“Tell me about her.”
Levi had just gotten done pausing after he muttered the name Petra in the middle of his sentence. He didn’t even know what he was talking about before then; Levi hoped it made sense. And this therapist he had been set up with--Ben Schap, or something like that--wasn’t helping.
Levi exhaled just as the memories of Petra’s crushed body resurfaced, and he shrivelled into the couch. “I’d rather not.” That was all he could offer.
Hange had said that he hadn’t been making sense lately, mumbling nonsense to himself and silently crying at the oddest of times. Levi wanted to argue against them, say he was fine , but this time, he decided to give in to his friend’s coaxing and go to the damn therapist. Hange had been to therapy before, back when they were a fresh veteran, but they assured Levi that the nightmares came and went, the crying stopped, and the flashbacks were rare. Levi was happy for them, but he almost wanted to go through this with someone. Hange was the only one of his friends that made it back alive. Why did they have to be on different timelines?
“Levi,” Ben said, sighing. “I can’t help you if you don’t talk.”
Levi’s face, aimed at the floor, suddenly twisted with rage. “You’re not good at your job,” he sneered, not looking up.
Levi grabbed his coat with a rush of anger and flew out the door without a second thought. As he briskly walked through the hall down to the secretary’s desk, he passed the waiting room and several other counsellors’ doors. One of them opened in his face and he had no time to react; face-first into the heavy wood, and Levi cursed rather loudly upon impact. As he held his head and reeled back, the door closed a bit and revealed a tall blonde man behind it, looking incredibly static yet amused.
Levi glared and tried to go around him, but the man had other plans.
“I’m sorry about that,” he said, a smile peeking through his apology. “These hallways are incredibly slim.”
Levi bit back a no shit , but stopped when he saw the man had only one arm. It didn’t shock him--this was a veterans’ outpatient clinic after all--but he became sick with the fact that this man probably lost his arm in combat. Levi nearly crumpled with this realisation. It must’ve shown on his face, because the man’s smile disappeared and he showed concern. “Are you okay? I’m sorry--”
“Get out of my way,” Levi snarled, but it came out as a lot weaker than he had intended, yet he still forced his way through the hall and down to the secretary desk. He could feel the weight of the man’s eyes on his back.
The secretary, a high-schooler named Armin getting part-time work in before the holidays, noticed Levi’s rapid presence and began to speak, but Levi cut him off. “I’m not rescheduling.”
“So...okay, so you just left?” Hange ran a hand through their hair, a little dishevelled. “What were you talking about the moment you got this mood swing?”
“Does it matter?”
“Well, you burst into my car so suddenly that I almost crapped myself, so yeah, it does.”
Levi let out a breathe and fanned himself. “Like in China or something.”
“What? Levi, look at me,” Hange gripped his arm and sat on the coffee table across from him.
Levi didn’t seem to register the touch. “I have to go there.”
“Go where? Levi Ackerman.”
The silence that followed his full name helped him slowly regained his bearings, but coming back drained his energy. “Hange....can you get me a sweater? I’m cold.”
“Sure,” Hange said quickly, and practically ran to the closet. When they returned, black sweater in hand, Levi had shut his eyes. “Here.” They shook his shoulder a bit, and encouraged him to get up with a nudge.
“Sorry,” Levi rasped, and put the sweater on. “Sorry.”
“Don’t apologise, okay? We’re just going to have to keep looking,” Hange smiled a bit with the last of their words, then pulled their phone out of their pocket. “Look at this...the VAC is going to host a support group on Tuesday for veterans under 40 with severe PTSD. I think you should go.”
Levi frowned at the screen. “You follow the Veteran Affairs Clinic on facebook?”
“Not important right now,” they commanded, and shoved the phone further in his face. “Seriously. I’m going to take you regardless, so you might as well know in advance. I think it will be good.”
Levi smiled and draped his arm over his eyes. “You say that every time.”