“So, what do you see?” Levi asked, resting his forehead on
the back of Eren’s shoulder and nudging gently with his chin.
Eren let out a huff of air. “This is stupid.”
“No it’s not,” Levi responded. He ran his hands up Eren’s bare sides, soft and
slow. “You’re not looking.”
“There isn’t anything to see,” Eren said, and Levi could
feel his body tense beneath his fingertips.
“Nothing has changed. Nothing
will ever change.”
Levi studied Eren’s form in the mirror. He was tall, growing taller each day, and
Levi feared he’d be Erwin’s height before summer’s end. He looked on the scrawny side with lanky
limbs that hung around his body at awkward angles.
But strength, raw and a little frightening, radiated from
just beneath his perfect skin, and though no scars marred his body, Levi knew
the shape and weight of the wounds Eren carried.
“That’s not true,” Levi murmured near Eren’s ear. “Now look.”
Levi coaxed Eren’s face up with his fingers, so that his
eyes met Eren’s in the mirror. If Eren’s body betrayed none of his battles,
then his eyes held no secrets, two jade stones that could burn a hole through
Levi continued to cup Eren’s face, his thumb drifting
lightly over the skin of his cheek. “Look.”
When Eren did, when his eyes traced the lines of his body
through the mirror, his fists clenched at his sides. “Monster.”
It hurt, the way Eren’s voice sounded so resigned and
hopeless. Levi placed a kiss on his shoulder, just a brush of skin against
“So?” Levi asked.
“You’re a monster. So what?”
“What?” Eren was frowning and biting his lip.
“We’re all monsters in this world.” Levi moved his hand up his stomach until his
spread palm was resting on Eren’s chest. “The people out there, the Titans,
everyone. Even me.”
“No,” Eren whispered, twining his fingers with Levi’s, so that
both of their hands were resting over his heart. “Not you.”
Their gazes lingered for a long while, grey and green, watching
the way their hands fit together over the slow rise and fall of Eren’s chest.