Eren shouldered his way through the crowd, grunting as someone's shoulder slammed against him. Finally, he slipped out of the throng of people, rubbing the side of his head where… something… had hit him. Maybe the handle to a tennis racket or baseball bat that had been sticking out of someone's bag? Whatever it had been, it hurt.
He looked down to see Armin, who had gotten to the other side of the crowd fairly quickly on account of being quite a bit smaller.
"Yeah, I'm here." Eren ran a hand through his hair. "Seriously, how have you been putting up with that?"
"It's not that much worse than high school was." Armin pointed out.
Eren rolled his eyes. "Sure. Have you seen Mikasa? I wanted to talk to her some more before choosing our second semester classes."
"She's probably at swim practice, or talking to the Public Relations professor again. You could talk them over with me." Armin suggested.
"Nah, you're a different major. I'm pretty sure the credits I need for journalism are pretty different from what you need for physics and Lit." He scratched the back of his head. "Besides, you've already been here a year and taken most of your cores, or had AP cover them. So there really aren't a lot of classes we could share anyway."
Armin huffed a little at the hidden compliment, knowing that Eren was still a little sore about him skipping a year back at Shiganshina High School. "I know, but I'm still missing a language credit. We could share that?"
"Eh…" Eren thought about it. "Sure? What language do you want to take? I've been thinking about German, 'cause my dad's side of the family is from there, but if you want something else…"
"No, German's good." Armin thought about it a little more. "I mean, Spanish would be more useful, but we're not going to learn enough for it to matter in just a semester."
Armin rolled his eyes. "Don't you have practice or something?"
Eren's eyes widened and he quickly checked the time. "Sh*t! Coach Shadis is going to kill me if I'm late! Gotta go, bye!"
Erwin frowned down at the paper, confused. He had been fairly certain that he had taken those credits at some point, could actually remember the class, but… had regulations changed?
Probably. Actually, he wouldn't be surprised if they had. It was rather unorthodox to force even the juniors to abide by the new rules, but if he wanted that early graduation that he'd been on track for, he apparently needed another language credit.
And he'd thought Political Science would be a great way to get through Pre-Law.
Well, it made sense, he supposed. Political science had a lot of international aspects, so it would be helpful to know some foreign language, but…
He winced as a red-haired woman slammed into him, unable to stop herself.
The young woman took a step back, readjusting her glasses. "So, you know how I kind of jumped around the cores during freshman year? You remember that, right?"
"So, apparently, I skipped some language credit or something, so I have to take some class I didn't know about now, but they don't have Latin, which would have been awesome, because of Bio and all the Latin names for genus and phyla and stuff, but a bunch of psychologists were German, and they do have that class, so I'm going to be taking German next semester!" She didn't stop for breath even once.
Erwin blinked, taking a minute to process what had happened. "So you're taking German."
He glanced down at the paper again. Well, might as well make sure he had one friend, even if her majors were completely different from his own.
"I guess I'll join you, then."
He pulled out his phone as it buzzed, noticing that the school had sent an email, informing him of a technical error that had meant he hadn't gotten a letter about… a policy change regarding language credits.
Huh. He'd been right.
Sasha skidded into the theatre room, grinning and waving around a large bag. "Oi, Connie! Guess who has leftovers from class!"
Connie stood up, a little too quickly. His foot caught on a twofer, sending him crashing down onto the ground and narrowly avoiding an ellipsoidal.
He cursed, gripping his wrist. "Dammit, that's the third time today!"
Sasha made a face. "Have you been cleaning those things all day?"
"Nah, just since I got let out from math." He dropped a rag and began heading over, but Sasha pulled the bag away.
"Nuh-uh. I put a lot of work into making this, and you aren't going to get your grubby little hands on it 'til they're clean." For good measure, she stuck out her tongue at him. Quite frankly, the fact that she could take a culinary class in her first semester at the college was a miracle in and of itself, but a few good AP test scores had ensured her ability to skip at least one core class in favor of something that actually pertained to her chosen major.
"Geez, fine." Connie rolled his eyes, dusting his hands off on his pants as he headed off to the bathroom. "Oh, by the way, Christa's in the props room. You remember where that is, right?"
"Yeah." Sasha waved him off, heading toward the room in question.
"Oi, Christa!" She yelled as she pattered down the stairs. "I have food!"
A short blonde stuck her head out of the door. "Oh, what kind?"
"Salmon. Nice and warm, too." Sasha waved the bag in front of Christa, as though taunting her. "You can have some with me and Connie. There's enough."
Christa grinned. "Clean hands first, though, right?"
"Yep!" Sasha hadn't allowed them to touch the food without washing up first after the first dead mouse had been found in the lighting closet.
It had been an interesting day.
(Of course, the older students had forced the freshmen to take care of cleaning out a year's worth of clutter and dust in the various storage areas, which mostly just meant Connie.)
Christa rolled her eyes good-naturedly, and nodded to Sasha. "Let me just put away these paints, and then I'll come up."
Sasha whistled as she made her way back up to the house of the auditorium, finding Connie lounging back in one of the seats with conspicuously clean hands. She pulled out some cutlery and paper plates, separating out a few portions.
"Wow, this is more than usual." Connie commented, even as Christa practically skipped into the room, landing heavily in one of the rather fluffy seats.
"Ymir just called." She said, visibly cheery due to the noise. "She's going to be here in half an hour."
Sasha elbowed Connie when she saw the face he made. "Be nice."
"But she's scary!" The theater major whined. "And she thinks she can boss me around just 'cause she's a sophomore!"
"No, she thinks she can boss you around because she's taller, stronger, and majoring in sports management, while you're a little boy with almost no muscle, just some speed and funny little acrobatics." Sasha poked him with the blunt end of her fork, smirking.
Connie rubbed the spot, mock-glowering at Christa when the girl began to giggle along.
"We've got to DJ for the radio tomorrow, right?" Sasha mused. "Like, for real this time. They're actually letting us do it."
Connie nodded. "Just remember to let me take care of the technical stuff this time. The only things that don't go haywire around you are kitchen appliances."
Christa giggled into her hand, and they all went back to eating.
"So… what classes are you signing up for?" Sasha finally asked, leaning back in her seat and lacing her hands behind her head.
"The usual. Can't really make more than one or two choices at the moment, right? We're just freshmen." Connie groaned. "Though, knowing you two, you'll manage to swing some more fun classes while I get stuck with boring stuff again."
"Well, art is my major, and with my parents pushing the school to let me start early…" Christa shrugged, slightly embarrassed. "Besides, I'll probably only be able to take one. And I have to take a language course too, because I didn't take one this semester."
"I think German would be cool." Sasha mused. "How about you guys?"
"My parents would approve, I think."
"Sounds fine with me. And knowing Ymir, she'll take the same one as Christa." Connie laughed. "That woman is obsessed with you, little goddess."
"Yeah, I am, shrimp. Glad you noticed."
Connie gulped and turned around.
Sasha made a show of glancing at her watch. "Oh, hey, would you look at that! I have to go to archery club, and I've got to stop by fencing room to grab some stuff and bye!"
Reiner slipped into the room he shared, glancing at Bertholt on his way in. "Oi, what happened to you?"
"Um… Annie was kind of… harsh." The tall boy winced.
"She kicked your—"
"Yes, again." Bertholt put his head down on his arms. "But it's pretty much the only way to make sure she doesn't grow away from us like last year."
"…So you let her kick your—"
"Reiner!" Bertholt almost squeaked the name. "Seriously, why?"
"Because it's fun to watch you get all flustered about it." Reiner grinned and sat down. "If it's any consolation, Ymir's none too soft on me when the teachers pair us up."
Bertholt gave him a strange look. "I thought the teachers didn't pair boys with girls for anything physical in those courses?"
"They don't, she just fights me anyway." Reiner laughed. "Trust me, it's not a big deal. She's discreet enough that the teachers don't notice."
Bertholt stared a little, and then turned back to his work. "Okay, so, um… what classes are you taking next semester?"
Reiner frowned, and then lay down on his bed, lounging lazily. "I don't know. Didn't we get some letter about regulations being changed so that we had to take some more language courses, though?"
"Just one more, but yeah." Bertholt dithered for a second, and then made his suggestion on the matter. "Annie said she's going to get started on her German degree, since she's already got her Russian one underway. I know we can't join her in the Russian, but if she's only just started the German… I mean, you know how good she is, so we can go to her if we need help, or…"
"Or you can stare at her and blush while she tries to explain some grammar rule to you." Reiner grinned. "Just imagine what it'll be like when you're actually done with college, and get yourself a job at a school, and all the girls are crushing on the new social studies teacher, and—"
"Just admit it. You're getting Education and History degrees. Focusing on middle schools. That's exactly what's going to happen."
"I'll just put down Intro to German for both of us, then." Bertholt muttered.
"Jean!" Marco skidded into the dorm he shared with his best friend. "Remember that Junior I was telling you about, the one in charge of the Pre-Law club? Erwin Smith?"
Jean sat up, fairly slow. "Yeah?"
"So, due to some regulation changes in the college, he has to take some language course next semester. And since we have to take one too, I figured we could sign up for the same one!"
Jean raised an eyebrow, bemused. Marco's hero-worship had come out of nowhere, and then stayed, after he had joined the club in question a few months ago.
"What class?" The business student asked, laying back down. Or, well, he would be, once they let him join the business school, which, for whatever reason, had different entry requirements than the school of arts and sciences. International Business would be useful, he knew, especially if he wanted to be a CEO in Sina City, though the fact that he also had mandatory minors was a bit annoying. Still, one of those minors did happen to be a language…
"Intro to German, and I know you'll say that it isn't as useful as Spanish, but you also said that you were planning on taking multiple languages, so—"
"Alright, alright." Jean smirked. "You little fanboy."
"…I am not." Marco huffed, though he had a smile on his face.
"You are. You'd try to copy his major too, if you weren't already married to anthropology."
Levi walked into the band room, taking his customary seat behind the piano with a little more anger than usual.
"…Levi? You okay?" Petra looked up from her assortment of brass instruments and tilted her head, a little worried, as though she hadn't seen this a dozen times before.
Then again, a room full of music majors tended to get a little strange.
"You saw that letter about regulation changes?"
The sophomores in the room glanced around and then, as one, nodded at Levi.
The lone junior frowned and rubbed his head. "We don't have room for scheduling conflicts. I've got us a line of gigs at a few old bars that like jazz and swing, so we need every practice we can get together. So we all need to take the same class, understand?"
"Yes, sir!" Auruo answered, balancing his trombone across his lap.
"I don't mind, I guess." Erd was standing behind his large contrabass, rifling through some papers. "Gunter?"
"Same." The man tapped his saxophone nervously. "But can we make it German? I know some from my grandparents, so it'll be easier on my study schedule, and I'll have more time to practice."
"Anyone have a problem with that?" Levi demanded, and then nodded when he saw no objections. "Fine, Intro to German it is."
When the next semester started, and Mikasa walked into the German room with Armin and Eren, she was surprised to find an old… rival.
They weren't quite friends, nor enemies, if only because of Armin and Eren's friendships with both of them. But Annie and Mikasa had been each other's greatest opponents in martial arts and swimming during three years of high school, and the only thing that had caused it to end was Annie's graduation, a year earlier than Mikasa, at the same time as Armin.
However, they had eventually realized the truth. Annie was unbeatable in the ring, and Mikasa unmatched in the pool.
"I heard you got a scholarship." Annie noted, and then a hint of… pride, perhaps? Respect? Something entered the expression in her eyes. "And I also had the great pleasure of hearing where you were going at the end of the year."
"Congratulations on getting into the Summer Olympics." Annie smiled. "It was good time we had, yes? And I am sure that the nation's swim team will find you a great asset despite your youth."
"…Thank you, Annie." Mikasa inclined her head, actually quite glad to have gained Annie's appreciation, whatever kind it was.
"Alright, settle down, all of you." The professor came to the front of the room, noting the variety of faces. "My name is Dot Pixis, and I'll be your teacher this semester. Let's try to make it a fun one, shall we?"
A/N: This is a one-shot based off of a college AU developed by "textsfromtitanfood" on tumblr. I added in a few things, like Pixis and Shadis, as well as the rivalry in that last scene and Marco's fanboying over Erwin, but most of this is based off of the AU s/he developed.
There is theater jargon in the one scene, and I'm sorry. I couldn't resist. And yes, we did find three dead mice at the very back of the light closet in my high school.
Also, the spiel that Jean gives about International Business is based off of… well, me. I was pretty happy to see Jean (one of my favorite characters) have the same major as me, because I actually had accurate information on it, at least for my school.
There are a few other weird bits there, but it is what it is.
And yes, I made Armin skip a year of high school and start flying through college. He's a smart kid. He can handle it.