It was still dark when Levi woke up, the moon high in the starry sky. He sighed as he felt the familiar weight of Hange's arm across his chest – the damn four-eyes was a sprawler, and there wasn't a single night spent with them that didn't end up with their limbs somehow on top of him and their cold feet digging into his calves, his thighs or, worse, the small of his back, when they found themselves in weird enough positions.

As always, he moved their arm away and they steered slightly, muttering something about "titans" and "steam" before drifting back into a deep slumber.

"Tch, don't you ever shut up?"

A quiet snore was the only answer.

He laid on his back for a while, listening to Hange's breathing, echoed by the undertow of the waves outside their tent. He shifted slightly, grimacing as a stone dug into his ribs. Yet, despite the uneven ground and the foreign sounds all around, it was the best night sleep he had gotten in a while.

Hange moved and the feeling of fucking cold toes on his skin made him groan. Wasn't a living being's skin supposed to be warm?!

"Damn you, four-eyes."

He pushed his blanket away, feeling for his pants in the dark. He had to repress the urge to put on his ODM gear – he still had trouble adjusting to the fact that outside was safe now. They all had, he realized as his gaze fell on the carabine next to Hange's head, its steel shining feebly in the moonlight.

The sight outside was breathtaking. The beach was pearly-white, the ocean an endless deep blue void that merged with the sky, both star-studded, and the seafoam looked almost fluorescent. Their three tents seemed so small in such a setting. He didn't even see the camp of the other Scouts that came with them – probably hidden behind the hill. He didn't care anyway.

In the dark, the sound of the ocean was ever-present. Levi paused in his tracks, breathing deeply. He still didn't quite know to feel about the strong scent of salt – not to mention the questionable feeling of sand on his bare soles –, but he couldn't deny the whole thing was incredibly peaceful.

The water wasn't as cold as he expected it to be, he discovered as a wave came over his feet. He was sure Hange would have something to say about that, would probably launch into an explanation about liquid inertia or something like that – but they weren't here to disturb the quiet, simple experience of water gently lapping at his legs. Speaking of which…


His pants were completely soaked up to his knees. He frowned as the image of Hange's green cloak, mottled with discolored stains where the saltwater had dried up, popped up in his mind. He retreated to the dry part of the beach, quickly stripping down of his clothes, save for his underwear, and left them safely in a neat, folded up pile on a rock.

The current was stronger than he had imagined. The body of water, as a whole, wasn't going anywhere, so which business did it had, pushing his feet back and forward every time he lifted them? The sensation wasn't entirely unpleasant, though, once he learned how to keep his balance. Levi immersed his hands, watching his pale fingers moving through the water.

A sound behind him made him tense up, but then the intruder uttered a curse as they tripped on something and he just rolled his eyes. He would recognize Hange's voice anywhere, even when the sound of the waves filled his ears. He heard the splashing as they entered the ocean in turn, though he didn't turn to face them.

Therefore, he almost jumped when cold hands slithered between his torso and his arms, fingers brushing against his skin and intertwining in front of his midsection. Next thing he knew, Hange was pressing their chest against his back, their thin and already wet nightshirt the only thing separating their bare skin from his.

He only regained the use of his tongue when their chin came to rest on top of his head:

"Oi, do you have a death wish?"

They giggled, the vibration reverting through his own body in a very troubling manner.

"You know as well as me that this is an empty threat."

"Oh, you think, four-eyes?"

He motioned to turn around but they tightened their grip on his body, bringing them even closer together. Of course, he could easily break free if he wanted to, yet… well, maybe for once, he didn't see a single reason to. Instead, he relaxed in their arms and felt, more than he heard, them hum in satisfaction.

"Morning, by the way," he mumbled. "Sorry if I woke you up."

One of his hands found naturally its way to theirs, and his thumb began to trace invisible circles on their tanned skin. And he had never been ashamed of his height, not at all – vertical maneuvering was easier with a lower center of gravity, and he didn't need to be tall to command respect, he had made sure of that – but for once, he's glad about it, because of how his smaller frame fitted nicely in Hange's.

"Should I talk to you when you just woke up more often, or is it just today that you're nicer?"


"Maybe I should test it out," they went on, "but that would mean trying to decipher your non-existent sleep patterns, and that's a whole scientific challenge on itself, don't you think?"

He rolled his eyes again – not that they could see it.

"I'm not one of your guinea pigs, shitty-glasses."

"Of course not. I don't experiment on humans anyway."

Levi cocked an eyebrow at that but didn't comment.

"But I did read an interesting piece on sleep-deprivation, once. 'Said it made people more susceptible to mood swings and all. I wondered if that would apply to you, with your insomnia, but for that, you would have to actually display emotions other than annoyance and- Ow!"

They backed off – and for one split second, he missed their warmth – and rubbed the sore spot on their chest, where his elbow had just hit them, pouting.

"I take back everything I just said about you being nice."

He didn't answer, just looked at them. In the moonlight, dotted by tiny droplets of water, their skin seemed to glow. They hadn't bothered to put on their glasses, nor their eyepatch for that matter – the silver scar was shining in the pale light –, and they were squinting slightly, in an adorable way. Their auburn hair, free from their usual ponytail, cascaded around their face and upon their shoulders, grazing their collarbones, visible just above the collar of their nightshirt. The wet fabric clung to their body, revealing the defined shape of muscles underneath.

The water sloshed around his legs as he took a step forward, grabbed Hange by the shoulders, and crashed his lips against theirs. They squealed in surprise and stumbled slightly, only remaining upward thanks to Levi's arm now around their waist. His other hand was on the back of their head, threaded in their hair, forcing them to bend slightly so he didn't have to stand on his tiptoes to kiss them.

"Is that enough of a display of emotion for you, four-eyes?" he asked slyly as they parted, slightly out of breath.


Their hands found their way to his body once more, bringing him closer. They angled their head to press little kisses to the side of his neck, making him shiver, and he let out a quiet laugh.

"Aw, that's a sound I'd love to hear more", they whispered in his ear, their breath hot against his skin.

"You're a greedy one, you know that?"

"Hum. Sure."

As Hange's hand creept its way down his back, coming suspiciously close to his ass, a muffled shout and the sound of something hitting the water immediately startled him out of the mood.

"What was that?"


Hange looked at him with visible confusion, and maybe a bit of disappointment.

"There is someone here," he said, pushing them away just a little.

Somehow his fingers didn't completely loosen their grasp on their nightshirt, and Hange's squeezed his arm a little tighter – their mere bodies reluctant to drift apart. It wasn't long before Levi spotted the two figures trying vainly to hide behind a rock that barely reached their thighs. His face fell into his usual scowl.

"Fucking brats," he muttered under his breath.

"Oh! It's Jean!"

He had to fight the impulse to smack Hange as they gingerly waved at the boy, who was frozen in place, looking very unsure of what to do now that his superiors had caught on his presence.

"Connie and Sasha too," Levi laconically added. "Apparently, sleep is overrated."

"You're not one to talk on this matter, dear," they snorted. "Besides, I'm not surprised! How could you expect them to stay put in a tiny tent when there is a whole ocean out there? I mean-"

"Shut up."

They lightly tapped his shoulder, fake disapproval over their beautiful features.

"Oh, is someone frustrated?"

He only tch-ed at them, secretly glad that they could once again read behind his harsh words. He didn't know how to express himself otherwise, had never learned how to, and if he usually didn't care about what others might think, it was different with Hange.

"And what, are you shy?" they whispered in a sing-song voice.

He turned to them and flinched, not expecting them to be so close. Their hair tickled his neck. He motioned to look to the brats again, but fingers on his chin forced him, gently but firmly, to keep facing his lovely four-eyes.

"Let's give them something to talk about tomorrow~"

Warm lips were on his own once again, tasting faintly like salt and mostly like Hange. Their hand brushed against his cheek, sliding into his hair, while the other rested on the small of his back. When they pulled back, he chased them, sand slipping around his feet as he stood on tiptoe. Their noses collided and Hange's laugh was muffled by another kiss. He closed his eyes as their tongue slipped into his mouth.

The kids be damned, they could gossip all they wanted tomorrow, this moment belonged to Hange and him alone. Nothing else mattered.