Summary: 10 years have passed since Rin has been in Sesshomaru's care. A story that includes a blooming romance, a secret garden, Rin winning a war...and Sesshomaru on

the Bachelor? Set in feudal era. SxR

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or any characters from Inuyasha. Any original characters, please don't reuse.

Word of warning: My chapters tend to get pretty long, so make sure you have enough time to sit for a while before reading. Thanks a lot!

Chapter 1

Humans and Demons

Ane watched the woman up on the platform. She was very beautiful: fair skin, dark brown eyes, and raven colored hair. She wore a gorgeous green kimono that accented the coloring of her lips and cheeks. I bet that girl's never worked a day in her life. Ane sighed. She still didn't quite understand it. Her village and a nearby village of demons got into some feud, so the "great" Lord of the West sent his advisors to end the dispute. Ane shook her head. Until now, nobody in her village had ever heard of Lord Sesshomaru, Rin, or Karasaya, but now they were here telling her village what to do. She looked at the demon standing beside Lady Rin. He was a dog demon with short white hair and golden eyes. He wore a deep blue outfit with armor over it. The demon rarely moved, and Ane had only heard him talk twice. It was odd to see such a quiet demon.

"Lady Ane, do you find these agreements suitable?" the girl asked.

"I suppose we will just have to learn to accept them, " Ane answered. The dispute started with food, but that was nothing new. Everyone needed to eat. Her village had begun to hunt the deer more earnestly of late. It was winter, and her village was running out of food. The nearby panther tribe began breaking into homes and stealing food shortly after that starting a battle between the two villages. The men of Ane's village had already killed two of the panther thieves when Rin and Karasaya showed up. They claimed to be from the "Lord of the West," and wanted to end the dispute. Apparently, the panther demons had begun to starve due to her village hunting all the deer.

"Lord Kaito?"

"We agree to the terms Lady Rin. It is to our mutual interests that our villages work together," the panther demon leader replied.

Ane refrained from rolling her eyes. He's trying too hard. So, Rin and Karasaya had formed an agreement between the two villages. Ane's village would share their hunting techniques with the demons, and in return, the demons would not punish the humans for killing two of their tribe, stop stealing their food, and offer protection to the human village. It made sense to Ane actually. The demons would get their food, and would have to protect the humans to continue hunting with them. The humans would stop the robberies and receive protection. Ane just didn't like the fact that someone would come in and tell her she had to agree to it.

"Then it's settled," Lady Rin said.

Rin sat upon AhUn and stretched. That had been a long debate. She sighed. Why didn't these people understand all she wanted was to help? The sad part was that in cases like this, dealing with humans and demons, it was usually the humans who were more stubborn. It was usually, but not always. Sometimes certain tribes of demons would get violent, but that's why she had Karasaya. "What do you think?" she asked the demon running at her side.

"It was a good decision," Karasaya answered. Over the years, Rin had learned to read her Lord's face. It was a difficult challenge, but she found the subtle hints that gave Lord Sesshomaru's emotions away. Karasaya's face was much easier to read, and Rin could tell he wanted to say something else.


Karasaya smiled. "You did a good job Rin. You're quite a skilled diplomat and have proven that you deserve the position." Rin had come to the Western Castle a few years after traveling with Lord Sesshomaru. Karasaya had been there to care for it while the young demon lord was away. He, along with Jaken, had helped educate Rin, and Karasaya had always been encouraging Rin to be one of Lord Sesshomaru's advisors. Now, ten years since Rin began her life with the demons, she was an advisor to the Lord of the Western Lands and his personal liaison between himself and the humans in his lands. Karasaya usually accompanied her on these diplomatic missions. She thought it was her Lord's way of making sure she didn't get into any trouble. She didn't mind though. Karasaya was good natured and didn't mind joking around. He was a good friend.

"You've said that before," Rin said.

"It's the truth." Rin sighed. He obviously wanted to say something else, but wasn't going to. Oh well, it was a long trip back home. He would say something eventually. Rin had learned early on that Karasaya didn't always speak his mind. He was actually an advisor of Lord Sesshomaru's mother and would often have to go report to her in her private castle in the clouds. Rin wondered what he would tell her, but Karasaya had told Rin that his loyalties belonged to Lord Sesshomaru first and then the Lady of the West. Rin trusted him, but she wished she knew what he was always thinking about.

After a few hours, Karasaya slowed down the pace. He supposed Rin would want to take a break soon. She was watching the scenery around her, and Karasaya inwardly smiled. She wore a white fur coat. It had been a gift from Inuyasha's mate. She had assured Rin it was all fake fur. It made Rin look like she fit right in with the dog demons. She looked quite beautiful with the sunset on her face and the wind blowing through her hair, yet he would never make a move for Rin. Karasaya had always watched Rin's relationship with his Lord, and the older Rin grew, the more Karasaya believed that Lord Sesshomaru should choose Rin to be his Lady. He'd never admit it though. That was certain death.

Karasaya had been charged with keeping up Lord Sesshomaru's castle in his absence by the Lady of the West. He had been an advisor to the former lord, and never agreed with his son's views about humans. The great dog demon had taught Karasaya that humans could be used to add to his land's strength and be powerful allies, yet Sesshomaru had always thought humans were pathetic and weak creatures that needed to be wiped out. Karasaya was sure that the young lord's ideas came from his heartless mother, but when Lord Sesshomaru returned from his campaign against Naraku with a human girl in tow, Karasaya had been more than excited. Sesshomaru's mother on the other hand was disappointed. She had asked Karasaya to remain in the castle as Sesshomaru's advisor and report to her. Karasaya had reported necessary things to the lady, but never anything about Rin. He knew that the demoness hated the human girl for distracting her son. Karasaya, on the other hand, had seen it as a glimmer of hope. Perhaps the demons and humans of the West could be united under a demon lord and human lady. He hadn't been sure if anything like that could happen with Lord Sesshomaru, but a few years back, Sesshomaru had said something that made Karasaya wonder.

"Master Karasaya!" Karasaya looked to the teenage girl calling to him. Rin stood in the garden with her sword in hand. She was dressed in her training armor and had her hair tied up. "I've been practicing with Lord Sesshomaru! Would you like to watch us duel?" she called out.

When Rin had come to the castle at the age of 9, she had begun lessons with Jaken and Karasaya immediately. Jaken taught her basic grammar and math while Karasaya taught her the history and culture of the Western Lands and dog demon clans along with lessons in self defense. By the time Rin had reached 14, she could easily beat Karasaya in a duel and began training with Lord Sesshomaru. Now at 16, she could hold her own against her lord. Karasaya had been thoroughly impressed.

He watched Lord Sesshomaru and Rin bow to each other and begin their duel. Rin used her sword Kiryoku while Lord Sesshomaru used a simple training sword. Rin's sword had been a gift from Lord Sesshomaru marking her success in training. It had been made by Toutousai from one of Sesshomaru's fangs. Toutousai had named the sword Kiryoku telling Rin that only her will power could control the demon energy of the sword. Rin had mastered it though. Kiryoku didn't give her any special powers or techniques, but it was a strong sword that obeyed Rin's command.

Rin swung Kiryoku towards Sesshomaru's left. He easily blocked it and then swung his sword towards her left shoulder. Rin jumped back and instantly swung towards his outstretched arm. Sensing the attack, Sesshomaru adjusted his and swung back towards Rin's head. Karasaya inhaled quickly. While Sesshomaru was using a training sword, the force of his attack could still seriously hurt Rin. Rin ducked under the attack and lunged for Sesshomaru's stomach. He spun out of the way and came around using Rin's forward momentum to put himself behind her. He aimed his sword at the back of Rin's head.

Karasaya now was alarmed. Sesshomaru was going to hit her full force in the head! "Rin! Watch out!" he yelled. Rin instantly paused and looked towards Karasaya. She stopped her forward movement causing Sesshomaru to misjudge the distance between them. He dropped the sword to avoid hitting her but still ran into her. They both fell towards the ground, but Sesshomaru quickly composed himself and caught Rin in his arms and stood the two of them back up. Karasaya saw Rin's pained expression. Apparently, the spikes on Sesshomaru's armor dug deeper into her back than what was comfortable. He didn't smell any blood though. Karasaya looked to Lord Sesshomaru and grimaced. His lord looked furious.

Lord Sesshomaru released Rin and turned to Karasaya. "Fool! What were you thinking?!" He turned to Rin and said, "enough for today." Karasaya let out the breath he was holding. Perhaps he would get away with just that scolding. He was wrong. "Karasaya, meet me in my study," Sesshomaru yelled. He stormed off.

"It really was my fault," Rin said. "I'll tell him that later."

Karasaya looked to Rin. She had a sympathetic look on her face. "If I'm alive later." Karasaya headed to his lord's study.

He quietly entered the room. It was simply laid out holding only Sesshomaru's desk and a few short chairs...and Lord Sesshomaru. He looked away when Karasaya walked in. Anger was evident in the way he sat. Karasaya waited for his sentence.

"You will no longer watch us duel Karasaya. You obviously cannot keep your mouth shut." Sesshomaru said. He was still looking away. "You almost caused Rin to get hurt. I have killed others who have threatened her safety."

Karasaya grimaced. "My Lord, I apolog-"

"Rin's life belongs to me." Sesshomaru stated matter of factly. Karasaya blinked, surprised at the choice of words. "Rin is not yet skilled enough to deal with distractions. She is not preparing for battle Karasaya, only self-defense. Until she is ready, I will never let her fight another." Sesshomaru paused and finally looked to Karasaya. "I will always protect her. I would never hurt her." he said quietly.

Karasaya bowed his head. "I am sorry my Lord. I should never doubt you." Karasaya looked up. "But may I ask why her my Lord? Why do you protect Rin?" He really didn't expect Sesshomaru to answer the question. It was too personal.

"She is the only one I can trust." Karasaya was shocked. Lord Sesshomaru was sharing his thoughts with him! "She follows me without a question, never doubts me, and always cares for me. I will at least return her kindness. You are dismissed Karasaya."

Karasaya bowed and walked out into the hall. He smiled. So the heartless Lord Sesshomaru had a heart after all. It was amazing.

"Karasaya, are you day dreaming?"

Karasaya blinked and returned to the present. "Excuse me?"

Rin laughed. "Let me guess. She's tall with pale skin, white hair, gold eyes..."

Karasaya smiled. She walked right into this. "And who do you dream about Rin?" he interrupted her.

She noticeably paled for a second and then smiled. "He has dark hair, is very strong, and has two heads." AhUn growled in agreement. Rin laughed and scratched the ears of one head and then the other. "Yes, AhUn. You're my best friend." She giggled again.

"So you don't dream of Lord Sesshomaru at all?"

For a second there, Rin looked so shocked that Karasaya was worried that she would fall off AhUn's back. She regained her composure and looked away from him. "Karasaya, that is a foolish thing to say! You really are looking for a early death; aren't you?!"

Karasaya smiled. "I guess so."

They continued in silence for a few moments before Rin spoke again. "Karasaya, I know where I am." He looked to her. She looked very excited all of a sudden. "Kagome and Inuyasha live close to here," she happily said. "Could I visit them?"

She really didn't have to ask him. He had no authority over her. "Lord Sesshomaru wouldn't be pleased." He would be very upset if Karasaya left her alone.

Rin rolled her eyes in a very human way. "I'd only be a few hours behind you. I can take care of my self." Karasaya inwardly agreed with her. She was 18 now and much more skilled in fighting than she had been two years ago.

"But I'd be the one who has to tell our Lord why you're not with me." He paused. "Well, if you're only a few hours behind me Lord Sesshomaru won't be angry at me for long. As soon as you return to the castle, he'll switch his attention to being angry with you."

Rin smiled. "Thank you Karasaya! I'll be right behind you!" With that, she and AhUn flew off in different direction.

Karasaya shook his head. Lord Sesshomaru would never be angry with her. He smiled.

"Let's hurry AhUn. It's getting colder." The dragon demon growled in agreement and sped up. Rin knew that Lord Sesshomaru was going to be upset with Karasaya, but she hadn't seen Kagome and Inuyasha and the children in forever. She supposed they all had gotten really tall since she had last seen them. She continued day dreaming about her distant family when she suddenly noticed a river. "Let's stop there AhUn and get something to eat." They dropped from the sky and landed. Much to Rin's disappointment she noticed the river was iced over. "No fish for us." It must be colder than she thought. "I'm sure Kagome will have something for us to eat." AhUn growled, and Rin laughed. She knew AhUn liked that idea. Kagome always prepared a meal for him called "kibbles and gravy." Rin didn't know what it was, but it always smelled good.

Suddenly AhUn growled louder and more threatening. Rin quickly went to jump on his back but never made it. Something was pulling her back down.

"Hold on girl. Where do you think you're going?" Rin saw a group of three men standing there. Why hadn't she seen them? She sniffed the air. They stunk like dirt and grass. That's why AhUn hadn't smelt them. Are they demon slayers?

AhUn was trying to fight his way towards her, but one of the men was keeping him at bay. "AhUn return home." He might not be able to help her, but he could go get Lord Sesshomaru to come save her. She watched as AhUn swept up towards the sky and then disappeared.

Suddenly, the man holding her smacked her in the face. Rin didn't cry out. She was stronger than that. "I don't know what you want, but I'm sure we can come to some arrangement."

The man holding her laughed. "We don't want anything from you girl. You associate with demons... Well nothing except maybe entertainment."

Rin knew what that meant. Angrily, she quickly reached for Kiryoku. She was stopped short, and her arm was twisted at an uncomfortable angle.

"Let me relieve you of your sword," the man holding her said. Rin smiled inwardly. When the man reached for the sword, Kiryoku sparked and burned his hand. "What the hell?!" he yelled.

"Some kind of demon sword?" another man asked.

"Kiryoku only answers to me," Rin declared. She had momentarily been released when the man reached for her sword. She drew Kiryoku only to have it knocked out of her hands. One of the men had wrapped his hands and grabbed the sword. The third man captured Rin again and held her arms behind her back.

"Way too much trouble to be used for entertainment" the first man stated. Rin inwardly let out a sigh of relief.

Rin was forcefully thrown into a small dark room. "You like demons so much. Why don't you join them in their cells?" The men laughed. "I think they're hungry too." With some more laughter, they walked away.

Rin tried to look around the dark room. There's demons in here? "Who's there?" she called out. "I won't hurt you." It was silent a few minutes more before a small voice spoke up.

"Who are you?" It was a small feminine voice that sounded very tired and ragged. A child? The prisoners were children?