"Serves you right for all the times you picked on me, Inuyasha!"
While the kitsune was busy having his fun with the hanyou, the demon slayer's gaze moved to Sesshomaru.
She soon started to laugh and it was a nice sound to hear, unknowingly soothing InuTaisho, just from the sound alone.
"Sesshomaru, you're face is all red!"
This only seemed to make him even more red.
"I'm not certain what it is about Hikari, but he actually relaxed me enough to do that, simply by being happy...
I didn't think it was even possible for someone like me to feel that safe.
It's rather strange to be content.....but I actually enjoy it...."
Sango smiled, quite pleased to see he was happy himself.
"I'm glad you're happy, Sesshomaru....
Kagome's been a good influence on you.
There's also how you got little Koiyuki and Ishimaru back, along with the face you and Inuyasha aren't at each other throats like before.
Besides, Hikari really seems to like you."
He opened to answer, but when his arms tightened because of Inuyasha's fussing, he immediately became distracted.
After giving a happy growl and snuggling even more into him, he was able to get him mind back on track and looked up at him.
"The one thing that would make this even better than it already is, would be if we had somebody to call 'Mom'...."
He was being perfectly honest with his answer.
It even showed in his eyes that it had been a completely innocent remark, not intended to get his baby brother to quit wriggling.
Little did he know that InuTaisho hung on to every word of that single sentence, since it was clearly important to him to have a complete family.
When Sango heard those words, he gaze saddened because she recalled Kagome telling her about how cruelly Sesshomaru was treated by their biological mother.
It wasn't long before she felt eyes on her and she looked up to find it was none other than the dog general gazing at her.
Immediately, her face began to heat up and she blushed deeply, as her mind raced for an answer as to why he was staring at her so intently.
While she was occupied with this, Sesshomaru secretly agreed with older brother, being as now he felt so at ease being held by their father.
If only he had known it would feel this good from the start, he would have tried to have bonded with him far sooner.
It wasn't long, before his sibling's content demeanor began to feel even more infectious to him and the taiyoukai snuggled closer and actually nuzzled InuTaisho affectionately.
Feeling himself being held, Hikari's face went red.
He then snuggled into InuTaisho and curled his fingers into his haori.
Even though he wasn't used to positive things, such as hugging, he found that he liked it.
After all, the fact his tail, which split into four separate parts halfway up his back, rather than two the way it was for InuTaisho, began to wag as well.
Sango couldn't stop the smile that slowly spread across her lovely face.
It made her feel happy to see Inuyasha being held by his father.
The fact that Hikari and Sesshomaru also looked content was enough to warm her chocolate brown eyes.
"They look so happy now....."
Hikari then began to smile softly himself.
"Well, there's only one thing missing that I can think of right now...", He said, easily making InuTaisho curious.
"I barely know him, but I can say you are a little like him.
He doesn't want me to go and.....I don't think you do either because of what you said last night, while showing me how to get back to my room.
Besides, even if I were to go out on my own, I wouldn't know how to survive.
I can't read.....can't write.....and this has been the first time I've been able to sleep in a bed, feel the sunlight on my skin, or even or even see real food....."
Shortly after he said this, Sesshomaru added his own two cents.
Clearly, he had heard what his little brother had said, while on his way to the dinning room.
"You're also every bit as stubborn and proud as him.....
No matter how many times I'd beat you into the ground, you'd simply get right back up and continue swinging away at me.
Father's not the type that gives in either.
I believe that makes three things you have in common with him....."
"I can't help it, Inuyasha.
I'm sure things can be nasty for you just for being half-demon, but doubt even you can imagine what I've lived through.
At the very least, you've been able to go where you please and SEE the outside world."
When InuTaisho began speaking to him, he shook his head.
"I wouldn't say that.
I just don't know how to talk with others.
It's completely unnatural to me.
I've never been a person, just an experiment, stress reliever, object of target practice, and to put it lightly, their 'plaything'....
After all, if I wasn't sedated, then I was muzzled to keep from speaking as well as fighting back.
As for how I slept, I wish I could have....
I probably got in an hour tops and that's something I'm used to.
The nightmares were plaguing my mind again and I woke up seeing things and feeling cold.
That's more than likely why I woke up on the chandelier in my room....."
The next day, Hikari groggily woke from his sleep and changed into some fresh clothing in his size for once.
Looking over himself in the mirror, he was surprised to see how different he appeared, compared to when he made his escape from the prison.
He then brushed out his silver hair and tossed the bed robe into the basket by the door, assuming that's why it was there in the first place.
Rather than choosing to dawdle, he walked to the dinning room and chose and empty seat.
Unconsciously, he curled his legs up and held his knees, as he stared at the table before him.
It seemed to be a habit that caught Inuyasha's attention with ease.
However, he soon felt a large hand on his back and he nearly jumped out of his skin, in response.
Though Hikari took all that Inuyasha had to say into account, somehow the word 'dysfunctional' stuck with him.
He did his best to rest, but couldn't help but restlessly toss and turn.
Nightmares clawed at his mind, as an image of his new family moved further and away from him, no matter how fast he ran in their direction.
Something about the way Kagome said that had honestly angered him.
Before he could stop himself, he glared down at her and said coldly,
"It's nice to know you believe me to be an imbecile, merely because I cannot be perfect...."
Without another word, he turned away and walked to his room.
"I realize his room smells most of my blood.
After all, the wound was self inflicted....
As for if I'm alright, I'm afraid the answer is both 'Yes' and 'No'....
I'm fine because pulling my heart out can't kill me, but I'm also not fine because I don't feel like I belong here...", Hikari answered honestly.
Once in his room, though, he picked out a fresh night robe an brought it too the washroom connected to his room.
He disrobed and bathed himself now, rather than later because he knew full well that dried blood was harder t scrub off than fresh blood.
When he was satisfied that he was clean, he drained the water, used his aura to dry off, and slid on the fresh sleeping yukata, before leaving the washroom and slipping under the covers for some much needed rest.
Sesshomaru looked at Kagome puzzled.
I don't understand...
It's not as if you returned to your time alone for something important.
I'd miss you then, but you've been here with us, so I've been relaxed in knowing that."
Hikari nodded slowly and walked to the door, creating a trail of bloody footprints, while it lasted.
"Sorry about the mess...."
With that said, he slowly left the room, while quietly singing the tune of the music box.
It had somehow became stuck in his mind now, so it happened unconsciously.
He kept repeating the melody, as he looked for the room he was originally placed in.
Hikari ended up bumping into Inuyasha getting the fresh blood on the bed robe into his hair.
When he quickly turned around, he took a step back to provide room.
"Sorry, I'm just trying to get back to the room I was resting in, but I can't find my way back by scent now."
"I only did so because Koiyuki is attached to her clothing.
She's sound asleep and doesn't seem to want to let go.
I didn't want to wake her, so I advised Hana to lay down beside Morinaga.
The ones that I have are Koiyuki, who came first, then Morinaga, and Rin.
I'm not sure where Shippo fits, given how he's always traveled in your group, before our two parties merged.", Sesshomaru clarified.
"I should say this, before we end up finding it out accidentally at a highly inconvenient time....
They did take samples of your poison in that place.
What they did was tamper with my natural immunity to poisons, so that I would suffer if I ever came into contact specifically with your poison.
The other way they discussed is linking my health to specific emotions of mine, so if we ever really fight about something or I end up feeling unhappy from something you say or do, I'm supposed to get sick.
It hasn't really been tested, so I don't know if that second option is true or not.", Hikari said, looking down at the pool of blood on the floor.
"Yes, she told me you were looking for me.
I had been in the library inspecting it and it appears to have been one of the rooms fortunate enough to have escaped the fire.
Before I was there, I put Morinaga to bed and allowed Hana to sleep beside him for company."
Seeing the confusion in her eyes, he clarified.
"That is what I chose to name my son, since he had been nameless, like Hikari..."