The Green Eyes That Saved Me

Lonely, lost, and devoid of all hope: Levi Ackerman had lost sight of life. He was going about his daily chores with the monotonous ways of a robot, programmed to repeat it's actions until the end of it's days. Suicidal and self-harming, Levi never thought he would be able to restore any manner of dignity or significance to his world. His job was pointless, his house was a wreck, he had no family and he had no friends. He believed no one would notice or care if he just slipped away... It took one look from Eren Jaeger to change his mind.

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2. Chapter Two

I had to grope around both sides of the doorframe before I could finally find the light switch, clicking it and flooding the room with a dim light from the dirty overhead lamps. My living room was messy and cluttered, with a stained wooden table in the centre of it and an old, black leather settee pushed up against one wall. There was a tall bookcase, with CDs, dated textbooks, movies and porn magazines stacked high upon it. Beside that was a rickety wooden box with an aged DVD player and television set atop it, the remote precariously balanced on one corner. The grey carpet was dusty and neglected, as was the rest of the room. And the whole house, to be honest.

            My kitchen was in a similar state of disrepair, dirty pans and dishes piled several feet high in the sink, a three legged table sitting sadly in the centre of the cracked tile floor. My bathroom is the cleanest room in the house, but only for the simple reason that it's the room I use the most, as it's easier to remove blood from cutting from smooth, tiled surfaces. Apart from the obvious additions of a toilet, sink and shower, there is also a towel rack which I use to dry my clothes on the rare occasions that I actually wash anything, and a tall cabinet in one corner. This reaches from the floor to the discoloured ceiling, and is stocked full of all my daily needs: paracetamol, cigarettes, aftershave, deodorant, and razor blades. However, personal needs aside, there is also a wide assortment of medical supplies in there somewhere, which were proving to be quite a challenge to find.

            After forcing Eren down into the cushions of my settee, I hurried into the bathroom and began my search for bandages and antiseptic cream. I finally managed to locate both of these after several minutes searching, and I then proceeded to hurriedly grab a handful of clean clothes from the drying rack before I headed back into the living room. Eren was still seated where I had left him, although he had removed his coat and slung it over the arm of the sofa. The severity of his injuries were now more apparent than ever, and even I winced a little in sympathy as I approached him. His eyes widened in fear as he noticed the knife in my hand, but I chuckled, setting my supplies down on the table and turning to face him.

            "It's to cut the bandage roll," I explained, grabbing his chin a little roughly and tilting his head towards the light, so I was able to examine his wounds clearly.

            Eren tried his best to keep his eyes locked upon my face as I reached behind me for the tube of cream, however as I began to apply the substance to his exposed scratches and grazes, he gasped in pain, squeezing his eyes tightly closed and biting down on his lip. The stuff had to sting, and I was being far from gentle with him, but pain inflicted with a good intention cannot be described as cruel. Even so, what would I care? The boy meant nothing to me. But if that was really true, then why was I tending to his injuries?

            Eren squirmed again, a small whimper escaping his lips. I shook his collar in annoyance, sticking a plaster over the deepest gash in his cheek before moving on to his neck.

            "Take your shirt off," I said, clearly enunciating this to be a command rather than a request.

            Eren did as I asked, looking slightly apprehensive as he painstakingly grasped the lower hem of his white cotton top, peeling it over his head before throwing it down to join his discarded coat. It wasn't warm in the room, but despite this, a thin sheen of sweat coated his torso, probably a result of his previous exertions. His lower body wasn't badly harmed, although he had several blood smears along his collarbones, and an incarnadine slash along one side of his neck. I picked up the bandage roll, peeling a decent amount away and cutting through it easily with one quick flash of my knife. The silver metal flew easily through the air, creating a deep slit in the material before dropping all the way through and out onto the other side, floating back down onto the table. The sight of it made my stomach lurch with a sudden need to cut myself, but, for the first time since I had taken up the habit, I held myself back.

            My hands shook a little from resisting as I wrapped the bandage around Eren's neck, tying it in a messy double knot. The antiseptic seemed to have sufficiently soothed his pain, as his breathing was calm and relieved when I returned from the kitchen. In my hand I held a damp washcloth, intended for wiping the blood stains away from Eren's pale, bruised skin. I reached out towards him, but his hand blocked me. He was obviously feeling better...

            "I can do that," he said confidently, taking the cloth from me and attempting to gently dab at his own chest.

            However, as he twisted his arm, the sore muscles and tendons screamed out in protest, causing Eren to cry out in agony himself. The washcloth fell to the floor with a sodden splat, tactfully covering up my satisfied smirk as my theory that he in fact could not achieve this himself, was proved to be 100% accurate. Eren's face was contorted with pain as he tried to bring his shoulder back under control. I bent down and retrieved the cloth, unfolding it into a slightly ragged square and draping it over his throbbing joint. The cool temperature appeared to relieve the burning ache that Eren had previously suffered with as, the instant the material came into contact with his skin, a quiet sigh of contentment escaped him, and he shot me a fleeting, grateful look.

            Once satisfied that there were no more bleeding wounds upon his body, I got to my feet, heading into the kitchen again and slinging a large, woollen blanket over the radiator. Don't judge; I bought it a few years ago when the central heating broke.

            I waited beside it as the blanket warmed up, watching Eren out of the corner of my eye. He had calmed back down into his old self, and unbeknown to me, so had I. Why the heck had I been thinking, inviting this boy into my house? He had been so desperate to help me and be near me, that I might never have been rid of him now! Damn, what a mistake. I suppose I only had myself to blame, but that's the norm for me.

            I laid a hand experimentally upon the soft wool, confirmed it to be at the desired temperature, and picked it up, walking quickly back to Eren so that it didn't lose any heat. I placed it around his shoulders, watching him shudder slightly as the warmth enveloped him. He seized two corners and wrapped it tightly around his bare torso, directing a thankful smile in my direction. I ignored him, seating myself on the edge of the table after retrieving the television remote. My thumb pressed the power button, and the evening news flashed onto the dusty screen. Well, the early morning news... 1.30am and I was still awake. Boy, was I going to regret that in the morning.

            Eren appeared to be uninterested by the news - even though there was a very attractive woman reading the report - and instead chose to fix his eyes upon the back of my head. I couldn't see him, but I could feel his stare, almost like it was burning a hole through my skull.

           "I didn't notice you had earrings before," he said, making me raise an eyebrow and spin around to face him.

            I did indeed have two silver studs set into each earlobe, but still, what a strange topic of conversation.

            "Yeah, I got them a few years ago," I replied, my voice flat and uninterested.

            "Did they cost a lot?" Eren asked, defying my bored tone with his own cheerful aura.

            "Not much, no," I said, still sticking to my stubborn drone. "Well, they clearly didn't, as I could afford them."

            "I guess you don't earn  great deal then?" inquired Eren, becoming increasingly irritating.

            "You should be able to work that out by looking at the state of my apartment," I snapped, losing my temper as he put the pin upon the bane of my life. "Of course I don't earn very much. I live in what is practically a pile of radioactive rubble, I can barely afford food or clothing, taxes and house bills alone are enough to empty my bank account in a second, and any spare change I happen to pick up has to be spent on cigarettes and pocket knives to satisfy my god awful cravings! So the next time you think you're hard done by because you missed the school bus, or you didn't get everything you wanted for your birthday, just think about how lucky you are to have something to live for."

            I was left breathless after my outburst, feeling slightly ashamed and angry with myself. What is it about this boy that causes me to let my guard down so easily? I had only known about his existence for a couple of hours, and I had already showed my true colours on countless occasions. Where was the emotionless, cold, cruel man I always had to be? And who was this caring, brave, curious person that I had suddenly become? Many would say that getting into a fight and ending up with a strange teenager in their house, sums up one of the worst imaginable days. But for me, this was different. It felt like the start of a new era, turning my life around in a way that was completely and utterly out of my control. It scared me, but it also excited me, and made me wonder what the next few hours would bring. This thought confused me: that I was looking forward to something. I never looked forward to anything, except when I could smoke my next cigarette.

            I sighed resignedly, deciding that if my conscience was happy, I'd better be happy as well, as there was no point denying the fact that I'd be a total bastard if I didn't listen to my own conscience. But before I could open my mouth to apologise - yes, apologise, you heard me right - Eren said something that was almost inaudible.

            "You just need something to live for..." he whispered, his hands dropping to his sides as the blanket fell to the floor. "I have my sister, and you have no one."

            He appeared to be talking more to himself than to me, so I refrained from speaking, and instead watched him closely as he furrowed his brow, thinking hard about something. I could almost see the cogs in his brain turning. I wonder if he's good at school...

            After what seemed like an eternity of silence in the room, apart from the sound of the neglected and ignored television set in the background, Eren finally spoke, startling me out of a reverie about my own terrible school years. I had not been good in school!

            "Please, let me help you," he said, his eyes round and shimmering with enthusiasm.

            I had a sudden flashback to a few hours previously, when I had been sitting in my car outside the convenience store, and Eren had said almost those exact words to me from the other side of the window. Now he was sitting just a few feet away from me in my own living room. I wondered if, every time I heard him say those five words, we would be a little closer together, physically and emotionally. I wouldn't have been at all surprised, what with the way things were going.

            "I may be getting deja-vu here," I said, an unfamiliar tone of amusement creeping into my voice.

            Eren laughed almost fondly before more clearly explaining himself.

            "I want you to live a life you enjoy. Everyone should get that chance. I want to help you find something or someone to live for," he elucidated, a slight blush gracing his tanned face. "I know I only just met you, and that we're probably never going to see each other again after today. But I believe that you deserve a happy life, after all, you've been through so much."

            I nodded slightly in solemn agreement, feeling myself zoning out as memories of my childhood came flooding back.

            "I actually saw my parents die," I stated, wildly confused as to why I was venturing into this unpleasant tale. "I was 16. All three of us had been out for a fancy meal, and we were just heading home when this psychotic man leapt out in front of us, brandishing a knife. He demanded my mother hand over her handbag and jewellery, but she refused. As the man advanced towards her, my father blocked the way, protecting both of us. Then he was ordered to turn over his mobile phone and wallet to the mugger, and just like my mother, he refused. And that was it. The man - now a murderer - thrust his knife into my father's chest and killed him instantly. By that point my mother was screaming loudly enough for people on the other side of the world to hear us, but nobody came to our aid, and she too was stabbed to death. I hadn't been carrying any valuables so the mugger hadn't been interested in me, and as he was rooting through my dead parent's belongings, I managed to slide out of sight around the corner and run back home."

            Eren looked absolutely horrified. His eyes were as round as saucers, and full of the traumatic visions he must have conjured up whilst listening to my unfortunate story. The memory of those terrible events had even begun to make me feel a little nauseous, so I quickly changed the subject, still driven to speak by this unknown force that was Eren Jaeger.

            "How did your parents die?" I asked, only realising afterwards that this question could evoke some unwanted reminiscing.

            Noticing the apprehensive look in my dark eyes, Eren smiled encouragingly, ridding himself of fear and sadness to also share with me the secrets of his past.

            "I was 10, and Mikasa was 12," he began, fixing his eyes stubbornly upon the corner of the table, determined to hold back any tears. "We were travelling back home on a train after attending Mikasa's grandmother's funeral. I think I mentioned this before, but Mikasa is my adopted sister. Her parents were murdered in their own home, in a similar way to yours, when she was just 7, and we adopted her shortly after that when I was 5. Her grandmother wanted to care for her after the death of her parents, but she was far too ill to be granted the responsibility. Several years later, her sickness claimed her life and we travelled to the other end of the country to allow Mikasa to say her goodbyes. So as you can imagine, it was already a terribly sad day for us. That was when the ferocious storm commenced, and caused the train to derail. It rolled over at least fifty times, plummeting down a steep hill towards a ruined castle. Once it crashed into the stone bricks, its descent stopped, but most of the train's exterior had caved in, trapping the passengers the accident hadn't already killed. Mikasa and I had been separated from my parents during the fall - having miraculously survived - and we had to crawl through the wreckage, climbing over corpses and dying people as we went. It was enough to make any child go mad, being trapped inside such a small space that stank of blood and death. If Mikasa hadn't remained calm, then I might have lost it completely. Anyway, once we found my parents, they were already dead. Mikasa dragged me away and managed to find an escape route out of the collapsed train. From there, we were taken into an orphanage where we lived up until a few months ago, when Mikasa became old enough to legally get a job and buy a house for us."

            I didn't believe I'd ever heard anyone talk that much, for that long, and that descriptively ever before in my life! It was quite an impressive rendition of what was a drastically dreadful back-story. It was so horrific that I struggled to find my voice.

            "That's some damn bad luck," I eventually spoke, my voice uncharacteristically sorrowful. "That's even worse than my story!"

            "No, both stories are equally terrible, as we both lost people we loved. It doesn't matter how we lost them," Eren said, looking up into my eyes at last.

            Why had I been craving that green stare for the whole duration of his tale? Why on earth did I long for this boy to scrutinize me and discover my secrets? It was a feeling similar to what I had felt when I'd smoked my first cigarette: new, strange and scary, but at the same time, exciting, thrilling and addictive. Evidently, that is the essence of Eren.

            I glanced towards the clock hanging lopsidedly on the kitchen wall, feeling a sudden wave of tiredness wash over me. My stomach lurched as I realised that it was nearly 2 o'clock in the morning, and the shrill ringing of my alarm was a mere four hours away. I turned my attention back to the teenager sitting on my sofa, and wracked my brains for something to say to him. I did not have a guest bedroom in my house, and there was no way in hell he was sleeping in my bed! But before I could voice any of these thoughts, Eren spoke up himself, probably after incorrectly deciphering the look in my eyes and believing that I wanted him to leave.

            "I can walk home myself," he said, a little disheartened, getting to his feet and reaching for his blood stained shirt.

            Once again, the incredible force that had taken hold of me when I had first met Eren, leapt into action once more, causing me to surge forward and seize his wrist. His eyes betrayed his shock as he turned to look at me, his face so close to mine that I could almost see my own, sorry-looking appearance reflected in his sea green irises.

            "You don't have to leave," I breathed, not entirely sure I was making much sense. "You can stay, I'd like it if you would stay. I mean, if you want it, I can offer you a place to stay the night?"

            Eren's previously confused face melted into a exultant smile, and it was only then that I felt safe enough to let go of his arm. His skin was warm and tanned, the complete opposite of my own pale, ice cold complexion. I mentally shook myself, and suddenly remembered the clean clothes I had fetched from the bathroom. I retrieved them from the table and dropped them haphazardly over Eren's head, half of them falling onto his arm, and the remaining garments comically covering his face and making him look like a child who was struggling to learn to dress himself. The sight was so very quaint that I found myself laughing for the first time in years, watching Eren wrestle one of my tight, threadbare jumpers over his head.

            I was a couple of inches taller than the teen, and I was certainly skinnier, so my clothes only looked a little large on him. However they seemed endearing and comfortable to wear, rather than appearing ridiculous. It was a cold November night, so the temperature was near freezing outside. Although, I had miraculously managed to pay my bills successfully this month, so the central heating was working perfectly, keeping the entire apartment enveloped in a contented, continuous warmth. This was a pleasure that I had not been able to appreciate until now. I was glad that I could finally enjoy something as simple as a comfortably warm house, and I only had Eren to thank. Even his presence was enough to suddenly brighten up my life and allow me to start to appreciate even the smallest privileges, and that was something that I was inexplicably grateful for.

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