Disclaimer: I do not and will never own legal rights to Inu-Yasha.

A Love Left Unspoken

By Lord Fluffy's Minion

Bzzz. Bzzzzzzz. BzzzzssshhhAAAAOOOOO!

The irritating high pitch of the sound beetles in the summer. Far too often was it an aggravating background noise which, once it caught your attention, held it without letting go until you found yourself fully engaged in concentrating on something else. And in the lazy haze heat of midsummer, it was difficult to do when one was usually too lethargic to do anything so strenuous as an outdoor activity which would take up one's concentration abilities. But for some reason, today the beetles' noise didn't bother Sesshoumaru as much as they normally did. They were, in a weird actuality, relaxing. A reminder, so to say, that the season was one of warmth, growth, and good times. He sighed, not in the Oh-My-God-My-Life-is-So-Nice-Right-Now content way you might expect, but in an impatient I-Don't-Want-to-Wait-Anymore way. What was he waiting for? That stupid sun to set. He didn't want to be hot anymore, he wanted the fresh night air upon him so that the energy his body put into cooling itself off would be preserved for other uses. Sitting here in an open field watching the grass and flowers grow made him feel slothful, useless, and dumb. He despised feeling that way. He needed to get up and move, but his body would not allow it just yet. It wanted to rest some more.

And because he had no other choice at the moment, he waited. A man whose appearance was full of such grandeur qualities, had he been clothed in rags, tattered and dirty, instead of the beautiful red and white garments and spiky armor of royalty he wore, he would still be taken by the general eye as some sort of king. His face glowed in a sense of leadership, of dignity, and of reliability. To have captured such traits so plainly in one's face showed exactly how strong they were in the person. Such a person did not tolerate fools, did not take shallow entertainment by watching jesters juggle. Such was a man who knew what he wanted and got it if it were by some means available to him. So brilliant was his charisma that all who ran into him instantaneously fell into deep respect and admiration. Perhaps not in immediate liking, but one is not required to like another in order to respect them. Even his younger half-brother, a mongrel called Inu-Yasha, who lacked the discipline and etiquette Sesshoumaru was raised with, admired him. Quietly, yes, of course—Inu-Yasha would never admit to this secret involuntary admiration, but it was there, for brothers (all siblings, really) had a secret love for each other, and especially younger siblings to the older. It was a rule of life. The older siblings are older, and thus detest the younger siblings for taking the attention away from them, but the younger siblings, despite this, have a keen admiration for their elders, simply because of the age differences. In return, the older siblings have an instinct to protect their younger siblings from harm. Inu-Yasha and Sesshoumaru were no different.

The humid breeze came upon him with a gentle caress to this lordly face, pushing his silvery white hair upward just briefly, allowing it to fall back in place behind him, reaching the ground. The way this wind moaned so forlornly reminded him of the women who had fallen in love with him. Those women were dead now. He had not been the one to kill them directly; they had basically killed themselves, but that was how it went. He gave his heart to only one female. No others would take it from her. The wind called to him again, this time a woman's voice distinct within it.

"Lord Sesshoumaru? Lord Sesshoumaru, I have brought the water as you asked." He turned to look at her, and felt his stomach tighten. His throat closed itself up. She was taller now, a good two feet taller, and wore a brand-new kimono. The one she wore as a child had been outgrown, and so a bigger one was necessary. This one was a light summertime green, with pink cherry blossoms to accent it, and tied by a periwinkle blue sash. She wore sandals with no stockings—to this day she remained a tomboyish girl and so was too rambunctious and dirty to deal with wearing much on her feet during nice weather. Her hair remained in the same style she had kept it for years—a small pig tail on the side of her head and the rest in a mess—as though to say she was still the same girl she was back then. But she wasn't. She had grown. And so Sesshoumaru was heartbroken. Yes, that was what caused this tensity within his muscles; the sorrowful realization that his Rin, his darling little Rin, had grown up.

He had never counted on her growing up. He had told himself that one day she would, was, in fact, growing all the time, and in the back of his mind, he knew that she could not stay young forever. But he had hoped nonetheless that she would. He wished desperately in the center of his being that she would defy all natural laws and stay young, stay young and with him for as long as he walked the physical plane, to his deathbed. The only way he could ever imagine her being with him was as a child. Always had she been his outlet to the childhood he, born to be a great and highly-respected ruler, undoubtedly missed. She represented his own innocence, his own ignorance of the world, his own generosity which he could reveal to so few for fear of losing his ability to rule and dominate as proficiently as he did. Emotional beings could not be ruled by an emotional leader, it just did not work. It was one of those unspoken guidelines which, if followed, presented benefits to all ends of the ring. He knew this better than anyone, and so Rin had been this side of him which he could not himself interpret. A tad unfair, true, for to put such a responsibility on a young girl was rather cruel, but she didn't seem to mind. Had he asked her, she would have responded with an eagerness so loyal, so childlike, he might end up falling on his knees and bowing to her, heart seeming to pump out not blood, but deep affection for this little girl.

And that was why, when she informed him of how small her kimono had become on her much bigger body earlier today, he had fallen into a gradual depression. They had gone to a nearby village to tailor another for her, but just as they were leaving, a young boy practicing archery accidently hit Jaken in the head with one of his arrows, causing a purplish swelling to appear on the back of the poor servant's head, and resulting in a splitting headache which made him moan and whine as he lay in a pile of leaves in the woods. Sesshoumaru came to this field in hopes of escaping Jaken's complaints, and sent Rin off to get water for the injury.

Here she was now, with a bucket of water, wearing her new kimono, awaiting his reply. It was difficult to reply. She had grown up... grown up just splendidly, really. She was well-built for a female, and strong for a human. He could never love any human more. To do so would be a terrible betrayal to this orphan girl he returned the life to long ago. She had shown an interest when they met of keeping him alive, and he seemed to have sealed a promise when he resurrected her with the sword he thought of as useless, a promise which would keep her with him for her life—for his life—and ultimately, for as long as time would allow. Theirs was a silent love, as obvious as white in a black background, but likewise as subtle as an ant crawling among the grass. She loved him innocently—every move she made was innocent and childlike in his eyes—but just fiercely enough to be determined in staying with him as long as she was able. That, in turn, was the reason he loved her. She had dared to show him kindness in spite of his beastly attitude, and he had never felt so grateful for anything else. Tenseiga was a treasure now; he would die with the life-giving sword. On top of that, he knew his father would be proud of him. All these years, he had been subconsciously avoiding even the desire to make his father proud of him. Spiting his father was more of what he had been doing. Now he regretted that. Regretted ever teasing Inu-Yasha for being half-human. Who knew, after all? His human mother could have been similar to Rin.

"Lord Sesshoumaru? Are you feeling all right?" Her face contorted in worry. Sesshoumaru was worried himself that he may be bleeding on the inside. Bleeding... from the stake driven into his heart by seeing this adult standing before him in place of the child he adored so much, so dearly. At last, he said,

"Yes, Rin. Bring the water to Jaken and begin nursing him." She nodded.

"Yes, my lord," and with a bow, headed over to where their wounded companion recuperated. Sesshoumaru sighed again, this time in exasperation with himself. For the first time in centuries, he felt old. Old and weary. How many years had it been? Four? Five? Six? Since the defeat of Naraku, he had lost track once again. Being an immortal gave you no reason to keep track of the years. Another reason he hadn't expected Rin to grow; he was unused to mortal development. She would probably, then, be searching for a mate soon. That idea plagued him. Rin? His Rin? Mate? Just the concept was ridiculous. The thought of Rin in the trust and hands of any other man brought up a heated wrath of jealousy. He could not tolerate anyone touching her in the least, and had always seen to it that anyone who did paid with their lives. His Rin could not be tainted by their evil energy, their filthy hands, their dirty thoughts. And there was also the fear of her not being able to stay with him forever. If she found a suitable mate, she would have to leave him in order to raise her family. He could tell she was a maternal being, what with the way she treated the small animals she ran into, and he remembered watching her care for them with such a motherly instinct, he could not suppress the thought that it was cute. And so, he wanted her to be a mother when she got older, but at the same time, he didn't.

Given some more thought on the matter, he decided that it was possible she could live out these womanly mortal deeds and manage to stay with him, but that would mean... supplying her of the children himself. Making her his mate. But could he do such a thing? Of course not. She was a human. He was a demon. And as much as he might (unconsciously) want to follow in his father's footsteps, he may end up tainting her with his own evil. And then she would lose her characteristic innocence and he would be no better than those who kidnapped her in the past. That aside, the child—should they produce one—would be but half a demon. That child would be picked on exactly as his brother had. To put such a terrible burden on one's offspring and one's mate—for she was sure to feel horribly about her child being an outcast to both species he or she was made up of—was most certainly worse than killing them.

Rin came back and sat beside him. He didn't look at her. Couldn't look at her.

"Jaken's asleep," she said, just loud enough to be heard. The sun was almost all the way down now, and she was growing tired. "The swelling on his head has gone down a little, too." He nodded. Rin watched the grass sway for awhile, then spoke again. "Lord Sesshoumaru? Remember when we were in that village this morning and you waited outside while I dealt with the tailor?"

"What of it?"

"Well..." She bit her lip, considering whether or not she should continue. She was beginning to think it might not be a good idea to bring this up with him, but on second thought, it would only cause problems if she didn't. "While I was there, a young man came in and we talked together while we waited for the tailor to finish up. He said he'd like to see me again, and well, now that I think about it, I want to see him again, too. May I?" She stared at him anxiously, and was surprised at how quickly he answered; he still was not looking at her.

"If that is what you want, you have my permission to return to the village tomorrow to speak with him."

"Really?" Again, he nodded. "Thank you!" Delighted, she hugged him, complete with a wide grin similar to very same she had won him over with in their first few encounters, minus the bruises, and kissed his cheek. "Good night, Sesshoumaru! I'm going to check on Jaken!" Spirits heightened, she stood and went back into the woods. Sesshoumaru brought his hand to his face, the warmth of her lips still present, though fading quickly.

You have my permission to fall in love with this boy, he thought, but please allow me to love you just the same, if not more.

Maybe promises are made to be broken ninety percent of the time after all. He should have known, falling in love with a human. How could he be so stupid?

A Love Left Unspoken/END