Disclaimer: Saddly, I still do not own Inuyasha. Not that I want him anyway. Ya hear that, Rumiko? You can keep him! Just give me Sesshoumaru and no one will get hurt...

A/N: Hello everyone! Contrary to popular belief, I have not fallen off the edge of the round world and disappeared into a dark vortex in space. I am actually quite alive and present, though just barely. Heat of Reaction is on hold, since AP exams and finals are staunching my creativity, but I felt it necessary to post this continuation to the One-Shot Champagne (rated T). If you have not done so already, I ask that you read it prior to reading this entry, as this one will make a lot more sense. Hopefully this will just be a little two-shot piece with fluff, a little drama, and a whole lot o' lovin'. Thanks for all of your support!

And now 1,829 words of...well...explanation...and happiness!

Happiness

The doorknob rattled several times before finally, with the click of the proper key, it unlocked and the door banged open. A silhouetted pair stumbled into the apartment, unprepared for the sudden lack of solid support, but not so fazed as to part lips. Sesshoumaru groaned as he carelessly shoved the door closed, and an audible jingled thud indicated that Kagome had disposed of the keys somewhere on the floor.

The living room was impenetrably dark, the silvery beams of the moon blocked by the heavy curtains Kagome had left shut against the night. Only by acquaintance did he know them to be crimson in color. He couldn't see his own nose in front of him, but sight inconsequential at the moment; they didn't need light to feel.

She was leading him backwards toward the couch – or was it he that pulled her? It was difficult to discern, as they moved in unison toward the shadowed mass of cushions. Feverish kisses left them both gasping, touching, yearning, and Sesshoumaru couldn't help but take her mouth again, even when they'd hit the couch so abruptly that he'd stumbled to the floor atop of her.

It had been such a long journey for them both up until this point, especially for him. Though Kagome had broken off her relationship with his brother, Sesshoumaru found that it did not mean she was free at all. The champagne they had shared on New Year's had been enough for him to squirm into her graces as a friend, but the evident attraction she had to him was not something she had easily allowed free reign.

Even though he had realized that very night that no other woman could exist nearly so perfect for him as Kagome (and consequently decided he would have her for his own), he had known she would not be easy. If anything, it was her candor and her class that he most admired. Unlike so many others, she had sat with him merely for conversation, without the hopes of being taken to his bed or exploiting his wealth. The entire night, she had genuinely laughed and opined without any care to who he was or what his intentions toward her may have been. Of course, as the night proceeded, those intentions became increasingly romantic. It was then, naturally, an enraging shock when she confessed not only to being involved with someone at the party, but with his very brother!

The resigned look she had sent back at his younger sibling and the woman with which he spoke so familiarly did not pass Sesshoumaru by.

The thought that anyone would leave such a stunning woman unattended on one of the most important nights of the year had disgusted him, and the revelation that Inuyasha had been the one to leave her alone had only intensified the distaste he held for the boy. It left a sour taste in his mouth that the woman his father had been talking so much about was an arm's length away yet out of his reach. For a moment he had lost hope, not willing to stoop so low as to steal from his brother, until he saw that look in her eyes.

"He is a very lucky man, to be the one to make you happy."

He had said with the intention of covering the acid he wanted to spit across the room. But the look of shock on her heart-shaped face had given him back a bit of the faith he had lost. Evidently she wasn't happy.

And Sesshoumaru decided he would be the lucky man tonight.

He'd lingered just around the balcony as Inuyasha led her out to talk. Inuyasha fidgeted the same aggravating way he did when at a loss for words, and with the same brashness as always extracted a felt box from his pocket. The music and excited chatter was too loud for him to hear what they were saying, but the confused face of his brother spoke to him well enough to convey that Kagome had rejected his suit. As the twenty-five-year-old boy (Inuyasha was still in so many respects a boy) swept into the party bereft, Sesshoumaru took his place on the balcony.

Her back was spectacular, he had thought then, encased by the glittering gown that opened precariously low to her waist. But the dress was no comparison to the surprised shine of her eyes when he offered her the champagne. He could feel it even then, that this was the moment he had been born for, the reason for his entire existence, that every event in his life had led up to this meeting, to Kagome.

But he should have known that destiny required patience.

It had taken him two months to convince Kagome to stray from their friendly lunches and go out with him to dinner, three before she admitted their outings were dates. He remembered the deep blush that had stained her cheeks and neck when he presented her with a box of her favorite sweets over dinner on White Day, all of which he had hand selected and had arranged with particular care. Upon the arrival of May, he had successfully extended their dates to picnics in the park on weekends, knowing her fondness for the casual, and had managed to ease a few innocent kisses from her and hold her hand.

Despite her evident attraction to him, Kagome was awkward with his attentions. Sesshoumaru assumed it was due to the fact that he was much more attentive than Inuyasha when it came to tending to her needs (whether said needs were truly needs or simply something he thought she should just have), and that she was unaccustomed to having someone actually chase her for once. At times he imagined she also worried that perhaps she was moving on too fast after having dated his brother for three years, but he, Sesshoumaru, was determined to dispel those concerns. It was plain, in any case, that Sesshoumaru Taisho was persistent.

If she thought at that time that they were moving too fast, she no longer seemed to think so now. It had been a particularly fine June day, near her birthday, and he had surprised her with tickets to an American musical she had spoken of several weeks prior. Though more of a play for women, he had to admit that Wicked had astounding special effects. Even if it had not had great masculine appeal, it had pleased Kagome, and if it pleased Kagome…well, who was he to deny her happiness?

Following the play, they had gone to dinner at a quaint bistro for something light. A quiet stroll through the park near her apartment just after the setting of the sun had been the perfect end to their day, but romantic enough to get him anxious. As held her hand nestled in his larger one, he fingered the small velvet box that rested in the pocket of his slacks.

Sesshoumaru didn't know what had inspired him to purchase the ring. Well, he knew what had inspired him – he was a man who knew what he wanted, and commitment was not an issue. But he also recognized the problems that lay with it. It was not only a symbol of commitment, but of love and eternity. They had only known each other for a little over five months, and only five months ago she had rejected his own brother's hand.

Concerned – because Sesshoumaru Taisho was never afraid – that she might think it too soon, he had carried the ring around with him for weeks, unwilling to leave behind the symbol of his future. This night, however, the anxiousness had stirred in him like never before.

'Now,' it was saying. 'Now, now, now.'

When Kagome squeezed his hand slightly and offered him a heartwarming little smile, he knew it was 'Now.' He had stopped beneath a maple, pulling gently on her hand until she turned to look at him.

"Kagome," had been all he could say at first, staring at her mutely. Sesshoumaru had always been a man of few words, but for once he did not know at all what to say.

When her teddy bear brown eyes looked up at him with confusion, and the concerned "Sesshou" (his very favorite endearment from her) had left her lips, he blurted, "Marry me."

The abrupt proposal had caught Kagome evidently by surprise. Several blinks had given Sesshoumaru enough time to compose his thoughts before he continued his plea.

"I cannot live without you. I refuse to settle for anyone else. Kagome, marry me."

It was not as elegant a proposal as he had imagined it would be, and for a moment he had the impression he had ruined all he had worked for these last few months, if he did not scare her off completely. However, her lithe arms thrown about his neck as her feet dangled above the sidewalk and the exclamation of "Yes!" in his ear was not something he could ignore.

Somehow shocked by the fact that she had actually accepted his lame, almost cliché proposal, he belatedly realized he had forgotten to give her the ring. Fumbling with the box in a manner that would have shamed him at any other moment in his life, he removed the white gold band with inlaid sapphires and slipped it on her narrow finger. They looked at each other for several quiet moments, her jeweled hand held between them.

"Do you like it?" was all he could ask. The heat that had flared in her eyes and the smirk that lifted the right corner of her mouth was his unexpected answer, and before he knew it she had yanked him by the tie into a searing kiss.

It hadn't taken long for them to reach her apartment in their haste to be absolutely alone, though granted, it took longer than it should have, given the sudden insatiable urges that had swept through them both. Now they were on the floor, in the dark, making out. Below him, she panted between kisses and moans, little black dress bunched up at her waist as he fought to find the zipper. Her nimble hands had managed to divest him of his jacket and dress shirt, leaving him bare from the waist up.

At some level he objected to this outlet of passion. Their first time shouldn't be a wild rut on the floor of her living room, but a slow seduction on the new silks he had bought for her bed last month. She deserved gentle caresses and softness, and he had told her as much, but she wanted nothing of the sort. Kagome wanted rug-burn, an aching spine, and a bruise at the back of her head. She wanted this rough, unbridled passion with Sesshoumaru as proof of a desire she had never felt with anyone other than him…and who was he to deny her happiness?