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 Fire hot enough to smelt iron burns beneath Annie’s skin.

 

His coat emblazoned with the Wings of Freedom lays on the floor and Armin hovers over her, working on his pants while Annie frantically works to get his shirt unbuttoned. She rips off that stupid bolo tie he wears for formalities and opens his shirt, running her hands along trenches of lean and more defined muscles. Armin tosses his pants to the side, leaving him in his undergarments and he leans down, lips brushing over her jawline as she lays on the bed. One of his hands slips up the hem of her prison nightie, traveling up to her chest. He sucks her neck and Annie gasps when his fingers graze her nipple.

 

Armin slides a soft yet stern hand over her mouth. “Don’t be too loud.” He whispers teasingly. “The patrols might hear you.”

 

Annie twists her head to the side, growling out an irritated, “Tch” under her breath.

 

She’s annoyed and Armin isn’t sure if it’s aimed solely on him or if it’s because he stopped attending to her; either way, he smiles. He hasn’t smiled this genuinely in so long and as quick as his happiness comes, a bitter sadness creeps in. His eyes run over her body, hoping that Annie is at least enjoying herself, but she never made it too easy to tell, especially when her sight keeps fleeing from his.

 

He returns to her neck, closing his lips over bitten, flushed skin, rubbing her nipple between a forefinger and thumb. Annie sucks in a rattled breath, presses her chest against his to touch his hot skin, but she curses; her flimsy prison gown is getting in the way. She shoves Armin away and he complies, leaning back on his legs while she arches her back and shucks off her nightgown.

 

Armin gulps thickly. Time has finally affected her, somehow curving Annie’s hips more, her torso almost the perfect shape of an hourglass, and legs sculpted with muscle presented to him as lither and more mature. She waits for his move, laying still like the perfect marble statue she is, and Armin’s hands tremble, finding that he’s afraid he’ll blemish her flawless design.

 

Annie huffs impatiently and grabs his hands, yanking them forward to press them onto her bare breasts and Armin’s flush burns up past his ears. She’s warm and though her size looks the same, Armin notices her breasts have a slighter greatness in heft. He savors that feeling in his hands, massaging her in slow, strong kneads, a nipple slipping between his fore and middle finger and a sharp sigh shudders out of Annie, morphing into a cry after he pinches her buds. He kisses the peak of her right nipple apologetically, licks down her mounds and sucks at their base, moves to press his knee between her legs and Annie snarls. She’s aggravated, fighting a hot cramp pulsing between her legs, and he’s not helping.

 

Annie punches his chest hard enough that he oomphs. “Stop going so damn slow.” She scolds him through pants.

 

One of her hands grab his head and shoves him into her chest, the other traveling over the small dunes of his abs towards his underwear. Armin winces at her touch, gasps when she cups his half-erect pole through the cloth. He wants her skin to edge him closer, whines and jerks his hips into her hand to tell her so, but Annie denies him with a sharp squeeze that makes him grunt and slam his forehead onto her sternum.

 

“Hurry up or I’ll make you pay.” She threatens huskily into his ear.

 

The soldier shudders more from excitement than fear, but he obeys.

  

Armin laves at her breast, his tongue tracing around her nipple until his mouth encloses it fully, sucking and toying with her between his teeth. Annie bites her lip, moans slipping out as he suckles and massages her, flinching when one of Armin’s hands slips away to run his fingers along the hard plain of her abdomen.

 

They’ve been five years out of practice, yet Armin’s hands and grinding bites on her breasts are as skillful as ever. The blond prisoner weaves a hand through her long side-bangs, wondering if his mastery of the female body is because he’s practiced with another, wonders if she was better than her.

 

God, she wonders how after all this time she still keeps getting into this mess.


 

 The cell was too plushy for a mass-murderer, the bed too soft and light too bright and Annie knows Armin was behind it. Whether it was from pity or not, she didn’t care as she indulged in none of it. Her head was bowed, her untied hair dangling down the sides of her face, her vision blocked from the light with leather straps keeping her body wrapped around a chair. Her gag had been pulled for over an hour and question after question was bombarded upon her, but Annie refused to speak.

 

 And after hearing their brief of the last five years, Annie wasn’t sure they needed her to.

 

“This is a waste of time.” A gruff voice complained. “Your good cop bad cop routine isn’t working.”

 

“That isn’t the point of this.” A more level voice objected. “We’re trying to make her more receptive to talking to us and-.”

 

“Right, because hearing that we know of her hometown and that we’ve declared war on each other will really make her want to talk. Face it, Armin. Being straight with her won’t work. She’s a damn clam who won’t budge, not even if you beat it out of her.”

 

“Jean, that’s enough.” Annie detected that Armin had expertly honed lacing his demands with a firm, even voice; he almost sounded like an authority figure.

 

Annie heard an exasperated huff hissed through clenched teeth. “Fuck it. Fine. Your honesty is letting you be stupid, but this is your interrogation. Go ahead.”  

 

“Her not speaking is not proof that any of this or me is stupid.”

 

“But you bleeding your guts out about Marley is.”

 

“She has a right to find out through us what’s happened.”

 

“Bullshit she has a right! We’re in this mess because of her and everyone else associated with her! Don’t you remember how this mess started?!”

 

There was a somber pause. “All of that doesn’t matter anymore.”

 

“Then what the fuck is the point of this?!” Jean slammed his fists down on the table in time with his expletive. “If you’re just going to fill her in anyway with no intel tradeoff, we might as well leave. This is a waste of time.”

 

This was a waste of everyone’s time. Her daydreaming was more productive than listening to amateur interrogators and every moment she was distracted was a moment lost to find an escape. She could bite her lip now, force a semi-transformation, but she had no idea what waited for her outside. If Armin was here, the Beast and their Captain would not be far away. They would be stupid to not orchestrate a plan that blocked her from running free.

 

Unless, this was another trick card Armin was playing. Whatever this useless conversation was, Annie didn’t bite and kept her silence.

 

“Jean…” Annie finally heard Armin say. If she didn’t know better, she would say he sounded hurt. “You know why we have to do this.”

  

The bridge between Annie’s brows pinched right as an acknowledging grunt left Jean. She rolled her eyes up, spotting through her long bangs the goateed man fall into a chair by the table. He sat back in it so the front legs lifted up into the air. “Yeah, I do.” Silence overtook the room again. “Do it already.”

 

Annie watched as Armin’s eyelids slid shut. He walked towards the table and unfurled a leather wrapping a top it. The array of metal scalpels and knives shone in the torchlight and Annie had to bite back a snicker. If torture was a route these two were taking, they had to be ready for further disappointment. Her bones had been broken and limbs twisted since childhood. Her nails could be ripped off and she could fall asleep from boredom.

 

An emotion Annie couldn’t identify passed over Armin’s face as he struggled to choose a tool. He unsheathed a steak knife, his face appearing more comfortable of the size then turned to face her. Sapphire globes meet hers for a sympathetic moment before the fringes of his short, blond hair hid them. Annie wasn’t surprised; Armin was equipped for torture of the mind, not body.

 

But clearly, Armin had changed. Time chipped away the sweet boy she remembered and left the weary soldier standing before her. He had admitting to killing, admitted to the lives they all took to put Historia on the throne. The blood on hands she remembered being so soft made her stomach knot.

 

“Get it over with already.” Annie snapped. “If you think you can take it.”

 

Jean brought his chair back down onto its four legs, his face stoic and Annie’s apathetic as they looked at each other. He transitioned his gaze to the tools displayed in front of him, then to Armin as he sucks in a breath, looking impatient as Armin’s grip on the knife tightened. Jean stole another glance at Annie, searching her as she did to him and a smirk twitched his lips.

 

“You’re annoying when you’re right, Armin.” Jean sighed, standing up. He glided his finger along one of the knife's edges. “There might be a way to get her to talk or believe.” Annie almost sneered to egg Jean on, to join in on the fun, until his free hand reached below the table, his hand clenching around what he grabbed, and whipped out a gun stowed away beneath. Annie’s brows quirked up, Armin’s eyes widened, and before either had a moment to react, Jean took aim, “But your way is too slow.”

 

An ear-shattering blast ripped across the room.

 

Annie’s face felt wet, blood and buzzing noises pounded in her ears, but she felt no pain. There was only Armin, falling forward as a web of blood burst out from his back, dropping until his shoulder slammed onto the floor and laid on his side. The knife he held bounced away and his pained shout induced Annie’s pupils to shrink, volcanic plumes fueling the angry flexing of her arms and neck. She tried to pry herself free but habit commanded her to keep her composure, return to being calm, so Annie settled for aiming a scowl at Jean that could summon rifts in stone.

 

The goateed soldier battled her icy glare with a fierce glower of his own. “Don’t aim your bitchy face at me. If you weren’t so damn lazy and actually bothered to pay attention, you’d see he’s fine.”

 

A groan from where Armin laid grabbed Annie’s attention. Her face darted over to his, concern racing her heart only for it to halt. Armin flopped over onto his stomach, fingers of steam hissing out and up from his wound. Her mouth parted in disbelief as Armin clutched where the bullet breached his shoulder.

 

“That wasn’t the plan, Jean.” Armin snapped hoarsely. He coughed and specks of blood rained over the ground below him. “I told you I needed to do it.”

 

“But my way got the point across quicker.” Jean dismissed flatly. “She wasn’t talking, you wanted a way to get her to talk, so this was me giving her motivation to start.” Intense brown eyes and flickering grey-blue meet again, burning holes into each other. Jean scoffed. “And by the looks of it, she still respects you. Maybe she’ll listen this time. All she needed was a good scare.”

 

Jean sheathed the gun back on his hip and took the roll of knives under his arm, picking up the stray knife speckled with Armin’s blood. “Thanks for being my punching bag, Armin. We’ll be waiting for your report.”

 

Confusion and anger roiled within Annie and her barely harnessed rage emboldened her to snarl, “Shooting someone in the back and running away? You really are a coward.”

 

Jean stopped. His body twisted around, now approaching her slowly, and as Annie watched, she found that his towering height, broad shoulders, and hair that swept over his eyes had made him almost daunting.

 

“Don’t you talk to me about cowardice. Not after everything you’ve done.” Annie managed to retain her scowl through the sins of her past gnawing at her stomach. He turned away and as Jean opened up the door to walk through it, he mumbled quietly, “At least the person you care about can come back.”

 

The door slammed shut behind him. Armin struggled to get up, his wound fizzing as he healed. He made a noise of pain, showing Annie that he still wasn’t used to pain.

 

“You’d think I’d learn my lesson by now…” Armin grumbled. “Blinding myself to the signs.”

 

His mumblings were too cryptic for Annie to decipher. She didn’t say a word.

 

The silence was suffocating and the tightness in her chest didn’t lift, not even when Armin unraveled the ropes keeping her tied to the chair. Her brain sputtered that she should run for the door, swipe Armin off his feet and knock him out, but her body didn’t let her.

 

“I’m sorry,” Armin started. He sat himself in front of her, pained from his wound and from the sadness wrinkling his forehead. “I figured I’d show you rather than just...tell you. But I guess I thought about it for so long that when the moment came, I locked up.” A noise of frustration huffed out of him. “But I should have anticipated what Jean would do. You’d think after you let someone break your kneecaps and face, they would be sated or have their anger out. I was wrong.”

 

His last couple sentences came out in a grumble but Annie couldn’t look at him. His wounds were mending and she kept her eyes on the wall. Only three questions pop into her head.

 

“Who?” She asked, her voice barren of emotion.

 

Armin looked at her sadly. “Bertolt.”

 

Annie flinched. “How?”

 

“We fought him in Shiganshina. I was gravely injured, they captured him, and they...chose me to inherit his power.”

 

Her voice became lower and hollower when she continued, “Why?”

 

Armin’s chuckled weakly. “Because they did.”

 

The gears in Annie’s brain struggled to churn and Armin fidgeted in his spot on the floor. “I’ve seen only glimpses of what Bertolt has seen. It’s not often but...I..I saw where you were raised. I saw the internment camps, the training they put you through. Feeling powerless and caught in a world where we’re prey and lesser-than. It... It’s almost too similar to us.”

 

Her fist clenched and Armin resumed, “I know he hated it. He hated every minute being here, what he had to do. I always wondered how you all felt when you broke the first wall, and now…”

 

Annie’s brain switched back on and instinct woke up her body. She leapt out of the chair, grabbed Armin by the neck, and slammed him down into the ground. Her hands clenched with such force, Annie felt like she was digging tunnels into his neck. Armin made a choked cough; his lungs were weighted down by her sitting on his chest, her muscled thighs squeezing his sides with the grip of a metal vice. Annie glared down at him while his eyes shut tight.

 

“You. Ate. Him.” She spat out venomously.

 

Armin didn’t fight or argue, only opened an eye to stare apologetically, looking so damn sincere, it made Annie drill her fingers further into his neck, sure to crush his windpipe. He wheezed and hacked, a hand probing at her forearm to fight for release until his grip strength faded away. His hold on her turned gentle, almost consoling.

 

It only made Annie angrier and vision turn foggy.

 

Bertolt was a cowardly lapdog and Reiner a manipulative bastard; she had no love for either of them, but a kernel of feeling was there. They were a trio where their tragedies were intertwined. Only they understood and shared her suffering of living under an oppressive regime, of being left with no other choice but to kill thousands so they could return home. They hated it, but for their mission, so their existence in the world could be maintained, blood had to be spilled.

 

Annie wondered how Bertolt felt when he died, if he maintained gentleness even in death. And how lonely was Reiner without the only friend he had?

 

Armin dry coughed and writhed underneath her grip. Hearing him struggle allowed Annie’s focus to return, concluding that his windpipe should have been crushed by now, unless he was healing it while she held him down. She could choke him all night and he would still be breathing. There was no point to this.

 

The blond prisoner slammed Armin down on the floor again. She hiked up one of her legs off him so she stood at his side, cranked a leg back then launched it forward to strike the middle of Armin’s back. His body rolled away and after three twists, he stopped. He didn’t make a noise or move while Annie smoothed back her long hair, fisting it.

 

She was stuck in an emotional twister. She’s angry at herself for losing to Eren, frustrated at Reiner and Bertolt’s failures, saddened her reunion with Father is delayed once more. And to her shock, Annie found herself devastated.  This curse was meant to kill Eren and the warriors of Marley alone. It was never meant to drag a kind, young-spirited man like Armin down with it.

 

And it was her sadness towards him becoming a shifter that was killing Annie the most.

 

“I just can’t catch a break today.” Armin strained to laugh. He pushed himself up from the ground and rubbed at the spot where his back was hit. “But I guess it’s what I deserve after everything that’s happened.”

 

“Stop acting like you know anything.” Annie quietly snapped.

 

Armin shook his head. “All of us have done terrible things, Annie. Both sides have. Outside of our circumstances, that might be one of the only bridges to each other that we have.”

 

“You know nothing about anything.”

 

“...I truly wish I didn’t sometimes.”

 

“Shut up.”

 

“Annie…”

 

“I said, shut up! Why do you keep telling me everything? You put me down here because I’m your enemy and now you’re convincing me more and more that you’re pulling some of your manipulating bullshit. What do even expect me to say? That I feel sorry for you? Boo-hoo you’ve had it bad too? No. You engaged, you’re stuck with the sin, just like us. Accept that and be done with it.”

 

“I do.”

 

“Then why do you keep bitching to me? Get to your point already.

 

Armin fiddled with the fabric blown off the shoulder pad of his coat. “All of this was meant to tell you that we know--that I know. All of you have been carrying this on your shoulders the whole time you were with us. This...emptiness. To be desperate for control and stop an end we foresee in a world that doesn’t want us. We’re...the same.”

 

“That doesn’t mean that I trust you.”

 

“I only ask that you hear me out.”

 

Annie’s eyes squinted with suspicion, her arms crossing to show her walls are always up. She allowed him to speak, but he understood the hint that he should make it brief.

 

“You have one year left so we’re giving you choice. You can join us in the next assault, fight with us, and I will do all I can to clear a path for you to see your father.” Annie raised a skeptical brow as he propositioned another, “Or, you can be given a boat to cross the channel. We have maps where Marylian settlements are. We can give you one so you can evade them and find your father without us.”

 

The bewildered prisoner paused before making a mocking snort. “What a stupid offer. You’d risk losing a valuable Titan just so I can see my father? How are you sure I won’t regroup with Marley and fight on their side?”

 

Armin was unfazed. “If that’s the case, so be it. We can take care of ourselves. But consider this, how are you so sure Marley will take you back? With only a year left, they might want to give the Female Titan to someone else. You might be unsafe with them and better off with us or alone.”

 

There was no hesitation in his voice, only confidence, a trait that Annie isn’t used to hearing from Armin.

 

“It’s unwise to get emotional with your enemies, Arlert.” Annie counters. “Especially if one of your ideas is to ship me away.”

 

Armin snorts weakly, his eyes tired and dejected. “There was never a guarantee that you would help us, Annie. You’ll do what you want. You could promise us the world, and still run. You’re a survivor and you’ll do what you need to do to get where you want. The Pure Titans are gone and we have boats at the harbor. Outside the walls, the only resistance you’ll find will be in Marley. And after everything...they’ll be watching their borders closely. So, be careful.”

 

Through the shock shaking her eyes, Annie’s jaw sets. “What kind of shitty test is this?”

 

“Not a test. Just an exchange of understanding and an offer for control.” Armin’s head dipped. “I understand what it's like to not have it. And since this is your last year, it’s an offer you deserve to be given.” Annie’s heart thumped fast as Armin’s head rose, his face determined. “Tomorrow I have a briefing with the Commander and Captain. I’ll let you think about it for a while. I’ll come back tonight for your answer.”

 

Armin stopped at the door, muttering softly. “I’m sorry you were forced into all of this.”

 

Annie was dead silent. He closed the door, leaving her alone in her cell. Chatter rang through her head and her legs ran on autopilot towards the bed. She curled into herself, resting her head in her arms as she marinated in her head all he’s said.

 

Understanding, diplomacy, negotiation. After everything she’s put him through—the betrayal, the beatings, choking, and blood—he still offered two paths instead of one. She could easily make a third, run to her past superiors and fight against him as an enemy once more, but she knew he doesn’t believe she will.

 

No, he knows she won’t; all this time and Armin still knew her better than herself. He’s war-torn, the sweet side of himself buried beneath layers of scar tissue, but still clearly there. It sprang forth tears, gliding down Annie’s cheeks only to be rubbed away fiercely. She didn’t know what to do, wished she was never pried from her crystal but be left to run out her time and die in peace. She could only think about her days with him, how he smiled more then, how she actually wanted to smile with him. Hours passed as she flipped through her memories and still, she couldn’t come up with an answer.

 

So, when Armin entered her cell that night, approached her bed as he spoke her name, Annie stayed silent. She could see his hand reaching out then recoil back, showing Annie that he was also indecisive on what to do. She lifted her head, her eyes as tired as his.

 

“What you said.” Annie started. “Everything you’ve told me about the last 5 years, the war, your offers...they’re true?”

 

“Every word.” He said immediately.

 

“How can I be sure of that?”

 

“I’ll show you myself if I have to.”

 

The pause she dragged out is purposeful, to make him squirm and for her to search herself deeper. She closed her eyes. “I have your answer.”

 

Armin’s silence invited Annie to tell him her choice.

 

“And I’ll tell you...on one condition.”

 

Armin frowns at that. “That wasn’t part of the deal.”

 

“It is now if you want my answer. It’s only a request that I need in this room. Nothing dramatic.”

 

Hesitation flashed over Armin’s features before he agreed to hearing her out. Motivated, Annie sat up from her bed on her legs, moving towards Armin. Instinct drove him back, but Annie’s quicker reflexes grabbed his bolo tie and brought them so close together, their faces were centimeters apart.

 

“One more time.” Annie whispered.  “Be with me one more time right now and I’ll tell you.”

 

It took a moment before a hot blush painted Armin’s face. He nervously looked about the room. “Annie...they’ll wonder where I am and why I’m not in my bunk. Plus, there are guards keeping watch.”

 

She was pleased that he at least considered her request first before weighing the cons. “The doors are thick steel and walls are stone. If they aren’t already drunk or asleep, they won’t hear us.”

 

“There are vents though...”

 

“Vents that can travel three stories below the surface. I don’t think that’s much of a problem.”

 

Armin’s brows bunched together in thought. It was sights like this where he was stuck in his head, examining every avenue of attack that made Annie want to spring up from her knees and kiss him, make his worries go away. But she couldn’t.

 

“You will take one of my options, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“No games. No tricks. No kicking me on my butt to escape?”

 

“Only if you stop making the idea sound so tempting.”

 

The bridge of his nose pinched and Annie knew he doubted her, but that was okay. What she really wanted looked to be accepted and excitement closed her hands tighter on Armin’s shirt collars.

 

Armin’s final answer was him leaning in with his lips, but she averted to the side, his lips instead capturing her neck. She clutched his shirt, fell backwards on the bed and took him down with her.


 

 Armin’s middle finger slides along the line of her soaked sex, dips in between her folds, and Annie sighs, her eyelids fluttering. It’s a sweet relief, her body melting into the warm invasion of his fingers, throbs around them as sweat pops up on her skin. Soon he’s knuckle deep and jerks his hand against her in slow, hard pumps, earning a twitch of her thighs and clenching of her toes. Annie gasps sharply when his thumb flattens over her swollen clit, rubbing harsh circles around it. A pleasure lightning crack sparks awake her nerves and jolts her body.

 

“More…” Annie sighs. Her voice sounds fractured, the hand in her hair fisting a clump of golden strands.

 

Armin makes a sing-song hum of acknowledgement and speeds up, the wet sound of his fingers moving in and out of her growing louder. He’s drunk on the noises she makes, missed seeing how his fingers diving into her turns her breathing ragged and body thrashing. She’s as greedy as the wet muscles spasming over his busy digits, lifting her hips in time with each thrust of his hand and Armin lips curl with pride.

 

Another finger pushes in, probing so deep that Annie groans. A gust of hot breath blows over the space between her legs, lighting up Annie’s eyes just as Armin’s mouth closes over her clit. He sucks hard.

 

Ngh-ah!” Annie cries out with a buck of her hips. Her hands shoot down to entangle themselves into Armin’s hair, rolling her hips in sync with every suck, moaning when he nips her sensitive nub. He shoves his fingers deep within her and white-hot fire crackles over Annie’s nerves, quivering the strong thigh muscles beside Armin’s head. He knows she's close.

 

Armin’s fingers pull away and a vulnerable noise escapes Annie, clenching around emptiness and so near the peak that she clutches his hair, ready to shove him against her so hard, he has two choices: eat her out or suffocate. Her aggression dies when Armin’s fingers spread open her lips, trails his tongue up one, licking the dew soaking them. Annie arches her back, twists flaxen hair in her hands and when his tongue wriggles inside, she cries out like she’s in pain, her heels haphazardly digging into the sheets with every tongue-thrust into her.

 

She shoves him against her harder, hisses when he makes a pleased hum that vibrates close by her oversensitive clit. She’s panting heavily, teetering so close to the edge as jolts of pleasure turn into a electrical storm, until Armin makes one more deep thrust of his tongue, a pinch at her clit, and Annie throws her head back and shrieks. Her thighs clamp around his head and she tugs on his hair, bucking hard into Armin’s face as a bone-shaking orgasm envelopes her, floods out her body in a gush that’s spilling down Armin’s jaw.

 

The lightning-quick throes of pleasure disappears and Armin hisses when the death grip on his hair releases. Annie falls back in a daze, relaxing atop the sheets. Armin lifts up his head, his hands feeling over his face, searching like he’s lost something, and breathes a sigh of relief.


“Phew, that’s lucky. I thought my head was pressed into a pancake.”

 

Annie flashes him an annoyed, tired glare. “You should count yourself lucky that you’re even breathing.”

 

Annie knows her threat sounds weak and the confident smirk Armin unveils behind the hand wiping away her wet mess causes Annie’s cheeks to redden. “You too. You looked like you were struggling. I can go easy next time, if you want.”

 

A retaliating foot kicks into Armin’s chest, knocking him back on his rump as he lands with an oof. “Hey! You’re getting closer to a breach of contract!”

 

“Oh, fuck your contract.”

Her thumbs dip into the belt of his underwear—impatient as ever—and yanks them off. The blond soldier shudders as cold descends on his erection, an old shyness creeping up to aim his eyes away from her. He hears her snort and Annie climbs up to him so quickly, Armin can only flinch when he finds her face parked close to his.

 

“You want something,” She whispers breathlessly, her lips centimeters from his. Her warm hand wraps around the base of his cock, squeezes, taunts the throbbing vein speaking the strain his body feels by slowly stroking her thumb along it. Armin whimpers in agreement. “So do I. But the only way you’ll get it is the way I want.”

 

They’ve already come this far, Armin’s brain reasons, and his cock pulses to remind him that he’s unbearably rigid, pulsing unbearably as her thumb traces circles over his flared tip. She squeezes his base again, prompting a grunt from him, and Armin hisses that he would really appreciate it if she could stop doing that, but Annie refuses to ask again and instead arches a condescending brow.

 

His nod of agreement motivates her to start and Armin nearly bites through his tongue when Annie yanks him up by his hard length, ensuring he’s on top of her when her back meets the bed. Her tight grip releases him and Armin exhales with relief. Habit makes him part her legs, position himself between them but Annie slaps his shoulder, tut tuting him with her waving finger as he looks on her quizzically. She twists herself around, places her hands and knees against the bed and pushes up into a position which sends electricity frizzing Armin’s hair and quivering his spine.

 

“What happened to Mr. Confident?” Annie’s deadpan stare looking back at him is unwavering, but a ghost of a smirk curls the side of her mouth. Armin cringes when her bare rump presses against his lower abs. “No need to act so shy about it.”

 

One of Armin’s thicker blond brows twitches. “I've seen that enough times for me to not get embarrassed.”

 

“We must remember differently then.”

 

He pouts. “I don’t remember you complaining about how it went.”

 

“Are you going to make me complain now?”

 

His stiff cock thumps hotly against her inner thigh and Annie moves to slide her wetness along him, slips backwards towards his base to bump her firm cheeks on his pelvis again, leaving Armin shuddering and groaning throughout her journey. His hand drags down the trench of her spine—a sensation that’s intense enough to rattle Annie’s bones—and descends on her hip. He’s entranced by a warrior of her caliber baring her back to him, dares to trust him with vulnerability and control. It’s been too long and the sight aches his groin.

 

The hot pulsing of Annie’s inner muscles makes her damn near ready to take aim and impale herself on him, then Armin takes her by the hip, the sensation of his blunt tip nudging past her wet lips knotting her chest.

 

“You won’t complain...” He murmurs, his voice so gravelly and deep that Annie’s stomach drops. “Not if it’s your way, right?”

 

Armin pushes in and Annie’s head drops, her mouth gaping wordlessly. He’s bigger since the last time they did this, his cock squeezing in like he’s splitting her in half and just when Annie expects to be full, she whimpers, her thighs shaking as another inch of him yields her open.

 

Ngh.. nn-haa…!”Annie winces, her elbows tight against her sides and hands balling the sheets below her shoulders when he bottoms out. The stretch and stinging between her legs worsens, her inner muscles ache, and she's full of an unbearable pressure but it’s good. She’s dancing along the line of pain and pleasure, sweating and gasping through it the way she likes. Her body works to adjust, a fog hanging over her head until a forceful thrust knocks her out of it, forces out a high pitched cry from her while Armin clutches her hips.

 

He plows into her mercilessly, the sharp pounding of his hips sending her mind reeling and sight spotty. He pushes her back into an arch that brings her rear up, slides out almost all the way and dives in so deep that Annie wails. The hot sting of him slowly becomes pleasant, pleasure bubbling in the pit of her stomach like molten magma.

 

Ah...ahh!” Annie sobs, enraptured by another hard, deep thrust. Her inner muscles constrict him tightly, earning a guttural moan from him as he tries to pull out. “Ngh...Armi-...naah!!” He fucks into her harder and Annie buries the side of her burning face into the pillows, cursing, “Sssshit.”

 

His hips pulse harshly against hers and Annie fights back by returning it back to him, taking him as he takes her, lifting herself up on her tiptoes. Armin moans with her, her juices coating his cock, the slippery friction they pound into each other zapping every nerve in Armin, driving his pelvis to slam against her backside so hard, he wants to see if he makes a dent. The hoarse cry ripping out Annie’s throat breaks out prideful goosebumps over his skin and he didn’t care if the entire Scout regiment could hear her; an arrogant side of him wanted them to.

 

The squelching sounds between her legs explain how hot and wet she is. Her hair is a tousled mess and the arms holding her up shake while beads of sweat drip down her back. All of it fans the fire in Armin’s lower back to branch out, blister and burn every inch of his skin, and Armin is suddenly reminded of the flaring sensation of being burned alive.

 

He didn’t think he would be so welcoming toward the feeling.

 

Annie’s breathing skips, jarred that a hand escaping her hip is now exploring over her, studying her body’s quirks, scavenging between her thighs to rub at her clit, running the pads of his fingers up her thigh, taking in every blemish along the way before kneading her butt. His thrusts were aggressive like she wanted, but his hands went another route—the route Armin takes when he wants to show affection.

 

It stirs a growl to rattle in her throat. This isn’t a happy reunion where loving words and confessions are exchanged. Annie throws a fist backwards to remind him, but her weak strength allows him to catch her by the wrist, pull her arm back, and dip his head to kiss her tricep, then the middle of her back. If she remembers correctly, it's a kiss that explains how much he’s missed her, that she’s precious.

 

The gesture makes Annie queasy with guilt. “Armin...please…” He pistons inside of her again and the strangled shout she lets loose must make her sound so pitifully desperate. “Please…”

 

Please stop.

 

Armin takes her plea another way and leans down so his chest fits the curve of her sweaty back, pushes her down onto her stomach, his body flat against hers. He bounces his hips against her ass to fill her hard and fast and deep, and Annie keens, both far past caring if guards or civilians hear them. Her muscles throb over him with every thrust and Annie throws a hand back to clutch his hip, begging through garbled shouts and moans for more, adding to the inferno blazing over his body.

 

The old mattress beneath them creaks, ringing louder and louder as Armin rubs his face into the back of her neck. His hands dig beneath her, fighting against the sandwiching of her and the mattress to reach between her legs. He slams into her again, sucks at the sensitive spot on her neck and when his fingers rub and pinch her turgid clit, Annie sees white. The powder keg of her release bursts, flying over her skin and spine like an explosive flash fire. She lets lose a strangled scream of ecstasy, her walls clenching around Armin like a fist and he gasps, coming with a snap of his hips.

 

They shudder and pulse against each other until they’re emptied and spent. Armin sinks down bonelessly, letting his weight drop on Annie’s back. She doesn’t object, finding comfort in the crushing feel of his body wrapping around her. She joins him in the chorus of their deep panting echoing across a room that smells of sweat and sex.

 

Armin’s heart beats rapidly against her shoulder blade. He’s comfortable with his face tucked into her shoulder, savors it before Annie comes to her senses and pushes him off, but he’s surprised to find her still and silent, catching her breath and aiming her face to the side.

 

Curious, Armin lifts himself, staring down at her. Through a small crack in the curtain of matted blonde bangs, he spots a lone eye; the pupil is blown wide, glazed over with fleeing lust and something else he isn’t sure he can say. Her chest works quickly to slow her breathing but frigid blue is now tame and sleepy.

 

A light flickers on in Armin’s head. He pulls out completely—Annie responding with a shuddering sigh—and flips her onto her back, turning her face towards him. He takes in how her focus is foggy, eyes half-lidded and dazed. It’s like he’s been propelled back in time, sitting here at fifteen again and memories flood his head; the minuscule and genuine smile she wore just for him, her snoozing next to him and hearing her mumble in her sleep, him listening intently to see if she says his name. They were reminders that he may have been loved and so was she...back then.

 

The clouds in her eyes clear, and upon seeing his face so close to hers, panic constricts her pupils. Annie pushes against his chest and face, aiming her sight away, but he intertwines his hands with hers and slams them to the side of her head. When she moves to use her muscled weapons to kick him off, Armin’s lips claim hers.

 

Their eyes don’t close as his jaw rolls over hers and Annie sees that gentle blue eyes still have their color and depth, so much like the boy she knew years ago. Seeing them this close again is comforting and suffocating. Guilty talons drag down her brain, trying to tug her away from the sky and sea, but Annie can’t escape. A river leaks out her eyes and runs over her ears. She caves in and returns his kiss, pressing passion deeper against his mouth after they part for breath.

 

Pain lances Armin’s heart. He kisses away the trail of her tears and through a cracked voice and hands pushing at his chest, Annie begs him to stop, to leave her alone, but Armin ignores her. He presses kisses into her forehead, nose, and cheeks, but he knows that isn’t enough. Annie isn’t a woman who is easily convinced, who doesn’t often use words or even likes them, so Armin decides to use a language she understands.

 

When he positions himself at her fluttering entrance, throws her legs back to hold them by her ears and penetrates her deeply, Annie’s mind shatters. His fingers are anchored into the back of her knees, and her flexibility lets his face hover close and eyes stay glued. Annie cries out, Armin diving so deep, pain spears up her abdomen. He’s struck her cervix, leaving Annie with a stinging ache between her legs, but the pain is quickly countered, red-hot waves lapping over every shaking limb, the pleasant stretch of his girth leaving her feeling filled. A gratified sob chokes out of her as his cock shoves forward like a battering ram and collides with the mouth of her womb. He keeps hitting each spot that drives her mad, pain and pleasure fighting against each other again and again, and Armin has to quickly clamp his lips over hers, nervous that part of the scream she’s now pouring into his throat will actually be heard.

 

Armin’s shoulders tuck under the back of Annie’s knees, letting his hands wander her body, cupping her breasts and spanning her ribs. When he sinks his grip into the firm muscle of her ass, Annie moans and throws her hips hard into his.

 

Ngh-guh…” He grits out pathetically. A sneer makes it on Annie’s lips. He sounds as weak and pitiful as her and when her hands slid down and grabs fistfuls of his ass, Armin’s yips turn into growls. A thrill dances down her spine.

 

Armin,” She croons. “You’re doing so, nggha!...well. Someone’s been, ngh, practicing.”

 

“More like I’ve, haa, had a lot of time to, nnha, fantasize.” Armin pants out. He then plows in deep enough to bump her cervix again, earning a hiss from Annie and a flinch of her thighs. “And it’s rude to accuse a man while he’s, phaa, working.”

 

A soft smile played at her lips, pleased not just at what he’s said, but also towards the surprise widening his eyes. She brings his face down, capturing him in an apologetic kiss. It eases her to know he hadn’t slept with another, that he’s waited for her to come back. She’ll gladly take his hips pounding hers into dust, his teeth biting her lower lip and tongue diving into her mouth however many times he wants.

 

Armin rubs his forehead against hers, his eyelids screwing shut and Annie joins him in focusing, biting her lip as they both chase their orgasm. Annie’s breath catches in her throat, the wet friction sloshing inside her too exquisite for sanity to be maintained and when Armin thrusts in so hard, pain flares in her tailbone, heat blasts over her skin like Titan-shifting steam, curling her toes and clamping down her muscles in one of the tightest strangles Armin’s ever felt. He comes with a shout and liquid heat spills into her again, his own thighs dripping with her pleasure as they ride out their orgasm with weaker and weaker bucking.

 

A buzz hums in Armin’s head, his body light and weightless, like he’s floating. Floating then shifts to falling when Annie grabs his face and pulls him down into a bruising kiss. Her lips rove fiercely over his, their heads tilting from side to side, her arms holding him tightly against her as nails dig into his shoulder blades. Her tongue slips past his parting lips and fights with it, twirls around and glides along the slick muscle. Armin manages to pull away for a second and utter out, “Anni-“

 

Annie forces him back onto her mouth, a hand threading through the back of his head keeping him against her and although Armin is pleased that she reciprocates his affections, he is really having a hard time breathing. His breath comes in as short, raspy gasps but his hands are gentle as they slide over her cheeks, his kisses softer against Annie’s harsh ones. His softness slows her lip's ravenous motions, her chest pressed against his deflating as calming kisses take over them both. He swipes his hand over her hair until her kisses are as chaste and light as his before unlatching himself from her mouth.

 

His focus goes to the pocket watch that’s made it out of his coat pocket. He notices that his deadline is nearing and when their sights meet again, Annie finds herself staring into the eyes of a soldier once more.  

 

Her heart sinks.

 

“Annie, this was nice and everything, really. But...I still need an answer.”

 

Annie averts her eyes and snorts. “And you’re the one complaining to me about being rude. I haven’t even cooled down yet and you drop a bombshell on me.”

 

Blue eyes glimmering in the torchlight are sympathetic. “We both knew this was always going to be how tonight ended.”

 

Silence sweeps between them. He’s right and stormy ice-blue stare at the wall, mulling over her decision while Armin waits above her patiently. She inhales, soaking in how they’re connected, how their bodies are pressed up close. When she finally aligns her sight with his, she lifts herself up, takes the chance to press one more kiss on his lips, lingering there for a long while.

 

 Then she whispers her answer.