**Warning: Yaoi. Don't like, don't read...**
Once again, they argued. But this time, it was much more violent than usually. They were both screaming, furious, throwing objects to each other’s face and insulting each other.
Grimmjow left, slamming the door.
Ulquiorra stayed alone at home.
During a few instants after Grimmjow’s departure, he turns around in the house, still furious, then the anger fades away and a wave of despair submerges him. Tears drown his face. He falls on his knees in the living room, curling on himself.
Why do they always argue? Ulquiorra doesn’t even know anymore how it started. Finally, it’s always the same thing. Nothing had changed, even now that they are humans. They still fight to know who is the strongest. Like they still need to prove their strength to each other.
Ulquiorra sobs, a hand on his mouth, desperate and exhausted. He hears again Grimmjow’s last words, just before he slam the door.
"Go to hell, you fucking trash !”
Ulquiorra muffles a moan. Even if, most of the time, he shows an impassive face, even if he pretends nothing touch him, it’s false. The truth is that it hurts. It hurts very badly, to hear such words come out the mouth of the only person he loves, the only person that matters to him.
Grimmjow knows how to hurt him. Of course, it’s the same on the other way. He knows how to make Grimmjow angry and how to hurt him.
Ulquiorra cries without being able to stop.
"Go to hell, you fucking trash !”
Ulquiorra sobs, desperate.
Without really thinking, Ulquiorra gets up, slightly staggering. He goes in the entry, opens a closet, takes a long climbing rope, grabs a stool, then goes back to the living room. In one of the ceiling beams, there is a hole, let by a knot in the wood. Ulquiorra makes a hangman’s noose at one end of the rope, then passes the rope in the hole in the beam and knots it strongly. Perched on the stool, he passes the hangman’s noose around his neck.
During an instant, Ulquiorra stays there, motionless, standing on the stool, the rope around his neck. He is not really hesitating. He is in a second state, like if his brain isn’t functioning anymore, like if an unconscious part of him has took the control.
Ulquiorra stays like this a few instants, his cheeks still streaming with tears.
Then he lets himself fall from the stool.
Ulquiorra barely struggles. The rope tightens around his neck, a few spasms shake his body and he looses consciousness.
After leaving, Grimmjow has walked randomly in streets during a moment, still burning with rage. He is furious, without even remembering why.
Then, after a moment, anger has calmed down and he has took the time to look where he was, walking a little longer, before deciding to go back.
Grimmjow retraces his steps, walking calmly, but finally, something pushes him to hurry. He wants to get back home quickly. He wants to see Ulquiorra. He wants to end the argument, to make up with him and hold him in his arms.
Grimmjow opens the door less than a minute after Ulquiorra has lost consciousness.
– Ulquiorra ! Grimmjow calls. Ulquiorra, where are you ?...
Grimmjow freezes at the entrance of the living room, discovering Ulquiorra's thin form, hanging on one of the ceiling’s beams.
He gasps in horror. His eyes fill with tears.
– Ul…quiorra… What’s ?...
After a second of stupor, Grimmjow rushes, grabs Ulquiorra, feeling his thin small body completely motionless in his arms, raises him and removes the rope from his neck, before letting himself fall on the floor with him, in tears.
– Ulquiorra ! Ulquiorra !...
Kneeling on the floor, holding firmly Ulquiorra in his arms, Grimmjow leans to listen his breathing.
Ulquiorra isn’t breathing. His lips are half-opened, but no breath comes out of them.
– Ulquiorra ! Breathe, please, breathe ! Ulqui, breathe !...
An idea crosses his mind, limpid. If Ulquiorra doesn’t survive, Grimmjow will be the next one to hang on the rope.
Grimmjow put his mouth against Ulquiorra’s one, pinches his nose and blows him some air, with all his strengths. His tears run down on Ulquiorra’s face. After a few breaths, Ulquiorra gets his breath back, coughing weakly before getting back to consciousness.
– Ulquiorra… Grimmjow whispers, relieved, his eyes still streaming with tears, helping him to sit up so he can breathe more easily.
Ulquiorra bends double, coughing and struggling to get some air back, then his breath calms down and he falls back in Grimmjow’s arms, who holds him firmly, being careful not to hold him too tight.
– Grimm…jow… Ulquiorra whispers, surprised.
– Ulquiorra ! Damn, what were you thinking about ?! Why did you do that ?!...
Ulquiorra stares at him an instant, surprised to see him here, surprised to be alive, but also surprised to realize what he had done.
– I… I don’t know… I really don’t know… I didn’t… I… I’m sorry…
Grimmjow stares at him and his tears intensify. He holds Ulquiorra tighter. He needs to feel him, alive, in his arms, to smell him, to feel his warmth, the softness of his skin and hair. He takes his face into his both hands and stares at him right in the eyes despite the tears still running down his cheeks.
– Ulquiorra ! Ulquiorra, I’m sorry. So sorry. It’s all my fault. It’s all my fault… I shouldn’t have told you such things… I’m sorry… Forgive me, Ulquiorra… It’s all my fault, forgive me…
His voice breaks and Grimmjow holds Ulquiorra in his arms, like if he was holding the most important thing in the world, burying his face in his neck, against his soft and pale skin. Ulquiorra feels his tears flooding his neck.
– So, he whispers, his heart tighten, you don’t hate me ? You don’t want to get rid of me ? You don’t think I’m a trash ?
Grimmjow raises his head, shocked, diving in Ulquiorra’s wide greens eyes that are staring at him, begging, but full of hope.
– No ! No, of course not ! Ulqui, I…
His voice breaks again, but he continues.
– Ulquiorra, I love you ! I love you ! You’re the most precious thing in the world to me ! I… when I saw you… when I saw you weren’t breathing, I… I wouldn’t stand to loose you… I … Don’t ever do such a thing again ! I love you, you must never doubt it !
His eyes shine, then he looks down with a sob and adds once again.
– I’m sorry, Ulquiorra. I’m really sorry… I love you…
Grimmjow snuggles against Ulquiorra, holding him with all his strengths.
An instant, Ulquiorra stays motionless, then he weakly raises his arms to embrace Grimmjow tenderly, wrapping his shoulders and his head. He is extraordinarily happy, his heart exploding with joy hearing Grimmjow’s words. And he feels guilty to have put him in such a state.
– Grimmjow… he whispers, his voice husky, but soft and soothing. I’m fine. It’s all right, you came back just in time… I’m sorry. I won’t do that again, I swear it, never… Calm down… I’m fine… Grimmjow calm down… I love you…
Ulquiorra makes him raise his head to kiss him tenderly and they stay like this a long moment, kneeling on the floor, embraced.
Once he is calmed down, after a moment, Grimmjow examines Ulquiorra’s throat. Darks marks have formed on the pale skin of his neck. Grimmjow touches them lightly with a finger, frowning.
– I bring you to the hospital. We need to make your throat examined…
– No, Ulquiorra begs, almost panicked. No, not the hospital ! They will want to keep me. I don’t want to. Please, not the hospital !
Grimmjow sighs, but nods. In a such moment, he can’t force Ulquiorra.
– So, I call a doctor so he comes here. I want to be sure that you’re really fine.
Ulquiorra nods, his heart tightens seeing worry in Grimmjow’s blue eyes. He doesn’t want to see a doctor, but he can at least do that for him, after what he has done.
Grimmjow carries Ulquiorra to their room and lays him on the bed.
– Stay here, he whispers. I call the doctor… I'll be right back.
Ulquiorra smiles at him, comforting.
– I’m fine…
The doctor confirms that Ulquiorra is fine. Grimmjow watches over him until he falls asleep.
A moment later, Ulquiorra wakes up, alone. Grimmjow isn’t by his side anymore. His place in the bed is cold and Ulquiorra understands that he didn’t even go to bed. He gets up and finds Grimmjow, seated in the living room, just under the beam where Ulquiorra has hanged himself a few hours earlier, the rope in front of him, holding his head in his hands.
Ulquiorra come next to him and puts softly his hand on his shoulder.
Grimmjow doesn’t even raise his head. He stays prostrate.
– Ulqui, he whispers with a broken voice. I’m sorry… It’s my fault…
Ulquiorra embraces him, snuggles against his back and tenderly kisses him in the neck.
– It’s all right… I’m not mad at you. I’m the one who did a stupid thing… I’m sorry for worrying you… But I’m fine, I promise.
Grimmjow relaxes a little.
– But I…
– Shut, Ulquiorra cuts him. Shut, stop… It’s all right… Come… Come in bed. Make love to me…
So Ulquiorra leads Grimmjow to the room and lays down on the bed, his arms tightly wrapped around Grimmjow’s neck, forcing him to lay down with him.
Grimmjow dives in Ulquiorra’s wide emerald eyes, in his intense and shining glance and he only sees love. Not any tracks of anger, grudge or pain. So, at last, he pushes away his guilt.
Grimmjow leans to kiss Ulquiorra and makes love to him, more tenderly than ever.
They needed that. They needed to go that far to prove each other how much they love each other, how much they need each other, how they could do anything for one another.
His cable just broke.
He barely catches himself, touches down brutally, rolls on several metres, scrapes himself, twits his arm.
Levi gets up with difficulty, dazed, bruised, struggling to get his breath back. He raises his eyes. He is alone, completely isolated. He has no more gas. No more blades. Only one cable.
Three titans – 8, 10 and 15m – converge to him.
Levi is trapped, weaponless, helpless.
He is going to die, he is sure of this. He isn’t even afraid, or surprised. He is angry. Angry against himself, against the defective cable, against the titans, against the humans. He raises the rest of his last blades, as useless as it might be.
At the instant when the 10m titan stretches his arm to him, Levi hears a scream.
– Heichoooooo !
This voice. No doubt.
Turning quickly, Levi has the time to catch the sight of Eren, rushing into the trees, then biting his hand, changing himself into a titan during the flight. Taking him away from the titan at the last second, Eren’s titan’s hands close around him, capturing him into his fingers, in safety. Eren’s fingers make an impenetrable shield around him, holding him without crushing him, protecting him perfectly.
Levi is dived in the dark, shaken all over. He hears Eren’s screams, the screams of the other titans, the crashes of fight impacts. He holds on the best as he can, anchoring his only cable in Eren’s palm.
Levi realizes that Eren is fighting without his hands, to protect him.
– Let me go, idiot ! Defend yourself ! Save your own life !
After a few instants of complete chaos, violent shocks, screams and shakes, after a last powerful shock, everything stops and silence falls again.
Levi, dazed, stays motionless a few seconds, struggling to stay conscious, then gets a grip on himself. He is still in the dark. Eren’s hands are still closed around him in protection.
– Eren ! Levi screams, hoping that he hear him and let him go.
Eren’s skin starts to smoke. Levi understands that his titan is disappearing and that Eren is probably unconscious. He struggles with all his strengths to free himself, burning his hands, his arms and his back.
At last, Levi is outside. The titan’s vapour blocks his sight in all directions. The tree titans are dead. But Eren’s one also lays on the ground, on the side, disappearing quickly. His hands are still against his chest, in a protective move.
Levi climbs on Eren’s arm, runs to his shoulder and anchors his cable to reach his neck. He can’t hold back a gasp of horror. The titan’s neck is half torn off. Eren is hanging outside, like a broken puppet, only held by the ligaments that linked him to his titan on the torso and the face. His legs are cut at the half of the thighs. He right arm at the elbow. Eren is unconscious, motionless, covered with blood.
Ho, shit, shit, shit. Holy shit…
Quickly looking the rest of the titan, Levi realizes at this moment that the titan was incomplete. Above the hips, there is nothing, only stumps of bones where the legs should have been. His transformation was too hurried. Levi knows that it’s very bad for Eren. It’s always more difficult for him to recover after an incomplete or uncontrolled transformation.
Levi rushes to free Eren from the titan’s neck. Holding him in his arms, he cuts the ligaments with the rest of his blades and takes him on the titan’s shoulder.
– Eren ! Eren !...
Eren doesn’t react. He is still completely motionless in Levi’s arms.
Levi tries to wake up Eren, but he doesn’t have the time. Other titans are already coming. Levi has to flee, to put Eren in safety, out of reach of the titans.
Levi quickly exchanges his omni-directional block with Eren’s one, grabs him with one arm and dashes up, propelling himself to the higher branches of the giant trees, barely avoiding the titans. He touches down brutally, out of breath.
Levi gently lays down Eren on the branch. He is worried. Eren is really in a very bad state. Levi would like to take care of him right now, but he has to get back down to find some equipment.
Hold on, I’ll be right back, he thinks, forcing himself to quickly turn away from Eren’s mutilated body.
Leaning to the ground, Levi examines the environment, locates the interesting targets, calculates his trajectory. Despising the economy, he bets everything on speed and optimize his path to spend less time as possible within the titan’s reach, still numerous in the area.
After a second, Levi rushes, almost letting himself fall on thirty metres, before throwing his cable. He zigzags into the trees and dives only at the last second, before going straight up like an arrow, immediately, with an incredible speed. On a corpse, he takes a cape. On another, an omni-directional block. On a third one, two full cartridges of blades. On the ground, gas cartridges. At last, a bag fallen from a horse.
Levi goes up again, gets back to the high branch where he has left Eren. He opens the bag. He is lucky. It contains a flask of water, survival biscuits and a fumigating gun with two cartridges.
Levi turns to Eren. He heart skips a beat seeing his state.
Fuck, Eren !...
But Levi takes a deep breath to keep his self control and starts to take care of Eren, the best as he can. Levi is glad to always keep a knife in his boot. So he can cut the straps of Eren’s harness and improvises garrottes on his thighs and his right arm to stop the abundant bleeding. He removes Eren’s shirt and cleans him basically, to be able to examine his wounds. His torso seems to have been crushed. Eren’s mouth is filled with blood. Levi turns him on the side to make him spit, but he can’t do anything more for that. He has to count on Eren’s regeneration abilities. Not knowing what more to do, Levi wraps Eren in the cape and sets his head on the bag.
Levi sighs. He feels helpless and he hates that. He has to force himself to think coolly, to stay calm, to evaluate the situation and his options to get them out of this. He turns away from Eren an instant, gets up and looks at the surroundings.
The Regiment is gone, they withdraw after the rout. They probably think he and Eren are dead. And even if they don’t, he can’t hope any help. He is completely alone.
The wall must be at about ten kilometres. The giant forest is crawling with titans and once out of the forest, there is still at least seven kilometres to cover to reach the wall, on a sparse ground.
Eren is in a very serious state and would need heals and rest.
Levi himself is wounded and tired.
Shit, shit, shit…
Their situation is completely shitty.
Levi knows that he only have one option if he wants to get out of this and save Eren. To wait the night and to rush straight to the wall, counting on the titan’s sleep to manage to pass. He has a chance, if he is fast. But it won’t be easy, especially carrying Eren. However, he would die rather to leave him. This idea doesn’t even touch him in fact.
Levi lets himself fall on his knees by Eren’s side, submerged by a wave of despair. He sighs deeply and runs his hand in his hair, trying in vain to calm down. He must remain master of himself.
Levi gently puts his hand on Eren’s forehead. He is burning with fever. His mouth is filled with blood again, Eren is suffocating, his breath difficult, wheezing.
Shit, Eren !...
Levi raises him, makes him spit once again and sets himself against the trunk, Eren against his torso, his head on his shoulder. After a few instants, Eren breathes more easily. Levi closes his arms around him, slightly relieved.
Hold on, Eren… Hold on…
Levi prepares himself to a long waiting. It’s still early, the night won’t fall before six or seven hours.
Levi grabs softly Eren’s left hand, the only one still intact and presses his burning and sweaty fingers. In the silence of the waiting, only cuts with a few titan’s screams, angst catches him back and memories spread in his mind.
All the way that brought him here, to this precise instant. The constant struggle for survival, as far as he can remember.
His childhood in the undergrounds. The fear, the hunger, the filth, the poverty, the deaths, every day. His mother’s death. The arrival of Kenny. And then the fights, again and again and again, days after days. The blood, on his hands.
In this time, only one thing was making him hold on. The will to get out of this pit he was born in. To see the light.
Levi remembers the first time he saw the sky, after Erwin enrolled him in the Regiment. The first time he got over the walls and saw the immensity of the outside world. This feeling. This excitement, this freedom. The hope of a life beyond the walls.
The first time he saw a titan. The first time he saw a titan devour a human.
The horror, the helplessness and the guilt in front of the death of his friends.
The repeated defeats of the exploration missions. The disdain and the insults of the people, he took it with indifference, contrary to Erwin. But the deaths, each death, hurts him more and more. The deaths, again and again, all this soldiers, all this companions, falling ones after the others and him, surviving, sawing them die, unable to save them. Like a curse.
This uncertainty, always, into trusting his companions or acting by himself.
The discovery of the true nature of the titans. Thinking that during all this time, he just killed again and again simple humans, turned into monsters against their will and trapped into a nightmare.
The betrayal of Bertolt, Reiner and Ymir, that he hadn’t be able to anticipate. Eren’s kidnapping, that he hadn’t be able to avoid, because he wasn’t even there, because he was stuck in Stohess with his wounded leg. The lost of so much men again, to bring him back.
Erwin – the only one he trusts blindly, the only one he would follow to hell – who lost his arm to save Eren. Erwin, who persists to participate to the expeditions, risking his life and the lives of his team.
The kidnapping – once again – of Eren and Historia, that once again he hadn’t be able to avoid. The fights against Kenny and his group. The revelations about his origins. The death of Kenny, who despite everything, had saved him, had trained him and was the only one who had ever take care of him.
And once again, the rout, from the beginning of the expedition to Shiganshina, as if the titans were waiting for them.
The panic spreading in the Regiment and the complete chaos, in a few minutes. The troops spreading out. The retreat, sounded by Erwin, to the wall. Too late.
His squad, in difficulty, deprived of a part of their horses, some of them wounded, most of them out of blades and gas.
Levi has rushed to the titans, as a lure, to allow them to flee, to protect Eren, Armin, Jean, Sasha, Conny and Mikasa. His new squad. The one he absolutely doesn’t want to loose.
On his order, Jean has grabbed a wounded Mikasa, jumped on a horse and started to gallop. Sasha has followed him, jumping on another horse with Conny. Armin has dragged Eren.
At this moment, covering the other’s escape, Levi was isolated. And his cable has broke.
Levi hears again Eren’s scream resonating in his head. He sees him again, rushing to him, changing himself to save him. He doesn’t stop to stare at him, horrified to see his state, how much he is weakened, his face marked with the red marks his transformation always leave, his body mutilated, sweaty, shivering and burning with fever. He saw him in a bad state several times after his transformations, but never like this.
Levi slightly touches Eren’s face.
His helplessness makes him mad.
Angst stabs him again, powerful and despair submerges him. What the point of being the best soldier of the humanity, the strongest and the most skilful, if he can’t even protect the ones he loves.
At this instant, it hits him as an evidence, an absolute truth, pure and unbreakable. He loves Eren. He loves him with all his strengths, completely, unconditionally and irrevocably. Like he had never loved before.
He holds Eren’s fingers with all his strengths.
– Eren, he whispers. Don’t die… Please, don’t die… Eren…
Levi buries his face in Eren’s hair. He doesn’t want to loose him. He won’t stand it. He has stood everything else, but this he won’t stand it. Loosing Eren would be too much for him. Too much.
Eren has wake up a hope inside of him, this same hope he had in the undergrounds, the same that had pushed him beyond the walls. This hope that Levi had bury deep inside of him, little by little, seeing his comrades die and that he had almost forgot.
The deep and visceral hope to leave the walls, to discover the immensity of the world. The hope of a free life. A life without fights, at last, a life in which he won’t have to fight at every instant to survive.
Eren is the most precious thing in the world to him, the only one he is ready to protect with his own life. He loves him with all his strengths, this stubborn boy, intrepid and impulsive, this boy full of passion, who had made his biggest hope reborn and revive this light, this burning fire, in his heart.
Levi curses himself for taking so long to fully understand it.
Levi can’t imagine to loose him. This idea is unbearable.
Submerged by emotions, pain, angst, despair and helplessness, Levi feels his throat tightens and tears fill his eyes, burning, blurring his vision. Tears run down, irrepressible and painful.
Levi wipes his face, surprised. Despite suffering and guilt, he almost never cry. The last time, it was years ago, for Farlan and Isabel’s death.
Levi cries silently, letting his tears fall without trying to hold them back, out of strengths and courage, his face buried in Eren’s hair, holding him in his arms, his fingers interlaced with his.
After a very long moment, Levi gets a grip on himself, wipes his tears and clenches his fists, resolute. He has to stay strong and focused to save Eren and get out of this desperate situation.
No matter what, he will save Eren. He will bring him back to the Rose wall, in safety.
Hours pass, interminable, but at last, the night falls slowly.
Levi manages to make Eren drink a few gulps of water, then leaves him leaning against the trunk and prepares his equipment. He still has to get back more equipment. He gets down to the ground again. He finds a complete omni-directional equipment, a new set of blades, two flask almost full and a cape almost intact. Then he goes back up immediately.
Back on the branch, Levi gets ready. He eats a complete ration and finishes the first flask. He checks several times his harness, his omni-directional block, his cables and his blades. He fastens the bag on his belt and fills it with the flasks, another ration and the other omni-directional block. He also equips himself with two pairs of blades and gas cartridges.
At last, he equips Eren with the harness he just found and cuts the useless straps to fasten Eren on his back.
With his equipment and Eren’s weight in his back, he carries the equivalent of his own weight. He will be less fast and will have to use more strength to move, but at least, he would be able to drop the useless equipment gradually on the way. He thinks ironically that he is almost lucky that Eren has lost his legs and his arm, without what, it would have been more difficult for him to carry him.
Levi is ready. He pulls the straps to check that his harness and Eren’s one are well fixed and holds Eren’s hand a last time.
Hold on, Eren… I bring you back home…
Resolute, Levi grabs the handles of his sabres and rushes. He stays in the highs of the forest, tacking into the trees, always calculating the shorter and easier trajectories, keeping the course to the wall. Levi takes care not to shake Eren to much, moving on soft and fluid trajectories.
Levi is extremely focused, all his senses on watch. His vision is used to the darkness and he manages to find his way somehow, despite the deep shadows of the forest.
Quickly – too quickly – he gets out of the giant trees forest and has to get down close to the ground. As much as possible, Levi uses the trees to stay out of reach of the sleeping titans, but he is often forced to stay on the ground and to run for long distances.
Thanks to the almost full Moon, Levi sees well and can move without problems and avoid the titans.
However, Levi is forced to fight several times. In the beginning of the night, the bigger titans are still active and Levi can’t avoid all of them. He kills three of them and gets rid of two others by cutting the tendons of their legs. He barely escapes from a deviant by cutting his fingers, before rushing in a tree.
During hours, Levi runs as fast as he can. He makes a short break in the middle of the night, perched on a tree, to check Eren’s state and make him drink a bit. Eren is still in a very bad state, shivering with fever, but his wounds don’t bleed anymore. Levi takes a few instants to rest his shoulders and drink a bit too, before leaving again.
Levi drops the first gas cartridges when he finally sees the wall. He hopes the other cartridges will be enough. Seeing he doesn’t need it anymore, he gets rid of half of his blades too.
Levi keeps rushing with all his strengths, despite the more and more intense tiredness, the burnt in his muscles and the pains of his wounds and burns.
The next hours are exhausting.
The sky already lights up, when at last, Levi arrives at the bottom of the wall. He gathers his last strengths and rushes to the top of the wall.
After a last effort, Levi reaches the top of the wall, makes a few steps to move away from the edge and lets himself fall on his knees. Rolling on his side, he quickly unfastens Eren and lays him down gently, noticing with relief that his stumps start to smoke, showing a beginning of regeneration. He removes the useless garrottes, sets Eren’s head on his thighs, tenderly caressing his face, then holding his hand.
The sun rises, lightening up the world. It has never seemed so beautiful to Levi.
Using his very last strengths, Levi raises his arm and shoots a fumigating cartridge.
Only then, letting out a deep relieved sigh, Levi collapses, unconscious.
It’s Hansi who find them, a few hours later. Survivors of the expedition are disseminated everywhere along the wall, into Karaness and Trost. Hansi was gone with the rescue teams, convinced that Levi couldn’t be dead. She is relieved and happy to find Levi and Eren. And she is stupefied by the exploit Levi has accomplished. No one else than him could have survived to a such situation.
Levi wakes up with a start, disoriented, anxious, panting, and sits up brutally. His head spins violently, but he manages to hold on after a few instants and looks around anxiously.
It’s the night and the room is plunged into darkness, except for a few weak candles. Levi recognizes an infirmary. In the bed next to him, he discovers Eren, unconscious, but obviously starting to heal. His arm is entirely grown back and his legs still smoke, regenerated until the half of his calves.
Levi takes a deep breath and sighs, slightly relieved. He gets up with difficulty, wincing in pain. His all body is stiff and painful. Despite everything, he manages to hold on his legs, staggering, but almost straight.
Levi staggers to Eren’s bed, lets himself fall on a chair next to it. He is still exhausted, but he knows he won’t be able to sleep anymore. Not until Eren won’t be awake.
So, his elbows on the bed, his head in his hands, Levi waits.
During hours, he waits, his belly tied with a deep angst.
As the first rays of sunlight lighten the sky, Levi feels a warm hand gently touches his arm. Numbed because of the waiting, he starts and brutally raises his head.
Eren is awake, his still tired glance staring at him.
He is smiling at him softly, raising on an elbow.
– Heicho, are you fine ? You’re not wounded ?
Levi nods and examines Eren. His all body is regenerated. He seems to be fine, despite his obvious tiredness.
– Eren. Are you ok ? How do you feel ? he asks, worried, his face marked by angst.
– Yes. I’m fine, Eren answers, smiling again.
Levi, after a few instants to fully realize the truth of the situation, feels the relief spreading in him, like a hot and sweet liquid in his tired body. Tears filled his eyes, blurring his sight and run down, uncontrollable, letting out all the angst and pain Levi was holding back in him. Sobbing, Levi collapses on Eren’s bed, burying his face in the sheets, he grabs Eren’s hand and holds on to it, desperately squeezing his fingers.
An instant, Eren stays tetanised, too surprised to react, staring at Levi. Seeing him collapse in tears in front of him is a huge shock. Levi is a soldier, a survivor, the most powerful man of humanity. He is strong, determined, implacable. Eren has never thought seeing him breaking down like that.
Eren stares at his thin curled up form, his shoulders shaking with sobs, his tousled hair and his clenched hands, holding desperately his hand and the sheets. In the perfect silence, he hears his sobs, his chopped breathing. He feels the shiver of his fingers on his own.
Then Eren sits up and wraps Levi in his arms, burying his face in his shoulder and holding him tenderly.
Surprised by this move, Levi tenses an instant, then sits up too and embraces Eren in return, with all his strengths, holding him in his arms, pinning him against his torso. Eren buries his face in his neck and Levi buries his own in Eren’s hair.
– Eren… Eren… Eren… Levi whispers, his voice cut by sobs.
– Levi, Eren whispers holding him tighter. Levi, don’t cry… Don’t cry…
Hearing Eren’s voice whispering in his hear, hearing him whispering his name, Levi calms down quickly. Breathing deeply, he frees himself from Eren’s arms, takes his face into his hands and stares right at his eyes, his glance intense, burning and piercing.
Eren stiffens and stares at him, surprised. He had never seen such an expression on Levi’s face. His dark blue eyes are shining powerfully, his face marked with angst and pain, his cheeks still wet from tears.
In front of Eren’s wide turquoise eyes, Levi feels his heart melt in a consuming fire.
– Eren… Levi whispers, his voice low and deep. I don’t want to loose you. I would do anything for you. I’m ready to give my life for you. You’re the most precious thing in the world to me… I love you, Eren… I love you with all my strengths…
Eren feels himself melt, completely. Emotions submerge him. He loves Levi for a long time and with all his strengths. He had been scared to loose him when he had seen him on the ground, defenceless. Tears run down his cheeks, heavy and liberating.
– Heicho… Levi… he whispers, burying his fingers in Levi’s hair. I love you too… Levi…
Levi feels his heart explodes in joy. He had never thought he would love someone that much and be loved in return, without reserve or condition.
Levi draws Eren to him and kisses him passionately, desperately, like a thirsty person finding a spring after crossing a desert. And after a second, Eren returns the kiss. Levi feels his hands hold on his neck and he draws him even closer, slides his tongue in his mouth, plays with his, again and again, until they are both breathless. Then he holds Eren against him, with all his strengths, almost suffocating, deeply moved, relieved, happy and Eren holds him back, letting go in his arms, body and soul, in tears, also deeply moved.
– Levi, Eren whispers, snuggling against him. I was so scared. When I saw you on the ground, surrounded by the titans… I thought I wouldn’t arrive in time…
– I’m the one who should say that, Levi answers softly, withdrawing from Eren to face him, tenderly wiping his tears. You almost die to save me. Your wounds were awful. I really thought… that you wouldn’t survive… Eren, I was scared, so scared for you…
Eren smiles at him despite his tears, trying to comfort him.
– I’m fine… You don’t have to worried anymore, I’m fine…
– I know, Levi whispers. We got out of it…
Despite the relief, a shadow passes on his face, thinking back to the horror of this day.
Eren holds him tenderly, putting his forehead against his.
– I’m glad I arrived in time… he whispers.
– You saved me, Levi confirms, kissing him on the forehead.
– But I don’t remember anything after my transformation… I closed my hands on you. I fought. And after, I… I don’t remember anything…
– You killed all the titans, but your titan didn’t survive. Your transformation was incomplete, too hurried maybe. You almost had been devoured. Your legs and your right arm were cut, your torso was almost crushed, you were spiting blood, in fact, you were covered with blood, you were bleeding so much, I thought it was going to kill you… I tore you out of your titan, then I took shelter in a tree. I treated you the best as I could… I gathered some equipment and I waited. Once the night was fallen, I took you on my back, I fastened you on my harness and I rushed to the wall. It took me all the night, but I managed to reach it at the sunrise… There, I shot a fumigating cartridge, so the recues could find us… And then, I was so exhausted I lost consciousness.
Levi tells all of this quickly, factually, his glance painful thinking back about Eren’s wounds.
Eren stares at him, his eyes widen, stunned.
– You… You managed to reach the wall, alone, on the night, without a horse, carrying me on your back…
– I had no choice, Levi whispers.
Eren examines Levi, noticing that he is still covered with scratches and bruises.
– And you were wounded…
Levi doesn’t answer, just shrugging his shoulders.
– You’re extraordinary, Eren whispers. Levi…
Eren stares at him, still stunned, his turquoise eyes shinning with admiration, gratitude, relief and joy. When he smiles like this, he looks so young, so innocent, so pure. After a few seconds, realizing fully the situation Levi had endured, he dissolves in tears.
Levi holds him with all his strengths, caressing tenderly his hair.
– Levi, I’m sorry…
– Shuuu… You did nothing wrong… It’s all right… We got out of it, it’s all right… I’m here, Eren… I won’t let you down… It’s all right…
Eren finally calms down in Levi’s arms and they stay interlaced like this a long moment, in silence, enjoying the joy to be alive, the joy to be together, the joy to love each other fully and without limits. But Levi feels tiredness catches him back, his pains awaken. He let out a moan and slowly slumps on Eren’s shoulder. Feeling Levi’s arms slightly slumping around him, Eren realizes something is wrong. Withdrawing from Levi, he discovers his exhausted face and realizes that Levi has watched over him all the night, instead of resting to enable his wounds to heal and his body to recover all the energy lost during the fights against the titans and the way to the wall.
– Levi… I’m sorry…
Lying slowly on the bed, Eren draws Levi in his arms and sets with him, covering them with the blanket. Levi lets him do, too exhausted to react and snuggles in his arms.
– Sleep, Levi… Let me watch over you, this time…
Levi smiles slightly, holding on Eren’s shirt, then falls in a deep sleep, serene and peaceful, like he had never known before.