Disclaimer: Nope, don't own Sesshoumaru, or Rin, or Jaken, or that annoying fire-War God whose name I don't remember. Rumiko Takahashi gets the credit for that.

AN: Yeah, I know I should be updating Even Me (for those of you who read it) but this idea hit me during school so I couldn't let it pass. My first Sesshoumaru-centered fanfic! This is what happens when Shadowblade-tara gets good and confused in physics class and her only means of escape is a pen and a pad of paper.

How We are Different

They sheltered that night in a small, flower-filled clearing. Jaken was asleep against Ah-Un, the staff lying across his knees. Sesshoumaru shook his head in disgust at the toad youkai. Just how stupid could he get? He had let Rin out of his sight twice today, and now he was asleep without even checking to make sure Sesshoumaru had returned.

Not that he could blame Jaken. Rin took a lot more liberties with Jaken than she did with Sesshoumaru. The taiyoukai leaned back against the tree and stared at the sky, trying to blank his mind. It didn't work.

"We are kindred spirits!"

"You are out of your mind."

A low keening sounded from his chest, and try as he might he couldn't stop it. The fight with the War God hung heavily in his mind, and he had yet to figure out why. Why did it bother him so much that the youkai had classified he and Sesshoumaru the same?

It doesn't matter, he growled to himself. I defeated him. I'm not as weak as him.

But that wasn't what bothered him. It was the mental comparison, the idea that he was nothing more than a killing machine. A murderer.

He wondered what Rin would think of that.

"Sesshoumaru-sama? What's wrong?"

His eyes flickered over to the little girl standing beside him. "Nothing, Rin." he said quietly. "Why aren't you asleep?"

"Rin heard you crying." she said, her eyes shining with concern. "Rin thought you were having a nightmare."

Sesshoumaru was torn between scoffing at the idea of him ever having a nightmare and touched that she had thought to comfort him. "It was a bad memory." I saw myself in him. Different, but still me. Why does that repulse me?

He was startled from his thoughts when Rin climbed into his lap and snuggled up against his chest. "Rin understands." she said, her voice quiet so only Sesshoumaru could hear. "Rin remembers when her parents died. It's a bad memory too." Her small hand found bare skin past his undershirt and began gently rubbing a circular pattern with her thumb. "Rin's father used to do this when she was upset. Does it help you too?"

"Hai, it does." As he studied the young girl in his arm, doing her best to comfort him, his answer came as swift as anything.

"Tell me, then, how we differ."

This is how we are different. I am not you.


AN: I'm gonna leave it up to you to decode his answer. I'll try to update Even Me by tomorrow hopefully!