Homecoming III

by Laura Bryannan

Ever want something so bad for so long that when you finally get it it's kindof disappointing? I don't know why I thought, if I ever found Jin and Fuu again, that things would go right back to the way they were before we split up, but I sure did. Seems pretty stupid now that I think about it.

Things have gotten crazier and crazier the past few weeks, and I don't know what to make of it. On the one hand, I'm really happy to be back with them again. On the other hand, it's been a drag to find them into each other the way they are. I've been trying to be big about it, but I've been feeling pretty jealous and there's no getting around it.

When I told Jin I was OK with him fucking Fuu I was telling the truth. I figured he'd have her and then I'd have her and things would be really hot. I never thought in a million years she'd blow me off. That second night I was home, when we finally had a chance to get it on and she was like, "No thanks," I couldn't fucking believe it. I never saw it coming, so it totally threw me for a loop. It was bad enough that Jin was into her, but to have her only want him...man, fuck that!

The more she harped about how happy she was I was being so understanding about it, the more pissed I got. By the time she asked me to snuggle with her an evil plan was brewing in my head. What the hell did she think, that I could hold her and smell her and not want more? I decided to push and see how far I could get. Heh! I got pretty far, so I came away from that little scene feeling a lot better than before we started. But still, the situation with her sucked big time and I didn't like it.

What didn't suck was the situation with Jin. Yeah, he was into her, but I could tell he was still into me more. Fuu told me she was starved for cuddling, so I knew he'd been keeping his distance from her all these months, as hard as that was for me to believe. I could never have done it! And he's obviously glad I'm back. He hasn't been trying to hide it. He's been on me like stink on shit, actually, so that part's been great. And he's been acting so different—not like how I remembered him―he keeps surprising me, but I'm liking it so that's cool.

It began that first night I came home. The guy blew me and then he rimmed me. Two things he just never did, so I couldn't fucking believe it. OK, he hasn't rimmed me since, but there's a second time for everything, so I'm keeping my hopes up.

He'd promised my first night back to take a day off work as soon as he could. So when he told me before he crashed on us that he was free the next day, I was really looking forward to it. I hadn't had anywhere near my fill of him yet, so even though my pride was bashed from Fuu's rejection, it was good to know at least one of my lovers was still there for me.

I woke up alone as usual, but I knew he wasn't gonna blow me off. The day turned out to be a warm one, which was great considering it was still spring. I waited in the front yard with a rolled up tatami mat, cuz we had decided to hike it out of town and go play somewhere. I was wondering what the hell was taking so long when he rode up on a fucking horse! It was so far from what I'd been expecting I just stared with my mouth open.

"You know how to ride, don't you?" he asked, smiling down at me.

"Well, yeah," I replied. Of course I knew how to ride. He pushed himself back on the horse's rump and reached to give me a hand-up. I gave him the stuff I was carrying and he slung it over his shoulder as I scrambled up in front of him.

"You drive, then. I'm feeling lazy," he told me. "The beast is good-tempered so he shouldn't give you any trouble."

"Why'd you do this?" I asked as we headed down the street.

"I thought we'd get further faster, and it wasn't too expensive to hire the horse. I believe that road," he said, pointing to an intersection, "is the shortest way out of town." He was right, so I kicked our ride and we cantered off, stopping at a food stall on the way to grab something we could eat once we found a place to camp out.

I liked feeling him behind me. He was a good rider, I could tell, sitting easily with his hands resting on my thighs. Every once and a while he'd nuzzle into the back of my neck or nibble on my shoulder, which felt tickly and nice. But when he started teasing me through my hakama I had to elbow him to stop.

"Hey, cut it out!" I complained. "Riding this thing bareback is doing enough damage to my nuts, I don't need a hard-on to go with it." He just laughed and put his arms around my waist.

I'd forgotten how fun it was to move so fast, and it was sure better than walking the whole damn way. Soon enough, the houses got fewer and farther in between and we were finally out of the city. After some roaming around, we found a nice spot in a clearing, close enough to some trees that Jin wouldn't get fried by the sun. Staking the horse nearby, we spread out the mat and settled in to eat our lunch. Blackberry began grazing and ignored us.

Getting reacquainted with Jin has been pretty interesting so far. He was always frowning before, it was like his basic expression. But now his face always seems to have this little smile hiding in it. I'll do a double take and...OK, it's neutral, he's not really smiling. But I swear when I see him out of the corner of my eye there's this hint of a smile there all the time. It makes me smile to see it.

Anyway, we were sitting there eating when I started getting this prickly feeling in my guts. It wasn't like a warning, which was good, but something was bugging me. I couldn't tell what was up, so I waited to see if it would go away or get stronger.

To distract myself I started thinking about dessert: creamy white samurai with nothing on top. He saw me eying him, raised one brow and gave me this smoky look. Then, laughing, he lay back with his arms at his sides, palms upward. It reminded me of the first time I ever saw him do that, the first time he ever said, in so many words, 'do whatever you want.' I decided to take him up on the offer.

I untied his hakama while he handled his kimono and finally there he was, practically glowing even in the daylight, he's so goddamn fair skinned. It pains me, though, to see him all scarred up the way he is now. When we first met I was blown away by how unmarked his body was. A kickass fighter like he was almost totally without scars. It was amazing. But he sure had his share now. I kissed the worst one, where the guy ran him through, and worked my way upward.

Sometimes I think I could kiss Jin all day. I'm glad he likes it too, and doesn't get squirmy or try to push me away anymore. I was having a great time making out, feeling too comfy and lazy to even grope him, when something started bugging me again. Something humming, something poking me. It kinda pissed me off. I tried to ignore it, but it wouldn't let go, so I broke our kiss and sat up.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

I shook my head. "Don't know. Something's bugging me. Can't figure out what it is, though.” I looked around, trying to see if there was anything we should be worried about, but nothing caught my attention.

And then I felt someone's fingers moving up the leg of my hakama, finding me without any trouble, and it felt so good I forgot about it. Untying the rest of my clothes, he pushed me on my back and settled himself on top of me so we could grind together as we kissed. Yeah, I forgot all about it for a while.

But it came back. This humming, this noise in my head, what the fuck was it? I tipped him off me and sat up again. He sat up too, looking amused, but didn't say anything. And then some movement out of the corner of my eye gave me a clue and I shouted, running toward the tree.

A skill I'd forgotten about was still with me. I'd been known for it when I was a kid—one of my many claims to fame. Honey. I could always find it. Yup, there it was. I could see the hole in the tree and the traffic going in and out.

Of course, the game was always scoring it without getting stung. It was a good thing I wasn't the kind of person who got really messed up by bee stings, but I still didn't want one. So I snuck up close, checked out the scene, made an educated guess and stuck my hand in. Gold! I scooped out a giant handful and took off back to our spot, dripping all the way cuz even both my hands couldn't contain it. I knocked him on his back and plopped the mess of honeycomb and honey on his belly, and then used what was left on my hands to slick my cock up.

"Wanna taste?" I asked, kneeling next to him.

He was actually grinning, I couldn't believe it. "Honey! Only you, Mugen," he said, reaching for me and sliding me into his mouth. "Ummm, wonderful," he continued, teasing with his tongue, lapping at the honey and making me squirm. I didn't want him to suck me off, though. I had other plans. So, good as it felt, I backed away after a while.

Scooping up a glob, I dribbled it all over his chest then attacked, licking the honey off him in long strokes. He moaned and writhed, complaining I was tickling him, but didn't push me away even when I went after his nipples. I got slugged for biting too hard, but I couldn't help myself. It was really tasty honey. He was being so responsive and yummy, it was fun to make a big mess on him and just skoosh our bodies together in it. After a while he started laughing, and I asked him what was so funny.

"We forgot to bring oil, so this discovery of yours was very fortunate," he noted.

"I don't know, it's pretty sticky."

"It's better than the alternatives," he countered. "Come on, Mugen. Fuck me." He looked at me in this way that made my breath hitch, so I decided I would. I gooped up a few fingers and slid them inside, working and opening him up. Its always fun to watch his getting-finger-fucked dance, so I did that for a long time. I realized the honey wasn't going to be too sticky after all, but hoped it would hold out for the whole time we needed it.

I slicked myself up once more for good measure and pressed myself inside him. Oh yeah! It was sweet, and not just cuz of the honey. Being inside Jin, face to face—it just about kills me every time we do it that way. I love watching him, the expressions he makes as I move. Sometimes I use myself as a weapon, and get off on his looks of distress. But today I just wanted to make him feel fantastic, so I rocked against him more than fucked him. He shifted the angle of his hips and took me all the way in, looking so blissed out it made my stomach do flips. Damn it was good!

He had honey on his eyebrow, so I sucked that off. He had honey on his cheek, so I sucked that off. I guess we were both a mess cuz he went after my chin, and then the side of my mouth, which led to a long, hot kiss. I was getting off on his gasps every time I dug deep, thankful the honey was working just fine.

I reached down and began to stroke him cuz I was starting to feel my cum brewing. He threw his head back and began to thrash, moaning in time to my thrusts. His body clenched me tight and then began its rhythmic dance as he came. It was so good, I stopped moving just to feel him hug me inside like that, over and over again. And then, when he calmed down, I fucked his brains out till I let go. Yeah, it was sweet!

After I came back to earth I noticed he smelled extra good, his own scent all mixed up with the honey. They went well together. It was too bad we didn't have any way of bringing some home for later. I lay there on his chest for a while, all snoozy and nice. A decent breeze was blowing, which was great after getting all sweaty. His breathing quiet, his body felt content and peaceful against mine, so it made me feel that way, too.

But all too soon I had other problems. I was itchy—feeling sticky and gross. I raised myself up and looked at him. He was kinda wincing too.

"I hear a stream or something not too far," he said. I nodded, and we got up to look. We found it, but the water was fucking cold! Shit. It was so cold it more froze the honey than dissolved it. We both had to sit there way too long, scrubbing with sand, to even be clean enough to put our clothes on again. Shit.

He was actually blue when we got out of the water. It was pretty funny. Shivering, we trudged back to our camp, and rolled up the sticky tatami mat. He still had honey in his hair, and I could tell I still had it in mine, and other places, too. Oh well. It was worth it. Maybe I could get him to sneak in a quickie at the bathhouse later. If we arrived early enough, we might be the only ones there.

We got dressed and made out some more, only stopping when I pulled my hand out of his hair all sticky. He grabbed it and sucked a finger clean, swirling and teasing his tongue around so that I felt it in my pants even though I'd just cum. Then he attacked the next one the same way, and the next. Made me wonder why we got dressed so fast.

"You wanna do me this time?" I asked, panting.

He shook his head. "Please don't take this the wrong way, Mugen," he said with a smile. "But what I want most is a bath."

I was with him on that one, so we climbed up on ol' Blackberry and pointed him toward the city. And Blackberry, knowing he was headed toward barn and oats, was happy to canter most of the way. Riding a horse is the greatest thing―the wind in my hair and the power between my legs—it makes me feel like I'm king of the world or something.

It was the best end to the best day, so I was really glad Jin thought of hiring it. I knew he didn't need to hold onto me to stay put, but he did anyway, and I was loving the feel of his arms around me. I made the horse slow down to let it cool off before we got too close to home, and he rested his head on my shoulder all the way into town.

We got home after our bath―which had to be just a bath cuz there were other guys there, dammit―and I hung inside the house while Jin and Fuu did their training thing with the neighbors. I was still embarrassed about how Jin whomped me yesterday, and had enough teasing to last a lifetime about the welt on my ass in the bathhouse after.

"Look, it's in quarters now." Ha. Ha. Ha. The joke got old. Really. Fast.

I was tempted poke her and spill the beans about what we did last night, but decided it wouldn't win me any points, so I kept my mouth shut. Jin eyed us both, and I could tell he was wondering what was up, but didn't ask. And then it dawned on me that he prolly did know what we were up to, considering he's such a light sleeper. Oh well. I sure hadn't cared about it at the time. She went to bed early and that was fine by me. I turned to him, thinking we could finally pick up where we left off, when he knocked me on my ass.

"I need to speak with Fuu," he said. "I fell asleep yesterday and didn't get a chance to apologize for walking out on her the other night. I would like to do that before she goes to sleep." And without even waiting to see what I had to say about it, he took off into her room. What the fuck? I'd had such a good time today, I kinda forgot about all that shit.

So I waited and waited, sitting in The Box sulking, wondering why he was spending so much time in there. It shouldn't have taken so long to say what he said he wanted to say. I came this close to tying my hakama back on and heading out to The Pink Pillow to get some loving from Dohzu, when he finally came out.

Kneeling at my feet, he picked up the oil, which was still sitting there from last night, and poured some in his palm. Considering we both had our clothes on, I couldn't figure out what the hell he was up to, when he grabbed my left hand and started massaging it.

"This hand is weak," he noted. "You were favoring it yesterday during our fight."

"That obvious, huh?"

"To me, yes," he replied. "I've fought with you many times. But perhaps not to anyone else." I sighed. I knew my hand was fucked up and didn't like being reminded about it. It felt really good to have him work on it though, so I didn't stop him. One thing I gotta say about Jin. When he does something, he sure does it right. By the time he wrapped things up, I was flopped over on my side purring.

"It feels as though most of your hand knit cleanly," he said, working his fingers along each bone. "Except for right here." He pushed his thumbs into the exact center of my palm and I winced. Yup.

"Asshole smashed a staff into it," I said. "I could feel 'em breaking."

He nodded. "The bones here did not set properly,” he told me. “I imagine this is where the weakness stems from. You're fortunate no tendons were cut when that monster sliced you with those blades. I'll work on it in the evenings and perhaps it will help."

I flexed my hand and was amazed that it did feel better! It wasn't anywhere near as stiff, and it didn't hurt as much to make a fist. He's been as good as his word too, working on it every night after he comes out of Fuu's room, and it's gotten a hell of a lot stronger. I don't know if he's doing it to keep me from being pissed at him for rubbing my nose in his scene with her or not but, if he is, I guess it's working. Fucker.

He reached for my other hand and started working on that one too. "To keep you in balance," he said. I wasn't gonna complain cuz it felt too good.

Jin's got this thing about his legs and feet―especially his feet. I swear, I could tell him to walk downtown naked and he'd do it if it meant he'd get a foot rub after. But me, it's my hands...and my head, and that's where he went next. He came up on the futon, sat behind me and started working on my shoulders first, then my neck, then my head. Guh. I'm a goner when he does that.

Jin knows all this stuff about organ systems and energy meridians and shit...I never pay attention when he talks about it. But, man, he works on me and my body feels really great when he's done. He pushes his fingers into these spots and lights go off in my head. It always hurts at first, but then the point will loosen up and it will feel warm and nice. He says that healers on the continent put needles into people in those places, which kinda grosses me out, but pushing fingers into them works too. He's obviously right. I was starting to zone out, it felt so good, but before I lost it completely I needed to know what was going on.

"How come you're doing this?" I asked.

"I've missed touching you," he replied. "I've missed looking at you. Do you mind?"

"Uh...no." What a dumb question. So he worked me over real good, loosening up my shoulders and neck, and then rubbing my whole head. Gently pulling on my hair, scratching, rubbing hard sometimes, being soft and tickly other times. I was totally melted, but he still didn't stop. When he started in on my face, I was like, uhhhhhhhhhh. He stroked my forehead, my cheeks, my whole face, pushing into all the point thingys there too, but nothing was ouchy, so it felt un-fucking-believable. I realized I was losing whatever will I had to fool around, despite my raging hard-on, but I didn't care. All I wanted to do was lay there and feel him touching me.

I don't think I fell asleep, but when I came back from wherever I was he was laying next to me untying my kimono and juban. Before I even had time to react, I was in his mouth. Ooooh, yeah! He wasn't really sucking me off though. At least, not in the usual way. He just kindof held me, barely moving his tongue, and it felt really nice. His crotch was right there next to my face, so I figured, what the hell? I got him out and did the same. We'd never done a mutual oral thing before, so I was really stoked, and curious what he had in mind.

We lay there just kindof nursing on each other, and it was really wild. I was super horny, but the game he was playing was so interesting, I decided to match what he was doing and see what happened. I could sense him going still the way he does, so I went inside too. I could feel his warm mouth around me, the barest of sensations as his tongue moved so gently I could hardly tell, and yet it felt super good. And then, making it even better, I had him inside me―holding him and tasting him with my face buried where he smelled the best. All those amazing sensations were really blowing my mind.

He was getting even quieter, so even though the feelings in my body were getting really intense, I tried to relax more too. I just let myself float, and started zoning out. I don't know how to describe what happened after, or how long we were together that way, but it was almost like this circle of light or energy or something was flowing around us and through us. It felt great, and all I can remember is going in there for a while and just being with it. It seemed like we were connected for a long time. I really don't know. But it was hot and bright and I felt like I was dissolving into him. I actually lost sense of myself for a while.

Then KAZOING! I felt this intense pleasure zoom through me. Huh? I startled, and couldn't figure out what was going on for a few seconds. Then, oh yeah, it's Jin. He was moving on me. After experiencing so much pleasure from hardly any sensation, I practically screamed to feel him pushing me deeper into his mouth. If I didn't know better, I would have said he was gonna try and throat me. I was laughing inwardly about that when I did scream cuz he did shove me into his throat...for all of three seconds anyway. I couldn't fucking believe it!

He backed off, gagging and coughing, but didn't let me go. I was dying to ask what the hell he was doing, but I didn't want to let him go either so I just held on and waited with baited breath. Would he try again? I didn't know if I wanted him to or not. The idea of him trying to get my meat down his throat kinda freaked me out, but damn it felt good!

He was going quiet again, and I could just tell...I could feel him relaxing his jaw. Oh man, he was gonna try it again. It was the hardest thing in the world to keep myself still and wait. And then he began to move, slowly sliding me further and further into his mouth. I felt him take a slow, deep breath, and his arm came around my hips and pushed me deeper.

Then KAZOING! I was in. Holy fucking shit I never felt anything like it in my life! I was gasping around him, aware of his body convulsing as he gagged on me, the death grip he had on my hips keeping himself impaled as he struggled with it. My heart melted and my orgasm just about blew my head off. I've never been down anyone's throat before, not even a whore's. It was so tight, so hot, and it was Jin's throat! I just couldn't fucking believe it.

I blissed out for a while and when I came to I was still in his mouth, but not down his throat. He was quiet again, although he was sniffly of course. It kinda made me feel weird that the things I liked about it the best―the amazing way it felt as he gagged and swallowed―were prolly the hardest things for him. But hey, he wanted to do it, so I tried to shut that stuff up.

And then I realized he hadn't cum yet so I set about it. I could feel him stiffen at first, almost as if he was gonna stop me, but then he relaxed and let me do him nice and slow, the way I like. I really did luck out with Jin's equipment. It's the perfect size to get laid by and it's the perfect size to suck off. It's not so thick that your jaw starts aching after a while. Anyway, I could tell he was pretty close so I took him into my throat too, and he came and came, giving me some of his yummiest Jin moans and making me feel great.

He'd let me go sometime during his orgasm, so when he finally stopped spasming and quieted again, I sat up and looked at him. He was laying there, looking all beautiful and peaceful, so I stopped worrying that the throating thing had freaked him out. I flopped over and lay with my face next to his, and he opened his eyes, smiling this little smile. I appreciated the view for a while, totally getting off on the fact that he'd just throated me and still looked blissed out. Finally, though, my curiosity got the better of me.

"That's not the first time you've done that, is it?" I said.

He shook his head. "My master inadvertently pushed past that barrier often enough over the years," he told me. "And there were a few times he took advantage of the situation. But it's the first time I've done it of my own volition."

"I'll bet he wasn't hung like me either," I said.

He laughed a little. "No, he was not."

"That was amazing," I said, sincerely.

"Yes, it was," he replied, smiling all dreamy-like.

I kissed him, but I could feel him starting to float away. "You gotta work tomorrow?" I asked, knowing the answer.


He was practically asleep, but I wasn't the least bit tired. So I threw a blanket over him, got dressed and headed to the nearest red light district. I had no energy left for a whore, of course, but it felt good to stretch my legs and check out the scene. I wandered some back alleys and a dude even jumped me. I nailed his ass easily and got some coin off of him. Cool! If there was a way to keep from taking a real job, I was gonna find it. I got drunk somewhere and hung out singing stupid songs way too late but I was having a blast so I didn't care. I finally made it home a few hours before dawn and crashed.

So began the pattern of my new life. I would wake up and they'd both be at work. I'd hang out and be lazy for a while, then wander downtown and get some food for dinner. I didn't always cook it, though, sometimes I wasn't up for that. But it kindof became my job to do the acquiring, and since I always paid for it myself, no one bugged me about when I was gonna get a job.

I usually took off before folks started gathering for training. There was no way I was gonna take his fucking class, so I figured it was better to just not be around, and I never came home til it was late enough that most folks were gone. If I came back early, his students would always ask us to fight. We obliged them every once and a while, and about half of 'em ended with me on top, so that was good.

But, no matter when I showed up, there'd be dudes bugging me to teach 'em stuff. It made me laugh, I ain't no teacher. I couldn't teach someone how to do what I do if they paid me. Hell, I don't know how I do what I do half the time! I was flattered by the attention, of course, but wished they'd just leave me alone.

The three of us would have dinner, chat some, and then Fuu would go to bed and Jin would hang with her for a while. He'd come out after way too long and start working on my hand. No matter how much of a snit I was in when he finally turned his attention to me, by the time he was done with my hands I was useless. Then―prolly cuz he knew I was hitting the streets after he crashed―he'd attack and wear me out so bad I'd have no life force left for anyone else.

I'd secretly check him out every night as we fooled around, but never smelled her pussy on him anywhere, so I knew they still weren't doing anything. I couldn't figure out what the hell was happening in there, but I was glad they weren't getting it on yet.

After they were both asleep I'd take off and go wandering. If I was lucky, I'd earn a little money. I let myself get mugged lots of times. Other times a place I was hanging at needed someone to take care of a jerkoff and I'd step in and deal with it. Sometimes the owner or manager would offer me money for my trouble. The ones who did earned a stop every night.

After a while, I had a routine down, sticking my nose in this gambling den or that saloon to see if my help was needed. There were nights when I didn't make any money, but there were others when more than one place offered me some coin to handle a problem. It was turning out to be a decent way to earn my keep, and it kept my skills sharp too.

At home, things were weird. Fuu was so focused on Jin, it was like I wasn't even there. She was nice, friendly even, but just not paying attention to me. It stung, but there wasn't anything I could do about it. If she wasn't into me anymore, she wasn't. Jin was paying me lots of attention, so that kinda made up for it, but it was still really weird when we all hung around together.

And then, something changed. A few weeks in, she started sniffing around me again, but all it did was piss me off. Her attitude shift happened a day or so before a conversation Jin had with me, so I was suspicious and figured they were related.

"Tell me about the captain of the Brightness," he said, as he worked on my hand. My guts clenched. I'd been hoping to avoid the subject, but I guess I was screwed.

"Uh...what do you want to know?" I asked, stalling.

"You said he was your type," he replied. "What kind of man is that?"

"Well, he was a big guy. Taller than you, and built. He was practically twice my size across the chest. I've always been into guys who are the opposite of me, I guess." He was nodding, looking all wistful, so I was surprised. I'd been afraid to talk to him about Captain Nunes cuz I expected he'd get all pissy and jealous, but he didn't seem to be running that.

"The only man I ever had a crush on...." he began, then he shot me a worried glance and cleared his throat. "Um...well...my mentor at the dojo was built like that. I find that style of body attractive as well. What did he look like?"

I eyed him suspiciously, but it really seemed like he wanted to know. Kinda blew me away. "He was thirty-eight, from a country in Europe called Portugal. He had dark brown hair to his shoulders with gray at the temples and a short beard with gray in that too. I thought he was really good-looking, even though he was kinda old. I saw him naked once. He had hair on his chest that continued all the way down, and he was hung like a bull."

Jin's eyebrow twitched and I laughed. "So why didn't you?" he asked. I shrugged my shoulders. I still didn't really know the answer to that question.

He looked at me for a bit, thinking, then finally asked, "Do you regret leaving him?"

A ha! Suddenly Fuu's change of heart made sense. They must have been talking, wondering if I was gonna take off. It's funny, but I hadn't even thought about it until he asked me. Did I regret leaving the Brightness? Enough to leave them both?

"Nope," I said, honestly. "I don't regret leaving, now that I've found you two again. But I miss him sometimes and I still think about him. He was a good guy."

Jin smiled and I was amazed it seemed genuine. "He sounds wonderful in many ways," he said. "I'm glad he took such good care of you. You've returned finely tempered and well honed." I think my jaw might've dropped, so I had to kiss him to cover my ass. It cut my hand massage short, but I didn't care. There were other things that needed massaging after a compliment like that.

But, you know, the next day it got me thinking, so I headed down to the docks and went hunting for the Port Master's Office. I didn't see any harm in leaving our address there for anyone on the Brightness who might come looking for me. OK, so I felt guilty as hell after telling Jin I didn't regret leaving the captain, but decided that leaving word about where I was wasn't the same as taking off.

So, yeah, Fuu started paying attention to me again. She wasn't coming onto me or anything, but it was like I was back on the map so I suppose that was good. My pride wanted me to tell her to go fuck herself, but I decided to keep my distance instead, even though I was glad, of course. I was just beginning to plot my next move with her when it happened. Yesterday I got the surprise of my life and I'm still reeling from it.

It was a typical day, and I showed up for dinner at the usual time. Jin hadn't come back from the bathhouse yet, but Fuu was finished with hers and was puttering around the fire warming up what I'd cooked the day before.

"Hey," I said, as I came inside.

"Oh, Mugen. Are you hungry?" she asked, and then she giggled. "I guess that's a stupid question." And she giggled some more. She was all blushy and humming, so it was obvious something was up with her. I figured Jin must have caused it, so it didn't do much for my mood. He finally walked in and we pulled the table out from the corner and sat down to eat.

Me and Jin made small talk. He usually filled us in on the latest chapter of Soong-ojiisan’s life story, which was pretty interesting most of the time, I'll admit. Normally Fuu chimed in every chance she got, but today she was all spacey and not paying attention. Very, very strange. So, it wasn't Jin she was googly about after all. I was curious. He noticed too, when he asked her a question and she didn't answer, but kept looking out the window with this goofy expression on her face.

He gave me a puzzled glance and I shrugged my shoulders. "She's been like this since I came home," I told him. She didn't even notice we were talking about her and she'd barely touched her dinner, which was the biggest clue of all. Something was definitely going on, and I had to know what.

"Hey you," I said. No response.

"Fuu?" Jin tried this time. Still nothing. So it wasn't just me she was ignoring, I was glad to see. I tried again, poking her this time.

She startled and looked at me, frowning. "Why are you pushing me?" she asked.

"We're talking to you, and you're not listening," I replied.

She peeked at Jin and back at me, looking contrite. "I'm sorry, I was thinking. What do you want?"

"Are you all right, Fuu-chan?" Jin asked. "You seem distracted."

"Oh, I'm fine," she said with dreamy smile on her face. Considering it wasn't directed at either of us, we eyed each other again. She got up, not even noticing how we were both staring at her, and started heading toward her room.

"Fuu!" I said loudly, and she turned to me, still looking totally out of it. "What the fuck is up with you, girl? You're off somewhere in la la land tonight." She smiled, then started back toward her room again. I glanced at Jin and he was looking as puzzled as I prolly was.

"FUU!" I yelled.

Just before she walked through her door she finally graced us. "Yunta kissed me," she said. "G'night." And she was gone.

"What?!?" We said it at the same time, but she wasn't there to answer.

"Who the hell is Yunta?" I asked. "That's a fucking girl's name!"

I looked at him, and his eyes were totally big. "Yunta is a server at the teahouse Fuu works at," he told me. "And yes, she's a woman." He started laughing, but I didn't see what was so funny. He didn't stop till I slugged him.

"It all makes sense," he said, wiping his eyes. "I believe Yunta's been chasing after Fukashi for many months now, I just never put two and two together. I doubt Fuu realized it before today either. Amazing!"

"Well, why don't you go talk with her and find out more?" I demanded. For once, I really wanted him to go in there. He nodded and did it, but came out in just a minute or so. I almost laughed out loud, it made me so happy.

"She kicked me out...said she needed to think," he announced, looking mostly amused, but a little hurt too.

"Hmmm," I replied, feeling like I wanted to jump up and down and yell, Oh yeah! But I just sat there trying to look sympathetic.

"Yes," he said. "An interesting turn of events."

I nodded, then had a bright idea. "Let's eat lunch there tomorrow so you can point her out to me. I can't believe she's all googly over a fucking girl!"

He started laughing again. "All right," he agreed. "I'll point her out to you and then we can decide what we're going to do about this, eh?"

"Is she cute?" I asked.




to be continued