Levi is the Humanity’s Strongest, but Erwin respects him for more than that. Levi is a man, a complexly elegant man, and he expresses his admiration and respect in the way that he writes his name.
Written for @lenacs for winning second place in my giveaway! Prompt was “Levi recognizing his feelings”… And of course I made it sad.
Levi watches Erwin more. Takes a seat to Erwin’s right, uses the end of the desk for his own workspace that Erwin never asks him to return. And he watches how he writes, sees how heavy his quill strokes can be depending on the name, the report, the time of day. He watches how he writes Levi’s name, how there always seems to be a beat to it, gentle and steady, deliberate. He starts the ‘L’ with a loop, like he does his own name, a loop at the angle, the end of the stroke folding back into the open space. The ‘e’ is open and loose, the crook of the ‘v’ sharp and defined, the ‘i’ dotted carefully and always immediately above the stem. He has no last name, never cared for one, doesn’t take a fake one, and Erwin respects it. Erwin writes his name exactly the same every time. Levi takes it for his own, having studied the scripture of Erwin’s writing as if it is the printing press to his identity.
“What is it?”
Levi blinks slowly, drifts his eyes up and shakes his head. “It’s nothing.”
Erwin looks at him, and he feels strange inside his chest. Levi is a collection of feelings that he tries to repress, but Erwin opens him like a sewing box, pulls out his threads and detangles him, finds beauty in everything that he is, tugs on the thick red string he finds until Levi feels it scar his heart. “You have been staring for a rather long time.” His voice is quiet and measured like it always is.
“You should be quicker if you expect to get any of this done tonight.” Levi looks down at his own paperwork, presses his lips together in order to keep the feeling inside.
Erwin tilts his head slightly, the candlelight revealing the quaintest of smiles in the pool of shadows on his cheek. “Some things are worth the extra time.”