Categories > Anime/Manga > Attack on Titan


by CaptainRiren 0 reviews

Oneshot. "March 30th - Eren's birthday! Happy Birthday, Eren! I wish you were here to celebrate. We found the ocean today." Based on a tumblr prompt. Canon divergent.

Category: Attack on Titan - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2018-07-05 - 1243 words - Complete




March 30 - Eren's birthday! Happy birthday, Eren!

His bones creaked and complained at the old soldier as he walked, making his way as quickly as possible as he could to where his two friends wanted to meet him. Under a tree in a wide-open meadow - the most free place they could find inside the Walls.

I wish you could be here to celebrate...

He was weary and exhausted from his travels, but finally, finally he was home. It had been decades since he had last seen his old home where he was with old friends and fought in the war against the titans. He sat on the stone bench under the tree, opened his journal with grizzled, worn hands ailed by carpal tunnel, and started reading, a soft smile gracing his wrinkled features.

We found the ocean today. He smiled wider as he read it aloud to his two friends. It was amazing. Massive and blue, just like the books said - I couldn't see the end of it!

Water lapped at the small blond's boots. The smell of salt tinged the air, apparently from the water he stood in. The sun was slowly dipping under the horizon, casting orange light over endless blue waves.

It was beautiful...

The sight was absolutely breathtaking.

... I cried.

His chest tightened. Before he knew it or could stop it, tears were pouring down his cheeks, dripping off of his chin and mingling with the salty ocean. He did nothing to stop the flow, letting out a choked sob. The wind carried it away, toward the waves, toward the setting sun, toward the free birds flying over the waves.

I saluted for you. The tears wouldn't stop.

His left arm went behind his back. He curled his right fist over his heart, wrinkling slightly the fabric of his green cloak with the overlapping wings on the back, white over black. The tears fell faster, some falling on the cloak and turning it a darker shade. His small sobs turned to loud, desperate, broken-hearted wails, echoing through the lonely beach and being swallowed by the loud sound of waves.

Levi told me it was okay, because I was crying for you. I was compensating for all of us... the ones who weren't just unable to go, but missing from the world altogether. The ones who could no longer cry.

The boy felt a hand on his shoulder and turned quickly to see his once-corporal giving him a soft, sympathetic look, so very different from the man who was once stoic and cold. Said demeanor cracked over the two years they had traveled, and even now the silver-blue eyes shone with unshed tears. Soothing words were murmured, the blond immediately taking comfort in them.

I told him he could cry, too.

The older man held his arms out in offering. The young blond immediately threw himself into the embrace, wrapping his arms around the raven and whispering his own reassuring words.

After all, he had more people to cry for than I did.

The former captain's strong facade shattered. He held the crying blond tightly, teas trailing down his own cheeks. His small frame shook with quiet sobs, barely audible over his subordinate's loud crying. They took comfort in each others' presence, shedding tears for their fallen comrades that couldn't.

"I could feel them with us..."

They could feel the presence of others. They broke apart slightly to look, only for the blond to start crying harder and cling to his companion for support. The raven bit his lip, trying to slow his tears, to not cry in front of fallen comrades.

Transparent figures stood on the shore in a half-circle around them. A tall, broad-shouldered male with a topknot towered over his equally built dark-haired friend. They were accompanied by an older man with an undercut and a short strawberry-blonde. They were all smiling brightly, tears pricking their pride-filled eyes, but none of them smiling. There were others, two blond men, one incredibly tall with his hair unkempt and pulled into a ponytail, the other with a clean undercut and professionally parted hair. A woman with glasses and messy brunet hair. Behind them stood younger people, and they were who set the blond boy off. A girl with brunet hair swept up into a messy ponytail, a kid with a buzzcut, a boy with ashen hair, a freckled kid with neat hair, a tiny blonde girl wrapped up in another girl's embrace.

All of them had a pair of wings - one white, one black, and while all of their eyes shone with tears, none of them cried. Instead they simply smiled at the two survivors before vanishing.

"I wish you could have been there to see it," the old man croaked, running his fingers over the weathered cover of the journal. His hair was no longer full and pretty and blonde, instead matted and silver and halfway down his back, for he had never cut it. He still donned his old uniform - he hadn't grown enough for it to be too small. The smile on his face faded into an upset frown.

"Levi... didn't make the trip back. I'm sorry... but he's with his squad now and Isabel and Farlan. I watched them take him away, and get this, guys, he was smiling. Hopefully you guys got to see him too." A single tear fell, sliding down his cheek. He stared down at his gnarled hands. "Now I'm all alone again..."


The old man looked up, eyes going wide in shock. He hadn't heard that voice in many, many decades. Two young adults stood before him - neither of them could have been older than sixteen - a brunet boy and a raven-haired girl. Both of them smiled, tears in their eyes. The old man could feel the tears come faster, jaw hanging open in awe.

"You don't have to be alone," the boy told him.

"Come with us," the girl added. "We miss you."

They each held a hand out invitingly, expectantly. The old man closed his mouth and gave a small, feeble smile, closing his eyes and leaning back. His entire being ached. He was tired, so tired. He knew going with them would relieve all the pain - the pain of watching them all die, the pain of being left behind, the pain of growing up totally alone...

"Okay," Armin rasped.

The hands he reached out with weren't the grizzled, calloused ones he had used to open the book - instead they were delicate, smooth, not yet worn by work or combat. He placed one hand into each of the offered ones, and his friends smiles were no longer sad or lonely. They smiled brightly, happily, welcoming him. They helped him up off the bench, the creak in his bones missing, tears running down a wrinkle-free face.

"Sorry to leave you behind," the brunet told him, and the ravenet pulled him into a hug.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," the last soldier replied, in a voice no longer raw or scratchy, but boyish and young. "Let's go home."

They walked away hand-in-hand, abandoning the tree, abandoning the bench with the old man's body sitting peacefully in eternal slumber, abandoning the journal that had tumbled to the ground, and abandoning the two tombstones in front of the bench labeled "Eren Jaeger" and "Mikasa Ackerman", eventually disappearing from the world completely.
Sign up to rate and review this story