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Mail Order Mate by Vespertine

Mail Order Mate

Disclaimer: Disclaimed

WARNING: Contains bits that may not be appropriate for those under 18.

A/N: For Kirai’s Neverending Title Challenge. [Title: Mail Order Mate.]

*whispers* Psssst…I have to tell you a secret…I like reviews…  

 

xXx Mail Order Mate xXx

After Naraku was destroyed and the Jewel wished out of existence, Kagome thought her life would be perfect. Even though she was trapped because the well closed, she was happy because she still had her ‘Feudal Family’. The village welcomed her with open arms and helped to build a hut of her own, where she lived with Shippo. She had been studying under Kaede to take over as village miko and teaching the village children to read and write. Songo and Miroku had left to rebuild Songo’s home village and start a life together, but they returned often to visit. As for Inuyasha…it still hurt to think about him, but he had gone with Kikyo to hell after the battle.       

Four years had passed since the defeat of Naraku and seven years since she fell through the well…seven years today, in fact. Kaede had sent her out to gather a long list of herbs this morning which she knew was only to keep her busy while they prepared a surprise party for her. She shook her head and let an amused smile grace her lips as she bent to pick a few leaves off of a bright green little plant and place them in her basket. It was the same every year and yet she still pretended to be surprised and they pretended her surprise was genuine, but even though it was never any different she loved it all the same because their heart was in it and that’s what mattered. She was so caught up in her reminiscing that she didn’t hear them sneak up on her until it was too late.

She tried to stand up to fight them off but before she was completely on her feet two of them had grabbed her by the arms and had her face pushed hard into the dirt. They were lower level demon so she knew she could take them. She gathered her miko powers to purify them but before she could a bright light flashed around her neck and her powers died instantly as she heard the soft clicking of beads as they fell into place. She tried her powers again only to get a sharp painful shock from the necklace that knocked her unconscious. A dark womanly laugh filled the clearing as the brutes that held her hoisted her roughly off of the ground.

“Well done boys, mission complete! Let’s get a good look at her.” The owner of the voice walked toward her. She was a short, slender, woman with snow white hair and sinister black eyes. She was dressed in dark miko garb and held a wicked looking staff with a dark orange glowing stone imbedded in the wood toward the top. She grabbed Kagome’s face hard, her nails digging into her delicate flesh and jerked it from side to side, appraising her looks.

“Hmm…good completion, nice curves, lovely hair…all in all quite pretty. Master will be pleased! This one will fetch a pretty penny for sure. Now let’s see those teeth.”  She roughly shoved her fingers into Kagome’s mouth, poked around, and looked closely for any flaws.

“Ah! Very nice! Pearly white; like blunt demon teeth. This is a most fortunate find! All right boys; let’s get her into the wagon with the others!” Kagome was hoisted over the shoulder of one of the large uniformed boar demon and carried off toward a large cage on wheels that was tethered to four tired, old, horses. The brute that wasn’t carrying her opened the cage door and the other tossed her in with the other women. A small fragile looking girl tried to escape as they were swinging the door shut to lock it and got her neck snapped in a large grubby hand for her trouble.

“A lesson to you whores; don’t go trying anything like this one just did.” He said as he tossed the limp dead body inside with them and locked the door. The women who weren’t unconscious scrambled back away from the dead body sprawled unnaturally on the floor of the mobile cage and stared with horror.  They held each other and cried as they were hauled off to what would soon be their prison until they were sold, picking up a few more girls along the way. Kagome awoke just as they were approaching their destination and couldn’t help but to cry at the disparity of her situation. Why did these things always have to happen to her? ‘Happy birthday to me.’ She thought bitterly as she sniffled along with the other girls.

xXx++X++xXx

Sesshomaru sat in his dark study, staring into the blazing fireplace. Several empty sake bottles lay empty at his feet and another sat half-empty in his hand.  Early this morning he had had a meeting with his advisers. He had been dreading this meeting, for the obvious reasons, and for the fact that he knew that they would only ramble on about choosing a mate as they always did, but today they threw something at him that he wasn’t expecting. Now, normally he despised surprises no matter what shape they came in but he especially loathed this one.

 Ultimatums are something Sesshomaru hated as much as surprises and both were thrust upon him at a most ungodly hour. It was that meeting which brought him to the state his is currently in; intoxicated and concentrating so hard you could see the gears turning. Who could blame him though? He had a lot of responsibility placed on his shoulders already, but then add to the fact that he had to find a mate within the month or be overthrown…well that just added all the more pressure, didn’t it? Where was he to find a suitable mate (that he could tolerate) on such short notice?

He stood abruptly and tossed the sake bottle he held into the fire angrily and stalked over to his desk a little less gracefully than he would if he were sober. In a fit of rage, he attacked his desk, sending waxed scrolls and loose parchment flying in the air. The fluttering sound of the parchment floating down to the floor filled the room as he stood silent; trying to gain control of his temper. He took in a deep, cleansing, breath and when he opened his eyes they landed on a scroll that sat innocently in the center of his desk with a shiny golden seal. His curiosity got the better of him and he snatched it off the desk to see what it was.

He had to shake the alcohol induced haze from his mind to focus on the words written on the page, but once he took it all in he thought it must be a gift from the gods. This was the answer to his problems! It read:

[“Greetings Lord Sesshomaru,

The Boar Tusk Trade service would like to extend to you this limited offer that is only being awarded to the most wealthy and highly appointed rulers. We invite you to take part in our exclusive Mail Order Mate service! We have a fine selection of the most beautiful, fair, and powerful of women for your purchase. Simply fill out the application that will help us best choose your mate and send it to us. We will then choose the perfect mate for you and send her with a member of Boar Tusk Trade who will, if you find our choice for you acceptable, provide the necessary paperwork and accept payment. We hope that your satisfaction with this service will result in repeat business.

Looking forward to working with you,

Boar Tusk Trade.”]

He carelessly tossed the letter to the floor and sat to fill out the application. He pulled his writing utensils out of the desk drawer and concentrated on the questions before him. He hastily marked the ones he deemed most important and summoned Jaken while he sealed it. When Jaken arrived he handed him the scroll and instructed him to take Ah-Un and deliver the scroll immediately. As Jaken shut the door behind him, Sesshomaru settled back into his chair in front of the fireplace and resumed his drinking until dawn.    

xXx++X++xXx

 

Five months. It had been five months since she got tossed into this hell hole, but Kagome didn’t know that. She shared a cell with six other girls and it was filthy and reeked of excrement. It was impossible to keep time since they never left their cell and there were no windows. She’s been beaten by the guards (but never hard enough to mar her flesh), hasn’t been allowed a bath since she arrived, and was fed what she wasn’t even sure could be considered food. She spent her time thinking of ways to escape or daydreaming about her friends rescuing her. 

She was enjoying one of her daydreams when a guard slammed the door open and stepped inside, followed by a handsome, finely dressed, man. He eyed them all carefully before singling her out.

“You, you will answer my questions swiftly and honestly or face the consequences. Do you understand?” His voice was high and pitchy and it grated on her nerves.

“Yes.” She answered right away, not eager to gain any new forms of torture that she could easily avoid.

“Very good. Now…do you have good maternal instincts?”

“Er…I suppose so, I’ve watched after many children an-“ He cut her off with a sharp stinging slap across her face.

“Yes or no only. Can you read and write?”

“Yes.”

“Excellent. You do have appropriate table manners, don’t you?” he asked this as if daring her to say no.

“Yes.”

“Wonderful! I feel you may be the appropriate choice. Come along, we have much work to do.”

He lead her down the cold damp hallway where they paused briefly as the guard opened a door that lead to a flight of stairs that led upward. Once they were up the stairs he stopped a group of maids that had armfuls of linens and asked them to scrub her down and dress her before they have a guard escort her to the entrance hall. The maids lead her to a sparse dusty room that held only a chair and a basin of water. Not heeding her protests, they stripped her of her grimy clothes and prodded her to sit in the chair. They scrubbed her skin raw with ice cold water and brushed her hair so roughly she was sure she had missing patches of hair.

They dressed her in a cheap, plain, red kimono with a silhouette of a boar face embroidered on the back in black thread and held  it closed with a black obi. The whole thing only took ten minutes and she was being dragged toward the entrance hall by another boar demon thug before she knew it. When they entered the hall she saw the man from before in a heated discussion with three guards. As they drew closer to him he wrapped up his conversation and turned to address the guard that escorted her.

Now that they were out of the dark dungeon she could see that he had white, frosty, cat-like eyes and his gray spiky hair had shocks of icy blue throughout. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t noticed the three horizontal navy stripes on his left cheek before, but it stood out on his pale skin in the sunlight pouring in from the windows on either side of the large wooden doors. He was very obviously a full demon so why couldn’t she sense it? ‘It must have something to do with this stupid necklace.’ She thought.

“Ah, Tamotsu! Please place her in the wagon with the others. Tadashi is ready to leave once you have her secured.  These are her papers, be sure to hand them over. We have more deliveries than usual today and I’d like them to arrive in a timely fashion so get going.  Dismissed” She was tossed into the back with three young girls. As soon as the door was shut and locked and the papers handed over, the wagon jolted forward, causing two of the girls to lose their balance and fall down.

“Enjoy your new homes, whores!” The guards taunted as the wagon passed the gates. “I’m sure you sluts can’t wait to get a mouth full of your new master’s cock!”  Kagome gasped in horror at the foul language and scooted forward to gather the sobbing young girls into her arms.  ‘It just gets better and better.’ She thought with a sigh.

xXx++X++xXx

 

It had been a week since he’d succumbed to the pressure and drunk himself to oblivion. He felt shame at his loss of control when he saw the devastation of his office the next morning. He had no memory of the events that night and so he was rather confused when slave traders appeared on his doorstep that morning, apparently at his request.

“What is the meaning of your presence here?” He demanded of the uniformed boar demon that held an unconscious girl over his shoulder.

“We have delivered your Mail Order Mate, as requested, Lord Sesshomaru. We received your letter, carefully selected her to your specifications, and delivered her with haste. Is she to your liking?” He asked, as he flopped her onto the floor and arranged her for his inspection. “If she doesn’t meet your standards we can replace her immediately.”

It is official, he would never drink again. Sesshomaru was at a loss for words. Not only had he sunk so low in his drunken stupor as to order a slave, but that slave just happened to be his dead brother’s miko. It only took a glance and he knew it was her and there was no doubt as her scent hit his nose. He wondered how she could possibly have been captured when she’s the most powerful miko alive, when he noticed the miko collar and it all clicked into place. He cursed his brother for not thinking to teach the girl all the appropriate combat skills that she clearly needed.

“Do you know who this woman that you’ve tossed at my feet is, I wonder?” He asked mostly to himself. The guards eyes darted back and forth as if hoping he could find the answers written on the walls of the entrance hall. Sesshomaru had to hold back a sigh at the brute’s ignorance.

“She is the Shikon Miko, the one who defeated Naraku.” The guard looked surprised for a moment as he quickly glanced at the slightly stirring miko on the floor before recovering.

“Yes, of course, Lord Sesshomaru. We have selected only the best and most powerful for you. You deserve a mate with such beauty and power.” It sounded stiff and rehearsed and it grated on his nerves. He thought about the man’s words though. It was true; without the miko collar, the girl was very powerful and with the right training she could be a strong capable Lady of the West. He also knew that she loved Rin and was exceptional with children. Still he wondered how civilized she was as she had spent many years running around half dressed in the wild, shouting and causing trouble.

 Those were things that could be fixed with a litt- No! He couldn’t believe he was even considering this. But then, was there anyone else he could think of that he could even consider as seriously as the girl that lay before him? Before he could think farther on the subject the miko bolted up-right and shook the fog from her brain. She looked around and he heard her heart skip a beat as her eyes settled on him.

“Sesshomaru…” she whispered.

“Miko.” He replied with a nod. His voice seemed to pull her from her shocked daze and faster than the guard could react to stop her she jumped to her feet and bolted right for him, dropping to her knees and grabbing fist-full’s of his pant legs.

“Lord Sesshomaru, you gotta help me! I don’t want to go back there! The guards said they were going to send me to an evil, sick, sadistic master! I won’t stand a chance with these stupid beads around my neck!” She pleaded until she was breathless. Sesshomaru bristled at them calling him evil, sick, and sadistic. He was never swayed by begging before but this could work to his benefit. He could have his mate and she would think it only an act of kindness for a former ally on his part rather than desperation.

“Very well, Miko.” He acquiesced, kicking her off of him and approaching the guard. “She is acceptable, what needs to be done to finalize this transaction?”

“Oh, I’m so very glad to hear that! Allow me to summon the Mistress from the carriage and we will commence the slave bonding.” The guard left and reappeared with the dark miko at his side.

“A pleasure to meet you, Lord Sesshomaru, I’m so pleased we were able to satisfy someone of your caliber. I apologize that we have to waste your valuable time doing a bonding, but it is for the safety of you and those of demon blood in your home. The bonding will prevent her from using her powers against you or others without your permission, but if you please, let us continue with the ritual so that you might be rid of us.”

She motioned for the guard to grab the girl from where she stood nervously behind Sesshomaru. The guard dragged her over to stand next to Sesshomaru and held her arms tightly behind her back to keep her from escaping. The dark miko came forward with a worn leather book in her right hand and her staff in the left. He read a passage from the small book before placing it into the satchel slung over her right shoulder. She rummaged around in the bag for a moment before pulling it back out with a tiny yellow glowing vial.

She stepped forward and poured some of the glowing liquid over her fingertips and flicking the liquid onto the pair before her. She took three steps back and faced away from them, lifting her hands into the air and chanting in a language Sesshomaru had never heard before. The chanting grew louder and louder and then drifted off into whispers as she turned to face them, walked forward and touched her still moist fingertips to each of their foreheads. She then took four steps back, faced away from them again (all the while chanting in soft whispers), shouted toward the heavens, spun around to face them and slammed her staff hard into the gleaming, dark, wood, floor.  The dark orange stone flashed brightly and gave a tiny spark. It was over.

xXx++X++xXx

It all happened so fast. A year ago he was trying desperately to find a mate and now he had one sprawled out on his bed with the sheets tangled around her naked body. He still couldn’t believe it. The beginning was difficult and frustrating. He knew that she was stubborn and feisty but he had never experienced it firsthand before and so they fought like cats and dogs. Some days he wondered how he never killed her with the way she was able to push his buttons, but here she was; alive and well. As loath as he was to admit it, he loved the way she challenged him; she kept things interesting in an otherwise quiet, lonely castle.    

While there were still revolts and assassination attempts, the majority of his subjects and other Lords and Ladies had grown to love her and so had he. He had never imagined that he would ever fall in love; always believing it to be a useless emotion that was a weakness. He especially never imagined that he would love the woman that he would mate as he had no use for thoughts of fairytale romance. Yet, here he was, madly in love with an annoying, loud, bossy, beautiful, gentle, caring, woman. The little bundle in his arms started to squirm and make soft gurgling noises, so he abandoned his chair next to the fireplace and climbed into bed with his infant to shake his mate awake.

“Mate, you must awaken and feed the pup.” He said softly as she blinked her eyes open sleepily. She smiled at him sweetly and accepted the bundle from him as she sat up in bed. As he watched his mate lovingly tend to their child, he couldn’t help but to thank the world for alcohol and golden sealed scrolls.

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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