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                                                                            Tipping Points
 
He hesitates at the door.
 
The blunt tips of his trimmed nails are digging into the skin of his palm, biting at his flesh in a way that suggests that perhaps he's not as unaffected in this moment as he'd like to be.
 
It's just a door.
 
Made of wood, musty smelling, old and splintered at the edges of the frame. There's nothing remarkable about it. There is no secret hiding behind it, nothing he hasn't seen before.
 
It's just a door.
 
He's not sure why he waits. It's stupidly late and he's dismissed the soldier posted outside already so there's no one watching as he stands there rigidly, back held straight, eyes searing holes into the dented brass knob of this god forsaken-
 
It's just a door.
 
He doesn't hold back. Death has taught him how to rip that out of his body, mind and soul.  He seizes moments. Moves. Acts. Takes things into his own two  hands because he doesn't have time to waste on being uncertain.
 
He's resolved long ago to never doubt his ability to keep himself moving forward.
 
And still, he hesitates at the door.
 
It's just a fucking door.
 
With a frustrated grunt under his breath and a short, rushed inhale, he unfurls his hand and grasps the knob in front of him.
 
Nothing comes of uncertainty. Decisions cannot be made from doubt.
 
Use despair as a tool.
 
He just wishes he had a better idea of why he was even doing this in the first place.
 
The feeling of the brass under his fingers is cold, a stark contrast to the warmth of the air around him. It's unpleasant, really, touching this knob. It's almost as unpleasant as being drenched in rain, or punched in the gut.
 
Only he wants this a little more than those other things.
 
Or maybe it's need.
 
So he turns it. Feels the click of the lock through the tips of his fingers, and this time he doesn't- can't- wait as he pushes ever so slightly and the door swings slowly open.
 
Maybe he should have knocked, but somehow this makes things easier.
 
The room is dark.  There's a slight peak of the moon through the curtains but it's only enough to give a dim glow to the space. He doesn't move from the doorway, allowing the light from the hallway to provide him some sight into the room.
 
There is a single bed sitting among the sparse furniture of the hospital room and in the light of the doorway he can see the figure that rests atop it.
 
He's not sure if he expected him to be sleeping or trying to work or even fucking throwing whatever he could against the walls.
 
But Erwin is just sitting there.
 
In the dark, alone and silent, just fucking sitting there.
 
He likes to think it's annoyance that grips his guts then, but he's not an idiot and he knows it's not.
 
He doesn't take the time to prepare himself- doesn't think he needs to- before his eyes are roaming over Erwin's silhouette and he sees it instantly but he consciously looks at it last as his eyes glide over the stubble that's formed around the commander's usually clean-shaven jaw, then down to his feet that are stretched out straight in front of him, darting back up to his left arm that's resting limp in his lap and then finally over to his right shoulder, following slowly the line of muscles there that slope down into...nothing.  
 
There's nothing there.
 
He'd heard the report, knew there wouldn't be, but still, there's nothing there.
 
Something grips his throat then like a vice, searing it's way like a flaming rod down his rib cage to settle in the pit that's in his stomach. He feels like he's tipping, like he's going to fall face first and disappear into the wood beneath his feet. So he grips the door frame and grits his teeth and get's a fucking grip, because Erwin is now looking up at him, staring straight into his eyes in that unflinching way he always does and  he'll be damned if he can't look right back. 
 
The commander tilts his head to the side in a silent invitation, expression unmoved, unchanging, and so he takes a step inside, closing the door quietly behind himself as he does. He doesn't move to light a fire in order to brighten the room, and with the door now closed, it's even darker than it had been, but somehow he thinks it's comforting.
 
 For which one of them, he's not quite sure.
 
 He stops at the foot of Erwin's hospital bed and waits for his eyes to adjust while he stares at the outline of Erwin's face. Though he can't quite yet make out the irises of his eyes, he doesn't need to know that the commander is holding his gaze.
 
Neither moves to speak and he knows he should probably tell Erwin why exactly he's even here, in the middle of the night, in the dark of his room, but he's not really sure he has anyway to explain himself other than, I needed to see you.
 
And that in itself is no explanation.
 
So instead when he finally clears his throat and opens his mouth he says,
 
"At least you can still wipe after taking a shit."
 
It's maybe not the most eloquent thing he could have blurted out but the way the corner of the other man's lip twitches briefly reminds him that Erwin doesn't want that from him anyway.
 
"Will you sit, Levi?
 
There are a few chairs around the room, but Erwin's head nods to the foot of the bed, so Levi complies, moving to round the footboard with only the slightest amount of uncertainty and slowly lowering himself to sit on the very edge of the hospital bed, careful to avoid disturbing Erwin's feet. Careful of disturbing any part of him, really.
 
Levi clears his throat, but realizes he might just have blown his arsenal on things to say for the moment, so instead he scowls down at his own two hands, unclenching and clenching his fingers as he works through a tangle in his mind and waits for Erwin to speak, knowing that he will.
 
Erwin sighs in that way that's so fucking Erwin- that bastard- and says in a deliberately calculated tone.
 
"Is it shocking you that much, Levi? I must say, leaving you speechless... It might be my most impressive feat yet."
 
Levi scoffs, already feeling a beginning rush of annoyance because of course Erwin would try to twist this around, mask it into something it's not.
 
Deflect.
 
Levi doesn't really want to let him.
 
"Your fucking arm is gone, Erwin."
 
"You've seen soldiers have their heads ripped off."
 
"Those were their heads and this is your arm. Surely you see the difference, commander."
 
And there is a difference.
 
Despite the fact that Erwin's flesh must have ripped and torn the same way. Despite the fact that in the end he's just made of muscle and sinew and bones to be pulled apart. Despite the fact that it must have hurt,  Erwin is not them. He is not some soldier driven by anger or grief, clutching onto his swords in clammy palms while he listens to orders get barked down from above.
 
Erwin is the one who puts the swords in their hands.
 
Erwin is where the orders come from.
 
And Erwin's arm is gone, fucked off somewhere in some dead titan's stomach, sizzling and burning away into nothing like it never even existed in the first place. There's no retrieving it, no turning the tables, it just is what it is. The cards are dealt, coming up covered in shit as they so often do and it should be so familiar for Levi, a dead, familiar sensation of seeing his comrades picked apart in front of him.
 
But this time his breath feels a little harder to catch and his skin itches just a little bit more.
 
Because it's Erwin, and Erwin is always different.
 
Now that his eyes have adjusted, Levi can see the blue in Erwin's own as the commander cocks his head to the side and gives him a look that Erwin knows Levi can't fully read. 
 
"I am no different than they are. My life weighs no more than their's do."
 
 Erwin's voice is even, deliberate, tinged with the slightest bit of pride and resolution and he says it so simply that there should be no denying it, but Levi knows it's hollow.
 
Words like that are pretty, meant to make the listener believe not only in their own self worth but in the self worth of everyone around them, and Levi knows the tactic, had seen countless boys and girls sign their lives over because of the things that came out of Erwin Smith's cunning mouth, but Levi is not so easily swayed, he doesn't need to be convinced, he'd follow Erwin even without his clever phrases, so he doesn't want to hear any of it.
 
Not now.
 
And he realizes in that moment, pinned in his position by the commander's gaze, that he's not willing to let Erwin talk his way out of feeling anything about this, because Levi feels like he's already hurdling off the edge and he'll be damned if he falls alone.
 
"Cut the shit. You don't have to lay it on so thick."
 
"Levi-" Erwin begins, he's tone edging on that of a warning, but Levi doesn't give him the chance. He can feel real anger starting to bleed into his voice but he's unsure of how to stop it, how to check it and store it in the way that he usually does, so he just lets the iciness in Erwin's eyes feed it more.  
 
"You think it's your fucking piety that I want? That I'm sitting here, waiting for Erwin Smith to word-fuck some speech into my ear about the equality of humanity? About how one mutilated soldier doesn't outshine any other poor bastard?" Levi spits the words out because they leave a bitter taste in his mouth and he feels the urge to look away at anything else except the sky blue gaze that forces a profusion of emotion from him, but he holds his ground still. He can't back down in that moment, his pride and the ache in his chest won't let him  
 
Erwin doesn't say anything, his expression steeled as he holds Levi's eyes with his own, but the silence teaches him that Erwin isn't ready to cut him off just yet, so he keeps going, the edge in his voice growing sharper with each word.
 
"It's horseshit, Erwin. You know it and I know it and we're the only two god damn people in the room, so save all that fucking honor for the rich pigs you manipulate and the child recruits covered in piss and tears. I want none of it. "
 
"Yes, so you've said, but what do you want, Levi?"
 
 The captain scoffs then, a cold, harsh sound that betrays just a little too much.
 
"That's an impossible question, don't you think? I want a lot of things, commander. I want a decent night's rest. I want to get the smell of blood out of my uniform. I want comrades to stop dying in front of my fucking face at the same rate that I take a shit everyday and I want to eradicate this miserable world of the titans."
 
Especially the one that hurt you. Especially that one. I'm not sure I wouldn't hunt it down if it wasn't already dead.
 
"But right now I'd just settle for hearing you admit just how fucked this situation is. Erwin, I walked in here to find you blankly staring at a wall, who knows what going on in that gigantic head of yours, and then you want to insist that you're not really bothered by this? Are you going to take that clean-cut composure right into the ground with you, you shit?
 
Erwin makes a small huff in the back of his throat that Levi thinks sounds a little too close to the beginning of a chuckle.  
 
"You're speaking as if I were already dead."
 
It's too good-natured the way the commander says it and something heavy and searing rips through the younger man at those words.
 
"Holy fuck, are you not? Tell me Commander Smith, are you going to retire? Are you going to give up whatever it is that's driving you forward and take up a simple, relaxed life within the walls, maybe even hire a servant to cook your meals and change your bedding? Of course you're fucking not. I bet even the thought of it twists your guts, because you're you and you can't just sit back and not stick yourself into the thick of this shit. This whole thing is so deeply rooted inside you that you don't know who you are without it anymore, right? I know I sure as hell don't. You're not going to stop fighting, I know you won't, and the way you are now...the way you are now..."
 
"I'm a target." Erwin's voice is as clear and certain as it always is and Levi can't help but begrudge the fact that he never seems to struggle for the words he says.  
 
"Yes."
 
It's just an affirmation. Nothing they both don't already know, but the word is thick as it rolls off Levi's tongue.
 
Erwin's straightens himself further in his bed as he evaluates his captain with a steely gaze. "Are you here to try to convince me then? Do you honestly think that you can?"
 
Levi can't help the derisive snort at that.
 
"No, you fool, who the fuck has the time?"
 
"I stopped fearing death long ago, Levi."
 
It's a simple declaration and Levi doesn't have any doubt that it's true, but he isn't here just for Erwin.
 
"You think I only care about how you feel about it?" 
 
His voice is quiet then, small in an even smaller room and losing the heat it had held only moments ago, but Erwin has never struggled to hear him.
 
"Clearly not, or you wouldn't be here, right?"
 
Levi pauses for a moment, his mouth clicking shut with an audible clank of his teeth because he knows the other man is trying to trap him, trying to get him to admit to things that Erwin doesn't think Levi is ready to let go of.
 
It's a tactic he's tried before.
 
But this is a different night and Levi won't lose anymore of him before he finally acts.
 
"No, I wouldn't be, because despite your insistence, some men are not so easily replaced.  The odds were slim for us all before, Erwin, do you think we'll carry on without you?"
 
There's an almost imperceptible twitch in Erwin's jaw at that. 
 
"I know you will."
 
"Right, and for how long? Until every single one of us is dead along with you?"
 
Levi knows it's not kind, that nothing he's said thus far has been particularly kind, but the words leave his mouth nevertheless and the way Erwin's jaw clenches even tighter tells him that it's worth it.
 
"Yes Levi, until every single one of you is dead alongside me. Or they are. Because that's how this is. How it's always been. We are the devices of change and you've always known that we were fighting for a world we'll likely never get to see. We're going to take this to the endgame, regardless of the results. That's why I chose you, because I knew that when I dropped my swords you'd be there to pick them up. You're not implying that was a misstep, are you?"
 
Levi's up in Erwin's space in an instant, leaning forward in his position on the bed until he's right in front of the commander's face, resisting the urge to ball up the front of the man's hospital tunic in his fist and drag him forward, because even in his anger he doesn't want to risk hurting the other man.
 
"Don't you dare do that, Erwin. Don't ever imply that I wouldn't die for you the instant you ask me to."
 
It hisses out of his clenched teeth, full of spite and no small amounts of the pain he feels like he's constantly trying to bury.
 
Even though he can feel Levi's breath against his face, Erwin doesn't pull back in the lack of space between them, instead he leans forward even further, until his hair is brushing against Levi's cheek and his words are low in his ear and at last Levi finally hears something other than control in the other man's voice. 
 
"For the cause, Captain, not for me."
 
A bitter snort claws up Levi's throat, even as his heart beats against his ribcage at Erwin's proximity.
 
"Yeah, sure."
 
Erwin leans away then, his head tilting downward as he stares at god knows what on the floor beside his bed. Levi resists the urge to touch the man's face, for fear that his hands might shake and give him away, but he does follow Erwin's head down with his own until he catches the man's eye even as the other attempts to look away.
 
"When I first heard the report from some snot-nosed brat, who was shaking at the knees and stuttering the entire god damn time, I had no problem picturing it. You, being picked off your horse, that thing with its teeth clenched around your arm. It's a wonder actually, the amount of detail your imagination can provide for something you didn't even see." There's only a slight waver in his voice as he presses on and he commends himself on that, because the image has been playing in his head over and over again for the past couple of days. "I also had no problem picturing you survive it, because of course you fucking did. What's an arm against that brain and those eyebrows, right?" It falls flat as a joke, because there's no humor inside him to spare, but Erwin has the decency to at least half smile and somehow that encourages Levi on. "It wasn't until later, after it had settled, that I...you wouldn't leave my head, Erwin. I couldn't stop thinking about you buckling the straps of your uniform or reading one of those fucking books I know you keep hidden under your desk and then it wasn't so easy to picture anymore." 
 
There's silence for a long moment and for once it seems like Erwin isn't quite sure what he wants to say, but Levi waits it out and when the other man finally does speak the bitterness there almost catches him off-guard for a moment.
 
"All men break down, Levi. All of us become worthless eventually."
 
Maybe it's the novelty of the defeat in Erwin's voice or the way it pangs him squarely in the chest but before he can stop himself, Levi's reaching out with two hands, calloused and warm, to take the other man's face in his palms.
 
"Do you really believe that?"
 
Erwin doesn't flinch under Levi's touch, and instead imperceptibly leans into the warmth of his skin, almost as if he has been doing so for years, but Levi doesn't miss the subtle increase in the rise and fall of his chest. 
 
"Most days."  
 
Levi can feel the constricting of Erwin's throat under the skin of his palms, and he can feel the gravel in the blonde man's words almost as clearly as he can hear it. "We can only base our knowledge, our existence, on the examples we have laid out before us. What does it matter what I feel, compared to what I see? It's inconsequential."
 
"Not to me." Levi keeps his hands on Erwin firm and his voice sure, knowing that Erwin needs that. He can see the shield cracking in front of him and like most things, he knows he needs to keep pushing to get what he wants.
 
"I don't care about what's going to happen or what you will be and you need to start beating that into your own skull too, because sure, we're both probably going to end up in some fucker's stomach and there's likely shit-all we can do about it. What makes us who we are will be blood and bone and flesh and then nothing, but right now, you're in front of me. One-armed, unshaven and so fucking stupid in your brilliance I can't believe it, but breathing and you. That's what I see. Everything else is what's inconsequential. The future is shit, right? So, let's just put our sights on right now."
 
With his hands cupped around Erwin's face, he can feel when the other man starts to shake his head, an argument already beginning to bubble in his throat, so with a frustrated hiss of air, Levi tightens his grip enough to prove a point and anything Erwin was about to say dies on his lips as he fixes Levi with what might be the start of a glare and waits for him to continue.
 
"You remember about a year and a half ago, right after we had gotten back from that cluster fuck of an expedition? The one where it was so damn cold that half the recruits almost froze? Shit, two of them actually did."
 
Erwin doesn't answer but the clear recognition in his eyes is enough.
 
"Despite all the continuous fuck ups, the mission had been something that had resembled a success. Objective accomplished, minimal casualties. Really, as close to a reason for a celebration as you can get around here... but when we got back to base,  people were collapsing in exhaustion before they could even reach their bunks. You could hear most of the younger recruits wailing through the corridors that night and everyone wore such grim expressions on their faces you would have thought their mother's had lifted their skirts in front of them and shit right into their breakfasts. "
 
And Levi had been no exception, having found himself reflecting the miserable look he caught in everyone's eyes.
 
It had been a hard feeling to shake.
 
"The cold always seems to bring that out in people. It makes them lonely, I guess. Fills them with that frustratingly moronic desire to be around someone else. To share the misery I suppose, and keep warm. I came to see you the night we got back."
 
This time Erwin does nod, only a slight tilt of his head and Levi feels the stubble from his chin scrape against the skin of his palms, and without thinking about it he begins to rub the pad of his thumb over one high cheekbone in an attempt to feel more.
 
"You did." Erwin's voice has grown gruffer, weight tugging against each word, catching onto where this is leading immediately.  

"I remember you were still working on some paperwork at your desk. We had been gone for 12 days straight and you still managed to find the will power to fill out the reports, but still, you were clumsy and distracted-"
 
 
"And cold." Erwin provides, his tone indifferent, but his one remaining hand reaches up slowly, almost as if he can't help himself, so that he can run the tip of his index finger along the skin that's exposed on Levi's outer wrist for a fleeting second . It's a subtle gesture and it ends almost as quickly as it starts when Erwin's hand settles back in his lap, but it has Levi's lips parting and his eyes closing for that brief moment and he has to remind himself to keep speaking.
 
"And cold. So your hands fumbled and you spilled the ink. Over everything. Everywhere."
 
"So you made me stop."
 
"I made you stop, and I took you over to your wash basin and we scrubbed your hands. Ink stains fast, so it took so long to just get it off your skin.
 
There's a distant look in Erwin's eyes now, as he remembers back, but there's also a warmth there that has Levi unconsciously swallowing.
 
"You were as rough and thorough as you are with most things. My hands were raw and red by the time you were done, but I'm not sure my fingernails have ever been as clean."
 
"And you let me do it. You sat there, this fucking giant of a man, so still and patient for me, and you let me do it. And I guess that wouldn't be so terribly out of place for you if you hadn't been staring at me with this wide-eyed look the entire time...like you forgot how to fucking breathe and thought I could show you how. It wasn't like I hadn't seen you look at me that way before. Shit, that's why I was even there in the first place, against everything that was telling me I shouldn't be, but I had never seen you so unguarded with it, like you didn't give a damn if I saw, or if I knew. I had never seen you not try to mask it...and as quick as it was there, it was gone again and you were pulling back, pulling away.  Pristine Erwin Smith firmly back in fucking place  and I spent the next year and a half trying to figure out what you would have done if you hadn't  reigned yourself back in."
 
And for a moment he's lost in it, stuck back in that night and the many days that followed after it, confused and angry and wanting something so much it almost feels like he needs it.
 
He pulls away from Erwin, leaning back into his original position on the bed, his hands falling back to his sides. He doesn't miss the way the other man leans after him as he pulls away, even if Erwin catches himself quickly and rights his posture.
 
Levi wants to hate him, and a part of him surely does, but it's not the part that's the loudest.  
 
And that other part of him needs to know.
 
"What did you want in that moment?"
 
Erwin doesn't look particularly surprised by the question but he also doesn't move to answer right away. He contemplates Levi, face unreadable, as he leaves them both hanging there in the silence and for a moment Levi has the pitted feeling that he might leave this room with nothing accomplished.
 
But this is a challenge, and he's not willing to let either of them back down from it, so he doesn't let up as he holds Erwin's stare, and when the Commander's eyes harden into something resembling resolution and he opens his mouth to speak, he does not disappoint.
 
"To put it as simply as I can, I wanted to take you to my bed, systematically dismantle you over the next few hours and make you mine."
 
 
Levi finds himself barking out a laugh at that, caught somewhere between pained and incredulous. A fire lights deep in his belly at the words, even as he feels a fist close around his chest.
 
"I'd follow your footsteps through hell. I'm already yours."
 
Despite everything that had been said thus far, Erwin still has the audacity to shake his head in defiance.
 
"Not in the way I want."
 
"Yes, Erwin, in that way too. In every way, really."
 
Erwin's mouth falls open before clicking right back shut and for an instant there is such an open and raw look on his face that Levi has to stop the small sound of distress in the back of his throat when Erwin studiously schools his mask back into place.
 
And Levi finds himself on the offense once more.
 
"So, why'd you back down? I know very well where your chambers are. I would have happily let you lead the way."
 
He thinks that maybe Erwin will lie to him in this moment, come up with a plethora of calculated excuses and end this all here, and so it floors him when honesty is what he gets instead.
 
"Because as incredible as you are, viciously talented, almost inhumanly so, I know you're not untouchable. I know you can fall and I know you can break. And if I let myself touch you, if I let myself have that, I'm not sure I know how easily I'll be able to convince myself that it's not worth everything and everyone to keep you whole. And it cannot be like that. You have to be expendable. We all do."
 
And there it is laid out, plain and simple. At the core of everything, the thing that holds Erwin back, has held him back for years, is fear. The same fear of loss they all hold, only twisted and morphed by duty and obligation. Levi would throw his head back and laugh, have a grand ol' time with the knowledge that Erwin Smith is just a stupid man with stupid fears, if his throat wasn't constricting and his eyes weren't burning, because the injustice of it all hits him full force.
 
He jumps to his feet from the position on the bed so that he can loom over Erwin. His voice low, a myriad of dangerous and broken. 
 
"What about what I want? We've been dancing around this for years. Dangling something in front of both our faces that we could have if we just reached for it. And I have to watch you reason with yourself every single time and live off of the scraps you throw out when you look at me.  Am I supposed to live my life hating you for the way you make me feel and then die a good little soldier's death because that's what's easier for you? Respectfully Commander, fuck that and fuck you. Nothing we do is easy. Every bit of it is a crawl on our bellies through the goddamn mud. So what makes you think that this is the one thing that shouldn't be complicated and mangled to fuck? Are you going to be a genius in every other regard but a total fucking imbecile with this? You may command this shit-show but you don't get final say in all aspects of life, asshole. If you expect me to run off and die 'for the cause' then I expect you to be strong enough to handle it when it happens, regardless of whether or not you've fucked me. God dammit Erwin, You think I'd actually let you make a decision that would jeopardize everything? Over me? Who the fuck are you actually talking to? We're a team above all else, bastard. If we're going to ride this thing burning to the ground, then let's do it together, alright? Have me right now and then order me straight into a set of teeth, but do not deny me any longer and stop wasting our time."
 
He adds on one last word in a faint whisper, slipping between his lips almost inaudibly, but he can see the way it hits Erwin squarely on target.
 
"Please."
 
And with the conflicted groan that rips unbidden from Erwin's lips, Levi knows that he has finally won. Erwin looks defeated before him, eyebrows knitted together and shoulders sagged in defeated acceptance and Levi might feel guilty for doing this if the look he finds shining in the other man's irises didn't have his feet itching to move forward.
 
"Why are you here?" Erwin breathes out, his voice cracking slightly at the end, and he already knows the answer, they both do, but maybe he just needs to hear it out loud.
 
"Because that night feels like a regret, Erwin, and I will not live with it any longer."
 
And even before Erwin draws out a broken "Come here" Levi's already moving up to Erwin's body with a grace and speed that is as much  god-given as it is earned. He doesn't think about his actions, knowing they could lead to hesitation as he swings one leg delicately over Erwin's hips and straddles him in the hospital bed. 
 
He doesn't let their bodies touch fully at first, instead keeping himself up on his knees, with his hands at his sides, hovering over Erwin. With their considerable height difference, even propped up as he is, he only finds his face level with Erwin's own. 
 
Erwin's eyes are open for him, honest and wide in a way that few get to ever see, and at this point in time, Levi may be the only one who does. He doesn't move even the slightest with Levi so close to him, but that look, the same one from all those nights ago, is enough to send shivers down the captain's spine. 
 
Transfixed on Erwin's face, Levi thinks about taking his lips, about just plunging forward and stealing charge completely, but there's something he needs more than to dominate the situation.
 
And that's reassurance.
 
So, instead he leans forward and lets his forehead rest against Erwin's own, no other part of him touching the other man, careful and deliberate, and waits.
 
There's a sickening moment where Erwin just sits there, wide-eyed and jaw clenched, with Levi hovering over him. And despite his own insistence, Levi feels doubt start to creep up his spine. Irrational, ugly thoughts of cruelly misjudging the situation. So he bends to them in that moment, starts to remove himself, pull away, and like lightening Erwin finally springs to life underneath him, a deep, guttural groan of protest hissing between his teeth as his one arm reaches up to tangle in the short hairs at Levi's nape so that he can drag him forward.
 
When their lips touch it is far different than Levi had imagined. Both of them having spent a good part of their life fighting at every corner, in a variety of different ways, he had expected this to be no different.
 
How could it not be a struggle for ownership when you have to claw and struggle to keep every little scrap you have in this world?
 
But Erwin does not take from him.
 
His kisses are nothing like a fight because that would imply that Levi stood a chance to begin with.
 
Erwin is a careful assassin, and Levi never saw him coming.
 
Erwin starts off slow, only a press of his lips against Levi's, his full bottom lip cupping Levi's own in a short embrace, before he's pulling back minutely to search the other man's eyes. A smile spreading wide on his lips when the captain only stares back at him dazed. He brings the hand that had previously been buried in Levi's undercut around to cup the smaller man's chin, one large thumb reaching up to trace Levi's parted bottom lip before dragging the flesh down to briefly expose the whites of his teeth.
 
Levi makes a small, whining sound somewhere in the back of his throat that has his cheeks heating, but the embarrassment is an afterthought because he is awarded instantly by the way Erwin's eyelids droop at the noise and his grip on Levi's chin tightens as he pulls him in for another kiss.
 
This time Erwin does not pull back. His lips on Levi's are warm and slightly chapped and real and the smaller man can't help but  reach up and smooth his hands incessantly over the flushing skin of Erwin's cheeks and neck and up through his hair just to reassure himself that he's there. A  low groan leaves him when Erwin's mouth parts slightly and he catches Levi's bottom lip between his teeth, tugging ever so slightly before his tongue replaces his teeth entirely.
 
Despite years of anticipation and the heat that's already bubbling deep within Levi's belly, there is no rush to the kiss. It's methodical, really, tentative in a way he didn't think either of them was capable of. He can tell that Erwin wants to take his time with this, with him, and it disarms Levi in a way he does not expect.
 
He doesn't try to dominate Levi, doesn't try to use his status over the other man to establish authority because Erwin is the only man who doesn't need to push to get Levi to surrender. Instead, the way his hand falls to grip at Levi's cravat to hold him in place as he nips a searing trail along the other man's jaw line, has Levi more than willing to submit without any kind of provocation.
 
It's depraved, really, how much every inch of him wants to be taken apart by this man.
 
He doesn't have time to dwell on the realization though before Erwin's lips are back on his, parting his mouth and seeking entrance once more. Levi's hands fall from their position on Erwin's neck to instead rest against his chest, his hands looking small compared to the sheer broadness of the well-built man below him. The captain seeks out the feel of the other man's heartbeat, his chest tightening at how rapidly it beats against his palm.
 
"Calm down, Eyebrows, that thing's going to burst." He breathes against Erwin's lips, smiling when he feels Erwin chuckle against him.
 
"But wouldn't that be a fine exit from this world? With you, literally exploding my heart."
 
"Fucking sap." Levi teases before Erwin silences him with another kiss that leaves him feeling tilted.
 
It's good, so fucking good it's near perfect because even like this, cramped together on a hospital bed that groans under their movements, Erwin has him intoxicated with a simple touch and that thought alone has rueful anger prickling at the edges of his lust.
 
"God dammit, Erwin, god dammit."
 
"I know, I know." Erwin whispers against Levi's neck because he does know,  his lips worrying against Levi's skin, attempting to sooth him in ways words no longer can.
 
He wants to be furious with Erwin, wants to hit him square in the jaw for intentionally keeping something so precious from the both of them, but holding onto what might have been seems like a waste and Levi already feels that they've thrown too much time away.
 
"Forget it, just touch me, ok?"
 
And so Erwin does. Long swipes of his broad hand over Levi's chest and down his shoulders, a burning hot trail that has pitched sighs leaving Levi's lips in a steady stream. When Erwin's hand settles on one of Levi's cloth-covered thighs, he gives an insistent push until Levi finally settles his weight fully on top of the bigger man. Any fears Levi had of hurting the other man are thrown out the window when he watches Erwin tilt his head back against the headboard and let out a deep hum.  Already he can feel the beginning of Erwin's erection brushing against him through the cloth of his own pants and neither one of them bothers to be ashamed when Erwin grips his hand onto Levi's hip to hold him down as he does a purposeful grind up against him, making all intentions perfectly clear.
 
Levi lets his own hands brush down the sides of Erwin's neck, feeling the vibrations there, before coming to rest on his shoulders. His touch is delicate as his fingers trace idly along the edges of the bandages that clad his commander's right shoulder. He feels the muscles there contract under his palms, feels the tell-tale twitch of Erwin's shoulder that lets him know that the other man is yearning to touch him, to fully touch him, but can't.
 
Erwin doesn't curse or get angry and Levi briefly wonders if Erwin still holds any part of himself that hasn't learned to accept, when the bigger man just buries his face into the crook of Levi's neck and lets out a muted, frustrated sigh.
 
Levi wants to see his face, needs to see what he can find there, so he coaxes the other man to look at him with a gentle knead to Erwin's nape. When bright blue eyes find his own, Levi notices the way Erwin's eyebrows are drawn together, and though it's the only sign on his face that he's distressed, Levi sees it plainly.
 
"Hey, hey, it's ok. Just...just focus on me, alright? Whatever else you're thinking about, just leave it, I'm right here.”
 
When Erwin nods slowly back at him, Levi pulls his hands away and instead brings them to himself as he begins to work his way out his uniform jacket. Once off, he folds it neatly in his lap and lays it at the foot of the bed, his fingers deftly shooting up to start work on his cravat. Erwin watches him the entire time, blue eyes tracing every movement. By the time the captain begins to unbutton his standard-issue shirt, Erwin's patience all but collapses and his own hand reaches out to swat Levi's away so that he can finish the job himself.
 
Levi stays perfectly still underneath him, with no desire to rush the other man as Erwin reverently begins to undress him. There's clumsiness there, a few of the buttons take longer than they otherwise would, but it's Erwin who's doing it, and that thought leaves Levi trembling under the other man's ministrations.     
 
Once he's managed to unhook every button obstructing him, Erwin pushes the offending garment off of Levi's shoulders with a broad sweep of his hand and both of them emit quiet gasps when Erwin's warm fingers smooth along Levi's now exposed chest.
 
Levi knows his heart is beating just as fast as Erwin's when the other man's palm settles over his chest much the same way he had touched Erwin earlier. His large hand is spread wide, fingers splayed against Levi's heart almost as if he were somehow trying to shield it, and Levi jerks under his touch when one of those long fingers reaches out to trace a circle over a nipple.
 
The small, pleased smile that graces Erwin's lips has Levi arching into those warm, calloused fingers as Erwin begins to purposely study and commit every one of Levi's reactions to memory.
 
He can tell by the way Erwin touches him, unhurried and steady, no fever, only methodical reverence, that the commander would be content to just carry on this way for the rest of the night, drawing out hitched breaths from Levi with simple touches and a concentrated look.
 
But Levi's never been satisfied with the idea of only having glimpses of Erwin on his skin.
 
Levi can't walk out of this room with just a simple touch.
 
 He needs to burn Erwin into himself in an indelible way.
 
So when he pushes off of Erwin to stand, the other man staring up at him with an admiration Levi can't possibly fathom directed at him, he doesn't waste any time hooking his fingers in his pants and pulling them hastily down over his hips, undergarments following closely and unceremoniously behind. Levi's never been one for allurement, so there is no seduction in his actions, no salacity in his movements as he undresses for the other man, but Levi wants to offer himself to Erwin, wants to make it perfectly clear what he needs from this.
 
So he stands there open under Erwin's appraisal, bare and unguarded, trembling slightly from the cold night air and the way Erwin's gaze threatens to devour him. Levi tells himself not to shy away from presenting himself like this, that he's been laid bare in front of Erwin in so many other ways, so this should be no different. So he stands up straighter, arms held loose at his sides.
 
Erwin, for his part, looks pleasantly overwhelmed by the man standing in front of him, which is a unique look on someone so relentlessly grounded and confident. Levi can see the commander's Adam's apple bobbing as his throat contracts and he can see the way Erwin's eyes unabashedly take in his form, hungrily tracing over his chest and thighs and settling on where his arousal stands proudly between his legs. There's an odd mixture of emotion overtaking Erwin's face as he looks over Levi's naked body and while desire is the most obvious and clear, Levi can also see the traces of pain and remorse clearly shining in those blue eyes.
 
"What a fool I've been.”
 
Erwin's voice is hoarse and his large hand is already reaching out towards Levi, beckoning him back into that warm embrace.
 
"Yes sir, a right fucking moron."
 
Erwin doesn't laugh and there's fire burning behind his eyes.
 
"Then let me make it up to you."
 
It's not a request and Levi doesn't take it as one. He just takes Erwin's outstretched hand and lets himself be pulled back into his lap, now free of the clothing that had separated him before.
 
When Levi first feels the material of Erwin's hospital pants rubbing against the heated skin on the inside of his thighs, it immediately elicits memories of nights spent alone, biting down hard on his lip while he touched himself to fantasies of his uptight commander fucking him in full uniform, bolo tie securely in place. The thought has Levi gritting his teeth and grinding down against Erwin wantonly but he promptly stores the fantasy away, saving it for a later date, promising himself that there will be another time.
 
 
Right now what he wants the most is to feel Erwin's bare skin against his own, so he doesn't wait for permission as he begins to work on the buttons of Erwin's hospital shirt. His fingers are swift and sure but gentle as he pulls each button lose and the material spreads before his eyes, revealing more and more of Erwin's broad chest and the light dusting of blonde hair to be found there.  And it feels like a prize, like something he's been waiting and waiting for just laid out freely in front of him so he can't really stop himself as he pauses mid way through his task to run his hands over the heated skin revealed in front of him.
 
Erwin's chest rises quickly to his touch and a quiet sound escapes the commander's lips that Levi swallows down as he dives in to claim another kiss. Spurred on by that sound, patience wearing thin, Levi hurriedly works to finish his task, unhooking the rest of the buttons with a few deft movements. He peels the material back and away from the bandages lining Erwin's shoulder, watching as Erwin winces only slightly but does not squirm away from him.
 
Erwin doesn't break eye contact with him either. He instead hardens his gaze and studies Levi's face, waiting for a reaction. A defense in the form of a silent challenge.
 
He's a proud man, even when he's afraid.  
 
But right now he doesn't need to be.
 
Staring directly at the bandages that adorn Erwin's shoulder, Levi feels a twist in his gut that he immediately squashes down, knowing that Erwin deserves more than his uncontrolled sorrow. Levi cannot give him back what he's lost and Erwin was always more than the sum of his parts anyway, so instead Levi simply leans in and places a kiss against Erwin's pulse point before removing the shirt completely and folding it alongside his own.
 
 
Erwin's expression softens once more as Levi returns to the task of smoothing his palms over the broad expanse of the other man's chest, fingers curling against the golden hairs there and thumbs brushing against nipples that perk involuntarily under his touch. The sounds that Erwin makes are soft and restrained but telling and Levi finds himself wanting more of them as he mind begins to work on the tactics to make it happen. 
 
He slides down Erwin's body in one slick movement, his eyes never leaving the blue locked on his as he hooks his thumbs into the waist of Erwin's pants. The other man's breath seems to stop underneath him for a moment but nevertheless Erwin lifts his hips with the slightest groan and waits as Levi slides his pants passed his hipbones and down his legs.
 
When he's get the material hooked off of Erwin's toes and folded with the rest, he sits back on his heels for a moment to look at what's been laid out before him.
 
Almost immediately he notices the bruises that adorn Erwin's legs. A litter of blues, purples and yellows like patchwork over the backs of his calves and up his thighs. A testament that being drug from your horse by the teeth of a titan leaves marks in more places than one and undeniable proof that it was an absolute god damn gift that he was even here at all.
 
But it's not Erwin's wounds that has Levi's mouth going dry, but rather it's the expanse of skin that lays beneath the dark bruises, it's the way Erwin's strong thighs seem to tremble slightly under Levi's gaze and it's the fact that Erwin wore nothing underneath his hospital attire.
 
Beneath all those painful reminders decorating Erwin's skin is corded muscle, golden hair and a beautiful cock resting firmly against Erwin's stomach, unapologetically hard and absolutely because of him.
 
To Levi, Erwin is every bit as powerful like this, bare and unguarded, as he is in full uniform garb with a command resting on his tongue. He is a creature perfectly sculpted to be completely disarming in the most devastating of ways.
 
 The smaller man, all pride and rancor, would gladly fall at his feet.
 
 Levi thinks he's magnificent.
 
He wants to tell him so, but he doesn't  know if he could live through the embarrassment so instead he says-
 
"Of course you're hiding a monster in your trousers."
 
And hopes Erwin gets the point.  
 
The soft chuckle and the not-so-subtle twitch of said "monster" is worth it either way.
 
Levi directs a pointed look at Erwin, feeling a rush of confidence at the way he easily holds Erwin's undivided attention.
 
"You're going to fuck me with it, yeah?"
 
His voice doesn't waver, as sure and confident as he ever is with a sword in his hands.
 
Erwin is unfazed by the crassness and despite his position on a hospital bed, he looks every bit as predatory as Levi feels, blue eyes shining in the glint of the moonlight.
 
"That is the intention, yes."
 
"Then come on, big guy, even as an invalid I know you're not gonna disappoint me. "
 
Erwin's reaching out his long arm and tugging him forward before Levi even has the chance to crawl up his body. A soft cry leaves through Levi's parted lips when he finds his place in Erwin's waiting lap once more, their naked skin meeting in a shock of contact that he's not sure either of them was ready for. Erwin hisses through the grit of his teeth when Levi's cock pushes up against his at the intimate position, the sound so involuntary and guttural that Levi might have been worried he'd hurt the other man if Erwin wasn't holding onto him so firmly, his hips rolling up and forward in a lewd display as he presses Levi down against him. 
 
“Well, would you look at that.” Levi muses in wonderment at the way Erwin's propriety starts to crack in front of him. He takes hold of the hand that's gripping his forearm so insistently and gently pries away the grasp before bringing it up to his face, his lips and then teeth and tongue ghosting along the skin of Erwin's palm as begins a slow grind down with his hips, enraptured by the way Erwin's mouth parts silently as the big man falls apart under him. “It was cruel for you to have been so disgustingly respectable, Erwin, because something is telling me that you're filthy.”  
 
Erwin's lids sink low over his eyes, his pupils blowing wide as he takes in Levi above him. His voice is all gravel and greed when he speaks. 
 
“Then have pity on this lowly man who can't help but succumb to such a pretty, little sight perched so nicely on his lap. I've seen you in almost every way, Levi,  but never so debauched. Forgive me if respectable is a fleeting thought.”
 
“You'd better shut that slick mouth of yours before I fuck you in it.” 
 
Levi expects a snort of laughter or maybe even some kind of witty retort but what he doesn't expect is the deep moan that spills out of Erwin's throat at the words, his bright blue eyes clenching shut as he freezes like that for a moment, giving Levi the very clear indication that he would have no problem with Levi “fucking his mouth”.
 
Oh, alright then. We'll be revisiting that later.”  Lei draws lowly, though his voice has taken on a strain to it. He's impossibly hard, dick twitching and jumping against Erwin's as an onslaught of salacious thoughts begin to flood his mind. Still, as much as he'd absolutely love to stretch up onto his knees and fist some of that blonde hair in his hands so that he could rut into that delicious mouth, he knows he'd come down Erwin's throat instead of with that gorgeous cock spearing him open and that just wont do at all. “But right now I don't have the patience to woo your gentle, maiden heart with sweet nothings like face-fucking, so we best get on with it.”
 
Erwin does laugh at that, a rumbling chuckle that has a smile tugging at Levi's own lips and heat searing inside his gut. The smaller man has only as second to take in the devilish look that overtakes his commander's face before Erwin is licking a long, wet stripe across his palm and then bringing that warm calloused hand down to wrap confidently around Levi's cock, his boyish grin never leaving his face the entire time. Levi's reaction is kinetic, all his cockiness leaving with the breathy, pitched gasp that rips out of his mouth. His head tips forward without his control, forehead burrowing into Erwin's unwounded shoulder, his own hand shooting out to wrap around Erwin's bicep, not pushing the other man away but looking for purchase as Erwin takes charge of his body. 
 
Erwin takes in the reaction like a triumph, his grip tightening as he glides his slickened hand up Levi's shaft and past the head of his cock, gathering the skin there before pulling back down again. He watches with rapt attention as Levi's cock gives a jerk in his hand, a glossy bead of precome appearing at the tip. He pulls up, swipes his thumb gently over the slit, gauging Levi's sensitivity there, before letting go to bring his hand up to his mouth and pop his thumb past his lips. Levi peaks out from where he has his face now buried in Erwin's neck, catching glimpses of Erwin's movements, and feeling the rumble of the other man's groan as it vibrates his throat.
 
"See? Filthy." Lev's chides, though his voice is breathier than he'd like it to be. He feels his entire body jolt when Erwin wraps his large hand around him once more. 
 
"If this is where you'd drawn the line as what constitutes as perverse, Levi, then I'd hate for you to see the dreams I've had of you." 
 
Levi's ears perk at the admission, curiosity prickling through him instantly.
 
"You've dreamt of me?" He asks, voice soft, questioning.
 
"Oh yes, many different times, in many different ways. Would you want to know the one of you spread out and tied down to my desk, or the one where I have that beautiful prick shoved so far down my throat that I can bury my nose in that inky black hair and breathe only you in?"
 
"God, fuck, you're trying to kill me here, blondie and really I just need you to fuck me." 
 
Erwin's amused chuckle is cut off when a realization hits him.
 
“Unfortunately, given my current arrangements, I'm a little ill-equipped for the task.” Erwin admits, his eyes giving a doubtful look to the medicinal salve sitting on his nightstand. His worry is quickly forgotten, however, eyebrows raising in surprise when Levi reaches back to where his pants are neatly folded and fishes out a vial, holding it up and giving it a shake in front of Erwin's gaze. The commander recognizes what it is instantly. A luxury item, small, expensive and hard to find. Levi would have had to purposely seek it out in the markets. A thought that is not lost on Erwin.
 
“Have plans, did you?” Erwin teases, a dazzling smile spreading on his lips as he cocks his head in question at Levi.
 
Levi simply shrugs at him. “I was a man with a purpose. I figured you would appreciate that.”
 
“Undoubtedly.” Erwin agrees, hand reaching out to pull Levi back to him.
 
Levi's back on Erwin in a second, his lips sealing onto the other man's while trembling fingers work to unscrew the cap of the tiny bottle he has clutched in his hand. He loses some of his finesse in the process, anticipation making his usually sleek movements uncoordinated and clumsy, but when the cap finally pops opens and he feels the liquid spill onto his fingers, he finds himself forgetting any embarrassment he might have felt at Erwin seeing him so completely overwhelmed. 

Levi breaks away from Erwin then, keeping his eyes fixated on blue as he smoothes the oil over his fingers before reaching back slowly to dip them between the crack of his ass cheeks, but before he can proceed any further in his intent, Erwin's arm is grabbing at him to halt his actions. He gives Erwin a questioning look at the interruption but he feels his breath quicken when Erwin speaks to him in the same tone he uses when he's commanding an army.

"Turn around, Levi. Let me see it."

That voice spurs him to act, it always has, so without any reservation, Levi twists around deftly in Erwin's lap until his back is facing the other man, and then with his knees on either side of Erwin's hips, he slowly lowers his head to rest gingerly between the small space between Erwin's muscular legs, keeping his ass held in the air and displaying himself in the most open way he can.

The ragged, filthy, debauched moan that rushes out from Erwin at the sight of him has him raising his ass even higher, any modesty leaving his body in a rush of pride.

Erwin wants him enough to let it blatantly show and the thought leaves Levi's body thrumming.

"Like this?" Levi questions, knowing the answer as he reaches back in his new position, groaning when he once again lets the tips of his fingers trace along the pucker of his hole. Levi doesn't wait for any kind of answer as he plunges a single digit inside of himself, letting out a low pitched whine when he feels Erwin's entire body shiver underneath him at the action. He chances a look back at Erwin over his shoulder but the other man does not meet his eyes, instead his gaze is focused entirely on where Levi's fingers are, blue eyes shining bright with hunger as he licks his lips like a feast has been laid before him. 

"What an exquisite creature you are." Erwin breathes, enraptured and ravenous.

"Erwin, you fucking-"

Levi starts, an edge of annoyance in his voice, but he's cut off abruptly by a resounding smack delivered to one of his ass cheeks, just above the start of his thigh. The sting of it has a shocked gasp leaving him and his muscles contracting around the finger he has pressed inside himself.

"Hush now, Levi. You don't like to be praised? You don't want to hear all about the way you look right now? On display, so pliant and pretty and all for me?” The cry that leaves Levi in reaction to Erwin, startles the captain with it's intensity. Levi really shouldn't have been surprised that Erwin would know how to use language as a weapon, even in a situation like this, but the commander's words are precise and knowing and have him bucking against his own finger, growing needy with want faster than he had thought possible.  "I imagine very few ever get to view Humanity's Strongest in such a way. Don't you want to know what I see?"

"You're going to tell me either way, aren't you, Commander Smith?" Levi's tone is taunting, indifferent, but even so he shudders against Erwin. He tilts his head to place a tender kiss right next to a dark, ugly bruise on the inside of Erwin's calf before shoving another finger himself unceremoniously, moaning around the sting of the stretch and the feel of what it does to Erwin below him.

When Erwin speaks again, his voice is ragged and broken and his eyes never once flicker away from where Levi's fingers are pressed inside himself. As Levi looks over his shoulder to watch Erwin watching him, he can't help but arch his back further, raise his ass higher, push his fingers deeper, wanting Erwin to see everything and wanting Erwin to know just how much Levi wants him to.

"I can imagine you a thousand different ways, Levi. In my mind I've seen you trussed up and leaking, bent over and begging, shaped and molded into a hundred different positions so I can watch you lose yourself in every single way. There's not a thing I haven't done, a way I haven't touched you, in the confines of my mind." A shudder runs through Levi's entire being at those words, but he keeps his mouth closed, focuses on dutifully stretching himself and waits for Erwin to continue.  "And I was fool to think that could work. That I could keep this vision of you locked away in my head and that feeble little fantasies at night could somehow suffice for everything that you are. But I underestimated my greed, put too much reliance on those dirty thoughts to keep my impulses a bay, and it was never enough, Levi. It was always insufficient. And no wonder, when having you right here, like this, is overshadowing and blinding to everything else. Seeing you this way will be my undoing, Levi. I can't stop myself from taking from you everything I don't deserve."

Levi is quick to cut in. Quick to correct.

 "You big idiot, you deserve everything I'm going to give you and more. Didn't you give me the sky?"

“A dull comparison, it seems to me.”

“Tch, you really are a fucking sap, aren't you?” There's no real heat in Levi's tone and Erwin's words make his heart lurch hard in his chest, and Levi's got to hand it to Erwin for being poetic while Levi's got two fingers shoved into his ass, but then again, the commander seems to have a way with words in all situations.

“And you're a surly man, Levi. Prideful in a way I think few might be able to understand. It's difficult for you to bend to someone else's will, isn't it? In a lot of ways you'd rather break. Or more accurately, break them. In your first days in the corps I don't know how many men you sent to the infirmary. It so clearly went against your nature to submit.. You made it hard to keep you. Made me have to fight for you. But it was always worth it. You were always worth that extra bit of push." There's something prickling at the edges of Erwin's tone. It feels like an escalation, like Erwin's purposely twisting a wire he wants to see snap, and when he speaks his next words his voice drops to tenor that is all predator and has Levi's eyes rolling into the back of his head. “And look at you, Levi. Look at the way you stretch for me. Such a bewitching sight you make, trying so hard to please. You'll add another finger in for me, won't you? Work yourself open and show me how lovely you are? Of course you will, Levi, because you could crush a hundred men underneath this incredible little body, but you'll listen to me, won't you?”

By the time he has three fingers pressed inside himself, Levi is a shivering, panting mess, unable to do little more than moan and quake around his own ministrations and Erwin's devious words. He had instantly complied with Erwin's request, sliding in a third finger along with the other two the second the words had left Erwin's mouth. There had been a burn, an ache that had his free hand wrapping tightly around Erwin's calf, but it was a promise that now was beginning to wear thin on his patience and he wants so much more.

He's about to turn to Erwin, about to be done with the stretching and the wait and just impale himself on the other man, but he halts when he feels Erwin's splayed palm settle against his ass check, and a calloused thumb make a broad swipe against where his fingers are pushed inside himself. They let out simultaneous groans when Erwin's thumb runs a circle around Levi's stretching and slickened hole, that quickly ends in a pitched cry from Levi when Erwin begins to push the digit in alongside Levi's fingers.

“Erwin! Fuck- what- hahh-” Coherency quickly leaves Levi as he instinctually spreads his knees wider on either side of Erwin's legs and arches his back low to accommodate the stretch. He feels his entire body flush in heat as the pad of Erwin's thumb rubs against his inner walls and despite the fact that it's more than he's used to, stings more than the stretch of his fingers after years of pining over his commander, he can't help but push back against Erwin, wanting more of him, needing him deeper.

“Beautiful.” Erwin's voice leaves no doubt that it's true, his thumb rubbing small circles inside of Levi alongside the fingers stretching him. Levi is only subdued for a moment, body going lax against the onslaught of sensation before anticipation reminds him of his purpose and he's raising up, pulling out his fingers, pulling away from Erwin's reach and maneuvering himself around in Erwin's lap until he's face to face with the other man once more.
He doesn't say anything, just keeps his eyes planted on Erwin, making his intentions perfectly clear when he slickens his fingers once more with the vial of oil and reaches down to fist Erwin's cock in his palm, coating it efficiently while pulling a delicious moan from the blonde man. Erwin all but jerks under his touch, arm shooting up to clasp at Levi's bicep as he looks at Levi like he's never seen something as wondrous as him before.

"Levi..."

"Don't make me wait anymore, Erwin."

And then Levi's raising up on his knees, hand directing Erwin until he's positioned at his entrance. There's a moment where he simply rubs the head of Erwin's cock against him, spreading the oil around, feeling the way Erwin's prick jumps in his hand at the contact, before he sucks in a deep breath and begins to lower himself down.

The first initial breach of the head of Erwin's cock inside of him has Levi's breath leaving in a rush. There's a slight sting, but the stretching he had done with his own fingers had proven sufficient enough to allow Erwin to pop inside of him without much resistance. It isn't until he starts to slide down the remainder of Erwin's cock, the girth and length of the bigger man filling him up wider and deeper than his fingers could, that the burn and Levi's years of chosen celibacy begin to make themselves apparent.

"Fuck- fuck- you're going to split me open, Eyebrows. What did you do in your younger years? Chase women around terrifying them with this behemoth dick of yours?"

"I can't say that's ever actually happened." Erwin tries to keep his voice light despite the clear strain in it, but there's concern lacing his tone regardless. "But we can stop Levi. I can stop if it hurts."

Even though Erwin is only about halfway inside of him and the deep stretch of him is sending shock waves up Levi's back, the thought of Erwin pulling out of him and stopping this has Levi's stomach lurching in automatic protest, so instead he hooks both his hands tightly around Erwin's neck and proceeds to lower himself the rest of the way down Erwin's shaft, not halting until he feels the blonde man's balls come to rest against his ass and hears Erwin's ragged breathing as he lowers his forehead to rest against Levi's, closing what little distance they'd had between them.

"It was torture waiting for you to come around, Erwin. This...this is nothing. And it's what I want. You stop this now and I'll never forgive you for it."

Erwin only nods against him, mouth hung open and eyes squeezed tightly shut as he stays perfectly still inside of Levi, his one arm wrapped securely around Levi's back. His flesh trembles lightly under Levi's palms as he restrains himself from moving, though he's unable to stop the insistent way his fingers knead into Levi's lower back. Seeing Erwin like this, seeing him speechless in his rapture has Levi's muscles loosening around the cock inside of him, has his hips itching to move, discomfort be damned. So he shifts slightly and raises his feet to hook onto the top of Erwin's thighs for leverage in the position he holds on the other man's lap. "Moving now, blondie" Is all he manages to get out as he gingerly raises himself up, feeling the way the veins and ridges of Erwin's cock make a slow slide against his walls, before he drops his hips back down in a barely controlled move that has a hiss escaping between his teeth and a strangled shout leaving Erwin.

And it hurts. Hurts to the point where it would be hard to define it as pleasurable, but knowing Erwin is finally, finally, inside of him, that he's as close as he can possible get, leaves Levi still achingly hard. He knows there's something waiting behind the burn, something he's determined to reach, so he raises his hips again and repeats the action, reveling in the groan it rips from Erwin.

With a couple repeat movements, it doesn't take long before he starts to loosen fully, before the ache begins to dull and give way to something more. It starts in his toes, a tingle that accompanies the burning sensation, and then it begins to spread through him, up his thighs, through his chest, into his cheeks, until it overtakes his entire body, forcing his head back into a cry as he impales himself on Erwin's cock.

From there he's lost to it, lost to Erwin and the air that surrounds them. He spreads open wide, gives himself fully, knowing it's the only thing he has left to hand freely to Erwin. He arches backward in Erwin's lap, feeling the delicious pull the shift causes inside of him, and through the damp hair that falls in front of his eyes, he watches Erwin. Takes in the way the other man cries out softly each time Levi falls back down on him, submerges himself in the heat of Erwin's skin, takes everything Erwin has to give him and tries to offer back more. Erwin is a sight to see, all taut muscle and labored breaths, pupils blown wide as he takes in Levi above him. It's a gift seeing him like this and one Levi is likely to covet for the rest of his life. When Erwin's hand settles onto his hip in a firm grip and that that strong arm begins to direct his movements, bouncing him up and down on Erwin's cock at the commander's behest, Levi feels any restraint he might have held break loose as he lets out a resounding wail that rings off the walls around them.

"Come now, Levi, where's your discretion? Do you want those 'snot-nosed brats' to hear that pretty voice crying out for me?" Erwin teases out with a grind of his hips, though moans are falling freely from his own mouth at this point.

"Fuck them. Shove your discretion up your ass, commander, and kindly keep shoving your cock up mine...besides, I dismissed everyone in the nearest vicinity before I even came in here."

The grin that overtakes Erwin's face in that moment is wily and has goose bumps spreading across Levi's skin at the sight of it and suddenly he feels Erwin shift down the bed, grip his left hip in a punishing grip and begin to fuck up into him with a pace that a man in his state shouldn't have been able to accomplish, and Levi wants to stop him, wants to keep him from pulling his fucking stitches out, but Erwin's cock strikes his prostate dead on the minute he opens his mouth so a shout is the only thing that comes out instead.

Erwin himself seems to lose the edges of his control as he pistons into the pliant body above and before long words begin to spill forth from his lips, punctuated with sharp thrusts of hips. Worship of Levi's body, the way he moves, the way he walks, down to the way he breathes, and a litany of praise for his mind and the battered heart that beats in his chest as well. Levi wonders if he deserves any of it as he accepts it freely.
And before long, in between the direct assault Erwin begins on his prostate and the hand Levi wraps around himself, jerking in time with Erwin's thrusts, Levi begins to feel the tell-tale pull that begins to tighten in his stomach, his body racing towards completion before his mind has a chance to catch up.

“I'm- shit- I'm going to come!”

Erwin lets out a chuckle at that, in between the sharp jabs of his hips, but the sound is too breathless, too delighted, too enchanted to ever sound cocky. "Oh? Wonderful, darling. Please do." And normally, with anyone else, Levi would have been quick to clap back against the pet name, would have had Erwin quickly schooled to never use something like that again, but instead the deep tenor in Erwin's voice has him clenching hard around the cock inside of him, mouth falling open in a pant, back bowing as he hurdles toward completion. And it strikes him in that moment, blindingly clear and undeniable, that Erwin has ownership over all that he is. All the rules and boundaries he's held tightly around himself as a defense against a cruel world he's never been fully able to escape, simply do not apply to this man, not anymore, not for years. Levi would submit to him every time, without fail. He would dive headfirst into an open titan's mouth if Erwin needed him to. Pride and restraint mean nothing when it comes to Erwin. Levi would do anything for him. And as the rub of Erwin's cock against his prostate becomes too much and the coil that's been building inside his lower belly finally snaps, Levi cannot help it when words slip passed his lips that he's held tight against his heart for nearly half a decade. And somewhere in between telling Erwin that he loves him and coming hard and long against their stomachs, Levi registers that Erwin says it back.

With his body still overly sensitive from his orgasm, Levi can do little more than bury his face against the sweaty skin of Erwin's neck and hold on as the other man continues to fuck up into him, his movements becoming staggered and erratic as quickly approaches his own orgasm.

When Levi feels Erwin stiffen beneath him, his body going taught and his breath coming out in staccato gasps, the captain pulls back to watch his face as he comes, searing it into his memory instantly, promising never to forget what Erwin looks like when he loses himself to pleasure instead of pain. Levi makes a pleased sound in the back of his throat when he feels Erwin's cock pulse inside of him, contentment overtaken him in a way that's only familiar when it comes to Erwin.

They stay like that for a moment in the aftermath, both coming down steadily from their individual highs, both processing what had just happened. Levi idly runs his fingers through the short hairs at Erwin's nape as he feels Erwin begin to soften inside of him. After a few moments Levi is ready to remove himself, ready to let Erwin slip out of him, when the arm that Erwin has wrapped around his lower back suddenly begins to tug at him, pulling him up, up, until he's hovering over Erwin on his lap and the bigger man ducking his head to rest against Levi's chest, listening to his heart.

Levi doesn't move, doesn't say anything, just waits as Erwin presses his ear securely against him. He feels it subtly a first, a slight hitch in Erwin's breath, a light gasp of air lost between them, but it doesn't take long before Levi realizes what is happening when he feels the first tears hit his chest.

In all the years they've known each other, in all the heartache and disappointment they've suffered through, Levi has never seen Erwin cry. Not once had the commander ever broken down when countless others had done so around him. Levi used to admire that about Erwin, used to wonder how one man could be so relentlessly composed, but it had been something Levi had grown to resent Erwin for as well, because it kept Levi from ever reaching his pain.
But here he is, Commander Erwin Smith, sobbing against his chest, pain and loss evident in the gasps that he tries to bury against Levi's skin. His hand clutches open and closed repeatedly against the skin of Levi's back as he tries and fails repeatedly to regain composure as the smaller man watches from above.

Levi, for his part, does not ask Erwin to explain, does not try to make the other man say aloud the things that weigh down his heart and Levi does not cry. It's not that he doesn't feel the burn behind his eyes as he listens to Erwin sob against him, or feel the catch in his throat, it's just that it would be a lie to say the he hadn't already spent the last few days doing just that. Crying in ways he hadn't in years, like hadn't cried since Isabel and Farlan had died, in the confines of his room, and even in front of that brat recruit who had spilled the report. He knows his tears won't dry the other man's, knows his cries won't soothe Erwin's own, so Levi's eyes remain dry as his heart cracks around him.

He has no way of knowing all the things running through Erwin's mind, but if he knows the other man in the way his heart tells him that he does, then he has some inkling of what those thoughts might be and he won't let Erwin succumb to inevitable fears. Levi would let him go if he had to, but he would never let him fall. So, feeling resolve ground him, Levi tenderly fists Erwin's hair in his hand to get his attention and speaks with a sincerity and fierceness that keeps his voice from shaking.

 "Listen to me, Erwin. I will not let you falter. I will never let you lose sight of what's ahead of us. We'll give up our hearts for humanity, just like we ought to, and we'll keep one dirty, little piece to ourselves. We'll take this as far as it can go together. We're going to tear this whole god damn thing down or we'll die trying. I swear, Erwin, I swear it."

Erwin doesn't say anything and the silent sobs that shake his body only soften but do not cease, but he nods against the side of Levi's neck, breath trembling across his flesh as he clutches onto Levi even tighter.

And Levi knows that it will never be enough. That he could sear Erwin into himself a hundred times over and it would never fully sate his desire for the other man and there's simply no resolution left for them where they can leave this thing together unscathed, but Erwin's heartbeat is strong against his own, and his flesh is warm under Levi's touch and even if he were to die tomorrow without ever getting a single taste again, Erwin is fresh on his tongue and humming through his chest.

 And somehow, despite everything, Levi thinks he can live with that.