I am a piece of trash. No seriously. I feel so guilty for taking so long. There isn't really a good excuse. Uni was crazy and I hade like 300 exams and I still have essays to write and exercise sheets to fill out and it narrowed down the time I had for writing fanfics. Ughhh.

But I finally finished up a new chapter and I wish it could have been longer than that but I wanted it to end there. But I PROMISE that the next chapter will come shortly, as it is almost finished up anyways. Also, I am almost sad to see this fic's end coming up soon. It's weird because this is my first RivaMika fic every and it's like a little child for me.

Of course I will still continue Blutrunst and I already have an idea for a new fic after this one is finished. There I can also include the newest revelations of the manga! I was actually quite excited by Levi's last name tbh. (No, I don't think they are related at all. Really, I don't.) What did you think of the latest chapters?

Anyways, let's stop rambling. I hope you like this chapter!

Disclaimer: Nah, still not owning anything here.

Mikasa was putting on a shirt – one of Levi's which was a little too tight for her – as someone knocked at the door. Instinctively, Mikasa turned her back to it, as Levi went to get it. It wasn't necessary, though because waiting on the other side was Armin.
As the door was opened for him, his bright blue eyes travelled past Levi, eying the room for his childhood friend and a relieved sigh escaped the young man as they found Mikasa.
Levi wordlessly stepped aside to let him in and Armin's feet brought him directly to her. Mikasa turned around to embrace him and at first Armin's arms tightly locked themselves around her. But as she let out a little gasp – trying to disguise her pain – his embrace loosened and he leaned back to look at her.
They shared a warm smile and Levi, standing a little to the side – felt out of place, next to their all so touching reunion.
"I'm glad you're okay." Armin's arms let go of her and he stepped back, still that smile plastered on his face. Mikasa's however, was gone as if it had only been a small notion of emotion. She just nodded and her arms enveloped her own body, avoiding Armin's gaze. He drew his eyebrows together, sensing her change in mood.
"You are okay, aren't you?" This time his eyes shifted towards Levi, who was leaning against the wall to their right, watching them with pretend disinterest. His eyes also locked with Armin's and he didn't show any reaction to his questioning look, just stared back at him, until the blond one wavered beneath it.
"I am fine," Mikasa chimed in, breaking Armin's and Levi's eye contact.
"The cat it out of the bag, though… obviously." Armin very well knew what she was referring to as he had already deducted the current circumstances. It hadn't been a hard puzzle. Mikasa was standing here as a woman after all and not as a disguised one at that.
"And what now?" Armin nervously shuffled on his feet, looking back and forth between Levi and Mikasa, as they shared a silent conversation of looks now.
"She will leave, that's now." Levi pushed himself off the wall, walking towards them in a quick pace. Mikasa turned her head to him, her face wearing an annoyed expression, her tongue clicking.
"I thought we talked about that."
"Yes, and I decided that we won't stick to your bullshit plan."
Armin stepped back, sensing a conflict arising before him. The blond didn't know whether to stop Mikasa or to just leave them be. He didn't really looked forward to be a casualty on a battlefield. Not this one, that is.
"I explained to you why I have to stay. I cannot leave. I just can't." Mikasa's tone seemed final and she fully turned to the Corporal now, hovering over him. But she really didn't intimidate Levi; not in the slightest. His blue eyes turned into an icy storm, giving out a dangerous vibe and Armin wondered if that was the look he wore to slice monsters.
"Listen closely, Mikasa, right now I am supposed to kill you," he moved forward, making Mikasa to step back.
"But if someone else finds out about your "special circumstances", then there is no guarantee." Levi cornered the young woman in front of him. Her legs touched the bed now and with another final step of Levi, she was sitting on it and now it was him to hover. She sat there and looked up to him but if his eyes were icy storms, then hers were wildfires.
"I don't care for my life. I care for my family," she said in a low voice, dipped in the sweetest poison one could die of. Levi stared at her and it was clear that he wanted to say something, wanted to yell at her because she made him boil like no one before.
I care, lingered in his mouth. But it was too disgustingly sweet to spit out, so he swallowed her poison and said: "Then do what you want. I won't care." instead.

Armin and Mikasa walked back to their dorm in silence. After that heated confrontation, Mikasa took the medicine Hanji had left behind and they both walked out of Levi's room – without another word. As she looked down to the ointment in her hands, she tried not to think of those hands that had traced her marks with it on it. It was hard not to think of him or the whole situation at all, when she was wearing his tight shirt that smelled of lime and when those rough palms still echoed on her skin. Her lips were still dry from the contact with his and she could swear she could still taste it. The kiss.
Oh damn it all.
As they arrived at their room, Mikasa was glad to find it empty. Connie was probably somewhere else. Maybe he was hurt, too. Maybe he didn't make it. It almost shocked Mikasa how little she cared right now. She should care. She really, really should. But no matter how hard she tried to think of all her other comrades, she couldn't find the will to worry for them, too. Her head was drowning in problems and anger and worry and the smell of lime and medicine. Her family, Eren, was in danger. He turned into a Titan. He controlled it. The fact that she couldn't run down into the dungeons and to see him, swallowed her up like a Titan's mouth. Also, she was in danger, too. With her wounds from the battle, there was no way she could bind away her breasts as tightly as usual. Just the thought of it made her dizzy.
Mikasa laid in her bed and closed her eyes and even though everything seemed to be a mess right now, she fell asleep the moment her lids hit her eyes and the dreamt of monsters and lemon trees.

Levi stared at the new bed sheets he put on right after his guests left. The used ones were clutched in his hands and he had to fight the ridiculous urge to bring it to his nose. Just the thought made him cringe and he felt stupid for even thinking about it. If only for a second. He threw the sheets in the basket he had for his laundry instead, with a little too much force.
His room felt weirdly empty now, after all the excitement, and the stress and all the new revelations. Levi was surprised to find himself not totally exhausted, though. He should be collapsing onto his bed right now, enjoying the silent moments he had for now. Who knew how long they would last until an Abnormal's foot would crash yet another wall?
Instead, he was standing here in his room, trying to push back thoughts of one particular person that made his day even more fucked up than before. He was so angry. Angry at her and himself, at the government and at Titans.
Not wanting to stay in his chambers for another second, he almost stormed out and followed the stone halls down to the dungeons.

No one was left here apart from two guards, which he had to ask twice until they left.
Eren sat up as the Corporal pulled a chair closer to his cell, the only occupied one between lines of silent echoing spaces.
They stared at each other for some minutes, Eren anxious and Levi deep in thought, until:
"I just met your sister, Eren." Levi leaned back, crossing his arms and watching Eren's reaction. His words were like a trigger to the boy, who immediately moved. He stood up from his bed and ran towards Levi, not coming all that far, though, due to the chains around his wrists.
"What did you do to her? Where is she? What the hell happened?"
Levi watched how the young man in front of him filled up with anger and concern, his eyes wide and arms pulling. Metallic sounds echoed through the basement from Eren's rattling.
Levi didn't talk right away. He didn't know why he was doing this. Why he was even here. Perhaps he couldn't stand to stay in his room right now and because his head was filled with all kinds of problems he never imagined to face.
"Where is she?!"
The Corporal's eyes snapped up to him, eying him for yet another second. Why was he being so cruel right now? Who knew, it could be that he was getting a kick out of this.
"Relax, she is fine. Probably sleeping. She was wounded in battle but it's nothing serious."
His words finally calmed Eren down and his arms fell to his sides, his face downwards.
Levi heard his heavy breaths that held relief in them but soon his face moved up again and this time an expression of desperation clothed his young features.
"Please, don't hurt her. I beg of you." Eren tried to bring his hand forward but the chains worked their magic again and Eren quickly gave up on that idea.
"It was my fault, she-she did it for me."
Levi stood up from his chair and started to walk around the small and dark space. He didn't look at Jaeger, as he – yet again – waited a little too long to answer. As if he needed to think about it. There was nothing to think about. And yet…
"Tell me, Eren," he turned to the young man again, "do you really think you are in a position to make demands? And one at that, too." He turned around. "Asking me to break the law?"
His deep voice was ice cold and he wondered why he was torturing the boy like that. He was being cruel and right now selfishly venting his anger. But Levi was never a nice person, after all.
"Please, Corporal. I would do anything. Give anything I have. She is my family."
Levi had a bitter taste in his mouth as he listened to Eren's shaking voice, begging him. This wasn't delicious or releasing in any way. It made him sick. Sick of himself. And it made him even sicker to wonder what she would think of what he did just now. She made him sick, feverish even, and he doubted there was a medicine to cure him from her.
"Go to bed, Eren and don't break you head over things that need not fucking worry to waste one."
And with that he left him behind.

Mikasa felt disoriented when she opened her eyes. She expected to see sunshine falling through the window but the sky was dark as night and she slowly sat up and tried to make out her surroundings. Did she sleep through the entire next day? It couldn't be. She usually never slept all that long anyway and she also didn't feel rested enough for it. As her eyes adapted to the darkness in the room, she slowly stood up – ignoring the screaming pain of her ribs and chest – and walked close which hung next to the door of their room. The little light, provided by the room finally supported her theory: She didn't sleep through the day, she only slept for 4 hours. It was still early morning. Too early for the sun to rise.
For a moment, Mikasa contemplated to go outside and clear her mind because she was sure she wouldn't be able to sleep anymore. But she quickly dismissed the idea in fear of meeting someone. A shower, however, was something she couldn't deny herself. No one should be there now after all. After a won battle, normal people earned sleep by their victory. But Mikasa did not win anything yesterday.
She silently gathered a change of clothes, towels and also medicine and fresh bindings as she set off to the shower area. She was careful not to wake Armin – and also Connie who was laying in his bed now, too. She had stopped to look at him in the blackness of the room and he seemed to be fine enough and Mikasa told herself that she was very relieved and happy about that but deep down she knew that she only checked because she felt guilty for not caring enough.
As she walked down the empty halls of the headquarters, she let her thoughts wander away and of course they didn't stay far away from Eren. She longed to see him, maybe just for a second, to see he was alright. It would be more than enough for her. For now.
She didn't know what would happen now but she knew that she wouldn't let anything happen to him. This is why she was here after all.

As she expected, the showers were totally empty. No one in their right mind would get the idea to shower at 3:30 am.
When Mikasa put her stuff on one of the wooden benches, she thought about all the time she actually spent in these rooms, especially on her knees and scrubbing. It had almost become a habit, to come here every evening and be alone for an hour or two – not that she missed the actual part of cleaning anything, really. She really knew to use her time better than that and for once she was able to participate in the dinners and not to eat alone in her room afterwards. (Bless Armin for always remembering her.)

The hot water felt heavenly and she didn't regret her decision to come here. Mikasa found herself standing under the hot steam of water, unmoving and eyes closed for several minutes. It felt good to be able to do nothing, to be alone after everything that had happened. Her mind seemed be unable to relax until now and she knew that, as soon as the water stops falling down on her, she would go back to be tense and worried. She had an unfortunate taste in her mouth and the few hours of sleep she had didn't really do anything good to her. It rather was like she was more exhausted than before. And the worst thing was that she saw no solution to her problems. The only thing she was sure about, was that she would try. She would find a way. She always did.
Eventually, Mikasa had to get out of the shower. Her skin was red and heated up by the stream and as she stepped out of the shower, she felt dizzy. She grabbed her towel, wrapped it around her and sat down for a file. Her head upwards towards the ceiling, her eyes tiredly roamed around the room, thinking of nothing in particular for a while. She counted the tiles for a while, thought about how she never cleaned up there and then felt silly because who on earth did that.

"If this is your idea of being careful, then you really suck at it."
The sharp voice made her jump and she turned her head a little too fast, making the room spin around her. She steadied herself at the wet tiled walls of the shower room as she looked over to Levi, who was standing by the entrance, leaning against the wooden door. His face gave away no emotions, only look at her, travelling down her almost naked body.
Mikasa felt a blush creep up her face and subconsciously, she drew the towels tighter around her, making her wounds pulsate.
Why did he have to be here? Why was he everywhere she went, in her mind and body? It didn't make any of this easier.
Levi pushed himself off the door and walked up to her. Mikasa averted her eyes to avoid his gaze and usually she would have stood up to turn around but she didn't trust her legs to safely hold her in place yet. She really shouldn't have showered for that long.
Eventually, he sat down next to her and his head was turned in her direction, apparently waiting for her to look up to him. She didn't. Instead she focused on his hands on his laps.
"Eren is alright. I visited him a few hours ago. He knows that I know about you." He spoke fast, almost too fast for Mikasa to understand but she did and her head snapped up to his now, sending another wave of dizziness through her body, which she tried to ignore as best as she could.
Now it was Levi that had turned his face from her, staring ahead and not saying anything else even though she waited for more to come. But she understood why he was telling her this and she was grateful. Very grateful even. He being here, with the clear intention to see her and tell her this… he did so much for her even though all she did was lie and fight. She didn't regret it of course. Not one single action of hers was clouded by regret. Disguising herself and being here. Denying to back off and intending to save Eren.
He probably knew it. And he still helped her.

Levi suddenly stood up, not looking back at her and started to retreat. Mikasa's eyed wided as she saw him leave and without thinking about it, she stood up and extracted a hand to stop him.
"Wait," but she didn't come any farer because another wave of spinning came up the minute she stood up and for just a little instance all she saw was black and she felt how her knees gave in.
She should have fallen onto the ground but before she felt them, she knew two hands would grip her and stop her fall. And of course they did.
Her sight was shaky as she made out Levi's face close to hers and his hands were wrapped around her arms, holding her up and in place. They looked each other in the eye for the first time since he came in here and all they did was to keep staring at each other. Until Mikasa's eyes snapped down to his lips and she saw them getting closer. She felt him exhale very slowly and his hands tightened their grip around her arms to the point of bruising her but she didn't even feel it. Instead her eyes fluttered shut and she waited for his lips to meet hers.
But they didn't.
Instead she was sitting on the bench again and the Corporal had let go of her, only leaving the memories of him there. He stood in front of her and she looked up to him in question. His hand was covering his mouth, his eyes were closed and she saw how his cheeks were not as pale as the rest of his face.
"Get dressed. We can't have anyone see you like this."
And then he left and Mikasa didn't stand up to stop him this time. Instead she just sat there and didn't listen to his advice for another 20 minutes until she noticed that her body was shaking from the cold, every ounce of heat gone.

An entire week passed, she realized as she carefully applied her bindings. It still hurt and instead of getting better, it felt like it hurt more every day. Armin watched her back as she sat on her bed, not paying attention to him and his depreciative look.
"You won't heal that way," he repeated for the 50th times. At least it felt like that for Mikasa. And still she didn't react to it. Instead she finished binding them around her chest, putting on her shirt and slowly standing up from her bed.
After only two days a new routine developed for the soldiers of Trost. Those who were hurt, were bound to the bed to heal. Everyone that could walk was assigned to walk around the wreck of the city and search for the alive and dead. The Legion was able to capture two Titans and Mikasa heard that they were experimenting on them.
Every day, Hanji came over to check for her wounds and every day he would say the same thing: Leave. But Mikasa wouldn't.
She didn't see him after the incident in the shower. That is, they didn't talk to each other. She saw him each and every day of course but he would totally ignore her and even when she thought that he would maybe glance over to her, she only ever found his back towards her. She tried not to think about it but it was hard.
She still wasn't allowed to see Eren and it frustrated her more than anything else. Sometimes she would space out and Armin had to elbow her several times to pull her back to the here and now. She couldn't allow for this to happen anymore. But of course it did.
She put on her uniform and left the room, left Armin and his pleads to listen to him and she was glad that he didn't follow her.
The young solider went outside to the town, a list of names in her hand and the gear heavy around her hips.
They didn't have any big and official ceremony like the soldiers before them that got to join the Legion. Fully join them not as a recruit but as a private.
As the emerald cloak and the rest of her uniform was handed to her, she tried not to look up to Levi but she failed of course. But he wouldn't look to her. Hanji did, however, and his eyes held worry for her and it made her feel even worse. But she ignored it like everything else and simply put on her cloak and she could swear that the Wings of Freedom burned on her back. Even now, days later and as she walked down those battered streets. Her feet carried her somewhere around and she wasn't even sure if she had checked this part of town already or not. Ruins and stones looked so much alike on dead battlefield. They called it humanity's victory but all Mikasa could see was death.

"You are Masaki, aren't you?"
Mikasa stopped, confused by the voice that spoke the words. She slowly turned around and was surprised to face that person. They stood a little aside in a narrow alley and a little movement of their hand motioned her to come closer. She did of course because she never expected to see them here. Mikasa followed the surprising visitor deeper into the alley until both of them were swallowed up by shadow and they stopped and turned around, letting the grey cloak fall from their face to reveal it whole. But Mikasa had already recognized them, anyway.
"I am glad to have found you so fast. I expect you know who I am," they said and Mikasa was surprised by the firmness of their voice but it made sense.
"Yes," she replied and stepped a little closer to them. "And I expect you know who I am, too… Petra Ral."