Was it the right choice?

No. It wasn't the right choice, it was the only choice. The only way. It was the only way he could save her. The only way he could protect her. If he hadn't, she would be at the bottom of the sea now, trapped, unable to return.

No one wanted that.

For a week he had tried to protect her, to keep her safe, to kill the bastard. But he had failed and this was the last option. With the deed done the danger was over but what had been destroyed, he couldn't be certain if it would ever return.

His head turned away, looking at her as she lay beside him, curled up on herself, sobbing while pulling her clothes over her chest.

He sighed as he leant back on the wall of the cave, trying to forget what he had done. But he couldn't.

And worse was that when his mind did move from his actions, they went back almost a week to when the whole problem began.

He'd taken Rin to a beach, just to let her see the ocean and have fun in the waves. He never said his reason; he made it appear that they had just found their way there by chance.

But as they arrived at the water, Rin had giggled like a child and ran off to play while he sat and enjoyed the sun and the wind, the imp nearby. The great demon lord Sesshomaru could remember admiring how much Rin had changed, how beautiful she was now as a young adult, re-joining him from the human village. She was more woman than child now and it showed in every action she made, every word she spoke and every look she had.

She was stunning.

And he wasn't the only one to think so.

Another demon had seen his young ward as she played in the water, laughing and enjoying herself. And he sent a wave to come up and wash her from the shore and out to sea.

Sesshomaru remembered how she had screamed and he had leapt to save her. The water had tried to push him away but he'd managed to grab her arm and drag her out.

On shore, another demon had appeared, claiming his ward as his wife. He tried to take her away again then but Sesshomaru had ordered Jaken to take Rin to safety and the two had fled while he had engaged the demon in combat but it soon retreated. But not before swearing to come and take Rin as his wife before the week was out.

Not about to allow the demon to win, he had done everything to keep her away from him and taken her as far from the sea as he could but each day they woke to find there was a new gift by Rin's side; pearl necklaces, sea treasure, robes with beautiful aquatic embroideries.

All signs that the demon could still reach her.

The week was over.

Sesshomaru had no choice.

He couldn't protect her. Not the way he normally could. He couldn't protect her physically. His only option was a loophole in the law of demons. The ocean demon could not take her as a wife… if she already belonged to someone.

That was the only option they had left.

He had to take Rin as his own.

He had taken her as far inland as he could, to a cave on a mountain wall and told Jaken to start a fire for them before dismissing the imp.

He could remember the look in those big yellow eyes. The imp had known. He had known what his lord was about to do. Not a word passed his lips as he climbed onto Ah-Uh and left them.

When they left, he'd turned back to Rin and wrapped an arm around her back and pulled her into his chest, a hand in her hair as he closed his eyes.

He remembered the only words he could think of, whispering to her. "I will protect you."

She'd shifted, her tiny arms wrapping around him, trembling. He'd held her tight to try and ease it before taking her deeper into the cave.

Now all he could do was lean on the wall of the cave, listening as Rin cried and he wrestled with his actions. The night had come and gone yet there was no sign of the ocean demon.

He had given up his claim and Rin was safe.

Blinking, he looked over at Rin as she appeared to have cried herself to sleep at last. He frowned, looking at her bare back and the bruises forming on her skin. It hurt him to see them so he reached over to a blanket and covered her.

He sat beside her as she slept, staring at her and waiting for her to wake. The day went on with the demon's mind going over and over what should and could and might have been done until he heard a groan from beside him and Rin finally stirred.

"Rin." He said as cold as his voice would go which for some reason wasn't as cold as normal. Perhaps he was still feeling guilty.

The woman shuddered as she tried to sit herself up and the blanket fell from around her shoulders and the demon could see the many colours of her bruises on her body. He reached out and held her shoulder. "Stay down Rin. Are you hurt?"

"I'm fine." Came her voice, sore and cracked.

Sesshomaru frowned as he moved a little closer to her ear. "Rin, for once, be selfish and tell me the truth."

Rin pulled herself into a ball and tried to hold her breath. "My… my back hurts. And… I think I'm going to be sick."

He sighed and nodded, rubbing her shoulder once. "I will get you something to eat and drink. Remain here and try not to move." He stood and walked out of the cave but his ears perked as he heard Rin speak.

"I'm sorry."

It dared him to look back at her before leaving to find food, a task normally for Jaken but he managed and returned, helping Rin to lie on her back, covering her up and watched as she ate and drank.

Rin was in too much pain to really notice the tenderness in his actions but the demon was aware yet didn't do anything to stop. He sat beside her all day and brushed her hair off her face, caressing her cheek with the back of his hand.

Perhaps he hoped that in being kind now, he could erase the cruelty the night before. Towards evening, Rin became coherent enough to talk to him.

At that point, he couldn't look at her. "Jaken will be here by morning." He said off handed, standing and turning to the cave entrance, moving to look out at the sky. "We will leave this place at first light and never come back."

He could hear Rin sit up, grunting from pain as she did but then silence fell.

When she spoke, her voice was soft and showed how old she was now. She spoke as a woman would speak.

"I'm sorry for being so much trouble my lord. I know what happened was because of my foolishness and I am truly sorry."

His eyes widened, wanting to turn and shout at her that it wasn't her fault. For once he was fully to blame for what had happened.

"It would have been easier on you to just let him take me but I do appreciate you saving me. I bring nothing but trouble to you my lord. Both now and when I was a child."

His eyes closed as he kept his back to her, his teeth grinding together. It was him who had failed to keep her safe.

"With… with your permission… I won't continue to travel with you. I will return to Kagome and InuYasha. I won't be a burden to you any longer."

His head turned to the left but his eyes were locked on the wall, not her. He thought and wondered then raised his gaze and opened his mouth. "You do not."

"My lord?"

"You do not have my permission to leave." His gaze moved, staring firmly at her as she sat on the ground with her clothes half draped over her. "We leave in the morning." And with that, he turned and walked out of the cave, leaving Rin alone.

Rin thought he had gone off, flying or walking miles away but in truth he was right above her, sat on the mountainside where the cave was hidden. He sat and looked at the sky, thinking.

When night came, he heard whimpering and returned to see Rin in the grasps of a nightmare. No doubts about the night before.

He hesitated in touching her, fearing his touch would only worsen it for her. But the pain she was in pushed into his cold body, like the dread he felt on seeing her die a second time. He reached out and ran the back of his fingers over her cheek.

She jumped instantly awake and stared up at him, her eyes filled with tears as she panted for breath. Her eyes gradually focused and saw the demon beside her. And her lips curled downwards as she snapped forward, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Lord Sesshomaru." She whimpered before beginning to sob. "I… I was so scared. I thought he got me. I thought… I thought he took me under the water. That I would never see you again."

As confused as he was, a relief filled him. Her nightmare was not of him but of the sea demon. He carefully placed his hand on her shoulder, his arm around her back as he supported her. "Rin."

"I'm sorry." She sniffed, letting go and leaning back. "I… I just don't want to leave you."

Sesshomaru closed his eyes. He didn't want to see her crying. It had been bad enough the night before when she had started to cry. He took a breath and turned his head away. "Rin… there was no other choice."

"I know my lord. And I am glad you saved me. I'm only sorry it had to be like this."

"Like this?" He said, holding off his curiosity as he looked at her. "Explain yourself Rin."

For some reason he couldn't understand, Rin blushed. "I… I only meant… like this. In… this situation."

"Not what I did?" He asked in a careful tone. She was still young but perhaps not as young as Sesshomaru had once thought. She appeared to be growing right before his eyes. "You do not regret what I made you do?"

"Regrets?" She looked into his eyes, her face redder and redder by the second. "You… saved me. I have no regrets in my actions my lord."

"Your actions? What of mine?"

She gave a smile. "I was sorry you were forced into such doings. But I do not regret allowing them."

"Then why did you spend all day and night crying?"

"Because I was scared!" She stared him in the eye and they twinkled. "I was scared that demon would come and take me away from you. I can't tell you how happy I was when you were there beside me. I was sore all over but I was and still am glad that I was still at your side."

He frowned, aware suddenly that he was getting slowly closer to her. "Then why ask to leave me?"

With her gaze to the floor, Rin sighed and shook her head. "I am a trouble to you. I am not suitable to travel with you my lord. I will only make further disturbances to your time."

"You were always that. Why ask now?"

She closed her eyes. "I asked to leave because… I thought you wouldn't be able to look at me anymore, my lord. After what happened, I feared you would want me to leave so decided to ask if I should, knowing you would not willingly tell me to leave."

He was very still as he thought over his charges words and what they meant under nether her childish and womanish words. Under her hidden meanings and tricks she had learnt from him. It took him a while to decode her message as it was so foreign to him.

"You want to be with me Rin."

Rin smiled as she looked up, her eyes quivering with tears and smiles. She nodded. "Yes my lord. More than anything."

"Do you feel for me?"

"Yes. Kagome told me once… that I should listen to my feelings but InuYasha warned me not to give them to you. But I can't anymore. Not after last night. Not when I had the fear that I would never be with you again." She wiped her eyes as the tears fell.

Then another hand brushed against her cheek to catch the falling water. Sesshomaru let out a sigh as he touched her cheek and caught her tear, looking at it as it sat on the pad of his finger. A smile crept on his lips. "I was concerned Rin that my actions had ruined what I had with you Rin. I had feared I would lose you again and I would be helpless to stop it." His eyes moved from the tear to the woman. "I am sorry for how I conducted myself… but if you want as much as I do… I would very much like to court you properly."

He spared a second to see her reaction, to see her eyes widened to the size of plates and her mouth drop open before snatching her up in a kiss and lying her back down. He knelt over her and ran a cold hand over her neck, feeling her shudder. He smiled and sighed. "Shall I wait for you to recover?"

Rin swallowed and nodded, her eyes turned away. "I'm sorry my lord."

"Do not apologise Rin." He said, moving to her side and wrapping her in his grip, pulling her back into his stomach, spooning up behind her. "We have all the time we could want."

As Rin drifted off with a smile on her lips, Sesshomaru also closed his eyes and came to a conclusion.

Yes, he had made the right choice.

A/N: I need some cheering up, so people please review and give me something to smile about.

Anyway… dug this up from my folder of the dead while having a bit of a clear out. Figured I might finish it. I have four stories in that folder, all with a few chapters written but never finished.

I heard of something called 'adoptable stories'. Maybe I can put mine up for adoption; they are good stories and plots, just need a little water and sunlight and they will grow into something beautiful with the right writer.

Anyway, don't forget to review. See ya soon!

Storylady