"Heather!!!" Not thinking, Levi jumps down and lands awkwardly a few feet away. He scrambles hurriedly over, feeling around frantically trying to find me. After a moment his hands brush against my hair, and then my face. I reach up to lace my fingers through his.
"Levi, calm down." "Calm down?! You're hurt! I heard the crack! What was that? Your ankle? And it's my fault! That was reckless and stupid! What was I thinking?!!"
I could hear him getting angrier and angrier as he ranted. Reaching up, I find his face and cup it in my hands. "Levi, it's okay. I agreed to come down here, and it's not your fault the ground caved in."
He jerks his head away, ignoring my attempts to reassure him, and muttering to himself. I sigh, and reach up lacing my fingers behind his neck. Using him as leverage I pull myself into a sitting position. This inadvertently puts me into his lap, but instead of moving away, I snuggle myself into his warmth and place my head on his chest.
"It's okay" I whisper, and fall silent. His arms wrap around me tightly, and I feel his chin resting on top of my head. "I'm so sorry Heather, can you move?"
"Help me stand." He manages to get me into a standing position, all my weight on one foot. "I guess you're going to have to carry me. There's just enough light to see where I fell from. Let's hope you have enough gas for this."
Without a word, he picks me up and begins to ascend. Reaching the level above, he gently puts me down as far from the cave-in as possible, and reaches for the backpack we brought. "That's broke.", he states nodding at my ankle.
"Well let's get it set so we can get back to my car. I don't want to be here after dark." "Agreed...hey, how are we going to get back? Can you drive like this?" I start to giggle. "Looks like you're getting a driving lesson."
He pulls back, eyes wide. "Oh no no no. Maybe we should spend the night here after all." He begins digging in the pack, looking for anything to set my ankle, and also...'why did Hanji only pack one bedroll?' Blushing, he repacks the things he doesn't need at the moment, and brings the medical supplies over to where I lie.
"Everyone will be worried sick. You'll do fine." "Heather...."
"Look, as long as we get back before dark everything will be okay. My car has lights for night driving. CORRECTION, ONE headlight, seeing someone BROKE the other one but for your first time I'm sure you'd rather have the daylight. Just drive slow and you'll catch on quick."
"Are you sure?" I smile, and reach up to stroke his face. "I trust you." 'She..what?', he thinks to himself, feeling a none too unpleasant shiver course down his spine. Out of everything that happened today, these three words are what affect him the most.
'I never would have imagined hearing that from her'. "Alright, let me set this ankle." He gets to work, wincing to hear a small whimper of pain escape my lips. Hearing it makes him feel sick to his stomach. 'oh Heather, I am so sorry about this...' "Alright. It's done. I can have you climb onto my back and carry you up using the rope, or
we can risk the last of my gas. What do you think?" "Let's use the rope. We might need the gas for something else later." "Alright, hold the lantern and climb on...you got it..careful..."
"Levi, I've got this..OW..There I'm ready. Let's go." The climb up to the main chamber is slow, but steady and we finally reach the top. 'How is he so strong?' I think to myself, feeling my face grow alarmingly red at the feel of all that muscle working beneath me.
It takes us some time to get to my car but we get there with no incident. I maneuver myself into the passenger seat, then look around for something to keep my ankle still for the drive. "Levi, my blanket is in the back, let's use this to cushion my ankle for the drive." He reaches into the back, grabbing the
blanket then bends down to adjust the blanket around my leg. "Good?" he asks, giving me a questioning look. "Good. Let's get going."
He takes a deep breath, and let's it out slowly. "Alright, so what do I do?" I reach over and show him where the key goes, and he manages to get the car going without any help. "Alright. There are two pedals by your feet. The one on the right, is the gas and the other is the brakes. Step on the brake and hold it down.
"Now what?" "This stick by my hand, press the button and pull the stick down to the letter D. That's drive...okay, good. Now take your foot off the brake." We start creeping forward, and he immediately steps on the brake throwing us both forward.
"Levi, take your foot off the brake, and GENTLY press the gas." LURCH! (moving again) LURCH! I'm laughing hysterically. "Stop touching the brakes," I giggle, "just gas." After a moment of trial and error the car begins to run smoothly. "There you go, you've got it! Give it a little more gas when you're comfortable...."
I fly back in my seat. "Not that much! Don't brake! Don't brake!, just let off the gas a bit!" We get going smoothly again, and slowly make it up to about 45 mph. "You're doing great, Levi..see?" "Thanks, this is pretty fun I'll admit. But, I'd like to learn how to do all the fancy shit you do someday."
"Maybe I'll give you a more in depth lesson....IF you teach me how to use ODM gear." He glances over, grinning. "Done." We drive in silence for most of the ride, and after an hour and a half he finally speaks up.
"Hey look, there's the old scouting quarters. This is where we'll be keeping her from now on. You should be able to work more freely here." "You're moving me? Hanji didn't say anything..."
"We discussed it right before leaving. But no! You're staying with me still." I give him a questioning, slightly hurt look. "I'm sorry I didn't say anything sooner. I didn't think you would be concerned where you did your work as long as you were given your freedom to continue. Trust me this is the best place."
"Well alright then. Hey, slow down!" He screeches to a halt before crashing right into an excited Hanji. She moves off to the side, and guides the car in with her hands, indicating for Levi to stop when he was in line with the equipment she had set up. He gets out, and makes his way to the other side of the car.
"Hey, what took you guys so...oh! What happened?', she exclaims noting Levi picking me up and carrying me towards the entrance. "Her ankle is broken." Already feeling irritated with Hanji's inevitable questions, he heads up a winding stairway and enters a room with a giant four post bed. He lies me down
gently. "Can I get you anything?" Ugh. I'm starving." "I'll be back." He finds Hanji in the kitchen.
"Hanji, I need to talk to you." "Yes, Levi?" "While I appreciate you packing the backpack for us, I'm curious how you thought one bedroll would be enough for two?" He doesn't look up as he speaks to her, intent on picking out the best fruits to take upstairs and placing them
on a tray. "Gee, Levi...did I? I could of sworn I packed for two..." "Hanji, cut the bullshit. I know you.." He whirls to face her, annoyed.
"No, YOU cut the bullshit. How stupid do you think we all are? We've all seen this, from day one. Maybe I packed one, just to get you to maybe DO something!" "What do you expect me to do exactly?" "TELL HER!"
He lets out a sigh and speaks with deliberate calm."Hanji, you have way more important things to focus on than what I may or may not feel for Heather. And as far as your assumptions regarding how she might feel...don't even try to influence her the way you just did me." He turns, grabs the tray of food and walks back up the stairs.
Watching him go, Hanji mutters "Oh Levi, you are a fool...".
A soft knock on the door. "Heather? May I come in?" "Levi, what took so long?" He walks in carrying the tray and closes the door with his foot. Handing me the tray, he sits on the edge of the bed. I devour an apple in less than a minute, and then tear immediately into the bread.
"I stopped to talk to Hanji. If you don't need anything else, I'll leave you be." He starts to get up. "Levi?" "Yes?" "It feels weird being in this big room alone."
"D-do you want m-me to stay?" Blushing at his stutter, and glad his back is to me at the moment, he thinks 'oh dear God, please say yes'. I turn to put the tray on the night table next to me and lie down.
"If it's not too much trouble..." Heart hammering crazily in his chest, he lies down being careful to leave an appropriate amount of space between us. I yawn, and he watches my eyes slowly drifting closed.
Immediately he flops onto his back and stares up at the ceiling. 'fuck. what do i do? Look how peaceful she looks. What would she do if I lied closer? Would she object? Do I put my arm around her? Would she let me? Is this what I'm supposed to do?
I don't know what the fuck to do in this situation! Maybe I should have paid better attention when Reiner gives girl advice to the other cadets. Ugh, no he's a dumbass. Gods, I couldn't ask Erwin, I have the feeling he's just as clueless as I am. Miche? Yes, but he's not here.
Hanji is the only other person here besides us, and I'll be damned if I'm asking her...how can I randomly kiss this woman and come off so damn confident...TWICE, but for this I'm a complete mess?'
I sigh in my sleep, and he glances over watching as I stretch and roll over; my head now resting on his chest. He gives a secret smile, wraps his arms around me, and drifts off to sleep.
A few hours later, he awakens to an impossible tangle of limbs. 'the hell..?' My injured leg is thrown over his waist, left arm extended behind me, right arm flopped over his chest and my head tilted back at an impossible angle. 'tch, this woman makes Bertholdt look normal', he thinks with a small chuckle.
Slowly, as to not wake me he begins untangling himself. A knock sounds on the door and Hanji walks in. He rolls his eyes at her. "Woman, why do you bother knocking if you're not going to have the decency to wait for a response?" She just grins and raises an eyebrow at the sight before her.
"I was going to say, I'm sure Heather is in no condition to travel on horseback, but one of us needs to give a report on your 'adventure' today. Based on what I see, I'm sure you'd rather be here, so what would you like me to tell Erwin?"
"Everything I already told you, minus the sight you are gawking at now." Smiling, she backs towards the door. "I'll be back in a few hours." The door closes, and he sighs. "Levi?" He looks over to see me smiling at him sleepily.
"How do you feel?" "My ankle is throbbing, but it's not too bad.", I say while snuggling into him closer. I give a contented sigh, and my eyes drift closed again. A wave of despair washes over him as he watches me. 'she's going to leave me. I'll be alone again, just like always. why am I getting attached?'
He sighs, gets up and goes downstairs to be alone with his thoughts. Levi's Journal: I'll never forgive myself for THIS shit. She broke her ankle because of me. I don't care how many times she says it isn't my fault. It is. My idea to go down in that cave, my fault she's hurt.
And not even the opportunity to snuggle (which I managed to take advantage of without having too big of a stroke) as great as that was can't stop me from rolling in guilt like shit and feeling like she's going to leave me someday and there isn't shit I can do about it. How can I blame her if she did leave? I'm shit!
Heather's journal: I would have called it a perfect day, if you forget about the broken ankle. Yep. Just beautiful. We took my car out. It's finally running! Levi was clearly enjoying it, he reminded me of a puppy on his first car ride! Head out the window, grinning ear to ear, but minus the panting with his tongue hanging out. I might of had to kick him out of my car.
Well we found a cave and went exploring. He's right, this spot would have good tactical advantages, but going to the lower levels really was a bad idea. I feel so awful, he's clearly blaming himself, but I made the choice to go down there with him. that's on me, no matter how badly he wants to paint himself as the bad guy!
We snuggled. SNUGGLED! (like how i just toss that out there? No build up or anything, oh journal of mine?) It was sweet, and it made me happy. Who would of thought Levi would actually make me happy? I think I'm falling for him.....