Disclaimer: I do not own the Inuyasha series or any of the characters.

Summary: Lord Sesshoumaru's been hiding something, which Rin stumbles upon purely by accident. One Shot.

The Secret

Rin's bright, brown eyes missed nothing as she trotted along behind Sesshoumaru-sama. This forest was pretty enough, she supposed, but after so many hours of travelling, it began to look awfully monotonous. There were lovely flowers, but no time to stop and pick them; the birds were singing sweetly, but there was no chance to stop and listen for a while; and a nearby stream was babbling invitingly, but there was no opportunity for Rin to go cool her feet. Sesshoumaru-sama seemed to be determined to cover a certain distance before nightfall, and other than a short stop at mid-day for Rin to forage, he had been moving at the same pace all day long.

Rin had spent much of the day riding Ah-Un, but finally, sore in the bum from sitting and restless with pent-up energy, she'd slid off the dragon's back to walk at Sesshoumaru-sama's heels. She'd managed to entertain herself by jumping from one foot to the other, trying to place her dirty, bare feet right in Sesshoumaru-sama's larger, faint bootprints, but the novelty had worn off after a while. Now she had been walking quietly for quite some time, casting her gaze about in search of something entertaining. Unfortunately, the most noteworthy thing nearby was just an old tree with a funny-shaped knot on its trunk that reminded Rin of Jaken-sama's head.

"Sesshoumaru-sama?" she asked. "Where are we going?"

He didn't answer, but that was alright. He usually didn't say a whole lot, and he was probably busy thinking things that were much more interesting than anything Rin had to say.

"Foolish child," Jaken-sama scolded, tugging at Ah-Un's reins. "Sesshoumaru-sama has no need to answer to impertinent little human girls like you."

Jaken-sama lost interest in scolding Rin then, because Ah-Un decided to stop in the middle of the path.

"Hurry up you foolish beast! What's the matter with you? Sesshoumaru-sama will leave us behind!"

Watching Jaken-sama's struggles as he tugged on the reins and became increasingly shrill was enough to put a smile on Rin's face, although she felt a bit bad for Ah-Un. It must be annoying to have someone pull on your reins when you're trying to poop.

Rin broke into a skip to catch up with Sesshoumaru-sama, knowing that the others would catch up when Ah-Un was done. As she did so, she spied the funny tree again, and thought that it seemed awfully familiar. She increased her pace to reach her lord's side.

"Milord," she began, speaking low enough that Jaken-sama would never hear her over the racket he was making, and watching Sesshoumaru-sama's face carefully.

"What is it, Rin?"

"Are we lost?"

Sesshoumaru-sama's graceful stride hitched, and his gold eyes, a little wider than before, flickered down at her before returning to the front. Then, to Rin's great surprise, his cheeks turned pink.

Sesshoumaru-sama was blushing.

Sesshoumaru was the biggest, baddest taiyoukai one could ever meet. He was extraordinarily powerful, fabulously wealthy, and so intimidating that other youkai practically pissed themselves at a mere glance from him. Enemies fled before him in terror. Women threw themselves at him with greater and lesser degrees of subtlety. He was cold and calculating and fiercely intelligent. He was also staggeringly beautiful. And he had a voice that could have seduced a goddess.

Well, he'd never tried, but he felt certain that he could if he ever wanted to.

In spite of all this, Sesshoumaru had a secret.

Sesshoumaru had a terrible sense of direction.

It was a very inconvenient disability — far worse than his missing arm. After all, he had never intended to be a homeless vagabond, but he had so much trouble finding the castle that he'd given up referring to it as home. And if he'd been able to free himself of his problem, he would have tracked down and disposed of Naraku a long time ago, instead of always showing up "fashionably late" for battles that his disgusting half-brother already seemed to have reasonably well-in-hand. And he certainly didn't mean to run into Inuyasha all the time during his travels. Why in the world would he inflict that upon himself? Although beating up the stupid hanyou was sometimes good for a laugh…

But he thought he'd done a fairly good job of hiding his dirty little secret. If he had a scent to follow, he had no trouble at all. But without that guidepost, he was utterly hopeless. Usually he dealt with it by simply refusing to tell anyone where he was going, which meant he could pretend that wherever he ended up was where he wanted to be all along. This worked remarkably well, because as a magnificent taiyoukai, his presence tended to attract all sorts of people and events like a lodestone, so eventually everything came to him. In fact, if he just sat still in a field somewhere for long enough, Naraku would probably come find him and save him the trouble of searching. Sometimes, however, if others knew of his destination, or if he absolutely had to get somewhere without delay, he simply trailed leisurely along behind the group, letting Jaken and Ah-Un be his unwitting guides.

Of course, being male, stopping to ask for directions had never crossed his mind.

He'd been travelling with Jaken and Ah-Un for centuries now, and they were still none the wiser. In fact, as far as he knew, the only person alive who knew about his little problem was his mother. At least, she was the only person still living who would admit that she knew, and she was more than a little mad in his opinion, so who'd believe her? Although, Bokusen'on might be aware of the fact too, but he really didn't count because he was a tree, right? Oh, and Toutousai probably knew, come to think of it. And that annoying little flea who used to be his father's vassal and now clung to Inuyasha.

But those were the only ones.

Although, by the way she'd been hiding a smirk behind her fan the last time she'd come to beg for his assistance and make eyes at him, it was possible Kagura knew as well.

Possible? Hell, she'd even pointed him in the right direction.


But despite his skill (or lack thereof, apparently) in hiding it, Rin was far too observant for her own good. He was aware that he was blushing, and he still hadn't answered her. He could hear Jaken and Ah-Un struggling to catch up, and he scrambled for something to say that would satisfy the child's curiosity so that she would drop the subject before he was subjected to any further humiliation.

Before he could come up with a suitable response, however, a little hand slipped into his own and gave it a squeeze before withdrawing. Surprised, he looked down at Rin again. She gave him a sunny smile.

"Don't worry, Sesshoumaru-sama. Rin won't tell."

Then she had the audacity to wink at him.

A/N: I was reading information in which Rumiko states that Sesshoumaru does not keep a permanent home, and had to wonder about all his wandering. This amusing little idea practically wrote itself.