A/N: The beginning of a new, AU serial that will be called The Nightingale for Dokuga's LJ comm. This is for the 'Snap' theme - 100 words, no more no less. Originally posted on June 20, 2009.

All due recognition to Hans Christian Anderson for the inspiration. I don't anticipate this becoming adult-rated at any point, in case you're wondering by the end. :)

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The Singer

She was plain compared to the ethereal females that floated around his court, but when she opened her mouth to sing, she became resplendent. Something broke within him as he listened - a weight snapped away from where it had been pressing onto his heart. He knew its pressure would return, and even as she took a breath, it hurt.

There was the anticipated scuffle of bidders behind him, but the other males fell away as the taiyoukai approached the slave trader. "The girl," Sesshoumaru said. "The singer."

"Lovely, isn't she, my lord?"

He bent his head in agreement. "How much?"

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