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Shared Custody by Katie

Tattered Silk

Living full time in the feudal era had been quite an adjustment and if it weren’t for the blessing that was Rin, Kagome wasn’t sure she would have made it.  

The kid was a personified ray of sunshine. A ray of sunshine who had latched on to Kagome like she was the greatest thing since Sesshomaru. 

“I really don’t think he’ll care. Or know. He hasn’t been around in months.” Kagome wiped the sweat from her brow and pulled a few more blossoms from the herb she was harvesting. The flowers made a good tea, or maybe it was the blue ones? 

“I promise you he’s going to be pissed. You never know when he’s going to come through and you bet your ass he’ll be looking at you for this when he does.” Inuyasha stayed perched on the garden fence with his hands tucked into his sleeves watching her and Rin harvest under Jinenji’s patient instruction. 

“It’s hot and I’m not going to be out here all day in formal wear. And if Rin wants to stay cool too that’s up to her.” They both looked to where the girl was working side by side with the giant hanyou. She had shortened her yukata to just below the knee where as Kagome’s was hiked up to mid thigh. It was hardly indecent in Kagome’s eyes. 

“It ain’t decent in these times.” Inuyasha grumbled.

Kagome’s ministrations drew rougher and half the flowers she pulled were broken. This was an old argument. Though, in the past it had been about her and her clothing choices. Now that Rin has taken to mimicking her the conversation was about her. But it was still the same. 

“I have to say I agree Kagome. Although I think it has less to do with length and more to do with the method.” Miroku joined Inuyasha with a toddler on each hip. Kagome sighed looking to Rin again. Where Kagome had folded her skirts up and used the obi to hold them in place Rin was more prone to cutting them. Uneven cuts marred the bottom edge of the silk that fell to her knees. 

“It’s still not my fault. Rin is her own person and Sesshomaru knows that. Something more casual than silk wouldn’t kill her.” Kagome grumbled annoyed that Miroku and Inuyasha were teaming up. 

“Aye child. I find myself agreeing with ye. Twould be better if he brought her more simple clothing. I think perhaps his intention is to elevate her above her common station. What he has failed to realize is how it sets her so apart from her peers. As far as the cutting is concerned...” the old miko who had now joined the others winced. 

Kagome realized she wasn’t going to be able to finish her chore with all the chatter and gave it up. Standing she dusted her hands and looked to the girl. She was already set apart from her peers, but that was her own doing. She was wild and rambunctious. At twelve she was already smarter than all of the other village children. The girls in her age group had already mellowed out, become more reserved with the responsibilities of caring for younger siblings and taking on roles in their households. 

Rin did her chores. She learned the practical things Kaede, Sango and Jinenji taught her. When Kagome returned she started teaching the girl more. How to read and write, Miroku had started when she was younger, but he was so busy with three kids that he hardly had time. Rin was full of questions about the word around her. She wouldn’t accept simple answers, so Kagome had taken it upon herself to teach her. 

That was probably why Rin was idolizing her so much. Kagome realized that she and Rin were both outside of the norm in their village. In each other they found understanding. 

“You know what? If Lord Sesshomaru does decide to grace us with his presence I’ll deal with him.” She meant it too. 

——

“Rin.” He demon lord greeted his ward the very next morning as she and Kagome began their morning routine. He simply nodded to Kagome. Rin dropped what she was doing and ran to her lord pulling him away with a cheerful greeting. Kagome didn’t miss the slight widening of his eyes when he saw the ruined silk. Or the flat look he shot her. 

She watched them as she did both her and Rin’s morning chores. It was still jarring to her to see the stoic demon interact with the bright child. Like night and day. She wondered if Rin had the same brightening powers over him as she did her.  

Chickens pecked at Kagome’s hands as she wrestled them for their eggs. With a curse she looked to Rin who was watching her with a slight frown. Disentangling herself form the daiyoukai the girl ran over and helped hold the chickens back while they stole their treasures. They had a routine where one of them would chase the irate fowl while the other harvested and they would switch. Laughing they both chased chickens around under the watchful golden eyes of a demon lord. 

Breathless from laughing they both slumped against the side of the hut when they were done. Kagome was doubles over clutching the stitch in her side when black boots filled her vision. 

Straightening she faced her fears. “Rin, leave us.” Sesshomaru commanded. Rin acquiesced without hesitation to go lavish Ah-Un with her attention. The little traitor. 

“Miko.” 

“Demon.” 

“You will explain the state of my ward’s clothing.” His tone was hard. 

Kagome crossed her arms over her chest. “I think that would be better discussed with Rin.” 

Sesshomaru’s lip pulled up in a sneer that showed a flash of fang. “I am aware of why she is doing it.” He glanced down at her raised hem pointedly. 

“So, is it that feel entitled to dictate the way I dress or the way she dresses?” If Inuyasha was there he could have told his half-brother that it was a trap. There was no right answer. Kagome waited with deceptively innocent eyes while the demon lord worked out his reply. 

“Woman, this is not negotiable. You will cease to negatively impact my ward. Including her clothing choices.” Amazingly he managed to miss the trap and step right into quick sand.  

Kagome met his eyes determined to be on the same level even though she had to look up. Hands on hips and feet spread she tried to be larger than she was, tired to fill as much space as the daiyoukai. “Listen here, your ‘ward’ is my - my - she’s like my sister. I’m the one who holds her when she has a bad dream. I’m the one who has to go talk to other kid’s parents when she does something. I’m the one who wipes her tears when she is missing you. If you don’t want her cutting silk then bring her stuff that isn’t so nice. I will hem it tomorrow if that makes you feel better, but you don’t get an opinion on how either of us dress. She may be your ward but she belongs to herself.” Out of breath again from her rant Kagome stood panting. She watched Sesshomaru’s eyes widen then darken. 

‘This might just be the day I die.’ Kagome thought for the few moments that they stood in that electric silence. Then he abruptly turned and walked away. 

Breathing a sigh of relief Kagome let herself slump against the hut. She held a hand to her stomach as the butterflies went wild.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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