"[Name]!" You felt the plush material of a pillow whacked across your face.
"No…" You whimpered, clutching onto your own pillow. "I want sleep, go away." You murmured while turning, still very much asleep. You frowned, with eyebrows creased, when you had been kicked in the stomach. You opened your eyes reluctantly to find your friend with her foot resting on your body. And she didn’t look too amused. "…" You gazed upwards at her for a few moments. "Why am I on the ground…?" You brought your upper body up, rubbing your eyes and yawning. You adjusted your position and then extended your arms to stretch, since sleeping on a wooden floor wasn't exactly the most comfortable thing.
She shrugged, then scoffed. "Don't ask me. You probably rolled off your bed, hugging that pillow. You're lucky your bed is lowly elevated, otherwise you would’ve gave yourself a concussion." She had a malicious grin plastered across her face.
"What?" You questioned, with a raised brow and folded arms.
"You were thinking about Jaeger, weren't you?"
You choked and coughed. "For the last time, I have nothing to do with him!" You brought your hand to your face, in case you had been blushing [which you were].
"Liar." You were wacked on the head. Confused, you glared up at her with a somewhat annoyed look. She held out a small and shiny trinket, and it took you a few moments to realize that it was what you were looking for last night, which had also caused that encounter with Eren.
"H-How did you…" You held out your hands in a cup shape as she set it into your palms.
She smiled and ruffled your hair a bit. "I took it during dinner when I was leaving early, since I knew how much it meant to you. I was going to put it away for you. And knowing you, I you probably didn't hear me when I said I was going to take it back for you. So, you were probably looking for it outside." She scoffed, her cheeks tinted a light pink. "And when I went to go look for you, seeing you all over that boy was totally unexpected.
Your face heated up. "No! No, no, no, no! It's not what you think! That was nothing!" You squeezed your eyes shut and began clutching onto your pillow again. "He just… needed a little help."
She blinked a few times, before chuckling lightly. "You know, you overslept today."
Your eyes popped open."Then why am I wasting time talking to you?!" You stood up abrubtly, as you scrambled to get changed.
"You know, your boyfriend is abou-"
You interrupted her. "He isn't my- Wait, what!?” You buckled all belts, and shrugged on the uniform jacket.
"His evaluation is about to start.~" She laughed. You glared at her, in response to her laugh, as you struggled to slide on the bottom of the uniform. You quickly shoved your feet into the knee-length leather boots, and exited the barracks, followed by your friend.
"Wait, [Name]." As you spun to face her, she pulled out your hand and placed your bracelet in it. "Honestly… You need to start being more responsible." She chuckled. "I bet you're excited to see Ere-"
"No, no, no, no, no~!" You said it so many times, it began to turn into a song, almost. She sighed and followed right behind you. You had noticed immediately that today was extra warm, the sun shining and already, a line of sweat had formed around your forehead. That was wiped straight away.
When you got there, there were lots of people viewing Eren's evaluation. "Excuse me…" You shyly said, as you made your way to the front. It seems like you had just made it in time.
Those turquoise eyes were the first things you had noticed. It seemed to be a common tradition now, everyday. It was as if you were the key that fit perfectly to him, or vice-versa. Because, it was almost as if you had automatically locked eyes with him, and once you did, it was hard to avert. Your friend had elbowed you in your back, so that you would snap out of your “trance”. You turned your head towards her to see her give you an easily readable expression that said, “Pull it together. Communicate with him anytime except now.”
You shortly nodded, then turned your head back towards the front and looked at Shadis. He was intimidating as usual, no doubt about that. Just the way he glared at you could cause you to easily become frightened. You thought he was creating an unnecessary pressure and intensity towards those who are already overwhelmed with the stress of titans and whether they would survive or not.
"Eren Jaeger, are you ready?" Keith Shadis spoke directly at Eren, as if no one else were around. He was only focused on him, and whether he was capable of passing the evaluation. Eren was standing in between the two structures that had the cords attached from it to Eren’s belt. He would be lifted from the lever that Thomas Wagner would be winding, and then it will be all up to Eren to make sure that he passes. You couldn’t bear the thought of him being dismissed from the army. Imagine how he would feel…
"Yes!" Eren responded.
You frowned. It didn’t seem like he was fully confident of his capabilities at all. Hopefully, instead of causing nerve, what you had done last night would help him into passing.
"Begin!" Shadis ordered. Wagner began winding the lever, causing the cords to lift his weight into the air, and balance just from those two main cords. You brought your hands up towards your chest and held them tightly. You could only hope for the best.
Once he had finally been lifted into the air, he quickly adjusted himself into a position that would help him balance, and prevent him from wavering. You watched with awe, as you could tell that he probably wasn’t relying on your advice about relaxing, but his will that he has stored inside. You sighed mentally and accepted that that was the reason he would succeed. Because of his will. It was almost as if his desire to wipe out all titans had overpowered what you had told him the night before.
Because he was managing to stay upright, with an occasional wobble, the trainees beside you began cheering. You smiled and began cheering as well, as if encouraging was the most you could do for him at the moment. But, what also happened last night, had just happened again. Eren felt the sudden change of equilibrium and began to waver a bit before swaying over and falling upside down. Your heart felt dead for a second. Eren hung upside down on the structure, hair hanging and almost reaching the ground.
"N-Not yet… I'm not giving up yet!" He began to panic. You creased your eyebrows, sneaking a glance at your friend who was in shock. She, too, didn’t expect this, as it was already going so well.
"Put him down." Shadis commanded Wagner. He nodded and began lowering Eren to the ground, on his knees.
"I…I…" Eren’s eyes began to water, as if his only chance to defeat the titans and gain revenge had vanquished immediately. It was almost as if his path had just ended.
"Wagner, change belts with Jaeger." Eren looked up, with a concerned look. You swallowed. Perhaps, there was still a chance. You hadn’t considered the fact that there could be something faulty with his equipment.
"Y-Yes, sir!" You tilted your head as Wagner and Eren exchanged belts. Eren slipped into the belts, securing them tightly, and was, once again, attached to the cords. Because of his recent attempt, Eren looked less confident than he was before, which had concerned you deeply.
As Eren was lifted into the air by his belts, your friend had taken your hand and squeezed it tightly, to inform you that it would be alright. You could feel the tension between Eren and the instructor. Shadis was like the predator, and that was an easy comparison.
This time, when he had been brought up, he hadn’t wobbled as much as he had the first time, and remained upright with nary a problem. You exchanged looks with your friend, although she had only shrugged.
After a few more minutes of confirmation, Shadis had finally spoke.
"Your equipment was defective. The fitting on your belt was damaged.” He gripped the belt that Eren had worn the first time, piercing eyes studying it. “I've never heard of this part getting damaged. I'll have to add it to the maintenance checklist."
You heard a member of the audience say, "So, he managed to stay upright a bit, even with a broken belt?" That was true. He had also done the same last night, before falling over.
You smiled mentally. So, I mistook him to be someone weaker amongst all the trainees. It’s actually, quite the opposite. You thought, placing your right hand against your cheek, along the jaw, while resting your left arm under your right elbow.
"Wow…” You heard another person comment.
"T-Then, did I pass?" Eren asked, while keeping his balance. You watched tensely.
"You're fine.” Shadis confirmed. The tension began to vanish. You and your friend looked at each other and smiled merrily. “Commence training."
Eren glanced at you for a moment, and you had smiled in encouragement at him. He, unexpectedly, had returned the smile, then faced Mikasa and Armin with a triumphant look.
"I guess it all worked out." Reiner Braun, if you remembered correctly, said.
"He's looking at us, as if to say, 'See!'" Armin Arlert added.
"No… He's relieved because he thinks we won't have to be separated now." Mikasa softly added.
You gazed at her for a moment. Her features were perfect, her form ideal, and her expression calm, regardless of any situation. You wondered what her relationship was with Eren, as you often saw her with him and Armin, and felt a spark of what may have seemed to be envy, for a moment…