Sesshoumaru stood beneath a tree not far from his brother’s house. Kagome was working in her garden while her son, crowned with silver hair and a wayward ear that twitched at nearby sounds, slept in the shade.
Rin, screened by the trees, watched the young miko who had become her friend and almost a sister to her, and took a deep breath, smiling at the scene. Sesshoumaru rested a hand on her shoulder, and she turned towards him. “Kagome-sama seems so happy,” she said softly. “Is it wrong for Rin to wish to be happy like that?”
“No, Rin, it is not,” he said.
She looked up, and it seemed that his eyes were pure gold, uncertain, wanting. They both were silent for a moment, until she looked away.
“What do you wish, Rin?” His voice was soft, almost a caress, demanding that he meet her eyes.
She looked again, and raised a hand, almost if she were going to touch, but stopped, as if aware of what she was just about to do. “My lord?” she said. Her voice matched the look she saw in his eyes.
He took her hand in his, overpowered it in his larger grip, gently, cupping his fingers around hers. She watched his hand surround hers protectively, then bring it up to rest against his cheek. His skin felt very warm to her fingers, and he breathed deeply at the touch, closing his eyes.
Suddenly, with one sharp breath, he opened his eyes. “Be you sure you want this life.” His voice was low. She ran a finger gently over his cheek stripes, the color rising to her cheeks at the audacity of what she was doing.
The Daiyoukai leaned closer and her hand dropped away, still entwined with his. Rin could feel the warmth of his breath on her cheek and how her heart beat as she breathed in his scent. “This Sesshoumaru brought you back one time to your own people to learn enough to choose,” he said. “If he takes you away, there will be no return.”
“Rin’s life has been yours, my lord, since she first saw you laying in the field,” she replied, bringing their joined hands over her heart. “What other life would she want to choose?”
His eyes flashed, then suddenly she was surrounded by white, his youki swirling around them both, his white-clad arms pulling her to his chest. She could feel it as her heart beat wildly, her cheeks flushed, her soul soared - some irrevokable threshold, some point of no return had been crossed. As she rested her head against his chest, she could hear his heart beat just as wildly.
Shaken, but happy, she took a deep breath and relaxed.
“Then we will tell my brother, and the old miko,” he said, releasing her from his embrace, but not releasing her hand. Together, moving side by side, the unlikely couple walked into their tomorrow.