Steam rises high, bones click and fall.
Turn away from dissolving blood and flesh. See a deer, stare at each other; slight limp in its gait.
The hunter recognises the young doe. The doe does not; it leaves.
Trees shake, wind blows, smell of foul blood burning away.
Fresh scent instead. Sweeter smelling…
What is it?
That idiot. That dead idiot, Levi thought, looking high above at the half eaten cadet softly swaying in the wind, a steady trickle of blood streaming from their mouth into a small pool of red on the forest floor.
Dappled sunlight shone down on the vivid crimson stained grass. A wood pigeon crooned low as the leaves rustled and branches creaked in the warm rush of wind.
A slow steady stomp on the ground caused his eyes to flicker open again.
When did he close them?
He needs to get up. He needs to-
He stops his struggle to move when his eyes find his gear, the cables snapped from when the new recruit's hefty weight fell on him, propulsion missing from those desperate fingers scrabbling in mindless fear, catching at his gas tank.
Levi looked up as the heavy thudding steps stopped.
An 8 meter, he estimated as his eyes focused on a soft screaming smile and glazed grey eyes wide in delight.
"Ugly shit," muttered Levi, straining again to sit up, ignoring the tacky feeling of the bright red blood oozing down his face.
The world seemed to dim for a moment, the bird song loud in the darkening forest.
Then he moved, blades in hand, slicing down on the creature's outstretched arm.
Breathing heavily, sweat heavy on his brow, Levi moved again. He ignored it all: the dim edges to his vision, the constant thrumming ache in his head, the sharp pain in his shaking arms and legs.
His blades flashed in a beam of sunlight. Heavy steps and loud breath were the only sounds filling the dell apart from the incessant cooing of birds and the far off strum of a woodpecker searching for food.
Then a new sound- no- an old sound, familiar and hated.
Thudding footsteps echoed through the dell as Levi weaved through the Titan's fingers, slicing and chopping and fighting with every breath. Breaths which were becoming harder and harder to draw in as his vision of the monster wavered and faded in his eyes.
Then the monstrous thuds stopped and Levi jumped back to observe the newest arrival.
A 15 meter Titan stood before them, faint puffs of steam circling its lean muscular body. It was obviously a deviant type, standing still, observing what was occurring with lightning fast eyes over a gaping jaw of serrated teeth.
Huh... turquoise eyes... Levi thought sluggishly. Something was- something was wrong...
Thick fingers grasped at him and he turned slowly, agonisingly slowly, to see the wide ugly maul of the smaller Titan spreading wide (when did it get so close?) flesh splitting and ripping in its cheeks, spraying blood and strands of skin, as it prepared to eat.
Levi held his blade tightly in his one free arm- but he never got to use it. The Titan never got to eat.
Instead he was thrown back as a gigantic bare foot crashed down into the monster's jaw. Pummelling flesh and tooth and tongue into one gruesome, mashed up lump.
Levi looked up from the mossy ground in disbelief as the second Titan brought its foot down twice on the nape, sharply twisting and ceasing the thing's quivering struggles.
Darkness finally won against the corners of Levi's vision as the deviant Titan bent over him, blue green eyes wide and alive.
"It's the Corporal!"
-Faint light, streaming through green and brown glowing sky-
"What happened to him?"
- Scratching softness enveloping his leaden limbs-
"Corporal! Are you okay?"
-a soft sound, someone moving-
"Bloody hell, give him room!"
-shut up, so tired, just so-
"Corporal Levi! Are you awake?"
Levi opened his eyes to see the darkening blue green sky above him.
Wrong shade, he thought briefly before wondering why.
"Thank God! He's awake! Call Hanji," came a voice distracting him from his soft musings.
He blinked then blinked again as memories wavered and floated to the surface of his bone tired mind.
Levi was on his feet within moments, fighting the sick feeling crawling up from his stomach.
"Woah there Levi. Looks like You've had a bad injury to your head, you shouldn't move," came the perpetually cheerful voice of Hanji. Levi twisted around to see a flash of light glancing off Hanji's filthy glasses as they leaned up against the side of the wooden cart he now realised he had been put in.
"Titan. Killed. How?" He breathed out, trying to focus on the red head's face, scowling at its difficulty.
"Shan't tell you anything Corp, till you sit down," chided Hanji in an annoying tone.
"Tch!" Spat Levi as he sat back down against an empty crate, eyeing the collection of similarly empty wagons parked around them.
"We found you here less than half an hour ago. With your head already bandaged. Whoever did that isn't owning up though,"
Images of the foot crashing down to earth were filling Levi's mind.
"Was I going crazy?" He murmured "That Titan..."
"Titan?" Asked the curious Titan Crazy scientist.
For a moment Levi considered telling them what he had seen.
"Ugh..." No, he wasn't going to do that. What could he say? A Titan saved him? That was impossible. Also Hanji was likely to believe him and try to send their half dead squad back to get it.
And I suppose it also tended to my wounds? He thought sarcastically... He must have been going crazy.
"Most... likely... someone just doesn't want attention brought to them. I can respect that even if I don't understand it."
"Probably they didn't want to get in trouble for using your favourite shirt as bandages," Hanji stated with a small hum.
Levi, looked down at his bare chest and strove to ignore the faint hint of worry in their tone, along with the green eyes staring at him across his memories.
"Let's move out," he stated impassively, looking back to the forest they were leaving.
He sighed and turned to stare out at the golden horizon before them, just missing the large pair of eyes that watched them leave from high in the trees.