"Ai no Koinu" was originally posted as an maturely rated fanfic. However, since changed their policy on fanfiction ratings (which hasn't really worked, but oh well), I am presenting an edited version here.
Chapter 1 is completely intact. The chapters after that may be edited for content here on Links to "uncut" versions will be posted, though, so those who wish to read the unedited version have access to it.
I'm doing my best to keep the characters somewhat "in character" in this new universe, but if you see any non-AU-warranted OOCness, spelling errors, or grammar errors, it's all my fault because I didn't harass someone to beta for me originally. But the wonderful Leidy-sama is currently beta-ing for me, so I should have revisions up soon! My apologies in advance, and please enjoy the fic!
Rating: R - For sexual situations and Inu Yasha's fondness for swear words.
Pairing: Ultimately, IY/Kag. With hints of Sess/Kag and Kik/IY along the way.
Disclaimer: Inu Yasha, Kagome, Sesshoumaru, Shippo, and Kikyou do not belong to me.. they are the creations of Takahashi Rumiko. Amoi, Tanagura.. in fact, the whole setting and any characters from the novel "Ai no Kusabi".. belong to Yoshihara Rieko. The actual story and lemony goodness, though, was written by me. But unfortunately, I don't work for Harlequin, so I'm not getting paid for this, so please don't sue me (because reviews are only considered riches to writers, not lawyers, and I might not even get many of those).
The one being spoken to could obviously care less about what his older brother was saying. He looked at his nails, which had been filed to sharp points, as if they were ten times more interesting. "Yeah, yeah. Another day, another black mark. So what?"
Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed at his brother's insolence. "I will say this only once. You have three days to find a Pet to your liking. Otherwise we shall have to take you in for behavior modification."
Inu Yasha started, a slight flush spreading across his cheeks. "A.. a Pet..?"
"You are a fully-functional male. Our business partners are beginning to wonder if there is some flaw in your make up. Even if there is, we must conceal it at all costs. It is highly irregular for someone of your age and status to not have at least one Pet."
Inu Yasha lowered his eyes. Behavior modification? Brainwashing was the correct term. This wasn't an idle threat; he had seen some of his few friends go through it to emerge lifeless, soulless, and completely obedient. He'd rather die.
But.. a Pet?
"You have a budget of 20 million credits. Use it wisely."
Inu Yasha continued to stare blankly at his lap.
Satisfied that his point had been made, Sesshoumaru allowed himself a smirk. "You are dismissed."
Inu Yasha got up, bowed mechanically in the fashion he had been taught to signal acquiesce, then made for the door.
Back out on the streets of Eos, the silver-haired young man defiantly shoved his hands into his pockets and slouched in an attempt to hide his appearance somewhat. The red tailored jumpsuit he wore was distinctive enough, with the huge collar the shape of a large inverted triangle that spanned from his shoulders to the buckle of the white belt around his waist. Granted, the section of collar closest to his neck was red, and there were two generous lines of the same color going down either slope of the triangle, but he still felt it was too formal. Too much like that of a Blondie.
In Tanagura, Amoi's capitol city, rank was determined by hair color. He and Sesshoumaru were silverhairs, the second-highest rank, just as their parents had been. Although the term "genetic material donors" would have been technically more correct. All the children of citizens were conceived and brought to the infant stage in specialized laboratories. Parents supplied the materials and raised the result.
The only ones who still bred naturally were the mongrels, non-citizens whose ancestors had tried to rise against the power of their supreme leader, Jupiter. Mongrels were considered worse than trash.
The lowest-ranked citizens were those with black hair, followed by redhairs, greenhairs, bluehairs, then silver. The ones above the silverhairs were the Blondies, androids with human brains built by Jupiter herself to fill the highest executive positions in Tanagura. But the only place you ever really saw a Blondie was at an exclusive business meeting or social function hosted by one.
Being the highest social rank that was still completely human made you stand out wherever you went, so a high priority was placed on propriety at all times. Silverhairs set an example for the rest of society, so they had to be as flawless as humanly possible.
And for a fully-functional male at that social level to not have at least one Pet was a complete disgrace.
Fighting the disgusted look off his face, Inu Yasha hailed a taxi. Once inside the conveyance, he directed the vehicle to Orange Road.. the area most famed for its Pet shops.
Pets were raised as entertainment for the prominent members of society. Owning one was a sign of your rank. Some silverhairs he knew.. like Sesshoumaru.. had an entire harem.
The centerpiece of most galas and get-togethers was a Pet show. Two or more Pets would parade around serving guests' every desire until it was time for the show. And the show was naught but well-choreographed sex. Inu Yasha had been forced to witness a couple, and he'd been more embarrassed than anything else. But it was more embarrassment for the Pets, than at their antics. Having to participate in something so base for the entertainment of others.. he had wondered how they survived.
Then he'd met Kikyou.
The taxi stopped and Inu Yasha was forced to snap himself out of his reverie. He paid the driver, got out, and began his disinterested journey.
He'd been with Sesshoumaru enough times to know what to expect. In every store, sales clerks bustled right up to him, eager to show him their latest and best acquisitions. He ran his eyes over the stock critically. Some owners had an eye for both male and female Pets, but Inu Yasha's gaze tended to land on a firm pair of breasts or a shapely set of hips. If he had to get a Pet, he knew it would be female, regardless of how provocatively some of the males were posing.
Then there were some Pets that merely hung back and stared at his unusual gold eyes.. and his damn ears.
He knew why his father had passed on his keen senses of sight and smell to his sons, but what had possessed him to give his youngest child a pair of triangular ears on top of his head?
Inu Yasha forcibly shook off his irritation, seeing even more Pets back away at the sight of the sharp canines his silent growl had revealed.
This was no time to be trying to fathom the intentions of the previous generation.
Several hours later, all the best, and even mid-level, Pet shops had been searched. But Inu Yasha had not even found one he liked enough to buy.
That left only one place then.. the Mistral Park auctions.
Once again, he flagged down a taxi and directed it halfway across Tanagura.
The Mistral auctions were generally considered to be the best place to get rare and unusual Pets, or something cheap to fill out a harem. Virtually all Grade-A Pets, the most highly trained and therefore most valuable, could only be found at the auction. Inu Yasha had a feeling that at least half of the Pets in the stores he had gone to were originally bought from Mistral.
At first glance, the metal building with its gaudy yellow-and-orange-striped tent-like roof looked more like it should hold a circus than the serious buying and trading that took place within its walls.
Although if he thought about it, the auctions could get rather like circus events, with the "audience" roaring and cheering as they clamored to buy whatever exotic piece of goods was on display for their viewing pleasure.
Once he arrived, he made his way through the display galleries outside the main auction room. Here some of the most prized items were displayed.. customized Pets. Granted, these particular specimens were human enough. Inu Yasha had seen things that bared only a passing resemblance to humanity on the regular auction floor. The attractive individuals in the galleries were more practical. Endurance enhancement, programmable fertility cycle, and "specialized training" were just a few of the modifications that qualified a Pet for gallery display.
But still, none of the wares captured his interest. At least, not enough to make him want to buy one.
He entered the bidding arena during a heated auction for a fairly attractive male Pet. Inu Yasha quietly made his way down a few levels from the top, then took a seat behind one of the curving, elongated tables that ringed the auction floor.
The boy being bid on was eventually sold, and another Pet soon took his place. Inu Yasha watched desultorily as one Pet after another was led to the auction block, their hands tied behind their back, each one of them with the same dead blankness in their eyes.
Afternoon waned into evening, but the bidding continued on. Inu Yasha desperately wished he could stretch to relieve the tightness in his back and arms. Not to mention his ass was falling asleep.
Another auction ended and the silverhair placed his palms on the table, ready to rise, when the next Pet was guided to the platform and the sight of her stopped Inu Yasha in mid-crouch.
Her pure black hair hung almost to her waist, drawing attention to her well-rounded hips and rear. Her clothing, if it could even be called that, consisted of one piece of fabric cut to cover her nether regions like a pair of high-cut panties, then narrowed into a single band of cloth that rose vertically over her stomach before branching out once more into a band around her nipples, which were showing thanks to the purposeful draft around the platform. Inu Yasha never dreamed that the letter "I" could fit a human so well.
But what held his attention longest was her face. It sucked the air right out of his lungs, making him feel as if someone had punched him directly in the gut. Another face, practically identical except for being a few years older, superimposed itself.
"Ki.. Kikyou!" Inu Yasha gasped.
But then, the illusion was broken as he looked at her deep brown eyes. Instead of that blank acceptance he had come to expect of Pets, a spark of defiance shone in their depths. She didn't want to be there. Hated being there.
Inu Yasha liked her right then and there.
The bidding opened up, and he waited for someone to take the bait at the starting price of 5 million credits.
No one spoke up.
"Come, come now, ladies and gentlemen! This Pet has been trained since infancy to serve you! She's Grade A, the best you can get. Just look at this form! Perfect for breeding or entertainment.. or both!"
Silence was the only response.
Inu Yasha stared at his fellow bidders in shock. What were they, fucking morons? That was a great Pet down there, and no one even wanted her! He'd seen uglier, less well-developed, lower-ranked Pets sell for twice what was being asked for her.
The auctioneer seemed at a loss, but the Pet stood as tall and proudly as ever. Her gazed swept the audience, daring someone to try and take her.
"Five million. Five million credits! Don't let this fine specimen go to Ranaya Uugo!"
A hint of fear crept into those chocolate eyes and Inu Yasha was shocked. What could she have done to be threatened with being tossed into that hellhole?
Unless.. this wasn't the first time she'd been put on the auction block.
With a look of sincere apology in the Pet's direction, the auctioneer made his final announcement. "Five million credits or Ranaya Uugo! Going once! Going twice!"
"TEN MILLION CREDITS!" a rich tenor interrupted the countdown.
The Pet's head snapped up, searching for the source of that sound. It didn't take long, as all the other bidders had turned to face the one who had shouted out.
The Pet's heart leapt into her throat. It was a silverhair with gorgeous golden eyes.. and .. dog ears?!
The auctioneer look relieved. "Ten million credits, I'm bid! Anyone else?"
"Ten million credits going once.. going twice.. SOLD to the silverhair in red!"
There was a smattering of polite applause, but that was it. The silverhair gave a triumphant grin, his small fangs showing.
With a slight sinking feeling in her stomach, the Pet was led off the platform to make room for the next piece of human goods.
She didn't know which was worse.. Ranaya Uugo.. or having a very weird silverhair for a master.
A padded iron collar was fastened around her neck, the chain that had been soldered onto the front draping down between her breasts. She hated the collar with a passion. But she was a Pet after all, and Pets needed to be kept on a leash in public.
Then she saw her new master heading her way.
"She really is well-trained," the man who had put her up for auction enthused. "She started at the Academy when she was four. I don't know why no one else was bidding. I've put a lot of time and money into her…"
Inu Yasha just let the man drone on. Ever since he had paid for his purchase, the man had attached himself to him, reassuring him over and over that he had just got himself a great deal.
Then he saw her, standing as proudly as ever, despite the heavy collar around her neck.
Damn. He'd forgotten about that.
"Humph," the Pet thought as she saw her former owner kowtowing to her new one. "Must've paid for me in cash," she muttered.
The auction handler grabbed the chain and yanked it roughly, nearly pulling her down flat on her face. "Quiet you!"
"Hands off!" another voice growled.
The hand disappeared from the chain, and she was able to straighten up again and look her new owner over from head to toe.
He was a silverhair all right. Not only did he have a mane that reached almost to his knees, he had the attitude to go with it, standing there with his feet planted firmly on the ground and his arms crossed over his chest as he sized her up, just as she was doing to him.
The former owner's prattling was starting to annoy Inu Yasha, so he curtly nodded his head and cut the man off mid-sentence. "Thank you for your time, but I have some business to attend to."
The man blinked, but quickly recovered. "Of course, of course! Thank you!"
The Pet saw her new master extend his hand to grasp the chain, the sight of his honed fingernails making a flock of butterflies pour into her stomach. Yet when he grasped the metal, he seemed disgusted by it, only barely closing his hand on the chain links to lead her away. She tried to catch a glimpse of the expression on his face, but he had already turned away.
"Come," he commanded.
She obeyed the order, knowing it would be useless to try and fight at this point.
"Ugh." Inu Yasha thought to himself. "I hate this custom.. dragging someone around on a leash. It's not right." Then he realized that he was grimly striding along, forcing the Pet to almost break into a run to keep up. With a great force of will, he made himself calm down.
It had been getting hard to breathe as the Pet had forced herself to match his strides with legs that were not accustomed to moving so fast. Then all of a sudden, the silverhair slowed down. Why?
The two continued on through the gallery, each wrapped up in their own thoughts. It wasn't until they were out of the building and in the blinding sun that either of them did anything but put one foot in front of the other. When they finally did, Inu Yasha raised a hand up to shade his eyes, while Kagome flinched backward, squinting.
As soon as their vision cleared, Inu Yasha noticed that a doorman was holding the door of a taxi open, obviously waiting for the silverhair and his purchase to get inside. Inu Yasha gave a curt nod of thanks, then carefully dragged the Pet forward, motioning for her to go in before releasing the chain.
The Pet gave him a look, but didn't argue as she got into the vehicle, sliding over to make room for her "master".
Inu Yasha flipped a 500 credit coin in the doorman's direction before settling himself in beside his purchase. The door closed, and he ordered the driver to go to the Midas shopping district.
Silence descended as the vehicle was put in motion. The Pet took a peek over at her new owner to find him staring blankly ahead, still off in his own world.
"Ummmm…" she began. Her wrists and shoulders were aching from her hands being tied behind her back for so long. She only hoped he wouldn't kill her for her presumption.
"What?" he demanded gruffly.
The Pet merely turned to reveal her bound hands.
Inu Yasha's eyes widened. "Damn. I thought they'd let you loose." He cracked his knuckles in a way that made the girl flinch as he bared his claw-like nails.
And with one precise swipe, he severed the ropes.
The Pet brought her hands around in front, shaking slightly at the thought of what else those claws could do as she tried to rub some feeling back into her wrists.. until his voice brought her back to the present.
Inu Yasha sighed. "What. Is. Your. Name?" he clarified slowly, as if speaking to a particularly dimwitted child.
His tone made the Pet's temper flared up, and she met his gold eyes with her own hard brown ones. "Kagome," she replied, her single word almost sounding like a challenge.
Inu Yasha raised an eyebrow. "Kagome, huh? Your measurements?"
Kagome's cheeks flared red, biting back a furious retort.
The silverhair saw the Pet's emotions warring with her training and decided maybe this wouldn't be so bad. "Look, I don't care if you tell me or not, but if you don't, you'll be stuck in that until at least tomorrow!" he burst out, his composure slipping a notch.
Kagome's eyes widened at the outburst. Too stunned to do anything else, she mechanically told him "38, 26, 36".
Inu Yasha mentally whistled. So his eye had not been wrong. Her measurements were nearly perfect, and the area of imperfection.. he glanced at her breasts. Yeah. He could live with it. Definitely.
Kagome forced down the urge to blush again as her owner's eyes assessed the contours of her body. She should be used to such scrutiny by now. In fact, she knew she was. So why was the warmth in those strange golden eyes enflaming her cheeks the way they were?
Shortly afterward, the taxi came to a stop and Inu Yasha leaned forward to bark at the driver, "Leave the meter running. I'll be back very shortly. And don't even think of leaving with my property, or you will be pursued and punished to the fullest extent of the law." He allowed his fangs to show. "Understand?"
"Y.. yes, sir," the driver stammered.
Without even another word to his Pet, Inu Yasha got out of the car and headed for the nearest clothing store.
"Geez that guy's confusing," Kagome thought to herself. "One moment he's leering at me, the next he's completely ignoring me! And why do I even care?" Then she noticed the driver staring at her through the rear view mirror. Now this was more like what she was used to. Besides, she had better prepare herself for what was most likely to follow her new master's return.
She shifted her legs demurely to the side and ran a finger up from her abdomen to her right breast. She lazily trailed it over the peak, making a circle around her nipple, causing it to stand out and strain against the fabric that confined it. She lifted her left hand to tweak the other nipple, feeling a wave of gratification as she heard the driver's breath catch. She leaned against the seat, arching her back and closing her eyes, her hips trusting forward in an imitation of ecstasy. She was a Grade-A Pet, after all. This was all part of her training.
Just then, the cab door was wrenched open and Inu Yasha plopped back down in the seat, all but throwing the shopping bag in his hand at Kagome's face. Miraculously, it simply hit her in the chest, which made her wince anyway and put a damper on any hint of excitement she had been feeling. After a minute or two, she recovered enough to stare at the bag in her lap.
"Well? Put 'em on, wench."
Kagome's head snapped up and her eyes blazed into Inu Yasha's. "My name isn't "wench"! It's Kago…"
"Don't make me call you worse, bitch! I'm your master now, and if I tell you to put on those damned clothes, you'd better fucking put them on!"
Kagome blinked, then became very interested in the bag. "Way to go.. make your life a living hell," she thought to herself. "Why can't I just keep my mouth shut?" Halfheartedly, but with a touch of curiosity, she poked at the tissue paper before steeling herself to reach in and pull out her new outfit.
A pink button-up blouse with white lace at the sleeves and a white collar with buttons of the same color running down the front, as well as a green miniskirt, were soon lying on the back seat of the car. Kagome gaped at the silverhair. She'd been expecting something a little more.. seductive?
"What's your problem now?" Inu Yasha growled, seeing the look of uncertainty on his Pet's face.
Kagome involuntarily flinched again. "No.. nothing," she stuttered and dutifully began to pull on the clothing, mindful not to button the chain of her collar into her blouse. It wasn't until she had wriggled into the skirt and was about to zip it up that she realized he had been watching the entire display out of the corner of his eye.. the way her breasts had bounced and her hips swiveled as she had struggled with the skirt.
"Humph. Pervert," she sniffed as she pulled up the zipper.
"Just like everybody else," he snapped and turned his attention back out the window.
Kagome gazed at her new master in surprise. "How could he have heard me from all the way over there?" she wondered. The Pet kept staring at him, expectantly now. But he didn't move, his eyes glued to the scenes passing by outside the window. After several minutes of tense silence, he finally barked out:
"Stop staring at me like that. Look out the window.. look at the driver, I don't care! Just quit it!"
The Pet's eyes widened, but she did as she was told, murmuring "Sorry," as she turned her attention to the multitude of cars and people passing by.
"Any other master would have me naked and writhing beneath him by now," she mused to herself. "Why isn't he claiming me? He did buy me, after all. Maybe.. just maybe.. somehow he's different…"
She could already feel a headache coming on. What had she gotten into?
Meanwhile, a certain silverhair was wondering the exact same thing.
Author's Note: whew I originally started writing this for the first "Iridescent Dreams" Round Robin contest, but then the AU rule was clarified (oh darn!). Since I'd already started and had a complete outline, I figured I would finish the story anyway
(still working on that part! But I do know this is going to be 10 chapters long.).
Also, about the story.. the setting I'm using is from the novel "Ai no Kusabi". Yes, the storyline in the novel is yaoi. But the world itself is so fascinating, I just had to set my story there! And it fits so well! If anybody's confused, just let me know, and I'll work on making clearer descriptions!