This is my first attempt at both ff and posting so I f any visible problems occur that I miss, Please Please tell me!

Just a note...I am writing simply for the pleasure of writing and though I will appreciate support and constructive critism, please no hurtful flames.

This may be slow moving cuz I use the hunt and peck method of typing. This will be a Sess/Kag story.


Oh! And I own nothing (sigh) The characters are all part of that wonderful series and manga: Inuyasha


Part 1

The Scent of Roses


'Nothing in my life is going right lately. Nothing at all.' Kagome kicked her feet in the shallow water of the creek. The cold water rushing between her bare toes soothed the lingering flame of temper she had earlier allowed full reign on that miserable baka hanyou Inuyasha. She gritted her teeth and felt her cheeks flush as she failed to put the incident from her mind.

It wasn't that Inuyasha had rushed off to see Kikyo. No, she was used to that. That was a familiar pain that she had grown rather numb to. Lately she found herself more annoyed than angry when Kikyo was mentioned or when that idiot got the vacant look of a lost cow when he thought of the dead miko. No, it was that even after three years, the moron still couldn't treat her like a friend. Even that was something she was used to, Kagome admitted to herself. The reason she had been so pissed was that he blamed her for not obtaining the shikon shard that she detected at the moment he was running to his precious corpse. "It isn't like they are pressed for time." She grumbled to herself and kicked her feet harder, sending a silvery spray of water over her legs. "She is already dead and Inuyasha is half demon. Who knows how long he will live." she sighed heavily.

She felt herself growing mad all over again. Inuyasha had slunk back from his rendevous with Kikyo and was itching for a fight. Apparently things had not gone well for him with the soul-stealing woman. So, upon his return, he had sought out Kagome as a convenient outlet for his frustrations and had the audacity to accuse her of not having her priorities straight. Inuyasha's voice when he first found her still echoed in her mind. "Just where have you been?" he snarled.

Kagome had in fact been running all over the countryside chasing the feeling of the shikon shard with Miroku, Shippo and Sango and Kirara, but they had never seemed to get any closer to it until it suddenly seemed to vanish. There were only four known pieces, other than the ones that she held, left to gather before all the pieces were accounted for. Naraku still held the greatest chunk of the ill fated jewel. Kagome held three shards in her glass vial she kept around her neck. That left Kouga's two shards and Kohaku's one. The last shard was said to be in the land of the dead and they had yet to find a way to retrieve it. So either Kouga, Kohaku, or Naraku was nearby and any one of those three always meant trouble in some form or fashion.

Kagome sighed again. She had no right to remain angry and bitterness just didn't sit well with her. Everyone who had dealings with the shards had suffered. She glanced down and saw how the water that had splashed her legs had left clean trails through the dust and grime that seemed to have glued itself to her skin through out the day. A limp and rather pitiful lock of her dark hair hung in her face and she grimaced at that bit of herself cross-eyed, feeling as if it had betrayed her. Kagome hated to be dirty. She wiggled her toes in the water again. It was cold....she grinned suddenly more lighthearted than she had felt in a while....but she would be clean. Her eyes took on the sparkle that was normally a part of her, she took a breath and then pushed herself off the bank into the clear water. She shrieked in shock and laughter. She had known it would be cold but that didn't diminish the pleasure she still felt at the simple act of spontaneously throwing herself into the water fully clothed. And she was the kind of person that could appreciate every moment for what it offered without being too preoccupied with the past or the future. 'We learn from even the most painful experiences' Kagome thought to herself. It was a stupid person indeed that couldn't enjoy the good moments in their life because of the weight of the bad moments. With that thought, she dived under the water and shook her hair to loosen the dirt.

When she resurfaced she almost screamed in surprise to see a pair of eyes staring down at her. Almost. They were beautiful eyes, big brown ones surrounded by a fringe of dark lashes. And they peered down on her with a look of concern and curiosity. They were set in the face of a cute little girl who bore the marks and stains of traveling on her own dirty features. They stared at each other for a few heartbeats before the girl took a very deep breath... and started talking. And she never stopped.

"Kogome-chan!" the little girl began. "Rin did not think that she would see you again! Why are you in the water? Did you fall in? Rin fell in a pond once--" and on and on it went. Kagome smiled and didn't even bother trying to answer. When the child paused to suck in some much needed air Kagome broke in.

"Hello Rin." she was truly pleased to see the little girl again. She was a good child that sparkled with good natured happiness and an optimism that rivaled the tragedy that the child had experienced in her short life. Kagome thought of the last time that she had seen the girl. She had been running after Inuyasha's half brother. The Demon Lord Sesshoumaru was a mystery to Kagome but she had never taken the time to try to unravel the puzzle he presented. She was usually preoccupied with just staying alive. But the thought of that particular youkai being close by unnerved her a bit considering the number of times that he had tried killing Inuyasha and his companions which included her. Kagome was fond of her own skin even if it was a bit dirty and worn at the moment and had no desire to lose her life now. She glanced around nervously...and saw nothing.

Rin was still talking.

Kagome looked hesitantly at the large yellow bag a few feet from where Rin was still crouched talking about...frogs? Kagome smiled when she realized the girl was talking about Jaken. Sesshoumaru's loyal but evil servant. Then she caught what the child was trying to explain to her.

"--and we couldn't find any food for Rin to steal and Jaken said we should go back to Sesshoumaru-sama but Rin was so hungry and knew there was food somewhere close by and now Jaken lost himself and Rin is hungry and tired and alone and--"

Kagome laughed when she heard Rin say that Jaken was the one who was lost. She shook her head at the hopeless situations she knew Rin must put up with when traveling with Jaken and the Youkai Lord. Knowing that the threat of her guardians showing up all of a sudden had just diminished, Kagome relaxed and floated on her back for a short time. Her clothes were plastered to her but she reasoned that they would have had to be washed anyway.

"Rin," she interrupted the child. The girl cocked her head to one side and considered the wet woman below her. "I have some food, but I want to finish cleaning off first. If you would like to wait, I can fix you something to eat." She grinned at the exuberant reply that Rin blessed her with. She bounced and sang a happy thank you and without hesitation tried to throw her arms around Kagome in a hug. Somehow, she had forgotten that Kagome was chest deep in water.

When Kagome lifted the sputtering child in her arms, Rin stated a bit more subdued, " Rin is wet."

"Well, now you can help me wash up then!" Kagome teased. She looked like she needed a good bath anyway, Kagome thought. She reached for the front pocket of her bag and pulled out an assortment of items that she would need for herself and the child. She knew that her companions would be setting up camp a distance away and they would leave her alone like she had asked, for some time yet. They respected her space when she needed to be alone, unlike Inuyasha. But after the "SIT" she had given him he would be too angry with her to follow after her for a while.

Rin had never had a bath like that before in her life. Kagome used what time she had with the child to scrub off every trace of dirt and washed and conditioned the child's hair with soaps and shampoos that she had brought from her own time. Rin loved it. When they where clean and toweled dry, Kagome gave the child a choice of three scented lotions, which were her favorites from home, to keep. Rin chose to wear and keep the delicate rose scented lotion in a pink plastic bottle. She ohhed and ahhed over her gift while Kagome took out some Ramen containers and began to boil some water. The girl hadn't eaten in two days and a quick meal seemed to be the most considerate at this time. Kagome could sacrifice taste for speed without complaint when the situation demanded it. While the water was heating, Kagome took great care to pamper the child a bit more.

Kagome was dressed in a short blue sun dress that she had in her pack while Rin look ridiculously cute in an oversized green t-shirt while waiting for her clothes to dry. Rin relaxed against Kagome while the older girl gently pulled a pink comb through her ragged hair. She sighed happily. "My mother used to comb my hair," Rin said suddenly and then fell silent. A quiet Rin was not normal. Neither was one who wasn't speaking in the third person. Rin spoke of herself that way because she did not think much of herself. Her new guardian did it for the opposite reason. He seamed to think very highly of himself. Kagome paused in her brushing strokes and smoothed the dark mass down with her free hand.

How should I reply to that?! Kagome wondered. She was saved from having to come up with a suitable response when the girl turned and offered a shy "thank you" then turned back around and hummed softly to herself. "Rin wishes her hair was as pretty as Kagome-chans." the girl said wistfully.

"But it is!" Kagome exclaimed. The girl looked over her shoulder skeptically. "I have some scissors in my pack and I can trim it up for you, if you like Rin."

Rin nodded enthusiastically. Kagome let the child eat as soon as the food was ready and was not surprised when the girl did not turn down a second helping. Everyone here seemed to have a special fondness for the instant food. Rin was no exception. When the meal was finished, Kagome packed her things back up. The sun was slowly making its way west and dark was not far off. Kagome frowned.

"Rin? When did Jaken get lost from you?" Kagome asked. It seemed strange that no one had come for the girl yet. Sesshoumaru would never admit it openly, but he was rather protective of the girl and Kagome did not believe he would suddenly change his mind and abandon her. He struck her as the kind of person that took responsibility for his actions and once a decision was made, he stuck by it. What am I thinking? Where would I get an idea like that? I don't know anything about the guy...accept that he is scary, and powerful, and determined and beautiful...Beautiful? Kagome shook her head at that. When would I have noticed something as trivial as that? Before or after he's swinging a sword at my head?

She stood up and stretched the kinks from her back and looked about her.

Rin sat there looking adorable and lost all at the same time. "Two days ago Jaken lost Rin" the girl replied. She frowned down at the grass and wildflowers that surrounded her. "Sesshoumaru-sama told Rin to be good for Jaken and for Jaken to take care of Rin because he had to go away for some days." She held up six fingers to show Kagome and frowned again. "Sesshoumaru-sama does not yet know that Rin is not with Jaken."

Six days...four more days before someone would come for the child. Kagome looked around worriedly. What should I do? I can't leave her here alone and bringing her to the group would just cause trouble with everyone. Not because she's a kid but because of who she belongs to...Kagome had no faith that the toad Jaken would find the child before Sesshoumaru's return from wherever he had gone. There had to be something...

Kogome suddenly had an idea. "Rin, can you stay here with the bags? I must do a few things and then I will be right back. Can you do this for me?"

Rin nodded her head again and smiled. "Rin can watch the bag, Kagome-chan."

Kagome glanced at the darkening sky and waved quickly at the girl before dashing off to meet the others in her group. Rin watched her go, trusting that she would come back. She was happy with Sesshoumaru-sama, but Kagome made her feel like she was loved, wanted. She was struck by the thought that if she had Sesshoumaru-sama and Kagome with her, she would feel complete.

Rin smiled and began to daydream of her perfect new family.