A Family Of Rin's Own
By: Ailian Rhys

Part Two: Two Steps Back Again

Rin bit her bottom lip as Shinichi-san broke through the tree line. She heard a female voice call out ahead but she wasn't paying attention. She didn't even know whose voice it was that came from right over her head. All she could focus on was how bad she felt.

She'd never felt this bad in all of her short life. The wicked men hadn't made her hurt this much; they'd only scared her. The wolves had been nothing compared to what she felt now, for that had been only short physical pain that she couldn't even recall.

This hurt made her want to cry and never stop. She felt very hollow inside, like she hadn't eaten in a long time. She knew that feeling from the village but she hadn't felt it in such a long time since then. But this hollowness was a little bit different, as if she had lost something. As if she had left something behind

Rin started to cry.

Rin couldn't sleep. She lay curled up in the long grass of the field, Jaken-sama close by and murmuring in his sleep, with her knees tucked up against her chest. A brisk wind blew over her skin and she shivered. But that wasn't what bothered her the most. It was that dream. She had it once in a while and she couldn't remember most of it, but it was scary and she always wanted to run away afterwards, just run until she couldn't run anymore.

"What frightens you, Rin?"

The girl lifted her head to peer over the grasses to where Sesshoumaru-sama sat resting underneath a cherry tree. Rin smiled slightly. She'd asked Sesshoumaru-sama if they could stop here for the night earlier that evening. That tree was so pretty and she'd wanted to enjoy it. He'd complied without saying a word and now he sat underneath the tree she'd picked out.

That was nice.

"Rin?" His voice was very soft and gentle, a tone that would have shocked anyone else but only made Rin shuffle closer. She crawled through the tall grass to her guardian and sat down on her knees next to him. She stared up at him, frowning slightly.

"Rin had a bad dream, Sesshoumaru-sama."

"Is that so?" A snowy white eyebrow raised elegantly as he shifted against the trunk of the tree.

Rin nodded, eyes falling towards her hands. "Ah huh. Rin can't get back to sleep now"

"What was in this dream?"

Rin rubbed the pad of her thumb over her knuckles. "AnouRin doesn't really remember. All Rin knows is that she wants to run"

"Run? Away from here?"

There was something odd in Sesshoumaru-sama's voice, a soft huskiness the little girl had never heard before. She glanced up and saw that he had turned his head to look at her, head tilted to the side. His long hair fluttered like a wispy cloud on the night breeze.

The little girl pressed her lips together and shook her head. "Nuh uh. Rin only wants to get away from the scary dream. She wants to stay here," she paused, hesitant. It was only in a small voice that she continued. "Rin feels safe here"

There was silence. Now that she didn't have the conversation to distract her Rin felt the wind again, its cold fingers sliding under her kimono sleeves. She shivered slightly.

"Are you cold, Rin?"

Those words made her eyes light up. Rin's head rose and a smile bloomed over her face. She knew what that question meant. "Yes, Sesshoumaru-sama. Rin is cold. Could shesleep with you again?"

Without comment he shifted against the tree again, leaning forward slightly as his only hand came up to undo the clasps and ties on his heavy armor. Jaken-sama snorted from his spot in the grasses. Ah and Un, who dozed not far from the tree, stirred, Ah's head rolling one way while Un's tilted the other. Un's tongue lolled from his mouth and hung listlessly against his sharp teeth as he breathed in deeply.

Sesshoumaru-sama didn't seem hampered by the fact that he was missing an arm. He undid his armor skillfully and slipped it over his head, long white hair fluttering wildly around the raised roots of the tree. He laid the heavy breastplate to the side and with the same movement gestured her forward.

Rin leapt off her knees and scurried closer, almost falling into his lap. He didn't say anything as she settled down but Rin was still careful. She sat on one of his crossed legs and curled up against his side, the fur he always carried against her back. She rested her head against his now armor-less chest. His long hair fluttered down over her shoulders, carried by the wind she could now just barely feel. It was much warmer here.

This is what Sesshoumaru-sama usually let her do whenever she was cold. And she loved it. Not only for the warmth but she loved laying her head on his chest and letting it rise and fall with his steady breathing. It was also comforting to listen to his heart pounding underneath the layers of cloth, another steady constant that was enough to lull her to sleep even if they were sitting in feet of snow.

But what she liked most of all was the knowledge that there was someone else there. For the first time in her short life there was someone there for her. That thought alone was enough to warm her from her head to the tips of her toes.

The two sat together in silence for a long while, Rin's small hand fisting in her Sesshoumaru-sama's white haori. She listened to his calm, even breathing and took in the warmth that he offered so quietly. Yet for some reason she still couldn't go back to sleep. She tried not to fidget; she didn't want to disturb her Sesshoumaru-sama.

After a while the silky strands of hair about her slid upwards as Sesshoumaru-sama lifted his head. Rin closed her eyes, hoping he wasn't checking to see if she asleep. She didn't want to disappoint him by still being awake.

"Did you notice that the stars are hidden tonight?"

Rin's eyes snapped open and she bent her head back to look up at her Sesshoumaru-sama. He wasn't looking at her; his head was lifted slightly so that he could look up at the sky. Rin wasn't sure if she should answer. Maybe he wasn't talking to her?

His eyes dropped to her face. "Rin?"

That was her cue. "Rin saw that earlier, Sesshoumaru-sama," she replied quietly. A small frown pulled at her lips. "Is it going to rain, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

The youkai shook his head slowly, gazing back up at the sky. "No, I do not believe so. There are no signs of it."

Rin felt herself shifting in his lap so that she could lean back and look up at the sky too. It was dark, but not completely so. It must not be true night yet. She could still see the dim outline of mountains on the horizon. She looked up into the silky expanse of the sky and could only see clouds. There were no little sparkling stars that shone like pretty jewels. There were only some faint little spots of light.

Rin liked to look at the pretty stars, as well as the moon. The moon was beautiful. It reminded her of Sesshoumaru-sama

"Rin misses the stars" she told her guardian sadly as she titled her head back to catch a glimpse of him behind her. He raised an eyebrow again in question, his face calm.

"Why is that?"

"They are so prettythe sky looks empty without them"

"That is true"

"Where have the stars gone, Sesshoumaru-sama?" Rin asked, twisting around fully to face him because her neck was starting to hurt.

He looked down at her and was silent for a moment before casting his gaze back up at the sky. "They're just behind the clouds. They are still there."

"Really? Are they sleeping then? But don't they do that during the day?"

A sort of wry smile flittered across Sesshoumaru-sama's lips as he glanced down at the little girl. Rin looked up at him expectantly. "No, they never rest. Not now, nor during the night. Stars are immortal, timeless things."

"Im...mortal? Timeless?" Rin's eyebrows drew together in thought as she tried to puzzle out that odd thought.

"Have you ever heard of the sky without stars?"

"The daytime. There aren't any then."

Sesshoumaru-sama shook his head languidly. "They are still there even then. You just cannot see them."

Rin gave him a puzzled expression. "If they're there, why don't they want to be seen now?"

"That I couldn't tell you." His eyes flickered over her shoulder. "Turn around, Rin," he ordered quietly, his hand lifting from the folds of his sleeve to gesture beyond her. The little girl turned back around and stared out over the expanse of the field. The tall grass was waving in the wind, dark like the sky. Amongst it shimmered small specks of light that seemed to bob and weave throughout the grassy sea. It reminded her ofstars!

A huge smile splashed over the little girl's face as she whirled around to face her guardian again. "Stars!" she cried in glee. She clapped her hands happily.

Sesshoumaru-sama inclined his head in response. "Yes. You can use those for your substitute stars for tonight." He cocked his head slightly, that strange small smile still on his lips. "Will that do?"

Rin beamed at him before turning again to face front. She settled herself in his lap, leaning against his arm. She watched the fireflies zip through the glass, her eyes darting back and forth as she followed their meandering trails. All was silent expect for the normal nighttime sounds of bugs, birds, and the wind. Either Ah or Un snorted in their sleep.

"Sesshoumaru-sama?" Rin questioned into the silence as her eyes followed other bug through the grass.


"How does Sesshoumaru-sama know so much about the stars?"

He didn't respond at first. Rin felt him move behind her. The fur that coiled around her side rippled in the wind and Rin felt her eyes drawn to that instead of the star-bugs.

"My father," Sesshoumaru-sama replied at last, his voice very soft.

"Really? Sesshoumaru-sama had an Otou-san?" Rin turned her head to look up at him. His eyes were closed again and his head was bowed.


"Where is he now?"

"He is dead."

Rin blinked in surprise. "Dead?"

When Sesshoumaru-sama nodded in reply Rin found that she had to fight down a lump that suddenly formed in her throat. "Does Sesshoumaru-sama have an Okaa-san?"

"Once a long time ago. She is dead now also."

Rin's eyes grew wide. "Oh, poor Sesshoumaru-sama!" she whispered sadly, her tiny fingers grasping the white silk of his haori again. "Rin is sorry"

Sesshoumaru-sama's eyes snapped open and he looked upon her with a partially befuddled expression. "There is nothing that you must be sorry for."

Rin shook her head. "Yes there is. Rin is sorry that Sesshoumaru-sama doesn't have a family. Just like Rin" She gazed up at him with teary eyes. "Do you miss them, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

"Not particularly."

The little girl gaped at him. "Why not?"

"I've learned to be without them," he responed tonelessly. "I have lived much longer than you have," he reminded her just as impassively.

Rin bowed her head in silent agreement. "Ah huh. Sesshoumaru-sama knows all about forest and stars and all sorts of things Rin doesn't." The little girl wriggled around in his lap as she settled herself in for the night, back against his arm and her head on his chest. The little girl yawned quietly, snuggling down into the solid warmth her guardian provided with no shame. She looked up at him and he glanced down at her as if he knew she had more to say.

"Sesshoumaru-sama also knows how it is to be like Rin," she finished sleepily.

"Like Rin?"

The little girl nodded, allowing her head to slide down and her eyes to close. "Ah huh," she murmured. "Sesshoumaru-sama knows what it's like to be lonely"


"Good night, Sesshoumaru-sama."

No longer plagued by terrifying dreams and with visions of firefly stars in her mind the little human girl curled up and fell asleep on her living bed of white.


Rin woke up the next morning with the sound of a bird crying out from a nearby tree. It sounded so pretty, like dainty chimes. Rin's eyes cracked open. The sky was very pale lavender, with a few wisps of darker clouds. It had to be before dawn.

The little girl yawned, snuggling closer against Sesshoumaru-sama. That was when she noticed the weight that was draped over her side. Rin's eyes opened fully and she twisted her head around to see what it was. A fine white hand hung limply over her with the wrist braced on her waist, the sharp nails reflecting dully in the morning light.

Rin blinked at this sight before tilting her head up slowly. Sesshoumaru-sama still sat against the tree as he had last night but now his head was bowed forward slightly and his eyes were closed. It almost looked as if he was sleeping.

Rin had never seen Sesshoumaru-sama asleep before. It was odd seeing his expression as relaxed as it was now with his lips parted just the slightest bit and fine white strands of his hair swept over his face.

The little girl stared up at her guardian, unnerved at first, but slowly discovering that she liked looking at him like this. There was something almost comforting about it. As if now she knew that he was able to be like thisand that made all the difference.

Not that she thought that he was actually deeply asleep. Even by now she knew him too well to expected that. The slightest hint of danger and he'd be awake in an instant, even before Rin realized anything was wrong. That was another thing Rin really liked about her Sesshoumaru-sama.

Rin continued to watch her Sesshoumaru-sama doze and how some of the hair fluttered with every breath he took. He didn't fidget or mutter like Rin and even Jaken-sama did but only remained still and silent just like when he was awake.

Yet Rin was still enjoying watching him. She listened to the bird, singing again in the tree, and the beating of her heart and his, and she felt so safe and warmit was astounding. She'd never felt this peaceful in all of her life.

The girl continued to stare up at her guardian. As it was, there wasn't any warning before she found his eyes open and he was staring back at her. Rin didn't jump in surprise, she just continued to gaze up at him. His eyes were so pretty. They looked almost as if they were liquid gold, alive and warm instead of dark and cold as they usually were.

They just stared at one another for a long moment before Sesshoumaru-sama looked away, directing his gaze towards the steadily lightening sky. "No dreams?"

His low voice startled her. The little girl jumped before taking a deep breath to settle down. Sesshoumaru-sama took a glance at her seemingly confused by her action.

Before he could question her Rin nodded giving him a sunny smile. "Mm hm! Rin didn't have any bad dreams!"

"That is good"

"How about Sesshoumaru-sama?" she asked, still grinning.

"What about me?"

"Did Sesshoumaru-sama sleep good?"

He blinked his still pretty gold eyes at her languidly almost as if he was taken aback by her question. His lips formed the same hesitant smile from the night before. "I guess you could say so, yes."

"That's good!" Rin chirped before twisting around so that she could kneel in his lap and face him. Sesshoumaru-sama slid his arm away skillfully as if he didn't want her to notice it was there. "Rin didn't want Sesshoumaru-sama to feel bad after last night."

Sesshoumaru-sama opened his mouth to say something but shut it instantly and only shook his head. "That was nothing, Rin."

"But Rin really liked the bug stars you showed her!"

He didn't respond at first. He watched her thoughtfully before bringing up his hand and gently pushing back some of the little girl's wild hair from her face. "Then you can remember that for the next cloudy night."

Rin's eyes darted over to where his hand was and she smiled sweetly. She looked back up at her guardian and saw his attention focused on his hand as well, an almost perplexed expression on his face. It was as if he didn't really know what he was doing—or why he was doing it—as he smoothed the back of his fingers across her cheek curling his fingers slightly to keep the claws away from her skin.

An idea popped up in Rin's mind. She stared at her guardian hard, trying to decide if she wanted to carry through or not. Making up her mind the little girl stretched her own fingers out towards the youkai. Sesshoumaru-sama's hand twitched ever so slightly where it rested on her cheek but he didn't jerk it away and grasp her wrist. Instead he let it slide gracefully into his lap and only turned his eyes towards the little girl's fingers, which came forward and touched his face just as he had done.

Rin ran the back of her hand down the smooth skin with a blissful smile. "Sesshoumaru-sama is very pretty." She absently traced the magenta marking on his left cheek until they reached his ear, which she poked with a soft giggle.

Sesshoumaru-sama stiffened as her fingers continued to investigate his face but he made no move to stop her. As the questing fingertips grazed over the mark on his forehead then down his eyelid and over his nose the youkai only closed his eyes to let her past.

Rin took in the feel of her guardian's soft skin and digested the fact that those markings couldn't have been painted on. She even touched the strands of hair that were stuck to his lips, pulling them away gently and rubbing the fine threads between her thumb and index finger. It was so soft, like silk, or even a cloud.

Although his eyes were still shut she gave him a full happy smile and brought both hands up to cup his head in her hands. Sesshoumaru-sama's eyes fluttered open at that, his eyelashes even sliding across his cheek in a graceful manner.

Rin beamed at her Sesshoumaru-sama before leaning forward and planting a kiss right over the bridge of his nose, between his eyes. She rested her forehead against his as his eyes widen ever so slightly in surprise.

Rin stared into those deep golden pools for a long moment, just watching the multitude of different hues swimming around together. It was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen. She'd never found a flower this color yet.

The little girl drew back ever so slightly from her guardian and whispered, making sure to keep her voice very low since she was so close to his sensitive ears, "Thank you, Sesshoumaru-sama."

There was a pause before he replied his voice sounding a bit off as if he was trying to use it in way he hadn't used before. "Whatever for?"

"For letting Rin be with you. For helping Rin go to sleep. For being Sesshoumaru-sama."

"That's nothing to thank me for."

"Rin thinks so." She slid back even farther and took the opportunity to poke his nose with her index finger. She giggled as his eyes crossed slightly, an automatic reflex to see what she was doing. It was only an instant before he had them straightened out again and fixed on her.

With a bit of hesitation Sesshoumaru-sama slowly gave her his newly found smile. Although it was crooked and a bit shy Rin liked it anyway. She gave him a smile of her own, almost as if to show him how one like his could grow.

"When are we leaving today, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

"Soon, Rin. Soon."

Rin curled up in Shinichi-san's shirt, a small ball of misery as the memory faded away into the recesses of her mind. She didn't want to go with Shinichi-san anymore! How could she have forgotten the nights spent with Sesshoumaru-sama like that?

She would never be able to find that with the Yasudas. She knew it in her heart. They may have a stable house to live in, they may like her and watch over her, and they may even have a daughter she could play with.

But what about nights spent curled up with Sesshoumaru-sama, knowing that nothing would hurt her, that he could make her nightmares go away? What about days spent in the immense forests of Japan seeing sights a little girl like her would probably never see?

What about Ah and Un and mean old Jaken-sama? Who would wake the dragon up every morning and bicker with Jaken-sama until the old toad gave up with a half-hearted sigh?

What about looking for the flower that would be a pretty as Sesshoumaru-sama? What about watching firefly stars at night while listening to her Sesshoumaru-sama's heart under her ear?

What about trying to run through the raindrops and getting wet every time? She wouldn't be able to gallivant through the forest and pick berries and come back to have Jaken-sama roasting her a rabbit over a small fire.

And what about Sesshoumaru-sama? Would he smile anymore once she was gone? Wasn't that her smile? He didn't show it to anyone else.

Who but Rin would be able to make Sesshoumaru-sama's eyes so pretty and be able to touch his face and smile at him and give him a kiss and make it so he wouldn't have to be like Rin anymore? So he wouldn't have to be lonely.

Sesshoumaru-sama didn't have anyone else but Rin. And here she was leaving. She was letting these strangers carry her away from her Sesshoumaru-sama. The one who could understand her. The one who would tolerate her without a word and let her be whatever she wanted to be. The one who saved her from the mean wolves and took care of her ever since.

Her Sesshoumaru-sama.

Rin didn't care if he had let them take her. She didn't want to go! He'd take her back. She just knew it.

Shinichi-san had stopped at the edge of the village and Rin heard him talking to someone. A pair of dainty hands touched her hair, smoothing it back, and she heard Yasuda-san's voice. But the girl didn't listen to what she was saying. She started to wriggle around trying to wrench free of Shinichi-san's grip even as more tears trickled over her red cheeks.

The man juggled the squirming child for a few seconds before Rin felt herself slip free and she tumbled down to the dirt. She hit the ground with a loud bump but was on her feet in an instant, sprinting away towards the forest as fast as her little feet could carry her. She hoped that Sesshoumaru-sama was still there. But even if he wasn't she was determined to find him, even if she had to go through the big dark forest all by herself.

There was a cry behind her and footsteps raced after her but Rin kept running. She was going to make it. They weren't gong to stop her!

"Rin! Rin, stop!"

The girl barreled in under the trees and pounded up the path to where they'd met Sesshoumaru-sama. She looked up and saw his white figure still in front of her; her tears blurred the edges of everything. But she did notice that he was turning away from her, moving back towards the forest. But he stopped as she got closer and turned around to face her.

Rin was crying in earnest now, her feet flying as she leapt at him, throwing her arms around his leg without a second thought and crying out desperately, "Sesshoumaru-sama, Rin is sorry!"

Sesshoumaru-sama was stiff under her touch but Rin still hung on, refusing to give up. "Rin didn't really want to go! Rin wants to stay with her Sesshoumaru-sama! She is sorry! So sorry! Please don't be mad! Rin can't leave her Sesshoumaru-sama! Please take her back! Don't make Rin go away! Please!

"Rin loves her Sesshoumaru-sama!"

The little girl couldn't see anything anymore but white and her tears crystallized even that. She was close to wailing now. Her nails were sunk deep into the silk of his hakama pants and she refused to budge, no matter what he did to her.

All of a sudden there was a weight on her head and she felt something run through her hair gently before sliding down to cup the back of her head just as gently, if not more so. The leg she was holding tried to pull away from her but she wouldn't let it. She was starting to murmur her entreaties; the words sounding like a loud rush of sound and nothing else.

The child squeezed her eyes shut as fabric shifted above her and soon the leg she was holding moved slightly in her grasp, but it didn't go anywhere.


The little girl gasped and took the opportunity to draw in a large lung full of air. The weight on the back of her head shifted somewhat and she found her head tilting upward.

"Open your eyes, Rin."

Still crying and sniffling the girl did as she was told. Her eyelids cracked open and she had to blink a few times in order to focus. She looked up and saw Sesshoumaru-sama kneeling in front of her on one knee, his other leg still straight for her to cling too.

The weight on the back of her head moved once more and brushed through her hair again. Rin realized it was Sesshoumaru-sama's hand. He brought it around to rest under her chin and he forced her to look up at him.

Rin blinked and blinked trying to clear her still tearing eyes to see if he was mad at her. But when her eyes finally cleared enough she saw that he wasn't. Although his face was impassive there was a sad, almost compassionate light in his pretty gold eyes.

Sesshoumaru-sama's clawed thumb came up and carefully trailed under her eye, wiping away some of the tears that still coursed down her cheek.

"Stop crying, Rin." It wasn't a command, not really. It was said too softly and mildly to be one. But Rin tried to do it anyway. She took in a great deep breath, her cheeks swelling up like a chipmunk as she tried to stop her tears.

"Oh my"

"I don't believe it"

Yasuda-san and Shinichi-san had to be standing just up the path from them. Rin heard them loud and clear.

The little girl tensed abruptly, remembering that she still didn't know what Sesshoumaru-sama was going to do

"Sesshoumaru-sama," she started hesitantly, her voice cracking.

The taiyoukai stopped her with a shake of his head. His hand left her face and before Rin could start crying again with the thought that he was leaving her she felt his arm hook around her knees. He hoisted her into the air as he himself rose and, settling her backside on his arm, he brought her up to lean against him. Rin stretched out her one arm and timidly wrapped it around his neck, pulling herself even closer to him.

She couldn't resist the urge to look over at the Yasudas. She had never seen people look so shocked in all her life. Yasuda-san was on the ground, having fallen to her knees with her kimono laying in a mess around her. She gaped at them in a very unladylike way, mouth slack and eyes round as the moon. Shinichi-san had the same slack-jawed expression but he was still standing, using a tree as support.

Rin felt a curtain of Sesshoumaru-sama's hair fall gently about her shoulders as he turned to address the humans on the path. "I will let you go back to your home. If you are not there by the time I am finished talking with Rin your lives are forfeit. Leave us." There was unmistakable steel in his tone.

Shinichi-san was the first to react. He scrambled over to where his wife knelt and grabbed her arms, hoisting her to her feet. His eyes never left the youkai and human girl in front of him. Yasuda-san was a bit slow at responding to her husband's efforts for her to move but soon she was stumbling after her husband down the tree-lined lane, turning her head to stare at Rin with wide eyes.

"I don't understanda youkai over a human familyIt makes no sense!" she muttered, her expression crumbling. She turned her head away quickly and Shinichi-san ushered her ahead, whispering to her as they went away.

As soon as they were out of sight, Rin moved to rest her cheek against Sesshoumaru-sama's cold armor, not really caring that the uncomfortable metal was there. The last few remaining tears dribbled down her face and over her chin, splashing against the dark gray breastplate. She sniffed quietly only to have the moment broken by a successive hiccup. Her shoulders jerked rather comically and the little girl would have laughed if the situation had been different.

Sesshoumaru-sama was silent. Rin waited for him to say something—anything—but he only shifted her weight on his arm, his hand coming to rest on her ankle. Rin didn't raise her head. All she did was stare out past the high shoulder spike on the one side of his breastplate and into the woods, sniffling occasionally. Her eyelashes stuck against her cheek whenever she blinked and her cheeks were starting to become cold and clammy.

And still Sesshoumaru-sama didn't say anything. It was only when Rin took in a shuddering breath to start the conversation that he spoke up. "They have returned by now. And, as I expected, they are leaving the matter alone."

"Sesshoumaru-sama" Rin managed with her cracking voice.

Again he did not reply. Sesshoumaru-sama turned away from the village and started up the trial, still balancing her on his arm. Rin's arm tightened around his neck with the movement and her other hand wrapped around the fur on his shoulder. Her head came to rest against that instead of his armor and she took the opportunity to look up at him shyly.

He wasn't looking at her, which was usual for whenever they traveled. Yet as Rin continued to stare up at him the youkai lowered his eyes to her face, eyebrow raised in question.

The little girl tried to explain. "Rin didn't mean to say Shinichi-san like that, Sesshoumaru-sama. Rin was just asking a question"

"I see."

Rin nodded a couple times in emphasis as she swallowed. "Ah huh. Rin didn't really want to leave her Sesshoumaru-sama like that."

They had come upon a low tree branch and Sesshoumaru-sama had to stoop slightly to get under it. Rin's sight was briefly covered all in white as his hair slid down over into her face, but he soon shook it back over his shoulder. After that he kept walking in silence. Rin noticed that he hadn't remarked on her little statement. She bit her lip, thinking that maybe he was mad at her.

She decided to ask him.

"Sesshoumaru-sama?" she began timidly, trying to stay on his good side.

Sesshoumaru-sama only nodded his head for her to go on.

"Anouis Sesshoumaru-sama angry with Rin?"


"Ah huh"

There was a pause. Sesshoumaru-sama stepped around another low hanging branch that would have rapped Rin right in the face. "I am not angry."

Rin stopped gnawing on her bottom lip. She looked up at her guardian, eyes wide. "Really? After what Rin did?"

"Do you truly believe that I should be?"

Rin bit her lip again. "No"

"And stop doing that. You're going to bleed soon."

The little girl blinked in surprise before she realized that he meant her lip. She released the tender skin immediately. "Ummis Sesshoumaru-sama angry with the Yasudas then?"


"Thenwhat is he?"

Sesshoumaru-sama didn't reply. He shifted her weight again as they came to a curve in the road and he started for the woods instead. Rin tucked her head tight against him as they began weaving through the trees.

"Where are we going, Sesshoumaru-sama?"

"To where I left Jaken."

"And Ah and Un too?"

"Mm," her guardian grunted noncommittally.

Rin decided to take that as an affirmative sound. She ducked her head down as a low branch came close to sliding over Sesshoumaru-sama's shoulder. The little girl liked being carried by her Sesshoumaru-sama. But all these darn trees! Although Sesshoumaru-sama was moving through them with effortless grace, the branches were still a major problem. Rin hunkered down even farther relying on her guardian to keep her steady.

They fell into silence then the only sounds those of nearby birds and the scurrying of tiny woodland creatures as Sesshoumaru-sama drew near. The wind was silent, seeming to Rin to be breathlessly waiting for something to happen.

Just like she was.

A question was persistently itching at the back of the little girl's mind but she didn't really want to ask it. Sesshoumaru-sama didn't seem to be willing to talk very much now. And Rin didn't really want to know the answer.

So Rin stayed silent allowing her Sesshoumaru-sama to carry her farther and farther away from the village and the happy family who had been willing to take her in. Rin didn't even spare a thought as to what she was leaving behind; her mind was too occupied with trying to figure out what was the matter with Sesshoumaru-sama. She knew he hadn't been pleased before. She could still remember the icy atmosphere that had suddenly sprung up.

She had to ask the question. She had to.



Rin kept her head tucked down, both to avoid the tree branches as well as to not be able to see Sesshoumaru-sama when she asked the question. "Did Sesshoumaru-sama want Rin to go?"


Rin held her breath waiting.

Still nothing. Just the sounds of the forest and the barest hint of Sesshoumaru-sama's footsteps on the bramble of the forest floor.

Tears prickled up behind the little girl's eyes but she forced them away. He didn't like it when she cried. Besides, crying made her chest hurt and her nose stuff up. She didn't like it.

But what else could she do? He wasn't saying anything. Was that a negative response then? A positive one? Or not even one at all? All this thinking was making Rin's head hurt.

The little girl yawned suddenly. All of the emotion of the day was starting to wear at her. But she forced her tired eyes open. She was going to wait for a response.

She yawned again.

Sesshoumaru-sama had started uphill now, taking this change as easily and silently as before. Rin watched the tree branches sway languidly in the wind or whenever Sesshoumaru-sama touched them. They all seemed to be waving at her and she smiled at them even as her eyelids began to droop. It seemed that the forest at least was excepting its little wanderer back into its midst.

Rin allowed this happy thought, as well as the gentle motion of being carried, finally lull her off to sleep.

Rin woke up later to the sound of Jaken-sama's voice. He sounded almost shocked. "Sesshoumaru-sama? What in—"

There was the jingle of metal clips and then a soft thump nearby. Rin cracked an eye open and realized that she was resting in Sesshoumaru-sama's lap, one head resting on his knee while her body was slid into the space between his folded legs. She was small enough to fit without problem. Sesshoumaru-sama was moving around slightly, jostling Rin slightly as he did so. But the little girl didn't mind and closed her eye again.

"Leave, Jaken." There was a definite warning in the youkai's voice.

The little toad stammered something that Rin didn't even care about understanding and she heard the branches rustle as he stumbled away.

Rin lay still, trying to fall back asleep again. Although not as comfortable as when she usually slept with her Sesshoumaru-sama Rin still felt safe where she was. The little girl huddled down a bit farther and was just on the edge of sleep when thin fingers once again ran through her hair with a gentle precision. Rin's eyes opened and she stared out at the darkening forest.


The little girl turned her head just the slightest bit and from that angle was only able to see the white of Sesshoumaru-sama's now armor-less haori.

"Sesshoumaru-sama," she replied sleepily, yawning.

"Look at me."

Rin sat up slowly and rubbed at her eyes. She turned her head and slowly lifted her eyes, a feeling of apprehension overcoming her once again. She didn't know what she was expecting, but for some reason seeing him looking down at her calmly as ever made her feel relieved.

Sesshoumaru-sama glanced at her, then out to the woods beyond, and then back at her again, almost as if uncertain about something. Rin only blinked up at him sleepily half wanting to go back to sleep, half wanting to know what he wanted.

Seeming to come to a conclusion he lifted his hand and made a slight gesture, motioning her forward. Not really understanding what he wanted, Run stood up anyway, planting her feet where her body had just been. There was a pause in the moment, as both appeared to hesitate, before Sesshoumaru-sama took the initiative and held out his remaining arm slightly.

Rin understood what he meant now. Careful not to step on her guardian Rin plopped down on his leg and curled up at his side her head on his chest just like night times before. But this was the first time he'd asked her to come closer, usually it had been Rin who had had to ask him.

It was hard to miss it when Sesshoumaru-sama took a deep breath and released it silently. Rin had never seen him do that before. That was more something Rin would do. The little girl reached out and captured one of the folds in his haori between her fingers and started fiddling with it.

Rin realized that Sesshoumaru-sama had never answered her question yet. The little girl had half a mind to try it again but something stopped her. It was the feeling of Sesshoumaru-sama's hand coming up and wrapping around her thin frame securely. His larger, clawed fingers came up to where her fingers grasped the material of his shirt and what might have been uncertainly came to rest next to hers with only his thumb being left on her skin. But that was enough to almost cover her hand completely since her was so small compared to his. Rin didn't even flinch as the tip of the sharp nail touched her skin. She knew he would never use it against her. She just knew it.

The little girl stared out at the pale hand right against her darker skin, just looking at it until her eyes unfocussed. She didn't really think she needed an answer to her question after all. She already knew it. But she asked anyway.

"Did you?"


Rin closed her eyes feeling sleep come up to make a snatch at her again. "Why?"

Sesshoumaru-sama's arm tensed and the warmth of his hand went away. Rin didn't respond to the change. She only moved her head so that some of her hair fell forward into he eyes. When her guardian didn't reply the little girl set out to help him.

"Sesshoumaru-sama likes Rin?"

A pause. "Yes."

Half asleep as she was, Rin didn't really think about her next question as she asked it. "Sesshoumaru-sama was upset that Rin was going?"


"Sesshoumaru-sama didn't want to be like Rin, did he?"

Stony silence. Then: "You are not like that any longer."

"But Sesshoumaru-sama would have been, right?"

"Ido not know."

Rin barley noticed her guardian's breath hitch as his arm slid from her side. "Rin would have been," the girl admitted quietly. "Rin realized that. She would have really missed her Sesshoumaru-sama. Would you have missed Rin, Sesshoumaru-sama."

"I—" Sesshoumaru-sama cut himself off. Rin felt him tense like he usually did when trouble was around. The girl moved to lift her head to see what the problem was but a hand pushed her down. Soon she felt him relaxing again.

"Yes. I would have." Sesshoumaru-sama's voice was odd now, somewhat gravelly as if he was close to growling.

With that change Rin thought it wise to stop. Except for one thing. Something she felt was very important to say.

"Rin really meant what she said beforethat she loves her Sesshoumaru-sama. A whole lot."

There was a hiss above her head then silence. Sesshoumaru-sama didn't even move after that statement, becoming stiff again as soon as the words had left her mouth.

But Rin was happy that she had gotten that out. She turned inward a bit, her cheek pressed against the smooth silk of her guardian's haori.

"Night, Sesshoumaru-sama," she mumbled.

After she'd settled down completely Rin felt a gentle touch brush the hair out of her eyes and she was shifted slightly, pushed up higher for her head to rest up on his shoulder. The little girl smiled lightly.

Rin didn't have the relationship of a family any longer. She did not have an Okaa-san to kiss her goodnight, or an Otou-san to look at her with a smile. She'd given that chance up. But she had something different than that, something no one else had or could possibly cherish as much as she did.

She had a taiyoukai of Japan who cared for her. And he needed her just as much as she needed him.

And that was just right for her.

Right before she drifted off to sleep Rin thought she heard an uncharacteristically soft voice murmur, "Sleep well, little one."

Which she could do now that she was with her Sesshoumaru-sama again.


And so ends the sappy cuteness that has ruled my life for two weeks. O_o Oi. 20 and ½ pageswithout spaces. (I type my stories out with indents—like a book. It's only the HTMLing of it that makes it have spaces.) And was that sickeningly cute or what? Whoo boy.

This was written all at once, but I spilt it up into chapters (as said in the first chapter). This was so it wasn't so unbearably long (like A Way to Survive) and also for the dramatics. This idea started out kinda small, but then I wrote and as my writing does on shorts, it growsand growsand grows (Dang it, why can't my chapter stories do that? Then I might get them done. -_-.)

Okay, let me talk about the story plot and stuffs now. Yes, it's another Rin/Sess fic. I find that I really like this relationship, not a romantic one, but simply with that semi-father/daughter relationship. It's a very rare one; I've never seen one in anime before (I'm sure there are more, but I've never seen another one. Feel free to correct this assumption.) And I'm a major sucker for family things like that. Trust me. I'm more prone to get teary eyes over a movie that has a reuniting family (I had to fight with myself during a scene in the Patriot with the little girl—if you've seen it—and yes, Kits-chan, I came close to tears. So there) than a movie in which the lover dies or something like that. But I'm strange like that. (Kits: I'm not! I cry all the time! ^__^)

Back to what I was saying: I find myself drawn to this relationship (and the fact that Rin is cute without being annoying, and well, Sesshoumaru in general—I find his unpredictability fascinating.) And so, I find myself writing another story for them. Here I tried to show a developing relationship. Rin knows what it is, but Sess is clueless and confused.

As to the characters: I tried to make them as in character as possible. But you have to keep in mind that things are changing. Especially with Sesshoumaru. So, I had to fight to keep him IC while also changing him. How strange is that? I tried my best and I'm sorry if he end up a bit skewed. (Oh, how I dislike the scene with him and Shinichi-san)

And with Rin's speech. Hey, I know many people have her change, especially after she'd been with Sess for over a year (like she has been here.) But, if you really think about it, do you think Sesshoumaru would really care how she spoke? Personally, I don't think so. He may even like the way she does it, since it's diminutive. And, although he may have affection for her, she's still the weaker' creature.

Also, about her shyness. Most people have her as a bundle of energy. But, I thought that since she spends a great deal of time with only a small group of people she would be a bit awkward around adults or a whole bunch of people. She's sort of in-between the races.

I did enjoy writing that flashback (five pages) and as I said near the beginning, it was inspired by artwork by Silvestris. Imagine what can set someone off, ne? ^__^

And, I will admit it here: I ended up working on the end of the flashback at about one o'clock in the morning one night, then I moved on to the next scene and I almost made myself start crying. Pathetic or what? Thank goodness no one else was up.

And what the heck is up with these long author notes! Gah! I'm so sorry! But, before I go, just one more note: I may do a sequel to this (kind of). It'll be from Sess' POV (my god, I'm just burying myself, aren't I?) It all depends.

Must go burn a CD nowwaaaay too much music and very little space for it on the computer. Bad combination But I like Buck-Tick! (I listened to their song Jupiter a lot during this...I recommend it.) And X-Japan. And Klaha. (His album Märchenthat was wonderful music for this. Especially Deatta Hi No Mama.)