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07 December 2008 @ 07:55 pm
Age in Gavages [Sesshoumaru x Rin]  
Title: Age in Gavages
Pairing: Sesshoumaru x Rin
Fandom: Inuyasha
Genre: General
Rating: T
Word Count: 2,338

 

Age in Gavages

They step into the colonnade, the first a bit hesitant and unnerved. This is not part of the deal, she thinks.

Together, they escape from the rain (the drenching rain, the pouring rain of souls and defeats) and enter through the door. Through the colonnade (yes) there is a door leading to a quaint café.

And here, somewhere on the opposite side of town, Ayumi listens to a woman and her words.

“Coffee?” Ayumi asks.

“Cappuccino with extra froth.”

Ayumi laughs, “I think I’d like that too. So…let’s begin. You said you wanted to meet me here for some reason.”

“You’re a journalist.”

“Yes, but I specialize in historical accounts. If you’re looking for something more personal, I can refer you to a good friend of mine—”

“That won’t be necessary. I have something to ask of you.”

Ayumi bites down on her lip, shifting her eyes suspiciously. “Look, I don’t meant to sound rude or anything but I’m on a schedule here. So if you need me, great, but if not…I have to go.”

“How much do you know about the Sengoku Jidai?”

Now Ayumi smiles brightly. “That is something right up my alley. I did my masters on that period.”

“Then you should have no trouble understanding this.”

The woman takes a long drag of her cigarette, taps the diminishing, graying tip onto a nearby ashtray, and holds on tight. Flashes her eyes (brilliant and zealous) and with a flourish of hand, she smiles mysteriously into nothing.

-

Eighteen that day. In the meadows, by the river, by all her childhood memories. She could feel her heart ascending and aching, the rise and falls of a streamlined cadence. Rin kicked up dirt and cast her lot.

The sun shone harshly on her skin, beating her down and rupturing in sweat. Out of the crevices between the pores, the sun drew blood.

From sateen lips and tongues, he told her stories late into the night—stories that he remembered from a thousand years ago. Parables, his father had called them. And like all his father’s (useless) words, these were meant to illustrate a moral.

Yesterday, she was old and exhausted, sinking down into small streams and craggy paths. Yesterday was a day she threw away, when she fell in herself.

And last night, Sesshoumaru told her another parable. This one, his favorite, was sort of like a fairytale. And she, for once (which happened never) actually enjoyed it.

But Seshoumaru did not, and what Sesshoumaru did not like was made to be killed.

“Once upon a time,” he began—he mocked, “once upon a time…there is no such thing. Real is real. These stories are foolish.”

Rin grew sad, Rin grew real.

There were some differences (even illusory ones) she had to stop gnawing at. At age eighteen, the world became small and quiet.

-

The girl, in her younger years, ate peaches by the barrels. By the ton, by the fields. She was a locust that couldn’t be satisfied.

She stuffed the fruit into her mouth greedily, suspiciously as if they were about to disappear. Crammed them, jammed them all in until the sticky sugar-juices ran from tight-pursed lips.

He told her to “quit that”—the green one did.

And he (the other one, the taller for than a tall man) said: Nothing.

Point blank, he didn’t care. And the girl, she continued to gobble up the peaches, devoured them like a demon queen.

(She liked to imagine herself as one. No one, no one had told her demons were bad, humans were good. So, she believed just the opposite.)

Demons were good, and humans were bad, Rin echoed.

-

Eventually, Sesshoumaru did tell her to leave, that it was about that. That it was impossible (only he used “unbearable”) for her to keep following him.

She didn’t catch the hint.

And so, she stayed. And he didn’t say anymore.

-

Now, she was eighteen again (like she had been for some hundred years).

The low-lying walls have been torn, and he told her they were moving. Leaving. Forever (and a day) they won’t be returning.

She shouted after him howunfairhowcruel. He didn’t have the mind to listen. He dragged her with, along; she was no match and quieted down—

Gradually.

-

He bought her dresses from a strange place called a boutique. He put paints on her and turned her into a pungent-tasting liquor.

She tried drowning herself in the bath, but he found her and screamed silent sense into her head.

She tried (felt like) crying after he left, and she was all wet and all cold and shivering and sitting all alone and pensive in the tub). But the tears didn’t come, and she thought that maybe it was because she’d been so wrung out.

Like a white cloth left to hang from the laundry for days, forgotten, she’d gotten herself sun-bleached and muted.

-

Sesshoumaru penned down a list on soft, vanilla-cream paper. Reminder to himself: the dresses and the flowers.

He grimaced, neither was pleasant.

-

He wanted her to meet his mother. She asked if she should be frightened. He laughed and said yes.

She should be quivering.

-

The woman was old and young. Her skin was like milk in the moon, made perfect by age itself (Rin subconsciously felt hers, was surprised to find them still supple and smooth).

They were both ancient and supposed-to-be-dead. Only, the woman had a right to exist.

She smiled, and Rin was really startled now. There was something familiar and metallic about the curve of her lips.

-

That year, the cities came. They emerged, burgeoned, like boils from a disease. And like a blight, they were swift and consuming.

Sesshoumaru reaped in a heavy profit (she learned what money meant).

The world was changing, he taught her. And the best change with it. (She noticed he no longer wore his swords; they had been replaced by guns—another foreign term that slipped like ice.)

-

She had a marvelous voice, even Jaken admitted, and kindly agreed to read to him.

“The life of the wife is ended by the knife,” and repeated.

Sesshoumaru explained to her the importance of learning English, of emerging to join the Rest Of The World and other phrases she found misty—like her understanding.

Rin pondered over the “life” and the “wife” and would it count if she were not a wife? Or it were not a knife?

Maybe a sword and…and what, that she still waited to discover.

-

Amenities were expected, and she continued to address him as “lord”.

-

The girl never died.

World War I came and so did the second one. He took her to his mother’s home in the skies, where the remainder of his world resided. And there, Rin cowered in cowardice (in safety) knowing that millions were dying.

Sesshoumaru read the evening report (newspaper) to her daily. And scorned how stupid the humans were.

The other youkai, they laughed too. They were immortal and the sound of a dropping shell or splicing apart innards did them no harm. They were untouchable myths perched on clouds.

His mother stroked her hair and commented on how extraordinary it was she still breathed in air and not dusty gravel buried under. Rin felt her heart skip a beat, stop, drop. It lodged itself in her throat and she could not speak—only choke.

-

The white-faced devils had an aphorism and ritual. They called it The Burial of the Dead.

-

She had been eighteen for more lifetimes than she cared to enumerate. And finally, enough was enough. She approached him—cautious and sweet—and asked why she wasn’t dead yet.

He paused drinking the tea and staring at the rubble. And said, “I don’t know.”

Unhappy, Rin nearly doubled over from shock (and fear) and watched him step over the broken glass and ashy corpses and secretly wanted him dead too. Just once.

-

Curiosity had a powerful tug and before Rin knew it, the bullet went in (it was almost as good as a knife.)

-

Except for her miscalculation, everything went splendidly. For a moment, she thought she saw heaven. Or maybe it was hell, from the garish reds and dancing yellowy flames.

And then, he pulled her back alive again—or maybe she wasn’t even dead from the start.

Rin had no energy to dig further and instead, dug her sharp, slender fingers into his arms. While he held her, she rocked to sleep. And the tears still would not come.

Maybe she was broken and splintered after all.

-

Technology was a fool and a traitor. She wanted a baby (just to see what it would be like) and all she received was puddles and ribbons of flowing blood pouring out of her.

Rin screamed.

-

Sesshoumaru admonished her for her stupidity. It was the second time she’d ever seen him that furious (the other instance she couldn’t remember, incidentally).

She promised she wouldn’t try that again. And she honestly meant it; she didn’t want a baby that badly.

Not at all, come to think of it.

Just wanted to believe that she could be human again and figured that she wasn’t. Hadn’t been one for centuries, simply never had the astuteness to see it coming. This, the harsh-shrieking and chilling, human-death.

-

He spilled blood by the hour by the passing seasons and whims. Sharp the blade and minced the meat, he carried death with him always. The smells and cuts (of others) lingered, trapped to his skin—they she cleaned out every evening.

Where they were by the fire, now they are surrounded by e-l-e-c-t-r-i-c-i-t-y.

But her fingers were still deft and skinny, and that was all they counted for.

“You should be more careful.”

He took her in as if for the first time (the first they’ve spoken in months). “I don’t need your sympathy.”

“No, but you need me.”

“We’ll see about that.”

-

They move often now. Paradigms adjusted to fit the norm, people grew old of fantasies, and they couldn’t explain why their faces never aged. It was almost painful to make up tales.

Tall-tales, long-tales, tales for the sauntering passerby, the hapless passerby.

So now they were back in Tokyo. Time was a sullen enemy; it never forgot.

-

Blowing across her face, catching minuscule lint and dirt, was a sound (musical nearly) and a feeling.

Hurry, it told her. Hurry and leave, leave no regrets leave with nothing undone. And unmade and unsaid.

The car sat outside squat and fat, waiting. Rin did not look back.

-

The penthouse seemed so eerily peaceful now that she was gone (but she had grown taciturn too, over the years).

Sesshoumaru would even say that he missed her, if he knew the meaning of miss

“Miss Rin?”

“She no longer lives here,” he barked.

-

The man lit a cigarette for her, asked if she wanted a drink. No-thank-you.

Oh.

She smiled at his disappointment. He was far too young; the hoariness not even reaching his ears.

-

Sesshoumaru visited her from time to time, to give her money, inquire for her health, and other banalities they had rehearsed. And she always replied with the same charming ambiguity: just fine, thank you. And he always left with the same uninspired indifference.

“You could enchant wood,” he remarked.

She waved goodbye and thought that she just might (try that one out).

-

Rin had spent enough on this earth and was completely fed up with it now. The affected, standoffish insouciance, the worthless airs today-humans put up for show. She was through with all of it.

During the autumn, she decided to return to him (officially). And maybe, hoping, this time it would make a difference.

-

They had lived for too long in decay. Their bones were liquidating into a softened skein of skin.

-

To amuse herself, Rin created rhymes. To squander the time, Rin invoked the blues. They bruised, stinging her, while she lied down saturated in grime.

-

He introduced her to Ayumi one day, just straight out of nowhere a woman plummeted down from the sky. Rin shook her hand and smiled brightly. It had been a long while since she enjoyed a decent conversation.

Sesshoumaru was not one for frivolities and palaver.

-

“And that’s all I have to say on that.”

Ayumi blinks once, twice, and openly gawks. “No way. Oh that is bull, pure unadulterated bull. Do you take me for a kid? It’s a good story I admit, but if you’re trying to sell it to me as an autobiography…lady, you’re cracked.”

The woman peered at the orange, fizzing tip of her cigarette and snufs the stump fiercely into the ashtray. “Fine, think what you want. I just thought you wanted to document something original.”

“I do, but this is crazy! I do have a reputation, I mean. I can’t just spring something like this up to my editor. He’d fire me in a second.”

“Then think of it as a personal endeavor. I’ll pay you better than better. The best, just name your price.”

“Why do you want me to write this so much?”

“Boredom mostly.”

“Are you serious?”

Yes. I wouldn’t call you if I weren’t serious. I want history recorded. And by someone I know who won’t exaggerate it.”

Exaggerate! Oh lady, oh lady, you must be joking. Tell you what, we’ll make a deal. I’ll write this damn thing if you want me to but I can’t guarantee you what people will make of it.”

“Perfect, great, let’s seal it with a drink.”

Ayumi grins too, “Martinis in the afternoon.”

-

As promised in the deal, the woman receives a copy of the book after publication. A lovely fairytale, the others sigh happily—memoir, she corrects mentally. And it is not lovely.

“A party to celebrate?”

Sesshoumaru does not respond. She translates that as yes.

 


 
 
 
guelphite1guelphite1 on December 8th, 2008 04:30 am (UTC)
This was phenomenal. Thank you so much for posting.

If you haven't read the fic "Leave Him for Me" by Inuyasha Cooks I'm going to recommend it to you. You both have a similar writing style when it comes to portraying the relationship between Sesshomaru and Rin. You might just get a kick out of reading it.

But seriously, amazing work. Please continue to contribute :)

Langus
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on December 8th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
No, I haven't read that but I think I will now. Thanks. :)
(Deleted comment)
Y U no auto-translate?lye_tea on December 9th, 2008 10:11 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it. :)