"The Corporal's wings are so pretty," Christa says dreamily as Levi walks by, wings folded up neatly against his back. They're deceptively small in this form, but the recruits have seen the wings in battle - fifteen feet wide and shimmering in shades of black, indigo and violet - and no-one is stupid enough to underestimate them.
"Hey, Eren," Jean suddenly says, "the Corporal has private trainings with you sometimes, yeah?"
Eren narrows his eyes. "Yeah," he replies cautiously, "why?"
"Have you ever seen anyone actually, like, touch them?" Jean continues casually. Too casually.
"Don't be stupid," Eren snaps, "He never lets anyone near them. Not even Erwin."
Jean grins, and there is a hint of malice in it. Mikasa is the first to catch on. "No," she says sharply, "Eren, do not fall for it -"
"Next time you have a private practice," Jean says, with a smirk on his face that Eren would like nothing better than to punch right off, "touch them - his wings. I dare you."
Eren's eyes widen, and there's a noticeable intake of breath around the table as Jean stares Eren down. The three magic words are out, and Eren has yet to back down from a dare; much of the entertainment in the 104th Squad is a result of Eren being, in Mikasa's words, "a stupid, stubborn, overly reckless prick."
The whole squad knows exactly how much Eren respects Levi - and they're also perfectly aware of the fact that that respect is due to Levi's unquestioned capability, as demonstrated in front of a full court, to completely beat his ass up.
"Eren," Mikasa says again, and her tone is enough to slice through even the stalest of bread rations, "don't you dare -"
"Fine," Eren says, as though he hasn't heard her. He leans back and folds his arms with as much nonchalance as he can muster in the face of potential death. "I'll do it. What's in it for me?"
"Oh, I know," Sasha chirps, and there's an evil glint in her eye. "If Eren succeeds, Jean'll give the Commander a lap dance. At dinner. In front of everyone."
There's a burst of laughter, and Eren is sure Jean will refuse, but to his surprise, Jean merely smirks, reclining in his seat, unconcerned as hell. "Fine by me."
As Eren leaves, Armin and Mikasa in tow, Jean murmurs, "He'll never get out alive."
Eren has a nagging suspicion that he's right.
"You're dead," Armin informs him bluntly, the second they're out of earshot. "Dead. It was nice knowing you, Eren."
Mikasa glares at him. "Don't joke, Armin, this isn't funny. That chibi could seriously hurt Eren, he's already done that once -"
"I wasn't joking," Armin interrupts. He sits down on the grass and sighs. "Eren, why do you always fall for Jean's bait?"
Eren shrugs. Truth be told, he's actually kind of anticipating it - he's always wanted to run his fingers through those glossy feathers.
He wonders if they're as soft as they look.
Armin looks him squarely in the eye. "Eren, be honest. Do you have a crush on the Corporal?"
At that, Mikasa chokes on her drink. "What was that, Armin? Eren has a crush on that fucking vertically challenged asshole?"
Eren fights a blush. "Don't be stupid, Armin. I don't have a crush on anyone, okay?"
Armin raises a sceptical eyebrow. Mikasa looks torn in between irritation and amusement.
( At dinnertime, Levi catches his eye and offers an almost imperceptible smile. Eren, thinking back to what Armin said earlier that day, turns bright red, stammers a lot, and almost spills his bowl of soup. Mikasa looks ready to kill somebody. )
"Remember," Jean says, his tone mocking, "Sasha and Christa are keeping watch at the wall. So don't even bother trying to -"
"I got it, asshole," Eren cuts him off impatiently. He gazes with trepidation at the open field where Levi is waiting. The glossy feathers catch the light, bringing out the shimmering hues of dark blue and violet. Eren is temporarily transfixed, and Armin nudges him. Eren blinks, gulps, and crosses his fingers.
"Wish me luck." The majority of the recruits comply as such, although Jean's tone is laced with sarcasm and Mikasa abstains completely, choosing to merely glare at him.
"If he so much as touches you, I'll punch his face in," is all she says. Eren shudders at the thought of a confrontation between Levi and Mikasa.
He strides towards the field, hoping he looks confident and alert and, well, not like he's about to have a heart attack from combined anticipation and fear. "Good morning, sir," he greets Levi, who turns to him with a frown. Uh-oh.
"Jaeger," Levi says in a dangerously soft voice, "care to enlighten me as to why two of your bratty classmates are currently relaxing at the top of the wall and overseeing our practice, which, last I checked, was supposed to be private?"
Eren starts. "I don't know, sir," he stammers, glancing at the top of the wall where, sure enough, the two girls are sitting in clear view, conversing away quite cheerfully. Eren sends them a pointed stare, hoping that his expression reads something like, "SOS, EMERGENCY, ABORT MISSION STAT."
Unfortunately, they don't quite catch the message. Christa tilts her head to the side in confusion. Eren swears he hears her murmur something about possible constipation, and has to resist the urge to ram his head against something, preferably solid and capable of rendering him unconscious for the rest of the day. Like a brick wall or the floor.
The floor, then. Levi's eyes darken dangerously, and Eren can't help himself.
"I'm sorry, sir," he blurts, "They're, uh, supervising THE DARE THAT I'M SUPPOSED TO CARRY OUT." He speaks loudly and deliberately, and Christa and Sasha finally get the hint. Hastily, they slide clumsily off the wall, landing on the ground with overly noisy thumps.
Levi snorts, evidently having noticed their less than graceful exit. "And what dare would that be exactly, Eren?" Eren notices the revertion to his first name, and can't help the small thrill he feels at the realisation that Levi is more relaxed - enough to drop the last names, at least - when they're alone together.
Then he remembers what Levi is asking and his gaze drops to the ground. He mumbles something that Levi can't quite make out.
"What was that, brat?"
"They dared me to touch your wings," Eren says, apparently still fascinated with the ground. The boy closes his eyes, readying himself for the blow that he is sure will arrive any second.
Instead, Levi stiffens, then sighs.
Eren glances up, almost comical shock evident in his expression. "I'm sorry, sir?" he asks tentatively. Levi has to restrain himself from rolling his eyes.
"I said, all right, you can touch the fucking wings, God knows why you'd want to."
"Th-they're really pretty, though!" Eren blurts out. "And you're - oh."
The wings slowly unfold, extending gracefully from his back. The feathers ruffle calmly, and before Eren can stop himself, he's reaching out towards them. He stops an inch before he makes contact, and glances towards Levi, a question in his eyes.
Levi rolls his eyes. "Go on, then. Make it quick."
Eren's fingers thread through the feathers, and he realises that yes, they are in fact as soft as they look. He's so enraptured - so caught up with stroking the gorgeous feathers that he almost doesn't notice Levi tense up.
"I'm sorry," he says immediately, stepping back, his face flushing bright red. "I didn't mean to - I mean -"
Eren coughs. "I'm sorry?"
"I said," Levi glares at Eren, "that it's okay. It doesn't hurt, they're just a little - sensitive -" A small, contented sigh escapes his lips as Eren resumes the stroking.
"Beautiful," Eren murmurs, and he's not sure if he's talking about the man or the wings anymore. Levi freezes, and turns slowly towards Eren.
"Eren," he murmurs, and he's suddenly much too close, and Eren can't seem to breathe right and he's drowning in the intensity of the fluid grey gaze -
Their lips meet, just for a second, before Levi pulls away.
"I'm sorry," he apologises, but his eyes are uncharacteristically bright - however, before he can continue, Eren bends down to murmur, lips almost brushing his ear, "it's okay", and Levi shudders.
Practice ends much later than usual that night.
Later that evening, Eren finally turns up at the dorm. His clothes and hair are suspiciously dishevelled, but his face his flushed and his eyes are bright.
"You made it out," Connie whispers, awed. Eren smirks, and raises his eyebrow at Jean, who begins to stammer wildly.
"How do we know that you actually did it, anyway? Christa and Sasha weren't there to witness it, and -"
He trails off, stunned into silence as Eren reaches into his pocket - and draws out a single feather. It's glossy and black, and unmistakeably Levi's.
Eren smirks at Jean. "Checkmate," he singsongs, and wanders off, looking much too pleased with himself.
Connie is the first one to break the silence. "Hey," he begins tentatively, "is it me, or did Eren look kind of..." He wilts slightly under Mikasa's glare, and trails off awkwardly.
It is Armin, to everyone's surprise, who finishes the sentence. "He just got laid, didn't he."
There are murmurs of assent. Mikasa looks ready to commit murder.
The awkwardness is broken by Eren's cheerful re-arrival, in fresh clothes. He smiles, and there's more than a hint of malice in his tone as he suggests that they go for dinner.
Jean looks ready to bolt, but Mikasa steps up to him, tone deceptively calm. "Not so fast," she says sweetly, and she's evidently furious at Jean for being the indirect cause of Eren's unprecedented sexual experience. Jean gulps.
( For the record, dinner that night is a highly entertaining affair. )
Again, a repost from AO3.
For more SnK fanfics, you can take a glance at my AO3 account: ilydaa. You know, if you want. Or whatever.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed it, and I appreciate reviews more than you will ever know. (: