He was like oil to a boiling pan.
Reiner's broad chest encompassed you. His thick arms felt like iron branches wrapped around your upper half, keeping you pressed taut against him, ensuring that regardless of what you wished, you wouldn't be going anywhere.
This was how he slept with you every night in his dorm, ever since you'd started dating him. The blonde haired German tank of a young man, someone who looked like he could topple trees regardless of what form he was in...
Yes. You knew the truth about him. It was a sick secret you had to keep contained to your chest, for if you let word of it spread he'd know you were the source, and that would be enough.
How badly you wanted to tell people what he really was. His friends who smiled and joked with him, reveling in camaraderie, they didn't realize how twisted he really was beneath that wide grin, that brotherly demeanor.
They thought they could count on him. You knew better.
You knew he'd fly off the handle at the slightest provocation, and you'd been forced to listen to the cruelest of words spill from his mouth, words about your dearest friends, targeted, sharp and pointed, flying spears of vocabulary that chastised them for even so much as thinking of you, breathing near you...
“I'll destroy them all [Y/N], do you understand? If you ever betray me...if I ever see you holding their hands, or with your lips by their ears I swear it...I'll make you watch as I tear them apart. You'll see me pummel them into the ground, and then I'll see to you...”
Shutting your eyes tightly never helped you escape from this nightmare. Sleep eluded you when he was at your back, you were so worried that you'd accidentally jerk in the night and make him think you were resisting.
You weren't such a fool.
Once upon a time, you used to think you stood a chance. When you began to realize the true nature of this beast you'd allowed yourself to become romantically involved with, you thought it best to try and leave him. You were even polite enough to tell him personally.
He silenced you that night.
Even now you could recall the cold chill of being curled up in that corner, clinging to your knees, quivering as you lay on your side and felt his shadow growing upon you. When his touch turned gentle again it was like a cruel trick. He wasn't going to treat you kindly, no.
Those days were gone.
It had become a sick game for him. He knew the power, the sheer leverage he held above you. A dangling Sword of Damocles threatening to plunge itself into the skulls of each and every person you knew and loved. Whether friends, family, past or potential lovers, it didn't matter to him. If he thought they were trying to take you, he'd personally see to it that they never saw another sunrise.
You were forced to see them with him. Always sleeping by his side, always present. Like a doll he could keep and toy with as he pleased, all the while insisting it was out of some sort of love. That you were lucky to be spared, that when his 'duty' was done he'd see to it that you'd be the happiest Queen imaginable.
Queen of what? The rubble of the Wall? Corpses of your comrades?
It sickened you. Bile rose in your stomach but you forced it down and focused on the hands around your middle. If you could just pry these off, you'd be free. You could leave and never come back. Surely there was some way of escaping this nightmare for good.
You started to get hopeful. With hope, came an inevitable naivete.
...Did you really think you stood a chance?
Some part of you suddenly wanted to try again. So many days of giving in, perhaps just this once, while he seemed so sound asleep, you could get out. You urged his hands away, delicately clutching his fingers and tugging them distant. You heaved in to make your tummy smaller, and slipped downwards, trying not to focus on where you had to pass by as you were heading for the bottom of the bed.
Yet before you could get far, a firm hand snatched your wrist and hauled you right back up to the pillow again.
Amber eyes greeted you like daggers. He glowered fiercely, cold and stoic, yet filled with an unimaginable fury broiling over bit by bit. His grip crushed you and you squealed.
His sudden roar buttoned your lip quickly. Teeth bared in a pure white snarl, he lowered himself over your shrinking form, and began to smirk. That blossoming fear in your eyes. The adrenaline in your neck, veins and arteries pumping so hard they were fit to burst out.
How he loved to see you like this.
“...While I was trying to sleep and everything. It's like we're back to square one all over again.” he swapped his hold on your arm for a similarly painful one around your jaw, squeezing your cheeks in and forcing your head deeper into the fabric of the pillow behind you. It felt like he wanted to grind your cranium right through and down to the floorboards, maybe deeper.
“-Do you just enjoy getting punished, is that it sweetheart?” he hissed callously, and you were quick to shake your head in a frantic, wild gesture.
“N-no! I...I just need some water. M-my throat was so dry I had to-”
“That's bullshit. You know it is.”
Reiner deliberately laid his weight upon you. The size of a full grown, torqued up man like that on top of your comparatively minuscule frame was enough to make you wheeze, and those hot tears spilled out over your cheeks.
“P-please don't...please don't hurt me...”
“...Why do you have to make me so angry then? Why can't you just be happy-” he dug his fingers into your plush skin and made you squeak again, “-that I'm not going to destroy you like the rest of them? I worked hard to convince Zeke to let things be this way. It's an allowance, [Y/N], do you understand? Your life is on loan...”
He pulled back just a little, but was hardly any further away from your trembling self,
“Even Annie and Bertholdt are willing to agree, as long as you behave and I ensure that happens. But how can I keep an eye on you if you run away, hm? How can you promise me you won't just tell everyone everything? Ruin all that we worked so hard for?”
How badly you wanted t-
“HUH!? ANSWER ME!?”
Your thoughts went blank as he started shaking you and choking you and reminding you. All the memories of all those horrendous times hit you like a wave and suddenly even the slightest inkling of defiance was wiped out. You begged and squirmed and kept on denying it:
“No! NO NO NO I don't mean to! I WON'T!”
...Sometimes it was enough.
Sometimes, he let up.
Luckily he had only just awoken. That small part of himself that was still weary and reluctant to rise before the alarm decided instead to pull you back into that cage again, and nestle against you under the covers. His kiss on your brow was like poison.
“...Good...I knew you would understand...”