You stared at the parchment in your hand, tears welling in your eyes. The words seemed to blur before your vision, turning into dark streaks on the paper.
He was dead.
And there was nothing that you could do about it.
You scrunched the paper in your hands, curling farther into yourself and crying into your arms. The sound of your quiet sobs echoed through the evening pavilion. You mourned the loss of your father alone, quietly, and without a person to console you. You cried at the thought that you would no longer see his smile, hear his laugh, or feel his gentle touch. He was gone, and you missed him terribly. Your tears dripped onto the paper and smudged the words together.
Footsteps echoed down the pavilion, behind you. You ignored them, too bent on the thought of your friends death. But you quieted your sobs, bent over silently, the paper held in your hands.
"Oi, kid, Corporal said to get back to chores."
You didn't respond.
"Tch, what is with you? Did you hear me?"
A small sob escaped your throat. Auroro flinched. You looked up at him, tears staining your vision of his face.
"Sorry." You murmured, wiping your tears on the sleeve of your jacket. "I'll get back to work."
"No, it's okay." he muttered, crossing his arms and looking off across the pavilion. He glanced down at the paper, reading the smudged words.
"Your old man?" he asked quietly.
You nodded into the sleeve of your jacket. "Mmm."
Auroro sighed and settled himself on the steps beside you. "Sorry." he muttered quietly.
You nodded, looking down, your hair covering your face. "Yeah. The thing is, the last words we ever had together were pretty unkind."
Auroro was silent, you took this as an indicator to continue.
"We were angry, it was something small, like a broken dish or something, but suddenly he and my mother started shouting at me: "Why did you join the survey corps? They don't want you anyways! You are useless!" "
You didn't take notice. Fresh tears sprang to your eyes, spilling down your cheeks. "We haven't spoken since." You took a deep breath and exhlaed shakily. You looked up at Auroro with a sad smile. His features were contorted into a deep frown. "But I kinda wonder if they're right, you know? I haven't even killed a titan y-"
You were cut off as a large, heavy arm wrapped around your shoulder and brought you sideways. You were smushed into Auroro's side, his arm keeping you there.
A firm hand titled your face upwards so it looked into his eyes. "Tch, don't listen to them. You are not useless. Not to me. Those bastards don't know what the fuck they are talking about."
Your eyes widened at the implication of his words. Your mouth parted slightly, as if to speak, to question the meaning of his speech, but you decided against it. Instead your face softened ever so slightly, and you leaned into his side with contentment.
"Thank you, Auroro."
The grey haired soldier made another small 'tch' noise at the display of affection, but you could hear the hidden smile underneath the sound. He stiffened for a moment, then ever so gently, placed a soft kiss on your head.
"You're welcome, (Name)"