A/N – Just a peek into Inuyasha's relationship with Sesshoumaru. I have been heavily influenced by Secretly-watching-over-vulnerable-Inuyasha!Sesshoumaru fics, and would like to add my two cents worth. This could be considered a quick companion piece to my Sesshoumaru fic "Sunset Musings", as an illustration of the contrast between the two brothers' thoughts...
Disclaimer – I don't own the world or the characters. Don't sue me.
Seated with his back to a tree, in the same wary, defensive posture he'd used for most of his life, Inuyasha could hardly remember a time when he hadn't had to be constantly alert, on the lookout for enemies. For as long as he could remember, he'd been living in the wild –
No, that wasn't quite true, was it…?
Before the fear, before the cold time, there was a dream, an elusive wisp of memory and half-remembered, half imagined images, where he had been warm, where he had been safe, where he had been…
He had been loved, once; he believed it with all of his human heart. He needed to believe it.
He had had a father –
A blur of pure white, with a deep rumbling voice and a laugh that vibrated in his chest and deadly, clawed hands that never, ever cut and whenever he was in his father's arms nothing – nothing – could ever touch or threaten him
And a mother –
A dark, candlelit presence with a soft, sweet voice crooning lullabies at night and a gentle, compassionate ki that resonated in everything she did and made him feel so warm, so loved
And he had had a brother.
A cloud of white and crimson with golden eyes so indifferent, so utterly blank that he had wondered why, once; why nii-chan avoided him –
Why did he watch so detachedly, when the other children teased him; why did he never intervene, but simply watched, weighed, and dismissed? Why did that indifference spur him – shame him – into showing nii-chan that he was more than a weak hanyou, that he could be strong, that he was worthy of his – their – father's blood…
Why had Sesshoumaru, who professed to be so indifferent to him, always seemed to judge him against a standard that he had never quite managed to discern? Those flat, inhuman eyes that had always seemed to disapprove…
"Are you nothing more than a weak, pathetic hanyou?"
"Is there nothing more to you than this?"
"Are you truly worthy of our father's blood?"
"Are you worthy?"
"Are you worthy?"
Always, the answer had been in the negative – but there had been times when Inuyasha would have given everything he had to be worthy in Sesshoumaru's eyes.
Of course, it had never come, no matter what he had done. By the time he'd been old enough to understand – thrust too soon into maturity by his parents' deaths, by his exile into the wild – he'd lost his belief in the kindness of others, and most especially he'd lost his belief in Sesshoumaru. His elder brother had not protected his mother after their father's death, and nor had he protected Inuyasha after his mother's death, although he was more than capable of both.
Instead, he had watched, as he had always watched –
And had found Inuyasha wanting, in some way, and so had left him to his own devices.
The new Lord of the West, who could have guaranteed his younger brother's safety with a word, a gesture, had showed himself to be completely indifferent to his plight, neither helping nor hindering him, leaving him to find his own way, to make his own mistakes, or to create his own success.
Why? What was that invisible standard by which Sesshoumaru measured everyone and everything he ever encountered – except the little human girl who traveled with him so blithely?
Perhaps, if he could understand that measure, he would be able to understand Sesshoumaru, just a little…
Feh. Why would he want to?