By mew-tsubaki

2/13/06- 2/14/06© Original story

Sesshoumaru, Rin, Jaken, Inuyasha, & Inutaisho©2000 Rumiko Takahashi.

All rights reserved.

Note: This Inuyasha fanfic is set some years later, when Rin is older (like 18) and her feelings for Sesshoumaru start to show (and vice versa). P.S. to all Sesshoumaru fans: sorry if he comes across as a dope, but he doesn't talk much, so how do we know if this isn't what he's really like?

"Come on! I'm too big for this kimono now! If I can just get my hands on some fabric, a needle, and some thread, then I can make my own clothes! You guys don't have to come into the village with me. I can manage just fine by myself! So, are we okay now?"

"No! We are to follow Master Sesshoumaru wherever he goes, and he has no need to stop in a village." Jaken glared angrily at Rin and moved on, only to bump into the back of Sesshoumaru. "Is there something you need, Master?" Jaken inquired.

Without turning to look at either of them, Sesshoumaru said, "Let the girl go if she has to, Jaken. We can wait outside of the village for her."

Rin blushed and uttered, "Thank you." Rin picked her head up and, as she headed towards the nearby village over the hill, said, "I'll only be a few minutes, so just wait here, okay?"

Jaken sighed. "Are you always going give in to her, Master Sesshoumaru?"

Strangely, Sesshoumaru smiled as he watched Rin go off into the distance. "Maybe...," he mumbled.

Kitsune no Hi Village

"Um, I'll take this cloth and...this thread. Oh, do you have any needles, as well?"

The lady behind the stand pulled out a small hand-crafted box and opened it. "Here you go. You may choose any one you like, free of charge."

"Wow! Thank you so very much. Hmm... Which one do I choose...?" While Rin was comparing needles, she didn't notice the middle-age men approaching her from behind.

"Look at the body on this one! We could make a fortune off of her!" exclaimed one of the men.

Another grabbed her wrist and held a carving knife to her throat. "Imagine the money we would make if she's unspoiled meat..."

Nervously, Rin looked at the woman behind the counter, but the woman showed no sign of helping her. The woman's husband came out and directed her to the back, where it was safe. But no one was going to help Rin, so she opened her mouth. "You have no right to take hold of me, so let me go!"

"The price might go down if she keeps mouthing off, though," said the first man.

"Well, then," said the second man, "we'll just have to teach her a lesson."

Rin squinted her eyes shut as she felt the blade being pressed into her flesh. A small trickle of blood dribbled down her neck. But soon the blade dropped to the dusty ground under her feet and Rin turned around to come face-to-face with her captor, who was now the one being held captive be a long samurai sword. "Step away from the girl," said the sword's wielder coolly.

"Sesshoumaru-san!"

"And just who do you think you are, her husband?" retorted the second man. Rin noticed that the men weren't afraid of the lofty demon, but then she observed that Sesshoumaru had cleverly hid his pointed ears behind his long snowy locks of hair.

"Who knows," Sesshoumaru replied with a disturbing smile. "Maybe I am." Rin blushed.

"Then we'll just have to steal her from you!" shouted the first man. Sesshoumaru sheathed the sword he was holding and pulled the Tensaiga out from its case as the first man lunged forward with his sword unsheathed. Sesshoumaru stepped towards the man and, with one fell swoop, slashed the man down the middle. On-lookers who had crowded around the fighters covered their mouths in disgust while others amongst them turned away. But Rin looked on, knowing the Tensaiga's secret.

A bright flash of light, and the man was whole again. Rin ran to Sesshoumaru and the men backed away. "Wh-who are you!" one of them asked.

"Someone you do not want to infuriate," Sesshoumaru responded. And with that said, he and Rin left.

"You could've been hurt," Sesshoumaru quietly commented after he and Rin were a good distance away from the village. Their walk had been unusually quiet until Sesshoumaru spoke up.

Rin stared at the ground as she clutched to his left sleeve. "It wasn't my fault, though. It just kind of happened. I'm just glad you showed up at the right time." Rin stopped, yanking Sesshoumaru's sleeve and causing him to waver a little.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"How did you know when to show up? It was almost as if you were watching me the whole time." Rin looked Sesshoumaru squarely in the eye.

"When traveling with companions, one must always be ready for the worst." Rin turned red again, but Sesshoumaru did not face her, and he pulled away from her grip.

"Yes, one must, I suppose...," Rin muttered to herself.

"Master Sesshoumaru!" Jaken paused. "Rin..." He turned his gaze towards his master once more. "What happened? Both of you were gone for so long, I was so worried! Did the villagers try to attack you because you're a demon?"

"The villagers were no problem. I simply fetched Rin so we could move on," Sesshoumaru said to Jaken. He sat down in front a nearby tree and Rin gave him a puzzled look. "Don't you need some daylight to sew your new kimono?"

"Oh, yes... I'll try not to take to long."

"Time is really of no matter. You should work hard with the fabric to make the kimono look nice. We'll patiently wait right here, won't we, Jaken?"

Jaken sighed and nodded.

"Rin, you also have something right here." Sesshoumaru pointed under his chin on the edge of his shirt with a straight face. "It looks like a little bit of dry blood."

"Oh, yes, thank you..."

"Blood!" Jaken exclaimed. "But you told me that..."

Sesshoumaru smushed Jaken into the ground. "You may want to wash it off in the stream we passed earlier."

"I will do as you say, then." Rin walked off, a little disappointed that Sesshoumaru was back to his usual cold self.

"Maybe he's just two-faced," Rin said to herself as she finished the kimono. She held it up so se could get a good look at it and smiled; it came out better than she expected. A violet blossom across a backdrop of orchid was the fabric's design. "Now it's bath time!" she happily exclaimed.

Rin stripped, washed herself, and then started scrubbing the blood stain out of the years old kimono she had worn almost all her life. "Ugh! Why can't I get this stupid stain out!" Tiny tears trickled down her cheeks as Rin became frustrated. "I hate this... Jaken yelling at me all the time, Sesshoumaru-san being two-faced, no family..." Rin clutched the orange and yellow kimono to her chest and quietly sobbed into it.

"Who's two-faced?" came a voice from directly behind Rin.

Rin turned around, fast enough to get whiplash. "AAH! What are you doing! You're supposed to be waiting for me! I'm not even dressed!" Still clutching the kimono to her chest, Rin sank into the ice-cold water for extra cover. "There's a thing called privacy, Sesshoumaru-san!"

Sesshoumaru gingerly touched Rin's side ponytail and said, "Humans are so strange... You all know what you look like underneath your clothes, so why hide yourself?"

Rin had to admit that that did make sense, but still... "It doesn't matter; we just do! Anyway, what are you here for, Sesshoumaru-san?" Rin said angrily.

"You were taking too long again," he replied. He sighed and stood up, eyes closed. "I never really understood the use of formalities..."

"Well," Rin began, "their used to indicate terms of respect."

"And if someone doesn't use formalities? What then?"

"... It means that two people are close enough to just drop the formalities." Rin looked at Sesshoumaru's face and observed his wondering expression.

Rin gave him a moment to see if he was going to continue and, as expected, he did. "… Then, do I call you Rin-san? Or do you remain Rin?"

She was completely red from head to toe now. He had caught her off guard with a new child-like innocence. Rin was so stunned that she couldn't even speak. Instead, she just watched Sesshoumaru's eyelids droop over his eyes in a tired fashion. Suddenly, he spoke. "The moon... It's beautiful, isn't it?"

Rin relaxed and gazed up at the moon as well. "Yes," she said, smiling. "It really is."

Sesshoumaru sauntered over to a nearby bush. Rin waited for him to do something, but he did nothing. Finally, while facing the other way, he said, "Aren't you going to get dressed?"

"You're going to look the other way?"

"Whatever..."

"Then yes, I will." Rin got out of the water, dried off, and dressed herself in the newly-made kimono. "It's okay to look now," Rin hollered to Sesshoumaru as she stared at her image in the stream. He came over and asked her what she was doing with her hair. "Oh, I just think I need a new hairstyle now that I'm older. I kind of want to get rid of my little kid look. Any suggestions?"

"Why not a braid on the side? It wouldn't be exactly like your other one, but it would be easy to do."

"I don't know how to braid."

Sesshoumaru sighed. "Then I'll do it. Give me your hair tie."

Rin blushed. It felt so weird to be this close to Sesshoumaru, but it felt nice. And then she wondered... "Where did you learn to braid?" Rin paused Sesshoumaru by touching his hands.

Straight-faced, he answered, "My mother. She was always fiddling with her hair. A great demon, she was, and a beautiful one, at that."

"I thought Inuyasha was a half-demon."

"He is. My mother was a demon and his was a dreadful mortal. I don't know what Inutaisho, our father, saw in her. I can't believe he was killed as he was trying to protect Izayoi..."

Rin fixed her eyes on the ground. "I see... Are all mortals dreadful to you?"

"Well, what's the point of living if you're not going to be around forever?" Sesshoumaru stopped braiding her hair, for he noticed that Rin was shaking. "Are you cold?"

She turned around and slapped him.

"And what's the matter now? I don't think you know what you're doing by attacking me..."

Rin looked through his eyes. "You jerk! I thought you were different from the others, but you're just a cold-blooded demon after all!" Rin, with a half-braided side-ponytail, got up and ran from Sesshoumaru, leaving him with emotions he had never felt before: hurt, confused, and concerned.

The three of them were walking the next morning in an unsettling silence. Jaken walked in-between Rin and Sesshoumaru, for the two were just not speaking to each other. He looked from Rin to Sesshoumaru and from Sesshoumaru to Rin again and again. Jaken was distraught: what had happened between the two of them!

Rin was the one to at last break the silence, but she wasn't going to talk to Sesshoumaru. No, she was going to sing:

akaku nijimou taiyou wa subete o

terashite kita ima mo mukashi mo

kono yuuyami ni egaiteru souzou wa

hatashite kono te ni oenai mono na no ka?

(The crimson-stained sun

has illuminated everything; now and the past.

is what I have imagined within this twilight

more than my own hands can accomplish?)

motto ima ijou ni hadaka ni natte

ikite yusube oshiete yo

honno sukoshi dake watashi o yogoshite

sou yatte hitori kizutsuitari

mawari wo nakushita to shita mo

shinjutsu no uta wa kono mune ni nagare

(Please teach me how to live

a little more vulnerably than I do now.

Won't you taint me just a little?

That way, even if I get hurt

and lose everything around me,

this song of truth will flow through my heart.)

arasoi wa mada tsuzukun darou

dono michi ima ga taisetsu na no sa

gamushara ni natte miotoshite kita mono

tatoeba dare ka no yasashii hohoemi mo

(This dispute will probably go on

about that which is most precious.

I've become a rebel, I've overlooked things,

even the gentle smiles of strangers.)

eien o shireba donna kurayami mo

itami mo itsuka kiete

sou yatte ima wa watashi o yogoshite

zutto mukashi mita tenkuu no shiro ni

itsuka wa tadoritsukeru

shinjutsu no uta o michishirube ni shite

(If eternity knows what manner of darkness

and when pain will vanish,

then that way, you shall taint me.

I looked always to yesterday, to the castles in the sky;

when will I be able to follow them?

This song of truth shall be my guide.)

eien o shireba donna kurayami mo

itami mo itsuka kiete

shinjutsu no uta wa kono mune ni nagare

(If eternity knows what manner of darkness

and when pain will vanish,

this song of truth will flow through the heart.)

motto ima ijou ni watashi o yogoshite

hon no sukoshi dake watashi o yogoshite

(Now, please, taint me just a little.

Please, just taint me, only a little.)

Shinjutsu no uta o michishirube ni shite."

(This song of truth shall be my guide.)

(Copyright 2000 "Shinjutsu no Uta" by Do As Infinity)

Sesshoumaru stared at Rin for a long time, eyes wide with amazement. Jaken took notice of this and hurried on ahead to give the other two some time alone.

"Amazing, isn't it? I've...always loved to sing." Rin smiled modestly. "I bet you never knew that about me."

Sesshoumaru coughed nervously and turned his face away from Rin, who could've sworn she had just seen him blush. Slyly, Rin teased him. "Is the great demon Sesshoumaru, son of the great Inutaisho, showing emotion! Come on! Turn around and show us your face!" Rin yanked on his right sleeve as he tried to get away, but his attempts were of no prevail. Rin turned him around and, even though his brow was furrowed, he was as red as a beet.

"How the heck do you embarrass a demon!" Rin said. She was so astonished that she couldn't help but laugh.

"Is it really all that funny?" Sesshoumaru retorted. "It's not my fault. I think it's your effect on me, because these emotions I'm feeling are obviously human."

"And just what might those feelings be?"

He brushed through his bangs with his hand and, while still red, said, "I don't know... I can't exactly describe them, but..."

"...But?"

"But it squeezes me...right...here," he mumbled. At the 'here' in his sentence, he cupped his hand over his heart, and Rin started crying again. "And that's another thing. When you ran off crying the other day, something inside of me... I don't know what I'm saying. You're just laughing at me again." Sesshoumaru sighed and turned away from Rin. But she wasn't going to let him run away. She was going to help him and make him face these emotions. Rin ran up behind him and gripped the back of his shirt.

"Rin..."

"Shh. I was crying because I was laughing too hard. Another thing you'll come to discover about humans is that we cry out of anger, laughter, and happiness. I was crying out of joy. You know,... I really didn't want to lump you in with all of the other demons. I know you're different and... I'm sorry for the hurtful things I said last night. Do you forgive me?"

"I don't think demons are able to forgive."

"But you're an exception, right?"

"Yes," Sesshoumaru said, smiling. "I'm an exception."

"One more thing: don't grin around others; it might scare them."

"And it doesn't scare this little girl because...?"

"Here's your last lesson of the day: humans can love demons and vice versa." Rin poked Sesshoumaru's cheek with her index finger and smiled. "Come on," she said. "Last one to catch up with Jaken's a rotten egg."

As he watched the teen run over the hill into the nightfall, he muttered to himself, "So many years you have been by my side, Rin, and never have you taught me so many valuable things." Sesshoumaru heaved a happy sigh. "At least I don't have a crush on a little girl any more..."

Hitsunare Village

Later that night, the three came upon a village festival. (Yes, I said three. They hid Sesshoumaru's ears again and hid Jaken in Sesshoumaru's fluffy thingy. Sorry, I don't know what it's called.) Lanterns hung all over the place and performers filled the dirt roads. "It's so exotic! Isn't it wonderful, Sesshoumaru?" Rin paused, realizing her mistake. "Uh-uh-I mean..."

"I know what you meant, Rin. But dropping them already? You make your moves quickly." Sesshoumaru chuckled.

"Ooh, look!" Rin rushed over to one of the booths that was selling sweets. "Sesshoumaru, come look at this!"

"I'm coming, I'm coming..." He strutted over to the booth and watched Rin drool hungrily as she saw the onigiri (rice balls) and sweet bean dumplings. But then Rin saw some sort of brown substance. "What's this?" she asked the dealer.

"Oh, it's a new thing called chocolate. It comes from Europe and is very expensive. But, tonight, I'm only selling it for fifty yen per cut. What do you say? You want some? For you and handsome here?"

"Sure!" Rin gave the man the money and he asked her which flavor she wanted. "Flavor?"

"Oh, yes. I have milk chocolate, which is the regular kind, dark, and white."

"Um, how about...dark?"

"Alright, then! Two pieces of dark chocolate for the nice young lady, coming right up!"

Sesshoumaru, glad that they could finally move on past the booth, walked away from the booth, as a goldfish catching booth caught his eye.

As Rin turned to catch up with him, the man caught her arm. "Miss, there's a myth about the chocolate. They say that if you eat from the opposite ends from the same bar of chocolate with your lover at sunrise, your love with them will last forever. I think you should try that with your boyfriend over there, Miss."

"Thank you," Rin said, blushing. The man nodded and, as she walked away, said, "Good luck, Miss. May all your dreams come true."

Rim muttered to herself, "They already have..."

"What has?" inquired Sesshoumaru.

"Eh-heh-heh... Nothing. So, wanna go eat this?"

"Why indulge in human food?" Sesshoumaru realized he said something stupid because Rin stuck out her lower lip. "All right, all right..."

"How about under that tree?" Rin requested. She pointed into the distance to a large oak and a sweat drop formed on Sesshoumaru's head.

"You want to go that far?" he asked.

"Well... Oh, just come on!" Rin grasped his hand and they ran like they were running from the rest of the world with no worries at all.

"Here," Rin said, passing one of the chocolate bars to Sesshoumaru. Afore he took a bite, Rin pointed out the sun, which was beginning to wake up the rest of the world. "Look! Don't you think it's just so wonderful to watch something like this together?"

"What? Watch Jaken chase after the doves ahead?" Sesshoumaru innocently asked. After they had sat down, Jaken gave them some more alone time, for he decided that love would be beneficial to his master.

"No, idiot. The sunrise." Rin looked down at her chocolate and decided now or never. "I think I want your chocolate."

"They're the same; just eat it."

"But yours looks better."

"Fine. We'll trade."

"N-no! I-I, uh, want to eat yours with you."

Sesshoumaru gave Rin a perplexed look. "Are you sure? They are exactly the same, you know." Rin pouted again and he caved. "Fine..."

"How about I eat this end and you eat that end?" Rin hoped she wasn't pushing him too far so as to detect her peculiar behavior. And luckily, he was just as much of a dope as she thought he was.

So, there they were, watching the sun rise, eating the same bar of chocolate, one of them hoping the myth was real.

"Hey," Rin commented, "do you believe in myths and legends?"

"Some people think I am one."

"Heh..." Rin didn't say anything more. She sat there, thinking to herself, Then let me be one with you... And a spectacular day ended on a bar of bittersweet chocolate.

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