a/n: Sorry for the late update. Its 4am and I am about to lit pass out rn lol. Please comment and lmk how it goes or if you have any future predictions :) '
This chapter is UNEDITED>
Once Levi was finished disposing of the uncious body that was once following you, he resumed his original plan of following you (from a distance). He wondered how you possibly could have known of a separate entrance apart from the main one; was this not your first time? Have you gone here on separate occasions? And why? These questions plagued Levi’s grounded mindset that they almost started to annoy him.
As for you, you had believed that your travel was successful (unaware of Levi’s interference), you entered a sub-brothel house. It wasn’t a bar, nor a place where the women took their men in for their nightly activities, rather it was a building where women could (almost) live freely.
Some of them lived with their children (if they had any).
Before you walked inside, you turned to see Annie who looked around, taking the place in with her eyes.
It was evident that she had not been to the underground, ever.
Walking inside of the three story house with Annie following close, you whispered to always stay with you unless specified; she nodded. The main hall reception was minimalistic, a wooden floorboard, plain white beige walls, and a decent main fireplace. It wasn’t middle class, nor underclass. You simply assumed that they collectively used the rent money to fix up restorations. And they did.
“Oh there you are Libby!” A bosomed woman with a familiar dove-like featured face rushed your way. “We were worried you weren’t going to make it.”
“Oh me? Never. You know I can never fail my patients, Angel. Now where are they?” you ask before you turn to face Annie who simply holds a confused look on her face. ‘I hold many nicknames’ you mouth to her before she nods.
“Come with me. It’s about time we had a Doctor visit us.”
Levi had mastered the art of not being seen. Growing up in the underground, you had to remain unseen in order to survive. He had known this. And much of his early survival skills that he used to get by were taught by a man by the name of Kenny. But as soon as those thoughts and feelings began to enter his memory, Levi dismissed them quickly. He had to remind himself why he was even here in the first place.
Because of you.
“What the hell could she be doing at this time and hour?” under his breath, Levi kneeled as he watched you enter a three story building from a nearby rooftop. His ODM gear had come in handy, and if it weren’t for his insomnia, he wouldn't have even known about this.
Could she possibly have done this before?
Levi tightly clutched the inside of his coat, remembering that there was no wind in the underground. Funny .
Funny how he spent most of his life here.
Funny how he spent years not knowing what the wind felt like.
And funny how life led him here.
The underground was completely pitch dark except for the streetlights outside and occasional candlelight homes. There was no moon.
Levi remembered his first time seeing it, and he almost felt ashamed to ask because hardly anyone turned to face it; almost as if it were invisible.
When nearly an hour had gone by, he saw you leave urgently.
That was his cue to follow.
And he did.
“Please,” one woman begs, her perfume is faintly mixed with cigars while her swollen eyebags are stained with makeup. She holds a small child of no more than 5 in her arms. “Please help my son,” she continues. “He won’t wake up. And his fever hasn’t changed in 3 days…” Worry finally settles in your stomach when you notice that the small child has a rash on their forearm.
“Scarlet Fever,” you mutter under your breath before taking no time to dig through your bag. By your side you feel Annie hesitantly shift her body to see what you were doing. And from the corner of your eyes you could see her anxiously ball her fist on and off.
“Right.” you say, pulling out a bottle. “Are there any other symptoms your child is experiencing?” the mother nods. “Yes. He’s been coughing, and he barely talks. He’s usually so cheerful, but it’s been so hard these days trying to find a remedy.”
“I understand,” you nod thoroughly; not forgetting that an ill child can heavily affect the mental health of any parent. The feeling of hopelessness and desperation this mother was experiencing struck your heart.
Mainly because you too felt like that years ago.
“I’ll give them some antibiotics,” you explain, placing the dissolvable pill into the child’s bottle. “After this, I’ll also give them medication for the fever. I’ll give you some medications if you need them in the future.” Pausing, you finish your job by giving the child the last medication they need. And the mother nods in gratitude.
“Only feed them digestible foods, if possible.” you say, aware that food accessibility is still somewhat of a problem in the underground. “Oats, porridge, broth, and steamed vegetables if you can. As long as they have some food and drink water, they should be okay,” you stop, reaching for your bag. “Do you have any problems with food accessibility?”
“A bit,” she confesses. Comforting her now sleeping child, you hand her a paper. “We have resources. There’s a traveler that comes down to transport food every 3-5 days by the Well’s building. Tell him that Penny’s friend gave you this.” passing her a piece of paper with a set of written digits. The woman tearfully nods.
“I cannot thank you enough,” she croaks, tightly holding on to the paper. “Everything I’ve done has been for my child. I barely have any money, family, or anyone to care for him.” turning to wipe a strand of her child’s hair, she continues. “And I am blessed enough to come across a Doctor. We barely have any here, and those that are here are either corrupt, selfish, or over-priced.” she pauses.
“I vow to repay my debt. I will do everything I can to leave this God-forbidden place and give my son the life he deserves. No child should live here. He’s a sweet boy, and he doesn’t deserve to grow up here. You have my word, Doctor. Thank you.”
All you could ever do was nod. What else could you do? Your job was complete, and yet your heart held a satisfaction that almost felt selfish.
“Annie,” you turn to her. “I have three bottles with a green tag in my bag. I’d like for you to give one to that young woman over there.” pointing to a hall, you could see a sobbing woman with a long white nightdress enter a room.
“What…” Annie trails off breathlessly. When you turn to see her, her eyes are widened as she tries to decipher what had just happened. “What happened to that girl?”
Your stomach churns.
“Men happened, Annie. They knowingly hurt that girl’s body and soul that no medicine in the world can fix.”
“Then what can fix it?”
You sigh. “Time. Space. Love. Lots of things are hard to find here. What I would give to help that girl out, but I can’t.” You sigh. “I already have resources, and the older women have that information to pass on to the younger ones. This girl has a slight chance to leave, but she has to take action for herself. That’s why I want you to go.”
“I...I don’t see how me going will fix anything.”
“You’re right.” you say. “It won’t fix things immediately, but at least she’ll know she’s not alone. This girl needs strength, lots of it, and a girl full of it will give her some hope. Even in this dark hole…” turning to her, Annie finds herself walking until she reaches her door, closing it.
Progress was being made.
“What do you mean he’s not here?” you ask irritatedly. Less than an hour had gone by, and you had given your delivery of medicines to women and people who needed it. That included sexual disease checkings for women that worked in the night. Many of which died after catching one illness after another.
“You said he was here, so where is he?” demanding, Annie stands next to you, unsure of what you were going off about. Earlier that night, when Annie had gone to that girl’s room, she spent some time there, perhaps 20 minutes, and came back differently. The air around her was different. And all Annie told you was ‘she’s going to be okay. I ensured it’ .
“Marcellus often drinks at night.” one of the women tries to laugh it off. “But he knows you’ve been looking for him.”
“Then where the hell is he when he knows I’d be coming here tonight?” passive aggressively, behind you, from the other side of the room, a man claps.
When you turned to see who it was, the first thing your eyes took notice of were his grey hairs on his chin; his beard was long enough to reach his sternum.
“Well, well if it isn’t my most demanding customer.” Rubbing his hands, he approaches you. “I’ve been told you wanted a word with me.” he smiled before pointing to the exit of the building. “Follow me, but leave your friend behind.”
“She’s coming with me.” furiously shaking your head, Annie is startled when you push her to your side. “She needs to stay in the same building as I, but can keep out of our talk.”
“Very well.” the man smiles, his yellow teeth almost make you gag as some appear to be rotting. “Let’s head out, shall we?”
Cautiously leaving the building, you felt a cold chill run down your spine. When you turned to look at Annie, she remained unbothered. It felt as if something were watching you.
“We’ll be fine,” you mutter, leaning into her. The only noise that you can hear is the shuffling of your legs, and the footsteps the man was making as you were following behind him. “My house isn’t too far away,” he says. “It’s a 6 minute brisk walk from here.”
Walking behind him, you finally see things of the city you never would have noticed before. The way the black cat was fishing for food by a nearby trash can, or the pair of men that played a game of cards from inside their home as they smoked a cigar; they laugh. Small details from your walk remind you that these are people like you, and you are still alive.
“Just make sure not to disturb my cat.” The old man says, seconds before unlocking his doorknob with a key. “He usually hates visitors.” Entering his house, you are surprised to see a variety of clocks all tick in unison.
“I bet noon and midnight must be chaotic.” you attempt to joke, but the man is too busy to answer. He walks over to his cat. “This is Vincent. And not at all, Vincent enjoys the clocks- isn’t that right my boy?’’
For a moment, you take a double take. The man that you had been warned about wasn’t as threatening as you thought. Nothing about his house screamed serial killer.
“Your friend can sit on the couch. You and I will discuss matters in that room.” pointing to the left side of the room, a doorway is blocked by a piece of fabric a psychic would use, and in your heart it almost feels like a void.
“No wonder why you ask all these things,” the man muses, using his fingers to comb through his facial hair. “You’re an Altean from the inside out.”
“Wha-” you find yourself breathless. “How do you know my last name?”
“It wasn’t a hard guess. Just like the Ackermans, your family lineage runs deep.”
“What do you know about the Ackermans?” you ask. “How?”
The man before you smiles. “Don’t tell the church, but I know.” he laughs like the type of old man one would think is crazy. “They think I’m dead, but I’m not. Their assasination didn’t work.” he pauses. “The Ackermans, like your family, come from a long lineage of people that were born with special abilities, although yours are rarer to find. That’s why it wasn’t hard for me to know you’re an Altean. Your occupation tells me everything.”
“What does it tell you?”
He sighs, “If I told you, I might cause an imbalance. This world isn’t ready to hear what’s out there, but given the circumstance of your ancestry, I will only tell you what I deem necessary.” interrupting him, his small coffee pot is on, indicating that the water was ready. “Well would you look at that.” he smiled. “It’s my tea, would you like some?” you shake your head no.
“Oh well, more for me. Back to what I was saying,” he continues to make his cup as he speaks. “Your lineage came from your mother, Altean’s take after their mothers hence which might explain why you are so nurturing.” he pauses, sitting down at a table before you. It was a clothed table; almost everything in the room felt like a psychic’s.
“The Ackerman’s,” he pauses, “have an ability to kill Titans. They have special abilities and a certain type of immunity. Now, by no means are you related to them, your ancestry and their ancestry is one of the most powerful family trees in all this land. While the Ackermans possess that, your people possess intuition. You are very rich with it. Dreams, predictions, visions, anything of the spiritual realms, you dominate. Your family fled from witch persecutions long ago. This is why your family fled, why many of you aren’t around. I’m surprised why the church hasn’t executed you yet.” His laugh comes to a short stop when he sees your reaction.
“And what am I supposed to do with this information?”
“Use it to your advantage,” he pauses. “You have dreams, visions, use that to help you. Your family always knew what happened before it happened-”
“-Did you know my mother?” he nods. You change the subject.
“I’m looking for a portrait.” you tell him, not hiding away from your confession. “Of a woman with black long hair. I dreamed of her. And she sings to me, but before I know it, she asks me something I cannot recall.”
“And you believe her portrait will help you.”
“Yes.” you nodd. “But how do you have it?”
“A man she knew left it here with me one night.” he said before standing up, walking to a nearby drawer. “I think he must’ve forgotten it, because it’s been decades since he’s come. That, or the poor fool died in a fist fight. So I can’t answer fully.” He hands you the sheet of a drawn woman. “Is this why you were so insistent on meeting me?” he asks. “Just for this?”
You shrug. “I mean...I don’t know what else to ask. With the information you just gave me, I honestly don’t have much to make from it.”
The man sighs, plumping down on his seat. “Well I’ll have to tell you more,” he pauses. “How else will you survive other attacks if you don’t?” using his tablespoon, he points it your way.
“Your mother was a hopeful woman from the start, filled with dreams. But then your father showed up and everything fell. Until a theorist came along…”
A/N: LMK How it was!!! :) What did you think/feel? How's Levi? Or Annie? I'd love to hear from you guys