He didn’t know what he was doing. A bit of an understatement one would say, as he was completely and utterly lost. In the mind maybe? He couldn’t even tell at this point.
At humanity’s darkest hour, the day that Wall Maria fell, while the titans were intruding, eating everything in sight… somehow, the whole ordeal was not even the prime thing on his mind.
Levi was never a good person. Or at least, he didn’t think of himself as one. People might delude themselves into thinking that because he vowed to give his heart to protect humanity, he somehow was. But Levi knew that too be bullshit. He was acting primarily out of interest, whatever secondary feelings he may have to being a soldier are at the end of the day meaningless. And that day, he made a choice. It was his choice. His choice to leave the chaos and destruction of everything the people of Wall Maria held dear, for his selfish reasons. To protect a few snotty, useless brats.
He thought he was going insane, not even the man himself could understand his thought process.
Levi had finally come home. Tired, stressed and overall overflowing with thoughts, but home. Despite everything, he couldn’t leave his duties undone. If he promised to give his heart to humanity, then so beat it. Even if there wasn’t a heck of a lot he could do. Titans were coming from all sides. He killed them. As many as he could anyway. It was pointless, he knew, but at least it bought some time to the people of Wall Maria to escape. The couple of them that could anyway. Families were destroyed, lives were ruined, the inside of that wall was the closest thing to an unimaginable, pure horror he could imagine. He understands the terror those people felt, he felt them. And yet, he still made that choice. The choice to initially put all of his attention to saving those three. For all he knew, despite how impossible his thoughts were, he couldn’t help but ponder if he could have stopped the Armored Titan if he got to him in time. The mere hypothesis of the idea ate him up. If that was the case, then, for what? For what did those people die? For a little black haired girl he had been housing for the past year or so, and her two friends.
When Levi entered the room, the three kids were at the table. They weren’t eating, they weren’t talking, and who could blame them. They had just witnessed the real life embodiment of a living nightmare. Everything they knew, all that they treasured, was gone.
The girl, Mikasa, was in a state of shock, and yet, as always, she seemed rather calm, especially compared to the other two. Just like when he first met her. The bond boy sitting next to her was sobbing, his soft cries echoing though the room. And the last kid sitting on the opposite side if the table, he perhaps had the most intriguing reaction out of all of them. His emerald green eyes, while lost and disoriented, flashed with passionate anger. A screaming fury that told Levi everything he needed to know.
He didn’t get a greeting, nor an acknowledgement that he even entered the room. That was fine, he didn’t expect it anyway.
No words were said, and that was okay. A part of him was glad they weren’t asking for comfort, as he wouldn’t even know what to say to them in response.
Not knowing how to deal with this, he made his way to the storage, returning shortly after.
It was then that the children finally snapped out of their trance, as they noticed someone had left some bread on the middle of the table.
The silence continued. Not wanting to deal with this anymore, Levi finally spoke, destroying the quiet atmosphere:
“Are you going to eat or what?”
The kids looked up. Mikasa slowly nodded in acknowledgement along with the blond boy, who seemed rather nervous, still a sobbing mess. Both grabbed a single piece of bread. Slowly but surely, they started eating it. And perhaps just for a slow second, Levi understood they were thankful, as their slow bites into the dry plain bread, soon turned more intense. Maybe they felt comfort over the small gesture of food, who could tell. The only one who didn’t give any indication of hearing his question nevertheless caring, was that Jeager kid. He still had that murderous look in his eyes.
Levi knew the brunette a little more than the blond kid. It was not as if the man was going to interfere with Mikasa’s personal friend group, he simply didn’t care enough to. Still, he remembers the Jeager boy. This isn’t the first time he’s seen the child with such a look in his eyes.
“Eren…” Mikasa started, “You should eat”, she simply stated. Despite her calm tone, it was obvious that the girl was trying her best not to break down, to stay strong.
“I don’t feel like eating”, the boy finally spoke, his voice sharp like a blade.
The room stood in silence for a while, not that much passing before the brunette bitterly added:
“Before you know it, titans will break through Wall Rose. And I am not going give them the satisfaction of eating stuffed”, he bitterly said.
“Cut that shit out. I didn’t save you unthankful brat for you to starve”, it was then that Eren looked up from the table at last. If looks could kill, Levi would now be a dead man. Still, Levi’s commanding authoritative voice struck some guilt into the kid. After all, he was the man that offered him a home.
He understood the young child’s anger, he did. But his sorrow and fury wasn’t something Levi was quite ready to deal with.
When the first wall fell, he was in Shiganshina. In truth, he was just coming back from an expedition outside the walls. Unsuccessful mission he might add, as the lost countless lives that day. Overall, he needed to take a breath of sorts from the whole ordeal. Before going out on the mission, he left Mikasa with the Jeagers, since he’s been promising her to take her to visit her friends for about a month now. And now that he was already in town, he supposed that instead of heading to a long trip home and then returning again for Mikasa, he could stick around till the end of the day, maybe a few more, and then arrive back home with Mikasa. It was a simple idea, he just needed to cool off a little
But he didn’t get that much needed rest, because that day had turned into the darkest day in humanity’s history. When the sixty-meter titan initially breached the wall, Levi was for the first time in years, truly frightened. Not because of titans themselves.
But rather because Mikasa wasn’t anywhere near by him, she was still with her friends.
He remembers running through the town, desperately searching for her. All he could think about was the question of her being alright, constantly circulating in his mind with every step he took.
It was then that he finally saw her. She was alive. A soldier was carrying her along with that Jeager kid Mikasa is friends with. Just before he could approach her, the boy started yelling at the Garrison soldier, almost as if he has finally realized what’s happening. He didn’t dare to approach the scene just then, despite wanting to, he could tell that the children were in a state of shock, especially the boy who was getting louder by the second. From the words he could hear, it was easy to deduct that the boy had lost someone dear.
That he had lost his mother, probably saw her get eaten alive as well.
The sight of seeing one’s mother die in front of you, is perhaps the hardest thing for a child to face.
Levi understood. He got it.
He still wasn’t going to deal with this bullshit.
The boy finally seemed like he was going to shut it, as he grabbed a piece of bread from the table and started eating it, clearly very irritated.
Still, Levi raising his voice was clearly not enough to shut the damn brat up.
“Then I guess I’ll just have to kill them first. I am going to kill them then, every last one”, Eren stated, with now a more collected tone. The way he uttered the words could straight up send shivers down anyone’s spine. Mikasa and Armin exchanged a look, as if this wasn’t the first time the boy has said this. He had meant it, and Levi understood that he was serious.
It was well past midnight by now. The children, while still clearly wide awake, were in their beds.
Levi was sitting by the kitchen table, resting his head in his hand.
This is going to be a complete disaster, the man thought. He was well aware of that at this point. He wasn’t good with kids, let alone with giving them emotional support after a traumatic event.
He shouldn’t have listened to Mikasa.
It was just then that he heard a knock at his door. He really didn’t feel like answering the damn door. Who could it even be at this time?
“Levi?” he could hear the repetitious muffled yelling by the door.
Of course. He couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the all too familiar voice.
While exhausted, he nevertheless got up and made his way to the door, opening it.
And who else could it be other than shitty glasses themselves.
“Levi”, Hanji gasped in relief. “I got here as soon as I could”. Before he could even respond, they interrupted him, knowing well what he was going to say.
“Yes, I know it’s late, you don’t even have to say it. Levi, I just got worried. Mikasa was in Shiganshina, and you stayed in the town after the expedition, by the time I got the news of the wall falling, I couldn’t find you!” they let out a sigh. Noticing Levi’s restless expression, slowly, they opened their mouth again: “Is Mikasa…?”
“She is fine”, Levi stated. He couldn’t even find the energy to talk with Hanji. Saying the entire day has been a nightmare would be a big understatement. He just wanted some silence and rest.
And why is four-eyes so concerned anyway? Of course he was fine.
“And so are her two friends”, he added, cursing himself after the fact. Great, now he’s just opened whole other can of worms.
Hanji quickly caught up with the implication and raised a brow.
“Don’t tell me…” they were genuinely surprised. Although Levi has been surprising them a lot lately.
“Yes, I have three brats now”, he affirmed their suspicion.
“That’s… admirable of you”, they slowly started, “although very unlike you. I could understand taking Mikasa in-“
“Listen I did if for the kid”, he admitted with a sigh. “Mikasa wanted me to help them. I couldn’t say no after what just happened”.
It was true. After Levi initially got the trio to safety, the question of where the two boys will go was up in the air.
Pretty much all of them were aware that food shortage will become an issue soon, and that if Levi didn’t step up and take them in, who knows what will happen. And this was the prime thing on Mikasa’s mind. She pleaded with the older man to let her two friends live with them.
He shouldn’t have agreed. Yes it would have been cruel, yes it would have broken Mikasa’s trust in him. But he knew that this was insane.
And yet, he couldn’t say no.
“It’s terrifying”, she said, as if they were trying to change the subject. Or perhaps they were just having a hard time processing it all. “To see so many people lose their lives, families, everything they’ve known. I never would have imagined it happening so quickly, so suddenly”.
Hearing them say it made him feel the guilt all over again. Could had he have stopped it? The breaching of wall Maria? Again it was a ridiculous notion, yet somehow, in his stress induced mind it made sense. Still, he didn’t mention it.
“I though I’ve seen death before, but, this feels unreal”, they looked away, closing their eyes. “In the mist of everything, you still managed to do something noble. Can’t say I agree that it was the smartest choice. Nevertheless, no matter how foolish and unwise, it’s noble”. They finally finished.
“It’s not like I accomplished much, with the very likely food shortage in the future, all I did was prolong the inevitable”, he said.
“You really complicated things for yourself, huh?” they sympathetically gave a small smile.
“It’s becoming a habit”, he replied.
“Can’t exactly offer help, with everything going down, I don’t think I can even do much. But I’ll try. To be there, I mean”.
Levi was surprised a little by that. It was not as if Hanji Zoe was one dimensional, far from it. But offering help for something way out of their comfort zone? Now that was surprising.
This is going to be a complete disaster.