Life, life sucked. It was full of death and dirt, ugliness and sorrow.
But it also had her, and so, how could he complain? She was a constant, always there, always bright, and shining, and smiling and beautiful.
Never before in Rivaille's life did he think something was as beautiful as she was, with her sparkling eyes and short blond hair. She would always stand up so straight, so full of hope and courage and power, and under her trusting, her kindness, there lay an anger that seemed unquenchable.
Petra, a living enigma.
Trust her, she says. As if it is easy to lay your faith upon anything and anyone in the world they live in, but she has such a kind face, and such a warm curve to her lips that he finds himself accepting and they were so close to death he could taste it upon the tip of his tongue, jolting him straight to his boots until she comes and finishes the titan his blades were unable to pierce and he is thankful but he also understands that she is honest.
And so, he trusts her. He has to because there are so few soldiers who survive that sometimes he feels as if he is the only one. But he meets them, slowly, the ones who live, the ones who hunt rather than allow themselves to become prey and she is the only woman, and it hinders her not even in the slightest. She can spar with the best of them and come out on top, can send men sprawled across the dirt with their legs akimbo.
And so, he has to respect her as well. And begrudged, he finds that they make a good team. They are both meant for solo kills and yet, together, they are flawless victory. They are hope.
She is hope.
And it's so odd to have it in a world so ugly, so full of malice and blood and smeared tears across the back of your hand and mercy is unknown, but damn does she have some. Trust and faith and hope and love are foreign. He is a soldier and soldiers are murderers but she is also a soldier and she can only be beautiful.
So she convinces him that murder is beautiful because it is what she does, and when she trains it is smooth and graceful and he watches with his palm against his cheek, elbow resting against his knee and he hears Hanji sucking in her breath like she's watching some kind of romance and
he guesses that she is.
And it isn't as if she's a green eyed, black haired beauty, as if she's a true beacon of light and purity. She is stained with the death of her comrades and she wears it behind her eyes. And he finds her impurity even better because he is unclean, and he could never stain something pure and perfect. A piece of him wants to cleanse her: all that is filthy should not and cannot exist but he makes an exception.
That is, he made an exception.
Because life, life is ugly. And it took her away so he can complain. Nothing good has ever really happened to him before she came into his life and one day he just found himself staring at her so hard that he was imagining how her skin felt under his fingertips.
And since he is curious, he found out.
It was glorious, but now, it only leaves the taste of anger in his mouth and sorrow behind his eyes. She is gone, taken in what felt like an instant but she went down with the best of them, fighting a monster and he lives as he always lives but it's unfair that she can't as well.
So he holds the letter in his hands, feeling the swim of bile churn about in his gut and he almost rips his pillow into pieces and remembers how her father broke, glassy eyed and jelly legged and everyone loved Petra.
But that made it twice as horrible when she was gone.
He almost tightens his fist against the letter but he opens it yet again, traces his fingers over her handwriting and pulls out the picture.
He stares at the photo of her sleeping against his shoulder and watches the small drop of water hit her slumbering cheek. He curses the rain and ignores the simple fact
that he is indoors.
She is gone and the world is ugly yet again, or, rather, uglier because it could never be beautiful. Only she made it so and now, he has no body to bury under the dirt and no scent to press to his nose, and no skin to touch and no eyes to look into. She can't be there to smooth the hair from his brow as he awakens from a dirt black nightmare of bones and blood. She can't be there to press against and push into and curl up so hollow it hurts and she made everything feel so much better than it really was but bones cannot warm the blood of men they leave behind.
He has a task and he must follow it stoic faced and stony, but Irvin sees the sadness on him and though he says nothing he must know that this series of death was so much more painful than any and all of the others so he lets him grieve, but he doesn't give him slack because that would give him time and time would only be spent remembering the glow of her cheeks when he kissed her.
He grabs his pillow so hard and he feels the choke of his unhappiness in his esophagus. Her image is pressed against his chest, his palm splayed over it as if it can protect her from harm and he bends into his bed as he grieves.
If only for one night, he will let the marrow deep ache of her loss get to him. He feels the wetness of his pillow, and the small drop on her picture against his thumb as he holds the image to his chest and he curses the rain.
And then lets it sink it that he is indoors.
Flat out not enough fanfiction on this site of SnK. And definitely not enough of Rivetra. Expect some Erannie on this account and also some BertxReiner and JeanxMikasa. And, of course, a crap load of Rivetra~ The tragic ship of all SnK ships.