He was just above the Female Titan, with his panicked eyes frantically surveying the forest floor and the trees, noticing the blood and bodies of his fallen squadmates.
"I'm gonna..." was all Eren could say in that moment, as tears pricked at the corners of the boy's eyes. "I'm gonna..."
"KILL YOU!" Those last two words echoed loudly with pure rage as green hues hardened with focus, the tears that had welled up now vanishing as he pushed his ODM gear into overdrive, blades at the ready.
The Female Titan raised her head, her gaze settling on the little human as she stretched her arm out to grab him. In an instant, her uninjured eye dialated as a hand larger than her own had grabbed her arm, and forced her back as the sound of a loud, high pitched roar filled the air.
A quiet gasp left Eren's lips, his brief bout of intense concentration broken as the rogue Titan had come to his aid, looking just as enraged as Eren himself was.
As the other had started to throw heavy punches towards the lighter haired Titan, the brunet had been forced to maneuver and dodge to find a safe perch atop a tree branch, but he refused to retreat. No, he wouldn't simply sit on the sidelines and let the Titan fight for him, he would fight with him, even if it was only via support and not full on offense. He just needed an opening.
Unlucky for his companion, his hits refused to connect, as the Female Titan kept dodging as well, only attacking once with a swift, but powerful kick to try and force some distance, but the effort was futile.
However, it was then that something odd occurred. The Female Titan had backed off for a brief few seconds or so, glancing to the side with her visible eye, as if looking at something. The rogue Titan took full advantage of this lapse and attempted to deliver a powerful haymaker, causing her to lose her footing while avoiding the punch. Before she could even try and get up, the dark haired Titan was on top of her, pinning her by her shoulder with one hand while another roar bellowing from his throat as he cocked his fist back and brought it down, only for her to move her head to the side just in time to avoid it.
The force behind that punch had been enough to snap the bones in his own arm and completely destroy his own hand, but he tried the attack again regardless with his uninjured limb, only for the same result to occur.
When he pulled back, snarling in anger, fear could be seen within her only usable icy blue eye as it locked with green eyes filled with nothing but ire. The two stared at one another in silence for a moment or so before his eyes narrowed and a scowl drew itself upon his visage, and another infuriated roar was brought up from his throat as he craned his face close to hers, forcing her to look away in fear.
It was now that Eren had dropped down, plunging a blade deep into the Female Titan's visible eye with every bit of power he could possibly muster before twisting and detaching the blade from the controller.
Sadly, his effort, while well-intentioned, was wasted as the lighter haired Titan's injured eye flew open, having finished healing just as the rogue Titan's hands had regenerated. She skillfully maneuvered herself out from underneath the other, kicking him away with enough force to send him flying back first into a tree, while also causing Eren to hastily fire his anchors into a tree to get away from the Titans.
The two were at it again, with the rogue Titan trying to land a blow while the Female Titan dodged his attacks. One attack even had so much power behind it it caused him to lose his balance and topple over, but had also backed his opponent up against one of the tall trees around them. Sure enough, he was back on his feet, aiming a punch at the other while releasing a feral, thunderous roar. The attack missed, and when he tried to go for another attempt, he was met with a hardened punch to the jaw, the bottom half of which was completely obliterated.
Neither Eren nor the Female Titan could predict what followed.
The dark haired Titan trailed the upper portion of his jaw along the hardened crystal of the Female Titan's arm, his teeth drawing sparks as he brought his fist to her gut with enough strength and weight behind it to send her high into the air before she crashed, hard, against a tree, knocking the wind out of her. Unfortunately, the other wasn't backing down, and had tried to knee her, only for her to narrowly dodge the attack.
The brunet's eyes had finally softened somewhat as he noticed the Titan was breathing heavily, a hand resting on the tree trunk as steam poured from his mouth. The other was obviously exhausted, but persisted regardless.
What came next made Eren's eyes widen from pure shock.
The Female Titan had hardened her leg and swung it, managing to cleave the massive tree the other was recovering behind, in half, alongside the Titan himself.
A single cold eye now turned its gaze towards Eren before the lighter haired Titan had turned and swiftly kicked the tree he was perch in. Alas, as he tried to fire off his hooks into another tree, the Female Titan had anticipated his movements and snatched him just as the hook had fired off.
The boy struggled within the Titan's grip, only freezing when he seen the Titan detach her jaw like a snake, and then start to close the distance between them. She only paused when a harsh, heavy growl could be heard, coaxing Eren to glance towards its source.
The rogue Titan had crawled with his arms to latch onto the limb that held the little human. Even with half of his body missing, organs and blood scattered across the ground, quite a few of his ribs being visibly cracked or broken, and on top of that, being completely spent as any energy he had left was now being directed towards regenerating, the other was unrelenting.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough and soon he was back on the ground again, his face having been elbowed by the Female Titan.
After that, the light haired Titan wasted no time in placing the teen into her mouth and quickly snapping it shut.
Green hues immediately opened wide as a gasp escaped Eren's lips.
"Easy." the familiar voice of Mikasa had stated softly as the brunet sat up somewhat against the back of the wagon the two were riding in. "Try not to move too much, you need rest."
"Where's the Female Titan?" Eren questioned before coughing a few times into his hand. His throat was parched, his body fatigued, and he felt sick to his stomach.
"She got away from us," the raven haired girl said while grabbing a canteen and bringing it to the other's lips. "Drink, you're dehydrated."
"Wha-" he didn't even get to utter a single word as Mikasa tipped the canteen while grabbing Eren's cheeks, forcing him to drink. That water felt good on his dry throat, enough to were he didn't stop drinking until the canteen was completely empty. That seemed to ease his symptoms a little bit.
"What do you mean she.." he trailed off with a shaky voice, trying to collect his thoughts and remember what had happened. "What about the mission?"
"It didn't go as planned. Don't worry about that right now. We're almost home. I promise I'll explain everything once we get you treated."
As promised, once they had made it to the infirmary, Mikasa had explained everything. Eren had been swallowed by the Female Titan, but she had kept him on her tongue so she would be able to fight if she needed to. Levi had been the one to rescue him, she assured him of that. What he would have given to see that sight.
She told him that because of the high internal temperature Titans have, Eren had been subjected to severe heat exhaustion while inside the Female Titan's mouth, hence why he had ended up passing out while inside. They had ran into some trouble on the way back with some Titans closing in on them, but after dumping the bodies of their fallen comrades, they had managed to get away.
"And what about the Titan?" Eren had asked. The last he seen, the rogue Titan was not in the best condition. He couldn't help but wonder if he was alright.
"Levi and I seen him when he rescued you. I was surprised he was able to move, since he was heavily injured. But he had been slowly following the Female Titan, and once Levi spotted him, he felt it was only right to stop and let him know that you were safe so that he could focus on healing himself. He looked quite relieved to see you were ok."
Eren wasn't sure what to think of that. On one hand, he was quite happy that the other was at least able to regenerate without worry. But on the other, the Scouts had failed in their mission, which meant that the Titan, and ergo, Eren, were now going to be taken into Military Police custody. A frown crossed his tiers as his mood sunk and took a dejected turn. The boy almost didn't want for the dark haired Titan to return so he could remain free beyond this glorified cage, even if it meant he could no longer see him.
"Excuse me, miss? Infirmary visiting hours are over, you'll have to come back tomorrow," a nurse had said, tapping Mikasa on the shoulder. The scarf-clad girl had turn and nodded before patting the back of Eren's hand.
"I'll bring Armin with me tomorrow. You get some rest." With that, she turned and followed the nurse and Eren had decided to take Mikasa's advice, allowing his eyes to close and letting himself drift off to sleep.
The next morning, he was awoken by Commander Erwin and Captain Levi, both of whom had explained that the Titan had returned, but had kept a lengthy distance from the wall, hence their coming to fetch him personally, among other reasons. Like speaking with him privately about a certain matter, by the end of which he held an expression of renewed determination.
The trio had been escorted by Garrison soldiers to the top of Wall Rose, and once the horizon was visible, Eren's eyes surveyed the land below until he spotted a familiar figure.
"We're going to have to go down there, it looks like he's not wanting to come any closer, even though I'm sure he sees me," Eren commented to the Garrison soldiers and his own superiors.
"There's no way to get him to come closer? If we go that far, we're a good as dead," an older soldier had said, a tad perturbed.
"We'll be fine. Plus, if any Titans do come out of hiding, they have him to deal with, as well as Levi." Erwin interjected. "Ready the lifts and the horses. Levi and I will escort Eren to the Titan ourselves."
It wasn't long before the trio were lowered on horseback and on their way towards the Titan, with Erwin and Levi keeping a sharp eye out while Eren stuck close to them. It was only after they were a good distance away from the wall that the rogue Titan had come forward, lowering his frame to the ground just as the three of them approached.
"Don't linger too long, otherwise it'll look suspicious," Levi warned as the brunet got off of his horse and ran towards the Titan.
When he had gotten close enough, the other had leaned his head down, his sunken gaze settling right on the boy as he started to speak, quickly explaining the plan the Commander had in the works for keeping Eren and the Titan out of the custody of the MPs while finding the Female Titan's accomplice, along with the information he and Levi had given Eren before they left the infirmary that morning on the most likely suspect. After that had been dealt with, the teen had then rested a hand on the Titan's nose, patting it gently.
Now there was a more personal matter to tell him.
"I think I've finally found the perfect name to call you. It has two different meanings, depending on the context. One who attacks, and one who advances." Both meanings fit the Titan well, due to his strength and his strong will, evident in his battle with the Female Titan when he was gravely injured, but was still damn near determined to save Eren.
"Shingeki," the name rolled off his tongue, bringing a smile to his lips. It definitely had a nice ring to it. The Titan had paused and tilted his head, as if mulling the name over, and a moment later, he had opened his mouth and licked the boy's face, a soft grunt happily leaving his maw.
"I take it you like it?" Eren asked, wiping the spit from his face with his sleeves. The newly dubbed Shingeki simply nodded, which made the grin on his face grow wider while a faint patch of pink dusted onto his cheeks.