A/N: This idea jumped at me a few days ago when I was reading one of those "How to make your relationship more exciting!" threads (because it was on my FB feed. What, you think I have a significant other or something?) and realized that I was subconsciously playing out the scenarios with Levi and Eren. coughs. If you're wondering, the site is love dot com / relationships / creative-ways-to-show-you-love-them.
This felt so much more natural to write than multi-chapter fics, lolol. I guess I really am a one-shotter. Slowly trying to change that. Yeah.
Anyways, hope you guys will enjoy this! I was hesitant to upload after I finished because, lol, my thoughts on my own writing are really bipolar (I'm sure you guys can sympathize) but heck, I finished it, and there's fluff. You can't deny the fluff. Or Levi's sexy ass.
Disclaimer: do not own Shingeki no Kyojin.
12 Ways to Show Your Love
Levi and Eren's one year anniversary was coming up, or something like that.
Truth to be told, Levi didn't exactly know which day it was, or even which week - no one asked the other out, and there had never been a formal establishment of the relationship - but it was somewhere around this time last year. Probably.
Perhaps the situation was slightly troublesome; they would never have an answer to those curious "When'd you start seeing each other?"s and neither really knew how to reply to a "What type of relationship are you guys in?" It especially seemed to bother Eren, seeing as that little son-of-a-bitch really liked to feel insecure, but to Levi, if the fact that Eren can sneak into his bed and fucking fall asleep without getting his balls chopped off by the corporal wasn't enough to prove that there was something between them, then fuck it.
The corporal had to admit though, he wasn't exactly the most romantic of partners. Eren seemed grateful enough that Levi at least accepted his little acts of "I-like-you" (for example, surprising him with hugs from behind when he had a bad day or planting goodnight kisses on the forehead that he became so fond of giving, probably because it reminded him of their height difference, that damned brat), but Levi knew, deep down, that the kid deserved a little more.
And so, sucking up his pride, Levi hesitantly asked to borrow Erwin's laptop (god knows where that sneaky bastard acquired such a piece of technology) and searched up some ideas to pamper that fucking brat.
12. Love Letter
Levi closed the envelop, dripping red wax on the flap to close it. He paused a second, before reluctantly reaching a pen over to carve a little heart on the hardening lump.
God, he felt like he was getting diabetes.
He had struggled significantly with the contents of the letter, but he dearly hoped that his handwriting would make up for it. After all, it was widely known that the corporal's cursive could even make "bullshit" a sensual word of affection.
Sneaking over to the younger boy's room - it was early in the morning, and the soldiers had yet to wake - he slipped the letter into Eren's doorcrack. Levi would've liked to put it somewhere less obvious to catch the boy off guard, but that kid was fucking brainless and would probably never find it if it were not right in front of him.
By and by, the sun came up and Eren finally awoke. Sleepily pulling on his military uniform (ugh, where were his socks again...?) the brunette almost did not notice the piece of paper wedged on the door had it not stabbed his toe as it fell to the floor.
"Fuck!" the teenager cussed, checking if his precious foot suffered any noticeable damage. It didn't. Eren breathed out in relief.
Eren then saw the letter and reached for it, wondering who would be up so early (or late?) to deliver a letter. His heart skipped a beat as he saw the heart on the wax seal. Could it be...? Hastily, he extracted the contents within and was met with gorgeous-looking lines of text that was undoubtedly his beloved corporal's handwriting.
Your hygiene is getting better. I can almost look at your face now without choking.
P.S., you left your socks in my room from the night before. Please take them before I burn them. They reek of your feet.
#11. Love Coupons
The previous idea seemed to work well enough, for that brown-haired brat was grinning like an idiot the entire day. When anyone asked him what was up, he just giggled and blushed like a fucking high school girl.
But Levi would not get distracted. This was just the beginning.
According to the site, Levi was to make 'coupons' for the brat. Levi wasn't sure how willing he was to offer free services to the kid, but he would think of something. Either way, he could take advantage of his handwriting again.
During lunch, the corporal found his target slurping away in the mess hall. Eren looked up as he approached, eyes lighting up like a little puppy dog.
That bastard could be so cute sometimes. Not that Levi would ever admit it though.
Eren opened his mouth to greet the other man, but Levi spoke first. "Stop slurping, Yager. It's disgusting."
The boy acted as if he didn't hear. "Good afternoon, Sir!" Fucking brat.
"Don't forget to clean the kitchen this afternoon," Levi growled as he positioned himself across the wooden table from the brunette. With a menacing look on his face, he slammed a small packet of paper next to Eren's bowl. "And don't lose this. It's for you."
Eren frowned, confused, as the corporal left without another word. He flipped open the papers, heart fluttering again as he was met with that seductive handwriting once more.
"One free swap from verbal to physical punishment."
"One free meal with me (conversation not included)."
"One free "back massage" with my boot."
"One free pass to quit the Recon Corps."
Eren laughed nervously as he read through the contents. He slipped it into his back pocket, knowing that Levi would find out and more or less kick his ass if he left it somewhere, but Eren knew that he would never give another look to the booklet. He could already get enough of those things for free, after all.
10. Texting sweet nothings
This one threw Levi off a bit. From what he understood, "texting" was a way of messaging someone via "cell phone." Now, how the hell was he going to do this without having so much as seen one of those technologically advanced mother fuckers?
Erwin, who just happened to pass by, sensed Levi's radiating aura of frustration and asked the shorter man what the problem was. Levi grudgingly explained it to him with a scowl on his face.
"In that case, why don't you just leave a little message for him? Somewhere where he'll see when he's out practicing or something, so it'll almost be like a text message."
Levi stared at his superior. That man was genius.
Out in the stables, Eren stretched his arms in the air. He was finally done with his chores for the day, which meant just one thing - time to practice with the 3DMG! With hop and a skip in his step, the teenager rushed off to the equipment room, where he strapped on the machines and prepared for training.
A few moments later, he was off the ground, zipping in the air around the Recon Headquarters. Eren swerved and swung across the establishment, practicing his turns and controls with the gear. He paused for second when he reached the main tower, and was about to shoot his hooks again when some markings on the trigger piece caught his attention.
Don't forget your posture, Yager. I'm watching you.
Eren almost choked at the message, but shot his hook anyways. This must be a joke... however, as the teenager flew through the air, he made the mistake of turning his head towards the building, where he caught a pair of small - but very noticeable - grey eyes staring at him from a window, and he immediately lost his mind.
"Ah..." Levi grimaced from within his study, as he saw the brunette crash into the exterior wall of the castle.
Maybe that wasn't the best idea after all.
9. Do the chore they hate.
Levi felt bad about that 3DMG incident two days ago. He meant to apologize as soon as he could, but the kid was nowhere to be found that night, nor yesterday as a matter of fact. Could Eren really be mad at him?
Regardless, Levi knew that Eren was in his own room now, and the corporal knew the perfect way to make it up to him: take over Eren's cleaning duty for the day.
He tried to drop this information on Eren as offhandedly as possible, by banging loudly on the boy's door while yelling in his usual monotonous voice, "Don't bother with the cleaning today. I have a day off. I'll do it."
A surprised sounding voice came from within. "Eh? B-but... alright, if you say so."
Hm... Maybe it was just Levi, but something about Eren's muffled voice sounded almost... sad. But Eren was never one to dwell on these things, and Levi had just offered to take over the damn brat's most hated job, for Titans' sake! Or, perhaps, Eren took it as an insult to his cleaning. Kid was always so eager to please that it was scary.
But Levi shook his head. No time to dwell on this. It was time to start cleaning.
Levi was surprised to find that the castle wasn't nearly as dirty as it usually was. Good news for him though, it just meant that he could clean more rooms than he had anticipated.
To his delight, Levi ended up cleaning all 50 something rooms in the castle before everyone retired to bed. More than satisfied with the day's work, he dropped by the mess hall to fix himself a nice cup of coffee, only to find that there was still someone in the room, sitting in the corner.
"Yager?" Levi felt a pang of guilt in his chest, and he approached the boy after making himself the said drink. "Why the hell are you still here?"
Eren didn't look up. Levi sat down and dipped his head down as to see the brunette's expression. Was he... crying?
"A-are the rooms cleaner now?" Eren hiccuped.
Levi frowned, but answered. "Yes. The place was cleaner than I thought though, so I managed to clean the whole castle."
Eren finally looked up, teary eyed but with a little smile on his lips. "I'm glad you noticed. It's because I cleaned the whole place yesterday."
"...What?" There weren't many times that the corporal was caught off guard, but this was one of them. "And why the hell would you do that?"
Eren shifted his eyes to the side. His voice was still shaky as he spoke. "B-because... Corporal said that... you'd have a day off today... and that i-if... if I finished my work e-early... we could spend some time together..."
Levi had nothing to say. He stood up and walked around the table, taking the poor boy into an embrace. Goddamnit, he thought. Goddamnit.
8. Make their favorite meal
"Eren, what do you like to eat?"
The brunette thought for a moment before answering. "Food, sir."
Levi's eyebrow twitched. "Don't be a smart-ass with me."
"But I'm not, sir. I like to eat anything."
Levi "tch"ed in defeat. "Whatever. Come to my room for dinner today. That's an order."
Eren's face lit up immediately at those words. He nodded his head eagerly. "Yes, sir!"
Three hours of fumbles, struggles, and embarrassing moments later, Levi staggered out of the kitchen with a meal tray in his hands. He carried it upstairs to his room where, as promised, the brat was waiting at his desk, with that goddamned smile of his on his face.
"Here," the corporal said as he set down the tray in front of the boy. "Eat."
Eren flashed a look of gratitude at the older man before taking up the utensils and digging in. Levi had opted to make a stew, seeing as the boy often showed preference for those during mealtimes, and judging by the way Eren ate so quickly, he must have liked it.
Levi couldn't help but feel a little proud.
The corporal sat down on his bed and watched as the boy continued to devour the food. Soon, the meal was finished, and Eren set down the silverware. Levi expected that the next words to leave the boy's mouth would be "Thank you," but instead, they were something else.
"You know, sir, when you asked what my favorite food was... The real answer to that would be my mother's stew, but I couldn't very well say that, could I?"
Levi stared at the boy. He didn't expect the situation to take such a sentimental turn.
"But this... I know that Corporal doesn't cook much, but somehow... there's that same sense of warmth and affection in here and..." Eren turned to the side and raised a hand to wipe his cheek. "...It's the best meal I've had in awhile."
Levi said nothing, but instead motioned for the boy to leave his room.
There was no way he'd let that brat see his eyes all watery like this.
7. "Just Because" gifts
A "Just Because" gift was, as the name implied, a gift for the other person "just because." It was also supposed to be reminiscent of the beginning of the relationship, the site suggested, since at that time, things were often done for the other person for no other reason than to simply catch their attention and show affection.
Now, what would this mean for the corporal?
"Oi, Yager, get on your knees."
Eren's eyes shot wide open. Did his ears forsake him? Sure, the two have had their share of intimate moments in the past, but they had never gone that far, and to be so blunt...!
"Did you hear me, brat? Or do we need to check your ears?!"
"No, sir! I- I mean, yes, sir!" Eren sighed out loud. He didn't even know what was the correct thing to say. Regardless, he lowered himself onto the wooden floor of the corporal's bedroom.
"Good." Levi's voice sounded more seductive than usual today - maybe it was just Eren's mind, really - but regardless, the teenager felt the blood rush to his face. The other man stepped toward the boy, closer, and closer, and...
A boot to the face knocked the boy clean off his knees and onto the ground. "S-sir! What-"
Levi didn't pause. He lifted another foot, and kicked, kicked, kicked.
"Ahh... fuck..." When the beating was done, Eren lay on the floor, steam rising from his wounds. It was another three or four minute before he picked himself up, his Titan-powers having restored most of the damage.
"Sir!" He yelled angrily at his superior, who stared back with a bored expression. "Why the hell'd you do that!"
Levi looked away nonchalantly. "Just because, Eren. Just because."
6. Pull from the hat
Out of all of the ideas so far, this one has got to be the most pointless one.
Levi's eyes narrowed as he read the instructions further. "Decide something special for them... whatever is it, write it down on multiple pieces of paper and put it into a hat. Tell them to draw a piece of paper from it. They're guaranteed to pick the one you chose for them."
What a load of bullshit.
Well, two things were for certain: the corporal did not have any hats, and he certainly did not want to plan anything "special" for the idiot.
Nonetheless, he followed the instructions, and scribbled a few words down onto multiple pieces of paper. He got one of his precious buckets from the storage room, dropped the papers in, and went off in search of the boy.
"Yager!" He called out when he found the brunette. Eren turned to face the corporal immediately.
"I planned something special for you," the older man bit out. "Draw a piece of paper. See if you get it."
Eren was cautious around Levi after the last turn of events, but curiosity got the better of him. He reached into the bucket with a very determined look on his face, and finally, seeming satisfied with his choice, and fished out the chosen slip.
"... Clean the bathroom?!"
"Oh, what a shame," Levi said with fake sympathy. "Better luck next time."
But Eren wasn't satisfied. With a huff, he tore the bucket from the corporal's hands and dumped out all of the papers.
"They all say the same thing!"
"Better luck with having me come up with something less disagreeable next time. Now get to it, Yager."
Eren frowned profusely. "Yes, sir."
5. Let them pick
"Now, Eren," Levi breathed as he lay on his bed, with a less-than-friendly expression strewn on his face. "I'll let you choose tonight. Where you want to sleep, that is."
Eren, who had been cuddling behind the corporal, bounced up and put his head over the corporal's shoulder. "I want to-"
"Would you like to sleep on the floor? Or back in your own room?"
Eren's smile drooped, like a child whose candy got taken away. "That's not very nice, sir."
"Oh, I think I'm being very nice. I'm letting you choose."
Eren pursed his lips. He dropped his head down from its current position, and snuggled back into the blankets. "I think I'm fine right here."
"Yager, I'm pretty sure 'my bed' was not one of the choices."
"Well, I'm pretty sure it should be!"
Levi let out an exasperated sigh. "Yager-!"
"Good night, corporal!" Eren dug his head into the pillow, and closed his eyes shut.
Levi peered over behind him, knowing full well that there was no way he could move the damn kid now. With another sigh, Levi returned to his side and closed his eyes and well.
"Good night to you too, you fucking brat."
4. Put it all out there
Levi groaned as he read this prompt. According to the site, he was supposed to "do something that you wouldn't usually do," or something that could potentially "cost him a high price."
It crossed his mind more than once that maybe he should take this opportunity to just stab the kid.
But no, that'd get him in trouble with the legion, etc. etc., and while he really hated to admit it, the kid was kind of nice to have around. Sometimes.
But what else was there to do? There weren't many recreational options out there, truth to be told. In the end, he settled on going to a karaoke bar that Hanji once mentioned, way back in the day. Maybe he'd sing something for Eren. Maybe.
Once he stepped foot in the bar though, Levi regretted it. There was alcohol everywhere, and the bar did not even bother to check for ID.
"Eren," he said to his partner over the music that played in the background, "I'd prefer it if you did not drink."
Eren huffed. "I'm not a kid anymore, sir. I'll drink if I want."
Levi glared at him. "Whatever." The two ended up taking seats at the bar anyways, and Eren ended up with a glass of margarita sitting in front of him.
"See?" Eren shot at Levi after finishing his first drink. "I can handle my alcohol."
Levi began to let his eyes wander around the bar, searching for the place to sign up for the mic. Not that he was really going to sing, of course. He was just curious. He wondered if he remembered the lyrics to that one song, that he definitely had not practiced before coming here.
His eyes finally found the man in the corner who was taking sign-ups for karaoke. Levi was about to stand up -just to see what it's like, of course - when a shakey hand grabbed his arm.
"Eren, just what are you-"
"Corporal..." The teenager cooed, red-faced and hazy-eyed. Levi furrowed his eyebrows in shock at boy's state, then darted his eyes to the counter.
Five empty glasses?!
Levi mentally smacked himself in the face. Dear god, how could he have let this happen? They should've never come here. No, no, no.
But Levi was knocked out of his thoughts when another hand made its way around his neck, and pulled him closer so that a head full of brown hair was against his shoulder.
"Corporal... where are you going? Won't you stay here with me? I really like you..."
Levi froze to the spot. How could this brat say such disgusting things? "Oi, Yager. Get off of me." He glanced around nervously, to see if they were attracting any attention. So far, it was still okay.
"But corporal..." Eren lifted his head up, staring with big, teary eyes at the other. "I really, really do like you. And you just keep pushing me away... why is that?"
Those words struck the corporal's chest in a funny way. They were true, he realized. Why? Why did he keep pushing-... but oh god he suddenly felt a wetness on the base of his neck, and next thing he knew, Eren was placing sloppy kisses all the way up to his jawline and crying all at the same time.
"Eren..." an unsteady voice left the older man's lips. His eyes fluttered close with pleasure. He was tempted to just grab the boy and kiss him back right then and there, but no - Eren was drunk, and they were in public, and -
"I love you."
Levi's eyes snapped open in an instant. Eren had said those words to him before, but each time, he would feel an unimaginable rush of chaos within him and he could not take it anymore. He shoved Eren off of him and, after standing up, scooped the drunken kid into his arms and left the bar.
3. Give genuine compliments
Levi's eyes twitched at this one.
There was no way he could give a genuine compliment. There was nothing good about that boy, absolutely nothing-
Okay. That was a blatant lie, and Levi knew it.
Eren had many good points. More than Levi would ever like to admit, anyway.
Levi sighed and propped his chin up with a hand. He did compliment the kid from time to time, things like "good work on the cleaning" or "you're improving in hand-to-hand," and those were not lies. The corporal, after all, did not say anything that he did not mean. But the site implied that those were not enough. How could Levi be more genuine, then...?
That evening, as he sat across from the brunette during a very silent dinner (Eren still seemed to be getting over that hangover, but thank goodness he didn't remember anything), he found himself thinking, that Eren was an extremely genuine boy. He spoke what was on his mind, and though compliments flowed out of his mouth on a regular basis, none of them seemed unnatural. Just how did he do it?
While he continued to ponder this, Levi let his eyes drift over what was before him. He took in the way that Eren's elbows were carefully kept off the table, the way his back was slightly straighter whenever the corporal was around, the way his lips were curved into a small smile, the way his nose sloped into a perfect point, and-
"Yager, you have very nice eyes." The words were out of his mouth before he knew it.
Eren looked up from his meal, said eyes wide from the unexpected statement. It was fortunate that he had not had food in his mouth; otherwise, he would have surely choked. "W-what did you say? Sir?"
Levi blinked a few times. Had he really just said that? Faking a cough, he looked away. "Nothing, you brat. I said nothing."
But Eren had heard it, and Levi knew he heard it. Why else would that damn brat be smiling so happily now? "Tch," Levi hissed, looking back to the brat. He was caught, and he would not get out.
Thankfully, Eren was not one to tease. He just kept on smiling, until a few moments later: "Corporal has very nice eyes too."
There it was again, that genuity that came so naturally to the younger boy.
"Hmph." Levi ripped his gaze away from Eren after that, and the rest of the meal passed in silence.
2. Unique souvenir
Ugh, these were just getting weirder and weirder... where the hell was Levi supposed to get something for this?
He didn't travel places often, and whenever they did travel, it was for patrol, or scouting, and they were always risking their lives in the face of the titans. Not souvenir shopping.
But actually, there was one thing...
Levi opened the drawer under his desk. Ah, there it was. He picked up the rock with his fingers and held it under the light. It was a green, crystalline structure that caught his eye by the riverbank during an expedition. It was strangely reminiscent of... something... and the corporal had felt the urge to take it with him.
Finding Eren in the mess hall during breakfast time, Levi slammed the object down in front of the teen. Eren briefly thought back to the corporal's coupon book (Uh... where did he leave that again?) but his thoughts were cut short as he saw what Levi had set in front of him: a shining, green rock that all but matched the color of his eyes.
"S-sir," Eren breathed out in amazement, as he took the object and turned it in his hands. "What's this...?"
Levi crossed his arms. "Something I picked up on the outside."
Eren looked up to the other man excitedly. "Did you pick this up because it reminded you of my-"
"It reminded me of your stupid face," Levi cut it sharply before the boy could finish. "You both look ridiculous. What type of rock blends in with the grass anyways?"
Way to go, Levi. It was a lame cover-up, and they both knew it. Eren chose not to argue though, and just accepted the gift with a smile.
Down to the last one.
For the past week or so, Levi had really worked his ass off to follow these stupid prompts, but even so, it didn't take a genius to conclude that, well, they weren't working out as well as they probably should have.
But this one would be different. Levi would make this work. He had to.
And so he left post-its everywhere - On Eren's door, Eren's mirror, Eren's usual eating spot, Eren's horse... things like "Don't forget to fold your clothes," or "Clean up after yourself, brat."
But even to Levi, those didn't seem a bit romantic in the least. Eren seemed to agree on this one, for by the end of the day, he was clearly worn out and on an edge from the constant reminders that he found practically everywhere.
So what now?
There was a painfully obvious phrase that Levi could write, and it would probably make Eren shit his pants (whether out of surprise, or happiness, or both), but that would be much too cliche. Not to mention Levi would rather jump off a cliff than write those three disgusting words. Ugh.
But by the next day, Levi was grinning.
He had the perfect plan.
Greeting the teenager in the morning with an exaggerated "Good morning!" that surely freaked the shit out of the brat, Levi slammed a post-it note right in the middle of Eren's forehead.
When Eren tried to reach up for it, Levi slapped his hand away. "Don't touch it." He snarled.
Eren obeyed without protest.
Throughout the day, Eren kept getting sideways glances and giggles wherever he went. People also kept greeting him with "Congratulations!" and he received more winks on that day than in his entire life. Hanji had suspiciously whispered "Be safe," to him before laughing as she walked away, and even Commander Erwin gave Eren a little squeeze on the shoulder.
Just what had Levi put on his head?
When Eren snuck into the corporal's room that night, the brunette was completely and utterly flustered. Levi had to bite down on his tongue to keep from smirking as Eren crawled into bed behind him, whining softly with embarrassment, "Sir... what did you write?"
Levi shifted slightly, glancing back at the boy to read over his genius idea.
"Do not disturb us tonight,
or my boot WILL be up your ass.
Stifling another chuckle, Levi turned back around. "Nothing at all, Eren. Nothing at all."
"Liar." Levi couldn't see the boy, but he could feel that Eren was pouting. It only made him want to smile more.
Minutes passed. It seemed that Eren was waiting for Levi to say more, but he never did. In the silence, Levi was slowly drifting to sleep, until he felt a shift behind him. There was a light sigh, and Eren buried his face deeper under the covers and wrapped an arm around the corporal.
"Sir...I love you."
Levi's eyes shot open as he felt that familiar chaos in his chest. Those three words again. That disgusting little son-of-a-bitch. Though he had been almost asleep moments earlier, the man was was wide awake now, and he wanted nothing more than to turn around and-
The corporal's breath hitched in his throat as he lay there, feeling Eren's light breathing on his back, little warm puffs of air delivered in a slow, rhythmic pattern. He felt the boy's messy hair would brushing the back of his neck ever so slightly with every exhale, and the bare feet shifting and touching his own every now and then.
At that moment, Levi realized that there was an angel sleeping behind him.
"Damn brat," he hissed angrily under his breath, clamping his eyes shut with more force than necessary.
When he had gotten into bed, Levi thought he was done with this "12 ways to show your love" challenge. He thought that this was the end of it, that he could close it off with that little prank of his and just leave it in the past, but he knew, as he covered the hand around his waist with his own, that there was one more thing he needed to do.
When Eren woke in the morning, the corporal was already gone, and in his place, tacked onto the pillow, was instead a small slip of paper containing four beautifully penned words that neither Eren nor Levi thought would ever come out from the corporal's heart:
"I love you too."
A/N: brb, gonna stand at the cliff as to make sure that Levi doesn't jump off-
... ANYWAYS *laughs*, there you go. I thought about ending it with the joke-post it, but my inner cheesy-fluff monster told me otherwise.
Personally I liked the food one and the where-to-sleep one the best. What about you? :D
(And btw, if you would, please check out my on-going fic, Cinder-Eren! I'll probably be updating that later today ^^)
Thanks so much for reading! xoxo