*A/N: I am doing a rewrite of this fic because I hate it and think it could be so much better than this. So I appreciate your patience while I muscle through this.
Disclaimer: I apologize if anything seems a little far-fetched or information does not perfectly match the Inuyasha story line. Some things have been changed or made up to fit my story.
I do not own Inuyasha or any of its characters. I also am not making any money from this.
Note: Italics usually mean thought or memories. Line breaks will be for when there is a jump in time or if there is a change in character perspective.
Chapter 1 - Home is where the Heart is
"Barrage!" Rin shouted as she released a single arrow from her bow. The single arrow then separated into ten arrows. A little farther on, those ten arrows turned into a hundred arrows before all landing on the wide target set out for her to practice.
"You are getting very good with the long bow, Rin." Kaede said as she oversaw Rin's training. Rin turned and beamed a smile towards Kaede.
"I can't wait to show Lord Sesshomaru!" She said with pure excitement. Rin had just turned eighteen. She had gone from an adorable eight-year-old girl to a beautiful woman. Her legs had grown longer and her thighs had become thicker. Her jet black hair fell to her thighs, flipping out as it did when she was younger. Her chocolate-colored eyes sparkled in the sunlight, reflecting her joyful attitude and positive outlook.
She was a favorite in their tiny little village. Her hand in marriage had been asked for several times over, but she always refused, saying that she wasn't planning on staying. She was going to go with Lord Sesshomaru when he returned to her.
She spent almost all of her time training with her spiritual energy and her bow. Kaede and Kagome had trained her well and she was skilled enough to be a Miko, though she would never wish for that position. She would go off on her own, killing nearby demons that threatened the village without any help from Inuyasha or the others. Though, she did have additional assistance. Two Kodachi, named the Dragon Fangs, had become a staple to her demon hunting.
Kaede and Kagome never got a real answer about the two short swords that Rin carried with her at all times. She practiced with them every day, but they had no idea how she learned to use them or how it was even possible for her to wield them. The two swords belonged to a dragon demon from the Northern Lands who had been cast out, chased down, and left to die in the forest outside the village. Rin saw her and saved her life, much like she tried to do for Sesshomaru, but this time she was older and smarter and knew how to at least bandage a demon up. As a reward for saving her, the woman gave up her demonic powers and weapons for Rin to use. The demonic power was stored in two markings on Rin, one on each wrist, and it allowed her to use the swords properly and to their full advantage. The woman trained Rin in secret for two years before the dragon demons discovered her location. Rin did not know why the demon gave up her powers or who she was hiding from, but she assumed the less demonic power she had, the easier it would be to hide.
Rin looked at her barrage of arrows that decorated the target. She smiled, "I'll prove to you I can be of use, Lord Sesshomaru. I promise!" she thought to herself. The last time Sesshomaru visited, she asked if she could go with him. It was about three years ago now, right before she obtained the swords.
"You are not strong enough to go where I'm going." He said coldly.
"But I've had so much training. I know I can be of use to you Lord Sesshomaru!" She begged.
"Why would he want a despicable human traveling with him in demon-infested lands anyway?" Jaken said as he threw his chin to the air.
Rin steamed and was about to argue with Jaken, but Kaede had cut her off. "You still need more training, Rin. I happen to remember a run in with a demon yesterday that caught you quite off guard."
Sesshomaru glanced at the old woman. Of course he would take her side. She was supposed to be watching over her in his stead. It was a useless battle.
"Rin." Sesshomaru said. "If you cannot defeat the weak demons living here, then you won't stand a chance where I'm going."
Rin knew he was doing something really dangerous. He always took her with him and kept her safe when she was a girl. Well, at least for the most part and he did always save her one way or another. Maybe he just didn't want to deal with her anymore. Maybe he left her here so she wouldn't be in his way.
"I'll show you that I'm strong enough, Lord Sesshomaru." She thought. "I hope he visits me soon."
"Rin!" Kagome called from across the meadow. "Come have dinner with us!"
Rin smiled and started running towards the homes. Once inside Kagome's home, she saw the large group of people assembled. Kaede was helping Sango and the twins prepare some of the vegetables. Sango and Miroku's twins, Yori and Yuki, were ten years old. Miroku had his eight-year-old son in his lap as they sat at the table waiting for dinner. Across from Miroku was Inuyasha with his three-year-old son and youngest, Katsurou. The little guy was climbing on Inuyasha eagerly and trying to grab his ears.
"Ouch! Katsurou…" Inuyasha grumbled in frustration as he continued to pull the little boy down. He was the miracle child. There were serious complications throughout Kagome's pregnancy with him and they were all relieved when he managed to live through the premature birth. Regardless, Kaede warned that Kagome shouldn't have any more children for fear that the next one may take her life.
Inuyasha's eldest, six-year-old Shinobu, was seated next to Inuyasha, waiting for his meal. His middle child, four-year-old Sayuri, was tugging on her mother's Hakama. "Settle down, Sayuri. You will eat at the same time as everyone else." Kagome said to the little girl. Her little white ears bent over in displeasure and she sulked her way to the table, next to her father.
Inuyasha ruffled the little girl's hair with his large hand. "Papa!" she complained as she pushed his hand off.
Kohaku was there as well, talking to Sango about his demon training. He, too, had grown into a handsome young man. Rin was happy he still came to visit and didn't get too caught up with his training.
"Rin, come sit down!" Miroku invited Rin to sit down next to him. She smiled warmly and nodded.
"So how are those swords?" Inuyasha asked curiously. He had been squeezing her for information whenever he saw her. His curiosity always won over manners, but he couldn't help but wonder how a human could wield demon weapons.
"They are fine." Rin said nonchalantly.
Inuyasha slammed his fists down on the table. "Damn it, Rin! How are you using those things!?" Inuyasha half whined and half yelled.
"Sit, boy!" Kagome yelled. Inuyasha's face hit the table and Katsurou laughed and clapped his hands as he landed on his father's head, gaining full access to his ears.
"Ow! What you go and do that for?" Inuyasha snarled angrily at Kagome.
"You need to mind your own business, Inuyasha." Kagome barked back. Inuyasha backed down and grabbed Katsurou off his head who, at this point, was tugging at both ears simultaneously.
The rest of dinner followed a similar pattern. The kids ran around rampant after they were finished eating and the parents struggled to keep control. "I should be going." Rin said after she had finished helping clean up. Rin waved goodbye to all and gave out a few hugs to the kids before making her way out of the house.
She thought about going back to Kaede's home to get some sleep, but she wasn't all that tired. She decided, instead, to visit the pond in the forest. It was quiet there and the wild flowers that grew were beautiful.
When she arrived at the pond, she sat in her spot next to a flower that reminded her of Lord Sesshomaru. The spot itself was worn and indented from all the time she spent there. The flower had a golden core with beautiful white petals and the littlest streaks of purple in the edge of the petals. It reminded her so much of his facial features, with the purple streaks going from his hair line across to the middle of his cheeks, the purple half-moon in the center of his forehead, his delicate white locks that fell below his back, and his captivating golden eyes. She sighed as she thought about him. "It's just a stupid crush, Rin. Lord Sesshomaru would never think of you in that way." She thought to herself as she shook the images out of her head. "I'm human and he is a demon. It would never work." Rin continued to rationalize her crush for Lord Sesshomaru. "Who knows if he's even coming back?" Rin suddenly felt abandoned. She hadn't seen Sesshomaru in three years. It felt like an eternity to her, but to a demon like him that it wasn't even something to blink at.
She looked up and saw a shooting star. Her expression changed and a smile fell across her lips. "I wish Lord Sesshomaru, Master Jaken, and Ah-Un would come back for me." She wished.
It was only moments after her wish left her thoughts did she hear something odd. She stood up to try and see if she could hear where it was coming from, but didn't see anything. It sounded like screaming, and it was getting louder. "Master Jaken?" She asked when she immediately recognized the voice. Excitement filled her as she looked around the meadow. "Master Jaken, where are you?" She yelled throughout the trees.
Finally she recognized where the screaming was coming from and looked up. Jaken was falling out of the sky, and was very close to hitting her on the head. She quickly moved out of the way and noticed he was about to land on her favorite flower. She quickly grabbed him right out of the air and had him upside down. "Master Jaken! Oh I missed you so much!" Rin exclaimed as she squeezed the toad-demon.
"Rin, you fool! I can't breathe." Jaken mumbled while his head had managed to get squeezed into her cleavage.
"Oh. Sorry, Master Jaken." Rin giggled as she placed him down on the ground.
"Not bad for a human." Jaken said sarcastically. Her reactions had become much faster from when she was younger, even if Jaken refused to admit it.
"Well I couldn't let you land on my favorite flower!" Rin admitted as she pointed to delicate bloom still standing tall among the grass.
Jaken's face lowered in light disappointment, "Well I'm glad I'm less important than a flower, now."
Rin smiled at Jaken, completely ignoring his statement. She was so happy to see him again, despite his usual negativity towards her.
"Rin." That cold, serious voice called out to her from behind and she immediately knew who it was.
"Lord Sesshomaru! Ah-Un!" Rin called as she saw her other two long lost companions land behind her. She ran up to her Lord and smiled brightly. Lord Sesshomaru seemed to be watching her closely, observing her more defined features. She was wearing her blue kimono with the golden flower pattern stitched into it. It sparkled delicately in the moon light. She was still barefoot even after all these years spent in a human village. She would only remark that footwear slowed her down.
Lord Sesshomaru's look still hadn't changed. He wore his usual spiked pauldron armor that covered his left shoulder. His Kimono was the same, white with a red honeycomb and flower crest at the collar and sleeves. His Hakama, also, didn't change. His hair still flowed down just below his back and he still carried around the white pelt.
Lord Sesshomaru peered down at Rin's swords, his eyes narrowing. He then grabbed her arm, and pulled it towards him. He pushed the kimono sleeve up so he could see her wrist. The mark he saw was strong in demonic energy. He observed it carefully and then released her. The symbol of the marking must have been familiar to him. "Dragon demon," he whispered so quietly that Rin could barely pick up the words. Rin had blushed slightly from Lord Sesshomaru's touch. It had been so long since she had even gotten to see him, let alone feel his presence again. She could not deny that what she was feeling had to be some sort of attraction.
Lord Sesshomaru then locked his gaze with hers, causing her to blush more. "Where did you get these kodachi?" He asked with a firm tone of voice. He seemed slightly aggitated.
Rin sensed his displeasure and immediately answered him. "I found an injured demon in the forest about a month after you left last time. She was severely injured, but I was able to save her. She had been running from someone or something. As a reward she gave me her swords, her demonic power, and the training to use it all. She said she had to disappear." Rin finished with her head down. She thought she had angered him by accepting demonic power. She was also ashamed that she left out the tiny detail of who the demon actually was. Lord Sesshomaru would certainly be upset with her if she told him, though.
Lord Sesshomaru stood there for a moment observing Rin. "How does a human accept Demonic power?" His curiosity seemed to get the better of him. Normally just touching a demonic weapon would destroy a human, how could it be placed inside her.
"She told me she stored it in these markings." Rin said innocently as she held up her wrists for her Lord to see." I can release it with the swords and use her special abilities. But I suppose if I ever lost the markings, then I wouldn't be able to touch the swords. The markings act as protection and as offensive power." Rin said as she struggled to explain the odd phenomenon. She really didn't understand how it worked to well herself.
"It's an odd technology I've never seen before. Jaken, I want you to research this after we finish our journey. If those markings ever fail, it could potentially be harmful." Sesshomaru was still watching her. His stare was one of calculation as his eyes moved along the length of her muscles. She could only guess he was trying to determine what had changed since last he saw her. Rin knew she had a significant muscle gain over the last three years. He had to of noticed, also, her swift reaction time with Jaken. Her body, while slender, was still strong for a human woman. She certainly was no longer the girl he had left here ten years ago. She tried to present herself with a strong aura. She wanted to prove how much she wanted this.
And like this was just an everyday occurance, he turned to leave. Rin's voice rang meekly in an attempt to halt him. "Excuse me, Lord Sesshomaru, but why did you come back here?" Rin attempted to keep any distain out of her voice. Despite how much she wanted to travel with him, despite how much she longed to be at his side again, she still felt that resentment deep down inside for him leaving her here. He abandoned her for years at a time, only visiting for a few short days before leaving again for who knows how long. She doubted he had any idea what that did to her.
Her face had grown so beautifully these last few years. The smile she had greeted him with was bright and her eyes sparkled. She had the same life filling energy that she possessed when she was a child. Yet she wasn't wearing that smile currently. Her brow was creased with her concern.
He looked at her, deciding whether or not to tell her. "Come, Rin." It was a response he hadn't used in many years when speaking to her. He turned to walk towards the village, expecting her to readily follow.
Instead she remained. Normally he would have kept walking, but he couldn't help the shock he felt at her refusing his command. Rin never disobeyed him. So he turned his head enough to glance at her. Her face was twisted with indecision. The stance she held was one of someone trying to decide if they want to move forward or remain where they are standing.
He turned fully to face her now, his own brow furrowing in his confusion. "I said…"
"You didn't answer my question." She said firmly. Sesshomaru felt his brow furrow further as he tried to recover from this shocking disobedience. Jaken was nearly trembling to the side as he watched the confrontation.
"I will not say it again." He saw her wince at his words. Her shoulders fell to a more submissive stance. She was thinking very hard, harder than she should have to. This was simple. He gave her a command and she needed to follow it. She had done so for years. Why was it so difficult now? Did her time here in the village teach her disobedience?
It seemed with her age came a stubborn and unruly personality. He assumed it should be expected. Adolescent demons acted much in the same way when challenged. She was merely testing her boundaries.
"Yes, Lord Sesshomaru." She finally said. Despite her loss, she still smiled as they walked through the forest. Her whole form seemed to glow as she followed him. Jaken and Ah-Un were close behind.
"You haven't lost that goofy smile." He heard Jaken grumble from behind. Rin only smiled at him. "Why are you so happy all the time!?" He asked frustrated.
"I'm not happy all the time, Master Jaken. But I think it's better to appear happy even when you are sad. Looking sad only breeds more sadness." Rin turned her head and faced forward again. Sesshomaru glanced back in curiosity, truly wondering if that smile she was wearing was fake.
"Bah! Humans…" Jaken began. "You are, by far, the strangest human I ever met. Most would pour themselves with self-pity and beg for someone to notice. They don't care about how other people feel as long as they are getting their attention."
"Since when do you know anything about humans?" Rin asked coyly. Sesshomaru looked slightly amused. Jaken grumbled helplessly as he searched for a come-back. "Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy. There are some things you just can't help. There is no point in feeling sad over things you can't control." Rin admitted. Again Sesshomaru looked back curiously. What on earth was she referring to? This wasn't a generic type of conversation. If that Miko did anything to harm her…
"Nonsense, I'm sure you've cried to that old woman time and time again." Jaken poked.
"Only once when I was defeated by a demon and she had to intervene and kill it. All she told me is that she did not feel sorry for me and that I should have been strong enough to destroy it. I let my emotions cloud my judgment. That was a situation I should have been able to handle." Rin said uneasily.
"See, you still looked for someone to pity you. All humans do. It's because you're all so weak. Instead of overcoming your challenges, you wallow in your misery." Jaken clucked in triumph. Rin glared at him.
"Why?" Sesshomaru asked.
"My Lord?" She asked, not understanding his question.
"Why did you let your emotions cloud your judgment?" he asked, slightly annoyed that he had to repeat himself.
"It was a wolf demon. I was terrified. I didn't know how to overcome my fear." She admitted shamefully. Sesshomaru didn't say anything, but just kept walking towards Kaede's house. Rin was silent for the rest of the walk.
Kaede had returned home and was waiting for Rin to get back. When Rin came in with her companions, Kaede looked a little surprised. "Lord Sesshomaru, I wasn't expecting you back so soon." Kaede admitted.
"So soon? It's been three years, Lady Kaede." Rin's shocked tone of voice was amusing to Sesshomaru. Such fragile creatures they were, valuing such a short time span like it was a lifetime.
"Three years is not long for a demon, Rin." She said back. "Lord Sesshomaru has been living for hundreds of years and is not even in his prime, yet." Sesshomaru shot an annoyed look at the old woman.
"Kaede, I came to inform you that I'm preparing to expand my territory into the Northern Lands. I assumed it would be an important piece of information for you to know seeing as once I kill the dragon lord, the other dragons will be scattered and searching for places to reside. Your village could be targeted." Sesshomaru said coldly.
"My thanks, Lord Sesshomaru, but you must have another reason for coming here. Certainly you could have sent just a simple messenger." Kaede's eyes crinkled as she gave a devious smile.
"I was passing through, and besides, no demon would send a message like this to a human village." Sesshomaru scoffed.
"And, yet, here you are." Kaede said as she raised her eyes to him. Sesshomaru was too smart to let his tongue be beaten by a pathetic old human woman, but she was indeed wise with her words.
"The Dragon Lord? Dragon Demons?" He heard Rin whisper to herself, seemingly lost in thought. She jumped up suddenly once reaching a conclusion and ran beside him. "Lord Sesshomaru, can I go with you, please?" She begged.
"Absolutely not, Rin." Kaede began as that wicked smirk deformed into a frown.
"Why not? I've proven to you that I'm more than capable of handling myself. I've cleared these forests again and again for our village and no weak demons dare move near." Rin began.
"The Northern Lands are extremely dangerous. Not only would you freeze to death up there, but the dragon demons are ruthless. They would tear you to shreds." Kaede continued.
"You said when I am old enough I can make the decision myself where I go, and I'm old enough now. I'm not a child anymore." Rin argued, her blood boiling. There was a fierce determination in her stance. She wasn't going to give up this time. He watched, with interest, the argument that followed. He hid his amusement of Kaede's lack of control over Rin.
Kaede stepped back and took a heavy breath. "As you wish, Rin, If Lord Sesshomaru allows it, you may go with him." She replied calmly, but Sesshomaru could see the desperation etching her features.
Rin turned to look at Sesshomaru, waiting for a response. "Do as you wish." Was all he said and Rin cheered with pure elation. She quickly buried her excitement beneath a smile and then rushed to gather some things together.
Jaken's expression went from calm and collected to worry. "B-but my Lord!" Jaken began. Kaede cut in like he wasn't even there. "Certainly you can't take a child with you to the Northern Lands!" Kaede pleaded.
"I'm not a child!" His young ward yelled from the other room.
"As long as she doesn't get in my way, I do not care what she does." Sesshomaru said coldly. He felt something inside him falter as the words left his lips.
"Well won't you at least stay the night so Rin can say goodbye to the others in the morning?" Kaede continued to plead. She thought for sure Sesshomaru would never bring a young human woman with him.
"There is no time." He demanded. He would not waste anymore pointless time in this horrid place. He had what he came for, after all.
Jaken looked up at the old woman, annoyed at her interruption. "Lord Sesshomaru!" He continued.
Rin had finished gathering a small pack of things. From what he could tell, it included some food, an extra kimono, and a blanket. He continued out the doorway and Rin followed obediently while moving to place her pack on Ah-Un. Kaede waved from her doorway, but did not follow the group any farther than that. She was helpless to keep Rin. There was nothing she could do.
Rin waved wildly to Kaede, her facial expression showed her incredible amount of joy. "Say goodbye to the others for me, Kaede. Thank you for everything! I'll return someday to visit you all again soon!"
Kaede just faked a smile and waved back. Sesshomaru could just barely make out the whisper that escaped the old woman's lips. "That poor girl has no idea what she's getting into. He better keep her safe."
*Not much changed in this chapter. I just spruced up the writing a bit and took some things out that sounded awkward. I also gave Rin a bit more of a personality instead of just being the loyal obedient follower. Thanks for reading!*