Back when I first wrote this story a very good friend of mine begged insistently about bring SesshoMaru back. Though as a writer I didn't like the idea, and told her that the world isn't fair and neither are all my stories. However she was persistent and so I finally agreed if she wanted him to come back then she could sit down with me and help me write it. I still stand by my original ending, I think it is far more believable way for things to end, here is the alternate ending for the story. Love, hate whatever; it is what it is. I just figured I might as well post it as not.

Rin stood outside the Western palace's stables gently brushing Kin's golden coat until it gleamed in the sun. It had been nearly three months since the day the horse had selflessly given his all to return her and the dying SesshoMaru to the palace. He'd gotten them back before he'd collapsed and very nearly lost his own life in the process.

She felt the familiar sting of tears as the events of the day came back to her. She wiped her eyes on the sleeve of her dusky blue kimono with the purple butterflies. "Such foolishness."

"Crying again." A calm voice slid over her like a cooling breeze.

She turned around to see the man that spoke slowly walking toward her. Putting her brush aside she moved quickly to his side, her arm instinctively moving around his waist. "You know you shouldn't be moving around by yourself. You're still weak."

SesshoMaru felt his lips curve up in a contented smile at the woman's concerned scolding. He draped his arm over her small shoulders allowing her to take some of his weight as she led him to a nearby bench. Truth was, though not a hundred percent yet, he was more than strong enough to go about by himself, but he enjoyed the way she felt pressed against his side the way she was now.

"I'm stronger already, now that I'm with you."

Rin looked up at him and saw his smile. She sighed, but didn't move away from him. "I guess I am being silly aren't I?"

SesshoMaru sat down when they reached the bench and pulled her onto his lap. He kissed her soundly before answering her. "A bit."

Rin laid her head against his chest and heard the steady rhythm of the heart she had believed would never beat again. "I can't help it. I've tried, but I still see it sometimes, and it scares me more than anything ever has."

She looked up to see him watching her. His beautiful golden eyes filled with understanding and love. He tucked a stray lock of hair behind her small ear and kissed her forehead. "It scares me too. To think how close I came to never being able to hold you like this."

Three Months Earlier

He smiled at her, the last of his strength ebbing, "I love you Rin."

The world seemed to slow to a crawl as she watched the light from SesshoMaru's golden eyes fade as he closed them for good. His slender hand fell limply from her hair, and his chest shuddered as his last breath left his body. Rin bent down again pressing her lips to his closed eyes. "I will always love you, my Lord, my love, my SesshoMaru."

She wrapped her arms around him and hugged his lifeless form to her chest as she rocked back and forth weeping uncontrollably. Her tears falling unchecked to mix with his blood as it soaked into the front of her haori. Somewhere in her grief clogged mind the smell of roses masked over the metallic tang of blood.

Suddenly she felt a sharp stinging pain shoot through her just over her heart. Her chest contracted so tightly that she couldn't breathe, and she felt a hot burning sensation build inside her. The heat grew until she was sure she would burst into flame at any minute. She wanted to scream but she had no air, all she could do was hold on to the body of her dead lover.

'At least,' she thought as the pain and heat continued to build, 'if I am about to die I can be with you once more.'

She looked down at the tranquil angelic face and wasn't afraid. She welcomed the flames to come. Despite the agony of her body, she bent down and laid a kiss on his cold lips. As she kissed him the heat inside her body seemed to be drawn out of her and into him. She was sure she had lost her mind but she could have sworn she felt SesshoMaru move.

She opened her eyes as she pulled back so she could look down at him. Strikingly handsome golden orbs looked back at her. She must have died; there was no other way to explain it. Indeed the pain and burning had lessened until they remained only as a memory. "I'm dead."

SesshoMaru blinked up at the girl he'd been sure he would never see again. "If you are I can't say I am sorry for it."

A laughing sob broke her lips as the tai youkai in her arms' hand came to rest on her cheek. She shook her head, "Neither am I."

A strange sound came from somewhere a few feet away and both of them turned to look. Jaken stood there watching them his eyes, if it were possible, more bugged out than usual. "Hhh…how?"

Rin smiled at the little toad. "I don't know."

SesshoMaru made a move to sit up only to groan as pain hit him. Rin's arms tightened around him as he fell back into her lap. Panic laced her voice as her eyes darted back to him. "SesshoMaru."

SesshoMaru clenched his teeth as he fought back the wave of pain and nausea. He looked down at himself pulling back the folds of his bloodied gi, to expose a still very fresh bleeding wound. He heard Rin's gasp and he looked up at her as darkness threatened to take him once more. "Perhaps I should go inside now."

Both Jaken and Rin had acted without hesitation to move the alive, but still seriously wounded, SesshoMaru to his bedroom. Once they had him laying comfortably Jaken had made himself useful in bandaging his master's many wounds. Rin, who had refused to leave him for even a minute, had held his hand through the worst of the treatments. It had taken many weeks from the last of the poison in SesshoMaru's system to finally work its way out. And still longer for the puncture wounds left by the snake's fangs to heal. Several times during the first nights Rin had feared that he had returned to her only to be taken away again.

But slowly SesshoMaru had recovered his strength, and during one evening while she sat with him he'd taken her hand in his and asked if she would become his mate. To which she instantly replied she would. He'd then apologized for ever trying to send her away, and not coming for her the moment he'd discovered she was gone. She had said she'd forgive him only if he would do the same for her being so foolish to run off in the first place. They ended the conversation with the most passionate kiss imaginable, then he'd pulled her down to lay beside him and just held her.

In the present

To this day none of those that had been in the garden on that day could explain what had happened. But a few days later Jaken came into SesshoMaru's room holding a dark red rose. When questioned where he'd gotten such a thing, he'd answered that he'd founded it in the folds of the haori Rin had been wearing when she'd cried over SesshoMaru's body.

Rin smiled up at her handsome inu youkai, it didn't really matter to her what kind of magic had happened that day, all that mattered was the man who held her contently in his lap. "I love you."

SesshoMaru raised one brow as he returned Rin's happy smile. Pulling her tightly to him he whispered against her lips. "And I love you, my Lady, my love, my Rin."

Then he kissed her as he intended to go on kissing her for the rest of their lives together.