Setting: Post Series
Notes: I wasn't going to post this till over the weekend, but this fandom sucks ass so I figured the tag could use a pick me up.
I wrote this at work in one day because I wanted it and I think Eren would be haunted for a long time of the things he's seen, any of them would be. Inspired bykuro-shinozaki'sart cause I love and I had that specific comic stuck in my head for a few days. The title is from "Demons" by Imagine Dragons.
When Your Dreams All Fail
It was dark around Eren, darker than even just the night; deep in the pit of his stomach he had an aching feeling it would never get light again. He stumbled blindly through the space, tripping over something every few steps but he had no idea what it was, where he was.
"Armin!" he called out. "Mikasa!"
He expected to hear one of them shout back, to hear the sharp sounds of the 3D Gear coming to find him but all he heard was the echo of his own voice. Where was everyone? Mikasa, she'd never let him out of her sight, she had to be here somewhere. She had to be.
Eren looked down at the ground to see if maybe the terrain would let him figure out just where he was; it was still covered in dark shadows, not even a blade of grass showing. He could barely even see himself, just his dirty pants and torn shirt. He kept walking, hoping someone would show up, hoping he could get out of here.
"Mikasa! Armin!" he tried again but still no answer. "Where are you guys?"
He thought he was outside somewhere; the air was cool but bitter, like something stale was in the air. He heard wind blowing through the trees; at least, he thought it was trees, he couldn't actually see any. Eren tried to rack his mind to remember where he was before he ended up here but there was nothing but darkness. Did he get lost? Were the others okay? Did they even notice he was gone?
Eren was about to call out again when something bright appeared in front of him. His eyes had grown so accustom to the darkness that he nearly had to shield his eyes from it.
The voice made him freeze instantly. He hadn't heard that voice in so long. Eren wasn't even sure it was possible but he knew it. He knew that voice. "Mom?"
As she got closer to him, lighting up the small area around her, Eren knew it couldn't be anyone but his mom. Her hair was pulled off to the side just like always, her dress and apron just like the last time her saw her when he was nine years old.
"Look at you, Eren," she said with a laugh that sent warmth through his body. "All grown up and handsome."
Eren couldn't hold back a smile as he walked towards her. God, it has been too long. He felt like a kid again just wanting to go see his mom.
She looked around the area. "Though…" She looked back at him, this time with concern in her eyes. "Where're Mikasa and Armin? Shouldn't they be here with you?"
Eren stopped in his tracks. "I…haven't been able to find them. I've been looking."
"Did you let them die, Eren?"
"What? No, of course not." His heart sank into his stomach as a cold chill took over his body. He hadn't seen them; he honestly had no idea if they were dead or alive. "I'd never let anything happen to them."
"Like you wouldn't let anything happen to me?"
The air around Eren changed; it turned thick, he was finding hard to breath. The temperature dropped, making him feel every cold breeze against his body. "Mom…I tried…I wanted to I…" He felt tears prickling his eyes.
"But it didn't do any good did it?" Her eyes turned dark as blood started to spot on her dress, down her face.
Eren stepped back to get away but he tripped over something, sending him right to the ground. He tried to stand back up, to run, but the air was suffocating, he couldn't move. "No, stop…"
His mom walked towards him the light extending off her as the area started to come into view. The sight made Eren want to throw up. Surrounding him were bodies laying limp on the ground; some were in civilian clothing but most were in uniform and most he could recognize. Sasha and Connie were huddled close together, Jean was nearby, Marco, Levi, Ewrin, Hanji, Histoiria, Ymir fallen over her, Reiner, Annie, Bertholdt, even Hannes. Eren threw his head in his hands as he tried to block out the images.
"It's your fault," his mom's voice called causing Eren to look up.
"No, I would never…" but he trailed off when he saw Mikasa and Armin's bodies in front of him. "No…" He reached out for them, grabbing a hold of Armin's shoulder, of Mikasa's arm. "No, they're not…they're not…" Eren tried to shake them but their bodies only moved lifelessly in his hands.
"It's your fault," she said again.
Eren looked up, feeling the tears on his cheeks. He was going to tell her no, he'd never. He'd never hurt Armin. He'd never hurt Mikasa.
A titan rose up behind his mom, looming over the whole area and Eren recognized it as himself. Mikasa's scar on her cheek cause Eren's eye and suddenly he knew it was his fault. He killed them all. He reached out to touch Mikasa's cold skin, the old scar.
"I'm sorry," he whispered, his titan form getting closer. "I'm so sorry."
Eren snapped up in bed, his breath frantic and sweat dripping down his face. His heart raced in his chest as his eyes adjusted to the darkness around him. It wasn't the darkness he had been in, the moonlight spilled through the open window onto the wooden floor, and a cool breeze blowing across his slick skin. His slowly began to see his surroundings as the well-known fixtures of his bedroom. He quickly turned his head back to his bed to see Mikasa laying on her side, her back to him and her sides moving in a rhythmic motion as she slept.
He felt a breath of relief flood his body as he reached up to wipe the sweat from his face.
A dream. It was just a dream.
Eren laid back down, reaching one of his hands over her waist as he pulled her body into his. He buried his face in the back of her neck, her long hair tickling his face but it didn't matter. The smell he long associated with her started to calm his pounding pulse.
It was just a dream.
It wasn't the first dream nor did Eren expect it to be the last but it had felt so real, like he really lost everything, like really lost her.
"Eren," Mikasa mumbled, her voice thick with sleep. She tried to turn her head to look at him but Eren refused to let go of his hold on her. "What's wrong?"
He shook his head against her. "Just a bad dream. Nothing to worry about, go back to sleep."
Mikasa shifted in his arms clearly not listening to him, not that Eren was surprised. She moved until she was facing him, her sleepy eyes meeting his as she reached a hand out to touch his face, "What is it?"
She really didn't look all that different physically since they left the walls and yet she was full of so much life now. She grew her hair out again, she smiled more, her eyes were brighter, she was happier and it gave her a warm glow that always made Eren smile. At least he had done right by someone.
"Ah, the usual," Eren shrugged not wanting to plague her with the things in his mind; it wasn't fair to her, not when they were finally safe, when she finally had her home.
Her eyes were firm on him but her tone was soft. "I've seen everything you have, Eren."
He sighed before flopping down on his back, taking Mikasa with him, her head resting on his shoulder. How could he ever forget?
"Everyone was dead," he said bluntly. "It was my fault. I killed them. I killed you and Armin and my mom."
"You know that's not true." Her hand ran small circles along his bare chest as she spoke. "I'm right here, and Armin is at his house, right where we last saw him."
Eren closed his eyes; he almost saw their lifeless faces again.
"Your mom, any others, they weren't your fault, and you know it. The world was shitty, and you helped make it better."
"Yeah," he snorted. "As much as-"
"Call yourself a monster and you'll regret it."
Eren looked down at her. "And just what do you plan on doing."
Mikasa was straddling his waist, his arms pinned to his side before he could blink. It really shouldn't have surprised him; their life had turned so domestic sometimes Eren forgot she had been at the top of their training class, at the top of the Scouting Legion.
"You've never been a monster, Eren. Anyone who said otherwise didn't know you, didn't understand who you are and how much you fought for them. It doesn't matter, the war is over. We're safe now."
Eren knew Mikasa was right, she always was. It didn't always make the feelings go away, it was hard to after everything they went through, everything they saw but she always knew how to make him feel better even after all these years. He felt her hands loosen on his arms and he pushed his weight against hers until he was holding himself over her.
She didn't look mad, only amused, happy. He remembered when he would've died to see her smile and now he saw it every day. Well, if he could somehow make her happy, then he must not have done everything wrong.
"Thank you, Mikasa." He leaned down until his lips were against hers, his body pressed down onto her. He let go of her as he wrapped his arms around her body, her own arms reaching around his neck.
A soft sigh fell from Mikasa's lips as her mouth moved with his, a sign Eren knew to mean she was content, her fingers playing near the hair on the nape of his neck. It sent chills down his spine, Mikasa being the only person he felt comfortable being that close to his vulnerable spot. His lips moved along her jawline and down her neck until he rested his head on her shoulder.
It was always easier to have dreamless nights when he was close to Mikasa, her fingers in his hair lulling him to sleep and her warm presence reminding him of everything he did fight to protect.
They were safe now.