Categories > Anime/Manga > Attack on Titan

Remember the Day

by CaptainRiren 1 review

Maybe he's crazy. Maybe everything has drained him of sanity. He doesn't care. All he knew was he lived for December 25th, the one time of year he could see his dead lover. They said he was schizop...

Category: Attack on Titan - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Romance - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2018-07-08 - 3220 words - Complete

"Doctor Zoe! Thank goodness!"

Hange Zoe's eyebrows shot up at the relieved shout, and they approached the commotion. A doctor was poking his head out a doorway, motioning for them to come closer. Screaming could be heard from within the room, and Hange visibly shuddered at the terrible heart-wrenching sobs that came with the noise. Their shock was replaced with anger as they realized what the room number was, and the brunette's eyes flashed with hostility.

"What the hell are you doing to him?!"

They didn't wait for an answer, shoving past their subordinate into the room. The sight that greeted them was horrifying. A short raven-haired man was being held down by three nurses, one who was holding a needle and trying to keep his arm still. Roaring with rage, Hange knocked the offending object out of the startled woman's hand, and nearly threw the others off the patient. The man immediately launched himself at the doctor, and gasps resonated through the room, the nurses and other doctor ready to restrain the patient.

It was unnecessary. He grabbed at the head doctor's shirt, twisting and ruffling the fabric. His eyes were wide and crazed, cheeks wet with tears. His breaths came short and rapid as he tried to formulate a sentence.

"H-Hange – they w-wouldn't let me –"

"Shhh, Levi," Hange cooed. They seemed impervious to the nails digging into their skin, merely holding the patient close and petting his hair gently. "Calm down first. Deep breaths." Levi obeyed, trying to regulate his breathing and succeeding somewhat. "Now tell me what happened, slowly and clearly."

"I-It's my birthday. Eren. I wanted to see Eren. They won't let me see Eren, Hange, they won't let me –"

He nearly dissolved back into hysterics, and Hange was quick to start crooning to him, cradling the smaller person in their arms and pressing a kiss to the top of his head. It hurt so much for them to see him like this. Their best friend that was once so strong and collected was now a mess, had been for years. Once upon a time, he had a strong personality, but ever since his birthday five years prior...

"About time," Levi snapped into the receiver when his phone started to ring, trying to hide his relief. "I called you four times, what the hell is taking you so long?! The weather out there is shit! At this rate you're going to give me a heart attack, you little brat –"

"Levi Jaeger?"

That wasn't Eren's voice. Levi flushed, glad no one was there to see. He cleared his throat. "... who is this?"

"If you must know my name, this is Officer Nile Dawk," the man replied on the other end.

"Oh, no. What did that idiot do? Please tell me he just lost his phone, I hope that brat didn't cause you any trouble –"

"Mr. Jaeger."

Levi paused. The man sounded so solemn. Suddenly he was incredibly worried, his grip on the arm of the chair tightening. "What happened, officer?"

"I called you because you were the last one to call Eren Jaeger. Are you two related?"

"He's my husband."

"I see. I... are you standing? If you're standing, please, sit down."

"Spit it out," Levi snapped, heart pounding in his ears. Something was wrong. Something happened. Eren was hurt or did something stupid or even could be missing. He knew something was wrong when the brunet hadn't called him back -

"Your husband was in a car crash. He's at Stohess' E.R."

Everything stopped, though Nile kept talking.

"Somebody ran a red light and slammed right into him, then drove off. One of the witnesses got the tags and we're looking for the culprit now."

Silence greeted his words.

"Mr. Jaeger?"

"What... what condition is he in?"

"They're trying to keep him alive..."

The officer kept talking, but Levi heard no more. He was flying out the door in his pajamas, breaking several traffic laws on the way to the emergency room. He was close, so close, and he needed to see his lover, his precious husband. Levi barged into the building, demanding Eren's room number, and shoved people out of his way in his panic. He was bordering hysterics by the time he ran into a bloody doctor exiting the room he was heading to.

"Eren -"

The doctor gave him a pitying look, and Levi knew then that his world would never be the same.

Hange bit back their own tears, wiping their best friend's face as they tried not to cry. "It's okay, short baby, you can go see Eren."

Levi stared up at them, hope sparking in dull grey orbs. "I can?"

"Would I lie to you? Have I ever lied to you?"

Levi shook his head, opting to shove his face into their shoulder rather than respond. They smiled fondly, nudging him slightly.

"Now why don't you change into something nice for him? He always liked you in red. Wear red this time."

The raven stood on shaky legs, his old friend following suit as he gave them a hopeful look. "Can we go get flowers on the way?"

"Of course. We always do."

Levi nodded, not missing a beat now that he was reassured. He rifled through his closet, clearly looking for the shirt Hange suggested. The doctor in question rounded on the other room's occupants, eyes flashing dangerously.

"Whose fucking idea was it to tell him he couldn't go?!" they snarled, grabbing the nearest one's shirt and shaking them. "Who decided that it was a good idea to deny anything to the only patient I have specifically told everyone not to fuck with?!" The head doctor didn't give them a chance to respond, tossing the nurse away. "Fired. All of you. I want you gone from my hospital! Now!"

Levi looked over at his shoulder at Hange, holding up two shirts and ignoring the people running from his room. "Dark or light red?"

"Dark looks better on you," they responded lightly, anger simmering down until it was nothing. Their heart ached for Levi, so much more lively than usual on this day of the year, rather than his usual empty void of a personality.

"Should I take a shower? I should take a shower."

"Levi, you took one this morning."

"I know that, shit-glasses. But I should take another one. I look like shit."

"We might be late if you take another one," Hange pointed out with an amused smile, watching as a horrified look came over Levi's face.

"You're right!" He darted for the bathroom, and running water could be heard. "I'll just wash my face then. Tie or cravat? Tie. Tie, Eren always thought my cravats looked like fancy towels -"

"He might like the sentimentality."

"You're right. Damn it, you're always right -"

Levi's grumbling faded as he scrubbed at his face. Hange took it upon herself to pick out a pair of black slacks for him, grabbing some nice dress shoes from the floor of his closet and heading to his dresser. They pulled a long white piece of fabric from the top drawer and set it all on the patient's bed just as Levi was exiting the bathroom, buttoning up the red shirt.

Thin. He was so thin. He wasn't eating, Hange realized. When was the last time Levi ate? They wanted to scold him so badly, but refrained from it. Not today.

Wordlessly, Levi changed into the new pants and slipped into his shoes. He made to grab the cloth but another hand stopped him.

"May I?" Hange asked gently, a soft smile on their lips. Levi nodded, turning up his collar and holding still as his best friend tied it, fluffing it out before folding his collar again. "There. Perfect. You look absolutely silly."

"Fuck off. I like to think I look noble."

"Uh-huh. Noble." Hange rolled their eyes, walking to the closet and pulling out a leather jacket for him. They held it out, a meaningful look in their eyes. "Here. It's cold."

Levi obediently put the jacket on, neither of them commenting on the original owner of the jacket. The short man closed his eyes and took a deep breath, voice trembling when he finally spoke again. "Let's go."

Hange slipped their hand into his, and unlike he would have five years ago, Levi didn't complain. Instead he gripped their hand tighter as they walked down the halls, down stairs, and out into the snowy outside world.

Hange braced against the cold, but Levi was unaffected. They made their way to the car in silence, and wordlessly Hange threw it into gear and headed for a flower shop, the only one that would be open on Christmas. Levi made a beeline for it the moment the car was stopped, and by the time Hange would have gotten out of the car and joined him (which they knew better than to do, for picking out flowers was a very delicate and personal thing to Levi) he was back outside with assorted wildflowers. Last time it had been daffodils. Before that was roses, and so on.

"Eren liked wildflowers, hm?" Hange knew the answer already.

"He loved to make flower crowns for me. I always thought he looked better in them, but he always put them on my head."

Hange nodded, and they drove a mere few miles before they stopped again. Both of the passengers stared at the large stone archway that read Shiganshina Cemetery. Hange placed their hand on Levi's, voice gentle.

"Do you want me to walk you there?"

Levi shook his head.

"I can go by myself."

The first few times, the doctor hadn't trusted him with that, but now Levi had proved he wouldn't run off. Hange nodded understandingly and threw the car in park. "If you're not back in a few hours, I'll come for you."

Levi nodded, getting out of the car. He didn't even look back at Hanji, didn't return their wave as he moved through the rows and rows of headstones. It was such a large gathering, Levi always thought, so many dead, so many gone from the world, unfairly ripped from their loved ones' clutches, never to see them again. He had never thought he'd be doing this so soon. He was too young to look like he was. Thirty-four, and he looked like he was much, much older, the burden of life weighing him down until he felt he could barely stand.

Finally he approached the headstone he was looking for, marked with a Christian cross and the name of his dearly beloved, right next to those of his parents. The ones labeled "Carla Jaeger" and "Grisha Jaeger" were older and more weathered than the third one, but Levi nonetheless bowed deeply to them, speaking with great respect.

"It's a lovely morning, Mr. and Mrs. Jaeger. Or rather, mom and dad, you guys never did like me referring to you so formally... Merry Christmas. I hope you aren't bothered by me. I really love your son, you know that? I hope you don't mind."

Of course he knew they wouldn't mind. He had been granted their blessing before he proposed all those years ago - they'd been elated at the news, actually.

Levi bowed once more before approaching the last headstone, the grave he had actually come for. He set the flowers down gently, the bouquet such a stark contrast from the thick blanket of white snow underneath them, before sitting cross-legged in the snow before the slab of stone. He ignored the cold seeping into his pants, subconsciously pulling Eren's jacket tighter around himself for comfort. His breath fogged in the still, freezing air, and he closed his eyes before speaking.

"Merry Christmas, mon amour..."

They were the words he'd spoken to his dead lover for years now, the first words in a long conversation to come. A long conversation that, to any outsider, would seem like it was only held by himself - which was why he'd been admitted to the hospital in the first place. They all said he was hallucinating, but Levi knew better. Even as he doubted himself, as he waited with his eyes squeezed shut, the voice he knew would come came.

"Merry Christmas, mein Schatz."

His eyes flew open, and he jerked his head up, tears springing to his eyes. Levi knew better than to reach out, but he couldn't take his eyes off the sight.

"Daisies, cosmos! Wildflowers this time? I love them!"

"I know." Green eyes also shone with tears, but the translucent brunet was smiling fondly at him, and it was infectious. "You always made me those stupid crowns." Levi frowned slightly. "I always complained, but..."

"Would you like me to make another one?" Eren offered. Levi's eyes widened, and he quickly shook his head.

"No! No. I mean - yes, God yes, but no. Doesn't it take your energy away? I don't want you to leave me. God, Eren, please don't leave me -"

"Levi." Eren interrupted his rambling in a gentle tone. "I can do it. It's fine. Just keep talking to me, and I'll stay."

He started plucking flowers out of the bouquet, the transparent hands becoming more solid, enough to hold the stalks and weave them together.

"How is Hange?"

"I almost made them cry this morning. I'm a shitty friend, as usual."

"Don't say that. You're an incredible husband. If you can handle my stupid ass, I'm sure Hange will be fine."

"No." Levi shook his head, looking down at the ground. He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, anger at himself threatening to boil over. "I... I'm not taking care of myself like you both asked... I can't make myself eat, I feel sick, but it's upsetting them. Hange is getting so stressed and upset over my lack of sleep. I know I should stop, but... I'm such a shitty person, Eren, how can you love me?"

"Stop it," Eren said sternly. He pressed a hand to Levi's cheek, and the raven nearly erupted into tears at the contact. He nuzzled into the touch, closing his eyes tightly as his lover spoke. "You're right, what you're doing isn't good, but you're not a bad person, Levi. You're just shouldering too much of a burden for one person to carry." Eren's voice was soft, sad, and it made Levi's heart twist. "You were forced to stay strong for too long, mein Schatz. Hange will forgive you. They will always forgive you."

"You think so?"

"I know so. Just be strong for a little longer."

"But Eren..." Levi clenched his hands into fists. "Damn it, Eren, I can't! I can't, it's so hard without you!" He could feel the tears that he'd tried so hard to withhold falling, dripping onto the warm hand cradling his face. "Five years, Eren, I've been trying to stay strong for five years! They think I'm crazy! They keep saying you're not real, they keep telling me I'm imagining you... I know you're real... you have to be. I can see you, hear you, touch you..." His chest ached, heartstrings pulling and twisting and choking him up. "I'm not crazy, I don't have schizophrenia... please, Eren, tell me I'm not crazy..."

"You're not crazy," Eren told him quietly. "Breathe. Calm down. In, out." Levi obeyed wordlessly, breathing deeply in time with his lover and wiping his eyes. "Good, mein stark Schatz. I love you so much. I'm so proud of you. Your tears only make you strong."

"I can't do it anymore. I'm so tired. So weak... I'm not the man you married anymore."

"You are," Eren said firmly. He reached down and picked up the crown, placing it gently on the raven's head. "I wouldn't have made it this far in your position." He smiled softly. "It's okay to be tired. Sleep, Levi. When the time comes, I'll wake you up."

Suddenly exhaustion crashed into Levi's fragile frame, and he scooted over to the tree that hovered over Eren's grave. He rested his back against the cold, hard bark, eyes sliding shut. "I don't want to sleep," he mumbled wearily. "I want to be with you, Eren..."

"I won't leave you," Eren promised. He threaded his fingers through his husband's hair, a fond smile on his lips. "Just sleep. I promise it will all be okay."

Before Levi knew it, he was nodding off. His lips and fingers were blue, all color drained from his face. Eren's smile turned sad as he continued to stroke the soft locks, speaking quietly into the silence.

"You died before your time... I wish you could have lived a happy life without me. But now your wish has been granted."

He pressed a gentle kiss to his lover's lips, the first since the morning he died.

"Wake up, Levi."

Eyes fluttered open, and as Eren offered a hand and helped him up, he was warm, much warmer than he had been mere moments before. The color returned to his face. He looked so much healthier, his bags gone and face fuller, no longer gaunt. It was Eren that started crying this time around, a single tear making its slow descent before he might as well have had waterfalls pouring from his eyes. Levi immediately looked concerned, reaching up to brush them away and realizing with shock that he could, in fact, touch Eren.

"Please don't cry," he whispered desperately. He hated the sight of Eren's beautiful face marred by tears. "What's wrong? God, Eren, don't cry -"

"I'm not upset," Eren told him, grinning brightly despite the wetness on his cheeks. He took Levi's hands from his face, lacing their fingers together. Levi grew more alarmed when he couldn't tell if Eren was laughing or sobbing. "I'm happy. I'm terrible for being happy, but I can't stop it... just..." He wiped his eyes on his sleeve, his bright smile taming itself slightly as he met eyes with his husband. "You don't have to be alone anymore, Levi."

"You mean-?"

"Yeah. We'll be together again."

Levi froze for a second, and then he was drawing Eren into his arms, holding onto him as though his life depended on it. "This time, I won't let anything take you from me, mon amour," he vowed.

Eren wrapped his arms around Levi in return. "You won't have to worry about that anymore. You've earned your peace, Levi."


Hange worried at their bottom lip as they picked their way through the snow, following the footprints. They had allowed an extra hour, but after that, their worry had only intensified. Where was Levi? He always came back within the time allotted.

Relief flooded through them as they saw the huddled figure under the tree by Eren's grave. "Levi," they sighed in exasperation, noticing that he appeared to be sleeping. "You nearly gave me a heart attack..."

But as they drew closer, it became clear that there was something missing from his face. The doctor reached out to nudge their best friend, only to recoil at the bitter cold of his skin.

That was what was missing - life.

Gathering Levi up into their arms, Hange's head drooped as they silently mourned the death they knew what happened.

"I'm sorry..."
Sign up to rate and review this story