SolaceIt has been five years. Five years since that fateful encounter in the little teashop.Funny, since I’m not the type who believes in fate.. or destiny.. or whatever it is called. I believe in results, decisions, and… choices. After all, it is our own choices that directly affect what happens in the future; be it near or distant. With this belief in mind, I made it through life tackling and coming up with choices when even the most jarring and tight situations call for it.I cannot predict what the future holds. I cannot predict the outcome of my choices. I never did, and I never will.Back then, I have made the resolve to never regret a choice in my life. Regrets will only dull my future choices, and hinder me. And so it is this resolve that has pushed me forward since, and brought me to where I am now.But perhaps, sometimes... somewhere along the way... things just happen and fall into place.It gives me solace, that despite all the many wrong turns, obstacles, and hardships since day one, it seems as though things have eventually proceeded to the way I want them to be. Or at least hoped for them to be. And that even though we make our choices to the situations we’re facing, there is still an unavoidable and invisible force... the force that brings the outcome of our choices to fruition. And perhaps, in some way... this force tells us that we are not entirely at fault for making those choices.I’ve always considered myself a curse. A fucking curse. That despite being the so-called humanity’s strongest soldier, and being part of the mysterious Ackerman clan who served as the King’s protector for generations, I have continuously been unable to use that same strength to protect the people around me and keep them from dying. There was my mother, then Farlan and Isabel. Then I lost my trusted squad, Petra, Kenny, Erwin, and Hange...For what purpose is my strength if I still end up having to lose the people I care for?Back then, I probably wouldn’t have been able to answer. But now, I dare say there is indeed a purpose; a purpose to this strength. That even though it may be a curse, I have put it and can still put it to good use. And perhaps, this is where that force called fate comes in.A low groan escapes my mouth as I grit my teeth at the sudden jolt of pain. Tch. It is no longer as bad as before, and I can do well enough now without the wheelchair or the cane. But damned leg just had to make itself noticed. I guess I’m not getting any younger. I resort to rubbing the side of my thigh for a bit to alleviate the damned sensation.Come to think of it. It is the same leg. The leg that I injured when saving that gloomy brat from the female titan is the same leg that she herself saved from being eaten in that final battle. Who would have thought how the tables would turn? I guess this was what she really meant about getting back at me one day. I could swear she has been out to kill me ever since that day in the courtroom. I allow myself to let out a soft chuckle at the thought.What a brat she is. Strong, reliable, and would always have her head in the game. Out of all the members of the Scouting Legion, she has been the only one who can keep up with me. Never did I ever question her skill and prowess with the blade. Whether it be to slay titans or kill people, she would always get the job done. With that stoic and nonchalant expression on her face, she would efficiently push through the blood-stained battlefield, knowing the target and aiming for it without hesitation.It is undeniable that with the two of us on the same team, a surge of power would rush within me. The kind of power that is felt when one knows what the other is capable of; that once combined, can procure something no less than the unimaginable.What a brat she is. Such a stubborn woman. And heavy, for one. Hadn't I gone to save her that time, she'd have totally lost it. And she possibly would've ended up crushed in the female titan's clutches.But that is one thing that I admire about her. Once she puts her heart into something, she goes all out. Neither standing nor death, is ever thought. It is times like these that she can go reckless. When her mind knows one thing but her soul follows another.As I held her close, I thought to myself. This young woman is someone I need to… No. I want to protect. And I'd risk going through the fires of hell for the pleasure of having her safe in my arms again.It was my choice to save her. I never once thought of blaming her for it, and I don’t regret it until now. But if I were to live that moment again, I still would have done the same thing. Which makes me wonder...Was it also her choice to save me back then? Or did she merely feel indebted? Was it her choice to come into the teashop? Or did she merely have no other shop options?I still remember that encounter very clearly, as though it happened only yesterday., “Captain?!” she was quite surprised to see me.“It’s just Levi. I’m not your captain anymore.” A pause, “Not /a/ captain anymore.”“Uh- right.” Another pause, “I.. I’d like a cup of black tea, sir. With an extra sugar, sir.”“Coming right up.” I turned to begin preparing the ordered beverage but sneaked a glance over my shoulder, “And don’t call me sir.”“Right. Sorry, sir.” She must have noticed as she had quickly added, “Um, I mean.. Levi.”I could’ve sworn I had the widest smile I could muster plastered on my face that time as I was steeping her tea. I didn’t even know why and what for, but I thanked the gods up there that she didn’t notice. It’s probably just the simple joy of seeing an old comrade after years, I told myself; and left it at that. And as I finally brought her the tea, she had quickly reached around her neck in trying to pull up the familiar fabric. Only that the said familiar fabric wasn’t there.“Forgot your scarf today?”She had turned away quite shyly before responding, “I.. I left it behind.. for good.”That’s new, I thought to myself, but it was about damn time too. I had questions, thoughts I wanted for her to address then. But knowing her, and seeing her reaction, I decided not to.“Here’s your order.” And left the cup of tea, with a custard slice and some biscuits to pair it with.“But I didn’t order th-”“It’s on the house.” A pause, “In fact.. everything is on the house.”I had my back turned to her then, but I thanked the gods up there once again that I was able to catch her small pleased smile from the reflection on the glass., Whether it was her choice then or it was fate that worked on it doesn’t matter anymore. The fact that I saw her years after the war ended felt like more than enough reason for me not to question a thing. And so, it became the start of many more encounters between us.She would often visit in the afternoons, right during tea time. Must have been an old habit that has gone hard to break since military days, where all meals are taken altogether at the exact same time every day. Her choice of flavor must also be due to the fact that we had lesser options in the corps, considering times of limited funds.Two retired soldiers just talking, keeping in touch, and… reminiscing the old days of war. Then when the titan brat and the scarf were finally brought up again, she hesitated at first. But eventually, she managed to gather the courage to open up., “Levi…” she had her head dropped whilst glancing over to the side, before looking back up to meet me in the eye, “How do you move on.. from a loss?”I was taken aback by the sudden question. This was unexpected from her. I’ve known about her losses before. Heck, having been part of the Scouts, this shouldn’t be anything new. So why the sudden question now, I thought, and to me of all people?I knew this was different. This was the titan brat she’s talking about, after all. Of course, it would be that difficult. That’s just how much that brat meant to her. I knew. But for some reason, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the question. Or rather, I couldn’t accept that she still had to ask that question... after all this time. A bitter tinge of jealousy gnawed at me and-“For fuck’s sake, Mikasa! Just find another man! With your beau-” a gasp, realization of the word choice dawned on me as I turned away from her gaze, tone falling a bit lower and quieter than normal, “With… with how you look, it shouldn’t be that hard..”I dared not look back, but I felt her eyes on me as though they were piercing through my skull. Shit. What the hell was I thinking, snapping at her like that? I always had a nasty mouth, but that wasn’t my intention. Not rubbing salt on the wound. That raw emotion was now out in the open, and it’s something I can no longer take back. And yet... somehow, somewhere deep within me, I had hoped... hoped that one day... this another man would be me.A sigh.“Look, my mouth is just being an ass. But what I’m saying is, you already took that first step. You let go of your scarf, that one shitty thing you’ve held onto for so long.” A pause, “If you managed to do that, I don’t see how you won’t be able to move on.”It took everything in me to turn my head and face her again. I mentally prepared myself to see the distraught emotion I’ve caused in her eyes. And accept maybe a slap or a punch. Or even both. But the moment our gazes met again, I saw something different.Her eyes were watery, but she wasn’t crying. She was gleaming. Her face radiated what seemed like a sense of relief. It seemed as though she had been waiting for someone to tell her those words. The light reflecting through the window only added to her glow. And for a moment there, I was captivated.Her next action and words didn’t help as it led me flush into bewilderment, all as I was taking in the image of her leaning closer until we were merely centimeters apart. She had placed her hand on mine as she looked deeply into my eyes, determination sparkling from her orbs of gray.“Levi... will you help me?” I couldn’t help but stare back at her wide-eyed and at a loss for words.Help? What did she mean by that? Exactly what kind of help, I thought, and again why me?Several thoughts clouded my head. I suddenly felt a lump in my throat, and I desperately tried to swallow. My cheeks burned, and I was certain it was not because of the ray of light from outside. She must have heard a gulp as she had just as quickly stepped back. She too had wide eyes and her cheeks had turned bright red as she looked away.“I.. I’m sorry.. I.. I didn’t mean it that way.. I was just..” she still didn’t look back and it looked as though her cheeks burned even more.A pause.Damn. One could hear a pin drop at the sudden awkward silence. And the muscle in my chest pulsated in such rapid force, I could almost feel it burst.“I just… I just don’t know who else to turn to…” another pause, “Everyone is living their own lives now. They are either busy with their diplomatic trips.. or with their significant others..”Her voice faded at the last part of the sentence, but I was able to catch it. And I could swear that was a bitter chuckle she let out afterwards. I figured it all out then.“Listen..” I finally spoke again, hand scratching the back of my head as I glanced up the ceiling, as though my next words were to come from there, “I don’t know exactly how I can help you. But one thing is for certain..”I turned to face her again, my own determination psyching me up.“I am with you.”, It took some time afterwards, before we came to terms with our mysterious Ackerman lineage. With the help of Queen Historia and the power of her status, we were able to at least have a glimpse of our ancient roots. Some run-down files and documents happened to be hidden within the oldest archives in the palace and have long been forgotten – or possibly kept for blackmail if the need arises. Our clan has been persecuted and hunted down, after all. But the queen finally gave it to us for safekeeping, and also as thanks for our services, hoping that it would help us gain a better understanding of our origins., “I never thought our clan was this big!”“All these people... have gone through experiments just to create their ultimate weapon. Only for them to be discarded in the end…” I gritted my teeth at the thought.Then I suddenly remembered Kenny, and wondered if he in some way knew about this. He had a connection with Rod Reiss and once took that serum in knowing its purpose, so it wouldn’t be surprising. If only we found out about this earlier, and if only he hadn’t died, we might have had a good old talk about this.She must have noticed that I spaced out as she suddenly nudged me, followed by pointing towards an old and almost faded hand-drawn portrait, “Look, this one looks just like you!”She seemed all too enthusiastic about it, and so I humored her and took the portrait to have a closer look, “He looks nothing like me.”“But look at his hair!” she insisted.“Just because he has the same hairstyle as mine doesn’t mean I look like him, Mikasa.”“Still~!”I knew she was teasing. Or maybe she was just happy to know about our clan members and think of the possibilities. And now that we’re the only ones left, it would make sense that she was eager to learn more. She could have just gone to the Azumabitos and started anew from there, showered in all the riches they could offer and have a convenient life. She deserved that. But she had insisted that she also wanted to know about our connection through the clan, and unravel its mysteries alongside me.There was something in that expression on her face that enthralled me as I observed her take the portrait from my hand. That smile, that damned smile. It seemed as though she was radiating a different kind of light. Observing her finally focus and choose things not by duty or obligation, but by her own free will, felt so refreshing to see. And it only made the already stunning Mikasa Ackerman even more beautiful in my eyes.I am once again reminded that we no longer have to fight. That we have been finally freed from the pressures our superhuman strength imposed on us. That we have been finally freed from the responsibilities that befell a soldier.It was just her... and me. Just the two of us. Together. Two ordinary people... free to explore and live the life ahead of us. And I may not admit it, but the mere thought of it suddenly made me feel giddy.I still didn’t know why she chose to ask me back then. But as someone who has gotten used to the thought of possibly not living another day, probably for the first time... in a long while, I finally had something to look forward to., I take a deep breath as the cool afternoon wind gently comes blowing. And soon my gaze falls upon the yard in front, stretching out to a field into the horizon. The hill up ahead frames the glowing afternoon sun as it comes to its gradual setting. I never would have thought, that someone like me who grew up in the underground, would end up having a hill as a memorable place.Mikasa grew up in the mountains before she was taken in by the Jaegers; and it turns out that she likes being with nature. We were having a casual walk in the outskirts of town one day, when we came across that hill. She seemed so fascinated by it that she had asked if we could go and climb it up. I simply couldn’t refuse. And upon reaching the peak then, we enjoyed the pleasant freeing feeling of being on top of the world, seeing everything from above.It was a different kind of view compared to standing atop the walls, flying with the gear, riding on top of a titan, or even being on that flying boat. The view from there was ethereal, calming, and steady – something that a turbulent life as soldiers could not possibly provide. It felt as though time was just standing still, allowing us to bask in the tranquility of the moment. And if I could, the moment I saw the brightness of her smile and the sparkle in her eyes as she gazed at the horizon, I would have gladly stopped time.Since then, we spent our days together on top of that hill. She would hold me and assist me in walking as though I was still disabled, but she is just being a tease. We had even picked out a certain tree to be our favorite spot. It wasn’t long before the place became our sanctuary; a place where we could just be ourselves... just the two of us together and away from the rest of the world.After closing time in the afternoons, we would observe the sunset. And in the evenings, we would gaze at the stars. And it is on one of those starry nights, that I had decided to finally pop the question., “Mikasa..”“Hm..?”She had been standing on that spot for some time now, that I wondered if my call only disturbed her. That spot had one of the most breathtaking views, especially at nighttime, so I couldn’t necessarily blame her for being enthralled by it. But that small warm smile she gave as she turned to face me was more than enough relief.“We’ve… we’ve been going out for some time now, right?”She gave me a look of disbelief, and the rest of her facial expression only spelled out that it was the most obvious thing in the world. But her lack of words in response only added to my turmoil.Shit. Why did my mouth had to ask such a stupid question with an obvious answer? I swear my mouth moves on its own sometimes. Damn it. She’s never going to respond to that. Fuck that, she’s never going to proceed with this conversation anymore. Shit. Shit. Sh-A laugh.“What’s with the question? Of course, we have, silly! And we still are~”It felt like my heart dropped at the heaviness of the relief that washed over me. Good. That was safe. More than safe, I thought. But it didn’t help one bit, as the muscle in my chest pounded in a throbbing pace at the thought of bringing out my next words. But I had to say it somehow.“I… I was thinking..”“Yes..?”“Thinking if you would want to..”“Want to..?”“If you would want to..”“….”“To stay with me..”I had told her the exact same thing, back in that final battle, before she delivered the finishing blow. But this time was an entirely different situation. And the words held a much more significant and deeper meaning.I saw her eyes widening in response. I couldn’t tell if it was from shock, surprise, or she was still taking in what I just said. Until I mentally slapped myself as she still wasn’t saying a word.“I mean..”I couldn’t take the awkwardness anymore. I hurriedly took out the small box from my pocket. I opened it as I knelt down on one knee on the ground before her.“Mikasa… will you marry m-”I barely even finished the question when I felt her arms around me. I couldn’t even react or say a word. I had frozen in place as she had squeezed me tighter, I could almost feel her heartbeat join with mine. But all the hesitations, all the fears, all the doubts... all washed away as I heard her say..“Yes, Levi.. A thousand times, yes..”The next thing I knew, her lips were on mine in a lingering kiss., A sigh of relief escapes me as the pain on my leg finally subsides. But my eyes remain glued to the hill up ahead as I find myself smiling whilst in solitude. The sky is beginning to change color and soon it will be nighttime. I should bring the cane, just in case.“Papa!”I was just about to stand from the trusty lawn chair when the little boy suddenly perches himself onto my lap; a bright grin on his face as he glances up excitedly at me.“Liam!” a woman’s voice calls out as the figure comes rushing over, “We haven’t finished tying up your shoes yet!”“Mama!” the little boy shrieks as the woman finally reaches us, and gray orbs turn towards me.“Sorry, love. I was chasing our son for a bit in getting him to dress up.”“Stubborn as always, I see.” I chuckle, giving the boy a few pats on his head, “Just like his mother.”“Hey~” she pouts in protest, but lets out a soft smile anyway as she grabs the little boy from my lap to finish tying up his shoes.I take in the sight for a moment; the sight of her tending to our son and fixing him up. The little boy still has that big excited grin plastered on his face, while she has a soft warm expression… and a few stray hairs sticking out of place on the side of her face, probably from that little chase.She hasn’t changed one bit, I think to myself. She is still the same beautiful and caring woman that I’ve known, admired… and loved years ago; with that act of putting others before even thinking of herself. And I find myself smiling once more.She is my solace; the one thing I never knew I needed in a time of war, and the food to my once hungered soul. And who would have thought of me being worthy enough… to even deserve another?I cannot predict what the future holds. But I’d fight forever to keep the two of you close…“Mikasa..”“Hm..?”I keep staring at her as I grab my cane from the side and walk towards her.“Is something wrong..? Something.. on my face?”I reach up and brush my fingers through her stray hairs, tucking them neatly into the back of her ear, “Now, it’s better.”She gives me a warm smile in return as I then feel a tugging on my hand.“Let’s go, papa! We look stars!”“Right. The stars are waiting.”The boy continues to tug on my hand, and she grabs onto my other arm as we set foot for the hill up ahead.I cannot predict the outcome of my choices. I never did, and I never will. But perhaps, sometimes... somewhere along the way... things just happen and fall into place. And all our choices will eventually lead us to where we’re meant to be…,
AttarThe cool afternoon wind blows steadily as I gaze upon the open field. It has been what.. three years..?I glance up at the huge tree whose branches sprouted out like a tarp canvas, giving me some much-needed shade. I slightly shift my position on the ground and my hand suddenly grazes the surface of a cold rock, the rock that served as a tombstone for the one I dearly loved.It has been three years. Three damned lonely years..How many times have I kept coming back here? I’ve lost count. How many tears have I already cried, before and even after all that has happened? I’ve lost track. Was there any point in being here anymore? I don’t know.A sigh escapes me as I finally stand up, glancing back at the lone cold rock. I take hold of the red scarf around my neck before delicately wrapping it around the tombstone.It has been three years. Was it a proper sendoff? I’m not sure. But for some reason, it felt absolutely right. Right in the sense that, I’m giving it back. Maybe as a way of thanks. Maybe as a way of honoring him somehow. Or maybe.. finally letting it all go. It didn’t matter anymore.I head off without looking back, not even once.What was there to look back to anyway? It’s not like he’s going to pop up any moment and call out to me. He’s gone. He’s long gone. I’ve been painfully aware of that fact since. I was the one who ended his life, after all. And yet somehow, it still haunts me to this day. The wound it left may no longer be that excruciating as before. But the thought still haunts me, nonetheless. A demon still lingering in my exhausted mind.I let myself wander along the dirt path in the fields. And so does my mind begin to wander on its own. Reminiscing.. thinking.. wondering..Jean and Pieck seem to be getting along well. Armin and Annie too seem to hang out more often these days. Historia’s baby girl is also growing quickly. Connie is the same old Connie, he’s fine. And Reiner is.. still Reiner.I allow myself to let out a soft chuckle at the thought, and yet it leaves a bitter sting in my mouth. Then I begin to wonder how all their diplomatic efforts are going along. But in the back of my mind, there isn’t a single worry. I know they’re all fine. Fine…I must have spaced out and got too consumed in my thoughts, that I didn’t realize I already reached the district. I normally pass by here whenever I visit the grave since it is the nearest path; or at least one I’m already used to. But for some reason, it feels quite busier than usual with the lot of people around today.For the first time in years, I decide to look around. I was so struck with grief for the past years that I have failed to notice what was around me. A lot has changed. There are more new buildings now, new houses, and new shops in town.Shops. For some reason, the mere thought of the word gets me thirsty. It has been a long walk to and from the grave, after all. I might as well get some refreshments, then be on my way.In my search, I come across a humble little shop. A few wooden tables and chairs line the front. There are a few pots and plants strategically arranged outside, and I know exactly what they were – herbs and edible flowers that can be made into tea. The area has glass windows surrounded by intricate wooden frames, but it is nothing too fancy or extravagant. In fact, it feels warm and cozy. And so.. inviting.I didn’t bother to read the sign. The ambience it gives off is enough for me to push forward and bring myself to its direction. As soon as I enter the shop, the all too familiar scent welcomes me. The mix of earl grey, lavender, vanilla, with a hint of Ceylon sonata fills the air. For a moment there, I allow myself to bask in the warmth and comfort from the familiar aroma. Until my vision catches the figure by the counter on the right.My eyes lock with theirs as the figure finally stood back upright, with a cup being held by the rim in their hand. The all too cold, yet familiar shade of calm blue. The scar lining their face from the right eye down to their lips. The deep, intense, yet ever so gentle gaze.I suddenly feel my chest squeeze. Not from pain, but from relief. Relief that after all these years, it seems as though nothing has really changed. At least.. from him.Maybe.. just maybe.. it is fate. And that it worked for the both of us to meet again. And I may not admit it, but he is a sight for sore eyes. And maybe, just maybe.. he is someone I needed or even wanted to see.. after all these years.My heart can’t help but suddenly flutter as he finally speaks, the corners of his lips turning upward into a small, warm, and soft smile.“Hey, brat..”,
My corporal lover ch.2"Sooo lemme get this straight; you did as I told you…"Nod nod."….. You tried touching him subtly, as I told you…"Nod nod."…then you tripped and fell on top of him…"Nod nod."… and you almost kissed him…"Nod."But you didn't…"Shake shake."….""….""You know, I'm glad you didn't do it. As enticing as that sounded, it still could've ended badly. Even if he looked like he was inviting you to do it, doesn't mean he may be very comfy with it afterwards. We have to wait until you receive his full consent."Nod nod."Hey. He's out there in the backyard washing down Gunner. Why don't you pay him a visit?"!NOD NOD NOD NOD NOD.And that pretty much sums up the conversation I had with Hanji the next day after I was done with my patrol shift. Following my little… slip-up yesterday, Levi excused himself to go to the bathroom – yet something tells me he did something in there other than pissing – before we had our tea together in his office. After having made sure to squeeze tremendous amount of mayonnaise in my cup, he handed it over then sat next to me holding his cup with that magic trick of his while leaning with his head on my shoulder.,Levi doesn't share this physical contact with just anybody. Ever. I've seen him get this close with Hanji and Nanaba and even his own subordinates. It's not anything special. This sort of casual familial gesture seems to be a thing among them. And just because he did the same with me, doesn't mean I should mistake it for anything outside of the friend zone. Heck, I should be glad that he's trusting enough around me to use my shoulder as a headrest.,Really though, who am I to complain?But then he did something that made me think back on this whole friend zone thing. After he was finished with his cup, he set it aside then leaned further on me; as in put-his-head-under-my-arm kind of further. Then snaked his arm across my waist, before curling up into a ball on the couch.Alright, breathe. Remember your yoga lessons. Wait – I don't take any…This is getting more obvious. I wasn't sure how Levi felt about me earlier but this sure as hell could count as an invitation. And before you start on this whole 'friends can snuggle too!' remark, let me state my doubts:Levi is not stupid. Considering what happened in the courtyard, he could've kept his distance but nope, he's basically adding fuel to fire even after I had practically jumped his bones. Instead of acting weird about it, he's just letting it happen.He's an adult. He definitely realizes the difference between romantic and platonic. And the latter doesn't include lying on top of your friend in a physically intimate position. If I hadn't been in love with him, I'd have jumped off of him instantly. Instead I took my time relishing in the feeling of his body against mi – ehem anyway, he didn't fight this one off. And I'm also pretty sure he noticed how I strained to kiss his neck before I thought better of it. Something he didn't seem to have minded nonetheless.Don't you think he wouldn't have welcomed all that if he hadn't returned my feelings? If he didn't, he would have immediately put a stop to all that before it went any further. He wouldn't just counter my signals with this sort of affection if what he feels about me is nothing but platonic or brotherly. He's not a man of nonsense and he's not one to lead people on. In other words, he most likely figured out about me and he's highly aware of what he's doing in return. So far, he hadn't reacted negatively to any of my actions, intentional or not. On the contrary, he seemed to be asking for more. Or at least that's what I like to think.In that case, don't mind if I do.I patted his head and ran my fingers through that hair that's so soft, I could almost hear my fingers slipping through them making that squeaky sound. It contrasted a lot with his rough trademark undercut that seemed to be a trend in this military. Then, hoping he wouldn't mind, I carefully placed my hand on his side. I waited a little to see if he'd move away, but he remained still as a statuette (hehe couldn't stop myself!). Feeling slightly more confident, I proceeded to move my hand to caress that area from his shoulder all the way to his hip while receiving no reaction. He just laid there putty in my hands. See? Told you his lack of reaction is a good thing!It's a sign, I tell you!Unless said reaction included asking for more cuz he changed his position to lay on his stomach then put his head next to my lap then… oh my God! Get this: he took my hand in his then placed it on his back before contently letting his arm hang from the couch. And here's the first thing he said since we entered the room:"Will you give me a massage?" I can die now. I'm really ready to die. If I'm not going to die from smoking, Levi asking me for a massage is enough for me to kick the bucket.,"Of course! Just relax, okay?" and so I started to rub my hand between his shoulder blades in this position all while investing my willpower into not having a cardiac arrest."Oh yeah… That's good..." heart attack coming this way! Oh no! Shoo shoo! Not now! I continued to knead his back in the midst of his small moans of approval while blushing like a baboon's ass. "*Sigh*… Don't stop, Toushi…" uugghh! If only I heard this from you under a different situation!! He laid there silently as I continued to pleasure him – cough, by a massage. Then what seemed to be a torture session for me yet pleasant for Levi has finally ended cuz he sat up looking totally relaxed. Good. If we kept doing this a little longer, my beating muscle would stop… Beating!Right? WRONG!His hair was slightly disheveled. His always sleepy-looking eyes looked even sleepier. And he put a fist to his mouth for a yawn that was too cute for someone his age.,"Thanks, Toushi. That really hit the spot." And before I managed to squeeze out a tiny 'you're welcome', he gave me a peck on the cheek.Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeep….Quiet! I'm not dead! My thump-thump is pretty much up and running! Almost…The adorable bastard put his hand on my flaming cheek then slid it down my neck and chest where he rest his hand. Then whispered in my ear. "It's getting late. Why don't you spend the night here before you go to work tomorrow? You can sleep next to me."Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.----------------------------------------------------After my patrol the next day and having that talk with Hanji, it was close to nighttime. I was standing next to Gunner, Levi's Gegadramon, wearing my yukata. The massive virus digimon's dark head made a striking contrast with the purplish orange sky behind him. He laid completely still on his belly as his tamer stood on his hairy nape hosing him down while holding a soapy brush in the other hand. Sougo stood on a tree branch keeping watch of us down there. Levi's subordinates and their respective digimon/pokemon partners moving about doing whatever, reminding me of those characters from strategy games. Ed's pokemon, a Talonflame named Teya, was flying around in circles and interacting with Sougo once in a while. While his digimon, a Blackgrowlmon named Roy was following him around both arguing loudly about something. Gary, my Garchomp, was standing behind me leaning with his chin on my head as his habit calls.,It's actually become quite a custom that I spend some of my days and nights at the scouts. Since I visit them a lot for long stays, it's only natural that sleepovers also take place. That's why they prepared a room just for me where I keep my extra pajamas, uniform, toothbrush, soap, shampoo and other necessities. Then wake up the next day, get cleaned, dressed, have my morning mayonnaise coffee with them then set off to start my day. Once I'm done, I go back to the scouts' barracks to change into my civil attire. All while keeping my superior updated on my whereabouts and send him reports to let him know I'm still doing my job. Of course, I'd have to go back eventually, especially on emergencies. I only visit the scouts once in a while - perhaps spend a few days with them – but all in all, I go back where I belong and, whenever possible, perform my daily routine at the scouting legion as if I were at my own headquarters.And to be frank, I call this place home more than my own.Not that I'd quit the Shinsengumi to join the scouts. My place is with the samurai police force, I happen to be an ally of the scouting legion as well. Of both things I'm proud."Hold still, Gunner!" I heard Levi and Gunner bickering in the background."I can't! You're getting soap in my eyes!""Then calm down so I could – Ack!" shit! What happened!"Captain!" "Is he okay?" "What happened, Gunner?!" "I didn't mean it! I'm sorry!" "I think he slipped!" The mixed sounds of the panicking subordinates and his digimon's guilty rambling rang in my ears as I hurried to where he had fell to the ground from on top of his still soap-dripping digimon. Feeling Sougo's anxious flapping on top of me not registering the questions he threw at the others, I gently yet hurriedly pushed the kids and the other Familiars out the way to get a better look.Well, this is not good…-----------------------------------------------------"He slipped from on top of me! I just moved a little and he was already greeting the ground!" hollered Gunner as he was being questioned by Hanji.,"Why did you even move in the first place?" she put a hand to her forehead looking awfully stressed over what happened."I was trying to shake the soap of my eyes! It was a natural reaction! I didn't mean to shake him off!""It’s fine, Gunner. Accidents happen. He's in his room now taking a rest. We have to wait till he gets up.""….." poor guy stood there silently for a moment. But he couldn't seem to bear to stay quiet. "Hanji, I'm really sorry…""Commander!" this was none other than Arthur, Kuneida’s Sleipmon. The mystic fox digimon came to us with a new revelation – his massive blade tail shining eerily in the light given off by the lanterns surrounding the backyard’s vicinity. "It wasn't entirely Gunner's fault. His helmet was covered with soap remains and the captain must have slipped on them.",Oh, that explains it. Levi has the elegance of a pharaoh cat, so such klutzy moves definitely aren't like him. Even if his digimon moved a little, it isn't enough for him to lose balance. Unless slippery substances were involved."I wish I could have caught him in time." Ryuki, the Renamon, stated with a bit of guilt.,"No one could've seen that coming, Ryu." Her tamer, Mikasa, consoled her.I couldn't stand like this any longer. So I excused myself to go see Levi in his quarters. Once I was far enough from the others, I heard footsteps hurrying to catch up with me, and then Hanji took me from the arm and lead me to the needed direction like she was reining in a horse.She stopped once we were halfway between the others and Levi's place. And I gave her a look that questioned what she had on mind. "Look. I hate to be that kind of person, but this is your chance to show more love for Levi.""You're basically telling me that I take advantage of his weakened condition so I could go on with my plan to let him know how I feel." I stated in a completely unimpressed monotone voice."No! I'm basically telling you to use his injury as an excuse to start invading his personal space some more!" she whispered feigning indignancy. Yeah, this one wasn't even better. "But seriously, we'll definitely be there for him. All of us will. Just saying that you have to use every opportunity to let Levi know you care for him. Though if you don't have time or got held down by work, then we won't slow you down.""Speaking of personal space…" then I told her about the little extras from yesterday."What! He cuddled with you? Gave you a kiss? And shared a bed?" I wish that last one had a different meaning. "You crafty wolf! Why didn't you tell me!","I kind of forgot. When you told me that he was in the yard, I got a bit excited before I could divulge anymore details.""And so, you hid the part about the fucking massage!" she growled/whispered from behind her teeth."You should've seen him Hanji. He looked like he was having the time of his life.""Considering our field, we surely need every way to relax and relieve some stress. One time, Eren had this wonderful idea that we'd all have massage practice sessions. We googled the steps and tried them on each other. The results were total magic!" I felt like we were a couple of teenagers gossiping together."Heh. This isn't the military anymore. It's a damn spa. You scouts really are something.""Hey now. Even we soldiers need the luxury every now and then. And you should join us for some, too!" the look on her face definitely revealed that she won't take 'no' for an answer. Well, don't have a reason to refuse anyway. "We have multiple activities on our rest and relaxation program. And that includes the copulation activities!" she wiggled her eyebrow in a way worthy of an emoticon gif.,"Ohhh… damn…" oh how I wish to do this specific activity with Levi… not now, Boner! Not now!"From what you have told me, Levi insinuated that he pretty much likes you. We should be checking in on him in his room and you're wasting your cigarette breath on me? Move, pal!""You're the one who…""Move!"-------------------------------------------------"Ugghh…" that was the first articulate thing I've heard from Levi once we had opened his door. He sat up looking actually pretty hilarious. His hair tussled like he just wrestled a warthog. The bags under his eyes looked even baggier. The 'get the fuck away from me' expression compels you to do as it says. All played part in making him look downright grumpy. And if we exclude the cast around his arm, I'd say he appeared quite charming.,"How's he doing, Jean?" I made to question the kid since the other didn't seem in the mood for even so much as utter one of his usual curses, and Nanaba was busy with her irate patient. She put a piece of wet cloth to Levi's forehead to clean off sweat or dirt and his nose from any blood remains while cooing with gentle shushing. Erwin, her Gryphonmon, was sitting on his rear holding the medical supplies in hand to pass over when requested. Whereas Hanji sat next to Levi nuzzling his head being all like 'oh poor baby' and rubbing her hand across his chest. Can't say he didn't need the affection. He looked pretty awful."The anesthetic effect is slowly wearing off. But he's too disoriented to leave the bed." then he looked at me like he just witnessed an accident. Actually, he did. "Thanks for carrying him in earlier, Hiji-san. His nose was bleeding like a faucet and his arm was totally bruised when me and Squad Leader uncovered it.","Well, what can we do?" I sat solemnly on the bed by Levi's feet. "Guy literally fell from a 10 foot height to land with all his weight on his elbow right on top of a Gegadramon's metal pincers then dropped facefirst to the ground. Good thing he lost consciousness on time. Just thinking of how painful that must have felt is enough to give me a bruise in my brain too.","That calls for pain killers." Commented Nanaba as she gently tilted Levi's face up to check his nose.,,, ,, "And sleeping pills. He's insomniac enough as it is. So trying to hit the hay with his condition is definitely gonna be impossible." suggested Jean."We'll leave you guys with him now. We'll come back for him later once you're done." Said Hanji as she hoisted herself up from the bed. She gave Levi one last peck on his head then made to leave with me."Well, I guess the expedition this month will have two people less." She mumbled once we both were far from the room."When is it due anyway?" I asked as we exited to the crime scene – excuse me, the yard."Next week. There's this unknown area that piqued our interest and I guess Levi and whoever stays behind with him won't be there to see It." then I had a wonderful idea! I'm gonna say it now! Yes, that's what I'm gonna do! So without any hesitation, I'll open my mouth aaaaand…"Commander!""Hanji!"Fuck my procrastination….Gunner and Arthur flew/ran in our direction with concern practically radiating off of them."How's he doing, Hanji?""Is he okay, commander?"Both monsters asked at the same time. "I have to apologize…" mumbled Gunner. I can totally see the sorry expression in his eyes from inside his helmet, now clean and shiny. Someone must have finished the job for him.,"Nanaba and Jean already dressed his injuries. He's still down from the anesthetics so it’s gonna be a while before you see for yourself.""…..""Hey, it's alright. He'll be fine. Why don't you go busy yourself with something until your tamer gets back up?"And that's when Sony, Hanji's Megadramon, swooped in and ushered his distressed counterpart away after excusing themselves with Sougo following in tow. Arthur did the same and left to find his tamer.,As the digimon of the Squad Captain, Gunner is allowed to drop the formalities when addressing another superior. Whereas other digimons who have the subordinates as their tamers, they're expected to use the proper titles. Even digimons from other ally affiliations who have young tamers address the grownups using the honorifics. And while it’s not always the case, basically your rule as a digimon is determined by your tamer's. And even though the scouts have First Lieutenants to be the superior's second-in-command, sometimes the latter's digimon can do that job as well in case they choose to stick around with the kids. Even the digimons themselves have their own ranking depending on their tamers. Example of which is Sony, who basically represents Hanji's commander-in-chief, also known as General. Thus, making Hanji the only known commander who has her digimon fulfill that rule. Erwin and Gunner are ranked Major and Sergeant respectively, while the rest of the digimons are Privates.So what was I gonna say again? Oh yeah, that. The wonderful idea I just had earlier. The super awesome idea I was just about to voice before getting interrupted. Ugh, fuck it. I’m gonna say it now!"Hanji?""Yeah?""Let me stay with Levi."----------------------------------------------------------The day of the expedition has finally arrived and I was already at the barracks gate to see the scouts off. I imagined myself waving them off with a handkerchief like in those ridiculous soap operas. I saw them galloping off with their horses with the company of the other Familiars, Gunner included, then went back inside to have the subject of my affection standing there.Damn dragon almost jumped Levi with an avalanche of apologies the second he spotted the guy. It took all of Levi to assure his digital Familiar that he's not mad at him. He even kept patting at Gunner's metallic muzzle and pecked him there to let the literally thickheaded monster know that everything is fine. But the poor guilt ridden digimon was nuzzling at Levi's hurt arm making small sad growls. Eventually he calmed down after having been threatened by Hanji that she'll trap him in the digivice for a week if he doesn't get over it. Ah the merits of tough love…In the past week, I've been busy visiting the scouts each time I'm off work. I almost got injured when I was pursuing that thug who thought it was a great idea to throw a rock at me to stop me in my tracks. But the thought of my poor injured angel waiting at home was enough for me to draw out my sword and make a non-lethal yet very painful slice across his back. And before he was able to register it in his dopey head, his ass was already behind bars.Now that I've finally had an entire day off work, I can focus my attention on Little Li. Heh, Nice rhythm! I should teach it to everyone once they get back. Levi might maim me for it but it'd be bullshit to say that it isn't worth it."Hey." Hmm? "There's a scratch on your cheek." Oh so that's where the little rock hit me. Too bad he didn't mean my other 'cheek' if you know what I'm saying!He licked his thumb then wiped it across said area the way he does when he notices a dirty smudge on his subordinates' faces. Apparently getting constantly surrounded with kids can force you to develop a paternal nature at some point. But I guess even grownups aren't excluded from Levi's bambering."Thanks, Li. I'm fine. Let's head inside."-------------------------------------------------"We're home!" the bastards were back earlier than expected. Normally their expeditions last from one to three days. Sometimes even an entire week. Today they arrived at around 6 pm or so which makes it a relatively short expedition. But hey, all in a good day's work.Once everyone had settled down after performing the post-mission routine – showering, changing, eating, etc… – Hanji and Nanaba came to join us in the resting room with some other kids while others went out doing some teenage stuff. We started to discuss their latest expeditions and when I inquired on that new territory they discovered, it turned out it was just an abandoned farm with really nothing much to it. With little exploration here, slaying some lesser monster there and they were done. Hence why they're back so early.If you're wondering what happened between me and Levi while they were gone - other than just sitting down, eating, talking, watching TV over much needed cups of tea – there was nothing eventful. If you thought that this was the good time to confess my feelings for Levi, then you're simply wrong, my friend. I'd rather have this moment under a better occasion that doesn't involve bruises or a broken arm. If I'm going to take such a delicate step with the little man, might as well do it when we're both comfortable.Then came the time for me to leave. I could have had a sleepover what with my current free time and all, but it was for the best if I leave for my HQ for now to finish some paperwork. Sometimes I carry my paperwork with me in advance and do it here in the scouts barracks but I didn't bring any this time. Plus, I felt like being alone. Have had a long day and a break is all I needed. Once I excused myself and left, I was confronted by a few kids right at the exit.I was appalled to know that they actually know how I feel about their squad captain. Last week, we ran into each other during one of my patrols while they were back from a small mission, decked out in their gear and all. It's one of those small quests that don't need a fixed schedule or the entire corps for that matter unlike the case with an expedition. Just Levi and three of the kids coming back from who knows where. They didn't even need to bring the steeds with them. After the casual conversation that followed, they started to take their leave. But then my inner Yandere , if I had one , decided to butt in."When can I see you again?" smooth. And I held his hand while asking that. Even smoother."We're heading back to the barracks right now. If you get off your shift today, you're free to visit." So calm and cool, Li. Like the reverent squad captain you are. And here I am looking desperate. When he left, I was alone with his subordinates. He has a habit of not waiting and even if he did, a huge distance would have separated him from his companion. Then one of the scout girls took it as a chance to spill the beans."You like him, don't you?" damn you, Kuneida Aoi and your blasted observations.,"Hide it no further! You're hopelessly in love with the captain. amirite, Toushi-san~?" not helping, Eren. You and your wiggling eyebrows.,,, Then I guess there's no point in hiding it from those hellishly sly teens. The reason why I wanted to keep it a secret in the first place was in case Levi didn't share my feelings. So if it was a one-sided love kind of thing then at least I wouldn't have bothered anyone with it."Y-yes. I love Levi. I've been feeling that way for a while." There. It's out. Feels kinda weird saying it out loud though."To be honest, you weren't exactly subtle about it, T-san." Commented Marcus casually as he averted his eyes while scratching the back of his head. I guess holding hands, the longing look in the eyes, and slightly clingy behavior can't exactly be counted as subtle. Oh well…,Getting back to the subject at hand.The very same kids followed me to the exit of the barracks, with Mikasa this time following in tow. Damn Deja-vu. Of course, it was ol' Kunei who went to talk first."What the hell have you been waiting for? I expected you guys to start kissing by the time we get back!" something tells me that should I ever get with Levi, I'd need to be sure to keep the doors firmly locked when she's around. Something just doesn't feel comfortable about her enthusiasm…"You've had the entire day to yourselves and you still didn't make a move! What are you so scared for? He won't bite you!" I really appreciate being so supportive, Eren. But…"At ease, kids." I started my reasoning. "Let's not forget the man's condition. If you wanna confess to someone, you'd need more proper circumstances, no?""He's got a point." Thank you, Marcus. While Mikasa, the ever silent one, just nodded with a small hum. Girl is like a daughter to me – well, all of these kids are like my own – but for some reason, it's Mikasa that I share some kind of a paternal bond with the most. Not to pick any favourites but… heh, guess I have a soft spot for Ackermans.,"We just need a little more time. At least until he heals. Do we have an agreement here?" they all nod. "So...” an evil grin on my face. "You nag me with that crap again, and I'll slice you to confetti!" because I hate nagging.,The three of them gulped except Mikasa who just looked as indifferent as a mummified lizard."He sounds like the captain." Whispered Marcus.-----------------------------------------------------The days passed by really quickly after that. All spent between doing my job and visiting the scouts to check on my soon to be lover. Why am I so sure of that?"Levi freaking likes you! I bet my bladder and left kidney that he likes you! Just go with it!" Hanji's words. Well, if she's so sure than I'll take her word for it. Otherwise, she can kiss her internal organs goodbye.Oh and one more thing: "Levi is going to take his cast off today. I want you to do the honors." this was Nanaba's idea. Did you think she's been kept in the dark all that time? Oh noes! Actually the entire corps has figured out this affair by now. Perhaps even Levi himself. He's just acting like his subordinates age and is waiting for me to make a move. Fine, if that's what he wants.Well, it's time.Levi was waiting for me in the seating room while everyone else was dispersed. Wordlessly, I sat next to him on the couch then moved my hand to his cast band to tug it loose. Once that was off, I proceeded to undo the bandages. The cloth was gradually falling off to pool around itself on the couch. When his arm was finally revealed, the previously covered skin had a lighter hue from the rest and was a bit sticky from all the creams used on it. I wanted to kiss his newly recovered arm so badly but knowing him, he'd pull away at the excuse of it being 'filthy'. Well, better that than have him do it out of rejection. That's why I had a wet cloth prepared to dap it gently at his arm then wiped it with a dry one. Then I stopped to look at my work.Good as new. I swear I almost saw sparkles.And being the charming fellow I am, I pressed my lips against his hand and laid still for a moment. No reaction. Good. Then I slowly moved my lips along his forearm leaving small pecks along the way to his shoulders. When I reached said part, I gave it a kiss with a loud 'smooch' sound. I wanted to bury my mouth in his neck so badly. But I decided I should assess his reaction first. When I took a look at his face, his expression was so calm and serene with a beautiful blush on his face.I'm SO going to confess right here. Right now. All his reactions so far are telltale signs that his feelings are mutual. Even a person who got their eyes scooped out with a spoon can see that. I'd be a total pussy to back out. If that guy didn't like me, I'll donate my pancreas."Levi…" it felt like ages since I last heard my own voice. And my heart feels like I've seen a ghost waiting for me in my bedroom; it's beating like crazy. "I Lo-" then came the blasted walkie-talkie telling me to get my ass into an emergency situation.Oh no! No, you so fucking don't! I'm not about to let it end like one of those cliche flicks when the moment is interrupted by something stupid! Over my cold decayed body!We both stood up from the couch at the same moment a few of his subordinates barged in. probably wondering what the commotion was about.You want commotion? You shall get some."Levi, I love you!" and the volcano irrupted. Let the lava continue pouring. "I really love you. I would like to go out with you." I said calmly in the midst of the kids happy gasps. The gorgeous sonuvabitch blushed. His frown significantly lessened and he almost… smiled?,"I have to get going now for an urgent call. Let me hear your answer when I get back." And with that being said, I gave him a small peck on his forehead, bid everyone farewell, then set off.------------------------------------------------"Hey, cap'n. did you like it when he gave you that kiss?" said Marcus with a sly smirk."Yeah, I guess I did." Said Levi with a distracted I'm-getting-a-boner look on his still red face."You love him! I can see it on your face! For fuck's sake, please admit it!" yelled Kunei confidently as if she had just won the gamble, obviously sick as hell of the suspense."Yes. Yes I do."
Attack On Titan Theory: Historia Reiss."Attack On Titan Theory: Historia Reiss where does her character go from here!?"
Attack On Titan Theory: Historia Reiss where does her character go from here!? Can Historia Reiss and Eren Yeager REALLY be a thing!?I going to cover where Historia Reiss could go as being giving this "Queen" Role... Yes I wanted Eren and Mikasa to be canon but I can't ignore this.
Attack On Titan: Episode 37 Review English Dub!Mikasa and Eren Confirmed to be a SHIP! Eren can control TITANS! WHAT NEXT FOR SEASON 3!?
NO SPOILERS FROM THE JAPAN VERSION!
Here Last Week Attack On Titan Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAHFoWjCp4o "Attack On Titan: Episode 36 Review English Dub!"]
If you miss the English last Night on Toonami you can catch the English Dub on FunimationNow at 10:00PM Eastern Time...
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