A/N: So here's an idea I randomly thought of. Not really original in my opinion, but I had fun writing it nevertheless. I love anything supernatural, especially demons so I had to write a story with one;D
It's also my attempt at horror which I haven't written in ages so bear with me and I'm sorry in advance if its not good. The pairing is Ereri/Rivere and although there isn't any outright make-out scenes they do have their moments. Anyways, enough of my chatter and let's get on with the story.
Rated M for gore/blood and cursing. (Though it's pretty bland in my opinion)
Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin belongs to Isayama Hajime-san.
He walked along the old, beaten dirt path; the soles of his leather boots kicking up dust as he stepped past the constant rows of trees that towered at his sides. The light of the Sun was all but gone, leaving the sky streaked in a scarlet color, like that of blood, and making the pines seem like foreboding giants glaring down at him from high above.
In the distance, yet sounding eerily close were the resounding howls of a wolf, shaking the trees with its piercing sound and causing a flock of birds to flap away and over the boy's head, in fear of the predator's imminent arrival.
The boy however was not shaken. He did not pause or twist around and head in the opposite direction where the village stood. He continued forward, his jade orbs shinning with an unwavering will as he went deeper and deeper into the dark forest.
The Forest of no Return, the villagers had dubbed it. "Beware!" the elder's would cry, "-for there is a demon that lives in that forest!"
At first the people of his village had scoffed at such an insinuation. There could be no demon in that forest, they had said. If so, why had they not seen it? Why hadn't the hunter's; those who ventured into the forest daily, with the sole purpose of ridding the place of harmful creatures, not stumbled upon it's lair already?
The fools had laughed in the face of the wary, and those that believed in the demon were mocked and treated as fools. Grandpa Arlert, a man so meek and wise had been called senile by his own children. Eren and his best friend Armin, believers of the older man's tales of the demon, had been shunned by their friends.
"Listen boys-" the man would say, barely above a whisper. "-the demon only appears before those that search for him. Only to those with a troubled heart does he speak to. I have met him in the flesh, back when I was your age."
"He is hundred's of years old, yet time has not taken from his earthly face. His hand's were like that of a beast;they were jagged and stained in red, and he had teeth shaped for tearing into flesh. Wings as tall and wide as three of yer'!"
He would flourish and sweep his wrinkled hands animatedly, gesturing as he spoke, and Eren and Armin would stare on with morbid fascination as the man told of his experience.
"But as he appeared before me, eyes cold like a killer's, he did not attack me...instead, he offered to grant me a wish, and depending on my answer he would judge whether I was to leave with my life or not."
"Hear me human, for I can grant you any wish you want. I can bring forth the dead, or gift you with riches never seen before, all you need do is ask."
"However, there is one condition."
"Armin, Eren, if you come across the demon, you must not tell him a wish! I was aghast with fear the minute I saw the creature and ran away without a word but with my life at the very least!" the man cried, his voice cracked with emotion and genuine fear flooding his usually-gentle blue eyes. Eren and Armin had sworn on their lives never to do so.
That was, until now.
Eren shivered as a breeze rustled the tress and brushed against his skin. Wrapping his arms around himself, he tread on, the trees seemingly creeping closer and casting dark shadows over his path. He had no clue where he was headed; only that he should go to the center of the forest where the trees were crippled and dead and where no animals dared to wander; it was there where the demon's home was rumored to be.
Eren supposed he was close; the trees beyond him were barren and deformed, without even one leaf to assure their vitality. As he walked past the array of perished plant life, he saw that the dirt path was becoming more and more intangible, no longer was there a clear trail carved into the ground, only dead grass dusted over what might have once been a path. Eren stopped, looked up from the ground and saw that the trees no longer ran parallel at his sides but before him, just where the pathway ended, ominous trees were scattered at random and closely together, their branches low and intertwining with each other, keeping him from moving forward. Confused and harboring no small amount of irritation, Eren tried passing by the small gaps between the various columns of trees, hoping for them to clear as he moved ahead.
"You're quite persistent aren't you?"
Eren nearly jumped out of his skin as an unfamiliar voice spoke from above him. He craned his head, nearly stabbing his eye with one of the branches, and saw only a crow perched upon one of the tree's limbs. It looked down upon him with a curious glint in its eyes. Eren's breath caught in his throat as he clenched his hands over his chest, where his heart was beating rapidly. "...w-was that you?" he asked the bird, unsure of himself.
It responded with a caw, flapping its wings but staying in its place. Eren exhaled deeply, reassured that it was not the bird that had spoken. "Ugh, I'm more anxious than I thought..."
"You should be! Do you know where you are?"
Surprised olive orbs flashed to the fowl as Eren tried once again to communicate with it. "It's you speaking to me isn't it?! How are you doing that?"
The bird flapped it's wings again and raised it's head. "Well, if you must know I-wait, wait, no I'm not speaking! I am just a little birdy passing by, don't pay me any mind! Caw, Caw!" it chirped. Eren frowned, both distraught and bewildered. "You can't fool me any longer! It's obviously you talking to me!"
"Ah, non, nope, I-"
"Who are you and why can you speak? Are you...the demon living in this forest?"
The bird was silent for a moment before shaking its head frantically, swooping down from its perch and flying closer to the boy. "Me? The demon? Hah, ha! That's funny! There's no way I'm the demon, who would want to be that cranky, old, freak of nature! Well I suppose I am too..." it muttered to itself.
"Well then who are you?" Eren asked, feeling a bit lightheaded at the absurdity of a talking bird.
"The name's Hanji, pleasure to meet you silly boy! As you can see I am a talking bird! Well, I used to be to be a normal human before I was enchanted by that meanie!"
"Ah, um, well Hanji-san do you know where I can find the demon that lives in the forest?" Eren asked, clutching his head. Maybe he should have slept a bit more before heading out into the forest...his body felt oddly heavy.
"What! You're not even gonna ask how I got like this? Let me tell you it wasn't easy for me to-"
"Please...just tell me where the demon is..." Eren interjected, his legs shaking beneath him. The bird stopped, scrutinizing him and letting out a loud chirp as if realizing something. "Ah, how silly of me, I forgot to ask! What's your name foolish one?"
"E-Eren...Jeager..." the teen said, falling to his knees, one hand on his head while the other gripped the dry bark of a tree trunk nearby.
"Uh-oh, seems like you got too close! Oh dear, you really should have turned back when you had the chance!" the bird cawed merrily, looking down at him with dark, unfeeling eyes. Eren stared back, feeling his vision fading as darkness crept into the corner of his eyes. His grip on the tree loosened as he fell forward onto the unmerciful floor. He heard a loud squawk from above which sounded suspiciously like a laugh.
"Oh well. Maybe the wolves will get to you before he does...that's the better outcome...I think?"
"Good night, silly boy..."
Heavy lids sluggishly opened to reveal weary teal orbs. They closed and fluttered open repeatedly as their owner tried to wake up. The boy felt dizzy still, something in the forest had made him so drowsy all of a sudden, he had collapsed before he even realized what had happened. He raised his hands in an attempt to rub the sleepiness from his eyes but found that he could not move his arms. "H-huh?" he whispered as he struggled against invisible bonds. After a while he found that his struggling was futile, the binds did not so much as loosen. It was only then that he looked up at his surroundings, trying to discern where he had ended up at the very least.
He was enveloped in darkness, only being relieved by the small, dying fire a small distance before him. He could only see the leather of his boots in the dim light, his feet barely illuminated despite them being closest to the fire. Eren gulped, feeling his heart beat accelerate as his now very clear mind tried to figure out what was happening.
"So he wakes..." murmured a voice so silky and deep, Eren could have believed it was only the hum of the wind sweeping past his ear. But he knew better than to fall for the same trick twice.
"Hello...?" he whispered back, eyes squinting in the darkness, trying to find the origin of the voice. "W-who's there?"
"Were you really foolish enough to wander straight into my domain without knowing who you were looking for."
Eren's eyes widened as his heart leaped out of his chest in realization. "The demon...is that really you?" he said, trying to keep his voice from wavering. He had found the demon as he had wanted, only he hadn't anticipated being in his current position when he did.
"Who else could it be you brat?" the elusive creature hissed from within the darkness. "Now tell me why you are here and perhaps I may let you live."
Eren gulped, his breathing heavy, but his emerald eyes determined. "I-If it really is you, then show me your face."
The demon was silent and made no move to do as Eren asked. They sat in silence for a long moment, the boy straining his eyes to see through the obscurity. He could barely just make out a silhouette sitting across from him. It was in the darkest area, far from the light of the fire. He made to speak again but was interrupted by a scoff. "Very well. It's your funeral."
Just as he spoke those words, the fire sprang to life, bathing the area around them in a brilliant gold. Eren closed his eyes for a moment at the sudden illumination but opened them immediately after and looked across from him. There standing before him and glaring back with frigid blue eyes was the infamous demon that haunted the 'Forest of no Return'.
Clad in a vest, white dress shirt with its sleeves pulled up at the elbows and ebony dress pants, the creature was impeccably dressed. He donned a spotless cravat at his neck and polished shoes. Not really what Eren would expect a demon to wear. His features were sharp with high cheekbones and a slightly pointed nose. His hair was neat and short, the tips of his fringe brushing just above fine dark eyebrows that were knitted together in displeasure. His alabaster skin was unblemished and perfect; the entire man in general looked like he had never been touched by a spot of dirt in his entire life.
Then there were the parts of him that reminded that the teen that the being before him was no 'man'.
Sharp claws the extended from slender fingers and curved like talons, horns that protruded from the sides of his head, curving in on themselves not unlike a ram's horns, and a long tail that whipped back and forth teasingly from behind him. Eren shivered. He had expected something more gruesome, like the demon's he had seen in books with ugly faces scrunched in anger and bodies mutated into that of various animals. This demon looked nothing like that, he looked human.
And that's perhaps what scared Eren in an entirely different way. It was as if all he had been told was a lie, this creature, if it could hide its horns, hands and tail; it could look completely human.
It could even walk into their village without anyone knowing better.
"Well?" It hissed, crossing its arms. "How do I look?" it inquired with no small amount of sarcasm. Eren blinked, unsure how to answer. The demon sighed and walked quietly around the fire that stood between them. He stopped at the boy's side, glowering down at him mercilessly. Eren only stared back as he found he could not move. "What happened? How did I get here?" he asked, thanking the gods that his voice did not falter. The creature raised a brow. "You got too damn near my territory and stepped into the barrier I had set up around it. It's designed so that when a human passes through it they fall unconscious."
"A-And then what? Do you just leave them there? Why is it that anyone that tries to look for you never comes back?"
The demon scoffed as if he had asked the most obvious question. "What do you think happens brat? If the wolves get to them first, I just let them have it."
Eren stiffened as he noticed a predatory glint suddenly appear in the demon's eyes. It crouched down at the boy's level and eyed him somewhat hungrily. "But if I get to them first..." he trailed off, the insinuation clear in Eren's mind. He bit his lip and looked away from the demon. "S-stop. That's not why I'm here. I don't plan on getting eaten by the likes of you." he muttered bravely. The demon hummed appreciatively, but made no change in expression. "Very well then. Why are you here?"
Eren turned back to him, his expression resolute if not a bit shaken. "I want...you to grant my wish..."
The demon was silent but scanned the boy's face for a trace of a lie. Finding none, he nodded. "It's been a long time since a brat like you has come to me with a wish. Nevertheless, I shall grant you whatever it is you desire. So tell me, what is it that you wish for?"
"My mother...she's really ill. The doctors have given up on her, they say they can't do anything more for her but I know it's all a lie. The villager's...they don't like us, they think were cursed or something..."
The demon was silent, his expression unreadable as Eren continued. "It's because I believed that you existed...I would say that you were hiding in the forest, but they wouldn't believe me. Then one day livestock, pets, even people! They all began disappearing from the village. That's when they began to believe...they sent out the best hunters in the village to find the demon, but no one ever returned."
"They blamed my family of course. They called us cursed. My dad too, he's the village doctor and he would go into the forest all the time to gather herbs but after the disappearances they accused him of going there and planning their demise with you! Even though he's healed all of them before! So they wanted to...get rid of us...and anyone who defended us were also hated. That's why we were shunned, that's why the doctors left my mom to die. All because of some assumption..." Eren stopped, looking down at his lap and trying to hold back the tears he knew were coming. The demon growled impatiently, grabbed Eren by the hair and pulled back, forcing the boy's head up and making him look into icy eyes, devoid of sympathy. "Your wish then? Say it."
"I-I want you to heal my mom." Eren ground out, tears collecting at the corners of his eyes from both sadness and pain.
"Good." the demon concluded, releasing the boy's hair but letting its hand rest on his head. "Now as for my payment..."
"P-payment?" Eren choked, his eyes widening with panic. The demon tilted its head and gave him an almost exasperated look. "Yes, my payment." he snapped. "Did you really expect me to do you a favor out of the good of my heart? Don't make me laugh."
Eren highly doubted the demon was even capable of tilting its lips upwards.
"Look, I don't have any money to offer you but if its anything else, anything I am able to give, then I'll give you it." he quaked. The predatory edge returned to the demon's eyes as it considered the boy's words. "Anything...?"
Eren gulped at the slightly suggestive tone but nodded and looked down at his lap again. The demon made a small sound, almost like a grunt as it's hand trailed down from the top of Eren's head to his face, clawed fingers tracing the boy's jaw before a thumb swiped at the tears hanging from his dark lashes. "Very well." he whispered so quietly Eren almost didn't hear it.
"I'll be taking your blood then."
Eren who had shied away from the cold touch of the other felt his heart stop for a moment, the color draining from his face. "W-what...?"
"You heard me." the demon stated, pulling away. "You should be grateful that I am only taking that much, I could kill you now, if I wanted."
"No?" Before the boy had any chance to recollect himself, a cold hand had wrapped itself around his neck with an iron grip, sharp claws making a point of digging into his skin, surely drawing blood. "You're testing my patience, you damn brat. I have been agreeable, if not a bit thoughtless around you. Not only did I save you from being torn apart by the wolves but I haven't killed you myself and I am offering to grant you your wish so you don't have any excuse to say no when I ask for something back."
Eren sputtered and gasped, his body thrashing as he tried to loosen the grasp on his throat. His hands that were still bound gave him a great disadvantage but Eren persisted in trying to release them. Unfortunately nothing happened and he continued to struggle under the harsh scrutiny of the demon. Feeling slightly light-headed, Eren stopped struggling, noticing the demon had become less tense as he did so. The boy looked up at his assaulter, giving him the dirtiest look he could conjure before summoning his courage and spitting in its face. The demon released him immediately, making the boy fall onto his back on the cold floor. He watched as the devil reached into his pocket and pulled out a handkerchief before wiping it's face with it. After a moment, it turned to the boy, it's expression the same but Eren could tell it was furious. "Filthy." the demon spat, tossing the handkerchief aside.
The boy wasted no time in speaking, finding that he couldn't possibly make the situation any worse than it was. "D-dont act as if you're a good person by saving me! This can't be any better than the wolves eating me! It's not like I didn't consider the worst when I came looking for you! I know you can kill me...but you're the only one that can help her. That's why...! That's why..." he paused, biting his lips as he forced his next words out. "You can have my blood...as long as my mother get's healed...then it doesn't matter."
The demon seemed no less angry but was at least listening to what he had to say.
"I won't complain. I was just surprised, but I won't resist, so just help her already...please." he begged, swallowing his pride. The devil was silent and Eren wondered if he was considering killing him or not. Then finally after what seemed like hours, he walked towards Eren, grabbing him by the front of his shirt and pulling the cloth down, revealing the teen's delicate collar-bone. Without warning he closed in and bit down on Eren's shoulder, eliciting an agonized shriek from the boy as he tried to pull away.
"Ugh! O-ouch! S-stop! That-that fucking h-hurts! Ow!" screamed the boy. The demon bit down harder in response, his incisors digging deep into Eren's flesh and tugging back, causing rivulets of warm blood to cascade down his chest. Eren who found that his hands were now miraculously free, clawed at the demon's hair and nape, blunt nail's dragging lines down the back of its neck, forming little droplets of the red liquid. The demon grunted in return, an especially harsh tug on his neck causing Eren to scream out in torment and convincing him that the demon wanted to tear out a piece of flesh in addition to the blood. "Fucking stop! It's hurts too m-much! I'm gonna die!" the boy cried, yanking at the demon's hair until strands were being pulled out with each jerk. The creature dared to smirk then, his tongue peeking out and lapping at the blood pooling at his wound. Eren hissed, his eyes flooded with tears as his hands grabbed at the demon's shoulders, using all his strength to try to push him off. It was to no avail however and seemed only to aggravate the pain. The creature, seemingly amused at his attempts glided its tongue over his skin gently as if it would make the pain any less unbearable.
"B-Bastard!" Eren groaned after a while, as the demon finally dislodged its teeth with a sickening squelch. It stood up, leaving the boy on the ground breathing heavily and with an aching wound on his shoulder. "Honestly. " it muttered, conjuring up another handkerchief. "It's so fucking messy taking people's blood. Especially those who don't stay still." it miffed, glancing at Eren and rolling its eyes at the livid look on the boy's face. "Filthy brat." he muttered as he wiped its mouth clean of the viscous red liquid.
"Fuck you! That fucking hurt! How would you like it if I-Ow!" the boy hissed, his hand flying to cover the wound with his hand. The demon clicked it tongue in disapproval. "Stop being a little shit and deal with it. Don't touch it either, you'll get an infection."
The boy was sweating now, his face pale and his chest heaving. He pulled away his hand and cringed at the blood that coated his fingers. "This is all your fault..." he groaned, closing his eyes and trying to withstand the scorching pain. He heard the demon scoff. "Come here." he said despondently, gesturing for the boy to stand up but Eren stayed on the floor despite his demands. "N-not a chance. I'm quite content here on the floor, writhing in agony with a part of my shoulder missing." he hissed, an unintentional tear making its way down his cheek. The demon sighed. "Don't be crass and do as I say, unless you want to bleed to death."
The boy grunted, resting his head on the floor until his breathing steadied. Sluggishly he tried sitting up, only to gasp in shock as the pain in his shoulder intensified and sent an unpleasant jolt through the rest of his body. "D-damn." he hissed, glancing up at the older man and giving him a look that assured him of his immobility. The demon knitted his brow in irritation but said nothing as he knelt before the boy quietly and placed a hand over the wound, evoking another howl of pain from the other. "Shut up and let me concentrate."
The devil closed his eyes and in moments Eren could feel the icy touch grow hot as a warmth spread over his injury. It was pleasant, like being wrapped in a blanket on a winter night and it spread throughout his limbs leaving a numbing sensation in its wake. Eren realized then that the pain in his shoulder was steadily ebbing away. He craned his head to look at the spot where the demon's hand lay and found it to be enveloped in a warm golden light. Soon the pain had all but diminished and the demon pulled away, examining the now smooth and flawless skin. Eren looked back at him, eyes full with grudging admiration. "How did you do that?" he inquired.
"Magic." the devil replied simply. "Don't ask me how it works, just know that I've just saved your life."
"Yet you were the one that put it in danger in the first place." Eren rebutted, earning a harsh glare from the demon.
"Whatever." it muttered flatly before standing up again. Eren watched as the creature dusted off its clothes and walked towards a door that Eren knew wasn't there before. "Well, are you coming or not? We've wasted enough time."
"Going? Where?" Eren questioned, getting up of the floor and noticing with a wince that the front of his shirt was caked with blood.
"To your house, obviously. That is where your mother is right? I'm going to heal her, that was the deal."
At that the boy brightened, immediately following the demon out the door. When he walked out Eren immediately noticed that they stood at where he had collapsed; the dirt path stopping directly beneath their feet. "How-?"
"The minute you tried getting past those trees, you passed through the barrier and into a separate dimension that I created. Now we stepped out of the barrier and we're in your original dimension." the devil drawled on without enthusiasm. Eren pondered over the explanation, several more questions forming in his head. Before he managed to ask them though, he was taken by surprise when the demon turned to him and hooked its arms under his knees and shoulders, forcing him to lose his balance and swiftly wrap his arms around the creature's neck in his panic. "Wha-what the hell are you doing!?" he asked, shifting uncomfortably in order for the demon to release him. It only huffed in response, it's eyebrows knit together in irritation. "Stop squirming brat. You'll get your nasty blood on my clothes."
The boy continued to shuffle around despite the devil's warning. The latter sighed heavily as wings suddenly sprouted from his back, making Eren jerk away in shock, before staying completely still in the demon's arms, his eyes staring at the feathered limbs with bewilderment. Without thinking, he pulled one hand away from the monster's neck and glided his fingers over the area where the wings connected with the shoulder blades. "Doesn't...that hurt?" he asked demurely. The demon exhaled through his nose at the query. "Damn, you're just like Hanji, always asking questions. No it doesn't hurt, now stay quiet until we get there."
With a heavy beat of its wings the demon was soon lifted into the sky with Eren's gaze wavering from the ground far below them, to the flapping wings and finally stopping to gaze at the demon himself. He had noticed it was daybreak and it had been sunset when he left. "How long was I out?" he asked, his warm breath on the creature's ear as he spoke loudly over the sound of the wind whipping past them.
"I thought I told you not to speak."
"And I thought I told you to stop hurting me but you didn't did you?"
"Oh please, are you still hung up on that? You said it yourself, that you had considered the worst outcome, so don't tell me you expected it to be a painless process."
"...just answer the question."
The demon rolled his eyes; never in his years had he met such a bothersome child. He was much more accustomed to them shaking in fear and running for their lives at the mere sight of him. This boy too feared him, yet whether his pride or pure obstinacy kept him from bolting, he hadn't a clue.
"You were unconscious for a few hours, however time passes much more slowly inside the barrier when compared to the outside world. Hours could mean days have passed since you came to the forest."
"What!? That's terrible! What if my family thinks I've gone missing? Crap!"
"Calm down." the demon chided, seeing the small village in the distance. "I'm sure everything is-"
He noticed clouds of smoke coming up from somewhere in the town. It was too much to be from a campfire.
"Is something wrong?" Eren asked looking in the direction of its gaze. The demon tightened its grip on the boy painfully, making his green orbs revert to him. "Ow! You're hurting me!"
"Tell me about your life brat." he asked suddenly, cobalt eyes staring at the boy with muted interest. Eren raised an incredulous brow. "Really? You really want to know? Why?"
The demon gritted its teeth. "Just tell me or I'll drop you."
"Okay, okay!" Eren asked with an exasperated sigh. "I live with my mom, dad and adopted sister. Her name is Mikasa and we rescued her when she was nine."
"Yeah." Eren said, his grasp on the demon tightening as he rested his head on its shoulder. It flinched but didn't drop him thankfully. "She got kidnapped by these three men. They killed her mom and dad and took her to this cabin in the woods. I barely made it in time to save her."
"You?" the demon scoffed. "You saved her from three grown men?"
"It's true!" Eren argued and saw that the demon was still disbelieving. He sighed. "Whatever. Anyways, Mikasa and I have this friend, his name's Armin and his grandpa was the one that told me about the demon living in the forest. He said he'd seen you before."
"Unlikely. Very few humans have met me and left with their lives."
"I guess he was an exception."
"I guess." the demon said absently, his eyes closing in on the origin of the smoke. As he had suspected, it was coming from a house and a crowd of people were surrounding it, no one moving to douse the flames roaring from the windows. Eren too had finally smelled the smoke and turned, his face growing pale as a sheet as he looked at the house. "N-no way...th-that's...!"
The demon groaned as he swooped down closer and landed on the tiled roof of a house nearby. "Shit." he said as Eren threw himself from his arms and ran to the edge of the roof, his eyes wide with horror as he watched the building being consumed by flames. "M-my house!"
"Calm down brat." the demon said, standing besides the boy who was down on his knees at this point. "I'm sure your family has already escaped."
Even he didn't believe his own words.
"D-do something! Put it out! Quick!" Eren begged, his eyes glued to the place. The demon did so wordlessly, summoning rain from the sky to pour down directly on the building. The flames started dying out, eliciting sighs and groans of disappointment from the crowd surrounding the building. Eren leaped up at this, his knuckles white as he clenched them at his sides. "What the fuck are you so unhappy about!?" he roared loud enough for everyone in the crowd to hear. Men and women all turned in his direction, looking up and gasping in fright as they saw the monstrosity standing besides him.
"So it was true!" someone muttered. "He was plotting with the demon!"
Surprised whispers were heard throughout the group, only adding to Eren's fury. "What the hell do you think you're doing!? That's my house, my family is in there!"
"You and your miserable family can go to hell! It's all your faults that the demon is killing our men and our livestock! You were planning to kill us all weren't you!? It's only fair! We must do what we can to protect the village!" A man cried out.
Eren let out an agonized wail at this, his voice choking with unshod tears as he clutched the demon's arm to keep from falling. "Y-you monsters! H-h-how c-could you!? How c-could you fucking do this to us!? All we've ever fucking done is h-help you! My father has saved your shitty lives so many fucking times! H-How could y-you do this!?" he screamed at the top of his lungs, looking like he was going to have an attack at any moment. He was wheezing and seemed like he would rip apart the shreds of anyone that stood in his way. The demon only observed him, his face as cold as stone but his eyes calculating as he witnessed the boy fall apart.
"Get me down..." he gasped. "Get me down there!"
Without a second thought, the demon grabbed him from under his arms and in one fell swoop had brought him down before the entrance of his home. The fire was finally extinguished but the house was all but destroyed. It's roof collapsed and its walls stained black with soot and ashes. It looked like it was about to give way completely at any moment.
People in the crowd gasped as Eren ran and kicked down the door with a strength he didn't know he had. He scurried through the halls of his once pristine home, tripping several times over burnt debris that he vaguely recognized as their old furniture and fallen frames with pictures of him and his mother smiling. Everything. Everything was ruined. The walls were crumbling and pieces of the roof were precariously hanging from above him. His living room, the kitchen all the places where he had made precious memories, where he had laughed and cried and argued with his mother, where he had played with Mikasa, where he had sat and conversed with his father, they were all in shambles and covered in grime. He barely recognized them. He could hear it as he ran, the laughter that used to echo throughout the rooms fading away, being replaced by the thump of his footsteps, and the frantic beat of his heart. His home, where he was born, where he was raised, where he had planned to die; it was gone. Burned down by the people he trusted, by the people his father had saved. There was no other place for him; his heart and soul lay here, his memories all lay here. They might as well have burned with the place for all that he felt. He ran up the stairs, the abused wood suddenly snapping beneath his foot, almost causing him to fall through but not quite as he managed to jerk it out in time. He however, tripped as he reached the last step, and not being able to regain his balance, he landed on the floor with a harsh thud, his mind barely registering the nauseating snap that sounded through the hall. Eren stood, his ear's ringing, his mind blank and his body trembling as he limped toward the room at the end of the hall; the room where his mother rested as she withstood the sickness that had paralyzed her body and chained her to this house. He begged God, the Devil, anyone who would listen, to save his mother, to please for the life of him, let her be alive. She needed to be, she had to be-
He reached the door and pushed it open. The wood creaked in protest and the door fell off it's hinges. His eyes scanned the room frantically, yet his vision was blurred and everything seemed to be in slow motion. Finally, his gaze landed on the bed in the corner of the room, where his mother supposedly rested.
Eren felt his breath stop short and his stomach heave suddenly at what he saw. He whipped around and threw up the contents of his stomach on the floor with a shudder. He stood there not daring to move an inch, his eyes wide, chin dribbling with vomit and his heart so painfully constricted in his chest he felt it was going to burst. He couldn't turn around, he couldn't! He couldn't look! His chest throbbed miserably as he let out a dry sob, his esophagus contracting as he felt bile rise up again.
Suddenly there was the presence of the demon before him but he didn't look up, instead burying his face into his shaking hands. His body started to convulse as he fell to his knees and started to sob hysterically, his anguish and despair all building up inside his tiny form until he was sure they would overcome his poor heart and he would drop dead. She was dead! She was dead! Never again would he see her smile at him, she would never hold him in her warm embrace when he cried and laugh her wonderful laugh when he said a joke. Never would her warm hazel eyes gaze upon him with tenderness so natural of her. She wouldn't even get to yell at him when he did something childish, he would take all her angry crying, screaming and yelling with a damn smile if it meant getting her back.
The demon himself watched on with the façade of disinterest. He had never seen a human break down like this before him. He knew exactly how it felt but it was somehow surreal watching another experience it before him. It was as if the human had created a dark space around himself and he had been pulled into it, forced to suffocate under the stifling pressure of the boy's emotions. He could do nothing but watch as the teen's anguish washed over them, gripping even his heart in its dark hold and threatening to squeeze the life out of it. He imagined the boy was feeling a thousand times worse compared to him, so he said nothing, watching as the teen's body swayed with each wave of despair that crashed onto him along with every sob and tear he wept. He was on his hands and knees now, the salty liquid flowing like a river freely from his face and pooling on the floor along with the vomit. He looked like an utterly miserable heap of flesh, shaking and twitching as his outstretched hands seemed to reach out for something, anything he could use to hurt himself with. The creature saw him reach out and grab a shard of glass on the floor and he immediately wrenched it from his hands, gripping the boy's wrists. "What the hell are you doing!?" he yelled at the boy, unable to contain himself. This child was affecting him; his flooding emotions had seeped into the most miniscule of crevasses in his heart, filling it with poison and igniting something he hadn't felt in the longest time. Worry.
Eren didn't hear the man, his shudders wracking through his limbs and his sobs and choking all turning into one unintelligible mess. It was pathetic, the demon thought, he shouldn't feel anything towards the boy but he undoubtedly felt something pierce his heart with an acute pain at the mere sight of him. It was a pang of sympathy, so slight and so fleeting he could hardly tell it was there until it renewed itself with vigor every time he heard the teen let out such inhuman sounds. The boy would not stop; crying and shrieking and wailing and gasping for breath all at once, his voice would begin to rise into screams, louder and louder until he was sure the entire village could hear him suffering. So that they could realize what they had done. The demon unintentionally found himself bridled with anger at the thought of the miserable whelps outside. He hoped they could hear, he wanted them to, and he hoped Eren's cries would haunt them in their sleep for the rest of their worthless lives.
Having just about as much as he would take, he helped the boy sit up and shook his shoulders violently. "Eren, look at me! Look at me dammit!"
The boy tried to listen but the voice sounded muffled, as if he was listening to it from underwater, and when he looked up all he saw was a blur of colors whom he assumed was the demon. The hands that clutched him made his skin tingle, his ankle stung, his throat felt like it was on fire and he couldn't breathe. But none of that compared to the pain in his chest, not even close. He gasped and sputtered, his hands grasping at the demon as if his life depended on it. His body felt like it was burning, as if a fire was spreading from his chest and through his veins, scorching his being from the inside. The devil's touch was cool and Eren felt like throwing himself at the creature, if only to relieve him of this agonizing sensation.
"Eren, you need to breathe! Focus on breathing! Listen to me!"
He barely made out the words and tried to do as they demanded. His head felt light from the lack of oxygen but he tried concentrating on breathing anyways. Slowly but surely, his sporadic breaths became more rhythmic, he panted, his lungs greedily sucking up air as his heart finally calmed and his mind cleared. The demon sighed, running a hand through his hair in frustration. "What the hell happened to you?"
"I-I...she's..u-ugh!" Eren tried but the words wouldn't come out. He still trembled and an occasional sob would come out but at least he wasn't hysterical like before. The demon released him and sat up, telling him to stay where he was as he walked into the room and looked at the object of the boy's agony. His frown deepened at what he saw.
There resting on the bed laid the charred remains of what he supposed was once Eren's mother. Her skin had burned off mostly and in some spots it had burned through completely, letting bones and dark red muscle peek out from underneath black and violet flesh. Her face was almost completely scorched off and what little skin remained was peeling. Her hair had fallen along with the skin of her scalp and what remained were scattered as strands around her head. Her eyelids were burned off, leaving two partially melted eyeballs sitting in their sockets and her lips and nose were gone, leaving nothing but the yellowed bone underneath, caked in blood. She was slightly bloated and covered in blisters from head to toe; she no longer resembled a human, only had the figure of one, colored black, purple, and red by the burns.
There was no doubt in his mind that she had died a slow and agonizing death. He could understand the boy's reaction, and his next words.
"B-bring her back...p-please, bring her b-back." Eren choked out, refusing to turn around and face the corpse. The demon sighed. "Are you sure that's what you want? Since I was unable to heal her I will grant you a new wish but even if I do bring her back, it's merely the process of returning the soul to its vessel. It will not heal her wounds and all it would do is make her go through excruciating pain until she dies again."
"T-then heal her! Heal her so s-she wont die! Like y-you did with me!"
The devil turned to Eren and gave him a stern glare. "No. You only get one wish, human. I can bring her back to life but I won't heal her as well."
"And how about your sister and father? If they're dead as well? I don't have unlimited power brat. I can't and won't bring back three people from the dead."
Eren was silent then, looking up at the demon as if seeing him in a whole new light. "Why...? Why are you so cruel?" he asked, tears escaping his eyes. The demon looked away from the boy, unable to meet his tortured eyes. "No one remains in this house except your mother. There are no corpses or traces of your father and sister. They may have escaped."
"N-no...my father would never leave without her..." Eren muttered, his eyes dark. Slowly he reached out and clutched the hem of the demon's shirt. He did not meet it's questioning gaze, instead, staring at the ground. "I have my wish then."
The demon opened it mouth to speak-
"Kill me." the boy repeated flatly. "I have nowhere to go, no one to come home to, it's all been burned to the ground...so...there's really no reason to be alive anymore...i'm tired. I want to die. I don't want to feel anything ever again and I don't want to see another human ever again...so please, kill me now..."
The boy was trembling as he said this, his hands clenched tightly and his lip trembling as he held back more tears. The devil looked at him for a long while, contemplating on whether he should do as the boy asked or not. He didn't really have a choice.
With a great sigh the demon cleared his throat and conjured up a sword in his hands. "Very well. I'll be taking your head then as payment." he said with a sinister smirk. Eren's eyes widened as he looked to the man in surprise. "Sit up straight, hands behind your back and don't move." he demanded weighing the sword in his hands experimentally. "Don't worry, you won't have time to feel pain."
Eren gulped and nodded, clenching his eyes shut and bowing his head. Despite how much he tried, he couldn't get his body to stop trembling. Was it fear? No he was exited...he would finally get what he wanted, he would be reunited with his mom, dad and Mikasa, he was happy. Yes, that's why he felt his heart beat rapidly, that's why he could feel the adrenalin course through his veins, that's why he was holding his breath...because he was glad! He gritted his teeth, and found himself unable to smile despite his thoughts. He was glad, he was glad-!
The last thing he heard was the hiss of a sword cutting through air and he barely felt the prick on his neck for a split second before everything went black.
"Oi brat. Wake up."
"Don't fuck around, I know you can hear me."
"W-wha-what's going on?" the boy croaked. He opened his eye's slowly and looked up, meeting the cold gaze of a familiar demon. "I thought I-"
"You thought you died? Yeah, in a way you did. You asked me to kill you and that's what I did."
"Then how did I survive, you cut my head off..."
"That's what I made you believe. Technically I did cut your head off, only it was all an illusion on your part."
"So I'm not dead...?" the boy mumbled, his mind winded and his body feeling light. It was then he noticed he was pressed up against the demon, his hands slung around it's neck limply while the devil carried him in its arms. He looked down and numbly noted that they were hundreds of feet from the ground and headed into the direction of the forest.
"W-where are we going?" he inquired, his mind no longer clouded. The devil's grip tightened. "Were going to my home; a castle deep in the forest."
"W-why? Don't I live in a village...?" Eren asked, clutching his head. "Don't I have a home there...?"
"It burned down, remember? Someone started a fire in the village and it spread to all the houses. Your's included."
"W-what!?" Eren shrieked, his head spinning. "Then, what about my f-family!? Are they alright!"
"Family?" the demon scoffed. "You're an orphan you fool, your parents died a long time ago and you were living in the house that they left you."
"O-oh? Really? I-I don't really remember anything about it. But it's weird...I feel like I'm forgetting something...something important...I feel sad for some reason other than the house burning down but I don't know why. Do you know what it could be?"
"Beats me." the demon said, looking away from the boy's innocent gaze.
"B-but you helped me didn't you? I remember going to the forest... looking for you, I wanted to ask you something...ugh, I don't remember what it was though." he sighed, pondering over the dreadful feeling in his chest. "What did I ask you?"
"You stumbled into my territory and fell unconscious and then when you woke up you asked me for a wish, do you remember what you said brat?"
"N-no? What did I say?"
"You said, 'I'm dirt poor and about to lose the only home I have, please grant me a fortune so that I can keep it and buy whatever I want!'"
Eren chuckled, "Sound's like something I would say...maybe."
"Then when I took you back to the village everything was on fire, even your house, and you broke down crying like the word was ending, it was pathetic."
Eren blushed slightly in response, looking away from the demon. "Well sorry for having normal human emotions."he grumbled. "But...yeah, I think I remember seeing my house on fire. It was horrible...I asked you to kill me right after that...didn't I...?"
"I had nowhere to go...everything I had was burned in the fire...why didn't you kill me?" he asked, despondent, his hand clutching the man's vest tightly. "I wanted to die...I have nothing else to offer you...so why?"
The demon didn't answer, as if he were asking himself the same question. "I don't know." he said finally. "I just don't fucking know, okay? So don't ask."
Eren stared at him quietly, before a sad smile stretched upon his lips. "You probably pitied such a miserable human like me..." he murmured. The demon was silent. "Am I going to stay with you then?"
"...Do you have anywhere else to go?"
"No." the boy responded, shaking his head and glancing down at his bloodied shirt in confusion. "I guess not."
The demon grunted. "Don't think you can freeload off me though. You'll be working as one of my servants for the rest of your life as payment for my kindness. You got that brat?"
Eren seemed to contemplate the devil's words before finally nodding. "Yeah, that's fine. Thank you sir."
"Call me Rivaille. I'll call you Eren. Is that fine?"
The boy nodded, hugging the demon close and resting his head on the it's shoulder, not bothering to ask why the demon knew his name when he had never mentioned it. He watched as the demon's beautiful feathered wings beat against the air from behind them. One a pure white while the other was covered in jet black plumes. His mind wandering, he looked away from the wings and into the distance. It was sundown and the skies were streaked with crimson and gold, a bright globe of white fading away behind the horizon.
And surely enough, far behind them and peeking out from the shadows of the trees was a small village engulfed entirely in bright amber flames.
So originally I wanted to make this a one-shot but it's possible to add another chapter to it. One with more Ereri/Rivere in it and some explanations for what has happened. I'll leave it in the hands of the reader to decide though. Should I leave it as it is or continue it? Leave a review telling me wether I should or not. If I get enough of them saying that I should continue it then I'll add an extra chapter. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed!