'Mom… Dad… Home… I'll never see them again… Why? Why now? We're alone now… how are three ten year olds going to survive by themselves…
No… NO… NO!'
"I'm going to kill them… Every single mother FUCKING one of them!" There it was. A pledge made with determination, conviction and promise. It would be the pledge that would cement the resolution in the three newly made orphans. Eren, Mikasa and Armin… mere children in the eyes of an observer but to the many, now made refugees, gathered on the boat heading towards Wall Rose after the breach of Wall Maria by Titans; they all couldn't help but shudder at the amount of malice and venom in the words of the young Eren Yeager and the eyes of his company, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlet. The trio from Shiganshina swore at that moment that the end of the Titan Era would be by their hands. There wouldn't be any obstacle they wouldn't tackle head on in order to accomplish this declaration and the start of that plan was simple in theory but difficult in practice… survive being refugees within the confides of Wall Rose for three years until they were old enough to enlist within the military. If only they knew that getting into the military could prove to be the spark that ignites the flames of their own demise… could.
3 YEARS LATER:
"You are now officially members of training unit no. 104! Unfortunately for you maggots I, Keith Shadis, will be in charge. I'm not here to give you a warm welcome since all of you are nothing more than livestock for the Titans to feed on! I will train you worthless scum for the next three years to become soldiers capable of killing titans. So I will ask you now… in three years' time when you face a titan for the first time, will you still be nothing more than food? Or will you become the epitome of the human spirit and stand tall as the protector of these walls? Or will you be the mighty champion of mankind who will destroy the Titans? The choice is yours!" said the booming voice of the trainees' new instructor Keith Shadis. The instructor was a man of tanned skin with brown, tired and worn-out, eyes that only added to his already imposing presence on squad 104. His speech made a majority of the freshmen weak at the knees and unsure of their decision for joining the military, this feeling however didn't apply to the now thirteen year old trio from Shiganshina. Their resolve in eradicating all the Titans only grew during the last three years as they were made to scratch and claw for every and any meal since food rations for the refugees of Wall Maria were no longer given after about a year.
The instructor was walking around the trainees, glaring into their respective eyes as though he was trying to gauge the amount of willpower each of them had. When he arrived at the trio, who were standing next to each in formation, his gaze lingered on the small frame of Armin…
"And who the fuck are you?" Keith roared as though Armin was a sickly looking kitten within the den of a bunch of werewolves. Normally any person would wince at the sheer volume of the instructors' voice, which he fully intended on seeing, but the face of Armin remained unfazed, much to the disappointment of the instructor. Armin immediately placed right hand over his left pectoral as his left arm slung around his back and rested on the base of his back resulting in a perfect solute.
"My name is Armin Arlet Sir!" Armin said in a stern voice that wasn't too loud but full of determination. Keith Shadis couldn't help but smirk internally at the posture and resolution the young man was exhibiting.
"And why would someone with a ridiculous name like that be doing here?"
"My goals are simple Sir! I will train hard with my friends so that we will one day return to this very spot with the decapitated head of the very last titan to present to you as a sign that we have finally gotten rid of all the trash that has infected our lives SIR!" Armin roared in the face of instructor.
Needless to say that neither Keith, the other instructors and all of squad 104 save for Eren and Mikasa expected such a response judging by how the whole squad and the instructors gasped in unison. Eren and Mikasa remained unnerved as though it was a completely normal and sane response for a thirteen year old to have. The imposing instructor took a step back and inspected the two people standing either side of the determined blonde. All three of them had the same look in their eyes and Keith couldn't help but feel giddy at the thought of having such strong willed individuals in his squad.
"You three are from Shiganshina correct?" Keith said as he returned his gaze back to Cadet Arlet.
"Sir!" they said in unison as Mikasa and Eren took up the solute to their instructor.
"I see…" was the simple response from the instructor before returning his attention back to interrogating the rest of the trainees.
After a tour of the grounds and being settled in their respective barracks, squad 104 was sent to the mess hall for dinner. The trio arrived earlier than most and were sitting by a table close to the back with Eren and Mikasa sitting next to each other and Armin sitting across from Eren. The trio were sitting in comfortable silence before a few curious members of the squad decided to ask them questions.
"Wait if you guys were from Shiganshina than that means you were there when the titans attacked right? Oh by the way my name is Connie… Connie Springer" said the short bold trainee now named Connie. There wasn't any immediate answer from the trio as memories from that time were just too morbid for them to relive. The other trainees waited for about thirty seconds before an answer came their way.
"Hi Connie, I'm Armin and to answer your question; Yes we were there on that day. Sorry for seeming like we are trying to ignore you, it's just that we to try not think about that day…"
"Oh… my bad. Sorry dude"
"No, it's ok. You're curious and we can't hold that against you. So feel free to ask about that day, just not today. You see… those memories are still fresh so it would be like you are rubbing salt on an open wound."
"Yeah… but it's not like we can't be friends or anything. I mean we're going to be together for a few years… may as well get to know each other. These two here are Eren and Mikasa…"
The rest of that night was pretty jovial as the trio we're introduced to a few members of the squad. Armin was listening to a story by a bulky blonde haired boy named Reiner when he caught a glimpse of the introvert Annie Leonhardt staring at him. He held her gaze for a good five seconds before smiling at her and returning his attention back to Reiner. Had he starred at her for a second longer, he would have the tint of pink on her cheeks…
Once dinner was over, everyone was advised to head to bed since they would be up early tomorrow in order to begin their training. The advice was taken and put into practice as the squad, save for the Shiganshina trio, went to their respective barracks.
"This is it guys… we have to be focused for what is to come" Armin said to his childhood friends as they were standing outside the mass hall.
"You're right Armin… the sole objective of the next three years is to get power." Eren said and was met with a simple nod from both of his friends. It would be a gruelling three years but it would be worth it. No person could obtain power without pushing their own limitations.
3 Years Later
Graduation is exactly a month away and squad 104 is now on the sparring grounds. Most of the squad had stopped sparring so that they could watch the match between Eren and Mikasa which was for a lack of better words… a dogfight. Both teenagers were exhibiting great strength and flexibility but Mikasa was in the end… better than Eren. It had been long since established that apart from Annie Leonhardt, Mikasa was the best fighter and the best user if the 3D gear. Armin was the most intelligent of the squad and Eren was the most determined. Armin was sparring with Annie which seemed unfair considering that Armin wasn't strong and was in fact seen as the weakest in the squad but this sight wasn't uncommon as Armin had requested Annie assistance in fighting three month ago in which she agreed.
Armin landed on his back with a heavy thud as Annie straddled him with the wooden knife looming over his throat.
"You're getting better Arlet. Had you requested my help last year, you would have been the stronger." Annie said with her usual bored voice. Her stoic face remained unchanged but there was a hint of pride in her eyes that didn't go unnoticed by Armin.
"Thanks Annie… I honestly don't know how to thank you. It's really nice to know that you are a good person to me" Armin said as he got up and dusted off the dirt on his back and rear end. This comment made Annie widen her eyes in surprise since no one had ever complemented her, apart from her fighting abilities that is. She quickly turned away hoping to avoid Armin noticing her blush, that however proved to be futile as he had long since noticed it and was well aware Annie's feelings towards him. He had developed a crush on her awhile back but he couldn't muster up enough courage to profess his feelings to her.
'I know that starting a relationship now wouldn't be wise since we're heading to two different branches of the military.' Armin thought which in turn made him frown. 'No! I have to allow myself some happiness before I witness the hell that's to come. I think some happiness would do both of us some good'
With his new found determination, Armin let his eyes wonder around the grounds in the hope of spotting his instructor from hell Keith 'The Sadist' Shadis. He was relieved to see that everyone's attention was focused on his two friends and with that he walked up behind Annie and slide his arms around her waist and rested his head on her right shoulder. To say Annie was surprised by this would be an understatement and the bright crimson blush plastered across her face didn't help either.
"Follow me…" Armin whispered in a low, one might go as far as saying sexual, voice which made Annie's blush grow a darker shade. At a loss of words, Annie could only nod. Armin laced his left hand with her right one and led her to the forest.
The couple walked for about five minutes before they were at a clearing. Armin then turned around and smiled at her, Annie on the other hand just kept her low and was looking at her shoes. Armin lifted her chin so that she was looking at him; she didn't have time to think as her lips were locked with his in the next moment. She was all too willing to reciprocate the kiss and wrapped her arms around his neck with her fingers entwined with his golden hair thus deepening the kiss. After what felt like an eternity the two finally separated when the need for air became too great. After gazing into each other's eyes for a good two minutes, Annie was the one to break the comfortable silence that had enveloped the two soldiers.
"Ar-Armin…" it was clear that she still couldn't believe what had just happened between the two of them.
"I wanted us to have a bit of happiness before we dive head first into the fight against the Titans… we are going to be exposed to so much pain and sadness that we might not remember any good moments so I just wanted to show you that I love you and that you will never be alone… I'll always be here for you"
It was at this point that Annie wrapped her arms around Armin's torso and buried her face in his chest as the streaks of tears raced down her face. She couldn't stop them and she didn't want to. These weren't tears of sadness but they were tears of joy. She was so glad that she could finally be happy and have something that was her own.
"I l-love you to A-Armin…"
1 Month later
It's the night of graduation and the Shiganshina trio couldn't have asked for this day to come any sooner. The trio had successfully made it into the top ten with Armin and Eren holding the tenth and fifth positions respectively and Mikasa graduating top of the class. The biggest surprise was that Armin made it into the top ten but thanks to the assistance of Annie in hand-to-hand combat and Mikasa's in the use of the 3D gear he improved greatly. The trio were in a position to join the Military police and live comfortable lives inside the confines of Wall Sina but that would go against their pledge and ambitions.
After the ceremony and a night of celebrating, the following morning; squad 104 was to report to the headquarters of the Garrison in order to assist them due to the breach of Wall Rose in the Trost district.
"Eren… please be safe. Don't die." Mikasa said to her newly made boyfriend. It was clear that she didn't want to lose her only family so soon after coming to grips with the loss of the Yeager family.
"I won't die. Just complete your own mission and when you're done come to the front lines to help us." With that Eren gave her a quick kiss on the lips and left to meet Armin, Mina, Nic, Mylius and Thomas who would make up their squad.
Armin was talking to Annie not too far from where his squad was to meet, both of them hugging each other.
"Promise me you won't die Armin…" Annie said sternly even though Armin could sense the worry inside her. He gave her a kiss on the top of her head and looked down into her eyes.
"I won't… I promise."
She was about to say something but was cut off when a squad leader called for Armin's group to head out immediately. Armin gaze Annie a kiss on the lips and dashed out the meet his group.
'Don't you dare die Arlet… not when you've become so important to me' with that thought Annie turned in the opposite direction and left to meet her own group. If only they could predict the turmoil that would ensue at the Battle of Trost…
Chapter 2: Trost…
That was fun to write… can't wait to continue it. I got the idea from an already made fanfic 'ATTACK ON DRAGON!' so shout out to stuckshocker777
Read and Review!