Title: With Every Rose
Rating: PG
Genre: General/Sentimental
Word Count: 200

Summary: This old world we're livin' in/Is mighty hard to beat/You get a thorn with every rose/But - ain't the roses sweet? (Frank Stanton)

Kouga watches as she places flowers on their graves. It's the same progression every time: Miroku, then Sango. Kirara and Shippou follow, and Inuyasha is last. That's how they died, and that's how she lays the flowers.


He knows Kagome resents him for saving her. With all lost, with only them and Sesshoumaru still alive, Kouga spirited her away, fled on legs bloodied and stripped of shards, had not stopped until they were too far away for even Naraku's power to touch them.

Kagome makes Kouga pay in little ways for saving her. She looks at him and sees the wrong colour hair and eyes, and he knows she’s wishing with all that is left of her heart that it was his grave, not Inuyasha’s, on which she lay down the flowers. Every time he tries to kiss her, she bites him. But he persists, and she always gives in.

Every day she tells him she pretends he is Inuyasha. It stings, like the sting of her blunt little teeth in his lips, but then the blood rushes in and he remembers that he’s alive. She might pretend he’s someone else, but someone else is dead, and Kouga is not.