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Be Mindful of Your Claws

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Sesshomaru watched as Rin slept soundly. The twins sleeping between them. Bellies full and sated from the milk of Rin's breasts. He watched as all three females slept. He rested his head on his palm and he reached out with his free hand and pulled the blanket a little higher over them. Rin's arm draped protectively over their small infants. Rin, rest well.

At three months, he still worried about his capabilities of being a good father. He did not like to admit this when he was left alone with his thoughts as Rin slept. She was loud where he was quiet, although he would admit she wasn't as noisy as she was when she was a child, but she was noisy when it most pleased him to hear such noises from those sweet pillow soft lips. She was also always sure and if she weren't she would turn to him to be the point of surety and vice versa. How the roles have changed into a partnership, he thought as he did not like the idea of being ordered, led, or forced to do tasks, but that was never his relationship with Rin. 

Just like when she had gently placed his hands on her flat stomach a year earlier and smiled up at him. "We are expecting a child," She smiled and led him back to their chambers. He made love to her gently until she begged for more. He was scared of harming the growing child within her until she assured him that everything would be fine. He could not harm their unborn child, just like he could never hurt her. Never, he would always think to himself.

He was surprised and terrified when he heard two sets of cries from inside the birthing chamber. Two daughters. One with silver and the other with dark brown hair. A father to two small helpless daughters.

Kagome had lain the dark haired girl into his arms with a smile once he was allowed in. "Men always have that face when they hold their child for the first time. Smile, onii-san."

He merely glowered at his sister-in-law.

He only smiled after she left in the knowledge that his brother too would have to hold a small infant in his arms soon. The large swell of the miko's belly was growing everyday. He wondered, lost in his thought as Setsuna grabbed his long finger with her tiny hand. Though he had not named her at that moment, he realized his claws were close to her delicate wrinkled face. Is fear the first step of fatherhood? He mindfully moved his hand and fingers away from her face.


Presently, Rin stirred in her sleep as the twins fussed a bit. He could smell why they fussed. But he didn't want Rin to wake. The girls were finally beginning to sleep longer through the night rather than a couple hours here and there. He gently and carefully slipped the twins, one at a time, out from under Rin's arm. She frowned in her sleep. He moved Mokomoko to curl around her side and against her cheek. She snuggled into his pelt, falling back into her deep slumber as he carefully scooped both girls into his arms. He stood up slowly so he wouldn’t startle the girls into their high pitched wails.

He still worried about his claws as he held them close despite retracting them as much as possible. He wondered if he should have filed them down the moment they were born. The scent of their movements and urine was pungent to his delicate senses.

He wondered if his brother, Inuyasha, changed Moroha.

Do men aid their wives in this task? Sesshomaru wondered. He did not know; the monk was the only man he knew that cared for his children as Sesshomaru’s own father tried to do when he was young. Before Sesshomaru pushed him away.

The only thing Sesshomaru was sure about was that the girls were beginning to stir in his arms and he wanted Rin to rest. They were incessant, constantly wanting to nurse from Rin.

They were absolutely tiring.

He wanted to lie with his Rin without her yawning halfway through. She would blush and apologize. I know it's not me, but still…this Sesshomaru wants an active Rin, Sesshomaru thought glumly.

He walked over to the small mat that Kagome had made for them. A change area is what the miko had called it. He laid both girls down and they stared up at him, both sets of eyes on him. He carefully undressed then, the scent became stronger and he frowned in disgust. The girls squirmed under his gaze. Do I wake Jaken?

He had seen the small demon help Rin change the girls a couple of times. Rin showed Jaken how the cloth was wrapped and tied. Sesshomaru had observed from the peripheral of his vision, he had not been ready to announce that he was comfortable or even willing to help his wife. Rin never expected him to change the girls. Does she fear my claws on our daughters too? Or are husbands truly not expect to care for their children? He had many questions on his mind about this one simple task. 

He shook his head and evened his gaze. Setsuna lifted her foot up and grabbed it. Towa tried to roll over at the same moment. He stilled them both and saw that everything he needed to change them was already prepared by Rin or Jaken earlier. Water, wash cloths, and fresh linen. He nodded to himself ready to start the changing of Towa first as she made a face of discomfort at the full cloth around her bottom.

He would not be deterred. He would not be scared of handing his daughters.

They are my offspring, my young. I will not be distant or absent like Father. He reasoned with himself. 

Everything stemmed down to being better than his father. If he could not have the thrill of the conquest in power over his father, proving his superiority in terms of strength, then he will win by the contest of best father.

Was it petty? Sesshomaru thought it probably was. But he would also not let Jaken do what he should be capable of. He suspected too that Inuyasha would change the small newborn Moroha. I will not be outdone by his halfling brother. Sesshomaru’s pride spoke for him.

He cleaned Towa as he saw Rin do many times. Towa stared up at him with almost amusement in her soft magenta eyes. He wondered if she understood at such a young age that her father was a demon with claws sharp enough to pierce her flesh. No, she only loves this one and Rin. Her sister too. 

Setsuna sucked on her hand as she waited patiently for her father to finish changing Towa. Setsuna has my patience. Sesshomaru thought bemusedly as he slid the fresh linen under Towa, holding her hips up by her ankles gently before lowering her legs down to the mat. He tied the new linen around her hips and then quickly tied the old linen as Rin had done. He set it aside to be cleaned later.

He repeated the steps with Setsuna. He was pleased that he did not scratch them. He never worried about his sharp claws against delicate, soft ningen skin until Kagome placed Setsuna into his arms as Rin held Towa with smile of adoration on her face.

He left the girls on the mat for a moment as he got rid of everything, setting all the used items just outside their room. He did not want the smell in their chamber. He turned around and walked back to collect the girls as they started to shift and kick their legs into the air, always wanting a parent close to them.

He was tempted to sit outside with them, but instead brought them back to Rin. They both yawned in his arms as made the move to kneel down. He did smoothly and laid them out on his pelt beside Rin. The pelt curled gently around them, cradling them beside their mother’s head. He may have removed it from his shoulder for the night, but it still knew his will and intention. Rin shifted closer as if sensing that the girls were again close. He laid down gently on the futon and raised a clawed hand and pushed Rin's fallen dark hair out of her face. She did not stir from his gentle touches. He was glad she was finally resting peacefully. Perhaps we can have some time for ourselves with her full participation. Sesshomaru smirked at the idea of a well rested Rin writhing beneath him, moving with him, and not falling asleep despite her best efforts to stay awake as he took her. 

Towa and Setsuna curled around each other and Sesshomaru watched over the three of them once again. They were tiring but a precious blessing he never thought he would have. Only Rin could have given him such beautiful treasures. Only she could have borne such beautiful girls. Our daughters made from our love. An eternal love. A moment in time. The names of their daughters representing those sentiments. He would treasure every moment he had with them. Every moment he had with Rin. 

A human girl with wild hair turned woman with long dark hair and all of the curves that called to him like a siren. He was glad he let the old miko raise her. She was more reserved, tamer, and knowledgeable about things he would have never taught her. It also gave them time apart, it allowed their hearts to grow fonder of each other after she started maturing. Only then when it was appropriate did he offer her marriage. Rin our hearts are tied together, forever, and always. Those words always came to his mind. 

He worried as he took her on their wedding night. He worried about scrapping her skin with his claws, but Rin convinced him otherwise. Her delicate tanned skin was kissed by the sun as she worked and played in the fields. Most men would want a porcelain wife, he only wanted his bronzed Rin. He knew she loved the outdoors. He would never keep her from it. To subside his fears of losing himself in a passionate moment, she without any word ran her lips along his claws before placing it on her breast and squeezing his hand on her tender flesh. It was endearing to know she had such faith in him. He only paid it back by causing her momentary pain as he took her as gently as he could, but the pain lessened and they both enjoyed it. My Rin, we moved as one.

He watched now as Rin shifted and rolled onto her back. The pendant glittered in the dark. A small pendant that carried their wishes. Rin's life tied to his for as long as he lived. Their love caught in a moment. You will not cause this one's heart to ache. Not again. Yes, it had been a different kind of love. He cherished her as the one person he considered to be his friend. She did not desire to be in his company because there was something to gain, such as Kohaku or Jaken, but because she simply liked being with him. Just him as he was. He repaid that compassion with his protection.

He watched as all three of his loves slept soundly in their bed. He decided that he could at least rest his eyes. The girls were after all tiring, even to him. He felt a small fist on his chin as he settled close. He opened an amber eye to see Setsuna staring at him tiredly. He put his hand on her small stomach. "Sleep, Setsuna." Setsuna closed her eyes with a tiny yawn, content with his soft rumbled command.

Sesshomaru let himself drift off, holding his daughter, mindful of his claws. Towa rolling closer to Rin as Rin curled back onto her side and held Towa close, their brows meeting.

The content family moved and shifted closer together throughout the night as they slept.

When Sesshomaru woke up, he was surprised he had slept as long as he had. He felt his left arm asleep from sleeping on it. He felt a wrist held in his right hand’s grasp and realized he must have grabbed Rin's in his sleep. He opened his eyes more and looked at their daughters snuggled safely between them. His claws still mindful of his wife's delicate flesh even in sleep. 

He saw dark lashes flutter before opening and revealing warm brown eyes. "Morning,” Rin whispered softly with a smile as bright as the sun. It seared his soul every time. He smiled gently for her and let her wrist go to cup her cheek. She turned her face and kissed his palm affectionately. "Did you sleep as well?" Rin asked quietly as she noticed he was under the blankets with her and the girls.

"Yes, I decided to sleep with my wife and daughters for a change instead of looming over then." He smiled.

Rin had teased him after a week of him sitting and watching over her and the girls sleeping. He had been in such awe of their birth, their arrival was expected, but still a miracle. He had gone into a period of hyper awareness of his surroundings. He was driven by instinct to protect the three of them, his precious family. Rin reminded him that he had the manor built for the very protection of her and their young. She eventually forced him to lay down behind her, he simply held her and stared at their daughters over her shoulder for the rest of the night.

He deserved praise for having come so far as to close his eyes and himself to rest with them.

Rin leaned up and looked down at the girls. "Hmm, they slept through the night?" She wondered aloud as she checked Towa’s bottom and feeling dry linen.

He sat up and the girls stirred at his movements. He watched as Rin smiled and reached behind her neck to untie her top. It fell down and he willed Mokomoko to slide onto her lap as she sat up fully. She looked to him and smiled warmly as she reached down for the twins and let them nurse before they cried out loudly.

He watched as her eyes caught the dirty linens and cloths outside their door. She raised an eyebrow and looked to him. He stared at her willing her to ask the question so he could answer her. "Did you change the girls last night?" She asked.

"Yes, I changed our daughters. My goal is to be a better father than ny own Chichi-ue. If  I can not win by contest of strength than I will be present always and care for my daughters." Sesshomaru saw Rin's shoulders shake in quiet laughter as he finished speaking. His frown was inevitable as wife continued to laugh silently at, cheeks tinging pink.

She shook her head. "I thought you were already an amazing father. You nearly punched Inuyasha, trying to get to me to hold my hand as I brought our daughters into this world. Husbands, at least human husbands, don't change diapers nor desire to be in the room during the birthing. It's a woman's duty," Rin commented softly with a smile.

He frowned more, "I have seen the monk change the little one the taijiya had last spring." He lost count how many children those two had. All he knew was that since he built the small manor in the village for Rin and the girls the children of the monk and taijiya  were often visiting Rin. One grubby handed child tried to grab his Mokomoko and received a glower until the small boy let out a wail. The taijiya and he were still not on speaking terms. "You could have let him just touch the fur. It would have been fine!" Sango had shouted before picking up the child and leaving with the pack of children following after her, demanding then to play with their other uncle. He knew how they pulled and bit Inuyasha’s ears. He would not let Mokomoko be a victim of their shenanigans.

Rin nodded, "Yes, Miroku is different. But thank you. I never meant to laugh at you." She smiled in apology. "How did you learn to change them? The knots are perfect,” she hummed out softly as she looked at the tight but breathable knots.

"I watched you," He said with a smirk as he saw her surprise in his answer.

Rin nodded. "You know, I slept through the whole night," She smiled at him with mischief dancing in her eyes.

Sesshomaru leaned closer and leaned over his daughters nursing to capture Rin's lips gently, "That is what I wanted. A rested wife." Rin blushed softly and nipped his bottom lip. He rumbled softly in approval as he pulled back. "Let the old miko spend some time with them,” he informed her.

Rin's eyes glittered at him in the early morning. "She will be glad to see them. Send Jaken along too,” she added.

Sesshomaru nodded. He saw Setsuna let go of Rin's nipple and he lifted her up and rubbed her back. "I, Sesshomaru, am more confident in caring for our daughters. I just needed motivation."

"Motivation or desire?" Rin teased and lifted Towa to rub her back.

"Both," Sesshomaru saw her smile at his answer. With the girls burped, they were settled back down onto the pelt. Rin tied her top back up. She stood up and left the chamber to care for herself. Yes, I  chose the perfect wife to bear my children and nurture them. Setsuna and Towa cooed to him and he gently caressed their heads, mindful of his claws.

They seemed to sense the change in him as he had of himself. He wasn't afraid of his claws being too close to his children. He leaned down and felt tiny hands on his cheeks and jaw along with soft wet lips. He kissed them both on the tops of their brows. He seen Rin do it many times. He never remembered receiving such an affection as a child himself. But the girls seemed to love it. They gently cooed and squealed as babies do when receiving such attention. Something in his heart was tugged and pulled in a different direction than he once thought was his only path.

He didn't have to conquer everything.

He only had to be strong enough for them and Rin. Always.

Tell me Sesshomaru…Do you have someone to protect?”

He resigned himself to his daughters' tugs on his silver-white hair. Towa cooing and smacking her palm against the crescent moon on his forehead. He chuckled at their antics. Rin rescued him some time later with a soft laugh. "Let your father go. Silly girls," Rin teased as she lifted the girls onto her lap. Mokomoko shifting to support her again.

Yes, Father, this one has three to protect. And hopefully more in the future. Sesshomaru thought with content in the early morning.