You woke the next morning just in time to find him pulling on his military jacket, donning his cloak with the wings of freedom etched onto the back. You held the blankets up to your frame, watching him silently, without a word.
When he finished, he stood still for a few moments, hands resting at his sides, gazing blankly out the window of your bedroom.
After a few moments of silence, silence that seemed to stretch on for eons, he turned to you with a sad smile.
You gently swung your legs over the side of the bed as he strode over to you. Even when he squatted beside you, the towering man came to about your height. Without a word, he leaned in an pressed a lingering kiss to your soft lips. You stared at him with innocent eyes as he parted from you, reaching up to entwine his hands in your hair.
You wrapped your arms delicately around his shoulders, bringing him in for another kiss, this one less innocent and pure as the one he doted you with before. The blonde pressed back into the kiss gently, his hands running softly though your locks.
In the distance, a bell chimed.
You both parted, staring at each other, your eyes meeting his for a moment that made your heart flutter inside your chest.
No words needed to be said, staring into each other's eyes communicated everything that needed to be said between you.
He rested his forehead on yours, and you closed your eyes, breathing the familiar scent of him, of sweat, of horse hair, and home. It was moments like this that you had come to cherish and hate the most. When you two would say your silent goodbyes without a word. When he would depart beyond the walls leaving you feeling alone and empty inside.
"(Name)..." he breathed, his voice deep and commanding, making shivers run up your spine.
You kept your eyes closed as you spoke: "I'll be waiting." You whispered, almost inaudibly. "For when you return..."
He wanted just a few more moments, enough to take you into his arms and tell you how beautiful, how amazing you were, how much of a goddess you were to him. But the bell was chiming in the distance insistently, signaling his departure.
He stood slowly, his large hands lingering on your face. You pressed his hand to your cheek, a silent entreaty for him not to leave, to stay by your side.
He smiled gently at you, instead placing a kiss on your forehead.
"I will return." he told you, turning swiftly, his cloak fanning out behind him.
The door clicked shut behind him, leaving the room empty except for yourself.
"I know." You whispered, a sad tear running down your face.
It was only once you saw in inside of a titan's mouth that you realized you should have cherished those bittersweet moments just a little more.
Erwin walked quietly into the room, the door clicking shut behind him. Evening light streamed through the window, the bed was made ever so neatly, the last things your hands had touched before that fateful moment that he had not been there to witness.
And for once, tears stained the great commander's eyes.