Perhaps it was the fact that the blue-eyed Commander had never been so closely connected to another human, but the child occupied his mind for such a large portion of the day that Erwin had soon become accustomed to it.
With no prior experience whatsoever, he wondered what came over him to make such an impulsive decision. Worry plagued him when (Name) wasn’t by his side. He would wonder whether Hanji was treating her well or if Rivaille was feeding her enough. By no means is the child a nuisance. On the contrary, she was quite easy to take care of. She did not cry nor whine and ate all of the food that she was given.
However, a child involved with the military will be identified as a burden regardless of the circumstances. It was this that made Erwin determined to prove them all wrong. He’ll raise this child till she can fend for herself and possess full control over her Titan shifting ability. That goal was still a ways away and for now, the Commander had a mountain of paperwork to tend to.
“Papa!” (Name)’s high-pitched voice chirped as she hopped into the familiar office of the Commander with Rivaille in tow.
“Oi, watch where you’re going, you little shi- brat.” Even Rivaille had to cut down his cussing around the child.
Erwin rushed over the moment he saw (Name) trip over her own feet near the door.
“Owie, Papa, owie!” The girl cried as she pointed to the reddening area on her knee. Erwin had taken on the “Papa” role as (Name) called him, since he was the person that she followed the most.
On the other hand…much to Rivaille’s dismay and despite her squad’s protests, Hanji was declared the unofficial “Mama” according to the child. Who knows why the brunette scientist was chosen. There was a theory among the troops that (Name) had mistaken Hanji’s daily attempts to catch her into conducting an experiment as some kind of tag game.
“Let me see.” Erwin murmured as he pulled the child onto his lap to inspect the injury. An angry red scratch was printed on her knee but no bleeding ensued. “Ah, it’s just a scratch, everything’s alright (Name).”
The girl nodded with a tiny pout. The Corporal, who’s been patiently waiting by the doorway, turned on his heels and left when he realized that the child was okay.
A tug on his jacket sleeve brought Erwin’s attention back to the girl.
“How was your day, (Name)?”
“Mama played game with me and Copowal cleaned the potty!”
The blonde amusedly chuckled at her lack of proper grammar and ruffled her hair.
“(Name), I still have work to do so why don’t you run along and play with somebody else for a while?”
At the thought of leaving, the girl clung to his jacket even tighter.
“No! I wanna stay with Papa!” She declared and stomped her tiny foot on the floor, wincing from the sharp pain that coursed through her wound.
Erwin heaved out a sigh and picked her small body up with ease.
“Alright. Quietly sit on my lap and wait until I finish up, okay?”
(Name) nodded, pleased with her victory.
The room was finally quiet once more with the exception of the scratching of Erwin’s pen. Within mere minutes, the child’s eyes drooped into a peaceful slumber with nothing else to occupy her.
The Commander paused in the middle of his report to glance at the sleeping child. They grow up so fast; he thought and quietly laughed to himself. The thought itself was something that a mother would say. Perhaps the blonde should consider working as a part time mom…
No sooner had he considered this did the door slam against the wall to announce Hanji’s presence.
“(Name)!! It’s lunch time!” Hanji announced full of vigor and the small child woke up with a start.
Erwin hugged her closer and looked at the brunette with a strict glare.
“Hanji, I’ve told you multiple times to knock.”
“Right, right.” The squad leader inched closer to his desk and held out her arms. “Either way, come to Mommy! It’s time to eat some yum-yum!”
This caused (Name) to cower closer to Erwin’s broad chest.
“Leave us for now, Hanji. I’ll bring her down to the kitchen later.”
“B-but Erwin! Don’t you know that a growing child has to eat while the food is still fresh and warm? It’s losing nutrients and vitamins right as we speak!”
She did have a point, Erwin decided and heaved the child up to balance around his hip.
“Let’s go then.” The paperwork can wait.
“Can’t I hold her for a while?” Hanji complained as they walked together. “I need to compare her weight to an average toddler’s. It’ll be such an interesting thing to research!”
The male completely ignored her request as he kept going on with a straight face.
“Papa, what’s Mama talking about?”
“Don’t mind her. Let’s go get you some food, shall we?”
“Will Copowal be feeding me?” The girl asked, already used to the fact that Rivaille fed her nearly every meal.
“No, I believe he’s out training.”
The trio continued down the hallway with Hanji’s rambling as background noise.
Erwin placed the child on her high chair, which the squad leader had asked a couple of her cadets to specially build for (Name). Hanji came up with a bowl of mashed potatoes in her hands.
“Alright (Name), open wide!”
The little Titan Shifter did so, only to flinch back as the heat of the potatoes burned her lips.
“Oops! Is it too hot?” Hanji asked as she blew on the food to cool it down.
Another pair of boots entered the room.
“Stupid, that’s not how you feed her. Hand me that bowl.” Rivaille entered and snatched the food from Hanji.
“Copowal!” (Name) shouted in joy and Erwin smiled at the two.
“Shut up and open your mouth. I only came back because the kitchen needed cleaning, okay?” The man said as he thrust the spoon, albeit gently, into the child’s mouth.
Lunch was finished in no time with Rivaille feeding, while Hanji circulated around him trying to take notes on proper childcare. Erwin watched his two subordinates bicker again with a sense of happiness. It was interesting how one child could bring the three of them closer in this war-torn world.
(Name) yawned and the Commander decided that it was about time for her afternoon nap. The two of them left to Erwin’s room, where the child stayed for the time being.
“Be good and go to sleep now.” Erwin whispered as he tucked the girl into his bed.
“I can’t, there’s still so much work left to do.” Erwin’s mind drifted warily to the piles upon piles of documents and reports left on his desk.
“But…the monsters are going to get me…” the child mumbled as her eyes shifted nervously and for once, Erwin couldn’t bring himself to refuse the kid’s request. For fear was a force to be reckoned with indeed. Erwin had vowed to protect her and he will see to it to the very end, even if it means fending off her nightmares for a day.
“Okay, I’ll stay. Just for a while.” He promised as he stripped off his jacket. The paperwork can wait.
After all, Erwin had a little Titan Shifter to tend to.