By Miss Kagura
"Rin, are you all right?" Sesshoumaru asked.
Rin was quiet for a moment, as if trying to sense if anything was wrong. "Rin's head hurts." She said, running her fingers along a bandage. "But other than that, Rin feels good." She frowned and the smell of her blood tainted her breath. "Owie, I bit the inside of my mouth." Her mouth opened just slightly and Sesshoumaru saw her tiny pink tongue snake over a small, perfectly-formed fang. "Rin feels really good, in fact." She lay back down and closed her eyes, smiling as she sighed.
Dr. Yamaguchi entered with a rather devastated look on his face and looked at the 'dead' EEG screen, which was disconnected from Rin. "I am very sorry for your loss, Mr. Inutaisho. We did our best. Unfortunately, it just wasn't good enough. Rin was a very special girl."
The old man nearly fell over when Rin chirped her thanks at him. "What? How? I don't understand!"
"Rin got better just like you said!" Rin happily exclaimed. "See?"
The doctor looked down at the arms she held out for him. The bruises, the IV and needle punctures, and rashes caused by the chemotherapy had completely vanished as if they had never been there. "Your eyes…" He said, glancing over his shoulder at Sesshoumaru, who bore the same eye color. None of it made sense, and for the first time, the doctor realized Sesshoumaru and his brother were possibly something other than rather unique albinos.
Rin relaxed and smiled. She felt better than she had in so long. Other than a fading dull ache in her head, nothing felt wrong. She wasn't tired, she didn't feel sad, and the natural cheerfulness that had seemingly abandoned her had returned.
"I need to do some tests immediately!" Dr. Yamaguchi said, hurriedly rushing out of the room.
After she was moved back to her normal room, Rin immediately attacked the toys Sesshoumaru had bought her. She drew pictures, and beat him at Chutes and Ladders three times in a row while they were waiting for test results. When they came to give her an MRI, Sesshoumaru went for a walk with Kagome through the hospitals small garden to burn the time.
"So what happened? Did Rin turn into a hanyou?" Kagome asked, as confused and shocked as he was.
"I am unsure." Sesshoumaru replied. Was the change permanent? If it wasn't, would she become ill again? Was the temporary relief just some teasing of fate? When would death snap its jaws down on Rin again? He didn't want to buy into the false hope of an instant cure for her disease, like so many other parents he had seen come and go.
He blankly stared down at the concrete steps that lead through the garden, all of them markers to commemorate the founders and contributors of the hospital. It was a noble act, to be sure, and the youkai lord wondered how people could stand to live their entire lives in the hell that he and Rin had been in. According to pamphlets he read when bored, the hospital had been standing for ten years and seen thousands of children. It was a monument to broken noses, car accidents, cancer, death, and needles.
Sesshoumaru froze and reached into his pocket for a folded up drawing Rin had made him earlier.
"What's wrong?" Kagome asked as Sesshoumaru knelt down. She gasped at what was right under his feet. In his hand, he held a drawing of Rin's name. The concrete step at his feet bore the same sloppy signature, down to way she drug a line down to make the outline of a flower at the end of her name. At the bottom of the step, this was inscribed:
Rin Inutaisho – Volunteer Garden Planner
Sesshoumaru let out a sigh of relief. The only way for that to be there was if Rin was still alive when the hospital was built. That meant a lot of things; she wasn't going to get sick, she wasn't going to die young, and she wasn't going to age like a mortal should.
"Wow." Kagome said. "So if she isn't going to get sick again, I guess there's no reason she should have to hang around here, huh?" She looked around. "Sesshoumaru?"
He was already gone.
Two Years Later
Rin tied a bright orange ribbon around the sloppy ponytail on the left side of her head. The vibrant color seemed even more striking against her silky silver hair. She gave her teeth a thorough flossing and brushing, knowing well that Sesshoumaru would be able to smell if she didn't. Delicate fingers reached for a box on the bathroom counter and took the lid off, revealing a gift from Sesshoumaru. The new yellow-and-orange checkered kimono looked just like the one she had outgrown.
When the green obi was tied, Rin went to her room in the house she and Sesshoumaru shared with Inuyasha and Kagome, who had been married awhile back. After learning about modern schools, Sesshoumaru and Rin made a deal of sorts. During the school year, she lived in Modern Tokyo. He would take extended trips to his own time, and left her in Kagome's care. She didn't mind, and knew that if it wasn't Kagome she was with it would be Jaken. On various weekends, and during the summer, she and Sesshoumaru went to the Feudal Era, where she was free to run barefoot in fields and pick flowers just as she always had done.
Yesterday had been the last day of school, which meant it was time for Rin to return to simplistically happy, wild life she shared with Sesshoumaru and their strange little family. With a big smile, she threw a backpack on the bed and threw some clothes in, along with some crayons and paper and a doll.
The young girl ran downstairs and opened the refrigerator. She stuffed a plastic bag of strawberries in the backpack for Ah-Un, as well as a book for Jaken. He always did know quite a lot about the world, and he wasn't shy about it either.
"Sit!" Kagome yelled from the dining room. "Really Inuyasha, you shouldn't say words like that in front of the baby!"
"Sit!" The baby repeated. Her father slammed into the ground and Inuyasha realized that his daughter apparently inherited the ability to sit him. He already knew that babies speak a lot, even if their vocabulary is on the small side. "Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit!" Shiori squealed, as she clapped and giggled at what happened when she said the word. She grabbed a handful of rice and threw it off the highchair at him. "Sit! Sit! Sit!"
Sesshoumaru entered the dining room with a candy bar. He waved it in Shiori's face and made an offer. "If you say 'Sit' enough times, your uncle will give you this." A string of rapid-fire 'sits' followed. "This Sesshoumaru could watch this amusement all day."
Kagome sighed. "Stop feeding her junk food. You're going to teach her bad eating habits."
Inuyasha finally crawled up from the floor and glared at his brother, but said nothing. Thankfully, Sesshoumaru was going to be gone all summer, which was the only thing that kept him from lunging at him. Bubbly laughter from his daughter completely distracted him from his anti-Sesshoumaru rage as she nibbled at the treat happily.
"I'm ready, Sesshomaru-sama!" Rin said, slinging the backpack over her shoulder eagerly.
The first thing Rin always did when she arrived in the Feudal Era was take a deep breath. The air was so clean, the grass was so soft, and she felt free in an odd way. This time, Jaken and Ah-Un were waiting for them, one considerably less patient than the other two.
"My Lord! You brought that human child back ag--" Jaken started as foot made contact with his backside.
Rin laughed. "Nice contact, Sesshoumaru-sama!"
"Thank you, Rin." Sesshoumaru replied.
He watched her scamper toward the dragon, backpack in hand. No one asked why Rin followed him anymore; it was obvious from her hair and her eyes that her smile was no lie. She was his daughter, and belonged with him. Nothing, not even death itself could change that.
Years went by, and Rin grew up, much to Sesshoumaru's dismay. There were a million moments perfectly preserved in his mind of the little girl that became his daughter. Some of them made him sad, most of them made him happy, but all of them made him proud in a way. Rin grew up to be a very strong, happy woman.
When Rin's husband died rather unexpectedly in an accident, it was Sesshoumaru that helped her raise her children. After they had grown up, and many of them had children of their own, Rin and Sesshoumaru disappeared to the world on the other side of the well.
Even years after that, a young doctor read about the mysterious case of Rin Inutaisho and located the remains of her tumor in a medical storage facility. There, in a glass jar, was a tumor in the shape of a spider. The doctor read his papers and realized that the surgery report said Rin's tumor had been cut apart during removal, which made no sense, since it was clearly intact. He made some sarcastic comment to himself about how it must have magically reformed itself and laughed.
The telephone rang and a careless elbow knocked the container off the table it was resting on.
The jar broke.
Since a lot of my reviewers have asked, I'm sad to say there won't be a sequel to this fic, although I plan on writing another fic of a slightly similar nature in the future involving Sesshoumaru taking care of Rin after she becomes pregnant from rape. The fic will be titled 'Poppies,' and will feature a romance between Rin and Sesshoumaru, as opposed to portraying them as father and daughter.
Author's Note: Unfortunately, this is fiction. There is no magical cure for leukemia, which kills thousands of people each year. Treatment regiments with terrible side effects like necrosis, hair loss, nausea, hemorrhage, and brain damage are the only way to extend the lives of those diagnosed with leukemia. Even if a patient survives their first bout, it returns in a majority of patients with resilience to chemotherapy. If this story was truly realistic, Rin probably would have died.
While I was making this story, I didn't intend to be so affected by it. What I believed about cancer in general proved to be very wrong. In most cases, it really is Hell to survive or die from. I believe that the reason most people don't understand how bad it is has something to do with the fact that they don't want to know. It's terrible. It's depressing. It's sad. I think that attitude really alienates the people who do manage to survive, which seems wrong in a way.
The only thing I have left to say as I end the final chapter of my story is that I really, truly admire and pity anyone who has had to face cancer or faced it with someone else.
Thank you for reading.