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Punishing the Devil

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“My name… is Historia.”

Those words leave her lips for what must be the hundredth time since she has been brought into this cold and damp cellar, and she once again sniffles before she lets her head fall back against the wall. She pulls her knees closer to her chest, hugging herself tighter in an attempt to get some warmth, and winces when the movement causes not just a sharp pain on her side, but also causes the chains to rattle.

“My name… is Historia.”

There is no use in trying to get warm and she knows that, she is reminded of that with every chill that runs through her naked body, and that realization brings new tears to her eyes. Tears that begin to run down along her cheeks the moment she blinks against the blinding darkness of the room.

“My name… is Historia.”

She swallows a hard lump in her throat and turns her head to the side to watch the one beam of light that comes into the room under the door. She doesn’t hiss when the salty tears cause the cut along her right cheekbone to sting, she just brings a hand up to touch the side of her forehead, feeling the blood caked along her hairline with her shaky fingers.

“My name… is Historia.”

How long has she been here? There is no source of natural light to rely on, no way to count the time based on the sunrise or the sunset, and for all she knows she could have been here for a few hours or days, even months or years. It certainly feels like an eternity. How long has it been since she had been forced to watch Ymir get devoured by that scowling boy with blond hair? What was his name again?

“My name… is Historia.”

Ymir…

There are moments when Historia thinks she can still feel the warmth of the other girl’s arms around her, moments when she can close her eyes and see the smiles only she had been privy to, hears the other girl’s warm laughter. Other times she wants to curse every memory that gives her comfort in this hell hole, when she sobs hard and wonders how the girl who had seen through the mask Historia had donned and had done everything in her power to keep Historia safe even from herself - especially from herself -, could have handed her to the monsters in human skin that are keeping her locked here.

“My name… is Historia.”

In those moment, she sends her hands into her hair and tugs hard in despair because she just can’t be mad at Ymir. The other girl had been convinced that there would be no future behind the walls, and had believed snatching Historia away would ensure her safety. Had believed Reiner and Bertholdt would be able to protect her. How could she, of all people, be so stupid and naive?

“My name… is Historia.”

How long has it been since the last man had left the room? How long since she had heard the sound of the door being locked and allowed herself a sigh of relief? How long since she had dragged herself to the corner she is now huddling in? Historia can’t complain too much about her physical integrity when all her teeth and nails are exactly where they are supposed to be. She was too pretty to be damaged like that, the guards had said. Instead, they had had other ideas in mind, other ways to torment her besides a thorough beating with a multi-tailed whip.

“My name… is Historia.”

She thinks she would much prefer a few teeth or nails pulled over the sticky feeling between her thighs and the bitter taste lingering on her tongue. Historia rests her forehead on her knees as a violent sob escapes her at the memory of all those cruel men touching her, but the worst part, the really worst part was when the guards had brought Reiner and Bertholdt into the room and invited them to join in the “fun”. They had failed to capture the Coordinate, one of the guards had said, but they had brought the last member of the branch of the royal family that had escaped into the walls, and for that they deserved a chance to punish the “devil” as a reward.

“My name… is Historia.”

The “devil”, that was what the guards kept calling her, what was said into her ear more times than she cared to count while her body was violated over and over again. She remembers the horrified look on Reiner and Bertholdt’s faces in response to the offer, and she had tried to use the fact that they had seemed to want no part in it in her favor. She had pleaded with them, reminding them of the years they had spent as comrades, she had even appealed to the crush that Reiner seemed to nurse for her, but all her pleas had been for nothing. She vaguely recalls something about them proving themselves as Warriors, before Reiner had held her down, a murderous determination overtaking his expression as he thrust into her with animalistic fervor. Historia closes her eyes tight against the memory.

“My name is…”

She trails off when she hears the door being unlocked, and opens her eyes wide as she turns her head to the side to stare at the door, her body going completely stiff with fear. She watches as the door is pushed open and a tall man stands on the threshold. She can’t quite make out the man’s features since he is blocking the light, but she has the strong impression that the man is blond and that she hasn’t seen him before. Has he come for sloppy seconds? The very thought makes her stomach turn, but she wonders for a brief moment if she should just lie down and spread her legs, make it somewhat easier for herself and just wait for the man to be satisfied.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” the man says as he enters the room and closes the door behind himself, his voice barely loud enough for her to hear from across the room.

Historia furrows her brow in confusion, and she finally notices that the room is no longer in complete darkness. Her eyes land on the lamp in one of the man’s hands before she looks back up at his face.

“You don’t have to lie,” she says as firmly as she can, her voice raspy from how dry her throat is. “H-How do you want me?”

Historia watches as the man lets out a deep sigh, seeming annoyed by her behavior, and she tries to prepare herself mentally for whatever punishment is surely coming her way. The man walks closer and crouches down next to her, seeming to ignore the way she flinches at the sudden closeness, as he sits the lamp down on the floor and reaches over to grab her wrists with one hand, the other holding a key. “I am not going to hurt you,” he says while unlocking her shackles. “We don’t have a lot of time. I’m not supposed to be here, and I need to return these keys to where I stole them from.”

The man adjusts his round glasses, and Historia stares up at him in puzzlement until a bundle is shoved in her direction. She blinks and takes a moment to notice that the bundle is in fact a change of simple clothes. “You’re h-helping me?”

“Those might be a little big for you, but they should do,” the man says instead, seeming to ignore her question completely. “Can you stand and walk?” He pauses for only a brief moment, only long enough to see her nod. “Then put those on quick.”

Historia glances down at the clothes before looking back up at the stranger next to her, unable to shake the lingering wariness even when she looks back down at the clothes again. She does as she is instructed and pushes herself back onto her feet, leaning back against the wall for support until she is sure her knees won’t just buckle.

She presses her cracked lips tightly together, mentally cursing the way her hands tremble as she gets dressed as fast as she can.

“Don’t forget this,” the man says once she is finished buttoning up the oversized shirt, and Historia doesn’t have time to question him before he is wrapping something on her left arm.

“You have one too,” she comments when she finally notices that her rescuer is wearing an armband as well, and then coughs against the discomfort in her throat. “Why?”

That seems to give the man pause, and then he once again sighs and shakes his head. “That’s a long story, child,” he finally says and gives her arm a squeeze before he picks up the oil lamp and turns to leave, clearly expecting Historia to follow.

Historia still contemplates insisting on the topic for a long moment, part of her almost needing some information on the man before she can trust him, before she can trust that her rescue is not part of a cruel plan in which her captors give her hope of escaping only to snatch it away and drag her into hell again.

My name is Historia, she reminds herself mentally and releases a deep sigh as she eventually decides to take her one chance at survival and follow him.