Author: Veleda (veleda_k)
Rating: G (OMG!)
Word count: 399
Summary: Their hands tell a story.
A/N: The prompt was: Shunsui/Nanao: Hands - "I fold myself away"
There is much you can discern by looking at a person’s hands.
Nanao’s hands are white and smooth. They speak of a life of reading and kidou. The immaculately trimmed nails show the world her attention to order and discipline. Despite their delicate appearance, her fingers are quick and strong. That comes from centuries of dragging her captain around by his ear.
Captain Kyouraku’s hands are nothing like hers. His hands are large and rough, used to gripping heavy swords. Nanao has seen those hands lift jugs of sake larger than her head, yet she also knows how astonishingly gentle they can be, for her captain insists on personally treating all of her non-life threatening injuries. She has explained multiple times that going to Captain Unohana would be a more logical course of action, but he simply smiles and asserts that it is a captain’s duty to look after his vice-captain. Once she retorted icily that it’s usually her looking after him. He had laughed at that and admitted that she was probably right. Then he had looked at her with such fondness that it had taken her breath away.
Captain Kyouraku has to touch everything. He runs his fingers along the hilt of his Zanpaktou, claps his subordinates on the shoulder, and grasps his sake jugs firmly. Nanao is nothing like that. She prefers to keep her hands close to her--at her sides, clutching a book or her glasses, or folded neatly in front of her. The thought of being as open as her captain frightens her. It’s so much easier to fold herself away. She builds walls around her heart and breathes easier for it.
But even the mightiest of walls can be torn down, and Nanao wonders if that’s what’s happening to her.
He caught her looking at his hands not too long ago, and he commented on it. She snapped that she was envisioning what it might be like for him to hold a pen and actually do some paperwork for once…but that was a lie. In truth, she had been imagining what their hands intertwined would look like—her small soft hand in his hard callused one.
Nanao does not touch, does not grasp, and keeps her hands to herself. And she does not admit, even to herself, that she is working up the courage to someday reach out…and hold his hand.