So, what's the deal on this story? Just that Kikyo and Sesshomaru are together and getting on each other's nerves. Why? I just think Kikyo and Sesshomaru go good together and that's about all.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. To be honest with you, I don't really want them … except for maybe Sesshomaru, but then again, who doesn't want him?

The Essence of Marriage

Chapter 1

Sesshomaru stared at the papers that were sitting on top of his polished ebony desk, which he was currently sitting behind. Everything was silent, as he was alone in his slightly bare office; he preferred the place not having any sort of clutter, which seemed to include almost any kinds of decorations. The sudden object of his disdain – papers – were on top of a plain manila envelop, which they had been delivered in. They appeared relatively harmless, as if they were of little importance or value, but how they looked was a lie.

Those papers were the number one priority in his life at the moment, even though he did not want to think that they were. They could cause all sorts of wounds and injuries, so they were nowhere near harmless. But, of course, he liked to tell himself that he was above harm, any type of harm, especially from her. They were divorce papers; he and his wife were getting a divorce. Yes, that was the plan.

His wife had signed them already. Her signature was neat and curvy, almost delicate, lying in solid blue ink at the bottom of the page that he was currently eyeing with an unreadable expression on his typically stoic face. The name peered at him like a thousand needles in his eye, Kikyo Kamina. She had even signed her maiden name for him to fully understand and accept the idea that they were no longer together, for him to get the feel of her no longer being his. A part of him that he did not want to acknowledge noted that he did not like the feel of her no longer being his. The idea that that was even possible was unsettling.

Sesshomaru ran his fingers through his long, silver locks as he stared down at the papers as if that would help matters any. It was not like looking at them would change anything, not that he was certain he wished to change anything. She had attached a little purple Post-it note to the papers that merely stated "this is your desire," as if she knew the thoughts that would rack his brain. The note was just like her, passive aggressive. He was the actively aggressive one, but that was only because she pretended to be so apathetic toward many things, even the things that they both knew were significant to her. He recalled that it was like that when he first brought up the idea of terminating their marriage.

"Perhaps we should get a divorce," he had proposed in a tone that had been so casual that it was like he was offering to take his wife out to dinner. It had flowed from his mouth as if it was the most natural thing for him to say.

Kikyo, not to be out done in aloof detachment, responded, "Perhaps." Her voice had been just as cool and calculated manner.

And with those two sentences that did not even consist of eight words altogether defeated their marriage as if it was something mundane and ordinary that did not need to exist. "Why did I say those words?" he asked himself, sounding quite baffled, which was something that he was not accustomed to.

He knew why, though. We were both so obviously tired of each other. That thought got him back on track. They had not been going anywhere, especially not somewhere worthwhile. They had barely been able to stand the sight of each other when he had made the proposition of putting their marriage out of its misery, like their bond had been a horse with a broken leg.

"We were a cliché together," Sesshomaru realized with a low growl, unable to keep the disdain out of his voice.

They had become the married couple that acted like familiar strangers, if that. They were the married couple that people probably wondered why or how they were even together in the first place. He would actually be surprised if the people at his firm knew that he was married.

They had done things, unflattering things, or maybe it was more like he had done things during the marriage. He could not pinpoint any major offense on her part and he believed that she had remained as true as she could. Maybe it was just him, he considered for a moment. And then he dismissed that as nonsense.

He was Sesshomaru and by definition that made him incapable of making a mistake. He was perfection and everyone knew that for a fact. He had proven that he was perfect time and time again; it was one of the reasons that he had so much work now and in the past. He was perfection embodied and nothing would convince him otherwise. But … if he was perfect, why could he not make his wife happy anymore? Why was it that he did not know what she needed anymore? Why was she so ready to walk away from him?

"Why was it so easy for us to fail?" he asked the air, shaking his head.

He focused his golden eyes on the signature that was on the paper. It questioned why he could not make his mark to join it. He was not sure why he could not sign the damned things and just be done with them, be done with her, just like he should be. His brain whispered the reason across the dark regions of his mind and he just refused to acknowledge that answer, which was that he still wanted her to be his. She was still his.

"She will always be mine," he growled.

That woman, the woman enchanted Sesshomaru from the moment that he first spoke with her and she easily wrapped her spell around his whole being, binding them together. That woman was his woman, would always be his woman, and he did not want to let her go for anything. She would become someone else's woman if he released her like the papers told him to do; she would be the woman of someone that did not deserve her or earn her in any way. She would end up with some fool that would not understand what she needed, some moron that would not know how to deal with her.

But, then again, he truly did not want to deal with Kikyo anymore. That was the reason they were where they were after all, right? He just did not want to be bothered by that annoyance of a woman anymore. So, he should just sign the papers and cut the frustration loose. They would both be much happier that way, would they not? His mind did not offer him an answer to that question.

"Where is my pen?" he wondered with a slight growl as he searched the rather neat desk for a writing instrument.

Sesshomaru scanned around the desk for a pen because he knew that there should have been one nearby. He was supposed to be working after all, but he did not see any pen on his organized, immaculate desk. He went into one of the four drawers and pulled out a blue pen while turning his attention back to the divorce papers. He stared at the signature already present and at the note attached to them.

"This is so typical of her," Sesshomaru complained in a low tone. A frown tugged at his usually expressionless face.

He was not sure what he meant by the remark or even how he felt about it. She was such a perplexing creature and confused him utterly. He was not sure of much anymore, he noted, especially the reason why he was not signing the blasted papers. He wanted to believe that if he signed the papers then that would please her somehow. Despite everything that had happened between them, she was his wife and he did want her to be as happy as she possibly could.

But, Sesshomaru refused to believe that Kikyo could be happy without him. How could she be happy without being able to be held in his powerful arms whenever she wished? How could she be happy leaving the fact that he would always be there to protect her from anything that might do her harm? How could she be happy without his tender kiss? It just did not seem possible to him.

Sesshomaru sighed as he realized the thoughts that he was having. When was the last time that he bothered to even kiss her or embrace Kikyo? He was not sure. She had been ducking and dodging him before he even stopped trying. All right, so, he should definitely sign the papers now that he remembered that fact.

Before he acted on the idea of signing the papers, he thought about how his family would feel when they found out about the divorce. He was not sure why the thought came into his mind, but it was there now. He and Kikyo were very private people, so they had been keeping their problems to themselves and none of his family was aware of the fact that their marriage was rocky or even close to coming to an end. But, it would be rather impossible to hide an entire divorce.

His mother would probably weep, which she would follow up with being angry, extremely angry more than likely. She liked Kikyo very much and she thought that he and Kikyo were a great couple. She delighted having Kikyo in their family, believing that with Kikyo around it was like having a second daughter. His mother and Kikyo got along very well, enjoying each other's company whenever they around each other. No, his mother certainly was not going to be pleased with finding out that he was divorcing Kikyo at all. Worst of all, his mother would certainly blame him for the divorce, even if he were perfection personified.

"To her, Kikyo was the perfect one. If only she knew," he muttered to himself.

His father would probably look at him as a failure, Sesshomaru figured. He had failed to make his wife happy. Perhaps he was a failure, Sesshomaru considered for a second. After all, a husband was supposed to make his wife happy, correct? He could not have done that if she had not only agreed to the divorce, but signed the papers before getting them to him. She seemed to want out of this twisted thing that they called a marriage, maybe even more than he did.

Sesshomaru shook those thoughts away and then contemplated what his siblings were going to think when they found out about the separation. He could already hear his little brother's cackling and immature gloating, boasting about how he always said that Sesshomaru would never be able to hold onto Kikyo. Just thinking about it all gave him a headache, so he could imagine just how terrible it was going to be in reality. He might have to tape that brat's mouth shut after he heard the news just to save the little sanity he seemed to be clinging to.

His little sister would have an entirely different reaction. She might actually attempt to slay him, Sesshomaru realized. He could already hear her heatedly blaming him, accusing him of hurting Kikyo once she knew that Kikyo would be going away and she might not get to see Kikyo again. She might even hate him for what was happening and would have no problem saying that to his face with complete disregard to what it would do to him.

His little sister adored Kikyo beyond measure. She had always wanted a big sister and he had delivered just that to her when he married Kikyo. The two ladies spent so much time together with Kikyo treating his sister just as she would treat her own and now his little sister was going to know that Kikyo was leaving, not just him, but their family. His sister would be infuriated and he was very aware that there was nothing that he could do aside from bear her wrath because it was decidedly best that he and Kikyo part ways.

He just did not wish to return to a woman that looked at him with cold, absolutely dead eyes; her eyes were like those of a puppet's or a doll's, lacking any and every sign of even existing. Perhaps it was somewhat his fault because when he met her, her eyes had housed life. Her eyes had intrigued him back then. It had been four years ago, but it felt so much longer.

-8-8-8-8-

That's just the beginning of things … or the ending of things really. Next time, see how Sesshomaru and Kikyo got together in the first place.