Chapter Ten: Under Ice

The blinding light from the overhead lantern was the first thing that Eren saw as he arose from his slumber. No. It wasn't slumber, more of a drugged comatose state because the throbbing pain that spread throughout his head as he came to his senses was not the result of him fainting.

Those bastards drugged him.

Condemned him to death out of the fucking blue and drugged him.

That's some grade A douchebaggery.

Soft wafts of wind that came from invisible windows made the old lantern hinges creak in distaste. Cringing at the sound, Eren attempted to sit up so he could at least see where the hell he was being contained.

With one swift movement, he tried to elevate his upper body but the attempt was futile. The scientists, or whoever the little bitch was that put him down here, had strapped him down to a slab used for autopsies.

"Those motherfuckers strapped me to a slab? Another slab? Why can't I ever get a bed or something?" Eren whispered in disbelief, peering at the strengthened straps at that held him down with hatred.

The anger that built up was physical. Mental. Explosive. Inside him began to form a raging storm swarming with contempt- making his fists clench, veins pop, and those ocean filled eyes of his turn into a malefic yellow

In a fit of pure rage, Eren desperately tried to sit up- desperately tried to free himself of the bindings that withheld him in the dank underground hole those pigs above had dubbed as a dungeon.

The leather straps were cruelly thick but, after a restless struggle for a couple hours, there was a sharp snap! indicated that one of the straps had broken, giving Eren a surge of hope- of persistence. His skin had been rubbed so incessantly during that last hours that his forearms had been completely destroyed. The tan skin hung loosely off of his arm and the overwhelming stench of blood poured into his nostrils and onto the floor. Eren swore he saw his bone.

He would get out of here. It wasn't fair, why hadn't he put up more of a fight? So what if his arms had been rendered useless for the moment? So what if his blood created a waterfall as it poured from his body? So what? What the hell was he thinking letting those soldiers steal his life away so fucking easily. In his defense though, he hadn't had one single clue that the state was going to sentence him to death. He wasn't quite at Perception: Armin Level, yet. That was just unadulterated corruption at its finest.

'But... Why did they do that? Fuck I don't care- I'm getting out of here.' Eren growled aloud as his goal was set.

Sure he was achingly curious of why they had decided his life wasn't important anymore but his anger happened to get the best of him- even if Corporal Levi taught him to actually use that brain of his and think before he acted.

And also because he was Eren fucking Yeager.

He wriggled violently and grunted in pain, held back a shrill scream, as his skin was massacred under the rough leather. The rubbed portions of his arms were so damaged that Eren couldn't comprehend how blood was still gushing from the extreme wounds. Still dripping relentlessly on the floor. Eren did not dare take a glimpse at his mutilated skin. It was practically all bone now.

Snap! Snap!

The leather straps that had been binding his legs gave way; Eren's legs stung as the backlash of the straps smacked his calves unmercifully.

"Fuck." Eren muttered distastefully as the skin broke from where the straps had hit his legs. More blood freely caressed the silver, smooth, lab table as it dripped onto the cold stone floor.

In his blurred attempt at escape, Eren imagined Levi seeing him in the horrific state he was in. Of Levi's trademark scowl and that foreboding furrow of his eyebrows Eren would undoubtedly receive. Ah yes, how he loved that irritated and thoroughly scandalized look Levi got whenever Eren was filthy- hygiene wise.

Never would he call the Corporal cute. That was just insulting and, honestly, the consequence of that remark would end with Eren's ass implanted on the ground. He would call Levi handsome. Yes, Eren thought he was very handsome- in an austere kind of way.

And when Levi smiled-

Snap! Snap!

"Finall-" Eren gasped and ungracefully rolled off the table, landing on the ground with another snap! echoing through the room.

It wasn't a strap that had caused the sickening sound though, it was his right leg which had absorbed the most impact from the fall.

Eren cursed profusely as he brought his clenched fists up and shoved it in his mouth. He screamed obscenities as if it would help the sharp pain shooting through his right leg cease. Just his fucking luck the ground hadn't been flat. Just his fucking luck that the stones which constructed up the sorry excuse of a floor were so sloppily placed that they jutted out, sharp tips, uneven edges and all. Yup, he was the luckiest person alive to crash down on a particularly misplaced stone whose edge stuck out like a sore thumb.

"What was that?!" Yelled a muffled voice from outside the barred door.

"Waltz, check it out!" Commanded an annoyed voice from what sounded farther away than the first.

Eren's blood turned cold and his heart stopped as he heard the rapid footsteps approaching his cell. He felt so scared at the thought of getting caught in his position that he couldn't move. The door flung open and all Eren could process was how he was so close to being free.

But he really wasn't. How the hell would he had made it out of there? God knows how many guards had been posted outside his door and shit- he didn't even know where the crap he was anymore. General Commander Zachlay could have had him relocated for all he knew.

But he would go head first into the storm anyways.

"He tried to escape!"

"Grab the chains, Stewart! Go inform General Dawk and Pixis of this!"

"Fuck that! Let's just kill him!" A swig of whiskey was taken.

There was a loud scoff. "He's under Royal jurisdiction you dumbass, we can't do that."

"Damn, look at the man." Whispered one of the guards in a mixture of shock and disgust.

"What a fucking psycho." Hissed another as he turned his head sharply at the macabre sight that Eren presented to them.

"I bet he likes it too." Taunted a soldier by the doorway.

Eren's squeezed shut eyes shot open and he bared his teeth furiously at the soldiers. What utter bullshit for those lowlifes to talk about him that way. He tried to move his right leg to deliver a blow to one of the soldiers who had pinned him down but it was unresponsive. Raising his left arm, which was still in the process of healing, Eren elbowed the second guard hard in the face earning a loud crack and a choked sob as the soldier fell backward and screamed while clutching his broken nose.

The other guards quickly joined the fight with cocked guns and unbroken limbs. Eren wistfully smiled and swallowed down the tears that threatened to fall. He was completely outnumbered. The chances of getting out were scarcely available to him; nevertheless, he was not going down without a fight.

After six guards were beaten down by Eren and after multiple fresh wounds were gracing his abused body, the shifter passed out from exhaustion. The guards took that opportunity and dragged Eren into a cart and to another prison across town; deeper and more confined than the last, sturdier and impenetrable than ever before.

Eren woke up to find steam billowing off his body and his wounds gone, his skin smooth and soft once more. With a spark of hope at his rejuvenated state Eren shot up.

But this time he was chained and his legs were nowhere to be found.

"Is this right? Am I doing this right?"

The petite body of Historia Renz, more commonly known as Christa, was bent over a rusted air shaft looking nervously at the fuller woman from behind; the opening of the shaft was wide enough to barely fit two average sized people and the iron bars were useless due to their condition.

"History, you are doing fine. That thing is shit on a stick so hurry up and take it off."

Historia glared at her balefully. "Don't call me that. Ever. Again."

"Fine, fine." Ymir raised her hands in mock surrender.

The taller woman snipped at the other playfully, her brown, tousled hair bounced off her shoulders wildly and elicited a groan and the quick transition to a loose ponytail.

Historia frowned as she carefully placed the crumbling cover to the air duct against the stone wall, the loose bolts perilously hanging from the insert holes.

"I liked it better down." She remarked with a hint of disappointment.

Ymir coyly smiled. "Oh? Did I look pretty?" Her dark eyes grew dilated and her poise more sultry .

"Yeah," Even though it was dark, Ymir could see Historia's cheeks blossom and her bottom lip being abused. "I thought you did."

"Dammit."

Ymir's confidence took that compliment as its cue to crumble down upon itself and spontaneously burst in flames. She would never understand why Historia had such a powerful influence over her. Determined to keep her cool exterior, the freckled woman wiped the bottom of her palm across her mouth and gently pushed the blonde aside as she entered the duct.

"Fuck it smells really bad in here. Historia!" Ymir yelled quietly after a few crawls in, her nose scrunching up in dissatisfaction. "Hey."

"Yeah?"

"If we run into a dead body you owe me one of Sophia's muffins."

Historia squeaked at the thought of a dead body wasting away in the Zone Sina Correction Institute but huffed indignantly at the proclamation. Cadet Sophia made the best damn muffins ever.

"I will promise no such thing!" She whispered defiantly at the steadily disappearing Ymir. "We never bet anything, by the way."

Ymir scowled and Historia felt her displeasure even as she too, crawled inside the vent and inches closer to her companion.

"I will leave you the bottom of the muffin though." She smiled meekly.

"Ah! That's just wrong on so many levels." Ymir gaped slightly. "There are natural laws that everyone just knows to follow and one of them is that you never just take the top of muffin!"

Upon seeing Ymir's highly offended expression, Historia smirked, her teeth so white the other woman could faintly see them in the dark vent.

"What are you going to do? Write a whole essay concerning the ethics of taking just the muffin top?" She scoffed amusedly at the thought of Ymir crouching over a stack of paper, clutching a quill and staring intently at a muffin. It was a ridiculous notion but amusing nonetheless .

The scoff very quickly turned into muffled giggles and then full blown laughter. Historia covered her mouth with her and and sent an apologetic look at Ymir, who managed an arm around her and brought her closer.

Semi-lying down in an slightly too small vent with Historia more so sideways and pressed into her chest to suppress her laughter, got incredibly uncomfortable for Ymir after a few moments.

With an awkward nudge, Ymir untwined herself from the other and made a silent motion with her head to keep on moving.

"Eren is waiting for us." She said thickly.

Historia stared forward intently and her crawl quickened in speed.

"Everyone thought you were brain dead." She whispered bleakly. "You know Eren. How do you think he's going to react to seeing you alive and functioning?"

Ymir grinned unpleasantly. "It's funny- people seemed to have forgotten that I'm still a Titan. Probably because I had damaged my head so bad they thought I couldn't regenerate. It took for fucking ever."

"It did. 3 months and 17 days."

"You angelic little creep. Hey...You know why we doing this, right?"

Historia stayed silent. It was a question that wasn't meant to be answered.

"They can't dissect Eren. Those fuckwads couldn't even begin to comprehend the internal Titan Shifter structure. Everyone has been executed- Eren and I are the only ones of our race left. After..." She took a shaky breath. "After they killed Reiner and Bertholdt-"

"Annie's still alive." interrupted Historia with a blank stare.

"Annie can never wake up." Ymir snapped and continued on. "Every known titan shifter is dead; the town that Reiner and Bertholdt originated from still hasn't been found; Those sneaky bastards are hiding out of shame or regrouping for another attack."

"Do you know where they're hiding?" Historia asked neutrally but the unspoken threats were clearly heard.

Ymir shot a disgusted glare in her direction. "If I knew I would say something. I already told you that I was on your side."

"And that where ever you go, I go." Finished Historia. A small smile broke out on her face. "I know. I'm sorry. I just had to ask."

"Yeah." Ymir glanced to the side. "Plus, Yeager might be a psychotic, but he's a ballsy, lil' dude. That guy deserves so much more than this." She gestured to the entirety of the building, even though their vision was obscured for they were still in the shaft.

"Yeah. He really does, doesn't he." Ymir sighed to herself.

It was beginning to sound like she was just comforting herself at that point; moreover, Historia already knew the fine details and all that revered talk about Eren made her heart clench painfully. Ymir suddenly looked at Historia with a sad, confused smile.

"Why did you agree to this? You could have stayed home- safe and sound."

Historia's focus returned to crawling as stealthily as possible. She turned her head away from Ymir when the other caught up with an unasked question written all over her face.

"Are you going to run away with him?" She questioned, a bud of jealousy blooming as she blindly assumed Ymir's real intentions.

Ymir's eyes widened in sheer surprise and a hand flew up to minimize the volume of her laughter.

Historia pursed her lips in a hard line. "Don't laugh Ymir, it's a seriously serious question." She snapped in a rare sight of annoyance.

"No- Historia, no. That's a seriously serious answer." Ymir breathed in and out to help control her giggles.

"Ymir."

Her giggles halted instantaneously and Historia wondered if she had been laughing just to aggravate her .

"You already know who I truly love." Ymir spoke with nothing but seriousness.

"Ymir-" Historia knew how the Dancing Titan felt about her and had expressed her feelings about that issue as well.

"I know. I know..." Ymir cast her eyes down and re-lifted them with a broken smile. "But I'll grow on you someday."

'Mood hacked to bits and blown up by a cannon? Check. Historia wallowing in guilt and feeling more then uncomfortable? Check. Eren probably getting tortured and us two are still not even halfway there? Check.' Historia thought sullenly.

"Mikasa probably going on a killing spree? Check." Ymir commented and Historia whipped her head around to look at her in disbelief.

"How did you...?" She questioned softly.

Ymir looked at her strangely. "Are you okay?"

Historia just nodded and let out a short laugh at the insane timing of the two's thought processes. "Yeah. Just dandy."

"Tch. Sassy."

"Grump."

"Shut up."

Historia laughed gently at the bantering. 'You've been growing too much on me, Ymir.'

"Let's go rescue the gent in distress shall we?" Ymir cocked a grin.

"Yes, lets."

They didn't find any dead bodies but Historia already decided to give Ymir a whole muffin.

Everything was black. He was black, the wall was black, the fucking air was black.

Eren couldn't see shit; likewise, when he tried to look around, his eyes throbbed with a dull pain as they overworked themselves for the ability to see something. The operatives in charge of where ever the hell he was had shut down the electricity and left him submerged in pure darkness.

Creaks and groans that seemed to come from every direction echoed off the walls and sent Eren into a constant state of fear. Every little sound was amplified by a thousand and due to Eren's phobia of the dark, the effect it had on him was worsened by a crap ton.

For the first time since he became a soldier, Eren internally wished that there had been a guard placed on a watch post with him. No doubt, that would have meant a flame and a flame means light. Sweet, sweet light.

Eren was about to piss in his pants if he heard one more creepy ass rustle. He needed some of that old fashioned light; you never appreciate the things you have until they're gone and Eren was learning that life lesson the hardest way possible.

You would think all those nights in the dungeon of the court house or in the Scouting Legion's HQ would have internalized some hardass in him- alas, it most certainly did not. He wouldn't admit it to anyone, never fucking ever, but he cried himself to sleep a good 89.99% of that time.

Darkness made Eren panicked, uneasy. Ever since he was little, he always had to see what was in front of him- what was waiting for him in the future. Eren hated surprises, bad surprises at least; hated how he would have never seen them coming, how they mocked him for being unprepared.

Like how it was a big surprise when his mom died.

Or when he found out he was bunking with Jean.

Ach, or when he got his ass destroyed by Levi when the Corporal nearly killed him that time in the courtroom.

How about the time when Levi's squad got decimated.

Ooo, then there was the time when Sasha ate his muffin from some baker cadet named Sophia.

"Christ, that was a good muffin." Eren mumbled to himself, trying to stop his fit of anger due to the fact that there had been way to many bad surprises in his short life.

He tried to shift his body to a more comfortable state but the chains limited him greatly. Clinking against the lab table, the chains were bound so tight Eren thought he might scream out of frustration. His legs couldn't even move more than a laughable distance to the side.

At this rate, there was a high chance of him going insane than giving in. The determination to get himself free and obtain his wings of freedom once as for all had not faded away. Oh fuck no, these bastards were literally pouring buckets of oil on the fire inside him.

"I'm flaming hot." Eren chuckled at his horrible little joke.

With a last chuckle and a heavy sigh, Eren squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his jaw. Someone needed to come. It was imperative that they came and helped him get out of his cell.

He had started to laugh at his own piss poor jokes.

Shit was getting bad.

"Ugh!"

Outside the West Wing of the Zone Sina Correction Institute, a gauntly figured guard dropped to his knees and fell flat flat on the cobblestone road. His throat had been sliced open so deep that his head was hanging on by only a flap of skin.

Blood splattered on the road like it had mistaken it for a canvas. The cloaked figure loomed over the lifeless body, watching the pools of blood that formed from the guard's throat with a ghoulish relish.

Bending down, the figure reached out gently and pressed a silky white finger in the pool of the thick, warm blood; swirling it's finger around childishly before pressing the soiled finger to it's lips.

"It doesn't belong to you." The lone one whispered to itself.

Leaning on the balls of their feet, the killer bounced back up and walked with an elegant stride towards the now defenseless entrance.

"It belongs to me."

The shadow slipped through the gates and nearly flew down the numerous stairs leading towards the dungeon. Not one single guard was found as it skipped the last few steps with a graceful jump and landed silently on the ground floor of the Institute.

The light brown dye of the killer's cloak could not even have been distinguished from anything down in the dungeon, everything would look the same for it was pitch black; there were no sunlit streams of light there. No windows, only a few scattered and poorly placed torches.

'Third row down.

Third cell on the right.'

As the cloaked figure made it's way across the various rows and as it sharply turned left into the third, not a sound was made. It was abnormal- the cloak swished silently, as if it was just air. The boots made no indication that they had even touched the ground, and the natural sound of the breath leaving a human body could not have been pinpointed.

The killer was just an entity. Apart of the dungeon almost.

It halted in its track as it reached the holding cell of prisoner 03316: Eren Yeager. As it pressed the side of it's head against the stone wall to listen to the captive toss and turn unnervingly, it licked it's lips in glee.

Losing it's calm composure, the killer clapped its hands and bathed in the immediate halt of Eren's movements.

Eren was scared.

Oh how delicious was that?

Eren froze, his muscles turned into stone, his breath automatically ceased, but his heart was racing like a madman.

Something was out there and there was a catastrophically high chance that it was not here to save his hide or bring him food.

Suddenly, Eren fervidly wished he had been given a blanket; one he could crawl under and childishly pretend like the thin layer of cotton would protect him from the demons and mean things of the world. Regrettably, he had no such thing. He was chained, about to piss his pants because they were lacking a bathroom, and there was some boogeyman outside his cell that wanted to rape him, slather him in gravy, stick him in an oven, and eat him.

Okay- gross. Maybe not those things specifically but Eren had rather not wanted to get down into hardcore details about how mysterious thing giggling like a creep wanted to kill him.

Countless horror stories had been read to him and by him over the span of his life and, in every single one of them, communication with the perpetrator was a bad idea. Like 'parents yelling at you using your full name' bad. He remembered the one story about the girl who had hid in the closet because she heard someone break into her house one night; the book was called 'Strangers'.

In the end, the killer knocks on her closet door and she actually fucking replies and obviously gets murdered but whatever. Eren knows better than to- nope.

"W-who's there." He croaked out, fingers flexing to the best of their ability in an attempt to ease his crazed nerves.

Nothing replied, not a sound was made from outside his shell and soon it was just Eren and his breath again, livin' it up in the dungeons. He knew something was out there; the laughter that had bounced off the walls and implanted a significant feeling of dread throughout Eren was undeniably real.

Or maybe he was beginning to slip into the second stage of receiving his Masters degree at being an insane person: Hearing imaginary voices and seeing imaginary things. Oh how he wished it wasn't fucking either because at least he would be reassured that he wasn't too far off the deep end than he thought; Eren was already too deep to safely go any further.

The air morphed and began to become downright suffocating to Eren as minutes of eerie silence passed by. Time was irrelevant down in the dungeons; it just didn't matter. If you didn't get retrieved in what felt like a couple days, the government had essentially left you to rot.

Eren wondered how many cells were currently being occupied by skeletons and festering, rotten bodies of sinners and criminals.

He wondered if that was how they planned on killing him.

It was working.

"I need a blood sample. I need a blood sample. The rogue Titan's blood. Eren Yeager's blood. Get it for me now."

The hooded figure nodded as the unknown voice hissed commands in it's ear. A loud gulp resonated throughout the rows and walls of the ground floor when the voice finished and the killer heard Eren gasp despairingly; it flashed its bright teeth once more in exicitement.

The bars to Eren's cell were spaced so that maybe an emaciated child could fit through but most certainly not a something with the body of a grown adult like the killer. Despite that, with a swish of its cloak and a flash of a hazy dark blue glow that shone from it's eyes, the killer squeezed through the bars. Sounds of bones cracking and something squishing or being squished emitted from the killer as it stumbled into the inner part of Eren's cell.

Eren eyes went wide in sheer terror and the killer could see beads of perspiration trickled down the side of his face.

"I'm fucked-" He breathed out in terror

"Shhh- This wont hurt a bit!" It gleefully announced as it gracefully whipped out a syringe from it's coats inner pockets. "Hmm... Maybe."

The glow around it's eyes began to omit an icy blue electric in sparks as it leaned over Eren's screaming person and plunged the syringe blindly into his arm.

"Stop!" Shrieked Eren in fury.

The hooded figure could feel the young man's anger roll off him in waves. The anger seemed like a separate entity than his own; it seemed too powerful to be condensed in such a lithe body. But maybe that was apart of the Titan Shifter's curse. To have to live and contain that tremendous and overwhelming power that threatened to consume their sanity.

"It must be hard..." Said the hooded figure breathily. Bringing a silky hand up to Eren's surprising soft, intoxicating face. It began petting him. "Such a brave man you are, Eren."

It released the syringe when it noticed that the needed amount of blood had been extracted.

"Come to me."

The voice had returned and cast a commanding presence in the dungeon even though it was not really present.

"Yes, my lady."

The cloak only made a small rustle as the figure disappeared from the dungeon entirely. The door was opened and closed so swiftly that the sound made by the 'click' of the lock was minuscule.

"Return to me."

Later the day, more fresh bodies of guards whose throats had been torn open had been found.

17 soldiers in total had been murdered.

The blame had been placed on Eren, despite the fact that he had never left, been able to leave the dungeon.

If anyone had asked him what he had been feeling as the guard, (fair haired and quite handsome) who so graciously brought a flea infested, wool blanket and a small candle that would last about 30 minutes, read off the added charges to his already atrociously long list of offences, he would have replied with a curt smile and an immediately punched the nearest thing in resentment.

Eren's anger practically vibrated off of him; it smacked the guard in the face, abused his senses until he had to take a step back for precautionary measures and nervously wipe the disgusting build up of sweat on the back of his neck.

"It wasn't me." Eren hissed venomously, his fists balled up and released themselves as he tried to collect his rational thoughts.

The guard looked at him condescendingly. "Tough stuff, freak. Someone has to be the scapegoat."

He snorted and tucked the clipboard holding the offending lists under his arm. "Does it..."

He hesitated, scanning Eren almost intimately from head to toe as if he was trying to understand something about the young man.

"Does it get dark in here?"

Eren just... Looked at him. He sneered at the guard even though he knew it would reflect poorly on him and do shit to help his situation. Even though he knew that it was just his anger that was reacting; an anger that not even he could tame. His anger was the true monster.

"What the fuck do you think, you dipshit? That it's all sunshine and rainbows down here? That I skip and hop along with little faires and fucking unicorns?" He snarled, his body quaked, and the sound of clacking chains filled the cell.

The guard clenched his jaw and widened his eyes in shock at the treatment he had received. Striding up to loom over Eren, he looked down with hate filled eyes and small wicked smirk.

"You know- you're a gorgeous little thing." He purred and it was Eren's turn to be shocked. "There are a lot of... lonely men out there who just aren't satisfied with dirty whores. I bet you never get fucked, with you being a Titan and all."

Eren felt an intense knot of sheer discomfort build in his stomach. His body tingled with something impure; he felt like the words being cooed from the guard's mouth were desecrating him even more than he already was.

"You think threatening to make me the Military Police's man-whore would make me scared?" Eren whispered, repulsed. "Listen, boy. Your cheap shots at trying to get me reduced to a sobbing mess are the definition of suck ass-"

The guard's foot slammed down on Eren's stomach, wrenching a howl of pain from the young man as he choked back a sob. Sea-green eyes glared malignantly and blood rose from his throat. It flowed from his mouth and down the sides of his face as he tried to gurgle it out to make his laboured breathing easier.

The guard grabbed a handful of Eren's hair and pulled him up as far as the bindings would allow. He leaned closer to the younger, his alcohol tainted breath so close in proximity that it was the only thing Eren could have breathed in at the moment.

"Your cheap shots at trying to be an unwilling little green boy aren't working."

Eren irises glowed yellow and he barely contained in a smile. "If I wanted my own come back, I would have wiped it of your mother's chin."

The guard released his hair and his face turned red with rage. "Y-you-!"

"Ortega! What the holy mother Mary could you possible be doing down there? Get your skinny ass up now!" Shrilled some anonymous soldier from upstairs.

Private Ortega bared his teeth at Eren and slammed the cell shut with force. He opened his mouth to shoot some more insults at Eren but shut it in a pursed line when he was called once more by his commanding officer.

"You will pay." The guard mouthed, seething.

"Suck my dick." Eren growled back at the taller blonde.

"I'm not the one whose going to be sucking cocks, darling." He purred darkly.

Eren nearly laughed out loud. Not a happy laughter and not an angry laughter. It was the type of laughter one makes when they can't express themselves any other way. When they are so in shock, paralysed, that it's the only release. He refrained because that would have been too much. Too inappropriate for his situation.

All he could do was wait.

Eren pondered on how much had passed since he had been imprisioned.

All he could do was wait. Wait in the dark.

He hoped that the guard would never come down there again.

He waited.

"He's been transferred to the Zone Sina Correction Institute and frankly, Lance Corporal, you don't have the authority or the visitor rights to go see Eren Yeager."

The woman at desk of the Royal Capitol gave him weird look, her eyes asked him why he even cared about the sixteen year old who was enslaved to the government after his life and sanity was destroyed by them to save humanity.

Lady, of course he cared. That idiot needed people who cared about him because he wouldn't survive a day without the support. Levi was positive that without people to love Eren, to give him that necessary human touch to his fucked up life, he would ultimately collapse upon himself. His mind would unravel and without a doubt, the Eren Levi knew then would disappear and be replaced with an unstable, psychologically damaged shell.

"Who has the visitor rights pertaining to Yeager?" He asked.

The woman glanced down at some papers Levi gave no fucks about and looked up cooly with a professional smile on her face.

"I'm sorry but that information is-"

"Available to me because of my rank as a Lance Corporal and Commander of the Zone Rose Corps, so, if you don't tell me who the big shots are that can see that brat, I will make sure that your lack in service is reported." Levi said smoothly, basking in the woman's tightened features and the hard gleam in her eyes.

"General Dot Pixis, Commader Erwin Smith, General Nile Dawk, and General Commander Darius Zachlay." She nearly spat.

Besides him, Hanji let out a small groan and Mikasa shifted in discomfort. Levi himself felt his stomach drop as the names of the most powerful, unreachable, and undoubtedly most supervised people in the Military were listed.

He nodded brusquely to the clerk and led the way out of the building into the too bright weather. The carriage that had transported them had been parked about 10 minutes from the center of the Capital in case the trio needed to get out quick and didn't want to be stopped for an identification check on the way out.

Hanji was the first to speak, the bags under her eyes had grown over the past few days. "That was a bust as well. We have been hunting for Eren for four days and nobody will tell us anything."

"Where is Commander Smith?!" Mikasa whispered exasperatedly, her eyes filled with unshed tears.

Levi pinched the bridge of his nose in exhaustion. Erwin hadn't been available since they had arrived and the Commander's location was still unknown. He didn't even know that Erwin had traveled to Zone Sina until the day before, when Mikasa had squeezed some information out of some random preacher

"Bastard."

Levi pushed aside the slightly hurt feelings he went through when he thought of Erwin hiding something from him and focused on the situation at hand. There was no way the other three would tell him about Eren's location, especially Dawk.

"Corporal Levi," Mikasa said, her eyes void of all emotions and a single stream of tears ran down her cheek. "We won't be able to save Eren, will we?"

There were three days left until the King had proclaimed Eren's head to be chopped off and his carcass burnt. The probability of them getting access to the Institute was practically non-existent; Levi had acknowledged this even before he had stepped over the line marking the beginning of the Stohess District. The girls and him had come under the false presumption that they still had the power to command people as they pleased. That their striking military powers would form some type of 'fast pass' line for them, allowing them to skip over the long line of others and get straight to the jackpot, not having to worry about limitations or restrictions.

But as time goes on, people change, the order of things change, life changes.

"We've failed." Hanji whispered hoarsely.

Mikasa contained her stifled sobs by burying her face in her scarf as Levi just glared at the disgustingly sweet sky with abhorrence. His face turned to stone but his eyes showed that an internal storm was raging.

"I'm sorry."