Title: Bonds of Consent

Rating: NC-17

Pairings: Kurama(Youko)/Keiko, Hiei/Shizuru

Setting: AU, obviously

Summary: Kurama and Hiei require the help of two ningen females on a mission to infiltrate a slave trading ring. Who else are they going to ask other, than Keiko and Shizuru? But what happens when emotions get in the way of the mission?

Disclaimer: These characters are, sadly, not mine. They belong to the creators of the wonderful Japanese anime Yu Yu Hakusho: Yoshihiro Togashi.

- Chapter 1 -

Two pairs of eyes--one fiery red, the other a dazzling shade of green--stared at the chibi-fied figure perched before them on top of the office desk.

"Forgive me, Koenma," the red haired kitsune began, "But I don't think I heard you quite right..."

"Oh, but you did hear right, Kurama." The child ruler of Reikai replied. "Believe me, if there was any other way to go about this, I'd be more than happy to let you do it. But unfortunately, there is no other way. Yusuke, Kuwabara and Botan are on another assignment and won't be back for some time. With them gone that only leaves you two. Which is good actually, because Yusuke would be useless on this case."

"Hn." Hiei stood, glaring, with arms crossed over his chest. "So, you expect Kurama to assume his Youko form so that he and I might infiltrate a human slave ring run by an outlaw band of demons?"

"That is correct, Hiei." The junior ruler replied. "But there is somebody... rather, two somebodies that you will need to enlist the help of."

"And who might that be?" Kurama asked curiously.

"Shizuru Kuwabara and Keiko Yukimura."

"WHAT?!" The two demons exclaimed as one, causing Koenma to cringe slightly. Recovering, Kurama contemplated a moment before speaking again.

"Hm... we might be able to enlist Shizuru's help. But with all due respect sir, I very much doubt that Keiko would agree. Since she and Yusuke split up, she has not had much contact with the spirit or demon world. She barely even speaks to me at school."

The slight sadness that tinged Kurama's voice as he said this caused Hiei to glance sideways at his friend while Koenma sighed. "Yes, I know this Kurama. But we really have no other choice."

"And just why do we need help from two ningen females?" Hiei sneered, raising an eyebrow in question.

"We need two human females to act as your concubine so that you both will fit in more with the crowd of slave dealers. Father has given me two weeks for you to get the girls to agree to help and for you to teach them everything they will need to know and how they will need to act around you."

"WHAT?!" Again the two demons gaped at Koenma.

Koenma rolled his eyes. "It's the only way, and there's no backing out now... Father would be disappointed, and you know what that means..."

Hiei snorted, "And why should I care?"

"A good word would go in for you two, and Hiei, you have already restarted a bad record."

Hiei glared at the child ruler while Kurama spoke, "I still don't think that Keiko will agree to this... Although, I guess it is worth a shot. I will see what I can do."

Koenma nodded in satisfaction. "I will need to know your pairings by tomorrow so that I can submit the correct paperwork. That's not too difficult for you, is it?"

"Hardly." Hiei drawled.

"Good, now hurry up and get going." Koenma encouraged, and with a nod, Hiei and Kurama left the office.

~*~

The pair walked down the sidewalk side by side, Hiei with his ever stoic expression, Kurama with his hands tucked into his pockets, deep in thought. After a moment's silence, Kurama looked up.

"Hiei, I think it would be best if I were to approach Keiko about this..." he said, calmly.

"Fine." Hiei said, monosyllabic as ever.

Kurama nodded, "So I shall leave Shizuru to you then."

"Hn. She will probably be more willing to help anyway." the fire demon muttered before zipping off in the direction of the Kuwabara residence, leaving his companion to continue on alone.

~*~

Extremely loud music poured from the upper window of the Kuwabara residence and as the fire demon arrived, perching upon the branch of a tree near the house, he winced as the blaring sound met his sensitive ears.

"Baka ningens." he muttered under his breath, silently wondering how humans could listen to such abbrasive noise and still call it music.

Silently jumping from the tree branch to the window that the loud 'music' was coming from, he peered in, wondering where Shizuru was, hoping to get this little talk with her over with quickly. Spotting the young woman lying on the bed, reading some kind of book, he once again silently wondered at how odd humans could be. Hiei knocked on the window pane, then waited for a response from Shizuru, but was annoyed to see no reaction. Noticing that the window was open a crack, he opened it wide enough that he could get in and slipped into the noisy room.

He approached, placing his hands behind his back as he leaned over the girl lying prone on the bed. She still hadn't reacted to his presence, so enbroiled in the book she was reading. Rolling his eyes, Hiei decided that drastic measures would have to be taken and so he reached out to nudge the still oblivious Shizuru. Hiei's hand had barely made contact with the girl's shoulder when she reacted.

Shizuru had been reading in her room, alone, when she was jolted back to reality by a hand grazing her shoulder. Her quick reflexes allowed her to roll away from the offender, but her mind was more focused on how they had gotten into her room without her notice than the amount of room left on the bed. The fire demon watched, amused, as the brown haired girl met with the edge of her bed before her flip was done, then plummented quite comically onto the floor. He chuckled darkly even as her head popped up to glare at him over the edge of her bed.

Growling, Shizuru rose to stand opposite of the 'intruder'. "You!," she exclaimed, recognizing the dark haired demon that her brother seemed to constantly complain about. "What the hell are you doing here?!"

"I have a favor to request of you," Hiei said, a sour look coming over his face at the word 'favor'.

A look of suspicion overcame the irritated look and Shizuru frowned. "What sort of 'favor'?"

"A rather large one." he muttered.

Puzzled, Shizuru wondered silently what sort of favor would required a demon, this one in particular, to ask help from a human. "Wait a minute. Why aren't you asking my little bro?"

Hiei wanted to smirk. "He isn't appropriate for this type of favor," he told her, dropping a little hint.

Growing irritated with the beating around the bush that was going on, Shizuru crossed her arms over her chest and stated flatly. "I'm not agreeing to anything until you explain everything."

Shoving his hands into his pants pockets, Hiei leaned his back against the wall behind him. "There is a special case that Kurama and I have been assigned to and we need the help of two human females. Koenma thought that since you and Keiko are already familar with us, it would be easier."

"Keiko?" Shizuru asked, surprise filled her voice and she shook her head. "I doubt Keiko would agree."

"Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, Kurama is on his way over to discuss the matter with her."

Shizuru looked down thoughtfully as she thought over what Hiei had said. Finally she looked up, catching his red eyed stare. "I'll do it. But only if Keiko agrees too."

"Agreeable."

~*~

Kurama took a deep breath as he stood in front of the Yukimura's family noodle shop. After the sense of unease he had been feeling passed, he made his way inside and up to the counter. An older looking man stood behind the register and he looked up from counting the money he held in his hand. The man placed the money back into the register and smiled welcomingly.

"May I help you?"

"Yes you can. I was wondering if Keiko were here. And if so, may I speak with her briefly?"

"Depends on what you want," Keiko said as she stepped off the last step that led to her family's upstairs apartment.

Mr. Yukimura looked from his daughter to the red haired young man and back again before smiling. "Well, if you two kids will excuse me, I've got to retrieve some supplies from the back room. Keiko, could you watch the store for a moment," he asked as he headed through a door behind the counter.

"Yes, Father," Keiko said just before he disappeared through the curtain that sheilded the store front from the rest of the shop.

"Long time no see, Shuichi," she said, turning back towards where he stood by the counter.

Kurama nodded. "Yes, it has. Would it be alright if we were to sit down somewhere to talk? There is a favor that I need to ask of you... privately."

Keiko nodded, her curiosity peaked at what sort of favor she could do for the red headed Spirit Detective and gestured to one of the boothes near the back of the shop. Once they had taken a seat across from one another, Keiko asked the question that was plaguing her mind. "What favor do you need from me, Kurama?" purposefully using the kitsune's name instead of his human counterparts.

"Well, actually, it's more of a favor for Koenma. There is a special case that cannot be handled by Yusuke and Kazuma," the kitsune detective told her.

Keiko raised an eyebrow at him. "Since when do you call Kuwabara by his first name?"

"Since Koenma has sent Hiei to ask Shizuru for her help as well," he replied.

"This... doesn't have anything to do with... Reikai does it..?" Keiko's voice wavered as she asked.

Kurama glanced down briefly before once again meeting Keiko's gaze. "Partly. Koenma has been informed of a human slave ring being run in the Makai by a group of outlaw demons. He wants Hiei and I to infiltrate the ring and find it's leader so that we might be able to bring them in. The catch is, we can only enter the stronghold if we are slave owners ourselves. So in order to do this, we need the assistance of two human females to act as our..." he faltered on the last word. "...concubines."

"Concubines?" Keiko's voice came out more like a squeak than anything else.

Her head was swimming. Koenma wanted her... the second in command of the spirit world, wanted her to inflitrate a gang of slaveowners... 'As a sex slave???'

Seeing that Keiko was distessed by the idea, he spoke up quickly to try to calm her fears. "You won't have to actually do anything. Just act the part in public. There are a few small things that, if you agree to help, you'll have to do," Kurama said, his voice soft and sympathetic.

'Agree', a silent voice spoke in the back of her mind... 'You know you want to.' Keiko shook the voice from her head. She had sworn to herself when Yusuke left, that she would never have anything to do with the Spirit World, anything unhuman, ever again. But why did she feel her resolve suddenly slipping when she gazed into Kurama's sincere eyes...

The words rose unbidden to her throat. "If I agree, what 'things' would be required?"

"You would have to dress differently, like some of the slaves, and you would have to act submissive in front of the other slave owners. You would have to get a mark that would mark you as a slave, but it would be for your own saftey, so that the other slave owners wouldn't try to claim you," Kurama explain, his eyes watching for any kind of reaction that would mean she wouldn't help.

"W-what kind of mark?" she stammered, but showed no sign of disagreeing.

"The mark would consist of a small bite, nothing serious, probably wouldn't even hurt. But like I said before, it would be more for yours and Shizuru's protection than anything else," Kurama explained.

'Alright', Keiko thought. 'I'll just think through this logically. Like an Algebra problem. Step by step. In that case... how much protection would this bite give me? Would it still be dangerous?' She shook her head, as if clearing it. "Alright. Why does Reikai want Shizuru and I to help you? Why not Botan?"

"Botan was sent with Yusuke and Kazuma to help with their case, making her unavailable. Besides, we need at least two females.. human females," the red head explained. "Let me just tell you this; Reikai, Hiei, and myself will do everything in our powers, which is alot, to keep you and Shizuru safe if you agree to help."

"Kurama..." Keiko finally spoke up after a moment of silence. "I wonder how a bite mark can not be painful?"

Kurama lifted a hand and scratched the back of his head. "It's very hard to explain. There's a small power transfusion, smaller than the standard one used in a usual mating mark," he told her, not sure why he even mentioned the mating mark to her. "The power that would be transferred to you through the bite would kind of desensitize the area so you wouldn't feel it. While it's desensitized, the wound would heal at an advanced rate, leaving the mark behind."

"You haven't said where the bite will be located..."

Kurama frowned to himself, seemingly lost in thought at her question. "I asked Koenma, but he would not tell me... Apparently, that mystery shall be revealed when -- if you agree to help us."

"And if I don't agree? There's someone else you can ask, isn't there?" Keiko bit the words off with uncharacteristic bitterness. With that puzzled air in his eyes, he looked more interested in finding out about the bite mark's location than her.

"No, there is no other human with knowlege of Reikai or Makai. You and Shizuru are our only option, Keiko." came the honest reply.

"If you say.. that I'm the only one who can stop this.... I guess I have no choice..."

Kurama sighed silently in relief. She had agreed, albeit reluctantly. But still, she had agreed. "Thank you, Keiko. We will be meeting with Koenma in the morning for further information and instructions." Kurama said. "I'll be by around 8 to escort you."

Strangely enough, her first thought when Kurama left the store was, 'what in the three worlds am I going to have to wear??'

~*~

That evening, Keiko left the noodle shop and went directly over to Shizuru's. She knocked on the door, shifting impatiently as she waited for someone to answer. Before long the door opened to reveal just the person she was seeking.

Shizuru's perpectually sleepy expression brightened. "Keiko! Come in..."

"Hey, Shizuru." Keiko replied as she stepped through the doorway. "Um... do you think we could go up to your room? We need to talk."

"Kurama has let you in on the latest mission." It was a statement, not a question, leveled at Keiko's eyes with gentleness.

"Yeah, he did." Keiko sighed. Obviously, Shizuru's parents weren't around so they were able to speak freely. "So, what did you tell Hiei?"

Shizuru sighed and took out her pack of cigarettes and lit one taking a drag of it; releasing the smoke into the air before replying, "Whatever...I agreed to it." Her tone of voice made her sound as if it was no big deal but you could tell in her eyes that she was skeptical about the whole thing.

Keiko realized her friend was just as uneasy about this whole thing as she was. "I did too. Kurama is supposed to be by in the morning to take me to meet with Koenma. I'm guessing Hiei told you the same thing?"

"Yeah, close to it anyway. Not as polite as I think Kurama would have said it, but the same." Shizuru replied taking a long drag of her cigarette shifting her weight from one foot to the other as she released the smoke again.

"Well... it looks like we're officially helping out the Spriit Detectives again." Keiko sighed before all confidence that she'd made the right decision left her. "What was I thinking?!"

Shizuru shook her head, sighing as she put her cigarette out in a nearby ash tray, "Correction Keiko, dear... What were we both thinking."

~*~

A few hours passed with both girls retreating to Shizuru's room with sodas and snacks to discuss the matters of what they were told about the mission. Before long, a matter soon came up that was shocking... "How do you feel about the whole marking thing Shizuru?" Keiko said.

Shizuru's eyes widened a bit but soon returned to normal and she replied in her usual voice, "What?! They've got to mark us? You're kidding me, right Keiko?"

Keiko looked shocked at Shizuru's reaction, "You mean Hiei didn't tell you about it?"

"He didn't tell me anything about that..." She replied trailing off a bit before continuing, "What's the purpose of it anyway?"

Keiko looked down at the floor for a bit before replying, "It's to give proof that we are in fact theirs...and to provide protection... that sort of thing. Kurama said that Koenma would explain more about it tomorrow."

"Now I'm really not so sure about doing this...I mean we don't know too much on the what in true fact the mark is...who's to say it doesn't have any side-effects?" Shizuru said her voice dropping to a soft almost whispered tone.

"Maybe...but I don't think Kurama would do anything that would hurt us, Shizuru." Keiko said soothingly.

"and Hiei would?" Shizuru raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"I didn't say that!" Keiko added quickly. "It's just... I know Kurama a little better than Hiei sure, but... I just feel we can trust them."

"Really? Keiko, what proof do we even have that he won't hurt us? Sure, we know Kurama wouldn't... but are you absolutely sure about Hiei? All we have to go on is our own intuition and the fact we see them periodically... Your's may be saying to trust him... Mine is telling me to question it more."

Keiko paused for a moment before answering. "Kurama trusts Hiei. He said himself that Hiei would do everything in his power to protect us, so... yes. I'm sure about Hiei."

Shizuru sighed before replying, "Okay, Keiko... I'll go with you on this... but I hope you know I'm only going by your's and Kurama's word."

Keiko smiled. "Thanks, Shizuru."

Shizuru rolled her eyes before giving a small hint of a smile, "Yeah...whatever." Shizuru tossed a can of tea at her, and plopped down on her bed. "So... Here's to a successful trip to the Makai! And a prayer for Koenma's babe form replacing his baby form in the conference."

~*~

The next morning found the four sitting in a room in an old office building downtown. The room was furnished with three chairs placed in the center and two changing screens on one side of the room. Keiko and Shizuru each took a seat in one of the three chairs, leaving the two demons to each take a place behind one of the girls' chair. Hiei behind Shizuru's, Kurama behind Keiko's. Twenty minutes had passed before Shizuru began to fidget.

"Wonder what's keeping the toddler?" she muttered irritably, not noticing the slight smirk her comment brought to the fire demon's lips.

"I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't call me that, Shizuru. It's very annoying" came the reply. The four turned to see Koenma, in teen form, standing in the doorway.

"If you would be on time, I wouldn't have to call you a toddler," Shizuru replied.

Hiei's smirk lingered a second longer, Kurama noticed, before it slid from his face as Koenma fully entered the room. Taking a seat in the last chair in the room, he nodded to the group before speaking.

"Good, I see that you've decided on the pairings..." Koenma looked up. "And I assume you've both told the girls the details?"

"Of course," Kurama said for them, Hiei barely nodding his assent.

"and they agree?"

"They do."

"Oh good!" Koenma seemed relieved. "Now all we need is to go over the basics and get you two prepared."

"P-p-prepared?" Keiko stammered uneasily.

"The basics?" Shizuru added, eyebrow arched in suspicion.

"Proper costuming, of course, to fit your roles..." Koenma replied before beginning to recite a long list of "behavioral proceedures", and other do's and don'ts. When he finally stopped to catch his breath, Keiko eyed the teenager's face nervously.

"Anything else?" she asked, half fearing his answer.

"Besides total submissive obedience?"

A hand whapped the demigod of death on the head. "Baka,.... you could have just said that, instead of telling us all those rules..." Shizuru frowned at him.

"Yes... well... I only wanted you to get the full picture of what you will be needed to do." Koenma whined, rubbing the sore spot where Shizuru had hit him.

Shizuru sighed before returning back to her seat, "Whatever... You could have still told us that before rattling off those rules toddler. After all, most of the rules fall under that category anyway."

Shizuru had just sat down when Keiko startled everyone as she shot to her feet suddenly. Turning around as if to make a run for the door, she instead wound up bumping into Kurama, who still stood behind her. Warm hands came to rest on her shoulders and Kurama could feel her body quaking slightly beneath them.

"I don't know if I can do this after all, Kurama..." she whispered frantically into his chest.

Kurama brought his hand up to gently cup her chin, tilting her head up so that she was looking into his eyes. "Keiko... No one is going to force you into this mission... You have the choice... Just remember that I won't let anything bad happen to you if you decide to go. But if you don't go I completely understand." Kurama's eyes reflected a hint of hurt and sadness before returning to their comforting gaze.

Keiko's eyes softened as she gazed at Kurama. She didn't know why, but that small expression of hurt from him tore at her heart and she found herself not wanting Kurama to think that she didn't trust him. She did,. but it was just the whole idea of being in a den full of demons... dangerous ones at that. She shuddered again as a memory flared to life before her eyes.

~*~ Flashback ~*~

Keiko and Yusuke were passing through a park on their way to a movie, the air was pleasantly warm and there were blooming flowers in sight of where they walked, but even they went unnoticed. The park was well lit by lamp posts lining the paved pathway they followed, but neither admired the beauty of the decorative lights.

Keiko was silently worrying over the rift that had developed between them over time. And even though they both took steps to fix the gaping hole in their relationship, they had only grew further apart. They hadn't even held hands for almost a month now, something that worried her greatly.

She knew she still cared for Yusuke, more than one would think she would with all the problems they had, and Yusuke told her that he cared for her more than anything else and that he wanted to work things out with her. But as time passed, it seemed the wedge that had been driven between them by unknown forces only grew larger.

Keiko was just about to say something to Yusuke, anything to break the heavy silence between them, when a clawed hand grabbed her around the waist from behind, dragging her into the darkness of the surrounding park.

"Scream and I'll make this even more painful." a silky voice spoke near her ear as another clawed hand clamped around her throat.

From where her abductor stood high atop one of the trees, Keiko could see Yusuke still walking along the path, her sudden absence unnoticed as of yet. The demon that had nabbed her had been very stealthy indeed. She watched, her eyes growing wide in fear as Yusuke paused, finally realizing that she was not there anymore. She felt so helpless as she watched Yusuke begin to frantically scan the surrounding area of the park.

Suddenly, Keiko's stomach lurched upward into her throat as the demon leapt from the tree branch it was perched upon with her still in its grasp. Yusuke spun around, facing the demon as it called out to his target. Once again, Keiko found herself being used as a tool to throw Yusuke off his game. To get him hurt, or worse, killed.

Keiko felt the demon's arms release her abruptly and she fell to the ground in a heap. She rose to her hands and knees just as Yusuke's voice called out.

"SPIRIT GUN!!"

Turning, she made out a bright flash of light streaking through the sky, striking the demon that stood only feet from her, a sharp clawed hand outstretched toward her. She screamed as the demon tunbled the rest of the way toward her and she tried to leap away. She felt a searing pain ignite, just below her shoulderblade and blaze an agonizing trail down along her right side, ending along her hipbone.

"KEIKO!!"

Gasping in pain, Keiko stumbled away from the fallen demon, crashing against something solid. She looked up, catching Yusuke's stricken eyes with her own. In that instant, a silent agreement was communicated between the two. This couldn't go on. They would always care for one another, but they couldn't be together. Ever.

~*~ End Flashback~*~

Keiko felt her eyes fill with bitter tears, and slowly the vision of Yusuke's features began to blur. His soft brown eyes shimmered, lightening until they became a pair of dazzling emeralds. His slicked back, black hair grew at a rapid pace, bleeding the inky tendrils into a bright red that framed the femininely handsome face. Slowly, Keiko blinked, shook her head slightly, then looked again and found herself staring deeply into the concerned eyes of Kurama.

Kurama's hands gripped Keiko's shoulders slightly as he watched her slip into an almost trance-like state. Growing more and more worried by the minute, Kurama gave a sigh of relief when finally she shook her head slightly as if to clear it before looking back up at him.

Giving her shoulders a reasurring squeeze, he asked, "Are you alright, Keiko?"

"I'm just... not sure this is such a great idea. I want to help but... It's all so weird." She glanced up to meet his eyes. Why did Kurama have to be so gentle and encouraging? He made everything seem so easy when this couldn't be a simple mission no matter how he defined it.

Kurama smiled softly. "I understand, Keiko. And everything that I said before still stands. If you do not wish to participate in this mission, you do not have to."

She returned the smile. "I want to help. I'm just not sure; becoming a sex slave is... a pretty big favor. My modesty and independence will be sacrificed. I'll be nothing more than a piece of human meat. I don't want to whine but I can't expect you to be there at all times to protect me since you're on a mission. At the same time, I'll want you to because I'll be afraid on my own."

Keiko turned to glance at Koenma. He didn't seem worried. 'Did he ever seem worried', she wondered, a bit resentfully. He certainly didn't seem concerned about sending her into a world where she was nothing but a sex toy. Of course, he was also a male. He probably had no concept of what that meant to her. Her frown deepened, and she opened her mouth, a rebuke on her lips when Kurama suddenly intervened, turning her to face him once more.

"Keiko, I know you are uncertain about the mission. But if you can be certain about anything, then be certain of this... I will not let anything happen to you while we are there. I promise."

She sighed deeply and nodded. "Okay, but don't ask me again because I'm giving you fair warning. I'm only helping this once."

Kurama smiled a relieved smile. "Thank you, Keiko." They stared at one another a moment longer, before the sound of a throat being subtly cleared caused them to turned back to where Koenma, Shizuru and Hiei stood.

Koenma nodded, "Good, now that that's settled, why don't we get you girls dressed, shall we?"

Keiko turned back as two large purple guys from the Reikai came in bearing cardboard boxes. Hiei remained where he was, his eyes cast off in another direction while Shizuru and Keiko headed toward the table. Koenma flipped open the lids and Keiko reached inside.

"What exactly..." she pulled out a small black leather garment and fiddled with it. "What... is this?"

Shizuru plucked the garment from her hands, sliding her fingers along the circular black collar with the silver spikes. "A collar? What the hell are we, your dogs?"

"Thankfully, no." Hiei sneered. "Although I'm sure dogs would be much less hassle than you."

Shizuru's eyes appraised the fire demon with amusement. She walked up, and looked down. He was half the size as her. "Your dog? Whatever, Shrimp"

Growling at her response, the fire demon swiftly circled to stand behind her, hands clasped behind his back, smirk now firmly in place. "Shall we see if your mouth responds as quickly as the rest of your body?"

No one in the room knew whether the stoic demon was referring to fighting, or something more intimate. Frankly, Kurama was too amused to ask. Hiei's eyes narrowed dangerously, but luckily Kurama chose that moment to intervene before Hiei decided that Shizuru would taste good burnt.

"You two do know we don't have time for this, don't you?" an amused smirk hung about the kitsune's lips as Hiei once again crossed his arms in a huff. Ironically, Shizuru moved into a similar pose.

"Uh...You expect this to actually cover everything?"

Keiko's inquiry brought everyone's attention back to where she was still standing at the table, holding a tiny snippet of cloth that did a poor impression of a top.

"Actually, no, that's the point to it." Koenma replied, not noticing the slight blushes that were creeping onto his two Spirit Detectives' faces.

"Ngh... i-it is?" Keiko managed to say as she eyed the scrap of material again with a critical eye.

"You're suppose to be concubines, and therefore have to dress the part," Koenma replied.

"I understand that, but... does it have to be so... so... small?"

"Is this really necessary, sir?" Kurama asked, head bowed slightly to hide his flushed face.

"Yes, I'm afraid it is. There will be other concubines there wearing less than this, so count yourselves lucky," Koenma responded to both their questions. "Besides, you won't be very far from each other if the girls are wearing this," he added, holding up a long leather strap with a clasp at one end and a loop at the other.

Keiko whimpered. Shizuru grimaced. Hiei smirked again. And Kurama.... well, Kurama's blush deepened as his inner Youko flared to life within him. 'Oh, the possibilities...' the fox spirit chuckled.

"A leash, how appropriate," Hiei said, the smirk almost breaking into a full fledge smile.

Shizuru growled at the fire demon again. "I'll show you appropriate if you don't shut up, Shorty!"

"Now, now you two," Koenma interrupted as Shizuru once again glared at the smirking demon. "You have plenty of time to play later. Right now you train. If you girls would, please step behind the screens and get dressed." Koenma continued, gesturing toward the two screens across the room.

"Dressed? Ha, we might as well be naked for as much as those clothes cover up," Shizuru complained.

"Oh, and don't forget these," Koenma added, holding out what looked like a bunch of string tied together on the end of each index finger.

Shizuru sighed and shook her head. "Great, we get to wear butt floss."

"Huh?" Keiko's eyes seemed to widen more as each article of apparel was revealed.

Shizuru grabbed her pile of clothing with a huff and headed toward one of the changing screens, but stopped when she heard Koenma call out her name.

"You forgot this," he said as he tossed her the dental floss that was imitating a thong.

Shizuru caught the so called garment with ease and glared at the young demi-god. "Shove it toddler," she growled. "The only reason I'm doing this is so Keiko isn't there alone."

"How noble," Hiei grumbled.

Reacting quickly, Keiko scooped up her clothing in one arm and snagged Shizuru's arm with the other, effectively pulling her toward the screen and away from Hiei.

"Will you two cut it out please! This is hard enough as it is!" she chided, propelling the larger girl behind one screen while she disappeared behind the other.

Kurama stood back, taking a glance at Hiei. The shorter fire demon looked completely undisturbed with the assignment. Had Hiei frequented these types of places before? He didn't exactly feel at ease, at least, not with Keiko and Shizuru going along as their 'concubines'.

Youko had spent plenty of hours in the arms of women. It was one of his favorite places.

'I've been thinking, this 'training' business could be fun. I could teach that innocent little human lots of interesting things'.

Shuichi frowned, not liking Youko's direction of thought. 'Don't start.'

'You don't get out enough Shuichi. Lighten up, let me have some fun with the girl. Don't worry, I won't hurt her. At least, not in a way she won't like.'

'You're going to control your urges on this assignment.' And it was a statement. Not a suggestion.

Youko was quiet in response, but the lapse was momentary as Keiko hesitantly stepped out from behind her screen and into view.

"Um... Do I have to wear this the whole time? I feel a little... exposed." She admitted, embarrassed. Her arms wrapped, oddly enough around her waist, instead of the more reasonable chest area, much to Youko's delight.

'Oh yeah! The clothes you can snap off with a flick of the wrist are always best!'

'Shut up!' Shuichi chided, afraid Youko's avid interest would only add to his growing discomfort.

Shizuru stepped out a moment later, hands on her hips. "This sucks."

She turned her eyes toward Hiei who had glanced toward her. He snorted. "You honestly want her to wear that? I've seen twigs that would look better in it."

"I always knew you paid too much attention to trees." Shizuru muttered sourly.

"Alright, then, let's go!" Koenma said briskly, to dispell the dangerous aura in the air.

"Go? Go where?" Keiko asked, almost afraid of the answer. She wasn't at all ready to go anywhere. Not with the way she was currently dressed.

"I hope you're not going to be parading us through the streets like this," Shizuru stated. Mostly for Keiko's benefit.

Koenma looked thoughtful. "Not today. Right now we're just going to the training hall."

"You have a training hall for concubines?"

"Nope, but we have a bar downstairs." He grinned turning to step out the door. "Come along."

Keiko paused, not moving. "I have to... walk in front of people in this? I feel like... I feel like I've just survived an encounter with a demon in my underwear."

Kurama hid a smile behind his hand. "It's quite all right, Keiko. You look perfectly fine."

She turned a frown toward him. "Perfectly fine?"

'More then fine', his alter ego thought.

'Shut up, Shut up', Kurama inwardly hissed at Youko. Out loud, he soothed, "You're playing the part well, I mean."

Hiei walked to the door first, followed by Koenma and then Shizuru. Keiko hesitated not feeling comfortable enough to even move in her thong. It to be the most uncomfortable thing - how did Shizuru move like she was perfectly content in her outfit, breezing out the door. How did anyone actually wear this thing?

'They should have to wear thongs too, just to evenly dish out the punishment.'

"Keiko?"

She blushed heatedly, glad that Kurama couldn't hear her thoughts or anything. Imagine what he would say if he knew she'd just though he should be wearing a thong too!

She shuddered and turned toward the door, not daring to face Kurama. "Well, I guess we should catch up."

She turned to step out only to realize they weren't as far ahead of them as she'd imagined. Hiei turned toward them quite suddenly, pausing on the walkway. Shizuru continued on.

"I had my doubts about you at first, woman, but with a kinky mind like yours, you'll fit right in."

"Huh?" She responded, staring at him a moment. 'Oh no', she thought. 'That's right, Hiei can read thoughts, can't he? Does that mean he... about the thongs?'

She flushed to the roots of her hair. Her mouth dropped open inelegantly as she muttered the only thing that came to mind. "Oh."

Kurama stared at her curiously wondering what was going on between the two of them.

"This is where you girls will be learning the trade..."

The bar had been used recently, Keiko noted. There were still pitchers of un named alcohol, none spilled. It was fairly well looked after.

"Well, the first thing I guess we need to do is get you girls marked." Koenma said.

Kurama turned his stare toward Keiko. She was standing nearby looking uncomfortable with the length of her skirt and how she could sit and preserve as much modesty as possible. He smiled again.

"Well, Keiko… Are you ready?" He asked, deciding it was best if he marked her while still partly in his human form. If for nothing else than to help her remain calm.

"Huh? I… I guess so, and it's not going to hurt, right?"

He shook his head.

Keiko nodded weakly and sat tensely still as Kurama moved to stand behind her. She shivered slightly as his fingers brushed the soft skin of her shoulder as they brushed back her brown hair to expose the area in which the mark was to be made.

Kurama licked his lips to moisten them as they had mysteriously gone dry. He placed a hand on each forearm, urging Keiko to lean back and rest her back against his chest in an effort to keep her calm. After he felt her relax against him, he slowly lowered his mouth to the creamy skin at the juncture of where her shoulder and neck met. Allowing Youko to emerge only slightly, Kurama's eyes morphed from their normal emerald green into a set of blazing amber. His fangs grew, and soon were the appropriate length to complete the deed.

He leaned down, pressing his lips to her flesh hesitantly. Keiko trembled, a tiny gasp escaping as he slid his mouth open, leaving a wet trail as he leaned nearer pressing his fangs against her skin. With a barely restrained growl he sunk them in her quickly, and Keiko shuddered, eyes drifting closed as her body quaked. Even, white teeth bit into a full bottom lip as she felt a wave of intense pleasure wash over her, wringing a low moan from her throat.

The rich flavor of blood passed over Youko's tongue as it seeped from the wound his fangs had caused. The salty sensation left a sting in his mouth as his lips instinctively dug deeper into the delicate cleave of her collarbone. Heat poured from his mouth, along with the energy transfer, melting into the skin of her neck and spreading across her slender shoulders.

Gently pulling his fangs from her neck, Kurama concentrated on bringing the silver kitsune under control, his fangs returning to normal human teeth in the process. Grabbing onto Keiko's shoulders, ensuring she wouldn't fall over from the side effects of the bite, he slowly guided her to a chair to sit down in.

A few minutes later, the haze that had been clouding her vision cleared, and Keiko looked around at the four sets of eyes that were watching her worriedly. Holding up her hands, she muttered a quiet, "I'm fine," before her eyes landed on Kurama. Fixing him with a glare, she prepared to yell at him when Shizuru spoke up.

"You want me to what?! In your dreams, shrimp!"

Keiko's retort faltered as she and Kurama spun around to see Shizuru glaring down at a once again smirking Hiei.

"You heard me woman, I said kneel so that I may mark you."

~*~

TBC....

Buffybot76: Hey all! I'm back with another crazy idea for a pairing that I am fast becoming obsessed with. Yes, you read it right folks! This will be Kurama/Keiko with an added bonus of a new alternate pairing I'm trying out. Hiei/Shizuru! *crickets chirp* Umm.... yeah. Anyway, there will most likely be bits of Youko/Keiko in the future. Exciting, ne? No? *shrugs* Well, I think so anyway. Please forgive me for any OOC-ness on any character's part. I'm trying my best to keep them in character. Oh, and please don't knock the fic just cause of the pairings, give it a shot along with some honest reviews!