The Girl's Life

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{The next morning}

Sesshoumaru stared at the sleeping Katsumi, who was leaning against him, resting her head on his mokomoko. She had fallen asleep last night while she was sitting next to him, and she had swayed a bit before her head fell onto his shoulder. They only reason she was still there was because Sesshoumaru simply couldn't be bothered to move her... at least that's what he told himself. She looked so peaceful as she slept.

'This girl is far too trusting...' Sesshoumaru thought as he watched Katsumi sleep with a small smile on her face. The grass rustled and Rin appeared. The little human girl looked like she had been attacked. She was covered in bruises and had a black eye. Rin came forward and presented food to him, much like she had the other day, but instead of fish, there was a lizard and a rat...

"..." Sesshoumaru didn't really know how to react to that. It was clear the girl had no ill intentions. 'I did say that I did not like human food...' Sesshoumaru thought. If it were in his character, he might have laughed, but it wasn't so he just turned his head away from Rin and said, "Don't bother." Rin sighed dejectedly. She glanced at Sesshoumaru's shoulder and saw that he had let Katsumi stay with him.

'I knew he was really good,' Rin thought, a little happy and relieved that her Katsumi-nee hadn't been alone in the woods at night. Sesshoumaru glanced at Rin out the corner of his eye. He was curious about those bruises. Katsumi didn't strike him as a woman who would let her pup come to harm, for that was how Katsumi seemed to treat Rin, as her own pup. He knew Katsumi was protective of the child.

"What happened to your face?" Sesshoumaru asked Rin. Rin glanced up at the daiyoukai, surprised. "... You don't have to say if you don't want to." 'This girl... really can't speak...?' Sesshoumaru thought when he received no answer. He had never actually heard the girl's voice, but the conversations he sometimes overheard between Katsumi in the child had sounded two-sided, as though Rin had somehow answered Katsumi... or Katsumi understood Rin...

Rin blinked at Sesshoumaru and smiled at him. Her smile was as radiant as the sun. Sesshoumaru couldn't remember anyone ever smiling at him like that before, so open and pure, without any ulterior motives. Sesshoumaru was puzzled. 'What's she so happy about... I just asked about her appearance,' he thought. Rin kissed Katsumi softly on the head and left, waving goodbye to him before happily skipping away. He felt Katsumi stir next to him. She sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

"Good morning," Katsumi said and smiled sleepily at him. "Are you feeling any better today?"

Sesshoumaru realized that he did indeed feel better... In fact, he felt almost completely healed... which was strange considering his wounds had still been quite significant, and should not have been able to heal so much in that short amount of time... unless Katsumi had given him more of her youki... but Katsumi was still human right now... That's when Sesshoumaru realized something. It was faint, so faint that he was surprised he had even noticed it. There was some strange energy humming in the air around Katsumi. He had never sensed anything like it before. It was powerful, but gentle, like a whisper. It almost felt as if it would disappear at any moment. He couldn't see it, but Sesshoumaru somehow got the faint impression of a wild and fresh green, a vibrant emerald. It felt alive, like it was dancing. Katsumi hadn't realized Sesshoumaru was staring at her yet because she had started combing her hair with her fingers to get any tangles out of it. She collected and pulled it to one side to focus on a particularly stubborn knot. Sesshoumaru's eyes widened slightly at what he saw. When Katsumi moved her hair, she had exposed a mark that was on her neck. It looked like some strange, stylized dragonfly. It was emerald green. It was a youkai mark.

"What is that mark?" Sesshoumaru asked. Katsumi turned to look at him, confusion clearly written on her face.

"What mark?" she asked.

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