.:Recovery?:.Mature

**Wow, I guess people actually like this story xD and evidently Otto's passing ruffled some jimmies (believe me, I almost died writing that part), but the show must go on!**

*Eren's POV*

     I'm almost convinced yesterday's mall trip was just a diversion to keep me away while the police investigated. It was nice and all, until Levi showed up. To make matters 10x worse, he had a girl with him. The police had replaced almost everything in my house. From a new bed, couch, TV, all the way to completely re-done kitchen and bathroom tile. I guess it was because of the acids that were potentially harmful to me. I barely slept last night, even though I was in my own bed. The shopping bags from yesterday sat atop my dresser, waiting to be opened.

     My phone buzzed and lit up, notifying me I had a text. Rolling over in my bed, I reached for my phone and checked who it was from. "Armin Arlert: Hey, man. Mind if I come over today? Got some movies we could pop in and just chill." I smirked at his attempts to make me feel better. I really didn't want anybody over, but said yes to him anyways. Instead of texting, I then called Armin.

"Hey, Eren! How's it going?" He asked, seemingly happy.

"Just woke up. You?" I rubbed my eyes, unplugging my phone and standing up from my bed.

"About to head down to the laundry room to wash the clothes from yesterday. Wanna come with?" I heard cabinets opening and closing in the background.

"Yeah, come on down I just need to get dressed." I hung up the phone, opening my closet to pick something out for the day.

"Yet another set of unexpected plans..." I groaned, pulling some jeans from a hanger, along with a maroon plaid shirt.

     Pulling on my jeans, I had just thrown my shirt on and began to fasten the buttons when there was a knock at my door. Walking over, I opened it to be greeted with Armin holding a white basket filled with clothes. Gesturing for him to come in, I finished with my shirt and went to gather my laundry.

"So, I had plans today if you wanna tag along." I talked louder, since he was in the living room and I was in my room.

"Oh yeah? Like what?" Armin called back, turning on my TV.

"Running to Best Buy and Gamestop. You up?" I came out of my room, assorted clothing articles in a large American Eagle bag.

"Of course! I'll let Mikasa know once we're down getting our laundry put in." Armin stood, turning off the TV and picking up his basket.

     Grabbing my phone and keys, I let Armin leave through the door first. Taking one last look at my apartment, I forced a shaky smile.

"Goodbye, Otto. I'll be home later." I whispered to myself, memories of his cheeky face barking in acknowledgement playing through my mind.

     Once we got in the elevator, the little TV was showing the news. There was an emergency broadcast playing, showing information on an extreme underground crime ring that might be on the uprise again. It showed graffiti of white and blue wings, crudely spray painted on a garbage bin downtown. Then, it cut to the story about... the mall?! How the hell did they get info on that?! There weren't even any TV or media there, let alone cops!

     The elevator stopped on the ground floor, where we needed to be. Walking around the front desk, there was a door that had a sign which read "Laundry: For residents only" hanging on it. As Armin and I entered, we sighed in relief that no one else was in there. As we were loading our clothes, Armin paused for a moment to turn up the TV that was mounted on a wall. Glancing upwards, I sighed in annoyance. Great. More stuff about the mall.

"We now bring you an eye-witness video, captured on a bystander's cellphone. As you see here, the short male with the ginger female pulled a handgun on the brown haired boy chasing after him. To which, a black haired female tackled him to the ground in an attempt to protect him from stray bullets that could've flown." The reporter fixed her stack of papers and continued.

"We have no information as of now pertaining to these individual's identity. If you know anything, please call police." The woman finished, and it cut to commercial.

"God damn. How long you think this will be in the media?" I asked, shutting the washer and starting the cycle. I sat down in one of the chairs across the room, pulling out my phone.

"At least a week or so, I'd say." Armin sat next to me, absentmindedly watching the TV.

"Tch. Pointless." I scoffed, scrolling through my social media feed.

     Same old, same old. Saw a few pictures my sister had posted of us at the mall, before things went sour. My thumb continued to flick across the screen, my face showing hardly any emotion. Then, Armin broke the silence.

"What exactly did you have planned at Best Buy and Gamestop?" He questioned, causing me to click off my phone.

"Was thinking about buying a laptop and console, then some games. Why, not wanting to come anymore?" I turned, just as our laundry finished.

"Mikasa wanted me to stay and re-arrange the apartment...that's all. We can still watch movies tonight." Armin shrugged, getting up to put his clothes in the dryer. I did the same.

"Y-Yeah, okay. I understand. Think she'd let me borrow her car?" Tossing my clothes in the dryer, I watched as the TV came back on to the news.

"Oh yeah, most likely. Just ask." Armin went out to grab a drink from the vending machine.

     I took Armin's suggestion, and texted my sister. "Jaeger Bombastic: Hey, sis. Mind if I borrow your car? Heading to Best Buy and Gamestop once my laundry's done." Send. Armin had come back in and drank half his soda before she'd even responded. "Mikasa: Yeah, sure. Just come back in one piece, alright?" I smirked a little bit at her concern. Ever since Levi's freakout and Otto's passing, she's been all over me in terms of protection. I mean, I know she's my sister and all...but damn.

     About 30 minutes later, the dryer beeped, signaling that our laundry had been finished. Throwing everything into the bag I'd brought down, I left the room before even Armin had. While waiting on the elevator, my phone gave off a Twitter alert. I groaned out loud, knowing my hands were full and I couldn't check it til I was back in my apartment. The elevator TV was on a commercial for cat food, and I'd made a plan to stop by a shelter while I was out. Walking onto my floor, I trudged to the end of the hall and opened my door with the key.

"Honey, I'm home!" I called to no one in particular, tossing my bag of clean clothes in my room.

     Once I'd become bored with standing in my kitchen, I looked at the clock to find it 1:45. Damn, did I sleep in that late? Shaking my head, I grabbed the keys from the bowl and headed out to get Mikasa's car keys. Before I walked to her door, I'd decided to see if Jean perhaps wanted to go. Knocking a few times on his door, I eventually gave up after about 5 minutes.

"He's either really good at ignoring me, or isn't home." I puffed out my bottom lip in a pout, walking down to my sister's apartment. Knocking just twice on her door, she immediately answered.

"Eren! Come in, won't you?" Mikasa pleaded, Futurama playing in the background.

"Nah. I wish I could, but I've got plans today. Car keys?" I tried to ask as politely as possible.

"Oh, that's right. Here you go. She's parked in front of the building, won't be hard to miss." Then, just as I tried to leave, Mikasa wrapped her arms around me in a tight, reassuring hug.

     Walking back to the elevator, it seemed to descend faster than it had before. Walking outside the building, I hit the unlock button on the keys. Following the beeping sound, I eventually came to my sister's car. Getting in the passenger seat, I hooked up my phone through the aux cord. I let my music play, driving on to my first destination.

I've got your picture,

I'm coming with you

Dear Maria, count me in

There's a story at the bottom of this bottle...

And I'm the pen... 

     Best Buy was oddly packed, even for it being a Friday afternoon. I had my mind set on buying a brand new laptop for my apartment, since my complex had free wifi for each floor. Walking in, I made my way to their laptop division, and began my search. As I was browsing the multiple options, a tall man came up behind me.

"Can I help you with anything?" He asked with a rather gruff voice. 

"Just looking for a laptop, sir." I responded, trying to hide my surprise at his combed over hair and rather... plush, eyebrows.

"Ah, yes. What do you plan to do on it?" The man asked, shifting weight as he stood.

"Not much. Maybe have enough capacity to run a few large games." I shrugged, turning and facing the Apple products I stood in front of.

"Well, you certainly don't want that. Come with me." The blond man motioned for me to follow, and I did.

     I had settled on a laptop by the company Cyberpower, the Fangbook model. It even had red lights under the keys and GTX 860. Yes, it cost me a helluva lot, but it was worth it. As I was standing there, pulling out my card, he cleared his throat and began talking to me again.

"Can I have your name and date of birth?" He asked, clicking the mouse.

"Eren Jaeger, born March 30th." I finished, laying my card down on the counter.

"Your grand total today is... 987$ after the sale is taken." After focusing to read his nametag, it said 'Erwin' in half-torn black sticker letters.

"Worth it, I suppose." I pushed my debit card towards him, and he scanned it. Once the purchase was complete, I took the box my laptop was in and exited the store.

     Now, I was to head to Gamestop. I'd planned to pick up a console there since it would be cheaper than Best Buy. As I drove down there, my heart momentarily seized when a harshly familiar black SUV pulled up in the lane next to me. Could it be...? No, it's not possible. I hastily rolled up my windows, hoping that the people I thought could be inside didn't see me. My light turned, and soon I was in the parking lot of Gamestop, a pizza place, and a cupcake shop, all in one little center.

     I walked in, and was immediately calmed by the smell of strategy guides and semi-lonely teenagers. After glancing around for a few minutes, I heard my name called as my back was to the counter.

"Hey, Eren!" I froze, until I turned and saw who it was.

"Hey Jean! Didn't know you worked here." I smiled, going to talk to my friend at the counter.

"Heh, yeah. Just started last week. You came in at a good time, too. We're marking off our pre-owned Playstation 3's." He sounded way more excited than I was.

"Oh? Care to show me?" I asked, waiting as he returned from the back with 4 boxes.

"There's a plain first gen PS3, one with a blu-ray player, a backwards compatible one, and lastly... Someone who put an Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood skin on it." Jean carefully lifted up the cardboard that kept the system safe.

"How much?" I questioned, raising one eyebrow.

"200$ flat, my good sir." Jean chuckled, closing the box back up.

"I'll take it!" I exclaimed, going to search for games.

     After my splurge at Gamestop, I sat in Mikasa's car for a moment, contemplating everything. Yeah, cliche, I know. But I just shook my head and started the car up. I thought I'd go by Starbucks for a quick drink, and then head home. Looking at the dashboard clock, it was already almost 6. I may or may not have gone 10 over the speed limit all the way to Starbucks. As I parked, and triple checked that the car was locked, I entered. Much to my dismay, no one I knew was working. I pouted, ordered my drink, received it, and sat at a table by the window.

     I pulled out my phone to see a text from Armin. "Armin Arlert: Hey man. How's 'Zombieland' for movie night tonight? And the original 'Night of the Living Dead'? Let me know." I chuckled, replying that those options were fine with me. I took a sip of my mocha frappuccino, beginning to scroll through more social media.

"Excuse me, do you have the time?" I heard someone ask aloud, nearly scaring me out of my seat.

"I-It's uh... 5:50." I responded, clearing my throat. I took a better look at who was speaking. 

     A short, really short, pale skinned blonde girl stood in front of my table. Honestly, I was sitting down, and even then I'm sure she was my eye-level. I stared awkwardly at my phone, taking occasional sips of my drink. But she continued to stand there. Finally, she sat down, eyes still pinned on me.

"The name's Annie." She blurted out, whipping her head to free her face of hair.

"Eren." I stated, beginning to lick the whip cream off the cup lid.

"Eren, huh? I think I've seen you work here before." Annie inquired, scooting closer to the table.

"Probably have." Each response I gave had less and less emotion, and I became more uncomfortable.

"Say uh... Eren? You don't mind if I uh... Stay with you tonight, do you? Parents kicked me out and I have no friends really." Annie was now looking down at her hands, twiddling her thumbs.

"You're a total stranger...asking me to enter my place of living, without me so much as knowing your name?" Now, that comment was smart-assy.

"It would seem so." She responded, barely whispering.

     Annie's pale blue eyes seemed to show genuine emotion, and I was already in a rough spot, so if I was mean to someone... I'd make myself feel it. Annie and I walked out to my sister's car, and I cleared my stuff from the passenger seat. She sat down, barely able to reach the seatbelt. I laughed, starting the engine and heading back to the complex.

The End

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