By: Shin Sankai
Author Notes: This story has been about 2-3 years in the making. Probably because my interest in Inuyasha faded years ago, but I so do love Sesshoumaru and Rin and as such this Modern AU Story has formed…and is still being worked on. If anyone out there likes the beginning even just a little, thank you so much and please be patient as more will follow on this long tale.
A sleek black car pulled up into a penthouse parking space and the driver turned off the engine and got out. He was finely dressed in a dark gray suit, his long confident strides taking him towards the basement elevator. The doors opened as soon as he pressed the button and a slender but strong fisted hand smacked against the 'PH' button, lighting it up as he rode to the top of the apartment complex. Hard golden eyes starred down at his watch. He was late. Before going any further on that thought the elevator reached the top floor and the gentleman in his late 20's picked out a security pass from his wallet and slipped it into the slot so the lifts computer could read his code knowing who was asking for access to the penthouse. The doors chimed merrily as they opened and he stepped into an awfully quiet apartment.
Walking down the dully-lit hallway, his eyes brought him to the lounge room where a young lady of 20 stood, hands folded behind her back. She was dressed as usual in a maid outfit of black and white. Roaming his eyes up her slender form he rested them at her lightly smiling lips before venturing higher to catch her welcoming dark brown eyes.
"You're late Sesshoumaru-sama."
"I know." His response came short, sharp and calm. There was no need for a man such as him to explain himself to anyone. Of course that is how he used to think until a certain young girl came into his care 5 years ago. "This current case is making me loose track of time."
"As long as you come home that is all that matters Sesshoumaru-sama." She walked over to him and pried the leather briefcase from his hands and placed it beside an antique style bench. She waited for him to remove his gray jacket so she could place it into the hall closet while he placed his wallet and keys into the pottery bowl sitting atop the bench. "It's time for dinner."
"Of course," The two walked down the hallway a little further and into the dining and open planned kitchen area. While Sesshoumaru sat at the table, his eyes watched his petite 'charge' potter around in the kitchen.
"What is your case about?"
"Assault is only one of the horrific crimes that have been committed against numerous teenage girls." His sharp eyes and ears caught the jerk of her shoulders and the thud of pottery hitting the floor of his kitchen. Resting his hand on the table Sesshoumaru nearly stood and rushed over, but listened to forced laughter instead.
"Lucky you buy such expensive kitchenware Sesshoumaru-sama. Look, not even a single crack." She'd turned around to face him, holding up the dropped bowl in shaky hands.
"Hai?" Her eyes were blinking over at him, he not meaning to mutter her name aloud, nor so softly…and sweetly either. That meant emotion and he had never been good at showing emotion.
"What are we having for dinner?" He thought it best to change the topic entirely.
"Oh, it's lamb and vegetable stew." She had voiced it with such excitement that Sesshoumaru almost quirked the side of his lips upward. "While dusting today I was trying to understand an overseas cooking program and I think I've got everything right from what was being said." Walking back over, Rin placed the pot onto the table on top of a large coaster so as not to damage the expensive polished wood. She motioned for Sesshoumaru to hand her his bowl. He did so and she placed a generous amount into the soup bowl, filling the room with delicious aromas of herbs, vegetables and moist lamb. She did the same with one for her, but a smaller portion and then rushed back to the kitchen to bring over the crusty bread rolls and butter for the both of them. "I hope you enjoy Sesshoumaru-sama!"
They ate in silence, Rin, who was usually a chatterbox not minding it at all. She was just glad that her Sesshoumaru-sama came home.
The first time Sesshoumaru did not return home was one Rin would never forget. He had not returned home from work and that frightened her to death. She'd paced the apartment she lived in with Sesshoumaru, her eyes and ears always alert for the chime of the elevator. As the hours ticked by, the horrible thoughts had begun. What if he'd been attacked or injured in a car accident? The possibilities were endless that Rin had ended up falling into a heap in Sesshoumaru's private bedroom, slumped against the king sized bed hugging one of his pillows to her chest. She needed to remain calm and his pillow smelt like him just a little that it sent her into a light sleep.
Sesshoumaru did return, just on sunrise the next day. He had a massive headache and was exhausted. He dumped his belongings in the hallway as he strode towards the bedrooms at the back of the penthouse. He calmly walked passed Rin's closed door and thought it strange that his was half pried open as it was diagonally across from hers. Flicking on the light he found Rin curled on the floor still in her white and black maid outfit and clasping his pillow pathetically. He'd walked over and placed his hand calmly on her shoulder, jerking her from her sleep. He had no time to react when Rin turned her face to look up at him, her red eyes focusing on his cool gaze. She had literally launched herself into his chest, making Sesshoumaru fall onto his backside. He'd tried to make sense of what she was mumbling into his chest as she wept against it and finally got what she was trying to say and placed his right hand against her messy black hair allowing Rin to remain there until she was satisfied that he was home safe and sound.
"Is it to your liking Sesshoumaru-sama?" Lifting his eyes from his meal he found Rin's smiling face.
"It is very good." He watched her sigh in relief at his words.
"I was prepared with a backup dinner plan."
"Oh?" Over time small pointless chit chat like this didn't seem to bother Sesshoumaru anymore, especially when it came from Rin. Just hearing her voice, listening to her laughter, feeling her presence around his apartment made it feel that much more homely these past few years.
"It isn't exactly the weather for nabe Rin."
"Actually it is getting colder Sesshoumaru-sama, you just don't pay attention to the weather all that much. I was thinking of making nabe tomorrow night since the weatherwoman reported a larger drop in temperatures. I've stacked a pile of wood near the fireplace and I had a professional come to fix the kotatsu, so we must have nabe!"
"As you wish," Sesshoumaru voiced quietly, eyes closing as he spooned a generous portion of the stew into his mouth, savouring the flavours. He'd listened to Rin's happy cheer and couldn't help but look over the table at her again. He'd been frequently doing this for some time now, but it had gotten more recent this past year. Sometimes her attitude to certain things was still quite childish, but Sesshoumaru had placed it down to Rin not having much of a childhood to begin with.
"Ne, Sesshoumaru-sama," Jerked from his thoughts he found Rin at his side. "Are you finished?" Nodding his head Rin took his plates away and began rinsing them in the sink before stacking them in the dishwasher. "What were you thinking about just now?"
"You," It slipped out before he could control it.
"Me?" Her brown eyes turned to look back at him before moving back to her hands as she poured the remainder of the stew into a tupperware container. "Why on Earth would you think about me for?" His eyes narrowed slightly at her question. Did she not think she was worthy of being thought of at all by the likes of him?
"I was remembering some of the times when you first reacted to certain things. Your childlike innocence is…" Sesshoumaru stopped there, not sure how to continue.
"I am a lot different from you Sesshoumaru-sama. I wasn't brought up in luxury knowing the ins and outs of everything." His lips had parted, as though ready to make an argument at her harsh comment even if it wasn't intended that way, but Rin continued on, Sesshoumaru unable to interrupt. "Having come from the streets Sesshoumaru-sama, isn't it to be expected of me? For all my life I've known nothing, have never experienced any of the fundamentals that life brings forth. Not since I met you, the very man who rescued me 5 years ago. After all, I couldn't even speak properly when you first found me. My knowledge back then was very much of what a baby would have – none. Even though I am now 20 years old and have learned a great deal since you found me, I am certain my natural instinct when I come across something I've never seen or done before will always be slightly childlike."
"It's refreshing to me." Sesshoumaru finally let slip as he stood near the preparation bench, his eyes focused squarely on Rin's back. "My childhood…" Sesshoumaru began, but his heart clenched and nothing further would come out. Instead he resolved for, "I am grateful that when you experience things for the first time – the way you can express yourself so openly – I am the one who is witness to it."
"You should take a nice hot shower and get some rest Sesshoumaru-sama. I shall bring you a cup of tea and the paper after I've finished cleaning up here." Sesshoumaru headed for the arch passageway and stopped before moving down the hall towards his bedroom and ensuite.
"Thank you Rin." He needn't turn around to look upon her surprised facial expression or the thousand-watt smile, which he was certain, was decorating her face.
"You are very welcome Sesshoumaru-sama." He left her to do her usual work and entered his bedroom and strode directly for the bathroom. He was under the steaming hot water in literally seconds; bare shoulders easing as the water pounded against his tired muscles. His hand had lifted to remove the tie from his blue-silver bounded hair. It parted effortlessly as he leaned forward, drenching his long locks of hair. The unusual silver-blue coloured strands cascaded down his back and several over his shoulder, sliding down his lean form to rest against his abdomen and lower back.
While Sesshoumaru showered, Rin prepared a pot of tea and went back to the lounge room to collect the paper sitting on the kotatsu. Brushing her hand over the table, Rin's smile grew even more. She couldn't wait to use it tomorrow night and then continuously after that as winter began to set in over Tokyo. She could sit beneath it with her Sesshoumaru-sama right at her side, a fire going and the soft sound of his stereo system playing some of his classical music as she softly chatted away with him. The very thoughts made Rin squeal in glee, but her hand instantly went over her mouth to conceal it. She was meant to be an adult now, not a young girl.
Rin broke from those thoughts when she heard the kettle boil and rushed back into the kitchen, newspaper tucked under her arm, to place the steaming water over the tealeaves in the pot. She placed some biscuits onto a plate, a single cup and the pot of tea onto a tray and headed towards Sesshoumaru's room. With a light knock and a muffled 'enter' Rin walked inside and placed the tray onto a small round table in a corner of the large room.
"Did I receive any messages today?"
"Ah, you did!" Rin had forgotten about them earlier and ruffled through her apron pocket and pulled out a small notebook she constantly carried around with her. "Kouga-san rang to set up a new meeting time with you. He wished to bring the meeting forward from 11am to 9am tomorrow." Rin placed down the notebook for a moment as she poured Sesshoumaru a cup of tea. "Oh and Inuyasha-san rang too!"
"What did he want?" Rin lifted her eyes when Sesshoumaru's voice became more clear, meaning he'd stepped into the bedroom having finished in the bathroom and her eyes locked on him and grew slightly wider too. He was walking passed in a pair of black slacks and a towel slung over his shoulders, which he was currently ruffling through his long damp hair.
"U-Um…" Darting her eyes away from the half naked lean slender form of her rescuer, Rin quickly muttered out the rest. "He and Kagome-san are requesting your presence sometime soon. He wishes to remind you that your nieces and nephew are missing you terribly." Rin was certain she heard a snort come from Sesshoumaru who was standing by his glass balcony door looking out over the view of Tokyo city.
"Anything else?" Sesshoumaru turned to look back at Rin and found it most interesting the way she was fidgeting and blushing in his presence. He walked over to his closet and pulled out a plain blue polo shirt and slipped it on. Her reaction was very pleasing to him and that confused Sesshoumaru greatly.
"H-Hai…" Rin cleared her throat, taking in a deep breath and focused her eyes back on Sesshoumaru, hoping her heartbeat would calm down soon as she looked over at him. "Your father rang." Piercing gold eyes caught her stare. "He wished to remind you that he's having one of his functions and…"
"Tell him I decline. I'll be working late and unable to attend."
"Sesshoumaru-sama… You know he will not believe that."
"Then inform him I have gone away on business." Rin knew that the relationship between father and son had been strained for quite some time now, but she had always thought he was extremely lucky to know who his parents were.
"Sesshoumaru…" He stopped in his stride as he was heading towards her as he wished to have tea and read the paper. His eyes met hers, taking in the way her hands clasped together in front of her, twisting in nervousness while her cheeks turned a nice shade of pink. "He's your father…" His jaw set at her soft sensual tone of voice. There was also a time like this that he treasured as well. On this level it was as though they were equals and not guardian and child or boss and employee.
"Nabe will have to be postponed." Sesshoumaru watched that serene smile disappear, but an even softer gaze rose within her eyes.
"We can share nabe together any day. A moment like this, even if it's a lavish gala dinner can be something to work upon. You can go there, your head held high and be proud of who you have become, with or without your father's consent. To have him call to invite you, to want you to be there surely means he is ready to listen, to accept you for who you are. This I am certain of, so please attend the evening."
"Fine…" It came out as a slight growl that surprised both Rin and Sesshoumaru. It also surprised Rin that he had given in so easily. He edged towards her and took the teacup from her slender fingers and sat in one of the leather chairs near the round table. "If I'm to be forced to go to one of his dinners, then you will accompany me."
"You are to come with me Rin."
"G-Go w-with y-you, to y-your f-family h-home? M-Meet your f-family?" Rin had never been to Sesshoumaru's family home before. She'd only known Inuyasha and Kagome for the past 3 years and now to be placed alongside her Sesshoumaru at a lavish dinner with many other people around and no one knowing who she was, it frightened her immensely.
"No buts, you will join me and that's final."
"I…don't have anything to wear."
"You realize an excuse like that will not work on me. Tomorrow I will drop you off in the city where some very popular female clothing stores are and you will purchase something for the evening."
"You will find something you like." This time his lips did quirk slightly as Rin's shoulders hunched in defeat.
"Will you have some tea with me?" His hand was out beckoning Rin to take a seat in the other plush leather chair, deciding to change the subject entirely.
"I don't really drink that much tea Sesshoumaru-sama, but thank you for the offer." Rin bowed before him and turned to leave him in peace. She gasped in surprise as his hand had jerked out and grabbed hers. Her pretty wide brown eyes looked over her shoulder at him, blinking questioningly at the sudden contact. Sesshoumaru released her hand after several long seconds and cleared his throat.
"At least sit with me." Rin smiled and sat down, hands clasped in her lap. After a long pause Sesshoumaru ended up speaking first. "So, how was your day?" His eyes narrowed slightly at Rin's growing smile. She knew he was never good with conversations that didn't involve his work, but the least she could do was stop with that stupid grin as he was trying to be like a normal person.
"My day was just fine. I went for a walk to pay some of your bills and I placed some more money into your account." Once again his eyes narrowed at those words. "You know I cannot accept your offer of living here for free. Most of what you pay me ends up going directly back to you because I wish it to."
"No, do not ask me to keep it. You are my saviour Sesshoumaru-sama." She watched his eyes widen slightly at her sincere words. "I owe you a debt that I am sure I can never repay. You saved me from spending the rest of my life on the streets."
"Even if you say this, there must be something else you wish to do with your life."
"All that I wish for is to be able to repay you in some way. I am able to do that by staying here and working for you."
"You would remain content with life by staying as my housekeeper?"
"Hai!" The reassuring smile on her face made Sesshoumaru's shoulders ease slightly. "Oh, you received some mail today; I will go and get it for you." She bounced out of the chair and skipped out of the bedroom, the small frill of her skirt bouncing around her pert bottom as she moved down the hallway. She was back in minutes but during that time Sesshoumaru had already moved out of his chair with paper under the arm and was heading for his 'turned down' queen sized bed. Just as Rin headed towards him he sat down, pillows behind his back as he leaned against the headboard while one ankle was crossed over the other. With the towel over his shoulders, Sesshoumaru had messily thrown his damp hair over one shoulder and the handsome businessman defiantly flipped open the newspaper to look at the shares and stocks page first.
"Did anything important in the mail come for me?"
"I'm not sure." Rin watched the newspaper lower as gold eyes looked over at her waiting for her to continue. "You received a letter from a Koura…"
"Throw it out." Rin couldn't even continue as she felt a chill rush through the room.
"Ah, um, if that is what you wish." Rin mumbled as she tucked the letter into her pocket. "You also received this." Rin placed the light package on his legs. Within seconds the newspaper had been forgotten as Sesshoumaru sat up straighter, crossing his legs as he ripped the package open.
"Do you know who delivered this Rin?"
"No, I've asked the manager to inform the employees in the building that no one is allowed to transfer any mail in person to your apartment. They only drop it off at reception because this is your home and your privacy comes first."
"I see…" Deep down Sesshoumaru was impressed and somewhat glad at Rin's initiative, as he would hate to think what could happen if certain people found out she was living with him. The thoughts made his eyes narrow as he looked down at the package.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, is something the matter?" He snapped from them instantly at her soft tone of voice.
"This package has been sent anonymously; however I am certain I know who it is that sent it, even without asking security for a copy of their tapes from reception."
"Are you in some sort of trouble Sesshoumaru-sama?" He glanced golden eyes up for a second to see worry evident in her deep brown pools. She was sitting on the corner of the bed, hands clutched together in her lap.
"This is to do with the current case I'm working on."
"O-Oh…" He observed her stand up, make her way to the table and chairs to pick up the tray she'd left behind and headed for the door. "Whatever you are working on can surely wait till morning, so please make sure you sleep tonight." She watched him give a slight nod of the head, but she knew him like the back of her own hand. Tonight he would not sleep, but there was no way she could force him and instead bid him a good night and retired for the evening as well.
Sesshoumaru moved off the bed and headed for his entertainment system in his bedroom. He was never one for watching much TV, however it did come in handy when packages like this reached his hands and he needed a safe and private place to view them. He popped in the DVD and flicked on the television. An abusive scene was being played out before his eyes and he pressed pause on the "show" as he locked onto his primary suspect.
"Naraku…" Sesshoumaru knew the suspect personally, but had lost contact with the man for many years now. In truth, he hated him from the moment they first met. The man had a lot of business with his own father and because Sesshoumaru wasn't a man to remain quiet about such things he and his father became estranged over several of his father's business deals with Naraku. It was that and a personal matter that led to Sesshoumaru breaking away from his father and not speaking to him for quite sometime. Not until he had met Rin.
When he'd met her, somewhere along the line in their small chats she had helped to break apart his stubbornness and he'd called up his father for a small meeting. It had been very awkward returning to the home he'd not been within for years, but the private dinner had gone mostly well. The personal matter had once again been brought up which ended the night bitterly and once more Sesshoumaru had fled to the confines of his city apartment, pissed off that his father would bring up the fact that he had broken off the promised engagement that had been set up for him without his knowledge. He'd known the woman for years, had been dating her for a little while when he'd listened in on a conversation she was having with someone on the phone. It appeared she knew all about the 'promised engagement' between the families, but no one had decided to tell Sesshoumaru. He'd taken the issue straight to his father who denied nothing and the already fragile relationship between father and son snapped. Sesshoumaru had left that night, never to return for many years much to the worry of Izayoi, his father's second wife.
After the dinner and the initial dampener of the evening, Sesshoumaru had stormed into his apartment building, no one daring to voice a good evening to him as he smacked his hand against the elevator button. Arriving back in his home he was intent on getting stuck into some work to take his mind off the matter but his eyes locked onto welcoming brown ones and a sweet gentle smile. Rin was waiting in the hallway, he watching her lips as they voiced 'welcome home'. Sesshoumaru had no idea how Rin did it, but just being within her presence made him calm down and though he didn't say how the evening went and she never asked about it either, the two of them shared the rest of the evening sitting on the sofa couch watching an old movie. Rin had fallen asleep half way through it, her head leaning against his arm and Sesshoumaru had carefully, without waking her up, carried her to her bedroom.
The soft echo of a door closing, thus being Rin retiring to her room for the evening jolted Sesshoumaru from his thoughts as he removed the DVD from the player and made his way over to his desk, opening up the letter that had been sent along with the tape. He knew this evidence would be admissible in court as Naraku could make up some story that the jury could possibly believe. The only way he could make this evidence stick was if the 'anonymous' person came forward and testified against Naraku. However, Sesshoumaru knew she would do no such thing for the very man she'd videotaped was also her lover.
To be continued…