Touched by the Tiniest Hands
by : Team Bonet
It was a thin blue light that touched his eyes, turning the deep violet to orquid; clear like the waters of a river. His lips moved slightly as the light ran through his mouth. Squinting his eyes, he half rose in bed, his hand reaching for his covers. He blinked. He had none. He must have fallen asleep without caring to undress or even to search for some. Too tired.
He ran his fingers through his hair, willing himself to remember the previous night, but nothing came to his mind. His memory was a dark void of nothingness. His master. His master had promised to teach him the succession technique. His master had promised, but he had been too weak. Too weak.
The morning light penetrated the water just as his fingers found it inside the wooden bucket. He drew out water to his face, allowing its cold caress to wake his skin, rubbing the sleep away from his body. His face didn't look human to him, starring at him from the mirror surface of the water. His eyes were two hollow caves surrounded by dark circles. His small, thin fingers touched his whitened lips. The weight of his sword pulled at his soul, hanging around his waist. He touched it, his hand moving unconsciously.
A smile played across his lips as the two girls rushed into his room like wind and sea. The smallest one laughed as she dashed across the wooden floor, her hands extended towards the young red head who could but wait. The other stood by the door, slowing down as she realized their brother was still half naked. She smiled as her sister jumped on his bed, not caring to stop her race or allow him to brace himself.
"It's a beautiful day, Ken nii," Ayame said, giggling as she landed on the young man's lap. "Wake up! Wake up!"
"Sa," Suzume said, smiling. "When will you get up? Breakfast is already all eaten up and there isn't any more. There are piles of dirty clothes, and Yahiko's being bet up by Kaoru neechan."
Kenshin could not help but laugh as he envisioned the young boy in torture again. He moved his legs as the little girl on his lap shifted her weight. He must have stayed in bed longer than he had wished. Such things were an impossibility in the Kamiya Dojo, where people worried over one's state far too quickly.
The young red head blinked as the voices of the two girls touched his mind again. Ayame was pointing her finger into his bare chest, demanding his attention. Suzume was telling them of the river and the pile of unwashed clothes they wanted to do before the day got too hot. A small market fair had settled on the east bank of the river where they did their washing. Pinwheels and colourful strings, boxes of insects and all sorts of candy on small booths.
Ayame's eyes narrowed, looking up at Kenshin, her lower lip trembling slightly. The red head's clear eyes seemed taken by a fog, a scary film of clouds. He was looking at her, but those were not his usual eyes. Her small hand touched his breast, her cold fingers over his skin. Kenshin's eyes closed, his lips parting slightly. It hurt where Ayame touched him. Like a beast ripping his flesh with its bare teeth. Like a fire burning him. He opened his eyes again, feeling his hear race faster. The little girl's face bore such sadness as he looked at her. He hated to hurt her so.
"Ma, ma," he said, taking the kid's hands and lifting his body from the bed. "I did promise you we'd go today." Ayame smiled as she felt his strong hands lift her from the floor, her tiny feet dangling in the air. Suzume drew closer to them, looking up at Kenshin.
"Let's hurry, Ken niisan."
His eyes closed in happiness, his soul like a butterfly beating against the insides of his body, fluttering desperately to become free. He set the little girl down, heading towards the back of the room to get fully dressed. It hurt. It hurt where Ayame had touched him.
"If one of our clothes gown the river, what happens, Ken nii?"
"It gets really dirty de gozaru yo."
Suzume's pinwheel whistle cut through the silent afternoon, sounding over the river bank. A quiet breeze moved Kenshin's hair over his forehead. The little girl hopped over the small rocks of the shallow river, blowing on the pin wheel's whistle. She laughed as she reached the greenery of the other side. Ayame did not get one of those whistles for herself. Kenshin wondered why she had not bought one. They were really cheap but the colours were genuine, like fire and sea.
Kenshin laughed as the little girl hopped excitedly next to him, brushing his hands slightly as he rolled up his sleeps. Such energy. He wondered why the little girl loved to watch him wash. Time and time again she would sit to watch him, stand by him, look at his working fingers, as if she were playing a game. His fingers just moved repeatedly over the white clothes, scrubbing palm to palm. The young red head smiled as she danced next to him, fixing some of the blue flowers she had tied to his hair.
"Look out to keep an eye on the soap de gozaru."
"It makes bubbles on the river water."
"I see them. The water is so clear. White."
"All our clothes are white. Very white!"
Suzume blew on her whistle, starting a song and dancing to the tune of the whistle and her voice. Kenshin closed his eyes, feeling the breeze run through his hair, touching the blue flowers and his eyelids. He wished the day would never end, the sun to remain over the mountains casting gentle shadows as it did now and never go to sleep. His lips moved unconsciously, singing in a low whispery voice along with the song Suzume sung as she skipped over the rocks. Flowers and sky. Wind and sea. Red like fire. Such a beautiful smile played over his lips, running over his shinning, violet eyes.
The rurouni scrubbed the shirt, dipping it into the water.
"What if clothes slips down river?"
Palm to palm to scrub away the dirt.
"It drowns, Ken nii?"
The water over the rocks, crashing slowly, softly. Like hands or feet over roads, forming a picture. Kenshin's hands seized to work, his fingers interweaved into each other. His eyes looked far ahead, his voice coming from inside his soul.
"It becomes lost, tired of the current and terrified of the rocks and the swirling clouds up ahead. It cannot fight the current's grip and finds itself crushed... alone..."
Kenshin gasped, his eyes widening. Ayame's breathing had quickened, her small body rushing forward, her hand shooting into the water. She looked up at him, her lips tightening as hard as the hand she held over the cloth Kenshin held inside the water.
Don't let go.
Don't let go.
Don't ever let go.
His fingers moved over the hilt of his sword, touching the threads. The light filled the room now, touching every corner that lay once bathed in darkness. The water bucket showed no more reflections, growing dull and lifeless like glass. His fingers moved slowly over his purple clothes, finding their way under his shirt. He pulled the fabric gently aside, the early morning breeze rushing across his bare skin. There were no mirrors left in the room, no glass. He could not see his body but with his own eyes, save he did not need them. His fingers felt his skin, traced the long wound over his breast plate, the thin scars over his ribs. He ran his fingers down his breast and pressed his palm flat. Over the diminutive space her small hand had touched. Her fingers tightened around his hand as hard as his own held onto hers.
Just as hard.
Autho'rs note :
August 31rst, 1998, 1:46 pm. Our very own Kenshin not being able to HTML this--he had to rush off to a class--I settled myself down to do it. Hullo. This is Sano, the loon who writes the... Well, the Sano fics. Heh. This is Kensh's story, though, so I have no right to state any opinions. But I do want to say that the rough draft debuted in what Team Bonet calls Trowa's Poetry Corner. It dates back to Winter '97, heydays of our Gundam Wing mania, and it consists of all members of Team Bonet gathering around in a circle to read and critique new works. Pretty nifty, huh? We do voices, too.
Sept 18. Kenshin here, the author. This story was written for the little girls. They bring out so many good things in Kenshin and are so sweet. I love their song in the Vocal Cast CD, and I wanted to write something for them.
Yokkai darotsute. Send all and any comments you might have to: Battousai Laundry Services
@August 1998 Team Bonet. Rurouni Kenshin is @1995 Nobuhiro Watsuki and Jump Comics. Please do not copy this story without Kensh's permission. He's an English major, he'll undoubtfuly say Hai de gozaru yo! Heh heh. Thanks for dropping by.
- Owari -
Touched by the Tiniest Hands (END)
Copyright © 9808 by Team Bonet
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All Rights Reserved 1999