AN: Thank you so much for all the comments and for just reading this story. In particular, big thanks to everyone on the sesskag discord. You've all been so supportive and wonderful. I'm sorry this last chapter took a while, I was finally able to move house but had no wifi for a few weeks x

Warning: Smut ahoy!


Standing before the main building of Happiness's mansion, Kagome took a moment to look out at the green, lush fields surrounding the courtyard. Flowers swayed, in bloom once more. Rin chattered happily with Innocence while Bigotry was returned to his little wooden box.

Fear had shrunk to around her height, sitting on the porch beside Discipline and Sloth, who offered him a pipe.

Kagome smiled fondly.

"Are you leaving now?"

Glancing to the side, her smile dipped a touch. "I have to."

Sadness inclined his head, doleful eyes dimming. "It is unlikely we will see each other in the foreseeable future."

Kagome grasped his hand and stepped in close, giving a tight hug. It was funny, but embracing the replicas of the Killing Perfection felt as natural as breathing now. "I'll try to tell him to embrace feeling you if something happens."

Sadness dipped down, brushing his nose over her neck and pressing chapped lips to her jaw.

Smiling, Kagome nestled into his warmth and breathed in the petrichor of his scent for a moment, leaning back to cup his cheek. Sadness offered a small smile in response, radiating peace and leaning into her palm.

"Do we all get to say goodbye the same way? This one finds that perfectly acceptable."

Kagome's gaze flattened, frowning at Lust over her shoulder. "We were having a moment."

"A sad moment, which this should not be," he hummed, stepping up behind her and effectively plastering her against them both.

"Not again- get off, pervert!" She growled, unable to stop laughing as he plucked lithe fingers under her ribs in a slight tickle. Sadness huffed and stepped back, while Lust wrapped his arms around her waist and scraped sharp fangs over the mark on her neck.

"Perhaps this one will see you in a few days," he whispered directly into her ear.

Kagome shivered and rested both hands over his, body sighing. Something hooked low in her stomach. "Or a few hours," she said quietly.

Lust's eyes danced with mirth, dragging a saliva-coated tongue up her cheek.

"Hey, leave her alone-" Fantasy lightly thwacked his shoulder.

Lust grumbled as Kagome weaselled her way out of his grip and hugged her clone instead. Giggling, Fantasy returned it.

"Someone else wants to talk to you before you leave," she said in a hushed tone.

Kagome pulled back to raise a brow, following her line of sight.

Blushing slightly at the emotion currently staring at them, Kagome mumbled her thanks to Fantasy and crossed the fair distance of the courtyard over to him.

Love's eyes remained a touch guarded. Kagome supposed that was entirely natural. They hadn't much had the chance to talk, so she struggled with something to say.

Luckily he stepped closer and spoke first. "You did not pass through me in the prison."

She blinked, thrown. "Yeah, guess not. It was sort of crazy in there."

"Hn," gazing at her intently, the Daiyoukai tipped his head to the side, thoughtful. "I should like you to see a memory of mine."

Red cheeks burned into a darker rouge. "I…I'd like to. Really I would, but I shouldn't. I've already seen so much, it wouldn't be fair to Sesshoumaru and-"

Love grabbed her wrist and tugged her towards him, causing Kagome to squeak and squeeze wide eyes shut.

When her lashes next fluttered open, an achingly familiar sight greeted the miko. She stood within Kaede's village, the humble houses bathed in the soft light of the moon. Kagome instantly felt a little more relaxed, seeing the stars so clearly in the sky above- the glow of the lamps inside the huts.

Out of her peripheral vision, movement shifted. Kagome glanced at Sesshoumaru, who looked the splitting image of the Killing Perfection waiting for her on the outside. His features were slightly marred by an imperceptible sneer, barely-there but hanging on his lips. A symptom of his discomfort. The village always made him uncomfortable.

"What are you waiting around for if you don't like being here?" Kagome voiced aloud.

He couldn't hear her, of course, and yet his head tilted up slightly.

The cover over a hut door slid back, her double stepping out. Kagome blinked.


She carried a small bundle, face flushed and sleeves tied back. She looked rattled and tired and ever so immensely happy.

Kagome brightened. "I recognise that wriggling blanket," she muttered to herself. "This is the day Rikyu was born."

Her memory self cooed at the baby, supporting him with one arm in order to gently stroke some thin dark hair aside on his forehead.

Sesshoumaru stared at her from across one of the makeshift streets, golden eyes steady and not a blemish of emotion touching his features.

Kagome's other self seemed to notice him, smiling slightly. She approached without fear, bouncing the newborn slightly.

"I've never helped deliver a baby before," was the first thing she said.

His attention tore itself away from her briefly to slide down to the slumbering babe. "Hn."

"He's Erika's," Kagome continued, as though Sesshoumaru would know perfectly well who that was. "Five hours labour. Not as bad as some births, but whew- Kaede was amazing in there," she breathed, practically glowing. "So calm. I was kind of inwardly screaming. He just started fussing so I'm getting some air with him while his Mom has a well-earned nap."

Sesshoumaru remained silent throughout her lively gushing. He did not seem particularly bored however, merely watchful. Some softness touched his gaze. Sharp claws twitched at his sides.

She noticed this and mistook the gesture, turning to him and lifting the baby up. "Do you want to hold him?"

Visible surprise cracked open his expression. "You would hand him over to this one?"

Kagome cocked her head, "an interesting way to put it," she giggled. "Come on, babies don't bite. I can't promise he won't try to gum you to death though."

"I am not afraid," he sniffed, hand lifting slightly, before pausing mid-air and slowly drawing back to his side. "However, you fail to take into account the horror the mother would likely feel if she happened to see this one in possession of her son. Not all humans are ease as you around my kind, miko."

Blue eyes remained puzzled for a moment, understanding seeming to dawn on her. "Ah... that's just silly," she huffed. "Everyone in the village knows about your attachment to Rin. Kids are totally your weakness."

"This one has no weaknesses."

"Mhm," she smiled. Giving a sigh, Kagome rocked the bundle in her arms gently. "I guess you're right though."

Sesshoumaru nodded.

"But...for what it's worth, I'd let you hold my baby."

Golden eyes flew wide, shoulders stiffening.

From where she stood now, Kagome caught that palpable shock and the way his attention sharpened intently onto her face. The Daiyoukai stared mutely, on the verge of something- however, she was already rambling on, not yet comfortable with silences around the cold lord. "I mean it's a long ways off yet, I hope. I might be considered a spinster here for not marrying at 18 but I'm not gonna rush into things. Still, when I do have kids, I'd trust you with them."

Sesshoumaru's jaw ticked, gaze brightening. He took a step forward, but she'd turned away. "I should probably return this lil ray of adorable sunshine back to his mom."

Long fingers flexed, reaching- curling into the tail ends of dishevelled dark hair just as Kagome stepped away, the ebony strands sliding free from sharp nails. Sesshoumaru's hand remained frozen. He glared at his traitorous fingers with a measure of contempt.

Kagome glanced back and smiled, "see you later, Sesshoumaru. Oh and uh...if you were waiting for Rin, I think she's asleep at this hour?" She said with vague puzzlement, as though only just wondering why he'd be standing there in the dead of night.

Giving a stiff nod in response, he watched her leave. When she was out of sight, back in the hut from whence she came, he lifted frozen fingers, ghosting them over burning lips. Inhaling slightly, Sesshoumaru let out a long, heavy exhale. Pale lashes drifted shut.

The real Kagome felt her cheeks blaze.

He'd been waiting for her.

Catching herself before she could trip and fall on her face, Kagome stumbled back into Happiness's courtyard. Taking a breath, she glanced over her shoulder at Love, who smiled with his eyes.

"He knew...he had feelings for you. Admitted it to himself because of that memory this one shared. The raw desire to have children with you was a powerful one. He liked the simple image of you handing over your their father."

Kagome put a hand to her head and glared half-heartedly, trying to fight off the permanent blush that painted her face. "I told you I didn't want to see any more of his memories," she grumbled. However, the cosy, fluttering feeling in her heart and stomach could not go unnoticed. "But thank you..."

"Tch, if I am right in guessing which memory you just witnessed, it was not entirely flowers and rainbows." Envy spoke up, leaning against a post not too far away. "The disgusting thought of them being Inuyasha's child would not leave either. It was a greatly displeasing time."

Sighing, Kagome pat Love on the shoulder. Making her way over to the green crested emotion, she rose a brow. "You must've experienced a lot of displeasing moments, hm?"

"Indeed," he muttered frostily, overseeing the various emotions in the courtyard with a sneer. "This one is seen as an ugly emotion for wishing to possess you for himself, but if the host had merely listened to me he'd have avoided months of torment."

Kagome stepped closer, sliding a hand up onto his chest and resting it there. "What did you want him to do?"

"Kidnap you," Discipline called wearily from the sidelines somewhere. Sloth chuckled with amusement while Envy glared.

"Ah, and...if he'd done that I wouldn't have fallen in love with him, so it's kind of a good thing he didn't listen to you," Kagome teased. When Envy made a face and grabbed her waist, pulling her closer until their bodies aligned- she inwardly purred despite herself.

Hot breath fanned over her lips, a regal nose brushing hers. "If you become the host's...he will not let you go. Not even if you beg to be released. I will not allow anyone else to take you."

Kagome couldn't reply, because a tongue shoved itself inside her mouth. She made a noise, hearing the shouts and growls from the other emotions as he cupped her ass possessively, free hand burying itself in her hair.

Shivering, she floundered for a moment. Kagome then decided to give in to temptation a little, sliding her tongue against his. Pushing back against the solid wall of his chest and closing blunt teeth over his bottom lip in a hard nip- she felt Envy tremble before he was ripped away.

Kagome panted, blushing as he was held back by Discipline, who snarled at him for his insolence. Love moved up to her side. "He is a fool, ignore him."

"Y- yeah," she mumbled, absentmindedly touching her mouth. Not a bad kisser though.

Saying goodbye to the other emotions took a little while. After some time passed and lingering stares were exchanged, she followed Love down Happiness's passageway within his mansion.

Turning back once more to glance at the courtyard, she waved at the emotions. A few nodded, some merely watching with that heavy look in their eyes that hinted at deeper feelings. Fantasy and Innocence waved back, while Sadness stared after her with a softness in his expression. Lust merely smirked, as though intending to make good on the promise to see each other soon.

Kagome stopped upon seeing Fear's defeated expression. He'd declined to say goodbye to her, lingering away from the others. With a smile, the miko burst into a run, racing back the way she'd come. Love voiced some confusion behind her but she'd grabbed Fear before anyone could protest and squeezed him tight. It was funny having a Sesshoumaru clone be the same height as her.

It made kissing him that much easier. He sputtered slightly like a teenager and growled against her mouth, hands finding her waist. "Leave, foolish miko, or you will likely be trapped here if you linger. I am fine."

Kagome smiled, "just don't forget what I said," she murmured. "And...if he needs to talk to me about his worries- if you need to talk, then I'm open to listening. Any time."

Yearning, confused eyes never left hers as she turned and hurried back to Love's side, saying her final goodbyes and walking out of sight.

Reaching the fireplace, Kagome raised her gaze to Love. For some reason, it seemed as though he were an inch or so taller.

Maybe it's just my imagination.

Love quietly observed her, curling a long-fingered hand around her own and nodding to the flames. "Fear is correct. Do not tarry for our sakes. He awaits you."

"I guess I'm a little nervous," she confessed.

"Despite all the evidence of his affections?"

"Humans are kinda dumb like that," a weak laugh escaped her. Taking a step, she squeezed his hand. "I hope everything works out, but it's in our nature to worry."


Relaxing her grip and shifting a foot forward, Kagome squealed when her hand was suddenly yanked back. Her body lulled towards Love, his arms enclosing her in warmth as mokomoko slid around her slim waist and ankle. His lips were a firm, dizzying pressure against her own. Pure feeling was poured into that kiss, Love swallowing her gasp and cupping her cheek ardently.

Kagome could barely keep up but tilted her head slightly into his palm. She parted her lips and felt his tongue brush along hers- before he withdrew and uttered; "for luck."

She snorted and laughed at how ridiculous they all were, kissing her like eager teenagers. How silly she was for kissing them back, for adoring Sesshoumaru's emotions perhaps to a naive degree. Squeezing his hand, Kagome untangled herself and watched him all the while, stepping back into the flames and disappearing with a lighter, less troubled heart.

Inuyasha darted to his feet, leaping from the branches of the tree. "What is it? She there?"

Sesshoumaru had stood. His expression cracked into something alert- before speeding a fair distance away to begin transforming into his inuyoukai form. As per the norm; curling, writhing flames flared to life around him. A bellowing snarl echoed throughout the lands, making Inuyasha's ears ring and press flat against his head.

Falling out of the flickering heat of youki that rose high around the Daiyoukai, Kagome stumbled to her knees. Thankfully this time she wasn't naked.

A red blur crossed the space between them in seconds, Inuyasha's hands clamping on her arms as he looked her over seriously.

"You alright?" He muttered, ears flicking as he sniffed around her.

She laughed, pulling her friend into a hug. "I'm fine, silly. Ah!" She pulled back, looking at the towering flames as they began to die down. "Sesshoumaru. Is he okay now?"

"Keh, if by okay you mean he's returned to being his usual bastard self, then yep."

Relief set in like a fine tonic, enough to make her legs a little wobbly to stand on as she straightened. Blue eyes met the pale lord's just as he transformed back into his inhuman self.

Silence settled over the group- both parties watching each other with a heavy kind of weight. Expectation, desires. The spell was abruptly broken by Inuyasha grabbing her wrist.

"Oi, everyone's worried. Let's go. He's fine now, ya got no more business with him."

Kagome's lips thinned. Shaking her head, she tugged her wrist free. "Inuyasha...I'd appreciate it if you'd tell them I'm fine. I'd...really like to talk to Sesshoumaru most of all right now."

Heavy brows pulled down, gaze shifting between them. Tsking, the Hanyou pivoted on his heel. "You're too damn nice. If he does anything- just yell. I'll kick his ass."

Smiling fondly, Kagome decided not to tell him just yet about the burgeoning feelings between herself and the lord. It wouldn't be right to assume anything anyway. So she just nodded and waved good-naturedly as he lept away in the direction of the village, throwing a warning look over his shoulder at Sesshoumaru that went ignored.

Left alone, her mouth suddenly became dry. Kagome had no idea where to start. In his head, she'd felt at ease with showing affection to his emotions. Most of them had readily accepted it, soaking up her touches like a sponge. But the real Sesshoumaru held an air of gravity about him, demanding respect and distance at all times.

He'd returned to his old self, no longer emotionally vulnerable. The barriers were firmly in place while he held himself rigidly still, waiting.

"I'm glad everything worked out fine," she opened with, giggling nervously. "I don't know how much of that last fight you saw, but it was pretty cool. Two of your emotions were fighting like big Godzillas- ah you wouldn't know what that is- it's this big monster that attacks Japan. Though it's also like a metaphor for nuclear war-"

Sesshoumaru stared as she let her mouth get away from her. He then turned gracefully on his heel. "Come," he uttered, walking away into Inuyasha's forest. "Monsters are not the topic this one wished to discuss, miko."

"Right, of course," she squeaked, hurrying after him. This is so awkward and not at all how I pictured it. Why can't I just say how I feel?

Sesshoumaru walked with near-silent footsteps through the forest, the shade from the trees passing overhead, letting in little gaps of sunlight that bathed silver hair in radiant patches. Kagome knew Vanity would preen if she voiced that thought allowed.

He stopped beside a lulling, quiet river, folding his legs beneath him and sitting, back straight and posture perfect. Kagome sat beside him, inwardly burning with longing and questions. Her skin blazed with want to touch- to feel him.

"Your hair. Move it aside."

Glancing at him, she immediately understood. Kagome collected the dark strands into her hands and lifted them to bare the mark Instinct had practically branded onto her skin.

Sesshoumaru leaned closer to inspect it- no doubt hearing her rabbit heart slamming against her ribcage. "It was not a dream..." he muttered absentmindedly, brushing pale knuckles over the flesh. "You accepted my mark."

"Yes," she said in a hushed tone.

Tawny eyes lifted to rove over her face. "As a means to an end?"

"It helped to save you, so I guess it was necessary for the objective," Kagome admitted. Summoning her courage, she touched his fingers. "But it's not like I objected to it either. I didn't mind the idea of um...becoming a pre-emptive mate. An option."

Slit pupils dilated. "An option," he let out a dusty chuckle, as though his throat were unused to making such a sound. "That makes it sound as though there are other candidates I'd peruse at my leisure. No, foolish miko. You are a constant. A singular want. There is no other option."

Kagome couldn't help but grin like a fool, those words soothing something inside her. However, she soon frowned worriedly at the water. "Doesn't it anger you? That your instinct acted without your permission? Your consent?"

"Such an impulse has been with this one for some months. The only thing I wanted was permission," a light note lifted his deep baritone. "Your consent."

Warmth flooded right down to her toes. Giving a little laugh, she shook her head at his questioning look. "Strange. I thought this would be a lot harder to do."

Sesshoumaru rose a brow, but she waved it off. Discussing a relationship with Inuyasha had been like pulling teeth. She didn't know why that experience had her thinking it would be the norm.

"Before anything else, you will tell this one everything you witnessed."

She bit her lip to keep from grinning again. "That could take a while."

"Hn, do you have other plans?" He asked dryly.

"I did, but I suppose I can cancel them for you," Kagome hummed, feeling hot breath rush over the crown of her head in a quiet hum of amusement. She leaned slightly against his side. "Alright, I guess I'll start with the first memory I saw."

Talking had made things easier. It eased the tension of expectation until none of their previous awkwardness remained. Sesshoumaru had drawn a knee up to drape one arm over it, Kagome's back against his arm as she tilted her head back to rest it against his shoulder, feeling comfortable with his body again.

She did kind of miss the hugs with a visceral ache though. "Oh, and I did see someone else."


Kagome cleared her throat and deepened her voice; "Keh."

Sesshoumaru sighed, rubbing his temples. "Hn, I take it you are not referring to my half brother. My Father is not a memory I wished to share with anyone."

"I'm glad I saw him...and you, together," she murmured, linking slim fingers and resting them on drawn up, bruised knees. "It's funny how alike he and Inuyasha are despite never meeting, isn't it?"

Sesshoumaru was silent for a moment. "It has caused me frustration in the past, but yes. I see him sometimes in Inuyasha."

"There were a few memories about him," flexing her toes, Kagome tried her best to keep her tone level and casual. "One of them was shown to me by Envy."

At his still, tense silence, she hesitantly continued. "You were in your teenage years. I was there with you, watching Inu no Taisho embrace Inuyasha's mother."

Frostbitten words rumbled out from his chest; "I have no desire to speak of such a memory."

Dark brows drew together, but she nodded with acceptance. The pure feeling radiating off his younger self had been stifling as he'd watched his father hold the human woman. Kagome had wagered it was the first time he'd seen his father's mistress. What hurt the most, in that quiet, painful memory, was witnessing the utter love and softness within Inu no Taisho's weathered eyes. Sesshoumaru's claws had bitten into the bark of a tree, causing splinters to bite into his flesh.

In some complicated way, she felt he had silently compared himself and his mother against Izayoi and wondered how his family had come out lacking. Why hadn't they been enough for him? Why was Father only soft and open for a human woman? These were things Sesshoumaru would never ask and never know the answer to.

Or maybe she was projecting her own ideas onto him. There were some aspects of Sesshoumaru she'd likely never know about, and that was alright.

Kagome turned to face him, raising a hand to touch a striped cheek. "I'm sorry I saw so much private stuff. You know I'll never tell anyone."

"Hn, see to it that you don't."

Pure relief and bliss melted into her veins like chocolate the moment Sesshoumaru rewarded her with the dip of his head- leaning into her palm. Magenta lids slid shut, causing her breath to halt. Tears stung her lashes.

It felt easy to replicate the action when he lifted a hand to touch her rosy cheek- and she happily did the same, kissing his wrist for good measure.

"Something tells this one that you are not sharing everything you saw," he uttered in a velvety rumble. Kagome blushed and glanced away.

"Maybe I'll spill. But only if you tell me what a kiss on the ear means in youkai language."

His eyes snapped open, markings emboldening slightly. Kagome smiled coyly, flirting with danger contentedly.

The rich cadence of his voice moved to her ear, lips pressing against the shell and teasing it with a fang. "It is difficult to find the words for it," Sesshoumaru hummed, the sound vibrating into her being. "But as this one recalls, you had a funny saying about shoe size as a metaphor, did you not, miko?"

Kagome gaped. "I've mentioned that? Y-yeah, it's like a joke thing...saying shoe size correlates to..." she swallowed, feeling his smiling mouth press to one of her burning cheeks. "Dick size."

"Hn, a kiss on the ear is like a metaphor for how the giver would treat the...tip of a manhood, or the opening of a woman."

Pulling away, Kagome gasped and thwacked his shoulder. "Why are youkai such perverts! That's- I can't even-!" She groaned, burying her face in his arm and lifting a trailing red and white sleeve to hide her embarrassment. "And I kissed Fear there. Oh God."

Sesshoumaru chuckled deeply, prying the sleeve away and tilting her chin up with a finger hooked under her chin. "Perhaps you should show me again, Kagome."

Swallowing thickly, she seized confidence by the horns and pushed up on her knees to press her lips to his elfin ear. This time parting her lips slightly, she allowed her tongue to graze the shell, closing her mouth over the pointed tip and sucking.

That did the trick.

A low growl was Kagome's only warning- the breath knocked from her lungs when her back hit the earth. Sesshoumaru knelt over her, panting.

It didn't take her by surprise when his cruel mouth finally slanted over hers, but what did was the rush. The intoxicating buzz of fire that coursed through her body, filling her lungs and heart up. She felt elated and enamoured with the eager press of his lips- the clumsy knocks of teeth and brush of hands over one another bodies. Yes, he felt familiar all over again, but at the same time brand new.

She'd felt many different things with his emotions, but despite her affections for them, there was only one Sesshoumaru. He held her now, hands sliding beneath her back to arch it into him, lips finding the pulse at her neck and sucking.

Kagome gasped and bucked her hips against him, curling shaking hands within fine silver hair. It slipped like silk through her fingers. Her arm bumped against the spiked shoulder armour, and she began to shift uncomfortably against the barrier preventing their chests from meeting.

Sesshoumaru reached for the secures of his armour- but she stopped his hands. "No, let me."

Satisfaction warmed his expression. "You do not know how," he uttered with amusement.

Kagome gave an impish smile. "Show me. I get the feeling I'll be doing it more in the future," she gave a shy laugh, not entirely believing this was real.

With a noncommittal noise, he leaned back and brought her hand to a clasp. Lithe fingers pushed and curled, showing the miko how to remove it. Kagome marvelled at the different secures, fiddling with a few. Her tongue poked out at the corner of her mouth in concentration- and she squeaked when he licked it.

Huffing, she managed to undo the last- squeaking when his armour gaped open and near-threatened to crush her before he lifted it aside, pushing mokomoko off one shoulder as well.

Their chests met, her leg hitching up to drape over his hip while the demon bowed over her. They kissed and caressed, nails dragging and various sighs slipping out.

"You are neglecting to tell this one what other memory you witnessed."

"I-it's about Lust."

His kisses made her feel emboldened and prized, his hands exciting. The hardness pressing between her legs may have been mildly alarming but she was too caught up in the rush to care.


Kagome blushed and squeezed her eyes shut. "You watched me strip while at the hot springs. Even perved on me while I bathed myself and- and you know..."

Glistening teeth scraped over the underside of her jaw. "I do not."

"Liar. I started- gah this is embarrassing. I started pleasuring myself and you didn't watch for some reason." Hazy blue eyes cracked open. "But you stayed to listen while I tried to muffle my noises into my hand. You were..."

It was strangely the most erotic thing she'd ever seen. Clandestine eyes had burned, giving off their own light in the dark. His handsome face had twisted into something so full of longing and dark want, head tilted back against the rocks he hid behind, adam's apple bobbing as he'd swallowed and wrestled with his desire. He'd stroked himself, releasing around the same time she had.

Rubbing herself deliberately against him, Kagome tilted her head to bare her throat and sighed when a wet tongue glided over feverish skin. Sesshoumaru shuddered and panted, grinding against her in turn.

"This one should have just claimed you. Given in. I always wondered if you'd have opened like a flower for me in such a needy state."

Lust had been instrumental in opening up a part of herself she hadn't really thought about too much before. Kagome pleasured herself alone, sure, but deep, dark longing for something to fill her...

Sesshoumaru's Lust had been the one to elicit it.

"You've got some voyeuristic tendencies ya know," she gave a breathy giggle, curling both hands tighter in his hair. "I don't know if I'd have said 'yes' but I'm saying it now."

He stilled and blinked when Kagome shifted to place a simple, gentle kiss against his lips.

"Please," she mumbled.

He obliged.

Kagome's simple summer dress that had been through the wars those past few hours was shoved up over her head. Wriggling out of it- she gasped when his head bent to suck at the sensitive skin below her navel. Left in a mismatched bra and panties, she flushed.

I wish I'd prepared for this ahead of time. What am I doing? I'm covered in scrapes and bruises, my underwear sucks and-

Kagome cried out and arched her back- straightening like a livewire as his mouth clamped over the space between her legs. Eager teeth scraped at the material, sucking at the slightly wet patch on her panties.

"Y-you could've given some warning- ah! O-or worked up to that," she panted. Not that she minded. Perhaps they were going too fast but Kagome wasn't about to stop him.

Sesshoumaru's hands slid up and dragged over her chest, picking at the lace of her bra. "Hn, my apologies. You wish for my mouth up here instead?"

"That wasn't what I- ah!"

Firm claws had hooked over the edges of her bra, tugging down to expose hardening nipples to a hungry mouth. Writhing and bucking her hips uselessly, Kagome panted and gripped his shoulders. Trying to give some payback, she pushed her knee up- gliding it over the hard outline of his cock showing through his pants.

Sesshoumaru gasped against her flesh and let out a dark growl, biting down over her breast. Mewling, Kagome flushed red and clamped a hand over her mouth. How embarrassing.

A wicked tongue swirled over the bite marks, collecting the coppery taste of blood onto it and then shoving his mouth against hers. Kagome shocked herself again with how eagerly she responded. Biting down on his bottom lip caused another growl to sound out, vibrating against her lips.

"This one has imagined taking you so many times-" Sesshoumaru grunted, allowing her to tug open the silk parting of his hankimono and white underlayer, pushing them off broad shoulders. Her lips pressed to his exposed chest, peppering it with kisses and hard nips that had his eyes rolling back with pleasure. "Gn...I did not want our first time to be rutting in the woods, yet I cannot control the urge to take you much longer."

Kagome lifted her head, kissing his neck. "It's okay. I want this. We can do the traditional 'having sex in an actual house' later," she giggled in a hushed tone. "I just don't want anyone seeing is the problem."

"Hn, witnessing you so exposed would be unforgivable."

"...No," she cupped a striped cheek, rubbing her thumb over the magenta marking. "I don't want anyone else to see your expressions when we're like this. Just me."

His mouth turned dry at her possessiveness- hand snapping down to shove his hakama pants down his hips. Freeing his twitching cock, Sesshoumaru lifted her with one arm and rutted forward, their hips dragging exquisitely against each other.

Their open mouths allowed them to drink in one another's moans. Youki rushed out from his body- hurrying to swamp the air. It filled the area, enclosing it behind a thick barrier that would obliterate weaker youkai with a mere touch. Their privacy was all but guaranteed.

Worn ragged by his instincts now- Sesshoumaru's claws ripped the thin lace of her panties apart, causing the miko to squeak. Like a rag doll, Kagome found herself spun around- back meeting his chest as a hard cock nestled between her legs. She was still held securely on his lap. A steel band of an arm held tight around her waist.

Her heart gave a nervous thud- and she swallowed.

The realness of the situation dawned on her, and she glanced over one shoulder. Sesshoumaru remained poised behind her. His usual golden hues burned a deep red. Kagome took a breath and reached her arm back to touch a striped cheek- a starving mouth meeting hers.

Sesshoumaru shifted his hips- and she reached a freehand down to help nestle the head inside. With a hard buck, he pushed in further, locking them together.

Kagome cried out against his mouth, feeling a shudder run through his body. Panting, she kissed him once more, before nodding slightly.

The discomfort lasted only a few moments after he started moving. Soon enough her slick folds seemed to tighten further, urging him deeper. Firm fingers wrapped around her arms, Sesshoumaru grunting as he bucked. Guttural noises, the likes she'd never admit to- rang out into the forest. A vulgar orchestra of sloppy, wet noises from their combined juices and hard breathing made her ears ring.

Absolutely aching from the fire red arousal that flooded her veins- she mindlessly rutted her hips back against his. Sesshoumaru let out a rumbling snarl. In a flash, he'd wrapped an arm around her waist and shoved striped hips harder.

Falling forwards, Kagome's palms landed on the grass. Her knees thudded onto earth soon after, and she cracked hazy blue eyes open. A distorted expression stared back in the river's flowing water.


She didn't know her face could look that way.

The demon plastered against her back groaned lowly, rolling into her. A hand snaked down to play with her clit, which had her seeing stars. Kagome felt her climax coming, felt herself reach that blinding edge far too quickly, careening towards it at a breakneck speed. Her core tightened, waves of wonderous, addicting heat, bright and soft like music singing through her veins.

She felt him pant harshly into her neck, thrusts more chaotic and wild, bouncing her body almost painfully.

Sesshoumaru picked up his pace, bucking and pumping into her with abandon, spilling her name from his lips like a mantra as his hand and his cock pushed her over the edge. Everything within her tightened. Coiled and strung tight like an elastic band before it snapped- crying out as she did, more a sob than anything. Slick, hot fluid filled her in time with teeth sinking into her shoulder. Youki flowed into her bloodstream, working its will to bind their souls. A few weak, shuddering thrusts pushed them both through their release.

Kagome's fingers loosened from their death grip in the grass, catching her breath. Tightening the arm around her waist, Sesshoumaru lifted his hips back to pull out of her, simultaneously lifting the exhausted miko into his arms. It had been over far too quickly but months of longing didn't allow for much build up and control. He'd merely make it up to her with an encore. Sesshoumaru pressed a kiss to her brow.

It didn't feel real. Holding her, knowing, instinctively that they were bound. And yet the aching of his limbs and fire flooding his veins, igniting heat into his throat and burning the backs of his red eyes assured Sesshoumaru that this was reality. He'd done the unthinkable and mated the miko Kagome.

Satisfaction and deep, resounding happiness echoed through his being. Every emotion that had been holding their breaths gave small smiles within him.

A chill on her bare shoulders roused Kagome from exhausted slumber. Shifting under a divine throw of furs, she shivered and hitched them higher, sitting up slowly. Blinking a few times made her groggily notice that they'd moved location. Instead of the forest, Kagome now lay within a room. The decor hinted at wealth without being too extravagant. Tatami mats were bathed in the fiery glow of sunset, able to soak in its full radiance due to the doors having been slid open.

And there on the porch, shoulder supported by a pillar, sat Sesshoumaru. Warm light caught cascading silver strands. A plume of smoke curled in the air from his general vicinity. He wore a loose yukata, attention on the distant trees beyond the garden. At the rustle of furs, pointed ears twitched slightly, before he turned his head to glance at her. His bangs were fluffy and dishevelled, gaze half-lidded.

Kagome bit the inside of her cheek. It seemed Sloth had surfaced.

Feeling a sticky residue, she blushed slightly. Rubbing her thighs together did nothing to rid her of the evidence of their lovemaking. Hugging the furs to her chest, she crawled out of the bed.

Coming up to his side, she felt the breeze more keenly on her nude form.

"Where are we?" She asked, inwardly melting when he lifted his arm, letting her nestle against his side.

"I own this mansion, but it is not my official Stronghold," Sesshoumaru exhaled a grey cloud.

Kagome smoothed a hand over the pricking sensation on her flesh. Teeth marks throbbed, stinging from the fresh air. "Ah, wanting to keep me a secret?" She teased, an underlayer of unease flickering. Truthfully, she wasn't sure how he intended to introduce her to his fellow demons. If at all.

Before she could start questioning and worrying, firm fingers snagged her chin, tilting it up. Thin lips pressed to hers. He tasted like the rich smoke, spicy but pleasant.

He pulled away slightly to nip her ear. "We may depart for my Stronghold whenever you wish, foolish miko. This one merely decided that introducing you as my Lady may be too strenuous in your current condition."

She smiled and slid her hands up, feeling the muscles of his chest. "And whose fault is that?"


Kissing his throat and feeling a pulse flutter against her lips, Kagome basked like a sunbathing cat in his presence, pressing against the solid warmth he provided. Deadly claws brushed through dark, rumpled locks. They exchanged lazy kisses and absentminded caresses, both enamoured with the simple affections.

"Sesshoumaru," she pulled away before things could escalate further again. "There is something I wanted to talk about. It''s about your Sadness and Fear."

Automatically he appeared slightly more guarded, golden eyes sharpening and losing their lazy softness.

Kagome huffed, "it's nothing bad. Smoke your pipe, you can relax," she murmured, gazing at the strangely familiar-looking garden. "It's only me. But you don't have to talk if you don't want to, kay?"

Humming, he took a long drag of his pipe and let the smoke leak forth from parted lips. "What do you wish to discuss in particular?"

"Just the obvious. Don't you think it's a little alarming that your Sadness was locked in a cage and mistreated? Your Fear...he redesigned himself as Repression so that you'd more readily accept him. You probably shoved him away just as much as Sadness."

Sesshoumaru's fingers flexed wide over her ribs. "I do not personally see anything wrong with how they were treated. You have now seen them as creatures with life instead of my emotions. They've made you worry over their wellbeing, but they are not real demons so you do not need to-"

"It's not about that," she cut in, delicately stroking a thumb over his jaw. "It ultimately doesn't matter if I saw them as people or not. They're you. And I don' to see any part of you hurting."

At his pensive, slightly confused silence, the miko gave a heavy sigh. "Let me put it this way; I think the emotions that I've had a bad relationship with are probably Vanity and Wrath. I'd call them my Self Esteem and Temper. I let my self-esteem suffer because I compared myself with Kikyo so often. To cover that up, I let Temper have too much free reign but then hated how I'd explode with anger at Inuyasha. How would you feel if you saw versions of me...chained up and malnourished? Suffering."

Sesshoumaru's lips thinned, arm tightening around her as he thought for a moment. "I understand your point now."

Smiling, she kissed his chin. "Just think about it. If you're ever faced with something that makes you sad or fearful- don't automatically write them off. I get that it's probably a survival technique or a way to stop you getting hurt emotionally, but if you're not in mortal danger...just take a minute afterwards. Maybe reflect on how something made you feel instead of shutting it out?"

"This one does not see the point."

"It might make you feel better in the long run. I've been working on my self-esteem and anger. It's not always easy." She thought to herself. "Do you have any friends you can talk to about that stuff?"

Sesshoumaru gave her a flat, prideful look as though too good for 'friends.'

That answers that question. She sighed, "thought so. You can talk to me then if you want to. Or I'd recommend Miroku, he's surprisingly astute. And I'm not trying to push you into reacting to things a certain way, you don't have to listen to me-" she waved her hands. "It's just that I love you. So I don't want to think of you suffering in silence, even if it's the 'done thing' for guys in this era."

He stared, unblinking. Eventually, she frowned. "What?"

"You just professed your love for this one," he stated intelligently.

"Oh," blue eyes danced. "Guess I did. Whoops."

Sesshoumaru scooped her up, lifting to allow the miko straddle his lap, gliding his nose up her throat to bury in her hair and inhale deeply, the pipe forgotten in favour of her sweet aroma. "Hn. This one will take your words into consideration, Mate. Feel honoured. If another tried to advise this one as you just did, they'd be picking their severed tongue up off the ground."

Kagome shivered from the feel of sublime lips moving to the underside of her jaw. "Remind me not to suggest visiting a therapist."

His deep, rumbling chuckle that made her feel special wrapped around her like rich silks. She sighed in his hands, feeling heavy palms slide over the curve of her ass and squeeze. Heat hooked low in her stomach. Sesshoumaru began dragging her hips against his in a rocking motion- lips curving into the shape of a smile against her flushed skin.

The moment he ripped the fur aside that that been covering her chest however- Kagome grabbed his shoulders and pushed.

Sesshoumaru's eyes widened- back meeting the floor. Wide blue eyes stared down at him, her breath hitching.

"U-uh..." she scrambled to pick up the shattered remains of her burst of confidence. "Y-you know...I liked it...when we had sex."

He rose a brow, gazing up at the naked miko atop him. "if your noises were anything to go by, this one could tell."

Kagome swallowed thickly, adjusting her hands so that they slid over his biceps, before pushing the material of his yukata back. "It's just that we did it twice in a row and from what I saw of Fantasy and Lust- you were always um...doing most of the work. Let me give this a try."

Golden eyes cracked wider, lips parting to expose the suggestion of fangs. Summoning her courage, Kagome pushed and tugged at his clothes until the Daiyoukai lay bare between her thighs. Straddling him in such a way was both an intimidating, yet immensely powerful feeling.

Sesshoumaru watched her curiously, the novelty of her actions no doubt making him lie still instead of protesting. Ducking her head, Kagome began kissing down his chest, breath shuddering at the sensation of claws skimming bare hips.

Sliding nervous hands down his abdomen, she grinded slowly against his thigh. When her hand slid down further- fingers wrapping around his hardening cock- Sesshoumaru grunted and attempted to sit up.

"Miko-" he growled, lips peeling back to show sharp fangs.

Kagome pressed firmly against his chest, pushing and leaning up to assert her control. "No. Let me try," she said. Stroking the underside of his cock and rubbing, she slid a thumb over the head and felt him stiffen and shudder. Low noises ripped itself out from between his teeth, hissing in a sharp breath.

Smiling, she kissed his chest in reward.

With treacle immediacy, Sesshoumaru leaned back once more, hands remaining locked on her waist. Kagome kissed her way down- starting to rub him more consistently. Something sticky coated her finger, and she swirled her thumb over the precum, twitching when he groaned lowly.

Closing her mouth over the head and sucking, Kagome braced her hands on his thighs and dragged her nails when he jolted and grabbed her hair. Squeaking, she glared and sucked harder, bobbing her head.

It was kind of surreal, watching a slightly red hue creep into Sesshoumaru's striped cheeks. His markings emboldened, fangs lengthening. Hot air continually puffed out of his lips, low noises rumbling from the depths of his chest. Kagome pressed her thighs together. She let his cock drag along her tongue, grunting when his grip tightened in her hair, tugging at her scalp. Reiki coated her fingers as she ran her palms up his abdomen, a reminder.

His grip loosened slightly with an answering growl.

Continuing, Kagome began pumping him at his base with her hand, continuing to suck and lavish attention on the head. She scraped blunt teeth over his shaft, which surely pushed her luck because the demon snarled and bucked his hips. She chocked when his length slid in alarmingly deep and pulled her head back, a thread of saliva connecting them.

Trying to regain control again and guessing he was at his limit, she shakily climbed atop him once more and positioned his cock with her sex.

She trembled a little, with both excitement and nerves. She didn't want to mess this up. It wasn't like she'd done this before.

Calloused palms, weathered slightly from years of swordplay, slid up her waist. Kagome blinked and looked down at the panting Daiyoukai, his golden eyes burning fiercer than the setting sun. He gave a slid nod of encouragement, causing her to smile.

Rocking her hips down, Kagome gasped and groaned when he entered her, pushing in deep and ripping a startled moan from his lips.

Sesshoumaru gripped her waist tight, his appearance dishevelled. Silver hair spilled around his head on the floor, expression splintering into open want and barely restrained need to shove her down and take her roughly.

Kagome's body blazed with heat, placing a hand on his chest and feeling his heart thunder strongly against her palm. She began moving.

"Gn, hah- you must be eager for it," Sesshoumaru purred, watching her greedy sex try to lure him deeper with each rock of her hips. "To take such initiative. Funny, I did not imagine you this way."

"I'm not Fantasy," she muttered, probably not making much sense to him. Nonetheless, his hand loosely curled around her chin, thumb smoothing over her bottom lip.

"No, you are very real," a hitch in his voice followed by a breathy sigh almost undid her. She squeezed him tighter in response, moaning and continuing to move her hips. Full breasts bounced with each thrust- and she gasped when strong hands came up to squeeze and toy with them. They sat snugly in his palms as he kneaded and scrapped at her nipples with sharp nailed thumbs. The sensation only soaked her anew.

When he leaned up to lick and tease rosy buds with his fangs, Kagome sank herself down a little too far on his twitching cock- crying out. She came first, surprising them both with her greed. Sesshoumaru only smirked, grabbing her hips and seizing control back while she was vulnerable enough not to fight him.

Kagome gasped and glared as he started rutting her harder against him, rolling his own hips up to create a decadent, sinful choir of noises on the porch as he thrust into her over and over. Helpless to do much else except hold onto his shoulders, Kagome growled.

In a matter of moments, he rammed striped hips up anew and buried himself inside her to the hilt, spilling his release within.

"I-hah...wanted..." she panted, trying to catch her breath. "To be in control this time."

"To remain in control you must-" his ragged breaths intermingled with hers. "Earn it, and not fall prey to greed next time you wish to cum first," he chuckled, kissing the corner of her pouting mouth. "We may practice again later."

"Good," she grumbled, smiling soon after. Kagome leaned down to rest atop him, their chests meeting as she felt his arms curl possessively around her waist. Contentment shined in her scent, brightening when deadly nails combed gently through dark locks.

It was an hour or so later that the miko shakily made her way into the garden, wrapped in his red and white silks this time. The breeze was a merciful thing on her aching, buzzing limbs. Her stomach grumbled, and she inwardly scolded herself for letting her newfound appetite for the Daiyoukai overpower her actual, well...appetite.

Stopping to smell a flower, Kagome looked at the scenery and sighed. It really was a beautiful garden.

A very...familiar garden.

Frowning, she looked back at the porch where they'd made love not too long ago. She then double-checked the outside decor, the layout of the room she'd slept in.

Her breath hitched, limbs freezing in place.

"What is it?"

Kagome slid wide blue eyes to his golden ones as he approached, honeyed warmth curling right down to her toes. "This place...we're in Fantasy's mansion."

Sesshoumaru blinked and glanced at the gardens. "I do not know of what you speak, but it is customary for an inuyoukai to have a dwelling built for their prospective mate as a gift. My Mother resides in hers to this day."

Her eyes became larger still. "When did you have this place built?"

"A few months ago."

She lifted a hand to her mouth absentmindedly, feeling a little weak in the knees. He built this place for me? Even though at the time...he thought I'd be with Inuyasha for the rest of my days. In his head, he filled this place with me. With Fantasy.

No wonder he'd allowed Repression to stomp down his emotions, they were obviously strong.

Kagome bridged the distance between them, pressing a kiss to his carefully apathetic facade. Wrapping her arms around broad shoulders and tugging, she tried to give as much affection to the touch starved demon as possible.

It took a few months to settle into a routine. Kagome flitted between the village, modern times, the mansion and Sesshoumaru's stronghold. Strangely her friends hadn't been too surprised about her involvement with the demon lord. Even Inuyasha, though against it, hadn't been entirely flabbergast.

'If he hurts you, tell me and I'll kill him.'

Kagome had patted his shoulder and dryly thanked him. From what she could see a kind of peace had settled over the brothers. She wondered what had caused it.

Her mother had been pleased, ever accepting when she'd heard the news. Souta had raised his brows when she'd awkwardly admitted that yes this was the same Sesshoumaru that had tried to kill her a few times in the past.

'Whatever floats your boat, sis.' Had been his only comment. Grandpa threatened to hit the demon with a face full of warding salts.

The mansion became a private getaway. An oasis during their schedules. Sesshoumaru had introduced her without much fanfare as his Lady to the demons at his Stronghold. They'd perhaps had the most negative reactions, rivalled only by Jaken's shrieks.

Instead of squawking or yelling though, the youkai court muttered. And somehow Kagome could always pick up the whispers.

Little niggles of doubt began to creep into her heart. Their words were like prin pricks of needles jabbing at raw skin over and over. How unsuitable she was, how she'd tarnish his pristine lineage. It didn't matter how hard she tried to fit in with their customs or help the children at the local orphanage within a demon village read and write, hanyou and pureblood alike abandoned- the mutters followed her.

Sesshoumaru had noticed.

For some reason, however, Kagome would not permit him to kill or maim the demons for their disrespect towards his Lady. Even when he suggested intimida- ahem, talking to them for her, she'd refused. He could tell she wanted to prove herself, not be wrapped in cotton wool. Rather than using nepotism, she desired genuine respect through hard work alone.

Still, the barbs were beginning to take their toll. Outwardly she projected a convincing bravado, but as her mate, Sesshoumaru could sense her dwindling confidence within his Stronghold each passing day.

That would not do.

Since she'd forbidden him from getting involved with the situation, he decided a new tactic was in order. Kagome couldn't flourish if she began to question her worth, so he'd merely give her a helping hand in facing the mutterings in the form of an ego boost.

He spoke to Tagako the following day. The oni sorceress had looked at him like he were crazy and protested at first, listing the very real dangers that his mate had faced.

Sesshoumaru brushed these concerns aside. He could not be deterred.

And so one ordinary night, when he'd stolen his mate away into their private mansion, Sesshoumaru allowed Tagako to transport him into Kagome's slumbering mind. She shifted in her sleep but did not stir awake.

"What are you doing in here?"

Sesshoumaru turned his attention to the side, where a grumpy looking Kagome stood, arms folded. Despite telling Tagako that he merely needed a few hours inside his mate's mind, the Daiyoukai had gotten quite turned around. Skyscrapers rose high above him, sprouting out of thick grass. He'd seen her advanced future in textbooks many times. However, nothing had resembled this odd landscape. It were as though the past and future mingled.

Greenery hung over the tall buildings and lamposts, vines entwining around traffic lights. He'd also passed at least 10 hot springs so far.

"This one is searching for Self Confidence, or whatever name she may go by here. Where is she located?" He uttered, raising a brow.

The Kagome look-alike wore a bright red version of her miko attire. She frowned and tossed her head, gripping a self-help book for anger management. "You shouldn't be wandering around, idiot! You used that spell to get in, didn't you? That's dangerous!"

"Your concern is noted," Sesshoumaru smirked, lips curving at the incensed red creeping into her cheeks. My, how he'd like to pin her down and have an angered Kagome scrapping and hissing at him. He'd reprimand her so deliciously sweetly, with teeth and tongue...

No, he shook his head. He had to resist and find the one he sought.

Since no answers were forthcoming, he moved on into one of the skyscrapers, marvelling at the advanced building.

In a room further up, he passed by an open doorway.

"Sesshoumaru~" a voice thrilled.

Such a tone had him pausing mid-step, sending a spark down his spine. Golden hues shifted to consider the plush bed within the room, some male instinct freezing him in place.

A very naked Kagome spread out atop the covers on her stomach. Kicking her legs up behind her to hook one ankle over the other, Lust smiled at him with knowing eyes.

His pants were suddenly feeling a little too restricting.

"Won't you join me, my love?" She hummed, hips rutting into the covers languidly. Arousal soaked the air. "I want you...all the time," Lust sighed, rolling onto her back to slide a hand down her chest, heading further south as she tilted her head back to look at him. Dark strands spilt around her like a sinful halo. "It's so frustrating. I can't stand it any longer. Help me work out some frustration, please?" She purred. "It'll feel so good. We always feel good when we're together. Don't make me wait."

Sesshoumaru ran his eyes over the hardened peaks of rosy nipples, the way she shifted to give him a clear view of exactly what she was offering, the folds of her sex glistening. Lust whined and keened to be pleasured. A fang pierced his bottom lip, and Sesshoumaru licked the iron, sobering taste of blood away.

"You will have to wait a little longer, dear one," he said in a thin, wooden voice. At any other time, he surely would've indulged, but he had a greater purpose for being there.

With shaky self-restraint, he robotically forced himself to keep walking, hearing a whine ring out from the room. It tore at him to leave her so needy, but his Kagome wasn't exactly left wanting in the real world, they'd made love just that night.

Her Lust was merely very greedy.

Sesshoumaru found that tidbit of information extremely amusing.

He discovered her kneeling before a koi fish pond. She held a white theatre mask over her face, the expression perpetually happy, lips spread high and wide, exuding confidence.

Taking a knee next to the woman's side, the demon quietly observed her. "I have been seeking you."

She looked at him through the mask, holding it in place. Her voice was deceptively chipper. "I heard you were in here. Why were you wasting time looking for me, silly?"

Lithe fingers reached out, wrapping around the edge and pulling it gently free from her own. Lowering the mask revealed tired blue eyes. Her ego looked exhausted and strained, watching him with mild unease. She raised both hands as though to cover her face- but he snatched them at once.

"Don't look. I'm fine, please don't worry.'ve helped her a lot. She feels so loved with you. This isn't your fault."

"Whoever is to blame should be flayed. Preferably by my claws."

Self Esteem's lips bent up at the sides in a painful imitation of a smile. She gave a sigh, scent improving once he started to stroke the delicate skin of her wrists with soothing thumbs. "She just...has to keep fixing me, and that's tiring sometimes. Trying to be the best version of herself for everyone, to be confident all the time. To feel worthy."

"Hn," Sesshoumaru regarded her. Confidence had never been an issue for him. The only thing he'd ever been uncertain about was the miko and his early feelings regarding her, his struggle before their relationship. In contrast, Kagome felt confident with him, loved and secure in where she stood in their union but rendered fearful and questioning because of others.

Interesting, he released her. "This one suspected as much. There is little time to waste, so I shall cut to the chase."

Self Esteem blinked and tilted her head, only to blanch when he reached for his armour, clicking and snapping the secures open.

"Waaaait, wait wait wait- wait-" both hands flew up as she scrambled back, red-faced. "What are you doing?!"

"I believe there is a human saying..."


"...something along the lines of; stroking your ego."


Liquid gold eyes glimmered wickedly as he pulled the loose armour away and set it down. He then tugged the obi around his waist loose. "Only 'stroking' does not seem enough. Petting your ego, kissing it, pleasuring it, loving it..." the silks covering his chest were parted and stripped back off broad shoulders. "Fucking it. This one believes those words better apply to the situation at hand."

The Kagome clone stared at him with wide eyes, speechless. She swallowed and continued to scramble back slightly. "B-b-but! I'm not your ego! I'm Kagome's!"

"Indeed," Sesshoumaru casually bent down and took off his boots, before straightening and sliding his hakamaka pants off and running a hand through silver locks, flicking some up into the air. "And since she is doing such a poor job of tending to you, this one will have to do so in her place."

His cruel lips curved, approaching with slow steps. "Shall we begin, dear one?"

Self Esteem inwardly screamed as she fell prey to the naked, laughing demon.

Kagome bolted up in bed, red-faced and sweating. Putting a hand to her head, she stared unseeingly ahead with wide eyes, trying to catch her breath. The afterimage of what she'd just witnessed rattled around in her mind. It felt too real to be a dream.

Sensing an aura within the mansion, she sprang to her feet and hurried to the source.

Tagako looked up from her cup of tea in the living room, giving an awkward wave. "You are looking well, miko Kagome."

"What did he do?" She demanded in a dark voice. When no answers were forthcoming, she grit her teeth and snarled; "Sesshoumaru! WHAT. DID. YOU. DO?!"

Needless to say, they did not try the spell again for many years. Still, despite Kagome's rants about the danger once he'd returned to her, Sesshoumaru could not help but notice the renewed pep in her step, or the way those mutterings from the demons slid off her shoulders like unheeded water. Eventually, those mutterings became near silent.

He privately smirked to himself when he was sure no one was watching.

"Stop smirking to yourself, pervert," Kagome said absentmindedly as she walked by.

Life within Sesshoumaru's psyche shifted. Every cage within his mind was removed, and even Fantasy's mansion soon lowered from its high prison within the sky. Her home soon melded within Happiness's realm on solid earth- allowing her access to all of his emotions.

However, due to certain possessive ones, such as Envy, Lust and others, a deal was made. The realms were soon changed so that each land spread out and touched Fantasy's mansion, allowing them to visit more easily. Love, Lust, Happiness and Sloth practically became permanent residents. Imperceptively, Dignity changed. His features lost their gruff, striking resemblance to Inu no Taisho and slowly became more regal. He began to resemble Sesshoumaru more and more. Innocence continued to play with Rin until she began to grow up in the real world. Though she remained in Happiness's realm, she started to mellow and change from the little girl Sesshoumaru had semi raised.

As for Fear and Sadness, they were still not permitted to roam freely. Instead of being completely confined however, they were under Discipline's strict watch, living under his roof and supervision night and day. It was better than the alternative, and as Sesshoumaru's relationship with Kagome deepened, they found themselves visiting Fantasy a little more often.

The Daiyoukai's bliss came hand in hand with various worries that began to plague him. They started small. Little things like Kagome getting injured from her clumsiness- to outright stress a few years later.

Sesshoumaru's expression remained ever placid. Inside, however, he burned with feeling. As he'd predicted, the miko certainly knew how to rattle his emotions. Her effect on him gave birth to new flavours of emotion, ones he didn't think himself capable of.

A kind of peace enveloped him when they were pressed close at night. It was a sensation that was neither Happiness nor Sloth, but both.

He watched Kagome's sleeping face with an unblinking stare that she'd no doubt call creepy, combing his fingers through dark locks. His touch then slid to her stomach, following the large curve of a baby bump.

A flutter caught his senses before he felt a kick at his palm. Sesshoumaru hummed, brushing his lips along Kagome's collarbone and smiling at her sleepy exhale.

Within his mind, Fantasy sat in Happiness's field, watching a little boy and girl with silver hair and blue eyes run and chase each other. Every so often their hair would change and morph into black, flowing locks. Little triangular ears would replace pointed or curved ones.

Their laughter filled Fantasy's heart up, and she grinned- opening her arms and catching the children when they attempted to dart by. They shrieked and squirmed- falling together into the grass with her.

Giggles soon melted away into silence, however. Giving a long sigh and sitting up, Fantasy hugged empty arms to her chest, left alone.

"They will be solid and constant soon enough," Love uttered behind her.

"I know," she sighed, standing and rubbing her arms. "I wish he'd at least pick a consistent appearance for them. I don't know whether to expect hanyou, human or pure blood."

"Hn," he joined the Kagome look alike's side, sliding an arm around her waist and pressing a hand to her rounded stomach. "No one knows. We sense their strong aura, that is all. Now all the host can do is wait."

Fantasy smiled and leaned into his steady, soothing presence. "He should be pretty good at that by now."

His mouth curved into a smirk, "his impatience is almost endearing, is it not?"

Giving a quiet giggle, she ran a gentle hand over her stomach. "I get it though. I can't wait to meet them. Twins are going to be a big challenge. But hey, as well as meeting them soon, we'll definitely get to see a new Sesshoumaru here too."

Love rose a brow. "Who will that be?"

Blue eyes glittered, gazing up at the endless sea of constant stars within the pink skies above. "Sleep-deprived Sesshoumaru."