I'm so sad. This is the end of "How Dare He?" I hope you enjoy it.

***

Early one November morning…

Misao Shinomori woke up to the weight of her slumbering husband on top of her. His arms were around her, holding her close to him. She snuggled deeper into his arms, a contented sigh escaping her lips. Life is good…

"Mm…Happy birthday, Itachi." Aoshi mumbled, his icy eyes blinking open. Inwardly, he was singing. Waking up with his tiny wife in his arms was the greatest joy in his life.

"Thank you, Aoshi." She smiled, looking up at him through eyes full of unconditional love.

His heart melted at the sight of her in the morning sunlight and his fingers traced the smile on her lips. He kissed her softly, his long bangs tickling her forehead. "I love you." His voice gave the quiet reminder, as if she didn't remember.

"Like I don't already know." Her smile melted into a grin, "But you can kiss me better than that on my birthday, can't you?" One small, pale hand stroked his cheek, her soft skin like butterfly wings against his.

"As you wish." He leaned back over her, his lips meeting hers, when-

"WAAAAAHHH!!!!!"

"That would be Aoi…" She sighed in disappointment, "Go get her, please?"

Aoshi nodded; rising, stretching and running his hands through his hair. The baby's muffled cries continued as her father padded out the door to go and fetch her from the room next door.

Misao sat up, yawning. She distinctly recalled her last birthday; the disappointment of Aoshi telling her nothing, the trip to the Shirobeko, Jishin and his declaration of love…Never would she have guessed that all those things would lead to the happiness she had then. If some one had told her on her eighteenth birthday that in a year she would have a child with her beloved Aoshi -much less be married to him- she would have laughed hysterically.

"Here she is to tell her mama happy birthday." Aoshi had appeared back in the doorway, the then-smiling Aoi in his arms.

"Gah!" She babbled happily, her dark eyes lighting up at the sight of her mother. She was half a year old, slightly bigger than she had been, and an absolute joy to both her parents.

"There's my girl!" Misao grinned as Aoshi handed her the baby and settled back down on the bed. She tickled the little girl, smiling as Aoi squealed with laughter.

Aoshi watched them fondly, stroking back the child's feathery hair. "It's your mama's birthday." He told her quietly, "If it weren't for her birthday last year and everything that happened, you wouldn't even exist."

"Aoshi…" Misao said softly, "I never would have married Jishin. My heart has always belonged to you."

A soft smile crossed his face. "I'm so glad to hear that." He kissed her, "Now, we have a busy day ahead of us."

***

"Happy birthday, Misao!"

Misao, seated at the head of the table in the Shirobeko, her daughter on her lap and her husband at her side, looked at every one gathered around her. All of her "family" from the Aoiya, Himura, Kaoru, Kenji, Yahiko, Sanosuke, Megumi…A grin spread across her face. "Thank you, everybody!"

She had just been presented with a beautiful cake, scrawled across it: Happy Birthday Misao. Nineteen candles flickered merrily, waiting to be blown out. It was quite the birthday celebration.

"What are you waiting for?" Kaoru asked, "Blow out the candles and make a wish!" Kenji was in her arms, looking at the cake eagerly as she restrained him from grabbing it.

"A wish…?" Misao frowned in concentration, "What is there to wish for? I have everything I want." She looked down at Aoi, who looked up and smiled impishly.

Aoshi smiled freely, allowing every one to see his contentment. "I'm sure there's something you can wish for, Itachi." He said teasingly, "A wish I would be willing to grant later on."

She stuck her tongue out at him, blushing at what he was implying. Then she leaned over, and as she blew out the candles, a single thought crossing her mind: He actually managed to embarrass me. How dare he?

***

That's all. The end. La fin…Owari…NO MORE!! Sorry if that makes you sad. ^^;;

I want to thank every one who reviewed. It was all of you who made this story such a hit. I really appreciate your support and enthusiasm.

I have a new fic in mind to work on (besides Be Careful What You Wish For and Serendipity), now that this is complete. During sociology this morning, I was thinking of a present-day, AU fic featuring the RK cast in the big city. It would be cannon coupling, Kaoru a teacher at an inner city school, Yahiko her student, Misao about to graduate high school and living with a MUCH older man (Aoshi). Shishio runs a law firm, Sojiro's his intern, Saito is the police commissioner and what happens when you throw an abused original character into the mix?

What do you think? Is this worth writing? Or should I not bother at all? Lemme know!!!

Thanks again for reading and I love you all!!!

-Chaos