Levi thought that he was doing the reincarnation thing pretty well. This time around he had parents who loved him, refrained from criminal activity, and was well on his way to being rich and successful. When PTSD showed up with his memories around puberty he promptly went to get some therapy, worked off aggressions by learning Krav Maga, and was settling down to a beautiful life unplagued by horrors from beyond walls.
Then came the day when massive monsters walked out of the Pacific and all Levi could think as he watched the carnage on TV was not this shit again.
With a sigh of resignation he went upstairs to pack his things, and came down with an overstuffed duffel a few minutes later.
"What are you doing?" his mother demanded, shocked. "It's miles away! We're nowhere near an ocean, there's been no call for evacuation!"
"Somebody's going to be fighting these things," Levi said tiredly. "I bet you anything the guy in charge will be named Erwin Smith. And I'm going to be the best damn fighter they have. No point in arguing with fate. Might as well get this over with. If it's any consolation, I'll probably survive."
He was completely unsurprised when about ten seconds after registering he was yanked out of the pool of hopeful jaeger pilots and called into the office of Marshall Smith, who looked about as resigned as Levi felt.
Hange was just as inappropriately enthusiastic as could be expected.
"I skipped the anger-and-hatred phase this time," she said, leading him to the jaegers (did they fucking name them after Eren? Seriously? How long until the brat showed up, anyway?) "Did you see the kaiju? They're way bigger than the Colossal Titan was! Massive! And this time it's like we all get to be titan shifters! I love it! Aren't you glad we reincarnated? Nuclear power is the best thing ever," she bubbled, and promptly went off on some spiel about left brain and right brain and two pilots and all Levi took from it was that he was supposed to share his brain with somebody else's filthy mind.
It took Erwin about ten hours to talk him out of his quarters that time.
"You!" Eren nearly howled when he saw Reiner and Bertholdt sitting with Annie among the trainees. "Don't tell me, you turn into kaiju this time? Why hasn't Erwin kicked you the fuck out, like we aren't losing this war well enough for the second time as it is without you screwing things up!"
"We aren't kaiju shifters," Reiner said tiredly. "I swear." He forked over a bill to Annie. "I should never have made that bet with you. You were right. It's all anybody says when they first see us."
"We could have stayed home," Bertholdt lamented in his quiet way. "But no, you had to get all noble, be on the right side this time, all that rot. I hope you're happy, Reiner."
"But the three of us are so drift compatible!" Reiner said. "We'll definitely get a ja-" He looked at Eren and sighed when Eren puffed up his chest. "…Jaeger."
"No matter what happens, it'll be a jaeger who eradicates the kaiju," Eren said, a tear in his eye.
"That may be," Mikasa said, coming up behind him. "I still think that sending Erwin chocolates all the time is excessive."
"I will owe him for eternity for being responsible for that name," Eren said, clasping a hand over his heart. Besides, even though people hated Erwin a lot less this time around, he still had to kiss ass for funding all the time. He probably appreciated the gesture.
"Look how much prettier than titans they are!"
"Not now, Hange."
"Will you drift with somebody for more than one mission?" Erwin demanded, head in his hands. "You can't reject everybody after a handful of drifts!"
Levi crossed his arms and huffed. "It's not my fault people's minds are intolerable. Back in the day I could at least fight on my own, can't you just let me pilot by myself? None of this right-left cooperative shit. And why can't we get a proper flying jaeger? Also I want you to upgrade Freedom Cyclone for better response time, she's too sluggish-"
Erwin groaned. "You're too picky! We upgraded her last week! And nobody else seems to have issues with drifting, I refuse to believe people are bringing all this crap only you can see into the drift. Suck it up!"
"You're just sore because you're the first one I rejected."
Eren was ecstatic when told he'd be drifting with Levi, but lost some of it when Mike shook his head and told him that basically everybody had gotten to drift with him because Levi was as intolerant as he was compatible. Eren would be out of Freedom Cyclone soon enough and back to waiting for a jaeger to be ready for him and Mikasa.
"Not bad," Levi said after the first time. "But-"
"No buts!" Erwin groaned over the intercom. "Whatever your problem is, figure it out!"
"Did you see that? It was an electromagnetic pulse! Oh my god, it just shot a huge electromagnetic pulse at—"
"NOT NOW, HANGE"
"So how is it?" Armin asked when Eren and Mikasa finally managed to catch him in between running errands for Erwin. "You've been on four missions with Levi and he hasn't kicked you out yet, that's a new record!"
"You're making me lots of money," Mikasa said. "Keep it up."
"But how are you managing it?" Armin demanded.
"It's not really me," Eren said, scratching at the back of his head. "Levi figured out how to bring cleaning supplies into the drift."