Chapter Thirty-Four

Miho stared, open mouthed at the crumpled demon on the floor, unsure of what her next move should be. Rin barely moved aside from the rapid rise and fall of her chest. The castle was deathly silent and no one came to investigate the cause. "Rin?" She asked before she stepped away from the smaller woman. Although she added space between them, she was afraid to let her go for fear that Rin might drop.

Instead of responding, Rin stepped forward out of Miho's grasp and stood, staring down at Aya as her silent tears descended down her face. Aya's body was bent back at an awkward angle and was covered in a large stain of blood. Beneath her, a dark red puddle stretched farther and farther outward from all sides and began to coagulate, and her face was frozen in a state of surprise, gazing up at the ceiling, blood dripping from her mouth and adding to the puddle on the ground. Rin shook only a little at first, and then her body began to quake as if the earth had awakened beneath her feet. She didn't drop like Miho had anticipated, but she was damn near close. Her legs were weak and the contents of her skull began to swirl as she realized what she had just done. The room spun dangerously, so much so that she had to plant her feet apart to prevent a tumble to the floor. It had just occurred to her that Aya's blood wasn't just on the floor. Some of it had managed to cover Rin's hands and kimono in splatters. The last time she had seen so much blood…was when Sakuya had stabbed her, when she watched herself bleed out until darkness took her away.

Without thinking, she covered her mouth with one of her bloody hands and bit back a nauseated moan before she turned away and retched on the floor and down her kimono.

She didn't notice the signs at first. Aya's blood covered her front, masking her own and preventing everyone else from realizing what was happening. Rin had been dragged away from the scene by Kagome, Ura and Miho while the men stayed behind to dispose of the corpse. It wasn't until she was brought to her room that her stomach began to cramp, dull, barely noticeable aches that Rin blew off to mean nothing. She was too busy attempting to keep her stomach from throwing itself up as the smell of fresh blood wafted its way up her nostrils.

It wasn't like she was sickened by the sight of blood like Miho had been when she wasn't aware Rin was attached to her. Because she had literally been brought up by Sesshomaru and Jaken, witnessed Naraku's death and delivered babies or tended to wounds in Inuyasha's village when she was younger, blood was a normal sight for her. Plus, she was a woman, and women tend to bleed once a month, though for the time being, she was exempt from that little fact because of her pregnancy.

Rin's clothes were taken from her and she found herself half naked, standing in her bedroom covered in blood. Kagome was working furiously to scrub Aya's presence off of her from a bowl of warm water while Ura and Miho sought to locate a clean set a robes for her to put on. By the time the blood was washed from her stomach, Rin began to notice that her lower back was aching as though she had been bending at an awkward angle for a time. The cramps came after, reminding her that they were there and her stomach rolled again. Fighting to keep her insides from climbing up her throat, she breathed in long and deep and attempted to focus on what Ura and Miho were doing. Apparently, finding a new robe for her was a herculean task and needed more than one set of hands to find.

Kagome started to clean the blood from her legs when Ura suddenly jerked herself upright and sniffed the air. All of the women noticed at once and turned to watch her as she snapped her head sideways to stare at Rin. She sniffed the air again, her canine senses working overtime. "Rin?" She looked her up and down quizzically, as if searching for something.

Rin was about to ask her what she was looking for when the pain kicked in. A sharp stabbing sensation gripped her lower stomach and her knees gave out from beneath her. Before Kagome could stop her from hitting the ground, Ura was already there, having hooked her arms underneath Rin's. "Something is wrong!" She whispered as she clutched her abdomen. Looking down, the scar she had received from Sakuya was, to her surprise, still closed and non-threatening. But the pain started from there! Rin thought, shocked by its normalcy. Her flesh was still pale, and the scar was still slightly darker and a little red in some spots, but there was no sign of further injury. "What's happening?" Another stab of pain sent her forward, but Ura refused to let her hit the floor.

Ura was the first to speak. "Kagome, is Rin bleeding?"

Kagome, obviously disturbed by Rin's symptoms, was also looking at the scar below Rin's belly button as though it was going to split open any minute. "Her scar was cauterized. There's no way she is bleeding, see?" She indicated to the scar, but Ura was shaking her head and pointed between Rin's legs.

"Not her wound! Is she bleeding?" Ura looked at Kagome, obviously worried. "It's not just Aya's blood I smell, Kagome. I can sense Rin's blood…and something else…"

Kagome's eyes widened and turned to stare at Rin.

Rin, who had heard the whole thing, was staring back at her in horror. "No!" The paralyzing reality of her pain was beginning to dawn on her. She gained strength in her legs again and moved over to her bed, still clutching her abdomen and laid down on her back, legs bent upward so that Kagome could examine her lower region. The time for modesty had long passed as pain still clung to her. She had to focus on her breathing to keep from panicking. "Kagome, is it the baby? Please! Don't let it be the baby!"

Ignoring her, Kagome threw away the already bloodied towels and began to catch Rin's blood with a new white linen cloth. She began barking orders to the other women in the room. "Miho, I need warm water and fresh healing herbs, now! Ura, make sure Rin stays calm! Miho! Quickly! Rin, can you stomach some tea?"

Rin nodded, trying not to cry out as more pressure built up in her back, as Ura hopped into the bed behind her and put her head in her lap. Cool, demon hands held her on either side of her head and Ura began to talk. "Rin, you're going to be alright, I promise. Do you believe me? You're going to be fine."

Before Rin could say anything, Miho appeared at her side and was holding a saucer of what smelled like lavender and chamomile water. She knew it was tea, but this type of tea was for sleep and Rin didn't feel like sleeping was such a good idea. For one, the pain and pressure in her abdomen and lower back was so strong that nodding off to sleep was highly improbable. Second, she was beginning to realize what was happening to her. My baby! I'm losing him!

Kagome confirmed her suspicions when Miho asked what was happing. "It's a miscarriage and I need you to hand that cup to Ura and start crushing these herbs. We have to stop the bleeding, now!"

Rin began to cry. She had just gotten used to the fact that she was pregnant and she had even starting to come up with names for him, none of which were going to be necessary anymore… Before this, she and Sesshomaru had embraced the fact that she was having a child, but now…

Refusing the cup that Ura tried to press against her mouth, Rin twisted her head to the side, gripped her bed sheets and screamed. Not out of pain. No, the pain was not as great as the emotions that were currently welling up in her chest. She screamed out of anger. Screamed out of pure, undeniable anger and she kept on screaming until the lining of her throat tore and she began to cough up blood. More blood!

While Kagome and Miho worked to quell the bleeding, Rin felt her son come into the world. Nothing more than a blood and tissued mass no bigger than a child's hand was visible, and try as Kagome might to conceal this from Rin's vision, Rin saw it anyway and cried aloud just as Miho covered it and carried him away. "My son! NO!" More blood poured from her body, but she didn't care as Kagome worked to stop it. Rin watched Miho disappear outside of her bedroom door and her head reached out as if to stop her or call her back, but her screaming had stopped. She had gone absolutely silent, but her tears flowed on, soaking Ura's kimono and legs.

Hours later, after Rin's body had stopped bleeding, she was left alone with Sesshomaru to grieve for their child. He held her against him while she wept softly into his robes, neither of them able to speak. Sesshomaru, although torn apart inside from the reality of what had occurred, was more concerned for Rin's health at this point. Kagome and Miho had done all that was possible to stop the bleeding, but Rin was just too pale for his liking. Her cheeks were no longer pink, and the skin below her eyes had become dark purple. The kimono she wore now was soft white silk, but Rin's skin was paler even than that.

Kagome had assured him that Rin would survive, but Sesshomaru had his doubts. She had also mentioned a disturbing fact, which Rin had not been told just yet, about Rin's ability to have children. 'Because of where Sakuya had stabbed her, I don't think Rin will have the ability to carry another child. He stabbed her in the womb, possibly damaging the organs around it as well. The scar tissue will likely prevent her from conceiving again. I just don't know…'

The idea of having children was never something Sesshomaru considered. He had just been too preoccupied with other things and didn't entertain the thought that kids could be a part of his future. When he had learned of Rin's pregnancy, he didn't say anything to her about it because he had just been too shocked by it. He had to collect his thoughts and get used to the fact that he was destined to be a father. Not just that, but the creator of a half demon. To him, half demons had been weak and unworthy of respect, like his brother Inuyasha. Their father had fallen in love with a human and Sesshomaru hated him for it for the longest time. Now that he had finally forgiven him for it, and Inuyasha was now welcomed in his home, he was finally comfortable with following in his father's footsteps.

He fell in love with a human woman and now she was his mate, and she had conceived his child…he wanted to embrace that child, but fate had been cruel to his mate. He did not weep like Rin had done, and was doing. He refused. He had to be strong for her and he wanted so much to take her pain away, but all he could do was hold her close. He held her as close as he could until her shaking had ceased and her tears had dried. Before he knew it, she was asleep. Try as he might, he couldn't follow her into the void. Instead, he listened to the rain.

The storm was not violent. It did not carry threatening volts of electricity, which could rock the earth as if it had awakened beneath their feet. It was more of a heavy downpour, threatening to drown their world as it showed no sign of stopping.

Sesshomaru welcomed the idea of it, drowning. As he lay there, cradling his mate against him in the dark, he secretly wondered if Rin would have been better off if she and Miho had died, instead of what had happened to her today.

Author's Note: I know that it's shorter than my previous chapter, but I just couldn't combine this with what happens later.

I tried, multiple times, to prevent this from happening to Rin, but the more I wrote, the harder it became to take her in another direction. I spent a few weeks writing this chapter, and it was completely different than what you have just read now. The more I wrote it, the less real it became and I just couldn't post it the way I had originally written it. She and Sesshomaru were originally supposed to discuss the idea of their child and it was going to be a happy chapter, but it just didn't work with how I was going to end this story.

Bear with me, guys! It's almost over! I'm not going to say anymore. You will just have to keep reading. I'll post again soon!

OliviaAR