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For the Best by Oroyukae

She Will Never Forget You

AUTHOR'S NOTE:

THIS IS TO WORK THROUGH SOME BLOCK I AM HAVING AT THE MOMENT. NOT TOO SURE HOW LONG THIS ONE WILL GO, BUT I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT ANYWAY.

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His eyes gazed out across the grounds of his home, unable to truly appreciate the vast spanse of space lined with majestic trees that leaves gleamed silver in the moonlight, for his eyes did not see them. His mind was haunted with echoes of the past that refused to grant him any sort of reprieve from their whispers that seemed endless now. Always were they distracting him, reminding him of what he had lost – as if he could forget. There wasn’t a day that went by that he did not think of her; that he did not see her slightly crooked smile beaming back at him. Rin; he felt such pain just thinking her name, pain that would most likely never go away until he found her again.

Sesshoumaru sipped his vodka, remembering that day so clearly; he never forgot it, the way the child’s unconscious body felt in his arms right up to the second he handed his young ward over to the girl. He almost didn’t do it; he almost changed his mind, but he didn’t. It was what was best for the child and for him to change his mind would have been unfair to her, for he would have been denying her the chance at a better life that she deserved. The demon knew then what her life would have been like should he have allowed her to remain there, and time itself had proven him right; she would have perished should she have stayed. He had done it for her, and for himself as well; he knew that wherever the strange young female named Kagome hailed from, it was of a different era that was by far more advantageous than the one they were in then.

Miko, he called her, for that was what the young woman was; she was a being of holy power- a priestess, and as such she was a powerful individual. Of course it took the Daiyoukai many long years to fully believe that, but it had happened nonetheless. That, however, was not the reason he had done what he did; no, it was for an entirely different reason altogether. The miko named Kagome was a kind and caring individual, and she was human as well; it was those qualities that had made his decision easier. She would take care of Rin like she was one of her own, for he had seen the girl do just that for one who was not of her species back then. Kagome had loved that little Kitsune like he was of her own womb, despite the demon blood running through his veins; it only stood to reason that she would do the same for one of her kind. Besides, she had expressed an affinity for his ward before and, so, the decision had been a logical one.

The Lord of the West, that was what he had been then, ruling over that which had been in his family for countless centuries, and, to a degree, still was. Then though, then he had to fight to retain what was his; it was a constant battle to fend off invaders who sought to usurp him, as there were many who desired to rule his lands. Sesshoumaru had decided that his young ward did not need to see more battles, for the child had seen enough. The battle with the spider hanyou had been a long and bloody one, spanning all of five years, with much destruction and devastation to accompany it – and little Rin had seen it all. In the aftermath, as everyone tended their wounds and did their best to try to repair what damages they could, a seer had approached him bringing ill tidings with her that he could not ignore. While he recovered, Sesshoumaru listened to what the old hag had come to say; making note of all information she had provided that was indisputably accurate in regard to matters that had occurred in the past – ones she should have had no knowledge of at all. This was his proof that the female was not attempting to deceive him for some sort of personal gain, for there was no tangible way for her to know how Rin had come into his care – right down to the last detail. She even knew about the odd human female that traveled with his hated half sibling, simply stating that she was not of their time, and that she would have to return to whence she came in order for things to progress how they were meant to. That meant that Kagome would be forever returned to her own time, despite any desire she had not to. Somehow, he was not surprised by this information though; she was not meant to stay there in what was her past, not when her life truly lay in the future.

It was on the second eve of the crone’s arrival that Sesshoumaru discovered what was to be in regard to those who resided there, in that time and he did not find it pleasing in any way. For them, the bloodshed and destruction was just beginning as the fall of Naraku was not to bring the peace and balance once thought it would. There was more to come and many beings were destined to find their end as the future unfolded before their eyes. The crone’s tales made his demon blood run cold as he watched the images that ran through his mind in accompaniment to her words. The sudden melodious laughter of his young ward playing not far from them sparked something inside of him then. While he would not call it fear, it was something eerily similar; his thoughts diverted to imagining what would happen to his ward during the harsh and brutal times to come? It was something he made a point to ask of the hag, watching her wrinkled, time etched face as she searched for answers to his direct question regarding the human child. No expression crossed his face as she relayed what she saw, but on the inside there was a veritable storm raging full force. Rin would know nothing but sadness and pain, destined to die at a tender age, rather than seeing a full and happy life before she drew her last breath.

It was then he decided he would not allow the child to suffer further, he would see her have the long and healthy life a child such as her deserved. Rin had done so much for him, more than she would ever know, and definitely more than he would ever admit to and it would shame his very name to allow her to meet such hard and brutal times. The least he could do for her was to make sure she had a chance for a happy life, wherever or whenever it may be, and the miko from the future was the key. Long after the crone had left him, he had contemplated his decision and how he would approach the young woman on the matter; it would mean asking her to grant his request as one would when in need of a favor and he was unsure that he could do something like that. He did not ask for favors from anyone; they asked them of him.

Perhaps he would just demand she comply, that was something he could definitely do – and he was rather good at it. He had remembered then that the girl did not respond well to being given orders, especially by him. He had done so on a few occasions, such as when he demanded she hand over his father’s fang…that time had cost him an arm. He had then decided that he would insist; which was also something he was good at.

 His mind broke the connection to the past for a brief time then, allowing him to seek out his comfortable chair with a sigh. The almost empty bottle of vodka called out to him and he answered, emptying the remnants into his glass and drawing a long sip to dull the ache in both his throat and his chest. He always ended up like this when his mind decided to torture him, and this night was no different than the past several hundred have been. There was nothing he could do about it though, there was no stopping the mental show that due to start playing – just as it had oh so many times before. Sesshoumaru sat back in his chair and allow it to start; resigned to the fact it would play out in its entirety, even though he honestly wished he would pass out from the liquor so he might not have to suffer through it again.

~~~~~~~~~~ {Flashback} ~~~~~~~~~~

He held his arms out to the girl; Rin’s sleeping form resting comfortably within them. ‘Take her with you miko,’ he said firmly but gently, hoping he would not have to say much more.

Of course the girl just gaped at him, her wide azure eyes sweeping over Rin’s unconscious frame that was so elegantly dressed. Sesshoumaru had sent his vassal, Jaken, to procure a fine kimono for the child; he wanted her dressed in the finest silk and he had even groomed her hair himself since she was asleep to make her as aesthetically pleasing as possible. He had thought that by doing so, it would help to sway the miko into taking his ward with her; well, that and it was how he had wanted to remember the child. Rin always preferred her less formal kimonos since they were more durable for playing in, but he had wanted her to look her best when she left him. Sesshoumaru did not regret giving Rin the tea that made her sleep so deeply; it had been necessary in order for this to happen, for he knew the child would have objected to leaving.

He had hired a village woman to bathe and dress his ward while she was unconscious, but offered no explanation as to why Rin was in such a state and the human woman had known better than to ask. It did not matter though, all who resided in the village knew that Rin was his ward and so there was no concern about devious intent in regard to the child. The woman probably just thought that Rin had become ill, since she had offered to find a healer; he ignored her offer and dismissed her once his ward was clean and dressed. Sesshoumaru deemed it best to have the girl in such a state because Rin would not wish to leave his side, this he was sure of without a doubt. There would have been tears and that was something he could not see; he would falter and rethink his decision, possibly even change his mind as well. No, this was how it had to be.

“What? I-I don’t understand Sesshoumaru…” Kagome nearly squawked as she raised her eyes to his. Confusion clouded those blue orbs of hers, and asked questions he knew he had to answer.

“Take the child with you, to your time; it is imperative that she accompany you.”

“Why?”

He raised his eyes upward, taking in a deep breath while he thanked kami that they were the only beings there at the well. The others, including his hanyou half-sibling Inuyasha, had decided it would be too painful to see her go. They had said their goodbyes in the village and the young woman journeyed to the well for the last time alone.      

 “There will be much destruction and death to come due to the fall of the spider hanyou; there are those that will seek to replace him and I cannot allow Rin to endure such any longer. If she remains here, in this time, she will see pain and suffering that ends with her young life coming to an end before it even truly begins. It has been foreseen and I cannot allow it to occur.” Sesshoumaru stepped toward Kagome, still holding his ward out to the young woman and placed Rin in her arms. It took everything he had in him to take even one step backward, but he did it – even though his eyes never left that sweet cherub like face.

‘I-I don’t know if the well will allow her to go through Sesshoumaru; only Inuyasha has been able to do that and that was because of the sacred beads…” She looked to his face and saw there was no discernable expression, which was no real surprise, but within those amber eyes that closely resembled her hanyou friend’s – there was a storm of them waging war upon his stoic outward appearance. “I-I can try, but that is all I can do.”

Sesshoumaru nodded once as his hand reached indie his sleeve, “That is acceptable. To ensure that she is well cared for, and has what she needs without placing hardship upon you, take this as well.”

Kagome lowered her eyes to his outstretched hand, noticing that his fingers held a pouch she was sure contained some form of currency from the looks of it.

“Although I am unaware of what type of currency is used in your time, I assume that gold holds value just as it does in this time. Yes?” He pushed the pouch into her hand when she nodded without saying anything, “While it is not a fortune, it will offer some financial relief to offset the expenses that come with caring for a child I believe.”

He saw her struggle to hold onto the child and the pouch, and Sesshoumaru mentally scolded himself for forgetting how much weaker than he the human female was, and he assisted her in repositioning Rin. As an afterthought, he lifted the slight female up and placed Kagome upon the edge of the well, her long legs dangling down into the space inside, and ignored her startled eep of surprise. There was absolutely no way she could have managed to climb up there without his help, both she and his ward would have suffered injury if she had attempted to do so unassisted. His eyes lingered on the face he had become so accustomed to seeing, a brief hint of sadness appeared upon his face that Kagome made no mention of.

“She doesn’t know, does she?” Kagome whispered softly.

“No.”

“I understand; she wouldn’t want to leave you Sesshoumaru, Rin cares for you a lot. It will be hard getting her to accept this; my time will be quite a shock to her. She will more than likely be sad that you sent her away, even if it was for her own good, but I will help her to understand it was for the best. She’ll be okay though, I swear it. I’ll take good care of her and make sure she grows up happy and healthy.” Once again, she looked at the demon lord, seeing him nod once but still remaining silent; which she found to be very odd. He should say something, anything at all; he was sending away the only person to care for him since his mother and father, and the guy says nothing? Not even he could be so cold, so devoid of emotion and feeling about something like this, could he?

“Is there anything you wish to say to her before we go, just in case it works?” Kagome asked him, her brows knitting together in confusion and mild disbelief when the demon shook his head in response. “This is the last time you will see her, you know; I have told you before that there are no demons in my time Sesshoumaru. Rin adored you; surely there is something you want to say to her?”

His eyes turned hard and cold, darting up to lock gaze with her and Kagome realized that he had already said what he wanted to Rin. It occurred to her that he most likely did so before bringing her to the well, and Kagome decided to change the subject. “She will never forget you Sesshoumaru; you will remain in her heart and in her mind forever.”

There was no answer, he had nothing to say; his eyes watched as the miko made her wish on the jewel, while he hoped it would allow his ward to go with her on her journey home. A sudden intense and blinding light rose up from inside the well; it grew brighter and brighter until the demon had to shield his sensitive eyes lest they suffer damage. Again, he asked that the child be allowed passage to where she would be safe and well.

As soon as the light dimmed and eventually disappeared back where it had come from, the demon waited for any indication that it had refused Rin, but he heard not a sound. Slowly he moved to peer down, noting the well no longer held any power at all; it had sealed the portal for good. Although his relief that the child had, in fact, been allowed to accompany the young woman back was so powerful that it threatened to take the great and terrible Lord to his knees, he managed to remain standing. Massive clawed hands gripped the wooden sides of the useless well, almost destroying the structure due to the force he used to hold onto the fragile material. Rin was gone. A part of him had dared to hope that the well would refuse the child and she would remain with him, selfish as it seemed, he could have at least took comfort in knowing he had given his best effort. It did work though – and now she was gone to him, forever.

Gathering his composure and straightening his tall frame, Sesshoumaru gazed one last time at the well and then walked away.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ {End Flashback} ~~~~~~~~~~~~

Finally, it was over; he could continue to dull his senses with the last of his drink and then drag his ass off to bed. Maybe this time he could sleep somewhat productively, although he was not counting on it.

He had been so certain that this was the time in which the miko had returned to; it seemed to match the stories she had relayed to his half sibling and to the Kitsune. Even those he had heard Rin retell seem identical to this era. Right down to the school uniforms, it all synched together but so far he had not located the miko or Rin. It had not been easy, discerning the spanse of time between that day and this one; he had frequently found himself cursing the fact that he had actually believed his kind had simply died out. Yes, the young woman had told him there were no demons in her time, but then she was just unaware of their continued existence due to the demons that were left adapting to their surroundings and integrating within modern society so seamlessly that they appeared to be human. Had he known, he would have questioned the hanyou as to where to look for Kagome and Rin. Instead, he did not even realize that the possibility existed until it was far too late and Inuyasha lay dying from some ailment for which, at that time, there was no cure. Since enough time had passed that both the monk and the slayer had expired due to old age, and the Kitsune had met his untimely end during all the bloodshed that followed Naraku’s defeat, it left only the sick and dying half-demon to possibly provide some clues as to where the miko would have emerged. The half-demon was in a state of delirium and his ramblings were incoherent, but Sesshoumaru had managed to get one intelligible word from Inuyasha before he expired. It had taken what seemed like an eternity of both requesting and demanding that Inuyasha reveal the location of the miko but, the word ‘Kyo’ escaped him as he took his last breath – and Sesshoumaru never forgot it. He traveled all over Japan, searching for them but kept base in Kyoto, feeling as though that was where the hanyou had meant. He remained there as time passed by, keeping an ever watchful eye and ear out for word of their return.

However, as time drew on Sesshoumaru discovered that he had been wrong in his assessment and the hanyou had actually meant the girl was in ‘Tokyo’, right where he had started out it would seem. That only pissed him off and Sesshoumaru found himself wishing the whelp had survived, just so he could kill him for wasting his time. By the time he realized the mistake, so much time had been lost and he had only been residing in Tokyo for a mere three years. He did not give up hope though; Sesshoumaru remained right where he was and waited. The Daiyoukai refused to believe that he had missed his opportunity for finding the miko and his ward, he clung to the thought that they would soon appear and he could see the child once more. He had to, just to put his mind at ease if nothing else.

He desired to see how returning with the miko had affected the child; it would reaffirm the notion that sending the girl away had been for the best.

 Consequently, the shrine that Inuyasha had said the miko lived in was of no help to him, for the family had lost the shrine to the city and others ran it now; just how that happened he did not know, but his people were working on finding out the details for him. The Daiyoukai could not stand the thought that they had fallen into hard times that resulting in them losing the shrine, feeling as though, somehow, it was directly linked to him sending the child there to begin with. It was just a feeling that he had, one that he could no shake no matter what he tried.

The clock in the hall struck midnight then; the chime echoed throughout his large home and reminded him for the countless time just how empty his life seemed to be. Hopefully though, it would not remain that way for long; he was certain he would find her soon, and then his halls would be filled with the sweet and melodic voice of his ward that he had missed for so very long. Sesshoumaru did not even bother cleaning up after himself, his empty glass and vodka bottle would remain where they were as he got to his feet intent on venturing to his bedroom and collapsing into a alcohol induced slumber. It wasn’t often he did something like this, but when he did he did not care about anything other than going to sleep when he was through.

His last thoughts were of the miko’s last words to him that day, the statement she made just before making her wish; Rin would never forget him. It made him almost smile.

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