the difficulty of levi is his sharpness. it’s in his face, baked into his eyelashes and peaked at his cheekbones. the corners of his lips dimpled in deep shadows that repeat in all the hard angles of his body.
but he moves like liquid in a gaseous space, spins and lands on his feet like a cat, his thin hair catching inertia and snapping back against his brow. he catches erwin’s eyes on the training ground, all angles reconstructing and freezing him into place, and nods once before shooting into the air again.
he gets closer, sniffs around erwin like a stray cat looking for scraps. he huddles against walls when he’s noticed, looks out windows or at his fingernails when erwin happens a glance. and even though he’s heavy with muscle, he’s still light on his feet, startles erwin when he comes up behind him to demand his paperwork to be signed.
erwin jumps slightly, but composes himself, turns on his heels to face the smaller man. “oh, levi. how are you this evening?”
“here.” levi shoves a bundle of papers into his hand, rests his fingers on top of his and lets them linger for two seconds too long. they both notice. “the expense reports.”
erwin doesn’t move his hand, looks down at levi and nods once, and levi is the one that breaks their contact.
levi appears in the light more often. comes into his office unannounced and takes a seat on his sofa to read over reports and formations without saying a word. erwin doesn’t say anything about this man that is both solid and liquid, a heated element that can both poison and heal. he finds he enjoys the company, the quick quips of words that always seem to bring perspective. the occasional joke that reminds erwin what it’s like to laugh. he’s a welcome addition to his office, one he misses when he is not around.
the first time levi brings him tea, he pushes a stray piece of hair from erwin’s brow back into place. he doesn’t look at him, looks at himself in the dark tea as he tries to remember everything about the feeling of callous fingers scrapping across his forehead. he wonders if there’s something hidden in the touch, like the instinctual affection of a mother’s, or something as outrageous as the consideration from a soulmate. he sips a small amount into his mouth and swallows it down with his thoughts.