AN: Okay, I've started rewriting this fic... changing a few details and such, so people can stop complaining that I stole ideas from someone else. It becomes annoying after a while. The basic story plot has been left the same, which is definitely a good thing. I liked the plot. Well, onto the story.


The noise. Oh, how he hated the noise. The many people shouting and running about mixed with the music coming from all the stores gave him a large headache. His sensitive dog ears just couldn't take the racket. Even though he had his ears laying as flat against his head as possible, he could barely stand all the din and clamor that swirled about him.


The smells were even worse. Perfume, cigarette smoke, and cologne mercilessly laid siege to his nose, making it twitch almost constantly. All that, combined with the scents of food, demons, and dirty, sweaty humans, annoyed him to the fullest. Every few seconds he tried to get rid of the smells by exhaling sharply through his nostrils. It worked, but only for a brief moment.


He was at the largest mall in the city, retrieving his VCR from his electrician and good friend Miroku. At least, he was trying to do that. The place was so congested with people, demons and humans alike, that there was barely enough room to breath, let alone walk. He was having the worst trouble getting down the hall that lead to the electronic shop.


He pushed and shoved his way through the crowd, making sure to harm no one with his sharp claws. Every so often, someone would yell at him, but the person would always leave him alone once he or she got a look at his fangs, golden eyes, silver hair, and well-clothed body.


Usually, one look was all it took for someone to recognize who he was. He was Inuyasha, owner of the Youkai Armory and the second richest man in the country. Most people never, ever tried to cross him. He was easily angered, which was an understatement at times.


Inuyasha was especially easy to anger at the moment because of his headache. All he wanted to do was get his VCR, pay Miroku for the repairs, then get back home and relax. It wasn't like he wanted anything important.


Unfortunately, he found a huge gathering of people right outside Miroku's shop, blocking the entrance. The totally male crowd contained men of all ages, ranging from teenagers to old geezers. They were all staring at the store next to Miroku's: the Slave Store, which was currently under new ownership.


Slavery was allowed all over the world, sometimes even encouraged in some places, but only orphaned humans were made into slaves. He himself found the practice distasteful, but many people didn't share his opinion. The majority of the population found the slaves to be useful housekeepers, nannies, gardeners, cooks, and even bedmates.


After considering the crowd and how many of them were drooling, Inuyasha guessed that there was a particularly pretty, female slave up for sale at the moment. It made sense to him, but he really could have cared less. At that moment, he had only one objective: get to Miroku's store.


Shoving his way roughly through the crowd, he made his way towards Miroku's repair shop, passing near the stage on his way there. What he saw made him stop dead in his tracks. The new owner was an old enemy.


The owner was Naraku, a hanyou and a shrewd businessman. Long, wavy dark hair was tied back at the nape of his neck, and cold, dark eyes surveyed the crowd. The tall, evil man who had terrorized his family for years was standing by a female who Inuyasha didn't even look at. He was just too busy glaring at the dark-haired hanyou to even spare her a glance.


"My fellow men, this is no ordinary girl," Naraku insisted as persuasively as he could. "Not only is she beautiful, obedient, and able to cook and clean, but she's a miko. Don't worry, powerful youkai, she will not and can not harm anyone. Instead, she has been taught a few useful tricks that come in very handy late at night when one is having trouble sleeping." The lecherous smile on the man's face gave everyone a good clue about what he meant. "She incapable of betrayal, due to the spell that links her to her master. As long as the spell is in effect, she won't even be able to imagine disobeying her master. She, literally, lives to serve, which is very nice; don't you agree?"


Many of the men chuckled along with Naraku. Of course, the ones who did were nothing more than dirt in Inuyasha's eyes. He had been known to be a jerk at times, but he found nothing funny about degrading women. He would never stoop so low as to do something that disgraceful.


"Now, how about we open the biding at two-thousand dollars?" Naraku suggested, regally gesturing towards the girl.


It was then that Inuyasha finally looked at the other person on the stage. The female was indeed beautiful, despite the fact she was too thin. Flawless ivory skin and blue-gray eyes were accented by long, black hair that fell a little ways past her shoulders. She was wearing a red, female genie outfit that wasn't incredibly well made, although it did show off her perfect skin. Her form would had been voluptuous had she not been so starved, but Inuyasha felt that once she was well-fed, she would regain her lost curves. Overall, she was beautiful; and her face, her very smell, reminded him of someone.


"Kikyou," Inuyasha whispered breathlessly, images of his dead wife flashing through his mind. Yes, the slave girl did look like his wife who had been dead for 50 years. The resemblance was uncanny, even he had to admit that.


Instead of that bothering him, it merely emboldened him. He had to have the slave girl, no matter what the costs. She would be expensive, considering how the bid had gotten up to three-thousand dollars while he had stared, but he was going to have her. Thankfully, he could easily afford her.


"Four-thousand," Inuyasha called out, determined that no one would out-bid him.


"Four-thousand fifty," shouted another voice. It was Kouga, a super-fast wolf demon. He owned a store that also dealt in swords, so he was constantly at odds with Inuyasha. They were rivals to the core, but they did have a certain, very small degree of respect for each other.


"Four-thousand five-hundred." Inuyasha glared over at Kouga, trying to tell him to back off. The message was ignored.


"Four-thousand, six-hundred." Kouga was not about to be beaten by the hanyou Inuyasha. He wanted the woman on the stage, and no dogturd was going to stop him. Crossing his arms across his chest, he shot a superior look over at his rival, telling the other without words that he willing to back down.


"Five-thousand," Inuyasha called out, smiling smugly when Kouga didn't try to outbid him again. The wolf youkai had obviously run out of funds.


"Ten-thousand," someone from the back said in a calm, collected voice. The sound quieted many of the people in the audience, much to the hanyou's surprise.


"Kuso," snapped Inuyasha, suddenly recognizing the speaker. There was no way he would be able to outbid the newcomer. He just didn't have enough money, nor would he probably ever. The last man to bid was the richest man in the country... and the biggest annoyance in Inuyasha's life.


"Well, well, well," Naraku said, sounding pleased. "Ten-thousand dollars. Would anyone like to bid ten-thousand fifty?" Silence followed. Not even Inuyasha spoke, for he had given up. "Going once... going twice... sold to the man in the back! Come on up here, sir, and we'll conclude our business so you can take the slave home with you."


The crowd slowly began to disperse as the buyer made his way up to the stage, movements graceful and deliberate. Many of the men glared at the buyer, unhappy about losing. They had wanted to take the girl home as well.


Inuyasha was angrier than all of them put together. He had just been beaten -again!- by that annoying male. He had wanted the girl more than anything, and she had been snatched from right under his nose.


Scowling and muttering curses under his breath, Inuyasha stormed into Miroku's store. He only hoped that he could get his anger under control before he broke something. Of course, Miroku was probably one of the few people who could cheer him up at the moment.


He stomped right up to the front desk, glaring at everyone who dared to get near him. Miroku, as always, was unaffected. It took a lot to affect him.


"Bad day, huh?" Miroku asked, pulling out his friend's VCR from behind the counter. "Would you like to talk about it? I'm sure that I can help you find a way to change the lady's answer from a 'no' to a 'yes'." He had a friendly smile on his face, his dark blue eyes sparkling with mischeviousness. Black hair pulled into a small pony tail at the nape of his neck accented a handsome face.


Inuyasha rolled his eyes. Besides being an amazing electrician, Miroku was a lecher who was never able to keep a girlfriend for very long. "Unlike you, dirty monk, my problems don't revolve around girls turning me down."


"Oooh, bringing up my family now are you?" Miroku asked, feigning annoyance, very much used to the hanyou's bad temper. He came from a long line of monks. Almost all his male ancestors had been holy men... as well as lechers. Miroku had been a monk for a while, but he had given it up to become an electrician. "And that hit concerning my problems was rather low."


"Yeah, well, you asked for it," Inuyasha grumbled. Truthfully, he wasn't angry at his friend, but since the guy was there, he had decided to use him to help relieve his anger. He had a habit of using anyone around him as an outlet for his temper.


"Humph." He paused, giving his friend a curious look. "So what is your problem?" he asked again, voice softer than the last time. He knew that it was better to use a calm tone with Inuyasha when the hanyou was angry.


Inuyasha sighed. "That jerk beat me out of something I wanted again."


"Ah..." Miroku nodded understandingly, compassion on his face. He knew exactly who Inuyasha was talking about. His hanyou friend only called one person 'the jerk'. "So what was it this time."


"A girl... a slave," he answered. "She looked like Kikyou." He got a depressed, faraway look in his eyes. He still missed his wife so much that it hurt at times.


The one-time monk shook his head sadly. His poor friend was still mourning over Kikyou. "Maybe he did you a favor then, by buying her," he told Inuyasha. "She wasn't Kikyou, Inuyasha, and it would be wrong for you to try and change the girl into Kikyou... even though I know that you wouldn't intentionally do that. The girl may be a slave, but she's still human. She has her own identity... her own personality."


"I don't care, dammit!" he snapped back, golden eyes briefly flashing in annoyance. "She looked so much like Kikyou..."


It was Miroku's turn to sigh. "You need to give up Kikyou some time, Inuyasha. You need to heal. It's been fifty years. Let her go," he advised his friend. "It won't be easy but..." He shrugged. "What is?"


Inuyasha snarled, not liking the advice at all. "Just tell me how much I owe you so I can get out of here." He was tired of the lecture, his mind not ready to let go of his first and only love. "I hate the mall, and you know it," he added for a good measure.


"Very well." Miroku rung him up, accepted the check, then handed him his VCR in a box full of Styrofoam. "Take care now, Inuyasha!" he shouted at his friend's retreating back.


Inuyasha didn't turn around, although he did wave over his shoulder. With his friend's words still running through his head, the inu hanyou left the mall, not even glancing at the slave store as he did so.