange. Catching his breath, Levi glanced at the boy, who was still clutching Levi's back in terror. Recalling the way he had been warned, the man narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "...hang on, kid... are you mute or something?"
The boy nodded sadly in response, his green eyes seeming to darken as one of his hands lingered by his throat.
"...oh." Shit. This kid couldn't walk and he couldn't talk. Could he actually be from a shipwreck?! Levi gave another sigh. "Whatever. I'll take you to my place until I find wherever the hell your parents are. Don't touch anything and you'll still have all your fingers. Okay?"
Perhaps the lack of work was getting to him, turning him into a fucking softie like this. Not waiting for the boy to reply (it's not like he could, anyway) Levi continued to trek back to his house.
With all that had happened, he had completely forgotten the mysterious scream earlier.
Feeling more shocked than any other time that day, Levi let the towel he had been holding fall to the ground. "...What did you just imply?" He hissed slowly at the now confused teenager.
It had been several minutes after they had arrived back at Levi's house. The more time he spent with the boy, the more Levi realized how unfamiliar he seemed to be with many things. After preventing the boy from curiously poking Levi's kitchen sink handle for the millionth time, Levi finally demanded the boy take a shower before contaminating anything with his grimy body.
To his utmost horror, the boy had only tilted his head, as if to ask "What does shower mean?".
"Did you just imply that you do not know what the word 'SHOWER' means?" Levi continued, his grey eyes flashing dangerously.
The brunet blinked before nervously nodding, not understanding what he had done to land himself into this situation.
Levi felt his eye twitch again. Oh hell no. They were going to have some major problems here. "...Tell me you know what the word 'cleaning' is!" It was an order, not a question.
The boy seemed to be thinking hard for several seconds before brightening up and nodding, lifting his hands up and miming a broom sweeping on the floor.
Thank the heavens... Letting out a breath of relief, Levi massaged his forehead with his hand. "All right, listen closely, brat. Showering... is the same as cleaning, except you're cleaning your body without any clothes on. It is one of the most important things a human needs to do. Every day. DO WE HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING?"
His cheeks slightly red, the boy hastily bobbed his head up and down.
Realizing that the boy couldn't possibly walk to the shower in his state, Levi carried him to shower himself, muttering complaints under his breath the whole way. "Honestly... not knowing what a shower is, a fucking shower! No wonder you're so filthy..."
After he set the kid down, the brat continued to look around curiously, as if he had never been in a bathroom before. Levi bit back another groan. He was going to have to explain everything, wasn't he?
He pointed abruptly to the shower stall. "There. You stand... well, I guess you can lean in there... here, let me help you... ...and you... take that thing off..." Levi muttered reluctantly, gesturing to the rags that hung around the boy's waist.
The boy obediently let the rag fall to the ground, but not without a lot of hesitating and blushing. To his mortification, Levi felt his face beginning to heat up as well. "Ah..."
Determinedly keeping his gaze upward, the black-haired man reached to turn the shower on, the boy wincing in surprise as he did. "See? Water comes out from there. To turn it on, you just twist this... and to turn it off, you twist it the other way. You rinse yourself with water. You take soap, you rub it on the cloth, then you rub the cloth... all... over... your body..." God damn it, he was not made to explain these things. "Then you rinse yourself again."
"...Oh. And for your hair, you do the same, except you use this thing, it's called shampoo. After you're done, you dry yourself with the towel. Okay?"
To Levi's utmost relief, the boy didn't seem to find any problems in his explanation, already experimentally extending his arms to the shower. "All right, I'll go and find some spare clothes for you, I guess..." It felt really weird to be the one talking the whole time. Usually he was the silent one.
Part of him felt that it wasn't a good idea to leave the boy alone in the shower, he could hardly stand, but Levi was not going to stay behind and baby the boy. It wasn't because he was embarrassed at the lack of clothes or anything! Really... Levi had seen nicer bodies... a lot of nicer bodies... ...really...
He was halfway to his room when a horrible thought struck him. Abandoning all sense of dignity, Levi turned and dashed back to the bathroom like a wildman. "BRAT! TELL ME YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THE FUCKING TOILET!"
Leaving the brat alone in the shower had definitely not been a good idea.
In the short time he had been left alone, the boy managed to spill the shampoo, send the soap flying into the mirror, and flood the bathroom.
Levi took one look at the scene and briefly debated if he should have those OH-MY-GOD-WHAT-THE-HELL-HAVE-I-DONE-TAKING-THIS-HO OLIGAN-IN-moments.
Several hours (in which Levi cleans, mops, and ends up having to help the boy put on clothes) later...
"THIS," Levi gestured to a vacuum, "is a vacuum. VACUUM. It cleans the floor by sucking up dirt and dust and what not. This is how you use it. Got it?"
Clothed in Levi's spare shirt and pants (which were a bit too short for him), the boy nodded for the eleventh time, his eyes shining seriously.
"Good. Now THIS," he picked up a duster, "is a duster. DUSTER. It cleans anything that's dusty. This is how you use it. Got it?"
Another serious nod.
"Hn." Levi casted a glance at the pile of cleaning instruments he had already shown the boy. "I guess that's all of it. Now listen carefully to me. These..." He waved an arm at the pile. "...are the instruments of GOD. When you use them, you use them with CARE. You do not abuse them. They have been made for a great purpose of mankind, and you will respect that purpose. Understood, brat?"
The boy nodded, repeating the action three times for good measure.
"All right." Levi carefully picked up the cleaning supplies and began returning them to their closet. As he closed the closet door, a sudden realization struck him. "...Hmm... I don't know your name, brat, do I?"
"...nah, I can just keep calling you brat."
The boy immediately puffed his cheeks out in protest, scowling at Levi.
"Fine..." He drew out a chair and sat down, looking at the boy in an unconcerned manner. "Let's see if I can guess it. Ash?"
"Not Ash. Lelouch?"
"Not Lelouch. Edward?"
"Luffy? Light? Ellen?" At the last one, the boy stuck his tongue out at Levi, apparently knowing it was primarily a female name.
"...for someone who doesn't want to be called 'brat', you sure act like one..." Levi grumbled, standing up to get a paper and pencil. Green eyes followed his actions curiously, widening as the materials were pushed towards him.
"Can you read and write?" Levi asked, half-expecting the boy to shake his head again.
Instead, however, the brunet nodded eagerly, immediately reaching for the pencil. Levi looked on in mild interest as the boy pressed the tip to the paper-
"..." Apparently, the boy used so much force that the pencil promptly broke into splinters. Levi face-palmed. "I should have gotten you a piece of chalk and slate instead..."
Several pencils later...
"You don't need that much strength. See?" Levi finished writing the word 'clean' in neat letters before handing the pencil back. "Now, try to write properly. I don't have an endless supply of pencils, mind you."
Slowly, the boy wrote 'clean' as well, his handwriting large and quite messy.
"You write like a caveman." Levi observed in disgust, crossing his arms and leaning back. "Is that what you really are? No, don't answer that." His grey eyes shifted to the bright green irises. "...so, brat, what is your name? Not that I particularly care..."
Giving a small start, as if he had forgotten why he was trying to write in the first place, the boy hurriedly scribbled several letters across the paper before proudly showing it to Levi.
"E... R... E... N..." Levi said slowly, managing to somehow decipher the letters from the barely legible scrawl. "...Eren?" He asked experimentally, not sure if he had the right pronunciation.
A wide grin spread across the brunet's face as he nodded, beaming happily.
"Huh... I see... you have a surname, Eren?"
The boy, Eren, nodded again, starting to write once more before holding the paper up.
"...Yeager?" Levi scowled. He hadn't heard of anyone with that name in town... "Are you German?"
"Ah... what was it again, damn it... ...Deutsch?" If this Eren was foreign, it might explain why he didn't know certain words. ...Then again, it certainly didn't explain why the boy didn't how to use common household items.
Eren picked up the paper and started writing again.
I dont understand.
"...you forgot the fucking apostrophe, brat."
Eren tilted his head.
Whats an apostofe? By now, the paper was already running out of space.
"...I'll teach you that later." Levi mumbled, getting up again to fetch a large, spiral notebook. "Here." He carelessly tossed the notebook to Eren, who quickly caught it. Hm. His reflexes weren't so bad...
"You can use that to communicate from now on." Levi explained as Eren ran his hands over the notebook's cover, his eyes sparkling in wonder. "It's a pretty big one, so hopefully you won't run out of pages..." His voice trailed off as Eren held up the notebook's first page, large letters already scribbled over it.
What is your name?
Levi blinked. Oh, that was right. He had forgotten about that, hadn't he? His eyes slowly rose from the page to Eren's face, which was nearly giddy with anticipation.
"...Levi. Spelled L-E-V-I."
Eren gave him another wide grin before flipping the page over and writing again.
Thank you, Levi! You ar kinda mean, but you ar also really nice!
"...you forgot the fucking 'e's after 'are', brat." Oh fuck. The kid was like an innocent 5-year-old. How the hell was Levi supposed to deal with him!?
Before Eren could write anything else, a loud rumble echoed across the room. Levi's eyes darted down to the teenager's stomach. "...oh. That's right, you haven't eaten anything yet." Teenagers and their appetites... hopefully he wouldn't eat the whole fridge.
"Anything you like to eat, Eren?" Levi called as he trudged towards his refrigerator. "...Ah. Hanji left this lasagna... is it worth it, I wonder? Erwin's still alive, so it might not be poisoned... oh, fuck it. Teenagers have strong stomachs, don't they?"
Not bothering to heat the food up, he plopped some of it on two plates and pushed one towards Eren. "Hang on... let me give you a fork..." Levi already had the utensil in his hand when he froze suspiciously. "...wait..."
He showed Eren the fork in trepidation. "You do know what this is, do you?"
Eren grinned again, recognition flicking in his eyes. He quickly flipped his notebook pages.
"Oh, all right, that's go-"
It's a DINGLEHOPPER!
The brat was beautiful, as much as Levi hated to admit it. Beautiful... and brainless...
to be continued...
Yes, I HAD to put the dinglehopper part in there. XD I don't even know if I spelled that right... oh well. Feedback is always appreciated! ^o^
Ah, and if I put the wrong German word there or something, feel free to correct me! ^-^""