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Author Topic: In Plain Sight [Eren]  (Read 1160 times)

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2020, 08:46:51 PM »
All he wanted to be was safe? Eren's jaw dropped, practically agape like the most mindless of titans, at the admittance. He didn't think Bertholdt could be that... dismissive of it.

But Bertholdt's continuing speech just confirmed it, and it felt like betrayal, before he recognised it as anger at the injustice of it. The analogy was simple enough that Eren could easily understand, but frustrating enough that his mouth closed and his teeth grit together instead. What the tall boy said wasn't just insulting, it was plain stupid!

Finally, he snapped. "Just because you're a coward doesn't mean everyone else is!" Standing sharply, Eren rested his hands on the surface of the table and glared at him, his eyes sparking in anger. "There's nothing here for me in the Walls, not without Wall Maria. Not without my home! I'm going to make the Colossal Titan pay for what it did!!" He snarled out the promise, thumping the wood with a fist. Leaning over the table, he looked at Bertholdt and added, "All you're doing is holding yourself back to protect yourself. You're never going to get home without me and the Survey Corps doing the work for you. But you're looking down on us like we're dirt under your boot. You're so scared of dying that you can't see how selfish you're being!"

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2020, 09:05:53 PM »
Though he hadn't expected quite the reaction he got, Bert would be fibbing if he had said he wasn't expecting to irritate Eren with his words. The boy was clearly aiming for the Scouts, and though it was rude, he was just being honest to the younger boy about how the various regiments operated.

I'm going to make the Colossal Titan pay for what it did!

That line made Bert cast his gaze from the window to the floor, wondering how many other people had such vindictive feelings for the Titan that had started all of this? For him? Probably thousands. Every single person who lost a family member in Shiganshina, or in the ensuing aftermath caused by the loss of Wall Maria. When the boy's tirade was finished, Bertholdt leaned forward again resting his own hands on the tabletop as he locked eyes with Eren. "You're right Eren. I know everyone isn't a coward like me, that's why I'm helping you. I won't- can't fight the titans myself. But you can, so I want you to be well prepared."

The intensity in Eren's voice hadn't seemed to quite carry over to the anger in his eyes. It was still there, but nowhere near as heavy as his verbiage. "I am scared of dying Eren. I want to live a long and happy life, and fighting the titans won't really achieve that for me. It might be selfish, but that's just the way it is."

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2021, 10:04:03 PM »
Eren didn't back down or relax, not even a little bit. He stared at Bertholdt with the ferocity of a hunter, not the hunted like he felt he was, and grit his teeth as the older boy replied. It didn't matter that Bertholdt was twice his size and almost age. The small firebrand could have leaped across the table there and then and tackled him, but he knew he'd be blocked and Bertholdt was agreeing with him anyway.

Even if the agreement still pissed him off.

"What good is living if we sit in this pit just waiting for titans to pick off everyone we love until they finally get to us?" he asked bitterly. "How happy can a long life be then? Especially if they come back! You're smart, Bertholdt. You're fast and you're good at lessons. Not every Scout goes out on every expedition!" Part of him felt like begging him to see sense. To see that having him on his side, not behind the scenes, would help him more.

But he wasn't going to turn down Bertholdt helping him either. "But if you can't do that-- the least you can do is help as many of us as possible," Eren determined. Armin was smart, but he wasn't strong. Mikasa was strong, but she followed more than led. He was... he was different. And he did need every bit of help he could. "Help all of us going into the scouts, and maybe we'll get rid of those damn monsters once and for all. But if you can help, if you can find the strength you need to conquer this... this selfishness!... then join us."

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2021, 08:58:15 PM »
Bertholdt supposed that even if he were honestly what the younger boy saw him as through his stated intentions, history, and character as a whole, he would still have to give him the answer of cowardice. If he were just a teenager who'd come from a small village in a remote part of Wall Maria, who'd joined the Survey Corps a few months after his life had been taken away as he knew it, he would likely opt away from the Scouts. If he couldn't rank high enough for the MPs, he'd go to the Garrison instead.

"A long life can be as happy as I chose to make it. If I can prosper, and start a family, and live, then I'll be happy. I don't need to change the world for the better to feel at peace, Eren." He stated frankly, keeping his green eyes locked on those of the other boy.

A sigh escaped his lips after Eren was finished shouting. Being impassioned was a good thing sometimes, there were certainly a few things that could make the otherwise reluctant young man stand up straight and put his back into it. But Eren was almost zealous in his cause to retake the ground that was currently crowded with Titan footprints. "You call me selfish, yet you are asking me to join the scouts..? Eren, If I'm selfish for wanting to live a happy life, then you are too for wanting me to give it up." Bertholdt proposed, bringing a closed fist up to rest his cheek on as he continued to gaze across the table.

"I'll help you study and train. Anything you want from me that I can do, I will do. But I won't throw my life away because of what happened to all of us. Revenge is a fool's game, especially against those with no comprehension of it."

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2021, 10:34:03 PM »
Eren couldn't see it - he saw his point of view alone, not the one that he thought might be Bertholdt's. Incapable of comprehending the other's spoken desires, the boy saw only the dark herald that had taken everything from him. Cowardice. Hannes had not been brave enough, fear of titans had turned the Garrison into a shell of what they were meant to be, and a lack of soldiers had driven the Scouts into the ground each expedition.

That was the truth as he took it to be.

So he could not see the selfishness in his words, and nor could he understand the truth in Bertholdt's words. Instead his anger flared once more, this argument spinning around his head. Bertholdt was strong, but he wasn't brave. If there was another Carla Jaeger out there, a cowardly Bertholdt would surely contribute to her death.

Years later, he might look upon this thought and scream at his younger self.

"Being a soldier is about dedicating your heart!" he spat. Once more incapable of understanding that Bertholdt's words kept that in mind. His dedication was swept in blood and blade, the symbols he sought to live his life by. "You want your home but you're too selfish to fight for it yourself!"

Tears beaded at his eyes, angry and hot. They swelled at his cheeks and rolled down without notice.

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2021, 06:34:01 PM »
Eren had already shown himself as heated during this conversation, but until now, he hadn't exactly seemed to be that close to a tipping point. Bertholdt blamed himself for it. A lot of people often didn't want to hear logic when they were discussing something emotional. Bertholdt personally hadn't ever felt that way, it simply wasn't in his character- but it made him feel a little inconsiderate that he hadn't taken such a factor into account when talking to the younger boy.

The tears rolling down Eren's cheeks didn't go unnoticed, and even someone as sin-ridden as Bertholdt could feel bad for him. His parents were both dead, his home was gone, and everything he'd known for his entire life had been upended.

Bertholdt stood up from the table and walked around to the other side, sitting beside the young boy and placing a hand on his back. "I'm sorry..." Not just for being a 'coward', but for what he'd secretly done. Reiner's decision to join the Cadet Corps continued to have lasting effects on them all, especially in the form of increasing the guilt that they already felt. So many of their new comrades had experienced incomparable loss, because of the three of them, and all they could do was stay silent and feel shame and sin.

"It's okay to feel angry."

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2021, 09:14:50 PM »
Eren practically buzzed with rage and upset, his shoulders shaking as he worked to keep himself under control and his head in one piece. He could have split into sobs or screams that would make no sense to even himself. But he fought to keep it together. Up until Bertholdt touched him.

Sinking to his knees, Eren bent his head and let the tears, hotter than the fiery water Armin had shown in his book, run down his face. Was it okay to feel angry? It wasn't okay that any of this was happening! But he didn't say that, not immediately. He let himself be consumed by the internal rage and the grief that had never been fully processed. He'd mourned his mother and questioned where his father could be now, but he'd never been able to really think about what happened to them. One dead in front of him, one disappeared into nothing.

Every time he thought of them he broke down and buried it again.

"This... is all... because of the titans," he sobbed out, not even sure if Bertholdt was listening. Didn't care if he wasn't. "If they hadn't kicked down Wall Maria-- if-- if we were still h-home..." He sucked in a great, shuddering breath. "We wouldn't have to f-f-fight to get back home. N-none of us. You wouldn't have to be here. Most... most cadets wouldn't, the ones who... who like y-you don't want to be here..."

He knew that much, though he still couldn't comprehend how they actually felt. But he knew that, with Wall Maria, a lot less cadets would have to face up to the question on how selfish they were.

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2021, 04:26:13 PM »
Bertholdt was fine sitting at Eren's side for a while. What had been originally planned as a tutoring session had soon turned to a discussion of life choices, and no apparently to a counseling session. Bertholdt wasn't quite sure what he'd gotten himself with this boy, but he couldn't very well leave him to sob and cry all by himself in this otherwise empty building. He needed someone right now.

"I know Eren. But.. we can't change what's already happened. I'm sorry about everything you've gone through, I can't even begin to imagine what that day was like for you." He assumed, like most others in Shiganshina, Eren had been transfixed on the giant, skinless head that peered over the wall that evening. Bertholdt's head, in the form of the Colossus. He'd not seen any distinguishable features on any person in the district, but surely Eren had been terrified in that moment. And then, according to the boy himself, that debris from the kicked in gate was what crushed his house, sealing his mother's fate. "Eren, just get it out.." Bertl pat him on the back a few more times, gently, just trying to make sure he was alright.

"I'll.. tell you what Eren. If I don't rank high enough for the MPs, I'll join the Scouts and help you take back our homes." The promise was about as empty as one could be. Bertholdt had no doubt, even being just a few months into the cadet training, that he was going to take one of the spots in the top 40 overall. Annie and Reiner would too, undoubtedly. Their path to the Military Police was all but assured, but Eren didn't need to know that right now.

"Uh... my dad told me something once, a long time ago, when I was a little kid. If someone takes everything you have, they still won't be able to take your tears..." A rather depressing anecdote to tell an adolescent, but an applicable one, nonetheless. "So.. it's okay to cry, and to feel sad. Especially if that's all you can really do."

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2021, 08:52:17 PM »
Bertholdt was soft-spoken, with the sort of voice that didn't seem all that capable of anger or upset, at least in Eren's opinion. There were plenty of cadets in their year who had seen death march towards them as they struggled out of Wall Maria. With that came several types of people. Those who were so overly emotional that they could break out in tears within seconds, like Eren. Others who seemed hardly to shed a tear and were seemingly incapable of feeling it, and others yet that kept it contained within them, a storm brewing and waiting to be released.

Eren's tears settled quickly. He'd found that since the fall of the Wall. He'd always been very emotional but it was to a new height. Perhaps it was his body's way of coping?

Whatever the reason, he listened in silence and let himself calm down, knowing the tears would stop flowing. Then the ride of emotions would return. It was inevitable, really.

"It's just frustrating," he said, half-replying and half... just spilling his guts. "Knowing how much people give up but everyone is too wrapped up in their own lives to give a damn about everyone else. And everyone's always judging the Scouts for dying for them, as if that's really what they're doing! It's not fair... it's not fair how much the Scouts give up for everyone else and only ever get shit in return."

More than that, it wasn't fair that people could be so selfish. How could anyone be content with being trapped in the Walls?

Eren drew in a sharp breath. "We're not meant to be caged up in here. I know we're not! Why can't anyone see that?"

Re: In Plain Sight [Eren]
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2021, 10:26:28 PM »
It's just frustrating

Bertholdt could certainly relate to that. He, maybe more than either of his other comrades, understood the meaning of that word. And, even to his own surprise, Bertholdt realized just how similar a feeling he'd had so much recently compared to what Eren was expressing. The sensation of utter helplessness, while those around you simply made choices that served their own self interest, when they could've been a great help.

Perhaps no situation was more apparent for this feeling than when his longtime friend, Marcel Galliard, was devoured before his eyes. Bertholdt could do nothing then. His titan was useless, his affinity for firearms even more so, but his long legs had worked harder than ever before in his life to flee the scene. But Annie and Reiner, as much as he hated pinning the blame for what happened that morning on them, could have saved Marcel. It would've been close, but if they had transformed with their titans, they would've had a moment of opportunity in which they could have killed that titan and saved their one time leader. Alas, no such split-second decisions were made.

"I know how you feel Eren. That the world beyond should be accessible to us. That there shouldn't be killers blocking our path and keeping us from seeing everything the world has to offer. But there are, and... we can't change that. Most people have realized that. We can only make do with what we have. To change the whole world is a seemingly impossible task, nobody wants to be the one to give up what they have, to sacrifice themselves so everyone else can have a better life." Again, none of this was likely what Eren wanted to hear, but Bertholdt couldn't help it. Being pragmatic was simply part of who he was.

"I appreciate that you want to be that change, and you want others to feel the same way as you.. but you just can't."


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