FANFICTION: JEAN OF ARC BY MIRLOTTA AND MAHOGANY PUMPKIN*
*this is just an excerpt, not the full fanfiction. You can find the full fanfic on movellas, titled 'Jean of Arc'.
Jean doesn't believe in romance. He's had it with love ever since he had his first bittersweet taste one year ago. But could a chance encounter with a certain bookish genius change his mind?
|ATTACK ON TITAN JEANXARMIN HIGH SCHOOL AU|
Jean had not been having a very good day. A) Because it was raining like God was pissing from the sky, B) Because the gel in his hair was reacting so badly to the wet that it looked like he was attempting to grow an assortment of mouldy-looking plants on his head, and C) Because the douchiest kid in school, Eren Jaeger, had been picked for the basketball team instead of Jean. Again.
But somehow, Marco always managed to turn Jean's crap days into good, tell-your-grandkids-about-it-one-day days.
That was why they were friends.
They sat side by side on their local park's creaky old swing set. For going on four years now they'd come out here after school like a ritual. It wasn't that the park was particularly awesome or anything - it wasn't much more than the swings and a rickety-looking slide that Marco swore was a death trap - but it was quiet and it was out of the way and that was enough. It was where they'd first met.
"We're too old for this," grumbled Jean, fiddling with his hair. It had plastered itself to his forehead and he couldn't help but worry that he looked like one of those orphan alpacas he'd seen in the zoo. "This park's for six year olds."
Marco smiled. "Sometimes you act like you're six."
"If I do, it's generally Jaeger’s fault." Jean groaned as a piece of his hair fell in front of his eyes. He pushed it aside, glowering.
"My hair. Is it making me look like a total asshole, or not?"
"That's if you don't look like a total asshole already..." Marco teased, laughing. Marco had a really nice laugh, thought Jean. Kind of like everything good in the world had concentrated itself into that one sound.
"Assholes aside, I feel like a godamned alpaca."
Marco shook his head, eyes seeming to shine. Or maybe it was just the rain. "Nah. It looks fine. If anything, you vaguely resemble a horse."
"Great," said Jean sarcastically. "I look like a horse."
"A cute horse."
Marco bit his lip. "Here," he said, leaning across. With deft, precise fingers he ruffled Jean's hair, making him look slightly less like an equestrian than before.
"Thanks," said Jean, more softly this time.
"No... Uh, no problem." Marco cleared his throat. Loudly. His cheeks were tinged a delicate shade of pink that only made his freckles more prominent. "Hey, um, I'm sorry that you didn't make the basketball team."
Jean shrugged then scowled, trying to keep his own cheeks from going red. "Whatever. The school will be the ones who're sorry when Jaeger screws up in the middle of a match."
The topic of conversation was one that Jean usually enjoyed: complaining about Jaeger. And yet, today all that Jean wanted to think about was the gorgeous dark chocolate of Marco's eyes, or the way that they were sitting so close together, Jean could count the freckles on Marco's face.
It was enough to make his insides turn cartwheels and start melting into a fuzzy ball of goo.
It was enough to make Jean wonder whether Marco felt the same way.
Jean opened his mouth, then closed it. This was way too embarrassing. Most teenage boys did not want spontaneous confessions of maybe-love from their best friend. Their male best friend. Marco was probably no exception to this rule. Jean gritted his teeth and began to swing, pumping his legs to get higher and higher, taking his frustration out on the air in front of him.
Despite the furious, slightly constipated looking expression gracing Jean's face, Marco grinned. "I bet I can swing higher than you, you know."
Jean looked down at the still static Marco. "As if."
"Is that a challenge?"
Jean smirked. "You're a coward if you don't take it as one."
"Point taken." Marco kicked off from the ground, propelling himself forwards and into the air. Within a few seconds, the two were in time with each other, each unable to get any higher.
Marco looked across at Jean. "Since we're both obviously great at using a swing and this is going to go on forever otherwise, can we just say that it's a draw?"
With anyone else, Jean might have argued back. He might have told them that if they didn't want to continue then they were useless and scared, that he was the only real winner and they knew it. The thing was, Jean didn't want to fight Marco; Jean wanted to fight alongside Marco. He realised, there on the swings, that he never wanted to have to leave the taller boy's side again.
"Fine. It's a draw," agreed Jean, allowing himself a smile. He looked sidelong at Marco. "You want to jump?"
"From this height?"
The ground seemed a long way away, but it couldn't have been more than a couple of feet. "Why not?"
"Okay," said Marco, shifting forwards to the edge of the swing's seat. "But if I break my ribs then I'm taking you to court."
Jean counted to three, slowly. It was another second before they jumped from the swings, landing in a heap on the sodden grass.
"Gross... I didn't think about how wet the grass was going to be. I'm going to have grass stains all over my uniform now." Though Jean pulled a face, he didn't bother moving. Marco made a slightly strangled grunting noise in reply. Jean looked at him strangely. "What's up? You didn't hurt yourself, did you?"
The way Jean's heart sped up at the idea of Marco hurting himself happened so much that it was hardly worth noting.
"No... Um..." Marco's face was roughly the colour of a cooked tomato. "Jean, your, uh, hand is on my... Uh..."
Jean looked down. When they'd landed, his hand had somehow found its way to rest on Marco's ass. He snatched it away, mortified. "Man, I'm so sorry! I didn't even notice, it just... Look, I swear I didn't mean too, seriously, I-"
"Don't sweat it," said Marco, who looked more flustered than if twenty blood thirsty aliens had popped up out of nowhere and all demanded that they stay the night at Marco's house if he didn't want them to blow up the earth.
It was more than a little bit adorable.
Jean blew out the air in his cheeks, cursing himself. "Well, I guess I just made everything awkward."
"No..." Marco shook his head vehemently. "It's just... I kind of... Look, Jean, I really like you-"
"But you don't see me as more than a friend? I told you, it was an accident, Marco. It was just the way I landed."
Marco was a shade of crimson more vibrant than the most beautiful of sunsets. "No! The... The opposite, actually." Marco looked down, almost shyly. "I kind of...really like you, Jean. Like, really like you."
Jean grinned, like the sun and the moon and the stars were all exploding from his mouth to make a beautiful, perfect expression. He leaned into Marco, quietly taking the other boy's hand in his. "You know, Marco? I kind of really like you too."
If you enjoyed this prologue, please check out the full movella! And if you'd like me to post a chapter promoting one of your anime fanfics, just ask me in the comments and I'll post it here in the next couple of days. :) ~ Mirlotta