Disclaimer: I do hereby acknowledge to all that stuff you have heard before and that you don't need to hear again since we all know it by heart. Takahashi-sama is the only one who can do that. All I own is this story idea.

This is an AU fic based off the plot of an old romance novel of my mom's.

Cyancat (\/)

A/N:

Yes, I hate to say it, but this is the last chapter. I've come a long way with this story, with its ups and downs. And I think that I have grown immensely in my writing skills, just by having fun and writing a heartfelt story that so many people love. Yes, there will be an epilogue, don't worry. I couldn't leave you guys behind like that.

I am sorry that I was gone for so long as well. The plot bunny of doom had to smack me over the head to get me back to doing this. I came back from Anime Detour and I just couldn't think.

(BTW: If you were at Anime Detour, I was the YAOI GIRL, so if you saw me, shout out!)

I really apologize to you all!

Now a surprise for you, but you gotta promise not to look at it until after you read the story!

You Promise? Really?

Okay then.

I did a fan art of my own story, I don't know if that's a fan art, but I made it all the same.

It's an image that's been stuck in my head ever since I wrote Chapter 13. It's so warm and cute that I had to show it to all of you. You must go to my deviant art account to see it.

So… go and click on my username above "cyancat"

Wherin it will take you to my profile page.

Then just click on the link for my "website" I have changed its link so that it goes straight to the picture. Click on the image to see the full picture.

To all my readers, I dedicate this to you!

The Captive Bride

Chapter Sixteen – My Final Words

The subway shot down its path, the brakes screaming as they brought the hulking metal machine to a slow stop at the train station. With a groan the doors opened, releasing the flood of travelers onto the deck and on their way. Rin sidestepped the crowd and quickly entered the train, doors sliding shut behind her. Grabbing a restraint from above, Rin shifted with the train as it lurched with a jump to move on its way. The train was crowded as usual, but at least there was room to move now. The daily commute passengers were nearly gone by now, and only the usual occupants stayed. Rin looked anxiously for a seat, to ease the pain throbbing from heal to toe in her feet. But it was to no avail as it seemed that every seat had already been taken.

Shifting her weight from foot to foot, Rin stared out the window, watching the sun sink into the horizon, making a play of pink and orange across the sky.

"Ma'am, do you need a seat?" said a young voice behind her.

Turning, Rin brightened a smile upon her face to the young stranger before her. "Yes, I'd really appreciate it."

Moving to the offered seat, Rin watched as the young teen turned away with a nod of his head and headed down toward a group of teens at the end of the train car. Slowly lowering into the yellow fiberglass seat, a sigh of relief escaped Rin's lips. It felt so good to sit down, her body was just too tired for a day like this again. Relaxing as best she could, Rin draped a hand across her bulging stomach, letting her eyes flutter closed from her exhaustion. During her time away from the mansion, the months had flown by for Rin. She was now over the five month mark and her body clearly showed its progress. Rin was astounded to believe that she was only 5 months and two weeks pregnant, her body bulging at a size comparable to a normal woman with twins. Slowly opening her eyes, Rin gazed forlornly at the bulge of her stomach, slowly stroking a hand over its size. Thoughts of the mansion and the memories surrounding therein were suddenly flooding back before her eyes, along with the memories of her pain.

That fateful day, how much did she want to just run back to that glorious mansion, forget the idea of running away and stay with Sesshomaru? It had nearly taken over her two times as she rode down the streets in the back of a yellow taxi. Three times she'd broken down crying inside the train station, gaining odd looks from the passerby but Rin couldn't care less. It was hurting so much to leave. How was it possible that she could feel so much for him, yet only know him for not even two months time? Was it the fact that she'd grown so close to the way he'd look at her with those amber eyes? Maybe the strength of his arms and how wonderful it felt when he pulled her closer in bed? However the reason was, it tore at her heart, knowing that Sesshomaru would never be the man she hoped he'd be. A loving husband and now, a loving father? Never would he act that way, she knew he'd turn his back against her.

And their child? A hanyo child that he never expected to even have? He would never give him or her the time of day. If he would treat their child the same way that she saw him treat his own brother Inuyasha, Rin didn't want to see that ever come. That's why she had decided that moment, as she held the crumpled check in her hand, she had to leave Sesshomaru. For the best interests of her life and their baby's.

She headed as far north as she could, while staying on the mainland. When she finally stopped running, the train at its final stop, Rin found herself in the city of Hirosaki. It was just beginning in the season of the cherry blossoms blooming and the town was alive in celebration. Never had Rin thought to see such a beautiful sight. This is where she'd make a new life, a place that she could start anew, without the past chasing her down. Obtaining a job was not hard for Rin, especially when she had the merits of her previous work at Sagawa. She was easily hired by an accounting firm after the first interview, even when she mentioned that she was pregnant, they were more than generous to offer her the job. But the biggest problem was finding a home to live in. She was shown countless apartments, but every single one was not livable with a newborn. Some were too far from her newly acquired job and some were just too pricey. She needed a house, a real home to raise her child and it seemed, most likely, that Rin would never find it.

But luck seemed to be with Rin once again. Walking home to her hotel room after a long day at work, Rin passed by an ornamental garden full of trees and flowers. It had been a feature that Rin looked forward to see everyday on her way to and from work. The lights lit up the fauna perfectly at night and the day's brilliance, even with clouds hanging in the sky, brought out the best in this beautiful garden. Rin had just about passed by, but stopped as her foot tapped against a foreign object on the ground, nearly kicking it away and down into the street. Picking up the object, Rin was amazed to see in her hands a beaded necklace, like ones worn by the monks of Buddhist shrines. The beads of purple, green, and white were elegantly made and smooth to the touch, Rin realized, as she rubbed the object between her fingers. Someone had to of lost this precious item, it was too good to be lying on the ground, forgotten and abandoned. Hazel eyes turning toward the garden behind her, Rin paused only a moment before heading into the flowered haze. Cherry blossom trees blocked her way, causing Rin to fight against their branches until she came upon a small path in the grounds. Following her feet on the path, Rin headed down, looking, yet not knowing what she was looking for.

Rounding a bend and glancing by an overflowing rose bush, Rin stopped dead in her tracks, her breath literally taken away with the sight before her eyes. Located right next to a small incandescent pond, there stood a small house, not too big, but just right for a starting out mother like her. The house was surrounded by the cherry blossom trees, as if they were a magical barrier to hide the house away from prying eyes. Cautiously stepping forward, Rin couldn't help but be drawn to the unique feeling she was having, that this house was somehow, for her. And upon the door hung a large white sign, with the words 'For Rent' painted in big red letters.

But that couldn't be true. It wasn't possible that this house could be for rent, could it? Surely someone would have picked it up without hesitation the moment it was available. But when she called the number upon the sign, Rin's fears of the worst were extinguished with a broad smile. Now the house was hers to rent as long as she was able. How luck came to be on her side, Rin never knew.

Sighing in weary relief, Rin slipped off her shoes in the entryway of her home. Her feet stomped upon the wooden floor, announcing her position to anyone who might have listened. Passing by the small wooden table in the hallway, Rin noticed the blinking red light on her answering machine. With a shake of her head, Rin reached out and pressed the replay button. The voice that fluttered to life through the hall brought a smile to Rin's lips as she headed toward the kitchen.

"Hey, Rin. It's me, Sango. Just calling up to see how you're doing. I'm coming up tomorrow as planned, don't worry about that. I just hoped to catch you before I went on my shift at the hospital. I guess not. I still can't believe that you're having the baby soon! It's so exciting! It seems like it was just yesterday that you were marrying Sess….. Shit, sorry. I didn't mean to bring him up. I know you don't like talking about him….Look, I'll be there on the 3 o'clock train, so be sure to pick me up! I can't wait to see you Rin! See ya tomorrow."

Rin's smile turned to a wry smile of relief as the message faded away. Sango, she'd been the only person Rin had dared calling after arriving in Hirosaki. She had to swear Sango to a blood oath that she'd never reveal her whereabouts to anyone, nor that she'd even heard from her. And now she'd be here within a day, Rin mused, pursing lips together. It had been so long since she'd seen her friend. Sango was a person she'd bonded with all these years since her mother's illness began, and it was something that Rin wasn't willing to give up yet. And now with Sango coming, Rin felt better at the idea of having the baby at home. They both had decided against her going to any hospital, on the sheer knowledge that they had no idea what marks or odd features her hanyo child would carry.

With the smile still on her lips, Rin set to making herself dinner, working as best she could around her bulging stomach. Only thing she could do was wait for tomorrow to arrive, with all the hope that a better life would soon follow.

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The train station was bustling with life, people flowing from one train to another, the floods almost taking victims in their wake. Leaning against a handrail as her only defense against the massing seas, Rin looked anxiously toward the train platform and then the schedule board, impatient for the arrival of the 3 o'clock train.

Her gazed shifted impatiently to the arrivals notice board. It still displayed Tokyo Bullet Train - Arrival 3:00 – On Time. A glance at her watch said 2:55 PM. Gods, couldn't time move any faster! Another nervous glance at her watch pronounced the time of 2:56 PM. Damn it.

Suddenly to Rin's delight, a horn sounded above them, signaling the arrival of the next train. Her hazel eyes swept toward the arrival platform, anxious to see that familiar face once again. Rin didn't realize how homesick she was for a familiar face until this very moment. The train screamed into the station, tracks howling from the heavy mass making its way down until it finally came to rest. The doors sprung open and the flood proceeded to make its way onto the cement platform.

Rin's eyes searched the massive bobble of heads passing by her, hoping to catch a glimpse of that familiar ponytail. Back and forth, her eyes crossed over the crowds, eyes drifting over aged business men in their gray suits, over young teens giggling in groups, to young families pulling a tantrum throwing 3 yr old behind them. But there was no sign of Sango to be seen. Where was she?

Suddenly a pair of hands covered her eyes, engulfing her world in darkness.

"Guess who!" said a more than familiar voice.

"Sango!" Rin nearly screamed out, twisting around to grab her friend by the shoulders and hug her tight.

The pair began a multitude of screams and shrieks that gained looks from passerby, but it was unknown to the two women. They were lost in their reunion.

"Gods Sango! I missed you so much!"

"I missed you too Rin. Life isn't the same without you there." Sango's eyes traveled down toward Rin's stomach. "Look at you! You're about ready to pop!"

"Don't you think that I know that!" Rin joked. "I just want to get this kid out soon! I'm tired of feeling like a truck."

"Oh you're not a truck! You're beautiful!"

"So says you! You're not the one pregnant here."

Sango laughed at Rin's words, her eyes dancing in the moment. "Alright, if you say so. But the day that I'm pregnant you've gotta call me beautiful as well!"

"Deal." Rin laughed. "Hey lets get you out of here and back to my place. You're gonna love it!

Sango nodded excitedly with a wide smile. "Yes, let's get going! I'm dying to see this dream home of yours."

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The moment that Sango saw Rin's home, she was dumbfounded by how great it was. Sango even marveled at how much nicer the place was than her own home. For the next few days as she settled into the house with Rin, she couldn't but keep comparing the house and it's almost perfection to her rundown shabby apartment that she shared with one cat and one fiancé.

As usual, Sango made it fact that she was going to do all the hard work and errands from the moment that she arrived. She defiantly told Rin that the whole reason she was there was so that Rin could take it easy before the baby came. There was no sense in making her work hard in her condition.

"I'm going out for some supplies, Rin" Sango called out from the entryway one bright morning. "I've noticed you still need a few things. Do you want anything special?"

Rin stepped out from the kitchen, a towel in her hands. "Don't you want me to come along? I could help."

"No, I said it before; you need to take it easy! You're going to have that baby any day now. I can't have you walking all over town. You stay here. Cook, read, watch tv, whatever! Just don't leave this house! I'll even bring back some ice cream! I'll get your favorite, Mint Chocolate Chip! Okay?"

Rin rolled her eyes and nodded at Sango with a smile. "If ice cream is on the line, I'll do whatever you want Sango."

"Good. I won't be long!" Sango said with a wave of her hand while running out the door and slamming the door shut.

With a shake of her head at her energized friend, Rin turned back to the kitchen and to cleaning the rest of the breakfast dishes. Afterwards, it wasn't hard to keep herself busy. She started rearranging the books on her shelves, stacking them in accordance to height this time. She then started cleaning the living room furniture. A quick glance at the clock told her it was getting close to dinner. So she began to set up the table and started cooking a small meal for the pair of them, ready to eat as soon as Sango came back.

But like an involuntary twitch of a finger, Rin kept having this feeling that there was something amiss. Standing at the kitchen counter, cutting a carrot in small pieces, that involuntary twitch became something even bigger. It wasn't even until a few seconds after it happened, that Rin realized that her water had just broken. Suddenly a straight shot of pain ran through her body, the first contraction she'd ever felt and it was horrible! Her knuckles turned white as she gripped the kitchen counter, fighting against the pain until it subsided.

She sucked in deep breaths as the realization of the moment started flowing to her mind. She was going into labor now! Her mind raced, trying to figure out what to do, trying to remember what Sango had told her many times before.

Another flash of pain shot through her body and Rin wasn't able to stop a small moan from escaping through her gritted teeth. Again she gripped the kitchen counter with knuckles glowing white, steadying herself until the contraction ran out. If she could just make it to the couch, once she got there everything would be fine. Sango had to be coming back soon and then she'd be fine. Sango knew what to do, she knew about labor and everything else. All Rin had to do was just wait for Sango to return. She told herself that it wasn't as hard as it sounded, but her body had other ideas.

How long had it taken her to move from that spot? A minute? Ten minutes? A half hour? Rin didn't know how long she had stood at that counter, holding back against the torrent of contractions that paved their way through her body. It was painful enough to even think about it! Somehow she found herself just nearing the living room, the couch within a few steps distance when another pang shot through her body. This time it sent Rin to her knees as she let out a verbal cry of pain, closing her eyes to fight against the pain while clutching a hand to her rippling stomach. The sound of the front door slamming open was vibrant in Rin's ears. Thank god! Sango was back.

Feet were rushing down the hall and into the living room, pausing only a moment before rushing to her side. Warm hands gripped her shoulders and pulled Rin into an embrace against their body. Arms were circling around her and they pulled her tight against their chest. As the contraction subsided, Rin's eyes fluttered open to look at her savior. But what she saw, Rin couldn't believe, for what stared back at her was a pair of amber eyes framed by silver hair. Rin's eyes instantly widened with a sharp intake of breath. His eyes glanced around the room, surveying the house and then turned back to Rin in his arms. With a slight squeeze of his arms, he clutched her tighter against his chest. Standing up, he held Rin close and headed across the hall toward her bedroom. Kicking the door open with a swift boot to its hinges, Sesshomaru quickly set Rin on her bed before starting to search through her room.

Blinking her eyes over and over again, Rin couldn't believe that it was really him. He had to be a mirage or a dream of some kind. The labor pains were playing tricks on her mind. They had to be! He couldn't be here! He wouldn't do this!

After gathering her breath, Rin found her voice. "Sesshomaru, what…what are you doing here?"

Turning around, Sesshomaru hesitated before answering. "I'm here to bring you home."

Rin shook her head. "No, this is my home."

Sesshomaru crossed the room until he was at her bedside. "No, your home is with me at the mansion! You're my wife, you belong there with me."

"I don't belong there. You just need something there to be your pawn, your tool. I can't live that life anymore." Rin turned her face away from his demanding gaze, tears falling down her cheeks, "I could see that you never wanted me, you never even wanted this baby. I was just a thing in your possession."

"Rin…"

"No, don't even start. I left because I wanted a new life, away from all that pain and away from you. I wanted a better life for-," Rin bit her lip as she suddenly felt the next contraction pull through her body, her whole body cringing from the tremors.

Her hands clenched at the bed covers as Rin closed her eyes, doing her best to breathe through the pain, gasping in small pants.

Sesshomaru's eyes widened at her pain, unknowing at what he could be doing for her. Reaching out a hand, he paused briefly before covering Rin's wrought hand with his own. She jerked back at his touch, eyes opening to slits as she glared at him, the pain giving her a power fueled by anger.

"Get….Out!" She hissed through gritted teeth, sucking in breath after every word.

"No." Sesshomaru shook his head, reaching out to hold her hand once more. "I'm not leaving you."

Suddenly a pillow lashed out at Sesshomaru and smacked him clear across the face. He looked temporarily stunned at the hit, eyes blinking several times before turning back to Rin's angered face.

"I…Said….Get…Out!" Rin gritted once more, her eyes mere slits of anger as she tried to hold back her cries of pain. The contractions were becoming longer, a signal that Rin instinctively knew meant she was already close to having this child. She brandished the pillow at Sesshomaru with her right hand, showing him she was ready to smack him again. "Now…Get Out!"

"And I said, NO!" Sesshomaru quickly reached over and tore the pillow from her tight grasp, throwing it behind him. "I'm not leaving you like this!"

"Since…when…did…you…care!" Rin hissed at him again, taking her time to breathe through the pain and yet still speak her mind to this man beside her.

Sesshomaru stared back at Rin, his eyes narrowing as the two exchanged silent words between them. The rattling sound of the front door being closed rang through the hall. Both Rin and Sesshomaru turned their heads to stare at the bedroom door. A voice rang out through the hall that brought a relieved sigh to Rin's lips.

"Rin, why was the front door open? You know anyone could just walk in."

"Sango." Rin sighed with a heavy breath, the contraction now fading away.

Sesshomaru looked once to Rin's face and upon seeing the relief shining in her eyes, turned away. He stood, heading for the door, knowing that what they needed now was the woman out in the hall.

"Sesshomaru." Rin whispered as she watched him disappear behind her door. There was a clatter of objects falling to the floor in the kitchen and then a shriek turned muffled as if hands were suddenly clamped around the owner's mouth.

"Sesshomaru, what the hell are you doing here!...She What?"

Feet rumbled in the house, crossing the hall and throwing the door open to Rin's room. Sango surveyed the scene before her with eyes wide in amazement, then she was suddenly rushing to the bed.

"Dear gods, Rin, what happened?" Sango placed a hand on Rin's stomach, her eyes flitting back and forth from Rin's face to her stomach.

"Nothing, it just sort of happened." Rin smiled at her friend with a saddened shine in her eyes. "I'm sorry to make you worry."

Sango shook her head, "There's no sorrys about it. We both knew this was coming. Just a little earlier than I expected," Sango's eyes glanced once at the doorway where Sesshomaru stood quietly, "A lot more has happened than what I expected."

"But you," Sango flashed a warm smile at Rin, "You need to just lay back and relax. I have some things to get from the kitchen. Just remember to breathe evenly, okay?"

Rin nodded her head, understanding her directions. With a soothing rub on Rin's stomach, Sango stepped away from the bed and headed out of the room. Her eyes darted to meet Sesshomaru's frozen gaze as she passed by him in the doorway. They were livid with anger and they stated matter-of-factly that he was to follow her, no questions asked. He answered her with a shift of his feet, no longer leaning against the door frame. With a glance to Rin, Sesshomaru closed the door behind him as he headed after the demon hunter into the kitchen.

When he entered, Sango was throwing the grocery bags onto the kitchen counter, grumbling under her breath. He leaned against the wall, arms crossed as he watched Sango pace the room, grabbing towels from the bags she had carried in earlier and placing them in a pile at the edge of the counter. Sango cursed as she plopped a blanket down, turning her head to glare angrily at Sesshomaru. She was then suddenly advancing the few feet between them, waving a somewhat forgotten purple baby blanket in her hands, stopping only mere inches from his body.

"Why?" Sango said while trying to keep her voice low enough that Rin wouldn't hear, "What the hell are you doing here Sesshomaru!"

"I'm here to take back my mate! Got a problem with that?" Sesshomaru growled back.

"Yes I have a problem with that! Why didn't you do this earlier, 3 months ago! She was still your mate that whole time. You had plenty of time to show up between when she left and now."

His eyes drifted away from Sango's forced glare. "I-I had things to tend to."

"Pssh! Don't try to bullshit me Sesshomaru! You had plenty of time to find Rin. Why now!"

"It just didn't feel the same…" Sesshomaru trailed off, his eyes widening as he realized what he was saying to the woman before him. "W-Why the hell am I explaining this to you?"

"Because the person you should be explaining this to is currently in labor at the moment!" Sango pointed her finger toward Rin's room. "She needs more than just you showing up, especially now! Just how insensitive are you? Do you know how much more stress you've put on Rin just by coming here today? Please tell me what right you had to come here!"

"I didn't…I didn't know what else to do." Sesshomaru said with his voice sinking, his amber gaze lowering to the floor. "It wasn't home anymore… I had thought that it would be better for both of us to be apart. Neither of us wanted to be in that position anyway. But then the days kept flying by, without Rin there. And then I realized how long it had been, that Rin was going to have the baby soon. Even if she hated me, I had to get her back, no matter what."

Sango sighed and stepped back a foot, crossing her arms in the insight of his words. "Gods, you still don't see it." Walking back to the counter, Sango rumbled through a grocery bag before pulling out the various items she's bought earlier.

Sesshomaru's eyes shot to look at Sango. "See what?"

Sango paused, a baby bottle in hand. With a sigh, she put the bottle down and looked to Sesshomaru. "Rin loves you Sesshomaru. She has and always will. Why else do you believe she'd even think about having this child? Rin left because she was scared that you wouldn't care for the baby, scared that you'd hate it for being hanyo." Sango went back to unloading the bag.

"I never said that!"

"Exactly!" She waggled a bottle of oil at Sesshomaru. "You never said anything! When she was at the mansion, she'd call me and fret over the thought of you hating your child, never caring for it, never being a father to it. Maybe if you had said something about the baby, something better than 'why?', maybe she would have stayed."

"Rin…," Sesshomaru pinched the bridge of his nose, "She actually thought I'd hate the baby? Why didn't she say something to me?"

"Would you have listened?"

Sesshomaru failed to give an answer, yet stared blankly at the kitchen walls, his mind tripping over the realizations he had just overcome.

"S-S-SANGO!" Came a panicked cry from across the hall, causing Sesshomaru's head to instantly swivel toward the sound.

"Hold on! I'm coming!" Sango called back through the hall. Grabbing the necessary items off the counter, Sango looked to Sesshomaru. "Look, I think you know as much as I do that you have some feelings for Rin. Whether you realize what they are, that's your problem. And I have to say that unless I call for you, you're not allowed in her bedroom. Rin's going through a lot and she doesn't need the constant reminder of you in there with her. Understand?"

A slight nod of his head was all he fared to give, but it was enough to satisfy Sango, who suddenly took off down the hall, bolting to the bedroom door and slamming it closed behind her.

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It had been two hours since Sango had disappeared behind that brown bedroom door, appearing only a few times to get a fresh towel or more ice.

Sesshomaru sat in the living room, his eyes centered on the door and his ears focused on the happening inside. He could hear everything as clear as if they were next to him. Rin's cries, Sango's encouraging words, everything was so livid and loud, the intensity rising with every passing minute. Yet, it was the one moment that Sesshomaru felt the most helpless. He was the demon lord and yet he couldn't do a thing for his mate during a time like this.

Casting his eyes to the floor, Sesshomaru rested his head in his hands. Sango's words earlier were still stirring in his mind, echoing the truth of how Rin had really felt. Did Rin really love him? Could anyone love this demon lord? The man who forced her into an unwanted marriage, forced her into situations that she didn't need to be included, who brought unneeded danger upon her?

Had it all really started those few months ago? The affair of a young clerk and her new boss? But there had been more, right? That loan, that damned loan, causing him to distrust Rin over and over again. How many times had he made her cry because of that belief?

And once she'd vanished, Inuyasha began to get more voiced. He blamed Sesshomaru for her leaving, for not caring for her like a true mate would. And for once, he'd begun to believe it. Rin had to hate him, hate him so much that she couldn't stand to be near him again. For the past month, he had stayed in his den office, sitting in his leather chair by the fire, staring at the flickering flames, his mind lost in another dimension.

Sesshomaru leaned back in his chair, letting out a deep sigh. Gods, it had been hard these past months, hard to wake every morning without her next to him. Without smelling her intoxicating scent of sweet peaches. Without seeing her lovely eyes gaze out in wonder at the gardens surrounding the house. He had to admit, he even missed the angry glare she'd throw at him whenever they fought. Without even knowing it, Sesshomaru realized, Rin had grown on him.

Suddenly his ears perked, Sango's voice now had an urgency to its tone that made him listen.

"Let's go Rin, two more pushes! You're almost done!"

"Sango, I can't do it anymore… I'm too tired."

"Yes you can! You haven't done all this for nothing. Now 1, 2, 3, Push!"

Hearing the cry that emanated from Rin, Sesshomaru was instantly on his feet, staring intently at the door. It was taking all of his will power not to tear down that door and check on his mate. His eyes were wild, burning bright yellow amber, lit from the realization of what was happening. Again he heard the numbers spoken by Sango and right after was the strangling cry from Rin.

Sesshomaru clenched his fists, digging claws into his own palms, his whole body wavering from the force of her scream. Then there was the silence, the horrible silence that worried him to no end, causing Sesshomaru to take a step closer toward the door. But then the silence was cut by a squalling cry from a new voice.

His feet were moving of their own will, taking him straight to the door. He stopped instantly before the door, glaring into the dark wood, wanting to see what was beyond it. But he could not bring himself to even grasp the door handle. Something told him that he didn't deserve to enter that room.

It was hard for Sango not to notice the presence of the demon lord behind the bedroom door for the past two hours. He'd been standing there ever since the baby was born and hadn't moved since. She glanced once at the door before turning back to the child in her arms.

"What a hectic time you have come little one."
Approaching the bed, Sango smiled down at Rin. "Do you want to hold her now?"

"You think I went through all that not to hold my baby?" Rin joked as she reached out her arms to cradle her child.

"I won't argue with you." Sango paused, her eyes flitting once more to the bedroom door.

Rin followed Sango's line of direction to the door and took a breath. "He's still here, isn't he?"

Sango nodded, sitting upon the bed. "He's been here the entire time. And now he's standing behind that door, just waiting to come in."

Rin looked at the baby and back to Sango. "Do you think I should let him come in?"

"It's not what I think, Rin. It's your choice whether you let Sesshomaru in or not."

"But…" Rin lowered her eyes. "I don't think I can face him…after everything that's happened."

"You won't know until you try." Sango reached out to run a hand over the baby's head. "Plus, what have you got to lose?"

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"Sesshomaru, you can come in now." Sango called out to door.

Without hesitation, the tall demon was instantly in the room, his eyes locked on Rin. Swallowing the growing lump of fear in her throat, Rin stared back the man who approached her.

"I think I'll leave you alone for a bit." Sango said as she backed toward the door. "You guys have a few things to deal with." With a last minute smile to Rin, Sango turned and exited the room, quickly closing the door behind her.

Glaring after the retreating Sango, Rin could only but turn her gaze to Sesshomaru who stood by her bed. They locked eyes for a moment, silently staring at each other. Neither knew what to say, nor how to start. The sudden wail from the baby brought them back to reality and both of their attentions were turned to her.

"Shhh." Rin crooned to her child, softly rocking back and forth and glanced once over at Sesshomaru, who silently watched them from the bedside.

Shifting his gaze from the child to Rin, Sesshomaru released a heavy sigh. "Come back with me." He said bluntly.

Rin's eyes widened in shock, her head snapping to look at the demon in surprise. "Come back? Why! So I can be a part of your charade? You still need me to dumbly play my role as wife so you can look like the great Lord you're supposed to be? I'm sorry but I can't do that anymore."

"You don't need to do anything!" Sesshomaru grumbled. "I don't care about that anymore! I just want you back at the mansion!"

"Then why? Why should I come back with you!"

Rushing up to the bed, Sesshomaru glared down at Rin, his eyes burning anew. "You want to know why! Because I can't stand that damn place without you!"

Rin blinked up at him in confusion. "What?"

"You heard me. I can't stand being in that mansion without you. When you left, I thought that everything would go back to the way that things used to be before I even met you. But things weren't the same."

Casting amber eyes to the ground, he took steps to circle the bedroom. Rin watched as he walked around her bed and headed toward a pair of terrace doors that Sango had opened earlier to let in the spring air. Sesshomaru stopped as if to look at a vase of lilies on a desk, feigning subtle interest.

"I tried telling myself that I was better off without you and you were better without me. Then I began to notice the silence, the utter silence of that place. Never have I felt its effects until then. I would sit in my study and days would just pass by. I couldn't think about anything else and before I knew it, I was half expecting to see you in the doorway."

He turned toward Rin, his eyes meeting hers in an unwavering stare. Rin involuntarily swallowed, moistening her dry throat.

"I missed your face, your eyes, the way that you talked about nonsense things." He paused as the words he wanted to say were foreign upon his tongue. "I'd wake up from my bouts of sleep and swear that you had been there beside me. I realized that I couldn't live my life alone anymore. And I realized that I was…. I was worried that you wouldn't want this one's child, even as a hanyo."

Rin could feel the tears beginning to well up in her eyes. Was he really saying these things to her? Now of all times? Forcing back her flood of emotions, Rin blinked back her tears and looked up at the demon who stood solemnly in her bedroom. "And what did you want of me?" She questioned.

Her hazel eyes followed him as he approached her bed, and sat down upon the bed like he had before.

"I want nothing of you."

Rin was taken aback in confusion. "You don't want me?"

"No, I NEED you, Rin. I can't live my life anymore without you there with me."

"And the baby?" Her eyes flashed down to the bundle in her arms, then back to his alabaster face. She forced back the smile that was shining beneath her expressionless exterior.

Tawny eyes fell to the form in her arms. Reaching out a hand he placed it over the baby's head. "I never thought that I'd have a child. The thought of children had never crossed my mind until that day you told me. I had thought it'd be troublesome to have one."

His eyes turned back up to Rin, the amber within reflecting warmth. "And I see now how lucky we are to have her. She is a part of both of us and that's what I am proud of."

The edges of Rin's mouth starting twitching, fighting against her measures to hold back her smile. Was everything for real? Had he really come back to her and said all those words to her?

Forcing back tears once again, Rin swallowed to clear her throat. "Then why. Why didn't you say any of these things to me before? You avoided me every chance you could."

"Because… I had yet to realize it all. As I sat alone in the mansion, I began to see that I was scared to death of you….because I loved you so much." Sesshomaru reached out to cup her face with a hand, "You could make me happy with just a glance of those wonderful eyes and torture me at the same time. I loved you so much that it almost cost me true happiness to realize it. And now that I have it," Sesshomaru suddenly pulled Rin close to his body, minding the child in her arms, "I'm never letting go of you."

Like a spring released from its captivity, Rin's tears cascaded a river down her face. She buried her face into his shoulder and clutched closer to his body. "Sesshomaru," She hiccupped through her tears, "I've missed you so much! Don't leave me alone again!"

"Never. I'm not letting you go again."

For what seemed like the shortest moment ever, Rin held tight onto Sesshomaru, her eyes releasing the flood of tears she held in for a long time. But the moment was cut by the small sounds coming from between them. They slowly pulled from each others arms and smiled at each other as Rin readjusted the baby in her arms. Sesshomaru's ears twitched at the babe as he stared at the bundle, his senses awhirl at the new being. His eyes traveled back to Rin's beaming face.

"Can…can I hold her?"

Eyes flitting back from Sesshomaru to the baby, Rin nodded slowly. She held out their child to Sesshomaru, who delicately took her into his own hands. Standing from the bed, he took a few steps away and stood in the light from the terrace doors. Holding up the child with his right hand while supporting her head with his left, Sesshomaru took in every detail about her.

The cloth wrapped around her head had slowly drooped down and now hung over Sesshomaru's hand. Now revealed to Sesshomaru's eyes were the apparent markings that made her the hanyo child of a dog demon. Buried amid hair the color of a dark blue night, with bangs hanging around her oval face, there sat two small ears perched upon the top of her head. They twitched every so often, taking notice to every new sound happening around her.

A small eye peeked open, exposing an amber gaze just like her father's. She stared at her father for a few moments, new eyes trying to evaluate this world around her. But slowly they closed once again, fluttering closed like the wings of a butterfly. A small smile drew upon his face, slowly growing until he had wide grin upon his lips. Then the sudden realization came over him. This was his daughter and he was her father. Somehow even though he already knew it, the fact that he was now holding her in his own hands, staring down at her in wonder, made his awareness kick into a higher gear.

Rin scooted across the bed, so that her legs dangled over the edge and watched Sesshomaru study their child. Suddenly before her eyes was everything that she had wanted, a man that she loved and the beginning of a new family with him. How was she deserving of all this? As if he knew what Rin was thinking, Sesshomaru turned to look over at Rin, a shine to his eyes she'd never seen before, but his smile did not fade. Slowly he brought his daughter back against his chest, cradling her close and stepped the few paces back to Rin. She stood and looked at the bundle in his arms before turning her gaze up to his.

"Did you have a name for her yet, Rin?" Sesshomaru questioned, his face bright and warm.

"I had one in mind…but you probably want to give her a family name or something."

"It's your decision, not mine. What did you want to call her?"

Rin let out a sigh. "I had hoped… to name her Hikaru… after my mother. But if you have something different-"

"Rin." He interrupted, an eyebrow raised in amusement. "It's fine. Hikaru it shall be."

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That night, Sesshomaru told Sango of his intentions of bringing Rin and Hikaru back to the mansion. Sango advised him with a powerful glare that he let Rin rest at least for a week before moving her around again. He could only agree.

So after a week of rest for Rin and Hikaru, Sesshomaru loaded up his new family into a limousine and off they headed for home once again in Tokyo. Along the way, nothing couldn't keep Sesshomaru from holding his young daughter as much as he could. Such a small thing was a wonder to his eyes. But the thing that amazed him was how much Hikaru reminded him of his own mother. Her hair, though dark night blue now, would most likely fade into a shade of lavender that would offset those golden eyes.

Upon reaching the mansion, Rin couldn't help but feel the tears start again, old feelings stirred up anew. But now they were tears that she could be happy with.

Greeting them back home was a small group of demons and humans. Koga and Ayame each held one twin, while they cried for the other parent, causing them to keep switching the children between them. Sango held tightly onto Miroku's hand, keeping him close. Inuyasha and Kagome stood before them all. Inuyasha looked at his brother firmly and greeted him with a handshake. Sesshomaru looked from him to Kagome and back again, and then returned the handshake, an approving look in his eyes. Rin was proud of her husband at that moment, more than ever before.

Hikaru was greeted to the home, words of her beauty mingled with the affectionate cuteness of her ears. Rin even made Inuyasha hold her at one moment, her heart warming at the sight of the pair together, as Inuyasha examined her ears with close scrutiny. Thus causing Hikaru to reach out and grab the closest thing, a lock of Inuyasha's long hair. The moment was funnier than they could have imagined, even garnering a smirk from Sesshomaru.

It seemed like the most perfect moment for their family. And Rin hoped that nothing would come between them again. Whatever the reason that they had come together, it didn't matter anymore. They had each other and that was all Rin cared about.

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O M G!
That was so hard to do. Finish my most loved story ;;

And as I said before up above, I will be adding a little epilogue, and don't worry…. It won't take forever . blush

I love you all for sticking with me for so long….. I hated to finish my story because I began to love the chase so much.

Here is hope to the future and more fanfictions, eh?

Thank you all……

Lindsay M.

cyancat