Disclaimer: I do hereby disclaim all rights and responsibilities for the characters in this odd little story… especially for the one who appreciates symmetry. A nod of recognition is bent towards Rumiko Takahashi for her creative prowess.

A Note of Explanation: We've reached the last 1000-word oneshot! Please enjoy!

Chapter 100
Happily Ever After

Sesshoumaru hovered expectantly as Kagome signed papers drawn up by the lawyers at Heihou, Houhum, & Houjou. These formalities were necessary, but time-consuming. Miroku's low commentary accompanied the scratching of her pen as he patiently explained the significance of each document and the ramifications of her acceptance. What is hers is now mine; what is mine is now hers. The equality she'd been insisting they shared from the beginning was now a matter of record.

The last form was a meager half-sheet to register their union—the consensual joining of human and youkai. Their signatures were duly applied, with Miroku and Sango adding theirs as witnesses. "Is that all?" Kagome asked.

Miroku glanced up from the envelope he was sealing and smiled. "This'll satisfy the powers that be, but I sincerely doubt they've satisfied your intended."

Sango grumbled a little, noting, "The marriage hardly seems official without some kind of ceremony."

"This isn't a marriage; it's a mating," her husband countered, a gleam in his eyes. "I'm sure you understand why the proceedings are best observed in private?" Both ladies blushed, and Sesshoumaru lifted a brow in Miroku's direction... but the man only winked.

He'd prepared the new suite himself, wanting to observe the old traditions even if no one else grasped the significance. Sesshoumaru carefully watched Kagome's face as she surveyed the spacious room—sunlight filtered by paper screens, smooth planking, floor cushions, and a large futon. Against one wall stood the curio she'd shown an interest in right after her inheritance; on the opposite wall hung his swords, including Tenseiga... which his brother had secured and kept safe for him. Another 'Stately' touch was the pair of armchairs before the hearth. She slipped her hand into his, saying, "This is ours."


"So... what comes next?"

He smirked faintly. "Are you in a hurry?"


"Very well." Once they were seated in the armchairs, he said, "You undoubtedly have questions; it's wisest to address them beforehand. Ask, and I will answer."

She considered his offer, her eyes taking on a shine. "I do have one question," she admitted. The youkai solemnly inclined his head, and she tilted hers coquettishly. "Sesshoumaru, when are you going to kiss me?"

Genuinely surprised, he rose gracefully, then dropped to his knees before Kagome. Still taller than she, he searched her upturned face, trying to fathom the swirling emotions that finally coalesced into... exasperation. With a small huff, she reached up; her fingers glided along the stripe that blazed across his cheekbone. Sesshoumaru's eyes slid shut as she continued to his ear, skimming the edge all the way to its point.

When he reopened his eyes, she regarded him with awed confusion. "Why would you want me?"

These were not the sorts of questions he'd expected, and he had no ready answer. Confounded, Sesshoumaru neatly avoided the second question by responding to the first. At long last, he kissed her.

He woke to the tickle of fingertips trailing across his abdomen, feather light as they traced its planes. Resisting the urge to hum his approval, Sesshoumaru relaxed under his mate's meandering touches, content to let her explore. Let her have her way... again.

His magnanimous plan to satisfy Kagome's curiosity before claiming her had spiraled out of his control, for she clearly preferred hands-on learning. On that first evening, caresses and inquiries mingled, and her confidence flourished. Once again, he'd been outflanked—seduced by the woman he'd planned to coax. Where she led, he followed; what he offered, she accepted. A pleasing mate. A pleased mate. The simple symmetry... escaped him the moment her lips brushed his skin, her hair spilling across his thighs as she trailed kisses along the magenta stripe that rode high over his hip. A husky groan slipped past his restraint.

Three days ago, they'd entered these rooms, and he had no intention of leaving until he was confident that the mating bond was intact. The blending of life forces wasn't accomplished in a single tryst. His instincts demanded near-constant contact, and he reinforced his choice in simple, sensual ways. Touching, tasting, he set himself the task of memorizing Kagome. Surrounded in her scent, his ears attuned to every responsive nuance, he willed the ties to knit, locking her soul to his.

The Houshiyomis had been told not to expect their emergence for a week, and meal trays appeared outside their door at regular intervals; but Sesshoumaru was elated that the combination of Kagome's playfulness and pliancy was hastening the process. Already, he could feel echoes of eternity shivering through their connection. His fingers tangled in her hair, and she lifted her head to gaze into half-lidded golden eyes. "More," he urged.

You are mine, her eyes declared with every kiss she laid.

I am yours, he agreed with every panted breath.

Urged on by rising desire, Sesshoumaru reversed their positions, kneeling over Kagome as she smiled up at him from amidst the pillows. Silver hair fanned over golden skin, and he bent to mimic the patterns she'd made over his body, mirroring her tenderness, returning her pleasure. She shifted and squirmed as he tickled and teased, and soon, her sighs gave way to needier moans. They beckoned to him, and he answered their insistent call.

Again, he tested the link he was forging, which teetered on the brink of completion. Every fiber of his being yearned to protect her from anything that might try to steal her away—even time. She had given him up so selflessly, but he was selfish. I will have her; this life will be shared. Mind and body united to accomplish his purpose, and before long, she arched beneath him, lost in bliss.

"Kagome," he murmured, calling her back. When she blinked contentedly at him, he whispered, "It's done."

She drew him down for a slow, deep kiss, languidly affirming, I am yours.

Cradling her in his arms, he matched her tempo, and with every stroke, he jubilantly declared, You are mine.

And they lived happily ever after...

End Notes: This story in snippets owes some of its structure to the Live Journal community 100colors, which offers a tempting palette of prompts. This particular 'perfect oneshot' benefited from Color #7, Lime. For those not in the know, 'lime' is slang for a non-graphic description of a sexual encounter, so this chapter's splash of citrus is intended to satisfy the final requirement of my 100colors claim. Posted on September 21, 2009, with thanks to Fenikkusuken, mine beta.

So ends my mini-epic... just in time to mark a milestone. Tomorrow, September 22, 2009 is my third anniversary as a fanfiction writer, and this story was my way of finishing the year with a flourish! (Yes, I actually planned it out that way. I'm quirky like that.) Thanks for celebrating with me!

My compliments to the clever readers who realized that several thinly-veiled canon characters found their way onto the Uppington Smythe's family tree. They were (in order of mention) Ginkotsu as Gen. Kotsu, Mukotsu as Maurice 'Moue' Smythe-Kotsu, Suikotsu as Dr. Stewart 'Stewie' Smythe-Kotsu, Bankotsu as Boniface 'Bon' Smythe-Kotsu, Jakotsu as Jacques Smythe-Kotsu, Renkotsu as Rene Smythe-Kotsu… and though Doctor Kotsu hopes to name their baby 'Kikyou' after his beloved wife, he'll have to settle for Kyou since she's expecting a boy… rounding out the Band of Seven with Kyokotsu.

In addition, I'd like offer my sincere thanks to the various artists who have shared their talent by illustrating their favorite moments from Impeccable. I regularly update the list of links on my profile, so make sure to check out the fan art!