It was a full three days before he lowered himself to speak with her again. It was only to tell her that he was leaving and taking the imp with him, it was now her job to protect Rin from harm. The three left behind were so extremely grateful he took the ill-tempered Jakan with him that even Rin did not seem to miss him too badly.
The atmosphere of the camp lightened considerably. Rin and her spent time playing games, telling stories, and weaving flower chains while the dragon looked on. Ah Um did not even seem to mind when the child began to wrap his two necks in white and pink blooms.
She had even begun to teach Rin reading and writing. The girl had a wonderful mind, absorbing knowledge as a sponge took on water. She did, however, refuse to stop speaking in the third person like her awesomely amazing lord Sesshomaru. Kagome shook her head, smiling at her. She had an inuyokai sized case of hero worship. He maybe deserved some of it though, having saved Rin’s life on many occasions and Kagome’s at least twice.
As they were setting up for the night, Kagome sensed trouble coming. About ten dark auras were headed straight for them. “Rin, stay very close to me.” She told her, quietly drawing her bow. A pack of large kaibutsu came out of the forest, their muted browns and greens concealing them until they came through the tree line.
“Look what we found,” the biggest one leered in their direction, “dinner and dessert!” They all laughed until he disintegrated in a violent purple light. Drawing back once more, she pointed at the next in size. “Move on.” She said, her voice deathly serious.
They did not heed her, but came charging toward them. Five more fell to her arrows. As soon as they drew near, she picked Rin up, dropping her bow on the ground. “Look only at me, Rin, don’t look away.” She told her calmly. She covered the girl, sending her power out in a blinding flash. The few remaining kaibutsu dissolved well before they got within yards of them.
Kagome felt another aura approaching fast, but this one was familiar to her. She had felt it often enough over the years. She watched as the bright white orb dropped from the sky, quickly widening to reveal Sesshomaru observing them coolly. He had felt Rin’s fear, she was certain of it.
“Lord Sesshomaru!” Rin cried, climbing down from her arms to race to him. “Miss Kagome saved Rin” she hugged his leg, his hand resting briefly on her head.
“So this one has seen.” He said, intensely eyeing the priestess.
Kagome ignored him and picked up her bow from where she had tossed it. She set about clearing the camp site, preparing food for Rin and herself. The girl herself played at Sesshomaru’s feet as he lounged against another tree, apparently his favorite sitting position. Soon after she had eaten, she huddled down in the sleeping bag, dreaming of flowers, dragons, and great big puppy dogs.
Kagome then started a meal for Sesshomaru, assuming that he expected it. This time she had fresh rabbit that she and Rin had caught earlier, along with some mushrooms. She had cooled the raw meat by placing the bowl of it, blood and all in a small part of the stream where it would not be washed away. She then tossed the mushrooms and herbs, along with a few other vegetables, into a shallow pan. She added a little bit of oil until it the mix was coated, cooking it a little before throwing in the meat, just barely heating it before she was ready to serve him. She sat before him in the same manner, hands folded and head proud, silently waiting for him to finish.
Sesshomaru watched her every move with curiosity. He had decided that he was tired of wondering what had happened to her. Once he knew, he would no longer be drawn to the mystery of her. “Onna, you will tell this one how you came to be this way.”
She fought the urge to roll her eyes. He could not just ask, could he? “When the wish was made upon the jewel, Medoriko appeared before me, along with what was left of Kikyo’s soul. Using the souls of the dead corroded her own until she was almost nothing but a shadow. It was at this point that I learned that I was not her reincarnation, or at least not entirely. I did have a soul of my own, but carried parts of her and Midoriko within mine, destine to destroy the shikon no tama my ancestor had made.
As the jewel disappeared, many yokai began to appear, wanting to be freed from what had become their torment. To do so, they had to go through a pure soul, a joining between us three priestesses. As each one came through, they left a gift of thanks, granting me similar powers to that of the jewel. When it was all over, Medoriko also left a gift of knowledge. Kikyo began to disappear, never to be reborn again. With these new abilities, I restored her to life, having to relive most of what she had been through along with her. It seemed as if hundreds of years had passed, but when I was once more with my friends, only minutes had gone by and Kikyo was with the living again."
“Why would you help the dead priestess who brought you nothing but sorrow?” he asked.
“I knew Inuyasha’s heart, I have always known that she was what he wanted most. His greatest desire was to have a life with her, the life they were denied by Naraku. I resurrected her body and healed her soul, giving them happiness. I could ask for no more than that. I have no regrets.” She began to walk away, jade bouru in hand.
He spoke again, stopping her. “He chose her over you and yet you would still sacrifice yourself for his sake?” she could hear slight confusion in his voice, “You remain loyal to him, why?”
“I am loyal to all my friends and would give just as much for any one of them, no matter what choices they make. Their choices are their own as are my actions are mine.” She looked away, the pain of leaving her family like a dull, throbbing ache in her chest. Her eyes began to glow softy in reaction to her pain. She missed her friends and family of the future, but had known for a while that she belonged in the past.
Sesshomaru felt the sadness coming off her in waves before she hid it again. He still did not understand her reasoning on saving her rival. He did not think much of humankind, a petty and careless race steeped in selfishness. Rin was one exception, maybe this priestess was another, time would tell. He did like that she shown such loyalty. Now all that reliability was placed on his adopted daughter. The image returned to him of her holding Rin tight to her as the kaibutsu had come charging toward her. Though keeping her had been a decision made mostly for Rin’s happiness, with the plus of irritating the hell out of his half-brother, it had been a good one.
“Do you wish me to treat your wound before I sleep?” She asked, pulling him out of his thoughts. His eyes narrowed on her.
He had been slightly wounded in a surprise attack on him and Jakan earlier that day. After taking seconds to kill his attacker, he sent the imp ahead to announce his arrival the following day. Sesshomaru had hardly noticed it when the wound occurred, she should not have been able to detect such a miner thing.
Reading him, she said “I am first and foremost a healer. I tend to notice when someone has been hurt, no matter how small.” She returned his glare. She almost wished that she had kept her mouth shut, but she could not leave a person in pain when she could help.
“It will heal on its own.” He dismissed her with a glance, arrogant as usual.
“As you please, lord Sesshomaru.” She lay next to Rin. They watched as the child slept, both aware and wary of each other and both doing their best to hide it.