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Flower, Bird, Wind, Moon

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Sesshomaru had deposited the priestess into the arms of one of his servants almost as soon as he'd landed in the gardens of his shiro, uncaring that the servant had been caught off guard and had barely managed to keep from dropping Sesshomaru's new wife to the ground.

He'd ordered the servant to take her to the lady's chambers before ordering another to see to Rin and then had left, uncaring of what his servants might think of his actions. The priestess would be his new lady once she awoke so she could see to the servants herself, as would be her right.

Frankly, Sesshomaru was secretly pleased that he'd no longer have to keep his own house in order, though he was less thrilled at the why. Still, if he must have a human wife, then she might as well be useful for the remainder of her days. The priestess could instill Rin with similar habits, which would increase Rin's own value for marriage.

He knew of little else to do with the girl himself. Rin had always been the one to follow after him. He simply knew little about childcare and less about human childcare in particular. Rin had cared for her own needs, to his silent relief, so he had never before really considered the matter in depth. When the human monks had attempted to take her from him, he'd realized that she'd needed more, though he hadn't known what that had entailed. So, he'd left her with his half-brother's village in the hope that they would be able to meet the needs that he couldn't.

But the priestess, he figured, would know what to do with the girl and would ensure that Rin was cared for. When Rin was of age, the priestess could aid him in finding her an appropriate husband—if not amongst the humans, than perhaps amongst those of his kind who might be open to such an idea.

Either way, it was something he would worry about at a later date. For now, he had a missive he needed to finish—one he'd been interrupted in writing when he'd gone to retrieve his half-brother's wife.


"My lord!" Jaken's voice once again interrupted the solace of Sesshomaru's study. He flung open the door a moment Larter and threw himself on the ground. "Forgive me, my lord!"

Sesshomaru set aside the brush—he had no desire to break another one, not given the value of the one he'd already destroyed—and resigned himself to the interruption. "Speak," he said simply, hoping that Jaken would at least be quick about it.

"The servants say you took the filthy half-breed's wife as your own!" Jaken looked up and blanched at the small scowl on Sesshomaru's face. "Forgive me, my lord," he said quickly. "I mean your honorable sire's second son's wife." Jaken coughed into his hand. "My lord, she is human!"

Sesshomaru turned his attention back to his scroll, dismissing Jaken. The imp had nothing of importance to say so Sesshomaru saw no further reason to indulge his vassal. 

After a moment, Jaken swallowed and seemed to understand Sesshomaru's mood for the imp slowly backed out of the room and left Sesshomaru to his scroll.

Sesshomaru silently picked up his brush again and returned to his missive.


"Lord Sesshomaru!" Rin's chipper voice sang out from the other side of the door. "Master Jaken said that you'd be here. May Rin come in?"

"Hnn." Sesshomaru set aside the scroll he was reading. He was uncertain how long he'd been alone in his study, but it had been long enough to get through the majority of the scrolls and missive that had required his attention. There were only three remaining, including the one in his hand.

Rin took that for permission and slid open the screen door and bounced inside his study. "Rin is happy to be here," she said, standing firmly in the doorway though even he could sense that she wanted to run around and explore the room. But Rin hadn't received permission and so she kept herself to his doorway. "But Rin is worried."

Sesshomaru looked at her with no small amount of surprise, though his expression revealed little. He'd assumed the girl would be delighted to be brought to his shiro. Not only would she be able to be with him, as she desired, for he'd long since determined the girl loved him with all the affection she might have bestowed upon her own family—had they survived—but the shiro itself was new and designed to cater to every human desire. It had been built by his father to one day welcome InuYasha's mother, though his father had never had the chance to do so.

When Sesshomaru had grown weary of traveling the land aimlessly after Naraku, he'd visited the shiro and had found himself suddenly being charged with its management and upkeep. Though he didn't keep his residence full-time, as he still preferred to wander, he often resided in the shiro more nights than not.

"Lady Kagome hasn't eaten," Rin explained as he studied her dejected expression. "Rin even made food for Lady Kagome but she wouldn't eat. Rin thinks Lady Kagome misses her husband."

Sesshomaru considered the matter. It wouldn't do for his new wife to starve to death within the first few days of his care, but he knew little of what to do about the situation. Finally, at a loss though he wouldn't admit it aloud, he murmured, "Hnn."

"Rin thinks Lady Kagome needs a friend," Rin added, her gaze drifting to her feet.

Sesshomaru ignored the last comment, dismissing it as human sentimentality. Instead, he rose to his feet and decided to seek out the priestess to gauge her health himself. He made his way to the priestess' room, aware that Rin followed closely behind. When he arrived, he slid open the door without ceremony to see the priestess had remained curled in on herself, not even bothering to change her clothes into the clothing that had been made available to her.

Nor did she utilize her bedding. Instead, she curled in on herself on the floor and stared off vacantly into space.

Sesshomaru approached her without preamble. "You will eat," he told her, indicating the tray with his gaze.

The priestess didn't move nor did she show any other signs of acknowledging him. 

"You will eat," he demanded again.

Still, he received no response.

Finally, in resignation, he turned to Rin. "Find Jaken," he told her, certain the task would keep the girl preoccupied for some time. Jaken had likely hidden himself away to avoid his lord's ire, so he would not be easily located.

"Yes, Lord Sesshomaru!" Rin ran out of the room, her steps cheerful as she hummed to herself, content that her lord would handle the matter for her.

Sesshomaru turned back towards the priestess and eyed the bed. After a moment, he decided that the wood flooring would do her no service and he effortlessly picked her up and settled her upon the futon. 

She made no protest as he did so.

He then moved the tray of food Rin had prepared over to her and placed it before her again. His own mother had been upset when she'd received word of Sesshomaru's father's passing, but she had drawn upon her pride to carry her forward.

The priestess, it seemed, had done the exact opposite. Whatever pride she'd held within her had evidently disappeared.

"You will eat," he told her calmly, deciding that he would not allow the priestess to continue to ignore him, "or this one will see to it himself that you do."

She made no move to eat.

He stood, pulling her once again into his arms, and strode for the hot spring outside their connecting rooms. Without a word, he slid open the door that led outside to the spring and approached the water. As soon as he reached the stones at its edge, he let the priestess fall from his arms straight into the water.

She immediately panicked as self-preservation took over. She flailed as she forced her head above water, sputtering and spitting as she tried to breathe.

Sesshomaru watched her impassively as the priestess made her way over to the stones and grabbed them to pull herself out of the water. But to his surprise, instead of returning to her usual boisterous self, she simply sagged against the stones as if she once again had no energy left.

"Why?" she asked him in a quiet, tiny voice.

He stared at her, both surprised that she'd spoken and bemused at her question. Why indeed? "Hnn."

She didn't say anything else. She simply hung there on the rocks, uncaring of how her wet priestess clothing clung to her body or the way she shivered in the cool night air.

"My lord!" Jaken scurried into the room, followed by Rin. "How can your most honorable servant help you?"

Sesshomaru stared pointedly at the soaking wet priestess.

"Lady Kagome!" Rin gasped just as Jaken paled and squawked, "Of course, my lord."

Confident that Jaken would see to it that the servants removed and changed the priestess into dry clothing, Sesshomaru strode out of the room, deciding that he would seek the confidence of another, though he liked the idea not.

But if he did nothing, the priestess was likely to prematurely expire in his care and that simply would not do.