I have zero shame to admit I’m absolute Eremika shipping trash. I’ve been waiting for chapter 50 to get animated forever. So here is a fic based on a headcanon I have regarding what happens in between chapter 50 and 51.
This isn’t particularly romantic but that’s because Eren isn’t particularly romantic.
Summary: When Eren realises that he’s still fighting the same battle but for a different reason.
The entire ride back to Wall Rose is surreal for Eren.
A million things race through his head and his mind replays the moment of Hannes death over and over again drawing parallels to his mother’s death at the hands of the same titan.
But he knows that’s it’s not what will haunt him at night when he goes to sleep. What will truly haunt him, what will surely be a part of every nightmare he’ll have will always revolve around just how close he’d come to losing Mikasa.
She’s on the horse with him, her hands around his waist, her cheek pressed up against the back of his neck.
Her breathing is shallow and weak next to his ears and every time the horse jerks, her grip on him becomes a little tighter and a soft groan escapes from her lips.
He’s well aware that her pain tolerance is nothing to scoff at and the fact that she’s barely managing to stay conscious tells him that her injuries are far worse than he’d originally concluded.
“Mikasa.. hang on we are almost there.” Eren has never been the comforting type and a flimsy reassurance that this painful ride will end soon is all he can offer.
Worrying about her is something he’s rarely done, Mikasa has always taken on that role in their relationship and it takes him by surprise by how much it hurts siting on right next to her and knowing that she’s in pain and being able to do absolutely nothing about it.
“I’m sorry.” Her voice is barely above a choked whisper and for a second he thinks he’s imagined it but she continues.
“I couldn’t protect you.” Each word dragging out due to her shallow breathing,“I couldn’t even save Hannes, I’m sorry.”
Eren is about to respond but her arms around him loosen and she goes entirely limp.
Eren nearly screams.
“Mikasa..oi-Mikasa!” He calls out moving a little to see if she stirred. The Wall was in sight now only about a mile away.
“Eren keep her as steady as you can.” Armin calls out from next to him looking worriedly at Mikasa.
The next few minutes are a blur. Eren’s mind is wholly focused on Mikasa’s well being as he brings her down from the horse carrying her towards the lift.
He’s delicate with her in a way he never thought he was capable of and Armin who stands behind Eren watching the scene silently, understands that something utterly critical had changed within his best friend.
The ever present fire in Eren’s eyes had died. They were no longer filled with hatred and rage but with something far more powerful, something Armin saw in Mikasa’s eyes whenever she looked at Eren.
And despite everything that had happened Armin let the faintest of smiles on his face.
Eren sat beside Mikasa’s bed looking at the stream of light that entered through a crack in the window.
Mikasa lay asleep on the bed, her black hair splayed on the pillow fanning her face. Her bandages were hidden underneath her white shirt but the odd angle she slept in gave away her discomfort. She looked smaller and more vulnerable than usual and Eren didn’t like it one bit.
He was so used to seeing Mikasa in a picture that was larger life, an image in which she was unbeatable that seeing her pale and curled up left a bitter taste in his mouth.
But it was nothing compared to seeing her cry.
To see her cry, to see her give up so utterly and completely…..
That had pretty much shattered him in a way that was impossible to fix.
He flinched and looked down at the scarf in his hands remembering the look on her face.
Thank you for being there with me.
Eren couldn’t help but remember all the times he’d pushed her away without a second thought. Brushed her concern off like it was nothing just because his pride was hurt.
But it had never been only about his pride it was more about the utter frustration that stemmed from not being able to fulfil his mother’s wish.
He fiddled with the scarf carefully turning it in his hands.
Ever since they’d arrived and Mikasa had been treated Eren had practically isolated himself next to her unable to face the consequences of his kidnapping.
He’d never realised just how dependant he’d been on Mikasa to pick up the broken pieces of him every time they lost. She fixed him up and knitted him back together carefully and thoroughly making sure there were no loose ends just like she did with her scarf.
He’d just been too blind to notice it.
Mikasa stirred slightly and gave a soft snore. With a start Eren realised scene was strangely reminessecent of the time when he was recovering from his fight with Annie except their roles had been switched.
Eren couldn’t say that he liked siting there and waiting for her to wake up. He’d never been patient and waiting had never been his strong suit.
But he’d do it, he’d remain by her side and wait for her no matter how long it took for her to open her eyes.
He looked down at the red scarf in his hands . Ever since Armin had handed it to him Eren hadn’t been able to let go of it. Letting it slip out of his sight for even a second felt wrong especially now since he knew what the scarf meant to Mikasa.
Through out the years Eren had always wondered why she’d kept the old thing with her, wearing it whenever she had the opportunity.
He finally understood.
Thank you for staying by my side.
Thank you for giving me a purpose to live.
Thank you for wrapping this scarf around me.
He finally understood why she cared so much. Why she was so afraid of losing him.
He was home for her.
And now that Eren finally understood he’d be damned before he let anyone, himself included take it away from her.
He’d stay by her side, from now till forever…whenever she needed as many times she needed.
Eren noticed how the scarf had come undone towards the end. It was small, hardly noticeable but none the less Eren went to fetch a sewing kit.
He returned to her side with the supplies and started threading the needle. Eren had been quite hopeless at these things back at home and it had always been up to Mikasa to pick up his slack.
Eren pricked his finger on the needle drawing blood and then immediately stilled.Eren held his breath half expecting himself to transform but when a few moments passed by he let out a sigh of relief.
He’d hate to have to explain to the captain why there was a gaping hole in the building but then again that stage would only come if the captain actually let him live.
Eren turned back to the task in hand trying to remember what his mother had unsuccessfully tried to teach him on several occasions. His hand stilled as he recalled the memory of his mother leaning over both Mikasa and him in their small kitchen back in Shiganshina as they struggled to get through their chores.
“Mom.” He said softly looking at his handiwork after he was done. It wasn’t nearly as perfect as Mikasa’s but he knew that his mother would be proud none the less,“I’ll do a better job of protecting her from now on. I won’t let you or Mikasa down, not anymore.”
He stayed like that for a while the scarf in his hands, Mikasa in front of him and silence all around him.
He eventually leaned forward putting it down next to her before gently placing her hand inbetween his. In that moment there is a strange sense of peace in him, a sort of calm before the a raging and violent storm.
He knows that eventually he’ll have to go out and fight. To prove that his life was worth all those who’s been sacrificed.
Before the weight of that pressure would have crushed him. It would have brought him down to his knees and twisted at his heart with guilt.
But now he feels nothing but a sense of unfaltering determination.
Because while his goal remains the same, to fight Titans to kill them all, his reasons have changed.
He’d no longer do it for his hatred. Neither would he do it for revenge.
He’d do it to fulfil a promise to his mother.
He’d do it protect the people he loved the most, he’d do it to protect Mikasa.
He’d fight to give her the future she wanted as well as the future she deserved.
From now on he’d fight for Mikasa.
I hope you liked it! Comments and reviews are appreciated :)