"We... won...... won.... we won.... we won.. we won!!!"
The sun was setting as the soldiers silently chanted those two words that they had never expected to be in the same sentence. They had rid all titans from the world. Like any other battle, there were a lot of casualties. Unfortunately, in the end even the great ally of humankind was killed. Some quietly cried for victory, while others cried in grief.
In the vast field, some were still standing, looking at the setting sun up close for the first time in peace. Soon, everyone was looking for the lost companions that couldn't; who hadn't made it. Moments of standing in silence after, they slowly started to wander off a bit. But two soldiers with the famous wings of freedom covered bloodied remained there, unmoving, still staring into the big, blinding red sun. Rivaille stood next to Hanji, who was crouched on the grass, her glasses removed as her hands were covering her face, weeping loudly.
Normally Rivaille would tell her to shut up and cry properly at least, but this time he didn't. He knew why this was so hard for her. This battle would be the last one that would be in the records, where all the titans were killed. One would be happy, but it meant the end for Hanji. She had a very weird, but special appreciation for titans, and now they were all gone. Gone by humanity's hand. By her hand. But she had to do it, for the sake of humanity.
When he thought about this, he started to wonder if she would start to despise the human race. What would she do? Would she try to avenge the titans? Knowing her, it was probably possible, but she would know that he would be there to kill her anytime anyway, so she wouldn't do that... what would she do?
Hanji had finally calmed down. Her broken glasses were back on and she looked so lost. The usual, happy-go-lucky girl was now an emotionally scarred, tattered girl who didn't have a purpose anymore. Rivaille glanced at her, and crouched down next to her. Turning her head to him, she finally leaned her head on his shoulder. He awkwardly patted her head, not knowing what to do. She whimpered.
Rivaille spoke up. "Hanji..." No response. "Oi, Answer me." Silence. His patience running thin, he finally grabbed her shoulders and shook her hard. "Come on, Hanji. This isn't like you. You knew this was gonna happen anyway. We all did. Especially you."
"Yeah.... I'm fine," she whispered. Her voice was so raspy, making him cringe inwardly. Hanji was too different, and he didn't like it. She was so fragile that he felt that he should handle her with more care.
"Look, it may be the end, but it's the start of mankind. Everyone sacrificed something important just for this moment. You and I, and all the soldiers here did, and no one has any regrets," he tried, remembering all the promises he made to his dead comrades. He was trying to remind her of their purpose on the battlefield, although he was pretty sure that it was useless.
She chuckled quietly. "Yeah... I guess..." Flashing him a small smile to show she was ok, she was given a glare which sent chills down her spine, telling her that he knew she wasn't.
"Ok, I was just crying because I was really, really happy that mankind finally got the victory that we've all been waiting for because we deserved it! I'm not upset at all, so don't worry about me... I'm not... I'm alright, I'm not.... at all....." She turned away at the last part.
He forced her to his direction again. "Don't lie to me."
"I'm not.... lying... I'm... not.. I'm not lying.... not......" He watched as she broke down. "The titans... out friends, Eren... everyone..... they're... the.." she could only manage so much through her quiet sobs.
"It took a long time, but the titans are all gone... and majority of our companions are gone too. But they're in a better place." He placed a finger under her chin and lifted it. "They did it for us -- they did to give us a chance to do what they didn't have a chance to do. And though the titans are gone, we could still keep them a live in our memories. If you think that's not enough though, there's still more you have to do anyway..." He turned his head to the view before them, Hanji doing the same. "Oceans of salt, seas of fire... The Arlert boy told me about them. The titan's aren't the only thing in the world." He looked back at her. Their eyes met.
"It's not the end."
The idea of discovering new things outside the walls instead of big fields and big forests fascinated her. She looked back to him with a new glint in her eyes. Her lips trembling, Rivaille quickly patted her head again and told her not to cry again, "or else you're not going to be pretty. You can't stay depressed forever." He turned away.
Finding the strength to move again, she gave a small laugh and stood. This time patting his head, she murmured a "Thank you, Rivaille." He scoffed lightly, vaguely being reminded that he was still shorter than her. Taking one more look at the sun, which was just peeking out, as if bidding farewell or the night, he bent down slightly and held his hands to his sides. Surprised, she tried to walk away, but Rivaille caught her leg and hoisted her on his back for a piggy back ride. It was only when she leaned on his back that she realized she was extremely exhausted from everything.
Just before everything went dark, she felt a hum on the back that she was leaning on. Something that she hadn't heard in so long, so foreign -- but was a reminder that everything would be alright.
"Let's go home."