Levi walked out of the plane and immediately his phone vibrated, signaling about a new message. He took it out thinking (and hoping) that it was from Hange.
Erwin: Come to HQ as soon as you get out of the plane. It is urgent.
Levi cursed inwardly. He really hoped that Erwin wouldn't sent him on another mission just after he came back from the last one. He was away for three weeks and he wanted some time with Hange.
Although, if Hange was on a mission, than maybe it was better to be out of country as well. Without Hange, their home felt too quiet, and as much as Levi loved peace and quiet, without Hange at home, he felt lonely.
He thought about texting Hange, alerting them of his arrival but quickly decided against it. If Hange wasn't on a mission, he'd see them at HQ and maybe even surprise them. Levi pictured how Hange's face would change upon his unexpected arrival - they would turn to look at him and their expression would become confused, just for a second, but then their eyes would light up, noticeable even behind their dirty glasses, and a big happy smile would form on their face. They would squeal with joy and jump on Levi, enveloping him in tight hug, smiling and laughing. Levi would pretend to be annoyed but still hug Hange back just as tightly. Hange would ruffle his hair and then, taking Levi's chin in their calloused hand, they would kiss him just as passionately as they were hugging him.
Standing in front of HQ, Levi thought if he really should immediately go to Erwin or maybe visit Hange's lab first instead. Just as he was waiting for the elevator to arrive, a large hand clasped Levi on the shoulder.
"How was the mission?"
Levi turned around and saw Mike standing next to him.
"Fine," he replied. "Is Hange here?"
Mike shook his head.
"They're on a mission, had been for over a week."
Levi signed, disappointed. To the Erwin's office then, he thought.
The elevator finally arrived and both men went in.
"Do you know when they are supposed to come back?" Levi asked.
"No," Mike replied simply."What, you miss them so much?"
"Of course I miss them, we haven't seen each other for three weeks." Levi said irritatingly.
Mike just silently smirked at that.
After that the rest of the ride was, thankfully, spent in silence.
Levi went out of the elevator and headed to Erwin's office.
When he came in, he was surprised to see Hange's assistant, Moblit, sitting there.
"Should I wait outside?" Levi asked, thinking he interrupted something.
"No," Erwin said. "We were just waiting for you."
Levi sat silently beside the man and Moblit awkwardly smiled at him.
"How was your mission?" Erwin asked.
"Fantastic," Levi replied dryly. "Can you please cut the pleasantries and get to the part where you explain why we're here?"
"Of course. Have any of you contacted Hange in the last week?"
Levi shook his head. He and Hange had a rule - if one of them was on a mission, no phone calls or messages were allowed during that time. Communicating during missions was a distraction, and distraction would always lead to trouble. Both of them could not allow any trouble, they were professionals after all.
"Has something happened?" Moblit asked nervously. "Hange very rarely calls me - only in cases of emergencies."
"We do not talk during missions as well." Levi added.
"Well, they have to contact me every three days during missions." Erwin explained.
Levi was surprised - he had never needed to report to Erwin during missions.
"Hange deals with missions that are on a different scale than yours," Erwin explained, noticing Levi's confused face.
Well, that did make sense - while Levi's missions usually consisted of him killing people or sometimes interrogating them, Hange dealt with more delicate ones. They usually were called in to devise a new weapon or to help disarm an already invented one. Their work was more important than Levi's, so it was no surprise that Erwin wanted to oversee as much of it as possible.
"They have missed their calls two times already," Erwin told them.
Levi went still in his chair. Hange went missing?
"If they miss another one, I have to send an agent looking for them," Erwin continued, while two other men looked at him in shock.
"When is the third call supposed to happen?" Moblit asked, shifting uncomfortably in his chair.
"They were supposed to call this morning. Seeing as that didn't happen, I have no choice but to send someone after them. I chose you two - you know Hange best and maybe you'll be able to find some clues as to where they had disappeared."
Levi could only nod as he was still trying to process what Erwin had just told him. Hange had disappeared? But they always always came back home. Sometimes not entirely in one piece - there were dozens of times where Levi had to nurse them back to health but they still came back.
"What was the goal of their mission?" Levi finally managed to ask. He briefly glanced at Moblit but the man beside him looked just as disstressed as he felt.
"I'm afraid that's classified," came Erwin's reply. "And you don't need to know about it nor help Hange with it - your mission is to find them and return them home safely. Understood?"
Levi nodded again and Moblit did the same.
"Where was their last location?" Moblit asked.
"They were supposed to be in Florence."
"What does their chip say?" Moblit asked again, taking out his laptop. Levi didn't even notice he had with him.
Although, Levi also didn't know Hange had a chip in them. Did Levi have one too?
"I've checked it, but there seemed to be some malfunctioning," Erwin said.
Moblit was already typing something on his computer, his fingers dancing over keyboard quicker that Levi could follow.
"It looks like Hange had turned the chip off," Moblit said after a few moments.
"Could they do it?" Erwin asked.
"Well, not a lot of agents know about chips," Moblit began and Levi nodded to that - he didn't know. "And even less know how to turn them off. Hange, of course, does. They devised them after all."
"Why would they turn that thing off then?" Levi asked. "Don't they want us to find them?"
"I have only one possible explanation to that," Erwin said looking at Moblit and Levi.
"Someone follows their movements through the chip." Moblit said quietly.
"That means there is a traitor amongst agents?"
Erwin seemed to be deep in thought.
"That," he said finally. "Or someone has breached our security network."
Oh no, Levi thought. Two possibilities were equally bad and both of them required immediate action. Looking at Erwin and Moblit, Levi understood that they also came to the same conclusion.
"If that's all," Erwin began. "I already send all other details to your rooms. The plane also awaits you. I suppose, I don't need to tell you to begin the mission as soon as possible."
Moblit and Levi got up, ready to leave the office.
"And another thing," Erwin began. "I also don't need to tell you that this conversation, as well as your mission, must remain confidential."
The other men nodded and left the room.
"How much time do you need to pack your stuff?" Levi asked as both of them were heading towards elevator.
"Half an hour is more that enough, sir." Moblit replied.
Levi rolled his eyes. The man looked so tense around him, it was ridiculous.
"Stop it with sir, just call me Levi," he said. "I'll meet you near elevators in half an hour."
Levi's things were still packed in his car. So he had the time to at least take a shower before he got onto another plane.
Just when Levi was coming out of his room, fresh out of shower and ready to meet Moblit, he saw Mike standing near his door.
"You would return our dear Hange home, right?" he asked Levi.
So he knew that they were missing? Levi wasn't exactly surprised - Erwin trusted Mike a lot, probably more than him and possibly even more than Hange. He also knew that Mike cared about Hange - a lot of people did, apparently they had that effect on people.
"Of course, I would," Levi replied, thinking that he would everything in his power to bring Hange home.
"Good," Mike said. "If you need anything - call me, I'm always ready to help."
Levi nodded and went to the elevators, where Moblit was already waiting for him.
Levi and Moblit start their search for Hange.
It was evening when they arrived in Florence.
Levi came out of the plane and took a long look at the city. He and Hange visited the city together before - not during a mission but on a vacation. And Hange had absolutely loved it. They dragged Levi through every street, marveling how the city was seemingly breathing with history, Levi, isn't that awesome! They must have made more than a hundred photos - taking a picture with every location they had recognized from Assassin's Creed games (Levi, look, it's the place, where Ezio's family was executed, you have to take a picture of me here!). What a nerd, Levi was thinking to himself during the whole trip. The weirdest thing was (and he would never tell it to Hange or anyone else) he found their nerdiness adorable, and not at all irritating. Of course, he acted annoyed, after all he had a reputation to uphold. But Hange still managed to take a couple of photos with him, and on one of them he was almost smiling unable to resist their contagious happiness. Together they visited every museum in the city, and all the while Hange was telling him various historic facts. Levi wondered then how could their head hold so much information in it.
At the end of the day, they went up the hill and were watching the sunset together. Hange got tired and lay their head on Levi's shoulder. It felt nice, he decided, holding Hange's waist. Even if the city felt small and was too crowded with tourists, watching Hange marveling at all the sites, their eyes sparkling and their voice enthusiastic and happy was more than worth it.
Hange turned their head to look at him, a smile never leaving their lips. They kissed his cheek gently.
"Thanks for coming with me," they said quietly. "I know you would rather spent your vacation at home."
Well, Hange wasn't wrong - Levi would have loved to just rest at home with them, preferably in the bedroom, but it didn't really matter. Hange seemed happy and that was more than enough for him.
"Nonsense," he said ruffling Hange's already messy hair. "I like it here."
Hange's smile turned bigger and they kissed him on the lips. They turned around, straddling his hips and putting hands on his shoulders, deepening the kiss, and there were people around them, a lot of them, but Hange was smiling and giggling between kisses, so Levi forgot about people and the fact that he hated making out in public, allowing a small smile to grace his lips.
Levi shook his head, putting the memories into the back of his mind. He needed to focus, Hange's life was possibly dependent on him.
He turned around and watched as Moblit was getting out of the plane.
"Should we go the hotel?" he asked, standing next to Levi.
Levi nodded and Moblit took out his phone, searching for the quickest way to their destination. Erwin gave them the name of the hotel and the number of room, where Hange was supposed to be staying. If they were lucky, there still would be some evidence of their presence. If they were extra lucky, there would be some clues about their whereabouts.
They were making their way towards the hotel when Moblit asked.
"Have you ever been to Florence?"
Levi fought the urge to sign. He hated small talk, but the guy still looked anxious to be around him and they were supposed to be partners during the mission, so he decided to answer.
"We visited it with Hange."
"Oh! I remember now!" Moblit exclaimed, with a little smile on his face. "Hange really liked it then, they were talking about your trip for weeks afterwards."
Levi didn't know what to answer to that, he was really bad at small talk, so he remained silent.
"They are very happy with you," Moblit continued. "You should treasure that."
Levi turned his confused gaze at the man beside him. He never really gave it a thought, but could it be, that Moblit was in love with Hange? Should he say something to him about that? Levi didn't know what to say in that situation, not wanting to hurt Moblit's feelings or possibly misread the situation.
"I do treasure that," he said finally. "And I treasure Hange as well."
Moblit just smiled at him.
They entered the hotel and went to reception desk.
"I hope, Hange's room is still unoccupied," Moblit said to him quietly.
"Good evening," Moblit began, hoping the receptionist understood English. The woman behind the counter nodded at him, so he continued. "Can we get a room please?"
"Number 417, if that's available," Levi added.
"Um, I'm afraid that's room is occupied," the woman said slowly. But then, she looked at something at her table. Her gaze returned to Moblit and Levi, studying them intently.
"Are you Moblit and Levi?" she asked after a moment.
Levi stared at her in disbelief. How did she know their names?
"We are," Moblit answered slowly.
"Oh, good!" The woman clasped her hands, smiling. "The previous occupant of that room moved out. But they paid for the room for a month and told me to give keys only to the handsome blonde man or the short angry looking one, said the names are Moblit and Levi," the receptionist explained. "And you fit the description perfectly!" she said, still smiling. "I honestly thought, it was just a weird prank."
Levi just nodded, thinking about the "short and angry looking". He would surely get Hange back for that.
"Anyways!" receptionist continued. "Here's your keys."
She handed the card to Moblit.
They turned around to leave, but the woman called to them again.
"You're Moblit, right?" she said, pointing at the man in question.
Moblit nodded and a blush appeared on the woman's face.
"They were surely right about the handsome part."
"T-thank you!" Moblit said, a little too loudly.
Levi rolled his eyes and started moving. A moment later Moblit joined him, his face redder than a tomato.
"Why are you handsome and I'm short and angry?" Levi asked.
Moblit awkwardly laughed.
"So Hange must have predicted that we would be looking for them?" Moblit asked as they approached the room.
"They are smart as fuck," Levi said. "When they want to be."
Moblit chuckled and opened the door.
Hange must have been there for at least few days, so Levi expected the room to look, well like Hange had lived there. They lived together for over 5 years, so Levi knew how messy Hange was. But the room was perfectly clean.
"Go and ask the receptionist if the room was cleaned after Hange moved out." he instructed Moblit. The man nodded and walked out of the room.
Levi continued looking at the room. Something was wrong. Even if Hange had taken all of their belongings, there still should be something laying around. A forgotten towel, empty cup of coffee, anything.
A few minutes later, Moblit came back.
"The woman said, that the room hadn't been cleaned. It was a request from Hange."
So, Hange left the room in that state. Meaning they cleaned it themselves. Oh, Levi got it. He strode to the bed, and looked underneath it.
"Um, what are doing?" Moblit asked, confused.
"Hange had cleaned the room themselves, and they're shit at cleaning. So, if they wanted us to find something, they must have left it, where no one would look. No one, except for us, of course," Levi explained. "Look in the wardrobe, they usually stuff all their shit under the bed or in the wardrobe."
Moblit muttered quiet "aha", agreeing that there was some logic to that.
"I found a note!" Moblit exclaimed, coming to stand next to Levi.
Together they started reading the note.
So, commander handsome decided to send one of my favourite boys to look for me? Well, he must have, if you had found the note.
Anyways, I'm not feeling well, so look for me at Beatrice’s.
Go there and ask for Silver tya.
Don't forget to ERT
"What the fuck?" Levi wondered. "Had they completely lost their mind?"
"It must be a code," Moblit proposed. "Look, they wrote, that they are not feeling well and that we should go to Beatrice’s? Maybe we should check the hospitals," Moblit took out his laptop, already checking his guess. "Yes, there is a Maria Beatrice's hospital nearby," he said a couple of minutes later. "They might be there."
"What about silver tea then? What kind of gibberish is that?"
"Tea is the only word Hange made typo in, and the letters ERT at the end? If we take them out, we'll get Sylvia. Maybe it's one of Hange's contacts?"
"Good job." Levi said. And he meant it, he wouldn't have been able to decipher the note without Moblit. He understood now, why Hange treasured him so much as an assistant - Levi doubted anyone else would have understood Hange's nonsense so quickly.
"It was nothing," Moblit mumbled, a faint blush on his cheeks. "The hospitals aren't closed, but I think we'll have better luck catching this Sylvia tomorrow, don't you think?"
Levi nodded, silently agreeing with Moblit. As much as he wanted to reunite with Hange as quick as possible, they had a long day today, and possibly longer day tomorrow, so both of them needed to rest.
"Well," Moblit began awkwardly. Levi looked at him and the other man was scratching his neck nervously.
"There is only one bed." he managed finally.
"There is." Levi agreed.
"Should I go and ask for another room?" Moblit asked again.
"I think you should."
Moblit nodded and in the next moment left the room.
Levi took a long sign. That was a very long day.
He started slowly taking off his clothes, starting with his black jacket, then taking off his holster and putting the guns on the table, after that he processeded to unbutton his blue shirt and finally took off his trousers. After putting all of it into a neat pile, he headed into a shower.
As the first drops of water hit his body, Levi felt the tension slowly leave his body. The situation was shitty, and Hange wasn't there with him, but at least now they had a lead as to where they may be, and for a moment it was enough. At least, Levi tried to pretend that it was.
Turning off the shower and drying his body with a towel, he walked out of the shower and put on his clothes - shorts and an oversized t-shirt. The t-shirt was Hange's and he liked wearing it during missions. It helped him feel as though they were close to him.
Levi lied on the bed and put on the covers. He rarely slept on the bed, when he was alone, usually used the chair, but Hange probably slept on this bed and maybe he could pretend that it smelled like them. Maybe it would make the sleep come faster.
Closing his eyes, Levi hoped that he'd spend the next night with Hange.
i wasn't expecting to finish it so fast, but i have so much fun writing it!
hope, you'll enjoy reading it as much as i was enjoying writing it
comments would be much appreciated!
Sleep didn't hold Levi in its arms for long. He woke up at five in the morning, unable to go back to slumber. So he got up, took another shower and brushed his teeth. Checked and polished his guns. Then started slowly dressing himself - the same black jacket and trousers with blue shirt. And, of course, he put on the holster with guns and hid a few knives in his sleeves. He planned to only go to hotel cafe to have some tea, and he doubted there would be a need for a weapon there, but, well, you could never be sure.
Walking to the cafe, he saw, that only one person was sitting there. Moblit was already there, and judging by the presence of three coffee cups, it looked like he was there for a long time.
"Couldn't sleep too?" the man asked as Levi approached him.
Levi shook his head and Moblit sadly smiled.
"Me too," he said. "I've been trying, of course, we have to be well rested and all, but well, I just couldn't stop thinking about Hange. They might be in danger right now! I couldn't just lay there, with thoughts like that."
Levi wordlessly agreed - he also couldn't help but wonder where were Hange and if they were alright.
"Let's hope then that we get to them in time," Levi muttered.
"I've been trying to find out how Hange's chip had been hacked. Or, if there was a breach in our security network. But I haven't found anything unusual - no weird signals or unauthorized users."
Levi looked at the man, prompting him to continue.
"I found however the exact time and location Hange had turned off their chip." Moblit turned his laptop screen to Levi, showing him the message. "Well, the location is obviously a wrong one, Hange must have created a false signal. Ah, well, see for yourself."
Levi looked at the screen closely, and there it was - a message said, that Hange turned the chip five days ago, and according to that information, it happened in the small village near Cairo."
"Absolutely," Moblit replied. "It's very unlikely that Hange spontaneously flew to Egypt - our agency doesn't have any diplomatic relations with its government. And it makes more sense for them to change their true location, misleading whoever was monitoring their movement."
Levi agreed that there was some logic to it, and the plan sounded clever, so definitely something Hange would do.
Then Levi checked his watch, it was almost seven in the morning. They should get moving. He finished his tea and looked at Moblit.
"Finish whatever you've been doing and let's go. I'll be waiting for you in the hall."
Moblit nodded and started gathering his belongings.
Levi went to his room, where he again checked his weapons. Then he took his bag with him. They probably needed to rent a car, he thought. It would be easier to navigate the city and that way they wouldn't need to come back to the hotel to return their things.
With that in mind, Levi left the room to meet with Moblit.
Coming down to the hall, Levi saw, that Moblit was already there. He stood there awkwardly as the woman from last night was saying something enthusiastically to him. Levi watched for a few moments, as Moblit gave the receptionist the keys from his room. The woman's face immediately fell, but a moment later, she smiled again, bending to the table to write something down. Finished with that, she gave the paper to Moblit. The man looked awkward, his cheeks red and his hands scrutching his neck. Then he spotted Levi and after saying something to the receptionist, quickly made his way to him. As he came closer, he put a piece of paper into the inner pocket of his jacket.
"Didn't know you were so popular with ladies." Levi remarked as they made their way outside.
"I usually am not." Moblit chuckled quietly.
A moment later, though, his gaze turned completely serious. Levi silently agreed with him.
It was time to get to work.
After renting a car and finding their way to the hospital, Levi and Moblit arrived to their destination at eight in the morning. And even at such an early hour, the place was already crowded as fuck. Looking at the patients, their relatives, nurses and doctors running around, Levi remembered how much he hated hospitals. He suddenly became very grateful, that Erwin had made a personal clinic for their agency. Levi would rather die, than spend more that fifteen minutes in this place. Although, making his way to the reception desk, he had a feeling that he would be there for a lot longer than fifteen minutes. There was at least ten people before them, wanting to make an appointment with a doctor. Levi signed, resigning himself to wait. At least it's clear in here, he thought to himself.
After twenty excruciating minutes, they finally could talk to the guy behind reception desk.
"Sorry to bother you," Moblit began with a polite smile on his face. "But we're looking for a woman named Sylvia? She probably works as a nurse or a doctor?"
The man looked at them for a long moment.
"Do you understand English?" Levi asked, thinking that was the issue.
The man nodded. And then, asked.
"Are you Levi and Moblit?"
Goddamn it, Levi thought. Was there a person in this city who didn't know their names? For crying out loud, they were supposed to be secret agents.
"We are?" Moblit said.
"Great!" the receptionist said. "Then go to the ninth floor, first door on the left."
Arriving at the place they needed, Moblit knocked on the door.
A few moments passed and the door slowly opened.
Levi was expecting to see a young or possibly middle-aged woman. Well, he expected to see a woman at the very least. But, he forgot that he was dealing with people that Hange knew. Levi probably should have been surprised, if they turned out to be someone normal.
When the door opened, they were greeted by a middle-aged balding man with an annoyed expression on his face.
"Um," Moblit began, unsure and confused. "Are you Sylvia?"
The man cursed under his breath.
"That bastard," he said. "I told them to use my real name instead of this stupid code. My actual name is Nick." The man extended his hand for Levi and Moblit, both of whom shook it.
"You're late, by the way," Nick continued, walking back to his cabinet. "They left three days ago."
Shit, Levi thought. He hoped that he was getting closer to Hange, when in fact they were moving further and further away from him.
"What prompted them to do it?" Moblit asked.
"Someone found them. No one came to the hospital, thankfully, but Hange still decided to go. Wanted to keep everyone safe."
"Noble idiot," Levi muttered quietly. They were always putting everyone else above themselves. Fucking self-sacrificing moron.
"Did Hange tell you where they would go next?"
The man shook his head.
"They didn't. They only said that the place was super secret and that a civilian cannot know about it."
Oh, Levi got it. Super secret place, there is only one possible place, that Hange could mean by that. He nodded, silently thanking the man and moved to the door.
"Are they alright?" he asked, his hand on a doorknob.
"They are not hurt." the man replied.
"I wasn't asking about that."
"They are not scared, I don't think they know how to be," Nick smiled warmly for a moment, but than his face turned serious again. "They are not scared, but they are worried. No one has ever gotten so close to them."
Levi thanked the man and turned around.
The man called after him when Levi was opening the door.
"Take care of them." Nick said. "Make sure they are safe."
Levi nodded and finally exited the room.
He thought about who that man was to Hange. A coworker or an old friend? He seemed to know Hange well enough. And, he cared for them as well. Levi remembered Hange with their warm smiles and contagious laughter and decided, that he shouldn't be surprised that there were people who cared about them even in another country. Hange was always good at making friends, doing it easily, effortlessly. If they befriended even him and made him care for them so much, it was no wonder, really, that they had a similar effect on many other people.
"I take it, you know where to go next?" Moblit asked as both men were nearing the hospital's exit.
"Good," Moblit signed, relieved. "But we still should send some agents to patrol the building. Even if Hange had run away, the people who are after them could still come back."
Levi nodded again, they did need to make sure, that the place, and the people inside, were safe.
"I'll call Erwin and arrange that."
"Um, and about Hange's hideout. Where are we going next?"
"I'll tell you in the car."
They were sitting in the car, and Moblit ignited the engine, ready to drive.
"Go to the railway station." Levi instructed him.
The other man put their destination into GPS and started driving.
Levi started his explanation.
"There is a secret hideout in the outskirts of Hungary. Almost no one in the agency know about it. Only four people do - me, Hange, Erwin and Mike. It's kind of a last resort, one may go there only in case of total emergency. In the ten years that I've been working for the agency, I have never heard of anyone using it. So the fact, that Hange went there, it's... it’s really bad. But the good thing is that place is like a fort, the building is impenetrable, and I don't use that word lightly, me and Mike tried to enter the building together, and failed."
Moblit nodded, understanding the seriousness of Levi's words, Mike and Levi were their most efficient agents. They were fast and strong, so if even they together couldn't enter, probably no one else in the world could.
So Hange was safe, thinking about that made Moblit feel immense relief. He missed them very much. And, was worried about their health and safety (well, more worried than usual, Hange had that stupid habit of being as reckless as impossible). If Moblit himself was so troubled by Hange's disappearance, he could only imagine what Levi was feeling. They were together for more than six years, and Moblit knew, that their relationship was full of respect and love for each other.
"We'll find them there then," Moblit said, feeling optimistic and trying to ease the worry of his mission partner. "If the place is that well-guarded, I doubt that Hange would leave it, even if the bad guys found them."
"Yeah," Levi said, signing deeply. "Let's hope that you're right."
so another chapter!!
this one doesn't have a lot of levihan moments but ugh i hope the next one would have more
anyways, comment and tell me what you think!!!
and im fanmoose12 on tumblr if you want to talk more about levihan and stuff!!
Sitting down into his seat on the train, Levi took a deep breath. A long journey awaited them - Moblit reasoned it was much safer to travel by train, especially if someone was following them as well. And that way they would switch easily to the car, once they crossed the border to Hungary. Levi had agreed - even if it took them more than twelve hours to get to their destination, Hange would probably still be at the hideout, so there was no real need to hurry.
In the meantime, Levi decided to call Erwin and update him on their current situation. The man probably didn't know more than Levi and Moblit (although it was Erwin, so Levi wouldn’t be surprised if he already knew everything they did and even more), but he could still offer some good advice or help them plan their next move. So he dialed Erwin's number, and a few moments later the man picked up.
"Levi," he greeted him. "How is the situation?"
"Not good. We missed Hange in Florence and they're currently hiding in our secret place."
There was a moment of silence, as Erwin was thinking this information over.
"I see." he said finally. "If Hange had decided to go there, things are worse than I anticipated. I haven't received a notification that somebody had entered the place, but I guess Hange had turned the alarm off, in case my computer had been hacked."
Levi would never stop being amazed at how in sync Erwin and Hange were, the two of them didn't need to communicate with each other to understand other's plan or intent. Levi often could understand Hange without words, but the way Hange had developed this ability with Erwin, it was on a whole other level.
"I probably wouldn't be able to do it myself, but I can give Moblit some directions, so he could hack into security network of this place. That way you could check the cameras there and see if Hange is doing alright."
Levi immediately thrusted his phone to Moblit, who was sitting across from him. He really hoped, that Moblit would be able to do that. He longed to see Hange, to check how they were doing and if they were safe and sound.
Levi felt himself relax a little, as he listened to muffled sounds of Erwin's voice and Moblit's tappings on his computer.
A few minutes later, Moblit gave the phone back to him. Levi could see that Erwin was still on the line.
"I just wanted to ask if you're alright." Levi heard Erwin saying as he picked up the phone again.
For a moment, Levi thought what should he tell him. That he was constantly worried about Hange's wellbeing? That he was angry at himself that he hadn't been able to get to them in Florence? That he missed them more than he could say and that he just wanted to hold them in his arms again?
"I'm fine." He managed finally. "Better now, knowing that we could see how Hange is doing."
"Good." Erwin replied. "Moblit should accomplish this task soon. And don't hesitate to call me if you need any help - I want for Hange to be safe as much as you."
Levi thanked him and ended the call. He felt somewhat better after a talk with Erwin. Erwin may have been his boss, but he was also a close friend and Levi knew that he could trust him with everything. He also knew that Erwin was Hange's friend as well and that he cared for them and Levi was sure that Erwin would anything to keep Hange out of harm's way.
"It's done." Moblit announced after some time.
Levi hurried to his side of the sit and looked at the computer. There on the screen he could see Hange. He could see them sitting at the table wit a laptop in their arms, typing something. Their face was facing away from the camera, but even from here, Levi noticed that their hair was dirty and greasy. He would need to thoroughly clean and bath them once they return home, Levi thought. Then Hange got up from their sit and went to the other room. Levi caught a glimpse of their face. It was pale and deep dark circles appeared under their eyes. Hange always weren't the one to take good care of their health, rarely sleeping at adequate hours and often forgetting to eat or drink. But usually there was Levi or Moblit (or sometimes Mike and Erwin) to remind them about that and make sure that they were alright. But now Hange was alone, and someone was looking for them, probably wanting to hurt and harm them. Levi suddenly regretted they didn't take a plane instead. He wanted to be close to Hange as fast as possible. To make sure they were safe and that whoever was after them was dead.
"You don't look relieved." Moblit noted, seeing the change on his face.
"They look like shit." Levi said in lieu of explanation.
"They look like they took a couple of all-nighters. Only this time, there is no happy expression on their face and they don't look enthusiastic at all. But at least they look unharmed."
Levi turned away from the screen and looked at Moblit instead. Something was bugging him, ever since their first conversation in Florence. Levi wasn't jealous, there was no need to be, he knew Hange loved him, just as much as he loved them. But still, he needed to know.
So he asked.
"Are you in love with them?"
For a moment, Moblit looked at him silently.
"With Hange?" he asked finally.
Moblit started laughing. Levi's gaze turned confused. He expected Moblit to become panicked or at least embarrassed. Instead he was starting to feel embarrassed. What was funny about what he had said?
"I'm sorry!" Moblit exclaimed after his laugher had subdued. The smile on his face however remained. "To answer your question - no, I'm not in love them. They're my mentor, and a very dear friend. Of course, I respect them and care about them. And, of course, I love them! Just not in the way you do." Moblit said looking warmly at him.
"Their personality is a bit too much for me to handle." Moblit continued. "So you don't need to worry. I won't steal them from you. They love you too much for me to be able to do that. That’s it, if I wanted to. Which I don’t."
"I know they love me." Levi said, crossing the arms on his chest defensively. "And I don't worry about you stealing them from me. I just didn't want to hurt your feelings or something."
Moblit chuckled at that and Levi felt an almost smile appearing at his face. He was glad that Moblit wasn't in love with Hange. He truly didn't want to hurt another man's feelings. Spending time with him on a mission made Levi realise, that Moblit was a very kind and a good man and that he was always trying to keep Hange safe and Levi felt grateful for that.
"Thank you." He said quietly. "For always being there for Hange. Without you, they would have been dead years ago."
And that was the truth. Hange may be the smartest person Levi knew, but they had a habit of becoming extremely reckless when something picked their interest enough.
"I'm trying my best." Moblit replied just as quietly.
After that both of them fell into a comfortable silence. Moblit was tapping on his computer, occasionally checking on Hange, while Levi relaxed against the man and soon fell into a slumber.
Levi slowly pushed his fingers through Hange's hair, gently caressing their scalp. He and Moblit found them a few hours ago, and now Levi was taking a bathe with Hange while Moblit was monitoring cameras that surrounded the area. The agency hideout had a big spacious bathroom and Levi was using it to clean a week worth of dirt from Hange's body. Hange sat with their back pressed to Levi's chest, clearly pleased with their current position. They started quietly humming when Levi massaged their scalp.
"When was the last time you washed your hair? A month ago? It looks disgusting."
His words were biting and rude, but Levi knew that Hange didn't miss a hint of worry in his voice.
"I washed them a week ago, Levi." They said, turning around and smiling at him. "Stop worrying already, I'm safe now."
Levi used the hands in their hair to turn their head around.
"Stop squirming or we'll be there for a long time."
Hange started laughing, turning their head around again. Then they turned their whole body, getting even closer to him and putting their hands on his shoulders.
"We have all the time in the world now. And even if something happens, we have Moblit in the next room and he'll immediately alert us. And, besides, you like it when I'm dirty. It gives you a reason to get me all naked and wet and at your mercy."
Levi couldn't take their teasing anymore and he leaned it, finally kissing them. Oh, how much he missed them. He started kissing them gently and slowly at first, wanting to remind himself of their taste, of the feeling of their chapped but soft lips against his. Hange got more comfortable around him, spreading their legs and putting them near his knees, straddling his hips. Levi closed his eyes and deepened the kiss. He returned his hand back into Hange's hair, wanting to bring them even closer, but then-
Then a hand touched his shoulder, shaking it a little. A hand, that was bigger than Hange's, and Levi slowly opened his eyes. And saw an awkward looking Moblit next to him.
"Our stop is in ten minutes." He said with an apologetic smile.
Levi nodded, feeling extremely stupid. He fell asleep against Moblit’s shoulder. And at top of that he saw a very pleasant, but still improper dream. He hoped he wasn't making any sounds in his sleep.
"How is Hange?" he asked, trying to mask his awkwardness. He took a quick glance at his trousers and thank god he didn't have a boner.
"I just checked on them, they were working at their computer. I couldn't see exactly what they were doing there. But they slept for a few hours."
Good, Levi thought. At least, Hange slept. That was something.
He nodded, silently thanking Moblit for his report.
"Let's get going then. The sooner we get to them the better."
Moblit voiced his agreement and both of them started packing their stuff.
They were finished by the time their stop was announced.
They walked from the train and left the railway station. Thankfully, their stop was at a big enough city, so they easily found a place where it was possible to rent a car.
Done with that, Levi sat at driver's seat. They agreed that Levi would be driving while Moblit would be watching over Hange on his laptop. At least, that was the plan but they quickly found out that Hungary's internet connection behind city limits was much to be desired, so Moblit couldn't connect to the security cameras.
"It's fine." Levi said, trying to calm Moblit (and himself). "We'll see them in a few hours, I doubt anything bad would happen in the meantime."
Despite his calm words, Levi felt himself become anxious. You should hurry, his gut was telling him. Levi did not to listen to it for once and focused on the road ahead.
An hour through their ride, the weather changed drastically. The air became chilly even inside the car and soon thick white snow began falling from the sky. It was a stark contrast from Florence, where it was warm enough to wear only jacket. Levi and Moblit changed into more warm clothes. Levi was glad he had taken his favourite black coat. Together with dark blue scarf and gloves, it kept him warm even during winter weather. Moblit put on his light brown parka with green hat and mittens. Then they continued their ride, although because of the snow, now Levi drove a much slower pace.
Three hours later they were nearing the forest, where the hideout was situated. Levi took the turn and then his eyes snapped up to the sky. There was a small streak of smoke, coming from the forest.
"Is there a chimney in that cabin?" Moblit asked, his eyes also noticing the smoke. "Maybe Hange got cold."
Levi couldn't remember if there was a chimney in the cabin, but he hoped there was. He couldn't, didn't want to think of another explanation. So he drove faster, desperately trying to get there sooner.
He stopped the car a hundred meters from the cabin. He got out of the car and started running towards it. But in the place, where their secret hideout was supposed to be, where before stood a small house with metal doors and bulletproof windows, now there was nothing. Well, nothing but a pile of ashes.
Levi looked around, desperately trying to find Hange. They should be standing somewhere in the forest, maybe hiding behind a tree, trying to prank him and Moblit. But there was no one in the forest, except for the two of them.
Levi slowly came closer to the pile of ashes. He fell to his knees, not caring about dirt and snow ruining his clothes. Not caring about anything. He put his arms into ashes, searching for something, anything that would prove that Hange was alive. Because it was Hange and they couldn't be dead, they just couldn't. They were so full of light, happiness and life, they couldn't just go and disappear into nothing. And they couldn't have left Levi alone, because what would he do without them now? Who would he come home to? Who would he tease and force to take a bath? Who would he make tea for now? Who would he kiss and hold hands with and lie together in a dark bedroom listening to other’s heartbeat?
No, no, no. No. They wouldn't have left him, they knew how much he loved them. They wouldn't be so cruel.
Levi realized, that he had said it all aloud, when a hand appeared on his shoulder, squeezing it gently.
"I'm sorry." He distantly heard Moblit say with tears in his voice. "Oh, Hange, I'm so sorry."
"They are not dead." Levi said in a cold emotionless voice.
"Levi..." Moblit began, looking at him with a mix of grief and pity.
"They are not!"
Moblit opened his mouth, but no sound came out of it, as he was desperately trying to make Levi understand, to make him see, that Hange was no more. The forest around them became very quiet, as Moblit continued wordlessly looking at Levi, a hand still on his shoulder.
But then the silence was broken and both men slightly jumped as Moblit's phone started ringing.
Levi was still staring at what once had been their agency's secret hideout. An impenetrable fortress. He wanted to laugh at these words. Now it was nothing, but ash, dirt and some debris. Evidently, the house had exploded. Or maybe it had caught fire, Levi wasn't expert on that kind of thing. Maybe he should ask Moblit, but he didn't really care what happened. Whatever had happened resulted in Hange's death. Although, part of him still believed that Hange was alive, the evidence seemed to point otherwise. A destroyed house and no Hange in sight could only mean one thing. But, Levi still believed, that they were alive. They were smart, they could have escaped.
Moblit was still standing next him and his phone still continued to ring, while the man himself just wordlessly looked at the device.
"Just answer the damn thing already." Levi told him. He wanted for his tone to be harsh and angry, but instead his voice was tired. Moblit's phone still continued to ring and his ringtone was quite annoying. Levi should have been irritated by that. He wasn't. Instead he felt nothing, but hollow pain in his chest. He wondered briefly, if he would always feel like that, now that Hange is gone.
The phone finally stopped its ringing and the forest became quiet again. The silence didn't last long though as someone started calling Moblit again.
This time he immediately took the call. Levi turned to look at him. Moblit put the phone to his ear and whoever was on the other line started talking. Moblit's face immediately changed and his eyes widened.
"It's you? R-really you?" He asked, his voice trembling.
After he apparently got his confirmation, Moblit started to talk again.
"Wait! Stay on the line please. There is someone who really needs to talk with you!"
After that he thrusted the phone to Levi.
Levi wondered who could be calling, that got Moblit so excited. If it was Erwin, why didn't he call him?
But then he took the phone from Moblit's hands and heard the voice, coming from phone's dynamic. His whole world stopped at that moment. Or maybe, it started rotating again.
Because, on the other side of the line, explaining something frantically and in hurried voice, was Hange.
Levi couldn't believe it, couldn't make his voice work. He was just listening to them for a long minute, not truly hearing what they were saying, just relishing in the fact that it was Hange speaking, and if they were speaking, that definitely meant they were alive.
"Hange?" He asked finally in a hoarse whisper. "Is it really you? You're alive?"
"Oh Levi," Hange began, their voice turning soft and gentle. "I must have scared you two. I'm so sorry, but I didn't have another choice. They were after me, and if they caught up with me at the hideout, they would have found tons of agency's secrets and, of course, I couldn't let that happen. I had to burn the house, and, oh! Guess what, I've used my new formula to do that, and it worked even better than I hoped! I mixed-"
"Hange," Levi interrupted them. He was used to their rants and through the years learned to take pleasure in them, listening to their excited and happy voice, but now was not the time. "Where are you? Moblit and I are going to take you home."
"Yes, that's exactly why I've been calling you. You dummies, forgot to turn off you chips. And that's why I've been found. So turn them off and then try to get them off your tail."
Levi cursed under his breath. They were the reason Hange needed to run? He felt stupid and angry that he didn't even think that somebody could be monitoring their movement as well. And because of his stupidity, Hange had paid the price.
"Who is after you, Hange?"
"I'll tell you everything when we"ll meet. It's a long story to tell over the phone. Besides, the more I talk with you, the bigger chance that someone starts listening on our conversation."
Levi agreed that Hange made sense, even if all he wanted was to get to them as soon as possible.
"Just tell me where and to meet you."
Hange started giggling.
"Ah, Levi... you remember our first night?"
Oh, what a motherfucker, Levi thought. They want for him to go there? They knew he hated that country and especially that city, even if the most important thing of his life has happened to him there. That thing being, of course, his first sex with Hange.
"Fine." He grumbled his reply, clearly annoyed with their choice of meeting place.
Hange started laughing. Somehow, that sound made Levi feel strangely at peace. He missed their laughter. He missed them.
"Be safe, Hange.” Levi said, almost softly. “And I love you.” He added the last part in an awkward whisper. He rarely said those words, was too foreign with affection to express it often. But he needed to say it to Hange now. Needed to remind them, that there were people who cared and loved them, who were waiting for them to return home.
“We’ll be together soon, I promise. And I love you too.”
With that, Hange ended the call.
Levi stared at the phone for a few moments, and then turned to look at Moblit. Who was watching him with a warm smile.
“That was cute.” He said. “I honestly didn’t know that you could be so romantic.”
“Shut up.” Levi replied, annoyed. The other man was getting too comfortable with him. Levi wondered if that meant, that the two of them were becoming friends.
“What’s the plan?” Moblit gave Levi his hand to help him get up. Only then, Levi noticed that he was still kneeling in the dirty snow. Disgusting.
“We need to lay low for a few days,” he began, taking the offered hand and getting up. “Let’s go to the nearest motel. There we’ll need to turn off our chips and then continue our way.”
“Uh, there might be a problem with that. I don’t, um, know how to do that. Only Hange has the code for turning them off. The only other way I know is to just take them out. Cut them out of your body, I mean. From the area on your neck, to be precise.”
“Let’s do that then, I don’t care.”
And he truly didn’t. If it meant getting closer to Hange, Levi would endure much more pain than that.
“Alright, let’s get going then. We’ll go to the motel and there I could cut your chip out. And you’ll have to do the same to me.”
Levi nodded, agreeing with a plan. Then they started walking back to the car.
Spending, more than an hour on the snowy roads of Hungary, Levi and Moblit finally found the motel. They stopped the car, parked and went in. The place was empty, except for the boy, seemingly in his teenage years, sitting behind reception desk.
Levi and Moblit looked at each other. Could the boy even understand English?
“Good day,” Moblit began. “Can we get a room? With two separate beds, if that’s available.” He made sure to speak clearly and slowly, so the boy would understand him.
The boy looked at them for a moment and then smirked.
“Sure you don’t want one bed?” he asked in perfect English.
Oh what a brat, Levi thought irritatingly.
“Do you have the room or not?”
“We do,” the boy said, signing. His joke had gone to waste. He gave the keys to Levi. “Here take the keys, pay after you move out and don’t break anything there. The breakfast starts an eight and lasts until nine, if you miss it, that’s your fault. Apart from that, do whatever you want, I don’t really care.”
“Glad we understand each other.” Levi said. “Is the room clean?”
It was not clean enough.
Walking into the room, Levi barely restrained himself from finding some rug and soap and then cleaning all the dust and dirt. They had more urgent business, so his obsession with cleanliness, sadly, would have to wait.
“How do you plan on taking the chip out?” Levi asked, not wanting to beat around the bush. The sooner they do it, they safer they would be.
“I have a med kit in my bag. It has a scalpel. Then I’ll cut the behind of your neck and take it out. The area there has a lot of muscles, and the chip in not situated very deep, so no risk of damaging a major artery or nerve.”
“Fine. Let’s begin with me, then you’ll show me how to properly do it.”
And so they began. Moblit put on a sterile gloves, prepared and disinfected scalpel, forceps, needle and threads. He sated Levi on a chair and stood behind him. Then he lightly touched Levi’s neck with a scalpel. Levi involuntarily flinched.
“Sorry.” Moblit said quietly. “I’ll try to do it fast.”
After a few moments, Levi felt scalpel penetrate his skin. It got deeper and Levi winced in pain. Moblit quickly located the chip and with a help of forceps, took it out. Then he closed the wound and bandaged it to secure the stitches and to keep it clean.
“It’s done. Did it hurt?”
“Only a little. You’re good at this.” Levi noticed.
“Had a lot of practice with Hange.” Moblit replied, chuckling. “You know, how to apply the stitches?”
“Of course. Had a lot of practice with Hange.”
Levi carefully disinfected all the materials and then came closer to Moblit. The man was waiting for him, seemingly relaxed and calm. Levi didn’t feel the same. He didn’t know how to cut people without hurting them. And he didn’t want to hurt Moblit.
“Just do it.” The other man advised him. “The faster, the better.”
Levi nodded, beginning. He cut a little incision, then saw the chip.
“When this thing has been placed into me?” Levi asked as he was finishing taking it out.
“Have you been wounded and then treated at agency’s clinic?”
“A couple of times, yes.”
“Well, usually the doctors there insert the chip while you’re under anesthetic. Have Mister Smith truly never told you, that you have it?”
“He hasn’t.” Levi replied, beginning to bandage the wound. He managed to do the stitches even and Moblit didn’t seem to be in pain.
Then Levi thought why Erwin hadn’t told him about the chip. The answer was actually obvious – Levi would have demand to take that shit out of him immediately and Erwin probably had foreseen that.
“Go to sleep.” Levi said. “We need to get out of here in the early morning. We’ll go to Budapest and stay there for a while. Then we’ll go and finally meet Hange.”
Moblit nodded and, taking his change of clothes, went to shower.
Levi decided to use that time to call Erwin again.
“Are you finished with the mission?” the man immediately asked, as the call connected.
“No, Hange blew up the safe house and ran away, because we didn’t turn off our chips and the enemies apparently started following us as well.”
“Have you found out who is after Hange?”
“No, they promised to do that once we met with them.”
“And where that’s going to be?”
“Remember my third mission with Hange?” Levi asked. He was aware that if someone was able to hack into his chip, the same thing could happen to his phone. So he hoped that Erwin would get the hint and check the archives. Although, knowing Erwin, he probably still remembered the location and the goal of that mission. His head was like a computer. He and Hange had this thing in common.
“Understood.” Erwin replied curtly. “Well, call me when you get to them. And be safe, Levi.”
“You too.” Levi said and ended the call.
Soon enough, Moblit walked out of the shower and Levi went to take one too.
When he came back, Moblit was already soundly asleep.
Sometimes Levi envied other people’s ability to fall asleep so quickly. He needed an hour or two to succumb to slumber. Usually, when he was at home, Hange helped him with that. Either they made sure he was exhausted after sex or they simply read him their notes from the lab. Even if it didn’t always help him fall asleep, Levi liked putting his head on Hange’s shoulder and listening to their deep voice.
Now, as he laid in bed, staring at the dark room, he thought of Hange. He suddenly remembered their first meeting. He only came to the agency then, with a mission to kill Erwin and, if possible, other valuable agents as well. Hange walked up to him, greeting him with a warm smile and kind eyes. And Levi was absolutely dumbfounded. At first, he thought that Hange was already suspecting him and that was the reason for their behavior. No one, except for his only friends, Farlan and Isabela, had ever treated with kindness after all.
“I’ve seen you train the other day!” Hange had said then. There was a big smile on their face, which seemed genuine. Levi didn’t understand it then, not knowing Hange at the time. He didn’t know, that Hange was always like that, kind and sympathetic to others, even if the others were suspiciously looking ex-thugs. Even if he came here just to kill them and all their friends.
In the end, Levi had failed his mission, had failed Isabela and Farlan and was the cause of their death.
He stayed at the agency, though, because he didn’t have any other place to go and he didn’t know what to do with his life, now that his only friends were dead. During that time, Levi mostly stayed at his room, coming out only to train or to go to a new mission. And all that time, Hange was relentless. They cornered him in the corridors and halls, barged into his room and interrupted his training. Levi was immensely annoyed with them – couldn’t they just leave him alone, didn’t they see he didn’t want to see them around?
“What do you want from me?” he asked one day, fed up with their constant presence.
“I told you the first time we met, remember? I want to train with you.”
“If I agree, would you stop following me around?”
“Maybe,” Hange replied, grinning. “Can’t promise, though.”
Good enough, Levi thought then. He decided, that he’d spar with them, maybe after a few kicks in the face, that weirdo would finally understand, that Levi was cold and unpleasant and then find someone else to bother.
Hange had showed up at the training grounds the next day, smiling from ear to ear.
“Should we begin?” they asked, smiling even wider. Their eyes were burning with excitement.
Levi grumbled in agreement. The sooner they would be done with that stupid shit, the better.
Finishing their sparring, Levi didn’t lend a lot of kicks on Hange. Not because he didn’t want to, he simply couldn’t do that. Hange was actually good at fighting. Not better then Levi, of course, but they were fast and smart and fought in a way Levi had never seen before. Hange was unpredictable, but graceful. Levi thought, that he wouldn’t mind seeing them fight once again.
“The fuck you needed a training with me for? You’re fucking good at it.” Levi said, when they were sitting and trying to get their breath back to normal.
Hange’s face became red and they started scratching their neck nervously.
“I guess, I just wanted to spend the time with you? You seemed lonely.”
Levi just wordlessly watched them and Hange continued.
“I wanted to become friends with you actually. I know you’ve lost your friends when you first joined the agency and thought that maybe you needed someone to talk to or just sit quietly with, so you wouldn’t feel alone.”
Levi was still staring at them. What they had said confused him. They wanted to befriend him? Because they thought he was lonely? That was incredibly thoughtful and Levi didn’t know how to react to this.
“Um. Thank you.” He said finally, when the silence stretched on for too long. He wanted to say something more, to tell them how they were the first person in a very long time to treat him with kindness without wanting something in return. But he was shit with words and he didn’t really want to offend them, now that he found the reason for their behavior.
“Do you want to grub some lunch?” Hange asked, getting up and offering their hand to Levi. Levi nodded, took Hange’s hand and also got up. Hange’s hand was calloused and rough but warm. Levi liked holding it, even if just for a moment.
After that, they started spending more time together. Levi finally accepted that Hange wouldn’t just quit on him and began taking pleasure in their company. He learnt that Hange was messy and sometimes seemed crazy, but they also were funny and kind, incredibly smart and absolutely brilliant at their job. They spent a lot of time together, often went out to drink tea together, and there Hange was talking almost non-stop about their latest discovery, their childhood, the cat they saw on the side of the road or anything and everything they wanted to share with Levi. For his part, Levi usually kept quiet, only offering short remarks here and there. Hange seemed content with it, they knew, that Levi was a quiet person and they could easily talk for the both of them.
They also continued sparring together, and seeing Hange, sweaty and out of breath, as they were grinning down at Levi after succeeding at submitting him, made Levi feel something he didn’t want to think about.
It was two months into their weird friendship, when Erwin decided to send them on a joint mission. Apparently, he had noticed that the two of them were spending a lot of time together and thought of testing their team work on the field.
Unsurprisingly, they did succeed at their mission. Levi found out, that working with Hange was easy, they made a pretty good team, especially because they seemed to understand each other even without words.
It was their third mission, when things had become complicated.
Their goal was to catch some crazy lunatic, who devised some stupid and dangerous weapon that, according to Erwin, could destroy the whole city. So Levi had to neutralize the guy, while Hange had to neutralize the weapon.
It sounded simple enough, but the guy either knew about their mission or simply was a paranoid freak. Levi personally suspected the later. The weirdo was too good at hiding, constantly changing his location and never going out without security. So, Levi and Hange had to monitor his every movement for fucking three weeks, trying to find the right time and place, where they could finally kill him. And that meant, that they had to stay in one room at the hotel for those three weeks. In fucking Kiev. The city was so packed with people and the streets were filled with garbage, it was slowly driving Levi insane. Although, what drove him insane even more was all the time he had to spend with Hange. They were living in one room and were together practically all the time. Levi had witnessed them, when they just woke up, eyes still lidden with sleep and voice husky, as they asked Levi, if he remembered where they had put their glasses the night before. They brushed teeth together and Hange always purposefully splashed water at him. They ate breakfast and Hange constantly tried to gave Levi the taste of their food, putting the fork with whatever shit they were stuffing themselves with in front of his mouth and smiling. Levi had to obey them a couple of times and eat the food from their hands, just because he was interested in how it tasted and certainly not because Hange was staring at him with that puppy eyes of theirs. He forced Hange to take a bath and a couple of times they had forgotten their clean clothes in the room, so Levi had to watch as they were waltzing around a room in nothing but a towel.
One night, Hange got bored so they decided to go out to the restaurant. They put on their best and clean clothes and Levi was amazed at how dashing they looked. The thought alarmed him then, he knew that his feelings towards Hange had changed since their first meeting. He didn’t try to avoid them anymore, most of the times didn’t find them annoying and was enjoying their company a lot. He knew, that sometimes he looked at Hange for too long, that he liked seeing their smile and hearing their laugh. But still, he tried to keep that kind thoughts at the back of his mind. Hange was smart and brilliant, they would never take a romantic interest in someone like him, so why even bother?
So, they went out. The restaurant was shitty, as Levi had expected. But after that, Hange had decided to explore the city. Levi wanted to disagree, to just go back to the hotel room, but Hange’s hopeful expression made him change his mind. They were walking through the city, with Hange marveling at every building and statue. Then they arrived at the river bank, and even Levi had to admit that with lights reflecting in the water, the city did look gorgeous. But he thought, that Hange looked even more gorgeous. The same lights were reflecting in their eyes, making them sparkle, their hair was out of ponytail for once and the wind gently played with the strands of it. A warm, relaxed smile was on their face, as they watched the city.
“The city looks beautiful like this, don’t you think, Levi?”
“Yeah,” he replied, not even glancing at the scenery but still staring at Hange. “It’s very beautiful.”
He then noticed, that a few strands of their hair was falling into their eyes and without thinking he gently pushed them behind Hange’s ear. They turned to look at him then, their warm gaze connecting with his. And at that moment, Levi felt unexplainable longing deep inside his chest. He finally understood, that whether he wanted or not but he had feelings for Hange, had fallen in love with them, and it wouldn’t go away so easily.
Two days later, they finally managed to catch the guy. The security on that day was scarce and Levi quickly dealt with them. Then they found the lab. The lab was empty, and the device they needed was standing right in front of them. Hange went straight to it, trying to understand how to destroy it. They nodded to Levi, silently telling him, that they got this. Levi went looking for their guy. He went out of the lab for a few minutes and when he came back, wanting to tell Hange, that he couldn’t find their target, their target was standing in the lab. His gun was pointed at Hange, who stood with their face turned to the weapon, obviously still working on it. They didn’t see the enemy. They wouldn’t be able to get away, when he shoots. Feeling his blood turn cold, Levi sprinted towards Hange, with his gun already out and pointed at the enemy. He shouted Hange’s name and they turned around. Levi was already next to Hange and he pushed them behind himself. At that exact, the man shot. Levi was quicker, though, and managed to put a bullet into other man’s skull. After seeing him fall, Levi turned to Hange, making sure that they didn’t get hurt.
“Are you alright?” he asked, frantically searching for any sight of blood.
“Levi…” their voice was trembling and they put their shaking hands onto his stomach. Levi looked down and oh, there was blood on his shirt. He didn’t even feel when the bullet had hit his body. He thought, that he heard two gunshots, but hadn’t given it much thought at the moment.
“We need to get you to hospital. Oh my god, there is so much blood…”
“Hange.” Levi said, stopping them. He took the hands that were still on his shirt into his and squeezed them. “I’ve had worse, don’t worry. What you need to do now is to finish disarming that shit, I’ll be fine while you do it. Then we’ll go back to our room and then you can treat my wound. I promise, I won’t die until then.”
Hange looked at him for a long moment, as if trying to understand if he was lying or not. Then they slowly nodded, took off their jacket and gave it to Levi.
“Put the pressure on the wound. I’ll be quick.” With that they returned to their work.
Levi slowly sat down on the floor, clutching Hange’s jacket to his stomach. He didn’t feel the pain at first, but now it was starting to hurt like a bitch.
True to their words, though, Hange finished in a few minutes. After making sure, that the machine wouldn’t work again, Hange walked up to Levi. They slowly helped him get up, putting their arm around his waist to keep him steady. Levi decided, that his wound wasn’t that bad after all, if he still found pleasure in having Hange’s body pressed so closely to his.
“We’ll go slowly, and don’t forget to apply pressure on the wound. Even you will die if you lose all your blood.” Hange’s words were light, but their tone was serious. They looked worried and Levi felt bad, that he was the reason for their worry.
Apparently, the crazy guy’s lab was soundproof, because no one seemed to hear the gunshots. Hange memorized the blueprints of the building, so they managed to get out as successfully as they got in.
Later at the hotel, Hange was finishing the stitches on his wound. The bullet didn’t hit any organs and it was easy for Hange to take it out. As they were working on his wound, their face remained serious. And not the usual serious expression, that Hange wore when they were deep in work but bad serious, that appeared only when Hange was angry or worried. Levi honestly didn’t know which emotion out of those two they were feeling right now.
“Is something wrong?” he asked.
“Of course, there is something wrong, Levi! You were bleeding out minutes before!” Hange exclaimed. Levi was sure if they weren’t currently holding a needle inside his skin, they would have thrown their hands in exasperation.
“Well, I’m not anymore, right? And I did this to save you, idiot. You could’ve been more grateful, you know.”
“That’s exactly why I am angry! Why the fuck did you do that?”
“What, save you? Do I really need to explain this to you?”
“If you would be so kind, then yes, please. For fuck’s sake, you could have died, Levi.” Hange finished closing his wound and looked down, defeated. Levi felt the urge to tell them the real reason why he had jumped in front of them. Why exactly he couldn’t bear the thought of them dying and leaving him alone again.
“You are supposed to be smart, four eyes.” He said, gently lifting their chin to make them look at him. “Can’t you guess why I saved you?”
Hange was silently staring at him. Then they took his face into their hands. Then they slowly leaned in and kissed him. It was a chaste kiss, Hange just pressed their lips against his. They started to withdraw, but Levi grabbed their hair, preventing them from doing so. He kissed them again, desperately and passionately, trying to put into this action everything he couldn’t say to them. And Hange, as always, seemed to understand him without words, if the way they were kissing him back was any indication.
Soon their passionate kissing turned into something more, and Levi started fumbling with Hange’s shirt.
“Wait, Levi, you’re wounded! We can’t do that right now!”
“I can take it. C’mon, Hange, I’ve been waiting so long for this.”
“You did?” Hange asked and started giggling. “In that case, fine. But be careful with the stitches and let me do all the work.”
With that said, they withdrew from him completely to take off their shirt and pants and helped Levi get out of his clothes.
“Should we go to bed?”
Levi looked at the bed, thinking. It was too small for them to do it comfortably. On the other hand, the floor had soft carpet on it, and it was right here, so really, the choice was obvious.
“The floor is fine.”
Hange looked skeptical for a moment but then they helped Levi get out of the chair and laid him gently on the floor. Immediately, they got on top of him and started kissing him again.
In the end, they did it on the floor three times before finally moving to bed. By that time, though, both of them were too exhausted to do anything else, but fall asleep, still holding onto each other tightly.
It was the best night in Levi’s life.
After spending so much time, reminiscing about old times, Levi finally felt his eyes grow heavy. He closed them and soon the sleep overtook him.
well, that chapter is way longer, than i've excepted
but! at least, there is a lot of levihan this time
Levi and Moblit take a break before travelling to the place, where they would finally meet Hange.
Levi woke up next morning, feeling strangely refreshed. He looked to his left and saw, that Moblit was still snoring into his pillow. Levi decided to let the man sleep for a little longer, got up quietly and headed for the shower. When he came out, Moblit was already up, sitting on the bed and rubbing his eyes.
“Sorry, I overlept.” He said as Levi came closer. Levi looked at the watch on his hand and only then noticed, that it was already eight in the morning. Strange, he rarely slept for so long. But that also meant that they needed to move out of the motel quickly, if they wanted to get to Budapest before night.
“I woke up not much earlier. Go take a shower, I’ll be waiting in the café. Should I order something for you?”
“A black coffee would be nice,” Moblit answered with a smile. “And a toast, if they have one.”
Levi nodded. Remembering the boy from yesterday, he doubted, there would be much food at the breakfast, but well, maybe his parents were more organized.
Entering the café, Levi saw the same annoying brat. He was busy washing dishes. Levi thought again about teenagers’ parents. Did they throw all of the work at their child? No wonder, he was such a dick then.
“Oh, the guy from yesterday!” the boy shouted, as he saw Levi. “Where’s your boyfriend? Still sleeping?”
Levi gritted his teeth. What an irritating kid.
“I told you already he’s not my boyfriend. Firstly, I already have a partner and secondly, he’s not my type.”
“Mm,” the brat turned away from the sink to look at Levi directly. He put his chin on his hand and watched Levi closely for a few seconds. “Thought as much.” He answered finally. “He seems too nice for you.”
“Don’t I seem nice?” Levi asked. Then he thought why exactly he was still talking with him. He should just take his tea and enjoy some silence.
The boy snorted.
“No, you don’t seem nice at all. But you said, you have a partner? Interesting. What are they like?”
“None of your business, kid. I’ve got a question too, though. Where the fuck are your parents?”
“None of your business, old man.” The kid replied, smirking.
Levi looked at him, completely unimpressed.
“Fine!” the boy threw his hands into the air. “I live only with my mom and so I help her out as much as I can. Happy now?”
“Ecstatic. Can you get me a cup of tea? And black coffee with a toast?”
“I can. But you haven’t answered my question.”
Levi signed. Really? Was the brat really going to play this game with him?
“You realize, that it’s your job, right? To provide me with food, because I pay for the room in your motel?”
“You haven’t paid yet. And it’s one simple question. I’ve answered yours.”
Levi took a deep breath and surrendered.
“What exactly do you want to know?”
“I told you, your partner. What are they like?”
“And why do you need to know about them?”
“I’m bored.” The boy answered simply. “There are not a lot of customers here and you seem like an interesting one. So?”
“They are loud, crazy and sometimes forget to shower. They also are the smartest and kindest person I know.” Levi answered, feeling somewhat embarrassed. He should have just ignored the stupid question. The brat would have given him his order eventually. Probably.
“I knew there was a heart underneath all this cold demeanor!” the kid said triumphantly. “I’ll bring your order in a minute.”
Levi nodded and went to sit at one of the tables. There weren’t many tables, only six. And all of them were empty. Levi guessed not many people stayed there, especially considering the motel was in the middle of nowhere.
Just as Moblit sat next to him, the boy came with a tray of food. He placed the food and drinks on the table and then turned to Levi.
“I’m Jean, by the way.” He said, stretching his hand out for Levi to take it.
Levi stared at it for a moment before turning his attention to his tea.
“I’m not telling you my fucking name, kid.”
The boy, or Jean, continued to look at him. The hand was still outstretched. Next to Levi, Moblit’s shoulders began to shake, as he was unsuccessfully trying to still his laughter. Levi rolled his eyes. What a fucking brat.
Levi took the sip of his tea, noticing it tasted good. Not as good, as the one he was usually brewing, but still good. He signed and put his cup down. Turned to kid and finally shook his hand.
“Levi.” He told him curtly. Jean smirked at him and headed back to the kitchen.
“Don’t tell it to anyone!” Levi shouted after the kid.
“Sure thing, Mister Bond.”
After that, Moblit finally broke and started laughing out loud.
“He wasn’t that far from the truth.” Moblit told him, as they were returning to the room to get their things.
“I’m not fucking 007.”
“Well, you are a secret agent. But yeah, similarities pretty much end there. I can’t imagine you drinking martini, or riding a fast and fancy car. You could, of course, but I doubt Mister Smith would allow it. Imagine what would happen with the agency’s budget if you destroy such a car.”
Levi smirked, imagining Erwin’s tantrum if he did put a stunt like that. He would probably make him pay for the car with his expensive tea collection. Good thing, he wasn’t James Bond.
“And let’s not forget, that you’re not that popular with ladies.” Moblit added.
“Thank God for that,” Levi grumbled. “Hange is more than enough for me.”
Then they arrived at the reception desk. This time, a middle aged woman was sitting behind it. Levi could still see the kid, Jean, in the back room, though. When he returned the room keys to the woman and took out his card to pay, the kid came to stand next to his mother.
“Are you already leaving?”
“Have an urgent business, kid.”
“Ah,” Jean smirked. “Want to return to your love that much?”
The boy’s mother gasped at her son’s behavior.
“Jean-boy, be nice to customers!”
“Mom, don’t call me that!”
“I apologize for his antics,” Jean’s mother continued, ignoring her son’s words. “He’s teenager and you know how hard it is to make them behave.”
“It’s fine.” Levi assured her. Then he looked at Jean. “You’re right, I do want to see them very much.”
“Huh, then I wish you luck, old man.” Jean answered, smirking annoyingly. His mother lightly smacked him on the head and started lecturing him on how to properly behave with customers. Levi smirked, thinking that the brat deserved that.
Levi took his bag and headed to the exit, Moblit trailing behind him.
“Come back sometime!” the boy shouted, when they were near the door. Levi turned around and saw, that Jean was waving and smiling awkwardly at him. “And bring your lover with you!”
Levi waved back, lowering his head to hide a small smile. The kid was a brat, that’s for sure, but a decent one.
Levi stared at the motel as Moblit was finishing getting their things into the car.
“Call to the agency,” he instructed Moblit as he once again sat at the driver’s sit. “Request an agent to look after the motel. Our enemies could come here and I’m not sure if they are nice to civilians.”
Moblit nodded, taking his phone to do just that.
Levi and Moblit arrived at Budapest in the late evening. After booking a room at the hotel, both men immediately went to bed, too exhausted after long drive.
The next morning, Levi woke up at sunset. He groaned, realizing there was still at least two hours before café opens and he had nothing better to do. That’s the part he hated about his job the most – the amount of time he had to spend doing practically nothing, waiting for his target to show themselves. Only now, wasting time felt even worse than before. Hange was out there, probably in danger and what was he doing? Laying in bed and staring at the wall?
Levi signed and took out his phone, wanting to find some book to pass the time reading. There was no use in worrying too much. In two days, he would see Hange and then everything would be fine again.
He was still reading when he heard Moblit steering in his sleep. Levi closed the book and looked at the watch. It was almost nine and he didn’t even notice that. He was surprised, that more than two hours had passed – the book wasn’t that interesting and he spent most of his time thinking about something else instead of focusing on the plot.
When Moblit woke up completely, both men went out for breakfast. After that, Levi noticed that the hotel had a gym, so he decided to visit it. The physical exercise would help him clear his head and that way he could pass some more time.
After spending two hours at gym, Levi was feeling much better. He was sweaty and his muscles were a bit sore, but he was finally calm and focused.
He and Moblit still needed to plan a route to Kiev. Levi showered, changed clothes and came to stand next to Moblit. The man was typing on his phone, but when he noticed Levi, he hastily hid it. He looked up at Levi, and Levi saw, that his cheeks were red.
“Sorry,” Moblit said. “Had been texting my mom. She worries, that I’m out of country.”
“Ah, well, we need to think how we would get to Kiev. You can call her later if you want.”
Moblit smiled gratefully at him and then opened the map on his laptop. He was studying it for a couple of minutes and then turned his attention back to Levi.
“We can get to Ukraine by bus. The busses travel frequently and we can easily get off if we notice that somebody is following us. We can arrive at Lviv and there take a train to Kiev. The whole road would probably last more than a day, so it gives us and Hange enough time to lay low.”
Levi nodded, satisfied with the plan. Travelling by bus for so long would be a pain in the ass, but still better that sitting in the hotel room and doing nothing.
“Could you book a place at the bus for us? And train tickets?”
“Already on it.” Moblit replied. “The next bus takes off in two hours.”
“Then let’s pack things and go to the station.”
As it turned out, Levi was right. Travelling by bus was a pain in the ass. Not only the seats were uncomfortable and his body was stiff from the position he was sitting, but there was a child right in front of him. A very annoying child, who was crying practically all the time. Moblit was sitting next to him, watching some movie on his laptop. With headphones, lucky bastard. Of course, he offered Levi to watch the movie together, but he declined, wanting to finish the book he had started back in the hotel. He was starting to really regret his decision now. Thankfully, the child calmed down after some time, so Levi could finally finish the book in relative silence.
Lviv, when they finally got here, wasn’t that bad. Not nearly as bad as Kiev. The streets were clean and old-looking, there were a lot of small neat cafés and Levi even visited one and got a taste of the tea there. The tea was really good and Levi decided that he liked this city. It was a far call from Kiev’s big skyscrapers, dirty sidewalks and McDonald’s on every fucking corner. Levi thought, that he and Hange should visit Lviv together. Hange would like it here – the city was pretty and there were a lot of museums around. Moblit told him, that there was a castle right outside the city and that it was rumored that a ghost resided there. After that, Levi was absolutely sure that Hange would definitely love Lviv.
After Lviv, though, they arrived in Kiev. And it was fucking worse that Levi remembered. The railway station was full of people, and they were so loud and dirty, and there were so much of them. They got out of the station as quick as it was possible and called for a taxi. And then they got stuck in traffic. Levi cursed. They were so close to Hange. He hoped that they had already made it to the hotel, and now were sitting there, waiting for Levi to come and take them home. Sitting calmly and waiting for something to happen wasn’t like Hange at all, but well, a man could hope.
One hour later they finally got to the hotel. Levi practically ran up the stairs to the entrance, Moblit barely keeping up with him. Entering the hall, Levi recognized the woman at the reception desk from that time, when for three weeks he lived at that hotel with Hange. Seven years has passed since that mission. Time was surely flying fast.
“The room. 217, is someone living there at the moment?”
The woman checked her computer and then turned to look at Levi.
“Yes, a new tenant arrived just a few hours ago. We can find you another room, the hotel has a couple of vacant rooms if you-?”
“No,” Levi cut her off quickly. He felt a wave of relief wash over him. So it finally happened. Just in a few moments, he will finally reunite with Hange.
“Our friend lives in room 217.” Moblit said. “Can we visit them now?”
The woman checked her computer again.
“Yes. The tenant is currently there, so I see no problem here.”
Moblit thanked the woman and Levi headed to the stairway, too impatient to wait for the elevator. He took two steps at a time, arriving at the door of the room in record time. Hange is here he kept repeating in his head. Levi couldn’t get the image of their smiling and happy face out of his mind. Just in a second, he would get to see them. After all that shit he got through, after he chased them through half the Europe, he would finally see them. Levi knew, of course, that their reunion wouldn’t be the end of all their troubles but at least they would be together, and in all years that he knew Hange, he learnt one thing – there is no such shit, that the two of them couldn’t handle together.
Levi knocked at the door, tapping his foot impatiently. A moment passed, then two. Levi wanted to knock again but then the door opened. Levi looked up, ready to see surprised Hange and watch as surprise slowly turns to relief. He expected to see Hange’s beautiful face with those stupid always dirty glasses on. He anticipated seeing Hange's messy, probably greasy, hair. He expected to see Hange's big smile and warm eyes. He was ready to finally reunite with his Hange. Instead from the other side of threshold staring at him confusedly was Nile fucking Dawk.
Levi turned to look at Moblit to make sure that he was not the only one seeing this. Moblit slowly nodded, confirming Levi’s suspicion that it was, in fact, not a hallucination.
What the fuck was Nile Dawk, an Interpol agent and Erwin’s buddy, doing there? In the room, where Hange was supposed to stay?
A moment passed, as three men were watching each other silently. Then Levi surged forward, grabbing Nile by his stupid overpriced shirt and slamming his back into the nearest wall.
“What the fuck are you doing here, Dawk?” he growled. Levi was much shorter, but he also was much stronger. Even if he had to look up at Nile, he still managed to look intimidating. Moblit shifted nervously behind Levi’s shoulder. He didn’t like where this was going.
To his credit, Nile looked scared only for a moment. Then his gaze turned serious, and there was no trace of fear when he looked directly at Levi and said.
“I came here to arrest agent Zoe.”
this chapter is quite boring and serves as a little filler
the next one would have much more action!
Levi stared at Nile, trying to process his words. Did he really hear that right? Was the man actually trying to arrest Hange? What the fuck for?
Levi thought about the possible reason for why Interpol would be interested in Hange. Their agency was an international organization. Every country in Europe at least once contacted them and requested help from its agents. The agency dealt with all kinds of situations – from digging dirt on some corrupt politician to neutralizing foreign spies or possible terroristic threats. And that, neutralizing terroristic, was exactly what Hange usually worked with. Sure, they had killed some people during their career, but no one important enough to warrant even police investigation, and they definitely have not done anything so bad that Interpol had to get involved. On the contrary, they’ve helped save thousands if not millions of people. They were a far cry from Levi, who had kidnapped and killed more people, than Hange ever could. And somehow, Levi wasn’t wanted but Hange was? Of course, Hange was more known that Levi and couldn’t stay in the shadows like he did. Together with Erwin, they were the face of the otherwise faceless secret agency. They helped him represent the organization at various forums and symposiums. And apart from their work at the agency, they were also a renowned scientist and weapon engineer. They often helped military engineers from all around the world, finding ways to create weapons that would immobilize the opponent and not kill or seriously damage them. And whenever a new biological weapon would be discovered, Hange was usually called to help neutralize it and create an antidote that would cause minimal damage to human’s health. All the work they have been doing for the sake of correcting people’s stupidity and fighting against humanity’s irresistible urge for violence, and that what they got for it? An Interpol agent trying to find them and then lock them up in some jail?
Levi definitely would not let that happen. He pulled Nile’s shirt tighter in his one hand and then raised another, ready to punch the bearded asshole in the face. But suddenly Moblit grabbed his raised hand and, with more force than Levi knew he was capable of, pulled him back from the man.
“Wait! You can’t just punch an Interpol’s agent!”
“Of course, I can. And I really want to.” Levi retorted. But still, he dutifully took a step back from Nile, who was now watching him with wide eyes.
“That would solve nothing.” Moblit continued. “And besides, he doesn’t have the authority to arrest Hange, even if he has a very good reason to. Only the police can do that, right?”
Nile signed, trying to smooth out his now probably ruined shirt. He opened his mouth to answer Moblit’s question but Levi beat him to it.
“Why the fuck are you of all people doing that? Aren’t you Erwin’s buddy? It’s not very nice to arrest your friend’s coworkers, don’t you know that?”
Nile signed again, more tiredly this time.
“Call Erwin. Maybe he will explain all of this to you.”
Levi looked at the man suspiciously, but took out his phone and dialed Erwin’s number. As soon as the call connected, Levi started talking, cutting off anything Erwin might have wanted to tell him first.
“You know who we met at the hotel where Hange was supposed to stay, in the exact room Hange was supposed to stay? I’ll give you one fucking hint: it’s not Hange, it’s someone much uglier.”
Erwin took a deep sign.
“Is Nile still alive at least?” he asked. Levi could not believe it. So Erwin knew about Dawk? And didn’t tell him? And didn’t try to stop this shit?
“What the fuck, Erwin? How do you know that I am talking about him? Do you also know, that Hange is wanted by Interpol? How does Dawk even know where Hange was supposed to stay? Is he the one from whom Hange was running all this time?”
“No, he wasn’t the one chasing Hange. I asked him to arrest Hange, so that’s why he knows everything.”
“You did what? Erwin did you completely lose your mind?”
“Levi, just listen.” Erwin got silent for a couple of seconds, making sure that Levi was definitely listening to him. When he wasn’t cut off by another question or insult from Levi, he continued. “I was doing it for Hange’s safety.”
Levi pushed down another urge to ask Erwin if his brain was really alright. Doing it for Hange’s safety? So putting them in jail meant they would be safe? He remained silent, however. No matter how ridiculous all of this sounded, he still trusted Erwin’s judgement. Maybe, it would make sense in the end.
“I’m not sure yet, but I have some leads about the people who are after Hange. If those leads will turn out to be true, then Hange is in more danger, than I thought. Those people would not stop until they got Hange and I don’t have any place, that would be safe enough to hide them. Putting them in prison, temporally, would give us some needed time to deal with those people and then Hange could return home. Nile promised me he would organize their release. So try not to agonize him too much, alright?”
Levi tsked, staring at Nile. The man stared at him back, still trying to smooth out his shirt. Levi smirked a little, seeing that the shirt was most probably ruined.
“Fine.” Levi conceded. “For Hange, I would try.”
“Good enough.” Erwin said. “I’ll call when I finish investigating Hange’s chasers.”
Levi ended the call. But then, something else occurred to him. If Nile was here, in Hange’s room, where were Hange themselves? He was sure, that Hange would stay at this exact room, because that was room they were living in before and Hange hinted at exactly that, didn’t they? Levi turned his gaze back to Nile.
“Why this room?” he asked him. “Did Erwin tell you the number of room where Hange would be staying?”
“Eh, no? When I came to the hotel, someone just moved out, so the receptionist gave it to me.”
“Just moved out?” Moblit asked. “Could that be-”
“No.” Levi replied quickly. He didn’t want, couldn’t even entertain that possibility. The possibility that Hange had somehow slipped past through him again. That he once again, came too late. “They probably haven’t arrived yet. I say, we wait a few days.”
“Or we can ask the receptionist.” Nile proposed.
Levi glared at him. But then he noticed, that Moblit was staring at him. And his gaze was judging. Levi gritted his teeth.
“Fine. We can do that, I guess.”
A couple of minutes later, all of three of them were standing in front of the receptionist desk.
“When I was booking the room,” Nile began the conversation. “You’ve mentioned that the previous tenant had just moved out. Can you please describe them to us?”
“Mm, let me think…” the woman tapped her chin with her manicured finger. “Oh, they were quite tall, well taller than you anyway.” She pointed at Levi, chuckling. After receiving a glare from Levi, though, a serious expression returned to her face and she continued. “They wore glasses and their hair was up in a ponytail. You know, now that I think about, I have probably seen them before. And you look familiar as well.” She added, looking at Levi again.
Levi ignored her last words, however. So Hange was there? And Levi had missed them once again? He tightened his fists, furious at himself. He should have arrived here faster. He should have been faster, he should have been better. Maybe then, nothing would have happened to Hange. Maybe then, they would have been together and not torn apart.
Levi felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around and saw Moblit. The other man was looking at him sympathetically. Levi nodded, shaking Moblit’s hand away and wordlessly telling him that he was fine. Well, maybe he wasn’t, but he needed to be. He needed to be calm and focused. For Hange.
“When did they arrive?” Moblit asked the woman.
“Oh, that was the strangest thing. They had arrived just a day before they moved out. Even though, they booked the room for several days. Maybe, some urgent business? They left with some man, haven’t see him in our hotel before. They looked a little nervous too, if I am honest.” The woman then stopped and looked at them suspiciously. “By the way, who are you? Why are you so interested in our hotel’s residents?”
At that, Nile stepped in, taking his badge out of his pocket. Finally, he is being useful for something, Levi thought.
“I’m an Interpol agent and that person is a criminal I’m trying to catch. Those too,” he gestured to Levi and Moblit. “Are my assistants.”
The woman looked at the badge for a long moment and then clasped her hands in front of her.
“So we had a criminal in our hotel? Oh, that’s so frightful! Could they kill me?”
“No, no.” Moblit quickly tried to assure the woman. “They do not use violence against civilians.”
The woman still looked skeptical, but the worried expression on her face had disappeared.
“In that case, to help your investigation I can show you our tapes from security cameras. Maybe, the man they left with was their accomplice.”
Levi seriously doubted that last statement, but if they could take a look at the security cameras, maybe they would finally see who is after Hange?
“Thank you, that tapes could really help our investigation.” Moblit said.
The woman got up from her chair and motioned for them to follow her in the back room.
“The hotel is not a usual place for criminal activities, so we don’t have that much security,” the woman explained as she turned on the computer and waited for it to load. “Security cameras are located only in the hall and the quality of the picture is not that good, so I doubt you’ll see much. But better than nothing, right?”
Levi nodded, his eyes glued to the computer screen. He couldn’t wait to see the bastard that caused Hange so much trouble, who put their life in constant danger. He would find that person – whoever they were – and then he would make them pay. He watched, as woman shifted through a couple of video files, eventually finding recording with the correct data. Then she opened her notebook, looking for something in it.
“I write down the exact time when a resident moves out, that makes it easier to know which rooms are available to new visitors.” She explained. Levi swallowed down the need to tell her to do it faster.
The she found what she needed and with a quiet “aha” chose the time on the video. The video recording started playing and Levi could see the hall that they were standing in just minutes ago. For a moment, it was empty, but then two figures appeared. One was seen clearly, but the other one was obscured, because camera’s view hadn’t reach them yet. All Levi could see was the hand, that was dragging someone, who was obviously Hange along. Their back was facing the camera and the woman was right, the quality was shitty, but Levi still recognized Hange’s lanky figure and their usual ponytail.
“Do you recognize them?” the woman asked. Levi wanted to nod in agreement but then the figure, whose hand could only be seen before, came into a full view. It was a man, tall and broad with a hat on his head. Levi felt a shiver run through his spine. He recognized that hat, he recognized that man. And how couldn’t he, when that was the same man that had raised him?
Levi quickly grabbed Moblit’s hand and dragged the man out of the room.
“We need to talk.” He whispered. “Now.”
Levi kept walking until he was absolutely sure, that Nile, who was still back in the room, wouldn’t hear their conversation.
“What happened?” Moblit asked, worry etched onto his face.
“I recognized the man that was with Hange. Fuck,” Levi covered his face with a hand. Things just became a lot shittier. “We immediately need to contact Erwin.”
“That man… I take it, he’s not one of the good guys?”
Levi let out a dry mirthless laugh.
“No, he’s definitely not.”
And he was right, if that bastard, Kenny, was involved, all of them were screwed. The idea of temporarily putting Hange in jail didn’t seem so stupid anymore. Although, knowing Kenny, he probably could get to Hange even there. Shit. Levi took out his phone and called Erwin.
“What’s the status?” Erwin asked when the call connected.
“We managed to see the video recording of Hange leaving the hotel. They left it yesterday, by the way. With a man. And I recognized him.”
“And? Who it is?”
“Does name Kenny Ackerman say anything to you?”
At another end of the line, Erwin cursed. So, he knew him then. Well, at least Levi didn’t need to explain to him what a fucking monster that man was and in how much deep shit they were.
“If that’s really him, then it’s obvious, who is after Hange. Rod Reiss.”
“Who?” Levi didn’t know the name. The surname Reiss seemed familiar but he couldn’t remember where exactly had he heard it.
“It’s a politician in the small country in Europe. Well, he was a politician and an important part of the government. Until our agency was asked to find the evidence of his corrupt dealings. He was kicked out from the parliament with a disgrace after our findings were published. But even without that power, he still remains influential. And he probably wants to get revenge on us and destroy our agency.”
“So he’s not just after Hange?”
“I doubt that. But they are important part of our organization. Maybe he wants to get some information out of them.”
“Well, he picked up the wrong agent then.” Moblit said.
Levi couldn’t agree more – Hange was stubborn, strong and fiercely loyal to the agency. No way in hell they would ever do something to betray it. Which given the fact, that they were currently held up by their captors, were not exactly the best of qualities. Levi just hoped, that Kenny wouldn’t have time to use all of his beloved methods to get information out of them.
“We need another plan, Erwin.”
“I agree,” Erwin said, signing. “I had suspected, that Reiss was our enemy, but I didn’t know that Kenny Ackerman was involved. I don’t think we can effectively hide Hange from him, he’s a very resourceful and dangerous man.” Erwin got quiet for a moment, but then cleared out his throat and continued. “I have a plan. But it’s a very dangerous one. I understand if you two would not agree to go through with it.”
Levi rolled his eyes. He had a guess, what Erwin’s plan may be. And, while he agreed that it was very dangerous and possibly suicidal, he was also ready to do anything if it meant rescuing Hange. He was sure, that Moblit felt the same.
“Skip the theatrics, Erwin. You want us to fight the bad guys? Well, I’m in.”
“I don’t think it would be that simple, but yeah, that’s essentially what I’m proposing. Moblit, I would understand, of course, if you would want to back out.”
“No, no, no.” Moblit shook his head. “If that would help get Hange home, I’ll do whatever you need.”
“Well, if you are ready to do this, then we’d better get to the planning.”
Levi and Moblit are getting ready to go and rescue Hange! With a help of their friends, of course
Levi and Moblit agreed to Erwin's plan: wait for Mike to arrive and in the meantime try to locate a place, where Hange could be held. If they find it before Mike arrives, they have to wait for him and only then begin the operation. Well, Moblit had agreed to this plan, Levi begrudgingly accepted it, after Erwin spent ten minutes, explaining and persuading him, that going on an enemy territory alone was not only dangerous but also one hundred percent suicidal. And if Levi and Moblit would perish, who would save Hange then? That last part finally got Levi to agree with Erwin. He promised, that no matter what he would wait for Mike to arrive with reinforcements and only then go and beat the shit out of whoever was hurting Hange. Still, leaving them all alone, when somebody, Kenny, could and would hurt them, didn't sit well with Levi. But deep down, he knew that Erwin, that bastard, was right and that storming the facility alone would not help Hange in the least. After he ended his phone call with Erwin, Levi headed to the room Hange was supposed to be staying in before they had been kidnapped. Moblit was following after him. Levi turned around and instructed Moblit to go downstairs and deal with Nile. To make him leave the hotel by any means necessary. Levi would have dealt with the man himself but he wasn't sure that he wouldn't just punch the asshole in his ugly face. Going to the jail because he assaulted an Interpol agent was the last thing he needed right now. However, just as Moblit was turning towards stairs, Levi noticed Nile standing in the corridor next to Hange's room. He cursed under his breath. So much for letting Moblit deal with him.
"I was wondering where two of you had disappeared so quickly." Nile said, noticing them as well.
"Don't tell me you were worried," Levi replied, trying to keep the snarl out of his voice. He wouldn't let Nile provoke him.
"Of course I was! Erwin would have been very cross with me if I had lost two of his very valuable agents. Right, agent Berner, agent Levi?" then Nile leveled Levi with a look. If Levi didn't know better, he'd say that Dawk was mocking him. "Or should I call you agent Zoe?"
Next to him, Moblit gasped. Motherfucker, Levi thought. He could feel the blush forming on his cheeks. How did he even find out about that? Only he knew, and, well, also Erwin. Not even Hange was aware about that particular piece of information.
"You know," Nile continued, a satisfied smirk on his face. "I've seen your passports. They were a part of your file. I have to know the people I'm going to work with after all." Well, that explained his knowledge. Now at least, Levi knew, who he needed to blame for that. Erwin, that fucking bastard.
"So many passports, each with different photo and different motherland. Some even with different names. One thing remains constant, though. The surname Zoe."
This time, Levi cursed aloud. The bastard was really asking to get punched in the face. Levi should just do it, Erwin wouldn't be too angry with him. After all, he was the one who showed Nile his passports. Then he remembered Hange. They were in great danger, in the enemy's hands and Levi had to save them. There was no time for such childish things. Nile knew that Hange's surname was on his every passport, so what? There was nothing to be ashamed about. Sure, that was stupid from the very beginning. He came to the agency as an ex-criminal and didn't have a surname. It didn't help that he hadn't known his real father and wasn't sure about his mother's surname, because she had died when he was just a boy and he had never seen her passport or death certificate. So when Erwin needed to make him his first fake passport to infiltrate some country's government, he asked what surname he wanted. And Levi didn't even think about it, just said the first thing that came to his mind. Which happened to be Hange's surname. Big deal. He didn't know why he had said it, hadn't even realized what he had done until he saw Erwin's face. How the confusion slowly transformed into a knowing look. Levi didn't think about it then, but maybe Erwin knew about Levi's not quite platonic feelings towards Hange even back then. When Levi himself hadn't even entertained such idea. When he thought that his constant staring at Hange and him always looking after them, making sure they eat, bathe and sleep only meant that he was repaying them for their kindness and patience with him. Boy, wasn't he the most oblivious idiot in the world.
Levi walked past Nile, throwing "mind your own business, Dawk" behind his back.
"I just haven't seen a ring on your finger, that's all, agent Zoe!" Nile shouted after him. Levi resisted the urge to come back to him and punch him. Resisted but just barely. He could distantly hear Moblit's voice as he was explaining to Nike that he needed to get his shit out of the room and get going. Moblit definitely didn't use those exact words but hopefully that's what Nile would hear. He was still lucky, that Moblit was the one talking to him, Levi would have used less words and much more violence.
Moblit caught up with him, when Levi was already entering the room.
"So about the things agent Dawk said?"
"He puts his ugly nose into the things he should not."
"So you and Hange?"
"Are not getting married."
"Oh good," Moblit let out a sign of relief. "I just thought you got engaged or even married and no one had told me."
"You don't have to worry about that now. Or ever."
Levi came into the room, took Nile's luggage and threw it out. He then loudly slammed the door shut.
Truth be told, Levi had never thought about marriage. When he was younger, he hadn't even entertained such possibility. Back then, he couldn't imagine a person who would willingly tie their life to his. Who would promise to love and cherish him until the end of his days. It was a good thing, that he hadn't tried to imagine such a person. Whatever his imagination could possibly come up with, the reality was so much weirder, and so much better. Even after he got into a relationship with Hange, even though they spent six years together and Levi hoped would spend even more in the future, he still hadn't thought about marrying them. He felt good with Hange, loved them more than anything in his life and knew he was loved just as much in return. He doubted marriage could change anything about that and he didn't need a ring on Hange's finger to know that they are his and he is theirs.
When they entered the room and put their bags, Moblit got out his laptop and turned it on. He opened the map of the city and gestured for Levi to come closer. Levi took a chair and sat beside the other man. Moblit was studying the map intently and then turned to Levi.
"I think we need to look for Hange in the area near the hotel. It is unlikely that they were taken some place far from here. How could that man even took Hange without using force? Sure, it looked like he was dragging them but it's Hange we're talking about. It would take much more than that to make them cooperate."
Levi shook his head.
"I doubt it. I know Kenny and I know his methods - he uses threats and manipulation to get what he needs. With Hange I don't think that simple threat to them or their safety would make them cooperate. But he could've threatened someone else. Probably civilian bystanders or residents of the hotel. Hange, that selfless idiot, had probably agreed to go with him, just to save the others." Levi got quiet, looking at the map. "It's very unlikely that Kenny hides Hange somewhere near. Firstly, he wouldn't want us to find him and I'm sure that after our fiasco with chips he knows that someone is coming to save Hange. And, secondly, he wouldn't want anyone to hear Hange's screams and alert the authorities."
"Do you... Do you think he is going to hurt Hange?" Moblit asked tentatively.
Levi nodded. He cast a glance at Moblit and saw that his eyes were cast down, his mouth was set in a firm line and he was clutching his fists. Levi could see that his hands were trembling. He clutched and unclutched his fists, trying to slowly calm the tremor. When he succeeded, he turned his gaze at Levi. Levi was surprised to see, that whatever fear or weakness was in Moblit's eyes, now it was gone. Determination was clearly shining in his gaze.
"Then all we need to do is to find Hange as fast as possible and make sure that whoever wanted to hurt them is punished."
Moblit turned back to the laptop and started typing something. Levi silently watched him. He had never really given it that much thought but Moblit was far stronger than he realized. Moblit was a quiet man and so Levi thought of him as a sort of Hange's shadow - always following them but not really showing himself to the others. But now Levi understood, that underneath Hange's quiet and somewhat shy assistant was actually strong, intelligent and capable man. Levi should have realized it sooner - a weak or cowardly person couldn't and wouldn't work with Hange. Moblit and Hange made a great team, together they worked efficiently, brilliantly. Whenever Hange got stuck on some problem or were experiencing any sort of trouble, Moblit was always there to back them up. Truth be told, it sometimes made Levi a little envious. Due to the nature of his and Hange's work, he couldn't spend as much time with them as Moblit did. He was often away at missions and Hange traveled around the world a lot, taking part in various scientific researches and experiments on top of having their own missions to deal with. Their circumstances taught Levi to treasure every moment that they spend together. It also made him immensely grateful to Moblit for every time he was there for Hange, when Levi couldn't.
Moblit’s voice broke Levi out of his thoughts. He didn’t look at Levi, seemingly continuing to study the map. With a tentative voice, he asked.
“You… you seem to know a lot about this man, Kenny Ackermann, and his way of work. Did you… did you work together, before?”
Levi thought for a moment, if he should tell him the truth. He had never told this to anyone. He spoke about his childhood only to Hange. And even then, his tale was vague. He only told them, that his mother died young and then he was taken in by a criminal, who left him alone when Levi turned 13. He had never told Hange, that he was raised by an infamous Kenny Ackermann. Not because he didn’t trust them, but he had never thought that it was relevant. Levi had never expected Kenny to come back into his life.
“He raised me.” He decided to tell Moblit the truth. They were partners on this mission and therefore had to trust each other. And trust couldn’t be built on lies.
“Oh.” Was all Moblit said. He got quiet for a couple minutes. Then he turned to Levi, looking him straight in the eyes. “If he raised you, wouldn’t it create… a compromise?
“Are you asking if I would hesitate to kill Kenny or that I would choose his life over Hange’s? Fuck no. That bastard left me on the streets when I was a small brat. I feel no sympathy or affection towards him.”
“Oh, good. I just wanted to make sure, that it won’t create a dilemma for you. No offence.”
“None taken.” Levi got up from his chair, heading towards his bag. “Look for abandoned buildings or something like that at the periphery of the city. I think, Kenny should be hiding somewhere there. In the meanwhile, I’ll go and check our weapons. Where do you stuff yours?”
There was an abnormally large pause after his last question, so Levi turned to look at Moblit. The man was scratching his neck and looking anywhere but at Levi.
“I don’t, um, have any weapons with me.” He said finally.
“You didn’t take a gun or a knife?”
Moblit shook his head. Levi signed, pinching the bridge of his nose. He should have predicted it.
“Do you at least know how to use a gun?”
“I do… I even used it, um, a couple of times, maybe?”
Levi signed louder.
“When was the last time you were on a mission?”
“Two years ago? There was some emergency mission and I ended up being the one assisting Hange with it. Shot the guy in the leg that time.” Moblit rather proudly. After he saw Levi’s non-impressed expression, though, his shoulders sagged. “Sorry! I’m not very experienced with field missions. I usually stay at the headquarters and provide Hange with help from there.”
“What exactly you usually do?”
“Well, I give Hange information on their surroundings, using nearby surveillance cameras, or I advise them on a better escape route.”
“Hm,” Levi thought for a moment. If used properly, Moblit’s skills were very useful. “Then, you’ll stay behind during the attack. Update us on the state of enemy territory, we could use a drone and then it’ll give us-“
“No!” Moblit interrupted him suddenly. “I will not stay behind while you and the others are risking your lives rescuing Hange! I’ll go as well, I may not be as good as a fighter as you are but I still know how to do it. We began this journey together, and I will see it through.”
Levi wanted to protest but looking at Moblit’s determined face, decided against it. No matter, what he would say now, it probably wouldn’t change his mind.
"Fine," Levi finally conceded. "But find us someplace to train. I want to see what you can do."
"Should I find a shooting area?"
"With a nearby gym, if possible. I want to see you in hand-to-hand combat too."
Moblit nodded and set out to work. Five minutes later, he showed Levi a place, not far from their hotel, where they could practice shooting with a gym, where Moblit could show off his combat skills. They arrived at the place and started their training.
Levi was mostly satisfied with Moblit's ability to shoot. He held the gun confidently and missed the mark only a few times. His combat skills, however, were terrible. To put it mildly. He was clumsy and slow and not even once did he manage to get an upper hand on Levi. Sure, Levi was no easy target, but so were Kenny's goons. And Levi went easy on him. After Moblit's sixth defeat, Levi stopped attacking, simply standing in front of him. But even then, Moblit managed to trip on either his or Levi's leg.
"Stop." Levi commanded after Moblit got up for the next attack. He fell on his ass just moments ago. Levi honestly lost count how many times the other man fell today. But every time he got up. Maybe Moblit wasn't very skilled, but he sure as hell was stubborn. "It's not going anywhere. You are bad at this and there's nothing we can do about it in such short time. Or possibly ever."
"I'm still going to go. I won't be left behind." Moblit replied defiantly.
"Jesus," Levi covered his face with a hand. "I didn't say that. You'll go with us, your shooting skills are fine. Just... don't try to fight with anyone. Whoever goes at you just shoot them, got it?"
"Got it." Moblit replied smiling. Levi signed.
"Let's go out of here. We need to rest and hopefully tomorrow Mike will finally arrive."
Levi was woken up from his slumber by insistent loud knocking. He glanced to the bedside clock and saw that it showed six in the morning. Who could be bothering them so early in the morning? It was unlikely that knocked someone from room service.
Levi quietly got up from the bed and took the gun from under his pillow. He turned to look at Moblit. The man woke up too and was now watching Levi alarmed. Levi silently told him to keep quiet and began creeping towards the door. He reached the door and looked into peephole. And saw Mike fucking Zacharius standing in the corridor. Levi cursed, opening the door widely.
"Well, nice to see you too, Levi!" Mike said, chuckling. He noticed the gun in his hand and his chuckling turned into a laugh. "What, don't tell me you wanted to shoot me. I thought we were friends!"
"Well, pardon me for being suspicious, dipshit."
"Fine, fine, I forgive you." Mike tried to ruffle Levi's hair but he managed to avoid his hand, sending Mike a murderous glare. "Anyways, I didn't come alone!" Mike stepped away and revealed four people standing behind him. Levi's eyes widened when he recognized them - Petra, Oluo, Eld and Guntner. They all were a part of team Levi personally trained a couple of years ago. Since that time, they joined Levi on a number of missions - usually the ones he couldn't finish alone. They were a good team, smart, skilled and most importantly reliable. Levi felt a huge wave of relief wash over him. With Mike and his team here, he was sure there wasn't an enemy they couldn't defeat.
"Are you alright?" Mike asked, squeezing his shoulder. Levi noticed, that Guntner and Eld went to Moblit and were now sitting on his bed and talking about something. Oluo and Petra were still standing beside him. Levi returned his attention back to Mike.
"Hange was kidnapped and right now is probably being tortured, how do you think I am?"
"I doubt they are being tortured," Oluo said. Levi looked at him and under his gaze, Oluo started fidgeting. "Right now, I mean. It's six in the morning, after all. I don’t think the bad guys wake up so early."
Levi rolled his eyes and Oluo got hit in the stomach by Petra, who then smiled nicely at Levi.
"I'll manage, don't worry," Levi told Mike. "What we need to do now is to concentrate on finding the place Hange is hidden and then formulate a plan on how to successfully infiltrate the building."
Everyone in the room nodded, agreeing. Guntner smiled, showing Levi big thumbs.
"Don't worry, Captain! We'll bring agent Zoe home, safe and sound!"
Levi rolled his eyes again but felt a smile forming on his lips. He looked down to hide it.
Moblit got up from the bed and motioned everyone to gather around the table. He showed a printed picture of the map of Kiev. There were a lot of red circles on it.
"I marked every place, where I found an abounded or suspicious looking building. There are no surveillance cameras around those areas, so I'm afraid, each of us has to pick the location, go there and report any strange activity."
"Do not, under any circumstances, go in there alone," Mike added. "Those people are dangerous, so we have to be extra careful. You see something suspicious - you call me or Levi and head to the hotel to regroup."
"If everything is clear, then let's start." Moblit gave everyone their own copy of the map, so they could easily navigate the city. Then a loud sound distracted him from his task.
"Sorry," he said, noticing everyone's look of confusion. "That must be my computer. Probably received a message."
"Check it," Levi advised. "It could be from Erwin."
Moblit nodded and opened his laptop.
"Oh," he said, after he read a message. Levi and the others walked up to him. "Hange's chip was activated just now," he explained. "Quickly, give a map," Petra handed him one and Moblit compared the location of Hange's chip and the markings on the map.
"Yes!" he exclaimed. "It fits! See, it matches the building I found before." Moblit pointed it out on the map. "I'm sure, Hange must be here. Or at least their chip is there.”
After that, Moblit got quiet. He was tapping his chin, obviously deep in thought.
"But why would our enemies allow Hange to do that? To activate their chip, I mean? They surely would have noticed, that Hange had activated it, considering they were tracking the it before. I don't understand, why would they reveal their hiding place?"
"Oh I do understand," Levi said. "Kenny is tired of waiting for us to find him and is very eager to play. Well, if he wants to play so much, I'll play with him."
sorry for such long delay! but work and uni had been very busy last days
hopefully, the story will end soon, a couple or so chapters left!
and as always, tell me what you think of my fic and thank you for reading!
"Erwin?" Mike asked over the phone. "Did you get the photos Moblit managed to take with his drone?"
"Yes, it's just like you had described. The building is big and the surrounding area is deserted. It does look the right place."
"But you think it might be a trap?" Moblit asked.
"It most surely is a trap," Levi said. "But do we have another choice but to follow through?"
Erwin let out a heavy sigh.
"Fine. Begin the operation then. What plan do you have?"
"I enter first," Levi said. "That way, if there's a trap, there would be less casualties. And if a warehouse is empty, well then it's empty."
"Are you sure, Levi?" Erwin asked. "You put yourself in great danger."
"Tell me something I don't know." Levi scoffed. "But everyone had agreed on the plan. Right?" Everyone around the room nodded in agreement. Everyone, except Moblit. Levi glared at him for a few seconds and only then he reluctantly nodded as well. Moblit was one hell of a stubborn bastard. In that regard, he remained Levi of Hange. A lot. Moblit adamantly refused to let Levi enter the warehouse alone, even though they decided that the rest of the team would be waiting outside. It wasn't until Levi threatened to lock Moblit in the hotel room and leave him out of mission altogether, that the other man finally relented.
"Well, if everything's decided, then should we begin?"
Everyone nodded again and after Mike ended the phone call, started packing their weapons and getting themselves ready for the mission.
Half an hour later, Levi was standing in front of a warehouse. The others were in the car, waiting for his signal. Levi checked if his guns were in place, felt the knives underneath his pants, strapped to his ankles. Then he took a deep sigh and pushed the door open.
It was almost pitch black inside. The building had no windows and Levi could see no lightbulbs. He kept the door open, to let at least some light inside. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he began scanning the building. There were no rooms, just one big empty area. Levi guessed that it was an abounded factory before. It looked empty, but then Levi noticed something near the far wall. He took out his gun and carefully began his way towards it.
"Levi? What do you see?" It was Mike's voice in his earpiece. It rang so loud in the empty room that it made Levi shudder.
"It looks empty, but I'm not sure yet. It's too dark to properly see."
"Understood. Keep us updated."
As Levi came closer, he could see that there was somebody sitting in the chair. Although, sitting might not be the right word, whoever or whatever was slouching on that chair, their head bowed and shoulders slumped. A thought appeared in Levi's head, that the person was most probably dead, but he quickly dismissed it. He came closer and now could clearly see the figure in front of him. He didn't even need to see their face, it was enough for him to see the bright yellow shirt. He would recognize that shirt anywhere, it was Hange's favorite one.
He fell on his knees near the chair, tossing his gun aside. With trembling hands, he carefully lifted Hange's face. He was horrified at the sight of it - Hange's face was covered in cuts and bruises. Their glasses were shattered and Levi had to gently take them off, so the shards of glass didn't get in Hange's eyes. Only after that, Levi noticed that Hange was still. Very still. They didn't stir even a little during all this time. Levi's heart skipped a beat and he hurried to check Hange's pulse. It was slow and irregular but Levi managed to feel it. He let out a sigh of relief. He finally did it, he finally got to Hange, they were here, in his arms and Levi could see them, could feel them.
"I found Hange," Levi said into his earpiece. "They're unconscious and badly wounded, but alive."
"We've got lucky then," Mike said and Levi could hear a smile in his voice. In the background, he also heard Petra cheerfully congratulating everyone and Guntner and Eld high-fiving each other. "If the warehouse is otherwise empty," Mike continued. "Then take Hange out and let's go home."
"You said, they are hurt?" Moblit asked. "What are the extent of their injuries? Maybe we should call the ambulance?"
Levi agreed that it was important question, he only saw Hange's face, but there were possibly more injuries elsewhere. He raised Hange's shirt to look at their stomach. There were many bruises there as well, but Levi saw no blood. He then turned his attention to their hands. Four fingers were broken on left hand and three on the right. Levi felt his blood boil at the sight of Hange's injuries. He would find Kenny, no matter where he was hiding and then he would make him pay. But right now his priority was Hange and he needed to take care of them first.
"They don't have any external bleeding, but their stomach is all bruised so I can't say anything about state of their internal organs."
"Not too bad," Mike announced. "Then we can transport them to agency's clinic. Our doctors will take care of them. But be careful, Levi. You found Hange but enemies can still hide nearby."
Mike was right - Levi himself wondered why Kenny did this. Why show them Hange's location and then leave them alone? Did he not look for a fight? Was he just trying to get rid of Hange? But then why leave them here and not kill them and dispose of the body? No, there was something they've missed, some twist to Kenny's plan that Levi couldn't see yet.
Suddenly, Hange began to stir up in Levi's arms, making him forget all about Kenny and his plan and focus on them.
He watched as Hange slowly opened their eyes and squinted to focus.
"It's me, Hange," Levi said, gently stroking their hair. "I've got you now, you're safe."
"Levi?" they asked quietly.
Levi nodded and moved closer to Hange. He enveloped them in a hug, trying to bring them as close as possible without doing further damage to their injuries. They stayed like that for a moment but then Hange suddenly pushed Levi away. They pushed him so hard that Levi tumbled back and fell on his ass. He widened his eyes.
"Hange? Did I hurt you?"
"No, no, Levi, you've got to go away," Hange began hurriedly. Levi could see the panic in their eyes. They scrambled out of the chair, falling to their knees. Levi moved to assist them but Hange pushed him away again. "Levi, come on, get up and run! You need to get away as fast as possible!"
"Hange, what is going on? I came here to take you home!"
Hange shook their head and then began looking around, trying to see someone in the darkness.
"You don't understand," they said. "You need to get to safety, this is all had been-"
A loud bang interrupted Hange. Levi looked to the source of it and saw that the door next to them was slammed open. Levi was horrified to see that Kenny was standing in the doorway.
"Well, well, Levi," Kenny said, grinning. "Long time no see, yeah?" Kenny walked into the room, studying Levi intently. "Such a shame, I see, you still haven't grown up yet."
"Kenny," Levi growled. "I will make you pay for what you did to Hange!"
“Levi?” Mike asked in his ear. “What is happening? The bad guys appeared?” Levi kept quiet, not wanting to let Kenny know, that he had back up. Kenny came alone and that was suspicious. Levi decided not to give the signal to Mike and others just yet, he’d wait and see what Kenny had planned first.
"Oh, so you've got a chance to see what I did to our dear scientist?” Kenny asked sweetly, bringing Levi out of his thoughts. “We had so much fun together, didn't we, darling?"
"Go to hell." Hange hissed in reply.
"What do you want, Kenny? What is your game? I know, you are not here alone, so where's the rest of your guys? And where's your boss?"
"So you know about Reiss, ha? Well, your boss works better than we thought then. As for what I have planned? Well," Kenny took a step towards Hange and Levi instinctively moved closer to them and put a hand over their torso protectively. Kenny noticed this and when Levi looked at him, he saw that his grin grew weirder. "I propose a deal to you, Levi."
"A deal?" Levi asked confusedly. What Kenny could possibly propose to him?
"A deal, yes. You and your guys outside can leave, peacefully. There will be no fighting or bloodshed and I guarantee that we won't attack you later. If you agree to this, I can even persuade Reiss to abandon his stupid desire to destroy your little agency. A solid proposition, don't you think? Everyone gets what they want and all that, right?"
"Seems too good to be real," Levi snorted. "What do you and your boss get out of it then?"
"Oh, we have but one small condition: the scientist stays with us."
"What? I would never agree to it!"
"Levi, don't be an idiot!" Kenny said with a clear irrigation in his voice. "It's the best bet you would get and it would save countless lives."
"Since when do you care about lives of other people? And what do you even need Hange for? Just to torture them?" Levi quickly glanced at Hange. They were quiet during this whole conversation. Uncharacteristically quiet.
"Of course, not! The scientist is much more useful for us alive than dead. If they are as smart as everyone says they are, then we've got ourselves a jackpot."
"What makes you think that Hange would ever work for you?"
At that, Kenny laughed.
"Believe me, Levi, there are many ways to make someone cooperate. Some of them I even taught you." Kenny shook his head. "Doesn't look like you've learnt your lesson, though."
Levi wanted to reply to him, but Hange suddenly touched his hand. They tried to grasp it, but their broken fingers prevented them from doing it. Levi took their hand in between both of his and began gently stroking their knuckles.
"Levi, he's right," Hange said, looking at their joined hands. "Don't be stupid, just leave me here and go."
Levi lifted their chin and looked deep into their eyes searching for answer. They weren't serious, right? They couldn't be agreeing to a life of pain and suffering, could they? Even for Hange, it was too much.
"Are you crazy? I'm not leaving you here! Do you understand what they would do to you to make you work for them?"
"I do," Hange said with a sad smile. "But it's the only way to keep you and the others safe. The needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few, or the one," they finished with a slight grin. They raised their free hand to their face, wanting to correct their glasses and forgetting that Levi had taken them off.
"Nerd," Levi whispered softly. He felt his heart skip a beat at the sight of Hange. They were badly beaten, covered in bruises and blood, but they still were the most beautiful person Levi had ever seen. They were a person he loved, and Levi felt nauseous just thinking about leaving Hange behind, abandoning them to such cruel fate. No, not in a million years he would ever allow that to happen. He would rather die than let Hange suffer.
"What an adorable scene!" Kenny cooed behind them. Levi turned around and sent him a glare. "But you should listen to them, Levi, and just fuck off already. I can't stand here all day and chat with you."
"Fine, I've decided," Levi said. He looked at Hange again. They smiled at him reassuringly. Levi carefully squeezed their hand and then let go of it. With a quick and smooth motion, he reached into his jacket and pulled out his second gun. In the next moment, he aimed it at Kenny's head and shot. Kenny managed to dodge the bullet and then he took out his gun as well. Levi prepared to fire again, but stopped immediately, when he saw where Kenny had aimed his gun.
“One move, Levi, and I’ll blow the scientist’s head off,” Kenny said. “And you wouldn’t want that, right?”
Levi slowly lowered his gun.
“That’s a good kid,” Kenny smiled.
Levi thought what to do next. He needed to somehow alert the others, but he knew that the moment the others would burst through the door, Kenny would shoot. Although, if their appearance would distract Kenny just for a second, then Levi would be able to shoot first. But he still needed to somehow signal them without Kenny noticing it. Levi listened intently to the sounds outside, but heard nothing – no passing cars or anything of the sort. So the warehouse was soundproof and no one had heard the gunfire. Shit. Levi turned Hange, checking if they had some plan. They looked back at Levi and then briefly glanced sideways. Levi followed their gaze, and oh. There laid his forgotten gun. Levi understood their intent immediately. The gun was closer to Hange, so if Levi could distract Kenny, maybe Hange would be able to grab it and shoot. He subtly nodded to Hange, and then turned to Kenny.
“You know,” Levi began, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible. “I’ve always wondered, Kenny, why did you take me in? Why did you stay with me for four years and then just leave?”
And his rouse had obviously worked, as Kenny focused his gaze on Levi. His gun was still pointing at Hange, though, so they needed to be careful. From the corner of his eye, Levi saw, that Hange’s hand began slowly reaching towards the gun.
“I promised your mother to look after you.” Kenny replied. “Saw some potential in you, but soon understood that you were too weak. You still are weak,” he said with disappointment in his voice. “You let yourself become attached to people. You became attached to me, so that’s why I left you. I thought, that it would teach you a lesson. That you would understand that all people you care for, no matter who they are, will eventually leave you. That the only person you can rely on is you. I see you still haven’t learnt that lesson.”
Levi didn’t let Kenny’s words affect him. It was bullshit, and he knew that. He thought that way himself, after Isabel and Farlan. He opened up to them, started caring for them, tried so much to protect them, but his attempts were all in vain. They died, and it was his fault, his one stupid miscalculation and they were gone, leaving Levi all alone. He had been so angry back then, angry at Erwin, at the guy who gave them this mission, at everyone, who looked at him with pity. He was angry even at Farlan and Isabel for leaving him alone again. But he was angry at himself the most. For worrying for someone who wasn’t himself, for letting himself become attached, for caring and loving them, for letting their death break him. He decided that he would never repeat this mistake. That he would stop caring for anyone but himself. After all, what was the point of loving someone, if it led to nothing, but losses and despair?
But then Hange came, crazy and stubborn, and they managed to destroy all of his carefully built walls. They burst into his life without invitation, without his permission. They relentlessly bothered him, talked to him even though he never replied, told him the stupidest of jokes just to see him roll his eyes and hide a smile. They didn’t relent, didn’t stop until Levi understood, that he couldn’t and didn’t want to picture his life without their smile and laugh, without their deep voice and warm hands, without their stupid glasses and eyes, that sparkled with passion, until Levi understood, that he was wrong, that even though, people could and would always leave you, it was still worth knowing them and worth loving them.
“You promised to my mother?” Levi asked. He glanced at Hange and their hand was almost near the gun. And Kenny didn’t even notice that, his attention was too focused on Levi. “So you’re my…?”
“What, no!” Kenny started laughing. “I’m your mother’s brother, dipshit. You thought I was your dad?”
Levi felt some relief at Kenny’s answer. Even if he started that conversation to distract Kenny, it was good to know, that he wasn’t really his father. But Levi felt even more relief, when he saw, that Hange managed to grab the gun and was now holding it inconspicuously in their hand. Their held was loose, their broken fingers interfering, but they put one of their good fingers on the trigger. Levi was sure, that they would at least wound Kenny – of course condition of their hand and the fact that they couldn’t aim correctly without their glasses were compromising everything, but Levi hoped, that it would be at least enough to completely distract Kenny, so he could shoot and then call for back up.
A moment later, Hange raised their hand and immediately fired at Kenny. They didn’t kill him, but Levi saw that they managed to wound Kenny’s right shoulder. He stumbled but didn’t fall and Levi saw that the blood already began seeping through his shirt. Hange tried to shoot him again, but missed their mark this time. Levi raised his hand to do the same, to finish Kenny off, but the sound of opening doors distracted him. Four people walked in through the door, one blonde woman and three men. The first two men were big and Levi immediately recognized that they were a part Kenny’s team. The last man, though, the one who was standing behind was different. He was small and had a round belly. He was considerably older too, and his hair was beginning to grey. He wore a suit, much better looking one, than the men beside him. Levi didn’t need the man to introduce himself, he understood who walked into the room all the same. It was Rod Reiss, the man who was responsible for all this shit. The other three newcomers took out their guns and aimed them at Levi and Hange. They didn’t shoot, though, seemingly waiting for Kenny’s or Reiss’ order.
“Mike!” Levi shouted into his earpiece. “We need your help, now!”
It was a few seconds before Levi heard a reply.
“Sorry, Captain,” it was Oluo and he was breathing heavily. “But we currently cannot do that. We were attacked and are still trying to fight them off. We’ll get to you as soon as we’re finished here, I promise.”
Shit, Levi thought. They were surrounded and with no chance of getting back up for who knows how long. Seeing the satisfied smile on Kenny’s face, he understood that Kenny had probably planned all of it. He also understood that he and Hange were completely screwed.
finally, this fic is ending
Levi looked around, frantically thinking what to do next. In front of him, Kenny grinned triumphantly, even though he was still clutching his wounded shoulder.
“Looks like we’ve beaten you, Levi,” a blonde woman came to stand next to Kenny. She started whispering something in his ear and Kenny was listening intently to her. After she was finished, Kenny whistled, clearly amused by what he had heard. “My guys just reported - they’ve successfully neutralized the rest of the agents. So, you’re surrounded and there’s no one who can save you. What are you gonna do now?”
Levi shook his head, trying not to think about the deaths of his friends. He was the one, who dragged them all into this. Again, the people he cared about died, and again because of him. Hange slightly touched his hand and then looked into his eyes, silently asking a question of whom exactly they lost. Levi avoided their gaze. He would tell them later, if both of them would survive, of course.
A couple of moments later, Levi turned his gaze back to Hange. They were staring intently at the three men that were standing behind Kenny. No, Levi corrected himself - they were staring directly at the man that stood furthest away.
“You are Rod Reiss, right?” Hange asked the man loudly. The man in question flinched slightly, when he met Hange’s gaze. “Sorry, if I haven’t recognized you right away - your guys broke my glasses.” The man, Rod Reiss, was silent, but Hange didn’t seem bothered by it and continued. “You know, I’ve only seen your photos, so I must say that you look much uglier in person.”
Levi looked at Hange incredulously – were they truly fearless enough to start mocking their enemy, while people, who could and would shoot them without any hesitation, surrounded them? He tried to tug on their sleeve to subtly tell them to shut the fuck up, but Hange just carelessly waved him off and smiled.
“Also, with all the money that you have, I thought you’d pick some nice, comfortable place to torture me. I mean, it’s so dark in here and at night it gets really cold! I am completely dissatisfied with your hospitality,” Hange finished, giggling. To anyone, who didn’t know Hange, it would really look like they were being carefree or childish, but Levi could clearly see – Hange was angry. Very angry. He quietly cursed - angry Hange always meant trouble.
Glancing at Reiss, Levi saw that his face became red and he was breathing irregularly.
“How dare you!” He finally screamed. He pushed the other two man aside and came to stand directly in front of Hange. They were still sitting on the floor, so Reiss was looking down at them, but Hange didn’t look intimated in the least. If anything, their grin only grew weirder, as they saw the effect they had on him. “Do you even how influential I am?”
“I know how influential you were,” they corrected him smugly. “Seems like Erwin and I brought an abrupt end to it.”
“Yes!” Reiss exclaimed, throwing his hands into the air. “Your stupid agency destroyed my career and my whole life!”
“Destroyed your life, huh?” Hange asked lowly. There was a dangerous undertone in their voice. Levi didn’t like where this was going at all. “Do you know how many lives have you destroyed? How many people suffered and were left on the streets because of you? A large part of your country went bankrupt because of your actions! You manipulated people, lied to them and stole from them and I am the bad guy here? You should be thankful you are not in jail! Although, I suspect, you lied your way from it as well.” Reiss opened his mouth and began saying something, but Hange abruptly cut him off. “And you have the audacity to blame me and Erwin for your demise? Your government was begging us to take your case. They were desperate! They knew they couldn’t deal with you legally so they had to ask for our intervention. You are puny little man,” Hange spat. “And you disgust me.”
Levi looked at Hange proudly. Provoking and insulting Reiss was stupid, reckless and terrible idea, but seeing Hange verbally destroy a man like that was still satisfying as fuck.
“You’ve destroyed my life,” Reiss said again. Levi noticed that his hands were shaking. “And now I’m going to destroy yours.” He motioned to the two men behind him. They immediately grabbed Levi by the shoulders, holding him tightly. The blonde woman came to Hange and immobilized them as well. “It’s good that you came here,” Reiss said to Levi. “I’ve heard, you are very close to agent Zoe. It means, your suffering would bring them a great deal of pain. A shame, really, that the others agents were dealt with before. It would have been so nice to kill all of them right in front of your face.”
Reiss took a gun from Kenny’s hand and aimed it at Levi’s head.
“No!” Hange shouted. They fought against the hold, that the blonde woman was keeping them in. They couldn’t shake her off – Hange was too weak because of their injuries and the woman was holding them tightly. “Don’t touch him! He had done nothing to you!” Levi too tried to fight against his captors, but the men were too strong. He then looked at Kenny and he… he wasn’t looking too satisfied with the current situation. It was a ridiculous idea, but Levi thought that maybe Kenny didn’t want him dead. However, to hope for his help was stupid and his apparent inaction confirmed it.
“Please,” Hange said, bowing their head. “You can torture me, kill me, whatever you want. Just… just don’t touch him.”
Reiss chuckled darkly, clearly amused at Hange’s anguish. Then he lowered his gun and Levi wondered for a moment if the man had changed his mind. But a second later he fired and the bullet hit Levi’s leg. He groaned and gritted his teeth, trying to stop himself from screaming. Next to him, Hange resumed their struggling with a renowned fervor.
“What a generous man I am,” Reiss laughed. “I spared him from a quick and mostly painless end. Now he will slowly bleed out to death. And you will watch every second of it.”
Levi had no idea, no plan how to get out of this. They were surrounded, they had no weapons and he could already feel the pool of blood, forming beneath his feet. He had to think of something, anything that would save them. Because if he died, then Hange would surely follow after and he couldn’t, wouldn’t let that happen. He looked around the room again, trying to see if he had missed something before, if there was something that could get them out of here. Of course, the building was the same as before – four walls, two doors, no windows and no chance of survival. Suddenly he noticed something near the opposite wall. It looked small and Levi wasn’t sure that he wasn’t hallucinating because of the immense pain in his leg. He most surely hadn’t, because that thing – whatever it was – started moving. Levi quickly averted his eyes from it, so no one would notice it as well. Kenny caught his gaze and he narrowed his eyes suspiciously at him. Thankfully, he didn’t look behind him and Levi turned to look straight ahead. At the corner of his eye, he continued to watch as that small thing continued to creep towards them. Now that it came closer, it was looking more and more like a drone?
Suddenly, his earpiece came to life and a second later, Levi heard a familiar voice.
“It’s me, Moblit,” the voice said, surprising and confusing Levi. “Act natural, as though you don’t hear me.” A million questions went through Levi’s head. How did Moblit survive? Was he the only one? If not, how many others are still alive? “We’ve just finished with the bad guys and are standing outside the building. Seeing your… situation, Mike decided it was unwise to arrive unexpectedly. So I sent my drone into the building. It’ll get closer and then explode. I’ll give you a warning, before it does, so you’ll be able to get yourself and Hange out of its way. The explosion wouldn’t be big, but, um, hopefully enough to distract the enemy.”
Levi glanced to Hange, wanting to somehow signal them, that the help has come. Hange caught his gaze and then their eyes slightly shifted to the side. To the same place, where the drone was. So they already noticed? Levi guessed, it meant that Hange already knew about Moblit’s plan. A slight upturn of their lips confirmed his suspicions. Levi raised his head and saw, that not only Hange noticed the drone. Kenny was staring at it too. But he didn’t do anything to alert the others or made any move to neutralize it. Then he shifted his gaze to Levi and winked at him. Levi turned away, shutting his eyes tightly. The leg hurt like a bitch and he already felt himself getting dizzy from the blood loss. He shook his head, he needed to stay focused, just for a few more minutes.
“The drone will explode in five seconds,” Moblit warned him. He began to countdown the seconds and Levi steadied himself, ready to move. When Moblit got to one, Levi tried to free himself. He jumped forward and the men, who obviously didn’t anticipate this, let him go. A moment later, the explosion rang. Levi fell face-first onto the floor. For a long moment, he heard nothing but ringing in his ears. He clumsily tried to get up and through a daze, he saw Hange and the woman, who held them, lying on the floor. He watched as Hange got up to their knees grabbed a gun, that the woman dropped during the explosion. They aimed and fired at Reiss. The bullet hit him in the head and the man began to fall. Hange turned to Levi, a victorious smile on their face. But then the blonde woman got up and jumped onto Hange. Levi tried to get to them, but when he tried to stand on his feet, his wounded leg wobbled and he fell down again. He cursed and watched, as Hange fought with the woman. Hange tried to shoot her, but the blonde kicked Hange’s hand with her feet and Hange screamed, dropping the gun. Levi tried to get up again, only this time a pair of strong hands grabbed his shoulders. He turned around and saw one of his previous captors. The other one laid nearby, dead or at least unconscious. Levi guessed that he took most of the impact from the explosion. He tried to shake the other man off, but he was strong and Levi lost too much blood, which made him dizzy and clumsy. He turned to see, how Hange was doing. The woman was sitting on top of them and the gun was aimed at Hange’s abdomen. Levi remembered about the knife, which was strapped to his ankle. He quickly reached towards it and took it in his hands. Without aiming, he directed the knife behind himself. The man, who was holding him moments before, yelped and Levi turned his head to see, that his knife was now stuck in a man’s leg.
Just as Levi was getting to his feet, he heard a slam of the door and then immediately after that two gunshots rang. The man behind Levi screamed and then fell to the floor. A second later, Levi heard another scream. He looked to the source of it and saw Hange, who was still laying on the floor, but now they were clutching their abdomen and a pool of blood was already forming beneath them. Levi leaped to his feet, forgetting about the pain in his leg. He took out his another knife, ready to attack the blonde woman, but before he could do anything, he heard a third gunshot. The bullet found its mark and the woman fell, a hole right between her eyes. Levi looked up and saw Moblit standing above her.
“Moblit!” Hange exclaimed happily. Moblit looked at them and his face turned white.
“Oh my god, Hange!” He knelt next to them, checking the seriousness of their injuries. “Petra!” he called, turning his head. “Bring the first kit, now!”
“No, no,” Hange tried to get up and push Moblit’s hand away. “I will be fine, you need to take care of Levi first. He lost so much blood.”
Moblit turned to him, but Levi shook his head, assuring Moblit that he was fine. Slowly, but surely he got to Hange and sat next to them.
“You idiot,” Levi said, frowning. “Just lay there and let Moblit take care of your injuries.”
“But you’re hurt too!”
Levi rolled his eyes at them, but smiled a little, when he saw Hange’s pout. A moment later, Petra came with bandages. Moblit began working on Hange’s wounds, while Petra took care of Levi’s leg. Then, Levi saw the rest of the team – Mike, Gunter, Eld and Oluo. All of them had various injuries, but they were smiling happily. All of them were alive and Levi felt himself truly relax for the first time in two weeks.
“How are all of you alive?” Levi asked, as Petra started bandaging his leg.
“Levi, don’t tell me, you are not happy to see us!” Mike answered laughing.
“We’ve been told that all of you had died.”
“Ah, that’s kinda my fault,” Moblit answered sheepishly. “I sent a false signal, so they wouldn’t bring reinforcements.”
“Oh, that’s so smart!” Hange said loudly. Moblit was finished with their wound and they sat up slowly. They checked their wound and, satisfied with its state, threw themselves into Moblit’s arms. “You saved me! And your plan with the drone – great idea!” They withdrew from him and smiled widely. “I’m so proud of you!” Hange clasped Moblit’s back, but a moment later, they yelped in pain in their broken fingers.
Levi gritted his teeth in annoyance. They were so smart, but could be so stupid. Hange clearly heard him, because they turned to look at him, smiling and waving apologetically. Then they reached out to give Mike a hug.
“It’s good to have you back, Hans,” Mike said, softly ruffling Hange’s hair. Hange their face into his shoulder, relaxing into the hug. Before they broke apart, Mike took a long sniff. “Mm, you still smell the same.”
That made Hange laugh. Their laugh was loud and happy and Levi couldn’t believe, how much he missed that sound. He stared at Hange. They were smiling, wide and toothy, and their eyes were sparkling with happiness. Petra gently patted his leg and Levi noticed that she was finished bandaging his leg. He nodded, thanking her and came closer to Hange. When they were within his arms reach, Hange turned to him, enveloping him in a hug as well.
“I’ll go and call Erwin,” Mike told them. He got up and motioned for everyone else to do the same. “You, guys, stay here,” he said to Hange and Levi. “We’ll be outside.”
“Call me, when you are ready to come out!” Moblit called to them and then everyone left the building, leaving Hange and Levi alone.
“I’ve missed you so much,” Hange spoke softly into Levi’s jacket. Levi didn’t know for how long they were sitting like that – silently holding each other tightly. It felt so good to finally be able to hold Hange again, that he didn’t want for this moment to end.
“I’ve missed you too,” he said after some time. “And don’t you dare to try and pull something like that ever again, Hange! I was so worried, so scared. I thought, you had died,” he finished quietly.
“Oh Levi,” Hange pulled apart and took his face into their hands. They softly smiled at him. “I am sorry, that I have caused you so much pain, but I am okay now, see?”
Levi nodded and put a hand into their hair. Slowly he brought their face close to his and then put his lips onto theirs and kissed them gently. When they broke apart, Hange was still smiling and Levi felt himself do the same.
“Shall we go?” Hange asked, carefully getting up to their feet and extending their hand to Levi. He put his hand into theirs cautiously, mindful of their injuries. Levi tried to stand, but when he applied pressure on his wounded leg, it started hurting so much that he fell back on the floor. His head began to spin and his vision was darkening on the edges. Levi closed his eyes and gritted teeth. He heard Hange call out to him, but it seemed so distant as though they were far away. He felt hands on his face and opened his eyes, trying to focus at Hange and keep himself grounded. Hange was looking at him with panic in their eyes and Levi saw, that their lips were moving, however he couldn’t hear what they were saying. He opened his own mouth to say something to them, to reassure them that he was fine, but then he felt a new wave of dizziness. This time it was harder to focus on anything and Levi quickly slipped into unconsciousness.
Levi opened his eyes and saw bright white ceiling. He was lying on a soft bed. Looking down to himself and seeing IV, which was injected into his hand, confirmed his suspicion that he was in a hospital. He looked to the side and saw Moblit sitting in a chair. He was reading a book and occasionally seeping from his cup. He seemed so engrossed in whatever he was reading, that he hadn’t even noticed that Levi was awake. Levi looked past Moblit and saw another bed. There laid Hange. Their face was still bruised and there were patches to cover the cuts on their cheeks and forehead. Levi could also see that both of their hands were in a cast. He quietly snorted, already hearing Hange’s whining, that they wouldn’t be able to do anything for a month or so. They appeared to be sleeping and laid on a bed almost motionless, except for the steady rise and fall of their chest. Levi felt an immense urge to go to them, to hold their hand, to feel the warmness of it, to make sure, that it was real, that Hange had truly been saved, that they finally were home and safe. He tried to sit up and then Moblit finally noticed that he had woken up.
“Be careful,” he whispered, putting his chair closer to Levi’s bed. “You’ve been out for almost a day. We began to worry.”
“How is Hange?” Levi asked, not taking his eyes from their still figure.
“They are steady. They had a ruptured spleen and lost a lot of blood, but the doctors said there is nothing to worry about. They should be fine in a week or so.”
“Good,” Levi signed in relief. “What happened while I was out?”
“Well, you lost your consciousness and we wanted to bring to the local hospital, but it turned out, that Director Erwin sent a plane to take us back, so we managed to get you to the agency’s clinic in time. We’ve dealt with all our enemies – well, all but one. That guy, Kenny Ackerman, he somehow managed to escape, although we haven’t heard anything from him yet,” So Kenny ran away? Levi wasn’t exactly surprised, that asshole was extremely good at surviving. But Levi also wasn’t exactly worried at that fact – he doubted that Kenny would come back. Firstly, with his boss gone, there was no real reason for Kenny to try to kill them. And, secondly, if he wanted him or Hange dead, they most probably wouldn’t be laying in the hospital right now. “You lost a lot of blood and the doctors had to perform a blood transfusion,” Moblit continued, breaking Levi out of his thoughts. “They also performed an operation on Hange – to deal with their spleen and internal bleeding. They awoke a few times and tried to get up and come closer to you. They were so stubborn that I had to physically restrain them from doing it.”
“Idiot,” Levi scoffed, frowning. “What were they even thinking?”
“Love makes even the smartest people stupid,” Moblit replied, smiling.
“Yeah, it kinda does,” Levi quietly agreed, staring wistfully at Hange. An idea appeared in his head. “Hey, Moblit, do you think that bed can move?”
“Let’s see what we can do.”
Moblit got up from his sit, laying down his book on the nearby table, which Levi noticed only now. It was full of flowers, candies and there were even a few balloons, flying above it.
“Those are gifts for you and Hange,” Moblit explained, noticing Levi’s confused gaze. “You had a lot of visitors, while you were sleeping. This bouquet,” Moblit pointed at the biggest one. “Is from Director Erwin. Oh, almost forgot! He also asked me to tell you, that you and Hange got a vacation for a month.”
Levi nodded, already thinking how to spend that month. He would be perfectly fine with staying at home and just spending time with Hange, preferably not letting them out of his sight even for a second. But he also knew, that his partner would definitely want to do something fun instead. And Levi knew, that he would agree to that, no matter how much he hated the idea. Moblit was right, love indeed made people stupid. However, he wasn’t complaining in the slightest.
In the meantime, Moblit managed to roll Levi’s bed as close to Hange’s as it was possible. Levi reached his hand and touched Hange’s arm. He couldn’t exactly hold their hand, because it was in a cast, but just being able to feel their warmth was more than enough for now.
“I’ll go grab another coffee,” Moblit said, heading to the door. “Call if you need anything.”
Levi nodded, his eyes still focused on Hange’s face. It was a little weird to see them laying so peacefully and without their ever-present glasses. Hange’s face almost never looked that calm. Even in their sleep, they either frowned or smiled and sometimes they even mumbled something during their slumber. Levi gave their arm a squeeze and a moment later saw, as Hange’s eyelashes fluttered and they slowly opened their eyes. They squinted slightly, trying to get a better look at him. Levi noticed the exact moment, when Hange had recognized him – a sparkle appeared in their eyes and they smiled at him.
“Hey there,” they whispered hoarsely.
“Hi,” he replied softly. Levi wanted to kiss them or at least hold them in his arms, but he knew that his and Hange’s wounds needed time to heal. So for now, he satisfied himself with the fact that he could at least touch them. He began to gently caress their arm and soon Hange’s eyes closed again. Levi kept staring at them for a few more minutes, feeling relaxed, happy and in love. But then he felt sleep taking over him as well and he closed his eyes, falling into a deep and peaceful slumber.
aaaaaand it's finished!
i want to say thank you everyone, who read, left kudoses and especially to those wonderful people, who commented on my work!