'His wings are beautiful.' Eren thought as he watched the Captain and his squad train in the field. 'So sleek and black, just like a raven. So much better than mine.' He sighs, taking his eyes off of the raven haired man below him to look at his own wings.
Stretching them out he curls one around in front of him to get a better look.
His wings looked pretty, he has been told this many time before. His are a solid brown that darkens at the tips. They have no spots, speckles, or discolored areas. No visual imperfections. But they do have one major flaw, they are weak, fragile. They didn't look it but they were.
Could he fly? Yes, but not well and not for very long – a few minutes at most, and in this world that made him pretty useless.
Uncurling his wings Eren takes one more peek out of the window before returning to his cleaning. He should be out there, training like everyone else today but since it was wing training and not 3DMG training he was left inside to do chores. He guessed that that was okay...it was pretty windy and he wouldn't be able to keep up, he would just slow everyone down. 'I should be happy that I don't have to humiliate myself further by trying to even get off the ground.'
As Eren was sweeping he didn't notice the slate-gray eyes watching him while his back was turned. Levi was observant, he knew that Eren had difficulties but he didn't know to what extent, the boy was so reluctant to fly around others.
Levi would deny it if someone said it aloud but he had a bit of a soft spot for the boy. That's why if the weather was even remotely challenging he kept the boy inside so that he couldn't get hurt.
But as the eyed the teen through the window he could see how the teen wished that he could be outside training with everyone else.
Maybe he was wrong and he should've let the boy try, and most likely fail, to keep up. While Levi was lost in thought he failed to notice a tall brown haired woman approach him.
"Hey short stuff, whatcha doin'?" She asks following the shorter man's line of sight up to the window where were was. "Oh, spying on your teal eyed beauty aye?"
Without taking his eyes off the window Levi elbows the woman in her stomach, his wings slightly fluffed up in annoyance.
"Shut the fuck up Shitty-glasses." Levi says finally taking his eyes off of the window now that Eren has moved away. Now looking at the brunette hunched over clutching her stomach, her wings wrapped around herself for protection, waiting for her to say why she was even outside in the first place.
Righting herself the brunette just watches the raven, as if looking for something. Giving no indication that she is going to start talking anytime soon.
"Hanji." Levi growled at the woman as a warning.
"I saw you watching a window from my office and I was wondering what could have you so interested that you wouldn't notice that you and your squad has been slacking on training…and now I know." A grin plastered across her bespectacled face.
Seeing that his squad was in fact slacking off turns to face them calling all attention to himself. "Go ahead and do your other chores, were done here for today."
His team snapped into a quick salute before scattering to do their chores, afraid of pissing of the small man.
"So my little one, do you have any questions or problems that mama Hanji could help you with?" She asks knowing that the raven would sit on his ass and not do anything about his little crush on the Survey Corps resident titan shifter. She could see the way he watched the boy and how he kept him inside of letting him get hurt training.
"No." Levi turns his attention back to the empty window. He was not able to meet Hanji's eyes, because they both knew that she was right about needing help.
"Okay look'-her playful tone gone-'you need to go and talk to him. It's easy to see that he has insecurities…and no, not anyone could go…well they could go but'-she removes her glasses to clean them on the edge of her shirt-'it would just be talk from those who look at him differently. People think of him as a monster, but that's easy to overlook, he seems to have accepted that part of his life. It's the topic of his wings that he can't stand, you can see it written all over his face." -Putting her glasses back on her face she grabs Levi's shoulder and turns him to face her.- "It would mean so much more if you go and talk to him. I don't expect you to go and declare you undying love for him, but do something that will make him feel better."
"Why me?" Levi just couldn't understand why it had to be him.
"Well shorty'-her playful back in full force-'it's easy to see that Eren has respect and admiration for you. But what's even better than that is that he has a big ass crush on you my little midget." With her speech coming to an end she releases the shorter man and bounces back inside as if they didn't just have a serious discussion.
'Something to cheer him up? Hmmmm. I think I can handle that.' Ideas ran through the Captain's head as he makes his way into the castle to find the person that his thoughts are centered on.
Instead of finding Eren Levi was faced with a hefty stack of paperwork courtesy of Erwin Smith. Grumbling with mild disdain, Levi sat down at his desk to start, deciding that he will talk with Eren after dinner during the scouts down time.
Across the castle Eren is still cleaning, but a different area, when he feels the eyes of a certain scientist boring into his side.
"Hi Hanji, what can I do for you?" he says stopping his window scrubbing to face said woman.
"Well~" She draws out the word as she creeps into the room, her eyes never leaving the teen. "I~ wanted to know if you had any plans for later this evening." She stops in the center of the room.
Eren thinks for a moment "no I don't and before you ask about any experiments Captain Levi told me to tell you to 'fuck off you Shitty-glasses'". Turning his eyes to away from the woman hoping he wouldn't be in trouble for what he said. After a few moments of silence loud laughter fills the small room. Stifling her laughter Hanji lightly shakes her head.
"That sounds so like him, but no, there are no experiments. I just wanted to know something and now I know." Turning on her heal she leaves as quickly as she came, leaving behind a very confused Eren. His gaze lingers on the door trying to figure out what just happened before once again returning back to his cleaning.
Cleaning took up the rest of the afternoon. By the time Eren was done it was time to head down to dinner.
Dinner was the same as it always is. Captain Levi sitting at the head of the table with Hanji on his right and Eren on his left. He sat and drank his tea silently while blocking out Hanji's drabble while the rest of the squad chatted about the day.
Minding his own plate Eren tries not to let his eyes drift to the older man next to him, but every time the Captain moves Eren can't help but to let his eyes drift. 'God! Eren! Come on stop being a school girl with a crush, you sit next to the man every day for goddesses sake, pull yourself together.' Eren mentally berates himself while glaring at his food as if it personally insulted him.
Levi could sense every time Eren looked at him, years in the underground gave him a sixth sense, and noted that he boy couldn't help but look every time he moved. Wanting to test him further Levi would purposefully shift in his seat just to see those teal eyes look in his direction. Pleased with the side long looks that he was getting from the titan-shifter Levi kept this up throughout dinner.
Thinking that it was best to get out and practice with Eren before it gets to dark Levi dismissed his squad for some downtime for the evening. As Eren gets up to leave with the rest of the squad Levi stops him.
"Jäger" Eren stops in his tracks and slowly turns to face his superior officer.
"Yes sir?" he questions, a little nervous. Could he have done something wrong? Maybe he did a bad job cleaning?
"Go drop our dishes off in the kitchen. We are going out to practice for a while before it gets too dark." Levi slides his dirty dishes over for Eren to take to the kitchen. Watching the teen leave he addresses the only other person still in the room. "What the fuck do you want?"
"Seems like you're finally taking my advice." Hanji states staring at the raven next to her.
"I suggest you leave now before I make you." Levi hissed turning to face the brunette.
"OKAY~, just try not to push too hard~" she sang. As she was leaving Eren entered the room again.
"Come on." Was all Levi said before leaving the room knowing the boy would follow.
Eren followed Levi outside to the training field in silence, it wasn't an uncomfortable silence it wasn't the most pleasant either. It was just silence that held absolutely no emotion.
Upon entering the field both men noticed that the wind had died down somewhat, this put Levi at ease knowing that Eren wouldn't have as hard of a time. Stopping in the middle of the field Levi turns to face the teen.
"Okay, it's not as windy as it was earlier today so you should be able to handle it without much difficulty." he says while assessing the weather conditions.
"Right." Eren answers, determined to show his Captain that he could fly on his own. Stretching his wings out Eren gets himself ready to take flight. Taking a small running start he launches himself off the ground and into the air.
Even though he couldn't do it well Eren loved to fly. The feeling of the wind brushing through is hair and wings. The rushing sounds in his ears and the slight chill that causes his skin to prickle. He closed his eyes to take in every feeling. It had been way to long since the last time he took flight.
As Eren lost himself in his feelings he, once again, failed to notice the raven, flying below him. Levi was watching the brunette very closely as he slowly and carefully coaxed the boy upward to see how far he could get.
Eren started to get tired after only a few hundred feet but he kept steadily climbing higher. He should've stared to descend but he wanted to prove not only to the Captain but to himself that he was stronger than most people thought.
Levi could see the strain written across the boy's whole body as he continued to ascend. He wanted to stop him but the determination on the boy's face made him hesitate. He decided that he would let Eren go as far as he wanted and he would be there to catch him when his wings finally gave out.
And they did. Not two minutes later.
Eren tried to keep flapping his wings but he know it was pointless. He panicked as the muscles in his wings seized, causing them to snap against his back. His panic only increased as his body started to free-fall, bringing him rapidly to the ground.
'Shit! Shit! Shit!' was all that was going through Eren's mind as he fell.
Panicking internally the Captain watched as Eren plummeted towards the ground. It happened so fast that he didn't see it until Eren had passed him. Tucking his wings he goes into a steep dive to catch up to the falling body.
Levi easily caught up to Eren and gently pulled the boy into his arms. Opening his wings again Levi slowed then completely stopped their decent, slowly working his wings to keep them aloft, and then pulling them upward to the height they were at before the fall.
"Hey." Levi addressed Eren, who is now hiding in the crook of his neck. "Are you alright?" Eren's answer was muffled by his jacket. "Come on." Levi says with a sigh, lightly shaking the teen.
"Yeah, I'm fine." Came Eren's weak voice. He untucks his head just enough to look down at the ground then hides his face against the older once more.
"Then why are you hiding?" he asks, curiosity coloring his voice.
"I've never made it up this high before without the use of gear." His voice a little stronger now that he's calming down. Being up at this height was nerve wracking, but Eren couldn't bring himself to be scared. Being in Levi's strong arms was strangely comforting.
Upon hearing the teen's words Levi could feel his chest tighten. Flying to such great heights has been his only sense of freedom. Knowing that Eren has never been able to experience that made him want to help the boy. With that thought Levi finally understood why Hanji had wanted him to talk to Eren. It wasn't about a crush, it was that Levi knows what it's like not being able to fly, he is the only one here who has any idea what Eren is feeling. The only one that could empathize with the titan-shifter.
At that moment a decision was made, Levi would take Eren to new heights, to see and grasp the freedom that he sky provided. If he couldn't make it using his own wing power then Levi would be his wings, and he would start today. Now, all he had to do was to convince Eren to let him help. It would be hard, it was going to hurt his pride; it would hurt anyone's pride.
Eren could feel the shift in the raven's mood. He knows that his words had an effect on the older man, they hit everyone a little differently. All he could do now was wait for what was going to happen next and it was making Eren nervous. He didn't want one of the only people he met that see past his wings look at him with pity; he didn't want to see those gray eyes look at him like everyone else.
As Eren's train of thought gets more upsetting he starts to squirm. The motion breaks the Captain out of his thoughts and draws the man's attention to himself.
'I don't want him to look at me with those eyes!' is all Eren could think as he tried to hide his face deeper in this commanding officer's neck.
"Oi. What's wrong now?" Levi asks, trying to pull back from the teen enough to look at him. But Eren was determined to keep hidden, he clung to him like it was his only mission life. After a few minutes of trying, and failing, to get a look at Eren's face Levi decided to take this conversation to the ground.
Once on the ground Levi sets Eren down on his feet. The moment he let the boy go Eren turns so all Levi can see is a set of quivering brown wings.
Eren didn't want to turn around, he was truly afraid to see pity in the Captain's eyes. The man may keep an emotionless mask that most people couldn't read but Eren could clearly see it in his eyes, silently telling people what he was actually feeling. Refusing to see his Captain's eyes Eren is careful to keep his back facing Levi even as the man tried to circle him.
"Jäger." Is all Levi says to try to get the teen to face him so that he could see what was wrong. Eren jumped a little when his name was called but he just shook his head no, for the first time ignoring an order.
Levi didn't understand why Eren was refusing to look at him, did he do something to upset the younger? Was he more scared tan he's letting on? Knowing that standing her in the now dark training field wasn't going to get him anywhere he speaks to the boy's back.
"You're tired, I'm tired, and it's dark. Go shower and change into something more comfortable. Come to my room once you're done." He waits for the teen's tentative head nod "and Jäger." The boy stills. "Don't take too long." He watches Eren give one more nod before quickly fleeing the field to go shower and change. Taking his own advice Levi heads inside to his own personal bathroom.
Eren felt much more relaxed after is shower. It gave him time to think and calm his nerves. But now standing outside the Captain's door his nerves came back in full force. Taking a deep breath Eren raises a shaking hand and tentatively knocks on the large wooden door.
Hearing a light knocking on the door Levi looks up from his desk, he was doing some last minute paperwork.
"Come in." He watches the door like a hawk.
Carefully Eren opens the door and steps in. Quickly and quietly closing the door behind himself. Turing to face the room he looks around, taking it all in. There was a soft looking bed in the far corner next to a door that leads to a bathroom, a couch set against the wall opposite the door, and finally a large wooden desk perched by a window where the Captain is currently doing his paperwork.
Levi watches as the teen takes in the room. Eren's teal eyes slowly start at the bed and work their way in his direction. Just before they would make eye contact the eyes stop. Focusing on the large desk and not the man sitting at said desk. He had hoped the shower would have calmed him down some but he still looked a little on edge. His only option was to keep moving forward and hope that Eren will calm down over time.
"Don't just stand there' -Eren jumps at the Captain's words- 'go have a seat, I'm almost done here." He points to the couch. Eren quickly moves over to the indicated spot and perches himself on the edge, not really wanting to get comfortable despite how soft the couch actually is.
The duo sat in a tense silence, on much more uncomfortable than they usually share. Levi sat and tried to focus on the last few pieces of paperwork he had left to finish but his eyes keep flicking over to the squirming body on the couch.
As time passes Eren only got more and more nervous, and Levi could tell. The teen's fidgeting got worse and his wings were ruffled in distress. He wondered what could have the boy upset. He was about to point out the brunette's discomfort but stopped himself on the possibility that pointing it out could very well make thing worse, so he chose to spare him by simply ignoring it.
As Eren sat on the couch he just couldn't keep himself still, but try as he might he just fidgeted. He knew that at some point his wings fluffed out and he knew that Captain Levi knew as well. But the man didn't say anything and that small fact made Eren relax a little. Sitting in the silence Eren let his thoughts circle back around to the events that happened in the training field.
Sure falling was scary, anyone in that situation would have been scared. But being at that height had been liberating, it gave him a sense of freedom, a hope that he hasn't felt since wall Maria had fallen five years ago. And boy did he crave to experience that feeling again. Then he had to go and open his mouth, ruining everything. He made his Captain pity him, now he is going to look at him differently. And now he wants to talk to him about it. Should he be happy and relieved to have someone to talk to or should he be upset that things are now different and can never go back to how they were.
Eren was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't notice that he ravenette had finished his paperwork and moved to sit next to him on the couch. Meanwhile Levi sat and watched the boy on the couch next to him. He watched as thoughts and emotions flicked across Eren's tan face. Confusion, happiness, relief, distress, and confusion once again. Deciding that the needed to stop the teen before he worked himself up to much he called out to him.
"Eren." He said calmly so as not to scare the teen. Aqua eyes flick in his direction, but again not meeting his eyes, then stare straight forward once again. "Look at me, Eren." Said teen once again refuses to look at his commanding officer keeping his eyes locked on the wall in front of them.
Anger started to bubble up in the pit of Levi's stomach. 'This kid is trying on my last nerves.' Taking a deep breath Levi tries to push down that anger, this was a sensitive topic that Levi was going to breach and even if he didn't show it he didn't want to hurt Eren in any way. Gently taking hold of the teen's slim shoulders Levi uses his strength to physically turn the boy to face him. As he is being turned Eren's hands shot up to cover his face, determined to keep from seeing Levi's eyes. Seeing how he isn't getting anywhere Levi takes a different approach.
"If you aren't going to look at me can you at least tell me why." Levi was trying his best to keep his voice even.
Eren is silent for a few minutes, just when Levi starts to think that he isn't going to get an answer on a muffled response came from behind tan hands.
"I'm afraid of what I might find." Levi's eyebrows scrunch up in confusion at the teen's answer, but at least they were talking.
"Alright. What are you afraid to find…and this time try to be less cryptic." He waits once again as Eren tries to pull up the courage to answer. When he speaks up again all he gets is one word.
At that one word everything clicked into place. Hanji had said that everyone looked at Eren with pity and that he boy look up to him. Eren was scared that the one person he looked up to would look at him differently. After his mental realization Levi could feel his eyes soften into a look of pure affection. This boy really was something else.
"And why would I look at you like that?"
"Everyone else does when they see just how weak my wings really are."
"And when am I like everyone else?" Levi asks raising a dark eyebrow.
"Then look at me. I promise you that you won't find and ounce of pity in them." Levi doesn't like to make promises, especially in the world that they live in, but this is one promise that he was willing to make and keep.
Reaching back over to the boy and taking a gentle but firm hold on slender wrists and pulls he hands blocking Eren's face down into the boy's lap. Showing eyes that are shut tight. "Come on." He adds with some gentle coaxing.
Slowly Eren opens his eyes to reveal two aqua colored orbs, which never fails to take Levi's breath away, colored with fear and hope. Blinking a few times Eren focuses his eyes on the silver ones of the older man in front of him. The older kept his promise, Eren couldn't find any pity in those eyes, and all he could find was affection and empathy. Empathy?
'Why would the Captain show empathy? Hanji one told me that Captain Levi had grown up in the underground. Can you not fly down there? So he knows what it feels like, he actually knows what it's like to be stuck on the ground.' Eren mulled over his thought as he lost himself in a sea of gray.
Levi held his expression and would hold it as long as he would need too in order to help the fearful brunette in front of him. He wanted to help Eren not only physically but mentally as well. Helping the teen fly and taking him up in the air would be easy, but helping his confidence and overcoming the mental stress would be hard but doable. Not being one to wait around Levi prepares himself to propose his offer to Eren.
"Eren if you would allow me to I want to help you. Let me be there for you, I want to help you fly. The feel the freedom that comes with the air. I saw the pure joy you felt when you took flight today and I want you to be able to have that happiness again." Levi paused, he knew that he was horrible when it came to words. He just hoped that Eren would be able to understand what he meant, despite his rambling. "Will you let me help?"
Eren understood what he older man had meant. It seemed like a dream for Eren, the man he loves wants to help him. He just couldn't wrap his head around it, but there was one question that kept nagging him. Before he could think too much on it he asked what was on his mind.
The question caught Levi off guard. Yes, why? Why does he want to help the teen? It could be because he had a soft spot for the boy, Hanji had told him that he did have a crush on the brunette. No, it was more than that though, he truly cared for the boy. Not just his physical well-being but his happiness as well. Not to just see Eren happy but he wanted to be the one to put a smile on his beautiful face and it hit him like a ton a bricks, he was in love. He loves Eren. He finally had an answer, and it made him nervous.
"Because I want you to be happy, Eren." The brunette looked at the raven in disbelief. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. "I care about you…no…that doesn't cover it." Levi takes a deep breath, there was no turning back. "I Love you." There he said it, he actually said it.
Eren froze, again he couldn't believe what he heard what he heard. Levi, Captain Levi, Humanities Strongest Solider, said that he loved him. Not only were his feelings returned but the older man said the aloud. All he could do was stare at the man.
Levi stared back. He took in the slightly open mouth and wide eyes as the boy's mind slowly registered what he said. As the words sunk in Eren's eye softened and a bright red blush crept across tan cheeks to the boy's neck and ears. He watched as the boy turned his head to the side and mumbled something.
"What?" Levi thought he heard what Eren had said but he wanted to be absolutely sure.
Eren looked at Levi through the side of his eye. Taking a deep breath he turned back to the raven and repeated what he said.
"I Love you too." Those four words made Levi's heart soar in a way he doesn't think that is ever has. He could feel a small smile overtake his face, not a smirk, but a pure genuine smile that showed pure happiness.
Without thinking Levi leaned forward and claimed plush pink lips. Eren gasped in surprise at the suddenness of the kiss and Levi wasted no time delving his tongue into the warm cavern. Slowly taking his time exploring and mapping every inch of Eren's mouth.
Eren felt as if he was drowning, he was surrounded by such a feeling of love and passion that spurred him on to kiss the older back with just as much passion.
The two fought for dominance but being more experienced Levi won easily and Eren was more than willing to submit to the older man. They kissed until the need for air got too great to ignore. Breaking off Eren slumped into Levi's chest, taking in the older man's scent, it was clean and light like laundry and tea. He couldn't help but smile.
As Eren caught his breath Levi brought his harm around the younger in a loose hug and started to run his fingers through soft brown feathers. Chuckling at the purring noise that came from deep within Eren's chest. He didn't know how much time had passed and he really didn't care, he was content. He was brought back to reality when he noticed that Eren's breathing started to deepen.
"Oi, Eren." He whispered, afraid that if he spoke any louder he would break the peace.
"Mmm…yeah?" he gave sleepy acknowledgement. He was in a state of half sleep, comfortable to just stay where he was.
"If you're tired we should go to bed."
"But that's all the way down in the basement." He whined. Levi normally hated it when people whined but Eren's little sleepy drabble was just too adorable to provoke any negative feelings.
"Alright then." He pulled Eren into his lap, scooped him into his arms around stood up. Carefully making his way over to his bed. "You can sleep with me."
Luckily he had turned back the blankets earlier. Setting the brunette down and pulling the covers over the lithe body. He smiled when he heard a small sigh of contentment from Eren. Smiling, he has been doing that a lot this evening, he should be worried that it's not a very Captain Levi thing to do but once again he couldn't bring himself to care. Going around the room he blew out all of the candles leaving them only in the pale light of the moon. After making his way back to the bed and slips under the blankets. Pulling the brunette close Levi stretched one dark wing and draped it over the two like a warm blanket. Smiling when Eren once again sighed in bliss.
Reaching up slowly Eren ran his fingers over the dark feathers of Levi's wings. They were sleek and smooth just like the thought that they would be. As he ran his hand down the strong wing he thought back over what Levi had said earlier. Then it hit them, he never gave him an answer. He couldn't believe that he forgot, well, that kiss was pretty distracting. He needed to give him and answer before they fell asleep.
"Levi?" Eren whispered, hoping that he was still awake.
"Yes Eren." Levi replied to the boy's call, wondering what the younger could need at this point in time.
"I forgot to answer you earlier…and…well I would love it if you would help me fly." There, he gave and answer, now he could go to sleep. He could feel the weight of the day finally taking its' toll as his eyes slowly closed. He fell asleep welcoming its' peaceful embrace.
Levi could feel the moment Eren had fallen asleep. The fingers in his wings stilled and the teen fully relaxed in his arms. He went back to stroking soft brown feathers as he thought on what Eren just said.
After thinking for what felt like hours Levi could feel the pull of sleep tugging on his consciousness. Snuggling deeper into the cocoon of warmth. Having one last thought before joining his new lover in peaceful dream land.
'Eren. I will be your wings.'