Thunder and lightning were doing their worst over the Western palace. The night peace was broken by the chaos of the storm.
The door to my chambers burst open and there was a bedraggled Rin. Her long hair was all over the place, her night kimono askew, and her face held a terrified expression.
I beckon to her, patting the space beside me.
"I was waiting for you, Rin. Come."
Even though Rin is a capable woman, she morphs into a little girl whenever there is a storm.
She wastes no time in cudding next to me in bed. I make sure that the blanket is covering her shaking body.
She rails against my chest. "Sesshomaru, this storm is terrible. Why do storms exist?"
"Hush, you are safe with me. Sleep." I reassure her.
"But I want to learn to be safe with myself! I won't always be by you!" She cries out.
My eyes narrowed at that.
"Just what do you mean by that, Rin? Are you planning on going somewhere?"
She sighs and fists my haori.
"It is only common sense that we cannot be with each other forever - that is all I meant. So when the time comes for me to be away from you, I will need to be strong for myself."
My hand envelops her fist that is grippling my haori, as the thunder rolls.
"Listen here, Rin. You are forbidden to be away from me. Do you hear me?"
She looks up, confused.
"I don't understand. I am not staying by you once you get a demon mate. A long time ago, I had decided that when that occasion arose, I would return to Edo and earn a living as a demon slayer."
Now my hand fists hers and my eyes glint dangerously.
"You are not to live in that village ever again nor are you to endanger yourself in that way. How dare you presume I will take a demon mate?"
"And how dare you give me orders? I can do as I please, Sesshomaru!"
She turns and gives me her back.
Laying a hand on her waist, reassuringly, I say:
"I had every right to order you, when I heard you talking such nonsense. If you were not so busy making other plans, you would have known that I have no intention of taking a demon mate."
She turns to me slowly.
"But I assumed..."
I nod. "I can see why. After hearing my hatred for non-demon mates for years, you must have assumed I had no need for one who was not, but I assure you that is not the case."
"I see. But you do understand that I cannot stay, even if your mate is not of the demon variety?"
"Rin, have you never considered yourself as my intended?"
She immediately puts some distance in between us, shocked.
I smirk, gathering her into my arms and burying my nose in her neck, inhaling her sweet scent. My mate...
"Sesshomaru, I don't think I am mate material..." She stutters and shrugs away from me.
I narrow my eyes.
"Don't be ridiculous. You are more than 'mate material', as you call it. Come here at once."
"Rin" I growl.
"Please let me explain, Sesshomaru. You and I function well as companions but you need a demon mate. Moreover, I do not see you as a mate." She pleaded.
I would never have seen her rejection coming. For the first time, I feel used. I give her my bed, the comfort of my close proximity, and welcome her into my arms every stormy night, and she repays me by rejecting me?
"In time, you will learn to see me as your mate, dearest. You know I do not take well to rejections."
I bring her into my arms again.
"We will take our courtship slow, my love." I say.
She looks at me with wide, unsure eyes.
"Rin, I was not planning for it come out this way." I confess.
"You were planning this all along?" She asks, incredulous.
"Yes...is that so surprising?" I ask, while one of my fingers drifts to the outlines of her face.
Weary of such weighty conversation, she snuggles closer and sleeps against my chest.
But I shrug her away from me.
"You will not sleep by me unless you give me your answer. This privilege is only reserved for my intended, you see."
"Oh Sesshomaru, really!"
"Say it, beloved." I smirk.
Thunder cracks outside again.
"Alright, alright. Yes! Just let me by you again!"
"As you wish, my beloved."
I bring her to my chest and tuck her head firmly under my own. My arms encircle her as does my mokomoko.
We sleep the night away, content. The chaotic thunder becomes a lullaby, reassuring us of more nights together - as mates.