[p]airing: hints of Rin crushing on Sesshoumaru.
[s]ummary: The wolves that killed her haunt her now. Sesshoumaru offers the only advice he can: kill them.
[n]otes: Rin-chan breaks this unworthy one's heart. She really does.
The first time I had one of the dreams, it wasn't much more than startling. I woke sweating, my heartbeat rattling against my chest. My heart beat rapidly, a tiny, frightened bird locked in the hands of a malicious child.
And Sesshoumaru-sama looked at me again, his gold eyes glowing in the darkness.
And that was enough. My name, from his lips, has always been enough.
"Rin-chan apologises, Sesshoumaru-sama," I said. "It was a dream."
That gaze turned away from me then, and I wanted to beg him to never stop looking at me. When his eyes were upon me, watching me, I could be no safer. Sesshoumaru-sama was a power, a god who moved as he would. If he turned any portion of his will to a thing, it would come to pass.
Ten years. Ten years, and my childish faith in him had not diminished.
The dreams worsened. Sometimes, they were of darkness and tugging. I could feel myself choking, trying to breathe and completely unable. Helpless. Some unknown, unseen force tugged me ungently into darkness. A thick, vivid blackness that oozed. I was dreaming, but I could feel the tugging. Worse, I could feel the oozing darkness, slimy like mud or shame against my skin.
Those were the good dreams. I don't want to talk about the bad dreams.
Things grew worse, until Rin-chan almost couldn't bear it, although I would never tell Sesshoumaru-sama that dreams troubled me.
The last dream was the worst of them all.
I ran through that horrible forest, hearing the wolves running behind me. I could hear them panting. My heartbeat rattled in my chest. Sweat made the tiny, dirty yukata stick to my back and my hair stick to my wounded eye.
And then the wolves, their fur shining dully in the shadows amongst the leaves, their fangs yellowed and specked with red, were upon me. I went down with the tiniest of cries. My right arm reached out, fingers curled.
My body begged for somebody to help it, even though I couldn't force a word past my lips.
A wolf bit down on the hand. I felt teeth pierce my leg. Something bit my back.
My throat forced out crying sounds. Through one eye, I could see my blood spilling from my right wrist. I could feel the wolves eating me.
And then came the blackness, the oozing, the tugging, the choking.
I woke with a little scream. I panted, desperate for air, my eyes burning with tears.
My hand pressed to feel my heartbeat. No longer a frightened bird, my heart beat itself against my ribcage, throwing itself against the walls of my body and begging me to let it out.
My eyes squeezed out their tears, pouring them liberally down my face, salty in my mouth.
I let out a sob that made my shoulders heave.
"I'm alive," I panted.
"I'm not dead, I'm alive."
Pant. Sob. Shoulder-heave.
I took deep, shuddery breaths, forced myself to calm. I repeated the phrase until I could say, "Rin-chan is alive." without stuttering or hiccupping.
And he was there again.
"Rin." He said. "You are noisy."
It is not in Sesshoumaru-sama's nature to ask the reasons for anything. Not from Rin-chan, not from Jaken-san. He does not ever ask us why.
He merely tells us, and we explain. The words trip over themselves, eager to escape our mouths. There is something written into our bodies, into our stomachs and throats, that wants to cry inside when Sesshoumaru-sama is displeased with us.
Jaken-san and I understand each other much better, now. Now that I am not a child, Rin-chan understands how he felt when Rin-chan was, well, -chan.
And the explanation heaved its way from my mouth. "I dreamed that I died."
"I resurrected you."
"I dreamed that the wolves killed me."
"It is weak to let dreams trouble you."
"Dying hurt Rin-chan, Sesshoumaru-sama." I paused, not sure how to tell him the next truth.
And then I realised that I could never tell him. I would never say, "So did coming back to life."
At the words 'hurt, Rin-chan' his gaze sharpened on me. It would not have looked sharper to any who did not know him as I did, who had not seen the expressionless face for ten years. I knew his patterns, I knew how his face tensed and relaxed. The lightest blink and slight shifting of lips or nostrils could tell me anything I wanted to know.
I knew he was giving me his full attention because he blinked once, and looked at me, his mouth a thin, hard line and his eyes unblinking. His nostrils got a little smaller as he breathed in through his nose.
He thought for a little while.
And then he said, "The wolf-demon clan you seek lives in the mountains to the north. Kill those who killed you."
I made a confused noise. I was merely a girl. I had never learned to fight.
"If you kill them, they are no threat to you. You will never dream of them again."
"But Rin-chan cannot fight!" I said.
He looked at me. Watching me. "There will be no need to fight. Demand the wolves. Kill the wolves."
"But they won't---"
He stood. "This Sesshoumaru will go with you."
That was the end of it. I stood also, not bothering to turn my back to him as I changed from the sleeping yukata to my day-to-day yukata.
There is nothing indecent about it. Sesshoumaru-sama does not find human women beautiful.
He turned to Ah-Un and Looked at him.
Ah-Un lifted his heads and moved towards me. I clambered onto his back, leaning somewhat forward, my knees bent and spread as wide I could.
That would have been indecent, but I didn't feel bad about it. It was the only way Rin-chan could ride Ah-Un anymore.
Sesshoumaru-sama began to walk north. His foot reached out, tapping Jaken awake.
"Remain here," Sesshoumaru-sama told him.
Jaken nodded. Whatever he might feel about being left behind, he knew that if Sesshoumaru-sama was leaving at such an odd hour, it was best not to argue.
Though it's hard to separate from 'dire rage', Sesshoumaru-sama frequently becomes his version of cranky when his rest (or 'meditative contemplation', as he calls it, but it's really just rest) is disturbed.