Disclaimers:  I do not own Inuyasha or any of its characters.

Notes:  My very first Inuyasha fic.  This is a Het fic, with pairings as follows . . . Sesshomaru/Kagome, Inuyasha/Kikyo, and
Miroku/Sango.  This is most definitely an Alternate Universe fic, and I take great liberties in changing their lives to suit my
purposes.  And for the most part, I stick with English terms and spellings for their names . . . I do hope you can get over it.

More notes:  Kagome takes care of Sesshomaru.



Bound



Part Six


Kagome was walking along the grounds, content to watch as the sky turned to the colors of early evening.  A part of her
wondered where Sesshomaru had gone, but she wasn’t too concerned.  She had a feeling that he wouldn’t run away and
abandon Rin.  The tall demon seemed protective of the child, perhaps even cared about her.  She smiled as she remembered the
way he had carried her when she had been tired.  Most demons wouldn’t care in the least about the welfare of a human child . .
. some caring nothing for any child at all for that matter, even those of their own bloodlines.

She was abruptly brought from her moment of reflection.  Any contentment she had felt was shattered when she saw
Sesshomaru lying on the ground just inside the gate.  “Sesshomaru!”  She called out, running over to the fallen demon.  She
turned to look over her shoulder, yelling for someone to come and help when she noticed that he was injured.

It was only a few minutes later, that Kagome found herself sitting at Sesshomaru’s bedside.  Two of the servants had helped
her, carrying the tall demon to his room, stripping him and placing him in bed while Kagome had waited outside.  Now, she was
alone in the room with Sesshomaru, delicately cleaning the blood from his wrists.  It was as if the bands he was wearing had
dug deeply into the flesh, breaking his bones in the process.  There were other wounds that she wondered about as well . . . but
his wrists concerned her greatly.  There was something ominous about the injuries there.

True, since he was a demon these injuries would all heal relatively quickly.  But . . . they still concerned Kagome.  And she
knew that he’d at the very least be uncomfortable for the next few days . . . perhaps unable to use his hands for a day or so.

Her attention was drawn away from his wrists when Sesshomaru began to stir.  His fingers twitched minutely, his eyelids
starting to flutter.

“Oh, good.  You’re waking.”  Kagome breathed a sigh of relief, waiting patiently for the tall demon to climb the levels of
consciousness.  His glassy golden gaze settled on her, clearing after a few moments.

“Mistress . . .”  He spoke with a whisper.

Kagome shook her head, raising a hand to still his words.  “What happened to you?”  She asked, reaching forward to brush her
fingers along the scratches on his face.  “You’re hurt.  I found you lying on the ground.”

Sesshomaru blinked sleepily.  “The bands . . . they punished me for my disobedience, Mistress.”

Kagome frowned in confusion.  “What do you mean?  How did you disobey me?”

Sesshomaru tried to sit up, but sighed as Kagome pushed him back down.  Still, he answered her query, casting his gaze away
as he spoke.  “You told me to be back by nightfall.  I was tardy, so the bands punished me.”  He paused, keeping his eyes
focused on anything but Kagome.  “The magic binding me extends to the cuffs about my wrists.  If I do something contrary to
an order from my master, they react with causing me pain and suffering.  It is as if the metal itself ebbs into my veins and
crawls throughout my body . . . seeking out my internal organs.  Only my master can halt the process . . . or myself if I am
able to complete the order I had defied.”

Kagome was horrified.  She’d had no idea that the bands could do something like that.  True, she had known they were a part
of the magical restraints made to keep demons docile, but she hadn’t known the extent of damage they could cause.

“I’m so sorry . . . I didn’t know this would happen if I set a distinct time limit.  If I had known, I would not have done so.”  
She frowned, binding his wrists with bandages as well as she could.  “You should not move these for a while . . . at least until
the bones mend.  Do you know how long that will be?”

Sesshomaru blinked up at her, confusion evident in his gaze.  “I . . . the bones should be healed within the night . . . the bands
will increase the speed of my natural healing abilities, so that I will not be incapable of serving my master for too long.”

“That’s good.”  Kagome smiled, then tended to the wound to his arm.  It looked as if something had bitten him.  “While I am
curious as to why you were out so long, I’ll respect your privacy.”  She sighed, wrapping a bandage around his arm.  
“However, I feel I must ask . . . What happened to you?  These other injuries were not caused by the bands . . . and your shirt
is missing.”

Sesshomaru looked away again.  “I was attacked by a wild animal, Mistress.  I left my shirt behind in my haste to return here
when I realized it was getting dark.”

Kagome felt there was something hidden within his words, but chose not to question it.  If he felt a need to hide things from
her, then so be it.  She wouldn’t push him, especially since it was her own fault that he was hurt.  She should have known
better than to state when he should return home.

“Okay . . . well, from now on, you can stay out as long as you wish.  You do not have to return by nightfall.  Does that
suffice?  Or do I have to word it differently?”

Sesshomaru shook his head slightly.  “It will do, Mistress.  I thank you for your kindness.”

The way he said it only made Kagome frown though.  Letting out a soft breath, Kagome gathered her medicinal items and rose
to her feet.  “I suppose I should allow you to rest now.  I’ll have your dinner brought up to you.”

Sesshomaru looked startled, if only for the briefest of moments.  Then he schooled his features again, his expression becoming
one of calmness once again.  “That will not be necessary, Mistress . . . you should not have someone taken away from their
duties to wait on me.”

Kagome almost laughed at him, but managed to swallow the chuckle.  “Very well, then.  I’ll bring your dinner up myself.”  She
said, then left the room before the tall demon had a chance to retort.


*****


Sesshomaru frowned a little as his mistress left the room.  It was unseemly for his mistress to act as a servant and bring him
food, but there was nothing he could do about it.  She truly was a strange master, different from the others Sesshomaru had
belonged to.  Yet, perhaps she was deceptive.  Maybe she meant to trap him somehow, to lure him into a fall sense of security
before she began to mistreat him.

That must be it.  There was no other reasonable explanation.  No one could be so kind as Mistress Kagome seemed to be.

He sighed as he allowed the events in the forest to run through his mind.  Despite having gone feral, there was an innocence still
surrounding his younger half-brother.  Sesshomaru found himself strangely pleased about that . . . he did not know why.  
Perhaps it was because the half-breed was the last of his family still alive.  At least, he was the only one that Sesshomaru knew
of.  There could be others that had been lost to his memories.

Thinking of Inuyasha made Sesshomaru consider helping the boy.  Maybe there was still some hope of salvaging his mind.  At
least now that Mistress Kagome had given Sesshomaru leave to stay out as long as he wished, he could attempt to bring
Inuyasha to a more civilized frame of mind.  He did not like seeing Inuyasha act like nothing more than a common dog.  It
dishonored the memory of their father.  Of course, the family honor had long since been destroyed . . . if only by the
enslavement of the two half-siblings.

His thoughts were disturbed when the door opened and Rin poked her head in.  Although the bruise on her face was still
prominent, she looked content.  And in her arms was a brand-new doll.  The child’s eyes widened and she quickly walked over
to him and crawled up onto the bed.

“Sesshomaru-sama . . . are you all right?”  She asked, fear exuding from her tiny form.  “What happened?”

Sesshomaru didn’t want Rin to fear Mistress Kagome . . . not without reason, and he could see no reason present.  His own
suspicions of the human female were not a decent enough basis.  “Mistress Kagome asked me to return by nightfall, not
knowing of the powers of the bands.”  He said, raising his aching wrists into the girl’s view.  “I lost track of time, and the
bands punished me.”

Rin nodded.  She knew well what the bands could do.  There had been an incident shortly after her arrival at the slave trader’s.  
Sesshomaru did not like to think about it.  It had been days before he had been able to move his wrists . . . they had very nearly
been snapped completely off before the trader had taken mercy on him.

“I thought it was something like that.”  The child said.  “Mistress Kagome is nice . . . she was so worried about you after they
brought you inside.  She wouldn’t want you hurt.”  She smiled a little impishly.  “She likes you.”

Sesshomaru allowed a soft chuckle to escape him.  To children, the world was black and white.  There was only good and evil .
. . love and hate.  Kagome’s concern was seen to be something more by this innocent child.

“Rin . . . she is my mistress, nothing more.  We were fortunate she was there to buy us.  She is considerate and kindhearted.  I
doubt she would wish harm on anything.”  He said, though he wasn’t sure if he believed his own words.  However, if it would
calm the child, he would lie.  He stroked Rin’s silky-smooth hair in order to soothe her, though his hands were aching and
moved with an awkwardness that caused him to frown.  “She is only concerned for me because she feels it is her fault I was
injured.”

Rin sighed and nodded her head.  She chewed her lip for a moment, then looked down into her arms, her gaze lingering on the
doll she held.  “Look!  Kaede let me borrow one of her dollies!  She said it wasn’t fair that I gotta wait for Kagome to buy me
one . . . and that she had lots and she gave me this one.  Her name’s Sakura!”

Sesshomaru nodded, humoring the child’s exuberance.  “She is very lovely.  And it is a fitting name for her.”

Rin opened her mouth to reply, yet anything she meant to say was cut off by Mistress Kagome’s return to the bedroom.  In her
arms, the young woman carried a tray . . . on the tray were several items, one of which seemed to be a bowl of soup.  
Sesshomaru sniffed, easily picking up on the scent of meat . . . and various vegetables.  He tried to maneuver himself into a
sitting position, yet the pain in his wrists ceased his attempts.  The bones were still broken and would not hold his weight.

“Now, you just wait until I get over there.”  Kagome smiled.

Sesshomaru stilled, sagging back against the bed.  Mistress Kagome had ordered him to wait, and so he would wait.  “Yes,
Mistress.”  He murmured quietly.

Rin crawled over to the other side of Sesshomaru’s body as Kagome approached.  The child settled herself beside a portion of
the demon’s tail that lay atop the blankets, snuggling against the soft length of fur.

Kagome set the tray down on the table beside the bed.  “Okay, this is bound to be awkward.  Try to work with me here
though.”  She said, easing her arms around Sesshomaru’s body.  With a moderate amount of difficulty she managed to get
Sesshomaru into a more upright position, while keeping him from using his hands to brace himself.

He sat quietly as Mistress Kagome moved the tray onto his lap.  He remained obedient as she fed him the soup.  However, he did
feel very foolish that he was being treated as an invalid.  He would not object though.  She was his master.  If she wanted him
to remain a docile servant, he would do so without question.

As she rose to set aside the tray again, Sesshomaru found he wanted to ask a question.  He waited until she had aided him in
laying down once more, seeing that she wanted to be of help to him while he was injured . . . though he did not think his injuries
were so severe as to warrant such treatment.

“Mistress . . .”  He spoke quietly, casting his gaze to the bed sheets again.  “May I ask a favor?”

Kagome sat on the edge of the bed, sweeping his bangs to either side of his face.  “Go on.”  She said, smiling pleasantly as she
waited for his query.

“May I take another walk tomorrow afternoon . . . after whatever duties you wish me to accomplish?  If you do not want me
to, I will understand.”  He looked away, keeping his focus on anything other than his mistress’ face.  It would be improper to
look upon her directly.

“Of course you may.”  She said, ghosting her fingertips across his cheek, just barely missing the scratches on his face.  “I
suppose you were enjoying yourself before those bands decided you had disobeyed me.”  She sighed.  “If you are happy on
these strolls you take, then by all means continue to take them.”

“Thank you, Mistress.”  Sesshomaru nodded, feeling grateful that he would be allowed to continue with his walks.  Perhaps
now he would be able to help Inuyasha . . . it would be nice to be understood when he spoke to the youth.

“Okay, Rin . . . I think we should leave so Sesshomaru can get some rest.”  Kagome said, rising from the bed once again.  “And
you should get back to bed.  We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow and you should be well rested.”

“Do I have to?  Can’t I stay here with Sesshomaru-sama?”  The child asked, wearily rubbing at her eyes.

“Well, I suppose it couldn’t hurt.”  Kagome sighed, then turned her attention to Sesshomaru.  “Would that be all right with you?”

Sesshomaru nodded sharply.  “I see no reason why she cannot remain.”  He responded.

Rin practically squealed in delight as she scurried beneath the blankets and cuddled herself up along Sesshomaru’s side,
seemingly mindless of the bareness of his body.  He settled his arm around her form, allowing her the affectionate contact she
seemed to enjoy.  She sighed happily, laying her head against his body, her arms winding around both him and her doll.  
Sesshomaru very nearly smiled at the child’s apparent happiness.

“Sleep well, you two.”  Kagome smiled, reaching out to brush her fingers through Rin’s hair.  Then, picking up the tray, she
turned and left the room.

Sesshomaru closed his eyes, curling his arm a little tighter around the child that lay by his side as the two of them fell into
slumber.



To Be Continued . . .