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To the Center of the Mind

Chapter Text

Whoever it was that recommended you to this place, you certainly had a few words (and rude finger gestures) for them if you ever met them in person. For it was now that you wish you'd taken a different major in college. What had it been in, again? Psychology, something in medicine? 

You honestly can't remember right now. And as of this very moment, it wasn't too relevant anymore. You can't turn back time to when you were first starting out at college. All you can do is take your first steps toward the building in which you shall begin your new job. 

The request had come almost out of the blue one day. A man by the last name of Smith came to you one day at work. He said he was looking for help at the place he worked at. When you prompted him, though, he wouldn't tell you what kind of job. Instead, he just said that you'd know if you took it. 

You did, of course, once you learned the hours were more flexible, and the pay sounded decent. Now, though, you want to go back and punch past you in the face. Mister Smith's offer sounded too good to be true, and it turned out it was. There had been an understandable (albeit not a nice one) reason why he'd kept mum about all of it. 

It turned out he worked at an asylum. 

But no turning back now. 

Chapter Text

The building itself looks quite old and decrepit. Aged bricks compose the majority of the exterior. The rest of it seemed to be a mix of concrete and messily-applied caulk. Whoever was responsible for the repair of the establishment wasn't doing a very good job of it. 

Even before you open one of the heavy wooden double doors, you hear a ruckus. The shouts and cries of various people could be heard, alongside loud cussing and punches being thrown. You can also hear a woman calling for "Eld and Gunther" and her declaring that "they're doing it again!".

But even then, you resist the urge to run off and escape the property. Slowly, you turn the door handle and enter. 

After you step foot into the place, you are confronted by a group of teenagers wearing the same outfit and standing in a rough circle. They pay no attention to your arrival. In the center were two different boys, fighting each other presumably for dominance (and quite brutally). You're about to say something to announce your presence, when two older men come running in through a nearby hallway. They push through the crowd and grab the fighters, pulling them apart roughly. 

"All right, break it up, you guys!" the blond one yells. "Break it up!"

Although both of the boys were yanked about a yard from each other, they struggle to free themselves. It is then that another man, who looks rather weary and beaten down, comes up between them to look at them both. 

"Not again, you two..." He points to one. "Take him back to his room." Then he points to the other. "And take him to you-know-where."

The boy sentenced to 'you-know-where' suddenly begins to really fight the man holding him, to no avail. The way he's shouting also is loaded with desperation. He's still doing so as the two boys are escorted off to their planned locations. As they leave, you notice another patient, a girl, following the boy sent to his room. 

Now the man who ordered all of this looks about at the rest of the patients, telling them to get back to business. The whole time, nobody seems to so much as look at you. 

You look about the area, and see some locations being indicated by arrows: 

Foyer (You are here)

<Main Office              Cafeteria>

<Rooms A-M          Rooms N-Z>

<Solitary Confinement                

 <Gymnasium           Bathrooms>

<Infirmary               Courtyard>

It goes without saying that you go to the Main Office. 

 ...

When you knock on the open door to the office, you see Mister Smith in conversation with a bald, much older man. The strong and sharp scent of alcohol hits your nostrils. Hearing the knocking got both men's attention. 

"Well," the bald man says with some kind of artificial amusement, as he stands up. "I wasn't informed of the newest member of this happy family." He steps closer and extends a hand to you. While you take it, you realize the alcohol smell is clearly from him.

"Yeah! Um...good to meet you, too," you say.

You look over at Mister Smith, who realizes the awkward situation this is becoming. As a result, he stands up away from his desk, and leads the other man away. 

"Well, sir," he tells him as he leads him closer to the door. "I suppose I'll have to show our newest recruit around the place. I don't want you to think I'm trying to get rid of you, though. If by any chance you'd like to join us-" 

"No, no," the other man says with a chuckle. "I had best get back to my regularly scheduled business." As the two men go out the door, you can hear the boy from earlier screaming for mercy. He wants to be let out so badly, before he's abruptly cut off by some unknown cause. The other two don't seem to care, or even notice. 

Once the bald man is gone (along with his alcoholic unpleasantness), Mister Smith turns and faces you directly. 

"I apologize for that," he tells you as he straightens himself up and readjusts his shirt collar. "I hadn't expected him to show up today, so I couldn't go and meet you at the door when you arrived. I did know you were coming, though. Hopefully you found the building all right?" 

"Yes," you say to him. 

He smiles. "And hopefully the patients here are...not too terrifying for you?" 

"Yes sir," you lie. It seems better to not let him know what exactly happened when you came in. Chances are he knows anyway. 

"Very well then." He gestures towards the door, as if to say 'after you'. "It might be best if you know where everything is around here." After a brief hesitation, you go forward. As Mister Smith follows behind you, you can hear the door to his office squeal shut. Sounds like it's in need of a good oiling. 

Chapter Text

As you're getting the grand tour of the asylum building, you get a severe feeling of dread and fear weighing on your shoulders (which makes sense, given you're in a godforsaken asylum). You don't let Mister Smith know this, though; You're quite content with listening to him point out the various facilities of the place. 

"We weren't given a proper recreation room when this place opened," he tells you, "so any time we decide to let the patients have a group activity or free time, we have to do it out here, in the foyer." You look out to where a few of the patients (not quite as many as before; some of the others probably just went to their designated rooms) are doing various things, like reading or making origami.

Two of them, a musclebound blond and a tall dark haired young man, are playing red hands. The blond one doesn't seem to be very good at it. 

"Down this hallway," he goes on. Clearly, he isn't one to linger on things that don't seem important to him. "That's the gym. Usually, we just let the patients go in and play basketball in there. If it's raining, that's where they go to spend time instead of out in the courtyard.

"Oh, one thing to note about that," he tells you as he turns and stops. "If any of them ask to play dodgeball instead -and they will-, say 'no'. We don't allow the patients to play dodgeball anymore. It got a bit too...competitive the last time." Despite your wish to know more, your common sense tells you to leave it at that and not ask questions. 

Nearby, you can hear muffled speech coming from a windowless metal door. The sign taped onto it made it clear what was (or rather was not) behind it: 

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
ABSOLUTELY NO TRESPASSERS

But again, you decide not to ask about it. 

...

The entire time as you and Mister Smith are going about, you see a mix of staff members and patients leaving and entering. One of them, a short and dark haired man, comes up to Mister Smith and asks, in a hushed tone, that he come with him. Mister Smith, nodding, then turns to look at you. 

"I have to go and deal with something important now," he tells you. "Feel free to look about the rest of the place. If something seems wrong, just let one of the other staff members know." 

He and the short man leave you. Now you're alone, surrounded by patients who are little more than mentally compromised children. After you force yourself to start walking again, you proceed to start peeking into the rooms with windows in the doors. First off, you check the nameplate in case you need to know it later on: 

Ackerman, Mikasa

Looking in, the room is empty. You'll have to check back another time to see who this is. This Mikasa, though, seemed to be rather obsessed with one of the other patients. You recognize him as one of the boys fighting earlier, the one sent to his room. For future reference, you keep this strange behavior in mind. 

Moving on, you reach the next room with a nameplate: 

Arlert, Armin

This room is filled to the brim with reading material. It runs the gamut from children's books, cookbooks, medical encyclopedias, and so on. In the farthest corner, partially hidden away, a young blond child is kneeling and flipping through what looks to be Le Petit Prince.

While still on the current page, the child looks up and sees you peeking through the window. Right away, you step back out of sight. When you hazard another look through, the child is back to reading, as if nothing had happened. Breathing a sigh of relief, you walk away.

Maybe rather than be a Peeping Tom, you can go and meet your co-workers. It might help to know who you can and can't rely on in this place. 

-a little while later, after you actually find them-

As it turns out, the rest of the staff are hiding out in the kitchen cafeteria. You recognize two of them from earlier; both of them had been the ones dealing with the two rowdy boys. Everyone else, not so much. All of them, however, are calmly eating their various kinds of what you assume is dinner (too late for breakfast, and today isn't Sunday). 

When you're close enough to all of them, you clear your throat to get their attention. Like a kind of synchronized machine, all of them swivel their heads to look at you. One of them, a woman with a ponytail and glasses, stands up and walks forward with a somewhat mischievous grin on her face. 

Hopefully you know some good conversation starters for this. 

Chapter Text

"Well, if it isn't our newest recruit!" The woman declares as she throws an arm around you and leads you toward the other staff members. "I'd been hearing about us getting a new person, but didn't know when they were going to show up! Well anyway, the name's Hanji, to start." The other workers (the ones that care, at least) can tell you're uncomfortable with the way she's talking so loud, and being so bold (for lack of a better term).

Without saying a word edgewise, you gaze upon everyone sitting at the table as she introduces them. 

"Now this is Petra, she's the environmental service lady, mainly." Petra nods and smiles in greeting. "She does other stuff too, like telling us when any of the patients are acting up." You know that last bit from hearing it earlier. "And the guy that's sorting pills after smelling them, his name's Mike. He smells them to make sure they're not tampered with or anything."

"Is that even a thing?" You cut in now. Your question seems to have bothered him; he looks up at you with his eyes narrowed a bit. 

Hanji chuckles, but ignores your question. "The guy sitting next to him, that's Oluo. And the two sitting next to him, they're Gunther and Eld." All three of them, two of which you at least know the names of, showed up earlier as well, diffusing the situation between those two boys. 

"Aaaaand last, but in absolutely no way the least..." Hanji walks back over and stands behind the young man closest to her. "Is Moblit, my own second-in-command! He's also the one that helps out whoever's turn it is on cafeteria duty." Here, she puts her hands on his shoulders, and shakes him a bit too roughly. Moblit looks up at you, almost like he wants to leave this place. 

"There's a bunch other ones too, but they're not here right now." Hanji's big toothed smile looks almost like that of a serial killer's. "Because it's not their shift yet!" 

You have no idea whether or not any of these people were going to help you.

Soon, everything has been dealt with, and now you have been given your schedule for the next month or so. From the looks of things, you're going to be on cafeteria duty for quite a few of those days. You tell your new coworkers this, and in return, you hear them give their condolences. 

You wonder why. 

-Day One-

Today marks the day you officially start working at the asylum. Given that it's still pretty early (a little before five a.m., since that was the shift you figured was the best one. You have to get your sleeping patterns adjusted), you expect none of the other workers to be here yet. 

You're wrong. 

At one of the nearby tables, you notice one going over some papers; although you can't see them very well, they look like charts with a lot of names on them (probably all the patients). He looks exasperated, and going by his yawning and the bags forming under his eyes, he's tired as well. 

"I wish Hanji would do some of them herself," he grumbles to himself as he quickly writes down some unknown information, before changing to another chart. He doesn't appear to notice you coming up behind him to get a better look. 

"You're Moblit, right?" Hearing your voice out of the blue startles him. He looks up to see you peeking over his shoulder. When he sees it's you (and not Hanji, given his reaction to what she had been doing yesterday), he sighs in relief. To answer your question, he nods.

"Yeah. I guess I'm also going to be your work buddy for a while. Making and serving meals for so many patients can be pretty hectic. It's also kind of a test for newbies." He looks back and straightens up the papers he'd been working on, tapping all of them on the table in order to do so. 

"A test?" Now you're starting to get an idea about why your schedule was set up the way it was. 

Again, Moblit nods. "To see whether or not you'll be able to handle working here in the long run. If you can get through seven consecutive days of that, then you should be good." The moment he's finished talking, he stands up and leads the way for you into the kitchen. 

...

Gazing over everything you're going to work with, you're pretty sure a lot of these ingredients are ersatz and/or store brand in nature. You also are certain that at least one or two of the products are expired, and a couple of the perishable items are a little too ripe. Either way, you suppress the urge to run and puke as Moblit brings out a couple plastic crates with milk and juice in them. 

"Yeah, I know. Not the best stuff to work with. The district refuses to give us anything better though. Which is a shame; mentally ill or not, the patients deserve better a lot than...this." He sets the crates out onto an extremely long table just outside the kitchen as he's talking. Not much more talking ensues after that, besides Moblit telling you what goes where, to make some extra just in case, and so on.

As you're making a mass batch of what you hope is farina, you hear someone else come in. Looking over your shoulder, you see it's the short man from yesterday, the one who called Mister Smith away for something. 

"Um..." You lift up the hand you aren't using to stir and wave at him. "Hi there." He doesn't return your greeting; he barely even looks at you. Then he's opening a pantry in front of him to pull out a tray of medicine bottles and pillboxes. He sits down at a table and begins sorting everything. 

"Don't mind Levi." Moblit must have noticed your attempt at being courteous. "He doesn't talk a whole lot; he's mostly in charge of cleaning, but today he's taking over for Mike. Don't get too upset if he keeps on ignoring you; he's just...extremely devoted to his job."

You scoff. "I can see that." Shortly after you finish making the farina, Moblit helps you spoon all of it into small bowls, and setting it all out onto the table outside. As the two of you are setting out all the other breakfast necessities, you see a bald, intimidating man stride across to the A-M rooms. It isn't long before you can hear a shrill whistle. 

"All right, all of you! Up and at 'em!" When you're walking back to the cafeteria, you have to plug your ears despite being some distance away. The whistling continues in short, controlled bursts, all the way into the N-Z rooms. The other two don't seem fazed by it, but that was probably because they'd gotten used to it. 

Levi stands up now, all the pills he was working with now in their designated and labeled cups. He, along with you and Moblit, await the arrival of the hungry patients. 

Chapter Text

With folded arms, you lean against the doorway, hoping to strike a cool and stoic pose while all the patients (mostly from the A-M rooms) start filing in for breakfast. One by one, they grab their trays and start getting in line. The general demeanor you get from all of them is a sad, and perhaps a tad gloomy one. 

Individually, though, it's another story. One of them stares at her feet, grabbing everything without looking up once. Another one (the boy from yesterday that got sent to his room) looks like he's about to shank a person, with the way his eyes dart back and forth. A dark-haired girl stands next to him a little too closely, getting his tray ready for him. 

Then you see the boy that had been sent to 'you-know-where'; he's got a black eye and a few nasty scratches on his face. He's trying to grab another tray before Moblit has to intervene. You can't help but pity all of them. Even the girl with the ponytail who keeps trying to get extra helpings. Moblit has to deal with her too. 

You pity her as well. 

...

After what feels like forever, you're now watching all the patients chow away on their breakfasts. Or at least, it barely passes for breakfast. A lot of them don't seem to really care, and are just grateful to eat something. As you watch, you can see Levi walking in and out between tables, giving some of the patients their medication. 

In the process, at least two or three of them refuse to take what's given to them. 

Eventually, watching isn't enough for you; before you know it, you're making your way through the aisles and taking at least a passing glance at everyone. If you didn't know any better, you'd assume this was a regular cafeteria; everyone's chatting amongst themselves, like there's nothing wrong with any of them. Behind you, Moblit's talking to that boy who got sent to 'you-know-where': 

"You know you can't take another tray, Jean. No exceptions." Jean looks like he's either about to cry, or about to punch Moblit in the face. "We've talked about this before. You don't want Mister Smith to be the one to reprimand you, do you?" Jean seems not to care about that, and tried pleading his case. 

"But I was getting it for Marco, Mister Berner!" Going by the way Moblit rolls his eyes and slides his hand down his face, he's heard all this before. "I'm telling you, he'll be here! He just went to the bathroom, that's it!" Jean pounds one fist hard against the table. The other, he uses to point in the direction of the A-M rooms. "He just takes a while, is all..." 

He isn't done talking, just done with the table banging. "And he's shy! He doesn't like being around people." 

Now Moblit sighs, wordlessly calling this kid an idiot, you assume. "All right, look. If Marco gets back from the bathroom, I'll save some breakfast for him. Okay?" 

Jean nods, a sour look upon his face. "Okay..." 

Moblit pats Jean on the shoulder. "Good. Now how about you finish up your breakfast, and then head back to your room?" There's no response from Jean after that.

You move on. Just ahead of you, a trio of patients are huddled close together. One of them is Armin, still reading like last time. In front of him sits the boy Jean was fighting with yesterday. Right next to him, that girl is now sitting a little too close to him. Going by what you saw in her room, you're certain that that's Mikasa. 

The dark-haired boy is prattling on about how they're all in danger, and no one is listening to him about it. They don't seem to be doing anything incriminating, so you decide to leave them be. 

But just as you turn to continue your surveillance, you feel one of them grab you by the wrist. When you turn your head to see which one it is, they're strengthening their hold on you. 

It's the dark-haired boy.  

Chapter Text

"You believe me, right?! Right?!" No matter how hard you tug, you're unable to break free of his grasp; despite his appearance, the wild-eyed boy has quite the iron grip. 

"Uh..." You don't know what to say. He's getting more aggressive, grabbing your shirt now and shaking it. He's looking you right in the eyes as he does so. If you didn't know any better, you'd assume this young man was having a tantrum. He's certainly acting like he is. 

He continues with his tirade. "I'm telling you, they're coming! The Titans are coming! They're all gonna come and destroy our town, and eat us all!" Now he's flat out shouting in your face, while also pointing to a few random patients. "I try to say it to everyone here, but nobody believes me! But I tell you, the Titans are real! They're real and they're gonna show up and we'll all be doomed and-" 

"Eren." Mikasa stands up to pull him back to the table. "Stop that, you're scaring the new person." You wouldn't say you're scared (though admittedly at least a part of you is), mostly caught off guard and taken by surprise. Mikasa actually has to reach over and pry Eren's fingers off your shirt to get him away. 

After that, you see her drag him away, back toward the A-M rooms. The entire time, Eren is kicking and screaming, desperately begging you to believe him. He's doing that until the very moment you see Mikasa push him into his room, following in after him before slamming the door. 

With that over with, you look about the area; all the patients (a couple of them are still consuming their crappy breakfast as well) are staring at you. To make it look like that spectacle didn't bother you, you clear your throat and straighten yourself up to look taller. 

"Carry on," you say to them all. It takes a bit, but eventually everybody goes back to what they were doing. You wait, with your back all straightened out, before you then go back to patrolling. As you do, you watch Armin get up, put a bookmark into his book, and walk off in the direction Eren and Mikasa went.

...

"I am...very sorry that happened." After all the patients have finished their breakfast (and the ones who had pills took them), you're back in the kitchen with Moblit. This time, you and him are washing the dishes. To your disappointment and irritation, there's no sprayer to help make things easier; the two of you have to do it by hand. 

You try to shrug off his apologetic mood. "Does that happen a lot?" You ask him instead. Moblit nods, along with an 'mm-hmm'. 

"It's part of the reason so many potential employees have quit after their first day; they couldn't handle one of the patients suddenly having an outburst like that." He wrings out the dishrag he was using to dry with. "It's usually Eren with his delusions, Reiner with his anger outbursts, Sasha with her, um, 'food-related tendencies'..."

You get the feeling you should probably not ask about that last one. 

Moblit sighs as he sets down his rag. "Look, I'm not telling you to run for the hills, all right? What I am telling you is to not let your guard down in this place. You never know what any of these patients are capable of..." He trails off, not bothering to pick up where he left off. 

Figuring he's done talking, you just keep on with the task at hand. 

...

Once dishes have been cleaned up and put away, you return to your viewing of the patients. The ones you see (of which there are surprisingly few. The rest must all be in their rooms) are doing their various recreational activities, as though the earlier incident at breakfast hadn't happened. Curious to see how everything in the patient's rooms is like, and looking over your shoulder, you wander off into the A-M hall.

Sure enough, there's more voices here than out in the foyer. Most of them here are far more worrisome, however.The closest ones are in Armin's room. Breathing deeply, you crouch down and peek through the bottom. The entire time, you hear one of them shouting. You expect it to be Armin and Mikasa, punishing Eren over his rude behavior. 

It isn't. Mikasa is in the place you expected her to be in, but the expected roles for the boys are reversed; it's Armin kneeling on the ground covering himself with his arms, and Eren standing over him beating him with his own book. The whole time, Eren is yelling at him: 

"We're hurting you because we love you! We're hurting you because we love youWe're hurting you because we love you!" You cringe at this, and are about to fling open the door to get them to quit it. But something else tells you to stop. Your hand is shaking, directly above the door handle.

While you stand there like some type of coward, the sounds of impact are getting worse, as is the sound of Armin crying out in pain. You end up grabbing hold of your wrist, and forcing your hand down to grab the handle. 

But right as you are about to open the door, a hand clasps itself onto your shoulder. Needless to say, you're quite startled. Turning around, you prepare to confront whoever it was that dares to bother you. 

Chapter Text

Instead of it being Mister Smith, or one of the other employees, you're face-to-face with a girl; she's clearly one of the patients. If you remember correctly, it was the one who wanted extra at breakfast. She looks tired, with frizzy ponytail, bloodshot eyes and everything. You can also very faintly smell what could be marijuana from her (at least it isn't alcohol). 

"Sorry to bother you, new person." She doesn't really look all that sorry, going by the way she's grinning a bit too maniacally. "But I want to go outside. I can't because the door's locked. Can you unlock it for me? Nobody else is around to unlock it." 

Looking back behind you, at the door with the other three patients (they seem to have gotten louder, and Eren's hitting Armin even harder now. Now, Armin is responding to the chanting with "You're hurting me because you love me!"), you feel uneasy about all of this. But you decide to help her anyway.

You reach into one of your pockets and pull out a key you were given by Mister Smith, in case of emergencies. You're not sure if this counts as an emergency, but you'll do it if it'll get her off your back. As you walk off to the courtyard, she eagerly follows you. None of the other patients seem to care.

Right after you unlock the door to the courtyard, she runs right out and shuts the door right in your face. As you walk off, you can hear her running about and laughing. Going by the way she then starts yelling "Come here! I'm gonna get you!", you figure she's chasing birds. 

...

Going through the hallway, past all the N-Z rooms and the bathrooms, you come across one of the doors slightly ajar. You think nothing of it, and continue on, before you hear a voice calling out to you: 

"Hey! Psst!" You look back. The door's open a little bit wider now, with a pair of large round eyes staring right at you; it's almost as if they're peering directly into your soul. 

"Yes? What can I help you with..." You lean in, hoping to get a better look at who was summoning you. Unfortunately, the lights are off in the room. Instead, you have to look over at the nameplate: 

Springer, Connie

"...Connie?" 

The eyes are looking side to side (or the way you're seeing it, up and down) before answering. "Do you know if..." His eyes narrow, like he just forgot what he was going to say. "If the guy who was on cafeteria duty left yet?" 

"You mean Moblit?" The eyes shake up and down themselves, which you guess means he's shaking his head. 

"No! the other one! The one assigned to help him out!" 

Now you realize what he's trying to say. "That was me, I was the person on cafeteria duty." Now the eyes widen, before rapidly blinking. 

"Oh..." His eyes go back to their original size. "Never mind then. I'll just tell Sasha when she gets back and see if she can do it for me." Once the door shuts again, you're left staring at it for a few moments. But now you're getting the feeling you should go find someone. 

...

Instead, someone has found you; as you're looking, you see Petra and Levi come up to you with laundered sheets and cleaning supplies. Petra, at the very least, looks quite worried. Levi just stares, rather stoically, with a firm grip on the bucket that he's carrying (the rest of his face is covered with some kind of mask). 

"Have you seen Sasha?" Petra asks you. "We went to clean her room, and she wasn't in there." You put two and two together, and realize they're probably looking for that girl. Without turning to look, you point in the direction of the courtyard. Petra's eyes bulge out, and throws everything to the ground to run that way. Levi follows right on her heels. 

Suddenly your blood runs cold, for reasons you cannot properly make sense of. As you run back to the courtyard door, you can hear Petra yelling at Sasha to stop. Sasha, meanwhile, is screaming her head off, a rather stark contrast to what you'd been hearing from her earlier. 

Petra shouts for Levi to 'get the morphine out', and shortly after she does, the screaming dies down into nothing. All you're able to do is stand there, petrified like a statue. Then you turn and pick up the supplies and sheets, for when Petra and Levi come back inside. 

You get the feeling that you're going to get written up for this. 

Chapter Text

Much to your (relatively uneasy) relief, you are not written up for letting Sasha go outside.

"I've heard Miss Blouse managed to trick you into doing her bidding." Rather, Mister Smith ends up explaining to you why precisely you shouldn't do that in the future. To help said explanation, he rifles through a folder with Sasha's face held onto it with a paperclip. 

"I...guess so?" You aren't sure what else to say. Once Mister Smith pulls out a paper from Sasha's file, he hands it to you so that you can read it yourself. A quick once over gives you all the info you need, but you decide to read it more in-depth in case you missed something: 

 

Name:  Sasha Blouse

Age:  16

Diagnosis:  Was sent by parents on account of horrific eating tendencies. Must be supervised when let outside, on account of being caught eating live squirrels at least once. Known to engage in cannibalism, and usage of illegal substances (most notably cannabis, though has been known to use others). Has recently displayed signs of bulimia, of which the patient has a past history of. 

 

Seeing what that girl Sasha is capable of, you clap a hand over your mouth; the urge to puke is suddenly very intense. When you look back up, Mister Smith is going through another file. He pulls a paper out from that one too, which he lays over on top of Sasha's paper.

"You may want to read this one as well. The two patients are more or less in cahoots with each other." Despite your misgivings, you read that one too: 

 

Name: Connie Springer

Age:  15

Diagnosis:  Believes himself to be a high-class chef. Said belief has resulted in the deaths of three relatives (father, two siblings). Refuses to leave room on account of "not wanting 'them' to get [him] (does not specify who)". Aforementioned belief in being a chef has resulted in the abduction, death, and consumption of at least two infants, both of which were strangled and barbecued. 

 

Now that urge has become something far worse. Throwing the papers onto the desk, you quickly kneel in front of the nearby garbage can and hurl. Mister Smith is at your side, rubbing your back and holding your hair back while you vomit. 

"Thankfully, I'm certain that those are possibly the most gruesome of the diagnoses," he tells you over most of your sounds of retching. "There are some more...disturbing ones, but I'm fairly certain that they're not nearly as bad as Miss Blouse and Mister Springer's cases.

"If this is too much for you to handle, I understand if you don't wish to continue working here." You manage to pause in the middle of your vomiting and shake your head. You don't really understand why these two patients haven't been sent to prison (they may have copped a plea deal on account of insanity), but you're not going to let that stop you. 

...

By the time you've left Mister Smith's office, Moblit's come looking for you; he says that he needs some assistance in calming down Hanji. He doesn't seem all that shocked or worried that there's still a bit of vomit you forgot to wipe off the corner of your mouth. 

Or maybe he is, but doesn't think it's the right time to ask. 

As it turns out, what Hanji needs to be calmed down about is the fact that she's somehow gotten herself stuck in what you believe to be a hyperbaric tube. She's yelling and clawing at the glass, pointing at what must be the lock. 

You aren't sure why a place like this needs such a contraption, but that's not important right now. Moblit sighs, shaking his head.

"Don't worry, Hanji! The new person and I will get you out of there!" He looks to you. "See if you can find the key to this thing." While you're searching, you think you see one of the patients run by the doorway. You're too busy with your current task at hand to go find out for sure, though. 

Chapter Text

Once Hanji has been freed from her transparent, tubular imprisonment, she is doubled over while attempting to catch her breath. As Moblit is attending to her, rubbing her back and trying to get her to stand up straight, your attention is fixated squarely on the doorway, instead of them. 

"I'll be right back," you tell them as you walk quickly to the door, not looking at either of them. You're gone before you hear either of them telling you to wait. 

Once you're out in the hallway, you go in the direction you think you saw the person go. As it turns out, whoever it was must've ended up in the bathrooms (unisex except for the showers; those are separated because of reasons). On your guard, you look back and forth fairly quickly. 

"Hello?" You call out. "Anyone in here?" The response you get is the sound of heavy breathing, and desperate panting. As you get closer to the source, the voice gets higher-pitched. You also can hear the words 'oh no' somewhere within all of that. Now you're pressing an ear to the stall doors, hoping to find the culprit better that way. 

"Look, I'm not gonna hurt you or anything, I promise-" You're cut off when you step in something. Looking down, you realize it is in fact a trail of urine. "Ewww..." 

Gross as it is, you end up following that trail to one of the bathroom stalls. With all your might, you ram into the stall door to force it open. When you do, you hear a shriek of terror. 

...

The person you were looking for wasn't really who you had in mind. It turns out you saw him when you first arrived at Trost Asylum; he was playing red hands with the blond boy. His face is red and stained with tears. Although he does have the shirt that the other patients wear, he's naked from the waist down. 

And he's still crying.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" His voice still sounds raspy and weak; it's possible he must always sound that way. "I couldn't hold it in long enough, I'm sorry! Don't tell Reiner, or he'll get really mad again!" You don't recall any of your co-workers being named Reiner. "The doctor, she, she took my pants and I-I didn't have my-" 

By now, the boy's hyperventilating, and trembling. "I'm supposed to wear a..." He points downward, like he thinks he's not allowed to say the actual word. "And at night I need to use an alarm, or else I wet the bed, and-" 

The poor guy gets off the toilet, and stands to his full height; he's surprisingly tall. As he straightens up, you can see another line of urine trickling down his leg. Resisting the urge to grimace at this, you turn and approach a sink. You then pull out some paper towels, get them wet, and squirt a bit of bathroom soap onto them. 

The boy looks surprised when you kneel down and start cleaning his legs and privates. It feels wrong, yet necessary; it is your job to keep an eye on the patients and help them out. You then go into one of the showers, and come back out with a clean towel you were able to find. 

...

"All right. There we go," you say to him when you pull the towel around his waist and tie it firmly around him. "You want me to take you back to your room...?" You pause, prompting him to tell you his name. Besides getting him back to his room, you hope to go through his file later. 

"Bertholdt," he says to you without making eye contact. "And yes." It's only now that you notice signs of choking around his neck. If you had to guess (you don't want to, but still), those were hand-inflicted. He probably notices you staring, since he goes to try and cover his neck with his shirt collar. 

Once you're certain that Bertholdt's towel won't fall off, you lead him back to his room, with Bertholdt trailing behind you while holding your hand. He points it out to you when you get close. You don't have the chance to get any further before he asks you something: 

"Will I have to go see the doctor again?" 

You don't mince words. "I'm afraid so. If you don't, they might send you to 'you-know-where', whatever that entails." It's only your first day; you aren't exactly privy to everything that goes on here yet. Even so, Bertholdt himself seems to understand what 'you-know-where' means:

"I've been there before. It isn't fun." Although he's still behind you, you can practically feel him starting to tremble. "You get hurt a lot there. Nobody wants to go there." The way he's speaking now, -in short, slightly terse sentences-, you can tell he's not wanting to talk about it. 

You don't blame him.

"We all try to behave. Sometimes we mess up, though. But if we're good enough, they reward us. They do it on our birthdays, too. A lot of the time they forget, though." He pauses, then continues. "One time I got a cupcake. It was leftover from the Christmas party a few days before. I think one of the workers jizzed in the batter-"

"Okay!" You've heard quite enough from him, now. There's no need for it to become even more gross. "This is your room, correct?" Bertholdt nods. "You just go in and relax, and I'll see if I can get you your pants back." 

Bertholdt nods again, and does what you tell you. Once he's through and on the other side of the door, he turns and stares at you through the window for a few moments. All you can think to do at this point is wave and smile awkwardly at him, which he returns. 

To try and stop it from getting weirder, you turn and go back in the direction of the infirmary. While you're turning, you can tell Bertholdt is still staring right at you. 

Chapter Text

By now, it's time to begin making lunch. At least this time, the materials with which you are using are more varied (if not fresher). That's good.

Sandwiches and chips galore, this time. Somehow it seems fitting that a bunch of adolescents (even a group of mentally ill patients) would want to have such edibles on a regular basis. It feels more like you're preparing for a field trip rather than working in an asylum. 

"It doesn't really matter who gets what," Moblit says to you while making certain you're being diverse in putting things together. "Some of them might try to complain about it, though. If they do, I just say to them 'tough kitty paws'." You don't bother to ask him about the earlier incident with Hanji. From the looks of things, he doesn't want to talk about it either. 

You did make sure Bertholdt got his pants back, though. 

...

The patients are entering the cafeteria shortly after you've finished setting down all the paper plates. To make sure there isn't any drama over getting the wrong thing, they're labeled with what sandwich and chips they have on them. It seems to work, as nobody's raising a stink over any of it. 

At least not for that problem anyway. 

"Can I get some extra barbecue chips?" You listen in on Jean, who already has his plate (turkey and cheese sub with sour cream and onion chips), talking to Moblit. "Marco likes barbecue chips." Moblit's about to answer him when you step in to try and intervene on his behalf. 

"I'll bring some to him later before I finish my shift," you tell him. Jean smiles at you for this, and behind you, you can hear Moblit giving a sigh of relief. As Jean is happily walking away to take a seat, there's a quiet 'thank you' that Moblit utters to you. Looking over your shoulder, you just nod at him and respond with 'no problem'. 

Other than that, it seems almost normal; everyone's behaving themselves. No fighting, no screaming, nothing. It's rather calm. Moblit seems as surprised about it as you are. At another part of the cafeteria, you can see Mister Smith along with the other employees. They all feel the same way. 

Even so, you can't help but feel an eerie sensation looming over all of this. You know this isn't going to last; soon, there's going to be something going on. 

...

After your shift is over, you're in the car on your way home.

Next to you in the passenger's seat are copies of all the profiles in regards to the patients. Mister Smith had handed them to you on your way out, telling you that it might be best to look all of them over. 

"Mister Pixis has said I'm not supposed to photocopy them for anyone," he'd also said to you. "We don't want the information to fall into the wrong hands. That's why, once you have them all and memorized and such, it would be a very good idea to destroy all of them. Keeping them could lead to serious problems."

He didn't have to say any more after that. You're aware that he's taking a great risk just to hand the files over to you in the first place. 

Once you arrive home, you lay the stack of papers onto your kitchen table, and just stare at them for a moment or two. He didn't say you have to read them right away; just to get rid of them once you do.

For now, though, you're ready to take a nap; readjusting your sleep schedule is no doubt a priority. Going by all that you saw today, you've got quite a job for you in the coming days. You're going to do your best to stick through them, however. 

...

And so ends Day 1. 

Chapter Text

Before you know it, Day 2 begins. In an effort to wake yourself up quicker, you're drinking some very strong black coffee. So far it isn't working, though; it mostly burns your tongue something unholy, though. You then rub the sleep from your eyes, that doesn't help very much either. 

You forgot to look at the patient files yesterday. Oh well; it's not like Mister Smith is going to come down on you for that. 

By some kind of miracle, you finish your extremely hot coffee right as you pull into the small parking lot behind the asylum building. That's probably going to cause problems later on (you really need to quit driving one-handed), but right now, you honestly couldn't care less. On your way to the door, you stop and wave at Eld and Gunther, along with that other guy Oluo.

You aren't sure of the entirety of their jobs at the asylum. All three of them are smoking, which really isn't a good idea when you're working with teenagers in a mental institute. They don't return your greeting, causing you to keep on walking. 

The three of them do drop their cigarettes on the ground, grinding them up with their feet, before going back into the building through the rear entrance. 

...

No sooner have you opened the door do you feel a thump on the other side. You quickly look to see who you ended up smacking into. 

"Sorry about that!" You say to the girl you just hit. "I didn't know you were there." Next to her, something that looks like a crown is rolling a little onto its side. It's messy looking, colored with a golden crayon, and clearly is made of some kind of flexible cardboard material. 

You're about to go over and help her back up when you feel somebody slap you against the back of your head. Hard

"How dare you!" The voice behind you is clearly that of a young woman's. It's also quite irate, and shouting loud enough to risk your hearing. "No one shall risk the life of Her Majesty Historia Reiss and get away with it!" She then grabs you by the neck and tries forcing you down onto your knees. "Now beg for Her Majesty's forgiveness, you shit-consuming swine!" 

You try to fight it, but the woman is insistent. As she pushes you down, you see the other girl put her crown back on, and just stare at you. She takes on an air of total regalness, and cold stoicism. Staring at her gives you the chills, which isn't all that surprising. 

"I presume you aren't aware of how to act in the presence of royalty," she says to you, in an eerily calm voice.

Thankfully, one of the other staff members comes by and see this just in time. 

...

"Ymir!" To your great relief, Petra is approaching the three of you. The way she carries herself makes it clear that she isn't to be disobeyed. "We've warned you numerous times about doing that!" She grabs hold of Ymir's wrist and yanks it off of you. "If you continue to do this, we're not going to extend visitation rights to you anymore!

"And you!" she points to the other girl. "Enough of this Historia nonsense! You are Krista Lenz, and no amount of playing pretend will change that!" She now grabs Krista by the wrist, and drags her away, along with Ymir as well. You're left there, staring. You also make a mental note to thank Petra for that later. 

Then you remember what you were going to do, and head off to the kitchen, prepared to create food for the patients.

...

Just like last time, Moblit's already there, with his back turned to you, setting everything up for this morning's breakfast. There looks to be an awful lot of cartons of...something. A closer look at the one nearest you reveals them to be egg substitute. When Moblit does realize you're there, he looks over his shoulder and smiles, ceasing his oddly skillful chopping of a bell pepper.

"Oh, good! You are here," he says as he turns around completely and approaches you. "Here I was, thinking you had the day off. Or worse, you quit because of all the mess from yesterday." He grabs a clean kitchen towel and wipes off the knife he'd been using to cut vegetables with. 

"But now that you are here, you can help me with cutting up all these ingredients." Moblit hands you his knife, and goes to get another one. "Personally, the omelet station mornings are my least favorite. So many vegetables to go through, you know. And don't get me started on the onions!" 

While he's talking, you gaze upon all the baskets of both chopped and intact vegetables. Going by what you see, Moblit hasn't gotten very far; most of the 'chopped' baskets are empty. Since you're not sure where to start yourself, you don't blame him for any of this. Eventually, you decide on beginning on the opposite end of him. 

At any rate, Moblit seems to be quite grateful for your help. You're not really listening to him by this point, but you do respond with 'uh-huh' and 'yeah?' to make it seem like you are. Moblit doesn't seem to mind too much; he hasn't called you out on being mostly tuned out. 

Soon, after what feels like an eternity, everything is done. All the onions, tomatoes, peppers, and everything else (along with bags of shredded cheese and containers of bacon bits) are finely minced and diced. The both of you bring it all out, and set things at the table, which has a couple of hot plates and frying pans set up. 

"Well, here's hoping today isn't a complete disaster," Moblit tells you as the two of you stand in front of the heated pans, waiting for the patients to start filing in. 

Chapter Text

Much to your relief, it doesn't look as though any of the patients had to spend the night in 'you-know-where'. Nobody's trying in vain to cover up any significant injuries. Most of them just look defeated. Even so, you hope that maybe a nice hot omelet would cheer a few of them up. 

In an effort to brighten their days, you put on a smile that hopefully doesn't look forced. Next to you, Moblit's already mixing up a few eggs. 

"Okay, guys," he says to the patients as they line up. "You know the drill; put what you want into the plastic cups, and I'll put it in your omelets." It sounds like he's trying to be upbeat as well; the main difference being that he can do it better (probably because he's had time to work on it). 

Right away, the patients make a line to choose their omelet fixings. As you wait for one of them to reach you, you can see that Jean looks unusually happy. You wonder why that is. But you don't wonder for too long: 

"Got what you wanted, Jean?" Moblit asks. You watch Jean vigorously nod his head; his plastic cup has literally everything in it. 

"You'll promise that you'll save one later for Marco, right?" He then asks while handing the cup over. 

Now Moblit nods, keeping his attention on cooking as he pours everything into his frying pan. "I'll be sure to put one aside for him." You know he won't; somehow you do know he's just saying that so that Jean won't pitch some kind of fit. For a little while, you keep watching him. 

You're seeing him start cooking Armin's dish (from what you see, Armin had taken quite an impact from yesterday. You feel quite bad that you weren't able to help him then), before you turn back to your station. When you do so, the presence of a patient right in front of you causes you to jump. 

The girl before you has light blonde hair, and dead-looking eyes. If you didn't know any better, you'd figure she'd teleported there. As you recompose yourself, she watches you silently. 

"Is that what you've chosen for yours?" You ask of her as you start cracking and beating eggs. She doesn't answer; all she does is hand you her fillings for you to toss into the eggs. 

"Hope you slept good." Again, no response. The more you say to her that goes ignored by her, the more ridiculous you feel. Eventually, you just give up trying to make conversation and get her omelet cooked up. You do wave to her when she's finding a place to sit down and eat. 

...

The rest of the time spent cooking goes by mostly without incident (you say 'mostly' on account of Eren raving about Titans again to Mikasa and Armin). You and Moblit remain in front of your frying pans, in case any of the patients want seconds (or thirds, in Sasha's case). Because of that, you have to conduct your people watching from a distance. 

Eren's gotten even louder; from a few yards away, you can hear him clear as a bell. You're wondering if he's watched too many scary movies in his lifetime, or if he just has an overactive imagination along with what it is that landed him into this place. Mikasa is listening intently, whereas Armin just has his nose in a book again. 

A short ways away to the left of them, the silent girl you served earlier is sitting with Bertholdt and that other blond boy. She's calmly eating her breakfast, whereas the other boy is a bit loud and messy. Bertholdt is just picking at his and looking about nervously. He's also sitting funny. 

When the blond boy pauses in the middle of eating like a pig, he looks over and starts a whispered conversation with Bertholdt. For obvious reasons, you can't hear what they're saying to each other. It seems innocent enough; maybe they're asking what the agenda is today. 

Then it turns into anything but. Bertholdt must've said something wrong, as the blond boy suddenly rises to his feet and grabs him by the shirt. 

Chapter Text

"What have I told you about doing that?!" Clearly, the blond boy has no inside voice. He's snorting like a bull who's seen red as he lets go of Bertholdt's shirt, only to take hold of his neck and begin throttling him. "I said, what have I told you you about doing that, Bert?!" 

Bertholdt seems oddly calm about the fact he's getting choked. "You said not to-"

"Damn right I said not to!" His throttling gets worse. The entire time, the girl at their table is calmly eating her omelet, seemingly unaware of what her breakfast mates are doing. The only time she moves is to get out of the way when Bertholdt is slammed into the breakfast table. Then she keeps eating, not looking up.

By now, everyone else is watching, as though witnessing a train wreck. After the blond boy is done with Bertholdt, he grabs hold of his chair and flings it to the other side of the place. He throws it far enough and with enough strength to cause it to smash against the opposite wall.

Then he's grabbing another one, and another. At some point he grabs ahold of Sasha's ponytail and yanks her down hard. Then he grabs Jean by the back of the neck and slams him down onto the floor, and continues slamming him against the hard surface. You look over to Moblit to beg him to do something about all this, but he's already running. 

"Eld! Gunther!" He's shouting for the two who evidently are hired to do this. "We need help! It's Reiner this time!" All you can do is stand in place, hoping the situation doesn't escalate into a full-blown tragedy. Right now, Reiner's beginning to shout insults. Jean's doing his best to kick him off, to no avail. 

"Come on, you little gelding!" He yells. "That all you got?! Do I gotta take you out back and put you down?! Do I?!" 

By now, Jean's kicking is more frantic, and desperate. He's showing signs that he's unable to breathe. Just as you're about to run over and help, though, Moblit comes back with Eld and Gunther. They waste no time in springing into action, grabbing hold of Reiner by the arms.

"Reiner! Reiner! Calm down, buddy! Don't make us get the morphine!" 

Gunther's threat seems to placate him. In a near instant, Reiner's beginning to calm down. He then goes limp, and you can hear sobbing. 

"I'm sorry," he whispers to everyone, especially the three patients he went after. "I'm sorry..." 

For roughly a few seconds, that's all anybody hears. Eld and Gunther continue holding him, before he appears to go limp. Their expressions seem to hold sadness and disappointment. When Moblit approaches Reiner himself, he tries to wipe off the tears forming in his eyes. He looks saddened by all this, too.

"You know where you have to go now, right?" He asks of Reiner.

"You-know-where?"

Moblit nods. "You-know-where."

Reiner stays limp as Eld and Gunther hoist him up, leading him out of the cafeteria. You and the patients can really only watch as he's taken away.  Then you walk over to Moblit, who goes on over to Bertholdt.

"He was doing so well, too..." He pulls Bertholdt up to his feet, and dusts him off. "Are you going to be okay?" Bertholdt nods. 

"It's not his fault that happens," he says. 

Now Moblit nods. "That's right. Just like how it's not your fault you have incontinent problems.

"How about you and Annie go back to your rooms, now?" The girl has finished her omelet and set the plate down onto the floor. Almost robotically, she stands and takes Bertholdt by the arm, leaving for their rooms. 

Slowly, the remaining hubbub dies down. You see Levi (whom you believe came out of nowhere) and a couple other workers inspecting the damage. One of them tsks at the extent of Reiner's brief rampage.

Things look to be under control now. With that, you go back to the table and resume your viewing and waiting. 

Chapter Text

After breakfast has finished and the dishes have been washed and put away, you're on another solo tour of the asylum.

There isn't much to see this time around; most of the patients are holed up in their rooms or otherwise minding their own business. You decide to go and check the other rooms (as in, not the designated rooms for the patients). Before you can so much as turn around, however, your legs suddenly feel much cooler (the AC is always on in this building, it seems).

You then do the actual turning around. By the time you do, you can see one of the patients running back to his room as quickly as possible. He's cackling like a madman.

It's Jean. 

Well, now you're just annoyed. You can't remember the last time you got pantsed. You shall not stand for such an injustice. In a show of your frustration, you hike your pants back up, and go after him. 

...

It isn't too incredibly hard to find where Jean went; all you have to do is listen for the barely muffled laughter. Step by step, you get closer. For good measure, you put your ear to the walls and doors (it's possible that wherever he's hiding, it could throw the sound off. That might not be how it works though). 

When you hear the giggling, you let out an "Ah-ha!". At that very moment, said giggling stops. Much like Bertholdt last time, you now hear 'uh oh' along with some unknown objects being pushed over and moved around. You give him the courtesy of waiting until he's done, then you go in. 

Going by all the books you see in this room, you're pretty sure it's Armin's (you didn't check the nameplate beforehand to be certain). In the back, behind some worn out teen magazines (Armin doesn't seem to be picky when it comes to reading material), you see a pair of bare feet sticking out. 

Jean's feet are rather dirty; he must not like wearing shoes and socks or something. The soles are nearly black, even. You can see them, and presumably the rest of him, trembling in fear. As you see this, you get something of a wicked idea. 

"Huh," you say, supposedly to yourself. "Guess he's not in here, then." You turn back and open the door, only to close it again. To make it sound more convincing, you wait a few moments before you let it shut again. As you wanted, you can hear a sigh of relief. Then, you tiptoe behind a particularly large stack of mythology books. 

Under the impression that he's gotten away with his childish prank, Jean comes out of hiding and steps forward, approaching the door. When he's far enough away from your hiding place, you step out and grab hold of his shoulder. 

"Gotcha!"

...

As you expect, Jean's taken quite off guard. It's made pretty obvious by him stiffening up and yelling "Yaaaaaaaahhhhh!"

He's gone from amused to terrified. He's also fighting your iron grip, even as you drag him out of Armin's room and towards his own.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" He's panicking something fierce. "Marco told me to do it! Don't take me back to that place, I don't wanna go back there!" Somehow Jean manages to break free and runs a few paces, only to trip and fall to the ground. With a roll of the eyes, you walk back and grab him by the ankle, dragging him now with other people watching. He's clawing and screaming the whole time. 

As soon as you reach Jean's room and pull him in, he stops once he realizes where he is. There's a moment of realization, and then he stands up. 

"Huh? This isn't..."

"I don't even know where that is, if you're talking about 'you-know-where'," you cut him off.

Then you let him wander about before he sits in the far corner. He settles down and stares at you for a little while. Then he smiles.

"Marco told me he likes you, and- What's that?" He snaps his head over at the corner to the left of him. "Oh, I'm not saying that! ...Well, okay..." Then he turns to look at you again. "He also says you don't smell as bad as the other employees here. I disagree with him, since you do smell kind of funny." 

"...Thank you?" Jean keeps pointing over at the other corner whenever he says Marco's name. There's no one there. You still go along with it, lest you risk upsetting Jean in some way or another.

"...Right. I'm just gonna go now, return to my surveillance." Somehow having the good graces of a patient's imaginary friend doesn't really lift your spirits all that much. As you get back to what you were doing, you hear Jean beginning to ostensibly talk to Marco again. 

Chapter Text

The rest of your time, surprisingly enough, passes without too much incident. Before you know it, you're back in the cafeteria again. Every stovetop in the place is occupied by at least one big pot of boiling water. You're actually beginning to sweat, there's just so much steam. 

Moblit's already gone and started cooking lunch (or dinner. Either word could apply here, really). He looks like he's prepared for the raised temperature, going by the sweatband and athletic wear he's changed into. When you enter the kitchen, he's rummaging through a pantry and pulling out numerous boxes of uncooked pasta. 

"Oh good, you're here!" He lets a few of the boxes fall into your arms. "Yeah, we might have to issue you some clothes for situations like this. Don't worry, we'll pay for all of it." The two of you don't make a whole lot of conversation after that. There's too much spaghetti that needs cooking. 

Besides Mike coming in and sorting pills, that's about all you notice anyway. 

...

You're a grody, sweat-covered mess by the time everything's done. As a precaution, you stand away from Moblit and any other workers; you don't want them to smell you. Seeing Moblit dish out spaghetti for the patients by himself, you do feel bad for making him work without your help. 

Not that he seems to mind too much; he seems okay with having to do it in ridiculous workout garb, even. 

Then it's just another session of watching a bunch of adolescent mental patients consume pasta that might not be entirely fresh. This time, however, you take a closer look. 

Seated at the end of one of the tables, Krista takes forever to get herself ready to eat her pasta. Ymir isn't with her; you're guessing she got kicked out for her poor behavior. Krista takes no heed to it, as she ties several napkins around her neck and eats a bit too daintily.

At another table, Bertholdt and that Annie girl are eating together. Reiner isn't with them; he must already be in 'you-know-where'. Bertholdt, interestingly enough, looks saddened by his absence, even though Reiner more or less manhandled him. 

Nothing else really stands out for you now, besides Moblit running out to get a boy named Thomas to put his pants back on. To that, you aren't sure whether to laugh or freak out. 

...

Upon arriving home after work, the very first thing you do is shower. You've had quite enough of standing in your own filth. Once you're nice and clean, and dressed for the rest of the day, you seat yourself at your kitchen table to look over a few of the photocopied documents Mister Smith gave you. You choose a few completely at random. 

 

Name:  Krista Lenz

Age:  14

Diagnosis: Refers to herself as 'Her Royal Majesty Historia Reiss', and refuses to answer to anything besides. Claims that she will usher in a 'new age of prosperity'. Will often claim aforementioned title to exercise her supposed 'authority' to try and take other patients' desserts. Is often accompanied by an outside visitor known only to us as 'Ymir'. 

 

This doesn't seem too overly worrisome. From the sound of it, this Krista girl is more or less playing pretend all the time. Of course, you figure she has something that got her into the asylum. 

You go on to the next one:

 

Name:  Jean Kirstein

Age:  16

Diagnosis: Will perform various mischievous deeds, and claim that a nonexistent being known only as 'Marco' tells him to do them. Has committed arson which resulted in the deaths of at least four people, which he states also was because 'Marco told [him] to do it'. Often ends up getting into fights with Eren Jaeger (a fellow patient). 

 

You don't know what to think of this, other than fear from knowing that Jean has taken lives on the command of his imaginary friend. The last sentence, you can confirm from the first time you entered the building. Keeping all this in the back of your mind, you move on:

 

Name:  Reiner Braun

Age:  17

Diagnosis: Prone to extreme outbursts, due to a severe case of IED combined with BPD. Often takes rage out on the nearest individual. Aforementioned outbursts have ended in the death of his father, by his own hands. Must be supervised at all times, on account of being a danger to himself and others.

 

 

Something tells you to stop there. Despite wishing to read about more of the patients you met today, you know that there's a good chance you won't be able to handle it all in one sitting. Picking up the reports and shoving them to the bottom of the pile, you straighten them all up and leave them in the corner of your table. 

Now seems like a good time to watch TV and unwind. 

...

Day 2 has ended. 

Chapter Text

Day 3 starts off with what is best described as 'a bang'. But right now you really don't want to use that word. Not after what you walked into earlier via the front door.

You thought that perhaps getting there fifteen minutes early this morning would be a good thing. Now, you just want to claw your eyes out of your head.

The first thing you see upon arrival is Armin, standing in front of you, with his side facing you. He's silent yet trembling, tears rolling down his pale cheeks. In his hand is a phone he's using to record...something. What he's recording leaves a blemish seared upon your permanent memory. 

"Guys!" Armin cries out to who turn out to be Eren and Mikasa. "Guys, please...I don't want to keep watching this!" He's ignored; the other two keep on with their unspeakable act. You aren't sure how else to describe Eren with his pants around his ankles, bending Mikasa over a table and thrusting into her, balls deep at that. 

Walking backwards, you exit through where you came in and go to the back door. Right as the door is closing, you hear Eren letting out a series of guttural moaning sounds, which escalate into full-on screaming. 

...

When you sneak into the cafeteria, Moblit (wearing one of those dust masks over his nose and mouth) seems to realize you just bore witness to a terrifying (and terrible) event. Seeing you attempting to literally claw your eyes out may have been something of a giveaway, too.

This time he doesn't even bother with saying hello; he's just right out the door to find out what happened. As he does, you're left alone with a huge bubbling vat of what smells like instant oatmeal. To try and distract yourself, you walk forward and peer in as best you can. 

The entirety of the smell is overwhelming; going by the plethora of ripped open packets and empty boxes next to the stovetop, it looks like peaches and cream flavored came out on top. Moblit seems to not like the smell, hence the mask. You personally don't mind it all too much. 

As you wait for Moblit to get back, you pick up the long wooden spoon he'd been using and proceed to stir it yourself. If you concentrate hard enough, you can tune out the screaming and Mikasa shouting Eren's name. You aren't able to ignore Armin's sobbing, though, for some reason. 

...

If Moblit at all noticed you stirring the pot in his absence, he didn't say anything. He merely puts on a set of oven mitts, grabs a couple of potholders, and lifts the pot up off the stovetop with a bit of effort. You walk right next to him, ready to help in case he slips or something. 

"Just so you know," he tells you as you reach the table and help set the pot down onto it, "I have no clue what goes on inside 'you-know-where'." He looks about to see if there're eavesdroppers, then leans in closer to you so he can clarify. 

"Well, I have some kind of a clue, but Hanji never responds when I ask for more information. She just blows me off. Tried asking the other employees, nothing."

Moblit hands you a ladle with a long handle. "I've been here for a while now, so...if you end up learning anything about it, even something trivial, tell me. Maybe I'll be able to help. 

"Whatever goes on there, it's bad for the patients. Some of them are all scratched up when they get back, if not worse."

You try and ask him what he means by 'worse', only to be interrupted by the sound of numerous footsteps approaching. You'll have to ask him later. For now, you just dip your ladle into the oatmeal vat to get ready. 

Chapter Text

Right now you wish you could go over and shove that stupid whistle down that stupid guy's stupid throat (you think his name is Keith or something). That, or he is in serious need of a Snickers bar. Unless he's always that way, in which case a Snickers bar wouldn't be of much help to him. 

Even so, you remain at your station next to Moblit. At the very least, he doesn't seem to like it that much, either. Either way, the patients start coming in, and right away, you can tell they're all agitated about...something. 

"Ow! Jean!" You can hear (and smell) who you presume to be Sasha. She must've just consumed her usual substance before coming out here; the way she's acting indicates it hasn't taken its toll on her yet. After her, you can hear Jean attempting to give his usual justification for whatever it was he just did: 

"Marco said I had to do it!" 

Then you just kind of lose track of what happens after that; the other patients drown those two out, unfortunately. 

...

Krista is the first to arrive at the table, reaching for what she deems to be the nicest and largest bowl (none of the bowls match; they're all different sizes, colors, and materials). She takes it and holds it to her chest as she shakes a hand free to readjust her fake (and to be honest, quite hideous) crown.

"I hope you realize that I require more of a helping than the rest of these people," she says to you when she stands before you now, holding out her bowl. You say nothing to her; you just load up her bowl and hope she doesn't throw some kind of fit over it. At the very least, Ymir isn't here with her. 

After her comes Sasha. She grabs what you guess is the most 'normal' bowl out of the collection. When she reaches you and Moblit, she tries to get an extra helping. She is promptly shooed off to the table area. 

"But I'm hungry!" She whines, not leaving right away. 

"All the patients are hungry, Sasha," Moblit tells her. "Once everyone has been served, I'll see if there's any left." This doesn't really make her feel better.

"But there's never any left," she says glumly while staring down at her bowl, turning to leave now. 

Next is Jean. To no one's surprise, he tries grabbing two bowls (one for him and one for Marco, you assume). When Moblit tells him to put one down, he gets a crestfallen look in his eyes. 

"But if I don't bring Marco one," he tries to explain while holding out his own bowl, "he'll tell me to bang my head against the wall a hundred and four times!" 

Moblit isn't buying it. "I'll deal with Marco later." He ladles a helping of oatmeal out for Jean as he's talking. "Now, go sit."

Marco may not be real, but he scares you plenty if he's got such a hold on Jean like that

...

A few patients later, you see Armin walk up to you. He's grabbed the smallest bowl of the bunch, using a book as some sort of makeshift food tray. Poor boy still looks traumatized from earlier; you don't blame him. Eren and Mikasa are nowhere to be seen. That's good enough for you; you don't want to see them after what was happening. 

"Here," you whisper to him. Before he asks what you're doing, you grab the bowl nearest to you and fill it right up. He looks shocked by this random act of kindness while you switch them. Before he can thank you, however, you put a finger to your lips and gesture for him to be quiet. 

Then you shoo him off. Since his two so-called 'friends' aren't around, he walks over to sit next to Jean. 

Jean appreciates the company, at least. 

Finally, Reiner shows up (Bertholdt and Annie got there earlier, so they were seated already). Like the last victim of 'you-know-where', he's pretty beat up looking; there's a split in his lip, a black eye beginning to form, and all sorts of other injuries. You're afraid to say anything about it. 

You do make certain he gets a decent sized bowl to eat out of, though. 

Chapter Text

It's while you're conducting your surveillance on the patients that, out of the corner of your eye, you notice someone else coming in through the front door.

To be specific, it's a couple; a man wearing glasses, and his wife. The wife looks a little beaten down and exhausted, rubbing her eyes and frowning. As they get closer, you maneuver yourself so that you're still keeping an eye on everyone else, but they can see you're there now. 

When the two approach you, it's only now that you realize that Moblit's not with you to help out (he's gone after that Thomas boy, since Thomas evidently is without pants again). You're going to have to deal with these two yourself. 

"Excuse me," the woman asks when she and her husband are close enough. "Can you tell us how to get to Mister Smith's office? It's been a while since we were here in person." The man doesn't speak up; rather, he pushes his glasses back up his nose. He isn't looking too happy right now. 

You pause for a moment, rationalizing that the patients would be okay not being supervised for maybe a few minutes. 

"How about I show you instead," you say to the both of them. Cautiously, glancing back over at the patients as much as possible, you lead the two of them to Mister Smith's office. 

...

The moment you reach Mister Smith's office, you realize now what's going on, and who the couple are. 

In the room, besides Mister Smith himself sitting at his desk, you see Hanji and Levi standing on either side of him. Hanji looks uncomfortable, Levi just has the same facial expression you always see him with. Sitting in front of those three, trying not to look guilty, are Eren and Mikasa. The other staff members are off to the side, barely if at all moving. 

"Thank you for coming, Mr. and Mrs. Jaeger," Mister Smith tells the couple, gesturing to another pair of chairs on either side of the two patients. Then he looks to you. "And thank you for escorting these two here. You may return to your usual activities." 

All you can do is nod slowly, before turning and leaving. When the door squeals shut behind you, it takes a few moments before any of them begin talking. Once they do, you turn to go back to the cafeteria, only to be stopped by one of the other patients standing there.

It's Armin. 

"One of the other staff members said I had to come here," he whispers. You think he's saying that to you, but the way he's staring off into space, and off to the side, indicates that he isn't. "I know why. They want me to bring proof of what I saw earlier." 

While he's still talking, he pulls out his phone from earlier. He doesn't press anything on it, but you recognize it as the one he used earlier. It's the one that he ended up filming Eren and Mikasa's unfortunate 'liaison' with. Knowing that's probably still on there legitimately gives you the chills. 

But you can't think of anything to say to comfort him. There probably isn't anything you can say. You do step aside so that Armin knows he can pass. 

He doesn't go right away. He stands there for a little longer, still looking off into nothing, before he gradually begins walking to Mister Smith's office. Not once does he acknowledge you there. You watch as he opens the door to Mister Smith's office, throwing himself into the den of lions, so to speak. 

The loud shrieking of the hinges on Mister Smith's door sounds even louder than last time. 

With your curiosity sufficiently piqued, you tiptoe back to the closed door, and press your ear against it. Right away, the still muffled voices don't sound the least bit good. One of them, which you recognize as Hanji, is quite somber yet emotionless as she relays vital information in regards to the two patients. 

"...isn't the first time...Eren and Mikasa...have an idea...not pleasant..." Her words keep going back and forth between clear and unclear. Then she addresses Armin, who is then prompted by Mister Smith to hand over the phone he holds. It goes silent, or near silent, then. It stays that way for about a few seconds.

When anyone begins to talk again, it's that woman you guess if their mother. She's definitely angry. Her scolding of her two children escalates into shouting. Eren begins to counter with some angered yelling of his own. 

Now, Mister Smith interrupts them and presumably makes a suggestion none of them like. You don't know exactly what he's proposing, but he's pretty calm about it. In the end, it doesn't matter; it upsets one of them especially badly, anyway. 

"No!" It's Mikasa, which is a genuine shock to you. "No, you will not take Eren from me! Do you hear me?! Never!" Then, both she and Eren turn on Armin. 

Eren begins addressing him instead. "Armin, you traitor! We're your best friends! We treated you like a brother and now you go and do this?!" The sound of grabbing and choking is heard here. "What did we ever do to you?!" He's not letting Armin get a word in edgewise. Mikasa joins in on his verbal tirade. 

A brief commotion later, it turns into all out screaming. The door begins violently shaking, leading you to jump away from it. It's then wrenched open, followed by Eren dashing out to the cafeteria. He's clearly out for blood. Gunther and Eld are right behind him, in the hopes they can stop him before everything gets worse. 

When all of them are gone, you carefully peek into the office again to gaze upon the disaster before you. 

Chapter Text

You honestly cannot think of a single word to say in this particular situation. You lift up your finger and open your mouth, but absolutely nothing whatsoever comes out. The numerous pairs of eyes staring upon you isn't really helping, either. Therefore, all you do is stand there, until you think to close your mouth and lower your finger. 

"I'm just gonna...uh..." You point in the direction the other three had gone. After more awkward standing, you turn and run through the hallway. 

Eld and Gunther have gotten a hold of Eren by the time you get there. Going by how everything looks, though, Eren had started fighting with Jean before they got him. 

"Lemme go! Lemme go!" Eren is kicking and flailing madly, desperate to escape their iron grips. "He brainwashed Armin into betraying us! It's all his fault!" He keeps spewing horrific accusations in Jean's direction as the two men start to carry him away. By now, everyone in the room is staring. 

"I hope you end up as Titan chow, you horse's ass! And when you end up getting eaten by one of them, I hope nothing remains of you! And I hope you end up dying alone when that happens! You die alone and no one mourns you!" 

By now, the way Eren's face looks is unpleasant, to say the least. He's frothing at the mouth, making him look as if he's got rabies. 

You run over to Jean and help him to his feet. When you pull him up, he clings to you for some type of reassurance. In turn, you wrap your arms around him and try to gently rock him. 

...

Later, the Jaegers have already left. Mr. Jaeger had a hardened look on his face. Mrs. Jaeger just looked horror struck. 

It disturbs you to see how eerily calm things get after that fiasco. So, for now, you're sitting at the small table desk in the kitchen, your head in your hands and breathing deeply. You know you should probably continue your lookout, but right now you need to settle down. 

You then jump suddenly at the feeling of a hand on your shoulder, causing you to gasp loudly and quickly look up.

"Are you- sorry. Are you going to be okay?"

It's Moblit. He must've finally gotten a hold of 'the pantless wonder' (your growing nickname for that Thomas kid). You're left speechless and can only really nod. 

"I guess that Jaeger boy got sent to 'you-know-where'?" 

Moblit shrugs dismissively. "Going by what I overheard from the others, yeah. I think, at least."

He then reaches behind the back of his head and scratches it. "It's kind of difficult to hear what other people are saying when you have a half-naked teenager kicking you in the face."

Hearing that causes you to stare blankly at him. He doesn't seem to notice. 

"Anyway..." The way he says the word, all drawn out, makes it sound more like "Aaaaanywaaaay...If you want to go home early, by all means. I can do lunch by myself later."

It really bothers you that Moblit seems insistent on getting you to quit working here. You're sure he's just trying to look out for you, but still. Regardless, you stay and go on to surveil once more. Hopefully nothing like earlier happens again for the rest of the day. 

...

By now, in regards to being sent to 'you-know-where', it's no longer a matter of 'if'. Rather, it's become a matter of 'when', 'who', and 'why'. Three days you've been at this job, and on every single day, you've seen at least one person sent to some unknown (but presumably forsaken) location. This all weighs heavily on your mind as you continue your lookout. 

You're currently near the N-Z rooms. It's there that you see one of the patients. Her hair is pitch-black and in pigtails, although some of it looks to be due to the presence of grease. She's standing directly in the middle of the hall beginning, looking quite unsure. 

"Can I help you?" You ask her once you're close enough. 

She doesn't answer you. Instead, she raises up an arm and points down the hall. Then she starts walking, causing you to follow her at a short distance. 

The girl ends up standing at Connie's door, staring at it intensely. That stare continues as she lifts her arm up again, this time to knock. Yet another pause ensues, before the door opens a small crack. 

"Were you followed?" Comes the rasping voice that belongs to Connie. The girl shakes her head no, which leads to the door opening further to let her slip in. You take this opportunity to sneak over and take a spot at the now closed door. 

There's no way to peek through the door window; it's been covered by some thick, black, and opaque material (probably a garbage bag). Looking through the bottom of the door proves similarly futile. Whatever Connie is doing, it requires total darkness. 

The smell though. It's putrid, like the carcass of a dead animal.

"All right," Connie tells the girl, "drop your pants and lay down on the table. This might get messy."

While he talks, you hear the sound of something being stretched, then snapped. 

"Now bite down on this so nobody can hear as good if you start screaming, got it?" You don't listen to the following procedure; by then, you're already running from the door. The smell is practically clogging your nostrils by this point. 

Chapter Text

You barely reach the bathrooms in time to kneel in front of one of the stall toilets and hurl. In the current moment, you don't care whether or not anyone can see or hear you. All you worry about right now is getting your involuntary emetic episode under some type of control. 

It isn't pleasant, to state the obvious. You're hacking, heaving, and all around just making the most hideous noises. By the time you finish, there's a regurgitated mess that a few hours ago had once been your breakfast. It takes a bit more coughing and hacking before you have the confidence to stand back up. 

"Ugh..." That seems to be all you're capable of saying right now. The smell of Connie's room lingers in your nostrils. When you're certain that the worst is over, though, you stumble out of the stall (after flushing the mess down, of course) and over to the sink to clean yourself up. 

It's when you're wiping your mouth with a wetted paper towel that you see a pair of feet sticking out from underneath one of the stalls. The very appearance of them causes you to stiffen up in fright. All you can do then is wait until whoever it is comes out of there.

You relax, however, when you realize it's only Mister Smith. 

"I hope the other patients don't mind that I use their facilities," he mutters to himself as he walks over to wash his hands. He looks over at you while he's rolling up his sleeves. "I know some may think it to be unorthodox, but those who built this place didn't build a bathroom for the staff." 

It's as though what happened earlier hadn't existed. Either that, or Mister Smith's really in denial. 

"Are you feeling all right by any chance?" This question suggests the latter.

...

"I think we need to add some more amenities for the staff here," Mister Smith says while he joins you on your supervising route. "We used to have vending machines for everyone in this place, until Reiner had one of his episodes. For that, it was either replace the machines or replace the wall he'd thrown them both through."

That would explain the awful repair job you saw the first day you came to the asylum. 

"We're still trying to pay that off, for the record. You can probably tell from how often we cut corners-"

As he's talking, the two of you begin approaching Jean's room. From a few feet away, you can hear Jean banging his head against the wall. Each time you hear a hard thump, a number is said. Clearly, Marco must have been quite displeased with Jean for disobeying him. 

"Have you read and gotten rid of the reports I've given you?" To Mister Smith's question, you nod and tell him that you have. You already read some of them, so it isn't a complete lie. Since he's asking, though, you take it as a sign that you need to hurry up and finish the rest. 

The rest of patrolling that hallway is surprisingly uneventful; most of the rooms are empty, or the patients are napping or just keeping to themselves. You and Mister Smith don't exchange any more words, leading to the rest of the time together feeling very uncomfortable. 

When Mister Smith returns to his office, you're left in the hallway with all the rooms. You stand there, watching him go through the entrance of the other hall. When he's gone, you turn to do a more thorough check of everything (he distracted you quite a bit). Starting off at one end, you go by every room, once more forcing you to listen to Jean:

"Thirty-one." Thump. "Thirty-two." Thump. "Thirty-three." Thump. "Do I really have to do this, Marco? My head hurts really bad...Okay." 

All of the thumping and counting continues. You can still hear it when you eventually end up at Armin's room. You feel bad for what happened to him earlier, so you decide to check in on him to make sure he's okay.

...

Peering into the door window, you see Armin standing in the middle of the room. His back is turned to you, with him surrounded by all his books. In stark contrast to last time, the books are scattered everywhere, leaving a poorly made circle for Armin to stand in. 

In his hand, there's a knife that has obviously been used several times already. Before him, through his legs, you can see a crudely-made doll. A chunk of his hair is gone; you're guessing that it's the patch of yellow on that doll. 

Right away, Armin drops to his knees on the floor, grabbing hold of the knife handle with both hands. It takes less than a second for him to raise the knife up above his head, and suddenly begin stabbing the doll in a frenzy. The whole time he's doing this, he's shrieking and yelling at the top of his lungs. 

"You're worthless! You're nothing! You're pathetic! You're a failure!" You watch, in stunned silence, as he carries on like this. It doesn't take long to realize he's actually referring to himself. "You're a traitor! You're unneeded! You're unwanted! You're not supposed to exist!"

Armin continues on, screaming various insults to himself as he stabs endlessly. It's clear that everything he shouts, he believes in regards to himself. Soon, or rather in only a few short moments, he flings the knife to the other side of his room. He then collapses to the ground, sobbing. 

You can't take anymore of this. Without properly thinking it through, you fling open the door and run inside, over to him. 

Chapter Text

Your behavior right now is baffling even to you. You haven't read the report about Armin, so you barely know anything about him. And yet here you are, tears rolling down your cheeks, as you hold him close to your chest. Now he's crying along with you, as well as having snot begin trickling out of his nose (Yecch).

"Shhh..." Is all you tell him, while you comb your fingers through his blond hair. It's gross, since it doesn't look or smell as if he's washed in a while. But you keep right on doing it. 

Armin continues sobbing, well after five minutes. His little body shakes in its entirety while he does it. When you glance down at his bare legs, you can see various scars that are rather obviously self-inflicted. Some have faded with time, others look fresh and almost angry. 

"Please," Armin chokes out as he grabs your shirt and looks you right in the eyes. "Please don't get mad at Eren! He can't control what he does!" You reach up to wipe away his tears, as well as your own. Even after having what should constitute as a total mental breakdown, his fears are still about those who have hurt him. 

"Don't get mad at him!" Armin keeps repeating himself. "He only does all that because he's sick! He's sick and he doesn't know how to deal with it!" 

You almost want to tell him that Eren being sick goes without saying; all the patients have something that's landed them into this place. But now isn't really the time for bringing that up. You're holding him close and gently patting him on the back when you hear footsteps behind you. 

A quick glance reveals one of the other patients is watching you; the one named Annie. Like all the other times you've seen her, she doesn't say a word. All she does is watch, with half of her being obscured by the wall. It actually takes her about a second or two to slip away. 

Once she's gone, two of the staff members (Levi and Mike, weirdly enough) come in and separate the two of you. Levi then proceeds to shoo you out of the room, to do whatever it is the staff members do when something like this happens. When the door closes behind you, you run to the window and look in. 

You see Mike taking hold of Armin by the shoulders (a tight grip, considering how much Armin is struggling) while Levi takes out a syringe and taps at the needle a couple of times. Then he looks up, seeing that you haven't left yet. As he is, Mike is glancing around, sniffing. He looks over at you as well. 

Levi hands Mike the syringe, then grabs a nearby magazine and rips a couple of the pages out. He proceeds to walk over to the door and holds the pages over it. By then, you get the message they're trying to get across to you. 

...

As you're leaving to return to the cafeteria, you're getting the very bad idea that doing so is going to cause serious problems. You also get the idea that interfering with your co-workers' routine isn't a smart thing to do, either. In other words, your hands are pretty much tied. 

You're not getting your hopes very high. 

Now, you can hear Jean counting again, and from the sound of things, he started over. At one point, he begs and pleads with Marco to let him stop, he thinks he's getting a concussion. Then he keeps going; Marco's answer to his desperate request must've been 'no'. 

At least the walls are padded to an extent, though it brings into question just how hard Jean is slamming his face into the wall. 

...

In the end, you end up leaving early. You apologize to Moblit when you tell him upon getting back to the cafeteria, but he doesn't seem to have been all that bothered. If anything, he's relieved that you aren't going to be subjecting yourself to any more horrors of the day. 

Erwin seems to understand, as well. He does tell you to rest up, and you'll also get paid for the full eight hours. 

You still feel like a coward. A large part of you is screaming to go back, go back, but you ignore it as best you can. You ignore it for the entire duration of the car ride home, as well as re-entering your house. It just keeps getting louder, and louder. Still, you try to disregard it. 

Now that you're home early, you decide to take the chance to finish reading the remainder of the patients files. The very idea of doing so, however, makes your hands begin shaking. Still, you take a seat at your kitchen table, and pull over the files you haven't gotten to yet. 

Taking a deep breath, you pull out the top one. 

Chapter Text

Name:  Annie Leonhart

Age: 17

Diagnosis: Patient suffers from a case of selective mutism and pseudobulbar affect. Has kidnapped and tortured numerous other youths at the behest of her father. Was only sent to the asylum upon turning against her father in court (father has since been convicted and sentenced to life without parole). Does not get along with most of the other patients. (Reiner Braun and Bertholdt Hoover are notable exceptions)

 

Once Annie's file has been read, you go on to the next one: 

 

Name:  Bertholdt Hoover

Age: 17

Diagnosis: Has a history of abuse at the hands of past foster families. Said abuse has resulted in urinary incontinence, requiring the patient to wear adult diapers. May shut down in circumstances that resemble aforementioned events. Is extremely mistrustful around staff, and may refuse to cooperate. Also suffers from narcolepsy, which is being treated with medication. 

 

Reading the bit about Bertholdt needing to wear diapers makes you shudder in disgust. Nevertheless, you go on to the next file: 

 

Name:  Eren Jaeger

Age: 15

Diagnosis: Exhibits symptoms resembling that of schizophrenia, on account of an inoperable brain tumor. Shows extreme levels of paranoia; often claims that a group known as 'the Titans' are going to arrive and kill all of mankind. Prone to outbursts, and has the potential to be violent. Often gets into fights with Jean Kirstein (a fellow patient). Is not expected to live more than five years due to said brain tumor.

 

This one just makes you sad. Now you understand (to a point, anyway) why Eren acts the way he does. Armin is right; the guy has a literal death sentence hanging over his head (or in this case, within his head).

With an even more gloomy look on your face. You set Eren's aside, and go to read whoever is next: 

 

Name:  Mikasa Ackerman (also known as Mikasa Jaeger)

Age: 15

Diagnosis: Adopted sibling to Eren Jaeger. Harbors an extreme (if not incestous) obsession in regards to him. Does not tolerate anything that may put his comfort at risk; is violently opposed to any possible treatments for him, claiming that 'they wish to kill [him], and [she will not] allow that.' Has been pregnant at least once since arriving to the asylum (miscarriage; father is believed to have been Eren). 

 

That one just disturbs you; one could argue that they aren't blood siblings, but it's still pretty weird (and one would perhaps say it's extremely gross). 

You shove Mikasa's file to the bottom of the pile, then pick up number five: 

 

Name:  Armin Arlert

Age:  16

Diagnosis: Was subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of his grandfather (legal guardian due to deaths of parents). Often is the subject of torment from fellow patients Eren Jaeger and Mikasa Ackerman (his 'best friends'). Very rarely joins in group activities, and often stays in room to read. Known to have suicidal tendencies, and has self harmed in the past. Round the clock supervision is highly recommended. 

 

Holding Armin close earlier seems to have been a comforting factor. At this point, however, you can't say for sure. You just know that maybe you should keep a closer eye on him, if he has the chance to be suicidal. 

...

By now, you've gotten through the worst of them (hopefully). To try and take the edge off, you grab two more files at random and hope they're not as bad as the ones before them. 

 

Name:  Thomas Wagner

Age:  16

Diagnosis: Patient has compulsive and excessive desire to masturbate in very inappropriate locations. Often goes to mealtimes and group activities naked from the waist down. Efforts to curb these tendencies have proved ineffective. 

 

You have no idea what to say to that.

 

Name:  Mina Carolina

Age:  15

Diagnosis:  Suffers from kleptomania of grand larceny levels. Pleaded insanity upon being caught attempting to shoplift from a Sephora. Is a patient at the asylum as a safety measure. 

 

As terrible as it is to say it, you're glad those last two aren't particularly serious. Several others are literally murderers, only at the asylum due to their compromised mental capacity (and perhaps them being minors may also be something of an important factor).

This very fact alone makes you extremely sad.

You look over at the rest of the reports. Something tells you not to read them; you've had enough heavy material from what you have already read. Therefore, you set them all into a single stack, and enter your room to see if you can find the materials you're in search of. 

Once you've found what you're looking for (a paper shredder, a lighter, and something to set the paper on), you get to work destroying all the papers, like Mister Smith requested you to do. By the time you're done, you're looking at a large pile of ashes. You set them off to the side. 

You'll deal with them later. 

...

End of Day 3. 

Chapter Text

The next morning brings quite the downpour.

It's so dark, you can barely see the road in front of you, even with your headlights on. Managing to reach the asylum without crashing into anything is nothing more than a total relief (along with being a complete miracle). However, that relief quickly fades when you step out of your car and try not to drown on your way to the back door. 

By the time you do reach the door, you're soaking wet. Your appearance brings to mind something akin to a drowned rat. You're also shivering, hoping that you don't end up catching pneumonia just from coming into work. You're then caught off guard by a large, fluffy towel engulfing your head, followed by some vigorous rubbing and shaking. Once it's gone, you just know that your hair's a complete mess of tangles. 

"Sorry about that," you hear Moblit tell you, when he pulls the towel away and helps you out of your coat. "All the other co-workers got drenched too when they got here."

He keeps talking while he leads you into the kitchen. "It is just coming down like you wouldn't believe out there! I'm a little surprised they haven't slammed the area with a Flash Flood Warning yet. 

"Oh, and I've been meaning to ask; are you feeling any better from yesterday? Yesterday was pretty intense-"

Moblit's awfully chatty today. More so than usual. You wonder if there's a reason for that. 

It's actually making you uncomfortable, to be brutally honest. At least then, a distraction reveals itself at that very moment.

"Uh..." You point in the direction you saw the perpetrator run in. Moblit pauses to hear what you have to say: 

"I think Thomas got out of his pants again."

...

"Thomas, please! We've been over this!"

You've already began cooking by the time Moblit's off in an attempt to subdue "The Pantless Wonder". The cartons of eggs and loaves of sliced bread indicate it's French Toast for breakfast. 

You're looking at about a gross worth of eggs, all well past the expiration date. The bread doesn't look too fresh either. Nevertheless, you break a carton worth of eggs and get to beating them. 

Part of you wonders if any of the patients have gotten food poisoning or diarrhea from everything they eat that's expired. Perhaps some thorough cooking can alleviate the potential health disasters. If nothing else, you can feign ignorance in case salmonella starts rampaging through the place (if it hasn't already). 

While you're beginning to soak the bread into the beaten up egg concoction, you catch sight of Levi coming in out of the corner of your eye. You wave to him to try and be friendly, but he seems to ignore you; it's just like on your first day working here. Now you feel kind of stupid for trying that out in the first place. 

As you get a better look at him, you notice what looks to be a bite mark on his forearm. It looks as if it runs pretty deep; whoever did it had the clear intent to cause harm. Quickly, though, Levi realizes you're staring, and hides his arm away from your view. Then he looks directly into your eyes and glares. The message is clear: 

That's none of your business. 

He then grabs the cleaning supplies he ostensibly was looking for, and leaves you alone. You keep watching out in the dining area after he leaves, watching Moblit somehow tackle Thomas and get him down onto the ground. 

The amount of shit Moblit puts up with in this place without losing his own mind is remarkable. Of course, considering the apparently eccentricities revolving around his superior Hanji, it was probably best for him to get desensitized to everything as soon as he could. 

When he gets back after he's put pants on Thomas, you've made some progress for getting everything all cooked up. Without saying a word to you the entire time, he starts doing the same next to you. 

Chapter Text

Outside, the rain seems to have worsened. You can hear it come down hard against the roof of the building. It distracts you long enough that you nearly bump into the doorway; considering you're holding a large platter of freshly made (you use that term fairly loosely) French Toast, that wouldn't be good at all. 

Moblit doesn't seem to have noticed; he keeps walking ahead of you with stacks of plates and glasses, and large bundles of forks and knives. He literally has his hands full. This doesn't seem to bother him, though. If anything, he seems quite happy to not have to carry everything at once. 

You don't speak a word to him as you set the breakfast platter down onto the table. It's while Moblit is putting everything else into its designated space that you realize something's off. Before long, you find out what precisely it is. 

The guy in charge of announcing breakfast is nowhere to be found today. Not hearing that obnoxious whistle of his actually concerns you. It doesn't seem to matter in the end, however; the patients are all coming out for their food anyway. It's probably some kind of internalized clock for all of them. 

As they arrive, you keep an eye out for Eren; you want to know if what happened to Jean and Reiner, also happened to him. Soon as you catch a glimpse of him, you're quickly proved right; there are the many bruises and wounds about his visible body. You're pretty sure you can also see a few burns from a cigarette when he gets close enough. 

You remain quiet, and serve him as quickly as you can, Besides him and the usual antics from the patients, nothing is out of place (that you're aware of, at least). You do the same as you always do, otherwise; everyone is sitting down, consuming what is hopefully not going to be their last meal. 

Meanwhile, Levi and Mike appear, handing out cups of prescription pills to the patients who need them. One patient smacks the paper cup out of Levi's hand, causing Levi to glower more fiercely than usual. Levi then picks the pills up and forces them into the patient's mouth, before having him wash them down with fruit juice. 

Sometimes force must come into play, it seems. 

As for Mike, he's just finishing up with his own set of meds when he stops. He sniffs the air a couple of times before his eyes narrow. He then sets down the box of meds he has, to go off into the direction of a hallway with some of the patient rooms.

He must've noticed someone was missing, and went to go check the rooms. You don't think too much of it. A patient skipping out on meals can't be a new thing around here. 

...

"Hey, Moblit," you ask when a few minutes pass, and Mike hasn't returned yet. "Is it normal for anybody to play hooky in this place?" Moblit takes on a face of contemplation, before shaking his head.

"I wouldn't say it's normal, per se," he tells you. "Has it happened? Yes. Fairly often? No. Why do you ask?" 

You're about to tell him that it was mere curiosity that compelled you to ask him. But you don't get that chance. Right as you're opening your mouth, you catch sight of Mike running back out into the main area. He's moving so fast, you could've sworn somebody lit his ass on fire. 

Mike disappears into the hallway where Mister Smith's office. He isn't gone long before he comes back, with Mister Smith and most of the other workers in tow. All of them are running back to the other hallway. By now, you, Moblit, and all the patients are watching intently as this is going on. 

A long moment of silence ensues when they all disappear into one of the rooms. Then that's broken by one of the employees shrieking bloody murder (it sounds like that Oluo guy doing it.). But just to be sure, you run out from behind the table you're standing at, and run to the source. Moblit's right behind you. 

Indeed, all the patients (of which there are quite a few, of course) come to take a gander as well. You're not entirely certain what the hell is going on, but Moblit seems to. 

"That must've been Daz," he whispers to no one in particular. "I'm pretty sure that's his room." The two of you stand there in horror, before he turns to look directly at you:

"Can you go to the Infirmary and get a stretcher, and bring it back here? And bring a white sheet too. It looks like we're going to need both of those." Without hesitation, you run to the Infirmary as quickly as you can, in order to procure the items that you were asked to find. 

Chapter Text

Eld and Gunther look much too calm, carrying a covered body toting stretcher out the front door of the building. The arm dangling out from under the sheet isn't helping, either. You try not to cringe as you watch the two load the body up into the back of a van, not once betraying their stoic demeanor. 

By now, everyone is definitely paying attention (except Sasha; she's in the background taking bites of everyone else's French Toast). You can hear Mister Smith behind you telling the remaining employees to notify the patient's family. Hearing this gets you to step closer to Moblit again. 

"Who was he?" You whisper loudly to him. He leans in closer so you can hear him better: 

"Daz was one of the more unstable patients in this place," he explains. "He kept stating that he could hear voices, like screaming or yelling. He didn't come out to see the others all that often, but when he did, he'd shout about all the voices and how in pain they sounded to him."

He looked back, his expression falling into sadness. "I suppose he couldn't take it anymore..."

As Daz's body is laid down into the van, you get a better look at the visible arm. Going by the scratches and bruises, he either resorted to self-harm, or he was a regular at 'you-know-where'. The blood on his fingers and hands give some credence to either possibility. 

You honestly don't know which is worse. 

...

Roughly an hour after Daz's body is taken away (possibly to the coroner, or whoever's in charge of the dead bodies from this place), you find yourself standing in the middle of what had once been his room. The overall condition of the place shows that Moblit was right; this patient was clearly not right in the head, even by the general condition of the patients in this place. 

Mister Smith has tasked you with clearing out the room; you aren't sure whether this is supposed to be a scare tactic, or if he just wants you to get familiarized with the nastier bits of your job. Regardless, you strap a face mask on and get to cleaning the darkened stains on the nearest wall. 

You're pretty sure that what you're using as cleaner (baking soda mixed in regular water) isn't actually going to help very much, but it's what has been provided for you, so you go ahead and use it. It could be that Levi (who you're guessing is in charge of cleaning in general) didn't want to have you use the more effective products unless absolutely necessary. 

Everywhere you step, you see some type of carnage; there's claw marks on the bed, vile profanities and pleas for help made of smeared blood on almost every known surface, and some other stuff you really do not want to guess is. The horrid stench in this room rivals that of whatever's in Connie's room, which is really saying something. 

As you're trotting over to the next wall, you catch sight of a rather unexpected item. It's a surprisingly clean stuffed animal; a stuffed lion to be specific. You pick it up out of curiosity, only to gasp when its head comes off. Alongside it, a rusty, blood-stained knife falls out and clatters to the floor in front of you. 

So you pick that up instead. You hold the knife up to about eye level and say about the only thing that can come to mind right now: 

"Oh my." 

...

Mister Smith is in his office with Levi when you arrive to see him, after you're done in what was originally Daz's room (the entire mess took at least an hour and a half for some kind of acceptable result). As you're setting the used bucket onto the desk, Levi grimaces and quickly snatches it back up. He then goes off to put it elsewhere, leaving you alone with Mister Smith. 

"I've notified Daz's family," he says to you when the door squeals shut behind you. The eerie lack of emotion in his voice isn't helping with all this. "In the meantime, a few of the patients are already fighting over his room."

He pinches the bridge of his nose, shaking his head presumably in frustration. 

"The reasons I've been hearing from them. 'I deserve it because I'm royalty'. 'I need a place to hide from the Titans'. 'I gotta have it because Marco wants his own room'."

Mister Smith waves it off, telling you, "I think you get the idea" as he does. You nod, letting him know that indeed, you do. You then remember what you found in Daz's room, and begin to pull it out from under your arm where you had it. 

"Uh, Mister Smith-" You begin. 

"Here in private," he stops you, holding his hand up. "You may refer to me as Erwin." 

That's probably going to be hard to get used to. "Erwin." You put the stuffed lion onto his desk, and remove its head to showcase the macabre contents. 

Chapter Text

"I wondered where that had gotten off to," Erwin tells you as he pulls the knife out of the toy's stuffing. "I'd been intending to throw it out, anyway." 

He looks it over intently, before running his finger over the dull and rusted blade. This latter action makes you flinch; clearly Erwin doesn't care about the risk of blood poisoning or severe infection. 

"Thank you for showing me this," he says when he now looks at you directly. "I will make certain that this is dealt with. 

"For now, best you go and continue on with your routine. Sad and unpleasant as it is, Daz's death must be attended to and best forgotten about for the sake of the other patients." That doesn't really sit right with you. But you do so anyway, bowing and thanking Erwin before you leave his office. 

...

Sure enough, you can hear a few patients bickering over who's going to get Daz's room. Other than that, things seem to have gone back to whatever normal is in this place. As Erwin has said to you, however, it's probably best for the well-being of all the other patients. 

Moblit is sitting down at the table desk in the kitchen, his face buried in his hands. However long he's worked here, it looks as if the death of a patient still bothers him. You don't blame him. You go over to put a hand on his shoulder, which startles him a bit. He looks up quickly to see that it's you, and visibly relaxes. 

"This never really gets any easier," he says to you as he slumps back down onto the desk. "You just learn to deal with it the longer time goes on. Still..." You and him are interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching. When the two of you glance to the doorway, you see who it is:

"Oh, Armin." Moblit gets up to walk over to him. "Do you need something?" 

...

Before you know it, you're driving Armin to the hospital to see his grandfather. You almost say that going to see a man that abused him isn't a good idea, but from the sound of things, the old man doesn't have a lot of time left. Therefore, Armin probably just wants to say his last words. 

Due to Moblit being busy with yet another fight between Eren and Jean (no doubt one of them is going to end up in 'you-know-where' again after this), you end up being the one to take Armin. You actually had to convince him to go with you by promising him that you'd get something to eat later. 

Once you enter the hospital and get checked in, Armin is already walking off through the hallways. As you go to catch up with him, that bizarre smell associated with hospitals assaults your nostrils. Over the intercom, someone has the Sirius radio playing what you guess is supposed to be easy listening. 

In the room that Armin ran into, you see an old man hooked up to a variety of machines. It's a wonder he's still alive; there appears to be more machine than man on the bed. Armin stands at the foot of the bed, staring wide eyed at the invalid before him. 

"Hi Grandpa," he whispers. "It's me. I came to visit, just like you wanted me to." 

Armin steps closer to the old man, coming up to his bedside. You keep watching, leaning against the now closed door. 

The doors here are different than at the asylum; they're heavy wooden pieces, without any windows to see what's happening on the other side. You're guessing they're also soundproof. Evidently, this is what Armin was banking on. 

"You don't have to say anything, Grandpa," Armin goes on, calm to a worrisome degre. "I know you're sorry for what you did. It's okay." To your gradual horror, he reaches out to take hold of a few wires, the leads connecting to the electrodes on his grandfather's chest. Carefully, one by one, he removes them. Already, his grandfather is attempting to struggle. 

"You don't have to suffer anymore. It's okay. You can let go now." Nearly every fiber of your being is screaming at you, telling you to do something, to stop him

But you don't. Knowing the sordid actions the old man had done in the past, you're not really feeling like preventing his imminent death. He's on his deathbed anyway. You keep this in mind as Armin takes hold of his grandfather's feeding tube and yanks it out of his stomach. 

The machines that are still hooked up to Armin's grandfather are going haywire by now. In some sick form of amusement, you wonder why none of the hospital staff have come to check it out. 

Finally, Armin took hold of the tube attached to the ventilator, and bent it while holding part of it shut. Now, Armin's grandfather is struggling desperately to breathe. It's all in vain. The whole time, Armin is telling him to let go, that he's aware that he is sorry, and other things. 

In fact, the last thing that the old man sees is his grandson, looking him right in the eyes while saying his last words to him:

"Goodbye, Grandpa. Have fun where you belong:

"In Hell." 

Chapter Text

It takes the shrill drone of a flatline on the EKG to confirm to you that, yes, you've just witnessed a sixteen year old boy murder his own grandfather. You aren't entirely sure what the most disturbing part of it all is; the emotionless way Armin did the deed, the fact that you are surprisingly unfazed at it, or realizing that none of the hospital staff have showed up yet. 

Armin steps back and turns to you again. His face betraying no feeling. He then smiles a little, before walking over and taking your hand. You let him lead you out back into the parking lot. 

"Let's go to KFC for lunch," he says to you while getting into the passenger's seat, acting as though he didn't just kill a man less than five minutes ago. "I like their mashed potatoes and gravy."

You could've sworn that on the way out, a couple of the medical personnel were chattering to one another. One of them stated that 'Mr. Arlert' had just died, ruling it as 'natural causes' or something like that. What really stood out to you, though, was what the other staff member had said: 

"Good riddance." 

Somehow you get the idea there won't be any legal charges being filed here. 

...

The restaurant is rather quiet when the both of you arrive; there's next to no customers, even though by now some of the places are probably ending their breakfast shift and starting on lunch. Armin doesn't look too fazed; he pulls you up to the counter and stares intently at the choices. 

For a moment, you actually forget that Armin is a patient at the asylum. He's acting pretty much like any teenager who's eager to get lunch-

"Hi, Miss Kirstein!" Armin cries out, waving at the woman in the back, cooking things for the few other patrons in the place. The woman looks up briefly and waves back at you and him. Awkwardly, you join them both. It's cut short when whoever is in charge of the register shows up, however. 

Then you're just placing an order for both you and Armin, of course having to pay for it with your money. 

...

"You know her?" You ask Armin once you're both getting your food. 

Armin nods. "Not very well, though. If I remember correctly, she used to live in a different town before moving to Trost." He quick glances her way again, like he's silently asking permission to talk about her. "Now she works full time here to keep an eye on Jean, along with making enough money to make sure he can stay at the asylum."

Something about that you find sad, for some reason. You're certain that Jean's mother is well aware of his imaginary friend. Things like his fights with Eren and trips to 'you-know-where', on the other hand, that's more of a gray area to you.

As if to say that you were hoping for answers, Jean's mother comes in and sits at the same booth as the two of you. 

"Thought the two of you looked bored over here," she says. "Hope you don't mind me coming over to chat with you." You don't mind; in fact, you were glad she did. 

"Actually..." you say to her. By now, Armin's happily devouring his mashed potatoes and gravy. Seems he really does enjoy it. 

...

The questions you practically bombard the poor woman with are some pretty heavy ones. It becomes evident that she regrets coming over to sit with the two of you. Regardless, she answers them all to the best of her ability, and with a surprisingly good amount of politeness. 

"It broke my heart to have to send Jean to that place," she tells you. "But understand that it wasn't an impulse decision. I waited quite a while before I ever considered sending him away to the nuthouse. Maybe I waited too long, since I saw signs from since he was little that something wasn't right."

You settle in better, leaning onto the table; you want to make it clear that you're going to listen to each and every word that Jean's mother is about to tell you. Disturbing as it might end up being, it might also be a good idea to keep certain ideas in mind while dealing with patients. 

Chapter Text

"I've had to raise Jean by myself from the day he was born," Jean's mother begins when she sees you're not going to budge on this. "His father walked out on us about a month before he was born."

Here she grimaces, like the memory brings her actual physical pain. "Supposedly, he decided he didn't want a family just yet, and ran off with another woman. Needless to say, I was left alone when I had to give birth. Not the best situation for me to be in, considering there were complications afterwards. Terrible complications. Ones that I needed a c-section for."

You nod, taking in every word as if it were your last. You feel bad for Jean's mother, with him causing problems for her since literally the day he was born. 

She goes on. "I brought him home, and for so long afterwards, he never stopped crying. I checked everything with him, and nothing; he wasn't hungry, he didn't need changed. I didn't know what the issue was." 

You make a mental comment to yourself that it would've been difficult caring for a regular baby, let alone one who would grow up to have serious mental problems. 

"Then what?" You inquire. 

"When he got older, that was when I really started noticing strange things. In preschool, he wouldn't stop biting and pulling the hair of the other children; no amount of time-outs or denied snack time stopped him from doing it. The adult in charge didn't know what to do either." 

Jean sounds like he was a menace then. Regardless, you push her to continue. By now, you seem to have forgotten that Armin is sitting there, listening as intently as you are. 

"Come his elementary school years..." Jean's mother paused. "It got worse. In second grade, his teacher and the principal called me in for a conference; apparently, he'd broken the neck of one of the classroom's pet guinea pigs. Then, he ended up trying to stab one of his classmates with a pencil."

About the only thing you know to say to that would be "Yikes.". You then follow up with "Did you ever learn why he kept doing all those things?" 

"I did; the same excuse he uses now, it sounds like."

Immediately, you say the words you've been letting whirl about in your head: 

"Someone named Marco told him to do it?" 

Miss Kirstein's eyes widen as she looks at you, before she closes them and nods. 

"When I heard him first say that name, I couldn't believe my ears. I actually had him tell me again, just in case I thought I heard him wrong.

"But no, I heard him correctly; he'd said the name Marco. For the rest of the time in school until I sent him to the asylum, that was his excuse for all the terrible things he did."

You open your mouth to ask something, but she apparently manages to read your mind: 

"And yes, this includes the arson charges. The other choice for him was juvenile hall." By now, Jean's mother has started drumming her fingers against the sticky plastic table. Armin finally makes it obvious that he's still here and listening, by saying his own inquiring input. 

"You said he also occasionally has tantrums, right?"

Her frown becomes more permanent. "He does. Much of the time, if he doesn't get his way, he'll pitch a fit. It was understandable when he was little, but when he got older? Not quite as much.

"One year on his birthday, I told him that they were out of the cake flavor he wanted. That...evidently was not the right thing to say. Before I knew it, I had a thirteen year old boy shouting that he hated me and wanted to kill me and himself, just because the restaurant we were at didn't have ice cream cake."

She doesn't really need to say anymore; you get the idea. Still, one last thing comes to mind for you: 

"Where'd he get the name Marco, anyway?" It's clear she's getting even more annoyed by your questions. Nevertheless, she tells you, perhaps as a way to get you to quit asking any more intrusive questions.

"Originally, I had been pregnant with twins. Very early on, at least. Then, during one of my later ultrasounds, I only saw one baby. The doctor said the surviving twin must've absorbed its sibling. I'd already had a name picked out for one of them; Jean. Had his twin manage to live and be a boy, I would've named him Marco."

Here, Jean's mother gets a far off look in her eyes, like she's staring off into space now. "I never told Jean about his missing twin, so hearing that name has haunted me ever since..." 

...

Once you leave the restaurant, you have some new form of respect for Jean's mother, and the shit she most likely have had to put up with (and probably still does). You ignore Armin's attempts to initiate conversation with you as you start up the car and drive back to the asylum. 

Armin quickly runs into the building and back to his room, maybe to go back to reading some of the plethora of literature he's amassed. It's fine with you; chances are you don't want to be alone in a room with him for a little while. Not after the way he so easily took the life of one of his most prominent abusers. 

You kind of understand why he did such a thing, but it's still pretty damn unsettling. 

Nevertheless, you go back to see if Moblit needs any help with anything (you're pretty sure he's taken care of lunch by now). As you go by, you quick glance over all the patients in the main room. It's possible that some if not all of them have parents who made the decision to put them in here. 

And that's if they have parents. 

You push the depressing thoughts into the back of your mind, and keep going to see what Moblit's up to. 

Chapter Text

Moblit's not in the kitchen when you check in there to look for him.

Instead, you find Mike, wandering about and sniffing the air intently. You sincerely hope it's not you he's smelling for (since that'd be both terrifying and insulting; mostly insulting). Without saying a word, you back out carefully and cautiously, and watch him from behind the doorway. 

He's probably looking for one of the patients; going by the way he's looking in every cupboard and other potential hiding spot, it all but confirms that. He keeps searching, you keep watching. Eventually, Mike pauses, and takes a particularly strong whiff of the air. He then strides over to a pantry by the kitchen sink, flinging it open none too gently.

Immediately after, Mike pulls Sasha out. Sasha is clearly taken by surprise. Going by the chocolate and peanut butter smeared all over her face, she got into something that she shouldn't have. When the two leave the kitchen, Mike is just about pulling her arm out of place, he's yanking her away so hard. 

They're gone before you have the chance to call out to either of them. Instead, you turn your attention to the mess that Mike ended up making. Gritting your teeth in apprehension, you start making some kind of effort to put everything back to where it's supposed to go. 

...

"Oh dear..." 

You're tucking away one of the tablecloths when Moblit arrives, looking about curiously. One glance at him means he knows full well what had happened earlier. "I leave to go look for Sasha along with everyone else, and it turns out she was in here the whole time." 

He chuckles nervously and scratches the back of his head, shrugging with his free hand. "Shows how much I pay attention, huh?" 

Now Moblit approaches you, eager to change the subject. "So, how'd things go with Armin?" You look down at the ground, uncertain whether or not telling him what had happened would be a good idea. In some desperate kind of response, all you can do is give a half-hearted shrug of your own. 

Moblit seems to understand what that means. 

"Ah, okay..." His voice drowns down about a few decibels. "Personally I'm a little surprised he could still figure out which room was his grandfather's. He hasn't been able to understand what most things say when he's presented with them-"

"Huh?" Now you're confused; Surely Armin can read; there'd be no other reason his room is chock full of all sorts of reading material. 

When he hears you, Moblit explains. "Believe it or not, he can't actually read. He's a very smart and attentive boy, but he never could figure out how to read. And believe me, he's been trying as hard as he possibly can. That's why he's got all those books in his room.

"We're thinking he has a severe form of dyslexia, along with what ever else got him landed in this place. Sad, really."

Indeed it is. 

...

You only have to stay at work for about an hour and a half longer before you go home. Even so, you're still pretty shook up over the day you've had so far. 

Besides the fact that Armin killed his grandfather, there's also whatever the hell Sasha had been doing that caused the staff to go looking for her (she must've eaten something of great importance and didn't have enough time to wipe the mess off of her face). 

This time, you realize that you don't have to read any more reports on the patients. That relieves you, but at the same time, it unsettles you. 

Hopefully tomorrow will be less likely to end in seeing a corpse or two. 


Day 4: End.

 

Chapter Text

That night, you have a very bizarre dream. You know it's a dream because you've never before been to this location in your life. 

You find yourself in a place with metal walls, with the corners of them in the advanced stages of rusting. There's been some effort to scrape it all off, but it looks as though whoever tried it ultimately just gave up partway. After staring at said rust for a bit too long, you press on. No doubt that if you could smell in dreams, there'd be an overpowering stench.

As you walk forward, the walls seem to narrow in on you, like they're attempting to compress you. It actually feels as if you're starting to have a hard time breathing (which is odd, given that you're in a dream). You instinctively clutch your torso anyway, as you look about your surroundings. 

The farther you go, the closer and closer the walls close in on you. Right when it seems that you're going to be crushed, however, the walls form a doorway leading into a very large, industrial-looking room. Or rather, to be more accurate, it looks more like a mix of a medieval torture chamber, and something out of Frankenstein. 

Even though every single part of you is screaming at you, "Stop! Run! Go back!", you're unable to heed those internal warnings. Step by step, you make your way through. While you are, you begin to hear voices. A few quick glances about the place reveals no one in here with you, however. 

The voices in question initially start off with quiet weeping. Then they switch into talking (albeit muffled to the point where you can't understand what's being said). Quickly, that escalates into shouting and screaming. It gets loud to the level of feeling like an icepick being rammed into your ears.

And still, you keep walking. 

You reach the end of the room, which has what looks like a dentist's chair in front of you. It's got a large metallic tray and everything (it is, of course, rusted through in a couple of places). 

As you start to reach out to presumably touch the chair, an unknown hand grabs you roughly by the shoulder. Without enough time to properly react, you're pulled back and away. But you don't get to see your would-be assailant. 

For it is at this point that you jolt awake drenched in sweat. 

Initially, you simply lay there, panting and trying to catch your breath. You then slowly sit up, making sure that yes, you're back in your bedroom. Once you get your breathing slowed to a better rhythm, you glance over to get a good look at your alarm clock. 

Three a.m. You have to be at work in two hours. Probably best to get up and get ready now. 

You certainly need a shower after all that, at the very least. 

Chapter Text

You're still pretty shook up from the nightmare you had when you get to work. You can't even bear to say hello to your co-workers as you pass them on your way inside. Not that most of them seem to care anyway; they just continue on smoking and ignoring you. 

A few of the patients are up and in the main room already. Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie are all playing some card game. They seem calm enough. Or, well, they are until Annie mutters something while looking up at Reiner. Whatever it is she said to him, he doesn't take it well. 

Going by how he then flips the table and grabs a chair to beat someone with, he doesn't take it well at all

"I'll 'Go Fish' you, bitch!'" Reiner hollers as he lifts the chair up in preparation to bash her head in. Not once does Annie react; rather it's Bertholdt who does that for her. He reacts all over the chair he's sitting in. 

Without a moment's hesitation, you sprint on over to grab hold of his chair. For a brief few moments, you struggle to wrestle it from his iron grip. For obvious reasons, however, you are unable to do so. The best you can do is keep him from swinging it all over the place. 

It takes hearing Moblit calling Reiner's name for him to even begin calming down. Once he is, though, he drops the chair to the floor and collapses to his knees. By the time Moblit reaches you, Reiner is hugging your knees and begging not to be sent to 'you-know-where' again. You try telling him that it isn't really your call, but he doesn't appear to listen. 

You look to Moblit for assistance, with an uncomfortable look on your face. Moblit, on the other hand, just calmly pries Reiner off of you and leads him back to his room. Reiner's quietly sobbing the whole time. When they're gone, you turn to Bertholdt, who is still clutching the chair he pissed on by the sides. 

Without scolding him (which is probably what he figured you'd do), you bring him to his feet and lead him away. Terrified or not, there's no sense in sitting around in completely soiled clothing. 

On your way to Bertholdt's room, you can hear more shouting from the other rooms. Once again, Eren and Mikasa are administering 'tough love' upon Armin. Then, there's the sight of Sasha clawing at the window on her door. She's begging for it to be breakfast already. 

You wonder if she'd been sent to 'you-know-where'. You'll probably find that out later when breakfast is being served. 

Never have you felt so powerless than you do right now. All of this is going on around you, and the only thing you can do is change the shorts of one of them. 

Chapter Text

Bertholdt seems to be quite humiliated as you wash his legs with a wet dishrag (Moblit had been kind enough to give you one after he got back from dealing with Reiner). You keep a straight face as you're cleaning him, but inside you feel so bad for him. It isn't like he can control when this happens. 

"Reiner gets scary when he does that," he tells you in an effort to make conversation with you (he must've figured that the silence between the two of you was getting too awkward). "I'm scared to ask him about stuff because he can explode over the smallest issues out of his control."

You just remain quiet as you hand him a clean diaper (he can at least change himself, which is good). Part of you wonders if the report saying that Bertholdt was mistrustful around staff wasn't entirely true. He certainly seems at ease around you, anyway. 

Then you remember the time he locked Hanji into a hyperbaric tube, and realize he hasn't done anything to you yet (keyword being 'yet'). There's no telling what he might do in the future. 

Once Bertholdt is cleaned up and wearing a dry pair of pants, you make sure he doesn't need anything else. You really don't want to leave him, but the alternative is having him follow you around; you don't know if that's allowed or not. He might also start talking about topics not suited in polite company. You don't really want that either.

In the end, you make a sort of compromise:

"Just let me know if you need anything, okay?" Bertholdt sits up with his legs crossed, silently nodding a bit too eagerly. 

...

As you walk down the hall again, you peek into Sasha's room. Her clawing and shouting seem to have died down. Now she's just on the floor, laying on her side, nearly motionless. You also smell what you think is marijuana; she's already gotten into her stash, it appears. There's a few streaks of red across the small window. 

Taking a closer look at her, your fears are confirmed. The telltale bruises and scars can be seen; she got sent to 'you-know-where'. 

Poor girl. 

One of her arms is outstretched out above her head, with one of her hands open palm side up. Her fingers are covered in blood, and at least two of her fingernails have been ripped out. Her hand is also trembling quite a bit. Besides that, and the slight movement that indicates breathing, you'd assume she was dead. 

Reluctantly, you pull away from her window. Nearby, you don't hear Eren and Mikasa anymore; they're probably giving Armin a break. You're hoping they're giving him a break, is more accurate. Now taking a quick glance into his room, you see him also on the floor; he's laying prostrate, however, his hands on top of his head. Around him, one of his many books has been ripped apart, scraps of paper thrown every which way.

It's like he's trying to hide away from the cruel, unforgiving world that dealt him an incredibly shitty hand. You don't blame him, and despite the fact that you watched him kill his grandpa, you never will blame him. A big part of you wants to go in and hug the poor child. 

Of course, right before you manage to do that, you're grabbed by the arm and pulled away. You look over to see which co-worker is in need of your assistance, only to realize it's Krista. 

"None of the other fools in this place are worthy to escort me," she tells you. "But I do know that you're new, and your lack of judgment is useful to me." Although you want to argue against that, it's highly doubtful that the so-called "Queen" will hear otherwise. Now you're wondering if that woman Ymir deals with this anytime she's here.

...

It turns out that Krista wanted to be 'escorted' to Connie's room, much to your displeasure. 

"The higher-ups of this place told Ymir to not come back the last time she was visiting me," Krista says to you as you get closer to his room. "They told me if she were ever to be seen on the premises again, they would call the police and put her away for good. How unfair..." 

She's going on in such a way that you simply can't get a word in edgewise. There's just no stopping her. It's only when the two of you reach the door to Connie's room that she stops and looks at you. 

"I'm going to need you to keep guard while I'm in there," she tells you while approaching and knocking in a surprisingly polite manner. "If word gets out that I've been here, my reputation will be ruined." You doubt anyone besides the staff is really going to care. But you don't tell her that as she's let in.

You can hear Connie greet her, referring to her as "Your Majesty", like he's in on the whole charade. Or he's been convinced that Krista really is some kind of royalty. It's hard to tell with him as of this point in time. While the door's open, you cover your mouth and nose with your shirt. The stench doesn't seem to have gotten any better. 

If anything, it's somehow managed to have gotten worse

Chapter Text

You don't think you'll be getting the repulsive stink of Connie's room out of your clothes and nostrils anytime soon. All you can hope for is that whatever is being served for lunch (or dinner; this place cannot seem to be at all consistent with its dining terms) can help. 

That hope is in vain. Moblit recoils back when you enter the kitchen. As in, he actually stumbles back roughly a yard away from you. It hurts your feelings when he does that. 

"Connie's room?" He asks while pinching his nose, causing his voice to be altered. All you do is nod slowly. 

"Does he ever come out of there?" You ask while taking hold of a large strainer he gives you. Then you step away so he doesn't have to smell you.

Moblit shakes his head. "Only about once in a blue moon. Later in the day, I bring him whatever we had for dinner that day. And I stick around to make sure he actually eats all of it."

"Do you see what goes on in there...?"

"I haven't." He pauses. "Well, okay, that's not entirely true; I did see the inside of it once." 

He goes on while grabbing a few bags of egg noodles, and some boxes of several types of broth. "Usually I stand outside and wait, until he throws his empty plate out of his room and shuts the door. 

Here, he turns his head to look at you, grinning awkwardly. "It's why this place had to switch to plastic dinnerware; he would throw the plates and bowls so hard that they'd break!" His grin then fades as he turns to stare at what he was doing. "One time, though..."

Moblit now proceeds to pour a large bag of noodles into his now boiling pot of water. "He was taking longer than usual to finish up, so I peeked in to see if he was all right. What I saw...What I saw..." 

Now Moblit visibly shudders. "I'm sorry, I can't really tell you. Just know that it'd scar you for the rest of your life. I still get nightmares from it, and this happened quite a while ago." That's okay. You would rather not cause further trauma to the closest you have to a friend in this place. 

"But just hope that if you ever do see the inside of that room, that you maybe gouge your eyes out afterwards, morbid and awful as it sounds."

...

Outside, it's beginning to rain again. You cringe at hearing it, making a note to buy a canoe later while you're setting out whatever it is that's to eat this time (It doesn't look all that appetizing, but then you've come to expect that from this place). 

Not even some slivers of actual chicken (which is probably spoiled, truth be told) can really help the pathetic concoction you're ladling into all the patients' bowls. They all seem to feel the same way, going by the stuck out tongues and occasional 'Bleah!' sound as they walk by. 

Unless they're doing that because they can smell you. It's hard to tell. Either situation is equally likely. 

One of the other employees (it's Mike) is nearby. He, of course, is sniffing the air and groaning. Given how close to you he's standing, it's clear he can smell Connie's room on you. Whether or not he's actually disgusted, however, it's impossible to tell by his face alone. 

"Who was it that took you there...?" He mutters to you in a strangely low voice, right into your ear, and giving you goosebumps. As much as you wish to keep your promise to Krista, you only point in her direction. Much to your relief, she isn't looking at you; she's too busy going on about her sub-par, mediocre meal (mediocre is really stretching it, though, you think) and readjusting her flimsy cardboard crown. 

Mike pauses, before walking away and integrating himself among the routine surveyors. He then goes back to sniffing everything and everyone around him. About a minute later, however, he's talking to all the other employees. None of them look all that happy.

This isn't going to go well, you think to yourself. Now you regret telling Mike anything. 

But this time, you keep quiet, watching as all the other employees now approach Krista. Next to you, Moblit seems also to have noticed what's going on. He's now walking backwards back into the kitchen, perhaps in an effort to protect himself from any potential imminent disaster. 

With morbid curiosity, you stare as all the employees begin to surround her. Now, you await the inevitable. 

You're starting to wonder why you haven't quit working here yet. 

Chapter Text

Krista obviously doesn't take the sudden presence of all the employees too well. Not going by her screaming and kicking at all of them, anyway. She tries to push Eld away with her feet, but with Gunther hooking his arms under her armpits and lifting her up, it's a futile endeavor. 

She catches sight of you, pointing at you and loudly accusing you of treason. To your own surprise, you aren't in the least bothered by her outrageous claims. The other employees aren't either; they're mostly just annoyed. 

"Krista please," Petra is heard saying as she follows the three down the hall. In the process, she picks up her flimsy crown thaf fell onto the floor, "we've been over this countless times! I don't know what it'll take for you to realize that you aren't royalty!" 

Petra is still talking, keeping her voice raised to be heard over Krista's hollering. Their voices get more distant the further they go, until the sound of a door being pulled open cuts Petra off.

Quickly, you run over to see the end of all that. Therefore, you manage to catch in time for the sight of the door to "Solitary Confinement" closing in on them. 

The whole time, Krista is still crying out and yelling. Not even a heavy steel door and a few yards away can completely muffle her. 

...

For a few moments after the door squeals completely shut, you process everything and start putting two and two together. You probably should've figured that Solitary Confinement was the infamous 'you-know-where'. 

Or maybe you did know, and just kept denying it to yourself. 

Another thing that should bother you (but oddly enough, it does not) is the patients' behavior before and after getting sent there. Before, they're kicking and screaming and just all out begging for mercy that won't be granted to any of them. 

But afterwards, they're sent back to be among the other patients, like nothing ever happened. The only real difference is all their wounds. And even then, they don't ever fester or get infected or whatever. 

Something's not right, even for this place. 

...

A little while later, you look up at the clock; it's almost the end of your shift.

Whatever your growing theories are, they're going to have to wait until you get back home. By now, lunchtime has ended and the patients have all dispersed to do whatever activities and hobbies interest them. You and Moblit have started on washing dishes. Of course, you're too distracted to make much progress-

"Is something wrong?" Moblit catches on quickly. You look over at him, before lifting up a soapy hand and making the 'kind of' gesture. He glances behind his shoulder, and takes hold of your dishrag by pulling it out of your hand. He then gestures with his head into the direction he was looking. 

Obviously, you're confused. 

"If you want to go now, it should be fine," he whispers. "If whatever's bothering you requires some alone time...Well, I won't tell if you won't tell. Just say something came up and you needed to leave early. Sound good?" You're a bit stunned, but from the sound of things, chances are Moblit's just trying to look out for you. 

So you take him up on that offer. 

...

Erwin is happy to give you an early leave (although he didn't seem convinced when you said you had to do something, and you didn't clarify what it was you need to do). As you're leaving his office (that damn squeaky hinge on his door has yet to receive an oiling), you take one last look over of the patients. 

Thomas and Mina are well engrossed in adult coloring books (and Thomas, thankfully, had his pants on this time). Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie are once again playing Go Fish. Reiner seems much more calm now, though; he hasn't exploded over the game yet. 

Most of the other patients are watching cartoons on an old analog TV that's been wheeled out for all of them (it's probably from a storage closet you're not privy to, along with whatever is making the outdated old thing functional). Even Armin, who's usually with Eren and Mikasa (against his will, you presume), is sitting and watching with all the others. 

The only ones who aren't doing any of those things are Eren and Mikasa; they're sitting at a table not too far away. Mikasa is watching intently as Eren...keeps biting his hand. Each time he pulls it back, he stares at it in dismay, before finally shoving it into Mikasa's face. 

"Why isn't it working, Mikasa?!" He cries out at her. "Why's it not working?! If I can't get it to work, when the Titans come, we're all gonna die!" He's loud enough to get the attention of the other patients; one in particular is especially annoyed by his TV time being disrupted.

"Marco says you need to shut up!" Jean yells out to Eren. The pillow he's clutching against his chest looks like it's on the verge of ripping from him holding it too tightly. Along with that, Jean is gritting his teeth and clearly upset. 

Obviously, Eren doesn't like this. He stands up out of his chair; he does it so quickly that it ends up falling onto its back when he runs forward. Realizing what's about to happen, and what Eren clearly intends to do, you start rushing forward in the hopes you can stop anything disastrous. 

Chapter Text

The instant you grab Eren by the waist and pull him up, he's trying to claw your face off. He's also demanding you let him go while he does so. Behind you, the sound of Mikasa's footsteps are rapidly approaching; clearly, she's not going to take this unfavorable treatment of Eren lying down. 

"You let go of him! I won't let you take him away from me!" She bellows at you. The rest of the patients are watching this all happen, and doing nothing. Perhaps they're all too scared to, or they just don't want to incur Mikasa's wrath. Either way, you're between a rock and a hard place right now. 

Fortunately, by this time, another person quickly steps in between you and Mikasa; looking behind yourself, you see that it's Levi. He's staring up at Mikasa, a rather dark look on his face; it looks like he's out for blood. 

Mikasa's arm is held in midair, by Levi grabbing hold of her wrist with both hands. No matter how hard she struggles (and she's struggling pretty good), he isn't letting go. Her screaming is quickly rising in volume, but somehow he doesn't even so much as flinch away from her. 

She's still hollering as one of the other employees (this time it's Oluo) picks her up and carries her away. Even fighting at her hardest, he has quite the iron grip; it's almost as strong as Levi's, you figure. 

Behind those two, Hanji quickly follows, giving him hasty instructions to bring Mikasa to the infirmary rather than 'you-know-where' (It's just easier to call it that, since it's the term you're more familiar with). Amazingly enough, during all this, you manage not to get punched in the face. 

As soon as you realize you're still holding Eren, he aims a well-placed kick to your stomach. Right away, the wind's taken out of you and you're falling onto your back, actually skidding a few feet away (ouch). As you attempt to sit back up, you get a good look at Eren's face up close. 

He looks feral; his hair is messy, his eyes are wide and looking frantically about his surroundings. As he's spewing insults and profanities, a ghastly mix of blood and spittle is flying out onto anyone nearby him (including you), and also trickling out of the corners of his mouth. 

Eren's brewing rampage is subdued, thankfully, when Levi shoves him down onto the floor and steps onto his back. For good measure, he also grabs him by the arms and pulls them upwards. 

Then he's gesturing to Eld and Gunther to help him out. Both of them leave for a few brief moments, only to come back with a few blankets being turned into restraints. They don't at all hesitate to tie Eren up, making complicated knots that he can't easily break out of. 

"You'll be sorry!" Eren shrieks at all those around him. "The Titans will come and devour us all, and you'll all be sorry for ever doubting me!" He's so loud that it actually hurts to listen to. You resist the urge to shove your fingers into your ears, only forcing yourself to stand back onto your feet.

"Make sure you shove one of these into his mouth," Gunther says to Eld. "Don't want him trying to bite his tongue or anything."

Eld just nods. Once Eren is tied up to a satisfactory point, Levi steps off of him. Everyone watches as Levi then delivers a harsh, swift kick to Eren's flank, before letting Eld and Gunther pick him up and carry him away. All the while, Eren's trying to continue yelling through his gag. 

...

It takes a while for anybody to really move at all. Probably they're all waiting until the ringing in their ears calms down. Most of the patients have tried hiding behind one another; a couple of them instead crawled into their friends' laps and let themselves be hugged tightly.

Erwin's the first one to move out of the adults, pulling out a handkerchief and giving it to you. It isn't enough to clean off the entirely of the mess that got on you, but it's better than nothing. As if he thinks it'll help at all, Erwin then quickly leads you to the door of the building. 

"If you feel like you can't work tomorrow," he says to you on your way out, "just let me know. I'm certain you have the number to this place so you can call in?" 

You nod. 

But you don't think that's going to be necessary. You let him know that before you reach the place where you parked your car.

...

When you drive back home, you remain in your car before going in. You place your hands over your eyes, taking a few deep breaths through your nose. 

It's as though the longer you work in that place, the worse everything gets. And yet, you never really so much as contemplate leaving. 

Why is that? 

What is it that's keeping you employed at this place? Is there something that compels you to stay, no matter the level of horrifying things that happen in that place? Could it be that you pity everyone there, patient and employee alike, and that's what is keeping you from quitting? 

Right now, as of this moment in time, it's obvious that you aren't going to get any answers. With that in mind, you force yourself to open your car door, and then step out and drag yourself into your house. It doesn't look as if you're going to get much (if any) sleep tonight. 


This ends Day 5. 

Chapter Text

It's a little hard to fathom that you've been working at the asylum for almost a week now. At this rate, you'll end up breezing through the last few days of your 'trial run' before you know it. 

And yet... The things you've seen in these last few days are enough to haunt you for a lifetime. Never before in your life have you been experiencing such terrible mental illnesses. You swear the patients in the place are cursed, instead of mentally ill. 

Then you slap yourself in the face for thinking something as stupid as that. When you do, you forget you have oatmeal in your mouth. 

Whoops. 

...

No sooner have you cleaned up your mess do you hear your phone ring. You let it go a little longer until you have your floor free of spat out oatmeal (while chastising yourself for doing something boneheaded, even at such an early hour). Then you answer it. 

"Hello?" You ask. You barely get the word out before the person on the other line speaks:

"I hope I didn't wake you," Erwin's voice comes from over the receiver. You assure him that he didn't, before waiting to hear what prompted this call. 

He sighs heavily before he does: 

"I hate to do this to you," he begins, "but by any chance could you pull a double shift today? I know I shouldn't be asking the newest employee this, but..." It seems Erwin really doesn't want to make this call. "Can you do this? I promise I'll pay you overtime and anything else..." 

...

You don't know the actual reason Erwin wants you to work a twice as long as usual (he didn't tell you). But you're going to do it anyway; it would help in case the rent of your place went up for some reason. And a part of you wonders if asking him about it would be at all a good idea. 

If you actually have to think on it, chances are it probably isn't. 

Once you arrive at the asylum, you find that the place is oddly quiet; no fits of rage, no pants-wetting, no shrieking about Titans, and so on. To be quite honest, you don't like it when it's quiet; especially when the day before, something intense has happened to cause a stark contrast. 

Even more unsettling and worrisome is that none of the patients are out in the main room. The employees are all missing, too. Nonetheless, you go to find Moblit; if anything in this place remains consistent, it's that he's always in the kitchen (or not too far from it). 

...

Moblit is caught by surprise when he sees you come in; he's surprised enough to drop the tray of fruit he'd been carrying over to the counter. 

"Oh! You are working today," he tells you when he bends down to pick everything up. "Here I thought I was going to be the only one keeping an eye on the patients." You ask him where all the other staff members went, and why he didn't go with them as well. He makes a weird noise while he answers:

"Your guess is as good as mine; Hanji basically said to me there was some kind of meeting going on, and they all had to leave today. I guess I'm not good enough to be part of all that."

He chuckles awkwardly. Then he gestures over to the main kitchen area, prompting you to follow him over there. 

"As a safety precaution," Moblit goes on, "all the patients have been locked into their rooms. Doesn't seem like the best thing to do in this situation, but it's what Mister Smith ordered."

You aren't certain whether this will be the easiest sixteen hours of work, or the most boring. Maybe both. 

Chapter Text

With the enormous food cart being pushed and pulled along in the hallways, you feel like this place is trying to be like a hotel, as opposed to an asylum for kids with mental troubles. That's either really charming or really disturbing; or perhaps it could be a little of both. 

But that's what you and Moblit are using as the both of you bring breakfast to the patients. You don't really want to think about how long it took Moblit to sort all the pills and get everything together. However long it took him, though, you have to commend him for. 

As you prepare to deliver breakfast to the patients, they all seem to realize that it's their usual meal time; to the dismay and fury of several of them, however, they're unable to open the doors. Their reactions are what you expect. 

"Okay," Moblit says to you, pulling out a whistle. "I'll go in and bring it to them. If they make a run for it, slam the door and then lock it. It makes it less likely for them to escape."

He raises the whistle to his lips, but pauses to let you know a bit more. "You might have to hold the door shut, though; the locks don't always work. A while back, we all learned that the hard way. Turns out, Reiner is strong enough to lift up a fully stocked vending machine and throw it." 

Considering what you were told before about Reiner, and the shitty renovation job of one of the brick walls, Moblit's story checks out. 

...

Why is it that you have to stand right next to Moblit while he's blowing the whistle? It makes your ears hurt; as in, actually and physically hurt. But at least most of the patients quiet down and (presumably) behave themselves while waiting for their food to be served to them. 

"Keith was able to blow this a lot better than I ever could," he tells you while you approach the nearest set of doors. "He had a better set of lungs; seemed to have made for a more powerful sound. Also he was able to yell pretty loud to boot. I wish I knew where he'd gone..."

Come to think of it, that guy who used to do that had disappeared after a few days of working here. You wonder where he went. 

There's not really any time to ponder that, however. 

...

Your first delivery would be to Krista. She looks annoyed at having to wait so long for her breakfast. Her facial expression is stoic and cold alongside that annoyance; her eyes follow Moblit as he approaches her with a tray, her first and last name labeled on the side of it. 

Befitting her supposed royal status, Krista's room is littered with large pillows; each and every one is fitted (not very well, though) with a silk pillowcase. The largest one of all of them, she's using as a cushion for her 'throne' (it's just one of the chairs that the patients all seem to have in their rooms). 

"Here you go," Moblit tells her, in as cheery a voice he can muster, as he sets down her oatmeal and silverware. He then steps back to give her some space. 

Krista remains where she sits, craning her neck forward to glare into the bowl set before her. Then she scrunches her nose up and sits back.

"I'll not eat that," she says to the both of you. "For how do I know that it hasn't been poisoned by one of my enemies?" 

"Now why on earth would anyone in this place want to do that?" Moblit asks her.

She goes on, seemingly ignoring his question. "And secondly, this is labeled for someone known as 'Krista Lenz', of whom there is no one I am acquainted with by that name. Clearly there's been a mixup; I am Historia Reiss, the rightful ruler of the walls!" Moblit is beginning to get annoyed, although he's trying very hard not to show it. He turns to look at you. 

"This might take a while," he tells you. "Think you can deliver everyone else's breakfast?" You nod; anything to get away from whatever this situation is turning into. 

...

As you're walking past the other rooms with their residing individuals, you decide to go to the other hallway and deal with them first. That way, you can get both hallways done and meet back up with Moblit. Hopefully the other meals don't get cold by then. But if they do, tough luck for the other patients. 

You still can't get over just how uncomfortably silent the building is without all the other employees. You also have a random yet intense hankering for a Klondike bar. Maybe after work (or during some kind of break), you can go to the store and get a pack of them. 

But that's for later. For now, delivering breakfast. 

Chapter Text

The only thing worse than seeing Thomas running about the asylum half naked is what you just saw him doing when delivering his tray. As if to punish you for your piss poor timing, you open the door just as he reaches his 'peak', to put it in sanitized words. 

Going by all the stains and weird odor in his room, along with the information you've read about him, this is a common occurrence. 

Poor Moblit. 

You don't even bother with saying anything; you just set the tray down and run off. 

Thomas doesn't seem to really notice you, which you're counting as a good thing.

...

Now you're standing before the door to Connie's room.

As a precaution, you cover your mouth and nose with your shirt. Then you knock. As you start waiting upon doing that, you actually want to go back to Thomas' room. That's even if he's gone back to pleasuring himself. 

You suppress the intense urge to vomit all over the other plates and trays. Instead, you grab Connie's designated bowl of what you're guessing is wild rice with grape jelly mixed in (ick). Connie must not have much of an appetite, unlike his apparent best friend Sasha. 

When you hear a series of locks being fiddled with, you take a few steps away. Looking behind you, you then see the door open to reveal a gloved hand reaching out to grab his bowl. It's gone as quickly as it appeared. 

Although you didn't get to see the inside of his room (the door opened towards you, not away from you), you can smell it. The stink is rancid and fetid as ever. It wouldn't hurt Connie to invest in a bottle of Febreeze or something; that'd probably help quite a lot. 

The door closes, leading you to briskly walk over and grab the food cart; you can't drag it away quickly enough. 

...

When you reach the other hallway (where most of the main offenders of this place reside), you can hear Moblit still trying to reason with Krista. He's trying to get her to eat, and she keeps accusing him (loudly) of high treason and trying to assassinate her. You shrug it off as best you can, and start delivering this side's meals (alphabetizing is evidently not a thing here). 

The first tray you grab is Annie's, by random. So it's her room you go to first. Peeking in, you see her standing in the middle of her room. She's as still as a statue; not even so much as blinking. 

"Here you go, Annie," you whisper to her as you set her plate and silverware down onto the floor. The only thing about her that moves is her eyes; they're looking right at you as you step backwards out of the room, following your every movement and footstep. 

The very instant you close the door, however, you hear her begin to shriek at the top of her lungs. This is shortly thereafter followed by uproarious laughter, and then some weird squishing noises. You decide not to look in there for fear that Annie might retaliate in some way. 

...

Next up is Jean. He's rocking back and forth erratically when you enter with his omelet. He stops with that, and then stands up to take hold of his breakfast, quickly pulling it out of your hands. 

"Thanks," he says to you as you start leaving, staring down at his omelet. He sniffs at it, like he's suspicious of it in some way. Beyond that, however, he seems okay. Of course, something goes wrong just as you're reaching his door. You're not the one who gets there first; his omelet is. It smacks against the door and slides down it, leaving a cheesy, eggy mess in its wake.

You're unable to say anything about him doing that before he starts off with whatever it is he deems problematic. 

"That has bits of green pepper in it!" He shouts, pointing at his now unappetizing omelet. "Marco hates green peppers! Now he's gonna be mad at me because I got the wrong thing!" You can only stand there in horror as Jean starts up what can only really be classified as a temper tantrum:

"I'm gonna get in trouble! Marco's gonna make me do something bad to myself!" His voice gets louder and louder, as he clenches his hands into fists and begins stomping his feet. "This is your fault! I'm gonna get in really big trouble, and it's all gonna be your fault! I hate you so much! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!!" 

The amount of fury being displayed here could possibly rival that of Reiner's. With that in mind, you quickly open the door and yank it shut behind you. You're still holding the door handle when you feel it begin to shake from the other side. 

Making sure that Jean can't get out of his room (but by God, he is certainly trying his damnedest to escape), you quickly grab hold of the breakfast cart; you're actually pulling it behind you as you quickly get away and reach the next room. 

Chapter Text

"Shut the door!" Despite the speed you're going when you reach Eren's room, he's still demanding you to hurry up and do what you were sent for. "Shut the door before the Titans reach in and grab you! Do you wanna be the first one to get eaten by them?! Well?! Do you?!" 

Eren doesn't seem to have an inside voice; he almost always seems to be shouting at the top of his lungs. You want to go over and smack him in the mouth, but you tell yourself that you shouldn't; he's suffering enough as is with a brain tumor guaranteed to kill him in less than ten years. 

That, and it looks as if he's been trying to bite his hand again. There's a small pile of gauze bandages nearby that have way too much dried blood on them. He's also gripping his wrist fairly tightly, staring at his self-inflicted wound. The way he's shaking pretty much tops it off. 

All you do is calmly set down his bowl of dry corn flakes in front of him (Maybe the fact there's no milk on it is just a preference). When he sees you moving back, Eren looks down to see that yes, his food's here. He immediately goes on all fours and proceeds to devour it like an animal. 

Now he's seemingly forgotten what he's been doing, in favor of eating something so bare-bones. You take this chance to leave before he starts yelling again. 

...

As you approach another door, you catch a whiff of a familiar odor; it's not nearly as reviling as Connie's room, but it isn't very pleasant either. It gets a bit stronger when you hear the soft thud of clothing against the floor. 

If nothing else, this room's occupant only has a package of Pop Tarts and a glass of apple juice (odd, but okay). 

"Bertholdt," you say as you attempt to knock on his door with your elbow. "Bertholdt!" You now hear the soft rustling of fabric, and some inaudible muttering. Then you remember that you have to open the door yourself; at least there's a handle and not a knob; that makes it a little easier. Without putting down either item, you push down on the handle and let yourself in.

You're greeted with scratchy-looking blankets scattered about the room, one of which is moving about erratically. Bertholdt steps on it from inside and accidentally reveals all of himself; emphasis on all. 

"I couldn't hold it in, I'm sorry," he says to you whilst on his hands and knees, looking to be on the verge of tears. "Please don't tell Reiner what I did! He'll get mad again!" 

Off to the side, not being quite covered up by another of the blankets, lay Bertholdt's pants. As you've come to expect from him by now, they're darkened at the crotch on account of his incontinence problems. In fact, as you bend down and hand him his pitiful meal, you see a stream of yellow liquid still going down his leg. 

"I won't tell Reiner," you say to him as calmly as you can. This seems to reassure him to an extent. 

"Thank you," he tells you while peeling off the foil concealing his treat. "The other employees didn't leave the things I need in here. I don't want to ask Moblit for help; he might tattle on me and get me punished. You're okay, though." 

You aren't sure whether or not to take that as a compliment. All you do is straighten up and leave to go on to the next room. Out of the corner of your eye, you see that Bertholdt is eating the foil covering the pastries instead of the pastries. Well, all right then. 

...

It's on your way to the next room that you see someone crossing through the main section of the asylum. You turn to see them, figuring it's one of the employees that have come back. 

Of course, it isn't. The lady isn't even supposed to be here in the first place. When she sees you, she grabs a hold of you and gets right in your face. 

"Where is she?!" She yells at you. "Where have you bastards taken my lovely Historia?!" When you don't give Ymir an answer right away, she persists. "Tell me right now, you worthless piece of shit, before I rip all your innards out and strangle you with your own intestines!" 

The way she threatens you, as she is now shaking you violently, actually have you in fear of your life. You want to go find a phone and call the police (you know that Ymir isn't supposed to be visiting), or get Moblit to hurry up and get his butt out here and help you. 

But you don't have to worry for too much longer, it turns out. As it turns out, both the former and the latter options come to fruition; Moblit appears in the hallway (like he's magic or something to that effect) holding a cell phone. When he sees the two of you, he doesn't hesitate to run over to come to your aid. 

Chapter Text

"Miss Ymir, you've been warned countless times not to visit this place!" It doesn't sound right to hear Moblit raising his voice, let alone in anger. But of course, the situation called for it. "Either leave now, or I'm contacting the police to have you removed!" Ymir lets go of you to confront him more directly. 

"You tell me right now where my gorgeous Historia is, shithead! Either I leave with her or I don't leave!"

Your eyes keep darting back and forth between the two of them as they're bickering. Moblit isn't the least bit frightened of Ymir. 

"You can't stop us from being together! She and I are gonna get married-"

"She is fourteen years old! And you are three times as old as that! Just because my superiors are not available, that doesn't mean I can't do things on their behalf!" 

This keeps going on and on, without any sort of feasible end in sight. You step back to take out your phone and start dialing 911. You mouth 'I'm calling the police' to Moblit. He sees this and nods quickly, giving you the go ahead to get the authorities involved in all of this. 

...

By the time the police actually arrive, you let out a breath you'd started holding in at some point. You're incredibly relieved that this was dealt with quickly, and not with too much of a disaster. Still, you can only hope that this time, Miss Ymir will stay away from the asylum. 

Given how loud she's screaming and cussing, that would be great. As you watch Moblit deal with the police outside, you decide to continue on with serving breakfast to the patients. With the cart behind you, holding the remainder of breakfast for them all, you stop at a door you know you've not been in yet. 

It's Reiner's door you're approaching. Peeking in as you hold his food, you see Reiner himself sitting on the floor, facing away from the door. The way his arms and shoulders are moving, he's probably drawing on his face or something. 

In the end, you open the door just wide enough to leave his tray on the ground. Then you're quick to shut the door and move on. 

Reiner seems to have other plans for you, though. You're about to move on when the window smashes outward in your direction. Turning to look back, you see Reiner's arm flailing through where the aforementioned window had been. 

Without a moment's hesitation, you grab hold of the door handle and try your best to keep the door itself from getting turned into toothpicks. It'd be a little easier if Reiner wasn't hell bent on clawing your eyes out.

...

"It's common courtesy to greet someone if you're visiting them!" Reiner hollers from the other side of the door.

You quick glance inside and see him in his usual expression of terrifying rage. His face has dark lines going from underneath his eyes all the way down the sides of his face. It makes him look more frightening, somehow. 

It feels like forever that you're holding onto the door and its handle. Moblit needs to hurry up; Reiner's somehow gotten close to scratching your face at least once. What's worse is that he hasn't calmed down yet; usually he has by now. If anything, he's getting angrier. 

When you finally see Moblit coming back from outside, you're relieved to an extent. You then shout his name. He's over at your side in a flash. 

Chapter Text

"What happened?!" Moblit cries out to you. You shake your head and shrug as best you can; you don't want to remove your hands from the door and risk getting bulldozed by a very angry young man. The entire time, you're also trying to keep from getting your face ripped off. 

Desperately, you keep your eyes on Moblit, who is now rummaging through his pockets for something. That something turns out to be a syringe and a small bottle of what you're guessing is morphine. 

"I really didn't want to use this," Moblit utters to himself, "but Hanji didn't give me anything else to subdue the more destructive patients..." When he's done tapping the syringe to get rid of any bubbles, Moblit then grabs hold of Reiner's flailing arm. Holding it down in the best position he can, he jabs the needle in and pushes down on the plunger. 

In a near instant, you can tell that it's working; Reiner's arm quits writhing excessively after the syringe gets taken back out. Reiner himself falls back onto the floor in his room. Like before, his anger fades away into remorse and regret. 

Then, he lays still.

...

You're still pretty shaken up from Reiner's latest outburst. Even so (and against Moblit's suggestions), you continue on bringing the remaining patients their meals. It isn't as if Reiner's IED and BPD is contagious; all of the other patients have their own problems, anyway. 

Next up is Sasha's room. Considering her tendencies toward food, you guess that the extra, unlabeled plate of scrambled eggs with ketchup (cold scrambled eggs with ketchup) is meant for her.

Unfortunately, you walk in at the worst possible time (seems to be par for the course today). Just as you somehow get the door open (by pushing down on the door handle with your elbow), you catch Sasha biting the head off a squirrel she managed to sneak in. 

A live squirrel. 

All you can think to do by that point is quickly set her plates down and skedaddle. You can still hear her talking to herself with her mouth full of squirrel head. 

"I hate when they still have fur left on them..."

...

Once you get to Mikasa's room, she's already having one of her episodes. She's clawing about her room, muttering to herself and paying you no mind whatsoever. Just as well; there isn't actually anything on her plate. 

"There's always a secret door in these rooms," is what she's saying. "I gotta find it! Eren needs me! Why isn't there a secret door?!" Her movements become more desperate and frantic, the longer she goes without finding anything. 

Now she's in a complete panic, going as far as to begin howling. After a few seconds of that, you realize that she's screaming about something else. As she turns around, you notice her pants have a huge red stain on the crotch. 

"No!" Mikasa cries out! "No! No!" Now she's scratching at the still growing stain. "That wasn't supposed to happen!" 

Now her blood is trailing down her leg, much like Bertholdt's issue; hers just involves blood instead of urine. 

What do you do now?

Chapter Text

You're paralyzed with complete and utter terror. The longer you stand there, the worse this situation gets. And yet you're unable to look away; it's that gruesomely fascinating. 

By this point, Mikasa is absolutely hysterical. She's still begging for someone, anyone, to help her with her current predicament. The entire time she's doing so, even more blood courses down her legs like some type of macabre waterfall. A little while later, she tears off her pants and throws them elsewhere in her room. 

It's an absolute horror show by then. Mikasa is holding one of her hands to her crotch, like she thinks that's going to stop her bleeding (it doesn't). She then falls to the floor and smears it everywhere. Then comes what you're going to assume are blood clots. She starts throwing those about while still continuing to yowl and cry for help. 

Now you have a teenage girl bleeding and throwing blood clots all over her room, which is nauseating enough as it is. You hope beyond hope that this isn't going to get any worse, and then you got a blood clot thrown at your face. It's slightly harder than a clot should feel like. 

...Then it dawns on you. You have at least a passing knowledge of clots in general. 

And that is not a blood clot. 

...

First the cops, now the hospital. This is certainly starting to turn out to be an interesting day (in a horrifying, nauseating way, that is). Yet all you ask for is a towel to wipe the blood off of your face (Moblit had one when you asked him, funnily enough), and press on to finish the last deliveries of the morning. 

As you reach Armin's room, you try to do the math in regards to Mikasa's unfortunate situation. There's no way she could have been that far along after what you saw that time with her and Eren. So clearly this happened at least once before a few weeks ago. 

Or that's what you're guessing, anyway. You aren't an obstetrician or gynecologist or whatever. You mostly forget about it when you open the door to Armin's room, anyway. 

Then he goes and reminds you about it when you get his attention. 

...

"Is that Mikasa screaming out there?" Armin inquires of you when you hand him a bowl of generic farina. Still trying to process what all has happened (and is in fact still happening), you just nod. 

Armin doesn't dig in right away; he's still flipping through a book that he is straining to understand without reading the words. 

"That means Connie's going to leave his room later," he mumbles. By now he's ignoring you. You don't ask how those two things are connected (mostly because you don't actually want to think about it). Once he's dealt with, you quietly shut the door and reach the last room.

It's Mina's, the girl who seems to have severe kleptomanic tendencies. 

Peeking in, you see her sitting on her floor. She isn't facing you. All around her are all sorts of items, completely random in sequence and order. Nothing is making sense in any way. 

Then without any warning, Mina falls over and stays that way. There isn't any trembling, shaking, or any other sign that she's breathing. She's just...laying there like a heap of dirty clothes. 

What you do see is a massive dried up stain on the bottom of her shorts, a little like Mikasa's problem. 

This time, you don't hesitate to abandon that breakfast cart, and run off to once again ask for Moblit's assistance. 

Chapter Text

First call had been to the police, the second for an ambulance. Now the third one is for a coroner (no sense in calling an ambulance again; she's already dead). If there were any kind of limit for using phone calls here, no doubt it's been exceeded by now.

"Second death in a week," Moblit says to you as the two of you carry Mina's shrouded body out on a stretcher. "This is going to be difficult to explain next time we see Mister Pixis and the other higher-ups."

The two of you make certain that the rest of the patients are locked up in their rooms, before you get asked to ride along to the coroner's office. Moblit figures you can handle one more dead body; he can handle a group of mentally ill teenagers on his lonesome, or so he says.

...

"Oh, for the love of- another one already?" Doctor Brzenska displays an understandable mix of exasperation and disbelief when she sees you with the dead body. "First the boy who wouldn't quit screaming about everything, now this one." Now she turns to the opposite side of the stretcher and lifts up the sheet, sighing. "So which one is it this time?"

Her general indifference while bringing Mina into her examination room somehow doesn't bother you. It's probably because she's desensitized to all of it; she'd have to be, if she's dealing with dead people all the time as part of her job.

At this time, Doctor Brzenska steps back out and motions for you to come into the examination room.

"May as well come in and see what I do for a living," she tells you.

...

Mina looks even more corpse-like than when you found her. Now she's completely naked, lying on the examination table. Doctor Brzenska is even undoing her pigtails as you're coming in.

"Considering what I hear about that place on the regular," she mutters as she works, "I'm surprised it isn't the kid with a brain tumor that screams about Titans all the time. Or the one that eats squirrels, she would've been a good candidate to show up in here, too." You try not to make eye contact with Doctor Brzenska, and just look about the place.

It's what you'd expect a place associated with the morgue to be like. It's cold, unfriendly, and the walls are some type of unpleasant pale green color.

As you glance about the whole room, you see another body close by covered up in a sheet. Doctor Brzenska briefly looks up from cutting Mina open.

"Yeah, that's the other one that died where you work," she explains as she goes back to her task at hand. "Had some really bad schizophrenia, from what I was told." You take a step closer to it, before she looks up again and says to you not to do that. Now you just wait as she looks back down and continues.

A little longer, and she steps back to wash her hands. Her face is grim as she turns back to look at you.

"Ruptured uterus," she tells you. "What's sad is that I know who's responsible; this isn't the first time someone's wound up in here because of him." She goes to cover Mina up with a sheet. "Thing is, he's been declared mentally unfit to stand trial. And, he's a minor, so..."

She looks awfully peeved.

"Look, it might be best to try and figure it out at the place you work at. Just don't try and ask the other workers; they either won't know anything, or they won't tell you anything. It isn't fun, I know, but your best chance is trying to look for answers without causing too much of a ruckus.

"So if you can, try and look for clues; just be subtle about it, though. The workers before you didn't have much luck, so hopefully you don't mess it up like they did."

Chapter Text

The entire way back to the asylum, you're on the verge of hyperventilating. At one point, you do begin to hyperventilate. It gets bad enough that you have to pull over and get out of the car. Then you desperately try to get your breathing under control. And even then, all the possible theories of what's going on won't leave you be.

You really aren't looking forward to getting back to the asylum. Among the other obvious reasons, you know you're almost certain to finally meet 'Mister Springer' in the flesh. 

Flesh. Just thinking that word makes your skin crawl. But as Doctor Brzenska let you know, it's best to continue playing dumb. 

Not that you were playing dumb before. 

...

To your relief(?), the main room is quiet. The patients all seem to be still locked up in their rooms. The smells and sounds coming from the kitchen indicate that Moblit's started on dinner. Or lunch. It's one of those, that you know for sure. 

On your way to the kitchen, you're stopped in your tracks by another familiar sound. That damn hinge still hasn't been oiled yet. You realize then that one of the other patients is probably sneaking in to cause mischief. 

A change in your destination shows that this is indeed the case. The mischief in question involves rifling through Erwin's office in an apparent search for something. Keeping yourself scarce, you hide behind the other side of the door to check it all out. 

The voice you hear is certainly known to you. It still makes your blood chill pretty quickly. 

...

"Of all the times for Daz to fuck something up," you catch being said over the sound of paper being scattered. "'I can't sleep at night, there are scary monsters staring at me!' Those were your damn stuffed animals, you paranoid weirdo! After this I gotta get more squirrels to bribe Sasha with-"

By this time, the talking has regressed into unintelligible muttering. Said muttering become frustrated the longer his search goes without success. It culminates in a bunch of documents getting flung across the room, before calming back down to what it was initially. 

"Where'd you put it, Mister Smith?" The voice speaks up again. "I use that thing for my worse jobs. I can't get things done right without it-" In the midst of paper getting thrown behind him, out flies the knife that you'd given Erwin the other day. Somehow, it looks even dirtier and rustier than you remember. 

It's what he'd been looking for, evidently. 

"There you are," he purrs to himself, picking the knife up and standing up into your view, cradling it in his arms. "Did you miss Papa while you were with Uncle Daz? Did you?" 

Connie looks as terrifying as his room smells awful. His eyes are horrifically bloodshot and puffy; he's also got a face mask on that looks awfully soiled. It's also obvious that Connie just cuts off all his hair, instead of actually washing it. What little hair he's got on his head is pretty oily.

As he turns around completely, you see he's dressed in an extremely bloodstained apron; the splatters are dark, meaning they've been there for quite a while now. Besides that and his face mask, though, Connie's totally naked. 

"Let's get back to the room and keep working, okay~? Apparently Mikasa was holding out on us!" You quietly tiptoe to the other side of the doorway when his back is turned again. Then you make a run for the kitchen, before you hurl.

As it turns out, the only thing that smells worse than Connie's room is Connie himself. Or at least that's what you figure. 

Chapter Text

Never have you been happier to see the kitchen than you are now at this very moment.

You quick run over to the sink and start scrubbing your arms and face vigorously with hot water and soap. In the process, you let out a few very loud guttural noises of disgust. They're enough to get Moblit's attention away from whatever he's boiling water for, and attend to you. 

"Hey, are you okay-" Then he recoils away from you, pinching his nose and waving in front of his face. 

"Did you get near Connie's room again?" He asks you when he thinks he's far enough away from you (he's not). 

You shake your head, still not looking at him. "Connie himself," is all you can really say to him. This causes his eyes to grow very wide. He stares at you that way for an uncomfortably long time, before quietly uttering two words that he's never needed to say to you:

"...I'm sorry."

...

You're going to guess there's about thirty kinds of cheese, mixed in with about ten different kinds of pasta, in the pot you're carrying (some you don't actually know the name of, let alone realize they existed). You trail behind Moblit, who's carrying a ladle and a large stack of bowls. 

Personally, you think that's too damn much cheese. You won't tell Moblit or the patients that, though. It's not like you're the one eating that culinary disaster. 

"Okay kids!" Moblit calls out loud enough to be heard in both hallways. "Dinner's ready!" It seems awfully early to be eating dinner so soon after breakfast. But then, the clocks in the building don't appear to be functional right now.

Perhaps time is moving faster than you think it is. 

...

Upon choosing the first door at random, Moblit is quick to scoop out a decent amount of pasta and cheese (shells, vegetable rotini, all kinds of funny characters, and so on). He quick dumps it all into the first bowl you hand him, and then knocks on the door. No response.

He knocks again. "Are you all right in there, Eren-" 

"Go away!" Eren shouts from inside his room. "I'm not letting you in! For all I know, you've become one of them! So piss off!" Moblit is stunned into total silence, remaining where he is in the pose he's taken on. Therefore, you take the bowl from Moblit and open the door yourself. 

You're greeted with a swift right hook, just barely missing your face. It hits the door directly in front of your face. Then you end up hearing even more of Eren's shouting (which isn't a good thing, since you're right in front of him): 

"I'll kill you!" Is what he's saying at the top of his lungs. "I'll kill every single one of you!" Like several times before, it's clear he's been biting his hand again. There's blood spattering the door when he pulls back to try and hit you another time. However, this time you're ready for him. 

With a blank look on your face, you grab hold of Eren's wrist, and grip hard. Moblit by now has recovered from his momentary shock and can only watch what you're doing. The blank look remains as you force Eren back into his room. You then hand him his bowl of pasta and cheese. 

"Eat," is about all you say to him in a monotone voice. 

In a surprising change from his usual (and expected) reaction, Eren's look and mood goes from white-hot fury to absolute terror. He can only nod, and take his dinner from you. He steps back now, not even bothering to ask for silverware. Once you close the door behind you, it's only then that you shake yourself out of it. 

"Are you okay?" Moblit asks you, putting a hand on your shoulder. You turn your head towards him, and nod a few times. The both of you try to shake off whatever that was, and go about continuing your routine. 

Chapter Text

Thankfully, the rest of your time delivering pasta and cheese goes relatively quietly. The patients are much more calm than when they were during breakfast; it could be that they all heard you dealing with Eren, and none of them want to incur your potential icy wrath. 

There are the requests for seconds, and the usual reasons for wanting them, but right now you really don't care. In fact, this entire time you're oddly detached. It's almost as if hearing Eren shouting and trying to attack you broke something within you. 

Or it could just be that working here for nearly a week has caused you to already become desensitized. Whatever gets you through this freakishly long shift quicker, you figure.

You don't even scold Jean for eating his breakfast omelet from earlier on the nasty, dirty carpet. All you do is leave him his bowl, while making certain to at least comply with his request of extra funny shape pasta characters (your guess is that Marco likes them). 

For obvious reasons, you don't go to Mikasa's room. Not after what happened earlier. She isn't in there anyway; Moblit has her locked up in the infirmary, for her own safety as well as all the other patients. He also hopes it keeps you and himself safe. 

As you follow behind Moblit back to the kitchen, you take a quick peek into Armin's room. He looks to be ignoring his lunch in favor of leafing through one of his magazines. Or he is, until he stops on a specific page with a picture of a man on it, and rips it out. 

You then watch as Armin pulls out a Zippo lighter from behind a smaller stack of books. He remains stoic when he lights the magazine page on fire, and watches it burn to cinders.

"Now you will never haunt me and Bertholdt anymore," you hear him say. This piques, your interest, though you get the feeling you shouldn't ask him outright. 

Instead, you go find Moblit. 

...

You ask Moblit the instant you get back to the kitchen. He looks confused at first, but then starts explaining after thinking about it a little. 

"If I remember correctly," he begins, "Armin and Bertholdt are foster siblings. Bertholdt lived with Armin and his family for a couple of years. Of course, then he and Armin got taken out when they found out what was going on there. Armin's father, I mean grandfather, he-"

That slipup makes you raise an eyebrow, and you wait to see if he follows up on it. He doesn't. 

You'll have to ask him about it later. 

...

Now on your round of surveillance, you choose a door at... not quite random, but that's what you're going to call it. 

Turns out you choose Bertholdt's room. As you glance into his room, you see him sitting on his bed staring at the wall. You can also see his mouth moving, but you can't figure out what he's trying to say. He's awfully engrossed in it, though. You decide to go in and find out what exactly he's mumbling about. 

He doesn't hear you come in to his room. Doesn't so much as pause talking to himself (or thinking out loud, is what it's more acceptable to call it).

You call his name once, and nothing. You call it again, still no response. As you step closer, however, his muttering gets more frantic. 

One more time, you say his name. This looks to be the breaking point for him. It's then that Bertholdt lurches forward and begins shouting and hollering. 

Chapter Text

"No, Mister Arlert!" Bertholdt screams. "Please, no! I'll be good, I'll be good! Don't make me play leapfrog with Armin! Don't make me, I'm terrible at it and it hurts to play! I'm sorry, please!" He's relentless in his begging and pleading, whatever it is he's referring to. You have an idea what, given what you know from earlier. 

As you expect of him by now, Bertholdt pisses himself as he now begins to crawl about his room. He goes right under one of his scattered blankets, and continues said crawling.  His shouting regresses into incomprehensible blubbering. The entire time, Bertholdt is still pissing himself. 

Until he rams himself into a corner of the room, anyway. Then you just walk over to him and pull his blanket away. Bertholdt is still cowering as you pull his pants off. 

"No! No, please!" His face is red and tear-stained. He tries desperately to keep his pants on, even though this isn't the first time you've had to change him. With enough time, Bertholdt even starts kicking you in the face (not that that's going to deter you from what you're doing). 

The entire time, he's getting worked up and screaming, asking of 'Mister Arlert' to "stop, please stop!". It doesn't faze you, at all. What does faze you is when Bertholdt kicks you particularly hard right in the nose. While you're stunned from that, Bertholdt takes the chance to escape. 

He doesn't get far, of course. Evidently, though, he wasn't planning to; he ends up running into Armin's room. Once you get back up, pinching your now bleeding nose shut, you go after him. 

...

Shouting for Moblit right now isn't very effective; holding your nose shut alters your voice way too much. So, instead, you pick up the pace. The whole time, a few of the other patients try to get your attention. 

There's no time for that right now. 

You don't bother with formalities announcing your presence. All you do is grab hold of Moblit and roughly shake him a few times. Before he can respond properly to that, you're dragging him through the hallway, back to where Armin and Bertholdt are. All the while, you keep your nose pinched shut (breathing through your mouth kind of sucks). 

The scene that greets both of you when you return is a...surprisingly pleasant one. Armin is cradling Bertholdt's head in his lap, calmly stroking his hair. Bertholdt himself is lying face down with his bare ass sticking right up in the air, sobbing and whispering his pleas from earlier. 

"I know you don't want to play leapfrog with Grandpa and I," Armin coos to him. "I know it hurts. Having him film us playing it isn't very nice either." Here he leans forward and carefully pulls Bertholdt up to look him in the eye. 

"Don't worry though," Armin goes on. "Grandpa is gone now. He's in Hell where he's supposed to be." Bertholdt blinks a few times, his face pretty well streaked with dry tears. A few heaving breaths and he asks of him:

"You promise?" Armin just nods. 

Despite this being strangely adorable, you remind yourself why you dragged Moblit here. Carefully, you let go of the bridge of your nose and thankfully, the bleeding has stopped now. You then bring Moblit in to attend to the both of them, and enter Bertholdt's room to find a new pair of pants. 

You then stop when you realize his room's become occupied while you're away. It's Annie, who somehow escaped from her own room (without anybody noticing or saying anything) and entered Bertholdt's. Her back is turned towards you, and she of course isn't moving a muscle. 

She does move when she begins that shrill hyena-like giggling of hers. Then she flops over onto her back and starts kicking her legs wildly up into the air. While she's doing all of that, she points upwards at the ceiling. 

"He did it!" Annie shouts in a high-pitched voice in between her giggles. "That's my dad! He did it! He made me do it, he made me!" Her speech then goes back to being completely maniacal laughter. In order to save your hearing, you quick grab a pair of pants and run out as soon as possible. 

Now Bertholdt is compliant when you return, and you and Moblit clean him up and redress him. In the process, Annie stops laughing. When Bertholdt is tidied up and brought back to his room, she's just laying there right in the middle of the floor. She's back to her original position, albeit on her back now. Bertholdt just steps over her on the way to his bed.

In the end, you drag her back to her room, and leave her in there. Moblit does make certain to lock her door so she doesn't try to get back out. 

Chapter Text

After everything is over and done with (for now anyway, at least), you step out into the foyer of the building and flop down onto the ground. Once you do, you remain motionless for a while, just splayed out spread eagle and face down. The events of the day so far are really taking their toll on you now. 

You see Moblit walking over and then standing close to you; you never noticed it that well until now, but he really needs to stop wearing socks with sandals (especially black socks). It isn't that great a combination. 

"Are you-" But you suddenly feel a bizarre pressure on your back, before it disappears just as abruptly. It turns out quickly to be a certain half-naked boy who has somehow gotten out of his room (are some of the locks on the doors in this place broken, or something?!), and is now doing what he does best. 

With this new problem, Moblit is off to try and catch Thomas for what feels like the hundredth time. You're mostly annoyed over the fact that Thomas stepped on you with his bare feet. 

"No Thomas, don't go in there!" You then push yourself up off the floor when Moblit shouts this from within one of the hallways. Then comes the ungodly screeching noise that could only have been made by Erwin's office door. For a brief moment, you wonder why exactly Thomas would want to go in there. 

He probably just needs a place to hide. 

...

Once Thomas has been properly subdued and brought back to his room (and locked up safely with his pants back on), you're checking over Erwin's office; you want to make sure Thomas didn't damage any valuable items or use anything for bizarre masturbatory purposes. 

For some odd reason, the office feels unusually cold. You swear it feels like you're submerged in a lake of below zero temp water (except you can breathe). As you pull your shirt up higher to try and cover yourself up more, you proceed to look over everything to make sure it gets put in the right place. 

You wish you hadn't. The information you're looking at appears to be quite confidential. Even so, you take a closer look at what you do manage to understand (in for a penny, in for a pound):


 

To:  Employees

Cc: (Here are a bunch of email addresses you don't recognize. They probably belong to the workers at the asylum)

Subject: Future Plans

           We all need to get together at some point to discuss what we're going to be doing tomorrow. Perhaps some time after five p.m. may work?

-ES


Beneath that are what appear to be several pages of what look to be chat logs, dated yesterday (and all at least shortly after five in the evening, just as Erwin(?) requested. You look around the room, and out the window in the door, before you settle back into your hiding spot and begin reading:


Eight people currently in chatroom "Erwin's Office"

LA: That's gotta be the most unoriginal name ever for this chatroom

ES: The name isn't what's important here, Levi
      I hope everyone is present?

GS : Yes

EJ : Yes

MZ : Yes

HZ : Yep 8)

LA : Present

OB : Here

PR : Here

ES : Good, then we can get started on discussing our plans.
      I trust everyone working at the asylum knows what to do tomorrow?

HZ : Everyone who needs to

OB So everyone except Moblit and the newbie

HZ : That's right 8)
       I feel bad for not telling Moblit though

EJ : Has anyone informed 'you-know-who' yet?

LA : Not yet
      We'll let him know later on after the other two go home

GS :   But aren't they going to be working a double shift?
        Something about keeping them distracted?

ES : Yes.
      We will bring Connie with us after that is all over

OB: That boy is so fucked up
      Even by the standards of this place
      One time, when I was helping that Berner kid, I walked into his room by accident

LA : Did he see you

OB : No, he had his back turned to me and didn't notice me
       He was in the middle of a...'procedure'

PR : Oh no
      Was it 'that' procedure?

OB : No Petra he was painting the girl's toenails /s
       Of course he was doing the procedure you idiot

ES: Okay, you two
     No need to resort to name calling

OB: Well anyway
      He was already pulling it out of her and into the bucket when I walked in
      Then when he was done, he got up and started mounting her
      Poor girl was still bleeding when he was doing it

PR :  OMG

GS :  WTF

MZ : WTF

HZ : LOL XD

EJ : How tf is that funny Hanji

HZ : It isn't that
      I was laughing about something else


 

It goes on in this sort of vein for the entire front page. You take a closer glance to see how much reading you're going to be in for; a lot, it seems. You pinch the bridge of your nose and take a deep breath, before straightening up all the papers and starting on the second page.

You're in for a hell of a ride. But then again, you had that feeling when you started working here a few days ago. 

Chapter Text

GS : So tell me again what precisely we're going to be doing tomorrow?

MZ: Ask Erwin
      He's the one that's been talking to Pixis about all that

ES:  Indeed I have Mike
      He's an interesting man, I'll say that

LA :  By interesting he means alcoholic

ES:  Save your smartass remarks for later, Levi
      Now, what we're doing is as follows
      We move our current operations elsewhere, as it is beginning to grow too large for its current location

HZ:  It's a nice little place
       Nobody will ask questions, I've made sure of that
       Cryptomarkets are fun 8D
       Got a lot of the drugs I use on the patients from there

LA : That's nice four-eyes

OB : Tell me again what we're selling?

ES:   Pixis and the others call it 'Titan serum'
       We're planning on selling it as a type of panacea
       It's guaranteed to work as such, thanks to testing it on the patients

EJ :   And Doctor Jaeger helped out on that too, correct?

ES :  He tested it in its initial stages
       One early variant of it was too unstable, and caused adverse health effects

PR :  How unstable was it? 

ES:  Something about the combination of chemicals and stem cells triggered a mutation
       He tested it on his son, and it gave him the brain tumor he has

GS:  Holy shit  

LA: Little brat's got a sharp set of teeth
      That bite mark is still hurting me

OB :  And THAT'S the shit we're going to be selling as some type of cure-all?

ES :  It has been tested and improved
      Its current state is as ideal as we will get

MZ : How much supply of it do we have?

ES About several large crates worth
      I believe enough to sneak onto a personal aircraft to Stohess
     There we will go underground, and start negotiations on prices

EJ:  Just one question
      What are we going to do with the patients?
     Are we going to take them along, or?

HZ: Nope 8P
      They get to stay in Trost forever
      Gotta make sure our main source of income is able to be located

PR : Will they be all right by themselves?
      Wait, they'll have those other two helping them out, right?

ES: That is correct
      Later on, however, we will arrange for Connie to meet us in Stohess
      He will continue his operations there

OB : Isn't there a record amount of teen pregnancies in Stohess, Levi?
      Is that why we're going there?

LA: That's one reason
      It's also where an entrance to the underground black market can be located
      Pay off the right people, and we should be fine

PR: I hope we don't have to be around that Connie boy too much
      Some of his 'recipes' come from movies about cannibalism
      One of his favorite movies is a Chinese horror, for goodness' sake

GS : Guys, I just thought of something
      What if the patients or the other two workers try and report us?

ES : That has been taken care of
     The local police department, as well as the one in Stohess, have been informed, and paid off

LA : And even if they try and say anything
      Nobody will believe a bunch of mentally ill teenagers

HZ: Connie's also going to take action in case any of them get out of hand
      Same goes for those two employees

PR : Are all our bases covered, then? 

ES : For now
      Once we arrive at Stohess, we find the entrance as soon as possible
      Then we begin selling the serum to all who request it

GS : I still think it's fucked up that we're basically selling crushed fetus juice

LA : There's no time for remorse or going back now Gunther

HZ : Just think of them as super charged stem cells 8D

EJ : And tomorrow is when we'll put all this into motion?

ES: That is correct
      Preparations are almost complete
      After that, stay alert for any updates


There are still plenty more pages, but you're pretty sure you know what the gist of the employees' plans are by now. Shakily, you set the pages back down onto the floor and push them under the desk, out of sight.

Then you crawl out from behind the desk, reaching the wastebasket in order to hurl. Once you're done with that, you crawl off to the side and try to catch your breath. You flop onto your side, absentmindedly clawing against the floor. 

As Gunther stated in the chatlogs, this is indeed a fucked up situation. But you don't really get the chance to continue mulling over it; at that moment, the lights above you suddenly go out. To make things worse, any sounds you were hearing in the building have stopped as well. 

Behind you, there then comes the dreaded door creaking. Although you're unable to see them (not for a lack of trying, of course), you can tell there's someone watching you now. Then, their voice begins rasping out and breaking the silence. 

"Sorry," you hear Connie say to you, "but you know too much." 

By then, the door practically screams shut, with some muffled noises coming from the other side. As quickly as you can, you run to the door and try to yank it open. To your dismay, it will not budge even an inch. Connie must have locked you in from the other side.

In a moment of sheer panic, you bang against the door and scream until your throat feels raw. It's all in vain. Once you realize this, you fall back down onto your ass and loudly curse repeatedly. Never in your life do you feel more helpless than you do now. 

Chapter Text

You have no idea how long you've been in here. There's no clock in the office, and even if there were, there isn't any way for you to see it. The darkness only really aggravates the bigger problem anyway; that you are very much freezing (presumably to death), in a pitch black room. 

Now you regret wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts today. Your only means of warming up is to rub your hands against your arms, and that isn't working very well. By now, all you hope is that when or if they find your frozen cadaver in here, you're at least in a dignified position. 

In a brief moment of hope, you pat yourself down and realize that you have your phone. You take it out of your pocket and-

The battery's dead. 

Fuck.

But now you're starting to feel a bit more...motivated. It could be some kind of survival instinct starting to kick in. 

Unfurling yourself, you start to crawl about, feeling your way through the dark. There sure is a lot of junk in Erwin's office. Anytime you reach what might be a cabinet or something to wriggle into, it comes up with nothing but an unseeable dead end. A dead end and occasionally a bunch of shit to clear out. 

Outside of the room, you can hear the voices of the other patients now. All of them sound as if they're as frightened about the situation as you are. Struggling to get to your feet, you start shouting and banging on the door to try and warn them. It's completely dark out there, and there's a psychopath out there with them. 

Right now, instead of being worried for yourself, you're scared for the patients. There's no telling what exactly Connie plans to do to everybody. Maybe he won't actually do anything and leave them be, and go about his own business. At least, that's what you're hoping for. 

You proceed to ram your shoulder into the door. It doesn't help. You then try headbutting it; that doesn't work either. Really, all you're doing is getting yourself hurt. Not exactly an effective strategy. The worsening chill around you seems to be sapping at whatever strength you have. 

Just as you're about to give up, however, you can hear voices from the other side of the door. They're right next to it, going by how close they are. To try and get the attention of whoever it is that's out there, you grab hold of the door handle and jiggle it a few times. 

That seems to have gotten them to realize you're in there, going by the gasping noises you then hear. A brief pause ensues after that, before the sound of the door handle being jiggled on the other side of the door. A bit more talking ensues, mostly in the form of slight bickering. 

You step back and wait a little while, listening to the handle jerk up and down, before the door swings open. For the first time since you started working at the asylum, you're actually glad to hear the squealing of the office door. 

...

By listening to the footsteps, you guess that there are three of the patients here now. By this point, you can hear them far more clearly. If you squint and strain your eyes to a sufficient extent, you see they're all varying sizes. 

"Are you all right?" Armin's soft voice asks. You let him know that you are, just really cold. Behind him, the other two shift around a bit, seemingly being on watch. It is here that Jean clears his throat to get everyone's attention. 

"Marco says we need to find a hiding place," he tells you. "Connie's starting to make his way over here, he's saying." Jean then reaches over and taps the shoulder of the last person. "Think you can keep from going apeshit over anything until then?" 

You're guessing from hearing that that he's talking to Reiner. The deep voice grunt that answers confirms that it is indeed Reiner. 

Armin is now taking hold of your arm and pulling you out of the office. 

"Come on," he tells you. "We need to go now ! If we go in a group, it might be safer!" You only nod and utter 'mm-hmm', and let him lead you along with the others to find somewhere to go. The entire time, you can feel your heart racing, and your breathing get rapid. 

...

It doesn't seem to be a good idea to put your life in the hands of a group of mentally ill teenagers, but right now you don't really have much else of a choice. All you can really do is try to keep up with the three of them. 

"Where we going?" Reiner asks.

Armin is quick to answer. "If I remember the layout of the area correctly, we should be going in the direction of the kitchen. My hope is that we can find anything in there that can light our way to where I plan on going." 

It astounds you just how well Armin is taking the initiative. Right now he's a far cry from the boy who just let himself be beaten with things by his so-called 'best friends'. 

This also reminds you that you should probably keep an eye out for Eren and Mikasa. There's no telling what they could do in this situation, either. Therefore, you keep an ear out for any loud screeching about Titans coming. 

When the four of you arrive to what you hope is the kitchen (Armin would surely have no reason to mislead you), you all disperse to search the place quicker. You reach your designated corner to try and find anything (the dark somehow seems to be even worse in here). 

It isn't long before you do. You aren't sure what exactly it is at first, so you feel around to try and get some idea. It feels...squishy, yet firm. It's warm, but cooling quickly. Patting the floor around it, you feel some kind of substance. 

Once you find it there, you gasp a little. You then try to feel around to see if there's any more. There is. You move back (no doubt with your hands coated in whatever you found now) to touch the lump of something, feeling a variety of textures. 

"What is this...?" You whisper to yourself. You're then startled by footsteps coming in your direction, followed by the sound of a match lighting. You quickly turn your head to look, but to your relief it's only Jean. 

"I found these in one of the drawers next to the sink," he tells you, setting something next to you and moving the match closer to it. "You'll have to do something with it. The last time I used fire for more than a few minutes, Marco told me to set things on fire."

He leaves it at that, by now leaving a small candle by your side. You aren't entirely sure if you're the best candidate for it, but you pick it up anyway and hold it over what it is you're trying to figure out. 

When you do find out, however, you nearly drop the candle and clap a hand over your mouth. Your eyes start to burn with unexpected tears as you realize what you're looking at, or rather who. The sandals with the black socks all but confirm it:

It's Moblit. 

And he isn't moving. 

Chapter Text

Just seeing the body and knowing that it's Moblit proves devastating. You clamp your hands over your mouth to keep from crying out; even so, knowing that this was the closest person you could call a friend is nearly impossible to fathom. Behind you, the other three stop with their search, and run over to see what's stopped you. 

"Isn't that the food guy?" You hear Reiner ask. 

"I think so." Armin is the one who answers. "But what's he doing here?" 

Now trying to ignore their questions, you scoot closer and take a more thorough look over Moblit's corpse. From the looks of it, he was clearly taken by surprise; no immediate signs of struggle. When you get to the top of him, you see a deep red gash across his neck. Going by how he's positioned, it looked like Moblit tried to stop the bleeding with one of his hands. Obviously, it failed, causing him to bleed out onto the floor. 

Now you feel yourself beginning to hyperventilate, trying to keep yourself from completely losing it. You also pinch yourself, hoping this all to be some horrible dream. It's not; it's all very real. Finally, you just let go and start sobbing, covering your mouth to try and muffle your voice.

Out in the main room of the asylum, it sounds as if the other patients have gotten out of their rooms somehow. All of them are confused by this turn of events as well, it sounds like. 

"What is the meaning of this?!" Krista cries out. "I'll have you know that I am Queen of the Walls! I will not stand for this act of insubordination!" 

"I told you all they were coming!!" Eren's voice then overlaps the end of hers, screaming his head off like never before (which is really saying something, knowing him). "I told you the Titans were gonna come!! They're here and they're gonna eat every single one of us!!" Somehow, you find a sense of irony in that in some bizarre way, Eren was right.

You look back over at the other three, and they too are upset by it. Armin is holding his hands over his ears, like he doesn't want to hear Eren. You don't blame him for that, given what Eren and Mikasa do to him.

"Jaeger needs to shut the fuck up," Jean says to you. Interestingly enough, he doesn't say that Marco said that. 

Following this is the screams of... pretty much everyone else. Now you're terrified; there's a pretty good chance Connie is still somewhere in the asylum. The last thing you want would be to find corpses, all of them mentally ill teenaged patients because of a psychotic cannibal. 

You can't seem to move now; it's like somebody superglued your feet to the dirty kitchen floor. The other three, however, are now walking past you in the direction of all the noise. Your protests for them to stop fall on deaf ears. 

Once all of them have been swallowed up by the darkness, you look down to Moblit again. His eyes, wide open with shock and terror, seem to actually be looking at you now. The sight unnerves you, to the point that you fall back to your knees. 

When you're closer to him, you notice something in his hand (the one not covered in blood). A closer inspection shows that it has your name on it. As carefully as you can manage (Moblit's holding on to it pretty tightly), you pry his fingers off and pull it out to open it: 


If you're reading this, then you've probably found my corpse and are reading this in front of me. I mostly just hope that you have enough time to learn what I'm about to tell you:

The truth is, I did know about everything that's been going on in this place. 

Before you get angry at me for not telling you anything, just know that I did want to tell you. It was just too dangerous for you to know before the time was right. 

All the people who had your job before you? They all learned about everything before that time. It's why none of them lasted a week; Erwin and the other employees had them all killed before they could go to the authorities. 

I didn't tell you any of this because I wanted to protect you. I feared all of this repeating itself.  On the first day you started working here, I just had a feeling that you were going to be the one.  

How did I know I was going to die? Call it a hunch. In reality, I felt like something was going to happen to me, if not to you. Connie had been giving me the side eye for a while now. Maybe he'd been planning my demise as well. I probably became a liability. 

I'm sorry I lied to you about this. I was going to let you know everything, though, even if it killed me in the process. It looks like it did. 

But I believe in you. I know you can do it. If anyone can put an end to this nightmare and save everyone, it's you. Save all of these kids, and make those bastards pay for the torment they put them through. 

-Your friend, Moblit


Reading all of this, you feel a mixture of emotions. You are upset that Moblit lied to you about all of this, but you're also glad he had your safety in mind. Looking down at his corpse, you then reach over and close his eyes. At least he's no longer in any more pain. 

Now, you force yourself to stand back up. You glance at him one last time while holding your gradually melting candle. Bowing your head, your promise that as soon as you can, you'll give him a proper burial.

You look back up, then, and stare off into the darkness. The screaming is still going on. Somewhere in all that, Reiner, Armin, and Jean are wandering about. All of them are in serious trouble. 

With this in mind, your expression changes from one of grief, to one of renewed determination. With candle in hand, you start to descend into the unforgiving dark realm yourself. One way or another, you're going to fulfill Moblit's last wish. 

You are going to end this. 

Chapter Text

The first thing to do on your quickly forming mental to-do list: try to get all the patients under control. This, you're aware of, is going to be easier said than done. It's hard enough dealing with them under normal circumstances; now that their lives are in serious danger, the stakes have risen greatly (and no doubt are still rising). 

Also none of them will stop screaming, or laughing, or shouting a combination of vulgar swear words and self-deprecating insults. Even so, you continue on in hopes that you'll still be able to find anyone. 

You'd think that with a light source illuminating your face, that you're a easier target for Connie. Somehow, though, he isn't appearing. The light might not be strong enough for him to notice, or he might not be in the current room right now (not that you're going to be taking any risky chances in regards to that, however). 

When all the shouting is close enough to where you want to plug your ears, you feel someone bump into you and keep running. It's not very clear who it was, but going by the bare leg you catch a glimpse of, you're going to say that it was Thomas in all his half-naked glory. 

Then comes Eren sprinting by, continuing to loudly declare that the Titans were on the way. That's how you know it's him, anyway, no doubt with Mikasa dutifully running with him. After him, you hear Annie: rather than her usual hysterical laughing, this time she's crying quite prominently. Finally, the sound of Krista telling her 'subjects' to quiet down manages to make itself known. 

While you listen to them, you then catch a whiff of something familiar; something like ammonia. Of course that's Bertholdt, and he's in dire need of hydration given what his piss smells like. 

You're on your own here; the guy who often could calm these poor kids down quickly is currently laying dead on the kitchen floor. How you wish Connie hadn't killed him; you need his assistance more than ever. 

Now straining to listen for everyone in the chaos, you only now realize that one of them is missing: Sasha. Knowing her association with Connie, you find her absence troublesome. 

Thankfully, the group you had earlier are still together when you manage to find them. All of them look scared out of their wits, though. Jean and Reiner are huddled on either side of Armin, who himself is curled up into a tight looking ball. All three look tp be on the verge of tears, but do soften up when they realize it's you. 

You really don't want to be relying on three mentally ill patients for your own safety as well as that of the other patients. At this point, you don't have much of a choice, though. 

Holding out a hand, you pull Armin up to his feet, taking care that he doesn't topple back over on his wobbling legs and feet. Jean and Reiner follow suit. 

"We need to find Sasha," you whisper to them at a moment where the shouting is toned down a little. The three of them just nod in unison, and follow you on either side of you. 

...

It takes a while to maneuver about with only a candle for light (and it happens to smell like pumpkin pie spice). Nevertheless, you press onward with your three (or four, according to Jean) companions. For the most part, all of them are pretty quiet during your search. 

Once you find where you were looking for, though, all of them stiffen up and take a step back. You don't blame them for that reaction; you are standing in front of the door leading to 'you-know-where'. Said reaction gets worse as you reach to grab the handle. 

"I think I need some help here," you mutter when you realize the door is extremely heavy. Without a word, Reiner steps forward and takes hold; with him, it opens easily and smoothly. Once the door is open, you hand Jean the candle and begin stepping in. 

"Please come back alive," Armin tells you in a fearful tone of voice.  You nod and say that you will. Finally, you tell them to attempt to quell the madness as well as they can. 

You're unable to tell them anything else before the door slams shut behind you. With no other choice, you begin your journey through the hallway. 

Chapter Text

The contrast between all the ruckus from the patients and the near-total silence now is quite jarring. All you can hear right now is your own heavy breathing and equally as heavy footsteps. 

Any confidence you had coming into this hallway is gone now. Of course, you attribute that to realizing you're in the dreaded 'you-know-where'. The very steps you're taking are likely the same ones the employees took, while they'd dragged the poor patients to their nights of unspeakable torment. In fact, you can almost hear the screams and cries for mercy from the patients.

A quick glance at the grimy, filthy floor also reveals signs of being scratched at. The amount of bloodied fingers and broken nails that come to mind number beyond anything you can comprehend (and right now, it might be a good idea not to try and comprehend that). 

The further in you go, a most wretched metallic odor clings to the air. You have to pull the collar of your shirt up over your nose to try to make it at all tolerable. Even then, you end up coughing and feeling your eyes water profusely. You're so focused on going forward, you don't notice the body you end up tripping over. 

"What the...?" You look down, only to see the guy from a few days prior. He's clearly been dead for a while now, going by the state of decomposition he's in. 

That at least explains where he went, after vanishing a few  days prior. Seeing him also reminds you that a similar fate is in store for you, if you don't make it out of here. Against most of your better judgment, you kneel down and begin to search his corpse for anything useful. 

"Sorry about this, Mister Shadis," you say to the body as you search. Your efforts ultimately grant you something of a boon; evidently Mister Shadis was crazy prepared if he had a loaded pistol and extra ammo on his person. Hopefully he wasn't planning on using it on any of the patients. 

It all seems a bit contrived, but you're not going to question it right now. There are more pressing matters to worry about, anyway. 

Once you have everything you can find on the guy, you straighten up again and keep moving. 

...

That nightmare you had the other day is becoming true uncomfortably quickly; the walls are closing in, and the rust is everywhere. It's actually gotten to the point where you can just barely touch both sides of the hall if you stretch both your arms out widely enough. 

And then it gets even narrower. 

Something else is also as you've predicted from the aforementioned nightmare; the smell by now is horrible; it manages to somehow be worse than Connie's room. That doesn't stop you from pressing forward, however. You need to keep going; to see if what you saw is completely true. 

By now, you're beginning to hear the voices. You aren't sure if they're the voices of the patients outside, though. It's possible there's some kind of vent that's connecting this place to the rest of the asylum. It'd have to be an awfully small one though, if the ventilation in this place isn't working. 

Finally, you reach the end of the hallway; now you're peering into a room that looks much bigger than you'd expect. The dream you had was correct on this front as well, it seems. The room looks like what you could recall of it; like a long abandoned dentist's work area. Not letting your guard down, you take a better hold of your pistol and step in.

That's one advantage of real life over the dream world; here, you're armed. Now you just hope that anything that happens next doesn't require precise aiming. You never really were an expert at marksmanship. 

Continuing on into the other end of the room, you now come across the chair you encountered. Yep, it looks exactly like it's supposed to, rusty tray and everything. Now, your eyes are darting about the room, not really able to see a whole lot beyond your immediate surroundings. It's really not that bright in here. 

It's rather a miracle that you got to the other side of the room without tripping over anything, really. That would be a disaster to deal with by itself-

Now your thought processes are interrupted, by something that wasn't in your prophetic nightmare. The once dim lights are suddenly obnoxiously bright, to the point it makes your eyes sting and water even more. This room seems designed to be a full-frontal assault on all your senses. 

Once you wipe away any tears still in your eyes (and try to rub them to get the burning sensation to stop), you look behind you to see who would have the gall to do that. 

The sight almost makes you drop your pistol. 

Chapter Text

You wait until the bald, mustached man before you now is finished drinking from his flask, before he addresses you. 

"Well, now isn't that an absolute shame," he tells you while screwing the cap on and putting his flask into one of his front pockets. "Here I thought you'd go quietly like all of the others before you. But it looks like I'm going to have to take drastic measures to do that this time." 

It takes you a few seconds for you to try and figure out who this guy even is. Then you remember him as the guy who was talking to Erwin the day you arrived at this place. You take a wild guess at his name, going by all of the information that you've been discovering lately: 

"Mister Pixis?" You say with an uncertain tone in your voice. 

He nods. "A smart one you are. I can see how you managed to live this long while working here. 

"But," he now says while shrugging, a grin upon his face, "it looks like you're going to be joining all your predecessors now. That's too bad." Here, Mister Pixis reaches back into his pocket, in the process of grabbing something else. Believing him to be pulling out a weapon, you quickly aim your gun at him. 

In fact, you're asking yourself why on Earth you haven't shot this guy in the face already. Maybe you were hoping for more information about everything. But that doesn't appear to be happening. Quickly, you cock your gun and pull the trigger. 

Mister Pixis goes down almost immediately. Once he's on his back, you take a step forward to make sure he's actually dead. 

He Isn't, but you doubt he's got much longer to live. Most people generally don't survive a gunshot to the face. It's while Mister Pixis is gurgling that you check his pockets for what he was about to reach for. It's not a knife or a gun like you were expecting.

It's a flash drive. It isn't really what you were wanting to discover, but it looks to have some sort of vital importance. Mister Pixis is a complete idiot to have it somewhere on his person, though (Maybe he intended to use it as a bargaining tool, or something, not that it matters now). 

Before you make your leave of the place, you also steal his flask and kick him in his butt. 

...

Whoever the guy was that was the original owner of the gun you have, he sure didn't prepare all that much for it. It turns out that the gun you're 'borrowing' (because he sure isn't going to be asking for it back anytime soon) only had one bullet loaded in the chamber. Not very convenient. 

At least he had some more ammunition for it alongside with him. In fact, as you're going through the hallway to search some more, you load the rest of the bullets into the chamber. Just in case. 

Now you're left without anywhere else to go. There doesn't appear to be any other hallways that branch into the rest of the place. Now you're left trying to figure out what else you can possibly do and- 

Wait.

What is it that Mikasa had been shouting about earlier? Something like "every place has a hidden door" or something to that effect? (She'd been acting hysterically whilst in the process of having a miscarriage, but anything she said may still have some kind of merit)

You're now pushing your entire body against the wall, hoping to feel anything out of place. You're also wondering just how stupid you look right now while doing this. However, you quickly push that intrusive thought out of your head as you continue on in your search. 

Along with pressing your hands against the walls, you also rap your knuckles against them, in the hopes that you hear something different from brick and mortar. Everything sounds thick and solid, though, so far. The further you go along with no results, the more you feel like giving up.

Then you hear it. A hollowness from tapping against what you're guessing is just painted over wood. Now you believe that Erwin lied to you about the shoddy repair job in the asylum. They had plenty of money to fix it, but they probably just dropped it all on doing whatever this is. 

It's a surprisingly convincing hiding spot, you'll give them that. Now you're running your fingertips against it all to hope to find the boundaries of this piece of wood. You find it, then proceed to ram your shoulder against it a few times. 

Doing so takes a little while, but you somehow manage to break through into another room. Now trying to brush off any wood on you (and hoping you don't get any splinters from doing that), you step in and take a look around. 

Chapter Text

A good portion of the wall is covered by a series of televisions, all evidently hooked up to some VHS/DVD player. Most of them are on, revealing the rest of the place in an eerie bluish glow. You look over at the other wall that's directly across from the wall of lit-up screens. 

On that wall is a rather long whiteboard covered with tally marks, with the names of the workers at the top. On the side are the names of the patients. It doesn't take you long to figure out the implications of what all that means. You're in 'you-know-where', of course. 

There's also, of all things, a friggin' suggestion box. Carefully, you go over and open it, proceeding to rifle through any of the suggestions that got put in. They're pretty worrisome to read (but you expect that of this place now). You pull out one and give it a quick once over: 

Suggestion?get a more powerful sedative 
the brat with a brain tumor tried taking a bite out of me
had to donkey punch him a few times to get him to shut up

It's not signed, but you have a pretty good feeling that's from Levi. You put that off to the side and pull out another:

Suggestion? The other day Connie handed me a list of sauces he wanted. He really wanted barbecue sauce.
I don't know why. He said he's getting tired of how 'bland' the 'meat' is getting for his tastes.
For fuck's sake, it's chopped up fetuses you little weirdo.

This one's hard to pinpoint. Maybe it's Oluo? Or Gunther? Not that it really matters. You set that one on top of the first and take out another, this one a bit more faded:

Suggestion? I need a more powerful cleaning agent
The one I have now doesn't get all the blood, urine, and semen stains out
Must be something the patients are eating

You're a bit grossed out by that one. Pinching it between your thumb and finger, you let it flutter to the tabletop. You then proceed to go through the rest and grab one you hope is more recent: 

Suggestion? GODDAMMIT ERWIN DO SOMETHING I THINK THE KIDS ARE STARTING TO GET STDS FROM US AND WE DON'T WANT THAT

Now that's just plain wrong. But then, everything about this situation is. 

Still, it means that along with everything else in here is irrefutable proof of the horrors that take place here. You grab the ones you've read and a few others, and book it out of that room (at least for now, anyway; you'll just have to come back later if everything is still here). 

You don't get very far before a butcher knife whizzes past your head, and clatters against the wall behind you. The voice you hear next chills your very being. 

...

"Ah, shit," Connie tells you (but really, he's saying it to himself) while still posing in the way he threw his knife. "I really gotta work on my aim. That was supposed to get lodged into your forehead." 

Connie takes this opportunity while you're in a state of shock to grab his knife back. You're too afraid to try and run; he might end up throwing his knife again and not miss this time. Or he might be too fast for you and catch up with you. At this point, you really aren't sure what he's capable of. 

In an effort to buy time, you think of something to distract him. Maybe you can get away from him if you do that. Then another part of you makes the argument of 'shoot him in the kneecaps and hope that kills him'. 

You wish you obeyed that second part. 

When Connie has a hold of his favorite weapon again, he turns to look at you with his huge, demented eyes. By now, you're starting to come to your senses, and begin stepping away from him. 

"Hey, lemme ask you something," he tells you as he follows, waving his knife towards you. "Did you know that pig meat has a similar cellular makeup to human meat?" 

No, you didn't know that. You didn't want to know that. But now you know. 

Chapter Text

You refuse to stay and listen to any more of Connie's macabre 'facts'. 

Even so, he's still trying to talk to you and tell you more of them. When that doesn't get his desired reaction out of you, he switches to some of his own experiences as his informal role of 'abortion doctor'. Then you wish he kept to his facts; his personal stories are somehow even worse. 

"...And as it turns out, this lady was pregnant with twins. I told her, 'well, it costs extra if you want me to get rid of both of 'em'. Yeah, she was pissed, but I told her that's how I work and- Hey, where'd you go?" Amazingly, he wasn't following you while he prattled on about his grisly work.

You take the opportunity to get back to the room with Pixis' corpse, and hide behind a chair that looks like it belongs in a dentist's office. You don't want to go back out to the main room of the asylum and risk the lives of all the other kids. If it means Connie will leave all of them alone, then you would gladly risk your own life. 

Your heart's already pounding when you hear his footsteps approach. To try and keep him from hearing you, you cover your mouth and nose with your free hand. Even then, your trembling intensifies when you see his bare (and unbelievably dark and filthy) feet shuffle mere inches away from you. As you wait, you carefully check to see if your gun is loaded. It is, thankfully completely.

Unfortunately, you're about to jump out and shoot when an odd 'thunk' noise is heard on the other side of the chair. You hesitate, hearing it again, and again. Finally, you hear it one last time, and the blade goes through to jut out right above your head. 

There's no way to hold in the screech of terror that rips itself from your throat. 

"Oh there you are," Connie says in an uncomfortably normal voice. Or at least, it's about as normal as he can probably conjure up. "Now where was I..."

He goes on with his story, seemingly no longer paying attention to you. You take the opportunity to sneak out and try to escape again. This time, it turns out he was paying attention, going by how he thrusts the knife in front of you. 

"Wait 'til I'm done talking before you do anything that makes me kill you," is what he says to you. 

Of course, you intend to do no such thing. Instead you act quickly, jumping back a couple of feet and firing point blank. When you hear the gunshot, it's followed by the sound of Connie's knife clattering to the ground. When you hazard a glance then, you see him gripping the wrist under his now bloodied hand. 

"...Ow," is all he says to you after a moment's hesitation. You just stand rigidly, staring right at him as you reload your gun. You don't give him a chance to say any more before you raise your gun again, aiming right at his face. 

It's weird, how you keep wavering back and forth from terrified out of your mind, and feeling like you could take on the world. Both reasons are probably because it's not just your life on the line here. 

Right now, your briefly imposing stance is actually beginning to intimidate Connie. He keeps staring at you as he begins to step back, not even trying to pick his knife back up. He's trembling; somewhere, in the recesses of his fucked up, psychotic brain, he's actually afraid of you. 

"L-look, hey, let's try to make a compromise on all this!" You don't want to hear anything about that. Even now, any rational thoughts you'd had are slipping away. About all that's going through your head is some dark entity embodying all your less pleasant thoughts. 

"Kill," it tells you. ''Kill him. He deserves nothing but death after what he did to Moblit. If you let him live, he'll just keep doing all the nasty shit he's been doing. You know that, right?"

You continue to advance on Connie, letting this voice take control of your rational mind. To let Connie know you mean business right now, you fire a shot directly at one of his kneecaps. Even then, he struggles to keep away from you. 

"H-hey, come on now!" He cries while limping away from you, trying to hold his bleeding kneecap in his non-injured hand. His voice is getting heavier, as the fear increases. "It doesn't gotta be like this, you know. So what do you say, you put that gun down and we can talk it out?" 

You cock the gun one more time, making certain to aim right at his head again. You reload, your finger on the trigger. Just as you're about to tell Connie something along the lines of "say goodnight, dick", however, something...else happens. 

From out of nowhere, something whacks Connie right in the side of the head. You can practically see the stars and tweeting birds as he goes down like a sack of vegetables. 

You stare at his now unconscious body, before stepping closer. Of course you remain cautious in case he isn't actually out cold. When you get close enough, you bend down to take a closer look at what exactly it was that beaned him so good: 

It's a bedpan. 

A friggin' bedpan.

Chapter Text

You smell your bedpan wielding would-be savior before you see him. It's pretty obvious who it is when you get a rather (unfortunately) good whiff of urine. Also as your eyes pan upwards, you can see the thin dark trails of aforementioned urine slowly trickling down his pants. 

"Reiner asked me to come in and check on you," Bertholdt tells you as he takes his bedpan back from you. "Well, actually, he grabbed me as I was running by and threw me in here. I wasn't really all that sure what he wanted me to do until I saw you and Connie." In other words, he probably threw that nasty thing at Connie because he didn't know what else to do. Or he just felt like it. It's hard to tell with him. 

Now, Bertholdt is starting to sway a little bit. You also see that he's having a difficult time keeping his eyes open. With that in mind, you walk over and hook your arm with his. With your free hand, you also grab hold of Connie's leg, dragging him along with you as you leave this wretched area. 

...

Armin and the others look quite relieved when they see you. 

"Oh thank goodness!" Armin cries out as he runs over to hug you. He's got a surprisingly powerful hold for such a little guy. "I was so worried!" By now, the commotion has settled down a little. Or at least it's more concentrated in one area. The crazed laughing and shrieks of imminent titan attacks can still be heard, though. 

For now, you're probably about as safe as you can get; until Connie wakes up later on, anyway. Even so, you're aware that you and the kids aren't quite out of the woods yet. There's still the matter of dealing with all the employees and their plan to sell their ostensible 'serum'. 

If what happened to Eren is any indication, it isn't going to be anything good. As you reach the others with everyone, you try to devise some kind of plan. You think about calling the cops, but then you remember they were bought off here in Trost and in Stohess, where the employees were headed. 

There's only one course of action you can think of to do after that. 

"Psst, Jean," you whisper loudly to him. "Do you know your mother's phone number?" 

...

Time seems to have gone faster than you expected it has been.

By now, it's dark out. It's also looking like pretty bad rain, making it even more dreary and gloomy outside. About the only respite for any of it is the occasional peek of a full moon through the storm clouds. All of this is what you're standing outside in when you see a beat up looking station wagon pull up to the front entrance.

Miss Kirstein's initial displeasure at being called to the asylum at such an unpleasant hour melts away when she sees the state you're in. She's quickly at your side, trying to get you dried off quick before scurrying into the building with you. 

Jean's pretty quick to run over and give his mother a hug, telling her that "Him and Marco were so scared of everything that's been going on", and that "they both want to get out of this place". You can see her tense up a little when she hears the name "Marco", but she tries not to show it affecting her beyond that. 

Now, all the kids are sitting altogether at one large table. They're quiet again, having by now managed to round up a few small candles so as to see what's going on better. Everyone is watching to see what you and Jean's mother are planning to do. 

"Did you get Connie tied up as well as you can?" You ask Sasha, who nods. On the floor next to the table, Connie is bound and gagged, as well as still unconscious. This is good; the longer that he's out cold, the less likely he'll do something else utterly insidious. 

She made sure he is, thankfully. Now she's got to keep an eye on him. Hopefully, her being more or less Connie's right hand woman won't get in the way of everything. 

...

Since there aren't any proper rain coats in the asylum, you and Jean's mother have to make do with covering everybody with garbage bags. As a result, all of the kids look ridiculous as you usher them into Miss Kirstein's station wagon. When they all pile into the back, it looks like a bunch of insulated sardines that smell kind of funny. As you get into the front seat, you recap everything to make sure Jean's mother is up to speed with everything.

"The police in Stohess and here in Trost won't be of help," you say to her. "You were the only one I could think of to call."

Miss Kirstein just nods. "I'll try and help as much as I can." Now she turns her vehicle on, and looks in the rearview mirror (after telling Reiner and Bertholdt to duck so she could actually use it) to see what she's doing. While she does, she tells you that she thinks she knows someone who can help them. 

You don't really listen to her, important as it is to do so right now. As of this moment, everything is dark and cold and sad. You look out in the direction of the now disappearing asylum, wishing you didn't have to abandon Moblit in that wretched building. Then you tell yourself you won't be gone forever. 

Hopefully when this is all over, his body will be properly taken care of. But that's for later. First, you and everyone else have to survive all this madness.