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Jaken’s Torment

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Jaken was walking with a tray in his hands. He had two bottles of cool milk and a variety of snacks in two bowls arranged so they looked identical. It was a hot, somewhat slow afternoon at the manor and the twins were playing in the garden, in the shade provided by old maples.

And he, the most loyal retainer of the most lethal daiyoukai, was tasked with the duty of looking after the most lovable twins. He felt proud and appreciated the wealth of trust his lord and lady put in him, but sometimes he more than a little suspected that they just wanted a break from the girls’ antics.

Lord Sesshomaru was currently in his study, doing paperwork, and his lady wife was out with Lady Kagome, doing whatever human women did when together.

“Girls, here, have some milk!” he called out as he entered the part of the designed playground. It was surrounded with bushes and there were many toys scattered across the grass - colourful balls, pin-wheels, cars, dolls, swords, - the usual assortment of things a child could entertain themselves with.

But the girls weren’t playing with any of their toys. No, Towa was kneeling near the big lilac and Setsuna was standing over her. Jaken hurriedly put his tray on a convenient doll table and made his way to them, frowning when he saw the white-haired girl cry and bend over something in her hands.

Setsuna, who was bravely holding back her own tears, turned her head to look at him.

“Master Jaken,” she said in a voice that trembled just a tiny bit. “Towa has slain a butterfly.”

The kneeling girl started to cry louder at those words and Jaken hastened his last few steps to kneel next to the poor thing.

“Oh, poor little one,” he cooed soothingly. Towa had trails of tears running down her little face and she held the butterfly with crushed white wings in her trembling hands. Setsuna laid a hand on her shoulder to give silent support. Jaken reached his own hand to stroke Towa’s hair in a reassuring gesture.

“I tripped and fell on it!” Towa sobbed and looked down at the deceased creature. “I’m so sorry!”

“It’s okay, Towa,” he said, trying to find the right words to tell her. He wasn’t exactly well-equipped to explain things to little hanyou girls. “It’s not your fault, it was just an accident.”

“Can you make it alive again, Jaken?” she asked, a hint of hope in her voice as she looked back up at him with those big golden eyes.

“I’m afraid not,” he shook his head. “Your father is the only one who could do that.”

“Can you go ask him to do that?” Towa lifted her hands from her lap, as if she wanted to go ask Lord Sesshomaru for such a trivial thing herself. Jaken winced - his lord was truly wise and strong, but he wouldn’t appreciate being interrupted at work with something so insignificant as the life of a butterfly. He would probably see it as a lesson for his children. Jaken sighed inwardly - it would be him who would be dealing with tearful eyes and trembling bottom lips.

“We could borrow the Tenseiga,” Setsuna suggested. “

And, to the horror of a part of Jaken’s mind, that was the first sentence of a short, but eventful brainstorm.

.

Lord Sesshomaru lifted his head when he heard a light knock at the door of his study.

“Enter,” he said and watched as Jaken slipped inside. The kappa bowed deeply.

“Pardon intrusion, my lord, but Mistress Setsuna wishes to speak with you.”

“This one shall listen to her now,” he decided. It wouldn’t do to make his children wait when they wanted to talk to him. He sat more comfortably on the pillow that lay on the tatami mats covering the floor, his hands on the top of the low desk in front of him, covered in paperwork and with a laptop taking up a part of the space on his left. He glanced at it when he caught a flicker opf light - the screen saver came to view and displayed a family photo with his and his brother's families in it. It seemed Rin had gotten into his computer again.

Setsuna came in, appearing somewhat hesitant, but determined. Jaken didn’t close the door behind her, but stood near it, watching in obvious anxiety. The girl had her violin in hand and approached the front of the desk before she spoke.

“Father, I want to surprise mother with a new song,” she informed him. He gave a nod, appreciating that she was showing both creativity and courage. “I wish to show it to you first, just to see if you think she would like it.”

There was a waver in her voice, a hint of uncertainty and he almost smirked. Silly girl, was she not aware that her mother would be delighted with any song from her? Secretly he was also pleased that she thought to ask him for his opinion on the matter first..

“Very well,” he gestured for her to start. The girl knelt on the tatami and put the violin on her shoulder before starting to play. It was a lovely, simple melody, performed with perfect skill and grace of movement that was almost unthinkable in a child so young.

As he listened and observed his youngest, he watched idly the kappa standing behind her. He was fidgeting with the hem of his sleeve, his round eyes looking all around the room. Hm.

A glimpse of color caught his attention and he inhaled deeply, not taking his eyes off of Setsuna. Towa was in the study too, crawling almost soundlessly behind the sofa Rin sometimes used when she wanted to spend time in his study and not disturb him at work. Hm.

He listened to the sweet melody and watched Setsuna, while also tracking down Towa's movements. She was making her way to his left, where on the mat near him lay Bakusaiga and Tenseiga .Nowadays he usually didn’t carry them at his side, but he had been visiting with an ancient youkai and had seen fit to don the mighty blades as a show of respect.

Almost lazily, his mokomoko unfurled from where it had been lying nearly in coils behind his back and laid across the sheathed blades. He appeared not to notice anything, pretending to still focus only on his youngest child.

Setsuna made a mistake in her melody and blushed, but she refused to stop playing and continued. Jaken trembled like a leaf, barely able not to look towards where Towa crawled to the spot barely big enough to hide her from view, just in the grabbing range of the two swords.

The white-haired girl outstretched her hand and hesitated for just a moment. She couldn’t lift the sword without drawing attention to herself. So, she grabbed the elegant hilt of Tenseiga. After a moment she started to draw it from the sheath, slow and careful.

Sesshomaru inwardly lifted a brow at that. Why would his first-born see it fit to attempt to steal the Tenseiga? The twins used to argue over who would get Bakusaiga once they were bigger - as if he was going tolet them have itt,;they were going to get their own weapons in due time - but none wanted the Tenseiga which was useless on the battlefield. He decided to see what the three of them had in mind - it was easy to see that they were working together. He couldn’t fault Jaken for giving in to the girls’ whims, but he was going to have a word with him later. The pups needed discipline and should learn to create more sneaky plans.

As soon as Towa was out of the door, Setsuna finished her song and looked at him with expectant eyes.

“It was quite lovely. Work on it so you do not make mistakes when you play for your mother,” he stated and the girl beamed at him. She bounced on her feet and nodded her head eagerly.

“I will, thank you, daddy!” she assured him and ran out of the study, Jaken bowed and went after her, closing the door behind them. Sesshomaru smiled at that. Setsuna always called him ‘father’, unless she was happy and excited.

He sat at his desk, his gaze dropping to where Bakusaiga and the empty sheath of Tenseiga rested under his mokomoko. Hm.

.

“Phew!” Jaken wiped the sweat off of his face. “”I can’t believe it worked!”

He had thought his heart had stopped when that mokomoko fell across the swords.

“It worked! And daddy said he liked my song,” Setsuna put her violin away in its box and glanced at Towa, who sat on the floor with Tenseiga in her gasp.

“It was very nice,” the older twin smiled at her, proud of her sister.

“Al right, let’s try to revive the butterfly and then hurry to return the Tenseiga,” Jaken ordered as soon as his heart slowed a bit. It wouldn’t be wise to dawdle. Towa nodded and turned to where the dead insect lay on the floor next to the window in her room.

“You can do it!” Setsuna cheered her sister on as she stood over the butterfly with the famous sword in hand, eyes focused on the creature. Jaken held his breath, watching the child holding a sword almost as long as she was tall. With her father’s coloring and with the sword he almost always wore despite constantly complaining about its apparent uselessness - she looked much like his lord could look as a pup. But the emotions on her face were all Lady Rin, so easy to read and name. She stared at the butterfly just like Lord Sesshomaru would, but there was something off.

She didn’t swing the sword. It didn’t pulse with tremendous power.

“Try to see them,” he encouraged when he saw lines of distress on the face that not too long ago had been wet with tears. Towa frowned and tightened her grip on the hilt of the sleek but heavy sword. Her sister stood near her, ready to help when asked to.

Nothing happened.

“Master Jaken…” Towa’s voice was trembling again. I can’t see anything…”

And that was when a dark chuckle from the direction of the door almost killed Jaken.

“Certainly, Towa, you do not think that it would be so easy to master Tenseiga,” said the figure in white as he stepped in.

“My… my lord!” croaked Jaken, grabbing at his chest. His heart was at the same time hammering at his ribcage and leaping into his throat. “I can… I can explain…!”

Stoic golden eyes glanced his way only for a moment, but Jaken’s heart stopped its wild racing for a small eternity.

“Daddy, I’m sorry I took it, but I wanted to save the butterfly!” Towa started crying again, dropping the tip of the sword to the ground and almost letting it fall to the floor entirely.

“Father…” Setsuna stood beside her sister, tears in her eyes, showing that she was there for her sibling and wouldn't let her face their father’s ire alone.

“My lord, please, don’t be angry with them,” Jaken pleaded. “They meant no harm and we were going to return Tenseiga to you shortly.”

“Silence, Jaken.”

The kappa gulped and ducked his head. The daiyoukai stepped forward and reached a hand to deftly extract his sword from Towa’s fingers. He glanced over her shoulder at the spot where the crushed butterfly was. “Foolish.”

He swung the blade at nothing in particular, as if he was making sure that the mekugi was intact, then he sheathed the blade. He looked both inspiring and terrifying. .

“Daddy…” started Towa.

“As your punishment for attempting to steal the Tenseiga, you shall be trained to use it,” the daiyoukai said. “Setsuna, you shall start training with a weapon as well Both of you will start training other things as well. This one shall not abide by his daughters being so clumsy in their tactics and behaviour. Jaken.”

“Y-yes?” the kappa managed.

“Continue your diligent work,”: and with that the daiyoukai left the room, “You shall be overseeing their training.”

Jaken sagged, his soul tentatively returning to his body. So, he was going to survive… If by surviving one meant enduring the torment that was training two uni
Hanyou who had more energy than him.

Behind his back he heard Towa and Setsuna squeal in delight.

“Look! The butterfly!”

“It’s alive! Look, it flies away! Yay!”