Armin was an introvert by nature. He never had many friends, but was extremely loyal to the ones he did have. Eren Jaeger, Mikasa Ackerman, Bertholdt Hoover, and Marco Bodt were in that small circle. He truly didn't even know many other people in general, as he didn't go out of his way to meet any. In fact, the only reason he met Bertholdt and Marco was through Eren and Mikasa's unsavory moments. He had met Marco when the freckled boy was restraining a boy named Jean as Mikasa was holding Eren back while Armin attempted to make peace between the two rowdy boys. Similarly enough, Armin had met Bertholdt after a muscular boy named Reiner failed to flirt with Mikasa and Eren had to manacle her from punching him. Not to mention, he would've never even known Mikasa and Eren existed if they hadn't saved him from getting severely beat up in elementary school. It seemed as though Armin's small world would only grow under negative circumstances, An odd coincidence, he thought.
It was no secret that Armin loved literature. The boy was well known all throughout his childhood for always having his head stuck into a book. It was for this reason that Armin found himself signing up for a film class in his new college schedule. To him, there was nothing more magical than the art of telling a story, and while he himself preferred the images he imagined through ink on a page, he also understood that film was a way to reach a broader audience as well as appeal to many different mediums and job opportunities. This class was also the class his two best friends Eren and Mikasa were in as well. Eren had taken the class because he wanted to find an outlet to appropriately express himself, the boy had always been quick-tempered and exaggerated, often vocally expressing his every thought and emotion. And while most might believe Mikasa had taken the class simply to accompany her two classmates, she thought this course would be an excellent opportunity to challenge herself by forcing her to think creatively.
Unfortunately for them, their class was taught by none other than Professor Levi Ackerman. Levi was known throughout campus for being ruthless. His cold, calculating grey eyes would nitpick at every detail anybody could possibly think of and more, his glare sharp enough to send invisible daggers through his students' skulls. He was brash, rude, and foul-mouthed, but undeniably a brilliant man exceptional at his craft. If you were lucky, you might have been selected for his close friend's film course, Professor Erwin Smith. Erwin Smith was an old fashioned, mild-mannered, family-type man; one who is seemingly opposite of Levi's harsh nature. Unlike his comrade, Erwin's eyes were a warm blue, and were soft and inviting, someone that you could invest your trust in. Alas, Armin and his closest friends had been put with the grumpy French germaphobe.
Roughly a few months into the school year, despite having boatloads of homework and still only learning the basics of how to shoot and edit professional grade videos, Armin had a most unusual day. Although the day was overcast and gloomy, dark clouds forming a barrier between the sun and the bustling people down below, Armin was not at home comfortably reading a book whilst surrounded by a warm blanket. He didn't particularly mind though, he rather liked this weather. Something about the rumbling of thunder accompanied by the patter of rain against his window relaxed him. It hadn't started raining yet however, something he was thankful for considering he was sitting outside on a bus bench. Also sitting on the bus bench, was a beautiful woman.
Her eyes were half-lidded, in boredom or exhaustion, Armin wasn't sure. It only made her appear more captivating. Her lips were pink and full, and her legs long and bare. She had been dressed rather scantily that afternoon, in very short high waisted jean shorts, and a tight fitting off the shoulder crop top, revealing a large amount of her smooth (skin tone) skin; effectively making her quite a spectacle on that cloudy day. A warm red glow creeped its way up Armin's face when he realized he was staring, and he focused his gaze towards his lap out of bashfulness until the bus arrived. When it did pull up into a screeching halt, Armin had picked up his heavy school bag that had previously been resting on the ground beside him and hurried into the vehicle, the woman from earlier taking a more leisurely pace behind him. Luckily for him, the bus was fairly empty with multiple vacant seats scattered along the aisles. He took a seat in one of the empty two-seat rows and began to shuffle through his messenger bag for one of his various assignments.
Unbeknownst to Armin, the mystery woman that had sat with him on the bench from earlier had decided to take hold of one of the many handles suspended from the bus ceiling, unaware of the sketchy looking man rising from his seat and slinking towards her from behind.
"Hey beautiful, you look lonely."
(Y/n) contorted her face into a look of disgust, her lip raised into a defensive scowl paired with furrowed brows and eyes glaring straight through the man.
"Looks can be deceiving."
The man let out a wry chuckle, his eyes flicking up and down her voluptuous figure, licking his lips, effectively and thoroughly creeping (y/n) out.
"That's some strong accent, where you from girlie?"
(Y/n) gritted her teeth. Quite frankly, this pervert was way to close for comfort. His body was now pressed uncomfortably against her back, his face mere inches from her own. She could smell the stench of alcohol on his warm breath. The few strangers that were on the public transportation vehicle averted their eyes in discomfort and cringe.
"Leave me alone."
That had caught Armin's attention. He had been engrossed within his work, but the foreign and stern voice had snapped him into reality. He cocked his head around, eyes finally landing on the woman from earlier looking utterly aggravated with an unkempt man clearly and aggressively overstepping her boundaries, and the longer Armin watched, he was seemingly trying to put his hands all over her. The woman was clearly uncomfortable and was taking a few defensive steps back.
"H-hey! She said to leave her alone, take a hint."
Before he even realized it, Armin had stood up and called out the man. With the scumbag now livid that someone had not only halted his advances, but publicly humiliated him, Armin desperately wanted to shrink when the flaring nostrils, arched brows, and enraged grimace started marching its way towards him. Eyes wide and hands trembling, Armin cautiously put his hands up in defense.
"You say something, pretty boy?"
The coconut headed blonde gulped anxiously, before stuttering out a reply.
"I-I said to leave her a-a-alone."
"Or what, you little pussy? You gonna fight me?"
Before Armin could bring his shaking body to utter a single syllable, the woman intervened. He hadn't even noticed she had made her way over there.
"No. I am."
All in one swift motion, the woman punched the man square in the nose sending a resounding crack in the air, blood now streaming in steady rivers from the pervert's nose.
The man cursed as he clutched his throbbing appendage. He walked away pretty easily after that encounter. Armin was still a bit shaken, and as pale as a ghost.
"Do you mind if I sit here?"
A voice inquired. Armin snapped his head to the woman, her lips pursed and eyes looking at him curiously. She simply looked divine. The blush soon returned to his face, and he quickly stammered out a response.
"NO! I mean, of course not, of course you can sit here, why wouldn't you be? I-I-I uh..."
His train of thought, not that there was much of one on the first place, derailed as he hastily and hectically cleared his messenger bag and papers from the seat next to him so the lovely lady in front of him would have a place to sit. Graceful as a ballerina, she sat quietly beside him. And from then on, the entire ride was silent.
It was like this everyday over the course of the next few weeks. The woman would smile and nod at Armin when they greeted each other on the bus bench and would ride together in silence on the bus, never speaking a word to one another. Their communication was nonverbal, and they were both content with that. Armin also noticed that this woman would be approached by many scumbags and thugs alike on a daily basis, whether she was dressed provocatively or not. Simply put, she was creep magnet. In their daily rides together, Armin served as a type of knight in shining armor, keeping (y/n) company and warding off many douches and simple unwanted attention alike. He may have not been strong, or confident for that matter, but sometimes barricading a friend in the window seat can ward off any womanizer. And despite not even knowing her name, Armin cherished these bus rides with his mystery woman. He would go as far as to refuse rides home with his friends to make sure he was there for her. Not that she couldn't handle herself, obviously. Still, he liked to think he made her life a little bit easier with his presence.
Which brings us to the present.
If you didn't know him, you might think that all the rumors surrounding Levi Ackerman were only that. Rumors. But on this cool and sunny day, Levi Ackerman looked as though he was ready to rip his students to shreds. Students is a broad term. Allow me to elaborate. It was two students in particular that had struck a negative chord in Levi one too many times this fine afternoon.
"Jaeger. Kirstein. Out of my fucking classroom now."
Eren attempted to reason, but was interrupted by Levi's bark immediately.
Armin stared at Eren with owlish eyes of sympathy, his friend's sea green ones glancing into his own with an apologetic expression. Heaving a sigh, grabbing his things and walking out the classroom, Eren was gone along with his playful adversary and rival Jean. Another common argument had arisen between the two, except this time a fistfight had broken out between them, their testosterone getting the better of them and constantly fueling them to butt heads. Levi personally couldn't give a shit what those two did outside his classroom, but under no circumstances were they going to disturb and distract from his lecture that they were paying for. The tension in the air was thick and made apparent by everyone's sudden stiffness and dead silence. No one dared to possibly anger their professor who was already in a sour mood.
A woman Armin had come to recognize over the past school year bounded in the classroom, hair bouncing and a smile widely stretched across her face. Hanji Zoe was another professor at Armin's college, what she taught he wasn't entirely sure, but he strongly suspected it had to do something with science.
Mad science, more like. He internally quipped.
Levi's previously cross face morphed quickly. His eyes shut tightly whilst he pinched the bridge of his nose, shaking his head and muttering what he could only assume to be profanities in French.
"What the fuck do you want, Shitty Glasses? It better be fucking good."
He suddenly asked, voice clear and loud.
Hanji's smile never faltered, rocking back and forth on her heels, she replied in a sing-song tone to his crude words.
"Erwin wanted me to hand deliver a message. But I do love visiting you, shorty!"
Ah, yes. Armin recollected. Hanji is Erwin and Levi's mutual friend.
"Tch. Of course he fucking did, my fucking luck. What's the message, dipshit?"
"He said the first competition of the year is on! The details are in this."
Hanji beamed, pulling out a slightly crumpled sheet of paper carrying the prompt and guidelines of Levi and Erwin's first scholarly battle. Levi rudely snatched the paper from her hand, piercing eyes flickering across the page before scowling and glaring at the still happy-go-lucky female smiling knowingly at him.
"Good luck!~" she hummed on her way out of his domain.
The enthusiastic and admittedly spastic woman was now gone with Levi in an even worse mood than before, leaving the classroom apprehensive for Levi's next plan of action. Not to mention, with the competition between classes, it was likely everyone was going to be assigned their first real video project. Levi walked to his desk and plopped into his chair, eyebrows furrowed not in anger, but in contemplation. He grasped his teacup in a strange, albeit delicate way before bringing it up to his lips and letting the warm liquid slide down his throat.
"The way these competitions go is simple. You'll get a form to fill out for your name, title of the film, etc. Hanji processes these and keeps them locked up while we're judging your videos. Erwin and I then watch them in random order not knowing who did what film in order to prevent bias. Hanji sits with us because she likes to watch the videos and because she 'cares' or some shit."
He paused to take a sip of his tea.
"You'll receive a prompt, rubric, guidelines, deadline, and expectations for your entry. And before you ask-- yes, this is mandatory. Best film gets an extra grade in their report card to raise their average and GPA, this grade will always be anywhere between a 95 and a 100 depending on how well you actually did. After all the voting is over Hanji reveals who made which video and we grade them all accordingly. Whichever class the winner belongs to gets bragging rights, and Erwin and I will be keeping score throughout the year. Whoever has a the most winners by the end of the year gets a bullshit trophy made by some generous donors, and by donors we mean the Fine Arts students. Any questions?"
Armin's mind was buzzing.
I wonder what the prompt is. He pondered, his mind drifting to all the possibilities that Erwin Smith might've picked out.
Whatever it is, let's hope it's something good.
(Y/n) (l/n) was a woman of few words. She hailed from (Hometown/city/etc.), (Country), a place that seems to be billions of miles away. Home always seems farther when no one can understand you. (Y/n) has been living in this city for almost a year and despite progressing greatly, her language skills weren't quite up to par. She still struggled immensely with the native language of this place. Communication was a nightmare, so she opted to not speak unless she was fully confident in her dialogue. She learned the language and slang of the place by listening to people speak in person, on television, on the radio, and most notably, in songs. (Y/n) loved to sing and dance, and was talented at it as well. (Y/n) was not unaware that she possessed a natural hypnotic quality about her. And yet, she was miserable.
Her family, her friends, all back in (Country) while she worked a job that didn't pay enough and lived in an apartment building that should've been torn down years ago.
A lonely and sad reality.
Her world was a limited one. It was a world where the only people she knew were her lazy coworkers and shit-stain boss, or her perverted cashier that would be checking her out instead of her groceries; one that was filled to the brim with prowling strangers, always wanting something she wasn't willing to give, or the judgmental eyes of a society that couldn't understand her or her ways. There were times where it felt like she was drowning.
Still, she'd be lying if she said it was all bad. On (y/n's) journey of two years living in this urban jungle, she would smile whenever she thought of the friends she had made. She had a female coworker, a girl named Annie Leonhardt, whom she got along with entirely well. Annie was a hard worker, she put responsibility first and always kept her word. (Y/n) and Annie had only chatted idly a handful of times, due to (y/n's) language barrier, but Annie was sharp, and could understand most of what she meant. Annie may have been blunt, stoic, and sometimes just rude, but (y/n) respected her, and considered her essential to the local fifties diner they worked at. She had a feeling the relationship between them wasn't one-sided, either. Annie would occasionally come up to her on her own accord to talk. While that may seem normal, Annie was far from typical. (Y/n) was glad that she had at least one person to look forward to seeing everyday.
At least, it used to be one person.
Baby blue eyes and hair spun like gold flashed through her mind. The boy she sat with on the bus.
He truly is an angel in man's clothing, she decided.
The boy was a bit shorter than she, with a small and thin frame highlighted with those big deer-in-the-headlights eyes he possessed. His hair framed his face in a way that only accentuated his youthful and handsome features. He had graciously kept her company whilst she rode her way to work in the afternoon, and for that she thanked the G-ds. The boy had successfully made it so that it was too uncomfortable in social etiquette for various men to make advances at her. It didn't stop the lustful and creepy stares from across the aisles, or the occasional catcall, but it was something. That in itself was very meaningful. (Y/n) had caught herself filling her mind with images of the boy, his apologetic formalities and nervous habits replaying in her head. Truth be told, (y/n) wasn't sure why she even thought about this stranger so much. Perhaps it was the adorable flush of pink that rose to the apples of his cheeks whenever he spoke to her, or the way he pressed his pencil against his chin when he was working. It could be the way he so politely treated her, as if he were speaking to the Queen as opposed to a woman working for tips at a measly diner that got more truck drivers coming in to take a piss than regulars. Whatever it was, it was a strange feeling. When she saw him, a feeling of fluttering filled her ribcage. When she sat next to him, a euphoric warmth consumed her. And when they accidentally brushed against one another, it felt like she was on fire. (Y/n) wasn't sure what to feel or how she was feeling.
But it felt good.
What (y/n) did know was that it was time for her to leave for work. Quiet as a mouse, she slipped her shoes on and grabbed her things before exiting her apartment and making her way to a familiar bus stop.
Armin was elated. His mind was running rampantly with multiple different ideas for his music video entry for the competition. The prompt this particular round was Seduction.
Seductive, he brainstormed, attractive, enticing--
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps on concrete approaching him. He whipped his head up only to be met with crystalline (e/c) eyes, belonging to none other than his mystery woman.
Realizing his connection between the word and the woman, his face erupted into a furious scarlet, red tinge making his ears glow in embarrassment. Unbeknownst to him, a smile graced (y/n's) lips, curling them into an expression of afternoon delight. She looked off into the scenery, back facing Armin as she sat down so she could allow her smile to fall.
(Y/n's) calm demeanor was drastically different than Armin's internal chaos.
She's a good-looking woman, of course you feel some attraction to her! His mind tried to reason, but he couldn't shake the feeling of weightlessness that he got when she was around, or the nervous tics that were triggered every time he gazed too long at those rose tinted lips.
Gazed? You're in college! Your hormones are off the charts! You're probably just having a chemical reaction to visual stimuli! Get a grip! Armin was ready to throttle himself.
Him and and conscious his were locking horns, the logical side of Armin declaring it was insane for Armin to have any romantic feelings for this stranger, for he knew nothing about her. The emotional side of Armin however, wanted to know everything about her, from her favorite book to her take on the universe. It wanted to know what her skin felt like in his hands, what his name sounded like on her tongue.
Taking a shaky breath, eyes lit in determination and bravery, he faced her and spoke.
"I'm Armin, what's your name?"