You froze as the two men stared each other down, Erwin with unwavering confidence, Levi with barely restrained anger.
“What is he doing here?” Levi snarled again.
You pulled your hands out of Erwin’s grasp and rushed to Levi’s side, but you were too late. The shorter man had already stridden forward, fists clenched and his face set with determination and fury. Erwin stood to meet him, expression grim, blue eyes never leaving those of the advancing man. Levi stopped before the Commander, gazing up into the face of the towering blonde soldier. Despite the obvious height difference, Levi stood as if he was ten feet tall, and Erwin faced him with a look that exuded a confidence that would intimidate any man. But Levi wasn’t any man.
Levi’s fists clenched. You opened your mouth in an attempt to dissuade him, but Erwin beat you to the punch.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said softly. “I could have you arrested at any time.”
Levi froze, face livid. “You brought back-up.”
Erwin nodded, though he knew it wasn’t a question. “The Military Police’s finest, awaiting my signal if anything should go wrong.”
Levi shot a glance toward the front window, but was met only by darkness. Still, he proceeded with caution. He relaxed his fists and reached out, pulling you to his side. You breathed a sigh of relief. The last thing you needed was a fight on your hands. His arm circled your waist protectively as he stared Erwin down.
“What do you want? Here to steal [Name] back?” He was only half joking.
Erwin laughed, short and bitter. “I wouldn’t need to steal her if you were locked up, would I?” You looked between the two men in horror. “But I won’t do that,” he continued. “Because I now if I did, she would never forgive me.” He turned his gaze to you in that moment and you saw it – the sadness, the pain. He still loved you, and he had regretted every moment since he had given you up.
“No, I’m here to ask something of you, Levi,” Erwin said, returning his blue gaze to the man beside you.
“I don’t take orders from you. Nor anyone, for that matter.”
“Not an order, a request.”
Both you and Levi were puzzled. “I’m listening,” said Levi cautiously.
“You’re strong, Levi, and smart, incredibly smart, though not in the way most people would expect.”
“Sounds like you have a competitor for my affections, [Name],” Levi smirked. You rolled your eyes, and Erwin ignored him.
“It’s that kind of strength and intelligence that we could use in the Survey Corps. You can say no, and we will leave, but I urge you to at least consider this proposal.”
Levi simply stared at the Commander, unsure that he had heard him right. When Erwin’s stony expression didn’t change, Levi blinked and burst into a fit of harsh laughter. You gaped at him. Since when did Levi laugh?
“You’re serious? You want me in the military?” he shook his head, still smiling slightly. “I guess it’s true what they say about the Survey Corps, you really are insane.”
“I’ll take that as a ‘no’,” Erwin remarked coldly.
“I didn’t say that.”
“You can’t be considering-” you began, staring at him in shock, but Levi cut you off.
“I’ll think on it,” he said, his expression serious.
You were speechless. Levi in the Survey Corps? Levi taking orders? And from none other than his lover’s ex-fiancÚ, no less.
Erwin’s eyes flashed with a hint of triumph. Levi noticed this.
“Hey, don’t get cocky. That wasn’t a ‘yes’ either.”
“I’ll give you three days to give me your final answer. Until then.” Erwin nodded to the both of you, his gaze lingering on yours just a second too long, long enough for you to see the sadness he tried so hard to hide. He left without saying another word.
You turned to Levi. “Really?”
Levi simply looked at you, his expression unreadable. “I’m not sure yet. I need to think.” He smirked suddenly and before you knew it he had you wrapped tightly in his arms, his lips skimming your jawline as he growled low in your ear. “In the meantime…”
You giggled, and almost gave in, but you remembered the promise you made to yourself earlier that night. You shoved him away from you, your anger rekindled.
“Wait just one second. Where the fuck have you been? It’s been three days, Levi, three days and not a word!”
Levi was silent. He tried to pull you back into an embrace, but you dodged his outstretched arms.
“No.” You glared at him, and he glared back with his cold, steel blue gaze. “An explanation. Now.”
He sighed. “I can’t be seen here.”
You opened your mouth to protest, but he cut you off.
“Because it would compromise the both of us.” His voice was insistent. “If I were to be seen coming and going from this place too often, if I stayed too long, it could lead my enemies straight to you. They would use you to get to me, to lure me here or to ambush me. Either way, you would end up getting hurt or worse, and I can’t stand to have that happen.”
Of course, you thought. How did I not come to that conclusion? You cast your gaze downward. “Of course. You’re right. I’m sorry.”
"Of course, they can find me now, thanks to your ex," he growled. "Maybe I should just kill him..."
"Levi!" you cried, horrified.
He smiled ruefully. "It was a joke. Mostly..."
He stepped forward and wrapped you in his strong arms, pulling your head to his chest. “In all seriousness though, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I can’t give you the life you want. But I promise you will never be in danger because of me. I’ll protect you, even if it costs me my own life.”
You looked up at him, teary-eyed. “Levi…”
He took your chin in his hand and tilted your face toward him, pressing his lips against yours. “I love you, [Name]. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
You smiled through your tears. “I love you too.”
He smiled and took your hand, leading you in the direction of your bedroom. He smirked as he looked back at you, a mischievous glint in his eyes.
“Now, let’s go make the most of the time we have together.”