"You keep looking at me."
"So? What are you doing?" He stood up from the sofa but Rin stood as well, her face blushing.
She stepped over, turning her easel away slightly. "It's nothing."
His eyes narrowed on her then sat back down, opening his book but he didn't look at it. He kept his eyes on Rin as she continued to paint and continued to look at him. He just sat still and stared.
After a few more minutes, Rin let out a sigh and lowered her brush. "FINE! Just stop staring at me!"
With a crooked smile, Sesshomaru stood walked over to her, leaning around to see the canvas. He almost laughed at the unfinished image, understanding instantly why she was hiding it. "You're painting me."
"Well… my buyer wants a portrait. Finding a good model is so hard and… well… you look brilliant."
Going back to the couch, Sesshomaru opened his book and began to read. "Ah yes, your famous buyer. What was his name again?"
"Oh something foreign." She said, returning to her painting. "I've only met him three times. Does most of his business though his associates. I spend a lot of time on the phone to Kagura." She shrugged slightly. "Nice woman, talks a lot about leaving but… never has."
"Would your buyer's name be… Naraku by any chance?"
Rin stopped and thought for a while. "Yes actually, it might be. Naraku." She shivered suddenly. "Yeah, that's him. Horrid greasy man. Gives me the creeps. If I had my way, I wouldn't sell to him but… well… he pays for our food."
Sesshomaru sat still for a moment then sighed. "Naraku…" Another name I can't forget. But… this one I remembered alone. What's going on?
"Is something coming to mind? You look in pain."
"I'm getting use to it. It's just sometimes… I see people… hear names… and I feel like I know them. Something… something in my memory… locked out of the way."
"Give them time. I'm sure they'll come back."
Sesshomaru was silent for a while then let out a deep breath. "I don't think I want them back."
"Do you remember that man who tried to rob us the other week?"
"How can I forget?" Rin said, standing up and taking her apron off, walking over to him, sitting down next to him. "It scared the life out of me. You could have really been hurt."
"I don't think I could. When… when it was happening… I felt… I felt like someone else. I felt like something else. Like I wasn't human anymore. I enjoyed hurting that man."
Rin looked at him and blinked, holding his arm steadily. "Sesshomaru… you can't mean that."
"I do. And when I did… it felt… like the memories I have… the ones that don't seem possible… the ones of Tenseiga… of traveling the world… even of flying… they all fitted together when I was hurting him. Like that was what I belonged as." He looked at her and shook his head slightly. "It… it scared me a little. I'm beginning to think… maybe I shouldn't try and get my memories back. Maybe I should…" He steadily put his arm around her shoulders and held her closer. "Just try and make new ones."
Rin smiled and leant into him, eyes closed. "If that's what you want."
He smiled and held her closer, kissed her hair and closed his book. Slowly he found his way to hold her cheek, lifted her face and kissed her lips. His heart skipped as their lips met.
She pressed herself against him, smiling when they parted. She looked closer to him. "That's one memory I won't forget." She said under her breath.
Sesshomaru laughed as he reached out to her, holding her closer. "Rin… I love you."
Her eyes widened and her hand tightened on his hair but then she smiled and narrowed, leaning into him. "I love you too."
"Hi, welcome to Café Feudal. Can I take you to order?" The waiter said, smiling at the group of four as they sat down at a table.
Three of the four looked at him, blushing. "Umm… four ice coffees please?"
"Right away ladies."
The four wiggled as he smiled and walked away then turned to each other. "Ohh he is so hot!" said a short black haired girl.
"Eri. Stop, he might hear you." A curly haired girl said.
"But I told you he was hot."
"Yeah." The brown haired Yuka said, leaning on the table to get a closer look at the black haired man as he stood at the bar, getting their drink. "Bet he's taken though."
"What about you Kagome? Are you still seeing that delinquent boyfriend of yours?"
The long haired girl sighed loudly. "He's not a delinquent and he's not my boyfriend!"
Ayumi sighed hopelessly. "Poor Kagome… and Hojo doesn't have a clue."
Yuka suddenly sat up tighter. "Wait here he comes."
With a broad smile, the black waiter came over and smiled as he put their drinks down on the table. "Anything else I can get you ladies?"
"Umm… no thank you."
"Alright, just call if you need anything."
"Wait… what's… what's your name?"
The waiter turned to them and smiled. "I'm Sesshomaru." The girl in the corner looked up at him suddenly and their eyes met. A shot of pain filled his head as he looked at the girl but then he looked away. "Umm… just call if you need anything." Slowly he walked away, hand on his head.
"Kagome… you alright? You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Do you know him?"
"No… he just… stared at me. It was kinda creepy."
On the other side of the café, Sesshomaru leant on the wall and held his head. "Dam it."
"Sesshomaru? You alright there?"
"Just a headache. It'll pass eventually."
"Take a break. I'll take those tables."
Stepping into the back room, he sat on a chair and covered his head. These headaches have never lasted this long before. Something about that woman…. He tried to forget it and after a few minutes, his head began to sooth and he managed to stand and walk back to work. The four girls had left and he walked over to clear their table but spotted a large bag by the side. He picked it up and looked it over. "Kagome Higurashi." He read of a label then sighed and took it to the bar. "Must have forgotten it."
With the girls gone, he was able to do the rest of his shift without distraction but his head continued to complain. He took some of the medicine which helped him get on with work.
Sesshomaru turned around and saw a young woman with long black hair. His head split as soon as he saw her. "Hello again. You left your bag, didn't you?"
"It's behind the bar. I'll get it." He went over to the bar and reached out for the bag. "Pardon me for asking but… have we met?"
"Other than today? No. Why do you ask?"
"I… I have… no memories but sometimes I remember… names and faces. Yours… struck me hard."
"So you don't know me?"
He sighed then passed her the bag. "Well, come again soon."
"Sorry I couldn't help."
"Yo, Kagome, hurry up will ya!"
"I'm coming!" she cried, running to the café door.
Sesshomaru smiled as he followed her with his eyes but his smile fell as he looked at the door. Stood there was a tall young man with long thick silver hair with a red and blue hat on. His eyes met Sesshomaru and a look of disgust covered him before he vanished with the girl.
The man ran to the door and threw it open, looking to follow the stranger but the street was empty. He checked both way, breathless all of a sudden.
Who was that?
"Lord Sesshomaru… why, how the mighty have fallen. Just look at you, unable to move, unable to think… lost in a dream. I could end you now… but it would be too easy."
The voice woke Sesshomaru, he opened his eyes and he slowly made his way to his knees, each action painful but he didn't let it show. His demon blood boiled as he looked at the baboon disguise before him. He was vaguely aware that the imp Jaken was beside him, staff of two heads in his hands, the little girl hiding behind him.
The baboon let out a deep evil chuckle. "Maybe I underestimated you. Wouldn't be the first time."
"Naraku." He hissed, reaching for the swords at his side, preparing to strike. "You're dead."
The demon chuckled again. "Yes, I am. But this isn't real. Or… maybe this is… and the other isn't." The skin moved, running forward to him, a blade ready to strike….
With a gasp, Sesshomaru sat up in bed and covered his head with his hands, sweat pouring off his skin. He sat, panting for a moment then ran his hands thought his hair, brushing it away.
He looked down at the side. "Rin." He reached out and held her as she woke and sat next to him. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you."
"You're been having a lot of nightmares recently."
"It's always the same one."
"Perhaps we should see someone about it."
"No… no its fine." He panted for a moment then swallowed, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her close as they lay back down. "It'll pass. I'm sure."
Rin couldn't close her eyes as he held her. She was worried about him but knew there was nothing she could do to help. With a sigh, she closed her eyes and allowed herself to drift off in his arms.
The next morning, he headed off to work, leaving Rin with her paintings. The one she had painted of him now hung in the hallway of their flat, alongside her own self portrait and a painting of Jaken. It made him smile to see the three of them together but sometimes he looked at the painting and felt it was wrong. All three of them were wrong.
He tried as hard as he could to ignore it.
The Café Feudal was busy as always and he worked with a smile. At the end of his shift, he sat at the bar with a drink as his boss cashed up. "So… how things going with Rin?"
Sesshomaru smiled at him. "Alright."
"How long you two been going out now?"
"A few months. I guess."
"Really? No… precise number?"
His boss counted the money, not even looking at the human. "Because to my count… it's almost a year… to the day."
Sesshomaru blinked and sat back slightly. "Ah."
"You forgot didn't you?"
The boss chuckled. "Well… lucky for you, it's pay day." He picked up a pile of money he'd been counting out and held it out to Sesshomaru. "Here."
He looked at the pile then shook his head. "That's more than my pay."
"It's your share of the tips too." He held it a little closer. "Look, just go and buy her something nice. She's worth it."
He huffed then took hold of the money and put it his pocket. "Thanks."
"Go on, shops will be shutting soon. I'll clean up here."
With a nod, Sesshomaru stood and grabbed his jacket then stopped in the bar again. "Umm… what do you recommend?"
His boss laughed freely. "There's a jewellery shop down the road."
With a nod, he walked out of the café and down to the road, soon finding the jewellery shop. The door let out a sound as he pushed it in. The store was quite large with glass displays on all sides. There was only one person in the store dressed in a red suit and skirt. Her skin was pale white and had long, straight black hair tied in a loose ponytail with a white ribbon. She stood behind a display and smiled at him softly. "Hi, can I help you?"
"I'm… I'm looking for some jewellery."
"You came to the right place. Who's it for?"
"My girlfriend. Its' our… anniversary."
"How lovely. Are you looking for a necklace or something else?"
"A necklace? Maybe."
The woman let out a small smile then began to walk around the shop, unlocking a display and pulling out a tray. "These are quite popular at the moment. Its call the astrological collection. Three designs available in gold, silver or titanium."
Stepping over, he looked at the tray. A sun, star and crescent moon design. He slowly picked up the silver moon one, running his hand over it. "I like this one."
"I thought you would."
His eyes shot up to her and his eyes stopped on her name badge. "Kikyo?"
Kikyo smiled at him. "Yes. And if I was you, I would abandon this foolish idea and hurry home."
"She needs you right now… Lord Sesshomaru."
His eyes widened slightly but then turned where he was and ran out of the shop, out into the street. He ran into the park, running across it and into their flat. He wasn't even out of breath as he stood at the bottom of the stairs, took a deep breath then began on the eight flights up. He made it to the flat in half a minute, not out of breath or even feeling tired. It confused him but he ignored it. He ran to their home and threw open the door.
The corridor was longer than normal, the last room out of sight but he sprinted down, feeling something around him change. He found his way to the end of the hallway but instead of the main living area, he found himself in a forest, tall trees all around, birds singing in the trees. He stood and looked around, turning on the spot to the hallway but it had vanished. What's going on?
He turned to put a hand on his head but noticed his skin was paler and his nails longer, like what he had been near Tenseiga.
Suddenly a scream filled the air. He turned and ran towards it. But…I don't feel like I'm running… more… like floating.
He arrived at the scream and stood, shocked to see Rin lying on the floor while over her stood a man in a long black coat and greasy long black hair. In his hands was a sword. Blood dripped from the tip.
Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes on the man, a name with distaste and hatred filled his mind. "Naraku."
Naraku turned to him and gave a cold smile and chuckle. "Lord Sesshomaru? How pleasant to see you again."
Grabbing hold of his sword, Sesshomaru drew and pointed it at him. "What have you done to Rin?"
"What? Her?" he said, pointing with the sword. "We have a little disagreement on the price of her next painting."
"Yes, I am. I killed her because I had to."
"Because it was the only way to make you see."
Sesshomaru's eyes narrowed, growing irritated by the riddle answers. But then Naraku stepped to the side, revealing a long mirror. "Just look at yourself."
Slowly, Sesshomaru stepped forward until his refection was visible. His refection was something he knew, but didn't recognise. His skin was all as pale as his hand, his ears pointy, eyes golden and his hair silver knee-length. There was a blue crescent on his forehead while two pale red stripes on each cheek.
He was no longer wearing his brown shirt and jeans but a long flowing white and red kimono with a yellow sash around the middle, some kind of amour over his left shoulder and a long line of fur covering his right arm while at his left hand side were two swords, the Tenseiga and Bakusaiga.
He looked at the mirror. He didn't recognise himself. But it felt right.
Turning his eyes to Naraku who'd also changed into the form he knew. The demon smiled, lifting the sword. "You see, Sesshomaru?"
Sesshomaru didn't say anything, he just ran at him, preparing to strike. Without even trying, he managed to stab the sword into Naraku's stomach. But the demon didn't care, just staring at him, smiling. "You see. This is who you really are. Don't fool yourself."
Sesshomaru blinked and the demon vanished before him. Quickly he pulled the sword free, looking for the demon in the trees but as he looked, the trees began to move, melting around him. As if they were paint and someone had just thrown water over it.
He turned on the spot, the world all around him melting into black but one thing that remained was Rin as she lay on her side. He stepped over, sheathing the sword, kneeling next to her and lifting her up to her side. "Rin."
She moaned as her eyes opened and looked up at him. "Sesshomaru?" She rolled away from him, sitting up and rubbing her forehead. "Umm… what happened?"
"You were attacked."
"Oh that's right… Naraku… he was angry at me about something."
He knelt next to her, looking at her. "Rin, look at me."
She did, smiling. "What is it?"
"Rin… just look at me." He held out his hand, showing the claws. "Just look at me."
She looked at him, at his hands, his clothes then shrugged. "What?"
"I'm a demon Rin."
She laughed and turned to him, holding his cheek and hand. "You're not a demon. You're Sesshomaru." She tightened her grip on his hand. "Come on, let's go home." She stood and pulled him upwards.
He stayed where he was, staring at her. "This isn't real."
"This… all of this. It isn't real."
Rin blinked, kneeling to him. "Sesshomaru, you're scaring me."
"Rin, this isn't real. None of this is real." He stood, pulling his hand from hers easily, looking at the blackness he now stood in. "All of this… it's just some kind of dream."
"You mean… I'm not real?"
He turned on the spot, looking at her as she knelt on the floor, staring at him, tears in her eyes. "Rin… I… I didn't mean…"
"I'm real aren't I? What we have… it's real."
He stared at her. "It isn't." He looked away suddenly. "I understand now… this world… it's a world I've created."
"Sesshomaru… you can't mean that. I… I love you!"
"And I love you. But this world isn't real." He knelt and cupped her cheek gently, wiping away a tear. "Rin… I created a world where we could be together. Because I know… we can't." Slowly he stood away from her, keeping his back on her.
"Sesshomaru! Please… don't go! Don't leave me! Sesshomaru!"
He closed his eyes, walking away from her, not knowing where, or if he even could leave this darkness. Rin kept calling out to him, begging for him not to leave but eventually he could no longer hear her cries. "I'm sorry Rin." He muttered to himself as he opened his eyes, a bright white light before him. Without a hesitation, he stepped into it.
"Lord Sesshomaru! Lord Sesshomaru!"
Pressing against the darkness in his mind, Sesshomaru slowly opened his eyes and sat up away from the tree. A small green Imp by his side smiled, tears in his eyes. "Lord Sesshomaru, I am so glad to see you recovering."
"Jaken." He said, standing and looking around the forest. This was the forest by Kaede's village. That means…
"Lord Sesshomaru." A voice called, walking to him. He turned and looked back at the teenager, running over to him. He gave her half a smile. "Rin."
She smiled at him, brushing her hair back. "It's good to see you again Sesshomaru."