Eien Ni Nakunatta
Shunkan…A Moment Lost
Rin came awake abruptly, disoriented and cold, and reached up to soothe the dull, throbbing ache in her temple. Crickets had begun their evening song, proving many long hours had passed since she collapsed on this spot in the early dawn.
Bleary eyed, exhausted, and suffering from injuries too numerous to count, she waited a few seconds for her dizziness to fade before shifting her anxious gaze around the clearing to locate her master. Her eyes quickly passed over and disregarded the snoring form of Jaken, and then traveled across a massive moving shadow that could only be the foraging Aun. Just as she was beginning to feel the first stirrings of panic, the object of her nervous search suddenly came into focus a short distance away.
She could only see his face in profile. His long hair cast surreal shadows on his crimson-marked cheekbones, as he silently regarded the rising moon. Her momentary relief at knowing he was close at hand passed, replaced by quiet dread, when she took note of his cold, pained expression.
"You are awake…" he growled.
Sesshoumaru did not turn, he had no need. His enhanced youkai senses had already picked up on the steady rise in her heart's tempo, and the subtle rustle of silk as the girl stirred. He kept his amber eyes firmly fixed on the night sky and silently continued his brooding.
"My lord…dono," Rin whispered, staggering to her unsteady feet and taking a cautious step in his direction. A sharp, and not entirely unexpected, pain shot across the nerves in her leg. Gingerly, she prodded at a tear in her short kimono and winced as her fingers came away tinged with the deep red of clotted blood. She struggled to rearrange her ruined clothing, as scattered memories of the previous night's battle had started to re-form themselves in her mind.
Terrified by what she had done, by how she had disgraced him, Rin limped forward and sank to her knees at Sesshoumaru's side. Before she could stop herself, her fingers had laced around the fine fabric of his sleeve, her eyes pleading with him to acknowledge her, to tell her everything was alright…
Her master rounded on her suddenly, eyes narrowed and fixed to where her small fingers dared to grip him. He shrugged out of her grasp as if her touch burned. "Human," he rasped. "You are filthy. You disgust me. Go bathe."
With that Sesshoumaru shifted away again, casting his vacant gaze back up at the cold stars, her presence seemingly forgotten already.
Rin's heart contracted bitterly, too many emotions rolling in her mind to allow her to react with nothing less than blind obedience. She stumbled into the forest, instinctively heading downhill in search of water. Had she been less compliant and turned slower, perhaps, she might have witnessed the small instant of despair and confusion in her master's face…