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Attack on Titan Fanfiction – The Storyteller: Chapter 1

[Read the Introduction]

Chores at the Farm

Some months after the Scouts’ awards ceremony in Chapter 90

“You’re early,” was all Historia noted when she saw Eren arriving on horseback just before dawn.

“Thought I’d help you clean the stables,” he replied, dismounting nimbly. 

She was carrying a bale of hay with both hands, so with her chin she pointed to the cleaning tools, “Stuff’s over there.”

Wordlessly they divide the stable between themselves, taking five stalls each. They took turns turning the horses out so they could muck out the stalls. Eren watched as Historia led hers, a bay field hunter, into the field. She positioned herself between the horse and the gate, opening the gate wide for both of them to pass through easily at the same time. Still holding the horse, she turned back and closed the gate. He watched as she led the horse a good distance into the field and away from the entrance, then turning around so that the horse was once more looking toward the gate. 

Historia faced the horse and took its halter off quietly, patting the horse and stepping back from it. Without turning her back on it she walked backward steadily toward the gate, watching the horse all the time. After she was out of the gate Eren took his first in line, a beautiful chestnut quarter horse. They take turns with the other horses. While doing so Eren’s mind drifts to the conversation he had with Armin a fortnight ago.

“So, no newly discovered memories?” the blond had asked, looking at him closely.

“Nope, nothing so far,” Eren shook his head.

“Maybe simply holding hands doesn’t work anymore…perhaps you two should try something else,” Armin ventured.

The Attack Titan holder shot his fellow shifter a look of annoyance. “What do you mean, something else?”

Armin sensed his friend’s irritation and switched to an appeasing tone. “Thing is, Eren, you and Historia haven’t been able to dig up more memories. It’s been months after the awards ceremony; the two of you have been having memory retrieval sessions since then and nothing. You’ve given the military no new information. There’s a saying that goes, ‘Stupidity is repeating exactly the same thing and expecting different results’.”

“Just what exactly do you want me to do?” Eren had snapped, unable to hide the resentment and frustration in his voice. Lately his mood can turn on a dime.

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“Come up with something else, that’s all.” 

“That accusatory tone in your voice gets on my nerves,” he’d responded, crossly. “You think I’m not trying hard enough.”

It was Armin’s turn to be cranky. “I’m not accusing you of anything!” Even he surprised himself at how acrimonious he sounded, but he was frustrated, too. The girl Eren wanted to be with was alive, full of life, able to carry a conversation, reciprocate tenderness. He, on the other hand, was in love with a girl crystallised inside a stupid rock. “Say something!” he wanted to scream at Annie’s mute form during his clockwork visits, and he would have if not for Hitch watching him with a frown, overly protective of what might as well be a fossil for all they knew.

At least Eren had a warm hand to hold.

But none of this was Eren’s fault, and his friend was certainly not responsible for the infuriating feelings he had for the frozen girl. Breathing deeply, he repeated, this time in a non-confrontational tone, “Come up with something else.”

“Don’t fuck with me, Armin. Be more specific.”

“I don’t know! Arm wrestle, perhaps. Tickle each other until you both start crying, maybe. Pinch each other… choke each other out… something, anything at all as long as it’s something you haven’t done before!”

“Screw you. I’m not gonna choke the queen.”

“I was just saying!” came the defensive retort, and then, more calmly, “Look, Eren. Maybe you two just need a change of scenery. So far you’ve been having the sessions inside the royal palace. Move it somewhere else, and do something else, something new beforehand.”

“Where else should a queen be but in a royal palace?” came the sarcastic response. “And what gives some plebian the right to drag her out of it?”

Armin decided to ignore the rancor. He knew Eren was just as frustrated as he was. “Historia visits the farm every weekend, helps out with the orphanage and the barn chores and stays overnight at her country house. You could see her there, for a change. Horseback riding would be good for you two. The horses get exercised, you both get some fresh mountain air. What’s not to like?”

Eren knew Armin was right. He was more concerned about something else, but decided to keep it to himself.

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So that was how he ended up here in the countryside, doing farm chores with the queen.

When all the horses were taken into the field Historia took a pitch fork and removed any visible droppings, searching carefully under the straw bedding and lifting each pile with some bedding underneath. She tipped the droppings into a skip, then separated the clean and dirty beddings. Eren loaded all the dirty bedding into a wheelbarrow. Tossing the clean bedding up into the air and piling them against the wall, Historia made sure there were no hidden droppings. She piled the bedding against two different walls. 

Eren knew Historia wanted to ensure that each part of the bank was broken up every other day. It was one of the things you learned under her command, how thorough she was with giving the working animals a comfortable abode, the stables being no exception. She may be the queen, but was just a farm girl at heart.

So Eren brushed the remaining droppings, dirty bedding and dust into a pile in the center of the stall, ready to remove. With the clean bedding piled up along the walls he leaves the rest of the floor as clean as possible. He then shovels the pile of dirty material into the wheelbarrow. 

Grinning sardonically to himself as he rolled the wheelbarrow to the manure pile, Eren thought of Levi’s words when he had come to him for advice.

“Gentle hand-holding no longer working?” the captain had raised an eyebrow at him. “Take her down with a foot sweep, then set up a variety of leglocks including heel hooks, knee bars and ankle locks.”

When Eren stared at him in disbelief, the blunt man with the piercing grey eyes merely shrugged. “Or just throw her over your shoulder and tie her up and when she screams, headbutt her. Maybe the memories will appear, heightened emotional state and all.”

It was such a Levi thing to say Eren didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. 

Jean was no better. “You’re doing it all wrong, dude. Maybe holding hands only works once. There are other parts of the body, you know,” he said affably, grinning wickedly the whole time. 

At the farm, both titan shifter and queen still hadn’t spoken as they sat on the fence surrounding the field, watching the horses after having finished cleaning up the entire stableyard. Eren loved the sight of them roaming free. They not only got food and exercise, but also the opportunity for social interaction. 

How fun it was for a horse to be its own master from time to time! He thought about how one can learn a lot about a horse’s character by seeing how it behaves when turned out with others. One of them, a gray show pony, was jumping for joy. He noticed how Historia kept her eye on it until it settled down. The chestnut quarter he turned out first was greeting its friends. He watched as they nuzzled each other, touching each other muzzle to muzzle. The bay field hunter was displaying dominance through its body language; the palomino in front of it had flattened its ears, showing tension. He could imagine how the bay established itself atop the social order through biting and kicking. Even small herds had a hierarchy of dominance. 

Historia was the first to speak. “That bay used to be bullied.”

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“Yeah?”

“At Rod’s old stable. Several horses picked on it constantly without reason. There was a fight for dominance, with the bay never accepting the dominance of another. I deemed it best to remove the victimized horse and let it establish itself in my new stable here.” 

“Look at it now. King of the stable,” Eren noted with a smile. 

“Yeah, battle scars everywhere. He’s calmed down a lot since then.”

“Beautiful stallion you’ve got there, Historia,” he said approvingly.

Eren fed and watered his own horse and let it rest. It was the bay Historia decided to exercise first. He was looking at the field and thinking of which horse to catch for himself when Historia asked him to help her with the bay. 

The bay was a difficult horse. But it had a loyal companion by its side, a brown quarter horse whose coat was so dark it was almost black. The two were grazing together. Historia followed Eren’s gaze and nodded. He understood. The bond between the two horses was stronger than the bay’s desire to avoid being caught, so he was to catch the companion horse first. He quietly leads the black horse away until the bay follows.

Eren watched as Historia slowly approached the bay from the front and slightly to its left. While holding the halter behind her back, she talks to the horse in low, soothing tones.

“The hills await you, my boy…,” she says quietly, knowing the animal sees and hears her. Naturally curious, the bay looks up as Historia approaches. She stands still as the horse acknowledges her presence, moving toward her, and she lets it sniff at her open hand. The bay moves away, but Historia walks around in an arc until she is in the approach position again, standing still as the horse approaches her once more. So as not to startle the horse she slowly brings the halter into view. 

She talks to it the whole time. “Easy, boy, easy…”

Holding both sides of the halter and gently raising the noseband until it was in its final position, she keeps her left hand steady, working the headpiece up the far side of the horse’s neck with her right hand and putting it over the top of its head. She fastens the buckle, then pats the bay on the neck, a pleased tone in her voice.

But she does not relax yet. She knows the horse may still pull away suddenly, and if it did escape, it would be more difficult to catch the second time. So she keeps talking to the horse, about the fresh mountain air, the green grass, how it could gallop all it wanted. 

Eren watches the queen from the corner of his eyes. 

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Look how gentle and patient she is with the horses. She whispers to the wildest of them and they listen to her, letting themselves be tamed by her. Her and only her.

He had already put the halter in place on the black horse. It was a sweet, docile one, very much unlike the skittish, excitable bay.

Historia leads the bay toward the gate. “Thank you, Eren,” she says to him with a warm smile, blue eyes sparkling. Against his will, his heart skips a beat.

Dammit. Get a hold of yourself. It’s only Historia.

They give each horse a quick groom, then ride them up the hills overlooking the ocean. The closest building to Historia’s cabin was a lighthouse a few miles away. The nearest village was a half-hour ride. It was fitting, he thought, how Historia liked to spend time up here on a mountain overlooking the island. Like a vanguard for a young nation that needed its queen’s protection to keep on moving forward. 

He lets her take the lead, lets her ride in front of him, her long golden hair blowing in the wind, her body thin and light as air possessing an ethereal, wraith-like beauty. Watching the straight lines of her small back, taking in the delicate curve of neck and the gentle slope of her shoulders, he shudders, but not because of the cold. He gazes at her petite, perfect form balancing so easily atop the galloping horse and feels utterly tormented, his belly a knot of despair.

Why, oh, why, did she have to turn out like this? Why did she have to be so fucking beautiful and desirable and amazing? 

And how many layers of stupid am I wearing, he asked himself, that I’d let myself fall for someone so precious when my life is guaranteed to end in a few years’ time?

Thank you so much for reading! Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. Your comments give me life and are a real source of encouragement. xoxo, hana

Next – Chapter 2: By the Fireplace

Back – Introduction & Chapter List

Reference

Vogel, Colin (2003). Complete Horse Care Manual (2nd ed.). London: Dorling Kindersley.

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Veraaaa

Wowwww the amount of detail you wrote with historia and her experiences with horses 😮 I learned a lot just from reading this! I also LOVED how this was a further back story and we see younger Eren and Historia moments and thoughts. Levi WOULD SO SAY THAT LMAO. especially Levi in the manga who has grayer morals, the anime cuts a lot of his scenes (when he chocked historia) but I loved Jean and Armins advice too! It has to be canon I mean we all know he was holding hands with her. This was such a cute first chapter and I’m excited to read the rest 🙂 eren definitely observes her and takes an interest so it’s nice to see him do that outside of the 104th group and have them alone. I loved it! Good job 🙂 and I agree with you that Historia giving birth alone was so sad 🙁 if the farmers the dad why isn’t he holding her hand? He definitely isn’t. Thank you for giving her the love she deserves! My favvvv pair

Veraaaa

Aww really? You did that much research? That’s truly admirable. You definitely are committed to the craft and for that I applaud you! You brought us some quality EH content and it was such a lovely read. I learned a lot about horses by reading this haha, & you’re so right! I know she was a farm girl but I didn’t realize because she was shunned by everyone, the animals is truly all she had left 🙁 that’s so sad and it hurts my heart. Ahhh the point about the horses coming to her is such a good observation! Kudoos to you for that, I did wonder that it was very convenient that they came to her and now it does make more sense. She’s good with horses 🥺 a cattle farming goddess or whatever, she’s amazing. Her character is way more complex then what people see her as. She’s not a sidelined character but a focal character who is extremely important to the plot. I can’t wait to see what Isayama has planned for her this last chapter. & if EH becomes canon I hope he has some ovas made about their relationship :p

Yes! Thank you for agreeing on the Levi piece. He’s much better in the manga right? So fleshed out and multi faceted. In the anime although he has a potty mouth he’s washed of all his ‘questionable’ acts in the manga. Yeah him underestimating Zekes will to die, messed him up. I’m so happy he survived though! He was my fav char through seasons 1-3 and now eren take over bc manbun. But the bickering between the scouts and Eren were so cute & honestly very likely to happen. Especially armins LMAO so cute but coming from a good place. I really liked it 🥺

I read this fic 3x already 😍 it’s such a master piece!! I’ll be checking out your other works too. 🥰 you should post this on AO3 as well or fanfic.net so that it can get more exposure! You deserve it

Vera

Hi Hanaaa hope you’re doing well!! Sorry for the late reply, am I supposed to get email notifs when you reply? I used my icloud email but dont see anything, maybe i’ll switch it!

Yesss I read it a lot LOL, aww I’m glad 🙂 Yes!! theres an insane parallel between Historia and Ymir like, crazy. I found a thread on twitter with details and manga references if you’re interested, Ill link it here: https://twitter.com/violetsmagic/status/1372870823351103490?s=20

I wish I had a natural affinity to horses! or animals in general, my cat hates me lol so there goes that. I did go horse back riding a few time and always found it painful/uncomfortable. I guess I need more practise but horseback riding is a little pricy where I live anyways (Canada!)

Mikasa annoyed me too in the beginning! It was like her sole purpose was Erens bodyguard as you said.. I hated it like yes introduce a strong lead but then don’t ruin her by making her strength revolve around a man. Annies character was good in that she was a strong female lead and wasn’t made any more valid by a man. I didn’t like Mikasa at alll she felt all mary sue to me and just Erens annoying mom, she did get better as the seasons progressed and in s3 i felt like she was a lot more developed. Still felt here love to be one -sided. Like whenever something ‘romantic’ happens, its from Mikasa’s POV. We never really see her opinion.. and i thought that she would end up with Eren 100% i mean typical shounen right? But now, NOPE! AoT in many ways is a critique of shounen, and this part is just one of key points. It’s looking more and more like, Eren and Historia will be canon. I mean, its more realistic. You don’t always meet the girl you’ll spend your life with in the beginning, and typically you meet your partner/lover half way through your life as you mature etc. I really liked the way yams developed their relationship. Their easily my favourite ship and I hopeee we see more of them in the last chapter – a daddy confirmation would be more than enough tbh.

LEVI, OHHO HO LEVI. I totally agree – I was not an Eren fan in the beginning (s4 Eren is a diff story like that hair ?! those abs?! his height???) but Levi hooked me in too, he was so flashy and cool. All his scenes were elegant – I didn’t care that he was short. Lmao i crushed on his char sooo hard and it looks like AoT realized levi was a fan fav bc anything questionable he did in the manga, was deleted from the anime. Like when he choked Historia, or didn’t mention feeding zeke to Historia either. Levi is very morally gray but the anime made him seem like some hero but didn’t showcase his complexity as well. Safe to say, its better to read the manga haha! Have you seen the Levi oVA? about his past? Soo well done!! I recommend it if you haven’t seen it.

Ahh thats a good point, well if you have your own blog and interface why not! I used to LOVE ffnet back in the day, im 23 now so when I was younger it was what I used to solely use! Now, most people have moved to AO3, WATTPAD etc.. but im glad I have your blog to sift through! I check out your other resources, particularly the EH resources and that youtube video with the lamp and apple imagery was amazing! The AnR ending sounds better in spanish imo.

Also I think i read somewhere that you live in Japan? I would looove to visit one day (After COVID ofcourse). Are you a native speaker? or did you learn some later? any tips for a new person wanting to learn?

Also, im not sure if theres somewhere better for me to message you since i always end up replying a little bit later than what I want here :p

Sara Granja

So, Historia is very experienced with horses! Great idea!

And another big idea: giving Hisu the life you would she had. I love it!

Bob

Darliiing! I’m so happy that you’re finally back with a new story! The changing of pairing feels like fresh air. EH deserved love too!

The beginning made me laugh so much because the idea of trying “something different” for archive other memories was an hc that I had for explaying Historia’s pregnancy: “WELL since both of them are signed 4/10 for intelligence in the anthology book it could make sense, fetus-kun is an “uh-oh” made during their “experiments”, yeah?” xD

Poor Armin. I have my own theory about his liking but it could be just a stupid hc, so poor guy who just wants a girlfriend too!!

I’m looking forward for the other characters too!
AND YOU KNOW THAT IM LOOKING FORWARD ALSO ABOUT “THAT” JEANKASA STORY AND IM NOT THE ONLY ONE JEAN WANTS IT TOO HE WANTS TO EXPERIENCE HOW FEELS LIKE BR**DING A W**F GIRL 👀👀👀

myri

i’m looking forward to the next updates, even though i started following you for your jeankasa writings, i really love your way of writing and how you develop relationships with other ships so naturally and so beatifully! i hope you have a nice day (even though i think it’s already midnight in tokyo, anyway enjoy your night’s sleep too) love you!

ps. i hope you enjoyed the holiday!

myri

thanks to you for sharing your stories with us! i already told you but i love the way you write and express yourself so i enjoy every work you upload to the blog!

about “the protegee”, i’m very happy to hear (or read 😅) that! i’m really looking forward to it! i miss that little divirgence of the canon universe that you’ve been giving us all this time!

myri

i really understand you! i’ve been wanting to write a fanfic for months but i still need that little push, you know? it’s really frustrating how after that great moment in 127 that revived the ship, afterwards we haven’t got anything else (maybe those little crumbs of them two in the same fragment) but an interaction, a look, something! *cry of frustration* i feel so jealous of the aruani shippers because armin and annie are the only ship that is cannon or that at least we have confirmed that there are mutual feelings *pouts* the rest of us are simply waiting adrift, like a shipwrecked on a desert island whose only company is a coconut (which in our case would be fanfictions)

my personality tends to be so dramatic and extreme that thinking about the mere death of jean makes me think about completely leaving the fandom, like please don’t let my boy die, he deserves the best! he deserves to be happy and live a long life! please isayama sensei don’t make me use argentine insults with you! xD buuuuut i know myself better than anyone so i’ll end up looking how everything ended and the i will lick my wounds with fanarts and fics where not only my boy jean but aaaall the other characters are happy and have the life they deserve. yup thats me xD

myri

Why, oh, why, did she have to turn out like this? Why did she have to be so fucking beautiful and desirable and amazing? 

And how many layers of stupid am I wearing, he asked himself, that I’d let myself fall for someone so precious when my life is guaranteed to end in a few years’ time?

ooooh this is so sad, i really hope he can enjoy these moments with the girl he loves 🙁

in this story will the twins also appear or are they only part of the jean chronicles? i really would like eren to get to know his children, but i see it as really impossible. but at least he will be able to take care of them from paths (sorry if i sound religious or something like that, it’s 20 years of upbringing under a lot of faith and evangelical things lololol)

myri

Jean was no better. “You’re doing it all wrong, dude. Maybe holding hands only works once. There are other parts of the body, you know,” he said affably, grinning wickedly the whole time. 

this is soooo jean lol lol lol i can reeeeaaaaally imagine his expresssion, tone of voice, everything xD

i really love him and miss him sooooo much, at least i can have content of him in your stories, and i love you for that

myri

oooh poor armin, it must be horrible that the girl you love is inside a frozen focil lol

Sara

Why, oh, why did it have to be this short? I’m sooo can’t wait for the next chapter!! Psst, I’m particularly interested in the feigned non-consent one. Erehisu writers seem like to ‘play it safe’ in general, so I’m really curious of how wild your writing for that one will be!

Sara

Thank you, thank you, thank you… not only for sharing this wonderful story, but also for giving me (and your other readers) something to look forward to every day!

kriss

you gonna built it up nice n slow arent ya love it love it love it oh hana am so proud of u for this i know dealing w d bottle and depression n all dat shitty stuff really sucks but u came through n kept on writing am so terribly proud of you love you so so much

kriss

Jean was no better. “You’re doing it all wrong, dude. Maybe holding hands only works once. There are other parts of the body, you know,” he said affably, grinning wickedly the whole time. 

lololololololol omfg make it stop this too funny its a really really really jean thing to say even have the gif for it somewhere him w d naughty grin lolol

kriss

“Gentle hand-holding no longer working?” the captain had raised an eyebrow at him. “Take her down with a foot sweep, then set up a variety of leglocks including heel hooks, knee bars and ankle locks.”

lolololol omg i cant my tummy hurts dont make me lol like this oh levi it really really really is a levi thing to say can totally imagine lolololol he shoulda demonstrated lol

kriss

wooooooooooyeaaaaah at last a new erehisu story from hana am so pumped so stoked been waiting for ages cant tell u enough how long i been waiting for your version of the preggy thing omfg cant wait for ch2

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