Disclaimers: I do not own Inuyasha or any of its characters.

Notes: My very first Inuyasha fic, I'm so happy. This is a Het fic, with pairings as follows . . . Sesshomaru/Kagome, Inuyasha/Kikyo, and Miroku/Sango. This is most definitely an Alternate Universe fic, and I take great liberties in changing their lives to suit my purposes. And for the most part, I stick with English terms and spellings for their names . . . I do hope you can get over it.

Summary: Sesshomaru is a slave with very little to look forward to in his life, until he's purchased by a kind young woman named Kagome.

All right, let's get on with the story.



He looked up at the night sky with a deep longing in his heart. Above him, the stars shone . . . the moonlight cascaded down on him. And yet, he was filled with a deep despair. For he was only a slave . . . and this moment, this single fleeting moment was as close to freedom as he could ever get. His only joy came in looking at the evening sky . . . and he could only do so, when his masters had no use for him.

He closed his eyes as a breeze flowed through the bars of his cell, brushing through his lengthy silver hair, and causing a slight shiver to pass over his body. Perhaps if he had been given more clothing, he would be warmer . . . but he was granted nothing more than the flimsiest of cloths to cover his genitals . . . nothing more was deemed worthy of a lowly slave. Of course he did still have his tail to give him warmth, but it was being used for something far more important at the moment.

He was a demon. At one time, he had commanded respect, had brought fear to the humans around him . . . to everyone around him. He had been Sesshomaru, the Lord of the Western Lands . . . but now he was nothing. The world had changed in the blink of an eye. Humans, in their cruelty had used magic to dominate demons . . . the collar around Sesshomaru's neck and the bindings around his wrists attested to that fact.

He could do nothing to go against his owner. He was bound by magic, held against his will . . . he could not disobey, no matter how much he wished to swipe the malicious grins off the humans' faces. With one word, he could be reduced to mindless servitude . . . his consciousness forced aside by the agony consuming his body. He shuddered at the memory of the pain, knowing as he had known for years now, that he would have to obey his next master, just as he had the last.

Sesshomaru was one of only a handful of full-blooded demons left in the world. They were being wiped to extinction. His heart fell at the knowledge of that. But what hurt him even more, was that he knew not of what had become of his own family. His half-brother . . . the boy's mother . . . they had been living in a village not far from the lands of Sesshomaru's father . . . the great demon who had fallen when the humans had first risen against them.

To be honest, Sesshomaru had never been happy that his father had taken a human as a mate . . . but he had learned to live with it. His little brother had actually grown on him somewhat. The child had had an innocence about him . . . an innocence that had most likely been stripped from him by the cruelty happening around them.

Sesshomaru wondered if either the boy or his mother had even survived.

A small whimper caught his ear and he looked down, smiling sadly at the child that was curled against his body. Her name was Rin. She was a human, unlike him . . . but she was a slave just the same . . . just like the toad demon, Jaken . . . who sat against the nearby wall . . . they were all slaves. Come tomorrow the three of them . . . and the others in this much-too-small cell . . . would be sold by a slave trader, to do the bidding of humans. They would probably never see each other again.

"I will miss you, Rin." Sesshomaru whispered, letting his fingers stray through the girl's filthy hair. He would never say such a thing to her face . . . but when she slept, he found he could be honest. He adjusted his tail so that she was covered more, only wishing the child to remain healthy . . . she would be well for as long as she was with him.

Rin mumbled something incoherently in her sleep, cuddling closer to the warmth of his body, snuggling against his dirt-marred tail. It was endearing to know that the child trusted him so completely . . . and a shame to know that he would not be with her for much longer. They had met only two days ago, when she had been brought to this slaver trader's house . . . and she had run to him almost immediately, as if somehow she had known he would not harm her.

He found her innocent nature amusing. It was something she would not have for too long . . . he knew that. With a sad smile, he returned his attention to the stars, ignoring the pain of hunger that stabbed at his stomach. He would spend this last night enjoying what he could . . . he had always found joy in looking to the night sky.

To Be Continued . . .