i personally like ‘never again’ for the vibe of change that it infers, harry will never again have to lie about liking certain girls in interviews, will never again be forced into unhappy bearding arrangements. 'never again’ speaks of making it to the light at the end of that tunnel and not looking back, 'never again’ is a victorious statement 🌈
Levi had forgotten, immensely, how interesting other people
could be. He’d spent a long time alone, and longer still avoiding stray glances
at his local bar. He thought he’d learned everything he ever needed to about
men and women.
They always wanted things—primal, hard things, like pulling
fistfuls of dirt from the ground and then asking why nothing new had grown.
Strange, compulsive needs that scared Levi and made him wind the golden strings
of his spine like a grandfather clock. But time refused to quicken, no matter
had badly he willed it.
Most of all, other people always seemed to want the very
things that Levi couldn’t possibly deliver—not least of all because he was unwilling,
but because those things were broken and not entirely his to give.
So he wasn’t surprised, nor exactly eager when a young man
hopped onto the barstool next to him and tried his best to push away the gloom
Levi had resting on his shoulders like a winter jacket.
And the boy did have a bit of the sun about him, clinging to
the beauty of his youth and the lithe lines of his body, but Levi saw the
wanting in him same as everyone else.
“It’s no use,” Levi said gruffly, turning back to his drink
and away from the hazy green of his eyes. “Go find someone else to charm. You
“No,” the young man said simply, shaking his leg against the
bar. “I’d rather not. I’m Eren, by the way.”
Levi felt very old then, like if he sliced a knife into his
forearm the rings of millions of years would be etched inside his bones.
“Maybe you are Eren,” Levi said quietly, looking at the all
the strangers in his bar. “And maybe you’re not.”
That seemed to give the other man pause, earning him a long
look over the rim of his glass. What a strange thing to say - why had he said it?
“And maybe,” Eren said, leaning in to Levi’s
space with his lips quirked in pure determination. “You’re more interested than
Eren was watching him closely now. “What makes you so
special?” he asked without looking at him.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say I’m special,” Eren smiled then, sharp
and cold. It sent something stirring in Levi’s mind, like wind moving through
autumn leaves, while he stood beneath and stared at the blur of brass colors
smearing against the sky.
Instead of asking Have we met?, which seemed so insanely
ridiculous he dared to even think the words, he snapped, “Then what good are
Eren just gave him another unreadable look. Then he plucked the cherry from his
drink and brought it to his mouth. He slid the red, shining fruit over his
bottom lip before popping it in. A bright flash of teeth, and then he
waved the cherry stem in Levi’s face before sliding it between his lips, all without
taking his eyes off of Levi.
A moment later, he stuck his tongue out slowly. The cherry
stem sat on the middle of his flattened tongue, tied in a perfect knot.
“Gross,” Levi said, fighting the breathlessness that tried
to claw its way up his throat. It was a parlor trick, nothing more than a means
for the boy to get what he wanted.
Levi doubted he rarely heard the word no.
Eren set the tied cherry stem on the bar between them. “You
don’t think it’s gross.”
“Oh, but I do,” Levi said, feeling angry suddenly, lying
tight knuckled fists on the bar. “You’re just like everyone else. As you said,
there isn’t anything special about you.”
Eren moved his eyes down to Levi’s crotch and then back up,
catching at his throat and lips before meeting his gaze. “Liar,” he said. “I don’t
remember you being such a bad liar, Levi.”
And like that, a switch flipped in the back of Levi’s mind
at the sound of his name. Terribly green fields, skinless suns and the grey,
haunting steam that rose from the puddles of blood staining everything in