WARNING: SnK SPOILERS (Episode 20/Chapter 28 onwards)
Update Aug 2020: This is the revised 2020 version of the story. "Chapter 2" on the next page is the original 2013 version. Basically decided to rewrite the story because the 2013 writing was cringey af. It was really nice to revisit, but I'm sorry, no plans for more in the future. Hopefully this rewrite is okay!
Could Levi and Feitan be the same person? What would the story be?
Rated T for strong language and mature themes.
A lone man sat at a table, the sunset's soft orange rays filtering through the window. A cup of tea sat on the table, untouched and gently steaming.
The man dragged his hands through his hair. How f-cking frustrating, being incapacitated. Damn this leg! he growled to himself. A deep muscle bruise – not enough to render him immobile, but sore and tight enough that he couldn't fight well. All because he had to save an impulsive little brat.
She really needs to work out her brother complex, he grumbled. A dark chuckle suddenly burst from his chest, grating through the still room. I'm getting soft. Since when do I save people? They never used to matter. I used to take lives so easily... He idly ran a fingertip around the rim of his cup, slipping into darker memories. Memories of immense power, of murder, of thievery… of a thirteen-legged spider.
Shouts by panicked men outside broke his reverie, blathering and simpering about a titan invasion in the south. He ground his teeth. Cowards. They're shitting themselves over something so stupid. Haven't you dumbasses been trained to kill these things?
Black hair flew as the man jerked his head in disgust. Tch. If not for this shit Condition, this injury would be nothing. I'd be able to fight… to kill… torture… The ghost of a sinister grin stretched across his lips. It'd certainly thin out the masses of stupidity currently occupying this world.
With a grunt, he shifted his weight, stretching out his sore leg. He might be prevented from killing people at the moment, but the titans proved to be a decent replacement. It was part of the reason he accepted Irwin's offer to join the Scouting Legion in the first place. Engaging in underworld activities was not the wisest path for someone trying to avoid murder and struggling with bloodlust. But the underworld was all he knew.
At least, it was until Irwin gave him a new perspective, a new chance. He mastered the 3DMG the first few minutes he put it on – primitive tools, honestly. And once he was finally able to sink his blades into the steaming flesh of an idiotic titan, he almost cried with joy. The bloodlust was finally somewhat sated. As a bonus, his mere presence on the field was considered "the equivalent of an entire brigade", and he quickly soared to the rank of Corporal.
Easy shit, he smirked. If only they knew him before he was cast into this ravaged world. The power he once had… he flinched, reaching up to absently rub his chest. It hurt to think about being cut off from his aura, his lifeline. Red eyes, full of rage and malice, flashed across his memory. He could almost hear the soft clink, almost smell the metallic tinge in the air. That bastard chain user. Just wait until I get my hands on you… His thoughts trailed off as he vividly imagined the brutal dismemberment of a blonde, scarlet-eyed boy. His fingers twitched.
He was doing this more often now, thinking about his old life. Memories of the past he thought he'd left behind resurfaced unbidden, like worms eager to escape flooded dirt. It was as if that f-cking mission dredged up all the darkness he fought to suppress. Or... maybe it was because if he let himself sink deeper into the past, it would be easier to numb the pain of the present. It was an excuse, a distraction. A diversion from his own failures.
The man dropped his head back, staring blankly at the ceiling. Grimly, he mused that he had gained a newfound respect for his danchou. Corralling and leading a bunch of hooligans was no easy task. Sure, they weren't as sadistic or crazy as the company he was used to, and their morality and "ethics" had him rolling his eyes behind their backs far too often. But he could trust them, rely on them. They were good at what they did. They even put up with his obsession to clean – which was probably a post-traumatic trait that gave him control after losing everything. If he were to admit anything, it would be that being part of a team again had steadied him and kept him grounded, somehow.
And… in a flash, it was all. Gone.
Sliced away, like Gunter's neck. Chewed to pieces like Erd's body. Shattered like Petra's bones. Snapped like Auruo's spine.
With the loss of his team, he was losing grip on his humanity.
It was ironic, really. In a world where humanity's essence and aura were bountiful, he had none. Yet in this world, where humanity was dying and monsters ruled… he found his. He tried to numb it, tried telling himself he didn't care, tried remembering that his real home and family belonged with the Spider.
But they were all lies. And he knew it.
So, as the sun's rays flickered out and the room descended into darkness, the lonely man sat at the table, invalid and brooding, letting his tea grow cold.