A/N: Oh my gosh. I can't believe this is actually here already. It always felt really far off even when I said I only had one chapter left. But here we are. The ending. At least, for now it is. I'm sure I'll get a load of fresh ideas after season two comes out eventually, but for the time being this is farewell.
Thanks to everyone for the awesome amount of attention and support this has garnered, and I'm just gonna let y'all read this and post my big sappy goodbye at the end.
With that in mind, I hope you enjoy this final installment of When Given Dandelions.
Summary: Eren reflects on all that has happened to him over the years.
Word Count: 5,206
Warnings: Spoilers for the entire show, any warnings that apply to that show, and fluff. This is pretty fluffy all things considered.
DISCLAIMER: This was made for entertainment purposes only with not intent on copy infringement.
Giving Her Dandelions
That was the first thing that Eren really registered as he came back to consciousness.
His face felt hot, scalded, as though he had burned it somehow, and his limbs felt heavy and overexerted like they always did after he transformed into a Titan, like controlling the other body strained his own to a near breaking point. In all likelihood, it probably did. Though much was still unknown about the effects turning into a Titan had on someone of humankind, Eren knew it was probably overly stressful on a normal body, but the dark-haired boy would never let something like that stop him from giving everything he had to a fight. And he always gave everything he could to a fight. Eren was tired of humankind being the losers in this war, so he would make them the winners, no matter what it took.
Next, he realized someone was holding him, their hands rough from constant use but too delicate to be mistaken for a man, and even with his eyes closed, Eren knew they were familiar hands. He knew he was safe there, and that this person wouldn't harm him. That was just the feeling he got, and the dark-haired boy clung to it. Somewhere deep inside, he knew he needed the comfort. It had been a rough fight after all-
Memory came back to him then. He remembered the fight. It had been so difficult for him to fight her... To fight Annie. He had... Eren's blue eyes snapped open.
Smoke and ashes filled the air, polluted it, made it difficult to breath properly. Or perhaps that was just Eren as no one else seemed to be having that much trouble. Was Annie... When he had been sitting on her decimated Titan form and saw her, saw the real Annie, the girl he knew and respected, he hadn't been able to kill her. He'd just sat there watching her small figure, curled in on itself, looking so fragile and harmless. Had that really been the person who was ready to betray all of humankind? And for what purpose... Either way, Eren just couldn't kill her, but had someone else?
It was then that the person holding him realized he had regained consciousness. "Eren," Mikasa said, voice tinged with simultaneous worry and relief as her grip on him tightened. Her eyes were sad, and that filled Eren with anxiety.
"Mikasa, what happened to Annie?" he asked, not sure if he really wanted to know the answer, but knowing he needed to hear it. Really, it was an odd thing to be so torn from not wanting someone to be dead, and knowing it might be best if they were... No, that wasn't exactly true. It would be better for the Recon Corps. if Annie survived. After all, that was the point of this operation, to capture not kill. However, Eren wasn't sure if he could handle seeing her again after this, after she betrayed them all. How could she? It...It didn't make any sense.
When the dark-haired girl holding him didn't respond to his question, he struggled to sit up, wanting to see what everyone else seemed to be looking at. Jean's shouts were coming from that direction too. He was talking about how it wasn't fair and swearing, but it was Annie's name that really caught his attention. That was when he saw the mass of amber crystal sitting the the middle of two Titan skeletons. Jean was slamming his swords into it, but they weren't even chipping it, instead being broken away piece by piece. After a moment, Captain Levi grabbed Jean and told him to stop, that it wasn't making a difference. For a moment, Eren didn't understand what Jean had been trying to accomplish. Until he glimpsed a distorted figure inside of the crystal... and then he knew.
"Annie," he whispered, his throat tightening. Was she dead? It... it didn't sound like it if Jean was so upset, but what did this mean? What were they supposed to do now?
Hange took control of the situation then, ordering them to fetch a net and saying they were going to place Annie underground. That would be for the best. She wouldn't be able to hurt anyone else underground.
Eren's gaze fell to his lap. Annie had betrayed them all. She had betrayed humankind. She had betrayed him.
Admittedly, he would be lying if he said that he didn't care about her.. It was obvious that he had considered her his friend, but more than that, they had trained together, fought together, bled together. Now he knew it was all nothing to her, and that stung. That more than stung, that felt like he had been stabbed in the back. Eren had never coped with pain of that sort well, so he would do what he had always done. He would turn his sadness to rage.
After everything that had happened to them, after everything the Titans had done to humankind, she was on their side? That was despicable. It would've been better if she had been eaten by the Titans back when they broke through wall Rose. At least then, his memory of her wouldn't have been tarnished like it was now. Yet.. Yet it was still hard to think of her as 'the enemy..' That was a weakness on his part, and Eren didn't like the idea of being weak. He had told Mikasa to be strong, and she had carried on to tell him to be strong. He needed to be strong now.
But it was still so hard.
Eren wasn't aware that he had shed a tear until he felt Mikasa's hand on his check, wiping it away. "Eren..." she said sadly.. He knew that she had never liked Annie. At that moment, he almost laughed. It was like she had known all along what Annie really was. Had everyone else to? Maybe he was the only one who hadn't seen it.. Eren had kept his faith that she would be proven innocent until that moment they forced her to reveal herself. However, Mikasa had always been cold towards the blonde girl, something Eren had never understood, and yet, here she was now holding him and comforting him. She wasn't telling him that they had all been right about Annie, instead she was just holding him in her arms, stroking his hair now, a gesture that had always calmed him.
"Let's go somewhere you can rest," she told him, but neither of them made a move to get up and head back.
Eren glanced up at the sky, his eyes brimming with tears. The sky was clear and bright, had it not been polluted by ash and smoke. At that moment, he thought it would've been a good day for rain.
The next time Eren woke up, he could feel soft fabrics under him and wrapped around him and knew he was in a recovery room. Oddly enough, though he got the idea that much time hadn't passed, he wasn't in pain this time. Perhaps tired, but that was all. And he could deal with exhaustion. It was strange because he knew it wasn't normal for someone to heal so quickly, and he assumed it was whatever caused his transformation ability that did it.
Soft sunlight streamed through the windows, casting the room in a gentle warmth. How much time had passed? It didn't feel like much, but perhaps he had slept through the night. To be honest, the previous day felt like a blur. Everything that happened after his fight with Annie sort of melded together into a mesh of events that he had deemed - purposefully or not - unimportant. But he could still remember everything before that in detail. Well, remember it in the way he could remember all his Titan transformations. It wasn't like normal memory, like normal thought processes, when he was in Titan form. For the most part, it was basic emotions he could remember feeling attached to images, and with those images and emotions came basic thoughts... However, they weren't like Eren's normal thoughts. Everything was more intense, and basic principals could be twisted if he wasn't careful.
Even harder to explain was the way his own thoughts were in a way separate from his Titan thoughts. It was like somewhere inside he knew how he was supposed to think and act, but that was overridden by his baser Titan instincts. The longer he spent in Titan form, the less control he seemed to have, and Eren didn't like the idea of where that might lead if he wasn't careful.
But he didn't want to think about that right now because when he opened his eyes, he knew he was hardly alone, and those thoughts were very private ones. Terrifying ones.
Sitting at his bedside, Mikasa had her hands clutched in his blankets, and her eyes, shining with concern, met his. He almost smiled then. Mikasa always had this weird sixth-sense about him, and for whatever reason that amused him. For as long as he had known her, Mikasa had always been there for him, and part of him had always wondered what he had done to earn that loyalty. Perhaps she would tell him it was because he had saved her when she was a child, but what she didn't realize is that she had actually saved herself. All Eren had done was push her in the right direction. Besides that, she had saved him several times over by this point. Whatever debt she thought she owed was repaid by far, but Eren couldn't deny that he was grateful for her presence. Mikasa meant a lot to him. She always had, and just like he knew she didn't ever want to leave his side, he didn't want to leave hers either. Her and Armin were the two most important people in his life, and that wasn't going to change any time soon.
And speaking of their blonde friend, Armin stood near the foot of his bed, a small relieved smile on his face. Truthfully, it amazed Eren just how much had changed, but yet, it wasn't as surprising to him as one might assume. He had always known Armin had it in him to be strong in the face of danger. Maybe not in the way that Mikasa or Captain Levi were strong, but in his own way. However, the blonde had never believed in his own worth, but he had been the one to come up with those plans. He was smart, and now, the others knew it too. Now, Armin knew it too. Though there might still be times when he doubted himself, Eren would be there to tell his friend to knock it off.
Surprisingly enough, Jean was there as well. For a long time, perhaps even still to an extent, the two men had not gotten along very well. Jean was a snob, rude, and a pansy when Eren first met him. Going through all that training only to waste it on the Military Police? That was a coward's way, but he couldn't deny that Jean had turned himself around pretty well. It still surprised him that the other man had joined the Recon Corps. with him, but if nothing else, Eren could respect that. They still had their disputes, and always would, but Eren could respect Jean at times... But there was a lot of room for change, in Eren's opinion. Like, he still didn't care for the way the brunette drooled over Mikasa. It was sickening, and he knew Mikasa would never go for someone like that... Or at least he hoped she wouldn't. Not that he had any right to tell her who she should fall in love with...
Eren repressed the urge to press his hands into his face. His thoughts were going to a weird place. Maybe that was a side effect from all the injuries he'd suffered both in the past years and just yesterday. That's what he would tell himself anyways.
The four were silent for a long moment before Mikasa leaned forward. "Eren..." she trailed off quietly as he sat up. "How's your body feeling?" Armin and Jean looked over at him as well, wanting to know the answer to the question themselves.
Shaking his head lightly, he answered, "Yeah, it's crazy how back-to-normal I am..."
No one said anything in reply to that, and Eren's thoughts turned to Annie. He was back-to-normal, but it made him wonder how she was fairing. He still wasn't sure of his exact feelings on the subject of the blonde girl, but he thought it was easier to face the knowledge of her betrayal than it was yesterday. Everything was starting to cement itself in his mind, and it all felt less surreal. When he thought about it, he had never been as close to her as he wanted to be. Annie had kept everyone at an arm's length, and he was no exception. He had still cared about her and always wanted to be better friends with her, but she had never really let him in. Maybe he should've seen something like this coming after all.
So yes, her betrayal still hurt, but it was more of a hurt for what never was and what never could be. Today, he knew he would be able to move on from it. He could handle this, and it was upsetting. However, nothing could change what had happened, and perhaps it was for the best that it had gone down like it did. Many more would've been hurt if they hadn't stopped her when they did, but it was a shame they hadn't accomplished their original goal. That's what everyone was saying anyways. Eren still wasn't sure how to feel about everything. Would she always be crystallized? If she could initiate it, perhaps she could reverse it on her own too. Was she even conscious? Perhaps she had reversed it already.
With these thoughts in mind, he asked, "Is Annie still crystallized?"
At his question, something darkened in Mikasa's eyes, not in anger but sadness, and it made him curious. However, she only said, "Yeah."
He looked back down at his lap, and they lapsed into silence for a moment before Jean spoke up, anger and frustration prevalent in his tone. "Damn. After that huge operation, we come back with nothing?" he asked no one in particular.
Armin gave a light shrug, face neutral. "Annie went all that way to keep us from the information."
"She made a clean getaway," Jean replied, frown deepening.
"Eren let her go," Armin said. His voice wasn't accusatory, as though he was just stating a fact. However, Eren felt guilt well up in him at the words. It was true, and he wouldn't deny that to himself or them. However, it did make him angry at himself. Even after all that she had done to them, he still hadn't been able to stop her. "Isn't that so, Eren?" Armin continued, and Eren glanced up to meet his eyes. "If you hadn't hesitated at that moment..." He trailed off purposefully.
With a sigh, Eren hung his head, his mind flashing back to his fight with Annie. Then he remembered the sight of her curled in on herself as he hunched over her, so small and frail. "Armin's right. I failed." In that moment, he hadn't been able to see her as the Female Titan. She had just been Annie, and even though he knew he needed to, Eren hadn't been able to bring himself to hurt her. "When I saw Annie, I couldn't move," he gave to them as a way of explanation. Perhaps there was a bit more to it than that, perhaps not. At the moment, Eren wasn't even sure of it himself, but he thought it was a good enough excuse for the time being.
At that moment, someone stuck their head into his recovery room and called for Jean and Armin to leave for some reason that Eren didn't really pay attention to. His thoughts were a jumbled mess, flashing from memory to another from yesterday. Thoughts of Annie mingled with thoughts of what being in Titan form did to Eren's mind. It really was a terrifying experience - being trapped inside yourself. The thoughts were your own even if they didn't feel like your own, and they were always so much more... More forceful. Part of Eren worried that these were the thoughts that originated in the core of his being, where morals and values didn't have any substance, where it was just raw emotion and need. If that was the case, what did that say about him?
It really was a terrifying experience.
"I'll see you later," Armin told him as he headed out the door. Jean didn't bother to give a farewell.
"Yeah," Eren said simply, his mind still stuck in another place.
Then he was alone with Mikasa. Even if someone had called her away too, he wasn't sure if she actually would've gone with them. More than ever, she was determined to stay by his side, and Eren wondered if she knew how much he needed her at the moment. A moment passed as he remembered how it had felt just before Annie had crystallized, remembered the rage and other unbearably forceful emotions. He remembered not being able to stop them, to stop himself from feeling them all.
He looked over at her then, letting her see the fear in his eyes. "At that moment, it felt good..." he began, watching as Mikasa's eyes widened with a gasp. Perhaps he should've kept these thoughts to himself, but they wouldn't go away. Mikasa was probably the only person in the world he felt comfortable enough to share them with. Lucky her. He always put so much on her, but she never complained. She was the one good constant in his life, her and Armin. But it was different with Armin. Eren wasn't exactly sure how, but he knew that he had told Mikasa things that no one else had ever heard. Like what he was about to tell her.. "It was almost a relief when my body collapsed ... Like it'd be okay if I died-"
"Eren!" she cut him off, genuine fear showing on her face. Her eyes were wide, her lips quirked into a frown.
At that moment, Eren studied her, really studied her, for the first time in a long time. She had come a long way from the little girl he had met under bad circumstances. Though her changes were not quite so obvious as Armin's were, he could see them since he had known her for so long. Mikasa was strong, stronger than anyone else he knew perhaps, and she was confident, and brave, and more caring than she let on.
And it surprised him to realize that she had grown into a beautiful woman.
When had that happened exactly? She was still his Mikasa. The shivering girl whom he had given his scarf to. The girl who would either punch him or hug him when he messed up. The girl who had gotten a better score in every facet of training than pretty much everyone else. But now, she was also the girl with the soft curves, bright almond-shaped eyes, and full lips. Mikasa was beautiful.
But Eren pushed those thoughts away. He didn't want to think of her in that way. For the longest time, she had been the closest thing he had to a sister... Not exactly that. A very good friend at any rate. She was his family, and you weren't supposed to think of family members like that. Now, was not the time for foolish thoughts like that anyways. Everyone was still recovering from all the tragedies they had gone through. Many deaths were still fresh. When he managed to draw himself out of his reverie, Eren told her, "I don't feel that way now."
Mikasa let out a sound that was something between a sob and a cry of joy, and he couldn't see her face as she leaned forward, her hair covering her face. As her shoulders trembled, Eren wondered if she was crying. He could count on one hand the number of times he'd seen Mikasa cry, and it embarrassed him to realize that he caused most of them. She really did care for him more than she should.
Reaching out a little hesitantly, her hand slid under his as though worried he would pull away from her.. Or perhaps she was afraid he would break. Then her other hand grasp the top of his, encasing his hand with both of hers now. Although her palms were rough from callouses, proof that Mikasa possessed the strength she strove for, his were too, and the contact comforted him.
Her voice shook just the slightest bit as she told him, "I'm glad.." She trailed off, and Eren thought he saw a tear hit her lap. "You came back."
The raw emotion in her voice hit him, and his own shoulders shook for a minute. Whenever he needed it, Mikasa had always been there to comfort him. Now, it was his turn. Tightening his hand around hers, he shifted onto his knees so he could move more freely. Then he pressed his forehead against hairs, hoping it would help her calm down. "For you, always."
When her eyes met his, they were watery, but she wasn't crying. "Eren," she said quietly. Then the dark-haired girl threw her arms around his shoulder, burying her face into the crook of his neck.
"It's okay. I'm not going anywhere," He soothed her, running his hand up and down her back. Perhaps it should've felt embarrassing to hold her so closely. However, he and Mikasa had already been through so much together that it felt natural to be this close. He cared deeply for her, and the dark-haired man couldn't imagine what his life would've been like without her. He didn't want to imagine it. And so he didn't, choosing instead to keep her clutched closely to him, one hand tangled into her soft, black hair, the other making soothing laps around her back as he continued whispering assurances to her.
Two days passed, and Eren felt completely fine. However, Mikasa was more or less refusing to let him out of her sight, staying by his bedside and bringing him meals,and just mothering him in general. In truth, Eren couldn't decide whether he should be annoyed by her presence or touched, so in the meantime, he would lean towards touched. Because, it was kind of cute in a way too. It was almost as if she was afraid he would disappear, or perhaps she was still worried about what he had told her when they were alone the day after the fight with Annie.
Either way, having her nearby all the time wasn't so bad, and in truth, it wasn't much different from when they were still growing up together. He missed those times. Everything had been a lot simpler then. A lot simpler, and a lot less dark. Well, he'd always thought so anyways.
After no small amount of coercing, Eren had managed to convince his self-appointed caretaker that he was well enough to go for a walk outside, explaining that the fresh air would help him recover faster anyways. Not that he had any actual recovering to do, he thought with a roll of his eyes. Personal feelings aside, that was where Eren found himself now, walking through the woods that surrounded the building with Mikasa by his side. Outside, a light breeze drifted through the trees, and overall, it was just a good day to be outside. As they walked, he and Mikasa made idle chit-chat about unimportant things, and Eren realized how nice it was to be able to talk about something unimportant for a change. Soon enough, they would return to active duty, and then everything would return to normal. That meant he needed to treasure these moments while they lasted because they wouldn't last forever.
He glanced at Mikasa out of the corner of his eye as she smiled softly at something he had said.
They had come such a long way since the first time they met. Certainly, they had been through more together than most people ever did. He wondered what his younger self would think if he knew everything that was going to happen. Eren and Mikasa had lost their home in Shiganshina. Then they had watched as Armin's grandfather left in a hopeless expedition to retake the wall. Eventually, they had trained together as soldiers. Then came the near fall of wall Rose. Hell, Eren had nearly died several times over on that day. They had wandered beyond the walls with the Recon Corps. They had faced Titans both without and with intelligence. They had suffered every hardship imaginable in their short lives already. But they had made it through it all together. Both alive and relatively well.
Besides, those weren't the memories he preferred to think of when it came to Mikasa.
For the most part, Eren enjoyed thinking back on that year they spent together in Shiganshina. It had taken a long time after the district fell to be able to remember even the good things about it, but he had come to a point where he could remember all the adventures they had gone on. Now, it seemed like a lifetime away, but Eren found he was thankful to have the memories with him especially now. To remember what the world was like when it felt brighter.
"Your thoughts are very loud today, Eren," Mikasa told him, as much of a teasing edge to it as Mikasa would ever dare use. He glanced over at her to see the dark-haired woman watching him curiously, her scarf pulled tight around her neck like it always was. It was also kind of impressive she had managed to keep that with her all these years.
He shrugged. "It's a good day for thinking."
"Indeed," she agreed, turning her eyes back to the path in front of them.
Also looking ahead of them, Eren's eyes landed on a small patch of Dandelions, and his mind flashed back to that day in Shiganshina. Some boy had given them to her once.. Eren could barely remember him, but he knew that he hadn't liked the boy. He had been trying to steal Mikasa from him, Eren thought. Laughing out loud at that, he saw Mikasa glance at him curiously. That was such a childish thing to think, that someone could've stolen his friend with a bouquet of flowers. However, it made for an amusing memory.
Impulsively, he bent down and picked them, gathering them into a bundle and studying the bright yellow buds. Then hoping Mikasa would remember the event too, he handed them to her. "Here, you can have these, since I know you like Dandelions," he told her, watching as she blushed bright red and rubbed an embarrassed hand across her forehead.
"That was a long time ago," she defended, cheeks still burning as she averted her eyes.
Giving her a wolfish grin, he kept teasing her, "You're not even going to take them? Mikasa, I'm hurt."
Turning a glare on him, the embarrassed woman snatched the bouquet out of his hand, clutching them so tightly the stems wilted and snapped. "Thank you, Eren." Her tone was far from thankful. However, her grip eased just slightly on the choked plants. After a moment of silence between them, Mikasa admitted, "I miss those days." She wasn't looking at him when she said it, and he couldn't read any emotions in her voice. But it was nice to know he wasn't the only one who still thought about all the times they had spent together in Shiganshina.
"So do I, Mikasa."
He wasn't looking at her, and admittedly, he had been lost in his own thoughts. Plus, it was Mikasa. Therefore, it surprised him when he felt a soft pair of lips just touch his cheek, feather light and only for the briefest of seconds. However, his head snapped over to look at her, a blush staining his cheeks, perhaps even redder than the one on hers. "Mikasa?" he asked, stunned. In all the years he had known her, she had never been one to initiate physical contact like that, and he wanted to know what had brought it on... Not that he was exactly averse to it. It just felt very un-Mikasa-like, and seen he had been seeing her in an un-Mikasa-like way every so often in the past few days, he didn't know what to think about that.
"Thank you for the flowers," she told him, voice even, like she wasn't embarrassed even though the blush on her cheeks clearly said otherwise.
A bit awkwardly, he scratched the back of his neck. "Eh, your welcome. I thought it might be sort of funny to you."
Then, to his surprise - though he wasn't sure why anything she did surprised him at this point - she socked him in the shoulder, hard. Mikasa never pulled her punches. Letting out a less than masculine yelp, he clutched at the battered limb. "Mikasa! What was that for?"
"Don't embarrass me again," she warned him, and with that, she continued down the path.
After a moment of glaring at her and rubbing at his arm, his expression broke and shifted into a fond smile. That was more like the Mikasa he knew, and he preferred her that way. However, he could admit that he was interested by the minor changes he could see happening in their relationship. They weren't major, and he knew that no matter what happened, she would never leave him. For Mikasa never broke a promise. In truth, he didn't really know what was happening between them. But he didn't think it was bad, and he found himself wanting to see where it could lead.
Because, when given Dandelions, anything could happen.
A/N: And there you go guys. Yes, the ending is really sappy and cutesy, but it's pretty much exactly how I always planned on ending it. And I hope you enjoyed it and that no one was too out of character. Let me know one last time, even though you've all told me a thousand times?
It has been such a crazy ride since I started this story over a year ago. I've been through a lot, and I never expected that this story would even come close to being this popular. I cannot thank everyone enough for everything. I will honestly miss talking to a lot of you and hearing from you all. It's an amazing experience to have someone tell you that they like what you do. It just humbles me to know that you have been enjoying something I put a lot of effort into. So thank you all.
Special thanks to all my reviewers: vector arrow, ElectricTragedy, kreite, AceofSpades2736, Lauren V. (my beautiful cousin), dragonball256, KurukiXV, lucky7777, WarbirdHD, fairyfantasy, Doom Marine 54, bennarde, 0AnonymoO, StolenColors14, Titan Flavoured Birthday Cake, timisnotmyname, ImSeriousBro, Xarcies, , Analanet, draco2, Akeree, Gamergirl177, Spartan Yoshi 90, SoulReader94, LonelyHollow117, Ecomadness, Khazad, Sentinel07, RandomAnimeFan014, .7, GapIntoTheGame, LemonxChan, NathHale2, Xemnas2704, acrazyfangirl4, Snickerdoodle Once Removed, B3ng3anc3, queen nia, Minami Shimada, xxTheSweetAngelxx, kiks493, imafangirlforever, dbzgtfan2004, Tribalwarrior213, mashiro. , Aiikawarazu, Polska-1999, , and the plethora of guests.
You all provided me with the encouragement to keep going with this for as long as I did, and this has been such a good learning experience for me. Oh man, I did not expect it to be that hard for me to let go of this story for some reason, but it is time for the moment anyways. It deserves better than to be treated as a chore and you all deserve better. I hope you've all enjoyed this story as a whole because this has been the most fun on fanfiction I have ever had for just one story that I've posted.
Maybe sometime between now and when the new season of Attack on Titan starts, I can come up with a singular (as opposed to the mini plots like this) longer story that explores how Eren and Mikasa's relationship will develop. However, I WILL be finishing my Death Note story long before that ever happens, so it probably won't be very soon if I do.
Okay, yes, I know I'm getting to a point of rambling, but I felt this all needed to be said because it's my last chance to address a lot of you for a while. You've all been so good to me...
Special shout outs to the actual friends I've made along the way too such as Minami Shimada, WarbirdHD, Sentinel07, and Polska-1999. I've had lovely conversations with you all. Some that have involved some shouting *stares pointedly at Cassandra*. But the good kind of shouting.
One last time. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! I love you all so much!
Ugh, I hate goodbyes...
See you guys around!