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Author Topic: To Write is Human  (Read 2123 times)

Re: To Write is Human
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2019, 05:47:47 PM »
Jean was all too content to spend the rest of his time in the cadet corps alone. He didn’t come here to make friends- certainly not with kids like Eren Jaeger. He was here to just get through training and then head t o the MP. This was just a steppingstone he didn’t have to worry about. He didn’t need friends here, as helpful as they might be. The way Marco spoke only served to remind Jean of his self-made isolation and how much he truly missed talking to someone he trusted face to face. He was so alone here and despite all he had told himself, he still wanted to talk to someone.

It took a while for Jean to calm back down enough to talk again. He sat there silently, just listening to Marco as the other cadet offered up his comfort. He hated the compliments Marco was giving him, feeling as though there were false. Just more lies Jean used to convince the cadets that he should be there. He sighed, reaching up to rub his eyes with the back of his hands. He really needed to clean his damn hands eventually. “Anyone ever tell you that you’re too goddamn nice to people?” Jean asked, trying to desperately cling to whatever was left of his cocky persona.

He didn’t understand how someone as nice and sweet as Marco would end up here. He was a ray of sunshine for the rest of the cadets, keeping everyone steady and focused. He always seemed to be the one to go to when shit got bad- like some sort of mother hen for the rest of the boys. He had even managed to make the biggest asshole of the 104th look a little more human. “Why are you even bothering, Marco?”

♬Are we laughing at the danger?
Are we dancing after death, you and I?♬

Re: To Write is Human
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2019, 09:35:56 PM »
Perhaps it was the weight of their conversation, but Jean seemed almost weary now, sighing quietly as he rubbed at his face with the back of his hand.

Anyone ever tell you that you're too goddamn nice to people?

Marco smiled softly at that, confident it could only be taken as a compliment. "I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as too nice," he replied gently.

Why are you even bothering, Marco?

At that, Marco blinked with surprise, a little taken aback. "Bothering…? With you, do you mean?" He frowned faintly, puzzled. Did Jean somehow think he wasn't worth the time or effort it took to comfort him? For a moment, silence reigned, Marco giving the question due consideration. He gazed pensively down at the backs of his hands, the constellations of freckles sprinkled there both familiar and grounding. "Because you're hurting, Jean, and if there's anything I can do to help, I'm going to do it," Marco answered firmly once he found his voice, his honey-brown eyes lifting to Jean's face. His expression softened, and he looked almost mournful as he spoke on.

"You... You ever have one of those nights where sleep won't come, and it feels like you're the last person in the world left awake?" Nights like that were part of the human experience, Marco was sure, but that didn't make them any less soul-crushingly isolating and lonely. "Minutes tick by like hours, and it's just you, with your thoughts, with your sorrow…" He trailed off, his attention shifting to his bundle of letters, thinking of his mother, home alone. Did she suffer sleepless nights now that her only child had signed his life away to the military? It seemed depressingly likely. Marco brushed an envelope tenderly with his fingertips - one decorated with his mother's inky illustrations - then looked up at Jean. It felt like his heart was bared to the boy. "I think it's possible to feel like that during the day too. And I think, if people were just kinder to one another, a bit more understanding, and took the time to talk, this life would be easier for us all."

His own sense of vulnerability grew, the gentle heat in his cheeks telling him he was flushed. He felt oddly exposed, somehow, like he had perhaps said too much. Now seemed as good a time as any to help with those rogue splotches.

"Here, you've got a little ink on you - " Marco murmured, gesturing vaguely at his own face, before realising it would be easier on them both if he assisted more actively. Leaning across the table, he carefully brushed his thumb against Jean's warm cheek. It took a couple of light swipes for the smudge to fade away but, mercifully, it went easily enough.  Marco found he was glad of the distraction.

Re: To Write is Human
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2019, 09:08:13 PM »
There was a kindness Marco held, one that Jean had only ever experienced from his own mother. One that caught Jean off guard and made him homesick. He wanted to know more about the too kind cadet sitting in front of him. He was quiet as the other boy explained himself a little, eyes trained down on the wooden tabletop in between them. He wished it didn’t take crying over his dead dad for Jean to realize how nice Marco was, but here they were.

Because you’re hurting, Jean, and if there’s anything I can do to help, I’m going to do it.

Jean was always of the opinion that wanting to help strangers was a foolish endeavor. Marco was foolish for wanting to help him. Yet, Jean was still looking up, allowing himself to meet Marco’s eyes. Then the boy was talking about lonely nights. Jean knew lonely nights- was well acquainted with them. Those nights were practically every night after his father’s death. The cold that settled in his room as he spent what seemed like hours at the time, just staring up at the unfinished ceiling. Tracing the wooden support beams and just wondering how different things could be. Eventually, tears would form, blurring his vision until he either went to be or cracked. Cracked and sobbed until the morning hours.

Marco seemed to recognize how vulnerable he was allowing himself to be with Jean. Jean wondered for the moment if the moment was accidental, or if Marco was just genuinely like that. If Marco just wore his heart on his sleeve and allowed everyone to know where he stood. Jean had become so accustomed to guarding himself- building up walls so high that not even the colossal titan would be able to peak over. And here Marco was, bearing his heart to Jean and there was nothing for him to get out of it.

”Marco,” he started, finally clearing his mind enough to focus on speaking. ”You do realized who you’re being nice to, right? I’m not exactly the person people are flocking to for friendship.” He jerked away from the contact at first, expecting Marco to hit him or to do anything other than try to be helpful. He managed to still himself though, allowing Marco to get into his space and clean the ink off his cheek. He looked back down at the table; brows furrowed as he tried to process all that had just happened.

♬Are we laughing at the danger?
Are we dancing after death, you and I?♬

Re: To Write is Human
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2019, 11:10:40 PM »
Jean's words broke Marco's heart a little. Beneath the cocky, self-assured, capable exterior there gaped yawning wounds. The loss of a father, a mother in a quiet house, the weight of love and responsibility on young shoulders… but it didn't end with grief alone. Did Jean really think so little of himself as to imagine he wasn't worth someone's time?

The freckled cadet was glad that he had a moment to focus on wiping the ink from Jean's face. Seeing the boy flinch, Marco worked quickly, gently, withdrawing his hand as soon as evidence of the smudge was cleared. Kindness was something that cost nothing, something that didn't need to be earned. Pulling away, he settled back onto the bench.

"Uh, yeah. I know your full name now and everything," Marco smiled with gentle humour, though the furrow in his brow spoke of his concern for his fellow cadet. "There mightn't be a flock, but there's at least one, for what it's worth." There was a candidness to Marco, to his words. He clasped his hands, resting them on his letter paper, warm brown eyes trained on the cadet sitting opposite him.

"You don't ever have to be alone if you don't want to be. Anytime you need someone to listen, I'm here." The fact that he didn't know Jean all that well - though after this conversation, Marco could say with confidence he knew the boy from Trost at least a little better - did nothing to dissuade him, nor made the sentiment any less earnest. The thought of anyone suffering genuinely wounded him. And Jean… well, Jean had certainly suffered. "Even if it's the middle of the night. Even if you don't want to talk, if you just want company… dig me in the ribs, yeah?"

Re: To Write is Human
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2019, 04:14:01 AM »
Jean wasn’t one much for friend/ That what he always told himself. He told himself those cruel words because then he won’t have to worry about friends. He won’t have to worry about the abandonment. About the possibility of death stealing yet another person from him. Having friends left him far more open to being hurt than being alone did. Friends could leave. Friends could die or disappear, just like his father had.

Yet, he knew Marco was breaking down his walls. He wasn’t expected someone to see past his defenses, to be kind and willing to look past the cocky personality he built up. He wondered for just a moment if this was beginning of the end? He had let Marco in now- let him see too much. He was waiting for that sweet smile to turn sour. For the kind words to grow harsh. For the gentle hand against his cheek to come back and strike.

Yet, it never did.

Marco continued to be kind. He smiled and teased, letting the air in the mess hall remain light for once. Jean let himself smile, though he was bowing his head, eyes trained on his lap as he hid it away. ”Just one is enough,” he whispered, not trusting his voice to stay steady for long enough to say what he wanted. He was still a mess of inky hands and anxiety, but Marco’s words brought him a comfort he hadn’t realized he needed.

"Even if it's the middle of the night. Even if you don't want to talk, if you just want company… dig me in the ribs, yeah?"

Jean paused at that. Would he? They certainly were close enough in the barracks that reaching out wouldn’t be impossible. It would be quite possible, actually. Having Marco around sounded better than being alone, that was for sure. For a moment, Jean wondered if he really could stand the idea of losing Marco. If he could stand to have a repeat of his father. He couldn’t, but he was relieved by the idea that Marco wanted to go into the Military Police and that he was strong enough to make it. He couldn’t stand the thought of losing a friend, but Marco couldn’t die. They were going into the inner walls together now. ”Yeah... yeah definitely- same for you.” he nodded, finally looking up at Marco. He allowed himself to smile and for once, it was a genuine smile, void of his usual theatrics.

♬Are we laughing at the danger?
Are we dancing after death, you and I?♬

Re: To Write is Human
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2019, 09:51:22 PM »
Just one is enough.

There was a smile on Jean's lips as he said those words, though it was mostly obscured by the way he lowered his head, his focus trained on his own lap, or perhaps on his ink-stained hands. It was a promising sign though, one that buoyed Marco's heart. Perhaps he had been able to offer some small comfort to the boy from Trost after all.

Yeah... yeah definitely- same for you.

And then Jean smiled in earnest, warm and real. There was no bravado in his expression, no attitude and no snark. There was a shift in him, and Marco had the sense he had seen something that not everyone was privy to. He couldn't help but beam back, dimples appearing at the corners of his mouth.

"Thanks Jean, I'll remember that," the freckled boy replied, sincerity shaping his words. Life in the barracks could be tough, and it could be lonely, but knowing there was someone there for him made facing an uncertain future that bit easier.

The atmosphere inside the hall felt more relaxed now. Grief still lingered in the shadows - it was immense, perhaps impossible to dispel - but at least Jean no longer seemed crushed beneath its weight. Satisfied the boy sitting across from him was a little happier, and a little more comfortable in his company, Marco retrieved a pen, and allowed his attention to fall to his letter. Words flowed easily, in a neat script, as he poured his heart onto parchment. There was a lot to tell his mother, not least of all about the boy he felt he had befriended.


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