Shingeki no Pizza Hut
That Day: The Fall of Pizza Hut, Part Two
Eren made sure he was present for the fall of Pizza Hut. He stood slightly apart Armin and Mikasa, both of whom had no interest in being there whatsoever, his face frozen in a pout. Tears welled in his eyes and his lower lip shook as he tried to resist the urge to cry. He couldn't actually see Pizza Hut, it was shielded, locked behind blue screens to protect the public from any falling debris. Eren wouldn't mind falling debris; in fact, he'd love to take a bit of Pizza Hut home with him.
Things weren't going to go that way, though, of course. Things never went the way he hoped. As the bright yellow construction vehicles whirred to life, ready to demolish and destroy the only thing Eren had ever loved and cared about. Mikasa began to hum Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" as, with a bang and a crash, the building began to come tumbling down.
I could have saved it. I could have saved Pizza Hut, Eren thought. Except I couldn't. I couldn't save Pizza Hut because I'm weak. I'm too weak to save what matters most to me and now its gone. This is the end. Why was I such a fool? Why didn't I protect it? Why didn't I eat it every day? Why did I neglect it until the end? Why couldn't I do anything? Is it because I'm weak? And because I'm weak, I can do nothing but cry; cry as everything I love is taken from me.
He was gripped by an inexplicable anger, one that seemed to resonate from his very core, and the more he cried the angrier he got. This wasn't his fault; Pizza Hut wasn't getting demolished because he was too weak to save it. This was Colossal Pizza's fault. Oh yes. He was going to wipe every single branch of that disgusting restaurant off the face of the Earth. He was going to crush them all. Not even a single one of them would be left.
Eren wiped away his tears with the back of his hand. He was careful to avoid getting tears and snot on his snazzy jacket. "Goodbye, Pizza Hut," he whispered. "Rest in peace."
Mikasa's singing continued, rising to combat the yells of the construction workers and the noise of a building literally falling apart, until she was practically screaming the lyrics with an avid passion. Armin placed a hand on her shoulder reassuringly.
"Let it go, Mikasa," he tapped her back, "let it all go."
Mikasa nodded, swallowed, paused for breath, then belted out the final chorus. Armin placed a hand over his heart, looked down, and smiled, shaking his head. "Beautiful," he mumbled, in awe of Mikasa's angelic singing.
Eren found Mikasa's singing somewhat insensitive, and would later wake up in sweats, reliving this moment, reliving her rendition of that song, in the most terrifying of nightmares. "That song is shit," he scoffed. Armin and Mikasa turned to him in horror.
"No it's not!" Mikasa protested.
"I... I kind of like it," Armin added.
"Well then, you're both wrong, because it's shit," Eren shook his head. "And let's not even get onto the topic of Miley Cyrus herself, because she's not much-"
"What's wrong with Miley Cyrus?" Mikasa yelled. Hannah Montana was her favourite show.
Eren's eyebrows rose. "What's wrong with her? Well, for starters, did you see her at the VMAs-"
Sensing, as only he could, an argument was imminent, Armin interrupted with, "What kind of music do you like, then, Eren?"
Unfortunately, Eren didn't have a chance to enlighten Armin with an answer, because, as he opened his mouth, Mikasa's phone began to play, and Miley Cyrus' voice rang out. Mikasa shrugged apologetically, and answered her phone.
"It's your mum, Eren," she said.
"Wow!" Eren yelled. "I didn't know you could speak to the dead Mikasa! That's a skill and a half! You could make serious money from that!"
Mikasa rolled her eyes. "Yes, he's still pretending your dead," she said into her phone. "Yes, the building just came down. We watched it. Yeah, he cried. He cried like a spineless little baby. Eren," she moved the phone away from her mouth for a second, and covered the speaker. "We're talking about you. We're talking about how you cried little a spineless little baby when Pizza Hut was torn down."
Eren's jaw dropped. "Don't tell my mum that I cried like a baby!"
"I want to tell her that you pissed yourself too," Mikasa admitted. "Did you piss yourself?"
"No!" Eren screamed, his voice breaking.
Mikasa chewed the inside of her cheek. "I'm going to tell her that you pissed yourself."
"Don't tell her that! Mikasa! MIKASA!" Eren ran at her, trying to grab the phone out of her had, the whole time shrieking that he didn't piss himself.
Armin sighed. He was going to miss this. He was going to miss this a lot.
"I'm going to miss this," he said. "I'm going to miss this a lot."
Eren stopped jumping for Mikasa's phone to turn to Armin, confused. During this time, Mikasa muttered into the phone, "Yeah, Eren pissed himself too."
"Why?" Eren asked, completely ignoring the shit Mikasa was saying about him literally behind his back. "Where are you going?"
"Well, my grandfather was offered a management position in Rose, so we're moving to this tiny little town called Trost so he can continue to work at Pizza Hut and not have to share all the secrets he's learnt over the years with Colossal Pizza-"
Armin drifted off as, to his shock, Eren flung himself at his lower leg, which he then clung to, and began to scream, "Take me with you! I'm begging, Armin, take me with you! TAKE ME WITH YOU!"
Mikasa sighed into the phone. "Yo, big C, I'm going to have to go," she said. "We've got a situation."
"I got ya," Mrs Jaeger responded. "You think you're swag enough to handle it?"
"Please," Mikasa flicked her hair over her shoulder, even though Carla wasn't actually there to see it so it was kind of pointless. "I'm the swaggiest." She then hung up like a badass, and dropped her phone on the floor instead of putting it in her pocket, because she thought that would look cooler. She did look cool, but there was, once again, no one there to see her, so really all she got out of it was a strange sense of pride; a feeling she would later feel the opposite of when she realised she'd cracked her phone screen for practically no reason.
When she glanced over to Eren, he was dangerously close to crying into Armin's crotch. "You and your grandfather don't even need to feed me!" he wailed. "You can just let me eat the customers leftovers!"
"Okay, Eren, that is disgusting," Armin frowed. "That's disgusting and I'm uncomfortable. Please let go of my leg."
"You heard him," Mikasa said, putting her hands on her hips and standing in a cool, superhero like way that only reinforced how badass she was. "He's uncomfortable; get off his leg-
"Not until he agrees to take me with him!" Eren screamed.
"But you're making me uncomfortable!"
"I INTEND TO!"
"FINE!" Armin yelled suddenly, startling Mikasa and Eren both. "I'LL ASK HIM IF YOU CAN COME!"
Eren let go of Armin's leg and fell back, content. He looked up at Mikasa from where he lay on the floor. "He's going to ask if I can come."
Mikasa shook her head. "You can't go, Eren."
He frowned. "Shut up, you're not my mum."
Armin reached into his own pocket and removed his own, less cracked phone. He dialed his grandfather's number and waited. "Hi Grandpa, it's me," he said as soon as someone picked up.
"I know," his grandfather replied. "You are my only grandchild you are literally the only person who calls me grandpa I'm not going to assume you're the bleeding police am I?"
"Why would the police be phoning?" Armin's brows furrowed.
"No reason," his grandfather said quickly. "What did you want?"
"Uh, you know my friend Eren?"
"The annoying one who's always at Pizza Hut and doesn't shut up and is angry and pisses me off like no ones business?"
"God, am I glad we'll be leaving him behind soon he is so annoying. Probably a bad influence on you. Maybe."
Armin pinched the bridge of his nose. "I was going to ask if he could come-"
"No. Don't you even finish that question Armin Arlert, don't you dare. Your little asshat of a friend is staying here with his creepy doctor dad and his fit as hell mum."
"Don't you "grandpa" me. If I think your friend has a hot mum so what? I don't care. I'm a free spirit."
Armin looked up from his phone for a second, sighing, and met the gaze of a hopeful, expectant Eren. He shook his head. "Eren you can't come with us."
"What?" Eren glared at him incredulously. "WHAT?!"
"Grandpa said no-"
"Let me talk to him!" Eren cried, and for the second time he was grabbing at a mobile phone, but this time it was Armin he was up against and he was easily overpowered.
"Hi, Mr Grandpa Pizza Hut, it's Eren, and I'm here to tell you why you should take me with you; you see you don't need to feed me and my dad's never at home and my mum's dead and I have no where else to go-"
"Your mum's not dead!" Mikasa screamed.
"She's dead to me!" Eren cried back."But yeah," he said, back into Armin's phone, "that's why you should take me with you, please. Please please please please please."
It took a lot of convincing on Eren's behalf, and Grandpa Arlert only agreed because the longer he was on the phone with Eren, the more he would have to pay for Armin's phonebill. He then phoned Eren's mother and had a long discussion about Eren and about his welfare and it was decided he would take Eren with him to Trost, and take Mikasa too, to make sure Eren kept out of trouble and phone his mum on a regular basis, and Grandpa Arlert couldn't believe what he'd gotten himself into, because living with one child that wasn't his own was bad enough, but three? At least Armin had come out of the penis that came out of his penis. Or something like that. Grandpa Arlert wasn't really sure how sex worked. Or how babies were made. To be honest, Grandpa Arlert didn't really know anything about anything that wasn't pizza. But boy did he know about pizza. He knew a lot about pizza.
Don't you ever say,
I just walked away.
The bricks, the bricks that had sheltered him, the walls that had kept his safe, that he revered, that he loved, began to crack. The cracks were small but many and they were spreading and elongating and running in a delicate lattice across the building and there was nothing that could stop them, nothing, lest of all him. He was weak. He was too weak to stop anything.
I will always love you.
He could here it as it creaked and folded in on itself and shattered, beginning to topple over, falling, falling, falling...
I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL
There were tears lining his face and he was screaming but no sounds were coming out and he wanted this to end he wanted it to end he wanted it to end he wanted it to
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
He was sat bolt upright in his bed. Mikasa was perched on the end of his bed, watching him, worried. His alarm clock was beeping in the background and he moved his hand a hit a few times in its general direction until the noise stopped. "I thought you were singing," he said.
"It was just a dream."
"I heard you."
"You were crying in your sleep."
"Pizza Hut came tumbling down..."
Mikasa blinked a few times. "Oh..."
"Yeah," Eren swallowed, and pushed back his fringe. He was shaking and sweating and needed a shower.
"That was years ago, Eren," Mikasa smiled, though it was cold and forced. "We're safe. Pizza Hut's safe. We're not going out of business anytime soon."
His brows furrowed. "Why do you keep saying we?"
She shook her head and sighed, smiling a more natural smile now. "Have you forgotten what today is? Did your dream rob you of that?"
Eren felt his stomach twist in excitement. "Oh God... OH GOD! MIKASA!"
She laughed. "I'll leave you to get ready. Armin's downstairs making breakfast. Mr Arlert's already left for work."
Eren could hardly contain his excitement. It had been three years since he'd left Shiganshima, and he'd spent the whole time preparing for this day; the day he was finally old enough to leave school and get an apprenticeship at Pizza Hut. He leapt out of bed, showered as quickly as he could, and then bolted down the stairs, where Armin was making toast.
"Hiya Eren!" The boy greeted him with a small wave. "What do you want on your toast?"
"I don't know if I have the stomach to eat," Eren bounced up and down in his seat. "I'm too excited!"
Mikasa said, "You should eat something Eren."
Eren shrugged. "I can't! I'm too excited! And you can't tell me what to-"
He was cut off by Mikasa shoving the piece of toast she'd been nibbling at in his mouth. "Eat."
Eren did so begrudgingly. He was so close. So close to becoming the world's greatest pizza delivery boy. So close he could almost taste it. Well, along with the toast, he supposed.
Armin placed more toast on Mikasa's plate, and she ate it casually while looking over the crossword that was in that day's paper. Eren didn't understand how the two of them could act so normal, or why the two of them had chosen to join him on his journey to the promised pizza paradise that was the course, but he was grateful for it nonetheless.
The three of them had been together for years. They'd started schools together. They played together, they'd fought together. They'd lived their best and worst moments together. They'd lost teeth together, they'd lost friends together, they'd lost games together. They'd taken many big steps together over the years, but this was the biggest one of them all, and Eren couldn't imagine doing it alone.
Eren wouldn't have gotten here without Armin and Mikasa, and without them, he wasn't sure how he could go on.
"You are now officially members of the Pizza Hut Apprenticeship Programme, Course 104, Trost Branch. Unfortunately for you, I, Keith Shadis, will be your mentor. But I'm not here to give you a warm welcome. All of you are fresh meat, ready to feed the corporate machine that is a business. You're livestock. You're even worse than livestock! If you were livestock, I'd be feeding you, when, in reality, you are going to be feeding everyone else!
For the next three years, I'll train you useless shits. I'll teach you how to satisfy the customers! When you serve a meal in three years time, will it be just food? Or will it be a miracle for your mouth, something so perfect and delicious and warm that the customer falls in love and comes back again and again and again? Will it be cold and lifeless, delivered by a heartless youth in a Pizza Hut jacket and a motorbike helmet? Or will you get there fast enough in a manner that is efficient and safe, and deliver it just as fresh and warm as it was when it came out of the oven? The choice lies in your hands."
From the desk he was stood behind, in a row that was to the front of the room but not right at the front, Eren Jaeger thought to himself, Ayyy son, don't worry. I'll deliver every last one of them.
author's note: so it seems i have accidentally kept a lot of people waiting for this, and for that i apologise. i cannot believe the interest this fic has gotten. at all. like it's really stupid and poorly written and not even that funny? and somehow it earnt itself a hundred favourites, ninety follows and over forty reviews. not to mention that for months it was the most reviewed story in the tag, and kept that position from july through to december, despite being barely three thousand words. thank you for that. i'm not sure why you guys chose to award the fic that, but thank you. i can only hope that this chapter lives up to the "standard" set by the previous one, and that you think it's good enough.