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Angel

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"You gotta be kidding me..."

Sage Bott was confused. Why was this happening? Why now? Why her? She wished life was as Everything was a blur. The adrenaline pumped through her veins and all the emotions swirling around her mind. What the hell was happening?

"What are you doing, stupid?" She could hear Eren screaming behind her. "Run!"

But she couldn't. Not while there was a titan in front of her, ready to attack. Sage looked at it. Large and walking in all fours, the face was elongated, bearing a large nose with a tiny forehead and a large mouth. It had short, dark hair. Not bigger than 4 meters. Sage could see large wooden boxes on top of the titan and a blonde man with...no limbs, instead, there was smoke coming out of each missing part.

"You're the monkey?" She shouted. "You don't look so good right now, huh?"

"Do you have a death wish?" Eren screamed again. "Get out of here! NOW!"

"Are you Sage?" The man asked.

"No." Her legs almost failed her.

She was exhausted and she has nowhere to go or how to defend herself. She has no blades and no gas to get herself out of there. Her body was bruised and ached like a bitch. She could feel the dry blood on her face and the new open wound on her stomach. It was her end.

 

"Hey." The door opened. "Are you ready for tomorrow?"

She would laugh if she could but she was tired. Tired of living a life where the only thing she could think of was to survive. Survive. That thought was the only thing that made her laugh, not him. She had to do something that her brother couldn't do. She had to survive. 

She missed her little brother. Marco was a natural-born leader, the voice of reason, the calm spirit in every battle, the sweetest soul she could have ever met. She was proud to say he was her brother and she could see the rest of the group looked up to him a lot.

Until the Battle of Trost.

How could she be so careless? How could she not realize that she hadn't seen her little brother in so long? She knew he was capable of defending himself but the moment she saw Jean carrying a half-eaten body, she knew it was him. The look on Jean's face, his puffy eyes from crying, and the way he couldn't look at her straight in the eyes... she knew that Marco was just another name among the deceased. 

She remembers how she had to write a letter to her family. That was the moment she finally realized what was happening. Sage Bott was writing a letter to her parents and brother to let them know their golden child was dead. Marco was dead and there was nothing she could have done. 

"Yes." Sage looked at the tall boy.

"I'll take it as a no." Jean smiled and sat next to her, in her bed. "Where's Sasha?"

"She said something about seeing Connie and pulling a prank on someone...probably Captain Levi." Sage looked at the other side of the room. The messy side of the room. "I thought you were with them."

"I had to check up on you first."

"If you don't stop acting like that, I might start believing you have feelings for me." She glanced at him and shook her head. "What will Mikasa think?"

"Stop it!" He covered his face with one hand. Yeah, he was definitely blushing. "I worry about you."

"You don't have to." She rolled her eyes. "I'm a big girl."

She got up to look at the window. The sky had a beautiful tint of orange and yellow as the sun was going down and everyone that was outside was getting things ready for tomorrow. 

"You know you're like my little sister, Sage. I care about you."

"Last time I checked, I'm two years older than you."

"Yes but you still little in height, so..." Jean shrugged and let out a small laugh. "But seriously, I care about you. And I made a promise-"

That's where she drew the line. "If you are going to say that you promised to my brother's dead body you would take care of me, you can stop right there. I don't care." She looked back at him and she felt her heart pumping a little bit faster than usual. "I appreciate the thought. I really do, Jean. Just...don't bring him to our conversation."

"It's not your fault, Sage."

"Is it not?" She sat next to him. "I had one job since Marco enlisted to the Training Corps. It was to always protect him. I promised that to my family and to myself. And where is he now? Dead."

She could feel his gaze on her and she had looked the other so he wouldn't see her cheeks getting red.

"Then promise me you'll come back to me." He said softly.

 

Of course, on the brink of her death, she had to think of him.

"She is lying!" Sage looked behind her and saw Eren with a blade on Bertholdt's neck. "That's her."

Eren pushed the blade into his neck. "Shut up!"

Looking back at the blonde, she could feel the tears prickling in her eyes. Yup. This is definitely her end.

"Take her." The man demanded and the titan ran towards the girl with its mouth wide open. 

Chapter Text

The bed was hard as concrete. It was the first thing she noticed. Oh no, wait...it's the floor. Nice. It was not completely dark, there was a small light coming from the wall in front of her. Do you know what else was in front of her? Metal bars. She was locked up in a cell. She tried to get up but the pain in her abdomen was too intense for her to move properly. 

Sage let out a small cry. 

"Oh, you're still alive." The blonde man spoke as he put out his cigarette.

"Don't sound so disappointed, monkey." She sat down and rested her head back on the wall. "I might think you don't like me."

He hummed with a small smile. "Sage Bott, is that correct?"

"I thought we got that clear when you decided to abduct me, monkey." 

She looked at him through the bars. Disheveled blonde hair, round glasses, a long beard, a stupid grin on his face, a long light coat with a red armband. 

She noticed the man looking at her. "What do you want from me, monkey?"

"My name," He took another cigarette out and lighted it up. "is Zeke Yeager."

The first thought that came to her mind was I couldn't care less but the moment the man said his last name, something felt...wrong.

"Yeager?"

"Ah, yes. I suspected you were going to question my last name." He rested his back on the chair. "I am Eren Yeager's older brother. Well, half brother."

Was that the reason he was talking to Eren when she found them? With that weird-looking titan carrying the blonde, Sage actually thought Eren was in danger. What were they talking about? Did Eren already know about him? That this man was his brother?

"You look surprised."

"Because I am." She retorted. "However, just because I'm surprised to find out you're his brother that doesn't mean I want to know your tragic backstory."

"But it's only fair since I know yours."

"What are you talking abou-" She stopped the moment she recalled Reiner and Bertolt's confession. They knew everything about her. "Of course you know."

"Don't be mad at him." He waved his hand. "He spoke very dearly about you and I started to think you were in a relationship. To my surprise, you weren't. Because apparently, you have feelings for this Jea-"

"Shut up."

"Jean guy who has feelings for another girl. The drama is intense and I live for it." He chuckled. "Who would have thought the demons could feel things?"

"SHUT UP!" She shouted and charged at the man but her right ankle was cuffed, the chain is connected to the wall. And the pain. The pain was unbearable. "The only demon here is you, ape ass."

"I sense I touched a nerve? Or multiple?" He got up and walked towards the girl, crouching in front of her. "I get it. You are being held captive in a place you have never seen or heard about. You must be scared."

"You're disgusting."

"Should I bring a familiar face?" Zeke smiled. "Unfortunately, I can't call him right now. It would be disrespectful since he's reunited with his family after five years."  

"You're a monster." Her voice was a mere whisper.

Her head was down and she could feel the tears about to fall from her eyes. Hold your composure, Sage. She knew he was talking either about Reiner or Bertholdt, the boys she grew fond of in their trainee days.

"What was that?" He asked. "I'm sorry, darling. You'll have to speak a little bit louder."

Sage raised her head with her hair covering most of her face but Zeke still could spot the wicked grin she displayed. "You're a monster, Zeke Yeager." She replied.

"Am I supposed to be scared now?" She noticed his voice got lower, sensing this time it was not in a joking tone but more in a warning tone. "What are you going to do? Kill me with those pathetic blades of yours? Beat me up until I bleed to my death? Perhaps the little knife you had with you would be efficient to slit my throat open, don't you think? What a pretty knife you have."

She felt her heart stop and immediately reached for her left ankle. Not feeling the object, she looked back at the man in front of her. 

"Give it back, ape." She reached with her hand to one of the cell bars but to no success. "It does not belong to you."

"Who gave it to you?"

"Not your damn business."

She was quickly interrupted. "Was you brother Marco? Where is he, by the way?" 

"I said give it back!"

"Oh, right! I almost forgot!" Zeke laughed hysterically as he ignored her. "He's dead!"

 

"Happy birthday, Sage." The boy dropped a small box in her hand. "I hope you like it."

She looked at the black box in her hand. Although it was small, it still was slightly long and light. She looked back at her brother. "What is it?"

"Why don't you open and find out, silly?"

She did what he said and the moment she opened it, she could feel tears of joy forming in her eyes. "I remember when we were kids you used to play with father's dagger, remember? The black one."

"Yes." She whispered.

"Until you cut yourself  one time." He scratched his neck. "Well, I was five so I don't remember well why but I-"

She smiled and looked back at him. "Because I was protecting you."

Sage was seven at the time but she remembered that moment extremely well. She remembers the black dagger her father owned, it was her favorite thing in the world. And because it was very dangerous, her father decided to hide it. Until one day, she was looking for her younger brother and found him in her parents' room, playing carelessly with the same sharp object.  

"Really?" He looked surprised.

"Yes, Marco." She smiled. "You almost cut your right eye off and when you heard father calling for you, you got scared. I had to take it from your hand but you wouldn't let me. So I grabbed it from your hand with so much strength that I fell back and the dagger cut my neck." She pushed her hair to her left shoulder, showing her brother the white scar that went from her ear to almost her collarbone. "That's how I got this bad boy."

"Wow, you're so badass, Sage Bott!" Jean showed up behind her brother. "Really, you could replace Captain Levi!"

"Shut up, horseface." She whined. "You are ruining my moment!"

Marco laughed at the interaction between them. "Do you like it?"

It made her look back at the dagger. The handle was dark green with golden details at the end of it and the blade was sharp and simple. Sage was absolutely in love with her new toy.

"I love it." She said softly.

"I told you she would like it!" Jean patted the back of her brother's back.

"Wait," She looked at the both of them. "How did you pay this? You don't have any money."

"Well, you see...the thing is..." Marco scratched his neck again. A sign he was nervous.

"We went to the underground city and stole it," Jean answered at the same time as Marco. "You're welcome." 

Her eyes almost bulged out of her as she looked at the two tall boys. "YOU DID WHAT!?"

 

She felt nauseous. That dagger was the last thing she had from her late brother. It was a piece of him she always carried around, and now it's gone. 

"What do you want from me?" She asked with a small voice.

Zeke Yeager was getting impatient with this one and Sage could feel it. "For now, I want you to cooperate and tell me everything you know about the Survey Corps and the next missions. Because our friend Reiner doesn't know anything since he decided to confess to your dear group about who they really were, you are our next option."

"Good luck with that." She smiled wickedly towards the man. "I will not tell you a single thing."

"Very well, Sage." He nodded. "We have our own methods, don't worry. For now, you should rest... you must be in pain. Those wounds will take their time to heal."

"I only hurt myself in the abdomen, asshole."

"Oh, Sage." He shook his head as he looked behind her. "I was talking about those pretty scars you have on your back."

"Fuck off, ape."

She couldn't give them any information because first, she didn't know what happened after she was kidnapped, and second, she would rather die than telling them anything.

She knew either Reiner or Bertholdt told him everything. Idiots. How could have they done this to them? To her? They were her best friends after all. The shit she had to suffer after their confession... how dare they pull something like that behind her back? She was pointed as a traitor like them by so many. She endured the glares and hurtful words of her companions who once she thought were close friends. Only a few stuck by her side. When it was decided the punishment of her supposed betrayal, Sage wished nothing but to be fed to a titan.

It all happened so fast. One moment, she was in a cell, just like this one, waiting to be taken to her death, and in another, she was naked and tied to an old wooden pole bleeding from her back in front of everyone, after receiving twenty lashes. She honestly preferred to be dead.

She remembered how Hange told her she was unconscious for two days. She also remembered being told of how Hange was the one who saved her from the death sentence and pleaded for another punishment. She knew Sage was innocent, she was part of her squad and she looked at the girl like the sister she never had.

It took Sage one week to get out of bed and the next two months, she was slowly going back to her normal life but with new limitations.

And now, here she was. In... where was she?

"Oi monkey." She called him as he got up, turning towards the door. "Where the hell am I?"

"Oh, yes. I almost forgot to tell you." Zeke Yeager smiled and straightened his glasses. "You are in Marley. I hope you'll like it here, Sage Bott."

Chapter Text

Sage rested on the ground, almost as she was already used to the feeling of the hard rock against her body. Recoiled in her own body and facing the wall. It has been two weeks since the last time she spoke to Zeke Yeager. Two weeks since the last time she saw her comrades. 

And every day, she counted the days until the Survey Corps would show up and rescue her.

After her last conversation with Zeke, her mind became loud with all of the promises of getting revenge for every miserable thing that has happened in her life. Spreading her mind with scenarios of annihilating every person that showed up in front of her after being released. She imagined herself being covered in the blood of her enemies. What a sight to see.

In these past two weeks, the only person she saw was the officer who brought her a plate of leftover food that was already cold, twice a day. In the beginning, she would curse at the man, obviously receiving a few of those words back. She refused to eat. The food could be poisoned for all that she could know. However, as time progressed, she knew she couldn't starve herself. She needed to be strong. She needed to survive. She promised that much to Marco.

With him on her mind, she slowly and quietly started to accept the presence of the old man, receiving stupid remarks about how submissive of a devil she became. The food was good. The food was delicious. She didn't know if it actually was or if it was just the hunger speaking instead of her. And the presence of the old guy brought her some sanity from the solitude she felt while being locked up.

They are coming to rescue me. She thought. I know they are thinking of me now, I only have to wait for them patiently. They won't leave here to die. 

She heard the sound of the door open but decided to stay quiet and not move from her position. Light steps echoed through the walls until they stopped. And then that someone signed.

"I think you should change those clothes." It was a woman. "They look dirty. Your injuries won't heal like that."

Sage didn't know if she should turn around and look at the woman talking to her. She didn't even know if she could answer her. Sage was at the stage of not wanting to do anything that would endanger her life.

"Are you asleep?" She asked. "Oh, you must be sleeping."

Sage didn't reply. She pretended to be as the woman said. Asleep.

"Don't be stupid, Pieck." A voice came from the door. A male voice. And it wasn't Zeke's. "Do you really think she could be sleeping so calmly on the ground?"

The woman didn't respond. "Exactly."

More steps could be heard coming from the door and paused until Sage heard something banging harshly on the bars of her cell. The loud noise made her flinch and she could feel her hands starting to tremble. 

"Hey, bitch!" He shouted.

"Porco, there is no need to use that language." The woman replied to him furiously. "Remember what Zeke said?"

Sage's body started to move slowly until she was sitting up, with her hand over her wound on her abdomen. They didn't notice she moved instead they were looking at each other.

"Do I look like I care?" He snorted. "Don't forget what she is, Pieck."

"I know what she is, Porco. But next time you raise your voice like that or use that kind of language, I won't hesitate to punch you in your small dick." The woman's voice was soft and calm, the complete opposite of the words she blurted just now. 

"Eh?" He sounded offended. "How do you know it's sma-"

"Could you two shut up?" Sage could feel the headache forming. "If you two came here to kill me, just do it already. I don't want to put up with your drama."

From the faint light, Sage could figure out how the pair looked like. There was the short young woman with long, disheveled shoulder-length black hair, and relaxed dark brown eyes. She wore a white blouse, a long trench coat, and a skirt that reaches down to her ankles as well as black lace-up boots. Sage noticed the same red armband on her left arm. Next to her, was a young man of medium height and slender complexion. He had his blond hair in an undercut style which was pushed back. He was wearing combat trousers and a short green coat. And there was the red armband on his left arm.

What could it possibly mean?

"Watch your filthy mouth, devil." The man grabbed the bars with his hands. "If it were for me, you would be dead by now. I don't know what that asshole saw in you."

"Pock," The woman rested her hand on his right shoulder, Sage noticed a small smile on her face. "It's enough."

She took a pair of keys from the pocket in her coat and opened the entrance of her cell. She crouched and left the plate with food right in front of Sage. The food was still warm, she could see the vapor coming from it. Sage looked at the woman and then at the plate, looking back again at the woman.

"What is your name?" Sage inquired softly, looking straight into the other woman's eyes.

"Oh," She smiled again. "My name is Pieck Finger."

Sage smiled. Stupid bitch. She saw the young man was inside of her cell too, but she couldn't bother. Sage launched at the woman, swinging her right arm and connecting her fist to the woman's nose. The man yelled and immediately came to his companion's aid, holding Pieck Finger from her torso and swinging her body to the opposite side from Sage. 

"Crazy bitch!"

He grabbed Sage from her shirt and punched her multiple times until he saw the blood coming out of her nose, running down her neck, and staining her already dirty shirt. The moment Sage fell on the ground, he started to kick her belly, the pain was excruciating and she felt her wound open and the hot liquid running down.   

"Who the fuck do you think you are?" He barked as he kicked one last time. "Don't you fucking dare touching her again, you hear me?" He squatted and grabbed her hair, forcing her to look at him. "You're only alive because Zeke listened to that idiot. Otherwise, you would be dead by now."

He tossed her head down and walked over to Pieck, asking her if she was alright. Pieck looked at him and then at Sage, seeing the girl all bloody and breathing with difficulty. But what surprised Pieck was the fact the woman laying in the pool of her own blood was smiling with joy. 

"You think you're the good guys?" Sage coughed and looked at the duo. The man had his arm protectively around Pieck and both of them were looking at her. He looked furious and she looked shocked. Hmm good. "You are just as bad as I am."

Pieck looked at the young man. "It's time to go, Pock."

And the last thing Sage saw before slipping into unconsciousness was the pair leaving her behind.

And she dreamt. She dreamt of when the walls still protected everyone from the dangers of the world. When everyone was living their life peacefully. When Marco was still alive and the time she spent playing around with her brothers. She couldn't grasp the idea of a world without the existence of titans, it was difficult. But she dreamt about it. It was different. And...beautiful.

She woke up to two men talking quietly between themselves and although she was too dazed to understand what they were talking about, her blurry vision could make out that one of them was Zeke Yeager. Sage didn't know if she should be exhilarated to see a familiar face or fear for her life. If he was there, it could only mean he knew what happened to Pieck and the outcome for Sage couldn't be good. She hurt one of his people. They killed hundreds, maybe thousands of yours, Sage. Don't be naive. 

The sound of keys echoed in the now silent room, and then her cell was opened. Zeke approached and pushed away with his foot the untouched plate, now splattered with her blood. He crouched in front of her, observing her. 

"Toughen up, Sage." He said under his breath. "Hm, Porco went a little rough on you, didn't he?"

Sage coughed when she tried to speak, slowly raising her left arm to push the man away from her but to no avail. Zeke grabbed her wrist and laid it softly on the floor.

"Forgive me for my absence." He started. "I was busy with work. I was supposed to bring you your lunch but Pieck was very adamant to meet you." 

Shut up, your voice is annoying. Sage tried to say.

"Reiner wants to see you."

And like it was the medicine to all her pain, her body jolted back away from Zeke. Her eyes opened promptly and observed the man in front of her. Without uttering a word, Sage wandered her eyes behind him and Zeke understood she was trying to see the other man that was outside her cell.

"He's not here," Zeke reassured. "Don't worry."

"Good." She finally spoke, her voice small and hoarse. "If he was, I would've killed him." 

Zeke chuckled softly and got up. "Actually, there are many people who want to meet you, Sage." 

She tried to move but her body didn't respond to her command. Instead, she followed him with her gaze. "Honestly, who wouldn't?"

"I'm loving the optimism, Bott." He walked out of the cell and Sage noticed he left it open. "What a coincidence because I actually came here to take somewhere. They are waiting for you."

The other man, Sage recognized it was the same old man who used to bring her food, walked towards her with a small dark brown bag.

"What is that for?" She asked looking between the two men.

"A bag, you dumb bitch." The old man answered quickly. "We cannot risk you discovering where you are!"

Sage let out a snicker. "Hey monkey, you should get a new henchman. This one has already expired and is rude."

As she finished speaking, the old covered her head with the old bag and she felt cold metal around her wrists. 

"Where are you taking me?" She asked as she felt being released from the other restraint on her ankle. 

Silence.

"I asked a question, monkey." 

The old man grabbed her and raised her up to her feet, making Sage let out a whine. She thought the pain was already bad when she was laying down but the aggressive pull made her feel like was being ripped open. 

Still, no one replied to her. Sage wanted to fight, she truly did. All those scenarios she created could become reality if she wanted to but her body was too weak. Her wound in her abdomen had opened because of the fight and her entire body felt sore from sleeping on the cold, hard floor.

She could feel a hand on her arm, grabbing her with brute force. Like she could do anything in this state. Guiding her through hallways, some of them absolutely silent and others, she could hear people talking. Definitely about her.

Her legs were supporting her body like they were the last part of her body that felt untouched and carried her with difficulty as she slouched her torso from the pain. She felt like she walked for ages, turning left and right and then left again. It was like a maze. 

At some point, the man stopped walking and she almost tripped on her own feet. "Hey! Expired balls! Watch out! You could at least warn me or something!"

She felt another pair of hands pushing her forward and then pushing her back, making her seat down in a chair. They grabbed her arms and tied them tightly to each armchair. Sage hissed feeling the tight ropes scratching her skin.

Someone took the bag out of her head and the brightness of the room made her flinch and close her eyes. It's been two weeks since she last saw natural light, her eyes got used to the dimmed light in her cell.

Slowly she opened her eyes and looked at the scene in front of her. She was in a small office with two large bookshelves covering the walls to her left and right. In front of her were two large windows, giving her the perfect view of the new town she was in. Sage could spend the rest of her time observing the room she was in but something else caught her attention. Someone else.

Sage was sitting at the end of a rectangular table. At the other end was another man she has never seen since she was kidnapped. An older man with gray eyes and a thin beard, mustache, and black hair with a short buzz cut, his skin had visible wrinkles from age but an overall healthy build and appearance.

To his right, and Sage's left, only sat the woman she previously met. Pieck Finger. She was looking at her with indifference, not that Sage cared, but after punching her, she was expecting some kind of anger displayed on the young girl's features. Sage also noticed her nose wasn't broken. Pity, she thought. But it was red and she could see one of her nostrils still displayed some dry blood. Next to her was an empty chair.

To Sage's right were both men she already met. Monkey man and the asshole who knocked the shit out of her a few hours ago. Was it really a few hours ago? She lost the track of time. On each side of her were two men. The old guy who used to bring food to her and some lanky boy who clearly didn't know how to hide his nervousness in front of her. He's scared of me. Both men had their guns pointed at her.

And to her surprise, a tall blonde man was leaning against the bookshelf to her right. Reiner motherfucking Braun.

"You piece of shit." She spat. He wasn't looking at her. Actually, she noticed he was looking everywhere, except her. "You fucking traitor!"

"Miss Bott." The man sitting at the other end of the table called her. "My name is Theo Magath. You are under the Marle-"

Sage looked at the old man. "I don't give a shit of who you are!"

Sage was angry. No. She was furious. What did they want from her? Why did Zeke kidnap her? She hadn't done anything to be in this position, so why her? She looked at the young man sitting right next to her.

"What are you looking at, bitch?" He seethed. "I don't need to-"

Magath's voice boomed over his. "The gentleman is Porco Galliard. Next to him is Zeke Yeager. And this young lady," He looked at Sage with disdain. "Who you clearly have met before, is Pieck Finger. Over there is Reiner Brau-"

"Look at me giving zero fucks about these people." Sage quickly interrupted him. She didn't care about these people, she wanted to know why she was there. She looked at Zeke. "Why am I here?"

"Why don't you ask him?"

Of course, he had to answer that. Sage looked at the boy who once she thought was her best friend, only to be met with his golden eyes and for the first time, the girl didn't know what to say. The whole room was silent, expecting the interaction between the two. Porco didn't know what kind of connection these two had but Zeke knew. And Pieck easily figured it out, as well. 

"I hope you know that everything miserable thing that has happened in the past five years is all your fault," Sage whispered feeling her eye sting. No, she couldn't cry. "All that blood is in yours and Bertholt's hands."

And for the first time, she heard his voice. "One more word out of your filthy mouth and I won't hesitate to invite them to shoot you. Got it," He paused, and the next word made her heart drop. "Devil?"

Chapter Text

It was like she was looking at a completely different person. And in a way, she was.

"You arrogant piece of shit." She mumbled but quickly raised her voice. "Then do it." She grinned. "Tell them to put their bullets in my fucking skull because at this point I would rather die than have to look at you!"

"Is that what you really wish for?" He asked coolly. "You look like you did die."

The light shining throw the windows made her take a look at herself. Her clothes dirty and stained with dry blood, the straps from the ODM still tight on her legs. She knew her hair was oily and messy but still in the same low ponytail she always wore every time they went out on a mission. Sage could feel the stickiness on her face and neck from the dry blood.

"What a look huh?" Her voice was low as she looked again at the blonde. "Do you like what you see? Must be a sight since I'm the enemy here...you wouldn't mind seeing me rot, am I right?"

She noticed something change in his demeanor. "Do you think that little of me?"

"What do you think?" He noticed her hands closing into tight fists. "You betrayed everyone. You betrayed me-"

Magath raised his hand and the two soldiers pushed the barrel of their guns into Sage's head. But she never flinched. She didn't even look back at Magath. Her eyes were only on him.

"Whatever happened between the both of you is no longer relevant." Magath intervened calmly. "Reiner Braun was on a mission under the Marleyan Military. He followed or-"

"Reiner, Berthtolt and Annie." Sage interrupted him. "The three fucking bastards who decided that the best fucking thing to do was killing thousands of people, innocent people! My people!"

"ENOUGH!" Magath slammed his fist on the table. "One more word out of your mouth and you're dead. An Eldian raising her voice at me!? They should have killed you the moment you stepped in front of them." He pointed at the girl on the end of the table. "If you want to live, you need to learn how to keep your pretty mouth shut, bitch."

And for the first time, Sage felt like throwing up, like the reality just sunk in. She was alone in a foreign place, she didn't have her weapons with her and she clearly didn't know how to get out of this situation. She never had to fight alone to survive, she knew she could rely on her comrades. They had her back.

However she was in Marley, wherever that was, and she was surrounded by people who looked at her like they were ready to rip her guts out. Including Reiner. Sage looked at Zeke and she noticed he had a strange look as he bore his eyes into hers. Oh, he was definitely hiding something. Was Reiner asking him to keep her safe the real motive for him to bring her back to Marley and use her to know more about the scouts?

"It has come to my attention you haven't cooperated to give us information about your little fantasy groups on the island." Magath pointed.

Ah, of course, it was that.

"Why don't you ask Goldilocks?" She rolled her eyes. "He gave you all the information needed and I'm sure he can give you more."

"Enough, Sage."

"Oh, now I'm Sage?" Her eyes immediately went to Reiner and he let out a sigh.

"This isn't working."

"Really?" Porco crossed his arms."Nobody noticed, dipshit." He shook his head and set his eyes on Sage. "You two brought this thing to our land thinking she could do something that we can't? What have you be doing in these past five years, Reiner? Besides getting my brother and our friends killed?"

"Porco, that is eno-" Zeke tried to interrupt but the boy quickly got up.

"I have his memories, you know?" He gritted his teeth. "He died saving you like you were worthy to be fucking saved! And then this woman you brought to us, her memories... she knew her!" He pointed in her direction. "Who even are you?"

"Devil to some." She looked at the blonde man that was leaning against the bookshelf with his arms crossed. "Angel to others."

Porco blinked at her and Sage knew he was trying to decipher her words. "Ridiculous." He mumbled as he sat down and looked at the old man.

"Are you finished?" Magath asked and Sage knew by the tone in his voice he was tired. "It was brought to our attention that you were the closest thing to regain the Founding Titan."  He started. "You were close with the person who inherited, am I correct?"

Was that it? They want the Founding Titan but what was picking Sage's curiosity was why would they want it? What was the real meaning behind it? She knew Eren could protect himself but he was still so young and still trying to understand his titan powers. She knew that if she gave Eren to these people there would be a slim chance of him getting out here alive.

"So was he!" She pointed with her head at Reiner. "Stop asking me useless shit and go straight to the point. What do you want from me?"

And there was silence. She knew she was sitting in front of the strongest people, she recognized three of them as titans. She was worthless next to them. All those years training to be the strongest, to protect her people from the horrors played outside the walls...they were meaningless next to them.

What could she do? Wait for the scouts? And how long would they take to come and rescue her? She hadn't stopped thinking about them and wishing they would come to rescue her as fast as possible but every minute that passed she knew her wish wasn't going to become true anytime soon.

"I didn't come here to pretend I welcome you to Marley with open arms." Magath sighed. "I came here to see the face of the Eldian everyone is talking about and I'm not surprised with the thing in front of me acting the way it is. What a waste of my time. Anyway, I'm just here to make sure you understand why this is required. I'm against this idea and I'm sure everyone in this room, besides mister Yeager and mister Braun, agree with me." He got up. "Mister Yeager will explain everything. And before I go," He walked until he was standing right next to her. "I want to remind you about something. If you start displaying suspicious behavior, you're dead. One wrong move and you're dead. I don't want you to ever feel safe here because you're not. We have eyes on you." He walked up to the door. "Pay attention to what you'll do from now on." And he was gone along with the feeling of the guns pushing into her.

Porco immediately got up and walked towards the window while Pieck stretched her arms over her head.

"So you are his bitches, huh?" Sage smiled looking at the group.

"I won't hesitate to give this bitch another beating, Zeke." Porco complained as he paid attention to the outside world but the oldest ignored him. 

The sun was setting and it was making the room getting darker as the time passed by but nobody cared to turn on the lights. It looked like they were exhausted. 

Her head was heavy and was starting to pound. She wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again but she could hear Marco's voice in her head nagging to quickly come up with a plan to get herself out of there.

The boy in front of the window looked over his shoulder. "In my opinion, I don't think this plan will work. We could just extract all the information needed and then we kill her. Simple."

"Well, it's a real shame nobody asked you for your opinion." Sage threw her head back. This headache was starting to annoy her. "Even if I still don't know why you want me here."

Zeke got up and sat at the corner of the table at her right. His face was stoic but Sage could tell that whatever plan they had in mind could, and possibly will, cost her life. From her peripheral vision, she noticed Reiner leaving his spot and walk closely towards her until he stopped and stood next to the other girl.

The blonde took out a cigarette. "Open the window, Porco." And proceeded to light it up. "Do you still have family, Sage?" He blew the some over her head.

"Yes." She looked down at her lap. "At least I think so."

"Tell me about them." She immediately looked up at the man. "Do you have siblings?"

She looked at him for a long second before looking around the room. All eyes were on her. "Why the fuck do you want to know about it?"

"Just curiosity." Zeke shrugged as he took his cigarette to his mouth again.

"It's none of your business." 

As if his voice was a switch to all the hatred to come back to her body, Reiner spoke up. "She is the oldest of three, the other two being boys and-"

Her eyes started to burn as she tried to keep the tears at bay. He was going to bring up Marco. 

"The middle child, his name was Marco. He was also part of the scouts and was killed in the first battle they faced." 

Reiner faced Sage and she noticed his eyes slightly wide up.

"How did he die, Sage?" Zeke continued.

Her eyes never left him and she knew Reiner was starting to get uncomfortable. His arms were tightly crossed over his chest and his hands closed in fists.

"Half of his body was eaten by a titan."

Her head dropped and tears kept falling from her eyes, the image of her late brother was rather clear on her mind.

A booming laugh echoed through the room making her look at the source of it. Of course, it was him. Porco was looking at her as he laughed in a mocking way.

"This is hilarious." He pointed. "You guys are actually eating this shit up? I mean...c'mon!" Porco kept laughing "I'll be honest, nice little show! Who would have thought these devils could feel actual feelings?"

Zeke took another drag of his cigarette and looked at the girl from head to toe, analyzing her state. "You will train and fight alongside the upcoming Warrior candidates. They are the next generation who will inherit our titans." He pointed to the rest of the group. "Who knows? You might inherit Porco's titan."

"What are you talking about?" The other young man shouted, clearly furious. "I just got it and now you want to take it away from me? To give to that excuse of a devil?"

Zeke kept ignoring him. "We all come from Liberio. That is where our homes are. Our families." He nodded with his head at the girl. "You come from the island of the devils. The Paradis Island."

Sage arched her eyebrow. "What are you talking about? I come from the Wall Rose! I don't know what Paradis Island you're talking about!"

"Does she even know what an island is?" Porco asked in a snickering tone. He was definitely finding this whole situation amusing. "So she's dumb?"

"I'm tired of hearing your stupid voice." Reiner sighed. "Can you shut up for five minutes?"

The other young man looked at him surprised. "Who are you to-"

"I agree." Pieck quickly interrupted him with a sweet smile. "You should keep your mouth shut, Pock."

And with that, Porco got silent.

"They had a different education than us, Galliard," Zeke answered. "But that is beside the point. We will provide you the right books. You will learn about geography, our economy, and most importantly," Sage was starting to get disinterested. "Our nation's history."

"I prefer to rot in the dirty prison cell you kept me in since you abducted me." She spat. "I would rather die than learning about your lies."

Zeke continued. "You will be provided a room in our headquarters and-"

"I don't want it."

"There'll be all the necessary things for your studying."

"Why am I here, monkey?"

For the first time since she got in that room, the blonde man smiled at the girl. "Reiner told me you were clever but you don't sound like it." He chuckled. "You'll get us the Founding Titan."

"No." She insisted. "What makes you think I would help you?"

"You are one of us now. We can protect you." Sage noticed his malicious smile growing bigger. "If you refuse...well, we could always set you free to roam these streets while everyone is informed about you." He continued. "A defenseless eldian who refuses to accept Marley's history and its law and you'll watch them beat you and stone you to death."

A wave of shock fell hard on her body. Once again, she looked around the room and everyone looked either serious or disinterested. They wanted her to become one of them so they could use her to get the impossible? She had to laugh. And she did. Loudly. Sage knew she must look insane. Her red and tear-stained face was now adorning a big grin as she laughed hysterically. She laughed so hard she felt new tears prickling her eyes. 

She sighed trying to control her breath. "They would be making me a huge favor."

"Oh," The older man looked at her. "Interesting." His gaze fell on Reiner. "Since Reiner begged so nicely to keep you alive, he will be your guardian."

"What!?" Sage and Reiner voiced together.

Reiner took a step forward. "Zeke, that was not what we decided."

"I know." The oldest responded and took another drag of his cigarette. "But I think a familiar face would make her stay a little more...enjoyable."

"Hey, ape ass." Her voice was a notch lower than usual. Sage was starting to get tired of him - them! All of them. "Whatever you want me to do, I won't do it."

"Don't worry, Sage Bott." Zeke finally stood up and walked towards the window, throwing his cigarette through the opening. "We will give you time to adjust to your new life."

Pieck got up and walked towards Sage, resting her small hand on her shoulder. Sage looked curiously at her. How could this woman be smiling so sweetly at her when Sage almost broke her nose a few hours ago? "I'm happy you'll be joining us." She giggled softly. "Finally someone who has more balls than all of these guys combined."

"Oi Pieck! Stop saying stupid things!"

"Oh, sorry Pock." She glanced back at the other boy. "I'm just stating a fact."

"Reiner will take you to your new room." The eldest spoke up. "I hope you find it much more comfortable than your previous accommodations."

Will they be alone? Sage wanted a little bit of revenge for all the shit Reiner put her through. So she calmly accepted the new handcuffs, was dragged by the arm and pushed into a hallway she didn't recognize. And didn't utter a single word.

Sage walked behind him handcuffed. It was just the two of them. There was something different about him. It could be the way he walked, the way he carried himself, so confident and proud like him was a big deal. Or it was probably the fact he murdered and betrayed several people and acts like nothing happened.

He stopped in front of a door and opened it, leaving space for Sage to enter the room first. "Get in."

She rolled her eyes. "It's good to finally be here with you too, Braun."

"Get in," He repeated. "Now."

She walked inside the room and in front of her, the first thing she noticed was the bars outside her window. Hmm, lovely. She thought. To her left were another wooden door and a single bed against the wall with a dull grey cover and a pillow, the bedside table was slightly large from the ones she remembers from her home. To her right, a small wooden desk with an old and rusty-looking desk light and a few pens. And next to it, a dark wooden bookshelf full of hardcover books.

"Well," She looked over her shoulder to look at the blonde man. "This is a nice change of scenery."

"You're not going to leave this room until it is said otherwise." He answered. "Consider this a fancier prison cell."

"I was being sarcastic, Braun." She rolled her eyes.

He ignored her and walked towards her to remove her handcuffs. "You'll have three meals per day. Until we receive orders you can start training, you should pick those books. Start to learn something useful."

When she felt the cold metal leaving her wrists, Sage was fast enough to grab him by the collar of his shirt and headbutt him as strongly she could. The quick flash of pain made her stumble backward but she easily recovered. Looking at him, she noticed a thin red line falling from one of his nostrils.

"You don't want to start a fight you cannot finish, Bott." He angrily stomped towards her grabbing the collar of her shirt. "Don't forget I can turn into the thing you hate the most. I could wipe you off in a second."

Sage knew he was telling the truth. She knew too well for her own good. Both of them spent years growing and learning together. Fighting together. She clearly remembers the strong boy leading and helping the younger scouts, becoming a brotherly figure to them. But she also remembers their faces the moment Reiner confessed he was the Armored Titan and Bertholdt's the Colossus Titan.

He knew her but she didn't know him.

As if you couldn't listen to words leaving her mouth, only if you paid close attention, Sage asked him. "Who are you?"

The grip on her shirt loosened and the boy walked towards the door, ready to leave. Sage looked outside the window. It was already nighttime.

"Are you happy now?" She could feel his eyes on her. "You finally came back to your family and your friends. Your real family. Your real friends." She turned her head and looked at him over her shoulder. "If I were you, I would be happy."

"I'm elated." And with that, he closed the door without sparing one last look at her.