Harmonious Minds || Armin & Hanji
-¤- The heady scent of oak and leather brought a strange kind of peace to him. Moats of dust floated in the golden shafts of light, lazy as the afternoon itself. Armin had stumbled upon this hidden gem by accident and effectively staked his claim. It was a genuine surprise that the Survey Corps headquarters contained such a room; a library that was rich despite its smaller size. Spanning about half the length of the dining hall and seemingly abandoned by all others, it became the perfect place for him to study away from prying eyes.
–eyes that would surely look upon his research with judgement.
-¤- Locked away in that shelter in his free time, he feverishly rooted through the heavy volumes on the shelves. Each book was a diamond until proven a lump of coal. With the female titan attack fresh in his memory, he became deeply unsettled. How did one successfully fight a foe they knew next to nothing about? What were the mechanics of such a fool’s errand? More importantly: How could he get rid of this creeping suspicion that had sprung up in his heart like thistles? How could he excuse the one he suspected was the female titan? The one who slaughtered so many.
It was a heavy load.
-¤- So he dispelled the weight with sketches of titan anatomy, smears of charcoal across his hands delivering a strange satisfaction. Countless candles were burned to the end in that room, his eyes straining to make out the hope-bearing words he read in the night. But today, as the clouds rolled in a relaxed rhythm outside the high windows, it was a challenge to remain focused.
-¤- Multiple books lay scattered across the tabletop, the faces of their pages open wide. His hair fanned out across a partially-completed page of notes like the petals of a sunflower, another page held loosely in his hand as he slept. The sleepy comfort of a quiet afternoon had won.
Or perhaps it was the sleepless nights that had doomed him?