Hey, y'all. Sorry I've been gone so long. Writing's been difficult for me, as of late. However, I think I've found my spark again, and I'm comin' back full force, with one of the cutest, sweetest, most dramatic stories I've ever written! SessXRin, crossed with Ranma 1/2 for extra drama. Enjoy!

A sudden cry of shock and pain interrupted the laughter between Akane and Rin, as they were walking home from school.

They looked up.

All they could see was something black falling right toward them.

On instinct, Rin put her bag over her head, and Akane braced herself to catch it.

The object bounced off of Rin's bag, hit the ground, and ran into a nearby drain pipe.

The girls looked over at the drain pipe, then at each other.

"Do you wanna see?" Akane asked.

"Sort of." Rin said.

Akane led the way over, and both girls slowly, cautiously peered into the pipe.

There was a small pair of glowing green eyes in the dark pipe, just beyond their reach.

"What do you suppose it is?" Rin asked.

"Probably a snake, or something." Akane said. "The man in the apartment we were passing under has a wife, who's always bringing in new pets. He usually kicks out reptiles and amphibians like that."

"Oh, the poor thing." Rin said.

She reached her hand in part of the way.

"Rin-chan, what if it bites?" Akane warned.

"I'm not worried." Rin said. "Poison can be cured. Bite marks will heal. I just want to make sure it finds a good home."

Rin reached in further, until she was leaning against the pipe to try and reach the creature cowering within.

She felt around, expecting to find a scaly body, possibly painful fangs.

Finally, her hand found purchase on a strange object... a very soft object.

Rin took hold of it, and pulled it out.

She had pulled out a little calico kitten by the scruff of its neck.

The kitten stared at her. Rin stared at it.

After a moment, Rin gently pulled the kitten into her arms, and looked at Akane.

"Is there any reason he might throw away a kitten?" Rin asked.

Akane shrugged. "He must really be losing it." Akane said. "So, are you keeping it?"

"Did you want to?" Rin asked.

"I've already got P-chan." Akane said. "Besides, Ranma doesn't like cats."

Rin looked down at the kitten.

Her husband, Sesshoumaru, did not like cats, either. He was not afraid of them, but, he had a reason to be wary of them.

There had been a sudden increase in bakeneko attacks, as of late. More kittens were growing up to be bakeneko, and he would surely turn this kitten away at the first glance, if he didn't kill it first.

Rin continued to stare at the kitten, as the girls stood up, and continued home.

He didn't like humans much before he met me. Rin thought. Maybe if I can figure out what made him change his mind then, I can use it now... but, how can I get that information? He doesn't even like talking to me about that kind of thing.

Rin was so lost in thought; she almost didn't notice that she'd followed Akane home.

Akane opened the door, allowing the sounds of chaos to escape from within.

"Drop dead, ya old fart!" came the roar of Akane's fiancée.

"Not yet! Not until you model this bra for me, Ranma!" came an old-man's shout.

Ranma came running down the stairs, and turned to continue running through the house.

Happosai, an old man claiming to be Ranma's master, stopped in the middle of the stairs, holding a bucket of water.

He dumped it over the side as Ranma ran by the stairs.

When the water hit the floor, Ranma's hair had gone red, and he'd become a bit shorter.

Ranma whipped around, glaring fiercely at Happosai.

He had become a girl.

Now, this was nothing new to Rin. She'd seen it happen at school, and while she was visiting before.

But, this time was a little different.

This time, she was reminded of how Ranma got to be that way, and the others who had the same 'problem'. Particularly, of a certain delivery girl, who worked at one of Rin's favorite restraunts.

"Geez, at it again, you two?" Akane said.

She looked back at Rin, who was staring blankly into the house.

"Rin-chan? Did you need something?" Akane asked.

Rin woke from her little trance, and smiled brightly.

"No thanks! I'm fine!" Rin said. "Ne, Ranma-kun."

Ranma looked out at her, as he/she caught Happosai by his face.

"What's up?" Ranma asked.

Rin covered up the kitten in her arms. "Thanks! I'll be sure to keep her out of sight the next time I come to visit!" Rin said. "Ja ne!"

Rin turned, and ran home.

She did not enter her house, though. No. She went straight to the almost un-used garage, and sought out the key in the grass.

Once she had that, she opened the garage door a bit, and slid inside.

In that garage is where Sesshoumaru kept their dragon, Ah-Un, since Rin had insisted they keep him, no matter what.

Rin visited him frequently, so, the dragon did not stir when she entered.

"Ne, Ah-Un, how about we get out of here for a while?" Rin asked.

He raised his head.

"Yeah. And we might be gone for a few days, too." Rin whispered.

The dragon stood.

Rin quickly put the saddle and reins on him, knowing she couldn't hide her presence from Sesshoumaru for long.

Once he was ready, and she was on his back, Rin opened the garage door, and guided Ah-Un outside.

Rin looked around as she closed the garage door.

There was no one out. They would not be spotted taking off.

With the garage closed, Rin tossed the key back into the grass, and had Ah-Un take off.

Meanwhile, on the street, just coming home from a rough meeting with the remaining youkai, and immortal humans of the world, Sesshoumaru watched as his wife flew away with Ah-Un, carrying something in her arms.

He could catch up to her, easily. But, he stayed in place. Where ever Rin was going, whatever she planned to do, whatever she bore in her arms, it was very important to her.

Her expression showed that this was very serious, at least to her. She would come back later, and tell him all about it, no matter what.

So, as though he'd seen nothing at all, Sesshoumaru went back to their house, to wait for Rin to return.

It was a whole night before Rin reached China, and another hour before she found the hidden springs.

She had Ah-Un land behind a big boulder, and dismounted him.

"Wait here." Rin said. "I'll be right back."

Rin went to the hut by the entrance to this training ground, and poked her head in.

"Sumi masen!" She called. "Which spring is Mao-Nii-Chuan?"

Back at the house...

Sesshoumaru sat up, noticing that his wife had not come to bed since she'd left with Ah-Un.

He didn't hear her in the kitchen, where she usually went when she managed to wake up before him.

The house was still.

Worry began to creep into the daiyoukai's heart, causing him to feel slight anger. He did not like worrying. Particularly not about Rin. The helpless and weak feeling that worry brought... it was worst when he worried about Rin.

Sesshoumaru rose from bed, and went looking through the house.

Only faint traces of Rin's scent remained from yesterday. She hadn't set foot in the house since then.

As his worries increased, so did his anger.

Sesshoumaru went outside, only to find that it was raining, washing away any trace of her scent outside.

His usual calm and collected front was faltering. Rin could be in trouble, and he had no way of finding her.

Jaken came running out.

"Sesshoumaru-sama, it seems Rin has run out without taking the time to prepare your clothes, and bento for work." Jaken said. "Shall I set those out for you?"

Sesshoumaru glared down at the imp. It was not uncommon of him to try and make Rin sound worthless, when she had forgotten to do something. But, this was not the time for him to make such comments.

The very next second, Jaken was on the ground with knots all over his head.

Sesshoumaru glared out at the rain, as though it could tell him where his wife had gone.

He waited, casting his eyes around, looking for some sign that she was coming back.

Jaken came in and out, offering food, reading materials, and other such things, occasionally asking him to go in.

Sesshoumaru refused all, not moving an inch.

That is, until night fell.

It was late. Rain was pouring. Lightning flashed, and thunder roared.

As yet another bolt of lightning shot across the sky, Sesshoumaru spotted it. A dark, reptilian figure flying toward the house.

It landed in front of the garage, and scratched at the door.

Ah-Un was back, but, Rin was still nowhere in sight.

Sesshoumaru made his way over to Ah-Un.

The dragon was calm, but, eager to get out of the rain.

Sesshoumaru picked up the key, and allowed the dragon into the garage.

"Where is Rin?" He asked.

Ah-Un twisted around to prod at a box tied to his back.

Sesshoumaru cut it loose, and quickly opened the box.

There was a kitten inside. It was dark brown, with a letter in its mouth.

He snatched the letter out, and put the box aside.

Sesshoumaru-sama, It read. Please don't worry about me. I have gone to China to study for a school project, and I should be back in a few days. Meanwhile, please take good care of the kitten I sent you. She's part of the project. Hugs and kisses! Rin.

Sesshoumaru looked down at the kitten.

What kind of every-day school project would require a cat? And why does Rin feel she needs to study in China for it?

The kitten looked up at him with a very happy look in its eyes.

Somehow, this kitten looked familiar. Almost pleasant in its familiarity.

"Nya!" It chimed.

The sound of this kitten's voice was familiar, too. Like this kitten had spoken to him before.

Ridiculous. Sesshoumaru thought. This Sesshoumaru does not associate with such filth.

Sesshoumaru picked up the box, the kitten still inside, and took it outside.

He put it down beside the road, and went back inside.

The kitten put her front paws up on the edge of the box, and watched him walk away.

"Nya!" She cried after him.

He ignored her as he closed the garage, and went back into the house.

The kitten slowly sat down.

"I told you there was no changing him!" came a young voice.

A little calico kitten floated down from the sky, hovering over the box.

"He's an Inu youkai." She went on. "That doesn't mean he's above the natural war between cats and dogs. It only means that he's got the power to cause even more destruction when engaging in this war."

The kitten in the box frowned. "You don't know him like I do." She said. "Sesshoumaru-sama is better than that! You may think that, once he's chosen to hate something, he'd never change, but, you're wrong... I know that better than anyone."

She hopped out of the box. "I'm going to go through with this." She went on. "I'm already cursed, and it would be a shame to waste such efforts. If you're to stay with me, I have to make sure he'll accept cats first."

The calico kitten landed beside the brown one.

"Why go this far for me?" Calico asked. "Your own husband might kill you if you go on like this."

The brown kitten sighed.

"Well... It's a bit late to go back now." Brown said. "Even if I go back to human form, he's going to have to get used to me turning into a cat every so often. So, no matter what, he needs to be used to cats. Whether for you, for me, or both of us."

Brown went to the porch, and laid down beside the welcome mat.

"You might want to come away from the road." Brown said. "So many pets have been run over near us. Especially on rainy nights."

Calico scoffed, and floated up to the roof.

"I'll watch you from up here." She said.

Brown sighed, as she rested her head on her paws, and slowly fell asleep.

Inside, Sesshoumaru went straight to bed, just a bit less worried about his wife.

Just knowing where she was helped ease his mind a bit.

However, he still had questions. Why hadn't she given him an address, so that he might write to her? Why did she need to study in China? What did that kitten have to do with her studies? And why did she expect him to take care of it?

This bothered him as he fell asleep, and even in his dreams.

When he woke that morning, he felt exhausted. He didn't want to go to work. Not yet.

Too many questions lingered in his mind. He had to contact her, somehow.

Sesshoumaru went to his desk, and quickly composed a letter.

He took that letter to Ah-Un, tucked it into the saddle, and opened up the garage.

"Go to Rin." Sesshoumaru said.

Ah-Un stepped out, and took to the sky.

Once Ah-Un was out of sight, Sesshoumaru noticed a scent that he had hoped would disappear.

Upon looking over at the porch, he spotted it.

The kitten from last night was on his porch, just beginning to wake up.

Why was it still here? Why didn't it run away?

A more confident bakeneko? Sesshoumaru thought to himself as he closed the garage door.

Swiftly, and irately, Sesshoumaru went around the house, preparing himself for work.

As he went out the door, the brown kitten got up, and followed him to work.

The kitten sat down outside as he went in.

Did this kitten's behavior have something to do with Rin's studies?

Sesshoumaru pondered this while at work.

Upon leaving the building, the kitten got up, and followed him home again.

He left the creature outside, as he went into his house, and went to sit in his bed room.

Sesshoumaru sat himself down on Rin's side of the bed, and stared at the portrait on the wall.

Rin had insisted on a wedding ceremony 500 some-odd years ago. She'd also asked him to hire a painter to make a portrait of that day.

She loved that portrait more than just about any other picture she kept.

Sesshoumaru hadn't really cared much. As the years wore on, the picture looked more and more ugly to him. It could never capture her beauty. Her radiance.

But, this time, as he looked the ugly portrait over, he couldn't help but feel attached to it.

His Rin had loved it so much, and insisted that he would grow to love it too.

Could it be that she was right?

Slowly, his eyes trailed over to the bedroom door.

Rin wasn't always right. Tengoku knows, she'd failed so many classes when she first began attending schools.

However... when it came to empathy, and moral decisions... she hadn't gotten herself killed yet, at least.

Slowly, Sesshoumaru rose from the bed, and left the bedroom.

Outside, the little brown kitten sat on the porch, staring at the fence across the street.

There was a dirty, skinny red cat on that fence, staring at her with the most hideous look in it's eye.

The kitten shivered slightly, backing up a bit.

The dirty cat jumped down from the fence, and slowly started down the street, still staring at her.

The kitten backed up until she had no more room to back up.

All of a sudden, the wall she rested against gave out, and she fell backwards.

Sesshoumaru glared down at the kitten on his foot. The kitten stared up at him, wary and curious.

Why Rin had asked him to keep it, he did not know. However, if this had anything to do with the look she had on her face that night; he probably wouldn't regret doing it.

He made way for the kitten to enter.

She rolled up onto her feet, and looked up at him.

He cast his gaze out at the street.

The kitten hesitated a moment longer, and then entered the house.

Sesshoumaru closed the door behind her, and started toward the dining area.

He had Jaken feed the kitten scraps from the table, and prepare a newspaper bed for her to sleep in the kitchen.

He wasn't going to deal with the creature if he could help it.

Later that evening, as he lie in bed, wondering what his wife was doing, Sesshoumaru heard light footsteps in the hall.

Jaken's feet always hit the floor with an audible slapping sound, and Rin was too heavy to make such tiny sounds, even when her steps were at their softest.

Neither of them could be making these footsteps anyway. The one in the hall had four legs, from the sound of things.

What was the cat doing up so late?

The footsteps stopped at the door, which began to slowly slide open.

Once it was open about six inches, it stopped, and the kitten appeared in the doorway.

She immediately looked up at him, as though knowing he was awake.

The kitten was very slow and cautious as she stepped into the room, and closed the door.

She kept glancing over at him as she went to the office chair, and hopped up into it.

She settled down in the seat, still watching Sesshoumaru.

That kitten kept him awake, watching him until she fell asleep.

Her presence bothered him. How had she known he was awake? How did she know to stay away from him?

Other questions such as these echoed through the daiyoukai's mind all night, keeping him from sleeping properly.

For several days, it was nearly the same.

The kitten followed him to work and back. Sesshoumaru had Jaken feed the kitten, and make sure she went outside once in a while. The kitten would enter the bedroom every night, and pick a new spot to sleep, slowly getting closer to the bed.

Sesshoumaru had all but forgotten about this kitten's behavior. It was clear that this kitten wasn't going to hurt anyone. But, her behavior was all too strange for her to be a normal kitten.

One evening, Sesshoumaru went to the door to let the kitten in, while Jaken was bed-ridden with a cold.

Upon opening the door, he saw that the kitten was sitting on the porch with a calico kitten, seemingly conversing with it.

The brown kitten looked up at him, and then turned back to the calico kitten.

"Nyau nyau." She chimed.

The calico kitten made a scoffing noise, stood up, and ran off.

"Nyau!" The brown kitten called after her.

The calico kitten stayed on the side of the street as she started away.

Sesshoumaru glared down at the brown kitten, which turned to look up at him.

She stood up, and backed away a little bit.

This kitten knew him all too well... But, as long as she knew that he was dominant of her...

Sesshoumaru allowed the kitten inside once more. Once more, she entered slowly, and let out a thankful 'Nya!'.

Sesshoumaru found himself fixing his own dinner, and feeding the cat himself.

It'd been many a century since he'd had to do this, and it was almost irritating to have to do it again.

The kitten seemed to be particularly careful about what she did tonight. She seemed to know how stressed out he was becoming.

Rin had not written him back, and Ah-Un never returned from where ever he'd gone. Sesshoumaru was at the very end of his patience, and inching toward that scary fall.

Upon going to bed, Sesshoumaru could not find it in him to lie down, let alone sleep.

He sat on his side of the bed, staring out the open window.

He heard the kitten come in.

This had become routine. It wasn't worth half a thought.

The brown kitten stared up at Sesshoumaru, as he stared out at the new clouds gathering in the sky.

She slowly made her way over to the foot of the bed, and crawled up on it.

Sesshoumaru paid her no mind, and the kitten knew it.

She slowly advanced toward Rin's pillow.

Sesshoumaru didn't seem to know where she was as the kitten laid down on Rin's pillow, and closed her eyes.

After a moment, Sesshoumaru noted how close the kitten was... and what she was lying on.

His eyes flared red as he turned to look at Rin's side of the bed.

He raised his clawed hand.

In an instant, that kitten had flown across the room, and slammed into the desk.

She woke in a panic, and darted for the window.

Sesshoumaru let her leave. He wanted nothing more to do with this kitten. Rin would have to finish her studies without that kitten...

Outside...

The brown kitten ran around the house as it began to rain.

She ran over the front lawn, and didn't give it a second thought when she ran out into the street.

The second she collected herself, she heard something coming toward her.

Looking up, all she saw was two lights coming toward her.

The next thing she knew, she was waking up on the side of the street.

Rain was pouring. Both of her left legs were in pain, and she couldn't find it in her to move. Her whole body was shaking, and she couldn't stop it.

Tears came to this kitten's eyes, as she realized that she might die out here.

Complete hopelessness settled upon her, as she lowered her head to the ground once more.

"Aww, do you need help, little one?" came a voice.

The kitten perked up a bit, and looked around.

The dirty cat from earlier began to circle her.

"Oh, poor thing." He said. "Rejected by the mutt she loved... Say, I could take his place! I'll take good care of you!"

The kitten frowned.

"Don't be that way! I'm a better cat than I look!" The dirty cat went on.

The kitten began trying to stand up.

"Please, leave me alone!" She said.

"Not until you agree to be mine." The dirty cat replied.

The kitten fought to stand, and began trying to run.

The dirty cat kept up with her, and knocked her back down.

She cried out in pain, and looked up at the dirty cat in terror.

He put his paw down on her shoulder, grinning slyly.

All of a sudden, something hit that dirty cat, knocking him aside.

The calico kitten landed beside the brown one.

"Are you alright?" Calico asked.

Brown nodded.

Calico turned to the dirty cat, which ran away in fear.

Both kittens sighed, and Calico began trying to pick up Brown.

"Eh? W-What are you doing?" Brown asked.

"Taking you back to have this curse lifted." Calico said. "It's quite obvious that this plan will not work."

"Wait! Wait!" Brown said. "I just slipped up a little! That's all!"

Calico looked at her.

"He scared you right out of the house! I think this plan's failed." Calico said.

"No. I moved too fast." Brown said. "I tried to join him on the bed. He's not going to let me get that close yet."

Calico gave her a look of pity.

"Please. I promise you. He's much better than this." Brown said.

Calico stared at her a moment longer, and sighed.

"Where should I take you, then?" She asked.

"Take me to the Tendo Dojo. He's never been there, but, he'll go to see Akane-chan." Brown replied.

Calico nodded, and lifted Brown up onto her back.

Calico walked off with Brown, and the two kittens disappeared into the mist.

Three days later...

"Sesshoumaru-sama! Okaeri nasai!" Jaken squawked, as his master landed in the dark front lawn.

He had gone to China, in search of his wife, and had just returned after the frustrating, fruitless search.

"Has she shown up in town?" Sesshoumaru asked.

"I'm afraid not, Sesshoumaru-sama." Jaken said. "I put on my disguise, and searched her school, and the restraunts she spoke of. I pressume she was not in Chugoku?"

Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes at the imp, as though it was his fault that Rin was missing.

Jaken shivered, and quickly thought of some way to change the subject.

"O-Oh! How could I forget such an important detail!" Jaken cried out. "Rin's school friend. Red rat, something or other, as I recall. Perhaps she knows what crazy impulse led to Rin going AWOL."

Sesshoumaru slowly cast his gaze over to the road.

He'd never met the girl Rin had befriended at school. However, he knew where that girl lived. He'd passed the Dojo so many times, and heard that name called at least once every day.

Sesshoumaru started down the road. If he didn't have her location after this last trip, the daiyoukai was sure to go mad...

At the Tendo Dojo...

"You're so beat up." Akane said, as she finished wrapping bandages around the brown kitten's leg. "Is one little kitten really worth this?"

That kitten sniffled, unable to respond because of her sore throat.

The calico kitten sat beside the brown one, seeming to supervise Akane while she treated the brown kitten's wounds.

"Nyau." The calico kitten whispered.

The brown kitten cast her a brief glance, then looked back at her leg, as Akane tied off the bandage.

"There." Akane said. "Now, stay where you are. Don't force anything. If you need something, just call me."

The brown kitten nodded.

A knocking sound downstairs caught their attention.

"I'll go see who it is!" Akane said. "Kinyoubi-chan, keep her there, okay?"

The calico kitten nodded.

Akane headed out, and ran downstairs to get the door.

Kasumi already had it open, and was talking to the man there.

This man was very strange-looking. Yet, he had a certain grace about him, and seemed to look like an angel. Just as she'd described him.

"Sesshoumaru-san, right?" Akane called down.

Kasumi and the man at the door looked up at her.

"Rin-chan asked me to give you a message." Akane said. "If you'll wait right there!"

Akane turned, ran back to her room, and carefully picked up the brown kitten.

With that kitten in arm, she proceeded back downstairs, knowing what she had to say.

Sesshoumaru watched as Rin's friend from school returned with a bundle of brown fur in her arms.

"I won't be taking that filthy creature in again." He said. "I came for Rin's location."

"She's not filthy! I just bathed her!" Akane said. "Rin is in China, studying so that she can help you with your work."

Sesshoumaru was doing his best not to glare at the girl before him. She dared speak to him in such a tone? Had Rin told her nothing of him?

"She needs you to take care of this cat because she is crucial to her studies." Akane said. "Something about 'the bakeneko out-break'. She said you'd know what that was."

The daiyoukai was now very curious. He now knew what his wife was studying. However, there couldn't possibly be something Rin discovered that the Youkai council hadn't thought of yet... could there?

Sesshoumaru looked down his nose at the cat in Akane's arms.

Reluctantly, begrudgingly, Sesshoumaru reached out, and attempted to grab the kitten by its scruff.

"Uh-uh! Not like that! She's got two broken legs!" Akane said. "Carry her in your arms!"

Sesshoumaru leered at Akane. She was becoming a little too pushy for his taste.

Akane slowly got him to hold the kitten in his arm, and pet its head.

"Take it easy, now!" Akane said. "Sesshoumaru-san is here. And he will protect you."

"Nya!" The kitten chimed.

Sesshoumaru scoffed lightly, and started away with the kitten still in arm.

After the dojo was out of sight, he decided he would put up with it no more, and dropped the kitten on the sidewalk.

A familiar shriek of pain from behind him made him stop.

He'd heard it before. From the kitchen. From the living room. From outside. He had been the one to patch up the wounds, when he heard this cry.

Sesshoumaru looked back.

The kitten was the only one there, lying on her side, doing everything she could to stay still.

The pained expression on her face... how stupid. It couldn't be.

Slowly, Sesshoumaru turned around, though. This kitten... she was the last thing Rin gave him before she disappeared... the very least he could do...

The kitten rested on her right shoulder, trying not to cringe, and cause her legs further pain.

Then, just as suddenly as she'd been dropped, the kitten felt herself being lifted.

She felt her back being pressed against something warm, as she felt herself being moved.

The kitten looked up to see the daiyoukai carrying her.

"Don't think too much of this." Sesshoumaru said. "I'm doing this for Rin."

The kitten lowered her head, smiling slightly.

When Sesshoumaru brought that kitten home, he put her on a pillow in the corner of the living room, and had Jaken bring her food and water.

This time, while the kitten was in the house, things were a bit different.

Keeping in mind that his wife expected him to take care of this kitten, Sesshoumaru was changing this kitten's bandages once before he left for work, and once again when he got home.

He made sure the kitten always had food and water.

He even had Jaken help her outside every so often, I'll assume you know why.

A few weeks later, the kitten was fully recovered, and Sesshoumaru removed the bandages for her.

She stayed on the pillow, looking back and forth between her legs, and him.

"Get up." Sesshoumaru said.

The kitten lowered her head, and slowly stood up.

She walked around in a small circle, and laid right back down.

Sesshoumaru stood up, and went to the phone to call Akane, like he'd been doing every week, to give updates on the kitten, which she was to convey to Rin.

The kitten stayed right where she was, watching him as he spoke to Akane.

"I've done my part." Sesshoumaru said.

"I'm sorry. She still doesn't know when she'll be back." Akane said. "She hasn't told me, if she does. Meanwhile, she did say to pet the kitten for her. That's all I've got for you."

Sesshoumaru forced back a growl as he hung up.

What was Rin up to? What was she waiting on? Was she expecting something to happen?

Sesshoumaru cast the kitten a brief glance, only to turn away, and go to the bedroom.

The kitten rested her head on that pillow, and slowly drifted off into a sad slumber.

In the middle of the night. Sesshoumaru stared out the window, thinking of things he could do to make Rin come back.

She was not one to study, let alone study for months. She was waiting on something, wasn't she? She wanted him to say he liked cats now, didn't she?

But, he couldn't lie to her. He despised such creatures...

Sesshoumaru slowly turned toward the door.

This one, however...

He rose from bed, and stepped out of the room.

In the living room, he saw the kitten, sleeping on her pillow.

Yes. He still despised these filthy creatures...

That morning...

The brown kitten woke up feeling rather warm in her spot.

Slowly her eyes blinked open.

Her vision came into focus, and the sight before her was simply miraculous.

For a moment, that kitten sat there, staring at the face before her.

Then, with a smile that filled her being, she slowly got up, and jumped out the open window.

Not much later, Sesshoumaru awoke to find the kitten missing.

Before he had a chance to search the house, there was a knock at the door.

"Sesshoumaru-san! It's Akane! Rin sent a new message!" came Akane's voice.

The daiyoukai's priorities were rearranged in that moment, as he darted for the door, and opened it.

"She says she's on her way!" Akane said. "All she asks is that you make sure the kitten is clean when she arrives!"

It was in that moment that he saw the kitten in her arms.

"What are you doing out?" He asked it.

The kitten lowered her head.

"Please don't be angry. She was probably just out for some fresh air." Akane said. "Here."

She handed the kitten to him.

"Let me know when Rin gets back, okay?" Akane said.

Sesshoumaru merely stared at her.

"O-Or not." Akane said. "Bye!"

She took off down the street.

Sesshoumaru closed the door, and set the kitten on the floor.

Jaken came into the living room. "Breakfast is..." The imp paused when he saw the devilish smirk on his master's face.

Chills seemed to run up and down the whole house. Something bad was about to happen. Every living creature in that house could tell.

Later that night, Sesshoumaru was running through a nearby forest, with the kitten, two towels, and a change of clothes in hand.

Tonight, he was prepared for this kitten to make a real fuss, and he didn't want to wake any neighbors.

He was going to enjoy bathing this kitten, merely because he was sure the creature would protest, and suffer through it.

Sesshoumaru stopped beside a hot spring, and put everything down.

Just as soon as the kitten was down, she started to walk off.

"Where are you going?" Sesshoumaru asked.

The kitten looked back at him.

For a moment, the two stared at each other.

Then, Sesshoumaru began to disrobe.

"Hurry back." He said.

The kitten ran off into the trees, and soon came across the calico kitten.

"I told you so! I told you so!" Brown said. "Do you believe me now?"

Calico rolled her eyes. "I still say he's a stupid mutt." She said.

"Don't be like that! You're a princess-to-be!" Brown said. "Princesses do not behave that way!"

"Just go bathe, alre-"

All of a sudden, something swept through, and knocked the calico kitten aside.

A giant, beastly-looking cat jumped through the darkness, roaring at the brown kitten. He was the dirty cat from before. He was a bakeneko.

"You will be my mate! If I have to take you by force!" He roared.

The brown kitten took off running, with the bakeneko right on her tail.

Just as she came out of the trees, the calico kitten pounced on the bakeneko, somehow knocking him to the ground, and something white flew over the brown kitten's head.

Try as she might, she could not stop, and she fell right into the hot spring.

Sesshoumaru stood up, and shook the blood off of his hand.

He'd severed the head off of that bakeneko, while the new kitten held it down.

"A bit un-refined, but, alright. You killed it." The kitten said.

Sesshoumaru growled at the kitten, and picked her up.

"Sesshoumaru-sama, don't!"

His back stiffened.

Slowly, he turned. The voice belong to a figure he'd longed to see for quite some time.

"Rin." He said, dropping the kitten. "When?"

The woman smirked, and scratched her head. "Heh-heh! The whole time!" Rin said. "So, if I was a cat, would you hate me?"

Sesshoumaru looked around, noticing that the brown kitten was nowhere in sight.

Going off to China... Sending him a cat... having Akane deliver messages... it all made sense, now.

After a moment of silence, Sesshoumaru made his way over to the hot spring, stepping in, and barely causing a ripple.

He pulled Rin into his arms, and kissed her deeply, not really caring about what she'd done, just yet.

For a moment, Rin lost herself in returning her husband's passionate kiss.

Both had missed each other terribly, even though they'd never truly been apart.

After a little bit, though, Sesshoumaru broke the kiss, and stared down into her still-hazy eyes.

"Do you realize how stupid that was? How close I was to killing you?" Sesshoumaru asked.

Rin shrugged. "I thought about that a couple of times." She said. "But, I wasn't going to risk Kinyoubi-chan's neck. Kinyoubi-chan, come show him why!"

The calico kitten scoffed, and turned her back on them, revealing a black, crown-shaped mark on her back.

"She's the leader of all bakeneko." Rin said. "I thought, maybe, if you didn't mind cats too much, that you'd be able to teach her how to fight, so that she can put a stop to the bakeneko madness. But, it wouldn't do any good if you killed her first."

Sesshoumaru's eyes widened, slightly, with interest.

"So you were listening at that last meeting?" He asked.

"Just a little." Rin said. "Anyway, back on subject... would you hate me?"

He turned to face her once more. She was smiling, but, her shaky grip suggested anxiety.

Before, he probably would've told her that she was asking a stupid question, and turned away.

But, now... having actually known her as a cat...

"You're tolerable as a cat, I suppose." Sesshoumaru said.

Rin smiled her very best smile, as she put her arms around her lord.

"I love you, Sesshoumaru-sama!" Rin said, resting her head on his chest.

He put his arms around her, holding his dear Rin close to him.

"Now, tell me, what are you going to do about making up for the trouble you caused? And what did you do with Ah-Un?" Sesshoumaru asked.

Rin's heart began to beat a little faster, as she realized her punishment was coming.

"I-I had nothing to pay the Jusenkyo guide for helping me find Mao-Nii-Chuan, so... I offered up free rides on Ah-Un until the end of the year." Rin said.

Sesshoumaru's eyes seemed to be burning into her soul. He was really irritated this time.

"A-As for what I'll do about all this... uhhh..." Rin leaned back down to hold him, so that she would not have to see him get angry. "R-Rin will love on her Sesshoumaru-sama, and beg him to forgive her until Ah-Un comes back?"

A growl rumbled through his chest. Rin squeezed her eyes shut, not quite sure what this growl meant.

She felt her lord's lips brush up against her ear, and his slight inhale before he spoke.

"I'll let you have that." Sesshoumaru said. "Since you only just recovered from two broken limbs, and a cold... Just don't run away from me, again."

A small smile graced her lips, as Rin looked up at Sesshoumaru.

"I'll double up if we can keep Kinyoubi-chan?" Rin said.

Once more, Sesshoumaru looked back at the calico kitten, who was trying not to look back at them.

The leader of the bakeneko... Rin had risked her life for her... Perhaps...

"Double your homework, and you can keep it." Sesshoumaru said.

Rin's smile fell, and became a scowl. She knew better than to fight with him, though. And she was in no position to refuse him.

"Hai... I'll do it." Rin grumbled.

Sesshoumaru looked back at his Rin, staring into the eyes he'd been yearning to see for quite some time.

The slight scowl that'd crossed her face slowly melted away, as she felt herself being pulled into him by some un-seen force.

Her forehead touched his, so that neither one could see much more than each other's eyes.

Very slowly, Sesshoumaru leaned his face up toward hers.

"SESSHOUMARU-SAMA!"

The squawk shocked them both, as they turned to see Jaken waddling as fast as he could with a big wash bucket in his hands.

"You forgot your soap, and wash cloth, Sesshoumaru-sama!" Jaken cried out.

Rin sunk down into the water to conceal her body.

Upon spotting her, Jaken knew he'd interrupted something very important.

"Ah... Ah... Ah... Forgi-"

Before anyone could see what happened, Jaken was on the ground, with a big knot on his head.

Rin turned to Sesshoumaru, expecting to see him pretending like he hadn't done anything.

Instead, she saw him looking at Kinyoubi, who was looking off into the trees as though there was something interesting about them.

"Hey, I can't let Rin pull my weight completely. I've got to earn my keep, too!" She said.

Sesshoumaru turned to Rin.

She blushed, and smiled up at her lord.

And so it was. Sesshoumaru and Rin took in the kitten, and taught her everything she would need to know to be a great leader. Within twenty years, she was ready, and, only months after being let out into the world, the war with the bakeneko was all but done.

Rin never did go back to get that curse lifted. Sesshoumaru would not hear of it.

This curse had brought them closer together as a couple.

Not to mention that, now either one of them could discipline the other one, and all they have to use is a glass of cold water...

Ne - Hey (call for attention).

Ja ne - See you later.

Sumi masen - Excuse me.

Inu - Dog.

Youkai - Monster (roughly).

Daiyoukai - High title for a monster (roughly).

Tengoku - Heaven.

Bakeneko - Monster / Ghost Cat.

Nya / Nyau - Meow.

Okaeri nasai - Welcome home.

Chugoku - China.

Akane - I translated it to 'red rat' as a joke. I think her name is a bird of some sort, actually.

Kinyoubi - Friday (used because that's my cat's name).

Hai - Yes.

My gosh, this took months to write, when it unfolded in my head in two nights. I hope I did okay, I mean, I love this story dearly, and I put my all into writing it for y'all. Please, review!