Mikasa had lost her parents when she was too young when she still needed them to protect and shelter her. From that moment on, she had never allowed herself to be weak, to need anyone around her.
So long had gone by, and she refused to mourn them in front of others, even if deep inside her she was still sorrowful for their deaths.
Even though if she still felt like sobbing when remembering them.
She was sitting all alone outside: The night sky soothed her, but not enough to stop the tears from pouring silently down her cheeks. She missed them so direly.
Mikasa didn't want anyone around her: she felt vulnerable and broken when she acted this way, and she couldn't afford to be weak.
She was strong and determined, she needed to keep what remained of her family, even if it was an adoptive one, safe and away from harm. Keep Eren safe.
So she was startled and annoyed to hear someone stepping closer. She turned, sharply wiping away her tears, and discovering it was Eren, walking toward her with a worried stare on his face.
"Why are you crying, Mikasa?" Her adoptive brother asked, and she wanted to send him to hell for asking. Why couldn't he just leave her alone?
"Nothing, I'm just tired" She replied nonchalantly, trying to swallow her feelings and keep them deep beneath the surface, where no one could see them.
Eren frowned, sitting by her side quietly and staring at her for what seemed to be an eternity. Finally, though, he spoke, resting his hand on her shoulder.
"You don't need to be the strongest person in the world all the time, did you know that?"
Mikasa huffed at this and rolled her eyes, but she didn't reply.
"You are entitled to be vulnerable. And you could let someone else be strong for you, for once." He explained, patting her back tenderly. "I'm here for you, you know?"
Mikasa's tears began rolling down her cheeks again, as she offered him a grateful, broken little smile.
Being by his side, being vulnerable didn't feel dangerous, it felt safe instead.
She rested her head on his shoulder and sobbed silently, feeling her adoptive brother wrap his arm around her tenderly.
"I'll always be there for you, Mikasa"
"I know, Eren" She whispered between sobs, finally being able to grieve her parent's death openly, without any guilt or fear of being judged.