Guilty as Sin by Sereia


Everyone treated her differently.

Sesshoumaru had been observing the miko since she had returned—not an easy feat considering how quickly time seemed to flow between the humans. Though perhaps his infrequent visits were partially to blame as well.

The older Rin became, the less he felt he was needed. She would argue the point, of course, constantly reassuring him that she enjoyed his presence, but the frequency of her missives had dwindled, and she no longer ran to meet him at the edge of the village.

And half the time, she wasn't even home when he arrived, having travelled to other villages for further training or to provide aid to those who required it.

Which was why he'd started noticing other things. Other people.

Namely, the miko.

Her return had been sudden, the fragrance of warm citrus wafting through Inuyasha's forest and quickening his step even before he'd realized why. She had greeted him with a smile, as she had always done, treating him like more than just an ally forged within the heat of battle.

He had never known what to make of her.

And as the years passed, his curiosity about her only grew. How could a single creature, a human no less, be seen in so many different ways? Especially by those closest to her?

"Ye work too hard, child. Ye need a break," the old miko murmured, nudging the younger woman with her cane. "I told ye these didn't need to get done today."

"I know, but I thought I'd get a head start. That way, we'd both have time to work on the salves in a few days." She had her hair tied back—something Sesshoumaru had come to realize he hated. She looked too much like—

"Ye are not Kikyou, Kagome. There is no need to live up to her expectations."

He'd heard his brother make the comparison before, felt the melancholy and rage that simmered within her aura when he did, and Sesshoumaru fully expected the same reaction now. The other miko had been dead for a decade; when would her pack see her for who she was? What she had accomplished?


"Nay say another word. The herbs can wait." She nudged the miko with her cane again, forcing her to her feet. "Go visit with Miroku. I am sure his hands are full with Sango being away with Kohaku."

Instead of the usual resentment, soft, knowing laughter escaped the miko's lips, and she rose to her feet, dusting herself off. The older woman stepped closer, pulling her hair free of the red ribbon before patting her head.

"Ye are young, Kagome. Go enjoy yourself while you still have the time."

"Contrary to those who complain, I do enjoy doing this," she argued, running her finger through her now loose hair.

"Ah, yes, but I'm sure there are things that you would enjoy more."

She shrugged, then handed the older woman her herbs. "Let me know if you need any help with these later."

"Even if I do, I shall bite my tongue."

The miko laughed again, Sesshoumaru finding the sound quite pleasant, then walked further into the village, greeting him with her usual exuberance when their paths crossed. He waited until she'd reached the monk's hut before advancing on the older miko.

"Is there something I can help you with, Lord Sesshoumaru? Rin will not return for at least a week."

"You compare her to your sister just as my brother did," he accused.

Both of her eyebrows raised, looking between him and where the miko had disappeared. "I was not aware that eavesdropping was a demon hobby."

His eyes narrowed. "It is when someone such as the miko is constantly trodden upon. She continues to offer her services, yet—"

"I make the comparison to remind her that they are not the same," she said, heading back towards her hut. "Kagome is a free sprint, not bound by her duties to the jewel, but the duties of her heart." She hung the herbs by the window, then tucked grey hairs behind her ear as she gazed towards the village.

"I wish she would leave, to truly find her calling since she has the ability to do so, but she is convinced she is needed here." The woman heaved a sigh, wrinkles deepening in frustration. "Most would kill for her freedom, yet she seeks to take over my position, to become a renowned healer. The village will be grateful to be in the presence of the Shikon Miko, but—"

"She is Kagome first and a miko second." The woman gave him a startled look, Sesshoumaru offsetting it by running his fingers through his hair. "A title means nothing if there is no power behind the name."

She continued to stare at him for a moment, her expression eventually softening before she gazed back towards the village. "She is to be truly envied then, for having friends like you."


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