“Go on, eat up.”
The prongs of your fork glided slowly, gratingly, against the surface of the plate. Sure, this meal didn't look awful. Yet your stomach turned at the thought of consuming anything at all right now. The nausea had been haunting you for days.
“I said eat it.”
Your throat was tight. Too tight. It was hard to even speak.
“...You really wanna die that bad, huh? Okay.” Bertholdt's voice took on a soppy, saccharine tone as he tilted his head ever so slightly towards his shoulder. His face feigned pity but his eyes were empty, “Then how about I take you outside and deal with you myself? I don't even have to wait for him to get back.”
Not a word left your lips.
Days had gone by like this now. The companions you had once believed to be so trustworthy, so loyal to your noble cause, now presented themselves to be true, unabashed monsters. Bertholdt and Reiner were once the kind of fighters you could rely on. Now enemies.
Inescapable. They were keeping you with them, and had been doing so for far too long now. You'd devolved into nothing but a pet, and their leash was the threat of turning Titan against everyone you loved so much.
However, despite being unable to leave, you resolved to disobey at times. Having to eat the food they made...kiss the mouths that had spoken so cruelly...even listen to them any longer...
It was hard to withstand.
As Bertholdt stood up slowly from the table, you tensed. You dreaded what he might do to you...
“...Don't...” you actually uttered, and as you did so, he stopped himself.
“Don't? What, now you're going to beg me for mercy, is that it?”
Eyes quickly flickering down to the table top, you dug your nails anxiously into the wood.
“No I...I just want all of this to stop, please...”
“...So you want to plead with me. After refusing to eat the meal I made. After acting like a brat?” Bertholdt questioned coldly, his tone as sharp as any knife, “Don't make me laugh...”
You knew he wasn't remotely close to doing so though. A guy like this was devoid of any joy besides the sickest kind. He could watch callously as millions were shattered into dust and he wouldn't bat an eye.
“I...I just don't understand why you're keeping me here if you're so angry with me...” you whimpered out your words ever so softly, like a petite little mouse that barely had a voice. Hearing you say it though, Bertholdt merely scoffed and clicked his tongue. His towering body slowly sidled around towards the back of your chair, fingertips gracing your shoulders as he leaned over you gradually...
“It's what we call love, darling.” he uttered, his voice hot against your ear, “-And if you can't understand that by now then maybe you really do deserve to die...”
“Please-!” the panic tainted your tone as you quickly reached up to seize his wrist, your grip tight yet quivering, eyes glistening whenever you looked around and up at him, “I just want things to go back to the way they were before!”
“This again-” the Titan lost his temper and pushed away from you, turning to the wall. There was an eerily still moment of silence before his fist suddenly flew out and slammed against the wood, his face snapping around with eyes like a feral beast, sharp and green, “Why do you always have to talk like this!? Don't you get it!? You're lucky, [Y/N]!!”
His hand unfurled, and soon enough he was pacing back over towards you again. You cowered in your seat, holding your fork defensively like some miniature 3DMG blade. Bertholdt only stared coldly.
“You could be dead by now if we didn't love you like we do. You could be rotting on the streets of Shiganshina with the rest of those corpses, but instead you're here, where we take care of you. We cook for you, we bathe you, we hold you at night. You get to stay out here in the forest where we can protect you. You've got a roof over your head, a warm bed to go to, what more could you ask for?”
Momentarily he stopped. Then, he started to lean in gradually again, his nose coming ever so close to yours.
“...What really pisses me off the most is the fact that you keep asking. You're always whining, 'Bertholdt, please let me go!' or 'Reiner, I wanna go home!'”
You shuddered and looked aside, but his hand caught your jawline and quickly turned your head back again, “Look at me, [Y/N]. You're nothing without us. And we're kind enough to spare your friends and family if you obey us, so why put their lives on the line?”
“...I...I know...” you finally conceded, albeit with a lot of reluctance, “Y...you're right, I suppose...”
“You suppose...” Bertholdt showed the slightest smirk, before closing the gap between you both, giving you a kiss. He only pulled away again when you both heard the door opening, several locks being undone before his equally intimidating companion appeared.
Reiner was arguably worse. Bertholdt would switch between fury and peace very easily, but it was relatively simple to appeal to his better side. Reiner on the other hand...once you set him off, it was just a case of praying that he'd cool himself down, because that fire could burn for a long long time.
Many of the darker bruises you bore were courtesy of him. There was no denying his cruelty. In a way you were grateful it was the two of them, for that darker haired boy certainly served to keep the blonde in check. In that way he was some sort of twisted blessing.
“Did she cause any trouble while I was gone?” Reiner immediately asked after removing his tan jacket and hanging it up. The most sickening part was seeing them wear the same uniform they always had, complete with the weaponry they'd stolen from the Survey Corps stash. They were dressed like heroes, and it made you feel sick.
“A little, but I dealt with it.” Bertholdt insisted, yet his friend only narrowed his eyes when he walked over and saw your plate was hardly clean.
“Really? Looks like she didn't even eat today-”
It happened so fast it was like a case of whiplash. Reiner's hand was suddenly gripping your hair, pulling it taut and making you squeak. He hauled you out of the chair and tossed you on the floor, not caring that your shoulder could have shattered from the impact.
“Reiner hold on a sec-” Bertholdt attempted to interject, but the man ignored him, instead furiously standing over you.
“I'm getting real sick of this, pet. If you don't learn how to behave then I'll have to put you down, do you fucking understand that?” his boot stepped onto your middle, keeping you pinned.
That was all you really amounted to. You questioned if it could really be called love like Bertholdt said. Was it love if somebody only wanted to keep you like a belonging? The way they both treated you made you feel like you weren't even a human being anymore.
“I-I understand-!” you blurted out fearfully, squirming underneath him. He finally let up after a minute longer, reaching down and easily lifting you by your collar. Face to face with those amber eyes, you quivered, and it only made him grin.
“I love seeing her like this.” he chuckled, giving you a firm kiss. You moaned a little into his mouth, barely able to keep up with how rough he was. When he pulled back, he looked near delirious with power,
“I almost wish you caused more trouble, then I'd really be able to lay into you-”
“Reiner that's enough, come on.”
The voice of reason negotiated, and thankfully you got your feet planted on the ground again. Your stance was wobbly though, legs buckling a little and forcing you to hold the edge of the table to keep yourself steady.
“Anyway, I've put those arrangements in place, so uh...tonight we can head over there-” Reiner spoke to Bertholdt, “You take one side of the district, I'll take the other-”
“...Wait...what are you saying?”
Your question only caused Bertholdt to shush you, “Never you mind, [Y/N].”
“Yeah, shut the fuck up. Anyway-”
“No I have to mind, I-” you trembled but stepped forward anyway, piping up, “-You...you're going to attack the city again?”
This time, Bertholdt stayed quiet. Reiner was the one who slowly, ever so gradually turned his head towards you, his eyes glowing in the dim light.
“Yes. What about it?”
“...I...I thought you two were done. After the last time I thought-”
“We're not going to be done until they're all dead, [Y/N], you know that.” Bertholdt said, but you shook your head.
“No...no please just leave it alone! I-I can make the two of you happy, you don't have to do this!” you insisted suddenly, frantically, approaching them close and touching their arms. Reiner shrugged you off in an instant and turned fully towards you, gritting his teeth while he spoke:
“Don't fucking start...”
Tearing up, you took a step backwards. Then, your eyes swiveled towards the door.
“Don't do anything stupid, [Y/N].” Bertholdt warned, “We already made a deal not to kill your family, or anyone who was your friend in the Corps-”
“No promises though.” Reiner suddenly interjected with a dark chuckle, though his expression was far from happy, “You've pissed me off enough that I might just wipe them out too if they get in my way.”
“You can't! Please!” you clasped your hands together, almost willing to drop to your knees and beg. Yet in that moment you saw a better option.
Just to run.
If there was one thing you had as an advantage, it was your speed. This quality was what had netted you a place among the Survey Corps in the first place, your uncanny ability to dart from any situation like a dragonfly. Even with an empty stomach you had the adrenaline pushing you forward, shoving you through that door, narrowly dodging their clutches as they both reached to grab you back.
Reiner's angry exclamation echoed after you while you sprinted, panting and sweating the farther you had to run. The cabin shrank in the distance behind you, a stretch that grew and grew, bringing comfort in greater spades as you started to feel it again.
That sensation you thought you'd lost.
That's right...I'll make it back to the Wall, and they'll see me, and they'll help me, and then I'll tell them the truth about those two. I'll warn them, and then everything will be f--
The world was suddenly spinning.
...Why does the back of my head...hurt so much...?
It took a moment to register Reiner's boot against your skull, and by the time you realized, you were already on the ground, choking and clutching your cranium. He landed beside you with a heavy thud, having used his 3DMG to whizz through the trees and knock you down. The force of someone built like him making an impact with your smaller frame...there was nothing subtle about it.
“N-nn...” your whole body was curling up, like a snail retracting into a shell, only you had nothing to protect you. Yours had already been cracked open the moment they stole you away from your dorm that night, and now you were in some mocking, inescapable loop. Any time you'd tried to get away before, you'd failed. Why would it be any different now?
You were fast, but you weren't faster than equipment. They had a stellar advantage that you'd refused to even acknowledge in your sudden worry.
Now you were going to pay for the oversight.
“Oh you really shouldn't have done that sweetheart.” Reiner laughed again, grabbing you by the scruff of your neck and picking you up like a puppy. Dangling weakly, you could only shut your eyes in pain and fear, whimpering desperately.
Beside him, Bertholdt came into view. Upon hearing his arrival you dared to open your eyes again and look, peering through a shimmering pane of tears to try and see his expression.
He looked angry. Far too angry to help you now.
“P-please I...I'm sorry...I just panicked!” you insisted, but Reiner was already hoisting you over his shoulder. Neither said a word as you begged and kicked and even broke down screaming, only silenced when his broad arm wrapped around your middle and squeezed tightly.
It felt like he could break you in one go. He might do so when you got back there.
“Let me...go! Le-...t...go...” you cried in a wheezing voice, sobbing hopelessly. Hand reaching for the Wall in the distance, you watched it vanish between the trees, the forest deepening, the sky darkening, and eventually, the door closing.
Shutting you in forever.
Nothing but a pet, all over again.