Something hard was digging into his back. What the hell was on his bed? He tried shifting to the side to relieve the feeling, but only made the sensation worse when he felt it pressing harder into his spine. It was then he remembered what had happened and sucked in a huge breath of air, eyes opening widely.
"No! I refuse to let you do this to Mikasa!" He screamed loudly, adamant on protecting his younger sister.
Grisha gazed at his son with a grave expression. "I'm sorry, Eren. We have no other choice. The whole village has decided on this. It has to be done."
Eren stared back at him, disbelief evident in his eyes. Was he fucking serious? "What the hell is wrong with you? She's your daughter for God sakes! And she's my sister! How could you even agree to something like this?"
Ever since Eren's mother had died, his father hadn't been the same. He had become more distant, more withdrawn. All he did nowadays was focus on collecting herbs and materials for God knows what kind of medicines he was working on. Sometimes Eren saw his dad sitting by himself with a crazed look on his face just staring at his chemicals. It was moments like these that he worried for the safety of his sister and himself.
His father just sighed and looked at him as if he were a mere child, unable to comprehend even the simplest of things. "It is for the wellbeing of everyone in the village, you included. Think about it. One sacrifice for the sake of an entire town. It's well worth giving up one child. Besides, she's agreed to do it since doing so will also protect you."
"But…!" Eren was getting frustrated and words seemed to fail him.
"No more arguing! We are offering her to the dragon and that's that!"
He became desperate and blurted out the first thing that came to his head. "Use me instead! Anything…" Eren's voice cracked and his throat constricted, making it difficult to breathe. "…anything…just not Mikasa." The thought of losing his only sister was unbearable.
Shock registered in his father's eyes for s split second before he spoke up slowly. "That would never work. We need a female, which you are obviously not, if you have forgotten that fact." Fingers found his chin, index above and thumb underneath, as he took a moment to appraise his son. The boy had his mother's eyes… "Well, maybe it could work after all. Mikasa is more useful to me than you are, anyway."
Ouch. Thanks a bunch, father.
The two had an unacknowledged staring contest until Eren's father broke the silence. "Alright, then. Tomorrow afternoon you'll be dressed up and taken up the mountains to the dragon's den. I'll talk to the villagers but I'm sure they wouldn't mind the switch."
"Really? You'll agree to this?" Disbelief was evident in his voice.
"Yes, now get to bed. You're going to have a big day tomorrow."
Eren took this as his cue to leave the room as quickly as possible. The door farthest down the hall was the one to his sister's room. She was already fast asleep, but he needed to speak to her. Carefully, he opened the arched wooden door and slipped inside.
The room was relatively small, just like his own. Next to Mikasa's bed was a moderately sized nightstand which he had put together himself with straight cut logs for the sides and a flat board for the top. On top of the stand was a tiny oil lantern whose flame flickered gently, washing the room in a soft yellow glow. Leaving the lantern on at night was wasteful and dangerous, but Mikasa couldn't sleep without it after their mother died. He had relented to her whims, making sure to check up on her every night to see that it hadn't caught the room on fire.
"Hey, Mikasa. Wake up." He whispered quietly so that he wouldn't scare her. He brushed the back of his hand across her forehead and swept back her ebony colored bangs as she slowly opened her eyes.
"Mmm…Eren? What are you…doing here? Is…something wrong?" Her drowsiness was evident in her speech.
"Come early morning, we're going to leave here. Just…come with me. You don't have to be a sacrifice. You don't need to give yourself up for these people. We'll run away together. Just the two of us." He tried to speak as calmly as possible so the news he was telling her wouldn't cause too much shock. I'll be damned if I let that fucker offer me up. He had agreed to the switch so easily and even put in a snide comment. That bastard. There was no way Eren was leaving Mikasa alone with a psycho like him.
"Wha…are you sure? Is it okay just to abandon the village like this?" Though she felt some reluctance at the thought of leaving, the only person she truly cared for was her brother. She would go to the ends of the Earth for him. She would be more than willing to die for him if he asked that of her.
"Of course. Help me pack your stuff and you can get some rest till I get you in the morning."
She had agreed easily enough. Leaving with her brother alive was a choice she'd take any day compared to the death she'd face in the hands of the dragon. They had shoved only necessities and a couple sets of clothing into an easy to carry rucksack.
"Alright, I'll see you in the morning. Be ready." He placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
"Okay, goodnight, Eren." Her nerves were a bit frayed from excitement but she forced herself to get some sleep.
He left quickly back to his room to prepare supplies for himself. Once in his room, he went straight for the moderate sum of money he had hidden in a secret compartment located underneath a drawer in his nightstand. This was the money he had gathered over the course of a few years doing odd jobs. It was saved for instances of emergency, though he would have never fathomed for a situation like the one he was in now. He packed his things quickly and all that was left for him to do was wait.
Laying on his bed, he tried to get some rest, but sleep eluded him. He stayed up until dawn had broken, causing a gentle light to filter into his room. Once he heard the birds begin their morning songs, he sat up immediately, grabbed his things, and went to get his sister.
Now in her room, he shook her shoulders gently, just enough to rouse her. "Come on, get up. It's time to leave."
"Mmk." She rubbed her tired eyes and yawned. Her attire was already the one she would wear to leave so she swung her legs over the side of the bed and grabbed her things.
As quietly as they could, they tiptoed down the hallway and made it to the living room. With the door in sight, they made a break for it. Mikasa had reached their goal first, but something had latched onto Eren's shoulder, pulling him back. He was shoved roughly onto the floorboards of the room and they gave in about an inch due to the sheer force of his impact.
Dazed, he was unable to respond as he was yelled at. "You little fucker! I even agreed to let Mikasa go given that you'd take her place and you pull a stunt like this!" Eren heard his sister gasp in the background. "I should just send the both of you up there for disobeying me!"
He did his best to struggle out of his father's grip, but his fingers were like vice on his arms. Eren was by no means a weak person, but his father possessed a strength that he could not rival. Trying again, he swung a fist at his father's face and managed to collide it with his nose, hard enough to cause some blood to drip onto his shirt.
"Fucking shit!" Rubbing his sore nose, he grabbed a syringe he had in the pocket of his sweater. Before Eren could slip away, he jabbed the needle into his son's arm.
"Agh! What the fuck!" The pain of the injection was excruciating. He felt his consciousness slipping away from him, vision blurring. He saw Mikasa from the corner of his eye, hands covering her mouth, frozen in shock. "Don't…fucking…touch her…" He managed to get out those words before his world spun and he blacked out.
"Ugh." He groaned loudly, sitting away from the rock that he had made his bed while unconscious. The effects of the drug his father injected in him were still going strong. His head was throbbing painfully and his limbs were sluggish in movement.
Reaching his hand up to run through his brunet hair, he felt something that was most definitely not naturally growing from his head.
Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.
His father had put a wig on him, hairpins and all. What the hell. Where did the man even get these things? Looking down at his body, he exhaled in relief. At least he had on his normal clothes. So much for looking like a girl, though. The only way that was believable was if the dragon was completely blind or just plain stupid.
Ignoring his appearance, he surveyed his surroundings, checking to see if Mikasa were with him. When he was finally satisfied at the lack of her presence, he shifted his focus to the chains that were digging into his wrists. Tugging at them experimentally, he found that they were attached to a pole adjacent to him. If he could get himself out of them, he'd be able to go back for Mikasa. Hopefully his bastard of a father hadn't done anything to her. Busy trying to get free from his restraints, he hadn't noticed that a person had approached him.
"Oi, brat. What the hell are you doing here?"
He could have sworn that his heart was about to leap straight out of his chest and right onto the cold mountain floor. Turquoise eyes lifted up to find the face that had spoken, only for them to widen at the sight of a short statured man dressed in a lengthy fluffy jacket with a long-sleeved silken tunic underneath and tight fitting pants.
"Uh…I…I…" What was another person doing up in the mountains anyway? Not to mention a dragon infested mountain. Was this man looking for a death wish?
"Are you retarded or something?" The man had said this while keeping on a serious expression, not even batting an eyelid.
"What?! No!" He had yelled back at the man, indignant. He was so rude! You just don't go around asking people you barely knew if they were retarded or not. He almost wished that the dragon would come now and eat this man. Almost, because he would feel bad if it actually happened. Eren was tempted to blow a raspberry at him, but refrained from doing so. It would probably just make him seem crazy.
"Oh. Thank gods. I thought maybe you were left here because you were special in the head or whatever. What's your name then? And, if you're a girl, you're kind of an ugly one." Though the last part was a bit of a lie. The kid had a nice face and possessed the most captivating set of sparkling blue-green eyes he had ever seen.
Wow. His personality really sucked. Eren chose ignore it and continue the conversation in hopes that the man would be able to help him. He sighed loudly before speaking. "My name's Eren. No, there is nothing wrong with my head. And no, I'm not a girl. It's not like I wanted to wear this stupid wig."
"Hm. Rivaille. How'd you end up here?"
Okay, so his social skills were practically nonexistent, too. He was going to assume that Rivaille was the man's name. "Well, I don't know if you know this, but about a week ago, a dragon landed in these mountains. The people in the village where I live were afraid that the dragon was going to attack them, so they thought a 'pretty virgin girl' would appease it." He left out details about his sister because he didn't want to give strangers any information about her. He thought it was unnecessary, anyway.
Rivaille stepped closer to Eren. "Pfft. Every girl in the village must be really hideous then if they thought you looked pretty like this. But that's the dumbest shit I've ever heard. What the hell would a dragon want a girl for?" Though, he, however, could think of ways to make use of a boy.
"Ugh. How am I supposed to know? The thought of their own safety has probably clouded their ability to reason. Anyway, since you're here, can you help me get out of this? I'd prefer not to be killed by a dragon if I didn't have to."
He eyed Eren thoughtfully. "Yeah, sure. I'll help you. Won't do it for free, though."
"Righttt. Of course. What do you want?" Figures. No one wanted to help people out of the good of their heart anymore.
"How much do you think you're life's worth? Hmm. Well, you could repay me with your body." Rivaille smirked, finally showing some sort of emotion on his face.
"Wha-what! But…!" Eren sputtered, his face tomato red. "You…I'm a boy, you know…"
"Duh. I'm not deaf. I heard you before. What, got a problem with my tastes?"
"Uh…um…no. That's not it…I just wasn't expecting…" He trailed off. Eren had always kept his sexual preference a secret, even to his sister. Being gay was considered a disease and he could be flogged for it if he were found out. He was just shocked that he would be able to meet someone similar to him and out of all places, too. "Agh! Whatever, just get me out of this!" His head was still pounding and he really didn't want to think about anything at the moment. He just wanted out, now. The chill of the mountain wasn't helping his mood, either. Goosebumps adorned both of his arms.
Rivaille chucked at Eren's lack of patience. "Alright, as you wish." He leaned over Eren, his hand reaching to the boy's head. He heard a sharp intake of breath from Eren and saw him squeeze his eyes shut. Adorable. "Relax. I haven't even done anything yet."
Opening his eyes, Eren looked up at Rivaille leaning over him. He involuntarily flinched when he felt a hand caress the side of his face and travel to his wig, pulling something out from it. What? In Rivaille's hand was a bobby pin and on his face was the cockiest smirk Eren had ever seen in his life. That jerk. He's teasing me! Trying to put on the fiercest look he could manage, he glared at Rivaille.
He almost choked on the laughter that he tried so hard to hold in. This kid. He was way too cute and Rivaille wanted to make him his. He picked up one of Eren's wrists and began picking the lock of the metal cuff. Eren's hands were cold on his skin. Despite wanting to tease the boy some more, he needed to get Eren out of the restraints before he got sick from the cool air up here.
While Rivaille worked on unlocking the chains on his wrists, Eren couldn't help but stare at his face. His eyelashes were surprisingly long; they fluttered and brushed against his cheeks as he was bent down, eyes focused on picking the cuffs. He noticed how the man's lips were perfectly shaped, how beautifully his Cupid's bow curved. Rivaille's hair was hanging away from his face and to Eren, the strands looked like threads of silk. Before he realized what he was doing, his free hand reached out and tucked some of Rivaille's fringe behind his ear. Rivaille glanced up and Eren's hand froze at the side of his face. Oh shit. "I-uh…um…sorry." Glancing away, he quickly retracted his limb.
Oh my fucking God. Eren was really too freaking cute for his own good. Just marry me already. Rivaille soon managed to get the cuff unlocked so the other one was a piece of cake. When the cuffs fell to the ground, Eren began rubbing his sore wrists and mumbled a 'thanks'. He tried to stand but ended up stumbling in the process. Before he could fall face first into the floor, Rivaille caught him and the boy ended up face first in his chest and sprawled on his lap instead.
His face was on fire; he could feel it. If dying from embarrassment were possible, that's what Eren would be doing. It had all happened so quickly. As he attempted to get up, the world felt like it had tiled on an angle and his legs failed him. Strong arms had grasped his waist and stopped his fall. Again. His face was pressed into silken fabric and he could feel just how toned Rivaille's chest was. Since Eren had to keep his preferences behind locks, never before had he been able to truly feel what he yearned for. Everything was overwhelming to Eren and Rivaille's lovely scent of pine and flowers was not helping him. He felt dizzy. He needed something, an outlet. Anything to relive the pressure building underneath his ribcage, suffocating him.
Half-lidded eyes gazed up at Rivaille. Oh hell no. Don't you dare look at me like that. There was no telling what he would do to the kid. He could only restrain himself so much. "…Rivaille…" Nope. Fuck it. He leaned in and captured Eren's lips in his own. The boy was shocked at first at Rivaille's actions, but soon tried his best to mimic what Rivaille did. He could only assume that Eren's never kissed anybody before, given that he was gay and that was a big 'no-no' in his society.
Rivaille sucked on the bottom of Eren's lip and ran his hand along his chest, causing him to let out a soft moan. Taking advantage of his parted lips, Rivaille slipped his tongue into Eren's mouth, brushing it against the boy's own. He had gasped at the intrusion, but allowed Rivaille to explore his mouth, meekly meeting his tongue Rivaille's more aggressive one. He continued to kiss Eren deeply, one hand cupping his cheek, until the boy pulled away, gasping for breath.
One corner of Rivaille's mouth lifted up in a crooked smile. If Eren kept being so freaking appealing, he was really going to end up doing something more inappropriate to him. "Next time, breathe through your nose." He tried to give the winded boy a peck on the forehead but ended up with a mouthful of fake hair. Pulling back, he grimaced. "This needs to go." The wig was pulled off in one swift motion and thrown to the side, allowing soft brown hair to spill out. "Much better." Eren looked much more charming with his own short, brunet hair, parted in the middle.
Eren couldn't be bothered to respond to Rivaille. He had just received his first kiss. Well, he had gotten kisses from his mother, but they weren't like this, of course. That would just be wrong, but he wouldn't think about her now. His first kiss had been everything he was hoping for and more. Never in this lifetime would he have thought that he'd be able to kiss a man. He could die now and he wouldn't even care. Eren tried to sit up, but body felt like jelly. Keeping himself upright seemed next to impossible at the moment.
Rivaille hadn't seemed to mind Eren's inability to move or speak. He firmly wrapped one arm around Eren's waist to support him and his other hand combed the boy's delicate brown locks, gently pressing his head against his chest.
Even though Eren felt warmed up from the kiss, he shivered when a gust of wind breezed past the two of them. Steady hands grasped him on the shoulder and pushed him back. He stared at Rivaille, slightly shocked. Had he done something wrong?
Noticing Eren's distress, he reassured the boy. "You're fine." He shucked off his fur coat and wrapped it around Eren, trying to stop his trembling.
"Ah, no! Wait. Don't give this to me. I'm okay. I don't want you to catch a cold." Despite Eren's protests, Rivaille insisted and would not take no for an answer.
"Now that you're all warmed up, why don't you head back to your village? Don't worry about the dragon. I'll deal with it."
"What?! No! I can't let you do something like that!"
"Aww, worried about me?"
"Yeah, I am, actually."
Rivaille had wanted to tease Eren, expecting him to vehemently deny any concern for him, but was taken aback by his straightforward answer. A little bit unsure of what to say, he rubbed the back of his neck before replying. "Don't be. I can handle myself just fine. Trust me." Seeing the doubt in Eren's eyes, he questioned him. "Do I look weak to you?"
"No…" Eren's reply was reluctant. He didn't want to leave Rivaille to deal with the dragon by himself but he had no jurisdiction over the man.
"See? I'll be okay. Really, don't concern yourself over me. We're practically strangers, anyway." There was hurt in Eren's eyes when he said this and he regretted his words just a bit.
"Will…will I see you again?" His voice wavered.
"Mmm…who knows? Maybe." Rivaille brushed Eren's bangs out of his face and gave one last kiss on his forehead before they parted ways. He pointed to a path that slanted in a gradual decline. "That's the safest route back. Take that road and you should arrive in your village in no time."
Rivaille had stepped away from Eren and started walking in the opposite direction. Before he could disappear from Eren's sight, he ran towards him, grasping the shorter man by his shoulders and turning him around. Eren placed a hard kiss on Rivaille's lips, giving them a quick lick before pressing his face into the crook of his neck. "I'll see you later, Rivaille." He mumbled against Rivaille's neck. Not giving him a chance to reply, Eren ran off in the direction that would lead him home, refusing to look back.
Shock glued Rivaille to his spot momentarily. His fingertips fluttered to his lips, still feeling the sensation of another's on his. He let out a soft chuckle only he would hear. Damn cheeky brat. Just like a little puppy. When he was sure Eren was gone, he transformed into his true form, a large dragon with onyx shaded scales, and flew off to Eren's village, going quickly enough to make sure that he would make it there first.
The forest surrounding the village shielded his enormous body as he landed to change into his human form. Didn't want to give the villagers a scare. Yet. As he emerged from the woods, villagers took notice of him. "Oi, hey, tell me, any one of you. Who decided to offer up some kid to a dragon?"
A crowd had begun to gather, curious of what was going on. Someone finally decided to speak up. "Well, I don't know why it is of any concern to you what we do, kid, but the entire settlement thought that a sacrifice would be in our best interests. Though that damn Grisha switched his choice of child last minute. Not that I mind, getting rid of that stupid troublemaker will be better for everyone."
He had felt a vein in his forehead throbbing the moment the villager opened his mouth but he was sure it was ready to explode afterwards. "Okay, first of all, you shithead, I'm not a child. I'm going to assume this Grisha character is related to Eren in some way and is responsible for the fact that he ended up almost freezing to death on that mountain. I think it would be 'in your best interests' that you don't pull this shit again. And don't you dare think you can call him stupid. He's more intelligent than the lot of you pigs." But a switch, though? Eren hadn't mentioned anything about that.
Indignant, another man from the crowd called out to Rivaille. "Hey, man, who the hell do you think you are talking to us like that? You don't know anything about us. You can't just come into our town talking shit about us!"
Rivaille wanted to laugh at their ignorance. "Who the hell am I? Who the fuck do you think I am?" He was bored of this little charade. His body began transforming, becoming covered in glossy onyx scales. Giant wings sprouted from his back, and a long tail grew and flicked out behind him.
No longer in human form, steam leaked from his mouth as he spoke, his voice much deeper. "Why the ever living fuck did you think offering a person would please me? What the HELL would I do with one single person? Eat them? If I wanted to eat God damn people why would I be satisfied with just one? Do you all have shit for brains?! Ugh. That damn Grisha person better be glad he's not here. If he were, I'd skin that fucker alive and let him roast slowly over a fire until it killed him."
All of those that gathered stood frozen in place, too scared to even move, knowing that they wouldn't be able to outrun the dragon. He thought they were filth, scum, all of them. He wanted to get out of their presence as soon as he could. "So, word of fucking advice, if I see anybody chained up on that stupid ass mountain again, there will be hell to pay. Ah, also, tell that shitface Grisha that if I see a single scratch on Eren or his sibling, he's as good as dead." After saying his last words, he took off, flying high back to the mountains.
Back at the cave he decided to stay at, Rivaille changed into his human form. He just did not understand the way humans thought at all. Really. What the hell made them think that sacrificing a human would be a good plan?
Rivaille wasn't even too keen on the idea of eating humans, but then he remembered the lingering flavor of Eren on his tongue. He pressed his fingers to the grin that graced his face at the memory. They sure do taste good, though.
A/N: If you've made it this far, thank you so much for reading. This was inspired by a story I read a couple years ago and I just happened to remember it recently. I was (and still am) fascinated by the idea of dragons and dragon shifters, and I don't think I've seen any SnK dragon!AUs so I thought, why not?
Anyway, I do hope you guys enjoyed the story as much as I did writing it. This is the second story I've ever written, so please keep in mind that my writing is not as good as the other amazing writers on FF/AO3. Regardless, I would love to hear what you guys think. All comments, suggestions, and criticisms are welcome. ^ ^