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.


5. Chapter Five

At least 30 minutes later, I sped into the car park of my workplace, leaping spectacularly out of the vehicle and wrestling Eren onto the tarmac surface. Flustered due to my unforgivable lateness, I completely forgot to lock the car, and ended up punching the teen in the back of the head when he reached for the key to do it himself. After hurriedly apologising and securing the car myself, I grasped Eren's arm firmly and dragged him into the fast food restaurant, barging my way behind the counter and into the staff room, much to the surprise of my colleagues.

            "Levi!" my boss exclaimed, jumping to his feet and staring questioningly at Eren. "What kept you? Who's the kid?"

            "Traffic," I said, responding singularly to his first question before pointing an identifying finger towards the teen behind me, and answering again in the exact same fashion. "Eren."

            "Oh, hello Eren," my boss continued, scratching his head in confusion. "Why are you here today?"

            "I'm staying with Mr. Ackerman for a while, and he said he wanted me to come to work with him today. I suppose he didn't want me alone in his house," Eren replied sheepishly, hiding behind me as I moved around the room, collecting my stained apron from an unreliable hook on the wall. "Isn't that right, Mr. Ackerman?"

            I raised an eyebrow incredulously at this; never in my life had I ever been referred to as 'Mr. Ackerman'. My response to this statement was clearly required, so I nodded curtly before turning to face Eren, and beckoning for him to follow me out of the room. I lead him into the back room of the restaurant, where everything smelled of grease and salt. That was unfortunately where I had to work.

            "My job is to cook the food and divide it into portions, so that it can be instantly ready for any orders that come through," I explained, pointing to various items around the room. "If I ask you to do something, I need it done quickly, as if the production goes downhill at any point then there will be a commotion up front, and I won't get paid the tiny amount I need to live on."

            Eren nodded enthusiastically, apparently believing that my job was somewhat important.

            "It's nothing to get excited about," I said, handing him a chip scoop. "It'll get boring after a couple of hours, and we don't get to go home until 10 o'clock tonight."

            "Oh, that reminds me," Eren piped up, following my instructions and beginning to shovel piles of chips into flimsy cardboard boxes. "Is there a phone here I could use? Only I really should call Mikasa, as she'll probably be panicking by now."

            I pointed towards the staff room, not even needing to pay attention to my work, as my hands were so used to stuffing lettuce into hamburgers that I practically only had to say the word go. Eren jogged away, and it wasn't long before I could hear the faint sound of his slightly abashed voice seeping under the badly sealed door.

            "Hey, Mikasa... Yes it's Eren. No I'm fine! Ah, look Mikasa, calm down... I - I'm honestly fine. Seriously chill! Oh for heaven's sake... Listen! I've been staying with a guy called Levi. No he hasn't done anything of the sort! We're fine, he's taken care of me. Actually I'm at work with him at the moment... No, not against my will. It's like I said, I'm fine. Yeah I'll be home later. Promise. Ok, see you then."

            I heard a soft click as he hung up the phone, and I turned my attention back to my work, which for the first time in a long time, hadn't been doing itself. The hamburgers were a complete and utter disaster, and I realised with a groan that I would have to start all over again. Good thing I had Eren around to help me out.

            But as the teen re-entered the room and hurried forward to help me preparing the burgers, I suddenly realised that the thought of going to work - or anywhere else, to be honest - without him, was something that made my stomach feel like it had just sunk into the earth's core. It was strange, but the thought of living life without him was a rather unpleasant idea for me. In fact, I believed that I would do almost anything to ensure that he would never had to leave my side again...

            "Woah! You just made a total mess of that!" Eren laughed, snatching the wrecked hamburger from my distracted hands and beginning to fix it.

            His fingers had brushed fleetingly against mine, and for some wild reason, my heart was thumping at twice its usual pace. What the heck was going on? It was so unlike me to form a fond attachment at all, let alone this quickly. Although, putting aside the fact that I was confused as to what I truly felt for this boy, all I knew was that my heart ached at even the mere thought of watching him walk out of my life. That surely meant I cared for him, right? Or maybe it was purely selfish. Maybe I just couldn't stand the thought of going on alone.

            "Are you alright? You've spaced out completely," Eren asked, elbowing me in the ribs and snapping me out of my wonderings. "I thought you said we needed to do the jobs quickly, or there'd be a total uproar at the front desk."

            "We do, I must just be tired," I replied, shrugging my thoughts away and plunging my hands back into the lettuce bowl. "Now hurry it along. We don't want you making a ton of mistakes, now do we?"

            Eren chuckled, probably at my badly disguised reference to my own unfortunate incompetence this morning, and continued stuffing shreds of iceberg lettuce between hamburger buns and warm beef burgers, adding in the usual dose of fried onions and ketchup before boxing the result up neatly. I could barely believe my eyes. What had taken me several years of tedious training to accomplish (don't ask me why, the whole process was totally unnecessary), had taken Eren less than ten minutes! Grumbling profusely, I turned my attention back to my work, only to find that Eren had squirted dollops of ketchup onto my hands - probably while I had been lost in thought - and arranged them into a rather unintelligent looking grumpy face.

            "Oy!" I exclaimed, wiping my hands on the front of his apron. "I'm not a burger, you know!"

            Eren chuckled and waved the bottle in my face, taking the opportunity to throw a handful of crispy green leaves at me. I ducked and banged my head on the counter, crying out in surprise as Eren dropped a wet, cold piece of lettuce down the back of my shirt. I stood up and picked up the entire bowl, threatening to dump the contents over the giggling boy before me. He threw the bottle aside and shrieked loudly, taking off and running around the room, with me hot in pursuit. It looked rather like we would be getting very little work done that day.

            Alas, quite the contrary, as after several hilarity filled minutes, we were quickly caught and scolded by my overbearing boss.

            "You two!" he shouted angrily, striding into the room and glowing at the two of us. "What are you doing? We have a queue that is nearing 30 strong, and nobody is getting any food!"

            I chose to ignore the man, turning back to my work with a slight aura of disappointment. Eren soon joined me and began preparing boxes of fried chicken. Once my boss was sure that our moment had passed, he turned and exited with an annoyed exclamation.

            "I'm sorry, did I get you in trouble?" Eren asked concernedly, taking a flat cardboard cutting from me and beginning to fold it into a suitable shaped box.

            "Don't sweat it," I responded, taking the completed box from him and shoving scoops of battered chicken into it. "There's no way they'd fire me. I'm the only one among the staff here who does this job."

            We continued to work from there in silence, occasionally touching each other's hands by mistake as we exchanged packing materials. And as I worked I began to feel strange, almost as if I had indigestion. I couldn't work out if it was because I had just run around a small, cramped room, or because I was suddenly realising what it felt like to do my job alongside someone else, but whatever it was, it was something completely and utterly new. I wasn't sure about what the rest of my shift would bring, but all I knew was that it was the first time in my life I was actually enjoying a day at work.

            And, yet again, it was all thanks to Eren Jaeger.

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