“Sesshoumaru-sama,” she said. She stood up from where she had been kneeling in her garden and looked up at the tall youkai standing in front of her. His amber eyes studied her face keenly, although his face, as usual, remained stoic as he examined her. Her eyes as usual, revealed her soul: joy in his presence, surprise, but just a little in his sudden appearance, but there were faint traces of something he could not quite put his finger on.
She looked up at his golden eyes, peering down at him, and gave him a dazzling smile. She too was studying, examining the face that others would not have been able to read, and she saw in his eyes concern, and happiness at finding her, and something else. She was not quite sure what to call it – could it be loneliness?
“Are you well, Rin?” he asked.
“Very well, Sesshoumaru-Sama. Kaede-sama has given me this part of her garden to me, and I have been learning how to grow things.”
She knelt down and carefully cut a peony that was growing there. It was palest pink, almost white. Looking down, she twirled it a moment in her hand. “Kagome-sama told Rin a story about a woman who was protected from an evil oni by a peony spirit who came and saved her, and then, from time to time, would come and talk to her and make her happy. She looked up at Sesshoumaru. “And she told me another story about a lord who lived alone, until once, a young woman came and joined his household, and made his life happier because she was kind and made his days better. Later, it turns out, she was the spirit of another peony who had come to join him because of an act of kindness he had once done in saving her, even without him realizing it. I come out here sometimes, when I am lonely and think of those two stories.”
A slightly sad and faraway look filled her eyes for a moment, but then, once again she smiled. “Would...would you keep this one for me, Sesshoumaru-sama?”
“Yes, Rin,” he said, and for a moment, there was a flash of something between the two of them. Rin, suddenly blushing, looked down at her hands, but he saw her smile.