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The Grass On The Other Side

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Back facing the door of the dim room, Eren lied on his side. The blanket was tucked up to his ribs, empty eyes focused on nothing in particular. He was waiting. For a noise, an indication that the person he was told to wait for had arrived. The person he’d been assigned to like a piece of property.
He didn’t move once the door creaked open and was slowly pushed back into its lock with a quiet clank. Leather boots tapping against stone floors resounded from across the room, confirming that Eren was no longer alone. He didn’t react even as the steps came to a halt several feet away from the bed.

He didn’t know what he was hoping for - perhaps that the man would think he’s asleep and leave. But there was no way. He wouldn’t. He had his orders. They both did. And Eren knew that. It was much more that Eren couldn't do anything but lie there motionlessly, because there was no right way to behave in such a situation, not for a boy who still lingered in the protective embrace of his own innocence. Nothing in life had ever prepared Eren for something like this, his mind was blank. So he waited for orders - always waiting for more orders.

The Captain had seen through it rightway, the pretense of sleep. Eren heard faint rustling before a calm command reached him. “Eren, look up. Ignoring me won’t help.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” he replied slowly before he rolled over, aiding himself up on his elbows. “I meant no disrespect.”

“I know.” Levi understood. The utter difficulty this had brought upon them and the emotional burden it was, most of all for Eren. He wasn't going to judge the boy for any feelings of unease that Levi didn't allow himself to have, especially in front of Eren.

He didn't show a glimpse of weakness, hoping to not frighten Eren even more. Levi's brows remained in the same lowered line as always, and there wasn't a single flaw in the man's composed demeanor.

Eren had apparently already fallen into a sort of paralysis. He first had to register the presence of his Captain, who had halted in the middle of the room. Something about his appearance was oddly telling the omega to start processing the situation and stop spacing out. The blouse usually tucked neatly into Levi’s pants hung loosely over his hips, free of the 3DMG straps that now dangled from his thighs. The buttons were undone, revealing hard muscles beneath pale skin - a sight that would've made Eren shiver with admiration at any other point in time.

Wide eyes skidded over the Captain's impressive build and up to meet that metallic and tired trademark gaze of his, embraced by the sharp edges of Levi’s lashes. His stare appeared almost indifferent, lacking the nervousness Eren failed to hide. That wasn't surprising, Levi's unbending composure wouldn't falter even under these circumstances. At first he gave no sign that he was going to move at all, until he mechanically let his parted shirt slide from his muscular frame as if he had suddenly been told to do so. He then loosened the belt hugging his waist, gaze never leaving Eren. Levi's stoic features refused to be decoded, not giving away any thoughts he might've been having, but that also wasn't anything unusual for Eren.

He was used to that, the reserved and secretive mask of his superior, but in their current situation it made Eren feel lost and more uncertain than ever. He was merely informed of Levi's intentions and the results this program demanded - what exactly that entailed was still a mystery to Eren, and his heart started wrenching again. His Captain, humanity's strongest, was being forced to do this, and Eren didn't even fully understand what awaited him. Calculating Levi was impossible, he was simply unapproachable. How Levi would go about this, or if he expected anything in particular from Eren - the boy had no clue. Not a word was uttered to give him reassurance. And knowing he wouldn’t find any hints in the alpha’s eyes, Eren instead concentrated on Levi's strong hands fumbling with the button of his pants.

Surprisingly Levi's frown was shaken by a brief twitch, nearly remorsefully, just as he started closing in on the omega who was obediently spread out on the mattress before him like he’d been ordered to as well - forced to comply. Fear was, though suppressed, evidently reflecting off Eren’s face as if it had been carved there by the devil’s claws. It stung Levi, despite how he tried to hide it. The only thing he could see was Eren's intimidation; the omega’s remarkable features only partially helping to distract.
Eren pushed himself up and onto his back for Levi in a haste, afraid of doing something wrong. At that, Levi made sure to remind himself his subordinate was submitting because it was his duty, not because he wanted this. Not because Eren wanted the man in front of him. And that burned inside Levi more than he was ever going to admit to the younger.

Levi would only do what he had to. Quick and painless preferably, so he wouldn't add to the burden Eren had to bear. Levi's boots had already been kicked off when he crawled onto the lower end of the bed with the attentive patience of a predator on the hunt. Pants sagging from his hipbones, he wordlessly enclosed Eren, who instinctively leaned back by the sudden proximity. Despite Eren's efforts and attempts at giving his body up, there was just so much resistance left in him, and it almost made him shake as he tried to hold back. He wasn't prepared for such a step yet, and he had no experience whatsoever, automatically wanting to protect himself. But he couldn't do anything, only watch Levi's slow, dragged out movements, as if this was emotional torture for the alpha. The Captain's face, however, remained blank and distant as he came down to cage Eren with his hands on either side of the pillow. In a careful manner Levi allowed himself to take his position above the omega, and Eren's lean figure retreated more while it still could.

If you don’t want to do it, I’ll have to make sure someone else will. Erwin’s words echoed in Levi’s head, making his body feel heavier as he gradually pushed in between Eren’s limp legs. They gave off no hint of resistance. And Levi was certain it was because the brat was scared shitless, desperate to hide that fact whilst trying to make this easier for Levi in any way he could. Resistance would mean consequence, that was what Eren thought. Levi could read those thoughts off his face, and he paused, staring down at the omega.
But who knew what any other bastard would be doing to Eren by now, just for the fun of it? No, Levi couldn't let that happen. Eren was his responsibility, he had been from the start. Levi was his superior, his guardian; had no choice, no regrets.

At least that’s what he told himself. Had he had a choice…

…he would've asked Eren if he was comfortable – although it was apparent that he was not - but Levi would've understood that, then he would've waited and given Eren all the time that was necessary. That was what Levi would've wanted for Eren. But there was no telling Erwin - in case this and the following nights didn’t result in Eren’s pregnancy - that he had miscarried or that it hadn’t worked, knowing the Commander wouldn’t hesitate to let someone else ‘try’ until it worked. Even Erwin had his orders, after all. And that meant Levi couldn't drag this out to give Eren time, he really had to make sure to fulfill his duty, for Eren's own protection.

They weren’t getting around this. And Levi didn’t have the words to form a sympathetic explanation as to why he was about to do what he was about to do. He didn't want to scare Eren by telling him he'd be handed off to the next best alphas if they didn't immediately try for this, and that Levi could only protect him if they were successful. No words could justify such measures, yet this was the only way. The only way left for Levi to somehow still keep Eren safe.
Eren of course had a vague grasp ‘why’ this was the way things were. Why Armin and him and the other few remaining omegas were forced into this same situation, mainly against their will. Humanity couldn't afford to let the population rate sink any further. Eren understood as much, even felt a sense of duty he owed this world.

He didn’t need to accept it; he just had to bear with it - though he couldn’t decide on which the better option was. Both were cold. Before he could make up his mind, fingers were already grasping the hem of his underwear.

Lips tightened, not for the first time as Eren quietly endured his pants being yanked off a bit too harshly. An indication that Levi was nervous after all, irritated even, and he quickly urged himself to get a grip. Directing his anger at others made little sense to him, so he was merely mad at himself, even if he wasn't the one to be blamed for all this. Still, he had one damn job. Trying to make this more endurable instead of letting himself be carried away by emotions would at least do some good for Eren, so Levi could not tolerate letting himself get distracted now of all times. If only he knew how exactly not to hurt the boy, but he was determined to manage. Levi could understand bodylanguage better than literal words, in fact. And he watched Eren's body very carefully.

More dread already collided with his gut when he eyed Eren’s lower half. Even before corrupting the pure being with his touch, Levi already knew Eren's skin was softer than silk the instant he looked at it. There were no birthmarks, no scars, no hair covering ‘anything’ of his bare and vulnerable frame.

He was still so young. Maybe too young, but not in the eyes of this society.

It dawned on Levi harder each time he thought of this, and it had clearly been plaguing him a lot lately, going by how he had to drag his weary eyes slower than normal, his sullen, hooded gaze struggling to focus. He watched as the boy observed his gapping pants, which in contrast to Eren's own, revealed short dark locks between Levi’s legs, right below tensely twitching abs.

Levi motionlessly remained in his stance, trying to mentally motivate himself to get his half hard dick all the way up - which went faster than he would ever like to admit. In his defense though, he had always thought of Eren as very beautiful, and the alpha blamed his arousal more on instincts than sheer lust.

Mesmerized, Eren gawked at his cock while it gradually rose to its full size. For some ironic reason, the first thing his panicked mind had to think of were the times his Captain would sit cross-legged; Eren was unable to think of a way that made it possible for the man. He was big.

Levi tried to ignore Eren's reaction; the way Eren failed to stop himself from looking like a lamb that had just been brutally hauled to the butcher. As if Levi’s manhood were a knife with the single purpose of impelling him.

Chest steadily rising and sinking, Eren urged himself to take a deep breath. Levi still obeserved his omega carefully, letting another moment of silence pass in hopes it would give Eren some time to calm. All the while Levi mercilessly suppressed the tingling impulses that were starting to knot themselves into the depths of his hips, craving relief at the built up tightness Eren had by now caused. Levi's muscles clenched with restraint, knowing he would have to maintain full control over his actions. And for Eren's sake he didn't hesitate to hold back.

Beautiful, teal eyes lowered in what might have been the beginning of a stubborn glare, but Levi didn’t recognize it as an insult, merely as an act of defense. Still, Eren’s legs remained spread obediently enough. Either way, Levi had decided he would tolerate any ounce of disobedience from his subordinate tonight; he was convinced it was Eren’s good right to show some resistance. Eren would have every reason to hate Levi after this.

It took Eren a lot not to fight back. And he at least didn't want to look as scared as he really was. He hated being victimized despite having greater concerns right now. It would make him weak and vulnerable if he did nothing aside from making it seem like he was witnessing weapons being sharpened, meant to commit a crime on him. Although that was the only appropriate way Levi could describe it.
And just as he was about to lower himself towards Eren, there it was, swimming in the stream of ocean green eyes. Levi caught a glimpse of that spirit, Eren’s natural instinct of defiance, and the very spirit the Captain had hoped to never have to break. While he had managed to protect it during the reign of the titans, he was now powerless, forced to leave Eren to his own devices.

It wasn't like Levi wanted to be this withdrawn and quiet, but whenever he tried to think of a way to really reassure Eren, his mind went blank and became about as useless as his common sense. Since no one here seemed to use common sense anymore, nor did they care if this was ethically or morally correct. So Levi forced himself to continue, and his hesitation stayed concealed behind his empty mask.

Drawing a reluctant whine from the omega below, he pressed the tips of his fingers to Eren’s entrance to start stimulating it. Eren squeezed his eyes shut as he turned his head so he wouldn’t start begging Levi to stop. He didn’t know what was going on in the expressionless man’s head and he was afraid of making him angry if he resisted in any way.

Levi had drowned himself in regretful thoughts, just hoping Eren wasn’t in too much pain physically and especially emotionally. Considering he was young, his hormones would cause him to spill sweet lubricant eventually, as long as his alpha found the right areas. Levi assumed Eren was a virgin, and he wanted to prepare him accordingly. Fortunately he knew what he was doing.
Levi respected the importance of being gentle, and slowed down more when Eren winced and grabbed the edges of the pillow to hold on to. His superior waited for him to adjust to his touches, sliding his fingertips over the puckered hole steadily. Every now and then Levi nearly dipped in just to check how slick the omega had become, whilst closely watching the boy’s expressions for indications of pain. No doubt it was only because of how Eren turned his own perceptions off, that Levi managed to stay calm. Because, if Eren started crying, well, Levi wouldn't know how to handle it.

He needed to pause for a moment, gaze locked on the brunette beneath him and drifting into nothingness.
If Levi did this and it worked - which it would inevitably so - he’d fuck Eren into bearing his unwanted children and then what? What did life have in store for innocent children that were born under such circumstances? He mentally cringed at the thought. This was all so fucked up and it would take humanity more than just a few generations to recover from it. Anger gripped Levi subconsciously and his movements grew harsher before he could stop himself.

“Ah- hih!” Eren let out a stifled gasp as he felt a certain tightness inside him unexpectedly being shoved apart, forced to wrap around the intruding fingers. The sound of the cry pulled Levi back into reality at once, but all that was left in front of him was a helpless omega, trying not to jolt away from his touches while aching muscles shoved at Levi's fingers desperately.

Levi mentally cursed himself. He had hurt Eren already, all because he couldn't relax. He wanted to fully concentrate on Eren alone, but he couldn't help keep in mind how demoralizing all this was. And it got worse the further he got to doing this to Eren. There'd be no turning back after completing this act; Levi had to brace himself for that while also keeping a clear head.

“Tch.” Making another attempt at fighting back his guilt, Levi smoothed out his movements and killed off his emotions. Eren had already begun to muffle his voice, praying he hadn’t set his superior off when really, it had all been Levi's own doing. But how could either of them know that when not a single word was uttered?

Eren just didn't know what he'd do if Levi got angry at him, he didn't want the alpha to hate him, and his obedience was winning the upper hand against his wish to escape. He chose submission over defiance; perhaps it was instinct making him do it, to protect him or to give in to the natural way of life - as mates did, especially omegas. He had lost his will to fight the alpha he would have to spend a life with. And he lied on the bed like a puppet detached from its strings; like a good boy focused on matching his breathing with Levi’s repetitive motions.

Eren kept tensing with every unfamiliar sound he heard himself make. All the strange, new touches were too uncomfortable and intimate for his liking; too deep. He feared them; scared to look down and see, and even more scared of meeting his Captain’s eyes. Eren was worried that if he did look at Levi, he'd bolt up after all, and run away from the man in hurt and embarrassment. It would simply be too much facing his admired and respected Levi of all people.

Yet, once Levi pulled out, deciding Eren was wet enough, Eren knew something was coming. And when Levi began shifting amid the boy’s legs, Eren's head rushed up reflexively to see what was happening to him. Levi slid in closer, spreading his own thighs to position Eren’s rear between them.
Eren dreaded what was next, shivering at the contact when he felt warm skin against his own. He fought to keep his face from scrunching up as he peeked down on himself. Breathing growing erratic, he watched Levi’s hand slip between their bodies. Levi noticed the heavy, nervous huffs as he unhurriedly wrapped his fingers around his length to bring it up against Eren’s opening.

Eren’s legs began trembling as he felt panic rise in his lungs, knowing he wouldn’t be able to bite back his cries this time. Levi’s half-lidded eyes met Eren once more before he leaned in until their noses touched, entering Eren along with a prompt shove of his hardened member.

“Hah!” Eren yelped before immediately gritting his teeth in reluctance.

Pain and unwanted intimacy startled him into jerking away and trying to flee the intrusion, but Levi grabbed a hold of his hips, pressing him into the mattress and bringing any further movements from the boy to a halt. The omega was confined in Levi’s tight grasp, there was no escaping or thrashing. And the sooner he got this over with, the better. Dragging it out would make it worse, Levi knew that. If he popped Eren quickly, the pain wouldn't last for long and Levi then could still make this somewhat enjoyable for him.

Any resistance that Eren's lower half might have managed to bring up was prevented by the slippery glide his self-lubrication provided, making it possible for Levi to push in with ease. Even making it seem as if Eren’s body welcomed the man’s access.

Levi knew Eren did not intentionally welcome it by how the younger’s legs shuddered with each of his probing thrusts, and yet the alpha forced himself to speed up. He slammed harder into Eren, tearing more shaky moans from him while trying to keep his own voice in check, and his face neutral. It wasn't quite easy due to how perfectly Eren's body matched Levi's own, at least where sex was concerned. It felt too good if one considered why they were even doing it, and Levi bit the inside of his lips. The feelings of regret overcame him once again as he thought of how shaming this must be for the omega - how humiliating to be raped by one's own superior. A person Eren once looked up to. It felt much more like abuse of authority to Levi than duty, and he wasn't the kind to get turned on by that, really.
He only had to cum in Eren, but telling himself that made him want to punch a wall, if only it hadn't been for the firm grip Eren's insides had on him. Instead, Levi hooked his arms under Eren’s legs to keep his hands occupied and hold the omega. Levi's face twisted slightly in irritation as the pleasure Eren’s body provided spurred on his desires, draining Levi of his self-control. It was then that Eren’s wet ring started contracting around him, and Levi knew he had hit the spot.

Hoping to let Eren gain something out of this, he angled himself, giving in to the lust which coursed through him with dominant force. The omega was undeniably priceless, too perfect, and Levi noticed his own thrusts growing eager with longing. He mildly accepted it, wanting to be inside Eren.

And why not? He always had wanted him - Eren was gorgeous. But Levi doubted Eren would feel the same about him after this. He had to mildly accept that as well.

Eren slowly quieted down once the pain subsided and turned into something forcefully arousing. As soon as Levi realized the omega was relaxing even just a little, his hips began bucking on their own, his desires winning the upper hand. - Wanting to come and wanting Eren to come. Eren didn’t seem to mind, throwing his head back with a shy grunt. He was too damn irresistible, Levi noted, for a brief moment catching a glimpse of consent in Eren's expression.

In that moment Levi's panting quickened, seeing Eren’s creamy substance already spill onto that smooth, heaving stomach. Early, because Eren obviously wasn't used to it, nor could he withstand the intensity of the new sensations. So Levi let himself follow suit not long after, climax already racing through him and begging his aching body to release. He filled Eren with long spurts, riding out their orgasm with each one, and let the last few disjointed thrusts he could manage crash into Eren's hips.

Eren whimpered meekly in response when Levi gave one more rough slam, the younger's burning flesh catching his superior's solid body with all its force. Levi then hunched forward, hovering over Eren again. He guessed Eren had been overwhelmed by the unexpected waves of pleasure which still shuddered through his body now. The omega looked fairly exhausted, and surprised in a sort of confused way. However, Levi didn't get up his hopes that Eren would now enjoy this willingly, he had been forced to, at best.

Eren definitely hadn’t expected it to feel this good and he wanted to disappear in shame. He probably would have if he hadn't felt so weakened from the numbing stimulation that had left him limp. Levi had wrecked him so hard; Eren was completely dazed, and his limbs and insides were left an aching mess that still desperately clamped down on the Captain's shaft. Before Eren could've registered anything, Levi sunk closer to him, resting his forehead against Eren’s collarbones. Eren was about to back away in surprise once he found to his senses, but Levi’s next action let him freeze up. The man pressed a nearly unnoticeable and uncharacteristic kiss to his chest, purposely using it as a distraction while carefully pulling out.

Eren was so stunned and amazed by the gesture of affection that he didn't even notice the slight sting when Levi's erection left him and his entrance clenched to ensure the safety of the alpha's valuable sperm. Not that Eren would've noticed that, his body did it on its own. He merely blushed, unsure of how to react and so - like he had for the majority of the night - he just let it happen and said nothing. That was what they both tended to do apparently.

But at least Eren brought himself to make eye-contact with his Captain when Levi straightened, calmly gazing at Eren for a while.
After he believed to have sated his hunger for Eren's lovable features, Levi blinked and finally shifted away from him, sitting down on the bedside to fix his belts and pull his boots back on. Eren had barely said a word this whole time, Levi doubted he would now, and he wasn't going to wait for it either.

Eren sat up in confusion, first of all gasping at the sudden soreness in his hips. Once he realized he was as good as immobile, he anxiously looked up, watching Levi button up his blouse. For some reason Eren didn’t want him to leave. He didn't know omegas tended to feel helpless after their first time, nor did he know what was going on. Levi hadn't even knotted him, and the oddity of it all left Eren's mind scrambling with a pile of unanswered questions.

“Where are you going?” he blurted out without thinking.

“Don’t worry about that. Just go to sleep, you must be tired,” Levi murmured absently and got up without looking back.

Being alone was the last thing Eren wanted now. But he just couldn’t get himself to call the Captain’s name, stop him and tell him that he wanted him to stay, or that he was afraid. Because, what would Levi care - it was none of his business, at least that was what Eren thought. This was purely out of duty, the omega had no right to bother Levi any further, so he helplessly stared at the man’s back until the door was pulled shut behind it.

Eren sighed, writhing where he sat; and hugged his knees and blanket to his chest. This would be everyday life now, until humanity was looking at a somewhat better future. Eren would have to be a nanny for the Captain’s children, would have to give up his dreams.

The boy let his face fall into his arms, curling up to a ball of despair. He told himself over and over again, it could be worse. He could’ve been paired up with someone cruel and hateful. He could’ve even been executed as the last titan.
It could be worse than this.

It wasn’t like Levi was fleeing from Eren, but damn, he needed a drink. He was more of a tea-person, not to mention his tolerance for alcohol was too high to let him get drunk, but something had to be able to make him forget this, just for a little while. He aimlessly trotted down the long hallway of the new HQ which originally used to be a nobleman’s castle - Hanji surely would join him at the bar, she definitely wasn’t asleep yet. As his legs began to shuffle Levi felt himself slowly tilt to the side, and he stopped in his tracks to lean against a wall, restlessly running a hand through his dark hair.

His body was tired, but his conscience awake, and on top of the nerve-racking events prior, his mind had nothing better to do than occupy itself with resuming the conversation he had had several hours before.

Mission ‘Recovery’ had failed; day and night humanity's strongest and the last soldiers of the corps had soared over destroyed cities, wrecked homes, faceless and nameless corpses. Countless lost lives for which they didn’t have the time nor the means to identify, let alone bury them. Searching for survivors had soon been put on hold to tend to more important things. Reproducing, rebuilding, reviving and renewing.

“You can guess what I’m about to ask of you, Levi.” Erwin's prominent chin rested behind his tightly intertwined fingers. “As General Zackley said, there’s no time for additional consideration, so he wants you to think about it here and now. Eren is one of the last 82 omegas ready for breeding that we’ve counted. I’m not going to lie; your genes among the new generations are clearly in our interests, but if you’re not willing to take responsibility for your subordinate, I’ll have to assign someone else-“

“Don’t even bother ending that sentence, Erwin. I won’t listen to another piece of shit spilling from your mouth,” Levi snapped grimly, voice dropping to a near growl.

The Commander gave the other alpha a stern look, sympathy in his eyes. “So you agree to-“

“I’ll do it, fucking dammit. That doesn't mean I'm agreeing to any of this. This right here is your doing, because you know exactly, I’d never let anybody lay a harmful hand on Eren. My subordinate - let him be touched by anyone like that-" Levi broke off, nose scrunched up in disgust. Let anybody touch his Eren in that way and they would pay for it.
"So don’t give me that bullshit. If you’re gonna make it that obvious that you’re forcing me into doing it myself, at least don’t ridicule me by acting as if I’m consenting by my own will.” Levi's glare was dark, cursing Erwin's manipulative act. He knew very well that Erwin wanted him to mate Eren. Nevertheless, the blond sighed apologetically, and Levi had to suppress a scoff.

“I understand your frustration, Levi, I do-“

“Of course you do,” Levi cut him off, words heavy with sarcasm. He didn't need to hear any more of it, he didn't want pity. “But tell me this, Erwin. What does Zackley have in store for us if Eren’s children inherit his powers? Are you planning on slaughtering them as if the ‘mission had failed’? Because I can’t imagine that you’d want to breed titans in your much cherished, titan-free world. Just tolerating Eren has already been a 'strain' on humanity. If he weren't an omega-”

"Hanji already explained, since the potion has long been part of Eren's body and system, there is a slight possibility of that happening," the Commander interrupted calmly and with his ever-sober attitude while he looked down at some documents before him. “And yes, the mission to use Eren for breeding would be aborted then.” He met Levi’s gaze again when Levi gripped the edge of his desk in a stance of defense.
“But the chances of him actually passing on his powers are as low as those of one of your children having brown instead of black hair. Since first of all - and you know this - Eren is just an omega, titan shifter or not, his genetics should work as recessive as any omega's. And with you as his mate - humanity’s strongest… - Nature has ways of picking genes to its advantage. Out of such a mixture the newborns will barely have any of Eren’s physical traits unless their gender is concerned. Which wouldn’t be all that bad either, we need more omegas. The people are weak and hopeless; if we don’t urge them into multiplying right now, it might be too late sooner than we could anticipate. Food, education, shelter, where do we get all that? You see, I have enough to think about right now. Go and do your job, so I can do mine.”

“Tch…” The Captain was about to stomp out of the room furiously and had already reached out for the door when he halted. He refused to face his Commander. “If Eren asks me about his little friend, Arlert-?”

“-You tell him, every omega who’s over the age of 15 is ready for breeding in the eyes of society, which means they're automatically in the same program and obligated to do what’s best for humanity.”

“…With whom, Erwin?” Levi had clearly become impatient, his tone low and bitter.

“He helped me come up with this plan. He knows his duty and he has consented to me.” Erwin didn’t have to look up to know Levi was stiffening, his form as rigid as a statue. “If you have a better idea, Levi, you take over the governors’ duties under Zackley. But he won’t accept displeasure as reasonable denial, neither will I for as long as so much depends on me. Let me know when you’re ready to switch places though.”

“I get it, Erwin. I respect what you do; this is all just… really shitty.” With that said, Levi rushed out the door.

“That it is,” Erwin hummed to himself in deep thought.

Levi stared into the ground expressionlessly, letting his flashback come to an end. His face suddenly twisted in agony as he hissed: “Fuck…” What was he even doing? Fingers twisted tightly into dark strands. “Fuck, I’m sorry, Eren…” he choked out huskily, though knowing the boy couldn’t hear him.

The man felt nothing but regret. He felt sorry for the omegas, for every unborn child that would be brought into this world, the world he failed to fix, for humankind. And there was no one left to blame but himself. No titans, or military police, or a stupid fucking selfish king. Levi would never know.

How did Erwin manage; how did he always make the right decisions despite how tormenting they were? How did he not hate himself, or was he hollow on the inside even more so than Levi? Levi knew without the Commander’s many sacrifices, they’d still be getting eaten by titans. Erwin had done the right thing, and yet Levi wanted to hate his superior right now.
He couldn’t, of course; he understood Erwin’s actions, probably more than anybody. It was that understanding that had allowed them to keep each other as trusted allies over the years.

They hadn’t freed humanity at such a high price - their sweat and blood and everything that was left of their grief-stricken souls - to let it go extinct right after. The titans had dragged as much as they could down to hell with them - on the battlefield of the final fight.
Some in the corps had survived, mostly alphas and barely any omegas. Maybe a scrawny half percent of human population had remained, not even a thousand. The problem was not only the shortage of humans, but the lack of fertile omegas. And they also needed people to work, to rebuild houses, take care of food and medicine, do necessary jobs like tutoring. There was so much to do and not enough people to follow it out. And if they did not use every last omega they had to ensure the repopulation of their world, all would have been for naught. There were hardly any children that had survived, so who would follow in their footsteps if not their own children? Children that would have to be born better sooner rather than later.

Erwin did it. He gave the order. Because somebody had to. Because – it was all just a gamble. Erwin was many things, but he was not a deserter, and others often failed to recognize that. He'd never allow himself to desert his duties, so who would be better in pulling through with this than Erwin? He would do what was necessary if no one else dared to. He wasn’t evil in the least, or inconsiderate. He was aware of the results of his actions; he did everything for a reason. In fact he was the only one Levi would entrust humanity to if it were his choice to make, but that sure as hell wouldn’t make things easier for himself and Eren.

Levi felt so empty. He would’ve never told Eren this, even after humanity’s victory, but he loved him. He knew it; there was no other explanation for his feelings. Love. And no one knew of it but himself. That was how Levi had wanted to keep it.

This was not what he’d wanted for Eren. He didn't see this as a chance, or as luck, goddamn. If Eren didn't fall for him by himself, what was it worth? He would’ve wanted the boy to grow up in freedom, with his friends, with an alpha who treated him well. An alpha Eren would’ve picked, one that made him happy. With that Levi could’ve resigned, even if it hurt, he would’ve been satisfied. But destiny was a bitch and before Erwin just picked anybody to be Eren's arranged mate – no, Levi couldn’t let that happen.

He’d done what he could and yet he felt like a piece of shit. He had hurt the one he loved and he would have to live with that from now on.

What a truly cruel world this was.

Beautiful, but cruel.

Chapter Text

The past three days had exhausted Eren, and so had the past three nights. Not once had he slept before midnight, the latest events hard to forget and constantly occupying him. Either he was waiting nervously for the Captain to arrive or he was drowning in his sea of worries and unreturned feelings. After all that Eren obviously looked quite distraught. He sagged in the corner of the sofa beside Armin, a heavy sigh on his lips, and occasionally his brows twitched in pain. Regardless, Eren had a forceful urge to brush it off, and not let it show. Instead, he worriedly peeked over at his friend.

“Armin…” Fatigue restrained Eren's voice, even though he had barely spoken yet. He didn't even know where to start, and he was so tired that he just stopped midsentence.

The two omegas had finally managed to see each other after three long days; Eren didn’t want to use what little time they had to talk about the one thing that would be plaguing them for the rest of their lives. Its presence already lingered between them like a heavy barrier that neither of them wanted to cross.
But Eren had to make sure Armin was doing alright. More importantly, he had to know about everything that had happened in these nights. - Whether he’d have to rip Erwin’s dick off or not.

Eren only hesitated to address it, because his rather shy friend already seemed to be feeling uncomfortable as it was. He saw how Armin was trying to hide it, and it made Eren start fidgeting as well. Armin’s hands rested in his lap, pressing down on his knees nervously when he heard his name, yet he looked up to give Eren a forced smile.

“Do you want to talk?” Eren inquired carefully. It was obvious the blond was aware what the subject would be, Eren didn't further have to mention that.

“I’m fine.” The reply came automatically. Armin looked away again, escaping eye contact. His voice was smooth like the finest silk, yet his body was shuddering with how hard he tried to suppress any possible emotion. - Enough for Eren to take note of it. “I’m sorry about this, Eren… It took away… your freedom.” The fake smile disappeared from Armin’s face, and he turned serious as he barely managed to keep himself together anymore.

“It’s not me I’m worried about,” Eren protested hastily, reaching out to grab the blond’s arm and give him a tug. “None of this is your fault, Armin. You hear me?”

“I helped him come up with this plan,” the other omega retorted quickly and tonelessly, his sky blue eyes becoming dull.

“Did you have a choice? Look, this was inevitable from the start; we just didn’t see it coming,” Eren urged himself to keep speaking as his heart twisted, something in him begging to stop while he still could. Breaking down in front of Armin was not an option yet, it was too early. “…I want to know if you’re coping-”

“I’m fine.” His friend made another attempt at smiling in reassurance, but the sight of it only hurt Eren more. “I’m just afraid you’re not… I’m afraid… it’ll take away who you truly are.”

“The Captain… doesn’t hurt me.” Eren shook his head, and his eyes fell shut for a moment as he searched the right words, anything he could calm Armin with. He didn't want to worry Armin by acting like some abused pup.

If Eren knew one thing about body language, it was that it rarely lied, and right now Armin looked more omega than he ever had. Afraid like an omega, unhappy like an omega... and Eren was probably the same.
He slowly retreated back against the sofa with a weary expression. He could barely stay focused, drifting off into a distant corner of his mind. At least what he’d said was true. Eren wouldn’t let the Captain hurt him if he ever tried, so that wasn't something Armin had to worry about. It also wasn't like Eren could hide such a thing. He would hate lying to Armin, it was nearly impossible.

After a few moments he looked over at Armin again, now biting his lip out of impatience. Wasn’t the blond going to tell him that Erwin treated him well, too, or was he just too ashamed to speak about it even with his best friend?

“Mikasa is another problem,” Armin continued in haste as though he had read Eren’s mind. “She refuses to take a partner; she doesn’t want any of the female alphas… And the fact that she couldn’t do a thing for you and me is destroying her. I had feared that the most.”

Eren’s expression morphed into one of more sorrow. “Are they really keeping her in confinement?” He had guessed so, since that was the only thing that would’ve managed to keep his sister away from him for the past three days.

“It was because of her rebellious behavior. She wanted to attack General Zackley.” Armin’s eyes widened in concern as he spoke, meeting Eren’s blank stare.

“So she did, huh?” A humorless chuckle escaped Eren. That sounded like Mikasa for sure. “And what now? Will they force her?”

Armin shook his head, sighing in relief. “It’s more likely she’d get too aggressive and do everything she can to prevent a pregnancy. So they want to give her a special job that’ll keep her occupied, something that’ll make use of her other competencies… for now.” Shrugging with a stare into the distance, Armin crossed his arms over his abdomen protectively, and slowly hunched forward. He paused in deep thought. “Captain Levi spoke to her. Ever since then, she’s calmed down.”

“Captain Levi?” Eren repeated in surprise. The man Mikasa appeared to hate the most had calmed her? Armin had to be mixing something up.

“He probably promised her, if she behaves, he’ll make sure she’ll get to see us again soon.” Armin sent his friend a meaningful gaze. “The last time I saw her, she was in relatively good shape, even though I’d rejected her offer of the three of us escaping from here... She kept on telling me that she had never planned on getting over Annie. It should always stay with her as a warning, that she can trust no one.”

“She still tortures herself with that? She’ll never have anyone else, huh?” Eren frowned hopelessly over his sister’s stubborn resolve, while the thought of Levi having spoken to her still lingered in the back of his mind. Granted, Levi rarely exchanged small talk with Eren, but he would have expected the Captain to at least tell him something like that. It concerned his sister, after all.

Armin nodded, his head bobbing tiredly. “No. They finally stopped trying to persuade her. She is the last of her kind they called Asian, not to mention one of our strongest soldiers, so they were equally as persistent as her. But it got them nowhere.”

It was clearly more difficult to convince such a stubborn omega to do this, than it was to convince an alpha. Keeping a life inside you for nine months and then pledging all your time to its needs - it wasn’t exactly possible to force someone to do that. Lucky for society, omegas were the weak, submissive sex for a reason, and most of them followed out their duties without question, too afraid to disobey. Except for Mikasa; something was very “Ackermann” about her. She had also - unlike most omegas would - shown no mercy once she had found out Annie had betrayed her.

“And what is this special job they’re giving her?” Eren cleared his throat as he tried to sound curious rather than suspicious.

“She’ll lead her own squad on expeditions in search of resources and remains. I think her main job is to find important documents and medicine. We barely have any doctors left; we’ll have to start learning from books.”

Armin’s voice became quieter to Eren, so quiet that he soon blocked his words from his mind completely. His lids felt so heavy and he couldn't concentrate. No matter how he looked at it, it appeared strange to him that Captain Levi had gone to speak to Mikasa. She was his subordinate, but still, if she knew who the Captain was to Eren now - if she knew he was Eren’s alpha now - how come the man had gotten out of that conversation without a scratch?

Eren’s attention floated off to the large bed that sat quietly in the far end middle of the room, positioned between two windows and surrounded by the golden light they spread left and right. Just by the sight of it Eren could smell Levi’s scent on its sheets, but the memory forced him to blink those thoughts away.
Near another window was a round table, big enough for four people. And Eren suddenly realized that he could invite Armin and Mikasa over for lunch sometimes, perhaps after most of this was settled. After all, the Captain rarely was here, Eren reminded himself and numbly looked down to study the carpets’ many patterns. When he slowly turned towards the fireplace again, Armin had already gone silent. The blond seemed confused.

“Eren?” He touched Eren’s shoulder, waiting for a reaction.

“Eh?” Eren's eyes flew to the source of his distraction.

“Are you listening? As soon as you see Mikasa, try to act normal, do you understand?...” Armin pressed, dread filling his expression. “She doesn’t know about you and Captain Levi.”

Eren instantly choked out a sound of disbelief before his mouth simply stayed wide open. It was like a horse had kicked his throat into the pit of his stomach. Armin had said nothing alike two minutes ago. “Bu- but you just said-“

“We had to tell her that - because of your shifter powers - you’re excluded from the program, otherwise she would’ve never complied. You know her.” Armin quickly tried to calm Eren, reaching out to take his hands. “We’ll have to find a better way to tell her. Together.”

“Of course we do!” Eren’s croaky voice forcefully grew louder. “She’s my sister and-… How do they plan to hide such a thing from her? Isn’t it our duty to bear children? You don’t still believe that the stork brings them, do you? She’s bound to notice! And she’ll be furious if she does before we've talked to her!”

Armin merely lowered his head as he waited patiently for Eren to finish his outburst. All he could do was watch as Eren helplessly buried his face in his hand. Once he had quieted, Armin took a deep breath. He was about to continue, but no sound came out. Instead, his lips pressed shut tightly, and he looked down in defeat.

He knew Eren was right. He was just as unsettled as him. He didn’t want to have to explain all this to Mikasa. He didn't want to be here in this situation either, wanted to disappear into nowhere every time he remembered – this was the new doctrine of their dictated future. And without a doubt, Mikasa could go as far as to get herself killed if they made one wrong move in confessing the truth to her. That and more kept Armin on edge constantly, not the fear of his body being taken.
The moments in which he forgot about what time had in store for them were rare, but Armin was mature enough to rip himself together now - so he told himself. He took another shaky breath and pushed everything else on his mind aside. He didn't see any importance in his own fears, this wasn’t about him.

“It’s complicated, that’s why we should wait until Mikasa has collected herself a bit. This will be a shock to her, as well.”

“Oh, and she’s ok with you being used like an object, but not me?” Eren’s head whipped away in rejection as he glared into the ground irritatedly. He would’ve screamed had he had the energy for it, however for now he had to bottle his anger up.

“She wanted to attack Zackley because of me. I honestly don’t want to find out what would’ve happened had we told her the truth about you and the Captain then and there,” Armin pointed out, raising a brow.

At that Eren went silent, emptily staring back at Armin. Their stubborn silence quickly stretched itself throughout the room like the roots of a dead tree. Armin knew he’d have to say it, sooner or later. Eren wouldn’t let himself be calmed if he didn’t. But the things running through Armin’s head - the things Eren wanted to hear - were hard to put into words… and difficult to speak of out loud.

The blond swallowed heavily after a few more seconds of consideration. “I feel… so very at fault. I know anybody could’ve thought up a plan like this,… I tried doing it so nobody could worsen the situation for us omegas… like suggesting mass-breeding methods. But this isn’t any more approved, is it?”

Armin’s words struck Eren like a flash of lightning, unexpected and disillusioning. He quickly straightened in protest, yet he couldn’t find his voice and he just froze up when Armin continued.

“Our first night… the Commander talked a lot at first. He apologized to me countless times, he was so sorry- and… it’s not like he’s… not gentle. I honestly feel like I'm hurting him more, like I did this to him… I brought this upon you, upon Mikasa, the Captain, and all those innocent omegas…” Armin looked down at his hands that he had now folded in order to hide their trembling.

“Armin, stop-“ Eren gaped helplessly. He wouldn’t have thought it was this that was so hard on Armin. Unlike the blond himself, Eren had seen Armin as one of the many victims of society, not as the one to be blamed. It wasn't he who had made humanity nearly go extinct.

“What’s worse, General Zackley was thrilled when the Commander and I came to report to him - as if we’d healed a deadly illness. I don’t want praise, for gods’ sakes! It’d be easier if people told me how much they hate me for this,” Armin murmured through gritted teeth before lowering his voice to bite back his occasional quakes.

“Armin, that’s bullshit! You’re too smart to let yourself be misled by stupid things like that.” Eren tensed up in anger. Commander Erwin had been despised by so many people despite his efforts to free humanity; Eren didn’t want Armin to end up the same. This was madness and Armin should've been able to see that. “You’re aware why this is the only way, aren’t you? We can't let humankind go down like this. And it's not your fault things ended up this way!”

“Yes. I know, Eren.” The omega flashed him a sad - but this time - sincere smile. “But I’m not hollow, not yet. I’m still human and I do feel anger at myself… I simply wanted you to know that I’m not the victim. Please, just take care of yourself and don’t worry about me.” He titled his head expectantly, slight fear taking over his features as he waited for Eren to promise him.

However, there was too much currently stressing Eren for him to even think of making any promises, his entire being refused to support such a ridiculous story. And he couldn’t believe what Armin was asking of him. He’d always be there for his best friend, always!

“Erwin is kind, you know?...” Armin began once more. His first attempt to reassure his restless friend had somehow caused the opposite, and he couldn’t keep it that way. “Erwin is different. He’s not the way you may think… Better it's him than anyone else. So don’t worry about me; anyone but me.”

Eren frowned in frustration, and slid forward to sit on the edge of the couch as if he were about to flee the room any second now. “If I can’t worry about my best friend, who am I to worry about then? The horseface?“

“For example.” Armin nodded intently, even though he knew Eren was being sarcastic beyond all boundaries of sarcasm. “Jean’s not doing too well either. Did you know he used to have a crush on you?”

“Shut up. That bastard.” Eren dug his nails into the sofa immediately.

Jean had always been fooling around. If Armin believed his dumb lies, then he’d sunken low.

Armin suddenly snorted - genuinely chuckled. Eren had to turn to see if he was making fun of him, or just faking it. But the other omega met his stare with a playful hint of mockery in his own and covered his mouth with a hand to muffle his giggles.

“Jean…” Armin laughed, unable to finish his sentence.

Eren grabbed the cushion beside him and shoved it into Armin’s face. “Ew, stop it! Don’t even joke about that!”

“Come on…” Armin caught his breath and hugged the cushion. “It’s not all that surprising, is it? I actually thought you knew… That’s why you two were always fighting, he's just bad at getting his point across.”

“I swear, I’d never dare think of such bizarre absurdities.” Eren wrinkled his nose, trying to hide his own amusement. “You’re not serious,” he murmured to himself in reluctance.

Armin never failed to make Eren smile, no matter how unpleasant their situation was. And yet the giggles slowly faded as their gazes connected again.

“Oh,” Armin peeked at the clock on the wall, alarming Eren somewhat with his sudden crestfallen tone. “It’s getting late.”

“Why?” Eren turned serious again. It was only shortly before five in the evening, not even time for dinner yet. “Does Erwin not tolerate you being late? You’re not his property, you know?” With that, distrust was right back on Eren's face.

“He’s not like that.” Armin shook his head desperately. “He’s a hardworking man and he’s always on time as well. I don’t want to meet his efforts with disrespect. After all, he’s still my superior.” Armin spun away, patting the pillow as he neatly put it back in place.

“Efforts? What efforts are we talking about?” Eren lifted a brow in suspicion. He thought his friend was acting weird. It wasn't fair that Armin managed to be so secretive.

The blond rushed into an upright position when he heard the door clicking. Two sets of eyes flew to the entranceway just as Captain Levi slowly strode into the room. The man blinked, first scanning Armin before his attention fell on a startled-looking Eren.

“Don’t mind me,” the alpha uttered in response to the boy’s surprise, and he wandered to the round table across the room where a pot of steaming tea was waiting for him. “You don’t have to leave, Arlert. I’m just taking a break,” he spoke as he poured himself a cup of whatever flavored tea Eren had prepared. The boy still knew Levi's preferred flavors from his time as his subordinate.

Eren had gone motionless, only his gaze following Levi’s steady movements. Eren hadn’t done anything to prepare the room or clean up a little. His and Armin’s empty cups were in fact still standing on the table the Captain was currently sitting down at. Eren’s pulse quickened as he remembered. He simply couldn’t imagine the man would approve of such a sight.
It was just that his superior never came to see him during the day, so Eren hadn’t bothered to tidy up early. The room was meant for both of them, however Eren had already gotten used to being left alone. Of course, now the alpha's sudden presence overwhelmed him.

Armin shifted into a salute, even if the Captain wouldn’t look up to see it. “Thank you, sir, but I was already on my way. Please excuse me.”

“Suit yourself,” Levi mumbled casually. “Tell Erwin to calm his shit. He’s already covered up to his neck in work, rushing it like that will put him in an early grave.”

Eren’s eyes widened in uncertainty when he realized Armin was about to leave him alone with the Captain, and he stammered in a futile attempt to keep Armin there: “Wait…”

“Maybe I’ll see you tomorrow.” The blond bent down to hug his friend with an apologetic smile. Then all that was left for Eren to do was watch him exit the room.

Instinctively Eren’s stare returned back to the Captain, who was sitting in one of the chairs practically facing away from Eren. The younger could see him bring a much too hot cup to his lips, yet the alpha didn’t even flinch - he liked it steaming. Eren’s heart was racing at an uncomfortable pace as he struggled to read the situation, overthinking what he should say, or if he should say anything at all.

Going by what Levi had said, Eren got the feeling the man wanted to be left alone and that Eren was to shut up, but he just couldn't be sure.
The omega was going mad, debating whether he should bother Levi on his break with probably annoying questions, or stay out of his business and endure this unbearably tense atmosphere for a little longer.

His superior had talked to Armin perfectly normal; he’d perhaps exchanged more words with him than he had with Eren in the past three days. Actually, Captain Levi had also spent more time with Armin than Eren had with either of them. Eren knew so since Erwin worked a lot with both, Levi and Armin.

The thought of that only put Eren at even greater unease. The young omega wanted nothing more than to end his state of frustration, lowering his gaze into his lap and opting for fidgeting with his hands. He could feel his confidence sinking with every second as his body ran amok on the inside just by the mere thought of Captain Levi.

For the past few days he’d only seen the Captain at night, and only to do one thing in particular. - Submit his body. Obviously now that his alpha was here, the first possible thing Eren could think of in his presence was that. Levi’s hands on him, his lips, the noises he made occasionally, the feelings he caused inside Eren - Levi was like a trigger and it was making the omega feel helpless and uncomfortable and dirty. He was ashamed, not knowing how to act as casually as Levi did; the older made it look so easy and Eren could simply feel guilty over how alarmed he was because of his Captain.

While Eren was mentally running in circles, trying to think of what Levi could want from him if not sex, he noticed something he should’ve noticed three days ago, and he could feel his blood go cold in his veins with new fear. Really nothing connected the two of them other than their duty to maintain a physical relationship that would hopefully bear fruits soon. Wasn’t it sad, gruesome even? Maybe Eren in truth didn’t know who Levi really was. And if they continued on like this, maybe he’d never find out. Either way it depended on the Captain himself and whether he even wanted a loving relationship with Eren, not just a physical one.

The boy sincerely wanted to doubt that Levi was so numb and unfeeling. Positively, or rather wishfully thinking they were just in the process of getting used to each other, that maybe they might actually be somewhat compatible, not just in bed. At least the man was gentle with him, so it had to mean he cared. Eren was aware they were still acting like strangers, and that he continued to fail miserably at trying to handle the Captain’s often plain indifference. Eren didn’t even know what was causing the alpha to be this absent, not to mention what he should do about it. The fear in his heart grew stronger whilst any determination decreased. He couldn’t accept a forsaken fate like this, having to live in such comfortless silence for the rest of his life; with the man he had to create a family with.

But being social just wasn’t in Captain Levi’s personality. He’d been taciturn long before the titans had been defeated and no enforced duty to breed would suddenly change that. It had just turned into one more problem for Eren; he would have to endure this for the rest of his life if it wasn't he, and he alone, who broke through those heavy walls between his alpha and himself.

“Did you have a chat with your friend?” Levi’s words suddenly tumbled through the room like a soft breeze, ringing in Eren’s ears instantly.

The brunette craned his neck in surprise, seeing the Captain was looking out a window, waiting for an answer.

“Oh… Yes,” Eren started, nervously pulling at the strand of hair that always fell over his temple and adorned his ear.

Levi gave a neutral sound of acknowledgement. “Erwin’s been keeping him busy lately. Maybe I can see to it that he’ll let the kid spend more time with you.”

Eren felt his heart flutter unexpectedly in excitement as he tried to suppress his sudden delight. He’d get to see Armin more often? As he thought, the Captain did have those soft spots. Relief washed over Eren as if someone had just caught him and lifted him out of the bottomless pit he’d been falling into.

He pulled his legs up onto the sofa and turned to look over the backrest, now encouraged to show his curiosity. “Will you be staying?” It had slipped out before Eren could’ve stopped it.

He cursed internally the same moment. He’d sworn himself not to come across as needy, or god forbid desperate, and yet here he was. Levi would definitely be annoyed now; Eren was entirely sure the older didn’t like whiny, clingy brats. And the silence was already awkward enough to make Eren feel insecure again.

What would he even do with the alpha if he stayed here? Or rather; what would the alpha do with an annoying, whiny brat other than discipline him?

“No. Erwin wants me to return to the office in ten minutes,” the Captain’s low voice rumbled calmly and he didn’t take his eyes off Eren for a long moment, making the younger want to turn invisible.

Eren flinched, scolding himself again as he ran his tense fingers through his hair. He spun himself back in the opposite direction, hearing only the Captain’s cup being placed on the table and the steady ticking of the clock.
After counting a few more seconds, Eren forced himself to finally look up, and only then did he see his superior was still gazing directly at him. Their eyes met anew and the boy felt his body stop moving, a certain overpowering stillness taking over him. It almost felt peaceful, as if Captain Levi’s will was consuming him.

He blinked in slight confusion while the Captain observed him, Levi’s intense stare trying to decode Eren. The alpha hoped Eren wasn’t dissatisfied with him being near him during the day, though he doubted his luck. The mere sight of his face must’ve already been haunting Eren by now; Levi didn’t even need to estimate his chances for that.

The man’s blank expression was one of thought, hiding the emotions he couldn’t dare to let Eren see. Eren stared back at him, looking somewhat lost as he let Levi inspect him. The older remained serene and reserved as always, that way the omega would never even suspect what was going on inside his stoic superior. Levi didn’t want him to.

He turned away from Eren and stood from his seat with a prompt sway forward, right away straightening into a tight stance.

“I… Uhm, my sister,” Eren hurried himself to say as soon as the alpha moved.

“Yeah,” Levi murmured in agreement, apparently already aware what this was about. “She’ll get herself killed one day if she continues like this. We’ll have to make sure it doesn’t get to that.” The Captain paused as he looked back at Eren.
“You and Arlert will be allowed to see her within the next week. It only depends on how busy Erwin plans on keeping me; he’d like us to be there when her new position will be announced,” Levi explained as he reached for the tray on the table to start gathering the tea set on it.

“Wait!” Eren rushed off the sofa in sudden surprise. Levi stopped himself, his narrow eyes nonchalantly sending Eren a questioning look. “I’ll get that. You don’t have to,” Eren stammered hastily as he urged himself to take the porcelain tea service from the Captain.

“Eren, it’s fine,” Levi coaxed huskily, the stern edge in his voice softening. “I’ll pass by the dining hall anyways. I’ll just drop it off.”

“But i-it’s not-“ Eren protested in worry. “You shouldn’t have to.”

“I’m not that busy,” the Captain assured, tilting his head with an unconvinced frown. “Unlike Erwin, I’m in no rush to have a heart attack.”

“But I’m already so useless here, and it’ll only get worse once I’m preg- pre…” Eren trailed off as he realized his superior’s frown was intensifying, making it clear he hadn’t asked for Eren’s opinion. The brunette swallowed at the look he was given and sighed in defeat. “I’m sorry.” He lowered his gaze in slight shame.

“I wouldn’t know why you should feel sorry,” Levi murmured as he picked up the tray, his tone an obvious hint that the argument ended here and that he did not want a reply. “…I’ll see you tonight.”

Eren gasped, alerted. “Yes, sir.” He nodded automatically, Levi’s words causing him to sober up.

Levi didn’t wait to head for the door, tray balanced on one arm. “And Eren,” he stopped for a brief moment as he grabbed the doorknob. “You can drop the formality.”

“I-“ The omega shifted uncomfortably as he watched the man leave, throat going dry. He was unable to even force out another word before his superior disappeared behind the closed door completely.

Eren stood in the now empty room in silence, confusion causing him to grimace at what had just happened. The boy let himself drop into the nearest chair, hunching over as his hands came up to cover his face. He was bound to mess this up the more he tried to be of some use to someone. He only had one last wish, and that was for his stubborn head to let him give up. Things would be so much easier that way. If he could just abandon his humanity, forget his determination and views even if just for a few years. He'd grow the fuck up and be the omega humankind needed him to be. Maybe then he wouldn't have to cry so often anymore, he wouldn't feel completely useless. Or perhaps if he could simply go numb and be empty. But that was as good as impossible, Eren wasn't that kind of person. He was emotional, passionate and lively, fierce as an omega could be. And he would have to find a better way to solve this for himself. He would have to get Levi to acknowledge him somehow and that would take him a lot of time and thinking. But Eren was sure it was worth it, with whatever clear mind he still had.

After today’s “disaster” as Eren interpreted it, he'd felt the stinging urge to do some cleaning; the only thing he could busy himself with before he would have to sit in the room alone until late into the night. The only thing he knew Levi would appreciate, even if the alpha didn't word his contentment. Seeing his nose didn't wrinkle in disgust was enough praise for Eren. He knew Levi that well at least. Fingers curled into his brown locks every so often, swiping away at the messy strands even though it was clear, his hair would never get any tidier than this. In fact his constant tugging only made them look more ruffled, some sticking up in strange directions, others scattered over his face, falling into his eyes. Eren didn't do it on purpose nor did he notice, he was nervous and lost in thought and he shook every now and then, hands automatically coming up to caress his face or hair, anything that kept them occupied.

The many times he looked out the windows worsened his state, with each glance it got darker, and Eren began trembling some more, aimlessly wandering back and forth over the carpet that he found to be the softest out of the ones in the room. He only realized his serious unease as he began lighting the candles in the room, the flame flickering in his quaking grasp, bending fearfully as it was grazed by his shaky breathing. It was then when Eren finally caught on to his own distress. He slowed his movements, expression loosening aside from the slight crook in his brow as he made his way back to the bed. He gradually lowered himself to sit. On the right side, the Captain's side.

Eren's distant gaze automatically drifted over to the pillows and down the neatly folded blanket. He couldn't help but reach out and run his hand up the mattress gently, where Levi usually lied. His fingers wandered further and futher up the soft fabric until Eren slowly tipped over to stay curled up on the Captain's empty side of the bed. Was he lovesick? It couldn't be. His mother had always said, there is no greater illness than that of the heart. His father as a doctor of course, had only scoffed and put it off as not a real illness. Now Eren knew, his father probably just never had felt this sort of pain. Gods knew it was real. And there was only one person that could cure him. Not a doctor.

Eren didn't know whether to be scared or ashamed of his own feelings, he couldn't even move away from his spot on the bed because that would've meant being further away from Levi. It was like a sudden attack of weakness. His fingers wrapped around the edge of the blanket to hold on to something as his body turned, spreading out across the bed. He didn't want to be moved and he didn't want to hear anything, just wallowing in his imagination for some time. The last thing he managed were a few sips from the glass of water on his nightstand - to cool his hotness down a bit - before he sunk against the bed with his cheek pressed down on the Captain's mattress. His scent, his warmth, perhaps something of Levi had remained on the sheets, Eren hoped. Time seemed to fly past him. His movements were so painfully slow to him as he watched himself lose one piece of clothing after another. He had so much to think about, he didn’t know if he was ready to face his superior again.

He could've had all the time in the world and yet he would've never figured out a way to please Levi, or draw some reaction from the man. In the end the door opened like it did every night and nothing was about to change.

“Eren,”

The boy obediently got on all fours even before the sound of Levi’s voice reached him. The Captain didn’t protest against Eren’s chosen position, nor did he demand an answer to his call when Eren didn’t reply. Why would he question it? Eren often gave him the silent treatment. But this time Eren had merely decided it was better Levi didn't hear his hoarse voice, or see his absentminded expression, so he didn't look back either. He could only feel the shift of the mattress when Levi's knee dipped into the bed as he positioned himself behind the omega wordlessly.
The man rarely deemed it necessary to undress himself much and Eren had of course prepared for the alpha, so the Captain lost no time in taking control over Eren’s bare frame.

Shutting off their emotions had become routine, just like sex. Levi noticed right away that this time there was a difference from their usual mating. Eren was a lot quieter than he’d been before. He was oddly reserved. The boy solely gripped the sheets beneath him, tightened his jaws with sullen force and remained as silent and motionless as possible as he let his superior take him. He concentrated on his breathing instead of making any noises. The only thing that resounded from his swollen lips was heavy panting, which he did in order to loosen himself up for the Captain. Just like the man had instructed him to during their first times and to lessen any pain.

It helped make way for Levi’s experimental thrusts as the alpha prodded forward inside him, and once the movements began flowing with ease, Levi let himself drive into the brunette’s body completely. Without creating a single sound, Eren's instincts had him synchronizing with Levi unconditionally, as if it was second nature to do so. He didn't need to try to control it, their bodies were possessed by a compatability neither of them could resist. And Levi didn't hesitate to make use of their own compliance, already thinking of ways to intensify their closeness and spur their lust. Something surely would make Eren cry out for him again. He stared at Eren's back, eyes remaining narrow and serene as his hands cupped Eren's hips. He ran his fingers down the front of the omega's thighs to his knees, as though to reassure him, before moving back up to pull Eren in closer against himself with his next thrust. He waited until their skin was pressed up against each other, then pulled away to come crashing back with more power and a speed that he would maintain until Eren gave any hints of wanting it another way.

The Captain could only assume the brat wanted this silence, maybe to pretend he wasn't here, but somewhere else. A better place, on the other side. And then, as always, Levi halted to let the omega adjust for a moment. Eren's body had already begun shaking with loss of stamina. He lowered his head, limply letting it danlge. He didn't care to respond anymore, he simply wanted to enjoy this for himself for once, and ignore his shame and thoughts of being unwanted. His lips hung open in silence at the feeling of Levi's length inside him rocking his body gently as the alpha continued not quite as harshly anymore. He was beginning to grow irritated by the lack of sounds coming from Eren. Without them Levi no longer knew if and when he was hurting the younger, or causing him discomfort. And there was hardly something Levi hated more than that.

“Tch.” His brows furrowed in frustration, and he briefly ceased his movements again.

He’d first have to find a way to soothe Eren, and fast. Eren’s impatience was ignored when the boy began nudging his Captain, grinding his ass into his superior’s lap for more. Unmoving, the alpha gazed down at the omega, still in thought. Despite Eren’s shy persistence making an unexpected appearance, Levi didn't act on it. He didn’t even respond to it properly, merely making Eren stop it when the brunette suddenly felt a hand gripping his neck.
Alarm caused Eren to freeze up in uncertainty, he couldn’t even gasp for air after how rigid his body had become. He didn’t know what was happening. Had he done something to anger the Captain? That was his best guess as he numbly tried to brace himself for whatever came next.

But the cold hand that clenched around his neck wasn’t at all scolding or punishing, the grip neither tight nor painful. On contrary, fingers began skillfully kneading Eren’s nape in a most gentle manner, to relax the omega. The massage drew a cautious moan from Eren whilst the steady grasp still warned him to stay still, but Eren's brief panic was most definitely dissolving along with his earlier nervousness and silent distress.

Levi began putting light pressure on him, slowly guiding him down until the boy’s head was nestled into the pillows, his back arching in an endearing and elegant bend, and his bottom sticking up, still stemmed against Levi’s thighs. Now that was how the Captain liked it; he could work with this. Eren just needed to let go of his fears.

The alpha’s strong fingers continued to massage him in just the right places, in a way that made the omega ease his tense posture. Eren could even feel his shaky breathing begin to calm. He felt safe beneath Captain Levi and something about that familiar feeling reminded him - he always had.

Back when they’d only met. And when Annie had come after him in titan form. Even when Levi’s squad had threatened to cut him up after he’d accidently transformed. On the battlefield, and in court meetings concerning Eren’s titan ability and further use; even during encounters with those obnoxious military police bastards. Eren had always felt protected in his superior’s presence, who had forced everyone to bend to his will with a single glare of his.
Captain Levi had always loomed over Eren like an ever-present reassurance for him, a barrier to the outside, that defended him no matter what. It couldn’t be so bad to be here with him now, could it? Maybe it even made it ok for Eren to fall in love with this man.

Either that, or Eren was starting to become desperate, for something that wasn’t there. Something that would make this whole situation more appealing, or at least acceptable.
Eren realized he'd either found an answer to this unexplainable mess, or he could’ve been slipping further away from reality this very moment, becoming delusional like many omegas did to protect themselves. So was it Captain Levi that was protecting Eren, or was it Eren’s own sanity?

As if responding to Eren's thoughts, a heavy, muscled body started to lean down over him, Levi’s hand slipping from the boy's thin neck and around to cup his throat. The Captain’s fingertips grazed his jawline with smooth precision, beckoning him to release his voice.

Eren thought he was beginning to see the situation, feeling Levi’s warm breath on his nape, shortly before his skin was met with hot lips. Lips that made Eren hitch as he waited for those unexpected kisses to be spread over his shoulders. The older male could only want something from him, that had to be why he was downright begging.
Increased compliance on Eren’s part was the result. He instantly drowned in the new affection, so it seemed. And his moans that Levi had been waiting for, automatically came back once the alpha began swinging his hips again, re-entering Eren with caution until the omega was filled to the brim, Levi's member fully submerged inside him again.

This time he’d make it impossible for Eren to bite back those sweet moans. They were the only thing that somewhat reassured Levi, that his subordinate didn’t entirely despise him. Maybe it was even a sort of praise to the Captain - he didn’t care as long as he could give this to Eren, as long as he could at least make Eren feel good if only for a few moments.

“Captain-!” the omega's cry for the alpha was drawn out, consuming all other words Eren couldn't force out in time. It was heaven to Levi’s ears, even if Eren had forgotten to leave away the titles.

Levi's hips sped up just as he felt Eren’s insides contract frantically around him, the boy’s moans becoming weaker and more weighed with pleasure. He responded perfectly to the Captain’s movements, steadier now. Their arching figures were completely harmonized with great ease as Levi’s body coached Eren’s practically on its own, guiding him. Eren was a fast learner when it meant he could show his superior what he needed, and the best part, the alpha would comply willingly. Any alpha in a frenzy like this had no resolve to resist, even Levi’s greed was too great right before climax - the moment in which he belonged to Eren and Eren alone.

The man buried his lips in the curve of Eren’s neck again, lapping at his smooth skin. Eren’s scent never failed to perk his appetite, and it drove Levi so far that he even managed to forget himself.

He let his eyes fall shut, hips rolling as his legs sharply snapped him forward against Eren's backside, the motions creating hard spanking sounds. But all that filled Levi's mind were Eren's pressed whines of arousal. Levi was hunched over his omega protectively, his deep black bangs tickling Eren's skin as Levi suckled his way to his shoulder, getting more and more absorbed in his work of rush-kissing. He gave in like he’d never done for anyone before, that was his mistake. Levi stopped thinking only for a second before he was already torn back into reality by a sudden agonized scream. Eren suddenly writhed beneath him in distress and shock, trying to pull away from the alpha instinctively but only tugging Levi after him. Levi, out of pure reflex, locked an arm around Eren’s abdomen to stop him immediately.

“Don’t move!” Levi ordered, quickly registering the turn of events. He’d lost track of his own actions, he’d fucked up.

“Egh-“ Eren flinched helplessly, clawing at the man’s arm to somehow make him understand that he was hurting him, but there was nothing Levi could do, and Eren was starting to realize that.

He sobbed in pain as he processed what must have happened. The Captain had knotted him, just like that, painfully, almost aggressively. That's what it felt like to Eren. He couldn’t understand why Levi would do that now and out of the blue, without warning. Did he want to punish him, seriously hurt Eren?

“Eren, don’t. You have to relax-“ Levi instructed breathlessly when he caught on to the omega’s panic, Eren impulsively tightening around him in resistance while at the same time trying to get away from him. “Don’t,” Levi repeated, pulling Eren back before he could make it any worse.

Eren was too weak to struggle any more, slumping back into the pillows with a desperate cringe on his lips. “Why?” he whined in hurt, trying to look over his shoulder in strain. Why had he done it?

“…I didn’t mean to,” Levi whispered as he saw the tears spill from Eren’s glassy eyes. He recognized the look of betrayal in the younger’s fearful expression, and dread gripped his heart at once, reason leaving him. “Eren…” the alpha forced out hoarsely, a hidden plea in his voice, but he doubted Eren could perceive it in his current state.

The omega still gasped for air in exhaustion, frantic as he tried to muffle a sudden burst of cries. He closed his eyes since there was no other way of avoiding Levi, who stared at him blankly with shock, staying as solid as a statue. He hadn’t meant for this to happen. He had gotten carried away once and this was the outcome. The Captain braced himself, expecting Eren’s whimpers to soon turn into wails. He had made the boy cry, and he would bear the consequences, for he had no explanation whatsoever. He didn't even know what to do now.

An explanation would simply be, he was an idiot. Yes, humanity’s strongest soldier was an illiterate, inarticulate idiot. Whatever was happening inside him, the alpha had no idea how to put it into words for Eren and so he told himself, he might as well suck it up.

“It hurts…” Eren wept quietly in confusion, as if the Captain didn’t already know that, or perhaps to ask him to make it stop. And it broke Levi’s heart as he could only gaze down at the broken omega.

Levi was still paralyzed by disbelief over his own actions. He knew he should’ve been in just as much pain as Eren at the moment; after all, knotting a reluctant omega was more than just agonizing, but Levi, despite being convinced that he fucking deserved it, felt no physical pain. And only because the emotional torment was currently too overpowering.

Eren hitched anew. He was still trying to bite back his tears, and Levi could barely believe it, after Eren had been treated like this. Levi wanted him to scream and cry, hit him if he had to, tell him what an awful human being he was and what a terrible alpha. But the boy never did, which didn't leave the Captain with many options.

He slowly reached out, tangling his fingers into Eren’s hair lightly. “Forgive me…”

Eren choked out a strangled cry of protest, gasping as he rubbed his arm over his eyes furiously. He no longer wanted to show Levi his tears as anger replaced sadness. But his drained body and the throbbing in his chest forced him to calm down. He was sure to faint if he didn’t.

His struggling finally ceased in defeat, voice becoming hoarse. “You didn’t want to?” he whispered shakily, hiding his disappoinment behind closed eyes. To Captain Levi he wasn’t even worth knotting, and that probably hurt the most. Eren’s face contorted in grief once more and he gripped the pillow, about to have a break down. - If it hadn’t been for Levi’s next words.

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” he corrected, arms still clinging to the boy’s lower half as if Eren would try to run away again. The alpha really just wanted to hold his omega. “That wasn’t my intention…”

It wouldn’t do any good, Eren wasn't satisfied with that. “Why didn’t you… knot me before?” his voice began trembling even more in fear of an answer. Eren didn't want to believe this was happening to him, when had he become so desperate for this man? For a bond?

The question caught the Captain completely off guard. If there was one thing he hadn’t been expecting, it was this.

He certainly... knew nothing about omegas. And he knew nothing about Eren.