A/N This takes place after the expedition into wall Rose (???) It's been a while since I watched SNK so i'm very sorry for OOC characters or things that seem to not relate to the show. Also some angst I guess, so if that's not something you wanna read... Also some swearing just so you know.
You looked around at all the people around you, faces pale and gaunt in the flickering lights of the torches. Just yesterday evening the dining hall had been full of newly taken in recruits, laughing and joking people who seemed to not care of what might happen, or just masked their fear too well. Now the room seemed barren, less then half the people had survived today, and the unoccupied space unnerved everyone sitting there.
Everyone tried to remain silent, a few people crying quietly, heads buried in hands as they mourned dead companions or deathly injured soldiers. To you, this seemed like a special kind of hell, one where everyone was leaden with guilt and fear.
Suddenly, you remembered Petra, the only person you could have truly spoken to in these past years, the young woman with cropped ginger hair and kind eyes, who would stand by you no matter how down you might have been, or how much you blamed yourself for your parent's deaths.
Your eyes widened in horror, remembering the gruesome picture of Petra slumped against a tree, blood gushing out of her wounds. It wasn't fair, how the titans destroyed everything in their way, not caring if that person had a life or a family. Your hands clenched into fists, knuckles white and whole body shaking with suppressed tears.
Just this morning, you had set out with Squad Levi to survey the area of Wall Rose as extra protection for Eren Jaeger, a titan shifter who could presumably save the world. To tell the truth, unlike most people you trusted the kid, even though you have not spoken much, as you had been his senior. The operation seemed to be going well, until it didn't. The female titan appeared, killing soldiers left and right, and each death you saw added a weight to your heart that you couldn't seem to lift, as if it had been your fault.
You winced, realising that /yes/, it was your fault. You had graduated first in all of the training Corps, said to only be a second to Levi himself. You could have saved these people, you could have used your skills to kill the damned titan and save many a life. But instead you just had to be a coward, and not trust your inner instincts and fabulous training.
You had always wanted to join the Survey Corps, ever since you were a little child, and that wish came true almost too easily. You joined the army, and, even though you were short and somewhat normal, you excelled at all the assignments you were given, leaving people gawking in your wake.
"I'm sorry" You whispered into the silence of the room, drawing everyone's attention to you. Most wore surprised looks on their faces, shocked to see you apologise, something you did rarely, if not ever.
"What was that, L/N?" Corporal Levi's monotone voice broke the shocked silence again.
Your head snapped back and E/C eyes flashed dangerously, you were pissed at how easily the Captain was taking this, most of his team had died, and he wasn't even twitching a muscle. "You heard me. I said I was sorry. This is all my fault"
An eyebrow rose coolly "How in hell could this be your fault?"
"Because if I'd have acted against the female titan then I could have saved them! I could have killed that bitch and everything would have be Okay!" Your chair scraped back on it's legs as you stood up, eyes burning as you tried to force yourself not to cry but instead glare at Captain Levi sitting in front of you.
It wasn't fair, how badly this man treated people, how much he didn't care as long as the job was done. And, even if he did, he covered any guilt or regret with a cold and insulting attitude. It should have been impossible to fall for such a man, but to you it seemed like you have loved him always.
Everyone was staring now, no one had ever dared to talk to Levi in such an abrupt manner, but hey, you have had always been full of surprises. His own grey eyes bore into yours, and suddenly you felt so self conscious, ready to draw back inside that silent shell. But no, you weren't like that.
"But instead I was worthless, I could have saved dozens of lives, even if I had to trade mine in. I wasn't trained like that. This is my fault!"
A brief moment of panic swept over you when Captain Levi pushed his own chair back, but neatly standing up and leaning over the table to look at you in the eyes. You were shorter than him, if only by a bit, which shocked everyone around in the corps, them being so used to Levi being the shorty of the Survey Corps.
"We will continue this conversation in my office. Now" And, before you could even comprehend what was happening there was a pale hand encircling around your wrist, pulling you out of the dining hall and into the main corridor of the castle.
Soon you were shoved into a big room with a desk strewn with papers and bookcases stuffed full of old scripts and novels, some you recognised from your old home. The door got kicked shut by Levi's foot, and you shivered, he was either really mad at you or... No, the only explanation was him being pissed at your behaviour.
"Listen here, L/N, if you ever blame yourself for something ever again, I will hurl you over the wall myself, understand?" His voice was gentler than you expected, and you hesitantly raised your eyes to lock with his.
"Captain, I could have saved Petra, and I could have saved countless lives, how am I not to blame myself?" You muttered, hanging your head again.
"Oi, look at me, you stupid girl" A cupped hand raised your chin up again, cold eyes staring into your own.
"We would have still lost valuable members, even if you did save a few. Death is inevitable"
You flushed, chewing on your bottom lip. "But at least the best soldiers would have lived to fight more, to help us more"
Levi sighed, gripping you chin tightly. " I'm only going to say this once. If you would have died, it would have affected the whole squad much more than I care to admit. I couldn't bear to loose you"
"Yes, but-" Your eyes widened, did you hear something wrong? Or did the Corporal admit that he cared for you? "E-excuse me?!"
"You heard me. This expedition made me realise that I can't hold off anymore. Would you go out with me? "
You gasped, Levi just asked you out! But why, he couldn't honestly like you in that way...
Suddenly you came to the realise that his face was drawing closer to yours, and you glimpsed a small smile quirking up at the corners of his lips. It was a transfixing sight, your stoic and unforgiving Captain smiling at you as if you matter much more then you thought you did to him.
As his lips moulded softly over yours fireworks seemed to go off deep in your mind, a quiet "Mmph!" Escaping from you.
He drew back suddenly, leaving you breathless and blushing, another thing you only rarely did.
"Tch. Thought so." The smirk pulling on his lips dizzied you, and you relished in the affectionate touch of his hand as he tucked a lock of H/C hair behind your ear.
And, just for that one, silly moment, everything was perfect. And you knew that all your fellow recruits were watching you right now, and you smiled softly as you imagined Petra telling you that if you were happy, nothing else mattered.