Stitch and Twitch
By: The Hatter Theory
Disclaimer: I don't own Inu Yasha. I was not the person who invented the patterns mentioned herein. Also, due to long debate about the trademarked term stitch and bitch, I don't own that either.
Sesshoumaru Taisho was glad to be home. It was Friday evening and he was looking forward to spending time with his daughter watching whatever inane movie she ordered on pay per view. Normally the child would hit him with the force of a canon ball the minute he opened the door, chattering about her day. However this evening was different. When he opened the door and stepped in, the foyer was empty and silence reigned through the house.
Walking through the quiet house, he made for the kitchen. The nanny was sitting at the counter reading a wedding magazine, flipping through pages with a small half-smile on her face. When she finally noticed him she nodded once and sat her magazine down.
“Hello, Mr. Taisho. Rin is in the living room crocheting,” She informed him, gathering her things and heading out as quietly as he had come in. Once she was gone, he relaxed and removed his jacket and undid his tie, throwing both of them over the back of a chair.
Curious as to what could have stolen his daughter's attention so completely, he headed for the living room. When he got there, he watched her for a moment, smiling at the picture she made. Hunched over whatever she was working on, the little girl didn't even acknowledge his presence.
Clearing his throat, he was pleased when she jumped to her feet and spun towards him, a huge smile on her face.
“Papa!” She shouted, rocketing towards him and slamming into him, burying her face in his stomach. The chatter he was expecting started, an excited jumble of words that was half recognizable for it's speed.
“Slow down Rin,” He commanded gently, as he always did. She inhaled deeply, gulping air as if she were starved for oxygen, then exhaled and started over.
“Miss Kagome has me helping on a special project this week,” She informed him, smiling widely. “None of the other kids are doing one, but she said I could help as a special case.”
He nodded once, wondering why Rin would have been singled out for anything. Ignoring his raised brow she retrieved the tangle of yarn while he sat himself down. Landing with a solid oomph on his lap, she presented her project with obvious pride, shoving it under his nose so her had to pull back and look down at it.
He blinked once, unsure if he was seeing what he thought he was seeing.
Blinking again, he realized he was looking at exactly what he thought it was.
Despite the odd color choices -pink and even brighter pink- and the flatness of the work, there was no mistaking it. Rin had been crocheting a breast. A cartoon kind of breast, a caricature of one, the exaggerated colors only making it look all the more lurid.
“Isn't it awesome?” Rin began, but stopped when the rumbling noise started.
“Rin, go to your room, and leave that here,” He growled, bending his neck so that his face was at least partially hidden, knowing his expression would only frighten his daughter. Rin, having heard that voice before, said nothing as she slipped from his lap and fled the room, the crocheted breast dropped on the floor in her haste. When he was certain she was gone, the door to her room closing loud enough to qualify as a slam, he bent down and picked up the 'project'.
With long, hard pulls, he began unraveling the stitches, watching the fabric come undone until there was nothing but crimped yarn in his hands. Throwing it to the floor, he stalked to the kitchen silently, reaching inside his suit jacket and pulled out his phone.
It took him a moment to find the number he was looking for, and when he did he mashed his finger angrily on the call button and put it to his ear. It rang several times before someone picked it up, voice breathless and cheerful.
“Fleece dreams, Kagome speaking! How may I help you?” It asked.
“This is Mr. Taisho, Rin's-”
“Father. She talks about you all the time. What can I do for you?”
He was not used to being interrupted, which annoyed him. Adding further to his anger was her half garbled speech to someone talking to her outside of their conversation.
“I must speak to you about my daughter-” He began again.
“Alright, does tomorrow sound good?” The cheerful voice asked. “I'd do it now, but we're working on something at the moment.”
She didn't sound sorry. In fact, it sounded like she didn't understand why he was calling. Perhaps it was because she couldn't see how irate he was. Keeping his tone even probably kept her from understanding his fury.
“That will be adequate,” He ground out through clenched teeth. “Is there a specific time?”
“Any time at all is fine, I'm here from nine am to six pm,” She informed him brightly. Briefly he imagined rainbows pouring out of her mouth when she spoke, an image that turned his stomach.
“I will see you tomorrow.”
He didn't give her a chance to finish before he hit the end button and sat the phone down, taking care to be extra cautious for fear of slamming it onto the glass tabletop. Dragging in a deep breath, he ran a hand through his hair and exhaled slowly. Repeated the process. Once more, and he felt on solid ground again.
Walking for his daughter's room, he opened the door and saw her curled up on her bed with her face buried in her big plush dog. Little sniffs escaped, muffled by the stuffed toy, and for a moment he felt like a monster for making her feel so badly. But the memory of what she'd been making, carelessly unaware, came back to him, and he steeled himself for what was about to happen.
When he sat down on her bed she looked up, big brown eyes still watering and her nose runny.
“I'm sorry,” She hiccuped, wiping her eyes.
“It is nothing you did,” He began, trying to formulate an explanation. “It is what your instructor did. She had no right to tell you to make such a thing.”
“But Kagome-” She began, but was silenced with a look.
“I will be speaking to her tomorrow. We will be finding you a new crochet instructor,” He informed her. The sudden widening of her eyes preceded a wail that came from her little body and shocked him with it's piercing volume. He tried to tell her to stop, but for the first time she wasn't listening.
His daughter was throwing a tantrum. And he had no idea what to do.
The shop sign was glaringly, disgustingly pastel, standing out like a neon beacon on the street of clothing boutiques and curiosity stores. In the window hung a small chalkboard sign scribbled on with pastel chalks reading 'open'. The colors ground against his tired eyes, and he wanted nothing more than to douse them. Especially since the shop owner was responsible for his lack of sleep.
A bell rung as he walked through the door, and he tried not to wince when it clattered as it closed behind him.
“Hello, welcome to fleece dreams!” A voice called from towards the back. He recognized the obnoxious brightness of it from his call the night before. “I'll be with you in just one,” A lengthy pause. “Second!”
A cheerful woman with a bright smile walked over, a knitting needle with beads dangling from it stuck in her messy bun and glasses perched on her head. Startlingly blue eyes eyed him curiously, and her hands were stuck in her apron pockets, from which a long thread of yarn hung loose, almost to her knees.
“How can I help you?” She asked.
“I am Mr. Taisho,” He began, only to be interrupted again.
“I'm Kagome Higurashi. It's good to finally meet you,” She replied, holding her hand out. He eyed it, knowing his gaze would convey nothing but contempt, and was pleased when it dropped seconds later.
“I have come to speak to you about the item you had my daughter making. It was highly inappropriate, and I will be removing her from your class.” He forced as much censure into the statement as he could without raising his voice.
“Inappropriate?” She asked, obviously flummoxed. “How could it be inappropriate? I think it's very appropriate.”
Counting to ten, he could swear his lip was pulling into a snarl. Forcing his expression into apathy, he barely refrained from the next words escaping in a roar.
“How is having my daughter make a breast appropriate?” He finally demanded.
“It's breast cancer awareness month,” She replied flatly.
Breast cancer. Kagura had died of breast cancer.
Instead of answering she stalked away. He watched her go to the register desk and pull a box from behind it. It was big and awkward, and from what he could tell, too heavy for the woman to handle on her own. Making no move to help her, he was surprised when she dropped the box at his feet and gestured for him to look down into it.
Breasts. Knitted and crocheted breasts of all sizes and colors. Some were multicolored, some were normal flesh tones, and still others even had...Piercings? Completely bewildered, he stared down at them, unable to formulate a response.
“They're for patients that have had mastectomies,” She quipped smartly.
“Why would you make breasts for mastectomy patients?” He snapped, in total disbelief at her tone.
Once again she stayed silent, staring at him pointedly and tapping her foot, arms crossed and eyes narrowed.
“What?” He finally ground out, earning nothing but a disgusted glare and a singularly spectacular growl that could easily rival his own.
“Mastectomy. You do know what that is, right?”
“Yes, I know what that is.” Now why did he sound so petulant? “What I do not understand is why you would crochet these,” He said, gesturing towards the box.
“Not everyone can afford prosthesis, and a lot of them are really self conscious about losing one or both of their boobs!”
Her shout echoed through the empty shop, and he immediately felt like an idiot. Kagura had used prosthesis to hide her cancer from everyone, but especially Rin. Only the little girl had bounced into her mother's room when she had been asleep, and seen her mother's flat chest from a double mastectomy. Despite that, he had made sure she didn't know the extent of what had, in the end, killed her mother.
“Rin knows about prosthesis. While we waited for her nanny, she told me a little about her mom. It's why I gave her the pattern. She wanted to help a woman like her mother.”
He remembered his hard, determined yanks as he'd unraveled the breast, watching it grow smaller and smaller until there was nothing but a knot left in the crimped yarn. Feeling like an idiot, he nodded once.
“Rin will be allowed to stay in your class.”
“Do you want me to have her make a square for the afghan instead?” She asked quietly.
“She may do as she pleases.”
There was a moment of silence in the yarn store, and he wondered if it would be rude to just leave.
“When I go deliver them, would it be okay if she came with me? Some of the other women from our stitch and, erm, our group are going. I think Rin would do a lot to cheer them up, and it might help her too.”
“You are not taking my daughter to a cancer ward,” He snapped. “She doesn't understand-”
“She does. Mr. Taisho, you seem like an smart man. Don't underestimate your daughter's intelligence.”
“And how can you know such things about my daughter?” It came out as a growl, and he found he no longer cared.
“Maybe because she comes here after school at least three times a week because she's lonely,” The shop owner snapped right back, her blue eyes sparkling angrily. He recognized the claws coming out immediately and pulled himself up straight, readying a calm, cutting remark when she stopped him, barreling on into her reprimand.
“Rin is a bright, intelligent girl that needs friends. She's got school, her nanny and us. Did it ever occur to you that your daughter is getting older and needs more? More activities, friends even? Most of the time she ends up here doing her homework before sitting in on a stitch and bitch-”
“Stitch and what?” He asked flatly, the term going straight over his head.
“Stitch and bitch. It's what knitting and crocheting groups are called. You signed her up for a simple crochet class. In the past six months she's not only gotten to advanced levels of crochet, but she knits better than most of the adult women that come here. You've been keeping her locked up in that ivory tower and she needs more-”
“Do not presume to tell me what my daughter needs,” He growled. “As a parent-”
“I'm a parent too, you bull headed-”
“You are the worst-” He began, trying to be heard over her ever increasing volume.
“Umm, excuse me,” A voice called out, interrupting the both of them. Two heads, two pairs of eyes turned to the tall, wide eyed woman, eyes narrowed angrily.
“Yes, Sango?” Kagome asked. He could tell she was grinding her teeth together, and forced his own jaw to relax.
“Perhaps you two had better calm down. You've scared all of our customers away.”
Kagome inhaled deeply and crossed her arms, blue eyes on him, staring pointedly.
“Rin knows. It's up to whether you choose to acknowledge it or not,” She bit out before turning on her heel and stalking into the back of the store, disappearing behind a rack stuffed with bundles of colorful yarns. When a door slamming echoed through the small shop, he looked down at the box still sitting at his feet. With a muttered curse he turned, walking in the opposite direction of the ornery shopkeeper and jerked the front door open, wincing as the bell smacked against the glass door. Wishing he could make as loud of an exit, he settled for making the bell angrily clatter against the glass.
That night he was staring at the prepared plates of food, watching the steam waft up from the pizza his daughter loved so much. In the fridge was a cheesecake from her favorite bakery, and he'd even bought her favorite soda.
However, the girl in question was still in her room, sulking. As she had been all day, according to the nanny. Stubbornly resisting the urge to go knock and ask her if she was alright, he continued staring down at the pizza.
That foolish, boorish, brainless woman! This was her fault! Insinuating that he had locked his daughter into a tower, keeping her away from the world. And to even suggest she go to a cancer ward was so beyond his comprehension that he couldn't even measure his anger. With each tick of the hands on the clock mounted behind him on the wall he grew more and more irate, finding new and creative words to describe the petite woman that had been teaching his daughter for the past six months.
'Noxious, bleating,loudmouthed,' He thought to himself, warming to the subject more and more. 'Twit, brat, harpy, childish, belligerent, tasteless, tactless, spastic, classless-'
His phone began ringing, and he ignored it in favor of continuing his list. If it were important, they would leave a voice mail.
'Demented, arrogant, imbecilic, self righteous, contemptible, loathsome, despicable, dim-'
His phone stopped ringing, only to start again a second later. Growling angrily, he grabbed it and flipped it open, not recognizing the number.
“Mr. Taisho,” A voice sighed on the other end.
How funny, just the person he'd been thinking of.
“What do you want?” He asked, not caring how rude he sounded.
“I think you should come over to the shop-”
“Why would I come anywhere near your shop?” Churlish. It had been an adjective he was going to describe her with, but could have easily used to describe himself at that moment. Not that he cared.
“Because your daughter has managed to find her way here and I am not sending her back on the train alone. If coming here bothers you so much, you can wait a bit longer so my son doesn't come home to an empty apartment,” She huffed impatiently, disdain evident.
“My daughter is-” He stopped, mind stuttering to a halt. Not even paying attention to what she said next, he moved from the table and down the hall to his daughter's room. The door, unlocked as was his rule, opened easily. Inside the room was quiet except for the sound of a cd playing. The lump on the bed was easily identified as a pillow even from his position at the door.
He'd have to fire the nanny.
“I will be there soon,” He intoned flatly, closing the door quietly and going to grab his keys, completely ignoring the quickly cooling pizza.
The ride to the shop was quiet and uneventful. When he parked nearby and walked down the street, he noticed all of the shops were dark. Upon reaching the yarn store, he saw the lights out and wondered where the woman was and where she had taken his daughter. Pulling out his cell phone, he quickly dialed the unfamiliar number, waiting for it to ring three times and then relaxing when she finally answered.
“Hello, Higurashi speaking.”
“I am in front of your shop,” He answered in a clipped tone.
“Oh, I'll be down in a moment,” She said before hanging up, not even giving him a moment to tell her for her to bring his daughter with him. Instead, he slipped his cell phone into his pocket and waited. A light came on in the back of the shop and she came out of the shadows, frowning slightly. The door opened and closed quietly, and she locked it again before leading him to the back. Instead of going through the door that he assumed led to her apartment, she sat down at a table, gesturing for him to take a seat as well while she worried her lower lip.
Her hair, still held by the wooden knitting needle with beads hanging from the tip, was even messier than when he had seen her earlier. The apron was gone, and instead she was wearing a simple knit skirt and a tanktop with some sort of openwork lace shrug over it, modestly covering her shoulders but baring her collarbones and the expanse of her neck. Briefly he wondered if she had made the outfit herself.
“I didn't know she had come here without permission until about an hour ago, but she's been here most of the day,” She started.
Fire the nanny. Yes. Obviously she was useless.
“But she came here pretty stressed out, saying she couldn't stop coming. Look Mr. Taisho, we do not get along, which is fine because we don't have to deal with one another. But please don't forbid Rin from coming here. She really enjoys it, and I feel that she needs the company.”
It was said in such a soft voice that for a moment he wasn't sure if she'd actually spoken.
“If she had not run away, she would have found that I am not barring her from your lessons,” He replied. “However, behavior such as this-”
“Can't go unpunished, I know. If my son did something like this, I'd hit the roof,” She sighed, leaning back in her chair and rubbing her temples. “But she needs more. I'm not trying to tell you how to be a parent, but her only friends are at school and here, and she's at an age where she needs those friends, especially girls. No offense-” She said, giving him a look that was a mixture of amusement and sadness. “But there are some things a male can't empathize with.”
Of that he was more than aware.
“I will not keep Rin from your store. It seems I would be wasting my time trying to do so-”
She gave an unladylike snort and he stopped, looking at her, chagrin apparent.
“After everything she's told me about you, it seems she inherited your-” Here she stopped, trying to find a word.
“Will?” He supplied.
“Determination,” She chuckled.
“I will have to fire my nanny,” He muttered, feeling twice a fool now that the woman sitting across from him had relaxed enough to laugh. He still felt like somehow he had made several grievous errors of judgment. One about the woman sitting across from him, about the nanny he had trusted to care for his daughter, and most importantly one concerning his own temper.
“Until you find a new one, she's welcome to come here after school,” She offered. “She normally ends up here anyway.”
“I will pay-” He started.
“No need,” She interrupted, shaking her head. “She's a good kid, just lonely.”
It wasn't an accusation this time, but it still stung. His little girl should not want for anything. Years of work had gone into seeing that she didn't. If anything, he had worried about spoiling her.
“Now,” She said, shattering his reverie. “Would you like to come upstairs?”
He nodded quietly and stood, following her through the doorway and up a narrow flight of stairs. After stepping through a cheerfully painted yellow door, he paused, unsure of himself. The apartment itself was small, at least to his standards. The door itself led into the living room, and his daughter was sitting and eating pizza with one hand while she tried to use a game controller with the other. A bottle of her favorite soda sat next to her on the carpet.
Her hair was held in a messy bun by a knitting needle with a charm dangling off of the tip, brightly colored beads shimmering in the light. It was the match to the one holding up her instructor's hair.
“Guys,” Kagome said, voice carrying over the sound of the video game. One of the children paused it and turned around. A pizza crust stuck out of the boy's mouth and Rin's eyes widened, a trace of fear making him swallow. His daughter had never looked at him like that.
“Papa,” She greeted cautiously after setting her pizza slice down on a plate. He nodded, still not moving.
“Would you like to have dinner with us?” Kagome offered gently, seeing the arrested look in his eyes. Rin's face grew hopeful, and he couldn't help but agree. It was his own temper that had caused the mess, and while she would be punished for running away, more and more he was beginning to see the woman's point.
“This is my son Shippou,” Kagome explained, gesturing to the boy. In return, the young boy nodded shyly, pizza crust already gone. His cheeks were puffed out from the amount of food in his mouth and his strangely colored eyes watched him intently.
“Go ahead and sit down, I'll go grab a plate,” Kagome said, walking over to the entrance to what he assumed was the kitchen. Taking her offer, he went and sat on the couch, noticing that two afghans were draped over the back, and the pillows, both a whirl of colors, were knitted. Signs of the woman's craft were everywhere. Yarn coasters, floor pillows the children sat on, tie dyed lace doilies and knit bowls holding various items. A half finished breast sat on the table, a strange assortment of wooden needles sticking through it morbidly. This one was purple with a green nipple.
“Here,” She offered, handing him a plate. “Help yourself.”
He opened the top pizza box, noting the name, and saw that it was Rin's favorite. The same one that sat, cold by now, on his own kitchen table. When he slipped one onto his plate, it seemed to signal to the children, who brought their plates over to the table and sat their sodas down on coasters.
“Would you like something to drink?” She asked. “I have soda, coffee, although that might take a minute, and some juice.”
“Papa drinks soda with me on weekends,” Rin said, smiling as she watched him floundering. Distinctly out of his element, he kept quiet, but nodded. Strangely perturbed by Kagome's knowing nod, she bent over the side of the chair she was sitting in and pulled one out of a bag and handed it to him.
“Have to keep them guarded so some people,” She added with a knowing smile in the direction of the children. “Don't make themselves sick.”
He wondered if Rin had been the one to make herself sick, or the boy sitting next to her.
“Shippou is learning kendo,” Rin piped up, trying to start a conversation. “I told him about your sword papa.”
“Is it really centuries old?” The boy asked, as if the question had been filling him up and waiting to escape.
“It belonged to one of my ancestors, part of a set he was said to carry.”
“And your brother has the other one?”
While he did not like his brother, or even thinking on him overlong, he fell into the subject with ease. It was one of the few things he allowed himself to delight in, the swords and their history having a colorful story, one that obviously enthralled the young boy. It wasn't until he came to the loss of the third sword, So'unga, that he paused for a moment to sip from his soda and looked over at his daughter and her instructor.
Both females were sitting cross legged on the floor, a strange assortment of needles in their hands, and the yarn a seeming tangle on the needles themselves. He remembered Higurashi telling him that his daughter had learned advanced forms of knitting, but the sight of four needles in his daughters hands while a fifth wove with ease startled him. She was working on another breast, this one light pink with a lavender nipple while the green and purple prosthetic was in the older woman's hands.
“I don't know how they do it,” Shippou stage whispered.
“Girl magic,” His mother informed him smartly, not even looking up from the needles in her hand.
It must have been magic, because in the span of several minutes, he had watched them shift the stitches on different needles to others, somehow keeping up with what went where. His daughter seemed happily oblivious as she knitted, and it was his earlier destruction of her first attempt that stopped him from telling her it was time to go.
Instead, he leaned back in the comfy sofa and continued the story, strangely pleased to have such an avid listener. His own daughter loved the history of their family, but the swords, and kendo, held little appeal. He had even spoken to her of the female samurai in his family and the naginata that had been lost to time with only a tepid response. The boy though, his eyes similar to his mother's, albeit with more green, barely blinked as he hung on to every word, sometimes asking breathless questions.
It was in the middle of a battle scene that both women murmured and Kagome left the room for a moment and came back with a bag of cotton stuffing and a small wooden box. Pausing once again, he watched Kagome open the wooden box and set it in front of Rin.
“These are stones my grandfather and brother painted and blessed. Pick one to put in for a weight,” She told his daughter in an encouraging voice. Rin looked down at the box with wide eyes, a mixture of awe and a little trepidation lacing the gaze.
“Can papa help me?” She asked. Kagome looked to him, gaze imploring. He moved from the couch onto the floor, and pulled his daughter into his lap, letting her adjust herself. The box was filled with stones of varying size and color, but all were smooth and round, as if plucked from a river. Each one had a character written on it in either white or black paint, each perfect. He imagined two men huddled over the stones, paintbrushes held with infinite care as they helped their beloved family member with the project. Suddenly the lurid colors and piercings didn't matter. Each one obviously meant something to the woman making them, and he wondered if she, like Rin, had lost a loved one to the cancer particular to their gender.
“Which one would momma have liked?” The girl asked.
He did not want to tell her he didn't know. His match with Kagura had been expected by both of their families, and the inevitable divorce unsurprising to the both of them. Not once had he been able to understand the woman, and after her death he had chosen not to think of her often. Kagura had always been a stranger, and he could not pretend otherwise.
“Your mother very much enjoyed games of chance. Perhaps you should pick one in that manner.” It was the truth, Kagura had liked games of chance, thinking them to be the only truly fair games in existence. Even her cancer had been compared and then turned into a game of chance for the woman, and he wondered if he would someday, when she was much older, tell his daughter about it.
“I have an idea, Rin, would you please put the stones in rows, character side down?” Kagome asked. Rin nodded and upended the box on the soft carpeting, the stones themselves clacking and clattering as they fell. He helped her arrange them in six columns, six rows down. There was an odd one, and he sat it on the coffee table, not even noticing the character that had been painstakingly painted on. Kagome had returned with a box that loudly proclaimed itself a fun board game for the whole family. When she opened it, he was surprised when she only took out the two dice and then sat the box to the side.
“You can roll the dice, and the first will be the column you choose from, and the second will determine the row. How does that sound?” She asked as she handed Rin the dice. His daughter nodded and rolled the dice in her cupped palms, then let them fall to the floor. Two and five. Rin picked the stone up and made a happy noise.
“Strength,” She said proudly. “Mama would have liked that.”
“I have a few others I haven't stuffed yet. Would you mind if we all rolled?” Kagome asked her, and he was strangely moved by the gravity of her tone as she spoke to his daughter.
“That would be nice,” Rin told her, nodded as she approved.
The boy, Shippou, went next, and his stone was the fourth column over, the third down. It read 'courage'.
Kagome went next, and when she picked her stone, she smiled warmly. Hope.
Last he rolled and got the same number as his daughter's crochet instructor. With a laugh she offered to let him roll again, but he took the stone from the table and handed it to her, not even looking at it as he did so. The odd stone out, and she looked down at it, smiled, and then held her palm out for the others to read.
“These are all very special stones. I'm sure the women will love them,” She told them, setting the four stones on the table and putting the rest back in the small box gently. “Would you like to help me seam the others as well?” She asked, directing her gaze to Rin. His daughter nodded happily and accepted her strange project and the yarn needle, never moving from his lap. Given no choice but to watch, he noticed Kagome's son -when had he started thinking of her as Kagome?- leaning against her side, strangely colored eyes blinking.
“You can finish your story, if you would like,” Kagome offered as she handed Rin some of the cotton filling.
His story picked up where it had left off, and his voice filled the room with it's lulling tones. He continued on, lowering his voice as Shippou began blinking sleepily and his own daughter relaxed in his arms. When both children fell asleep, each following the other by mere moments, he stopped and looked to the woman who had finished the second breast, tying a knot and threading the end of the yarn into the bright orange prosthesis.
“I will ask her if she wants to go with you to the ward,” He finally said in a quiet voice, breaking the calm silence as she gingerly pulled the project from Rin's hands and finished seaming up the last inch expertly.
“Only if you're sure,” She replied, tying a knot. “I know it can be a little daunting.”
“How did you come to this?” He asked instead.
“My mother. She was the one to teach me knitting and crochet. She passed four years ago. The idea of knitting prosthesis was just getting popular, and we both had a lot of laughs trying to perfect patterns. It helped us both.”
She spoke in such a quiet voice that her inflections were barely caught, but he could see she remembered the deceased fondly, and that there was little sorrow in the memory. Immediately he knew that the projects she worked on and had helped his daughter with was a direct connection to her mother.
“I apologize for my behavior.”
“It's alright. I thought about it after you left, and realized if I hadn't known, I probably would have reacted the same way. It can be a little startling to see a child making a knitted breast,” She said with an impish grin. That grin alone made him curious, showing yet another side of the woman. How many facets of her were there?
“As long as she does not begin making anything that is inappropriate,” He countered, feeling slightly playful. It reflected in his tone, and that in itself surprised him.
“I'll save that kind of thing for when she's eighteen.”
His mind blanked at the implication of the woman's words. Not that his daughter would still know her when she was eighteen, because that idea -strangely- didn't bother him. It was the idea that women knitted other 'things', especially ones that weren't suitable for someone under eighteen.
“Does that-” He began, stopping when he realized he was about to ask something entirely inappropriate of a woman he had met only hours before.
“Exactly what it sounds like,” She giggled. “Stuff for women and men.”
“And do men actually wear-?” He stopped, unable to think of what could be knitted for men. Perhaps underwear?
“I don't think so, although I've never asked. I could make something, then you could tell me.”
Was she flirting? He couldn't tell. Her mischievous grin was still in place, and he could tell that she was holding in her laughter, seemingly ready to burst at the seams. Wanting to poke back, because the woman knew just how to keep him off balance, he affected his best haughty smirk.
“Only the finest silks will do for this Sesshoumaru,” He retorted.
“Well, I do have some new silks in, color preference?” She teased. Unable to resist rising to her sally, he tilted his head to the side, as if deeply considering the choice.
“My family's crest was red and white,” He told her after a time.
“Red and white it is,” She giggled.
When he left, it was with a new view of the woman and his daughter's activities. Reflecting on the happy atmosphere (although still too colorful for his tastes by far) he understood his daughter's draw to her instructor. Kagome -he could not refer to the woman as Higurashi anymore- was a warm, colorful person, just the kind of woman his daughter would be drawn to.
The drive back to their apartment was quiet, and for the first time he looked, really looked at his daughter's room. Like her teacher's home, it was scattered with touches of the craft she was learning. Some items, a bag, a bowl holding her pocket change and hair ties, were clumsy attempts. But he saw other things, delicate doilies and hairbands, a floor pillow similar to the one from Kagome's apartment, were well made and a beautiful spiral of colors. Her tantrum made more sense in light of his perusal, and the punishment he had planned shrank from total restriction into extra chores.
When he went to sleep that night, he chuckled to himself as he felt the silk sheets on his skin, reminded of the woman's teasing.