**This book is ending in the near few chapters. There may or may not be a sequel, I'm not sure. Anywho, this will be shared POV's once more! ALSO. I KNOW THIS PIC IS ANNIE'S TITAN FORM. PLEASE, JUST BEAR WITH ME. THERE WAS NO WAY IN HELL I WAS DRAWING A WHOLE PICTURE FOR THIS**
Birds chirping...a breeze flowing...warm sunlight being cast upon my skin. With all those positive factors, I found it hard to believe Ava and I were still in that bummed down house, and under the stairs no less. I carefully crawled out, keeping her in my arms. I stood and listened carefully, making sure there were no nearing titans. Once that was done, I placed Ava back on the mattress upstairs and covered her in my cloak. It worried me greatly...how she could stay asleep for this long and not wake up even once.
Heading back downstairs, I decided to inspect the ring more and see if I could inspect it further. Twirling it in my palm, my eyes found themselves drawn to some engravings on the inside, directly behind where the blade was tucked in. Even with my eyes squinted, the elegant cursive was intangible. I sighed, closing my eyes and putting the ring back into my pocket. As I turned to head upstairs, Ava was right in front of me.
"Ava, how do you feel?" I asked, immediately putting a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm fine. Where are we?" Both of her light blue eyes stared down at me.
"That's the problem...you went titan as we were riding back to the base and ran off somewhere. I had to find us shelter." I admitted, poking my head out the battered front door.
"Well then, throw us on your horse. I'm sure we could find something." Ava came up behind me, placing her chin on my head.
"That's the thing. My horse was impaled in a tree when I was thrown from it. We have no means of transportation, and the land is too flat for maneuver gear." I went back inside, shutting the door.
"Then let's just use the ring." Ava's tone was cold cut, which made me shiver.
"Are you sure? I don't know if you can control yourself..." That, I later found out, was a sentence I highly regretted.
Ava and I stood in silence for a few moments. Her eyes beginning to swell with tears, and her lips tremble. I could feel the ring in my pocket, and yet I made no move towards it.
"I can't control myself? I, of all people, can't control myself? Levi, I protected you! Even in titan form, I sealed you away from the danger! How DARE you say I can't control myself!" Ava screamed, stomping closer to me, stray tears falling down her cheek.
"Ava...I didn't mean it like that..." I stammered, backing away from the aggressive female.
"I've given up everything to make sure you're okay! Don't you dare ever say something like that! Now, give me the ring so we can leave." Ava stood firmly, her palm open.
"I-I can't..." I placed my hand over my pocket.
"Then I guess I'll have to take it from you." Ava brought a swift blow around to the back of my head, knocking me out cold.
Commander Erwin and I were stopped for a small breakfast break. We had left the base about 3 or so hours ago, and had just been riding in search of any clues to Ava and Corporal Levi's whereabouts. Erwin had brought a map, to which I walked over and inspected.
"So, what do you think?" I asked, shoving another piece of bread in my mouth.
"Well, the base is down here. I can almost safely assume we're about right here, just about 15 or 20 miles from a mass forested area." Erwin rolled up the map, placing it in his horse's side bag.
"Shall we head out, then?" I mounted my horse, situating my gear and cloak.
"Let's stay here a little while longer. Give the sun more time to rise." I nodded in agreement, pacing around our designated area on my horse.
In the silence that followed, I could've sworn I heard those horse hooves again. Who could've followed us? There's no one else except Hanji and Petra who knew of our plans. I sighed, seeing no indication of someone else. As Erwin began to mount his horse, we were thrown off guard by an extensive explosion. We both gave each other looks of panic, and immediately rode towards the source.
About 5 or 10 minutes of riding later, we came across this village, or, what used to be a village. The whole thing had been reduced to splinters and chunks of stone in what looked like a matter of seconds. Erwin and I didn't enter, but what happened next, proved we didn't need to. The shadow of a titan rose from the smoke, its head just barely poking above the dust clouds. Immediately, I recognized its build. Dammit, Ava!
"Eren, stay back. She hasn't noticed us." Erwin directed, backing up his horse.
Ava let out a disabling cry, making her armored hands into fists. Once the dust cleared, we noticed her holding a limp body in one of her fists. Levi. Her throat seemed to retract, and what we assumed to be Levi was thrown inside. Ava raised one monstrous leg, digging into the earth and rocketing off in a different direction. Erwin immediately riled his horse, following her.
"She's headed for the forest! Do not kill her!" Erwin was somehow getting his horse to go insanely fast, which made it hard for me to keep up.
"Commander, 15 meter class incoming!" I yelled, looking to our right at the aberrant quickly approaching.
"Let Ava handle it!" He yelled back, both of us staring as Ava threw out a claw, completely decapitating the titan at the nape of the neck.
As the forest drew closer, I prepared myself to switch to my maneuver gear at any moment. Erwin did the same, as we lined up our horses, getting ready to grapple onto a tree. We eyed each other, Ava, and the approaching woods. 1...2...3...we jumped. Erwin to the right, and me to the left. We barely had any time to catch our breath before Ava began running through the grand thicket. The wind whipped harshly through my hair, and specks of dust kicked up by Ava almost blinded me.
I watched as Erwin tried to get in front of his daughter, but was forced to stay back due to her swatting at him with her nails. What puzzled me most, is that we had no idea why she was running. I already knew I was under strict orders to stay away from her neck, since I could kill her if my blades went too deep. However, Erwin never said I could hook into her titan body and use that to my advantage. So, I did just that. I shot my grappling hook a little off center on her neck, careful not to pierce where her human body was.
"Jaeger! What the hell are you doing?!" I could hear Erwin screaming at me.
"Just trust me..." I whispered, knowing there was no chance he could hear me.
"Ava, stop this!" I yelled, stabbing a blade into her shoulder.
And just like that, Ava's heels drug against the Earth, and she eventually came to a stop. Her hand was over the nape, a crystal like substance forming over her hand. She was definitely smart... A smart human piloting a 25 meter armored titan. Yeah, great combination. Ava started howling, now both her hands on her neck with that same crystal coating them. I dug my second blade into her flesh, earning louder cries.
Ava tried to throw me off of her, but I now had both my hooks to where I was dangling. I could hear faint thudding from her throat, which I assumed was Levi. Standing atop her shoulder, I could see the shield that had been placed over where Levi was being kept, the same kind covering her hands. As I sat on her shoulder, now, I began to try and speak to Ava.
"Hey, Oli. Been a long time since we've sat down and actually talked, huh?"
*Ava's POV, in a 'dream'*
As my eyes opened, I found myself sitting on a couch in my old home, the one in Wall Sina. My mother was cooking, my father reading his books, and my brother loafing around. I was nice and comfortable, sitting here in my yellow blanket. The warm sun and light breeze through the cracked window across the room made me sleepy. But, an annoying, constant thudding kept me from returning to my slumber.
"Ava! Ava! Can you hear me?" The voice would plead.
"Who...who are you?" I whispered back, yawning.
"Ava, it's me, Eren. Don't you wanna come outside?" I now saw Eren's face in the window behind me.
"Why're you so annoying? I just want to sleep." I turned around, ignoring Eren's constant pounding on the window pane.
"You can't just give up! You wanted to see the oceans! We were going to see them, together!" Eren continued, his childish voice cracking as he begged.
"The...oceans...?" I asked, and with that question, every family member in my house simultaneously looked at me.
My body now had this burning sensation inside of my chest. My heart rate increased rapidly, causing my palms to sweat. All of this, forced me to take off my blanket. As I stood, my lanky legs supported me as I stood facing my family. Though they uttered no words, I knew exactly what they wanted. Turning to Eren, who was now just standing in the window, I clenched my fists, and everything around me burst into flames.
I seemed to have finally broken through to her, since she removed her hands from her neck, and the crystal coating them disappeared. Ava's body also loosened its muscled, standing only sort of slumped over. Shooting a grapple into her forehead, I placed a boot on the bridge of her nose to steady myself. Her pale eyes seemed to have a different feeling, a different light, radiating from them. Glancing down, I saw Levi in Ava's throat cavity, safe and sound. What made me the happiest, was that her lips seemed to curve upwards.
"Welcome home, Oli." She reached a hand under me, and I took out the grapples from her body, landing and standing safely in her palm.
Looking over at Commander Erwin, I could see he was proud. What had gone on inside Ava's head while I talked to her, neither one of us knows. He even seemed to portray to me, a feeling of pride. A feeling of 'hey, I could never do that'. Ava lifted her chin, allowing for a better view of the cavity keeping Levi inside it. The crystal diminished, leaving a half-stunned Levi to crawl almost out.
"You son of a bitch, get the hell out of my sister!" I heard a familiar voice yell. God dammit, it was Jared. That's who followed us.
"Jared, no!" I wailed, just before Ava's eyes dilated, causing her to put forth a banshee cry.
Dammit, dammit, dammit! All my hard work gone to shit! Jared had to show up and scare her! My eyes found their way down, noticing Levi falling. I quickly propelled down there, grabbing him, and returning next to Commander Erwin on a nearby tree. There was a small opening in the center of the tree we were on, so that's where we placed the unconscious Corporal. I stared at Erwin, but he only held me back. I watched helplessly as Jared hooked onto Ava's nape, readying his blades.
"You're not Ava! You're a monster!" Jared's blades made contact, but not deep enough.
"Jared, stop this!" I yelled, but to no prevail.
"Eren, this is his own fate." Commander Erwin walked over to Levi, who was slowly coming to.
"Jared...she's gonna..." I fought back tears as I watched the scene unfold.
As my thoughts had predicted, Ava grabbed a hold of Jared's grappling cord. She flung him to the ground, whipping him back up. Jared coughed up a generous amount of blood, still refusing to stop. Ava's eyes stared into those of her brother, no remorse present at all. Only blood thirsty vengeance kept those eyes alive in this body. A sigh I'd never hoped to see. I decided that despite my orders from the Commander, I had to intervene.
"Jared, take my hand!" I called out to the boy, who turned his head so I could see his blood drenched face, the crimson pouring from his skull.
"Don't worry, Eren. You have my blessing." He smiled one last time, before Ava's jaws ripped him into unrecognizable pieces.
I circled back around, this time, aiming for her nape. I cut just perfectly to where her body popped out. Catching it, I landed down on the earth. Placing her gently against a nearby tree, I walked over to where Jared's abdomen had landed, absent of a head or legs. His jacket, still half-on, had almost the whole shade of tan replaced with a dark and unforgiving soulless red. The redness of the eyes of demons, cursed and relentless. I took the jacket, folded it properly, and laid it on top of his body remains.
"To a true soldier. I hope the afterlife serves you well." I saluted, tears beginning to dot my face.