"words"= talking

Big shout-out to Euregatto for helping beta for this chapter! If you enjoy Eren x Annie or well written stories for that matter, go check out her stories (they're awesome.)

On a side note hope you enjoy this chapter, and have a fun and safe Halloween!

The room was veiled in absolute silence except for the crackling of collapsing wood as the flame consumed it, and the torrents of wind and rhythmic rainfall that battered the rooftop. The wisps of air quietly hit the outside walls, defined by unpleasant, mysterious qualities. The quiet settled between the two former 104th trainees prolonged, as if both participants felt pressure to speak but were unsure what to say next.

Annie's arms were crossed as she patiently waited for Eren's answer, but unwilling to speak herself she started drifting into her realm of thoughts.

'All this bickering is a waste of my time and energy, maybe I should just put him to sleep.' She remembered her father's lectures about all the necessary pressure points to do so. 'This idiot will end up getting himself killed sooner or later, so no matter what he chooses I can't let him leave. It's just a matter of time before the people within the walls realize the importance of his powers. Hm…' She recalled her mission briefing two days earlier – "Maybe Reiner's idea wasn't so dumb after all.'

Eren was still too eerily silent.

'Tsk, he's going to sleep.' Her arms fell limply to her sides, her legs began to move forward into a more comfortable position, and her mind had just started to lull off when his sudden voice irked her awake.

"Choice…" he said, winching as he placed his hand on his forehead. It was all too much to take in. The heat was beginning to tax his weakened body – he was lightheaded, dizzy; couldn't see very well as his vision began to cross. "I don't know," he continued, panic set in to his chest, the room slowly beginning to spin before his eyes. Sweat seeped through his pores, cooling his scorching skin.

His dull expression and unstable voice defeated her previous thoughts.

"Eren, listen." Her voice was so calm, masked in soothing honey, sweet and comforting, as unintentional as she was trying to be. His tense muscles eased up. "No one within the walls can teach you how to control your powers." She turned her sapphire gaze to the window once more as her memories crept into the front of her mind. "I've witnessed you lose it first hand at the forest of giant trees…" She paused to properly recall exactly how Eren had behaved – almost like he was in the midst of a seizure.

"Having the urge to devour Titans or humans alike is the final stage of assimilating. Without help, a suicidal bastard like yourself will become a mindless Titan in no time. Haven't you noticed the nerve endings connecting you to your Titan's body have been leaving you more physical damage the usual?" To her own surprise, she sounded thoroughly concerned, stoic despite it all but concerned none-the-less.

Her lips continued to move but her speech became distant as Eren's thoughts drowned her muted words from his brain.

'It's true,' he told himself reluctantly, 'I wanted to tear her apart and eat her, then and there, but that's only because I wanted the female titan dead. There has to be explanation to this, there's no way I'm going be a damned titan.

The memories of his dream in the courtroom sank in like a careening boulder into river rapids.

'What if they find out about this, the possibility of me losing control? They'd have me executed for su – w-wait, I was going to be executed either way… especially now after consecutive failed missions…' His fingers curled into clenched fists. 'NO. I want to see and understand the world outside. I don't want to die inside those damn walls without knowing what's out there.'

His eyes widened finally realizing the opportunity at hand.

'If Annie keeps her word this can be my chance to understand my powers, to finally save humanity, to be free…'

"Well?" she questioned expectantly, snapping Eren out of his subconscious.

His head shot up with a start - he almost forgot she had been talking through that entire length of time. They held each other's immaculate gaze, but unlike before it was no longer uncomfortable, challenging or threatening. She noticed something had changed about him; he bore that same look of confidence and pride that became his trademark characteristic back in training camp, as though his fear had vanished for good.

This was the Eren she became accustomed too. The boy with a heart of fire to kill every single Titan, the soldier that was so determined to beat her in a sparring match no matter how many times she won.

"Fine," he replied, lips pressing up into a triumphant smirk, "I'll go, but just promise me one thing."

She remained silent for a few moments, her body language presenting a lack of enthusiasm for whatever he declares next. "What is it?" she questions cautiously, furrowing her brows, searching for something in his emerald irises.

"Promise me you won't harm anyone while we're within the walls." He observed her carefully, quietly wondering if she was going to protest, or maybe if she would brush him off like all the other times she had.

"I promise." she agrees blatantly, with no emotion behind her frigid words – as if she couldn't care any less about the people cowardly living within the remaining walls.

He nodded to acknowledge her answer, breathing out of his nose in relief. Honestly, he was glad the confrontation had an ending on such a high note. If it had gone any longer with this kind heat and anxiety it would've forced him to relieve his stomach of its acidic contents.

She walked towards him, gradually shedding her torn Military Police jacket and revealing her white hooded sweatshirt beneath – the sound of her thick outer wear hitting the floor immediately caught his attention. He couldn't help but notice the nearly skintight sweatshirt showcasing her petite and muscular feminine physique. The weight of her perching on the edge of the bed brought Eren back to his appropriate senses.

"Here," she offered, reaching into the front pouch of her hoodie, and took out half a loaf of white bread that had been compressed against her weight. "Eat, we need your legs to heal sooner rather than later."

He shooed the bread away to signal that he hadn't been hungry. Not taking no for an answer, she grabbed him by his chin and proceeded, rather unceremoniously, to shove the bread passed his lips.

"Gah! What the hell, Annie?! I'm not hungry!" He snapped, snatching the food from her perilous grasp.

She scoffed under her breath. "Do you expect this frail body of mine to carry you all the way past Wall Maria? Ha, you sure know how to treat a lady."

"I-it's not that!" He retorted, not wanting to admit he already felt queasy, and the bread could easily make him vomit.

Her cobalt gaze hardened over with something bordering irritation, as equally playful as it was challenge, defiant as her own personality. "The scouting legion is hot on our asses, we only have a couple more hours to rest. I don't have time for thi-"

"Okay, okay!" He cut her off, taking inhuman bites of the bread while rhythmically breathing deeply out his nose in a desperate attempt to help keep the food down. The last piece is the hardest and he had to avoid her intent stare so she didn't see the green hue coloring his cheeks. "There, happy now?" He questioned, Wiping the crumbs off the corner of his lips with the back of his sleeve. It was a much harder task than it should've been.

She nods her approval. "Now get some rest," she whispered as she pushed up to her feet and walked around towards the opposite side of the bed.

She paused there for a second, undoing the tie that had held her hair together. A curtain of thin golden hair gracefully fanned out over her shoulders and encircles her diamond-shaped face. Her shimmering features swayed as she rocked her head back and forth to loosen her tight ends.

Eren turned his face to that interesting dust on the wall over there to make his starring less obvious, but couldn't resist watching her through his peripheral vision.

Annie sat down and kicked her boots off, taking a moment to stare at her hands. She grabbed the silver ring that was on right index finger, tenderly sliding it off; she turned her head towards Eren.

"You got the better of me after I trusted you back in Stohess… that hurt, you know." Her voice didn't waver or crack even though he could sense the abnormal emotion behind her glacial blue eyes. She was keeping it hidden, holding it all inside, protecting herself as her father had always taught her to.

"No Annie…" He glanced down, finding the sheets as interesting as the previous dust. "Unlike Armin and Mikasa, I refused to face the truth. I was hoping against hope - wanting to believe – that you'll follow us and prove you weren't a monster." His voice was inaudible, as if he had been whispering to himself.

She remained still for a while, eventually brushing her right fringe behind her ear. Her crystallized focus remained on the ring sitting complacently in the middle of her palm. Her hand reached over to place the sleek object on the nightstand near the bed, the metallic cling it emitted echoing throughout the room. She settled her head softly on the pillow facing away from Eren, curling up into a loose fetal position.

A long silence stood between the two. Maybe she didn't hear his words, he thought.

Eren noticed that her body started to tremble, and her teeth clattered vivaciously. 'How on earth could she be cold, I'm burning up in this heat! Why doesn't she just ask for the blanket or – knowing her – take it?' he questions to himself.

His eyes remained on her, mesmerized by the mystery that engulfed her. The way she treated people was wicked, vicious and cruel, yet she had another side to her. A soft side. Her smiles were rare but showed the softness of her gentle nature through every curve of her cheek, every perfect upturn of her lips. Eren knew that on the inside she was like everyone else – human – but wondered why she kept such a rough, unsightly exterior.

"Tsk. Here, I don't need it all," he bluffed, carefully throwing the blanket over her slender figure. She curled up against the thick fabric and sighed wistfully.

He gyrated around so their backs were barely pressed together, trying to close his eyes and rest, but the constant tingles from his legs were bothering him to no end. His exhaustion, thankfully, made it bearable as his eyelids began to feel heavier, like that had been filled with lead, and he was drifting into unconsciousness when her sudden voice brought him back.



"Don't hurt me again." She muttered under her breath, lost in the growing void of her sleep, and she fully slipped into the awaiting darkness.



The rain bore on relentlessly, an endless ceiling of bereaved silver clouds cloaking the sky. Lightning flashed and served only as a way to illuminate the empty city within Wall Rose. Everything was bleak as dry grass, gray as the tempest above, and dreary as a winter's morning - even the atmosphere. The city was at a complete standstill, each droplet of rain suspended midair, frozen in a moment of time. The only building ignited with the activity inside was non-other than the Scouting legion headquarters.

A single set of windows remained brighter than the rest, ignited with candles and lanterns all the same… a ovular room which contained two of humanity's best soldiers.


Commander Erwin sat stoically behind a large desk, his elbows propped on the surface with fingers interlocked beneath his chin. Levi was across the room scanning over some parchment papers in his grasp.

"Levi, report." Erwin coerced, authoritative as ever.

Levi cast his obsidian eyes away from the documents to glance over at the blond man, their gazes connecting instantly. Like every mission preceding them the aftermath was nothing but chaos: there were injured soldiers they couldn't have otherwise afford to lose, countless bodies (heck, they were still probably peeling those poor bastards off the walls in that tunnel), and more questions than answers.

"Stohess district is completely decimated," Levi responded finally, monotone and virtually carefree, "yet we have nothing to show for it… just the deaths of so many good men. Not to mention the enemy has captured that damn Eren brat." He exhaled an exasperated sigh, tilting his head back to stare intently at the celling.

Erwin glanced down at his own papers scattered across his desk. "We must continue to have hope in order to endure adversity, Eren is a big step towards humanities goal to achieve victory."

"There have been no reports of Annie Leonhardt leaving wall Rose, so we can assume she is hiding within its barriers." Levi's stare wandered down again to meet his superior. "It's impossible to be sure, she isn't your average person after all. She could have easily scaled the wall without attracting attention." Despite that conclusion, he didn't seem concerned, and his expression is blank.

"We must always assume the worst, but in this case for humanity's sake we cannot take any chances," Erwin droned on, continuing to observe some papers. "We must use all of our available resources in order to have a chance of success. I'll have Hanji strategically place several of our men to guard wall rose and Trost. As for you Levi, I have a special objective for you."

"Oh? Enlighten me."

"I want you to form a special recon group to head into Wall Maria with the sole purpose of luring as many Titans towards Trost as possible. The Titans seem to have more appeal towards shifters, with this we can render Annie's transformation useless and reclaim Eren."

"And the girl?" Levi inquired.

"We can't predict how she transforms, either it be a bite or a hidden weapon for her own self-infliction, but all I know is that she is too dangerous even for us. Capturing her is out of the question. We must make sure of her death, and as a side note, Levi, the amount of Titans you gather may decide if that happens or not." Erwin's voice became sharper, clearer, and at the same time, venomous despite its calm façade. "And if not, make sure she doesn't step a single foot outside Trost."

Levi inclined his head as a submissive nod.

"If you have any objections or alternatives, now is the time to speak," Erwin added quickly.

"No, I trust your judgment," Levi digressed.

"Very well; I will go to the committee and request help from the Garrison and Military Police."

"Military police?" Levi echoed quizzically, staring at his superior intently. "That may put a thorn in our side. We both know Nile Dawk wants Eren's head, especially now after what he did to Stohess."

"I'm aware, but we need all the help we can get. We can ill afford the loss of Eren." Erwin rose to his feet, moving stiffly towards the window to peer out over the darkness of the city. "This mission has to succeed not only for the fate of the Survey Corps but the fate of this world as we know it." A sigh passes easily through his lips. He's tired. "Do you have anyone in mind for the recon squad?"

Levi remained silent, closing his eyes again as if he needed to think about possible candidates. 'Not everyone would risk their life for Eren but I know who will… the only person willing to go to hell and back for that kid.'

"Yes," Levi finally replied, staring at Erwin from the corner of his eye. "I know the perfect person, and maybe a few others."

"Good. Gather them and have them ready before day break, we start our counter attack tomorrow." Erwin folded his hands behind his back. "Dismissed."





The rain continued to fall.

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