A few years after Levi nearly kills Erwin in the forest beyond the Walls, he nearly kisses him in his office. The night is muggy and everything feels slow and they've long since finished paperwork, but they still sit in Erwin's office, their jackets off and their sleeves rolled up, nursing lukewarm cups of tea. Erwin stares out the open window for a long time and Levi watches his profile and enjoys the fact that he has nowhere to be but here. They've done this before. It's nothing out of the ordinary. Things have been almost too quiet lightly, a lull in the summertime that's got them all itchy. After a while, Levi sinks into his chair, so comfortable he's nearly asleep. Then Erwin speaks.
"Did you ever have someone, in the underground?" he says. "A lover?"
He's still looking out the window. Levi sits up, eyebrows creasing.
"What? Where did that come from?"
"Sorry," Erwin says, almost immediately. "That was inappropriate."
But Levi feels like he has to answer him now. He wants to answer him.
"I didn't have anyone like that," he says.
Levi picks up his teacup so he'll have something to do with his hands, takes a sip of tea before remembering it's gone cold now. He wrinkles his nose and sets the cup down. Erwin hasn't looked away from the window, and now Levi is curious. It's not that Erwin hasn't asked cryptic, abrupt questions before, it's that he's never asked ones quite like this.
"You're being real weird tonight," Levi says, and then when the silence continues: "Why do you want to know that anyway?"
There's a shift in Erwin's expression, almost too subtle to notice. He looks away from the window and Levi is then very aware of how close their hands are, how Erwin is looking at him now. It's never happened before, and Levi wants to kiss him. His gut feels hot and fluttery and he wants to kiss him but minutes pass and Levi can't make himself move. Erwin eventually looks away again, and then it's gone. It's gone even though Levi isn't quite sure where it came from. It scares him. The rest of the night is silence.
Two months later, Levi steals his shirt.
On days when Erwin is too busy to leave his office, Levi cleans up his room for him. Because it's Erwin, and Levi admires him more than any other man. Because he's never met anyone he's been willing to follow so far before, and he figures that after all Erwin's done, cleaning is the least he can do for him. Erwin has a habit of being neglectful when it comes to himself anyway, and Levi has a reputation for being a clean freak that he couldn't care less about. So he goes in sometimes and tidies up, fixes the bedding, dusts the shelves and windows.
That night he takes the shirt, he slips into Erwin's room just after dark, broom in one hand, rag in the other. Lights a candle and the room comes to life, almost untouched except for a few misplaced things. That's when Levi sees the shirt draped out across the bed. It's the same uniform white dress shirt they all wear, only it's Erwin's. It's a lot larger than his own, different somehow. One of the sleeves is folded over the front and the collar is slightly wrinkled. Levi goes over and pulls the collar to straighten it, then sees the ink stain. He remembers this shirt. Erwin had spilled ink on it earlier, must have come back to change. Levi brings the material up to his nose and inhales to see if it's clean. It's been worn just once and still smells distinctly like Erwin—his musk, his sweat—but not enough to warrant a wash. Levi holds the cotton against his nose anyway, unmoving, the scent overtaking him, until a noise in the hall startles him. He drops the shirt and finishes cleaning. But the shirt is too loud after that, too noticeable. When Levi leaves, he takes the shirt with him, folded and tucked under his arm like it absolutely belongs there. He shuts Erwin's door on the way out.
Once he's back in his own room, Levi undresses—just the top of his harness and shirt—and puts Erwin's on. He doesn't let himself think about why, just does it like it's routine, like he's been doing it forever. The shirt is long. When Levi buttons it up it sits over his thighs, the sleeves swallowing his hands. He leans his head to the side and smells the collar, the scent of Erwin unmistakable on him, enveloping him. It feels like he's in the room with him. And then Levi thinks about earlier, the night he'd wanted to kiss him, and how nothing has really changed since then. Maybe just him. He unbuttons the shirt.
He means to give it back. Levi decides to wash it and hang it back in Erwin's closet. He just never does. At first, it's because they get busy. Things are happening and Levi just never seems to find the time. It hangs next to his shirts, longer and obviously not his. Eventually, Levi folds it and shoves it under his mattress like it's a secret, right next to his knife and a pressed flower Isabel had once given him. Old habits. And then three years pass and people die and things keep changing but Levi never forgets about Erwin's shirt under his mattress, or how he sometimes takes it out from underneath just to inhale the scent of it again, telling himself he doesn't know why.
Erwin gets arrested after Kenny kills Dimo. It doesn't surprise Levi, but it still makes his gut twist and the hairs of his neck stand on edge. They don't have a lot of time to move after, and he knows nothing after this is going to be easy. It never has been. When shit goes wrong the Corps, it really, really goes wrong. Levi grabs spare clothes from his room, fresh blades, gas, and everything hidden under his mattress. They make a new plan to get Eren and Historia back at the safe house, stay up well into the night, all of them grim and tired. Levi makes decisions, and it's terrifying. He's given orders before, he's made plans before, but he's always had Erwin right there, always known that Erwin had the master plan. Erwin made the final decisions and Levi was ready to follow them.
The whole thing had been a gamble to begin with, but it was still something Levi was willing to risk everything for and still is. He knew this could happen, they knew, Levi had just been selfishly hoping it wouldn't come to that. He never wanted it to be Erwin.
"What about the Commander?" Armin says.
Levi has his hands in his lap and he squeezes the meat of his thigh to keep from having any kind of visible reaction on his face. They're all in a circle around an old wooden table, and the airflow is shit and everyone is exhausted and a little scared.
"Right now our priority is Eren and Historia. That's what Erwin would want us to do, anyway."
And he hates knowing that, but he's never disobeyed an order from Erwin before, and he isn't about to start now. Besides, Erwin is safer than Eren and Historia right now anyway. That's what Levi tells himself. He keeps repeating it.
"We're all going to get arrested," Jean says. "If this doesn't work—"
"They'll hang us all for murder," Levi says. "So we'd better hope it does."
He stands up from the table. "Get some sleep, we move out early."
He sits in the dark for a while and goes over the plan in his head, goes over the details, the roughness of it all. Then Levi lights a candle and pulls out Erwin's shirt. It's slightly wrinkled, the collar bent. Levi presses the cotton to his nose and inhales. He hasn't let himself wear it since the night he took it, because that seems too much like crossing a boundary he can never go back from.
Levi's done this a few times before. The first was after a Titan fell into his wire and he was nearly crushed against a tree. It was the closest he'd ever come to dying outside the walls before. Levi was lucky to be skilled enough to grapple into another trunk and break the impact of it all. It wasn't until Erwin yelled for him that Levi felt the sting in his back and there was panic in Erwin's eyes, even though the rest of his face was tight with authority and alertness.
"I shouldn't have put you in charge of so many men," Erwin had said later. "It distracted you."
He dressed Levi's wounds, sounded and looked guilty, which made Levi silently furious.
"That's bullshit and you know it. I can handle it better than anyone else."
"Yes, you're right," Erwin said.
His expression was off though, like he was sorry that Levi was the one who could handle it, and it was then that Levi understood that he'd almost died in front of him. He had scared him.
"I am right," Levi said, kept his tone casual.
And after a minute Erwin's expression returned to normal and he nodded.
"I expect no slip-ups next time, then."
It was later though, in his room, that Levi took Erwin's shirt out from under his bed and pressed it to his nose, other arm wrapped over it like an imitation hug.
"I'll be more careful next time," he said into the empty room.
The second was after Erwin lost his arm. For the first few days, Erwin was feverish and no one was allowed to see him, which made Levi irritable and worried. He snapped at everyone, most often the doctor, because he checked on Erwin's condition constantly, wondering if the fever had broken. But the doctor kept telling him there'd been no change so far, and Levi hated the helplessness of the situation.
"I want to know the moment there is," he said. "You don't stop to piss, you don't breathe. You come and tell me the moment something changes."
The doctor just nodded, sweating, and then Levi could do nothing but the paperwork piling up and everything he knew that Erwin would want him to take care of first. So he did it all. But he also took out Erwin's shirt while writing reports in his room. He hadn't wanted to keep taking it out, paranoid the smell would fade and while, realistically, he could always steal a new one, he'd become attached to this shirt, the ink stain on the collar. And he needed it then. He didn't think about why he needed it, just that he did. Levi let the scent of it calm him, and tried to memorize the smell in case Erwin died and it disappeared forever.
Now he's wondering the same thing again. He's always been aware of the frailty of their mortality, it's just that now it seems even more fragile. Facing Titans is Levi's definition of normal. This is something else entirely. He sleeps just a few hours in the safe house that night, Erwin's shirt still bundled in his arms. He folds it away before they leave.
When Levi first sees him again, he feels like there's sand in his chest, little grains of sand trickling down his chest and then his arms. He's anxious and relieved all at once to see Erwin again, unshaven and a bit weary looking, but whole. He remembers earlier, Hanji saying, "They're releasing Erwin." And now he's here and walking forward without having given himself permission to do so. Erwin meets him halfway, the lines of his eyes so, so tired.
"Levi," he says, and his voice is the same as it always has been but still makes the sand in Levi's chest move.
"You smell ripe," he says, because he feels caught, has so much to say and no idea how to say it.
Erwin laughs, plucks at his shirt with his hand.
"Well, maybe you'd like to run me a bath then."
The decision to release him came just a few hours after the newspaper article cameo out. There were riots in two districts, ones that the Garrison and Military Police are still battling. Part of Erwin's release was thanks to Nile, not that Levi will ever go out of his way to thank him. The other was thanks to Hanji keeping Flegel alive long enough to pin the murder on the MP in the article. It was just enough confusion and conflicting details that Erwin had to be released, or the government was risking a riot bigger than a few districts.
After he's cleaned up, they meet again Erwin's office, and Erwin asks Levi to stay. He settles into the chair behind his desk, right sleeve hanging loose. Levi stands awkwardly in the center of the room. Maybe he's still in shock.
"Do you want tea?" he says.
"I could go for a cup."
The riots are under control now, according to Moblit. Eren is safe but Historia is still missing, and Kenny is alive in every shadow Levi sees. That part he's leaving out of his paperwork, if he ever has to write it. He puts it aside just to sit in Erwin's office for a while with him. Everything is still churning and unpredictable and weird, but Levi has Erwin for the first time in weeks and he feels calm. Less like he's walking blind. And in typical Erwin fashion, Erwin acts like it hasn't fazed him, which makes Levi feel less like they almost lost everything.
"So how was it?" Levi says. "Being a prisoner."
"Not nearly as bad as I'm sure you've all been imagining."
Levi has been scanning Erwin's face for signs of bruising, foul play. Any excuse for him to kill more of those assholes. But Erwin seems unscathed. They didn't touch him.
"Tch. Maybe I should have gotten arrested then."
Erwin quiets a bit, holds Levi's gaze.
"Do you want to talk about it?" he says. "About Kenny—"
"No," Levi says, too quickly. "…No."
He grabs the tin of black tea from the shelf, forces himself not to look at Erwin.
"Would have been easier to deal with if you had been there," he says.
"I know," Erwin says, regretful. "But you did well. I never had any doubt you'd move to action."
Levi just nods. He's caught again. He has so much to say but no way of knowing how to say it. Instead he makes Erwin a cup of tea, says, "Don't do that shit again."
Erwin smiles with his mouth closed, hands around his teacup.
"Of course, Levi," he says. "How is Eren?"
"Fine…as fine as he can be." Levi starts thinking about it again, about Nifa's brains on the roof and Armin vomiting into the grass, Jean unable to move. "Historia is probably with her father. Eren told us a lot about what he—"
"Leave it for tonight," Erwin says. "Let yourself take a break."
Levi considers arguing it. Saying that they don't have time for a break. But he knows Erwin—Erwin is always moving. He's telling Levi to take a break. That's why he hasn't asked about the confrontation, or how many Levi saw die.
"Would you sit?" he asks instead.
And Levi does, and they drink tea and don't think about the hundreds of other burdens hanging over their heads. If this is a hurricane, then they are in the eye.
"Oh," Erwin says, after the silence has stretched into comfort. "Come by my room in a few hours. There's something I'd like to show you."
It strikes Levi as odd, Erwin asking that, but he doesn't comment on it. He pours himself another cup of tea.
Levi goes to Erwin's room exactly two hours later, can see light seeping out underneath the closed door. He tries the handle but it's locked, which is also odd, especially if Erwin was expecting him. He knocks.
The door opens and Erwin stands aside to let him in. As soon as Levi is, Erwin shuts the door and locks it again. Levi doesn't have time to find that odd, because he can see the shirt sitting on Erwin's bed like it's never left, the ink stain loud. His palms go sweaty.
Erwin walks past him, over to the bed where he looks down at the shirt like it's an old friend. When had he found it? It must have been right after they got back, when Levi was fussing with everyone and too distracted to hide it away. He'd had it in a bag he'd let spill across his table. Fucking careless. He swallows.
"I spilled ink on that collar years ago," Erwin says.
"I meant to wash it," Levi says, like he has to defend himself.
Erwin is going to ask him why he took it, why he kept it for so damn long, and the soles of Levi's feet are burning from how much he wants to bolt right now. He doesn't want to have to answer these questions, doesn't want to have to admit this to Erwin, has never even wanted to admit it to himself. It seems like an eternity before Erwin moves again. He picks the shirt up from the bed and holds it out to Levi. Levi just blinks.
"Put it on, please," Erwin says. "I'd like to see."
"Put it on now." Erwin looks down at the shirt, the break in eye contact betraying his nerves. "I'd like to see you in it."
He looks back up again, and Levi thinks of that time in his office, when he'd asked Levi if he had a lover. How he'd almost kissed him. And maybe it wasn't just him who'd been thinking about it. Levi starts undressing. He fumbles even though he's taken the gear and clothes off hundreds of times before. Can barely unbutton his shirt, gets the straps of his harness caught in his limbs. His breathing is coming too fast by the time he's finally bare-chested. The straps and buckles of his gear sag around his thighs and knees. He puts Erwin's shirt on, struggling again to button it. He pushes the sleeves up over his wrists and stands there, whole body hot.
"The pants, too," Erwin says.
Levi doesn't even hesitate now. He slips off his boots. He unbuttons the pants and pulls them down, gear sliding along with them until they're puddled on the floor. He steps out of them, fingers grabbing the hem of Erwin's shirt and pulling it down more over his thighs, stares down and to the side. He hears Erwin step toward him, and then feels his hand over his wrist. It slides up and finds the collar of the shirt, fingers worrying over the faded ink stain.
"All these years," Erwin says. "You could have told me."
"Tell you what? That I stole your shirt because I like the smell of you?"
Erwin is so close to him that Levi can see a small patch of stubble that he missed while shaving. He's so close that Levi is having a laughably hard time keeping his voice steady. Erwin's fingers trace over his neck.
"And what else?"
He sounds eager. Levi lifts his head up a bit. There's no point in denying it anymore, no point in avoiding it. Not to himself or Erwin.
"…You," he says.
The shirt collar pushes easily to the side. Erwin runs his hand over Levi's shoulder, his palm hot.
"Fuck you," Levi says, without heat. "All that time and you could have said something too."
"I know." Erwin's voice is so soft and regretful that Levi feels guilty. "I know," Erwin says again.
Then he kisses him. Levi flinches, not because he wasn't expecting it but because he didn't know it was going to feel like this, like finally saying something he'd been holding in for years, and then he stretches up into it. Erwin is cupping his neck, but then his hand moves down. It drags over the front of the shirt, pressing against Levi's stomach, then up and under to dip inside his underwear. Levi pushes his hips forward at the contact and exhales into Erwin's mouth.
They aren't scrambling at each other, which is kind of surprising, considering how long it's been building up, how long it's been waiting. Instead they take the time to learn each other's mouths, tongues curious, lips eager. Levi puts his hands on Erwin's shoulders for leverage and sways, weight held on his toes.
Erwin slips his hand out of Levi's underwear and moves it around to the back, hooks his thumb under the elastic waistband and starts to pull down. Levi helps with his other hand until Erwin breaks the kiss just so he can bend down and the pull the underwear the rest of the way. Levi steps out of them, cock hard now against Erwin's shirt. The anticipation has him wound tight.
"I never wanted to overstep with you," Erwin says, and stands up slowly. "But I wanted—"
"It's fine," Levi says, and pulls Erwin's hand to his crotch again. "Take anything you want, it's fine."
He lets the words fall out without thinking about them, too full of emotion and arousal. Erwin leans down and kisses him again, stroking him just enough to drive Levi mad before pulling away.
"I want you to get on the bed," he says. "Hands and knees."
Levi obeys, toes at the edge of the bed, the shirt sliding up some around his waist. He watches Erwin walk over to one his drawers, open it, and pull out a jar. He looks down at the mattress and waits, heartbeat right in his ears.
"I'm sorry," Erwin says from behind him. "It'll be easier this way for me."
Levi lifts his head up. "What wi—?" A finger presses against his hole and Levi inhales sharply. "Oh."
Erwin standing behind him, fully clothed still, index finger easing inside of him. All Levi can do is concentrate on relaxing. He's wound up so much for it he knows he must be tight. But the more Erwin touches him, patient and gentle, the more Levi unwinds, body softening. Erwin goes for a second finger, and Levi feels the stretch now.
"I've thought of you like this a lot," Erwin says. "I wanted to see your body bend under my touch."
Levi moans lowly, pushes back some against Erwin's fingers. Knowing that Erwin thought about him like this makes his whole body go flush.
"Yeah, me too," he says, and then shakes his head. "I mean, I thought about you."
"Did you imagine it would be like this?"
"No…I don't know…fuck, Erwin." There's another finger trying to fit inside of him and Levi already feels so full. "Fuck, Fuck."
"It's all right, just ease yourself into it."
He waits for Levi to push back, and once he does, Erwin starts moving his fingers again, all three of them curling up and searching. Levi drops to down to his elbows for more leverage, ass pushed up higher. He turns his head to the side and muffles his whine against the collar of Erwin's shirt. It feels like too much already, but in the best way possible.
"Levi," Erwin says, and his voice sounds so far away now, cloudy. "You're already better than I'd imagined."
He leans in and kisses his exposed back. Levi moans right against the fabric of the shirt. It's practically bunched up around his nipples now, and Levi feels overheated and oversensitive. He moves back against Erwin's fingers because it's too good, he wants to feel all of it. Erwin starts to pull his fingers out and Levi clenches down without thinking, just knows he wants to keep him there, he's so close.
"Hold on," Erwin says. "Hold on, let me get undressed."
That clears Levi's head a bit and he relaxes, steadies his breathing once Erwin pulls out. It's the sound of Erwin's belt that really draws him back to himself. Levi sits up on his knees and then turns around, sees Erwin slowly undoing his belt.
"Here, let me." He bats Erwin's hand away. "We'll be here all night otherwise."
"The night would have already been over if I hadn't stopped fingering you just now."
Levi undoes the belt and pulls it out fast, the leather snapping. Erwin's always been the only one he's been comfortable bantering with. He's glad nothing is going to change about that now. They stay quiet as Levi undresses Erwin, clothes dropping to the floor in a hush. He runs his hands over Erwin's bare shoulders, feels the ridges of them, the muscle. Drags his eyes over to scarred flesh where Erwin's right arm used to be, then his nipples, his abdomen. Levi crouches down against the mattress and presses his face against Erwin's pelvis, the dark pubic hairs scratching lightly at his chin. He inhales the smell of Erwin, his arousal, his sweat,and it's better than the shirt ever was.
Levi takes his cock into his mouth then, looks up through his lashes to see the way Erwin's mouth drops open and his head falls back. His hand immediately finds its way into Levi's hair. Levi doesn't really have a plan for this, he just wants to taste Erwin any way he can. He circles his tongue around the head of Erwin's cock, licks the pre-come away and then takes him as far in as he can, mindful of his teeth. Erwin's hips jerk forward once and then he pulls Levi off of him gently, face flushed.
"I want to finish inside of you," he says.
Levi swallows the taste of him down, body thrumming.
"Yeah, yeah, okay."
He lets Erwin get where he wants to be on the bed. He sits on the mattress and then swings his legs over, body sat in the middle, and crooks a finger at Levi.
Levi crawls over to him, one half of the shirt hanging down his shoulder, cock heavy. Erwin straightens his legs once Levi crawls over him, leans back until he's flat against the mattress, head on the pillow. Levi doesn't have to be told what to do. He tugs the shirt over his head and tosses it to the floor, cool air almost a shock against his chest and arms. Then he braces one hand on the mattress and uses the other to guide Erwin's cock inside of him. He's stretched but the pressure is still unbelievable. It feels like minutes pass before he's taken him fully, thighs straining. From this angle he can see Erwin's throat bobbing, his breathing uneven.
"Perfect," he says. "That's perfect, Levi, you're perfect—" He grabs Levi's hip. "Move for me."
Levi does. He experiments circling his hips, moving up and down a bit to find the best angle, the best rhythm. Erwin's hand encourages him, the thumb pressing hard against his bone. Levi hopes it will leave a bruise. He braces his hands behind him and it pushes his hips forward just the way he wants, drives Erwin deeper into him. His cock brushes against his prostate and Levi moans, tries to get the feeling again. Erwin's got his mouth open and he's just watching him, eyes hooded.
"I really wanted this," Levi says, and he doesn't know where it comes from or what he's trying to say. He feels close to babbling. "Fuck, ah."
His arms are shaking and tired, so he leans forward over Erwin and presses his hand against the wall. The change in angle is good, especially when Erwin's hand drifts to his backside a single finger slides between his cheeks and starts rubbing, the rest of his fingers spreading him open just a bit more. Levi shudders, breathing becoming more erratic.
"I'm glad," Erwin says, and Levi leans over all the way so he can kiss him, hand sliding down from the wall to tangle in Erwin's hair.
He looks at Erwin for permission even though he doesn't have to, but waiting for Erwin's word is such second nature that Levi doesn't it anyway.
"Touch yourself," Erwin says, reads him that easy.
Levi does, and it's good, it's so good. He moves fast, out of rhythm with his hips, desperate for it. He comes like that. His body goes tight and for a moment all Levi can do is open his mouth and shake before he's coming all over their stomachs, the sounds from his throat muffled against Erwin's jaw. It takes a minute for him to feel like he can move again. Levi mouths absently against Erwin's jaw and starts to circle his hips again, and Erwin's moan vibrates over the whole bed. He moves his hand back to Levi's hip, and they watch each other until the moment Erwin goes over the edge.
"Stay," Erwin says after. "Stay with me tonight."
And Levi wants to say no. It'll be suspicious if he's not in his room. People might wonder. They might talk. But they're also dangling dangerously close to death, and Levi knows there might not be another tonight to stay. Erwin must know that as well. This might have been their only chance, and it digs into Levi's chest a bit when he thinks about it, the fact that they could have been doing this for years.
"I shouldn't stay," he says, even as he tucks himself closer to Erwin. "I shouldn't," he says again, and rests a hand on Erwin's stomach and spreads his fingers out against the skin, the muscle and scars. Their legs tangle under the covers. Erwin wraps an arm around him.
"No," he says. "I suppose you shouldn't."
They don't move. The night lulls on and they lay there with their skin touching, the utter wretchedness of their situation forced into the backs of their minds for a moment. For now, this moment is the only moment. Erwin with his hand holding Levi's wrist and Levi listening to Erwin's heart beating steadily until his eyes can no longer stay open.
He wakes up early. The room is still dark when Levi opens his eyes, sees the dried wax on the table from where the candle had been burning. Somehow during the night, Erwin ended up spooning him, his arm tucked underneath. Levi can feel his breathing, each inhale and exhale moving him slightly. The pattern of his breathing lets Levi know he's still asleep. For a long time, he doesn't move. He focuses on the feeling of Erwin against him again, and then rolls over carefully and looks down at him, his hair fanned against the pillow. He leans down and kisses his temple, light and quick, before slipping out of bed.
Levi grabs Erwin's clothes up from off the floor and folds them over a chair, then picks up the shirt that started the whole thing in the first place. He rubs his thumb over the ink stain again.
"Do you still want the shirt?"
Levi startles, turns. Erwin is watching him from the bed, half sitting up. Levi shakes his head.
"No, you can take it back. But fucking wash it."
Erwin's laugh shakes the bed. "I should make you wash it."
Levi shrugs, tosses the shirt over the chair. "It's not mine."
His own clothes are still crumpled by the foot of the bed. Levi slides his underwear and pants back on, not worrying about the gear for the moment, and sits by Erwin on the bed to put on his shirt.
"What's the plan now, then? Locate Historia?"
"I want to know what Eren knows first," Erwin says.
He kisses the dip of Levi's bare shoulder, and Levi wonders if it will ever be this easy again, a night passing calmly and slowly, both of their hearts still beating. He puts his shirt on and tries to smooth out the wrinkles, starts buttoning it up. It feels so odd now to be in his own shirt again.
"And I need to know what you know," Erwin says. "About Kenny."
Levi pauses over the last button before finishing and then tucking the shirt into his pants.
"I hadn't seen him in years," he says. "But yeah, I'll give you everything I remember."
Erwin's fingers touch his chin, and then Erwin is turning him so that he can kiss him. Levi keeps his hands in his lap, because he knows if he touches him now he won't be able to stop, and they don't have time. That's always been the problem, just never enough time. Levi forces himself off the bed. He pulls his boots back on, his gear, half wanting Erwin to tell him not to, to ask him to stay.
"I'll write a report and give it to you before noon. Hopefully that idiot Eren wrote something down last night."
Erwin nods from the bed.
Levi checks his clothes one last time and then grabs hold of the doorknob.
"It's yours," Erwin says, and his voice freezes Levi in place. "It's always been yours."
Levi glances at the shirt laid over the chair, then back at the wood paneling on the door, his heart warm.
"Thank you," he says, quiet, and then opens the door.