**READ THE DISCLAIMER! Shingeki no Kyojin is property of Hajime Isayama! I own no part of this except for my OCs.**
Chapter One: The Long-Haired Titan
The color of blood had begun to stain the sky as the sun sunk closer to the horizon. Picturesque as it was, the violent shade of red struck a little too close to home for the soldiers of the Scouting Legion. In only a handful of hours, they had suffered record-breaking losses in their mission to capture the Female Titan. Their failed mission to capture the Female Titan. With that heavy reminder ever-present, most of the retreating soldiers' hung heads and slumped shoulders prevented them from even glancing ahead at the vivid hues of the sunset as they moved through the forest.
There was only one raised head among the many broken spirits. Corporal Rivaille was staring relentlessly forward as he maneuvered through the trees, eyeing the massacre occurring in the clouds overhead. While he didn't outwardly show any signs of anguish, the scene playing out in the sky caused him to inwardly flinch. Levi could practically count a body of a fallen soldier for every streak of red that was covering the clouds. It could be seen in his stiff posture that the boy was struggling to rid himself of the dismal thoughts that clung to him like parasites. Even with all the people I sacrificed, I don't have a damn thing to show for it. Not one damn thing! The Female Titan was devoured, our remaining men are in shambles, and we'll return to the Karanese District with nothing but injured soldiers and the news of failure. Levi made sure not to let his disappointment in the day's events be apparent to the other members of the Scouting Legion, but there was no use hiding anything from himself. My men died in the hope that their deaths would serve a purpose for humanity. Bitter realization was what finally turned the Corporal's eyes away from the horizon. In the end, I couldn't even offer them that hope.
Looking back at the day's casualties, it almost didn't seem possible for the situation to become worse. The sense of foreboding that heavily lingered, however, told Levi otherwise. At that very same moment, traveling not too far ahead of Levi, Commander Irvin's instincts were telling him the very same thing. Danger was near, and any more damage could prove to be detrimental.
Commander Irvin was still pondering the final actions of the Female Titan. Something just wasn't sitting right with him. The image of massive amounts of steam pouring off the Female Titan as she was torn apart came back to the forefront of his mind. He had acted on a hunch when he had told Levi to go refill and replace his blades instead of retreating immediately. Maybe the possibility of his hunch being correct was low, but it was the only probable reasoning behind the Female Titan's actions. The Commander was brought out of his pensive state as Hanji voiced her concerns on the very same subject.
"Irvin, why did you send Rivaille to refill? We hardly have time for that," Hanji asked, too troubled by the Commander's unprecedented actions to remain silent.
"I did it because I remembered one of your hypotheses." Irvin answered without his eyes straying from the path ahead of him. He just barely caught the questioning sound from Hanji over the thundering of the horses' hooves. "You hypothesized that when the Colossal Titan disappeared the reason why no one had seen the person who was inside it was because that 'insider' equipped himself with 3-D Maneuver Gear beforehand and, using it, quickly escaped under the vapor cover," he continued before Hanji quickly cut him off.
"But I also concluded that it's hardly possible based on the similar situation with Eren when he emerged out from a titan. His equipment was hopelessly damaged and even his uniform was gone, not to mention that Eren was so exhausted he couldn't even stand without help."
"That female type had the ability to draw titans with her scream. We didn't know she could do that, and our plan failed." A hardened look fell across the Commander's face, knowing that they would need to expect the worst and be prepared for it in the future. If things continued as they were, ignorance would end up being the undoing of the Scouting Legion. "We need to adapt our way of thinking and concepts quickly if we want to outsmart the enemy. If that 'Titan Power' can be trained, then basing our perceptions and conclusions on Eren, who is only a beginner in using that power, is wrong." While having Eren on their side was a great advantage in itself, when going up against fighters with the same caliber as the Female Titan it would not be nearly enough. "It's as you hypothesized: if the enemy used vapor as a cover and escaped with gear similar to ours put on in advance, they could very well mingle with the scouts."
A shiver passed down the leader's back, and the hair on his neck stood up as another wave of foreboding danger swept over him. With a sense of finality, Irvin stated what he feared most. "If the enemy has a way to preserve their stamina, it's possible they can transform into a titan again." And as the words passed his lips, there was suddenly no more doubt in the man's mind. What he had been fearing since seeing the excess smoke was true.
The Female Titan was alive, she was on the move, and she would stop at nothing to leave with Eren as her prize.
Levi's Unit, officially known as the Special Operations Squad, however, was almost in a world of their own. None of it's members were aware of the failed mission concerning the Female Titan and instead believed it had been successful. Joking and teasing one another as they retreated, the five soldiers were completely unprepared for any attack.
Günter was the first to realize any inkling of the peril to come, but by then it was far too late. A darting figure caught his attention, although it was moving at such a fast pace that he couldn't make out who it was. What he could make out, though, was the gear the person was wearing. That cloak looks just like... Could it be? "Corporal Rivaille?" The mysterious figure narrowed in quickly, and it was when the person was nearly on top of him that Günter realized his mistake. "No, it's not him. Who is that?"
His question was quickly answered by the slashing of two blades through his neck. As his body fell, it twisted in the air so that his comrades had a clear view of his neck. There was a moment that everything fell deadly quiet. In shock, the four remaining soldiers took a moment to take in the slash wound that had closed the curtain on Günter's life. A wound that was undeniably cut as one would cut the nape of a titan's neck. The chilling moment was suddenly gone, replaced with the fire of vengeance.
Auruo's hand latched onto Eren, jolting him forward, all humor from just a minute before now the last concern on his mind. "Eren, don't stop! Keep moving!" Kicking into high gear, Auruo took it upon himself to force Eren toward safety and away from the chaos that was unfolding behind them.
"WHO DID THAT?!" Petra screeched in a rage. All of her sweet, caring personality was thrown out the window as her eyes began combing the giant trees for any sign of the murderer.
"Protect Eren!" Erd barked out the order as he lept into action. Weaving back and forth, Erd did his best to keep his priorities straight, while at the same time battling to keep his searing anger from taking over.
"Fuck it all! What we gonna do?!" Auruo yelled over his shoulder, struggling to keep calm. "Erd, where should we go now?!"
"The top priority is to reach our commanders and comrades!" Erd called out with the most rational response that he could manage. The rationality was lost on Auruo, who immediately began cursing loudly as the reality of the situation dawned on him.
"Is that the one that was inside of the female type?! Or are there several of them?! Shit! The nerve the fucker's got!" Eren was overcome with a mixture of fear, shock, and disbelief at Auruo's words.
The Female Titan?! How can it be? Didn't they catch her?! Eren screamed internally.
"COME OUT!" Petra screamed in the general direction she knew the coward to be hiding in. "You have no honor, but I'm still going to give you a fair chance!"
A blinding flash followed by a resounding bang brought any mystery of the unknown threat to an end. Heat radiated from the rising titan form that was recognized by the scouts right away.
So it's really her! She's coming! Eren's eyes widened in horror. The female type's closing in!
After a moment of disorientation, the tall form of the Female Titan broke out into a run, her sight never wavering from her target. This sent Eren over the edge, and without a second thought he began to raise his hand to his mouth. "This time I'm going to do it! I will fight her!" Eren shouted out in warning.
"No you won't!" Erd shot right back. The last thing they needed in this situation was Eren losing all sense of control and possibly being taken away because of it. "The three of us will deal with her! You go on ahead to our commanders' place as fast as you can, Eren!"
Continuously told that he shouldn't fight, Eren finally relented and agreed to leave the fighting to his comrades. Turning to continue toward safety, he full heartedly put his trust in his squad. "Good luck!" he declared and then left the three to do what they did best.
Always eluding her grasp, the scouts used their speed to their advantage. Working together flawlessly, the team needed no words to communicate their plan. Swooping in, Petra and Auruo slashed the Female Titan's eyes, leaving her blind to any further attacks before her eyes could regenerate. Sensing her vulnerability, the titan quickly raised both hands to cover her neck. Without pause, the soldiers continued their assault, cleaving the rotator muscles in their victim's shoulders. Just as planned, the Female Titan's arms fell to her sides and the neck became exposed. Victory ready for the taking, Erd readied himself to dive for the final kill.
In the following moments, it was almost as if something forced Eren to look back. A feeling that gave him chills and came with the guarantee of death. He wasn't alone in that feeling. Then Eren realized he wasn't alone period. Yet, the feeling that could only bring him to turn his head was capable of bringing this other person straight to action. From the corner of his eye, Eren could just barely make out a shadow springing forward from above him.
Leaping from where she had remained concealed in one of the towering trees, the girl's hand flew to her neck, instantly slicing her palm in a practiced manor against the razor-sharp edge of a necklace. Her eyes were focused intently on Erd, watching him move in closer and closer to the Female Titan's neck. The ensuing flash blinded Eren from seeing the actual transformation, but it was unmistakable: there was another titan present. Is this one here to save the Female Titan?!
When he had finally regained his sight, Eren almost couldn't believe what he was seeing. Certainly his eyes were lying to him! Still, he couldn't deny the sight right in front of him. Oh, and what a sight it was!
Right in the middle of the clearing stood another titan. She was distinctly female, as was made obvious by the long, cascading hair that fell to the titan's waist. Eren, in the moment of confusion, was surprised to see that the fifteen meter class titan was actually fairly pretty, quite unlike all the other grotesque titans he had seen previously.
More surprising than that, however, was the Long-Haired Titan's fist planted firmly in the Female Titan's jaw.
Eren, along with the his three comrades, found himself agape. With the Female Titan's head snapped backwards from the punch, all of the scouts were able to see the one newly regenerated eye that looked close to popping out of its head at the dramatic turn of events. Just before the fist had connected, Erd had gotten in range to slice the Female Titan's neck. Now, though, everyone could see the single repaired eye and the telling position of an opened mouth—ready to chomp down on whatever came in-range. If not for the sudden punch, there was no doubt in Erd's mind that he would have been bitten in half.
Awed by his extreme luck, Erd didn't even realize he was no longer controlling his 3-D Maneuvering Gear. By the time Erd had eventually come out of his stupor he was already falling, deeply entangled in his equipment's iron wires. The hooks were still embedded in a nearby tree, making the fall partially slowed, but there was no cushioning the final impact. A distinct snap was heard as Erd impacted the forest floor, but he tumbled and came to rest at the base of a tree in one piece.
Auruo was the first to snap out of his stunned state. "You okay down there, bastard? Don't go dying on us now! I won't put up with that shit!" he yelled unconvincingly in Erd's direction. Seeing one of his closest comrades almost become titan chow had really taken a toll if the tremor in his voice was anything to go by. His worries were finally put to rest as Erd could be seen groaning in pain as he moved to sit upright. Movement was made difficult by the wires wrapped around him, rendering him entirely immobile. As he tried to lift him arms to remove the web of wires he was now entangled in, a hot bolt of pain ran up his right arm.
"Yeah, I'm fine, just a bit tangled. Pretty sure my right arm's broken." Erd's voice, while strained, was enough to snap Petra back to attention.
Refocusing, Petra gauged the situation. Erd's usually the level-headed leader, but he's out of the fight in his current state. Well, at least he's alive and in a relatively safe spot. Petra knew it would have to come down herself being the brains and Auruo being, well, Auruo. Head snapping up, Petra became aware that she had completely forgotten about both titans in her getting all caught up over Erd.
Not even a minute had passed, but the Female Titan was still recovering and sat slumped against the tree for support. The Long-Haired Titan was standing over her in what looked to be a relaxed boxing pose. The newcomer made no move to strike a lethal blow, content in only keeping the Female Titan in her wounded state. Petra also took notice that the titan held almost no interest in the surrounding humans that would suffice as easy prey; she was solely focused on her opponent. Near being fully healed, the Female Titan began to regain her footing. We missed our chance, Petra thought bitterly. If we hadn't been so distracted we could have finished her off!
"Auruo," Petra called out, trying to bring his focus back to the task at hand. "The long-haired one isn't a threat to us, she's just here for the Female Titan. Forget about her, and just go for the Female Titan. If we play our cards right and use her distraction to our advantage, then we could still win this thing!" Auruo nodded in response, still trying to compose himself. Wordlessly, the duo sprung into action.
Now both titans were on their feet, and the Female Titan had dropped into a fighting stance as well. They spent a good amount of time sizing each other up: taking in the other's size, strength, and trying to read the movement of their eyes. It might have been the Female Titan's imagination, but she could have sworn the Long-Haired Titan stole a glance at the two approaching scouts. The fleeting thought was lost as the Long-Haired Titan then quickly lashed out with her left fist. Barely able to dodge the consecutive strikes, the Female Titan was kept always on the defense. The few times she had managed to counter a blow or sneak in a kick her opposition would dance out of range before returning not a second later to throw several more punches. No progress was made, and both titans stood exactly where they had been when they started fighting. Not a single hit had landed for either titan, and the Female Titan was starting to sense something fishy.
Then she caught it again. A subtle darting of an eye off to the sidelines of their fight. Eyes narrowing, the Female Titan continued the cycle of blows, and it wasn't until one of the scouts passed behind her rival that everything came together. She wasn't even trying to land a hit! The girl was just trying to keep her in place so that the scouts would finish her off! Keeping the nearest scout in sight, the Female Titan was ready to squash the other titan's plan for good.
Petra was halfway maneuvered around to the right side of the Female Titan when she abruptly found herself face to foot with the titan she had been preying down upon. Not missing a beat, the Long-Haired Titan flipped the other titan by kicking out her grounding leg and pushing down on her shoulders with lightning speed. Petra's certain death stopped just a breath away from smashing her into the side of a tree. The foot and it's attached body flew backwards as it was flung to the ground. Stunned, Petra could only find herself watching the Female Titan's fall, completely deaf to the yells of Auruo.
"Petra!" Auruo screamed at the top of his lungs, watching the girl space out and continue her course toward an upcoming tree. "Righten your balance, quick!" All too late, Petra finally turned to look forward, only to be met with cold unconsciousness as she collided with the tree and fell to its base.
Auruo was the only one left to deal with killing off the Female Titan. Erd was broken and down for the count, and Petra was out like a light. Despite the unfavorable odds, he found an opening as his target rolled on the ground to settle into a crouch. The nape of her neck was wide open, and there would be no better time than now.
"Hey, slut," Auruo growled out as he swung downwards to deal the final blow. "Die."
At the precise moment that he moved his blades to strike, his prey was able to sense him and put up a final defense. Hardening her skin, the Female Titan was able to rise from the ground without a single scratch to her vulnerable neck. The blades had been unable to pierce her.
Only the one pest remained, and with striking accuracy the Female Titan tracked Auruo before lashing out a final kick. Auruo had no time to avoid the attack, and there was nothing he could do as she zeroed in on him.
Two hands lunged out to stop the swing of the kick that had been set to break the man in two. The redirected kick only barely managed to slam into the base of Auruo's legs, and the pain that shot up from the source of impact was the last thing he had been expecting. How am I even alive to feel this shit?! Auruo just barely caught sight of the Long-Haired Titan holding back the appendage that would have broken his spine in half. Holding it back. Not ripping it off or using it to swing the titan's body to the ground again. Just holding it back. The other two times a person could dismiss it as the Long-Haired Titan taking advantage of the situation to gain the upper hand on her opponent, but there was no mistaking it this time. His eyes connected with the strange titan right before he tumbled to the ground as a result of the two broken legs he now sported. Vivid green eyes met and held his gaze unwaveringly, giving Auruo absolute certainty.
That fucker just saved my life.
Eren was in shock. He had stopped trying to escape to safety long ago; seeing his comrades be swatted down one by one by the Female Titan had stopped him dead in his tracks. Broken bodied or unconscious, his squad members lay in shambles. Anger and bitter resentment flared inside of him as Eren came to the understanding that this was all his fault. The advice that Levi had given upon their first encounter with the Female Titan began playing like a broken record in Eren's head.
"Eren, you're not in the wrong about this. If you want to do it, do it. I never know whether you choose to believe in your strength or believe in you comrades who you consider trustworthy enough... No one knows what result your choice will bring about," Levi had drawled with a tone that held no biased suggestion. "That's why it's better if you choose for yourself the option you won't regret later."
Remembering the words stung, and Eren, without thinking, did the only thing he deemed fit to get them out of the situation he had landed them in. Biting his hand and transforming into his titan form required no thought for the time being. All thoughts were erased from his mind except for one.
I will slay her... I have made the wrong choice.
Resentment endlessly flowed through Eren as he in his titan form dropped down on the Female Titan from above. Pinning her to the ground, Eren let out a world shattering roar.
That... That was my choice. But the one really at fault here is you.
Levi and Mikasa were in motion before anybody could stop them. Echo of an enormous roar ringing in their heads, they hurriedly wove through the giant trees in its direction. Dread thrummed through Mikasa's veins when she had recognized the sound. I'm positive of it, Mikasa thought as she gripped the handles of her maneuvering gear tighter. It's Eren! Pushing herself to go faster, all the girl could hope was that she would make it in time and that Eren wouldn't do anything stupid.
Eren had thrown common sense out the window as he wrestled the Female Titan. Swinging punch after useless punch, he was only succeeding in damaging his own hands. Yet, he was still determined to bash in the face of the person who had caused so much bloodshed.
Apparently, the Long-Haired Titan had different ideas. Eren's head snapped back as he was thrown off the titan beneath him. Rolling to his feet, he could feel the bone-breaking grip of someone grabbing onto his shoulders and feared for a second that the Female Titan had already gotten hold of him again. That turned out not to be the case as he found himself instead faced with the Long-Haired Titan who began pushing him backwards. Her mouth was partially open and what sounded to be a growl came out as Eren continued to be pushed away from the Female Titan.
"GGGOOOOOAAAA!" The rumbling sound continued as Eren began to push back against her. Over her shoulder, Eren could see the Female Titan rising from where he had pinned her. Now standing, the Female Titan readied herself to charge Eren, completely ignoring the other titan in between them.
Get out of my way! Eren mentally cried before swinging his right arm to hit the temple of the Long-Haired Titan. Able to only block half of the blow, the Long-Haired Titan was sent flying a good dozen meters before she came to rest, dazed.
Nothing was going to stop Eren from knocking the Female Titan's head clean off, and he didn't even spare a second thought to the other titan that now lay crumpled a good distance away. But his deadly focus couldn't do anything against the titan charging him, and he soon found himself ripped of his jaw from a cleverly placed punch. Still, he fought on, but the unbalancing swipes he made at the Female Titan ended up working against him. Unsteady, he was wide open and unprepared for the strike aimed at his neck.
In a fluid movement, the Female Titan had slashed straight through his neck, taking Eren's head clean off. His titan fell, utterly spent and at her mercy. Unhinging her jaw, the Female Titan hovered over the exposed base of his neck where Eren's human body was. The titan flesh was ripped back effortlessly, leaving an unconscious Eren prone to be taken inside the Female Titan's gaping mouth.
Reaching the bloody battle scene, Mikasa's heart was instantly in her throat. "EREN!" Her desperate cry went unheard as Eren disappeared behind the titan's tooth grin. The Female Titan made sure to give a pointed look in Mikasa's direction as she wiped the blood from her mouth before standing to make her escape. "W-Wait! Eren, don't go!"
This shout didn't go unnoticed, for the Long-Haired Titan's hand quickly darted out to latch onto the escaping titan's leg, preventing her from taking even a step farther. Mikasa didn't know if she should be relieved or worried as the Long-Haired titan, fully recovered, stood to face the Female Titan. The fight wasn't over quite yet.
A twinge of uneasiness had caused Levi's hand to begin twitching, and it alerted him just before he swung past Günter's corpse. Dark hostility filled his eyes as he passed his fallen friend. The uneasy twitch was then replaced with harsh animosity and a drive to bleed out the person responsible. Hands steadied and prepared for the worst, Levi let the cold acceptance of Günter's death wash over him. He couldn't let any emotions get involved, so he could merely accept it and move on, but that didn't stop him from giving a slight bow of the head as he left the dangling body behind.
Expecting the bodies of the rest of his team to be not far off, Levi wasn't surprised when he found the other three splayed on the ground. What did shock him, though, was the color the he could make out in Petra's cheeks, the stunted movement of a trapped Erd, and endless cussing from a pained Auruo.
They're alive?! Levi exclaimed internally, unable to hide his amazement. As far as he'd seen, the Female Titan hadn't spared a single person in her quest to abduct Eren. How the hell?...
Shaking himself back into focus, Levi continued past his soldiers and gripped the handles of his blades resolutely. He didn't have time to be concerned. He could come back and get them after securing Eren's safety which was top priority now.
New energy flowed through the Corporal, far different from the killing intent that had driven him not a moment before. There were people to be saved now, a hope to be kept alive. Blades at the ready, Levi wholeheartedly threw himself into the fray awaiting him.
Unlike the erratic flinging of punches and bodies when Eren had been fighting the Female Titan, the measured movements of both titans' current strikes made it fairly obvious to Levi that each of them had intelligence. Both glared down the other with a force that could kill, looking for any sort of opening or weakness to make a finishing move. Steam coated the two titans and healed any of the landed blows. They were stuck in a dead-lock tie.
Seeing the Long-Haired Titan threw Levi for a loop, but he quickly recovered upon spotting out Mikasa who was circling the two, trying to get a shot in. Slash wounds covered the Female Titan, but not a single one had come close to the neck or face. The reason for Mikasa keeping her distance became clear the second the Long-Haired Titan shot a jab that the Female Titan was barely able to dodge. Going any closer would be certain death.
"Give him back!" Mikasa screamed, continued her relentless attacks. At the mention of "him" Levi came to the realization that Eren was nowhere to be seen.
"Mikasa, where's Eren?" Levi's question caused Mikasa to pause her assault. The two soldiers maneuvered over to the land in the crook of a tree so they could talk strategy.
"The Female Titan has Eren in her mouth. He's alive, I'm sure of it, but I can't get close enough to do anything," Mikasa breathed out, winded and covered in blood. She gave a brief gesture to the Long-Haired Titan before continuing. "That one doesn't target me at all, it just keeps going after the Female Titan. It's worn her out, but the Female Titan still hasn't slipped up yet, and I can't get any closer to finish her myself."
Levi's eyes watched the fight unfold as Mikasa filled him in, scanning for any weak points. At last, he nodded and explained his plan. "Okay, the long-haired one is too much of a threat. Her punches, if they connect with the Female Titan's mouth, could end up seriously hurting or killing Eren. Taking her out should be easy since she just ignores humans. I'll kill her, and you hang back and wait for an opening to kill the Female Titan. Her opponent suddenly dying should be enough of a distraction for you to get one good shot in before she has a chance to harden her skin. Understand?"
"Perfectly." Nodding in agreement, the scouts soared back into the brawl.
Things didn't go as perfectly as they had planned. The first attempt Levi had made at slicing the Long-Haired Titan's neck had failed due to her lunging forward with a punch to the Female Titan's throat, making Levi miss. His blades sunk into her back instead, accidentally alerting her of his presence. Levi could now feel eyes burning into his back as he retreated to attempt again.
The second time failed, too. She had ended up ducking a punch, moving out of Levi's range at the last second. A frown started to etch itself onto his face. She didn't need to duck that low to dodge that punch. Eyebrows furrowed, Levi redirected his course to take him past the Long-Haired Titan's eyes. Sure enough, as he passed her left eye, the green orb followed his every motion. So much for ignoring humans. Following his discovery, Levi swiveled on his foot, turning back again midair. His sights were now set on blinding the beast which would make taking her out easy.
Cutting around so that he was angled to come at the Long-Haired Titan from the side, Levi shot out from behind a tree without warning. Approaching her from her blindside, he was confident as the blades in his hands sung out, thirsting for titan blood. All of a sudden, Levi found himself jerked back, stopped barely out of reach of the eyes he was targeting.
What the?! Looking back over his shoulder, Levi's mouth fell ajar.
Off to the side, one of the wires that Levi had been using to anchor himself was held tightly in the titan's grasp.
"Levi!" Mikasa called out, horror stricken. Levi was now hanging by merely a single wire held by the Long-Haired Titan.
How did she?... Levi's head snapped to look away from the hand and instead at the face of the beast that had managed to catch the Scouting Legion's ace. She wasn't looking at him. She wasn't even looking at the Female Titan, opting to dance out of range instead of dodging or ducking punches sent her way. Her eyes were elsewhere, and Levi quickly traced their invisible path to land on the trees where he had anchored his 3-D Maneuvering Gear. His eyes almost popped out of his head. She didn't watch me at all! She knew I was gonna move to take out her eyes, and all she had to do was wait for me to launch a grappling hook to one of those trees nearest to her and then grab the wire! Looking back to the Long-Haired Titan's face, he was able to meet the green eyes that were now taking in his surprised expression. He could have sworn the rumbling he then heard next was silent laughter. She was already a step ahead of me!
"Hold on, Levi!" Mikasa shouted as she hurriedly wove her way to save Levi.
"No, Mikasa, DON'T!" Levi barked out, but he was too late, for her grappling hook was already anchored in the same area his own had been lodged in. Just as she had done before, the Long-Haired Titan reached out and grabbed onto Mikasa's wire. Mikasa felt the same jerk Levi had as she was halted just short of cutting him free. "Dammit," Levi bit out as they both dangled helplessly. No, I can't let myself die here, Levi thought bitterly as he struggled to find some sort of way to cut himself out of the situation he was in, but found none. Frustratedly, he sent a glare at the titan who was holding onto their lifelines while at the same time dancing around the Female Titan's attacks. "Get it over with before I die of boredom, why don't you?!" Levi hissed out loathingly when he saw no way of escape.
After rolling her eyes for a brief second, the Long-Hair Titan did the last thing Levi had expected. With a flick of her wrist, she tossed them off to the side. Not chuck them, just tossed them.
Levi and Mikasa fell in a heap, coming to rest out of harm's way. Both were tangled in each other's wires, and while Mikasa started struggling to move instantly, Levi was far more sluggish. Black specks were tugging at his vision, trying to pull him into unconsciousness. He had cushioned Mikasa's fall, and his head got hit in the process. Levi fought back with all he had, holding on to the image of the injured members of his squad that still needed help. Forcing himself into a sitting position, the once infallible Corporal sat struggling to keep his head upright. Eventually, Levi forced himself to to stay conscious by watching the fighting titans in front of him.
The Female Titan had gotten fed up with the Long-Haired Titan eluding her punches and had lunged forward. Something flashed in the Long-Haired Titan's eyes. This was what she had been waiting for. Waiting it out to the last second, she side-stepped the charging titan. A flattened hand abruptly shot out to jab painfully down on her adversary's left shoulder. The reaction was immediate; a short howl broke out and was punctuated with a well-thrown right hook. Again ducking out of the way, the Long-Haired Titan mimicked her jabbing to the other shoulder, drawing out another yelp. She spared no time in continuing her assault as the Female Titan doubled over in pain.
A flurry of jabs that Levi's straining eyes couldn't follow began pin-pointing different areas of the Female Titan. The majority landed on the target's arms, singling out certain spots with a series of blows. The Long-Haired Titan's arms blurred, and Levi couldn't tell any longer if it was simply that fast or if his vision was failing. Wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders, neck, chest, sides, and repeat. For a long time the Female Titan had struggled and resisted, but as the torture went on her movements slowed until stopping completely.
At that point, the Long-Haired Titan stopped completely to stand back and simply watch her opponent sway on her feet. Shakily registering the folly of blows had ended, the Female Titan raised her head, but even that small motion racked her with pain. Levi watched in amazement as the Female Titan attempted to throw a punch, but her right arm locked up halfway. It was the same case with the left arm; it moved forward ever so slightly, but ultimately came to a shuddering stop.
"She immobilized her arms," Levi managed to hiss out to Mikasa. His tongue felt like it was made of lead.
"No way," Mikasa whispered, pausing from untangling the wires to look up at the titan that now couldn't throw a single punch.
Of course the Female Titan wouldn't let it end there, though. Her kicks were unlike any other! She shouldn't be counted out yet! In absolute confidence, the Female Titan swung out her right leg in a sweeping kick aimed for the Long-Haired Titan's head. But the Long-Haired Titan had already seen the girl's last resort coming, and as the leg climbed upward swiftly she dropped low to the ground. Swinging out her own leg in a low spin, the heel of her foot connected with the back of the Female Titan's knee.
It was as if they were watching a tree fall in slow motion. Knee caving in, the Female Titan's supporting leg gave out, sending her falling forward to the ground. She didn't get up. She couldn't get up. Arms unable to push herself up, and with only one operable leg left, she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
Rising from her crouch, the Long-Haired Titan let out what could only be a breathy sigh of accomplishment. She was exhausted, that much was understandable, but the end result was well worth the trouble. There was only one more thing left to be done.
No longer in a hurry, the titan kneeled down next to the crippled Female Titan. Her long hair fell forward and partially obscured her actions, but Mikasa didn't miss her reaching out to grab the Female Titan's head.
"NO! Eren's still in there!" Mikasa began struggling harder than ever, starting to do more harm than good. Upon seeing a hand wrap around the jaw of the Female Titan, Mikasa yelled out in desperation, "Don't you dare fucking hurt him!"
Her words didn't stop the prying hands from ripping the mouth open. Reaching inside the bloodied mess, the Long-Haired Titan drew out the unmoving form that was Eren. Mikasa let out a strangled sob and even the unsteady Levi started to struggle against his restraints. No, no, no... This can't be happening!
Eren in hand, the Long-Haired Titan started to make her way over to the two scouts. Adrenaline was what made it possible for Levi's hand to find the grip of his weapon, but he had no strength left to move the blade. He struggled on despite that, forcing down the pain that was searing through his arm. Something was hurt. As if that even mattered when he would become titan food anyway.
Günter... Erd... Petra... Auruo... Levi thought as he slackened, no longer having enough energy to fight against the black spots. The shadow of the Long-Haired Titan's hand closing around him was the last thing he remembered as his eyes fluttered closed and the world went dark.
I failed you.
Commander Irvin was fidgeting with the reigns of his horse. He had been informed that Levi and Mikasa had turned back to recover Eren, but that didn't make him any less antsy as time ticked on without their arrival. As soon as everyone was out of the forest and the formation had been redeployed Irvin had given the order to move out. They couldn't afford to stay still in a place as dangerous as this. Even if it was the correct call, he couldn't help but feel uneasy as the distance between the Scouting Legion and its stray soldiers became greater with every passing minute. For this very reason Irvin had a lookout scanning behind them for any sign of the missing members on horses in pursuit. That made the lookout the first to see her approaching.
"Fifteen meter class approaching rapidly, Commander Irvin, sir," the man with a telescope warned him.
"Soldiers prepare to engage if necessary," Irvin alerted his men, slightly disappointed by the news not being about the return of his scouts.
"Wait, sir," the lookout said, a little puzzled. "It seems to be carrying something in its hands. I believe they are people, sir."
"Yessir. I can make out their scout uniforms." At the mention of scout uniforms Irvin's head snapped up.
"Is that Eren's titan?" Hope rang clear in the Commander's voice.
"Um, no, sir. I don't think so." There was a pause as the lookout double checked to make sure he was seeing correctly. "This one has long hair."
Not deterred, but slightly bewildered, Irvin pressed further, "Is it carrying our soldiers, though?"
"Yes. Several of them."
Weighing the possibilities, Irvin mulled it over before declaring loudly, "This squad! We are turning around! Have carts at the ready and be on guard, soldiers!" With that, Irvin made a sharp turn in the direction of the advancing titan. Hanji soon caught up to him and remained at his side.
"You do realize this is a shot in the dark, right?" she pointed out.
"Of course I do," Irvin said gruffly, eyes not leaving the hands of the titan ahead of them. "But what is your gut telling you?"
Hanji looked a little taken aback at the nature of the question, but then gave a curt nod. "Point taken."
Right then, the titan that had been pressing forward in a dead sprint seemed to hit a wall and slowed before falling to her knees, the figures still held delicately in her hands. It was in this state that the squad found her. Circling the threat, every soldier's hand brushed against the handle of their weapons. Irvin himself approached the Long-Haired Titan when he saw no harm in doing so. Just as the lookout had said, his missing soldiers lay in the unmoving hands of the titan. All of them looked fairly beaten up, but the telling sign of rising and falling chests caused Irvin to release a breath he didn't know he had been holding.
"Get these soldiers treated immediately!" Irvin waved in the medical team who took great care in carrying each injured soldier to the carts.
The very last person to be taken to the carts was treated with the greatest amount of care and respect. He was the only one that didn't have any steady movement of his chest. Commander Irvin bowed his head and fell into a salute as a sign of respect when Günter's body was carried past him. When he lifted his head again, he turned to stare at the overshadowed face of the titan that seemed to be drifting in the depths of unconsciousness. What kind of titan would think to bring back a dead soldier?... What titan would bring back any kind of soldier in the first place?!
A loud hiss suddenly rang out, the source of it being steam that was suddenly spilling out at the titan's neck. Hanji couldn't be held back any longer as she climbed through the heat to reach the figure whose silhouette could just barely be made out. Grabbing hold of the strange girl, Hanji quickly removed her from the rapidly dissipating titan body. When both were again safely on the ground, they were swamped by curious scouts. Irvin pushed his way forward before stopping in front of Hanji's feet.
The woman was cradling the body of a girl that looked to be at the end of her teenage years. Completely coated in the blood of her titan but looking utterly at peace despite it, the girl was quite the disturbing sight.
After a good minute or two of unabashed staring, the Commander finally regained his senses. Barking out orders, he tried to resolve the situation in the best way he thought possible. Declaring that the girl would be restrained and brought in for questioning, he left it to his comrades to detain the girl. He watched as the girl was heavily chained before being put in a cart that was guarded with several wary soldiers. Through the whole process, not once did the look of peace leave her face, and the Commander found it unsettling to say the least. Combined with the strangeness of the situation, he just couldn't piece everything together as he looked between the carts that held the unconscious scouts and the cart where the bloodied girl that had emerged for the Long-Haired Titan rested. For once in his life, Commander Irvin found himself hopelessly confused.
What the fuck happened to them?
A/N: WOW that took forever! Dang this fanfiction writing thing is hard work! This is my first attempt at a fanfic, and I know that was probably a slow start with all the recapping and whatnot, but things will get interesting soon, promise! I hope to update soon, but I'm not gonna lie about being random when it comes to writing on a schedule SORRY! (I'll probably post more about my updating on my profile) I'd love some feedback, so some reviews would awesome!
Thanks so much for reading, and have a SUPERMEGAFOXYAWESOMEHOT day! :D