I went on a boat for the first time ever yesterday! It ended up being a boring boat because it was just a commuter ferry with rows of seats and no outdoor decks. It took me a bit to get used to the up-and-down motion of the boat, but Mommy reassured me with lots of cuddles. Once I settled down, I checked out the life jackets, made sure the seats were appropriately fuzzy, and then took a nap in Mommy’s hand for the rest of my first boat ride.
So Armin is the first one interested in pastel fashion, and he slowly start incorporating it into his wardrobe - a baby blue tee shirt here, faded pink skinny jeans there - a far-cry away from his normal grayscale wardrobe. And one day he’s walking down the halls of his high school trying out a new sweater (it’s this adorable little white sweater with tiny pink hearts) and he hears the whispers and the giggles as he goes back. He feels the tears building, he’s about to take it off and go home and maybe burn it all when suddenly he hears a voice, one that’s for him and not against him. The owner of the voice storms up to him, wrath in his eyes and calmly steers him off, cursing and muttering under his breath the entire time. And all Armin can do is stare at his savior in shock. Eren Jaeger doesn’t give a damn about what he wears, what he reads, that he spouts off useless trivia like a wikipedia article and that he stammers when he’s nervous. And Armin adores that. And more importantly, adores HIM.
Marco Bodt moves in from Jinae with his cotton-candy colored headphones and his K-pop and ZERO FUCKS GIVEN. He hears the rumors and laughs, he sees the looks and smiles back. He’s a serene free spirit and that just makes Armin jealous as all hell. How can someone have such confidence? How can they be so calm? Armin’s gone through every self-esteem boosting tactic ever mad and then some. He doesn’t want to hate him, because c'mon, it’s Marco. You can’t hate him. And Jean Kirschstein, with his snakebites and his undercut and leather jackets, despite all their differences, would rant on and on about Marco’s free spirit and beautiful eyes, and it made Armin want to get to know the guy himself, befriend him.
Bertholdt Fubar really only wore the stuff out of because Reiner bought it for him. He’d waltz into through Bertholdt’s front door, toss him a candy-colored sweater and ask him to try it out. He’d blush, he’d stammer, but he would, and Reiner would wrap his arms around him and tell him that those clothes made him look like himself. “Y-You mean… like a dork…” Bertholdt would mumble and Reiner would huff out a sigh, pull his glasses away from his face and stare him right in the eyes. “More like cute as hell,” he’d say. “Which you are.” It gave Bertholdt, who never had the confidence to do anything really, to wear whatever he wanted, when he wanted.
Jean was what brought them together, oddly enough. He first introduced Armin to Marco, and then them both to Bertholdt. Jean with his snakebites and his undercut and his leather jackets, the Jean who never smiled, could look at the pastel squad - Armin in his baby blue shirts, laughing shyly into his books, Marco in his turquoise jackets and the matching headphones he kept at his neck while he talked animatedly with his fingers, and Bertholdt in the silly little sweater with the teddy bear stitched on him, running his fingers through his hair and chuckling at whatever Marco’s saying - and smile.