Kagome sat alone in a large field near Kaede's village. She was humming softly to herself as she picked herbs out of a large garden. It had been two years since her return to the feudal era and she was settled in contently here in this time. After the jewel was completed, Kagome had spent some much needed time in her era, but she grew desperate to return to Inuyasha. Everyone could see it. Kagome's mother and friends saw the distance in her eyes when she looked into the woods or at the well house. And then finally, one day she was pulled back through the well to join Inuyasha and her friends on the other side. She was so excited to see everyone and to meet Miroku and Sango's new children. She had smiled at them with pride because she had known from the beginning that they would end up together.
She was happy to be back in the feudal era and reunited with her friends. Kagome assumed that she and Inuyasha would begin their relationship together and everyone would live happily ever after. However, that was not the way things worked out. Kagome and Inuyasha had attempted to start their romance several times but it turned out that their feelings for one another had changed over the years. They both saw each other as siblings rather than as a romantic partner. Kagome had been disappointed at first, but she eventually became content with their friendship. However, she couldn't help but strongly feel the loneliness that had accompanied the reality of their friendship. Kagome felt that she had no lifelong companion to spend her time with. She knew that it was only a matter of time before Inuyasha found someone to court and, sure enough, he had recently found another half-demoness that he fell for. Kagome had yet to find anyone. There was a human male in Kaede's village that she had spent some time with but their relationship drifted apart quickly. There was something about being "the girl who had helped defeat Naraku" that did not allow her to fall for ordinary human men. She needed an equal, someone that she would not always feel stronger than.
"Kagome!" Kagome heard Rin's voice shouting her name in the distance. She raised her head to see the young girl running towards her at full speed. Rin was only a few yards away from Kagome when the small girl tripped and landed on the ground with an "omph!"
"Are you okay Rin?" Kagome asked her and Rin raised her dusty face. Rin nodded and smiled. Kagome helped her up and dusted off Rin's kimono. When Kagome's hands reached Rin's feet she noticed that she could clearly see the girl's ankles.
"Looks like you've had another growth spurt. I'm sure Sesshoumaru will bring you a new kimono soon," Kagome finished dusting Rin off and Rin smiled brightly at her.
"One day I'll be taller than Lord Sesshoumaru," Rin joked and Kagome laughed.
"Don't get your hopes up. You can try to beat me though," Kagome said as she placed her hand on Rin's head, showing Rin that she reached Kagome's chest already. Rin grabbed the basket of herbs that Kagome was carrying and started to walk back to the village. Kagome followed after her, once she had plucked one last herb that looked very fresh.
"What's for dinner tonight Kagome?" Rin asked her.
"I was thinking of making some stew with those rabbits you caught this morning. We'll make lots so Miroku and Sango's kids can have some too." Kagome told her.
"Good! I'll help," Rin dropped the herbs on Kagome's front door step and grabbed a large pot. She ran down to towards the river to get some water. Kagome began to prepare the meat and waited for Rin to return.
"Kagome! Look!" Rin called after a long absence.
"Rin! You were beginning to worry..." Kagome's voice trailed off when she raised her head and saw who was standing next to Rin. "Me," Kagome finished almost silently.
"Sorry! I met Lord Sesshoumaru at the river. He brought me a new kimono just like you said he would. I bet this one is longer," Rin ran into Kagome's home carrying her gift. Sesshoumaru set down the pot of water he had been carrying for Rin. Kagome was reluctant to meet his eyes at first. She had not spoken to him since the time she had called him "big brother." She looked up slowly to see his golden eyes staring down at her.
"Don't spoil her too much," Kagome said, she was referring to the kimono but also inclined her head to indicate the pot of water Sesshoumaru had been carrying for Rin. He did not say anything but narrowed his eyes slightly at her. She picked up the pot of water, saying a quick thank you to him, and placed the pot over the fire. She dropped a bunch on ingredients into the pot while Rin was changing.
"Ta-da!" Rin exclaimed at she shot through Kagome's front door. Sesshoumaru frowned slightly at Rin's new expression, he had never heard it before. Kagome noticed his frown and smirked.
"Sorry. It's a saying from my time," Kagome explained.
"This Sesshoumaru figured it was your influence," Sesshoumaru told her in a tone that left Kagome unsure if she should be offended or not.
"That kimono fits you must better Rin," Kagome said, as she helped Rin tie up the rest of it. Kagome saw that it was a much better length and she admired the bright orange colour and white flowers that it had. Rin looked up at Sesshoumaru and waited patiently for his approval. Sesshoumaru gave a strong nod and Rin broke out into a huge smile. Kagome nudged her and Rin clapped her hand over her mouth.
"I forgot. Thank you Lord Sesshoumaru," Rin bowed deeply.
"You're welcome, Rin," Sesshoumaru replied.
"Are you going to stay with us for dinner?" Rin asked him. Kagome stiffened. Rin meant well but she still seems to remain oblivious to the interactions between Sesshoumaru and the rest of the group, including herself. Sesshoumaru never seemed to want to hang around them. Not that Kagome was surprised, the thought of Sesshoumaru wanting to "hang out" was laughable. Sesshoumaru's eyes travelled towards Kagome and she bit her lip.
"There's lots of food," Kagome offered. She did not want to disappoint Rin, there was so much hope shinning in the little girl's brown eyes. Kagome knew that Sesshoumaru saw it too and she knew that Rin would beat him down with her eyes alone. It never failed and sure enough...
"Alright Rin, this Sesshoumaru will eat with you," He said warmly. Kagome was surprised to hear that tone coming from him but she also knew the he was very different with Rin than he was with anyone else. She was also surprising herself, she didn't know that she could read him so well. Though it was true that she had not spoken to him in almost a year, she had seen him visit with Rin many times. It was during these encounters that she observed the way Rin interacted with him and that she was able to pick up on so many of the suttle shifts in his demeanour that gave away how he was feeling.
Kagome smiled to herself as she continued to make the stew and as she watch Rin walk with Sesshoumaru and chatter away about all of the things she and Kagome had been doing the past few days.
"Rin! Dinner time," Kagome called to her. When Rin ran over to Kagome, Kagome told her to run and tell Sango that there was food waiting for them here. Kagome began to fill bowls with stew and soon Sango, Miroku and their children came to join them. Rin passed out bowls to the couple. She sat with the younger children and helped them try and eat the stew.
"Thank you Kagome," Sango smiled at her friend.
"You're welcome. I figured you could use a night off," Kagome laughed as Sango had to stop her son from pulled her daughter's hair.
"When is Shippo coming home?" Miroku asked.
"I'm not sure. I think he'll have a break soon," Kagome told them. Kagome could tell by the look in her friends eyes that they were concerned that she was lonely. Kagome could not hide her feelings well and she knew her friends could tell that she did not feel fulfilled in all aspects of her life. The couple also eyed Sesshoumaru carefully. They were surprised to see him when they came to join Kagome and Rin for dinner, but his presence did explain Rin's new kimono.
"Thank you for the food. It was delicisous," Sango smiled and picked up her sleepy childern.
"No problem, see you later," Kagome waved as they began to leave.
"I'll catch a bath with you tomorrow Kagome," Sango called.
"It was good seeing you again, Lord Sesshoumaru," Miroku gave a short wave of his hand as he jogged after his wife. Kagome gathered up their bowls and dropped them into a large bucket. She noticed that Sesshoumaru had finished his stew and had placed his bowl in front of him.
"Rin," Kagome said carefully, "will you pass me Sesshoumaru's bowl please?" Kagome was happy to avoid having to take the bowl from him herself. Rin grabbed it and passed it to Kagome with a smile. Sesshoumaru looked at Kagome knowingly and Kagome quickly looked away.
"Thanks for joining us Sesshoumaru," Kagome said. She stood and took the bowls to be rinsed by the river. She walked briskly away from Sesshoumaru and Rin. She was upset at herself for becoming so flustered around him. She thought it was mostly likely because he was who he was... and he was the only power charged male that she had seen a quiet some time. Kagome shook her head and splashed some water on her face. The cold water woke her from her trance and she felt much more level headed afterwards.
When she returned to her home, Rin was sweeping Kagome's front steps and Sesshoumaru was nowhere in sight.