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Ben puts the Omnitrix back on, and she stares at it in hatred- only for a moment though, just one moment- and wishes that her cousin had never found it. Because now Ben isn’t a fan of being held, not anymore, and the reason for it lies in that stupid watch.
(That stupid watch that saved the world, that makes Ben feel safe even as it puts him in danger.)
But she says nothing, nothing until late one night Ben calls her, and his voice is shaky and a little too high to be normal, breathing coming too fast and jokes falling a little flat, and she remembers the conversations at three AM in the old Rustbucket and this time she gets them for what they are.
She hums, says quietly, “Ben, you’re okay, you’re okay. You’re safe.”
And Ben laughs, except it sounds a bit like crying, and he’s murmuring about how sorry he is, about how he usually calls Grandpa Max, but that Grandpa Max is gone and he doesn’t know what to do-
It’s not- her kid cousin being too terrified to be alone in the dark in his own room will never be okay- but she doesn’t say that. Just hums again, quietly, and says, “It’s fine, Ben,” and prays that it will be so soon.
When people look at Levi – new recruits, citizens, higher ups, soldiers, anyone really other than Erwin and Hange and some of his squad – they always look at him like they are waiting for him to snap, afraid that he will snap. Afraid that he will suddenly and without warning turn into the killer that he is known as, jarred out of that cold, calm demeanor in an instant and into striking, startling violence.
And Levi always wants to laugh. Because Levi does not snap – he splinters.