Vagabonding

BY : LezBlowShitUp
Category: +. to F > Attack on Titan /Shingeki No Kyojin
Dragon prints: 500
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: I do not own Attack on Titan or any of its characters, nor do I make any profits of this fic.

Chapter One: Declare Your Freedom

Vagabonding -noun.

(1) The act of leaving behind the orderly world to travel independently for an extended period of time. (2) A meaningful manner of travel that emphasizes creativity, adventure, awareness, simplicity, discovery, independence, realism, self-reliance, and the growth of the spirit. (3) A deliberate way of living that makes the freedom to travel possible.


Eren was having a shitty day.

He wanted to throw something, shout at someone, break something.

Standing in front of a guesthouse restaurant combo he had found on TripAdvisor, Eren took a deep breath, heaving out his frustrations. He needed to eat something besides plane food and go the fuck to bed. It didn't take long to book a room for the night. The woman who helped him had been patient with him, explaining the room options slowly, and taking pity on his fatigue-wrecked brain. She had an impressive grasp of English. He almost felt guilty for never bothering to learn another language. The room had ended up costing a lot more than he anticipated, but Eren was too tired to care. His reckless side had kicked in an gone for comfort over affordability. He figured he deserved it after the day he had.

Two days ago, he had walked out of his crappy apartment with a thirty-two-liter teal Patagonia Black Hole backpack and a pair of black Vans with no plan to come back until the end of the summer. Truthfully, the backpack was designed for bikers, so using it for backpacking might not have been the brightest idea he ever had. Only, Eren had fallen in love with it in the store and just couldn't walk away. The glossy teal pack fit better than all the other bags he had tried on. The straps around his shoulders and waist lay comfortably, without digging into his shoulders or being too itchy on his bare skin.

Eren had been planning to get something a bit bigger, but he figured he'd just bring less stuff. His bag held two pairs of jeans, three t-shirts, a sweatshirt, four pairs of socks, a Dopp kit, his laptop, and an empty Nalgene bottle. Apart from the clothes on his back, his wallet, and the phone in his pocket, that was all he had- and all he would have for the next three months.

This was it. All the possessions he needed in one bag, the total capability to go where he pleased. He was finally doing it. The trip he had dreamed of his entire life. Starting in Thailand, then moving on to Malaysia, Japan and China. He had felt brighter than the fucking sun.

That was before finishing the first part of his journey to Bangkok when everything went to shit. It was a seven-hour flight to London Heathrow Airport where he found out the plane he was meant to transfer to had been delayed for over ten hours. Apparently, the window of the plane was cracked so they needed to find another.

By the time he had finally sat his ass in his window seat, which was not nearly comfortable enough to justify the price of his ticket, there had been an announcement over the speaker in the plane. Their flight crew had been on the clock so long that the airline was legally required to let them off.

So after seventeen hours of travel, he needed to wait for the airline to locate an entirely new flight crew to man the plane.

Eren's body was sore all over, achy from the decompressed plane cabin, and too little movement. There had been a short bout where he had caught some shut eye, but not nearly enough to say that he was rested. It hadn't helped that the flight attendants had rationed water like they were going to run out of the stuff either. Eren practically drank half the water fountain once he touched foot on the ground.

Dragging himself into a guesthouse's restaurant he sagged into a seat, dropping his bag haphazardly onto the chair next to him. The fabric of Eren's cut off jean shorts pulled on a rough piece of wood from his chair. It creaked loudly as he shifted to detach himself and find a position that didn't make his ass want to cry.

His stomach plummeted as he finally got a look at the menu. The characters were indecipherable. His heart began to beat wildly in his chest, face flushing as the panic set in. What was he going to do? How was he going to get food? He was going to starve...

Eren nibbled his finger nails anxiously. Worry filled in the creases of his brain.

Maybe Jean was right, this whole trip was a rash idea and he was bound to get into trouble. The negative thoughts flooded in.

He had only been out of Shinganshia a handful of times to visit neighboring towns. Saving for this trip had taken nearly two years. Jean hadn't been very encouraging. Well, that was putting it softly. When he figured out what Eren was planning, he had thrown a fit and told his father. The man had not been pleased. Jean had said he did it because he loved him, but his unwillingness to support him in achieving his dreams had cut deep. Jean had always been there for him in the past when Eren was doing things he approved of, so why couldn't he be there for him now?

They had fallen into a rocky relationship somewhere along the seven-year mark of their friendship and had stayed together for the past three years. Their personalities fit together about as well as oil and water, but there was something Jean did have. He had seen Eren wrung out from pulling all nighters for school, drunk off his ass, and bruised after starting fights he couldn't finish. He had been there when Eren's mother died, seen him at his worst. He knew him.

Eren told him he was leaving as soon as finals ended. Jean had been completely against his plan, going as far as to rope Armin and Mikasa onto his side to grill him about the chances of having a successful career without a University degree. He had given Eren an ultimatum. If he left, their relationship was over. Eren supposed that the terms hadn't been one hundred percent serious. The asshole had been looking for ways to rein Eren in and control him. Still, he should have known better than to try and force Eren into a corner he didn't want to be in or to try and change him.

So Eren left.

Most of Eren's life had been spent in classrooms reluctantly listening to lectures. It wasn't that he hated school. He had friends and clubs which he had participated in. But he was too curious about the world to sit still. Textbooks could only get you so far. He needed to see the world for himself. To be free. Jean had never understood that calling Eren a suicidal bastard anytime he brought those ideas up. He wouldn't let him get in the way of his dreams. Except, when he had imagined backpacking through Asia, delayed flights and unintelligible menus had not been in the picture.

He could almost see Jean taunting at him with that horse-faced expression he always wore when Eren did something dumb. Like that time Eren had gotten pickpocketed when he went to a death metal concert that Jean refused to attend. It was always the same. His smug looks were worse than any 'I told you so" ever could be.

After the first wave of hysteria settled down, the half-asleep rational part of Eren's brain started to kick back in. Should he just point to something and order? At least that way he would get to eat something.

There was an amused scoff off to the side of the table Eren was seated at. He looked up at the mocking stranger and something in his brain froze when he met dusky mercury eyes. Eren's bleary own eyes took in the milky white skin, black undercut, and freshly pressed clothes. The man was beautiful, like some kind of elven creature straight out of a fantasy novel. There was a worn paperback fit into his left hand. A pale cheek cupped lazily in the other. Slender pale fingers motioned for him to flip his menu over. It took a minute for the glacial state of Eren's brain to register what the mystery man was trying to tell him. Once he did, his flipped the laminated card curiously and his heart nearly stuttered out of his chest at what he saw: words, English words. He knew he must look like someone had just presented him with a baby puppy.

He ordered his food while the stranger dragged a hawkish gaze over him before turning back to his book, flipping a page idly.

There was something about the man that held Eren's interest. He seemed so comfortable sitting there at the table like he was completely at home rather than in some strange country. His meticulous clothes contrasted heavily with the casual atmosphere of the restaurant, but the guy didn't look like he cared one bit. Eren wondered if this man was a serious traveler, like the expats he'd read about online. He didn't really look like the tourist type.

"Is this your first time abroad kid?"

Eren didn't understand that the mystery man was speaking to him right away because his eyes never strayed from the pages of his book. "Um, yeah," he admitted reluctantly.

The Stranger hummed in a deep knowing sound that lit a faint blush along Eren's cheeks. Was he that obvious?

"Is that your day pack?"

"My wh..." Eren trailed off. He vaguely recalled the salesman explaining that day packs were meant to be smaller bags which most people used to carry their things . during the day while their main pack stayed locked up in their hostel locker. The brunette followed a pale finger with his eyes only to find his teal Black Hole. "Oh, no this is my only bag."

Something flashed in mercury eyes. The man nodded approvingly, his lips twitched with the smallest of smirks.

Eren chewed his bottom lip between his teeth. "How did you know I never traveled before?"

The stranger shrugged. "You look like you're drowning."

A soft O formed between Eren's pretty pink lips. He licked them slowly as he tried to think of a response.

"Relax brat, you'll be fine."

Carribean blue eyes shot wide in surprise. "You really think so?"

"Mmhmm, trust me." The man's voice set him at ease, loosening the rod of tension in his spine. Eren was too tired to examine the light headed peace of mind blooming over him at those words. It felt different somehow to speak with this person, there was no silent judgment in Levi's eyes berating him for his choices. Maybe this was what all backpackers were like?

When a bowl of noodles was scooted under his nose, his lips tugged into a smile he felt all the way down to his toes. He brought a spoonful of broth to his mouth and poked a tongue out to taste it. The spicy meat flavor of it spread over his taste buds, and Eren felt his entire body physically sigh in relief.

Levi's thin black brow tugged up in amusement at Eren's enthusiasm, a smile threatening to break from the slight turn in his mouth. "Tch, chew with your mouth closed, brat."

"I'm Eren, what's your name," he blurted out, suddenly needing to know more about this man who had somehow made him feel confident after a few minutes of speaking.

There was a brief span of silence where Eren wasn't sure if the man would tell him.

"Levi," he enunciated clearly.

Levi. Eren turned the name over in his mind. It suited him.

"How long are you traveling for?"

Levi straightened his shoulders, leaning back in his chair enough for Eren to get a good look at his flat stomach. He was so pale. The black shirt he was wearing contrast heavily with the whiteness of his skin. "As long as I want." Levi's face was placid, begging Eren to question his words.

Eren sat still, a bit stunned. He tried not to let his reaction show on his face but probably failed miserably if Levi's self-satisfied look was anything to go by.

"Well, how long are you here?"

"At least another week or so. I haven't decided yet."

So he didn't have any set itinerary. No solid plans, no limits...what a way to live, Eren marveled as he slurped noodles into his mouth.

Mercury eyes danced with mirth fixing Eren under their gaze so firmly it made him dizzy. His mind got so lost staring into those glimmering depths that it took a second to realize Levi had said something else.

"Huh?" Eren's brows knit in confusion, head feeling foggy.

"You alright there brat? You're not on something are you?"

"Sorry," he rubbed his eye sockets. "I'm just beat."

"What wore you out so bad you can't think right?"

He didn't exactly mean to, but Eren ended up telling Levi everything that had happened to him since he left Shinganshina. The story poured out of him before he could stop it, but the older man didn't look like he minded. He nodded along as Eren described the many troubles he had faced that day.

"So your family and friends don't approve of you traveling then?"

The brunette huffed, tugging on the ends of his wild hair. "No, not really."

"And they think you should– what, finish school and settle down in a nice suburb somewhere close to home?"

Eren winced. "Yeah, you pretty much hit it on the nose." That was a life Jean would have been happy to support, but it was the opposite of what Eren wanted. He was determined to chase every thread of adventure that blew into his life. He had never been to Thailand before, and he was absolutely not going to go back to University until he had.

"And now since you had a rough start to your trip, you're wondering if everything they said was right, and this whole thing was a dumb-ass idea?"

Ocean-blue eyes widened, mouth falling agape. "What the fuck?" He scanned the older man suspiciously. "Are you actually a serial killer who's been studying my every move before you decide to strike?"

"I'm not going to hurt you brat," Levi snorted. "Shit, it's not my fault your eyes are so fucking expressive."

He tried to swallow the lump which had abruptly formed in his throat.

"Do you think you could be happy living a life-like that?"

Eren glanced up in wonderment. No one had ever asked him that before, this part of the conversation always turned into a lecture about growing up and facing the real world.

To Eren, freedom meant the ability to go anywhere at any time. He wanted to wake up in the morning with no idea of what lay ahead. To go about his days discovering new things and with no obligations tying him to one place on the map. Living a life with a regular nine to five job, a home and a family would ruin him. "No." The words felt heavy. Final somehow.

Levi nodded. "Then who gives a fuck what your friends say if they don't care about what will make you happy."

"I–I guess you're right." A warm fuzzy feeling pooled in his tummy.

"Damn straight."

When the waitress came back around Eren was busy shoveling the last of his noodles into his mouth. Levi waved her over and tucked several folded bills into her hand.

"You didn't have to do that," he protested.

Levi gave him a flat look. "Don't worry about it." He stood up, folding a fabric bookmark between the pages of his paperback before tucking it into his back pocket. Eren followed him without thinking, grabbing his bag and swinging it over his shoulder.

"I didn't mean to make you feel bad for me or anything." Eren hurried behind the older man as he headed down a hall separating the guesthouse from the restaurant. "I can pay for my own stuff, you know?" It was only partially true because he had blown his budget for the day on his room.

Levi stilled, turning back, his gaze sweeping Eren's body up and down. A lascivious smirk spread over his lips, voice dropping an octave. "And I can make sure little brats like you are fed and taken care of if I want."

Eren felt the suggestion in those cryptically illusive words. "Hmm, are you going to take care of me, old man?"

Levi took two steps forward, bending close. Pushing him up against the wall, trapping Eren in between his arms. His body was responding to the closeness on its own. Levi's smell took over his senses. His cool fingertips brushed the brunette's jawline, cupping the soft flesh in his palm. "I don't know Eren, are you going to be good and let me?"

Feeling Levi's breath ghosting across his skin, the sound of his name curling off the man's tongue for the first time, Eren's breath hitched in his throat. The older man's smirk stretched wider at the sound.

"Well, brat?" He cocked his head.

Eren swallowed a shudder as Levi's thumb ran over his bottom lip. He felt the blush crawl up his neck, burning the tips of his ears.

"You going to let me take care of you?" Levi's voice spilled out like hot silk as he watched Eren from half-lidded mercury orbs.

The brunette felt all the air rush out of his lungs. He was nodding dumbly, unsure of what exactly he was even agreeing to, but it was worth it for the smile that broke out on Levi's face. Not a smirk, or a sneer, an honest to god smile.

"Is that so?" Levi drawled, leaning closer to Eren who realized he had been trapped against the wall. That dangerous mouth spread wide in a grin which both terrified and excited him. The older man dipped closer still until Eren could taste him on the air.

"Wh–What are you doing?" Eren froze, unable to make himself lean back as Levi closed in on him.

"Kissing you goodnight, brat."

He wanted those lips, wanted them more than he could understand. They had just met. Had only spoken for an hour or so. He shouldn't feel this way. It had never been like this before.

"Is that alright?"

Eren whined on instinct, head lolling back against the wall. Levi took it as approval and curved his fingers around the back of Eren's neck, drawing their lips together.


A/N: Sorry to end it right there. This was getting a lot longer than I wanted. The next chapter will pick up where this one left off.

This fic is in desperate need of a beta, so let me know if you're interested in the job.

If anyone is curious, the bag Eren and Levi both have is on the Patagonia site. I would paste a link here but makes it ridiculously difficult.

Let me know what you all think. How am I doing? A/N: This is my first Attack on Titan fic, so I will do my best to get all of my depictions as close to in-character as possible. Feedback is always welcome.



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