I feel sick. My head is throbbing and my body feels faint. Another trail of blood trickles down from my nose. I finally make it outside. My body slides down to the ground.
A little fresh air might make things a bit better. I can't keep going like this anyway, so it's better to sit down for now. Anywhere will do. I'd rather not faint.
I have enough on my plate as it is. Although, to be honest, a bit of sleep sounds like heaven right now. I just want to forget everything I'm feeling.
I knew it since the start - I should have never gotten this close to the Commander. I should have never let myself fall for him to this extent.
I would have been better off watching and admiring him from the sidelines.
- Screw all of this! It hurts...God damn it...It hurts...
My vision feels all hazy. I can only make out the figure of my best friend. My body feels extremely heavy. I somehow get up, and attempt to walk towards him.
But in no time I stumble back to the ground, hitting my head hard and blackout completely.
Jean quickly made his way to Desi, and picked her up in his arms. He felt something wet on the hand he was holding her head with, and upon examining it noticed it was blood.
- What the hell, Shortie...
He ran as fast as he could with Desi in his arms.
- Mommy, mommy, look at me! Don't you think I look like one of the Survey Corps??
- Don't be silly! Take that towel off and come help me!
- Daddy! Please, don't go! Stay, Daddy!
- You know I can't. Daddy has an important job to do.
- When will I see you again, Daddy??
- Soon, I promise.
- Daddy, stop! I don't want this!
- This is your role, and you need to accept it.
- No, please don't, Daddy!
- Stay still!
- You are very beautiful!
- Not as beautiful as you, Young Lady.
- I want to be in the Survey Corps when I grow up!
- In that case, I will be waiting for you.
- We need to run as fast as we can! Don't let go of my hand, until we make it to the boat!
- Yes, Mom!
Agh! It's all a damn blur. I feel like I haven't moved in forever. Too many places hurt at once. I move a hand to my head, and that's when I feel the bandage around it.
Where the hell am I? I was with my mom just a second ago, escaping from the titan invasion...Wait...That's not...entirely true...
If it were, I shouldn't be remembering all kinds of events with the Survey Corps....
I hear a faint voice call out to me. My ears are pretty much ringing, so I can't really make out who it belongs to. Come on, eyes, focus! I at least want to see his face.
My prayers are answered almost instantly.
- Finally, Shortie! I was getting worried! You were mumbling in your sleep, and it seemed like you were having a nightmare. Quickly, how many fingers am I holding??
I raise my eyebrow.
- Really, Jean?
- I'm serious! Now, tell me.
- Four, including the one you were apparently trying to eat?
Jean takes notice of his slightly bleeding finger.
- Hey, that's because I was worried! I know it's а bad habit...
- I'm fine now...I think. How long was I out for?
- A couple of hours.
I'm trying to make sense of all the confusing memories, and put order into the scattered puzzle pieces.
Is it possible I actually got my memory back? If that's true, I admired Erwin even before he rescued me, and for such a long time. How could I even forget that...
Tears emerge from my eyes, which puts Jean into a panic.
- Shortie, what's wrong?! Does it hurt somewhere?!
- Yes...it does...it hurts here...
I place a hand on my chest, where my heart is aching uncontrollably. The next few minutes Jean gets to hear the whole story from beginning to end, including what happened earlier today.
I'm not sure how much he understood, since I'm half crying, half talking. To my surprise, in the end he doesn't look a tiny bit surprised.
- You really don't understand men, do you, Shortie?
- Excuse me?
- Of course he wouldn't want to face you in the condition he's in. I would act the same way, if I were him. His pride is damaged.
It's only natural he doesn't want the girl he likes to see him in such a shameful state.
- Pride? All of this is because of his pride??
I face palm dramatically.
- You're telling me I felt bad for nothing?
- Well, it's not exactly nothing. It's something important for any man.
- For the love of God...
Well, now I'm angry, more than anything else.
- You also have your pride, Shortie, you should understand what is going through his mind. Try to put yourself in his shoes.
Jean's words make me fall into a deep thought. I sigh, defeated.
- I guess you're right. If that's the only problem, I know what to do! - I practically shout, full of determination.
- I already pity the Commander, somehow. - says Jean, scratching his cheek.
I don't pay attention to his words, though, because I'm already devising the whole idea in my head. I quickly get out of the bed, forgetting I was hurt in the first place.
I hug Jean tightly, thanking him for his help, and head for the door.
- Wait, Shortie, what about your injury?
- Oh, this thing?
I remove the bandage, and show him the back of my head.
- It's already fine, see? I have some extra abilities now, remember?
I sprint outside, and head for the closest marketplace.
I can't stop the excitement, nestled in the pit of my stomach. Every other feeling I experienced before getting my memories back is put aside for now.
If what Captain Levi told me is correct, Erwin should be taking a nap right now. I had to apologize and bow at least a hundred times, before he gave me that information.
I deserved that, so it's fine. I enter the room, and try not to make too much noise. The Commander is sleeping soundly. I make it to his side, and my gaze instantly stops on his sleeping face.
I haven't seen it in a while. He's got quite the stubble once again. I can't help myself. My hand runs through his cheek, my eyes smiling. I almost jump when his voice catches me off guard.
- Desi, what are you doing here?
- Ah! Commander! You scared me!
Why am I back to calling him Commander?
- I wanted to check on you, of course. I haven't seen you since you got hurt.
- I'm doing fine, but I want to be alone.
Not happening, Erwin.
- You know you can talk to me about it, right?
- There really isn't anything to talk about.
Come on, Desi, you can do it!
- Look, Commander...Erwin, I won't try to understand how you feel. But I won't allow you to throw away what we have because you feel ashamed or embarrassed about your state.
Because, really, it doesn't matter to me...
- Well, it matters to me!
I bite my lips in frustration, and in an attempt not to lose it as well.
- Taking it out on me isn't going to solve anything. I feel responsible enough as it is, but I'm trying to work past that. Can't you do that as well...?
Erwin simply averts his eyes. That's it!
- I see words aren't going to get through to you. In that case, you leave me no choice.
I grab his face and kiss him. I take a pause before I get sucked into the sweet embrace of the kiss, and let my next words escape.
- I love you, Commander Erwin Smith! - I almost shout - I always have, and I always will! Ever since I was just a child, who admired you. We can either work this out and move on, or...
Actually, there's no or. I'm not giving you any other options.
Call me selfish, but I'm going to fight for us, because I believe what happened between us and your role in my life isn't a mere accident.
I plan to prove it to you every single day, so just learn to live with it!
I'm out of breath when I finally finish my sentence.
I rushed out all the words I practiced saying earlier, in fear I might either forget something, or stop myself from being as direct as planned.
With a shaking hand, I take out the small box I bought from the marketplace earlier. I take the lid off, and show it to Erwin.
- These are promise rings - I blush a dark crimson - I'm not m-making any wild s-suggestions here - Damn, my shaking voice - I just felt like I wanted to do this with you, to prove how I feel,
and to thank you, for everything. Oh, and yeah, if it wasn't obvious enough already, all my memories are back.
My lips curl in a big smile.