Fuyu.

It was the one season in which his young ward needed protection other than youkai. Sesshomaru knew he'd need to get something warm for Rin soon. Being a taiyoukai, Sesshomaru barely even felt the cold, but on the other hand, a young ningen like Rin could die a freezing death in a few hours in Winter's harshest. A new kimono, a fur pelt, and some Winter boots, Sesshomaru decided, running his eyes over Rin when she was busy picking flowers. He set out that afternoon, when both Rin and Jaken were taking a daily break from traveling.

-----

He forgot. He admitted it.

Sesshomaru had not been in the prescense of a ningen other than Rin, that he'd forgotten normal human behavior. Screaming with tortured fear, the youngsters shot towards their mothers, who in turn huddled up their child, their faces showing the same terrified expression of their offspring, and ran inside their hut. Men rushed outside to see what had caused the commotion, and once seeing the powerful and elegant taiyoukai, started trembling, but grabbed a few weapons, taking up a fighting stance.

Sesshomaru neither glanced right nor left as he strode confidentally through the village. But inside, he was starting to regret this a bit. Why did he have to do this all for a ningen? Had he forgotten they were a bug-level speices? But not Rin. Sesshomaru froze, his eyes shocked, but that was done inwardly. Who said that?

I did.

It was his conciousness. Damn you! But he refused to accept what he said. Oh, sure, his conciousness smirked. If you don't love Rin, why are you buying her a kimono for Winter? You can't stop me from saying that. You may be able to defeat foes physically, but you are weak with mental things. Sesshomaru's claws cracked, and some ningens in the village ran away screaming. If only there were a way to crush my conciousness without hurting myself, thought Sesshomaru, annoyed. But now,
he had more things to worry about than his baka conciousness.

"Yamete-yo, ningens," Sesshomaru ordered, the words merely issuing out of his mouth.

Other than that, nothing else showed on Sesshomaru's face. He strided up to a tailor in her stand. The tailor quavered violently as she bowed, but to Sesshomaru, this only sickened him even more. Both physically and mentally.

"W-W-What do you require, m-my lord?" Trembled the tailor.

"A Winter kimono, a fur pelt, and a pair of Winter boots for a 7-year-old."

Is it for a human or a youkai? The thought suddenly sprang to the tailor's head, but she dare not ask, for fear that her head would be rolling in less than a microsecond.

"How tall is she, my lord?" Asked the tailor, a bit of bravery returning to her.

Sesshomaru made a horizontal hand and put it to his waist. The tailor nodded and replied, "I shall have it ready in a few hours."

-----

"Ready, my lord," Called the tailor.

Sesshomaru, who had been leaning against a wooden house with the ningen men still warily surrounding him, jumped up at once.
Sending a growl, that made the men leap back a few steps, he walked over to the stand and observed. Rin's kimono was mostly a silver-white, with indigo and black flowers, and a sky blue obi. The boots were brown with white fur, and likewise, so was the fur pelt. Nodding with satisfaction, Sesshomaru threw a few coins at the tailor, and sped off faster than the ningen eye could follow. Within seconds, a onnanoko spotted him, and a warm greeting cut the air.

-----

Rin sensed something was wrong. She'd been with Sesshomaru-sama long enough to know his emotions, regardless of his stonelike face. She ceased her leaps and jumps, and hopped over to her warden.

"Sesshomaru-sama, what's wrong? Daijobu desu ka?"

Sesshomaru did not answer as usual, but Rin waited, vowing to not leave until she heard her lord give an answer.

"It's nothing, Rin," Said Sesshomaru, after a long time.

Rin nodded slowly, and backed off.

Why is she so worried about me? Wondered Sesshomaru. I hardly pay attention to her, yet she pays so much to me. The balance is unfair.

So you do care about her, his conciousness smirked again. Sesshomaru growled quietly. He'd forgotten this side of him. Ah well. He'd try to deal with, as he did a little something before settling down for the night.

-----

W-What?!

Rin stared. Who could have given this to her?

The Winter kimono was of the finest silk, and must have taken a few hours of extremely concentrated and hard labor. She put it on. It fit perfectly. She draped the warm, fuzzy fur pelt around her, and slipped her slender feet in the boots. Still, Rin was determined to find who had given this savior, this gift to strike against the cold and bitter snow of Winter. Her eyes fell on the fur pelt, and suddenly, she knew the answer.

Creeping over to a silent statue, Rin piped up, "Domo arigatou gozaimasu, Sesshomaru-sama."

Sesshomaru didn't move, but inwardly, he was smiling at his ward's satisfaction.

"Dou itashimashite, Rin."

Sesshomaru sank down and wrapped his own pelt around Rin, who snuggled up on it happily, before falling asleep immediately. Sesshomaru remained awake, casting brief glances to Rin. His conciousness merged into one with his own self.

Hai, I guess you're right, conciousness. I care about her. Immensly.

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Translations:

baka: stupid/idiot

daijobu desu ka: Are you ok?

domo arigatou gozaimasu: thank you very much

dou itashimashite: you're welcome

fuyu: Winter

hai: yes

kimono: the Japanese, traditional dress

ningen: human

onnanoko: girl

-sama: used for extremely respected people

taiyoukai: great demon

yamete-yo: Stop (it)

youkai: demon

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(Author's note: I hope you all are having the greatest Winter break!! Merry Christmas!)