Butterfly Kisses

Sweet sixteen today

She's lookin' like her mamma a little more everyday

One part woman, the other part girl

To perfume and makeup, from ribbons and curls

Trying her wings out in a great big world

But I remember...

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer

Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair

You know how much I love you Daddy,

But if you don't mind

I'm only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time

Oh with all that I've done wrong

I must have done something right

To deserve her love every morning

And butterfly kisses at night

-Bob Carlisle

Inu Yasha stared at Takara as she came out of her room. Today was her sixteenth birthday and they were going out to a nice restaurant with Sango, Miroku, Keitaro, and Suki to celebrate. Watching Takara check over herself once more in the mirror before they left sent him flying back in time over twenty years. In the last couple of years, Takara had started looking like Kagome more and more each day, and now, Inu Yasha couldn't believe how grown up his baby looked. As he watched her, he couldn't help but feel a slight ache in his heart for Kagome. He wanted her there for himself, but mostly for Takara, to see what an incredible young lady their little girl was turning into. Finally, Takara turned to face him.

"How do I look Daddy?" She asked doing a small twirl in front of him.

"You look beautiful Angel," he said, fighting to keep his voice steady. Kagome would have laughed if she had been there. Here he was, the man who had defeated the evilest demon of all time, getting choked up by the sight of his daughter looking all grown up. It seemed like it was only yesterday Kagome was putting ribbons in her hair and she was reaching up for him to swing her around. Where had the time gone? He thought back to the night, years ago, just before Takara turned two, when he and Kagome had just sat in her room and watched her sleep. He remembered telling Kagome he didn't know where the time had gone and her telling him it was only going to go faster from there. He realized that Kagome had never spoken truer words than those. The thing that scared him the most though, was that it never slowed down, it just kept passing by faster and faster. He was scared one day that, just like he had turned around and Takara had gone from grinning toddler to young lady, he would blink and she would be all grown up and married and on her own. He didn't know if he could handle that.

"Come on Daddy, the others are waiting for us," Takara said. As she grabbed his arm she pulled him out of his thoughts and grounded him back in reality. As he allowed her to lead him out the door, he realized that all he could do was take in and enjoy every moment he had with her now.

The rest of the evening passed wonderfully. Sango, Miroku, Keitaro, and Suki had gotten Takara a beautiful and elegant set of diamond earrings that had nearly overwhelmed her. Her eyes had teared up and she couldn't stop thanking them. As the evening went on though, Inu Yasha couldn't stop noticing the closeness between Takara and Keitaro; they had always been close, but their relationship was changing. He could see it in the way that Keitaro looked at her, that he no longer saw her as a little girl, or even as his little sister's best friend. He was starting to see her just the way Inu Yasha had seen her earlier this evening, as a young lady. Even though he had known Keitaro since he was in diapers, it still scared him.

Later that evening, as Takara lay sleeping in bed, Inu Yasha stood in her doorway and watched her sleep just as he and Kagome had done years ago when she was still in her crib. He couldn't believe how she was changing before his very eyes. As he turned away he caught sight of the top of her dresser and he couldn't help but grin. On her desk sat a small bottle of perfume that had been his gift to her, as well as a few makeup supplies that she had slowly been building up over the last couple of years. As he looked at the items, he couldn't help but let his mind take him back ten years.

Inu Yasha walked into his house and set his bag down. He had just spent the entire weekend away from his wife and daughter at a tournament three hours away. Nearly all of his students were competing, from his beginners to his most advanced students, so as a result, he had students competing nearly every hour. This schedule had forced him to just stay at a hotel, rather that drive home. He had definitely enjoyed himself, and all of his students had done extremely well, however right now all he wanted were his girls. As he began walking down the hallway, he heard giggling coming from Takara's room. Quietly he peaked his head into her room and the sight before him brought a huge smile to his face. Takara was sitting at her little vanity with Kagome's make-up kit doing her make-up while Kagome watched from her bed. She had on one of her fancy dress up dresses on and it was obvious that Kagome had curled her hair and done it up in ribbons.

"How do I look Mommy?" Takara asked as she finished putting the lipstick on. Inu Yasha watched as Kagome held back a giggle.

"You look absolutely beautiful, just like a princess." Kagome replied smiling.

"I want to look extra pretty for Daddy when he comes home," Takara said proudly.

Inu Yasha smiled before quietly slipping down the hallway and back to the front door. It was obvious she wanted to surprise him, so he didn't want to ruin it for her. He walked back to the front door before opening it loudly and calling out, "I'm home." He could hear an excited squeal followed by little footsteps come racing down the hall.

"Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!!" Takara called excitedly as she ran to him.

"Hey there Angel," he said scooping her up in his arms. "Well don't you look absolutely stunning. You didn't get a date and not tell me, did you?" He asked pretending to suddenly worry. He caught Kagome's eye as she came into the living room and winked.

"No silly," Takara replied giggling. "I got all dressed up for you Daddy."

"You did, did you?" he asked.

"Yep, and Mommy made dinner too. We have to go to the kitchen so you can see," she instructed him.

"Ok, but first let me say 'hi' to Mommy," he told her as he set her down and walked over to his wife. "Hi sweetheart," he whispered as he wrapped her in a hug and kissed her temple. "I missed you so much," he murmured in her ear as he held her.

"I missed you too" she replied. "We both did," she added as she pulled away from him and took his hand. "Come on," she said leading him into the kitchen, "Takara has been dying for you to get home, she wanted everything to be perfect." Inu Yasha couldn't help but smile as he walked into the kitchen. The table was set with their nice dinner plates and there were two candles along with a vase of flowers in the middle.

"Do you like it Daddy?" Takara asked shyly as she looked up at him, suddenly afraid that he might not like it.

"It's perfect," Inu Yasha replied picking her up and hugging her once more. As they walked over to the table Kagome pulled out the Takara's chair while Inu Yasha put her down. Kagome walked over to the stove and took the two pots that had been warming off and brought them to the table while Inu Yasha got their drinks. Once the table was completely set, Inu Yasha guided Kagome to her seat and pulled her chair out for her before sitting down himself. As they settled in for spaghetti by candle light, Inu Yasha couldn't help but smile as he watched his wife and daughter, amazed by how perfect his life was. After dinner, Inu Yasha decided that since Takara looked so pretty, they should have a dance. He put some music on in the living room and he spent the rest of the evening dancing with Takara standing on his feet. After she fell asleep, he and Kagome had held each other close and danced for a couple more songs before they carried Takara into her room and put her to sleep and then headed to bed themselves.

As Inu Yasha's memory came to an end he couldn't help but smile. He had had one more gift that he had wanted to give to Takara when they were by themselves and now he had the perfect way to do it. As he headed off to bed, he planned out the following evening in his head. Spaghetti dinner by candlelight followed by dancing in the living room sounded like the perfect way to give Takara the hair combs he had given Kagome the night he found out he was going to be a Daddy. He had come across them shortly after Kagome's death and had decided to wait until Takara's 16th birthday to give them to her. He knew that she would love them because of their beauty, but mostly because they had belonged to her mother, and because her mother had cherished them so dearly. Right before he drifted off to sleep, his last thought was of how quickly time had flown and how his baby had gone from princesses, fancy ribbons, and bouncing curls to diamond earrings, make up, and perfume.

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