Gift of a Curse

Chapter 1: The Keeper


Notes: This is really like Beauty and the Beast in many ways! My cousin and I were staring transfixed at a Sesshoumaru wall scroll and came up with the idea. If written by a more talented writer, (and someone without a hurt wrist...glares at cousin), I'm positive it would be a great story! But I'm not a great author so deal with it as it is!

(Meanings of Japanese words at end of each Chapter.)


A knock sounded through the castle. Sesshoumaru looked up annoyed, and turned to give the toad imp Jaken a cold stare. With a small sqwuack the toad scrambled to the door. It was massive, being the main entrance to the castle. Jaken stood on tip-toe, reaching up to the handle and struggling to pull the door open. Servants stopped their work as a blast of cold air rushed in, snow covering the entrance hall. In the doorway stood a human woman. She looked old for her age, wearing nothing but rags with a basket in hand, a withered blanket covering its contents. Beside her, just to the height of her knee, stood a wide-eyed young girl.

"What business do you have here?" Jaken demanded. All the villages knew humans were unwelcome in this castle, and thus so, never came for fear of death. "We have no time for petty human problems!" The woman lifted the basket with diffculty, weak from living on such little food. She pulled back the ratted covering to reveal a bundle of silver-petaled roses.

"Might you buy a rose? I need money to feed my daughter and clothe her in more than rags." Jaken's face didn't soften. Now persay, a demon requested the same he would have given her some money for, indeed, these roses were of rare beauty, but this woman and her child were human. And a human was a human was a human, no exceptions in this region to that rule! As the toad readied to speak, he felt a looming figure behind him. Without looking, he stepped aside to allow Sesshoumaru through.

The chilling wind toyed with his silver tresses, cold, hardened eyes looked down at this human and her offspring. "The penalty for intruding on this land is death," he began cooly. The woman's expression didn't change, not even a flicker of fear passed her eyes, though it was a different story for her now cowering child. "Though," he continued with a cruel smirk, "I see you are already close to death. Perhaps..." Sesshoumaru's ocher robs fell to the child, "we will take her in your place?"

The woman's face tightened as she looked at her daughter for a few moments. She turned back to face the taiyoukai. "I see..." She placed a hand over a rose from her basket and lifted it up, looking it over for a moment. The human woman cast her eyes to Sesshoumaru for a moment as she began to murmur in a monotoned voice.

One who's cold, shows no emotion,

He will come to learn his lesson.

Rose of silver your curse I take,

Moved to one whose heart's misplaced.

Twenty years, you'll meet your fate,

If a human's love, you don't give and take,

A mortal's form you'll soon be made.

Protect the keeper, mayhaps they die

The mortal's form will be thy,

...Even if that love was made.

The woman let go of the silver rose, though it hung in the air. Sesshoumaru appeared amused, as if this was some joke. After a moment of silence the rose fell to the ground, making a soft imprint in the snow. "You waste my time." The taiyoukai said and turned away. Two strong looking demons stepped forward grabbing the girl and dragging her away. The woman watched her go, her lips pulled into a tight frown.

"Rin...be strong...I've given you all I can...you are now the unknowing the keeper." she muttered, and collapsed into the snow. Her chest's shallow rise and fall came to a halt and she lay lifeless. The two castle doors slammed shut, giving the 3-year-old Rin the last glimpse of her mother that she would ever see.


19 Years Later...

Rin sighed softly gazing out her chamber window. It was the small hours of the morning and she found herself still awake, as she was almost every night for as long as she can remember. Midnight locks fell to her waist, straight and brushed. Candle light flickered, making shadows dance across the walls. The young woman shifted on her bed, it creaked. Rin turned to her looking-glass. She smiled at her reflection, but her chocolate hues showed she lacked something dear.

For as long as she could remember, she had been trapped in this castle. Trapped to a single, lonely corridor that people seldom visited. It consisted of two rooms, a small room of books, and a place to relieve yourself Confined to this small area she saw only a few others, and all were youkai. Not once had a human come. The girl sighed, falling down on to one of her moderately comfortable pillows. 'Why am I here? Why do I have no family and why am I forbidden to leave?'

Every once in a while a small toad imp came to pay her a visit. He was named Jaken, and as she was told, was the right hand man of the the taiyoukai who ran this castle. Rin would coax him into telling her things, the most she had ever gotten was from his last visit.

"Master Jaken!" Rin cried staring at him hard, "Why am I locked up here with no one? Will I ever leave?"

Jaken looked away for a moment, crossed his arms over his chest, uncrossed them and sighed. "You are paying for a crime."

"But Master Jaken, this palce is all I know. Who did I wrong to deserve such treatment?"

The toad snorted, standing up. "Your mother greatly offended Lord Sesshoumaru! She died and so you were taken to serve the punsihment in her place!" Rin had gawked at him. Was he serious? She was locked in hell for a crime she did not even commit? What had her mother done to deserve such punishment as this?

"Master Jaken! I have been locked up in this small corridor for a crime I did not commit? That is inhumane! I demand to see this 'Lord Sesshoumaru' or is he too cowardice to come see me?"

That had been a week ago, and not yet had she even received word the lord would come. Rin pulled the covers over her head. It was cold, as they were in the midst of winter, her breath came out in icy puffs of white. This was not fair...not fair what she was undergoing! Then a new thought dawned on Rin, a plan began to form in her head. She would find the lord, and ask he hear her out. If he refuses to grant her freedom...she will escape from this dreadful place! Sure, her many other attempts failed...but this time...she knew what she needed to do!


"Jaken." He said coldly, not turning from the silver rose. Few petals lingered...in a year's time that human's curse will show true or false. The rose was suspended in the air, a small, glass, dome-like case over it. "You dare to defy my wishes and come here, and then ask I see that human wench?" His emotionless hues watched as another pelted wilted and fell. The room was dark, save the small light emitted by that cursed rose.

"H- Hai...Milord." Jaken fumbled for words. Everytime he spoke to his cold-hearted lord he was asking for his death.

"Milord. Why not just simply kill this girl instead of clothing and feeding her? Isn't...she a prisoner?" the toad wished his words would come back to him before Sesshoumaru caught them, but it was too late. The inu-youkai turned, a silhoutte against the large window behind him. Where his golden hues would sit, were instead two glowing red orbs.

"Letting that human wench sit in there, unable to even walk outside for the rest of her small, insignificant life is more than she deserves. Killing her will only end that misery." Jaken bowed and left quickly, waddling away.

'Sesshoumaru-sama is acting strangely. He is always with that rose...surely he does not believe that petty human's curse can prove true! Couldn't he have locked her in the dungeon...' Jaken snorted and continued on his way. 'Ah yes, youkai in there...not friendly. Be food before she could scream!'


The Next Day

Rin waited impatiently in her study, otherwise known as, the small room with few books. She jumped up happily when the study door opened and a young cat youkai slipped in. "Kaori!" Rin cried, her eyes really focusing more on the cloak the cat always wore than her face. This neko demon had been, and still is, the only one to ever befriend her. Now that friendship would help her flee.

"Rin-chan! Sorry I was late this day, seems some stupid toad imp angered the lord." The midnight-haired girl laughed softly and began small talk. After a longer-than-usual visit Kaori stood up to leave. "Goodbye Rin-chan."

"Oh wait Kaori-sama! It has been rather cold here lately and my clothes are little ore than course rags...may I ask a huge favor?"

"Why of course!" She said, delighted to help her human friend.

"Might I borrow your cloak?" The cat looked uneasy, but she looked Rin over and gave in. It was true, her clothing wasn't much warmth and she was human. Kaori handed it over and left.

'Yes...now those youkai won't smell my human scent as soon as I leave!' Rin raced down a small hallway to her main room. She washed her hair, scrubbing hard to remove as much scent of herself as she could and replace it with soap. The water was cold, only having been heated for a few minutes. Next she changed into a newly washed pair of clothes, wrapped the cloak around herself and sighed. 'Now...I will go...'

It was night now, and not even the smallest torch was lit as she slipped from her corridor. Rin crept past the servant's quarter. She held her breath, never before had she mad eit so far. Perhaps this plan would work! 'Now...where is the lord?' She thought spying into doorways and passageways. No sign of anyone who looked even remotely lord-like. Rin's heart was pounding in her chest, she was sure anyone near could hear it!

Slipping around a corner she stopped. A door, an enormous overly-sized door. 'This is...the exit...I can leave now. I don't have to see that wicked demon lord! I can just leave! No one will know!' Rin tip-toed forward, stopping a few feet from the door. So close...just a little further. The young woman stepped forward once more, but stopped, her eyes widened in surprise and mouth agape.

Rin swallowed, her brown hues were staring at something, someone. Someone's middle to be exact, she moved her gaze up. Silver hair, armor, rich clothing, cold eyes. The girl's throat tightened, her heart pounding now more than ever. The lord! He was so fast, how did he make it there? "I...I was..." Did he know she was human or was the scent of cat youkai strong enough to hide her own?

Those ocher orbs narrowed. "Very clever..." He said cooly, staring down at her. His gaze did not lighten. "Covering your own scent with that of another demon's by using their clothing. Too bad my sense of smell is so keen, you might have escaped." He was mocking her. Rin couldn't help but tremble, he was so cold, so mocking! Did he think this was some kind of joke? What would he do now that she was exposed, kill her?

Finding her voice, Rin spoke. "You can not keep me here!" She cried. Her body stopped shaking, her eyes taking on a determined look as she spoke. "Lord Sesshoumaru, I presume, I did nothing to wrong you and I refuse to stay locked up for a crime of another!" There was a long, heavy silence, so quiet she could even hear his calm, controlled breathing. That face remained stoic, masked of any emotion.

"So bold for one so frail. Most would say you should thank me, clothing and feeding you instead of leaving you to die."

"Leaving me to die? Explain yourself!" Rin demanded.

His eyes hardened, she wasn't scared. A human so bold to think they stood a chance. Amusing... "I do not have to explain myself wench. You'll go back to your rooms and stay there. Next time, you will be less fortunate."

She almost gave in, almost turned and left in defeat. "No." She said the words before she could stop them. The taiyoukai raised a brow.

"No? You'll bring death upon yourself, human, just for your freedom?" This wench was amusing him for the time, but Sesshoumaru knew, he would set her straight soon. After this curse proved false he could kill the curse's keeper, and nothing would stop him from taking her blood himself.

"What is a life without it? I will find a way to gain my freedom and if I can not, I'll simply stop eating and die. This life I lead is senseless, I have no purpose to keep it." Rin knew she wasn't lying, so many nights she had wanted to. Death would be her freedom, even if it meant leaving this earth.

He mentally cursed, if she killed herself and that human's curse proved true, he would become human. "Return to your corridor, and perhaps I will adress this matter later human."

"My name is Rin!"

"I care not of your name, now leave before I change my mind." Rin took a step back, unable to look away. His stare was almost hypnotizing. She jumped, hearing something clatter to the floor behind her.

"Milord!" Jaken sqwuacked, scurrying to pick up his strange staff. He picked it up, aiming it at Rin. "Forgive me for Rin's escape! Do you wish me to do away with her?" Rin stared in horror at toad. Kill her? She turned back to Sesshoumaru. He looked to be contemplating the idea.

"That will not be necassary." He stated coldly. The taiyoukai walked past her, his silver hair flowing gently. She watched him walk past Jaken, turn and disappear from her view. Not once through the whole ordeal had she seen any hint of emotion on his face. How was that possible?

"Go back to your rooms Rin!" Jaken demanded watching his master go. "Or feel the wrath of the Staff of Two Heads!"

"Master Jaken... I never knew you to be so cruel..." She stomped off, the cloak she wore fell forgotten to the floor. Jaken watched her go, blinking in surprise. What could those two have been talking about?

As Rin made her way up a winding staircase she stopped for a moment in thoughts. Had she won, or had she lost? 'At least I got his attention...' She thought and began walking again. The young woman groped around in the darkness for the wall which she followed. 'Oh great, now I'm lost!' With a light grumble she felt for a doorway, smiling to herself upon finding one. Surely someone would be inside, she meerly needed to get caught and escorted back to her rooms.

The room seemed even darker than the hall, except for a small flourescent glow. Even the large window let in no light. Rin squinted, a glass case...holding a flower...a rose...she stepped closer and gasped. A silver rose? Suddenly she felt cold, cold and hungry. Snow whirled around, and she was standing before two large doors. The young girl shook her head. 'What was that? A dream...but I'm awake...' She peered at the silver rose. It seemed to call her.

Now standing beside the case looking wasn't enough. Reaching out a hand she began to pull the case off, the rose kept its silver glow. Only a few petals remained, the rest were scattered about it. Something moved next to her. A chill ran up her spine. Rin turned and gasped, her face paled. Two crimson eyes, staring at her from the darkness. The young woman opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out.


Notes: Let me explain the whole 'keeper' thing. Honestly I'd written the whole first chapter when it dawned on me. Why would Sesshoumaru keep Rin alive for no reason? So she is the keeper of the curse, though she doesn't know it yet. Also...Sesshoumaru is very talkative compared to his usual self in this story. And he keeps making excuses as to why he keeps Rin alive. No one can know he worries that the curse may be real! And just to clear things up on Rin...

After being taken at the age of three she has stayed in her corridor, only leaving every once in a while to try and escape. Of course, being human, she is detected right away and returned. Servants come in and out, though only Kaori and Jaken speak to her! Obviously she had never seen Sesshoumaru and did not know what he looked like. AND I guess someone taught her how to read...or she taught herself! XD

And the curse's words I came up with in about 2 minutes so I know they sound...weird! Not really meant to be poem-like or anything. Just...a curse. -

REVIEW-REVIEW-REVIEW-REVIEW-REVIEW-

Taiyoukai: demon lord or king

Neko: cat

Inu: dog

Youkai: demon

-sama: Shows respect, means 'Lord' or 'Lady'

Ningen: Human or mortal.

(Please tell me any mistakes in translation or story in a review or email!)

Now I will post a spoiler to the actual series! (I do this is some of my first chapters!)

SPOILER BELOW, DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT IT SPOILED!

Spoiler: Far off into the manga, after Kagura dies, Tokijin is broken. Sesshoumaru is now left with the 'useless' Tetsaiga. Then Totosai comes, saying it is time to reforge Tetsaiga. Totosai said Sesshoumaru's heart had changed, (Kagura...? Rin maybe...?) Anyway it is reforged and now can be used as a weapon! Meidou Zangetsuha is the name of the attack. It opens up a portal between the world of living and dead! Whether or not Tetsaiga can still bring people back to life, I am unsure.

Ways to contact me

AIM: mountvernongirl

Gaia: RayGirl1991

Runescape: RachaelInu2

E-mail: don't use these to chat. These are ways you can ask me questions about the story or other stories of mine! And another note, I don't really play RS anymore!)

Wow, longest notes I've ever done...bye peoples!