Serpent banished 100 years ago by Shiranui and Nagi. Each head has an elemental power: earth, wind, fire, water, thunder, poison, light and darkness. The bell on its back tolls 108 times—one for each desire of its sacrifice
Eren was close to cry. He stood knee-deep in the water, surrounded by the ocean as it splayed immense waves around him. The sky was dipped in pretty sunset colours. Coral, blood orange, resting yellow, and tips of aqua blue mixed with faint lavender.
Minutes ago Eren had pointed at the horizon and claimed that there were enemies they had still to fight. Minutes ago he had been mourning over everything but also hadn’t felt anything at all. Minutes ago he hadn’t been able to form coherent thoughts other than the fact that life was demanding.
But now he wanted to ease off. Wanted to breathe, to feel, to swallow in that little moment of peace he and the others were granted with. Wanted to live. He wanted to hold him in the arms, dearly, and tell him that it would be over soon. Soon was so far away, though, he thought.
He wanted it to stop.
Eren stirred from the stillness of his body; closed his eyes, craned his head back and breathed in fresh salty sunset air. His lips quivered quietly and his eyes felt wet and swollen. Guess he did cry a bit.
He trudged back to the shore, being already received by him who had gazed at Eren from the distance.
Levi had his arms crossed and watched Eren’s every movement attentively; wary from uncertainty.
Eren didn’t want Levi to worry. They shouldn’t waste their time with that. So he met him with a smile, as hearty and genuine as possible for Eren, and he opened his arms, still stepping in water that went ankle-high.
“The ocean is beautiful.” he mused. It was as though his voice was strained from literally all the sorrow and pain from past years, tarnished and chapped, unable to return to its usual lively tone. However, Eren didn’t waste a thought on that, cleared his throat once and continued giving Levi a stare full of promises and love.
Levi didn’t move an inch. Went on gazing at his lover from a safe distance.
“Levi, please. Let’s enjoy this sight a bit. We won’t have that chance anytime soon again. Awe the ocean with me. Come here.”
Levi hesitated. Stood in place, fingers tightening around his upper arms and his usual frown grew.
“I’m fine watching it from this place here.” he retorted at last, and flicked his glance away from him, blinking.
Eren understood. There was something bothering Levi. He couldn’t weigh the seriousness of it, but there was something burdening on his shoulders. “What’s wrong?” Eren glinted a warm smile at him, a perfect reflection of the current sunset, personalized as a miraculous beauty which noone and nothing could take away from him right now—not even their enemies. Eren’s face bore signs of war and suffering, sadness and pain, sacrifices and death. They were present in all kinds of shape and form; visible and invisible, physical and mental, palpable on skin and lingering deep in his chest.
And yet there was still a bit of beauty – a bit of flawless perfection itself – grazing Eren, and Levi became weak to this side of him everytime anew.
“Nothing’s wrong.” Levi replied at last.
“What’s wrong, Levi?” Eren, sounding genuine, cast a familiar smile at him.
Levi stunned very lightly, a single vocal lost in his mouth. For quite a while his frown was intense, resolute, and he sulked in his own way. However, at some point in which Eren didn’t give up, patiently awaiting an answer as his expression remained the same and the salty breeze let his brown locks dance, Levi gave in. “I’ve never bothered to teach myself how to swim,” he began, gaze averted, a tiny blush tipped at his cheeks. He spotted the other soldiers already retreating to the back of the wall. It was time to go soon.
“So? I’m not asking you to swim with me. Let’s view the sunset from there.” He pointed at the vastness of the ocean.
“What kind of answer is this? I confessed to you just now that I can’t swim.” Levi’s tone got a tad sterner.
“So?” Eren repeated, and caused Levi’s mind to snap at his oblivious behaviour.
Levi extended his arms to the ocean as he explained, “Those are some big-ass waves! One probably needs a solid hold on their own feet if one doesn’t want to get splashed to the ground by them. Yes, even I, Humanity’s Strongest Soldier, have my worries. Horrendous, isn’t it?” Annoyed, Levi huffed, crossed his arms again and found the view of the other cadets making their way away from the ocean more interesting than looking into the emerald eyes of his own lover right in front of him, who was probably giving him one of his childish grins.
“I’ve waited so long for this.”
“Well, then, don’t mind me. I don’t want to ruin this moment for you. Go, admire the ocean alone. I’ll be fine all by myself here.” He waved a hand dismissively, still refusing stubbornly to meet his lover’s face, which was why he startled out of surprise when Eren took his wrists, tenderly, and planted a kiss on his cheek.
Levi flustered and felt more heat accumulating eagerly under the skin of his face. Heart pumping faster, blood coiling comfortably like woods being lit up for a bonfire, and emotions sprinkling every spot inside him, Levi found himself in a different state; enveloped by a warm proximity that Eren’s voice and touches and scent had created.
“I was waiting for the moment where I’d finally get to know Humanity’s Strongest’s fear. I never thought of you as fearless, you know. No one is.” Eren’s words sounding off right next to his ear woke up rare shivers of endearment which then intermingled with the haze of love revolving around them as naturally as the earth revolving around the sun.
At first Levi felt offended, acted like this, but the scowl on his face sought nothingness very quickly. His brows softened and so did the rest of his face.
“Fine, now you know? So what?” Levi scoffed and wanted to take some physical distance from Eren. “Oi, brat! Wait!” But Eren had lifted his body up, carrying him in his arms, before Levi could finish his thought. The boy with the emerald eyes, which let the narrow sunshines diffuse inside of his iris, glittered a smile. A lovely smile in that cruel world both were trapped in. Hostages of merciless life. Levi bumped a fist against Eren’s chest. “Let me down.” he ordered, voice stern but the authority seemed non-existent right at that moment.
So Eren stepped up forward, stalking through the sand and straight to the waves, deeper and farther, holding Levi as close to him as possible as he brought him closer to the sunset.
Eren’s face wore less strains, less crinkles, less pain, less despair and Levi was actually grateful to see him loosened for a moment. That was why he let himself get carried by Eren. If Eren wanted to see the ocean with him, then Levi shouldn’t complain about it, so he thought at the very least.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
Levi shifted his gaze forward and stared. Watched the waving water that produced froth as it weltered. Eren’s longer hair swaying in the wind, salty liquid tickling at Levi’s ankles, and for that one moment everything felt okay. Alright. Normal. Perfect.