Episode Six: AdjustingMature

     I had now been in the Survey Corps for a week. It wasn't easy getting used to life outside the walls. For instance, sometimes you could hear titans in the distance, and a team would be deployed at the weirdest hours to deal with them. I had a room all to myself, too. That's another thing I wasn't used to. Jared was across the hall, Eren was the room to my left, Mikasa to my right, and Armin across the hall from Eren. There were a few more rooms on our floor, which belonged to my other friends. 

     Today, we didn't have much planned. Just some cleaning, thanks to Levi. I was still laying in my bed, drinking in the sights of my room. In my room, there was my queen sized bed, a desk with a spinny chair, a decent sized wardrobe, and a little area built in under my window where a couch type thing was. Getting out of bed, I folded my blankets back perfectly and made my way for the wardrobe. Opening it up, I picked out the hangers that had my uniform. Setting them on my bed, there was a knock at the door.

"Ava? Are you awake?" The voice belonged to Eren.

"Come in, I'm decent." I began removing my outfit from the hangers.

"Heya. How'd you sleep?" Eren asked me this almost every morning since we'd gotten here.

"I slept fine, Eren. Thank you." I responded, beginning to strap on my belts over my clothes.

"No nightmares?" He asked, plopping down on my bed.

"Hey! I just made that! And no. No nightmares." I finished strapping on my belts, now putting on my jacket.

"Well, that's good to know. I'm going to go get dressed now. See you at breakfast!" Eren waved, getting up from my bed and shutting the door.

     After I got dressed, I went and opened the curtains on my windows. There were a few of my friends outside at the stables. Jean, Connie, and Sasha were cleaning the horse stalls. I wonder what Levi has planned for me... I thought to myself, grabbing my cloak and leaving my room. Jared was at the stairs when I called for him.

"Jared!" I ran over, giving him a hug.

"Ava, you're forgetting something." He chuckled, taking my hair and making it into the braid I wore regularly.

"Thanks, big brother." I smiled as we walked down the stairs together.

     I noticed everyone who wasn't outside, was in the mess hall having breakfast. I grabbed my food, and quickly joined Eren and everyone else at the table. I sat near the wall, Eren on my left side. Jared sat across from me, Mikasa next to him. Armin came in shortly after, sitting on the other side of Eren. We all discussed what we thought about living here so far, and when we thought we'd have our first expedition.

"I can't wait to kill my first titan! I've been waiting for it..." Eren was still hellbent on revenge.

"Calm down, Eren. The time will come." I put my hand on his shoulder, chuckling softly. Before Eren could say something else, Corporal Levi and Commander Erwin walked in.

"I need the top 10 students to meet us outside. Now." Levi announced, causing everyone to fall silent.

     I and the others stood hesitantly, but followed Levi outside to the stables. Jean, Connie, Sasha, Mikasa, and the rest of the top 10 who had joined the Corps were there. We were told to saddle up a horse each, so we did. Once we had mounted our horses, Erwin assisted Levi in getting on his.

"Corporal Levi, what're you having us do?" I asked, leading my horse directly next to his.

"Please, just Levi." He muttered, wind picking up.

"Levi! What's up with calling the top 10 out here?" Eren yelled from near the back of the group.

"That's Corporal Levi to you, Jaeger!" Levi spat back harshly, taking the horse's reins in his hands. Eren flinched, sulking.

"Recruits, there's a nearby band of titans we've been tracking. We will ride out there. You're expected to take them all out." Erwin stated, hopping on his horse's saddle.

     Everyone but me, Eren, and Mikasa widened their eyes. Sure, we'd been in the Survey Corps a week now, but we hadn't trained at all. Everything we've done so far has revolved around cleaning. Anyway, I pursed my lips, fixating my eye patch and turning my horse to face the gates of the castle.

"You heard him! Let's go!" I cracked the reins, and darted off.

"Ava! Wait!" I heard who must've been Levi yell for me, starting to catch up.

     I slowed down enough for Levi to catch up with me. Once he did, we slowed down even more. I looked over my shoulder to find Erwin still there with the rest of the top recruits. I looked around to check for titans, and shifted my gaze to Levi. He had the same absent and emotionless expression, but once his eyes met mine, it softened.

"Ava, what the almighty hell were you thinking? Charging out here? You don't even know where the titans are at!" Levi scolded, leaning as far as he could to slap my arm.

"I just don't care much for insolent people. They looked like they didn't even know what a titan was..." I trailed off, puffing my cheeks in annoyance.

"That's what I admire about you, Ava." Levi chuckled, speeding up his horse. I did so as well.

"What? There's nothing to admire, Levi." I noticed us nearing a large forest.

"Here, we can wait next to the forest entrance. I'll tie up your horse." I dismounted, giving Levi the reins.

     I thought it safe to 3DMG up to a branch several tens of feet off the ground. The branch was so large, it was almost like a tree itself. I sat down, my legs swinging. Hearing the zipping of cords, I turned my head to find Levi walking along and sitting next to me. We sat in silence, Levi sitting almost uncomfortably close. We stared off in the direction of the base, awaiting the pounding of horse hooves to signal everyone else's arrival. After a short while, that sound did came. And Levi and I made our way down to meet everyone else.

     Once all the horses had been tied up out of the way, I was talking to Levi and Erwin as Eren came running up to me. He hugged me insanely tight, causing my palms to hit against his back in a plea for release.

"S-Sorry, Ava. I was just worried with you running off and all." Eren was still hugging me, which earned a groan from Levi. Erwin just seemed to smirk.

"Hands off, Jaeger. Focus on the mission." Levi firmly exclaimed.

"Y-Yes, Corporal. I'm sorry..." Eren muttered, walking back to his group like a depressed kitten. I elbowed Levi, hoping he got the hint.

"Alright, recruits! The plan is, everyone heads out in the forest in groups of 2! Corporal Levi and myself will be atop that tree limb up there." Erwin pointed where Levi and I had just been sitting.

"Come back once you are sure the forest is clear of titans." Erwin finished, grappling up to their spot with Levi.

     Eren raced over to me immediately, tugging on my jacket. I nodded, and we were the first pair to head off in the words. Honestly, I'm very good at hiding my emotions. For instance, at the moment, I was a complete nervous wreck. With my left eye out of commission, I had just obtained several blind spots. Stay focused, Ava! A Survey Corps soldier can't afford to be distracted! I shook my head, continuing to propel even faster through the thick trees. 

     The strange thing was, we hadn't seen a single titan. What were Levi and Erwin thinking, sending us into an unannounced mission like this? Doesn't matter, I just needed to complete the task and return back.

"Oli, 10 o'clock!" Eren made a harsh turn, forcing me to follow.

"Eren, there's 2! Take one, I've got the bigger one!" I readied my blades, maneuvering myself perfectly to where I was behind it.

     Planting the hook right above its weak spot, I spun rapidly several times. My braid whipped against my face as I felt the satisfying feeling of my blades cutting effortlessly through its flesh. The titan fell, its body beginning to steam. As I stood upon the corpse of my kill, the body of another fell behind me. Wiping away the dust in my face, I focused to see Eren, too, standing on the titans back. We smiled at each other, grappling onto a nearby tree.

"That was fun, ey Eren?" I playfully punched his arm, laughing.

"Yeah, our first kill. Our first kill as a team." Eren looked at me, his olive orbs sparkling in the sun, complimenting his broad smile.

"C'mon, we've still got work to do." I stood up, stretching.

"Go ahead, scout our area. I'm gonna take a breather." Eren scratched his head, going off in a completely different direction.

     As I stood on the tree limb alone, I shrugged and decided to do as he suggested. I was propelling slower through the trees, taking more time to inspect my surroundings since I was lone and with one eye. I had spotted 4 or 5 more, taking them out with a little more difficulty. Ugh, fighting with one eye was harder than I thought... As I sat on the edge of a rib-cage of an earlier kill, I heard rapid footsteps approaching. Thinking it was the horses, I turned instead to see a titan jumping from tree to tree. 

     My eyes widened immensely, not taking my glance away from the creature. I had never seen a titan like this before, so I was mesmerized. It was captivating, insanely fascinating in its own disturbingly morbid way... The titan finally caught sight of me, leading on the ground, some yards from me. I, still, couldn't move. It jumped one more time, now directly in front of me. Its hot, rancid breath coming onto me in puffs. It sat on its back in, swiping a hand. I felt myself being lifted up by the titan, who now had its mouth agape. 

"Ava!" I heard someone scream. Looking over best I can, I notice Mikasa and Eren.

"G-Guys..." I choked, the titans grip crushing me.

"Mikasa, kill it! I'll go for Oli!" Eren charged, propelling around the titan, waiting for his sister to make her move.

     I was just above the mouth of the monster, just as Mikasa dashed behind its neck, slicing it. The titan fell backwards harshly, throwing its hand which contained me against the earth. My body flew a few feet, my tailbone hitting a tree trunk. My hearing was fuzzy and my last sight was Eren rushing to me, dropping his blades and sliding on his knees to pick me up.

*Time Skip*

     W-Was I dead? Surely not. I can still feel pain, which means as much as I hate to say it...I'm still alive. Blinking my eye open, I noticed myself in a much larger room than my own. The bed was gigantic in itself! This room seemed to take up half a floor...Trying to sit up, I felt pain spike through my lower back and up. Sliding back into the cushy bed, I sank my head into the plush pillows. Turning my head to the side, I noticed several bags of medicine hanging from silver hooks on a metal pole, connecting to different points in my body.

     I looked outside, and it seemed to be night time. Damn, how long was I out? I tried standing once more, ignoring the pain I felt radiating through me. I drug along the little thing that had my bags of medicine, too. Walking to another door in the room, I noticed it opened to a bathroom of decent size. I walked in, leaving the door open. I forced myself to look in the mirror, and I didn't like what I saw. My body was heavily scratched, bruised, and bandaged. Even some of the bandages had blood seeping through them. I turned to see my back, which caused me to yell in surprise. Steam was rising in a light stream from my tailbone, where I had hit the tree.

"Ava?! Are you al- what're you doing out of bed?!" Levi gasped, helping me over to the large bed, covering me in blankets.

"L-Levi..." I stammered, still in shock and pain.

"Hush, Ava. You were injured in the forest. You've been out for a day and a half." Levi turned, putting his hands on his hips.

"A-A da-day and a h-half?" I choked, looking at the man who was now opening the huge wardrobe in the room.

"Yes, a day and a half. I was beginning to get worried. I insisted on keeping you in my room, I haven't been sleeping in here since then for fear of angering your father." Levi tensed up immediately.

     I was confused, curious, and every synonym that matched the phrase "what the hell?". My father? Impossible. My father had been killed in Shiganshina! Levi sat on the opposite side of the bed, not making eye contact with me.

"My father's dead, Levi. Th-That's impossible..." I laid back against the pillows more, scrunching up my eyebrows.

     

The End

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