Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of the characters from the series.A Human's Eyes
Even for a youkai as powerful as I, the blow you struck wounded deeply little brother. I still do not know if it was you or the girl-child that broke through the barriers I had erected around myself. You are only a half-blood and she was merely human, but in one instant you unraveled what took me centuries to build. Walls to keep my painful memories sealed off and the world that never welcomed me at a distance.
From the moment my mother was taken from me, I began to withdraw from the world around me. Father would not see me because I reminded him too much of my mother. In the one instant I needed him the most, father was not there and I could do nothing to bring him back. Nothing I did brought back the laughter I remember being in his eyes while mother was still alive.
I thought if I could learn to do something my father enjoyed, we could be together again. Like we were before mother left, when he took me everywhere with him, even the boring meetings. That was the day I picked up a sword so I could fight at father's side, but it was not father who taught me to wield a sword. Father simply hired some arms master for the sole task of keeping me occupied and out of his way. He barely even looked at me the day I defeated the champion of the guards.
For centuries I did everything I could think of that might gain me enough power so that I would be worthy of getting father to look my way again. All I wanted was to see him smile at me, but the cold sorrow never left his eyes. Not until he met her, the human woman who did what I could not and healed my father's heart. She stole the smiles and attention I desired from my father and I built another layer to the icy mask I created to hide my pain.
When you were conceived, what little time father spared for me vanished as if it had never been. A hanyou pregnancy is difficult and father never left her side, except once. One time he came to me, only to drag me to the side of this weak human who had replaced my mother in his heart. He forced me to touch her swollen belly so that I could feel the flutter of your kicks against my hand, so that I could feel the tiny life growing within her that would replace me in my father's eyes, just as she had replaced my mother.
"Promise me you will look out for your brother my son?" father asked me as he held my hand firmly against this human woman's belly despite my desire to be elsewhere.
Even then his concern was for you. I could hear all the love that had once been for me, but now it was directed at you. There was nothing left for me and I hated that tiny life that kicked so gently against my hand. This weak human woman had leashed my father like a pet and stolen his love so that it could be given to a half-breed child that could never properly follow in his footsteps.
The day you were born he asked me again to watch over you. "Your brother will need your help until he is big enough to look out for himself," father told me as he placed a tiny bundle in my arms. Father never looked at me, only smiled at the tiny little creature in my arms, the tiny little innocent creature that I could neither hand back to my father nor drop as I wished to.
Everywhere I went, there was father waiting with something else for me to do with this new pup that he loved so much. This tiny pup that received the gentle pats on the head that used to be mine, the pup that was allowed to crawl into father's bed when the thunder was frightening, the pup who was coddled and spoiled when he scraped his knee. And yet when I took sword strike that opened my leg to the bone, I was not even given a break to heal.
I no longer mattered to father, but no matter how hard I tried, he still mattered to me. In my weakness I could do nothing but obey father in the hopes that maybe he would remember he had a true born son already and did not need this mewling little pup that had to be fished out of the koi pond before he drowned because he was too weak to watch out for himself.
Of course, father was angered with me for allowing you to fall into the pond in the first place. He never once thought to ask what had really happened that day. I never told him that I had caught one of his guards trying to drown you like an unwanted mongrel pup. I thought rescuing you would please father enough to give me back a part of the love you had stolen from me.
You loved me for rescuing you, but father only had eyes for your frightened cries. He never once looked at the poisoned wound I received defending you. He never once asked how it was that I came by my poison attacks when neither he nor mother had them. I never reminded him that poison attacks could only be gained by absorbing the ability from another youkai if you did not inherit the ability from a parent, but I am reminded every time I use the abilities.
Every time I use my poison lash or the poison miasma I am reminded of how you stole my father's love. How he mistrusted me enough that he never told me where his tomb was sealed. The weapon he left for you, he sealed against my touch because he thought I was so power hungry I would harm a child. That one simple act of saving you lost me my father's trust and love, a scar that I will bear to my grave. How could I not resent you? All the love I had lost was lavished on you and you could only look upon me with those innocent, trusting little eyes.
It never mattered to you how much I tried to ignore you. You followed me everywhere including the ravine where the dragon I was keeping an eye on was. I never knew you were there or I would have dragged you back home before father was forced to defend you. Your presence was the reason father was distracted enough that the dragon could strike him. Even as his lifeblood dripped onto the ground at his feet, his only concern was your safety.
"Watch over Inuyasha where I could not, my son. Protect him," father demanded of me as he placed you in my arms and bid me leave.
He would not allow me to fight beside him, even though he could barely stand. His only concern was that you were safe that day. He had no words for me as he turned away to seal Ryuukotsusei with his claw. With his dieing words father sealed me to protect the one thing that had taken away any chance I had of gaining my father's love and approval.
It did not matter that I fought off every challenger to my power to keep father's lands intact after his death. There was always a hanyou child tagging along at my heels to remind me that I would never have my father's love and approval. Those gifts had been left to the child father's dieing breath demanded I protect. Every day I looked at you, I was reminded of all the things I could never have.
When her own people killed your mother, a part of me was glad that you would now suffer as I did. But you never did. You followed me around as I had once followed my father, a constant reminder that I could never be good enough in my father's eyes, but you were. Every time you came running to me for protection, it was another reminder that you were the most precious thing to our father and I had been forced into caring for the hanyou that had taken my place in father's heart, a place that I would never have the chance to reclaim.
I could not live with the reminder of everything I had lost so I sent you away. I claimed it was for your safety, that I had to hurt you to keep you safe. I convinced myself that by being hard on you, attacking you until you believed I hated you would make you strong enough to keep you safe. I did not realize until you struck me down with Tessaiga that I was only killing us both slowly from the inside. Even when you took my arm, I did not realize I had poisoned you as badly as my desire to please father had poisoned me.
When we faced in father's tomb, I was too angry that father's mistrust of me had extended so far that he sealed me away from the weapon he left for you. I kept attacking you to prove to myself that you really were not worthy of the weapon father had left behind. You were too stupid to understand the power that had been left in your hands, therefore I must be the son father truly loved. I believed that you should have to prove your worth just as I did. I never realized how deeply my desire to prove myself to the ghost of our father was hurting you until you tried with all your strength to kill me.
With my poison in your eyes, you reminded me of the helpless, confused little pup you once were. The pup I was supposed to protect. By the time I saw that pup still buried deep within you, it was too late, you had already struck to kill and I was doomed. The child my father loved was gone because I had failed to protect him and still the sword father left to me protected me. Lying beneath that tree, trying to heal my physical wounds, all I could do was think of the wounds left on my heart.
When you struck me down, all the wounds I had thought were sealed away reopened and I bled anew as I realized just what I had done. The pup entrusted to my care with my father's dieing breath was long gone. I had poisoned your heart so badly that all that existed between us was animosity. You would kill me if you could and I am not kind enough to let you live if you ever tried to kill me again.
That was when she came with her water container. Just when I was mourning the pup I destroyed, there she was with her big brown eyes full of trust and love, just like yours used to be. I could not look at her. It was too painful to see her and remember how you were once like that. Even when I was harsh with her, she did not leave my side, just like an obnoxious little hanyou that used to follow me around.
I could not bring myself to look at her until I smelled the blood and bruises on her. With all the memories I had been wallowing in, I was expecting to see you limping into the room after another bad encounter with the youkai children who hated you for your human blood. In a way I did see you because when I looked into her eyes, I did not see the human girl but a hanyou boy.
Beaten and abused because he was different from everybody else. You looked at me once just as she looked at me then, pleased that I had paused to notice you. That same gap toothed, trusting grin despite the bloody lip and bedraggled clothing from being nearly drown for being different. You trusted me because I was the one that hauled you out of the koi pond. She has no reason to love me, to adore me as you once did. We have no bond between us and yet she brought me food I did not need at great risk to herself. Just like a little hanyou boy snuck me dinner when I was punished for allowing him to fall in the koi pond.
She was too weak to survive alone and the wolves killed her as she was running to me for protection, just as a hanyou boy had once run to me for protection from those who would harm him. The boy I chased off with harsh words, but she is already dead. Her lifeless corpse a reminder of what the boy might have become because I failed my promise to my father. You survived and I hated you for it because I would never be free of my promise. I hated you for the gifts our father left to you, the love you received from our father. All the things I had wanted, but will never have the chance to receive no matter how hard I try.
In the dull lifeless eyes of this human girl, I can see the hanyou boy my father asked me to protect. With my eyes still seeing the phantoms of my past, I drew my sword and used it to grant new life to this human girl. In her, I would have a second chance to do what I should have the first time. Protect somebody weaker than myself until she has a chance to blossom into something new and wondrous. Just as the cherry blossoms are more beautiful when tended, a child will be more beautiful when protected until they are grown.
So my brother, you and I will continue our fights, but you will never know that in the eyes of this human child I see the boy you might have been. I will protect her from harm because she is like you once were, innocent and trusting with only the desire to make me smile. She is aggravating and a pest, but no harm will come to her because in her eyes shelters the hanyou boy I failed.