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Sacrifice and Selflessness

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Relationships required sacrifice.

Or at least, that was what Erwin had always heard. Mainly from Nile over drinks, or briefly from other married men and women he knew. He’d never had to experience it himself though because of course, he’d never been in a long-term relationship like that. He never thought he would, either, until he and Levi had started...well, whatever they were doing. And even then, he didn’t consider it at first or sit around expecting it

It wasn’t until he’d gone to his room late one night, ready for bed, only to find Levi fast asleep underneath the blankets. He didn’t notice him at first because only the top of his head was poking out, and it was only when he paused to start undressing that he heard another sound. It was Levi’s deep, even breathing, breaking up the silence of the room and catching his attention.

Once he noticed him he was pleasantly surprised to see him there, because he’d been trying to find a way to get Levi to stay the night with him ever since they’d started having sex. Levi was tricky - he’d known this since the very first time they met. Ever since then, he’d been determined to figure him out. His fascination with Levi extended beyond wanting to just recruit him as a soldier, he’d discovered soon after, and at first he hadn’t understood why. It didn’t take him long to figure it out though, once they started growing closer and he realized it was because he liked spending time with him, and wanted to more often.

Basically, he was interested in him - and attracted to him too - and as their relationship progressed Levi became easier for him to read. It was a slow process, because like he’d said, Levi was tricky and he was still learning, but for the most part he thought he had figured him out. That was why, after a few times of having sex when he’d first asked Levi to stay with him and he had scoffed at him and told him it was a bad idea, he hadn’t asked again.

Erwin saw right through statement, because to him, it didn’t make sense. They’d already been having sex quite a lot and finding ways to spend time together during the day - all of which was probably also a bad idea. If they were doing all of that already, though, then what did it matter if Levi stayed the night with him?

Levi was just saying that because the thought made him uncomfortable, because he was slow to adjust to new relationships or other personal things. By now, Erwin knew that it didn’t mean he didn’t necessarily want to stay or that he didn’t care, he was just not sure yet. So he had to wait. It was a good thing he was patient, because he wanted him to stay, and badly. So much so that after a few weeks of Levi still leaving him at night, he began to try to think of some other way to get him to stay that didn’t involve pressuring him.

Luckily, he didn’t have to, because Levi had apparently decided that he was comfortable enough to sleep in his bed by now on his own. He’d done it in a typical Levi-type fashion, not alerting him or asking him about it, just crawling into his bed while Erwin wasn’t even there and going to sleep. For some reason, Erwin just found that even more endearing, and felt a warmth in his chest at the sight that made him happy.

Except, well, the only problem was Levi was taking up most of the bed and blankets. He was lying on his stomach in the middle of the mattress, with both arms stretched out next to his head. He could see his hands peeking out from underneath the covers now that he was closer, and the lumps that were his legs spread out too, one of his knees drawn up next to him. It was a position a newborn might sleep in, and while Erwin found it oddly cute, he had no idea how he was going to get into bed, especially when Levi had all of the blankets somehow wrapped so tightly around him they were trapped beneath him.

He finished undressing, stripping down to his underwear while he thought about what to do. He hated to wake him because he also knew that Levi sometimes had trouble sleeping, but it was the only way. Levi was in his bed for the night, and there was no way Erwin was giving up crawling in next to him by sleeping somewhere else.

So he approached the edge of the bed, reaching out a hand to shake Levi's shoulder gently.

"Levi." He murmured, waiting a second to see if he'd woke him up.

He hadn't.

Levi's slow, even breathing continued, his back making the blankets rise and fall ever so slightly while Erwin watched. He shook him again harder, clearing his throat louder than he'd spoken before. This time, Levi made a quiet grunting noise in his sleep, but still did not awaken.

Erwin frowned, wondering just how hard he was going to have to shake him to wake him up. Should he yell? No, that was a bad idea, so instead, he gripped Levi's shoulder through the blankets more firmly, shaking him until his entire upper body was moving.

At that, his eyes flew open, a brief look of confusion crossing his face as he was jerked out of sleep.

"Levi." Erwin murmured again, catching Levi's attention. "Can you make some room for me? Please?"

Levi shifted at that, his eyes squinting sleepily before he looked at Erwin over his shoulder, his expression changing into something that could melt steel. Apparently, he did not like getting woken up. If Erwin was a lesser man, he might have backed off, but he didn't get this far in accomplishing his goals to be scared off by his lover.

He raised his leg to climb onto the edge of the bed, nudging Levi with his knee. He finally moved, but not by much. He shifted his body over just a few inches, immediately lying his head back down and closing his eyes to go back to sleep. Erwin appraised the space he had made with a frown, deciding that it was at least enough room for him to get into the bed. Levi's movements had freed up the edges of the blankets too, so Erwin lifted them up as gently as he could, crawling underneath them and onto the mattress next to Levi.

He laid down on his side facing Levi's back, pressed close up against it. It was nice, but it wasn't like he had any choice - his ass was so close to the edge of the bed that it was almost hanging off of it. Still, even with this little room, he was glad to be here, close enough to Levi now that he could smell the clean scent coming from his hair. He wrapped an arm around him gently, delighted when Levi shifted against him after a moment to wrap his fingers around his wrist. He didn't move over anymore though, but it was fine. Erwin was comfortable enough, and he supposed he could sleep like this if he had to.

He drifted off after a few minutes, warm and content with Levi in his arms, only to be woken up sometime later when Levi rolled over in his sleep, so abruptly that he shoved his fist into Erwin’s side. It was like Levi hadn’t realized he was there, and Erwin’s eyes snapped open with a pained grunt, his ribs smarting where Levi had smacked him. He’d flinched backward himself as a defensive action when he’d been hit, and now he was even closer to falling off the edge of the bed.

But Levi had not even woken up, it seemed, and now he was curled into Erwin’s chest, a peaceful, blank expression on his face while he slept. He was so close that his hair was brushing against Erwin’s bare skin, and he sighed, tucking him underneath his arm again as he tried to go back to sleep.

Somehow he managed, but he continued to be awakened throughout the night when Levi moved, and once when he started snoring right in his ear, and then again when one of Erwin’s limbs had fallen asleep from the uncomfortable position he was forced into to accommodate Levi. By the time morning rolled around and he woke up again with Levi drooling on his arm, he couldn’t go back to sleep, despite feeling like he had barely gotten any rest at all.

Levi woke up not long after him, from his most recent position of lying on his back next to Erwin with his arm slung upside down across his chest, yawning and stretching gracefully. Once he was more awake, he sat up, rubbing his eyes and turning around to look at Erwin.

“Why the fuck is your bed so much more comfortable than mine?” He mumbled when he saw that Erwin was awake too.

Erwin didn’t move from his position - half on his back with his head lolled to the side - and squinted at Levi for a moment before responding.

“...Is it?”

“Yeah. I haven’t slept that long in months. I forgot what it was like to wake up and not feel like shit. When did you even come in here?”

“Ah.” Erwin said, fighting a surge of ire at Levi’s words. Levi must have slept well, because he had never seen him this talkative in the mornings before. He, on the other hand, had not, and he had to admit it was making him irritable. “It was around midnight. You don’t remember it?”

“No. I was fucking out, I guess. Why are you lying like that, Erwin?”

Erwin’s brows drew down, his brain working slower than normal to understand what he meant because of his lack of sleep. He assumed Levi was referring to how he was almost hanging off the bed with his head jammed uncomfortably down against his shoulder, and how it probably looked comical now that Levi had sat up and the rest of the bed was empty.

Erwin opened his mouth, close to telling Levi exactly why he was lying in this horrible position, but it probably would have come off as bad-tempered. He didn’t want to sound like he was irritated at Levi, or to make him think that he didn’t want him sleeping here because he was afraid he wouldn’t want to again if he did. So instead, he shrugged once, forcing himself out of bed so he could get ready to shower. He was grumpy, but he felt a lot better once Levi joined him, and like he could actually make it through the day once he’d had some coffee.

Regardless of his bad night, Erwin was glad to see that Levi hadn’t been put off from staying with him for any reason. He made a habit of it after that, staying in his bed after they’d had sex or coming to it at all hours of the night, all as if he’d been doing it naturally this entire time.

Although no night was as bad as that first one had been, it took some time for them to get used to sharing a bed, to get used to having the other’s presence beside them for the entire night. It made sense when both of them had slept alone for most of their lives, but eventually, they learned how to be comfortable together while they were sleeping.  

Even if they never did, though, Erwin found himself thinking one night, as he was lying awake with Levi’s elbow jammed into his spine, he supposed he didn’t mind sacrificing a bit of sleep if it meant he got to have Levi with him.

Besides, some people had to sacrifice much more than that in their relationship.

It was a nice thought, but Erwin soon discovered that his sleep wasn’t the only thing he would have to sacrifice in his relationship with Levi.

Once he started staying in his bed, things only progressed from there and he supposed it was natural that Levi basically moved into his room - as discreetly as possible, of course. He still had his old room, and although it was rare, still stayed there sometimes if Erwin knew he was going to be pulling an all-nighter.

The more Levi stayed there though the more privacy Erwin lost. He didn’t necessarily think he valued it, not until one morning after spending some well deserved - he thought - quiet time on the toilet with the newspaper. When he was done, he made his way back into his room to get dressed, only to stop when he opened the door and saw Levi sitting on his couch with one arm slung casually over the back of it.

He had spent the night there but had been gone when Erwin woke up, but now he was back - fully dressed, sipping a cup of tea, and appraising Erwin with a raised eyebrow.

“You were in there forever. Were you having trouble taking a shit or something?”

Erwin frowned, feeling suddenly defensive, and held up the paper. “I was reading the newspaper, Levi.”

“I’m not sure how you could concentrate on reading anything over all that grunting.”

“I wasn’t-” Erwin started, his ire raised for just a second before he realized Levi was teasing him, even though it was hard to tell when he’d said it with a completely blank face. “I didn’t expect you back here this morning.”

He felt a little embarrassed, or awkward maybe, because these were boundaries that they were crossing for the first time. He was, of course, aware that Levi had a strange habit of talking about shit, but so far it had never been in the context of, well, either one of them actually taking a shit.

Levi just shrugged casually, though, like he didn’t care, and put his teacup down. “Tch. You’re not usually this sensitive. Is this a real issue for you, or something? There’s tea for that, you know.”

Erwin did not think he was being sensitive - Levi was the one asking prying questions and inferring things about his bowel movements. What if he did have trouble in the bathroom on occasion, though? His job was stressful, and he didn’t see what the big deal was.

Although...it was frustrating and uncomfortable at times, and medicine was expensive. Levi’s comment about the tea had caught his attention, his curiosity easily outweighing the embarrassment he might have felt over this conversation

“There is?”

Levi looked at him, his eyes widening for a second as if he hadn’t expected him to ask that. By doing so, he was basically admitting what Levi was teasing him for, but instead of making more jokes, Levi nodded.

“Green tea. I think it tastes like shit, but I have a box of it. You can have it if you want to give it a try. ” Levi said.

Erwin smiled at him then, at the sudden display of thoughtfulness and the offer to share something that would help him - even if it was minor. Levi noticed his look, and his face dropped back into its usual scowl. “You’re more of an old man than I thought.”

Erwin just laughed, walking over to bend down so he could give Levi a quick kiss. “The tea would be appreciated.”

“Go away. You stink.” Levi muttered, his words only causing Erwin to do the opposite.

After dinner that night, not only did Levi bring him his entire supply of green tea, but also a freshly brewed cup of it, setting it on his desk without a word.

Erwin eyed where he’d put it on the edge of his desk, a small smile playing on his lips as he watched Levi retreat to go sit down and drink a cup of his own beloved black tea. Any lingering embarrassment he might have felt over the situation was gone now, replaced by a warm feeling in his chest that had everything to do with Levi’s subtle, quiet attempt to care for him. It was a showing of affection, and even though Erwin did not particularly enjoy tea, the cup Levi had brought him tasted better than any other he had ever had.

Levi had been right, too. It also did wonders for his constipation.

There were other aspects of his privacy that he certainly gave up too, but much of it didn’t matter. Levi had already seen him naked and things like that, and after catching him going to the bathroom to relieve his bowels, he supposed there weren’t many other boundaries to cross that could be worse than that.

Apart from his privacy, though, and his rest, he also gave up most of his free time. He didn't have that much to begin with, but typically he would have an extra hour or two at night before he went to sleep, unless they were close to an expedition and he had to work late. But when he didn’t, he liked to use these hours to have a drink and then retired to bed early, usually with a good book or a crossword puzzle. He found those activities relaxing and distracting in a good way, and to him, there was nothing more satisfactory than finishing a long book or an extremely difficult puzzle.

Because he barely got any spare time as it was, Erwin valued these extra hours a lot. However, the closer he and Levi grew and the more he started staying in his room, it became obvious that his reading and puzzle time was no longer going to be guaranteed.

One night he'd been sitting in the middle of the bed, deep in concentration on finishing a crossword that he’d been working on for days, when Levi walked in. Erwin murmured a greeting when he heard his footsteps but barely looked up, vaguely recognizing the sounds of Levi going to the bathroom to take a shower. He was so engrossed in the puzzle that he didn't notice Levi was taking almost three times as long as he normally did, and by the time he came out and started walking around, he only had a few difficult questions left.

"Erwin." Levi said suddenly, from somewhere across the room.

"Hm?" Erwin grunted after a few moments of silence, his brows drawing down in concentration. The answer to this one problem was right on the tip of his brain, he was so close to figuring it out, it had to be-

The thought was gone when the sound of Levi huffing loudly distracted him, and even though he didn’t look up, he heard the quiet patter that was his bare feet crossing the floor. Then, the next thing he knew, Levi was in his lap, having climbed onto the bed and ripped the crossword out of his hands, throwing it to the side all in one fluid motion.

"What's so damn interesting about that puzzle?" Levi asked, seating himself so he was straddling Erwin’s hips.

"Ah-" Erwin started, looking to where his paper had landed before going back to Levi, stopping as soon as his eyes fell on him and he realized he was completely naked from the waist down.

All he was wearing was a shirt - a white button down that he must have just thrown on after getting out of the shower. It was one of Erwin’s shirts, obvious from how large it was on him, and he had left it open so that Erwin had a full view of his bare torso, the muscles compacted tightly all the way down to his thighs and already hard cock. Everything below his waist was framed by the edges of the open shirt, draped over the tops of his legs enticingly.

"Are you going to work on that shit all night?" Levi spoke up again, lifting his hands to pull Erwin’s reading glasses off of his face.

He tossed those aside too, and then started rubbing his palms along Erwin's chest. His words prompted Erwin to glance away from him for a second and back to the puzzle again, at where Levi had carelessly tossed it aside along with his pencil.

He'd been enjoying it immensely, but was he going to finish it now? No, of course not, he thought, not when he had Levi basically naked and on top of him, so fresh out of the shower that there were still droplets of water all along his skin from where he’d dried off too quickly. His hair was still damp too, pushed back except for a few strands that had escaped to fall delicately into his face.

Even if his cock hadn't been hard, it was obvious what he wanted from the flush across his cheeks and the way he was looking at him, running his hands all over his chest eagerly. He bent after another second to kiss at Erwin's neck, running his tongue down along his skin to nip at his collarbone.

"Not anymore." Erwin murmured in a low voice, unable to resist any longer with Levi's warm mouth on him. He planted his hands on Levi’s thighs and squeezed when Levi bit him again harder, sliding his hands up to grasp at Erwin's neck.

"I didn't think so." He said, tilting his chin up and moving in to capture Erwin’s lips.

When Levi kissed him, it immediately became apparent how worked up he was. His mouth was eager, his hands excited as they ran all over Erwin's skin, trailing down between them so he could stick one inside Erwin's pajamas to wrap thin fingers around his cock. He was half hard already but Levi seemed determined to get him fully erect as fast as possible, stroking him quickly and twisting the head, pulling away to lick and bite at his neck and chest again.

A second later and Levi kissed him on the mouth again, sucking on his tongue while he shifted his hands away. Erwin thought he might have been pulling something out of his shirt pocket, but it was hard to tell when he’d also started grinding their hips together, and hard. He was getting oil, though, Erwin realized a second later, when Levi pulled away again to spread the cool, slick liquid over his dick.

"Levi, what-" He panted, wondering what he was doing when he’d had no preparation.

"I opened my ass in the shower." Levi cut him off, raising himself up onto his knees and directing his length between his legs. "Why did you think I was in there for so long? Or did you not notice, since all your attention was on that damned puzzle?”

“Does it matter? You certainly have my attention now.” Erwin answered immediately, sliding his hands around to cup Levi’s ass.

He spread his cheeks, his fingers gripping and digging into the ample flesh, slipping one in between to rub at his entrance and confirm that he had, in fact, opened himself up like he’d said. While in the shower, apparently with the intent to come out here and climb into his lap. The thought of Levi doing that to himself was enough to make his stomach tighten in arousal, so much so that he wished he hadn’t been working on his crossword puzzle and missed it.

He’d meant what he said about Levi having his attention, of course; ‘that damned puzzle’ as Levi had so nicely put it was now the furthest thing from his mind, especially once he started lowering himself onto his cock without another word. He exhaled when the first inch or so slipped inside him, a noise that sounded more like a pleased sigh than anything else.

By now, Erwin should have been used to how quickly Levi was able to adjust and how he found enjoyment out of being stretched, but he still couldn’t keep his eyes off of him as he sank down. He lowered himself slowly but steadily and didn’t stop once, keeping his eyes locked on Erwin’s until he bottomed out, his mouth hanging open in a silent moan. He started moving almost as soon as he was seated, rolling his hips and building up a pace until he was riding Erwin as fast and as hard as he could.

Erwin just held onto his hips to help guide him, content to let him take what he wanted because he was such a sight to behold like this. He enjoyed watching him, staring while he fucked himself on his cock and listening as his moans grew louder. It was the best view he ever had of him while they were doing this, the sight of him letting go completely - throwing his head back and arching, leaning back to grasp Erwin's thighs for more leverage, bouncing in his lap enthusiastically until his legs were trembling and he looked strung out from the pleasure - doing as much for Erwin as if he was pinning him down onto the bed and fucking him hard himself.

It didn't take long for Levi to get to that unrestrained state, either, not when he had control of his hips completely and the angle at which Erwin's dick was pressing in. Half the time, he usually didn't even need to jerk off to finish when he was riding him like this, and sure enough, a few minutes later Levi was calling out his name, squeezing his eyes shut and coming all over himself messily without warning. He groaned and only started touching himself then, the muscles in his stomach visibly tight while he stroked his cock, squeezing as much of the white fluid as he could out of it. It wet his hand and ran down his length, dripping over his balls to pool onto Erwin’s stomach in a sticky puddle.

“Fuck.” He cursed, his voice hoarse and his breath short. “Your dick feels so good. Erwin-”

He cut himself off to grind down on it, gasping when Erwin suddenly shifted, sitting up and pushing Levi off of his cock and down onto his back.

“I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.” Erwin murmured, grabbing his arms, moving them above his head to hold his wrists together with one hand. “But I think its my turn now.”

Levi moaned sharply when he pushed back in, spreading his legs for him and lifting his hips so Erwin could fuck him as hard as he wanted. He drove into him, focusing on how Levi felt around his cock, warm and tight and slick from the oil, and lowered his head to kiss him. Levi bit at his lips and squirmed in his grip, trying to wind him up even now, even after he’d already finished. It worked, because Erwin just pulled away, tightening his hold on Levi’s wrists, thrusting into him harder and snapping his hips faster until Levi’s eyes were squeezed shut again and his mouth was hanging open.

Erwin finished quickly after that, burying his face into Levi’s neck and coming with a rough groan. It hit him so hard he stopped thrusting instantly, just pushed his cock deep inside Levi’s ass and froze, shuddering and panting through his orgasm. A few seconds later and he lifted his head, lazily kissing up Levi’s neck and jaw until he got to his lips.

Then he rolled off of him rather roughly because he was still trying to catch his breath, landing with something soft right underneath his ass that made a crumpling sound.

It was his crossword puzzle, he realized immediately, lifting his head and reaching down to tug it out from under him.

“You’re going back to that shit already? Unbelievable.” Levi muttered from beside him, his quiet.

“No.” Erwin answered, tossing it onto the floor. “Of course not. Otherwise, I couldn’t do this.”

At the same time as he spoke, he rolled back over, wrapping an arm around Levi and pulling his back to his chest. It made Levi squirm, and even though Erwin couldn’t see his face, he could imagine the deep frown he was likely sporting, along with a heated, scarlet blush.

“Dammit.” He muttered. “We’re going to be stuck together now. I just took a fucking shower.”

He was referring to the come - his own come, to be as specific as possible - that had spilled all over Erwin’s stomach and was now pressing against his back. Erwin just smiled into his hair where he was burying his nose, chuckling a little and pulling him in tighter.

“I wouldn’t mind.”

“Of course you wouldn’t, pervert.”

Erwin said nothing else, just kissed the back of his neck and tried to relax. Although he’d said he wasn’t going to work on the puzzle, the longer he laid there the more his thoughts began to drift - most of them going back to it and how he’d been almost finished. It was one of the hardest crosswords he’d ever done, and he’d been working on it for days. But he was with Levi now, holding him in his arms while he fought sleep. The puzzle could wait, and he would have time to  work on it again tomorrow night, hopefully.

Erwin never did finish that crossword puzzle, though. In fact, at this point, he didn’t think he had finished any puzzles or books at all, at least not any he was reading for recreational purposes. Any extra time he’d had for those things was usually occupied by Levi now, and when it wasn’t, he’d always end up getting interrupted with something else.

It wasn’t that he was complaining, though, of course not. He enjoyed every minute he got to spend with Levi, working or not, and was grateful for it because in their line of work, time was precious. Reading and puzzles were probably the closest things he had to a hobby, but he would gladly set them aside at any time if it meant he got to be with Levi instead.

When it came down to it, Erwin just wanted him to be happy. That was why he didn’t mind making sacrifices like adjusting how he slept, or letting Levi care for him even if it embarrassed him, or even giving up his reading time because Levi wanted Erwin to rub his feet. It was all minor anyway, and if it pleased Levi then it pleased him too - probably because before, it was hard for him to imagine that he could ever make someone happy like that. And even though Levi was hard to read for some people, Erwin had learned enough about him by now to recognize that he was content - content enough to start cleaning Erwin’s room and office like it was his own.

That was how Erwin knew he felt fully comfortable with him and their relationship, when he walked into his office one afternoon to find Levi decked out in what Erwin liked to affectionately call his ‘cleaning maneuver gear’, standing on a stepstool and dusting his bookshelves. He’d seen Levi cleaning his own rooms and other common areas around their headquarters like this, of course, but never his own, and he paused when he caught sight of him to raise an eyebrow.

Levi was so concentrated on what he was doing that he barely noticed Erwin entering, though, only glancing at him once from the side before he adjusted the cloth around his mouth and stood up on his tiptoes to reach a far away spot.

Erwin couldn’t help but smile to himself then. The sight warmed his heart - it had been some time since Levi had started staying in his room, but Erwin thought he had never looked more at home than he did right then, diligently cleaning and straightening up with just as much care as he would if it was his own space.

And - although he’d wouldn’t dare to say so - he also thought Levi looked cute reaching back on his toes, mainly because it gave Erwin a terrific view of his small, round ass.

He walked across the room, giving Levi’s back a smile. The lighthearted feeling lasted up until he reached his desk, circling around behind it to sit down so he could get some work done, only to stop with a frown when he realized something wasn’t quite right.

Everything on his desk had been rearranged, all the items moved from the usual spots Erwin preferred them to be in and laid out neatly elsewhere. His papers were stacked in the center of the desk, and the surface was free of the clutter that normally occupied it, the wood clear of dust and polished so that it shined spotlessly.

Levi had done it, obviously, Erwin thought as he slowly took a seat. He took his jacket off, placing it over the back of his chair, and found the report he had been working on right on top of the stack of papers. When he reached for his fountain pen, though, his hand automatically stretching out to where he normally kept it in the corner, it wasn’t there. He frowned, eyes sweeping around his desk, only to see it in a new spot where he was quite sure there had been a stack of books before.

The books were gone now, though, and Erwin glanced up to where Levi had moved on to the next bookshelf as he grabbed his pen. He was still dusting, and was oblivious to the growing struggle happening behind him.

For some reason, Erwin was irked that Levi had moved his things. He never thought he was particular about how the items on his desk were arranged until now, when every time he went to reach for something it wasn’t there because it had been moved somewhere else or put into a drawer. It was slowing him down and caused him to start to become frustrated about an hour into working, when he had to stop to open all of his drawers and dig around in them before he could find his ruler.

He felt a sudden flash of irritation at Levi when he finally found it three minutes later, wishing he hadn’t felt the need to clean his desk and move all of his things, and grimaced as he pointedly put the ruler back where it belonged.

“What’s with that face?” Levi said suddenly, climbing down from where he had just finished cleaning Erwin’s last bookshelf. “Do you need some more green tea?”

“No, Levi.” Erwin said, his reply perhaps a little too short.

He regretted it immediately even though Levi didn’t even seem to notice, trying to squash down the annoyance that he felt. Did this really matter? Levi had cleaned his office, a gesture that he should be thanking him for because he never had time to do it himself. The room was spotless and probably hadn’t looked this good in years, but still, couldn’t Levi have done it without touching his desk?

Erwin could’ve said something, but he didn’t want to hurt Levi’s feelings or make him angry. He certainly didn’t want to do anything to make him feel like he wasn’t wanted here, especially over something so minor. Getting irritated over something like that was childish, anyway, he figured, so he just cleared his throat and gave Levi what he hoped was a reassuring smile.

“Its nothing.”

“Whatever, you weird old man.” Levi said, his gentle tone belaying his words, and turned to go focus both his attention and duster on something else.

Erwin managed to finish his work with a calm mind, and over the next few days his things returned to their proper places until he forgot all about it. However, a few weeks later, it happened again. This time when he came to his office Levi was nowhere to be found, but he had obviously given everything a good cleaning. The room was so tidy it was practically glimmering, and as Erwin approached his desk, he frowned, noticing that everything on top of it had been moved again.

He sighed, sitting down and reaching for his pen that was once again sitting in the wrong corner, and got to work. He tried to ignore it, but he was very busy and the time it took to locate the things he needed made finishing the reports last almost twice as long. He grew increasingly aggravated until he finally finished, but then he was done and felt more positive, and by the time he saw Levi again he had talked himself out of saying anything. It happened again though, twice more so that Erwin knew Levi wasn’t going to stop doing it, and he finally decided that he’d had enough.

“Levi.” Erwin said, approaching his desk the next time he walked in to find Levi cleaning again. He was scrubbing the floor, and even the sight of his ass sticking up in the air wasn’t enough to quell Erwin of his irritation when he saw that just like every other time, his desk had been cleared with everything rearranged neatly. “This has to stop.”

He turned halfway, fixing Levi with a frown as he rose up onto his knees, tugging the cloth down from around his mouth to set his gaze on Erwin.

“What has to stop?” He said slowly, his face and voice blank.

“This.” He said, gesturing vaguely behind him. “I appreciate what you’ve been doing, but its not working for me. I can’t get anything done like this. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to ask that you don’t do this anymore.”

“Don’t do what, Erwin? What the fuck are you talking about? Just spit it out, you bastard!”

Levi had stood up, his brows drawn down angrily and his mouth hanging open. It made Erwin’s eyes widen because he hadn’t expected him to get this upset so quickly, but at this point, it only made him more irritated. It was his desk, not Levi’s, and while he was glad to share nearly every aspect of his life with him, why couldn’t he still have this one thing? Hadn’t he made plenty of other sacrifices, given him what he wanted and done his best to try and make him happy at his own expense?

“My desk. I don’t want you to clean my desk anymore, Levi. You rearrange all my things, and I can’t find them. It slows me down, and -”

“Is that what you’re being so dramatic about? Shit, I thought you were-” Levi paused, dropping the scrubbing brush he still held in his hand back into the bucket on the floor, and then pulled off his gloves. “Never mind.”

Erwin watched him toss his gloves onto the ground too, blinking at his sudden change in demeanor. “So, you’re not angry about this?”

“Why would I be angry? If you want your desk to look like a shitty pigsty all the time, that’s your business. All you had to do was say something. How sensitive do you think I am?”

Erwin opened his mouth to answer, but then decided that was one question he probably shouldn’t respond to. So instead, he smiled, relief washing through him because he’d finally gotten this off his chest, and it had gone much better than expected after Levi had misunderstood.

He walked forward, wrapping his arms around Levi’s waist and lifting him off the ground for a hug, pressing his face against his chest.

“Hey.” Levi said, making an indignant sound at being picked up before he slid his own arms around Erwin’s neck. “What’s the big deal?”

“You’re being understanding. Thank you, Levi.”

Erwin heard the ‘tch’ from above him, a sound that made him just smile wider, and felt Levi’s thin fingers trailing through the back of his hair gently. He didn’t have to see his face to know that he was probably blushing, especially once Erwin tilted his head up to gently kiss his neck and felt him squirming.

“You think too much for your own good, old man.” He muttered after a moment. “But, does this mean the rest of your office is off limits too, or what?

Erwin chuckled. “I don’t mind if you clean the rest of my office. It looks very nice in here when you do. Just don’t touch my desk.”

He tilted his head up further to look at Levi’s face, finding him staring over his shoulder at his desk with a frown. He thought he almost looked forlorn, but after a moment he nodded, looking down at Erwin over his cheeks.

“Fine.” He said, a frown still on his face as he bent his head to kiss Erwin. “Now put me down. I’m not done scrubbing this filthy floor.”

Erwin couldn’t resist kissing him a few more times while he had him in his arms before he finally set him down, and watched fondly as Levi brushed himself off and went to go put his gloves back on. He walked around his desk to get to work, sitting down and rearranging his things back how he liked them, content with the knowledge that Levi wasn’t going to move them again.

He worked quietly while Levi finished cleaning, sneaking glances at him while he was scrubbing the floor until he was done. By then it was almost dinner time, and Levi left to go eat with Erwin following soon after. They completed their evening rituals separately, and when Erwin was done, he was almost overjoyed to find that he had about an hour of extra time left before bed to start a new book he’d been wanting to read.

As soon as he got comfortable in bed and made it a few chapters in, though, Levi walked in, carrying two cups of tea - one green cup for Erwin, and one black cup for himself. When he set Erwin’s down on the bedside table closest to him, Erwin glanced at his face, taking in the thin sleep pants he was wearing and the loose shirt - another one of Erwin’s, so big on him that it was falling off his shoulder.

He wore a pensive expression, and after Erwin thanked him with a small smile, he went over to his side of the bed and crawled in. Together they drank their tea in silence with Erwin still reading his book, and when they were both done Levi scooted over to lean against him, tilting his head up to plant a wet kiss against his neck.

“If I were to slide a hand in your pants, would I find you hard?” Erwin asked quietly, turning a page before he wrapped an arm around Levi’s shoulders, having some idea of what he likely wanted.

“Yeah.” Levi breathed, placing one more kiss against the corner of Erwin’s mouth before he settled his head against his chest. “Just keep reading your damn book, though.”

Erwin raised an eyebrow, taking his gaze off the words in front of him to look down at Levi. “Really?”

“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”

“It is. I just wasn’t expecting it, that’s all.”

“That’s probably boring as hell.” Levi muttered, diverting his eyes and biting his lip before he spoke again. “But its not like you ever get to read, anyway, and I know you like that shit.”

Erwin smiled, a light feeling blossoming in his chest when he realized what Levi was doing. He wanted to have sex, that was obvious, but he was willing to let Erwin read. Just as Erwin had sacrificed his extra book and puzzle time for Levi before, now Levi was doing the same thing in reverse - sacrificing his want for Erwin in favor of letting him relax. And this was after he’d agreed to not clean Erwin’s desk earlier that day, too.

“That’s very thoughtful of you, Levi.” Erwin said, turning his head to brush his lips against Levi’s forehead gently. “Thank you.”

“Whatever. Its just a book. I’m going to sleep.” Levi responded, before rolling over to get comfortable.

Erwin watched him shift under the blankets for a moment fondly before going back to his book, only to be interrupted again when Levi spoke up not even a minute later.

“Erwin. You do that shit too, you know.” He said quietly, his back to Erwin and his face pressed into a pillow. “You let me have stuff, and do what I want. You-”

“I know what you’re saying, Levi.” Erwin interrupted, because Levi had started to squirm, his voice growing tense with frustration as he struggled to explain what he meant. He was referring to all the things Erwin had sacrificed or adjusted in their relationship, obviously, and it made Erwin feel pleased that he had noticed, even if he wasn’t sure where he was going with this.

Levi was quiet for a moment where Erwin could imagine he was chewing on his lip, fighting the pink dusting that was likely warming his cheeks.

“Thank you.” He finally said, whispering the words so lightly that Erwin almost didn’t hear him.

He had though, and it made him smile again, warmth making his heart pound as he reached over to run a hand through Levi’s hair in a reassuring response. He didn’t say anything else, just let the comfortable silence hang in the air as he went back to his book, although it was hard to concentrate on it with the content feeling inside of him and because he kept repeating what Levi had said to him in his mind.

Soon, Levi fell asleep and Erwin gave up, deciding that he had read enough for the night. The fondness he felt for the other man was distracting him too, making him want to lie next to him even though Levi had given him this time to read. Closing the book and setting it aside, he pressed his chest to Levi’s back, wrapping an arm around his side and tucking his knees underneath his. It didn’t take him long to drift off like this, falling into a deep, satisfied sleep, waking up to feel more rested than he had in months.