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Child of the Moon
By FarAwayEyes

 


Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Inuyasha. They belong to Rumiko Takahashi. I also do not own the song “Child of the Moon.” That belongs to the Rolling Stones. There is no intention of any copy right infringement, so please, do not sue! I do not have any money to take, honestly!

Author's Note: Please check out my live journal for more information about my writing and other updates.

Child of the Moon

The wind blows rain into my face

Vivid reds and oranges combed the sky as the sun sunk beneath a hill. A dove mournfully cooed, greeting the oncoming night. Ominous dark clouds billowed in from the west, and the sounds of distant thunder rumbled through the glen. The trees shuddered as the wind gusted, rustling their leaves, and the earthy scent of rain became palpable. A few drops spattered into the dust of the road, turning it a murky brown. They increased in size and number as a gentle shower began.

The Demon Lord of the Western Lands inwardly sighed. He had hoped to find some sort of shelter before the storm started. The wind shifted, sending the cool drizzle into his face. Sesshomaru squinted into the gloom, hoping to see anything he could use to get out of the rain. Glancing down, he saw his ward hunched over, a frown on her face. Rin's arms were wrapped tightly around her small form in an attempt to retain some warmth. Turning back towards the road, Sesshomaru's determination to find cover intensified.

As the rain battered the earth, Sesshomaru felt grateful for one thing. He had sent Jaken off on an errand earlier in the evening, therefore he didn't have to hear the toad's incessant complaints about the dreary weather. The Demon Lord had no real reason to send his servant to locate the old swords smith, but he had certainly needed some time apart from Jaken. Sesshomaru had also noticed that something troubled Rin, and as long as the toad hung about, he would never discover what bothered the young girl.

Rin had seemed dejected sometime the day before, although the Demon Lord couldn't understand exactly why. Her cheerful nature had been replaced by despondent sighs and rather than holding herself straight, her shoulders had slumped. Several times, Sesshomaru had noticed that Rin dragged her feet as she slowed behind them, nearly falling behind. Normally the young girl walked side by side with him, or at least a few paces behind. Rin had also become waspish with Jaken over trivial things. The twelve-year old girl's behavior had befuddled Sesshomaru, and he resolved to discover its cause.

The cool rain continued to patter against the earth, and Sesshomaru pressed onward, searching for the elusive shelter. He noticed from the corner of his eye that Rin followed, shuffling her feet through the mud. A soft whimper escaped her, and she slumped further. Rin slowed, drifting behind him, no longer trying to keep up. The rain plastered her dark hair to her skull, and rivulets of water ran down her face. Her teeth chattered as she pulled her arms around herself more, her hands rubbing her arms to try and generate more warmth. Sesshomaru stopped, glancing over his shoulder towards her, a frown crossing his face. He furrowed his brow in concern, and he called her name to get her attention, “Rin.”

Rin lifted her head, squinting into the rain. She stood straight, and bowed slightly. Rin hastened her pace, resuming her place at his side. “Yes, Sesshomaru-sama.”

Sesshomaru arched an eyebrow at her formality. Rin had always addressed him with respect, but the stiffness of her actions perplexed him. Noticing that her hands rubbed her arms faster, the Demon Lord turned back towards the road, and his search for refuge from the relentless storm. Once they had a place to stay, he would discern the reasoning behind her behavior. He snorted softly to himself, and began walking down the muddied road. Calling over his shoulder, Sesshomaru said, “Come, Rin.”

The sun glows at the end of the highway

Cresting a hill, Sesshomaru saw a village that lay nestled in the valley below. The soft, inviting flicker of candlelight could be seen in various windows. From the fields a few villagers fled the rain, splashing mud onto their clothes as they ran. One man slapped the rump of an obstinate cow, trying to get the animal to move out of the pasture. It lowed, slowly moving down the road, the villager not far behind, ready to use his switch again.

“Hikaru! Akira! Get out of the rain! Supper is ready!” A woman shouted from the doorway of one hut not far from the road.

Two boys, not much younger than Rin, ran around in the rain, giggling in delight. They splashed through puddles, spraying water and mud behind them. They spun in circles, their arms high above their heads. One slipped on the slick mud, falling down. He laughed, rolling around in it. The other boy followed suit until they were mock fighting. Both children were soon coated in the muck, smearing more on each other as quickly as possible.

“Don't do that! You're absolutely filthy! Get in here right now, both of you!” The woman frowned at them, holding the flap open on her hut. An inviting fire could be seen in the fire pit, a pot resting over it. “It is time for supper. Don't make me tell you to get in here again!”

The boys stood, looking towards the woman. They said together, “Yes, mother.” They ran towards the hut, disappearing behind the flap as it was dropped, obscuring the fire.

Sesshomaru snorted, turning his back on it as he resumed his search for shelter. The Demon Lord continued down the road, keeping his eyes open for anything that could provide cover from the chilling rain. His hair felt heavy, plastered to his skull, and his clothes clung to him uncomfortably. Sesshomaru hoped that he would discover something suitable soon. He would like to become dry, and more importantly he'd like for Rin to be dry before she could get sick.

Not hearing the sounds of her footsteps behind him, Sesshomaru stopped, glancing over his shoulder. Rin stood in the middle of the road, staring back at the village wistfully. Her hands rubbed her arms, and she hunched over, trying to warm her chilled body. Rin sighed, slumping slightly, and her head bowed. The little girl's teeth chattered as the rain pelted her, and she shivered as the wind gusted.

Sesshomaru asked, his tone even, “Was there something you desired in that village?”

Rin turned, looking at him with wide eyes. She shook her head vigorously. “No, Sesshomaru-sama.”

“Then let us continue, Rin.”

Rin nodded, returning to his side. She kept her head down, hunching over further. Her arms pulled around her more as she hugged herself. Rin's teeth chattered, and she shivered every so often. She slowed before taking her place behind him. Rin's shoulders shook slightly, and soft cries escaped her. She stared at the ground, biting her lip, as if trying to hold them back.

Sesshomaru frowned, looking towards her. He asked, letting the smallest hint of concern enter into his voice, “Rin?”

Child of the moon, rub your rainy eyes

Rin looked up, and shook her head. The little girl kept her eyes averted, and she bowed again. “Rin is just cold, that's all.”

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes, frowning. He felt certain that there was something more bothering her. Under his scrutiny, Rin stood up straight, head held high. She kept her eyes cast down to the ground, and her shoulders shook slightly as her lip trembled. She bit it, trying to cover up the small sob that slipped out. Sesshomaru did not press the issue, knowing that when Rin was ready to tell him what troubled her, she would. He shook his head and turned, continuing down the road. The rain didn't seem like it would let up any time soon, and he knew that Rin had spoken truthfully about being cold. Once he found shelter, the Demon Lord could ascertain as to why his ward was crying.

Oh, child of the moon

Give me a wide awake, crescent-shaped smile

The Demon Lord didn't hear the sound of Rin's footsteps behind him, and he looked over his shoulder, not stopping his progression. He said, “Then let us be on our way.”

Rin nodded, running to catch up. She looked up at him, giving him a small smile. It seemed to flicker across her face for the briefest of moments, yet unlike all of her other smiles, this one held none of the usual warmth. Her smile seemed forced, as if it pained her, and that disturbed Sesshomaru more than her sobs had. The little girl's eyes did not meet his, either, and he couldn't explain why. Her behavior felt distant, something Sesshomaru found most distressing. She had never acted so aloof before, so he couldn't imagine why she would do so now.

They continued down the road in silence. The rain continued to fall, chilling them both. Every so often, the wind would gust, sending it straight into their faces, making it difficult to find any cover. As time passed, however, the downpour lessened to scattered sprinkles, until it petered out. The dark clouds hung above, threatening to resume its brutal assault at any time. The trees rustled in the small glen not far from the road, and an owl hooted. Eventually, even the foreboding clouds broke apart, swirling to reveal the soft, white light of the moon.

Sesshomaru glanced down at Rin, noticing that she yawned wide as weariness overcame her. Now that he didn't have the rain to contend with, the Demon Lord hoped now to find a suitable place to set up camp for the night. He almost regretted lending Ah-Un to the toad, knowing that the little girl would be asleep on its back if he had kept the two-headed dragon with him instead. Rin's shoulders sagged and she rubbed an eye, tiredly following him. He glanced out of the corner of his eye to his right, finding a nice alcove on the edge of the small forest. Sesshomaru turned, heading towards it, intending to make it his campsite for the night.

She shivers, by the light she is hidden

Making a small pit in the grass, Sesshomaru prepared it for the fire he planned to build. While he had not found a good cave or other shelter, he would attempt to make a fire to warm them after traveling for a few hours in inclement weather. Rin still stood on the side of the road with her head bowed, hesitant to join him. He arched an eyebrow, uncertain as to why she had not simply followed him. He called out, “Rin.”

Rin looked up, the silver light of the moon illuminating her face, making it appear paler than usual, and the wind gusted, swirling her dark hair about. Her dark eyes appeared to be eerily onyx in the ethereal white of her visage, and her expression remained unreadable. Rin shivered, hugging herself tightly as her teeth began to chatter. She bowed her head slightly, and replied, her voice distant, “Yes, Sesshomaru-sama.”

Sesshomaru frowned as he watched her cross the grass towards him. He continued hollowing out the small pit for his fire. He hoped that once she was dry and relaxed, Rin would tell him what troubled her so. The Demon Lord set a small log into the pit, followed by a small pile of twigs. Pulling a flint from his haori, Sesshomaru began to start a fire. He glanced up, noticing that Rin remained standing. Nodding his head, Sesshomaru said, his voice just as unemotional, “Rin, sit.”

The little girl sat down a few feet from him, her legs crossed. Rin folded her hands in her lap, and kept her head down. Her hair fell down past her face, obscuring it from view. Through the trees, the moonlight filtered down, bathing her small form. Its pearl light reflected from her hair, making it seem to have silver streaks running throughout. She continued to shiver, and pulled her knees to her chest, her arms wrapped around them. Rin rested her chin atop them, sighing softly.

She flickers, like a lamp lady vision

Struggling to keep his small fire alive with damp tinder, Sesshomaru fed it with small twigs and grass. He used another stick to shift the log around, hoping that it would dry out enough and burn without prompting. Slowly, the flames grew, until it consumed it. Snapping more twigs, the Demon Lord tossed them in, hearing the crackle and pop as they caught fire. Sesshomaru continued to stir it with his stick, encouraging the fire to grow larger in its hollow. He glanced towards Rin, noticing that she had crept closer.

As the fire grew, the colorless light of the moon flickered into ruddy orange across Rin's face. She moved closer, outstretching her hands to warm them. The little girl stared blankly into the fire, a frown on her face. She sighed, dropping her hands to her lap. Rin looked down, fingering the fabric of her kimono idly. She bit her lip, and her shoulders shook slightly as she began to cry again. Her hands squeezed into fists as she tried to hold it back, and she tensed.

Sesshomaru stirred the fire again, watching her from the corner of his eye. He couldn't explain her behavior, nor could he find reason for her distress. It had been a long night, especially traveling in dreary weather, but they had done that in the past. Rin hadn't become so despondent when they had, so what would cause her to feel that way this time? He frowned, and his brows furrowed. There had to be a reason why Rin would be dejected, and he would find it out. Before they would resume travel in the morning, Sesshomaru would know what bothered the girl, if only so things could return to some sort of normalcy.

Scooting across the grass, Sesshomaru moved closer to the girl. He stared into the fire, watching it flicker and flare as it burned. In his peripheral vision, the Demon Lord saw the young girl flinch away from him. He turned, and looked in her direction, blinking at her reaction. She had never acted this way towards him before. In all the time he had known Rin, the young girl had not once been afraid of him. Even when he had tried to drive her away the first time she had approached him, she hadn't cowered in fear. Why she would do so now disturbed him greatly. Sesshomaru asked, not trying to hide the concern in his voice, “Rin?”

Child of the moon, rub your rainy eyes

Rin tucked her knees to her chest, and wrapped her arms around them. She buried her face into her arms, and her shoulders shook as she sobbed softly. The little girl muttered something, and even with his superior hearing, it sounded incoherent. Rin drew further away from him, turning her back towards Sesshomaru. She rocked a little, as if trying to compose herself. Rin took deep breaths, soft whimpers escaping her.

Sesshomaru started to move towards her when she jerked away from him again. He stopped, clenching his hand at his side. The Demon Lord scowled, watching as Rin sat hugging herself as she wept. Her shoulders shook with the force of her cries, and again she mumbled something incomprehensible. He sighed, feeling uncertain as to what he should do next. Sesshomaru knew he couldn't approach her, not with how she reacted to him twice now. It unsettled him the way Rin shrank upon herself as she sobbed bitterly.

Glancing towards the fire, Sesshomaru realized that it was waning. He stood, crossing back towards it to stoke it up. After fighting to get it started, he didn't want to let it die out. Grabbing his stick, he stirred it up, getting it to reignite. He glanced over the fire at Rin's turned back, pained by her cries. Sesshomaru gathered a few more logs close by, tossing them into the pit. He watched them slowly catch fire, hissing and popping as they burned. Idly, Sesshomaru shifted them around with his stick, trying to get his fire to grow again.

Rin still hugged her knees to her chest, but her sobs had finally subsided. The little girl lifted her head, staring up at the sky. She sniffed, fighting the urge to cry again. Rin took a deep breath, and slowly, she stood, her hands clenched into fists at her sides. She looked down as she turned around, facing the fire. The little girl walked towards it, sitting down on the opposite side from Sesshomaru.

The Demon Lord arched an eyebrow, snapping his stick in half before tossing it into the fire. He sighed, remaining where he was. He knew that if he tried to go near her again, it was possible that she would pull away. Sesshomaru hoped that if he stayed where he was, she would open up to him. He tossed some sticks into the fire, and asked, keeping his tone even, “Rin?”

Oh, child of the moon

Give me a wide awake, crescent-shaped smile

She looked up towards him, rubbing an eye with her palm. The little girl yawned wide. “Rin's just tired, that's all.”

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes, knowing that there was more to it. He could tell by the way she kept her eyes averted. He had also seen her tired in the past, and she had never cried like that before. He also knew not to press the issue, for it could drive her away or cause her to not tell him what bothered her. Rin would have to come to him on her own terms. He snorted, looking up towards the stars, pinching his earlobe between his claws.

Rin shifted, drawing Sesshomaru's attention back to her. She stretched out onto her side, and smiled wanly at him. It was small, and it briefly crossed her face. Again it seemed to pain her, and it held no warmth. Somehow, Sesshomaru felt that she had only done it to appease him. She rolled over, announcing, “Rin's going to go to sleep now. Is that okay Sesshomaru-sama?”

“Do as you please, Rin.”

Sesshomaru watched her curl up into a small ball, tucking her knees to her chest. He leaned back against the tree behind him, staring into the fire. He heard her sigh softly as she tried to get comfortable. Her breaths slowed, and eventually evened out, indicating that Rin had fallen asleep. The Demon Lord would have to wait until she woke in the morning to discern what troubled her. Hopefully she would tell him and they could be on their way.

Throughout the night, Sesshomaru glanced towards Rin several times. Eventually she had rolled over onto her side, facing the fire. One arm was tucked underneath her head as a makeshift pillow. Rin's mouth hung partly open, and a soft snore escaped the little girl. She stretched out, rolling onto her back, sighing contentedly. It was the most at peace she had looked in days.

Slowly, curling through the small glen they rested in, gray fog tendrils settled. The platinum light of the moon filtered through it, making it shimmer. It blanketed the earth, obscuring the view of the road until the fog seemed to wall them in. Sesshomaru sat up, listening to his surroundings as the murk thickened further. He heard the scurrying of small animals, the hoots of owls, and the chirping of crickets. So far nothing seemed to pose any threats.

The Demon Lord relaxed against the tree, closing his eyes. He sighed as he pondered the evening's events. It had seemed when they had passed the village earlier that night, that Rin had wanted something there. When he had asked, her response had been to start crying. It perplexed him that he would receive such a reaction, considering in the past she had simply shook her head and said no, accompanied with a soft smile.

Later on, when he had set up camp, Rin had seemed to shrink upon herself. He frowned as he remembered the sounds of her sobs. They had come on so suddenly, and without provocation, that it bothered him more than he wished to admit. Sesshomaru still didn't understand what had made Rin flinch away from him the way she had, either. He hadn't approached her in any way that he perceived to be a threat, so why would she react in fear?

Also, Sesshomaru couldn't explain what had made Rin so irritable the past few days. He knew that there were times when she and Jaken quarreled, but she had snapped at the toad for the simplest remarks. Afterwards, she would sulk, falling behind them. Jaken would comment on her slow pace and the cycle would begin again. Sesshomaru had hoped that by sending the toad away, Rin's demeanor would improve. It seemed to have the opposite effect, and that greatly troubled the Demon Lord.

Sesshomaru glanced towards the fire, and saw that it had shrunk, almost dying out. He sighed, realizing that he would have to gather some more firewood to keep it alive. Not wanting to disturb Rin, the Demon Lord slowly stood, beginning his search in silence. Sesshomaru headed a little to the west of their campsite, hoping to find dry, viable timber. He wouldn't venture far, just in case the little girl needed him, but he wanted her to be warm. Although it was farther than he had intended, Sesshomaru crossed to the edge of the road, searching the small thicket.

The first car on the foggy road riding

The sounds of horse hooves reached Sesshomaru's ears, and he looked up into the lightened fog. A dark silhouette emerged in the pale gray murk, slowly cantering down the road. It seemed that the first travelers of the day had begun their journeys. Sesshomaru dismissed the rider, and returned to scouring the glen for any dry wood. He hoped to find some soon before he would have to start rebuilding a fire from scratch.

Lifting up a log, Sesshomaru examined it closely. It seemed dry enough, so he set it aside, continuing to look for anything else suitable. In hopes to find more that had been spared from the cold rain the night before, the Demon Lord pushed aside the underbrush. Unfortunately, it seemed that the rest of the timber had soaked up the rain, and had become soggy. None of it would do any good to reignite his fire, and Sesshomaru pushed further into the thicket. There had to be some dry brushwood somewhere.

Sesshomaru heard another horse gallop by, this time pulling a cart behind it. He heard the wagon hit a bump, and a grunt as the man operating it was jostled. It didn't concern him, and as long as they continued on their way, Sesshomaru would have nothing to do with them. He heard other men on horseback, coming from the opposite direction, ride past as well. The Demon Lord inwardly sighed. He hadn't realized that this stretch of road was used so much.

Pressing more into the grove, Sesshomaru crouched to duck underneath a few low branches. It smelled dank, and as he disturbed the trees, water dripped from the leaves onto him. The Demon Lord moved another soaked log out of his way, searching around it for anything that might be dry. The diffused gray light of morning filtered through the canopy of branches, and the fog tendrils began to ebb further away. Sesshomaru tossed the wet tree limb aside, pleased to find another log underneath that had been spared. He picked it up, and set it next to the other one he had left behind on the edge of the thicket.

Returning to the spot he had found the last log, Sesshomaru looked around it for any others that were dry as well. He shifted another dead limb out of his way, the bark slick with green moss. It seemed that dry timber would be harder and harder to come by the more he pushed into the glen. Sesshomaru wanted at least one more branch for kindling so he wouldn't have to search again. He moved further into the grove, keeping an eye out for anything that looked dry. Pushing another moss coated branch out of his way, he found an additional limb that hadn't soaked up the rain.

The last star for my lady is pining

As Sesshomaru continued his search in the thicket, a bird trilled its greeting to the oncoming morning. Its light, cheerful whistles filled the glen, answered by the songs of other birds stirring for the day. The Demon Lord glanced up, noticing a small, gray and tan bird perched on a branch. Its rich, exuberant warble grew as sunrise approached, and Sesshomaru stopped momentarily to listen. It reminded him of Rin, and her habit of singing early in the morning.

Often, while Rin and Jaken prepared their breakfast, she would quietly sing to herself. It would usually start as soft hums while she busied herself getting the pack of cooking utensils from Ah-Un's back or searching for a stream to fish in. Gradually, as the blush of sunrise would paint the sky, Rin would begin to sing actual words. The subject matter of most of her made-up songs consisted of flowers she hoped to see as they traveled, how many fish she wanted to catch, and of her loyalty to Sesshomaru.

The hopeful innocent quality of Rin's clear voice had an endearing honesty about it. Its cheerful nature held purity, and Sesshomaru found that he had missed the little girl's lighthearted singing these past few days. He would never admit it aloud, but he felt at ease when Rin sang. The Demon Lord had done nothing to neither discourage nor encourage the behavior. Instead, he secretly enjoyed it, showing no outward response. Nevertheless, Sesshomaru found that he looked forward to the mornings when Rin would resume her carefree melodies. Much like the birds in the forest, the little girl's soft soprano warbled and trilled.

Oddly, it was one of the few times she and Jaken didn't argue. Most of the little girl's other habits seemed to annoy the toad, causing him to scold her, but not this one. In fact, it seemed that Jaken rather enjoyed her early morning singing, at least it appeared as if he did, judging by how relaxed he behaved when she sang. It was also one of the few times that the toad kept quiet. Jaken would contribute to the breakfast preparations without any complaint, humming softly along, albeit off-key. It was only in the past few days that the little girl had ceased this daily ritual and their frequent arguments had begun. It also marked the start of Rin's change in temperament, and Sesshomaru's concern about what troubled her.

The fog ebbed further away, making his surroundings more distinct. Sesshomaru looked over his shoulder, seeing the road as another rider cantered past. He turned his back to the joyful bird, and returned to his small pile of firewood. Sesshomaru assessed it, finding it to be adequate. He pulled it against his chest with his arm, holding onto it tightly. Glancing up to the sky, the Demon Lord saw the last star of night fade into the soft gray of dawn. Sunrise was not far off.

Entering the small alcove where he had left Rin, Sesshomaru headed towards the small, nearly burnt out fire. He frowned when he noticed that Rin was no longer there. The Demon Lord set his bundle of brushwood down next to the fire, peering into the trees to see if he could perhaps spot her. Sesshomaru furrowed his brows and glanced around, looking for any clue as to what direction Rin had gone in. He looked over his shoulder, scanning the terrain behind him when he felt something crash into him

Rin sobbed into his chest, her arms wrapped tightly around him. She said, her voice catching, “You came back, Sesshomaru-sama.”

“Rin?”

“Rin woke up and you weren't here.” Rin burrowed her face into his shoulder. “Rin didn't know where you were or when you'd be back.”

“What is the meaning of this?” Sesshomaru stood rigid in Rin's embrace, uncertain of how to respond or why she had acted in this manner. “Rin?”

“Rin didn't know if you'd ever come back.” She pressed herself closer to him, hugging him. “Rin thought it was true that she had made you angry and that you'd leave her behind.” Rin sniffed, a soft hiccup escaping. “Please, don't leave Rin behind.”

“Rin?” Sesshomaru frowned, bewildered by her actions.

“Jaken-sama said that you might leave Rin behind if she weren't careful. He said that Rin got in the way all the time.” Rin sniffed, clinging to him. “Jaken-sama told Rin that you'd leave her in a human village and forget all about her. He said that you wouldn't want Rin around anymore.”

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes, vexed that the toad would say these things to the girl. “What would make you believe that?”

Rin hid her face into his fur. She took a few shaky breaths. “Jaken-sama said that you were going to find a human village and leave Rin there. He said that was where Rin belonged.” The little girl trembled against Sesshomaru. “Rin never wants to go to a human village. There's nothing she wants there.” Rin sighed. “Rin had a nightmare a few nights ago that you left her in a village, Sesshomaru-sama. Last night you stopped by a village. Would you really leave Rin behind in one, like Jaken-sama said?”

Sesshomaru gripped her waist, holding her against him. “Do not be absurd.”

Rin lifted her head and looked down, her hair falling into one eye. She bit her lip, and took a deep breath. “So you'll let Rin stay, Sesshomaru-sama? You won't send her away like Jaken-sama said you would?” She hugged him, her arms looping around his neck. “Please say Rin can stay with you, Sesshomaru-sama.”

Do whatever suits you, Rin.”

Rin hugged him tight. She said, “Thank-you, Sesshomaru-sama.” The little girl let go and turned away, blushing. She whispered, “It makes Rin happy to stay with you, Sesshomaru-sama.”

Oh, child of the moon, bid the sun arise

Sesshomaru snorted in response. He looked up and watched the first rosy hues of sunrise brush across the sky. Pink and coral softly tinted the clouds, streaked with muted blues and purples. The trees stood like dark silhouettes, spanning the horizon. The sun peeked through the branches as it made its ascent into the sky. Silence settled between them, save for the songs of birds as they welcomed the new day.

Next to him, the little girl stared up at the sunrise, an awed expression crossing her face. A light breeze swirled her hair behind her. Rin stepped closer to Sesshomaru, and rested her head onto his shoulder. A contented sigh passed her lips, and she relaxed against him. Slowly, the tension of the past few days ebbed, and a comfortable peace enveloped them.

After last night's events, the Demon Lord neither encouraged nor discouraged Rin's behavior. He stood still, his eyes fixed upon the shape of a bird high in the morning sky. Sesshomaru sighed in return, taking pleasure in the contact with the little girl. He closed his eyes, listening to the soft melodies of the dawn. Soon they would return to the road, but for now Sesshomaru enjoyed this quiet moment with Rin. Before too long, Jaken would return and such brief instances as this would be hard to come by.

Joining the bird's welcome to the day were Rin's quiet hums. They sounded serene and hopeful as she harmonized with them. Sesshomaru focused on her soft utterances, feeling at ease. Rin's mood had finally returned to normal, and he knew that travel would be less awkward. Whatever distance had separated them the night before had completely evaporated with the little girl's soft music.

Oh, child of the moon

Give me a misty day, pearly gray, silver, silky faced

Wide awake, crescent-shaped smile

Sesshomaru opened his eyes, sighing. He heard more travelers on the road behind them and knew that they had better resume their own wandering. He said, his tone even, “Rin, let us go.”

Rin lifted her head from his shoulder. She nodded, a warm smile crossing her face. Small dimples appeared at the corners of her mouth, and trust filled her eyes. She laughed and Sesshomaru felt warmth fill him. He had sorely missed her bright smile and cheerful laughter. Rin said, “Yes, Sesshomaru-sama.”

The pair resumed their travels down the road, Rin at his side. She resumed her soft humming, her head held high. She continued to smile, her whole face lit up. Rin began looking around for flowers, her hums growing louder. Sesshomaru smiled slightly to himself, knowing that it wouldn't be long before the girl began to sing.

Rin bent down, picking a handful of blue flowers. Turning back towards him, she extended her gift to Sesshomaru. Her smile grew wider, affection filling her face. She said, “Here, Sesshomaru-sama. Rin picked these just for you.”

 

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