Emerald eyes followed the leather ball intently, focused like that of a predator after prey. With a smooth and fluid motion, the titan reached out and captured the ball with ease – hearing his little ones give their approval below him. Rogue let out a series of huffs, mirroring his tiny humans' noises of pleasure before tossing the ball back to them. The titan was proud of his accomplishment, simple enough to some, but within the past year Rouge's reflexes had become quick and nearly precise. Not only that, but simple activities like this helped his brain function better even if he was aware of it or not. He was always learning and improving.
It was late summer once again and the air was beginning to be noticeably different. The humidity was nearly gone and some of the trees' leaves were beginning to take on a yellowish tint. The temperature as well was changing, becoming cooler as the days went on. The titan looked down at his little ones. In the past two summers that he had known them, the two had grown – standing a few inches taller. They had matured a little bit as well, gaining a mindset like his much older humans. Of course, no matter how much they would grow, to him they would always be his little ones.
Rogue let out several eager grunts, wanting the two children to return the ball. The boy took a few breaths; exhausted from running all over the clearing they were currently cavorting in.
"Hey! Just wait a second!" His little one forced through a few strained laughs. "Unlike you Rogue, we need to drink every once in a while." Armin stated kindly as he and Mikasa went to retrieve water in a nearby stream. The titan watched them quietly; he found it odd how humans needed to do what they called eating and drinking. Although he had a stomach, the titan had never felt the need to consume anything unlike his kin did. Deep down, he had no idea why or if he ever knew the reason why titans ate humans. The tiny creatures were so incredible in so many ways, but what made them so delectable? The titan let out a steamy sigh, he may never know.
Rogue then rumbled again, somewhat impatiently, to get his little ones' attention. The two finally looked up from their glasses, their faces still showing their enervation.
"Just hold on Rogue. We're almost done." The girl responded, her tone hiding a layer of augmentation. "Don't worry. We'll play with you as soon as we're finished." Mikasa concluded with a fragile smile.
The titan let out a disappointed whine through his teeth and then turned his attention to his left to stare upwards at the canopy and the wall. Admittedly, Rogue was feeling uneasy. For reasons unknown to him, the titan had been feeling on edge since he had first woken up. Something just seemed – off about this day. The atmosphere wasn't tranquil as it usually was, but rather it was filled with tension and restlessness. Even his animals seemed a bit fitful. Rogue shifted nervously, his sixth sense was sending him into confusion. Something didn't feel right. Whenever the ambiance felt bad to him, there usually was something wrong somewhere or something was coming. The titan's senses had always been accurate which worried him greatly.
"I wonder why he's doing that Mikasa. Rogue's been acting strange all day."
Overhearing his little one's words, the titan nearly turned to face them. However, spending the past two years with the two children, Rogue was able to discern more human tongue. Instead, he pretended that he hadn't heard and preceded to listen to his little one's conversation.
"I don't know Armin, but you're right. Maybe it's because he knows that we plan to stay the night with him. He could just be excited." Mikasa replied softly and barely above a whisper.
There was a long and tense pause before Armin let out a sigh. "I hope so. Sometimes he has his own way of expressing things." The boy continued. "Rogue?"
Hearing that his little one was calling to him, the titan turned to acknowledge the boy with a gentle hum, knowing very well what the child would question.
The small human then bore a warm but concerned smile. "Are you – okay? Feeling alright?"
After carefully decoding his little one's queries, Rogue nodded and gifted them with a reassuring purr. Although he was anxious beyond his own understanding, the last thing the titan wanted was for his incredibly venerable humans to worry about him. Recalling the day a year ago, where his two tiny companions had quizzed him on things that he didn't have the knowledge of, Rogue felt himself twinge. He had been so upset because no matter how much he loved his little ones and wanted to answer their questions, he simply couldn't because he truly had no idea. The titan had no recognition of his past either; the memory was just a black void in his mind. Of course, although it sometimes troubled him, he hated to see his humans or little ones vexed about his wellbeing. As big as he was, he was more than capable to take care of himself. His minuscule companions, not so much.
"Are you sure?" The boy continued, breaking the titan's train of thought.
Again, Rogue released a low rumble in assurance, barely able to hide the fragility in it. Desperate to change the conversation and get his mind and body to sooth, the titan sounded a few chirrups, rocking a bit on his rear, as he kindly demanded the ball to be thrown. To his relief, his little ones forgot their qualms and began to laugh.
"Alright! Alright!" Mikasa gave in as she retrieved the leather ball from their resting spot and tossed it as hard and high as she could back. Quickly, the intelligent titan dissected and anticipated the ball's speed and where it was set to land. Again, Rogue caught it with ease and let out a pleased rumble before softly throwing the ball back to his petite playmates.
An hour had passed before the three could comprehend it; too consumed in their own whimsy. The blue sky was beginning to take on a warmer tint, preparing itself to be stained in reds and violets. As midday gave way to the afternoon, Rogue's feelings of unease and nervousness returned nearly full force. His body had grown insanely alert, his heart beating faster and ears searching for any upset or disturbance. For some reason that he couldn't explain, the titan was antsy and feeling a great need to protect. Rogue dipped his head and released a jet of steam in anxiety. He just wanted to return to the cove with his little ones until the dreadful atmosphere vanished.
Placing the ball to his side and surrendering to a much-needed stretch, the boy gave in to his exhaustion. Suddenly, Rogue's little one snapped his fingers in self-aggravation. "Damn. I forgot to pack something to eat for breakfast." Armin chuckled lightly. "I feel so ignorant. I remembered everything but that."
The girl then blinked in surprise at the blonde's negligence and then rubbed the back of her neck sheepishly. "Don't worry Armin I forgot as well."
The titan watched, completely on edge, as his little one turned his attention to the sky, observing for a moment before turning back to the raven-haired girl. "There's still some daylight left. We could run back home really quickly and retrieve some more food." Armin smiled. "I don't know about you but I don't want to be hungry when I wake up!"
Hearing his little ones' human tongue and understanding their motif to an extent, the titan's instincts were nearly screaming at him. A disapproving grunt escaped from Rogue's lipless maw, making the children look to him in question. For a moment, eyes hooked on one another in misconception before the boy spoke up.
"Rogue? Are you sure you're alright?"
On impulse, the titan nodded with an encouraging grunt – yet again masking his fear. Hesitantly, his little one nodded in acknowledgement.
"Okay… well Mikasa and I are going home to get some food for the morning. We know you're excited, but we will be right back! Just wait for us. Mikasa and I won't be long! We promise!" Armin concluded as the two began to make their way back to the wall.
Feeling his mind surge with protection like a mother bear, Rogue quickly got to his feet and practically begged for his little ones to stop. The titan watched as the two small children turned to look up at him in question. For a moment, he thought he spotted aggravation laced within the two young faces.
"Rogue." The girl spoke, her tone surprisingly stern. "We're just leaving for a bit. Armin and I will be right back. Just wait at the cove and be patient. We know you're eager but please let us do this." His little one finished, to his dismay the two continuing off in the direction of their destination.
As they walked away, another sense of panic settled within the titan. Although he wished very much to keep his little ones and retreat, he knew that they had their needs for survival. His little ones could not go hungry. Making up his mind, Rogue took a step forward, the rumbling earth capturing the boy and girl's attention. Before he could read their faces, the titan carefully scooped the two up and gently placed them onto his shoulder. Making sure that his little ones had a grip on his locks; Rogue proceeded in the direction of the wall. Perhaps this way was safe and his little ones would avoid any foul encounter. If indeed the nearing threat were the growling four legged creatures, his little ones would be safe. The titan had always hated them. They were noisy and constantly feasted upon his animals in his forest. Not to mention, they had nearly killed one of his humans. If the amber-eyed lady could not stand a change against them, his little ones surely couldn't. Upon his shoulders, they were safe. Things would be okay.
Or so he thought.
"What are you doing Rogue?" The blonde spoke up after several giant steps and confusion. "Are you taking us home?"
Without a shred of hesitation, Rouge emitted a nod and a confident grunt. If his little ones were going to protest, he wasn't going to listen. Their safety was his priority.
"Well okay then." Mikasa said softly as she spun the strands of Rogue's hair in her hands. "Just don't exit the forest. Stay within the trees. Like Carla and Dr. Jaeger said, we can't have people seeing you."
Rogue sighed, steam leaking from his teeth. What his little one stated was true. Unfamiliar eyes could not look upon him. Remembering the location to the entrance of the wall, Rogue knew the tree line was not far from it. He could keep watch in safety as his little ones ventured to their sturdy home, and upon their return, he would carry them back to his lush hideaway – away from the dangerous world. The titan then finally nodded and continued to proceed forward with his nerves still eating away at him as if he was a carcass.
Within an hour, the titan had crouched safely within the trees, the leaves hiding him from view as he looked before him. The gate to the large wall was half his own height, but bustling with activity. Rogue looked on in curiosity and awe at the humans entering and exiting the structure. He had never seen quite so many humans before doing so many things. Besides speaking loads of human tongue to one another, the small beings carried cloth bags, pulled wooden boxes on circular objects, and even rode on the backs of a hoofed animal bigger than his deer. The titan felt himself wanting to give in to his desires, going forth to sit close and watch, listen, and touch everything. But of course, he had to keep himself on a leash.
"Okay Rogue, you can let us down now." His little one ordered kindly.
Instinctively, the titan sniffed and analyzed his surroundings. Strangely, everything seemed a bit calmer than earlier. In the short amount of time that had passed, Rogue's nerves pacified a bit to where he began to feel comfortable again. Perhaps the growling creatures had heard him walking through and decided to steer clear. The titan hid a sigh in relief and gave a nod to his little ones. Careful not to upset a single branch, Rogue released his precious cargo back to solid ground. The two children then turned to acknowledge him.
"Thanks." The blonde boy began as he pointed in the direction of the entrance. "Mikasa and I are going into there, where our home is. We won't be long, but it's best that you return to the cove and wait for us Rogue. Someone with a keen eye could spot you here. So don't worry. We'll be safe." Armin concluded with a smile.
Before the titan could give any form of objection, his little ones briskly walked from the trees into the crowd of bustling humans. Rogue squinted as he followed the two small shapes, eyes locked on their target as if they were watching the leather ball. As the two young children vanished into the superstructure, the titan let out a soft whine, hoping that what his little ones said was true. The titan then began to contemplate and weigh his options. He was beginning to feel better about his surroundings and the growling creatures were most likely far away by now. Taking another look at the many humans, Rogue made up his mind. The titan certainly did not want to compromise his relationship with both his little ones and his humans over being seen by straying eyes. As the children had told him, Rogue gradually snuck away from the tree line and back into the forest.
The sky had turned into a brilliant orange as the sun began its journey back below the horizon. Rogue walked steadily among the foliage, glancing over his broad shoulder to check if his little ones were trailing him. To his dismay, he only saw a mass of green. The titan let out a puff of steam as he continued in route to his cove, still wondering if he was doing the right thing.
Hearing a twig crack, the titan's head snapped behind him, thinking for sure that it was his little ones, but to his dismay it was only a rabbit. Sadly, he let out a disappointed huff before taking a step forward. He wished his little ones would hurry.
Suddenly, Rogue paused in the middle of the forest. The titan then felt his anxiety return full force. His heart thundered and his adrenaline flowed ice cold within his veins. Rogue's chest clenched like a vice as he began to pant. His body began to tremble in alarm and a shiver quaked down the titan's spine. Rogue's breath grew labored, hitched as the hairs upon his head rose up. The titan's green eyes widened in realization at his recollection, he had never felt this level of fear before. Something was very wrong.
The surrounding landscape grew deathly quiet. Rogue watched in terror as animals scurried beneath his feet and back into the brush. Birds flew from their branches, heading north at a brisk pace. It grew still again, the petrified titan's pounding heart the only sound that could be heard.
Before he could take another hitched breath or make any decision, several loud crashes erupted from the south near the wall – the titan feeling the great vibrations beneath the soles of his feet. Rogue let out a series of loud whines, knowing that his senses had been correct and that he had made a mistake. The titan was then mentally thrown into overdrive.
Knowing very well that he could not see beyond the giant trees to find the source, Rogue hastily turned his attention to the tallest tree near him. Making several more distressed drones, the titan motioned for the massive trunk and ran his hand along the brittle bark to test it. It was sturdy, but penetrable. Rogue was incredibly used to climbing the steep rock face of his cove, so this tree would be similar. The only real challenge was that it was completely vertical and not inclined, but the titan was persistent. Rogue then dug his clawed fingers into the bark, bending the strong wood but forming a sturdy grip. Remembering the ways his little ones climbed the much smaller trees, the fifteen-meter beast then began to ascend toward the heavens. Rogue's breath heaved with every move upward. His muscles began to scream with exertion and steam poured from his clenched teeth. The titan's body protested with each meter he climbed, but he had to see what turmoil had arisen. After much strain, Rogue reached the treetop. Grabbing a limb to sturdy himself, the titan looked out over the canopy – his green eyes catching a sight that made his hot skin grow cold and his heart completely stop.
Beyond his forest was the great wall, a section of it splitting off to surround a city full of human homes. Rogue's eyes grew bigger as he found the source to his day's misery. There, at the tip of the wall, rose a large skinless head that stared down at the human settlement with piercing and hatred filled eyes.
It was another titan – a sixty-meter titan.
In complete horror, Rogue watched as the colossal one effortlessly kicked at the seemingly impenetrable wall. He observed as rock and debris forcefully showered over the district, flattening buildings and turning the innocent and defenseless into nothing but red smears upon the cobbled walk. Surprisingly, the massive titan slowly retreated to give way to another nightmare. More titans, looking very much like him, entered the human city from the gaping hole, a portal from hell, and began to feast. Rogue released a long overdo screech – a cry of pain and anguish at the sight and the sounds of human distress. A sickening feeling hit his stomach, making the titan almost want to vomit. His humans were there and so were his little ones – ready to be eaten like cattle in a pin.
Hurriedly, Rogue descended from the tree in a sloppy fashion, taking little notice in the splinters that pierced his skin. He felt so ignorant! He had indeed made a mistake with horrifying consequences. If he had listened to his better judgment, his most precious friends would be safe inside the cove. He had made the wrong choice, now his companions were at the mercy of the titans. Pulling the large shards of wood from his flesh, Rogue sprinted to the wall. There was no decision to be made. The tender titan from the forest was not going to let anything happen to his humans or his little ones no matter what the risks.
Rogue ran as fast as his muscular legs could carry him, making the earth tremble and shaking the trees to their roots. The titan whimpered loudly with each step, hoping that he wasn't going to be too late. Soon, he found the wall. For a moment, Rogue stared at it in wonder; it was most defiantly higher than the tree. The titan then placed his hand upon the stone, running his fingers and sharp nails upon the bricks and between the grout. Like the rocks of his cove and in the forest, the wall was incredibly hard. Even if he could somehow scale up the fifty-meter wall, he could be too late. In his panicked state, Rogue searched his mind frantically, trying to focus on anything that could solve his current predicament. Suddenly, he recalled the other gate that his little ones ventured through earlier. Yes, there had been lots of humans there, but the titan was far too desperate. He had to get in the massive human home!
He then changed direction, sprinting in aim of the inner gate. Rogue's mind was blurry, filled with repulsive images of what could be happening to his four companions. They could be in his kinds' belly, snapped in half, or smashed into pulpy goo just like he had done to those three horrible men so many moons ago. The titan shook his head in a pitiful attempt to clear the thoughts, the technique barely working. Rogue bounded through the wood, toppling over a few trees and most likely stepping on a few animals – but he took no notice, only focused on his objective to search and rescue. The titan released another desperate screech as even more pained screams pounded his eardrums.
As the trees shrank and human footfalls grew louder, Rogue found himself slowing his pace. Quickly, he sulked below the low canopy and brushed a few limbs away from his line of sight. Nearly thirty meters away was the gate. Like before it was bustling with human activity, but now it was on a much larger scale – and they were not ordinary humans. The uniformed men that his little ones and his humans had told him about were hard at work. Although panicked like the prey that they were, the men shouted at one another in human tongue and pulled heavy objects upon circles through the gate. Rogue observed as they continued yelling at one another and lined a few of the big objects just outside. These uniformed men were not like the ones he had seen with a deer with one horn on their backs. This set of humans bore flowers red as blood upon them and their behavior was much more attentive and active. Rogue swallowed. The men looked more dangerous, but were also fearful. The titan's green eyes adverted back to the gate. As far as he knew, this was the only entrance and exit. He had no choice. Recalling the wise words of his humans, Rogue lifted his hand and placed it upon his nape. The titan then stood to his full height and bolted from the trees. For a moment, Rogue almost paused when the breeze hit his naked skin. He had never been out in the open as far as this. As much as he wanted to soak in his surroundings, his little ones and his humans were first.
The titan raced for the gate at full tilt, his thundering footsteps alerting the uniformed men who turned around in shock. Their faces were coated in fear as the fifteen-meter beast headed straight toward them.
"It's a fifteen-meter!"
"What the – the hell is it doing inside the walls!"
Rogue paid little attention to their words as he carried on, secretly bracing himself.
"Quick!" One of the uniformed men shouted above the pounding vibrations. "It's headed for the gate! Aim the cannons and fire!"
Surprisingly light on his feet, the titan sidestepped and weaved in and out of the men, careful not to hurt or flatten them on accident. A loud and echoing bang met Rogue's tapered ears as he felt something whiz right by him, followed by another and another.
"Wait a second, is it covering its weak spot?"
"It's protecting its nape!" The man announced to the others. "Reload and fire at its joints! Let's kill this bastard!"
A small sense of triumph washed over Rogue as he became just a few meters from his destination. Before he could officially start his mission, a searing pain shot through his calf and just above the titan's knee. Rogue stumbled a bit, roaring in utter anguish as his free hand grasped his leg. Pausing in his advance, the titan stuck his fingers deep into the bloody and steamy wound. Whimpering as his nails forced past muscle, the titan pulled the object free from his leg. It was a ball, but very unlike the one that he and his little ones often played with, it was heavy and made of iron. It served no whimsical purpose but was made to destroy – made to kill. Another loud bang sounded and pain penetrated his side as Rogue released another bellow of agony. Forcing himself to focus through his discomfort, the titan's green eyes turned to glare daggers at the uniformed men. For a tense moment, the humans paused as they bore witness to Rogue's disgusted gaze. As the commanding officer raised his hand to give another order, the titan announced his displeasure with a vicious snarl. He did not have time for this! He had to rescue his humans and little ones! Although he understood why they were firing at him, just because he was a titan, he desperately wanted them to stop. Recalling an action that Mikasa had taught him, one that wasn't a kind human gesture but was one that certainty meant to say 'go away and leave me alone' – Rogue held up his free hand in a perfectly fashioned fist with his middle finger on clear display.
The titan watched in satisfaction as the uniformed men froze in their shoes. Every face was painted in the look of sheer shock and some of the humans even dropped whatever they were currently holding. Emitting a cocky gruff, Rogue turned and entered the gate – crouching and shimmying his way through the short tunnel.
"Did you see that?"
"My god… did it just –
"Am I still buzzed or did that really just happen?"
However, Rogue paid no attention to the baffled men as he entered the human city. Returning to his full height, a cold shiver coursed down his immense frame. The human city was ravished and rupturing with screams. Rogue looked on in both fear and awe. The human homes here were quite a bit taller than those he had seen around the perimeter of his forest. They were made of stone, wood, lacquer, and terracotta as opposed from just the wood from trees. They would have been intriguing to look at and examine closely if they weren't battered or sprayed with blood. Rogue's eyes traveled over the rooftops, his breath caching in his lungs as he saw dozens of mindless titans looking to feed and greedily engorge themselves on human flesh. Rogue whimpered pitifully again, his fear for his own humans growing ever greater. He had to find them! He had too!
Below, many fleeing humans were screaming and aiming their obscenities at him. Rogue looked down abruptly, starling the small beings even more. For a second, the titan scanned the crowd for both his own humans and little ones. The curses were thrown harder. Not seeing his companions, Rogue let out another whine and carefully stepped aside – making sure not to hurt anyone in his vast wake. Once anew, he took no time in observing their confused reactions. He had a job to carry out – one he could not afford to fail at.
The titan weaved hurriedly around the human structures, his nose sniffing aggressively for his prized possessions. The sent of blood was heavy in the atmosphere, the foul smelling stench only making Rogue more and more troubled. What if he was already too late and his companions were already dead? The cultivated titan shook his head to clear the thoughts of dismay and focus on looking for his friends – hoping that he wasn't looking for bodies. Suddenly, a flash of bright yellow and a familiar cry met his eyes and ears. Rogue's heart rose in his chest, knowing very well that it was one of his little ones. The titan then scanned the ground to see that his little one, Armin, was kneeled on the blood painted walk. The small boy was sobbing in desperation, water leaking greatly from his eyes as he pulled at another human who was trapped by a burning beam. His little one called the others name, the human that was known as his grandfather the titan remembered, but his pleas were useless. The old human was dead, his face still solidified in fear.
Rogue moaned loudly as he gently bent over and brushed Armin with his finger. The titan watched as the boy quickly turned to him with his face twisted in anguish and his small body trembling, but Armin surprisingly radiated with need and relief at the friendly beast's presence. Without wasting another second, Rogue scooped up Armin as carefully as he could, delicate like handling a newborn as he placed his little one upon his shoulder. Feeling the boy get secure in his hair, the titan stood once again.
"Rogue." His little one choked against a coat of tears. "What are you doing –
"NNiikASA!" Rogue begged in desperation, his green eyes wide with alarm as he waited for an answer from the boy, hoping he could help guide him in the right direction. "CUURRRla! GrrrssAAh!"
Armin pointed to the west without delay. Rogue gave a quick nod in understanding before taking off in the direction that the boy had informed, making sure to steer clear of the other titans in fear that they would spot his surviving little one upon his shoulder. Rogue nearly bounded over buildings as he took further instructions from his little human, still careful not to accidentally step on anyone as he moved. The titan felt himself whining pitifully again like a tormented animal. Many tense minutes of searching passed and his eyes only saw carnage and chaos. Fire burned throughout the district, ashes and blood falling like rain and snow. Rogue called out once again with a long, deplorable wail that echoed among the rapidly emptying district. He attempted to use his acute sense of smell once again, but it was inoperable for every sent had been covered up by the stench of death. The titan cried out again, hoping to hear a familiar response. Rogue paused, listening as best as he could through the turmoil but his ears picked up nothing. He glanced back at the gate that was now miles from him. Was it possible that his humans and his other little one made it out safely? Or did they perish and meet their fate?
Unexpectedly, a distrait cry pelted his eardrums. Rogue turned abruptly to see a small child, none other than his little one, racing for him with her face glazed in tears. The titan quickly bent down and guided Mikasa into his palm, the girl hugging his hot flesh in desperation. Before he could place her with his other little one, Rogue watched as she suddenly pointed afore them. For a moment he was confused, his mind still slightly foggy from panic. After a few gratifying seconds, her demand came clear to the titan. He looked up and saw something that made his blood run cold and his body still in shock.
It was a sight that would plague his mind and nightmares forever.
A large piece of debris had crushed a small human dwelling into rubble and dust. Rogue's eyes widened in terror and his ears wilted at the sight. Standing above the splintered remains of the demolished home was a hideous ten-meter titan. Its body was horribly disproportional and lanky compared to his own. Its dark and dead eyes were beady and sunken into its skull. The mindless titan's mouth was permanently fixed into a mocking smile to disguise its true terrifying nature. Its visible teeth were decorated in crimson, a leg hanging limply from its jaws. In its filthy gore stained hands, it held a defenseless and beautiful woman – her cry the very same to the one that she sounded when they first met.
He had found his human. His Carla. Presently severed in the titan's maw was his other human, the now deceased Dr. Jaeger -dead and the other waiting for the reaper's scythe.
Rogue's heart fell to his stomach. His muscles froze, and his brain buzzed - eyes transfixed on the scene unfolding before him and unable to venture elsewhere. The titan discharged a horrified wail as he hurriedly placed his little one upon his shoulder and commanded himself to run. His human! Grisha was dead! He could not lose Carla! He would not let that happen! He just couldn't!
The ten-meter then raised its grabby hand to Carla's petite body, it's fingers wrapping around the screeching woman's frame.
"CUUURRRLLAAA!" Rogue screamed as he reached desperately held out his hand as if he could magically pluck her from the monster's grasp even though that with the distance that was between them, the attempt was impossible.
The grinning beast then grasped Carla's body – and yanked, snapping her spine like a flimsy toothpick. Her body then hung loosely, draped like cloth over the massive fingers as the titan raised the once beautiful woman to its jaws. Rogue howled in agony as he charged further, still intending on saving his human even though she was now a corpse. In what seemed like slow motion, the ten meter rose Carla higher and placed her between its teeth, provoking Rogue's little ones to hide their eyes. The gentle titan watched in mortification as the monster's blunt teeth came down and bit poor Carla in half.
The chaos stilled, as Rogue stood petrified, hypnotized by the gruesome sight of his beloved human's blood and insides dripping down the smiling titan's lips and painting its rib lined chest in red. The titan tilted its head back and swallowed his human like precious meat, looking pleased with itself at its horrid deed. Rogue lowered his arm as if he was in a trance, letting out a low moan in sorrow. The ten-meter then acknowledged the fifteen-meter's presence, looking to him with its dark eyes shining almost gloriously and its mouth pinned in its perpetual smile – mocking him before it slowly began to look around its surroundings for more morsels.
The eerie atmosphere continued; the only clear sounds were his little ones whimpering in his ear. His humans, his dear ones – they were gone. Forever. He would never see them again thanks to these towering monsters unlike him. Rogue's body began to tremble, a mass of feelings welling up from his pit. The creature before him felt nothing. It had no remorse and no emotion; it was made of pure evil and hatred. It didn't care about anything except for where its next meal was coming from. These distorted figures were embodiments of hell itself. Although he was one of them, they were not him. They were a blight upon the cruel world that needed to be destroyed.
The titan before him then took a few steps in the opposite direction, continuing its soul duty to fill its stomach. Rogue's mind churned with the image of his humans being helplessly devoured – fueling a primal need. Anger and regret flowed through his veins, slowly transforming into unbridled rage. His breath roughened and his muscles clenched, alarming his little ones upon his shoulder. They spoke his name, but the titan's mind was too submerged in revenge. Steam escaped in large puffs from Rogue's nostrils and teeth as his eyes glowed a solid and menacing green. The monster before him was much worse than the growling creatures or the greedy men that took his little ones many moons go! This thing had destroyed a part of him that he was never going to get back.
For that – he would deliver its punishment.
A massive growl vibrated through the titan's throat, sending his little ones a wordless message to hold on – Armin and Mikasa placing themselves just behind the titan's pointed ears and entangling their small bodies in his hair for security as they braced for the imminent horror. Swallowed by fury, Rogue tilted his head back and released an earth-shattering roar that shook the very earth he stood upon and shattered surrounding glass. The fifteen-meter titan then lunged, swinging his fist into the smiling titan's chest. A horrible and sickening crack sounded as the ten-meter's rib cage collapsed from the brutal force. The smaller titan was thrown several meters away into a remaining building, its weight crushing it into rubble. Rogue prowled forward, his eyes wild as he watched the smiling titan struggle to stand upright. He released another formidable roar and placed himself over his foe – the panicked noises from his enemy pleasing him. Rogue then hauled the titan violently to its feet and threw it into another nearby human dwelling. He snarled ferociously and pinned the ten-meter to the ground with a single foot. Rogue then gripped the titan's arm tightly, and with a nearly effortless jerk, ripped the limb clean from the monster's body. Hot crimson sprayed his frame and the brick structures, the sight so satisfying that it was almost beautiful to Rogue. The scent of his victim's life juices poured into his nostrils, a vulgar odor becoming a provoking perfume. Rogue screeched defiantly as his did the very same with the mindless titan's other limb. Although he could so easily kill it by ripping out the nape – it was much more satisfying to torture before sentencing death.
The smiling titan screeched for a sense of mercy that would never come as Rogue flipped it over to face him. He snarled and planted his fist into the titan's abdomen, the flesh giving way and revealing the creature's stomach. Rogue then dug his hand into the steaming tissues and grasped the organ in a stronghold. With another powerful and angry roar, the titan pulled the large and swollen gullet from the ten-meter's body – simply tossing it aside. The permanently smiling monster wailed in misery as Rogue picked up its heavily damaged lower half and severed it with a forceful pull from its midsection. Now that the monster was nothing but a head and half a torso with its arms beginning to regenerate, Rogue carried his prey and slammed it down again upon the earth. Again, he threw punches, his own hands breaking from the force of his blows. The titan paused for a breath and let his hands heal, his glowing green eyes bearing into the ten-meter with sheer dislike. The limbs of the titan below him began to take shape further, bringing a decision to Rogue's furious mind. He would end this now.
The fifteen-meter creature then lifted the severely battered titan from the bloodstained walk. Rogue then rotated his prey and unhinged his serrated jaws, sinking his teeth deep into the titan's nape. The taste of hot iron filled his mouth, disgusting but satisfying his taste for revenge. With a fluid rise of his head, Rogue obliterated the creature's neck just like the predator that he was destined to be.
The titan dropped the steaming carcass from his grip and spit the hunk of meat from his mouth. Rogue heaved a breath before letting out a loud mourning bellow. It then grew quiet once more except for the titan's shuttering breath. Rogue stumbled a bit from mental impair, making his little ones emerge slightly and rub his neck in an attempt to soothe – doing almost nothing. Shock soon replaced anger and sent Rogue into a trance like state. The titan then turned and headed in the direction that he came, leaving behind his evaporating victim. He moved uneventfully through the fallen district, paying no heed to his surroundings. Rogue then followed a group of titans through the now destroyed gate in complete mortification. As the titans moved in the direction that their future meals were located, Rogue veered off and ventured back into his forest, leaving the chaos behind him.
Night was nearing the world once again, attempting to settle it from the rousing terror that the day had suffered. The air in the forest was tense as Rogue gradually made his way through the wood – his mind about to dive into turmoil. Since he had left the wall, his mind was in a continuous loop of agony and distress. His surviving little ones, although emotionally battered as well, had attempted to calm the titan down – their efforts showing no sign in working. Rogue then climbed back into his cove, his limbs shaky with every movement. Every living creature seemed to watch the titan as he suddenly collapsed to his knees, making a crater and jolting his cargo. Rogue's body shivered as he reached up and retrieved his little ones. As if his arm went limp, Rogue's hand dropped to the grass with the two children tumbling unharmed from his palm. The titan then bent over, his long locks touching the lush ground and his arms snaking upward to hug his frame – his own nails nearly breaking his though hide.
Rogue looked to his little ones before him, his monstrous face heavy with pain. He had failed his objective. He couldn't save everyone he knew. Sure, his little ones were out of harm's way, but he had been too late to save his humans. Images and memories began to replay through his mind. There was the doctor who had spent long hours of his day to mentor him; teaching him about the cruel world that they lived in. Then there was the beautiful Carla whose eyes were colored like honey. Rogue recalled the kind ways she spoke to him, rubbed his ears, comforted, and always encouraged him. Tears began to flow from the titan's eyes, the beast whining like a pup wanting its mother as he began to repeatedly heave to and fro. He was their designated son, adopted by his humans despite being a deadly species that was a threat to mankind. Now, he was never going to see them! He was never going to hear their loving voices and feel their caring touch! Never ever again! They were gone!
The titan's little ones, hearing the stressed noises, looked up from their own sorrowful hug as Rogue continued to tremor and cry, his nails cutting deep into his flesh. He adverted his eyes away to the tear soaked grass. It – was his fault. His little ones depended on their older humans. Carla, the doctor, and Armin's grandfather – he could have saved them if he had not hesitated. It was his fault that they were dead!
"Rogue?" Mikasa sniffed, holding in her sorrow. "Rogue… please. Please don't –
Without warning, the devastated titan threw his head back and released an echoing wail, once that was crippled with rage and sadness. His mind clouded, Rogue scrambled to his feet and darted to the exit of the cove with his claws bearing into the mossy stone. He had to get away, rampage… everything was his fault. The titan then charged back into the forest, roaring and snarling as he pelted the innocent landscape with examples of his fury. As he went along, the titan threw his fists into sturdy trees, chucked rocks, kicked the thick brush, and even gnawed into the bark – destroying parts of the very forest that he had lived in for decades. He took no notice as he broke and severed his own limbs; to him it felt like fit punishment for what he had done.
With his left leg flying off for the fifth time, Rogue stumbled into a clearing – his face slamming against the unforgiving ground and knocking more of his teeth out. The pitiful beast then dragged himself with his battered hands to the nearest tree, moaning and continuing to drown in his misery. The titan's muscles screamed as he propped himself as best as he could upon his knee. Letting out another cry, Rogue weakly swung his fist into the rough bark. For the first time in his lifetime, eye water had coated his face. What had he done to deserve all of this? Why was the world so cruel to him?
His fist insipidly pounded the tree a few more times before his arm dropped limply to his side. Thunder began to echo across the dimming sky from an incoming storm. As his body began to heal from his self-inflicted abuse, Rogue buried his face into the bark and whined continuously. He had been so stupid. Why didn't he go with his instincts? Many questions sliced through his head, making the poor, ugly, innocent titan feel worse and worse.
A series of now familiar substantial footsteps sounded through the clearing. Unceremoniously, Rogue slowly raised his head and let the foul scents seep into his nostrils. His mind then clicked at his realization. The titan gradually turned to see five of his ungrateful kind coming into the clearing. Rage then replaced sorrow.
'No.' The word echoed in Rogue's head, nearly throwing him off guard. The voice – his voice, his own conscious had woken. It was much different from his tone that he spoke from his mouth: a gruff and unintelligible voice that mispronounced nearly every word. This voice was so deep and sinister sounding that it almost terrified him.
With his blood boiling hotter as the titan stood upon his newly healed legs, Rogue narrowed his glowing green eyes in resentment as he forced himself to finish the thought.
'This…' The titan continued as he tried to fit the correct words that his humans and little ones had taught him together. 'Is…'
The five mindless titans lumbered closer, their frozen faces of pleasure provoking Rogue's fury to its limits.
He had not done anything wrong. It was his evil kin. They had come. They had done this.
At the end of his inner declaration, Rogue released a savage roar and began his hunt. He threw himself at the nearest titan with his fist meeting its face – the force of the blow knocking the monster's head clean from its shoulders and into a nearby boulder with a horrifying crack. The headless body felt to Rogue's feet and then attempted to get up once again to face its opponent. With another bellow, the fifteen-meter raised his leg and smashed his large foot onto the nape; blood sprayed the lower half of his body as the creature was killed instantly. Rogue almost wanted to smile. The feeling of bringing a small sense of justice to his deceased humans was exhilarating.
He then turned to see a thirteen-meter running clumsily toward him. Like the lightening above, Rogue swiftly jabbed his claws deep into the titan's throat. With a clean pull, the beast's trachea was ripped free. He took pride in seeing the beast in pain, the blood alluring – beautiful. Rogue then quickly tore at the nape once again with his bare hands, now roaring not in sadness but in triumph.
Before he could move onto his next prey, a searing pain coursed trough his arm. Rogue's furious eyes turned to see that a seven-meter had launched itself up onto his bicep – teeth clamping into his firm muscle. Instinctively, Rogue pried the heavily disfigured titan from his arm; his sharp nails digging into its face and eyes. Effortlessly, he threw the screeching titan to the ground and stomped on it repeatedly with the clearing coating in steaming crimson.
'I…' Rogue pondered as he began to tear into the body of his next victim, the thought of his true sense of purpose sinking in. The reason why he was so different, why this seemed easy – it was starting to make sense. 'WILL…'
The fourth titan then fell dead at his feet, innards decorating the glade. Rogue then turned to face his last foe, another fifteen-meter with a swollen torso and permanently frowning face. Its small dead eyes stared blankly into Rogue's glowing green orbs, completely oblivious to the hell it was about to face.
Rogue opened his mouth and roared a threatening invite, daring the monster to come after him. The titan primed himself as the giant charged, eagerly waiting for his opening.
Before the fifteen-meter could reach to land any form of attack, Rogue produced a nasty undercut to his kind's chin, sending the head skyward before it fell several meters into the earth. Rogue then hoisted the large bulk of meat up and sunk his teeth into the titan's back before ripping the monster's spine from its body and obliterating the nape. With his final foe slain, Rogue tilted his head and released his displeasure to the stormy sky in another immense howl.
The atmosphere then grew silent except for the pouring rain and the hiss of steaming carcasses. Rogue's mind began to calm as he stood in the clearing. With his rage and frustration suppressed, he was able to think rationally. Yes, the words that Dr. Jaeger had spoken time and time again now had meaning. He did have a purpose after all.
Rain continued to fall as darkness replaced the red and violet sky. The titan now stood outside his cove after his long trek back. Rogue winced a bit as his fingers dug into his side and freed the small iron ball he had acquired before. He found himself waiting as the wound steamed and closed. Knowing his behavior from earlier had most likely startled his little ones; Rogue did not want to give them any indication of what he had done. After what all they had lost and seen, he did not want them to suffer further by worrying about him. He was now all they had left.
After a few minutes, he finally climbed up the rock face and into his hidden haven. To his surprise, the two children were waiting for him at the base of his tree – looking tired and worn like an old blanket. They looked to him in question and unease, but Rogue mustered up a tender gaze to deceive them from his great sadness. With greater care than before, the titan picked up his little ones and ventured into the hollow trunk. Curling in on himself, Rogue then placed the two small children upon his chest in love and protection. He remained awake as he watched the two quickly fall into repose. With his little ones, his precious babies, in a deep sleep, Rogue let his emotions gradually emerge. The titan whined softly as the thunder continued to roll. His green eyes remained on his two tiny humans as he thought. He had been placed here to protect. Rogue would guard and take care of his little ones as they had done unto him. He would protect every helpless human in this cruel world. He would kill all the titans, every last one of them.