Disclaimer:

These characters were created and are owned by Hajime Isayama.

Mikasa walked into the dining hall, where her friends had been waiting for her. Upon her arrival, they all gasped and stared wide-eyed at her.

"Oh. My. God," Connie breathed.

"Mikasa! You're not wearing your scarf!" Sasha exclaimed.

"Yeah. It's hot out," Mikasa replied.

The new members of Captain Levi's squad did not believe her excuse. Mikasa had worn her sacred red scarf on days hotter than that one. Though they didn't believe her, they decided not to question her any further.

Their dinner continued as it normally would. Sasha constantly asking others if they were going to eat their bread, Eren and Jean arguing about who is stronger, and Connie doing impersonations of their Captain. Armin noticed that Mikasa was acting differently, she had actually laughed at Connie's stupid impersonations rather than just give him a small smile. As her friend, he reminded himself to ask her about it after dinner.

"I think I'll turn in for the night," Mikasa said standing up from the table.

"I'll go with you," Armin stated as he rose from the table too.

"You don't have to. I can walk by myself," Mikasa protested.

"No, it's fine." They walked out of the dining hall and down several hallways until Armin stopped.

"Mikasa?" Armin said to get her attention. She turned to him.

"Yes?"

"Why aren't you wearing your scarf?"

"I already told you. It's hot."

"You really are a terrible liar."

"I am not."

"Mikasa. You once said that while in titan form, Eren was trying to hit a fly."

"Okay. You're right."

"So why aren't you wearing the scarf?"

"Okay. I'll tell you." She took a deep breath. "I don't need it anymore. I wore that scarf all the time to remind myself of how Eren had saved me and that I owe my life to him. I thought that he was my only family and that my family was all that I had. But I was wrong. He's not my only family. I have you and Sasha and Jean and everyone else. Even the Midget Corporal now. I thought that to protect Eren, to protect my family, I would have to devote myself to him alone. But I realized that I don't need to live just for him anymore. I can protect the people that I care about without forgetting to care about myself." She paused. "Did I answer your question?"

Armin smiled. "Yes."

"Okay, well I'm going to go to my room now. Goodnight."

"Goodnight." Mikasa turned away from him and continued to walk to her room.

"Wait, Mikasa," Armin called out to her. She stopped and turned to him. "I'm glad that you've finally found yourself," he said.

She smiled. "Yeah, I'm happy about it too."