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The Past Makes Us

Chapter Text

“Eren! Listen to me,” Carla looked her son straight in the eyes broking no argument. “You cannot sleep with any person in this house. Understand me.” It wasn’t a question. It was a demand of total compliance and Eren nodded once, almost militarily. “Yes ma’am”

Carla was a madam, not a nice one per say but a good one and she was grooming Eren to take over the “family business” as it were. Eren had spent the last few months understanding the legalities and money management that came from such an enterprise. Carla did not just have a den of iniquity. She taught the people that came through here. She taught them what to do with the money and gifts the Johns gave them. She got them healthcare and mental care. She wanted them to be able to live life, to one day get out of this business and be able to take care of themselves.

Usually she tried to find the younger ones, the ones that didn’t have a pimp that destroyed their minds before she got to them. Some could be helped, not all but some. Armin, Eren’s best friend and whom Carla had found what she called a “squire”, tutored her son in the areas he needed to understand, had been one. The blond was brilliant but all that brilliance could have ended at seven years old on the streets if Carla had not found him. Too traumatized to be in the brothel even as a helper, she had taken him to her house where he meet her son and the rest was history. Armin did not work the bedrooms but he became a valuable intermediary between her son's outside life and the underworld life she lead.

Armin also had a way with the new people that came into the house and it was time for Eren to be introduced and integrated into daily life interactions. The older woman was no one’s fool not even for her puppy eyed son. She had been in the business long enough to see the signs. Her son was not interested in women that way and Carla had a sixth sense for trouble. How else would she be able to run such a business? There was a feeling that one in this house Eren would possibly detrimentally be attracted to; Levi. That one unfortunately needed special attention and Carla would have to watch them closely.

Not closely enough. Not that she could be blamed, maybe it had been too gradual like watching the minute hand move on a clock or maybe too fast like catching something out of the corner of your eye, turning towards it only to find it was your imagination.

Carla had folders on all the workers, which she burned once they left and while not the smartest thing to have in the case of a thorough investigation, it was needed. Carla had led Eren straight to the office already gauging which girls and boys would be giving him trouble by their body language. Eren had been instructed not to speak yet to anyone but that boy couldn’t help but acknowledge those around him: an incline of the head, a small wave, even a wink. He was such a handful. Carla rolled her eyes as the door shut and she waved for him to be seated.

She rounded the desk and sat down in an intentionally uncomfortable chair. “You have an explanation for all that sass?”

Eren rubbed the back of his neck and looked at his mother with a small quirk of his lips. “…Biology?”

“Well it can’t come from my side of the family.” His mother said with a straight face while mirth sparked in her eyes. Like he would ever get that from Grisha, then again Carla fondly remembered that Grisha did at times have his own silly side but she seemed the only person capable of bringing it out. Not that she would tell anyone. Grabbing a pile she had already set out before this, the neat vanilla folders were pushed across the desk towards Eren. Leaving her hand on top for mere moment more as a toned arm reached for them, letting him know without talking that this was important. Eren’s demeanor quickly gave the situation the gravity it deserved.

Armin had done an awesome job at teaching his best friend that there had to be more than just play in life. As Eren studied over the folders, Carla studied her son, it couldn’t be totally subjective but she tried. She took in the way he sat straight spine in the chair, knowing that it came from years of violin lessons, his physique that was because he had begged to be put in judo at four, his honeyed skin tone that would turn tawny during the summer, dark caramel hair that still reminded her of his baby fuzz, his vivid green eyes that always seemed to shine more light than they should because she knew there were gold flecks residing there, and felt her heart constrict. That he was only 20. That he should be enjoying the rest of college. Was this really okay? Teaching him to have to deal with this…this occupation? A voice came up in her mind to ask was there anyone else she would trust their future with. Would anyone else fight as hard and be as determined and kind as she knew Eren would? That answer was no and so the other questions, those other doubts had to become irrelevant.

There was a rapid tapping at the door. Only one person knocked like that and this was not the setting for them to meet. She had not seen him in the parlor of the manor or on the walk to the office. Damnit! Carla got Eren’s attention and motioned for him to go open the door but “Take those files with you I have a feeling you will have to step out.” There was a nod but his mother’s nervousness rubbing off on him.

There Levi stood hesitantly when Eren opened the door and Carla sighed internally. The man was nothing short of gorgeous in either of his forms. Dressed as the woman, Mikasa, Levi stood with several bruises decorating his body. Those bruises were too fresh, Mikasa’s eyes too bright, and Mikasa was too vulnerable. This was Levi trapped in Mikasa. Carla cringed internally at the thought that maybe this was a good thing. Levi wouldn’t notice Eren right away but Mikasa would have.

Eren to his credit didn’t have an outburst like Carla expected but there was a clench in his jaw and a tenseness in his forearm holding the door knob. Mikasa’s state was unusual but unfortunately necessary. Some could be helped, not all but some. She wanted Levi to be part of the some that could be helped so badly but…Carla stood from her chair pacing to meet Mikasa at the couch on the left side of the room.
“Eren, can you please step out for a minute.”
As Carla folded Mikasa into her arms and as the door closed, she saw Armin waiting for Eren off to the side of the door frame. Thank God for that blond!

It was like all of Eren’s ideals had fallen apart at the sight of that woman standing there with those bruises on her face, shoulders and arms. It wasn’t his restraint that kept him from explosion; it had been shock more than anything. She had looked so broken standing there hugging herself. Putting as much distance between herself and Eren as possible when she walked into the office, eyes downcast. Long black hair shielding her face and hiding some of the discolorations that trailed down her back. The black strapless corset setting off both her pale skin and bluish markings. It was like someone wanted to be able to see them. Like someone wanted them to be so visible. His green eyes met crystal blue eyes.

“Armin…I thought…I thought w-we didn’t allow those kinds of things.”

Eren walked down the hallway. He wasn’t running. Armin’s quick steps behind him suggested otherwise. He just needed the fresh air. He took a right ending up on the veranda, breathing deeply and made his way to sit on the porch swing. The files sitting his lap like unused bullets. Armin sat next to him sighing heavily and took his hand gently. The brunette was looking anywhere except the blond.

“Usually, Eren, usually we don’t, but….but Mikasa takes on our…rougher customers.” Armin’s voice trailed off.

“Ar…I don’t think I can just let that stuff happen! Is this…what…how do I deal with this?!” Eren’s eyes cut over to Armin almost accusingly as he felt that indignation raise up in him. The blond squeezed Eren’s hand and stiffened his posture. He was going to tell him exactly how to deal with it.

“Eren, this isn’t about you or how you feel. I’m sorry to say it but it’s true. This place is for whomever is here to work through their problems and I can tell you now that Mikasa doesn’t take in those clients because we force it but because she needs it. You will have to provide things that are uncomfortable for you to help others. Eren, if you can’t…accept that then you need to tell your mother that this isn’t for you.”

Eren looked down at their clasped hands. His mouth becoming a thin line and his eyebrows furrowed as he thought over what was said. It was easier said than done. He could still feel his blood rushing and his stomach churning at the thought of allowing…but Armin was right it wasn’t about him. Eren squeezed his best friend’s hand back as he took a deep breath and Armin sighed gratefully at the determined look in Eren’s eyes when he finally looked at him.

“I’ll help them Armin.”

Armin smiled then. The kind that Eren always responded to with his own. Full teeth and crinkled eyes. Armin reached over to the files in Eren’s lap. “Alright then! Let’s learn!” The bullets were ready to load.

Chapter Text

All alone she was living
In a world without an end or beginning

The first thing Levi could remember was mind blown, gut wrenching fear of Kenny Ackerman. Levi couldn’t remember when it started or the events that lead to it but for as long as he could remember, fear had been the only emotion. No matter how many times you say the word fear, you never lose its meaning.

Pain. Yep, pain came after that. Not physical all the time; no, it was any and everything that caused it. But painful humiliation had sparked the anger. The anger that Kenny smirked at once he realized it was there because that asshole knew, he knew that Levi was powerless.

Powerlessness was what lead Levi to Carla’s office. Levi could be a shaking shivering mess not Mikasa. Mikasa could take anything. They had to be isolated because being both at the same time reminded him of Kenny. Kenny who had never seen his nephew as more than a niche product to be bought and sold on the market. A boy pretty enough to become a girl. A girl rich men could flaunt in public, salivating at the prospect of deceiving those around them. Greedy men who knew what they could devour by the end of the night and no one would be the wiser. Nefarious women that enjoyed calling him over in front of their husbands, boyfriends or girlfriends. Family did not mean protection to that monster, only endless exploitation until you died. Like his mother…like Erwin.

Levi clung to Carla as they fell into a heap on the couch. His fingers curling around her upper arms, he couldn’t quite catch his breath, his head leaning into Carla’s chest as the shaking started. He didn’t dare close his eyes. Kenny waited there and then the tears would come. Not yet, not yet.

“I-I couldn’t…c-can’t…” Levi’s stuttering became a stream of air. Carla began rubbing small circles into Levi’s back as she bent to undo the zipper of Mikasa’s heeled boots. Sometimes Levi couldn’t separate Mikasa from himself. He couldn’t take off the clothes. He couldn’t stop the required mannerisms. He couldn’t stop being who Kenny programmed him to be. If that man were still alive, Carla would have had him killed.

Baby girl was living life for the feeling
But I don't mind, I don't mind

The first boot being pulled off caused such a sigh of relief that Carla felt the stress level come down and the fingers on her arms lost some of that desperation. Carla maneuvered Levi to sit back so that she could reach the other boot. The grip on her arms didn’t fall away until a second clunk was heard but Levi only hugged himself willing the shivering to stop. Carla didn’t say anything as she reached under the couch to an awaiting bin. Didn’t ask about the bruises, didn’t ask about why Levi had to become Mikasa, and didn’t look on in judgement. Opening the top, she gathered the make-up removing wipes. Carefully, she leaned over Levi to wipe away the foundation and the blush and the lipstick and then she paused.

“Do you think you can close your eyes?” Carla asked softly. Levi hesitated and then shook his head no, his breathing still in the realm of hyperventilating at the thought of doing so. Carla nodded, “Its fine, its fine…just look down for me.” Folding the wipe into a triangle, she cleaned off the eye shadow. Carefully she removed the eyelashes that made his gray blue eyes appear darker and the earrings that framed his face. She reached into the bin and laid one of Levi’s button up pajama shirts in his lap and with one hand expertly undid the corset laces. She took Levi’s right wrist and removed the rings from his fingers, letting them roll and clink together into the couch and brought his hands through the shirt sleeve. Grabbing his left wrist, she removed the dainty wrist watch and bangles leaving the ring that was sitting on his thumb. She buttoned two buttons of the shirt, removed the corset and buttoned the rest letting the material pool in Levi’s lap.

She kneeled on the floor making quick work of removing his thigh highs from his white marble shaved legs. The shaking had finally stopped. Carla reached up to hook her thumb into the sides of the leather shorts and looked up, waiting for Levi’s permission. He nodded and pushed himself up. Carla slid the shorts down swiftly and in such a way that the fabric of his shirt didn’t leave him too exposed. She reached into the bin for the last time, producing a pair of boxes and comfortable pajama pants. Sliding those up only meant on last thing to discard the image of Mikasa.

Carla sat next to Levi, pulling him into her arms because it never failed. She reached up with both hands to remove the shoulder length haired wig, careful not to snag Levi’s own fine jet black hair. As she ran her fingers through his undercut and fluffed the matted locks, the tears finally came. Carla didn’t mind.

And all the wrongs she committed
She was numb and she was so co-dependent

After the tears had only left tracks and red rimmed eyes behind, Levi laid back into Carla’s lap propping his knee up against the side of the couch and letting his other leg swing towards the floor. Toes barely brushing against the surface. Levi’s eyes wandered over Carla’s face as she continued to soothe him. Brushing her fingers and nails lightly against his scalp and moving the palms of her hands down his cheeks. His eyes moved away from her gold brown eyes as he felt the words creep into his chest. Words about his past that spiraled out of his throat.

“I killed them you know. Erwin…I wasn’t…trying to kill…if those are even the right words, because I did it…anyway? Kenny…Kenny I couldn’t even do it myself but I did it all the same.” Levi tried to stop talking there but the anxiety built up and Levi knew he was about to spill his guts. Again. And finally about the last part of his life. This is why Mikasa had to be separate; at times like this they were connected through the pain and emotions that overflowed like lava. Slow and stilted at first but would burn everything in its path.

“Erwin had been making me nervous for months….”

Kenny would loan out Mikasa to several pimps throughout the state for marketing. She was a spearhead platform for a product after all, crafted from Kenny Ackerman’s own hands. And Kenny was proud but there were rules to handling his product and rules that his product had to follow. Mikasa had times that the anger outran the fear when Kenny wasn’t around and it lead to drugs…drinking…refusing customers…going out in public as a boy. It wasn’t a good combination at twelve and thirteen. Kenny wanted his product to last and so his uncle hired a handler unbeknownst to Mikasa. The big blond man had been good at marketing himself to Mikasa and distancing himself from Kenny. If you were in this business, everyone at some time is under Kenny’s influence but Erwin hadn’t come off as being one of his uncle’s men and Levi had grasp at that spider silk thin hope.

Erwin, a Romeo pimp or a sweets procurer as they say. Charm, intelligence, engaging and fair. Being fair is what got Levi…well Mikasa back then. Always Mikasa back then. Erwin never got rough with her without reason and never hit her in the face. It was different. Erwin was the only one that he could let Levi shine through Mikasa. Erwin didn’t mind when the mask slipped and so it began. Pretty Woman had been a laughable movie to Levi before, not so much later. Beautiful backdrops, affection, jewelry, lingering touches, but Erwin was still a procurer, not someone that was taking Levi out of this reality and he was still Kenny’s man.

Erwin was marketing his product ingeniously. All those public displays showed others how Mikasa was to be treated and it made Mikasa pliable. Kenny couldn’t have been more tickled of the outcome. Mikasa wanted to please Erwin, Erwin got his orders from Kenny and Mikasa did everything Erwin or rather Kenny asked to the letter. It was a strange place to be in, wanting to do things like that for another person. Mikasa learned a lot the next year because Erwin would have it no other way for those in his care. Kenny had created and molded Mikasa but Erwin refined her.

“…but I knew when I had reached geisha status because I wasn’t the one nervous anymore. Erwin was.” Levi gave a ghost of a smile. “We were at one of those gauche restaurants just to show me off. I was in one of those high collar Chinese dresses so I didn’t have to worry about hiding my Adam’s apple. I had cinched my waist and the dress was long but just enough every step I walked you got a glimpse of ankles and my strapped high heels. My hair was up off my neck in chopsticks. Back then I had to grow my own hair out…Kenny hated fake hair.” Levi shook his head. “In that restaurant is when I knew I had Erwin.”

Levi grinned seemingly thinking out loud, “God I can’t even remember what me and Eyebrows were talking about but I know we laughed. We laughed so hard my stomach hurt and I had those stupid cliché joyful tears.” He shifted uncomfortably, shooing away those memories with his hand.

“Anyway, I do remember him asking me if I would go on a real date with him…as myself…as Levi. Can you fucking image? I’d been Mikasa since I was four, been fucked by my own uncle and then handed out like so much candy by him and everybody and no one, I mean no one had ever thought to ask me anything. The nerve!” Levi stretched out his hand towards the ceiling and looked at the ring encircling his thumb. “Shit, I fell in love right then. Fourteen dressed up with enough makeup and behaviors to mimic a 26 year old woman and scared to death that Kenny would find out how I felt. How Erwin felt.”

Carla and Levi jumped at the knock on the door. Levi sat up and reached into the bin pulling out a pair of fuzzy socks. Folding and putting in Mikasa’s things. He would come back later and swap everything out.

“That your brat, Mrs. C?”

Carla cleared her throat and smiled, getting up from the sofa, a little peaked from the interruption. It was jarring to be sucked into Levi’s world. “Yes, that’s my brat,” she said playfully but silently asking Levi if he was okay with this changeover. Levi just nodded and made his way to the door. Carla decided to take a small gamble. “You can trust him you know.”

The ravenette stopped but didn’t look back. “I know you raised a good man Mrs. C and because you say it…I could trust him, but I wouldn’t trust me.” Levi opened the door and stepped out, leaving a thoughtful madam, confused brunette and smiling blond behind.

Chapter Text

She was young and all she had was the city
But I don't mind, I don't mind

Only to run into god damn Hange sitting in the kitchen island. Levi cursed under his breath as he tried to turn around and walk back out.

“Pocket pal! It’s a little late for you to be in pajamas. And that Mikasa woman is such a bitch. She never plays with me. You should talk to her about that.” Levi’s eye twitched. He had been seen and could not be unseen. He walked further into the kitchen, rolling up his sleeves. Intent: PB&J sandwich.

“Shove it, goggles.”

“Ooohh see there. That’s my Levi! And that’s a new one. Were you getting mad that I was coming up with better endearments?” Hange baby talked back and pushed a completed PB&J sandwich towards him when he rounded the corner of the island.

“Hoh…thanks four-eyes.”

“No problem, clean freak. I saw you when you went to Carla. I figured you’d want your comfort food.”

Levi narrowed his eyes at the sandwich. “Oi!” her comment had reminded him, “You washed your hands...with soap…and water, right?”

“Both of them this time!” Levi wasn’t even going to take the bait and ask how you only wash one hand.

Hange wasn’t going to say anything about Levi’s red rimmed eyes but she narrowed hers at the bruises along Levi’s arms, voice becoming stern. “Levi I don’t see why you don’t let me give you what you need and I know if you didn’t want them to treat you like that they wouldn’t. You know how good I am. I can dish out punishment and I wouldn’t leave marks.”

Levi picked up the sandwich. “You don’t have enough anger Hange.” The sandwich stopped halfway to his mouth and he grimaced. Seems there was still had a case of verbal diarrhea, which he chose to ignore and hoped Hange would let it slide.

Of course she wouldn’t. “Is that what you need Levi?”

Levi looked at the ring for the second time that morning. “…Maybe.”

“Weeell,” she leaned her head to hover over his shoulder as he took his first bite, “I can tie you up. Your cute butt cheeks couldn’t so much as twitch without permission.”

Levi cut his eyes over to her manically grinning face. The idea had merit. Damn. Hange had done a good job on the sandwich. No jelly on the sides and his fingers didn’t sink into the bread and peanut butter didn’t come out the bottom as he took his second bite. She must have toasted it.

“Shoot two monkeys! I thought for sure you’d choke at that comment.”

It seemed she was back on a no cussing kick. Levi smirked, “Oh shitty glasses, it would take more than a sandwich and you to make me choke.”

“Oh! A kinky Levi sandwich and moi? Where's that menu?" Hange spun away from him and hopped off the stool, went to the fridge and grabbed water bottles. "I would love to continue this innuendo with you but I need you to hurry up. We have to get our workout in because I do not want Reiner hunting me down.” Levi took the offered water, popping the cap, secretly thankful she had dropped the innuendo. He hadn't had a comeback for that one. “Yeah, sure. I gotta go change first.”

Reiner had taken it upon himself to be the House’s personal trainer but he was also a rough-houser. Some women and men enjoyed wrestling or forced submission as foreplay and that was their guy. He was also very good with body piercings but he left that Annie. Reiner always said the best medical insurance you have is working out and he made everyone do something. It helped that he also taught some self-defense moves. Strength was needed to protect yourself. Sex was not allowed with clients in the House but that didn’t mean some, like Levi didn’t take assignation outside the manor. Outside, you were on your own.

Hange leaned against the counter top watching Levi finish off the last of the sandwich. “Also, Carla and Petra are going to be gone all week to check out that location for a new brothel…you wanna cause trouble for our new boss?”

“Trial by fire? Agreed.”

Hange watched as Levi brought the water up to his lips. “You know when you come to me you can be exactly who you are.”

They both pretended the sudden tears that didn’t fall were a reaction to the cold water sliding down his throat.

And I know that she's capable of anything, it's riveting
But when you wake up she's always gone, gone, gone

Eren was convinced they were all trying to give him a heart attack. Mom had been gone five days, just five and it seemed like things just kept happening. The very first night Hange and Mikasa got arrested. Now this wouldn’t have been so bad had Hange not gone right up to a police officer and solicited him. I mean come on! The police officer was dressed in uniform. At least they were only in lock up.

The green-eyed young man had to deal with their lawyer, Rico. Scary woman. Really. Rico told him that they were not taking it seriously with Hange since she had been the one to ask the officer, but Mikasa’s fingerprints were well-known and took some hand greasing to get her out. It was four thousand dollars and six hours later when Eren could look at them face to face after freezing his ass. The police station had a temperature that should only be found in hospitals. Luckily, his light jacket had housed his red scarf in one of the pockets. His mom always insisted he clean out his pockets before washing, but there was always stuff the pockets when he needed them. It wasn’t enough to keep all the cold out but it was something.

When Hange came out all he could do was roll his eyes. That was what she had worn! Hange was dressed in a pants suit that was too long for her. Sleeves stretching over the palm of her hand, using suspenders to hold up the pants that drowned her shoes. The crisp white collar shirt with a too long black tie. Hair slicked back and put into some style to hide its length. But with no glasses, powered makeup, and pink lips, Eren admitted she looked eyebrow raising.

Mikasa though. Jesus. Hange’s partner in crime. He was glad Rico was the one doing all the talking. Armin and mom had explained it to him but it was still surreal to see. She was dressed up in tight black leather shirt and halter that showed way too much temptation. Skin! He meant skin. Flawless makeup to match Hange and when he got to the knee high boots, there was this red stripe on the bottom of the shoe that was driving him crazy because it always drew his gaze down and his eyes took in all of her on the way. His eyes narrowed as he realized with a start that he wasn’t the only one noticing.

There were a couple of the police officers covertly checking her out but the guy pushing the sign out paperwork across the desk couldn’t keep his fucking eyes off her. He kept trying to draw her into some stupid conversation and he was getting more agitated by the minute. He walked over to stand beside Mikasa and handed her his red scarf when she keep covering her throat as she talked. He could also get the long-faced, time-wasting prick’s name. Kirstein. Mikasa had nodded her thanks, looking bored. Probably had to do with the fact that the two men were glaring daggers at one another and hadn’t even spoken one word.

After leaving the precinct, Hange was trying to tell him about the adventure they had while Mikasa just stoically informed him that they do this on occasion to recruit any other prostitutes or runaways that may be in lockup.

Thus began what he was suspecting to be his own personalized hazing. Even Armin was in on it! His only ally had betrayed him, run off to a field study right after the call from jail. Who has field study at eleven at night? No one that’s who! The second day had been all kinds of customer problems. Appointments kept shifting around. He was barely keeping track of who was in the house, on the way and who had left. One guy thought he could just take whoever and had been shut down by Reiner. He himself almost broke a guy’s arm in the parlor over their Lolita, Historia. Ymir had found out and because she was so mad, she took it out on her customers. Not that Ymir’s patrons minded, she was the House’s sadistic dominatrix. And then Levi had overheard a client requesting something about defecation on the chest? Yeah, that had led to some kind of Levi apocalypse, which meant a deep cleaning of the manor lasting well into morning.

Mikasa didn’t make an appearance that night but Hange, Nanaba and Mike did get Levi to dress up in a maid’s outfit as a reward for all the hard work. When Levi wasn’t dressed up and not wearing platforms or heels, he was surprisingly short. At least five inches shorter than himself. It made Eren feel tender as if he could wrap the ravenette in his arms and pour gentle warmth into the glass that was Levi. Even if he knew Levi could probably kill them all, he felt incredibly protective. It had to be due to that first day they met. That was what he told himself until Levi appeared in that maid’s uniform. He must have blushed to the tips of his hair. Levi and the rest got a great big kick out of that. What wasn’t funny were the dreams that night. Levi in that uniform sitting over his thighs, his wrist bound behind his back, not even allowed to touch in his dreams. A chained collar hugged his neck as the ravenette dug his fingers into Eren’s hair keeping him from those lips. So close to those lips his knew would become so hungry and supple under his.

The third day or rather a continuation of the third day after he’d woken up, he tried to rid himself of those images from his dream by reading up on the files and he’d ran across Petra’s. It had helped to tamp down his desire just not in the way he expected. Now he knew Petra since she used to baby sit him but after reading the first sentence, he was pretty much done. Petra’s House specialty was infantilism. Nope! Not even going to touch that one right now. There was no way he was going to get anything major accomplished. He decided that maybe the files weren’t the best way to know them, so he set up some blocks of time to officially meet those that were working during the next day.

Chapter Text

In the night she hears him calling
In the night she's dancing to relieve the pain

Sundown. His kohl surrounded eyes darted to the vanity drawer and then back to the mirror. He sat looking at himself, willing himself to not arch his brows, put on the eyelashes, dip the makeup brush, not spread that gloss across his lips, but even as he completed the actions he could feel himself giving in to it. Some part of him was so pleased that he would be handing himself to someone for the night. Intellectually he knew why. Cognitive dissonance. An induced compliance paradigm. Fancy ass words to say he had internalized and justified his fucked-up-ness for so long that he kept up the actions. What was more disturbing was following the change of pace in his thoughts. The more he put on the more Mikasa took over.

Being Levi dressed as Mikasa had been too hard. He had been too young to be able to distinguish between love, lust, sex and infatuation. Erwin reminded him that he wasn’t in the business of selling emotions. Starting the raven on a path to separating “work” from himself. It probably hadn’t helped that “work” was constant but after getting away almost 12 years ago, he was still working on getting rid of Mikasa. Nightfall though was always the hardest. Levi sighed as the compulsion lead him to the closet, grabbing at the thigh high stockings. Even as he slipped them over his feet, smoothing them over his calves, hooking his thumbs into the hem and working material around his thighs, he was fighting Mikasa to change the outfit for tonight to something less feminine, less Mikasa and more Levi. Since the bruises weren’t all gone along her arms, they decided on a half sheer long sleeve graphic tee and fingerless knit gloves to hide the bruises on her wrist. It also covered that ring, Levi never let her take off. Mikasa felt too uncomfortable without the stockings on so they stayed on under the jeans Levi insisted on. It was a little annoying but small price to pay he thought as she placed a belt on. He didn’t even protest as Mikasa took out some 5 inch boots because Mikasa was going to use their own hair tonight.

She'll never walk away

Mikasa bit the inside of her cheek as she finished with the last curl and placed earrings in. She finger brushed her hair to one side and looked into her very dark grey eyes. Okay? Okay.

(I don't think you understand)

The time that Mikasa was scheduled had come and gone. Eren was laid out on the couch trying to digest what he had learned from essentially his employees? He was a boss. Weird. Several files still sat on the desk but mainly he got the feeling that everyone was here because they wanted to be. The underage group stayed in a bordering house but would come by and help the house, only in the daytime. Oluo and Nanaba were part of the trio with Petra that managed the youth, though Nanaba also helped at the brothel by setting appointments.

Those two had to have been the most normal he had met today which made him smile. Age was not a factor because he was not expecting Hannes, a pretty well rounded shit talker. Eren still didn’t know what the guy did, keeping him occupied with wild stories. Hannes was fun but definitely a liar. The file said three things: Romancer, Teacher of certain auto-paraphilia and, cryptically, Fixer. He made a note to ask his mother about that one.

Isabel was a fucking firecracker, as bright and loud as her hair color. How could she possibly be a submissive? Maybe a switch sure. When Izzy left and Farlan came in, he was fairly certain he would be losing the two if he was interpreting the look on Farlan’s face correctly. Farlan the resident conversationalist, company keeper, well…gigolo. Apparently, both saved by Levi years ago before ever coming to the Manor.

Levi. Eren frowned dragging himself into a sitting up position. Where they hell were they? Yes, he had come to saying they. The personalities seemed different but were very similar. It was easier to tell who had control by speech and voice. Levi talked more from the chest, deep, smooth, coiling and who could mistake his speech pattern. Mikasa’s voice was more from the throat: clipped and husky, smokier even. Mikasa was more aggressive. Levi was more laid back or he should rephrase and say slightly less murderous than Mikasa. Mikasa was quieter than Levi. They both could convey feelings through those looks though. It also appeared that Mikasa liked him more than Levi did. Strange to say but true. Levi had more reign in the daytime and judging by the time, he could be meeting Mikasa. What he got was an unexpected blend of both.

Even as the door opened and in came the most raging hormone inducing person he had ever known, he knew something was off. The room’s air had been sucked out and replaced with humid electricity. Those grey stormclouds were looking at him from under lush black eyelashes, stealing his brain functions.

“Oh, Eren were you waiting for me?” Mikasa was pure seduction today. Each syllable rolled and caressed on her tongue before landing softly against those lips. It went into his ears and touched nerves it shouldn’t. The click of the door shut out the world.


In the night when she comes crawling
Dollar bills and tears keep falling down her face

Mikasa had come back to the Manor in a restless state sitting just below her skin. The first client had to cancel. Didn’t want to know the reason and didn’t care but she hadn’t lined up anybody else because she, the client, was usually so reliable. She hit the stairs only to stop halfway up, fingers drumming on the handrail. Green eyes, tan skin, very nice body. He had given her that red scarf because she was uncomfortable. It could be like saying thank you. He was also Carla’s son. She cleared that thought out as she made her way to the office hoping he was still there. It would be like doing a good deed even if they do pave the way to hell. She opened the door and smirked as she eyed Eren reclined on the couch. Perfect.

All her movements became smooth and deliberate. It would make any dancer the color of Eren’s eyes. And there was that cloud of lust she was looking for.
“Oh, Eren were you waiting for me?”

Eren didn’t know how it happened but it was quick, in between blinks in fact, and he had a lapful of Mikasa. He had to have fallen asleep. This dream was fantastic. Closer, they were incredibly striking. He could make out the blue starburst in those heavy laden eyes and he could feel the heat of Mikasa’s hand through his t-shirt as her fingers brushed over his nipples. Those blue-grey eyes looked down at his parted lips and Mikasa leaned in close enough to barely touch.

“Hello Eren.” Mikasa could feel Eren’s heartbeat speeding up as she slowly appreciated the column of his throat, strong jawline and back to his bright eyes. She had expected to see a ravenous beast but what she got was: Full. Blown. Panic.

“Holy Shit Eren! Breathe!”

Easier said than done, the brunette thought and watched in slow motion as Mikasa panicked, pulled back a fist and hit him. Hard. Dead center of his chest.
“!” Eren ground out and curled over as Mikasa jumped out of his lap and his arms came up to cover the pain. “What the actual fuck Levi!”

Mikasa was the pacing, boots clicking on the floor, a furious sway of the hips but Levi answered. “Fuck I don’t know! What else am I supposed to do when someone has a panic attack?!”

Eren rolled his eyes, still clearly pissed. “Shit, I don’t know…but I do know that no medical journal anywhere ever said ‘Punch them in the chest’!”

Levi stopped the pacing and folded his arms, looking equally pissed. “Well it worked didn’t it!”

“That’s because it wasn’t a panic attack.” Eren murmured still rubbing the spot of inflicted damage. Mikasa cut her eyes over to him frowning. The earrings jingled as her head turned to contemplate that statement. A finger pressed to her lips.

“It sure looked like….” Eren looked up just as Mikasa or should he say THEY froze and really looked at the younger man. Slowly that finger that was pressed to her lips fell half way and she pointed it at him. And with utmost authority said, “You’re a virgin.” Then Levi said it with eyes wide surprise, a little awe and a lot of amusement. “You’re a goddamn virgin.”

You would think as a grown man in the 21st century, Eren wouldn’t blush like one though. The amusement fully bubbled over into outright laughter, not just laughing but hands on knees this-is-the-funniest-shit-I’ve-ever-heard laughing. If it hadn’t been directed at him he might have known to cherish it.

“Jesus! It’s not that funny.” Eren whined although even his lips were starting to curl at the laughter.

“I-I’m sorry…hahaha…I am. It’s not…” For the most part Levi really did look like he was trying to keep it together. “It’s just…I’ve never…never seen one in the wild before.”

At that, Eren was startled into started laughing too.

After the chuckling died down, Mikasa tilted her head towards him after leaning against the book shelf directly opposite the couch. “Why did you react like that?” The brunette pulled his legs up to sit Indian style and grabbed a pillow folding it into his lap, looking endearingly bashful.

“I was told to not uh…have sex with anyone in the house.”

“Really? Carla tell you that?”

“…Well…yeah…why?” Mikasa pushed off the bookcase and just shook her head, murmuring “Don’t tell anyone else that.”


Mikasa leaned against the bookcase again, eyeing Eren differently. Was this Levi? There was no way he was going to figure out what was going on in their brain so why try but Eren had a bone to pick with this virgin radar.

“You say you’ve never seen one but Armin’s been here the whole time.”

Unfortunately his point was non-existent. “Kid, Armin isn’t a virgin.” Yep, it was Levi. The brunette grinned internally. He was getting pretty good at telling them apart before they spoke but then what he said sunk in.

“W-What!” Eren’s eyes got big. Armin would have told him something like that. “Armin not a virgin! How would you know anyway?”

Levi looked at him as though he had grown a second head. “Armin works here.”

Not everyone in the Manor had sex with clients or otherwise. “Doesn’t mean he isn’t one….and Armin works here?!”

Levi looked all around the room. “I swear there is an echo in here.” Then he gave the younger man a look of irritation. “Didn’t you get files on everyone that works here? What the hell you being doing all this time?”

The brunette was off the couch and into those files on the desk in a flash, slinging a witty retort towards them. “Bailing your ass out of jail.”

Sure enough he found the file under Levi’s file. That sneaky coconut bastard! Sitting heavily in the desk chair, he flipped open the file. “What is socio-political fetishes and what the hell is a stock ticker STRIPPER?!”

They looked equally confused but not for the same reasons. “Armin still stripping?”

Eren threw up his hands in frustration but he didn’t feel anger. “This is bullshit! Armin never told me about any of this. I’m his best friend or supposed to be. What the hell?” Okay he was a little past mildly angry. Who the hell was he kidding? He was mad and very willing to pout about it if it wasn’t for his chair sliding back and the hands at his jeans.

Levi was kind of done talking and now that he knew why the brat had a meltdown earlier it was time for some action.

“Hey, hey, hey!” Eren grabbed for Levi’s very nimble fingers, his belt was already clattering to the floor. “Whoa, hey, wha-what?” Hell Eren didn’t know if he should be helping or not. It was way too hard to think in these situations. “L-levi?”

His confusion must have been evident. Those glinted silver eyes shifted into dark and sooty. Mikasa stopped their hands.

“I’m sorry Eren.” She took a step back from him. “Don’t worry. It's nothing. I’ll protect you.”

She'll never walk away

He blamed what he said next on how he had been feeling about Armin hiding things, and his mother just now bringing him into the business, his father’s sheltering and general annoyance that he was someone everybody just wanted to coddle.

“I don’t need your protection Mikasa!”

Glinted silver returned like a hungry predator on their favorite hunting ground. “Hoh?”

Ah, shit. He was in trouble. A quick push rolled his desk chair against the wall and Levi was kneeling, gently pushing knees apart and gliding his gloved hands over Eren’s thighs and making quick work of that button and zipper, happy to see Eren had boxers. After so many years, Levi was had good judgment of what to expect and thank god he was certainly not disappointed. As Levi licked his lips, Eren’s knee started bouncing in nervousness.

Shit, it had been so long since the ravenette was able to do this without a condom. It shouldn’t have been such a rush to know he would finally taste cum on his tongue again but it was. The brunette even smelled delicious. Like real lemon pie and freshly used fabric sheets. Smell penetrates deeper than anything other than the truth. You had to take it in deeper than a tongue or a dick. Levi was going to drink in Eren.

The feeling you get on as you rise to the top of a roller-coaster. That was the closest, Eren could get to a description. He knew he had never been so hard in his life and Levi was barely touching him. He could feel the knit of the glove brushing and then the cooler air against his heated skin. Levi dragged one finger along the underside, causing his cock to bob involuntarily and a moan to fall into the silence. He watched as Levi licked his lips, trying to prepare himself for the drop.

The back of his head hit the wall behind him as Levi took him all at once burying his nose against Eren's skin. “Fuck!”

The chuckle Levi released vibrated and traveled all the way up his spine. A brilliant distraction for whatever pain may have been. Levi took his sweet time pulling back, running his tongue against Eren’s shaft, enjoying the soft gasps, whines and under the breath moans. It wouldn’t do for someone to come in right now would it? Levi looked up as he paid special attention to that bundle of nerves right under the head.

Eren was having terrible trouble keeping it together by the looks of things but he was stunningly caught in lust. His fist was to his month, biting down on his thumb to keep in the moans, so thoroughly flushed it was throwing a glow on his tanned skin. He was grinding against the chair trying so hard not to just fuck Levi’s mouth because the raven hadn’t even bothered to try to hold his hips down. Levi finally let go with a soft pop and he hummed approvingly at the taste of Eren’s skin and pre-cum.

“Don’t go giving yourself a concussion.”

Eren nodded quickly haven forgotten all about that, “…ye-yeah…”

While trying to get himself back under some control, he wanted nothing more than for the silver eyed devil to unravel him. That’s when Levi grabbed one of his hand that had a death grip on the chair arm and placed it atop his black locks. Eren swallowed thickly as Levi dip his head. That talented tongue slide under and around the curves of his balls as those soft knit gloved hand slowly pumped. Eren shuttered.

Those lips kissed and sucked their way back up his shaft, that tongue swirling around his tip. Levi was so in control as he looked a heavy lidded Eren in the eyes. Eren wanted nothing more than to erase all that fucking poise, hear Levi’s wordless pleading, feel those moans against his ear but for now, for now he would take what was being offered as long as it was priceless.

Levi sensed it almost immediately. It was like a switch has been flipped and he was no longer in control. The hand in his hair gently massaged his scalp before tightening and pulling him away. Levi huffed like a child getting his toy taken away and it was Eren’s turn to chuckle.
“Don’t worry, you’re about to get it back.” Eren’s voice was dark, dangerous and intoxicating. Levi couldn’t look away and his breath hitched as Eren leaned forward barely brushing their lips together like he had done earlier. “Can you handle it?”

Levi’s lips parted in invitation. “Words...use your words Levi.” Fuck this kid. If he said his name like that one more time, he’d cum in his pants. He knew what Eren was asking. Too many angles in that one question. Oh, Eren was definitely asking if he could fuck Levi’s mouth like he meant it but there was something deeper. Eren was no client and at the moment he wasn’t Mikasa. He could let her finish him off but he for once wasn’t at all pleased with that scenario. The words left his mouth before he knew it.

“Yes, Eren, I can.” Eren leaned away and guided Levi’s head back down to his straining cock. A hiss escaped him as Levi’s tongue began work immediately on that sensitive head. His hips starting to move. He was still holding Levi back a little, loving the view of his cock sliding in and out while those pouty lips encased him. The grey eyed siren was grinding into the air and snaking his hands under Eren’s shirt when he heard a guttural order. “Use one of your hands. Touch yourself.”

Levi had to shut his eyes against the rush of desire flowing in that order. He was still paying attention to Eren but he couldn’t get his zipper down fast enough, not even bothering with the belt or button. As his fingers brushed against his own dick, a deep moan escaped him causing the grip on his hair to tighten and the pace of Eren’s hips to pick up. Levi’s other hand had continued its journey, fingers tweaking Eren’s nipples ever so gently. “Fuck, Levi!” Eren was back to biting down on his thumb as Levi moved lower on his shaft. Levi’s tongue was moving with the same pace as his own hand. The soft knit of the glove helping his need for friction. Every time he heard his name come from Eren’s mouth it was like an aphrodisiac. He had to bring him closer, take him in deeper, make him say it again.

“Why are you so good!...fu-ck..L-Levi…” At the sound of his name rolling off Eren’s tongue he came into his own hand and swallowed Eren whole. Eren couldn’t even warn the raven as his orgasm overtook him. The chair shook as the last of the high washed over him and Levi pulled off. Damn he was tired. Levi’s eyes twinkled mischief as he opened his mouth so Eren could see his cum and then he closed his mouth and opened again, showing Eren that he had indeed swallowed every drop. Shit that was sexy Eren thought as he went to close his eyes for a second.

“E…n.” Someone was calling him. They sounded both pissed and concerned. How do you do both? And why were they under water?”
“Er…n.” Someone was lightly tapping his face. “H..y, wake….ass up.” Ass up? What?

His eyelids felt like those heavy fabric curtains. He tried opening one and then the other. “Wh-What?” Hell his whole body felt heavy. Did he get hit by a train? He eyes finally focused on the blurred image in front of him and it all came back. “Shit. How long was I out for?”

“A couple of seconds.” A couple of seconds! It felt like he had been in a hundred year sleep! “You blacked out, kid.” Levi had apparently gotten them all tucked away and cleaned up. “You also chewed your thumb to hell.”

Oh! “Oh…s-sorry.” Levi studied Eren, so the sex god was now back to the blushing virgin. Never the less the entire experience had settled him for the night and surprisingly maybe the next. It had been satisfying. How often could he say that?

“What are you apologizing for? Best compliments of my fucking life.” Levi turned to go before Eren caught him.

“Why are you different? I mean from almost everybody here.”

“It’s in the files.”

“I’d rather hear it from you.” Levi shook off Eren’s hand but he could hear Mrs. C telling him to trust. He rolled his eyes as he turned to look at her son with his pleading hurt eyes. Yeagers would be the death of him.

“…fine. Tomorrow. I’ll tell you tomorrow.” Let me enjoy being unfettered tonight.

Eren nodded. “I’ll be here.”

(I don't think you understand)

Chapter Text

Eren groaned loudly to the ceiling as he reached over and checked his phone. Fourteen texts messages and two missed calls. He flipped the phone onto the desk not bothering to check who had sent them. He wanted to enjoy his…is it an afterglow if it was a blowjob? Whatever. He wanted to enjoy the ghost of Levi’s touches and sounds. Eren frowned as his thoughts kept circling around. He shouldn’t be reading so much into this, wondering why Levi did it, if everything was okay, why Levi hadn’t kissed him, why he hadn’t kissed Levi. This could possibly mean absolutely nothing to the older man, right? Eren had enjoyed it. He had enjoyed it more because it was Levi. When had that passing attraction become a seed for something bigger…after only five days? Eren threw himself upon the mercy of the desk, forehead resting on the cool oak as he tried to recount when he had taken lessons to get this stupid.

That’s how Armin found him. “Uhh…Eren? You okay…caaause I just saw Mikasa and she had this really scary grin on her face.”

That sounded like Armin. That traitor and wasn’t he supposed to mad at him about something else? Eren popped straight up, forgetting about his momentary tiredness and pointed accusingly “YOUUUU!” Armin jumped pointing to himself mouthing ‘me?’

“Yeah, you!” Eren shuffled the files on his desk and waved the open folder at Armin, narrowing his eyes and leaning into his question. “Care to explain?”

Armin just sighed and had the nerve to look exasperated as Eren threw down the folder. “Is that why you look like you got ran over? I couldn’t exactly just let you know I worked here at the time!” The blond ran a hand through his hair. “Look it was just at that time when you were…more influenced by Grisha’s moralistic views.”

That was the nicest way he could put it. Grisha had married an ex-prostitute knowingly and was determined for Eren to not know his mother’s past life. Eren’s dad had been a little more than condemning about sex and multiple partners. How Grisha and Carla got together would certainly prove to be an interesting story but it wasn’t one he was privy to or had ever figured out.

“Really Ar? I wouldn’t have judged you!”

Armin gave Eren a shrewd look. “You know now. Can you honestly tell me you don’t see me as any different or wouldn’t have? That I am just like everyone else?”

Eren wanted to say ‘Of course not’ but could he really say that and mean it? When he’d found out about his mom, he hadn’t reacted all that well but that was different. It was his mom. But was it really different? Would the reaction have been any better with Armin? Society’s perception of overall promiscuity and his own had been one and the same enforced by Grisha's fear that his son would travel his mother's road. Ironically it seems he was traveling his father's; he was utterly attracted to Levi after all. The question was: were they unique people first or whores first?

Most people didn't think two thoughts about a hooker dying from abuse or being murdered. It was shown on TV sitcoms and not even news worthy, like it was what they deserved. How many people didn't think that all hookers were drug users or with children they couldn't support? Of all the people he had met he was sure that most of them would want an ending like his mother. Accepted. Married, children, grandchildren someday. Most were educated, held advanced degrees even, and had held regular jobs before but how many people not in this underground world thought that? He had this knowledge only because he was a part of it now. He had changed but that didn’t mean his friend had witnessed enough of it to be sure. Eren deflated in his anger quickly. He also wasn't like his father, just wanting to never acknowledge the past and brush it under the rug.

“You’re still Armin,” he said weakly even though he meant it.

“Sure I am.”

“Armin! I’m not mad that you do what you do! I’m mad because you never told me!” Eren looked down as Armin placed a hand on the desk. “Although I do understand why.” His father’s message was probably why he was a virgin today but still. “What the hell is a stock ticker stripper anyway?” Eren grumbled as he looked up to see Armin smiling faintly but as the blond saw that the argument was truly over (for now) he smiled impishly.

“I could show you.” Armin took his hand off the desk, waving in his best friend’s general direction. “You are the boss. You can request to see anything we do for the purpose of accessing skills and what we offer to clients.” He really wasn’t expecting Eren to want to see anybody’s skills as the brunette had proven to be a little squeamish about anything other than vanilla sex, even after learning what business he would take over.

Surprise! Surprise! Eren was more determined than ever to get over it all and pointed two fingers at him excitingly. “No take-backsies! You do it!”

Armin sputtered. “S-seriously??”

Eren grinned excited, looking on expectantly. “I gotta see this!”

Armin thought quickly. “There’s no music!”

Eren just picked up his phone and made it to UbeTube as his best friend tried to talk him out of it. He thought about playing some cheesy 50’s music but decided Armin probably could be okay with that and went to some anime hip hop remixes and the music started playing. The put on the spot blond turned red running his hand down his face. “I hate your guts.”

Armin turned around and walked to the middle of the room so Eren could have a full view. “I love you though.” Eren said as he watched Armin listen for the beat and tap his foot.

Two could play this game. Armin smirked as he laced his fingers behind his head and began a slow roll of his hips moving his feet outwards, getting into a better position to really move. Eren’s jaw almost hit the floor and his eyebrows had a permanent seat up his forehead. What alien life had come and replaced his best friend! Armin should not be able to move his ass like that! On time! With such precision! No way! Then Armin started talking and Eren lost his shit.

“The Dow Jones Industrial average had a massive and filling performance today, blow-ing past 16,000 and bringing it to highest climax of the year.” Breathlessly said with a hint of heat, and Armin began raising his shirt, grinning because he could hear Eren trying to hold it in. “The S&P also got its own satisfaction as crude oil, “Armin bent over and pulled his shirt all the way off and made tiny circles with his thighs which made his ass go around as he grinned at Eren through his legs, “bottomed out.” The brunette was snorting as the shirt hit him in the face.

“OH MY GOD! Okay, okay. I’m done! I’ve seen enough!” Eren threw the shirt back as he tried and failed to stop laughing. Reaching for his phone to shut off the music, he lamented. “I will never see this song the same again.”

“Serves you right perv!” Which started a whole other round of snickering while Armin pulled his shirt back on. Eren canted his head. Armin was really toned under all that nerd.

“Where’d you even learn that?” He asked as he got up from that uncomfortable chair. That thing had to be an ergonomic hazard.

“Yo’ momma.” Armin deadpanned while checking his nails.

“Hashtag so funny, not funny.” When no other answer came but a dry stare, Eren’s face drained. “You’re serious.”

“Come on Eren, let’s go out. I want a milkshake.” Armin plucked up Eren’s car keys and started walking out with a whining and hilariously distraught Eren following.

“Ar, tell me you’re not serious!” He was so distracted he totally missed an obnoxious add on to that milkshake comment.

The blond let the silence linger until they got to Eren’s 1986 Mustang. He was definitely driving because Eren was never allowed to drive him anywhere. Long story short, that Eren was an appalling driver was a gross understatement.

Armin threw a not so coy look over the roof of the car as they got in. “I’ll tell you if you tell me why your belt was on the floor.” Eren looked blankly at the space Armin had been in before silently biting his lip and sliding into a confined space with Armin “The interrogator” Arlet. Damnit! Hashtag Fuck My Life

Chapter Text

Levi stared at the ceiling, thoroughly disgusted with himself. He knew what was wrong. He felt guilty. He threw the covers off and sat up at the edge of the bed. Guilty about last night and a bright eyed brat whose smell and taste had been delighted in until his bed time routine. Levi chastised himself. It could have been anybody else.

His eyebrows furrowed and he closed his eyes sighing and thinking about feelings he experienced when just watching Eren go about the day interacting with others. He had taken hell week like a champ but the main reason for this infatuation: the kid wore his heart in his eyes that was why. That very first night from the jail, he had seen Eren’s interest in him and he in turned became interested in the green eyes that didn’t just devour him. The young man was naively open in his desires and Levi had wanted to be close to that fire. That type of passion that is only produced when you weren’t so jaded with life, when you believed in something. He wanted to be warmed by someone’s emotions. He hadn’t expected the winds to shift and that fire to be so wild. That it could catch him.

Levi shook his head and got off the bed padding off to the bathroom. He’d tell the brat his most deeply buried secrets today and then swear to a hands-off policy. Hopefully after today Eren would also realize that no one, not even his own worst enemy deserved Levi Ackerman’s attentions.

Levi had left a note in the office saying he would be on the veranda. He was sitting on the porch swing with his morning tea. A kettle seated on a hot plate keeping the rest of the tea warm. He hadn’t been particularly hungry knowing what he would be talking about today and just enjoyed the silence punctuated by the creaking of the swing, the chilly breeze and the tea cup in his palm. Inhale of the pungent smell of the tea before taking his sips.

Eren watched Levi from the hallway, enjoying this unobstructed view into the man’s serenity. Peace like that was hard won and he didn’t want to disturb it just yet. Eren felt calm himself and it amazed him how his emotions readily reflected the surly man’s. It was strange. He was sure. Eren began going back down the hallway as his thoughts wondered if Levi just woke up looking enticing, which led to some other thoughts he couldn’t entertain. He shook his head and made noise to warn Levi of his approach.

This was a little bit of peace, Levi reflected wistfully. His mind was still and his body’s needs at rest and no overwhelming fear around the corner. But Levi could hear Eren coming around the corner if he was deaf, how much could a person trip over in a hallway?

“Good Morning Levi!” Eren was a morning person apparently. Ugh. He was wearing fuzzy house sleepers, basketball shorts and a regular black tee but he filled it in a little too well for Levi’s comfort.

“Ah, morning…”

Eren smiled, disregarding the grizzly bear on the porch swing, helped himself to some tea and sat in the rocker slider. The young man fidgeted, getting slightly nervous the more the silence dragged on. They obviously were going to ignore what happened yesterday which he can’t say he didn’t expect after talking with Armin last night but they had to open with something.

“Why do you hold your cup like that?” Eren blurted out trying to get past the not talking phase.

“Like what?” Eren mimicked Levi’s hold. ”Oh. Well. My mom used to fix us tea and I was too little to hold the cup by the handle and keep it stable.”

Eren smirked, “So you’re saying you’re still too little.”

Levi glared at the young man. “That a short joke?”

“What? Me? Nooo.”

“Fuck you, Yeager.”

Eren had an answer for that too but it was highly inappropriate considering so he just sipped his tea and kept his eyes to himself. ”Just start when you can…the story I mean.”

Levi was highly suspicious about that statement but sighed heavily as he thought were to begin, when that ring on his thumb glinted in the coming sun rays. He frowned thinly.

“I can’t really remember it all that clearly…it was a phrase that set me off. One Kenny was very fond of using whenever he…just whenever.” Levi looked over at that beautiful fiery young man listening to him and he shifted. “You know Johari window?”

Eren shook his head vaguely remembering something but not enough to interrupt and Levi continued bringing his knee up to rest his elbow. “It says that you have four parts of yourself. A hidden self…that part of you that you know but others don’t, an open part that you see and others see, a blind part which you don’t see but others know and finally the scariest part: your unknown self. The part of you that you don’t know and others don’t see…”

They were in an argument, one that wasn’t even as bad as some they had had in the past. This argument was about “work”.

“Erwin you’re an idiot if you think we can keep this up!” Mikasa stomped her way out of the bedroom, afraid and fuming with a pissed blond right on her heels. True, Kenny hadn’t been watching the income she was bringing in because he now had an entire androgynous harem due to the success of himself, but Erwin was consistently playing with fire now. Kenny would find out and it would be deadly.

“I said I would protect you and I will! I won’t watch you do this anymore.”

Mikasa rounded on him, the ice chill of fear and her white hot anger setting off an explosion of unsavory words. “You’re more than an idiot! How do you expect fidelity from a hooker?! One you helped make by the way! Fucking Kenny finds out you’re the only “John” for the last 6 months, that’ll get us both killed. You think that fucker gives two shits and a kitten about love, right, wrong, honor among thieves! Prime fucking example in your face about what he cares! Your protection ain’t worth shit, Commander. I’ll protect us.” Mikasa spun back walking towards the kitchen. “Oh and by the way, you have to pay to participate.”

Mikasa willed her hands to stop shaking by balling them into fists. She would go do this tonight and every other night because she knew how to survive Kenny, had spent years surviving that bastard and Erwin was not going to get her killed. She’d seen what Kenny could do and had to clean up one or two of his messier kills and so, although she felt that watering on your tongue you get right before you throw up just thinking about going back to…”work”, it would be done. It had been nice just being with Erwin but nice wasn’t a luxury that stayed long in this reality.

Erwin was crowding her into the counter as she extended for her keys and cell phone, using his size to his advantage. Mikasa edged to get away and the tension heightened when Erwin keep almost every part of her body trapped with his own.

“Erwin, please.” Hating the waver in her voice, she reached again for resolve as Erwin starting nuzzling her neck and nipping just so at that sensitive place right below her ears.

“Erwin, Stop!”

It was so hard to ignore the call on her body and it was unfair for Erwin to be using this stupid need against her. If she gave in another night would go by with just Erwin. It would be harder tomorrow. More dangerous tomorrow. Mikasa knew the man’s stamina and didn’t doubt he would seduce her every night until something happened. The something was what she didn’t want to see.

“Just let me…how about just women?” Mikasa felt a smile graze her neck.

“Not even that.” Said with a smug confidence that he was winning. Arms sweep behind her back, surprise crossed her face as she was pushed forward into the counter. Uncomfortable now, Mikasa pushed back into Erwin trying to make him move, distress creeping up her vocal cords. “Erwin really…let me up! It’s not fun or funny.”

The blond could only hear that breathless anger, something he was accustomed to while one hand held Mikasa’s wrists together the other slid under her skirt, lovingly caressing Mikasa’s hips right below the lace panty line.

“Stop! Quit it ERWIN!” Levi was getting mad and upset and this reminded him of something.

“No need to shout…yet.” Levi would have rolled his eyes at that statement any other time but Erwin was working his legs open and his anxiety tripled.

“Not now, Erwin, n-not here.” Levi took his cheek off the counter and rested his forehead on it instead, trying to control his emotions.

He was entombed in a glacier of ice as Erwin leaned over and whispered, “You’re mine, Levi. You’re not leaving.”

Just like that, it wasn’t Erwin holding him down anymore.

“No! I’m not! I’m not yours!” Levi tried to twist out of the grip but he was thoroughly incapacitated. Fucking powerless again.

Erwin knew he could change that answer as he slid a hand into those lace panties, feeling himself harden at the sight of that black lace sliding down over Levi’s pale skin, exposing that pert ass to view.
“Just say who you belong to Levi.”

Erwin couldn’t see the lethal tears that were falling through clenched teeth and whispered words, “No One.” But Levi’s heart dropped as he heard his mind say Kenny.

He sang a song when he did it
He was cold and he was so unforgiving

“…Some fuckface had broken my arm when I was seven because I didn’t want to open my mouth to suck that fat bastard’s smelly dick besides Kenny hadn’t said this guy got special treatment. He was trying to get me to do it without a condom. Held my nose and everything but I had already gotten real smart about how to handle that kind of shit but even if he had a condom there was just no way. Anyway, he dropped me at the hospital and left. It wasn’t the first time I had broken bones but Kenny usually had a doctor come to the house.”

Levi refilled both his and Eren’s cups and Eren relocated to the porch swing. Levi moved over to accommodate.

“It was one of the only times I had been without my uncle. So when the nurses asked what happened, I spilled my guts about everything. Kenny, the prostitution, the abuse, everything. Fucked up thing was they had to call Kenny. He was my guardian after all but they assigned me a case worker. Stuck me in some shitty foster home but this was the first time I had ever been documented in a hospital…”

Kenny covered his tracks blaming away Levi’s knowledge of less savory aspects of life on his mother being a ”working girl” who had a habit of bringing her son along. Levi was just an inconsolable troubled child that was still working out how to be normal. In the end, he was given back to Kenny who didn’t say anything about the incident for months. Didn’t chastise him, didn’t beat him, didn’t force him to suck dick, and didn’t touch him which at first made Levi wary but slowly just as children do, he started dropping his guard. He smiled around the man, became chatty about his day and his in home tutoring, and even coaxed Kenny into letting him suck his dick. He wanted his uncle’s approval, to please him and for Kenny to love him back and Kenny never denied him when he was on his knees.

Those vaguely happy memories came to a horrifying halt late one night when he was dragged from bed, head smacking cruelly on the floor. His pajama top rode up and his long hair snagged the moment he was dragged over the door jamb. He was in the hallway before he knew it, sobbing loudly with palms sliding across the carpet trying to halt the motion. The sting of carpet burn became secondary as the stairs came into view. Tears sprang up as he frantically looked for help. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!”

His uncle stopped just before Levi’s body would have been dragged down the first step and scooped up the grateful sobbing child, who clung to him as he continued down the stairs. Levi calmed a little and wiped his tears on his sleeves and perked up cautiously. The fall from the bed hadn’t been all that bad just scary. “Where’re we going?”

He could hear laughter before Kenny put him down outside the dining room doors and leaned in close to his nephew. “Mikasa you’re going to be a good girl tonight and you’ll be a woman by morning.” Levi didn’t know what it meant but it didn’t seem good. Uncle Kenny was still mad at him. Levi’s breathe quickened and didn’t settle. He flinched as Kenny’s hand came up but he only cupped his cheek.

“You’re so pretty like this.” Levi just nodded as his uncle kissed him and walked to open the double doors to the dining room. The glare Kenny threw over his shoulder at his nephew left no doubt that there was a guarantee of pain to come. He just hadn’t known how much at the time. By the end of the night, it was etched far into his being.

“…There were three people in that room. That fat fuck face that broke my arm, another man and a woman. Probably pedophiles I hadn’t gotten to that day because of what happened. In the middle of my…punishment I guess it was, Kenny made himself very clear…”

******Flashback: Trigger Scene Rape-Skip to Next Verse*****
“You little whore. Think you can get away, hm? Was that so smart now?” Levi’s eyes were shut tight, his teeth gnashing together as he prayed for all of them to die. A strangled wail came up from his chest and the crying began in earnest. That’s right, Kenny thought. Those condoms were minimally lubricated and he had left the prepping up to his esteemed guests who were somewhat too eager to begin. Levi could hear the ice in the glasses on the table clink with every burning thrust. Levi’s small hands sought for a grip that couldn’t be found. His toes barely brushed the floor and lacking the leverage, his hips were driven mercilessly into the table edge.

The cheek that was not pressed into the dining room table was smacked harshly. “Open your eyes and look at me boy!” The tears his eyelids were holding back immediately spilled over as he did as his uncle commanded and he wished he couldn’t remember that look today.

The expression on Kenny’s face seemed almost passive but the fury in his eyes that had been missing those last few months was all accounted for in that moment.

“Do you see what you make me do to you? You want to shoot your fucking hole off to everybody. Tell them my business then I’ll make sure that another hole of yours is available to everyone.”

Kenny touched his cheek and leaned in, wiping away some of the tears and snot with his pajamas that had been discarded as the fat man finished and the second man took his place. “I fucking own you.”

Kenny nodded to the man who held the boy down and thrust in all at once sending fresh shooting pain and shock down the child’s spine. At the bow in his nephew’s back and the drool rolling out of his mouth, Kenny asked nonchalantly, “Who do you belong to Mikasa?”

Levi sobbed loudly, “Y-y-ooouu…I-I-m…s-s-oo-rry…Un-cllleeee.” Snot, drool and tears ran along his face to pool and cool between his cheek and the surface of the table. The small raven couldn’t see Kenny through the blur of tears.

“What is my name?”


“Who do you belong to Mikasa?”


The second man came with a loud groan and Kenny peeled Levi up from the table and flipped him onto his back, ignoring the boy’s pain. Levi couldn’t even give token resistance. His legs felt numb as Kenny pushed them to his chest. Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see that woman masturbating.

“You’ve been such a good girl.” Kenny coated himself in lube not bothering with a condom. The boy looked positively angelic. Black hair splayed around across the varnished mahogany of the table, deep red traveling down his neck to his chest, writhing in pain. Levi was his and the boy would see that today. “I’ll let you enjoy being mine tonight.”

Levi didn’t want to keep his eyes open anymore. He hadn’t had to watch or see those other people’s faces. “No No No.” His nephew repeated weakly. Kenny almost smiled nostalgically at how like his mother he was as Kenny lined himself up and leaned over Levi, pushing his legs further into his chest, to kiss him chastely, so sweetly. He dried his face again although more tears and sniffles came.

“Who do you belong to Levi?” Kenny asked sweetly almost in a singsong way against Levi’s ear, not wanting the others to know his real name. That was reserved for him. Levi only got out half his name as Kenny sheathed himself in the boy. Kenny stilled and closed his eyes savoring the taste of broken innocence. Felt euphoric. “Ohh, you’re never leaving.” Kenny said breathlessly as he smirked darkly at his nephew’s chest heaving sobs.

Present day Levi savagely reflected “…Even then my body betrayed me for that bastard’s pleasure so I shouldn’t have been so surprised later…”

This weird feeling was building in his belly. It wasn’t okay when he felt himself harden thinking Kenny would be even angrier as he whimpered in despair. He moved his legs the little he could against Kenny’s chest to cover his condition before Kenny noticed but suddenly the feeling was magnified. His voice was caught somewhere between a hiccup and a moan and still his uncle noticed and stopped his pace, breathing raggedly. He took in his nephew’s puffed blotchy chubby cheeks, wide grey eyes glistening with unshed tears, swollen pink lips and instantaneously knew that flush tinted skin wasn’t purely from pain anymore, that gasping wasn’t only from distress and fright anymore. Kenny leaned up and parted Levi’s thighs and Levi tried to cover himself with his hands.

His uncle chuckled ominously, “Oh Mikasa, now, now.” Kenny took his nephew’s hands away from his erection, pulling his wrists down to either side. All four of them looked like monsters. The two men started stroking themselves to hardness again and the woman licked her lips as he felt his uncle throb inside him. “Such a wonderful gift to me. Your body just wanted to let me know you were being honest with me Mikasa.” Kenny signaled the woman who took the boy into her mouth as Kenny resumed his thrusts. “Very…Very…Good girl…Mikasa.”
******End: Trigger scene*****

Now she dances to the song on the minute
Yeah, all the time, all the time

“…All I can say for that night was at the end Kenny killed that fucktard. He said it was because he almost gotten me taken away and he had tried to get over by making me suck him without a condom. He hadn’t paid for it. Kenny told me if I had just kept my mouth shut at the hospital I would have never been in trouble or fucked that night. Don’t know if I believe him now but I did then. I’d been bad and I was punished .I got punished many more times for that hospital visit.”

Levi stopped there for a little while still not looking directly at Eren, not wanting to take in pity or disgust. He put down his tea cup and curled in on himself. Eren was concentrating on several things at once but most important was focusing on the fact that Levi was there now in the present with him. He could have not had the chance to meet the grumpy grey eyed beauty. He had wrapped Levi loosely in his arms, silently offering his support only if the raven wanted it. Levi stiffened but sighed and relaxed into the offered body heat, unconsciously drawing in that delicious scent. The hands-off policy is after…after. Sunlight was stretching towards them not yet having burnt off the fog in the distance.

Eren could tell Levi was having some trouble continuing. “So, what happened with Erwin?” he prompted and felt Levi’s fist clutch his shirt.

Levi swallowed his shame and held down his choking regret. “Well…I got free…got a knife…stabbed him…”

******Flashback: Warn character death*****
Both Levi and Erwin looked surprised at the knife buried in upper body. Levi’s hand still on the handle. A thin trickle of blood marring the possibility of this being a dream slide down the slivered edge. He looked into Erwin’s blue eyes dismayed. Erwin looked so full of sorrow as he unlocked Levi’s fingers and hands from the handle.

When the raven got dizzy, he realized he was hyperventilating. The tears Erwin had been unable to see were on full display. It was so unfortunate, Erwin thought as he leaned in for what would be the last kiss, that Levi was right. I couldn’t even protect him from myself. Levi sobbed into that kiss before giving Erwin the answer that he had wanted all along. He poured all he had of himself into Erwin until he felt desolate. Erwin leaned back against the counter still unable to hold himself as his legs collapsed. He smiled to himself.

“Doesn’t hurt at least.” He said as Levi met him on the floor looking on with doleful eyes and stricken expression. Erwin reached up and smooth the tears from Levi’s face. “A speechless Levi, thought I’d never live to see the day.”

A chocked off melancholy scoff was given in answer. Erwin pulled Levi close, hiding his own tears in Levi’s soft curls. “I’m sorry.”

Levi keened into Erwin’s side, running his hand up and down Erwin’s shirt. “Erwin….Erwin….I can’t be yours if you aren’t here!” His shoulders shook with the force of his weeping.

“Be okay my Levi.” Erwin choked out before he went unconscious.

The raven looked at the knife handle in heart-rending misery as he counted Erwin’s last breaths.

Levi wiped his face and pushed away from the Eren’s embrace. Comfort wasn’t something he deserved for the next part. He’d betrayed everything Erwin had taught him. The brunet looked on in concern at the rolling self-loathing on Levi’s face. The older man got up and walked to the banister, folding his arms and watching as a flock of birds rose from the tree line.

“I think that the appointment I had called Kenny because he showed up a few hours later. That signature murderous intent all over him. Had the building manager give him a key and he walked right in there. He took one look at the place and then…” Levi gave a black look to those birds as he shifted his weight. “…then that fucker started laughing.”

It make her weak when she hear it
And it got her on her knees like religion

Nothing came close to the horror of hearing his uncle’s laughter. He didn’t know how to react to it; it had never happened before. Levi hesitantly moved away from Erwin’s body and tried standing. Blood rushed down causing painful tingles. Kenny’s eyes landed on Levi in mirth.

“Ah Mikasa, you just answered the great question! Is it better to be feared or loved?!” Kenny stalked over to Mikasa and grabbed the back of her hair painfully and slammed her head into the counter. The mirth fled as she cried out and instinctively reached for his hands in her hair. It was replaced by wrath.

“It is far safer to be feared than loved. You want to know why you could hurt that pompous prick.” Kenny smacked her face and grabbed her jaw when she closed her eyes, “Hey, hey. Pay attention!”

Kenny pointed at Erwin’s body. “Why you could KILL this poor dumb fuck?! I already gave you the god damn answer, answer.” Levi’s eyes widen and his lungs labored. It wasn’t like that. It couldn’t be like that! His uncle cruelly let the thought process finish. Kenny mentally shrugged, like mother like son. After all these years, Levi had finally given him total control due to love. He shook Mikasa roughly. “Fucking bitch. ANSWER ME!”

Levi’s spirit finally broke. “BECAUSE I LOVED HIM!” Mikasa whispered, “Also because he loved me.”

Satisfied Kenny let go and Mikasa fell to anguish to the floor. Her uncle walked over to Erwin’s body and looked over the handy work. Not bad. He knelt down and removed one ring from off Erwin’s fingers. Plain and unassuming. He went back over to Mikasa, turning the ring over. “You should at least keep a trophy of your first kill.”

Mikasa looked up through her veil of hair. There was a last dying ember of murderous indignation as he grabbed her hand, forced open her fist and slide the ring into place on the only finger it would fit. It was over. Kenny smiled, “Clean this shit up, Mikasa.”

Levi’s jaw clenched. “You even know what it means to clean up. He didn’t…he didn’t send anybody to help me. I couldn’t…” Levi stretched out his hands to push against the banister, nails digging into the wood. “I couldn’t carry Erwin, you know. He made me….I had to….

After Kenny left and it was obvious he was not sending anyone to help, Mikasa went on auto-pilot trying to forget about the weight of that ring sitting on her thumb. She tied back her hair and covered a cloth over her mouth. She got out a series of garbage bags and moved to grab the handle of the knife. With a grit of teeth and a few unnoticed tears she laid the weapon on a safe space and rolled the body forward onto the garbage bags. Removal of the clothes came next and she washed down Erwin’s body with a damp towel, taking longer than necessary, trying to honor him because what would come next was unforgivable. She took up the knife she had laid aside, took a breath, discarded her feelings and began.
******End Flashback*****

Levi shut his eyes against the memory. “Let's just took a while to move his body.”

Chapter Text

She was young and she was forced to be a woman
Yeah, all the time, all the time

“H-How old were you then?” he heard his audience of one ask.

“Then…” Levi finally turned around, tilted his head and leaned against the wood column observing Eren biting his inner cheek. “Then I was sixteen and after…that I was under Kenny’s full control.”

“…how old are you now?”

Mikasa glinted in Levi’s smirk, “You shouldn’t ask such a thing.” There was an exasperated sigh and Levi provided the answer. “Thirty.”

“…Is it something in the water here? This house must be on the fountain of youth! The f-…”

“When I call you a brat I’ll mean it.”

“Sorry…didn’t mean to whine.”

“It’s part of your charm…but thanks for distracting me.” A ghost of a smile on his lips. “What did you say you were studying in college?”

Those gorgeous greens turned away from his gaze, sporting a smirk on that good-looking face. “I didn’t.”

Levi almost rolled his eyes at that. He could hazard a guess though. The boy wasn't as spacey as he seemed and Levi couldn't decide whether to be wary or amused but for now he would trust.

"Anyway, Erwin hadn’t been just on Kenny’s pay roll and there were plenty of people who wondered what happened to him but no one wanted to ruffle any feathers by asking too deeply on his disappearance. Erwin had kept his affair with me under wraps so I was in the clear, for the most part…”

Levi wanted to die but he didn’t deserve a moment’s peace between dying and ending in hell. Ever since that night, the raven haired youth had spiraled into self-destruction. He thought that all the pain he had suffered though and all the pain he would suffer was because of that one moment where he murdered his own slice of happiness. And it still wasn’t enough. It was never going to be enough pain, torture or misery to satisfy his self-loathing and Kenny wasn’t even helping in his penance. Levi figured his uncle knew that was what he wanted and left him amazingly unscathed but the depressed teenager found other people and ways to exact his own punishment.

Levi languished and in a way he did die to Mikasa. Besides the problem with actually dying ended up being Mikasa. She wasn’t one for dying. Habits had become too ingrained to engage in risky behavior. So when she took drugs it was always with clean needles and she was compulsive when it came to the right dosage, she always had safe sex, never carried large sums of cash and drugs, and was too good of a cleaner to be caught. The one thing Levi did have was fighting. Eventually when the combination of not eating and drugs made his bones brittle and easily broken, Kenny found out and the fighting pits stopped but Levi lead himself into “customer abuse” situations.

Mikasa was leaving the building of such a session, when the ring fell off her thumb and rolled down the side walk. Inside Levi grew alarmed but Mikasa looked on with dispassion. When someone reached down to pick it up, Levi vaulted to the forefront and scrambled to the person trying to reach for the ring. How could he have gotten so skinny that the ring would come off? What was he doing?

“I’m sorry…sorry, that’s m-my ring.”

Only to come face to face with someone he wasn’t expecting. “Nifa.”

The woman was shorter than him because of his heels but the frown she wore while looking between him and the ring in her hand was irritating. “Mikasa.”

Nifa held up the ring apparently putting something together. “Did-Did Erwin give you this?” She asked skeptically and Levi answered truthfully, “My uncle placed it on my hand.”

The short woman seemed to accept that before pocketing the precious relic of his offense. “I see.” She walked away knowing that the teenager would not let it go so easily. Counted on it actually.

“Nifa…” She turned to Levi’s wilting expression both startled and pleased her, having never seen this side of the young woman.

“Mikasa, you don’t even know what this ring represents and yet you want to wear it. If you want it that badly then you have to take Erwin’s place.”

The question in Levi’s eyes was enough to prompt the woman to continue. Nifa looked around quickly and then grabbed Mikasa’s arm, as if they were strolling along.

“It’s something Erwin was involved in and it would have affected you had he been able to finish.” The grip on Mikasa’s arm became a little tighter as she avoided speculating on Erwin.

“I dare say you would be the most beneficial person we could have for its completion. Do you-do you want to be a part of what Erwin was doing?” Nifa took in Mikasa’s haggard appearance and needle marked veins with concern. “You know Erwin would hate were you are now.”

Arrow to the heart hearing that and he knew Nifa wasn’t saying that part for an ulterior motive. She had been one of the workers under Erwin too. She was possibly the only one closet to knowing about him and Erwin. Levi’s fist clenched at the clothes above his heart before he allowed Mikasa to take over and Mikasa was only concerned with vengeance not guilt. Nifa was also associated with Dot Pixis and if Pixis was involved, Mikasa could have a chance. Levi’s guilt was all in regardless of what it was.

“What do you need from me?”

Nifa smiled mysteriously, “First, I need you to get clean.”

“Nifa was a confidante of Erwin’s and she asked me to get clean in his memory. Getting clean was…an experience. A karmic fuck you, in fact. I wanted pain and I got it. I met Hange there as my doctor. That probably took years off my life.”

The ponytail wearing woman was not and is not a "normal" psychiatrist and that was what worked. It also had brought him here is a roundabout way. Now that he thought about it, it was entirely possible that Hange had sent Mrs. C to go recruit him that pivotal day. His best friend probably knew he was ready for this kind of life. It was definitely less stressful and a haven. Someday, he would have to thank Hange if that was really the case, although he would probably be squeezed to death. So caught in thought, the overthinking man hadn’t realized he had started worrying his bottom lip but a certain someone was watching with ever increasing heat.

And I know that she's capable of anything, it's riveting
But when you wake up she's always gone, gone, gone

The silence tipped Levi’s confused grey eyes toward a torrid sea. Immediately, he lost cabin pressure. The heat that creep up his neckline was not a blush. There was no way. Get it together, Levi said to himself but after Eren heard all and could still look at him like that, it was an aphrodisiac. Made him feel like someone worthy again. I gotta get the hell outta here before I take that invitation.

A ringing phone cut the tension. From the look on Eren’s face, it was clear that it was Mrs. C on the other end of that. Picking up the teacups and kettle, Levi made a grateful exit. He would go hang out with Isabel and Farlan after washing the dishes. He needed to not think for a while. He heard a nervous young Yeager answer the phone. That kid couldn’t hide a secret if his life depended on it but part of him was wondering if that too was a front.

Eren, how is everything going? Why haven’t you answered my phone calls? Or my text for that matter?

Eren rubbed the back of his neck as Levi discretely left. Damnit they had been making good progress. Eren looked to make sure Levi was gone and even then he walked down off the porch and into the yard.

“It’s fine mom. I was going to call you. Just later, you know.”

Please my boy, it’s been six days and I haven’t heard from you but I’ve heard from everyone else. Something I should know?

“N-no, everything’s been copacetic.”

Copacetic? Really honey. Unlike Armin you only let your brain show when you’re nervous.”

Eren looked down at the grass at his feet and then back at the house. “Everybody seems well and I think by this time next week Isabel and Farlan will be moving on from us.”

Oh now that is progress! Eren what did you do to convince those two?

“A little jealousy goes a long way in one case and getting rid of it in another.”

Now that sounds like a story I have to hear when I get back!

“Ymir confessed to Historia.”

You’re a regular little cupid I see. How did Historia take it?” Eren could hear Petra in the background demanding details.

“Not so well at first. I think she thought Ymir would want to control her but seems Ymir has a side that also likes nurture. Who would have thought? But Ymir has been coddling and wooing Historia since…actually they are pretty cavity inducing right now even though Historia hasn’t made a decision yet. Honestly, I think Historia has a little dom inside her too. And tell Petra she needs to get back here. After we get off the phone, I’m sending over a picture of what Oluo was wearing. I have no idea how to deal with that.” Eren laughed as he heard sputtering in the back ground. It sounded like Petra wanted to know what it was right then but he could hear his mother moving away from Petra and shooing her away.

Alright now let’s get to the elephant in the room.

“Yeah, when did you teach Armin about stock ticker stripping?”

Carla let out a peel of laughter. “I just taught him the basics none of that fancy stuff he does now. If you want to know where he learned that well…Mike and Nanaba aren’t as square as you think.

Eren scoffed at the word 'square' as he folded his arms and played with his hemp bracelets absently.

So what about Levi?

The young man paused in thought. “…I’m not sure.”

Oh? And here I thought everyone was copacetic.” Eren looked at the phone in annoyance, his mother sure sounded smug. His sigh was heard over the phone.

“He’s told me a lot just today...stuff not in the files and never needs to be but there is something else that’s bugging me.”

Carla took a little dig. “ Is it your hormones?


What Eren, I’m not exactly unaware of sexual needs but I did tell you no-


Alright Alright! What is it?"

"Hmph...he's not angry. I mean regretful, yeah, but after all I heard today he should be...he should have anger. He thinks he deserves exactly this and I don't think he wants to be happy."

" Oh, my little cinnamon roll. Don't sound so down. It could be that being punished or punishing himself is making Levi happy or it could be downright acceptance. Right now you are not there to "fix" anybody. You think anger is motivation for getting out of a habit or situation and at times that is true but maybe it's not the right motivator for him." Carla made some noises like she was covering up the phone before her voice became clear again. "Okay honey I got to go but you're there for support and learning! Don't be a jerk! Love you!"

"Love y- Hey!" Eren pulled the phone away from his ear. He was the jerk? He shook his head and was still left with unfulfilled questions. The only other person to ask was going to be Levi’s old doctor.

“Sooo you’re saying you want to put your sausage in his bun!” Okay maybe talking with Hange wasn’t the smartest thing to do.

“That wasn’t even close!” Hange chuckled internally and crossed her legs, careful not to give Eren a grand view up her mini skirt or else he would be four shades of red instead of three as he adamantly defended his point, hands gripping the front edges of the stool he was astride.

“Well really Eren how am I not to get that from what you said!” The kid really was cute. She could see why Levi liked him even if the little midget was denying it to himself.

“I said I was trying to help Levi! I’m not trying to get in his pants!” Why did every one think that?!

“Well I can guarantee he’s trying to get into yours.” That sputtering shocked look that came over Eren’s face should have come with a camera. “Eren it’s just the way Levi is. He tries to get into everybody’s pants....” Hange found the disappointment that flashed across Eren’s face to be encouraging given his previous statement. “But not consciously. Levi is Marilyn Monroe but without control.” Hange said off-handedly.

“Marilyn Monroe?”

The blue low plunging shirt set off her brown affronted eyes. “How old are you!? You don’t know Marilyn Monroe?! I demand to know what planet you’re from?!”

Annoyance was written on his face, “I’m old enough! Yesss I know who Marilyn is! How is that even relevant?!” It was official in his mind. Hange was a crazy person.

Hange stood abruptly pointing a finger. “Ah ha! You do come from another planet but I will tell you the story of our Marilyn Monroe.” Eren sweat dropped as the crazy lady began acting the story. “Marilyn was with a friend, walking along and no one recognized her. The friend was astonished saying ‘Don’t they know who you are.’ She said ‘Oh well watch this’. She squared her shoulders and put that sway into her hips and suddenly she started getting cat calls and people saying ‘Hey it’s Marilyn’ and everyone knew who she was. Monroe had a control over her sex appeal. Levi is always on.” Hange ended with a shrug before she crashed back into her chair as though the mini theater had worn her out.

"That doesn't tell me how to help him!" Eren threw up his hands then immediately put them back down before he over balanced. "Whoa."

"You sleep with him! I told you that in the beginning!"

"That makes no sense Hange."

"It's very simple actually. I think everyone here knows you’re attracted to Levi by now and well...I have another story!" Eren's chin came to rest on his chest as he controlled himself from snapping and with a determined inhale he lifted his head to nod affirmative.

"Right! So think the coed stunt group cheerleaders. If a male cheerleader is holding up a female cheerleader, well he has to hold her up like in pretty intimate ways or close to intimate places. If he is nervous about where his hands are, he is probably shaky and not very stable so he has more chance of dropping her. He is way more nervous if he is actually attracted to her. Not to mention his hands probably get a lot sweatier! In any case were the female cheerleader is willing to be more intimate with her support, it will help lessen the chance of her falling. In your case said cheerleader you are trying to support has a nasty way of wearing scandalous lingerie."

Hange chortled as Eren choked out, "Aren't you not supposed to sleep with patients?" His eyes went wide as he realized what he had said but Hange didn't seem to notice.

"Does this look like a clinical setting to you?" She gestured around taking in the multitude of racks, whips and cords. "Although if my office did look like this I might get more accomplished!"

This conversation was getting in all the wrong places. He hopped off the stool ready to call it. "Hange, I have just one more question."

"What is it sweet pea?"

"Have you ever seen Levi or Mikasa mad? Like really angry or even passionate about something?"

Hange opened her mouth and then put a finger to her top lip to close it. "Hmmm. Interesting. Why do you ask?"

"I dunna. Just seems like Levi should have The only time I saw him get somewhat aggressive with people was cleaning the house. I'm almost positive that if no one had agreed to help that he would have just done it himself."

"To answer your question, I have to say, nothing besides cleaning but that's more of a compulsion than a passion. After being his friend for years, you'd think I'd pick up on that." The brown haired woman sighed. This is why fresh eyes were always good. Carla had been right about that. "The only one I can think for you to ask would be Historia. They had some dealings before Historia showed up here but good luck getting to her now after that stunt you pulled with Isabel. Nice by the way!"

Eren didn't leave Hange hanging, giving her a high five on his way out. Finally something he could work with. "Thanks Hange."

"Let me know what you find!"

Chapter Text

In the night she hears him calling
In the night she's dancing to relieve the pain

Hange hadn’t needed to worry about Eren telling her how it went. Levi came into her den after her last customer positively livid.

“What the fuck you tell that asswipe?!”

She almost dropped her perfectly cleaned flogger to the floor and had to make acrobatic moves just to catch it. “Geez…a little warning next time!” she exclaimed, petting her stock braid flogger before putting it up on the wall rack.

“I don’t know what you and Mrs. C have going but it’s starting to piss me off.”

Hange looked over without any shame what so ever. “Carla and I have differing opinions.”

When Levi didn’t immediately follow with another outburst Hange knew she had messed up and that death glare could take paint off the walls. It was amazing that little shorty could grasp concepts with so little information. A side effect of years of people watching.

“You’re not fucking with me. You two are fucking with Eren, I’m just in the middle of it.”


“Well, you see….” Hange squeaked as Levi shouted her name. “Carla was concerned about you, meaning Mikasa, distracting Eren and I think that you two should just get it on! Preferably before Carla gets back of course. Carla thinks he’ll get over his attraction and I think it’s a distraction for him not getting any…”

The raven pinched the bridge of his nose and counted backwards from ten as his soon-to-be-dead best friend rattled on. Too bad, Carla had been wrong on the Mikasa front. Mikasa was protective, it was Levi that wanted to fuck him. The desire that shot gunned through his veins at the very thought almost left him gasping but there was an inaudible inhale and a grind of his teeth as he restrained himself from conjuring up any mental images and forcibly tuned back into what Hange was saying. Or asking.

“…do that got you so mad anyway?” Oh, that’s right he was angry.

“Kept putting his dirty ass grubby fingers on the windows.”

The brunette looked like she was waiting for more. “I was cleaning them.”

A blink “….Aaand?”

“He was being a little shit and we may have ended up in a fist fight.” Little shit could hold his own too but he was rusty and Levi may or may not have kicked him and may or may not have gotten in a feel or two. The kid had nice abs and some wandering hands himself.

Hange looked hesitant as she sat down and pulled her hair into the ponytail we all know and love, while discretely looking at the time on her cell phone. It was eleven o’clock and no sign of Mikasa and she was sure that Levi’s cleaning spree was definitely during the day especially if he was on windows. This was the second time in a week that Levi hadn’t vanished into the night. Also, why was her bestie here, in this room? He could have waited until…oh! She couldn’t hide the crazed grin. “Levi! What are you doing here? You seriously got that mad over...fingerprints.”

He cut his eyes over at her and then quickly away. Of course that wasn’t the reason. “Shut it shitty glasses, we doing this or not.”

Hange could barely contain the high pitched squeal as she launched off the chair, jumping and punching the air. There was more jumping and clapping of hands as a super excited Hange turned to survey the wall rack talking to herself before addressing Levi without turning. She was very good at what she did and she was aware she might have to pull out intense toys for the man in front of her.

“Shirt and pants gotta go.” Levi grunted his consent, pulling his shirt overhead and pulling his pants off, leaving him in black briefs and those black stockings Mikasa liked so much and folded the other clothes neatly.

When Levi turned around, he found a glittery eyed but serious Hange handing him some black arm sleeves, which would help protect some areas. She looked over Levi and grinned in approval. Mikasa wasn’t all gone but it was progress.

“We’re going to do neutral play today. No power exchange, no bondage just discipline but since this is neutral you have to have in your mind why you are going to do this. You don’t have to tell me the reason but you won’t last five minutes without one and that would be okay too. We are learning tonight so negotiation first.”

Levi looked away a little embarrassed at the care shown by the otherwise impulsive, crazy female and brushed the words off, while rolling the sleeves up to his shoulders. “Ah, I trust you.”

Hange laid a hand on Levi’s sleeves. “That’s great to know but this is different. You don’t know me as a Dom. Do you already have safe words?”

He nodded, “Wings for hold, Freedom for stop.”

Hange rocked back on her heels, looking thoughtful before she shook her head“…I don’t trust you to use them. We’re setting a time limit. Fifteen minutes.”

Levi raised an eyebrow but conceded the point. She was his best friend for a reason and had been his psychiatrist first. “Thirty.”

“Twenty and do you want to be standing or sitting?”

The look on her face said that was all he was getting. “Tch. Fine. Standing.”

“Think about your reason while I get the frame ready.”

A reason huh. Punishment? Atonement? Gratification? Distraction? A little bit of all kinds of reasons really. If his past wasn’t so fucked would he even feel shame about what he did here? Hange and most of the others liked this world for what it gave back to them. Encouragement. Pride. Release. Was it even true anymore, that he felt shame? Was he finally through with himself? Ready to stop punishing himself.

“Alright, step right up!” Hange gestured to the freestanding doorway with corded grips. He would be outstretched to grip the hand holds. “So to recap! Twenty minutes with safe words. Wings for hold, freedom for dead stop and if you let go of the hand holds it is also over with. K?”

The brand new suede flogger made its way into her experienced hands. Heavy and with enough sting along the ranges of pressure that it would make for a good warm up and even better entree. “Count for me, yes?”

She'll never walk away

“Got it four eyes.” He threaded his fingers voluntarily through the hand hold. The corded rope digging into his palms and his arms flexed, quickly becoming more comfortable with grip and fall of his shoulders. A reason. Hange was dragging the suede lightly the front of his body as he closed his own eyes. He felt the drawback, a few ticks of anticipation before he heard and then felt the hit across his chest.

“One.” His muscles tensed because a big reason was that he craved it. Maybe he should have asked for a blindfold but no he could keep his own eyes closed. Listening for that distinct sound that was bringing him into the present.

“Two.” Levi licked his lips. This craving went so deep it had to have been there even before any event. That particular well was dark and unfathomable. No reflection could be found there and so it was intriguing.

“Four.” He readjusted his grip. He was standing on the lake. Small but seemed bottomless, an ocean under its placid mirror like surface. This lake had a perimeter. An old dam of fear, regret and vengeance that had long eroded. Should he even care that he could spill over?

“Seven.” His body was going warm across the front and slowly spreading throughout his body. One reason. He was dangerous. Felt dangerous. This was a way to tame.

“Hah…Ten.” The strokes came harder and with more sting. He felt so out of control. Because of a gentle eyed brat that couldn’t keep his heart off his fucking sleeve. Eren had asked so innocently with that stupid open smile on his face. I enjoy you, Lee. Do you want…to explore this attraction between us? I do. All after a fight while he sat with an ice pack to his jaw. Eren was fucking nuts but sincere and foolishly determined to drag his grumpy worthless ass into a relationship. A committed one. He wasn’t sure how to feel about that but maybe it was time to find out. For once he wasn’t warring with Mikasa over this, he was really warring with himself.

The raven faltered. “…Fifteen.” The butt of the flogger lifted his head, making him open his eyes to a pensive Dom.

“Where are you, Levi? I’m getting jealous that you’re not here with me.” Hange walked out of sight. “You were on seventeen.” The leer he heard in her voice meant business. “Let’s start over.”

The sound and snap of a whip, had him raising his head and straightening his back. Fucking right. He needed to know if this could sustain him. If he ended some of his lifestyle for a pursuit of a relationship, he needed to know he could get things Eren was in no position to provide. A reason.

He heard that whistle slice through the air before that harsh sting slapped against his back simultaneously in two different places. The pain surging through, dragging him into the present by force and fading out like a slow tide, draining out doubt and guilt as a smile crept onto his face. Yes, exactly.


(I don't think you understand)

After the session, Hange tended to a very relaxed and dare she say slightly giddy Levi. She was very tempted to prompt him into talking but it would be taking advantage. As she checked over his skin and brought a cool towel to his back, she left Levi to his own thoughts. When it looked like her friend had his equilibrium back, she offered to take care of a not so small problem in his briefs.

“Not on your life, shitty glasses.” Yep, he was back which meant she could be more outgoing again.

“But Leeevi! I caused it, it should be mine!”

“Oi!” The dive grab she made ended with her on the floor and Levi walking out.

“Drink plenty of fluids!” She yelled after him from the floor, wondering if he realized he had left his other clothes behind. Ah well, she smiled lovingly after her tiny friend, kicking her legs in the air behind her. It had been a good first session. So shorty baby had a fist fight with a male superior and won by the sounds of it. Even more progress, maybe Eren was secretly a genius.

Chapter Text

In the night when she comes crawling
Dollar bills and tears keep falling down her face

It was absolute torture trying to sleep that night. He tossed and turned in bed, willing away thoughts if not his apparent arousal, moaning in frustration as his back rubbed against the sheets. Reminding him, warming him, sending small aftershocks straight to his groin. Turning to lay on his stomach was no better because all his body wanted was to rut against the sheets. He balled his fists into the pillow. He refused to masturbate. It wouldn't end there. Tomorrow, he would be even hornier. It was best to just let it all become dormant.

Tonight may not have been the best night to give into going to see Hange but when he thought about why he had a jolt of desire so strong raced down his body sending heels digging into the bed, back arching and his heart doing more than its fair share of pulsating. Fuck! Why was that one shitty brat affecting him so much? He hissed through his teeth as his hips rolled involuntarily, mind going straight to the fight they had earlier. How he had been between long tan legs more than once today and how he- No!

Levi did cut himself a little slack because he really had very little practice at stopping desire, directed at himself or otherwise, usually just avoided these predicaments but this was getting out of hand. Eren was trying to take things slow as he probably should but what the hell was that stupid kid thinking giving him a confession like that? Utterly ridiculous. And why was Levi respecting it. He should get up, smack Eren awake and make him take responsibility for this stupid resolute hard-on but, no, he only turned on his side and closed his steely heated eyes against the darkness of the room willing himself to not think about gorgeous naively determined brats.

Levi was absolute hell on wheels the next day. While not literally throwing gasoline on anyone and anything, he was lighting everyone up. Eventually leading to the grouch to hole up in his room. By noon, Eren hadn't seen the man but had heard several complaints and one compliment by Ymir about the "encounters of the Levi kind". Once Hange interrupted Armin and his lunch sporting huge puppy dog eyes and a knot on her forehead he knew he would have to go and face wrath for the good of the house.

It couldn't be about the conversation that was never quite finished yesterday since he never received an answer. If it was there was no need to be an asshole to everyone else in the house, Levi could have just come to him. He had hoped for a yes but was increasingly worried that it was a no. Wait...he shouldn't be worried if it was a no. A no meant that as least Levi had enough will to say no. Eren pushed back his bangs, silently admitting to himself that he really didn't want to hear that as he made his way up the stairs and to Levi's door at the far end of that corridor.

A realization hit him like a ton of bricks to the back of the head, his eyes going wide. Was Levi actually saying ‘no’. Not to him but to everyone? Eren thought back over the week and then shifted his mind to the financials. The bruises that day, getting thrown in jail, the cleaning spree, that...situation in the office, fighting, increasingly irritated and lastly no income from Mikasa for at least the last week and a half. His eyes ignited with purpose as he knocked on the door.

The door swung inwards, protesting against the sheer force. "Shit for brains! I already told you I-Oh. It's you." The raven flatly glared at the taller man, who should not be allowed to look so appealing in a t-shirt and jeans especially after all he endured last night. "Piss off."

Eren took the glare with surprisingly nonchalance. "Are you going to invite me in?"

There was a tilt of his head as the awareness of Eren grew that glare intensified. "Didn't you hear what I said Yeager? Piss. Off."

She'll never walk away

The burnet wedged himself between the swiftly closing door and the jam, intentionally getting into Levi's space. He could feel the frustration and slight nervousness roll off his beautiful companion. Heat that was made of both anger and longing laced his words, "Why didn't you tell me you were having withdrawals?"

The impact of the question knocked the volatile man back just enough for Eren to slide into the room and close the door.

As he leaned against the door, he closed his eyes to the sight of the open balcony curtains shedding daylight onto the neatly made queen sized bed. “I thought we would have more time.”

(I don't think you understand)

“The fuck are you going on about?” Levi crossed his arms to keep his hands to himself. As much as he wanted to push Eren out of the room, touching him right now was out of the question. He was barely keeping his breathing together and he knew he was becoming flushed. This time he was resisting the languid feeling that was spinning out from him. He wanted so badly to seduce the little spitfire and he reached for the best emotion he knew to detain it.

“You know what don’t care, get your ass outta MY room already! Nothing but a god damn nuisance since you got he-The fuck are you doing Yeager!” Eren had reached out a hand probably to cup his cheek or some other stupid romantic gesture but Levi evaded and moved deeper into the bedroom. He really couldn’t take that right now.

“I thought we had more time to get to know each other better but I’m not going to let you be in pain if I can help it.”

Levi heard a rustle of fabric and closed his eyes hearing the shirt drop to the floor. He didn’t turn around because the next to last thing he needed to see was a shirtless Eren. The boy just didn’t know when to leave well enough alone! How was he the one being seduced now?

“Fucking brat. You making a mess in my room.” That came out a lot less reprimanding and more breathless than intended, deeper than intended.

The pop of a button and the tell-tale sound of the zipper, had him shifting his weight as his hard-on became a solid reminder of last night’s thoughts.

“Honestly, I was hoping I wouldn’t be the only one making a mess.”

Levi jumped and just barely bit back a moan as a hand slid under his shirt brushed his side and slid into the front of his boxers. As he grasped that hand going into his pants, another hand scrapped nails against his scalp moving hair away from his eyes, tipping his head back to rest against Eren’s shoulder. Soft hot lips kissed against his neck right below his ear.

“You keep making moves like these and I’m going to start thinking you lied.”

It took a second but Eren caught on, sounding amused. “I’m a virgin in body not in mind Levi. And my mind has been very naughty with you.” At that Levi finally let his hand go. “Let’s get these clothes off, yeah?”

(I don't think you understand)

Armin picked up the phone Eren had left on the table and he also grabbed some of the fruit left on the plate opposite himself.


Hel-Oh Armin?

Armin swallowed the grape. “Hi Mom! Everything still going as planned?”

Small hesitation that Armin caught. He and Carla had always had a way of speaking non-verbal cues. “Well I can’t say as of yet. How about you guys? Where is Eren?

A slight hum and a chuckle. “He is confronting his worst nightmare. I think we are doing okay. Farlan and Isabel left yesterday morning hand in hand off into the relative sunset. Might be why Levi is in such a mood today.” He wiped his hand on a napkin. “I did have a question though. Why did you tell Eren not to sleep with anyone here?”

(I don't think you understand)

He could see Carla waving it off with high amusement. “You know Eren just as I do. You give him a wall and whether intentional or not he is going to break through it head first.

The blond sighed. “You think this is a good idea? I didn’t know you’d actually agree with Hange.”

To be fair, I didn’t agree with Hange because she only knows Levi and not Eren. Now let me ask you, Stratego, what do you think would have happened had I not said that?

The entire reason they had to bring in Eren was because Levi couldn’t stop his outside activities. It had been almost a year of waiting. Prostitution wasn’t what the Manor was about and Carla couldn’t have the leader of a house engaging in it. It was too dangerous to the house and she definitely did not want new comers thinking that behavior was expected. Armin could have taken over but this wasn’t what he wanted to do besides Armin’s talents couldn’t be wasted on one house.

(I don't think)

“Do you think Levi is still upset with himself?”

Pride shined in Carla’s voice. “I do.

Her son and Levi could be a great team but they had to be on an even playing field. Hange might be crazy but she was no dummy in knowing who would have the upper hand if Levi succeeded in seducing her son. Carla couldn’t fault Hange for wanting to protect Levi and give him the advantage but Carla knew Eren would not use the raven in such a way that would warrant Levi needing such a benefit.

(I don't think)

“Then I think they would have already slept together. I would bet that they would have hardly ever talked and they would not understand each other at all. There would be some resentment on Levi’s side in how easy it was and Levi would have no problem manipulating Eren until Eren’s stubborn streak would pop up at the wrong time and that might remind Levi too much of his past…”

Armin could see it so clearly. They could have torn this place apart. She had changed the flow of events with one sentence.

(I don't think)

“Mom you are a scary woman. Do you think that they will figure out you’re a mastermind?”

Takes one to know one, Dear. Hange won’t since she will believe that she won. Levi will but right now he is too close to the events to take a step back. Eren might but he won’t care. The past makes us but once memories become greater than your visions for the future it will bury you. I have a great vision for those two and I hope they would find the same in each other.

Armin sat up, resting his elbows on his knees. “Why do I hear a “but”.”

It was Carla’s turn to sigh. “Because you pay too much attention. I need you to tell,” Carla’s tone was too casual, “tell Mikasa that Pixis is looking for her.

Armin didn’t know who Pixis was but if someone had a line on Mikasa it had to be because of that night they got arrested. It made the blond very uneasy but he put a smile into his voice. “I’ll be sure to do that.”

(I don't think)

Petra and I will be staying out here a little longer than anticipated. Hold down the fort!

“Okay, Mom, we love you.”

Armin-baby, I love you too. Give Eren a hug and let Levi give him the kiss for me. Bye now.

Armin’s smiled turned genuine. “Bye.”

The empty silence after only increased his wariness. He didn’t have enough information but something was up and sometimes you just had to listen to your gut. He cleaned off the table and thinking that if Eren wasn’t already back that maybe he had talked Levi down and he could give him Carla’s message. He could gauge Levi's reaction and start gathering more intel.

I don't think you understand