Disclaimer: Sesshoumaru and Rin are the property of Rumiko Takahashi.

But if I could, I'd take Sesshoumaru home in a jar and feed him pocky ;-)

***********

Sesshoumaru's Love: A Sesshoumaru and Rin fan-fic.

I watch her now in the garden, as innocently happy as the day we met, and as wise. But she's grown so quickly, if I hadn't been watching her so closely I would have missed all the myriad changes. She's a young woman now, mannerly and sweet, her hair long and tied back in a simple ponytail. She is so happy, so filled with joy and love. Every move she makes is confident and sure. It is so because she knows I protect her. My heart aches with my love for her, but I show little sign of it. My mask of self- control is still there, and I do not wish to remove it, yet.

For the longest time turmoil raged behind that impassive mask. To come to understand how I felt about Rin, to be able to feel love. Her devotion to me, her freely given love, it both fueled and quenched this turmoil. She has always trusted me completely, her Sesshoumaru-sama. Her trust, her love, both unshakeably strong have allowed me to feel, to love, to live as I never have before. It took many years do become this way, a long journey, and a difficult one.

Before ever meeting her, my heart was troubled. By my father's love of a human woman, by his gift of the Tenseiga, the sword which only heals, by my brother, Inu-yasha. Arguments, bitter and hardened resided in me, cementing my hatred of my half-brother. In death my father left so many questions unresolved. Back then, I wished to never care for humans, to never be like him. Powerful as he was, I thought he was weakened by his love. He had deviated from what a true youkai should be: Implaccable, resolved, poised, fearless, powerful and always in complete control. I had all of those traits, I was a noble, a pure youkai in thought and heart.

But still, I was troubled by my feelings towards humans, I hated them for their frailty, they showed few of the traits that I prided in myself. The more I watched them, the longer their list of foul traits grew: petty, warring, cruel, dishonourable, cowardly, hateful. Shameful. And so my callous cruelty towards them matched what they did to each other. How could my father love something like that? I thought they were pathetic. Their cruelties to one another destroyed what they had built with their vaunted love and caring. Or did it?

Eventually, through my observations, I realised that when their despicable wars and cruelty had finished it's destruction, the humans rebuilt. In love, the kind of deep love for one another that my father must have shared, they found strength. No matter the damage, in love, in caring for each other, they found the strength to go on. Just as Rin, orphaned by war and treated cruelty, was able to go on, to care for a stranger in the forest in a way she was not cared for herself. The confusion of my feelings was so great.

I was more magnificent than anything she'd seen in her life, even injured as I was. To even have my attention gave her joy. I gave her no sign of respect, she was human after all. She was courageous to approach me, a youkai. She had none of the traits I hated in humans, and all of their strengths. As I lay recovering and thinking of my battle with my brother, my conflict with him, I also thought of her, her actions only increasing the confusion of my feelings. She had -smiled- at me.

Bringing Rin back was an experiment, a test. But not of the Tenseiga's power. It was a test of my own heart, my feelings. I thought I could end my involvement at any time, when I had no more use for the experiment. But I was wrong. The Tenseiga sealed my feelings to my heart with a single stroke. And so began my great inner battle, raging behind the impassive mask of self control I have worn for as long as I can remember.

For a long time, turmoil over my feelings only served to sharpen my hatred towards my brother. Something unfortunate, to be sure, but it was necessary. It was worth it, for now I can truly repay my debt, because now I can truly feel. I am free to love my brother, and rejoice in his happiness with his mate.

Every day Rin shows me something new and wonderful about herself. Since the day I brought her back, she knew someone cared about her, someone unlike the humans who rejected her and hurt her. It was as though she'd finally found an outlet for all the love she'd kept inside herself. The way she gave of it so freely, to myself, to Jaken, even to Ah-un. It was.. shocking. And fascinating. Keeping her was worth the all the troubled it caused me, the careful line I had to walk, not showing how dear she was to me, not showing the anguish that I could not understand. Yet not pushing her away. It was worth it even when I did not know what a wonderful gift it was giving me, just because she was such a surprise, so refreshing.

How wonderful it must have been for her to know that someone as magnificent as myself thought she was worthy of attention. I now understand why she was so exuberant in those early days, despite her knowledge that she traveled with a dangerous youkai. She saw me hate, she saw me fight and kill, but yet she still trusted and loved me, her lord Sesshoumaru. Merely because I thought she deserved to live, and not die alone. It wrenches my heart that so little an amount of care made her so happy. How lonely and sad she must have been without it. As lonely as was myself, perhaps.

I remember the first time Rin had a nightmare, I watched over her as she whimpered in her sleep, not knowing why she was disturbed. She woke up sobbing, and the mere sight of me brought her comfort, the knowledge she wasn't alone. That night I allowed her to curl up next to my warmth, watching her utterly peaceful expression. She was angelic. It felt so strange, her peace helped comfort me. From then on I allowed her to sleep next to me, and on cold nights I cradled her close with my tail, marvelling at her. She still had nightmares, but they no longer disturbed me. I was confident that my presence would soothe her.

The fact that it was her boldness that caused us to be close allowed me to dismiss her actions as the inpropriety of youth, and not my own desire for comfort. I often used her innocence that way, allowing her liberty to show me her affection, while I could still dismiss it as a failing of hers. But she was always an obedient child, her respect for me so great. I knew that if I had asked her to stop just once, she would never come back to my arms again so freely. I did not wish that, while I still did not understand how I felt.

.. She has the sweetest smell. It took some getting used to, but now, every time I sense it, I feel.. lighter. So many little things about her have become engraved on my memory. Not surprising, considering the amount of time we have spent together.

Such a mannerly young lady. Growing up by my side she has learnt to be courteous and chaste. It is something I rather regret, strangely. Although I am proud of her manners, I felt such loss the day she realised how great an impropriety sleeping in my arms was.. and left me to sleep alone. I am only glad that her joyous spirit has not been dampened.

It grew on me slowly, this love I have for her. In the start, it was such a tentative feeling, a curiosity about myself that I explored. That I wrestled with. I had so much anger. I was in so much pain, alone, behind my mask.

But that turmoil has finished, the anger, and hatred are gone, leaving my heart free. All that remains is the mask, stronger than ever. It needs to be, for every emotion is deeper every feeling sharper, especially when they are to do with Rin.

Today, I am faced with a most frightening prospect. I am the powerful, respected, feared, awed Lord of the West. But is my power so great that I can openly declare my love for Rin without fearing my enemies will see it as weakness, and rise up to kill us both? I.. I think I am that powerful. Years of toil have granted me an absolute reign in my lands. I can release my grip on myself, and end this self-imposed restraint on my feelings and my actions. How it makes my heart leap.

I have made the decision to declare Rin precious to me. I allow myself to smile faintly at the thought. Over the years, it has become obvious to all who saw us that Rin was precious to me. But never before have I given a formal declaration that she is anything more than a pet.

Again my iron control is needed, for I have a new turmoil: In what way to I truly love her? She has given me so much, this little human who I've watched grow up. I want to be with her always, to watch over her as she lives her life until it's end. But will I be her husband, or her guardian? For I wish her to marry, have a family, be surrounded by loved ones.

I never realised why Inu-yasha was so precious to my father until now. A child like him carries a piece of your lover within them, a continuation of their life, a way that your love can live forever. It is my only hope. If Rin does not have children, when she dies, I'll have no piece of her left to keep loving. I would be alone once more, and I don't think I could bear it. She is human, one of the best things humanity ever produced, I could not taint that with demon blood, not even to give her more life, and so, with much sorrow, I have accepted that she will die one day. The Tenseiga can not cure old age.

The best I can do is make her life as happy as possible. If that means finding a human for her to love and join with, I will do so. I.. could not ask her to be my mate. Even if she would accept me as husband, could she accept that her children were not truly like herself? I do not know, and I will not burden her with the choice. My wish to take her as my lover is so tentative next what I feel for her. To keep her happy, I will extinguish those feelings completely. With all she has given me, it is a small thing to brush them aside.

So, I have determined I shall always be Rin's protector, and someone she loves. She will stay my pup, protected in my arms, like she was when she was little. And I pity any man who makes my Rin unhappy, for he will have to face my wrath.

How cold must I look? With this mask of impassivity. Yet when Rin looks at me, she sees someone who loves her. She understands me so well. She looks up from the flowers to see me watching her, and she smiles. I incline my head respectfully, a hint of smile at my lips. Soon, oh so soon, I will know that I can embrace her openly. I smile wider, and stride out into the garden, where my greatest love awaits.



*************

Hi, a little message from the author. I got reviews after only a day! Wow. :-) So happy! Thankyou.

I was motivated to write by my great fascination with Sesshoumaru's character. Writing his fic helped me refine my thoughts about him and Rin. I'm glad people thought I did it well.

I'll be writing more Seshie fics in future, and I'm open to suggestions.