Title: Chapter 3

Author: SakuraRyuu

Rating: K

Genre: Canon, Angst, Comfort, Family, Friendship, Suspense

Characters: Ah-Un, Jaken, Rin, Sesshomaru

Author's Note: Inuyasha and all characters in this fan fiction are the property of Rumiko Takahashi.

Upset about the things Jaken said, Rin turned and ran, not caring what direction she was headed in. When she could no longer control her crying she slowed to a walk, then stopped to rest against a tree, letting her tears flow. Exhausted after such an emotional afternoon, she lay down on the soft patch of grass under the tree for a quick rest, having no intention of falling asleep but doing so anyway. In her terrible and sad dream, Jaken laughed heartily as Lord Sesshomaru cast her out. He simply said, "Go, Rin," and pointed away from him. She pleaded with her Lord to not dismiss her but he stood firm in his command. She felt her heartache as she turned, glancing over her shoulder at him, then slowly walked away.

Waking suddenly, Rin clutched her chest, gasping for breath. She couldn't understand why her Lord would cast her out. She thought he enjoyed her company but if her dream was any indication, that wasn't the case. Drawing her knees to her small chest and wrapping her arms around them, the doubt in her mind told her running away was for the best. It was better for her to leave on her own than to force her Lord to dismiss her. After losing her family, the simple act of him turning her away would break her human heart.

She glanced down at the flowers lying by her side from that afternoon and picked them up, fingering the petals. She remembered her father and how he would show his appreciate for the handful of picked beauty she brought him, hugging and kissing her as if she had given him the best gift in the world. Rin certainly didn't receive that type of affection from her Lord, but in his own way, she thought, maybe he did appreciate the gestures she offered him.

She had been lost in her thoughts for so long that it stunned her to realize the sun was almost set and darkness was moving in. Rin moved to stand, gathering her scattered flowers, when she noticed it: dead quiet. She had sat lamenting the loss of her Lord for so long she hadn't realized how quiet the forest had gotten. It seemed she was the only thing in the entire area making any type of sound, which was quite unusual. There were usually frogs and crickets singing but now, as she strained to hear any of the comforting night noises, the only thing she heard was a strange dragging sound. She thought the sound was curious, but she kept pressing on in an attempt to put more distance between herself and her traveling companions. The further she walked, the louder the dragging noise became and it only seemed to move when she did. In the distance, she saw what she thought was a road but it was getting hard to tell with the light fading, so she walked faster in that direction. Suddenly, Rin found herself flying toward some scratchy looking bushes, the air was knocked out of her and scattering her precious bouquet. Landing, her kimono was torn by the branches in the brush and her skin scratched. She settled on the ground with a thud, struggling to regain her breath. As she rolled over and tried to stand she fell back to the ground, pain shooting from her ankle. Sitting up, she saw what hit her: the biggest snake demon she had ever seen.

Its giant head bobbing, the snake demon hissed at poor Rin,

"What have we here? I do believe it'sss sssuper time."

As it lunged for her, a scream tore from her throat and she held her arm up over her eyes as if to hide from her attacker, but the expected deathblow never came. Lowering her arm to peak out at the snake demon she saw he was no longer looming before her. Instead, it was falling gracefully to the ground, wounds around its neck seeping green foam. That could only mean one thing to the young girl.

"Lord Sesshomaru!" Rin called excitedly, happy to see her Lord once again. Trying to stand again, she hissed in pain. Before she could fall again, Sesshomaru was carrying the small girl in his arm.

"I am sorry to be a burden, my Lord," Rin begins, her voice sounding sad. Even though he had just saved her, she was still worried what Jaken said may be true. If it were, she wasn't so sure returning back to camp with her Lord was such a good idea.

Sesshomaru watched his ward, frowning slightly at her choice of words and tone in her voice. As she stared at him with a confused look on her face, he decided to inquire about what led Rin to this point.

"Rin, explain yourself."

"You see, my Lord, Rin ran into a boy in the meadow today..." And Rin began her tale. She told him how she had been picking flowers for him when the boy wandered in to the meadow and told her her Lord was probably waiting to eat her once she had gotten plump. She further explained how she decided her Lord would not eat her because she was too thin, but she began to wonder if maybe he was going back to villages to eat people there because he never ate the food she offered him. She quickly decided that wasn't the case both because her Lord would never act dishonorably and he rarely came back with a mark on him. Rin then told him of her conversation with Jaken and how his words made her feel badly enough to run away. Rin looked up at her Lord, eyes big and round, and asked, "Am I a burden to you, my Lord? Is it like the boy or Jaken said?"

Sesshomaru looked down at the small girl he was holding and said simply, "No, Rin."

"After all I had heard today, I was afraid you didn't want me with you anymore and I would lose you like I did my family."

Sesshomaru remained silent as they returned to camp. A short walk later, Rin found herself back in the meadow she had run from earlier in the day. Turning her attention from Sesshomaru, she noticed Jaken jumping around his legs begging to be forgiven for losing her and Ah-Un bellowed, happy to see his small human again. Placing her gently on the ground, Sesshomaru looked down at his vassal, who immediately began apologizing for his lack of good sense when speaking with the girl. Barking an order to the green toad demon to gather water and bandages to dress Rin's wounds, he turned his attention back to the girl.

"If it pleases you, you may stay with this Sesshomaru."

"Yes, my Lord!" Rin exclaimed happily, then her expression changed and Sesshomaru became curious.

"What is it, Rin?"

"Lord Sesshomaru, would you ever eat me?"

"This Sesshomaru does not eat humans." He stated simply.

"Yes, my Lord!"

With that, the discussion was over and Rin was back where she belonged.