"Penelope, we were supposed to get the packages today. Did you receive the package for disinfectants, oils, and bandages?"
You cross the list of your clipboard, "Okay. How about Zofran, Motrin, Amoxicillin...?"
"Yes Doctor. All intact. Everything is in good condition,"
"Good." You huff, "It has to be better than good Penelope. I'll be damned if I have to go through another attack without my supplies. This won't be like 5 years ago. Not again."
Penelope frowns after setting the crate of bandages aside, "It wasn't your fault, Doctor."
Back turned to her, you look outside your window. Two children play with wooden swords as a yellow butterfly passes by. You hoped no one would fall or get hurt.
You were just a recent graduate- two weeks barley settled into your office. Everything went according to plan, as you waited for a shipment of medications due in 3 days, wall Maria collapsed; costing the lives of many.
Three days. 3 days you managed your best to help the injured with little supplies you had.
How were you supposed to tell a 12 year old his mom wouldn't make it because you didn't have the proper medication?
Maybe you could've been prepared. Maybe just a bit more. You could've ordered that crate 2 weeks before. The day of your graduation. But instead, you decided to go out for drinks in 'celebration'.
Never in your life have you felt as selfish.
It was too late to go back.
"I know," you leaned against the window frame. The children continued to play nearby, their duel had grown intensely. This time though, the butterfly no longer stood on the wall where it once was.
"We can't change time. Only do our best to foresee any troubles in the near future to the best of our abilities,"
Penelope faintly smiled, "That's right Doctor,"
A/N: don't worry, I'll have Erwin introduced in the chapter or two. You can find my work (also) on Wattpad. Same user, same title. I originally and will always post there first (I'm used to wattpad-I've had t for like 6-7ish years now before). The work might be a bit different here v. there-I edit it a bit more here but I like Wattpad a bit more.
User (same one)- AndraLondon09
Title- "The Vow"
Chapter 2: 2. A Hallway, Usually
Dhalis Zachary calls you in for a meeting and you develop a dislike for poorly lit hallways.
"Doctor! Doctor! Have you heard the news yet?"
You looked up from your desk, hours spent on end, with a hint of curiosity.
"What's going on, Penny?" you asked, a nickname she was quite fond of.
"It's the Military Police!!!" She alarmingly shook her hands. The disheveled hair on her forehead already falling off her once well-combed hair, "There's talk that the Government has a Titan!"
You widen your eyes, "A Titan? Since when do we have Titans in these walls? Unless there's a special reason-"
In complete disbelief, you place your palm to your lips, "There's no knowing if that's true or not. But whatever had to happen for such a rumor to pass on like that, has to be big."
"You don't get it," Penelope, only 17, almost 18, remarks. "William told me."
"William Hefferson, from the MP?"
"Aye, that one," she smiles dreamily. "He's really handsome. You know, the one with the brown hair. Don't know why he would talk to me out of everyone though." Penny drowns in what feels like teenage love at this point before regressing back to reality.
"Anyways," she says before reaching into her apron, "Here's what you really needed to see."
A material so fine, that even a baby could choose over. But what surprised you the most was the request. After a minute of silence, which Penny felt like forever, you look up.
"They want me associated with the Scouts. As their head Doctor. Ordered by Dhalis Zachary."
"So what's gonna happen?"
"They invited me to a meeting with him." You answered lowly.
"Maybe William wasn't wrong after all."
"You are aware, Doctor, that this is a confidential case. I trust your behavior as a Doctor, so I'm safe to assume that I can trust you with what I just said, correct?"
"Correct sir." You answered. Everything felt like a package, a weight. It wasn't the light makeup you wore nor your white coat. You didn't mind it. Sure the knowledge of knowing the city had a Titan was a responsibility, but you were glad to have known that you because that meant your ideas weren't cra-
"Good. I'll have another Doctor take your previous position. I'm glad you brought your things because you'll be settled in this building,"
"Also," Zachary comments, "Now that I mentioned that we have a Titan in our Scouts, you'll tend to his needs as well. But you should still be able to carry your responsibilities as a Medic when it comes to attending other scouts as well. I'm no Medic myself, but you understand, right?"
Dhalis Zachary crossed his fingers in contentment, it almost seemed effortless.
"Very well, that should be all. I'll have you introduced to the Scouts tomorrow morning then. You can go now,"
"Thank you, sir."
"Before you leave," he comments, "I'd like for you to review some these papers. Have them memorized if you can. They include the health record of each Scout member. I'll be looking forward to seeing you in the conference room tomorrow at 10,"
You sighed when your feet were both outside of that room. It felt like a relief. Yes, it was a lot to take in, but you promised. To have to work alongside the Scouts as their Doctor was both of your dreams combined; venturing outside the walls, and saving lives. A part from within you craved to seek what was out there. That's for the future though. All that had to be done was wait for tomorrow.
The pressure between your fingers and the paper began to irritate your skin. The stack was easily the size of your forearm, if not more. It wouldn't be too much to review the papers for the night, would it? What else would you be thinking of that isn't work?
God, since when were these halls poorly lit?
It wouldn't be much of a surprise if anyone ever tripped here. You could not see a thing if it weren't for the moonlight and occasional lights from the Hallways.
Who knows, what if the lighting was intentional? Maybe they have the hallways dark so it's easier for people to trip so that the employees here can get a free laugh at this hour-
Papers flew in every direction. You didn't know whether you should worry about the papers more, or the person in-front of you. It was difficult seeing already.
You did both.
"I am so sorry," you ramble, "Usually, I would see where I'm going but it's just that these hallways are always so damn dark, it's hard to tell apart-"
A masculine, much to your surprise, composed voice spoke, "It's fine,"
"Usually," he starts off like you did, a detail you couldn't help but catch, "I see where I'm going since rarely anyone is up at this hour. I guess I wasn't expecting anyone either."
You bite your cheeks in embarrassment.
Your meeting with Dhalis Zachary lasted more than expected.
The stranger helped you collect your papers, and it appeared that he seemed to be doing a better job since he had collected more sheets than you.
Another embarrassment to add to the list.
The stranger passes you your stack. Quickly reaching for the stack, your fingertips brush against his. Your heart feels lifted. Unexplainable. A rush of unknown emotions. Somehow feeling safe.
"Thank you, sir." You say, "I usually don't crash into strangers like this. Haha, I'm not even from here. So I guess it was just by chance."
He says something that your ears can't quite grasp. Millions of thoughts race through your mind, faster than the speed of light.
"Uh right," you aren't sure if he can hear it, but you release a small laugh under your breath, you stand up before he can help you. "Thank you again."
"Right. Try not to trip again, usually, will you?" There was nothing rude at all from his voice, just a lightheartedness that seemed to draw you in.
"Right." You say, "Thanks again,"
The walk back to your designated room was speed walked. With some embarrassment for the night, you hoped it wouldn't be too much of a big deal. It was already your first (unofficial) day here and you've already embarrassed yourself. Great.
Try not to embarrass yourself tomorrow and from then on when you're with the Scouts. You tell yourself.
The remainder of the night consisted of you reorganizing your stack (in alphabetical order) and worrying about tomorrow.
Oh, and that.
Chapter 3: Memories and a Meeting
There was a time where my mother believed in the stars.
She'd say that at the time of our birth, a new star appears on the sky, hence why there are so many; and when we pass, we go right back to that star only to be born again.
And one night, I found myself asking her, "What about the moon?"
"Long ago, there was a woman so beautiful that men from all over the land came to ask for her hand in marriage. The Gods were so pleased by her kindness that even the Sun God went in pursuit. And so he only visited her at noon, which was the suns highest point of the day, where he reached all of the land. He'd visit her whenever he could, as friends, but he always wanted more. More than what she was willing to give and so The Gods watched from above until the Goddess of Marriage, so angry, told her displeasure to the God of Gods. If the Sun God continued his pursuit for the woman, there would be so much harm done, that even her family would suffer. They agreed on a plan. One night, tired of the Sun God's consistent visits, the woman cried. She went to the river and begged for a solution. On a full moon that night, the River Goddess appeared right before her. She was beautiful, her dress was made of the finest silks and lilies, and her skin appeared to be as soft as pearls. The River Goddess asked her if she really wanted a solution for her problem and the woman without a second thought nodded. So then the River Woman pulled out a pearl and showed her (the woman) her future if the Sun God continued to visit. Horrified, she wished to always remain away from him as much as possible.
With much sadness, the Goddess sent her to the moon. She would be so close yet so far from the sun God. Worried that she could no longer see her family, the Goddess allowed her to see her family on every full moon. The woman was now at peace for her soul and peace of mind remained at peace, and she could see her family. She eventually became a Goddess herself and helps children and women. Even some sailors at times. They say if you go on a full moon and pray to her, she will grant you a wish. Others say, she will curse you but I don't think that'll happen."
"So she's safe now?"
Your mother returned the look, "Yes, I think she's happy. Far away from him and from harms way. In fact, I think she has a look over you since you were born under a full moon yourself."
With excitement, your eyes widened and you jumped from your place, "Really?!"
"Yes, really." your mother pushed a strand of hair behind your ear.
"One day, I'll return to my star. But when my time comes and I do leave, I'll do everything with every fiber in my being to protect you. Got it?"
It was a dream.
You gasped for air, remaining in disbelief for a few moments before turning to your clock. There were still two hours left before your meeting.
Why oh why out of all nights were you dreaming of her? Of this?
You wiped your eyes and lips, "Enough of dreams. I have work today. I can't fail. I won't."
"So what is your plan healthcare wise, before we go in an expedition, Doctor?"
"I say, we need to get everyone vaccinated. If we don't, we risk of starting another Plague. Even with the dead bodies, in the case we do lose many, bodies tend to decompose in a matter of hours. Vaccinating Soldiers before we leave will decrease the risk of infections amongst soldier to soldier significantly. Their bodies and immune systems will already be prepared to fight the germs. We need as many healthy soldiers on board as we can. And if it takes a vaccine to ensure it, so be it."
"I like your logic, Doctor."
A few feet away from you, leaned (who you presumed to be) Captain Levi against the door frame.
"Captain Levi," he introduced himself as he brought a hand of his to shake. You accept.
"Now then," he says before reaching for a hand sanitizer that happened to be in his pocket, "Let's get to talking. Apologies for the Commander being late. He had a last minute meeting with Commander-in-Chief Dhalis Zachary. I'm sure you met with him last night?"
"Perfect." Commented the Captain. "We're already starting in the right foot. After-"
The captain's sentence came to a halt as a very present knock was heard.
"That should be him," he commented with a slight gesture.
A voice so familiar entered the scene, "Have you all started without me? Apologies for the wait, I needed a word with Commander Zachary,"
From the doorway, emerged a broad shouldered, blond, blue eyed man with a brown jacket similar to Captain Levi's.
"Don't worry about it Erwin," commented the Captain in a tone that almost felt like the two of them knew what they were thinking. Almost like two brains in one. Perhaps old friends.
"Levi, would you mind getting me started?"
"You weren't missing a whole bunch if that's what you're worried about. Come greet the Doctor. You wanna get at a good start. Who knows, maybe one day she'll be saving your life?" Captain Levi half heartedly humored. No signs of a smile though, perhaps a small curl of the lips, but you were quick to miss that in a blink of an eye.
Within that time frame, with the familiar clicking sound of boots coming towards you, the Commander stood before you. Something so familiar.
"Commander Erwin Smith of the Scouts Regiment, at your service, Doctor." He appropriately introduced himself. A part of you was taken aback at his professionalism and composure, but nevertheless, you accepted his handshake.
Something turned, shifted. You couldn't place your hand- err...finger, on it.
Until that same feeling from last night came back the moment your hands met.
It can't be. No, it can't.
There's no way it can be the Commander.
A loud bang erupted from the door and interrupted your thoughts, a pair of two energetic feet walked into the room.
"Hello everyone! I hope you all had a good morning. Now, I heard we have a Doctor, where are they?"
"Hange," Captain Levi acknowledged her presence, "You're almost right in front of the Doctor."
With a shriek of excitement and a beeline, Hange, according to Captain Levi, hurried your way.
"Ahh!!! It's so great to finally meet 'cha! Finally a Woman in STEM!!! I'm Hange Zoe, section commander for the Scouts. It's so great to finally meet ya!" She enthusiastically shakes your hand causing a smile to escape from your lips.
"It's nice to meet you as well, Commander Hange,"
"Oh no no! Please call me Zoe! Or Hange! Whatever helps your memory Doctor! It's so great to finally meet another woman in the science field who understands me! I hope that throughout our career, we'll be good friends,"
"I think so too," you nod as your handshaking comes to an end.
"Right," Captain Levi huffs, "As we left off, the Doctor advised we vaccinate every single soldier to avoid any diseases spreading around-"
Hange interrupt him, "-THAT IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA!"
"As I was saying," he glanced at Hange before continuing, "We need to gather up all of the soldiers for these vaccines."
"Right." Commander Erwin steps in, "We might have to hold a court meeting with some of the officials so that other citizens and members can get ahold of the vaccine as well."
Was he going to remain like this? How embarrassed you were.
He doesn't look like he remembers though, so maybe it's fine.
"Correct," you branch off, "I already mentioned it to Commander Zachary and he said he'd be on it first thing this morning. He should be on it as we speak,"
"Smart girl," impressed, muttered Hange, loud enough for everyone to hear.
"There is a mission that we plan on traveling to," Starts the Commander, "most likely two months from now, or less. I trust Hange can keep you up to date, Levi as well. As Commander-in-Chief Dhalis Zachary might have told you, we have a Human Titan in our custody. With Hange, you two will work together on this matter. Any comments, questions, or concerns?"
"Yes." You immediately answer to everyone's surprise, "I mentioned to Commander Zachary that I hope on conducting a physical on every soldier that will be heading out to ensure their health. I know and I apologize for being so rushy and at how early this is, but I'd like to start off early since the winter months will be upon us in a few weeks. I'd like to just get an update if I'll have a team of if I'll have to bring mine for the matter,"
"Well prepared, Doctor." Comments Captain Levi. Was he pleased? "There's no such thing as too early, even the Commander will agree on that. Tell you what," he places a hand on his hip, "I'll tell the Commander-in-chief myself. Either I myself or Commander Erwin will update you."
You nod in appreciation, "Thank you, Captain."
He does as well, "Welcome to the Scouts, Doctor."
Chapter 4: The Physicals and Honesty
Today was the day. After reflecting on your emotions, you meet the famous "Eren Yaeger".
Surprised, you learn that maybe there are more links between the two of you than you initially thought there would be.
"So you're telling me, it's like he didn't remember???" Penelope asked.
"Not a thing," you say as the two of you carry a box of supplies back to the building.
"It's like either he knows and he's really good at acting, or he genuinely doesn't remember."
There seemed to be little to no interactions so far when it came to you and the Commander. You only caught a glimpse of him as you escalated down the staircase on your way to your office once. Perhaps your position will require a few meetings with him. Maybe it was better this way. Saving yourself from the embarrassment.
Not even a day and a half after your meeting, Captain Levi had already updated you. You were free to choose your team. Obviously, you chose Penny as your right hand for the Physicals. For nearly 4 years, she had served as your assistant; she was a fast learner filled with potential you were willing to build.
" You're free to choose a team to work with," Captain Levi had said, "Your planning's for the physicals are also at your command. If you need any new supplies just let Hange know, or Commander Erwin."
You sigh in defeat after throwing multiple scenarios.
"But I'm positive it's him. It's like you say Penny, when you know, you know."
She laughs it off, "You're right on that Doctor."
After about a week, everything you were planning for was going at a speed you never expected. You were thankful that supplies arrived the day of or 3 days max. You began to stock up on materials (especially ones you'd need on the road) and you reviewed medical procedures that might happen on the road, even in cases where you'd lack materials.
You can't fail them.
The space that was given to you was about the equivalent of the size of a clinic. You spent almost all your time fixing the rooms and organizing your supplies. It was enough. Along with that, you received more than enough tongue depressors, gloves, cotton balls, alcohol wipes, needles, band aids, etc...
A Doctor's Dream.
"Hi Hange," you greet her. "How's everything?"
"It's going swell!" She answers as she stands in between the doorframe.
"I actually have a little gift-! Err —someone you'd wanna meet." She looks over at the hall outside your office and shortly, (no pun intended) Captain Levi arrives (hand in shoulder) with a dark haired and blue eyed teenager.
"He's the Titan we're babysitting," Levi explains answering your thoughts almost immediately.
"Hey! It's not like I'm some kid-"
Levi, on instinct, shoves him against a wall, swiftly placing the teen's hands behind his back.
"I didn't ask." He tells him, annoyance drips from his voice, "This kid's got lots of anger issues to work on," the Captain states before turning to your way, "You got any vaccines for brats like him?"
Levi shoves him even more against the wall.
" Wrong answer. Actually, no answer. You're only supposed to talk once a question is directed to you, understand?"
A muffled "Mhm," was heard.
"Uhh... I think it's right about time you let him go," Hange meekly suggests.
"Actually," Levi muses, "I think I like having this brat against a wall. The room's a lot more peaceful now, isn't it?"
"Hange's right," you speak up, "I've got some questions to ask the kid anyways,"
Levi looks at you and shrugs. "You heard the Doctor, brat. Answer some questions."
"Right," the teenager (now free) clears his throat, "What can I do for you, Doctor?"
"I'll just ask you some questions about your health." You answer simply. "In fact, I think it's a perfect time to do a Physical."
You can sense his tension. "You're okay," you reassure him. "Don't worry. I won't do any crazy mad scientist kind of experiment. You'll just be receiving a light, average check up."
"Right," he breathes.
"What's your name?"
"Eren." He exhales, "Eren Yaeger,"
"Captain!" A soldier stops at the door in urgency.
"Commander Erwin needs to have a word with you and section commander Hange immediately,"
The dark haired Captain looked at Eren, then you, in thought.
"It's fine." You tell him, "I can take care of him while you two are out. I'll perform a physical on him and I should be done in a few."
"You sure?" Asked Hange.
"Of course!" You test your waters, "I've got a few guns given to me by Commander Zachary that I can use to put him to sleep if he tries anything."
"Alright then," the Captain concludes as he and Hange head out. He turns to you, and Eren at the door.
"We won't be gone for too long then."
After they're gone, you can hear Eren sigh in relief. You find that he's already sat himself on a patient bed.
"Were you really serious about what you said?"
"What, the guns? I was just messing with you! Plus, if Captain Levi could take you down, then you're not so much of a threat to us."
"So...you don't see me as a threat?" He asks unsure. You shake your head no.
"I don't. But others might see you as one because you're one of a kind as of now. Like the committee, for example. They don't know how far your abilities go which makes everyone see you in that way. Afraid of the unknown. As far as I know, you're just a teen who's afraid of his own powers. You're good though, just don't try to turn into one here and break my clinic or kill anyone and you should be fine,"
"Right..." he scratches the back of his neck, "Thing is, I don't really...well I sorta know how to turn into one, but it's just kinda hard to do I guess,"
"That's okay." You had a thing for reassurance, "You're already past the first step. You just need a push, some reassurance. As long as you're honest here and work with us, we've got you."
Looking down, Eren slightly smiles to himself.
"Right. Thanks Doctor."
"Now," you rub your hands, "Tell me about yourself. You told me your last name was Yaeger?"
He nods. "Yes, why?"
"I asked because I recognize your dad."
His eyes widened.
"Don't freak out. I just know he helped a lot with the last Plague. If it weren't for his vaccine, a lot of us wouldn't be here to even begin with."
Eren slightly nodded.
"My dad though," you cleared your throat, "Was fond of your father's mindset. Something about him screamed "Enlightenment" as he would call it. His contributions to the modern medical field have and will always be thanks to him."
"He was always out helping others," Eren blurted out. "Even when I was a kid, he was always on the go. Mom would always ask him to stop and rest, but he'd never listen. I guess you never stop when you're a Doctor."
You can't help but to agree.
Your eyes turn to the floor after you're done measuring his Blood Pressure. It's normal. You tell yourself. Just like everything else.
"So," you pause, "Do you have any siblings?"
"Doctor," Levi greets you from his patient bed.
"As you already know," you sit down across from him, "I'll be conducting Physicals." You follow through with your explanation of what you were going to do and what you needed him to do.
All he does is agree.
“I’m going to be honest,” you say, nerves creeping in on you, “You know your position as Captain is risky because you know you run a risk at Death.” you say, “In order to keep things in order, I have a small packet here with me and it will run on whatever you wish would happen to you in any case of emergency. For example, who makes decisiones for you when you can’t, if you would like a burial, and finally, who your emergency contacts are.” pulling out the packet, you see his eyes -emotionless- stare at the paper in your hands.
“I know it isn’t an easy thought, believe me,” you answer quietly, empathetic even.
“That’s why I’m giving you the choice. You can fill this out in the comfort of your own privacy or tell me in person. Most of the time, people need time to think so I always advise the first option; but I can also accept the other one too.” You wait for a response on his end before he nods, eyes still burning a hole towards the paper you are holding.
“You can turn the paper to me anytime. Preferably before we leave on a mission but maybe a week is fine. You can hand the paper in to me in person, or slide it under my office door or room at any time. Anything is acceptable.”
Before he left that day, paper in hand, he turned to you and thanked you, before walking away to whatever he had planned to do with the information you had given him.
You sighed, leaning against the patient bed, in thought.
“He’s here! He’s here! Oh the Commander is here!”
You widen your eyes before looking down at your list.
Smith, Erwin (Commander)
“You’re right.” it had only been the third day of Physicals and a part of you already dreaded the day that was today.
“How’s he looking?”
Penny almost answered immediately, “Oh, really handsome, well built face, amazing deep blue eyes-”
“ -Not that,” you can feel your cheekbones tighten, “I mean, in spirits.”
“Oh. Just average looking I guess.”
“Average looking doesn’t help.” You let out what seemed to be a nervous gargled laugh.
“He’s already waiting in the room, very punctual if I do say.”
You look down at your watch.
5 minutes before his appointment. If not earlier.
“Alright,” you close your clipboard before picking his up, “Enough dilly waddling. This is a patient, and shall be treated as such.” After you and Penny exchange a nod, you strut for his room in your most confident walk ever; as if you’ll be having the most important standoff of your life.
He’s just a patient. He’s your boss- no, a colleague, a co-worker. You’re just in charge of their health and he’s just here for a vaccine- shit, we’re here already? That fast?
You frown as you’re now a door away from him. Picking up all the strength and courage you had, you knocked.
Oh that same voice.
Before entering, you sucked in the last breath of fresh air before entering.
A/N: wow, this took a bit longer to write but here it is! I'll be doing weekly (or every two weeks) uploads depending. They will most likely be Fri-Sat. Let me know your thoughts!! I really do love seeing comments and people interacting, it really does motivate me in a sense lol. Stay tuned for the NeXT upload.
Chapter 5: Time is Present
This chapter itself needs no summary.
READ IT! (:
(but bring tissues when ch 6 and 7 come out).
“How have you been finding our team as of lately?” he asked.
“Has Levi given you any trouble?”
“Oh, none at all.” You say as you remove his BP sphygmomanometer.
“He’s been everything but troublesome, very helpful actually.”
“That’s good to hear.”
You nod momentarily before picking up an alcohol wipe.
“I talked to Hange,”
“Yes.” you asked him to remove his sleeve. He takes his watch off as well, leaving it on the side of the bed.
“I figured since I’ll be going out on missions, I should at least learn the basics of training. ODM gear and all.” as you spoke, your cold fingers steadily held his arm. What surprised you most was that his arm ever so slightly flexed. You weren’t sure if it was because of your hands or what you said that caused that.
“Sorry. My hands tend to be cold.”
You nod before swallowing some saliva that helped ease the lump in your throat.
“I’ll be adjusting the vaccine now. Do you have any problems with needles? I know it may sound silly, but some patients don’t like them so I always try and facilitate the process for them.”
“It’s fine.” He answers again, holding his gaze away from you.
Holding back a frown, you bite the inside of your cheek instead.
“Very well then.”
He didn’t even flinch when the needle slowly pierced his skin.
“Okay, you’re settled then.” you turn around to discard items you would no longer use.
“Don’t worry if your arm is sore, it won’t fall off or anything like that.” you said, instantly regretting your joke.
“Sometimes it’s normal for it to be sore the day after.”
No emotion whatsoever. Was he normally this silent? Levi by far seemed to be more talkative (and that says a lot considering all you’ve heard; that Levi was the serious one). Maybe it was his position as Commander? This totally didn’t feel like the guy you bumped into that night.
“Anyways,” you pushed your thoughts before giving him the same talk you gave to Levi.
“You can hand the paper to me or slide it under my office or room door. Whatever helps. I understand that this confidentiality must be kept at a low so you can turn this in whenever it works best for you.”
“Is that all?” he asks. His new question leaves you stunned.
“Uh, that’s about it. Unless you have any questions for me.”
The Commander looks away. He only seemed to make eye contact with you when he asked you something. Was he okay?
“How long do you plan on remaining in your position?”
You tried your best not to stutter.
“How long do you plan to remain a Doctor for the Scouts?”
It was a question that not even Dhalis Zachary had asked. How long did you plan to work as a Doctor? Were you planning on doing something else? Marriage, kids? A scientific route?
A part of you didn’t know.
“Honestly? Until we reach a goal or make some considerable improvement.” you say as if you were cautiously walking barefoot in a room full of shattered glass.
“If there is a time where I am unable to serve, I’d like to at least improve the quality of health for my soldiers fighting.”
“I see.” the Commander says before adjusting his sleeve in a matter of seconds.
“Well, thank you for your time Doctor.” He says without hesitation; his deep forest green coat already on as he makes his way towards the door.
Still on your seat, you look at where he once sat and noticed that he had left his watch on the patient bed. It takes you longer than a moment to process what had happened.
The Commander was already out the door- your stomach clenched in distaste.
Stretching out to grab the watch across the bed, you start sprinting his way.
“Wait! You forgot something!”
And in the blink of an eye, you’re in front of him. Probably closer than ever since your encounter.
“You forgot your watch.” you answer for yourself before taking his hand into your own. You’re too busy to even see the look on his face not even realizing what you had done until after.
All you can do is focus on the texture of his skin while holding the cold, metallic band on your other.
“My mother used to always say that a Man’s watch was just as valuable as a Woman’s purse.” you say before pulling up his sleeve ever so delicately and placing the metallic band around his wrist.
“Of course, that isn’t always the case.”
“I- thank you. I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen you with a purse, Doctor.”
You smile sheepishly.
“That’s because I’m a Doctor. I don’t need one. As long as I’ve got my Medical bag with me, I’m just as set as any other woman.”
“I beg to differ.” he says, provoking a look from you.
“My father’s brother,” he says, leaning closer. “was a skilled watchmaker. This watch was given to my father as a gift from him that was then passed on to me.” the Commander then follows your eyes to his watch where you both stare at the metallic band resting on his wrist. (Your hands still on, of course).
You can feel his eyes graze on the features of your face. Not in a rude or perverse way, but in a gentle, and protective manner. His gaze on you felt warm, like you would expect the sun to shine on you after a cold winter’s day on a January morning. If anything, the warmth of his eyes resembled the sun, and your face embodied mountains.
Acres of land for the sun to roam.
So much, in so little time.
And with what felt like an eternity, you finally meet eye to eye.
Unlike anything you had ever experienced before, both your eyes exchanged two things: an unknown message that not even the Gods themselves c ould decode, and an embrace of the soul through your windows of which you name eyes.
“My father, when I was younger, would always say ‘a man without time on his sleeve is no man’.’’
“And what about a woman, Commander?” you ask. “Is there an equivalent for one?”
Already inches close to your face, he faintly smiles. At that moment, it had felt like you could breathe through a newly discovered vent of air that you never knew you had.
“That's where I draw my point,” he says knowingly.
You’re unsure of what he means and if what the look he holds in his lips is a smirk or not.
“She doesn’t need one. Not when she’s a Doctor.”
“Thank you so much for helping me Hange,” you say as your new friend walks you to your room. In a matter of days, this small routine became what felt like tradition.
You wake up early, and by 5 or 6, you’re up practicing ODM gear. You take a break before noon where you can then complete tasks, and you’re back for another training (willingly) reviewing what you learned that day.
“Oh it’s no problem!” she says as she places a hand on your shoulder.
“You’re actually really good at it! Better than how I started actually.”
“It’s because I’ve been lucky enough to have a wonderful instructor like you.” you compliment back.
Hange only smiles in return.
“Oh hey,” she says, changing the subject. “How was Erwin’s physical?”
You bit the inside of your cheek. How were you supposed to not tell but tell your friend? That was first and foremost Doctor-patient confidentiality. Especially after what happened at the end.
“Why? Was he behaving strangely?” you ask.
“Yes and no. He was easier to work with that even Levi wondered what the hell happened to him. Was it anything on the vaccine that we have to thank you for?” she smiled with a wink before lightly elbowing your side playfully.
You breathe out a laugh.
“Oh well would you look at that!” you motion to your door.
“It looks like we’re already here! Thanks again for the training Hange, I always enjoy your company.” you pause knowing what you were doing.
“It’s a shame that the best conversations end at the worst moments.” she frowns.
“But I also enjoy your company. Remember, we leave in less than two weeks now so start making any changes now that you have a chance to. Oh and also, remember Eren?”
“How could I forget?”
“Well he sorta kinda needs to work on his shifting a bit more. I was wondering if you could join me tomorrow morning for his training instead.’’
“I’d be more than happy to. So it's settled, 6 am tomorrow?”
Hange nods excitedly.
“Yes!!! You’re the best!!!”
That night, It had been no more than a week since your appointment with the Commander.
“My father, when I was younger, would always say ‘a man without time on his sleeve is no man’.’’
“And what about a woman, Commander?” you ask. “Is there an equivalent for one?”
Already inches close to your face, he faintly smiles. At that moment, it had felt like you could breathe through a newly discovered vent of air that you never knew you had.
“That's where I draw my point,” he says knowingly.
You’re unsure of what he means and if what the look he holds in his lips is a smirk or not.
“She doesn’t need one. Not when she’s a Doctor.”
Pressing a pillow to your face you blow off steam. Why you were feeling like this was out of your control, but whatever that was definitely felt like a step forward in the right direction.
Removing the pillow from your face, you sense a familiar pair of boots walking by your door.
The clicking comes to a halt once you see two shoes at your door. The person takes their time before sliding a yellow envelope to your side of the door. Once they make sure it’s in, the figure walks straight away; at the same pace.
Your heartbeat accelerates in anticipation.
I have to wait after I know they’re gone for sure. You think.
Once you open the envelope in your hands, you are met with familiar printing that reads:
Levi Ackerman’s Medical Record (Medical Requests)
Opening the packet, you are surprised to say that you were met with some of the finest handwriting your eyes had ever landed upon.
Not even the nobles could write like this, you thought.
Reading the request inside these sheets of paper finally made sense.
Hange casually mentioning Levi in your conversation today finally made sense.
And Levi waiting for Erwin’s presence on the day of your meeting finally made sense.
That’s when it hit you.
These were Levi’s people.
Hange was his person.
Erwin was his person.
You were his person.
It struck you, dumbfounded you. And you were not about to let him down. Or anyone. No matter the challenge.
A/N: Goodness, this chapter sucked the living soul outta me (lmao). I really appreciate those who leave Kuddos and those who comment. It really means a lot to hear from your thoughts and feedback because not only does it inspire me, but it allows me to grow and provide better content for you (the readers).
Once again, thank you and I hope to upload Ch 6 soon.
Chapter 6: Time is Unfair
FYI this chapter may be a bit violent but yeah.
"So we're all traveling in one big group?" You ask for what felt the millionth time, which was in fact, was only two.
"That seems to be the plan according to the Commander." Answered Hange riding on a horse not too far from you.
The plan was as follows:
Ride in one group. You as the medic will be placed in the upper middle section. The Commander and Captain will ride towards the front, not too far from you, and supplies (carts) will be in the middle.
"What seems to be wrong, Doctor?" Asked Penelope from your left. Over the past half hour, she had been partaking in conversation with Armin Arlet.
A bright kid.
There's no doubt that that kid will go places.
You shake your head.
"Maybe they're just jitters. It is our first mission, after all."
Penny nods along before turning back to Armin. She had been so persistent in coming, you couldn't say no. Apart from that, she was qualified to work as an assistant, even as a Nurse by now. She knew how to inject, how to detect and diagnose the basics of family medicine, and had a mean hand when it came to bandaging.
Quick as lightning, as you would call it.
After Erwin's question on the day of his physical, you wondered what Penny wanted to do with her life. She had said earlier before that she was unsure, but the medical field appealed to her. She definitely will marry someday, you think.
"So that's when I figured out, only certain Titans can-hey are you ok?"
"Huh? Yeah I'm okay. I was listening to you- you said something about Titan reproduction?"
Your friend nodded.
"Yeah! Apart from that, I noticed something earlier this week. When I compared Titans to Humans, we have similar immune system components. For example, I think that if you were to inject them one day with a vaccine for humans, it will do the same to them."
"That makes sense. Similar organs, limbs...the similarities aren't too far off."
"Titans are Titans." Spat Oluo Bozado, a member of the Levi Squad.
"Those bastards eat, kill, and shit blood of the innocent. If you're thinking of ever sympathizing with those demons, consider yourself-"
"Calm down, big guy." Said Petra, stepping in.
"The Doctor isn't saying anything like that, she's just comparing data and evidence with Hange. Nothing more, nothing less. Besides," she turns to you with a small smile.
"I think she's quite the Doctor. With her around, we have definitely moved forward."
You thanked Petra. You never did understand why some of the other members of the Levi squad had to reconsider what she said every time she said something. Her words were valid and worthy of respect.
Just like every human being.
Redirecting your eyes, the Commander was talking to Levi. Unfortunately, you couldn't hear them. The speed at which you were all riding had noticeably increased and before you knew it, the team had separated.
"Hange," you called out.
"What's going on?"
She doesn't turn to you. Only acknowledges you with a nod.
"The Commander ordered the team to split up. One heading for the woods, and the other on the outskirts."
You didn't answer, but instead, turned Penny's way; noticing that Armin's side had already parted ways.
"There it is." Said Hange.
"Up ahead! The Forest."
"You all know the plan!" Shouted the Commander.
Everyone knew except you.
What the Hell were you going to do if anything bad were to happen?
"Just stick by us!" Shouted Hange.
"You'll be okay!"
This is it. You thought. We're in action and we already started. This is what you'll be doing from now on. Your choices matter now. Don't fail them.
To say that the tower sized trees waiting for you (less than a mile away) were intimidating, was an understatement.
It felt haunting.
"Petra!" Shouted Oluo before signaling 'let's go' to her before they moved forward with Levi. You mentally wished for their safety.
The energy between everyone had now changed. Everyone was no longer a citizen of the walls but a Scout.
Someone trying to make it out alive.
What felt like 15 minutes, your team had already gone into the woods. Surely you were all now halfway through.
Eren Yeager was definitely up front with the Operations Squad. As you were informed, he had been under strict supervision by Captain Levi's command.
Well at least he has the Operations Squad to help him out, you thought to yourself.
You didn't know if it had been Captain Levi's or Erwin's command, but there had been two separate paths that branched off into the Forest.
"The path you'll be taking is the best option for you. It's easy to access (for us) and it's rare for any Titans to appear. The Squad will take the right turn whereas you and a couple of soldiers will take the left. It's a relatively short path and we should be back together in 15 max."
"Eld will lead the second group towards the left path!" Someone shouted as the split paths neared.
"You ready?" You turned to ask Penny who held a confident smile.
"Ready as I'll ever be."
Hange was right.
There was no Titan in sight.
Nothing to be heard or seen.
"While there may be no Titans in sight, keep your eyes open!" Ordered Eld as he turned over his shoulder.
"Our worst mistake would be lacking readiness. So be attentive."
"Do you hear something?" You ask minutes later to a soldier next to you.
"Do you hear something?" You ask again. The soldier shrugs and for a moment, he holds a glare thinking you're crazy.
"Not a thing!" He calls back.
You shake your head and grip onto the reigns of your horse tighter.
"Penny." You turn to her.
"Keep an eye out. There's something here waiting to come out. And when it does, follow me, okay?"
Her looks changed from confused to understanding.
Averting your attention towards the front, your nose can't help but notice the smell of the forest; its grass and leaves leave a mark in your memory. I bet they're probably all used to this smell-you think.
The tall trees provide enough protection from the beaming rays of sunlight. The air was neither too suffocating nor too liberating. While the trees did give you the advantage of ODM gear mobility and sun protection, there was still one flaw.
No one could expect a Titan from the distance.
In some areas, most trees made it nearly difficult to distinguish one singular tree from another. To put it simply, almost all of the trees appeared in packs; making it challenging to identify in high-stress cases. High-stress cases that would require ODM gear, that is.
While riding your horse, you feel as if something were off. The trees behind you appeared to have been vibrating as if an earthquake were to happen. Occasional birds and animals had also left their habitats- concerning you. This had to mean something.
"Penny," you turn around to face her. "Be sure to follow me. There's something behind us right now," she nods at your reply. Anxiously waiting, you hoped that anyone would notice or say something.
No one did.
"Eld!" you shout as you grip onto the reigns of your horse as you speed up to near him. "There's something behind us. Keep an eye open. I can feel it."
"I think the Doctor's a bit out of her mind." comments one soldier smugly. "Think this is her first mission with the Pros. Instead of making orders, you should sit back and let the boys handle this." while you were dumbfounded and taken aback by his underlying disrespectful answer, you notice that Eld had not said anything.
He turns to you. "You might be right." he comments before he turns to look at the soldier that just spoke.
"It doesn't take a Doctor or a genius to be able to hear. If you didn't hear that just now, then you might be the idiot that needs to sit back and watch the Pros. Pros that happen to be male and female." momentarily, he turns to you before you nod at him as in 'thanks'. He returns the action before raising his voice to speak to his teammates.
"Everyone keep your eyes open! If a Titan appears, you all know what to do. The Doctor will remain in the middle. Our goal is to make it out of here, and protect the Doctor." he pauses.
"Is that understood?"
"Yes sir!" shouted the crowd behind you. Turning back to you, he tells you to go back to the middle for your safety. Not 10 seconds pass before a soldier shouts "Titan!!!". Turning your back, you are mortified to see a Titan, athletically built, running for your way.
"Speed up!" Commands Eld.
"Make sure the Doctor is in the middle! And the outer ring Scouts, use your ODM now!!!"
As your speed unknowingly decreases while you stare at the Titan behind you in shock, the Scouts, already doing their job, surpass you. Your breathing becomes unbalanced, and you notice it because your blood pumps at a different pace.
"Penny, if this Titan comes directly at us, we side track to your side. We'll have better luck with the trees."
"Yes Doctor." she answers directly.
"Think we're gonna be okay?" she asks.
"Of course we will." you nod. "We'll be fine. After this is all over, we'll go back home and celebrate with a drink." You tell her. "I know you're still young, but I'll let you have a sip of some wine, okay?" you make sure to ask at the end, as a small smile filled with uncertainty plays your lips.
Your assistant smiles. "Sounds like a plan. Think I'll be able to invite-?" her voice was quickly cut off when the two of you heard a blood curling scream. Shooting your head back, you see the Titan hold a soldier in their hand before they swat the body against a tree. The soldier screams before their body comes in contact with a tree, his body falls mercilessly to the ground with a loud THUD!.
Underlying fear had taken over your bloodstream, the Titan was now closer than ever. That's when a few Scouts, no more than 4, tried to approach the Titan through ODM gear. The approach all in all leaves you wordless. With one hand, the large being flings the pair of Scouts against a tree. Using their other hand, they throw the Scouts your way; the bodies causing horses to tumble, taking a few down. Taking the opportunity, the Titan uses their foot to kick the back section of the group. The kick was so forceful, that many people near you had fallen, others had left using their ODM gear.
Your bones felt stiff.
"Take the Titan down!!!" screamed Eld, borderline fear yet determination filled his voice. Screams and begs of help echoed behind you, that was when you noticed you weren't doing your job. You were too distracted watching the events unfold, you forgot you were with them.
"Penny!" you shout, "Continue with Eld! I'm going back! Don't follow me!" Not waiting for an answer, you turn your horse back, riding from the side. You prayed to the Gods that the Titan wouldn't notice you. Riding from your side, the Titan passed
This titan wasn't killing to eat, you thought.
Hunger isn't their main drive-what's wrong with them?
"Help! Please! Help me!" Shouted a Scout as they lay on the floor. A horse was well over their leg, struggling to get up.
"My leg!" he shouted as you began to get off your horse. Turning your head, you notice that the Scouts have kept the Titan under control. You prayed for the Scout's victory.
"My leg! Please! I can't feel my leg! Please help me!" Freaking out, the Scout had started to breathe deeper.
"You're going to be okay! Just let me push this horse. If I can't move it, try scooting on your own." Pushing the back part of the horse with your hands and foot, you tried to shovel the scout out. Success.
Reaching for their leg, you noticed there could be a fracture. "You have a fracture." you explain. "Most likely." not taking the time, you quickly grab a branch from neatby and stabilize their leg-knee down before bandaging them up. The horse that had now sat on him was now up on its feet.
"Think you'll be able to ride?" you ask as you hurriedly help him stand up. He nods before you help him.
"Try keeping it straight!" You command as you had assisted him, grabbing your own horse.
"I'll see if there are any more survivors!" Seeing the Scout leave, you nod to yourself before you notice almost a dozen Scouts on the floor. Some, injured.
In regards to injuries, most of them consisted of fractures. One scout had a shoulder displacement. Your speed surprised you- how were you being so quick?
It was probably the adrenaline.
As you're sending off Scouts who ride their horses back, you turn your head to see that the Titan hasn't moved from their place, their back leaned against the tree. Penny, on an edge, stands with her horse as she's watching everything unfold.
You can hear Eld make commands from a distance as the sounds of ODM gear shifts. The surrounding Scouts manage to tie the Titan to the tree.
A part of you is relieved.
Suddenly, you realized that you had cried victoria too soon. With their foot, the Titan loudly stomps the ground, causing vibrations around; some Scouts fall to the ground. With brief restraints, the Titan uses their tied hand to slowly break away from the ropes.
"That can't be!" Yelled one member. "We secured the Titan securely!"
"Call for backup!!" Screamed another as she tried to hold back the Titan with extra rope. As the member circled the being, the Titans' hands suddenly broke free; grabbing the member.
"Call for backup!!!" The Titan brought her closer.
"We won't be able to make it if we don't!! Call someone!!" Knocking two birds with one stone, the Titan flung the body to two other members. All of them fall to their deaths.
Taken aback by the sudden action, you feel that Eld is almost unsure. Most of his best teammates were dead, and easily over half of the soldiers were either dead or too weak to help.
"RETREAT!!!" Eld shouted at the top of his lungs. He turns to one of the scouts who is still well. "Inform the Commander right away!"
"Yes sir!" The scout leaves successfully.
But with every victory comes great tragedy.
Using inhumane strength, the Titan completely breaks free. They turn to a tree and in a matter of seconds, they lift it up before throwing it in Eld's direction.
Leaves, branches, dirt, cloud your vision. Soldiers that were already injured cry even more. When the dirt clears up, you don't see Eld.
"PENNY!!!" you finished up your last patient before climbing onto your horse. "Everyone stay here!"
This Titan wasn't like any Titan. No. This Titan had advanced neurological abilities. Abilities that surpassed animalistic needs such as feeding. No, they were doing something. They wanted something. But what the hell would a Titan want from us?
While you were riding your horse, that's when it hit you.
"ELD!" You shout, hoping for an answer. When you're nearing the scene, the Titan flees. What the hell? They probably are searching for Eren.
The scene was a complete disaster. Almost like 5 years ago, bodies were sprawled out, the smell of dust and trees tickled your nose, and your eyes faintly burned.
"Penny!!!" you shouted, trying your best to reach a point that doesn't hurt anyone. To the far upper right of the tree, you notice Eld's horse run away.
Out, sprawled out on his back lies Eld. The blow was so strong that it killed him at the scene. Part of the trunk had crushed his cranium, his bloodied face was almost unrecognizable. He was dead.
Your heart felt like it traveled to the back of your throat. It ached. And the possibility of Penny...
"Penny!" You shouted, stronger. There was no time for thinking, just action-where the hell was she?
That's when you noticed that on the back, the cart of supplies was almost untouched, with Penny's horse still intact- but where was she?
She screamed, and her body, her bottom half was trapped.
"Doctor! My lungs feel like they're about to bur-"
"Don't talk Penny." Climbing off with the best of your abilities, you assessed her injuries. Mild sutures to the head, pale skin, and lack of mobility. "I have to dig you out."
"No!" she protested as you moved dirt with your bare hands. "You'll infect others! You don't know the chances!"
"I'll take those chances."
She shakes her head. "It's no use. Care for the rest of the soldiers, the ones who can save us."
You looked up to her. "And what about us, huh? Us medics? Am I supposed to let you die as well? You're a prior-"
"I'M DYING!" she croaked, tears filled around her eyes. "There's no use, Doctor. Go." using what strength she has left, she sticks out her wrist. A purple bracelet of hers.
"I want you to give this to him."
You furiously shook you head. "I'm not doing that, you're coming with me."
She ignores your protests. "And my necklace, give it to my parents. Don't worry about my body, use my space for injured soldiers, living soldiers."
"Stop talking like that!" you barked. "You're living. You'll see your parents, you'll marry, you'll continue to practice medicine in a safe environment if you wish to, and you'll have all the children you want." You hold yourself from breaking. "You'll live that life, Penny."
"Take my things." she groans. "Tell my parents I hope I made them proud, apologize to him from me, tell him I'm sorry. I would've gone on a date if I had the chance. Maybe in another life. And you, Doctor, thank you for allowing me to grow. Continue your work, fight long and hard. Never stop. We will succeed in the..."
You didn't bother to shake her. It was more than crystal clear what her status was. You squeezed her shoulder before hurrying to take her bracelet out. It felt like cutting off your own limb.
Her necklace was golden. A golden heart. Her initials were carved out on the outside, and a photo of her and her parents were on the inside. Your heart ached.
The last thing you did was rip a piece of her cape fabric. You took the spare horse and wagon, packed the remaining living soldiers, and made your way out. You were the only uninjured member.
On the outside, that is.
Minutes later, a soldier found you. He had told you that the Titan was now under the orders of the Commander.
"We have to leave this forrest.'' you tell him. "We're in more risk than we think we are. How are the materials with Hange?'' you asked. "The wagon?"
"Still in good use."
"Okay," you nodded. "Take these bodies outside, you'll be safer out there than in here."
"What about you, Doctor?"
You turned to him. "I'm going back. Where the Commander is. He has to know what I saw."
"Commander!" you called out, arriving at the scene. The female Titan was under custody. "I need a word with you."
When he turned around, he was almost left breathless at your disheveled state. "What is it, Doctor? How many soldiers?"
"A dozen, Commander." you tried to catch onto your breath. "I saw something, this Titan isn't-" A loud rupture cut you off. It was the Titan. On it's head, Captain Levi spoke to it.
"We need to leave."
"That's not your order, Doctor." spat a nearby Scout. "You may be new, and a Doctor, but you don't get to make calls-"
"That's enough, Liam."
The ground that you were standing on suddenly began to shake. "Doctor," the Commander looked at your gear. "How much ODM do you have left?"
You looked around. "I'm not-"
"-It's empty." Commented Hange, kneeling down to check your gear. For the first time she frowns. "You accidentally left the opening off and it's all gone."
Your heart sank. A piece of you broke.
"Titans are coming!!!" Shouted one soldier from the trees.
"Retreat!!!" The Commander grit his teeth. His jaw clenched. He turned to you. "You're coming with me, Doctor."
"We're heading to the far outer right part of the trees. From there, we'll see." He takes no time to nod at Hange and Levi who leave. When they do, he wraps an arm around your waist.
"C-Commander! I'm heavy-"
He cuts you off. "-With all due respect, Doctor, I've carried heavier. I'm a Commander, I'm used to it." Due to the gravity of the situation, you comply, before the Titans arrive; making your way through the trees. You tightly hold onto the Commander whose emotional expressions are as set as stone.
All of you retreat.
You don't feel the weight of your journey until you reach the walls. This protection felt temporary, temporarily housing you from the outside. But it didn't matter anymore, because death was everywhere.
You were a Doctor after all.
"Captain Levi!" A voice from nearby calls out as you walk towards your destination. "My daughter is in your squad...I'm Petra's father."
Looking ahead, your eyes widen. You dare not look back at Levi who walked beside you. You squeezed the reigns of your horse even tighter.
The man next to Levi laughs, "Well, as her father, I think it's too early for her to marry. She's still so young with so much to experience..."
People from all around shout at Erwin, calling him out for answers.
He doesn't answer.
From the corner of your eye, you notice William Hefferson, from the Military Police lean against a wall. You sidetrack to your left when he approaches you. Your gut bubbles in nerves.
"Where's Penelope?" he asks. "She was supposed to go with you, was she not?"
You nod, swallowing saliva to easy your thorn filled esophagus. "I'm sorry..." Taking out a bracelet of hers from your pocket, William's eyes widen as he steps back.
"I'm sorry," you stick out the purple bracelet for him to take, "This was all-"
Knocking the bracelet from your hands, the brace falls to the ground. Just like your hopes. Not even the red mark from your hand could match the pain you were feeling well inside.
"Damn you..." He mutters, you turn to see him as his eyes water, a scowl rests on his face before he spits at your feet, missing Penny's Bracelet. Behind you, Levi's horse negihs while someone backs down, Hange says something you van't quite understand.
"To Hell with all of you!" he shouts, "You all call yourself Scouts but you're just a bunch of cowards." he turns to you, his piercing stare burns through your soul.
"Especially you, Doctor." he laughs. "What a wonderful job you've done! Saved everyone on the team! Wouldn't think-" He doesn't even have time to finish his phrase when someone with dark hair pushes him with the side of their arm. "I think that's enough. Let all of us go, we've had a tough day, especially her."
Your broad shoulders fall when you see William leave, fists curled. Moblit turns to you, concern fills his eyes. "Don't take his words to heart-he's grieving and probably doesn't know how to take his emotions."
"Don't worry about it," he says as he walks next to you. "We'll get through this. We always have. We're a team and we've got eachother's backs, okay?" placing a hand on your shoulder, he offers you a small smile.
"Go easy on yourself, you'll be okay."
It felt like centuries until the sun finally set, laments were shared, and drinks were shared between soldiers to another. You managed to sneak out one bottle of alcohol along with a cup. As you left the building, cool air calmed your warm skin. You walked down the dark yet somewhat luminated streets of the city until you noticed three figures sitting on some steps.
One voice in particular stood out to you.
"The sea..." he says, "There's more than Titan's outside the walls. Fiery water, lands of ice, sandy snowfields...I joined the Scouts so I could see all that." You pressed the bottle to your chest, listening to their conversation.
"So it's settled! It's a promise! We're going to see the sea!"
The corner of your eyes softened when you heard the group of friends talking. You sighed, deciding that you had listened to enough. You moved away with a new set of ODM gear, you landed on a rooftop. The full moon was not too far nor too close from you.
You leaned the pressure of your forearms to your knees while you played with the cup on your right hand. Rolling the glass between your thumb and index. Down to your back far left, your heard some familiar footsteps. They stood there for a second, watching you.
"You know, I'm rarely ever drinking." you confess to the figure. "I...I don't know where to even begin with honestly. Today just felt like a mess." You turn the side of your head so that they could hear you better.
"I hope I don't sound too crazy." you tell them, "And I hope your opinion of me doesn't change, I mean, after today..." you shake your head. "You really don't have to stay here, you can just go, really I'm-"
You stop talking when you hear the footsteps walk closer to you. Until they are beside you, a slight sigh emits from them when they settle down.
You nod to the moon. Okay.
"I brought this bottle," you say, holding it up for him to see, "I've never had this, so I don't know if it's good or not."
Looking for an opening, you find out that the bottle's cap is a built-in cup. You release a breathless laugh at the realization.
You had accidentally brought two cups.
"I visited her parent's today," you confessed. "I didn't have the guts to write a letter, and I gave them her necklace." You paused, bringing out the purple bracelet that hung on your wrist.
"I still don't know what I should do with this."
"You should keep it." He answers, "I'm sure she couldn't agree more that it's in the hands of someone worthy. At least not that kid."
"He was grieving,"
"No, he was making a scene. There's a difference between grief and idiocy." Annoyance drips from his voice, "He lacked composure. Needed some sense knocked into him."
"I just hope he finds peace." You answer feeling light to your stomach. Your companion sits like you. "What do you think the Commander is doing right now?"
"Probably organizing another strategic plan."
"He never stops, does he?"
You sense Levi shake his head. "Nope. He's been like this for as long as I've known him. Hange should be with him right now, keeping an eye on him. She knows how to work stuff out, but struggles herself. That's why Moblit is always by her side."
Huffing out some air, you lay on your back, the moon still visible. A hand of yours is on top of your stomach.
"I guess we all need someone then, huh?"
And for a moment, you feel a sort of comfort. Maybe it was the warm alcohol oozing in your stomach, or Levi's presence, but wherever this was taking you, you knew you were out of the storm.
Time was unfair, but never forever.
Chapter 7: And We Walk After
Still going on with this story!! TYSM for the endless support and your comments. I love reading them :) They push me through.
Also, I wanted to leave you guys with this small 1.4K+ chapter, I hope this makes up for the long wait.
Happy Pride Month!!! :) <3
“Annie Leonheart. She’s one of our best students.”
You hummed in response as Hange looked up at you from her flipboard. It was an hour before noon and the sun was shameless enough to pierce through your back with its beaming rays. You shifted your jacket uncomfortably.
Out on the training field a girl with straight blonde hair wrapped around in a bun fisted her two hands in defense. One of the general commanders seemed pleased with her work.
“Finish the job, Leonhart!” He demanded. Annie took no mercy in taking down her opponent -who happened to be Eren Yeager in this case- knocking him off his feet. A loud thump and “Hey!” could be heard from a distance.
She had won.
“Are you sure about approaching her?” Asked Hange, uncertain. “I mean, I don’t really know what you could use her for, but-”
You took a few steps towards her, and Hange stopped talking as she watched you make your way past the trainees. There were a couple of familiar faces: Sasha Braus, Connie Springer, Reiner Braun, Bertholdt Hoover, and of course, Eren Yeager.
The trainees were still in groups of two still managing to take their opponents down while Annie was already finished. She stood alone; fixing her bandaged knuckles. Her back faced you.
“Hey, can I have a word with you?”
She turns around swiftly, and you notice that her feet had not left the ground. A straight line formed in her lips.
“What is it?” she asked mannerly. You suppressed a huff under your breath.
“As you may know, being a woman isn’t easy.” You motion to the space around you. “There’s lots of underrating when it comes to women in male-dominated fields. Hell, I’ve experienced a crap-ton myself.” you prayed that your words were taking you in the right direction.
“The reason why I say this is because I’ve seen the way some guys here have been total assholes to you. And I hope that I can entrust you with a secret of mine, can you?” She nods.
“I work in the underground.” You confess. “I’m a Doctor, and I deliver and provide medical support to women and children that may need help. Now many of them don't have the resources to get a Doctor, so that’s where I play in. Because most of these women are mothers and work in Brothels, I have no option but to pass bars. Bars in which drunken men come and do things that you already might have an idea of.” You wait for her to say something, but she silently nods. Great.
“I can’t help these families without some sort of protection. Now I know that a gun might help, but I can’t always carry one with me. Especially when I’m carrying my medical supplies.” you tell her.
“I need to find a way to protect myself. Because if I can’t figure it out ot get help, then the lives of these mothers and children who depend on me will worsen. I have people on the other side who depend on me, who trust me to carry out tasks and provide for them. And I can’t do that without help. Your help that is. And that is why I wanted to come to you for help.”
Annie’s look is unreadable as she turns her eyes to focus on a rock next to you. Her lips are still sealed as she thinks of a reply.
“How often do you go down there?” she asks.
“As often as I can,” you tell her, hoping to convince her. “I can bring you along one day if you’d like.”
She says nothing to your request before she makes room between the two of you. Annie begins to shift her body away from you.
“I have Wednesdays off.” She says, and you try to conceal a hopeful smile. Time was moving.
“AND THEN, I TOOK MOBLIT’S HANDKERCHIEF!” Hange threw her hands in the air before releasing a laugh. You looked over to your side as you glanced at Levi, who had an emotionless look on his face. He looked down to poke on his salad uninterested as if he had already heard this story before.
“And what happened next, Hange?” You asked, and Levi shot his head up to face you. His eyes secretly pierced yours as if he were telling you not to ask. You held back a giggle.
“I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED BECAUSE LEVI WAS THERE!!!” Hange grinned as she banged the wooden table with her fists. Levi slightly clenched his jaw.
“Isn’t that right, Levi-poo.”
“Stop calling me that, four eyes.”
“Aw but you love me, don’t you?” she teased before pointing a fork that held some of her swirly pasta salad (that she called) in Levi’s direction.
“Get that thing away from me.” Levi said in disgust. “You know how much I hate Vinaigrette.”
Hange complied shortly before the door of your dining room swung open. Walking inside the room was the Commander and it took part of you to not stare obviously.
It had been 4 days since your return from your last mission and this was the first time you saw him since your last encounter.
“I hope everyone is having a pleasant meal,” He greets before he sits down on the northern end of the table while you sit on the west, Hange on the east, and Levi on the south. The Commander kept a composed hand over his diaphragm.
“We are! Why thank you Erwin!” Smiled Hange. “Why don’t you come eat with us? They’re serving Vinaigrette pasta, Levi’s favorite.” She smiled sheepishly while you turned to see Levi holding a death glare.
“I’m fine, thank you. I had a meal with Pixis and Sir Dhalis Zachary on a variety of topics.” He paused before he momentarily glanced down at the table. It was then when you noticed that he had faint eyebags, the corners of his eyes were slightly swollen, and his usual hydrated skin was slightly dry.
“Have you received your shipment, Doctor?” He asked, as he finally addressed you, totally taking you by surprise.
“Uh, yes! Thank you. I received it this morning.”
He nodded before turning to your group. “Very well. I only needed to verify. If you’ll excuse me,” He stands up again, hand in the same placement.
“I must get going.”
His departure was quick, but polite- wishing you all a good meal.
“Is he normally like that?” You ask Hange as she nods.
“He has a hard time in the aftermath of missions.” She apologetically offers you a smile. “But he spends most of his time coming up with new strategies. I don’t know how he does it, but we know it’s for the sake of everyone.”
You nod, using your fork to pick up a bit of your lunch.
“I suppose we’re all here for that then.”
As it turned out, Annie did teach you. You were 3 lessons deep, and you knew how much she didn’t normally talk. It was kind of like an unspoken rule, she teaches you, you thank her, and maybe if you’re lucky, she’ll tell you her day was okay and how the guys were complete amateurs.
A few days after your training, you offered her to come with you down to the underground. She hesitantly accepted. When nightfall rolled around, you made sure to pack a bag filled with supplies you knew you’d need and you dressed up in simple clothing- striving to wear anything that did not include the Scout’s logo.
Annie did the same. You offered her a dark cloak as the two of you headed outside. No word was spoken as you had already told her your plan and what to expect.
“When you enter the gates, you find lots of beggars. But these beggars are thieves in the night. So avoid them at all costs. That’s why I take another route instead.” you explained.
“The Underground is filled with criminals. Almost anyone is one, so stick to your intuition. Never provoke a fight here. If you act as a bystander and act like you don’t give a fuck, they’ll most likely ignore you.”
Annie shrugged. “So basically training.” she dryly humored. You sheepishly smiled back.
Walking down the old steps that led to your destination, you wondered how this place came to be. In what year, who, what, when and where. A few of these, you knew.
But none of your answers could satisfy your thirst.
You were careful in making sure that no one followed you, taking a few glances and protective measures beforehand. And you sighed in relief when you got to your location. No one had followed you.
Or so you thought.
Chapter 8: The Underground
TW!!! Mention of r*pe. It's nothing graphic, but some people bring it up in conversation.
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