"Rin!" A woman around her late-20's called, holding a wicker basket filled with ingredients for tonight's dinner stew. Her onyx eyes scanned the busy area of her village's market, searching for a familiar set of eyes. She sighed in annoyance, running her free hand through her mocha-colored hair. 'Where did she go now?'
The mid-day sun bore hard down on the large town; the market bustling with those eager to buy the newly harvested crop and fresh seafood. The woman squeezed her way through the masses of people, heading towards the stands that sold rare herbs, flowers, and other plant life. 'She has to be over here somewhere…' Finally, she found the younger girl, purchasing what appeared to be purple berries.
"What are those for, Rin?" She asked as she snuck up beside the girl. Rin grinned at Ayumi,
"They are the berries of the thousand-year flower. It's good for treating poison." Ayumi hummed in acknowledgement,
"That could be useful. Ready to start heading back?" Rin nodded at her as she wrapped the berries in a soft cloth before placing them in her bag. The two women made a bee-line to the exit of the marketplace when a familiar boy greeted them at the archway.
"Ayumi! Rin! It's so nice to see you both." The young male's skin was tan from working out in the field; his jet-black hair was pulled back into a tail. Ayumi smiled at the boy,
"It's nice to see you too, Hayato." Rin only nodded with a face of indifference.
"Rin, I was wondering if, uhm…" Hayato cheek's flushed, his hand came up to scratch the back of head with his eyes cast downward. 'Oh Hayato, I hope you don't say anything foolish…' Ayumi thought before the boy continued. "Can I speak with you in private…?" Rin opened her mouth to reply, but Ayumi quickly cut her off,
"You go on, Rin, I'll head back home. Dinner should be ready in a few hours." The younger girl gave her an exasperated look as she allowed the boy to pull her away to the eastern side of the town. Ayumi ignored the look, smiled at them both and waved. 'He's such a nice boy, Rin, I would hope you can at least give him a chance.'
'Where... Where am I?' The man groaned while he lifted his upper body, holding it up as he rested against his elbows. His eyes darted around his surroundings. He was in the middle of a forest clearing, but where he did not know.
Lifting a clawed hand to his face to run it through his hair, he abruptly stopped. He examined the elongated nails in confusion, then to notice the blue jagged stripe on his wrist. Sitting up now, he raised his other hand to find the same stripe across his other wrist. 'Do they mean something?' A strong breeze whipped through his long hair, revealing its silver shine to his eyes. He tucked the lock that managed to get in his face behind his pointed ear. His eyes narrowed,
'Why can I not remember a thing?' The man rose from the ground with a frown darkening his features. 'Who am I?' Well, it seems he would have to find someone in the area and hope they know who he was. Deciding that was really the only thing he could think of to do this moment, he strolled throughout the forest until a big, ugly... thing blocked his path and it seemed quite angry at him.
"You! What are you doing alive!?" The ugly being roared at him, baring its off-white fangs that were nearly the size of his arm. 'What am I doing... alive?' He wanted answers, not more questions that made no sense. He couldn't have died if he stood before the thing now; he must be confusing him with another.
"You must be mistaken-"
"How dare you play games with me, Touga!? I would never forget the face of the one who slaughtered my kin!" It swiped its immense claws at him which the man found he could dodge with ease.
'Touga? That must be my name... but I've never seen this being before.' He landed on the ground softly, 'Much less slaughter his kin.'
The being continued with false accusations as it slashed and growled at the man who was at a lost at what to do. The man felt himself get annoyed by the irrational being's actions then, in the dark recess of his mind, he heard a whisper of violence.
A dark, haunting voice, raw with power and bloodlust, it spoke. (Kill him.) Touga instinctively narrowed his eyes, what was this voice? (He dares to challenge your power, to threaten your life by means of his pathetic attacks.)
(That demon is looking for a fight, Inu no Taishou.) The darkness wrapped around his mind. Claws and fangs elongated as his entire being pulsed with pure demonic energy.
(And for his actions,) The offensive being suddenly stopped its rage of attacks and stared at his opponent in awe. An ominous wind swirled around the clearing, carried with it a promised death whispered in the being's ear.
(He should die.)
The crackle of a demonic whip was the only warning the youkai received, before his head was cut clean off his shoulders and rolled onto the ground. With the threat eliminated, the demonic energy calmed and the voice crawled back into the back of his mind.
Touga stared wide-eyed at the slaughtered being before him, he did this?
'No, I couldn't have.' His hands held his head which was throbbing painfully, 'I can't remember. How did I lose my senses so quickly? It has only been moment, hasn't it?'
But now was not the time to dwell on the death of one who was trying to kill him, he continued on his way to nowhere without gracing the fallen being with a second glance.
"Rin!" The one woman being called sighed dramatically; she was caught going too far from the village. She turned to see who had been her caretaker for 5 years, Ayumi.
"You should not leave the village, Rin! Demons will surely–"
"Eat me, rape me, torture me–Yeah, I know." Rin finished for her. The older woman gave her a withering look, but noticed the unusual sound of anger and bitterness in her tone.
"Dinner has been ready for a bit and you had not returned. Where is Hayato?"
"We may have gotten separated between the marketplace and main courtyard?"
"Ayumi, I'm not interested in Hayato. I don't want to settle down." 'There is so much left to see and do!' "I just feel so... trapped here. Can't I go out for just a few minutes?" Seeing Ayumi's disapproving look, Rin continued to nag, "I know how to defend myself, you know that! I'll make sure to arrive before sunset, I promise!" Ayumi sighed,
"Alright, but I'm holding you up to that promise, girl!" Rin grinned, a smile which did not reach her eyes before running off into the forest, disappearing in the immense greens of bushes and leaves. Ayumi continued to stare despite not being able to see the girl's form anymore.
She felt a tug at the bottom of heart, a silent voice warning her in the corner of her mind. Something will happen, her dulled human instincts told her that much. The woman's onyx stare fell to the ground; will it be a good thing or bad?
She would have to rely on the gods that nothing would harm her beloved Rin.
'Why is everyone trying to kill me?' Touga thought irritably as he grunted in pain from the poisonous bite a snake demon decided to give on his side.
Evidently, he has done a lot of killing.
And every relative of every demon he slaughtered in the life he did not remember wanted revenge. They talked about how they thought they lost their chance since, apparently, he really was supposed to be dead. 'Then why am I here now? Who has done this?'
A clean swipe of his powerful claws and the snake demon soon fell and hissed his last breath. Clutching his side, he damned his luck for encountering a venomous demon. How could he fight when the poison was pumping in his blood, dulling his senses and sapping his strength? He needed rest where he was peaceful, where he was safe.
'But now this tree would have to do.' He dropped near the tree without grace, his back resting against the bark. In mere seconds, his eyes slid closed as his body continued to fight the poison../\.
Rin looked back at the horizon, orange tints began to taint the blue sky. Sunset was commencing much too early to the young woman's liking. She loved to venture into the forest, the dangers meant nothing to her anymore and what matters were the blooming wildflowers she longed to pick like in her younger years. Yes, she was definitely spoiled under Sesshomaru's care for those two unforgettable years.
'Sesshomaru...' Rin's usual blank eyes sadden with the thought of the man that saved her life, protected her, cared for her, and left her. Dumped in a human village without promising to return, despite her young age at the time she knew, she knew...
"Lord Sesshomaru, when will you be returning?" The little girl asked her savior with her usual grin, an innocent question that was always rewarded with an appropriate answer or action.
But all she received was a look he gave over his shoulder, that look she would never forget. The alien softness in his otherwise icy gold eyes, the flickers of sadness and regret, the slight sagging of his board shoulders and then his retreating back followed by the dragon she cared for and the imp she grew to love.
She knew what it meant and her grin faded with tears prickling her pain-stricken eyes. He was not returning. He was leaving her here, with humans in a human village where other humans might attack... She lost her family again and the experience chilled her to the bone.
She felt dead once again in her short life but instead of reviving her, he was walking away from her shattered mind and broken heart.
Rin's hand covered her mouth, muffling the choked sobs that erupted from her. The pain of the memory was so vivid, so real as if she was reliving the experience. She still didn't understand why, why he had left her. Why did she have to lose her family again?
Maybe she should have listened to Jaken.
Perhaps she was annoying her lord with her questions, her childish antics, and her smiles.
Maybe he had enough and that's why he left her behind...
'But then why did he look so sad, so guilty, so regretful? Why would he do it if he didn't want to? What forced him to make that decision?'
Rin knew she would have to stop soon, questioning that day was pointless. It only hurt her and ended up in more questions with no answers. With a heaving sigh, she wiped away her frustrated tears with a hiccup and a sniffle.
She had sworn that when she was trained well-enough and old-enough to leave the village, she would hunt her lord down. Hunt him down to the ends of the world and demand an explanation. She would not take his silence, she would not take his cold glares or remarks, she would not back away and let him leave. May he hold Bakusaiga to her throat but she will get the explanation she deserved or die trying.
Sadness turned to anger rather quickly in her mind as she kicked the innocent rocks on the ground to release her pent-up emotions. She hadn't noticed how deep into the forest she had gone or much further the sun sunk into the horizon and at this particular moment, she didn't care.
That is until a figure leaning on a tree, clad in a white attire, caught in the corner of her eye.
She hid behind a tree, making sure all but her dark eyes were hidden behind the bark, and stared upon the near-angelic being.
'Sesshomaru?' Her face tightened, 'No. Impossible.'
Cautiously, Rin walked over to the being resting against the tree and with the feeling of deja vu lingering heavily on her mind, it did not surprise her in the slightest when the demon shot upright with fangs gleaming, eyes red with pain and clothing stained with blood. What did surprise her was how much this man looked like her former lord. The demon calmed, his face returning into its more humanoid look. Rin stepped forward till she stood beside the familiar man. He noticed the recognition in her eyes.
"So, you know who I am as well?" He rested back on the bark of the tree, "Out to kill me like the others?" Rin instantly shook her head,
"No, no. You just look a lot like someone I used to know." She knelt down, eyes tinged with worry when she noticed his wounds, from what she saw, they may have been infected. "You are injured... Can you stand? My village is just down this hill—"
"It would be best if I stayed out here." He winced at the stinging sensation of the poison, "I do not want to bring harm to your village."
Rin frowned in defeat before once again glancing at the horizon. 'I have to head back soon.' Biting her bottom lip, she looked at the familiar youkai's shimmering golden eyes. They were brighter than Sesshomaru's, with more emotion, more life. She rose from her place, deciding to head back before she asked,
"I have to head back to village quickly. Promise me you won't leave before sunrise?" Touga raised an elegant eyebrow at the girl's odd request. What would it matter to her? He noted her piercing gaze, stiff shoulders and could vaguely see her chewing her bottom lip. He nodded to the young woman, though still unsure of her intentions.
Her chocolate brown gaze glittered with relief; a smile curled her lips, which soon transformed into a grin, revealing a set of glimmering white teeth. Those eyes, that expression sent a pang of painful nostalgia through his heart; a forgotten memory of a woman he knew long ago but his mind could not form the woman's image, no matter how hard he strained. He watched the mysterious woman's retreating back until she was out of sight.
The news was spread like wild fire throughout Japan, the most feared dog general that once walked this plane is roaming once again. The leaders of packs, tribes, of clans and of land were angered, vengeful and more than anything, afraid. Afraid of that roll of demonic power, the pressure of youki that crushed their own. It did not take long for the news to reach the ears of a certain dog-hanyou...
"What the hell are you going on about?! That's impossible!" The flea demon sighed; yes, it was hard to believe even for himself but if these rumors were true, then they must find the former dog general quickly.
"Its quite... odd, yes, but we must confirm these rumors, Inuyasha! What if your father is still wandering around-"
"Keh, I'm not gonna waste my time besides I'm sure Sesshomaru would be more than happy to go look for him." The hanyou spat; the flea instantly panicked.
"No, please, Sesshomaru can't find him! Inuyasha, I beg of you to understand, he might kill him!" Inuyasha halted in his usual jumping from tree to tree. He looked down on the demon flea that was currently bowed on his shoulder.
"Why the hell would he do that? He respects the old man, right?" Myouga broke into a nervous sweat, realizing he might to reveal more than he is allowed to but if it was to insure Touga's safety...
"Your brother and father never really, uhm, got along you see..." The flea started to fidget under the hanyou's intense gaze. Ah, yes, they never really spoke about his father and Sesshomaru so Inuyasha must be listening and storing every word. "... After the announcement... Your brother also saw your father's untimely death as a missed opportunity to prove his strength; he had plans to surpass your father by killing him before then." The flea attempted to switch subjects…
"What announcement?" And failed. The flea sighed,
"The announcement of the separation of his mother and father. The young prince completely changed after that... I believe he blamed your father for the separation." An uncomfortable silence settled between Inuyasha and Myouga risked a glance at the hanyou, but Inuyasha was looking straight ahead with his unruly bangs shadowing his eyes.
"So, where is the old man?" The flea jumped, bounced, and practically flew with joy.
"Oh, thank you, Inuyasha! I knew you would understand! The rumors are centered in the south, so he must be around there!" And off, the ancient flea and the young hanyou started their search for his master, for his father.
'That should be enough.' Rin secured the items in the small night bag before sneaking out her hut. The sun set long ago and night fell, the moon casting an eerie glow on the land. She headed straight to the forest as quietly as she could in her brisk pace. If the youkai got attacked by one of the snake demons in the area, then the poison could take days to leave the demon's system. She did not want him to pointlessly suffer when she had the antidote at home.
After jumping over roots, dodging low branches and seeking past small demon settlements, she finally reached the youkai she met not so long ago. She frowned when she noticed he had yet to fall asleep.
"You'll never heal like that." Radiant gold clashed with beaming brown, a smile tugged the young woman's lips when she trotted up beside the youkai. "I forgot to ask before, what is your name?"
"Touga." He rasped; his eyelids sliding shut. Rin jumped into action, removing her bag and searching the antidote. He sounded weak, tired, sick... She pulled out the small cloth that protected the berries she purchased earlier in the day. She unwrapped them and held one up for him to bite into. Touga shot a distrusting glance towards her,
"Please, I only wish to help." The worry and concern that laced her voice and painted her eyes served to only confuse the demon more. How could she care so much for a simple stranger? He accepted whatever the young woman was trying to give him. "You are lucky I purchased these earlier. Medical herbs for demons are not exactly easy to find." He heard her mumble. Demon?
"What is 'demon'? Are you also 'demon'?" He asked, he recalled hearing quite a bit throughout the whole day and could only establish that is was a type of person or race. He noticed the puzzled look he received from the woman, realizing he had thinking his thoughts out loud.
"No, I am not. I am human. Demon is..." Rin blanked out, how did this man not know what demon was? She pointed to him, "Demon is you." How else could she describe it without painting a bad picture? Touga's brows knotted in puzzlement, demon was him? She bit her bottom lip, knowing the man did not understand. She grabbed his hand and compared it to hers.
"See, you have claws... I don't." She then pointed to her mouth, revealing her pearly white teeth. "I don't have fangs, but you do." She gestured to his hair. "Also uncommon hair color and eyes, humans usually just have black or brown coloring. Oh, and your demon markings! You are faster and stronger than most humans; you might have strange powers..." A brief flash of a bright whip, growing from his fingertips flashed across his mind. "And uhm, you heal quicker, age much slower..." Rin rubbed her chin in thought, "That's all I can think of right now..." Suddenly, she smiled.
"The pain from the poison is all gone now right?" Touga blinked, he had not noticed the absence of that particular stinging. The demon simply nodded as he looked away; the girl frowned. "I'll be right back." Rin promised, removing a bowl from her bag before she darted into the forest. She returned shortly after with firewood and the bowl filled with fresh water. He watched her as she started a fire, much to his relief. The young woman proceeded to pull out a small pot from her bag, he smelled the food inside, and set it to warm up by the fire. She walked over to him with the bowl of water and a clean, white cloth; she knelt beside him. Without warning, she went to his haori and began opening it to reveal his closing wound. A low growl rumbled off the demon's chest, "What are you doing?
"I am going to clean your wound as the food warms up." Rin replied, completely unfazed by his warning growl. Something like that doesn't scare her anymore. With a sigh, she began to clean the demon's wound that was healing quite fast in her opinion. 'Sesshomaru's wounds would not even heal this quickly.' She thought, noticing it was more of dry blood staining his side than the actual wound marring it.
Done with cleaning, she looked back up at Touga to find his golden gaze watching her intently. She saw the slight pink flush his cheeks before he looked away and Rin could not help but giggle at him. He may look like her former lord, but they certainly had their differences. Sesshomaru would never be embarrassed at being caught staring, in fact he would just continue staring until you were the one embarrassed. Rin sighed again with a downcast look, there she went, thinking about him again. "Does something trouble you?" She glanced up at him, noting he was still looking away.
"You remind me of someone... of someone who was dear to me." She rose to her feet to check on the food. "Though he did not die, he left me behind." Answering the unspoken question that lingered in the air, she stared into the fire with blank eyes, a blank expression.
"I see." Was all he could say, what else? He was not obligated to comfort this woman...
"You said many persons were trying to kill you, why is that?" Touga stiffened at the question, would she believe him?
"I have killed many in my past... life, it seems. They say I have been dead for over 200 years. I do not remember being alive, I do not remember dying." He saw surprise, and oddly enough a type of recognition and disappointment flicker in her eyes.
"So you were not revived by Sesshomaru then." 'That name...'
"Sesshomaru...?" The name rolled off his tongue, all too familiar.
"Is this what you want to see!?"
"Do you remember? You... You look a lot like him, well, more like he looks a lot like you."
"Is this what you wanted...?"
"What do you mean?"
(Demons do not abandon their kin.)
Rin shifted in her place quite nervously, was it ok to say? She looked into his eyes, his powerful gaze seemed to pull the truth out of her. "He is your first son."
"How can you lie to me? All this time…"
(That I will never forgive.) The dark voice rumbled throughout his mind, shaking the walls of his reality.
Touga groaned, his clawed hands moved to clutch his pounding head. So many feelings, so many memories rushed at once, of a young boy, one who he...
"Are you alright!?" Rin exclaimed as she grabbed his shoulders, worry tinged her gaze. Touga nodded,
"You should have told me sooner." A young boy rasped, voice cracking with pain. He looked so much like him. "Then I wouldn't have wasted your time..." He bit back a sob, "Lord Touga."
"Arrggh!" His brain felt as if it was going to jump out of his skull, along with his heart. This pain, he had no idea where it came from. Nothing could have been worse than it, he felt it grab and twist his heart, tear through his mind.
"Can daddy play with me?"
"Play..?" His voice... he couldn't recognize it, so cold, so harsh... "You are too old to be playing, boy, I will not have a pathetic, useless demon running my lands when I am gone! Go back to your studies now...!" He turned his back on the child, "...before I beat some sense in you..., Sesshomaru."
"Touga!" Rin's voice ripped through the harsh memories, pulling him out of emotions that threatened to down him and brought him back to reality. Slightly drowsy, he raised his gaze to the young woman's, unaware of the pleading look in his eyes.
"I hurt him..." Rin's expression saddened, and she pulled away from him, giving a slight nod. "How… how much do you know?"
"I do not know anything at all. He never spoke of you. I only recognize your face from the Sounga incident and the few paintings that decorate the western fortress." She replied, "The few times you were mentioned… He would get very sharp, harsh, but he never once let it seep into his voice. He still held his respect to his former lord." The woman met his gaze, "He never told me why, it was not my place to ask... And I could do nothing to ease his hidden pain." Touga lowered his gaze to the floor, shame left an awful taste in his mouth. "But you can. I don't know what happened between you both, but I know you can... but you have to try, like you mean it."
"That boy would want nothing but my de-bodied head rolling on the forest floor... and I cannot blame him. I have made him into a cold, heartless monster, the person I once was." The human grabbed his clawed hand with her two petite human hands, resting his on her beating heart.
"Lord Sesshomaru still has a heart." Rin stated quietly, Touga felt her steady heartbeat under his palm, marveled at how quicker it seemed to beat compared to his own. "And as long as it's still beating, you have a chance to make it right." She then placed his hand on his own heart, "Just as you did with yourself."
"There has been a disturbance near Rin's village, milord." Jaken stated with care, he didn't want to be receiving the end of his master's wrath. "A large amount of youki... and r-rumors are flying about h-how... " The imp shuddered and hid behind his thin staff, "H-how... it is y-y-your..."
"Finish, Jaken." The baritone voice made the imp nearly fall and choke on air.
"...Y-y-your sire, milord. It's said t-t-that he has r-returned..." Jaken squeaked at the spike of youki in the room, the raw power that cackled in the air and shocked his weak skin. "B-but nothing has been confirmed yet, milord! I will send someone right away to either find the truth or kill the falsehood!"
"That will not be necessary." The Western Lord turned on his heel, leaving the room with a frightened imp on his tail.
Author's Note: Whoa. Talk about reviving a story from the depths of forgotten fanfiction. I cannot believe how long it's been. 2008? Crazy.
I never realized how many reviews this story got and how many actually wanted to see it continue.
The current chapters are being revamped so everything might look a bit weird for a bit as I reorganize my direction for this story. The original Chapter 1 & 2 have been edited and combined together.
After reading what I had, I realized the major reason why I never finished my many stories. My ideas for a story were so scattered, it's ridiculous! I can see throughout only 3 chapters how I changed my mind about something with considering what was said in a previous chapter. And wow, there were a ton of misspellings, I totally suck a proofreading.
I have long lost my chapters for ALL of my stories that are not on FF, so that's kind of sad. I don't know if I'll bring any of those back, probably not. ):
Well, I hope anyone new enjoys this! I have no idea if any of the old reviewers are out there still, but I hope I do not disappoint again! :)