“It’ll be winter again soon,” Hange commented as they looked out of the window, watching the brown leaves flutter down to the ground from the dry branches.
“Yeah,” Levi grunted.
“Heichou? You don’t like winter?” Eren asked curiously.
“What is there to like?” Levi asked back. “It’s cold and wet. You can’t fight Titans with winter gear weighing you down.”
“I suppose that’s true,” Eren mumbled thoughtfully.
“You like winter, Eren?” Hange asked, turning to the young boy.
“Yeah,” Eren said excitedly. “Well, when I was little, my mother used to make me hot chocolate during winter,” he started, “and I would help her knit some scarves for the elderly neighbours.”
“That’s nice,” Hange said, smiling at him. “I guess Levi doesn’t like winter because he doesn’t have any happy memories associated with it like you do.”
“I don’t have happy memories, period,” Levi said gruffly.
“Doesn’t mean you can’t make some now,” Hange said with a laugh, reaching over to pull Levi into a one-armed hug. “Don’t be so grumpy, Mr. Grinch!”
“Oh,” Eren’s face fell, as if just realising that not everyone had happy childhoods, and certainly not Levi. “I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault,” Levi said with a shrug, “you weren’t even born yet.”
“That’s not what I meant,” Eren said with a sulk.
“It’s not really because of my childhood too,” Levi said with a sigh. “I… well, we didn’t see sunlight at all in the Underground, but come winter, it would get even chillier there, and I hate the cold.”
Eren’s face fell even more, but then he looked determined.
“I’ll keep you warm, then!” he exclaimed.
Levi spat his tea and Hange nearly snorted the orange juice they were drinking.
“Brat, do you even know what you’re saying!?” Levi demanded while Hange nearly died of laughter beside him.
“You’re ten years too early to say things like that,” Levi said.
“But I can say that ten years from now?” Eren asked hopefully.
“If you don’t get your head bitten off by a Titan first.”
Ten years later, on the eve of Christmas, Levi laid on his bed with a sigh. It had snowed since a week ago, and the others were excited at the prospect of having a white Christmas.
The arm draped across his stomach tightened its hold.
“Something bothering you?”
Levi glanced at Eren who was pressed up against him. The brat had grown up nicely, tall and toned, and although he was loath to admit it, he was handsome too. Most of the new female recruits had a crush on Eren, and Levi felt a selfish satisfaction in knowing that this man chose him.
“Nothing,” Levi said.
“Are you cold?” Eren asked, pulling Levi closer to him. “Now I can say that I’m going to keep you warm, right?”
Levi snorted. “Why do you even still remember that?”
“I remember everything about you,” Eren said, “now go to sleep; I’ll keep you warm.”