Another day of training came and went for the members of the Survey Corps. Many of the recruits headed for the dinning hall to eat before relaxing for a bit. Among them was Armin. He glanced around the dining hall for his team after receiving his food, and found them sitting at the table next to the far wall. Making his way toward them, he noticed that all of them, save Mikasa, were snickering.
"Hey Guys. What's so funny?" he asked, taking his seat next to Mikasa.
"The fact that, for as much as Eren talks big, he's still such a novice kid in the finer points of life and Corporal Levi has taken it upon himself to educate the poor sap," Reiner answered. The rest of the table fell into deeper hysterics, but Armin was just confused and Mikasa seemed to grow murderous.
"What do you mean?”
Jean smirked and nodded to the area behind Armin.
Turning around, Armin found himself staring at the table next to them. That of Corporal Levi, his team, Squad Leader Hanji, and Eren. Nothing out of the ordinary there. Especially since Eren had taken to sitting with his new team as of late. But, what was odd was that Eren was blushing. Hard.
Armin turned back to his friends. "What's so funny about that? It's not like Eren blushing is anything new."
Connie smiled and pointed at the table. "Keep watching."
Wary of what he was supposed to see, Armin turned around once more, only to see Corporal Levi whispering something into Eren's ear that made him blush even harder.
Armin turned back around. "I still don't get it."
Jean slid in close to Armin and place his arm around him. "Then allow me to explain. Eren may have no problems with explicit topics like what the titans have done and fighting and just gore in general, but he has no experience or filter for the other side of explicit topics, like hooking up and sex," he explained, "Then there's Corporal Levi, who happens to be a very crude person, when you get down to it. And he's not afraid to let everyone know that. So, that being said, what could he be telling Eren that could warrant that reaction from him?"
Mikasa sent death glares at the back of the Corporal's head while everyone else kept laughing it up. Thinking for a second, Armin's eyes widened and his face flushed. "You can't possibly be suggesting that Corporal Levi is talking about sex with Eren!" he whispered furiously.
Jean laughed. "That's exactly what I'm suggesting. Ask Eren about it later. I'm sure he'll tell you."
"I will!" Armin exclaimed. He glanced back at the table, noting that Eren and the Corporal had shifted the tiniest bit closer and that Eren's blush hadn't diminished in the slightest.
Eren sighed as he left the showers later that night. He still couldn't believe the Corporal had said all those things to him. And in front of his team and Scout Leader Hanji! And the team just had to go and make it infinitely worse! He could still feel the heat on his cheeks as he remembered everything said during dinner.
'Hey Eren. You're looking pretty tired there. Is Levi keeping you up at night?'
'Is the Corporal taking care of you?'
'We all know just how much he's taking care of him.'
'I bet he takes care of him multiple times a night, too.'
Eren sighed. 'All I want right now is to go to bed and forget all of this ever happened,' he thought to himself.
“Eren! Wait up, Eren!” Eren turned around, only to see Armin running towards him.
'I just can't catch a break, can I?'
“What's up, Armin?” Eren replied when Armin caught up to him. “Is something wrong?”
Armin just smiled. “Not really. Just that we haven't had the chance to talk all that much since joining the Survey Corps, and I was hoping to do so before you went to bed.”
Eren smiled back. It was true. Even with all of them being part of the same assignment, they hardly got to spend time together. Especially with all the special titan training and meetings he's had to do Hanji and Levi.
'Levi.' Eren blushed a bit before wiling it away. Now was not the time for that. Nodding to Armin, he pointed down the hallway toward the rooms. “I've got to report in with Corporal Levi before he escorts me to the dungeons, so why don't you walk there with me? We can talk on the way.”
“Sounds good to me,” Armin said with a smile. The two friends began their trek down the hallways to the Corporal's room. They talked a bit of all the different training and experiences they've gone through since joining the Survey Corps and about the upcoming Gear Testing they'll have to do to ensure that their skills with the 3D Maneuvering Gear was proficient. They hit a lull after that and walked in comfortable silence. Eren glanced at Armin and saw that he seemed to have a question and didn't know how to ask it. Definitely not normal behavior for his friend.
Thinking that he had a question about his new-found titan powers, he said, “You know, you can just ask whatever question is on your mind. You look like you're gonna get a brain aneurism, so spit it out.”
Armin jumped a bit at being caught within his thoughts and stopped Eren from walking forward. “Well, it's not that big a deal, but,” he started, “the others and I noticed something during dinner, and I was wondering if I could ask you about it.”
“Sure. What is it?” Eren asked, wary of Armin's hesitation.
Armin took in a deep breath and asked, “Is Corporal Levi saying inappropriate things to you?”
Eren flushed a deep red. Out of everything he thought Armin would ask, he definitely didn't expect that. “W-what do you mean?”
Armin gave him an odd look. “During dinner, the Corporal was whispering things into your ear and you were blushing. You're not one to get flustered that easily unless it's stuff that deals with romance and lust. And don't try to deny it. I grew up with you, and as much as you could talk about going outside the walls and insulting the people who wanted to stay within them or who looked down on the Survey Corps, you always went quiet and uncomfortable when the topic strayed to couples and what they do. At least, whenever we talked about in a non-clinical stand point. So, I ask again. Is the Corporal being inappropriate?”
Eren shook his head. “No, of course not.” Armin looked at his skeptically, but Eren insisted.
“It's true! He hasn't done or said anything like that.”
“Then why were you blushing?”
Eren looked away from Armin. “He...All he did was critique my training. I made some stupid mistakes and he called me out on them. Nothing to serious, just a bit embarrassing.”
Armin looked at Eren's face, seemingly searching for any indication that he was lying, but smiled when he saw none. “That's good. It would’ve been highly unprofessional for someone of his rank to do so with one of the members of his team.”
Eren chuckled, “Yeah. I guess it would have.” They continued walking until the reached the Corporal's door. “Well, we're here. I'll see you tomorrow, Armin.” He gave Armin a quick hug and waited for him to turn the corner before knocking.
“Um, Corporal? Are you here?” Eren asked quietly, seeing as no lights shown from under the door, he could safely assume that his commanding officer wasn't in.
“How many times have I told you to call me Levi in private, you brat?” a voice whispered into his ear from behind. Eren turned on his heal to find his CO standing behind him.
“Um, right. Sorry, I keep forgetting. Force of habit,” Eren said with smile.
Levi raised an eyebrow skeptically, but didn't say anything. He shrugged his way around Eren and opened the door, beginning to shrug out of his uniform.
Eren stood awkwardly in the doorway. He knew Levi would want him to come inside, but being in the man's room, alone with said man, who also was changing in front of him, was bringing back all of the whispered phrases back into his head.
“Eren?” The boy glanced at Levi, who had finished dressing into his night clothes and was staring at him as if he were mentally impaired. “Are you gonna stand there all night like an idiot, or are you gonna come in? Decide quickly and close the damn door behind you.”
“S-sorry,” he replied, stepping inside and closing the door. He made his way next to Levi, but stopped when reaching him. “Um?”
“For fuck's sake, just take your shoes off and get over here” Levi growled.
Eren flushed. “Yes sir.” He took of his shoes and set them neatly next to Levi's. When he faced the man once more, he found that Levi was already laying on his bed and was staring at him. He blushed and slowly made his way to the bed.
Levi scoffed and moved closer to the wall to make room for Eren. “Well shit, Yeager, you can face Titans, death, and fucking politicians, but you become a docile, little kitten in the face of sleeping in the same bed as your CO. Just fucking relax already.”
Eren looked at the Levi in surprise, but that soon turned into a small smile. “Right. Sorry. I'm still trying to get used to this.”
Levi huffed and rolled his eyes. Unsurprising and so like Levi, Eren couldn't help but relax as he crawled in next to him.
They spent a few seconds getting situated before settling down. The both laid on the sides, facing each other and their hands rested between them.
“Levi?” Eren whispered, not knowing whether the older man had fallen asleep or not.
“What is it?” Levi replied, his eyes closed, but so obviously awake.
“About the stuff you said during dinner.”
“What about it?”
“Did you really mean what you said?”
Levi cracked open his eyes to see that Eren was biting at his bottom lip nervously. He sighed and sifted his hand so that it covered the boy's. Eren locked eyes with him as his breathing hitched.
“I never say anything that I don't mean, Brat,” he said quietly.
Eren smiled endearingly at Levi, nodding slowly. “Alright. I'm glad.”
The two of them fell silent as sleep began to tug their eyes close and their minds began to slow. Levi moved closer to Eren, and Eren did the same. They leaned forward until their foreheads rested against one another and their hands remained entwined between them.
Eren smiled as everything Levi had whispered to him during dinner flowed through his head.
He gently squeezed Levi's hand within his own.
“You're not just Humanity's Hope. You're mine as well.”
Levi brought their lips together, letting them say every promise and praise he couldn't say out loud.
“I'll protect you with every ounce of my strength.”
Eren caressed the knuckles of Levi's hand, allowing the gentle touch to convey the words of his affection.
“You make me stronger.”
They both shifted closer to each other, they legs entwining as their fingers had. Their hands pressing against their chests, feeling their hearts beat together.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too,” Eren breathed, knowing that Levi would be the only one to hear those words uttered with wholehearted honesty. Though their eyes remained closed, Eren could feel the small smile that graced Levi's lips as the world fell away and sleep overtook them. All that was left was the mingling of their breaths and the beating of their shared hearts. It was amazing how whispered confessions were all it took for them to be at peace.