AN: OMG, this is my first inuyasha fic in a long long time. I do not own any of these characters just the idea for this story.
Rin moved down the bustling street of Edo several bolts of heavy silk in her arms. They were so heavy that she was waddling like a duck. Across the bolts of silk were elaborate patterns of streams, flowers cranes embroidered with silver and gold thread.
"Jaken!" she cried her eyes searching the crowd of people for the small bird like demon disguised as an old man. Out he came from a particularly thick crowd swearing as someone nearly kicked him, he trotted over breathing heavy.
"What did I tell you about walking so fast girl!" he barked between breaths. Rin felt her throat tighten with tears. She was now twenty years of age, the turmoil of the Shikon Jewel long since passed. The world of Japan was turning over a new leaf into a different age, an age that she believed would strain the relationship of humans and demons much more. Maybe it would explain why Sesshoumaru-sama had come to the capital city and began to barter and buy anything that caught his eye.
"I am sorry Jaken but the heat is not making the task of carrying these any less difficult" she glared down at the demon. Jaken turned away from her briskly
"The kimono maker is just down the street, Sesshoumaru-sama will be waiting there for us."
Rin's throat tightened now for a very different reason. She didn't want to see him... When she was around Sesshoumaru it was like her heart would explode it pumped so wildly in her chest. In the past few months the situation had grown alarming, awkward almost. Jaken didn't seem to notice it, Rin wondered if Sesshoumaru had. He had not changed at all, not after all these years... The only difference was that his hair had grown thicker, longer and fuller. A night she longed to stroke his hair as he slept.... But....
She wasn't a little girl anymore.... The days of sleeping in his fur was long passed, or making flower crown's for his noble brow.
Together and at a snail's pace they turned down the long avenue of rice screened wood framed shops, the crowds were less people were not the peasents or merchants that made Edo what it was.... These people were nobles, and from what she saw some may have been half demon.. Unless it was only the trick of the blazing summer sun beating relentlessly on her head. Jaken stopped at a particularly fine establishment with a lacquered sign of red, painted with gold letters. She stepped back and read it.
"Fuji Kimono Shop", the sign was shrouded in the tendrils of a ancient wisteria vine. In the summer heat the heavy dewy blossoms had opened releasing their fragrance into the wide, clean street. People stared as they passed, Rin in her fine yet slightly dirty kimono and old tabi sandals did not belong in this part of the capital city. Jaken cleared his throat and the double doors opened, revealing the most beautiful store she had ever seen. A woman in a fine kimono of the highest fashion bowed at the door. Rin returned her deepest bow
" We are here to see Arashi- san" Jaken began politely
She nodded and turned with the grace of the swan, leading them through the opulent store that everywhere she turned glittered and sparkled with gold thread or stones inlaid into the fabric. In here the air was cool and redolent with the smell of the self same wisteria flowers, artfully arranged in beautiful vases throughout the store.
Gracefully the woman opened another smaller set of polished double doors, and then bowed. Rin stepped in followed closely by Jaken. A equally luxurious room opened to them and on a platform sitting on a small cushion was the owner of the shop. Rin's eyes widened, this was no mortal... This was a half demon. A plain looking woman with kitsune ears sat in an elaborate ten layer kimono, in her clawed hand she held a pipe full of.... Rin sniffed the air... She didn't want to know.
Sitting on cushions below the platform was a figure with hair like the celestial god Tsukiyomi, wrapped in a cerulean blue kimono embroidered with crescent moons and the stars of the heavens. Sesshoumaru turned and looked at her for a long moment,
"Rin couldn't you have changed into something a little less.. Dirty?" Sesshoumaru observed quietly. Her face was turning red, instead she bowed and held out the heavy bolts in front of her.
"I have brought what you asked for Sesshoumaru-sama" He stood taking the bolts from her and sat on the edge of the platform unrolling them. With a flash of gold thread, Rin was dazzled at the beauty of the fabric. Come to think of it, she had barely looked at the load of silk she had been carrying.
Arashi looked at the fabric as Sesshoumaru unrolled them one by one, her pale green eyes sweeping over them with the keen eye of a connoisseur.
"Excellent quality" she said taking an inhalation from her pipe, "this one will make an excellent wedding kimono." she pointed to the white on white peonies to the far right, glancing at Rin for a moment. Sesshoumaru seemed to be having a difficult time hiding a smile at the look of incredulity that passed over Rin's face. Even now after all their years of acquaintance her antics still amused him.
Rin blinked "Sesshoumaru-sama? Are these all for you?" she asked boldly ignoring the pointed stare that Arashi pressed on her and Sesshoumaru.
"No, some are for you my dear" he said softly touching the heavy silk of the white kimono.
"This one will make a fine uchikake." he added his long nails gliding over a deep red fabric embroidered with pink lotus and golden reeds.
"You have impeccable taste Sesshoumaru-sama" Arashi purred putting her hand on over his. Cooly he pulled away and Rin felt her face growing red.
"Thank you Sesshoumaru-sama" Rin stammered cursing silently for her delayed reaction. She bowed deeply and quickly left the room. Once outside, the voices inside were only a soft murmur and the glamour of the shop began to pull her in like a poison. She wandered the opulent shop tenderly, reverently touching the kimono's. Marveling at the decadence of many of them, but there was one. One in the very back of the shop where the rows became so narrow and cramped that Rin wondered if it had been forgotten on purpose.
"Oh Kami-sama" she breathed, before her was a kimono of at least fifteen or twenty layers, all in shades of scintillating reds and red orange. The outer kimono was a deep crimson embroidered with so much gold and silver thread and inlaid.... She bent close gasping, rubies and emeralds! This kimono was fit for the empress of Edo or the Goddess Amaterasu, she reached out and touched the vermillion peonies, fingertips gliding over the the dewy petals they looked so real... How did anyone have such skill... It must have taken them...
"Rin" a deep honeyed voice made her turn slowly, the smell of the wisteria blooms was everywhere. It was in her hair, seeping under her fingernails, into her pores.
There was Sesshoumaru standing in the cramped aisle laquer boxes higher then him, blocking her only way out. Briefly panic filled her veins but with each breath of wisteria fragrance Rin seemed to calm.
"I see you have exquisite taste" Rin turned back to the blindingly beautiful kimono.
"It is fit for a goddess Sesshoumaru-sama," she whispered, her voice dry. Her heart was beginning that unnaturally fast cadence behind her rib-cage. How she wished it would calm, how she wished that everything would return to as it had always been.
"It is a very old kimono, made for the Empress of the last century. She refused it, claiming that she could never wear something more beautiful then her own self." Sesshoumaru replied
Rin's eyes widened "It has become unsellable since then. That was one hundred years ago, no noble bride will even try it on because of the story."
His voice was surrounding her in a warm cocoon, dribbling down her spine like golden honey. Rin wanted him to let her pass...
"Sesshoumaru-sama please let me pass" it was a feeble whine, a plead. Sesshoumaru's liquid gold eyes gazed at her through long dark lashes.
"I can smell your lust Rin, do not think that I am immune to it."
She stiffened her gasp jarring in the peaceful silence of the store, she was trembling now from head to foot. Tears made a silent track down her face
"Rin" he reached out to touch her face, wiping the tears away. Rin leaned into his touch
"Yes Sesshoumaru-sama" her voice was shaky
"You cannot live in denial any longer. I am told it is not healthy for humans to do so." Sesshoumaru added. More tears poured down, faster staining his flawless white fingertips.
"Afraid of what?" he gently prodded his fingertips traveling into her hair, pulling the pins from the bun. In a cascade of chocolate silk Rin's hair pooled over her shoulders and down to her ankles. She was utterly still now and the tension was building between them like a bow pulled taut.
"I-I'm afraid that I have fallen in love with you." the words tumbled like an avalanche out of her mouth. And when it was finished a great relief filled her, even as a hot blush rose up on her cheeks. If possible the tension that filled in the air began to sing, becoming a great crescendo that was drowning out everything. Everything except the strong fragrance of wisteria and the brush of hot lips against her own, before the blackness of a faint rose up to meet her.