The walls of that grand building fell away like flimsy pieces of paper. The stage folded, and from the billowing smoke and flames, a figure like the devil rose.
You shot up from your sheets like a bullet. Below you, the fabric was damp, hopelessly soaked through with sweat. Your heart was pounding ruthlessly inside your chest, relentless. You were always suffering the same nightmare every night, so why did it always feel just as bad every time?
Sometimes it honestly felt like you were just straight up losing it. The Marley incident was over, and Eren was currently situated behind solid iron bars.
So what were you still so worried about?
Why...why did you keep envisioning something awful whenever those sea green eyes came to mind? Were you crazy? Eren wasn't going to do anything, not when his friends were here.
Curiosity killed the cat, or in this case, the wannabe world-saving-soldier. Before you knew it, your own feet were making tracks down towards the basement, carrying you willingly or not towards the location where he was being held. Eren's form stood silent and eerie behind the metal bars as you approached, his face a mask you couldn't read anymore.
Back in the earlier days of training and naive missions outwith the Walls, he'd seemed almost like a kid sometimes. Impassioned, and angry, yes, but still with those wide eyes that carried a hope, a wish for a better world.
Now though, when you looked at him, you saw a steely, rigid visage. His lips were like a line dug too deeply into his skull, his eyes heavy set and shadowed. He seemed weathered in a way that you wouldn't expect for someone who was only pushing twenty.
You hesitated. It was hard to know what to say to him now. His motivations for attacking Marley were not necessarily all wrong, everything considered. Yet it was brutal enough to make you doubt his true convictions. Was he really doing this for the sake of world peace?
Or did he just like getting blood on his hands? Titan, Shifter or otherwise?
“...I'm not angry at you. I'm just confused. And you know, we have to keep you locked up for good reason, right?”
Eren still didn't seem eager to answer. His cold gaze made you uneasy.
He finally spoke your name. His voice was low, ominous, and you flinched a little when he uttered it.
You'd never felt an impact like it.
The whole room exploded with a burst of searing light, steam rushing to your skin and toasting it a little as your body was flung backwards and into freshly formed rubble. You hit the stone with a wheeze and curled up slightly, coughing and spluttering, frantically swiping gray powder off your face.
When you were able to open your eyes through the grit, you looked up and felt your stomach plummet to your ankles.
His nightmarish face peeled back through the smoke and hung on his neck for a moment, before tilting, and allowing those piercing green orbs to strike into you instead. The jail that once held him prisoner was broken open like an eggshell, and it had given birth to the same monster that terrorized Marley days earlier.
Scrambling backwards frantically against the destroyed wall behind you, you choked out a sob as tears welled in your eyes.
He couldn't be doing this.
He couldn't be serious.
“Where the hell is [Y/N]!?”
Jean forced a chunk of rubble aside with a hefty heave and jammed his body through into the broken passage, Armin staggering after him, coughing and red-eyed. The entire prison portion of the building was completely reduced, and neither Eren nor you were anywhere to be found.
“Eren!? EREN!” Mikasa shouted desperately, throwing open the jail cell door and breaking it entirely off its already ruined hinges, stumbling forward into the center of the room, and staring upwards. The vast hole torn through the ceiling left the sky exposed, almost like some renaissance painting. Only that was where he must have carried you through, when he transformed and stole you away.
Unless he'd done something worse.
“H...he must have taken [Y/N] with him...they were only ones down here at the time-” Armin grimaced. He'd been fearing this for a while. Eren had seemed less and less like the friend he knew as time went on, and this was enough to confirm it. He wasn't the same Eren Yeager anymore...
Jean screamed up at the stars.
The gag in your mouth dried your tongue out. It left you feeling completely choked up, thickened from the inside. A tiny bit of nausea lingered from when Eren had flung you up from the ground and into his maw. You remembered little of the journey here except a damp darkness, and a petrifying fear that he was going to swallow you down.
He spat you out, but it was hardly more of a mercy. Here on the grounds of another ransacked and ruined village, he'd tied you up to the interior of a half-surviving house, binding your wrists behind you and against a rusted tap at your back. The grimy metal dug into your quivering spine.
Standing over you, he casually slipped off his coat and dropped it to the ground, revealing a shirt beneath that clung to his now chiseled body. Something about seeing how defined he'd become as he grew older only made this more terrifying for you. You remembered the days when Annie or Levi could flip him into the dirt instantly. Now you weren't so sure either of them would have it so easy.
“You look scared. Do you think I'm going to kill you?” Eren asked, walking through dappled beams of sunlight that shone past the rafters, pulling over a chair with a creak. He dusted it off with one swipe and sat himself down a little spread legged in front of you, folding his arms before his broad chest.
How were you meant to answer that? You had no idea what you thought. He'd broken out of jail, kidnapped you in the process, and forced you down on your knees like some leashed up puppy, so he could sit there like a king and scrutinize you. What were you supposed to think?
“Here. I can make it a little easier for you.” Eren got up from his chair just so he could rip away the gag, before sitting down in the same position again. You gasped and desperately wet your lips with your tongue, feeling how chapped they'd become. Slowly, you raised your head to look at him, gulping nervously.
Eren sighed and tilted his head back somewhat, a strand from his dark brunette hair falling loose out of its tie, “That's what you think, huh? Well...it's kind of true...”
Your blood ran cold.
Eren tilted his head back downwards again, looking straight at you.
“Killing you is an option. And it might happen, but only if you refuse to cooperate.”
His hands loosened from where he'd tucked them under his arms, and he rested his palms against his knees, gripping them tightly,
“So just join me, [Y/N]. I don't want to waste any more time. Floch and the others agree with me, this world needs to be changed.”
“...Changed? Wh...what are you talking about?” you whimpered, and he cast his eyes down upon you, as if you were just the tiniest thing he'd ever seen.
“The only way that I can keep you safe is to keep Paradis safe. For that...I'll destroy whatever I have to...”
Your eyes widened.
“...Floch thinks you're just a nuisance that I should get rid of. That's a point we disagree on.”
Eren rose slowly from his chair, and started walking towards you.
“He doesn't understand that without you, all of this is pointless. You're the reason why...”
“No...no that can't be...”
You pressed up against the wall, shaking your head over and over,
“I-I'm just your friend--!”
He stood over you. From here, like this, he might as well have been a Titan. His eyes even glowed the same way.
“But if you swear loyalty to me and my cause...then I'll be able to protect you. I'll keep you by my side, and we'll face the world together. We can move forward as one-”
“NO! I don't want that, PLEASE!” you cried, “Please take it back! Just stop all of this, you can't be serious!!”
Eren's gaze turned down deeper. Any light in his eyes dwindled.
“Then...there's no point. If you're not willing to love me like I love you, I won't waste my time-”
He sharply nipped his thumb between his teeth. A fresh line of blood drew freely from the wound, and a golden spark flickered.
A droplet of scarlet plummeted down, splattering against your tear-stained cheek. You went silent, jaw agape, recoiling in horror.
“Looks like everything's going according to plan. You should be happy, considering that he's doing all of this for you. You don't want to come across as selfish, right?”
That twisted grin.
“He's almost at 80%. I don't know how he'll gauge it, but maybe when The Rumbling forces them all to fall into the ocean.”
Floch threw up his arms and smiled all the wider.
“Whatever his plan is, he's almost fulfilled it. And he'll be back to see you soon...so don't go anywhere~”
With a cackle and a mocking wink, he left the room.
You sat on the edge of the bed, quiet as a mouse. Trapped within the quarters that had become your prison. Waiting for the day he returned from targeting the world, and made you his victim instead. In exchange for your life.
Sworn loyal, just as he desired.