Author's Note: This story is based off of something that happened to me. Well, this story exaggerates my experience tenfold but still, it works. Hope you enjoy it!

Summary: Milly hated her hands. They represented too much of herself that she would prefer to forget.

Disclaimer: I do not own Baten Kaitos: Origins and never will.

Hands were a wonderful thing.

Each hand was unique. Even the two hands a person was born with were never quite the same. The thin lines on their palms were not located in the exact same place, nor their nails all exactly the same length. Some people had small hands, delicate hands. Other had chubby hands, porky fingers. Still others had large hands, rough hands. No matter what, all hands were different.

Every hand had mate.

Milly sighed as she glanced at her own hands. The firelight cast a dull glow over them. Her hands were small, delicate. Her teachers at the School of Magic had always said that it was because her hands were so delicate that her calligraphy was so lovely. Milly prided herself on her small hands. Small hands, her teachers had insisted, were the mark of an artist.

Milly was no artist.

She could write perfect calligraphy, she could paint and draw, dance and sing…but she was not an artist. She was a fighter, a warrior, a traitor. Nothing about her was artful. Fighting with her cudgels was not a dance, no matter how graceful her form was. Milly glanced down at her hands again. Her palms were worn from grasping her cudgels all the time. Her knuckles were battered, bruised, and scarred from all the attacks she had received, all the mistakes she had made with her weapons.

Milly's hands were not perfect.

No matter how much lotion she used on them, they never softened quite as much as she would like, they never lost their wounds. Milly hated her hands. They represented too much of herself that she would prefer to forget. Those scars seemed to shout "traitor" at her. Her nails were broken and uneven from all the battles she fought in. They never grew very long before they were broken again.

Milly wondered if her hands had a mate.

The atmosphere around the campfire was quiet. It was only her sitting there, alone with her musings. She was alone with her hands. She thought of Guillo. His hands were not really hands at all. Claws, she had always thought of them. They were made of metal that glowed metallic blue. His hands were razor sharp, deadly talons of death. His metal never scratched, never became battered. He never had to worry that his nails might break for he had none! Guillo had perfect hands.

Milly hated her imperfection.

How was she so different from Guillo? They were both made of metal. But, you could see his metal body; you could hear that his twisted voice was not that of a normal human. His stance in battle, the way he walked…they were not the mark of a normal human. He was fine as he was though. He accepted himself, didn't mind that people mistook him for a talking paramachina. Milly's metal body was hidden by her "skin" but they were essentially the same. Milly glanced at her hands yet again.

What was so different about Guillo's hands?

Milly knew. Guillo was loyal. Hands –even those on a talking paramachina—showed these things. Guillo's hands weren't stained with guilt over being disloyal, being a traitor, because he wasn't either one of those things. Milly was both. Guillo's hands were stained with as much blood as hers were, but because he was loyal, his hands were clean. That is why Guillo and she were different; Guillo's hands were clean.

Would Milly's hands ever be clean?

If her hands showed "traitorous", if Guillo's hands showed "loyalty", what then did Sagi's hands show? Milly had grasped his hand from time to time, just as she had with Guillo. Guillo's were cold but Sagi's were warm. What else were his? She could not remember. She avoided grabbing his hand. She didn't want him to feel her imperfection. Milly tapped a thin finger against her chin. What did Sagi's hands say about him?

What was so unique about his hands?

Sagi was pure human. He didn't have so much as a metal nail. Not like Milly. She looked human, but looks could be deceiving. His hands were bigger than hers, she remembered. His hands were different. But what was it about them that she liked so much? She couldn't remember how they felt. She couldn't remember any details about them. And yet…she loved those hands.

Hands really were a wonderful thing.

Abruptly, Milly realized that there was a pair of feet in front of her. Looking up, she realized that those feet belonged to a whole body. The familiar dark turquoise eyes gazed down at her with a mischievous glance. His mouth twitched at the corners, wanting to twist into a smile. Her dark gaze quickly swept over his hands hanging at his sides. Such lovely hands…

"Milly, come with me! I have something to show you!"

Sagi reached out a hand to help her up off her rock. Milly hesitated for a split second. Grasping his hand, she took in the feel of it. It was a lot bigger than hers, but his fingers were slim. He had a strong grip, the kind that promised he would never let you trip and catch you if you were to fall. His palm was soft and his knuckles hard. His hands were those of a warrior. But what did they say about him?

Milly wasn't sure.

Without letting go, Sagi broke into a mad dash across their small campsite and through the woods, occasionally murmuring a soft warning to watch her step. His hand never lessened its grip. He never tried to pull away. Milly let her eyes drop as they ran. She felt horrible. A terrible knot of pain suddenly appeared in her stomach and she was sure her heart was cracking into two pieces.

The pain was almost too much to bear.

Skidding to a stop on top of a hill, Sagi led her to the edge. "Look Milly. Look below and above. Isn't it pretty?" Milly looked. Below them lay the forest, silent and dark. In the sky hung hundreds of stars and the sliver of the moon. The light shone down on the inky black forest, washing it in beauty. Guillo looked over at them from the other side.

"Well? What do you think of this Milliarde?"

Milly loved it. The three of them stood there in a silent row. Impulsively, Milly slipped her free hand into Guillo's "claw". Guillo's loyal hand was cold against her skin. Sagi's unknowable one was warm and strong. And Milly knew then what Sagi's hand said about him. How had she not seen it before? Sagi's hand said "courageous". Sagi would never give up on anything. He didn't know how she would respond to him taking her here to see this view. He didn't know how she would react to anything he said or did. But he did and said these things anyway. He never backed down from a challenge. That was the strength of his hands. That is why Milly loved them.

"It is a lovely view."

Have you ever liked someone so much that you would do anything just to shake their hand? So much that no matter how shy you might be, you impulsively took the chance when it came?

I did. Thanks to him, I was inspired to write this (although he doesn't know that!). I hope you enjoyed it!