Set some time after episode 34 of the anime, likewise for the manga chapter (can't remember which it was), this is what I think went on just a bit after Sesshoumaru revived Rin. Enjoy!
The sun shone down brightly, that summer day. Waves of heat rippled upwards from every road around. Grass and crops began withering as rain hadn't been through in over a week and the sun continued to slowly burn away the plant life.
A rather large village was buzzing, however, as they worked to water their fields with whatever they could spare from their drying pond. Strangers were passing through, seemingly undaunted by the heat.
"Sesshoumaru-sama, might we not return to the forest?" a green imp in servant's clothing sighed, rubbing sweat from his brow.
The daiyoukai he addressed remained silent, however, as he felt no such discomfort from the summer blazes. His next destination was this way. Not a thousand demons could stop him just as soon as he'd heard of the challenge that awaited him there. The fact that no shady forests laid ahead for miles was insignificant to him.
Behind Sesshoumaru, however, his steward by the name of Jaken, sighed and rubbed away sweat, the reins of their steed and the tall staff in his hands seeming to weigh a ton right now. Their steed, a twin-headed dragon yet without a name, shook its heads to feel the air shift around them and cool them down just a bit, not suffering terribly, just a bit uncomfortable.
Jaken sighed as he was ignored once more. It was worth a try… Gah! It's too hot though! He complained to himself. If we don't stop for water soon, I may shrivel up and blow away in the next wind… On that note, why am I the only one trying to get Sesshoumaru to stop? Shouldn't that one have complained by now?
He turned around slowly, soon spotting that a certain fourth figure was no longer present. As he looked back down the road, he spotted a red and black figure lying on the road, not moving an inch. "Ah! Sesshoumaru-sama! The girl has collapsed!" Jaken said, looking ahead at his master.
Finally, Sesshoumaru stopped. So, he thought to himself. She won't even say when the sun becomes too much for her? Does she wish for death?
Without speaking a word, Sesshoumaru turned around, walking back to the blur in the road. A young human girl in a red kimono lay there, breathing hard, only thin sweat on her brow as she was dehydrated.
Jaken watched as his Lord Sesshoumaru knelt down and lifted the girl from the ground, turning to walk back to them, not looking to be in any hurry. Even so, Jaken couldn't help feeling just a bit defeated. This girl was being treated better than he, despite his years of loyalty to Sesshoumaru. Why this was, he couldn't be sure. It had to have something to do with whatever happened while Sesshoumaru was missing a few weeks back and his lord would not speak of said time.
Sesshoumaru took the head of the group once more, leading Jaken and the dragon ahead, keeping the little girl in his arms for a time.
Try as Jaken might to inquire about Sesshoumaru's intentions for the girl, he could get no answer from him. They walked for a while longer through the unrelenting swelter. Within an hour, a glorious sound began to grace the ears of those bothered by the heat. The trickling sound of running water.
Jaken looked up and was elated to see a sparkling creek ahead. Screaming out in pure joy, he and the dragon ran to the creek and jumped in, soaking in the cool clean water and drinking in as much as their stomachs would allow. It was only as deep as Jaken was tall, but that was more than enough to make this water worth more than a river of diamonds to the thirsty demons.
Mildly irritated that they'd jumped in without any warning, Sesshoumaru walked a few feet farther upstream, looking down at the little girl as she continued to huff and puff, opening her eyes in response to the sound of water splashing. Without another thought, Sesshoumaru released her.
"Ah-!" she cried, her voice cut short as she fell into the creek.
Jaken and the dragon stopped for just a moment to watch this. They hadn't quite caught what happened and wondered if Sesshoumaru had harmed the child in some way. After a moment, it seemed she'd died. She wasn't coming up, and after enduring this hot spell without any water, it wouldn't be a surprise if she did die.
All at once, however, the little girl popped back up, gasping for breath and hacking up the water that'd entered her lungs. Her cheeks were flushed with lingering warmth from being over-heated before. She still had a bit of dirt on her face from collapsing in the road before. Other than that though, as soon as she settled down after her coughing fit, her brown eyes opened up big and bright as ever and she began to drink in the water like she would never get to drink again.
"Foolish," Sesshoumaru said simply.
The girl looked up at him suddenly, her eyes grateful to him for helping her yet again, but confusion lying just beyond this. Sesshoumaru looked down at her just as coldly as he would anyone else, his gleaming yellow eyes lit with just the slightest touch of anger. "You have a voice. You understand speech," he pointed out to her. "You have no excuses. If you should fail to communicate your needs again, you will be shown no mercy."
The girl's eyes went wide with hurt and surprise. This man had been nothing short of kind to her up until now. What was this all of a sudden? Why was he speaking to her in such a manner?
Downstream, Jaken began to fill with triumph. At last, the human girl was getting the treatment she deserved. His stance grew bolder, a smirk touching his beak as he pointed at her. "You are absolutely right, m'lord!" Jaken squawked, calling attention to himself, now. "I couldn't agree more! So, the next time you run off to get food, whelp, don't expect us to be waiting for you as before! Sesshoumaru-sama cannot be expected to put up with your random schedule for very long!"
Sesshoumaru turned a glare on the stupid imp, as he'd completely misinterpreted Sesshoumaru's meaning. Jaken stiffened, lowering back down into the water to blow bubbles slowly.
The girl sat in the water, head hung low. I'm troubling him… If I don't straighten up, I won't get to stay with him anymore… she realized. Faster, then. I'll move faster. I'll get my food on my own. I'll make something to hold water while I travel with them. No more trouble from me! I swear!
She sat up straighter, her face smoothing out to be calm once more as she looked around, deciding now would be a good time to get something to hold water.
Sesshoumaru seated himself on the bank while his traveling companions enjoyed the water, vaguely wondering if the young girl had understood him. He knew nothing of how children's minds worked. He couldn't be sure how much of anything she understood. Especially being a human and a girl. But, whatever she did from here, he would hold to his word. No mercy to the child who had yet to even be named...
From that day, the little girl was even quieter, against what Sesshoumaru had told her, as she put together her own canteen to hold water for the summer, ran off on her own to get her own food and hurried to catch up with him every day. She would sleep on the dragon's back, so they could travel at night without her hindering them. But, not once did she pass out. Not once did she fall. If she tripped, she stumbled forward, regained her balance and kept better pace with them. She kept herself going on one thought… Even though he's cold, he's not as mean as those villagers… I will not cause trouble for the one person left in the world who won't beat me when I do wrong…
All the while, Jaken was waiting on her to make some sort of mistake. He hadn't fully understood his master's words, but, he'd heard what sounded like he would kick this child aside should she anger him.
The girl held strong, though. Even when Jaken tried to point out her mistakes, she would recover as fast as a youkai could blink and keep on the path with them. It wasn't long before Jaken began to lose his cool over this. What kind of mistake is he waiting for?! Jaken griped in his mind. She's made plenty! Surely now is the time to 'show her no mercy'!
Clouds were rolling in overhead, finally giving the land a break from the summer incalescence. The girl sat on the dragon's back, looking around at the sky, getting a bit unsettled. Keep calm… it's just clouds… nothing to be afraid of. she told herself.
All around, however, the birds and bugs were growing quieter by the minute. Winds were picking up after many days with barely a breeze at all. As the day progressed, the clouds grew thicker and broader, covering even more of the sky.
Sesshoumaru showed no signs of urgency whatsoever. The girl vaguely wondered if he knew about the storm rolling in. He never seemed to be anything other than annoyed or angry whenever she saw his face. So what was she to think? Maybe… he doesn't know? Maybe he needs to be told? The girl thought to herself. So… maybe…
She took a deep breath, her throat shaking as she opened her mouth.
Ever so slightly, Sesshoumaru turned to look back at the girl, eyeing her with mild interest as he spotted her looking at him. She has something to say?
For a moment, she stared at him, her eyes wide with a terrible fear. For that same moment, she couldn't breathe. The girl couldn't find it in her to speak to him. I… I guess I can't after all… Just like every other time before… Just like trying to speak to the villagers…
"Un…" she huffed, lowering her head and beginning to breathe again.
Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes at her, turning to look ahead. Then… It's time I sought somewhere to leave her…
Jaken looked back and forth between the two, not sure what that exchange was, but perfectly infuriated that she'd gone and made yet another spectacle of herself, however short it was. "Honestly… if you have nothing to say, you may as well be silent!" he complained. "Better than wasting your breath and Sesshoumaru's attention, on noises like that!"
The girl shifted where she sat, her fingers idly wandering through the dragon's mane. I do have something to say… but… he doesn't seem to care about it… so, I don't know if I should bother…
Jaken looked up at her noting that she was distracting herself yet again. "Scatter-brained thing… It surprises me that Sesshoumaru still puts up with you!" he sneered. "Weak, filthy, distracted and mute for no reason! Why, he's never known a more pathetic human! He'll toss you aside, you know! The very next time-!"
The girl's face turned bright red, suddenly. She cast Sesshoumaru the briefest of glances before sliding down off of the dragon's back, landing on top of Jaken before running off into the distance, entering a finite wood to find food for herself. Sesshoumaru looked after her from the corner of his eye until she disappeared beyond the trees. That smell… there's a bog nearby…
The girl stumbled to a stop in the woods, staring down at the ground. He's going to leave me behind now… He hates it when my belly makes noises like that… He hates it when I make any noise at all…
For a moment, she tried to peer over her shoulder, as though she might see him behind her. But… he never actually said anything like that… that ugly frog acts like he speaks for him… but…
The girl's back stiffened, and she looked up at the sky. The clouds were getting thicker. I need to find food and shelter before the rain starts falling… She took off once more, heading deeper into the woods, running on as dirt turned to mud and she kept an eye out for edible plants. None of the vegetation was familiar to her, however, as she pressed on through the trees. It smells funny out here… Why is the ground wet? It isn't even raining yet?
All of a sudden, the ground she stepped on gave way and she sunk in, gasping out in horror. She was knee-deep in the mud before she stopped sinking. Sighing in frustration, she found her feet were good and stuck in that thick and heavy muck. She would need to find some way to pull herself out. The girl twisted around, slowing down as she felt her feet sink a little more. There were trees all around, but none of them would provide any hand-holds. There were no roots or sticks to grab. In her speed, she'd all but jumped out away from the edge of the solid ground. She was stuck in the deep mud, and slowly sinking further in. And, just a few feet away, she spotted the bone-chilling outline… of human remains in the mud.
The girl's eyes went wide. No one ever makes it out of this mud… do they? She asked herself. No… And I'm alone this time… There's no one to help me… Because he 'won't show me anymore mercy'…
Tears poured from her eyes and she looked up at the sky. Drops of rain slowly began falling on and around her. Memories of the recent past flickered through her mind as she realized that she was doomed here all alone. She could remember… what death felt like… Her brow furrowed at the memory, because of the one that immediately followed. Back then… just a little after I found him… he asked about my bruises… The bruises those villagers gave me… they never asked about any of my injuries before…
Her small heart beat a little harder at the memory. One of the few times he'd looked directly at her… was right as he'd asked about her injuries. It was the first time she'd gotten to see his eyes since she found him… the drastic change in their appearance was astonishing to her… but, it was something a little deeper in them that made that moment so important to her. And then… though I don't know how he did it… he brought me back from the dead… The little girl sniffled, her breathing broken with tears. Those are things… people don't just do them… otherwise the villagers would've been kinder to me… they have to care… he had to care…
The ripples in the pond of her mind began to slow, the waters coming clearer. 'If you should fail to communicate your needs again, you will be shown no mercy'… It wasn't about me being a burden! That's only what the frog said! And he also said… 'Sesshoumaru-sama cannot be expected to put up with your random schedule for very long'… Random… He didn't mean random… he meant I didn't say anything before I did what I wanted. I'm not being left behind, then? Does this mean… that if I…?
Beyond the wood, on the road…
Sesshoumaru stopped as the girl did not return to his line of view. He'd always been able to see her after this long before. Surely she didn't need to wander so far to find food now?
Time drug on, with no sign that the girl was even still in there.
Jaken followed Sesshoumaru's gaze over to the woods, frowning deeply. "M'lord… you don't mean to wait on her, do you?" he asked.
Sesshoumaru's gaze was unwavering, his ears listening very hard for some sign of her, now that he couldn't see her. "If you're so impatient, go ahead and leave." he told Jaken, bearing little tolerance for the imp's whining.
Jaken stiffened, jumping behind the dragon's front legs, as though that would protect him from potential attacks. What's so special about that human girl? Why is m'lord so attentive of her?
The dragon's heads lifted, ears twitching. Jaken looked off toward the woods, also shocked by the distressed sound. Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes. I thought so…
In the mud…
The little girl cried loudly, trying to gather her breath. "Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh!" she tried again.
Please! I need help! Please, help me!
She coughed and gagged on the end of that scream, heavy sobs and rivers of tears stalling her breath. Now waist-deep in the mud, the girl bent her head down, crying hard and hoping they hadn't actually gone ahead without her. Calling forth the memory of her revival for strength, the girl took another deep breath, sobs beginning to slip past her intended sounds.
The little human girl paused, still sobbing and choking on her vocal strain. Was… Was that…?
Slowly, she raised her head, blinking away her tears so that she could see straight. The first thing she saw was a hand with very long fingernails and two red stripes on the back of it, leading up toward his wrist. What…?
Beyond this hand, decorating a long arm, a white kimono sleeve hung loosely, a red floral pattern embellishing the loose part. From there, a large fur rested over the shoulder and a black breast-plate was tied firmly to the torso it was attached to.
As the girl looked up however, her heart began to settle. His pale face was like the moon shining through the darkness of the night, his amber eyes the stars. All at once, it was clear. I wasn't looking hard enough… Because even though his face doesn't show much… In his eyes… He cares…
The girl looked down at her hand, seeing how filthy it was from trying to keep herself from sinking further and then looked back up at him, her eyes apologizing for this.
"You wish to stay in the mud?" Sesshoumaru asked flatly, his hand not moving from its outstretched position.
The girl shook her head once. His words were cold… but, his eyes told her… he would not leave until she was safe. She reached forward, allowing his hand to envelope hers, gasping as he immediately began pulling her to solid ground.
With her feet resting on the firm land, the girl sighed and began to cry just a bit more, rubbing at her face, wishing she had someone to hold her right now. Sesshoumaru stood quietly, watching as she let forth weeks of pent-up emotion, waiting as she tried to calm herself. The pitiful little girl quivered in the rain, sobbing noisily, missing her murdered family… and thanking fate for bringing about her new, very patient, very… kind, guardian.
It was a few minutes before Sesshoumaru grew tired of standing there, and he decided she needed to be nudged towards moving. "We're going, now." he said.
Without another word, he started away. Though he hadn't said anything different from what he normally would, the girl could hear just a hint of… kindness. Yes. His intentions, after today, would be so much clearer to her… Everything he did, if it made no sense to anyone… she would know that he knew what he was doing. Never again would she doubt him. Never again would she believe he was just like the youkai she'd heard stories about. And for always… Rin would give her all for him, because finally… she had someone to trust in. To believe in.
She quickly stumbled along to keep up with him, letting her tears dry up, somehow knowing he wouldn't go so far as to ease her into a calmer state, even if he was kind. While they walked, the little girl cast glance after glance up at Sesshoumaru, taking a deep breath to build up her strength once more. "S… S-S-S-Sesshoumaru… -sama…"
No one would see it. He blinked once to hide it. But, deep inside… the daiyoukai's heart skipped a beat. With that skip, his mind faltered… and he could think of no way to respond.
The girl, however, decided he would listen as he'd told her to start speaking in the first place. He wants me to tell him what I'm thinking… so… "Th-Thank y-you…" she said, her little fingers reaching for his hand, hoping to hold it as a gesture of her appreciation.
Sesshoumaru pulled his hand out of her reach, however, looking down at her. She did not waver, though. Before today, she might've taken a step back and begun to cower under this slightly reprimanding gaze. But… knowing that he cared… knowing that he just wanted her to let him know what was going on in her mind… the girl felt no fear. She accepted his reaction to the idea of her holding his hand, though, and allowed her hand to fall back down to her side, turning to look ahead, breathing a sigh of growing comfort.
They both settled down to walk on, grateful hearts glowing through the gloom of this rainy day. The girl began brushing mud from her hair and kimono, knowing that the 'frog' would have something to say about her. There was no possible way she could get it all off before they reached the road, however.
"Clumsy thing," Jaken sneered. "Leave it to a human to become such an awful mess so quickly! Sesshoumaru-sama, what say you to leaving this-"
Jaken faltered, the interruption unfamiliar to him. For a moment, the imp looked around, trying to figure out where the little voice had come from. A tiny shock hit his brain as he realized that the girl, the only one there who could possibly have such a small voice, had spoken. "What?" he asked.
"Her name," the girl said, pleasantly. "It isn't 'clumsy thing', or 'whelp', or 'the human girl'… It's Rin."
The imp fell speechless, not sure how to respond now that the child was talking. Sesshoumaru briefly paused, intrigued by how easily she'd made his obnoxious steward be silent. Rin smiled at Jaken's flabbergasted expression, glad to have finally shut that 'frog' up, and went to mount the dragon.
"Ah! No you don't! You'll get the saddle dirty!" Jaken squawked.
"Rin'll clean it up later," Rin responded, sounding cheerier now. "After all he likes me… Oh! Sesshoumaru-sama?"
He did not turn to her as he started on up the road. "What is it?"
"The dragon," Rin said. "Does he have a name?"
Jaken scoffed, tugging on the dragon's reins, urging him forward. "Sesshoumaru-sama doesn't have the time to bother with pet names," he said, pulling again as the dragon didn't move. "Of course this thing doesn't have a name!"
Sesshoumaru looked back at them for a moment, taking note that the young girl was suddenly looking much better than usual. How strange that she should look stronger just because she's started speaking… Rin may prove interesting to travel with yet…
"Call him what you will."
Sesshoumaru looked ahead, giving no sign of interest toward the situation at all. Rin's face brightened at this, though, having never named anything before, and she looked back and forth between the heads as she pulled the reins from Jaken's hand, the dragon starting ahead now that she held them. Jaken squawked loudly in indignation, quickly following them, babbling utter nonsense in his fury.
Rin's focus was undeterred, however, as she thought about a name for the dragon. It should be something simple, something easy to call if we need him… If a demon attacks, we won't want them to know we're calling for help, so, I should pick something that doesn't mean anything…
An odd smirk touched her face, now. A little snicker escaped her nose, making a light snorting sound. She leaned forward, looking to the right head first. "Your name is Ah," she said, scratching behind his ear and turning to his twin. "And you are called Un. We will call you Ah-Un, alright?"
The left head tossed once, nosing her face, eliciting a heavenly giggle from her. Jaken was quiet now, still fuming at the privileges this girl was taking, his master leaving her to do whatever she pleased even if it seemed like a bad idea to him. Why can't I ever catch breaks like that?
"Let's go, Ah-Un! Sesshoumaru-sama's way ahead of us!" Rin cried, whipping the reins, not realizing what this would do.
Ah-Un roared out to the sky, whipping his tail at Jaken as he began to rise off the ground. Rin gasped, looking down at the ground. Jaken cried out in terror, having grabbed onto Ah-Un's tail when it hit him, and was now writhing about, his feet seeking ground where there was none.
Sesshoumaru looked up at them. Rin just smiled and waved, quickly figuring out how to ride Ah-Un in the air. Jaken screamed loudly, hanging onto Ah-Un's tail for dear life. "SESSHOUMARU-SAMA! SAVE ME!"
Sesshoumaru glared at the flailing imp for being so completely incompetent, taking to the skies to have Rin bring Ah-Un back down.
"Frog-san! Rin is still hungry!"
"WHO ARE YOU CALLING 'FROG' YOU IMPUDENT CHILD?!"
One week later…
"There you go! Much better!" a human woman said, straightening the bright green obi of a new kimono. "It's a sturdy one, too. It'll hold up to some of the worst wear-'n-tear. What do you think?"
Rin spun around in her new kimono, adoring the yellow and orange checker pattern with green circles here and there. "It's perfect!" she said, stretching her arms out and up, testing for restrictions. "I can't wait to show Sesshoumaru-sama!"
The woman's face stiffened at the name. "S-Sesshoumaru-sama?" she asked, trying to pretend the girl was playing a game. "That's kind of a scary name! W-Who is this person?"
"He's a 'daiyoukai', whatever that is," Rin said innocently, taking big steps as she paced back and forth, still playing with her kimono. "We're going to go find a 'rumor' about a broken fang, or something like that."
The human woman stared at this child, absolutely horrified that this sweet little girl was talking about returning to a daiyoukai of all things. It was odd enough that she'd showed up alone in this village, filthy from head to toe, but looking happy like she'd just come to take a break from playing. To think that she might've come to take a rest after traveling with a youkai… it just couldn't be!
Rin sighed contently, turning to look over at the road, her brown eyes brightening 'til the sun couldn't compare. There he was, her lord Sesshoumaru, waiting on the road, Jaken at his feet, big pink bumps on his head and Ah-Un's reins in hand. The dragon's right head tossed while the left head snorted, both greeting her, beckoning her to join them. Rin waved their way, running off toward them. "Bye, ma'am! Thank you for the kimono!" she called back.
The woman stared in the direction she was headed, several versions of shock mixing in her eyes as she watched that girl run right up to the man on the road, mounting the dragon that stood beside him.
This woman knew he was a demon. A demon of the highest caliber, too. But, as he started away with that child, and she began rocking back and forth in the saddle on the dragon's back, seeming to be singing to herself, this woman found she didn't know what she could do about the situation.
She'd come in, gotten a quick scrub down, asked for a new kimono and left without a second thought, while also leaving behind her old muddy kimono. Well… I guess, if she's that happy to go… He doesn't seem to be as bad as others, especially now that she's over there… still, I wish I'd gotten her name…
There you have it. Yet another Sesshoumaru and Rin story and one of my favorites, too. It follows closely enough with the series, happening between the first time we see Rin and the very next time we see her in the anime and I think the manga as well. Let me know what you think! Please, review!