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Slave of My Heart by tearsofacrescent

Bought

Kikyo stood in what was once her grandfather's office, listening to the advisors talk away of land treaties and other such uselessness. Her mind was focused on her family's safety. There had been enough attacks upon the Higurashi line of recent with her grandfather's demise that they had lost a great many human guards. The problem was that they were human, she realized, and with what wealth her family possessed, Kikyo could remedy such a situation.

She loved her sisters and brothers dearly and would not risk their being killed any longer. "This ridiculousness can wait." Kikyo said, standing. "There is something I must give my attention to." She left the room, her advisors squawking after her.

Walking the corridors with haste, her thoughts surrounded her family and the danger they were in. It was a particularly quiet sunny day, and though she had said for them to remain in the safety of the palace, she was sure she knew where to find all three of her siblings. Especially the one her mother sought to protect the Shikon no Tama. The purest of them all, the most sought after, and the most foolish.

Kagome.

"Hey," Souta called to his elder sister. "Weren't you reading that book last week?"

Kagome looked up from her pages, smiling a little. "I was, and I finished it, but it was a great story. I wanted to read it again."

Keade smiled gently, standing from beside Souta where they had been lazing on the grass, avoiding their studies as sister Kikyo would surely scold them for. "Is that the one about the girl who dreams of a wolf and falls in love with him as a man?"

"Uh-huh." Kagome nodded. "I'm at the part where she sees him while awake for the first time."

"That was the best part!" Keade said excitedly. "Or… When they kissed." She flushed.

Souta stuck out his tongue. "Yuck."

Kagome and Keade laughed. Of course, the shadow that soon blocked Kagome's book dwindled all merriment, as well as Souta's look of guilt. She didn't have to turn around, she just knew. "Kagome?" Kikyo questioned lowly.

"Y-yes sister?" She smiled innocently.

Kikyo was unfazed by her feigned innocence. "How many times have I said for you not to come outside?"

"About a million." Keade murmured.

Kagome gave her a look that said she wasn't helping. "And yet here you all are, basking in the sun when any moment, someone could come over the wall there and kill you." She gestured to the very wall she meant. It was about fourteen foot high, cream and opposing.

"But we love it outside!" Kagome protested, not sounding at all like the seventeen year old she should behave as.

Kikyo rolled her eyes, something that at twenty-four, she would not dare do in court. "I am well aware, which is why we will be purchasing demons."

Everyone grew still and quiet, looking at Kikyo in shock. Souta was the first to come out of his stupor. "Oh yeah, the family responsible for enslaving every demon in the known world is just going to go buy some. Great idea, sis." He shook his head.

She ignored her brother. "The market is open this evening, so I've heard. Kagome, you and I will go and see what we find." When she looked as though she would protest, Kikyo said. "And do not try the excuse of that you have to guard the shikon jewel. Take it with you."

"Sister, you know it's dangerous to take the jewel out into public." Kagome told her as she fisted her hand around the Shikon no Tama. Under Kagome's guidance, the jewel remained a beautiful crystal clarity, but if Kikyo touched it, the jewel would turn a pinkish hue. This is why Kagome was its guardian. She was the only one without hate while experiencing so much tragedy.

"Yes, I do." Kikyo told her. "But that does not change my decision. Now, dress more appropriately for shopping."

Kagome knew what she meant. Miko garb, the red and white that had followed her family for centuries. It did not hide their wealth at all, for when the two sisters were together, everyone knew which family they came from.

"Let's go inside." Kagome sighed, shutting her book.

Souta and Keade both sighed as well, not looking forward to spending the rest of the day indoors. "We can't go with you guys?" Keade asked in a pout.

Kikyo answered sternly. "No, the market is no place for children."

"Yeah," Souta agreed. "Someone would probably snatch us up."

Keade didn't seem surprised, just unhappy. "So I guess it's better we stay here."

"It is." Kagome smiled. "You can annoy Miroku."

Souta grinned broadly at his sister and took off running down the hall. Miroku, who had once been training to be a monk, became a personal guard for the youngest children after their grandfather was killed. He had found the old man dead and, upon seeing it, pursued the killer, finding them at Souta's bedroom door. He fought and killed the assassin, and at his own request, became the boy and girl's protector. Sure, he was sleeping, but he never got angry when the children came in and woke him up.

Kikyo began to move away from Kagome, purpose in mind. Before they left, she needed to sign at least one of those blasted treaties. She'd look over a few others, and maybe- "Kikyo?" Kagome called softly. When her sister turned, Kagome asked. "Are you sure about this?"

Her answer was smooth and somewhat detached, as could be expected of the leader of the Higurashi shrine. "I've been considering the option for some time now. It would probably be in our family's best interest to have protectors with superior skills and senses than the human guards we now keep." Her tone also promised that if Kagome were to argue, it would be a loosing battle.

"Fine." Kagome said, moving down to her room. "Best thing since plumbing, I guess." She joked and Kikyo smiled in return for her sisters effort.

Changing into the miko garb, from her simple, lazy wear castle clothes, Kagome tied her hair up in a high ponytail, something rather different and more energetic than her sisters low. It said a lot about her personality, as did her lively blue eyes and warm, dark peach complexion. Of course she had fair skin, but you could see she was outdoors much more so than her elder sister. This spoke volumes about what she enjoyed doing, and what little responsibilities she had as far as her family's affairs. Therefore, many assumed that if Kikyo were to be killed, then Kagome could not handle the weight of such responsibilities.

She was a more innocent child with a grander outlook on life, even through all of the turmoil they had been through, not knowing how often her sister read the death threats against her family that came in every few days of every week.

For not knowing, and only seeing the assassin's that came more rarely than the letters, Kagome could still not understand the reasoning behind purchasing demon slaves. It was wrong on so many more levels than one. And she loathed the fact that they were enslaved in the first place. The whole ideal disgusted her beyond belief, beyond any possible imagining. Perhaps because of what her father had done in his madness and grief, or perhaps because that was simply who she was. She, Kagome Higurashi, purest of the pure, and protector of the Shikon no Tama, could not stand for any cruelty or wickedness. It was simply not in her.

"Shopping for demons." She grumbled. "What fun."

She left her quarters, going to the front of their home. It was small for a wealthy family with royal blood, but it was much larger than what most lived in during her time. Her best friend Sango was very wealthy. Her family, back when demons used to be a problem, made weapons that could subdue the demon kind or even kill them. Now, her family made weapons for the empire that Kikyo now ruled.

Sango always wondered why their houses were the same size, and Kagome always told her it was her mother's desire. She supposed that's why when her mother died, her grandfather, the emperor, did not move the family to his home in the mountain keep that Midoriko had grown up in. Perhaps it was because her presence was laid in the foundation of the home they were in.

But if he had taken them back to where he had grown up and his father had and his father before him, would her grandfather be dead?

She brushed that thought away, focusing on the here and now, which Sango very much was. It was as though thinking of the girl summoned her. "You're going out?" Sango asked in surprise.

Kagome nodded. "Sister wishes to purchase a slave."

"There is surely an S you are missing, sister." Kikyo called as she came down the corridor. "For we are not purchasing only one."

Kagome rolled her eyes as she sighed. "I was hoping you wouldn't want anymore than one."

"And when I discussed my intentions earlier, did I not say 'slaves' as a plural?" Kikyo asked.

Kagome flushed. "Well yeah, but I didn't want to think about it…"

Sango watched the interaction between the two sisters, used to seeing them not get along when it came to decisions that required more harsh behavior or action. They loved each other dearly, but where Kagome was a child of the sun, Kikyo was of the moon. Even Kagome, kind hearted and innocent priestess, would kill any who tried to take her family's lives, including Kikyo. And Kikyo would not hesitate to kill anyone who wanted to even harm her family.

"When we got our three, we decided to treat them better than what they were being treated in their captivity." She sighed. "Just because we made weapons to battle demons doesn't mean that they should all be slaves. We can't break the spell, but we can offer them a less demeaning existence."

Kagome sighed. "So, Totosai enjoys working on swords again?" Kagome asked.

Sango laughed. "Yes, but he complains about not being able to make them from fangs. He also grumbles about the food."

Kikyo seemed a little surprised. "You feed him well from what I've understood."

"Oh we do, but he wants more than what we give him." Kagome laughed a little, not surprised. "And every time he tries stealing Koga's food, a fight breaks out. Usually Totosai just lets the wolf demon beat him up."

Kikyo glanced at Kagome's tense face and asked. "How is Koga?"

"He misses Kagome." Sango laughed as her friend turned several shades of red. "Every time I go over here, he always wants to be my guard." But it was a demon Kagome did not know who waited outside. "I took Akin with me since he's healed."

"Oh, this is Akin!" Kagome said in surprise, stepping out to greet the demon. He kept his eyes away from her own, leaving their beautiful apricot color trained on the cobble stone walkway to her front door. He was much taller than she was, by about a foot and a half, maybe more because he slouched a little. His hair was in a low ponytail, letting his pointed ears capture her attention, as well as his demonic markings. They were exotic, two green running down across his cheeks and a purple going up between them. His eye lids were covered in purple/blue that only accented the apricot.

He was gorgeous.

She flushed a little, trying to get beyond his beauty. "How are you feeling?"

The demon had been in a terrible bind before Sango and her family managed to purchase him. He was used in demon fighting, something done for money, prestige and sport. It disgusted Kagome, but she was glad he could be away from that sort of life.

"Well, my Lady." He replied so softly she had barely heard.

Kagome frowned, always having hated how quiet demons were brutalized into being. "And how does your household treat you?"

His reply was a mirror of the first. "Well, my Lady."

She felt sorry for this demon, for all of the decent ones. No, even the cruel ones. No one deserved captivity, even if they were horrible beings. Did they deserve to be punished for crimes? Yes, but just to take away their freedom… Kagome always confused herself on the subject, because weren't there circumstances where someone did deserve to be locked up? But not to be enslaved, that was wrong.

"Kagome," Kikyo called. "It is time to go."

She sighed, nodding. "Sorry Sango, maybe you can come visit tomorrow?"

"Of course." She smiled. "I'm just going to take Akin out to the outskirts of town for a good walk."

Kagome felt herself tense. It was like walking your pet or something… Disgusting. "Well, be careful." She commented.

Sango rolled her eyes. "When am I not?"

"Everyday." Kagome laughed and so did Sango. Akin listened to the girl's with nothing notable on his face.

With that Kagome and Kikyo made their way into town. It was a long walk, but never so silent as this specific passage. The two sisters did not agree, leaving very little for either to converse about. By the time they reached even the outer limits of the village, opposite the one Sango intended to head toward, the sun was low in the sky. Kikyo knew they didn't have much time, so she handed Kagome a separate sack of money. When her sister's bright eyes questioned her, Kikyo sighed.

"We're going to have to split up." She explained, stuffing the money into Kagome's sleeve quickly before any noticed. "Do not simply pick a demon that you feel sorry for, but one you know can defend Keade and Souta." Kagome's eyes warred with Kikyo's for a moment, but after thinking of her siblings and what they needed, she nodded solemnly.

"Good." Kikyo said, relieved beyond what she would reveal. "Meet me here in four hours, no less."

Her sister turned from her and Kagome looked away, to the area where she would head and sighed. "Well, here we go."

Kagome moved through the crowds, her quiet voice hard to hear over everyone in the crowded area. She would ask to be let by, but no one would really pay heed to her, so she'd have to force herself through everyone. With a lot of grunting and apologies, Kagome finally felt fed up with everything and just stopped apologizing, grit her teeth and shoved through the whole lot.

"Get yourself a slaves ladies!" She began to hear. "Fine male specimens for your viewing pleasure!"

Kagome was abhorred beyond possible thought while the women near her giggled. "And men," a woman called. "Come view our demonic women. Hell in bed!" She hollered in her shrill voice.

She almost didn't push herself forward, but knowing what her sister would say if she didn't, Kagome did, though with more slowness. "A priestess…" She would hear people murmur, but she ignored them.

Instead, she balked when she got into the market place, seeing nearly naked men and women, all demons. Their powers pressed against her harshly and she shuddered against it. Her mother's Shikon no Tama lay about her neck, sending a pulse of comfort that every demon in the vicinity recognized, even if they didn't know what was sending it out. They just knew it was there.

She looked at a thousand or more faces, unable to pick any one demon out that may be suitable to help protect her siblings. They were all too… Angry. Everything in each demon she looked at was of complete rage, and that wouldn't do for her siblings to be near.

She understood that all demons were still angry that they'd been enslaved as they had, but she just couldn't let someone so hateful destroy her siblings happy personalities. There had already been too much done to them in their lives and too much said to them by the general public. She had to choose wisely, carefully, so she could keep their innocence intact.

There were a few female demons she'd considered, but as soon as they seen her miko garb, they sneered in rage. Kikyo told her not to return without anyone to protect them, but Kagome was seriously doubting she could find a suitable addition to their home, even just one, let alone two or three. If she didn't see anyone, then she was sure Kikyo would be agitated, but find someone else beyond whoever she purchased.

Dejected and fairly certain she would not succeed, Kagome stopped right where she was, giving the area one last, long look before she would turn. And then she seen him, a man who was clad in nothing but a loin cloth. It was… sickening to see someone that way, but she looked beyond his state of dress as he was crouched low, speaking to an unhappy demon child. Two silver ears were pointed forward, to the boy, and every once in a while they would flicker to a loud noise.

Kagome was standing in silent shock as she watched the man, a hanyou she assumed, talking to this child. Soon enough, the boy smiled at the silver eared man and went away with some woman who was clearly in high standing.

As the hanyou stood back up, he noticed Kagome watching him, and when their eyes met, crystalline water in the heat of a fire, he glared at her, looking away after a moment. She was enamored that he'd actually stared at her and happy with the way he'd treated the child. So maybe Kikyo wouldn't have to scold her after all. Looking around for anyone near him, she found the salesmen right off the bat as he accepted payment from a woman and immediately began shouting again. The hanyou's ears flattened and he looked at the man like he could have torn his head right off.

"Excuse me!" Kagome shouted at the man, slipping by a few people talking loudly. "Excuse me!" She called again, more loudly and was almost knocked over by someone about her age as he thundered by her.

The salesmen turned to her and almost rolled his eyes. "What can I do for ya, miko?" Someone laughed.

Her face turned red. "This one," Kagome said, pointing toward the hanyou. "What will it take to purchase him?"

"And why does a miko want a hanyou?" The man laughed. "To fry?"

Everyone near roared with laughter and Kagome floundered for words. "No, of course not! I just-I-" She shook her head. "My reasons are my own. Now, how much is he?"

"You couldn't afford him with common wealth girl, now-"

Kagome was flaming. "I asked about his price, now tell me!"

The salesmen glared at her, but huffed. "Four gold pieces, because he's The Great Dog General's son."

Kagome gasped, looking at who had to be Inuyasha quickly, in total shock. Inu no Tashio's boy? "Oh…" He kept his eyes away from her, to the left, but she sensed he was paying close enough attention to her. "I accept…"

"You what?" The man asked in shock.

She didn't pull her purse out, just some of the coins. "Here." Everyone stood in surprise. "Now give me his papers."

"Hai, my Lady." The man said, finally showing her respect as he moved through the ranks of demons. "Follow me."

She did, feeling their energy crackle against her. And then she seen another demon, one whose demeanor struck her like lightning. "This youkai," she began, and his eyes moved to hers fearlessly, stoically. The amber could have stabbed her through… And to her shock, he narrowed them like she was an insect before he looked away, even after his bands began to constrict. They glowed green until he averted his gaze.

That was a powerful binding to react without a command. It confirmed the magenta stripes over his cheeks, his red lids and blue crescent moon. "Sesshoumaru. Once the heir to the western lands." She could hear the smirk in the man's voice.

"How much?" She asked.

The man looked at her incredulously. "Now surely Priestess-"

"How? Much?" She growled each of the words, reddening in anger.

"Twelve." He hissed, eyes flaming.

When she paled, he smirked in triumph and began to turn. "Wait." She said softly. "I have it." She promised, seeing Sesshoumaru look at her from the corner of her eye in shock. Of course he didn't show the emotion, but his eyes were somewhat wider.

"That's not possible." The man whirled on her, gaining a lot of attention when he gripped her wrist and yanked her toward him. "Are you a thief priestess? For surely, no shrine is so influential that you can spare such money." He almost looked youkai to Kagome with his face so darkened by rage. "Or maybe you just don't know how to spend your funds and-"

Kagome gasped as the man was thrown back by a clawed hand, where two hunter green stripes came from the wrists, a purple one meeting up through them both. Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes behind Kagome, but never moved a muscle. "Do not touch her!" Sango roared as she came beside Kagome, the tall demon stepping before them both.

The man hollered, pointing at Akin. "That demon, he attacked me!"

Many people stopped moving, turning in surprise, seeing a man pointing at a tall, powerful demon. Sango cursed under her breath, knowing a mob would ensue. "This slave belongs to me. He acted under my command!" Some seemed startled by that. "The trader had roughly handled a priestess!"

The man, not one to be blamed, immediately, loudly, cried out. "She is a thief! The miko stole gold!"

People began shouting at her, coming toward she, Sango and Akin. Kagome trembled, her blue eyes wide as she looked at the ranks of angry humans, bringing their demons forward with them. "We should have our demons subdue him!" Someone shouted. Many agreed and voices thrummed together painfully in Kagome's head.

Kikyo would be furious if she blew their normalcy out of the water, but as a few demons began to race forward, Kagome erected a powerful barrier around she, Sango and Akin. Sesshoumaru twitched at the purity so near to his person, and was further surprised when it grew to allow him entrance as well. Perhaps the miko now considered him her own possession because she intended to buy him. How ridiculous.

"My name is Kagome Higurashi, and if you do not call away your demons, whatever I must do to them to protect myself and entourage, I will bring back upon you ten fold." The reaction was a moment off, like shock had everyone still, and then there was a flurry of motion. Demons returned to their owners and the humans looked at her in complete awe. Now that they thought about it, she looked an awful lot like Midoriko. Even Sesshoumaru thought so.

There were murmurings that begged to be forgiven that Kagome ignored. She looked at Sango, placing a hand on the woman's forearm as her cheeks grew a little pink from embarrassment. Everyone was staring… "Are you okay, Sango-chan?"

"Hai, Kagome." Sango nodded gratefully, proud of her friend. Two years ago, Kagome would have been too afraid of her power to do something so showy, but with training, she was in better control of her abilities. Nothing like her sister, but Kagome would be a fine warrior one day, Sango was certain.

Nodding, Kagome looked to Akin, noticing the surprise in his eyes. Yet he masked it and quickly looked to the ground. Kagome frowned, placing her hand on his bicep. A tremor ran through him as his eyes darted back to her own and Kagome found herself taking her hand away quickly. "Uh," she looked away from the apricot. "You're okay too?" She asked.

Sesshoumaru and Sango both did not miss the way the dragon demon watched her for a moment. There was an odd light to his eyes, casting emotions. Kagome confused a lot of demons, something Sesshoumaru didn't know as of yet, but Sango did and it never ceased to amuse her. "Yes, my Lady." Sango laughed when she blushed and nodded to him, her barrier slowly diminishing.

"Priestess Kagome," the tradesmen murmured apologetically. "Forgive me. I hadn't known, I-"

Akin remained rather close to the two girls, taking to the job of protection rather seriously. Sesshoumaru, if less dignified, could have rolled his eyes. "I'm still going to purchase him." Kagome said uncomfortably. "So you don't have to grovel like that."

The tradesmen gave a sigh of relief that Akin narrowed his eyes to. "How much is your purchase going to be?" Sango looked to Sesshoumaru, recognizing him immediately.

"Twelve…" Kagome murmured nervously.

"Gold pieces!" Sango shouted. "That's outrageous!"

Sesshoumaru thought he was worth more, personally. Perhaps even priceless, but if he had to give it a figure, then he would allow seven hundred, maybe a thousand. His father was never to be sold, left to the darkest fighting rings, being forced to battle it out with the most powerful of demons. How was it that humans surmised he was weak enough to be sold with these demons? Ridiculous. He should have been left to battle as well, not be forced to answer to any humans whim.

And what's worse? He was to be stuck with his own brother for some unforeseeable amount of time. How he loathed Inuyasha, a child that should have never been born.

"You embarrassed the Priestess of the Shikon no Tama, accused her of thievery and allowed a mob to try and swarm her, and still you demand twelve gold coins?" Sango was entirely enraged. "How dare you. That is, by far, the most disgusting thing in the world." She practically spat on the man. "Show some decency and realize your mistake. You owe her now."

Kagome let Sango work her magic, one to always bargain. She'd learned it form her father, and Kagome seriously thought Sango was now better at it than he was. Watching as she brought the price down farther and farther, from twelve coins to four, Kagome certainly believed it.

"Thanks." Kagome whispered to her.

Sango sighed. "If I wouldn't have been here, you would have spent a fortune and probably have been attacked by a mob. And you say thank you?" She shook her head. "How about you tell me you'll never do something like this again?"

"I don't ever intend to come out here and buy a slave again." Kagome promised, a horrified look on her face. "I wouldn't have done it in the first place if Kikyo wo-"

"Okay." Sango said quickly, hushed. "Okay, that's fine." She didn't want anyone watching to overhear this conversation. "Akin and I will go home with you." She told Kagome as the slaves were prepared. "Your sister has probably managed to get a few demons as well by now, maybe you'll need an extra hand."

Sesshoumaru narrowed his eyes towards her. "The commands you'll need," the slave trader murmured. "Are here and here." He handed her two separate booklets. "There are certain words for submission or for outright punishment."

Kagome cringed, unable to take the papers, but Sango did. "Well then, I guess we'll be on our way." Sango huffed, looking to Kagome. "Command them, they're yours to bid."

"Uh…" Kagome looked to Sesshoumaru and Inuyasha. Both demons could hear her heart hammering as she looked at their faces and scented that she was nervous, afraid and stressed. "Follow me…" Her voice was weak, shaky.

The bands warned them that they'd been given a command by pulsating once against their skin. So they did as they knew they had to and everyone began to move out of the market, toward where Kagome would need to meet her sister. "I don't know if she'll be waiting on me or not yet. I've only been out here two hours and she said four…"

Sango nodded. "Well, I'm sure Akin remembers her scent. He could find her if I asked."

"No," Kagome shook her head. "I can always search for her purity." She didn't want to force the demon into doing something he didn't want to do. That would be… Terrible. She glanced at Inuyasha who made sure he would in no way see Sesshoumaru's face as they walked side by side, practically naked. And when she looked at Sesshoumaru, he stared ahead, entirely impassive. "You know… let's get these two some clothes…" She said, looking into a store that may have already had their size.

Sango looked through the packet. "You know, whatever clothes they'd had originally should have been sold with them… But then again, they are sons of the Great dog General, so those are probably somewhere for show. As well as any weapons they'd had."

Kagome nodded. "Uh… do you have a favorite color… Either of you…?"

No one answered her and Sango rolled her eyes. "Don't worry about what they like. Just find something wearable. Unless you like them almost naked."

"No!" Kagome turned several shades of red. "Something wearable, coming up!"

Of course, the two demons had to be measured first before anything could be bought. For Inuyasha, there were many different shades and clothes he could wear. Kagome settled for two red hamaka's and two white hoari's. Sesshoumaru, however, that was very limited, to one outfit, actually. Grey, through and through. It was plain, but they'd survive for now. "Maybe eventually I can convince Kikyo to let me get them both fitted for nicer clothes." Kagome said.

Sango rolled her eyes. "Always trying to please…"

Kagome huffed, going to where Kikyo said she would meet her and waited with the now dressed hanyou and Inuyoukai at her side. They were both statuesque in some sense, Sesshoumaru more untouchable than Inuyasha, so she stood more closely to the hanyou, almost frightened of the demon prince. If only Kikyo would hurry… Not that Sango wasn't company enough. Kagome just… didn't know how to feel about any of this.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So here's the official chapter one of slave of my heart. I hope you enjoy this odd little idea... Please review and let me know what you think.

 

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