So, I'm back! And hopefully this chapter will redeem me. XD I doubt it, but I'll keep hoping anyway. I don't have MS Word anymore, and I'm just working off Word Pad and hoping my grammar isn't atrocious as I think it is. In any case... AFTER TWO YEARS!! Let's do this!!

Disclaimer: I don't own Inu Yasha!

Coming to Terms

It had been two months since he had last seen her. Two months. Two... heart breaking... months. So much remorse. So much pain. So much emotion that it became too much, and it desensitized him - made him numb. He didn't have control of his body anymore, and to be perfectly honest, he just didn't care. It was so unlike him. Too unlike him to give up so easily. Even with the death of his two vassals, he would've lived on. Could have lived on. He was Sesshoumaru after all! Such questionable matters were beneath him!

...Then why did it hurt so much?

He couldn't find the answer to that. The demon presence within him had full control of his motor functions, and it often confused his thoughts and poisoned his logic. It... she (the gender of the presence had become more obvious over the period of time he had known it)... constantly told him to not think of the matter. They were in his way, anyway. There was no need for such thoughts of mourning, guilt, and - Gods forbid - love. That would only hinder him. Besides, love for a human girl? It was blasphemy! Pathetic. Appalling. No doubt the only reason such feelings for a woman would ever exist would be because he wanted to have sex with her. It's all lust, the demon presence reasoned. It is okay now, my beautiful one. I will satisfy those... hungers.

Though the presence had control over his body and more, Sesshoumaru had his moments of rebellion. Those moments when he would remember the girl with the honest, dark eyes and the silly smile that had caught his attention the first time they had met. The girl who meant so much more to him than he had ever realized, and had the power to shatter whatever remained of the citadel around his heart. The citadel that the demoness could not invade. And yet, those moments of rebellion would fade instantly, for he would remember one thing.

He had killed the girl with the honest eyes and the silly smile. Killed her as she admitted to feelings that must have taken so much courage to say. Killed her when her eyes were so trusting, as if he could never do anything wrong. Killed her along with his will to fight, for even though it was so unlike Sesshoumaru to give up, he had taken away two of the most precious things in his world.

The life of a loyal toad demon who he would have considered (secretly) a friend and the life of the woman who made him warm and astonishingly... gentle.

On the inside, beyond the strangling clutches of the demon presence, in his heart's citadel where no one could see him - not even himself - Sesshoumaru. Strong, great, Lord Sesshoumaru wept for the life he had lost... and the two people who had given themselves to his service willingly.

-+-

"Looks like she's coming around."

"Rin? Rin can you hear us?"

"Rin, it's me. Kagome," the first voice coaxed.

Slowly but surely, her eyes opened. Kaya and Saya sighed in relief while the strange girl in unusual clothes sat back on her ankles. Rin blinked once, twice, and for a moment couldn't speak out of shock. Had she fainted? She didn't remember fainting. Yet, that wasn't the problem... it was the staring gaze of the strange woman that unnerved her. "Who are you?" Rin whispered quietly, though the anxiety beneath the words was quite obvious.

"I'm Kagome, remember? Well, we haven't seen each other in a long time... not since you were little," the stranger smiled encouragingly. "You've grown taller."

"I do not know you," Rin answered bluntly; however, there was something in the back of her mind that was saying something else. Yes, the woman was wearing different clothes, but she looked vaguely familiar.

Kaya and Saya regarded their friend closely. "We were lucky Lady Kagome and her entourage was here when they were. The fox demon Shippou was telling us of their journey to the north. Apparently they're in search of a jewel, and they know you"

Now why did that sound familiar? Though it had been years, the memory of a tiny shard, no bigger than the tip of her pinky were in the hands of a group looking for said shards... and the thief Naraku. That came to mind, and unlike the rest of the memories that had seemed to vanish into thin air - it seemed this jewel and the thief had become her only saving grace in her fight to take back whatever memories had left her.

"I do not know you," Rin repeated dully. So what if the jewel sounded familiar? She forgot her past for a reason. It hurt to think about it. She would have liked to just live in peace... in peace!

"My name is Higurashi Kagome," the strange woman offered her full name. "You fainted on your way back here so my friends helped you. I noticed you... well... we all noticed you had..." Her voice trailed off, but her eyes danced to the sheathed blade at Rin's side. The girl unconsciously put her hand over it.

"Fang calls to Fang," Kagome said carefully as if she treaded on uneven ground. "The past two months, my friend's sword, Tetsusaiga, has been thrumming. The closer we got to here, the more it thrummed. Last night it stopped, and we found you. At first, we didn't know it was you, and only saw you carry a sword - but..." Again her voice trailed off, but this time it was momentary. "What happened, Rin? Why don't you remember me? Where's Sessho-"

"STOP IT!" Rin exploded. She was on her feet, Tensaiga in hand, unsheathed and pointed at Kagome's throat. In her mind she knew the blade could not harm her.

From the woman's expression, she knew it too. "Who did this to you? Who hurt you so much that you don't even remember him?" Her words were calm and sad... sisterly in a way.

Kaya and Saya had backed away from the scene. For the first time they were afraid of Rin, afraid of what she was capable of. They held on to each other and watched how the events of the evening unfolded.

It was their terrified faces that brought Rin back to reality. She sheathed Tensaiga and bowed her head, "I do not want to remember what happened, and I do not want to know why it happened to me. All I know is I am happy here... with Kaya and Saya and Riello and Mitski. So please, I beg of you... no more."

"Rin... I-"

"No more. If you wish it. You can take this wretched sword!" The girl turned her head away and thrust it out with one hand towards Kagome.

The older woman looked at it for a long time. Too long. Seconds passed in silence until it drifted into minutes. Her answer came evenly, "You keep it. If anyone was meant to really take care of it, it's you." Her hand folded around the girl's and pushed it to her chest. "Lets be friends, okay? After all, I haven't seen you in years."

Rin stared at her in disbelief, but for some reason or another - she found herself smiling. "Alright," was her answer.

Later that night, Riello and his wife Mitski had returned to become hosts to two strangers. One being the priestess Kagome, the fox demon Shippou (who had that whole time been outside as to not bother them). The other three of the group, the half-demon InuYasha, the monk Miroku, and the slayer Sango had gone in search of someone, though Kagome did not say who it was in front of Rin. Whatever was within the priestess's head went unsaid, and for the most part - all conversation between Rin and Kagome was casual and not too pressing. Saya and Kaya even got into talking with them. Their questions of the unusual canisters that had such good medicinal qualities fascinated Kaya beyond belief, and Saya's goggling eyes of meeting the infamous Kikyo reincarnated just gushed with adoration.

The night went on with laughter, food, and even on occasions Shippou's tricks of the eye that made the twins want so much to hug him; Rin just thought of the demon as someone she used to know. She was thinking of a toad though. Why on earth she was thinking of a toad when Shippou was more adorable and furrier, she had no idea.

However, Rin knew better than anyone this was going to come to an end. Though she wanted to forget everything, Kagome's presence brought a very uncomfortable feeling to her chest where her wound had been, and had turned what she had known for two months upside down.

No... as much as the girl wanted to deny it... sooner or later, she would have to face those memories locked away in the recesses of her subconscious.

And she would have to face the silvery-white haired angel who's eyes spoke volumes to her heart and beckoned her from the darkness.