This scene could theoretically take place in many of my plot bunny universes so I figured it should have it’s own page.
An explosion shattered the tranquillity of the night air, breaking him from his morning workout. The hurriedly yanked on a shirt, the warm summer air had made sweating unavoidable, as he didn’t want to deal with the stench.
“Report” He commanded to an on coming courier
“A Titan appeared, breached the west wing of HQ, then disappeared”
“Any clear target?”
“No Sir” Levi’s mind jumped immediately to Nora. She was undoubtedly the highest risk individual on the premises, as irreplaceable as she was.
“Gather a squadron to report to Nora Argmanns courters”
Fortunately, Nora was recovering from a brutal training session and would likely be in her room, which was placed underground as a precaution. Hanji Zoe had warned that Nora poised a risk should she hurt herself in her sleep while having a particularly vivid dream. In this situation, it prevented the Titan shifter from getting her directly, although it could still shift.
Levi ran down the staircase towards her room. There, he heard a crash. There was a struggle. He sprinted towards her wide-open door.
There she was grappling with a masked figure, she was dressed in only her stupid flower patterns pyjamas. Levi’s eyes sharpened on the figures hand, it was a syringe, whoever it was trying to inject Nora with something.
Nora caught sight of him over the person’s shoulder “Levi!”
Before he could say or do anything the assailant took advantage of her distraction and stabbed the syringe into the base of her neck. Nora let out a pained scream. Levi rushed forward to fight the person, who had a man’s build, but he was unnaturally quick and kicked a table towards the Corporal. Levi narrowly dodged it, in the process clearing the path to the door. Before Levi’s eyes the man shot past and out the door.
He moved reflectively forward to give chase before he heard a sickening gurgle. It was Nora, she was convulsing violently on the floor and foaming at the mouth, eyes rolled back into her head. Just then, backup arrived.
“Go. He went that way” Levi gestured to the right, out of the hallway, they raced past, he caught one of them by the arm, “You. We need a doctor” His eyes pointedly went to Nora.
The pain looked horror-struck at the sight of her, “Yes Sir” he said before racing away
Levi went to crouch by her side, watching helplessly. Her gurgles had progressed in to wet screams as blood streamed horrifically from her every facial orifice; her mouth, her nose, her eyes and even her eye socket. Her limbs contorted and writhed madly, Levi was sure he’d never seen anyone in worse pain. His eyes flashed as she brought up a hand to rake across her own neck, was she trying to kill herself?
Levi shouted, “Stop”, he hurriedly moved to restrain her. He swung a thigh over her chest to straddle her and pined her arms to either side of her dead. In another context, it might have been sexual but Nora was in too much pain and Levi in too much distress to notice
He heard footsteps coming down the hallway and felt a rush of relief as Hanji burst into the room. Levi knew Hanji wasn’t a doctor by profession but her medical training was still extensive. She’d know what to do. He noticed the woman was wearing a dressing down and distantly realised she had to have been sleeping
Hanji took one look at her face and gasped, “Brain haemorrhaging” She sat back momentarily, eyes panicked as she wracked her brain for a solution. Finally she swore, “Shit, Levi, shift next to me, keep your hands on her shoulders”. Hanji reached to Levi’s side and grasped his hook-gun.
Then she fired it at the ground and yanked out the, now-distended hook. Levi watched, confused morphing into shock as Hanji raised angled the point so that one of the points faced out from her hand and brought it down on the left side of Nora’s head. The woman’s screams reached an even higher pitch
“Hanji!” Levi shouted, how could cracking Nora’s skull open possibly be helpful?
Hanji explained as she frantically searched room for something, “What ever is wrong with her is causing internal bleeding, if I didn’t make a hole the pressure inside her cranium would build until she died. Help me, we need to find some kind of tube to stop the wound I made from closing up”
Levi fought down his disgust at the idea of Nora with a gaping hole in her scalp. A minute of searching later, Hanji had found and disassembled a pen, using the hollow body as the tube they needed. “That should do for now”
Hanji inspected the rest her body and found it fine, it seemed whatever the substance was targeted the brain. “We have to stop the bleeding and Levi, don’t let her fall unconscious, she may not wake up”
Levi nodded seriously and stared into her crimson-painted face, “Cadet Argmann, you are to stay awake. That is an order” Nora’s dazed eyes cleared somewhat as she groaned, her limbs still jerking
“Hurts…” Nora looked so pitiful and lost, as if nothing in the world could explain the pain
“Good” He said, “Focus on that pain, focus on my voice just. Do. Not. Sleep”
“Can’t…cold, it’s cold” She muttered.
Hanji looked up slightly from her cleaning of Nora’s head, “It’s the blood loss, we should warm her up”
Levi took Nora’s duvet and wrapped around her. How could this happen? Nora was his responsibility, if she died it would be on his head.
Levi saw Hanji stop moving, “What’re you doing? Why have you stopped?”
The scientist sighed, “There’s not much else to do. There is no way of artificially stopping the bleeding in the skull like this and even if there were, her healing ability and the lack of equipment would complicate things. Besides, this was caused by a toxin not trauma, surgery wouldn’t stop the bleeding anyway and there’s no hope an antidote, I’ve never heard of anything like this before and we’re miles from the nearest hospital”
Levi sat shock-still, “So we let her die?”
“Not necessarily” Hanji determinedly replied, “The bleeding already seems to be slowing, she may well pull through yet” She glanced around at the dishevelled room and the vast amount of blood that covered both of them, “We should get her cleaned up and moved to another room”
Levi nodded, picking Nora up gingerly. She was awake, just. She stared into his face as if he were some kind of grand puzzle, murmuring to her self. Levi thought he caught ‘blur-man’ somewhere in there and smiled sadly at the odd nickname.
“Corporal?” She managed to ask, fighting to speak above the haze of pain.
“Blood…you’re all messy…” Nora observed, “…must be hard…for you…”
Levi snorted, “What a stupid thing to say”
Nora smiled apologetically, “Sleep…sorry…” Her eyes slid shut
“Nora” Levi shook her, “Don’t you fucking dare. You sleep and I’ll kill you” She was unresponsive, “You’re my responsibility. You’re not allowed to die. You here me, you can’t die” It was no use, her heart still beat but she was dead to the world. Hanji put a reassuring hand on his back
Levi stilled, she may never wake up, the voice said again and again. He felt sick. Over the last few months, Nora had become a permanent fixture in his life, which in itself was a rare thing. Nora was there always there. How could be not hear her speak? Hear her odd takes on the world? See the determination blaze in her eyes? He’d even miss her idiotic Titan self…
Levi clenched her limp body into his chest. She would wake up. And when she did, he’d demand how she managed to ensnare him so.