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Gentling a Giant

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"Not even a little tired, are you?" Eren yawned, keeping his tired eyes on the Titan before him, whose sunken eyes were tightly fixed on the human.

According to the marked candle Hange had left for him, it was well after midnight, and the other was wide awake even after the sun had set hours ago. The brunette had warned him he may have to stay up all night, since the capacity for storing and using sunlight for energy seemed to differ between individual Titans. He was fine with that, the only problem was that the bespectacled woman had kept him up the entire night before because he made the mistake of asking her about her Titan experiments. How he hadn't fallen asleep yet was beyond him.

Maybe it was because he felt nervous? Anyone would be if they were alone with an unrestrained Titan, even if said Titan did save his life after he tried to avenge Thomas, had cleared the path to HQ so everyone could restock on supplies, and had carried that massive boulder to block the hole the Colossal had made in Wall Rose. It also didn't help that the other hadn't moved a single muscle, or even blinked since the two of them had been covered. 

Perhaps the brunet was simply curious? This Titan had done all he could to protect Eren and his friends, and even cooperated with the plan to plug up the hole in the wall, even though that meant he would be trapped inside. The boy also appeared to be the only one the Titan would let near him without provoking him, hence why Hange insisted on his help in taking notes and studying him, and why he wasn't restrained.

There was a lot of pressure being put on the teen's shoulders because of that, especially after the theatrics during the trial to decide the rogue Titan's fate. Eren, the one who adamantly insisted he would erase every last Titan from existence, had stood up for the other for the Scouts when the Military Police had tried to have him executed and dissected. Even someone as stubborn as Eren could see this Titan was the edge mankind desperately needed. If they needed to fight fire with fire, then so be it. 

An hour passed by at a snail's pace, and the brunet found it harder and harder to fight the need for sleep. He looked down at the blank notebook and pencil Hange had provided for taking notes and merely sighed before settling his sight on the other once more, only for his eyes to widen somewhat from surprise.

It was only for an instant, but he was sure he seen something. Eren had to rub his eyes to make sure he was at least somewhat awake before grabbing the notebook and pencil, and looking up at the Titan once more.

"Do that again. That thing with your eyes," he requested. Hopefully he wasn't wrong about what he saw, and hopefully the other complied.

The dark haired Titan stared at him in silence for a few moments before what looked like a thin, transparent film drew itself across both of the Titan's eyes once more. Eren was quick to jot down what he seen, describing it as best he could while providing a crude drawing of the action. He'd never seen anything like it before, but hopefully Hange could shed some light it on. 

Unlucky for him, that would be the only thing he would write down in that notebook, as a mere half hour passed before sleep had caught Eren in its alluring web. Once his eyes closed, the Titan in front of him finally made a move.

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The sun rose and with it, came a bespectacled brunette and her assistant to check if Eren had made any worthwhile discoveries pertaining to the captured Titan.

"Good morning, find out anything good?" Hange called out once the tent around Eren and the Titan came down. There was no answer, nor was there any sign of Eren. He couldn't have been devoured, soldiers were on patrol the entire night, and none of them reported any commotion, nor were there any signs of blood or a struggle. It was then that a low, but soft grunt had snapped her from her thoughts, her attention now on the Titan, whose own eyes trailed downward to his folded hands.

Once her own hues were fixed onto his hands, the Titan slowly opened them, revealing the cradled form of Eren, who was unharmed and sound asleep in the other's palms.

Hange practically had a field day at the sight, immediately telling Moblit to sketch the scene as she approached the Titan with little fear in her eyes.

"Poor guy must have passed out during the night. I'll have to grab him something special to eat when he wakes up as thanks," she mused before looking up at the Titan. "Would it be alright if I take the notebook he had?" the brunette asked, holding up a similar looking book and pointing to it. She would have asked if they could take Eren as well, but he was most likely the reason why she was even able to get this close in the first place.

Once the dark haired Titan nodded, Hange practically cooed at the fact a Titan had actually understood and acknowledged her words. Nothing could dampen her mood now, not even Levi.

Hange was careful when grabbing the notebook Eren had in his arms, not wanting wake him, but to also not give the Titan any wrong ideas. Once the book was safely in her hands, she was quick to flip open its pages. There was only a snippet written down, accompanied by a rough drawing, but it was enough to make Hange's eyes light up behind her glasses.

"So he has nictitating membranes? Interesting!" she said to herself in excitement. Of all the Titans she had studied, this was the first one to have such an enhancement, other than his intelligence. Better yet, such eyes were usually held primarily by predatory species. Did this mean that this Titan was an apex predator of sorts amongst his more mindless and abnormal brethren? 

"Hange," came Moblit's voice, "what should we do about Eren? Should we wake him up?" 

She shook her head, pushing up her glasses with her index finger and giving a small smile. 

"No, let him rest. I don't want to incite any anger from this big guy. Plus, with him here, we can get close enough to study this Titan, so long as we're careful and don't over do it." Normally she was far more reckless in her excitement for practical research, but this situation was anything but normal for her, and therefore required a little more finesse on her part.

A few hours had passed before Eren had finally woken up. As Hange thought, he was quite confused as to why he was nestled within the Titan's hands, and explained all that occurred while he was asleep while Moblit had offered him some breakfast. Of course in return, Hange wanted to know what it was like to sleep in the hands of a Titan, stating that Eren was lucky for being able to experience it.

"I honestly don't remember when I fell asleep, I just recall struggling to keep my eyes open. Then I felt something warm under me," he paused for a moment, trying to find the right words. "And rough, but also soft, kind of like worn leather." 

"Mmhm, go on," Hange said while scribbling down what Eren had said in her notebook.

"Is that really necessary?" Moblit asked, arching a brow while a frown tugged at his lips.

"Of course! No detail is too insignificant when it comes to science."

"You always say that," the man sighed in a defeated tone as his shoulders slumped.

While the brunette and her assistant continued to talk, Eren's gaze sauntered up towards the Titan, whose eyes had become half-lidded, and his expression was relaxed, almost content. Was he finally tired? Maybe he was able to choose when he could rest, unlike other Titans, who were forced to sleep until sunrise. It would definitely explain why he was wide awake even after midnight.

Eren decided it would be best to not alert Hange to the other's current state. After all he had been through and all he had done so far, the dark haired Titan deserved a good rest for once.