Every Little Girl Has Her Own Dream

By: Ailian Rhys

Notes: Just a little story I cooked up today. Shouldn't take you long to figure out who it's about. Have fun and Happy Holidays. (I just hope this story doesn't have too many embarrassing errors…-_-….)

Disclaimer: Of course these characters don't belong to me. If they did, I wouldn't have to ask for manga for Christmas… ^__^

It was one of the coldest nights of the year. The very air itself seemed frozen. Ice hung from roofs, lampposts, and wires, glittering in the pale moonlight. Snow was falling, covering the dirty brown snow on the streets a pristine white. The wind was in a playful mood that night, flying through the streets with its bitter chill, sweeping around whomever dared to be out so late at night.

And many were not. Most of the people in the city were at home curled up in a nice warm bed. Still others were siting with their families in their living rooms, trying to calm the children down.

It was Christmas Eve.

Yet, not all had warm beds to sleep in, or families to spend the time with. Not all were that lucky.

The young girl sat huddled in the tiny door alcove across the street from an apartment building. She wore nothing but rags of a sickly brown, her stocking feet tucked up under her little body. Her short black hair lay in tangles about her face, which was red with cold.

The girl rubbed her hands together, watching the family inside one of the lit windows, her brown eyes filled with longing. The children were all gathering around a brightly-lit Christmas tree, their faces alight with curiosity and anticipation. The parents were trying to get them to bed, the father even picking the one boy up and holding him upside down. But they were all smiling.

The child hunkered down as the chilly wind reached its questing fingers into her little crevice. Her whole frame shivered, teeth rattling together.

She still watched them. She could hardly remember when she had once had a family, it was so long ago. All she remembered was her mother smiling face at night when she went to sleep, and then the feeling of arms around her. Everything else she remembered had the same loneliness, the same longing that she had now.

The girl sniffled, wiping her sleeve over her eyes. She didn't really understand why she was forced to be so alone. Had she done something bad? Was there something wrong with her?

She'd tried finding a home. No one in this big city would even think of looking at the tiny, ragged child that stood in front of the school. The other children even ignored her, running past straight onto the bus or into their parents' cars.

The wind appeared to like her little crevice, for it came back, staying even longer than before. The child huddled down as far she could go, trying to wrap her rags about herself tighter. Still, her eyes remained on the lighted window before her. The parents had finally calmed their children down and where leading them off to bed, the smallest girl in her father's arms, head against his shoulder.

How she longed for something like that. Someone to care that she was out alone in the cold, someone to pick her up when she was tired and carry her off to sleep. Just someone to be there with her. She did not like being alone; it made her feel so empty and hollow inside. Even moreso than when she didn't eat anything for a long time.

She watched the adults in the building come back out in the living room and shut off all the lights, turning the room dark. The little girl continued to stare at the window, but there was nothing left. The wind returned again, carrying with it a small pile of snow, which smashed against her face, making her shiver even more.

With one last look at the dark window, the girl stumbled to her feet, getting tired of the wind. Her joints creaked when she stood, and she wobbled for a minute before regaining her balance.

The girl took a deep breath, then stepped around the corner, coming face to face with the forceful wind. She staggered, almost toppling over. Deciding it would be best to have her back to the wind, she turned around and started down the street. The wind kept up with her, throwing the falling snow at her back and down her shirt, making her tremble. It kept grasping at her ankles and soon she couldn't even feel her feet anymore. But still she walked, looking for another lit window. There were none.

The girl continued on, her arms wrapped around her frail body. Perhaps if she kept walking, she'd find a way to leave this lonely city. Maybe it wasn't so cold outside the sea of gray buildings and roads. She started to stamp her feet as she went, hoping to warm them up a bit. It worked a little. She could at least feel them now, although they were like blocks of ice.

The child sniffled, stopping when she came to an intersection and looking both ways, just in case. Of course no one was coming. She crossed the street and continued on, the wind still throwing snow at her, making it stick in her hair.

The girl rounded a corner and stopped. Before her, glistening a beautiful frozen white in the moonlight, was the park. Upon seeing it, she remembered. This was the park where the statue stood.

A tiny smile tugging at her chapped lips, the child started to run, ignoring how her feet ached. She entered the park at a dead run, hitting the slippery pavement and tumbling head over heels down the path for a few feet. She cried out when she finally stopped, her back slamming onto the hard ground.

She lay there for a long moment, the snow falling gentle on her face. Then she drew in a deep breath and hoisted herself to her feet. Now that she had a goal in mind, she was determined to get there as quickly as possible.

The little girl started off again, careful this time not to slip on the ice. It did not take her to long to find what she was looking for. It stood in a small clearing off the main path. She could remember when they had put it there, only a few months ago. The people in the crowd had said it was done by one of the artists in the city. Many people thought it was strange, but she liked it.

The statue was quite large, about the size of a tall man. Done in highly polished granite, it seemed to shine in the moonlight. The child stopped in front of it, starting up into the cold, carved eyes of the creature it depicted. It looked somewhat human, but it wasn't. Humans didn't have pointed ears, or strange facial markings like this creature did. Nor did they have nails as long as it did.

The creature was also dressed very oddly, with spiked armor, billowing pant legs, and a strange fur wrap over his right shoulder. But it was the creatures face that always drew the girl's attention the longest. It looked so proud and refined, and very beautiful. And it always seemed to be staring at her with those cold eyes. Yet, strangely, it never bothered her. Something about this statue always made her feel safe. Not only was it placed so that it was able to block most of the wind, but it just gave her a feeling…

Perhaps she really wasn't alone after all…

The little girl huddled down beside the base of the cold statue, tucking her soaked feet under herself again. Like always, the majority of the wind did not reach her here.

And so she lay there, watching the snow fall on the ground around her. She tried to fight it, but the loneliness came back, eating away at her. The child looked up at the statue towering over her, and felt like crying.

I wish you were real… she thought to herself wistfully. Then she looked down at the ground again, berating herself. That was a foolish hope. Statues were about as alive as the stone they were made of.

And so she fell into her lonely thoughts, not noticing the soft creak behind her, or the faint rustle of silk. Yet, she did hear the voice when it spoke. "Why are you here, child?"

The girl's head flew up, and she glanced around the clearing, looking for the speaker. There was no one. Her heart started to beat faster. Was she hearing things?

"I asked you a question." There was no mistaking it now. It was a voice, deep and smooth like she always pictured her father's to have been.

The child looked up at the only place she hadn't checked yet, feeling foolish, and gasped when her eyes met glittering gold. She was on her aching feet in a second, staring at the living, breathing creature that stood where the stone sculpture should have been in complete astonishment. "You…you…"

The creature shifted from the position it had been sculpted in, moving its weight onto its other foot. The creature looked down at her coldly, brilliant eyes narrowed. "What happened to you, child? You look frozen."

The child felt her breath catch, tears welling up in her eyes. No one had ever asked her such things in her short life. She took a cautious step forward. "Cold…"

She stopped dead when the creature brought up a clawed hand and bent its fingers, the joints cracking. The other sleeve didn't move. "Indeed," it paused, glancing down at her over the pointed nails it held up in the air. "You still have yet to answer my question, child. Actually, my two questions."

The little girl trembled where she stood, the wind coming to tug at her hair and clothes. But she didn't move keeping her eyes glued on the creature…man before her.

She cleared her throat, trying to get it to work properly. "It's…cold… no place to stay…"

The creature lowered its arm and its golden eyes scrutinized her careful, almost boring through her skull when they met her gaze. His pale lips turned down the slightest bit as he scanned the snowy park around them. The girl kept her eyes riveted on him, however, even when those eyes turned back on her suddenly.

"What is your name, child?" the voice was quiet, almost uninterested, but the girl thought she saw something flicker in the golden depths of the creature's eyes.

She paused, trying to remember. She hadn't been called anything in such a long time…only 'stupid brat', or 'thief'. She wracked her brain, trying to remember. After a long search, she looked up at the waiting creature, disappointed with herself for not being able to tell him. But, as soon as she opened her mouth, something unexpected came out.

"Rin."

The girl was shocked. Was her name really Rin? It felt right…but she never remembered being called that.

The creature's golden eyes seemed to grow a bit wider for a second before narrowing out again. But, there was something there that hadn't been before, she was sure of it.

"Rin…" the tone was soft, almost imperceptible over the wind. Yet, she heard it, and it sounded almost…wistful…

Before she knew it, the creature had leapt down from its pedestal and was kneeling before her. The two stared at one another for a long moment, unblinking, until she felt something cold and callused against her cheek. She glanced down and saw two of his clawed fingers lightly brushing her skin.

Her heart leapt up in her throat. It felt so nice to be touched like that…like she saw some parents touch their children after they had fallen and scrapped a knee or were frightened. She looked back up at him, and saw his eyes were directed at his hand as well, as if not believing it was there.

As if feeling her gaze, his golden eyes lifted again, watching her with the same coldness as before. His fingers pulled back from her face. "You do not have a home, do you?"

The girl shook her head. She felt shameful all of a sudden and cast her eyes down to the frozen ground.

Fingers that were now warmer than before caught under her chin and forced her eyes up to meet his. She stared up into them, now completely unafraid. She liked this creature. No one had paid this much attention to her for as long as she could remember. And it was so nice to have someone there to keep her warm. She could feel his warmth through his fingertips, and even across the distance between their bodies.

His gaze remained steady, but the gold within was flickering, seeming to change from hard amber to a pretty liquid gold and then back again. The girl was memorized, watching the changing color in rapt fascination. And then he pulled them away, looking over her head at the falling snow.

"Do you feel anything for this world you live in?" He did not speak to her directly, but she knew the question was for her. She thought for a long time, truly trying to decide what to say. But, standing where she was, with him kneeling only a few inches away, the only thing she could think to say was:

"No."

He looked down at her again, amber eyes analyzing. "You feel nothing? Nothing holds you here?"

She shook her head.

He closed his eyes then and was silent. The girl watched him, fearing that perhaps he had turned to stone again, until his eyes slid open and locked with hers. She felt her heart skip a beat.

"You may come with me then, if you truly wish it."

For the first time in ages, a full smile spread over the girl's face, lighting up her murky brown eyes. Before really knowing what she was doing, she leaned forward and wrapped her thin arms around his chest, lying her head against his surprisingly warm armor. He stiffened, and she went to pull away, but something warm snaked around her back, stopping her. Feather soft touches caressed her hair. She hugged him tighter.

She loved the feeling of his chest rising and falling underneath her head. It was wonderful to finally have someone to be there…like she'd wanted for so long.

"Yes," she murmured, her voice muffled by being pressed so close against him.

The arm around her stiffened, and he shifted backwards. He looked down at her, eyes hard. "You understand what this entails. You understand that once you come with me, you cannot return here."

Th girl stared into his eyes for a moment before twisting around and peering over her shoulder at the snow covered park. It was the most beautiful she'd even seen it, the snow sparkling in the moonlight like a field of diamonds, the snow covered trees seeming alive. But it did not compare to what she could receive by going with him. She'd never be alone again.

And that was all she needed.

The child looked back at him and nodded, clutching the loose material of his left sleeve. "Yes."

He closed his eyes again, before scooping her up with his arm, her small body pressed against his side. He stood for a moment, looking out over the snowy landscape before glancing down at her again.

The child looked up at him through drowsy eyes, already starting to feel sleepy. But, for the first time in her life, she felt safe as well.

His voice was dull and flat when he spoke. "You will not wake again."

"...I know…"

With that final word he jumped up on his pedestal once again, just as a nearby clock chimed twelve. He shifted her weight to rest more comfortably in the crook of his arm. The little girl snuggled against him, closing her eyes. A feeling of warmth washed over her…

And the everlasting cold disappeared.

~*~

A man and woman looked out over the snow covered park. It had finally stopped snowing, and the land glistened in the mid-afternoon sun. The wind had calmed, and the temperature was a bit warmer. But they could still see their breaths in the air as little puffs of mist, and their fingers were still cold.

The woman held out her gloved hand. "Come on. Let's take a walk."

The man took her hand with a nod and the two started down the frost-covered trail. They walked in companionable silence until they approached a small clearing that was familiar to both of them.

The man turned to the woman, a small frown on his face. "I still don't understand why you insisted the man sculpt him, Kagome. And you had him put in a park, no less."

The woman smiled. "It's only a temporary statue, Inu Yasha, remember? After the artist finishes the one to go there, it will be moved."

The man snorted. "I don't see why you did it at all. After sitting there scaring all the children you're gonna put him in our yard, aren't you?"

The woman grinned. "Of course."

The man shook his head. "I just don't understand you sometimes, Kagome."

The rounded the hedge and stepped into the frosted clearing. Inu Yasha turned to Kagome again. "When are you going to have him moved?"

Kagome gave him a tiny smirk and pressed her fingers to her lips. She looked over the man's shoulder. Inu Yasha turned around. His mouth fell open.

The statue was changed. Instead of his brother standing there alone, as always, there was now a young girl cradled in his arms, her head resting against his chest.

"Wha—? Who--?" His head whipped around to face Kagome again. She only smiled.

"Take a close look."

Inu Yasha faced the statue against, staring intently at the little girl's face. He stayed that way for a long moment with his eyes squinted, before it clicked. "It's that girl!"

Kagome nodded. "Mm hm." She looked over his shoulder at the statue. "I think we can have it moved now, don't you?"

He blinked at her, then turned to stare at the statue again. Then he looked back at her. "But how—?"

The woman only shook her head before walking away, a tiny grin on her face. "Come on. Let's go see the pond. It's supposed to be really pretty frozen."

Inu Yasha shook his head, dazed. "Yeah...sure…"

As the two walked away, he looked back on last time, only to see the content smile that sat upon the girl's stone face. He shook his head and turned away.

"Every little girl has her own dream, I suppose."