Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha.

Author's Note: This story is a sequel to Rin's Smile and Sesshomaru's Decision. I highly suggest that you read that story first before proceeding with this one to understand the context.

Chapter One: The Gift

It was fifty years since Sesshomaru had left Rin in the village. In that time, she had gotten married, and had children, and her children had children. She lived a long, full life, surrounded by family and love.

But now, Rin was very old. Her husband Maruji had died years ago, leaving his beloved wife all alone. Their children had families of their own. Rin found her home, which had once been full of life and vigor, was now quiet and hollow.

It was during these times that Rin's thoughts began to wander to days of old, memories that she'd pushed to the back of her mind ever since her life became one with her husband's.

Rin had not seen Sesshomaru since that day when he came to take her back from the village. Rin refused him, and they parted. Sesshomaru never tried again to take her back, nor did he ever come to visit her.

Inwardly, Rin was glad. She had made her decision and was able to live out her life. It would have been harder for her if Sesshomaru tried to interfere.

But now, Rin knew deep within her heart that her life was nearing its end, and there was one person she desperately wanted to see before it was over. It was time to utilize his gift.

Shortly after she'd married Maruji, Rin discovered an elaborate golden birdcage mysteriously placed in her home. In the cage was a small bird demon, and tied to its leg there was a note, which read simply, "If you ever need me."

Rin never told Maruji about the note. She merely said to him that the bird was a wedding gift, and left it at that. Rin took care of the bird all these years, and regarded it fondly as her pet. She never once let it out of its cage.

Now, Rin took out her good parchment, ink, and brush. It was early still; the sun had not yet risen fully, and Rin's aged eyes struggled in the faint light. She managed to write a short message, and tied the note to her bird's leg with a red string. Then, for the first time, Rin took the bird out of its cage, and set it free!

It flew off, just as the sun climbed over the horizon. The morning's fiery rays ran through the bird's wings as it flapped furiously away, and was soon lost amongst the clouds.

"I pray," Rin said as she watched the bird disappear, "That you are able to find him after all this time."

Rin sighed, and then whispered, "There is nothing more I can do now except hope."

Then, Rin lay down slowly and with difficulty in her old age. She stared out her window, and struggled to breathe, rasping a bit.

"Please, let me last long enough to see him one more time," she prayed.

She watched as the sun climbed to its highest peak, and then began the lonely journey back down to earth.

Rin waited.