Sesshoumaru hardly dared to breathe. Inhaling or exhaling would mean subtle movement of his chest, and even that he could not afford.

Rin had chosen to sleep in his lap. The bold girl had never before made such a move.

He had just been sitting there, against the tree, minding his own business, when in her sleep it seemed, the little girl – no, young woman – had upped and planted herself in his goddamn lap. Before her move to his lap, Rin had been sleeping soundly not a foot away from him. He had been content with that.

But this?

It was too intimate.

He sat cross-legged, her legs together over his left thigh. He hadn't had time to adjust the fur, or his steel breast plate. She could have used the fur as a pillow, like she had many times before during flight or when he'd save her during a fall. Not only was she now too large to fit in his lap like she used to, she was in danger of piercing herself on his armour.

Sesshoumaru glared down at the young girl in his lap. It wasn't like he had been sleeping soundly prior to her invasion of his personal space. While it wasn't mentally comfortable for Sesshoumaru, it could have been so physically. He needed only to remove the spiky metal plate protecting his torso.

The demon took a deep inhale. So close to him, her scent was almost overpowering. Humans were not usually so friendly to his nose. He smelt flowers, pine trees and laughter. It was not at all unpleasant, it never had been. Rarely had Rin been so close to him for so long; he was not such a person to allow close physical contact, especially not with humans. Rin, he had learned, was a living exception to most of his rules.

The situation resolved into two choices. He could remove Rin from his person, which would risk waking her; or, without rousing her, he could remove his armour.

The better option for both of their sanity, of course, was to deposit Rin back on the ground beside him. To keep their relationship the same – a young woman traveling with a powerful demon. Of course, to all the world it had seemed that innocent. Sesshoumaru had been curious to see how their relationship would change as the human gained years. In one moment of Rin's unconscious choosing, a gradual re-evaluation had now been forced upon him. Father figure, or lover? Sesshoumaru was not entirely sure the girl even remembered her human parents, or if she even thought of him as her Father. In some ways, the moment had been a catalyst to manifest the stirring feelings lurking within the demon's heart.

If he chose to allow Rin a continued resting spot in his lap, what would come of it?

"Lord Sessh… oumaru…"

The demon became a stone. A quick sensory glance and he knew that Rin was still locked in sleep. A dream, then?

His resolve nearly crumbled as he felt her small hand clench into the fabric of his kimono, near his shoulder. A chunk of silver hair was tugged and trapped. It seemed Rin wanted to stay.

With that Sesshoumaru allowed Rin to end his inner turmoil. His resolve was always weak with this young, beautiful creature. Ever since he had pulled her from death with Tenseiga, his impermeable demon exterior had slowly been dissolving. Her second revival into life, brought by his Mother's Meidou stone, had reinforced his love for her so concretely that he had suffered real pain. The relief at seeing her eyes open again to the world, after having almost lost her forever, had been too much to stop his hand from resting upon her cool cheek. He could still kill ruthlessly, and was no less a fierce some ruler of the Western Lands, but he could not deny that his heart had warmed considerably to lives other than his own. In the flash of time he had known her, Rin had melted him. She was someone he had to protect, someone to love. The irony of the relationship to his Father's past was not lost on him.

So carefully, Sesshoumaru cupped Rin's head in his left hand, detached her right hand from his hair and clothing, and tipped her into his pelt of fur. Slowly, he undid the clasps holding together his chest armour and deposited them on the ground where Rin had been laying before. Soon after, two swords were added. He felt naked. He could not recall the last time had willingly removed any item of clothing for another person.

A moment's hesitation. Why was he over thinking something so simple? He brought Rin back to rest against him. Her small body melted into his now much softer chest. Only layers of kimono separated them from touching skin. Sesshoumaru forced that thought to the recesses of his mind. Her hand returned to its place on his shoulder, again grasping on to silver locks. He held her body close to his in a loose embrace. Closing his eyes, he leaned his head to rest against the tree trunk supporting his body.

Perfect.

Rin woke slowly. Gradually, sleep left, replaced by a conscious sense of warmth. Silk rested beneath her cheek and flowed through her fingers. She could remember lying to sleep on the hard forest ground. Where was she now? Her heart sped up in fear. Had she been kidnapped? Her hand clenched the silk.

No. It was too safe and too perfect to mean danger.

The warm hand cradling her head slowly moved down through her hair, mindful of sharp claws, to rest on between her shoulder blades. She was still, not wanting to shatter their moment. His strong chest moved beneath her with each breath. Inhale, exhale. Safe.

Rin realized then that she in Sesshoumaru's lap. He was embracing her. Her heart fluttered into a panic, reality crashing in like cold water.

Sesshoumaru could sense the impending panic in the girl. Her instincts were surely telling her to flee. He mitigated the inevitable tears and endless apologies first by holding her a little tighter, then gently pushing her away to meet her eyes.

A fierce blush flamed her cheeks. Unfamiliar embarrassment consumed her and almost tore her gaze from his. She would do him the courtesy of meeting his eyes after having used his lap as a bed.

Wisely, Sesshoumaru waited for Rin to break the tense silence. Sesshoumaru hid his anger; something so perfect should not have ended in such anxiety. It was not her place to be ashamed or embarrassed.

Reluctantly, Rin tore herself from Sesshoumaru's embrace and bowed before him. "I am sorry Lord Sesshoumaru! Rin will never again show such disrespect!"

Sesshoumaru flinched subtly at the violent confession.

"Rin. Look at me," he said.

Slowly, she raised her head. Her eyes widened at the open display of anger on his face.

"It is not your place to apologize to me. It was my choice for you to remain in my lap," he said. He ignored her furious blush. "You have not shown me any disrespect." You never have.

Rin bit her lip. She wanted to ask how the situation had even come to be in the first place. More importantly, she wanted to ask him why she had not been rejected from his lap. It had been the most comfortable feeling in the world, waking up in his arms, like she was in heaven's embrace. Had he felt the same?

Sesshoumaru saved her any further embarrassment by answering her first question. "During sleep you came to me," he said.

"Oh," Rin said softly.

It had been an unconscious decision, then. Rin thought that made sense; Sesshoumaru was her protector. He had saved her countless times from falling off cliffs; her body knew well his protective embrace. She was naturally drawn to him. The loving embrace of last night was new territory. Dangerous, exciting new territory. Rin could not deny that she found the demon to be stunningly beautiful. And to wake up in his arms had been nothing short of perfect.

Why then, did she now feel so awkward to be near him?

Their relationship had permanently shifted. Neither of them could willingly resuscitate the innocence of their past relationship.

Sesshoumaru chose not to mention aloud that he himself had actually managed to drift off into the sleep which had evaded him for some time now.

Rin ran away from the confusing thoughts by initiating a search for Jaken, who had not been there upon their waking.

The day passed without any other mention of the intimacy they had shared. All day Rin had fidgeted with the conflicting desire to both talk to Sesshoumaru about it and to never speak of it again.

Blood red, orange and fiery yellow painted the sky as the sun disappeared below the horizon. Rin would keep the fire going as long as she could. Maybe she had been too cold last night, and in her sleep, her body had sought the warmth radiating from the nearby demon? Rin sighed quietly. Even she could realize she was in denial. Sleeping on the ground had never been that much of a problem before. Full acknowledging she was attracted to Sesshoumaru would be painful, for Rin was sure the demon would never want her in that way. He had embraced her like any loving Father would, and nothing more was to be found in it. Perhaps, thought Rin, she could live forever more in a human village, far away from her feelings.

The flames hypnotized her gaze. How could one who could kill so easily be so gentle? The same hand which could glow green with deadly poison had not broke a hair on her head. Only safety had radiated from Sesshoumaru with no undercurrents of his familiar deadly energy.

Rin wondered if Sesshoumaru had slept with her in his arms. He needed so little sleep, it seemed. Rin could not recall the last time she had seen his sleeping form. He had been sleeping off near fatal wounds when she had first seen him, but aside from that, nothing. Rin also wondered when and how he had removed his chest armour. To do that much in making his chest comfortable, Rin realized, that demon had indeed not objected to her choosing his lap as her bed. Maybe… maybe he loves me… Rin shook her head of her dangerously foolish thoughts.

"Jaken," Sesshoumaru said, rousing Rin from the dancing fire.

"Yes, M'Lord?" required the imp.

"Take Ah and Un and leave from here for the night,"

Jaken spluttered in dismay. "M-My Lord? Where should I go?"

Sesshoumaru turned away. "That is not of my concern. Return by morning."

Jaken's eyes shifted to Rin and anger bubbled in his tiny chest. Anger and jealousy most ugly. He was banished because of some frail human girl!

Ah-Un nudged the small imp, reminding him it was unwise to linger any longer. Jaken reluctantly followed his Master's order and took his leave from the camp, grumbling incoherently as he mounted the dragon. Jaken would never be foolish enough to point out to Sesshoumaru the grave mistake he was making in loving his human ward. Hadn't Sesshoumaru hated his own Father for making the very same life choice? And look where that got him, Jaken thought hatefully. Curse them all, he thought, sulking.

Rin glanced up from the fire to Sesshoumaru, who stood stoic and impassive in their small clearing. With the banishment of his two servants they were alone. The sounds of the night seemed to dim to fuzzy white noise in Rin's ears. Her heart pounded into her throat, choking her with anticipation. What was Sesshoumaru thinking? She swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. Nervous.

Gold eyes of liquid amber focused on her. She watched as Sesshoumaru sat, his back nudged against a tree. He looked away only as he began ridding himself of his armour. Brown eyes matched every fluid movement. How he had accomplished this with her in his lap, Rin could not fathom. His swords followed, just like the night before. This time, thought Sesshoumaru, he was making an active and concrete choice. And she would not deny him. The scent of her anticipation and nervous excitement permeated throughout their small camp and had his heart beating a little faster. He relaxed against the tree, cross-legged and naked again of his armour and weapons. He had even removed the large fur boa from his shoulder, letting it rest around his legs.

He had made himself vulnerable to being injured by any number of foul demons populating the surrounding forest, all for her. Exposed like he was, Rin had never seen anything more beautiful. She stood, rooted to her spot by the fire, unsure how to proceed, but knowing within her very soul that she could not deny Sesshoumaru's gift.

"Rin," he said, his eyes opening to meet hers.

Eyes wide, a blush on her cheeks. Yes, she thought desperately, anything.

He moved one striped hand as if reaching out to her. "Come here,"

She sank into his lap, melting into the comfort he was offering. No fur, armour or swords. She could feel all of him. Retreating into sleep now seemed an insult to the beauty she rested against. Her excited heart would not have let her sleep, even if sleep was what she desired.

Darkness had fallen, the only remaining light emanating from the small fire. The flickering light danced shadows across Sesshoumaru's pale skin. Rin sat facing him. She brought both hands up to cup his cheeks. With her thumbs she traced the magenta stripes which marked his demon heritage. His eye lids fell, relaxing at her soft touch. Since the first day she had seen him she had wanted to trace the demonic markings. They were beautiful. She rose in his lap and pressed a gentle kiss to the crescent moon on his forehead.

She sank back down and hummed a contented noise. He wrapped his arms around her and rested his head against the top of hers. She felt him press a kiss to the top of her head, and her face erupted in a smile.

Sesshoumaru grunted in surprise as Rin suddenly wrapped both arms around his torso, pulling him into a fierce hug. She buried her face in his warm neck, beaming with happiness.

"I love you," she whispered against his skin. She felt the pulse beneath her lips speed up and on it pressed a kiss. Their hearts mirrored each other, clothing the only barrier.

So warm in his arms, so soft, so willing. Desire for Rin made Sesshoumaru's breath shallow. And what was stopping him?

He cupped one hand behind her head and rested the other on the small of her back, the long sleeves of his kimono enveloping her, stealing her away from the night air. Cold air wasn't why Rin was shaking slightly in his arms, though, he realized. Salt stung his nose. Eyes widening slightly, he pushed her head back. She was crying with a smile.

"Rin?"

Her exhale trembled and landed warm on his cheeks. "I'm happy," she said.

Sesshoumaru's answering smile rewarded him with another bone crushing hug.

The tensions of the day leaked out with Rin's tears and she soon found sleep tugging at her eye lids. She settled more comfortably against Sesshoumaru and submitted.

Sesshoumaru tried to bury his dissatisfaction. His sleep the night before meant that now he felt fully rested. Now he had the painful job of trying not to disrupt Rin's sleep by acting on the aching lust she surfaced within him.

Rin slept soundly for three hours. In that time, Sesshoumaru had had mixed results in attempting to stifle his sexual desire for the woman in his arms. In her sleep she had moved against him, causing the layers of his kimono to open, exposing his naked chest to her soft hair and skin. He was now slumped slightly against the tree, lying down more than sitting. At midnight, Rin stirred against him. Sesshoumaru repressed a groan as her lips accidentally brushed against a sensitive spot on his neck.

Sesshoumaru gasped. His mouth watered. In an instant, and with no warning, Rin's scent had shifted to that of an extremely aroused female. Her breath came in hot puffs against his neck and she pawed at his naked chest with trembling hands. Sesshoumaru could tell she was still only half awake, perhaps caught in a sexual fantasy.

His hands clenched into fists against her kimono as she pressed hot kisses to his neck.

"S-Sesshoumaru, oh," she moaned, pressing her chest against his.

Sesshoumaru barely noticed she had dropped the honourific to his status, so surprised was he by her advances. With reluctance he grasped her hair and pulled her mouth away from his neck, needing to stop her before she regretted the consequences.

She looked at him, eyes consumed by lust, love and remnants of sleep.

"Are you fully awake?" He asked, his voice caught in a low growl.

Rin's hands slipped beneath his kimono and she leaned in to kiss his lips, ignoring his question. Sesshoumaru stopped her by placing one clawed finger to her lips.

"Rin, answer me,"

"Yes," she whispered. She kissed the finger against her mouth, mindful of the sharp claw. "I'm awake, I – I want-" She interrupted herself by moaning lightly and licked the pad of Sesshoumaru's finger. Restless, she writhed against him, snaking her hands up his warm back, massaging the toned muscles.

"Please," she murmured against his cheek.

Sesshoumaru growled, hot and deep in his throat, and turned his head to capture Rin's lips before they descended upon his cheek. She whimpered into the kiss and pressed herself flush against Sesshoumaru. She rose up against him, making him crane his neck to keep the kiss. He sat up fully against the tree and, grabbing Rin's thighs, made her straddle his groin. She broke the kiss to moan and whimper as she felt beneath her Sesshoumaru's hard arousal. The muscles of her groin clenched and throbbed and flooded with a hot wetness. She rose up to her knees, her hands now on his shoulders.

Sesshoumaru growled and pushed her mouth back onto his, thrusting his hot tongue into her open, gasping mouth. He wanted to tear her clothes to pieces and take her so viciously that any existing being would know she was his. Rin moaned into the kiss, her tongue clumsy against the powerful muscle it wrestled with.

Sesshoumaru broke away from her mouth to lick and kiss her jaw, neck and shoulders. He roughly pushed away her kimono until it fell to expose her naked breasts. Rin did not try to cover them up, for which he was grateful. Her embarrassment had melted to reveal pure lust. He caught an erect nipple with his tongue and sucked and licked it until it was red and glistening. Rin threaded her fingers through his long silver hair, tugging and pulling, and falling to his face, neck and shoulders, touching any bare skin they could find.

Clawed hands forced Rin's hips down and they both moaned as Sesshoumaru bucked his erection into Rin's groin. He panted through clenched teeth as he thrust faster and harder, wanting so badly to rip off the kimono covering her wet heat.

"Ah- ! S-Sesshou-maru!" Rin gasped as she met his hips with every thrust.

"Rin," Sesshoumaru said, panting slightly, "do you want – do you want to keep going?" Sesshoumaru knew the question fell on ignorant ears – he could assume that Rin had never been exposed to sex before – but merely getting a response would be enough to quell any second thoughts.

She wasn't sure what his next move was going to be, but she trusted her Lord with all her heart. "Yes, yes!" she gasped. She fell against his warm chest and licked a droplet of sweat from his neck.

He growled and nearly shred apart the obi tied around his waste in his haste to undress. He shrugged out of his kimono, letting it fall to his waste, and then pushed his pants to mid-thigh. He found one of Rin's hands and placed it around his erection. He moaned and thrust his hips into her hand as she stroked once, twice, faster and harder

"Rin, s-stop, I-"

Harder and faster she stroked, despite his warning for her to stop. His breath came out in short gasps, his head fell against the tree trunk and his thighs opened, allowing her greater access. Her teeth found his ear lobe and sucked as her hand worked him to his first orgasm in as long as he could remember.

Strings of hot, thick cum connected Rin's hand to Sesshoumaru's semi-hard member. She gazed at it in fascination. Her eyes landed on Sesshoumaru, who was slumped against the tree, panting. In the light of the dying fire she could see his skin was sweaty and flushed red. Beneath her his thighs trembled slightly. She had made Sesshoumaru look so.

Rin's eyes met Sesshoumaru's and she flicked her small pink tongue out to her hand, tasting his essence. At once he was fully erect. A growl erupted from his throat and in a quick movement he had Rin pinned beneath him. He untied her obi and opened her kimono. A flood of her arousal hit his nose and his mouth watered.

"Beautiful," he murmured before inhaling deeply. He touched her, from her flushed cheeks to her breasts, down to caress her belly and the insides of her thighs. She shuddered and bit her lip as his hands pushed open her thighs. He could see how wet she was, how she was ready for him. He grabbed her thighs, less mindful of his claws, and pushed her knees up to her chest.

"There will be pain, but only at the start," he said. He leaned in to kiss her lips and tasted himself on them.

"I trust you," she whispered.

Sesshoumaru held his torso up with one arm and used his other hand to grasp his length, positioning it at her entrance. He suddenly very much appreciated the use of both arms. Sesshoumaru was of considerable size; even with Rin's natural lubrication he still had to push in painfully slowly to not rip her apart. Rin whimpered softly, and then cried out in pain as Sesshoumaru pushed all the way in. Her fingers clenched against the cloth beneath her and her hips twitched and writhed against the invasion.

Sesshoumaru bent down and pressed shaky kisses to her neck, chest and lips, willing the pain away. He pressed his chest against hers, and his warm body helped soothe her. Rin hugged Sesshoumaru close to her and kissed his shoulder. After another moment she felt accustomed to the pain, and she bucked her hips against his.

Breathing heavily, Sesshoumaru pulled himself out to the tip and then thrust back in, groaning at the hot, perfect and oh so tight sensation of Rin around him. Her cry of pain turned to a high pitched moan of pleasure as he thrust a third time. Her nails clawed into the skin of his back and groaned, the pain increasing his pleasure.

He bent down and licked, sucked and bit at her ear lobe, making her gasp and moan.

"Your nails," he gasped, thrusting in and out of her, "use them on my back,"

Rin immediately complied, raking her nails down the smooth flesh between his shoulder blades, following his spine, down to the small of his back, and then back up to his neck. Her stomach flushed hot with pleasure when she felt with her hands the thrusting motion of his buttocks. He growled and panted in her ear, thrusting faster and harder into her, sounding more like the dog demon he was. She moaned with every thrust. She hugged his back with her legs, forcing her thrusts deeper inside of her.

Sesshoumaru grabbed one of Rin's thighs and turned his head to bite and suck the quivering muscle. He could feel pleasure coiling in the pit of his stomach for the second time that night. He badly wanted to spill his seed inside of her, but at seventeen she was too young to birth his child. It would have to wait.

"I will – have to pull out," he said through clenched teeth. His abdomen flexed as he thrust into her again, for the last time, no, pull out –thrust - dangerous –

Rin met his thrusts with her own, not hearing his words.

"Rin, you are too young to be a mother," he growled. He stilled against her, his whole body tense, surely one more thrust and it would be all over.

Rin groaned and arched her chest up. She could not deny that Sesshoumaru was right. She was not ready to be a mother yet. She gasped and looked at Sesshoumaru, her mouth open in surprise. "You – you would have me birth your child?" Love choked her throat and tears burned at her eyes.

Sesshoumaru responded by pressing his shaking lips to her cheek. "You would birth the most beautiful half-demon of them all," he whispered.

Rin hugged his head close and gave him a bruising kiss. She cried out as he exited her, leaving her feeling raw. She reached with her right arm for his glistening erection and stroked him once, twice, three times into completion.

Sesshoumaru collapsed onto Rin, breathing as if he'd just fought for a month straight. They lay there for a while, both trying to catch their breath and realize that yes, that had really just happened, they were finally one, and that there would be a next time, and Sesshoumaru wanted Rin to be his mate.

Rin hugged Sesshoumaru close and pressed kisses all over his head and face in rapid succession. He gave a tired, almost giddy chuckle, still on a rare post-coital high.

"You are going to be very sore tomorrow," he mumbled against her neck.

"I don't mind," she said, shrugging slightly. She blushed as she recalled why she was going to be sore.

"We will stay here so you don't have to ride Ah – Un,"

Rin "hmmd" and stroked his hair. Soon, she realized, he had fallen asleep. Strangely, she didn't mind that she felt sore and sticky all over. She hugged her sleeping Lord closer and pressed one final kiss on each of his magenta stripes. And then, she slept.