It is day 49 when Armin feels the loneliness building on him.
It’s not that he hasn’t found people to bond with here - there’s another girl as fascinated by books as him and Bertholdt named Ilse who’s a bit of a nervous talker. There’s a boy named Marlo Freudenburg with hair that reminds him painfully of Jean but is as different from him as he could possibly be, and Marlo’s partner-in-crime Hitch Deliss, a girl a bit too boisterous for her own good much less anyone else’s.
They’re all joyful company, but none of them are Jean.
It’s then Armin realizes just how much Jean REALLY means to him. Jean is his world, he’s so deeply in love with him that this trip feels less like an experience and more like a prison sentence.
It is day 51 when Armin grows weary of crying himself to sleep over a boy who only responds with one-word answers when he talks to him.
"Do you even care?" Armin whispers behind his screen as he rubs at his burning eyes. Armin finds himself flinching when anyone answers him like that now, because it feels so much like a dismissal. That he was there, yes, but something that could be pushed aside.
Jean had made him feel so important… and so… unwanted at the exact same time.
So it it day 54 that Armin doesn’t bother to check his Tumblr and instead spends all night on Pandora with Ilse, listening to Florence and the Machine and Metallica.
It is day 57 that Armin replies back in the same way as Jean and ignores the reblogs and likes that normally made his heart flutter but now just make it hurt, and browses his dashboard with Hitch braiding his hair and giggle-snorting into his shoulder.
It is day 83 that Armin sits up on his knees to shrink their height difference and stares into dark green eyes, not the amber he desperately wants. It is day 83 that his broken heart shatters, finally, out of the agony of it all, and he lunges forward to press his lips firmly against Bertholdt’s.
Bertholdt’s kiss numbs the pain.
But only so much.