A/N: IM MARRIED! It was such an amazing day! It didn't go perfectly according to plan, but it was still perfect! I'm glad that's it over… Honeymoon also ended. (cries) School starting for me this week, husband returned to work. Here's a new chapter for you all!


Chapter 18


Sesshomaru stared at the demons irately. They knew of his presence but they chose to approach them anyway. His demonic presence would usually send other lowly demons running in the opposite direction, but these two beasts seemed to lack the mental capacity to realize the dire situation they were in.

Rin glanced nervously at the Demon Lord and the two, burly demons. They were at least fifteen feet tall! One of them looked like it was wearing an odd hat. Their beady eyes roamed around and glanced at the Demon Lord before settling on her. She quickly dove behind Sesshomaru again, unconsciously holding onto the sleeves of his haori.

Both the demons held something on their hand… shaped like a sutra. The paper then burst into flames and vanished.

The demons stared at each other, mutual understanding passing between the two.

"Give us the human."

Rin flinched.

"Oh?" Sesshomaru stretched his claws. "Then you would have to take her away from me." Acid began dripping from his claws, seeking blood.

The demons unfortunately did not recognize the Demon Lord who stood before them, but they did recognize the human with him.

They drew their weapons; one was holding a mace and chain while the other opted for his fist.

At first, Sesshomaru thought he was facing two hungry demons starving for human flesh. As he continued to survey them, and their complete disregard of him and their intent, he realized what they were. Those sutras they were holding were meant to find someone and react when their target is within reach.

"Hunter Demons." Rin heard him mutter under his breath.

He side-glanced at Rin who stood beside him and she cowered with an apologetic look in her face.

Sesshomaru lowered his head and pinched the bridge of his nose. God, he wanted to ask questions.

"I angered a lot of demons prior to meeting you." Rin responded to his silent question, seeing the curiosity in his face.

Sesshomaru shook his head slowly. "Enough to be hunted? How did you manage to stay alive?"

"I hid really well." She moved further back when Sesshomaru gestured her to do so as he prepared to parry the incoming demon attacks. Rin hid behind a rock, watching warily.

"Please be careful!" She choked out.

He 'hned' in response.

Sesshomaru jumped and easily dodged the demon's weapon. It made an attempt towards Rin but the Demon Lord released a luminescent green whip, hitting it squarely in the neck and lopping off its head completely. The demon's head rolled towards Rin's feet, making her yelp in disgust.

Sesshomaru glanced at Rin momentarily. The second demon came charging towards him. This one, he was careful not to kill right away. He dodged its attack easily and grabbed its neck, burying its head onto the ground.

The ground cracked where its head and body made contact.

"Who sent you?" Sesshomaru asked, his other clawed hand poised to strike deep in its enemy's chest.

The demon growled in response.

Sesshomaru saw a twisted mark on the demon's shoulder which he recognized. It was the mark of silence. No amount of torturing would make this demon confess. Whoever commanded these hunter demons had the wits to cover their tracks. It was highly suspicious.

With this, he sank his claws deep within its chest, killing it instantly.

He rose and shook his hand free of blood.

Rin watched the one-sided battle in shock. She didn't think he would dispose of those two demons so easily! They were easily twice bigger than Sesshomaru. And yet, he killed them without even breaking a sweat and doing it with… with class.

The killing perfection indeed.

Rin approached him quietly.

"We're going." Sesshomaru declared while wrapping an arm around her waist. She had secrets, that much he knew. What he was not happy about was that some of it may be dangerous, and she was too stubborn and foolish to realize it. No matter; as long as he was around, he could protect her.

When they left, the hat-like creature on one of the dead demon's head detached itself and scurried off into the forest.

~o~

The return to the West was uneventful. They landed in front of the gate of the castle and he set her on her foot once again. Rin followed Sesshomaru behind.

"Lady Rin!"

Takeshi's voice called.

Rin stopped and glanced at the approaching knight. Sesshomaru also stopped, his eyes flashing dangerously.

Takeshi stopped and curtsied half heartedly towards the Demon Lord next to her. "Lord Sesshomaru."

The Lord moved to stand between Rin and the Knight, facing him.

They stared at each other unflinchingly, as if trying to intimidate one another.

Sesshomaru's hand shot out towards the knight and wrapped around his neck, lifting him off the ground with ease. Takeshi gasped and instinctively grabbed the Lord's wrists.

"Lord Sesshomaru! Don't!" Rin attempted to pull his arm but he was immovable.

The Dog Demon ignored her and glared at Takeshi. "Your arrogance is infuriating."

Takeshi stopped struggling, knowing that it was futile. He thought about shooting some purifying energy through his hand to burn his wrist, but attacking him would only anger the Demon Lord further. He settled for meeting his gaze and silently challenging. "Do your worst." He choked out. He dropped his arms voluntarily to his sides. He looked at him with no fear.

"Please don't kill him!" Rin squeaked, fidgeting nervously between the two.

Sesshomaru watched him struggle to breathe for a few more seconds before dropping him unceremoniously to the ground. Takeshi landed on his knees.

"Know your place, Knight. You live by my mercy, and I will not hesitate to kill you if you step out of line." Sesshomaru warned.

Takeshi bit his tongue, restraining himself from a regrettable retort. He noticed the dried blood stain on his hand which warned him to choose his words carefully. The Demon Lord looked like he recently shed blood and he still seeks to shed more. He could sense his bloodthirst.

Takeshi nodded, conceding.

Sesshomaru walked away, leaving Rin and the Knight.

"What in the world was that?! Are you alright?!" Rin pulled him off the ground.

Takeshi sighed. "He seems to be in a foul mood. Has he found out?"

Rin nodded. "Yes. I think the arrangement for now will work. Also, we go attacked by hunter demons."

His eyebrows rose. "They found you?"

Rin shook her head. "He killed them, so I am not worried. The others won't find out."

Takeshi crossed his arms. "I do hope for that. But I will keep an eye out, just in case."

"I will be fine." Rin said, mostly to convince herself. She was fine while staying in the North. She will be fine here in the West too… with Sesshomaru.

~o~

[Few days later]

Rin was putting away dried herbs in the infirmary when she heard footsteps approaching.

"Whose there?!" Rin screamed, heart pounding and raising a sword she had kept by her side.

"Oops, didn't mean to startle you! Hello, Rin!"

Rin exhaled and lowered her weapon. She has been on edge lately.

He scratched his head awkwardly. "Remember me?"

Rin looked up to see the Demon Slayer. "Hello… Satoshi, isn't it? Did you need something? I'm about to close for the day." Rin continued to put away her jars and put away her weapon nonchalantly.

"No, I don't need anything here… I mean, I just wanted to invite you to Shippo's get-together tonight. You see, he ranked up recently in the top 3 of the fox demon exam. So were celebrating."

Rin blinked. "Oh I see! Tell him I said congratulations!" She grinned.

Satoshi shook his head. "Oh no no no. YOU tell him that yourself. You must attend the dinner at least."

Rin leaned on the counter. "Alright. Where is this going to be at?"

Satoshi smiled widely. "The only tavern in the village. We rented the whole place."

Rin nodded. "I think I know where that's at."

"Great! You can bring your friend with you; the one from the North. But make sure to be there! Shippo will be looking for you. He does owe you his life." Satoshi added before leaving.

Rin sighed when he left. Whether she liked it or not, her life was adjusting here in the West. She has a job, she's making friends… she was content.

[Later that evening]

"Lady Rin… you… how much have you had to drink?" Takeshi asked, walking beside Rin, who was swaying slightly.

"Not even that much." She glared at him, her cheeks flushed from the alcohol.

Takeshi scratched his head as they walked through the street. She must have had a whole carafe of sake. It was impressive how well she could handle her alcohol. She was, however, tipsy.

"Didn't think the party would end that early. Shippo and Satoshi passed out on the ground, their dog demon friend missing… wait, aren't demons supposed to have better tolerance of alcohol? And that slayer..." Rin laughed, recalling flashbacks of the fox and the slayer playing a drinking game with her… and losing.

"Yes, you outdrank them all, my lady." Takeshi shook his head in disapproval.

"Pft. Why didn't you drink and have fun with us? You just sat in that corner… watching." Rin hopped on one foot playfully while walking, stumbling dangerously.

Takeshi made an attempt to grab her arm, but Rin was able to avoid falling herself. He sighed. "My mind has to stay clear to protect you… specially now."

As they approach the castle, she stopped walking and turned towards him. "I'm sorry for dragging you into all of this." Rin said apologetically.

Takeshi smiled. "I do not know what you mean."

"It seems that I may start to attract dangerous things from now on. My luck is starting to run out." Rin recalled the incident with the hunter demons few days ago. It still bothered her; it made her feel worried and paranoid for the past few days. Something was not right… and she felt on edge.

The knight nodded. "I've noticed you've been worried lately. I thought the party would make you forget."

"How can I, when I am being hunted?" Rin whispered.

"I will not let anything happen to you." Takeshi confirmed.

A cold wind blew their way. Rin shivered and automatically pulled her kimono tighter around her as she crossed her arms.

Rin felt something soft and warm wrap around her. A white fur?

Her eyes flew open, sobering up quickly as she looked up and met a set of familiar gold eyes.

"Where did you come from?" Rin blurted out.

"I will take it from here, Knight." Sesshomaru dismissed as he pulled Rin inside the castle.

Takeshi stared after them helplessly, debating whether to chase after them.

~o~o~

Sesshomaru was standing in the garden when he heard them approaching. He didn't like how close the knight had gotten to her and how he had gained her trust so quickly! While he, on the other hand, had to work harder.

It was maddening.

"Ow, where are we going?" Rin struggled to match his pace.

Sesshomaru didn't respond. He walked through the hallways and up the staircase until they reached his quarters.

Inside, the room was lit by candles. There was a shogi board by the window and two fine looking ceramic jugs and sakazukis next to two tatami mats.

Rin perked up and walked towards the board game. "Are we going to play?" She glanced at the jugs. "...and drink?"

Sesshomaru sat elegantly on one of the mats, with one knee propped up. "That depends. Do you know how?"

Rin raised her eyebrows. "No, but I am a fast learner." She sat on the mat across Sesshomaru and dutifully poured him a drink.

The mechanics of the game was simple enough. Sesshomaru watched her wrinkle her eyebrows in dismay when her strategy didn't work. He watched her took a sip from her sakazuki and marveled at the taste.

"One of the finest sake in the west." He explained. "...you might want to slow down. It is stronger than your typical human alcohol." He added, eyes widening slightly, seeing that she poured herself another, and downing it straight.

She giggled. "Don't underestimate me, Lord Sesshomaru. I can handle my drinks. I'm no lightweight." She winked and proceeded to move another piece on the board. "Why do you play this game anyway?" Rin asked when he moved another piece.

"It is a good game to keep one's mind sharp."

Rin nodded thoughtfully.

"...if the opponent is challenging enough." Sesshomaru captured one of her pawns again.

She glared at him. "You are insulting me."

"You will get better in time."

"Why do you do this?" Rin asked after moving her rook and capturing his pawn.

"Do what exactly?"

"Spending time with me like this. Teaching me. Talking to me. Don't you have more… important things to do? You are Lord of these lands." She took another sip.

"I do as I please." Sesshomaru answered. Of course, he was taking care of those matters.

"Always the omnipotent one, aren't you?" She giggled and hiccuped.

"Is something the matter? You haven't been yourself lately." Sesshomaru moved a pawn, capturing away one of her bishops.

She cursed under her breath. "I am fine." She moved her remaining knight to protect it on the board.

"And yet, you are here drinking with me. You don't always drink like this?" It was a bit concerning since she has already moved onto the second jug.

Rin shrugged. "I drink for socially acceptable situations. Like Shippo's party. And now as we play, since you graciously provided us with this fine drink." She poured another for her and Sesshomaru.

The Demon Lord took a sip and watched her do the same.

They played for a few more minutes in silence.

"Checkmate." He declared as he took away her remaining knight and cornered her King.

"You beast!" She protested. Something about him taking her only knight left that was protecting her ticked her off.

"Just accept defeat." He smirked when Rin stuck her tongue out at him.

Rin then got on all fours and crawled towards him, knocking the board game and empty carafe to the side. Sesshomaru held her wrists when she grabbed the lapel of his kimono. "You cheated." She whispered grudgingly, her face close to him.

"I did not." He could see how flushed her cheeks were, and how heavy her lids had gotten. "It seems that you're finally drunk."

She leaned back, noting that he still held her wrists. It was warm on her skin and it tingled. "I'm not that drunk." She felt heat spreading through her body.

"Hn." He pulled her on his lap, casually sniffing her neck. "Your scent had changed. You are drunk."

She tried to pull away. "Well, what do you *hic* expect? Was this your plan all along? Get me drunk and then what?" She wagged a finger in front of him in mild annoyance.

"I had no such plan. I told you to drink leisurely. But when have you listened to me?" Sesshomaru glared at her.

"Could you stop spinning for a minute?" She added, leaning her head on his chest. Her head was swimming.

Sesshomaru sighed while adjusting her in his arms.

"You smell nice." She unconsciously rubbed her face on his chest, surprising him.

Her closeness and heady scent was beginning to take effect on him.

He stood up and pulled her along with him. "It is late. Go to sleep."

Rin swayed. "May I sleep here? I don't think I can *hic* walk to my room. It's too far." She slurred her words.

Sesshomaru internally sighed. It might not be a good idea to have her… near him at this time. However, she took his silence as a yes.

She walked towards the bed and started removing her obi and outer kimono.

Sesshomaru watched her warily. When she began removing her inner yukata, his eyes widened comically. He dived towards her and held her yukata in place, leaning towards her and trying to meet her gaze.
"What... do you think you're doing?" He asked, his eyes flashing.

She stared up at him in confusion. "Removing my clothes. I can't sleep in all of these!"

Sesshomaru resisted the urge to shake her. This was a whole new side of Rin he hadn't seen yet. "You would willingly strip in my presence?" He challenged, attempting to bring back her modesty.

However, it backfired.

"Well, *hic* you've seen me naked. What's the problem?" She pouted.

Sesshomaru was dumbfounded. While his mind worked slowly on how to deal with the intoxicated human, she leaned closer.

"Your eyes are so pretty. They remind me of *hic* sunrise." She stared into his orbs.

Her compliment disarmed him. He held his breath. Her closeness and words were distracting.

He watched her eyelids flutter, and the skin of her pink cheeks. Sesshomaru wasn't sure if he liked this intoxicated version of her. He longed for the day she would submit to him and willingly come to his bed, but this was NOT how he imagined it to be. He felt like it was cheating…

Her inhibitions crumbled to pieces before him. She was gazing at him with her lips slightly parted.

"You're too tense my Lord. Perhaps, you should drink more?" Rin pulled the other jug of sake behind her.

Sesshomaru stared at her blankly.

Rin rolled her eyes and shoved the jug at him. "Oh come on, this is hardly *hic* fair. If I'm drunk, you must get drunk. You are too terrified to lose control."

Sesshomaru growled and pulled her face closer to his. "It would take a lot more than that carafe of sake for me to lose control."

"Oh? Well prove it." Rin smirked as she brought the drink close to his mouth.

~o~

A/N:

I'm really torn here, so help me make a decision. Next chapter, would you like to see my version of drunken Lord Sesshomaru (I mean what could possibly go wrong with an inebriated dog demon lol) OR just let him stay in control and impervious to alcohol (make him squirm a bit taking care of a drunken Rin?) GAHHHH Decisions decisions. Poll starts now via review!