Gasping awake, I almost stumbled, but something stopped me. Some weird force kept me in place like glue, making sure I wouldn't move an inch.
Blinking my eyes open, I looked around. The sun was bright, and the ground was dry and dusty.
Why would I be outside? The outside was gross, and dry, and hot. I'd rather be inside in my room, enjoying some AC and a soda while playing games or something. What kind of weirdo even enjoyed being outside, anyway, unless it was to go get some food or-
"YOU ALL ARE ABOUT TO GRADUATE INTO FULL FLEDGED SOLDIERS!"
Startled, I snapped my attention to where the voice was coming from and, I swear, I had a frickin' heart attack when I saw who it was.
Gleaming bald head, shadowed crows feet, and eyes that looked like they'd seen the darkest pits of the internet.
Keith mother-depressed-fucking Shadis in all his 7 foot glory.
"Holy shit-" I whispered before I cut myself off with a choked whimper.
Looking around again, it finally sunk in that I wasn't in my room, or anywhere near my house. Hell, I wasn't even on the same damn planet.
I'm inside the Walls in Attack On Titan.
All around me, I could see several other teenagers dressed in the familiar uniform from Attack On Titan, all standing in the same position with their hands held behind their lower backs and their legs spread evenly apart.
I slowly looked down at myself and dread pooled in my stomach when I saw that I was also wearing the damn uniform. Fudge biscuits.
There was no way that this was a huge gathering of AOT cosplayers and that they somehow knocked me out and put me in the cosplay too. The location was accurate to the anime, the uniform was a carbon copy, and even Shadis looked too on fleek to be fake.
I start breathing a little too quickly, almost hyperventilating, to the point where the guy next to me actually elbowed me to snap me out of it. "Hey, you okay?" he whispered.
Subtly shaking, I turn my gaze to them without moving, and I felt the world fall away from under me.
Bright, beautiful emerald gems stared at me with a questioning frown, framed by messy brown hair. The epitome of boyish charm coupled with angsty teenage rage.
Eren fucking Jaeger.
"You're cute," i blurted out without thinking. Because how does one think when they were currently going through an existential and spatial crisis without being able to cry out. If I actually did scream and cry, I'd probably get kicked out immediately, and then where would I end up?
I'd be screaming and crying with no place to go, so why not just...hold that shit in and stay with the story for now.
I'll probably cry later.
Eren blushed at the unexpected compliment, and wow...What a frickin' cutie.
"GET INTO POSITIONS AND START YOUR TRAINING!"
With a rush, all the cadets ran toward the equipment on the side and began to buckle on their ODM gear. Eren urged me to go as well, and I followed in a stupor. Without thinking, I was also buckling on my own ODM gear with what seemed to be years of experience behind the action.
Who's...Who's body was this?
Pausing for a moment, I took out one of the blades and stared at my reflection.
That...That wasn't me. That wasn't me at all. But this wasn't a stranger, either.
It was my AOT2 character, the one I spent a whole hour customizing to perfection.
It wasn't me, but it was me.
"C'mon, we're going!" Eren shouted at me before running out toward the forest.
I numbly followed after him, my body already knowing what to do before my brain did. This was the beginning of the game. This was the beginning of the plot. Soon, I'd have to fight for real and go against actual Titans. I'd see my comrades be eaten, houses destroyed, and I might die as well.
Pressing both triggers on my blades, my hooks shot out and latched onto a nearby cliff. With another trigger, I propel myself forward and upward with a loud whoop, twisting and turning in ways that wouldn't be possible in real life, and finally, I landed on my own two feet.
"Whoa..." I looked down at...at my hands in awe.
This was amazing.
That felt way too natural and effortless for this character to be a newbie. Could the level have carried over? Was I still level 100 here?
Eren landed beside me. "Hey, you looked like you weren't listening earlier."
"Oh, uh, I wasn't really," I stuttered. Holy shit, just looking at him made my kokoro go all doki doki. Why was he so damn cute and helpful? Shouldn't be he super focused on his own training? Did my character have a special relationship with him or was this the game script?
Was this all scripted somehow?
Could I...Could I go off the rails here and save some lives, change some things?
I glanced down at his gear and realized it was different from mine. Almost more...basic? So I looked down at my own gear. It was sleeker, shinier, higher quality.
Holy shit, I had my Perfected Gear Set.
"Isn't this too OP?" I wondered out loud.
Eren gave me a weird look. "What?"
Oh, he heard me. "Uh...nothing."
"Okay..." Eren shook his head. "Anyway, we have to do our best to take down as many Titan dummies as we can. Whoever gets the most kills, wins." He smirked confidently. "You ready to get beat?"
I snorted. "Eat my dust, Eren."
With a quick trigger, I flew into the air and deep into the forest.
Seeing a flash of light brown, I maneuvered using a quick combination of wire and gas, and with a burst of speed, I cut down my first Titan. By the time it fell to the forest floor, I was already rushing to the next dummy.
All around me, I could see the characters I knew and loved. Krista was going up against a 3 Meter with Ymir hovering around her. Connie and Sasha were going up against an 8 Meter. Eren was already chopping down a 15 Meter, and Mikasa blew through three dummies with one burst of gas.
Damn, now that's some OP skill.
At least there was one good thing about being here, and that was that there were some super gorgeous people who needed some love and affection.
My eyes lit up.
I could do that.
I was blitzing through this training course.
I was taking down Titan dummies faster than the staff could pull them up, to the point where I got taken aside so they could check if I was cheating. Yes, cheating.
I was just that unrealistically fast.
"Cadet, how many gas canisters did you take?" the officer asked me with a frown.
"T-Two..?" I answered slowly, even going so far as to tap the two canisters that were currently screwed on top of my blade sheaths.
Amazingly enough, they didn't ask why I had different gear from everyone else, and since no one else pointed them out, I'm going to assume no one else but me can see the difference. Maybe the other sets were available somewhere just for me? I could be flying through the air with the Hyaku Shiki set, with the god scarf billowing behind me.
Man, this was feeling more and more like some sort of fantasy-fulfilling dream coma, one that I didn't really wanna wake up from.
"And how much gas are you using?"
"Uh..." I looked down at my gear and tapped it again, listening closely to the answering hollow clang. "Like, a third? I still have plenty."
The officer stared at me in disbelief. "Are you serious?"
"As serious as this interrogation, sir yes sir," I chirped back with an innocent smile.
Wow, I was definitely not made out for the military. Mom always did say my smart mouth was going to get me in trouble one day.
Rolling his eyes, the officer wrote something down on his clipboard and pointed me to the side where Shadis was overseeing the practice with his arms crossed. "All right, I see you don't need any more training. Just...Just stand over there and don't kill any more of the dummies. Leave them to the cadets who actually need the practice."
With that, he walked away, muttering 'first Ackerman and now this one...'
I merrily skipped over to the edge of the forest, with my ODM gear noisily clanking against my thighs, and took a standby position next to the Commander.
Like, right next to him.
As in, you could barely squeeze a piece of bread between us without touching both of our jackets.
Shadis glanced down at me- how did a guy grow to 7 feet tall when living off of bread and potatoes?- and frowned. "You need something, Cadet?"
"Just wanted to hang out with a cool guy like you," I replied with a grin. "I don't really know much about you, sir, even after-" How many years of training did I do? What was the standard in the anime? "-three years."
He glared down at me. Fuck, that's intimidating as hell. "You don't need to know anything about me except that I'm your commanding officer and you're to obey my every command." His eyes narrowed even more. "Understood?"
"B-But-but," I stuttered, wracking through my head for an excuse.
C'mon think, there must be something I could say that could convince him to say yes.
Damn it, if only I had a box of reply options in front of me and an infinite timer to choose the best one! And then if it wasn't the best one, I could reload my save and try again!
"Well, uh, as my commanding officer, I..." My eyes darted around. "I...had a couple of questions I hoped you could answer for me!"
Shadis raised a hairless brow. "...Such as?"
"Um, we have the three branches of the military, correct?" I asked. "What if we weren't satisfied with our choice? Can we transfer through the branches?"
He hummed. "Interesting question."
Yes! He's impressed with my intelligence! Huzzah!
I mentally fist pumped at the victory.
"Only the top ten can apply to the Military Police," he continued, "but anyone within the MP can transfer out. The only other way to get into the MP is to rise up in either the Garrison or the Legion in ranks to qualify for a transfer."
"That's...a lot of work," I answered on a limp note.
"Indeed," Shadis replied shortly.
The MP were a bunch of chodes, anyway. Well, aside from the secret team that Kenny Ackerman headed, and that other secret team that killed people who tried to find out more about the outside world, and that other secret team who had a camp in Season 3...
I wondered if they kept the incompetent ones as their PR so no one would find out about the bajillions of secret teams they had.
If so, that was actually pretty smart.
We stood in an awkward silence for a bit, with me trying to think up what to say, and him standing there as still as a statue.
Honestly, this guy was preeetty awkward to be with. I wondered if he had any friends. He had been friends with Carla Jaeger, right? And Grisha too, until they pulled a James and Lily Potter.
And now they're dead and he's still alive and miserable while teaching their son.
The son who's the main character, and the one person he tried to sabotage in training.
Now that I thought about it, Keith Shadis really was the Severus Snape of AOT.
"Do you still use the gear yourself, sir?" I asked out of the blue.
Shadis glanced down at me for a moment before he resumed watching the cadets in action. "No. I'm not the same soldier I used to be when I was younger and more...active."
I nodded attentively. "You were a Scout, right? The Commander as well?"
"For a while."
I turned to him and saluted with a small smile. "Thank you."
Perplexed, he turned to me with a frown. "What?"
"For doing your best," I clarified.
My tone was earnest; I truly did believe he tried his best. Despite him being a crappy commander and getting a ton of people killed without making much progress, he did his best.
Sometimes, people needed to hear that.
I wish I could've heard that.
Shadis turned away with a derisive scoff. "You're a naive brat. You wouldn't be thanking me if you were under my command out there."
"Probably," I admitted with a shrug. "But you're here now, training the next generation. So long as you're trying, you know. It's better than giving up."
He huffed a short bitter chuckle. "Are you trying to comfort a man that's three times your age?"
"How do you know you're three times my age?" I shot back.
Pausing, Shadis gave me a strange look. "...How old are you, cadet?"
I smiled widely. "Don't ask a lady her age, Commander. I'm always at the right age." I even added in a cheeky wink.
He gave me a look that could only be described as both baffled and disgusted, and finally turned away with a shake of his head.
Oh, this was going to be fun.
Whoops was gonna update this sooner but oh well
As you can see, my writing for this is significantly more casual lmao
When training was over for the day, the sun was setting, the officers had left back to their way fancier boarding house, and the cadets were all left heaving in exhaustion at the forest's edge.
I skipped up to them with a big smile and several canteens of water, passing them out with a good word of encouragement.
"You did well today!"
"Tomorrow's another day."
"Make sure to eat all your food at dinner, and drink lots of water!"
Every person was left staring at me in a stupor, as if they were wondering who I was and what I had done with the old me.
Was I not this nice before? Or rather, my character? Maybe it was like in-game where she didn't talk or do anything unless it was a cutscene. What if I was just T-posing the entire time?
What if everyone just remembered me as the T-pose girl who was both mute and unresponsive?
Well, no time like now to rectify my nonexistent reputation.
With one last water skin in my hand, I reached the end of the crowd and lit up like the fourth of July on the Hudson river.
Eren. Mikasa. Armin. Jean. Marco. Reiner. Bertolt.
It took every ounce of willpower- which was very low to begin with- to not squeal in glee at the sight of my favorite characters, all hanging around with sweat dotting their foreheads, making their shirts cling to their taut abdomens.
Sweet. Baby. Cannoli.
If I didn't die by a Titan, I might die by excessive nosebleeding like in animes.
If there was one good thing about the food shortage and horrific training conditions, it was that everyone was ripped with muscle without an ounce of fat on them except for maybe their faces.
Oh man, those faces.
Idly wiping my nose to make sure I actually hadn't started bleeding, I walked up to Armin who had collapsed onto the ground, and held out the waterskin. "H-Here, Armin!" I actually stuttered, oh no, oh no, please, me, don't embarrass yourself-
What was I saying, I'm me. Of course I'm gonna embarrass myself.
Armin looked up with glimmering blue eyes and gave me an exhausted smile. "Thank- Thank you..." Uncapping the top, he guzzled down the lukewarm water like a dehydrated man in a desert.
"Hey!" Eren ran up to me, brow full of sweat but expression still full of energy. "You left training early. I saw you got pulled out by an officer-"
Fuck, so gorgeous.
Damn it, I couldn't help myself..!
As Eren stopped in front of me and opened his mouth to say something, I reached out and cupped his face.
He blinked, his mouth automatically closing, and he stared at me inquisitively.
I smooshed his cheeks.
"Mrgh!" He sputtered out of his fish lips, and he reached up to tug my hands away, but no.
I couldn't let go.
I could never let go of this super cutie patootie ohmygodhe'ssocute-!
A strong hand yanked me away and I came face to face with the girl crush of my dreams.
"Why are you assaulting Eren?" Mikasa asked with a frown. "You've never laid a hand on anyone before-"
Before she could finish her sentence, I reached out and squished her cheeks too. "I love you," I swore solemnly.
She blinked. Her eyes were wide like a child's, innocent and confused. "H-Huh?"
"Er..." Eren slowly reached out and pulled me back. "Are you okay? You've been weird the entire day, like saying you think I'm-I'm c-cute," he stuttered his last words as his cheeks heated up at the reminder. "And you got pulled out of training, too. Is something wrong?"
I spun so quickly that he actually instinctively took a step back, and then I held his hands in my hands. "I love you," I swore just as seriously.
Eren squeaked, face as red as a tomato. "What?! What are you saying all of a sudden-"
"You're so cute and lively and strong, and you deserve the world-" I announced dramatically. "Never stop being you, Eren. I love you. You and everyone else in your head."
"Nothing." I smooshed his cheeks some more, even pinching them into making him do an awkward smile. "I love you just the way you are."
"Uh-Er-O-Okay?" Eren stammered out. "Can you...Can you stop touching me?"
Slowly getting off the ground with wide eyes, Armin idly dusted himself off. "You're in a good mood today," he remarked to me.
I turned my head in his direction and grinned brightly.
His eyes widened even more.
I let go of Eren- who immediately took five steps away from me, the heartbreaker- and latched onto Armin like an octopus.
"Arminnn!!" I cried out happily. "A genius! The brain of the future! The cutest!"
"Oh, uh..." Armin awkwardly hugged me back. "Thank you..?"
"I thought I was the cutest?" I heard Eren mutter to himself.
"You are!" I replied without moving away from my favorite coconut head. "But Armin is also the cutest! And Mikasa!"
As Armin patted my back, he looked up at his two friends and silently mouthed, 'Was she drugged?'
Mikasa shook her head, but Eren shrugged uncomfortably.
Heavy footsteps approached us and I peeked up to see the muscular blond adonis that is Reiner, followed by the very climbable beanpole Bertolt.
"Hey, where's my hug?" Reiner teased with his arms open. "Are we having a hug-for-all?"
"It-It's nice to see everyone in good spirits, regardless," Bertolt added with a shy smile.
I teared up just looking at them.
Climbing off of Armin, I tackled the two giants into a hug, ignoring how their sweat-soaked shirts stuck to my face. "I love you two as well," I stated, muffled by their abs.
"Aww!" Reiner let out a booming laugh. In a second, his muscular arms wrapped themselves around me, enveloping me in a big, strong, manly, embrace. The smell of a full day's workout hit me full force in the schnoz, but it was okay.
It was Reiner.
My poor warrior soldier boy.
He deserved all the hugs.
I snuggled deeper into his chest, and felt a large but gentle hand pat the top of my head. Must be Bertolt-
Throwing myself off of the big blond murderous teddy bear, I latched onto the bigger brunet shy teddy bear and gave him a great big hug. "I love you, Bertolt."
"Oh!" He gasped and turned beet red. I could even feel his body start sweating like a pig in a sauna. "Um, th-thank you...?"
"You deserve to be happy," I whispered into his chest.
I felt him stiffen. Had he heard me?
A loud bell rang, signalling it was time for dinner.
"Oh great, we missed the opportunity to shower..." I heard Jean mutter a couple meters away.
"We can shower after if there's any water left!" Marco replied chipper-like.
Oh. Was it my fault that no one got to shower? Was water like, a limited resource? Oops.
Biting my lip, I finally stop my hugfest and took a step back with a smile. "Let's go eat dinner together! We're graduating soon, so we might not see each other again for a long time!"
"Uh...Sure," Eren replied, almost wary of me and my wiggling fingers that threatened to pinch his cheeks. "What branch are you joining?"
"Hmm..." I pretended to think, but really there was no thinking needed.
All of the action was in the SurveyConLegiment, and all the hottest babes were in there too, like Erwin and Levi and Mike...
"Probably the Surveycon- I mean, er, the Recon Regiment...?" Was that the right name?
Damn it, localization! Why did the surveyconlegiment have like, a bajillion different names?!
Armin gave me an odd look. "Do you mean the Scouting Legion?"
"Yes!" I answered happily. So it was the Scouting Legion, got it.
Reiner crossed his arms and hummed. "I thought it was the Survey Corps?"
Eren frowned. "It's obviously the Recon Corps."
I watched, dumbfounded. So...no one knew the real name for the wings of freedom guys here, either?
Seriously, localization ruined everything.
"C'mon." Mikasa gestured to the mess hall. "We'll miss dinner."
Eren nodded. "Right, let's go get food." As he passed by, he gave me a glance and awkwardly patted my shoulder, gesturing for me to follow. "C'mon."
I watched him go ahead with wide eyes, heart full of so much love and emotion for everyone around me.
I wanted to pinch his cheeks.
And not the ones on his face.
the feedback for this fic has been frankly amazing??? THANK YOU
I looked down at dinner, and grimaced.
The soup literally looked like a mop bucket after a whole seven hour shift at a beer factory, so...Not great.
I took hold of the piece of bread and tapped it against the wooden table.
A literal brick.
"How the hell does anyone still have teeth here?" I muttered to myself.
I'm glad I went to the dentist just a couple of days before I ended up here. I'm pretty sure no one here had even heard of flossing before.
"What's wrong?" Armin asked from his seat across from me. He had no problems digging into his dinner tray and was happily drinking up the murky grey mop water.
I smiled awkwardly. "N-Nothing. I just, uh...hope there's better food when I'm a Scout."
Eren nodded in agreement a few seats away. Poor boy wanted to get away from me, aww. Too bad. "I bet they do; they're heroes, after all."
"Don't the Scouts have the smallest budget out of all the regiments?" Reiner pondered with crossed arms.
I pulled a face. "So...the food could be even worse than this?"
Armin laughed a little. "Let's hope not, but even if it is, it's still food. You should eat before dinner ends, or else you'll go to bed hungry."
If I was being honest, I wasn't really hungry, despite having participated in a two hour training course that put incredible strain on the human body. I could eat, but did I really want to?
In the end, I shook my head and pushed my tray a little away from me. "Nah, I'm good-"
"Can I have it then?!"
Jumping in my seat, I turned around on the bench and stared up at...
The one character that was meme'd far more than any other character in the series to the point where Yam's editor actually cried when he planned to kill her off during episode 28.
Sasha Braus smiled hopefully at me with a bit of drool seeping from between her lips. "P-Please? If you are not going to eat it?"
I blinked, and blinked, and felt my entire being vibrate with the intensity of my excitement. Without saying a thing, I held out my tray to her like one would when presenting an object of importance for royalty.
Sasha grinned brightly and took the tray from me with shaking hands as if I had gifted her the fruit of the gods. "Thank youuuu!" Faster than the eye could see, the human vacuum ate both the bread and soup in a display of animalistic savagery.
I watched, fascinated.
The absolutely amazing creature in front of me had let me close enough to hand her nourishment, and not only that, she had trusted me enough to eat in front of me, showing her vulnerable belly. Nature was beautiful.
Whoops, sounded too much like David Attenborough there.
In any case, Sasha finished the food in record time and scuttled around the bench to squeeze herself next to me, probably hoping the others at our table would take pity on her and give her their food too. Fat chance of that since everyone was clearly starving.
I wrinkled my nose when the combined smell of several unbathed teenagers wafted under my nostrils.
Oh shit, did this mean I would also have to cut down on shower time?
But but but, I love taking long hot showers where the water is so hot that it could melt my skin off my bones and leave me as the skeleton warrior I really was!
"No," Mikasa replied flatly to Sasha who was blatantly begging for more scraps.
"Pleeease, Mikasa?" Sasha batted her eyelashes pitifully, but it did nothing to move the other girl's heart.
"Um," Bertolt spoke up awkwardly, holding out a portion of his bread. "H-Here, Sasha, you can have some of mine-"
Before he could finish his sentence, Sasha had already enclosed her teeth around the offering.
Including his fingers.
Everyone at the table watched in shock until the pain finally registered and Bertolt got up with a loud yelp. "S-Sasha! Th-Those are my fingers!"
I watched with my breath held, seconds away from bolting out of the dining hall and out into the open. "Doitdoitdoit..." I chanted under my breath.
If Bertolt transformed from a bite, we'd all be dead...
But it'd be a cool way to go, like walking away from an explosion while putting on some cool shades, except I wouldn't really be walking so much as be evaporated into nothing from the sheer force of his awesomeness.
Unfortunately, nothing as exciting as that happened, and Sasha finally let go, leaving giant red bite marks on the tall boy's fingers.
Bertolt winced and held his hand under the table.
Probably to hide the steam.
Unfortunately for him, I was sitting right between him and Reiner, so I faked a yawn and leaned against his side.
I felt him tense but he didn't move away. I looked up and gave him a small but innocent smile, and he nervously smiled back, sweat dotting the whole of his forehead.
I peeked down.
Not down there.
I meant at the hand he held between his legs. Sure enough, it was steaming a bit, and I watched in awe as his skin melded back as if nothing had happened.
"Are you okay, Bertolt?" I asked.
"Y-Yes, I'm okay." Bertolt laughed a little to hide his hesitance. "Just Sasha being Sasha."
I nodded understandingly. "If you need anything though, I'll definitely help you out!" I offered. "Sasha shouldn't be treating you like a piece of hot meat."
His face reddened and he looked away. Aww, just his reaction made my heart melt. "R-Right, thank you," he replied with a small smile. "You're always willing to go out on a limb for a friend, huh?"
"I'd go out on all fours if you want," I hinted.
His scandalized gasp made me burst out in laughter. Go, me!
I wasn't even really joking, was I.
The things I'd do if he consented...
I wiped a tear from my eye and looked up to see everyone else giving me wide-eyed looks full of horror, shock, and embarrassment.
I turned around to see Marco standing behind me with a red face. "M-Maybe save those kinds of comments when we're not in the mess hall?" he weakly suggested. "You're really loud..."
I brightened. "But Marco! Where's the fun in that? When else do we all get to wind down after a long day?"
"That's...true, but still, I think it'd be best if you said things like that in confidant? N-Not here?"
I pouted, but he was right. I was definitely being waaay too scandalous for this society. It was probably all no touching until you're married, and even then, you gotta do it through a sheet. "Aw, okay. Sorry for making you uncomfortable," I said earnestly. "That wasn't my intention."
Marco smiled brightly, making those little spots of happiness on his face crinkle. "Thanks for understanding."
I stared at him in awe. "Freckled Jesus is real..." I mumbled.
Marco scratched his head. "If you say so. I actually came over to tell you something else; we're having a night drill in about thirty minutes, so everyone should put their gear back on."
Everyone at the table groaned. "Are you serious?" Jean griped with a scowl. "So not only do we not get to shower, we have to get even more dirty after a full day's worth of training?"
"Don't complain," Eren snapped back. "You should go at training with everything you've got, but then again, a horse like you wouldn't know unless someone smacked you in the rear."
"I volunteer to do that," I piped up.
They both paused and gave me a weirded out look.
I smiled back and waved.
Marco placed a hand on my shoulder, and holy shit, I wanted to turn and just...hug him. His whole self. Whole and alive. "We just talked about these kinds of comments in the mess hall..?" he reminded me.
"Right right," I nodded absentmindedly. "No lewds, got it."
"Wha-? Okay, never mind..."
Snickering, I opened my arms and wrapped them around him. "Sorry, I'm just joking around." I closed my eyes, content.
Except he wasn't as content, given how stiff he was standing. "Er-"
"She's not under the influence of anything, if you were wondering," Armin added. "She's just been in a very...good mood."
I nodded in agreement. "I've come to the realization that I love you, Marco," I stated as seriously as I could.
Marco jumped back, or tried to, since my arms were still secure around his waist. "Wha-?! Isn't that a little...forward?" he asked with a flaming red face, which highlighted the many freckles that dotted his cheeks and around the bridge of his nose.
"Nope," I replied. "I love every part of you, whole and in half."
"...Why in half-"
"She said she l-loved me, too," Eren added with an uncomfortable frown.
"Me too..." Mikasa ducked her face into her scarf.
Reiner let out a laugh. "She loves everyone apparently. I'd say just get used to it." He patted my back with a large hand and I almost melted from the voluntary touch. He was touching me out of his own free will! "Where else will you find a cute girl giving you so much care and attention?"
I gasped and turned to him, letting go of my current victim- er, crush. "You think I'm cute?" I whispered, eyes misting over.
"Uh, yeah?" Reiner grinned. "Any girl who's so loving with everyone around her must be cute."
That didn't really make sense but I'd take it!
I latched onto him next, almost crying from joy. "I love you, Reiner!"
He patted my back. "Love you too, you crazy girl."
My heart just about stopped and I held on tighter.
I think I'd gone to heaven.
Please, whoever put me here...
Don't take me back!
Night training was...interesting.
Kind of bullshit, too, if I was being honest.
It's not like Titans were active at night until beast daddy came into the picture, so why were soldiers expected to maneuver during the night?
Also, there weren't any flashlights or anything except for oil lamps, so zipping around in the dark with only the moon to occasionally light the way would be super dangerous.
Nevertheless, I was kicking ass.
"Woo!" I exclaimed excitedly as I twisted in mid-air and spun myself at sonic speed to take out another Titan dummy.
This was just as if not more fun than the game!
"H-Hey, wait up!" A wimpy voice called out to me from several meters away.
I looked back with a blink and gracefully landed on a thick tree branch. Oh yeah, I forgot the best character that ever existed was on my team.
"Wait for meee!" He cried out, just barely missing being hit in the face by a branch.
I let out a sigh and waited. I couldn't let the guy fail.
I understood his fears.
He was a level 1 in a playing field of level 10s, and in my case, a level 100. If I remembered correctly, Daz never actually got better at anything, so he stayed a level 1.
No wonder he had an inferiority complex the size of the moon.
With a thundering gasp, Daz finally made it to my spot and immediately placed his hands on his knees. "Gah..." He panted, sweat pouring down his face like a waterfall. "I hate night training..."
Another wire zipped in and Connie landed right after. "Woo!" He grinned. "Good thing we were able to refill our gas! What's next?"
I grinned right back. Connie was the best. "Next, we gotta get more Titan kills than any other team!" I held my hand up. "You with me?!"
He high-fived me. "Hell yeah! Let's go! I'll get the legs and you get the napes!"
With a nod and matching grins, we set off. As he had said, he would target the legs and I'd hit the napes. Together, we made a fantastic team, even more so when Sasha, Marco, and even Daz came in. Of course, I was occasionally too fast and I'd get all the limbs before they could even anchor their wires, so I was technically kill stealing my entire team.
When all the dummies were destroyed, we went back to the rendezvous point and took a well-deserved break.
I hadn't even broken a sweat, which was...kind of ridiculous. Being level 100 was crazy OP.
I was checking over my gear when Connie came up to me with a waterskin. "Hey, great work out there!" he praised. "You're so fast now, I could barely keep up!"
Beaming, I took the waterskin. "Thanks! I think I'm just a lot more motivated now."
He tilted his head and raised his brows. Ah, so cute! "Why's that?"
"Because I have people I need to mamoru."
"To protect," I corrected myself. Whoops, don't let out the weeb vocabulary. "I gotta be strong to protect all my precious people, believe it dattebayo." Never mind.
Connie snorted. "Uh, okay, and who are all these precious people?"
I pointed straight at him.
It took a few seconds, but finally, I could see the proverbial lightbulb (which didn't exist in this world yet) light up over his head.
"Me?!" He pointed to himself. "But I'm a soldier too!"
I nodded with a bright smile. "You, Sasha, freckled Jesus, Jaegerbombastic, Jeanbo, Mikasa es su casa, Arumin, Reindeer, Berutoruto, and everyone else!" I whipped my arms wide out. "Gotta save the world, ya know!"
"Freckled Jesus..." He muttered to himself, deep in thought. "Marco has freckles...Jaegerbomb...Eren? Jean, Mikasa, Armin...Reindeer, what the hell is that?"
"Never you mind, buddha," I patted his head. Despite having a smooth and round head, his hair was exactly 3 centimeters and pretty rough, like a wire hairbrush.
Loud voices gradually came closer and I perked up when I heard my babes arguing.
"-Damn it, Jean! We lost because of you!" Eren shouted while walking toward the rendezvous point.
"Me?!" Jean exclaimed. "Don't you mean you?! You're the one who couldn't even cut deep enough!"
"I'm so sick of you neighing at me!"
"For the last time, I'm not a horse!"
"Sure could've fooled me, horseface!"
"Argh! I hate you!"
"I hate you too!"
"I fucking ship that," I squealed in glee, clasping my hands together.
"The hell's a ship?" Connie scratched his head. "You mean like a boat?"
"Yes, I want the ship to sail..." I replied absentmindedly. I wiped the drool off my chin. "And I'm on board."
"Are we finally done?" A bored voice asked from somewhere beyond the trees. "This was a waste of time..."
That deep but feminine voice.
The sheer disinterest that radiated off of her...
I held myself stiffly and slowly turned around to see. Her. The lioness.
"Holy cannoli..." I whispered.
Noticing my stare, Annie lifted a brow in my direction before turning away, dismissing me.
I fell to my knees, my ODM gear clanking noisily against the ground, and I bowed. "Yes, more..!" I cried out in joy. "Ignore my existence!"
I could feel everyone giving me odd stares, but I didn't care!
"Uh..." Annie narrowed her eyes at me. "You got a problem?"
"Hoooooomysweetbabycannoli," I babbled in daze. "Step on me."
Her eyes widened a tad. "Excuse me?"
"Step on me, my queen!" I pleaded to one of the most amazing girls ever. "I am but an ant that should be crushed under your heel!"
"Oh no..." I heard Marco mutter behind me.
Probably about how I was super embarrassing to be around.
I've long accepted that embarrassment was for squares, like pants, and that if I can't have a little fun, then what was even the point of living?
"...You're weird today," Annie remarked slowly.
"Only because I'm in awe of how powerful and graceful you are," I simpered like a white knightTM. "M'lady."
Oof, that actually hurt me to say.
I shouldn't be a neckbeard.
Annie visibly took a giant step back, and I wilted. "No, pleeaaaase come back! Baby come back!" I reached out to her like a pathetic fool in a soap opera.
She took another step back with a look of wariness on her face.
Okay, I should dial it back a bit.
Getting back on my feet, I dusted my knees and delicately cleared my throat. "I'm good, I'm good," I reassured everyone. "I'll stop."
Jean came up to me with a grimace. "Are you sure you didn't, I don't know, ingest something weird earlier? Hit your head? Something?! What the hell is going on with you today?!"
He was even standing two feet away, just out of range from my hands.
But not smart enough.
"Am I really that different?" I pouted, tears pooling in my eyes to create the most kawaii moe moe sight ever. "I just...I just wanted to have fun with everyone before we graduate. We'll never see each other again when we separate into different regiments, so I..." I twiddled my fingers. "I'll miss you, Jean," I confessed.
Much to my surprise, Jean's face actually goes beet red and he rubbed the back of his head. "Well, in that case, it's...um, whatever, I guess." He looked away awkwardly. "But maybe tone it down a little?"
I looked around.
Everyone was either giving me a long suffering look, or one of weary fondness.
I guess I really had been a weirdo, huh?
It was fun and all, but I shouldn't push it too far.
I shouldn't forget that most of the people here were traumatized in some way.
"Heeeey, are we the last ones?!"
From out of the bushes came Mina and Thomas, and I bit my lip, trying to stem the tears.
"Minaaa!" I cried out, rushing to tackle the other girl in a hug.
"Huh?! Hey!" She automatically hugged me and patted my back. "Are you crying?! Was Jean bullying you?!"
"A little!" I replied with a laugh. "But I'm just glad to see you!" I turned my head to beam at Thomas. "You too!"
A dopey smile appeared on his face. "H-Heyyy!" Thomas greeted me sheepishly. "Did we take too long?"
I reached out and brought him into our hug too. "Yeah, you slowpokes!" I grinned. "You guys better not be this slow out after graduation!"
"Hey, we'll totally shape up by then!" Mina exclaimed. "And even if we don't, you'll swoop in and save us, won't you?"
omg this garbage fic has 168 kudos
i love you guys
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"You have all graduated! You have the choice of three regiments: The Military Police, the Garrison Regiment, and the Scout Regiment! Only the top 10 are allowed to choose the MP! You have two days to figure out what regiment you want to join. Until then, enjoy a small break!"
I pouted. I didn't make it into the top 10, because plot reasons.
Clearly this was super rigged. Mikasa's a superpowered Ackerman, and Reiner, Bertolt, and Annie had prior training.
At least I graduated! This would be, like...my third graduation? Fourth? Fifth? Sixth?
Meh, no one was counting.
Either way, I was a full fledged soldier now!
I giggled to myself while saluting, much to my companions's odd looks.
As soon as the ceremony finished, all the cadets were ushered into the dining hall. We weren't in the camp anymore; we were at the military base in Trost. I guess the camp was too in the boonies to be considered a good celebration venue.
In any case, this was the first time I was seeing Trost with my own eyes.
Out in the courtyard of the base, I looked around in awe and spun around with my arms out.
The military base itself was basically a castle; completely made of stone with only a few windows. Even the ground was stone. The houses nearby were all accurate to the anime; wood, plaster, and orange shingles.
It really felt like I was in 1880s Germany or something.
"Wow..." I sighed out appreciatively. "I really am here..."
And there was only around 24 hours before Bertolt decided to blow a hole.
Well, in the meantime, there was a party in my- I mean, our honor, so there was no point in worrying about things that were inevitable.
Shoganai and all.
Shrugging, I skipped into the dining hall where they offered...bread.
Bread. Potatoes. Some limp spinach.
I groaned and felt all my excitement drain out of my body.
Couldn't we get some variety? It didn't have to be meat, but...I don't know. Some beans? Rice? Fruits?
ANYTHING EXCEPT BREAD AND POTATOES?!
I took a stein of mysterious liquid, plopped myself down at a table near my homies, and slammed my head against the surface. "This world is cruel..." I moaned.
Honestly, I was pretty bummed out about the food. It wasn't like I was hungry, either, which was weird because I hadn't eaten much since landing in this world a couple days ago.
All I've had was a few sips of water and some bread. Usually together because the water helped softened the slab into something that was maybe edible.
Going to the bathroom was a whole new experience, one that almost made me regret being stuck here.
Mikasa nodded sagely. "But it's also beautiful."
"Like all of you," I sang out halfheartedly. "So beautiful peeps, all over the...walls."
That was a really bad rendition of the song.
Eren blushed at my words. That blush powered me to keep living. "Are you okay? You're...usually more enthusiastic than this," he asked, concern shining on his face. "Or are you...turning back to how you were before, now that we're all graduated?"
I shrugged against the table. "I'm just a little bummed out. I thought, you know, we just graduated! We're the next generation of soldiers to enroll in the military!" I sat up and slammed my stein against the table. "Shouldn't we get better food than what we've already been eating?! And what is this?" I peered into my drink. "Is this even alcoholic?"
Armin smiled sheepishly. "Um, I doubt they want to give us alcohol considering the fact that most of us aren't adults yet."
"Lame." I rolled my eyes and drank it all in one gulp.
It wasn't water.
Quickly swallowing, I covered my mouth as I gagged from the taste. "Wh-What is that?!" It tasted like watered down cola after having been left out in the boiling hot sun for three days straight. In a public bathroom.
"It's barley ginger ale," Marco answered me.
I gave him a look of disbelief.
I've had barley tea.
I've had ginger ale.
This...Whatever I just drank, didn't resemble either of those things.
If Titans could piss, this would probably be what it tasted like.
I pulled a face. "...Is there water?" I asked weakly.
I would kill for a soda, or juice, or just straight up vodka so that the alcohol could burn my taste buds from ever remembering the sewage that was barley ginger ale.
I didn't even like alcohol that much, if at all.
Fate was kind to me, or rather, I hadn't been as much of a weirdo as I had been these past couple of days, because several people motioned to get me some.
I watched, surprised, as Jean, Thomas, and Mina all got me steins of water, with the latter two giving me sympathetic smiles.
"Tastes terrible, right?" Thomas joked. "Still, at least it's...different."
I took one of the waters.
The water that they voluntarily retrieved for me, without being forced to.
My vision blurred and I covered my face.
Oh no, I was crying in public.
All because they liked me enough to get me water.
I'm such a slut for kindness..!
"Hey hey hey, don't cry!" Mina patted my shoulder. After a moment, she tugged me into a sideways hug and I let her, all the more willing to bask in her soft and bright self. "What's wrong? You can tell me!"
"A-And me, too!" Thomas pointed to himself. "We're all good friends!"
Even Jean reached over to pat me on the head. "There's nothing to cry over..." He looked away uncomfortably. "This is supposed to be a happy occasion, remember?"
At this point, I was bawling my eyes out while clutching onto Mina like a lifeline. "Mina..." I sniffled. "You're the best. I love you."
Mina blushed and smiled brightly. "Aww! I-I've never had anyone say something so sweet to me!"
"You deserve to be told all the sweetest things!" I cried out, rubbing our cheeks together. "I know we weren't very close before, but I hope we can be really good friends and maybe more!"
"M-More?!" She squeaked, face red. "U-Um!"
Hands slammed on the table, rattling the dishes and cups.
Startled, I looked up to see Eren glaring at me. “What is with you!?” he shouted. Everyone at our table was staring at him in shock. “You can’t just say that!”
I blinked. “...Why not?” I asked, unsure and almost scared to make him more mad.
What did I do? Why was he mad?
”Because-!” Eren stopped himself and looked down. His cheeks were red. “B-Because! You told me, and Mikasa, and Armin, and literally everyone here, that you love them!” He looked up and glared at me with those gem-like eyes of his. “Are you picking favorites now!? Has it all been a lie!?”
He was jealous.
Oh holy cannoli.
When I first started flirting with everyone, it was all in good fun. Sure, my feelings were genuine, but never in a million years did I think they would ever be reciprocated.
I wasn’t that delusional.
Except, my feelings were being returned, if I was judging his reaction correctly.
Holy shit, I never thought it would actually come true..!
I stared at him with wide eyes, and he unflinchingly looked back at me despite the fact that he was totally blushing from embarrassment and anger.
”...Of course not,” I whispered, slowly letting go of Mina. “How could you think I would stop loving you?”
I reached out and took his hands into mine. His fingers flexed against mine, but he made no move to pull away.
Eren wasn’t pulling away from me.
Someone please put that on my short list of achievements, this is monumental!
”Of course I love you, Eren,” I cooed lovingly with all my love and affection. “I love you, and Mikasa, and Armin, and Jean, and Marco, and-“
”We get it!” Jean interrupted me with a scowl.
“-Reiner, and Bertolt, and Annie,” I continued without acknowledging being interrupted. “And Sasha, and Connie, and Thomas, and Mina. All of you.” I nodded. “My love for you guys is unmatched by any force in this known universe.”
Eren furrowed his brow and looked as if he was about to argue. "But...Ugh, fine," he reluctantly conceded. "And you're joining the Scouts with me, right? You said so before."
I bobbed my head up and down. "Yuppers."
I had to.
So many hot people were waiting for me.
They must be feeding the Scouts some sort of sex appeal enhancing drug because the sheer number of sexy people in the Scouts compared to the other regiments was ridiculous.
Either that, or it was main character syndrome where all other characters have to be ugly or else they'd outshine the actual important characters.
Little bit of column A, little bit of column B.
Eren relaxed and grinned. "Good. Let's..." His face became more soft and pink. "Let's kill Titans together."
My heart fucking exploded.
Coming from Eren 'I'm-going-to-kill-them-all' Jaeger, that was basically a date.
My bottom lip quivered from the force of my emotions, and I leaned over the table to pull him into a hug. "I love you, Eren!" I sobbed, pressing our cheeks together.
I could feel just how hot his face was compared to mine.
He didn't push me away.
That meant so much more to me than I thought it would.
Gathering up my courage, I turned my head and gave him a peck on the cheek.
I felt him immediately tense up and he even let out an adorable squeak. "Hee!"
Someone tugged on my jacket and I looked to my left.
Mikasa had on a frown, one hand on her scarf and the other on my sleeve. "...Me too," she mumbled shyly.
I lit up like the fourth of July and hugged her as well, giving her a big ole smooch on her cheek right where her scar was going to be.
Thomas tugged me back into my seat, and I finally sat down with a big million watt grin.
Everyone had on a little blush, and gave me fond or tsun-tsun looks.
They were slowly accepting my love..!
How could I ever ask for more?!
Shoganai - "it can't be helped"
Song the reader was trying to sing but butchered - B.O.B + Bruno Mars "Nothin' On You"
ohno my bias for Eren is showing in this chapter lmao BUT DON'T WORRY, EVERYONE WILL GET EQUAL LOVE
So while I was drinking my various mugs of water that my lovely partners all got for me, Thomas nudged my shoulder with his. "Hey, you said you're actually joining the Scouts?" he asked.
I brightened and nodded. "Yeah! I can't wait..." I breathed out dreamily. "They're waiting for me."
Thomas frowned, confused. "'They're waiting?' Who are you talking about?"
I didn't even bother to answer, I just sipped my water some more because I was thirsty.
Because, sure, I was currently surrounded by some of the best looking people in this world, but they hadn't reached their full potential. None of these people were adults yet, but the people in the Scouts...
Now they were very...matured.
"But, you know you're going to have to fight Titans!" he argued. "You could die out there! W-Why don't you just join me and Mina in the Garrison where it's safer within the Walls?"
"Eh..." I trailed off awkwardly.
Now that he mentioned death, I wondered...
Could I die here?
Hypothetically, everything dies, but if I'm already level 100 and breaking every rule of the universe just by existing in a place that shouldn't be real, then it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think I would cheat death, too. Maybe I'd have a GAME OVER screen and then be reset back at my last savepoint.
Which...is actually horrifying to think about.
I looked around discreetly and checked my pockets for the journal my character was supposed to be carrying at all times on her.
Could I save my progress? How did that work?
Before I could respond to my lovely sideburns boy, Eren turned to him with a big scowl. "What are you saying, Thomas?! You know that Trost used to be considered the interior too, right? What are you going to do when the Colossal and Armored come back and destroy this place too? Are you going to flee into Sina?!"
"W-Well," Thomas stuttered out. "Th-That's true, b-but if you join the Scouts, you'll have to fight Titans! They'll eat you!"
Eren held a fist up. "That's exactly what I want to do! I'm not going to live here in fear for the rest of my life!" he shouted passionately. "The only way to solve Humanity's problem is to kill all the Titans!"
Everyone in the dining hall was listening in to the protagonist's speech.
I nodded my head sagely and held up my drink in his honor. “You tell 'em, babe."
When he blushed, I winked at him and gave him a thumbs up.
He nodded back.
Honestly, Eren made a lot of sense. If someone came and knocked down my door, letting in a bunch of vermin, and then left, that didn't mean the situation was over.
Rather, it was more like prolonging the inevitable.
If they did it once, they’ll come back to do it again until they were stopped.
I glanced over at the other shifters.
Bertolt was slightly sweating as usual, Reiner was nodding in agreement to Eren's words, while Annie had on a stone cold expression.
I reaaaaally didn’t want to do anything to them.
But I also didn’t want them to hurt anyone else, because if Bert really did come in like a wrecking ball, people were definitely going to die, and despite the fact that I didn’t really give a shit about nameless NPCs, they were still people.
While Eren was still doing his shounen motivational speech, I took the time to head outside with my drink.
It was a lot calmer out here than inside, and I walked a little a ways and took a seat on some steps.
Looking up, I let out a small sigh. “Stars...”
It’s probably sad to say, but I had never seen the stars so bright in the real world. I often lived in a major city, and the light pollution hid everything except the moon. Even when I went camping in the woods, the stars were never truly as bright as they should've been.
Here, the stars lit up the sky like someone had poked little holes in a dark blue blanket. They were so bright that I felt like I could reach up and pluck them from the sky.
The moon, too, was big and bright, like a real round ball of pale cheese.
I laid down on the ground, and stared up.
Now that I was alone, I felt disgustingly homesick.
I missed having hot showers, air conditioning, and laundry machines.
I missed having a variety of drinks and food to choose from for a cheap price, and being able to get a slushee at 3AM from the nearby 7-ELEVEN.
I missed my soft bed, modern plumbing, and the internet.
Most of all, I missed all my friends and family.
I reached up to the sky.
It’s weird how much I miss them now that there was no feasible way for me to get to them.
Back there, I would cancel on plans if I felt too lazy to go out, or I'd make excuses.
"I really can't go back," I whispered, a tear sliding down my temple and into my hair.
I was stuck here for a while.
"Can't go back where?"
I jumped up from my spot on the ground and turned around with wide eyes.
Armin tilted his head. "Are you okay?"
"I...I'm fine..." I stuttered out. I quickly dried my eyes with my sleeve. "What are you doing out here, Armin?"
He took a seat next to me on the steps. "Truthfully? I was looking for Eren," he confessed. "He stormed out a little while after, and Mikasa and I followed him. I noticed you had disappeared as well, so I came to look for you."
Touched, I blushed and looked down at my lap. "O-Oh. Thanks..."
Aaa, I had been crying here in my depressed corner, and someone had been kind enough to notice I was gone and came to look for me.
It was a really nice feeling.
Armin gave me another smile. "So, why were you crying?" he asked gently.
I blinked, and looked away, embarrassed. "Oh, you saw that?"
"It's...hard not to, considering the kind of person you are," he responded sheepishly. "You're always so bright and cheerful, it's easy to suddenly notice your absence when it's suddenly gone."
I laughed slightly. "Is that so?" I hugged my knees. "Well, I'm glad to brighten up the room, so to speak."
Really, I was just entertainment.
But who was I entertaining?
Myself, or them?
Or you, the reader?
He turned to face me. "Please don't think I'm making fun of you or anything!" he quickly said. "I really do mean it! Ever since you decided to, well, open up and show us how much you appreciate us, it feels...nicer, you know?" He smiled shyly. "Eren is always focused on training hard so he can fight Titans, and Mikasa is always focused on looking after him. I try to be the calm and rational one, but sometimes I too want to shout about the world and what lies beyond these Walls. That's why..." He locked eyes with me. "That's why, I want to thank you for being so affectionate this past week. Even though it's certainly strange to suddenly be spouting love confessions, it keeps the atmosphere light. We spend more energy thinking over how you like us more than the impending doom of a Titan invasion."
"So...thank you, for loving us."
My brain had shorted out, and now I was left staring at him like an owl, unblinking and still. Pretty sure my mouth was hanging, too.
Were my ears working correctly?
Had Armin just...
Had Armin just told me how much he appreciated my ridiculous behavior?
That what I was doing- spewing love confessions and almost sexually harassing people- helped keep their minds off of their inevitable deaths?
A part of me kept thinking he was lying, but Armin wouldn't lie about this.
He didn't gain anything from lying to me.
Which meant everything he just said to me was 100% pure natural GMO free gluten free grass-fed organic truth.
"...R-Really?" I whispered.
Armin nodded. "It's true. I do think sometimes you do go overboard, but it's...nice." He glanced away shyly. "Do you really mean it when you say you love me? It's not just Eren and Mikasa who are your favorites, right? You kissed them first, after all."
I quickly shook my head so violently, it almost popped off. "No no no! I would never lie! I truly truly do love you a lot, Armin!"
He brightened, his baby blue eyes shining like the sea he loved so much, and he gave me a smile of truly impossible pearly whites. "I'm glad."
And without a second to wait, he quickly leaned in and gave me a peck on the lips.
I felt my breath catch in my throat.
His lips were dry but smooth, and it was a firm touch against my own before moving away.
Armin looked down at his lap with a heavy blush and ducked his head. "Um, I hope that wasn't too forward! Though, you've technically done worse to the others..." he muttered.
I touched my lips. "That was my first kiss..." I murmured in shock. "I..."
I shot up from my spot, threw my hands up into the air, and whooped. "MY FIRST KISS WAS TAKEN BY ARMIN ARLERT!! HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH!!"
Armin covered his steaming red face with his hands. "I've enabled this..." he mumbled into his hands.
"WOOOOOOO!!!" I jumped around in gleeful joy, so exuberant and blessed by my coconut head. "THANK THE DEVIL!"
He tilted his head, curious. "The devil?"
"Hey!" Eren ran up to us with an angry pout, Mikasa right on his heels. "What do you mean, Armin got your first kiss?!"
Mikasa frowned as well. "Armin, how could you?"
Armin immediately held his hands up. "W-Why am I the one at fault?!" he whined.
Giggling madly, I tackled Mikasa in a full body hug.
As expected, she stayed firmly in place despite the fact that I was pushing all my weight onto her, and she even held me to make sure I wouldn't fall.
"Am I..." Mikasa began to ask quietly. "Am I also someone worthy of your love?"
"You didn't even have to ask," I replied fiercely, rubbing my cheek against hers. "You're a great person, Mika, and you deserve to be loved. Isn't that right, Eren?"
"Huh?!" The boy in question seemed startled. "Uh..." He looked away petulantly like the tsundere he was. "I guess..."
I could feel Mikasa soften into the gentle girl she really was, and she hugged me so tightly, I could feel my lungs being pushed up.
Not that I minded.
She could suplex me through solid stone and I'd be happy.
Then, on my tombstone, they would write 'killed via suplex from Mikasa Ackerman' and it'd top anyone else's death.
"You are...also important to me," Mikasa declared quietly but surely.
She even leaned in and kissed my cheek, like I had done to her an hour ago.
I was already crying before, but now I was definitely crying harder and more genuine than any youtuber apology video.
How did I actually gain their affection?
The world may never know.
"You are all important to me..." I sniffled. "We'll stick together in the Scouts, right?!"
"Right!" Eren agreed. "We'll kill the Titans and see the world!"
"Yeah!" Armin cheered happily. "We'll see the ocean!"
This chapter is long because I WANNA GET TO LEVI AND I KNOW YOU GUYS DO TOO
also minor spoilers for ep 58-59
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Okay, if there was one thing I hated about this place...
It was the fact that I had to wake up at the ass crack of dawn.
Which was basically 5:30AM.
The morning bell rang loudly, and by morning bell, it was just an asshole who walked down the hallway while banging on a metal plate. "Get up! You're all going to try your hands at manning the Walls today!" he shouted.
And by asshole, I meant an officer.
Which meant I had to get up or else, and I didn't want to know what consisted of a punishment here.
I dragged myself from my cot and held my arms out in front of me. "Ughhhh..." I groaned creepily.
I was a zombie in the mornings.
Mikasa, who was already up, wordlessly guided me to the showers. She even held me when I was about to fall asleep on my feet.
"Wake up," she spoke, giving me a gentle pinch to my cheek.
Gentle for her.
It felt like she was going to tear my face off.
"I'm up, I'm up..!" I whimpered. "Mikasa, I thought you loved meee..."
Mikasa turned to me and gave me that soft almost unnoticeable smile. "It's because I care that I do this. Now, get ready or else you'll be late."
I stared at her now, wide awake. "U...uwu..."
Nothing like feeling my heart melt from the uwu softness in the morning to wake me up.
"Okay!" I cheered, now way more energized and powered from love.
Since coming to this world, hygiene became something more...primitive. Water was apparently such a luxury that we could only wipe ourselves down with wet towels, kinda like a sponge bath but no sexy nurse to help me.
Fortunately for me, I had people that were way better than a sexy nurse.
"Mina!" I hollered over the heads of all the other girls. "Can you help me wash my back?!"
"Only if you wash mine!" was her cheerful reply. "And I'll wash Mikasa's!"
Mikasa frowned. "Does that mean I have to help...Annie?"
I immediately perked up and tried to find my ice queen. Not her, not her, no, wrong shade of blonde, no- there!
"Annie!" I frantically waved her over, hoping to catch her eyes. "Annie! I'll help you!"
The shifter glanced over at me before pointly looking away.
I held a hand to my chest. "Oof! That cold insolence..!" I sighed dreamily. "I'm not good enough for her attention! Yes!"
Despite this, Annie actually came over to where we were and reluctantly sat down. "Why did you have to make this weird..." she grumbled.
"Because you're so cool and strong and beautiful at the same time?" I replied matter-of-factly. "I gotta give you my utmost respect."
Much to my surprise, Annie actually blushed and looked away. "Sh-Shut up and let's get this over with..."
I stuck my lower lip out in an attempt to seem more pitiful. "Aww...Annie..." I whimpered. "I love you, my queen."
She only rolled her eyes and proceeded to scrub Mina's back. "Whatever."
I closed my eyes. "Yessss..." I hissed in glee. I loved being given the cold shoulder by her. "Can you teach me some muay thai- I mean, uh, your fighting moves?"
She glanced at me. "...Sure, why not."
I cried tears of joy. "Score!"
"Stop making this weird and keep washing."
By the time I was finished with my morning routine, everyone else was already done and dressed outside, ready to go about manning the Walls.
An officer was droning out all the names. "And the ones assigned to the south gate are Eren Jaeger, Thomas Wagner, Mina Carolina, Samuel Linke-Jackson, Connie Springer, Sasha Braus, and-" He glanced around. "Where is she?"
I was left limping toward the courtyard while pulling on my boot. "I'm here, I'm here!" I shouted, quickly snapping a salute.
The officer frowned at me. "Your first day as a graduated cadet and you're late?"
"Sorry, won't happen again," I said automatically before my brain even registered what he said.
I had to say this so many times when I would be late to school.
Never kept to it, though, because ew, school.
He rolled his eyes. "Whatever, you're out of my hands now. Get to the south gate and clean the cannons."
"Sir!" We all saluted and departed quickly.
I thought we would be using our ODM gear to get there, but apparently we were going to walk.
From the military headquarters to the south gate.
Which was 15 kilometers.
As in 9 miles.
As in 47,520 feet.
"Ugh..." I dragged my boots through the dusty stoned steps.
Connie patted my back. "Cheer up! We're all assigned together, ain't that nice?"
"It is nice, especially because you're here to liven the mood," I weakly responded. "But we gotta walk aaaaaall the way there?"
Sasha came up to my other side. "When I used to hunt in the mountains, I would have to trek through 20 kilometers all around!" she exclaimed fondly. "I had to set the traps, and then walk back to check them."
I stared at her. "Sasha. You're super capable and that's really amazing, but I am not someone who enjoys any kind of strenuous work."
Unless it included my favorite people taking off their clothes.
And I'm the one helping them take off their clothes.
As well as my clothes.
Now that's the kind of strenuous work I could get behind.
Eren turned to me with a frown. "How are you going to fight Titans if you don't work hard? You're going to get eaten!"
"Ehhh..." I shrugged. "I'll fight when I need to, but do we reaaally need to walk?" I eyed the distance between where we were and the south gate with disdain. "It's so much walking..."
Thomas let out a laugh. "You really hate walking, huh? You never used to complain about any physical activities before, or complain at all."
I blinked. Really? "...Well, I'm going to start complaining now. I hate walking to places when we have easier-" I eyed my gear. "And faster methods."
"That's true," Mina conceded with a small grin. "It would be easier, but I don't want to get in trouble."
I pouted. "We'd get in trouble for using the gear that they've made us train for? The gear that we're legally allowed to use in all manner of tasks such as the one we were assigned?"
"That..." Connie paused and frowned thoughtfully. "That actually kind of makes sense? Why aren't we using our gear?"
"Because it'd be a waste of gas when we can. Just. Walk!" Eren emphasized with a shout. "Are you guys serious right now? This is our first assignment as real soldiers and you all want to slack off?"
I hugged his arm. "Why are you so grumpy? Are you still mad about last night?" I asked with an innocent blink. "We're only saying there are other ways to complete our job without taking so much time and effort."
Eren frowned and looked away. "I'm not mad..." he mumbled. "But I should've been first."
"What's this about last night?" Connie asked with a tilt of his adorable head. "Something happen and I don't remember?"
I waved him off. "Nah nah, nothing. Anyway, since we're on the way and we're clearly not in any hurry, could we get some breakfast?"
I looked around the main boulevard of Trost. Unlike the game where the stalls were empty, here, it was a thriving market full of food and goods. People, normal people, were out on their day doing their shopping, looking harried but overall pretty peaceful.
"I just want something that's not bread and potatoes..." I moped.
"Same here..." Sasha agreed. "I want meat..."
I drooled a little at the thought.
Maybe a lamb skewer, or or or, maybe KBBQ...
Eren, however, shook his head. "Sorry, but we gotta get going. If there's a shop near the gate, I'll buy you something," he offered to me and me only.
I brightened and leaned up to kiss his cheek. "Thanks, best boy!"
Connie poked me in the arm. "Hey hey, what qualifies as a 'best boy'?" he asked curiously. "'Cause you've been going around calling everyone your favorite, but there can only be one real favorite, right?"
"Hmm..." I tapped my chin. "I guess...A best boy is someone who can be kind but fierce? Someone who does something so endearing that they're automatically labeled a best boy despite popular opinion?"
He scrunched up his face. "Popular opinion?"
I nodded. "Eren has always been pretty low on the polls, so I'm going to do my best to rectify it all. And for you as well."
Eren frowned. "I'm not popular?"
"You are to me!" I beamed and linked my arm with Connie's while still holding onto Eren, making some weird three person chain. "Let's go!"
By the time we got to the south gate and up on the Wall, it was almost midday.
This was why walking was a waste of time.
I hung back and dusted the floor while the others thrust their poles into the holes of the cannons, going in and out, in and out.
Eren and Connie had their hands wrapped around the shaft and grunted every time, driving themselves deeper and deeper with sweat pouring down their foreheads and down their shirts.
"Harder, Connie," Eren shouted. "Put your back into it!"
"I'm doing my best here..." Connie spoke between clenched teeth. "Not all of us have your stamina!"
I unabashedly watched.
I may have been drooling a little.
Okay, I was drooling a lot.
Can you blame me?
I checked the position of the sun and the color of the sky. It was getting to the hour where my tol boi was going to show up to ram his foot.
I wondered if I was really ready to face my first Titan. Couldn't be that bad, right?
I still had my Perfected Gear set on me too, and I did take some time to check out the equipment shed for myself.
They did have every set available from the game, but for some reason, no one else could see them or touch them, just me.
Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I'm insanely powerful.
When everyone took a break from cleaning the cannons, I passed around the water canteens I brought with me. "Make sure to drink up and stay hydrated!" I cheered.
You guys would need it in about 20 minutes...
Mina grinned and drew me into a quick hug. "Thanks!"
"Yeah, thanks!" Thomas added after her.
I beamed and kissed them both on the cheek. "You're welcome, my lovelies! Don't overdo yourselves already, okay? We have a long day ahead of us..."
I tried my best not to blurt it out, but man.
Now I knew how the manga readers feel when they see an anime-only ask a question that's answered later on in a really unexpected way.
Sasha had disappeared somewhere for a while, but now she was back with drool seeping from her dreamy grin, and she pulled out a huge roll of smoked meat.
"Hey guys..." Sasha sucked her drool back into her mouth. "Look what I got..."
"Sasha, where did you get that?!" Eren yelled in disbelief.
Mina shook her head. "You're gonna get in so much trouble..."
Thomas took a step back with his hands in front of him. "Did you take that from the officer's rations?!"
"Dude..." Connie blinked, and blinked again.
"Yayyy!!!" I cheered while jumping in place. "Meat! Meat! Meat! Gimme a pulled pork sandwich, please!"
Sasha grinned. "I do not know what that is, but it sounds delicious!" She crouched down to one of the boxes that were supposed to hold spare parts in, and hid the meat inside. "I'll come back for it later..."
Biting my lip, I inched toward the edge of the Wall toward the Maria side, and peeked down.
Sure enough, there he was.
Bertolt had just landed right in front of the Trost Gate outside of the district, and I watched with bated breath as he brought his hand up...
A giant lightning strike appeared out of nowhere, deafening my ears and blinding my eyes. Blinking away the stars, I looked up in awe.
I was finally face-to-face with the very mascot of Attack on Titan.
He was hot.
I mean, so hot, that he blew me and everyone else off the edge of the Walls and back into Trost.
I quickly shot my hooks out to anchor myself, stopping my descent, but then a second later, he kicked the gate and left a giant gaping hole.
A Titan quickly- well, not quickly, it was kind of shambling, but it was quick enough that we couldn't do anything to keep it out- came through with a big dumb grin on its ugly face.
Its hair was oily and limp, and its skin was covered in this weird matte shading, like a person who had used all their pressed powder on their makeup, then hairsprayed it to keep it all in place.
Except the pressed powder was dirt.
I could literally smell it from where I was.
Smelled like farts and stinky tofu.
I shuddered in disgust and covered my nose. "Titans are gross af."
Without waiting, I unhooked myself from the wall and let myself fall toward the ground. At the last second, I hooked onto the Titan's shoulder, reeled myself in with my blades held out, and spun in an arc toward its nape.
I could feel my blades made contact with skin as soon as it happened because it suddenly took a lot more effort to keep going, but I did.
The game definitely did not prepare me for the sensation of cutting through flesh, even with the vibration on.
Not only were my arms slightly trembling from the recoil, but also...
I knew that I was taking the life of someone that used to be human.
It. Sucked. Ass.
"Sorry..." I whispered, before focusing on the next Titan that was coming in.
While I was trying to thin the horde that was coming in, Eren was facing off with Colossal up on the Wall.
He was gone in a matter of minutes after a concentrated burst of steam, which never really made sense to me because his skeleton would still be around for a bit, right?
Whatever, plot continuity and all.
By the time an officer came to round us up for evacuations, I had already carved through five Titans.
Interestingly enough, a dire elimination target did actually show up, though instead of popping up out of nowhere, it also came through the gate.
It was thankfully only a little harder to take down than the others, which meant I spent a good 10 seconds instead of just 2.
Just gotta get through the rest of the day, easy peas-y right?
Everything else that happened after was a blur of sweat, blood, and tears.
We were separated into squads, and I was with the squad of future casualties.
Hell, even Franz and Hannah were here.
I gripped my blades tighter and flew toward the nearest Titan before the rest of my squad could even start, killing the one that would've eaten Thomas, and then the one that would've eaten Mina, and so on and so forth.
No one, and I really do mean no one, could keep up with me.
"H-How..." Armin looked at the multiple steaming carcasses scattered behind me with wide and shaking eyes. "How did you do that so quickly?"
He actually sounded...scared of me.
I bit my lip and looked away. All I could do was shrug. "Because I'm totally awesome like that?" I weakly grinned. "I told Connie this before, but I have people to protect. So..." I raised my blades. The blood was still evaporating off of them even after the Titan bodies were already gone; it was proof that I had killed so many that the blood couldn't evaporate fast enough. "I'll do my best to protect them."
Armin didn't look less shocked, but he was less shaken. "And...I'm going to guess I'm one of those people?"
I looked away after, the smile sliding off my face to be replaced with a grimace.
Despite the fact that I was doing my best here, there were still so many more Titans than the game or show had ever shown.
At least a hundred of them had poured into Trost within the last hour alone, and not even I could take them all down without risking an injury, and I shouldn't risk running out of gas.
I still had to let canon run its course, or else there wouldn't be a future.
So, I couldn't do anything but let that Titan grab onto Mina's wire. I couldn't do anything when Eren got distracted and had his leg bitten off. When Armin was left crying for Eren whose arm was severed and then he was swallowed.
When he was finally more coherent, Armin turned to me with blaming eyes. "Why...Why didn't you do anything?!" he screamed. "Didn't you say you were going to protect us?! You were able to kill so many before, but now, when it really mattered, he..!" He clenched his eyes shut and let the tears fall. "Eren's gone now!"
It really hurt.
I was already crying with him before I realized it, and when I came back to reality, I could hear myself mumbling, "I'm sorry...I'm sorry..."
I didn't want this.
I never wanted to hurt anybody.
I wanted to save everyone.
If it meant that the story would be a little more intact while keeping everyone alive, then I would take on the burden of their hate and their blame.
Eren was the only one eaten so far, so really, I hadn't failed.
It just really sucked, okay.
And then Mikasa came, and Armin blubbered to her while still crying, and I had to watch as her eyes lost that glint of life as her most precious person was announced dead.
She didn't even look at me.
Fuck, could today be over already?
Of course, as soon as everyone started blaming me, the Attack Titan appeared in all its muscle-y glory, and I forgot about being the scapegoat for a second.
"Oh holy cannoli..." I stared at him in awe.
He was, of course, amazing to look at.
15 meters of pure muscle and long wild hair that framed his angular face. His teeth gleamed, uncovered by any sort of lips or flesh, and his eyes, oof, they could pierce me any day.
Those abs, those thighs...
T H I C C.
Now I knew how Hange felt.
"Sexy Titannnn!" I screamed in his direction, hoping to get his attention. "Over here!"
It wasn't like I could call out his name or anything, or else everyone around me would know that was actually Eren piloting it.
"What are you doing?!" Jean screamed in a whisper while wrangling my arms to my sides in an attempt to stop me. "Are you crazy?! It'll kill us!"
"YASSS, SLAY ME!" I cried out gleefully. "MY WIG HAS BEEN SNATCHED!"
"This is not the time for your shenanigans!" Jean shook me roughly. "We gotta get gas and survive!"
Eren did actually glance over at us for a second, and I swore his gaze actually softened when they landed on me...
Or I was being delusional from all the fighting.
Either or, really.
But he turned back and kicked another Titan with a mighty roar.
I shuddered at the sound of his deep, inhuman voice. "Mmm, so good..." I commented appreciatively.
Some people were actually looking at me in disgust now, but they didn't understand that there was no cure for my thirst and they should just accept me for who I am.
A dehydrated hoe.
Even Armin, who had been avoiding looking at me, was giving me a concerned look. "Did you...hit your head?"
"Wouldn't really matter if I did," I replied with a smile. "I can still fight, so..." I readied my blades again. "Everyone, get ready to storm the supply depot once me and the sexy Titan clear the way, okay?"
"Wait, you might die..!" Mina fretted, and wasn't it nice that Mina was alive and whole enough to worry over my own omnipotent being?
I stepped closer to her and gently wrapped my arms around her. "...I think that's okay," I murmured with my eyes closed. "I already did something monumental."
Thomas slowly stepped forward. "...Like killing so many Titans?" he asked uncertainly.
I shook my head. "Making sure you guys live." I smiled peacefully. "Your lives and happiness mean everything to me, so don't worry about me. The fact that you guys are here means I won't let anything bad happen." I winked. "I still haven't gotten a kiss from you guys yet, and there's a whole bunch more people I need to give my attention to."
"You..." Armin started quietly, eyes wide and full of fear and uncertainty and a little glimmer of hope, but best of all...
There was no longer anger directed at me.
I grinned widely and spread my arms like wings, letting my ODM gear carry me toward the horde that surrounded the depot.
I flew in closer, wind in my hair, and killed two Titans consecutively before Eren came in with a roar and punched one behind me.
"Hey!" I waved cheerfully in his direction. "You're hot! Literally and aesthetically!"
He ignored me.
Oof, why did I always go for the ones who ignored me? First Annie, and now Eren.
Probably because I was a sucker for the bad boy/girl type.
I watched over him, taking out Titans along the way, until he finally lost all his energy and collapsed.
The skin on his neck moved aside to show raw muscle, and like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, Eren came out gasping for breath while unconscious.
Mikasa was the first to fly down and cry, and I slowly crept up behind her while on the lookout for Titans.
Hugging Eren close to her, she looked up at me with tear filled eyes and tugged me down so she could hug me as well.
"Thank you..." she whispered.
I felt guilty.
I didn't do anything.
Everything would've been the same if I wasn't here.
With the exception of Mina, Thomas, Franz, and Hannah surviving, but still.
I slowly wrapped my arms around them both. "...C'mon, it's not safe down here," I murmured. "Let's bring him up to the top so he won't be in danger."
Mikasa nodded compliantly.
I let out a breath.
Just a few more hours, and today would finally be over.
Just a little more...
All of a sudden, I found myself on top of the northern gate with some of the Garrison's elite members as well as Eren, Mikasa, and Armin.
It was honestly kind of disorienting to go through so much in so little time, and I was actually getting kind of tired.
Maybe I did have to eat something more substantial here despite the fact that I was never hungry?
"All right," Ian began. "Rico, Mitabi, Ackerman, Arlert, and you will be on the team that will protect Jaeger. Jaeger will transform and pick up the boulder, and then plug up the hole. The rest of us will take care of any Titans that try to get in his way. Any questions?"
I raised my hand immediately. "When are you next free?"
Ian paused and frowned. "Ask me that again if we make it out of here alive," he scolded.
Sweet, that meant I can ask him out next time.
Rico scoffed and glared at me. "Follow your orders, cadet, and don't waste our time," she reprimanded harshly.
I raised my brows. Damn, okay.
That was hot.
"Yes, ma'am," I answered cheekily.
Armin quickly stepped in with his back turned toward me. "Forgive her, she's...always like this," he apologized. "L-Let's begin the operation!"
Before we left, I was able to find Marco in the crowd and pushed him toward Jean. "Don't leave each other's sides, okay?!" I shouted while already zipping off. "I ship you guys and the ship should be able to sail!"
"What does that even mean?!" Jean screamed after me. He looked really tired and half-crazed. Poor boy. "Damn it, get back here and help us! Stop leaving us when these Titans are ready to eat us!"
"Jean, she has an operation to attend!" Marco scolded him before turning to me with an encouraging smile. "I'll watch over Jean for you, so do your best!"
I grinned and gave him a thumbs up.
Marco was saved.
The shifters couldn't come after him if he didn't overhear anything.
The day slowly darkened into sunset, and I slaughtered more and more Titans with my temporary squad to make sure Eren got his chance.
The ground rumbled with every step he took, and soon, with a mighty roar, he threw the boulder down and blocked the hole.
I whooped, covered in steaming blood. "EREN, YOU DID AMAZING! I LOVE YOU!"
The Titan let out another roar before collapsing.
Connie was wrong; Eren had terrible stamina.
As I zipped down to check up on my trio of babies, the coast clear of Titans for now, I suddenly remembered what time it was.
"Oh..." I gasped, eyes going wide and a smile spreading on my face. "Oh sweet cannoli, it's time..."
"Time?" Ian questioned me, still alive because I saved his ass.
Honestly, elites were shit.
"I was so busy and exhausted, I almost forgot!" I squealed excitedly.
"For what?" Rico landed beside me in a panting mess. "You're...You're crazy..."
"For him, yes!" I answered in a high pitched voice, lost in my excitement and anticipation.
Heavy steps sounded out behind us and I turned around with a big smile, not even bothering to do anything while my comrades all looked ready to take it down.
A flash appeared, spiraling down the Titan's arm before twisting back to its nape and cutting it down with one quick spin.
The Titan collapsed with a big rumble, scattering dust in my eyes, and I looked up with what I knew was a wide smile as he descended down, using the Titan's head as a landing pad.
The other star of the show.
Levi turned to us with a deep frown. "One of you shits tell me what's going on right now."
"Heichou..." I breathed out.
He raised a brow. "Hay-cho? The fuck?"
Oh sweet cannoli, he was even more majestic in person in all his 5'2 glory.
Eren, having just been extracted from his Titan form, blearily looked up at me, specifically at my lewd expression, and groaned. "Not again..."
LEVI IS FINALLY HERE YALL
"OhmyholycannoliOhblessingsuponmysinfulsoul..." I gushed excitedly, even jumping up and down while clapping my hands like a madman. "Heichouuuuuu!"
Never in all my years did I think I would ever meet THE Levi.
THE Levi Ackerman.
THE Lance corporal lieutenant captain heichou whatever his freakin' title in the military was, because wow, he's got a bunch of different titles all around and none of them were correct.
Levi scowled at me. "What the hell are you blabbering on about? Just answer the damn question: How many Titans came through?"
I sighed lovingly. He was even scowling at me. Me!
Dream come true.
"Uh..." Ian staggered up to my side and pointed toward the northwest of the district. "There-There should still be a gathering of Titans near the northern Wall. We..." He grimaced at the blood trails that flowed freely through the cracks on the street. "We've lost a lot of men to get here."
"A gathering, huh..." Levi mused while fingering the handles of his swords.
At this point, the Titan he was standing on had disintegrated enough that he had to jump down to ground level, which meant that I was almost at eye level with the guy.
They weren't kidding when they said he was short, but like...he didn't feel short?
It was those broad shoulders, I tell you.
That, and those steely eyes.
This was a man who had seen some shit and done some shit.
"Who's still got some energy to help out?" Levi asked with a steely gaze. "My squad should be on there way shortly, but we need every one of you pieces of shits to survive the night."
I immediately raised my hand like an excited student who had the answer all along. "Me me me me me! Pick me!" I waved wildly. "I wanna gooo!"
Levi sneered. Damn, he was so freaking hot when he did that. He was hot when he did anything. "A rookie?"
"Freshly graduated as of last night," I chirped.
Rico glanced over at me with broken goggles and grimaced. "It's true, Captain Levi," she vouched for me, face pale despite all she had exerted today. "She also...decimated the Titan invasion...alone."
"Aww!" I gushed and leaned over to pat her shoulder. I didn't want to hug her for fear she'd skewer me with a sword. "Not alone, though I did do a lot of the work. You guys were a great help!"
Eren stumbled onto his feet. "Wait, I...I can still fight..." he panted, looking as if he was about to keel over and die any moment. "Let me...go with you..."
"Eren," Mikasa pleaded, pulling him back by his arm. He didn't, or rather couldn't, fight her off. "You need your rest. Let her take care of the rest."
I nodded in agreement. "You just sit tight on top of the Wall. I'm not letting anything happen to you." I even threw in a salute to show just how serious I was.
Because I was completely serious.
I wouldn't let anything happen to him, or Mikasa, or Armin, or Ian, or Rico, or even Levi.
Today had proven that I was more than capable as a one man army.
So long as they accepted me, they could point me in any direction and I would wreck destruction to whatever they wanted.
Eren didn't look happy, but he nodded. "All right...stay safe, and stay alive," he whispered, sluggishly leaning forward to kiss me on the lips.
Every part of my being immediately honed in on the feeling.
His lips were chapped and torn, and I could even taste a hint of blood from when he had bitten into his hand.
It wasn't much of a kiss.
And yet it made me the happiest girl in the multiverse.
My cheeks hurt from how wide my smile was. "I would never die on you guys," I promised. "I love you all too much."
"Hey, rookie! Hurry your ass or I'm leaving you behind!" Levi shouted at me. Despite his words, he was already zooming off over the rooftops, heading toward the nearest Titan.
"Yes sir, Heichou sir!" I responded cheekily.
Giving my lovely trio a kiss each on their cheeks, and giving Rico and Ian a good loving tap on their backs since they didn't know me well and it'd be real weird if I kissed them too, I headed off.
Back into the whirlpool of blood I had created.
The entire district would be covered in red if Titan blood didn't evaporate, but that didn't quite count for all the human casualties.
Despite the staggering number of Titans I had killed, they were able to get to a lot of civilians before I could get them.
It showed with the amount of bodies that littered the streets and alleys, all still and pale from blood loss.
And that was only counting the humans that hadn't been devoured completely.
Levi had already killed two Titans before I got to the scene, and before he could get to the next one, I had already sliced off its nape and the next, and the next, and the next...
Landing on one of the rooftops, Levi stared at me. "...What the hell are you?" he muttered.
Wiping the blood from my face, I gave him a curious smile. "Hm?"
He raised his blade in my direction, eyes narrowed. "How the hell did you kill them so quickly?" he demanded, suspicion written all over his face. "You're not related to him, are you?"
I blinked. "Him?"
"Kenny. Kenny the Ripper."
My eyes widened and I almost choked on my saliva.
Related to Kenny?
Me, an Ackerman?
"Dude, I wish!" I laughed, effortlessly dodging a Titan's grabby hands as if it was a normal occurrence. "Being related to Kenny would be so cool, except I'm not into incest. Nor am I interested in eugenics, though the science behind it is pretty fascinating."
Without waiting, I sped ahead and killed as many Titans as I could.
I didn't need to collect materials from their limbs, and none of them glowed with green electricity like in the game, which meant that all I needed to do was hit their necks, and viola...
Just needed some cheese and olives, and it'd be delish.
A green flare exploded into the sky about a hundred meters away, and I sped off.
Despite the speed I was going at, I could hear Levi following quite closely behind me, though he used his wires more than he used his gas.
Probably had to learn to conserve gas while on expeditions, poor guy.
I still hadn't ever replaced my gas canisters or my blades.
Kind of worrying, if I was being honest.
"Hey!" Levi shouted after me. "You're still a newbie, don't fucking go rushing off!"
"Sorry, Heichou!" I apologized sheepishly. "But I cleaned up Trost pretty well, if I do say so myself! Plus, someone needs our help!"
When we got to where the flare was shot, I gasped with a tearful smile.
"Captain!" Petra called out while dealing with two Titans at once. "A little assistance would be appreciated!"
"No need, I'm here!" I interrupted, jumping down with my blades out.
I focused on the nape. Launched my wires out. Retracted myself toward it, swords at the ready.
Blood gushed out as I landed, and the two Titans fell to the ground with a large and dust-filled impact.
"Wow..." Petra watched in awe before turning to me with a pretty smile. "You're pretty good, are you part of the Garrison?" Her eye caught the emblem on my jacket and she was slack-jawed. "What- A trainee?! Are you serious?!"
"No time to explain!" I saluted quickly before heading off to the next Titan.
I could hear Levi cursing at me while Petra sputtered, and I grinned to myself.
Wasn't this a great first impression on the Levi squad?
Plus, once I was done, I could meet the others...
The thought surged me forward, and I did my duty to my loves and my fandom. I killed every Titan I saw, even the dopey 3 meters, and slaughtered both the dire elimination target, as well as the final boss.
They weren't hard at all.
Landing on top of the Wall, I stretched my arms with a satisfied smile. "It's almost scary how good I am!" I snickered.
"For sure! You really took out every single Titan!"
I froze at the enthusiastic voice, and I slowly turned around with wide eyes to see...
The top brass of the Surveyconlegiment.
Hange had been the one to speak to me. Their eyes sparkled excitedly while their lips were spread into a grin. "You're one heck of an impressive cadet, I gotta say!" they praised me. "You were even giving Levi a run for his money!"
Levi, having landed just after me, huffed and turned to me. "Shitty-glasses is right; you're pretty good," he conceded. "Almost too good...The hell are they teaching cadets these days?"
"The same curriculum as always, if I recall correctly," Erwin responded.
"Hm..." Mike hummed, coming closer with his large nose.
I stared up at him with wide eyes.
Mike leaned down closer to my height and audibly sniffed me, both at my neck and in my hair.
I held myself still with bated breath, heart beating fast from his close proximity.
My face also felt hot, but I could maybe say it was from exertion rather than attraction.
I was sure my nose wasn't as powerful as his, but with how close he was, I could smell his manly musk as well as the scent of sweat and horses.
The smell of an expedition.
Oh jeez, I was gonna smell like that soon too, wasn't I.
Mike leaned back and hummed, peering down at me from below his straw colored fringe. "...Power," he remarked. "She smells like power."
I placed my hands on my hips and puffed out my chest, a la superman style. "Power smells like slaughtered Titans, got it. Wish I could smell like Old Spice instead, though."
"What?" Hange blinked. "Old Spice?"
"Look at him," I pointed to Levi. "Now look back at me, now look back at him, and now look back at me." I went and stood beside him with a big grin. "You thought you had one ace, but now you have two!"
Hange grinned and ruffled my hair. "Not sure what that was about, but I'm excited to find out! Hey, you wouldn't be opposed to joining the Scouts, would you?"
"Would I!" I gasped in delight.
"That's enough," Erwin interrupted with a strained smile, and stood in front of me. "Hello, I'm sure you know who I am, but I'll introduce myself all the same. My name is-"
I looked up at him in awe. "Captain America..."
He raised a very impressive brow. I swore it could probably fly off as its own avian species. "Pardon?"
"You're pardoned," I blurted out without thinking. "If I can rest in your pillowy bosom."
"...The hell is wrong with you?" Levi asked me with a scowl. "Did you swallow Titan blood and go crazy or something?"
"I'd love to have some of whatever I'm on," I admitted with a shrug. "If only I knew what it was. Probably just good ole crazy." I grinned. "Crazy in love, just crazy in loveeee."
"Aren't you with that brat? The one that kissed you?"
"Technically, I'm with all three of them," I sighed with a dreamy smile. "And a few others, if they accept my love..."
Erwin slowly blinked down at me.
Man didn't get phased by anything.
"Polygamy aside, I would like to ask you to join us," Erwin requested rather respectfully, despite the fact that I had admitted to his face that he had the best man pecs. "You performed admirably today, and you would be an immense asset to our cause."
"Okay!" I accepted immediately with a grin. "Can I get assigned to Heichou's squad?"
"Heichou?" Erwin questioned.
I pointed to Levi.
Levi scowled and swatted my hand away. "Why do you keep calling me that? I have no idea what the hell that even means."
"It refers to your rank," I answered vaguely.
Because Erwin had assigned Levi some bullshit rank that didn't actually exist the military, which gave him immense power over the troops and basically made him second in command even though Hange and Mike were higher up on the chain.
Honestly, what the hell was a Lance Corporal Lieutenant Captain?
Captain I could let slide, because he was a captain of his own squad, but everything else was some A-grade BS a la Erwin Smith.
"We'll see," Erwin answered enigmatically. "In the meantime, why don't you come with us to our headquarters and get you officially situated with us?"
"Yes sir, Danchou!" I saluted happily. "I promise I'll never give up, never gonna let you down, and I'll never turn around and hurt you!"
Erwin's smile became strained, not much, but I could tell he was getting tired of me. "...Great."
Hange slung an arm over my shoulders and pulled me close. "You gotta tell me, what's with that kid?!" They pointed to Eren who was unconscious and being held in chains by some other Scouts. "Can he really turn into a Titan?!"
I nodded. "The sexiest Titan there is."
Levi slowly turned and glared at me. "...You can't seriously be attracted to a Titan," he emphasized.
"Only to his Titan," I answered. "Did you even see his abs?! He had abs! And long flowing hair!"
"Oooh," Hange hummed excitedly. "I've never heard of Titans being fit before! I gotta get Moblit to sketch it out for me!"
"No need." I reached into my breast pocket and pulled out a piece of folded paper. "You're welcome."
Intrigued, Hange unfolded it and promptly laughed. "Wh-What the?!"
It was a sketch of Eren's Titan that I had done previously off of my own memory, but I made it way sexier by making him pose like an Armani Exchange model, complete with sweat glistening off of his impressive body.
Levi looked disgusted and turned away. "Fucking filthy."
"Thank you!" I said, genuinely happy at his insult.
"...You're a strange one for sure," Mike murmured behind me.
I shrugged. "Strange is the spice of life. If I was normal, I'd be boring to be around."
I would also be how I was at home.
A shut-in who never liked going outside, never liked to exercise, and never liked to kill.
But look at me now.
Outside, drenched in sweat after hours of slaughtering Titans.
I sighed and leaned on Mike's chest. "I'm tired. Can I rest in your pillowy bosom?"
"...Can I even say no if you're already doing it?"
"Nope," I chirped. "I did a lot today, okay? I had to wake up early, and couldn't even have a proper shower because water is a limited resource despite the fact that there's a giant reservoir in the north feeding into several rivers, and I had to walk alllll the way from the Trost base to here, without having breakfast. It's been a terrible day, but now that you're here, it's much better."
As a point, I even snuggled into his chest.
Mike only snorted and gently pushed me away. "...You stink."
"I thought you said I smelled like power," I weakly argued, though I knew I wasn't the freshest flower here.
No one was.
Which was a shame.
A boot kicked my back and I stumbled forward. "Hey!"
"Be quiet and keep walking," Levi grumbled, putting his leg down. "What do I have to do to shut you up?"
"Chu~." I puckered my lips in his direction.
He scowled at the implication. "No."
The outpour of love for this fic honestly amazes me, like yall like this trash??? Thanks for all the love and support <3
BTW, if you want more updates from an author, maybe don't threaten them
AKA someone demanded and threatened that I update this and I sure am not AmusedTM. I don't get paid to write, I write for funsies, so if someone is going to demand from me, I sure won't be having fun, and therefore will feel less inclined to update. Ya know?
Not saying you can't ask for more updates, or for things to happen in the fic!! My advice is to think through what you're submitting as a comment. Fanfic writers are smol sad beby (As in, please remember fanfic writers are people with priorities and responsibilities like any regular person)
Moving away from that, let's get back to our harem <3 Sorry for the month long hiatus uwu
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Getting to the Surveyconlegiment Headquarters was a journey in itself, though thankfully, I was allowed to use my ODM gear to get through the city undetected since everyone was still in full panic and screaming mode due to the Titan invasion.
I wasn't as thankful when told to get on a horse.
"Do I have to..?" I asked with a grimace, eyeing the indistinct brown horse that they presented me with.
It wasn't that I hated horses or anything- though their tongues freaked me out, like why are they so giant and slimy?- but it was the fact that it wasn't my horse that I had in-game.
This horse probably had the weakest stats out of all the other horses.
"Get on the damn horse or I'll tie you up and leave your head hanging by its ass," Levi snapped at me from on top of his horse.
Made me wonder how he got up there in the first place since it's twice his height.
Grumbling, I climbed up and swung my leg over. "I'm gonna cry if you fall off a cliff, okay? Agro number 2?"
The horse neighed, accepting the name.
As it should.
I leaned to the side and peeked.
As she should.
Agro is forever the best horse to ever exist in any sort of medium, ever. That horse literally dies for you.
Man's best friend may be doggos, but man's true protector is horsey.
As a small group, we rode through the plains until we ended up at a bustling headquarters. It wasn't like the game, though, where there were tons of people walking around looking busy.
It was more militaristic.
People actually lined up in front of what I assumed was the equipment and repair shed, and they'd hand off their broken or dented gear to be fixed. Others were leading their horses to the stables, and they'd brush them down, get them fed, massage, pamper, mani-pedi, etc.
Damn, I could go for a mani-pedi right about now...
Of course, since this was the scouts, there weren't as many soldiers here as, say, the Garrison quarters in Trost, so barely anyone greeted us when we rode in through the gates.
Kind of felt lame, like, where's the fanfare for me breaking my kill streak? I totally offed at least 80 Titans today, waaaay more than any other person with maybe the exception of Levi.
I'm cool, despite the fact that I killed monsters that used to be humans.
I did my best to hold the tears in, and smiled like an airhead.
Fuck, I needed therapy real bad right about now, but I can't say anything. No one knew what therapy was here, and I couldn't have a mental breakdown and hide in a bed with chips and ice cream and an unlimited Netflix account.
I had people to shower affection to.
When we all got off our horses, Erwin turned to me. "There's a lot to be done, so for now, I would like you to follow Hange and Levi. Get to know the surroundings, and familiarize yourself with the tasks here," he ordered. "When I am next available, I will call for you to my office."
I saluted. "Yes sir, Danchou sir! Will it just be me?"
He gave me a smile, and what a handsome smile it was. His teeth were so white! How did people keep up their hygiene in a world that hadn't even discovered fluoride yet? "Yes. I am very much interested in your skills and how they can help us."
A cheshire grin spread on my face. "I am very skilled..." I wiggled my eyebrows just for good measure.
Erwin continued to smile as he turned around and walked away.
The guy was like, what, 38? He had to get the innuendo.
Hange held their stomach as they laughed. "She's fun! I like her!" they announced with a grin. "I'm so glad we're keeping her!"
Levi rolled his eyes. "Don't flatter her. Her head's gonna explode from all the shit you're feeding her."
I whipped my head in his direction, and like a mature adult who had acquired a vast education, stuck my tongue out. "Don't be so jelly, Heichouchou."
He stared at me. "...What even are you."
I pump a fist into the air. "Obviously I'm awesome!" Because what else was I gonna say? Mentally fragile and spiritually broken? Puh-lease.
Everyone here was already.
Next thing I knew, I was staring up at the night sky because Levi had swept his leg and knocked my ass onto the ground. "Ow," I uttered a few seconds later in the most nonchalant tone possible.
"I'm done," Levi announced flatly. "I'm going to my room. None of you better disturb me or else you're cleaning headquarters top to bottom." And with that, he walked away without a glance back.
I stared after him dreamily, specifically at a certain part of his anatomy. "He really can walk the walk," I sighed fondly.
Those legs were so strong and shapely.
Hange crouched down next to me and nudged my shoulder. "Don't worry about Levi, he's usually pretty grouchy after an expedition," they consoled. "Today's been a long day, too. Speaking of, don't you want to get some rest?"
I shrugged, still on the ground. "I'm okay. Actually, I wanted to ask." I got up from the ground and dusted myself off. "What are you guys going to do to Eren?"
"Eren?" Hange blinked. "Oh, you mean the boy who can turn into a Titan!" They clasped their hands together and swooned. "Oh, I want to find out everything about how he can do that! How is it possible for a human- at least, I assume he's human- to suddenly generate such a gigantic body mass that can instantly be used for combat?! What sort of chemical reaction occurs when he does generate his Titan form?! Does he need to eat humans? I don't think I saw any blood near his jaws, so I assume he doesn't, but assuming is never a good thing when there may be other factors that contribute to-"
"He's amazing, right?!" I gushed right back with stars in my eyes. "And so strong and cute and just the best! But again, I'm kinda asking what you guys are gonna do with him? Is he locked up somewhere, and if he is, can I visit?"
"Oh- right right right." Hange adjusted their goggles. "Well, as of right now, he's been transported to Ehrmich. They want to try him in court to see if he's a danger to humanity and whatnot, but honestly..." They rolled their eyes. "What's the point? If he had wanted to do something, he would've done so already."
I awkwardly coughed and looked away.
Don't mention Reiner or Bert or Annie or even Ymir...
"So he'll be locked up until then. Visiting rights..." Hange hummed. "Well, Erwin can probably arrange something, but it'll have to wait until Trost has been announced fully safe."
Oh right, they had to move all the dead bodies and make sure there weren't any Titans hiding or something.
"I'm not going to participate in the cleanup?" I asked curiously, but it wasn't as if I wanted to help out.
That sounded wrong.
I want to help out, but I didn't want to see so many dead bodies.
Those were the people I couldn't save, after all.
For all my OPness, I really only affected the main cast and their circumstances.
Like the fact that Marco was still alive, or that Mina, Thomas, Hannah, Franz, and a shit ton of my other yearmates were alive as well.
"Nope." Hange shook their head. "I'm going to need you for myself, actually."
"Oh?" I raised a brow, intrigued. "Like what? I'm really only good for killing Titans. I mean, I can help capture if you want, but my specialty is looking cool while increasing my kill streak to break my combo record."
They grinned and ruffled my hair. "I'll pretend I understood that," they replied. "You will be helping with my experiments, not like Moblit, but more in the sense that you'll be our security. I have my eye on a select few Titans and would loooove to experiment on them..." They paused and sucked up the drool that dripped from their mouth. "But I can't capture them if there are other Titans in the way. Soooo..." They wiggled their eyebrows as a hint.
I nodded seriously. "Got it. You need me to clear the way, just as Moses parted the red sea."
"Exactly, except Moses never parted any water while he was here, though he was a pretty good soldier," Hange replied with an indulging nod. "Anyway, why don't I show you to your room and the showers? I'm sure you're dying for a wash."
My jaw dropped open. "Wait...How much water do I get?" I asked fervently with my hands clasped. "And is it..." My lips quivered. "Heated?"
Hange narrowed their eyes, and my stomach clenched with anticipation.
They opened their mouth, "Oh yeah," they answered with breathy satisfaction and threw in a saucy wink too. "It gets quite...hot, if you get my meaning."
I squealed happily.
As I stood under the icy torrent of the shower, naked and shivering with my teeth chattering away like a cranked toy, and most disappointingly, all alone, I sulked.
The next morning after a night full of quietly sobbing into my new bed, I dressed into my new uniform.
I looked at myself in the shitty bronze mirror that I had, and wolf whistled as I posed with my hip cocked out and my back turned.
The Wings of Freedom looked real good.
I know I had some sort of control over reality in this world, just as I did as a character in the game, but there were some things I could and couldn't change.
My gear was able to be upgraded to the maximum. I didn't have to carry extra gas canisters because I literally never ran out. My blades dulled with time, but even then, they barely needed to be changed.
What I couldn't change, was my stupid horse.
I did not get my golden-white stallion of majestic hair flutters that had 400 speed and 400 stamina.
Agro #2 was still my assigned horse, which you know, not the worst thing? Just...very disappointing.
My Palomino cost me 100,000 regiment funds to acquire.
I paused and frowned.
What the hell did 100,000 regiment funds translate to in real money? What kind of money did the rest of the country used? I saw gold coins, but no one had named what they were.
Were they dollars? Royals? Sovereigns? Gil? Mesos? Just Gold?
I patted my pockets for any sign of coins and cried. "Am I broke?" I whimpered. "No way...right?"
They never covered real money in the game...
With a forlorn sigh, I decided to forget about nice shiny precious money, and walked over to my closet instead.
This was another thing I had control over, actually.
I figured out how this worked about two days ago after graduation.
If I took off my jacket and hung it in my closet, closed the door, then opened them again, it would come out a different color, and sometimes, a different emblem.
There was no control over which color, though, so it took a couple of tries to get the combination I wanted.
This also worked with the rest of my uniform, like my pants, cape, boots, shirt, and that weird buttcape thing that I'm told is important.
As I headed off to breakfast and passed a few other soldiers, I was super disappointed and let down by their lack of reaction. I guess this was another thing they couldn't see.
Maybe they only saw me in a regular uniform with regular gear, despite me walking around in different colors and Perfected Gear set.
Oh, woe is the world...
Also, over the week or two or however long I've been here, I've learned not to anticipate any sort of good food. It's always stale bread and weird grungy potato soup.
I arrived at the cafeteria and got my tray of slop, then looked around with a big grin.
But there's at least one thing that's different, and it's that I'm in the Corps now! Which means..!
My eyes honed in on my target and my grin widened.
Fast walking up to his table in the corner where he had a cup of tea and a stack of paperwork in front of him, I sat my tray on the table and then took a seat opposite of him. "Heichou," I breathed out like a creep.
Levi looked up at me with the deadest stare I have ever been blessed to receive. "...You."
"Me." I beamed like the sun. "Good morning, Heichou."
"Why do you keep referring to me with that?" he asked with a deepening frown. "I've never heard of whatever language you're speaking."
"Oh, I'm sure you'll hear it in about 4 years," I hinted but never answered. "Anyway, it's what the fans call you! Did you know they refer to you as Heichou instead of Levi?"
He narrowed his gaze. "Who the hell is this 'they'? Fans of what?"
"Of you!" I answered, still in awe at the amazing man in front of me. "You're short and crass and a clean freak, and they love that about you! Especially when it's Eruri and Ereri!" I sighed dreamily. "Or Eruriren..."
There is no ship I hate.
All ships are good ships so long as they can float and sail.
Levi kind of stared at me for a while, before turning away toward the window and taking a long sip of his tea. "I'd ask, but that's none of my business," he muttered.
I ducked to avoid the empty cup thrown at my head, and it clattered noisily against the stone floor. "Hey!" I pouted. "That could've hit me!"
He glared at me. "That was the point. I don't know what the hell a 'kermit' is, or a ship, or whatever a heechoo is, but you're in the Corps now, which means you're also my subordinate, and I'm not gonna take you mouthing off to me. Address me as Levi or Captain Levi. Is that understood?"
I whimpered. "But, heichou means...something, I don't know, something like lieutenant or captain or corporal, or all three, not sure, but anyway, it's a moniker of respect!" I clasped my hands together in front of me. "Really, I'm not lying! Heichou means Lance corporal lieutenant captain, and Danchou means commander!"
He wasn't moved whatsoever by my explanation, but he didn't speak again, so I'll take that as him saying 'fine.'
"So, um..." I tried to smile without seeming too hopeful. "Am I gonna train with you today? You know, see how you guys operate?"
Sighing, Levi nodded and picked up his paperwork. "Unfortunately. Despite you being an absolute monster on the field, you're still a newbie, so you better listen to what your superiors say. Finish your breakfast and we'll start some drills."
"I'm done," I immediately replied, my tray empty in front of me.
Levi stared at me, not saying a word, and slowly shifted his gaze to a few tables over.
Oluo sat stiffly while the gruel I threw slowly dripped from the top of his head and onto his jacket, staining the pristine beige corduroy that he worked so hard on cleaning. Petra, Eld, and Gunther looked at him in shock and pity, and their eyes were darting from their dirty teammate to their captain who stood as still and as cold as a statue.
Levi looked back at me and raised one razor-thin brow.
I smiled and fluttered my eyelashes. "I cleaned up Trost," I made sure to mention.
I did them all a favor, ya know, saving lives and killing Titans.
Of course, I shouldn't be an ass like this all the time, buuuuuuut this was Heichou!
I wanna train with Heichou and be told I'm a good girl!
The need to be praised by him was overwhelming.
Levi finally opened his mouth. "...Oluo, clean up your mess or else you're getting assigned latrine duty," he ordered without even looking at his copycat.
Oluo slumped over the table and sobbed pathetically like the weirdo he was.
I still can't believe he's only 18, like damn. Dermatologists would love him.
Levi picked up his paperwork and gestured for me to follow him out. "C'mon, since you're so eager to get your ass kicked."
Perking up, I scrambled out of my seat and dogged his steps. "Yes sir, Heichou!" I answered happily.
"Heichou..." I heard him murmur under his breath thoughtfully, and I grinned.
I'm so eager for him to kick my ass.
And by kicking, I mean...
Agro is the horse from Shadow of the Colossus, and he literally saves your life by sacrificing his own on a collapsing bridge. All horses wish they were as heroic as Agro.
Moses is actually a real character in AOT, you might recognize his name as the one the old lady shouts in episode 1 lmao
im running out of jokes heckin heck