first kiss in canonverse? for eruri fluff prompt
boy howdy anon you know the way to my heart. if only it didn’t take me a week to write 3 pages. read on ao3 if my tiny baby font is too much for you
He finds Erwin on the roof, eyes fixed on the sky, on the stars that formed patterns with names that Erwin had told him once before, information that had been lost almost as quickly as it came. The mission had been a disaster, and perhaps it was always going to be, like the ones before it and the ones to come. Somehow in the end, it’s always them left, breathing and whole, and Levi tries not to think about how that could one day change.
“What are you doing here?” He asks, coming to stand beside the man who towers over him, powerful and strong even when he’s worn down to the bone and weighted with a world of burdens he never shares. Always the commander, rarely just another man. Levi tilts his head up in an attempt to catch a gaze that won’t meet his own.
“I was waiting for you.” Erwin says, voice soft, the chink in the mask that leaves Levi waiting on baited breath for something more because when Erwin speaks it sounds like some kind of admission, like he’s telling him something secret and forbidden. A beat, the smallest silence seems to drag on for hours between them until he swallows hard, peering down over the edge at the cobblestone far below.
“Tch. Shouldn’t have wasted your time. I don’t come up here much anymore.”
“But you’re here now.” The smallest silence, the smallest distance between them and Levi aches to let his hand stray, to close the few inches between his fingers and Erwin’s, to hold on to something warm and real.
“Yeah. I guess so.” He considers even the quickest brush, something almost accidental, something he can carry with him until he finds an excuse to let himself linger– to brush a hair back into place, that brief contact when Erwin will take a cup from his hand, a teasing nudge. When he lifts his head, Erwin has turned, back towards the sky, blue eyes trailing over him, picking him apart piece by piece, unreadable as ever. He looked down again, face burning as an angry blush creeps up his neck. “Shouldn’t you be kicking your ass in your office by now?”
Erwin gives out a quiet laugh that does nothing to ease the red in Levi’s cheeks or nauseating pounding in his chest. They’re close enough that Levi can smell the cologne he wears, strong and smoky, a gift from the wife of a noble who liked him a bit too much, if anyone were to ask Levi’s opinion in the matter. Still, the scent leaves him dizzy, his fingers curling towards his palm to keep them from reaching out. Nails pressed into skin, a little pain to keep his head on straight.
“I thought I’d kick my ass where I could get some fresh air instead.”
“Productive of you.”
“Yes, I thought so.” Levi hardly has to lift his gaze to see the soft smile that tugs at Erwin’s lips, the quiet break from the hardened, commanding mold that could break the man beneath it. Just another man, with limbs that can be torn apart and a heart that can stop beating as quickly as any other. He clenches his fist a little tighter.
“Why were you waiting for me anyway? Forget how to take a shit on your own or something?”
“I suppose I was seeking out comfort.” Levi could have laughed. For a moment he thought he might, but his heart hammered harder, his breath came out shorter. He shifted his weight from one leg to the other, and then back again.
“Who else? You’ve always been my source of comfort. I rely on you for it… perhaps more than I should.” He doesn’t look up– he won’t look up. Not until large, calloused fingers brush against his chin, guiding him until their eyes meet, Levi’s wide and Erwin’s burning and bright. “You’re… you hold me together.”
He means to step back, to turn before he embarrasses himself, before Erwin can realize that with every moment Levi mends and stitches, he unravels, that there’s only so much of him left that he hasn’t already given away. “Well somebody has to babysit you,” He mutters, voice weak. He means to push but Erwin pulls, hand trailing from his jaw to his cheek as the other raises to cup his face, holding it like it’s something precious, something sacred and it’s nothing if not confusing. Levi has never been sacred or precious, has never been anything but a weapon, a tool, a sloppy string of glue to hold the world together. “Erwin.”
Blue eyes only stare, considering, lingering on lips that part underneath their heavy gaze before darting away. For a moment Levi thinks Erwin will let go then, that he’ll realize what it is he’s doing, what it is Levi wants, that this is all some strange and irreparably awkward misunderstanding.
Soft lips against his forehead say otherwise, Erwin’s hulking frame stooped and bent. Levi stands frozen, rigid, a fleeting thought wondering if he might throw up or maybe even drop dead right then and there because he’s never felt his knees go weak like this before and every last gasping breath has been knocked from his chest entirely, and when he lifts onto his toes, eyes slipping shut as pathetic instinct takes over and allows him to sink, he thinks that this is probably either a cruel dream or a horrible idea. Cold night air hits his cheek where a hand had been only a moment ago, a hand that somehow finds it’s way to his waist, and it’s only then that Levi is able to breath again.
“Erwin,” He says again, frowning up at a face he can’t quite read, nearly perfectly posed as always, but the hand at his waist gives the smallest tremble. He’ll give Erwin an out even if it destroys him, if that’s what he wants, pretend this never happened and keep his twitching fingers and dumb and desperate longing to himself while there’s still time– before he gives what’s left to give. “This is fucking stupid.”
He wants something clear, something he can take and run with. Erwin is sure of many things but he’s never so sure of himself. It’s easy to forget, until he’s staring that uncertainty in the face. Still, those hands never leave him, and he finds himself leaning in to the large open palm that continues to cup his face, large fingers brushing against his cheek, his lips, the tip of his nose. This is fucking stupid.
“I often feel a little stupid around you,” Erwin says at last, the words dripping slowly from his tongue like a confession from a sinful man, and Levi thinks he could tell him until they’re old and gray that those little confessions mean nothing because he’s done nothing wrong and never tire of it. He can feel the hold begin to loosen, doubt coming in to take away whatever this is as Erwin opens his mouth to speak again, to form some kind of apology, to turn away. It’s soft and it’s subtle and it’s all he can do– lifting again to press a fleeting kiss to Erwin’s jaw– but it’s enough. It keeps them there until morning.