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Levi stared curiously at the sketchbook that lay on the desk in front of your sleeping form. It couldn’t hurt to take a peek, could it? He wanted to know what it was that took up so much of your time and attention. It wasn’t like he was jealous of a sketchbook or a hobby, but he surely was curious about what it was you were drawing all the damn time. 

Okay, so maybe he was a little jealous. But who could blame him? You carried that sketchbook night and day like it was your lifeline, guarded it fiercely from all who sought to see its contents, and protected it from spills and smears with all you had. Just what was so worth saving in that sketchbook?

He reached out to grab it, but with a twinge, remembered the conversation you had with him only minutes ago before you rested your head on your arms to take a short nap. 


“You seem tired,” Levi said, concerned. 

Your eyes were rimmed with red, and you had been walking with an unsteady gait all day. You kept zoning out all day, even while watching Levi play games, which surprisingly enough usually never happened- you were usually deeply immersed and invested in his gameplay. 

“I’m alright,” you insisted. “I’ll be fine. I just have to walk back to my room—whoa!” 

You tripped, but before you could faceplant straight into the floor, Levi turned and threw an arm in front of you, effectively stopping you from falling. You tipped back onto the soles of your feet.

“You’re not alright. You’ve never tripped like that before.” 

You glanced at him with a fond smile. 

“Luckily you were here to catch me, then.” 

He frowned. 

“You need to rest. And I’m saying this as someone who stays up late into the night several days in a row.” 

You dismissed his worries with a wave of your hand as the two of you continued walking. 

“I’m telling you, I’ll be fine. I’ll rest when I get back to my room.” 

Levi shook his head. He’s serious. He might back down on other things, but your health wasn’t one of those things. 

“No. Here, come to my room, it’s closer.” 

He pulled you into his room, and you blinked slowly. 

“You’re inviting me into your room to rest?” 

He glared at you as he strode across the room and pulled his gaming chair away from his desk. 

“Well, I wouldn’t have to resort to this if you had been resting properly. Here, just sit at the desk and lean your head on it. It’s better than nothing.” 

A lazy smile appeared on your face. He knew that smile. It always came before you teased him. 

“I’d rather rest my head on your lap, Levi.” 

And he was never prepared for you. He felt his cheeks warm, despite willing himself not to blush. 

“Geez, just sit down. You’re lucky I’m letting you stay in my room in the first place,” he complained. 

“Yeah, yeah…” you plopped down on his cushy black chair, rolling it forward and setting your sketchbook in front of you on the desk. But before you did anything, you turned and looked in his eyes. “Hey, you’re not going to look at my sketchbook while I’m asleep, are you?” 

The thought hadn’t even crossed his mind before you said it. Now he was curious, but he’d never admit it. 

“Why would you think that?” he asked instead, stalling for time. 

You shrugged. 

“I mean, everyone, including you, has been begging to see it for months. Otherwise, I wouldn’t ask.” A genuine smile stretched across your lips, although something about it seemed just a little bit melancholy. “But you and I are true best friends, right? Like Henry and the Lord of the Shadows. You wouldn’t look at it without my permission.” 

Levi blushed again, despite himself. He always seemed to do a lot of blushing when you were around. Even though he always said such things about the two of you being the best of friends like in the TSL series, it was different hearing it coming from your mouth. Unable to think of anything else, he simply nodded.

“Yeah. Just rest.” 

You yawned. 

“Okay… Thanks, Levi,” you murmured softly as you laid your head on your arms, which were folded on his desk. 

He watched you for a few moments before turning to his gaming console and plugging in his headphones. 


And that was what had brought him to the current situation. With thoughts of your sketchbook plaguing his mind, there was no way he could just game as it sat there—albeit unopened, but there and unguarded. He tried distracting himself with his long-time favorite games and this season’s newest anime series. But nothing was working. 

He eyed the sketchbook again. Was it so bad if he just flipped through it for a few moments? Nothing was going to happen. You never had to know that he took a look at it. Of course, there was the guilt that would eat away at him for weeks afterward, but he could deal with that when such consequences happened. 

He’d walked over to your sleeping figure moments ago. You were sound asleep, showing no signs of stirring, your breathing slow and regular. Finally, you had peace and quiet. But Levi wasn’t so sure he could manage a few hours or however long you ended up sleeping here without looking at your sketchbook. 

Your words rang in his head once again as he reached out to grab it a second time. 

“But you and I are true best friends, right? Like Henry and the Lord of the Shadows. You wouldn’t look at it without my permission.” 

And he had agreed, like the fool he was—not that what you said was untrue, of course, but it implied tacit compliance to not looking at your sketchbook, and he didn’t think he could resist the temptation. 

After all, as you said, you’d been protecting the contents of the sketchbook from being seen for months now. All of the demon brothers had, at some point, tried to wheedle you into showing them what was in it, a few of them with multiple unsuccessful attempts—one of them being Mammon, of course. 

“Come on! Just a little peek. It couldn’t hurt, could it?” he argued. 

You rolled your eyes and hugged your sketchbook to your chest a little more tightly, staring him down. 

“No, Mammon. No means no. None of it. You’re allowed to see none of it.” 

He let out a sound of frustration, close to the sound of a dog whining, and Levi watched as you stifled your laughter. 

 

And then there was another time, among others.

“Hey human, want some food? I cooked it this morning,” Mammon grinned. 

You eyed it suspiciously, seeing how widely he was smiling. 

“...You’re trying to get something out of me, aren’t you?” 

Mammon almost dropped the plate, shocked. He shouldn’t have been surprised, at this point—he was basically transparent. His motives were always clear as day, and if not his motives, then the nature of his intentions. 

“Wha?! No, uh… I wouldn’t do that!” 

You shook your head, unconvinced. 

“The only time you ever offer me anything is when you want something from me. No, thanks.” 

Mammon’s face dropped, and he slinked back to the dining room like a dog with its tail between its legs. 

Levi snickered. 

“Could he be any less obvious? ROFLMAO what an idiot, as usual.” 

You smiled good-naturedly. 

“It’s alright. Sometimes it’s endearing,” you said. But seeing the dark look on Levi’s face, you hastened to add, “well, just sometimes.” 

 

The twins were almost as eager to know—or at least, if they were equally so, they were less obvious and less doggedly persistent than Mammon. 

“I’ll offer you this deluxe warthog-toad combo burger from Never Burgered Out,” Beel said with a hopeful look on his face. 

You laughed warmly. 

“That’s sweet, Beel, but I’ll have to say no. You enjoy it on your own.” 

He sighed. 

“Well, I had to try.” 

Belphie popped out from behind him with an easygoing smile. 

“Want to come over for a sleepover? You look like you could use some rest.” 

That was pretty believable. And Belphie must know you bring your sketchbook everywhere you go. 

But Levi watched as you shook your head. 

“Thanks, Belphie, but I’ll sleep in my own room. I wouldn’t want to bother you.” 

“You’re never a bother,” Belphie said, which was a high compliment, coming from him. “Drop by anytime.” 

“I appreciate it,” you nodded with a knowing smile. 

 

Satan, who usually never revealed the cards in his hand, had tried his hand at it, too, while Asmo rode on his coattails. 

“Say, what’s in that sketchbook?” Satan said, an inscrutable expression on his face. “Nothing...inappropriate, is it?” 

You chuckled as Asmo watched you closely from the side.

“Inappropriate? Define inappropriate. If there were, would you want to see it?” you teased. 

The edge of Satan’s lips quirked up. 

“I’m certainly not saying I wouldn’t be interested,” he quipped. 

“I would definitely be interested,” Asmo sang. 

Shaking your head exasperatedly, you stood up to leave. 

“Curiosity killed the cat, Satan. Don’t try your luck,” you smiled. “And I wouldn’t show you, either, Asmo.” 

Levi trailed after you, only sparing a fleeting glance at the two dejected demons left behind. He sympathized with them.

 

Even Lucifer had tried to get a look at your sketchbook and failed. 

“Good afternoon. I see you have your sketchbook with you, as usual. Would you mind showing me what’s inside?” he offered a charming smile. “Of course, if you’re worried about others seeing, we could always...go somewhere more private,” he added smoothly. 

You only laughed. 

“Even you, Lucifer? No, I’m not showing you.” 

He straightened up and his red eyes turned serious. 

“I didn’t want to do this the hard way, but as the head of the student council, I have to examine artifacts to be sure that a student’s property isn’t in violation of the school rules. Hand it over.” 

You snorted. 

“No. You have to have probable cause to ask me to show you anything I own, or the student council’s power would be tyranny,” you point out. “Also, we’re not even in school. We’re in the House of Lamentation, so whatever I do with my own time is none of your business.” 

Levi thought he saw frustration flash across Lucifer’s face for a moment, but it was gone as quickly as it came, replaced with a beatific smile. 

“Of course. I’m just concerned, as one of your friends and as the one overseeing the exchange program.” 

You smiled wryly. 

“Concerned, huh? Since when did that become another word for curious? Either way, you’re not my guardian. You appointed Mammon for that. Sure, we’re friends. But what makes you think I’d show you when I don’t even show others?” 

With that, you walked past him briskly, and Levi followed. He had to applaud your courage. Only you dared to speak to Lucifer in such a manner. 

 

Then, he recalled when he had asked. He had been rather straightforward about it. But somehow, this rejection had seemed so much harsher than everyone else’s, he thought enviously. 

“Hey, will you tell me what’s in that sketchbook? You don’t have to show me,” Levi said as he battled a zombie with a cute anime cat girl avatar. He had decided to take a different approach after watching everyone else fail miserably. Maybe he could know what was in it, even without a glimpse. 

“I knew you would ask at some point,” you sighed. “But I’m sorry, Levi. You’re the one who can’t know the most of all seven of you. Not that I would ever show the others, but…” you trailed off in thought. “Well, let’s just keep it at that.” 

He gritted his teeth, flicked his head quickly to get the fringe out of his damn eyes so he could see the screen, and felt his tongue push against his teeth tensely. You must have a good reason for not showing him or telling him what’s in it, he reassured himself. You never did things without a reason. But it still stung, being told that to his face. Perhaps, somewhere deep down, Leviathan had hoped he would be special, different from his brothers, despite how unworthy he knew he was and would be of such treatment. 

“You’re not angry, are you, Levi?” your worried voice tickled at his ears, and he relented inwardly. 

“No, of course not… I wouldn’t be angry at you for that,” he said, but he sounded so much more dismayed than he had meant to. He felt your gaze on him, and it felt so miserable. But why would you be miserable when he was the one being rejected? 

“Sorry, Levi,” you apologized again. You sounded truly contrite. “I promise, there’s a reason. Maybe in a few more years, I’ll show it to you. Or I’ll will it to you after I die,” you laughed. 

Levi smashed the wrong button by accident and then froze, whipping his head around to look at you. 

“Don’t joke about that!” 

This felt much worse than being rejected. Humans had such a short life that it wasn’t even funny. Sometimes, he thought he could blink, and then you would no longer be at his side. 

You petted his head. Your touch was so gentle. It was so unfair. 

“There, there, Levi… I didn’t mean that,” you said, but you didn’t sound like you were being sincere about it. Dispirited, Levi put down his game console, turned the rest of his body to face you, and glowered at you, his orange-gold eyes burning resentfully. 

“That wasn’t funny, you know.” 

His words came out whiny, his voice low and indignant. But he was being serious. 

You bit your lip and looked away as your hand dropped back to your side. 

“Sorry, Levi… It’s not that unusual to joke about death in the human realm. I guess I just forgot.” 

He had a feeling you hadn’t forgotten. Because you remembered enough to be able to say something as grim as willing the sketchbook to him, even though he was centuries older than you and would live for centuries after you. That realization was unnerving. It was why he didn’t like to think about it. Levi shook his head as his gaze fell to the ground. 

“Don’t make jokes about something like that. You know, you’re…” he started and then looked back up at you, his human. When had he started thinking of you as his? You looked back at him with those eyes. Those lovely eyes, open and unworn by thousands of years of being alive. They were, in a sense, so innocent and so unknowing. Levi was definitely not the oldest demon, by far—he was still considered young and spritely by demon standards, even as the thirdborn—but you were so much younger. So much younger.

“I’m what?” you prompted. 

He simply shook his head again and turned back to his screen, picking up his console. 

“Nevermind. Just don’t joke about that.” 

You didn’t seem to understand why he was so serious about it, but he’s fine with that. It was better that you didn’t, anyway. 

“Okay, I won’t.” 

Your voice was soft and regretful, lilting. Levi ran his tongue over his teeth tersely. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to listen to your voice for as long as he lived was a fact he wasn’t ready to acknowledge, and it made the sweet time he spent with you all the more bitter. He wanted to forget about it, even though he knew he could never forget. 


Leviathan shook himself out of his memories in a haze. Time had barely passed as he remembered. His hand was still stretched out to grab the sketchbook. After wavering for another second, he snagged it from the desk carefully. He couldn’t wait until after you died to see what was inside. Even if a few years passed, that was too long. You were only here for a year, after all- not even, since it was just for the school year. 

Finally, he had it in his hands and sat down on the floor to examine it. It was a plain black sketchbook, large but still light enough to carry around every day. You held it in your own hands every day, treated it with special care. 

Levi breathed in, suddenly feeling nervous. What if there actually was inappropriate content in there, and that was why you had forbidden everyone from looking at it? What if there was gore? Or it was perverted? Then he thought about it and shrugged. He’d seen it all in anime and games. Of the demon brothers, he was the most primed to see anything that was going to be inside. 

But he never would have been prepared for what he was about to see. 

Levi flipped open the cover as the sketchbook lay flat on the floor, and was met with a blank page. Not unusual. Perhaps you kept the first page blank so if someone chanced upon it, it might appear empty and no one would flip through it. 

He flipped to the next page. There are a few random doodles of anime girls. Nothing out of the ordinary. They were super cute, though. He’d have to ask you to draw his favorite characters for him in the future, he thought as he smiled to himself. Was that why you had deterred him from seeing it? Because he would ask you to draw his favorite characters, which was an endless list? He sighed. Speculating was doing little good for his nerves, and you were still in the room, even if you were safely asleep. 

Next page. Still nothing much out of the ordinary. Now it was a couple of anime guys’ busts. They were pretty handsome, actually—he distractedly wondered if you’d be willing to draw Henry and The Lord of the Shadows for him if he asked you to. 

He flipped again and then froze. 

It was a drawing of all the demon brothers together. And it was incredibly true to life. Awed, he leaned in a little more and traced the lines with his eyes. He liked to draw, too. That’s why he could appreciate a work like this. Then another thought came to mind. Perhaps you’d thought he’d judge your drawing abilities. Did you truly have so little faith in him, though? His stomach churned to think of it. No use thinking about what he didn’t know for sure. 

He flipped to the next page, and he forgot to breathe. 

It was a portrait of him. 

Him. Levi. Leviathan. The thirdborn. The Avatar of Envy. The disgusting otaku shut-in. 

He rubbed his eyes and looked again. The drawing was still there. One thing was off, though. He looked a lot more good-looking in the portrait. But even with how good he looked in the drawing, it was obvious that it was him. And if you’d been drawing in the pages of the sketchbook chronologically, it only made sense that it was him and not some human. You only got this sketchbook after you got to the Devildom, anyway, since you’d been transported here with no possessions on you. 

He took a picture of the portrait on his D.D.D., making sure that the camera’s clicking sound effect is off. It was too good not to save. Then, with a start, he came to a realization. You probably drew portraits of all the demon brothers. He just happened to be the first one. Sighing, he flipped to the next page, expecting to be bored by one of his brothers’ faces. 

But it was full of more drawings of him. Many doodles, small and medium, different sizes, all crammed onto the page. A few were cartoony, others realistic. His face was scrunched up in concentration here—probably focused on a game. Over there, he was yawning tiredly. Toward the center, he was offering a bright smile—it was a smile so bright he almost didn’t recognize himself. Was this really how you saw him? He didn’t dare dream, but...was it possible that the rest of the sketchbook, too, was full of him? 

He turned to the other pages and flipped through. Although the sketchbook wasn’t full yet, the remaining pages were mostly all drawings of him. At times they were adorned with his name, written in cutesy or cursive handwriting. The way you wrote his name reminded him of the way he would write the names of his favorite characters, over and over again, each letter scrawled with care and love. With a start, he closed the sketchbook and looked away as heat rose to his cheeks. No, it couldn’t be. Could it?

He opened the sketchbook again and pored over the drawings. The way you drew him was so flattering. He had to wonder if he looked like that in all actuality. One of the drawings was of him blushing, which made him blush in real life. He probably did look like that, all nerdy...but less cute. 


Unfortunately, he was so focused on staring at your drawings, he didn’t notice you wake up and look over at him, barely a few feet away from where you’d been resting at his desk. You stomped on your first instinct to go over and take it from him. No, he looked like he’d been looking at it for quite some time. You heaved a sigh and slumped as you rolled on the chair toward him. The secret was out, you supposed. 

“Levi.” 

He slammed the sketchbook shut and glanced up only to see you were fully awake, eyes focused on him. 

“Oh! Uh, I…” he stammered, having forgotten how to talk for a moment. 

You reached over and took it from him with little resistance on his part. 

“Did you see all of it?” you asked, hugging the sketchbook to your chest. In a way, you felt violated, even though he was more justified in feeling that way, with all of the drawings you had created of him without his consent.
He nodded guiltily. 

“Sorry… I know you told me not to look at it so many times, but…” he averted his eyes, and you glimpsed a hint of sorrow in them. You softened. 

“But what?” you prodded carefully. 

Levi met your eyes shiftily, fidgeting. 

“But I didn’t think I could wait a few years. You’ll be gone at the end of this year anyway, and...I wouldn’t be able to bear looking at it after you pass,” he said, his voice growing smaller and smaller. 

You wanted nothing more than to reach out and hug him. He looked so despondent—as if he were grieving already. But you didn’t know how he felt. Maybe he was disgusted after seeing all those drawings. 

“Levi, I’m still alive, you know?” 

He twitched, and then he relaxed, offering a small smile. 

“Yeah, you’re right…” 

You shook your head, sighing. 

“I can’t blame you for being curious, though. I spend the most time with you. It’s only natural that you’d want to know what I was up to.” You smiled, but your expression was so anguished Levi couldn’t be sure it could be called a smile. “So you know, now. What do you think? Am I disgusting?” 

He was taken aback. You, disgusting? Never. But he was all too familiar with the tone of voice in which you said such words, dripping with self-loathing, barbed, pained, tortured. It was how he talked about himself—and every time, you’d refute it in that kind and warm way of yours. Suddenly, he couldn’t remember what it was you always said to him, and he was at a loss for words. But he had to say something. 

He swallowed thickly and shook his head, trying to parse his scrambled thoughts together into coherence. 

“No. No, you’re never disgusting. I-... Why would you think that?” 

Your eyes lit up for a few moments before dimming again. They were filled with wretchedness. 

“I drew you so many times. And I also never even asked you if I could.” You laughed scathingly, “Aren’t I gross? Spending all that time drawing you like that. I’m just horrid.” 

Levi took a slow, unsure step toward you. You didn’t move, but you held your breath as you watched him carefully. He felt like you might run away and slip from him if he didn’t make sure you stayed with him right here, right now. He’s never felt this uncertain before, and it scared him. 

“You’re not horrid. Er, if anything...I’m flattered you wanted to draw me, I guess.” 

The words tumbled from his mouth awkwardly, but they’re sincere, and you wanted to believe them. You wanted so badly to believe those words, his feelings, him.

“Really?” 

He nodded decisively. There’s no doubt in his actions. He took another step toward you, and you stayed stock still. 

“Really.” Levi pushed his tongue against his teeth anxiously. “Can...can I hug you?” he asked, hesitating. 

You tried not to cry. You didn’t know what this meant, but at least he didn’t hate you. That was a start. 

“Yes. Please, Levi…” 

He took another step, and now he was in front of you. With ungainly movements, he wrapped his arms around you, and you rested your cheek on his chest, wrapping your arms around his back as well. He was so warm. It was so unfair. 

Time passed with the two of you just like that, not completely still, but hovering together, holding each other delicately, tenderly. 

“Can I ask you a question?” 

“You just did,” you grinned, looking up at him as he turned pink, “but you can ask as many as you’d like.” 

He floundered for words as he looked down at you distractedly. 

“Well… Why did you draw me so much?” 

You sighed. Levi should know better, you thought to yourself. But he was just so dense. Or perhaps he just wanted to confirm. The two of you let go of each other. You were still close to him, but no longer touching him. 

“You don’t know why?” 

Levi’s eyebrows pushed toward the center of his face. 

“Is that a trick question?” 

You started laughing. He genuinely didn’t understand, did he?

“Pfft… Well, do you have any ideas, then?” 

His eyes darted around the room as his face turned a bright shade of vermillion. Oh, how you loved that face. You weren’t sure whether it spelled good or bad for you this time, though. 

“This is going to sound absurd, so don’t judge me or anything, but…” 

You put your hand on your hip. 

“Levi, just spit it out! The most absurd thing that happened today was you finding out I draw you 24/7. Whatever you’re thinking, you’re probably right,” you affirmed. 

He stared at you intently. 

“Do...do you like me, maybe…? A little?” 

You’ve never felt so torn between laughing and crying at the same time before. You settled for both. 

“Levi, by Diavolo, do you really not know, or are you just playing with me?” You gasped for air as you laughed, tears in your eyes. “Isn’t it obvious that I like you, even if you didn’t find pages of drawings of you in my sketchbook? And from that, shouldn’t you be able to tell that I love you, not just like you a little ?”

He pressed the back of his hand to his mouth in embarrassment, flushed with heat. Adorable. 

“You...love me?” 

You finally stopped laughing. Your stomach was rather sore at this point. 

“Yes, Levi. I love you. Was it so hard to figure out?” 

He ran his tongue across his lips, wetting them. 

“Uh, well… I mean…” You’d never seen him at such a loss for words before, even when met with your relentless teasing. “But, really?” 

You crossed your arms. 

“Really. I thought it was plain to see that I at least like you. I spend the most time with you out of everyone, you know.” 

He blushed. 

“Well, I thought maybe that was just because I always follow you around. And we have a pact.” He frowned. “And you seemed the most adamant against stopping me from seeing your notebook. I understand you didn’t want me to see, but is it so bad if I know you’re drawing me?” 

“I didn’t want you to know because I was sure if you found out, you would know I loved you,” you explained patiently. “Though, perhaps I shouldn’t have been so secretive since it seems like you didn’t know until I told you.” 

“I mean, I thought it might be the case,” he edged out haltingly. “But I don’t know why you’d like someone like me, especially with my brothers around, so…” 

You grabbed his hands and laced your fingers with his, which were slightly clammy but warm. He jolted, shocked by the sudden touch, but didn't pull back. 

“Levi, I love you because you’re you. Isn’t that enough? You’re the world to me. You’re my sun, moon, and stars, as cheesy and cliché as that sounds. Otherwise, why would I draw you so much?” 

He couldn’t even block his face with a hand now that you’d trapped both of them. He closed his eyes instead and tried to ignore the intense heat on his cheeks, even though it only diverted his attention to the feeling of your hands, your fingers intertwined with his. 

“I just don’t understand why.” 

You smiled mischievously as an idea struck you. 

“You want me to list every reason why I fell in love with you? Okay. First, you’re attractive. You’re handsome and cute, the best of both worlds. And if that weren’t already amazing, secondly, your personality is just as adorable. The way you blush, your kindness, and your fun energy are all charming, even though you deny it. Thirdly, your passion for anime, games, and media is also pretty cute. I love that you’re enthusiastic about your interests. Your eyes just light up every time you talk about it,” you talked quickly without breathing, not giving him a chance to interject. “Even if you’re shamed or misunderstood by others, you still proudly love the things you love. Oh, and what about your appearance is cute? Well, your purple hair is so soft, and your bangs are just barely above your eyes. Don’t get me started on your eyes, though, they’re the perfect warm shade of honey gold mixed with apricot orange and highlighted with purple. Not to mention—mmph!” 

A hand clamped down on your mouth; when had he let go of your hands? He was red, bright red- in fact, he was blushing the hardest you’d ever seen him before. 

“Okay, okay, that’s enough! I get it. You like me. You don’t have to say all this out loud. It’s embarrassing,” he said, completely flustered. His words came out in a rushed jumble. 

Levi dropped his hand from your mouth, and you leaned in, smirking uncontrollably as you peered closely at him. 

“Oh, so you get it now? You mean you don’t need a Reasons Why I Love Levi Part Two?” 

“No!” he exclaimed, and then snapped his mouth shut abruptly. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so loud.” 

You burst out laughing, your affection for him swelling inside and escaping you. 

“You’re just too cute, Levi. Geez… Okay, well, let me put it another way.” You place a hand on his cheek lovingly. “How could I not fall in love with you?” 

Your gaze was steady, and so was your voice—steadfast, true, and so genuine. Warmth blossomed in his chest as his heart skipped a beat with your serious tone. 

His mouth went dry. 

“I…” 

“You don’t need to answer that, Levi. It was a rhetorical question.” 

His eyes flicker away for a moment, embarrassed. 

“Right. Got it…” 

You drew back reluctantly and looked at him again. 

“But how do you feel about me, Levi? Do you just want to still be best friends?” You chewed on your bottom lip apprehensively. “I won’t mind. I don’t want to pressure you into anything. I would love to still be friends.” 

Levi ran his tongue over his teeth in thought. He closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them resolutely, looking straight at you. 

“I like you, too.” He paused. "I, uh...I like spending time with you. And I care about you. Well," he balked, his cheeks dusted with pink, "I guess what I'm trying to say is...I-I love you."

You put your hands to your mouth, overwhelmed. It seemed too good to be true, but Levi wouldn’t lie to you, even if things became awkward. He stayed true to himself, which was just one of the traits you admired most about him. Nevertheless, you decided to do a little experiment. 

“Levi…” 

You planted a kiss on his cheek. He gaped at you, your name leaving his lips in a mumble as one of his hands flew to his cheek, disconcerted and flushed.

“I-” 

“Did you want it on the lips?” 

He appeared conflicted as he paused, his mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water, but ultimately he nodded shyly. You leaned in and shared a sweet, melting kiss with him—it was the first, but you were sure it wouldn’t be the last.