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Beyond the Ordinary

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Small feet were hitting the ground as they ran along a narrow path the fastest they could. They were bruised, dirty; bare. He didn’t need shoes, after all. He also didn’t need food, nor proper clothing, nor any words to sooth him in any way. He didn’t need education, nor a mind of his own. What would he need them for? Words that were repeated to him again and again in the past came to his mind as he squeezed himself into a dark alley filled with knocked over trash cans and cats loafing around, eyeing him in an annoyed matter.

An omega that isn’t bonded isn’t worth anything. In fact, they are as good as dead.

Your place is at the bottom. What you will be doing in life is satisfying the needs of others. You will not exhibit any kind of unwanted emotions or reluctance, and you will submit to whatever your Alfa may ask of you. You will eat only what they give you, and will say only what they ask of you.

Your only role in society is to obey. If you won’t, you will be killed. Mercilessly, and I won’t be there to protect you. You better change your mind, little rat. We’re ruthless. They’ll tear you to bloody pieces.

The omega never changed his mind, though. Being killed always sounded better than bowing your head down whenever a person of a higher rank passed by. Harshly pressing himself against the wall as he rounded a corner, he took a short moment to catch his breath before he crooked his head to the left, listening to the slow, heavy steps of his pursuers as they stepped into puddles that had formed during the cold, autumn night when it rained down mercilessly the other day. He knew they could smell him, but the rotting stench of food tossed away in the trash bins was mingling with his own scent, and naturally, as long as he’d stay focused, he wouldn’t change his scent. Though approaching his heat didn’t really help his situation.

Mentally cursing himself for being such a low, useless species, he took a deep breath before standing up on his shaking, bruised legs. He fought back a growl, thinking of how he’d rip all of their limbs out if it wasn’t for his upcoming heat taking all of his strength and focusing it on the production of something he’ll never even need. Taking slow steps through the wet trash and rotting food with his nose scrunching up at the smell, squishy sound and feel, he made his way towards the end of the small alley. His steps were cautious and he made sure to be as silent as possible as he trotted through the dirt and mud, but the pain in his legs and his turning stomach was a bit too much to bear, which is why he threw himself at the wiry fence that lead to another, more secluded area. Hissing as he clawed at the fence, he made his way up, ignoring the way the rusty wires dug into his soft feet. He could feel the sweat on his flushed face slowly sliding down his face and drip down from his chin to fall on that one, gray shirt he stole from his previous soon-to-be Alpha. If it weren’t for those bastards chasing him, he’d be able to leap over that fence, and now he was straining himself to climb up. The pain in his body faded as soon as he heard disgustingly familiar voices from behind though, and the omega swiftly turned his head to see a bunch of Alphas with watering mouths and hungry eyes looking at him.

“Tch. Animals”, he deadpanned as he jumped over the part he still had to climb, landing heavily on his sinewy legs before continuing his flight. It didn’t take long for the Alphas to literally run through the fence to catch up to him, and although the omega was much faster than they were, the sickness he felt in every corner of his body and the momentary state of his brain were considerably worsening his running capabilities. The sounds behind him were getting more and more muffled, as though they were disappearing, but the oOmega knew better. He wouldn’t stop running, though. Even if it meant his death, he wouldn’t stop running.

“Living in a world where you have to submit to your own faults, being the lowest living life form on the planet and being trapped inside walls like a demon, leading to the crap we live in at the moment? Isn’t dying then the best solution, then…?”  he thought, although he knew he didn’t want to die. He didn’t dare to.

It didn’t take long for the pain to spread to his brain and his vision momentarily went black, but he didn’t stop running. His blood-stained clothes clinging to his cold chest and his messy black bangs stuck to his hot forehead were making him even more sick, but what made him panic the most was his fast heartbeat that just wouldn’t slow down anymore. He felt the blood rush into his system and flow out of his deep wounds at every contraction. Being deprived of his vision made his scent and hearing sense keener, but the only thing he could hear was ringing in his ears and the only thing to smell were the wild pheromones approaching him accompanied with the iron smell and taste that ran down his face towards his lips. And despite all of his surroundings, he smirked, bitterly claiming this way of life to be the worst possible outcome.  

“What a pathetic way to keel over.”

Suddenly, he felt hands all over him, touching his neck, his back, his legs, as if a horde of wild animals pounced at him and tried to bite themselves a piece of his flesh, nailing and biting him at the places that were the most vulnerable to him, trashing him from one side to another, gripping his clothes and trying to tear them off. Fending them off seemed to be impossible, but he struggled nonetheless. He felt himself being forced to the ground, and the only thing he could do was growl and try to get back up again, only to be pushed down and spat at. He could hear a commotion above him, but he did not understand. He didn’t even want to.

He could hear them cursing, trying to make him submit, and the only thing he did was give off his agitated, possessive scent whilst smirking bitterly, tasting his own blood. They were clawing at him, those animals that made him run away meekly, beating him.

“Human life… as pathetic as it is, doesn’t it deserve to be put out properly?”

Growls erupted from above and he could smell them from all sides. But, for whatever reason, they seemed to stop harassing him. If it weren’t for the strong grip someone had on his head, he would have stood up to pick up any scents or noises to take in his surroundings. Was it the Alpha? Would it be better if it were him? Cold blood flew through his body as he waited for something, anything, to happen, but the world seemed to have stopped. The grip on his soft, blood-stained hair pulled him up to sit on his shins, deep, shaky breaths escaping his open mouth as he struggled to get air into his lungs. He could hear the person that held him tightly ask something, mockingly, but whether the question was meant for him, he didn’t know. He was too busy trying to breathe at the moment to be thinking of speaking.

Another fierce voice came from the back, then a calm one from his side, and the omega was turning into every direction to try to understand what they were talking about, but it was all for naught. A loud voice called out from afar, and the grip on the omega’s hair tightened as the Alpha that held him slowly rose him up, forcing him to stand so that his feet wouldn’t touch the ground properly, but he still had to stand on his own not to fall over. His chin was raised and a filthy hand made its way to his throat, but when the omega decided to bite down, he was already being tossed aside to fall at the floor, hitting his head and rolling up into a ball.

Damn his omega instincts to protect literally nothing but already damaged skin and bones.

The group around him soon dispersed, and he felt the air around him get clearer. The stench was finally leaving him, but that did not help him at all. He finally managed to open his gluey eyes to look at whatever was happening, but the only thing he could see was the concrete ground smeared with red and a blurry group of Alphas surrounding something else in the distance that managed to peak their interest. The omega wanted to stand up and see for himself if the case was another omega having to submit to them, but he couldn’t bring himself to move. Dread of another person having to suffer instead of him filled him, but he couldn’t stand, no matter how much his strong will wanted him to. The short man curled into a ball looked at his left hand, reaching it to bite the small white cloth tied around his wrist off and spit it away along with the blood collected in his mouth. Looking at the gray sky threatening to let rain fall to the earth once again, his glassy eyes let out a small prayer. The huge, endless sky seemed gloomy, small fluffy clouds slowly passing right above him, going their way towards the other side of the world, outside of these walls that confined beasts like them. He felt his eyes closing and giving in to the tiredness he felt, although he knew falling asleep there would mean almost certain death.  The last word that crawled under his skin as he drifted off was ‘pathetic’, repeating over and over again as he curled up into a ball of bloody clothes and torn flesh.

***

“Excuse me”, he said as he pushed past a couple that was engaged in a playful conversation and that shot him a death glare as he squeezed himself right between them, “Pardon”, he continued as he almost bumped into a horse-looking bastard he knew all too well, “I’m really sorry, just…” he muttered more to himself than the tall, bald man whose dark eyes immediately fell at him and Eren awkwardly smiled, grabbing a hold onto the handrail of the old wooden stairs and walking upwards, backwards, still facing the angry face of the owner of the hotel.

The hotel he lived had always been crowded, so the young man bumping into everyone as he tried to reach his best friend’s room that was up the stairs wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. That never discouraged people from looking at him in a weird or angry way though, but Eren didn’t really mind. Usually he’d fight right back and give them a piece of his mind, but that day wasn’t like any other day. No, that day, Eren decided to change his life completely by breaking the only rule that still hadn’t accidentally been broken by him.

“Hey, Connie… Have you seen Armin somewhere?” he asked his friend as he passed by, continuing his trip upstairs while walking backwards again to look at his short friend with a three-millimeter buzz cut as he could imagine the dusty gears in Connie’s head slowly beginning to turn to process the given task.

“Huh?” he asked at first, seemingly unable to remember who Armin was, but after a few seconds, his big green eyes lit up, “Ah, Armin! Well… uh… Probably studying, like usual.”

“Thank you!” Eren happily exclaimed at the almost completely useless information as he was already on the other floor, flashing Connie a bright grin as he waved at him before turning to the corridor Armin’s room was in, his sight getting stuck at the ugly, hair-filled red carpet on which some kind of yellow spirals intertwined beneath his feet. His smile vanished instantly as a look of determination graced his face.

As soon as he reached his best friend’s door, room number 311, he hastily knocked and called out for him, pressing against the door and leaning his forehead against it. The door soon opened and upon seeing his blonde friend’s smile falter as he parted his sight from the book he was reading beforehand and looked at Eren’s face, the young brunet suddenly felt vulnerable. Scratching the back of his head, he took a step back to let Armin observe his entire body before frowning at him.

“What did you do again, Eren?” his best friend growled, his eyes travelling from one wound to another, “Did you get into a fight again? Please don’t say that’s true ‘cause you promised you would stop!”

Upon seeing the care that Armin showed him, Eren frowned as well, his brows furrowing at the sight of his omega friend.

“It couldn’t be helped!”

“Like the dozens of times before, right?” Armin rolled his eyes and leaned against the door frame to pout at the taller man, “One day you’ll get seriously hurt, you know? And Mikasa won’t be able to save you all the time.”

The brunet crossed his arms over his chest defensively, taking a step back to angrily stare at the white, cracked ceiling above him, watching a small raindrop preparing to take its leap.

“I came for help, not to get scolded.”

“Did Mikasa have to save your backside again?” Armin deadpanned as his eyes half-closed in annoyance, seeing his friend jump at the accusation, so the redness that spread on Eren’s ears as he spoke next was just an added bonus to the fact that Eren was a bad, but persistent liar.

“No she didn’t!” there was a dark expression on his face as he spoke, “Don’t you see the bruises, Armin? Those guys… they ran away from me like some kind of puppies after I beat them, with their tails between their legs, growling curses at me”, he grabbed Armin’s wrist all of a sudden and made the blond stumble forward, “Now come. I have something to show you.”

“Ah?” Armin beamed all of a sudden and Eren looked back at him to smirk as he dragged him down the stairs, people throwing glances at them.

“Yes, yes, and it’s for your eyes only”, he said and looked away again, muttering the other part of the sentence under his breath, “’cause he probably wouldn’t handle anyone else besides you at the moment…

Their conversation stopped at that part and the rest of the way that lead to Eren’s room was spent in silence and in pushing through people while staring at the old wooden walls that somehow still managed to stand on their own, although they were made from cheap, wet wood that already smelt of decay. The hotel the young men lived in never had much money to begin with, which is why they couldn’t really afford hiring maids and had to clean themselves, but no one really wanted to, which was why everything was full of trash and terrible smells, hair and food rests. It was also old, and the wood that held the roof above their heads was slowly giving in to its ancientness and permitted the drops of rain to crawl through it to emit an annoying sound and moisten the walls that further on gained on their stench that way. The rooms they were given to live in were small, consisting of only two rooms: a living room and a bathroom. That’s why nobody ever shared their rooms. Every room had one couch that was extendable, a fridge that kept the food from rotting and a stove to boil water at. The water had to be bought, though. The walls were white, the ceiling was made of old redwood and the floors were the same. Every room had two windows, one in each room, just to get some air. Those weren’t clean as well. If there was litter, you had to walk out of the hotel to get to the containers outside, but young adult laziness proved walking to be useless, more or less. A common practice was throwing the trash out of the window, aiming for the containers, which either resulted in victory and bragging or trash-laced terraces of others and a lot of scolding, especially if you’d hit Shadis’ one. Needless to say, everyone complained, but no one ever did anything against the state of the old building; there was just no use anyways. As long as everyone had at least some food and shelter, they were content. They couldn’t afford to live anywhere else, after all, so they were rather happy with the rotting place. Not that it wouldn’t be nice to dine something else rather than bread and potatoes for a change.

Once they reached Eren’s room, he released Armin’s wrist and stepped in front of the door, nervously trying to find the right key to stick into the keyhole and feeling Armin’s gaze at him all the time.

The blond would kill him, he was sure now.

After a minute of fidgeting, the door was finally unlocked, and Eren slowly turned towards Armin with a weak smile and nervous sweat dripping down his head. Whether he was nervous about showing Armin what lay inside of his room, sprawled on his couch, or about seeing the sprawled thing again, he didn’t know.

“Okay, but whatever you do, you mustn’t tell anyone about this. And you must stay calm by all means. And please don’t call the police or pull some crap like that, okay?” Eren’s shaky voice reverberated through the area and he saw Armin’s eyes widen in acknowledgement before they turned creepily zealous again. Deeply sighing, he slowly opened the door, squeezing himself through it to let as little light as possible in, gesturing Armin to do the same. And once the blond came in and turned towards the couch, his smile immediately disappeared and got replaced by a dreadful scowl and eyes wide in shock. Eren bit his lower lip and sharply exhaled, putting both of his hands at his back as he waited for Armin to react, eyeing him from the side.

“That’s…  Eren. What the hell did you do”, Armin whispered, still looking at the bloody person that lay on the couch. It was undoubtedly an omega, drenched in its own blood and sweat. He was rather short, even compared to him, but the muscles of his limbs told another story. The person was clutching the white sheet that was leisurely and most likely shyly put on him tightly, pressing it into his face and thus hiding it from the rest of the world. The deep cuts and bruises over his entire body screamed of harassment and the way he was curled into a ball indicated that he was trying to protect himself from harm. His skin was sickly pale, and his hair was charcoal black, styled in an undercut, neatly falling against the sheet and effectively hiding his eyes. Silent, almost inaudible breaths were coming out of the man’s nose that was buried in the sheet and the rhythmical rises and falls of his chest were somewhat reassuring.

“I… I don’t know, Ar”, Eren answered, looking at the man intently, as if he’d wake up any second if he kept staring at him. Armin smacked his arm and Eren silently cursed as he looked at the blond that had a murderous expression on his face.

“Eren, I swear, if this is your doing I’ll personally take care of your-“

“What?!” Eren raised his voice, but remained relatively silent, “No, it’s not like that… You know I wouldn’t!”

“Explain, then”, Armin articulated, approaching the small man curled up on himself on the sofa and watching him from above, seemingly too scared to touch him, “How come there’s a bruised omega in heat sleeping on your couch with your scent on him, huh? Did you stumble upon him and decided to bring him home like that one time when you found a puppy and thought it was a good idea to bring him back home with you?”

Eren kept staring for a while, processing all the information that he had just received. After a few seconds, he finally responded, his face going a slight shade of red: “W-wait… Heat?”

His eyes passed over the sleeping omega one more time, only to see him fidget in his dreams and tremble slightly. A muffled sound escaped the short man’s throat as he pressed against the sheets longingly, and Eren’s gaze immediately left him as he felt heat reaching his cheeks. Shaking his head, he turned towards Armin again, his brows furrowing.

“There was a commotion in the town this morning. Mikasa and I were just returning from mass when we heard loud voices from nearby. We planned to ignore it, but once I heard beating sounds, I ran off to see what was happening, and I guess I was proven right when I saw this omega being bullied by some Alphas,” Eren’s gaze left Armin’s to look at the sleeping man, “he refused to submit, that’s why they were beating him. Whenever he’d fall, he’d try to get back up again, and that’s what had them fuming. I… I thought they were just beating him, but…” he looked to the ground, “once they pushed him down to the ground, I r-realized what was…”

“Wait, did they-“

“No,” Eren responded before Armin could even ask, “I lost it and started shouting at them to focus their attention on me”, he laughed a little, “Honestly, I had no idea what I said to them, but I guess it was enough to stop them from harassing the omega. Once they were busy beating me up, I guess they forgot all about him. That’s… when Mikasa came in.”

Armin merely nodded his head before looking at the sleeping man again. He didn’t say anything and Eren was left wondering what Armin was thinking, but he decided against asking and focused his attention on his hurt guest as well.

“I came to ask for your help, Ar. You’re the only omega inside the entire building, so I thought you might know what to do now. Also, I’m afraid to bring an Alpha in here, it might just scare him.”

“Naturally”, Armin responded before creeping towards the bed, careful not to disturb the sleeping man. Once he reached it, he crouched down and swiped the black bangs from his sweaty forehead, feeling for his temperature before swiftly jerking his hand away.

“He’s burning up, as I suspected…” Armin said and nodded to himself, forgetting that Eren was still in the same room as him, looking at them, “He’s close to the third stage, it seems, judging by the scent as well… That might be a problem…”

“Uh… something wrong?” Eren’s voice came from the back and the blond turned to see his blushing friend, “well… except the fact that he’s all covered in blood and bruises and is… in h-heat…”

“It’s just that he’s about to go into the third stage at any time, and I’m not really sure if letting him stay here is the best option… But I guess it can’t be helped. Eren, I’ll treat the wounds now”, he said and returned his sight to the omega, “It might get ugly, so I recommend you get out for a while. Please inform everyone that your room will remain locked to visitors for at least eight days. And… uh… when you return, don’t disturb him, whatever you do. We have no idea how he’ll react”, the blond then grabbed the first aid kit Eren had hidden under the couch and opened it immediately, taking the needed things before gripping the omega’s shirt and slowly pulling it up.

Eren just stared for another minute before he managed to tear his sight away from his guest.

Chapter Text

It had been days since the incident, and Eren was getting more and more impatient and worried day by day. At first, he didn’t really mind having to sleep on the floor and then waking up besides the couch, only to almost get a heart attack every time he’d see he wasn’t alone, but the omega never woke up.

The omega never woke up. That was what was worrying him now. Which is why, being the creep he is, he woke at 4 a.m. during a storm, only to loom over the small creature that was still lying in the same way at the same spot on his couch. Although Armin had specifically told him never to try to wake him up, Eren did almost everything to do so, but to no avail. Making loud sounds, shaking him awake, repeatedly tapping his arm, washing his burning forehead with a cold towel… Well, that was him trying to take care of him, not really waking him, but he counted it nonetheless. Eventually, he got tired and just watched him sleep.

Like the creep that he is.

The chilly air outside was a nice change to their otherwise very hot environment. The loud thunder and heavy rain were just a price they had to pay to receive that fresh air. Eren couldn’t remember the last time he had seen the clouds that black and the rain that heavy, but as long as the moon still shone enough to make things in the room visible for him, he would be content. He didn’t pay much attention to it. He was, after all, busy trying to get over his fear of the omega to wrap a small white cloth around his wrist that the omega had most likely lost that day. The light outside faded for a while, then returned, then faded again; it was like it was trying to play a game Eren wasn’t interested in. But he couldn’t say that he didn’t appreciate the way the thunder would illuminate the smaller man beside him. Every time it thundered, the short man’s pale visage would show, along with all of his sharp features. His high cheekbones, his sharp jaw, his snub little nose, his dark eyelashes, his sleek furrowed eyebrows that made a small crease appear in the middle of his childlike face, the jet black hair that neatly fell to the sheet he still held close to himself, his colorless, dry, plump lips parted to take the needed air in, his small chin, his thick neck and his marble white semi-exposed chest that Eren’s shirt hid. Apart from the old wounds that were now healing pretty nicely, Eren couldn’t find a single fault on the man’s looks.

It was really hard getting anything done with the game the weather was playing on him. Furrowing his brows, he huffed before trying to get the job done instead of staring for once. Taking the small, vulnerable hand into his, he carefully lifted it up to bring the bandage around his wrist gently, as if the smallest mistake would wound the sleeping omega. He passed the bandage over his small wrist once, then twice, and then lowered his sinewy hand to the mattress to tie the two ends into a bow because he didn’t know what else to do with it. The loss of the softness the hand provided him had him frowning. What ultimately made him stop every movement however was when thunder came in the distance, and the room lit up another time, only to reveal the omega’s eyes being half-opened, his dark eyelashes still looming over his eyes and effectively hiding them from the light. He stared into nothing in particular, as if he couldn’t see anything. Eren did nothing but stare at the sight. He even did nothing when the omega’s head slowly turned to look at him, his facial expression being the same as always, only his eyes were now trying to register what was happening around him. The omega’s silvery blue eyes lit up with another thundering as he remained still. Eren felt his brows go into normal position as he prepared to introduce himself, only to be surprised when the omega’s face morphed into a look of pure terror, his sharp eyes narrowing after that one second of vulnerability. The wrist he held was pulled back and the short man abruptly sat up, making Eren stand up and stumble backwards. After what seemed like an eternity of glaring at each other, the shorter man raised a brow.

“Where am I?” the silvery voice he had was used for the words to be spat out, and Eren couldn’t bring himself to say anything, “Actually, forget that. What the hell is happening?”

He watched the man’s eyes loom over everything in the room before they fell at the cloth around his wrist, which made him furrow his brows even further as he slid to the edge of the bed.

“Oi. Brat. I asked you something, didn’t I?”

Now the voice was threatening, and Eren found himself thinking of words that he’d use, but this seemed to unsettle the omega even more. He clearly wanted answers immediately, but the teen found himself in a position where clear thinking and speaking his mind didn’t come into question. So he stood there, the poor brunet, waiting for someone to save him from the eyes of the stranger boring holes into his chest.

“Not much of a speaker, huh…?” the voice sounded chilling now, and Eren froze up. Not because of the voice, but because the omega stood up on his wounded, bandaged legs before he made his way towards the young man, and although Eren was considerably taller than him, the raven-haired person grabbed a hold onto the hem of his shirt and pressed Eren against the wall in a matter of seconds, his face right in front of Eren’s. The man searched for something desperately, his eyes falling onto every part of the brunet, his nose sniffing something, but as realization hit him, his eyes widened for a while before he pressed his nose against Eren’s, baring his teeth and growling. Eren just stared down.

“What the hell are you…?”

The question was whispered and probably wasn’t meant for Eren to answer considering he messed up all of his chances before that, but Eren’s brows furrowed at that as he puffed his chest out and pressed a hand against his chest , over his heart, shouting like he was trained to: “Eren Yeager, sir! beta, nineteen years old, ready to serve!”

The dumbfounded expression he received from the shorter man was somewhat reassuring. At least he didn’t look like he was going to be killed now. The man suddenly set him down again and walked a few steps backwards, rubbing his temples in the process. Small bare feet stumbled against the freezing wood underneath them before he fell back at the bed, still holding his head in his palms. He seemed to be trembling, so Eren decided to approach the unusual omega, but the raven stilled as soon as Eren took his first step towards him.

“What did you do to me?” the raven-haired man asked silently, his voice nonchalant, even though his body was still trembling. Eren carefully observed the man before speaking again. He didn’t blame him for accusing him of anything. After all, the man woke up in a small, unknown room with a complete stranger while still being injured and bloody, in the final stages of his heat, in Eren’s own white button-up that reached his knees, and only that to top it all off.

“We fixed up your wounds, sir,” he had no idea why he called him ‘sir’, “you were in a pretty bad shape, which is why we decided for you to stay here until you get better.”

Since the omega didn’t seem like he wanted to talk and only rolled up into a small ball, Eren decided to go on.

“The only thing I tried to do was put that cloth back onto your wrist. It seemed to have fallen off. I… know that people sometimes wear those when they’re about to… well. You know”, Eren trailed off and the omega put his hands down to admire the way Eren ‘gracefully’ wrapped the cloth around his wrist. His nose scrunched up.

“Yes. Thank you.”

“Ah! It’s nothing, sir!” Eren beamed all of a sudden and the confused man looked back to see the teen skip about just to reach the couch he sat at, plopping down right next to him as if he had never heard of personal space. The omega’s eyes were wide, his pupils small and set on a spot at the floor as the brunet’s chuckle filled the room. He could literally feel the way the brunet was looking at him longingly, but he decided not to question and/or act on it in any way.

“That was sarcasm”, the man deadpanned and Eren’s smile immediately faltered, “Also, I don’t think my Alpha would appreciate you sitting this close.”

He didn’t miss the disappointed and frightened look Eren showed him before he smiled in the slightest way possible and moved away a bit. Soon, the teen crossed his arms over his chest and furrowed his brows, frowning into the distance.

“Sarcasm or not, I’ll accept your thanks”, he shot him a sideways glance that the omega eagerly caught, “What happened that day? If your Alpha had been there, this wouldn’t have happened… We literally thought you would die, me and my sister. That’s why we dragged you back to my place where an omegan friend of mine helped me treat the wounds. You’ve been passed out for six days. And no one came searching or asking for you. So, why is it that your mate hasn’t come on a white horse yet to pick you up?”

“Will you shut it with the Alpha talk?” the omega next to him deadpanned before facing the same wall as Eren, shrugging his shoulders, “One could say that you’re jealous, the way you spit venom all over the excellence that is my Alpha. That would be wrong, feeling something for a low person that belonged to someone else, wouldn’t it?”

“Sounds like he’s the big deal”, Eren continued to stare into the same spot, but didn’t miss the scowl the omega presented.

“His horse is whiter than snow”, the omega chimed.

“Imma add it to my bucket list, then.”

“You’ll do a horse?”

“I’ll steal the horse”, the brunet started and looked at the omega from the side, but even though he obviously had something more to add, he stopped in the middle of the sentence. The short man’s eyes remained on the teal orbs that Eren’s eyes were before he averted his yet again, sighing in an exasperated manner and repeating Eren’s statement as he hid his face in his hands again.

“In all honesty now,” the brunet decided to continue, “it was really weird seeing what was happening. Dozens of Alphas surrounded you and tried to force you to submit, but you didn’t. You didn’t even think of it, as it seemed. It was really a weird sight…”

“Should I have just given them what they wanted, or something?” the omega spat, but the beta seemed unfazed and just brightly smiled.

“On the contrary.”

The short man’s eyes narrowed as he looked to his side, taking in the betas features as thunder in the distance made the room light up again. A high forehead that had a few spots in the corners, a sharp jaw line, a strong long neck, short shaggy brown hair, red lips, a small pointy nose laced with a few almost invisible freckles, thick neglected eyebrows and teal eyes. He looked completely normal. Like every beta out there. Not special at all.

“You know where that kind of thinking gets you?” the short man asked, his voice silent as Eren tilted his head to the right to think of the question, but the omega finished for him, “Hell. You go to hell for that kind of thinking. That’s what they teach people around these parts, anyways. Alphas are leaders. Everyone must obey them. What’s theirs, you cannot take. Betas are workers. Children, adults, old geezers. You work till death. And omegas are slaves to people above them. Taught to be so right from the beginning of life. Tools of satisfaction. If alone, worth nothing. If with an Alpha, worth what the Alpha wants them to be worth. Used instead of jewelry to show off someone’s wealth, too.”

Eren stared at the short man for a while, not saying nor doing anything, but luckily the omega wished to change the topic as he sighed again, his brows furrowing and his gaze meeting the floor. The raven absentmindedly stroked the cloth tied around his wrist before looking at it intently, his gaze softening. He then looked at the brunet that flinched upon being looked at, to which the raven returned by scowling at him. He just glared at him for a while, his lower lip moving a few times as if he wanted to ask of something, but decided against it. The beta’s eyes widened as he slightly nodded. After another few seconds of hesitation, the omega’s gaze fell at the floor as he whispered: “Help me up.”

Eren stayed frozen for a few seconds before jumping to his feet and offering a hand to the shaken omega who looked up at him in disbelief before warily reaching for the hand the beta held out. Eren suddenly pulled him up to his feet and the omega silently shrieked at the fast movement before he felt a steady arm being wrapped around his waist and one of his arms thrown around the beta’s neck. The omega needed a few seconds to steady before he nodded his head multiple times, trying to mask the surprise with a look of irritation.

“You have a mirror around here somewhere…?” he silently asked and Eren lightly tugged him to try to follow. The raven man’s legs were unsteady, but he still walked upwards, proudly and obviously showing off his strength, which made the young man smile. That, as well, wasn’t left unnoticed.

“What are you smiling about, squirt?” the man asked and shot him a dark glare to which Eren flinched again, showing a nervous smile as he scratched the back of his head with his free hand.

“N-Nothing, sir…”

The man grunted in response, lowering his head as he gave up on looking strong and let himself be dragged to the mirror by the brunet. The omega obviously had something against the place Eren lived in, but whatever it was, the man didn’t mention it. Once they reached the other end of the room, the omega grabbed onto the cupboard on which the mirror was standing, leaning against the moist wall, and let his legs rest as he leaned into the cupboard, groaning as his lower area touched the wood and making Eren look away like he had just witnessed something forbidden. The man didn’t pay attention to him anymore, though. He took the white cloth off his wrist and looked at it from all sides, raising a brow at the cleanliness and looking back at Eren who widely smiled in response. The raven then shook his head and rolled his eyes, straightening the cloth in his hands and then throwing it over his neck, starting to tie it. He watched his tired, stoic reflection fold the cloth to form something that resembled a cravat, but his eyes soon stuck to the taller man watching him in the back.

“Do you usually stare at people when they try to look at their reflection?” he asked as his head tilted to the side teasingly, his gaze still holding the beta’s.

Eren’s brows furrowed at that and he frowned.

“No, actually. It isn’t really allowed to have two people in one room, and not a lot of guys want to risk getting caught by the landlord, so we don’t really visit each other’s rooms.”

“Oh, so I’m not allowed to be in here”, he raised a brow and looked back. Eren watched him slowly leaning his weight from one leg to another, but something seemed to bother the man as he jerked into his previous position while yelling: “FUCK!” and then slumping.

The shuddering breath that escaped the omega after that got Eren worried, so he stepped closer, only to be stopped by the short man who shook his head disapprovingly, glaring at the youth and baring his teeth.

“Are you alright?” the young brunet asked as he tilted his head to see the man’s face in the plain mirror, only to open his mouth widely and look away in realization that the man wasn’t in real pain. Scratching the back of his neck again and looking at the floor, he silently chuckled as the man tried to recollect himself, “Well, you’re holding up pretty well. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve got that one omega friend… One time he forgot to take his suppressants and boy, let me tell you… No, wait. I won’t. He told me to shut up about it. But I’ll mention that it did NOT end up well…”

“You usually hang around with omegas?” the man’s raspy voice came into Eren’s ears and he nervously smiled before looking up again, his hand still playing with the small hairs on the back of his head.

“Well, there’re not many omegas around here… It’s just Alphas and betas in this building, with the exception of Armin. And you, now.”

“And you just… like, talk to him?” the short man asked and turned his head to look at the brunet behind him, small signs of curiosity sparking behind his cool bluish eyes.

“Uh… he’s my best friend, you know… Pretty much all of us have known ourselves since when we were kids, before he presented, so what he is doesn’t really matter… he’s one of us, after all. And if someone tries to bully him, we’re there for him.”

“Alphas and betas? Protecting a random omega…?” the omega seemed to watch him in disbelief for a few seconds before his gaze softened and he looked down at the floor, “Interesting”, he added. His gaze lingered there for a while before he slowly straightened again, his trembling fingers touching the silky cloth and wrapping it to make a cravat. Eren’s smile slowly faded as he watched the man fold the cloth. The cold man’s eyes were narrower than before, and while he looked pissed off before, now there was something else in his expression. Something that Eren despised.

“What’s your name?” Eren suddenly beamed again, fully aware that the omega could see the change in him since he had a habit of wearing his heart on his sleeve. The omega suddenly stopped folding the cloth into a cravat and just furrowed his brows again, meeting Eren’s gaze in the mirror. After holding it a few seconds, he got his tiny fingers back to the cloth and made a few swift movements to perfect the tie around his pale neck.

“My name?” he asked and turned his head towards the young man again, his expression not revealing anything about him. Eren would still have to get used to that.

“You have one, don’t you…?” Eren chuckled and stepped a step closer, seeing how the man’s shoulders immediately tensed.

“So what if I have one? Doesn’t mean I’m obliged to tell you,” he said, but averted his gaze when he saw the playful smirk the beta showed him, “I stopped giving a fuck three decades ago, mister Yeager.”

“Well, here’s the deal,” Eren said and approached him, leaning his hand against the cupboard holding the mirror up and slightly bending to meet the omega’s eyes who looked even more pissed off than usual, seeing Eren’s smirk still plastered on his face, “This hotel is full of Alphas, and you’re in heat. Also, if you haven’t noticed, your arms and legs are full of bandages and you’re still struggling to walk. Even if you wish to escape, it’s four thirty a.m. or something now, and there’s a storm plucking out trees out there. And as long as no one comes to pick you up, you’re stuck with me, and I’m stuck with you. This makes us roommates, which is forbidden, as you already know. But I’m willing to keep my mouth shut and even help you every chance I get, as I already did, if you need proof of my loyalty, under one condition. And that is for you to tell me your name.”

The omega raised a brow at the young man that was already smirking victoriously.

“Go all that length just to get the name of a slave? That’s new.”

Eren didn’t say anything, but his big teal eyes didn’t seem to want to shut up. And all of a sudden, the beta didn’t seem so common anymore. There was something behind those eyes, some unimaginable stubbornness, stupidity and loyalty that even managed to make the omega’s own stubbornness falter. And that fire made the short man soften, even if just for a moment. It was enough to get the man what he wished for.

“Levi”, he deadpanned, and Eren’s eyes sparked with acknowledgement as his smirk turned into an innocent smile. The raven-haired man looked back at the floor, “Just Levi.”

“Levi…” he tested the name out and furrowed his brows for a moment, like he needed to strain himself to remember the name for later use, before he nodded determinedly and widely smiled again, “Nice to meet you, Levi!” he said and offered a hand for Levi to shake it, but the omega looked hesitant to shake it. He turned his head to the left before raising a brow at the teen and finally reaching for his hand, shaking it once before gripping it the tightest he could at the moment and allowing himself to smirk as the younger man yelped under the pain the gesture gave him, slowly lowering himself to the ground.

“The pleasure is all mine.”

Chapter Text

Every touch the other made had Levi’s skin crawling; a sharp, tingling sensation spreading upwards and downwards to reach all parts of his body. The hot, but still chilling feeling had his heart racing all of a sudden, the experience unbearable as he was still fighting against his heat. He couldn’t keep up anymore, he wanted it to go away, to stop, wanted him to stop immediately-

“Argghh!” he suddenly yelled, sitting up and narrowing his bloodshot eyes at the younger man who sat there, next to him, on the edge of the couch, with Levi’s arm in his hand as he was wrapping a scratchy bandage around him to treat his wounds that had previously been washed with disinfectant, “Can you go any rougher? I fucking want my skin to be torn down, not just ruined.”

Eren flinched at the omega’s harsh tone of voice before looking back at the bandage, “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. It’s just that I haven’t been doing this in a while… I don’t usually treat anyone’s wounds… Hell, I don’t even treat my own wounds. I try to avoid it.”

“I don’t care, just finish it already, my ass is sore.”

Eren pouted as he started wrapping the bandage around the frowning man’s arm again, looking at it intently and trying not to mess up even though he really wanted to, deep down, “You know, I could just leave you here to do it on your own. It’s not like your wounds are my problem.”

“Well, why don’t you?” came the bitter reply and Eren shot him a glare, but his expression softened once he saw that the man’s face was scrunched up in pain, his brows furrowed and his cheeks slightly rosy. His sight then travelled towards his arms that displayed deep cuts and a few bluish bruises that still weren’t gone, and then his eyes went down to his bare legs that weren’t as bad now that he wrapped all those bandages around them, but he knew how they looked underneath them. A pang of guilt for not arriving earlier hit him and he looked back at his nimble fingers.

“Shut up. That’s why.”

“Real mature.”

“I’m trying”, the younger angrily replied, “I don’t think it would be that way if it was the other way around.”

“Of course not”, the omega sighed as he tilted his head to the side, looking at the teen from an angle that made him look a bit too handsome for Eren not to notice, “if it weren’t for my stupid biology, this wouldn’t even have happened. If I weren’t for what I am, I would be able to work, and trust me when I say I’d beat up every single person who’d dare to touch an omega… fucking animals. It’s not like I chose to be what I am, you know?”

As the raven-haired man turned his head to look at a random spot in front of him, Eren furrowed his brows again and concentrated on his job.

“Yeah…” he sighed, but after a few seconds of silence, he decided to keep talking, “Being a beta sucks too, you know? Injecting kids with special chemicals to make them present earlier than they would naturally is… really messed up. But there I was, defined a beta with five. My father took me by the hand that day and told me we were going to a special place, and I remember I couldn’t wait, being the naïve kid I was. But while we were traveling, he started talking about learning, and pride for the family, working and stuff like that… My brain basically couldn’t handle it so I shut down and just watched the stars out of the cart. And my father just laughed at that, I can clearly see that laughter even now… It was the first time I watched him be so genuine, and relaxed. Like, he had the greatest hope in me and just couldn’t wait to see his son all grown up and working and shit. The next day, we arrived at our location- a building that only had us betas in it, and we weren’t allowed to leave, otherwise we’d be expelled. And of course we wouldn’t want that. My father was a doctor, so it isn’t really a surprise that he wanted his son to be something well-received as well. Didn’t even bet an eye when he turned me in and left, having a possible future businessman is more important than actually having a kid by your side, after all.”

Levi’s brows furrowed at the smirk the younger man showed at that.

“It wasn’t all bad, I guess. The idea is actually pretty good. There we were given books that contained all needed information about jobs that suited our capabilities the most and those books would help us get our occupations once. Once you got the book, you were immediately registered for a job, no matter where this job was located, and you weren’t allowed to change your career, nor look at any other book so that you would only focus on your own tasks, or else you’d be expelled immediately. You just had to pass the exams and that’s it, you’d be a worker for life. But since this place is all about development and enriching the wealthy and stealing from the poor, there wasn’t anything that would suit me, and economy made me wanna vomit. So me and a couple of friends packed our stuff and just… ran away”, he snorted, “I know, dumb decision. But for some reason, I think of it as the right one. I’m a free spirit, an artistic douchebag with no time on his hands, and I couldn’t possibly have agreed to the job I was assigned for. It’s really dumb, not to be able to control what you want in life and let others decide for you.”

Levi finally looked at him then and seemingly searched his face for something, but his desperate eyes couldn’t find anything. Eren’s gaze met his.

“I know it’s a great system, not having to search for a job when you’re finally done with studies. I don’t know what being an omega is, I can’t really complain… But it seems so unreal and… I don’t know. I just don’t like the idea of not steering the wheel of my own life. I might be a great candidate for something, but that doesn’t mean I want to be that something. Like, having a great career that gets you money is good and all, but doing something you like, even though you’d end up on the streets, or in this hotel”, he silently chuckled and started bandaging again, “that’s life. I haven’t seen father ever since I escaped. He’d probably kill me. I was offered a great position. The omega I mentioned earlier, Armin, was assigned as a doctor, but chose to escape with me. Some of my friends were assigned as labor slaves, though… And I couldn’t let that pass. But it wasn’t really about them.”

A hum of acknowledgment came from the omega. He let Eren finish his task before he raised his head again to get more information out of the brunet.

“And what are you now?”

Eren gave a bitter smirk at that and looked back.

“Well, if this room doesn’t speak for itself, then I don’t know what does.”

The brunet then frowned again, his eyes dulling as he lowered his head. Levi looked around himself once again, taking in the rotten and torn features of the room he now shared with the younger man, smelling the scent of unwashed clothes and decomposing, wet wood. It bothered him to no end.

“It’d probably be better if your Alpha waltzed in soon. You must be dying to get out of this mess, too. I’m sorry that I practically forced you to stay here. Armin told me not to let you escape, but I could smuggle you into town, if that’s your wish… Your Alpha is probably worried sick by now, and how could he know where you are?”

“Don’t stick your nose into situations you’re not familiar with.”

The brunet’s eyes widened at that and he looked back at the angry omega that crossed his legs and arms protectively, curling into a ball.

“I’m just trying to help-“

“You’re not helping at all by talking about me as if I were some kind of damsel in distress. And if you’d just shut up about the Alpha for once. I can handle myself quite well, thank you. If it were for him, I’d still be hiding in my room and waiting for the system to crumble upon itself, in heat, desperately wanting to be taken because fuck biology.”

“Is this why you-“

“No, mister Yeager, it’s not why I ran off”, he calmly stated and watched the younger man’s face lighten in acknowledgment, his shining eyes widening at the raven-haired man’s outburst. Levi’s heart almost stopped as he waited for the younger man to assault him with questions and accusations, but since none came, he narrowed his eyes again and looked down at the white sheet he was still pressing against his chest. His expression soon softened again, “He is a good man; he truly is. His mind is extraordinary and he can see things no one else can. He is even ready to give his life for the commonalty if he deems it necessary. He isn’t one to shy away from anything and will stand tall, even if the world crumbles around him, and I’d give my life to him anytime and anywhere.”

The young brunet watched the man’s face get softer at any word he’d speak, so he allowed himself to soften up and smile as well, although there was a strong ache in his heart as he did so. A feeling of guilt trapped his heart and made a lump form in his throat, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it. But there was something else there, and that made him scared and disgusted by himself. But he couldn’t help it, the feeling was gnawing him.

“But not like this”, the omega added and raised his arms up, looking at his small hands with disgust before dropping them down in frustration, making them disappear behind the huge white sleeves, “Not like a slave to society and nature.”

Eren stared into his eyes for a while before slightly smiling.

“So, if I were an Alpha-“

“I’d kill you on spot”, Levi finished and crossed his arms, leaning against the back of the couch. He half-closed his eyes in annoyance as the brunet in front of him smirked again, raising a brow.

“Aren’t you a special Omega… hating your own form…”

“If by special you mean weird, then yes”, Levi stated, his usual stoic expression present.

“What’s so wrong about being normal?” Eren asked and leaned forward. The omega flinched upon seeing his face creep closer, but regained his stoic face immediately after seeing Eren’s lips twitch upwards again and his teal eyes half-closing as they focused on him, “I don’t see anything wrong with omegas. They’re here for a purpose, and this isn’t just because of the law that things work around here like that. The law’s fault is that they failed to acknowledge that they’d be doomed without their omegas, which is why they either enslaved them or accused them for every little thing they had done and gave them death penalty... Levi. You do realize that if you act like that you’ll end up the same way, don’t you?”

Levi furrowed his brows, but still had a relaxed expression on his face.

“I’ve lived on the streets since I was six, mister Yeager,”, he articulated, “my uncle taught me everything I needed to survive on my own, and then he was off. He warned me as well, he told me where my place was, but I didn’t listen. I never cared for my life and won’t as long as I’m confined in this stupid prison made out of swines, whores and goddamn globs of snot.”

“So I’m dealing with a criminal...” Eren’s smirk as he said that made it seem desirable to be an outlaw.

“Who comes from a noble family that is considered to have the perfect genes, but is completely broke, which is why they decided to sell him to the king himself, so he could be his little bitch”, he said matter-of-factly, bluntly, as if it were the stupidest little detail no one should care about, and searched for any indication of fear on the boys face, but he didn’t even seem surprised, just like he was expecting it.

“And you’re using me to hide from the government and from the one whom you’re promised to”, Eren finished, his facial expression determined with his eyes shining brightly before he chuckled, passing his fingers through his unruly hair to make it get out of his eyes, “To sum it all up, you’re a noble that’s hiding in the cheapest hotel possible, among the poor and wicked, under the low-key protection of an unemployed peasant who could have had everything in life but threw it all away just to live life like he wanted to, forced to bond into the royal family itself”, he suddenly leaned forward again, slamming their foreheads together and looking into the omega’s steel blue eyes fervently, “and you’re crazy enough to think that your volition will be enough to save you from what you really are.”

 “Yes”, he silently stated, keeping his glistening lips parted as his eyes narrowed, hatred seeping out of them.

“Such a simple statement holding such heaviness”, Eren whispered as his eyes travelled down to meet the man’s kissable lips, his heart aching all of a sudden, “what is the probability of me getting killed if I agree to keep this a secret, sir…?”

“High”, the man simply stated, but Eren savored every single move those lips of his made, refusing to look back up again, even though the thought of seeing his eyes seemed promising.

“High…” Eren repeated, smirking and chuckling, because he was crazy. Living on his own and meeting his friends once a week had made him flourish into a complete weirdo, a stranger knowing only his own madness and interests, and as it seemed, this nobleman captured all of his interests and madness by just existing. Eren’s eyes travelled all over the perfect omega, as if observing a perfect sculpture of smooth, touchable surface that wasn’t allowed to be touched, always relaxed, but alert, with tense muscles and pulsing veins, made from unwanted marble, bathed in milk, parts of his skin destroyed and showing vulnerability that the man himself didn’t show. A sculpture- but so alive. The thought of hiding such a masterpiece of God’s creation seemed too exiting to him, and he knew he should be disgusted by himself for thinking of it in such a way, but he wasn’t. Then his eyes raced to meet the raven-haired man’s, the dull orbs still waiting for an answer patiently, almost lifelessly staring, but making his heart swell anyways. The simplicity he showed, but the complex emotions and thoughts he hid, he wrapped the younger around his little finger and didn’t even know. An omega this beautiful- it was a sin, Eren’s, for noticing it this way, for wanting what wasn’t his and will never be.

“Oi, what are you staring at, brat? Will you agree to it or n-“

He stopped as Eren’s hands grasped his cheeks, his fingers feeling the texture underneath them as Eren stared at the movement of his own fingers, wondering if he violated an unspoken rule.

“What the hell are you doing, you little shit?” the omega growled, but relaxed as Eren’s fervent eyes immediately met his, a wide, toothy smile plastered on his face.

“You must know this’ll go down sooner or later, sir.”

“It was never intended to work either. So for me to be alive right now is a miracle on itself”, he murmured and took the young man by the hands, pushing them down to remove them from his face and watching them reach the couch, “So I’ll ask you one more time, mister Yeager,”, he silently continued, his eyes travelling up to meet the brunet’s, “Will you agree on keeping me safe for a while or not? There is…” he lowered his gaze again, “no real reward I could offer you at the moment… but please, if you ever need something…”

“Sir,”, Eren called and made the omega’s eyes meet his ones again. Eren’s smile had disappeared, but his eyes still shone as he got closer, his lips hovering over Levi’s as he said, “never doubt my loyalty. Not now, not ever.”

Chapter Text

“Mister Yeager,”, the unfazed omega said as the brunet didn’t move, still staring into those almost lifeless orbs the raven-haired man had, a slight lopsided smile on his face, showing his sharp upper canine, “I highly advise you to stop fooling around for once. I believe my life is more important than vulgar games.”

The other man’s sight dropped to Levi’s lips for a mere second before returning it to his eyes.

“Please, sir, call me Eren.”

“No way am I helping you soothe your weird fantasies. Get your fucking face out of mine”, he deadpanned, but didn’t do anything to shove the teen away, which was received as an invitation.

“Sir, I want you to trust me. I won’t do anything. You have to believe me”, he said as he slid his nose down against the omega’s, his forehead pressing against Levi’s harder than before, “It’s just the way I express my loyalty.”

“I don’t want your rotten scent on mine, thank you very much”, the other spat, but Eren wasn’t bothered at all. The omega’s eyes narrowed as he searched for something once again, but he seemed not to be able to find anything.

“Trust in me”, Eren said as his eyesight dropped back to the omega’s lips, waiting for them to move as the other man would speak another insult again, but they just twitched before his frown got deeper, “Trust in me, sir”, he repeated, his hand once again finding its way to the other man’s cheek, but to his surprise, the omega grasped his hand all of a sudden, pushing Eren’s forehead away with his own, and the beta had to grasp the sheets beneath him not to fall down the couch they were sitting on.

“Two can play that game”, the older man sighed apathetically, his eyes still as dull as before. In a heartbeat, Eren got packed by the hem of his shirt once again and slammed against the pile of sheets that the omega seemingly piled at one spot to lie on, pinned against the hard surface of the couch and forced to look into the omega’s half-closed eyes, feeling both of his hands take him by his shoulders forcefully to hold him in place. Without an indication of any kind of emotion on his face, he leaned towards the younger man, almost touching his nose with his, his black bangs falling over his eyes. He shook his head a little to let those silky strands of hair fall aside, his small pupils being focused on nothing in particular, his pale lips parted as he observed the blushing beta for a few seconds.

“Eren…” the omega silently called, and the younger man let out a faint whimper, “as soon as the tables turn, your dominance fades away in an instant. Just as I suspected.”

Eren let out a hum of surprise as the omega released him and sat on top of his lower abdomen, passing his fingers through his silky hair. The beta underneath him flinched as he was once again reminded how heavy the little man was, but this time around there was no Mikasa to help him out.

“Get outta my sight”, he added, but just crossed his arms over his chest and didn’t move. Eren tried to squeeze himself out, but realized it was useless. He just hoped the omega wouldn’t notice anything that could possibly cost him his life.

“You’re… kinda, heavy, sir…”

“Huh?” the omega breathed as he shot him a dark glare, “You’re not only dumb, but weak as well?”

“Weak?” Eren asked as his brows furrowed, managing to raise his upper body up just enough to be able to look at the man, “I’m not weak! You should have seen me beat up those bastards that attacked you! Ran like dogs, with tails between their legs!”

“How many times have you already used that sorry excuse of a lie, brat..:? But I’m not really alluding to that part. If you’re calling me heavy, then I don’t think you were really able to carry me all the way to your room on your own. Clearly, there was someone else with you, no?”

The beta stared as Levi said all these word nonchalantly, all the while having an accusing tone in his voice. He opened and closed his mouth like a fish out of the water, searching for an answer that wouldn’t exactly be a lie, but also not the truth at the same time. Luckily, the omega changed the subject as he turned his face away to look at the room once again, his nose scrunching up. He then looked at the other side before looking back down at the beta beneath him.

“I’m starving”, he stated and just watched the man beneath him try to recollect his thoughts and understand the last sentence, “Do you have any kind of food in here or is it just the litter lying around the room?” his eyes narrowed, “Tch. It’s like a pig stall in here.”

“Huh…?”

“Food. Something to eat. Is your vocabulary that weak? I thought for sure the word ‘food’ is something you’d use pretty often, considering the smell in here…” the man said and once again looked at the dirty floor. He allowed himself some freedom, knowing that the beta was willing to put the omega’s needs above his, for whatever reason.

“Actually, I…” he heard a silent voice beneath him and looked back at the teen’s somewhat nervous face, “I can’t really… identify the smell…”

“That’s because you’ve been here for years now and your nose got adapted to that shit.”

“No, no, it’s more like…” the teen fidgeted and saw the omega tilt his head to the right in confusion, “I can’t identify smells, like, scents as well… I used to do it pretty good, great for a beta, actually, but I kinda stopped being able to do that. It just faded away, recently. That’s why I didn’t even know you were in heat, back then. Armin was the one to point that out.”

Levi’s brows furrowed at that. He then reached for the younger’s chin to raise his head up, earning a silent surprised yelp from him. After looking at him for a few seconds, he let his head fall back to the couch.

“So that’s why I couldn’t identify your scent…”

“Do you know why that is, perhaps? I haven’t told anyone else about it, I mean they all just think I’m incapable or dumb, I’ve never told them-“

“Is it usual for you to spread important information about yourself to random people you meet? Or is it just me?”

“Um…” the teen blushed, and there was no sign of that confident, passionate monster that he showed anymore, “j-just you, sir…” he then took a deep breath and closed his eyes, furrowing his brows, “It’s not that I trust people easily, but I’m sure that you won’t hurt me since I basically gave you a place to stay and all…”

There was long silence between them, with none actually looking at the other or saying anything for quite a while, but Levi suddenly sighed, dropping his tense shoulders and meeting Eren’s eyes again as he finally answered: “No,”, he hummed, “I’ve never heard of such a case before”, he continued as he put an index finger on his chin, “I’ve got that one friend… she’s batshit crazy, but she knows her territory. And even though she did research a few cases of people’s senses deteriorating, it was just a disease that destroyed a few cells, or it had to do with old age, but I don’t think nineteen is old enough for betas to slowly lose their senses, especially because they don’t need to use them as much as Alphas or omegas… Also, those cases were just that- deteriorations- and not losing them completely, as you did. It made me skeptical, for a second. But you’d be long dead if you were a real human, so I ruled the possibility out.”

Eren gulped as he stared at the older man.

“Wait… I don’t even emit scents anymore…?” his teal eyes got dull all of a sudden, “So there’s basically a chance I could die… and no one told me?”

When the beta started shaking, the man on top of him sighed and harshly pressed his palm against the man’s face, the force of his touch almost disabling Eren from being able to breathe, “Eren, I’m hungry. I’ll repeat this the last time before I devour a finger of yours. Do you have anything for me to eat here or should I go outside to beg for pieces of bread?”

“Ah… Food, yes, I’ve got some in here”, Eren shook from his thoughts when the raven-haired man removed his hand, offering a small smile to the non-impressed man. The omega finally gave him a little space and Eren squeezed out of the uncomfortable position, still blushing as he wanted to continue the conversation, “That probably means that your heat is coming to an end, right?”

The omega only rolled his eyes as he sat back at the couch, watching the brunet realign his old clothes that consisted of an old dark blue hoodie, a tight black shirt beneath it and light blue, washed out jeans. The teen caught his gaze and showed a toothy grin before running off to a small area that was most likely the kitchen, connected to the living room and just shoved in the corner, where a few counters, a sink and a stove were. He hid his head behind an open wall cupboard as he searched for something in it.

“There’s not much of a choice in here, but I can bring more food tomorrow… It wouldn’t be the first time I’d sneak something from breakfast or lunch back over here…”

The raven watched him for a while before standing up again, feeling the pain spread through his legs, but didn’t even think of showing it. He stumbled towards the brunet before stepping normally again as he approached him, looking up at the cupboard with a frown on his face.

“Does everything have to be that high up?” he suddenly asked and Eren looked down at him, flashing another toothy grin as a chuckle escaped his throat.

“It’s not my fault they built it like that. And also, it’s a great way of preventing you from stealing anything”, he added and reached for something inside of the cupboard, but got interrupted as the man shouldered his arm. Whether it was a playful shove or not Eren couldn’t tell, but he could tell that it hurt like hell, so he stepped away from the man with his head bowed down in defeat, looking into those steel blue eyes that still didn’t display any feelings. The man didn’t say anything, so Eren got back to the cupboard warily.

“So… we’ve got butter and bread…” he took out the mentioned nutrients before reaching for the rest with his other hand, “..aaaaand bread and butter.”

The omega didn’t say anything, so Eren stood on his tiptoes to take a look inside of the dark cupboard in hopes he’d find something else.

“And there’s a three week old banana in there as well… Stole it from Jean, that bastard. He was being extra bitchy that day and Armin specifically told me not to beat him up, but you gotta do something.”

“Look, kid,”, he said and waited for Eren to look at him before he pressed his palm against his face and sighed, “I don’t care. Just give me the bread and the butter.”

The teen did as he was requested to.

“Also, do you have any tea in here, by chance?” Levi silently asked, his sight travelling to the floor, “I… really hope I’m not being too inconvenient right now, but I can’t really function without tea.”

“Tea… well…” the brunet looked down as well, scratching the back of his head, “well, I don’t really drink it often, so I don’t have it in here, but… but I know a place I could get it for you! It’s inside of the hotel as well, just the next floor. It’s really not a problem”, the teen bowed a little as the man watched him cautiously. But as he stood up straight again, he let his jaw drop a little when he saw some kind of light inside of the man’s usually dull eyes.

“That… would be really nice, thank you”, the man articulated as he took the hard piece of bread and the butter across the small room to sit at the small wooden table that was shoved into the corner and never really used. He gently swept the dust away from his eating spot and turned his face away from the man, lowering his head as he smeared the butter onto the bread, “It doesn’t need to be anything expensive. Although black is my favorite, green’s sufficient too.”

Eren gently smiled at hearing his soft voice.

“You must love tea very much, don’t you, Levi?”

There was no real response from the man sitting on the chair with only an oversized shirt on, but the silence spoke clear on itself. The teen’s smile widened as he left for the door without another word.


“That omega is really something…” he thought while he was ascending the stairs, “It’s not that I know why he appeals so much to me, but he’s just… It’s not just his perfect physique. It’s more like… I like the way he himself, as in soul, contradicts his perfect appearance. The way he speaks, even though he’s supposed to be all sophisticated. How strong he is, even though people like him usually depend on others to help him… The way he scowls at me for every stupid gesture I make and the way he never looks at me with everything but annoyance and plain disinterest… But just now, at the mention of getting tea, it’s like he was revived”, he smiled as he saw the upper floor, rushing up towards the last stair, “That… spark of life… God! That light! I… I want it to shine for me, not just for tea… Oh, wait.”

He stopped in his fast movement and suddenly slowed, his expression darkening.

“No, moron, this is all wrong. He’s already promised to someone else, and that’s the king, and you can’t compete with the king… You’re just a random dude that popped into his life and that’ll disappear as soon as he’ll want to. It’s not like he really needs you. That… doesn’t stop me from admiring him, however.”

He puffed his chest out and smiled again.

“That small, boopable nose of his, how he scrunches it up when he doesn’t like something. The way he shies away from filthiness… How he manhandles me”, he chuckled subconsciously, “That sound he makes when he’s displeased. A work of art. A fucking work of art.”

He shook his head and wiped the smirk off his face when he realized he was already there, asking himself what went wrong with him in the process of growing up. He approached the door he was headed to and took a second to calm his racing heart before knocking at it. After a few seconds of just waiting at the door, he heard footsteps approach it and the girl that lived inside of room 276 peeked through a small hole she had made into it to see who was at it. Upon seeing Eren with his characteristically determined expression on his face, her brown eyes widened and she unlocked the door that had a chain put on it so she would secure her treasure if someone tried to use force to get in to steal it. Eren had almost forgotten that he wasn’t the only one weird here, and that genuinely made him feel better about himself.

“Whaddya need…?” the girl hastily hissed, looking left and right as if to ensure herself no one else was around.

“Hey, Sasha, ‘s been a long while…” Eren scratched the back of his head as he heard the young beta growl. She had to have been eating before he appeared.

“Um… I just thought that you could help me out since you’re the food collector around here…” he stopped talking for a moment as the girl brought a potato to her mouth and slowly took a bite out of it while still staring at Eren, “I hoped you’d have some tea? Maybe?”

“Tea?” the woman asked with her mouth still full. She gulped the contents of the raw potato down before pointing at the young man with her index finger and continuing, “You and tea? I thought you didn’t even know how to turn on a stove?”

“That was an accident”, Eren said and crossed his arms over his chest before softening his expression again, “Listen, I don’t really have much time to explain, maybe one day. But for now, I’d just like some tea…”

The girl narrowed her eyes before slowly stepping backwards, keeping her big brown eyes at him the whole time. After a minute, she slowly returned with the same expression on her face, with the same potato in her hand, and with a few tea bags in her left palm.

“You can have ‘em. I don’t drink tea anyways”, she said and put the tea bags into his open palms, and he brightly smiled and bowed his head.

“Thank you, Sasha,”, he said as he started going backwards again, “you’re a real life saver!”

“I know!” she said before closing the door again, and Eren widely smiled as he stuffed the tea bags inside of his pocket and began walking back towards his room, but stopped in his tracks when he saw the small man himself, wrapped up in one of his blankets, casually walking towards him with that ever-stoic face of his. Eren’s eyes widened as he quickly ran over to him, stopping a moment before he’d crash into the seemingly unfazed omega whose whole body was hidden beneath the blanket he wore.

“What are you doing here, sir? I thought you understood when I said that you aren’t allowed to walk around the hallways, no one here knows you!”

The man’s eyes narrowed again.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone outside of their room, but with you yelling around, I wouldn’t doubt that the tenants here heard you and are now interested in what’s going on”, he deadpanned and Eren’s eyes widened as he quickly shoved the other, spun him into the other direction and began pushing him towards the stairs, but at some point the raven had enough and stepped at the ground firmly and they weren’t getting any closer to their room anymore.

“Oi, what do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m getting you out of here”, the beta responded, “If someone sees you, we’re both dead.”

“No, I think we’d just be thrown out. No one’s gonna kill you for having me around.”

“Levi-“

“What was I supposed to do, huh? Wait for you to return like the useless omega that I am? No way in hell am I getting myself the luxury of being able to slack off.”

“I told you I’d get the tea-“

“And you did, that’s great. It’s just that I thought I had a little more freedom than that. So I went up to search for you. As far as I can tell, you’re the type of guy who gets lost in his thoughts really easily. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d climb the stairs, stumble and break your neck or some shit.”

“How do you- ugh. You’ll be able to leave the room, just not without me… If someone had seen you, I’d-“

“Eren…? Who’s that?” a familiar voice called him from the back and his eyes widened as he stopped all movement. The short man furrowed his brows as he tilted his head to the sight, looking at the short man that was staring at him with his big, green eyes. Levi scowled and let out a barely audible growl that, despite being angry at him now, made Eren’s guts turn inside out. The brunet slowly turned around with that terrified expression of his, staring at the small man across the hallway that seemingly had the same idea as him before.

“Connie…”

The man ran all the way over to him, watching the omega warily, like he hadn’t met anyone new in a while and like his presence unsettled him greatly. He tilted his head to the left, then to the right, and then he looked back at Eren.

“I don’t think I’ve seen him around before… Is he your friend?”

Eren grew slightly red in his cheeks as he scratched the back of his head again, straightening in posture, “Well… uh, kinda, I guess… I mean-“

“No”, the other nonchalantly said and Eren shot him a death glare that Levi definitely saw, but chose to ignore.

“Connie, what’s-“ the girl stopped as she saw the omega too, so she quickly slammed the door shut and locked it as she yelled, “HAH! I knew the tea wasn’t for you!”

She then made her way to the small group that mostly consisted of betas before clasping her hands together and slightly bowing, “Well, hello there! You must be the one who talked Eren into getting the tea, right? He never listens to anyone, so you’ve gotta be someone special!”

“Sasha…!” Eren warned, but the girl was too busy analyzing every single detail about the omega that pulled the sheets closer to himself as if to protect himself from the greasy smell that emitted from her.

“Hmm… You kinda remind me of Eren’s sister… with those dead eyes, the frown, the small nose, the blackberry hair… OH! So you must be her real brother!” she happily exclaimed and reached her hand out to him before realizing that his hands were buried under Eren’s sheet and just blinking for a few seconds and then pulling her hand back behind her back and smiling widely, “I’m Sasha! The food expert ‘round these parts!” she extended her hand towards the shorter beta, “And that’s Connie, my personal assistant.”

“Hey”, Connie said as he raised a hand in a sign of greeting.

“Connie helps me steal, uh, I mean gather food. He’s pretty dumb, but silent and deadly.”

“Like a fart”, Connie added and Levi’s brows furrowed in concern. Eren took a step closer to him.

“And what’s your name?” she added.

Instead of Levi, though, Eren jumped in to answer: “Okay, first off, Mikasa is a single child. And his name’s Levi, and as I’ve already mentioned, him and I are in a bit of a hurry, so if you’d be kind enough to let us go for now… I’ll fill in the details later”, he said and took the omega by the shoulders again to attempt to escape, but that attempt failed as he heard stupidly familiar laughter coming from behind him. Rolling his eyes and cursing under his breath, he slowly turned around to meet the Alpha’s stupid grin.

“Oh, do I see right? Eren’s got his first plaything?” the Alpha from room 269 cackled and pushed himself off the wall, slowly reaching the small group while still smirking, “That’s… hard to believe, actually. To think someone like ‘Levi’ here would fall for you.”

“Oh my God, Jean!” Eren exclaimed and released the omega in favor of coming closer to the Alpha whose eyes were all over the omega already, “There’s nothing going on between us. We’re acquaintances that were just about to leave, but for some reason we’ve been assaulted from all sides. Well, it was ok until you showed up.”

Jean, however, ignored him and went straight up to confront the omega who was giving him a death stare, but that didn’t seem to affect his choices much. He went to crash into him on purpose, but was stopped by a threatening voice coming from his side.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Eren stepped in front of Levi, slamming against Jean and growling protectively, “He’s none of your business, horse face. Turn around and gallop the fuck away.”

Jean only smirked at that.

“Well, wouldn’t you look at that. The suicidal bastard trying to protect the weaker ones again. But guess what, Yeager,”, he said and crept closer to whisper into his ear, “you’re dead wrong if you think I’m gonna let an omega like him pass by me while he’s in heat without receiving the proper trea-“

A punch into his nose made him stop talking. The Alpha hissed as he cupped his face with both hands, flinching when he saw blood on his fingers. After a few seconds, he regained his composure and bitterly smiled, letting out a silent chuckle as he shook his head and slowly made his way towards the brunet that already seemed ready for what was to come, judging by the battle stance and the fierce look in his eyes.

“Okay, Yeager… brace yourself to be bitch-slapped, skank”, he crept closer and gently pushed Sasha and Connie out of the way to reach the bastard that had the nerve to still look him in the eyes whilst his friends recognized the scent he was giving off and submitted, “I always thought you were weird, but now I know that you’re just an invalid dude trying to fit in. But failing horribly.”

He slammed his chest against Eren’s and began growling back at the smaller man, but they soon felt someone pull them apart, so he looked down to see the short, raven-haired man holding them both at the hem of their shirts, scolding them with a scowl and narrowed eyes. The blanket that was wrapped around him a while ago was now abandoned, and the almost defenseless appearance of the omega had Jean staring for a while. When Levi realized he was being stared at, he pushed the furious beta out of the way before grabbing Jean’s wrist and scrunching his nose up at the ugly scent the Alpha sent his way.

“I really hate Alphas…”

The Alpha didn’t even realize what was happening around him until he met the floor, staring at the small man above him with his small, intense light brown eyes wide open. Everything in the room suddenly fell silent. Now it was just him and the scary omega that was looking down at him as if he were about to tear him to shreds. The man soon stepped closer and kneeled down to grab the younger by his spiky hair that felt like it was made out of hay, pulling him closer with no signs of fear of the greater species on his face. Jean, however, trembled at the unusual sight.

“You better start praying.”

Chapter Text

“What the hell was that all about?!” the angry beta asked as soon as they got into the room, closing the door and locking it as he leaned against it whilst looking back at the small man who didn’t even look him in the eye as he slowly walked towards the living room, dragging the sheet behind him slowly, like a cape would drag itself behind royalty, “Jean surely won’t miss out on an opportunity to tell Shadis something that’d get me in a whole lot of trouble. Shadis specifically told me that if I make another one of my stupid mistakes, he’ll make sure to throw me out. Sounds right, doesn’t it? He’ll throw me out. He’ll throw me out, sir! And where am I supposed to live then, huh?! How am I supposed to help you, then?”

He stomped his way towards the omega that discarded the sheet right next to the couch and made his way towards the kitchen counter, still not looking behind himself. He didn’t need to.

“On the streets?! Begging?! I can’t survive a minute out there, you know?! This was the only place that was willing to put up with me for free! And that’s only because my mom knew this guy and when she was dying, he promised her that he’d help me however he could!”

“I just wanted-“

“I don’t care!” he yelled and saw the shorter man stop in his movements, “I trusted you not to do anything stupid while I’m gone, ok? And you got out there despite my warning and straight up went to confront the horse who wanted to fucking take you! While you could have stayed inside, and nothing would have happened. And now that you broke the bastard, which was cool, I won’t lie, but also a terrible idea, he’ll straight up run into Shadis’ office and tell him about you. You and me, we’re both practically dead now! Oh, and once your Alpha sees me with you, my head’s off immediately! And you know what that means for you, right?”

Levi stood there for a few seconds and Eren saw his head move slowly to the side, but he seemed to reconsider it as he just kept ignoring him and started walking off again.

The raven-haired man stepped into the kitchen and turned the stove on without even looking at the furious beta that even started shaking from anger, the beta’s fists clenched tightly as he stood straight, firmly hoping he would not do anything he’d regret. Levi stood on his tiptoes to reach a plain white cup that was placed on the small dark brown counter above him and then took the tea bags he had placed into the one pocket of the brunet’s shirt he had to wear now. He never questioned where the old pieces of clothing were. He didn’t need to know.

“And how did you get the tea? Did you manage to snatch them away while I wasn’t looking?” Eren continued, somewhat calmer this time, but loudly growled when the omega decided to keep quiet. If there was one thing that Eren couldn’t stand, no matter for whom or what, it was being ignored. The short man just opened a cupboard and took out a small pot, then took the water bottle that stood right next to his arm and poured the water in before turning the stove on and putting the pot onto the fire, watching as the flame’s turned from blue to orange as they met the ugly pot intently, as if the potable water would boil faster if he watched it. He seemed as if he knew the place well already, even though he knew about the kitchen for less than two hours. The angry beta made his way to the table in the corner and sat at the chair, slamming his arms against the table to slump forward and look at his roommate again.

“Are you even listening to me, sir? I’m trying to hold a conversation here! But it seems as if I’m yelling at myself! Sir!”

The omega remained silent, and that was a wake-up call for Eren as he realized that Levi was never as silent as that. His expression suddenly softened and he felt the anger inside of him slowly subside, watching the short man’s form as he just stood there with his back turned towards him, staring at the old, stained, burned pot intently, as if it were the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. As if he were more comfortable looking at it than at Eren. The beta continued looking at him for a minute without realizing the time was going by. His chest felt heavy.

“Sir…?” he silently called, trying to sound as gentle as possible, but the only response he was given was by the water inside of the pot. The raven got his slightly trembling hand to the switch to turn the stove off before he took the hot pot with his bare hand, pouring the boiling water into his cup that already contained a tea bag in it. The pain from the visible burn didn’t seem to bother him at all. He then took the cup in both of his hands and raised it towards his chin, but didn’t drink it nor try to cool it- he just stood there, his pale boney fingers wrapped around the cup lightly.

“Are… Are you alright…?” Eren silently asked as he stood from his chair silently, careful not to disturb the older man. The raven still ignored him, but Eren couldn’t help but to feel bad now, not angry. The usual confident stance he had related to the omega was nowhere to be seen; Levi had his arms and legs pulled together, his shoulders tense, but slumped, his nose lowered. He didn’t remove his sight from the tea in his cup, even though the bag he had in there would have to be taken out soon, otherwise his tea would be ruined. And for someone who liked tea, it was very unlikely for him not to know that. The beta frowned in concern as he slowly made his way towards the man whose shoulders tensed further as Eren got closer, “Hey…”, Eren softly said, but as he touched the man’s upper arm, Levi made a weird noise that closely resembled to a bunny grunt and backed off immediately, stepping into the corner as a good portion of his tea landed on the floor. The brunet stared as the omega started shaking all of a sudden, unwilling to look up. That one simple white shirt he had on was now stained, but the man who obviously disliked everything dirty didn’t even look at the mess. It seemed as if he was willing to ignore everything around him at the moment, and pretend that he wasn’t there at all.

As far as Eren knew, the omega could have thought he was alone in the room as well, because the way his eyes just blankly stared at the tea didn’t seem natural.

“Levi,”, Eren called again, standing up straight before trying to steady his trembling voice as he ordered, “look at me.”

The man froze at the order instead of looking at him and instinctively pressed his legs together, furrowing his brows as he concentrated on the cup once again, but this time, he didn’t seem distant, but like a child who had been cornered and caught. Eren’s eyes widened in horror at the sight in front of him, but forced himself to look at the cup as well instead of the glistening slick that slowly ran down the omega’s thighs. He approached the tense omega once again and took the cup out of his hands with the short man not even protesting, his fingers curling up as they weren’t holding the cup anymore, like a wilting plant. Eren gently put it on the counter before looking at the trembling man again, trying to catch his eyes, but they were set on the floor now. They were almost gray. Dim. Lifeless. But not in the same way as usual, he didn’t resemble a statue with his dead but terrifying gaze this time. Eren couldn’t decide how he would call that expression that put the dead to shame, but he decided that it was ugly. He wished to erase this expression from his face permanently and immediately decided to do so.

Without thinking, the beta threw himself towards the shorter man, and Levi braced himself for the assault, but the attack never came. Instead, he felt two gentle hands wrap around his waist as he was pulled closer into the first embrace he had gotten in over more than three decades. His eyes were wide open, and he did not move. He didn’t want to.

Eren was smiling bitterly as he tried to envelop the omega in his hug as much as he could, his brows furrowed and his eyes widened. After a few seconds of staring at nothing in particular, he slowly dropped his chin to the man’s shoulder, his eyesight travelling to the ground. He soon felt the omega relax a little as a pair of small, gentle hands made their way around his own waist slowly, shyly.

“What…”, Eren thought as his eyes brimmed with tears, “had been done to you… while I wasn’t there for you, Levi…?”

Omegas never released slick while in fear. It wasn’t meant to be this way. Eren clenched the fabric of Levi’s shirt when he realized it must have been respondent conditioning. But responding that way while being yelled at, or abused, judging by the man’s reaction to his touch? What kind of monster would do such a thing?

“I won’t hurt you, Levi”, the beta silently said, trying to keep his voice from shaking as he got a hand away from his shirt to softly pass it through the raven-haired man’s silky hair, playing with the strands for a bit to focus his attention on thinking about the hair instead of letting his imagination run free of what could have been done to him to make him respond to pain that way, “I would never…” he said as he rested his palm against the small, spiky hairs on the back of his head, “I thought you knew better than that”, Eren laughed a little, but sniffled loudly when he felt the man’s hold onto him tighten. The little man was desperately clinging to him now, searching for the best spot on his chest to rest his head on. After just looking at the short man’s glistening hair for a while, he gently removed his hand from Levi’s head and then nudged his head with his, turning it so that he could pass through his hair with his cheek before nestling his head on top of the short man’s. The man’s head soon slumped forward though, and he buried his face in the crook of Eren’s neck. Eren just stared for a while before the raven moved his head to the side so that he could look up at the other.

Levi seemed to notice the tear that slid down Eren’s cheek as his pupils moved in response to it, but didn’t mention it. The brunet’s hands rose to find his shoulders, but the omega grabbed his hands all of a sudden and pulled him down before he wrapped his strong arms around the brunet’s long neck, resting his chin on top of his left shoulder. A hand of his found Eren’s messy hair and he ruffled it a bit. The beta pulled away though, only to meet Levi’s face right in front of his. He just stared at the usual stoic face for a moment before his face suddenly lit up, a huge toothy grin with closed eyes replacing the confused expression. The smile, however, was purely artificial.

“I’m… sorry…” the omega whispered, and as he did, the beta’s smile immediately vanished. When Levi’s eyes widened in fear and as his sight dropped to the floor in regret, Eren moved closer again and gently brushed his lips over the small man’s forehead before he slammed their foreheads together yet another time, but the omega quickly slipped under his chin and suddenly rubbed his neck all across Eren’s, so the brunet froze while looking at the small man rubbing his scent all over him. And although he couldn’t really smell what it was like, his heart started jumping, not just beating. Growling, he dug his nose into Levi’s hair again, hearing the smaller grunt.

“Don’t get the wrong idea”, the omega breathed as he leaned into the crook of Eren’s neck again, brushing his hair against it, “I just like my scent on you.”

“I’m not complaining”, the young man breathed, “I’ll take whatever you choose to throw my way gladly.”

Levi looked up at that, his lips parting at the look of Eren’s shining, truthful eyes. This beta was serious, he could tell, when he spoke. He was willing to accept anything that he’d give him, no matter if it was pain or joy. Those eyes, blue at the corner, green at the center, told things that the beta’s poor speech abilities couldn’t explain, and gave those words a whole new meaning. He then looked down and slightly nodded, just to let the man know that he heard and understood.

“I honestly thought you’d throw a fist at me as I said that, heh…” the teen silently added while chuckling, but not smiling, and Levi stood straight again to look into his eyes.

“You think I’m that shallow…?” the omega asked and Eren froze for a second, his eyes going wide.

“Ah! Oh, no no no no, no, that’s not what I meant, I just thought it’d be funny”, he tried.

“So you want me to punch you”, Levi concluded and Eren’s eyes widened again.

“N-No, not really, I thought it would be fun for you, that’s it, but you proved that wrong and I-“

“Shut up”, Levi deadpanned as he cupped the teen’s cheeks and brought him closer yet again, taking notice of his blush, “or will I have to do that for you…?”

The purr in Levi’s voice didn’t help Eren at all, and he found himself staring down at the stoic man for whom he was falling so hard that he already knew that he’ll break when he finally reaches the end. But, as he said, he’d take anything and everything from the man, even though it would break his fragile heart sooner or later. The king, how would he react if he ever found out? What would he do if he saw Eren with his promised omega here, like that, bathed in his unfamiliar scent, touching the untouchable, reaching out to demise? And even though all those emotions and thoughts plagued him, he felt as if his conscience was clear as he was looking at those kissable, dry lips. That sharp jaw line. That strong neck. Inviting him to touch; to feel.

He didn’t even realize that in the meantime, the omega looked contended and just leaned against his chest again, Levi’s chest rising and falling peacefully, as if he were sleeping soundly, but his eyes were still half-opened, looking down at the floor, and he still stood on his own. Eren mentally cursed himself for missing out on such a chance, but wasn’t disappointed with what he was given instead.

That small frame resting against his, his form perfectly completing Eren’s, it made it look like people were designed just to hug each other. But the more he thought about it, the worse he felt, because every man and woman was shaped just like that, it wasn’t just them. Anyone close to the omega’s size could fit into Eren’s arms, and anyone could embrace the small man just like he did, if the man let them. And the thought of the king’s tall muscular body enveloping this small, extremely strong but fragile omega made his insides churn. And then Eren realized- it would happen, one day, if he does but one mistake.

The omega heard Eren growl all of a sudden and didn’t even have time to look up as the beta smashed his face against Levi’s shoulder, heavily breathing into it. Another throaty growl escaped him as he felt the small man’s arms slowly slip away, so he trapped the man’s lean frame as he moved his face towards the raven’s cheek, waiting for a few seconds for the omega to realize he won’t do anything before he moved again and his teeth slightly grazed his earlobe, but to Eren’s surprise, the omega didn’t complain at all. He seemed to know that this wasn’t a part of the plan to calm him down.

Eren did this because he had to calm himself, to reassure himself that this omega was still here, and that this omega will stay under his protection at all costs, and that he will find the ones responsible for such a thing done to him and that he won’t have mercy on them.

“As long as you’re not there with him, you’re mine”, he thought as he grunted and pressed his nose into Levi’s soft hair harshly before pushing himself away from the omega before the other man could do so and headed back towards the couch, searching for a few blankets that weren’t part of the small bed of sheets the omega had built himself at some point.

Levi watched his nervous movements for a few seconds with that usual stoic expression on his face before lowering his head and pinching the bridge of his nose.

Chapter Text

The first thing he noticed as he woke up was how stiff his back was for sleeping on this low-quality couch that made your muscles feel like mush and bones like blades that dug into flesh. He was sprawled all over it as usual, and had a hand resting on his forehead as the other was above his head, dangling down from the couch. He yawned loudly and tried to sit up, only to realize he was unable to because of the younger man that held an arm around his waist, pulling himself closer and nuzzling his chin into the fabric of Levi’s oversized shirt possessively.

The omega blinked a few times as he watched the other mumble something in his sleep before rolling his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose once again. There he lay- the noble from a once wealthy, well-known family, sleeping on a hard-ass couch with a peasant sleep-climbing his way to the couch to hug him like a child would hug its toy and holding him in place. Heavily sighing, he allowed himself a few more hours of sleep, ignoring the other man’s intrusion for now.

That thought, however, faded as the brunet groaned and pulled him closer, mouthing some sort of gibberish that Levi didn’t even think of deciphering because, honestly, he couldn’t care less of what the brat was dreaming right then. The omega glared at him for a while before gently taking the brunet’s soft hand and shoving it away. He raised a brow as the only response he got from the other man was a dumb, deep chuckle before he curled in on himself, still smiling.

“Tch”, was the only thing that came to his mind at the moment. The omega sat up again and stretched before propping his elbows against his knees to watch the other mumble something in his sleep again, that stupid grin still on his face. The stoic man’s expression softened as he removed a strand of Eren’s dark hair out of his face, watching him furrow his brows and snort.

A knock. Three, another one on its own, and two strong ones. That caught the omega’s attention and he slowly made his way around Eren so he wouldn’t wake the sleeping beta who already did so much. With sluggish movement, he approached the door and didn’t even bother of asking who it was, because firstly, he obviously didn’t know anyone, and secondly, someone that used a small melody to knock on the door had to know Eren. He slowly unlocked it and then stepped back for the door to open on itself, and it didn’t take long for the man standing at it to kick it open, carrying a big box in his hands. He was at least twenty centimeters taller than Levi and was burly built, but with the dinosaurs imprinted on his white shirt, he didn’t seem intimidating at all. A dark green hoodie rested on his broad shoulders, he had black, baggy pants on and combat boots. His face was hidden behind the carton box he was holding. The omega narrowed his eyes at him.

“Brought clothes for your little princess, like you’ve ordered!” he yelled and tilted his head to the side to see the brunet he was looking for, but when he saw the short omega glaring up at him instead of Eren, he frowned, “Oh. Yeah, he’s gay. That explains the item choice.”

“Sorry?” the omega asked, a look of visible irritation gracing his appearance. The tall man in front of him had blond, messy, shoulder length hair and a shaggy beard. His eyes were hidden by the light that reflected itself on his glasses.

“Where’s the boy?” the burly man asked and completely ignored Levi, looking around for a bit to find the young beta, his eyebrows furrowing.

“Sleeping. Close the fucking door, people will see. And you obviously have to be acquainted with the situation I am in, considering you know about me. I highly recommend you to do so or we’ll have real shitty problems.”

“Tug language. Nice”, he said and smirked before passing right by him and entering the room like he had been in it hundreds of times, putting the big box down at the table and looking back at the omega who seemed wary of his presence, and he knew very well why, “I used to get punched in the face whenever I’d say a curse word. By that toddler, over there”, he pointed at the beta that was still fast asleep, “Glad he grew out of that phase.”

The omega was still unamused, so he frowned again.

“I just came to deliver the order, there’s no need to kill me with that look you’re giving me. I run a small clothes shop down the alley and I’ve known that little rogue since he was, what, fifteen? Came across my shop once since he forgot what the town looked like. Idiot. Can’t even remember his hometown.”

The omega grunted.

“Wow. Tough crowd”, he articulated before he made his way towards the kitchen, and Levi furrowed his brows in confusion before following him, finding him when the man stuck his head into the cupboard on the wall and took out the three week old banana, looking at it from all sides before facing the omega again, “You see, we’re practically family, little Eren and I. I deliver his clothes for free and give them for free, but I do get to use some of his food sometimes. And omega-6 fatty acids are just what I need right now”, he said and pointed at the unamused omega before throwing the banana and catching it in his other hand and walking back into the living room, Levi still following him in distrust.

“I’ll be off then. Make sure to pull on his ear if he gets annoying, that always works. Oh, and”, he said as he opened the door, smiling back at the man in Eren’s oversized shirt, “keep in mind that I… don’t really like Ackermans, so if I ever cross your path without Eren by your side…”

“Noted”, Levi said without a trace of surprise.

“You’re welcome”, the burly man said, smiled and nodded his head as a sign of goodbye before he got behind the door, but never got to close it as he saw a bare foot get between the rooms to stop the door.

“Wait”, he heard the short man say, so he opened the door again, facing the omega whose face was relaxed, for a change. The man watched him stand there and do nothing for a few seconds, both of them wearing the same, stoic expressions on their faces.

“What is the situation of the East?” the omega suddenly asked as he looked up, his brows furrowing to glare at the blond, “I heard that ever since the fall of that part of the wall, things got even worse for people living there. I’ve heard speculations about spies amongst us, and the rise of a new war. Tell me.”

The man watched him again for a while before sighing and answering: “Well, yes, homes were devastated that day, and people had to evacuate the area. However, families who had no alternative stayed living there, and the percentage of waste and smoke from the central factories rose because of the increase in material need as well. Migrations are a daily thing now, and if you’re lucky you can spot a group of families marching through town sometimes. I don’t know much about spies among us. But I’ll tell you one thing”, he crouched down a bit to say the next part as silently as possible, “I heard the king himself is trying to rise a war against the outsiders.”

Levi’s eyes widened at that, but he narrowed them back immediately.

“A war, you say…” he put a index finger at his chin and looked back at the floor, “My suspicions weren’t for naught, it seems… I was already wondering when he’d start to lose his nerves. My disappearance might have led him to believe that I was dumb enough to do something on my own… But a war? Straight into battle…? Aren’t mistakes just repeated, then? He doesn’t have an heir, on top of that. If that were the case, he’d have to find one pretty quickly, or rather…” his eyes widened in acknowledgment, “That’s why it was so sudden. That’s why he even wanted this in the first place”, his eyes half-closed again, “So he doesn’t have control over them after all, that bastard. But he’s probably thinking of doing this in his own way anyways.”

“Thank you”, he silently stated and the man nodded before he was off. The omega closed and locked the door again and signed in annoyance, heading for the kitchen to get himself some tea, repeating the process from the day before.

“There’s definitely something wrong with that guy as well… he has to know more. There’s no way he’d call me an Ackerman upon seeing me and then not put two and two together… He has to know my ties to the king. But why would he choose to tell me all of this, then? What could have triggered that choice that seems so… convenient…?”, he raised his head to spot the sleeping beta that managed to fall over at some point and was now sleeping with his back on the floor, “Eren… We’re in deep shit, even though it doesn’t look like it yet…”

He narrowed his eyes again, clicking his tongue and shaking his head.

“Whatever, just be safe out there.”

“Eren, oi, Eren…” he heard a voice from above calling him, so he frowned and growled, “Rise and shine, little shit.”

“Wh-What, who…?” Eren groggily said, slowly managing to open his tired eyes and yawning before anything else. He then focused his attention on the person right above him, his eyes immediately growing wide as he realized they were mere centimeters apart, “L-Levi, sir…” he rubbed on one of his eyes to try to distract the man from the obvious blush that got to his face, but he already seemed to have noticed this since he didn’t part his sight from Eren’s cheeks, “…You should really stop doing that…”

The man sat up, pressing hard against his lower abdomen and making Eren grunt in response. He looked at both of the cups, each in one hand of his, to ensure that nothing was spilled before he looked back down at the sleepy beta that seemed to be ready to drift off again.

“I’m already used to it, so no”, he said and shrugged, “pick one.”

“Huh…? Tea?” Eren asked and blinked a few times before propping his shoulders against the creaking floor as he bent his body forward.

“No, that’s my piss, dumbass”, he joked, or at least Eren hoped he did, “Now take your pick.”

Eren reached for the one on his left, but Levi pulled it away a bit, raising a brow and saying: “No returns.”

Eren widely smiled at that.

“You want this one, don’t you?” he asked and he could swear he saw the faintest of smirks on the raven-haired man’s face, so he kept smiling as he reached for the one on the right before lying down again, holding the cup on his chest with both of his hands as he watched the small man take the cup to his mouth whilst not holding the handle, but holding his hand over it. When the omega removed the cup from his mouth, he looked back down at Eren, and the beta couldn’t help but to stare at the shorter man’s glistening lip.

“Green tea suits you better, I guess.”

“Uh? Don’t tell me there’s actually some kind of meaning to tea”, he groaned and Levi took a few seconds to look at the beta’s furrowed brows and wide eyes.

“Sure. If you believe that shit. I was thinking of something else.”

“Huh? What?”

Levi ignored him for the time being, and Eren started to think that the omega did that on purpose, just because he knew how much he hated being ignored and now knew that Eren really wasn’t planning on doing anything to him. He stayed calm, this time, but had a bitter smile on his face as he waited for the man to finish taking that unusually long sip of tea. Once he did, he looked at the contents of his cup and licked his lower lip before facing the beta again, fully aware of the way Eren was looking at him.

“Weight loss.”

“Huh?!” Eren shouted and saw the man blink at him in what almost seemed like endearment, “I’m sorry that I’m no sportsman! But I believe I look pretty good anyways, thank you.”

“Whatever you say. Now drink up”, the man on top of him said and Eren brought the tea towards his mouth, but heard the man above him click his tongue, so he stopped in his movement, “Not like that. You’ll spill it all over yourself.”

The brunet rolled his eyes and felt the omega slide down to sit in his lap, his insides once again churning. He sat up and furrowed his brows at the omega who sipped on his tea once again while looking into his eyes. He could exactly imagine how he looked like at the moment, blushing and showing a lopsided, nervous smile, but that didn’t stop him from trying to look angry at the heavy man. He thought of telling him about the weight loss, but then realized that he’d be as good as dead, plus he knew that this man’s weight was all bones and muscle, so it wouldn’t make much sense to speak.

So, instead of retorting, he pouted like a little child and sipped on the warm tea.

“There was a guy in here, three hours ago. Didn’t catch his name. Probably ‘cause I scared the shit out of him”, the man silently said and Eren’s eyes widened.

“What?”

“Said he owned a clothes shop or something. Smelt of cigarettes and regret. He also brought that box that still sits on the table there. I didn’t know whether to trust him or not, so I didn’t touch it.”

“Oh…” Eren’s shocked expression turned back to the smiling one, “Yeah, that’s Zeke. I’ve known him for quite a while, now. He kept popping up in my life for some reason and helped me a couple of times, which was weird at first since that dude’s like really scary sometimes, but… He’s really just an overgrown baby. Never really grew up as well. Huh…? What’s with that expression…?”

“Nothing”, Levi immediately answered and took another sip of his black tea, “I didn’t know whether to throw him out or leave him be since he doesn’t really strike me as the sincere type… And you slept like a log, so I didn’t want to wake you. Eventually, I just followed him around, to see what he would do”, his eyes narrowed, “And he stole your banana.”

Eren stared at Levi’s dark expression for a moment before nervously chuckling, “Heh… yeah. He can be-“

“Eren,”, the man looked ahead to meet Eren’s eyes, “have you ever thought of asking that… Zeke guy if he knows something about the sudden disappearance of your beta senses…?”

“Why would I… do that…?”

The omega shrugged.

“He seems… like a pretty knowledgeable man to me.”

“Yeah, well…” Eren pouted and leaned back, “smart or not, that guy’s really weird. He might have the smarts, but I have the vision. The vision, Levi,”, he suddenly turned enthusiastic as he leaned forward again, “I really gotta draw you sometimes. You have no idea how, uh…” he shied away as the man’s eyes narrowed, “Anyways, you should, uh… Really look into that box. My friend picked those out, and I believe you’ll like them. And if not… you know it’s not my fault.”

Levi’s eyebrows lowered and he looked down for a second. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out of it, so he just stood up and walked towards the box. Eren watched him for a while before turning around and returning his sight back to the green tea in his hands. The beta didn’t even finish drinking his tea when the man reappeared again, standing right in front of him. Eren’s sight went from his still bare feet up to the tight black jeans he put on, then up to the plain gray T-shirt and a hunter green hoodie, and then got stuck on his eyes again. Eren offered him a small smile and put the cup down, so the omega sat back at his previous position, earning a yelp from the teen.

It didn’t take long for Eren to suddenly widen his eyes and gasp in surprise though as he grabbed the hoodie the man wore by the sleeve and pulled it closer, his eyes shining brightly.

“Oh my GOD! Is this… Is this the Survey Corps crest?”

Levi looked at the white and blue wing intertwining once again as his brows furrowed and his eyes half-closed.

“Huh…? Oh, yeah… I guess it is.”

“I’ve been a fan for since, well, forever!” he exclaimed and looked at Levi with eyes still wide open, “I used to watch them pass through town every time when I was a kid! People never cheered on them, but I always believed they were really important… Securing the wall from any attacks was an important job and they made fun of them while they ventured out to fight for our cause. I… had always wanted to join them… but my father was set in his ways.”

Levi’s expression softened, his sight slowly falling to the floor.

“I… wanted to as well”, he silently said and shrugged as Eren’s eyes widened. The teen suddenly grabbed his left hand with both of his, and the startled omega immediately looked into his eyes. His heart skipped a beat, but that small spark of hope faded almost immediately as he realized his ideas were probably a bit too wild for common folk.

“Let’s join them together, then!”

“No, Eren…” he said as he shoved his hands away, “They don’t let omegas join them. I thought you would know. Ever since Er- the new king ascended the throne, omegas were banned from the battlegrounds. The ones that were in the army always caused inconveniences to them, and I assume it is the correct choice. Suppressants were too expensive. The heats came unexpectedly due to stress, and most of the times, the Alphas couldn’t resist. Often times those omegas would get pregnant and, what then? Either they agreed to be shot on spot, or get killed on the battle field, for the outsiders… they have real weaponry out there, not just pathetic blades like we do. Going to war… is not a good thing, Eren. I’ve seen it.”

Eren furrowed his brows at the omega, so Levi looked him in the eyes and saw him flinch at the look he gave him.

“It’s not just killing people on the other side. There were times when the Survey Corps only negotiated and went on expeditions outside the wall to settle things with ‘real’ people, to prove them that we aren’t really different. They’d go on meetings and that’s it, they’d return. Those were the Survey Corps I wanted to join. People who cared about each other and wanted to settle things in a peaceful way, fighting for freedom. Not this shit now, killing each other just because they can and want to prove the others wrong.”

“What happened…?” Eren silently asked, feeling as if the subject was too touchy for Levi all of a sudden.

“The old king died, and the new king rose to the throne, unwilling to make the same mistakes as his father in the past.”

Eren furrowed his brows and stared at him for a while, but eventually just shrugged his shoulders and smiled widely again, hugging him tighter and feeling the smaller man trying to squirm his way out of his annoying, grabby hands.

“The hell, why are you assaulting me?” the older man asked and Eren chuckled lightly, burrowing his face in the fabric of Levi’s new hoodie that still smelt of new. The teen hummed and the omega stopped squirming to watch the weird brunet giggle without a real reason to do so, “And what’s so funny…?”

“Ah… nothing, sir. I just… I just now realized that you said Zeke smelt of cigarettes and regret…” he raised his head to look into Levi’s eyes that couldn’t conceal his surprise, “and I was just wondering of what I smell like. Like, a beta.”

The other backed off a little to look at him before furrowing his brows and scrunching his nose up.

“Well, as a beta, your scent is too weak to be identifiable… though, as a person…” he started and put an arm over the man’s shoulders and neck, pulling him down harshly to bury his nose inside of the giggling and blushing teen’s soft locks. After a few seconds, Levi opened his eyes again and released the smiling beta to meet his eyes.

“And…?”

“You smell like shit”, he deadpanned.

“What?” he laughed, “Come on…”

Chapter Text

Completely soaked and almost completely naked, with only a white towel wrapped around his waist- that’s how Eren stood in front of that old mirror that could only reflect the upper half of him, staring into his own eyes as if he could see the future in them, but instead of seeing, he thought of it. He had one of those weird teenager episodes once again, wondering about all of the what-ifs and how to-s. His eyes shone bright in determination and dedication and he bit on his lower lip harshly.

“People are drawn to symmetry, right?”

Locking himself in his bathroom seemed like the best idea at the moment. He had to take a few additional minutes for himself before going into that world again- the world where that small omega had him on his knees. The man’s looks, the symmetry, it was perfect- yet Eren was just normal. Nothing too pretty, nothing too ugly. So normal, he had to despise his looks.

He passed his long fingers through his wet bangs, parting them perfectly and noticing the few dots that never faded. He actually liked them now- that imperfection had people’s attention. And earning Levi’s attention was now something he yearned for.

“If he only knew… He’d probably run.”

A bitter smirk appeared on his face and he stared at those chapped lips of his.

“This is so fucking wrong… What would mom say now, eh?” he tilted his head to the side and furrowed his brows, “He’s not yours. Will never be. Yet you still do this to him, to yourself. It’s sick. You disgust me… mating between anything else other than Alphas and Omegas is strictly forbidden, you know it. But is it really my fault? Or is it him, who’s to be blamed? That perfection… he can’t possibly be that dumb, not to know that everyone else would be staring at him with that… atrocious shimmer in their eyes. And then he fucking sits at me, and tilts that head of his, and grabs me and pulls me down, and when he stares… God, when he stares at me. It’s like he judges me every time, and I feel like in purgatory or something. Burning from all sides, that pain slowly killing me and elevating me. Betas are not allowed to feel that way, Eren. Unemployed peasants, who are supposed to put work above anything else, falling for perfect noblemen that are already promised, are to be part of the royal family.”

He looked down at his clenched fist before smirking again, narrowing his eyes as he looked back at his reflection that suddenly didn’t seem as normal anymore.

“But doesn’t disobeying… make it even more wanted?”

He waited for his smirk to fade.

“It does- that’s the problem. But if I could only hold him for a minute, have him feel what I do every time he looks at me the way he does, I’d be contended. Broken soon after, because I know it’ll never be enough, but I’d stop, I really would… I…” he slammed his hands against the sink, “oh God, I’m so filthy…! Why do I have to think about that? Why can’t I be like Connie, or Sasha, or Marco, it’s like I’m going into rut myself. And that’s… biologically impossible. Denying it won’t be helping me at all, he’s killing me. He’s… killing me… I gotta pull myself together. Die, like, later, but wait until he’s gone. I gotta stay strong for a little longer… it won’t be long till he wants to leave, I know that, but not now, not now…”

He clasped his hands together and looked back into his own eyes, noticing how his pupils were dilated, and furrowing his brows in a sad way, bringing his hands to his lips.

“But please, God,”, he kissed his fingers and tightly closed his eyes, like his mother had showed him to do whenever he really wanted something, “give me some time.”

He never really cared about his looks and how clean he was, but ever since hearing that he smelled like ordure, and realized it was bothering him, a switch had been flipped. So he went to the bathroom and scrubbed every little inch of his skin until it was clean, presentable. It wasn’t unexpected- really- that the omega couldn’t really stand dirt; he was a noble, after all. Poor or not.

Eren felt dumb.

He slowly backed off the sink and took a deep breath, preparing himself for another day with the omega that caused him so much trouble. It wasn’t that bad until Eren realized that he was alone, when his imagination would start to run wild, in all directions. He reached for the door and slowly unlocked it before exiting.

“As long as you’re not there with him, you’re mine.”

“Sir, I’ve…” he stopped when he realized the omega was nowhere to be seen. Moreover, the living room looked different. The pillows and sheets had been put on their supposed place, the couch looked neat for once, the table was free from dust, clean cups rested in the sink, the floor was mopped and the room smelled like fresh apples, “…Sir…?”

He walked to the kitchen part to see if the omega was hiding behind the cupboards or something, but once again, the only thing he could find was cleanliness. And although it was better to look at nothing than to look at dust bunnies, he didn’t enjoy the lack of omegas in the room at all.

Which is why he immediately ran for the door, calling his roommate’s name all the while. He stormed out to the hallway, only to be met by Jean, who was scrubbing the floor with a weird kerchief wrapped around his head, down on his knees with a brush in his hands, cursing out everything he knew and loved as he watched the red carpet actually turn red as the strands of hair were removed. Eren watched him for a while, a dark expression on his face.

“Why the hell…” he started, so Jean looked up at him with a murderous look, “Why the hell would you be playing Cinderella out in the hallway…?”

“Huh?” was the only reply he got, so the beta furrowed his brows and stepped closer to him.

“Why are you cleaning in front of my room?”

“Ugh,”, Jean grunted and looked back in fear of something Eren couldn’t see before starting to scrub the floor again, “why don’t you ask that omega friend of yours, huh?”

“Where is he?”

“Like I would fucking know”, Jean said as he angrily dipped the brush into the small container filled with water next to him, splashing the water all over the floor, “he grabbed me and pushed me down to the floor. Then he went into your room and got me this stupid brush and container and now here I am, playing a maid, while he went upstairs”, he said and chuckled lightly before looking up at the beta, “Listen, if this is your doing…”

But he was met with no one as the beta already made his way across the hallway, so he just blinked a few times before growling and cleaning once again. He didn’t feel like cleaning, but the omega was too scary, and the scent he released had Jean submit eventually… but he wasn’t going to tell this little detail.

“Levi!” Eren cried out across the hallway when he spotted the small omega on the floor on all fours, scrubbing the dirt off the carpet, wearing a kerchief over his head and one over his mouth as well as he cleaned. He was accompanied by Sasha and Connie who stood there, leaning against the wall and looking at the cleaning wonder. The brunet ran into his direction clumsily, big relief swelling up in his heart. When he saw the desperate teen closing in, Levi stood up and glared at him, but the teen didn’t even think of stopping. In a matter of seconds, he found himself in the arms of the brat again, being strangled by the unusually strong sticks he had for arms.

“Oi, brat, back off or I’ll have to-“

“Don’t scare me like that…” he whispered and the shorter man’s glare lessened a bit. As soon as he realized the small wide-eyed audience still hadn’t left him however, he pushed the teen away harshly before grabbing the broom that was leaning against the wall and pointing it at him.

“I just cleaned this spot, you idiot.”

Eren furrowed his brows at that.

“For your information, I just showered.”

“For your information”, the omega softly repeated and tilted his head, “I don’t fucking care.”

A few chuckles escaped the two betas that were looking at them before they got glared at by their furious friend. Connie laughed again instead of shutting up, however.

“Having trouble on your honeymoon?” he teased as he narrowed one of his eyes and leaned forward, earning another glare from Eren whilst Levi chose to ignore them and finish his important job, “I mean, come on. I know you’re going at it and all, but at least try to put something on yourself before going out!” he said and erupted into loud laughter once again, and the beta paled in his face as he looked down and got reminded that the only thing he had on was that one white towel around his wrist. He grew red in his face as he faced the smaller beta, aligning the towel around his waist.

“What the hell, Connie!” Eren screeched as he grabbed the towel with both of his hands, feeling everyone’s gaze at him all of a sudden. He looked over at Levi, but upon meeting his eyes, the omega just calmly looked back at the floor and started sweeping it nonchalantly. Pouting, he took a step towards the short man and focused yelling at him instead, “You too, sir! I thought you were done with this!”

His heart clenched for a second as he saw the small omega’s eyebrows furrow, but the man didn’t show anything on his face anymore as he raised his head to look at him.

“Done with what…? Trying to even feel a moment of freedom?” he looked back to the ground, but Eren noticed the way the omega’s lower lip trembled, “No.”

“I’m just… what if Shadis came…?” he tried to sound like he had already calmed down.

“Oh, he was here, a minute ago actually…” Sasha said and bit into a potato chip, earning a glare from both of the men that stood on the carpet.

“Oi, what did I say about eating in the hallways?” Levi warned and she immediately stood up straight, a determined expression on her face as she pressed the bag of potato chips to her chest.

“If I make crumbles, I’ll have to lick them off the floor! Sir!” she yelled. Levi nodded and she happily continued to empty the bag.

“What did he say? Did he see you, Levi?” Eren’s desperate voice echoed through the area and Levi immediately shot him another glare.

“No, I learned how to turn invisible”, he shook his head angrily and pulled the kerchief off his mouth to continue, “Yeah, he saw me. Obviously, he knew about me, so he glared, but besides that he didn’t do too much. No, Eren, you didn’t lose your fucking reputation because of me and I didn’t make you get thrown out. Is there anything else that you want from me or can I finally finish the task I gave to myself because you’d all probably die from disease if it weren’t done? Someone has to do it. Do you want something else from this omega right here?” he said with his voice not even rising, but Eren could see the sudden pain and hatred in his eyes, and the other two betas didn’t dare to speak a word anymore. Connie just casually put his hand into the bag Sasha held before stuffing a potato chip into his mouth whilst looking at the pair, loudly crunching on it.

“Yes, actually”, Eren lowly answered and looked into the omega’s dull eyes, “come.”

Eren watched the man’s eyes widen for just a second at the order and he hoped he didn’t overstep his border already, but the omega didn’t show any sign of breaking down. He straightened proudly before dropping the broom to the floor and slowly walking towards the beta, with the other two staring at how easily he obeyed Eren whilst commanding everyone else around. Their eyes followed him as the omega passed by Eren, not even gifting him a glance as the beta watched him pass around him, his eyes following him as well. He then slowly turned too, walking right behind him.

“Oi, Eren…” the omega’s silky voice was the only thing to be heard inside the dark room now. As Eren finished pulling his new shirt on, he slowly turned his head back to look at the omega who was sitting cross-legged on the arm of the brown couch. The raven-haired man wasn’t looking at him at all as he spoke and he hadn’t said anything at all till that, as if he were trying to guess what the brunet was thinking. He obviously knew Eren had a short temper, but also knew that he won’t hurt him, which Eren considered a big and important step. The short man had something on his mind, though, as he didn’t say what he intended to immediately, but waited for a few additional seconds, “What the hell is it that you’re trying to do…?”

That got the brunet’s full attention and he turned towards the other, trying to think of a witty response, but he never thought of any as Levi decided to answer on his own.

“I know what you’re doing”, his voice was silent, “You’re cutting me off from any kind of work because you think that I shouldn’t live based on what those government pigs said and believe that I shouldn’t be the one to fix others’ mistakes. But let me tell you once again- I’ve been a criminal since I was five. Once my uncle left me for good, I began stealing and beating whatever I wanted and whoever I had to. I’m not doing this because I was told to do so, but because cleaning is probably something that none of you pigs know how to do properly. I made tea for you because I wanted to. I sat on top of you because I know it’ll make you sick.”

“Sick?”

“There’s no point in trying to protect me from those things. Hasn’t anybody told you that you should protect yourself, and not some random-ass omega you found lying on the street? You know I’m strong enough now, right? Hurt or not, I can still lift your ass up with one arm.”

“Hahah…” Eren gave off a nervous, silent laugh as his eyes half-closed and his expression softened.

“Why even go the length to walk around me like a dog…? Don’t you have your own life?” he asked and suddenly turned his head to look at the beta that flinched.

“I… uh…”

“That’s exactly what I don’t understand about you. You are willing to put my life before yours for some goddamn reason, but whenever I try to do something on my own you come rushing after me and drag me away, as if I don’t have the privilege of being free, which contradicts my previous theory. So tell me, Eren…” his eyes narrowed as he spoke, “Did this protection of yours come with the price of my freedom?”

Eren widened his eyes at that before he suddenly started gesturing as he spoke: “No, no, no, no…”

“Then why. Why do you stick around me that much.”

“Because…” Eren started and lowered his head before snorting, a small smirk on his face. He took a few seconds to think of what to say, either that or he really didn’t know the answer to that question, “I guess I got… bored.”

“Hoh…?”

The way Levi’s brows furrowed in concern made Eren’s smile a bit bigger.

“I got bored, sir,”, he said and raised his head again to look at the confused omega, “every day is the same, and everyone thinks the same, because they’re afraid to voice their opinion. Alphas, betas, Omegas. So simple. They eat, they shit, they choke on their words, they sleep, they mate, they die. That’s it. That’s the circle of our kind”, Eren crossed his arms as he stood up and walked to the last seat to sit right next to the raven who turned his head away again, so Eren had to face his back, “Nothing interesting ever happens, except from when they start slaughtering each other to get to one Omega to take them without actually knowing them and all. But that’s the romances everyone dreams about, the love stories that usually don’t happen in real life. The majority consists of people who only think of those primary things, and never about anything else. It’s live, mate and take what you can before you die. Then there’s the dreamers- those are the people that make their lives into novels and seek a change in their lives, yet this fails immediately when they fall victim to their instincts, either that or they realize they can’t fulfill that dream of theirs. And then there’s me and you, Levi, sir.”

Levi rolled his eyes as he looked back at the cheeky teen, knowing that he won’t say anything until he’d turn to see him.

“What?” he asked, “What is so special about us…?”

“I wouldn’t call it special…” Eren sighed and chuckled as his hand found the back of his head again, “Weird would be the correct term, I guess.”

Levi kept looking at him for a few more seconds before looking away again and slumping forward, propping his elbows against his muscular thighs.

“I’m neither of those types of people, because I’m neither a realist, nor a dreamer. I seek change everywhere and anywhere and was never bothered to sometimes feel the same urges as all of those before me, but I never acted upon them, because I really didn’t want to. I don’t really know why as well. Anyway, I am someone who waits for a change instead of initiating it, someone who has the nerve to look at other people instead of looking at the floor as they walk like everyone else. I try to find something new, something interesting… and then you came around, sir,”, he said and smiled, “Well, I mean, after that one hellish week, you came around. It was obvious to me that you were a special Omega because somehow you were able to fuckin’ lift me off the ground with your whole body still hurting, but the looks of you- Anyway”, he shook his head, “you said something that could be taken as ‘I hate my own species’ and were immediately off to act as if you weren’t an Omega at all. I thought you were a dreamer… until I actually realized that you knew you couldn’t do anything. That you knew you were fighting a battle you couldn’t possibly win, but you did it anyway.”

“Because I don’t want to live like that.”

“Because you don’t want to live like that”, the teen repeated eagerly and put a hand on Levi’s arm, noticing how stiff he got for a second, “And I’ve never seen anyone fight this foolish war without expecting any kind of result. It’s like you’re the captain that refuses to give up the battle even though you know you’ll die if you don’t stop, but you’ll do it for honor.”

There was a minute of silence between them before the omega hummed.

“I guess I’d be a terrible captain, then. First off, everyone’s most important activity would have to be to clean. Then, I’d have no idea what to stay to the families that would lose their children at war. I’d just stand there and… stare, I guess. I wouldn’t let anyone die if I had my own squad, however”, he said and turned towards Eren to look him in the eyes, his own usually stoic face radiating some kind of gentleness as he spoke, “I’d protect the shit out of them.”

Eren light-heartedly laughed.

“I’m serious, if I went desperate, I’d probably say something like ‘none of you is allowed to die’ or some shit”, there was the faintest of smiles on his face as he spoke, and Eren realized that it wasn’t just lust that tied him to that particular omega, “I guess everyone would just fucking stare at me when I’d order them around, like look at that small omega, he’s trying to freaking lead us to war”, the smile got a bit bigger and Eren wanted to cry how beautifully this omega smiled, even though the smile was still miniature, but it was there, “and then I’d kick their guts so they’d hit the ground and I’d step on one’s head and look around to see the terrified expressions of those idiots…”

Eren’s smile grew bigger every second.

“He had to be thinking of joining them as well… There’s no doubt now.”

“There’s just one problem. I really dislike death. Pointless death, in particular. It’s entirely different if you give your life for something or someone you like, however… If it is to save, I would gladly give my life away in this instant…” as he said that, his smile slowly vanished and his eyes lost that spark that they had a second ago.

“I think you’d be a great captain”, Eren silently added, hoping that that would help the omega regain his good mood, but Levi’s smile was completely gone again, and his eyes seemed empty and were uncharacteristically wide. Eren’s smile disappeared as well as he watched his eyes slowly narrow again before he turned his head away from the teen, putting his cold hand on top of Eren’s after some time. The beta’s shining eyes widened in shock at that small, gentle gesture and Levi’s frown got deeper before he silently said: “I… I have to go back, Eren.”

Chapter Text

“Wh- Wait, what did you just… Did you just say…?” stumbling over his own words as he articulated them, Eren found himself staring at the man’s small hand that still held his in place. Levi, however, wasn’t looking at Eren. His sight fell to the floor as soon as he heard the brunet’s trembling voice, “Did you just say that you, like, want to… I mean, go back, and… That I’m… not needed anymore, or…?”

The short man’s sight went back to Eren as he watched him from his side for a few seconds before looking ahead of himself again, staring off into the distance without actually seeing too much because of the lack of light in the room. Not that the room had ones to begin with.

“Yes, Eren,”, he slowly and loudly said, as if the brunet wouldn’t understand him if he said that in any other way, “I said that I need to go back.”

The hand the omega held in place suddenly slipped out of his and he looked back again to face the teen that had a hurt expression on his face, but tried to mask it with his brows furrowed and eyes shining in fervent determination, something that the other man couldn’t really take his eyes off.

“Why…?” his voice cracked, but he shook his head and pretended that it never happened, “Why would you say that…?”

Levi didn’t respond, he just kept looking at him with his usual stoic expression, only his eyes softening at the younger man that was trying to secretly compose himself right beside him.

“Why would you go asking for my help then if you wanted to return so quickly…?” his voice still wasn’t completely steady as he spoke, “What were you even trying to do, then? I… I don’t get it, Levi.”

Levi didn’t answer the teen.

“I don’t get it…” Eren repeated, more to himself than to Levi, his sight dropping to the floor as his eyes widened. He begged for more time, and this was all he got? Only for the next meaningful conversation with him to turn into a ‘goodbye’ and to make him realize just how very pathetic he really was acting? Was he really that bad of a host? Was Levi fed up with him because of his loud mouth? No, it couldn’t be, because right now, he was still looking at him, his hand slightly above the arm of the chair to grab him if necessary.

“It’s entirely different if you give your life for something or someone you like, however… If it is to save, I would gladly give my life away in this instant…”

“I’d give my life to him anytime and anywhere.”

Eren’s eyes suddenly widened and he slowly raised his head to look at the omega that was still keeping an eye on him warily, ready to jump in at any moment if it were needed. However, when Eren’s words left his mouth, the omega’s shoulders just slumped and he found himself dumbfounded for a moment.

“I… thought you didn’t… like him that way…” Eren slightly smiled as his eyebrows furrowed in a sad way, “That’s why… I kept telling myself that you really-“

“That’s true”, Levi cut him off and looked away as soon as the teen looked up to meet his eyes, “I do not.”

The few seconds of silence between them felt like minutes, then like hours, then like an eternity, but at the same time, Eren felt as if he spoke too soon when he asked: “Then… why? Was I… Did I-”

“There are some important matters going on in the kingdom as we speak, Eren,”, the man purposely kept using Eren’s name that way, to make him want to cry from the pure craving that Eren would get whenever he’d hear his name pronounced in the way Levi does it, and no one else, only Levi, “Some things are really better off not being addressed, but considering that you’re a cheeky little shit, I’ll go up and say that those matters are far too important to be missed. I…” he sighed and looked away again, “I know the Alpha king will be able to handle this by himself, considering his great capabilities, but I am afraid he might not make the correct choices if he doesn’t know about his kingdom’s state and preferences, where I could certainly help. I want to be there. I want to be there when he makes these decisions.”

“Why do you speak that way…?” Eren’s low voice suddenly asked and Levi looked over to him to see that his eyes were somewhat red in color, “Whenever you talk about him, you always use this… this weird, smart vocabulary and are afraid to address him as your Alpha for some reason… yet whenever you speak with me”, he said and looked at his hands that he had clasped together on top of his knees, “You use insults to make me feel appreciated, and you never use those words”, Levi’s eyebrows lowered as he saw Eren stumble over his own words yet again, trying to find the right ones that could describe his thoughts the best at the moment, but coming up with no fancy words to use whatsoever, “It’s like you’re trying to lower your level to mine, trying to talk like… me, just a… peasant. Someone who isn’t even doing what he was suppose to do just because of his own ideas. And- and you always look so annoyed. And you never have your eyes wide when you talk to me… Whilst when you talk about him, you’re like you’re imagining that he’s there in front of you and I…”

The room fell silent for a few seconds, but Levi didn’t wish to interrupt his monologue. Eren soon looked up at him again, his eyes wide as he searched for the right words in Levi’s cold orbs that gave him nothing but pain to his heart as he didn’t even bet an eye at his speech. He lowered his head again, furrowing his brows in an attempt to shake the feeling of uselessness off, but then just gently smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

“I guess… that’s what love does to you, huh…?”

“Huh?” Levi repeated and tilted his head to the side, looking at the taller man that refused to look up again, “What the hell are you talking about… love. Are you still stuck in those fairy tales of yours, on the last page, rereading that ‘and they lived happily ever after’ shit again and again?”

Eren looked up at the seemingly irritated omega whose attention was once again turned to the young beta beside him.

“That’s what love does to you…” he growled, “What the hell. Do you even listen to yourself when you talk?”

“What?”

“You sound like a fucking moron, that’s what I’m implying here”, he raised his voice and Eren froze in place. He had never seen the omega angry and now wished he really never did, it looked like Levi was ready to straight up murder someone, with his eyes just slightly widened, his pupils tiny, his head tilted to the side so that shadows took over the upper part of his face, “Love. I’m just excited to hear you talking about the thing at first sight, destined mates and such bull. I’d be thrilled even, if I found out that you actually believe that crap.”

Eren’s brows furrowed as he spoke out: “Well, yeah! That’s what-“

“That was fucking sarcasm you-“ he heavily sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose so he wouldn’t insult the young man further on, taking a few seconds to calm himself down, “Look, this is most certainly not the case here, okay? If that’s what you’re worried about. There’s no real affection between us. Not the romantic kind at least. If you really wish to know, the only reason why he is still vouching for me is because of the government and their dirty ways to get someone to do what they want that person to do. They never leave an opportunity and just wait to pounce at you at the right moment.”

“I… don’t…”

Levi’s brows furrowed at the teen, but when that suddenly vulnerable beta flinched, he clicked his tongue instead of making things worse again.

“I am just the most reliable candidate to bring an heir to him if the situation calls for the past to get back here and bite us in the arse.”

“Wh-What?” the teen asked after a few seconds, despair in his eyes as he searched for Levi’s to confirm this bad piece of information as a joke, but, the confirmation never came. Instead, Levi kept glaring at him for a while before deciding to spit the story out so the teen would have to carry the burden of his own past on his back. But knowing him, he knew Eren wished for nothing more than to be of some use to him. So, despite being told not to tell him anything about the past, he decided to share some of his.

“I’m an Ackerman”, he continued in a silent voice, as if he was afraid that someone else could be listening to their conversation, but got encouraged as the brat next to him slowly nodded, his wide, reddish eyes still focused only on him, “a… a bloodline that’s, um…” the younger man’s trembling hand found his again and he spent a few seconds looking at their intertwined fingers. He wasn’t sure if the teen was helping him or if he was helping the teen, but whatever it was, it made him continue, “Well, you probably know about it. Rumors say the bloodline almost got completely wiped out because of the powerful genes the people possess and people are always afraid of power that isn’t theirs. Those genes affect our entire body, enhancing everything possible. That’s… probably why I’m that strong even though I’m just an omega. For omegas, strength isn’t really something to pride themselves on. Instead, it’s the ability to conceive, of course, and how your features look like so that Alphas could compare them”, a bitter frown made its way to the raven-haired man’s face, “That’s why my features are the way they are. My reasoning and intuition are also much higher than average, which has helped me countless of times in the past. But, yes, the one purpose that Erwin has for me is to impregnate me.”

Eren’s hand once again slipped out of his and he looked back at the teen, only to see his angry face. Before he could speak up though, Levi continued nonchalantly.

“It’s not that bad of a plan of theirs, honestly. The probability of me, as an Ackerman in its prime years, getting impregnated after sexual activity whilst being in heat in incredibly high, almost ninety percent, which means there will most likely be a capable and strong successor after the first trial, so he can run off immediately after. And with those omega genes of mine being that strong as people say, there is almost no physical way of destroying that life because an Ackerman’s body would probably collapse on itself before giving up that child”, his eyesight dropped to the floor as he said that, “The government sure did its proper research on me… How they made Erwin think this is the best possible option even after everything I’ve done is a riddle to me, though…”

“How can you talk this way?!” Eren’s voice suddenly interrupted his monologue and his eyes immediately searched for Eren’s that were already brimming with tears, “How can you talk about those facts as if it were just biological things that don’t actually carry truth in them! You can’t speak of yourself like some kind of… birthing vessel or some crap! It shouldn’t be this way, you know?! Alphas and Omegas are supposed to-“

“Alphas and omegas are supposed to… what, Eren?” he sent him a glare as Eren stopped yelling, “To fuck, Eren.”

“No, they’re-“

“It’s all about survival. My business… it’s not about love in any way. But what is today, though? He’ll get to bond me and to impregnate me- that’s the purpose that I’ve been given in his book and it’ll stay like this. Thus I won’t be able to cheat on him because I won’t feel strongly for anyone but him, whilst he’ll get the freedom of choice. There’s no way he’ll have just one omega- oh, no. On papers, yes, it’ll be just me. But behind the scenes, like the common practice kings have, he’ll have multiple lovers and children with them, too. That way, he won’t get bored, and will have the strongest heir possible. That’s all that matters.”

His speech was interrupted by a silent whimper that suddenly escaped the brunet, and when he realized that the omega had already seen him, he quickly wiped that one tear that slid down his cheek with his sleeve. Levi wondered what was wrong with him, jumping from cheerful to dismayed in a few seconds.

“That’s… disgusting. Completely disgusting. People like that, people who don’t regard the emotions of others and just think of themselves… they make me wanna vomit. They make me wanna get rid of all the Alphas out there, good and bad, just o stop those… that livestock from existing. I’ll fucking- I’ll… Why!?” Levi was suddenly taken aback by how fast the beta turned his head towards him, his eyes burning with hatred that made him look like an entirely new person, “Why would you put yourself through this then!? Why return?”

Levi remained looking at those fierce eyes of the brunet’s before calmly turning his head away to speak. Eren couldn’t possibly get why the omega didn’t lose his cool yet and go all out while speaking of such things. The omega’s life depended on this- his happiness, his freedom. Yet he sat there and talked about the most possible future as if it was all just a myth and he was just retelling it. Had he tried to do something in the past? Had he given up on himself? No matter how much Eren wanted to be mad at him at the moment, he would always feel this weird sensation of dread of the question ‘what if’. There were still so many mysteries surrounding this small omega that he just couldn’t fathom, no matter how hard he tried. And that was why he decided to keep calm and listen for once.

“I recall that I’ve mentioned my uncle to you, right…?”

Eren didn’t answer him.

“There’re plenty of reasons why I should have just refrained from doing anything. When I was a brat like you he found me on the streets stealing. It turned out that this made for a great first impression, somehow. He took me to his house for a while, always putting a kerchief over my eyes and making me smell some mixture of scents he carried with himself in a bottle, so I won’t be able to determine where I was. He fed me for a while and gave me a room to sleep in. He was… the one to actually tell me who I was and why he had put me inside of that old hotel instead of the original palace- because we were Ackermans, and he couldn’t do anything against people of higher ranks now that we were… alone and criminals, as he put it. Didn’t really make sense to me at the time. But I was, like, eight. The next thing I remember is that he tried to teach me how to be a proper omega. I remember him trying to knock some sense into me, literally, but I just wouldn’t listen. And when it came out that I really absolutely sucked at being an omega, he decided that he’ll make me an Alpha like himself. Taught me how to go around with a knife. How to cheat at games. How to puncture someone’s throat”, he saw how Eren instinctively wrapping his fingers around his throat, “and how to position yourself properly to disable your target from escaping. He cut my hair. Alphas don’t need to have it long. He gave me my own weapon. Only omegas can’t use those. And once I found out that the way he fights with a knife isn’t the best way, and once I defied him again only to surpass him, he left. He left, and didn’t return.”

Eren spent a few seconds looking at him, feeling that he was leaving something out, but chose not to comment on it. He was baffled by the way the omega spoke of his uncle, though- although he spoke of things that were practically immoral, he still spoke with some kind of gentleness in his voice that he rarely used. The omega’s eyesight rested on the floor beneath him, his hand moving nervously in Eren’s who clenched it in response.

“Anyway, twenty years later, I hear of an old man dying in a hospital. I… couldn’t really get over it, how he looked like. His skin, his bones… that old player got himself in a fight over a fucking omega and almost died. He didn’t even address it when he begged me to do something to help him, because he didn’t have the money to have an operation. I was poor, however. The next thing I know is that he starts talking about our family’s good name and how… everyone would fight over us.”

“Say… you little rat. Have you ever tried to give in to your omegan side…?”

“It was like he suddenly remembered that I was, in fact, an omega myself.”

***

“Come on, you can’t be serious. It’s been an eternity, hasn’t it? You and I, old pals, with no one and nothing to live for, players, buddies. The times surely have changed, haven’t they? Back then, you were but a little squirt… and now look at you! A real, precious omega just waiting to be chosen.”

Levi’s eyes widened at that.

“What the hell are you talking about, old fart?” he gently said as he raised his head up to look at the lying man from above, “Just because my appearance and scent have changed, that doesn’t mean that I have. You know I’m terrible at what you’re trying to impose on me now. Why would you even say it that way, if you know that I know all of your tricks by now…?”

“I’ve heard of what you’re doing around town, you little troublemaker”, he kept talking his own way, completely ignoring Levi, ”I never thought you’d put your skills to that. I just… want you to know about something your mother wanted for you, and I believe you’re old enough now”, he said and those boney, large, dirty fingers grasped Levi’s already torn shirt and pulled him down harshly to make him meet his long, bearded face, “She always told me to raise you like whatever you’d turn out to be. So, if you’re an omega, she wanted me to teach you how to walk properly, act properly and how to obey an Alpha unconditionally. She always wanted the best for you… so she told me that I should be the one to make your path. Dark days are over, bucko!”

Levi pushed himself off the old Alpha that laughed at him for that, but began choking on his laughter a second later.

“Don’t fuck with me. I’m not letting you choose what I’ll do. You taught me that yourself, haven’t you?”

“Ah, yes…” his uncle breathed, “That might have been a mistake on my hand… But trust me, I’ve found you a great Alpha. The best of the best!”

“Are you…” Levi’s eyes widened again before he jumped at the hurt man, gripping the hem of his shirt and choking him as he shook the man’s limp body, trying to get some sense into those dying brain cells of his, “What did you do?! What did you do again just so you could survive, huh?!”

An ugly smirk made its way to the man’s long face, taking up half of it as he spoke: “Oh, just the usual black marketing.”

***

“He sold me to the royal family just so he could survive. He didn’t, though,”, he said as a bitter smirk got to his face, replacing that deep frown from before, “that’s the irony. He died before he could receive the treatment. Now I’m promised to an Alpha legally with no returns and nobody got anything out of it, except that the king got a new toy to play with and break.”

The tension between the two men felt thick as he said that, and no one had the courage to actually speak up and change the subject. Eren’s head went wild, his heart throbbed, he felt guilty for even asking him of that now. But what stuck out the most to him was the corrupted version of emotions he heard of. Were people really that ugly…? And was he blind for not seeing it before?

The short man soon leaped off the arm of the couch and slowly made his way towards the center of the room to look out of the large locked window on the other side, stretching a little as he looked at the scenery in front of him- this part of the roof looked particularly dirty today. The only light that was protruding through the window was the white moonlight that made for a rather eerie atmosphere, making the only visible things around them colored in a light blue hue.

“You seem to be really narrow-minded, Eren,”, he soon spoke gently, turning his head to the side just enough to take a look at him, “thinking that things are either black or white, and nothing in between. You can’t know anything that way. You can’t know whether someone’s decisions are good or bad if you look at it from only one point of view. And you can’t think that love is something pure and beautiful just because it is supposed to be. After all… I don’t believe you have experienced it, if you think it’s that simple.”

“I have”, the other suddenly said and he saw him move from the couch to approach him, so he looked away to see the dirty rooftop again. He felt the man’s body heat right behind him, but he didn’t move or look at him. The omega just stood, waiting for the beta to do something instead of just breathing into his hair. It took Eren another minute before he finally managed to get the needed courage to grab the omega by his arms and push him towards the wall harshly and swiftly, making him face up to meet his eyes, “I have, sir, and I know it’s not like I imagined it to be.”

The omega remained completely calm, his half-closed, almost bored-looking eyes staring up into Eren’s fervent ones.

“It fucking hurts, but fuels you at the same time. It doesn’t make your heart race when you think about them at night, but makes you calm. It’s not blind, it can see everything and underst-“

“What do you want?” Levi suddenly asked, making Eren shut up and just stare at him for a while.

“As…” he silently started, “as long as you’re not there with him… you’re… yours.”

“That’s not it”, Levi said and tilted his head to the right again, looking at the blushing beta for a while before whispering: “Eren… you want something from me, don’t you…?”

The teen seemed to be taken aback once again as Levi said that, but couldn’t really deny it. He furrowed his brows in determination and rested his forearms against the wall, left and right from Levis’ head, before leaning forwards and nodding harshly. Levi knew the beta tried to trap him so he wouldn’t be able to escape him, but didn’t really care. His face remained calm as Eren’s nose touched his again, the proximity between them lessening with each passing second.

“I’ll prove it to you”, the teen practically growled, getting lost in Levi’s natural scent of tea, “I’ll prove to you that I’m worthy of your time. I don’t care if there’s an Alpha that’ll kill me or not. But for as long as he’s not here, you’re safe from his weird ideas, because I’ll keep you safe. That’s the only thing I want to do, Levi. I need to keep you safe. It’s the only thing I can do.”

“You’re an idiot”, the other man said and Eren couldn’t see it because he was staring into Levi’s eyes, but he could feel the man’s soft fingers pass through his messy locks before he put them behind his ear gently, “I don’t want to be kept safe, I thought you’d know that by now.”

“I know”, Eren growled as he stepped closer, pinning the man’s petite frame against the wall completely, “And I know you don’t need me to. But I need to, and I’m going to, whether you will like it or not.”

“I won’t”, the raven-haired man immediately said, his sight set on his own fingers as they were bringing strands of Eren’s unruly hair out of his face. The taller man just waited for the small omega to snap and kick his guts, but he seemed to be absorbed into finishing his task of making Eren’s hair obey.

“It’s impossible, you know”, Eren silently stated, but the omega didn’t look at him.

“What is?”

“Keeping my hair from my face. I tried. Nothing works.”

The omega hummed thoughtfully, but didn’t stop. His facial expression had softened over time, and since it seemed to calm the omega, Eren didn’t complain. It calmed his racing heart too, and with each passing minute, he felt calmer and calmer, wondering if the omega was releasing scents and he was subconsciously reacting to them or if it was just the simple gesture that he loved so much.

“Take me to town tomorrow, then. I have some business to attend to, and I wouldn’t really… mind if you kept me some company”, Levi’s silent, silvery voice sent shivers down Eren’s spine, and he couldn’t help but at least believe that the omega really didn’t mind having him around.

“Under one condition, sir,”, he said and backed off a little to look at the perfectly calm omega into his steel blue, cold eyes again, bringing his hands to the short man’s soft cheeks to cup his face gently, but shyly, “let me kiss you.”

The man’s lips parted to say something, but the words escaped the man through the short sigh he gave off, so he didn’t end up saying anything. His eyes finally found their way to the younger man’s, and stayed there as his own small hands went up to take his neck and pull him down gently. Eren’s wide eyes just blinked a few times as his hands fell back to his own chest, looking at the way the man’s calm eyes almost closed completely as he got closer, his dry lips already parted and waiting for Eren’s.

“Wait, I… I didn’t think I’d get this far!”

The beta suddenly panicked as his heart throbbed unevenly, begging to get out of his tight, air-deprived chest. His tired, burning eyes couldn’t manage to blink anymore as he felt Levi inching closer, his dry mouth opened completely to let some air get in, but his lungs didn’t seem to want to work properly anymore. Once he realized his entire body was trembling, he suddenly felt self-conscious and began breathing sporadically, but silently, so he wouldn’t mess this up. He couldn’t mess this up now; it might be his last chance. Once Levi’s nose touched his and once he felt the man’s hot breath against his lips, a loud, shuddering breath escaped him as he tightly closed his eyes and tensed up completely. His heart felt like it was about to explode when he closed them though. Every beat felt painful to him, and the fear that it caused in him made him grip the other man’s shoulders tightly.

“Relax”, he heard the man’s soft voice and felt the hot air out of his mouth on his own lips. His heart slowly calmed down and his breathing evened when he heard how gently the man’s voice sounded. The brunet opened his eyes to see just how close the other man was, his worried, shining eyes already looking into Eren’s as he spoke, softening when he realized that the trembling had stopped, “it’s just me.”

Eren’s lips made his way to Levi’s, much to his surprise, so he just stared open-eyed at the blushing man whose lips moved slowly against his.

Chapter Text

“Tch. Idiot. I told you to scram.”

It was just another day like every other day was. The sun shone brightly and fiercely, so the temperature was really hot, as usual. The cobbled pathways from the narrow streets were crowded, just like always, people of all ages pushing through the crowd to get to that one stand that had their preferred items stuffed onto a small platform, thrown carelessly and being out to wait for the eyes of watchful customers who, like always, had only the nicest of prey in mind. The ones that didn’t rush to buy food and jewelry were standing around and chatting, so others had to push themselves through the crowd to get to their wanted destinations. There was a strong odor of people’s mixed scents and fish in the air, blending with the scent of the flowers that had been put in the centre of the square for whatever reason, so the end result of the scent was something that every kid had to spend three years on before finally managing to not feel nauseous whenever in town. Levi remembered this scent as the scent from inside the wall, which he always associated with the scent of ‘shit’. Loud voices were yelling from around him, going from selling ‘natural scent enhancers’, that were neither natural nor did they work, to preaching about God and ‘His’ wall. Even though this day felt as normal as any other, he had a feeling he’d get screwed over somehow by the end of it. He heard small steps behind him again and rolled his eyes.

The omega growled as he looked back at the small girl with red hair and big green eyes, following his footsteps determinedly even though he had told her multiple times to go the other way, “Oi. I know it’s a tough world out here, brat, but I don’t have time to babysit”, he said and suddenly turned around, putting his hands on his hips as he faced the smaller omega, “So take the stupid biscuits and leave.”

The girl’s wild smile faltered as she shook her head, smiling up again when she was done with the gesture.

“No way. You’re my big bro Levi now, and little sisters have to follow their brothers around everywhere.”

That genuine wide smile of hers made Levi’s expression soften.

“Big bro?”

“Yeah. Now, where were you headed to?” she asked and ran ahead of him, looking left and right to see nothing but the streets filled with all kinds of people and stands where various items had been put on for sale, or in Levi’s case, for stealing. The young omega heavily sighed as he put his hands into his trousers, slowly walking by and passing the red-haired brat that stared at him for a while before pouting and running after him, “I’m a pretty good travel companion, you know?”

Levi looked at her from the side, watching the other omega carefully as she stumbled over her own feet because of Levi’s fast pace.

“Ah, and that’s why no one is around you right now, I get it”, he said and she had to stop to consider his statement for a few seconds before pouting like the little child she was again and pulling on each of her pigtails to secure them before rushing back to meet Levi once again.

“I have friends!” she shouted defensively, so Levi decided to leave it at that. Sure, he could have kept his mouth running, but decided not to, “And… um… anyway, I was… trying to tell you that… um…” her cheeks became a little rose as her fidgety fingers made her way to her pigtails before she suddenly pulled on them, her shy smile turning into the widest grin possible, “That was absolutely cool! How you took the biscuits away from that old box and she didn’t even see it! I’ve never seen someone steal that good! We could really use you in our orphanage, you know?!”

Levi kept looking at her for a while before raising a hand into the air, dismissing her with the simple gesture and continuing on his walk towards wherever his feet carried him. She was, of course, right behind him.

“Of course… that would mean you’d have to steal a BUNCH”, she raised her hands in the air to show just how much he’d need to take away from the stands, “of food, but I know you’d be able to do that, since you’re my big bro.”

“You’ve known me for ten minutes.”

She suddenly ran ahead of him and began walking backwards, that little omega that she was. Her orange torn robe she had on as an excuse for a tunic that had been tied to her waist tightly with another piece of clothing was swinging in the air as she walked. It didn’t really look too convenient for the winter. She had no shoes. Her hair was as messy as it could possibly get, with split ends that held the brown rubber bands that then held her pigtails up. A thread holding a small ring was tied around her neck, proudly dangling left and right as she skipped about. The only thing that didn’t practically scream the word ‘poor’ on her were her bright green eyes that, rather than lamenting of how little she had, sung how alive she was. She couldn’t have been older than six.

“Yeah, and in those ten minutes, I learned that you don’t like dirt, don’t like people and that you’re really lonely.”

“No, idiot,”, he said and saw her wide smile turn upside down immediately, “I absolutely despise dirt. I like people, I just don’t want to be too close to them. And I’m alone- not lonely. There’s a difference.”

This left the smaller omega dumbfounded for a while.

“B-but I… You’re really… I thought you’d…” she began stuttering and he suddenly stopped, looking back at the kid that seemed as if she was about to cry. After hearing what he had to say, she didn’t move an inch from the spot she stood on at the moment and was now just staring into his eyes with her huge ones. He had no idea what made her so emotional all of a sudden, while she looked pretty upbeat before, but he decided to do something before she’d start crying and would step into the limelight. They’d recognize him immediately.

 Carefully, he reached his hand out to her and then swiftly ruffled her hair, walking off immediately after seeing her eyes widen in surprise instead of sadness. The little girl widely smiled and immediately went after him once again, but stopped in her tracks when she saw a shadow looming over her big brother. The older omega looked to the shadow as well, then.

There was a long-faced man with a crooked smile standing in front of him, bending down a little so he could at least see him properly. An unkempt beard caught Levi’s attention first. The second thing he noticed were his beady little dull eyes that stared down at him, questioning something Levi couldn’t quite catch. Yellowish teeth and a bad breath were the next things that caught the omega’s attention. His scent was unusually strong, threateningly even, but it didn’t come off as threatening at all. It was weird; he couldn’t really get what the Alpha wanted to say with a scent like this. He’d only later on realize this was his ‘I’ll be taking care of you from now on, you little rat’ scent. The quite slender man stood in front of him rather proudly, his black coat, shirt and pants accompanied by black, polished shoes gave off a smell of smoke and some sickeningly bitter liquor. When he took his hat that had a single hole in the middle of it down, Levi saw that the man had neatly combed, dark hair. And although he had never seen this man before, he was sure of it, there was some sense of familiarity between them. So, instead of just running off like he usually would, he just stood as if he were frozen and looked up at the tall man who had a big, long-fingered hand extended for him to shake. Levi wasn’t even thinking of shaking hands with him.

“You must be the one those old witches talked ‘bout, right, you little scamp? Well, didn’t think Kuchel’s son would end up like some street rat stealing stuff and beating people, but I guess that’s better than already working in the brothel… or something.”

Levi’s little face scrunched up as he heard those words escape the older man’s mouth, twisting his very guts with such accusations. He wasn’t dumb- his mother had told him everything he needed to know about being an omega- but still. Accompanied with the hoarse voice the Alpha had, it sounded like he had killed his mother himself.

“What did you just say…?”

The man suddenly squatted down to meet his dull eyes. The Alpha’s eyebrows soon furrowed before he showed an ugly smirk.

“Threatening me already? That can only be a good sign”, he nodded affirmatively before looking away from him and thinking out loud, “Though I don’t think she would have wanted you to behave like that… But screw that”, he looked back down, “Kid, today’s your lucky day. You’ll be spending your next couple of months with your old pal Kenny! Ain’t that great?”

Levi spent a few seconds just looking at him with his dull, half-closed eyes before answering: “No.”

Kenny’s eyes went wide for a second before he erupted into loud, obnoxious laughter that kept on going forever in Levi’s mind, but was actually over in a few seconds.

“Well, you certainly are what people told me you’d be”, he shook his head proudly, “I thought they lied. But you- you surpass their small talks. Ain’t that a weird sight… An omega, so young at that… stripped from his childhood at the age of five and still- still not knowing his place. That’ll be a pain in the ass.”

He didn’t give the little omega time for an answer, he just immediately grabbed his tiny hand into his and forcefully pulled him towards himself before walking off with huge steps that had Levi stumbling over his own feet as he tried to follow the man, before suddenly hearing his name being called out by that small girl that he thought he got rid off until then. He turned his head back while still being dragged off, only to see the small omega run after him with a wide smile on her face. He started struggling, but the man probably never even knew that this was him trying to get away.

“Levi! LEEEVIII!” she skipped a bit as she realized Levi would be dragged away from her and lost in the crowd sooner or later, “You’ll come by sometimes, right?”

Levi just watched her trying to catch up to them for a while, his small body being tossed left and right as people clumsily tried to get through the crowd.

“To the orphanage! Levi! You know where it is, right?”

Levi still watched for a while before his brows suddenly furrowed and he nodded determinedly.

“Yes, I know”, he said silently, but she seemed to have understood somehow and nodded excitedly.

“Come by whenever you have time!” she yelled, “We’ll have lots of fun together, I swear! And me and my friend Furlan, we can show you around the place! It’ll be fun, you’ll see! I promise!”

Levi couldn’t really get it, the way she seemed to want to cling to him seemed way too ridiculous, but the way her eyes sparkled when she saw him showing a slight smile and nodding again eventually made him remember her name forever, even though this was the first time he had seen her.

“What are you doing, runt? Move along”, he heard the grumpy man’s voice say, but found himself complying to his will as his strong scent filled Levi’s nostrils with a sudden feeling that had him believe he should follow him, even though he was a stranger. He didn’t know if it was fear or admiration, but he just couldn’t rebel. He couldn’t guess why- it was just the way it was. Back then, he thought that this was just how things worked with them; that this guy’s strong scent had an effect on all the others around him, as they seemed to get out of his way, just like Levi’s scent somehow managed to bring even young Alphas and betas to submit sometimes and had them avoid him ultimately. Now, he knows it’s a thing that runs in the family. He took one last glance at the awfully cheerful omega before looking ahead of himself, actually being able to see the streets for once as the people avoided the tall, skinny man.

“Levi, bro!”

He tried to ignore her.

“Levi! LEVI!” she kept calling for him desperately, and he eventually rolled his eyes in annoyance and looked back, only to see her distant figure wave her hand at him. He slowly raised his hand as well, but it remained frozen in the air.

“Levi…?”

He didn’t even wave at her that time, even though it was the last time he would ever see her smile. Her bright eyes. Her messy hair. Her brash voice that told him just how proud she was for being an omega, mistreated from the rest of the world and uncared for at all, until she’d eventually pass away from the same disease his mother had. And he never even waved at her. He wasn’t even there when she died, he had heard about it only when he decided to come back to the orphanage, two months later.

“Levi?”

The light had been extinguished in only two months. Standing there in front of the orphanage, with his hand in his uncle’s, both of them silent.

“Levi!”

The omega’s eyes suddenly widened and he snapped back to reality. One look at his extended hand that reached towards nothing in particular had him frown already, so he immediately dropped it and looked back at the brat who dared to walk up on him. What caught his attention first were his big, shining eyes, never ceasing to show just how bold he was- but they weren’t green. No, those eyes were some weird mixture of blue, and green, and gray, something new. It wasn’t her, it wasn’t his past trying to hunt him down- it was just Eren. Eren, the beta who stood there, leaning against the wall of the small kitchen part of his own living room, worriedly eyeing him. Levi’s heart gradually slowed down until he felt comfortable enough to actually look away from Eren’s eyes and continue doing what he had been doing.

“Are… Are you alright, sir…?” came the expected question which had Levi rolling his eyes in annoyance yet again, “You… just left at one point, so I kinda… went to investigate what you were doing, and you were just… staring at the wall. At first I thought you were just thinking, but then, when you started reaching out your hand… I got concerned.”

“Mind your own business”, he replied with that stoic expression of his again, stiffening up.

“Well, I figured you would say that…” Eren silently said and softly smiled at the shorter man before slowly making his way towards him, trying not to make too many noises to give himself away. Once he was right behind him, his hands instinctively wrapped themselves around the smaller man’s waist, and he could feel the man’s body muscles tense as he did that, but for whatever reason, the omega didn’t shoo him away, “But I… kinda made it my business to watch over you, so I can’t really… Um. Levi,”, his voice suddenly dropped and the omega looked up at him to see a confused expression on the youth’s face, “why are you… Why are you stuffing all of my bread into the bag…?”

The raven-haired man hummed, but didn’t answer him. Instead, he leaned back a bit and nestled into the beta’s soft shirt, exhaling loudly through his nose once he was content with the spot he chose. Eren was pretty much sure Levi could feel how hard and fast his heart beat at that moment, but he hoped the man wouldn’t shy away just because of that.

“You know…” the omega soon whispered and Eren blinked a few times, wishing he hadn’t wrapped his arms around the petite frame of this man just so he could pinch himself to see if all of this wasn’t a dream, “it’s kind of hard to sleep when this weird-ass beta just climbs into your sleeping spot in the middle of the night and clings to you like a fucking infant. Haven’t you ever heard of something called… personal space?” he asked and looked up again, glaring at the wide-eyed brunet that had dark circles under his eyes, “But I guess you need to hibernate, not just your beauty sleep, eh? You look like a visible fart right now. And not the good one- the watery one.”

“Nope, not a dream.”

“Ugh.”

The brunet’s arms left the short man alone and he grumpily made his way back to his sleeping place, but just before he’d reach the dark part of his room again, he looked back at the omega, only to see he was already looking, a look of slight concern gracing his features. Once Eren’s sight met his however, the raven’s sight immediately went back to the piles and piles of bread he was stuffing into the satchel Eren could have sworn he had lost at some point. He watched the man’s small nimble fingers work for a while, his gaze softening while taking in their fast movement. His eyes then travelled up to see the side of Levi’s shaded face, the small candle the omega must have had placed onto the table illuminating only some of his sharp features, the small yellow flame dancing and reflecting on Levi’s pale skin.

“You talk in your sleep, you know”, Eren silently said and that made the omega’s movement falter for a mere second.

“Huh?” he suddenly asked while frowning, throwing his head back to look at the smiling beta that still hadn’t left him. Eren smiled.

“You talk while asleep, sir. Just wanted… to point that one out.”

The omega hummed and returned to his job Eren didn’t wish to question any further, because he knew that if he wouldn’t get reasons right away, he wouldn’t get them at all. Only if the omega decided to share his thoughts on his own, that was the only time he’d learn something new from his short love interest.

“And?”

“Sorry?”

“What did you hear?” the short man silently asked, and judging by the way his shoulders slumped and immediately tensed, Eren knew he must have felt vulnerable at the moment. The brunet’s sight dropped to the floor as he opened his mouth to say something, but just smiled instead and then looked back at him. This time around, he didn’t quiet his steps as he walked towards him with the same intention as before, a determined look on his face as he creeped closer to the man who didn’t seem like he’d want anyone close to himself at the moment, but Eren knew better.

He knew better than the man himself that Levi needed a hug.

“There’s… still so much I don’t know about you. I guess it’s only natural for you to try and bury the past, but… there’s no way someone would be like that if it was something small. No one would be scared of getting hurt just because he was caught speaking something in his sleep. Why… would you feel like that? Why don’t you let me understand? The only thing I want from you is…”

Levi felt gentle arms wrap around his waist again, and even though he had been anticipating it, he still froze when Eren pulled him closer, his chin resting on top of his head.

“For you to feel safe.”

“Oi, don’t fuck with me, idiot. What did you hear?” he said, but there was no real venom in his words. His eyes weren’t focused on anything in particular, and were dull. Eren smiled at Levi’s voice, even though the smile didn’t have anything to do with positive feelings, knowing that even though his voice still sounded firm and strict, he was actually desperate to hear the answer. The way his brows furrowed told him that much. The beta soon bent down to realign their eyes before slightly smiling, noticing the way Levi’s eyes dropped down to his lips for a brief second before glaring up again.

“It’s… not of any importance, sir. I couldn’t even quite catch it, honestly”, his smile turned bigger as his heart clenched at the memory, “just… mumbling. A whole lot of mumbling.”

“Why would you tell me any of this, then?”

“I…” a lump suddenly grew in Eren’s throat, so he didn’t say anything anymore. Instead, he gently pecked the omega’s cheek and slowly looked up to his eyes to see that they looked just the same as before, so he sweetly smiled, “Come back soon, Levi, sir. The town is at least two good hours of going by foot away, so I’d recommend you try to catch some Zs. I… won’t bother you anymore, if that’s why you woke up.”

He then slowly parted from him before rushing back into the darkness, followed by Levi’s eyes that stared at him. After he had disappeared into the darkness, Levi huffed and turned back to his task, frowning deeply as his eyes went narrow.

“Tch.”

His hand instinctively traveled to the cheek the younger had kissed, gently touching it before grunting and wiping it harshly.

Chapter Text

The kingdom of Paradis- a kingdom of humans with enhanced abilities that help them survive and made life on this largely destitute island possible. Its landmass is inhabited by a constantly decreasing number of people consisting of mostly betas, followed by a relatively large number of Alphas. The population decreases every year because of rather unfortunate sequences- planned actions to ensure the remaining number of humans has enough food to survive. The climate isn’t favorable for many kinds of crops; its mass is largely covered in snow, especially on the northern part of the island. The temperatures rarely go above thirty degrees Celsius in summer, whilst the northern part remains cold. Mountains and hills cover the mass. A few rivers made their way from mountains towards the ocean, presumably. The humans hadn’t gone over the walls for over fifteen years now. The ones who had gone- saw, but never returned to tell the story. The mass is divided into sections. The wind blows to the east, so the factories were built in the centre of the island, and the royal castle was placed on the far west of the island. The landmass is secured from all sides with a giant wall built to keep the monsters away from the rest of the world, and this wall is being protected by soldiers at all hours, to ensure only the ones with permission could leave the island. Of course, the real humans can enter the walls whenever they want to, though with the counterattack the king has planned, not many make it back.

The island isn’t what the name suggests at all.

The king of Paradis- Erwin Smith- a noble man who doesn’t stand the injustice the outsiders had brought upon their kind. Fighting for freedom and caring for the poor, he makes sure the decreasing number doesn’t fall drastically, but sacrifices must be done to sustain the ones who have privileges. One would suggest that royalty doesn’t go between the commonalty other than for propaganda, but Erwin quite enjoys his small trips to the town. Although smiling all the time, he rarely displays any kind of emotions, which is why the people don’t know what to think of him, really, but as long as they have food and homes, they seem to be contended. But the king hasn’t left his throne room for weeks now.

The castle- white in color, with a large gate that has a woman’s face painted on, it stands in a small meadow filled with bluish flowers and bright green grass- as a complete contrast to the life on the east. The workers living in there have shelter and food, and even get to work for the king, which is why lots of people tried to enter the gate and present their talents to the king- he didn’t really care. The only people living in there is the king himself, a number of beta servants who mostly clean or cook, and a few counselors accompanied by only the greatest of warriors. There’re also a handful of women that came out of nowhere, but the king doesn’t talk about them, so no one does.

The king’s closest counselor- Hange Zoe. No one knows how she got into the castle considering she never gave advice at all and rather just went off on her own little adventures at first, but even though she always seems to be upbeat, there’s something quite scary about her that makes the others go out of her way. Even when cheerfully walking down the huge hallways that have frescos all over them like that day. Her glasses secured to her head with mere duct tape, because if they fall down she’s as blind as a mole, her hair made into a messy, oily ponytail, and a couple of books under her arm, in those baggy black pants of hers and the oversized white shirt she stuffed into them, this is how she makes her way to the throne room of the king every day, opening that huge door with brute force harshly, saying the same thing as everyday when she enters: “STILL NO SIGHT OF HIM!”

“You see, if the target gets lured into the underground, it is easier to surround them with a su-“ the king stopped explaining the new tactic to Dot Pixis, another counselor, as Hange came bursting into the door loudly.

“Erwin,”, she bowed a little, but then ran ahead to reach the tall, burly blond, “the omega still hasn’t been sighted.”

The king showed a small smile and nodded in understanding before speaking: “Hange. Thank you. I do not think he really ventured out of the border by himself as we have been informed, though. Even if he is an omega, he is not that stupid. I have known him long enough to know so.”

“Your strategy won’t work that way if you decide to attack the target from a visible standpoint like this”, she said as she took a quick glance at the small wooden board displaying wooden figurines of soldiers and horses, “they can’t smell us, Erwin. You should probably work on a tactic based off of multiple soldiers surrounding them, but not from here, but from above.”

“Hange-“

“Oh, and by the way, about the omega…” she cut the king off and continued talking despite him wanting to continue, “he couldn’t have escaped because it’d take him approximately at least two whole days to get to the eastern part of the wall. You know, the one with that hole in it which we, by the way, haven’t managed to seal yet”, she rambled on and the other two in the giant, echoic room looked at each other, “so there’s no possible way he could have climbed out since we have workers there that have been working on the damage for about two weeks by now, and they said they haven’t seen anyone in particular there, especially not an omega in heat running amok… otherwise they’d probably take advantage of him and that wouldn’t be something to forget considering-“

“Hange”, Erwin warned and she widely smiled and faced him again.

“Right, right. Well, other than that, he couldn’t have gotten really far because of his company, am I right?” she blinked a few times waiting for the king to respond, but since he didn’t, she continued, “Yes, well, they said they lost him somewhere in the rain and he got away. They’ve presumably been attacked by a young pair, an Alpha and a beta respectively, who decided to defend the omega, for whatever reason. They got sidetracked and beat up by the Alpha, they said, and during the combat the omega seemed to have vanished. That’s their story at least… which doesn’t seem really plausible, considering there were seven grown Alphas against one, and a beta on the sidewalk. We took them in for later questioning, but they refused to tell us anything else besides that, which is why I even preformed some tests on them… but there is no evidence of the omega’s fluids, except blood. That- doesn’t count. I don’t think we should believe them… but there is no reason not to at least try, right?”

Erwin nodded and smirked.

“And you suggest?”

“Going to look for them, of course!” she exclaimed eagerly and took a few seconds to calm herself, “There isn’t much I could look for, based off what I’ve been told. But, if it’s true what the guardsmen said, they couldn’t identify the smell of one of them at all.”

Erwin’s huge eyebrows furrowed at that.

“It could be possible that the person has developed some kind of method to conceal their scent. If that is the case-“ Pixis started, but the overly zealous beta cut him off.

“In the heat of battle, not showing one’s scent to provide the attacker with guesses of what he’s feeling? That’s like committing suicide!” the counselor laughed and searched for a paper inside of the books she had been holding under her arm, “I’ve been told…” she searched for the exact passage before looking back up at them, “…I’ve been told that the beta didn’t participate in the battle at all and left the Alpha to do all the work. He seemed to have run off at some point, because when the guardsmen couldn’t smell the omega and regained their senses, there was no beta- anywhere. If that was the case… then it could mean that he helped the omega escape. It seems we’re dealing with a smart fellow, then. No scent equals no trace. No trace equals no progress. And considering he isn’t really known around the parts, and nobody really paid attention to what was going on because of the bad weather approaching, there isn’t a lot to say about him. Only that he seems to…” she searched for another passage, “…have brown hair and looks pissed off.”

“This could mean that he helped the omega get away… or followed him”, Erwin concluded.

Hange nodded, a huge grin appearing on her face as her cheeks got rosy.

“Yes, yes! But… imagine if it was another scenario. Imagine if the beta wasn’t a beta at all. After all, they’ve told me that he’s a beta just because they couldn’t register any particular scent Alphas or omegas give off. Then he wouldn’t be able to help him. He wouldn’t be strong enough because he hadn’t been working his whole life, considering our little muffin is 65 kilos heavy.”

“You are complicating things, Mrs. Zoe. Are you implying that he is an outsider…?” Pixis asked, smiling, and Hange put a finger over her mouth, facing him.

“Well, not really, I’m just putting all of the possible scenarios in front of you”, she widely smiled again, “Whatever the case, there is a small chance that the beta could have taken him away, not help him escape, because, clearly, the omega never made it to the eastern part of the wall. What is strange is that the Alpha that defended him didn’t even bet an eye when the omega had disappeared, so she seemed to be under control all the time, which is… weird. Her interest wasn’t the omega… and with her following the beta… it could mean that, in fact, the beta had the upper hand here.”

“A beta? The upper hand?” Erwin questioned, putting a finger at his chin. Hange seemed to think for a while as well, crossing her arms and furrowing her brows before a wide smirk reappeared on her face.

“The beta, or the outsider, yes. For some reason, he was interested in the omega. Whether he wanted to take a specimen outside of the wall, knows him from before, has a job to take him somewhere, or just has a personal interest in him… it means we gotta track the scentless man down. I mean… I guess Levi’s pretty attractive, I can’t really say he doesn’t have taste”, Hange laughed, but received a stern look from the king, so she cleared her throat awkwardly.

“So… you are going to invest time and effort into capturing a man that has no scent at all, between all these people? Alphas, betas, omegas and their scents? Am I reading this correctly?” the other counselor questioned.

“It’s out of the question. I mean, the other way around. It’s out of the question not to try.”

“This particular omega is of much more value than any other out there…” Erwin said and looked at Pixis, “there is no possible way we can choose another one to make the heir. He is needed.”

Hange nodded.

“He couldn’t have taken him outside of the wall, we have members of the Garrison surveying the area at all times. No one comes and goes from neither side. Also, if he had a job to take him to someone else, it’ll be a huge problem for you. With no motive at all, you won’t be able to find him unless the omega himself shows up”, Pixis said.

“Yes, yes,”, Hange mumbled excitedly, “but if he really just wanted to shelter him somewhere… He would either have him placed somewhere remote where no one would be able to find him, or somewhere completely unexpected, like between commonalty. And considering he isn’t known around these parts and is a beta, he most likely can’t afford a place in the centre and has to go towards the borders… we can’t possibly know if it’s towards the eastern, northern or southern border. It doesn’t really matter though. Whatever the case, he must come out of his hideout at some point. The only thing we can hope for is to find the brunet, even though he might have given our omega away. He’ll say something. We can torture him as long as we need to”, she said and chuckled, “he’ll spit it out eventually.”

“We have to get him back until the next mating season”, Erwin continued, “otherwise there will be no war. And if there is no war, there is no freedom for our kind. Hange,”, he turned towards his first counselor and she smiled widely, “we are not taking any more risks as well. If we find this supposed beta, corrupted beta or outsider, we are capturing him. If he is a spy- eliminate him.”

“Even if he is, Your Majesty,”, the other counselor spoke and chugged on the alcohol he kept in a small bottle in the inside of his coat, “with no scent, and only hair color and a badly defined personality trait, we won’t get far if we don’t get lucky. And you know how ‘lucky’ exactly our kingdom really is…” he watched Erwin’s brows furrow slowly, “this will be like finding the needle in a haystack, especially if he is unknown by society.”

The king spent a few seconds thinking everything over before nodding to himself and standing up from his throne, a determined look on his face and his eyes shining brightly.

“Prepare the troops, Hange. Tell them everything they need to know about our suspect, and tell them not to hold back. And Dot Pixis,”, he turned towards the man who was inspecting the bottle he drank from, “I assume you will take lead in the defense of the wall, if it comes to that. If he truly is an outsider, he might have accomplices.”


“I thought you wanted me to go back to sleep”, Levi’s voice came from the back, yet he didn’t turn to face him, “then why the hell would you be all the way out here? Thought I might kill you in your sleep?” the silvery voice of the short man made the corner of Eren’s lips turn upwards.

“Didn’t think you’d walk all the way over here to find me”, the teen answered without looking at him, but rather looking up at the dark sky that displayed a few stars randomly scattered around the huge easel that was hanging from the heavens, positioning his hands back onto his thighs as he sat in a squat-like style. It was a still night – not even the grass was moving along with the wind, and no one was outside. It wasn’t often that people would just stray out at such a cold night, but Eren was the exception. In fact, he came out whenever he felt the need to ease himself, and his breathing.

“You have to be kidding”, the omega silently responded and took a few steps towards the beta, walking slowly, as if he were afraid to disturb the peace the other had found himself in. The wet concrete under his bare feet didn’t really bother him as he paced forward, but he still walked warily, “When I returned to the couch, you weren’t anywhere to be found.”

“You got worried?”

“No”, the omega simply stated and crossed his arms over his chest before taking the last few steps that parted him from the other man, standing right next to him, at the last stair that parted them from the ground, “I didn’t want to be alone in there. It doesn’t feel right.”

The brunet to his side nodded once before shrugging his shoulders.

“It’s not home. Of course it doesn’t feel right”, he silently responded, his head steadily bent down to take the opportunity of Levi actually being able to see his face away from him, “One would think it’s too cramped in it, but, in all honesty, I’ve never heard anyone around these parts complain when they do get a visit.”

“You have visitors?” Levi didn’t sound interested in the slightest. This never stopped Eren from talking to him, though.

“Yeah. Sometimes family members come to keep us company. Jean’s mom brings us cookies from time to time, for example”, he chuckled, “the horse always gets mad. Then there’s Sasha’s dad, Connie’s parents… I don’t know, sometimes it’s just… nice here. Most people only criticize this house, but actually, some of our fondest memories came from right here. The stair I’m sitting at, for example…” he passed his thin fingers over the wet surface.

“If you actually wanted to think about this house, you wouldn’t have exited it”, Levi cut him off before Eren could plummet into another one of his ‘very important life stories’, “Something’s on your mind.”

Eren, as expected, didn’t say anything. His gaze was once again fixed on the few stars on the black sky, and Levi followed it. The puny white dots didn’t exactly capture his interest, but he really didn’t have anything better to do, so he heavily sighed and put a hand onto his forehead before speaking: “Those stars are nothing like the ones outside.”

The brunet’s confused gaze travelled up to meet Levi’s eyes, but those steel blue orbs were fixed on the background already. Feeling the teen’s stare on him, he fought the urge to scowl. Instead, his eyes half-closed and the edges of them softened to the point of him actually looking relaxed while awake for once. Eren had to stay calm once he felt the noble man’s fingers pass through his hair, feeling a light blush creep up to his cheeks, but breathing in deeply to stay in position without causing a stir in the man’s actions.

“Mother used to tell me all about them. The stars outside the wall, on the other side”, he silently said and finally looked down, only to see sea blue eyes focused solely on him. And even though there was passion in them there was also a sense of childlike wonder thrown into the mix. The older man stepped down to touch the wet asphalt beneath him before sitting down right next to the beta, “She knew exactly how they were mapped out. She could tell me stories that were tied to them, and how exactly every constellation was called”, his sight travelled back up, “this is nothing compared to the outside world, she told me.”

“Was she ever out there…?” Eren silently asked so he wouldn’t break the peace, but even though he tried not to, he seemed to have unsettled the man somehow as his brows furrowed again.

“You are really unaware of the situation, aren’t you?” a bitter voice came from the brunet’s side, but Eren couldn’t register anything venomous on the man’s facial expression as he spoke. Nothing came after those words. Silence engulfed them completely. Everything already seemed to be sleeping, and the world was still for once.

“Do me a favor, Eren…” the man beside him whispered and curled in on himself, Eren’s eyes watching him intently, “and don’t even try to find out what happened. You're better off if you don’t know anything.”

The teen copied his movement before sliding closer, smiling sweetly when Levi narrowed his eyes at him.

“Forgive me if I’m wrong, sir…” he started silently, “but you seem to be quite fond of the world outside as well. I haven’t really noticed until now, but you’ve always been kind of disproving of the way how things work around here… Do things function in another way, out there?” he asked and looked into the distance, as if he could picture the wall protecting them from the outside world, “Well, can’t be lying to you now. I’ve always wondered if things go that way out there as well. I mean, as far as I know, they don’t have the attributes we have, right? That means there’s not such a… difference between people out there, right?” the teen curiously looked to his right, searching for approval in Levi’s eyes, but got slightly discouraged as Levi didn’t show any signs of him being right, “I m-mean… there shouldn’t be, at least. Can’t think of why they’d do that-“

“They are people, Eren,”, the omega silently stated, sighing as he searched for the other man’s eyes, “just like us. Thus, they make mistakes just like us. I don’t know how it’s out there in general, but it can’t be good if the world is ruled by people. Corruption, intolerance and deception are parts of human nature. Some tend to navigate towards those. Others keep those parts of themselves hidden beneath a thick layer of lies, while a minority honestly doesn’t have to deal with such dirt of a characteristic. Those, however, have other shortcomings. The outsiders… the people out there, they’re but a twisted version of us. They’re not that different. But they didn’t see it, which is why we were proclaimed animals and thrown into a cage to prosper on our own…  It’s sad, how dumb humans can be.”

The teen stopped playing with his hoodie zipper once Levi finished talking, looking back into his eyes coyly. The noble didn’t display any kind of emotion as he looked right back.

“I wanted to escape the wall once”, he suddenly added, and Eren’s eyes lit up.

“Really?”

Levi scowled and looked at his arms crossed at his chest, nuzzling into Eren’s side a little to keep himself warm. The idea of wearing a see-through white button-up shirt didn’t seem to be the right choice of clothes after all. The younger clasped his hands and set them between his legs, making himself smaller so that the omega would fall into him. It didn't happen.

“I was stupid”, the omega said, but after a few seconds added, “I still am.”

A few seconds passed before Eren gathered the courage to ask: “You still want to? Escape?”

The omega glanced at him from the side before returning his sight to the scenery in front of him.

“I… don’t know. I didn’t feel like it was necessary until… well, that day.”

Eren nervously chuckled.

“It’s just… unfair. I guess I wanted to escape reality; what I am. After my uncle passed away, I began thinking about what he had said to me that day, you know…? And when I heard that the king actually agreed… to such an atrocity…” he shook his head a little and took a deep breath, “I found myself thinking of what would be to happen if I just escaped this damned prison. I mean, entering the real human world and seeing how the world looks like there… be unnoticed ‘cause people wouldn’t smell what I am from the start… and just, live like a normal being for once, without being looked down upon. No Alphas immediately on your tail, no betas to rush to your side to pamper you for all that regal shit… No offense”, he said and Eren smiled a bit, shrugging, “And the smell. How would it smell out there. Have you ever thought about that?” he asked Eren just like he knew the answer the teen would have, which he did, and upon receiving nothing but a poorly suppressed smile Levi tried to ignore, the omega continued, “The air in my childhood… Every single scent mixed up in a deathly stench. Basically, it smelt like shit. Once I got out of those surroundings, I thought it’d get better, but… the atmosphere is still shit. Yes, but out there…” he looked down again, his eyes softening, “Mother once told me… She told me the air out there didn’t taste like shit and piss… but like freedom. The wind blows openly. The sky is open. True freedom… might be out there. The freedom of not needing to be what we are, and going against all odds… standards and those sick rules, biological and traditional. But this – what we have here – people with pheromones stuck up their asses ruling this piece of shit land like it’s a fucking slave factory - pathetic. It prevents us from seeing true beauty, and feeling real emotions. There’s… a chance out there. Unexplored territory with different lifestyles and different stories. All kinds of food, machinery, animals… Different words that mean different things, rituals that express emotions… people flying. Eren, out there – there’s everything. They most probably don’t even realize it, but when you stop for a second and think of what you have…”

The beta watched the petite man’s expression for a while before his own expression softened as well. Suddenly, he smiled and let out a silent chuckle that the other immediately picked up. The raven-haired man’s eyes half-closed and he crooked his head to the side to see Eren’s bright smile.

“What is it?” the voice he let out was soft, silent, welcoming, even.

“I… didn’t think you’d be a dreamer, sir, that’s all."

The raven kept staring at him for a little while before answering: “Well, people do tend to imagine things sometimes. Think of the world from another perspective… Eren. Wasn’t this why you stepped out of the room as well?”

The brunet suddenly tensed. After a second, he grasped the older man's forearm firmly. Levi immediately looked into Eren’s eyes, which contained the same ferocity as always. The beta stared into the omega’s eyes, the omega reflected his emotions easily without seemingly letting them pass through the barrier, and they didn’t move at all. The teen suddenly grinned and shyly looked away, but the other was still set on simply looking at him knowingly. Tilting his head, Levi rested his thigh against Eren’s and made the beta’s hold falter. That’s when the omega suddenly cupped the dumbly giggling man’s face and pulled him closer, just to observe whatever was unfolding before him.

“Sorry… I really don’t know what’s gotten into me”, Eren silently said as he pressed his own hands on top of the omega’s, looking down at the floor, “I just… I really want to…”

“You want me to stop being affiliated with royal matters and can’t find a way to approach me with such a heavy question. After all, wanting for someone of a low rank like me to just tear away from his responsibilities is a task that is pretty much impossible for the both of us. Thus, you concluded that the best thing you could do at the moment was try to find some distance from me and ignore the fact that you’ll never be able to do anything about the matter at hand, but you can’t let go”, Levi’s eyes narrowed as he pressed his fingers into the brunet’s skin, forcing Eren to look up again, “But, please do. Please stop while you can and let go.”

Eren stopped for a moment, realization hitting the back of his head.

“You feel it too, don’t you, sir?”

“Tch.”

“The overwhelming sense of belonging to the very person you’re holding right now, sir!” Eren yelled, grasping the omega’s sinewy hands tightly, “You’re telling me this because you want me to make it easier for you, aren’t you?”

“In such circumstances, there is no way for you to act based on your feelings and desires, Eren. If the king discovers but one dent in my story, one flaw on my skin-“

“I’m dead meat…” he said and pressed his nose against Levi’s again, whispering the other part, “But I’d die happy.”

“You are but a fool.”

“What’s that profound way of speakin’ all of a sudden?” a huge grin spread across the beta’s face, his fervent gaze trying to crack the ice that protected Levi’s eyes, "Where're the swearwords at? Is this a wall you’re building around yourself, sir?"

“It might just be”, he silently said and tilted his head just to tease, it seemed, “and it might just help you from throwing yourself into the hands of the king himself.”

“You keep calling the king out…” the teen continued whilst still holding his stare, “yet you never once mentioned your own feelings. It leads me to believe you’re just trying to hide what I’m trying to throw on top of you, sir”, he said and led the omega’s hands behind his own back, never seizing eye contact with him, “But I do get that. Betas aren’t allowed to have affairs. Omegas are bound to bond with an Alpha and that’s it- that’s their whole life story. Personal interests and reasons to exist don’t matter here, in the end. It all comes down to this principle”, the brunet slammed their foreheads together, breathing the next sentence through his teeth.

“I hate it. I hate Alphas for deciding life to be that way. I hate them for what they did to you. To every other Omega out there”, the brunet’s low voice shook as he spoke, and Levi saw that the man’s furious glare couldn’t meet his own gaze, “I can’t help it, Levi… sir. I-I hate inequality… I hate injustice with everything I h-have… And for me… to not realize that until now… That Armin was sent to the school with us betas to be protected… That you’re being used in such a way…” a tear slid down his cheek as he closed his eyes, “And then I’m the one to fucking cry. You went through so much, and the only thing I do is scream at you and keep you locked in here… But I’m not letting go, Levi!”

The brunet’s cold hands suddenly grabbed Levi’s face and pulled it up to make him look at himself, his lips quivering as he spoke to the calm omega.

“I will NEVER let them have you! If it’s to protect at least one of you…”

The pale omega just stared for a while, searching for something inside Eren’s teal eyes again, but this time, it seemed as if he found what he was looking for. After a while, his eyes half-closed and his youthful face relaxed completely, reading what he had found in his eyes again and again, just like he’d reread the favorite passages in the few books he had read over and over, every time finding a new charm to the sentences that were already burnt into the back of his memory.

“It would require a miracle for even one, you know…”

“Levi, sir…” Eren said and chuckled, “…you’re hopeless. I’m trying my best here…” he sniffled and wiped a hot tear off his face with the back of his hand, “…yet you keep… uh, ruining, the moment. Sir.”

“Ruining the moment?” Levi’s eyes half-closed, the slightest of smiles playing on the corners of his lips, “I merely told you the truth.”

“Can’t a guy dream?” the brunet laughed, suddenly feeling stupid for the tears that streamed down his face a few seconds ago.

“It’s better if he just keeps being himself, that guy. He can’t change anything… But at least he can make someone feel at home, you know?” Levi silently said and reached out a hand to wipe the remaining tear off of the young man’s face, trying to ignore the way the brunet’s eyes lit up. What ultimately made his heart skip a beat was the way the man smiled after that, though, smiling from ear to ear, closing his eyes and showing his teeth almost proudly. And Levi honestly couldn’t help himself when he genuinely smiled as well, turning his head in another direction to hide it, but cursing out loud once Eren started laughing and returning his gaze to the teen shortly after, the smile still not going away.

Chapter Text

“Once a fool, always a fool. Where the hell did that brain of yours wander this time…?” Levi thought as he stood right in front of the window that displayed the usual rooftop scene, wet and dirty and completely uninteresting. He clenched the cup that was cupped in both of his hands, a scowl forming on his face “Doing such a reckless thing without even considering all of the outcomes…? Do you want your people to suffer yet another time? I think you know very well what happened the last time… and this time around, there’s no one to stop the war. There is no one to win it, that is. Back then we had soldiers upon soldiers, trained in the harshest of ways to ensure victory, and always split them in half to surprise the enemy if they were to win the first wave…” he sipped on his tea, his emotionless eyes looking down into the dark liquid, “What do we have now? Hungry families. Homeless people. A steadily falling number of citizens so your fatty friends could hold feasts. I’m not blaming you. Your predecessors were the ones who started all of it. But you never did keep your vow”, he looked back to see the beta still sleeping on the couch, sprawled all over it like he’d always be, “When you lose all you have, that’s when you realize just how much you’ve had. It’s common knowledge… but up until now, I never thought of it. How the people live here… No, how they survive”, the omega turned away from the window and spent a few seconds just looking ahead of himself before slowly approaching the couch, “If outsiders were to come in again… You shouldn’t be thinking about freeing your kind this way; possibly endangering half of the population. But you’re not above that, I’ve known you for quite the time to realize that… Stopping at nothing to pursue that dream you have…  People like that are… idiots”, he half-closed his eyes, “Idiots that are bound to bring change.”

The small man approached the couch, and before sitting on it abruptly, he heavily sighed, his weak legs still quivering when standing, “I really need some exercise”, he said and sat right on top of Eren’s abdomen harshly, the young man’s eyes flying open in shock and confusion and releasing a yelp at the impact. The teen’s blurry sight had to focus for a while before identifying the rather heavy object on top of him. The confusion on his face was fairly visible as he blinked a few times.

“Levi…?” he tiredly asked, shifting his head a bit to get a better look at his face, his longish hair staying at its position as he moved, “What are you…?”

The grumpy man frowned at him and narrowed his brows before positioning himself so that he’d be facing the man under him, with one leg at each side.

“I can’t wait any longer, Eren.”

The confused brunet stared for a while, unable to piece the puzzle together, before his sight fell at the part of his body where the man sat at. He then quickly looked up at the raven again and blinked a few times, still not really knowing what he was supposed to do with that. As Eren didn’t open his mouth to neither answer nor ask, they ended up looking at each other for a while. Levi tightly closed his eyes as he realized that the brunet was still somewhere in the dream world, so he decided to explain after all, looking back down at him.

“I’ve been up for the past three hours. I really didn’t want to wake you, but you can’t expect me to just wait the whole day, can you now?” he took a sip of his beverage, “My muscles are sore. I can feel them ache for movement. I have no idea how long I’ve been in here, but I’m certain that this is the longest fucking time that I didn’t do anything besides eat and walk around aimlessly. I feel confined.”

“Ngghh… Should I free you… or something…?” the brunet silently responded, tiredly rubbing his left eye. The omega watched him for a while before clicking his tongue.

“Didn’t you promise me you’d escort me to town today?”

“Ah… yes…” Eren mumbled before yawning tiredly, squirming a bit under Levi to stretch, “I… do remember something like that.”

The omega’s brows furrowed as his eyes adopted a dark look to them, his bangs falling over his eyes ever so slightly.

“Are you shitting me or are you seriously such a numbskull?”

The beta nervously smiled for a second before the smile turned into a bright one again.

“Don’t worry, sir. I always keep my promises. It’d be against my nature not to fulfill one.”

“You’re avoiding my question, brat. I didn’t ask you about that”, Levi continued, positioning himself into the beta’s lap so the other man could sit up straight. He didn’t really notice up until then that he’d always search his company, but honestly, he couldn’t care less. Eren didn’t seem to complain, which must have meant that it was alright on both sides. The brunet kept watching him for a while before slowly sitting up, one of his hands immediately touching the back of his head to realign that unruly hair of his. He stopped when Levi’s fingers suddenly tangled in his hair as well, and he just stared ahead of himself, watching the older man observe the wisp of his dark brown hair intently, from all sides. He would be lying to himself if he didn’t think of this gesture as of an act only close people could do without making it feel odd. Was he close to Levi, though? His heart stung at the thought of that –it was a sting of beautiful, longing pain.

“Your hair’s growing fast,”, the man silently said, raising a brow and looking back into the brunet’s eyes with no emotion present in his as he spoke, “the first time I saw you, it was half its length.”

“Uh… really?” Eren asked, lacking a better response. He really didn’t know what to do with that information.

“You shouldn’t cut it, though.”

“You… think so?”

The noble man, dressed in nothing but a big plain black shirt and skinny white jeans, drinking tea from a half-cracked cup, sitting on top of him in a fashion that could be considered inappropriate, hummed in approval and played with that strand of hair for a while before combing it behind his ear.

“Wait… How come you remember?” Eren asked when he felt as if the conversation was about to fall apart, “I mean… you’ve been stuck with me for a long while. Did you really keep track of my hair length?” the brunet asked and smiled when Levi frowned at him.

“Well, the image of a stranger yanking you from the ground and throwing you over his shoulder in a lousy attempt to kidnap me…” the omega showed a small smile, “Who could forget such an image?”

The brunet’s mouth half-opened and he stared for a while, unsure of how to respond to that. His mouth opened and closed again as he was unable to form a sentence, not sure how to approach the subject and not wanting to ask a thing he really shouldn’t be asking. He was once again reminded of Levi’s impatience when the raven-haired man suddenly bumped his forehead into Eren’s lightly, parting from him immediately and tilting his head to the side.

“I think wondering what the other would say in this and that situation at this point is pretty irrational”, he calmly said, sighing, “I know what you’re thinking of anyway. Yes, I wasn’t completely unconscious when it happened.”

“Y-You… weren’t, eh…?” the teen nervously asked, a light blush appearing on his cheeks.

“No, I was just… frozen at that point. My body seemed to have been in such a shock from all of that happening that I couldn’t get it moving. I’ve seen you and that girl… your sister, was it? Didn’t really register you back then, though… I could smell the powerful scent she was giving off as she challenged those others and I, honestly, couldn’t think at that moment. I was petrified. It was as if… all of them were fighting… not for me, but… you know. My body, rather. And then when this random person managed to pick me up, cursing under his breath as he ran the opposite way, and me not being able to identify his scent… I thought I was a goner for sure. If not dead, at least my life would fall apart. I guess… I fell unconscious from all that pressure and blood loss.”

“I’m… sorry, sir”, Eren said, coyly lowering his head to appear weaker.

“Don’t be”, Levi immediately answered, “You wouldn’t have been able to help if you didn’t do it by force. I greatly appreciate your intrusion. Still, I haven’t stopped wondering why you don’t have any kind of scent”, he said and suddenly leaned closer, getting his face closer to the back of his neck and ignoring the teen’s complete stillness as he did that, “Did you develop a technique of hiding your scent or…?”

“Uh…” Eren didn’t even think of responding as he waited for the other man to return to his previous position. He was still getting used to the ‘sitting in my lap’ thing; he couldn’t take two attacks at the same time. The contact burned. Eren’s head went empty. He was so close.

“It’d be really useful to know such a thing… It could be that you somehow triggered the withdrawal of your attributes… blocking out your scent glands, that is”, the man said and passed his boney fingers across Eren’s scent gland, Eren praying that the omega would notice how embarrassed he was at the moment, “Which would be pretty amazing… Or you could simply have been using illegal products to conceal them… But at this day and age? Someone actually still buying those? It would kind of be a suicide attempt, would it not…?”

“Ah… yes…”

The omega turned up right in front of him again, but didn’t waste a second to grab Eren’s left wrist and turn it upside-down, brining it close to his nose to try to find any kind of indication of a scent. Eren was a blushing mess at this point, but Levi didn’t seem shy about any of it, no matter how private this actually was.

Once the omega made sure there was absolutely nothing, he narrowed his eyes and passed a thumb over the scent gland on his wrist, earning a muffled yip from the brunet across him. Levi didn’t pay attention to that, though. He seemed enamored by the fact that Eren didn’t have what he’d have to have – something that was considered normal. The brunet was basically an abomination running on two feet and everyone knew – except Eren. And Levi never understood why anyone thought of something as wrong, and not as different.

“Fascinating”, the man stated, still absorbed into his subject of investigation, “I bet a friend of mine would run all kinds of experiments on you if she had the chance to. You seem to be that calm type of patient as well – everything for society.”

“What?” a low sound came into the omega’s ears and he spent a few seconds just observing his wrist before looking up to meet his wide, baffled eyes. Smirking a little, he half-closed his eyes and pressed a soft kiss to the spot he observed before, watching the younger man’s cheeks burn in a deeper shade of red. The beta yanked his hand out of the raven’s, cupping his wrist with his other hand and looked away for a few seconds before shyly looking back at the man that still had a smirk gracing his visage. He somehow looked even younger than before.

“I… honestly hope you kissed me; and not the abnormality that I am…”

“Well…” Levi sighed as the smirk disappeared, leaving behind a mask of cool, “I tend to gravitate towards things that aren’t so common, you know...”

Eren was glaring daggers at him.

“What?”

“Don’t you ‘what’ me, sir.”

“Hoh?” Levi asked, genuinely confused by now. That attitude wasn’t really expected. Suddenly, the teen jumped at him, switching their positions in a heartbeat and smiling down at the man that didn’t even bat an eye at the action. Eren leaned closer, reaching the man’s ear and feeling Levi’s eyes on him.

“You enjoy being treated this way, don’t you, sir…?” the teen purred into his ear, a fake smirk on his face as his heart threatened to jump out of his chest, every beat scolding him for trying such a thing, “That feeling of domination over someone under you… You’ve never had that before, right?”

“The hell…?” Levi just asked, narrowing his eyes at the desperate teen above him.

“Don’t play with me, sir, please. You see what it does to me, don’t you…?” he whispered, his smile widening, “That smirk from before… I must remind you, unfortunately, that I’m still the one who’d be in- AH!” he suddenly felt a pair of strong arms grab him and in a second he found himself on the perfectly clean floor, slamming his back against the ground with the heavy omega on top of him, his hands holding the teen’s shoulders in place. Levi’s face was blank, and if Eren hadn’t spent all his time together with the man, he wouldn’t have noticed that small spark in his eyes he’d get every time he’d prove Eren wrong. The beta couldn’t complain though; his heart was still beating at a fast pace, disabling him from forming sentences correctly and think clearly in general.

There goes his reputation he never had and never will have.

Their eyes locked, none of them moving in the slightest bit. Then suddenly, something inside Eren clicked, and his eyes widened. The moment when Eren seemed to realize which way this could go if they didn’t stop triggered something in Levi as well it seemed as the man’s eyes widened at Eren’s squirming. Instead of backing off as Eren planned on though, the omega did exactly the opposite – his lips immediately assaulted Eren’s long neck. The teen gasped in surprise, opening his eyes widely and breathing sporadically as the man’s kisses travelled from his collar bones to over his Adam’s apple, higher, higher…

“Levi, wh-wha…” the young man breathed as the raven lightly bit on his lower jaw, a low growl erupting from his throat. The man then proceeded to lick the bitten place softly before lowering his body closer to Eren’s, pushing his knee right between the beta’s legs and earning another yelp. The omega’s face appeared in front of Eren’s, a slight smirk present on his face as he joined their foreheads, Eren staring up at him with widely opened eyes.

“You see…” the man’s voice was hoarse as he spoke, “I… like challenges.”

The man beneath him whimpered.

“And I hate losing”, he further explained, his hands travelling down to take the beta’s and guide them up so he’d wrap his arms around his neck, and Eren did so without question. Before Levi could say anything else though, the teen slammed their lips together, trying to fight the man that didn’t seem so fond of that. After pulling on Levi’s soft hair though, the man finally relaxed as the younger man’s lips moved in sync with his, dancing to the same rhythm, as if they could read each other’s thoughts as they joined in, breaking the kisses only to take a short breath before continuing. Levi’s hands moved down to grab the man by the hem of his shirt, just to hold onto something as a churning feeling started appearing in his abdomen. The older suddenly stopped, his entire body freezing, and Eren used the moment to pull away, staring into the man’s widely opened eyes. He saw his pupils search for something again, but he suddenly shook his head and went to reach the man again, but Eren had placed a hand above his lips to prevent him from further advancing. The half-closed eyes and their dilated pupils that stared down on him didn’t help the situation at all, and the carefully planned sentence in Eren’s head broke down to a simple question.

“What are we, sir?” the beta asked, out of breath, as his other hand went to grab a hold onto the man’s firm shoulder, his fingers sliding across the rough fabric of Levi’s shirt as if he was touch starved. Eren’s eyes shone brightly. Levi remained expressionless as he pressed his cheek against the man’s palm instinctively, seeking out every inch of skin and taking all the body contact the not-so-common beta could provide. Once he met Eren’s eyes again, he pressed a gentle kiss to his wrist again, travelling downwards.

“Morons, Eren…” he breathed between kisses, his eyes falling close at some point whilst worshipping the other man’s arm, “People whose biology went the wrong way, and now we’re outcasts”, he suddenly opened his eyes again, finding himself above Eren’s face again in the blink of an eye, “trying to find comfort in each other.”

“And the fact that…” Eren added, his hands travelling down to grab the man by the waist harshly, his eyes set on Levi’s, “we can’t do anything against fate makes it even more desirable.”

“We mustn’t”, Levi said, making the man beneath him moan as his knee accidentally brushed over his part. Levi’s hands went up to cup the beta’s face desperately, his fingers widely spread to capture every single inch of the man’s face, his eyes telling Eren a mixture of stories that tried to explain something, but Eren couldn’t possibly tell what they were telling. Levi was hiding something.

“We mustn’t”, Eren breathed, his cold hands finding their way up Levi’s spine and making the omega shiver. Their eyes were still locked, and none could unlock them; it’s as if they were staring at each other to see which one would falter first, but this ultimately led to Eren repositioning to be closer to the man’s knee that didn’t move at all, his breathing growing louder as the man just kept staring at him instead of doing something. He knew he was desperate, but he didn’t want to help it. The man above him parted his lips, but didn’t say anything – just stared. He soon half-closed his eyes and leaned down to press a kiss to the corner of Eren’s lip gently.

“Let’s play a game, Eren,”, Levi said, looking down at Eren’s lips longingly, “from now on, the first one to kiss the other loses. And the loser has to fulfill the other’s wish.”

The beta beneath him growled all of a sudden.

“You sly omega, you…making me play a game as torturous as this”, his hands latched onto the man’s shoulder blades, pulling himself up as the strong ‘lower species’ held him, “Are you really gonna do this now? While you clearly want to go against it as well?!”

Eren’s eyes spoke everything that he couldn’t bring himself to say. They were glistening, deep. A bitter smirk found its place on his young face, baring his white teeth as if it would change a thing. The omega pushed him down again, his forehead pressing against Eren’s harshly as the teen fought back determinedly. Breathing into each other’s face deeply, unwavering in their devotion to their opposite plans, holding as much of the other as they could, they just lay there.

“If it’s something we both want, sir, why fight it?”

“If it’s something that will ruin our lives, why do it?”

They both knew the other’s motivation, but refused to accept it. It’s why they suddenly growled at each other, digging their fingers into each other’s skin in frustration, pressing their noses against each other’s, threatening each other to comply while at the same time hoping their lips would meet eventually. Since that didn’t happen, they kept struggling, waiting for the other to lose the game as the younger took the opportunity to wrap his legs around the omega’s thin waist and try to get him out of balance. Falling to the side, Eren took the initiative to top him, his face right in the other man’s, his hands left and right from his head, trapping him underneath his body. Levi stopped growling, growing tense and glaring into the other’s eyes. The teen didn’t glare back; his eyes were wide and desperate as he tried to get his point across.

“What are you afraid of?!” he yelled whilst heavily breathing, but since Levi just looked away from him after some time, he continued, “Answer me, sir, please! I’ll…”

Eren stopped mid-sentence once he heard a high-pitched grunt he was already familiar with, unfortunately. His blood ran cold as it suddenly occurred to him why Levi wasn’t growling anymore or even looking at him, his expressionless face facing the couch, his legs tightly pressed against each other. He seemed calm, but that didn’t justify anything.

“L-Levi…” the man’s name escaped the brunet’s lips and he heard a whimper coming from the omega’s throat. Eren slowly reached forward and gently pressed a kiss against the man’s earlobe before slowly backing off on all fours, falling on the butt when he was sure the distance between them was large enough. He didn’t say anything as he waited for the omega to get up, but every second felt like an hour of nothing happening. When the raven finally sat up again, pressing his knees against his chest and wrapping his arms around his legs, the teen did nothing but look down to the floor. The omega kept watching him for a while as well, sighing as he pressed his left cheek against his knee, breathing in deeply. He was still trembling, but pretended to be as grumpy as always, a cold expression on his face.

“I know…” the omega breathed, “I could have told you. But I… really thought I got over it. And now you know…” he showed a weak, fake smile, “I should have stopped the moment I realized this wouldn’t go as I hope it would, I guess…”

The beta didn’t respond, but Levi could read the question in his eyes.

“I like you, Eren. I like you a lot”, he said and looked down to the ground, curling in on himself, “I couldn’t control myself, and thus got you mixed up in my personal problems. It’s not your fault.”

“Levi, sir…” Eren finally responded, his reddish eyes searching for the noble man’s, “did you really think I would… do that to you?”

The omega looked up at him before saying: “No. You wouldn’t even know how to, I believe… Other than that, I know you wouldn’t because you’re not like them. You’d never use people to your advantage or for sadistic purposes, you’d let yourself be killed before doing that. If there is a goal you cannot accomplish yourself, you’ll never seek out help, you’ll just continue pushing the rock up that hill and hope to overcome it one day. It’s not about you at all. I just… my body just can’t take it anymore, I guess. I… I’ve been used before…” the omega’s voice dropped, “no matter my will, my body is trying to block everything out. And part of my brain knows I’m already taken, so I can’t let you be close to me, no matter if I want you to be or not. It’s… hard, and I might lose myself. And if that were to happen, it could go in two different ways: either you get hurt, or I get hurt. There’s no third option.”

“Let me hold your hand”, Eren said out of the blue and Levi immediately raised his head to look at the beta with his head tilted to the side.

“Excuse me?”

“Sir…” Eren silently said, looking down and closing his eyes tightly before approaching the man and sitting back down right in front of him, crossing his legs, “Sir, please, let me hold your hand. I don’t need anything else from you.”

“What are you saying?”

“That I want you to stay close to me as long as possible”, he silently said, taking the small pale hand into his and intertwining their fingers, covering it with his other hand as well, “I never felt for anyone as strongly as I feel for you, and I doubt anyone would even come in question ever again. I know you feel it too, Levi, sir. We belong to each other… It’s like I was made for you just so you could have someone to hold your hand and keep it warm, because everyone else would refuse to, if they knew what you had to endure…”

Levi looked down.

“I don’t know all of it yet, but I can only imagine…” the teen needed a few more seconds of calm before continuing, “That king of yours is never going to treat you like I treat you, and you know it, and that’s why you seem to be fond of me. But sir, let me assure you, even if you hated me, I would never back away from you – because I love you.”

The omega’s eyes immediately looked into Eren’s as he heard that, a scornful look setting on his face.

“And I’m not asking of you to feel the same, neither am I asking of you to run away from reality… I just want to be close to you for as long as possible. I just need… your hand, in mine. I don’t need anything else; betas aren’t made for romance anyway. We are here to devote our hearts. And I devote mine to yours.”

The omega rolled his eyes dramatically, a small smile forming on Eren’s face.

“You cheesy bastard…” his free hand found its way to his forehead, “…why the fuck would you say such crap?”

“It’s not crap…” Eren said, sounding a bit offended.

“No, I…” Levi perked up all of a sudden, his hand still on his head and his head shaking left to right, “I am literally dumfounded right now and do not know how to respond to such a statement.”

“Then don’t. It’s not like I-”

O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art as glorious to thins night, being o’er my head, as is a winged messenger of heaven unto the white-upturned wond’ring eyes of mortals that fall back to gaze on him… Was that a good enough response? I sure hope it was because I’ve been rereading the same quote for years and hoped to be presented an opportunity to use it in life, once”, the omega teased, cupping his face with both of his hands and breathing in deeply, “Do you have any idea what this means, that confession of yours?” the muffled sound of Levi’s light voice made the brunet smile again.

“I might act stupid, but I’m not, I assure you. I know how I feel.”

“No”, the omega responded and lifted his head up just enough to reveal his steel blue, shining eyes, “I didn’t question your feelings. I questioned if you know what this means for us…” he snorted before hiding his face again, shaking his head, “It means we’re screwed.”

 “I knew that all along, sir”, the teen smiled knowingly, sitting upright in a quick motion, “I’ve known that ever since I stopped thinking the way I was supposed to.”

Chapter Text

“We really shouldn’t be wasting our time on this…” the omega sighed and looked away from the eager brunet who was still aligning the big hood of the dark green coat he possessed, but put on Levi so the omega wouldn’t have to be cold once they got out. It had started snowing some time ago, and Eren insisted on Levi wearing his coat, even though the ‘snow’ was actually just a few snowflakes that melted as soon as they fell. The nineteen year old shrugged as he stepped away whilst still having his hands on the man’s shoulders, tilting his head to the left and to the right to take in Levi’s entire form before he bit on his lower lip and approached him again, realigning the hood once again. Levi sighed exasperatedly at the brunet’s action before rolling his eyes and crossing his arms over his chest protectively, looking down at the floor and frowning, “I really don’t understand your point… You’ll be going out with that old-ass hoodie of yours. Why can’t I just leave like that? Remember? I’ve been through worse.”

“I don’t want them looking at you”, Eren responded and dumbly smiled when the omega’s death stare landed on him. The teen chuckled before looking away as well, explaining, “What? I don’t need anyone jumping around my Omega…”

“Don’t you dare call me that”, the older man grimly responded, tearing away from the brunet whose hands stayed in the same position as he did so, still searching for his company. He didn’t look surprised at all, so the omega quickly figured he was expecting him to react like that, which is why he turned away again and clicked his tongue, taking the zipper and trying to close his coat, yet it seemed to be broken. He heard the other man approach, yet he paid him no attention as he began buttoning the green coat, the brownish-gray fur of the hood around him tickling his face. He saw the man’s fingers reach the upper part of his coat before he could protest, and after finishing his part, he just let his arms fall to the side and relaxed as Eren continued buttoning the coat, resting his chin on Levi’s shoulder and nuzzling his nose into the raven’s rough shirt beneath the coat, “You know how much I hate being called a possession.”

“I never accused you of being one, sir”, the beta responded and finished buttoning the coat, smiling a bit before pressing his smile against the omega’s skin, feeling a short tremor on the omega’s side and smiling wider.

“Do we have everything we need?” the shorter man asked whilst taking the satchel that hung from Eren’s side at the same time, opening it a bit to look at the contents of the bag. As he felt the other man’s arms wrap around his upper body, he passed his fingers through the brunet’s unruly hair with his free hand, the fingers tangling up in his locks and staying there as Eren kept gifting his neck with short, soft kisses. Raising a brow as he saw what they had stuffed in there, he let the bag fall to the teen’s side and realized the man had frozen for just a second, but once Levi decided to look at him, it was already too late; Eren was burying his nose in Levi’s collarbones all over again, and Levi wondered what the gesture meant to him since he couldn’t recognize his scent anyway.

“How come you smell so good?” the beta asked, Levi’s eyes setting on the man’s backside as he kept wiggling his hips as if he had a tail.

“Personal hygiene”, the omega responded, grabbing the teen by his forearms and guiding him back a bit to look into his shining eyes that practically sought out attention, “a thing you still have to acquire, my dear beta.”

Eren rolled his eyes playfully before smiling again and pressing another kiss against the man’s nose, his smile intensifying when he saw that the man’s facial expression remained as calm as always, yet there was the slightest of blushes gracing his cheeks at the same time.

“You really want to keep going.”

“Yes”, the beta immediately responded, his hands finding the omega’s under his oversized sleeves, pressing them tightly, “As long as you don’t respond to any of my… romantic advances, in your words, I’m allowed to keep up. You said so, didn’t you?”

“I guess I did…” the omega sighed and looked up into Eren’s eyes that were on him, like they’d always be, “but doesn’t it get boring after a while? Lonely, at least?”

“Lonely…?” Eren asked and smiled again, embracing the small man lightly and pressing Levi’s head against his chest, acting as if he didn’t notice the way the omega nuzzled into it immediately upon contact, “No, sir, as long as you let me do what I wanna do, I’ll be fine. And… I still think you’re just as messed up as I am. Sir.”

“Ah”, Levi breathed, raising his head up just to look at the teen’s face, “Do tell.”

“You’re asking ‘cause you still haven’t abandoned the hope that I might start hating you at some point because you never respond…” the young man said, leaving out the fact that Levi did respond most of the time, although subtly, “But let me assure you one more time, sir. There’s no way you’re getting out of this, and you’re losing at one point. I know that much.”

“May I remind you of the fact that I have already won our last game? I seriously doubt I will lose this one”, he purred and pushed the beta away from himself again, raising a brow at the teen’s confusion that was visible on his face, “Hurry now. I don’t intend to dwell here for any longer. Two hours by foot, you said. Go to bed earlier because it might get exhausting, you said.”

“Yeah…” Eren silently responded, looking down at the floor, leaving the minute to tense silence. The omega’s eyes went all over him before he leaned his weight at one leg and put his hands against his hips, ignoring the fact that the sleeves were so big that his hands never even reached the part where his hips were supposed to be. What was worse, he actually started appreciating the fact that he had to wear this brunet’s clothes – it gave him a false sense of familiarity… and home. He frowned. The word had an odd sound as it echoed in his head. Perhaps he was just getting used to the stench in Eren’s room though, and the scent of fabric softener had him on his knees. The raven-haired man stepped closer to face the beta and brushed against him softly as he walked ahead, leaving the brunet staring at Levi’s back with unexplainable awe in his eyes.

“I promise this isn’t a trick to get back. There is no need for you to worry”, the omega silently said before approaching the door, grabbing the doorknob and looking back to the brunet that still stood on the same spot as before, his big teal eyes still wide. Eren opened his mouth to say something, but the words never came out. Instead, he furrowed his brows and nodded determinedly, waddling over to him and staring into nothingness with such a fervent gaze that one might wonder if the brunet saw something others could not – but eventually, it just unnerved the omega and he shouldered him, which is why Eren yelped and immediately yanked the door open, stepping out of their small, unusually clean room, and went from the scent of lemon to the scent of puke in a second. Levi’s nose scrunched up, but he couldn’t say he was new to the stench. This house was full of horny Alphas after all, and the scent was everywhere. Rotten, old wood didn’t make the situation any better, nor did the scent of food rests someone had to carry around to get them to their room. The omega really started envying Eren at that point, for at least not being able to identify the scent of other people.

Eren noticed the way the omega curled in on himself because of the smell and chuckled as he locked his room.

“Well… at least there’s no hair in the carpet anymore…”

“Would you mind not reminding me of that?” Levi immediately responded, looking up with a dark look on his face.

“Yes”, Eren answered cheekily and ignored the older man’s death stare, trying to open the door once again to make sure their room was locked. After trying it for another two times, because he was that paranoid, he nodded to himself and  looked at Levi, who took this as an opportunity to walk off and leave the beta and his door on their own. The beta came rushing after the raven a second later, trying to keep up with the omega’s fast steps. The omega suddenly saw the teen to his side smile brightly, closing his eyes, and before he could register what was happening, he found his hand inside of Eren’s, which was ironically, he suddenly realized, smaller than his. The beta was walking so close to him that he could swear Eren was doing this to make everyone look at them.

“Have you lost your mind?” the omega silently argued, glaring up at the teen that looked a bit too cheerful to be alright. A moment ago, he was sulking, after all.

“Why?” he asked, that dumb smile still on his face. Levi stared at him for another few seconds before frowning again.

“Uh…” he stopped in his tracks, facing his odd companion, “did hormones bite you in the ass or some shit? ‘Cause I swear this ain’t normal”, he explained, sliding his hand out of Eren’s before grasping it tightly again.

“I… uh…” Eren tried, scratching the back of his head nervously, “well, I can’t really explain it myself… Sometimes, I get really excited about things as normal as these. On top of that, I didn’t exit the house for quite some time, and going out like this now, I guess it… it kinda got to me. I mean, I’m nervous, alright, but…”

The omega watched him from the side, a brow raised at the teen’s sudden mood change, before just shrugging it off and clicking his tongue, continuing forward and yanking the confused young man by the hand to walk with him, the teen stumbling after him but still trying to keep up with the grumpy man’s fast pace. Once he managed to reach him, he smiled brightly again, and he could swear the older man’s eyes softened as he saw him, but they narrowed as soon as a familiar voice broke the comfortable silence between them, calling out the brunet’s name and making Levi stop dead in his tracks rather grumpily, his hand immediately going up to palm his face, as if it would make him turn invisible.

“Eren!” the familiar voice called again and Levi looked up at the brunet scornfully, but decided not to say anything and just kept glaring into the palm of his hand. Eren turned his head into the direction the sound was coming from, not being able to resist the small smile that formed on his face the moment he saw his best friend rushing towards him, with his step sister walking right behind the blond, somehow being as fast as Armin, “Eren, where have you been?” the blond asked as he came closer, spreading his arms as he talked to the brunet who finally decided to turn into his direction, partly, because Levi was too stubborn to move in the slightest bit, “We started thinking you would never return to your normal life again… There’s been theories going on about you getting murdered by that scary omega as well and… uh…” the blonde omega suddenly stopped in his speech as he realized Eren wasn’t alone, but was holding someone’s hand, and if the dark hair of the shorter man wasn’t indication enough, the scent the other omega released got the blond to shut up immediately. Armin blinked a few times. He then proceeded to stare at the beta’s and the omega’s intertwined hands.

“Hello to you too, Armin…” his best friend sung, “you could have told them about him though, it’s not like it stayed a secret anyways…”

The blond omega kept staring as he spoke: “Well, there was… uh…” he shook his head, “There was no real need to, after all. Sasha and Connie found out, and you know how fast fama volat if they get to some kind of information… Like malady, it spreads.”

“Yeah, well, that’s Connie and Sash for you…” Eren repeated, scratching his eyebrow and smiling ever so slightly. Levi’s eyes shot up to him for just a second.

“That didn’t make the people worry less, though. Jean made sure to add as much attributes to our secret guest as he could, just to make his case more believable… well, to make himself look better, at least… Oh, by the way! Haven’t seen you in a long while too… uh…” Armin tried talking to the other omega, but he was pressed against the wall and most probably hoped to be left unnoticed by the world around him. He was given no response whatsoever, so the blond stepped closer to try to see his face, but Levi didn’t seem to be in the mood for conversation, “Um. Well, I’m glad you’re alright… sir… I… It was really scary, those wounds, you know. I… heh, actually thought I was going to witness a complete organ failure at some point, if you’d believe!” Armin thought his sentence was funny, so he laughed while Eren just stared, “Man! But you didn’t have such heavy injuries… although, I did find something that wasn’t supposed to be-“

“Is this information really necessary, Armin?” Eren jumped in, stepping a step ahead to meet the shorter man, “Levi’s… not really one to talk, you know… He’s more of a-“

“There’s many things I’m not supposed to be. For example, a heat bag fighting a pack of wild idiots who want to suck the living hell out of ya. Or stay here. Or take your friend away. I’m sorry if I’ve caused any inconveniences by keeping him inside of his room all day…” the raven-haired omega squeezed by Eren and ignored the way the teen stared at him, with his eyes wide open and asking ‘why’, to grab Armin by the hand and shake it once before reaching for Eren’s hand shamelessly again, a light blushing spreading across the teen’s face, “although I must admit… for a mere beta, he is rather clingy, wouldn’t you say?”

Armin widely smiled, nodding his head multiple times as if he was extremely pleased with what he had just heard.

“That’s Eren, alright. He never wants to be close to anyone, but once he does get close to someone, he can’t let go. As far as I can see, though, you don’t seem to be repelled by such behavior?”

Eren watched the conversation happening in front of him with wide eyes, unbelieving of what he was witnessing. Were those two omegas actually… bonding over his oddity? Mikasa, who was leaning against the wall in the back, was watching the small man carefully, but she didn’t seem too keen on interrupting the two omegas’ conversation yet, which was odd for her. Usually, she’d immediately jump at anyone being even remotely close to Eren, and now that someone was holding his hand, she wasn’t going to do anything? The young brunet was worried at this point.

“What is… happening? Why are those two just okay with this…? I mean, yes, it’s nice not to be criticized, but I expected Mikasa to jump in and want to break this apart… But by the looks of it, she isn’t grabbing for Levi’s neck yet. What is happening? Why is everyone just okay with me holding a taken omega’s hand? What kind of rumors are there?!”

“Ah! Eren! Why didn’t you tell me he was into books as well?!” Armin suddenly exclaimed, waking Eren from his thoughts and making him shake his head in surprise before looking down confusedly, “I never thought I’d meet another educated omega in my life!”

“I’d never thought I’d meet an omega that’s using drugs to suppress his scent, yet here we are.”

“Yeah, well…” Armin blushed and awkwardly put his hands behind his back.

“You’re WHAT?!”

“How do you think I’m concealing my scent, Eren?”

“If people realize that-“, Eren exclaimed, but got interrupted by a soft feminine voice calling for his name. Everyone immediately looked to the side to face the raven-haired, tall, slim woman staring at her high boots, her silky hair falling over her eyes.

The woman spent a few seconds looking down and waiting for everything to turn completely silent before she finally decided to push herself away from the wall, approaching the trio silently, her small steps heavily hitting the floor and making everyone look at her. The young woman’s pale face was completely expressionless as she stared into the distance, avoiding everything and anything with her gaze, her bright red scarf tightly wrapped around her neck and being held by her small, yet sinewy, scratched hand. An aura of dominance surrounded her, and with the silence across the hallway, she seemed to be the only thing that mattered at the moment. Her dull gaze finally seemed to fix on Levi as she got closer, and the man stared right back. The other two were just looking at her, one standing left, and one standing right from the raven, just as if he was about to be judged. She held her head up high, her little nose in the air, looking down at the lower species in front of her, intimidating her peers all the while. Levi, however, seemed unimpressed, and returned the cold gaze willingly.

“Is it just me or did the temperature drop in here?” Eren whispered to Armin, who was too intrigued to answer at the moment. Having received no response, he looked down to his love interest again, searching for any kind of sign of submission – none. At moments like these, he really envied Levi; if he were to recognize any kind of scent right now, he could know if there was a need to jump in or not. Standing here and waiting for something to happen seemed like the stupidest thing he could do at the moment, but he couldn’t just step between them.

…Could he?

“You seem to be affiliated with my brother”, she silently stated, her low voice paralyzing the blond next to Levi.

“Is that a problem”, he countered almost immediately, taking a step closer to her as if he was challenging her.

“Yes”, she responded just as quickly, still looking down on him.

Another minute of silence ensued before Mikasa spoke again.

“What are your intentions?”

Eren looked at her, confusion visible all over his face, but he didn’t protest as both the Alpha and the omega looked at him as if to calm him. Levi’s hand squeezed his, and with a low growl and a slight blush apparent on his face, he looked away from the small crowd, feeling as if he was being traded.

“I don’t think I have any”, Levi responded nonchalantly, standing his ground firmly even though Mikasa was seething, by the looks of it, “My affiliations with your so called brother are none of your concern. Our relationship is rather trivial at the moment. I plan on staying with him for a little longer, though, so do not concern yourself too much. I won’t bring any harm upon him, nor will I let anything happen to him. I might be of a lower rank than you are, but I assure you, if there is anything I am good at, it is slicing up flesh. My soldiers can confirm that.”

“Your soldiers?” Eren thought and looked back to the small omega whose attention was still glued to the Alpha. The brunet knew Levi could feel his stare on him, but he also knew he’d be avoiding the question for as long as possible, if he didn’t say anything else but that.

The tension between the group was heavy, even though the sources of the tension didn’t show any signs of weakness or submission. It looked as if they were communicating by just glaring into each other’s eyes, fighting over something that surely wasn’t worst fighting over.

Suddenly, Mikasa sighed, and just like that, all the tension in the air disappeared.

“Good”, she stated and nodded her head, more to herself than to anyone else, reopening her eyes after a few thoughtful seconds, “Take care of him for me, will you?”

“Am I transferring families right now?!” Eren couldn’t keep it in, but no one seemed to pay attention to him anymore.

“I’ll try my best”, Levi responded, and the poor brunet looked at him angrily, trying to get some of his attention to focus on him instead of… whatever this was at the moment, but almost all of Levi seemed to ignore him completely, besides his fingers that occasionally stroked his, “I promise.”

“Good”, she said and turned her back at them, but before she left, she added, “If you’re heading to town, there’s a train coming by in exactly two minutes. It will pass the area as soon as it reaches it, so you’ll have to be quick.”

“Are you suggesting – ugh!” Eren started, but got pulled away from his peers as Levi took the information seriously, already dragging him down the stairs as if it was a regular thing for him to do. After realizing shouting after Mikasa would be useless, he turned to the omega that seemed eager to reach the train in time and continued, “Are we really going to do this, sir?”

“Yes”, Levi immediately responded, looking back into his eyes for a brief moment before continuing to look into the direction they were headed into.

“Didn’t- didn’t you say you’d try to take care of me?” Eren exclaimed in desperation, but it didn’t seem to affect the short man as he just kept walking.

“I’m not going to endanger you, Eren,”, he responded whilst not even looking back at him, the brunet watching his undercut jump up and down as he walked down the stairs rapidly, “I never thought about pushing you in front of a train, if that is your concern.”

“Why would you even SAY that?!”


“It’s getting cold out there, Your Majesty”, the female beta next to him said, clutching her papers in her soft hands, her voice sounding almost like a whisper, “if there is a chance he might still be outside, somewhere… Don’t you think-“

“I trust the counselor and her theories”, the king immediately responded, smirking slightly as he looked to the side to take in the beta’s delicate form, “he is just fine. We will find him in no time – perhaps even today, who knows?”

“Your Majesty…” the beta started again, pushing her glasses up and clutching the papers in her hands a bit tighter, “…nobody understands your obsession with the omega. There is so many out there… So many without such a… such a background like him. Yet you are firmly set in your ways…”

The king laughed lightly, smiling at the beta that confronted him.

“Who he is, or rather was, does not matter at this point… Whether you believe it or not, Levi Ackerman is someone the kingdom simply cannot survive without. If this plan shatters, and if the kingdom does not get an heir of his blood… it will be unfathomable. He is the last one, after all… And if the humans were to attack…”

“Are you talking about his strategies, Your Majesty?” the beta went to ask after the king stopped talking all of a sudden, “If so, we do have quite capable strategists in our hands, and I believe you know as much, Your Greatness…”

“He is part of the reform-“

“The counselor has proven time and time again she can make formations just as good as his-“

“Who would have thought a disgrace like him could carry the future-“

“Mating season is coming closer as well… If someone were to find him before us, Your Majesty, it would have terrible consequences… terrible.”

“Do not even think of that”, the king’s voice suddenly rose, and he looked to the side in a second, an empty smile spreading across his face as he saw how terrified the beta momentarily became, even though he didn’t do anything to make her submit, “We are not taking possibilities into consideration. Even if he found someone before me…” the king looked back out of the window, watching the few small snowflakes that danced across his balcony before focusing on the far part of the town, the country, the kingdom he would give everything and throw everything away for, “we are bringing him back, and keeping him in this castle, and not letting him go”, his voice was gradually rising before it came to a halt again, the beta next to him looking up at him for some time before starting to drabble something into her papers nervously, “Not. Again. If he ever escapes again-“

The king suddenly calmed down again, smiling slightly.

“Bring me a cup of tea, please.”

The shaking beta next to him stared at the king for a while before she suddenly nodded her head multiple times and rushed out of the huge, golden hall, leaving the tall king behind to let him be alone with his thoughts.

 

Chapter Text

The tiniest of snowflakes were dancing in the windless air, slowly falling to the ground, only to be reduced into nothing but water, with its unique, perfectly clean structure falling apart. The air was brisk that afternoon, and no one seemed to be interested in leaving their homes that day, most probably because of the mud that formed because of the fresh snow. The sky was white, with no cloud present in the air. The cobbled pathways and rocky fences that this part of town was made of were completely wet and slippery, and the toxic smell of ozone combined with the smell of smoke was filling up Eren’s nostrils while he breathed for air heavily, his heart racing at a tremendous rate. The beta’s brows were furrowed and his jaws were clenched tightly, showing his white teeth to indicate just how much frustration the teen had built up in him. The small gap that parted him from the relatively fast steam locomotive seemed to be too close, and whilst he was running the fastest he could not to lose the omega that was waiting for him inside a partly-opened wagon, he was constantly worrying not to fall to his death.

“You said you wouldn’t! I mean, protect! Do, now!”

Luckily, the train had problems with having to meander because of the unreliable tracks of this part of the town, so it couldn’t really take Levi away from him, but he still had to jump into it. And Eren, being the polite beta that he was supposed to be all along, couldn’t get his mind to cooperate with his body, and he didn’t jump. He couldn’t.

“I can’t… Why can’t I jump?”

Desperately, he looked up to see the omega that stood on the edge of the wagon, looking at him with attentive eyes. His bare feet were tightly pressed to the metal of the vehicle, his toes curling onto the edge as if they were long enough to actually hold onto it. His pale face was turned towards him, a slight blush on his cheeks and the top of his nose because of the cold he was in. His black bangs moved with the wind, concealing one part of his face at time. With one arm outstretched to hold onto something as his body leaned forward, the man called Eren without having to say his name, or anything, even; Eren knew exactly what the raven-haired man asked of him.

“Stop being a pussy and jump, you moron.”

It was funny, how the only sentences Eren could read from his eyes were tied to desperate uses of curse words aimed at his inability. The teen, instead of answering, kept staring into his eyes.

“Do you want me to fucking die?!”

The raven’s brows furrowed for a second before he stepped closer to the edge, worrying the brunet even more and making him stumble forward, one hand touching the ground before he straightened himself up again and kept running after the man.

“Jump”, the raven ordered nonchalantly, his facial expression as stoic as ever.

“I can’t, sir!” the teen yelled, tried to at least, since he was out of breath, furrowing his brows at the older man, “Why… Why can’t we just… ugh… go… the normal way… huh…”

“Jump”, the raven repeated, a bit louder this time, his legs parted in a stance that indicated that he was going to try and catch the brunet. The beta’s eyes widened as he searched for a sign of a joke on the man’s face, but, he couldn’t have really expected for him to joke about the situation, could he? Despite not even trusting his own abilities and not knowing if the omega really had enough strength to catch someone like him, the beta took a few large steps before jumping towards the wagon, soon feeling a pair of hands grabbing him by the hem of his shirt and harshly pulling him into the inside of the train, the beta finding himself rolling away from the outside just a second later, feeling his bones ache without even noticing that he was already on the inside of the wagon, lying on the floor, his cheek kissing the dirty ground. After a few seconds of watching the world around him spin, the beta finally focused his eyes on the ground before moving his head to look ahead of himself, meeting a pair of tight white jeans and bruised feet. His sight travelled upwards slowly, taking in every detail he could before he had to move his neck as well to look into the man’s cold, yet somewhat concerned-looking eyes. With the way they moved, Eren could guess that they were probably trying to calculate the damage that had been done to him, which is why he suddenly grinned and let out a low chuckle that sounded more stupid than he wanted it to, before silently adding: “Hi.”

Levi seemed to be lost at such a response at first, but his eyes soon returned to their old, annoyed-looking state, answering just as shortly: “Hello.”

The brunet’s smile intensified and he sat up clumsily, looking up at the raven-haired man and waiting for some kind of response. The omega was watching him for a while before crossing his arms over his chest, raising a brow at the scruffy man. Shaking his head slightly multiple times, he kneeled down, holding his right knee just above the ground in order to keep his white trousers clean. He then proceeded to unbutton the coat Eren gave him before again, earning a confused, yet intrigued glance from the other. Raising his brow at the brunet once again, he kept unbuttoning the thick coat before sliding out of it, noticing the way Eren’s brows furrowed.

“Levi…”

“You’ll catch a cold, brat.”

“What? You’re the one that’s walking around barefoot”, Eren retorted, pressing his cold hands to his red face to cool it a bit. He saw the man smile slightly at it, his half-closed eyes looking down at the ground.

“You don’t see what I see”, Levi silently responded, throwing the coat over the staring brunet’s shoulders and catching his stare, “You look like shit.”

“Oh, thank you”, the man immediately responded, his bluish eyes flaring to life before he tore his sight away from the omega, “Not everyone can just jump up a train like that, it’s not my fault that my parents raised me to be a pathetic laggard that can’t do shit in life…” he suddenly stopped in his sentence before he looked back at the raven and slightly smiled, looking down, “Th-thanks. For the coat, I mean.”

“It’s your coat”, the raven-haired man stated and stood up again, walking towards the other end of the wagon and leaning against the wall, looking out at the scenery that pretty much stayed the same like before; it only had new buildings thrown about here and there. The train’s speed seemed to pick up as well now, and the omega seemed to enjoy the way it cut through the air, his bangs dancing along with the passing air, one of his hairs catching a single snowflake. The brunet suddenly looked away from the scenery next to him and looked at the outside as well, smiling a bit. The wagon was trembling as the old train travelled down the ancient railways built just after the walls had come into existence, and the whiteness outside was blending with the whiteness of the sky above them.

“You know…” Eren soon started, getting no response from Levi whatsoever, “…being in here and looking at the outside world from our location… it really looks as if… there’s nothing out there at all.”

There was silence for a short period of time before Levi turned his head just enough to look back at the brunet whose eyes weren’t even on the scenery anymore, but were instead glued to him, as usual. The short man’s gaze travelled up and down the man before he returned his sight to the whiteness outside.

“It looks like that to you, you near-sighted prick.”

“Why am I a prick now, exactly?” Eren asked, sounding offended. After getting no response, the young man huffed and crossed his legs, watching the few snowflakes that got entangled in Levi’s silky hair intently before continuing, “Anyway, it feels as if we’re the only people on the planet right now, don’t you think…?”

“The train driver”, a soft voice came from the omega still absorbed in the outside world, “you forgot the train driver.”

Eren smiled.

“Yeah, him too… But… Levi? Doesn’t it make you feel… big too?”

The omega tilted his head to the left, but didn’t turn to face Eren.

“Are you mocking my size, Eren…?” the man’s voice sounded intimidating as it reached the brunet, so Eren awkwardly smiled and raised his hands into the air, shaking them in defense as if Levi was watching.

“No, no, no, sir… I wouldn’t, you know. Never”, the young man quickly said before taking a deep breath to continue, “Though… you’re being especially provocative today, sir.”

The teen received a low grunt as his response. It was enough.

“What I meant is…” the young brunet tried again, trying to put aside his creative expressions to get the point across, “Sometimes, like when you look at the stars and wonder just how many of them are still alive, it makes you feel so small and… insignificant in such a big universe, if you get what I mean. And yeah, everyone always says that, and the real meaning behind the sentence’s gone lost. There’s not many people out there who’d literally just sit down and stare up. But… you know, when I’m like this, being here in a cramped wagon with no one but you, and not seeing anything else except from whiteness, it makes me feel as if… there’s only us, here. And if there’s only us, then this is our world, right? And in our world, we’re big, right?”

“The biggest.”

“The biggest, yes!” Eren responded immediately, perking up as his improvised theory actually got to latch onto Levi, “Because in our teeny tiny world, there’s nothing else to see! It’s just us, and that makes us the rulers of our tiny universe. A universe to call our own, Levi!” the teen suddenly exclaimed, looking down at his hands because he finally realized that he was still staring at the small man’s back.

“There’s not just us, though”, Levi’s cold voice reached out to him and made his blood run cold for a mere second, “There’s no point in creating speculative terms in a world where everything has a law, and is connected to the point of every single thing being dependent on another, resulting in an easily breakable chain. Everything – and everyone, therefore – has a place in life, and no one can take one piece of it away and store it for their own. It would result in imbalance. And with imbalance comes destruction. We wouldn’t want that… would we…?”

Eren’s wide eyes suddenly went narrow as he swiftly stood up and walked up to the other man, but decided against it halfway and sat at the edge of the wagon, his feet dangling out of it and feeling Levi’s eyes watching him, awaiting a response eagerly. Logic and creativity just didn’t get along; that’s why they were attracted to each other.

“Levi…” Eren silently said and looked up, seeing the man’s sight immediately go back to the white scenery that stretched itself out in front of them, “If destruction is the only way to bring another thing to existence… why not?”

Levi’s eyesight travelled down to meet the brunet’s yet again, a slight smile forming on his lips as Eren’s fervent gaze didn’t part from him. This time though, Levi didn’t look away.

“I figured you’d say something like that”, he silently stated, that slight, somewhat shy smile still on his lips. Eren smiled at him as well then, looking down only when he felt his heart tumble from its supposed place. He then looked back at the scenery outstretched in front of him, finding nothing interesting in it.

“Say… why did you never tell me you liked reading? Could’ve gotten you a book or two. You know, that guy, Zeke? He’s got like a ton of books. I mean. If he wouldn’t give them to us, I could always borrow them without asking”, Eren said, waiting for a few seconds before looking back at his clasped hands in his lap, adding, “Wouldn’t be the first time.”

“I don’t think omegas are supposed to read, Eren.”

“I thought you never cared for your life, as long as you’re…” he stopped for a moment to think, noticing Levi glance at him, “confined in this prison… made out of swines, whores and globs of snot.”

“Goddamn globs of snot”, Levi perfected the statement before sliding down to sit next to the beta, pressing his knees to his chest and hugging his legs, “Glad you remembered, though.”

“Well… it was pretty memorable, I’ll give you that”, the teen said and shouldered him lightly, worrying for a second when Levi’s eyes narrowed at his stupidity, but the only thing the other did was clench his hand into a fist and press it against the brunet’s messy hair lightly, making the other man giggle. Eren didn’t do anything to remove his hand from his head, which is why it remained there.

“I loathe the books they try to make us read here, though”, Levi suddenly stated and Eren’s head turned to face him, his eyes asking of Levi to explain further, “They’re always the same. You have books that are written to make people believe that the system here is fine, and there are books about an individual not wanting to do something and going against that. Of course, that individual ends up right, realizes his perception was wrong, but he still gets what he wants nevertheless. It all belongs in the same trashcan, if you ask me.”

“Ouch”, Eren laughed.

“I don’t blame the authors. I’m not saying that they don’t have talent – they clearly do. I also don’t have such a broad insight into our literary creation, so I can’t tell for sure, but I know that the books that aren’t written by those rules, that go against our system, are burned. And the writers imprisoned.”

“Well…” Eren sighed, “…what kind of books do you read then?”

“Outsider books.”

“Outsider books?” the genuinely confused teen repeated, moving so that the omega’s hand fell from his head, “How?”

“My uncle had some books lying around his place. He… actually had the nerves to teach me how to…” his eyes grew distant for a while, a low shine emitting from them, “Most of his books were pretty boring, as he said himself. Sometimes we used them to fuel the fireplace, which was by far my favorite activity: tearing down pages and throwing them into fire. We’d do that pretty often… even though it wasn’t that cold, sometimes. There was just something nice in laughing at the burning pages of happily bonded people…”

“Yeah, old bonded couples can be so annoying sometimes…”

“You’re missing the point”, Levi said as he looked back at him, and Eren smiled widely in return, “Anyway, he had a special bookshelf. Only one”, Levi gestured with his index finger, his eyes alive as he explained, “That old man told me those were the only books that weren’t ‘made of shit’, as he expressed himself. He also told me that our family had a branch, at some point… that branch being my mother, and me. I don’t really know the details, I can only assume them… but I guess at some point, my mother visited the outside world. Uncle never talked about that, but he did mention her getting those books for him. All of them were written by the same author, William Shakespeare. That old man was so fond of him, I still remember him speaking of the way the author would kill off all the characters…”

“Kill them off? As in… all of them?” Eren asked, seeming genuinely curious.

“Almost, yes. Good guys, bad guys, everyone. The main characters usually have an idea and are completely enamored by it, so much so that they can’t fathom to change it at any point in life. They’re highly complex characters, individuals who stray from protocol, just to get what they want… but even if their goal is accomplished, they meet tragic ends. Fate laughs in their face every time. Two people, falling in love and not able to realize it because they are not fated to be with each other – they die. A man who has much potential, a woman that adores him, a life ahead of himself, throwing all of that away to get revenge for his father and to die having accomplished his goal, but never seeing its fruit. The ways they die… it’s gruesome, respectively. After all, these people committed a crime, more or less, and are punished for it; punished for not thinking the way others do, and not taking what they could have had, but searching for just one thing.”

The teen was silent for a while, his eyes looking into Levi’s as he seemed to be thinking about what had been said. Did they belong into such a book as well, for being this different?

“No.”

“Is that why you don’t want of me to get closer to you…? Because of a few books you read?” Eren accused and waited for Levi to defend himself, but the raven just tore his eyes away from Eren and looked into the distance again, his brows furrowing. The beta smiled at such a belief; it was odd of Levi to think of a few books as law, but at the same time, there was an ache in his heart, a shudder of anticipation. What if there was some truth to it? Death did seem more realistic than eternal happiness and satisfaction… Did Levi feel it too?

“You never did draw me, in the end”, Levi suddenly changed the subject and Eren looked at him skeptically at first, but he soon turned curious, his eyes shining with mirth.

“I can draw you now…” the teen said, a slight smile on his face as he repositioned himself to be able to see the omega next to him entirely, “if you’d like to, of course…” he silently added, his eyes falling to Levi’s plump lips as that hard thump of his heart scared him a bit again.

“How?” the omega silently responded as well, trying to match Eren’s tone. The teen’s eyes coyly looked at him again, a dumb smile spreading across his face.

“I… don’t know”, he laughed, “I could draw you in words, but… words are just that. Words. Other than that, I’ll never be as good as the author of the books you’ve read… I don’t have a pen, pencil, nothing. Sculpt? I don’t have anything to capture that scornful look that I get every time I say something stupid…” the teen looked down again, carefully cupping the man’s face with trembling hands that were unusually warm. The omega didn’t move, nor take his eyes off the beta that held him, “Like… The time I said it, remember…?” the beta silently continued, his eyes meeting Levi’s again, his lips trembling as he fought to keep the smile on, looking at the man’s slight frown, “The time I said I…” the brunet said and pressed his forehead against Levi’s, “And actually…”

The young beta soon felt the other man’s arms wrap around him, pulling him closer.

“Don’t”, Levi silently responded, grasping the beta’s hair, “I don’t want you to.”

The only response Levi got was Eren shaking his head left and right, his grip on the man loosening since Levi held him in that position anyway. The omega was looking down at the ground as Eren needed a few more seconds to relax into him completely, before he pressed his cold, red lips against Levi’s shoulder. The omega soon heard the beta in his hands snort, so he looked away from the ground to look at the back of his head.

“So… uh… I was wonderin’…” the beta started, pressing his forehead into Levi’s shoulder as a big grin stretched out across his face, “You do that often? The jumping onto running trains, I mean.”

“Let’s say I’m… used to it, by now”, the omega responded, playing with a strand of Eren’s hair with his middle and index finger, acting as if he were cutting it.

“Like… I saw you run off at some point and you’re up in a second. And I was all… What the hell. What now?”

“Well… you did try to follow me. And you made it up eventually, so I guess you’re not as bad as I initially thought”, he said, ruffling the younger man’s hair which in turn made the beta growl in protest before he backed off, “Not that  I thought of the fact that you could have possibly been crushed by that massive locomotive… or get stuck in the gap…” he sighed, a slight smile on his face as he spoke the next part, “I’m not good at maintaining promises, am I?”

Eren shook his head, pressing his hands down to his crossed legs and bending down a bit.

“I was warned. I’m the one to blame”, he said and saw Levi’s smile fade from the side, his calculating eyes set on him as Eren continued, “I mean, I’m a beta. Supposed to be a worker, right? I couldn’t even jump up… Well, actually, no, I take that back. It’s not that I’m a beta; lots of us wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s the fact that… heh… I’ve always been really competitive. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s admirable for an Omega to act like you. I know you’re not the only one to defy the laws of biology, kinda, but you’re the only one crazy enough to jump up a train and actually enjoy it”, he smiled and looked back at Levi, whose eyes were still watching him carefully, “And back then when you beat up Jean… you didn’t do it because you had to, did you? You thought like that: oh, that guy seems to be an asshole to my ray of hope, so I’m gonna beat the shit out of him. Didn’t you?”

The bright smile the teen flashed him made him smile as well, but his brows furrowed and he looked back outside: “I would never think of you in such a way, but… I guess I can see where you are coming from.”

“You wanted to do that stuff not as a sign of protest, but as a trait. You acted on impulse, and weren’t rational. Later on you started to think about it, so you realized it wasn’t the best decision ever…” his smile faded as he remembered that day again, but he kept his eyes on Levi’s.

“Your point being?”

“That you’re an amazing person and I want to be just like you”, Eren said nonchalantly, as if saying such a thing was something so terribly normal to him that it got handled as a simple fact. The teen suddenly felt Levi’s bare foot kicking his shoulder and staying there, almost pushing him to the side which would surely result in Eren falling down, “What?! I mean it…”

“You may become such a person yourself, Eren… but it’s not me”, Levi silently said, still not removing his leg from Eren, but crossing his arms over his chest, angrily looking at the teen under his black bangs, “Whatever I do is with a purpose, I don’t stand in the present. Before making a choice, I consider all of the possibilities… because I’m not normal, which you must be aware of, by now. Though, I don’t recall ever speaking of my abnormality in a bad way. I’m glad I’m different. In everyday situations, I am lost constantly, but if something unbelievable ever were to happen, I’d be the first one to step into action. It’s not that I don’t think, and act on impulse… I trust my instinct, and think in a different way. That’s why I thought I’d be able to change his mind, at some point.”

Eren’s eyes lost their shine when Levi mentioned him, but the teen didn’t back off.

“You mean the king’s… right?”

The omega nodded, his leg sliding from the brunet’s shoulder into his lap, and he put his other leg into Eren’s lap soon enough too, delicately crossing them and leaning the back of his head against the wall behind him. Eren’s hands fell to the ground, holding himself in place as he leaned back as well, just to have a better view of Levi’s face.

“Sometimes I wonder if that guy’s even able to change a thought once it gets into his mind…” he shook his head, “I swear he’s worse than you.”

“What?!” Eren exclaimed, a smile on his face as he furrowed his brows, trying to act offended but failing tragically, “No one’s worse than me!” at the roll of Levi’s eyes, the nineteen year old smirked again and looked back into the grayish sky, shaking his head, “If that guy keeps up, I’ll be outta my job.”

“You mean… annoying people around you, or being a stubborn little shit…?” the omega teased.

“Both”, Eren responded, looking back at the older man, “I seriously can’t stand this guy.”

“Oh-hoh”, Levi sung, “He’s your king, Eren.”

“What? Is he gonna be butthurt if one out of thousands of betas decides to turn the other way and isn’t brainwashed by all the propaganda that’s happening around town?”

“You’re terrible”, Levi said after a few seconds, dangling his feet in Eren’s lap whilst looking down at the ground. They both stopped talking for a while and just breathed whilst thinking of what topic to tackle next; one to make the other either laugh or roll his eyes. As more time happened to pass by, though, both of them realized conversations weren’t really their thing, which is why they just kept sitting at their positions and looking out the wagon, watching the big stone structures that were built around town, even though they weren’t really paying attention to detail at the moment. Every single one looked just like the other to them, even though every statue was different, and every second felt like an hour. And they both lived the moment more than ever before, though neither of them could say such a thing. A few minutes later, Eren’s sight slowly travelled towards the small, pale man, whose eyes remained focused on the landscape surrounding them. His hands were white at this point, clearly half-frozen, but he still held them against his chest in the same position as before. His cheeks were red from the cold that surrounded them, his light eyes reflecting a grey hue because of the white sky were half-closed, clearly tired, and his feet were almost blue at this point, but his toes would still curl and uncurl from time to time, which Eren knew he did to make sure they were still mobile, his lips a snowy white color, parted to release visible hot air out. Eren’s cold hands slowly reached the man’s legs and he picked them up, sitting down to face him before parting the man’s legs and getting closer to him. Levi didn’t even look at him.

“You’re freezing up, sir”, Eren silently said and pressed his body against Levi’s, pushing him further into the wall as he felt the man’s legs wrap around his waist. Eren’s eyebrows lowered as he continued, “I’m… sorry I don’t have another coat. I was sure I’d never need two…” he chuckled, but there was nothing funny about that statement at all. The omega was still looking at the outside, though his arms snaked under the other’s coat and he wrapped them around Eren’s chest. The beta leaned into him and exhaled through his nose loudly.

“That red scarf Mikasa has… I gave it to her once, you know. It’s… very old”, he laughed again, “I had it since childhood. She was cold once, so I just wrapped it around her, and she kept it ever since. I… I wanted to buy her a new one, but I guess that’ll have to wait… One from the far west, you know. They have the best clothes there, but they aren’t exactly cheap. Or affordable.”

 “And you’re telling me this because…?” Levi silently questioned, making Eren chuckle again as he buried his nose into Levi’s rough shirt again, closing his eyes that burned from the cold.

“I don’t know”, the teen said before falling silent again, breathing in Levi’s natural scent of tea and holding his petite frame lightly, gently, as if the other man needed it, “It’s nice talking to you, so I do. There’s not much more to it. It’s nice having someone that’d listen to you, for once.”

“What makes you think I actually listen to your constant rambling?” the man responded, making Eren snort again.

“I hope you do”, Eren silently responded, tilting his head to the side so his cheek would be able to rest on the man’s firm shoulder. He opened his eyes just for a few seconds before closing them again, snuggling closer. He shuddered a bit when he soon felt the older man’s cold, long fingers travel up his neck with his index and middle finger, as if a figure was walking up his upper spine slowly, stopping on his nape where the fingers’ walking became a slight stroke of his thumb, the rest of Levi’s fingers gently wrapping around the man’s neck. The teen jumped up all of a sudden, protecting his neck from the man’s hand by holding it over his nape, meeting Levi’s calm eyes and his expressionless face, “Stop that… Your hands are freezing!”

The man just kept watching him, as if he was waiting for something to happen. The teen stared back for a while before quickly grabbing his hands and clasping them together, putting his around Levi’s firmly, Eren’s fingers intertwining Levi’s before he intertwined his own on top of the man’s hands. His sight went back to Levi’s, but the man wasn’t watching him anymore. He was looking down at their pale, frozen hands. Eren felt heat in his cheeks again. He looked down as well as Levi rearranged their hands so that they were holding each other’s hands, instead of holding their own. As he looked back to the man’s face, he saw that nothing had changed – nothing except of his eyes, which looked at peace. The younger man coyly smiled before bringing their hands down, burying his nose into the crook of Levi’s neck again.

“Yours are too”, the omega silently responded, and Eren answered with a quick, slight nod.

“Levi… sir…” Eren silently said after a while, “you don’t plan on returning to him… do you…?”

Eren could feel how Levi’s heart basically skipped a beat when he heard what Eren had to say. The omega took a few seconds to calm himself before he sighed and pressed his chin on top of Eren’s head, his thumbs massaging Eren’s palms ever so slightly, carefully, before finally answering, as silent as he could, yet still with a tone of humor: “Define ‘return’…”

The brunet smiled.

“I’m sorry.”

A few seconds passed with no one saying anything anymore, and that had Eren draw his hands out of Levi’s and part from the omega that watched every single one of his moves carefully. The brunet still watched Levi’s face for a moment, his eyes searching for any kind of answer to the question in his head, but he eventually just looked down and planned on sliding away again, but the omega suddenly grabbed both of his wrists harshly, bending down to search for the brunet’s eyes that were covered by his unkempt bangs that had a habit of falling over his eyes, now that they were so long.

“What for?” the man silently asked, meeting Eren’s bluish eyes.

“There’s… I…” the younger man stuttered before biting his lower lip and shaking his head left and right, “I… our agreement, sir.”

The man watched him with that calculating stare again, investigating his facial expression carefully and thoroughly. When he met Eren’s gaze, he didn’t turn away from it anymore, and waited for an answer, his eyes cursing Eren for being so shy. The teen suddenly furrowed his brows at the shorter man, as if scolding him for not knowing what he was talking about. Levi then narrowed his eyes back at him, a scowl appearing on his face. After a few seconds, Eren sighed and his brows lowered again, his lips turning into a slight frown and his gaze falling to the ground. Levi’s hand suddenly gripped the other man’s hair again and pulled him down to be on his level, making the young beta yelp in pain as he was brought down to look into the man’s cold eyes.

“L-Levi… stop it already… geez… it really-“ he was stopped mid-sentence by the omega as he gently pressed his lips against Eren’s, but it didn’t take the brunet long to return the gesture, pressing the other against the wall again and earning a surprised yelp from Levi this time around. Once their lips parted, the omega’s grip on Eren’s hair lessened, but he still held the brunet in place, his face a mere inch apart from his, both of them staring into each others’ eyes with childlike wonder and fake innocence, as if they hadn’t kissed before. After a while though, Eren widely smiled as he saw the shy smile Levi showed, and Levi hid his face behind his palms as Eren’s arms wrapped around his petite figure.

The train had already stopped.

Chapter Text

“What does he see in me?” the thought jumped into Eren’s head before he had a chance to escape it, making him look away from the petite man walking in front of him hurryingly, his small bare feet meeting the wet stone beneath him, “Why would he be so fond of me…? It’s not as if I’m responsible for saving him, and he knows that just as much as I do. He’s an Omega that hates the system so much, he’d destroy it if he had a chance to. One would say he’d have to despise me then, for having such a blank outlook on the world before I met him… He doesn’t need me, or my protection, for clearly, he’s stronger and more experienced than me. He says stay, I go. He says hate me, I worship him. I’m neither clever, nor funny, nor pretty, and am by no means helpful to him. Why would he ever kiss me, even if we agreed not to? Is it because I’m different? Does it make me a tragic hero, and does it make me a part of the book he’s been writing in his head…?” the teen shook his head and put a hand over his face, “No… he might like that view of the world, but he isn’t a slave of literacy. He knows how to tell real from fictional, after all. Why would a person like him, such a delicate, intelligent, strong person… ever have eyes for someone like me? A poor peasant with nothing but a short temper, if he could have a great king…? Am I being used? Am I being controlled? What is he going to throw at me next? Where is he taking me…?”  he looked back up to see the omega looking around the tall buildings made of stone, as if searching for something.

“What are you hiding from me…?”

“Why are you staring at me, Eren…?” a soft, silent voice made him stop thinking and walking at the same time. Levi’s face was blank as usual, his annoyed-looking eyes meeting Eren’s, “I know you do it all the time, but not in such a… scrutinizing way”, he put a hand at his hip, “Is something wrong?”

“N-No, sir…” Eren silently responded, looking down at the floor as he felt heat rush into his cheeks, “I’ve just been wonderin’… Do you know this part of the city?”

“Hoh?” Levi asked, tilting his head. The other man wiggled a little to reposition the big jacket that was thrown on top of him, still not having buttoned it, scratching his eyebrow nervously.

“You seem to know which way to go, and I don’t recall you telling me you were ever here. I mean, except of the incident that day. I don’t think you could have remembered these narrow streets by just running through them to escape…” his eyes suddenly widened, “Though… I don’t think you would’ve known where to run to so you’d shake them off, if it weren’t for you being here before… Only the people who are here often or live here are able to memorize the streets like that…”

There was silence for a while before Levi sighed.

“Good deduction”, Levi said before continuing forward nonchalantly, resulting in the teen’s hungry eyes following him immediately. He started as well, trying his best to catch up to the other man without having to run after him, “If you really have to ask… yes, I have been affiliated with these streets for quite a long time. Before, and after spending time with my uncle.”

“Ah.”

“Don’t think too much of it”, the omega added without looking back, “There’s nothing you could deduce from the facts I have given you. It’s not that I don’t want you to know as much as it is about me trying to forget certain things…”

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“Don’t call me that”, Levi suddenly ordered, turning around to face him from the side and glaring into the beta’s eyes. He didn’t seem bothered by the fact that Eren’s eyes were completely wide open, or with him being frozen in place and staring right back at him. Levi’s eyes remained cold. After a few seconds of looking at him to ensure the point would get across, the omega gingerly turned around again and started walking in the other direction, with Eren following close by, even though he was still somewhat shook because of that reaction from before.

“You don’t seem to be… alright as well”, Eren soon said, looking around to check whether there was someone else around them that would be able to see them, but as he realized that the town was as empty as his wallet, he rushed forwards and put his hands onto the omega’s shoulders firmly, walking around to meet his face. The omega glared up at him, but didn’t do much else, “You’re all tense. I bet you’re trying to tell things with your scent as well right now.”

“Tch”, the frustration in Levi was evident on the way his eyes fell to the floor instead of glaring back, his eyebrows creasing, “I don’t know. It’s just a feeling I got”, he looked up and turned his head to the side, looking for passersby, only to be once again reminded that there were no, “The town is… so empty. It’s the centre. It’s supposed to be full, especially on days like these. Bad weather wouldn’t stop people that easily… Scum’s resilient, after all.”

“Levi…”

“Sorry”, Levi scoffed, looking back at the man, “But it’s true. The town being empty like this… doesn’t it strike you as odd? I mean, sure, there’s a few marketers here and there, but that’s it. We’ve seen one person walking through town besides us, Eren; one person. And she disappeared as well.”

“Are you saying we should be returning home…?” Eren silently asked, worry emitting from his teal eyes. He suddenly seemed to become unsettled as well, “We can… we can always come back another day. I mean. You caught me once, you’ll pull me up again, right?” the teen smiled, but Levi saw right through the gesture. The omega lowered his head and furrowed his brows again, a frown forming on his face as he thought about it.

“No…” he silently said, looking back up at Eren as his eyes relaxed again, “It’s… fine.”

“It’s not, is it?” Eren immediately countered, getting closer to Levi’s face with his, “It isn’t okay.”

“It doesn’t matter whether it is or not”, Levi answered, pushing the young man away, but still letting him hold his shoulders, “It’s just a gut feeling. Sometimes it’s just a feeling, nothing else. Other than that, we can’t know what’ll happen. The thing is, I’m ready for whatever is to come.”

“But am I ready?” Eren asked as the grip on Levi’s shoulders grew stronger. Levi just watched him for a while again, his cold eyes moving up and down his face once, twice, before he finally decided to respond.

“It really doesn’t matter. Even if you weren’t ready though, I am. There is no need for you to run towards danger face first. Don’t worry”, he lowered his head, “Please.”

Seeing that his worry seemed to unsettle the other man even more, Eren backed off and sighed, taking a hold of the satchel he had thrown over his shoulder. The omega raised his head to look at the brunet, and just stared for a while, before furrowing his brows again and continuing his walk down another narrow street filled with all sorts of posters of upcoming events and a picture of the king shaking a child’s hand in front of a crowd. The teen recognized the street Levi went into and swiftly followed him, reaching up to him in no time. The brunet glanced at the omega next to him before trying to take his hand into his, but Levi avoided his hand before looking up scornfully. The raven then purposely shouldered him to make the teen stumble aside, the young man growling and smiling at the same time.

“You have a problem, Eren”, Levi silently stated and tilted his head to the left, watching the other man from his side. He raised a brow as he saw the smirk on the beta’s face. Eren knew.

It didn’t take long for them to exit the narrow street before finding themselves in front of an old, iron, fancy gate that would always get displayed in students’ books under the bolded title baroque, as a perfect example of it. Behind the gate was a small green yard which was inhabited by red rose bushes, arranged in the shape of a Greek cross. A huge ebony portal into which thousands of motives were engraved in waited right in the middle of the yard for people to come visit the small, yet rich building that housed ten benches and thirty rows of seats. A big, colorful picture of a saint made of glass was put above the portal, taking everyone’s eyes from the actual building to the rich stained glass. Eren looked at the man beside him in a questioning way, but Levi wasn’t looking at the church. He was facing the opposite direction, looking at a rather small light blue colored building that had nothing but cracks and a few white spiral ornaments on it. The door was black, wooden, and there were no windows, just holes, through which a small head was peeking. The teen was relieved when he saw another person, but then saw that the kid immediately disappeared from view, and Levi started moving towards the building. The omega was stepping lightly this time, walking on his tiptoes as he neared the building, standing upright as if he was alert. The beta puffed his chest out and straightened as well, looking left and right before just looking back at the omega whose steps slowed down as he stepped up the few stairs that led to a small marble clearing. The omega suddenly looked around himself before turning his head back to look at the beta who stood frozen in place, not knowing whether to move forward or not. Levi just watched him.

Suddenly, the door opened, and a crowd of children came running out towards the omega, surrounding him immediately. The omega kneeled down to meet their eye level, and the beta kept staring as Levi engaged in a conversation with them, smiling slightly and passing his hands through the kids’ hair. One child, however, stopped trying to reach the omega and just looked at the beta that was awkwardly standing out of place, previously hoping he wouldn’t get noticed. Now that he did get noticed, he didn’t know what to do. Levi, who had a kid hanging around his shoulder, looked back at him as well and moved his head a bit, as if telling Eren to come closer, and the beta couldn’t really ignore him now that everyone else was looking at him as well. The teen took a few shaking steps forward, the crowd of kids looking at him curiously, some of them hiding behind Levi’s petite frame. Once the beta got up the stairs, every single kid moved away to let the fast omega pass through the crowd to get to Eren.

“He’s fine, guys”, Levi silently said, reaching for the beta’s sleeve and pulling him closer, making the teen blush. But the only thing Levi did was take the satchel away from him and kneel back down, facing the small kids again. As Eren took a closer look at them, he realized that they couldn’t have been older than ten, and that every single one looked poor, with those robes on top of them and the unkempt hair. Judging by their physical appearance, he’d say that they were all omegas. Eyes of all shapes and sizes were still on him, and he smiled awkwardly, hoping it would come off as friendly. As none of the kids smiled back, and Levi just stared at him, the teen realized his plan must have gone wrong.

“He’s… not an omega too, Levi…?” a small blonde girl with big gray eyes asked the omega, latching onto his arm as he opened the satchel. Another two omegas joined her in grabbing Levi’s arm as he tried to get the items out.

“Not an omega…?”

“Why?” one without a tooth stated, her mouth remaining open as she stared at the beta.

“What’s he doing here?”

“He looks weird… look at his hair! Can I braid it?”

“He’s got a funny nose”, a small redhead laughed, and Eren’s brows furrowed and he put a hand over his nose.

“Levi…? Who is that?”

“Didn’t you tell us not to trust anyone? Why are you letting someone come with you, then?” a small raven-haired boy asked, his sharp blue eyes boring right into the beta’s. The small omega puffed his chest out and started walking towards Eren, but Levi grabbed him by the head and stopped him in his tracks.

“I did. I did tell you that”, the man silently said, his eyes remaining calm as they met the small omega’s, “But there are always exceptions, you see…” the petite man’s gaze met Eren’s for a second before he returned to his task of opening the satchel again, taking out all of the food items he had stuffed in the night prior, and having to move away from the crowd of children whose grabby hands immediately reached for the food that lay at the ground. Eren stared at the kids as Levi came up next to him, crossing his arms over his chest and looking at the crowd of small omegas as well as they fought for the food they got. A slight smile suddenly appeared on his face, and he shook his head.

“I never change, do I?”

Eren looked over to him, asking: “Wh-What’s happening, actually…?”

“Those kids are orphans, Eren,”, the omega silently explained, leaning closer to the man so he’d be able to hear, “little omegas that were abandoned by their parents. Long story short, I had a couple of friends once that got me mixed up in all of this, so I return every month to share some of my food. Well, your food, in this case, but it’s never really mine…” the omega explained, a self-satisfactory smile setting on his face as he finally looked at the teen who was now watching the kids, “It’s been like this for a couple of years now. I heard one of my friends… wasn’t available anymore, so the task fell into my hands. You see, omega orphanages never get any attention from the kingdom because the kingdom is already full and they don’t need any more omegas around for obvious reasons… which is why they avoid caring for them altogether. I used to take the train every month to get here… hence my train jumping ability. Of course I’m not the only one… a few people around these parts gather food monthly and send it over.”

“And I guess you’re… teaching them to be independent…?” Eren concluded and smiled at Levi, “Judging by the way that guy wanted to fight me, I mean…”

“That’s Agam for you…” Levi slightly smiled and leaned closer again, “But he’s been like that ever since I can remember. Some of them seem to have adapted some of my traits, but I’m not teaching them anything. More than anything, I try to act like an omega is supposed to be around them. When I remember to, that is… Oh. And please, don’t tell him I told you his name. Call him Spike.”

“Spike?” Eren smiled and raised a brow.

“He is… an odd one. A real pain in the ass, that is”, the omega joked, “There’s also Cho, Arletta, Nalini, Mei… fuck. Mei, put that down, will you? And stop harassing Nate!” Levi’s voice turned 180 degrees, an aura of dominance surrounding him all of a sudden. He stepped closer and the child in question immediately stopped pulling the small omega’s fluffy hair and ran back inside the old building, followed by another few. He straightened again before turning to look back at the beta, his sight setting on Eren’s small smirk, “They’re terrible, alright. I know.”

Eren felt a tug on his sleeve, so he looked down to meet the eyes of the raven who had tried to attack him before, a bitter expression on his face, as if talking to the beta was the worst thing that could have happened.

“Yes, Spike?” Eren asked and immediately crouched down. The young omega frowned immediately and looked up at Levi, who had the same kind of expression on his face.

“Why did you tell him my name?” the kid in the long black tunic asked, crossing his arms over his chest. Levi just shrugged his shoulders before taking the young boy by the hand and guiding him back towards the crowd, kneeling down as he talked to him about something. The young omega nodded his head and turned to the other kids to say something, before they collectively entered the building again, just as swiftly as they exited it before, leaving behind nothing but a few crumbs and the satchel. The omega then approached the bag and kneeled down to pick it up, whilst Eren started towards it as well, but went in a slower pace.

“You know… you could have told me…” Eren silently said, watching as the omega gingerly stood up again, standing perfectly straight and frozen in place, just like a work of art. His muscles were sculpted beautifully, his stance so static, yet slightly dynamic because of the slight contrapposto at the same time, his face turned towards the beta who asked the question, his eyes half-closed, wondering, at ease. The beta intended to continue, but just kept staring at that petite, yet muscular frame that became suspicious immediately after realizing Eren was staring yet again. His eyes narrowed and he turned around again, walking towards the teen with none of that previous delicacy in sight. He was once again a walking grump whose goal wasn’t to look like a desirable omega, but as if he were pissed at the entire world, which he most probably was. Once the omega reached him, he just passed by him, expecting the man to follow immediately after. Eren did.

They didn’t say a word as they walked. They didn’t need conversation, really, but Levi still had to say something, without even knowing why, actually. He decided to speak up as soon as they reached the narrow street again.

“I never thought of showing you this place. I was planning on returning on my own, but since you were persistent, I gave in at some point”, he looked to his left to face the younger man who walked right beside him, his steps identical to Levi’s, “Let this be the last time, okay…? I… It’s not that you’re not capable of helping. It’s just… you don’t have your own scent, and they were very wary of you…”

Eren frowned at first and wanted to protest, but he decided against speaking, for once. He was still in daze of what had just happened. He didn’t know why it affected him so much, seeing Levi around those children… but it did.

“What’s with Spike?”

“Hoh..?” the omega looked back up at him, “Oh, you mean… He wanted to apologize for his previous reaction, but decided against it halfway through.”

“Why?” Eren smiled as he asked, “Was he really that mad because you told me his nickname…? If so… isn’t that really-“

“You have my scent all over you”, Levi chimed in and caused the teen to shut up, before he suddenly stopped. Since Eren stopped moving, Levi did so too, looking back at the younger man who was looking straight into his eyes, “It’s not… natural for betas to carry the scent of omegas… whilst the omegas remain unchanged, don’t you think…?” he looked down, “They were really confused, the kids. But most importantly, I told them never to trust people that aren’t the same status as them and to trust only the ones they know would never harm them… and then I come over with this random-ass beta whom they’ve never seen in life before, and that beta’s practically covered in my scent, as if you were a possession of mine… I don’t think I want them to receive the wrong message. Omegas aren’t supposed to own anyone, after all. If they just do the things I did… and go through the same trouble like I did… I’d never forgive myself.”

“But…” Eren silently said, getting closer to the raven-haired omega, “if they choose to live life like you… who are you to stop them?”

Levi’s eyes immediately searched for his, narrowing to the point of almost closing shut.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about”, he hissed, but turned calm afterwards, stepping closer to the younger man and making him step a step back, but return the glare, “You have no idea what I went through, so you have no right to talk like that. You’re no omega; you don’t know what the punishment for disobeying the simple omega principles is. If they find you doing something you aren’t supposed to do, or straight-up ignoring Alphas on higher position… Do you know what they do to you, Eren?”

“No”, Eren immediately answered, stepping closer to the man again and grabbing his wrists, “You never told me. You’re always hiding something from me. How am I supposed to know how to talk around you if you don’t want to share anything with me? I’m here for you, you know?!”

“Maybe I don’t want you to know.”

“Maybe I want to help you carry the burden!”

“I don’t need your help, brat”, he said and wrenched his wrists out of Eren’s hands, “I’ve survived all of that shit on my own, you’re too late to offer help”, he said and started walking again, but got pulled into a tight hug from behind, Eren’s chin roughly resting at the top of the raven’s head, his arms wrapping around his slim waist again. The omega half-closed his eyes in annoyance and frowned, but knew protesting would be useless. You couldn’t win when playing against Eren, because even if he lost, he’d find a victorious part somewhere.

“You’re clearly still surviving the shit you mentioned…” Eren silently said, nuzzling his cheek into Levi’s silky hair harshly, “If you keep thinking about it time and time again, there is no way you’re already safe. You’re still struggling. And I want to struggle with you.”

The omega suddenly wrestled out of the brunet’s hold and turned to face him again, looking up at him with narrowed eyes, but they didn’t radiate anger or any negative emotion in general. In fact, Eren felt a lot calmer all of a sudden, now that he could actually see the man’s expression. The omega’s face practically screamed of internal suffering, but it was masked by a façade of frustration. Eren grasped the man’s hands again and bended down to meet his eye level, bringing his hands closer to his mouth, but not kissing them, just putting his lips on top of the cold, soft skin.

“Why would anyone want to do such a thing? Do you think I am so stupid that I’d actually believe this shit right now?” the man said, but his words held no truth. That was evident by the way his lips trembled as he talked. Eren knew Levi trusted him, because if it weren’t like that, Eren wouldn’t trust Levi. And he did; with all he had. Eren lazily smiled at him, and the omega’s brows furrowed.

“You know the reason.”

“Don’t you dare.”

“You know it, don’t you? I don’t need to say it again, do I…?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re still just a horny teenager, Eren, what would you know about that…? You don’t, got it? You ought to stop already. You can’t.”

“I love you.”

“You don’t know what I did, and don’t know what I am… What I’ve been through, Eren… If you knew… how messed up I actually am… because of all that… you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t, and you don’t, yet you keep telling yourself… Please, don’t play with me”, he removed his hands from Eren’s, continuing to walk down the street, and Eren watched his unsure steps as he hurried down the road.

But the omega suddenly stopped in his tracks. The teen then approached him again, slowing down as he neared himself. He thought the omega had something to say or was just emotionally exhausted.

“You know… Levi… I’m-“ a hand covered the young man’s mouth and he had to stop speaking, looking at Levi and realizing just how focused he looked at the moment.

“Did you hear that…?” Levi silently asked, slowly looking at the brunet whose widened eyes kept looking at him disbelievingly, “I know you don’t smell them… but perhaps you’d hear them, if you really tried…”

“Mffm mmmfuhh?”

Levi’s eyes narrowed all of a sudden, and before Eren could question him, the omega suddenly began running, dragging the young man behind him as if he didn’t know that Eren wasn’t used to running that fast. The teen tried his best nevertheless, and they soon ran out of the street, Levi immediately hiding behind a stone wall of an old house, pulling Eren with him whilst still having his hand over the confused brunet’s mouth.

“It was a trap all along, wasn’t it…” Levi whispered and Eren widened his eyes again, still not fully grasping the situation, “I was a fool to think that Erwin would give up that easily… But how the fuck did they know I’d be on this particular location on this particular day…? Did Shitty Glasses tell him? Tch. I’ll scratch her eyes out next time I’ll see her, then she’ll really be blind as a mole.”

“Mmffh?!”

The omega rolled his eyes and grabbed the teen’s head with his other hand as well, kneeling down and dragging the young man behind him as well. He then finally removed his hand from the brunet’s face, but didn’t let him ask any questions as he grasped the young man’s shoulder tightly and climbed over him to look him in the eyes, Eren’s cheeks immediately flaring red again as Levi’s knee went to the same position like that last time he climbed him.

“Listen, squirt. You are to stay here and do nothing. They won’t smell you, so they won’t know you’re there. Even if they run for you, do nothing. Do you understand?”

“I- What’s-“

“Just do as I told you!” the older man yelled at him, his eyes wide, “If you trust me, you’ll listen!”

“I’ll… Understood! Sir!” Eren yelled into his face, puffing his chest out determinedly and receiving a small peck on top of his eyelid. The beta smiled widely and put a hand at the place Levi had kissed, and the other man had already jumped off and was now running towards a big bronze statue depicting a young woman with long hair that spread across the scope of the statue, carrying a big jug on top of her head and was stepping on a snake’s head. The petite man was only a third of the statue’s size, which immediately unnerved Eren as his brain finally realized something.

“Wait… Levi’s going to fight someone?! My Omega?!”

Heavy steps came from the rooftop above Eren all of a sudden, and the young teen froze in place as a pair of boots flew above him, the person to wear those boots falling down to the ground just five meters away from him. The figure that stood up before him was probably twice Levi’s size and thrice his width. His brown boots reached up to his knees, and his green cloak told Eren more than he wanted to know. The man was carrying two blades, and both of them had Levi’s name written on it.

“Who exactly… is Levi?”

“Captain omega, sir!” a loud voice reverberated through the small round arena, and the petite man who was leaning against the statue tilted his head to the side as he crossed his arms over his chest.

“It’s still Captain Ackerman to you…” Levi said in a silky voice and Eren’s eyes widened as he wondered whether he heard that right, replaying the sentence in his head again and again.

“Wait… aren’t Omegas… not allowed in the army? How the hell is Levi a captain then?! This has gotta be a joke!”

“Reiner. After everything I did for you, you come back stabbing me in the back. To kiss king Erwin’s ass?” the omega coldly continued, paying no mind to his foul mouth. It was as if those two really knew each other from before… and Eren refused to believe that.

“Sorry, boss. King’s orders”, he said and waved his blades a bit, repositioning them, “And no, by the way, I’m not doing this for the king. There’s a bigger picture I’d like to paint one day…”

“Paint?” Levi asked, raising a brow and paying no attention to the raised blades whatsoever. Eren was freaking out in the back, “What? Are you still finger painting, Reiner…?”

The burly blond laughed a bit, but otherwise didn’t respond to the accusation. Suddenly, another three people approached from the three streets that led to the small plaza, and Levi was surrounded with weapons. But he didn’t seem to be bothered.

“Tell me, Reiner…” the small omega continued, pacing a few steps left, stopping when he reached the edge of the statue’s platform, before going the other way again, looking at him intently at all times, while everyone else was focused on him, “…is the king really planning to reign war with the outsiders again…? If so, please deliver valuable information.”

The big burly man seemed lost for a few seconds, as if he wasn’t able to compute what the man had asked of him at first, before he suddenly gripped his blades tighter and answered: “Um… I’m sorry, sir, I can’t leak any information. Other than that, if you let me win right now, there won’t be a war at all.”

“He’s planning to, then. Thank you”, the petite man responded before leaning against the massive bronze statue, crossing his legs nonchalantly. He didn’t seem interested in the fight at all, and whilst it did make him seem overconfident, Eren didn’t think Levi was overestimating himself. The way his eyes travelled to each and every one of the attackers around him made it seem as if he was calculating their power, and when he stopped at Reiner, it seemed as if he thought he deserved the most attention at the moment. It didn’t take long for a girl with her hair in a high ponytail to jump at the petite man, but the omega didn’t even have to try as he simply grabbed her by the hair and pulled her closer, grabbing her arms, forcing them to her back and slamming her down to the floor. Two Alphas approached him then, their hands trying to grab the petite man, but the omega suddenly jumped up and pulled himself up the statue quite easily, his eyes falling to the beta just before he swung his body towards one of the Alphas, landing on his shoulders and wrapping his legs around his throat, making the Alpha have to struggle to breathe air in, before the omega decided to shorten their fight and reached forward, his weight pulling the Alpha down to the ground and making him fall as the petite man rolled to the side, looking at the other, taller Alpha that stood there with wonder in his eyes.

“Tch”, Levi responded to the Alpha’s intrigued gaze before shouldering his stomach and kicking his chin up as soon as the man bended down, making the Alpha stumble backwards before he fell to the ground. Eren resisted the urge to applaud.

The omega then finally turned towards Reiner, who was still just standing and smirking at the omega.

“Why would you bring beginners to such a mission, if you knew who you are going against?” the omega silently asked, tilting his head, “You basically let them lose.”

“I’ve already told you, sir. I have a bigger mind in plan”, the burly man responded, tightening the grip on his blades nervously and starting to circle the small man who repeated the motion, glaring into his eyes, “Uh. Plan in mind. You see, I knew you’d beat them immediately, that’s why I chose them at the first place. They want to bring you back to the king – I want you dead.”

“Hoh”, Levi responded, assuming a battle stance even though Reiner didn’t quit circling him, “Overthrowing the system?”

“Not quite”, Reiner responded before charging at him, his blade positioning itself so that it’d go through the petite man’s neck, getting closer, reaching the man and, eventually, hit another piece of metal that the Alpha didn’t see before – a small, dull kitchen knife, taken directly from Eren’s counter and now blocking a blade precisely while also cutting into the omega’s left hand as he had to return the pressure the burly man put on him. He narrowed his eyes in pain, but soon spun around swiftly, kicking the burly man’s chest, forcing him to stand back, before grabbing the hood of his cape and pulling him down, charging his head into Reiner’s. The petite man then stumbled back, but ran ahead to grab the man’s strong arm and rush to his back, clenching his hand so hard that the Alpha had to release the blade out of his left hand, and the omega grabbed it eagerly before kicking the man’s back again, and Reiner stumbling forward. The burly man then slowly turned around, a smirk on his face.

“You… still-“ the man was stopped since Levi wasn’t in the mood of having a conversation and charged right at him, blade meeting blade and the sound of a cling loudly emitting through the area, the clashing blades pushing against each other and trying to overpower each other. Both of them backed off. The omega’s eyes were staring at the figure in front of him and weren’t parting from the man at all, waiting for his next move. The Alpha suddenly growled and charged at the petite man again, but Levi avoided his attack, kicking the man’s chest again, but being stopped by his free hand that then held the man’s small foot. Before the Alpha could raise his blade though, the omega threw himself to the ground, standing on his hands and throwing his legs back, standing back up again. The Alpha cried out again and charged for him, only for the omega to use his blade again, their blades meeting again and pushing against each other. There was no smirk on Reiner’s face anymore, just a drop of sweat that was slowly gliding down his high forehead. The omega suddenly furrowed his brows and fell back into a bridge position as made Reiner fall forward, but before the man’s blade could reach him, he threw both of his legs up, hitting the man’s chin hard and making him fall the other way, his blade cutting the omega’s arm as he turned the other way. Reiner’s heavy body fell at the ground, and Levi stumbled up, grabbing a burning spot on his arm and walking up to see the body of the brute lying on the ground, his eyes closed. He was knocked out cold. Not even thinking of doing anything else, Levi stumbled backwards, the slippery stones almost causing him to fall. He shook his head as his eyes unfocused again and he released the blade to make it fall to the ground, flinching at the sound it created as it hit the wet, slippery stone beneath him. He looked back at his other opponents – all unconscious, none of them showing a sign of protest. The omega’s eyes were dull, watery, and he felt the ground beneath him spin, which is why he fell to his knees all of a sudden, unable to keep his cool. His hands fell over his eyes, grasping his head that hurt every time his heart would pump blood into his body.

He soon heard steps rushing towards him, and a few seconds later, he could feel warm hands all over his body, hugging him closer and pulling him up harshly, pulling him to go somewhere, but where, he didn’t know, he couldn’t tell, nor guess, nor did he want to know, but he was going somewhere… somewhere… and it was warm, warm and welcoming.

Chapter Text

“This… is the omega I’ve been telling you about, Your Greatness”, the beta that had him delivered to the centre of the throne room said, looking down at the raven-haired omega whose sight didn’t part from the ground. His hands were in cuffs, pressed against his back, and he was on his knees, bending down so that his forehead almost touched the ground – but he never even thought of bowing his head to the king.

“I… see”, the old king simply stated, looking at the small omega’s bent frame from all possible sides. Levi scowled, as he was sure no one would be able to see. He practically felt the Alpha’s stare on him, and the pheromones that old king was releasing had everyone know just what he was thinking about at the moment.

‘Tch… who would be as stupid as to have me delivered in front of a lone Alpha in a mere shirt… and nothing else…? Airheads. All of them’ , he raised his head all of a sudden, showing his hateful expression to those around him and immediately sensing petrified scents. One, however, didn’t feel surprised at all.

“The fact that he had been in prison indicates that he had done wrong beforehand, am I not right?”  the king stated more than he asked, looking into each and every person’s eyes before meeting the strong omega’s gaze again.

“No, you cunt. You threw me into the goddamn omega detention house just ‘cause you happened to see me one day and thought of me as a nice plaything for others.”

“Yes, Your Majesty”, the brunet next to him responded, smiling from ear to ear, as if the king’s brilliant skills of deduction caused her to be proud of him. Levi, looking at the overly zealous woman’s smile, had to conclude that the king wasn’t the brightest person around here, even though that was far from the truth. The king had insight into anything and everything, after all. But such a response got him thinking.

“And…” the king slowly continued, as if to waste more of their time, “For how long had he been in there…?”

There was a slight pause before the woman next to him finally answered. She seemed to be lost in thought for a moment, but considering that she was looking down at the omega, it seemed as if she wanted to conceal the fact, at first. Levi furrowed his brows.

“Why would she want to conceal something… It’s not that I’m of any importance. I’ve seen her for the first time today, too, and she’s a beta. It’s as if… As if she doesn’t want the king to think badly of me…”

“He will have been here for exactly six years by tomorrow, Your Majesty,”, she bowed down quickly before straightening again and pushing her thick glasses up with her index finger, a knowing smile spreading across her face as she closed her eyes, “Yes, yes, a long time, I know. It’s been so long, in fact… That the omega we held in custody under this very castle is considered to be the best of the best… well, not what he does, but… you get the message”, her reddish eyes peaked at Levi’s dumbfounded facial expression before she continued her speech, “Someone would think… that people’s emotions get drained completely if they spend so much time down there… turns out, this guy here… No, no, no. He isn’t giving up just yet! I’ve… already told you about the event that happened three days ago, Your Majesty, but this time, it will be formal”, she puffed her chest out and pressed the creased papers in her right hand to her chest, right above her heart, her zealous eyes shining in a weird fashion as Levi just glared up at her, “Levi Ackerman, age 17, assaulted an Alpha customer who had paid for stress relief at the twentieth of November, the time being somewhere between eight and eight and fifteen a.m. The customer in question is our own soldier, and wasn’t visiting Levi that night – however, the omega he paid for that night was located in the same cage as our offender. The offender had tried to prevent the Alpha from taking advantage of a pregnant omega, which is why he brought the Alpha’s attention to himself. The customer suffered an attack which broke his ribs and was knocked unconscious. To this day, he is still in a coma, and there is just a slight possibility he might wake up someday.”

Levi’s eyes just narrowed as a few gazes fell at him. There was complete silence in the room which only made things worse for the omega. Everyone stared at him. Everyone knew that something went wrong with him. The fact that he potentially murdered someone to protect another didn’t help at all, especially since that omega never even looked at him again after seeing what happened that night. But he remained glaring at the others, not showing his inner struggles. He stood firmly by his choice, though. He didn’t regret attacking that Alpha in the slightest.

“ISN’T IT AMAZING?!” the woman next to him suddenly exclaimed and he looked back up at her, wondering what was wrong with her. She seemed just as happy as she sounded like, which Levi couldn’t possibly understand, “An OMEGA to go against his will! To ignore the fact that the Alpha threatened him and wanted him to submit!” she clenched her hands into fists and brought them in front of her mouth, silently laughing whilst Levi’s shocked eyes stared up at her, “It’s… really amazing…” she whispered to herself before looking back up again, straightening again and pressing her fist to her chest, “It wouldn’t even be that amazing if he managed to block out the strong scent somehow, actually… But he didn’t! That’s what’s so interesting about it!” she said and pointed a finger at the king, “This omega right here could identify all of the scents sent towards him! How do I know?” she crossed her arms, “Well… I might have taken some of his… um… fluids without mentioning it to anyone the day prior. I hope you don’t mind, Grumpy”, she said and looked down at the terrified short man.

“Tch.”

“Anyway, all of his omega traits seem to be… well. Off the charts”, she said and smiled widely, “A quality only Ackermans posses, for some unknown reason. But this person right here… He’s from another branch of the family. And I believe it’s what makes him so special. Another proof are the witnesses that saw the assault that happened on that day. They all claimed to have smelled his soothing scent whilst he was bashing his knee into his foe… and he’s been seen crying while doing so too. Well, it is common for an omega to be hypersensitive when in heat, but… This omega here doesn’t usually cry. And doesn’t assault people too. This seemed to be a special occasion of some sorts.”

Thick silence ensued. After watching the zealous woman next to him for a moment, and seeing her wink at him, he slowly turned his head back ahead to face the king that seemed as if he was thinking about the said words. Next to him were his son, Erwin Smith, the leader of the Scouting Legion, and Keith Shadis, a counselor who was known to have participated in training new soldiers. Both of the men standing next to the king were looking at Levi quizzically, but the one on the left seemed like he wasn’t even looking at the omega, but through him, as if he saw something else instead of the bruised man that had no real use in life anymore. Two Alpha soldiers stood behind the omega, each holding a hand on the omega’s shoulder to ensure he wouldn’t cause any more damage. Around them were stools on which hundreds of people just stared down at the wrongdoer, silently judging him.

“A crime…” the king suddenly said, bringing everyone’s attention to him, “…is a crime, Doctor Zoe. It does not matter under which circumstances the crime was committed and there is no use in trying to turn the situation the other way. It is not important whether he is ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’. Most would simply call him disfigured, an abomination that does not fit into this society. There are no additional laws to the trial of such a person. Disobeying an Alpha means going to the omega detention center. The trial of a murder though… the punishment is immediate death. Take him away”, the king simply said, waving his head as the two Alphas that held the omega grabbed him by the shoulders and yanked him up. The small omega’s eyes narrowed as he looked back to the king, an expression of pure hatred on his face as he met his eyes.

“Trial of murder… I merely tried to protect! That omega and her child could have died, but…” his brows lowered before he wrenched his small hand away from one Alpha, heading towards the king threateningly, but the Alpha grabbed him back and started dragging him again, “But it’s not like you’d care! You’ve been selling omegas’ purity so that you could sit your asses on top of money! Other than that, you kill them off so the kingdom would have enough food… when in reality, there would be no hunger if you fucking dumbasses realized that you’ve been monopolizing everything! No food my ass! You’re just keeping it to yourself!”

“That’s enough-“

“It’s not enough! No wonder the outsiders threw us into this perpetual prison!” Levi exclaimed and everything silenced as he did so, “We’re animals… no, worse! The way things function around here… the way everyone is supposed to act a certain way… and the way you kill people just so you could enjoy life-“

“Levi, stop”, he heard the king’s son say, so he immediately looked at him, his eyes wide in shock. There was no sound to be heard after that small statement, and all the tension and scents that were in the air a moment before suddenly disappeared. The mortified atmosphere hovered above everyone’s heads. The omega was trying not to show any sign of weakness, but everyone was already looking at the man whose entire body started trembling.

“Not so mighty now, huh…?” the Alpha to his right whispered, and he shivered.

The beta next to him smirked before stepping closer to the king, bowing again.

“As you can see, we’ve got everything under control, Your Majesty. But, before you make your decision… please consider one thing. He’s an omega. A special one, at that. Never before did we have the privilege to see such a thing… an omega that disobeys and Alpha willingly, and is not corrupt. I’d… like to conduct some… experiments on him, actually. To top it all off, Your Highness…”

“To top it all off”, the king’s son cut into the beta’s speech, a self-assured smirk on his face as he looked at the trembling, small man again, whose horrified eyes couldn’t move, “he is a great fighter. That soldier he had knocked out… He was the top of the list of soldiers. If a mere omega whilst in the last day of heat can knock someone like him out… What good is an Alpha soldier, then?”

“Show them, Levi”, the beta whispered and heard the man whimper as he pressed to one of the Alphas before immediately trying to stumble away. She then walked over to the king, bowing deeply before answering Erwin’s question, “Nothing.”

“Father, let me propose a request, will you…?” the son of the king asked, looking back at the two Alphas that seemed enamored by the small omega, “Let me take custody of the omega. If he is really as good of a fighter Hange insists on he is, he is of much more use to us than just being a slave. I want him to help us out, a bit… I mean, he has great potential… and we can control him pretty easily.”

“And how would you do that?” the king asked, seeming genuinely interested in his son’s idea all of a sudden.

“Levi, show His Majesty how we can control you”, Erwin said in a monotone voice, a scent of dominance reaching out to the omega who was fighting the urge with all he could. The raven-haired man gasped and bit on his lower lip, pressing his legs together.

“Come on. Show them”, the beta next to the prince said, a smirk present on her face as the man whimpered again, bowing down to the ground. The Alphas seemed ready to pounce at him.

“You have committed a crime, and this is the prize you have to pay. So pay. Pay, Levi!” Erwin loudly said, the omega finally breaking down as tears jumped to his eyes, his legs finally giving in as slick spread all over the floor. The omega squealed before trying to hide his face in shame, but his punishment had just started. The two Alphas that stood next to him took the opportunity they received and pounced at him, immediately tearing that single white shirt off him and throwing it into the air. And everyone else watched.


 

The omega half-opened his eyes and blinked a few times, listening to his heavy heartbeat that resounded in his head. He didn’t feel cold, even though he remembered being outside the last time he had been awake, which is why he raised his head a bit to sniff at his surroundings. There were multiple scents in the air, but weakened, which must have meant that most of the people whose scents these belonged to were already gone, and by the feel of it, it was a public place. He stared into the distance, trying to take in his surroundings, seeing only a bit of his surroundings due to the low light in the room. The sun was just starting to rise, by the looks of it. The only things he could identify were the white blanket that had been put under him, the laminate flooring and hangers that had pieces of clothing neatly displayed on them. The clothes came in a variety of sizes and colors, and there was no special order to them. When his heartbeat finally calmed down, he could hear loud munching next to him, so he moved his head in the slightest way he could as to not raise suspicion. The crunching, however, immediately stopped, and Levi could feel someone look at him. Curious to what was going on, the man’s head turned a bit more, seeing Eren’s figure sitting up whilst leaning against the wall. The brunet had been chewing on something, apparently, but he hid it once Levi moved. Their eyes met.

“The fuck?” Levi was first to interrupt the silence, and Eren repositioned himself by crossing his legs.

“Oh… good mornin'”, he silently said, watching the omega as he put his elbow against the floor, propping himself by putting his hand under his chin.

“Morning”, the omega answered after a few seconds, still looking at the brunet. The young man snorted before reaching for something in his left pocket.

“You want some…?” the young beta asked, holding a walnut in front of Levi’s face. The omega furrowed his brows as he looked back at the brunet, his eyes reflecting the little light that was in the room they were in. Since the omega didn’t answer, Eren took the walnut back to open it first, “Uh… wait a sec…”

Since the teen had obvious troubles cracking it open by only using his hands, the older man sighed and reached for the man’s forearm, tapping it lightly to make the brunet look at him. Eren immediately understood, wordlessly handing him the seed that Levi then took down with himself, holding it away from himself whilst lying down again. The man’s thin fingers surrounded the nut before he clenched his fist tightly, cracking the walnut. He then looked back up at the teen that sat next to him, offering him the food. The beta brought his hand to Levi’s, and the omega put the cracked walnut into Eren’s hand gently. Eren looked at it to ensure himself it was really opened before facing Levi again.

“Don’t you want any?” Eren asked, handing the man another full hand of walnuts that he kept in his pocket. The omega reached for the seeds before letting them fall down in front of him, taking one by one and cracking them open.

“Lost my appetite.”

Eren hummed in understanding, bringing the food into his mouth and silently crunching on it, as if he knew that Levi would become agitated if he chewed on the food loudly. Levi was thankful that his companion had a brain, and an even bigger heart.

“What time is it?” Levi silently asked, and the beta stared at him for a while, wondering why he hadn’t asked about their location yet. The teen gulped the food down before answering.

“I’m… not really sure, but considering the church bell rang a few minutes ago… it’s either five or six a.m. Either way… it’s too early to get up just yet. Keep resting.”

“What’s with you?” the omega asked, stopping his task momentarily to look at the brunet who had a solemn expression on his face until he realized that Levi was looking at him. That’s when he smiled sweetly.

“You shouldn’t really bother asking… You’re the one that got injured.”

“You sleep like a log, usually. I think I’ve got the right to be concerned that you woke up before me and remained sitting right next to me the entire time.”

“I haven’t been up for long… it’s been… what? Ten minutes?” Eren lowly asked before taking one of the cracked nuts and putting it between his teeth, but not biting down just yet. He wiggled out of his old hoodie before putting it in front of himself, taking out the few nuts that were left in his other pocket and putting them on top of the piece of clothing. He then pushed the hoodie closer to Levi, who put the cracked nuts on top of it as he was reluctant to put them down at the ground, or the blanket he lay on. Eren then took the food back into his fingers, looking at it for a while before looking back to the omega that started taking the other walnuts and immediately proceeded to crack them open.

“You sure you don’t want any? They’re good.”

“Where’d you get that from, anyways?” Levi softly asked, looking back up at the teen just for a second, to reassure himself that it really was Eren sitting next to him, before returning to his task.

“There’s a big tree right in front of the clothes shop… Nobody picked them up, so I used the situation to my benefit. Who knew there’d still be walnuts in November…” he stopped as he realized that Levi’s brows furrowed at the word. He then smiled widely and put the food between his teeth again, bending to get closer to the raven-haired man who just stared at him as he got closer, “Take it.”

The omega narrowed his eyes at the brunet, but after a while, he reached out for the nut, only for Eren to move away from him.

“Not like that…” Eren’s smile grew wider as he talked whilst the food was still between his teeth, “with your mouth.”

Levi rolled his eyes as Eren got closer again. The omega’s hand went to press against the beta’s chest to prevent him from coming closer whilst he was looking away from the young man.

“I’m not doing it that way”, Levi whispered before looking back into the teen’s expectant eyes, “In any way, in fact. I think I told you that I’m not hungry right now…”

“Levi,”, the man sighed, talking silently, “it’s not much. Your stomach can handle a simple walnut, I think. Plus, you know I won’t give up, no matter how many times you tell me to.”

After watching the brunet for an additional moment, the omega heavily sighed and sat up again, facing the young brunet that looked ecstatic now that he was up again. The man slowly reached for the nut Eren held out to him, carefully taking it with his teeth and slowly backing off from the man who was watching him with great interest. The teen’s smile grew bigger as Levi chewed on the food, and Levi narrowed his eyes at him dangerously, but there was a sense of playfulness in the gesture. Eren suddenly leaned closer and pressed his lips against Levi’s, parting from him just as quickly as he reached him. The omega grunted, but except of turning away from him, he didn’t do much. The teal-eyes beta laughed before reaching for multiple seeds himself, stuffing them into his mouth whilst still laughing.

“Pig”, the omega suddenly called, shouldering the taller man lightly before observing the laughing teen for a while, leaning closer to him once he decided to stop acting like a brat, “You’ll choke on your own saliva one day that way.”

The teen said something, but due to his full mouth, Levi couldn’t understand a single word the teen had said.

“You disgust me.”

The teen shouldered him back, but it wasn’t enough to trigger Levi. The man kept looking around himself for a while again, looking at the clothes hung in the back and the empty glass that sat on a counter not far away from him. He then looked to his left hand, finally realizing that a cloth had been wrapped around its center tightly. Remembering what had happened before, the place that was covered by the cloth stung a bit, and so did the cut on his upper arm that he assumed had been taken care of as well. His throat grew tight. He knew he could always ask, but something in his head told him he didn’t need to know anything. Since he couldn’t bring himself to speak, he looked up at the brunet warily, seeing that he had been staring at him the whole time. The man’s lips parted, but they just quivered, so he closed them again and looked down to the floor, putting his injured hand over his forehead.

“You had that… dream again…” Eren suddenly said, sounding just as surprised as Levi felt at the moment he heard Eren’s voice, “Right? The one… with the king, and that other dude, and the… king. The recent one. And like, two Alphas, a court…”

Levi looked up at him, but didn’t say anything. Eren’s brows furrowed.

“The day before yesterday… remember? I don’t know if you remember anything, but… you were saying the same things again, today. It must be a recurring thing…”

Levi’s sight slowly fell to the floor.

“Is it… true?” Eren silently asked, leaning closer to the omega that tried to hide his face from the world, “I… There’s no one else to hear you. No one’s here. There were no guests when I brought you here, and Zeke’s gone home and told me he’d come open the shop in… an hour, or so. We’re the only ones”, he said and took the omega’s hands gently, holding the cold boney fingers and stroking them as he talked, “I’m not telling anyone. You’re my secret, after all.”

“What did you hear?”

“No, Levi!” Eren bended down to meet his eye level, “I don’t want fragments!”

“Eren…” the omega silently said, bringing his hands closer to rest his forehead against them, “My wish was never to talk about it again, remember? That one time, when I proposed that game to keep us apart…” he parted his forehead from the hands before looking up again, seeking the beta’s fervent gaze that was slowly calming down, “I asked of you never to ask me about my past. I know you care, and want me to get it off my chest so I wouldn’t have to dream of it over and over again… But let me set things straight. Whatever you think of my past right now… multiply the feeling by ten. That’s how I lived my life up until now.”

The teen kept glaring at him for a while before lowering his head and deeply exhaling. It clearly wasn’t enough of an explanation to him, but he tried to keep his cool. When he finally looked up again, two minutes later, his eyes lost all their shine, and he was looking at their hands instead of Levi’s eyes.

“I understand, sir.”

The raven-haired man’s eyes widened, but he didn’t say anything. It stung, but he couldn’t have expected anything better from Eren. In fact, the response he has been given was the best one possible. But the word ‘sir’ made it seem as if Levi was distant from the teen. As if Eren could never get closer than he already was, and once he tried to cross the line that separated them, he’d have to back off. The walls weren’t letting him in, but it wasn’t like Levi didn’t want the man to know him. The raven slowly raised his hand to pet the teen’s head, but the hand got stuck halfway, and he kept holding it up for nothing. Since Eren was still sulking, the omega growled in frustration, slamming his hand into the walnuts and grabbing one, putting it between his teeth and narrowing his eyes as he crossed his arms and legs, arching his back and muttering something under his breath before straightening again.

“Oi, brat,”, he called for his idiotic beta, “this one’s got your name on it.”

Eren warily raised his head up, looking at the omega in confusion. Levi couldn’t really blame him; he must have had looked like someone that was about to murder him, not kiss him.

 “Just… fucking… take it”, he sighed after a while, feeling like the biggest idiot ever. This was the first time he was acting like this, and it made him want to punch the teen for making him do this, but if he were to punch him, Eren might back off of him forever. Or he’d become angry as well, and what then? The omega started to chew the walnut on his own, and now that he was out of bait, he really didn’t have a choice.

“What then…?”

The omega’s fist suddenly met Eren’s nose, and the brunet fell back and hit the floor hard. The beta’s hand immediately went up to cup his poor nose, but it didn’t take long for the teen to get back up again and get his face right in front of Levi’s, his eyes burning with hatred as dark red fluid slowly dripped from his nose, creating a puddle on the white sheet they sat on.

“What was that for?!” the beta yelled into the omega’s face, his back arching, “What did I do this time!? Huh? I agreed to what you proposed! What was I supposed to do?!”

“I don’t know”, the irritated omega responded, his eyes narrowing, “I’d probably hate everything you’d respond with. Which is why I tried to avoid the conversation altogether.”

“You can’t…” the brunet stopped to think of something, “You can’t just expect problems to be resolved by avoiding them! OF COURSE I wanted to help you! But you don’t want to be helped!”

“I don’t want your fucking help, nor your nose sticking into my past!” the omega yelled and grabbed him by the hem of his shirt, bringing him closer to his face, “I told you multiple times… stay out of this!”

“I just said I will!” Eren yelled, silencing the omega that was glaring daggers at him, “I just told you I’d leave you alone… But… but you still… and it fucking hurts, you know?”

“I never told you to back off!”

“I never intended to!” Eren yelled, getting up, “Honestly, I think you don’t even know what you want! You just know nothing’s good enough for you!”

“You think so?!”

“YES!” Eren yelled at the frustrated omega, walking a few steps backwards and pulling on his hair, “Yes, I do! You want me there, but also want me away! You want to like me, but you punch me in the face so that I fucking start BLEEDING, Levi!” he yelled and gestured to his face, “Look at this shit place now! It looks like we’ve murdered someone in here!”

“You murdered my ability to go back to sleep, you moron.”

“You murdered my NOSE!” Eren cupped it again, as if to protect it from the sight of his offender, “Damn it, I think you broke it…”

“What?!”

“It’s… it’s making a cracking noise when I touch it… I think…”

“Let me see!” the omega angrily exclaimed, getting up and stomping his way towards the brunet that stepped closer to him, “Well, if you’d stop squirming I might be able to help!”

“Don’t touch it…” the beta cried out and backed off, and the raven-haired man took him by the forearms and gently tried to part them from his nose. Once the beta finally gave in, the man stood at his tiptoes and narrowed his eyes, bringing his fingers closer to it as if he wanted to touch it, but he kept them away from the brunet whose wide eyes went watery from sudden panic. He watched Levi’s angry face for a clue, but the raven wouldn’t respond to his pleas, so he had to wait in silence while the omega’s fingers carefully touched the man’s nose.

“Well. Shit”, the omega responded. The horrified teen whimpered and backed off again, and the omega immediately started following him, his hands reaching out for Eren’s, “Where do you think you’re going? You’re leaving a trail of blood behind, you know? I’m not cleaning the entire shop… who knows what all happened in here…”

“LEVI! Help!” the brunet desperately exclaimed, jumping in place as the omega’s hands reached his face and brought it down again, “I think I’m gonna vomit…”

“You aren’t vomiting today, you piece of shit!” the omega hissed, his brows furrowing at the sight in front of him, “You’re fine, okay? Just… Just stop the bleeding, to start off. Pinch the soft part of your nose… Like this. I’ll try to find some ice… every store has an emergency supply kit around, right? And… whatever you do, don’t look in the mirror”, he said and backed off again, hurrying to find something cold to prevent the swelling. The horrified teen stared at him, a hand reaching out to the small man as if he would be able to make him stay that way. He sat on top of a small stool with his thumb and index finger pinching the bridge of his nose, his watery eyes following the raven’s quick steps.

“L-Levi…”

Chapter Text

Approaching the young man that sat at the windowsill with his head bowed to face the ground and a plastic bag that contained half-melted ice cubes Levi managed to dig up from who-knows-where pressed to his face, the omega thought of what to say to the man in pain once again. The teen did never once raise his head since he had sat at the sill, and it was unnerving the omega. But, being a person that never really knew how to express himself in words, and rather used body language as a form of communication, he just went up to the man and sat down right next to him, brushing against Eren lightly. The teen didn’t respond to him. With a quick stroke through the brunet’s messy hair he announced his presence before he put his cold hand on top of Eren’s arm, slowly guiding it down so that he’d remove the plastic bag that the brunet was eagerly pressing against his face. The beta obeyed after a few seconds and slowly looked at the omega, loudly exhaling through his nose as their eyes met, before Eren’s sight fell back to the floor. Levi’s hand reached the brunet’s face again and cupped his cheek gently, making the teen look up at him again. Levi wasn’t saying anything, but Eren knew what the shorter man meant to ask.

“It… it doesn’t hurt that much anymore”, he answered and looked down to the floor again as soon as he saw Levi’s facial expression relaxing. The brunet knew Levi had been worried more than him, actually, considering the fact that he kept pacing around and just looking at him without ever saying a thing. Eren didn’t want for the man to act like that – other omegas were supposed to be silent and do whatever they had to for the ones on a higher position than them – but he had still been angry at the short man for the period of the last hour. Considering that Levi didn’t even try to utter a word in all that time though, Eren’s anger died off. After a while, Eren looked back at the older man that was looking down at the floor steadily, his brows furrowed, “Thank you.”

Levi looked up at that, but looked away from the teen pretty soon again.

“If the pain is going away, it means that your nose isn’t broken. Just… messed up”, the raven-haired man silently said before looking back into the teen’s eyes, parting his lips to say more, but the words never came out of his mouth. Eren smiled, feeling how the muscles around his nose contracted as he did so.

“At least it didn’t fall off…” he said, cringing at his muffled and hoarse voice, “I thought it would for sure. Honestly, I really can’t believe you’re this strong. I mean, I’ve seen it four times by now or something like that, and still… How do you manage?”

The omega’s eyes narrowed. He didn’t say anything.

“Can you teach me?” Eren enthusiastically asked, hoping the false cheer would make a smile turn up on Levi’s youthful face, but the man’s scowl just deepened as he raised his head to look back at the teen again.

“You don’t become good by just hearing about it and thinking about it. Strength comes with much training and effort. I… I’m not sure how I was able to become as strong as I am, but…” he stopped all of a sudden, getting lost in thought. Eren watched his eyes become glassy before he put both of his hands over his face, as if to protect himself from the world around him – which was just Eren. The teen didn’t dare move as the older man remained in that position, not moving a single limb. He wasn’t even sure if Levi was still breathing. After a minute though, the small man stepped down from the windowsill and looked around himself, spotting the glass of water that had been put next to the teen for him to drink before he grabbed it and poured all of the water in the glass into his mouth, breathing heavily afterwards. His cold hand searched for Eren’s, and once it found it, the man looked to his side to face the worried teen that had been staring down at him all the while. Levi’s sight got stuck to the small amount of dried blood that was located under the beta’s nose as he waited for his breathing to steady.

“Don’t worry…” the omega silently said, leaning against the brunet’s leg and relaxing a bit. Eren realized there was a bead of sweat on the man’s pale forehead, but he didn’t dare say a thing and just waited for Levi to finish talking, “…it’s just the fact that I’m approaching the first stage.”

The brunet didn’t react to that, which made the man sigh and look back at the younger man, narrowing his eyes as he explained: “Of heat. The first stage of heat, Eren.”

The brunet opened his mouth in surprise, but remained silent whilst looking at the shorter man, before his sight slowly fell to the ground in shame. The silence that stretched out was almost awkward, but at this point, there was nothing that could actually make their conversation awkward at any point. After a while though, the curious teen looked back up at the omega and tilted his head and asked: “Is… is it supposed to hurt?”

“No”, the omega immediately answered before trying to find a spot to sit on, but the beta suddenly grabbed him by the shoulders and tried to pull him up. Of course, Eren was unable to move the heavy omega from his place, but Levi got the message and climbed between the man’s legs and put his legs over the brunet’s left one, leaning into the man’s chest from the side, “I don’t think you want to listen to biological facts… but, to sum it up, the older the omega gets, the older their reproductive system becomes. And if they’ve never been mated in heat, after thirty years, things are bound to fall apart…” he looked out of the foggy window thoughtfully, but still continued talking as if he could read Eren’s wild thoughts, “I’m not going to fall apart, don’t worry. It just… hurts. I’m pretty much used to it, but it catches me off guard sometimes.”

“You never mated?” Eren blurted out and became self-aware a second after that, but Levi didn’t seem to mind the question too much, or at least he pretended not to. The omega did reposition himself closer to Eren, though, before narrowing his eyes and taking the glass by its top again, the way he’d normally hold cups, his long reddish fingers holding it steadily.

“Not while in heat”, the omega silently responded, his voice growing hoarse as his eyes became glassy again, “I refused to. They even offered me freedom once. But I knew it was just a trick, so I didn’t do it. If I were to… back then…” he sighed before sitting up straight again, blocking the brunet’s vision, “I’m done with that. Even if it fucking kills me.”

“I don’t want it to kill you”, Eren silently said, looking up at the omega that then looked down at him again, a soft expression on his face.

“What are you going to do about it…?” the omega silently responded, the faintest of smiles curling his lips upwards. After a few moments he sighed heavily again, bending down and cupping his face with his palms, “Look at us. We’re one of a kind, aren’t we…? Fucking… beaten, broken, poor, bloody, loony, furious at the entire world.”

“Great minds stick together”, the teen responded as a smile came to his face, and the omega looked at him by parting his fingers, his clear blue eye looking right at him.

“The saying goes ‘think alike’, actually…” he sighed before nuzzling closer to adjust his position, “But I get where you’re coming from. The ones that have less tend to stick together, no…? Especially if the rest of society wants them dead. Who would not start to rebel against such a community…?” he looked up at the beta’s chin, feeling his vivid eyes all over him, “Tell me… is it normal for a country to enslave the bearers of future generations just because they bring offspring, which would make the kingdom’s population higher? Just because those asses on top don’t want to share what they have… Is it normal to take children and torture them for as long as they don’t present, just so the society could rank them by value and ‘flourish’, as they say…? Look what they’ve done to you. You’re a fucking moron.”

He felt Eren’s neck moving as Eren looked down at him in confusion.

“I’m a moron”, the omega soon added, looking down, “I should have…” he tried to speak of something, but eventually just gave up and relaxed in the teen’s arms that found themselves around his waist once again. He didn’t continue his speech anymore, he just looked up at the brunet whose eyes travelled towards his back as a hand of his escaped to stroke his back gently with his fingers. The omega seemed at peace.

“You got pretty wounded there, you know…?” Eren silently asked, completely absorbed into his own hand that was drawing circles on Levi’s arched back, “I… I didn’t know what to do. I remained sitting like you’ve told me to. But when you collapsed, I… You looked really pale, and sick. I got scared, so I ran to pick you up. You were really cold, and I knew I’d never be able to carry you home, so I ran to the first place I could – this very clothes shop. Zeke was just talking to a customer, or something… that guy just flew out the door when he saw blood. He kind of wanted to… throw you out at first, I mean he joked about it as usual, but you don’t just joke about the same thing twenty times, I mean…” he snorted, “We patched you up. He got that blanket for you ‘cause I told him you’d kill him if you’d be sleeping on the floor… I know how you feel about that”, the teen sweetly smiled, “We… we had to take your shirt off to patch the wound on your arm… that’s when I saw…”

Eren couldn’t finish his sentence and Levi tensed, but just sighed after a while.

“It’s not a pretty sight, is it…?” the omega asked, a slight smile playing on his lips, “Sorry that I’m not meeting your expectations”, he joked, humorlessly as usual, but Eren’s focus was elsewhere. The brunet slowly pulled the man’s shirt up, his fingers immediately touching the omega’s soft skin and pressing into it, as if he could make the deep white scars vanish by doing so. The skin on his back was so torn that it didn’t even look like human skin anymore, but an expressionistic painting only a deeply emotionally scarred painter would be able to create. The layer of his marble skin was so thin that the brunet felt his stomach turn at the sight. Deep claw marks were forever embedded in his otherwise flawless skin, making his flesh look like the cheap grinding paper the locals here sold. There were holes in his skin, ones that would never fade, received from a variety of sets of teeth. There were dozens of bite marks just below his scent gland that then harshly changed their direction to go downwards, so that the omega wouldn’t be bonded. He was so thin that his ribs were protruding through the almost transparent skin, and even though his abdomen was graced with muscles, his appearance under that shirt that made him seem like any other omega, normal but petite, seemed nothing short of ill. He looked like a living corpse under his clothes. Eren had always wondered how come that he could embrace that strong man so easily, and why his waist was even thinner than a female’s, but seeing this made everything crystal clear. He didn’t know of his past, but this alone explained more than Eren was prepared to find out. The teen slowly pressed his lips against a wide, open white scar, pressing his forehead against the man’s back and trying to fight his emotions that started bubbling in him and already threatened to rise to the surface. That man really was a work of art, but it wasn’t that type of art that the beta hoped it would be. Those artists that made the man look like he was right now knew nothing about art, and Eren hated sharing this masterpiece with them. But he was sure he’d finish it, and bring it to perfection.

“You okay…?” Levi silently asked, feeling the brunet’s head shake left and right and his head pressing tighter into the man’s ruined skin. The omega waited for a few seconds for the teen to stop pressing against him before speaking again, “Cover my back.”

The teen didn’t listen. He began kissing those nasty scars again, his lips slowly grazing each and every centimeter of that atrocity that was the omega’s back. Levi remained silent this time, waiting for the man to stop, but as time moved on it seemed as if Eren was never going to stop loving his back. Levi couldn’t even think of how disgusting it must have felt like to touch such things with one’s mouth, to feel the rough edges of cuts.

“Stop”, the man suddenly raised his voice, and Eren finally stopped, his lips an inch away from the omega’s skin. The omega released a shaky breath that got the younger man worried, so he quickly covered the man again and embraced his petite frame, thinking of how it would feel like to hold the man without his shirt on, “You’re making me sick…”

“I’ll rip them apart…” the beta suddenly growled, pressing his cheek against the top of Levi’s head longingly, “if I ever find them… I’ll tear them to shreds. Whatever they did to you… I’ll make it ten times worse. I’ll make them suffer so much… Levi… so much… they’ll be whimpering for your forgiveness in a matter of seconds…” the young man silenced himself before going on, feeling how Levi’s heartbeat increased, “I promise… I promise never to let you go again. No one will ever be able to do such a thing to you. I’ll become strong… I’ll protect you even if it kills me.”

The man in his arms didn’t say anything. He just leaned back and pressed his head against Eren’s chest, inhaling through his nose as his entire body trembled once he exhaled the air. Levi seemed so much fragile that moment that it caused the beta to hold onto him tighter. Imagining how he actually looked like, combined with the fact that he was clearly hungering and that he was shaking of weakness the upcoming heat brought with it made the teen want to protect that small man even more. He held him like someone wanted to tear the omega away from him – and he knew it was something betas should never be feeling, if they weren’t corrupted. But the thought of being corrupted wasn’t nearly as important as holding the man right here, right now.

“You’re so immature…”, the short omega silently responded, reaching for the brunet’s hand again and looking up with a half-smile on his face that brought his entire being to life, “You’re not my Alpha, nor are you the shaper of my future. Whatever happens, happens. Don’t make your life miserable by adding me to your plan…” he said and intertwined their fingers before looking up again, searching for the brunet’s watery eyes, “And stop crying. We’re supposed to be leaving soon. If that Zeke guy comes in and sees us like that… what’s he going to think, eh…?”

The teen turned his head away as if offended, trying to calm his trembling lower lip. Levi smiled.

“You’re insufferable…” he silently said, shaking his head left and right, “…I don’t think I’ll last long if you keep behaving that way…” the omega’s smile intensified, so that he was showing his sharp canines, “I’ll be deaf till forty too.”

“Fuck you”, the beta responded, snorting as the tears finally jumped out of his eyes, bloody snot coming out of his nose which he immediately tried to cover with his arm.

“Tch. Disgusting…” the omega said and shook his head in disapproval, bringing the beta’s soft hand to his lips and kissing its top gently before looking up at the teen that was battling with his nose once again, adding, “I really don’t know what’s in it for you in this… relation of ours. What do you get out of it…?”

The teen finally wiped his nose and eyes before looking at the omega that was musing out loud, a thoughtful expression on his face. His brows were slightly furrowed, a small crease appearing on his forehead as his smile completely vanished. The few beads of sweat were still present on his light forehead, but he didn’t seem to be in pain at that exact moment. Eren just watched him so he wouldn’t interrupt his thoughts, just because the man looked so distant while thinking that it made it seem as if Levi was unreachable.

“It’s clearly not for the reason it should be… I can’t give to you something that I don’t have, something I lost years ago… What use would it be, to have someone that is already… not broken, no, but used… By so many.”

“I don’t care”, Eren chimed in silently, yet the omega seemed unfazed by the comment, as if he couldn’t even hear what the brunet had said. Maybe he really didn’t, maybe he was so deep in thought that a simple statement couldn’t pull him out of it. The beta wondered how that head of his functioned, what the man was thinking, how he felt while doing it, what his intentions were, how he searched for the meaning of all of it.

“What to receive from such an omega… Why go after me, if I clearly don’t respond to anything you do… Why bother to go that way, you do have something to lose, after all. Time. Valuable time. Imagine what you could be doing… instead of running after me? Wasting time?”

Eren waited this time.

“I’m not worth the struggle… yet you deem me worthy, for some reason. Lousy perception, thinking with your ass, listening to instincts rather than the mind. Would you react the same way five years from now, I wonder…”

The omega felt a small peck against the back of his head.

“I can’t keep fighting someone who doesn’t know how to listen…” he said and turned his head to look at Eren’s smiling face, his eyes immediately searching for Levi’s zealously, “You’re the one who’s made the choice. The only thing I can do is… bless that choice, and make you strive forward. Who am I to fight someone with such a pure intention… No matter how wrong it could be perceived. And is. Because clearly, you’ve chosen the wrong guy”, the omega crossed his arms over his chest and sunk further into the beta, making Eren chuckle.

“I don’t think so…” the teen stated, trying to find the omega’s hand again, but Levi just swatted his hand away, “Your level of weirdness matches mine.”

Eren pressed his cheek against the omega’s cheekbone, feeling it sting his skin and continuing: “I mean… have you ever seen two guys like us, complete morons, totally boring idiots who read books and make paintings, and are into it so much that their entire way of thinking clashes with that art form…? To think… that the other is a work of art, special? Is it normal to be as obsessed by another…? Is it normal for an omega to hit a person on a higher rank to get attention…” he got closer, sliding his cheek against Levi’s, who remained completely still, tense, waiting, “Is it normal for that person to get turned on when being hit…?”

“Is it normal to think about it that much?” Levi asked, his head falling back to lean against the brunet’s shoulder, the beta’s shining eyes watching him aggressively.

“Is it normal to feel such things at such a day and age?”

“Is it normal for me to risk my life for an idiot? To trust him…”

“Is it normal to want to hold someone’s hand that much?”

“Is it normal for me to think of spending my next heat with a beta?”

The statement made Eren stop for a moment, but a big smirk got to his face soon enough, watching the other man’s cold eyes as they eagerly awaited a response. Those dull orbs seemed wary, but Levi’s silvery voice made those words sound too confident, too suggestive; he knew exactly what it would make Eren think. The brunet’s smile suddenly faded, his heart beating out of his chest as he realized they were already too close to each other, as he thought of this as a test of some sorts, so Levi would see the man’s intentions. Eren, however, had no real intentions, up until that moment. What if this really was another test? What if he were to fail? He searched for the answer in the omega’s silent eyes, but they radiated just as many questions as the brunet’s.

“No way… is he really… waiting for an answer?! Did he just ask me to…” he couldn’t even think of the word, but he forced himself to ask away, “Are you allowing me to… c-court you, Levi?”

The omega waited for a few seconds, looking at every single detail of the man’s face before showing a shy smile, his eyes falling to his crossed arms that felt a bit too warm at the moment, answering: “You’ve never looked so unsure of yourself”, his smile grew bigger before he looked up again, making the teen’s heart leap as he saw his content face, “Perhaps it is not a question I should be asking…?”

“I… I’m just… really? I can court you?” the brunet loudly asked, straightening a little in shock, his determined expression making the older man chuckle. The teen had to know – because he really wanted to suck that smile off his face. The omega passed a hand through his silky hair for no other reason than to relieve the stress he was in before searching for the beta’s eyes again, his smile almost fading as he kept staring.

“No”, the omega dropped, and the teen felt his combusting body falling frozen, “I mean. You don’t really… No one’s been courting anyone for ages… and…”

“Levi! Just… fuckin’… stop torturing me! Tell me what you mean, please!” the desperate man exclaimed, parting from the omega to press him against the window, careful not to hurt him yet holding his broad shoulders in place, “What are you saying? I don’t understand!”

The omega kept glaring into the man’s desperate eyes for a few seconds before crashing his lips against Eren’s unexpectedly, grabbing the hem of his shirt and clenching it harshly between his fists so that his whole shirt got messed up, but the brunet didn’t care, for once; the young man just whimpered as Levi’s tongue found itself in his own mouth somehow, wrestling with Eren’s, the omega’s fingers finding themselves on Eren’s face and pulling on his skin as the brunet remained frozen, harshly breathing through his burning nose as the man kept pulling him closer, Levi’s body aligning itself to meet the brunet’s. Once the brunet finally remembered how to kiss back and once his hands finally removed themselves from Levi’s shoulders, the man suddenly pulled away just enough to bite the younger man’s lips harshly, his strong teeth causing the brunet’s lower lip to bleed as Eren swore he saw the man smirk evilly at him before he suddenly threw himself at the brunet, sitting on top of Eren’s member that was already crying out for attention, the brunet yelping before Levi’s lips crashed against his again, sucking on them as that hot breath of his repeatedly reached Eren’s overheated face, causing the brunet to stop thinking, for once. The brunet’s hands found themselves on Levi’s hips in a second, reaching beneath his shirt, Levi encouraging his movement with that single tremor of his body, the brunet’s freezing fingers spreading to take as much skin as possible, reaching up as the omega’s arms fell over his shoulders, parting from the kiss just to look at the brunet’s swollen lips and his fervent gaze begging for more, though his face held no confidence – he looked completely lost. That innocence, although every other part of Eren’s body told a different story, made the man attack his neck with kisses that traveled upwards slowly and teasingly, multiple yips escaping the brunet’s throat, Levi smirking at the result of the question in his head.

“L-Levi…” the brunet’s hoarse, cute voice made the man moan as he pressed another kiss to the beta’s throat, right underneath the side of his jaw, feeling the brunet pressing closer as he craved contact, so the omega slowly leaned back, letting the beta slowly cover his body as he lied down underneath him, pulling him to himself by the hem of his shirt. Eren was completely focused on him, his pupils tiny and his eyes more green that blue. It made Levi stop for a moment, having to remind himself that Eren, indeed, had no scent, but what made his heart bolt was when he couldn’t even read his expression, since his eyes didn’t tell him anything anymore, and there was no expression on the brunet’s face at all. The man stared ahead as the beast above him slowly reached forward, their faces mere inches apart, the frozen omega waiting for Eren to do something – and the young man reached for his neck, fondling it with lazy kisses, slowly. The omega released a shaky breath and closed his eyes, pulling himself up to wrap his legs around the man’s waist, his hips pressing against the beta longingly, before he could feel something wet dripping down his neck and widening his eyes, Eren freezing in place.

“…Fuck”, he heard the beta breathe. Levi reached for his neck, collecting the fluid that was there with his index and middle finger, bringing it closer to his face and staring at the dark red color for a while, releasing the beta so he would be able to stand up. The omega looked up at the beta again once he sat normally, with one leg pressed to his chest and the other dangling down from the windowsill, calming his racing heart and harsh breathing for a few seconds before lazily smiling at the man who had covered his nose again, looking away in shame.

“I… should have expected something like this to happen…” Levi silently said, sitting up as well, ignoring how much his body trembled in expectation of something that wasn’t about to happen, fighting the instinct to throw himself on top of Eren again, trying again, and again, and again…

“You should’ve expected worse, actually…” Eren breathed, remembering to pinch the bridge of his nose to prevent the blood from rushing out of his nose. His curious eyes fell to Levi’s, revealing that they had turned normal again, the monster turning into that sweet, innocent-looking beta again. Levi half-closed his eyes and sat up straight, a hand of his finding itself in the brunet’s messy locks, the omega pressing his other hand at his back and clenching his fist harshly.

“Right”, the raven-haired man breathed, a slight smile coming to his lips as he pressed them against the young man’s eyebrow, earning another whimper from the brunet, “Let’s go home, Eren.”

Chapter Text

”So… uh… what was the deal with that book?” Eren asked silently as he leaned closer to the small man whose nose was stuck in a book as he wandered through the crowded street, relying on Eren to guide them back, “Is it from that… Shake…spear guy you’ve told me about?”

Levi wasn’t answering; he just kept striding forward with those long steps of his. The brunet bit his lower lip before trying to approach the subject in another way.

“If Zeke finds out you took a book from his collection… he isn’t going to let you stay there anymore. Not that you’re probably planning to. But you never know”, the brunet continued, scratching his jaw as he talked. The omega nodded his head and hummed softly to let Eren know he had understood, but other than that, he didn’t bother to explain his reasons. The brunet kept waiting for a while, intently looking at the raven-haired man who was completely absorbed into the book he was reading, before he sighed and smiled at him. He could see everyone’s eyes at the omega, and it couldn’t have been only because of the looks – after all, omegas weren’t supposed to read, and this one wasn’t even bothering to look at the street through which he was passing. The brunet remained extremely close to him, holding his head up high and watching out for any Alphas in case they’d get an idea of approaching his Levi. They had to have thought that Eren was a guard of his of some sorts, but not that the beta cared. The small square was filled with different scents of delicious food that was being cooked, and the brunet could feel his stomach growl, but not that he had enough to afford any of it; the prizes were rising constantly, and he wasn’t planning on throwing everything away on fresh baked goods... no matter how good they smelled. The cobbled brownish rocks were completely dry by now, and it was as if all the people living here suddenly decided on going out; someone would brush past them every tenth second, pushing the small man away, but never making him step away, and Eren especially liked how everyone looked back at the omega and expected to hear the short man apologize – and Levi would only cuss under his breath. The town was full of Alphas and betas that accompanied them, Eren noticed, and the few omegas that were around were walking right besides their Alphas, with their noses facing the ground in shame and the Alphas grumbling at them. The sun was shining, though the temperature still wasn’t pleasant. But at least Levi could get some vitamin D, for once. He smiled again, a happy feeling sneaking into his being without a warning, ignoring the gossips of betas around him, some whispering about a blockade of the town the day before, whilst others were judging Levi - both his looks and his behavior.

“Other than that, didn’t you say you would only read books from the… you know. Outside”, he silently said, afraid someone could hear them, since apparently, everyone could hear everything – except of him. Levi finally heavily sighed and lifted his head up and turned it just enough to look at the brunet next to him, his lips forming into a miniature smile.

“I’m reading one right now.”

“You are?”

“You seem… genuinely confused”, he tilted his head before looking back into the old book, “That guy’s got a pile of them hidden in his drawer. Wonder where he had gotten them… I might look into it at some point…”

“Can I just ask-“

“I was searching for those ice cubes at the time. That’s when it occurred to me that I didn’t know any of the authors of the books piled up in there, so I took the top one”, he said and looked up at him again, closing the hardcover book, but keeping his index finger in to mark the page he was at, lifting it up to indicate that this was the book he was talking about, “and looked inside. And guess what? There was no Alpha nor omega mentioned, so I concluded that a, that man somehow managed to rescue the books before they were burnt, or b, he really got his hands on outsider books. Considering it’s… well-written, and doesn’t repulse me already, I think it’s the other one…” he smiled a little, “I mean, of course, there’s still that romance bullshit, a bit, but the emphasis isn’t on the protagonist’s love. It’s about… torturing people. In hell.”

“That’s… uh…”

“Something, isn’t it?” the omega raised a brow at him as his smirk grew bigger right before he opened the book again to look into it, “Right now I’m reading a passage where the author describes the way adulterers have to suffer.”

“Oh?” Eren asked, smirking.

“I’m… not so sure why it’s such a bad thing that a storm is blowing them back and forward… I mean, yes, it symbolizes restlessness of a person who is led by lust, and doesn’t give them peace and all… but… lamenting… shrieking… wait. Uh… Anyways, there’s some random-ass people, okay…” he searched for a passage with his index finger, his eyes concentrating only on the book, pushing an Alpha away with his right shoulder on instinct and Eren having to smile apologetically, “A pair was reading a love story… Ah, here it is. Alone we were, and no/ Suspicion near us. Oft-times by that reading/ Our eyes were drawn together, and the hue/ Fled from our alter’d cheek. But at one point/ Alone we fell. When of that smile we read,/ The wished smile so rapturously kiss’d/ By one so deep in love, the he, who ne’er/ From me shall separate, at once my lips/ All trembling kiss’d. The book and writer both/ Were love’s purveyors. In its leaves that day/ We read no more.

The brunet kissed the side of his lips and the omega froze for a second before narrowing his eyes up at the teen, a smirk playing on his lips. Whispers coming from all sides didn’t unnerve the couple that stood in the middle of the square, ignoring everyone around them.

“What happened to them?”

“The woman’s husband ordered them to be executed”, the small omega said nonchalantly before closing the book, putting it under his shoulder and continuing to walk.

“Oh”, Eren nervously said before rushing to his side, intertwining their fingers and smiling when the omega leaned into his touch instead of smacking his hand away like he would usually do, “That’s… uh… Good to know.”

“Isn’t it?” the omega silently responded before heavily sighing, “It was an arranged marriage. She never wanted to marry that guy who got her killed in the end, and that stood in the way of ‘true love’, I guess. But I bet that we’ll meet him later on in the book, down there. A murderer, after all.”

“Levi… I can’t lie to you…” Eren sighed, clenching his fingers, “You scare me with those books of yours, sometimes…”

“The king wouldn’t kill us…” he started, though his brows soon furrowed, “Well, actually, I’m not so sure about you. That brute plans on doing things he’ll regret sooner or later… And there’s no one to stop his shit. I’m not planning on going back, though. Levi Smith, his little omega? Yeah, right, my ass. It’s not that he’s that… Ugh. But… stuck in a castle for the rest of my life…? Devoid of any contact with the outside world? I don’t wish for some weird-ass outfits, and me getting pampered by everyone… In the news – a new toy for the king! Breakfast in bed? People running after you? Wiping your ass? Not having to lift a finger and just… just try to concei- no. There’s people out there who actually enjoy doing nothing, and bathing in luxury… But… I’d never be able to function without the outside world…” the omega’s steps grew faster as he talked, before he suddenly stopped and looked back up into the beta’s eyes, looking at him with a soft gaze, “I’ve always imagined… how it is, out there. Getting away, out of this wall… Out of this shitty-air-filled prison. It’s impossible, yes, and the king wants to make it possible… but…” Levi’s gaze suddenly dropped, “I… do need someone to translate my speaking, though. That would be quite useful.”

“The book’s got you pretty good”, Eren stated, smirking at the short man and taking him by both of his hands, “Maybe I should get you ones more often?”

“Do we really have time for that?” the raven asked, stepping closer to the brunet as he peeked up to meet his eyes before his sight coyly fell to the ground again, “We have approximately three to four weeks before shit gets real. Might as well steal food and cloths before that, no? I don’t think we’ll be needing books anytime soon…”

The brunet felt the man’s fingers gripping his tighter, and that made him blush. Heat was a really weird thing.

“You look like you’re restraining a shit or something”, the noble silently remarked, tilting his head to the side and narrowing his eyes, “I haven’t lost any of my senses yet. But in all honesty now. If you are really sure about this… thing that is going on between us… then it’s a great idea to prepare beforehand. I don’t know what I’m like, then… Mostly, I can control myself as far as you know, but you’ve probably heard stories of it, and they don’t have much in common with self-awareness or any sort of rationality.”

Eren stared at him with eyes wide open. He would have never thought Levi would actually talk about those things – to him! To a scentless beta! Eren’s smile grew larger, so large that Levi’s expression softened once again, leaving him staring at the young adult. He showed the tiniest of smiles before forcing himself to look away. He seemed to be thinking about something before he suddenly widened his eyes and straightened his back, assuming an alert position and waiting for something to happen. The teen diminished the smile the best as he could as he tried to pay attention to what got Levi so worried all of a sudden, but he couldn’t hear anything.

“Shit”, Levi muttered before gripping the brunet by his wrist and starting to drag him the other way, but the beta’s sluggish moves didn’t really help his situation and he silently growled.

“What’s… what’s going-“

“LEEEEEEVIIIIIIIIII” there was a long, obnoxious shriek that made the omega’s footsteps falter for a moment, and Eren stepped forward to drag him now, “LEVI, WAIT FOR MEEEE!”

The brunet didn’t intend to listen to the overly-positive sounding voice that came from somewhere in the back, but once Levi stepped closer to him, Eren stopped every movement. The omega was obviously bothered by the fact that someone was calling after him, but instead of wearing an expression that showcased just how panicked he was, he seemed rather annoyed, that perpetual scowl drawn onto his face once again as he narrowed his eyes that lost their shine they contained a little while ago. The beta confusedly looked down at him before looking into the distance to see the figure that was approaching rather eagerly. The crowds seemed to disperse when that high-pitched voice came crashing through them, and the omega and the beta were left alone to face the maniac that was running towards them. Eren honestly couldn’t tell who this person was – dressed in a white dress and a small brown jacket thrown over their shoulders, a bag hanging from her shoulder flying from left to right and from right to left, they were running towards them the fastest they could, the glasses on their nose reflecting the sunlight so that it made the person look like a lunatic. Screaming out the omega’s name once again as they – she – ran, she grinned from ear to ear, giving off a rather creepy vibe that made the brunet next to Levi emit a low growl, so Levi gently placed a hand against the man’s chest, but released his wrist and pulled his hand back to himself, wrapping it around the book he then pressed to his chest as he waited for the person to approach him. Or, as Eren saw it, assault him.

“Leeeviiii”, she repeated once again, even though it was obvious that they had clearly heard her, and it made the omega’s frown deeper. She clearly saw them, but kept running a straight line towards them, with no sign of stopping. Her big hooked nose came into view faster and faster, and Eren suddenly felt intimidated as the bouncy person kept running, with no sign of stopping, before she suddenly froze completely, a mere two meters away from the couple. She took a few seconds to just look at each of them before suddenly exhaling loudly and nodding her head, smiling brightly, “It’s been a long time, don’t you think?”

“It’s never long enough”, the omega grumbled, but the beta in front of him seemed to be pleased by the answer, considering she giggled and clasped her hands together like this answer was the nicest one possible. The brunet didn’t like this at all, but he remained standing guard right behind the omega.

“Told you you’d never be able to run away from me”, she cheerfully said, pressing her hands against her waist before tilting her head, “I don’t remember you wearing trousers when you ran away, though… And the shirt! So… cute!” she said and showed her grabby fingers to them before stepping a step closer, only for Eren to step ahead and deeply growl at her, his eyes burning with hatred that remained neglected, “Awwww… And you got yourself a little mate! Isn’t he adorable…” she said and approached Eren, not even paying attention to the way the brunet growled at her, before pinching his cheek and making him yelp and back off, stroking his cheek lightly with a sad expression on his face, “Look at him, though… Such a delight! You’ve got good taste, little man!”

“Skip the foreplay, Hange. What do you want from me?” he deadpanned, straightening his head proudly.

“Nothing, really… I was just visiting the town a bit. The king is rather busy, trying to lure you back somehow…” she trailed off, her red eyes facing the ground for a whole two seconds before they shot up to face Levi’s again, “Haven’t you seen the news, lately? Didn’t you read the passages that describe just how much sorry he is…?”

Eren wanted to butt in, as usual, but once he saw that Levi’s eyes weren’t as narrow as before, and that he had the relaxed expression on his face he’d get whenever he heard of something that pleased him, he decided to remain silent and just looked down.

“He should be sorry. He made me run away in the first place.”

“And the poems…? Did you read the poems, Levi?! Did. You. They are sooo good. I cried while reading one, I swear-“

“Are you shitting me or something…?” the raven silently responded, his eyes giving off that scary aura again, “The king? And poems? I must have misheard that. Last time I checked, he was as creative as a block of cement.”

“That’s what made me cry. His words were about as beautiful as your foul mouth”, she said and smiled widely, grabbing him by the arm to which the omega didn’t even react, making Eren stare at the pair as she dragged the raven away from him, leaving Eren to just watch them leave, wondering if he should interfere or not, “Can you even imagine it? You know how much he has to miss you to actually embarrass himself publicly this way. Between you and me… he did try to talk me into writing those, but I ran away… just like you! Running away from problems!”

“You don’t have to rub it into my face, Shitty Glasses.”

“Eh, this makes us kind of the same, you and me. Don’t you think?”

“I… really don’t appreciate you calling me similar to you…”

“Too bad…” she sighed, and Eren finally decided to follow them slowly, trying to keep the distance between them as large as possible while he’d still be able to hear what they were saying, “You have no idea just how boring things are back there, in the castle…”

“I can imagine.”

“Yes, yes, but…” she enthusiastically said, shoving her arm into Levi’s and taking him by the elbow, pulling him with her as she walked left and right, shoving him in each and every direction and he not even complaining about it. The brunet behind them tried not to feel jealous, but a lump grew in his throat anyway, “There’s no one to talk to anymore… No one to call me names, or knock me unconscious…”

“Yes, I recognized that foul stench a mile away.”

“The king’s trying so hard to get you back lately… I am sorry if you had to encounter some of our soldiers… He ordered them to find you. He’s sat up a plan in his head and won’t stop thinking about it… Hours upon hours, he spends in that throne room of his and plays with those little figurines of his… It’s kind of funny to watch him in the middle of the night, especially when he starts acting as if they were alive.”

“Again?” Levi asked, looking up at the taller person with a soft smile on his face that made Eren’s footsteps falter, “I really hoped he would stop at some point… That habit’s really annoying. Imagine…”

“I know! I KNOW!” she exclaimed, raising her hands into the air as if to grasp the sky, a crazy expression on her face as she looked down again, “See what you did to that poor man? He’s gonna go nuts, Levi.”

“I’ve known him for how long… And yet he never bothered to mention her…? I… I thought he had no one…” his brows furrowed in hurt, shaking his head, “Not that I wanted him to be lonely all this time… But if he really gets along with her that well… and never said anything about her at all… Then who knows what kind of experiences he has. He never… told me that. He never talks to me that way… Levi”, his hands clenched into fists as he listened to the woman’s laughter, “Not now, Eren… Why do I have to be this way?! He didn’t do anything wrong… Why do I doubt him now, of all times…? We basically agreed to be… mates. You can’t question him now… He’s yours, Eren, don’t worry…”

“How could I forget that one…? Never again did he try to hide something from me…”

“Yeah, he’d probably…”

“He’s yours… The way he looks at you is… Nothing compares to it… it’s not just the heat, it- It’s… He loves me! But… is there truth to it, with the teenager thoughts and all…? Do I love him? Or am I just… a horny teen…?” the lump in his throat was growing constantly, and he felt light-headed all of a sudden, seeing only the pair in front of him, “How to love someone if he doesn’t understand half of the things you say, though… I’m… He’s too smart for me. Is it just because I helped him out? Does he actually have others to chase after… Oh, please, don’t have anybody waiting for you… Why is it so complicated? Who knows whom he knows? I don’t even… even know in what kind of relationship he is with the king… What if this is a plan, of some sorts…? Royalty to be, together with a scentless man… What if… What if it’s all acting? No… He gets me… He… He lo- likes me…”

“Eren…?” he heard the man’s voice in the distance and finally focused on his worrying face again before his eyes shot towards the other beta that was watching him carefully too. In alarm, he searched for Levi’s eyes again, but the omega was already approaching him. The scentless beta stepped a few steps backwards, much to the omega’s surprise, but Levi just rushed towards him and stopped a few inches away from him, looking up at the brunet whose eyes were completely devoid of any emotions, glassy and dull. The raven blinked a few times, a hand of his pulling on his hoodie a bit, “You’re… free to accompany us at any time, you know…? It’s not a professional meeting, or anything…” he silently said, his soft gaze traveling towards the brunet’s bitten red lips. Eren widened his eyes before shaking his head as if to wake from a dream. He then shrugged his shoulders and smiled a bit, but only got the omega’s eyes to go narrow, “You could at least keep following us, if nothing else. Also, I’ve never seen worse acting than yours. That smile looks as if you’re about to murder a child, or something…”

“Well, maybe I am…” the brunet grunted as he brushed past the small omega whose confused-looking eyes followed the man that reached Hange and passed right by her, not even bothering to look at Levi’s old, annoying friend. The noble clicked his tongue, but chose not to talk back to the young man. Instead, he walked to the other beta that was eagerly awaiting him, even though she was clearly fighting with herself to look the other way and stare at the brunet that was kicking leaves out of the way in the distance.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into him all of a sudden… he’s not like that, usually… and tends to hide that accent of his”, Levi silently said, staring at the floor and his bare feet that looked completely white from this angle, “Though… I’ve never seen him interact with people whom he is not familiar with. He isn’t really the social type.”

“Ah… men”, the tall woman sighed, shaking her head left and right and putting her index finger at her glasses to hold them in place, even though there was no way they would fall off at any point since she secured that to her head with duct tape, “They never bother to understand, really…” she smiled down at Levi, “He’s clearly head over heels with you, Grumpy. And just hanging out with me seems to bother him a lot.”

“You’ve just given me an excuse as to why I should avoid you from now on, idiot.”

“No, but… He’s really into you. I can see the way his eyes practically light up when they look at you… Oh, and don’t get me started on how his eyes stare at your bosom when you walk-“

“Okay, now you’re just talking shit.”

“Eh. I wish I could erase the thought of you two-“

“Hange, I swear, I’ll rip your throat out if you even dare say a thing about that”, he hissed, looking up at her with narrowed eyes, “I don’t know what your messed-up brain made us out to be, but whatever it is, we are not it. Eren is…” he looked down, silently adding the next part, “…so much more than I…”

“You do realize he’s got no scent… Right, Levi…?” she silently asked, making the man shut his mouth. She stopped walking first, and Levi didn’t dare look up as she continued, “You had to have realized that. Omegas are especially sensible about that… because they subconsciously know how dangerous it is to hang out with one. I know you’re one to avoid your instincts, sometimes… in order to do something not a lot of your species would dare to. What your brain or heart says, to be exact. But staying close to a person that could potentially be the end of you…? That’s… that’s not you, Levi”, her words cut into him like blades into his flesh, stabbing him from all sides at the same time, “The last time you faced someone like that you started growling immediately and refused to be in the same room as him… remember…? We didn’t even realize he had no scent… And without you, we would all have been affected, probably…”

“You know I would have kept silent…” Levi whispered, crossing his arms over his chest protectively, “if I had only known what would happen to him…”

“You saved all of our lives back then”, she cut him off, stepping closer to the small man, “It’s not important in which light you perceive what had happened. There’s still the truth, though. And the truth is that the entire castle could have gotten infected. And died. If it weren’t for you.”

The omega remained silent. It felt as if no one was near them anymore, as if it was just the two friends and the fact that Eren could very much end up just like the man who happened to meet Levi a few years ago.

“You told me he was a beta… and the only proof for me you have is his own word?”

The omega kept his mouth shut.

“I could tell you that I’m an Alpha right now. Would you believe me? Short answer – no. There’s no scent, and no hormones, and no typical behavior that ties me to an Alpha, except of the few hormones in our bloodstream we betas share with them… You noticed it right from the start, didn’t you…?”

“He had no idea, Hange…” Levi silently said, slowly looking up at her furious expression, “Of course!” he yelled, pressing a hand against his forehead and exhaling loudly, lowering his head again, “Of course I noticed… Everyone had already noticed it… I asked multiple people, and they told me he had stopped emitting scents years ago… ever since he couldn’t afford to live a normal life anymore…” the small man shook his head and got closer to the bespectacled beta, worried eyes looking up at hers, “All of his friends were avoiding him on purpose… It’s not that visitors aren’t allowed, like he thinks… He told me others had families visiting them. The landlord made them all back off… and they did, the best they could while not being suspicious, because otherwise, they’d get thrown out. He was isolated from everyone and just thrown into his own room… to rot, Hange, to rot. He thought he’d get thrown out if that Shadis guy found me and it… really caused us problems… we…” he looked away again, searching for the teen that was sitting on a bench, bended down completely as he must have had thousands of thoughts invading his mind as to why they were just standing around like that, “But I had… had talked to him beforehand. The first chance I got whilst the brunet slept. Told him I had nothing anyway, and I didn’t mind, and he didn’t really care what would happen to me. He doesn’t even have water in there, Hange… others do. In all honesty, I planned to escape the first few days… First off, I was terrified, and my instincts told me to run as fast as I can… but I couldn’t. I was all beaten. He had helped me. He had given me more than he had, took from his friends, stole from a bearded guy that lives down the street. Other than that, the state of his room… it reminded me of all that shit I’ve been through, and I didn’t want to go through all of it again”, his voice cracked, but he didn’t dwell on it, straightening instead and looking as delicate as any omega, even though his body was trembling slightly, “But then I realized… it isn’t as bad, once you don’t have to go through all of it alone. And since he saved me, and since he was so nice to me… I couldn’t just leave him. I… really care for him…”

“Levi…” she gasped, her eyebrows lowering in pain and a crease forming on her forehead. She grasped the small man’s shoulders tightly, shaking him a bit without saying anything as she saw his eyes that brimmed with tears, “You can’t be serious… him…? Now, and him, of all the possibilities…? You?”

He just stared ahead, the book in his hands trembling, and her mind going in all directions to find the softest way of explaining to him, but she was Hange. She was never economic about the truth.

“You… you can’t mean it. You know what he is, right…?”

The fingers gripping the book dug into the covers.

“If… If it’s not a minor problem that occurs from time to time… like a change in weight or diet, which could actually be the case… He’s… either a spy sent from the outside world… which is very unlikely, since you told me he lived here since childhood… or he is corrupted.”

Corrupted. That word had such a nice ring to it, it was funny how deadly it was. It’s one simple word, yet every time anyone would utter it, the crowds would go silent. A word that entered one’s being and stayed there, a word which called church bells to ring from all sides of the world. One would stop, and stare into nothingness. First, you would lose all that made you human. Then it would eat away one’s mind, quickly, so quick that only the closest people wouldn’t notice it immediately. Then it would move on from one’s brain to one’s body, deadening cells one by one. If it had the chance, it would take others with it. That word took countless of lives away, and it was still hungry.

The crowds didn’t go silent this time, because no one was listening anymore, but for Levi, they did. For Levi, his entire environment compressed into his own mind, and he found himself alone, with darkness in front of his eyes and ringing in his ears. Scared, he covered his eyes with his palms, trying not to cry as he felt the beta’s fingers dig into his skin – he wasn’t alone.

“I’m not leaving him”, he said in a muffled voice, calming himself before looking back up at the counselor, “I don’t care what happens, I’m not. And you’re definitely not taking me back there, you bastard…” he narrowed his eyes at her, “Did you really think I was just going to follow you if you reminded me of it? As if I can’t see what you’ve been up to… You knew exactly where I was and already knew about him! I know it!”

“Levi… calm down…”

The omega looked back to the brunet that was in front of them, seeing that he was still staring at the floor.

“I can’t believe you sided against me… Weren’t you the one to encourage me to run away, if I ‘really thought it was going to be that bad’…? Did you tell Erwin about him as well?”

“Do you have his blood?”

Levi’s rampage stopped as he heard that question, his temper slowly dropping again as he just stared at the woman that still held him by the shoulder tightly, an innocent smile playing on her face, shining, zealous eyes watching his. She hummed after a few seconds, her eyes travelling down his bruised neck.

“Hmmm… I’m… assuming the blood running down your neck is his, right?” she scratched at it without warning, making the omega flinch, “Considering that there’s no wound on your neck whatsoever… except of those half-hickeys on the side…” she mumbled, “A simple blood test would have to do it. If there’s old corrupted beta cells in it, we’ll know that he’s invalid. But if everything seems to be fine, well, than it has to be some sort of blockade… which can most probably be helped. I’ll perform the tests and send them to your address.”

The omega stared up at her with wide open eyes, but decided against thanking her. After all that had been said, there was still a grain of doubt in him – something that just wouldn’t go away. It didn’t feel right. He felt dumb, all of a sudden. Played. Betrayed. He didn’t say anything at all as he just pushed her away and backed off hurriedly approaching the man whose head finally rose to grumpily look at him. But Eren’s eyes went wide open the second after he saw the red circles under the raven-haired omega’s eyes. The omega didn’t look at him as he passed by, but the beta managed to grab Levi by his hand and clench it in his tightly. The omega clenched back.

Hange watched their interaction from the distance, softly smiling at them as they were leaving before her smile turned into a frown. The woman then looked down to the cobbled floor, remembering that Levi had dropped the book he had held close to his chest as she talked to him. She bended over and took the book into one of her hands, straightening up as she observed the title of it carefully, her head sorting out all of the authors she had ever heard of – which were many. She raised a brow.

“Dante Alighieri… huh…?” her brows furrowed before hiding the book’s title by stuffing it into the bag she was carrying with herself, grabbing a paper tissue and wrapping the dried blood into it carefully, putting it between the book’s pages, “I didn’t know Eren had access to the outsider library…”

Chapter Text

Something was scorning him. He didn’t know what or why exactly, but something inside of him wanted him to shout, or punch a hole into the wall, but who would be able to fix that? Looking ahead, the only thing he could see were white knees that surfaced from the water beneath him – his own. Whitish, dappled marble tiles were wet from condensed water, the small drops of water sticking to the walls eagerly. The small window set right beside him showed the somewhat gloomy scenery outside, with the sky being grayish blue and nothing else except from a naked tree standing outside. It was gloomy to him, but he was sure Eren would love this kind of scenery, mostly because he saw beauty where there wasn’t any, and didn’t really see it where it actually was.

Levi sighed. Closing his eyes, he leaned back into the bathtub again trying to eliminate the feeling of guilt somehow. But it just didn’t fade. He had thought about it since the second they stepped into the train to home, four days ago, and never ceased to think of it. The pinkish, rose-scented bubbles in the water didn’t help him relax at all – the brunet insisted it would calm him and went back to the girl that stocked everything in her room just to get them. Levi’s heart clenched. He realized thoughts of the brunet came into his head too many times. And while it would usually make him smile, this time it outright bothered him. Instincts told him to run. He was terrified. Yet he didn’t know why – he had considered every possible outcome, and accepted every single one. Was there one he forgot? Did this terrify him? The thought that he could have neglected one outcome, and now he wasn’t ready for it?

The door squealed open, and Levi immediately shivered because of the coldness that passed through the door right to him, but the brunet closed the door immediately after, which is why he didn’t say anything this time, but he didn’t even feel like saying anything in the first place because of the migraine he had going on. The sound of bare feet hitting marble tiles getting closer to him got into his ears, and right when the man approached him from behind, Levi’s wet head turned to the side, not enough to see him, but enough to slightly lean against his abdomen.

“Hey”, Eren silently said and Levi’s head moved back into its original position. The brunet stood behind him for a while before approaching the short man from the side, showing off the cup he held in both of his hands – one hand held the small plate beneath the cup, and the other held the cup from its top, a habit he seemingly picked up, “I made you tea. Your favorite, that is.”

As he heard the older man grumble a ‘thanks’, he smiled slightly and put the tea at the edge of the tub. He then rushed back to the other end of the room and brought a pot of boiling water, pouring it into the tub as Levi looked away. The short man turned around to get his tea, but before actually reaching it, he heard a splash beside him before he could feel the warm water all over him, staying frozen in place. Looking back, he saw the teen spread out in the tub, a wide smile on his face as he exhaled in delight.

“Ah… it’s so warm…”

The raven narrowed his eyes absentmindedly before forgetting all about the tea and turning his head back to face the young man.

“You can’t tell me you’ve never tried this before.”

“What?” Eren tiredly asked, opening an eye lazily too look at the omega, “You mean… Boiling the water before getting it into the tub…? No. Can’t say I thought of that.”

“So… You’ve always bathed in ice water?” the raven asked in a tone that suggested slight irony, but since Eren only showed him a genuine look and a slight nod of his head, Levi dropped the mocking tone, “Oh.”

“You… get used to it after a while…” the brunet responded, smiling brightly again before his eyesight fell at something else, an inexistent object on the floor, nervously playing with his feet for a little while, “Do you feel any better…?”

Eren’s voice was so uncharacteristically silent that Levi almost missed it, but once he realized what the brunet had asked, he opened his mouth, but didn’t say anything. After a while, he answered just as silently: “No. Not at all”, then, as if he wanted the brunet to believe otherwise almost immediately, as if Levi wasn’t allowed to feel bad, he added, “But thank you. I’ll be fine. Always am.”

“Levi”, the teen called his name, looking at the omega intently, a tone of disappointment in his voice, “You said that two days ago, when you got out of bed in the middle of the night to stare out of the window and pace back and forward all night.”

“I told you that because I know it’s true”, the man grumpily answered and Eren rolled his eyes and propped against his arm, “I’ve been through the same shit multiple times. It’s been going on like that for years now. It’s nothing serious, really. A migraine is just a nuisance. It’s not as if I’m gonna pass out from it.”

“I sure hope so”, Eren mumbled, glaring at the omega whose arms were crossed at his chest protectively, “I don’t intend to sneak a passed-out omega out of the house. I don’t wanna know what kind of accusations would fall on me almost immediately after.”

“Kidnapping? Molesting?” the man immediately went there, “Hmmm… trying to hide a dead body and not having enough money to buy a bag so you have to do it in the middle of the night…?” Eren opened his mouth to counter, but the omega didn’t grant him that luxury, “Or nah… You’d most probably be having problems of lifting me up at the first place. And you’d come whining at the door of that blonde dude trying to get him to cooperate with you again.”

“I’m not that shallow”, Eren responded, smirking a bit as Levi raised a brow, “It might be true that I’d come to Armin’s door, my good sir, but I wouldn’t be crying. Just panicking.”

Levi whistled, making Eren laugh. Levi smiled in return.

“No, but in all honesty”, the brunet continued, harshly sitting up again and making the water bounce into all directions as a fervent gaze settled on the small omega who was looking at him in a rather amused way, “you better not pass out here. ‘Cause if you pass out, I might pass out, and we’re both dead. And we don’t want that.”

“No, we don’t.”

“It’s completely natural for every being to be afraid of death.”

“It is, yes”, Levi confirmed, smiling at the man who seemed to be upset deeply, but refused to show it and would rather talk about random things than show how concerned he actually was at the moment. Both of them just stopped then, and stared at the other – not just the eyes, but them whole. And perhaps Levi was just drained from all of his energy, and drugged by the scent of roses around him, but he suddenly sat up and grabbed the other by his right hand harshly before crashing his body against Eren’s, closing his eyes tightly as he pressed his ear against the brunet’s chest, right above his hammering heart.

“L-Levi…?” Eren worriedly asked, “A-are you alright?”

He wasn’t. Squeezing the brunet the tightest he could without actually hurting him, he tried to squeeze out the pain in his heart and let the feeling of happiness engulf him, but those two feelings just mixed up, creating a confused mess of something that he had never felt before. At this point, he couldn’t tell whether the feeling was positive or negative – it burned. He felt heavy and light at the same time, and he wasn’t quite sure about not passing out anymore. His head felt light as a feather, numb, and he couldn’t bring himself to think, at least.

“It hurts…” the man whispered and felt Eren’s heart skip a beat before his hand came sneaking around his bruised back, stroking all of the scars it passed by gently to the point where Levi actually thought his back was ablaze.

“What hurts?”

The man couldn’t say it. He wanted to, but his lips were shut, as if his inner omega knew he shouldn’t be saying it out loud. He didn’t know it himself – something hurt, perhaps his soul, or something – but the omega in him knew most definitely. How to show something that only the body knows, if not physically? But he couldn’t, nor did he want to. A feeling of utter dread was next, then a painful burst in his head, then his heart decided to start racing as well. Was Eren spinning him, or was it just his head? And what was it that he tried to find out before?

He must have forgotten something.

It took him a few seconds to realize Eren was panicking at this point, and found his face right in front of his, with the beta’s eyes wide and wet in fear, the green and blue radiating worry, and his pupils so small that the eyes looked entirely different than usual because his pupils were usually huge in size, as if he loved everything around him. Once Eren realized Levi’s eyes were focusing on his, he seemed to relax just a bit, his tense shoulders slowly falling to their original place. Instead of Levi answering what had happened like Eren expected him to do, the man suddenly narrowed his eyes.

“I told you not to worry, didn’t I?”

“Wh-what? Levi, you looked like-“

“I was thinking about something.”

Eren’s eyes narrowed as well.

“You were shaking!”

“It was something important”, the omega calmly responded, and could clearly see the rage that was building up inside of Eren’s eyes, but the brunet chose not to counter. Instead, he just groaned and propped his arms against his legs, hiding his face inside of his palms. Levi watched him for a few seconds, knowing just how confused the brunet was at this point, but he just couldn’t bring himself to say it. ‘I betrayed you’. ‘Maybe’.

“You know, Eren… for a beta, you have unusually small hands…” he knew that came out of the blue, but he really didn’t know how to approach him in such a state. The beta seemed to inhale deeply, as if incredibly frustrated, before lifting his head up just enough to look at the omega whose eyes weren’t even on him.

“…Yeah…?”

The beta’s hands were then lifted and his fingers were intertwined with the omega’s, which were either unusually big, or he was telling the truth. Eren actually calmed down because of that gesture, looking at the fingers that fell perfectly in place with each other, and held the other hand tightly, as if never wanting to let go. The beta’s eyes fell at the shorter man, who didn’t look away from the sight. It worried him.

“Mikasa says I got girl hands…” he snorted, “I guess this confirms it.”

Levi looked up at him apologetically then, without saying a word. The brunet just widened his eyes before they grew softer, a small smile playing on his lips as his sight slowly travelled downwards. Only the water made a silent sound as Levi reached up to him, his lips meeting Eren’s slowly and gently, their noses brushing against each other’s, one of Levi’s hands finding itself on the back of the brunet’s head whilst the other was pressing against his chest. It was short, but once it ended, both of them just looked into each other’s eyes before Eren returned it just as slowly and lovingly, both of them closing their eyes as their lips moved in sync. The brunet leaned back, letting the shorter man top him, another slow kiss following. Then Levi’s lips just brushed against Eren’s, waiting for the teen to open his eyes again, and then another slow kiss ensued, which caused the younger man to shiver and deepen it. The warm water and the rose scent and the warmth of their bodies made it seem like a dream of some sort, but their half-opened eyes meant they had to be awake. Feeling completely at peace, Eren smiled into one of those kisses, feeling how Levi smiled back. They could have gone on and on with it, lazily kissing each other until they would have fallen asleep, if it didn’t come to Levi sitting down, which is when their kiss suddenly halted, them remembering that both of them were very much naked. Completely so, that is. Until that very moment, they didn’t even realize it. With their uncertain eyes focused on each other they sat in silence for who knows how long, until Eren snorted and looked into the water.

“The… water’s getting cold, isn’t it…?”

“Yes… it is”, the omega responded silently, looking into the water as well, feeling how his heart started to pound faster as he slid down from the man to let him get up. Levi slid to the other end of the tub again and just waited for Eren to do something, watching how his face progressively became redder, “Also, the water’s pretty much dirty at this point.”

The brunet was scratching his neck nervously before he smiled and added: “Yeah, I’ll… I think I have a cloak lying around somewhere… I’ll go fetch it for you. Um… The towels…” he quickly got out of the tub, careful to show Levi only his back, before grabbing a towel eagerly and wrapping it around himself. Smiling back at the short man that still waited in the tub and didn’t look like he was about to exit it any time soon, he grabbed another towel and handed it to the man with that same, fake smile on. Levi grabbed it alongside the tea next to him, curling up and seemingly preparing himself to think again, considering he stared into the tea like he’d usually do when trying to think of something. After that, he swiftly turned around and went to the other room, slowly closing the door behind him. But instead of searching for the cloak, he pressed himself against the door longingly, closed his eyes, gripped the towel around his waist firmly, and silently cussed.

“You’ve been in there for an hour, Levi,”, the brunet said as soon as the raven-haired man exited the small bathroom, his eyes shooting up to meet the beta which was lying on top of the couch with a sketchbook leaning against his left hand whilst he was holding a pencil tightly against the paper with his right, his legs being outstretched completely and crossed at the end of the seat. His eyes were completely and only focused on his drawing this time, a rather soft expression on his face and his brows not being furrowed, his mouth opened just slightly and his head tilted to the side as if he was judging what he had created. The brunet wore his usual jeans and a plain white short-sleeved shirt, no socks, no shoes, and underneath him was a white, fuzzy-looking cloak. It wasn’t the reason why Levi kept staring for a while, though – no matter how much that thoughtful look on Eren’s visage fazed him – it was the candles that were placed onto the table Eren dragged close the other day, emitting a low, almost beatific light from them, and with the sun slowly setting outside, it looked completely peaceful. The scent of Levi’s own rose-scented skin mixed perfectly with the blend – alongside the serenity of the living room, and the freshly washed pillows that had been thrown into the corner to dry off, “I started thinking you decided to ignore me, for whatever reason.”

“Uh… huh”, the raven managed to breathe, with his eyes wide open as they stared at the calmness of Eren’s face. His heart started pounding again – he wasn’t sure whether it was because of the teen, or because of sudden fear.

The brunet’s sight went to meet the man, and it stayed there for a few seconds before he slightly, almost shyly smiled and returned his sight to the drawing. Levi stared back for a while, questioning whether Eren would let him see what he was drawing, but decided against asking and realigned the towel around his waist, stepping closer to the teen who seemed to freeze when Levi started coming closer.

“Oi…” Levi started when he found himself in the middle of his path, “what’s with those lights? You aiming for something…?”

“Well, since I was drawing… I thought it might be a good idea to light some candles?” Eren answered silently, as if he didn’t want Levi to hear what he had said, not looking away from the paper he was scribbling something on. The omega’s eyes narrowed at that, his nose scrunching up as if sniffing something foul.

“You’re lying.”

“Huh?” Eren looked up, meeting the raven’s calculating eyes and keeping them locked for a while, watching as the raven’s pupils grew slightly larger with time, but that scowl was still there, and so was that disbelieving, fighting stance. It’s when Eren suddenly sat up, smiling widely and scratching the side of his head, “Oh! I- I almost forgot… Sorry!” he practically shouted and reached for the cloak he sat at carelessly before looking back at the man who raised a brow as he saw the slight blush on Eren’s face. The omega clicked his tongue.

“I don’t want your ass on me, thank you.”

The teen laughed awkwardly before carefully standing up and making sure to turn the sketchbook around so that Levi wouldn’t be able to see what he had drawn there before approaching him warily, holding the cloak close to his chest. Levi kept watching the beta for a while before he rolled his eyes and turned around and relaxed his tense muscles. The teen didn’t get it at first, but after a few seconds it was as if he suddenly understood everything, and he would have said something if it were any other time, but he just gently put the cloak around Levi’s shoulders, after which the raven immediately dropped the towel around his waist, and Eren quickly wrapped the cloak around him, as if afraid someone might see something he proclaimed as his own right to see. As Levi didn’t move a single limb, the young man slowly bended down to place a kiss against the man’s neck, to which the omega stretched his neck in the slightest way possible, one of his legs trying to step backwards whilst the other stopped it.

“What do you want”, the omega snapped, and Eren took a step back, watching the man wide-eyed, but didn’t counter him. It took him a few seconds to soften his face again, a lump growing in his throat and clenching his sweaty hands tightly, stepping closer.

“It’s… it’s nothing, sir. Really.”

“It obviously is something. You wouldn’t have set up the place like this, and wouldn’t be stuttering and blushing like a madman. Right? Tell me. What is it that you want?” he asked and turned around just enough to see the unnerved beta, and despite that fuzzy cloak, he still managed to look intimidating. The way Eren’s eyes uncertainly looked at him made the raven narrow his eyes again, a deep scowl appearing on his face. He looked so different than the man he had seen in the bathtub an hour before, where a smile creeped up to his youthful face every now and then, and at that time, it looked like he wasn’t even trying to hide it anymore. Eren’s eyes suddenly widened before he furrowed his brows again and straightened completely, pressing a fist against his chest harshly and looking only ahead of himself, into the distance. Levi’s eyes widened for a mere second, but then he just looked plain confused.

“I love you!” the teen shouted out loud, determinedly, his cheeks becoming rosy again as his sweaty hand trembled against his chest. His eyes warily looked down to look at the raven whose expression softened, but he still looked neither impressed nor relaxed. He kept pressing that hand against his heart harshly for a few more seconds, before it slowly slid down his chest, his fervent gaze still set on the omega who was looking at him warily now, but with some kind of interest present in that spark in his grayish eyes.

“I… just want to talk…” he said silently, hanging his head, but still looking at the omega who slowly turned to see him, realizing his legs trembled as he turned around, yet his face looked ever so confident. He kept looking at Eren carefully, scornfully, before he clicked his tongue again and turned around swiftly, walking all the way to the couch and flopping onto one side of it, sitting with his arms crossed, legs spread and his head pressing against the back. Eren watched his ‘graceful’ presence for a few seconds before deeply inhaling and walking closer to the couch, taking another second, and then sitting at the other far end of the couch. Those fifteen seconds before Eren spoke up, Levi spent by holding his eyes closed tightly.

“Uh… I…” he started nervously, licking his lips as his mouth grew dry, “I just… Do you like it here?” he suddenly asked, his wide eyes meeting Levi’s and that wide smile actually making Levi flinch.

“What?”

“Well… I, like, if I’m keeping you here, and you don’t really like it, well, I’d be a bad… partner, right? I mean, am I keeping you here, or? Wanna go anywhere else?” Eren was desperately talking, with his eyes unusually wide and his cheeks rosy. Levi glared at him for a few seconds before sitting up normally again, crossing one leg over the other delicately and tilting his head to the side.

“I hate foreplay”, Levi said and saw Eren flinch, “Just get to the point. Eren,”, he met his eyes, “please.”

The teen stared into Levi’s eyes for a moment, before he suddenly turned up right next to him, grabbing the omega’s left hand with both of his and pressing his forehead against that light, perfect hand.

“I’m sorry”, he whispered before looking up at the omega, “I’m sorry I don’t know enough about the world to understand what was happening back then, and I’m really sorry that I wasn’t there…”

Levi’s eyes were widely opened whilst the teen was talking, his hand shaking because of the beta’s.

“Eren.”

“I’m sorry I can’t know! And I’m sorry I always mess up!”

“Eren”, the older man grabbed the shaking teen by his shaggy hair harshly to keep it in place, after which the teen slowly looked back up at him and sat up, looking at the omega with those glassy, large eyes, his chest moving rhythmically before he took the man’s hand that held him by the hair, but didn’t make it go away– just stroked it with his thumb, not blinking. Levi didn’t blink as well, as if he knew what Eren was thinking, yet his eyes were widened is dread instead of determination. The younger man puffed out his chest again and narrowed his eyes.

“Please let me be yours!”

When Eren realized Levi just kept staring at him with widely-opened eyes, yet no expression whatsoever, his confidence suddenly dispersed and hid somewhere it the corners of the room where they stayed most of the time. The brunet opened his mouth, but nothing came out of it – Levi suddenly pulled his hair up and he had to close his mouth shut. The short man narrowed his eyes at the teen who looked scared for his life.

“What the hell, Eren…?” he asked, but there was no real spite in his words, even though his eyes looked venomous, “I thought it was something serious this time…”

“S-Something… Levi! This is serious!” the confident young man from before turned into a passionate kid all of a sudden, looking offended by that single statement, “I wanted you to know! Well… you… most probably knew, but still! I’ve had my second thoughts about it, but I’m sticking to it!”

“Sticking to what? Me?” Levi asked humorlessly, but once the beta didn’t say anything against it, he clicked his tongue and released the man’s hair, softly smiling, “Idiot… I thought of an entirely different thing because of the way you acted before…” he looked to the side again, only to see that a blush appeared on Eren’s face yet again, which made him lean into the brunet and exhale loudly, half-closing his eyes, “You know how it is.”

“Yeah, I’m… I’m not ready as well”, he whispered, as if embarrassed someone might hear them and leaning his head against Levi’s, his arm finding itself around Levi’s waist again somehow, “You… You think things will change… between us…?”

Levi merely hummed, but the teen seemed to understand. He pulled the small man closer.

“I… It’s… kinda weird, thinking about it…” Eren continued silently, feeling the small man’s eyes on him, “A beta? And… a relationship…? Heh… They won’t believe me, once I get the courage to tell them…”

Levi smiled at Eren’s snort, kissing his jaw. But as he did, his smile gradually faded, his eyes losing their spark. His sight travelled to the box of clothing at the other end of the room, staying there for a few seconds before forcing himself to kiss the young man next to him on the same spot again, feeling the lump in his throat grow as he prolonged the kiss.

“I mean, who’d believe it… Me? Finding someone who doesn’t despise me as much as I despise myself…? Impossible…”

“Crazy, right?” Levi silently responded, watching Eren’s smile grow wider.

“Yeah…” his smile faded as well as he thought for a few seconds, before his eyes slowly returned to the omega who watched him carefully, “You’ll… You’ll stay with me after that time as well, right…? I mean… it’s not like I want you to feel the same things I do… B-but…” he looked to the ground as the omega just watched him, his throat too tight to confirm or deny anything, “It’s unrealistic for us to stay together, really. I know that much.”

Levi’s brows furrowed for a second.

“E-Even if they… or you, end up changing your mind afterwards… I wanted you to hold onto something”, he parted from the omega just enough to be able to reach into his pocket, pulling out a string of some sorts and opening his palm close to Levi so he could see it, smiling sweetly as he saw how Levi’s lips parted to ask, but his old habit of being afraid to ask came to sight and he kept his mouth shut. The omega looked up at the beta, his eyes shining as they fell back to the key in Eren’s right hand, “My… my mother gave it to me, just before she…” his eyes half-closed, “Sh-she told me, my father was poor back then… and couldn’t afford that expensive silk mates give to each other… But he was a smith. So… So he made that key. Um… it’s… nothing special, aluminum, that is…” he laughed and looked away as the small omega touched its smooth structure, “only colored with gold and…  and as you can see, the color came off, at some spots…” he sighed and looked back at the omega who was watching him now, his eyes completely defenseless, “It’s the most prized possession I have, though. Mom… she told me to keep it for good luck, even brought it to church and stuck it into holy water”, he snorted and looked to the floor again, “But I never thought I’d use it this way”, he looked back up, his smile growing nervously as he saw the glassy look in the raven’s waiting eyes, “I…” he laughed, “I forgot where I was going with this…”

The smiling omega backed off just a little, bowing his head as if waiting to receive a crown on top of his head. The teen took the string that held the key into his shaking hand before slowly putting it around Levi’s neck. Once his fingers backed off, the omega looked up just enough to see the brunet’s shining eyes as they looked between his eyes and the key repeatedly, before the man suddenly jumped at him, hugging the brunet tightly, laughing when the crying beta hugged him back.