"Oh hey look, you have a Facebook."
Marco lifted his head from a small (and pathetically empty) photo album sitting on Jean's nightstand. "Wow, you were pretty popular." Jean's voice remarked, a hint of jealous tainting the tone. Marco drifted to look over Jean's shoulder, staring at a screen full of pictures with him and people he didn't recognize. "You must have been really big into sports." There was a picture of Marco in a soccer uniform, basketball, and baseball. "And school organizations. Let's see: Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club. Damn, is there anything you weren't a part of?" Jean looked at him almost crossly and Marco glanced away, shrugging.
"I don't know. I mean, it seems familiar." He supposed it made sense. With his friendly, approachable nature he did seem most fitted for social organizations. "Not that it really matters. I'm dead now."
"Yeah, but you were somebody." Jean murmured. Marco frowned.
"But I died a nobody." Marco reminded him gently and moved to rest a hand on Jean's shoulder. He expected his fingers to ghost through, so imagine both of their surprise when a warm hand settled on Jean's cloth covered skin. They both stared at the appendage like Marco had grown extra fingers or something. The feeling lasted for only a moment before the fingers swiped through, leaving Jean with a chill.
"I-I should get ready for school." Jean stuttered, getting up hurriedly and exiting the room. Marco watched before turning back to the computer. With a ghostly wave, he scrolled through his Facebook, looking at all the messages of his past friends, reading that they missed him and loved him. He switched to look at Jean's Facebook, hoping to see some sort of activity. All he saw were a couple of pictures and a few statuses full of song lyrics.
The real crime here wasn't Marco's death.
No, it was Jean's painfully barren existence.
"Hey Jean." Jean glanced up from poking around his lunch to see Armin standing before him, tray in hand and smile on his face. "Mind if I sit with you today?" He asked cordially.
"Uh, sure." he glanced around, a little suspicious. "Don't you want to sit with Eren and Mikasa?" he asked. Armin shook his head.
"Nah. I sit with them all the time. I figured you could use someone to sit with during lunch with." Jean wouldn't lie- he was a little pleased over the blond sitting with him. Sure, they had been hanging out after school in the library to research ghosts and stuff, but he figured that Armin would keep it to that.
"Oy, Armin, why are you sitting with him?" Eren came up a few seconds later, Mikasa in tow. Armin tilted his head up.
"Jean looked like he could use someone to sit with. Why don't you join us?" Armin invited and Jean scowled lightly. Jaeger and him weren't exactly on speaking terms. Eren bristled too until Mikasa tugged at his shirt, whispering something in his ear.
"Fine." Eren plopped down beside Armin and Mikasa took her usual seat beside him. Silence engulfed them all for a moment before Armin finally spoke up.
"So, ah, Jean, I found some information on Marco that I thought might interest you." Armin pulled out a newspaper page labeled "Obituaries". Jean took it with a small thank you and glanced over the articles, eyes going straight to Marco's picture. "It says where he's buried. I thought you would like to go check out the gravesite, maybe dig around a little."
"I knew you were a weird fuck, but don't be dragging Armin into this." Eren growled and Jean crumbled the paper in his hands.
"Shut up Jaeger, this is none of your damn business!"
"To hell it isn't! Whatever you're planning to do, you can forget Armin-"
At that moment, a piece of Jean's mashed potatoes found its way into Eren's face. Jean stared at the sight of gravy covered Jaeger before bursting out into laughter, remarking at how stupid Eren looked. Eren retaliated a second later with chocolate pudding that went up Jean's nose.
A few seconds later, the entire cafeteria was in mass chaos.
Food was flying everywhere. Jean scrambled behind a table with the trio, their own fighting forgotten as everyone else joined in. Jean peeked his head over the top and was rewarded with a face full of sloppy joe, courtesy of Connie and Sasha from the row over. Eren laughed until ice cream lodged itself in his ear, good aim coming from a smirking Annie. Poor Bertl though was a mess, unable to really crouch behind an overturned table, though Reiner did an excellent job of trying to shield him with a lunch tray.
The noise in the lunchroom was a dull roar until the doors slammed open, a booming voice yelling, "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?!"
All eyes turned and food dropped from frozen fingers as Vice Principal Levi stalked in, trailed closely by Principal Erwin. "Aah- Levi, I was just coming to get you…" Hanji, the resident science teacher, stood up, brushing some scattered rice off a stained blazer.
"For the love of, don't tell me you were participating in this!" Hanji turned smeared glasses eyes away, fingers twiddling lightly. "Who started this!?" He demanded, looking completely unamused despite Principal Erwin hid his smile behind a clenched fist in what was supposed to be a thoughtful and intimidating look.
All the students looked around and Jean quickly turned eyes to Eren, expecting the other to rat him out. And for a second, Eren thought about it. But, he had to give it to Jean. No one had ever been gutsy enough to start a food fight, despite it being on the top ten list of every student's bucket list. "Oh, so no one's going to take the blame for this?" Levi snarled, fingers clenching. "Fine. Until someone confesses, you will all be forced to stay here and clean up. And after that, you will all write a ten page essay on why you should not start food fights. After that-" A chorus of groans echoed in the cafeteria and Jean bit his lip. He didn't want to get in trouble himself, but a small voice inside his head was telling him that this was a golden opportunity to show that he could be a considerate person and that by saving the rest of the students, he'd boost his image considerably.
Wait. That wasn't his inner voice saying that.
Jean glanced down at his overturned book bag and saw a pair of honey gold eyes staring at him. Damn it Marco. He should have known. With a deep sigh, he stood up. Levi's eyes instantly zeroed in on him. "I started the fight." Jean mumbled. In a second, the short man stood in front of him.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear that." Oh, Levi definitely heard it. He just wanted to hear it again. Jean let out an impatient noise.
"I said, I started the fight. Punish me. Not them."
Satisfied, Levi turned his eyes to the rest of the student body. "All of you, get your disgusting selves out of here and back to class. If any of you go hungry, then it's your own damn fault." Levi turned his eyes back to him. "You. You'll be cleaning up this mess by yourself."
"Uh, sir." Levi and Jean turned to see Eren standing up, looking guilty. "I started it too. I returned fire."
"Fine. You both can clean up this mess." Levi's eyes looked down at the covered Mikasa and Armin. "Arlert, Ackerman. Were you two involved as well." Mikasa gave a curt nod and Arlert squeaked as a confession. Levi let out scoff. "You four are on clean up duty for the rest of the week. Give our janitors a break." With that he turned on his heel and walked back to Principal Erwin. "We'll discuss your punishments afterwards." He called out. Erwin simply gave them a wink and turned to follow his vice principal out, commenting that they were all just kids and that he remembered the chaos Levi had caused when he was their age. A simple "fuck you" was all that Levi responded with.
"This sucks ass." Jean grunted as he lifted himself up off sore knees. Finally, the place was spotless. After they cleaned it for the third time. Granted, it had been spotless the first time but vice principal Levi disagreed.
"Yeah. Worth it though." Eren smirked, wiping the sweat from his brow. "Never figured you'd be the one to start a food fight."
"Well, maybe if you actually got to know me then this wouldn't be much of a surprise." Jean tossed a bucket at Eren, who caught it deftly.
"Maybe if you didn't act like such an arrogant son of a bitch then I would hang out with you more!"
And just like that, the two settled into another round of bickering, though this time there were smirks instead of scowls.
Marco sighed from his spot in the rafters, a slight grin on his own face. A little unconventional, but Jean required the big guns. He remembered a flashback of himself, sitting in a school cafeteria, scrubbing floors with the members of a soccer team as they laughed about the own fight they had caused. For a second, Marco's form solidified and he inhaled sharply, the cold blast of air in his real lungs a shock to the senses. He faulted on the beam and fell, a yell echoing.
"Hey, did you guys hear that?" Armin asked, looking around. The other three glanced around the large room, the haunting echo chilling all of them.
"Guess it was just the wind…" Jean rubbed the back of his neck, thinking that he had heard Marco. But he saw no sign of the ghost. Shaking his head, he got back to work with the others.
Marco wasn't in his room when Jean finally got home that afternoon, after serving detention with the trio of friends. He frowned but thought nothing of it. Maybe he was off doing ghostly things.
Whatever ghostly things were.
He logged on his computer and saw that he had several friend requests on Facebook and a little bit of giddiness filled him.
"Have a good day at school?" Marco's voice comforted him rather than scared him. Jean looked around to see the ghost sitting on the window seat, burrowed in his jacket, a small smile peeking out from his scarf.
"As if you don't know." Jean smirked. A minute passed. "Thanks."
"You're welcome. I knew it was a long shot, but I had just a sliver of hope."
"What gave you the idea anyways?" Jean asked.
"Oh, a memory." Jean shook his head, going through his friend requests.
"Hey, there's a friend request from you. I didn't know ghosts had Facebook." Jean teased. Marco drifted over.
"Hush. I had a flashback that contained a memory of me logging in. I'm having a lot of flashbacks lately." Jean accepted the request and immediately moved to snoop around on Marco's page. "I was wondering…" Marco started.
"Yeah?" Jean found himself smiling fondly at the pictures of Marco, looking so happy and full of life.
"I was wondering if you could take me back to my home. I don't remember where it's at exactly, but I figured we could find it. I wanted to see my parents. One last time." The mood instantly sobered. Jean nodded.
"Of course. We'll go this weekend."
That night, Jean dreamed of his parents and what would happen if he never saw them again. He woke up with a start, sweat pouring down his face.
"Jean, you okay?" It was his mother's voice that directed his attention. She sat on his bed, looking worried. "You were crying and yelling in your sleep." Without getting an answer, the woman found Jean throwing his arms around her and pushing his head into her neck.
"Mom, I know I don't tell you and dad this enough. Or that little alien that I call as sister either. But I love you guys. If something happened to you, I don't know what I'd do. And if you guys died without knowing that I loved you, I'd hate myself forever." Jean tried not to cry, but he did anyways. His mother smiled and held her son tight, stroking his hair soothingly.
"I know you love us Jean, and we love you too. Never forget that." Jean nodded, finally feeling some peace within him. "Would you like for me to sing you to sleep?"
Jean hadn't been sung to sleep in ages. He nodded, letting her tuck him into the covers as she began to sing softly, her soothing words helping ease him back to sleep.
Marco sat in the closet, leaning his head against the wall, surrounded by Jean's scent. Jean's mother had a beautiful voice and he closed his eyes, imagining that it was his mother instead. For the first time in almost two weeks, Marco drifted to sleep, hot tear stains trailing down his cheeks, revealing freckled brown skin in their wake.