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themes # 1-7

Several Sesshoumaru + Inu-Papa prompts for 30shards.

Title: #1 Legend
Characters: Inutaisho + Sesshoumaru
Rating: G
Summary: Sometimes the source material is better than the fabrications.

“Tell me a story, Jaken-sama,” Rin cajoled, her arms curled around her knees. Sesshoumaru leaned against a tree nearby and listened with half an ear as Jaken protested and as Rin eventually wore him down. His eyebrow rose fractionally as his retainer wove a story about his great and terrible father.

He wasn’t like that, Sesshoumaru thought. Well, not all the time. It was true that Inutaisho was merciless to his enemies and without peer on the battlefield, but he had also been wise, providing advice when it was needed, even if said information was delivered in a cryptic fashion.

Jaken also skimmed over the fact that Inutaisho had been quick to anger, yet even quicker to laugh. Where his laughter hadn’t been exactly infectious, his angry growls had sounded as ominous as peals of thunder. His hands had been warm and gentle, yet held such tremendous potential for violence and destruction. His arms had once been a childhood safe haven where everything was simple, where everything felt safe.

Looking back at Rin, who was now sitting enthralled by the tales of his father’s deeds and not the least bit sleepy, he opened his mouth. “That is enough,” Sesshoumaru said, “Go to sleep, Rin.”

He moved his head to stare at the canopy of leaves above him and thought about how legends sometimes paled in comparison to the real thing.

***

Title: #2 Juggling
Rating: G
Summary: Life, like everything else, is a balancing act.

Sesshoumaru found his father sitting in the gardens, two plums gracefully moving in an arc in front of him. Sitting down beside him, Sesshoumaru watched as Inutaisho carefully added another fruit, then another until he had all of them in the air.

He smiled and handed two of them to Sesshoumaru, who instantly tried to emulate him, but his hands would always fumble.

“What am I doing wrong?” he asked, watching his father’s movements.

“You focus too much on a single fruit,” he calmly replied. “Concentrating on something single-mindedly causes one to lose focus on everything else around them.”

Sesshoumaru tried again, this time paying attention to both plums.

“Good, now try with more.” Juggling three in the air worked for a while until his fingers slipped.

“Another lesson, my boy,” his father told him. “If you take on more than you can handle, you are likely to drop everything. Know your limits.” He sank his teeth into one of the plums still in his hands, leaning against the tree as he watched his son practice.

“Father?” Sesshoumaru asked, leaning against Inutaisho. “How do you know your limits?”

“It isn’t easy,” he admitted. “Ambition can blind you, preventing you from seeing the bigger picture. Things that seem so simple in the beginning can suddenly become complex. It is a matter of finding the correct balance.”

“How do you do that?”

Inutaisho wiped a thin trail of juice off his son’s chin with his thumb. “That, I cannot tell you. One way may work for some where it does not work for others. Experience can only teach you which way is best.”

They finished their snack in peace, Sesshoumaru quietly pleased that his plum pit skipped the surface of the nearby pond further than his father’s.

***

Title: #3 Fate
Rating: G
Summary: He didn't believe that things went on a predestined track. He felt cheated.


His father had once said everyone was tied to their fate. Everything was already pre-determined and the decisions one made in life were ultimately made for them.

Sesshoumaru didn’t believe this, believing instead that a human woman had cut his father’s life short and robbed Sesshoumaru of his chance to win his father’s title in a fair fight instead of inheriting it as he had.

***
Title: #4 Kiss
Rating: G
Summary: It's the little things that you thought you'd outgrown that you wind up missing the most.

He didn’t know what possessed him to do it, but he brushed his lips quickly over the sleeping girl’s forehead. He could recall his own father doing the same when his dreams had been plagued with horrors and that touch had always been enough to banish them.

He had missed that simple comfort, even years after he had felt he had outgrown such childish ways.

***

Title: #5 Memories
Rating: G
Summary: When everything is quiet, he lets himself remember.


Late at night, when his retainers were asleep and the only thing audible was the great liquid snufflings of Ah Un, Sesshoumaru would let himself think on the past. Here were the hours, days, weeks, months, years of training, his skills progressing with each passing season. There were the injuries he had obtained, each of them serving as lessons to move quicker, strike harder, to never underestimate his opponent.

In the middle of them all, his father was always present. Sesshoumaru let his mind wander, sifting through each.

“Remember, my boy,” his father had said once. “This sword may allow you to kill a great deal of enemies in a single blow, but it takes a truly wise person to know when to harness this ability and when to stay your hand.”

That had been many decades before a human woman had come into the picture, when he had been the sole son and there hadn’t been a question as to who would get his father’s legacy. He often wondered just when his father had come to the decision to change all of that.

It didn’t matter, he concluded, rubbing at the remains of his left arm as a phantom pain pulsed, making him believe for a brief moment that he still had a hand that could hurt. In the end, he would own that blade, he was certain.

***

Title: #6 Victory
Rating: G
Summary: Surpassing his father should have felt better than this.


“I have nothing more to teach you.” The words should have made him happy; that he had learned everything he possibly could from his father, that perhaps now he could surpass him in knowledge. It should have been a victory of sorts.

Instead, he watched his father’s image fade away and wanted nothing more than to know how to keep him there.

***

Title: #7 Longing
Rating: G
Summary: Times like this, Sesshoumaru thought Inuyasha was the luckier sibling.


“You don’t even know what Father looked like,” he had spat at Inuyasha, anger coloring his words and erasing the careful façade of indifference he had worked so hard to create. He had known what their father had looked like. He had been the one to grow up at their father’s side, to absorb everything he had to teach. He had spoken with him, known what made him angry and what had made him laugh.

He shook his head bitterly. Times like these, he felt as if Inuyasha was better off being ignorant; he never knew their father, therefore he could never miss him as Sesshoumaru did.

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