Disclaimers on all of the characters of Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi. I don't own them, so don't sue.
AN: This is written for Moonlight Flower Sanctuary's Week 12 Prompt, Father Figure.
She remembers his hands. They were large, warm, callous but gentle.
The first time he held her, she felt the warmth seep through her ragged yukata. She felt treasured during that moment of time. She felt safe, saved.
On a cold night, when she huddled into a ball at the base of an old tree, she could feel him settle beside her as his mokomoko wrapped around her and moments later, her shivering would stop as his pointed fingers faintly comb through her brown locks.
One day, as he sat with his eyes closed, she ambled over to him and picked up his hand, unfurling the dangerous yet harmless claws, and pressed her hand against his so that the heels of their palms met. With her mouth in open in awe, she splayed her fingers wide and even then, they barely touched the middle joint of each claw. But then he curled the fingers back into his palm, carefully encasing her petite hands and drew her to his inner space. He sat her on his knee as she began to curiously trace the contours of his hand.
That time she retrieved discarded Tenseiga from Toutousai, she cautiously approached him with the sword wrapped in her arms. She knelt before him with head cocked to one side and offered him his heirloom like she did so many times before. He stared at her with luminous eyes for a long period of time until his arm lifted from his side. Smiling, she held the sheath steadily as he gripped the spot underneath the hilt. Those fingers flexed in front of her eyes, the claws sharp and threatening, yet she did not flinch. They were powerful, but served justice and brought life. She trusted him with great devotion and knew that they were to protect.
After the moment she awoke from her deathly slumber, she noticed that he sat by her side and his clean (bloodstained) hand reached out and softly stroked her cheek, now colored with life from the previous pasty white. She calmed from her sneeze and gazed drowsily at him, making a noise of accord when he quietly murmured to her in relief. Her tiny hands cupped his hand, feeling its strength and the barely perceptible tremble vibrating through it. At her touch, it faded immediately and she savored his contact, allowing it to soothe her chilled body.
When the final battle was won, she ran to him and he scooped her with both his hands, lifting her and ran a critical eye over her physique. She smiled when he lightly brushed her bangs, checking her forehead as the pads of his fingers pressed along her hairline. The tension in his eyes imperceptibly alleviated and she began her search, frowning as she noticed that his arm was covered in dry blood. However, the frown disappeared as soon as she flicked it off, seeing the wound sizzle and heal. Satisfied, he set her down carefully on the dragon beast and with their other impish companion.
She will never forget those hands. They nurtured her, soothed her, and protected her. They were the hands of a father, of someone who sought to care for her, cherish her, and raise her. Their strength, warmth, comfort, reassurance provided to her a road to life, a path to grow.
And now, these hands of a demon lord were cold, limp, weak but still so gentle.
Tears slipping from her eyes, she gathered one into hers, hoping to share her warmth, and pressed it against her wet cheeks. His head was on her lap, his face unchanged by the years. Yet his breathing became haggard, heavy. His lips coated by blood, as were the rest of his clothes. Evidence of a great battle between many and one scattered about them.
"Rin," he said, nearly breathless. His golden eyes flickered open, the light within fading. "Rin, you… are safe."
"Yes," she whispered with her hoarse voice. "This Rin is safe, Sesshomaru-sama. Always safe with Sesshomaru-sama."
"Hn." He blinked his cloudy eyes. "Tenseiga, it is yours now."
She shook her head, tears dripping down her cheeks. "No, it is Sesshomaru-sama's. To protect Rin, remember?"
"Take Tenseiga, Rin," said he, his tone now firmer but still slowly fading. "And go. You… are safe. Now go."
Gasping for air as sobs wracked her body, she tugged on his arm, embracing it. His hand cradled against the side of her face. "Sesshomaru-sama, Rin cannot leave you. Rin cannot."
"Go with Tenseiga," he told her, closing his eyes almost tiredly. Blood spilled from his mouth. "It will protect you… in my place."
She repeatedly shook her head in denial, even as his arm sagged in her hold, his eyes sealed, his chest ceased. Wretched cries were loud, ripped from the deepest part of her soul. Hot tears flowed endlessly, staining his bloodied mokomoko and his silver hair. Collapsing, she pressed his hand tightly against her face, ignoring the sharpness of his claws and dropped her forehead against his. Choking, a phrase repeated itself over and over again from her lips, etching itself into the wind.
"Thank you. Thank you."
AN: Aw shucks, I'm crying by the time I'm writing the ending. I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. I'm in somewhat of a depressing mood right now. Review?