[A/N] Whoop here we go again! Another one by the Villagefox. Cookies go to whoever can pick out a character similar with P&C description wise. ENJOY!
Rin knew she was in love with him at 14. She had out grown her favorite kimono of orange and yellow shapes; she had out grown her next traveling kimono of yellow and purple flowers; and when she had her 14 birthday (an always small celebrated day) Sesshoumaru had given her a kimono that made her fall in love. But at nine-teen she had realized that of course back then the kind of love she had thought was real was just the surface of the suffering love that she had for him now.
[Thirteen yr. old Rin]
"Jaken-sama!!" Rin splashed happily in a deep stream that ran parallel to their tread.
"Insufferable ningen! Will you stop splashing me girl!" The toad shrieked, flailing his Nintoujou toward the lively girl. Rin paused and checked for her lord. As usual he was several meters away walking with no hesitations about leaving the two to squabble alone. With one final splash at Jaken the girl let her long legs carry her as fast as she could to her Lord, leaving poor Jaken in the dust.
"Rin," the stoic demon chided. With a little pout the girl ran back, picked up a wrangling kappa and sprinted back to Sesshoumaru, dropping the kappa unceremoniously.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, will we reach the palace soon?" Rin asked, looking up to her Lord. She knew for her age and species she was tall, reaching his brightly colored obi. A slight nod was her only affirmative and she frolicked around picking random flowers, smelling them and either keeping them or discarding them for her next flower crown. The trio kept themselves busy until well into nightfall. The moon was high when Sesshoumaru decided to stop. Being accustomed to her Lords long journeys, Rin was neither winded nor tired, but rest was welcoming just the same. By her calculations, they would reach the palace by this time tomorrow; depending on how early Sesshoumaru woke them.
The Lord himself kept watch over his dysfunctional companions. He could smell age coming to Rin, the scent of adolescence, and reproduction. He cocked his head to the side silently assessing her. She was strong for a ningen. She was strong for her gender and her age. He was proud of her, but this small revelation was awkward to the Lord. Now, however was a crossroad in her life. Soon her own time of mating would come; instinct would call her to look for a suitable male, settle down and reproduce her own kind. And he, Sesshoumaru, should release her then.
He had always known he would have to give her up. It was customary of the short ningen life span. Only thirteen years of her life, only five of them spent with him. The girl in question sighed in her sleep. She slept on soft moss found at the base of a large tree demon named Nyu-Osuki. He was a landmark, only one day's journey left until Sesshoumaru reached his home. The demon leapt high into Osuki's branches and fixed his gaze on the moon, subconsciously fixing his ears to that of his companion. Soon the day of Rin's birth would arrive. He had made sure to make it to his abode by then. Although he was not sure of what day it was exactly, he had a general idea. It was most likely a day in high spring.
Such a day suited Rin.
[Sixteen yr. old Rin]
As Lady of the palace it was Rin's job to keep everything in order. Nothing could be out of place, dinner must be on time, guest quarters were always to be kept clean, tea always at the ready to be prepared and most of all, Sesshoumaru's whims done. The Inutaisho was a picky and almost quirky Lord and Rin found it her purpose to please him. Everything had to be immaculate, or as close to such as possible. But a thought had recently dawned on her.
This also meant that she herself had to be perfect.
Rin had realized as much when a young female lizard youkai had stolen from the palace. She wasn't sure how he knew, and hadn't been aware of anything until she saw all the servants gathered in the common room. All the shoji doors had been open and the sunlight streamed into the whole palace lighting up the enormous expanse. Rin was the last to arrive, carting old scrolls in a delicate cloth satchel, she prepared to climb the steps and take them to her Lord's personal library. However the gathering stopped her and the sight of Sesshoumaru looking down on a small bowed youkai with the coldest expression, alarmed her. Sesshoumaru never looked that detached unless he planned to take a life.
"Insolent girl, I let you work here, sleep here, in my house and you steal from me." He stated rather blandly, speaking so low Rin strained to hear him. It was not a question. Still the little lizard tried to beg and plead bowing more into the hard wooden floors than Rin thought possible. The air was tense. Some, who knew Sesshoumaru longer, looked away already knowing the poor girls fate. Some looked with hope and pity, thinking she may survive. "No one will bring shame to my home. There is no excuse." Sesshoumaru stared into her and with a flick of his wrist severed her head completely. All her cries ended abruptly and blood pooled rapidly toward the Lord. Turning without another word he glided past Rin up the stairs and into his library. Immediately the mess was being cleaned and her body wrapped and escorted outside. Rin watched for a moment, dwelling on his words. Unconsciously she began to ascend the steps.
It was known that Sesshoumaru kept a human ward. It was known that humans were far inferior to youkai. It was also known that Sesshoumaru had no tolerance for the inferior. Did Rin bring shame to his house? Rin had questioned her status ever since then.
Making her decision, Rin had done all she could do to be perfect in his eyes. She pushed herself physically, striving to be quicker, stronger, more agile and more reflexive. Mentally she pushed herself to become smarter, quick witted, intuitive and wise. She became the perfect lady and Sesshoumaru said he would allow her to take combat training when she had reached sixteen. Rin planned to become just as flawless in this realm as well. She wanted nothing more than to please her Lord. It was by this age that she had reckoned her love was a little deeper than her appreciation for new kimonos.
Rin stared at the rising sun; it's glowing intensifying every moment.
Rin whipped around, annoyed with herself for not noticing the youkai before he reached her. "Oh Himatori-sensei! You scared me." Rin laughed nervously. She raised her bokkun in a defensive stance and the two wasted no time sparring. Rin could feel that the strength of wolf youkai more. She could feel the power in every swing and Rin did not delude herself in thinking that in any way would she have an actual chance had this youkai suddenly decided to kill her.
Resentment started to bubble up in her chest. Why couldn't she have been born youkai? Why did she have to be so inferior? Unnoticeably the ningen's swings became filled with emotion and the girl took it out on her sparring partner.
Himatori studied his pupil. This was not the first time Rin would begin practice, then suddenly her aura and demeanor would change and she would unleash pent up emotions she had been feeling. The old youkai understood the pressure she put on herself. Who couldn't see that Rin was striving to be perfect? She was overcompensating for the fact that she was human, and for that, Himatori felt sorry for her. If there was something he knew, it was Rin could never change in Sesshoumaru's eyes.
"Rin," Himatori chided when she swung, missing completely and fell flat on her face. The girl hopped back up surprisingly quick. "What is troubling you Rin?"
Rin obstinately shook her head and swung again, her anger increasing for such a stupid mistake. Himatori raised an eyebrow and the face the young female made. Still he blocked and retaliated. Soon she seemed to calm into her clear-cut fighting style. Himatori kept time; so far they'd been sparring for about two hours straight. This was the longest by far and the sensei was impressed with Rin's stamina. Looking up sharply, the youkai's senses picked up the scent of his Lord walking near. No doubt to observe Rin and make sure she was improving. Barring a little more force her swung his bokkun and was surprised when she didn't parry. Instead Rin dodged completely, feeling the force behind his swing before he even made contact. Taking three large steps back and to the side she sized her options. Himatori went for her again and Rin dodged steadily while taking long strides backwards. Soon they would be nearing the large Koi pond her Lord kept. Himatori began swinging faster leaving Rin no choice but to parry or get hit. After the fourth swing her bokkun was in danger of breaking and she wasn't near enough to the pond for her plan to work.
On a whim, Rin turned and ran in a zig zag pattern barely missing the tackles Himatori tried to make contact with. She ran directly for the pond and while Himatori was confused with this he certainly wasn't going to let her get away without proving herself. He wanted his Lord to see he was doing his job in pushing Rin to her fullest. His thought process failed him when Rin tumbled, swinger her leg in a complete circle. She tripped him and Himatori took a lunge into the freezing Koi pond.
Rin smiled broadly as her plan unfolded right in front of her. Standing she dusted herself off and waited for Himatori to emerge. He would most likely praise her for her inventive thinking.
"Rin." The baritone voice shocked her. She turned to see Sesshoumaru nearly next to her. His face seemed almost disproving. A face she hated the most.
"My Lord," Rin bowed lower than even the servants. Sesshoumaru always noted such, it almost made him smile, her displays of true devotion. Himatori emerged, spluttering; he hopped out with a broad smile on his face.
"Rin! That was excellent! Brilliant thinking!" He spotted Sesshoumaru, feigned surprise and bowed politely. "My Lord, how unexpected. Is there something I can do for you?"
Sesshoumaru seemed to gaze through him for a moment. "I came to observe Rin." His eyes slid back to his wards to find surprise. "You will demonstrate your skill to me."
"Of course my Lord!" Rin smiled wide and bowed low. She ran back to their original sparring grounds, picked up a new bokkun and turned to face her opponent. To her surprise Sesshoumaru stood there, hands tucked into his sleeves and a stoic expression on his face. Rin tried to keep the fear from her voice, but could not stop the confusion. "Sesshoumaru-sama?"
"I will be your opponent Rin." Was his only explanation.
The ningen nodded and steadied herself. She could feel her nerves tingling in the tips of her fingers and toes. She knew she was exuding the strong smell of fear and apprehension. Slowly she cleared her mind; closing her eyes she focused her energy. She felt her ki center itself as she opened her eyes to look at her opponent not as Sesshoumaru, but her temporary enemy.
Sesshoumaru watched her raptly. She was scared and nervous that much was palpable, but almost just as suddenly she was fearless and calm. The change intrigued him. When had she learned to control herself in such a manner? Still he watched as she opened her eyes to gaze at him in a way he had never received before. It raised the hairs on the back of his neck. Never had Rin ever looked at him in such a way. Never. Then she was attacking, quite quickly for a human. It took five long strides for her to reach Sesshoumaru, swinging her bokkun in a wider arc, she let her foot follow. Rin felt the fabric of her Lord's hakama sweep over her heel. She had been dangerously close to landing her kick. Keeping her balance in check Rin immediately dropped to the ground and slashed upward in quick succession, swinging her bokkun round and round.
Sesshoumaru took easy hops back keeping the distance between himself and Rin small enough for her to nearly reach him every time. Her expression was not fierce but almost calculated. Detached.
Rin lunged her arms forward aiming to spear the youkai, but Sesshoumaru simply glided to her left. His body slid past hers as he moved opposite of her in a grace that only reminded her, of her inferiority. She would never please him. In a fit Rin threw her leg out catching the Lord's heel. Sesshoumaru leapt lightly and just as he touched ground his hand came as a reflex and caught the bokkun Rin had thrown right as his face.
Himatori watched in silent awe as Sesshoumaru stared in his silent, stoic version of disbelief at the bokkun still seconds from his face and Rin knelt panting on the ground. Slowly the Inu lowered the bokkun and fixed his gaze on Rin as she struggled to stand without wheezing. "You have done well Rin. Rest, tomorrow you will accompany me to Totosai's villa."
Rin cocked her head. "My Lord," She began bowing, as he walked by her. "May I ask why we will be visiting Totosai?"
Sesshoumaru dropped the bokkun at Himatori's feet. "To commission a sword for you."
The demon was well into the palace before it finally hit Rin. Sesshoumaru was going to have a sword made for her. She squealed silently and sank to the floor, the joy apparent on her face. Himatori chuckled as he approached her.
"You did well young Rin. Exceptionally better than any human my eyes have ever seen. This I promise you. Come Sesshoumaru-sama wishes for you to rest." Rin simply nodded in a happy daze as she was led to her chamber to bathe and rest. Tomorrow she and her lord would travel together to have Totosai forge a sword for her and her alone.
[Nineteen yr. old Rin]
Rin knelt and closed her eyes. She could feel the stare of her Lord and several hundred demons. Her nerves were tingling at the thought of being the only free human in this Youkai's festival. As customary the Rulers of Japan bet against each other and put their best warriors in a ring. The battle was not to be to the death but Rin had a feeling this time would be different. Sesshoumaru had simply called her name casually and she obeyed orders. Now however the full brunt of what he had done was hitting her. He had placed his honor on her. Every year Sesshoumaru won because he revered as having the best warriors in all of Japan. Now he had thrown Rin, a ningen, to fight against seasoned youkai.
Rin was dressed similar to a taijiya. Sturdy black fur boots laced tightly to her ankle, fitting black taijiya pants cut short to her upper thighs, long black gloves that ran down her arm to expose her fingers, and sturdy, fitted black material that covered her torso up to her neck. The only color she wore was a belt that ran around her hips and draped in front of her and behind her. It was the same pattern as Sesshoumaru's obi, a gift for her nineteenth birthday. Her long hair was plaited down to the backs of her thighs and four long and dangerously sharp ornaments rested there and jingled when she moved.
Rin could feel the tension in the air. She steadied herself freeing all the doubt she had in her chest. She could almost taste the auras of each demon. She filled herself with the exhilarating thought of Sesshoumaru having so much faith in her. He must believe that she could do this, and for him she would if it meant to give up her life. The youkai looked at her quizzically as she knelt, her hand splayed on the ground and the other immobile to her left. Her twin swords mounted on her back, Ijo and Yijo. She waited for the host to ring the gong that would begin the tournament, but there seemed to be hesitation. Slowly Rin opened her eyes. The demon was making his way to upper deck where the Rulers sat to watch. Not a sound could be heard and the demon did not try to be discreet.
"My Lord Sesshoumaru, are you sure you want to enter that ningen girl? Surely you--" Rin didn't even blink when Sesshoumaru flicked his wrist and severed the demon in half. As the body fell over the deck it invariably hit the gong and all was fair game.
Rin had one fair advantage to the youkai. Because she was ningen, her bones were light and it was far easier for her to move and use her agility to her benefit. As soon as the sound rang Rin pushed off to her left and slid between the nearest demon's legs, stood back to back, reached over to clasp his neck and flipped him on his chest. Lying on his chest in a daze he was unprepared for Rin to drive her knuckles in the base of his neck, one of the few susceptible places a ningen could kill a youkai by. No one else had moved and the crack of his neck was loud. She stood calculating the distance of everyone to her. Most likely they would all try to kill her first. However no one moved for a full minute. Rin glanced over to see a smirk on her Lords face and it filled her with confidence. She ran forward directly past a demon, who instinctively swiped at her, and used all the strength in her legs to push off the wall, swing her leg and let catch the demon in the neck with her heel. Again the cracking sound was audible. Rin was down two and she had yet to even unsheathe her swords.
She turned to view the remaining demon who looked back in varying degrees of malice and hate. "It is obvious that you will all try to kill me first."
One demon sneered at her; he was finely dressed with long blue hair that flowed in the harsh breeze. "Filthy ningen, you believe that you are stronger than youkai because you live in the Western house? You will die!"
Rin reached behind her and turned the hilts of her swords unlocking them from the sheath. As soon as she unveiled them the aura of the area grew heavy. Chain links of demon energy wrapped around her arm but the material from the gloves kept them from burning her slowly. Mima Nanjo, Lord of the Eastern lands turned to Sesshoumaru "What does she wield, Sesshoumaru?" He asked not too quietly.
The demon's smirk grew, "My fangs."
Nanjo stared at his long time ally, "Ahh," he gave a short chuckle. "And she wields them so naturally," Nanjo pointed to Rin who stood static waiting for an attack in what looked like absolute comfort.
Sesshoumaru nodded slightly. "She has wielded those swords for three years. They know her aura and her being as their master and still she has not fully discovered all of their power. That is why no demon will stand at the end of this."
Huyoko Hibina a fiery hi-youkai grunted, "We shall see Sesshoumaru-san"
The Inu youkai simply nodded. He grew tired of the stalemate in the ring. "Rin," he called calmly. The girl turned her full attention to her Lord leaving herself wide open. "Finish this, I grow tired."
"Yes my Lord," Rin nodded. She turned and clutched her swords backwards, protruding them from her fists. Rin launched herself past two or three youkai letting her sword slash their legs off as she went. She ran so low that the demon's had to bend to swipe at her. Growls of frustration and pain echoed behind her and before she could stop her velocity a spear slammed the ground right in front of her. She moved enough for it to miss her face but it smashed into her shoulder and sent her on a skid. The demon was immediately charging for her and Rin threw Yijo at his neck. The demon laughed when she missed but Rin jerked her arm back and the chains whipped the sword around to behead the youkai before he was even close.
Looking around Rin counted the aura. All were in the rink, none has escaped or fled. Most were dead but some had only lost their legs. Sheathing her swords Rin turned toward the rulers and bowed deeply in the direction of her Lord. "My Lord," she stated ready for whatever he had planned for her. Slowly it sank in to her. She had just defeated some of the most skilled youkai in all of Nippon. Her, a young, ningen female had defeated some of the best warriors. It was then she knew she would one day be Sesshoumaru's personal guard. The demon always flaunted his own power by carrying only one when other demons used at least three. The Inu youkai simply waved his hand toward himself and stood to make his way to his quarters. The days festival was over, there would be a banquet then tomorrow would be another day. Rin hoped up the wall and landed next to her lord almost as silently as any bird youkai.
Sesshoumaru silently reasoned that she probably weighed less than one of his swords. "Rin come, the day is over." Sesshoumaru turned toward the long drone of steps to ground level. Nanjo stood and walked with Sesshoumaru as well, speaking low enough to draw attention but personalize their conversation.
"That is an interesting ningen you seem to have gotten your hands on." Nanjo jested silently while walking with his hand hidden in his large hoari.
He stared straight forward but Sesshoumaru still felt under scrutiny. It did not help the young Lord that this particular demon was also his godfather, a youkai that had known his father and played with Sesshoumaru since birth. He owed the older youkai nothing but respect and loyalty and he was one of the few Sesshoumaru would risk himself for. "You speak more than you listen old man."
"You don't say enough to listen to, pup." Nanjo chuckled and glanced back at the almost robotic walk of Rin about twenty feet away. Hard listening distance for a ningen, but Nanjo wouldn't be surprised. "So how did you acquire this talented one here? Is she the one they gossip about? The ningen you kept out of sheer random will?" Sesshoumaru simply nodded. That seemed to fit the bill. "What do you plan to do with her? What is she exactly?" The Inu sounded like a gossiping old women.
Sesshoumaru slid his eyes to the youkai, "What do you imply by 'do with her'?" He asked blandly.
Nanjo held up his hands in an innocent contemplative sort of manner. "I mean like what purpose does she have? Surely you do everything for a reason."
Sesshoumaru mused this for a long while. They were near his castle, the festival being hosted in his lands, when he finally gave an answer. "She has no immediate purpose." It was true wasn't it? He had often thought of reasons to keep her around and contemplated her very being for hours. What she did for him that was irreplaceable. Why he felt he needed to make these purposes. It was all too new to him until suddenly he stopped. She didn't seem to have made any plans of leaving so neither did he. For as long as she wanted, she would stay in his house and her 'purpose' would never be questioned.
"Hmmm," was all Nanjo replied. Sesshoumaru tensed his jaw. Certain times like these he wished Nanjo was not so in tuned to him as he was. The old dog could sniff out a bluff even if one was bluffing to oneself. "You never do anything without a purpose Sesshoumaru; just think about that will you."
The younger Inu growled. "What are you implying?" he spat stopping his gait abruptly to face the completely unphased older Inu.
Nanjo simply raised an eyebrow to the demons sudden demeanor and continued walking. "Nothing you haven't already."
It was sunny this day and Rin felt a bit lighter. She didn't know why but she was excited to see Inuyasha, his mate, the monk and his mate as well. Kagome and Sango were like mentors for her in her still short life. Whenever Inuyasha was forced to pass through these lands or deal with his brother he always brought his mate, the monk, and the taijiya with him. It was Sango that had overseen her battle wear and hidden weapons. She had also half trained her on the art of deceiving a man. Kagome on the other hand, had taught her how to be brash enough to evoke respect from a man but how to be docile enough to remain feminine. All was a lot more difficult than Rin had thought, but her relationship with the women was strong. She guessed it helped that they were only four and five years apart. Kagome was twenty-three this year and Sango twenty-four both who tried to keep themselves from pregnancy as long as possible.
Rin chuckled to herself but stopped when she felt the strong permeating aura of her Lord. Turning she bowed deeply, "My Lord," she quipped always ready to please him.
"You wait for my brother and his troop?" he asked with a small sense of resignation.
"Hai my Lord they should arrive soon." Rin's easy smile slipped in place. "I will welcome them and house them in their usually quarters, ne?" Sesshoumaru simply nodded, stepped up onto the ledge of his wide stone gate and sat. Rin joined him immediately remembering when they used to do this when she was younger. Back then Sesshoumaru held her because she was so clumsy she would have dropped herself to her own death. They spent time in quiet silence filled with the sweet smell of late spring and each other. Sesshoumaru prized this about his ward, she no more needed conversation than he did, but she had no problem babbling on when she felt to do it. For some reason she always seemed to know when was right.
"They are here." Sesshoumaru announced a full five minutes before they came into view. They traveled light, Kagome on Inuyasha's back laughing with Sango and Miroku. Inuyasha smiled easily looking completely content with his misshapen family, even when they approached the gate, the happy look didn't fade from Inuyasha's eyes thought he tried his trademark scowl when facing his brother.
"Bastard, you seem well." Was his opening remark but it came out seeming more light than meant.
"Inuyasha! Rin jumped down and hugged the hanyou effectively throwing him off balance. Kagome dropped down and was bear hugged next. Sango and Miroku next until the girls started appraising one another and commenting on what had grown and filled out where. By the end of it Rin was a scarlet red and Sango and Kagome both had sly grins on their faces.
"Sesshoumaru," Kagome greeted amicably completely refusing to use his title, especially when she felt slightly disrespected when all he addressed her by was 'Inuyasha's ningen' or 'Miko'. Sango gave a nod but immersed herself in her conversation with Rin once again. The troop waltzed through the palace, Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha exchanging words with non subtle threats and insults while still handling business, the girls amongst themselves and Miroku hopping from conversations.
Sesshoumaru's respect for his little brother had grown, though the demon didn't know when. He supposed it has something to do with his power and leadership but the Inutaisho would deny this until death. "You plan to stay here Inuyasha?" The demon more stated than assumed. Inuyasha didn't look up from his parchment but nodded. Sesshoumaru sent for a servant to ready the rooms and turned back to his brother. "The day's festival will commence soon, do you mean to attend it as well?" Inuyasha looked up in a sort of puzzlement then nodded toward Kagome. Sesshoumaru rolled his eyes and turned to the Miko.
Kagome looked up from Sango, "What?" she asked confused as well. The Lords patience began to wane.
Rin, never missing her Lords moods intervened. "Did you and Inuyasha plan to attend the festival?"
"Oh," the Miko stated. "I hadn't thought that it was this time of year, I thought it was later. It is only for youkai right?"
Rin mused this question. "I suppose if you are a strong enough human that you can attend as well."
Kagome raised a brow. "I take it Sesshoumaru lets you attend."
Rin brimmed in pride. "I won the competition for my Lord and protected his title." A small blush crept with the words and Rin turned from Sesshoumaru slightly. The demon noticed but for his wards sake averted his eyes. He couldn't understand silly human follies. Why she would become embarrassed over restating facts was beyond him. He supposed it was something he would never know.
"Ahh! You fought youkai?" Sango's interests were piqued.
Inuyasha looked up from his parchment and turned to his brother. "You let her fight youkai?"
"I made her fight youkai." Sesshoumaru corrected. "She is far stronger than any ningen and most youkai because I trained her that way. If it were not for her life span she would not be considered ningen."
Rin's blush increased and she ducked her head as Inuyasha scrutinized her. "You're in one peace so I take it was easy for you?"
She thought a moment. She hadn't needed to struggle. She wasn't hit once. Everything came natural to her, she wasn't even scared. After a moment she realized that it had been easy for her. "Yes," she said slowly. "It was easy for me." Rin wrapped herself in her own reverie.
"How long ago did you fight?" Kagome asked.
"Yesterday," she replied automatically.
"And today?" Kagome asked.
"Today is Kariputchu. All youkai dance from sundown to sun up."
"Are you not going to join this one?"
"I am not sure." Rin glanced at Sesshoumaru, still he said nothing.
"Kagome we should join with young Rin here." Sango chirped.
"Inuyasha would you dance?" Rin asked curiously.
"Only with Kagome." The hanyou replied almost instantly. Rin looked at Sesshoumaru again but he seemed truly disinterested.
"I am not sure if humans can join this part of the festival. I have never seen any, and I have never joined any part before yesterday."
"Don't worry about it," Kagome replied. "I am technically a Miko, Sango is stronger than most middle-class youkai and you my dear are hardly ningen at all." She clapped her hands. "It should be fine!"
Inuyasha lifted a brow and glanced at Kagome before going back to what he was doing. Rin let her eyes run back to her Lord to find him looking at her in the most peculiar way. Like he was contemplating something. "My Lord?" She asked. However Sesshoumaru simply remained silent. Turning back to Kagome the ward considered, "Well the sun will not set for another six hours. What do you wish to do until then?"
Kagome stood unexpectedly, "Rin, there is a hot spring near here. We passed it not too long ago. Let's go there! I haven't soaked in a hot spring in so long." Kagome looked eager and Sango groaned at the thought.
Rin smiled "Of course, let's go."
When the women returned, an hour before sun down, Rin led Kagome and Sango to the fabrics chamber and the three picked out kimonos, and pretty sheer hakamas with dangling gold coins. Rin chose an ornate black kimono with red flowers stitched along the back that split up to the waist on either side. She donned a pair of sheer red hakamas that barely shielded her legs at all and pretty satin black slippers. Pulling a long black cloth embroidered with hanging golden coins, Rin covered her entire face, save the eyes that shook with every step. Kagome wore similar attire except her kimono was red and her hakama white; Sango's kimono was brown and her hakama a deep purple.
If Sesshoumaru had no sense of smell he was sure he would not have known who had just arrived. He had attended the festival long ago and had found himself bored to pieces waiting for it to be over. Inuyasha had found refuge high in a tree gazing at the stars as the youkai below socialized. However the familiar scent he knew only as Rin wafted to him; only the woman walking his way was most certainly not Rin. The woman walked like a lioness and the peeks of skin from the slit of her kimono did no good to dispel the image she had inflicted on Sesshoumaru. Suddenly the deepest feeling of displeasure welled in the Lord. How dare this ningen come baring skin that did not belong to her.
However he schooled his features, still not sure what was coming over him. He knew Rin meant no harm and one wrong look would destroy her spirits for weeks on end and only clear through some sort of praise.
Rin arrived right in front of her Lord only her brilliant hazel eyes visible. She bowed low, "My Lord," Kagome bowed as well out of respect.
With a whoosh Inuyasha leapt out of the tree and landed a little behind Kagome. The Kagome turned and accepted his outstretched hand. It was time like these that Rin could see their love like a tangible string connecting the two. She so desperately wanted the same. If only, if only. The two began a century old dance meant to seduce one another and joined the other youkai and hanyou. Kagome jingled as she moved deliberately slower than Inuyasha meant to depict her slow growing love for him and they hanyou danced around her rapidly showing all his efforts to woo her. The dance looked serene when done by the couple. Rin thought it was because their eyes rarely left each other.
Lord Huyoko Hibina was just conversing with Lord Suzari Sashine the Lord of the Middle Provinces when he caught sight of the trio walking. One whiff of the air told him it was the same ningen woman that accompanied the arrogant dog Sesshoumaru. He nodded to Sashine and stalked over to the young woman. Hibina knew he was good looking, well into handsome and he also knew he was young. He had the second largest military in all of Nippon and prided himself on being a strong individual. Hibina had pulled his long black mane into a high pony tail he knew accentuated the deep blood red of his eyes, his pale complexion and the natural angles of his face. He didn't see the ningen and her Lord talking so he didn't think it rude to interrupt.
With a fangy grin he reached the couple and gave a polite bow to Rin. "Pleasant to finally meet you little ningen."
Rin, grateful of the veil to hide her blush, bowed lower. "An honor," she replied with perfect manners, her voice soft and melodic.
Hibina's eyes found that of Sesshoumaru and he gave a cordial nod with a good smile. He may not like Sesshoumaru but he did respect his power. "Lord Sesshoumaru." he greeted, only being slightly disrespectful by greeting him after Rin. The Lord in question simply nodded to show his response. He seemed to lack the want to talk. Hibina extended a hand toward Rin, "Would you care to dance with me?"
This time the blush reached up to right under her eyes. "Excuse me Lord Hibina, but I do not think that dance would be appropriate." She eyed Kagome and Inuyasha, the two looking completely at home.
Hibina chuckled, "Nonsense, we would not perform that dance, but a simple one to the beat of the drums. I will show you an ancient hi-youkai dance that only nobles in the Southern Lands perform." He smiled easily and took her hand. After nodding once more to Sesshoumaru he led Rin to the same arena of earthen ground that all other dancing youkai were on. Rin had always thought dancing like a demoness would be hard. She observed the way Kagome moved, an ordinary ningen woman would find that impossible. Holding her leg high for far too long and moving in ways that seemed to defy natures law. However the dance Hibina shared with Rin was not difficult at all.
Hibina placed his hand on the cloth on the back of her neck and led her completely from there. Rin moved where she was guided and was elated that the quick pace was not hard to keep up with at all. She locked eyes with Hibina unconsciously imitating the same look Kagome gave her mate. The effect was the Lord pulled her closer and sped up. Grabbing her shoulders, Hibina about faced the ningen and guided her by wrapping his had around her upper arm. He turned her and took two large steps back. Moving her paused and waited for her to copy him. A quick learner, Rin fell into rhythm quickly. She held her hands up as she moved and the large sleeves of her kimono fell to expose her elbows and the quick turns ballooned her kimono out to expose the naked skin of her waist.
Sesshoumaru watched with a face of disinterest. Inside he was in turmoil. Realization was hitting him square in the chest. What this feeling was, he did not know, but he knew it was unwelcome, undeserved, and abhorred. And he knew it was caused by Rin. He could barely stand it. He tried to quell his growing rage by watching his brother dance but the two were so in love it made him sick. He directed his attention to the taijiya, who had long ago discarded the veil in favor of draping it over the monk. It was interesting enough to watch the two because their dance was not youkai, but clearly not human. Sesshoumaru inferred probably just spur of the moment movement that made the couple unique. But still he became tired of watching them and Sesshoumaru found himself watching Rin and that hot head demon dance as if they were long time lovers.
It made him sick. Standing, Sesshoumaru caught Rin's attention just as she was turning again. She froze and their eyes connected. Sesshoumaru let his look of disgust fill his features before ordering his imp and walking away.
Rin stood motionless for a moment confused as to what had brought this on all of a sudden. Her first thought was that he hadn't been looking at her. But she was fooling herself if she tried to pass that off. Her second thought was that she had in some way disrespected him and her mind raced as panic filled her body whole. Never would she intentionally disrespect her Lord. He was absolutely everything to her. It took her but a minute before he legs began to work and she ran.
"My Lord!" Rin was racing up the corridors of the Western Palace. She knew Sesshoumaru was near she could feel his aura in her bones. "My Lord please tell me what I have done!" Rin begged beginning to sob uncontrollably. Her adrenaline gave out and she stopped abruptly and fell to her knees holding herself. She had ripped the veil from her face and her long wavy hair hung drearily around her face. 'It's unfair.' She thought bitterly. 'If he would just give me a chance to explain whatever it is I have done.' But Rin knew her Lord. It was not often Sesshoumaru acted impulsively, but in every time he had never made a mistake or regretted his actions.
She felt the spike of his aura and it filled her with a new determination. Leaping up she followed him down the winding hall and through the servants entrance to his personal garden right next to his chamber. There she found him gazing at the high moon. Music could still be heard from the festival not too far away. "My Lord," Rin whispered all of the sudden afraid of what he might say. "please." Was all she could mutter.
There was a long pause. "You have irritated me Rin." Sesshoumaru, out of a loss of words, let the truth tumble out.
"But how my Lord. Please tell me and I will never do it again."
"That is it Rin." Sesshoumaru paused not sure how to admit this. "I don't know what it is."
Flabbergasted Rin sputtered. "But my Lord it must be something!" She tried raising her voice in a manner that she had never used with him. "Please Lord Sesshoumaru you must tell me wha-"
"It is your very presence." Sesshoumaru said venomously. Rin's breath left her and she felt like she couldn't breathe. What had he just said? "I can not take it any longer." Sesshoumaru was glad his back was to Rin. He was not sure if he ever remembered his face twisting into such displays of emotion. "Something must be done."
There was a decisive silence that cut deep through the ningen as Rin felt her world crashing around her. "My Lord please tell me is it because I danced with that youkai?"
Rage filtered though the inu youkai. In a second his face was mere inches from Rin's, eyes red and glowing and his fangs protruding from his mouth. "What did you just say?"
Rin felt fear shake her to the core. "I just want to stay by you my Lord. Like Rin always has." She reverted back into third person displaying her fear. It did nothing to quell her Lord. "If my Lord desires, Rin will never dance with another youkai again. Rin will never dance ever again. It has only been you my Lord." Rin could feel herself breaking down. She was saying anything that she thought would dampen the situation.
Sesshoumaru took a large step back. "What?" he fixed her with an almost disgusted stare.
Rin could feel herself shaking. "It has always been you my Lord. The one Rin lives for, the only thing Rin loves. Please don't send Rin away! Please-"
"That is enough." His eyes came back to the cold color of amber gold. "You must go. Your simple ningen follys have gone far enough. You will not shame me by proclaiming you love this Sesshoumaru. You are nothing but a ningen. Even thought I invested so much into raising you to be above other ningens you are still ningen. This has gone far enough. Had I known this before I would have left you at the first ningen village across Nippon." Sesshoumaru turned away from Rin and whistled. Two inu-youkai maids came and bowed low. "Take Rin to her chambers and let her pack her belongings. Then escort her to wherever she wishes to go. She is no longer welcome here."
Rin stood in shock. What was her Lord saying? Surely he was not telling her to go. Where would she live? What would she do? How would she survive not seeing her Lord's face, not hearing his voice? It wasn't until she felt the warm hands of the maids that it truly set into her. He was ordering her exile. He was kicker her out. "No!" Rin clawed out their grasp and ran to Sesshoumaru. The demon leapt high out of her reach. "No! My Lord please don't send me away! I promise I will never speak of this again? How will I survive? Please don't."Sternly yet kindly the maids wrapped their arms around Rin and pulled her back through the palace with the girl screaming and sobbing all the way. The strength left her and she slumped on the floor of her chamber.
"My Lady, our orders were to help you pack and then escort you to your destination."
"NO! I will not leave!"
"My Lady you must-"
" No!" Rin curled herself into a tight bun and rocked. 'It is not true. This is just a nightmare. He would not abandon me. He would never send me away. I am the closest living thing to him, even if I an ningen. I am strong. He is proud of me. I am an asset.' Rin convinced herself until a black oblivion met her.
[A/N] Well there you have it folks. Next Chappi will be up soon! Review Plz!