Being a soldier is nowhere near as easy-going as the general public thinks it is. Certainly, living conditions are remarkably better, but at what cost exactly? Your life for one thing, should Titans ever breach the walls again. It is a thankless job; only the children gaze in awe at you as you walk the streets. The adults scoff and snort behind your backs, sometimes right where you can see it, and claim you do nothing but steal their tax money.
These are the sorts of things going through your mind as you sit in the mess hall, stirring your stew idly with your spoon. It has long since cooled down enough to eat, but you lack the appetite. It is sad that you cannot bring yourself to eat when a few years ago, everybody was lucky to have even a bread roll to last them the day. Things really have changed since then.
"You look glum." Eren speaks to you as he takes his seat on the next table, Armin and Mikasa following suit. You look up at him with a questioning gaze. Had you really been that obvious about it? You flash him a crooked smile.
"Just... y'know, thinking about things."
"Oh yeah?" Eren takes a generous bite of his bread. "About what?"
You take a moment to consider your answer.
"About how you got your ass handed to you by Annie today. Again."
If there was any sort of concern driving Eren's curiosity regarding you tonight, it dissipates soon enough, and he rips the crusty end of his bread roll off to throw at your head. The morsel of food never hits its mark however, as Jean happened to be walking past at that exact moment. His demeanour appeared somewhat high-strung as he walked (as he tended to be around Mikasa), and seeing the scrap of food fly past him startled him enough for him to drop his tray, which clattered noisily.
You watched, honestly amused, as Jean grabbed Eren by the collar, yelling comically about wasting food and how he did that on purpose.
"Like hell I did!!" Eren always had trouble keeping his temper in check. "I know what the fuck starving feels like, you don't have to fucking tell me twice to be careful with this stuff!!"
"Careful? Says the guy who can't pick a fight to save his life. How many times have you been beaten by Annie now, huh?"
You see Mikasa rising from her seat to quell the fight, but you beat her to the punch with your own well-aimed morsel of bread. It flies in a neat little arc to hit Eren right between the eyes. His reaction, a series of utterly confused blinks, makes you laugh, and with his free hand, he gropes around his table for the remainder of his roll so that he may return the favour. Jean takes this opportunity to tug Eren off balance, so his throw misses completely, bouncing off your table to hit Reiner on the back of the head.
It doesn't take long for the entire mess hall to erupt into a mass food fight, and you're fairly sure everybody's crows of laughter can be heard all across the compound. After shoving Bertholdt into Jean who (somehow) grabs the taller boy and forces him into a headlock, you seek shelter under one of the tables with Armin who's covering his ears as if that alone will block out the ruckus happening all around him. And there, you happily wait with him until Instructor Shadis kicks the door open, demanding for everybody to shut the fuck up and line up outside.
As punishment, everybody in the room was sentenced to one meal a day for the next month.
Yes, being a soldier is nowhere near as easy-going as the general public thinks it is.