me: [sobbing] ‘leave the lights on’ by natlet, the canon 28k silverflint reincarnation fic set in the 21st century where james has the life of freedom he fought for in his past life and gets reunited with his soulmate after 300 years
because sometimes people tag terribly sad things when they reblog my stuff. so here’s a reprise to postwar dreaming.
he had been right.
he and erwin had enjoyed their new house for a brief amount of time. the first week levi moved some of his plain clothes and uniforms into an empty drawer in the bedroom. he purchased a bag of miscellaneous home stuffs–utensils, cookware, items to make cleaning supplies, and the most expensive piece–a blown glass vase that he placed on the dining table.
they ate at the table for the first week. it was surreal. coming to the house after training and mountains of paperwork only to act a life that they never belonged to. they would eat under candlelight, speaking briefly about their day’s work as if it didn’t involve lives that had passed, lives that were going to pass. that in the end, they were playing with each soldier’s life as easily as a pawn on a chessboard.
levi found he enjoyed sleeping in beds, under covers, with his limbs tied up like knots around erwin. it wasn’t that he hadn’t had those nights before in erwin’s quarters, in his quarters, but there was always the risk of a hesitant knock at the door from another officer. and it wasn’t that they still didn’t wake up early. erwin would sometimes sit up against the headboard, papers in his hands and on his lap as levi drifted in and out of sleep, his body curled against his leg like a cat and his forehead pressed against the side of erwin’s thigh. erwin would occasionally drag a finger along levi’s shoulder blade, arm, cheek, and they’d both smile groggily in the presence of the other.
levi had found words burrowed within the wooden walls of the house–like termites they bred and crawled out through his mouth like pests. “you look handsome.” “i need you.” and one time, “i love you.”
levi stopped suggesting they go home so frequently after that–visits spacing out from weeks to months. he’d visit on his own to clean the dust off of unused cast iron pans, wash and hang sheets that hadn’t been used since the last cleaning. he tossed out rotten and wilted flowers from his vase and replaced them with new ones he picked on the way in.
erwin joined him one time during cleaning. cornered him against a wall and pulled the handkerchief down from his nose and placed a gentle kiss on dry lips. “i love you.” he said, and levi wanted to dodge out of the way of erwin’s mass… but it pulled him in like gravity, his heart floating up through his throat as he pressed his lips against erwin’s. they ended up tied together in their bed, levi’s nose nestled in the back of erwin’s neck, his bottom lip moving and playing with the stubble of erwin’s undercut.
“i love you too.”
when erwin lost his arm, it was harder to break down his walls. he stayed up later at night, slept less, talked little. he spoke to levi differently, more formally, like they didn’t have six years of history between them. levi came to him one night, interrupted erwin’s preparations for their expedition to reclaim shinganshina. “come home with me.” he said.
“i cannot, levi.”
levi’s jaw set, and he turned to leave, grasped the handle to erwin’s office door as he kicked back the tears that threatened to touch his eyes. why did he care so much? why was he going to cry over this and not things that mattered–like the countless soldiers that had lost their lives over the years. no, being rejected was what threatened to break him. he tried one last time to keep himself together, “please.”
levi swallowed and left the office. he went back to his quarters, looked around at his bed, his chair, his clothes. he grunted as he took the back of the chair in his grasp and threw it across the room. he pulled the hair of his bangs at the roots, huffed out angrily through his teeth before turning and leaving his room. he walked briskly away from base, ignoring any looks from fellow soldiers as he did.
he made dinner. put out two plates but ate alone under candlelight. he didn’t sleep at all in their bed that night. he needed erwin there, wanted erwin there. they had such little time together left… erwin was going to go into war with one arm–no longer a warrior but a figurehead. levi curled up on the bed, buried his head into his forearms and clenched every muscle to keep himself from falling apart.
he left the next morning after putting out a fresh cut of flowers.
when he returned, the vase was littered with fallen petals, the water in its basin having evaporated and leaving a dusty film around the bottom of the vase. it had been 8 months since he had opened that boysenberry door. and as soon as he saw how unchanged it had all been, levi wanted to make it to be 8 more.
he pulled the chair out from the dining table and sat down with his fingers folded in front of him. he stared off for a long time until his tears pattered onto the dusty table, and his voice shook through the empty house declaring the one thing he was always so painfully afraid to admit to erwin inside these walls: “i love you.”
Taking place in an AU where the Chargers are sacrificed and Bull betrays the Inquisition.
“Bull… what are you…?”
The Qunari’s expression was hard as granite. Flat. Delton saw many things; it was how he’d kept himself alive on Starkhaven’s cruel streets. But for the first time he searched and searched for the familiar on a suddenly unfamiliar face, and came up hollow. Empty. Distress rose to coat the back of his tongue.
The Iron Bull’s mouth twisted. Not ruefully, but in a kind of bitter acknowledgement of the expression trapped on Delton’s face. That cut-flower hope, lingering and desperate, clinging to life despite knowledge of the inevitable.
“I…” Delton took a single step back. Then another. “I trusted you.”
The Qunari watched coldly as the red-head retreated. Slow. Terrified. Betrayed. Delton’s back met the wall of the cave, trapping him, forcing him to face the one thing he had feared from the start.
Green eyes, once bright and teasing, widened as the truth sank its fangs into his heart; widened as Bull reached up and drew his axe.
“Katoh,” Delton breathed, his hand already groping blindly for his staff. The staff he never used for fear of hurting those he loved. “Katoh, Bull, please. Don’t—”
So I’ve been thinking about Bungou Stray Dogs a lot lately and it’s recent rapid decline into a series a baffling, shitty contrivances. And I’ve been thinking about what it would take, for me, for the series to fix itself.