Melting A Frozen Heart: Young & Lost –Side Story-
The girl began to yell, no words, only high-pitched screams. I reached towards her and something inside told me not to be harsh and I did not know where it came from or why, however I listened, placing my opened hand on top of her head.
I will not forget her eyes and how fear filled they were as she stared at me nearly hyperventilating from her nightmare. She seemed to be asking me why I was still there, thankful I had not left her behind. I did not care, she was quiet and that was all I wanted.
Why am I wiping away this hanyou’s blood? I asked myself in thought as I wiped her face. At that time, I had no feelings at all and could have cared less about anyone but myself. Yet here I was tending to a half-breed, something I despised. Why do I not finish her?
Jaken’s incessant rambling over my reaction grew on even my calm nerves and I was forced to talk to tell him to be silent. I did not like to speak, preferring to allow my actions to speak for me. He obeyed and finally shut up, my ears rejoiced at what I was sure would be a temporary quiet.
Until she stood and hugged me I was not sure why I was willing to help her. Her show of affection had sickened me at first, yet something kept me from snapping her neck.
I heard myself ask if she was in pain and felt her nod no as her head still lay on my shoulder and could not bring myself to say another word. I noticed she had fallen back to sleep, still standing clinging to me, I do not know how long I had been staring ahead or how long she had been asleep that way.
Glancing to see if my little stalker was awake, I was relieved to see that Jaken was indeed asleep. Being gentle was not something I was used to doing as I removed her and held her for a moment, looking into her sleeping face, asking myself what it was about the little girl that had made me forget about whatever my plans had been before she had shown up.
Had she become.. important.. to me?
I placed her in my lap so that I could fix her a soft place to sleep and was stopped when I realized what I was doing, why did I want her to be comfortable? I was growing aggravated with myself as I arranged my fluffy so that she may sleep on it, suddenly I stopped and looked down to see that she had curled next to me and looked the most calm I had seen her since I had found her. I did not want to admit defeat so I faked a yawn and carefully lay down keeping her next to me, being sure to awake before she did the next morning.
Jaken decided to awake me and I cracked him for startling me and embarrassing me at the same time, although I did not let my real reason show through.
In the daylight I took notice to the clothes the little hanyou wore and how badly they needed replaced. The torn and bloody clothes did not fit her, looking ridiculous with one sleeve missing.
Jaken was still rubbing his head and I forced myself not to grin. “I want you to find something suitable for a female child to wear.” Jaken nodded and went off.
I picked the little one up and carried her to a stream a little way away, doing my best to undress and wash her while she slept. Her body was covered in bruises and cuts and I did not have to question myself as to why they angered me.
I arrived back to the campsite minutes before Jaken returned with the garments I had sent him for. I sat with her wrapped inside my outer kimono, allowing it to dry her before I examined the clothes and made sure they were satisfactory before trying to figure out how to put them on.
“Wake her and have her do it herself.”
“Jaken, do not tell this Sesshoumaru what to do.” I was able to get the hakama pants onto her just fine but I was sweating bullets when it came time for her kimono layers, I did not wish to hurt her and cause her to wake up screaming.
Why I wanted to avoid it I didn’t yet know.
I was working on the silk top layer kimono, the lavender with shamrocks, when I saw that she had opened her eyes and was quietly staring up at me. I was worried I had hurt her and waited for her cries to begin. I helped her stand and tied her sash properly, watching her look down at her new attire.
I remained down to her height, unsure why I did not stand. In the back of my mind, I am sure I was afraid I would make her feel intimidated.
When I felt her little arm go around my neck my first reaction was to push her away but I did not, I was in shock and could not move. It had frozen me the same as the night before and when she let go and smiled to me in thanks, I felt something.
I actually FELT inside and I had a hard time dealing with it.
I felt her flinch and my nose picked up something that told me why I cared for her. She had a scent so similar to mine, I would have thought she were my daughter had things been different. I had only been with one person and had not yet been close enough with her to begin to be able to create a child. Plus any child of ours would not have been hanyou, since she too was a dai yokai.
“Do you hurt?” I asked, as I could smell she was in pain through her sweat. She nodded her head yes and I read her expression. To me, it looked as though she did not want me to know that she was in a great deal of pain. I mixed the medicine for her and was surprised that she took it and drank it without so much as a wrinkled nose. The way she held her arm I knew she was fighting screaming out, no doubt afraid of purposely making any sound.
“Come here.” I said reaching towards her. She did not seem to fear me at all and came right to me. I took her hand and led her back to the same spot we had both fallen asleep the night before.
Jaken began to follow and I assume my body language told him to back off, as when I sat down he was not with us. All I knew about the girl was that she was a hanyou, looked similar to my younger brother and smelled of me. I did not even know her name, what had happened to her, or why she seemed to be watching my every move with her every waking moment. She sat down beside me and looked at me, waiting for me to speak.
I was having a hard time thinking of what to say, never having been willing to speak with anyone before unless it was to tell them to die. It was then that I noticed something red around her neck and felt like an idiot for not having seen it before. I reached to remove it and was grabbed by the wrist, the little girl’s face scrunched up in panic, her head shaking slowly no and her ears off to the side. I blinked and nodded to her, putting my hand down. Now I really wished I had not done that, making her afraid was the last thing I wanted.
“Do not worry, I will not take them from you.” I whispered looking into her watery golden eyes. She nodded okay and tried to calm her shivering, I had noticed she shook when she was scared, another thing I wasn’t used to seeing. “You do not need to hide pain from this Sesshoumaru. If you need something, let me know, I will not be angry no matter what it is.” She nodded and slid closer so that she could lean against my side. I moved my arm for her without thinking and put it around her as the medicine had begun to work and was making her sleepy. I could sense Jaken’s eyes bulging behind us and for some reason I did not care and I once again kept watch over her as she slept.
After a few hours she awoke again and smiled up to me. I could not remember how to smile unless I was thinking of annihilating someone or scaring the shit out of my brother and could not smile back. She used my body help herself stand and held onto my sleeve as I stood up too. She tugged my sleeve and began to walk, and instead of smacking her for dragging me as though I were on a leash, I followed her.
I did not take notice to where we were until I saw her pull her pants down and sit behind a tree. My body felt as though it were on fire I was so embarrassed I am quite sure no one dared to tell me how red my face and ears must have been.
I had never been willing to put up with anyone and could barely stomach Jaken and now I was playing father to a female half-breed who I did not even know!
My thoughts echoed back to me. Playing father? Her scent, it was not only myself that she smelled of! It was right then that I knew why I had instinctively gone to her rescue and had quietly decided to protect her.
When she came out and gave me a tug on the sleeve, I looked down and she smiled to me, letting me know she was done and ready to go back. I nodded all right and together we went.
Jaken was being his annoying, aggravating self and began his migraine inducing ramblings as soon as we came into view. His screams about me not being a baby sitter among other things were directed at the little girl, who was now squeezing my hand and ready to shake out of her clothes. I momentarily gently squeezed her hand back and let her know that it was okay before bending down and picking up a large rock, which I threw at Jaken. The rock knocked him off of my two-headed dragon, Ahun quite satisfyingly so.
Jaken had just crawled back up when the little girl bent down, grabbed a rock and held her body in the exact manner as she had just seen myself do, throwing the rock and hitting him right between the eyes.
I could not believe it as I looked down and noted that she had learned a lot about me in the very short time I had been caring for her. It was as though I was looking at a small reflection of myself.
I decided it was time to leave and picked her up, and climbed onto Ahun with her. The look in her eyes was that of excitement and surprise with no odor of pain or fear. Jaken remained sitting, still grumbling and counting the lumps on his head. I could not help but to try to hide a smile that the girl saw. She grinned a fang filled smile to me and looked as though I had just made her whole day with just a simple smile.
I was rather surprised that a child her age could remain quiet the way she did. I felt her examining my left side, her small body covered by my sleeve, as she was inside it curious what had happened to my left arm. Before I could say anything I heard the sound of a kiss as she kissed what was left of my arm. I blinked and when she wiggled her way out of my sleeve again I felt I needed to explain what had happened.
She sat and listened as I told her of the fight between Inuyasha and myself, leaving out details I felt were too gory for her. I sighed, too gory? I’m really falling into this little one’s palm. She looked very worried and clung to me and I suspected the story had frightened her. I assured her I was all right and she eventually calmed again.
It seemed that no matter where I went she was by my side and Jaken’s abuse would not cease. I nearly gave him a concussion a few days after we had begun to travel again. Apparently in an attempt to get rid of the child, he swung at her with the two-headed staff.
The sound of the wood making contact with her broken arm made my ears hurt as I rounded the corner and looked all around for her. She was nowhere in sight although I could tell where she was even though she made not a single sound. I didn’t know how that was possible with the pain she had to be in, but then again at the time I was beginning to feel other emotions when it came to her and I beat the hell out of Jaken, then went off to find her.
It made sense that she would run in fear; a hanyou usually had no choice. I growled at myself for allowing her to remain with Jaken while I went to relieve myself, not believing he would actually harm her.
When I found her, she was hiding up in a tree. How she had gotten there with a broken arm was mind baffling but I did not think about it, telling her to come down. She never hesitated to do anything I told her to do and jumped, landing in my arm.
Of course she didn’t say a word or cry, simply clinging to me with her eyes burning into mine. I had to think of something to say to calm her and I was not good at this! How was I to comfort a child? I thought back to my own childhood and my father and all at once knew what I was doing.
“It is all right, Jaken will not hurt you again. I beat that into him.” I told her softly, my senses telling me that she was in excruciating pain yet showed no emotional side of it. She was trembling and I couldn’t stand to see her that way and I had to keep myself from going back and ripping Jaken to shreds for this, killing him wouldn’t help her feel any better. I didn’t think she could be over four demon years old as short and skinny as she was. Feeling her tremble as she held onto me with her good arm, I suddenly realized she reminded me of someone and that someone was… Me.
Placing my hand on the back of her head carefully and she buried her face into my shoulder. “Are you afraid of me?” I asked surprised by how fast her head shot up and shook back and forth no quickly. “What is it that you fear?” My question was silently answered with her pointing to me then away behind herself. “You are afraid I will leave you.” She nodded yes and tried to fake a smile. Was she trying to be emotionless as I was?
“I believe I understand. You do not cry because you fear I will leave you if you show emotions.” I could see I confused her. “Emotion means the way that you feel.” She understood that and nodded yes. “I have no intention of ever leaving you behind.” I answered her nod, trying my best to smile.
Apparently my horrid attempt at smiling made her happy as I felt her trembling cease and a smile crossed her own face. Seeing her happy made my smile unique and I was able to sigh in relief. Father had made being a parent look easy, however I was learning now that it was not.
“Come, let us tend to your arm.” I said picking her up. She nodded okay, her pain not mattering so much now that her fears of losing me had been erased from her mind. Once we had gotten back to Ah Un and the disgraceful toad I placed her on Ah Un’s back and dug around in my sleeves for the medicine. I could feel Jaken’s eyes glaring at her from behind. “Jaken. This child has permission to take revenge on you for her injuries. I would not glare.” I said without looking away from her as she drank the medicine quietly. I heard Jaken gulp loudly and smiled to her, encouraging a smile out of her.
It wasn’t long before she was asleep in my lap, allowing me to get a closer look at her arm. It had swollen up and had a very nasty bruise running from the edge of her shoulder down almost to her wrist. I was thankful for keeping the same things I had used before when her face had looked as though someone had run her over with a wagon and went about applying it to her arm. Jaken did not dare to test me and remained silent.
“Jaken.” I barked, rather enjoying him jumping nearly out of his skin. “Find me two of the straightest sticks so that I may at least splint her arm.”
I did not even see Jaken nod he was just there one second and gone the next. When he came back, he not only brought the sticks I had asked for, but had also thought enough to bring some material for me to tear and use to hold the sticks in place. I took them from him much gentler then I had originally planned because he’d brought more then I had asked for. He went back to being out of my sight and quiet, leaving me to deal with the arm.
Each move I made I quickly glanced from her arm to her face, watching for any sign she could feel what I was doing. Thankfully so far she had remained asleep and did not catch my expressions change while I yelled at myself in my head. How could I be such a fool to allow her to be watched by Jaken? What was I thinking? I had decided to protect her and she was injured because of my bad judgment. I was brought out of my self-bashing feeling something touching my face. I blinked and looked down. She had woken up and it felt as though she were tracing over the red stripes on my face. I could not understand why she was doing it until I thought about it. Was she trying to comfort me?
“I am all right. Did I hurt you?” She shook her head no looking relieved now she knew that I was fine. It seemed she worried more about me then she did for herself. “I know you are afraid. I cannot move you without hurting your arm.” I proved I could read her just as well as she could read me. “I will not leave you alone or with Jaken again.” I thought if she knew that, she would feel better. I was wrong and for a moment thought she was going to cry. I did not mind, yet wanted to do anything I could to comfort her.
My mouth was suddenly dry and my heart pounding in my chest, I couldn’t think. I kept thinking too fast and stupid ideas flooded in that made no sense at all. Meltdown was imminent and without thinking I flopped down beside her, carefully put my arm over her and ended up poking myself with part of my armor. She thought it was funny and broke out laughing. I was embarrassed and didn’t think it was funny at first but her laughter made me feel better.
“It is meant to protect me, not the other way around, Quiet One.” I had given her a nickname inside my mind a while ago, yet I’d never told her. She gave me a wide-eyed, big toothy grin giggling at the name. “I take it that you like being Quiet One.” Her answer was loud and clear, she reached over and kissed me on the cheek. My own eyes went wide, smiling kindly the way I would before my mother had died.
I am absolutely positive I was red from the tips of my toes to the tips of my ears when I noticed Jaken standing with his mouth open, ready to scream. I quickly shot him a look that promised if he said one word I would kill him where he stood. I turned my attention back to my Quiet One as Jaken fainted with a loud thump. She was slowly falling asleep as I watched her and while listening to her breathing calm, something was changing inside me, I could feel it. This little girl, this helpless hanyou, was breaking my heart's barriers and showing me that it was alright to... to be kind.
Quiet One, as I’d officially dubbed the little girl, slept a broken sleep that night pain keeping her awake. I honestly did not know of a skilled healer, as I had never required one before. I began to feel uneasy when she suddenly did not open her eyes when I called her name. Tapping her face did not wake her and I refused to show the panic I felt inside. I spotted Jaken sleeping nearby and woke him with a boot to the head. He rolled and stopped; I didn’t give him time to speak, throwing myself in front of him looking him right in the eyes.
“How can you be sure?”
I heard enough. Inuyasha was a name that made my skin crawl. I had no time to me mad about it but I cracked him in the head anyway.
“How do we find this.. Jinenji? Do you know the way?” I asked hurriedly and he nodded yes, rubbing his head. “Then lead the way, perhaps you can redeem yourself.”
Jaken nodded and was on Ah Un’s back leading the way by the time I was up with Quit One in my arms. My movement had woken her and she moaned opening her eyes. I knew I was most likely hurting her and wished I had a better way of transporting her.
“It is going to be all right. I am taking you to a healer.” My explanation kept her awake although I did not yet know why. For once I was thankful for Jaken as we arrived and I walked right into the home Jaken pointed out. An old woman was inside and one look at Quiet One made her gasp and eye me suspiciously.
“What happened to you?” The woman’s question caused the little girl to shiver and my nose detected tears and fear as she did her best to cling to me.
“Heal her.” I said and I got no argument, the woman called for Jinenji, who I had figured out was her son. I was a bit surprised to see he was also a hanyou. As long as he did his job and could heal Quiet One, I had no quarrel with him. While he prepared the medicine, I sat down with the girl in my lap to assure her I would not leave her.
I had been keeping them clean and was satisfied when she said the child would be just fine. I had worried of infection and was relived to hear there was none. I watched everything she did to Quiet One, including smearing salve on a gash across her back. I could not understand how a child could stand such a threshold of pain, the cuts and bruises, mental abuse. She had never spoke, I doubted she had been taught how. After being given medicine and told to watch out for fever, I took Quiet One with me and left nodding thanks.
For a week Jaken did not speak a word and did not go anywhere near the girl. Quiet One seemed on the mend and remained wary of Jaken. She had practically sewn herself to my leg and I never had to look far to find her.
At times she even slept standing holding onto my leg with one arm until I would notice, pick her up and carry her along. There was no doubt this little girl loved me, yet I did not understand why. I could not imagine myself being the only person to ever show her kindness. At that time I would not admit it even through torture, but I loved her as well, she had become to be like a daughter to me.
It was two weeks later, exactly, when something happened that not even I could believe. I heard my brother’s whining and the scent, the unmistakable scent, hit me. My father was alive and standing right in front of my very eyes! I was not sure I was awake and I did not remember getting drunk. It was true; I could not speak a word even as I felt Quiet One hide behind me. My father really was alive, how I didn’t know and how I didn’t care.
“Lemme go! C’mon, he’ll try to take Tetsusaiga!” Inuyasha protested.
“No he won’t, Inuyasha.” Father replied, turning to me. “Before you ask, I have no idea why I’m here, I just am. I sorta had to go somewhere for the last 200 years. Think of it as a sort of vacation.”Watching father’s interactions with my brother Inuyasha were rather comical, Inuyasha had never seen our father and as I stood and watched father tell him to stay I nearly broke out into laughter.
"Inuyasha, stay." Inuyasha grunted at his newly met dad but listened with a pout.
I was speechless but in a different way from normal. What I had wondered all along was true and now I was sure of it. Before I could regain my composure, Inuyasha pointed out the little girl who had been clinging to my fluffy for quite some time now.
“You grew a kid, I knew you were a little weird.” A small gasp followed Inuyasha’s sentence, I looked behind me and noticed she was still hiding looking absolutely terrified.
“Who is the child? Is she your daughter?” Father asked and I blushed, shaking my head.
“I found her. She is afraid of everything, including humans. I am the only one she trusts.”
Father looked from Inuyasha and walked over, looking behind me, trying to see the girl. She had successfully hidden herself underneath my fluffy now and I looked over my shoulder.
“He’s not someone to fear. He’s my father.” I said, bringing her out from under my fluffy and into view. She looked up at me and then to father, watching him as he came down to her height, smiling at her. I could smell the unease coming from her yet I was not worried; this was not a stranger after all. This was my father.
“Hello.” Father said to Quiet One, looking back to me. “Does she have a name?”
I shrugged. “I do not know, she has never uttered a word.” No sooner had father told Quiet One that he wondered what had happened to her did my brother scare the daylights out of Quiet One. She let out a shriek and tried to climb my leg as though it were a tree, claws included. I wished to smack Inuyasha but refrained as I removed her from my hip and held her properly. This is where things begun to get interesting.
Father got in the middle of Inuyasha, Quiet One and myself giving her a surprised look. Quiet One leaned back against me, her eyes on father, her ears tilted back, unsure about him.
“Uh.. heh…” Father said, looking a little embarrassed.
“What?” Inuyasha and I said, in unison.
“Well… She’s sort of..”
“Oh gods.. don’t tell me.” I said, figuring it out.
“Yeah, Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru, meet your baby sister.” Inuyasha fainted and I almost followed him.
“Sister. No wonder she smells of your blood.” I said, looking at Quiet One. I now had the answer to the question, why had I decided to care for her in the beginning? Now I knew.
“I’m your daddy, when you’re ready, let us know your name, okay? For now I have to get a few things straight with your big brothers.” Father said to Quiet One, turning from her to Inuyasha and I. Aw crap, here it comes, father’s going to let us have it, sibling rivalry did not cover our quarrels in which we had often tried to kill one another.
“Now about this fighting between you two. It’s going to stop here and now. You’re brothers, not enemies. Got it?” Father said looking to each of us. I didn’t hesitate to nod; surprised to see Inuyasha did as well. “And no more fighting over swords either. That means you, Sesshoumaru.” Father looked from Inuyasha to me, and I felt as small as Quiet One. I saw Inuyasha blinking at my reaction and smiled at him. He screamed and hid behind our father and father let it be known that I only smiled that way to scare the shit out of him. Damn, that wouldn’t work anymore.
I was rather happy to have the subject change from scolding me to going home. Inuyasha had no idea our family even had a home and decided to make some comments that he was apologizing for after a stern look from father shut him up. We were soon off towards home, I was rejoicing to the gods that Jaken was finally out of my hair; I had gotten so tired of him and had never forgiven him for injuring Quiet One.
And with that, I believe you know how things went from here. This is an account of what went on before Father came back and I learned I had a baby sister. Before I knew how to feel inside again, before I knew it was all right to show kindness. I learned a lot from my Quiet One and I will forever be in her debt for bringing my heart back to life. I hope I have not bored you, although I am somewhat certain I have a few things out of order in which they actually happened. That is fine, I remember and that is all that I care about.
Now you know how the Taisho family reunited.