Disclaimer: Do not own Inuyasha & characters.

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Growing Pains

Summary: Sesshoumaru waits for Rin to grow up to who she is destined to be. Rin goes through the changing moods and thoughts as she experienced her first ….growing pain

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The lady of West rolled her golden eyes and using an elegant clawed finger, she flicked a loose strain of her fringe to the side, displaying instantly the blue crescent symbol she shared with her only son. "Sesshoumaru, are we going to wait forever for your precious human, what's-her-name?" She sighed an extra obviously loud sigh.

The demon lord frowned with genuine concern. Why was Rin late for dinner this evening? He took a moment to recall the happenings of the day. He had been around of the fortress, doing his routine inspections at dawn and was horded down with a strenuously long discussion with an ambassador from the Eastern coast through the afternoon.

And now that he thought about it, he had not sighted Rin the entire day.

After the destruction of the evil hanyou, Inuyasha had seemed to just vanish from the surface of the earth together with his miko girl. It still baffled him till this day. Soon after, he had made a final decision to return to his ancestral fortress where he had left only his mother as the guardian. It had been six summers since the day he officially took over his father's title as the new lord of the western lands.

Six years had passed since the night which he had encountered the yume-no-youkai and had an unexpected glimpse of his future. After he had returned, Sesshoumaru made it his resolution to put all he had experienced to the furthest back of his mind. It was for the better, for himself as well as for the one his future had in stored for him… Rin.

If Rin was truly going to become his life mate, he'd hope that the girl be given her own time to grow and mature, without the pressure of ever having the knowledge which he possessed. He had done something out of a mere spur of the moment. He had pre-known something he shouldn't. He was the one to be blamed, not the girl, not his Rin.

He was way too curious back then; it was done and could not be reversed.

He could only endeavor that Rin had freedom to choose her own heart. At the depth of his secret heart, he wished to know that Rin… would choose him out of her own free will. And since he had already spun himself in this web of self-fulfilling prophesy, he might as well enjoy being an on-looker, be a silent audience to this intriguing movie how the girl would eventually discover that she was in love with him, that she wished to be his… in the entire sense of the word.

He knew that when she was about sixteen, Rin was already conceiving his heir. But…. what lies in between all this span of time? When did he confess his feelings for her? When did she announce hers?

And most importantly, when did he claim her?

Human females wed as early as twelve years of age and started bearing young. Well, yes, they were mated to young males a year or two older than them, not a taiyoukai of four hundred of fifteen.

Sesshoumaru sighed, massaging his nose. Before he could help it, he knew he had already fallen into this trap of fulfilling his own future.

Even with his best efforts, he had… inevitably…. develop feeling for her.

He was in love.

Till now, it had left him completely bemused; how indeed he would develop feelings that he shouldn't for a girl this young. During many sleepless nights, he'd tossed and turned in bed, remembering her scents and how she felt in his dreams, imagining her to be next to him in his bed, then struggling and cursing himself.

So, the lowly youkai was right. It was not a privilege to know the future. It was proven more pain than pleasure.

At least, on the outside, he had managed to retain his cool image. He made his best effort to make sure he treated the girl no different than how he had used to. When she followed him back to the western fortress, she had begun to take up lessons, learning the basics of reading, writing, court etiquettes and simple modes of self-defense.

Yes, self defense was of utmost importance. The fact of his little Rin had a strange affinity toward helpless little forest creatures did not help the matter. Ever since she had stayed in the fortress, she'd dedicated her free time to rescue these… animals from their predators, namely…. demons. Such lowly demons he wouldn't even lift an eye to sight, they were not so without threat to the girl. She is… after all, human… an underage human girl to be exact.

Still, he sighed, he could not stop her. Rin had a protective nature, just as him toward her.

And that wasn't the end of her… so-called faults. The girl was way too meek for her own benefits. She had always preferred to be the giver, never the receiver, always on the losing end, never offensive, never even defensive. Rin, she definitely had to grow stronger in this area, if she'd become the lady of the western lands one day.

However, the strangest irony was that if Rin had the courage to be a heroine to helpless beings of the forest, why hadn't she spoken up for herself in the court more often? That was something Sesshoumaru could not figure out.

Two months ago, Rin had celebrated her twelve birthday in a simple affair. He had brought her to her favorite meadow where they had spent a quiet afternoon together without the endless squawking of the toad. With his ever stoic façade, he watched her as she skipped through the flowery patches, weaving blossoms into her hair and occasionally turning to flash him smiles of appreciation.

It was only during such rare opportunities the girl would feel completely free of the formalities of the court, one which he expected she didn't really get used to.

"Carry on with dinner." He ordered the attendants as they nodded and left the room.

"Finally," The lady's lips showed a smile. "It's been a long time since you and I can dine alone, Sesshoumaru."

The demon lord got up from his seat, not looking in the direction of his mother. "I'm not eating. You carry on." He began to make his way toward the entryway, hearing obvious grunting from his back.

"Right. Go on… go to your… little human… Don't care about the feelings of your hahaue."

He ignored that, closing the screen door behind him. Swiftly, he reached the girl's bedroom, suspecting that she might be there. Rin's personal lady-in-waiting, Rika was just emerging from the room, her expressions fairly solemn. The fox demoness looked up and saw her master.

"Sesshoumaru-sama, good evening." She bowed respectfully.

"Is something wrong with Rin? Why isn't she at dinner?" He enquired rather impatiently.

"Well, not really, my lord." She was holding back and there was a difficult expression on her face.

"Speak." He eyed her more sternly, making the demoness gulped.

"Err… my lord, actually, Rin-chan… she…" Then, she sighed. She knew no one in this fortress was allowed to withhold anything from the great lord Sesshoumaru, not even if it was of the best intentions. "Actually, Rin-chan's just a little upset."

"Upset?" His concern grew. "Why?"

Rika forced a smile. "It's a small thing really. Rin-chan's having her first cycle."

First cycle? The demon lord's brows lifted, taken aback. Yes, she would have come of age for that stage of her growth. His lips hinted a ghost of a smile. So, his Rin is becoming a woman…finally.

"This morning, she was screaming when she woke up covered with blood. I spent some time explaining to her what was happening. I think she still needs some time on her own for a while. She'll be fine."

"How is she now?"

"She's still upset. I brought her some food but she hadn't touched them, not even breakfast or lunch." The maid bowed as she was summoned off.

Sesshoumaru paused a moment outside the door. He had the intention to go in to console her but he didn't know quite how. It was inevitably the phrase she had to go through. He pushed open the screen door, instantly picking up a faint scent of her blood. Rin seemed to have gained a sort of budding femininity to her usual youthful soft scent no doubt…. and he liked it immediately.

He entered, moved toward her bed where she was. Rin had covered herself entirely in her blanket and Sesshoumaru stifled a laugh.

Is she truly that upset about this? Apparently, the fox demoness wasn't exaggerating

"Rin."

The bundle of silken covers shuddered.

"Are you going to stay in there forever?"

The bundle shuddered again, then stopped moving completely for a moment. Slowly, the girl revealed herself from beneath and the demon lord noticed how redden her cheeks had become. Her eyes were swollen too. That indicated she cried.

"S-Sesshoumaru-sama." Her tone was listless, as just her expressions and he tried hard not to chuckle. It must have been hard for her… to accept such drastic changes to her body. "You shouldn't be here."

Sesshoumaru was shocked at her comment. "Why?"

"Because I stink."

"Don't be silly. You don't." He moved to sit beside her on her sheets, removing the rest of the covers round her. Rin was avoiding meeting his eyes, drawing little circles on the pillow she was hugging.

"Rika says demons get irritated by such smells from females. She asked me to keep away from them."

Sesshoumaru sighed. The girl was right to a certain extent. Demons do flare up at when they scent a female ready to be mated. However, he was sure no one in his fortress would dare lay a finger on Rin. He nodded. "Perhaps, it is wise to follow what the fox demoness instructed you."

A long silence followed.

"Sesshoumaru-sama?"

"What is it, Rin?"

"Why does this have to happen?" She finally matched his eyes and he could see the confusion in her expressive brown eyes.

"Everyone has to grow up, Rin, each in their own ways." He stroked her hair down to her waist, then moved her slanted pony tail in place. It was much longer down, extending down to the full length of her arm.

He noted that the girl pouted and folded up her arms. "But it's so unfair. Why does this only happen to girls? Do you know why Sesshoumaru-sama?"

Stumped by the question, the demon lord only shook his head in genuine honesty. "I do not know. You're given the responsibility to bear offspring perhaps by God."

"Do you believe in God, Sesshoumaru-sama?" The girl's curiosity was roused significantly.

"I am not sure Rin. But I do believe there are higher beings than us in this earth."

She sighed a long sigh. "I just don't understand why we have to grow up and have children." She sounded depressed and Sesshoumaru was half amused, half concerned.

"You don't wish to grow up? Do you not like children?" He couldn't help but ask. He'd recall the many times the girl had played with the demon pups in the fortress. She seemed to enjoy their company a lot. Moreover, Rin was to be his mate, bear his pups.

"No, it's not that. I do like them. But…."

"But what?" He was growing impatient.

"I don't think I want to get mated." Rin was looking up at him with such wide eyes he knew she was telling the truth.

She doesn't wish to have a mate? He was dumbfounded and a little upset now. He kept silent. Why was he so affected by her childish comment?

Right. She didn't wish for a mate. She didn't… want him.

"Sesshoumaru-sama?" She seemed to have noticed his change of mood.

A little reluctantly, he met her gaze.

"Do you wish Rin to be mated?" She looked a little hurt herself, if he'd guess.

"Everyone has to have a mate someday, Rin." He instantly realized he had repeated what Bokuseno had said that time.

"But… I don't." She was almost in tears when she voiced that, making the demon lord more worried than anything else.

"Why is that?" He had to ask.

Rin bit her lips, hesitating for a moment.

"I…I don't wish to leave you."

Sesshoumaru's eyes widened this time with a spark of elation.

"I want to be with Sesshoumaru-sama forever."

The demon lord smiled as he brought the teenage girl into his embrace. He didn't need to ask any further. Perhaps, someday, Rin would eventually realize that she didn't actually have to leave him in order to be mated…. someday….

"Rin, you have to eat something." He pointed to the table at the other end of the bedroom. "Rika had prepared some hot soup for you. It'll help relieve some discomfort you may be feeling."

Rin nodded and the rest of the evening was spent in a quiet dinner between the two, the grumbles of the western lady thrown to the furthest of his mind.

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Hi everyone,

I've decided to do these little drabbles where Sesshoumaru watches Rin grow up to become his mate. Do you like them? Should I carry on? Let me know. I view "Vision" as a sort of a happier version of "Remember Me always." Where RMA has more angst, this will contain lighter, more joyous little events. Hope you'd enjoy reading them. Most of them would be readable for most age groups… meaning…. Non citrus.

evilbunny