Tomato Paste

The smell of his own sweat was beginning to make Eren feel nauseous. Why did today have to be such a scorcher? Couldn't Mother Nature have had some sort of mercy on his poor, pre-pubescent body? Apparently not.

"It sure is hot today, huh?" Eren asked conversationally, wondering if his Corporal would even answer to him. His superior had been busily looking through a set of papers that Chief Erwin had given him to read through and revise, if need be.

"Yeah," Corporal Levi responded monotonously. "It is."

Eren shifted awkwardly in his chair. Sitting with Corporal Levi in the dining hall would have been fine and dandy if, one, there would have been food placed before them, and two, they weren't completely alone. Somehow, the lack of idle chatter was making the young soldier feel anxious. 'Maybe I could ask to excuse myself...' Eren thought, glancing over just as the Corporal flipped one of his pages. 'I know he was assigned to keep an eye on me, but he's not even paying any attention right now, so it should be okay, right?'

"Erm, Corporal Levi, sir?" Eren piped up, his voice quivering in time with his fidgeting fingers.

"Hm?" the Corporal hummed, not once looking up from his work.

"May I use the bathroom?" A perfect coy, really. Plus, with all of the nervosa that had been pooling in Eren's stomach for the past quarter of an hour or so, it wasn't entirely a lie. However, when Corporal Levi began to straighten his papers and rise from his chair, Eren could feel his entire plan falling apart around him.

"Fine. Let's go."

'Ugh...' Eren groaned internally. 'Well, at least we can stretch our legs for a bit.'

Following close behind his Corporal as he was guided out of the dining hall and into the adjacent corridor, Eren's emerald eyes mindlessly scanned the stone-plastered walls and high-set ceilings. It was no wonder that the place used to be a castle; albeit dusty, it was nothing short of magnificent.

Just as they had passed by the kitchen, the sound of Petra and Gunter's friendly laughter had caused Eren to falter, ultimately stopping altogether. Noting his subordinate's waver in his walk, Corporal Levi slowed as well, pausing to take a peek.

"Oh! Eren, Corporal Levi!" Petra smiled, wiping the back of her hands on an old dish towel. "I didn't notice you two standing there."

"Ah, we kind of just walked by," Eren stated honestly. When he realized that Gunter was packing a bunch of recently washed vegetables into a basket, it prompted the young adolescent to ask, "What are you guys doing?"

"Ah, we just finished picking some tomatoes from one of the vegetable gardens out in the fields," Gunter began to explain. "Petra wanted to make tomato paste with our dinner tonight, so I suggested that we go and pick some fresh ones."

"They're at their peak of ripeness, too!" Petra beamed. "Would you like to try one, Eren?" She purposely opted against asking the Corporal, knowing full well that he didn't like eating too soon before dinnertime.

"Is it really okay?" Eren wondered, stepping forward to get a better view of their basket.

"Of course! Here," she took the basket into her hands and held it out for Eren to see, "take whichever one you'd like."

A tad sheepish, Eren grabbed the first tomato that his hand had touched. With his luck (or lack of), it just so happened that he had reached for the biggest tomato of the entire batch.

"Take a bite," Petra coaxed pleasantly. "You'll be our taste tester!"

Eren felt terribly put on the spot with such an offer; after all, three separate sets of eyes were all staring at him, watching him like some sort of test subject. 'I can't remember the last time I've eaten a tomato,' he thought, raising the large vegetable to his parted lips. 'I wonder how it'll taste...'

After biting into the tomato, Eren was filled with a sense of nostalgia. Ah, he could remember it very well now. The last time he had eaten such a vegetable had been when he was seven-years old. His father had just come back from the inner walls and had brought back lots of different foods that had been gifted to him. Among those foods were tomatoes that had been gathered from a particularly famous farming village. Eren could remember his mother swatting away his grabby hands, as he tried to touch the fruits and vegetables. "Be patient, Eren!" he recalled her chiding, and after he had withdrawn obediently, she presented him with a handful of the tiny, cherry tomatoes.

"It's really good..." he breathed, anxious to take another bite. Before he did, Petra and Gunter's quiet snickers caused him to halt.

"Oh, Eren," Petra smiled maternally, "you've completely dirtied your shirt."

Eren quickly looked down and swallowed. In bright, blotchy red spots, the juices from his tomato had seeped into white button-up, threatening to leave stains for the future to come. "Oh no," he whispered, frantically looking around for something that he could use to clean himself. It was just like Eren to get so lost in his thoughts and end up doing something completely embarrassing. His cheekbones didn't mask that fact either, utterly betraying him as they flushed a pretty shade of pinkish-red.

"Hey, Eren," Gunter chuckled, "if you don't tone down that blush of yours, Petra's going to pound you up and make you into tomato paste."

"I will not!" Petra giggled. "Eren, don't listen to him. Corporal, sir, can you help Eren find something to clean-"

Up until this point, Corporal Levi had been quiet, a little too quiet. Upon Petra's prompt, something within him switched and he ended up unknowingly voicing the unspoken words that were on his mind.

"Oh la la."

Everyone in the room went rigid, Corporal Levi included. Did he really just say that? Did he really, really just say that out loud?

Somehow, Eren's embarrassment no longer compared.

"...Sir?" Petra tried once more, whereas Gunter was all but turning blue with repressed laughter.

Shaking his head and grabbing the back of Eren's shirt collar, much to the young soldier's displeasure, the Corporal hauled his underling out of the kitchen, growling, "We're going to the bathroom now."

"Dinner will be ready soon," Petra called out to them, Gunter still making a noisy fuss over the Corporal's "Oh la la" mishap.

'Why does stuff like this always seem to happen to me?' Eren sighed, as he was dragged to his demise down the wide corridor.

Hi there! Chappy here! :D

I feel the need to explain the idea behind this one, guys.

So, a friend of mine and I had been talking about the use of the phrase "oh la la". In France, apparently it's not used in the same, semi-sensual way that it is used here in America; or, at least, that was the way that she made it sound. Then, we completely got off topic and started talking about Levi saying, "Oh la la," after seeing Eren's blushing face. Really random, but definitely noteworthy.

So, with that super long description aside, this is the drabble adaptation (there will also be a comic adaptation that my same friend will draw) of what our conversation had created in my head! I hoped you've enjoyed it!

And thank you, as always, for taking the time to read and review!

- Chappy