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Fucking Jean Kirstein.

Eren stormed from the room, only vaguely aware of Mikasa behind him. And fucking Mikasa. Always looking out for him like he was a child. Like he was Armin. Like he needed looking after. He could still feel the sting in his palm from having slapped Kirstein's hand away. What did he think? That they could just shake and be friends like nothing had happened? Like he hadn't called him an idiot. Like he hadn't called him scared. In front of everyone. Too far ahead and too wrapped up in his own anger to notice Mikasa pause in the doorway, turn back. But not too far ahead to hear Kirstein tell her her hair was beautiful.

Fucking Jean Kirstein.

"That could get in the way," he'd told her, "in manoeuvrer training." Too wrapped in his own anger to notice the expression that flitted across her face as she picked a long lock out of her eyes, toyed with it between her fingers. The one thing about her that anyone had ever told her was beautiful.

"Fine. I'll cut it."

Too full of hate and rage and the desire for vengeance.

-x X x-

Fucking Jean Kirstein. Always there to witness every little slip, every small humiliation, smug and smiling and tall. Fuck, if only he wasn't tall it wouldn't be so bad, looking down his nose at everyone, and Eren holds on to the thought of the headbutt that had floored him, the one time he had been brought down in public.

Every fucking time. When he failed the aptitude training - the basics of the basics - couldn't even ride the baby bike with the stabilisers still on - there he'd been. Mikasa to his left, looking as though she were somewhere else entirely, far-away look in her eye like always, some other thing that only she could see far more important than whatever stupid hoop she was supposed to be jumping through. And to his left, fucking Jean Kirstein, frowning in concentration, but upright, while he - self-appointed saviour of humanity and slayer of all Titans - hung upside-down listening to the mocking laughter behind him.

"Give up on becoming a soldier," she'd said. And just for a moment, he hated her; walked away while she was talking. Never heard her tell the empty space where he'd been how she felt about him.

"I'd rather you tell me how you're able to stay sane after humiliating yourself like that," Kirstein had laughed when Eren had asked - begged - them all to tell him how they stayed upright.

-x X x-

Too full of a mad ecstatic joy when Thomas had given him his belt and he had finally hung there, Titan's falling before him in his imagination, to notice her expression change. To see the lost and broken look, her world in ruins about her.

-x X x-

"What… what are you doing? What if someone sees us?"

"Shut up."

Mikasa, blunt and flat as she always is. Jean, flustered, almost scared-sounding.

Jean? Fucking Jean Kirstein?

From where he is crouching behind the cannon, Eren can see her silhouetted, Jean lost in shadow, the moon behind the clouds. Kirstein?

"Mikasa…" his voice more breath than word, and Eren - tense and trembling, wide-eyed with fury - wants to leap out from where he is hidden, to drag them apart. Don't even say her name, you bastard! Because they are close together - far too close together - and she is pushing him back against the parapet. Moonlight in her eyes, black and hard and glittering and Jean is pushed back against the parapet, her hand on his chest, his hands against the stone and Eren closes his eyes and thinks of teeth biting down on living flesh.

"What if someone sees us?" Jean says again. "What if Er.." Before she presses her mouth against his, silences him with a kiss.

Eren discovers that even the moon hates him, slipping out from behind the clouds, everything bleached and silver and illuminated.

He sees the moment Jean stops fighting, gives himself up to Mikasa, to Mikasa's mouth. Hears his protests turn into little inarticulate sounds of pleasure, gasping as she bites his lip, her hands everywhere on him, in his hair, on his shoulders, tugging at his shirt, scattered buttons skittering across the flagstones, Kirstein's fingers pulling at her hips, Mikasa pushing him down onto the cold ground, hunched over him, what's left of her hair as black as a raven's wing. Small jerky movements of her hips, Kirstein pinned, his hands under her clothes, one of hers pressed against his chest, white in the moonlight, the other to her mouth, one cocked knuckle caught between her teeth as she grinds against him. And Eren doesn't even know that he is mimicking her, biting into the flesh behind his thumb.


Eren doesn't know if it's his voice or Kirstein's. Closes his eyes so that even the traitorous moonlight can't make him see the expression on her face as she shrugs out of her clothes, Kirstein's mingled fear and desire as she fumbles at his. But nothing can stop him hearing the breath hiss between Kirstein's clenched teeth or Mikasa's soft cry as she lowers herself onto him.

-x X x-

"Why did you do that?"

It's a while before Jean speaks. She has been sitting with her back to him, staring in silence towards the cannon on the emplacement where the wall widens out.


"Why did you do it?" She's scared him a little, before.

"Because." Still not looking at him. Still looking away. Shrugging. "I like you."

"No." Much as he wants to believe it, Jean isn't stupid. "I mean, you… the three of you… he…". Can't quite bring himself to say it.

"Look." Mikasa half turns, and he swallows at the sight of her profile. Beautiful. "Just be glad, can't you?"

Jean pulls his shirt closed around him, buttonless. "That thing, before," he says.

"What thing?"

"With the aptitude training." Waits for her to stop him. Waits.

"What about it?"

"That was you, wasn't it? All of this," he makes a strange shrugging gesture, long face lost in thought, "this - all of it - everything is about him, isn't it? About Jäger?"

For a long moment Mikasa doesn't answer. "I need to keep him safe," she says at last, quietly, not really talking to Jean. "Whether he wants me to or not." Stares in silence towards the cannon on the parapet.