It had been simple in the beginning. Mikasa had been angry at Captain Levi and she had devised several ways how to make him pay. That stupid cravat of his played a prominent role, a good anchor for her hand to pull his face closer to her fist.
The things had changed eventually. Her anger simmered out and a reluctant sort of respect took its place. She no longer imagined the best way to pay him back for what he had done. He was still an infuriating asshole but the urge to hurt him had passed. She could even say that she started to look up to him in certain ways. His fighting style, for one, was one of the most effective she had seen and she was skillful enough to be able to emulate it.
In her observations of him, Mikasa had noticed his lack of cravat during their days in the hiding but thought nothing of it at first. She had once considered it a strategic asset that could be useful in a confrontation but since she was no longer entertaining those thoughts, it had no impact on her.
Until he started to wear it again.
The dream that night had started like so many of her previous fantasies. She would say something to him and he would reply back, her temper would flare and she would grab his cravat to pull him closer and to emphasize that she was taller than him, all for the sake of intimidation.
In her previous dreams, she had used his cravat to pull his face closer to her fist. In this dream, she fisted her hand in the fabric and dragged his face to her own until their lips were milimetres apart and then she closed that distance, too.
It startled her right out of her sleep but what was even more disturbing was her own reluctance to acknowledge the dream as a nightmare to a sleepy Sasha.
Mikasa was glad that their new duties had the squad separated from their Captain so often. She didn’t like looking at him because he once again wore the cravat on what seemed a permanent basis and it was a constant reminder of what her imaginary self did to his imaginary self using the piece of cloth.
She was sure this would eventually pass. She was sure it was just the stress and worry and anticipation as the days moved ever closer to the Shiganshina operation. She was sure-
-that Captain Levi was still supposed to be in the capitol, not at the orphanage.
For a moment, Mikasa thought she was still asleep. The man who featured so prominently in her dreams and who she had done her best to avoid recently was right in front of her. He looked like he had had a bad night, the bags under his eyes once again pronounced.
He stood in front of the room that had been assigned to him, obviously having just closed the door behind him. He must have gotten in late last night.
“Mikasa,” he said and she nodded at him.
“Captain,” she replied and that would be the end of it except her eyes landed on that infernal cravat. Later on, she would blame her sleepless nights and dreams that were not nightmares.
“Excuse me,” she said and stepped up, untying the wrinkled fabric. She smoothed it out, then deftly retied the knot, all the while keeping her eyes down. “That’s better.”
His “thank you” came with just enough delay that she realized he was probably just as surprised by her actions as she was but she would not back down.
“I’ll see you later,” she told him and then promptly turned away, the mortification catching up with her along with the gratitude that at least, she hadn’t reeneacted her dreams exactly.
chimerical - merely imaginary; fanciful