InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Bedtime Story ❯ One-Shot
It was a warm, clear, starry night in the Sengoku Jidai, when the small, weary band of travelers settled down for the night beneath an ancient gingko tree. They had traveled many miles over the course of the day, and the land of dreams was now plainly in site. That is, for everyone except a certain little girl.
"Rin? What's the matter with you?" the dog youkai said softly, his voice heavy with fatigue.
"I can't sleep!" she whined. "Tell me a story."
"Very well." Sesshoumaru sighed. "Jaken!"
"Hai, Sesshoumaru-sama?" the toad youkai answered, eagerly jumping to his feet.
"Tell Rin a story." he said flatly, then yawned and rolled over, turning his back to them.
"Gah!" Jaken huffed under his breath. "I'm worn out, too!" He looked over at Rin, a disgruntled look on his face. "Can't you just go to sleep like everyone else?"
"Nooooo…." she whined sadly.
"Alright, alright!" he snapped, "Be quiet! Let's see, a story, huh? Alright, 'Long ago, far to the south of where we sit now, there lived a mighty toad-"
"Princess!" Rin interrupted.
"Who's telling this story?" Jaken fumed. "It was a toad!"
"PRINCESS!" Rin insisted. Jaken sighed, wearily.
"Very well, 'there lived a mighty toad princess' …" Rin burst into a fit of giggles at this, picturing Jaken-sama in a pink and white floral kimono, with long, black tresses flowing from his head.
"Now this mighty toad princess," Jaken continued, "Had many, many minions, and ruled the fields and marshlands of Mushashino's domain. His- er, um, HER name was known and feared, far and wide, by toad-youkai everywhere. Her name was, ahh…" he trailed off, thinking.
"Jaken-sama!" Rin cried, collapsing into another fit of giggles.
"Don't be absurd!" Jaken cried. "She can't be Princess Jaken-sama!"
"Princess Jaken-sama! Princess Jaken-sama!" Rin began to chant loudly.
"Hush!" he whispered hoarsely, fearful that her jubilation would wake Lord Sesshoumaru. "Very well! Just lay down and be quiet!"
"Hai!" Rin whispered, smiling at the toad youkai and laying back down on the soft, cool grass. "Gomen nasi, Jaken-sama."
"Alright." Jaken said. Once she had settled, he continued. "The mighty Princess Jaken-sama often had to lead her minions into battle to protect her lands. Well, one day, a fierce beast from the western mountains called a Bikuni descended upon the marshlands, and Princess Jaken-sama had to go out and drive this monster from her territory. It was a terrible battle, many minions were lost…"
"How sad…" Rin said softly.
"Don't be too sad, silly girl!" Jaken said irritably. "They were just minions!" He paused, eyeing her to see if she would interrupt again, then when she didn't, he continued. "Although the mighty Jaken-hime had lead her minions into victorious battle countless times, this new enemy proved to be too powerful."
"Oh no! Jaken-hime!"
"But as luck would have it, when the hime was in the very hands of the enemy, certain for death, a handsome, brave young warlord appeared and slayed the Bikuni, saving Princess Jaken-sama's life in the process."
"Sesshoumaru-sama!" Rin gasped, in awe.
"Hai!" Jaken agreed, nodding vigorously, "Sesshoumaru-sama! And after that day, Princess Jaken-sama vowed to follow her brave hero to the ends of the earth, or into the pits of hell itself, if necessary. She abandoned her minions and never returned home to the fields of Musashino again. You see, she owed him that much. A life debt is a very grave and serious responsibility."
"Hai, Rin. We follow Sesshoumaru-sama for the same reasons that your hime followed her warlord. We are bonded in a life debt that we may never be able to repay." Jaken finished, bowing his head.
"Jaken-sama?" Rin said after a few moments of silence.
"Hai?" He said wearily, dreading more of her seemingly endless questions. But instead of asking him anything, she did something that caught him completely off-guard. She rolled over and kissed him on the cheek.
"I don't mind." she whispered. "At least I'm not alone anymore." Then she rolled away from him, snuggling onto the edge of Sesshoumaru's tail.
'Funny…' Jaken thought to himself as he watched Rin's breathing become more even as she drifted into sleep. 'I was just thinking the same thing myself.'