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You Should See Me In A Crown

Chapter Text



Her voice is firm and doesn’t leave room for argument. He wants to ball his hands into fists, the military officer in him itching to ask who the fuck Historia  thinks she’s talking to, but he sinks to his knees instead. She steps forward slowly, the clicks of her heels on the stone floor echoing in her bedroom. She’s in her dress that she wore to their meeting, having looked terribly out of place among all the military personnel. She wishes she could have worn her uniform but her advisor has to remind her consistently, You’re the Queen, not a cadet, remember?


With how Levi’s jaw is clenched tightly, his eyes trailing over her dress that clings to her womanly figure, she’s thankful she didn’t fight to wear her uniform.


She stops before him and he looks up at her, slate eyes narrowed as he awaits her command. She slides the straps of her dress off her shoulders, moving her hips slowly as it falls off her frame easily, letting it pool around her ankles. She kicks it aside, standing in just black bra and panties and the heels that make her taller, yet not quite able to reach his height. She lifts her right foot and places it on his chest above his pounding heart, the heel digging into his sternum as she balances on her other foot.


“Take it off,” she orders.


Levi focuses on the shoe, the straps wrapping up her ankle. He could make quick work of the task but he chooses to take him time, untying the straps and unwrapping it from her. He moves one hand to hold her calf, appreciating the smoothness of her skin as he looks up to meet her careful gaze, sliding the shoe off her foot. Without the obnoxious shoe, her foot is so small, even dainty. When he trails his fingers over her calf he feels the divots where her ODM gear left scars from her years in service. She drops her foot abruptly on the floor, putting the other wordlessly on his chest. He repeats the same act, setting the shoe with its counterpart beside him neatly.


Historia unties her hair, falling past her shoulders and over her chest with how long it’s grown. He watches the simple movement with sharp attention, wishing he could grab her by the soft tresses. She sees this and she shimmies off her panties, smirking when his fingers twitch at his side. “Do you want to touch me?” Levi grinds his teeth, frustrated that she’s taking things so slowly. She cocks an eyebrow when he doesn’t answer, grabbing his cravat and pulling, straining as she’s leaning down to be level with his dark gaze. “I asked you a question.”


“Yes,” Levi says through gritted teeth.


“Yes what?”


“I want to touch you,” he growls.


“Good.” She cards her fingers through his hair once, twice, the gesture affectionate until she takes a hold of him by the crown of his head, guiding him to her center when she steps forward to close that distance between them. He bends his neck sharply, adjusting so he can lick at her sex, lapping at her eagerly like he’s been waiting an eternity for her. His nose is buried in blonde curls, his jaw aching from effort as he probes her with his tongue the best he can at this angle. She pulls on his hair as she rolls her hips, a quiet moan escaping her, and he holds his thighs so he doesn’t touch without permission. He moves his tongue to her clit, swirling around the sensitive bud before licking from her opening to clit. As much as she loves being in control like this, he knows how to make her knees weak, always listening for signs of her dominance slipping so he can push her closer to that precipice. She rides his face as she moves him by his hair, pulling him impossibly further into her.


“Use your fingers,” Historia gasps.


In an instant, his hands are on her, his tongue focusing on her clit as he slides two fingers into her easily, curling in a come-hither motion as he reaches into her, his other hand on her hip to keep her balanced as she comes. When she spills over he keeps going, making her shiver. When she twitches from overstimulation, she grabs his hair and pulls him off, holding his gaze as they breathe heavily. She comes down from her high while he yearns for more, her juices smeared on his mouth and face flushed with arousal. Her eyes flicker between his and his lips, an obvious desire to kiss him that she ignores. She lets go of his hair and takes off his cravat before instructing through labored breaths, “Get undressed.”


He’s happy he had the foresight to take off his ODM gear, since undressing would’ve taken a little longer than he has the patience for right now. He doesn’t fold his clothes, choosing to drop them in a pile as he strips. Once nude, she pushes him so he sits on the edge of the bed, his pupils blown with lust as he looks at her impatiently. She wraps her fingers around his cock delicately, and he can’t hold back the moan from his throat as she rubs her thumb over his weeping head, smearing precum along his length as she lazily strokes him. He balls his fists in the sheets, watching her lick her lips as she glances up at him. She grins when she sees how red his face is and how angry he looks about not being able to do anything.


“You’re such a brat,” she throws his term of endearment back at him, which only fans the flames. She stands and moves into his lap, straddling his hips. She puts a hand on his shoulder to balance herself as she guides him to her, moving him so the tip of him is rubbing along her slit. “Tell me what you’ve been wanting.”


“To fuck you,” he groans. “I’ll fuck you harder than before, so hard you see stars.”


“Hm,” Historia hums. “Maybe if you’re good. For now, I get what I want.”


She inches down, lowering herself onto him. She puts her other hand on his chest, pushing him to lay on his back. She lifts off of him just enough so that only the head of his cock remains inside her before lowering again, setting a painfully slow pace.


“I thought I’ve been good,” Levi tries to sound menacing, to argue his way, but he’s so breathless from restraining himself he can’t help but sound like he’s whining.


“You have,” Historia confesses, rolling her hips a different way. She looks down at him, her ocean blues softer than before. “Tell me when you’re going to come, Levi.”


The way she says his name while she looks at him so tenderly makes him moan and squeeze his eyes shut. She traces her fingers along his abdominal muscles, pressing down while she bounces on his cock, making him toss his head back further on the mattress as he keeps his hands off of her. He thrusts up to meet her, wanting to fuck her harder, but then she grabs his jaw in her little hands harshly, making him look at her.


“I didn’t say you could fuck me yet,” she reminds him coldly.


The way her fingers are digging into his jaw makes him want it more, and he thrusts up again in defiance. Something flashes in her eyes, and his cheek suddenly burns when she slaps him.


“I’m going to—“


She pulls almost all the way off and stills her movements, pressing down on his chest to keep him in place. He thinks it’s almost silly, the way she thinks she can restrain him, but he can see the way she needs this feeling of control. Allowing her to order him around and bend him to her will makes him want her even more because the way she unravels him forces him to listen.


After what seems to be a moment’s thought, she drops back on him, burying his cock deep within her. He bites his lip so hard he nearly draws blood, and she watches with intrigue.


“You can’t move in me, but you can touch me,” she allows.


He shoots upright, tearing the black bra off of her roughly and kissing her sternum before moving to one of her breasts, biting and sucking at her nipple and moving his other hand to her clit. His thumb rubs her clit expertly, knowing the pace to make her relent and make her breathing uneven. He inches his move beneath her nipple, biting so he leaves a mark. She normally chides him for marking her without permission but she’s too distracted with his mouth leaving kisses all over her chest and his hand bringing her to second orgasm. When she clenches around him and cries out, she grabs his face and kisses him hard. The moment she does, he begins to move again inside her, rocking his hips into her frantically.


It’s the one thing that they understand mutually: when they kiss, the act falls away and they become lost in one another.


“Fuck me harder, Levi,” Historia pleads. He holds her tightly as he flips them over with ease, and she relaxes on the bed as he spreads her legs wider, fucking her roughly. He savors how she looks beneath him, undone and panting as she takes his cock so well. He puts a leg over his shoulder as he thrusts erratically, seeking his release that’s been building. “You feel amazing, I love how you feel, you fuck me so good—“ she praises him over and over again, and he grips her hip so tightly he leaves bruises when he adjusts.


“Ah—I’m going to come soon,” he manages to tell her.


“Look at me,” she orders. He does so through half-lidded eyes. He knows that she’s waiting, that even though they abandoned their game that he still thrives on listening to her. He thrusts so hard into her that she lets out a moan, trying to elicit permission from her to finish.


“Historia, please,” Levi begs, uncertain if he’ll be able to hold back this time.


“Come for me.”


He pulls out and finishes on her stomach, barely managing to do so in time as he breathes heavily, catching his breath. His face is flushed and his expression is so open that it makes Historia’s heart flutter in her chest as it rises and falls, her breathing gradually evening out. Levi grabs his discarded cravat and cleans her off, throwing it back on the floor before joining her on the bed. She crawls onto his chest, listening to his heartbeat when he wraps his arms around her shoulders, easily enveloping her small frame. Covered in a sheen of sweat, she traces the muscles in his bicep with her fingertips absently while she hears his heart slowly even into a steady beat.


“Do you have to leave soon?” he asks quietly.


“No,” she assures him. “I can be here as long as you need me.”


He tightens his hold just a little bit, making her smile fondly even though he can’t see it. “Good.”

Chapter Text

Levi doesn’t sleep much, Historia notices.


Even with the kids and chores around the orphanage to wear him out, he may retire to a room, but he doesn’t actually sleep. Most often he sits in the armchair by the fireplace downstairs, whether it’s to “sleep” for a few hours or to read and drink tea. Historia, who is usually first to rise, will find him in the chair and chide him for not resting properly.


“You have a bed, you know,” she reminds him every morning.


“Yes. I’m in it,” he deadpans, but with no irritation. Historia just smiles tiredly and will make fresh tea and toast for him. He’ll accept it silently with a nod of gratitude and go outside with his food while the sun rises.


One morning, Historia finds herself curious as she makes her own toast. Levi is such an odd man, yet he’s incredibly simple all at once. She’s more intrigued about the Captain now that she’s not his subordinate anymore, but he always leaves her in the morning to eat alone. Once she’s put some preserved fruit on her toast, she goes to the back door, ready to join her former Captain when she hears him talking on the other side of the door.


“Hey, shit head,” he says quietly. She furrows her brow; no one else is awake yet but them. “I’m starting to get lazy out here. All this dicking around with the kids is great, but I’m getting antsy just doing nothing.” Historia shifts quietly to the window, peering out while trying to be discreet—there’s no sneaking up on Levi, after all—and she’s shocked by what she sees.


He’s sitting on the porch, taking a half of toast and is sharing it with two robins. One is perched on his knee, the other on the porch beside him, both looking up at him expectantly. He breaks off another piece, handing it to the robin on his knee. It picks it from his fingers eagerly, chirping happily once done, and he rubs the orange patch on it’s chest affectionately.


“Yeah, yeah,” Levi replies. The one beside him flaps it’s wings indignantly and chirps in turn until Levi gives that one bread too. “Shut up,” he scolds.


Historia observes the whole scene with wonder, not quite sure what she was expecting.


She eats breakfast alone.


Every morning continues the same for the next week: Historia wakes up and finds Levi in the armchair, urging him to sleep in a real bed. He shrugs off her comments when she brings tea and toast, leaving her to eat alone. She goes to sit on the other side of the door while he feeds his birds, talking to them about the simplest things. She feels awkward listening in, but she can’t help but feel drawn to this side of Levi that he only seems to share with these robins that find him each morning. Historia hears him speak about his squad with mild annoyance and endearment, about the children, and one morning he speaks about Historia.


Her breath catches in her throat when she hears her name in that relaxed tone he uses with them.


“She’s not quite as stubborn as Eren, but she’s relentless when she wants to be,” Levi remarks. “It’s definitely helped—these kids wouldn’t be here now without that spirit. She’s done more than  I could’ve ever hoped for, and it’s kind of incredible to witness.”


Historia puts her hand over her mouth to muffle her gasp, her heart pounding wildly within her chest. She knew Levi felt passionately about her bringing up the children from the Underground, but to hear this kind of praise from him? She smiles behind her hand until he speaks again, interrupting the birds chirping.


“She means well though. Even if she’s a nosy, eavesdropping brat.”


Her stomach sinks.


“Just come on out, Historia.”


She doesn’t know what else to do, so she opens the door anxiously. Levi sits on the porch, but is looking over his shoulder at her with a bored expression. “I—“


“Shut the door before you wake anyone. You’re too fucking loud every morning.” He turns back to the birds without waiting for her to respond.


Shutting the door behind her, she sits beside Levi, her feet dangling off the porch as the grass touches her toes. The birds fly away a few feet, unsure of Historia now that she’s joined their usual feeder. She glances at them before looking at Levi. “I’m sorry for eavesdropping, Cap—ah, Levi,” she apologizes. Levi corrects her every time she calls him Captain, reminding her that I’m not your Captain anymore and you’re the fucking Queen now, remember?


“I’m not angry, so calm down,” he tells her bluntly. “Why did you do it?”


“I...” Historia hesitates, trying to gather the reason. While she struggles to muster the words, Levi shifts his steely gaze to meet hers, and suddenly she finds the words as they look at one another. She didn’t realize how close she sat to him at first, but with him in arm’s reach she can see the flecks of blue in his grey eyes, the lines around his eyes from years of stress and lack of sleep, and the beginning of a shadow is visible on his chin in the morning sun. She swallows nervously before answering timidly, “I like listening to you talk. I didn’t know you talked to the birds, but you tell them things I didn’t know about you, but that I’d like to know.”


Levi cocks an eyebrow and the beginning of a smile pulls at the corners of his lips. “You could’ve just come out here and talked to me like a normal person.” Historia blushes deeply and looks down at her lap, embarrassed she snuck around at all. A moment passes by with silence between them, only for Levi to speak again. “I talk to them because they remind me of old friends.” At his words she looks up again, and this time he’s looking at the robins that approach with apprehension. He gives them the remaining pieces of toast, which they scarf down happily. “We took care of a bird in the Underground—well, Isabel mainly did. Farlan and I helped,” Levi explains.


The two robins chirp as Levi speaks, fluttering their wings in excitement as they hop on the ground.


“Is this the kind of shit you really like hearing?” Levi asks as he looks at her again. The early sunlight reflects in his eyes, making her heart flutter as she gets lost in his dark eyes. One of the robins chirps again, making her blink and refocus on Levi, who’s searching for an answer in her bright eyes.


Historia nods with a warm expression. “Yes, it is.”


The tension seeps from his shoulders and he allows that smile to finally show. He starts with Isabel and Farlan, speaking of memories he had buried long ago with a fondness she’s never seen in him before, yet she yearns to see more of. The birds eventually fly away, returning each morning faithfully to share in those peaceful moments.

Chapter Text

Historia looks at him with longing.


During the meeting, her glances shift over to him on the other side of the table. Levi’s bored, looking like he’d rather be literally anywhere else. She stifles a giggle when they make eye contact and he rolls his eyes, confirming her suspicion. She loses track of time, and she misses a lot of what the latter half of the meeting is even about.


“Your Majesty?”


One of the military officials looks at her expectantly. When she realizes she’s supposed to answer, she shakes her head and tries to focus. What were they saying?


“I, uh…” she hesitates.


“I think that maybe we should adjourn for the day,” Erwin saves her. “We’ll regroup tomorrow. The night will help with us bringing some fresh ideas.”


“But Commander—“ someone tries to protest.


“That means we’re done here,” Levi growls as he pinches the bridge of his nose. Erwin gives an apologetic smile to the other men as they all rise from their seats and chatter amongst themselves. Levi moves away from the group to look out the window at the courtyard below where people pass through and horses are stabled. His arms are crossed and his posture is ramrod straight, his demeanor overall intimidating and unwelcoming.


Historia is not put off, but she doesn’t know how to approach him.


A gentle hand is placed on her shoulder, making her jump. She looks up to find Erwin’s blue eyes are on her with a kind smile on his lips. She relaxes, smiling nervously. “Thank you for saving me back there, Commander. I kind of tuned out after a while.”


“Of course,” he winks. His expression softens as he squeezes her shoulder. “Take care of yourself, okay?”


Historia furrows her brow slightly in confusion as she tries to read the hidden meaning of what he says, nodding as she feigns understanding. “I will,” she tells him. He pats her back softly before walking over to Levi, who looks up instantly when he’s approached. They begin talking, in voices low enough that Historia can’t hear from where she sits. Erwin glances back at her to give a polite wave goodbye, and Levi only looks at her fleetingly before focusing on Erwin, following him as they leave.


When everyone is filed out, she goes to the window Levi was standing at before. She fears her chest tighten when she spots Levi tending to his horse, Erwin beside him. Their mouths move as they speak, carrying on what appears to be casual conversation when Erwin laughs. Even from afar, she can see Levi’s lips curve into a smile.


Her stomach knots uncomfortably as her heart beats loudly in her ears.


Take care of yourself, okay?


She wonders if he knew. Her face burns when she realizes that when she was busy looking at Levi, Erwin observed her gazing at her former Captain. Erwin has always been too sharp for his own good, and being so close with Levi would spark his intrigue in others who share that same interest. She doesn’t know if he looks at Levi the same way that she does, but she purses her lips when she realizes that it doesn’t matter.


Levi doesn’t even spare her a second thought.


Even with all her desire to prove herself to him, to show that she’s not some silly girl who can’t handle her duties, it’s all for nothing. Her heart aches desperately for a yearning that can’t be fulfilled.


She blinks away tears as she inhales deeply, forcing herself to tear her gaze away.

Chapter Text

He returns to the orphanage for many reasons.


His primary reason is the children; seeing them flourish and grow into healthy kids instead of wasting away brings a wholeness to his heart that’s eternally beyond words. He knows the names of every one, and even if he seems unapproachable, none of them care. He’s tackled upon return every time, and he feigns defeat—most of the time, at least.


His secondary reason that he keeps a secret is the Queen who runs the orphanage. His heart pounds when she’s near, when she laughs at him pretending to lose a fight with the children, when she reads them bedtime stories. His heart just can’t really handle being around her at all, but he doesn’t admit it to anyone.


Hange catches on, though.


“Going back again?” they ask curiously as he hoists himself onto his horse.


“Yes. Just for a few days. My squad is there already,” he tells them.


Their good eye twinkles with amusement, a maniacal smile stretching on their lips. “Give Her Majesty my love after you give her yours,” they tease.


He spurs his horse into a gallop so Hange can’t see his face burn red at their comment.


When he arrives, the usual children sprint up to him as he dismounts, his feet barely on the ground when he’s tackled by a boy who reaches his waist with messy blonde hair—Francis, the usual suspect. “Captain Levi!” he shouts in excitement. “Your whole squad is here! Mr. Eren and Mr. Armin told us all about the ocean! Is it really real, like they say?”


Levi ruffles Francis’ hair as he hoists his bag over his shoulder, the boy practically running in circles around him as they begin to walk to the house. “It is real, Francis. I’ve seen it.”


Francis’ amber eyes go round as plates. “What’s it like?!”


“Big. Wet. Messy,” Levi lists off as he scrunches up his nose. “Sand gets everywhere.”


“I want to see it! I will see it one day!” Francis declares, puffing up his small chest. Levi can’t help but give the boy a small smile.


Other kids run outside as he approaches the porch, and he’s quickly surrounded by five different kids of various ages tugging at him and chattering away all at once.


“What have I said? One at a time,” he reminds them patiently. “I can’t hear any of you when you all shriek at once.”


They all laugh, and a young girl named Mia pipes up. “Captain Levi, is Francis going to the ocean?”


“Yes!” Francis answers simultaneously with Levi’s firm “No.”


Levi sighs. “When you brats are older you can do whatever you want. Right now, it’s not safe for you to go.”


“But you get to go!” Leo, the youngest boy there, whines.


“I’m stronger than all of you, and I’m a soldier,” he tells them matter-of-factly.


“I’ll become a soldier one day!” Francis exclaims, followed by the agreement of the other children. Levi’s chest tightens with pain when he hears them all readily declare this life decision, and he tries to recover, but is interrupted by a familiar voice that makes his heart fucking race .


“What did I tell you all about bothering Captain Levi?”


Historia is on the porch with crossed arms, waiting expectantly. She smiles at Levi when he catches his eye, her oceanic eyes warm with endearment. When the kids return inside with soft groans of annoyance that they have to leave the Captain be, she remains back as he approaches her. “Hey,” he greets her dumbly.


“Welcome back.” She touches his arm gently as he stops before her, and he feels the need to crawl out of his skin with anxiety. There is something in the way she looks at him, touches his so casually, in the sound of her voice that just completely unravels him.


She never knows, turning on her heel to go back inside. Levi follows, setting his pack near the armchair in the sitting room.



Tea after dinner is routine for his squad. He’s grateful for the sense of normalcy even in the orphanage. Mikasa and him sit at the table, opting to stay out of conversation carrying between Connie and Jean.


He watches Historia do the dishes, chattering away with Sasha all the while. The activity is simple, but he silently marvels at how she makes a task like dishes worthwhile to watch. He leans back in his chair, his cup of tea already empty. Eren approaches Historia, a warm smile on his lips as he stands beside her. He says something quietly to her that Levi doesn’t hear, but his eyes focus in on the way Eren’s hand finds the small of her back. The touch is slight, barely there, but his tanned hand lingers for a moment before withdrawing, Historia smiling fondly at him before turning back to Sasha and the dishes.




Mikasa’s voice brings him out of his reverie, drawing his gaze to hers. Her eyes are clear and full of endearment—and concern. He feels like she just dealt a blow to his sternum when he quickly pieces everything together.


She sees it too.


“Do you want more tea?” Mikasa asks him softly. He regards her for a moment, allowing his shoulders to lower slightly when he realizes she must be feeling exactly what he is.


“Sure,” he concedes with a nod. He avoids looking at Historia again, his heart heavy with an ache that won’t be eased anytime soon.

Chapter Text


Levi’s neighbor loves Taylor Swift.


He’s never actually seen her, but he hears her every morning at 6:30. He assumes that she’s young by the sound of her voice and her taste in music. The walls of his kitchen must share a wall with somewhere that she feels comfortable belting out cheesy pop songs—her shower, bedroom, or something. He doesn’t hear much other than her voice, but he doesn’t complain. Even if he doesn’t care for Taylor Swift, he’s come to enjoy her singing every morning.


This morning she’s working through the album Red, making Levi grin as he cooks. He keeps to his routine without fail since he lives alone, and he makes eggs and toast every morning.


The only thing that changes daily is his soundtrack, supplied by his mysterious singing neighbor.


I knew you were trouble when you walked in! So shame on me now, flew me to places I’d never been. Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground!


Levi finds himself humming along to the singing that carries through the wall.


Trouble, trouble, trouble!


She switches soon to We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together as Levi eats. He chews as he taps his foot to the beat.


The rest of his day is spent humming songs from Red.



The next morning as he leaves his bedroom, draping his suit jacket over the back of the sofa before he turns to his kitchen. As soon as he opens his fridge door, he hears that familiar singing voice again.


I promise that you’ll never find another like me!


Levi hesitates as he reaches for the carton of eggs.


This is a new song.


He listens more intently than normal as he cooks, a little unsure of the lyrics as she sings in an upbeat voice. It’s not his favorite choice, but he enjoys anything that his neighbor sings. She carries on energetically, and Levi thinks the song grows on him as it goes on.


A quick google search of the lyrics brings him the song, which he adds to a playlist for his drive to work. After a moment’s pause, she picks up with a different artist—Katy Perry.


Levi nearly laughs out loud at the choice, but hums along quietly nonetheless.



Friday is the last day of the week that this routine happens. On the weekends, she sometimes sings during the day, but for the moment part it’s not quite as routine as it is the weekday mornings.


On Friday morning, Levi decides to be brave.


He doesn’t plan it out properly. He doesn’t even think it through at all—he just acts.


At 6:30, his neighbor begins to sing something different. Instead of her usual pop songs, she shifts gears and sings a classic rock song.


Highway run into the midnight sun. Wheels go ‘round and ‘round, you’re on my mind.”


He recognizes it as Faithfully from Journey, her voice reaching deeply into his core and making his skin break out in goosebumps. This awakens something within Levi and he doesn’t think twice before he opens his mouth to sing the next lyric.


Restless hearts sleep alone tonight...sending all my love along the wire.


Maybe he wanted to see what would happen. Maybe he’s entranced by his neighbor’s voice more than he’s willing to admit. Or maybe he’s just a total moron.


After a painfully long minute of silence, his shoulders tensed as if he’s braced to flee even though he’s in his own home, there’s that beautiful sound again. His neighbor begins to sing again, and Levi joins in, feeling like there’s a silent agreement since she continued to sing. Once they get to the final line of the chorus, Levi takes a deep breath and sings alone, “Oh, girl, you stand by me.”


They then finish the next line together, “I’m forever yours...faithfully.”


Levi smiles as he cooks, singing along with his musical neighbor as she continues with her selection of iconic classic rock songs.


He goes to work with a spring in his step that day.



Monday, he doesn’t leave work on time, instead coming home later than normal.


He’s grumpy, starving, and in need of a drink to unwind. Even though he started out the day well by singing with his neighbor again, the day went sharply downhill afterward.


He sees the elevator going up from the ground floor of his apartment complex beginning to shut when he breaks into a sprint, shouting, “Hold the door!”


A small hand juts out and catches it in time, and he nods gratefully at the woman as he gets in. He’s wide-eyed when they make eye contact, getting lost in her bright eyes for a short moment until he tells her his floor number.


The button is already pressed.


“Ah, same floor, then,” he nods.


“It seems so,” she agrees with a polite smile. Her voice sounds familiar, but he just assumes he’s said hello in passing at some point. Even then, he doesn’t know if that’s right—he’d remember a face as drop dead gorgeous as hers. She’s shorter than him, which automatically makes him like her, her blonde hair is tied back loosely, stray strands framing her youthful looking face tastefully, and Levi can not get past how her eyes look ethereal.


He’s in love, surely.


They walk in the same direction once they’re off at their floor, making things slightly awkward. When Levi stops at his apartment to unlock the door, he hesitates when she goes to the one immediately past his.


She seems to notice this as well and their gazes meet, gears slowly turning.


“You’re the guy who sings with me,” she states.


Levi’s face flushes crimson at the realization, and he has the decency to look sheepish. “Ah, yeah,” he nods. “You sing beautifully.”


“So do you!” she smiles at him, more genuinely this time than before.


They stand there in another awkward silence until Levi opens his mouth without thinking again. “Would you like to come in for dinner?” he blurts out.


“I—Sure, I suppose,” she shrugs, pocketing her keys. “I’m Historia.”


His body relaxes despite his heart beginning to pound as she comes to his door. “I’m Levi.” As he opens the door for her, he allows himself to grin. “So, Taylor Swift, huh?”


Abashed, she laughs at being called out playfully, blushing all the while.

Chapter Text

There’s a quiet solace that Levi finds at night, staring up at the sky.


He’s been here for some time after they returned from the sea.


The stars glitter overhead like gems, the moon hanging high as it reflects light down on him, washing him in the cool blanket of night. The roof beneath him is uncomfortable, but he doesn’t mind it too much. He almost prefers this to the armchair he’s been sleeping on inside, frequently being woken up by the many small sounds of the orphanage. He’s dozed off up here more than he cares to admit, but it’s not like anyone keeps tabs on him.


Except Historia.


He sighs when she crosses his mind, folding his arms underneath his head.


She’s kept a watchful eye on Levi, but in an odd way; she looks at him with concern and fondness, worming her way into the parts of his heart that he forgot existed. She’s settled there, bringing her warmth with her to ease him open from the inside out and break down his countless walls. She lets him clean all he needs to when he gets stuck inside his own mind, and she knows when to begin to pry the tools from his dry, cracked hands, when to urge him to eat something, when to send one of the kids to ask him to play since he can’t tell them no. He’ll glare at her but comply anyway, knowing it’s useless to argue with the young queen.


“Captain Levi?”


As if summoned, Historia is climbing onto the roof clumsily to his right, tossing a blanket up before she hoists herself up. He turns to look at her, sitting upright to move to help her, but she shakes her head at him. “No, I’m fine,” she insists. “I’m just a little too short to reach.”


Levi wants to laugh, but he just settles for an amused hum instead. Historia carefully steps toward him, sitting next to him without asking. He welcomes the way her thigh touches his gently, her side barely brushing against his. She unfolds the blanket and wraps it around her shoulders, holding it open as an offer for him. He rolls his eyes but accepts, inching closer so their arms are pressed to one another comfortably.


He’s so warm beside her, and his heart flutters pitifully in his chest.


“The moon is beautiful tonight,” Historia remarks softly.


Levi stares at her before looking up, basking in the silver light. “Yeah. It is.”


She rests her head on his shoulder as if she’s done it a million times before when it’s only been a few rare, sporadic moments, and he just rests his cheek on the crown of her head comfortably like he belongs there. Her hair smells of soap and roses, the familiar scent easing the remaining tension from his body. She moves her arm so that her hand touches his; the back of her hand rests against the backs of his fingers. The movement of his fingers are slight—a small, barely-there caress of his callused fingers against the back of her small hand is enough to sate his burning desire for now.


“I like hiding up here with you,” Historia tells him.


Levi doesn’t move to look at her, afraid that his red cheeks will betray his calm voice. Instead, he inhales deeply, her hair tickling his cheek as he shifts with his breath. “Out here, it feels like everything just fades away,” he confesses.


He doesn’t have to clarify that he’s referring to being under the moon with her because she already knows. Even though he can’t see it, he knows that she’s smiling by the way she moves to take his hand in hers, their fingers lacing together easily as if there’s no other person that can fill those empty spaces.


If there are others, neither cares to ever find out; they hide away together on that roof with only the moon and stars to see them.

Chapter Text

Waking up shouldn’t be this painful.


The sunlight streaming in from a window is blinding, exceptionally so with the pounding of her head as she sits up slowly. The sheets pool at her waist and she runs a hand through her tangled hair, pushing it out of her face as she looks around. Her stomach sinks as she realizes she’s definitely not in her apartment—the bedroom she’s in is hardly decorated and looks like it’s out of an IKEA advertisement. A glance to her right makes her heart race even more when she’s faced with a man, sleeping deeply on his back, his black hair splayed out messily on his pillow.


Historia’s face flushes when she remembers the events of the precious night clearly despite how much alcohol she had.


He hoisted her onto the bathroom sink easily, fitting in between her thighs snugly as she wrapped her legs around his waist. His kiss was eager, messy—she wasn’t the only one desperate for some form of affection. She didn’t do random hook-ups or one night stands because they’re risky and leave her feeling shitty the following day, but she could deal with that if this guy fucks as good as he kisses.


His mouth was hot on her neck as he bit at the thin skin, his tongue swiping over where his teeth nipped at her. She flinched back, her neck tingling pleasantly. “N-no marks,” she tells him raggedly.


He pulled away, giving a sheepish grin. “Ah, too late. Sorry,” he murmured as he leaned in to kiss her again.


A part of her wants to stay and curl back up with him at the sight of his peaceful expression and toned arms, but when she sees the time on her phone a newfound sense of urgency fills her.


She’ll be late to class if she doesn’t hurry up and get moving.


Carefully, Historia slips out of bed and takes her phone from the nightstand—it miraculously has a little over 20% battery left—and she slowly collects her outfit that’s scattered all over the apartment. When she heads for the door, she spots her shoes nearby and grimaces at the heels on them.


It’s going to be a true walk of shame.


As soon as she stepped over the threshold and he shut the door, she kicked off her heels and slammed him against the closest wall. She haphazardly unbuttoned his dress shirt, gaping once she tore it from his torso.


“How are you real?!” She exclaimed with a shocked smile as she took in his chiseled abs and lean, muscular arms. “Are you really a teacher or are you a big, fat liar?”


He looked down at himself before shrugging, giving a coy grin as he undid his belt. “Pretty sure I’m not fat. But I’m also not a liar—unfortunately I do teach shitty brats for a living.”


Historia felt heat pool between her legs as he discarded his belt. She reached forward to slap his hands away, taking her time to undo his pants herself. “I would definitely fail your class if I was your student,” she confessed.


“Really, now?” He quirked an eyebrow as she sank to her knees. Her dress slid up to her hips and she looked up at him with a confident smile, making his eyes darken with lust. Her fingers hooked under the hem of his pants and underwear, pulling them down together in one motion. His cock sprang free, already weeping with excitement at their heavy petting.


“Definitely,” she affirmed her previous statement as she wrapped her fingers around his length, pumping experimentally before taking the head into her mouth. He groaned, hands twitching to touch her. She lowered her head to take in more of him while trying to be mindful of her teeth. His hands threaded in her hair, and he pulled gently on it when she did something he liked—which was most of what she was doing. Her tongue swirled the head of his cock before running along the underside of it, hollowing her cheeks out as she bobbed her head. Historia would have smirked if he could when she took most of him in her mouth abruptly, humming with laughter when his cock hit the back of her throat and he tossed his head back, slamming it on the wall behind him.


Historia’s nerves tingle when she steps out of the door, phone and wallet in one hand, and high heels in the other. She doesn’t feel bad about sneaking out because she left a post-it note on the guy’s desk—he had a dozen post-it stacks, which shouldn’t be surprising for a teacher but it still struck her as odd—with her name and number scribbled on it. What she does feel guilty about is not being able to remember his name for the life of her and she is not keen on rifling through belongings to find out.


When she steps outside of the apartment building, she pulls up Maps on her phone and quickly finds the shortest walk home.


A twenty minute walk, sore feet, a cup of coffee, and a shower later, she grabs her bag as she runs out of her own apartment to class. Campus is two blocks away and her class is in a familiar building on the side of campus closest to her, thankfully, so she’s confident she won’t be late.


Her worn Chucks are significantly more comfortable to walk in and she wonders why she doesn’t just wear these shoes out instead of heels? She could tolerate more one night stands if she isn’t barefoot for the morning after. As she crosses the street to campus, her mind wanders again to the previous night and the man who made her see stars. She goes on autopilot as she makes her way to the classroom, already mostly full of students and thus forcing her to sit near the front. She refrains from rolling her eyes as she begrudgingly sits in the second row, pulling out a notebook and pen as she gets a text message.


From: Unknown


Noticed that you snuck out. I hope you got home safe. Maybe we can get together another time.


4 minutes to class officially starts.


She types out a quick response, trying to conserve battery life now that her phone is on 4%.


I can confirm I’m alive and in one piece


She could feel her heartbeat in her fingertips as she sent a second text, throwing caution to the wind about looking too eager. Fuck it, she had an amazing night and wanted another.


I definitely would like to see you again


She props her chin up in her hand as she lets herself daydream before class actually starts.


They barley made it to the bedroom.


He held her hands at her sides by her wrists as he bent her over the edge of his bed, her face pressed to the sheets as he fucked her roughly. Her mouth was slightly open as she let delicious sounds fall from her lips with each thrust that hit deep inside her. He relished the sight of her, watching his cock slide in and out of her. When her knees startled to buckle, he slowed down and let go of her wrists, which began to ache but Historia didn’t care.


“You okay?” he asked, concern lacing his voice as he breathed heavily.


“I won’t be if you stop,” she retorts, her voice light despite the quip.


He huffed in response, promptly flipping her over so she was on her back, and he yanked her closer to him by her legs. He slid his cock back into her in one quick thrust and put her legs over his shoulders as he picked back up where he left off. She enjoyed watching his muscles flex as he thrusted, his body gleaming with a thin layer of sweat, his hair falling into his face as he gazed down at her. He continued for a moment before he leaned down, his hips never stopping their motion, nearly bending her in half when he kissed her, less gracefully while he multi-tasked. There was a fervency in how he moved that made Historia want to meet him in that passion, so she returned his kiss and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, holding him to close her as he fucked her.


The door opens once more, and a man makes his way to the podium at the front of the class, making Historia straighten as she realizes the professor has arrived. When she really looks at him, her jaw slackens in shock. Even for the split-second his back is to her, she realizes that she definitely recognizes him and absolutely knows who he is even if she can’t remember his name.


He sets down his bag on the desk beside the podium and fishes out reading glasses from it, perching them on his nose. The addition of glasses unravels Historia, her body tensing as she relives the entirety of the night before again in her mind as he picks up a marker, turning to write on the board, keeping his back to the classroom. He writes out in neat script HIS3940 Greek Civilization, and underneath it, a name. He turns back to the class, capping the marker and twirling it in his nimble fingers as his gaze sweeps the quieting classroom.


“Good morning,” he says loud enough for everyone to hear. “I’m Dr. Levi Ackerman and, assuming that you’re in the right room, I’ll be your professor for Greek Civilization this semester.”




The name rings clearly in her ears, and suddenly she feels ridiculous for not putting two and two together. She remembers thinking that Levi sounded familiar when he introduced himself to her, but she was too focused on how to get him alone and not at all the fact he said he taught at the same university that she attends.


“If you’re here for the elective credit, I’ll warn you now that I don’t go easy on non-majors. This is not the hardest class you’ll take, but I won’t accept poor attempts simply because you’re not used to the content,” he continues. His eyes finally, finally land on Historia, meeting her wide blue eyes with slate gray. His gaze lingers on her as he pauses in his introductory spiel, eyebrows rising for a fraction of a second before he continues to speak, holding her gaze evenly. “That being said, my door is always open during office hours after class for any questions you have.”


He looks away from her, leaving her stunned in her seat. As he goes over the syllabus, she has a hard time focusing on anything he actually says. She could listen to his voice all day but none of the words resonate, her mind too busy thinking about the godlike body concealed underneath his clothes and how he fucked her senseless the night before. She holds her legs together tightly, holding her pen in a grip that could make the plastic snap if she grips it any harder.


After what feels like a millennia, people are packing their bags and filing out of the classroom. Historia looks up at her professor, and she bristles when she sees that Levi is smirking at her as he gathers his own belongings. He leaves the room just before she gets up, so she follows him to his office, barely catching up with him as he drops his bag on his desk.


“Hey,” she says breathlessly. She wants to tell him that she didn’t know he was her professor, that she didn’t realize his name was on her schedule when she met him, and that she understands if he doesn’t want to see her again. Despite this, her voice is caught in her throat when his eyes meet hers, stormy and unreadable.


“Do you still think you’ll fail my class?” Levi asks as he cocks an eyebrow at her, a hint of teasing in his tone.


Historia parts her lips to speak, her face flushing deeply as she recalls the exact moment she said that while on her knees. His mouth quirks up in a half-smile at her blush, and she bites her lower lip at the encouragement.


“I’ll definitely need some extra help, Professor.”

Chapter Text


The river was cold, the current unfriendly.


He welcomes the frigid waters as it carries his aching body, the sensation of Hange clinging to him a mere phantom touch. He feels them, somewhere on his arm, frantically fighting to stay afloat while he wonders how he doesn’t sink to the bottom of the river. Eventually he stops moving, the sky still above him as he rests on the riverbank. He hears Hange gasping for air beside him, their breathing ragged. Hange reorients, shivering as they climb out of the water, holding fast to Levi. They straighten their eyepatch, flipping to their hands and knees as they try to catch their breath. Thankful for the tall grass to shield them, they spit river water out, the taste bitter on their tongue.


Turning to address Levi, they pull him further onto the shore, ignoring his weak grunts with each tug. “I know, Levi.” His previously bloody face is mostly clean, the river having washed away the remnants of his wounds. The long cut remains on his face, but it stopped bleeding long before they washed up. Hange is careful to look around before sitting upright, ensuring they’re alone. Off in the distance, they can see the outline of a building. A house, perhaps.


A farmhouse.


Gears shifting quickly in their mind, they look to the battered Captain beside them. Hope swells in their chest when they put all the pieces together. Levi coughs out a painful breath, water dribbling out of the corner of his dry lips. His eyes, though unfocused, turn to look at them. “His...toria…” he manages to say, barely audible.


Hange’s expression softens. “Don’t worry, Levi.” Despite their exhaustion, they muster up their strength, sliding their hands under him. He groans softly as they adjust their hold, his body limp in their arms. Carrying the Captain like a bride, they begin to walk toward the lone house ahead.


The sun is beginning to fall, the moon chasing behind it in the sky. He’s reminded of simpler times, hoping to forget the pain. Hange’s voice is soft when he shuts his eyes, unable to see clearly anyway.


“You’ll see her soon. We’ll be okay.”



He wakes up on a cloud.


The lighting is dim, and his vision is unfocused.


He hears voices.


“...nearly dead. Floch was ready to shoot him to make sure.”


“It’s a good thing that he didn’t get to.”


Or perhaps he’s on a soft bed.


He wants to turn in the direction of the sound, but finds he can’t, so he just grunts. Whoever has him—Hange, surely—would hear him. A word manages to leave his throat, hoarse from lack of use. “Water.”


A small hand cradles the back of his head, and a glass is held to his lips until he feels the cool water on his tongue. He drinks greedily, a man starved of life rediscovering a taste for it. When it’s gone, he blinks even though he can’t see properly, trying to look in the direction of the person who’s helping him. “Easy,” they say. A woman, specifically. “You’re pretty roughed up, Captain.”


He tries to recall who the owner of the voice is. “Who…?” is all he can say.


There’s a small hum of thought, or perhaps a muffled laugh, like she’s surprised that he cares. He only asks because he needs to know if he’s in immediate danger—not that he’s in any condition to run or fight. “Historia. Hange brought you here. You’re safe.”




The word sounds foreign as it falls on his ears. Still, he relaxes further into the soft bed. “Thank…you.”


“You’re welcome, Captain.”


He’s lulled into sleep by her speaking in a low voice with Hange once they reentered the room.



He doesn’t have to completely learn to function normally again, he finds. His motor skills are intact and his instincts are just as finely tuned.


But he needs to learn to accept his limits. He struggles with doing so with his injuries that can’t be easily ignored anymore. His eyes, legs, and hands are all sources of consistent frustration as he navigates Historia’s house. The biggest obstacles are the lost fingers on his right hand. He learns to deal with it, but he twitches his knuckles as if the tips are still there before he realizes what he’s missing. He wonders if this is how Erwin felt after losing his arm.


The evenings are the worst. Tired from exertion, his eyes struggle to focus on fine details and his legs ache beyond words. He tries to train but his coordination isn’t as sharp as it was before—it’s still sharper than Hange’s or Historia’s, but he notices that it's sub-par—and his body wears out sooner. Everything hurts, and he feels like a lame horse, useless now that he’s injured.


So three days after they arrive, he sits outside on the porch, straining his vision to keep watch in the night.


“You should be resting.”


Historia’s stern voice scolds him like a child. He rolls his eyes, waving her off dismissively with his bandaged hand. Despite his foul mood, Historia has been kind to him. Despite her obvious discomfort of being in the last stretch of her pregnancy, she makes her daily chores seem like nothing. She cradles her swollen belly all the while she tends to tasks like dishes, working in the garden, and taking care of Levi. Hange insists on helping only to be shut down by Historia. “I can’t get lazy now after all this time,” she quips when Hange tries to help.


Levi just nods in appreciation when she makes him tea after every meal. He wonders where the farmer is when Historia goes through her routine, only to realize he doesn’t want to see the bastard. He doesn’t even remember his name.


“I should be out there fighting, not here sitting on my ass,” he tells her sharply as he stands, gesturing to the chair for her to sit.


Historia gives him a sharp look before shaking her head, her hands resting atop her stomach habitually. “What good would that do?” she asks curtly. “You’re still healing. You wouldn’t do us any good if you went and got yourself killed. It’s not safe for you both anyway if you and Commander Hange have orders for your heads.”


He grunts in reply, not wanting to go down that line of thought.


“You shouldn’t even be out here in your condition. You’re in no shape to fight and I know for a fact you’ve torn your stitches in your side twice, and you’ve only been here three days,” Historia continues to chide him, and he growls in annoyance.


“I just feel so fucking useless,” Levi snarls. “I made a promise to kill that beast fuck, and instead, I’m lazing around learning to fucking function like a new recruit.”


Historia stares at Levi for a long moment of silence, clearly raking through different things she wants to say in response to him. She eventually settles on something that resonates with herself, her eyes clearing of any irritation with her former Captain with only melancholy remaining in her oceanic eyes. “You’re more than just your promises, Levi,” she tells him softly. Levi looks up at her quickly, narrowing his eyes as he meets hers. “You made a promise, but you can’t go getting yourself killed over it. Your life means too much to throw away over something like that.”


“Because you know so much about all of this, right?” he retorts, and she doesn’t wince despite the harsh tone he carries.


“Maybe not, but you always told the other Scouts not to get ourselves killed,” she recounts with a bittersweet smile. “You always said we can’t have casualties, that we can’t throw our lives away so carelessly.” Something shifts in her expression, a wisdom beyond her years casting a somber shadow over her demeanor as she tells him firmly, “I’m telling you, now, that you’re not allowed to go run off and get yourself killed like a green recruit, Levi.”


Levi’s shoulders slump at her words, and his hand begins to ache. He wants to respond with pointed, hurtful words, wanting to toss her order back in her face, yet he can’t—she’s always been one to throw his own words back at himself without any hesitation or fear. She stands up to him, even now with all his rage and disappointment with how his mission has gone, and he can’t find it in him to argue with her.


She’s right.


He sighs, resigning himself. He wants to cling to his promise to Erwin desperately, to give himself purpose, to end his life with something meaningful, but he knows that Historia is right.


He can’t throw his life away when there’s a greater purpose on the line—something far bigger than his grudge against a single man, regardless of the wrongs that man has done.


So he nods, his expression softening as he looks at his Queen. “Okay,” he concedes in a hushed voice. He glances between her caring gaze and her swollen belly, cradled by small, callused hands that have known battles, much like him. She gives him a sad smile even though he doesn’t return it, but he wonders if maybe one day, he could.

Chapter Text

Levi reaches out to her first.


It begins with platonic letters about the orphanage and how the kids are doing. It slowly builds into personal discussion, going beyond a Queen and her subject catching up. Gradually, they dance around the topic of seeing one another at some point for tea.


And then one day, Historia invites him to the farm.


He goes.


She greets him with flushed cheeks and a tin of expensive tea in hand. When she offers it to him, their fingertips touch, making his heart race in his chest. He smells the tea leaves, his mouth watering at the floral smell—rose, and bergamot, he picks up—and she nervously awaits a verdict. He just nods curtly, hoping his neck isn’t red as he mutters, “It smells nice. Good choice.”


They sit beside each other at supper. Their knees bump under the table, and he lets it happen more than once. At some point, his foot brushes against hers, and her bare foot is cold even through his socks. He doesn’t flinch away.


Before bed, Historia sits on the sofa to read the children a story. She invites him to help her read the knight’s lines, to “make it more realistic.” Levi rolls his eyes but sits next to her anyway, and their thighs are pressed together as she sets the book over both of their laps. His ears are burning at the proximity, hyperaware of her body beside him. Her shoulder is also against his, her hand dangerously close to his as she holds her half of the book. He can feel her body heat—or perhaps it’s just his own as he tries to focus on the story, even though the shitty knight will surely save the princess in the end.


He does, and is rewarded with true love’s kiss.


When Levi reads the words, ‘I swear to protect you with all of my being, as is my duty,’ he glances up at her.


She’s not looking at the book, her eyes meeting his.


They both quickly try to focus again, having lost their place on the page.


That night, they sit outside on the edge of the porch as they drink the tea that Historia bought.


Historia watches the steam rise from her cup. Levi watches the stars overhead, reveling in how incredibly vast the sky appears. At some point, he looks down at the teacup in his left hand, and then to his right, which is empty and littered with tiny white scars, his knuckles cracking since his skin is dry from constant cleaning.


Her hand is near his on the porch. Her fingers are slender, her hands unmarred, and her skin is more bronzed than his—not by much, but enough to tell that she’s outside regularly; she retains the kiss of the sun easier than Levi does.


He inches closer, his pinky grazing hers. She twitches, hesitating in her response as if he touched her by mistake. He makes it apparent that this is indeed deliberate by sliding his hand underneath hers, turning his hand over so his palm is to hers. Her fingertips trace the lines of his palm once, twice, before she laces their fingers together.


He smiles, finishing his tea in one gulp before he looks at her, warmth spreading in his chest at the sight of her contentment.


The next night, she helps him with dishes. He’s washing all of them, his sleeves rolled up to his elbows as he scrubs, and she dries them before putting them away. They’re mostly silent as they work, occasionally catching one another’s gaze with red cheeks and shy smiles. When they finish, he dries his hands on a linen he pulls from his pocket that he knows is clean, and she accepts it gratefully when he hands it to her. When she looks up at him, offering it back to him, there’s something about the way her lips are curved up and how her hair frames her face that captivates him.


Levi leans down, kissing her before his courage leaves him.


She gets on her toes to meet him, smiling into their kiss when his bangs tickle her cheek. They part for a second before going back for more, both of their inexperience and anxiety making the kiss chaste. Breaking apart a second time, she settles back on her feet flatly as she gazes up at him, and he licks his lips as he takes in the flush of her face.


Historia tastes likes roses.


He cradles her face as he kisses her once more, tenderly slotting his lips to hers as he cranes his neck. Her arms slip over his shoulders, letting him back her against the counter so his hands can find her sides, sliding along the curve of her hip as he settles on her thin waist.


He dreams of her kiss.


On their final night together, Levi sits by the fireplace as it burns lowly, in his usual armchair. When Historia approaches him, he pulls her in abruptly by her waist, burying his face in her stomach as he holds her close. She’s startled by the sudden affection, taking a moment to reel from her bewilderment before she puts her arms around him in turn.


“What’s wrong, Levi?” Historia asks him softly as she cards her fingers through his silky hair. Her nails gently graze over the shaved hairs, making him tighten his arms around her. His hands make fists in the material of her dress on her back, then loosening as he splays his fingers out, his hands flat.


Levi doesn’t answer her question; he doesn’t need to because she already knows what lays heavy on his troubled mind. He doesn’t want to leave the safety of their nights together, hearts fluttering like teenagers with crushes, trailing kisses along the expanse of each other’s body like they’re making a map. Leaving the farm means leaving behind whispered words of affection and light caresses over freckles that no one else sees, love bites hidden underneath their clothes. He feels silly for clinging to this emotion that he’s unable to hide with her, and he’s upset that he can’t say the words that he mouths into each kiss he leaves on her body, conveying it in every other way he knows how and praying that she can hear him that way.


When she squeezes him back, she moves a hand down the nape of his neck before ending between his shoulder blades. He shifts his head so his cheek is to her stomach, and he can faintly hear her heartbeat through the fabric of her dress, beating like a quick drum. Her fingers run along the muscles of his back, and he murmurs an apology and something about how it’s late, his mouth moving without his permission out of courtesy to her to give her an out if she wants it.


“I know it’s late,” she tells him. “I want to stay here with you.”


He hides in her embrace, not having to look up to know that she’s smiling, too.