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Author Topic: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]  (Read 270 times)

Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« on: November 19, 2019, 06:52:47 AM »
Right. It had been one of those missions. The kind where people died, who didn’t need to die. But because for the sake of humanity or some crap reason like that, they did. Maybe that was it. Malcolm didn’t care about reasons, all he knew was that even after taking a shower, washing out the blood, even changing his uniform… it still felt like the stains were there.

And maybe he had been a little too reckless. Not that Malcolm would admit it. Especially after… one of his own was swatted down. She had just been a kid, barely out of the cadets from last year’s class. He’d watched her try to swing away, but she wasn’t fast enough. Her name had been Jaynie. Malcolm frowned. He didn’t like remembering the names.

He was a senior, at least, he was supposed to be. He felt responsible, who wouldn’t? He considered himself lucky, time and again he kept on living like it was some kind sick lottery to see who’d survive. And yeah, maybe it was just the luck of the draw. Ten years of doing this and what else was he supposed to think.

It still felt too good to cut down the monster of the beast, watching that Titan fall to the ground, body twitching like the godless creature it was.

Did Malcolm hate titans? No more than a criminal that would kill an innocent kid. Or a lightning strike that would kill someone unlucky enough to be out in a storm. Death was death, whether it came by the hand of a titan or some other unnatural cause.

Something hurt. He raised his arm, letting his fingers trace along his forearm, feeling at a scar that had long healed. Phantom pains came and went, especially when he felt as depressed as he did now. A somber smile strayed onto his face, he didn’t need to be Malcolm the Circus now, not when everyone else felt the weight of their mortality on their shoulders.

A bar. He needed a drink, maybe two. Maybe enough to knock him out so he’d wake up with the biggest migraine the next day, to make him forget things like titans, dead kids, and fellow soldiers. No, now that was a bad idea, but in the end, he snickered to himself as he walked through the door of the tavern. He took a seat at the bar, asked for a drink and threw some cash at the bartender in advance.

He took his first big swig, waiting for the alcohol to kick in. The bar wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t that crowded. There were a few other soldiers around, but none from his unit. He didn’t have anywhere to be tomorrow morning.

Maybe getting drunk off his ass wasn’t such a bad idea. 
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Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 07:44:56 AM »
There were some things you could never quite get used to, no matter how many times you saw them, no matter how much time you had spent in the military. Despite only being a part of the Survey Corps for a few years now, Levi had seen his fair share of death during his life time - starting from the death of his mother, to his friends to his comrades in the military. And while most people claimed that the captain was indifferent towards death, cold almost, he felt for each and every loss.

Today had been an especially terrible mission that left them returning with far fewer soldiers than had gone out, leaving a bad taste in the survivor’s mouths and poisoning their minds with grim thoughts. And while Levi hadn’t outright reacted to the many, many dead they had had to leave behind, he could feel the ache in the pit of his stomach, the pull of desperation he only let himself feel every once in a while. Despite the rumours, he was still human.

The captain knew that sleep wouldn’t come tonight - usually struggling with insomnia anyway, he was well aware by now that after a mission like this, there was no way in hell he could be falling asleep for any amount of time. There was too much on his mind, too many scenarios to go through, to try and learn from. There were mistakes to avoid the next time, and soldiers to mourn. Good soldiers. For some of which it had been their first ever mission. Levi felt sick when he thought about it.

Not usually the person to socialise in one of the bars, he took the stroll today - heading out after a very thorough shower to brood after some tea. Or maybe even something stronger, to wash down the taste that had lingered in his mouth ever since they had gotten back.

Upon arrival he immediately spotted Malcom’s fair haired head and wasn’t at all surprised to see him here. They weren’t close by any means, usually busier with bickering than really engaging in any sort of conversation, but he did not necessarily mind the other’s presence. Levi knew that someone from Malcom’s squad had died that day too - everyone had lost someone in some way. Following an impulse, he headed over to sit next to the other, wordlessly at first as he signaled for the bartender to get one of whatever Malcom was having. He kept his eyes on the table in front of him, simply sitting there for a moment before he finally spoke, his voice quiet. “Shit day, huh?”
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Art by Kodecks

Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 05:20:26 PM »
Drinking was a bad idea. No matter how he tried to spin it, he suddenly remembered why he normally avoided bars unless he was as depressed as this. Some people drank to forget, but that only happened when one drank far too much. Drinking for Malcolm, made him remember things he didn’t want to recall.

One night, a long time ago, she had looked at him like he was pitiful. He had looked at her like she was the monster. She was a monster, but it had taken him too long to figure it out. She was someone who didn’t care, who didn’t want his help. She didn’t want a family, and now, neither did Malcolm.

But even now, he still felt like this. When someone died, his chest got too tight and his breathing got too hard. It was how life worked in the Survey Corps, he knew that when he signed up for it. Maybe he had hoped that death would come for him sooner. Now, he was unlucky enough to keep on surviving.

He took another drink, only then noticing that the seat beside him was suddenly occupied. Turning a curious side-eye, Malcolm let a half-smirk grace his face.

“Shit day, huh?”

“One way to say it.” He shrugged, leaning back in his chair as he set his glass down. “Didn’t take you for a bar guy, Cap’n Short, Dark, and Brooding.” His grin grew wider as he jested with his superior. They were in a more casual setting now, so Malcolm felt like the risk was worth it, plus anytime to start some good back and forth would probably get him out of his slump. He wasn’t particularly close with the Squad Leader but that simply was the way with everyone. Levi wasn’t exactly a social butterfly, as far as Malcolm could tell, but at least Malcolm himself did enjoy it when the two were inclined to tidbits of conversation, or in other words, more trivial, perhaps childish bickering.

“Ah, it ain’t different than most other days. Go out there, risk our lives, lose a few, and then go do it all over again.” What a repetitive, predictable, and macabre life of the Survey Corps. And yet somehow, Malcolm said as his words with a sarcastic smile and matching tone. “Why else would anyone sign up for this?” He gestured at random, but both as a fellow soldier, Malcolm knew that Levi would understand.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 05:21:30 PM by Malcolm Watanabe »
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Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2019, 02:57:35 AM »
A soft ‘Tsk’ sound escaped Levi upon Malcolm’s words and he kept his eyes on the golden liquid in front of himself, watching the light of the lanterns reflect off of it. “Should have known me in a different life,” he replied simply before lifting the glass to his lips, welcoming the strong burn. Levi had never been a big drinker, usually sticking to tea to calm his nerves and keep his mind clear, but there had been instances where alcohol had called his name. Flashbacks of both harder and simpler times came to mind; a time when his friends were still alive. A time when he spent his evenings in bars, talking and arm wrestling. It had been a tough life in the Underground city, but he couldn’t deny that sometimes he thought back on it with a hint of nostalgia.

“Why else would anyone sign up for this?”

Why indeed… every soldier in the Survey Corps had his or her own reason for signing up for this task, that almost certainly would end in death. Some thought they had to do something to retaliate for what they lost. Some wanted to be heroes. Others had nowhere else to go.

Levi himself had decided to follow Erwin the moment he saw the man’s vision - and was asked to lend him his strength. Contrary to popular belief Levi did care about the fate of humanity, about what would happen to the world if the titans were left to roam around. And he despised the life in confinement, shelved together like kettle in captivity. This was not how mankind was supposed to live, and if he could help bring freedom, he would do what he could.
There also hadn't been much of a choice - Erwin gave him the option to decide between giving his life to the Survey Corps or being charged for his crimes as an underground thug. It was simple enough.

“So what did bring you here then? If it’s such a gruesome task. What made you join the Survey Corps? Are you hunting for glory? Or are you simply a bit of a masochist, just like the rest of us?” He turned slightly to glance at Malcolm, the drink still in his hand. “What made you say yes to this?” « Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 06:22:36 AM by Levi Ackerman »
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Art by Kodecks

Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2019, 06:41:30 AM »

The white-haired soldier returned a smirk at the tsking he received. But he did hear the soft reply back. Another life? It was hard to believe that there was any other Levi besides the Captain Levi, cold and quietly furious soldier of the Survey Corps, that sat beside him. But, Malcolm also knew what the man spoke of. Internally Malcolm sighed. Another life… Malcolm Watanabe used to have one of those too.

It had been his choice to leave it all behind.

Of course, the next question brought about a different kind of conversation. Malcolm paused, the sly grin on his face turned to something more serious. If he could recall, he probably never even remembered Captain Levi speaking so many words to him. Was now simply a more opportune moment? At the same time, the questions were harsh, the tone harsher. But Malcolm brushed off the words, raising his hands in mock innocence.

“Whoa, whoa, Cap’n, didn’t realize I was being put under interrogation tonight!” He dodged the questions, at first, soon picking up his glass for another drink. “Any sensible soldier would ask the same things about you, you know.” Malcolm raised an eyebrow, his signature smirk returned, as if challenging the man right back. Of course, Malcolm spoke a truth, the mysterious past of the stout and stoic raven-haired captain sometimes was the subject of barrack talk.

But then, he allowed a reprieve. Sure, he had dodged the question initially, but Malcolm actually was quite an honest guy. Though, he wasn’t going to answer his Captain so easily. “Alright, I’ll tell you why I didn’t join. It’s not cause I think I’m some hero, I ain’t a patriot either. And humanity? I lost faith in it a long time ago.” The words flowed freely out of his mouth, because Malcolm was casually a talker, and maybe he already was falling under the influence of his drink. “And while you may have thought this to be the number one reason, it’s not ‘cause I got anyone waiting back home for me. Though the handsome devil I am, I haven’t quite landed a Mrs. Watanabe yet.” Malcolm ended up laughing at his own comments as if realizing himself how ridiculous he was beginning to sound. But it felt good to laugh, after a day like that.
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Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2019, 06:56:09 AM »
“If our soldiers fought half as well as they gossip, we might be better off…” Levi mused in a somewhat sour tone, although not fully meaning it. They had some of the most talented people among their ranks, and he was well aware of that - although that was mostly due to the fact that you were either good, or you died a prompt death. There really was no time or place for soldiers who weren’t up to par, as cruel as that might sound.

“However, I never said you couldn’t ask me…” It was almost amusing, the way people usually seemed surprised when the man they only knew as their silent captain, or ‘humanity’s strongest’ turned out to be quite chatty under the right circumstances. Levi had never made it a point to speak about his past, mostly because he didn’t think it anyone’s business but his, but he also didn’t keep it a secret if anyone asked. There was no reason to, he wasn’t ashamed of where he came from - granted, he could take some snide comments a bit too serious, but it was what it was. He knew where he grew up, knew what he was. And still it didn’t change the fact that he was here now. He had never much cared about what people thought of him anyway.

“So no girl waiting at home, not a hero, and not concerned about humanity either” Levi mused, snorting at the bad joke that left the other’s lips. He himself couldn’t care less about anything romantic, so it had never even been a factor for him. “What was it then? The prospect of finding some girl that swoons over a soldier? The prospect of a quick death? Running away from something?” He signaled for the bartender to fill his glass once more, now turning slightly to face his companion. They had probably never quite had a conversation that went past a few bickering remarks, but right now, he did not mind one bit. Silence was nice, it gave him the opportunity to keep to himself and not concern himself with the life of others he barely deemed worth his time - but sometimes, conversation could actually ease the mind. And he’d do anything to not be left alone with his own thoughts right now.

“I guess… in the end it doesn’t really matter either way. We’re all going to die sooner or later.  It’s just a matter of how you want to suffer until then…” It might sound like a depressing thought, but it was true nonetheless. Life was never easy, unless maybe you were born into royalty, safe being the highest walls and with no mind to worry about where your next meal would come from. Levi had been born into poverty and lived a life in the shadows… now he was out in the open, battling for his life. Was there really much of a difference either way? Except… he had a purpose now. At least to an extent.
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Art by Kodecks

Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2019, 06:13:32 AM »
Malcolm let out a half chuckle at Levi’s comment about gossip, if he hadn’t been in the middle of a drink, he would have gone full force, but he restrained himself for once. So, the Captain did know he was the subject of barrack talk, Malcolm almost assumed that he didn’t pay much mind to trivial things. And perhaps he didn’t, he hadn’t said anything about it before, certainly.

“However, I never said you couldn’t ask me…”

It was then Malcolm gave a subtle side-eye. No, he supposed that Levi never did. But everyone else would have assumed that he wouldn’t talk anyway. He didn’t seem like the kind of character who would open up so easily, then again, Malcolm had never assumed the Captain to be the kind of person to go out at all. Surprises happened every day it seemed. “Well, well when you put it that way Cap’n, is there a Mrs. Levi waiting at home?” Malcolm could have just as easily guessed the answer, but another part of him really just wanted to say it out loud, pointing a teasing finger in the shape of a circle at the shorter man.

His chuckles were soon silenced as he began to listen to what Levi had to say in regards to Malcolm’s not reasons for joining the army. The silver-haired soldier kept a smirk on his lips, more than amused to find that Levi’s guesses just kept coming. Levi signaled for another drink as Malcolm was just finishing his own. Malcolm leaned forward, resting his arms on the counter so he could support his chin with the back of his hands.

“I guess… in the end it doesn’t really matter either way.”

Malcolm maintained a neutral smile on his face, seemingly unaffected by the rather depressing words. He didn’t disagree. The Captain was right, sooner or later, they died because that the life of a soldier, fighting for humanity, whether they believed in it or not. “Ah, Cap’n now yah see it huh? A guy’s gotta have secrets, keeps me mysterious and the ladies curious!”

Malcolm let his poor taste in jests settle a bit as he took another swig, now of his second drink. He waved off his words with a bit of surrender in his motions. “Alright, really that was one was a joke, promise. I actually, really didn’t sign up just so I could get girls, despite how attractive that prospect sounds. Cross my heart.”

But then Malcolm paused again, he set down his drink and there was a look in his dark red eyes that seemed to hold something else. Run away, huh? That hit a little close to home. Malcolm was already halfway through a second drink, the man never liked to consider himself a lightweight, but it had been a while since he’d been drinking. His cheeks were already slightly blushed. A hand went to his right sleeve, where he started rolling up the cloth on his forearm, exposing the trail of an ugly scar that ran along his skin.

“Long time ago, I used to be the kind of person who wanted to help people. But in the end, the one person I wanted to save the most… did this to me.” He raised his arm, tapping lightly on the discolored skin. “She was my sister. I couldn’t fight her. I couldn’t reason with her. I couldn’t do anything to stop her. So I... gave up. After that I needed to throw my life into something else, joined the military,  helluva good distraction. Heh, the rest of the story writes itself.”
« Last Edit: November 21, 2019, 06:33:12 AM by Malcolm Watanabe »
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Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2019, 06:56:54 AM »
Levi was indeed quite aware that people talked about him, how could he not? Some where better at hiding it than others, some just outright didn’t care if he heard their words, heard the whispers and their opinion of him. He didn’t care much for any of it, not concerned with the opinions of others but simply annoyed by the fact that so much effort was put into gossip. He had never quite understood humanity’s fascination with running their mouths. The only thing gossip was good for was intel.

No one really bothered with asking him any personal questions, mostly because they were probably expecting to already know the answer - but Levi had never made a secret of his past, even if there were things he would never talk about. In general, he would answer questions - if anyone ever bothered to ask. It seemed like Malcolm might.

The question the other soldier decided to ask, however, had Levi snort softly, almost rolling his eyes. All these questions at his fingertips, and Malcolm choose to ask if he had a wife. This one, he thought, was public knowledge. Just how sneaky did they thought him to be? “No,” he replied matter of factly, his gaze still on the amber colour of his drink. “Romance definitely isn’t something I concern myself with. I don’t know how some of the others do it, with their wife and kids at home.” No, he had never had any mind towards romance, never really had any interest either.  Why, he couldn’t tell. Maybe it was because of his mother’s situation. Maybe he just couldn’t be bothered. Which (sadly) didn’t mean no one was interested in him. You’d think his rather brusk demeanour was enough to keep interest low, but somehow the wasn’t how it worked.

“Well, that’s a relief at least,” he replied, once again lifting his glass to his lips, for once welcoming how the liquor’s taste seemed to burn right through him. Better man than him had lost themselves in booze, and somehow he felt like he could almost understand why - for him, however, it had never quite had the same effect. Sure, he could feel the burn, feel the warm, almost comforting sensation, but he never quite did get drunk… which seemed to be the whole point of it. “Any more like those MP punks, thinking they can bathe themselves in the glory of being a soldier despite never even lifting a single one of their good for nothing hands and I might be unable to take it…” It wasn’t a joke, not quite anyway, but probably as close to it as Levi would get.

As Malcolm started rolling his sleeve up, Levi simply listened. There was no sign of surprise or judgement visible on his features, he simply listened; grey eyes lingering on the scar for a moment. “Family ain’t shit,’ he replied simply, a soft huff ushered into the depths of his glass. It really wasn’t. Blood didn’t mean anything, and even the family you chose, as people tended to say, was way too easy to crush. The people he had once considered family where all dead by now.

“So it is running away, huh? I can sympathise with that.” Not, that he was really running away from anything or anyone - but it had definitely been a way of escape for him, to join the Survey Corps. A whole new life, really. “Has it done you any good, running away?”
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Art by Kodecks

Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2019, 11:14:01 PM »
So it seemed that there wasn’t a Mrs. Levi. Malcolm laughed at the idea once again, rather amused that Levi had even answered him at all. Though, his rather flat response was almost something quite… anti-climactic. But then that dark-haired captain continued his muses, speaking of how some of their fellow soldiers could have families and then leave them at home while they risked their lives for the sake of humanity.

“Can’t say I get it either.” Malcolm shrugged, taking a sip of his drink once again. His face curved into a natural smirk, tapping his fingers to the side of his glass. Really, he didn’t get it, quite honestly. He didn’t get the idea of family in this life, when one could die at any mission and never return home. He knew how much that could hurt. If he could help it, he wouldn’t want to put that pain on to someone. Which is why… there wasn’t a Mrs. Watanabe for him either.

“If it’s any consolation Cap’n, I’d consider you quite the handsome guy. Ah, the ladies like the dark and brooding and mysterious persona, from what I hear anyway.” He winked at his superior as if he had just shared some secret on how to score well with the opposite gender. He chuckled, softly, finding his own teasing rather amusing nonetheless. To really think that no one ever had shown interest in the Captain was quite improbable, the guy probably didn’t choose to notice or he really was that dense.

But of course, their conversation would take a different turn. Malcolm didn’t know what took hold of him to reveal so much. Maybe it just had been too long since he had ever said anything at all, maybe it was that alcohol that night was particularly strong. And maybe, he was just feeling so sorry for himself that he wanted to remember just how pitiful he could be.

“Family ain’t shit,”

Malcolm let out a mix of a laugh and sigh, then he ran his fingers through his silver-white hair. “Yeah, I learned that one the hard way.” And despite his smirk, there was something understood that Malcolm now knew about Levi. The dark-haired Captain had experienced something quite similar to what Malcolm had and for that, Malcolm could see just why the Captain happened to be the way he was.

But as for running away…

“Has it done you any good, running away?”

Malcolm paused, for once, he had to think about his answer. He didn’t have some quick-witted response so easily. “You know, I wouldn’t consider it running away if yah got nothing to run back to.” Another half-shrug. “Haven’t ended up in the stomach of a titan yet, guess I’m too lucky to die.” And with that, he’d probably just jinxed himself for their next mission. But even as he said those words, Malcolm just wasn’t the type of guy to believe in luck. He took another swig of his drink, nearly finished off his second one now.

“How about you Cap’n? Is there anything you’re running from?”
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Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 05:34:26 AM »
Maybe it was a sense of belonging, the wish to just somehow, somewhere call something their own in this world that never quite seemed to slow down. He couldn’t blame the other soldiers for wanting something to feel more settled, more permanent - although arguably, once you had established something more ‘permanent’ it could be simply taken away in an instant. Was there ever anything really meant to last? Levi wasn’t sure he had ever really felt a sense of belonging to begin with, neither in the Underground nor now in the Scouts. And he had definitely lost quite a few things in both places.

Malcolms words made the Captain snort and for a moment his only response was to take another sip of his - now dangerously empty - drink, mulling them over. No, he knew he was strangely popular with the opposite gender, even if it entirely eluded him as to why that was. He had never shown any interest, never really had been nice to anyone either - not in a romantic sense anyway, and yet there were women out there who seemed to be weirdly charmed by his presence. Maybe it was the whole soldier thing? It was laughable, really, downright pathetic, and Levi had no intentions of pursuing any of the wild advances. If he was being completely honest, even the prospect of romance made him somewhat uncomfortable. Better just to focus on not being mauled by a titan. “If you say so” was all he countered, shrugging his shoulders. “I really have no interest in anything of that sort.”

"Haven’t ended up in the stomach of a titan yet, guess I’m too lucky to die.” 

Lucky. That was usually a word soldiers didn’t use freely. No one was truly lucky - even if you managed to survive for a number of years, there was a price to pay regardless. Seeing everyone around you die, for one. Realising how small humanity really was for another. But Levi could sympathise with the sentiment, even if he didn’t quite consider himself lucky.

Setting his drink back down onto the table, he watched the amber liquid swirl around for a moment. There were too many things in his past that he didn’t want to relive, but was he really running from something? From family, or the lack thereof? From the ghosts of his past, the pain and the grime of the Underground city?

“I’m not sure if I’m running from something, or towards something,” the captain replied to Malcolm’s questions, a strange edge to his tone. He had decided to follow Erwin because of his vision, so, technically speaking, he was running towards something. Not towards a dream, not really anyway - or not his dream, at any rate. But there was something. Hope, maybe. How pathetic of him. “I definitely didn’t mind escaping where I was at, however. It was not a good place. Still isn’t. So there’s that, I suppose.” He knew of the rumours surrounding him, knew that it wasn’t a secret that ‘the great Captain Levi’ had once been a notorious thug in the Underground city below the capital, the downright slums of their world. It had been a hard life, definitely, but contrary to what people usually believed, he wasn’t ashamed of his past. You did the best with the things you had, wasn’t that the case?

“I suppose almost every soldier has some sort of tragic backstory, at least us in the Survey Corps. Why else would you choose to risk your life for something so unknown? Unless you’re one of the pathetic people who want to bathe themselves in glory and still haven’t understood how fucked up this job actually is… But someone’s got to do it, am I right? That’s us.” He was weirdly chatty today, the grim tone to his voice almost nonchalant despite the heavy reality of his words. It was a truly fucked up life they were living, if they ever got the chance to stop and really think about it.
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Art by Kodecks

Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2019, 07:17:47 AM »
Alright, so the captain apparently, really wasn't interested in romance at all. Malcolm chuckled at the ravenette's responses, in the back of mind somewhere was plotting on how to show the Captain a really good time on another night when drinking seemed to solve all their problems. He let the issues rest, for now…

Because then, when Malcolm returned the inquiry about running away, the Captain did have one hell of a response. Malcolm listened, letting his dark, crimson orbs stare at nothing ahead of him. It was no secret, no secret at all that Levi had his… questionable origins. The Underground, not a thing even Malcolm knew a lot about. A place filled with criminals and worst of their kind festered there.

Honestly, if he had to place his bets… maybe that was were Mercy had ended up.

But taking a look at Captain Levi himself, Malcolm probably wouldn't have guessed that those were the humble origins of the man considered humanity's strongest. But hey, a name never always matched a person, Malcolm just had to take one look at himself to figure that one out. Better than were he started huh? Malcolm gave a half chuckle, somehow a third glass had shown up in front of him. And for that comment, he ripped an imaginary hat and held his drink up. "You know they say that when you start from the bottom, there ain't anywhere to go but up!"

Malcolm sipped on his drink as he came to listen to Levi's words. He nodded in time with what the Captain was saying, finally setting down his drink. "Ah yes, a dirty job and someone's gotta do it." Perhaps there was something thought provoking to Levi's dialogue, but maybe Malcolm was just getting tipsy enough not to truly understand it.

"Y'know Cap'n I..." Malcolm held his tongue, his pause was awkward, it was as if he was trying to find words that didn't seem to string together as easily as they should have. "I ain't the type of guy who likes ta think a lot. Leave that stuff up to you and Commander Erwin. 'Cause sure as hell if anyone put me in charge, we'd all be breakfast for Titans…." Malcolm's laughter echoed into rambling chuckles, but eventually the silver haired soldier gathered himself up in a somewhat casually serious tone. He wasn't a philosopher, in fact he hated it when things got too complicated. He was a soldier, and all anyone needed to do for him was point him in one direction and he'd slash down everything in his way.

"Everyone's got their reasons, and really… we're all just a sad group of schmucks who are good at killing monsters. Throw in some shitty speech about saving humanity and some shitty salary that barely pays for good beer, and bam! It's the Survey Corps." Malcolm shrugged again, almost unsure of where his own words were taking him. "I don't really like thinking about the future, dunno if I'll even have one. Hate thinking about the past, 'cause that just hurts. But the here and the now? It's all I'm really good for Cap'n."
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Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2019, 11:08:12 AM »
Levi often wondered why people showed an interest in his love life at all - not Malcolm specifically, perhaps, since he had known the other soldier for a good few months (or had it been even longer? he couldn’t remember) now. In general however, barely anyone within the Scouts or outside really knew anything about the Captain, not about his past or his current life, so when the question of him being married or otherwise involved came up, Levi was surprised every single time. Surely that couldn’t be what was at the front of people’s minds?

And while Levi knew about the rumours surrounding him, he couldn’t care less what people where actually saying - they had no idea what his childhood had been like, growing up in the slums, among - what people up here titled - the scum of humanity. The truth was, there were good and bad people down there, just as there were everywhere. His mother had been a good person, despite the difficult circumstances. Kenny, not so much. The truth was, however, that many, many people down there, devoid of sunlight and caged together, deserved a much better life.

“I guess that depends on which direction you consider up…” he mumbled and finished the rest of his drink, singling for another one. Usually, Levi didn’t even like drinking - but somehow, this day called for it. Malcolm’s words had made him think, however. Sure, it had been a tough life in the underground and he was glad to have escaped it. Up here, there was death. Maybe even more death than down in the Underground - but at least there was sunlight, right? At least he could pretend to work in humanity’s favour. Down in the slums, it was every man for himself, and mostly for their own benefit. A wave of sudden gilt washed over Levi, thinking back to the small group of people he had gathered around himself, back in the very days. Orphans, mostly. Kids with nowhere to go, but willing to work and do their best. He wondered what had become of them.

Levi shot Malcolm a side glance at his next words, fingers clutched around the glass in his usual peculiar manner. “I am not like Erwin” he replied simply, eyes wandering over the neatly stacked up bottles along the wall behind the bar. No, he had never seen himself at that kind of leader - he was good at assessing situations, sure. He usually knew what to do, but Levi didn’t enjoy giving commands. It was much more his style to let his friends - or subordinates, by now - do as they saw fit. Erwin was different, however. Not that he didn’t trust people to make their own decisions, but Erwin had a vision. He had plans, and he knew how to get to them - he knew what to tell people to motivate them, he had a way with words. Levi himself was terrible with any sort of speech, and motivation wasn’t his strong suit. No, he definitely wasn’t a leader. Which made him wonder, for the umpteenth time by now, how he had gotten himself into being a Captain in the first place.

“Are we, though? Saving humanity, I mean. Or is that just something we keep telling ourselves to make it into the next fight?” Erwin would know, he thought. He knew what their Commander would say to this, and hadn’t he sworn to follow the other into the fight for humanity? Levi had devoted his heart to this cause, all those years ago when Erwin had come to find him. He was fighting for humanity, because he had nothing else left to fight for. There was only hoping that it all wouldn’t be for nothing in the end. “I was never one to think about the future either. Too many unknown factors. Too many variables. I made it from day to day, and that was it. A small victory, to survive another day. I guess not much has changed after all.”
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Art by Kodecks

Re: Fancy Seeing You Here [Levi/Malcolm]
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2019, 07:15:53 AM »
“I guess that depends on which direction you consider up…”

Malcolm chuckled, hearing the Captain mutter under his breath, in the dim light, the silver-haired wonder blinked a crimson eye back at his superior. “As long as it ain’t backward, then I’m good for any direction!” And well, perhaps that meant more than what Malcolm was letting on. It was easy to joke around, say that the past hurt and that one didn’t want to look back. Malcolm was the type of person who didn’t like to look back for those very reasons. Moving backwards? He hoped he hadn’t done that in a long time, but all the same… maybe he hadn’t moved forwards in a long time either. Even given enough alcohol, that really wasn’t something he was willing to admit either.

Taking a hard look at the Captain and what’d he said just moments before, “Family ain’t shit,” huh? Could mean a few things, but it mostly meant, Captain Levi once had a ‘family,’… and they treated him like shit. But for all his anti-social tendencies, he hadn’t turned out to be a complete psychopath, so that meant another thing. If family treated him like shit, then someone who wasn’t ‘family’ had treated him a lot better. Could that have been someone as simple as Commander Erwin? Or someone else? Levi still kept denying that romance wasn’t in his interests, but could that just mean he was hiding something else. Everyone had their secrets, even Malcolm knew that. Yet as the silver-haired soldier stared down at his beer, his mind kept wondering who the Captain had once had in his life.

Because if Malcolm was speaking honestly, he was a little jealous. After Mercy, Malcolm had put up his walls and had said family didn’t mean anything more. If a guy like Levi still said that, but still had someone give a shit about him…

Malcolm’s mental spinning gears did come to a halt when Levi made yet another interesting statement.

“I am not like Erwin.”

“A’ight, Cap’n. Whatever yah say.” Malcolm’s signature smirk stayed on his face, he raised an eyebrow, wondering what little button he had pressed just then. He made a little mental note, knowing it would come in handy later. So, maybe that someone simple really had been the Commander... “Heh! It’s pretty hard to measure up to someone like the Commander!” Indeed Malcolm was all smiles, but it did get him to thinking, ever since the fall of Wall Maria and Erwin’s takeover of the Survey Corps… quite honestly, Malcolm could say that Erwin was a bit more of an inspiring guy than Shadis. More handsome too, far better to look at. The guy really did have a vision, Malcolm just wasn’t sure if he believed in it or not. At least, he was dumb enough to follow the guy into battle.

Ah, there it was. Saving humanity… no, that really wasn’t what Malcolm signed up for. He’d already told Levi that. Yet, here the Watanabe was and he still listened and took orders from the big blonde guy that basically preached it. Malcolm sipped on his drink, nearly halfway done. He got a good gulp in, before setting it down once again, rather hard. “Well, it might as well be both!” Malcolm shrugged again, laughing off his words, finding some joy in the futility of it all. Fight after fight, pledging loyalty to the cause, giving it all up to the mere idea that one day it would be better? It sounded ludicrous to any sane person, but to people who had nothing else to believe in…

And as for Levi’s comments about the small victories, Malcolm had to chuckle. So the ravenette wasn’t into thinking about the future either? Good for him. Malcolm raised his half-empty glass, in a mock toast, waiting a moment to see if Levi would follow in suit. “And so, here’s to many more small victories ahead, Cap’n Levi.”

Of course, he realized the irony of his statement, but he was going to say it anyway, as an excuse to finish his third drink.
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