Her toes curled in response to his feathery touches along the insides of her thigh, and her lips curled up at the corners to match. When his fingers reached the warm wetness between her legs, and she let out a pleased sigh as her back arched against the sheets, it became obvious to Levi that she had done this before. Her giggles and her openness to his touches gave away her experience. Similarly, he gave away his own in the precise way his touches alternated between firm and delicate, teasing and pleasuring.
No need to worry about first-time jitters, careful preparation and stretching… not when their needs were much more urgent for the present time. And that was a blessing.
Levi slid a finger gently in to the accompaniment of her delightful moans. Levi was always such a stickler for cleanliness, so abhorrent of filth, but even he could indulge in the basest pleasures of human beings. The thought made Hanji smile. Well, that and the fact that his thumb was circling her clit slowly as he fingered her.
Her hands clawed at his arms, pulling and tugging with such urgency he had to obey.
His fingers fumbled to remove the slip of the strap from around his feet; she attempted to help remove the belts from his thighs. He pulled at the buckles around his waist as if he were somehow being timed for the whole process and his frown was evidence that he was losing. Oh, for fuck's—
Abandoning the belts, he opted to just undo the button and the zipper, belts be damned. The main functioning equipment would be out and that's what was important anyway.
She laughed at his haste, never mind that she had insisted on it, and the sound was bubbly in his ears. Could sounds be bubbly? It didn't matter. What mattered was that he slide… inside… just… like…
Her grin was satisfactory. And new. He had seen women lose themselves in their throes of passion, squirming, panting… never grinning like madmen. They never made him feel like he wasn't the one in control. But it wasn't as if this novelty made his erection fall flaccid. It was just… different.
She laughed again at the slight twitch in his eyebrow.
"You know what to do from here, right?"
She didn't, in fact, shut up. The rhythmic pace of his thrusting was keeping her vocal chords rather preoccupied with not shutting up.
It was frantic, hurried. It wasn't that they didn't enjoy the interim, but this time, they were focused on their goal. She groaned and cried, thrust her hips back into his, clawing and biting at everything she could reach. He was panting harder than he ever did in battle, grimacing at every mark she left on him and making a mental note to pay her back in full at a later date.
And when she came, she did it with a smile, her legs wrapping firmly around him, and he followed soon after with a low groan and a few choice thrusts.
After their bodies had stopped shivering and their muscles could relax, she clung to him like a child to its mothers neck. But they were sweaty and sticky and covered in at least three different kinds of bodily fluids and all of a sudden Levi's OCD was back with a vengeance, and he unfurled his body from her grasp.
"Let go, we're filthy."
"You weren't complaining two minutes ago."
Grudgingly, Levi rolled over beside her on the bed, separating most of their skin-on-skin contact, though not all. Hanji smirked at her small victory and let out a small giggle.
"You do that a lot."
"...I had a good time. Why? Are you not used to giving women a good time?"
Levi scowled at the implications in her question. Her response was only to continue laughing.
"We should do this again…" she murmured as her eyes slid slowly shut.
Levi didn't ask how many men and women she did this with or had done this with. They were in a suicidal line of work, and comforts were taken wherever they could be found. Partners never lasted as long as you wanted them to. One-night stands were common. So were poly-amorous relationships.
But Levi liked to keep things simple and minimalistic. He only ever had one lover at a time.
"So long as you stay alive, we will." His voice was softer than the sentiments that were spoken.
That was the first time they laid together.
It was before Levi's promotion to Lance Corporal, when they had just returned from an abysmal scouting mission, losing 45% of their troops. He had found Hanji kneeling at the mutilated corpse of a man who barely had a discernible torso left to him. She was smiling down bitterly at him.
"What's his name?" Her attitude, her expression, everything screamed that she had known the man. Levi didn't.
"His name was Thomas. 47th Division, new recruit." Her voice was hard, and it did not break or falter.
They were all covered in blood and dirt, filth and grime, but he knelt down to take her hand in his, grasping it tight and taking a moment to offer his silent respect to the fallen soldier, her comrade. She was the one who entwined their fingers and held on tight the entire way back. They had known each other for a few years at that point. Though they had trained together, they were in different divisions, different missions, usually. Aside from Irvin, Hanji was the one Levi had known the longest in the entire corps. Certainly the one he knew closest.
That night, they both needed a friend to help cope with their losses. And so they had tumbled into Hanji's bed, still covered in the filthy aftermath of war and death. But that only made them feel more alive. The guilty pleasure of the survivors, who did all they could to find comfort in their grief, in memory of the fallen. Or so they told themselves.
Half a year later, when Levi stood over the remains of the former Lance Corporal taking in his own promotion, he thought to himself how much he needed that 4-eyed guilty pleasure again.
As soon as they returned, he went straight to where he knew she would be, found her blessedly alone, and planted a demanding kiss on her lips.
Afterwards, they lay panting and spent in Hanji's laboratory, lying on the floor beneath one of her worktables. Feeling giddy in the afterglow, Hanji decided to lie down naked next to Levi while scribbling notes into her research notebook. Best of both worlds, she thought.
"Do you have to do that now?" Levi grumbled.
"Did you have to do me just now?" She jabbed back with a smirk.
"It would have taken too long to get you back to your bunk."
"And I obliged. But I was in the middle of something before you came in, you know."
Levi told himself he wasn't at all jealous. That would be ridiculous. To prove it, he folded his arms like a petulant child and pouted at the ceiling. Giggling, she pecked him on the nose before she returned to her scribbling, making an offhand remark.
"We should do this again. In the lab, I mean."
She said it after almost every time they had sex. It was her way of making a small promise, he supposed. Fight. Live. Stay alive to do it again. It was a good luck charm for them both. So far, it had worked. Hanji and Levi were each other's longest partners to date, and that was a remarkable feat.
One night, as they lay naked and curled up against each other, Levi's hands running absentmindedly through her hair, his curiosity won out against him at last.
"Who was your first?"
It was a question that had been burning in his brain ever since the first time he had touched her naked body. That first night, he had still only thought of her as a friend in need of comfort. But they had been lying together regularly for almost a year now. He wasn't sure he could strictly call her a friend anymore. And he had learned within their first month that she was as monogamous as he was.
She began to draw small circles on Levi's chest as she quietly answered,
"His name was Leonard."
"He was in our training squadron."
"So was Donna."
It didn't surprise Levi that she had kept track of everyone's lovers. Or perhaps it was more accurate to say that she simply kept track of everyone she knew. Maybe it was a habit of the scientist who must document all she sees and observes. Or maybe her heart was just that big.
"Leonard was strong, I thought."
"Were you looking for someone strong?"
"His gear malfunctioned. He hadn't made any mistakes up to that point. He'd killed over a dozen titans, and it was the cruelest way for him to go that his death was caused by some malfunction in his gear."
As she spoke, her voice was exactly as when she had named the fallen soldier Thomas. Hard, unbroken, unfaltering. It was hard to tell how much she had cared for any of these men before their ends.
"Donna was an MIA for a while." He opted to reciprocate. "We were collecting bodies after a mission, and she was nowhere to be found. Not even a single limb. Experience told me she had been swallowed whole by some bastard Titan. But the official records had to keep her status in limbo."
"You don't know what happened to her."
"I wasn't there."
Silence fell among them. It was like seeing trickling water come out of the cracks in a glass. The water so desperate to escape, but the glass intent on holding it all in, pretending the cracks aren't there. But glass is so transparent, and when the light falls on it, it can't hide how broken it is. They were letting the water escape little by little.
"After Leonard, there was Conroy."
"Stupid guy. But he was sweet and was quite well endowed."
Levi's eyebrow twitched in irritation. Stupid and sweet were antonyms for Levi, and he didn't want to consider that last part.
"Oh don't make that face. Who was after Donna?"
There was the suspicion that she already knew the answer to that question, but he decided to keep talking.
"I don't know if she was interesting or not; she didn't talk much."
"She was shy. Flattered as hell that you took to bed with her."
Of course she knew.
"She wasn't very strong. Essentially died of panic in her first mission."
"Were you looking for someone strong?"
"Not then. Maybe that was my mistake."
"Don't call them mistakes."
"So are you."
"Are you looking for someone insane?"
Her lips curled up into a coy smile and she reached up to cradle his face in her hand. When she kissed him, he didn't pull away. She took that as his answer.
They didn't name the rest. The present was swiftly demanding more of their attention than the past.
One year. The thought took less than half a second. As he swung through the air effortlessly, maneuvering his 3d gear with precision, Levi thought to himself that it had been one full year since—well.
He landed on a tree branch next to Mike, and looked down at the disgusting titan faces gawking up at them. How Hanji could find any of these bastards adorable was beyond his comprehension. Their blank faces, drooling mouths, infantile bodies… One 5m, two 6m, and one 7m titans. Between Mike and himself, four normal titans were easy pickings.
"Let's find an abnormal." Levi said suddenly.
"What? Are you serious?" Mike looked incredulously at his commanding officer. Not that he could really disobey if that was the order, but…
"We can handle it if there's only one. "
"I know you could, but—"
"I'll make sure no one dies."
Then he took off, flying through the trees.
"Oh for the love of—"
"They're back!" Petra burst into Hanji's research lab with the news just as her commander was ripping out another sheet from her notebook and crumpling it up.
"It's no good, Petra. I need more titans to study, or I can't further my research at all! Everything is at a dead end!"
"Oh my—you smell… when was the last time you bathed?"
"I don't know. What day is it?"
"I bathed on the Thursday before the legion left."
"It's been over a week!" Petra screeched. It never failed to surprise her. Never.
"Oh Petra, who has time for being clean? I thought I was on the verge of making progress here with this titan blood, but now I'm out and—"
"That's why I'm trying to tell you, the legion's back."
Pinching her nose with one hand and grabbing onto Hanji's jacket with the other, she began tugging at her commanding officer to pull her away from her desk and out into some semblance of fresh air.
"—and then I mixed up the catalyst all wrong because I can't read my own scribbles from time to time—"
"Hanji, they brought back a captured titan!"
She froze in her tracks, eyes wide.
"Well, why didn't you say so?!"
She grabbed Petra by her shoulders, planted a big, happy kiss on the girl's lips before sprinting off full speed to meet the returning soldiers, leaving Petra petrified and scraping at her lips with her sleeve… if only to remove the smell.
As Hanji ran towards the returning soldiers, bruised and battered in their fight for mankind, her eyes caught sight of Levi walking next to Mike. Beside them, a giant cart was wheeling in a 6m-class titan, bound and chained. Her eyes grew wide behind her smudged and dirty glasses, and she broke into a full sprint before launching herself towards the cart, intent on giving her new pet, Sylvester, a welcoming hug.
But her greeting was interrupted by a cord that somehow wrapped itself around her waist in mid-air, before pulling her none-too-gently into the arms of a very miffed Lance Corporal.
"I'll be damned if I let you greet that monster before me."
Laughing brightly, she wrapped her choking arms around his neck and shouted with glee,
"Levi, you brought me a present!"
Just as soon as she did that, Levi dropped her flat on the ground, pinching his nose in disgust and regretting that he took her in his arms before remembering that she tended not to bathe while he was away.
"Ugh… you're filthy."
Scrambling to her feet, Hanji figured she had done her job, and moved towards the cart but was foiled once again as a hand latched onto her hair and pulled her back.
"No—Levi, wait! I have to start—stop, where are we going?"
"That should be obvious, four-eyes."
"But Sylvester needs me!"
Levi never broke pace as he grumbled,
"I should have known better than to bring you a fucking titan on our anniversary."
The tension pulling against his grip relaxed as Hanji stopped struggling, looking at him with unbelieving eyes.
"What did you say?"
"It's our anniversary, dumbass." Since she had stopped fighting him, he let go of her hair and looked up at her, her eyes barely discernible behind the grime of her lenses. Good grief, he would have to scrub those clean too.
A tear trickled down from behind the lenses. Then another.
"You're an idiot."
He had never seen her cry. Dozens of friends and lovers come and gone, he had never seen her shed a single tear. Humanity was at the end of its wits and she could muster the strength to smile at the cause of their impending doom. She'd suffered injuries before too. He had seen her grinning like an idiot in a hospital bed with a broken arm, still trying to scribble her notes. And this was what moved her to turn on the waterworks?
Before he could say another word, she took off, running away from him, away from Sylvester, towards her bunk. Mike gave a quizzical look in her direction as he walked up to Levi.
"Damn, Levi, what did you say to her?"
"I told her it was our anniversary."
Later that night, a knock came at his door, and he opened it to find a showered, perfumed Hanji wearing a plain shirt and a patched-up skirt. It was the only thing she had aside from her uniform. The thought brought a bittersweet pang to his chest.
She let herself in, closed the door behind her, and then immediately pulled Levi to his bed. And then they took each other fast and hard, and it was just as urgent and just as needy as their first night had been. The only difference was that she wasn't laughing. Or giggling. Or smiling.
It was uncomfortable for Levi. He had grown so used to seeing her laugh and smile and giggle. Sex was usually a playful sport to her. When they finished, she gave the ritualistic phrase.
"We should do this again."
And without any elaboration, Levi began to kiss her fiercely, his cock surging to life once again. Again? Sure, why the hell not? Why not now? They'd do it again and again and again. As many times as they needed, as many times as they wanted.
It was only at the point when Levi's arms couldn't hold up his own weight anymore and Hanji's insides were raw and sore that they rested. He allowed her to curl up against him; happy that she no longer smelled like shit, and began absentmindedly running his fingers through her slightly tangled hair.
It was impossible to know what she was thinking. There was a time when Hanji was angry and bitter and full of resentment and hate for the Titans. He could read her much more easily then. But then something in her changed. She threw herself into her research, brightened up, made friends and acquaintances, and became the insane commander who found titans adorable.
"You're my closest friend." She said at last.
"I think we're more than friends, four-eyes."
"Don't say that, you'll jinx it."
"How can a woman of science be so superstitious?"
He gave a playful tug at her hair.
"In my observations, every single time someone says they love you, they go away."
"I haven't said I loved you yet."
"So we're just going to pretend—"
"We're going to keep carrying on as we are. We'll live, we'll laugh, we'll fight, we'll screw each other senseless, and we don't have to call it anything in particular. We're just doing what we like. And we can leave it at that, can't we?"
Levi sighed through his nose before planting an affectionate kiss on her forehead.
"Ok. No labels then. Consider Sinbad a perfectly platonic, not-at-all-anniversary present."
"Does it really look like I give a fuck?"
"I think it looks like you've given several fucks." The smile was back.
He pinched her nose for her sass, but there was undeniably relief at its return. They had gotten dangerously close to crossing a perilous line. Levi was all right with tip-toeing it for now. Closing his eyes for some much-needed sleep, he was about to settle himself into the crook of Hanji's neck when he felt her getting up to leave. Grabbing her wrist, he glared at her.
"Where the hell are you going?"
"Well you've just reminded me that—"
"Are you sneaking off to go see Seymour?"
"Sylvester." She corrected in exasperation.
"I said no. We don't have to call today an anniversary or whatever, I don't have to call you my girlfriend, we can go about the rest of our titan-infested lives and never say that we love each other, but you are NOT leaving me tonight to go poke and prod at a fucking monster."
"But I have to see how the chemicals I applied are working on his skin."
A vein twitched in Levi's temple.
"…Applied? As in, you've seen him already."
"I started running some tests earlier before I came here."
As if on cue, her notebook slipped out of her dress, which had been carelessly thrown to the edge of the bed, landing on the floor with a dull thud.
Several veins twitched.
In the end, Levi got his good night's sleep and his post-coital spooning courtesy of a Hanji bound to his bedpost. Levi made a mental note that he would have to do this again as his mind slipped into unconsciousness.
A/N: I've fallen in love with this ship and it is my major OTP from Shingeki no Kyojin. Reviews are always appreciated~