Eren had of figured this would happen, but it still hurt.
It had been a normal day really, they had trained and and eaten as they always did. Eren had worked up his courage for weeks and he finally asked the captain to follow him out into a secluded field where no one would look for them.
He`d turned around abruptly to face his captain.
“Captain Levi, I like you! P-please accept my feelings” He shouted as he bowed in front him and shut his eyes, afraid to meet the man`s. They were the only ones around, no one would hear him except the captain, the wind blew around the two as Levi had stared at him, blankly.
“No.” He said. Eren`s eyes shot open but he didn`t move from his bowing position. He kept his head and body lowered as he spoke, he couldn`t possibly look at the captain right now.
“W-why?” Why indeed, he`d known this would happen but he still...
“You`re still just a brat, ask me again when you become an adult.” Levi told him, and he just... left. How could he be so cruel? To break his 16-year-old heart to pieces so violently? But Even as tears gathered in his eyes and fell to the ground in his still-bent stance, he found solace in one thing.
He still had a chance.
He tried again. A year later, on the very same day. At 17 he`d grown up quite a bit, he was taller, smarter, stronger than he was a year ago, so many things had changed about him now. Except one. His feelings for his captain. They`d gone on as they has before when Eren confessed to him. It seemed Levi ignored his hurt looks and tears in private until they stopped and Eren set to be better the next time.
Thankfully the captain wasn`t as cruel as his rejection had been, he never told a soul about Eren`s feelings or his confession. Somehow he felt Mikasa and Armin knew though, they`d comforted him when he cried for hours and while Armin had been there for him to lean on and hold, Mikasa had sworn to find out who hurt him so badly. The very next day she was glaring holes into the captain`s head, they both knew, but they were too kind to tell him they did, or worse, tell him he would never be with him.
But now, just weeks after his 17th birthday, his heart had healed and he was ready to try again.
They had been sent to grab supplies together that night, just them two. Well rather, he`d volunteered but Levi told him it wasn`t safe to go out on your own at night so he`d come along. He saw it as his chance, as they entered the supply shed far from their current HQ, Eren spoke,
“I have something to tell you captain.” He said suddenly, Levi stiffened a bit but soon relaxed again.
“I thought you might.”
“Captain Levi, please accept my feelings for you!” He shouted just as loudly as last time, maybe he bowed even deeper and awaited his response.
Could a heart shatter? Because surely his was in a million pieces.
“But, but you said...” Eren`s broken voice questioned, once again Levi`s face didn`t change, he looked at the scene without emotion.
“I said when you were an adult. You`ve still got a year.” He said simply, and again, just like all those months ago, he left. He left Eren shell shocked and hurt in that supply shed, leaving the work to him and heading back on his own.
This time Eren didn`t stay bent forward, this time his crumpled to the ground, onto his knees. Rejection, again, it felt so much more bitter the second time, it felt like acid on his skin and someone tearing out his heart. It felt like something he was promised was wrenched away from him, like something he wanted forever was just an inch out of reach.
He wanted to say his feelings for Levi were misplaced and move on, it would be so much easier, but he couldn`t, he loved him. It wouldn`t change no matter how much his heart took from him. And he just couldn`t give up, one more year he`d said, just one more time and he`d be done.
Just one more time.
When Eren had first confessed to him, Levi had not been surprised. He seen the way the kid would blush and look away when he met his eyes, or how he would stare when he thought he couldn`t see. It had been... endearing, he`d had many cadets after him before of course, but he was fond of Eren, perhaps too fond.
So when they had stopped in that field two years ago and he`d shouted his feelings so clearly, Levi had wanted to say yes, truly he did, he wanted to pull Eren close and tell him their feelings were the same. But he couldn`t, and it was because he loved Eren that he couldn`t.
It burned to tell him no, to deny what they both felt, but Eren was too young, he wasn`t in his right mind, surely if he were more mature he`d realize that Levi wasn`t anything to be chased after and he could do so much better. Though it hurt him to listen to Eren`s sobs as he walked away, he told himself he was doing the right thing, that Eren would find someone who wasn`t an old man with a shit personality and nothing to offer him except his darkened heart.
He`d listened when Eren would curl up in his cell afterwards, and cry, as though he would ever bring himself to barge in and comfort him. He felt Ackerman`s glare upon him and he`d let her corner him in his office, let her hit him and kick him and yell at him.
He didn`t even flinch, her blows were nothing compared to what he felt, what he`d been through already, so he let her vent.
Eventually Eren stopped turning his hurt, betrayed gaze on him, stopped whimpering in the night, stopped staring longingly after him and Levi thought maybe he`d forgotten about him then. Maybe he`d found someone who would offer him the world and was truly worthy of his affection, why did that hurt him so badly?
He`d pushed those feelings down and carried on, telling himself he was happy for Eren and he was sure Eren was happy with whoever had his heart now.
On that night when he`d confessed to him once more, when he`d told him he needed to tell him something, he`d thought, he was going to ask him to meet his beau, or start gushing over them. He`d known Eren would tell him one day but he really didn`t want to hear.
But Eren had confessed to him.
And he`d said no.
How could he? Why would he? Anyone would ask, it was because he loved Eren and he wanted to to this right, if Eren still wanted him when he was a man, then Levi would run into his arms without question. But right now Eren was still too young, still too naive, and he kept telling himself he was going to find someone better.
Eren wasn`t the only one who`d broken down that night, Levi had gone to his room, he`d sat on his bed and stared at the ceiling for only a few minutes before the tears started flowing. Damn it, damn it, damn it. Damn that brat and his gorgeous eyes and dazzling smile, damn him and his undying feelings for him, damn him for caring for Levi when he could have whoever he wanted in these forsaken walls.
He`d sobbed into his pillow like a teenager, he`d talked to himself aloud, why didn`t you just say yes? Why couldn`t you just let yourself have him?
Because he loved him, and they had to do this right.
It was his 18th birthday, everyone was cheering for him, they`d thrown a party and even bought an expensive cake from Sina. Eren was honored his friends thought so highly of him, even if they were obligated to now. After his hard work and growth he`d been promoted to Lieutenant, Levi`s Lieutenant to be exact. After last year`s confession, he`d been a man about it, he`d swallowed his hurt and tears that very night and he acted like nothing was wrong.
It hurt at first, when he`d been promoted, to be around Levi so much more, but at the same time it was all bittersweet because he`d give to world to be just a little closer.
Jean let out a whiny of a laugh as he slapped his back in congratulations, snapping him out of his thoughts. He chuckled along with him, his eyes trailed fondly over his laughing comrades until he faltered. No, he froze.
Levi leaned against the doorway of the mess hall, where the party went on, he wasn`t making a particular face, but he was looking straight at him and it made Eren`s breath hitch. Noticing he`d been spotted, the captain moved away from the wall and walked away.
Eren stood up, startling the rest of the party goers,
“Ah, I`ll be right back, I`ve gotta use the bathroom.” He lied, keeping his voice light and laughing. His friends took it as it was and waved off his departure, as soon as he was out of their sights, he darted in the direction Levi had disappeared in.
He looked around corners and into rooms but it seemed the captain had a knack for not being there when he wanted him to. Of course he was in the very last, but most obvious place he`d checked, that being his office.
“Captain.” He`d breathed when he finally saw the man sitting at his desk. He closed the door lightly behind him, locked it just in case Levi tried to leave again.
“Hey Eren.” He answered.
Eren gulped, the fear of rejection paralyzing him, but he shook his head harshly in order to push the feeling back down.
“Captain Levi, won`t you accept my feelings?” He said softly, he didn`t shout, he didn`t bow before him, instead he sounded broken, if you tell me no again, I don`t think I`ll be able to take it, his tone said.
Levi stood up from his desk, not saying a word, and marched up to him. Eren`s heart pounded, he`s going to say no, he`s going to reject you, he doesn`t want you, his thoughts plagued, as Levi stopped directly in front of him, his eyes lowered to his boots and bangs covering his eyes.
Levi`s lips crashed into his, the captain`s arms wrapping around the back of his head to pull him close. Shocked as he was Eren pulled him towards him immediately, he turned his head to slot their mouths together and sighed in contentment.
Levi arched against him, pressing his smaller body onto his own, he stumbled backwards when Eren made to move, never breaking their desperate kiss. They tripped across the room and fell onto the chaise lounge in the middle of his office, tripping over the arm and falling onto it.
Levi moaned as Eren weight fell atop him, pressing him into the cushions, his hands went all over the boy- no, man`s chest and wandered beneath his shirt, dancing across his hardened abs and scars.
Eren began to grind his hips against him then, causing him to let out an embarrassingly high pitched whine.
Eren chuckled, fucking chuckled above him, and when he flashed that mischievous smirk down at him, he wondered how he could`ve thought this boy was anything but mature.
“Here captain, let me show how much I`ve grown up” He purred.
They breathed heavily as they went limp on the lounger, completely spent.
“How was I?” Eren mumbled between breathes.
Amazing, perfect, wonderful, mind-blowing, all those things came to Levi`s mind at once.
Eren laughed, he knew what a job well done meant from Levi. Still, there was one thing keeping him from saying this night had been perfect.
“Levi, do you like me?” He had to know, even if this implied as much he had to hear him say it.
What? This had to be a joke, please let this be a joke.
“You idiot, I love you.”
Eren blinked, but a wide smile broke out on his face in seconds. His squeezed Levi against him happily, making the man grunt,
“I love you too captain.” He whispered.
After all this time, everything was finally right.