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A Titan's Poisoned Chalice

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He ripped into the titan’s neck, teeth piercing the soft flesh before clenching his jaw and ripping its neck apart. The steam burned the insides of his mouth leaving a repugnant and bitter taste. The flesh desperately clutching together at the strands as he rips violently, forcing his head sideways while pulling sideways. Then, suddenly, a barrage of steam burst from the body as it rapidly began to decay and evaporate. He spat out the decaying remains of the titan below with disgust, before stomping on the titan’s neck for good measure. He stood proudly, with look of twisted rage marking his face, the feeling of satisfaction from the kill pumping through his veins. As he became attuned to the sounds of the dense forest, with small birds chirping high in the trees above him. He wiped away any remains of the titan’s flesh off of his face, body relaxing to the sounds surrounding him. He let out a burst of burning steam from his mouth as he re-entered the forest and away from any braindead titans.

The titans were all annoying intruders in his forest. This was his forest, and no one was allowed entrance. This was a place of peace and safety, and no one could be trusted. But, that did not prevent those dense enough from entering; but all who entered, never left. This is a sanctuary for the animals, and although the titans never seemed interested in eating them, they damaged their homes and cared for nothing less rather than filling their ceaseless appetite. He was always a target. He never understood why they hunted him down, their ravenous lust for food drew them to him, whenever he was nearby.

He was a free-spirited individual, who loved his home, high up in the trees, where he was untouchable and able to freely observe the paradise around him. The high, lush green hills that spread as far as the eye could see with deep valleys and rivers that flowed down them into the large sparkling lake by the clearing, that reflected the darkening sky and glowing moon.

He brushed his long bedraggled brown hair out from his face, before rubbing his eyes as he decided to climb up the largest tree within the forest. He gingerly climbed up the thick branches before finding a suitable nest, allowing for his neck to be as far away from the ground as possible. He felt his body slowly drain of energy as the sun fell below the horizon and eventually his eyes became hooded and closed as night ascended.

 

A few hours after dawn he awoke to feverish activity from the small, tiny animals from below as they moved from in between the trees. The deer munched on the grass from the clearing ahead, before standing alert with their ear standing up attentively then dashing away in fright. It was the familiar and unmissable rhythmic vibrations that he could feel from the tree he rested on that gained his attention. His brows furrowed, and he huffed with tumultuous disdain. Immediately, the peaceful ambiance of the forest became heavier and suddenly a wave of silence infected the forest. Not a sound to be heard.

He grumbled, before getting up, his muscles straining as he pushed up from the thick branches, the wood groaning from his weight. Huffing as he saw the seven-metre titan from afar that’s intruding into his territory. Its deformed face and bulging eyes staring obliviously into space. He clenched his teeth before snarling. Pushing away from the tree fiercely, blowing up a gust of wind where he landed. He straightened his body, preparing for a fight.

This was a common occurrence, it was almost tiring, easily predictable. Most of his enemies frequently, lacked intelligence and skill, it was far too easy. Most went down in a few swings of his fist. This seven-metre looked to be no match. He lost most of his eagerness and felt his interest diminish as he rolled his eyes as he walked down to wards the titan. He felt nothing but boredom, his body sagging as he stomped towards the titan. This felt more like a chore than a fight. The titan’s eyes grew, and it let out a grumbled gurgling sound that light up the titan’s eyes as it ran towards him. Its gait, awkward and twisted, bouncing, and walking as if there are several broken bones that healed incorrectly. When the titan got close enough, he attacked grabbing the titan by the throat and forced it into the tree to his right, fingers tightly bound around its neck, forcing as much pressure into the neck to crush the bones. The titan opened and closed its mouth attempting to get a bite of his arm, with saliva dribbling down its mutated lips. After pressing into the titan’s nape, thin, short nails digging and scratching at the flesh to separate the skin apart to rip out the sensitive, flesh that would ultimately kill the titan. When the smaller titan let out a barrelage of steam as he ripped out the sensitive sweet spot of the titan’s neck watching it go limp in his arms, its body starting to decay instantly. Unphased, he dropped the carcase onto the ground before leaving without a second glance.

Sniffling, he rubbed his nose with a yawn, leaving the shelter of the forest and entered the clearing. The eerie quietness of the clearing because of his fight with the dead titan. He walked around the clearing, before coming up to the lake and seeing his reflection in the water, his hair hanged low on his shoulders and his rich green eyes in sunken sockets with tan skin, from being in the sun all day reflected at him. He placed his large hand in the water, before cupping it and throwing water on his face, cleaning his face, and waking himself up to spend time relaxing and energising. The water was warm on his face, and he sighed before getting down into the water, collapsing with a sigh as the warm water washed upon his overheated body. closing his eyes, with a sense calm washing over him, he curled into the lake, blinkingly watching the animals that come to the lake to take a drink absently. After relaxing for a fleeting time, he got up and decided that he would practise at the large redwoods. His body was bursting with energy and he was eager to get his body pumping and to burn the ceaseless energy that made staying till near impossible. He had to always be moving or doing. By the time he reached the redwoods he was letting out a mouthful of steam before launching his fists at the dense redwood trees, his knuckles just grazing the inner bark of the tree.

He was there for most of the day, standing with his hands letting out a long thin stream of steam as his body regenerated the loss of muscle, bone, and flesh. He looked down at his hands with a look of contemplation, it hardly even hurt, he was so often use to the constant sensation of pain, he’d almost become immune to it. Despite practising his fighting skills more most of the day – and damaging the redwood until many of its cousins were collapsed on the ground – he still felt rambunctious. He was eager to put his skills and practise to good use again against another one of the monstrous creatures that hungered for him but was given his solitude. Days like these were hard to come by as the stray titans always were lured by his scent and would attack at all angles, hunting him a group, hoping for a decent bite, all ending in failure. But on the rare occasion, he was ignored. He was unsure as to why some days he was not on their desired menu, but his will still anxious, he was never calm where the titans were around.

It was nearing nightfall, with the sun starting to dip below the horizon, sending an orange glow across the fields. He thought, it was only a few hours before night, before the smaller titans started to sleep. Hopefully, to burn more of this energy before he slept he would go wondering. He looked down and saw a fallen branch of a tree and began to play with it with his fingers, twirling it around huffing at himself each time he dropped it.

Before long, he had vaguely noticed that he had wondered far from his home high in the trees. he had never been to this part of the forest before and the trees had started to become thinner and thinner while also becoming much shorter than further back towards his home. While the trees still stood higher than him, they were nothing compared to the redwoods. This area was also full of noises, but he had not come across anything unusual but felt uncomfortable enough in the unfamiliar environment to leave the area. It gave an eerie feeling that something was lurking in the growing darkness. The occasional hissing noise wasn’t doing much to make him feel better.

He sniffed the air cautiously, nostrils flaring to get any sense of what may be lurking in the diming light. Most of it was masked by the flora and scent of the animals, however, there was a scent that he hadn’t smelt before and there were many different signatures of a similar scent. But whatever it belonged too, there was many of them. Not willing to risk his luck, he left the area, but before he began to make a move, the roar of a titan was heard. Ear perking up and moving in the direction in the sound, his heart pounding in his chest as adrenaline pumped throughout his body.

There was a flash of movement on his right.

He immediately fell to the ground as the small titan smacked into him. He pulled himself up and grabbed the wrist of the titan that was on top of him and flicked up, throwing it into a nearby tree, causing it to vibrate and creak under the force. The titan got up immensely fast, its small body able to move swiftly, making his eyes search everywhere to keep the small titan in his line of sight. He lunged forward when the titan didn’t grasp onto the tree tightly enough and fell on the ground with a thump. He roared and pinned it, forcing all his weight onto the titans back as its limbs scratched at the soft dirt to climb out from under him. The titan screamed and roared, knocking its head backwards, hitting his temple and disorientating him, before the titan pulled out from under him and smacking its hand against his face, scratching at his eyes as it successfully knocked him on his side. Steam rose from his face as the titan had dug deeply into his cheeks, narrowly avoiding his eyes. He roared and let out a barrage of steam before the smaller titan threw itself at him, mouth open unnaturally wide as its eyes bulged out of its head. Its gaping mouth fell into his clenched fist as he rose it to attack the titan, causing it to choke on his fist and damaging many of the muscles and tendons in its neck as he then knocked the titan on the floor again. Then proceeded to rip into the titan’s neck with his bared teeth, ripping out the flesh and discarding it on the floor beside the titans now decaying body.

But before he got up he felt a strong, piercing sharp pain on his shoulder, he let out a roar before turning his head around seeing another titan biting into his shoulder, and a much smaller titan climbing along his back, with its incredibly small head. Despite the pain shooting up his nerve endings, he attempted to get up, but fell back again when the tiny titan bit at his neck. Screaming in agony, he slumped down on the floor, breathing deeply through the pain. His hands twitched, and it became difficult to think. The two titans continued to feast upon him, the tiny titan biting near his nape, causing blinding pain to immobile him, paralysing him to the floor helpless. He clenched his hand and slowly, it shook violently as he fought through the pain to rise it above his head to clench into the tiny titan’s hair, grabbing as tightly as he could so he didn’t inadvertently cause his own demise as he stood up. The tiny dragged its small claws along his back to try and have some means of grip on his body. the larger titan pulled him towards its body, making him almost fall sideways into the titan due to the imbalance. 

Hiss.

Suddenly the there was a flash of light, or was it movement, and suddenly the weight on his neck was suddenly gone, turning to look the tiny titan’s body was lying on the ground in a slump, steaming rising into the purple sky. Not questioning why, he used his free arm to remove the titan’s head from his neck, allowing for the skin and flesh to heal and slowly he felt the fog over his consciousness fade, making him more aware of the large titan that had ripped into the flesh of his right side, it was beyond saving so he grabbed the flesh above where the titan had grabbed him and ripped it off of his body, with the sound of bone snapping and the squelch of the flesh as it was ripped from its position, and the titan collapsed onto the floor with his arm still in its mouth.

He stood up, ready to kill the titan, before another flash of movement happened in front of him and he fell on his rear end as many cuts appeared along the titan’s flesh, moaning in agony it attempted to grab whatever it was that was attacking it. But all the small creature did was dodge the titan’s movement and cut deep into the flesh. He knew that the titan was most likely going to be killed, so he scurried away as fast as he possibly could, not wanting the wrath of the creature upon him. Running through the trees, trying to avoid the creature as he could hear this hissing sound that symbolised the creature was on his trail.

The clearing was ever close, he could just see it ahead, hoping to be free from the creature that lurked up high.

He was face to face with the ground, he felt a stinging sensation at his ankles and feet, he must have been hit, knocked to the ground, unable to stand.

Then the small creature was there, up on the tree, standing in its glory, its body was immensely small for a titan, but that when he realised that it was not a titan, for its body was far too proportionate and the strange colours and textures that covered the body of the creature. Its light-coloured eyes and dark hair stood out and the facial features were well defined, and he continued to stare at the creature, remain paralysed to the ground, staring at the creature with awe.

Hiss, hiss, hiss.

Then there were more, majority of them, some taller than the dark-haired creature, but all significantly smaller than a titan, most not even reaching two metres in height. There was at least six of them, all wearing a type of green cloth around them. The dark-haired creature seemed to be the leader, but whatever the creatures were discussing, the creature continued to stare at him emotionless. Then all of them were looking down at him, and he felt incredibly vulnerable, as his body was swollen and beaten, his body unable to decide what part needed its attention first. He decided remaining on the floor not moving, wasn’t encouraging them into action and they seemed less cautious with his lack of mobility. However, that could be a double-edged sword that could lead to his demise if he stayed.

Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on how you looked at it – that decision was made for him, with the appearance of three titans approaching, all above ten metres stomping towards them. He felt the intense urge to move, his body itching at him, screaming to move, but he would need to wait for the most opportune moment. Preferably when they were all engaged and distracted. It did not take long for them to get too close for the creature’s comfort and they hissed into the air where they began to attack the titans. Immediately he makes up his mind and stays rooted to the spot, trying not to flinch at the noises, hoping to be dead to the world before pouring as much energy into running as fast as possible.

He stormed past them, the wind blowing into his face, whipping his hair around his head wildly. His feet dug deeply into earth, spitting dirt into the air as his body slammed into the ground, with a deafening, loud noise. Behind him there is a combination of noises, a concoction of steam, clashing of metal and the thumping of the other titans.

His heart begins to pound in his chest as he forced is way through the forest. There was a large crack as a titan collapsed onto a tree. Then there is a small creature following behind him. He tries to knock the small creature away approaching his neck. The creature was able to avoid his hand so easily as if he did it in slow motion.

As he turned to attack the creature a second time, he saw a large 12-metre coming up from behind, eyes lasered to he creature before it lunged its fist into the creature. As he sees this he could he a cracking noise. The titan ignored him for the human. He felt as if he should run away, since both of them are pre-occupied with themselves. But he heard the creature groaning in pain, attempting to stand up but slumping and falling back down.

It was unable to fight, to defend itself. It was just another creature trying to survive, he realised. Those things it used to fight, and their effectiveness meant this was not its first time facing a titan. If there was something he understood it was the titan’s relentless attacks and destruction. The creature looked so helpless and so desperately tried to fight, that when the titan was about to grab the human he ran forward and clamped his teeth against the titan’s neck. Grabbing at the titan’s shoulders to get a better grip to get his molars and canines deeper into the titan’s flesh.

The titan turned, teeth bared and clashing as it grasped at him, snapping its teeth near his neck, wild eyes burned into his own as its body lunged time and time again into him, while he held the titan up and away from his face and neck with his hands on its shoulders. The dense and moronic titan was pulling its neck back, about to lunge once again, and that’s when he saw his opportunity. He forced himself up, his massive teeth digging as deep as possible into the sensitive flesh. He ripped and ripped the flesh of the titan’s neck away, hoping to bite through the entire neck and killing the damnable titan. The boiling steam burned his face, making his gums bleed under the intense heat. Ignoring the pain, he surged his anger forth, before using his hands to grip and grab the flesh roughly then peeling it away to get further into the flesh.

Then the titan slumped to on top of him, he shoved the dead titan off of him before turning to the creature. The creature was slumped over and covered in a red substance. He carefully put the creature in his hand and cradled it close to his chest. He moved, using his other hand to move through the thick pines, relying on his hearing to be aware of any of the creatures or titans that could be nearby. He could faintly hear fighting in the distance, creating a disquieting silence to echo with only the excrement of steam and clang of metal breaking the silence. He stands, ears flicking slightly, catching the sounds. He becomes hesitant as his body becomes rooted to the ground. He looks down at the creature with contemplation, unsure of going along with his plan of returning.

There he can see so little through the gaps in the brush, but the presence of more titans, makes him look down at the creature. The creature looks so small in his grasp. Motionless and so very vulnerable. That is when he decides; he will return to his home. With the creature nestled into his palm, he starts to walk backwards into forest. The sound of metal and titan quietens in the distance.

Chapter Text

Levi couldn’t see, the world was darkly lit, with a fuzziness at the edges of his vision. He blinked again, trying to focus on whereabouts, but the dark fog covering his eyes didn’t fade. He became more alert, with his body tensing, he opened his mouth in a silent scream of pain as his left leg throbbed violently, sending shots of hot blazing agony at the movement. He was confused and alarmed, he couldn’t see, his left leg was probably broken, and he felt his lungs ache as they expanded. His ribs most likely damaged, broken or bruised. He tried to think back as to where he was.

 

Where am I? How did I get here?

 

 

Levi was on his horse, not long into their excursion into titan-infested territory. It was a mission not intended for much rather, just marking a wider map to investigate unfamiliar territory further away from the walls. It was a soft not as intensive mission due to the new recruits in the Survey Corps. Best to not start out by possibly killing all the new recruits, since their numbers where dwindling. Although, there was a high probability that something could go wrong and lead to disaster once again. Erwin was to the north of him with Hange not far behind him. His specialised squad surround the left flank with more experienced solders on the northern right flank. The supplies carried by the horses was in the middle with the new-bloods behind them with the rest of the experienced members of the Corps.

So far, it was uneventful. Mentally, he was almost surprised since they were more than 78% done with their mission that they might actually make it through without having any titan encounters. But he could not allow for any optimistic delusions to cloud him, as this also made Levi much more on edge since it was incredibly rare and had never happened before. He was well aware that Erwin thought this also as the man was high-strung and focused on his surroundings.

“Things seem to be going well so far,” Petra whispered. She had clearly intended this to be under her breath but due to the silence around them it was heard all around them. It was hard not to agree with her. They have had such poor mission reports lately, leaving with many seriously injured and killed. This maybe some luck for them that, finally, things were starting to get better.

They soon entered a heavily forested area, with huge massive trees that make the forest of giant trees look tiny in comparison. These trees were almost as tall as the walls, heavily thick, densely packed together. It was a safe place to use the 3DMG however it was also a way to hide titans from view as the dense flora made it hard to see far forward, especially with the thousands of leaves and branches blocking the sun and making it dark and dim along the ground. He was starting to relax, there was no thundering footsteps that alert them to titans and there were small animals like deer, elks and other animals that are in a shortage behind the walls. If they were out it was clearly safe for them. Levi felt his tense hold of the reins lessen as a presence of animals was an indicator no titans were nearby as they were often scared off by titans.

After a few more minutes traversing the forest, they were about 91% complete before they were due to return to Shiganshina into the safety of the walls. Then suddenly a large, misshapen face appeared ahead. Terrified, they immediately scattered. Screams of terror, loud and echoing throughout the forest.

The was a scattering of horses and streams of steam that propelled them up into the trees. The titan launched itself forward, its mouth open with drool dripping from the corners of its lips. Levi and his team forced themselves upwards into the trees the moment they saw the titan but those behind his squad on the carriages were not as fortunate. The titan managed to bite into one soldier attempting to get out of its way but was not fast enough. Thankfully, the soldier was killed instantly and did not suffer a long death. 

With the soft echoing noise alerting them once more, there was a shout far north of him that indicated that a group had found more titans. Launching himself into the air, Levi swiftly pulled out his titan-killing blades and propelled forward making the grappling hooks dig into the hardened wood to allow for him to swerve around the titan’s neck. He pressed the launcher and manoeuvred his body, so the blades glided through the titan’s skin like melted butter. The titan’s knees buckled and fell towards the floor, scaring some of the horse that were still running on ahead. He moved towards where he heard the shouts of the other group, following where his specialised squad followed, to be confronted with a group of about seven titans. Erwin and his group were attacking the largest of the seven: a twelve and an eleven metre. He saw Petra and Eld were engaged with an eight metre and Gunter and Oluo where assisting in helping a few soldiers who were in the grasp of a six metre. The other three titans were being fought by young recruits some of which were terrified and remained as high as possible on the large trees, watching onwards, paralysed with fear.

Levi knew that his squad and Erwin’s were more equipped and experienced, so he decided to assist the young recruits, moving as fast as he could get the 3DMG to go, blades at the ready. As he was in the mid-air, in the corner of his eye he saw another titan through the trees on his left, hidden amongst the trees. It was a massive titan, probably a fifteen metre if he was to guess. He reluctantly took his eyes of the large titan to focus on the titans aiming for the young recruits on their first expedition. He cut the titan’s necks effortlessly.

“Stay up here and be on the lookout for more titans and alert people to them. There is a titan ahead, I’ll will deal with it,” he said before storming towards where he saw the titan. It was gone.

Typical.

He launched himself higher to be out of hand-grabbing range, searching for the large titan.

How bloody hard is it to spot a fucking 15-metre tall titan?

Impossible, it seems. The titan has seemingly vanished. Blending into the environment effortlessly if it is still nearby. He flew upwards above the tree line hoping to spot the titan above the treeline to see it below. Titans are covered in flesh that stands out amongst the backdrop of the forest. But frustratingly he was not able to find it. Gritting his teeth, Levi forced himself to return to the others, it was far better for everyone if he returned.

As he was zigzagging around the trees he saw the pallid skin tone of a large creature. Instinctually, he curved himself around the tree, narrowly avoiding a large, thick branch. This was the same titan, hiding itself amongst the leaves, its body nearly disguised behind the dried dirt and flora covering its body. The titan spotted him and stared intensely at him.  Standing on a high branch to get a better understanding of the environment and to get a better view of how to eliminate the damned thing. The titan stood rod still, vivid eyes glancing at him, almost in awed curiosity, its nosed flared and its head tilted before its head rapidly to the left – that it would have given anyone whiplash – nose flaring as if it was startled before abruptly running deeper into the woods.

Briskly, Levi followed suit, remaining a certain distance away, grabbing for a new set of fresh blades, readying himself to launch onto the titan to–

He was knocking roughly into a nearby tree with a crack. His blades fell from his slackened hands, leaving them dangling below him. His vision faded for a brief second, his heart pounded as he tried to get up from his awkward position in the tree, trying to get onto his feet, his left leg fell under his weight in intense pain, temporally blinding him in his agony. His lungs felt far to tight, he wheezed and tried to pull in as much air as possible but collapsed feeling his breathing slow. Just before he passed out he saw a large fist pass by his vision.

 

 

Alarmed, he tries to focus around him. He could hear birds chirping happily around him, and the fades of green being the thing he could hear, he could only assume he was still in the forest. But he could not hear the sounds of steam or smell of rotting titans and it felt like a tree branch below him, so he knew he wasn’t inside a titan’s stomach. He was alive. But he had no idea where he was, he was not in the same position as he was when he collapsed. In fact, he felt the soft texture of leaves with a dip going down in a curved slope around him. Wait, no. That doesn’t make sense. He’s in a wooden bowl of some kind, with him in the middle. Without being able to see clearly his heart pounded an arrhythmic pattern in his chest, heart palpitations he reminded himself. Breathing in as much as his pained chest would allow, he yelled.

“Erwin, Hange, anyone! Can anyone hear me!” His voice came out so softly and gurgled, barely comprehensible. He screamed out as loud as possible, with his voice causing a slight echo around him. With the silence his screams had caused, he could not hear anything in the silence. Just the ringing in his ears. And the wheezing his breath made. He was not behind the walls.

He was all alone.

He was completely Isolated.

 

 

Levi awoke once again, the sun glared back at him and he felt his vision clear the fog, he was finally able to get a better look at his surroundings. His earlier hunch was proved corrected. He was clearly beyond the walls. All around him he saw trees, tall ones that rose into the sky, a river or lake in the distance and hills to the other side. He looked down, saw that he was extremely high up, it was almost like he was up on the top of Wall Maria. He was in some cocoon the tip of the tree looked like it was broken and almost carved out with leaves covering the sap of the tree.

Had someone brought him here? Surely not? No one could survive in this Hell.

He grabbed for his blades but found that the blades were missing, the grasps were ripped clean off. He was unable to use his 3DMG. His air canisters were busted and broken and open, leaving him without pressurised air.

He moved his leg noting the agonising, blistering pain shooting up his leg. He looked down, seeing a heavy patch of dried blood on his leg and an odd shape around his shin. It was clearly broken with the bone forced itself out of his leg.

So, I’m out in titan territory, with a broken leg and possibly fractured ribs, great! What else could go wrong?

Slowly he heard the repetitive, thundering footsteps vibrating though the forest.

Fate sure has convenient timing, Levi thought. Thankfully, due to how high he was, he knew he was safe from most titan’s. A few minutes later, Levi’s eyes widened in shock as the titan from earlier came into view. The fifteen-metre titan walked up to the tree he was in and observed it. He felt the tree shake and groan as a sudden weight was added to it.

Was the fucking thing climbing it!?

To his horror the large titan’s face appeared, its arms grasping the thick branches. It didn’t move or react. Just staring at Levi as he was staring at it. Closer, he was able to get a better look, it was an aberrant titan. There was far too much emotion in its mossy green eyes to be the empty hunger that he was used to seeing. Its teeth were exposed in a jagged and haphazard manner that looked like a human smiling without any lips. A large mop of brown hair covered the titans head. Which was not at allow misshapen or disproportionate. Its body was well chiselled and defined with muscle.

Slightly terrified, Levi tried to move backwards, but clenched his teeth as his leg moved. The titan pulled itself up the tree, curling itself up around him. Resting on the spread of branches with Levi in the middle on the trunk of the tree. He was so confused with a million questions racing through his mind.

What the hell is going on? Why is there a titan in front of me? Why is it not eating me? Why is it staring at me? What the fuck am I supposed to do?

It remained still, calm, and relaxed, letting out a large breath of steam that warmed Levi up but disgusted him as the smell resembled that of the ghetto of his childhood. With the titan’s unpleasant breath warming him and eyes watching him with a softness that looks alien to see on such a face, the titan moved its hands towards him. Levi shifted backwards to pull away from the titan’s hand. The titan’s eyes caught his, looking downcast it slowly pulled its arm away.

They remained like that for some time, the atmosphere thick with tension and apprehension. Licking his lips and swallowing made him aware of the dryness in his throat, and his thirst for water became his current concern. How was he to get to a water source this far up? There was the lake in the distance, but he was immobile and its obvious he wouldn’t survive getting down with his gear inoperable. He was stuck. Levi slumped back down to the bottom of his makeshift bed and groaned. The itching in his neck was not going to go away anytime soon and was only going to get worse. He grew up with a lack of resources, with water being one of them. But it didn’t make it any easier to bare. What he used to do was sleep on it if it was unavoidable, but he didn’t really have the choice with this thing in front of him.

Minutes turned into hours and soon it was nightfall and the titan eventually fell asleep next to him. He would’ve thought of a plan to get out and escape, although the whole forest had darkened to absolute darkness. He couldn’t see his own hands, nor the titan sleeping mere metres from him.

 

 

It was a warm, sleepless night, with his hunger and thirst swallowing all his thoughts. He’d been daydreaming of the crappy flavourless soup and stale bread that was often rationed at HQ, anything to curb the hunger that had risen in the night. The sun hadn’t rose fully yet and he could see the titan’s body that looked peacefully asleep curled up around him. He leaned over the edge, seeing some of the woodland creatures awaken and start their morning routines. All of which were so small from this height. Sighing resignedly, he sat back in the bed. the pain in his leg had been a constant throb. But it seemed almost dull. He knew something needed to be done to prevent it from healing incorrectly, though he didn’t know how. The bone was broken in a way that would have to be done surgically back in Rose. He needed a splint and something to hold it onto his leg.

He looks down to his leg and realises that there is no way he can remove his shoes without bending his knees. Closing his eyes, he breathed in deeply, psyching himself up to deal with the inevitable pain and agony. Moving as quickly as he could, he pulled his injured leg up, bending at the knee. He collapsed as the pain strikes cold blazing fire through his leg, making him whimper though the pain. Using his right left hand, he cupped the front of his ankle to prevent his leg moving as he uses his right to pull the boot down and off his leg. He had to stop multiple times to take a deep breath to regain composure before continuing.  One he got his boot off his heart was bounding and taking in deep quick breaths, feeling like he ran a marathon. That felt more exhausting than all of his training combined. But he knew he was not finished. Sweating up a storm, he sat back up and tried to loosen the strapping on his leg, shifting it off his foot first to give the straps on his legs some stack to move them away from the injured area. Wiping the sweat away from his face, Levi slowly shuffled his pants very slowly to expose the broken bone. Already aware of what he was expecting, the sight still made him sick. To see the bone sticking proudly out of his leg with a patch of dried blood surrounding the skin where it had gone through. Thankfully it didn’t seem to have penetrated and vital veins or arteries as he would be dead by now. Careful to avoid touching the site of the bone, he touched around his leg, feeling if there was more than just one fracture, he probed his leg with his fingers making sure not to press to hard.

Fortunately, he could not feel any other fractures, so he only had one clear break. Which meant that he could to a more primitive repair to his leg to reduce the possibility of an incorrectly healed leg.

A huffing sound alerted him, and he searched ahead seeing the titans face, mare inches from him, staring intently at his leg. Uncomfortable, he shuffled back, proclaiming: “Don’t you even think about it!”

The titan pulled itself up from its position, stretching its limbs into the air, in a far-to-human resemblance. Brushing its brown hair away from its face, it leaned forward, arms on branches either side of Levi. Its nicely shaped face, leaned in close, evidently not understanding Levi’s earlier command or blankly ignoring it. Defenceless without weapons, Levi froze, as the titan sniffed him, pressing its nose into Levi’s chest. He didn’t like that.

“Hey! What the fuck are you doing, brat! Fuck off!” he yelled with as much bite as he could get out of his dry mouth. The titan pulled away immediately, eyes widened comically at his outburst. The titan’s mouth opened a few times and then snorted before ignoring him to climb down the tree.

Finally alone, without the titan’s presence he felt more at ease immediately.

He spends his time analysing his leg and trying to see if it was possible to push the bone back into his leg, but it hurt just touching the exposed bone. Preparing himself for one of his worst days in existence, he sucked in deeply before putting pressure on the bone, trying to ignore the pain his nerves were sending him. “You can do this… fuck, come on!” he shouted at himself. “fuck! Shit! Just do it Levi!”

It takes him an hour to get the bone back into his leg, trying to make sure he had it in the right spot to heal. He tried to put his hand into the open wound to find where the fracture was to make sure the bones were as close as possible to get them to heal without compromising its strength. He was in the middle of this when the tree shock violently, probably a sign of the titan from earlier.

As the titan came into view, its mouth distended incorrectly it climbed up, with some sticks and some flax. Perplexed as to why the titan is carrying it he remains still in the bowl-bed. the titan sits comfortable in front of him and leans into the bowl-shaped bed opening its mouth to allow fruits, berries and even a few coconuts, to fall out.

What the hell?!

Confused beyond reason, the titan looked down at him with a tilted head, looking at Levi expectedly. Looking at all the food that the titan had somehow given him, Levi was dumbfounded for the first time in his life. Despite that some of the food was covered in the titan’s saliva, they all looked incredibly appetising. He was giving longing looks towards the coconut, knowing about the milk that was inside could cure him of his thirst. Grabbing the wet coconut with a stick – I’m going to ignore that, he thought. Looking for something to smash the coconut finding a metal part of his 3DMG he ignored reason telling him to keep his gear in ideal shape to bang the coconut against creating a crack that allowed for the liquid in the coconut to seep out onto his parched tongue. After drinking all that was inside the coconut he continued to smash it against the titan-killing-blade storage chamber again until it split open and he was able to get greedy fingers in and pulling out the flesh from inside and eating it. If he was in a normal state of mind, he would have been appalled of his behaviour and unhygienic eating.

After eating the coconut, he looked up towards the titan who had a pleased and happy expression across its face. Babbling to itself and talking nonsense to Levi’s perspective, dropping the flax and sticks in Levi’s lap before lying down in front of him. Looking at the titan and looking down at his lap, he grabbed three sticks that looked ideal for a splint and he holds them in position, using the flax as a rope to hold them securely to his leg to allow for his leg to have a better chance of healing.

Gazing at the titan with gratitude he didn’t know he’d ever have for a titan he whispered, “Thank you.”

The titan just looked back at him with kindness and a softness that seemed to be natural to the titans face no matter how weird it seemed.

“I think I’ll call you Eren, how does that sound?”

The titan, now Eren, babbled contently with a smile in its eyes.

Chapter Text

He preened himself by the lake, the small creature was sitting nearby on the shore. It was another sunny day no clouds in the sky and he was soaking as much energy as possible. His physical activity may have decreased since taking care of the little creature, but he needed all he could get since the little one need so much help. The little one had even given him a name, Eren. He didn’t understand why of course but if it helped the little one feel safe than he would go along with it.

Grabbing a handful of water, dropping it on top of his head and repeating until his hair was soaked and then brushing his hand through to get the sloppy strands out of his face. After having a good wash down, he sat down by the creature to observe. The little creature was fascinating and Eren could watch him all day. The little one was dropping its cloth in the water then twisting the water out. It looked around and saw Eren and placed the cloth on his knee, perhaps to get it warm or dry through his heated skin.

It was peaceful with just the two of them, no titans and the forest animals are out and about, enjoying the sun. Despite the itch under his skin, driving him to run about and burn off the energy the sun is giving him. After a few hours have passed and the little one’s cloth have dried and the two sat together in peace. He was relaxed and content. It felt nice to have someone around and not having to worry about being attacked or fighting. He wondered what was going on in the little one’s head, as he often looked unsure, confused, or conflicted, eyes adrift and unfocused with sadness in those little grey eyes.

The small creature was looking so solemn that Eren wanted to make the little one happy, the smile on its little face made his body flutter with a sense of pride and sense of being content. Feeling free in his own body. Not wanting to leave the little one alone, Eren slowly and carefully scooped him up in his hand and cupped it to his chest to keep him safe. The little one couldn’t walk properly so Eren has decided to take care of it to ensure the little one was safe and able to keep Eren company.

In the distance he sees the trees that grow the favourite food the little one ate. The tree grew little brown hairy berries that looked so large in the little one’s hands, but everything looked big next to the little one. He was clearly not the only one who was so little as the others that were with the little one was also small but powerful considering their size. Eren hadn’t seen any creature that could take down a titan, especially one so small. But Eren often wondered, does the little one miss the others? Is that why he’s so sad? This feeling would consume him when he thought of this as, it means he’s hurting his little companion by keeping him rather than him being with the others of his kind.

Was it wrong that he wanted to keep the little one?

He looked down and the little one’s face was scrunched up in a funny expression, one that showed displeasure. Eren looked at him and the little one handed back the berry. Huffing, Eren cracks open the berry with his other fist with minimal effort and hands it back. The creature stared at it, not taking it out of Eren’s outstretched hand. With it’s little hands it pressed against Eren’s palm, shooing it away. Tilting his head in confusion, Eren glanced at the creature with puzzlement. Why wasn’t the little one eating his berry? They are his favourite? Was he not hungry?

Eren churred with a muddled tone.

The creature looked back at him with angered face, eyebrows drawn together, eyes squinting with a glare and narrowed lips, with a slight bare of the teeth. The creature started muttering in a language that Eren could not understand but he sounds heavily displeased with a loud growl. The creature attempted to stand in Eren’s palm, pointing at Eren, before pointing to the ground incessantly. Unsure as to why, the little one would want to be lowered to the ground, Eren placed him down gently on the dirt. The little one then used his hand to help stand up and walked behind the tree trunk.

Eren leaned against the tree, giving the little one space. He could hear the little one behind him, so he waited patiently. He knew from last time that the little one didn’t like to be interrupted or bothered when he wanted to be alone. Twiddling his fingers absentmindedly, Eren’s mind became unfocused and he faded into the surroundings around focusing on his senses to daydream.

The smell of the forest smells of autumn with the scent of earthy tones from the falling leaves and mouldy trees. The cold nip the air with the sun allowing for the smell of grass and wild flowers to bloom. The crisp air blowing into his face–

His flashed open. That smell. Alarmed he pushed himself up off the ground and despite that the little one would not be happy with him, he turned around on the bark and grabbed for him.

The little one cried out at Eren’s rough grasp and pulled the creature towards him, holding him securely in Eren’s hand. Ear’s perked up and moving to detect the slightest sound that alerted that the titan was nearby. He knew he should run back to his tree, as it was incredibly high and practically no titans knew how to climb, allowing for him and the little one to be safe but the noise he would make from running would alert the nearby titan. Fortunately, the wind was blowing towards him rather than away from him as that meant the titan could not pick up his scent, but the little one was much more vulnerable. The titans seemed to like the little one more than Eren. Conflicted he looked at the little one in his hand, a disgruntled and angered look directed towards him.

Eren couldn’t risk it, he held onto the little one as close as possible, trying to not shake or hurt the little one as he moved he bolted for the tree.

“Hurrgh!” was the only warning he got as the titan lunged at his free hand. His hand sent pain up his body and he saw in the distance that there was another one. He heard the cries from the human as he panicked and accidently tightened his fist. In his desperation, he put the creature in his mouth to keep the titans away from harming him and allowing him to use his other hand.

He grasped at the titan’s hair, gripping it tightly in his fist and attempting to rip the monster from his body, while keeping his eyes tightly locked on the little six-metre watching him fight with the ten-metre attached to his arms. He couldn’t roar at them or sink his teeth in the titan’s flesh as the little one was taking refuge there.

Eren’s heart pounded with adrenaline and an internalised fear of his little one being harmed by these monsters, pulled his hand out of the titan’s hair, gritting his teeth as it began to rip the skin, muscle, and sinew in his arm. He balled his free hand into a fist and pulled back as far as he could before he lunged it towards the ten-metre’s face with all the force he had. The blow knocked the titan’s head back, causing it to snap and the sound of the bones in its neck cracking. It wasn’t a killing blow, but it was enough to incapacitate the titan for now.

The other the titan became more confident with the other titan out of the way. The smaller titan sprinted towards Eren on all fours. Its mouth agape in a disquieting smile, teeth sharp and crocked. Acting on instinct Eren pulled himself back, setting his feet deep into the earth to have strong balance and power and knocked his fist into the titan’s mouth, knocking and chipping many of its teeth, he ripped his hand back to see many cuts and breaks in his hand from the punch.

Snarling he kicked the titan to the ground, watching it fall onto its side with maliceful glee. He kicked the titan again, harder this time, before stomping on its ribcage and watching its chest distort with the lack of support for the lungs and heart that was a duplicitous facsimile. Eren wanted to destroy the titan for even coming near him and his little one!

Eren opened his mouth and growled at the titan with as much hate and rage as he could force into it. But the titan did not look afraid, none of them ever truly did. But the look on the titan’s face was serenity, before a hungry, lustful grin, was plastered on its blood covered face. Unbeknownst to Eren, he had his mouth open, with the little one still inside his mouth. Clinging to his mouth. The titan though severely weakened, still lusted for unobtainable satiation.

It forced its hand into Eren’s open mouth, with the latter’s eyes widening in horror. He instantly slammed his jaw shut, digging his razor-sharp molars deep into the titan’s flesh. He grabbed at the titan’s elbow and used his foot to force the titan’s head back with his other leg he pressed against the titans broken ribcage. He could feel the large hand inside his mouth that touched all over causing a feeling of violation. But Eren was terrified for the little one. He couldn’t protect himself and Eren was awash with dread. He could feel the little one trying to escape the searching fingers from trying to grab him. With torment he pleaded that the little one would forgive him for this.

He titled his head back sharply and when he felt the little one fall, he swallowed him whole.

His hands began to shake and – and – and…

He was in hysterics.

There were tears in his eyes and a throbbing in his chest, but the little one should be fine if he hurries. He cannot eat anything as it may hurt the little one in his stomach. So, he finds his anger and frustration with the titans and finds more fuel to power him in his rage and releases his hold on the titan’s hand in his mouth, ripping it out and thrust his body onto the smaller titan and latched onto the titan’s neck viciously and without remorse. He kept ripping into the titan’s body for longer than he needs, but his anger of having to do the unthinkable to keep the little one safe made burned the fire brighter and hotter. Once the titan’s neck was ripped from the body he grabbed the severed head and threw as far as he could and screamed in despair at the titan’s body and ran towards the tree as fast as his body would allow for him.

When he reached the tree he slumped against it, cutting a hole into his stomach, intending to allow for an opening for him to pull the little one out. When he cut a big enough hole into his stomach he used one finger to search inside and the other hand to cup anything that may fall out as the little one was so small. His hands were shaking as he began to fear that he was too late and the little one was killed or had been digested in his stomach. his hysteria began to build as his mind swam with wild thoughts and regrets.

Please! Please! Please let him be okay!

When he found a solid object in his stomach he pulled it towards the gaping hole in his stomach and nearly fainted when he saw the little one, unmoving in his hand.

He nearly stopped breathing. His eyes started to water as he slowly tried to awaken the little one. He pressed ever so gently against the little one’s chest, before the little one rolled over to sputter and spit out what was in his mouth. Coughing he slowly looked up at Eren. He looked like a mess, with his cloth sticking tightly against his skin and hair plastered all over his face. But Eren did not care, he was okay and that’s all that mattered to him. He began to lick the little one’s face to help clean it for him and that’s when–

He felt eyes upon him and they didn’t belong to the little one in his hands. He hesitantly looked up in alarm and swallowed heavily upon seeing many little ones surrounded amongst the trees. When the little one saw Eren’s face he looked up and his eyes widened, his eyes shined brightly upon looking at them. Eren pulled the little one towards him, baring his teeth and snarling at the others holding the little one to his chest protectively and possessively. They remained still and did not move. Their eyes did not move from his hand where the little one was protected.

Eren reacted negatively to their presence, he was leaning against his home, his safe space, but he knew that he was not safe there when it came to them. They knew how to reach the peaks of the trees. he felt the squirming of the little one in his palm and he knew he had a choice to make, they didn’t move, but they had shiny metallic objects in their hands that made him uneasy. Weapons. Meant to cause harm. They would not move until he did. It was a waiting game. But Eren knew he could not wait forever, titans would come or nightfall. Either one would distract him or make him vulnerable and unable to protect the little one. These creatures could stay awake all night whereas he could not.

He was at an impasse. He was stuck but ultimately, he could not stay here. They would wait all night if they had to. there was many of them, he could not count, he was unable to see if there were any behind him on his tree but he theoretically, believed there was at least a handful.

Sighing deeply, letting out a breath, he looked down at the little one mournfully. He enclosed his hand and sucked in deeply trying not to draw attention to it and let out a large mouthful of steam. His unhealed gut also released more steam, creating a cloud from the mouthful of steam he created to allow for a sense of cover. He put the little one in his mouth and dug into the dirt to bolt from the scene. They had good hearing, so they would immediately know he had gotten up and left but were left blind as to where. His frantic mind, swung from decision to decision, making it hard to formulate a clear plan to avoid the others. He tried to do what he had to do for the titans but constantly changing direction and zigzagging around the trees. but these creatures were more sophisticated that the titans, putting him at a disadvantage. There was a large group following closely behind him, two smaller groups on his side, and he felt like he was being led into a trap.

Eren was huge compared to them, sharp movements were not his strong suit he was better at fighting not running. His heart pounded in his chest and he swerved to the left, throwing his hand in the air in the general direction of the small group to make them move away. The movement made him slip on the muddy ground below, knocking him to the ground. His teeth knocked together and the fall winded him, involuntarily blowing the little one out of his mouth. The little one rolled and landed in a heap on the ground. Eren reached out to grab him, but felt a sharp pain in his fingers, he rose his hand to see all his fingers cut off. He tried to grab him again, using his cut hand to protect the fingers of his other hand but a few brave creatures landed on his hand slicing his wrist open and he couldn’t move his hand he propelled himself forward attempting to bite at the creature, but they swung away too quickly.

He panicked when he saw a creature pick up his little one and pull him into their arms before shooting into the trees. he pulled himself up off the ground to catch up but felt their blades cut through his Achilles heel, knocking him against the ground one more, incapable of getting back up. He rolled over to protect his neck and there was a piecing pain throughout his arms. Turning to look, they had used some sort of blade that dug deeply into the earth through his arm, effectively pinning him to the ground. Shouting and screaming, attempting to pull at his restraints, kicking his legs in all directions before another blade was shot into the ground on either side of his neck before tightening to the point where he could no longer move his neck as the wires dug into the flesh of his neck.

There was a creature around his neck, long reddish hair, looking at him in wonder and awe, terrifying Eren even more. He snapped his teeth at them, hoping to scare them away. But that one didn’t even look concerned. A blonde-haired man came closely followed by a balding brown-haired man, studying him intensely.

They talked between each other, Eren deaf to what was being said. They had their blades out and ready to be used. Eren thrusted against the bindings, howling, and screaming against them attempting to attack anyone who came near him. He was scared and did not know what to do. He needed to keep himself safe by keeping these creatures at a distance. But his heart broke at the separation of his little one. He hated them for doing this to him. He was so happy. Why did everyone have to ruin what little happiness he was able to get!?

The blonde-haired man walked close to him signalling towards the other creatures and he was suddenly swarmed by them at his right. He turned and snarled at them, but before he could react, he felt his neck being sliced. Hot buzzing pain, spread throughout his body, worse than anything he had ever felt in his life. He felt a boil of steam to rise out and his body slumped, and his eyes closed into darkness and pain.

Chapter Text

The heat radiated all around him, swallowing him in the blistering air. He could barely breathe the air was far too hot and much too thick. He coughed and tried opening his eyes to see everything is dark. His hands twitch uncomfortably they felt like something had melded him to some fleshly substance. It was burning his skin. He pulled and pulled his hand out of the dark crevasse feeling it fatigue the more he tugged. He was able to set his hand free from the bound flesh, causing him to dangle and hang awkwardly. After repeating the process with his other hand, he heard a horrendous ripping sound as his body fell onto a hard structure bellow him.

Once he lands on the hardened structure, he curls into himself as his body seizes, fingers and hands convulse. In his darkened prison he finds that he everything has a reddish hue and there is steam everywhere as the stench makes his stomach lurch violently at the rotting smell. He continues to cough, desperate for air for his oxygen-starved lungs. He focused on the brightest patch of red flesh, believing it to be the closest way out. He begins to claw at the flesh, but the flesh inflames his already burned skin. He was acutely aware of the growing danger as his lungs were forced to breathe in the toxic steam. Despite the graveness of the consequences, he lunged as much as possible against the flesh. Again, and again he scratches, tugs and rips at the fleshly walls. Eventually, he can cut a hole into the wall and take in a deep breathe before continuing fighting in the noxious prison.

Once he is able to rip open a big enough hole into the flesh-wall, he claws his way out. He struggles to push himself through, the energy beaten out of him. He falls abruptly into the mud. It is plastered all over his torso and face. He spits it violently, groaning at the disgusting taste. He has immeasurable pleasure at seeing the sun and clouds when he looks up to point where he wants to cry. Tears fall from his face, as he turns onto his back, clutching his arms close to his chest. They spasm harshly and the pain was barraging back. He whimpers in pain before looking down seeing that from his elbow below is covered in blisters, pus, blackened and burnt skin. His lungs ached and felt like he was breathing in a fire, smoke and all.

Breathing deeply, he tried to steady his breathing. After lying still, closing his eyes, trying to clear the fog in his mind. Calm down, calm down, calm down, breathe. After getting a decent amount of air in his lungs, he opened his eyes and sat up as much as he could without hurting his arms.

He is confused by the sight that greets him. A mangled corpse of a titan that lays ahead of him, a hole near the neck where he escaped from. But why was he there? But what stunned him most of all was that was a titan of that size. He was a fifteen-metre-tall titan and he just escaped from the titan’s neck. The size of that titan must be gigantic. But why was I inside a titan? The last thing he can remember is the small creatures–

He moves his arms away from his chest, groaning at the way his arms resisted the movement, but found that his stomach was completely healed, inflamed from being inside the titan but was healed from cutting the little one out. That’s when he notices that his body isn’t healing. There is no steam coming from his body whatsoever.

Thump, thump, thump.

Eren turns towards the sound, terrified that a titan would find him in his vulnerable state. However, it was not a titan that greeted him. A deer trotted into the forest nearby with her fawn next to her. They were not much bigger than him. What is going on?

He begins to feel panic rise in his chest creating a heavy sensation that makes his stomach lurch downwards, making him nauseous. He begins to sweat and feel sick and his legs give out from under him and his shoulder knocks into the tree, scratching his skin and grazing it making it begin to bleed. The blood began to pool into small spheres and then dribble down his arm. Despite the nausea he was entranced by the blood falling down his arm. That had never happened before. He stares at the ground incredulously. His belly lurches again, forcing him to fold upon himself and throw up on the ground, his severely damaged hand pressing against the muddy floor, throbbing at the sensation against its damaged nerves.

His hand clenches involuntarily. He pulls his arms to his chest to protect them as he tries to clear his mind and think about what he has gotten himself into. Breathing in and out a few times he feels his heart rate slow and his breathing more rhythmic and at a relaxing pace. Pulling himself up, he trudges over to the rotting corpse of the titan near him. His legs wobble and he pulls his ankle and he wonders how he became clumsy all of a sudden.

When he plodded around the titan’s corpse he comes to a holt. He stares at what he sees in horror. He takes a few steps back at the sight and falls on his arse. The titan’s eyes are hallowed and sullen but have an unmistakable emerald hue. The mouth is agape, and the teeth bared for the world to see the tongue turning into a vapour cloud adding to the already large blanket of steam surrounding him. The once-golden skin now turned an unhealthy shade of white, as it decays. The heavily muscled body. He is looking at his own body decaying. 

He stands there, taking in the-his body, his mind going blank but also a mile a minute. He finds it difficult to breathe as if his throat has closed on him. His heart pounds violently against his ribcage. He turns his head around him trying to find out if this is all a terrible dream. The pain in his hands demands to be noticed as he had unknowingly been clenching them, fresh blood and a yellow substance pouring out of the blisters. His body becomes moist and sweat starts to form on his forehead, dripping down his face like tears. He has never had a dream where he could feel and he-he-he. He clutches his chest, it feels like it’s about to collapse on him and becomes lightheaded and cannot focus on anything around him. He just needs to get out of there as fast as his feet could get him. His feet feel like they’re being weighted down by a ball and chain. He needs to get back to his tree, he’ll be safe there.

He is confused, everything is so different. All the visual cues that he relied upon to find his home where gone. He wasn’t tall enough to see them or find them. He was hopelessly helplessly lost. He had no idea where he was; the trees spread out as far as the eye could see.

That’s when he saw the massive lake, he knew that his tree was north from here. He felt a ghost of a smile grow on his face.

 

 

 

The sun was glaring onto his face, blinding him when he opened his eyelids. He groaned and rolled over snuggling the blankets closer to his body refusing to wake up. He had never been this cosy before and he’ll be damned if anyone gets him out of this bed– 

His eyes open immediately. He looks down and sees a white sheet that was slightly tinted yellow from constant use. He is on an actual bed; not in some bowl-shaped cocoon in the woods. He pulls the blanket off him and sees his leg, professionally wrapped in a cast. The splint and rope that held his leg together now gone. He was dressed in some pale blue hospital gown, the material soft against his chest. Not just any hospital. He must be in the military hospital in Sina.

He glances towards the light and sees the window, slightly open to let in the breeze, the thin curtains fluttering softly in the wind. He walks awkwardly to the window. Civilisation, he’s behind the walls. He closes his eyes, looking towards the sky in his close eyes as a silent prayer. He walks back to the bed, to sit down and glance at the white, thick bandage wrapped snugly around his leg. He flexed his toes on his injured leg and felt them move without much resistance. There was not much pain, rather just an annoying clenching when he moved his leg the wrong way.

Next to his bed was a small wheeled table that had another gown nicely folded, his medical file and water. He grabbed the file and the water, downing that in one go.

He looks down at the file in his hand, and opens it to the front, seeing a report that simply stated his identity and ranking. He turned it over and saw that it was on his medical condition. It reads:

Patient: Levi Ackerman

Patient Number: 942689100

Sex: MALE/FEMALE

DOB: 25/12/816.

POB: MITRAS UNDERGROUND

Height (CM): 160CM

Weight (KG): 65KG

Allergies: NONE

Previous Noteworthy Afflictions: Anemia

Condition: Broken Fibula (Infected & Inflamed; Hyperpyrexia (Temp: 105F); Mild Starvation; Mild Dehydration; Vitamin A Deficiency; Anemia. 

 

He was surprised. He didn’t feel at all sick, especially with all of the listed conditions. He wasn’t surprised by the starvation or dehydration and anemia one bit. But the vitamin A deficiency and hyperpyrexia was a surprise. He knew he didn’t eat many healthy foods while under that titan’s care.

He heard a click and the door opened, a nurse came in and closed the door behind her, not noticing that he was already awake. She turned around and when her eyes found his, her face broke into a smile.

“Why hello, Mr Ackerman!” she said with genuine happiness. This was the first person he was able to look at in who-knows-how-long. She was a short and petite young woman. She had long black hair that was tied up in a neat pony tail. Her glasses made her look much younger than she looked and her brown eyes full of warmth. “I do hope you are feeling much better. You gave us a bit of a scare last week.”

Confused he opened his mouth to ask but she already beat him to it. “You had Hyperpyrexia, or better known, a dangerously high fever. It was mostly likely a mixture of your anemia, vitamin A deficiency and the infection in your leg.”

Levi nodded absentmindedly and placed his file back on the table. He brushes his hair back from his face and rubs his eyes.

“How about after I check your vitals I’ll get you some food and water? How does that sound?” she said while writing something down on a clipboard.

“Amazing, I could really do with something to drink,” he could feel his scratchy throat make his voice sound hoarse and gurgled.

She looked up and smiled at him again. She checks his blood pressure, takes a blood test, takes his temperature, and checks his heart. The stethoscope is uncomfortably cold on his warm chest. Once she completes all of her checks, she writes down all of the results on the clipboard and leaves the room.

How long has he been here? A few weeks at least as the nurse mentioned that he had a bad fever last week. He looks down at his hands and notes that they seem to be a healthy complexion and searches his room and finds a small mirror near the door of his room. He stands in front of it and his body has definitely taken a blow. His body is much thinner than what it used to be. Muscle had died and been burned due to his starvation. His bones stuck out a little more and he had small discoloured patches along his body, his face had more wrinkles than what he remembered having and his nails looked terrible, yellowed from his unhealthy condition. His eyes have deep, dark bags under them and his cheeks appear sullen.

Turning away from the mirror he walks towards the window again and pulls a chair with him to observe the people outside. The richer, wealthier people of Sina walked around, talking amongst themselves and spending time in the warm summer sun. It appeared to be around mid-day perhaps a little later. He was just sitting there wishing more than anything to have a nice cup of tea in his hand to drink while he was left alone with his thoughts.

He heard footsteps and then suddenly there were hands wrapped around him. Startled, he turned to push whatever was touching him away when he saw that it was Hange. Her soft brown eyes looked into his grey and they started to tear a little. He grumbles and reluctantly allows for her to smother herself in his personal space. He saw Erwin in the doorway, observing the brown-haired squad leader. She pulls away from him and she glances over him and the happiness starts to lessen as she takes in his undesirable appearance.

Erwin then walks into the room, standing beside Hange. He smiles slightly, lips turned upwards before he pats Levi on the back. Levi looks down and sees that in his other hand is a tray of food and a bottle of water. He hands it to him, Levi takes it and places the tray on the table beside him. he downs the water quickly, his throat demanding water to curb the dryness. He begins to eat the mediocre meal the hospital had prepared.

“How are you Levi?” asks Hange, as she sat down on the unmade bed.

He raises his eyes from the food and puts his fork down. “As good as I can be I suppose.”

She gulps, looking down while clenching her hands together, as if she needed to build up confidence. “Levi… Gods we’re so surprised you’re alive. We thought we’d never see you again.”

The atmosphere became gloomy and tense, however there was one question that he need to ask.

“How long was I gone?” Levi glared into his food.

Hange looks up to meet Erwin’s glance before they both turned to look at him. Levi has an instinctual feeling that he wasn’t going to like the answer.

“Levi,” Erwin begins, as if he really would rather not say. “You’ve been gone for a really long time. You were missing for five months.”

 

Chapter Text

Eren awoke to bright lights. The sun swarmed his eyes, unwelcomed to his sleep deprived brain. He curled up tighter, liking the warmth and comfortable tree he was lying upon. His hands were itchy and sore. Every movement he made was painful and his body ached dully. He stretched his legs, flexing his toes, hunching his body up then relaxing into the soft comfort below.

He blinked his eyes opening, yawning as he sloppily moved his arm to push up against the tree below him, only to feel his body lurch. His body sharply moved forward and there was a loud thump as he landed on the hard, stony floor below him. He groans as his pulls his arms to his chest, scuffed and cut from his fall. He looked around and he was in an enclosed space, stone walls surrounded him with one side covered in dark branched in a cross-crossing way.

Shaking his head slightly only to have some hard material wrapped around his neck. He gently moved his fingers up to the thing around his neck and felt it sit snuggly around his throat. He pulled against it slightly, but it stubbornly refused to budge. Scandalised, he huffed angrily. He pulled against the metal around his neck, pulling his body left and right along the stony floor before a metal cord was pulled taught. When he moved it restricted his movement, knocking him to the ground as he lost his balance.

The metal clanged noisily against the stone ground, echoing in the empty, enclosed space. He started to screech loudly, thrashing his body around the room.

He heard loud thunderous thumping noises that clanged against the stony floor. He froze instantly when he heard them. He scurried underneath the thing he was asleep on, pulling his body together as much as possible, to make him smaller and less likely to be seen. The footsteps came towards the enclosed space he was stuck in. he was low and hunched over, but he could see the only shaped leathery cloth and there were many of them.

Their feet scuffed the stone under their feet. There was a clacking of metal.

He heard chattering noises, he did not understand them. It sounded oddly familiar, but it did not make him feel at ease. He pulled his lips back and hunched his shoulders ready to attack anyone who came near him.

“@#$%^&!” Someone yelled. It made his sensitive ears hurt and he flinched, jingling the metal contraption around his neck. The room became quiet and there was hushed whispering and then one pair of leather coated feet came towards him. He hissed loudly, trying to make it sound as threatening as possible, but his sore throat made it sound broken and cracked. Absolutely pathetic.

Suddenly the person has come close enough that a long rod came near him with a rope at the end of it. Eren lashed his arm out knocking the rod away from him. his hands ached against the movement. Ignoring the discomfort, he growled again hoping to make them go away.

Then there were two rods coming at him. he pulled himself closer to the wall, growling aggressively with his scratchy voice. Violently, he was pulled forward landed at the bottom of the feet of those who had him bound and cornered. He thrashed against his captors, pushing and kicking at them hoping to get at least one blow. When hands came close to his face, he sharply manoeuvred to bite at it. The hand flinched away from him and it loosened its hold on him. he saw faces, blurred together over him and he felt a harsh, strong wire wrap around his throat. It tightened against his neck and the end of the metal rod was pressed to the back of his neck.

He was restrained and the titan holding the metal rod while another one unclasped the metal contraption around his throat. He whined while baring his teeth, but he felt spent, but the adrenaline was not gone from his body. A smooth cloth was wrapped around his head, obscuring his vision. When the metal was pulled on the rod he was forced to move. He was shoved forward, and when he resisted he was bound by the other titans and ushered against his will down thin and long corridors, scared and not knowing what was happening or where he was going.

He snarled when one of the titan’s grabbed his injured arm, twisting it behind his back and doing the same to the other before binding it. The rope was scratchy and irritating his reddened skin. The titans swarmed him, seemingly coming at him in all directions. They were covered in these white things, covering their heads, with only their piercing eyes staring coldly down at him. Eren paled and felt his heart spike and lungs constrict painfully in his chest. The cold and unfeeling titans placed him on a table, face down and secured him to it. He thrashed and lunged at any time the titans came close to him.

He felt a painful pinch in his arm. He turned sharply towards where the pain was coming from and a tiny thin metal rod was piercing his skin. He flinched and tugged his arm away from their painful devices. He swiped at them with his hand, pain be damned. He missed terribly, after they did the metal rods in his arm a few more times, the moved away and he was left alone, scurrying along with the red substance that came out from his arm.

He was bound in pure white room, smelling horrifically harsh against his sensitive nose. He could hear his breath loudly through the silence of the room. Heavy and arrhythmic. He was overwhelmed in a sense of panic, that he needs to leave. To escape. His bounds were securely attached to the table, making his attempts to pull against them ineffective.

He tried to pull the bindings closer to him, intending on biting them with his teeth. But before he could get his molars into the rope, one of the titans into the room. It looked at him softly, pulling down some opaque white fabric off her face. The face that greeted him, was not one he was expecting. It do not reflect the sights of the titans but looked more like the Little One. Small and completely covered in flesh. Eren remained still, frozen to the spot, simply staring at the little creature in front of him.

Is this little creature like the Little-One?

The creature was then accompanied by larger, muscular creature that dwarfed the other. It was covered in many clothes that wrapped around the creature’s body. It pulled a circular object that has oddly shaped objects hanging off it and put one of them in the metal bindings, turning it and releasing his neck from the metal rod. His arms where seized by the larger person. He was ushered and led into a stone hallway before being placed in a dark room. He was forced to sit down on a hard surface, his bound arms being secured to a metal hoop in the middle of the table.

Restrained and unaware to what was happening around him, Eren remained stone still. Eyes analysing the foreign environment for any means of escape or freedom. He was securely chained to the table in a room that was empty of escapes. There seemed to be only one way in and one way out. Cornered, he tried to pull the table with all his might. The table would not budge. It did not give way to his frantic pulls and tugs, the only thing giving way from his efforts were the bruised, burnt, and peeling skin of his hands and arms.

He collapsed, slumped in his exhaustion, terrified and anxious of what is to come.

He curled inwards, helplessness swallowing him and consuming him; his desperate attempts, fruitless. He felt water being to swell and pour from his eyes, saliva either dripping out of the corners of his lips as he panted, or his tongue was dry in his fear. He could not believe that he was rendered weak and unable to defend himself. These creatures –titan’s or not – have taken more away from him in this brief time than all his time living amongst the titans. He was angry, angry at these creatures, at himself and everyone around him. Why? Why was he the one who always suffered? First the isolation the titans enforced on him to survive, then to get a glimpse of happiness when the Little One was with him. But now? He’s gone now too.

The was a clacking of keys, thumping boots and immediately Eren felt his heart pound loudly in his chest, he swallowed a lump of saliva that was forming in his mouth and searched again for a possible exit. However, he was only going to get some success if he was able to disarm and disable the creature on the other side of the thick door.

Getting under the table while trying to crouch to remain unseen with his arms bent awkwardly made it difficult to find a means to hide from view of the door.

The door clicked, and the handle moved to the side and then the creatures entered. Four creatures forced themselves into the room wearing identical uniforms from what Eren could see behind his small shelter. Their faces all expressed displeasure and were sour-faced, looking down at the fifth and much shorter person huddled behind them. Despite the size difference as the creatures with identical appearances being much taller and intimidating the shorter creature paid them no heed and seemed to be angry at them.

“Why would you place a child in such a place?” the smaller creatures said, clearly unhappy as he got close to them, ignoring the dirty looks this got him. “This is not going to allow me to–”

“We don’t make the decisions,” said one of the identically dressed creatures. his face seemed smug and arrogant and it only served to annoy the smaller creature more. But their expressions darkened “But, the child is not from here and he is known to have been violent.”

“Probably because–” the smaller creature was cut off abruptly and despite that Eren has no idea what was being said between these creatures, they seemed not to notice him. he was in no position to attack as the table was too far away from the creatures for him to do anything. He remained still and waited patiently for an opportunity to present itself.

“You’ve got twenty minutes,” the tallest creature leaned down and almost spat at the little creature before ushering the identically dressed creatures out of the room, leaving the smaller creature alone with him.

From what Eren could see of the creature, he was small and unintimidating. The creature had short blonde hair and was wearing a wood-coloured cloth over his body and carrying a leathery bag. His body was lithe and underdeveloped, but alarmingly, Eren could see some areas of the creature’s skin sagging slightly.

The creature sighed and looked around the room. The creature caught sight of Eren as he was peeking and observing the creature that had entered the room. The creature oddly did not approach him or attack him with any rods. Instead, the creature grabbed the chair from the other side of the table and sat not too close to the wall and not too close to the table. The creature placed its leathery bag on the ground beside him and caught Eren’s eye. He flinched and retreated more. But the creature simply smiled sadly at him.

Confused, Eren remained low to the ground, curled up against himself, teeth bared.

The creature was not fazed by Eren’s hostility. Rather, the creature was more focused on what ever it was looking at, flipping through each of the papers with interest.

“So… Eren is it?”

Eren perked up slightly at the sound of name the Little One gave him. How did this creature know of the name the Little One gave him?

Chuckling slightly, the creature smiled at Eren. “Eren it is then. Do you understand what I’m saying, Eren?”

Eren did not respond to the creatures muttering, not understanding as to why it even was attempting to communicate with him. he could not even understand the Little One, why would this creature think itself different. Eren turned away from the creature.

“That would be a no, I’d assume,” the creature said while writing something on its papers before looking up at Eren. “Well, even so, my name is Johannes Arlert. We will be getting to know each other over the next few weeks.”

Oblivious to the creature’s words or their implications, Eren simply sat down on the cold stone floor, ignoring the creature. The creature sat up from the chair and came to sit a close distance away from Eren. Every step that it took closer to Eren made his stomach turn uncomfortably. He felt his body involuntarily curl up against himself and his eyes became glued to the creature, observing every single movement. Eren’s anxiousness began to bleed out of him and he felt his muscles relax as the creature did not come to close to him. Giving him space he needed and allowing Eren to observe him from a close distance.

Eren eyed the creature with uncertainty, the creature would sit down on the freezing floor looking every bit relaxed as Eren did not. The creature laid out, hands holding it up as its legs were stretched out. The light blue eyes watched him, but there was no coldness or emptiness in them, they looked calm and looked around the room lazily, unafraid.  

It was completely alien to him, there was minimal time to be calm, next to non-existent when in the presence of others as the majority wanted him dead or eaten. There was only one creature in existence that was the opposite to that rule. Although, now not even them. Everyone would harm him, hurt him intentionally or not, it was all the same.

The creature watched him, not attempting communication or to touch or injure him. just lying down near him, silently as if this was a comforting past-time. Eren’s eyes stayed downcast, he didn’t want to be near this creature or any other. They are all the same, no one ever stayed, not even his–

He clenched his eyes shut, trying to block out the invading memory. He doesn’t want to think about that.

“Eren, I know you must be scared and confused,” the creature said. It sounded odd: calm, relaxed and reassuring as if it is meant to provide comfort. “I know you cannot understand what I am saying but I promise you don’t need to be scared any more. I’m going to make sure you’ll be in safe hands.”

Eren did not look up from where his eyes rested, staring deeply into the deep cracks and scuffs that were scattered along the stones.

Sighing deeply the creature stood up, immediately gaining his attention, he recoiled at the creature’s approach, and tried to put a face of false bravado. He pulled his lips back and bared his teeth at the approaching creature. He made sure to let out a guttural growl and glaring with an intensity that Eren hoped would scare the creature away.

The creature placated Eren, placing his hands up and away from his body, showing that they were holding nothing within their grasp. But the creature unknowingly didn’t know that this didn’t pacify Eren in any means. One does not need a weapon to cause physical harm. He lunged a little towards the creature, hoping to lure the creature away.

The human moved away from his grasp, and out of Eren’s field of view, making him veer around trying to locate the creature from his position. He felt warm fingers ghost over his, making him jump and knock his head painfully against the table. He flinched but swerved to move and lunge at the creature, not liking that the creature would even approach him, heedless to his desire for them to remain separated. But when he moved and pushed himself up to attack the creature, he felt a weight drop from his damaged wrists. He froze and stared down at his hands. To see that the restraints were dangling no longer attached to his blistered arm. He hesitantly pulled his arms close to his chest and shuffled away from the creature.

Eren frowned while watching the creature with confusion, the apprehension that he felt towards the creature was lessening and he felt his shoulders drop from his neck where he had been hunching them.

He let out a muttering grumble of incomprehensible words as a thank you and felt more comfortable in this creature’s presence. The wrinkled creature smiled kindly and sat together with Eren in comfortable silence.

 

 

 

 

Johannes exited out of the room, leaving the young, vulnerable boy behind. Eren reminded him a lot of an old friend of his; full of spirit and spitfire. He was determined to make sure the boy grew up into something to be proud of. After completing all of the necessary paper work he walked down the hallway until the soldiers led him to the Commander Fonzell. The soldiers knocked on the door and a simple ‘come in’ was heard through the door. Johannes opened the wooden door, closing it behind him with a click.

Fonzell didn’t look up from his paper work that was littered all over his desk. Johannes sat uncomfortably in the hard-wooden chair opposite Fonzell’s desk. The commander remained silent and he began to feel awkward and out of place.

“Commander Fonzell?” he questioned, he was unsure of how to address high commanding members of the military. Especially the Military Police, they hardly gave the townsfolk the time of day, he knew that they likely saw him as one of the people that were below them. Being polite and firm was probably the best bet with the Military Police. “I have spent time with the young boy and reported my findings for you.”

Finally, Commander Fonzell looked up from his paperwork, small icy blue eyes that were staring at him through his glasses were empty of emotion and affect. “And?”

 Swallowing, Johannes stated: “I believe that the boy has some trust issues but doesn’t seem against opening up to others. He has most likely lived in a deprived home where he has been focused more on survival than on socialising and identity. Chances are that with proper care he can grow to become just like any other member of society. He will provide a challenge, but I am confident that I will be able to provide a home where he will be accepted and allowed to grow into his own person. Provided you permit me permission to take him into my care.”

“Mr. Arlert,” Fonzell started as he leaned back against his leather chair. Looking down at Johannes, scrutinising him. “I am well assured that you are a smart and intelligent psychologist and have had many troubled youths taken into your care. But, you are an aging man with already one orphan in your care. Not to mention you are also caring for your grandson. I find it hard to believe that in your current shape you would be well-equipped to handle an aggressive and volatile child.”

“But, Commander Fonzell–” The commander rose his hand in a signal of silence, bringing Johannes to a halt.

“You do realise that this is a person who has lived outside the walls, seemingly all his life,” Fonzell claimed. Johannes was well aware of the circumstances that made this child a concern for the Crown, however that didn’t mean much to him. “He could be a real threat and we are unsure of his motives–”

“He’s a child, I doubt a child would have the ability to completely render our home into ruin.” Johannes exclaimed bitterly, a bit too loudly. The Crown was always quick to throw the vulnerable aside if it meant that there would have to be an investment. The Military Police are people he has absolutely no respect for. Only because they uphold the rules and laws of the land is the only reason why he restrains his loathing and bitterness towards the militia that killed his son and daughter-in-law. He knew that they were unlikely to give the child to him without them getting their nose in it. “If it is possible I would like to make a compromise.”

“And what would that entail?”

“You may perform physical and your own psychological tests over his development until you believe he is not a risk to anyone,” Johannes had to restrain the smile that was threatening to show upon his face. He knew he was almost guaranteed to get the child if he openly continued to work with the Military Police. “Until then, I will provide you with full documentation of his progress. How does that sound, commander?”

A beat of silence. Then, “consider it done.”

Chapter Text

Johannes Arlert was very puzzled on how to feel about the whole situation. The young boy captured and bound by the Military Police, did not deserve the amount of terrorising that the child was no doubt under. He knew how the Military Police saw those that did not belong. Arlert was almost surprised to learn they hadn’t forced the child outside the walls, or into the Underground.

No doubt due to the Survey Corps presence when the boy was found. Any person surviving in titan territory was someone worthy of studying to them. Shadis and his militia were an intelligent lot, many could not be easily bribed or coerced.

He was just glad he was able to get permission for the boy, to help him have some semblance of consistency and reliability without fear or reproach. He knew Armin and Mikasa would treat the boy fondly as he were family. They were a good bunch, those two. No doubt they would be ecstatic about the news of a new member of the family. It put a slight smile on his face while on his long trek back to his village in Shiganshina.

It was already nightfall by the time he arrived back home, seeing Mikasa and Armin reading together. Mikasa was reading aloud and Armin was sitting comfortably on the couch next to her, not bothered by her broken English and only adding input to help her when she struggles on a word. They looked up from their book when he opened the front door and their faces lit up. He barely had time to put down his leather briefcase on the ground before he was swarmed by the two.

“Hey Grandpa! How was your trip?” Armin said, beaming with energy despite the late hour. Mikasa was quiet and didn’t say anything but the tightness of her hug and look in her eyes dark chestnut eyes said more than what words could express. He leaned down and planted a kiss on her forehead then Armin’s before placing his hands on his knees bending to their height.

“I had a lovely trip, you could smell all the lovely flowers in bloom,” he patted Armin’s shoulder before straightening. “But I have some good news, but you’ll need to promise me something.”

Their eyes widened comically, it made him chuckle at their enthusiasm.

“What would that be?” Armin practically breathed at him, barely comprehensible in his eagerness to get the words out. Mikasa was also all ears, eager for him to let loose what he withheld.

“I’ll tell you after you eat your dinner,” he heard the sighs of their excitement dissipate.

He saw them deflate slightly, disappointed but the eagerness was not entirely gone. A lingering apprehension remained on their face, unsure of what was to come.

Johannes undressed by putting his coat on the coat hanger and hanging up his briefcase. Before entering his cramped room and dumped his clothes in a washing basket to be washed later before dressing in more causal clothes. When he entered the kitchen, he saw them lingering around the dinner table in the centre of the room, eyes super-glued to him. He let out a large audible sigh at their expression: pouts and puppy dog eyes displayed to coerce him.

“We’re going to have new addition to our family.”

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Eren Awakens again in the dark, stone prison. Immutable and silent. He was bound and beaten, has he had attempted to escape without success. His arm had healed significantly but his fingers had worsened. His nails were red and raw, jagged and black from his abuse against the door and his own bindings. When they had changed his bindings from the hard, cold metal to the strong leather ones to hold him more securely. He dislocated his thumbs to pull them through the metal bindings, forcing them to use the leather to hold him more tightly.

They thankfully removed the chain from his neck after a few days of inactivity after his first attempt of freedom. He awkwardly clawed and ripped into his leather bindings, freeing himself once more, waiting for them to deliver the metal tray full of plants and flesh with liquids. One of the creatures would bring it in once per day through a small gap at the bottom of the metal door. He awaited this person, hiding beside the door for the perfect moment to strike.

When the creatures arrived, Eren was eagerly awaiting his freedom. Feeling his body shake in anticipation and anxiety. When he heard the squeak of the door down the hall open, he felt his heart push itself into his throat, his weakened body still full of drive.

When the small creature’s footsteps neared his prison, he breathed in deeply preparing his body to attack. However, nothing neared the hole. He was confused. This would seem to be the time he was due for the creature to come and deliver the plants and flesh he would not consume. He focused his hearing on the area outside the door. He could hear a small echoing squeal of another door opening and the sound of thumping footsteps. There was another door?

There were more footsteps that neared his stony prison. Everything was quiet. No sound and he could not hear anything other than the sound breathing on the other side of the door.

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!

Eren flinched backwards, drawing away from the door to get as far as possible to avoid the invasive sound.

The door then opened with a groaning croak, three identically dressed creatures followed by a familiar creature. The blonde haired, wrinkled creature entered behind them. Eren remained where he was and waited apprehensively for any movement from the identically dressed creatures.

The blonde-haired creature walked closer to Eren but made sure not to move to fast and eventually sat down on the cold floor a few metres away. The other creatures then left the room. Leaving Eren with the other creature. The creature sat calmly, inattentive to his surroundings. Just nonchalantly sitting down and absent-mindedly picking at his nails and acting as if Eren was not present in the room.

Eren crouched and slowly moved back to the bed, like a cat walking hauntingly. Eren glared at the creature and once he was back on the bed, her kept his eyes on the creature. Unmoving and unresponsive. They remained where they were some time, the creature relaxed and unbothered by Eren’s lack of hospitality and openness.  

Eren observed and gazed the creature, feeling the anticipation and fear slowly dissipate. This creature was unlike the others, didn’t approach him, didn’t shackle him or bound him down with the intention of harm. The creature did none. So Eren felt emboldened and slowly began to approach the creature. He kept his limbs close, not wanting to allow the creature to overtake and overpower him. Eren sat a few feet apart from the creature. It was as close as he felt comfortable with. The creature looked at him with a tranquil expression, his presence not alarming or causing a discernible anxiousness. They stayed there for some time, the creature unmoving and attempt to close the gap between the two. leaving Eren to decide if he wanted to get closer or not.

Eventually, Eren felt his curiosity get the better of him. this was the first creature here that did not harm or wish to cause violence. So, inch-by-inch, he got closer. He was high-strung alert to any sudden movement or sounds. He hesitantly knocked his foot against the shoe of the creature. The creature simply tilted its head studiously. He did not feel any violent tendencies and it did not seem eager to cause harm, so he encroached closer. He was right next to the creature’s leg and the creature put its hand out towards him. the movement was agonisingly slow to Eren, but it lessened his distress and Eren cautiously raised his hand and lightly touched it with his hand before pulling sharply back as if the contact had physically hurt him. Eren retreated back towards the bed and the creature looked puzzled and confused but decided to get up and leave Eren in the room alone.

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Johannes surprised that the boy felt comfortable in his presence to approach him. it was a good sign that the boy was open to others. It was clear that the report he was given by the Military Police was a result of their harsh treatment.

An Animalistic, aggressive child that fought violently against other members of staff.

The animalistic part was most easily spotted within the boy. He had obviously lived without human contact for the majority of his young life. But the violence and aggressiveness? No doubt because of the Military Police treating a psychologically abused child as if he was a prisoner would encourage violent outbursts. Any person would fight if they were being injured. It is a coping mechanism. So, Johannes knew that it would be ideal to make the boy have the choice. Simply to stay in the same room, relaxed and not expressing any negative or tense atmosphere to encourage the boy to feel more confident and trusting of him. but to have this kind of success on the second visit with the boy was utterly confusing to him. He did not suspect to be approached on this visit. In the future yes, but not today. It showed to him that the boy was willing to trust if they did not harm him. this was most exciting, and he knew that Armin and Mikasa are going to love having Eren around.

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Armin was looking forward to when his grandpa came home, he knew that his grandpa would be gone for most of the day to spend him with the boy. They had only recently found out that his name was Eren. They were informed that it was likely that Eren was going to be a difficult case for his grandpa to work on and that Eren was going to require a lot of care and attention. But Armin knew his grandpa was a highly sympathetic person and his disdain for the Military Police was motivating him to help the young boy.

He and Mikasa had many long talks wondering what Eren was like and what he looked like. Grandpa Johannes hadn’t discussed anything appearance wise about Eren except that he was around their age. So, it made their day a few days after Grandpa Johannes second trip to Wall Rose that they were going to meet Eren. The two couldn’t believe that they were going meet him.

They followed Grandpa Johannes, dressed in formal clothes, Armin in nice pants and a dress shirt and Mikasa in dressed in a pretty dress.

When they arrived at the Military Police Central building in Wall Rose, they huddled close to Johannes. The soldiers looked down and gave them dirty looks and huffed at them. Most murmured between themselves and laughing. Grandpa Johannes walked confidently to the front desk of the building, talking to the soldier there about his permission to meet with Eren. For some reason he was being held in the prison barracks. He and Mikasa had shared a confused look, they had not ever heard of a young child being kept in a prison, especially the Military Police prison. Did this mean that Eren was a criminal? That he hurt people? He was going to ask his grandpa but looked too immersed into his conversation with the soldier.

Eventually they were granted permission and she walked down with them to the prison hold and was then ushered into a large room that had a large window separating the span oversized room into two.

“You two need to stay here, I’m going to tell the soldiers to bring Eren in, so you can be introduced.”

Johannes then left with the soldier and Armin and Mikasa sat around, impatiently. Their bodies bursting with excitement and the anticipation of meeting a new member of their household.

After waiting for a few minutes that felt like they stretched out into hours, the door on the other side of the glass opened and a small figure was held up by two soldiers, who was grunting and kicking about at them. They had disgusted faces and often swore at the boy who was manhandled into the middle of the room where his cuffs were then attached to a metal hoop on the floor preventing him from moving to far away.

They were confused and horrified that the boy was treated this way. But a dreadful thought entered Armin’s mind; if the Military Police needed to do this to allow for them to meet than what if he was truly violent. Johannes entered the room standing beside Mikasa, when they looked at him, Johannes smiled sadly. He pulled the two of them close.

“I know that it looks barbaric they way they brought him in. But Eren doesn’t like the Military Police because they unintentionally hurt him. He is a calm but anxious child. I wouldn’t bring someone I thought would hurt you into our home.” He place his hand on their shoulders and sighed regretfully. “He has without human interaction for a very long time and can’t speak our language and is a very confused and frightened boy. I think you’ll get alone well when he can be fully introduced.”

They smiled and felt reassured by their grandfather’s words. With the information that Eren was oblivious to language made much sense. By the end of Johannes little speech, the soldiers had left the room and Eren was left in his side of the room alone.

The boy was remarkably tan, nice golden-brown skin and long, misshapen dark brown hair that dangled around his head, and large expressive green eyes that reminded Armin of the trees in the summer. The boy’s hands were bandaged and look slightly inflamed from what was visible. The boy was hunched over and overly protective of his body but looked tense and ready to attack anything that dared to harm him. when Eren looked around and noticed the three of them, he froze and backed away slightly, baring his yellow crooked teeth.

“Be slow and be gentle around him. He is only scared,” Johannes said as he sat down on the stone in front of them, a foot away from the window. He was completely calm and looked like he was completely at peace. It seemed to make Eren less anxious as he watched him and Mikasa and Armin followed him, however, making an effort to be slow as to avoid startling the other boy.

They were rather confused on what do really. Although Armin had meet Mikasa and had befriended her rather quickly, they met under different circumstances. Eren was physically separated between them by an invisible barrier and it made Armin felt more like Eren was an animal to be observed and studied. It made him felt uncomfortable. He could tell by the softening of Mikasa’s face that she felt the same way.

Chapter Text

When Eren first entered the homestead, he was overly-curious. Ever since leaving the military complex the anxiety had slow ceased, being aloud to roam freely without constant surveillance. They had never restrained or hurt Eren like those men in the uniforms did. The large farm where they lived, allowed for Eren to engage and flourish around them.

Often Armin would find Eren sunbathing in the summer sun, skin tanning after his long periods of relaxation. These were the early signs of the burst of energy that would swarm and like a child on a sugar rush would be everywhere at once. Bounding over the furniture and running around and playing with the farm animals.

At first Armin and Mikasa preferred to watch from a distance as they didn’t know if Eren trusted them or if they fully trusted Eren. He often seemed confused by such menial activities that it makes Armin wonder where in fact Eren is truly from. He remembers Grandpa Johannes saying it was far away from Shiganshina and that he was probably abandoned as a child. What a sad life, he thought. To be abandoned and left to fend for yourself with no one to care for you. But somehow Eren has been able to do the impossible. To fight and defend himself since young. His body still bares those scars, though.

He has seen Eren’s upper-body naked. The large span of the scars that rose over his tanned skin littered all over. Some were small others abnormally large that Armin wonders what on earth could have caused them. But what was scare above all was the large burns on his skin. All over his body, there were scars of deep burning. They didn’t seem bother Eren or impact on his abilities whatsoever. He still climbed, jumped, skidded and tackled like anyone else without pause.

It was strange, they had a million questions that there were no answers too.

 

 

[A Few Years Later:]

Eren was sat the large wooden table. Once again, he was presented with a clump of food in front of him. he did not understand why they insisted that he consume it. He had tried it before and had not liked it. He has ever since refused to touch the food. He always turns it down, often pushing it away or passing it to the others to eat when the elder human wasn’t looking.

The other two would look at each other with odd expressions before shaking their heads and passing the plate back at him. Eren turned towards the blond and gruntled and blabbered random words at them, frustrated that they would not take it. They were the ones that needed it, he thought. So, take it!

The elder would look down at him aggravatedly, staring at Eren and back down at his plate. Eren just stared back, irked that he was expected to eat. He did not require sustenance. He got all of his energy from the sun, as he always had. He never had to eat anything in his larger body and he did not need it now.

The other two – Armin and Mikasa – would finish their meals and leave to do whatever they desired and Eren was restrained to the spot until he ate the food laying on his plate that looked more like sloppy mucus with different colours. It turned his stomach and he remained on the table, unmoving and unconvinced to eat.

Pouting angerly and twirling the food with the eating instrument the humans forced him to use. He would laze around the table, body aroused with activity, high-strung with energy. He had the elder human constantly watching him, daring him to move. He stares back with the same intensity.

When the human refused to break eye contact Eren would snarl, growling and then lunged towards the human before doing a swift turn to the exit and running out into the farm, the glaze of the sunset.

He ran out into the township, enjoying the sense of the cold breeze flowing past his face, sun glinting on his checks as he runs under the trees.

He can faintly hear the sound of the elder human behind him, trying to catch up. Eren glanced around seeing the older man, out of breath and failing to reach him. Eren laughed before sprinting off again. Winding between the dirt covered roads, pedestrians and people muttering about the neighbourhood.

Finding a ledge of a roof that was reachable, he jumped and grabbed up onto the roof. He then jumped along the roof of the buildings feeling like he was back in the trees in the forest back beyond the walls. he felt a growing sense of freedom he hadn’t felt since he was stuck behind these walls.

He lost his sense of time, simply enjoying the sense of freedom.

“You know what I said is true.” A voice said. “That’s why you’re hitting me instead of arguing. Doesn’t that mean you admit I win?”

Eren froze. The voice sounded familiar, he moves forward from where he was and found one of the humans he resided with being pushed into a wall. His face was swollen and bruised, but a grin spread across his injured face.

Eren scaled down the wall, feeling angered at the tone they used with the human. The small blonde human did not sound happy, and Eren felt his fist tighten and he dropped to the ground with a loud thump. He pulls his shoulders up and stands straight, flexing his arm muscles to loosen up and prepare himself for a fight. He had fought many titans, humans would be just as easy.

“Shut your damn–” the human tried to yell before Eren cut him off.

Eren tightened his fist and put all of his force behind it and use his other hand and ripped the human around, a look of shock on the child’s face. He forces his fist into the kids nose. He hears a crunching noise and a faint throb in his hand, the skin of knuckles were peeled back from the force, the kids blood splayed across them.

Grabbing the kids shoulders he bared his sharp teeth, growling menacingly at the child. He pushes the human backwards, the human making a loud whump on the dirt. Snarling, he pretends to chase after the human when it runs away, before humpfing and turning towards Armin.

Chapter Text

Ever since the fight with the boys, Armin and Mikasa had grown closer to Eren. Despite his animalistic tendencies and brash behaviour, he was still an endearing and caring person.

Eren spent more time with them and they grew closer.

Even though Eren couldn’t really understand a word that was said, he was quite observant of people and learned more visually rather than vocally.

They showed him picture books of common items and talking to him while saying the word. Hoping that he might recognize the image.

They brought an apple and would hold it out to Eren while saying “apple”. Doing this consistently finally led to Eren copying them. His pronunciation of the word apple was atrocious, but it was a start.

One day Armin grabs his favourite book. The amazing book of times once been before all of humanity was forced behind these walls. a place of burning sands and lush forests and an ocean of endless water.  Eren was fascinated. He looked at the images with awe and amazement. He had a smile on the entire time. Stealing the book off them at the images of the ocean and forests. He was making a loud ruckus, being a bundle of excitement.

They gazed and talked to each other, with Eren muttering nonsense but ultimately full of boundless energy that the kid seemed to hoard – which was kind of an amazement since he almost never ate and drank very little.

Eren was in love with the images in the book. They reminded him of home. To see the world, he knew outside these claustrophobic walls. To see the ocean something, he had always wanted to see.

He was starting to warm up and socialise more but was still an energetic butterfly who was more than willing to start fights if someone looked at them in an odd way or in a manner that he didn’t like. So, while Armin dealt with bullies mocking his interests, he also had to manage Eren if he saw as he’d be eager for a fight and if there was anything, he learned about Eren that was that Eren played dirty. Using, teeth, claws and his surprisingly flexible and agile body he’d pounce, kick, bite, scratch and barrage into them. His ferocity was unmatched, but this made Eren heavily judged by other people of their village. Eren didn’t know the difference of a brawl and a fight to the death. No matter the circumstance he’d give all he had. He’d broken people’s arms and fingers, ripping out chunks of hair and giving them bruises so dark they’d look black. It was often hard to make even every weak to help pay for the children’s doctor visits from Eren’s fights.

But Grandpa was never mad. He was more often exhausted and stressed. He’d been harassed and assaulted by the parents of Eren’s victims to really find any means to deal with Eren. Since Eren was not able to understand words to be lectured and mostly ran off other peoples body language. Grandpa would often be displeased around Eren making sure he knew about his disposition but would change when Eren was engaging in pro-social behaviour and not lunging at the next person who looked at them weirdly. It was a constant work in progress.

But it all changed on that one day.

 

It started so normally. No sensation of doom that would spread throughout like roots. It was a lovely summers day, no harsh wind and was lovely relaxing in. school was out for a few days and they were busy picking up sticks and logs to use as firewood. The decided to take a short break from the walk at a nice meadow. Eren threw down his stack and immediately slumped up against a lone tree. Armin and Mikasa walked beside him and sitting down in the shade, taking in the warm air and calm atmosphere.

Armin and Mikasa were idly chatting, not taking much detail of Eren but feeling his presence behind them. When Armin turned to look at him, he saw that he was crashed asleep, snoozing in complete comfort. How Eren slept in the weirdest of positions and places was odd but not surprising given his probable background of living in utter isolation amidst forests.

“I still don’t understand how he does that,” Mikasa states while looking at Eren’s sleeping form.

“A learnt behaviour probably,” Armin suggests. “He had to adapt to his surroundings to survive from what Grandpa has said.”

Mikasa hummed in agreement. Her eyes darted to the ground as she began to puck grass from the ground. “I saw that he didn’t eat any breakfast again.”

“I haven’t seen him eat breakfast all week,” Armin argues. “I get really concerned when he does that. I’ve heard stories from those in Sina dying because they refused to eat.”

Mikasa agreed, nodding. A comfortable silence fell between them. Only broken by Eren’s snoring and the singing birds.

“We should probably get going,” she suggests. “It’s getting late.”

As they gather their things Mikasa hears a loud gasp behind her. Looking over her shoulder she sees Eren sitting, stiff as a board. His wide eyes searching the plains in front of him.

“You okay Eren?” when he hears her voice, he looks up at her with those green eyes. They look frightened, but it quickly disappeared as he searches for his logs.

Soon the finally reach Shiganshina and are just in time to see the Survey Corps returning from their expedition.

They try to avoid the crowd but yet again Eren is evading them trying to see what the fuss was all about.

“Eren!” they shout as he wanders off, climbing up buildings to get to the rooftops for a better view. They clamber up behind him, trying to stop him but he manages to evade them quickly enough that they have to struggle up to meet him atop the roof. Once they finally are atop the roof, they see Eren’s ridged frame. They can all see the injured and bloody soldiers arriving. Their spirits broken once again from the attacks from the titans. “Eren,” Armin reaches out, not wanting to startle him but his hand is shoved off Eren’s shoulder with a rough movement. “Eren it’s not–”

“Where’s my son?” an older woman comes rushing into the parade of despair. She is ignored by the glassed over eyes of the soldiers as they pass by her. Everyone in the crowd is secretly crying, knowing that this woman is probably a mother searching for her child who probably didn’t make it home. “Has anyone seen my son? I can’t find him! Hans!” a lone soldier stands still. Eyes downcast in a frozen state of trauma. He clutches a small bundle close to his chest. He hands the woman the bundle. He doesn’t say anything, but his actions state a thousands words.

As the number of soldiers scatter down as they march full of sorrow and detachment away from the town walking into Maria.

They hear a loud grunt and a snarl seeing Eren’s growling face as his lips are pulled back in anger. What had angered them they didn’t know since he couldn’t know anything about the titans since they could not express their words.

But then again Eren was spotted outside the walls. But who is to know that he even saw a titan. Eren storms up and drags the bundle of logs behind him in growing fury.

Eren muttered nonsense, large grows and a mixture of random English words which made no sense to them.

“Hguft gnimlf fire fgew hyyre jime qasde” along with the angered growls were all they could make out.

Mikasa grabs Eren’s wrist. He immediately comes to a stop, looking down at her hand resting against his wrist. He doesn’t push it away, he takes his hand away to rub it against her palm in a soft acknowledgement.

Once they make it home, they drop the logs into the basket by the fire in the living room. Eren slumps down into the couch, facing the wall and curling himself up.

It was rare for him to cut other people off but they didn’t push him.

Armin was reading and Mikasa was doodling on a piece of paper at the table as they left Eren to linger on the couch.

Hours go by and the sun is starting to dip below the horizon.

Then, suddenly, out of nowhere, there is a loud thundering lightning strike that shakes the whole house.

Like a jackhammer Eren jumps up and rushes outside before they can even think about what just happened. The look at each other in confusion before running outside to see what had happened.

Everything was dead silent. Not a single bird was singing or an insect buzzing.

It was eerie and made the hair stick up on the nape of his neck. They see people running onto the main road and they rush to follow them. Eren close on their heels.  

That’s when they see it. there, standing was a titan. Its large skinless face bearing down over the wall.

Chapter Text

It would’ve had to be over 50 metres tall to even be the same height as the wall for its head to peer over at them. Its skinless body excreted heat and steam for what seemed endlessly. For ages there was nothing. No noise. No nothing. Nothing coming from the humans watching the titan. Their paralysed bodies frozen with absolute horror. Nothing to hear except for the steam radiating from the titan and barking dogs that were few and far between. Not that it mattered; their barks were falling on deaf ears.

Eren stood there, eyes darting between the enormous titan and the humans scattered in front of him.

They needed to leave. NOW.

He did not need to understand any human language to know what was about to happen. He looked down at Armin’s wrist and held it in a vice tight grip. Armin did not even look down at the sensation. Paralysed by the sight of the gigantic titan in front of him. He did the same to Mikasa, however her eyes shot straight to him. He could not think properly. He could not gather the words that would get them to move. But Mikasa could read him better than he could read himself. So, it was to no surprise that when he pulled them to run towards the house where Armin’s grandfather was that Mikasa followed him. Armin tripping over his own two feet before hastily getting up to follow them.

Scuttering around the houses, running with abandon to get to the house as quickly as these small legs of his would allow. Mikasa pulling Armin’s panting form behind her as she followed him.

Before they got far, they heard as mass of shouting. This caused Eren to turn sharply to where the noise came from. Seeing the human’s faces directed at the wall, he glances at the wall where the titan was. Only to be surprised of its lack of presence.

Where… where did it go? A titan of that size could not possibly–

Then, there was a sudden rush of air, overwhelmingly powerful as stones surrounding the door of the wall were kicked away by the titan’s foot.

Eren ducked, pulling down his two other humans with him as a large boulder barely misses them. They hid in a doorway into a basement until the sound of bounders crashing stopped.

“What in the world was that!” Armin cried with hitch in his voice. He pulled Mikasa up from the ground while Eren ignored his gesture.

“I think it kicked the wall in,” she stated much more calmly than what was expected. Armin was standing around his hand over his mouth, biting down on the knuckles.

“It did,” Eren growls in frustration. But he instantly regrets saying it as it frightens Armin out even more.  “Oh my god, he mumbles. “That means...”

“Means we have to find your grandfather ASAP,” Mikasa states, placing her hands on Armin’s shoulders to help Armin calm down.

Eren curled in on himself, angry at what will happen in only a matter of minutes. When his kind will enter these guarded walls. “Many die today,” he whispered angerly. He does not want to let Mikasa nor Armin hear but he felt he needed to get the words out. Clearly, he failed as Mikasa turned to look at him with sorrowful eyes.

“Let’s think about that when we are safe,” Mikasa reasons. She is clearly more focused than either of them. It would be wise to follow her due to her level-headedness. Nodding, Eren follows behind Mikasa. Taking Armin’s hand in his own when he lends it to him, his body not used to the extensive exercise.

They all ran out, seeing a shadow of forms that are entering through the large hole that was now agape. It did not take long for the titans to start entering. Their large, disfigured faces eternally smiling as their presence started mass hysteria.

Flashes of colour and noise swarmed his senses. As they neared the enterance to their small suburb, people poured out of the main road; women running with their children. working men abandoning their post in search of an exit with the small few searching for family. Shoving people out of the way while trying to avoid being trampled on, he held on tight to Mikasa and tighter to Armin. 

They were the only ones entering the suburb and the escapees were suffocating in their panic. 

Once they managed to squeeze their way through the scrambling humans, they dashed into the small homestead. Busting the door open; the house was empty of life. 

He was not here. 

"Grandpaaah-" shouted Armin as Eren pulled him, causing him to fumble.

There wasn't time to dwell on it. Death was ever closing in. Eren paused at every intersection searching the street for any sign of Johannes. Everytime he wasnt there, his panic grew and grew. He had become close to the older human. This is not how he wanted this to go. He didnt want to watch this world become destroyed. 

"Mikasa, Armin, Eren!" shouted a distressed voice behind them. Eren turned to see a familiar human in a uniform. 

"Hannes! we cant find Johannes!" Mikasa said, her voice hitching as the emotions begun to come forth. Eren could not blame here. He was only calm for the human's. They needed to be safe. It was not wise to be distracted by ones own emotions. No matter how much they screamed at him. 

"I just saw Johannes. Hes in Maria," Hannes exclaimed, his face full of relief and false bravado. "I came here to find you. Make you're way to the boats. They are preparing boats to take everyone into Trost. You'll be safe there. Now go!"

Nodding, Mikasa takes off, Eren closely behind. Sightly unsure of where they were going but he heard Johannes name so the man in uniform must have known where the older man was. 

His intuition was correct when he saw that they were making their way to the Maria Gate. 

The swarm around the suburb main entrance paled in comparison to the mess around the Maria gate. Men and women in uniforms were ushering people through the gate, while trying to maintain a sense of calm. 

In the distance he heard the shouts and screams of humans before the small burst of silence as they were rendered speechless by the hands of death. He was watching as humans were picked up as if they were daisies. Limbs going limp as they were ripped from their body as the titans consumed them.

Horrified by his own kind, he was beyond disgusted with himself. He was useless. He could not fight those titans who claimed lives so easily. How could they? They had no understanding of the pain and torture they caused. He couldn't hope to fight in his state. However, in his taller, titan form he could destroy them. But, like this? Right now? He could do nothing but hope he wasn't next. 

He swore to himself he would never be this useless again.

Chapter Text

Eren remains situated at the boats. He and the others were slowly drifting along the artificial currant. The rancid sent of blood, smoke and gunpowder leaving a cocktail of a mess in the air. He could still hear the quietening screaming behind them, muffled by the gigantic stone wall.

As they entered the gated entrance that exposed them to the inner walls, there was a dark sense of dread that fell over the boat. The atmosphere was tense and the muttering and sobbing of various people were not lost on his ears. Other than that, there was a dense air of silence.

Armin was huddled close to his grandfather, as Johannes rubbed the boys back soothingly. Mikasa was sat next to Armin, eyes glazed over and lost to the world. Eren glanced around, noting that she wasn’t the only one with the expression.

The boat ride was long and never-ending. “We’re going to die, I’m going to die,” whispered a villager, body ragged and covered in blood splatters. He felt powerless to help him. The man was lost in the world of his own. An escapable nightmare.

Once the boats reached through the gate, the bright light behind the soldiers manning the gate, shined, the sun giving them a halo.

A sign of peace. A symbol of safety. This was going to be their new home.

Everything was left behind, they held no possessions, no money, nothing but the clothes on their back and themselves. He was unsure of how they will deal within these walls.  But he knew with his small group of humans, he and they would be safe, no matter their situation.

They saved him when he didn’t need it and thus, he will return the favour. He will keep them safe. Until his debt has been repaid.

Once on solid ground with the sound of canons blowing up in the distant, they were ushered into a small encampment. Surrounded by a plethora of other humans from beyond this wall. Their numbers were small and scattered, he knew there were much more than this. Meaning the rest have either been killed or left to defend for themselves.

 

 

“Get the fuck out of here street rat!”

Growling, he lunged forward at the solider, biting at clawing at the rude human. He needed to get his humans food and this human with his bulging belly was in no need. There were many hungry people inside their new shelter. He would not leave until he had enough food for them to be feed. His humans were his priority, the rest he could manage would go to the neediest. There was a pregnant woman who was nearing the end of her pregnancy and needed all the energy she could to give birth safely. Johannes dotted over her, worrying about her well-being and helped them when she could. She had lost her mate when the walls fell, and the soldiers were being nothing but jerks.

Eren would teach them a lesson.

Biting harshly on the mans shoulder he clambered off him knocking the man to the ground, rushing to the food supply stuffing as many pieces of bread he could into his pockets.

When he felt the back of his shirt being pulled, he immediately pulled his arms out of the sleeve so the shirt fell back onto the solider and he ran with whatever he could. Many soldiers were screaming after him.

Eren pokes his tongue out at them, giggling as he easily outruns them. The unicorned men were pathetic, they were so unfit. Once he was sure he lost them he jogged back into a back entrance where he saw his humans and the friendly woman.

“Arm, Meek, Food,” he is able to mumble out. His Eldian had improved much in the month since the attack but it was still miserable. They turned at the sound of his voice, seeing the many loafs of bread he possessed in his arms.

“Eren were did you get those?” Armin practically shouted, eyes shooting to the doors waiting for something to come barging through.

Mikasa didn’t event question him, taking a load within her hands and started taking slow mouthfuls. Nodding in appreciation. Eren hands a loaf to Armin, dropping it in his lap. Before he heads off to Johannes and the woman. He hands the woman two loafs – she is eating for two after all – and a single one to his guardian. The scolding look he got said more than whatever came after. “Eren you need to stop stealing supplies. You could get in serious trouble.”

Huffing, without any bite to his tone, he moved on to the others, the injured, the children and any others that looked desperate for nutrients.

He still got weird looks when he never took one for himself, some had even thought that he was stealing them and giving them bread as a coverup. He was angered by their traitorous thoughts but perhaps it because Eren has never eaten and humans constantly need to consume to survive. He looks just like them and it would be strange to them, that he would hold no desire to eat.

Even he didn’t fully understand why he only required the suns presence on his skin to be motivated and full of energy. His close humans always seemed suspicious, but they never brought it up around him, so he could only speculate their confusion.   

However, their peace, what little of it was soon to be destroyed. One day there were hundreds of soldiers, at first, he thought that his stealing had finally caught the soldier’s attention and they were there for him. He hid behind his humans hoping he could pass as another urchin like the many other children. Then Johannes came up to them, eyes steel and blank inside. The expression looked alien on the mans kind face.

“Armin, it’s only going to be for a little while.”

“Pa don’t go,” Armin spoke, his voice croaky with words dying on his lips. Grabbing onto the man’s shirt.

“I don’t have a choice,” Johannes answers sweetly. Wiping away the boy’s tears. “But I’ll be back okay.”

Eren could tell by that tone that the man was lying through his teeth. If he could tell, then Armin definitely could. This was completely confusing.

“Where go?” Eren asked, trying to remember the words he needed to ask. Curse this language barrier. He despised it so very much.

“Oh, Eren. I’m so sorry.”

He tilts his head, why is the human apologising? Why is he leaving? Why is he making a huge deal about leaving? It wouldn’t be the first time the man is leaving them for a few days. So why was he acting so strange? Mikasa and Armin were crying, tears pouring out of their eyes.

He feels so stupid. What isn’t he getting?

“Mikasa, take care. No matter what, stay strong and don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life,” Johannes confesses as he pulls the young girl into a hug before pulling Armin and Eren in as well. “Take care, all of you.”

They follow Johannes who in turn follows the soldiers before they are at the Trost gate. Johannes takes off his favourite straw hat and plants it on Armin’s small head. “I love you all so much.”