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Stripper dance and Living dreams

Chapter Text

“And yet again, why am I’m here?”

Oluo sighed pressing his thumbs into his eye sockets while Mike gave Levi a strained smile.

“Because Levi, we’re taking Erwin out for his bachelor party. We. Wwwweeee. As in all of us. As in this group here. All of us here” Eld smiled gesturing towards the group of men in the limo.

Gunther was going through the mini bar in the limo and held up a glass of something dark and sparkly. “If nothing else Levi, think of it as a night off to blow off some steam! with the potential to get laid, and to definitely get wasted.”

Levi gave Gunther a cold stare and Mike leaned over and grabbed a tiny bottle into his hand. “I’m also here because someone said this was all going to be paid on company funds.” Yanking the top off, Mike downed the bottle in one fell swoop.

The limo came to a halt and the door swung open and Erwin climbed into the vacant seat. Settling in, the limo took off and Erwin surveyed the group. “Men, we all know why we’re here today. I’m getting married to a woman whose company we will absorb after our planned merger - to Historia. I am, however, also looking to blow off some steam tonight!”

To this statement, the limo broke out to a round of boisterous cheer while Levi scowled in the corner of the limo. He never intended to come out tonight, in fact he had worked his usual 70 hours at work, walked out of Survey Corps, Inc. and locked up the building for the night. He prided himself on being the first one in, last one out. He often didn’t care to socialize with his subordinates except for the occasional meetings and Christmas parties, however those he would even try to avoid like the plague. President eyebrows would remind him of his duties as VP of the company, and Levi would count the minutes until the annual speeches were made, cutting the cake, signed the bonus checks, and stood in the back of the company photos and made his escape towards the door.

Tonight however, was a different story. He locked up, turned to pocket the key and walked over to the sidewalk to hail a cab. Oluo came running over from across the street and begged Levi to allow him back into the building saying he left his cell phone inside. Levi was about to tell Oluo to fuck off when a limo came blaring down the street to pull up alongside them, and Levi was blindfolded into the limo.

Never one from backing out of a fight, Levi defended himself against his assailants quite well until someone kneed him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. Still gasping for air, the blind fold was removed to revel the men form work sporting new bruises. Levi’s eyes narrowed as he took them all in as realization dawned at why they were all here.

Erwin’s fucking bachelor party.

Chapter Text

The limo pulled away to display, in Levi’s opinion, a hideously broken-down building with a pink neon sign which seemed to howl in the night sky, Horn of Plenty. Levi groaned inwardly at the name.

 Could this night possibly get any worse? He thought sighing to himself. Not liking the odds of how far they were from his apartment and the cost of a cab, he followed the men into the club.

They were greeted by an overly eccentric woman with glasses wearing a rhinestone police officer costume, complete with officer cap and thigh high boots. Her bra top was covered with sparkles as her shoulder pads jutted out and she produced a whip from behind her back. Cracking the whip at her side she cackled as she motioned the men closer.

“Gentlemen!” She cried waving her hands wide and bowing deeply reveling her pearly whites. “Welcome to our humble sanctuary! I’m Officer Hange. What do we fancy today, hmm? Women? Men? Both?” she asked wiggling her eyebrows.

Oluo stuttered and bit his tongue releasing blood about him and the woman appraised him intently. “Ahhh, I see! A closeted, repressed soul! We must set you free! Are you all the same as he?” she asked surveying the group.

“I’m comfortable in my own sexuality!” Gunther replied stepping forth. “I don’t care what I see, as long as I have a good time!”

 Levi’s eyes flickered to the group of men.

Mike pushed Erwin forward as if offering a sacrifice. “This man is here to celebrate his bachelor party!”

 Smiling widely, Hange snapped her fingers and a woman appeared at her side wearing a sexy Mrs. Claus outfit of a red bra laced with white fur on top and red underwear with a matching garter belt and a tray of cookies. A man appeared at her other side wearing a doctor type costume with a white speedo decorated with a single red cross, cuffs, and a collar complete with a red tie and a stethoscope. His tray contained shots of red syringes.

“Gentlemen, this is Hitch and Jean! These two will be your suppliers and will give you the absolute best in your VIP experience! Tell your enemies and withhold secrets from your loved ones, and enjoy your fantasies here at the Horn of Plenty!” 

Eld placed his hands-on Levi’s shoulders and leaned over him, the damn tree towered over him. “And this poor soul is a virgin!”

Levi felt his eyesight turn white as rage seared through his body and pumped adrenaline through his veins. 

Hange smiled wickedly at him. “Let’s pop your cherry then, mister!”

Chapter Text

The men were led to a dark room crammed with tables and an energetic atmosphere filled the room. With a large stage set to the side, they were directed to sit in the secluded VIP section complete with their own stripper pole in the middle of their table.

Jean and Hitch passed out their goodies and once they were done taking drink orders disappeared quickly from sight.

The stage’s dark sparkly curtain opened dramatically to reveal a cute woman with limp pigtails in the middle dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Her dress was painfully short as it barely covered her underwear revealing her garter belt clasped onto her white stockings. A sweet melody began to play and the girl started to sway her hips to the music and as soon as the lyrics began to belt out, she jumped onto the stripper pole and began her routine.

Levi nodded his approval at her music selection, The Rolling Stones, She’s A Rainbow.

Hitch and Jean returned and began to serve the men their beverages, bringing three of everything and even a champagne bucket with six bottles, complimentary of Officer Hange herself. The men were besides themselves with glee and began to drown their drinks with renewed enthusiasm.

Levi eyed the drink distrustfully, were the glasses even clean?

Mike elbowed Levi in the ribs harshly and pushed his untouched drink into his hands. “Levi, live a little. Don’t you ever sit at your desk and wonder about your piss poor life?”

Levi narrowed his eyes. 

“Ok maybe not piss poor, but pitiful? When was the last time you were on a date? Or hell, even had sex! Maybe for once in your life, do something crazy and wild for yourself! Get that stick out of your ass and live a little. Hell, even that fucker is getting married!” Mike said pointing towards Erwin whose eyes were fixated at the new performer.

Male with a golden bob, the stripper twirled on the pole wearing a school boy outfit.

Eld nodded and squirted the red syringe into his mouth. Licking his lips, he threw the empty instrument at the back of Erwin’s head. “One day Levi, you’re going to wake up and realize you did shit with your life. And then you’ll die. And that’s it. Just don’t die a virgin. Speaking of which, have you seen the 40-Year-Old Virgin?”

Levi appraised them and shifted his gaze to the glass in his hand. Swirling the contents inside, he sighed and contemplated defeat.

It was just one night. What could possibly go wrong?

Lifting his glass to his comrades who cheered at the sight, lifted their glasses in return.

Chapter Text

Four buckets of champagne, several shots, rounds of alcohol, and a tray of delicious cookies later, Hitch led the men into another room which led them dumbfounded. 

 “How the fuck does this place even fit this, in this place?” Oluo asked swaying on his feet and jabbed an accusing finger at Hitch.

 Brushing his finger away like a fly, Hitch smiled sweetly. “Our establishment holds many secrets, sir. Enjoy the club scene! We will find you shortly.” Leaving them once again in the VIP section with more alcohol, she disappeared into the crowd.

 Levi sat on the couch feeling his head spin. Music pulsed within his body as lights synchronized with the sinful music. Stripper poles on little pedestals were littered all around the dance floor and several bird cages big enough to fit humans were suspended in midair.

 Levi squinted up at one, seeing a brunette woman with a high ponytail rocking wildly to the music dressed as a sexy Robin Hood.

 Erwin sat next to him and peered up at the cage. “Holy shit! There’s someone in there!”

 The cages started moving up and down to the beat of the music, bringing the cages down low enough to the top of the heads of the crowds and then back up almost hitting the ceiling. Men and women were suddenly visible in the cages, dancing in their own hypnotic patterns.

 The men surged out onto the dance floor and lost themselves to the rhythm of the music.

 Levi was beside himself, this was fucking fun! Who would have thought alcohol was the answer to his prayers? He could enjoy this, letting his guard down for a night. Being here with them, in this weird ass place with no judgement or worries of work or mindless every day shit. No baggage of the outside world existed.

This was nice. Different, but nice.

Freeing, Levi thought sadly.

 Servers with trays passed around them, and each time Levi grabbed enough for the group, enjoying his new-found liberation.

 Several songs circulated in this manner before they headed back to the VIP area.

 Gunther bounced excitedly on the couch and grabbed a hold of Mike’s shoulders. “Fucking shit! Check that chick out over there! Isn’t that your type?” pointing to a woman on a nearby pedestal wearing the Princess Leia slave costume.

She looked up and smiled at Mike, beckoning him to move closer. Wrist cuffs were connected to imitation chains which encircled her as she moved sensually against the pole.

 Jean appeared then and passed out fresh drinks with shots with small flames dying on the surface of them. Staying with the men to drown the shots, they each saluted on another and Jean moved to collect their empty glasses with promises to bring more.

 Gunther motioned Jean closer. “Who’s that pretty lady?” he asked as the stripper continued dancing, throwing long suggestive glances Mike’s way.

 Jean smiled and eyed Mike who was mesmerized at the woman before him, barely blinking afraid of losing sight of her.

“You’re her type, alright. The name’s Nanaba.” Shrugging as he stood he quickly added, “She’s single and ready to mingle.”

Hitch returned to the group just as Jean reappeared with more drinks. “Gentlemen” she purred, “are we ready for our final act?”

 

Chapter Text

“Everything in life has a beginning, a middle, and an end” Hitch recited leading the men down a long dark corridor. “Down the rabbit hole.”

The corridor ended abruptly and two doors stood before them.

“Here, we will divide your group and send you on your last hurrah with us. If for any reason you may wish to leave early, you may leave your designated room and follow the stage exit door. Please rest assured, we have taken great care in providing you with your last great escape” Jean grinned.

Jean bowed as Hitch curtsied. “It was an honor to serve you.”

Hitch nodded to Oluo, Mike, and Eld. “Gentlemen, would you do me the honor of following me this way?”

“Fuck yea!” Eld cried running after Hitch.

 Mike shrugged at the remaining men and followed after Eld.

 Oluo attempted to salute the men but tripped over his feet and hit the door with his chin, biting on his tongue.

 Jean winced visibly, and took a step toward the man. “Sir – “

 Oluo stood and held up a hand to silence Jean. Gathering what little dignity remained, he walked through the door.

 Jean blinked and smiled at the men behind him. “Gentlemen, welcome to the rabbit hole. Would you please step through this door?”

 Closing the door behind them, Jean lead them down a series of doors. Stopping in front of one, he motioned Gunther inside. “Gentlemen, please wait here while I escort him in.”

 Levi and Erwin were left outside and appraised one another.

Erwin titled his head at Levi and smirked. “Enjoying ourselves, are we?”

“Tch. I was kidnapped here. You’re the fucking moron who wanted this.”

“I’m getting shackled, Levi. This is merely customary. And I’m surprised you participated this long and didn’t leave within the first hour.”

Levi shrugged moving his hand through his hair. Why had he stayed so long?

The door opened and Jean walked through closing it tightly behind him. The process was repeated again and Levi remained outside of Erwin’s room feeling exposed out in the hallway on his own.

This was fucking stupid. I can just leave,he mused silently kicking the wall next to him.

Only, he didn’t want to. He didn’t want to go home to his empty apartment and live his pathetic life to repeat the same process day in and day out. He was tired of his mundane life, tired of being predictable and alone. His mind replayed the events of tonight. He’s worked with these men for over 10 years, why did it take this long for him to have a decent conversation with them? How did they even get to know him, when he knew nothing of them in return? Had he really never noticed them?

The door opened and Jean stood with Levi. Smiling reassuringly, he followed the hallway until he stopped at the last room. Levi’s room. Opening the door, he led Levi inside.

“We hoped you enjoyed your time with us. Please remember, if you wish to terminate this part, you may do so at any time. Just exit the doors and continue down the hallway. You’ll see a door marked ‘Stage exit’ and you’ll be free.”

 Levi gaged the room; it held a full-fledged bar, a stripper pole on a pedestal in front of a couch, and a bed. Two doors were on the opposite side and Jean pointed to both.

 “One is the bathroom, the other is not for you.” Turning to look at Levi, Jean clasped his hands behind his back and rocked on the balls of his feet. “Any questions?”

Levi looked at him as if he were an idiot.  “What the fuck, ‘any questions?’ What is this? Some type of whore house?”

Jean cocked a brow and wore an amused smile. “Sir, the first person you met had a whip. Did you expect this to be anything less than what you’ve already experienced?”

Levi did not like this asshole. How dare he point out the obvious. “How long do I have in here?”

“As long as you’d like. Leave the next day, leave in five minutes. It’s all up to you. The bathroom is fully stocked, along with a change of clothing, and a change of bed linens.” Moving to the bar, Jean motioned to the contents. “Fully stocked.”

“What happens now?” 

“I will take my leave. Once you’re ready, walk to the door that is not yours and knock. The rest is up to you.” 

With Jean gone, Levi could feel his heart beating in his ears. He walked over to the door and raised his fist.

His fist hoovered over the door, mere centimeters away from the surface. All he had to do was move slightly forward and just seal his fate…

He couldn’t knock.

Letting out a breath Levi bounced on his feet and shook out his hands as his palms began to dampen. He could do this. It was painfully obvious someone would come out of that door. Whatever happens after was up to him. He was a 38-year-old man! He could do this. Enjoy himself. Let fucking lose.

Get jiggy with it, as the kids say.

Levi abruptly stopped bouncing on his feet and closed his eyes, mentally scolding himself.

‘Jiggy’? what in the fucking hell…

 Walking over to the bar he uncapped a bottle of whiskey and drank heavily from it. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he readjusted his pants as his erection started to grow.

Pulling himself together he walked over to the door and knocked.

Chapter Text

The knob turned and Levi’s eyes widened in disbelief and he swallowed quickly. Before him stood a tan young man with ocean eyes.

Holy shit Levi thought, pulse quickening. He quickly felt the need to readjust himself all over again, his erection was rubbing against his clothing begging to be released.

And then he suddenly needed to think of something completely mundane or else he’ll end up needing a new pair of pants as precum began to leak, the moisture creating spot on his pants. Levi silently thanked the gods he was wearing black that night.

Wearing a painfully tight hunter green Top Gun pilot outfit, the visitor stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.

Levi’s eyes wondered hungrily over the stranger’s body, every muscle was defined through the material, hugging his ass wonderfully and showing off his ripped torso through the unbuttoned garment.

Pleased at Levi’s evaluation, the man was silently chuckling back. He walked over to Levi and placed a hand on his chest and captured his free hand in his own. Intertwining their hands instinctively together, he leaned in and dragged his tongue across Levi’s neck nipping lightly. 

Levi felt strong hands ghost over his body and pressure as the brunette began to palm his growing erection. Feeling the wonderful friction against him, he was spun around until his back was flushed against the stranger. He dropped his head to the side and closed his eyes briefly as he willed his body to stay stiff. Seeing an open opportunity of the exposed neck, the pilot trailed kisses up Levi’s neck to his ear, only to repeat the process with his hot tongue, blowing slightly on the wet surface making Levi whimper silently in his mind. He met the shell of Levi’s ear and tugged on the lobe gently, testing the reaction. Levi couldn’t allow himself to enjoy this. How was it possible to feel so good against someone you just met? His body was burning up with forgotten desires and an intense longing from his body to his soul.

Levi felt an overpowering need for the pilot to bend him backwards and leave him a withering mess on the floor crying out for any deity that would hear him. All these feelings and emotions were strangling his head, his heart, his being. His stomach began to burst as it contained an overwhelmingly amount of excitement and the liquid from the alcohol was sloshing violently around in his stomach. The contents were turning and spinning within itself as if he were on an abandon carnival ride with no end in sight. He felt he would vomit on himself at any moment.

Levi pressed his lips together to silence his inner turmoil and the moan that threatened to escape his soul.

The brunet could sense the tension in Levi, and he spun him back around to face him, only to have the man rest his forehead against Levi’s, searching his eyes.

It was as if he could see how conflicted Levi was, did he know Levi hadn’t been with a man in years? That it was his only wish to belong to someone so fully and intimately? Closing his eyes, Levi felt embarrassed, shame, and anger well up inside of him. His insecurities were in full swing, wreaking havoc against his mind and he was fucking this moment up. 

Here was his opportunity! A hot young male served up to him with a bow, and Levi was wracked with fear. Fear of the unknown, of his desire, of the fact he craved intimacy with this man whom he only spent five minutes with. 

Scratch that. Six minutes.

The pilot moved his hands to either side of Levi’s face, reaching out to guide his hand gently through his raven hair and cupped his cheek in a loving embrace. The ocean eyes held mischief but something more laid beyond the surface.

Smiling encouragingly, the man licked Levi’s lips but to no avail, Levi kept them tightly shut.

Stepping back the man placed a chaste kiss to Levi’s hand and quietly sighed. “If I’m not to your liking…”

“No!” The words flew from Levi’s mouth so forcefully it startled them both.

The pilot’s eyes stilled and red tinted his tan checks as he nodded. Bowing slightly, he retreated towards the door. “Someone will attend to you shortly.”

Oh, fucking shit! Levi thought moving towards the brunet and successfully passing him, flinging himself on the door before the brunet opened it. Levi felt absolutely fucking stupid as the young man blinked and eyed him suspiciously.

Fixing his gaze to anything but the man, Levi nervously licked his lips. Inhaling deeply, he took his chance. “I meant ‘no’, as in don’t leave. I wasn’t excepting you, looking so fucking perfect and I especially wasn’t expecting a fucking male...” Levi willed himself to stop but the flood gates were opened, and alcohol was truly a liberating lover. He met the pilot’s confused gaze, “I’m gay, but I’ve… it’s been…I haven’t done this in a long fucking time, ok? But I want to, with you.” 

Realization dawned on the brunet’s features as his eyebrows shot up in surprise. Levi’s back hit the door as the man pushed his body deliciously into Levi’s and cupped his head once again. Shifting his leg to Levi’s cock, he rocked his leg back and forth causing Levi to whimper. He licked Levi’s lips and this time, Levi opened them. Tilting his head back, Levi groaned into the man’s mouth as the pilot’s tongue danced with his own. Their tongues met in the middle, and Levi felt a surge of determination as he began to suck on the younger man’s tongue as own hand moved to the other’s erection against the costume. He began to stroke the other in rhythm to the sucking, feeling his courage grow by the second.

Levi felt salvia drip down his chin, whose ever it belong to Levi didn’t care as he felt pride at their obvious arousal for one another. The pilot broke contact first and licked the evidence away tenderly. Leaning down, he lifted Levi bridal style and moved him onto the bed. Kissing him sweetly, he stared into Levi’s eyes.

“You have choices. You’ll feel pleasure and pain. You’ll say ‘stop’ and ‘no’ but you may say them because your overwhelmed and embarrassed, and not because you want to actually stop. If you feel at any time you do, and really honest to God want to stop, I will. But give me a word – a safe word to know you want me to stop.”

Levi clutched the sheets beneath him tightly feeling amazed and embarrassed at how much the stranger wanted him to feel comfortable in this moment. The word cherished flashed in his mind, but Levi shook his head banishing the thought.  

“I don’t, um…” Levi looked about the room, searching for something to spark his memory to a useless word. “…Clean.” 

The young man tilted his head in confusion, feeling he may have misheard. “Clean?”

Levi felt his cheeks burn at the idiotic word that fell from his lips. But what the hell? Clearing his throat and avoiding the ocean eyes he clarified. “Mr. Clean.”

The bright smile that broke out on the other was so fucking beautiful Levi felt the need to squint slightly and turn away. If he were younger, and maybe not so full of pride he would have buried his face in his hands or thrown himself onto the bed like some fucking Disney Princess.

But Levi wasn’t any of those things. 

Levi was silent, cold, and calculating. He detested showing emotion, didn’t care to be part of a group, often enjoying his own solitude instead. Some people were too full of…life? Too full of light, and if you got too close, you’ll become attached. That’s where the true problem was. If you become too attached, you get used to other people in your life and then when they’re gone, your world becomes dark again. Too still. The silence and emptiness they leave behind is defining. It forces you into a slow madness and you can’t think of anything else but them.

And then slowly, ever so slowly, you began to resent them and the memory they left you behind with. The fact they entered your life – when you were perfectly fine, by the way – and mess it all up with their presence, their words, their mere existence. And just like that, in a blink of an eye they’re gone. Mother fucking gone. And your left alone with all the pieces. Left to pick them up from the ground, scrambling to collect ever last broken shard until you’re in a corner willing the pieces to become whole again.

And they won’t.

Because they can’t.

And you’re sitting there, damaged and alone, wondering… Why didn’t they just leave you alone in the first place?

“Hey there, where did you go?” The young man whispered devotedly, leaning his forehead against Levi’s. He reached up and caressed Levi’s face, gently brushing a tear away.

Levi closed his eyes and allowed himself to be vulnerable in this time, in this place, with this stranger. He felt raw, dirty, exposed, and so unbelievably relieved.

Licking his lips nervously, he met the other’s gaze. “I uh…nowhere. I’m here. With you.”

“We don’t have to do anything. We can just lay here. I can hold you.”

Levi shook his head, never once breaking contact with the other. Swallowing thickly, he prayed his voice would remain steady. “I want this. I think I want and need this more than I ever thought I did. Or, ever allowed myself to think I did. I’m rambling, I know that doesn’t make sense.”

Smiling softly, the pilot held Levi’s hands and pressed soft circles into his skin, bringing a calm to the raven. “It makes sense. More than I could ever tell you.”

The two stayed that way for what seemed like hours, never once breaking contact form their present embrace; foreheads touching, the brunet holding Levi’s hand, and Levi silently crying.

 

Chapter Text

Levi woke to the distant sound of water running.

Turning in the bed he found his pants were removed and his shirt was unbuttoned. Sitting up slightly and looking around the area, he found his clothing were folded neatly on the couch.

He felt an odd sense of pleasure at seeing his items properly cared for.

Sighing, he threw the covers away from him and padded towards his items. Sitting on the couch, he moved toward his pants looking for his wallet. He could still tip the brat, even if things didn’t go exactly as expected. He must have fallen asleep, running a hand down his face he felt a strong headache coming on. Whether it was from the crying due to the emotional mind fuck, or the alcohol, Levi didn’t know nor did he care. 

The second door opened and Levi froze in his pursuit, the wallet momentarily forgotten as the man returned to the room with a tray holding a pot and cookies. Smiling warmly at Levi, he sat the items down on the pedestal next to the stripper pole. Sitting on his knees, he began to pour Levi a cup.

“Sorry, I don’t drink coffee. Tea is all I have on hand, really. But I figured, why not.” He replied shrugging, blowing on the tea’s surface creating small ripples in its wake, he handed Levi the cup.

Eyes glued to the carpet, Levi muttered a thanks and took the cup. Careful to hold it by the rim and not the handle, Levi sipped quietly.

The younger narrowed his eyes in thought as he watched Levi sip, but instead of commenting on the odd way he chose to hold the cup, took a cookie and began chewing on it.

“Why does this place serve weird ass things, like cookies?”

 The brunet snorted, and quickly covered his mouth with his hand as he laughed. 

“Cookies are awesome! They provide a sense of comfort, you know? Like when you were young and your mom gave you comfort good after a long shitty day. An innocent item in a lion’s den such as this? This place can really get intimidating. But the point of it here, at least I like to think, is to find yourself and express yourself freely without judgement. The world is hard enough as it is, and people need somewhere to retreat to. A sanctuary. A place to live openly, if even for a night. So, this cookie? It’s a peace offering disguised as a symbolic comfort.”

Levi felt his mouth twitch at the honest if not slightly silly confession. He leaned over and took a cookie, turning it slightly and feeling the weight of it in his hand, he took a bite. Holding the piece in his mouth for a moment he felt the younger man’s eyes on him excitedly waiting for a reaction.

Levi nodded and brought the cookie to his lips taking another bite, “They are good.”

Pleased, the younger man nodded and finished off his cookie with a smile. “Thanks! Their home made.”

Levi’s eyebrow rose with interest. 

Grinning sheepishly, the brunet rubbed the back of his neck. “It’s my mom’s recipe.”

“Do you supply the whole building?”

Chucking slightly the young man eyed Levi. “No, the outside ones may contain a bit of a – special mix? Like special brownies, it helps to take the edge off. Mine are pure.”

Levi scoffed at the choice of words suddenly growing irritated. Pure? This place was for tricks and trades, this wasn’t real. The fucking brat was being paid for a service. He didn’t want him. He was paid to fuck him. To give him pleasure. This wasn’t real.

This ISN’T real!! His mind screamed and he promptly dropped the cup onto the tray.

“Hey, don’t do that.” The younger man crawled over to Levi and wedged himself in between his legs. Pulling himself up, his hands cupped Levi’s ass and he leaned into the raven’s face, forcing Levi to retreat into the couch. “Judge the place, don’t, whatever. That’s up to you. But don’t retreat back into your mind.” Bringing Levi’s hand into his own, he kissed his knuckles and looked into Levi’s eyes. “Don’t leave me out here without you.”

Levi swallowed and felt his face heat. He had felt vulnerable before, but now he was just getting annoyed at how the little shit was manipulating his emotions and pulling at the strings of his heart.

This isn’t real. He doesn’t care about me. Fuck, he doesn’t even know how pathetic I am. 

Wrenching his hand out of other’s grasp, he met the ocean eyes with a challenge and his voice dripped with venom. “Tell all your customers that?!”

Appraising him wearily, the younger man sat on the balls of his feet and he slowly dragged his hands to rest near Levi’s knees.

“No” he whispered, sighing softly.  He stood and lifted himself onto the pedestal and moved in circles around the pole, his hand caressing the cool metal. “I started working here when my mom got sick. She didn’t want me to quit school, but with my dad gone, someone had to pay the bills. I worked a couple of jobs, but knew I had to make money fast, so I got my bartending license, got experience. Someone introduced me to this place. That’s how I ended up here. Once you get used to the environment, it’s not so bad. The pay is actually really good and I got to quit one of my other jobs. And for the record, I’m not a stripper. I’m a fucking bartender.” Jumping off the platform, the pilot sat back onto it Indian style, leaning his back against the pole he eyed Levi steady; unafraid.

Levi’s eyes narrowed. “Am I supposed to buy this shit?” 

“I have no reason to lie to you” the other shrugged, looking harmless. Waving his hand around the room he continued. “The rabbit hole, this area, that’s different. The workers volunteer themselves willingly to clients, or they’re chosen, selected at random and whatever happens, happens. It’s all done with consent. I go from the first room with the standard stripping to the club room, making drinks and such. Sometimes I act as a waiter if someone called in sick, or need to escort a group around. Sometimes I go into the cages and just dance in them, there’s no harm in it. I never come into these happy ending rooms. Until now that is.”

Resting his elbows on his knees, he leaned closer to Levi meeting his gaze intently. “I volunteered for your room.”

Levi wished he had something to hold onto, something to fiddle with in his hands to take some of the nervousness away. He met the other’s eyes head on and his pulse quickened. “Why?”

“Because I noticed you when you walked in and it… I don’t know, awakened me, and I just knew… I just felt, I don’t know, drawn to you. I wantedto meet you. I wanted to talk to you, I just wanted a chance…I just wanted to get to know you better. And yea, ok, this isn’t the most romantic place but…” struggling with the words the younger man’s eyes flickered around the room and landed back onto Levi’s own. His green eyes shown brilliantly with purpose and held such a tenderness that made Levi gulp and look away as the last words were spoken. “I want to be with you.”

Levi wanted the earth to open him up and swallow him whole. The earnest statement would have prompted tears from his eyes if he didn’t already feel numb inside. This was too much. This was too surreal. In what universe…what kind of sick cosmic joke is this? To believe he was special? To be noticed? To be wanted by him?

Shaking his head Levi waved his hands in dismissal and stood. “Sorry kid, this is getting way too much for me. Too…” Levi trailed off putting his pants back on, turning to give the brunet his back. 

He still felt eyes on him. This was too real. Too fucking weird. If he didn’t fall asleep they would have fucked and Levi would have gotten him out of his system and then that would have been it. Done. The next day they would have gone back to their lives like nothing happened and Levi would have masturbated to the memories of this night for the rest of his life.

Instead, he was getting attached to the little shit head and felt the need to run from the room screaming obscenities, ignoring the pain in his chest as his heart grew in size.

 

Chapter Text

Eren watched as the man left bills on the bed, opened the door and walked out. Never once glancing back.

He waited.

Waited until the man came back and said fuck it, let’s give it a go.

Waited until the man came back and said he got lost trying to find the exit.

Waited until the man came back to beat the living shit out of him.

Dry washing his face, Eren got up and peeked outside of the door, finding the hallway deserted. Pulling his mouth in a disappointed expression, Eren picked up the money and went through his door. The dressing room was bare, and quickly removing the pilot outfit he tossed it into the hamper. Finding his bartending clothes, Eren dressed and exited the room through another door. Wondering over to the lounge area, he was thankful to find it deserted. Eren moved to his locker and turned the lock over yanking on it, and found it was still locked. Eren tried the combination again, and again, only to have it end in the same results.

Frowning, Eren started to punch his locker half-heartedly.

“Bad day, dear?”

Eren froze in his assault on his locker and turned leaning into the cool metal looking defeated. He felt exhausted and stupid. Stupid that he would blow his one fucking chance with that man. He had to get all confessional and emotional, wanting to reach out and touch the raven at every moment. He was drawn in like a moth to a flame as soon as he saw him enter the club. Eren stared at his hands and slowly opened and closed them. Once the raven had fallen asleep, Eren had undressed him and spooned him as he slept. He held his hand, and even when the smaller man shifted positions to snuggle head-first into Eren’s chest, bringing his smaller frame closer to him, he hugged him tightly. He missed the warmth of the smaller man. He wanted to get to know him. Fuck! Why did he have to be honest and say that to him? Why did he have to word vomit all over the situation. Why couldn’t he have come across as devastatingly handsome, mysterious, and even charming as fuck instead of -

Needy. Whiny.

Eren pressed the palms of his hands on his eyes until he saw burst of stars behind his lids. Why did he screw everything up? This could have been something! maybe he could have asked for the raven’s phone number afterwards. Maybe they could have gone for a late dinner at that café down the way. Maybe if he didn’t go and act like he was a fucking love-sick high schooler who was overly charged with emotion - something else could have happened. Why did he never think things through? 

Jean walked over giving Eren a sad look and stood in front of his locker, turning the lock over slightly, he picked the lock with ease.

“Thanks” Eren muttered reaching for his backpack.

Jean watched as Eren threw money into his bag and zipped it, closing the locker without bothering to lock it.

“How did it go?” he asked quietly.

 “It didn’t. You were right, ok?” putting the strap over one shoulder Eren turned and looked at Jean, tears filling his ocean eyes. “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

 Jean opened his mouth but shut it quickly as Reiner walked in looking determined and strolled into the next room with ‘Costumes & Props’ over the door. “Hey guys” he called absentmindedly as he came out with an extra-large purple vibrator and a butt-plug.

Eren nodded to the toy. “What’s that about?”

Reiner rolled his eyes. “My client wanted to try experimenting but broke the other toy. Good thing Hange keeps spares!”

“Ahh, living the dream” Jean mused out loud.

Walking towards the door Reiner grinned waving the toy in his hand. “See you guys later!”

Before Jean could start, Eren was making his way to the door.

“Hey! Wait a minute, Eren!”

 “I gotta go, Jean.” 

“Eren!” Jean caught up to the brunet walking towards the back exit. “You know you’re my ride, right fucker?”

Eren halted in his tracks. “Shit. Sorry Jean, I forgot. Listen, any chance you can catch a ride with Connie?”

“Connie’s off today, remember? You took his shift for tonight. He’s at the monthly self-defense class.” Jean’s eyes narrowed at Eren, suspicion rising in his face. “What’s up with you man? Did that guy slip you something? Did he try something...?”

“What?! No! God no, it wasn't like that.” 

Nodding slightly, Jean didn’t look convince. Pointing at the lounge, he looked back at Eren. “Would you just wait for me? I’m not taking the fucking bus.” 

Sighing Eren turned on his heel and walked back to the room and plopped on the couch.

Fucking night. Fucking guy. With absolutely no fucking!! 

 


 

“And then he left?” Jean asked, midchew on his burger.

 Eren nodded swallowing his food he stopped at a red light shifting his burger to his other hand.

“I told you that guy looked too wound up. I figured he was one of those repressed guys, who would be all judgmental in public but wacked off while smelling your dirty underwear at night and his wife is asleep in the next room.”

“God, you paint such a lovely picture” Eren replied moving his foot off the break and put the jeep back into motion.

“Look man, some guys live the dream and others just enjoy the fucking stripper dance. You on one hand, don’t have either. Whereas I on the other hand, do.” Jean smirked, shoving the rest of his burger in his mouth.

Eren rolled his eyes and slowed the vehicle as they came up to the hospital’s parking lot. Throwing the gear in park, he shoved his hand into the white bag and pulled out several fries.

“You met Marco there.”

Jean nodded looking thoughtful. “I did. I walked in with a group of guys having fun on a Saturday night. Saw the strip show, and thought it was ok. And then Marco walked on stage.” Jean moved to look at Eren fully and leaned his back against the car door. “I went back almost every weekend to see him for like, I don’t know, a month? And then one day, like a creepier I might add,” Jean feigned a shy smile, “I waited for him in the parking lot and introduced myself.” 

Gathering his food and drink, Jean reached into the back seat and got his bag. “That won’t work so much with this guy. If you’re really into him, you have to go to him, not wait for him to come to you. He’s got a stick up his ass for sure, but he’s got some sort of mental block.” Opening the door, Jean paused. “Marco is the single best thing that has ever happened to me. I would do it all over again just for him. When he quit and needed to concentrate on his residency full time, I knew I’d have to be the bread winner. That place has certainly helped us make ends meet, but it’s not forever. Not for me, and definitely not for you.”

“Jean…” Eren looked at him with wide eyes, appreciation filling his chest for his best friend.

Giving Eren a tight smile, Jean closed the door and walked into the hospital. Eren saw Marco greet him at the door, smiling like the love-sick fool he knew he was.

Chapter Text

“And I’m here, why?” Jean whined, rolling his head against the car seat.

“Because you’re the fucking Goose to my Maverik, that’s why!” Eren snapped back. “This was your fucking idea, remember? ‘Go to him’ you said! ‘He won’t come to you’ – you said! Well I took your God damn advice and now here we are!”

“Stop yelling! I’m fragile!”

Eren sighed loudly removing his aviators, he pinched the bridge of his nose tightly. “Look, just a few more minutes, alright? I’m already illegally parked here, and afterwards I promise we’ll check out Trost University. We both need to get our asses back into school, so we might as well go back together.”

Jean eyed Eren over the rim of his sunglasses. “Why do we have the same pair of aviators on right now?”

“Because…” Eren smiled sliding his aviators back on. “I bought them and you liked them! hence youstealing them from my locker. I just got another pair.”

“Goose” Jean said pointing at Eren, “Maverik” he said pointing to himself.

Eren hummed in response, eyes skimming the crowds of people in front of the massive corporate building.

 “You know, that Top Gun costume choice really paid off. I remember we were showered with tips that first night we debut them for that divorce party.”

“Yea well...” Eren said focusing his gaze to the entrance of the building. “We’ll pull it off again. Granted you lay off the burgers.”

 Jean pretended to be offended and snorted.

Eren bit his lip nervously.Maybe this was a bad idea. 

“How do you even know this guy works here?” Jean asked placing his head on his hand against the dashboard.

“Turns out Reiner’s friend Bertholdt drove the limo for them that night. Said he picked them up here.”

Jean whistled. “Ritzy.”


 

Levi looked out his window into the streets below. It had been one week since that infamous evening. Though Levi’s popularity since that night improved with his co-workers, he couldn’t get that fucking brat out of his head.

Hearing a knock at his door, Levi stared harder at the window’s reflection seeing his door open and Erwin walked through. Erwin smirked at Levi’s backside and took a seat on a chair in front of his desk. “I see your everyone’s favorite, now. Nice change of pace.”

Levi rolled his eyes and shot Erwin a bored look over his shoulder. “Now I’m expected to have lunch with them all.”

Erwin shrugged. “They’ll have lunch with or without you. They’re just over the moon that they were able to boundwith you. Apparently your something of a unicorn to them.” Erwin brought his hands up slightly touching and pulled them apart dramatically. “A fucking mystical being.”

Levi sighed and turned, lowering himself into his chair he chuckled slightly. “And how is this still a topic of discussion?”

Erwin lifted an eyebrow with an annoyed look. “You did this to yourself. Socializing? Who would have thought? Levi capable of being a fucking human being.”

Levi narrowed his eyes at Erwin. The conversation seemed to shift and a rigid air fell between them.

 “I wanted you there, Levi. We’ve worked together for how long? And despite your introvert attitude, we’re friends. We run the company together, hell you’re probably the longest plutonic relationship I’ve ever had. So why is it that you couldn’t seal thisdeal, Levi? What is it about you that makes you incapable of love?”

Levi rose from his chair and leaned over his desk while fixing Erwin a menacing glare. Placing a hand onto the clean surface he pointed the other at Erwin. “Don’t Dr. Phil shit me, Erwin. You’re the one boosting about having some fling at that damn strip joint! Doesn’t marriage mean anything to you?”

“So that’s why you’ve been pissed as hell at me? Because I’m bragging about a conquest? You self-righteous dick! I knew it was something, I just didn’t figure you’d take this so fucking personal.”

“You’re a fucking joke, Erwin! Ever seen your eyebrows? Jesus! I bet you fucked a man using only those things!”

“Fuck you, Levi! If I didn’t know better, I would say you were deflecting, you little shit!” Erwin barked rising and walking to the door. Moving his hand onto the knob Erwin paused, digits tapping on the smooth object. He tilted his head to the side in silent contemplation. “That’s what this is, isn’t it? Afraid of getting close to someone?” he muttered thoughtfully.

Erwin’s shoulder’s rose and fell as he took in a deep breath. He could feel himself mentally preparing for the attack his next choice of words would bring. “Levi, Farlan’s death was not your fault.”

Levi stilled as his eyes grew wide. Pressing his lips together, he straightened and held his breath. He watched as Erwin turned and closed the gap between them slightly.

“I know you loved him. I think he may have loved you, too. I don’t know the whole story, I know you two grew up together and were roommates in college. I know he proposed to Isabel, and you waited dutifully by his side. Maybe for him to really notice you. I don’t…I don’t know…” Erwin shrugged leaving himself defenseless.  

“Levi, Farlan –“

“Farlan didn’t have family, you fucking piece of shit of a man” Levi growled, raking his hands through his hair. Turning abruptly Levi faced the window and crossed his arms over himself. He wanted to appear indifferent, but inside he was crumbling and used his arms to hug himself tightly. He swallowed and willed his voice to remain steady. “I was his contact – next of kin. When Isabel was drunk off her ass, and decided to fucking drive, she hit that Goddamn tree. She was miraculously saved, and Farlan was on life support. I had to makethe decision to take him off life support!”

Silence flowed from Erwin as the confession settled into his mind. Blinking once, he shifted his weight form one foot to the other, unsure how to respond to the burden Levi had carried inside.

Levi moved over to his mini bar and poured himself a drink. Nursing the glass, he turned and shot Erwin a pointed look. “Isabel was his fiancé and wanted nothing to do with the responsibility of his medical care.” Throwing his head back, Levi finished the drink. “Fucking children playing with the idea of love. When shit hits the fan, that’s when your love is tested and that’s when you step up. Farlan choose Isabel. I had to get over it. He took his friendship away with him! Saying it was too hard being around me, I made it too damn hard for him to be happy. Because –“ Levi stopped himself. Another confession burned on the tip of his tongue but he forced it away, burying it back beneath the surface. Erwin wasn’t the type of person he would disclose so much private information to.

Closing his eyes and stifling a sigh he added quietly, “And then this mother fucker makes me his medical contact? I don’t see or hear from him in two years, but I’m suddenly thrown back into his life to make this decision?”

Erwin looked on at Levi, drawing a breath he pulled downward painfully at his face. “Levi…when Farlan died, I knew it was hard on you. But I didn’t know the whole story. I have a feeling I still don’t. But I know you. I know you wouldn’t have made that decision lightly. You would have been conflicted, and would have made that decision if it was the only one you had.”

Levi tsked and sat back into his chair, careful to avoid Erwin’s gaze, he rubbed wearily at his eyes.

“You know I’m not big on the idea of love. I see my nuptials as a smooth business transaction. The girl is nice, so that’s a plus. She’s not naïve, Levi. She understands her role in this. In fact, she has someone on the side. If this marriage ends in divorce, and it will, so be it. We’re both gaining something here.”

Sitting across Levi, Erwin fixed him with a sad smile. “I don’t understand the pain you went through, not really since I’ve never experienced something like that. I’ve come close, but not entirely. What I do understand, however, is that you can’t continue on like this. After that night at the club, you were more withdrawn than ever. What went on in that room is your business, I respect that. But did you know” Erwin asked, raising from the chair and hunched his shoulders to lean in closer to Levi’s desk. “That I requested someone?”

To the untrained eye, Levi looked bored. To Erwin, he noticed the way Levi’s breathe hitched and the tiniest widening of his eyes.

“Jean stood there, asked if I would like someone specific, and when I obliged he supplied. Did you know Oluo left early because he couldn’t stop his fucking tongue from bleeding? Or that Eld had a threesome? No. Because you don’t talk to anyone. You don’t want to get to know anyone. But your missing out, Levi. Your living half a life pretending to be fulfilled here and its pathetic. Farlan didn’t love you back? Ok. Deal with it. Unrequited love is the bullshit that makes this world turn. He made you his emergency contact? Then obviously he trusted you more than Isabel, trusted you to make the right decision when the time came. What does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Hell, if I know! What I do know is that you deserve more than this life. You can’t go around pretending not to have any feelings because you don’t want to be hurt again.”

Standing Erwin placed his knuckles on the desk. “Aren’t you tired of being alone? Of being afraid all the time?”

The question rung heavily in the air but Levi remained silent and unmoving.

A quick knock on the door broke their thoughts and Mike stepped in. “Guys? We doing lunch or what?”

Chapter Text

Whizzing through the streets and narrowing missing pedestrians, Jean pumped the petals of his bike faster before coming to a dramatic screeching halt in front of Survey Corps, Inc. Jean locked his bike and quickly made his way inside to an information booth.

Nodding in greeting Jean leaned against the booth. “Delivery for a Miss Petra Ral!” 

The worker eyed him tiredly and gestured to the elevators behind him. “98th floor.”

Jean scampered toward the elevators and pushed the up arrow. He eyed the building’s map and narrowed his eyes when he found his answer. Rolling his eyes, Jean held out his phone and took a quick picture of the map. Stepping into the elevator, Jean sent the image to Eren.

[Jean]

Looks like your fucking boyfriend is the VP -_- 

[Eren]

??!!

Scoffing slightly, Jean exited the elevator and walked over to the front desk. Flashing his dazzling smile at the receptionist, he delivered his package and got his next bit of information.

[Jean]

VP

104th floor

[Eren]

Picked up your route

Damn straight your gonna pick up my route! Jean thought heading back into the elevator and hitting the button to the 104th floor.

Jean thought back to the other day he and Eren were scouting the building. Once they were finally able to confirm that Levi worked in the damn building by seeing him exit an ungodly hour, the two worked up a plan. Intercept a delivery to the building, find out exactly where he works in the building, then schedule a delivery to the midget. Easy peasy!

Eren would deliver the package to Levi, the two would magically reunite and BAM! Happily, ever after. Cue the mother fucking music and sparkly ass sunshine.

Jean tapped his foot impatiently as the elevator stopped at every floor. He was just too damn nice. Yup. That was his problem. Too nice. He was a sucker for romance! So, when a real delivery popped up to this location, Jean didn’t hesitate. Knowing Eren was out on another delivery across town and couldn’t pick this one up himself, Jean volunteered. He would find out exactly where in the building Levi worked and would see if any obstacles were in the way of their future planned fake delivery. Any obstacles would have to be taken out before anything could be set in motion. 

Eren was over the moon ecstatic when Jean called him with the news, he volunteered to take the rest of Jean’s route and would even gladly fork over all his daily tips to him.

How could Jean resist? He really was a softy. Marco would be proud. 

With a spring in his step, Jean walked out of the elevator and strolled right past the receptionist. Walking along the hall, he observed the flight of people walking around in a cloud of anxiety, busy with their work and not really giving him a second glance.

Riding on his natural high of good deeds, Jean felt his confidence booming and wanted to pat himself on the back. He was invincible. 

“Jean?”

He stilled in his steps.

Glancing over his shoulder he smiled. “Hello, gentlemen.”

 


 

 Jean whistled as he took in the large private office. Bobbing his head, he tried to control the panic that was rising within him – this was not a part of the plan. Get in – do some recon - get out. 

Not get dragged into an office with three men he met at the club who looked like they worked for the mafia!!!

Jean was ushered into the room the men had begun to exit. Why couldn’t he be thrown into the bathroom? At least that would have been a public area. Now turning back towards the door, he appraised them all. Erwin stared at him as if he were a monster, Mike looked amused, and Levi looked...bored?

Jean cocked his head and narrowed his eyes into slits as he stared at the man’s indifferent expression. Cocking a brow, he couldn’t help but wonder… Did he always look like that? Was he always this short?

“Are you here to blackmail us? If so, I’ll have my lawyers so far up your ass –“ 

“Wow, wow their Commander, sir!” saluting Erwin sarcastically, Jean gave him a strained smile. “As much as that sounds like fun, I’m a taken man! And I’m not sure if you noticed but” he gestured toward his outfit. “I’m a bike messenger?”

The trio’s eyes flowed over Jean; he was wearing a black hoodie with shorts and bike pants underneath. Moving his head slightly, they saw his clear ear piece with a clear wire disappearing into his hoodie. Liking the attention, Jean smirked as he raised his right hand and showed them the small microphone clipped into his cuff.

Feeling satisfied at their shocked expressions Jean decided this was it, themoment to get Levi’s attention for Eren - a new plan! Maybe he could give Levi Eren’s number or tell him his best friend had been jonesing for him from the start. This was an opportunity and he wasn’t going to waste it, even though he wasn’t prepared for this moment, he would make it up as he went along.

Clearing his throat, he looked at Levi evenly, feeling the weight of the situation, he knew it was all on him. All for Eren.

 “I have a package for you, from Eren.”

The room was silent.

So quiet you could hear a pin drop.

Jean thought he heard someone cough from the other side of the door.

Thinking he must have been ignored somehow, Jean took a step towards Levi and leaned in slightly. Raising his eyebrows, Jean wanted to get his point across no matter how painfully awkward the current situation was. “Eren. The package is from Eren.”

Levi blinked and from his crossed arms lifted a hand with a dismissive wave.

Fucking Eren! Did you never give him your fucking name?! Jean growled internally. Staring at the ceiling, Jean let out an exasperated sigh and gave Levi a pointed come-on-look. “He’s in the military. Air Force – as in he’s a pilot.”

Levi’s eyes widened as he dropped his arms to his sides and pointed at the door.

“Everyone get the fuck out.”

Jean’s body immediately snapped to attention at the dominate tone in Levi’s voice. Thinking he had made the wrong choice, Jean silently began to inch his way towards the door behind Erwin and Mike.

Levi’s hand extended and caught him by the collar, dragging him further into the room. “Not you, lover boy.”

Pushing Jean into a chair, Levi leaned against his desk eyeing the youth darkly.

Jean swallowed and nervously pulled at his collar. Levi arched an eyebrow and Jean smiled cheekily, shrugging faintly. “I don’t exactly have a package. I mean I do – my boyfriend never complains…I mean...” Jean mumbled and started to turn red. Rubbing the back of his neck, he bit his lip nervously. “Christ, do you have to stare at me like that? You’re making me nervous!”

Levi rolled his eyes and moved off the desk. Placing himself down on his chair, he gracefully lifted his hands into a pyramid position onto the desk. Fixing Jean with an indifferent expression, he waited for the youth to continue.

Jean was at a standstill. He really didn’t think this through. Sighing, he admitted defeat and decided to lay all his cards on the table.

“He likes you, you know. Eren? He’s had a pretty shitty go around. I met him at diner one night after work at the club. He was working a late shift, and we got to talking. He needed to make fast money, I had just started working there and, yea. The rest is as they say - history. He also got me a job as a bike messenger. A friend of his, their grandpa owns the delivery company. He’s actually delivering some stuff on the other side of town.” Jean pulled his phone out and quickly tapped on the screen. Passing his phone over to Levi, the raven eyed it for a moment before leaning over and taking it into his hand. On the screen was a map of the city and showed several colorful dots on the screen. One in particular was moving across town with the caption Jagerbomb

Flicking his gaze up at Jean, Levi returned the device and moved his hand beneath his chin deep in thought. 

“Look, he and I work a couple of jobs, need money for different reasons and are hoping to go back to college someday. Eren is a sure thing. You can count on him. He’s never been to the rabbit hole, but for some reason he wanted to with you. I don’t know why, you’re not exactly” Jean waved his hand toward Levi to stress his point, “friendly or anything.”

Levi arched his thin brow and Jean glared back, slouching in his seat shoving his hands in his pockets. This guy was starting to tick him off. Here he was trying to level with a guy who hasn’t even spoken a word to him! What was his problem, anyway? Jean felt like he was a wonderful conversationalist. 

“Fuck, whatever. Judge us for working there, but it’s a decent place. Hange is crazy, and was a drama major back in her day. She likes the costumes, we talk all proper and shit, and she sends us to trainings like CPR, First Aid, dance, yoga.” Jean rose a finger for each one he listed off his hand. “We attend self-defense class, have a free gym membership, get regularly tested for STDs if were active at work – but we practice safe sex. I mean, she looks out for us.” Jean looked on at Levi evenly, waiting for some sort of reaction. Jean had hoped Levi wasn’t this judgmental because Eren deserved better than a guy who would give him shit about where he worked before knowing the whole situation.

But maybe he was wrong.

Several uncomfortable minutes ticked by in silence and deciding he wouldn’t be receiving a response, Jean suddenly stood. Feeling like he just told too much sensitive information to an unworthy soul, he began to form a strong dislike form for Levi. He began to feel he wasted his time on someone who obviously didn’t deserve Eren.

What does Eren see in you? what was it that drew him in? Jean wondered, hoping for a life jacket to this whole scenario.

Eren’s hope was starting to taste bitter in his mouth. Jean thought back to that night in the club, searching for something to remind him why he felt this was important to Eren because he honestly sensed this was a huge mistake. Slumping his shoulders slightly, he immediately felt regret for indulging his idiotic love-sick friend. 

Eren finished making the alcohol filled syringes and when he handed Jean the completed tray, he froze. He remembered the captivated expression Eren had when the group of men entered.

“That’s him” Eren softly muttered, suddenly growing embarrassed and jumpy.

Jean looked back at the men and gave Eren a confused look. “What are you talking about? the VIP group? We just got briefed about them like an hour ago. You knew they were coming.”

Eren shook his head and looked at Jean with such a sincere look, it stung Jean’s heart. Eren was too simple for his own good sometimes.

“That’s the guy I’m supposed to meet. You know? Like the universe said ‘here he is.’ I know it.”

Following Eren’s pointed finger, Jean felt his jaw hit the floor. Snapping his head back to Eren, he felt his eyes bulge out of their sockets. “That guy? He’s a fucking hobbit!”

Eren grabbed Jean’s arm desperately. “If he goes to the rabbit hole, I volunteer for his room.”

Jean stared at Eren incredulously. How could he feel this way all of a sudden? They just walked in, for Christ’s sake! Then Eren’s statement suddenly caught up to his mind and Jean felt a sense of dread. Shaking his head roughly, he gripped Eren’s wrist before slowly raising it off his arm. Holding Eren’s wrist tightly between them, he stared back at him hard to emphasis his point. “No, Eren. You’re not going in there. That place is not for you.”

“Jean, I can make this decision for myself.”  

“You don’t even fucking know him! He just walked through the damn door. And he looks like a judgmental prick with a stick up his ass!”

“Jean! Listen to me, just shut up for a second!” Eren concentrated his gaze at the tray between them. “Look, bear with me here. I’m trying to explain this as best as I can. Today was a normal day. Nothing out of the ordinary! But I just looked up, and there he is.” Eren’s eyes widened and he stared up at Jean eager for him to understand. “I’m just saying…it’s like something inside me clicked. Like my soul went ‘there you are. I’ve been waiting for you.’ You know what I mean?”

  Jean wanted to say no and burst Eren’s bubble and protect him from the horrors and ugliness of the reality of their job and the rabbit hole. Jean knew how quickly that part of the club would go wrong. Jean never went into the rooms for pleasure, but he had to break up a couple of fights, especially when one unhinged client brought a knife and was high on ecstasy. Clients would get too rough with the staff, they would pressure and try to slip drugs into the staff’s drinks when they weren’t looking and try to make their fantasies into a fucking warped reality. That’s why no one really lasted in the rabbit hole for long except for a couple of people, and when Hange announced she would be closing that section permanently next month, Jean was relieved.

But instead, Jean blinked and gathered the tray in his hands feeling a loss of words. He knew what it felt like to take a gamble on someone, how venerable it felt. Squaring his shoulders, he sighed feeling a sudden burst of compassion for Eren.

Eren was too simple. Yup. Too simple, like an adorable puppy dog. Tilting his head to the side, he smiled softly at the brunet. “You read too many romance novels, Eren.” Moving from the bar he glanced over his shoulder at Eren’s defeated look. Rolling his eyes, he barked back, “IF he goes, you go!”

Jean didn’t have to turn around to know Eren was walking on sunshine. And probably doing the moon walk.

Chapter Text

Jean felt himself deflate. Eren looked so optimistic at the club, so enamored by this leprechaun as if Levi shat rainbows on a daily basis. Eren deserved to be happy.

“Look, sometimes you run into someone. And you don’t know it at the time but they’re going to change your life. Something shifts. Sometimes it goes to shit. But when it doesn’t, and it fucking works out, that’s the endgame. That’s the part that reminds us we’re alive because we love someone. I met my soulmate at that club. We took a chance on each other. There’s a risk for both parties. Just ask yourself this; is Eren worth taking a risk for?”

“I don’t even know Eren,” Levi whispered, bring his hands back into a pyramid form in front of his face as he leaned his elbows on the desk.

“That doesn’t answer my question. I get that you guys only spent a brief part of that night together, so my question may seem like a loaded one. But, is Eren worth getting to know?”

Levi mused over Jean’s words.

He replayed them in his mind as he rode the train home that night. Closing the door of his apartment, he stood in the entrance allowing the darkness to swallow him whole, embracing him like an old friend. This is what he could count on, even miss sometimes. Being alone meant that he was in control, no surprises, no need for the weight of emotional responsibility over another individual.

Separate. No one could hurt you if you detached yourself from everything and everyone. This is why he never got a cat. You love them and then they die.

“Nine lives my ass” he muttered moving deeper into the penthouse removing his coat. He barely finished closing his coat closet when his doorbell rang. Grunting an annoyance, he moved back to the front door. He was in a shitty mood and did not feel like entertaining some misfit that happened to be at his door. Glancing quickly at his watch, he couldn’t help but wonder who would be visiting him at 9:30 pm?

Grabbing the knob, he forced himself to remain calm as he pulled the door open.

“Gunther?” Levi asked, brows rising slightly.

Smiling boldly, Gunther held up a six-pack and in one hand and a plastic bag in another. “Grown up milk and cookies?”

Moving aside, Gunther entered the apartment and nodded his approval. Walking over to the window, he exhaled a deep breath. Levi knew the view well; it was a beautiful view of the rising skyline greeting the night with appreciation. Aircraft warning lights blinked into the stars as if they were one. “Nice view. Really, it’s quite beautiful.”

Levi hummed and moved into the living room as Gunther sat on the couch and began to pull out two beer bottles. Offering one to Levi, he began to drink from his own.

Levi took the offering and sat on the lounge chair opposite the man. Eyeing Gunther suspiciously, he sniffed the drink.

“Sorry, I didn’t know your poison, but I figured you could try a favorite of mine.” Gunther shrugged as his face radiated amusement.

Levi raised his eyebrows in response and took a sip. Pursing his lips quickly he stared back at the man who started to open a bag of potato chips. In his living room! At the mere thought of crumbs gathering in that area, Levi narrowed his eyes.

“So, Levi. You may wonder why I’m here. First off, I’m not a stalker, but I did have to get your address from HR. Turns out no one really knows where you live, not even Erwin. Ok, so you like your privacy” Gunther shrugged drinking heavily. Finishing off the bottle, he smacked his lips in approval and reached for a second. “Whatever, right? Me too. Sometimes I like to watch rom-coms and take a bubble bath with lavender scented soap. That was private, right?”

Levi blinked unsure of what to say, and suspicion. Why would Gunther share that tidbit with anyone? Levi’s face scrunched up in horror at the sudden realization. Is Gunther…is this bonding?!

Mistaking Levi’s expression for judgement at his confession, Gunther laughed loud and heartily. “What? I like to relax! This world is incredibly suffocating. It’s hard enough as it is, and sometimes it’s just good to unwind. That’s what that night at the club was for, at least for me. A good time with a couple of guys from work. Maybe I can even say friends from work.”

He flashed Levi a genuine smile and handed him another beer.

“Levi, I’m going to tell you something. You’re a good guy, and I know I can trust you. Did you know I swing both ways? I’m actually pansexual. Plus,” he said shrugging as if it wasn’t a big deal, “I really like sex.”

Levi chocked on his second bottle and stared at Gunther. He decided right then and there that he didn’t care much for bonding.

“I’m not ashamed. I’d admit it if anyone asked, but work is work and people get a little weirded out so eh. I’ve told a couple of people. I just felt compiled to tell you too.”

“What, now that you’ve confessed, I’m supposed to confess in return and then we have a crying bitch-fest with one another?” Levi spat, disgusted with the turn of events. He desperately wanted to crawl into bed and forget the events of the day.

His head throbbed terribly at the amount of emotions that he was aggressively thrusted with at every turn. Why did everyone feel the need to give him a pep talk today? Erwin, Jean, and now Gunther. He didn’t even mind Gunther, he just felt the weight of the world’s expectations on his heart and wanted to murder every living creature in sight.

Feeling guilty at his misguided outburst, he fixed Gunther with an apologetic look.

“Look, I’m not good with sentimentalities and the whole lot of it all. I don’t even care who you fuck, that’s your own fucking business. Literally. I’m irritated with the day and I don’t think I’m the best company right now.”

Gunther nodded in understanding, not at all perturbed at the confession or at Levi’s reaction. But Gunther knew this was a turning point in his relationship with Levi, and he could clearly see his friend was hurting. Ignoring the raven’s statement, he continued onward like a noble knight riding into battle.

“I got whiskey too. I’m responsible. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Oh, wait, no that’s not right. Umm…” Gunther looked thoughtful as he scratched at his head. “Beer before liquor, you’re in the clear. Yea, yea some shit like that. Anyway, we’re good!”

Gunther stood and headed over to Levi’s kitchen and returned with two glasses. Scrounging in his plastic bag, Gunther produced a dark bottle of whiskey and a coke. “Cuts the bitterness. Figured you’d need to be eased into it.”

Suddenly Levi felt that they weren’t talking about the drinks. Something remained unsaid and it was making him uneasy.

“Eased into what?” Levi asked curiously, as he reached for the glass, the dark liquid sizzling faintly.

“I ran into Jean-boy today. He was climbing into the elevator as I exited it and we had a quick chat.”

Levi stilled and swallowed thickly, feeling the glass tremble faintly in his grip. If Gunther noticed, he didn’t let on.

“Want to talk about it?” Gunther asked bringing the glass to his lips.

Levi was feeling the mental shackles around his heart tighten ever so slightly. Maybe he could confide in someone about…something.

“Oi, oi, oi, oi. If we’re going to talk, then I’m going to need some more of this” Levi explained raising the glass and polished off the drink. He enjoyed the way it burned his throat and silently hoped it would sting his soul.

Gunther grinned. Pulling the bag back to his side, he produced another bottle. “We got time!”


 

Several hours later, four empty bottles were discarded amongst the coffee table and a discarded bag of chips peeked between the couch cushions.

“And then he comes back with this fucking purple dildo!” Gunther laughed uncontrollably as he recalled the memory. Trying to calm his enjoyment, he fought out the next words between his heavy breathing. “I thought, holy shit this kid is going to kill me and my obituary will read, ‘Death by erotica’ ” Gunther cried moving his hands wildly above him from the ground to underline the last word. “And you know what I thought? I legit thought, hey that’s not a bad way to go!”

Levi laughed so hard he felt a sharp pain in his side, forcing him to lean forward in his seat as he hugged himself. His cheeks burned from the pull of his smile and he felt tears peppering his eyes.

“Levi whatever happens…” Gunther flopped over onto his belly like a beached whale, fixing Levi with a serious expression. “Don’t let them take me away with a butt plug shoved up my ass like it’s a damn hamster looking for treasure! Remove the damn thing before the paramedics arrive, I beg of you!”

Levi snorted, quickly trying to cover his mouth in surprise and Gunther burst into a new fit of hysteria, rolling around on the ground.

“Ahh, man” Gunther rubbed away the tears in his eyes. “That was a great fucking night. And not because I got fucked!”

Opening a new liquor bottle, Levi poured the contents into his glass. Gunther reached toward the bottle and Levi passed it over before he leaned back into his chair. Searching for his glass and coming up empty, Gunther reached for an empty beer bottle and drizzled the alcohol into it.

Levi tsked as Gunther beamed at his knew found brilliancy as he settled back into the couch.

“I didn’t get to fuck that night. I just got mind fucked” Levi mused aloud, more to himself than to Gunther.

Gunther hummed loudly and nodded. “Yup, I’ve been there too.”

“I’m starting to realize I’m more fucked up in the head than I thought.”

Gunther snorted and adjusted a pillow on the armrest as he stretched out onto the couch letting his joints pop. “Yea, you and ever one else, dude. You’re just better at hiding it. Doesn’t make you Superman, but it doesn’t make you any less of a douche either. You’re fucking human for shits sake. It’s ok to feel things… like happiness.”

Levi raised a brow as Gunther shot a pointed glance in his direction. Fixing his gaze back to the wall in front of him, he scrunched himself further into the couch making himself comfortable. Closing his eyes, Gunther let out a small content sigh.

“Let me guess, someone ripped out your heart. Right? And then knowing you - you probably freaked at the club because you felt overwhelmed and out of your comfort zone? And not because the club may not have been sterilized to your standards. But maybe someone got to you, like really got to you, in that room?”

Rather than seeing him, Gunther felt Levi nodding. As he opened his eyes, he tested the atmosphere in the room, gaining confidence.

“You know at a certain age, you realize things don’t matter as much as they used to. I’m not saying what happened to you wasn’t heartbreaking or devastating. Obviously, whatever happened traumatized the shit out of you. But that’s not an excuse to punish yourself for the rest of your life. Second guessing yourself, telling yourself you’re a bad judge of character or you deserved the mental or physical abuse, or something as equally self-loathing. Don’t be afraid to feel, afraid of letting your guard down. And maybe the next person has their own demons too. No one’s perfect. But they’re trying their best to meet you half way, the least you can do is try too. Healing isn’t pretty, but the other side is fucking beautiful.”

Levi felt a single tear grace his check and he flicked it away with his finger.

“To, fucking beautiful” Levi repeated, raising his glass in the air.

Gunther raised his bottle sideways and silently air clinked his against Levi’s. “To healing.”

 

Chapter Text

Walking Gunther out, Levi felt a strange feeling overcoming him. He didn’t want Gunther to leave. Could you still have sleep overs in your 30s? Levi shook the thought from his mind and smacked his own head.

 

He must be more drunk than he thought.

 

“Gunther” Levi hesitated slightly mulling over his next words. He met the man’s eyes and nodded. “Thanks for coming over.”

 

Gunther smiled tenderly and embraced Levi in a tight hug. Levi froze for a moment before he returned Gunther’s hug awkwardly. When he still wasn’t released from the embrace, he was unsure of what to do with his hands so he patted Gunther’s back stiffly as if his hands were two stones instead of part of his body. Still feeling unsure what to do, Levi allowed his hands to lay limply at his sides. He hoped he was able to convey to Gunther what tonight meant to him even if he couldn’t form it into words.

 

Gunther broke contact and held Levi away at an arm’s length. Giving his head a quick pat, he started walking down the hall.

 

“You wanted to be my friend too, you just didn’t know it!” he called over his shoulder with a wave.

 

And Levi was alone again.

 

He scowled slightly. With all the increased foot traffic in his life, it always ended up the same. Him alone with his thoughts, forcing him to come to turns with his inner demons.

 

Levi facepalmed. Was his world really turning in on itself because of a stripper?

 

Bartender

 

Levi stilled hearing the youth’s words echo in his mind.

 

Frowning he moved back into the living room surveying the damage. Flipping the room off, he moved into his bedroom, too mentally and emotionally exhausted to care about cleaning. There truly was a first time for everything.

 

He scoffed as he moved the bed covers around him, trying to find a comfortable position. He tossed and turned and scrunched up his brow in determination.

 

“Oh, fuck it” He growled throwing the covers off of him and making his way to his walk-in closet.

 

Walking to the back, Levi knelt down and pushed away several shoe boxes. Feeling the smooth surface of the floor, he tapped the ground before finding a hallow sound. He pulled the false bottom from the floor boards, and reaching in, Levi pulled out a black box and sat back on his knees.

 

Turning the box over in his hand gently, Levi threw his head back and looked up at the ceiling, praying for a semblance of peace at his new-found decision.

 

Quickening his steps, Levi found himself in the kitchen turning on his gas burner. The flicker of the flame danced to life and casted shadows over Levi’s features.

 

This was right. This was the right thing to do.

 

Levi felt excitement course through his body as he shakily removed the top off the box and placed it quietly aside.

 

Levi sighed as he pulled out an old-worn photo of himself with Farlan. They were standing outside their college’s dorm, caught mid laughter as the camera took a candid shot of them. They were full of hope towards the future; young and unafraid.

 

It was later that same day that Farlan told Levi he had purposed to Isabel the day morning before. It was what provoked Levi to tell Farlan that he was in love with him. Levi remembered that day so vividly it was as if a knife continued to twist painfully in his heart.

 

“Pick me. Choose me. Let me make you happy…” Levi whispered, hot tears streaking down his face as he clutched onto Farlan’s bicep.

 

Farlan blanched and wrestled his arm free of Levi’s grasp, wincing slightly as he massaged the tender area. His eyes searched Levi’s as he began to retreat his steps, shaking his head in disbelief as Levi’s words struck him.

 

“Levi, you’re going mad. This is sick. I knew you had a crush, but what the fuck. I don’t love you like that. I’m in love with Isabel.”

 

Closing his eyes, Levi felt his heart break. The ache spread in his chest so forcefully Levi cried out in agony and his hand gripped the space over his heart.

 

Panic filled him and he began to desperately lunge himself at Farlan attempting to hug him, to feel him again, but Farlan raised his arms in defense and caught Levi off guard pushing him back. Levi was blinded by his own tears and clumsily tripped over his own feet.

 

Keeping his gaze lowered, he stared at Farlan’s shoes.

 

“But last night we had…Was I not good enough?” he asked, chocking back a sob. Levi remembered how Farlan’s cock tasted in his mouth, how he swallowed Farlan’s seed in pleasure. All the sounds, the tastes, the warmth… He knew Farlan enjoyed it just as much as he had. What changed?

 

“Your making this too fucking hard. You’re supposed to be my best friend! You can’t even be happy for me. Instead your making this about yourself! About your feelings, about a stupid drunken mistake. It was a fucking mistake! I don’t want you! I wanted to be your friend, but this is too pathetic, even for me. Shit, I didn’t not sign up for this, Levi. I never wanted to be your boyfriend.”

 

He saw Farlan’s shoes turn in a new direction. Levi summoned the courage to look up, only to see Farlan walking away from him.

 

Levi pushed his fingers forcefully into his eyes to stop the images from replaying in his mind.

 

“Fuck ready!”

 

Without a second thought Levi moved the photo into the small flame. He seemed entranced by how the orange glow engulfed the image, crinkling the sides of it darkly as the fire spread onto the rest of surface.

 

He dropped the photo back into the sparks and without a second thought, grabbed the box and threw it onto the burner. The flames licked the container and Levi watched on, a sick satisfaction creeping into his being as he felt his demons were being purified.

 

Feeling the box would continue to burn throughout the night, Levi switched off the burner and retreated back to his bedroom.

 

A fitful goodbye to the damage that had taken place so long ago. He allowed himself to carry for all this time, punishing himself as if he were so repulsive. Maybe he was pathetic to waste so much of his present self in the past, but no matter how much he grew, he still carried that inner youth around with him. At the time, he was young and naïve, drunk on the idea that only love would cure him.

 

Burying himself in his covers, Levi affectionally wrapped himself in a cocoon. Coming off his post-traumatic high, he nestling himself further and quieted the new-found hunger in his veins. He didn’t know what to do with the excitement just yet, but he had an idea.

 

The box slowly wilted in the darkened room, releasing whips of smoke that curled into the open atmosphere whispering the promise of an undefined future.

Chapter Text

Fidgeting and counting down from 10, Levi tried to calm himself for the millionth time as he stood outside a door.

 

All his moments of vulnerability seemed to happen in front of a door. What the hell does that mean? Was there some philosophical deep meaning to this shit? Was the door a representation of his twisted soul’s yearning to overcome and face new obstacles? That by literally knocking the door down would open the pathway to new possibilities?

 

OR maybe, it was just a fucking door to a fucking townhouse and he was just buying his time before he actually knocked.

 

This idea seemed much better when he proposed it in the daytime, but now at night...when it was actually time to act on his plan…

 

Fucking holy shitLevi exhaled deeply as he pulled anxiously at his face. What the hell was he thinking?

 

Opening and closing his mouth, Levi half turned away from the door. Side eyeing the smooth surface of the door’s wood, it seemed harmless enough. But uncertainty was winning out in his mind. Blowing out a puff of air and clicking his tongue, he turned fully on his heel and began the march down the walkway toward the street.

 

“Wow there!” Gunther called from the open door and jogged easily after Levi.

 

Levi threw him a disinterested glance as he stopped in his tracks.

 

“I saw you through the window and wondered how long it was going to take you to knock.” Gunther pointed back at his stoop. “You lasted longer than I thought you would. I gave you eight minutes, but you clocked yourself at ten.”

 

Levi exhaled and changed his focus from the man to the street before him. He was getting way over his head.

 

“Listen, you wanted this. Your new journey is just beginning, and I think this is a great idea! I’m surprised I didn’t come up with it. You’ll blow off some steam while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone! Don’t turn chicken shit on me now!” Gunther placed his hand gently on Levi’s shoulder giving him a reassuring squeeze. He gave Levi a knowing look before he leaned in to be eye level with Levi. “Unfuck yourself, Levi. You’ll never go back to who you were before the heartbreak and damage, but embrace it and use it as a foundation to get yourself to where you want to go, who you want to be. And even who you want to be with.”

 

Levi’s eyes softened as Gunther removed his hand and gestured back to the house.

 

“Who would have known you were emotional and deep as shit, hmm?” Levi turned and followed Gunther.

 

Gunther grinned shyly and rubbed the back of his neck. “Nah, man. It’s just all those damn rom-coms. I’ll lend you a couple.”


“No.”

 

“Don’t be like that! Some are actually pretty good. Have you ever seen –“

 

“No.”

 

Gunther pouted and motioned for Levi to walk through the door first.

 

“I’m just going to put one on in the background, and you tell me how you feel afterwards. Hell, let’s just do a whole fucking exorcism here and watch Hallmark!” he exclaimed excitedly, closing the door behind him.

 


 

“Drunk enough yet?”

 

Levi shook his head, disappointed it was taking this long for his liquid courage to kick in.

 

“Can’t even get out of my head for a fucking –“

 

Gunther shoved his finger at Levi’s lips silencing him. Eyes widen by the sudden motion, Levi pushed him roughly away and Gunther crossed his arms.

 

“That’s enough of that, man. Come on, give yourself a break. So, we drink a lot more? Pffftt! No biggie, my house is fully stocked! Plus, I called in for some reinforcements!”

 

Levi felt his face freeze and he clutched the counter tightly, making a small dent on the marble from his fingers.

 

“What the fuck do you mean reinforcements?” He hissed leaning towards Gunther threateningly.

 

Just then the doorbell rang and Gunther held up a finger as the chime faded away.

 

“Trust me on this, yea?”

 

Walking over to the front door, Gunther opened the door dramatically to reveal the new arrivals.

 

“Ta-da!” he proudly exclaimed and new voices joined his.

 

Levi leaned over the kitchen’s counter for a better view and squinted at the sight.

 

“Oh, fuck me” he muttered, running a frustrated hand through his raven hair. This is not what he had in mind!

 

Oluo, Erwin, Mike, and Eld filled the house with their loud banter and Levi growled internally.

 

“Levi!” Eld called stopping in front of the raven and started to dry hump the air. “Let’s get our stripper dance on!”

 

Erwin walked forward and produced a box and pulled a stripper pole from the contents, moving to an open area of the living room. Levi watched him intently as Erwin began to screw the mechanism into place.

 

Levi turned slowly and caught Gunther’s gaze.

 

Shrugging Gunther raised his hands up defensively, smilingly at the group. “What! I broke mine!”

 

“And you just happened to have one lying around?” Levi asked Erwin, casting him a side glance.

 

“Had the extra-long one on hand. Especially with these high ceilings…” Erwin grunted as he tested the pole’s balance. Feeling the item wobble somewhat in his hand, he silently shook his head and put more concentration into his task.

 

Mike placed a plate of brownies in front of Levi and pulled back the plastic wrap. A delicious smell wafted up to his nose and Levi couldn’t help but feel calmer and instinctively leaned into the heavenly aroma. Mike took one from the plate and inhaled it wantonly.

 

Levi scrunched up his face in disgust and leaned away from the filthy display.

 

Wiggling his eyebrows, Mike gave him a coy smile. “My girlfriend brought them. They were left over from work.”

 

Oluo sat next to Levi and eyed him suspiciously. Attempting the same level of annoyance Levi was currently displaying, Oluo humped, shoulders rising and falling.

 

“He’s currently dating some woman he met at that filthy club!”

 

Mike eyed Oluo evenly and slowly chewed the rest of the brownie, a silent warning passed between the two. Oluo gulped quickly and averted his gaze to the alcohol and began to make everyone drinks.  

 

Eld appeared and clasped his hand on Mike’s shoulder, giving him a small squeeze. Leaning over Mike and taking a brownie, Eld met Levi’s eyes.

 

“Mike just gets a little defensive. She’s a nice person. She’s what, going through…?“ Eld looked at Mike expectantly.

 

“Law school. Shit’s expensive and she won’t let me help pay for her finances. I told her that was fine and all for now, but if this relationship progresses, I’ll end up paying for it anyway. I would want to take care of her.”

 

Levi blinked and looked down at the brownies.

 

“Where there any cookies?” He asked softly.

 

Mike gave him a knowing smile. “No, she said the kid who usually makes them hasn’t been in a baking mood for a while.” Surveying the group, he leaned closer to Levi, knowing he’d be out of ear shot from the rest of the men. “Something like he got all butt-hurt over a client or something. She didn’t know the details.”

 

Levi felt heat rise to his cheeks and Mike let out a small chuckle as he tilted his head towards the dessert.

 

The night passed rapidly with more drinks being created for pleasure and shots were suddenly turned into curious experiments. Eld kept Googling shot trends and though everyone drank to his delight, not all were good.

 

Levi swallowed the pickleback shot and had to summon his inner strength to keep his signature jaded expression as he felt the liquid worm its way down his throat and enter his stomach. He could have sworn he heard a ‘plop’ as it hit its targeted area.

 

Unfortunately, the same could not be said of Oluo. His eyes bugged out and he ran to the bathroom, hand squished tightly against his mouth. The rest of the group snickered and they continued on, until only one was left; their own version of a pissing contest ensued.

 

Eld blinked rapidly, trying to bring the room into focus as he created two more shots for the remaining contestants, however he was starting to ween.

 

“Alright, alright, alrrriiigghhhttt peeps! let’s do the…do of this!!” Gunther called and waved the men over to the living room.

 

Sighing in relief, Levi finished his and was sure he would never enjoy a purple gecko the same way ever again. Erwin finished the remaining shot and headed over to the pole, still tinkering with the safety of the rod. Much to everyone’s annoyance.

 

“Boo!!! Move away, awaaayyyy grand…fucking...grandpa!” Eld pushed Erwin away and stared at the pole like a bull. “I’ll show yoouu! Watch the grandmaster!”  Eld walked over to the pole and leaned into it suggestively. He started to caress it and began to move his body down and…down…

 

“Shit” Eld sagged onto the ground, hand firmly gripping the rod. Blinking with a confused expression he looked over to the group. “Guys…I can’t” Eld suddenly burst into laughter. Tears began to swell in his eyes as he couldn’t stop laughing “Get up!”

 

The room broke into laughter as the rest of the men took their turn at the pole. Gunther picked up Eld, and the two attempted to form a routine with the pretense they were firefighters. Gunther scrambled onto Eld’s shoulders and hoisted himself onto his back and they both tried to climb the pole.

 

“You guys are idiots” Levi muttered sipping on his drink, laughter in his voice.

 

Levi appraised the room around him, was it truly just a couple of weeks that had passed since the club? So much had already changed. Levi was finding himself enjoying his co-workers, and they were dangerously crossing the line to friendships. What the hell, they were already there. This was nice. Levi wouldn’t admit to it out loud, but this was something he would definitely get used to; his merry band of misfits.

 

“Do not question us!” Gunther bellowed pointing at Levi as he moved his foot to Eld’s shoulder.

 

“Shit man, you gotta lay off the – humph!” Eld was silenced as Gunther’s foot connected to his mouth.

 

 Levi laughed full hardily as Eld moved to the couch and threw Gunther on the ground who responded with flipping him the bird.

 

 Oluo stood and with a dignified air walked towards the pole, a side fist moving over his heart.

 

“Gentlemen, obviously you all need to be skilled on how to be graceful and tact when regarding such an object. It is your lover. Meant to be seduced by…” he turned and posed in a true hero fashion, hands on hips as he looked off to the side. “One such as I!”

 

Excitement erupted as they egged Oluo on which he welcomed whole heartedly. He walked over to the rod, moved as graceful as a duck around it and tripped on his feet landing face first on the ground.

 

The men laughed and Erwin leaned over, mirth shining from his eyes.

 

“You should sit this one out, if you continue to trip over yourself you’ll bite your tongue clean off” Erwin taunted, raising his eyebrows.

 

Sitting up, Oluo smoothed out his hair and adjusted his clothing, oozing his usual self-confidence. Annoyed at Erwin’s teasing tone, he straightened himself up.

 

“How dare you, Erwin! I did not trip. The floor looked sad, so I thought it needed a hug!” he replied sarcastically and moved over to the group as they continued to laugh.

 

Levi polished off the remaining liquid from his glass and stood. The group fell into a hushed silence as they watched him approach the pole. Turning to stand behind it, Levi meet the eyes of his friends.

 

“I’m not one for small talk. But when I asked Gunther to help me get over myself, I thought the best way to do so was to start where it all began. To pay homage to that, a stripper pole seemed to be the best way to go about it. Liberating, sexy as fuck, and completely idiotic.” Levi began to slowly undress, removing his shoes and unbuckling his belt, the men seemed enraptured with the events unfolding.

 

“Holy shit, Levi” Erwin nodded his approval, eyes widening with surprise.

 

“Gotta set my man off right!” Gunther cheered playing I’m in love with a stripper from his phone.

 

Levi stopped and smirked.

 

“He’s not a stripper! He’s a mother fucking bartender!” Levi howled as he removed his shirt to reveal his ripped torso.

 

Gunther dropped his phone in surprise at Levi’s body. “Holy shit, Levi…I feel fat now! Well scratch that, I’m chucky yet funky!”

“Fucking hell, that’s what you look like under your clothes? I need to… get a gym membership. I’m not stripping!” Eld’s face betrayed a horrified look and he promptly crossed his arms, shielding any on lookers.

 

“Your John Wick” Oluo whispered, fangirling hard. Levi could have sworn he saw his nosebleed.

 

“In love with a bartender! I’m sure there’s a song we can find that’ll do justice!” Mike laughed and found a pulsing club song.

 

Levi let the music flow through him as he fell to his knees and slowly unzipped his pants, pumping his hips in the air to the shouts of his friends, he removed them. Twirling them high above his head, he threw them into the crowd and Oluo wrested them from Erwin’s grasp.

 

Levi grasped onto the pole and lifted himself up sideways. Holding his position, he moved one leg behind him and extended the other high into the sky. The men cheered Levi on and began to throw bills at him.

 

Feeling his muscles tense, Levi propelled his body to the side, encircling the pole dramatically in three graceful loops.

 

Adrenaline and alcohol pulsed through his veins making him dizzy, but Levi felt incredible. He began to climb the pole using only his hands and his legs curled upwards behind him. As he reached the ceiling, he felt the pole shift and he stilled.

 

Fuck me sideways! If this thing falls over…

 

“Can’t be out done by you!” Mike shouted over the drunken debauchery. Discarding his clothing haphazardly, he wrapped his legs around the pole and leaned back, arching himself slightly.

 

Catching Mike’s eyes, Levi grinned and arched himself the opposite way. Both men continued to use the pole in a synchronized fashion. Legs stretched, muscles flexing, grips tightening, both were exhausted from using their bodies in ways they’d never used before. Their breathing became heavier, but both were determined to finish out the song. Using one another as their source of power, they moved as one until Mike pulled his body upside down and began to slide down the pole slowly. Levi’s eyes narrowed at the bold move, and mimicked the process.

 

Levi groaned inwardly as he felt his grip become slippery ever inch he moved himself down. Mike’s hands hit the end of the pole and without missing a beat, he planted his hands firmly on the ground and bridged his body by moving his legs above him until they touched the floor.

 

“Perfect dismount!” Eld shouted and pumped his hands in the air.

 

“I give it a 10!” Eriwn raised his glass and hooted.

 

Determination, exhaustion, and rivalry coursed through Levi’s veins. He was about a foot from the ground when he paused thoughtfully. Straining his muscles, he brought his feet to the pole and propelled his body forward. Flying off the rod, Levi sailed into the air.

 

Everything happened in slow motion.

 

Eyeing the coffee table, Levi’s hands ran over the smooth surface as his head was brought close to the top. With the continued momentum, he thrusted himself off the table and landed on the ground in a three-point landing.

 

“AHHH superhero landing!!!” Oluo clasped his hands against his face in awe.

 

Gunther blinked and slapped his knee snorting loudly. “Well, mark me down as scared and horny!”

 

“What the fuck, Levi! You get bit by a radioactive spider, too?!” Eld asked, his mouth gapping at the sight.

 

Levi stood and stretched his sore muscles and felt a hand on his shoulder.

 

“Nice one, Levi” Mike grinned extending a hand in respect.

 

Levi eyed the hand and felt a wave of appreciation overcome him at the sportsman like conduct. Giving Mike a small smile, Levi extended his hand and returned the firm grip.

 

“I hate you all. I need non-hot friends who don’t know the difference between their asshole and mouth hole” Eld commented grinning uncontrollably. “I mean look at you two in your underwear! I don’t know whether I should spank you guys or throw a cow at you!”

 

“Gentlemen, you are forgetting the main act” Erwin boomed, standing in front of the pole eyeing the room commanding their attention.

 

Everyone quickly found seats and Eld nudged Mike gleefully. “It’s like we’re about to see Captain America do a pole dance!”

 

“20 bucks says he’s actually wearing Captain America underwear” Levi muttered rolling his eyes.

 

“You got yourself a bet!” Mike leaned over to shake his hand.

 

Erwin ignored them all and stripped. His intoxicated state left him somewhat unbalanced as he unbuttoned his clothes and struggled with the garment. Leaving him with no other option and thinning patience, he ripped off the garment and the buttons exploded around him. He unbuckled his pants sloppily and almost fell over when he leaned forward to remove his feet from the pants.

 

Eld snorted and Oluo whispered hurriedly, “Historia is a lucky lady!”

 

Erwin glared at the men and stood, reveling himself in nothing but a dark pair of briefs.

 

Mike raised his brows and lifted his chin to Levi who clicked his tongue in annoyance and fished out a 20-dollar bill.

 

Gunther nodded, “Truly disappointing to know his style is boring.”

 

Erwin placed his hand on the metal pole and struggled to hoist himself up. Though Erwin was blessed in appearance and stature, he was neither graceful nor seemed to possess upper body strength. The group watched in pained silence at seeing their comrade try and fail to get any type of footing or traction against the pole.

 

Erwin stepped back and eyed the rod disdainfully before casting a glance to the room.

An enraged yell left Erwin’s lips as he charged towards the rod and flung his body against it. Only instead of holding himself up, Erwin brought the pole crashing down from the ceiling. The metal rod wheezed loudly against the ceiling spewing chucks of debris amongst the group.

 

The men brought up their hands instinctively shielding themselves. Silence crept into the atmosphere before they called to Erwin who never moved from the ground. Glancing at one another they made their way over to Erwin’s body, staring down at their friend, heads leaning forward in anticipation.

 

Mike knelt before the man and took his pulse.

 

“Is he dead?” Gunther asked, owl eyes blinking in amusement.

 

“Knocked out cold. The pole probably gave him a good conk to the noggin” Mike evaluated, throwing Erwin’s arm back against the man’s own face.

 

Eld nodded silently as he knelt next to Mike and placed a full glass of water by the unconscious male specimen. Reaching for Erwin’s free arm, he decisively dropped Erwin’s large hand into the glass drenching the carpet beneath it. He readjusted the hand in the glass further in and nodded his head with a hum of approval.

 

“That’ll cool his ego off a bit” Oluo chuckled, moving back to his seat.

 

Levi tsked under his breath and moved back along with the rest of the group. Eld began making new drinks and Gunther flipped a DVD into his console. Mike brought the plate of remaining brownies into the living room and flicked off the lights. Once everyone was situated, Gunther hit play and the screen bathed the room in a soft glow revealing the name of the featured film, The Princess Bride.

 

“Oh, holy shit” Levi muttered under his breath, rolling his eyes. Repositioning his legs against the armrest he had now claimed, he leaned coolly into the opposite side of the chair.

 

“It’s one of my favorites!” Gunther grinned, bouncing excitedly in his seat as Eld beamed in Levi’s direction passing out more drinks.

 

“As you wish!” Mike raised his glass in the air, turning in appreciation to each of his comrades.

 

“As you wish!” They chimed in return.

 

Levi stared at all of them in disbelief.

 

“Idiots” He muttered quietly to himself, a ghost of a smile on his face.

 

Chapter Text

Sometimes in life we either get bitter or we get better. And in certain circumstances, it’s a realistic mixture of both.

In Levi’s case, he was still learning. Making friends, pushing boundaries, living his life in new ways. Maybe not terribly exciting ways like jumping into known failed marriages like Erwin who was excitedly awaiting the divorce like a business deal about to go through, or losing a significant amount of blood and almost biting off his tongue like Oluo who should have a frequent visitor’s card for the hospital, or getting incredibly drunk like Gunther who went streaking down his street at two o’clock in the morning with Eld recording the whole thing and uploading it onto the internet. And then Gunther having a bitch fit not because it was uploaded, but because he didn’t receive as many hits as he thought he would. Apparently, he felt his penis was “God’s gift to humanity” and the public didn’t appreciate him. He then proceeded to buy a Brazilian Butt Lift DVD from eBay because Mike suggested it would help him bring all the boys to the yard. 

But still…pushing boundaries.

He stood in the crammed parking lot, surrounded by cars and the noise of the busy street behind him floated in the air. Everything felt like it was on fast-forward and yet incredibly slow at the same time. Levi could have sworn if a hummingbird was in front of him at this exact moment, he could make out every twitch of its wings, its heartbeat, even feel the lively colors the bird’s petite body would possess.

Levi ran a hand through his raven hair. What was in that drink Mike gave him when he said pre-gaming was essential? Something… something with a green fairy?

He felt his mind jumble with useless words and he stumbled a bit in place. He stared ahead at the pink neon sign which seemed to howl in the night sky, Horn of Plenty. Levi groaned inwardly at the name, feeling a strong sense of Déjà vu wash over him.

Moaning loudly in the parking lot and ignoring the startled scowls thrown his way by random strangers, he fished his phone from his back pocket. The device let out an annoying chime after chime, alerting him of the onslaught of incoming messages. Narrowing his eyes, he flicked his finger and turned the sound off and shoved it back into his pocket. Fixing the building with a determined gaze he flared his nostrils and squared his shoulders and stood tall. Proud. 

He was fucking Levi. LEVI!!

With a sound nod he stepped forward. Ready to meet his mate. Ready to take on the world. Ready for whatever was in store for him. Ready to take on the horizon. Ready to make his reality come to life. Ready to –

“What’s the fucking hold up, Princess?!”

“Shut your filthy pie-hole, Erwin! I’m inner monologuing here!!”

Erwin blinked and looked incredulously over at Levi. “You are fucking kidding me.”

Levi puffed out a breath to hide the irritation at his embarrassment. His knee jerk response to Erwin caught him off guard, and Levi bit the inside of his cheek. Erwin wasn’t the type of person he was comfortable confiding personal matters in unless you wanted to be told how much you were a moron and get out of your fucking head. Erwin would always go for the jugular, never one to shy away from mortifying situations, always facing things head on.

Levi envied that confidence at times. Shoving his hands into his pockets he shrank within himself as he passed Erwin. “Shut up.”

Erwin cocked his head and as he followed after Levi, a smirk formed on his face. “Do you ‘inner monologue’ often?”

Walking through the threshold of the club, Levi felt like he was gaining his sea legs. He felt his chest puff out as he surveyed the hectic entrance; the place was packed with bodies running around, groups streaming in and crying out in drunken joy and pleasure. The energy was alive and electric, and he was secretly glad the group forced him to came later in the night then freakishly early as he had originally wanted.

Erwin moved around the crowded area and bypassed the VIP stand with the infamous Officer Hange, however she donned a teal Playboy bunny outfit, complete with ears and cotton tail. She blew a kiss after Erwin who nodded her way before pulling his phone out, and she turned to lock eyes with Levi. Her eyes gleamed wickedly and a chill ran down his spine. Did she know something he didn’t? His stomach turned and he swallowed quickly, willing his inner intuition to calm. He was just being paranoid, silly really.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed Erwin waving and disappeared into the belly of the beast. He had already breached this area before, but now he was ready to dive in.

Walking passed the podium Hange slipped out and draped her arm over Levi’s waste slowing his steps. “LEVI! Different vibe! Loving it! You went from a scared guinea pig to a confident sexy lamb!” 

Keeping his eyes trained ahead, he snuck a peek at her and arched his thin brow. She blinked and wiggled her eyebrows at him suggestively. “Sacrificial lamb? Unless…” she removed her bunny ears and plopped them on his head and clasped her hands on his cheeks happily, trapping him in place. “You’re ready to embrace some dick!”

He chuckled quietly and flicked his new ears playfully. “But my dear, this is not Wonderland and I am not Alice.”

She turned and stuck her ass out and gave him a dramatic wiggle as she removed her cotton tail. Turning back, she coly replied, “I’m not crazy. My reality is just different than yours.” And promptly slapped his ass.

Levi jerked forward in surprise and shot daggers at her. “What is with you and my ass?!”

She cackled loudly and nearly tackled him over in a death grip masked as a hug. “Just completing your look, shortstack! Trust me, you look deliciousenough to eat! Yum!” She held him at arm’s length and took on a motherly look. “Sweetie, life is all about how you handle plan B.” Placing a quick kiss on his forehead she pushed him forward calling after him, “Tonight, is the night of love!!”

Weaving through the masses Levi was suddenly grabbed and flushed against a woman’s body. She giggled and released Levi and twirled to show off her I dream of Jeanie costume.  

“Hi, hi! Levi, right?” her honey eyes sparkled and she stuck out her hand which Levi promptly accepted. She pumped it wildly and smiled genuinely at him. “Sasha. Love your ears! Let me know if you want to take it a step further and wear the actual outfit. You look like you could pull off drag!”

Levi straightened and took a cautious step back, maybe this was a bad idea.

Sensing the change, she waved away the discomfort carelessly and grabbed his arm and started to tug him through the stripper area toward the club scene. “It’s ok, he doesn’t do drag either. The other day we were trying to decide our superhero costume theme, and of course he picked Iron Man!” She laughed brightly and accidently snorted. Stopping abruptly, she turned and poked Levi hard in the chest. “You didn’t hear that.”

A waiter walked by in a neon yellow thong and she grabbed two shot glasses from the passing tray. Handing one to Levi, they cheered and threw them back.

Coughing into his hand from the burning liquid he rasped, “Your snort, or Iron Man?”

“HA! Is Iron Man your kink? I’ll tell him” She winked and popped her hip as she threw her thumb over her shoulder. “Little rabbit, go through there and find your way to the bar. Order the trix!” she threw her hands up and started to shimmy away, “Trust me!” 

The club was alive and Levi could make out the source of the energy coming from the DJ as he had the crowd jumping to the beat of the music. Feeling the giddy atmosphere soaking into him, Levi pulled out his phone to see his group chat was actively wondering where he was but the last message caught his eye. Unlocking the screen, he squinted into the device to see a picture of Gunther throwing finger guns in the direction of the infamous bartender. Eren wore a smile as he was caught with a cocktail shaker in his hands, completely oblivious to the recipient of the picture. Photobombing the picture were two other guys; one was Jean boy giving a thumbs up while on the other side of Eren was another individual sporting a buzzcut with a cheeky grin.

Levi felt his mouth dry as he stared at the brunet in the photo. Levi was thirsty tonight, and he wasn’t leaving until Eren was in his system. Double checking the picture to make sure it saved onto his phone, Levi began the search for his squad.

Making his way over to the packed bar after being dragged around for a dance or two by greedy hands, he found his companions rather swiftly finishing a round of shots. Gunther was the first to spot Levi and pulled him close with a knowing smile. Draping his arm across the short man’s shoulders, he gave him a reassuring squeeze. With a grand flourish of his hand, Gunther revealed their current bartender, and Levi felt his heart stop -

“LEVI! This handsome man in the Reno 911 hot ass shorts is Connie! AKA Lieutenant Dangle!!”

And then it started pumping again, disappointment etching into this brain as the patrons starting whooping and laughing with a slight chat of “Lieutenant Dangle!!”

Connie laughed good heartedly and shook his head at the drunken giddyness. “Guys, I’m a fucking cop! Now I can never wear this outfit again without thinking of a dick standing at attention!” he gave a salute to prove his point and nodded a greeting at Levi who started to look past him at the other bartenders. 

“Lieutenant Dangle, do you swing that way?” Gunther slyly inquired as he ordered fresh drinks for his friends.

Connie took it in stride and looked amused as Levi internally groaned at the lack of seeing Eren. Just where the fuck was he?

Eld motioned toward the preoccupied Levi whose current gaze was lost amongst the crowded bar when realization crossed Connie’s features and he winked in return. “I personally don’t but Eren does and is on the market. We were making him a Tinder account before we opened today and swiped right on a couple of dudes.”

Levi felt a surge of annoyance replace all other emotions within him and glared menacing at Connie who shot him a sheepish look before retreating to another section of the bar. Oluo took advantage of a freshly abandoned seat and slid himself in next to Levi who was moving the dark liquid around his glass with a dejected air.

 “Tinder” Oluo sneered as if the mere word defiled his personnel space. “A cesspool of individuals who are just probably into BDSM and eating Nutella off your dick while ants crawl up your -”

“What the fuckitty fuck, Oluo?!” Gunther yelled pulling Oluo off the chair and threw him into the arms of Mike and Erwin who promptly rammed him onto the dance floor. He shot another disapproving glance toward the retreating backs. Levi had come so far, and Gunther was beginning to see Levi as a brother from another mother. Breathing out a sigh, he ran an anxious hand through his hair. The little gremlin had come too far, he would be damned if their crew would scare the penis desire out of Levi now.

“Nutella is delicious!” Eld cried animatedly, waving drunkenly after the trio.

“So is BDSM!!!” Gunther yelled and several observers turned to stare at him suspiciously. He felt the tension leave his shoulders as he remembered what they came here for; Levi. He simply beamed back in the direction of the mixture of questionable and tickled stares. Straightening suddenly, he donned a serious expression and swiftly added, “but safety first and use a word you’ll actual remember to use!” 

“For fucks sake, Gunther!” Levi grumbled, facepalming as he felt his cheeks burn. This was definitely not his night. He scrunched himself lower in his seat hoping lightning would somehow find its way inside this building and strike him dead.

Gunther looked over at him, eyes becoming soft before a small smile graced his lips. It was going to be ok. Coming back to the bar for his drink, he squeezed Levi’s shoulder.

Eld chuckled and pulled out his phone, taking a quick picture of a distraught Levi. He cast a glance back at Gunther who nodded in return.

Chapter Text

The coldness of the fridge roughly bit into his exposed flesh. His skimpy dragon gladiator costume with black shoulder pauldrons armor attached with a harness across his chest did little to protect him from the frigid air, but hey, at least he had a fancy cape somewhere! If only he could find it… he was too wrapped up letting Mina help him shorten the hem line he forgot where he placed the damn thing. At least he found the matching bracers! It completed his nod to Game of Thrones, Marco’s favorite show at the moment.

Shivering slightly, he carelessly unwrapped the film from the cherry container and began to plop the red morsels into his mouth. Savoring the juicy sensation that exploded in his mouth, he smeared off the slight trickle of sticky red substance running down his chin. Leaning against the shelves, he could remember their first date when Marco agreed to get some coffee at the nearby diner after Jean was trying hard to not appear obviously pathetic with borderline stalker tendencies, but fuck, did he want just a moment with this man. That night had been a great memory for his timeline of life – conversation flowed beautifully, they shared a plate of greasy flavorless fries, and the sun rose painting the night sky with soft colorful hues that hit Marco’s face through the window that made Jean’s chest constrict tightly, forcing him to feel a bit choked up in the moment. Listening to Marco talk was intoxicating, but his laugh? Jean felt that he could die a happy man. He would have promised Marco anything like dress in drag and do the hula? Fuck yea! When and where, baby?!

He had promised Marco he’d read the Game of Throne’s books when they first met, and he still had yet to conquer the first book…ahh who was he kidding, he hadn’t even gotten through the first page. There was just too many pages and no pictures! What the fuck! He wanted to impress Marco, but with the show ending soon, he would finally be able to stop Googling the synopsis’ so Marco would think he actually read the damn paperweights. Maybe if he confessed tonight that he never actual read the series wearing nothing but this outfit, all would be forgiven! 

Maybe next time he’ll consider a more drastic approach and say he never learned how to read. Jean hung his head feeling for the millionth time Marco was too good for him. Why did he have to go and fall in love with a geek who loved to read? Polishing the last of the cherries form the container, Jean tossed the empty item onto a nearby shelf and snatched the freshly sliced orange wedges. Poking a hole on the surface of the wrapping, Jean started to suck on the fruit as his thoughts began to wonder over to his idiotic friend Eren.

Jean snorted as he felt the role of Cupid suited him perfectly. Cupid? Hmm…must look for sexy Cupid costume…note to self! Make sure costume doesn’t end upmaking me look like a gigantic fucking baby in a diaper.  

He was a romantic at heart, and was excited at the prospect of Eren finally settling down. Eren deserved happiness and hell if - 

Jean released a high-pitched squeal as the door flew open wide revealing a startled pair of ocean colored eyes blinking into the dimly lighted enclosure. Stepping closure to the stunned crouched figure in the walk in fridge, Eren let out an embarrassed chuckle and cocked his head to the side. 

“Jean?”

“Eren!” Jean squeaked and his eyes widened further as the mousey tone embarrassed him even further. Clearing his throat and straightening himself up to his full height he pushed passed the brunet. “Move your ass!” Glancing at the wall clock nearby he was caught up in his daze and forgot the time.

Eren poked his head in and sore under his breath. Slamming the door shut he turned to his friend and wagged his finger at him. “If we run short on fruit tonight, you’re coming back here to cut –“

With a blank stare at Eren, Jean spun on his heel and walked out of the room and continued to eat the fruit from the container.

“Hey!” Eren called catching up to his best friend, laughter evident in his voice.

Jean smirked and side glanced at Eren and appraised his outfit; Eren wore an extremely tight pair of black speedo shorts with a body-hugging button-down white shirt with a Gryffindor tie. Wiggling his eyebrows teasingly, Eren popped on the black rimmed Harry Potter glasses to complete his look. “What do you think?” he asked spreading his arms out, a stupid grin splitting his face. “Armin got me the glasses. Apparently, he used them for his sexy librarian costume.”

 Jean grinned giving Eren a nod of approval. Levi’s going to explode in his pants when he sees this. “Looks good! Did you do the lightning bolt?”

Eren tipped his head back in a suggestive manner and swept his bangs away from his forehead reveling the completed look. The jagged line sat proudly on the tan man’s skin, begging to be touched.

 Jean whistled in reply. “When do you want to dress up as the Village people?” He asked as they started to walk to the bar area to begin their shift.

Eren wrinkled his nose.

Rolling his eyes, Jean shrugged in defeat. “Fine, we’ll do your stupid idea first.”

“It’s not stupid! People appreciate a theme!”

Jean arched a brow and side-glanced at Eren. Humming in reply, he stuck his nose in the air. “Power Rangers won’t exactly give anyone a hard on.”

“Just go with it! If it blows, I’ll do the Village people and…” Eren scrunched up his face in deep thought. Suddenly snapping his fingers, he grinned mischievously. “We’ll dress up as the Scooby-Doo gang and have Armin go as Velma!”

Jean’s eyes gleamed with the prospect of cute little Armin blushing so harshly he’ll make the patrons’ nose bleed while sporting knee high socks and heels.


“Heads up! Reiner came by and apparently his friend Bertholdt was fired today for hitting someone in a parking lot with his limo. Reiner’s picking up his tab!” Connie called over his shoulder as he handed a group of rowdy girls their drinks. 

Jean cocked a brow as Eren punched a couple of buttons on the POS system and concentrated as the screen changed before him. “How do you run someone over in a parking lot?”

Accidentally! I don’t know, you Google it? It’s not like anyone died! Anyway, he’s hanging out at the corner, all dark and broody.”

“Poor guy needs to get laid” Jean muttered glancing towards the corner to a man who looked constipated and appeared to be sweating buckets. Jean scrunched up his nose at the pathetic sight, wondering if they would have to throw that seat away since it would be completely drenched come closing time.This won’t be good for tips.

The night passed quickly as all three bartenders were swamped with drink orders; summer was a busy time as tourists flocked to their establishment like thirsty beggars and June wedding parties celebrated their bachelorette and bachelor gatherings. Tips flowed endlessly into the tip jars as the customers were served bottomless alcohol, much to everyone’s delight. The guys kept up with the orders moving seamlessly around each other, knowing the other’s work techniques of strengths and weaknesses, knowing when to pick up each other’s slacks without verbal communication; they were the dynamic trio.

Connie worked magic with the crowds pulling out tricks with the bottles throwing them in the air and catching them behind his back. Jean would juggle the shot glasses with liquid and would balance them on top of the customer’s heads. Eren, the ever attention whore, would mix drinks and set them ablaze much to everyone’s enjoyment. Depending on the type of alcohol involved, purple or orange flames would flicker above the liquid, dancing to what seemed to be in sync to the hypnotic music blaring from the club’s speakers. Bowing in a dramatic fashion whenever the crowd was in awe and hollering for more, Eren was suddenly struck with the realization that tonight was going to be a great night.

“Do you guys, like, do…dooo…dance? Coyote Ugly style?” a female with piercing eyes and a bobbed cut slurred. She eyed Eren like he was a piece of meat, and though he was able to brush off the hungry looks as another night on the job, something about her made him uneasy. She pulled her red scarf lose and fixed Eren with what he could assume was her smolder look. Eyes slightly going cross eyed and a duck face pout as she played with the frayed ends of her scarf, Eren was at a loss for words.

Inwardly cringing, he faked a small polite chuckle before another order took his attention away, moving him further up the bar away from the intensity of the customer who kept chanting Eren’s name under her breath as if it was her mantra. Sighing in relief, he made the new order catching snippets of the new customer’s conversation to her friend.

 “I mean…why doesn’t he love me? I fake gagged on his tiny penis cuz I caredabout him!!!!”

Eren paused in his motions and his eyes shot up, with a mixture of surprise and compassion, though he pursed his lips together to stop the embarrassed giggle that was threatening to escape his lips. The customer’s friend pattered her shoulder sympathetically and shot Eren an annoyed look as her friend started to wail and burry her head in her hands. “Help me out here, will ya? Make her’s a double of whatever. Strongest shit you got!”

 “You got it.”

Finishing up the order, Eren placed the drinks on the counter and waved away the money the friend was trying to give him.

“We’ve all been there” he muttered to her.

She smiled with genuine appreciation in her eyes and slipped the wadded cash into the trip jar and cheered to him as her friend was slowly coming around, tears subsiding as her breathing was reduced to hiccups.

“Dude, did you mind fuck that chick back there or what?” Jean asked gesturing to the red scarf female who was currently being dragged away by her blonde companion with a sharp nose.

“Yea man, she keeps saying your name all creepy like!” Connie mused, shuddering dramatically. “I told her you didn’t swing to the putang, but she said she didn’t care that you were gay and wanted to ride the fucking rainbow.”

Jean barked out an infectious laugh narrowing missing a glass in his juggling routine with the freshly made shots Connie handed to him a few moments prior. “Aww man, classic!”

Reiner appeared behind the trio and appraised his friend who seemed to be falling further in the pit of despair. Brow pinching together in worry, he nodded to his friend but addressed the trio. “How deep is he?” 

“Let’s just say, Gandalf is still falling…” Jean trailed off closing out a tab on the register.

Connie shrugged dismissively moving to the far opposite side of the bar, not wanting to out the hurt male who had just finished polishing off his third bottle of whiskey.

“Bertholdt, how you holding up?” Reiner asked, moving towards his friend and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder. 

Bertholdt shrugged off Reiner’s attempts at solidarity and grabbed his glass protectively at his side. “Hit one pedestrian and suddenly everyone thinks you’re a bad driver.”

Reiner blinked once and released a slow sigh, feeling an onslaught of a headache start to come on as tension started to creep into his body. He’s always been so sensitive. He closed his eyes tightly and felt a gentle nudge. Opening his eyes, he saw Eren repeat the act; bumping gently against his back side to offer encouragement, which he greatly accepted. “Mind if we switch for a while? Take my cage and I’ll handle your post here for a bit. I just feel like I should watch him, make sure he hydrates. I’ll start serving him tequila and switch it up for water or something…make him think he’s still drinking while he’s sobering up.”

Eren’s eyes grew soft looking at Reiner and he nodded in understanding. “We’ve been cycling out his drinks that way too. Jean got creative and started to serve him some coconut-based liquids, so he shouldn’t be too far gone.”

Eren signaled to his friends he was headed into a cage and disappeared into the crowd. Jean watched him go as a buzzing in his skirt alerted him to a new message. Seeing a slight dip in customers, Jean called to the group saying he would stalk up their supplies and moved to the kitchen area.

His phone buzzed again in his pocket with the incoming text. Moving to a secluded section of the kitchen, he cast one hasty glance over his shoulder before he removed the phone from his pocket. Unlocking the screen of him and a freckled man, he tapped onto the new message. Moving the screen closer to his face, he couldn’t help the small puff of relieved air that escaped his lips as a petite man graced his screen. 

Levi!

Sending a quick thumbs up in reply, he shoved the phone back into his pocket and grabbed an assortment of cocktail supplies from the fridge nearby.

Now or never.

Jean made his way back to the bar, arms littered with assortments of fruit and glasses and placed them down by Connie’s side who picked some up and parted with a grin. Jean focused on the group in front of him and spread his arms wide.

“GENTLEMEN!! What an honor!!”

The group focused on Jean and as recognition spread across their faces, they began to hound Jean for more drinks while a short man nursed his drink with a tragic air. 

Jean caught Gunther’s eye and knew the time was right. “We usually do this for special occasions, but what if we got you guys into the cages?” The cluster's eyes shinned with mischievous light and suddenly Levi felt himself hustled into the air and carried to the ragging dance floor.

“What the fuck, Eld? Put me down!”

A cage with a figure came down and revealed a tall, slender young woman with freckles scattered across her cheeks. The baby blue school girl outfit accented her long legs, and as she parted her hair into a messy pony-tail, she eyed Jean with displeasure.

 “Ymir baby! Table for two!” he cooed.

Annoyed, she blew a puff of air from the side of her mouth and focused on the new comers. Grabbing Oluo and tossing him roughly into the cage, she barked her orders at him. “Dance, mother fucker!” Slamming the cage door shut behind her, the crate descended back into the sky, both figures dancing off sync to the music.

The group moved further along into the club arena and stopped underneath another birdcage.

As it began to make its way closer to the crowd, Levi turned to stare daggers at the top of Eld’s head. He silently willed his friend to go bald. “So help me Eld, fucking put me down or else I’ll –“

“OK!” he cried throwing Levi into the cage, forcing him to collide with a sweaty warm body. Instinctively, arms wrapped around Levi’s small frame as the duo hit the side of the cage forcing it to move off kilter. As it began to move upward, it swung in small circles in the air making Levi feel sick.

Levi squeezed his eyes shut willing a wave of nausea to pass as a warm hand began to caress his back in gentle movements. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he felt like dying as he realized he was being completely vulnerable in the arms of a stranger.

Why the fuck didn’t I just stay home?

Slowly opening his eyes, he met a glorious pair of ocean eyes staring back at him in awe.

The look held so much meaning that Levi held his breathe; he couldn’t help but be captivated by the beautiful tender gaze. It made him want to put his arms around the younger man and kiss him passionately. It made him want to be a man of action, be a man the brunet could love, be a man whom he himself could be proud of.

“I’m Eren.” 

“I’m Levi.”

 “Come here often?” The brunet teased, a slight dust of pink gracing his features.

Feeling his cock twitch, Levi pulled back slightly taking in the rest of the appearance of the younger man. His wet hair stuck to his forehead where a smudge of black peeked against his bangs. His white button up showed signs of perspiration and Levi resisted the urge to lick the sweat off of the younger man’s tanned body. Just what would he taste like? Levi swallowed, already feeling the salty taste of moisture rolling on his tongue. Flicking the striped tie, he couldn’t help but smirk. “Gryffindor?”

Beaming proudly, Eren tightened his hold on Levi and winked. “Sometimes I moonlight as a Hufflepuff.” He started to sway a bit with Levi in his arms to their own natural beat to the music.

Levi had a brief thought of this being his prom night. He internally rolled his eyes at the thought and started to pick up the pace of his hips as Eren slowly started to grind against him. Feeling bold, he returned the slow grind and turned to flush his back against the younger man. Eren nuzzled Levi’s neck and dusted light kisses along his skin. Placing his hands against Levi’s hip bones, Levi internally cursed the clothing between them.

“10 points to Gryffindor…” Eren muttered into the crock of Levi’s neck.

Levi giggled like a high schooler, feeling he was living out some dream. This couldn’t be his reality, it was just…way too bizarre. Levi wasn’t a random event type of person, he was dull! Mundane life. But pushing boundaries, right?

“I’d…I wouldn’t mind being a Slytherin…” he mumbled avoiding the brunet’s piercing gaze and peeked over the side of the cage. He stiffened as he saw how high they actual wear and the heads of the crowd spread underneath them like a cotton field. Holy fucking shit this is high!

“If it’s too much for you I can lower the cage and we can go somewhere and talk? Ever been to this diner down the road called –“

Levi was human, of that he was 100% sure. But even he was amazed when the chunk of vomit projectile itself form his mouth and spewed dramatically passed the bars of the cage and down to the unsuspecting public below. He felt like he was part geyser, spurting out liquid all around him. What the fuck was wrong with him?

Kill me now…

Levi felt sick and the prickly sense of heat overtook his whole body. A chill of painful embarrassment settled into the pit of his stomach, and he wanted to bash his head against the railing. Hard enough to forget the night but not too hard where he would forget the brunet. 

“Holy shit!” Eren cried and scrambled to the top of the cage and hit a small button. The cage creaked and began its slow descent, forcing Levi to come to terms with his reality. Eren moved closer to the smaller man to offer comfort only to be swatted away.

“Levi…”

A second wave of liquid threatened to escape Levi’s lips as the vile smell filled his nostrils. His eyes found a small pool of vomit on the side of the cage.

“It’s ok –“

“Don’t look at me” Levi grumbled pathetically. “Honestly, it’s just hard to look at you when I’m like this. It’s like I threw up next to Prince Charming in a fucking speedo…”

“You think I’m charming?” Eren asked, hopefulness peppering his tone in a way that made Levi groan. How could this brat be cute in a disgusting time like this?

The cage finally hit the ground and Eren swung the door open and hopped down. Eren smiled reassuringly to Levi, and extended his hand toward him. Levi scanned the crowd around them, the atmosphere was lively and seemed oblivious to Levi’s upchuck. Gluing his eyes to the ground, he lifted his hand out and Eren wrapped his hand in his.

Pulling the shorter man forward, he kissed his knuckles gently. “See? No one even noticed…” he added, squeezing Levi’s hand reassuringly.

“Fucking shit, my hair!!!”

“I thought this was a safe place!!!”

Eren and Levi’s necks snapped towards each other and their eyes grew to the size of saucers. 

“On second thought, maybe not. Run!” Eren laughed, pulling Levi behind him as they snaked into the crowd. 

The cries were lost to them as the music drowned on and cool fog blasted from side canons around them.

Levi held tightly to Eren’s hand, laughing so hard his cheeks hurt.

Chapter Text

Eren gradually came to a stop and let go of Levi’s hand as he continued laughing, clutching at his sides for dear life. Levi halted behind him and was trying to catch his breath as he rested his hands on his knees. His insides were doing summersaults and he forced himself to take in air and began to wipe tears away from his eyes. The sound of laughter was dying from their lips and they slowly began appraising one another.

Eren’s expression was flushed, cheeks pulled high in a ridiculous smile as he shook his head into his hand. Ocean eyes were shining brightly with giddiness and the promise of an emotion Levi couldn’t quite place. Feeling a delightful shiver ran up his spine he forced himself to look away, embarrassment coloring his already heated face.

Eren turned to fully take in Levi who was breathing hard but his matted hair stuck out in all directions and created a tangled mess against his sweaty forehead. His grey eyes were full of excitement and his nervous smile pierced Eren’s heart tenderly. 

Closing the gap between them, Eren’s arm curled around Levi’s small frame pulling him in tightly. Fingers hungrily searching for skin, Eren pushed away Levi’s shirt and began to gently scratch at the raven’s delicate hip bone. Craving further contact, he moved his face inches away from the smaller man’s until their ragged breaths mingeled together.

“Fucking kiss me already” he chuckled quietly, running his hand over Levi’s wet locks. “After all this time, we deserve some action.”

Eren closed his eyes and moved in closer as Levi’s hand embraced the kiss. 

Eren opened his eyes and Levi saw a mountain of expressions flicker pass the younger man’s handsome features as his eyebrows narrowed at Levi pointedly.

“Are you an idiot? I just vomited. My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth like fucking cotton candy and I have some weird after taste of something resembling shoe polish.” Levi tilted his head and bore into Eren’s eyes. “I’ve never tasted shoe polish before.”

Realization dawned on Eren’s features and he rolled his eyes behind Levi’s hand and at his dramatic statement. A glimmer of darkness flashed against the sparkly emerald gze and he began to lick Levi’s hand sensually.

Levi yanked his hand away and regarded Eren with wide eyes. Though usually he would find the act completely unhygienic, he couldn’t ignore the way his cock twitched painfully against his pants and desire coursing through his veins. His body responded so willingly to Eren’s requests he felt completely overwhelmed in the small space and attempted to wiggle out of the man’s grasp.

Eren smirked never losing his grip and nipped at Levi’s neck playfully. Levi relished the way Eren’s warm breath ghosted over his neck making his clammy skin feel as if it were on fire. He shivered at the contact and twisted his face away to hide his blush as a whimper escaped his mouth. 

“Always ruining my moves” he cooed before pulling back to lock onto Levi’s eyes. He gave the raven a small smile before resting their foreheads together. “But I’m involved now, so you bet your fucking ass I’m not going anywhere.” Smacking Levi’s ass and giving it a hard squeeze, he released the smaller man and walked forward.

Levi stood dumbfounded, staring after the cheeky brunet with a blank expression as his brain was slow in processing Eren’s information.

…not going anywhere…

Blinking twice, he saw Eren turn and motioned Levi to follow him.

Raising an eyebrow Levi felt a mixture of approval and amusement. 

“Not bad…” Levi hummed and felt a surge of pride as he felt rightfully claimed. He nodded his head and pursed his lips as he looked around at nothing in particular feeling light-headed from the sudden rush of emotions.

With a spring in his step he marched forward.


 

The bathroom light was harsh and unforgiving in the cramped space, forcing Levi to shield his eyes behind his hands. Opening his eyes carefully, he sluggishly blinked a few times to adjust to his surroundings.

Alone with himself, his mind worked on its own accord as images replayed itself before him as he recalled his aggressive vomiting spree, and letting out a low groan laced with embarrassment he began to dry wash his face aggressively. Pulling his face with one last roll of his eyes until his cheeks ached, Levi released a slow sigh.

Eyeing himself in the mirror he leaned his forehead unto the cool reflective surface; the contact was a welcome comfort against his flushed skin allowing him a moment to focus on his breathing. Concentrating on his heart to slow its erratic beating, he pressed his cheek to the mirror and closed his eyes, humming approvingly as he snuggled closer to the glass.

A soft knock forced Levi to gaze at the door thoughtfully. What is it with doors?

“Levi? I’m coming in.”

Though the burnet couldn’t see him Levi nodded mutely, eager for his counterpart to enter and remind him that he wasn’t a complete and utter fuck up just part exorcist. 

Eren smiled and kissed Levi’s forehead and left items on the counter before wondering over to sit on the lid of the toilet. 

“This is romantic” he teased, resting his elbow on his knee and cocking his head before winking at the raven.

Levi clicked his tongue and grumbled under his breath while reaching for the toothbrush Eren provided.

“I’m serious!” Eren mused spreading his hands wide and grinning. “This is like our first date. It’s all uphill from here, baby!”

Levi moaned and slumped his shoulders. Reaching for the toothpaste, he started at it sympathetically. As far as first dates were considered, he didn’t exactly want to remember this one.

Eren came up and wrapped his arms around the man, resting his head on his shoulder. Their eyes met in the mirror and Eren’s smile made Levi’s heart skip a beat. Blushing furiously, he broke eye contact and fumbled with his tools.

“Need some help there, old man?”

“Tsk, your fucking smile is distracting. Like fucking rainbows after a shitty-ass rain storm. Everything about you is distracting. The way you move, talk…” finally squirting the pasty substance onto the brush Levi lifted the toothbrush to his mouth.

“That’s my toothbrush by the way. I didn’t have a spare…” Eren giggled and squeezed Levi, wiggled his eyebrows in the mirror while watching Levi with eager anticipation.

Expecting a look of horror on Levi’s features while tossing the brush at his head and leaving in a dramatic huff, Eren experienced something more. Levi eyed Eren with disgust then lifted one shoulder in a dismissive shrug and began brushing his teeth.

“Well, my mouth is already fucking gross… At least it’ll taste better…” Levi grumbled between brushing.

“That’s disgusting. I love you already. I can put something else in your mouth that’ll taste better!” Eren rambled excitedly watching Levi with renewed interest.

Levi chocked on his cup of water before he shot Eren a glare and gargled, tilting his head back.

Fascination seeped out of Eren’s eyes and he nuzzled into Levi’s neck. He dropped his voice an octave and whispered into his ear, “Just gargle on my dick instead.”

Water sputtered harshly out of Levi’s mouth splattering against the mirror and falling sloppily on his shirt and Eren’s arms. Coughing into his hand, Levi hastily began to wipe at his chin. Eyeing Eren in the mirror, he narrowed his eyes at his companion; while no real malice showed on his features, Eren detected a mixture of embarrassment and annoyance. 

Eren buried his face in the crock of Levi’s neck and rained apologetic kisses onto his skin. Levi clicked his tongue in mock exasperation, but tilted his neck further to accommodate the brat. He raised his hand hesitantly, lingering above the brunet’s locks for a fraction of a second before contact was made. Ruffling his hair affectionately, Levi mumbled, “See what I mean? Fucking distracting.”

Eren gave Levi one last squeeze before releasing him and strolled out of the bathroom. Levi made a face, already missing the warmth of the other, he followed lamely behind. Contact or any type of interaction with Eren hadn’t been done since their last encounter, but he was already getting attached quicker than he anticipated. Frowning deeper, Levi admitted though it thrilled him, it slightly unnerved him in the worst way. Missing and needing someone was going to take some getting used to. Was he really up for the challenge? He wasn’t young, he didn’t have the best social skills, and his stoic nature was off putting to most people even in the best of circumstances.

Maybe this wouldn’t last long…

The thought twisted painfully in Levi’s gut and he scowled in realization that his days with Eren could just be numbered. Maybe it wouldn’t last…


But what if it did? 

“It’s perfect anyway!” Eren cried, breaking through Levi’s melancholy thoughts. “With your shirt all messed up, I don’t have to convince you that hard to try on one of these!” Eren moved out of the way and revealed several costumes lying on the couch in the breakroom.

Levi stiffened and his eye started to twitch. Before him were skimpy costumes of various lengths, sizes and… Is that an inflatable dinosaur costume? How the fuckitty fuck is that even remotely sexy?

Eren picked up a tight white shirt similar to his with a stripped black and emerald tie. Levi swallowed and peeked up at Eren; the shirt was simple enough and not fully outrageous where he would feel like a complete and utter moron with his ass hanging out for all the club to see. Even though Eren’s ass was a welcomed sight before him in his tight speedo, he felt that was too far out of his comfort zone.

“I think this one would suit you. All you have to do is change your shirt really, you didn’t get your pants dirty. Plus, we’re in the same theme except you’ll be in the House of Slytherin and the tie matches my eyes.” Walking over to the raven, Eren wiggled the shirt between them and kissed Levi on the cheek. “Like we belong together.”

Levi averted his gaze from Eren and focused on the garment moving to and fro in the space before them. He swallowed down the lump in his throat, feeling the familiar tightness in his chest that occurred when he was often with the brunet. “How can you say things like that with a straight face?”

Eren gently placed his hand underneath Levi’s chin and forced him to face him. Eren’s thumb traced lazy circles on Levi’s skin making the tightness in his chest constrict even further. His pulse hammered loud in his ears as his heart sent threatening vibrations against his chest. Was this brat trying to give him a heart attack?

Eren thought back to the moments before he knocked on the bathroom door. He recalled standing in the costume room, looking over outfits and gadgets he would love the man to try; drag with incredible stiletto heels accentuating his petite figure, traditional sexy teacher with a ruler, a black leather outfit complete with a whip or chain for a bdsm theme.

Eren sighed and stood staring blankly at the room arms lifting and crossing in front of him. His thoughts were consumed of their first meeting. How fragile and broken Levi was, how in those vulnerable raw moments Levi shared a part of himself that was incredibly difficult for him. When Eren saw Levi enter the bar that night, he instinctively knew he had to meet the uncomfortable individual. However, when his fantasy morphed into a reality and he was faced with a broken man and the night ended with Eren soothing him to sleep, something changed; Eren felt worthy of being entrusted with the knowledge of Levi’s burdens and how he felt a strong urge to protect the man. A newfound sense of belonging and wanting bloomed within the brunet’s chest.  To take care of someone utterly and completely was…terrifying. 

But Eren was more than ready to do so with and for Levi. Eren was in awe of the raven and was ready to tell him how brave he truly was; how even when he was cracked with his past experiences he wasn’t broken. How he continued on living every day, and though he wanted to stop feeling the pain and emptiness, he was still breathing. How courageous it was to continue on even when you’re tired of trying and your weak from the over exertion of life.

Feeling satisfied with himself, Eren pulled a simple costume knowing the shorter man would appreciate the simplicity of it; he may be willing and a little thrilled to try on a costume, but Eren didn’t want to push him too hard. Brushing the material against his fingers, he couldn’t help but feel overjoyed at the connection of sharing the same theme with his Levi, like a couple’s costume. Pulling several ridiculous outfits for a humorous affect, he walked out of the closet a determined man. 

Eren blinked and focused on the Levi before him. He seemed to be struggling to contain his blush and seemed annoyed at failing to control his embarrassment from Eren’s straightforward comment. He smiled, knowing how to break the slight edginess the raven was projecting.

“I just saw you projectile vomit and share my toothbrush. We’re basically soulmates now!” Grinning wide he pulled Levi into a tight hug, resting his check against the dark hair and sighed in contentment. “I don’t want to push you too much, I want you to always feel comfortable around me. We seem to have crossed a lot of barriers and seen each other at random highs and lows. Jean told me you were out on a business trip and wouldn’t be getting back until next week. The fucker, I think this was planned, but it was worth it. Your worth it. This whole night has been one of the best nights of my life. Completely random, honest, and real. FuckLevi, all of this – every moment we are together is real. No games, no pretending to be what we’re not – all that is stripped away with our vulnerabilities exposed - and its just us. Levi and Eren. Eren and Levi. I can honestly fucking say...” Eren pulled back to stare lovingly at Levi. “I can get used to this.”

“I’m difficult, stubborn, quiet, and moody.”

“I’m loud, carefree, annoying, and chatty. I tend to word vomit, but I think you can appreciate that better than anyone!” Eren teased laughing at the raven’s pout, only to be shoved playfully aside as Levi made a grab at the clothing.

Eren held the garment above his head, just out of reach of the short man’s grasp. He wanted Levi’s full attention on his next statement. “Seriously babe, that was amazing and terrifying. When people ask what my boyfriend’s mouth does, I can honestly say” Eren puffed up his chest and proudly proclaimed, “He can projectile vomit!”

Levi rolled his eyes at the absurd way the youth’s mind work. How was it possible that he could turn such a disgusting moment into a badge of honor?

“That’s my man! It’s insane in the best way. Just image what else your throat can do.” Eren’s eyes glittered with mischief and Levi felt his heart speed up as he felt excitement for his unpredictable future.


 

Eren led Levi back to the bar where his friends were enjoying the night away, and before parting Levi’s side, Eren introduced himself; though Mike was nowhere to be found and Erwin was lost on the dance floor, Oluo managed to stutter out an incoherent response at the approaching couple. Pushing him roughly aside by the face, Gunther and Eld beamed at Eren as if they were Levi’s proud parents, radiating warmth and cheer.

“Our little boy is all grown up now! Ready to spread his legs - I mean wings…” Gunther wailed into Eld’s shoulder.

Eren snaked an arm around Levi who groaned in response to his friend’s reaction.

“We close at two, but I won’t be out till 3, or by 4 at the latest.” Eren called out over the roar of the crowd.

Levi nodded and smiled as Eren kissed his knuckles and disappeared behind the bar. 

Eyeing his friend’s shit eating grins, he shot them death glares. “Shut up!”

Moving back to his post behind the bar, Eren relieved Reiner who waved pointedly at Gunther much to Eren’s amazement.

“Really, Reiner?”

“He’s up for a good time.” Shrugging he nodded to the little man next to Gunther. “We’re all here for a short time, Eren. Let’s have fun while it lasts. Except him…” he added pointing to a sleeping Bertholdt whose drool was forming a small puddle underneath his chin. “He’s had enough.” Clapping Eren’s shoulder roughly he stomped off toward the dance floor.

Connie moved around Eren and took out his phone. Throwing the peace sign up with a grin, he snapped a quick picture of him beside the unconscious man. Eren placed his hands on his hips and gave Connie a disapproving look before he bounced over to his side and Connie snapped another picture of them posing with Bertholdt as their back drop.

 “A little help, ladies?!” Jean called over to the pair, annoyance dripping from him. “Getting backed up here!”

The group went back to work catching up on orders in record time much to the customer’s delight. The trio continued with their tricks and gimmicks for the crowd, performing at their own personal best. The atmosphere behind the bar amongst the trio was energetic and joyful it became so infectious it spread to their patrons whose orders became so demanding they ran out of several different bottles of alcohol. Keeping up with the orders in a rapid pace, Eren was busy cleaning out several shot glasses when Jean brought him additional items to clean.

“So, you and eerie Levi…” Jean began, nudging Eren skillfully as not to drop his dishes.

Eren stared at the man before moving his eyes to the raven whose checks blossomed with color, laughing openly with his friends.

Eren looked at Jean shyly and nodded, feeling his chest swell with a mixture of pride and tenderness. “Yea…”

“Good. About fucking time, too! Like a damn soap opera. I love him, he doesn’t know I exist blah blah blah…best friend comes in and saves the day, and then all is right with the world!”

“You’re not my best friend” Eren deadpanned. “Armin –“

“As your BEST FRIEND I am now wounded. Ugh!!” Jean threw his hands in the air. “After all I do for you! So ungrateful. Like Marco’s cat. I feed that thing, play with it, take it to the vet when Marco’s at work and nothing! Just scratches my fucking face off. I’m going to get cat scratch fever and then die unappreciated.”

Eren laughed and grabbed Jean into a genuine embrace. “I don’t know how that’s even related to anything remotely accurate so I’ll just ignore it, but…Thank you.”

Jean squeezed back. “You’re welcome.” 

The rest of the night passed on with Eren stealing glances Levi’s way and would smile and wave animatedly when he caught the silver gaze. Levi drank them all in, relishing in the sincere attention Eren freely gave and would sometimes even return the mutual tender gaze or blushed wildly and avert his gaze altogether. Eren would place extra showmanship into his performance; setting random drinks on fire instead of the regular ones to show off his abilities to his new boyfriend, and even attempting to juggle bottles like Jean and ended up failing miserably. With breaking three much needed bottles and two empty ones, Eren called it quits and declared he was strictly a pyro man. Jean found his way over to Levi’s side of the bar and arched his brow in mock surprise to find him amongst the crowd. Levi shrugged and nodded gently over at Eren, confirming Jean’s unspoken question; they were together. 

Looking over his shoulder, Jean scoffed at Eren. “He’s thriving tonight! In his element because you’re here. Usually he’s just a big dork, or sometimes on autopilot, you know? Just getting through the shift. But today,” He leaned back against the bar facing Eren fully who was serving a group of females, “today he’s a fucking peacock! Just give him five minutes and he’ll probably sprout feathers from his ass.”

Appraising Levi thoughtfully, Jean knocked on the bar table before pushing his weight off and stood. “You two kids be good to each other.”

As the night began to settle, Eren would visit Levi in between his orders. Peppering the short man with kisses, updating him on his night, and giving free rounds to his friends who cheered his name.

 He would embrace Levi’s hand, asking him if he wanted or needed anything and Levi would just shake his head. What more could he possibly ask for? 

“Having a good time then?” Eren inquired, pouring a drink to a bystander who was painfully trying to get his attention. 

“Your single?” the man slurred eyeing Eren dreamily.

Eren shot Levi a heated look. “Not anymore.”

Levi raked his hair away from his face, feeling heat radiate from his skin. “I’m…having a great fucking time.”

Eren grinned and kissed Levi once more before moving to the other side of the bar as the lights flickered in the building announcing last call. A surge of drink orders bombarded the bartenders, eager to be filled for the night’s last hurrah.

Gunther slithered next to Levi and leaned heavily against him.

“Gunther…” Levi softly spoke, lifting his hand to the spot Eren had just kissed. “I think I’m going to be ok.”

“I fucking know you’re going to be ok.”

“I don’t mean just romantically, I mean more like…” Levi stopped, struggling to find the right words that connected to the feeling he sensed was forming deep in his soul. “I don’t expect to be fixed by a person…”

“Even if he’s super-hot in a speedo…” Gunther nodded in understanding sipping on his drink.

“Even if he is super-hot in a speedo!” Levi corrected nodding in return. Flicking his gaze over to Eren, he saw the man concentrating on the register and calling out to Connie who bowed in return. “It’s just…fuck this is hard.” Levi’s gaze focused back to the untouched drink in his hand.  

Gunther eyed Levi patiently, propping his elbow on the bar and placing his chin in his hand, he waited for him to continue. He’d wait all night if he had to because this was the progress Levi had needed to understand for himself even if he needed a little help finding it.

 “I don’t wish my past experiences on anyone else, and I wouldn’t want to re-live them. But, they are a part of me and I can’t change that. I don’t want to pretend they don’t exist, but I don’t want to carry the weight of it like a form of punishment anymore. Like I deserved what I got because I let it happen, or being so desperate to be seen by someone who never really cared about me. Like that pathetic little part of you that wants something more, craves it even, and you find yourself excusing their bad behavior because you don’t want to lose the one person who you thought really saw you…” Levi pinched the bridge of his nose, cursing under his breath for his ramblings. “I usually have a better grip on my emotions, but lately…ugh, I don’t even know if I’m making any sense.”

Gunther glided his arm around Levi’s shoulders and pulled him close so their heads could touch.

“I’ve lived so long in that trauma I think I had no idea who I was without it. And it was terrifying, like my toxic security blanket was being taken away. Like without it I felt exposed and thought, ‘what will I do?’ because I would have to rebuild myself in some way, and I didn’t feel like I was strong enough for that. And you of all people! you with your stubbornness and stupid shitty ass rom-coms saw me and knew that I deserved more for myself and forced me into a change. And I see that now…a different life to have. Possibilities to have for myself and with someone else. I can be a man who can just live his life, in my own version of happiness.”

“Version of happiness” Gunther echoed in understanding, nuzzling his head against Levi. “It’ll take time, my little tadpole. You think you deserve pain, but you don’t. You’re strong, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, dammit! you got this!”

Levi snorted and rolled his eyes but nuzzled Gunther back. “I’m glad I met you, I hope you know that.”

“Then take a – what did you call it? A ‘pretentious selfie’ with me!”

“I changed my mind. I hope you wither and die.”

Hand flying to his chest, he fixed Levi with a startled look. “Are you trying to hurt my feelings? Because if so, you are succeeding. Fortunately, my feelings regenerate at twice the speed of a normal man's.”

Levi’s face went completely blank as he stared hard at Gunther who winced in return. “I thought we were supposed to watch The Office together!” he hissed low, not wanting to give away his guilty pleasure.

“Is feelings code for dick?” Oluo asked tiredly, wincing as he collapsed on the stool next to Gunther, completely oblivious to Levi’s comment.

Grabbing Levi’s untouched drink and finishing it off with a satisfied grin, Eld leaned against the bar. “What if you were part lizard and your dick could regenerate like when they lose their tails?”

“So my dick is a tail?”

“Your dick is like a tail. Of a lizard. A lizard dick tail that can regenerate.”

Levi blinked at the comments being tossed about before him. Shaking his head fondly he couldn’t help the swell of warmth in his chest as he was surrounded by his friends. His journey wouldn’t have been complete without their presence; Erwin’s brutal honesty, Eld’s positive energy, Gunther’s unwavering motivation, Mike’s silent loyalty, and Oluo’s… 

Levi chewed on his lip as he thought hard at what Oluo provided to their squad.

“Last round on me!” Oluo quipped from his drunken state, raising a wad of cash in his hand as he attempted to grab one of the bartender’s attention.

Levi snapped his fingers. “I’m just going to dub you as the supplier!”

Chapter Text

“Every story has an end, but in life, every ending has a new beginning.” 

“Jesus Christ! No! just, ugh I’m embarrassed for you, I can’t even fucking look at your beautiful fucking face right now. Why? What fucking chick flick did you get that from?!” Oluo groaned and shook his head miserably staring intently at the ground, a heartbroken look overtook his features. “And you used to be my favorite…” he wailed loudly to himself.

Gunther rolled his eyes at Oluo’s drunken induced dramatic comments. Sighing loudly in exasperation, he leaned back in his barstool to stare at the ceiling. “It’s a rom-com. A rom-fucking-com. Respect the magic, dude.” 

“Magic!” Eld quipped making bursting hand gestures behind Oluo who caught Gunther’s eye with a grin. Kicking Oluo’s chair aggressively to make the man look at him, Oluo merely peeked up at him. His drunken gaze clouded with sorrow as he mourned the loss of Gunther on his pedestal. Leaning in close, Eld shoved his face to whisper into Oluo’s ear, “Give ‘em the ol’ razzle dazzle, bitch!”

Oluo winced in disgust and yanked his face away from the prying man who was too busy laughing his ass off to notice Oluo’s discomfort.

“Can you keep it down? I’m trying to drink.” Erwin poured himself another glass of a dark liquid from the bottle that was left by his side. Swirling the contents in the glass, he brought it up to his lips as he eyed the group before him. 

“Never! Levi and I are clearly the main characters in this.” Gunther announced, shooting Erwin a pleased look as he proclaimed his role. He straightened in his seat and placed his hands on his hips to show the seriousness of the situation.

“And us?” Oluo asked leaning over the bar to grab Erwin’s bottle who merely moved it out of the poor man’s reach. Releasing a low whine, Oluo slumped his body on the table in defeat, never moving his outstretched arm from beside Erwin, who merely looked upon it in disdain.

“Homosexual supporting cast members!” Gunther claimed, sweeping his arm to the group in triumph, to emphasis they shall wear the label with honor.

“Yeehaw, mofos! Homosexual supporting cast out here!” Eld jumped in his spot as he fist pumped the air. 

Heterosexual supporting cast” Erwin corrected firmly, angling his glass towards Eld. 

The duo paused and stared at Erwin incredulously. The tension in the air crackled in the large room and Erwin shifted in his seat uncomfortably, wishing Oluo would open his mouth and turn the attention on himself.

“What is wrong with you?!”

“God Erwin, sometimes you are so fucking insensitive it makes me want to vomit.”

“Yeah! No one wants to hang out with the guy who throws his straight shit everywhere.”

“Are you being fucking serious?” Erwin asked and threw his glass down heavily on the bar, splattering its liquid against himself and Oluo. “I’m not the only hetero here!”

“Yeah, but the way you say it. No one else said it. Now it’s like this big non-gay elephant in the room.”

“You killed the elephant!”

“Non-gay elephant!”

“See? Who’s going to love a non-pink elephant?”

“God Erwin, you suck at life!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Erwin commanded and leveled his stare at the men before him. Gesturing to the trio he asked to no one in particular, “Why are we even friends?”

The room was quiet.

“I think your just butt hurt now.”

“Shhhh! We can’t use ‘butt hurt’ because Erwin will get offended because gay people have sex with their butts –“

“They do not have sex with their butts! What happens is when two people decide to insert –“

“It goes into the butt –“

“WHY! Why are you even the way…you all are?” Erwin groaned into his hand, feeling annoyance prickle into his mind as the group was growing on his last nerve. Erwin paused in his musings and looked up at the group as a thought crossed his mind, giving him a sense of clarity at the realization. Waving his hand around the room, he posed his question, “Why are we still here? The club has been closed for over an hour! I think we’re the last losers here!”

“For fuck’s sake, Erwin. We just had this conversation! We are the supporting cast of them!!” Gunther cried throwing his body forward with his arms gesturing wildly towards the couple whose arms encircled each other.

Eren had taken Levi into his arms and the couple were swaying, completely lost in their own little bubble.

“I still don’t understand why we’re all here, or at least why I haven’t left yet.” Glancing around, Erwin polished off his drink and stood. “You are an enabler, and I’m going to go.” Placing a firm hand on Gunther’s shoulder, Erwin added a snide comment. “Maybe if you stopped focusing on fixing other people’s problems, you’ll focus on yours and grow up.”

Rolling his shoulders back to force Erwin to lose his hold, Gunther coolly leveled his gaze and held onto Erwin’s fixed stare. “You don’t get to fuck with my life because you don’t like who you are.”

Erwin’s brows furrowed and he shifted in his stance. Clearing his throat to deliberately offset the tension, he rubbed the back of his neck. “Touché. I’m being a douche. I’m just cranky, and I just want this marriage charade thing to be over with. After, I can go back to being me and have random flings, or possibly….more. I’m just looking forward to the being me again part. I hate myself right now, and Levi was right to judge me. And he looks fucking, ridiculously happy and my jaded self is somewhat jealous of that. I want him to be happy for sure, but…I’d like that for myself.”

Gunther tilted his head to stare at his usually passive friend. Though Erwin’s always treated his upcoming marriage as a transaction, it was refreshing to see it made him human, wanting something more than just a means to an end. This whole journey began with Erwin’s bachelor party; from Levi’s turning point of his own self-discovery, to exploring the horizons of new relationships. Though romantically was Levi’s greatest obstacle, it was the fact that they were able to forged a strong friendship between them all. Something Gunther didn’t even realize he was lacking until he discovered it himself. 

Breathing out a puff of air, Erwin and Gunther both shifted their own weights between them, finding the quiet moment of reflection to be honest and raw.

Both feeling the need to make the moment light, Gunther cleared his throat and bellowed, “Wow, major character development for you. Kinda feeling like a proud pop right now. Come in for a hug!”

Erwin held up an upturned palm with an indulgent air. “I’m hetero, remember? No touchy no likey.”

Gunther snorted and waved his hand absently. “You not finding me attractive is not going to stop me from being attractive.” 

Erwin laughed full heartedly before sighing and pressing the palm of his hands against his eyes. “It’s been an honor dicking around with you. But I’m going to go before I stick my dick further into my own mouth.” 

Gunther blinked and nodded mutely. “Ok, interesting visual you provided. I’m slightly aroused.”

Erwin smirked and turned waving half-heartedly behind him. Walking passed the bar, Erwin grabbed his abandoned bottle, Oluo missing his opportunity again and screeched pathetically. Erwin nodded in Oluo’s direction with a roll of his eyes, and securing the bottle soundly underneath his arm, disappeared into the night.

“Disgustingly cute, aren’t they?” Gunther asked sincerely, leaning against the bar watching the couple with soft eyes. Feeling his heart warm with renewed hope for them all was vibrating loudly within his being, he couldn’t help but feel his eyes began to tear.

Eld nodded in silent approval, having bear witness to Gunther’s conversation with Erwin, he felt this night was a turning point in all their lives. 

For the better. 

Eld eyed Gunther from the corner of his eyes, and swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat. Was it the alcohol that was putting a new spin on the night? Forcing them to feel sentimental and come to turns with who they were in the world? Whether it was from the haze of drunkenness, or the night of endless hope, it was nice. 

Nice to be here in this moment with them all.

“If you ever need nothing, I am totally here for you.”

Gunther shifted his eyes from Levi until they landed on Eld. Seeing Eld’s teary gaze forced Gunther to shift a bit, feeling the tears threatening to spill forward was currently a losing battle. Swallowing, he cleared his throat and replied with a teasing tone, “Because you can provide nothing?

“Because I can provide everything.”

Gunther released a teary chuckle as Eld pulled him into a warm hug. “No homo?” he whispered into his neck.

Eld giggled, feeling the release of the emotional pressure that fell upon them and wiped at his own eyes. “No homo.”

“Well, if you ever change teams, just know I’m never letting you go.” Gunther claimed and released Eld, pushing him slightly further away then was necessary, feeling emotionally drained.

Eld chuckled and felt the need to continue to lighten the atmosphere as he removed his phone from his pocket and tapped quickly onto the screen. Background music pierced the air as a low male voice sounded, gathering speed when musical instruments began their tune. 

Now I’ve had the time of my life...

Levi snorted at the surrounding music, and rested his head against Eren’s chest as it raised and fell in gentle rhythm as an embarrassed laugh tumbled from his lips. Levi decided right then and there that his laughter was the best sound in the world. Blushing slightly from the mixture of feelings and at the additional attention they were receiving, Levi turned his face away from the crowd after he caught Gunther’s supportive grin.

This night was fucking weird, in the best way.

Jean and Connie appeared behind the bar, placing their heads in their hands awing at the couple with over the top googly eyes, sighing in unison. Feeling a brilliant idea coming on, Connie nudged Jean roughly, breaking the thoughtful moment. 

“Jean, catch me” Connie cried backing up a respectable distance from the taller man and eyeing him mischievously while wiggling his hips.

“Fuck no!”

“Catch me, Pony Boy! We’re doing the jump thing from the movie!”

“Fuck you! I’m Baby! Eren is the stupid - ”

Running in a sloppy sprint towards Jean, throwing his arms wide for the over the top lift. With a determined yell, he crashed into Jean head on, only having the bar floor to break their fall. The men complained noisily in a collected heap on the ground, and as one tried to scramble to their feet, the other would just pull them down in irritation.

“Oi! What the fucking hell!”

“I said fucking catch me, you limp noodle!”

“I’ll have you know there is no ‘limp’ to any noodle!! And it’s not a noodle! I’m a fucking Loch Ness monster!! Loch Ness!”

Moaning purposely, Connie successfully stood and swatted Jean’s hand away before he was pulled down again. Wincing as his back made a painful popping sound, he froze. “Fuck, I’m too young for this...” Rubbing his backside affectionately, he shot a menacing glare at Jean. “Marco is sooolucky to have such a strong, supportive boyfriend.”

“Don’t I know it!” Jean wiggled his eyebrows as he stood, attempting to wipe his pants clean from the sticky floor. Turning around, he caught a glimpse of a dark spot on his ass. “Great! Now it looks like I’m on my fucking period!”

“Oi, I was being sarcastic!” Connie rolled his eyes and started to snicker as he caught sight of Jean’s backside. There was a pool of something dark and sticky in the shape of an ‘o’ around his ass, and he snorted with laughter. “But maybe you just broke your vagina bone!”

Eren and Levi stared warmly at their respective groups having their own squabbles.

“Our friends are utter morons.” Levi admitted, feeling the absurd atmosphere was a welcomed change of pace within his soul; filled with laughter and close companions. 

“Yup, but they’re great together so I feel like we round out really nicely. Like it brings up our average.” Eren squeezed Levi, enjoying the raven within his arms. “Never a dull moment!” 

“Like a fucking sausage fest. You should sell cars, you can make everything sound…positive” Levi replied honestly, looking back at the brunet with a small smile.

“I’ll sell whatever you want me to, baby. Unless it’s an actual baby! I draw the line at flesh parts! I have to leave my dignity in tack!”

“How is it possible to have these types of conversations right now?” Levi asked in awe of the stupidity that flowed freely from the brunet.

Eren shrugged and twirled Levi closer to the group, continuing their small sway. “Three am conversations are real, honest, twisted, and incredibly random. That’s when the good shit comes out. As a bartender, I can say through observation, the only people usually up at three am are in love, lonely, drunk, or all three. And that’s basically describing everyone here.”

Levi surveyed the crowd; Jean and Connie continued their light bickering, laughing at their own embarrassment, while Eld and Gunther began to harass Oluo’s sleeping form on the barstool.

They’ve come a long way. 

Sensing the night was drawing to a close, the pack began their descent into the outdoors, the chilly air sobering up some, energizing others, and creating new opportunities for all.

Levi and Eren brought up the rear of the group, hands embracing one another’s with comfortable silence. Slowing their steps and falling further behind, Levi pulled Eren to a complete stop.

“Levi…?” Eren began, looking at the short man with his captivating eyes openly displaying confusion and kindness.

Levi swallowed and his gaze fell to their entwined fingers. He couldn’t help but feel warm and safe in this moment. Bracing himself for his next question, he felt the words burning on the tip of his tongue, ready to break free. “Come home with me?” 

Eren’s eyes grew wide with realization as to how much trust Levi was placing within him and their new-found relationship. A luminous smile broke out on his face making Levi’s heart soar, feeling this was the right thing to do.

“I- I’d” Eren stammered excitedly, turning to face Levi completely and wrapping his arms around the raven. “Nothing would…yes!” Lifting the man into his arms and twirling him around, Levi couldn’t help but embrace Eren’s ecstatic mood, capturing their laughter in chaste kisses.  

Hearing wolf whistles beyond them with whopping and thunderous applause, Eren placed Levi down delicately and without releasing their hands, punched the air above him. “We’re leaving!!”

Levi buried his face in his free hand, muttering “Kill me now…” His face turning a deep crimson color and his stomach twisted delightfully deep within itself.

“Crush it so hard your penis tingles a bit!” Eld hollered encouragingly, forcing the group to snicker and snort louder than ever.  

“I put condoms in your wallet!” Gunther called to the retreating figures that started to run away. “That’s what best friends do!”

“I didn’t put condoms in your wallet!” Jean screamed before they completely disappeared from sight. “But I’m still your best friend!!”

“I thought Armin was his best friend?” Connie mused out loud, casting a playful smirk Jean’s way.

“Eat shit and die” Jean commented, side-glancing Connie with a shit eating grin of his own.

Connie wrapped an arm around Jean’s shoulders, bringing him close to tussle his hair messily. “Fucking feed me already!”

Feeling genuinely happy for their friends, the group couldn’t help but continue their witty banter to the diner, forming their own version of friendship.

 

Chapter Text

“We don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with…” 

“I’m comfortable. I want this.” Levi acknowledged, amazed at himself on how true and real those words felt leaving his mouth. He was ready for this, he wanted this more than he even allowed himself to admit. Not just to have sex, but to feel entirely connected with Eren was a moment Levi felt he would cherish for the rest of his miserable. If by some chance he would fuck up their relationship down the road, he would recall this special moment he had with the younger man. However, given their history with how incredibly dramatic he displayed his chucks to the world, Levi was almost certain if the brat didn’t run already he probably wasn’t going to go anywhere. Realizing that brought a comfort to the nagging part of his mind, and despite it all, it was part of their rollercoaster journey.

And he wouldn’t change a thing if it led them to each other.

And the more Levi thought about it, the more Eren’s presence seemed to calm him in a general sense because he accepted every embarrassing shit covered catastrophe Levi threw at him to drive anyone away. After everything they had experienced, Eren never once turned Levi away, didn’t pretend to not know him in public after he spewed his guts, or dump him back with his friends with an arrogant goodbye and a spin of his heel to disappear from Levi’s life forever. Eren’s brightly colored eyes never turned sour with disgust at Levi’s antics, and he couldn’t help but feel that this brat was something else entirely; an individual who knew their worth and didn’t scare easily, a man who was in it for the long run. It made Levi’s mouth run dry, his mind spinning uncontrollably within itself and he couldn’t remember how to breathe.

“Great! Because I heard you have condoms…” Eren smirked leaning towards Levi, wiggling his eyebrows teasingly.

Releasing a nervous squeak, which Levi hastily tried to cover with a loud whoosh of air, he ran his fingers through his raven hair. Get a grip. Eren is in your apartment. Relax. Relax. He gripped his hair close to the scalp so tightly when he finally released the pitiful strands they stood awkwardly in a stiff twisted mess resembling a bird’s nest.

They had quickly grabbed an Uber at the nearest intersection and arrived at their destination a lot faster than Levi had mentally prepared himself for. Though he had told Eren to make himself feel at home once they walked in, he was beginning to feel more self-conscious than ever.

Eren sat on the couch, shoes off and feet tucked comfortably underneath him, gazing at Levi with those damn bright eyes. Clicking his tongue, Levi’s hands twitched by his sides as his mind started to ache from the constant waves of emotions he felt.

He was way over his head. Where was his confidence from earlier? 

Gesturing with his hand towards the kitchen, he told Eren to help himself as he mumbled an excuse to use the bathroom. Locking the door behind him, he pulled out his phone and hit the call button. Hearing the ring, Levi felt his anxiety start to intensify with each chime.

Pick up, pick up, pick up.

“Mike’s Meat shop, we beat it, you eat it!” 

Levi let out an aggravated exhale as he turned and leaned over the vanity, his hand holding his weight against the counter and narrowed his eyes at the reflection as the caller on the other end erupted rowdily.

“Oh m’ gee, I never get to do that!”

“Gunther…” Levi hissed into the phone clutching it tightly in his grip, the sheer pressure alone resulting in turning his knuckles white. He brought the phone in front of his face, hoping Gunther could sense his patience thinning through the metal device. A muffled noise sounded through the ear piece making Levi blink and straighten himself. Placing the phone back against his ear, he started off to the side of the phone. “Where are you? Or do I not want to know?”

“Well, you called and I answered. Our relationship is healthy enough where we can do this now – answer no matter where we are. Feel free to do it when you need to.”

Silence.

Sighing patiently, Gunther’s tone took on a humors glint. “I’m peeing right now. I’m in front of the urinal as we speak – or more like as I tink! Get it?”

Levi’s hand collided with his forehead, partly concealing his eyes. Why was he friends with this idiot?

“Oh, hey! Connie just walked in! Sup? ...emptying my bladder, gotta clean out the pipes! Am I right? … Ok enjoy your dump!”

Levi made a mental note to himself that having friends was a burden he self-inflicted onto his starved soul. He had no one else to blame but himself. Why didn’t he just get a cat instead? Those ASPCA commercials were enough to convince even him on a cold, lonely Friday night. 

“I’m in the restroom in case you didn’t catch on...” Gunther staged whispered into the phone.

Levi groaned, moving his hand down slowly so he could feel the pull of his skin stretching, feeling the last of his patience dissolve.

Make friends they said. It’ll be ‘fun’ they said. 

Gunther’s voice singsong with nauseating cheerfulness from the earpiece. “Sssoo, what are you doing?”

“I’m nervous.”

Feeling the change in the atmosphere, Gunther quickly switched gears much to Levi’s relief. 

“Don’t be, chances are he’s just as nervous as you are. Just, put on Netflix – ever heard of ‘Netflix and chill’? It’s an indirect way of saying we are ‘losing our pants tonight’ and just go with the flow. The more you over think this, the more it’s just going to snowball into something dark and gloomy, putting too much pressure on the situation and killing whatever mood you both wanted. It doesn’t have to be like that. Plus -” In his mind’s eye, Levi could see Gunther shrugging, “- your drunk and so is he so that should take the ease off…” 

“I’m not drunk. I had like two drinks? Plus, I vomited everything out of that cage we were in, so I’m practically sober now. And he didn’t drink at all since he was working.”

“Wait… You vomited out of the cage?!”

“A story for another time, Gunther!” Levi cried exasperated, throwing his free hand up and bending his back slightly at the gesture as he rose to the balls of his feet cursing the heavens with his annoyance.

“Just breathe, calm yourself, and be you. He likes that. Your both sober and want to have sex. What is better than thatsimple truth? You deserve someone who is sure about you. From what I can tell, Eren fits that bill." 

“It could all be a disaster…” Levi whispered, staring at the ceiling and feeling the weight of the night on his chest. What if he was a lousy lay? What if Eren wanted someone who was more experienced? What if he just couldn’t remember how it all worked between two guys?

Levi stopped and blinked feeling a new wave of panic take hold of his body, stilling himself under the restroom light. Was the last time he had sex so long ago he could forget how it worked? Was that possible?

NO! he viciously rejected the thought, feeling a mountain of impatience growing within himself at how self-deprecating his thoughts were. God, did he really have thatlittle faith in himself?

Levi stared into the mirror before him, noticing the paleness of his reflection’s skin, the wild panicky grey eyes that looked like it belonged to a wounded animal right before it would be killed – this was him? who would want to fuck this? Who would want to be in the arms of a man who looked like he just shat himself and had to walk around in his own feces in the blistering heat at Disney World for six hours?

Get a fucking grip on yourself. 

“It’s risky. It’s scary. It could all fall apart, yes. But what if it all falls together?” 

Levi nodded into the phone and started to bounce on the balls of his feet. He could do this. He was just nervous like a young idiotic-pimple faced kid on prom night who didn’t have any idea how to work a condom. This wasn’t his first time at sex, but he definitely felt like this was virgin territory. Eren was someone he wanted to hold on to, he couldn’t fuck this up.

He wouldn’t fuck this up….right?

“Connie, wash your hands! Don’t be gross! God is watching you and now so am I!”

Levi inadvertently snickered into the phone as Gunther resumed their conversation.

“These kids are so fucking gross, I’m telling you. We came to eat at the diner with them after you and Mr. Jaeger Bomb took off.”

“I’m surprised considering Oluo is pretty picky where he eats –“

“OLUO!!!!! Oh my God!!!!!” Gunther squealed and Levi heard muffling. “Hahaha, almost dropped my phone in the urinal! Could have gotten pee all over it again. I wouldn’t have stopped peeing by the way. Oh my God, I’m still peeing! I’m like a fucking race horse.”

Again? Jesus Christ, Gunther! I used your fucking phone the other day to order food from that -” 

“Anyway!” Gunther raised his voice effectively cutting off Levi’s comments. “We left that guy at the bar! Didn’t Jean lock up? I wish I could see the look on his face when he wakes up! Priceless.”

Levi’s mind wondered to an image of Oluo waking up completely disoriented to a point where  he would fall off the bar stool, biting his tongue in the process and wailing loudly to an empty room.

He snorted.

“Did you just snort?!” Gunther laughed loudly and Levi rolled his eyes.

“I’ve been in here too long. Eren’s going to think I went out the window or something.”

“Good, because I just wiggled and now I tucked the slugger away. Don’t you just hate no matter how much you wiggle your penis after peeing, your underwear will always get the last drop? It’s like a guarantee.”

“Tch, your disgusting.” Levi said walking towards the bathroom door. He felt his confidence was blooming and had a pep in his step.

“I also placed some lube in your bathroom, the drawer by your bed, random places in the kitchen, shoved some in your couch cushions, and a couple of other places I don’t remember.”

Levi paused with his hand hovering over the doorknob and felt his eye twitch. “You have too much free time.”

“Ejaculate responsibly!!!” 

Levi pocketed his phone abruptly and ran a hand through his hair, smoothing out his nerves. He could do this. He repeated the mantra over in his mind until he was convinced he actually believed it and opened the door.

He was going to embrace this moment, dammit!

Wondering back into the room, Levi noticed two mugs on the coffee table, two twin steams rising from both mugs released an inviting curl into the atmosphere. Sighing quietly and willing his legs to continuing moving to the sight of Eren, casually leaning back on the couch with one leg draped over the other, flipping through channels on the tv. Levi briefly stopped mid-way into the room and admired the simplicity of the situation, taking in the sight of how right it felt to have Eren in his apartment.

Determination coursed through his veins as he lowered himself slowly onto the empty space next to Eren on the couch. He felt himself stiffen and try to readjust his body to appear indifferent as he leaned forward and placed his hands in his laps, twiddling his thumbs like an idiot.

He silently hoped he looked natural.

He felt like he should have read a book or Googled how to make the moves on your boyfriend…maybe he could go back to the bathroom and Google it? Levi’s thumbs twiddled faster in his lap as he side-glanced at Eren and then back to the hallway. Maybe if he just said he had to take a massive dump he could spend at least 5-10 minutes Googling ways to lead yourself to having sex with your partner even if you had a nervous pit in your stomach…that’s not weird right?

Levi scrunched up his face deep in thought. Was it weird to tell someone you had to take a massive dump right before you had sex? He released a breath and stared harder at the tv, not registering what was on. Wasn’t it good to let your partner know about your bowl movements? Honesty is a good thing in relationships…right?

Levi scowled and leaned back against the couch cushions bitterly, bouncing slightly as he rolled his shoulders to adjust himself properly. Racking his brain to break his inner tension a joke suddenly popped into his mind.

Second guessing his ability to tell a joke in case it bombed, Levi opened and quickly shut his mouth; there was nothing worse than a joke being said only to hear the judgmental silence that followed, choking the air around them and ruining the night. Hearing the click of his teeth clatter in his mouth, he faintly thought he must resemble a fish after being hauled out of the sea and into the waiting hands of its captor – because how could that not be sexy?

He bit his lip as he felt himself deflating under the pressure of making this a memorable night for both of them. What if Eren didn’t like poop jokes and he’d be turned off by Levi? Because apparently Levi was fucking five years old and thought poop jokes were funny!! He gritted his teeth harshly and felt even more cross at himself because he didn’t have a clue on how to control the situation he was in.

A warm hand grazed his shoulder and gave him a reassuring squeeze before leading him to lean against the younger man’s chest. Levi swallowed and wordlessly allowed himself to be cradled for a moment, feeling the tension in his shoulders start to wilt. Moving beside the brunet, he brought his legs underneath him in a comfortable position as he received a kiss on his head.

A slow smile crept onto Levi’s face.

Was this…could it be like this, always?

Levi sighed contentedly as Eren began to trail his fingers through his hair, pulling the strands up slightly until they fell effortlessly through his long tan fingers.

Levi’s eyes slowly traveled from the tv to the wall and then finally up at Eren. The brunet continued to play with Levi’s hair but sneaked a peek at Levi who blushed in response and looked quickly back at the tv.

Feeling several minutes go by, Levi sneaked a second glance back at Eren who slowly turned to look at the older man with a sincere smile. Levi felt himself melt from the youth’s look, full of tenderness and warmth, and only for him. Eren seemed to be aware of Levi’s nerves and the raven couldn’t help be feel a lump form in his throat at how much the brunet could sense his own turmoil and didn’t seem to be bothered by it in the slightest. 

Eren moved his free hand from the armrest and brought it over to stroke Levi’s chin. Asking a silent question with his ocean eyes, Levi felt himself nod as Eren lowered his face to his lips.

The kiss was soft and brief, a test of the waters, and Levi felt his heart stop beating as Eren pulled away and let their foreheads touch. His eyes showed bright with such sincerity Levi felt the need to look away from his partner, feeling he was unworthy of such devotion. Because who could ever love him? He allowed himself to love and be vulnerable before and it fucked him up for a good, long while. And though he had let that go, he couldn’t help but feel he didn’t have much of a track record. After Farlan, he had an ‘it’s complicated’ status that lasted half a year, then maybe one random date with a man whose name he couldn’t remember, and that one brief relationship that lasted about a month? Nothing ever seemed to last for him in the relationship department and after a while he stopped hoping and expecting anything to happen. 

Until now.

Gunther’s soothing voice floated into the dark crevices of his mind.“It’s risky. It’s scary. It could all fall apart, yes. But what if it all falls together?”

His heart speed up and he felt goosebumps prickle on his arms as his mind went to a new place with possibilities.

What if this did workout? Levi could make Eren breakfast in the morning, something light or he could even order from that bakery down the block with that ha his favorite chocolate croissants. Eren could even see Levi off to work on the weekdays, giving him a kiss goodbye as he headed off to join the workforce and Eren would be waiting for him when he came home before he was off to his night shift. Levi could have someone to come home to at night, and Eren would have him to come home to in the early morning hours after his shift at the bar.

They would have each other.

Levi paused. It was one thing to think of sex fantasies and being fucked into oblivion, but why did he have to think of a domesticated life with Eren? Why did the thought bring such joy to his heart and such little fear to his mind?

Maybe he really was moving forward, his own version of progress.

Levi licked his lips and pointedly eyed Eren’s face, forming a side grin.

Feeling Levi’s comfort level shift for the better, Eren moved his hand from Levi’s hair to his neck and pulled him into another kiss.

Levi felt himself release control and allowed Eren to take the lead. The kiss was slow, soft light pecks and when Levi released a low growl of impatience, it was as if a switch flipped inside of Eren.

The brunet angled his body to fully face Levi and licked the raven’s lips to be allowed entrance. As Levi parted his mouth willingly, he felt Eren’s tongue dance with his own as their breaths mingled together. Eren greedily licked the inside of Levi’s mouth, taking everything from Levi while he freely gave. Eren’s hands moved underneath Levi’s shirt, and he felt the brat leave scorch marks on his skin as his touch felt hot against his cool skin.

Moving forward, Eren placed his strong hands on Levi’s hips and guide him to lay against the couch. Breaking contact, he trailed kisses down Levi’s neck, sucking hard on his pulse point, making Levi moan and Eren’s hands tighten against him.

Eren sat up removing his own shirt and tossing it aside and as Levi shifted forward to remove his shirt he stopped halfway as his eyes traveled hungrily across the tan chest. Though Levi had seen the skimpy outfits Eren wore at the bar, it was another feeling all together as he stared at the completely unclothed chiseled chest, contracting with muscles. He frantically wanted to pounce him and sink his nails into the teasing flesh and leave scratch marks all over the surface, demonstrating to the world Eren was his as he knew the brunet would display the scratches with pride.

Eren chuckled and gave Levi a sly smirk as the raven cursed under his breath for being caught and yanked the shirt off of him, throwing it to the side in a huff.

Eren cupped Levi’s face, thumbs caressing his cheek bones as he leaned in and began to lick his neck, trailing heated kisses down his pale chest. Moving over to Levi’s nipple, he sucked the area as his other hand moved to twist and tease the other. Levi pursed his lips tightly shut, not wanting to get overly excited to where this would end too quickly, but he couldn’t control his hips bucking upwards into Eren, or the way his cock felt when it collided against something hard making his mind short circuit.

Eren let out a breathy chuckle. “Now who’s impatient, hmm?” 

Eren cupped Levi’s hard on through his clothes and looked back up at the raven, face etched with longing but he swallowed, and looked at Levi with a burning question in his eyes. “Is it ok if I…?”

Feeling hazy from desire and trying to grasp onto what was being asked, he could only nod, feeling tingly all over with impatience and desire.

Eren eagerly began to unzip his pants, and Levi shyly sat up on his elbows, ready to angle his lower portion up to remove his pants. Moving his pants off with one quick tug and discarding them to the side, Eren looked back at Levi; the raven felt his jaw go slack as Eren’s brilliant eyes took on a deeper shade of emerald, heated with such a need that Levi felt a tightness in his lower abdomen. Eren sat lower on the couch and adjusted himself onto his elbows as he lowered his head to Levi’s cock standing at full attention, breathing hot air onto his dick beneath his briefs. Levi couldn’t help his body squirm from the contact or how he threw his head back to stare at the ceiling and bit off a cry as Eren began to suck on the tip, feeling moisture pool from him.

Squeezing his eyes shut, Levi released a soft whimper and felt the pressure rise in his body, feeling too hot and slightly embarrassed at the intimacy and teasing. It’s been several years since he last had sex, and even then, it wasn’t anything to brag about. His current partner was solely focused on Levi’s enjoyment, pleasure, and wanted to build it up so Levi wouldn’t forget anything.

Eren continued to tease, sucking through his underwear and with one last flick of his tongue, he bites the head of Levi’s cock playfully. Feeling a pleasant sensation from his dick to the tips of his toes, Levi couldn’t control his excitement and struggled beneath Eren. Pleased with himself, Eren’s hands caressed Levi’s stomach before he hooked his fingers onto the waistband, slowly pulling his underwear down.

“God, you’re so incredible. I want this Levi, but tell me if it’s too much and I’ll stop. Ok?”

Controlling his breathing to mask his panting, Levi responded with a shy smile and shifts his lower portion up in response, allowing Eren to fully remove his clothing.

Eren is moving painfully slow, fingers shaking slightly as he tries to control his own excitement, not wanting to scare Levi off. Hoping to hurry the brunet, Levi wants to show Eren he’s ready and brings his leg from underneath him quickly.

Too quickly.

Because even though Levi is ready for more, his sudden movement catches Eren off guard and Levi’s foot smashes powerfully against Eren’s erection. And just as Eren is bringing his head down, wincing in pain with a groan, Levi is in full panic mode and seems to entirely miss Eren lowering his head because as Levi pulls up his other knee instinctively, it abruptly collides itself against Eren’s nose.

For a second neither man utters a word, both are stunned into shock as they gaze at one another. Levi’s eyes widen as Eren mechanically removes his hand from his groin and covers his nose as blood begins to drip down.

It is in this moment Levi wants to die. 

“Oh, God Eren! I’m so sorry!” Levi moves forward, hand hoovering in the air as he’s too afraid to touch the younger man.

Eren looks at him briefly before pulling his hands away to check on the amount of blood pooling in his hands. The red stream never wavers, and Eren attempts to pull in air through his nose but winces in pain and began to cough.

“Let me – I’ll – towels! Bathroom!” Levi screeches and runs into the other room, almost falling as he struggles to readjust his briefs. He frantically starts to pull all the towels from the bathroom, from the drawers, to the cabinets, to the ones mounted on the walls not knowing how many he should bring, which ones would be used, which ones would be wanted. How many is too many? Finally feeling like he secured enough, he gathers the bundle in his arms before running back to Eren.

However, fate is not on his side.

One of the longer towels begins to unravel underneath his arm and begins to trail underneath him, flapping in the wind. As Levi takes the quick turn around the corner into the living room, his foot catches on the traitorous cloth and everything happens in slow motion.

Levi feels as if he’s watching the events unfold before him, his being temporarily separated from his body. His grip looseness on the towels as they lurch from his body as it goes one way and his foot goes in the opposite direction. He could have sworn he heard a popping sound just before he crashes against the wood flooring.

He’s lying in a heap of towels, face against the floor as he releases a defeated, strangled noise into the air while internally screaming at his own stupidity.

Not getting laid tonight.

Never once lifting his head due to sheer humiliation, Levi hears footsteps swiftly paddle up to him, feeling the floorboards shift beneath him, he senses rather than sees Eren kneel down and place his hands against Levi’s shoulders, gently helping him up. Levi can only look in horror as Eren’s bloodied face stares back at him.

“I – I” he swallowed, feeling the tips of his ears burning as tears filled his eyes. Why did he have to fuck everything up? Why did the heavens pull their pants down at this exact moment to take a gigantic shit on his life?

A small chuckle escapes the brunet’s lips and he quickly tries to cover his mouth as he looks back at Levi’s gloomy face. The bubbling in Eren’s chest grows and he throws his head back and covers his face with his arm, his laughter filling the air with sweet gurgled sounds of pure joyfulness piercing the darkness in Levi’s heart. 

His mouth clamps shut as he eyes the youth suspiciously before Eren removes his arm and wipes tears away from his eyes, laughing all the while with wheezing bursts of air as he struggled to regain his breathing. 

Seeing Eren relaxed, utterly disheveled but completely comfortable in this moment, Levi couldn’t help but think that Eren was truly beautiful. Tan chest rising and falling as his glee was slowly stopping, warmth radiating from him despite the blood drying on his face, and never once blaming Levi. Telling him he was stupid or it was all his fault or how reckless he was because he messed everything up.

Feeling the last of his walls cracking, a nervous chuckle vibrated from his chest, releasing the last of his burdens. Mental shackles freeing Levi from his inner self-criticism, he couldn’t help but ingrain this horribly hilarious incident in his mind as the moment he knew he truly fell in love with Eren.  

“Why does the universe hate us?” Levi asked, moving to sit on his ass as he brings his injured foot in front of him. Suspecting the need to test his ankle, as he attempted to straighten his foot only to feel a shot of pain shoot up his leg. Hissing through his teeth, he places his leg cautiously on the ground, grumbling under his breath at his brilliant luck. 

Eren shakes his head fondly and moves to gather Levi up in his arms. “It doesn’t hate us.” He calmly replies, placing a quick kiss to his temple. “We just hit a speed hump.”

On the count of three, Eren lifts Levi up and makes his way over to the door, carrying Levi out of the apartment bridal style.

“Come on, old man…” Eren wheezed, voice sounding like he had a bad cold but his face showed amusement. “Let’s get you to the hospital.”

Fixing Eren a pointed glare, he sprays himself against the door before the brunet could open it. “I’m not going out there in my fucking underwear! Turn around and put your damn shirt on! No one gets a free show but me!”

Chapter Text

Gunther answered on the first ring. “Don’t tell me he’s a minute man! I knew there was something wrong with him. Knew it. He seemed too good to be true. Well, at least you found out now that you have a magical cave of wonder. We just got to find you the right unicorn, that’s all.”

“No, you moron, I’m just going to the hospital. I fell and –“

“You FELL!!! Well if that’s not cliché I don’t know what is! Where’s EREN?! Did he hit you? that’s never ok, do you hear me??!! I swear to everything that’s holy if he hit you I’m going to fuck him stupid –“

Crumpling his face in frustration, Levi began shaking his head slowly in disbelief. “Wait – what? Why would you – wait, no you moron!! I’m calling you because I made you my emergency contact. I just needed you to know that I was ok before they call you and I’m too loopy on drugs to explain anything.” Levi paused, waiting for a reaction from Gunther except none came.

“Hello? Gunther?” Levi removed the phone from his ear to check the call didn’t drop. It didn’t. “Gunther?”

“You…you made me your emergency contact?” Gunther asked softly.

Levi struggled to hear him and turned the volume up on his phone to its highest setting.

“I…wow, Levi. I’m honored. I don’t know what to say.” Gunther whispered.

The genuine awestruck tone took Levi by surprised and he closed his eyes, allowing the tightness to clasp his chest and tears start to form behind his eyes. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he released a gentle sigh as he reined in his emotions. 

“Yea, well, I’m not dead. They shouldn’t call you but it’s just a heads up. No need to get all…” Levi trailed off, unsure as to end that statement, hand awkwardly flailing in the air. After a few minutes of silence, the elevator chimed and Eren began to walk into the enclosed space.

“Aye, aye, Captain! I’ll have my phone on standby. Send me photos of hot nurses, alright?”

Levi rolled his eyes and hung up as Eren tightened his hold on him, slouching forward as he pressed the button for the lobby. 

As the doors were closing, he looked down at Levi and couldn’t help but ask, “Why would he fuck me stupid instead of kicking my ass?”

Levi made a face and shook his head. Gunther was one sick puppy. 


The blast of cool air greeted the fatigued pair walking through the sliding emergency doors of the hospital. The sound of the blast was unforgiving to Levi’s ears and made him stiff in surprise shrinking himself further, clutching Eren’s shirt harshly as his nails contacted the tan skin, forcing Eren to wince slightly.


“Levi?” Eren asked gently, looking down at the raven with sincere ocean eyes Levi was desperately trying to avoid. Feeling a surge of protectiveness wash over him, he tucked the raven further into his arms, cursing himself for not bringing a blanket to shield the older man. “How are you?”

Levi didn’t answer, but Eren could see his eyes nervously darting all over the area. Eren had walked into the Emergency Room entrance and was confidently striding over to the reception area. Levi watched a nurse take notice of the pair and made a beeline back to the receptionist and tapped her shoulder. She whispered something to the older stoutly woman whose face took on a scowl and she promptly left in a huff. The nurse watched her retreat with a triumph air and sat pointedly in the chair, leaning forward on her elbows as Eren approached. Batting her eyelashes and throwing a chesire cat smile, she eyed the brunet hungrily. Levi felt his blood boil and shifted his body weight to try to cover Eren protectively against the desperate individual.

Levi watched as Eren ignored her flirting attempts, feeling a swell of pride in his boyfriend but he couldn’t help but look back at her with narrowed eyes, pointing his chin in the air which she promptly ignored. Levi noticed the way her top dipped a far too low for his liking and how her nametag was placed further down on her coat to purposely force the eye to her cleavage. The way she giggled and tossed her hair behind her ears was like nails on a chalkboard to Levi, each obnoxious attempt to win Eren over was testing the last of his patience. What he wouldn’t give to vomit on her at this point. The way she carried herself and expertly executed each of her well-placed techniques was met with a slap of reality as Eren maneuvered around every attempt as if they were Legos spewed around a child’s playroom. 

She obviously was used to getting her way and seemed to deem Eren as a worthy challenge.

After another painful minute of her efforts, Eren smiled a million-dollar customer service smile, one that quite didn’t reach his eyes and contained a hint of impatience and mild annoyance. Sensing his discomfort, Levi nuzzled in his neck in an attempt to soothe him, and Eren hummed in appreciation as he placed a kiss on Levi’s head. She blinked and was stunned into silence as coloring rose onto her cheeks and a slight pout graced her features. After Eren patiently finished explaining their situation of a busted nose and hurt ankle, she waved a stern nurse over who brought forth a wheelchair.

Levi shifted uncomfortably in Eren’s arms as the device was wheeled over and he eyed the contraption suspiciously, willing it to combust from his displeasure.

“Sorry, but hospital’s orders.” She replied dryly, wiggling the device in mock playfulness which only fueled the discomfort of the situation further.

Eren walked forward and made to place Levi in the chair, but he stuck tighter to Eren’s shirt, lips pulled into a tight line as his eyes shifted to a random spot to his side, mind blanking as he failed to register his surroundings.  

Patting Levi’s underside in comfort and understanding, Eren side-stepped the chair and promptly walked forward with a determined step. “Is Marco in? I’d love to say hi.”

The nurse’s annoyed look dissolved just as quickly as it came at the mention of the new name. “He’s on duty! Just a sweet boy. I’ll tell him you’re here. Please wait in this exam room.” She led them to an open exam area and motioned for Eren to follow her. “We can have you in this one here –“

“I won’t be leaving him,” Eren replied firmly yet politely as he placed Levi gently on the hospital bed, hands running up and down on the man’s arms soothingly.

Levi stared at his hands in his lap, feeling incredibly awkward and kicking himself mentally for feeling like a gigantic baby. For the millionth time in his life, he couldn’t seem to get a grip on himself in this place. Though Levi appreciated the clean environment the hospital had, the smell of Clorox making him feel an odd sense of ease but there was something else he couldn’t quite put his finger on, something tiptoeing the edge of his mind, threatening to see the light, was off-putting and it made his skin crawl. He fits his hands in his lap, creating half-moon circles in his palms, biting back the whine once he feels he’s broken his own skin.

The sheer whiteness of the walls, the deafening silence, the gloomy atmosphere, the dejected looks from patients in the waiting room, families huddling together whispering in sharp or sorrowful filled tones in darkened corners, the wailing from sheer agony and pain… Levi started to breathe deeply and squeezing his eyes shut, trying to shut off the constant thoughts that were raging in his mind. Opening them he released a gush of air as his thoughts returned to his presence and is suddenly bombarded with overactive noise - crying, the codes being announced over the intercoms, the blood roaring loudly within his ears - he felt too much in this place, the white walls were inching their way towards him and he could feel his throat constricting, they contained too many stories, housed too many tears...

Eren placed his larger hands over Levi’s, slowly unwinding his grip and his eyebrows slightly furrowing at the red marks in the smaller palms. Raising his hands to his face, he placed kisses along the area before he licked up the remaining smudges, barely catching Levi’s gasp, he looks up at the raven, giving his hands a slight squeeze. His stormy grey eyes snapped up and finds Eren staring at him warmly. His ocean eyes glinted against the dull fluorescent lighting, but Eren was still beautiful even with a worried expression. 

Levi stared back, feeling a million emotions come forth and he blinked back tears, shaking his head and breathing out a whoosh of air, fixating his gaze at their hands. They’ve been through so much already and their relationship was still in its infancy. This was going to be too much for Eren, having to always look out for Levi, clean up after him after he continues to make an idiot of himself again and again - classic Levi! creating drama and making situations harder than they had to be, and he could imagine it, Eren excusing himself to use the restroom and disappearing into the night never to be seen again. He has to try and stop letting every little memory, every little trigger affect him in a crumbling soul-crushing way. Part of the healing process was facing your demons and handling them properly, not shoving them down into the darkness and pretend they didn’t exist.

Eren leaned forward and rested his forehead against the smaller man’s and brought his knuckle’s up for a kiss. Ocean eyes peered up at Levi over his hands and the wonderful man before him never failed to continually surprise Levi as he cleared his throat, casting him a brief nod of embarrassment, and started to sing.

Simple as can be, I got your hands in mine, and you don’t have to listen carefully I’ll tell you a thousand times. Anything you feel, put it all on me. All of your thoughts, I want everything. And when you get sad, like you do sometimes, put it all on me.”

Levi’s eyes widened and he swallowed the lump in his throat as he nervously looked around. He didn’t want to appear weak in front of anyone, but with Eren? He could set his damaged armor aside, couldn’t he? Eren had seen so much of him already…and he encouraged Levi to be himself with no pretending. The thought of it made Levi’s shoulders sigh in relief he didn’t know he was holding in. 

I’ll hold you when the night gets cold, you’ll never have to be alone. And that’s all you need to know, no love lost, we’ve got you and I…. You’ll never have to be alone.”

Tears streamed down Levi’s face as his face distorted, and Eren embraced him fully as Levi continued to cry hot silent tears into his shoulder. Feeling the hospital resend back into a rightful place of a sanctuary than a torture chamber, felt tense seep out of him, feeling a sense of fatigue creep into his bones.

Eren began to gently rock Levi back and forth, soothing his hair and running his fingers through the underside of his hair, scratching against the undercut in lazy directions.

Simple as can be, I’m gonna be around. And you know we got everything we need, look at this thing we found.” Eren kissed the tears rolling off of Levi’s checks and sought his lips. Pressing into Levi, Eren tasted salt and the wonderful softness of damp lips before he released it. The kiss did not contain hot desperate passion, but an intimate sweetness that left Levi choked up for different reasons.

“Excuse me” a polite cough and an embarrassed chuckle broke the small bubble the duo created. 

Blushing Levi averts his gaze downwards and begins to quickly pick at his shirt as Eren smiles at the man who has just arrived.

“Marco!” Eren cried rising to give him a quick hug. “This is my boyfriend, Levi.”

Levi gave him an awfully tight smile, overcompensating for his distress and hoping his red eyes wouldn’t give him too much away, but the man politely ignores this, instead giving him a warm smile with an extended hand.

“It’s great to finally meet you!” he beams gently, “Eren never stops talking about you, much to Jean’s annoyance!”

He places Levi at ease, his calm and sunny demeanor helps silence his remaining anxiety and he allows his ankle to be evaluated. Though he objected strongly against x-rays much to Marco’s chagrin, he eventually relented. 

Eyeing the results, Marco hums approvingly, moving closer to peer at the x-rays in the display box, he nods once, satisfied with the results and turns to face Levi.

“It’s only swollen, nothing that would require anything more than just resting it. Make sure to elevate it, stay off of it of course. You’d need to ice it and take some ibuprofen, and remember no strenuous activity. Now you, sir.” Marco walks towards Eren and lifts the man’s chin eyeing his nose. He clicked his tongue once, playfully slapping him earning a yelp of surprised merriment. “You’re fine! Just a good smack in the schnoz.”

 “Ignore the blood, and I’ll be fine? Pfffttt, I can do that.”


 

Home from the hospital, Eren’s nose held a small bandage and Levi’s ankle is wrapped tightly with a bright pink bandage. Levi scowls at the color, feeling it was too bright and perky against his moody attitude.

Hobbling swiftly towards the bathroom with a carefully wrapped foot in plastic wrap and a grocery bag tied at the top, Levi banged the door closed on Eren’s concerned face, holding the plastic roll high in his hand as he ran after Levi who got up in a hurry when he suggested they should shower together for the raven’s safety. The last thing he ever wanted was for Eren to see him limping around under the water naked for the first time like a damn wrapped sausage. His ankle and pride were wounded, not his dick, and he would be damned if that would be the brunet’s first mental image of him.

After both men were showered, completed with clean clothes with Eren wearing Levi’s largest pair of sweatpants he had available though they stopped midway up his calf, Eren carried a grumpy Levi, arms crossed and grumbling under his breath, over to the bedroom.

Eren carries Levi to bed and wrapped him under the covers like a small cocoon, moving pillows closer to the raven in a protective barrier above his head in case he needed them close by to readjust himself later. Moving the blankets to release his injured ankle, he gently raised it to secure a flush firm living room pillow under the area, and tenderly lowered it to rest on top. 

Feeling impatient, Levi shoved his foot onto the awaiting surface and shrieked in pain as his ankle began thumping from the sudden rough motion. Eren clicked his tongue, eyes dancing with humor as he shook his head at his partner’s antics, chuckling softly as he placed the blanket back over the exposed ankle.

Rearranging an added blanket, and inserting in another fluffy pillow from the couch, Eren was satisfied with his boyfriend tucked soundly like a burrito. He leans over the bedding and places a chaste kiss to Levi’s lips and moves the glass of water within arm’s reach without it being accidentally tipped over. However, when he started to stand, Levi quickly reaches out and tugs him into the direction of the empty spot near him. Eren flashed a thousand-watt smile and promptly hurls his body onto the bed, nestling under with blankets as Levi rolls his eyes in amusement as the youth nestles happily against him. 

They both cuddle under the warmth of the covers and as the morning sunlight seeped through the bedroom’s windows, both men drift off into a deep sleep. 

Levi wakes up with a start to strong arms around him, and he internally squeals with delight. Leaning further back into Eren’s hold, Levi slowly blinks into the suns light, wishing he had shut the curtains properly before they drifted off. As he blinks his eyes to adjust to the brightness, he finds he’s pleasantly surprised he had slept at all, but he attributes all that to the brunet’s presence.

He feels Eren breathe a content sigh before placing a kiss on the back of Levi’s head.

“Hey there,” He grumbled, his voice rough from sleep. “How’s your ankle?”

Levi turns over in Eren’s arms and props himself up and starts to kiss Eren’s neck and nervously starts to work his way down to his chest. Eren wakes up immediately and uncertainty wracks his body given their present state.

“Levi?” Eren grabs Levi’s hands to stop him, and with the wounded expression on Levi’s face, he kissed his knuckles to lessen the sting of rejection. “I want to, God you have no idea how much I want to. But I want to make sure you’re ok. Yesterday seemed pretty intense at the hospital and then we just passed out from sheer exhaustion. I just want you to know I’m here for you.”

Settling between Eren’s legs, Levi paused and played with Eren’s hand thoughtfully. “I had a bad experience at a hospital once. It wasn’t – nothing happened to me, but I was an emergency contact for someone once, and when I showed up…it was basically just to say our goodbyes.” Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he continued. “When they…he passed, I had a hard time dealing with everything. The last time I saw him, before that I mean, it wasn’t on the best of terms. Our goodbyes weren’t like the movies where they’re all feelings and emotions and filled with forgiveness and the music soars in the background erasing everything. He…it was my ex, he was in incredible pain. He was in a car accident and suffered burns and I hadn’t heard from him in years, and it was hard. When I was called in…I was his only…I had to make the decision to take him off life support. No don’t - I’m not asking for comfort for that. I know I made the right decision based on their medical advice, it was really the only choice left. And though the bastard had no right to put me in that situation, he had no right to be in that predicament. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, not even him.”

Looking up at Eren with a determination coursing through him, he knew that it was right letting him know his past. “It’s just, it was a trigger being their yesterday. I hadn’t been in a hospital since that day, and it was just too much. Everything felt like it was cranked up to 100, and exploding in my ears, and it was too suffocating.”

Eren caressed his hand, delicately adding his own input. “I get it. Hospitals have weird vibes and they can be pretty creepy. My mom had cancer, and she was in there for a while and then she had chemo for a while. But you being there, making that decision, would hurt anyone. Maybe it was you showing him kindness at the end was…was a way of giving him peace.”

He stared at Eren, a mutual understanding passing between them. Nodding before hanging his head and his thumb glided over Eren’s tan skin, he appreciated the warmth radiating from him. And though he couldn’t bring himself to agree with the brunet’s take on that particular event, he appreciated the effort of understanding and positive outlook nonetheless.

“Being at the hospital yesterday, just made me feel uncomfortable all over again. And I was not in a great place. But having you there, with me, and being there for me meant everything. Eren, you have meant more to me in this short amount of time than I could have possibly ever hoped to imagine.”

Levi looked up into Eren’s eyes and felt his heart thump wildly in his chest. The courage he felt before burned brightly in his soul and he hoped Eren could see it too. He was ready for everything and anything that Eren had to offer, and he was more than willing to meet him halfway.

“I’m not usually such a basket case. And look,” he adds tilting his head to the side and pointing his hand at Eren, “I don’t have a lot of experience in the sex department and I’m insecure sure, and maybe a flair of crippling anxiety, but who wouldn’t be when your fucking boyfriend looks like Adonis! I’m serious,” he continues despite the youth’s embarrassed chuckle, “When I first saw you walk into my room at the club, I thought for sure I was going to swallow my tongue. I wanted you then Eren, with a mixture of lust and jitters because I was kidnapped by my stupid ass friends. I was in the longest drought in my life and in walks in a fucking tsunami who will take care of everything.”

Eren nodded recalling the memory. “You looked beyond terrified. I thought you’d pass out before I even touched you and then I would have to perform CPR on you.” 

Snorting, Levi couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “I wasn’t choking, dummy, I wouldn’t need CPR. But you know that feeling when you meet someone and your heart skips a beat? Yea, that’s an arrhythmia. I could have died from that.” He deadpans at Eren without blinking. 

Eren blinks before he starts laughing at Levi’s lame joke, who let out a breathy chuckle of his own.

“But I want you now for an entirely different reason. I want you now because I can’t imagine such a person who is kind, funny, completely accepting - and slightly insane because how could he be so ok with everything – walking out of my life.”

Eren cupped Levi’s check and pulled him close. “I’m all in, Levi.” 

Levi’s eyes start to swirl as tears began to pull, but he has a task to complete, and he won’t waste this shot. Licking his lips, he puts his hand down Eren’s pants to show him he means business. It was now or never, and already being on the bed was going to help him without any other major injuries or accidents.

He hopes.

Removing the raven’s hand from his pants, Eren tugs Levi toward him with a sly smile. Crawling forward, Levi entwines his legs around Eren’s torso as he places kisses along his neck. Finding the brunet’s pulse point, he begins to suck on it slowly, lapping at the area with renewed enthusiasm. Pulling away slightly, he sees his saliva glisten beneath him in the sunlight like a tasty treat. Teasing the skin by blowing a puff of air on the wet spot, and throwing a quick glance at Eren, Levi sank his teeth into the sensitive area.

Eliciting a sweet moan from the brunet, Levi withdrew his teeth, basking in triumph at the sound, he began to lick the wound, tasting iron as a small amount of blood peppered along the skin.

Nuzzling Levi’s neck, the brunet captured the raven’s lips onto his own as he laid him across their shared bed. Dragging his nails across pale skin leaving goosebumps in its wake, Eren carefully removed the raven’s pants, ensuring extra attention was paid when removing the garment form his ankle.

“God, your beautiful” He whispered, admiring the way Levi laid before him. Lithe chest rising and falling with excitement, lips moisten with anxious anticipation, he couldn’t help the hunger that pulled deep inside of him. Wrapping his long fingers around Levi’s stiffening cock, he started to pump slowly, thumbing the head of his cock and using the pre-cum to moisten his hand. 

“Eren, open the side drawer.”

The brunet lifted a cheeky brow, squeezing the ever-growing erection tightly in his grasp and twisting it roughly in pleasure. Eliciting a throaty groan from the raven, he reached out to the drawer and withdrew a box of condoms with lube wrapped in a stylish blue bow.

“100 pack of condoms? Holy shit, you weren’t kidding about the dry spell, were you?” Eren asked in amazement as he turned the box slightly in his hand. Fixing Levi’s cock with another squeeze, he turned to the blushing mess under him who was avoiding his gaze. “We’re going to need to order Chinese later, but challenge accepted!”

Levi’s mind short circuits as his jaw goes slack at Eren’s blunt declaration and his eyes are glued to his boyfriend’s hands as they take the bottle of lube and pour a generous amount onto his long fingers. The liquid caught the light and shined brightly on his digits, making Levi suppress a moan at the thought of the fingers working him, diligently opening him up to receive everything that Eren was so willing to give.

Feeling heat rise onto his cheeks, Levi began to shift his gaze to the nearest wall when Eren pulled his chin back to his direction, smashing their lips together. Feeling the warm tongue drag itself against his lips, Levi hungrily applied. He opened his mouth as Eren tilted his head back, cradling his undercut as he gently scratched the rough surface.

Releasing a low moan, Levi began to dip himself back onto the bed as Eren moved his free hand against Levi’s cock pumping it in a slow motion. Feeling his toes cruel at the teasing movement, his hips rising and bucking against the brunet’s hand. 

Eren bit Levi’s tongue and released his mouth as he preceded to trail kisses all along the raven’s jawline. Breaths mingling as one, pants increasing to moans, Eren nudges Levi’s legs wider as he settles further down on the bed.

Much to Levi’s surprise, the brunet plunged forward, deep throating his cock and once he felt his tip hit the back of his throat, Levi trembled and arched his back off the bed.

“Ahh, Eren – ngh, wait - “ 

The words died on his lips as Eren began to repeat the movements, twisting his hand at the cock’s base, sucking and swallowing his hardened cock.

Feeling a sensation start in his lower stomach, he felt himself tensing. “Eren, fuck, I – I don’t want to cum so fast!” 

Releasing his cock with a loud pop, he fixed Levi with a hungry stare. “Fuck my mouth, then.” Then deepthroated the raven who meowed in response, wiggling underneath him in building pleasure.

“Eren – “ Levi felt himself tighten and lifted himself to his elbows, grabbed a handful of hair to attempt to pull the man up who never released his hold. “Fuck Eren, that’s not a - ahh”

Gasping for air, Levi became transfixed as Eren released his cock and began peppering it with kisses and fixing his gaze at the raven, began to lick the sides before taking one of his balls in his mouth and sucked it gently.

Panting loudly, he stared mesmerized at the sight before him. “Eren,” he pleaded, “fuck me. Please.” 

As if he spoke magic words, Eren swooped up to capture Levi’s lips and bit the bottom one playfully. “Make love” he corrected, “I’ll make love to you.”

Grasping the box of condoms, he tore the box opened and he rolled a condom over his hardening cock, making sure to squeeze the tip. Finding the bottle of lube in between the sheets, he coated his fingers with more of the warm substance.

Sensing Eren’s excitement and feeling confident, Levi moved to all fours and tossed his head behind him. 

“Eren,” he purred, rolling his hips back, his torso meeting his thighs. Once the ocean eyes met his in awe, he wiggled his ass high in the air and smirked when Eren’s mouth dropped open, the bottom of lube falling from his grasp. “Make love to me, then.”

Nodding dumbly, Eren placed one hand on Levi’s hips and the other moved between his legs as Levi straightened his back. Messaging the entrance in slow circles, Eren slipped one finger into the tight awaiting area.

Moans filled the air as Levi rocked his hips back into Eren’s fingers roughly, demanding more friction and feeling irritated as this part always made him annoyed. He wanted the younger man, wanted to feel his body, his cock in him, to kiss him senseless in their bed.

“God, Levi.” Eren praised, slipping in another finger and scissoring him open. “God you feel so wet, so tight for me.” Kissing his spine, he bit the raven’s ass cheek playfully, eliciting a low whine. “You’re always so impatient.” Moving a third and final finger in, he curled his fingers and moved forward, searching for the raven’s sweet spot.

“Come on, baby. Give it to me.”

With another push, Levi cried out loudly, burying his head into the mattress as Eren continued the movements against his prostate. Levi grabbed a handful of pillows and shoved one into his mouth as he felt a shudder run through his body and his gaze grew hazy as he felt Eren’s warm body on top of his, the pillow was taken from him, and his teeth grazed Levi’s ear. 

“I want to fucking hear you,” the younger man growled hitting the sweet spot again and again with Levi’s pants and cries filling the bedroom.

Moving his fingers back, Eren plunged them once more and captured Levi’s lips in his own, swallowing his moan as he reached around to grab Levi’s cock, straightening them both, and pumped him twice before he released himself all over the brunet’s hand. 

Levi slowly opened his eyes, and drunkenly peered at Eren with a cheeky grin. “I thought you wanted to hear me, hmm?”

“Who said we were done?” 

Flipping Levi over to his back, he placed Levi’s legs over his shoulders, kissing the wounded ankle once before lining himself up at Levi’s entrance. “Tell me if –“ 

Levi sat up and kissed Eren, effectively silencing him as he settled back onto his elbows, nodding impatiently. “I’ll tell you to stop if anything.”

Eren moved forward, sheathing himself into Levi’s warm entrance, hissing underneath his breath before moaning towards the ceiling, “You feel so good, Levi. So, fucking good.”

Exhaling a shaky breath, Levi arched his back until the unpleasant sensation resided. “Move, Eren.” 

Eren snapped his hips forward, gripping onto the hips of the older man as he lost himself into the warm embrace as he gained momentum. Levi wiggled beneath him, breathing mixed with panting and he crunched up and sought out Eren’s lips. Slowing his thrust to meet him halfway, the raven broke the kiss with a cry as the position hit his prostate directly.

“Ahh, Eren…yes, right there.” He groaned, biting his lip as he felt his toes curl and a familiar warmth spread throughout his body as Eren picked up his pace, hitting his sweet spot repeatedly. 

Mewling in pleasure, Levi felt himself reach higher planes within himself. He never gave himself over to a partner so freely and openly before, but everything felt so right with Eren. His beautiful Eren who gave him more than any other partner ever had. Levi knew he had a lot more maturing left in his emotional life, and he wasn’t naïve to believe Eren would fix his problems, but with an understanding man by his side, he felt whole again. 

Together and time was what he was granted, and Levi relished in the second chance at the love he was given. Seeing Eren above him, face filled with not only pleasure but of love, filled Levi’s heart with hope and made him ache. Desperate for more contact, Levi dropped one leg down, and sensing the change, Eren draped himself over Levi, drawing him in closer and kissing him breathless while keeping their rhythm.

Levi wanted this feeling of intimacy, of loving arms embracing him into a new-found warmth, to be seared into his mind’s memory forever.

Crossing his legs behind the brunet’s back, Levi pulled him in even closer within himself, Eren cursed and licked the shell of the raven’s ear before murmuring sweet nothings into the air.  Levi dragged his nails against the tan man’s back, feeling the muscles constrict underneath his touch before encircling the man’s neck. Feeling a pleasing pressure building within himself, he felt himself clenching around Eren’s cock, gasping aloud before he captured his swollen lips with his own. They held each other, rocking back and forth on sync, Eren plummeting forward as Levi met every thrust, his whimpers edging him on.

Eren leaned his weight into his hand against the mattress, pressing Levi against the blankets. Eren moaned, thrusting into the tightness, feeling himself edging toward his peak, his movements became erratic. 

“Levi,” he breathed out gruffly causing his own heat to rise, “Ahh, I’m close.” 

Levi gasped as he felt himself blindly searching for Eren’s other hand, who captured it quickly before securing it above his head, lacing their fingers together. Nailing the raven’s sweet spot once more at a slightly different angle, Levi felt his eyesight turn white as he arched his back and felt his abdomen covered with warm liquid from his second release.

A low rumbling escaped Eren’s throat as he thrusted once more and released deep within Levi, slouching forward in order to catch his breath. The raven mentally growled, slightly disappointed that Eren was wearing a condom and didn’t release himself into him raw and freely. Resting against Levi, nuzzling his forehead against the other, as their breathing mingled together and he released an affectionate chuckle as Levi blushed beneath him deeply, a small smile escaped his lips.

The brunet eased out of Levi, capturing his lips as he stiffed a groan from the release.

Eren began to trail lazy kisses along Levi’s body, gently messaging his lower body to try to offset any soreness later. Levi smiled into the touch, leaning into the expert hands working throughout his tense muscles.

Eren wanted to show him how he felt; loved, cherished, and completely adored. Everything he knew Levi deserved.

They briefly cuddled, enjoying slow kisses and caressing each other tenderly before they both stilled and enjoyed the comfort of one another. When Eren suggested a bath and food before their second round, Levi couldn’t help but feel elated within the depths of his soul. 

“Sounds perfect,” he sighed, pressing a kiss against Eren’s chest as he snuggled closer into the warm, caring embrace.

Chapter Text

Eren shoved noodles into his mouth, chopsticks clicking methodically in the air, circling over the white takeout containers before the cheap wood sticks dive into the furthest box and jerk out a crunchy egg roll. Humming in approval, Eren moves the nourishment by Levi, wiggling it joyously in the air attempting to gain his attention with a sharp pleasant hum. The older man, who was currently leaning forward dumping rice onto his plate, side glances the hovering food. Smirking, he moves in to take a bite but the item is snatched quickly away and Eren steals a kiss from Levi instead. Blinking in surprise, the raven growls playfully as he nips at the brunet’s lips who whines in return, bringing the egg roll back within reach of the raven’s mouth who takes a generous bite. Chuckling happily, Eren devoured the remaining roll and continued on to the rest of the containers. 

Even though the brunet is completely in his element and is not at all self-conscious at how he is inhaling his food, Levi couldn’t help feeling, as he witnesses Eren pushing two dumplings into his bottomless pit, that he’s the luckiest man in the world. 

Though he feels impressed Eren can fit so much into his mouth, his thoughts briefly move to how that will prove quite nicely in the bedroom, but his thoughts are rapidly interrupted as he furrows his brows at the growing concern of a potential choking incident. “Oi, chew your food! I don’t need to make another trip to the hospital because you forgot how to swallow.”

“I’ll show you I can swallow” he quips, laughing quietly as he senses rather than sees the older man’s blush. Nudging him playfully before leaning against him to pick off his plate Levi shoves him back upright on the couch.

“And this is called what again?” he asks gesturing to the TV, taking the plate the raven shoved into his lap to use instead of eating directly from the containers. 

“Gunther recommended it. It’s called 10 Things I Hate About You,” Levi replies, feeling secretly pleased when Eren starts to load his plate with additional items from their Chinese spread before adding to his own plate. 

“Hmm, that’s a lot of reasons to hate someone. I can see why they broke up.”

“I think you’re missing the point of this.”

“Someone takes time to make a list of 10 reasons they loathe a person? Sounds more like a thriller slash horror movie. And the murder takes a swipe with his machete as he lists the reasons why he hates the person he is murdering.”

Levi shrugged, reaching over to eat from Eren’s plate. “He said it’s his favorite movie and has and I quote, ‘bought it multiple times on different formats’ or so he says.”

Eren eyed him suspiciously as Levi shrugged again moving to the remote to hit the play button. “He’s a lonely man. Who enjoys the Hallmark channel. And chick flicks.”

After their morning cuddles and a quick shower with Eren throwing the bedsheets into the laundry after making the bed fresh and inviting with new bedding, Eren set off to grab takeout from Levi’s favorite Chinese restaurant several blocks away. Refusing the raven’s money swiftly, he promptly lifted the raven and proceeded to build him a small pillow fort of comfort and love on the couch. Levi allowed himself to be spoiled, enjoying the brunet fretting over him, even suggesting improvements on the fort that would be beneficial for them both. Adding two more pillows for good measure and insuring Levi’s foot was properly elevated, Eren grabbed a glass of ice water for his boyfriend. Taking a long drink, Eren moved over to the raven to say goodbye and placed the glass down and swooped in for a kiss. Opening his mouth and tilting Levi’s chin up, he deposited water into the raven’s mouth, pushing in a small ice cube. 

Slightly surprised, Levi moaned into the kiss, feeling water trickle out the sides of his mouth. Breaking the kiss, Eren gently tilted his head to lick the water droplets from Levi’s chin before moving on to kiss his face and eventually his eyelids. Levi shivered at the icy cool contact, blissfully happy as warmth spread throughout his body making his cheeks flush. Feeling the familiar bout of emotional embarrassment, Levi cleared his throat and tossed Eren’s messy hair playfully as he straightened, battling his partner’s hand away, “Ok brat, be careful and come home safely.”

Eren stilled, his eyes widening as they concentrated on Levi as his hands hovered on the back of his pant’s pocket, his phone slipping from his fingers and clattered nosily on the floor beneath him, magnifying the silence between them.

Shit, Levi! Scare the poor -

“Home?” He whispered, nervously licking his lips as his fingers marginally twitched behind him.

Levi’s mouth ran dry as he stared back at Eren, his mind slowly processing the brunet’s question over the roaring of his own heartbeat.

Pursing his thin lips tightly, he opened his mouth to speak but a low rasp erupted. Frowning in annoyance that his words completely failed him, he snapped his mouth shut looking down and began to absently pick at the corner of a random pillow. 

Breathing out slowly he closed his eyes and lifted his head in Eren’s direction. “It’s nice having you here.” Opening his eyes, he looked at Eren and squared his shoulders. “I know it’s too early for things like ‘moving in’ and shit but, damn it Eren, I like you here. I fucking like it. And that feeling doesn’t...I’m not scared at all, I feel the opposite - calm and happy.”

Eren’s ocean eyes sparkled before him, making Levi’s gaze drift to the side and he rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly as Eren continued to gape at him in shock. Clearing his throat, he leaned forward to grab the remote, hoping to busy his mind with mindless activity. “My wallet is on the table if you change your mind for the takeout -“

The younger man was a brown whirl running towards him, gently topping him over onto the pillows as he buried his head into Levi’s neck, laughing carefree as he placed kisses all along the raven’s jaw. 

“Eren!” Levi vibrated with laughter as his body was engulfed by soft pillows and strong arms. 

The brunet’s hand snaked underneath Levi’s shirt, gently clawing the pale surface sending goosebumps littering across his skin. Levi’s body lifted into Eren’s touch as the younger man lifted the shirt higher and his hand twisted and pinched Levi’s nipple.

“Eren...” Levi repeated his name dreamily, sighing contentedly as his hand carcasses Eren’s unruly locks.

The younger man pulled the raven’s sweatpants down and cupped his hardening cock, pumping it in rhythm. “Levi” he breathily whispered sinking closer to the older man for a kiss.

Levi groaned into the kiss, parting his lips open to allow Eren’s tongue entrance as he attempted to sit up and blindly reached for the hem of the brunet’s pants. Growling into the kiss, he pulled back and leaned his forehead on the younger man’s. “Off” he panted, tugging at the jeans impatiently, “Now.”

Humming happily, Eren quickly pulled back and hastily kicked off his pants as Levi sat up on his hands, his left dipping into the seam of the couch cushions and hit a hard substance. Frowning in confusion, his fingers encircled the item and pulled out a small bottle with a square foil wrapped in a red bow. 

Turning the item slowly in his hand, he blinked twice and met Eren’s gaze chucking sheepishly. 

Eren cocked a brow and fixed Levi with a salacious grin.

“Aww baby, that looks heavy. Let me have that” He purred, plucking the lube from his partner, flipping the cap off, drizzling his fingers with the liquid. 

Levi swallowed hungrily, he had to remember to send Gunther a thank you gift for lovingly littering his home with lube and condoms. 

And to remember to get the spare key to his apartment from the horny enabler.

Eren kissed Levi breathless as he worked him open; inserting his fingers in tenderly, scissoring him as he pumped his throbbing cock, using the precum to moisten his hand. Twisting at the base before his fingers curled and hit Levi’s sweet spot with the right amount of force, forcing him to cry out and pant as blinding white stars danced before his eyes.

His hips rose from the couch as he sought out Eren’s touch, feeling heat coil in his lower abdomen. He was close, too close, and he craved more of the brunet’s genuine spirit. He not only wanted to enjoy the moment of intense pleasure, but of the undeniable feeling of love that Eren provided so freely and abundantly. Eren wore his heart on his sleeve, and Levi had never felt so relieved to have a partner who was not only open about his affection, but in his pride for his partner and relationship. Levi knew without a doubt this was not part of the honeymoon stage, but in whom the brunet was as an openly devoted individual.

“Eren” he moaned, pushing the brunet gently back by the shoulders, willing him to stop before he completely came undone.

Capturing the raven’s lips once more, Eren allowed himself to be pushed back as he nipped his partner’s lips. “Levi…” he whispered hungrily.

Rising up, he swiftly pushed his partner fully back into the couch cushions and straddled the brunet. Eren’s eyes grew wide in awe as he pulled his knees up and Levi adjusted his legs securely around him.

“Ok…?” Levi hesitatingly asked, feeling his anxiety rise at the change of position. He had been in this position before yet he never felt as self-conscious as he did in this moment.

Maybe at this angle he wouldn’t appear to be the stunningly epic porn star he hoped he would look but a deflated blow up doll attempting to balance on a pogo stick. 

Internally sighing, he felt his insecurity was winning the battle. He wasn’t the best in this position and had a bruised ego along with swearing off men for a while; having thrusted too hard with a previous partner who ended up smacking his head against the headboard, he remembered being thrown off roughly and hit the ground hard in one blow as his date promptly stormed out of the apartment yelling all sorts of profanity in his wake. Levi sported a bruise on the side of his face for a week and blocked that man within the hour. What if he would force Eren back to the hospital with a concussion and a bad sexual experience - 

Eren’s hands held Levi’s hips firmly and he squeezed them before moving his thumbs further down. Circling the raven’s hip bones tenderly, he applied additional pressure making Levi tip his head back as an electric current shot down his body, making his cock twitch in anticipation. 

Searching for the raven’s eyes, Eren held his gaze as he spoke softly. “This is perfect. You are perfect. Whatever you want, sweetheart. Whatever you want.” Moving the tip of his fingers up and down the curve of Levi’s body, relying on the sweet simplicity of touch, committing everything dip and bend to memory.   

Levi blinked as he ducked his head, a small dust of pink tinted his checks as he nodded, feeling warmth and reassurance spread from his mind and sink deep within his soul.

This was something he had to learn, or maybe even to re-learn, to steady himself with and allow to grow within himself. To love and allow himself to be loved.

Taking a deep breath, Levi hoisted himself above Eren and took hold of his cock, lining himself up against his entrance. Eren released a low hiss between his teeth as Levi slowly lowered himself, mouth open in a silent ‘o’ as he allowed himself to adjust to the pain filled pleasure of his length.

Fuck, this was better than anything he could have imagined.

The pace he created was slow and sensual, bouncing on Eren’s cock and rolling his hips as words of encouragement and adoration fell from the bartender’s lips in waves, healing and wrapping him tightly, feeling the strings of his heart pull.

He gained momentum, breathing out moans of pleasure as Eren observed from below, enjoying Levi find his own rhythm in their love-making.


Eren felt Levi start to tire and instead of flipping him over, which Levi expected, Eren brought his lips to the older man for a slow, lazy kiss, and began to snap his hips skyward. Each thrust brought Levi to the brink of tears as his prostate was hit, breath hitching as his legs encircled Eren’s torso, trapping Levi’s cock between them with the perfect amount of friction.  

Sloppy lazy kisses were shared between them as Eren’s pace became hectic, Levi’s moans urging him on as he placed one arm down for support against the wall of the couch. 

“God, Eren…”

“I love how tight and warm you feel against me.”

Levi cried out as he coated Eren’s stomach with white ribbons and within a few more thrusts, Eren grabbed onto Levi’s hips painfully tight as he gave a throated groan.


Lying the older man back onto the couch, Eren disappeared only to reappear carrying a damp washcloth and proceeded to clean Levi up before tucking him back into the cushions, readjusting their fort and dressing hurriedly.

“Hungry…” he mumbles lazily into the cozy cocoon, closing his eyes as he feels a dip in the couch. Eyebrows raise in acknowledgement as soft lips grace his cheek.

And with a soft click of the door, Levi was left alone in the apartment, tucked soundly around the pillow fort, missing the warmth of his boyfriend.


 

“I’m happy if your happy” Jean muses into the phone, as Eren slips his wallet back into his pocket and drifts to the quiet waiting area in the restaurant. 

“Connie said he had to pee but walked into the stall instead.” Jean adds. “He was worried Gunther would want to compare swords or something.”

Eren snorted at the visual, gazing out of the messy hand streaked floor length window into the busy streets of the city. “That sounds like something Gunther would literally do.” 

“Yea well, leave it up to you to find all the fucking weirdos in the world.”

Thoughts of the older man waiting for him back home drifted pleasantly into his mind. Promises of continued cuddling, laughter, dates, and new beginnings hung rich in the air. 

“Just my little weirdo” Eren replied softly, watching the world pass him by with a deeper kind of joy, because for the first time in a long time since his mother died, he felt truly at peace.

 

 

Chapter Text

Six Months Later

 

Narrowing his eyes at the bar’s entrance, Eren sighed dramatically, releasing aggravated huffs of breath from the corner of his mouth. Rolling his head between his shoulder blades he stuffed his phone back underneath the register as he rolled his shoulders in an attempt to release his building frustration. Before walking away, he shot his phone a withering stare but the damn thing just snuffed its own light out as if it were flipping him off. 

“Why so glum, turtle drum?” Jean asked, moving behind Eren as he replenished the bar station with ice. 

“He said he was going to try to make it tonight. I feel like I haven’t been able to see much of him since I’ve picked up half of Armin’s shifts and started stupid fucking school!” Eren slapped the lids shut on the fruit stations angrily. “Whose idea was it to start fucking school in the fall?!!”

Jean gave him a pointed look as he popped his hip out. “Really? Dude, I get that you need to get laid, but grow a fucking pair will ya? You’re an adult now – do the adulting thing! Armin’s grandpa wanted to go see jolly ol’ England so he took what, two weeks off to go with him? the dude is old so of course he went with him!! He’ll be back next week!” Moving to adjust his fez further back he eyed Eren critically. “Don’t you guys live together anyway?”

Eren’s face grew hot as he pouted his lips and looked away, wiping the bar down before moving to wash a couple of glasses he continued to sulk. “No! I’ve been dropping hints but he hasn’t said anything. Plus, he’s been out of town since Monday, business trip or some shit like that. He was going to get in late tonight and said he’d stop by if he could.”

Jean whistled as he mixed a drink and ran the awaiting customer up smoothly. “Business trip. Fancy. I’m ready to do fancy shit that gets me jetted around the world like that. Imagine, me doing deals on the beach while sipping margaritas. Just missing the nice eye candy.”

Eren rolled his eyes as a patron came over to the bar; for a Thursday night, it was slim pickings especially with classes at the university resuming. Didn’t anyone believe in thirsty Thursdays anymore?

“Look Eren, you’re going to be busy and so is he. It sucks, but you guys are still figuring your shit out. Marco and I have conflicting schedules, but I stay up later or get my ass up earlier, or he’ll try to get the same days off as I do. But that doesn’t always work out since he’s usually on call…but the point is, it’s doable, but it’s hard.” Fixing Eren with an amused expression, he quickly added with a flick of his wrist. “That’s what she said.”

Nodding a greeting to the approaching patron, he leaned up against the bar as another customer stumbled over. “Hey there, what can I get ya?”

The patron eyed Eren wearily as he stumbled onto the bar stool. “What the fuck are you supposed to be?” 

Eren gritted his teeth as he forced out a painful smile, tonight was not his night. It wasn’t the first time Levi left on a trip to work or the first time they had conflicting schedules especially when he started classes in the Fall with Jean and balancing his two jobs, but with spotty cell phone and internet connection, it made Facetiming harder and phone sex was left to the imagination when the lagging came into play. 

Especially when Eren held his cock in his hand, breathing heavily into the phone, asking Levi if he was ready to bend over and take it – only to find out the call dropped and he had been talking to himself for over a minute. Bruised ego furthered when his calls to Levi kept going directly to voicemail and he had to finish off with a sadden dick which left him feeling worse off and even more sexually frustrated than before.

He didn’t want to be needy, but dammit did he miss his boyfriend. Though they spent most of their time at Levi’s apartment, Eren had been mulling the idea of moving in together; shopping for their weekly groceries together, cuddling on the couch and bitching about their days with shitty customers or business deals gone wrong, late-night cramming sessions mixed with contract negotiations, it all seemed ideal to him.   

His patience was thinning and with the extra shifts and school, polite chitchat was the furthest thing from his mind, but work was work and tips were life!

 “This week’s theme is Disney characters; I’m Flynn Ryder and that guy over there -” he gestured toward Jean who was refilling the bottles in the fridge, taking care to face all the labels forward, “is Aladdin.”

The customer blinked sleepily at him as he squinted his eyes together. “How…How citrusy is your cider?”

Eren blinked once. “Pretty citrusy.” 

“How hoppy is your IPA?”

“Pretty hoppy.”

“How dark is your Guinness?”

Eren felt his teeth would break from the strain of his smile as he felt his right check twitch involuntarily and he felt his eyes narrow despite his protests. “Dark as my thoughts are towards you.”

The man blinked. “What?”

“What?” Eren asked feigning surprise as he straightening from his position and produced a random drink of vodka and water. 

The man blinked slowly and pulled the drink closer to him as he produced a wad of sweaty cash towards Eren who eyed it disapprovingly before sorting the bills out on the bar. 

“I should have been Flynn. Amazing guys need to represent each other. You could have been stupid Aladdin.”

Rolling his eyes at Jean’s comment, Eren punched the register too forcefully making the till pin in agony. “You were the one who wanted our costumes to match saying they were both outlaws with a heart of gold.” Closing the register, he moved passed Jean. “Or is it because I’m darker? Man Jean, your racist.” 

Jean snorted as he regarded Eren with impatience. “No, you moron, because – you know what? Doesn’t matter! Flynn was a douche anyway and at least Aladdin had his sidekick.”

“Flynn had a sidekick! Maximus!”

“That wasn’t even his sidekick! They didn’t have a real relationship until like 30 minutes into the movie. The creators probably felt sorry for him.”

“What, were you like in the movie?”

“You know what? Fuck you! I’m sticking with Aladdin; my pecks are perfect and my character set the bar high for all the other Disney Princes.”

“I can’t believe I’m even arguing with you about this!” Eren muttered cleaning the last of the dishes. He sighed, knowing he was being a dick to his friend, yet he couldn’t stop his irritation from seeping directly from him, and the lack of tips was further souring his mood. “I’m going to send Connie home, tonight’s a bust anyhow. Plus, I think his Tarzan wig is making him brake out in a weird rash on his head.”

Jean nodded in agreement looking towards the stage; Mina was performing her heart out to a nearly empty room. It was a good opportunity to try out new material since she’ll have it perfected come the weekend, but he couldn’t help cringing at the crappy tips she’ll be receiving tonight. Catching something at the corner of the room, he lifted a brow in greeting. “Sure, but first, check that out.”

Eren turned and followed Jean’s outstretched hand towards the stage. Mina had finished her set and the lights directed at the stage flickered off. A dark blue light illuminated the background while a lone figure walked center stage carrying a mic stand before prompting it up and began fiddling with the stand, adjusting the height. Without a spotlight, the figure was wrapped in darkness but the individual was short to be sure, but Eren wasn’t even aware they were attempting a karaoke night again.

Sometimes when business was slow Hange would let the dancers take a longer break while a couple of drunk patrons would try their hands at singing. And if it was a practically grueling slow night, the staff would try their hand at auditioning for their version of The Voice stripper style. Hanging upside down from the stripper pole while belting a Panic! at the Disco song was not always an easy task, but Armin could always make it look flawless. Blond hair swirling about him, tossing it cheekily over his shoulder as he smiled with his blue eyes, captivating the audience like witchcraft – his song of choice always left everyone spellbound. The crowd always went wild for him, and once he even got a standing ovation with Hange cheering the loudest and trying to convince him to audition in real life, in which he turned red as a tomato and hid his face behind his hands.

When Eren finally had a few shots in him, he struggled to twirl around the pole to an Amy Winehouse song, and ended up slipping and conducted a split on the ground, ripping his jeans down the seam of his ass and screaming at the top of his lungs in bloody murder as he felt something tear deep within his body. Reiner kept a straight face when he pealed Eren off the ground, much to his relief, and after he iced his balls, limped out of the club with what little dignity remained. Jean and Connie made so many blue ball jokes, they created a signature drink in his honor; the deep blue sea.

Shrugging he turned back to Jean. “What? Want to try your hand at karaoke or something? I’ll support you, but I’m not getting back up there. My balls are still recovering.” 

His friend smiled and leaned his forehands onto the bar staring at the stage. “I always thought it took a lot of courage for someone to get out there and try that out. Even if they know going into it they suck at singing or will end up being a huge train wreck - they’re still up there.” He nodded again, feeling the buzz of eagerness for the performance. “I can respect that.”

Eren tilted his head at Jean’s thoughtful tone and looked back at the stage. “Yea,” he added shrugging. “I guess so.” 

The singer paused, coughing anxiously into his hand before raising it to strike a pose; one hand behind him in the air while the other held the microphone off to the side as his front leg stood on its toes. The main lights on the stage were still off, but the pose impressed Eren as a smirk caressed his lips as the figure seemed to gain confidence, it felt infectious and he silently hoped the singer would perform well.

Eren licked his lips, feeling the building amount of excitement before a live concert; the anticipation, the buildup, the glorious energy of the crowd all rested on the shoulders of how the performer would captivate the audience. Taking a quick survey of the crowd, he took notice of the small gathering – would there be more performers? Turning his attention back to the vocalist, he witnessed the rise and fall of the singer’s lithe shoulders, and a voice broke against the silence; smooth, deep, raspy, Eren’s eyes widened as his jaw dropped in amazement at the sheer amount of power and determination the singer possessed. 

“You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off you”

 

“Not a bad voice” Jean mused side-glancing at Eren deviously.

Eren smiled recalling the song from his movie night with Levi. “His voice is too good for karaoke! Have you seen the movie – HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!” 

Eren froze, mouth open mid-way as he felt it run dry as his eyes bulged out of his skull. The stage lights flipped on to reveal the singer; Levi.

Standing in the center in all his glory was memorizing, but the brightness of the spotlight seemed to temporarily blind him as he adjusted to the brightness, hand rising to shed his eyes as he turned away. Eren noticed the singer’s mouth press into a thin line as his Adam’s apple rose and fell, his grey orbs darted over to the bar area where his gaze clashed with ocean ones. Purpose filled his dazzling eyes as he grinned wildly at Eren’s expression, he seemed to be completely in his element, swinging his hips and throwing his shoulders back as the music picked up the tempo.

 

“I love you baby
And if it's quite all right
I need you baby
To warm the lonely nights
I love you baby
Trust in me when I say-”

 

The raven was truly feeling the moment, moving the mic stand to the side he started to sway a little in place and started to slowly take his turn around the stage. More stragglers wandered over to the stage and scattered themselves around the seating area. The bar was littering with other employees giggling and whispering, sneaking glances at Eren and recording the performance on their phones.

 

“Oh pretty baby
Don't bring me down I pray”

 

Levi turned dramatically and caught the mic’s cord on his shoe and came down hard on one knee as the cord ripped from the microphone with a screeching wail and the music stopped with a gaudy cry. The crowd, including Eren, winced openly and hissed through their teeth as they all felt the pain and embarrassment of the singer tenfold. Levi’s head snapped up and his eyes widened in horror as the blood drained from his face, momentarily stunned and at a loss at his next move.

Eren took a step forward and licked his lips anxiously as he felt Levi’s discomfort spread forth like waves from the stage. Eyeing the ledge of the bar, he was about to jump over the platform and run over to his boyfriend when a voice from the crowd erupted.


“Oh pretty baby!!!!!!”

 

Eren and the employees simultaneously looked at the direction of the voice as if it were a siren’s call, seeing a tall man standing with his hands cupping his mouth, shaking his ass from one of the tables.

“Come on, Levi! You got this!!” 

“Is that Gunther?” Reiner asked, stepping out from the cluster of employees and squinted at the sight, voice amused, alight with sexual curiosity.

A man sharing the table stood and started to wave his phone in the air as the song’s melody cracked over the phone’s speakers.

Three men stood to join the other two as they all shouted in various tone-deaf pitches, “Oh pretty baby!!!!!!!!”

Levi openly smiled, relief flooding his features as his skin took on its usual paleness as he raised himself from the ground, kicking his injured leg to the side as if he was trying to shake off the pain. Holding the mic in his hand, he turned it slightly as he shrugged and tossed the device to the side of the stage and smiled embarrassedly as the thud echoed through the room as it filled with laughter from the audience. Flicking his head in Eren’s direction, the brunet let out a low growl of approval and felt his chest swell with pride as Levi resumed his ballad.

 

“Oh pretty baby!!!!!!”

 

The crowd cheered as Levi took on a wide stance, throwing his head back, raven hair falling magically around him as if it were his halo as he spread his arms out wide. Truly mesmerized at the sight before him, Connie wrapped his arm around the brunet’s shoulders with a smug smile and placed his hand gently under Eren’s chin and slowly closed his jaw. The employees around him snickered but he felt he was completely beyond their teasing, their banter barely reaching his ears; he was completely enraptured.

Levi was his siren, his alone, and he would hear his call till the end of time. 


“Now that I've found you stay
And let me love you, baby”

 

He glanced toward Eren and tossed his bangs away from his face as he pointed at the brunet who felt he would swoon at any minute. His pants were painfully tight as Levi flipped his hand over, palm up and sensually pulled his arm towards his body fulfilling the melody.


“Let me love you”

 

The crowd exploded in applause as Levi puffed his checks in a mixture of relief and enthusiasm and bowed, slightly wincing as his knee throbbed.

“That’s my boyfriend!” Eren animatedly cried as he jumped the bar and ran over to the stage. Bounding the steps to the raven, he grabbed the older man into the air and spun them both thoroughly about the stage. Genuine laughter filled the air as Eren looked up to Levi as the raven cupped his face.

“That was…” Eren stopped, too dazed to finish his thought. He was in complete awe of the man he held tightly in his arms, tears began pooling in his eyes as the raven’s sparkled with a deep intensity of its own.

Carefully moving to his side, Levi leaned his head against the brunet’s soft locks.

“Eren” he softly began, stomach fluttering as he pulled his hand out of his pocket, dangling a key tied to a leather strap between them.  “Fucking move in with me. You probably deserve someone better but I swear no one wants to wake up to your fucking face as much as I do.” 

Silent tears streamed down Eren’s face as he dipped his head forward and Levi slipped the necklace on, fingers teasing the hair at the nape of his neck. 

Gazing at the raven with admiration shining in his eyes he cleared his throat chuckling, “Now that’s romantic.”

“Awwwww!”

Collective voices rang tenderly in the air.

Blinking in surprise, ocean and grey eyes turned to observe their audience; Jean’s arm was around Connie’s shoulders who was beaming with his phone in his hand, capturing the memorable moment. Gunther and Eld whipped tears from their eyes sharing relieved and affectionate glances at one another before they hugged. Mike and Erwin toasted their glasses to the couple as they downed the rest of their drinks as Oluo crossed his arms and rolled his eyes in mock annoyance.

Eren radiated with joy as he looked back at Levi whose delicately pale cheeks blossomed a brilliant shade of red, head ducking into the crock of his neck. He chuckled slightly, adjusting his grip on the singer, placing sloppy kisses along the man’s cheek and neck.

“I think we just came full circle.” Eren murmured, as Levi pulled back with a questioning brow. 

“Eren, what the fuck are you wearing?”

Eren shifted Levi’s body to carry him bridal style. As the raven circled his arms around the brunet’s neck, he shot Levi a goofy smile, wiggling his eyebrows affectionately. “What? Don’t recognize your knight in shining armor, baby?”

Levi rolled his eyes but tightened his grip as Eren turned and descended the stage. “That sounded like a load of shit,” Levi replied, but his tone held no real malice as affection filled his grey eyes forcing Eren to do a double-take because he could swear he saw them turn a pale blue.  

Eren smirked and bounced on the balls of his feet, using the momentum to throw Levi over his shoulder and gave him a hard smack across his ass. The raven squeaked, feeling the blood rush across his body reaching the tips of his toes.

“EREN!” Jean called, forcing the brunet to enthusiastically turn which made Levi sway to and fro behind him. Jean possessed a shit-eating grin, seeing Eren smiling like a love-sick fool made him know Eren would be well taken care of in all aspects of his life. Snickering fondly, he added, “Where the fuck do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going where I belong, boys!” Eren answered, twirling back around in which Levi swung and hit the younger man’s backside, chuckling slightly at the whole turn of events of not only tonight but of his life.

After gripping all week about the lack of Eren in his life, Gunther brought up the same question Levi had been mulling around for months; if he asked, would Eren move in with him? Would the younger man think it was too soon to even consider such a thing? Did people even do that anymore? Move in with their partner on the simple truth that they were in love even if it was a few months? What if Eren didn’t want to live with him but secretly wanted to break up with him? Levi squashed the thoughts immediately, impatient with himself and his lapse of insecurity. Levi knew what he wanted, and on the plane ride back, Gunther had the brilliant idea of an outrageously romantic gesture in which Levi just scoffed and turned his attention to the window.

“Levi were landing in an hour” Gunther gestured madly with his drink in his hand, spilling some of the contents onto his skin which he noisily lapped up much to Levi’s disdain. “Remember? Pushing those boundaries? Everything started when you wanted to blow off some steam and push yourself out of your comfort zone. You’re a brave man, Levi Ackerman. A damn brave man, so don’t turn chicken shit on me now!”

Levi turned his steel eyes back at his best friend and turned to look at his untouched drink set before him. The ice cubes shifted within the glass causing a slight bubble to rise above the dark liquid’s surface.

He felt butterflies explode in his stomach as he recounted Gunther’s plan of attack. “You watch too many rom-coms” Levi muttered, bringing the drink to his lips and barely took a sip of the contents.

“What can I say? I’m a romantic at heart” he chuckled and gestured to Levi with his drink in hand giving him a meaningful look in his eyes that conveyed his deep understanding of the raven, “and you’re a romantic fool who requires a lifeline. I’m telling you, Levi, I’m sure we’ll be reborn in a million other lifetimes and we’ll still be best friends in every single one of them.”

Levi eyed Gunther with a mixture of gratitude, hope, and apprehensiveness. How did he always seem to get himself into these types of situations? Thoughts of his green-eyed monster swirled in his head and he released a deep sigh.

It was because he was in love, and he would do anything for his brat. But looking at Gunther wave animatedly at a flight attendant to order another drink, he couldn’t help but feel his bond with Gunther grow even more, clenching his heart so soundly that he knew Gunther would always be a part of his family. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he contributed his major turning point in his life to Gunther, though he would never tell the man that.

Gunther grabbed his fresh drink from the flirty flight attendant and gave Levi a cheeky grin.

Responding in kind with a small half-smile, Levi raised his glass and cleared his throat to chase away the emotions that threatened to overtake him. Since when did he become such an emotional person? But he knew with every fiber in his being this was his true path; friends, love, and a good life.  

“To life.”

Gunther sensed Levi’s sudden change of attitude, giving him a small smile in return. He adjusted himself in his seat to his full height and looked at Levi evenly. His eyes blurred a bit with tears shimmering in the dull light of the plane as he ran a hand through his hair. “Levi, I -” however, Gunther stopped short as Levi quickly shook his head, halting Gunther’s words as he fixed his gaze on the drink tray. He knew where that conversation was going to head; Gunther was great at words, and he couldn’t bear the thought of crying on a plane in front of strangers.

“Gunther, your too good at that deep emotional shit. Spare my soul from your Hallmark touchy feelings because I am not going to cry like a damn baby on this –“

Gunther’s heavy hand fell on Levi’s shoulder, squeezing it fondly. Levi slowly side glanced Gunther before turning his head to the other man fully. He didn’t want to cry, but this moment seemed to be on the brink of it.

“To life.” Gunther whispered, clinking his glass lightly against Levi’s, he held it in midair as he waited for Levi to nod in acknowledgment as the raven raised his own glass to which they finished off their drinks in comfortable silence.

Breaking him from his thoughts, Levi heard Eren’s soothing voice reach him.

“Let’s go home, love,” Eren said softly to Levi, who peered up at him with an amused expression and a raised brow in response.

“Will you be putting me down?” Levi asked, waving his hand dismissively before him as he propped his head up with it in mid-air. “Or are you carrying me off like this?”

Eren slapped his ass playfully. “Why the fuck not” he answered, marching towards the front door. “I’ll take what’s mine.”

“Crush it so hard your penis tingles a bit!” Eld howled after the retreating figures as he sat back at their table.

“I put condoms in your wallet!” Gunther called to the duo that had reached the door. “That’s what best friendsdo!” 

The couple disappeared through the door while the men looked at Jean expectedly who stared back at them in confusion.

“What? I still didn’t put condoms in his wallet!” Jean raised his arms in a half shrug as he looked at the group who stared back at him in disappointment. He couldn’t help but feel like he was being slightly judge and his growing confusion simmered into annoyance. “What?!”

Clicking his tongue and taking the seat beside Eld, Gunther looked at Jean regretfully. “Way to drop the ball, Jean-boy.” 

“There’s only one way to rectify your transgressions” Oluo quipped placing his hands-on Jean’s shoulders and squeezed them crudely before pushing him towards the stage. 

Jean stumbled on the steps as he slowly made his way up onto the stage and turned towards the small table.

“Dance, monkey boy!” Mike bellowed in laughter as the table was brought another round of drinks.

Erwin stared at Jean in silence before moving on to his next drink.

Jean blinked twice before standing to his full height, adjusting the small fez on his head as he pulled on the small vest like the cocky son of a bitch he knew he was.

Lifting his hands in the air, he smirked in the direction of Levi’s friends. “If you boys want a show, I’ll give you a show.” Moving to the lone stripper pole off to the side, he called out behind him, “Connie! Play my fucking song!” as he gripped the pole tightly. Several awkward minutes passed as Jean stood still waiting for the music to start. A cough from the table signaled the dwindling attention and Jean tapped his foot impatiently, hands moving to his hips. “Connie!

 “Shut the fuck up! I’m trying to –“

“Try harder!” Jean staged whispered harshly. “My public awaits!”

Connie’s head poked out from behind the curtains with an incredulous look on his face. “Your fucking - what?!” 

Sasha’s voice rang out from behind the curtain silencing both men. “Got it!”

A pounding bass beat sounded followed by electronic chords with a distorted synthesizer voice cracked from the speakers.

 

I’m bringin’ sexy back (yeah)

Them other boys don’t know how to act (yeah)

 

Jean and Connie looked at each other as wicked grins graced their features and a knowing look passed between them. A fez was thrown off to the side as a long-haired wig was tossed toward the men’s table who whopped and hollered with drunken merriment as the men on stage performed their hearts out.

  


 

In an apartment across town, two men made love until the sky erupted into rich hues of purple and orange.

And as Levi stirred from his slumber, sore and aching deliciously from the night’s events, a dark object on his left hand caught his eye; a small piece of leather was wrapped snuggly against his ring finger. Sitting up abruptly, he turned in surprise to the sleeping man beside him who grumbled sleepily but turned to lay on his back. Levi held his breath as Eren settled and extended his palm in front of him, rotating it around in wonder as a lone tear slipped from him.

“I’ll be damned” he whispered whipping his eyes roughly. Of course, his brat would make him cry. Levi looked back at the sleeping brunet and noticed the leather necklace was shorter, but still situated securely around his neck.

Nestling back under the covers he curled his body against his lover’s form.

“Yes,” he answered softly, kissing his chest sweetly as it rose and fell in rhythmic breathing. “I do.”

And just like that, Levi was ready to take on the world.