This was never a good idea. Standing alone in the dark without so much as a knife on you. Three hours you’d stood and waited for your date and had they shown? Of course not. They’d probably smartened up and backed out of going to meet a complete stranger. I mean, who in their right mind would? You apparently. Well, at least if you got murdered you’d have Hanji to blame. It had been her idea to set you up with this person, saying how ‘romance would easily bloom as you both met at the lakeside’. Poppycock, a load of bull, so far the only company you'd had was from a very loud duck. You’d named him Eren for he seemed like a very angry duck. Finally, you gave up, slumping against a tree and sliding down to the base. A rather chilly breeze blew past, encouraging you to bring you knees up to your chest for extra warmth. It wasn’t the perfect situation, but you had to admit that the scenery was nice. Better than being cramped in your office at least, buried under the stacks of paperwork every squad leader would have to complete. Once again, if the commander complains, you could pin the blame on Hanji.
A snap of a twig and a rustle of fallen leaves brought you out of your thoughts, surprised to see the slim figure of Corporal Levi approaching you. In a flash you were up on your feet, back straight and fists positioned in a perfect salute.
"At ease squad leader. May I ask why you're out at this hour?" His gait was large as he took few steps to reach your side, his face -although intimidating- was less effective as he had to tilt it upwards to meet your gaze.
"I'm afraid you’d think me mad if I told you sir. Would you mind if I take a seat?" With a quick nod from the man, you both sat at the base of the tree, looking out at the moon's reflection on the water. "Hanji thought she'd have a go at playing cupid for me. She decided to set me up with this 'handsome bartender' as she so put it. But that was three hours ago, I just didn't see a point in going back inside. I’d rather have the peace and quiet than suffer with night terrors." Once again, you brought your knees to your chest, not for warmth, but for that extra sense of security.
"it seems to me that, lately you've been wanting any excuse to avoid sleep. But I don't think you mad for being out here. I too was set up by shitty glasses, some waitress who never turned up. God knows where she found our dates-" Levi was cut short by a soft giggle, the hand covering your mouth not enough to muffle the sweet sound. "something funny?"
You drew in a breath to stop your chuckles, brushing a stray strand of hair behind your ear "just, what if they ran into each other on the way to meet us? What if they really hit it off." A small smile was on your face "at least then romance could of happened for someone tonight."
"You have a very peculiar way of thinking (y/n)." The use of your name caught you slightly off guard, it was rare for him to call you anything other than Squad Leader and even then it was usually along the lines of 'brat'.
"I'm glad you think so sir. Perhaps it’s why we get along."
"If you think we get along that well then stop calling me sir, it makes me feel old."
"That's because you are old, Levi"
"Watch it brat" a strong laugh came from you, your smile extending across your face and your eyes shut. Levi watched your cheerful expression turn from joy to contempt as you finally calmed down.
"why do I let you get away with these things?" He muttered.
"Because we're friends" well that caught him off guard, even if he didn't show it. No one had ever told him so boldly that they were his friend. In fact she was one of very few to actually be his friend. Without a response from the man, you both slipped into a comfortable silence, until Levi spoke up.
"You mentioned you've been having night terrors. Has something been bothering you?" The soft smile you’d had on your face slowly turned to a scowl as the cogs turned in your mind, on how you hadn't slept in nearly a week, and how even when you tried you were awoken by violent dreams. With a sigh, you started to retell the stories that infested and lingered in the shredded remains of your once sane mind. It seemed that the army had taken more than just your loyalty, but in some aspects, your humanity. How you’d witnessed friends and family chewed and shredded between the maws of the titans, how new recruits had turned to shooting themselves, rather than facing the fight. How you’d pick around the dead and eaten bodies of your comrades, regaining gas supplies in order to save your own life. it seemed that with every death, and every theft, the blood would turn darker on your hands. the torment you’d feel in the showers, your mind turning the water to blood just to drench you in the guilt you felt for the fallen and how you could never seem to connect with your squad enough to help them in their time of need. It appeared all you could do was fail. The dream of ending it all haunted you, stood atop a roof and letting a titan take you to rejoin everyone in a world with no threat. To stop waking in a pool of sweat, your throat dry from wheezing gasping and the odd wandering cadet that had been awoken by your screams. numerous times had you skipped breakfast to lay and let the red stained streaks clear from your cheeks.
You whispered, feeling the stare of your captain as he took in your every word.
“I fear we will win. I fear we will be victorious and yet we will be unable to rejoice. How can any of us look at the world the same way after being a part of this? What can we possibly gain?”
“Nothing” It had been the only thing he’d said for the last hour. The very first low orange glow had peaked over the horizon. “We have nothing to gain beside a few small accomplishments. Relationships, friends, promotions, that sort of thing. But we are not fighting for our future, we are fighting for other futures. We may not be able to see the world in a new light but the next generations will not have the horrors to compare it to. We’re doing it for the, our goal is selfless, so I believe we should be allowed to be selfish in the acts we commit in order to provide that future.” His slim fingers brushed against the thin fabric of your military jacket before his palm rested on your shoulder, with a soft squeeze, you somehow felt the tension you’d been feeling lift, along with a slight tint of guilt. “We just have to look at the positives for now. It is all we can do.”
“You’re starting to sound like Hanji, you know that right?” you couldn't resist letting a smile lay itself upon your lips.
“Quite brat I don’t usually do this supportive shit” Your laugh once again echoed over the hills, reaching the horizon as the shape of the morning sun started to appear.
“You’re rather good at it though, we should have talks like this more often” although supposed to be a one off comment, you were surprised to have the man's gazed fixed upon you, his eyes calm and somewhat caring.
“Whenever you need, i’ll be here…” The gaze was held for a number of seconds, before the captain rose to his feet and offered a hand. “For I am certainly more reliable than our dates.”