Musings, II

by Laura Bryannan

This journey is turning into a revelatory experience. I honestly cannot comprehend it, or what it is doing to me. All I know is that I am becoming alive for the first time in my life. I realize now that I spent my entire life in a cage—a gilded cage, to be sure, but a cage nonetheless. I realize now I spent the time after being cast out wanting to die. I fought hoping I would die. I spent so long feeling as though my life was over—that what happened at the dojo was the end of everything good in my life—I am coming to realize I was completely wrong about that.

Here I am, fated as it appears to be wandering with two normal people—the kinds of people I’ve never had any real contact with before this journey. Yes, I interacted with shopkeepers and waitresses, farmers and such, but only in a limited way. I never spent any prolonged time with anyone normal before this, and I’m astounded at how being around them is waking me up. Here I am, a person who’s lived his life bound by ritual and custom, always conscious of protocol and social formalities, learning from people who simply live! I’ve been dead, in a way, my entire life and I never knew it until now. I’m still trying to understand it.

Take eating, for example. Mugen and Fuu eat when they’re hungry (if we have the funds to do so, of course). They obviously pay attention to their bodies and when their bodies tell them they are hungry, they eat, no matter what time of day it is. Maybe I was this way when I was a child, but I doubt it. Not in my mother’s house, where everything had to be done just so, or not at all. Not in the dojo, where everything had to be done just so, or not at all. I’ve been taught that my body is something to control, to ignore, to dominate with my mind and spirit. I eat when my mind tells me it’s time to eat. I notice that the light looks a particular way and I tell myself it’s time to eat. Sometimes I will realize at that point that I am indeed hungry, but I honestly wouldn’t have noticed it before my mind decided it was time to eat. The idea that my body has something to say, something to teach me, is a revelation. The idea that my body is something I should honor is a revelation.

The ivory tower I’ve lived in has kept me from real life all these years and I never knew it. I’ve been living my life from the neck up without realizing it. I thought I had shut myself down after being cast out, but I can see now that I haven’t felt my feelings…perhaps ever. Oh, I could tell you what I thought I felt, but to actually go inside and feel what my body was feeling? I hated doing that, so I stopped doing it long ago. What was in there? Humiliation and fear from my critical father and tormenting oldest brothers; grief from the loss of my mother and favorite brother. It was too much to bear when I was so young so I turned it all off.

Life in the dojo only enhanced that tendency in me. It made me a great fighter. It made me formidable because I needed no one. I was emotionally connected to no one, really, not even Master Enshirou. There was too much envy, too much resentment for me to open my heart to anyone there. Now, away from all that, I find it feels safe to experience what I’m feeling. I like what I’m feeling in my body these days, and that is astounding to me!

I’m glad that the skills of my fellow travelers are beginning to rub off on me. I find myself thinking about the dojo and everything that happened less and less. I don’t for one second miss the tension I experienced there—feeling as though I were in the center of a vast web of scheming spiders. My friends…. Hmmm, what a strange word for me to use. I don’t believe I’ve ever known anyone I would call a friend before this journey. Well, my friends both have a way about them that makes it easy for me somehow. I feel comfortable around them and feel as though I can be myself. Mugen plays the tough guy, but I know better at this point, and Fuu plays the silly child and I know better about that too. He and Fuu call each other names and put each other down, but I can see how they look at each other…not when the other can see, of course. It makes me smile. It gives me hope that we can find a way to continue. I will keep thinking about this….


I must take every advantage of these new circumstances I find myself in for as long as possible. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that we three have been thrown together; I believe there is a reason the fates arranged it. For one thing we are all without family. Well, perhaps this isn’t completely true for me, but since my only immediate family are my two oldest brothers, I have absolutely no interest in going home ever again. And, since my disgrace, they wouldn’t be interested in seeing me either, I’m sure. I believe the key may be in finding a way for the three of us to become each other’s family.

I can see now how important it is to me for all of us to remain together. I’m trying to keep myself in the present and not worry about what will happen when we finally reach Nagasaki and have cause to part. If I let my mind go there, I’ll shut down completely for it’s too depressing to contemplate. I need these two in my life; I know this to be true. So the one thing I allow my mind to do these days is to plot and scheme about how to accomplish this. I have some theories, but only time will tell whether I can put these plans into motion or not.

In the meantime, I’m trying to observe and learn all I can from my two teachers. We’ve all become closer after our encounter with Mukuro’s gang. Believing we lost Mugen really shook Fuu and me up. Whatever asinine reservations I had about where he came from or about wanting him disappeared when we got him back. I notice Fuu isn’t on his case quite so much either, nor he on hers. It’s made life more peaceful and enjoyable, so that is good.

It’s the strangest thing, but I actually feel happy at times! I honestly can’t remember when I’ve felt excited about facing the day, or passionate to know what’s beyond the next horizon. And god, it’s good to have a lover again, especially one who suits me the way Mugen does. That’s strange too, I’ll admit. I don’t know if I’ve ever liked a lover of mine before this…I don’t believe I have. But it is very nice to come away from sex not despising myself or the one I’m with. I find myself thinking about sex a lot! I’m still struggling with this, but my new rules say I must let myself be about it. No more allowing my head to stomp out what my body wants to do, or what my heart wants to feel.

And now that I’ve stopped fighting with myself over what is happening to me, I’m having a much better time of it. I try to keep a Beginner’s Mind, and not berate myself when I feel like a bumbling fool. Mugen’s very good at turning me into a bumbling fool. Who would have thought I’d learn so much from such a man? For example, I’ve learned why I’ve never been interested in kissing. I believe I instinctively shied away from this activity because it…undoes me. At least, the way Mugen kisses me completely undoes me. My mind goes blank and all I’m aware of is him. I’m amazed at how much I want, maybe even need, him to do it to me. You’d think a horny dog like Mugen would be humping your leg and slobbering all over your face. Thank god it isn’t that way. He’s actually a very neat kisser, I couldn’t abide it otherwise.

For a while, I kept fighting him off when he tried to kiss me. Force of habit, I suppose. But these days I’ll admit I find myself hungering for it. I was wondering how I missed out on this part of life for so long when I realized Rumiko never kissed me, and I never kissed her. She taught me everything else—lots and lots of everything else—but not that. I wonder if that was her way of keeping something for herself—something too intimate to share with all the men in my family she had to put up with. Since I never wanted that from her, I never noticed she didn’t do it until now. Strange.

But I digress. I’ve spent many meditations pondering what Mugen is about when he does this to me. He’ll catch me somewhere when Fuu’s not looking and just kiss the hell out of me for as long as circumstances allow. Then he’ll murmer, “Ummm,” or sigh or headbutt me and take off. I’ll be left standing there blinking stupidly, trying to gather my wits before she notices. I flatter myself and think he’s being seductive because he actually likes me and not because he’s trying to power over me. I hope he’s doing it because he desires me and not because he’s trying, and succeeding, to rearrange my brain. In the end, I’ll admit I’ve come to the conclusion it doesn’t matter why he does it so long as he keeps doing it.

To that effect, I tried an experiment the other night that turned out quite successfully. Fuu had gone out to take a bath, so as soon as he walked in the door I grabbed his head and laid one on him. I tried to kiss him the way he kisses me. Did I succeed? Well, I felt him go wobbly, and then he fell to his knees, so perhaps I did.

Holy shit!” he said, panting, “You fucking kissed me!!!” And then after staring at me in amazement he demanded, “Do it again!” I complied. It was lovely. I tried to keep control of the situation for as long as possible, but when he got his hand in my hakama I was lost. But it was great fun and he seemed to genuinely like it, so maybe he cares about me after all. I must think positively about this.


I’m obsessed with the scars on Mugen’s body. On the front there’s the usual assortment of slices and gouges, more than most bodies I’ve seen, but still the kind you’d expect any swordsman to have. I’ve a few myself. But on his back…well, that is a different story. The scars on the back of him are impossible to ignore. If I’m holding or fucking him from the front I can feel them on his back, his ass. If I’m covering him they’re right in front of my eyes. Most of them look old, so he must have received them young. It wasn’t until I oiled him up the first time that I found them all, however. There are four sets of marks: two are intriguing, one arouses me, and one horrifies me. It took a while before I had the courage to ask him about them, but I decided I had to do it in the name of breaking my heart center open. It seems the more I learn about Mugen, the more the ice around my heart cracks, so it is an important task right now.

I began one day when we were being lazy out in the woods near the village where we were staying. He’s always somewhat snoozy and mellow after sex, so I thought he might be amenable to talking. I traced the most innocuous set with my fingers—the horizontal lash marks across his back, all eleven of them.

How did you come by these, Mugen?” I asked. “You must have been very young when it happened.”

What are you talking about?” He seemed genuinely confused.

These scars across your back. They look like they were from quite a whipping.”

Oh yeah. I didn’t know they were still there. I can’t see ‘em, ya know.” He yawned and stretched. “Well, I was eight. Got caught in the regional poobah’s house with a bag of loot. My mates and me got twenty lashes. I guess we were lucky we didn’t get our hands chopped off or something.”

Twenty lashes and you were only eight?!” He didn’t reply, but looked at me and shrugged his shoulders as if to say, they’re there, aren’t they?

And what about these?” I traced the scars that run horizontally across his ass cheeks. There are six, but they’re deeper than the ones on his back. The guy actually chuckled! Astounding.

Don’t know if I should tell you that story. You might not let me get near your cock again.” I couldn’t think of anything he could say that would cause me to do something that stupid, so I asked him to tell me. He studied my face intently for a few moments then evidently decided to share.

One of my best pal’s ma ran a whorehouse. Sometimes I’d hang there and earn myself a little money turning a trick or two.”

How old were you?” I was almost afraid to ask.

Oh I don’t know. Prolly eleven or twelve, I guess.” I shuddered.

So there was this asshole who was always beating up the girls and causing trouble. Everyone hated him, but money is money, so they kept letting him in. One day he grabbed me—I guess his favorite girls were busy or something. Anyway, I wasn’t gonna suck that fucker’s cock no matter how much money he showed me, but he was a big guy. He grabbed my face and shoved it in my mouth. Well, I bit him, OK? I bit him real good, enough to taste blood. That’s all I remember cuz he knocked me out. When I came to I was trussed up, naked, in the main room. They flogged me for doing it. Ten strokes, I think. It was worth it, though. I got lots of lovin’ from the girls after that, and everyone felt bad they beat me for it—had to make an example, I guess. The guy never showed his face around there again, either.” He was proud of himself, and I was too, I’ll admit. Amazing.

I focused on the mysterious vertical scars that run a few inches up his lower back next. There are three and they were obviously laid inside his ass crack. Who would do such a thing? Pondering such things gets me aroused every time, as ashamed as I am to admit that to myself.

And these?” I ask, tracing them. They are obviously the most recent acquisitions, for they have yet to fade to white. He turned his head around and tried to see, but could not.

What do they look like?” he asks.

Well, they look like three lines coming up from your…um…cleavage like this,” I say, tracing them again, a bit harder so he could feel what I was talking about. He laughs.

They’re really there?” He tries to look again. “Cool! I didn’t know.”

My eyes open incredulously. I can’t believe this guy! “Tell me,” I demand.

Oh I had me the hottest woman, for a while. It was just a few years ago. She was like ten years older, not a whore, and man she was built. The biggest tits, the hottest pussy, a great cocksucker. She was cute too but she was weird, man. She wanted to do some kinkyass shit to me. I let her cuz she was so hot and all my pals were so jealous she kept taking me into her bed. It was great in some ways, in others….” He was lost in thought for a few moments.

Well one day she decided it was over. She was kicking me out. But she said, “I would mark you before you go, do you submit?” I submitted. I woulda done anything to keep being able to fuck her. I hoped if I let her, she’d change her mind. So she made me bend over, spread ‘em ya know, and whipped me with something that hurt like a motherfucker. Then she said, “Don’t be here when I return,” and left. I tried to see her again, but she never let me in. She left town soon after, so that was that.” He ran his fingers over the marks, trying to feel them, still smiling at the memories. The guy confounds me!

What did she like to do to you?” I inquired innocently.

He looked at me suspiciously. “Don’t go getting any ideas about that shit! I’m not so stupid anymore.”

Oh, I see,” I smiled. “So you kept chasing after Yatsuha because you’re not into rough trade anymore, is that it?”

Shut up, you fuck,” came the reply. I chuckled to myself, and determined to continue to explore that part of his history another time. There was one mark left—the one that twists my guts up every time I think of it. The scar looks for all intents and purposes as though someone…well, as though someone fucked him with a knife. I took a deep breath and asked.

What about this one, Mugen?” touching that very sensitive place. I saw goosebumps go up on his skin and he shivered at my touch, but the smile left his face. He sighed.

Don’t remember how that one happened exactly. I got drugged. Woke up in a hospital. I was all beat up…broken ribs, broken jaw, lost some teeth. They told me I was knifed. It took a long time to heal because of where it was—kept getting infected, you know?” He sighed again. “I’m glad I can’t remember that one.”

I am too,” I said, giving his very fine ass a few gentle strokes.

Mmmmmmmff,” he murmured into the crook of his arm, “need sleep.” I smiled and started to dress. Suddenly I realized that last scar is clearly the oldest one he has. If he got the ones on his back at eight…. I actually felt as though I were going to weep for a few seconds! I shut down what I was feeling, almost automatically, but I’m still amazed at myself—at the depth of my feelings toward this man. It will take many meditations to process everything I felt at that moment. Yes indeed, our conversation made some nice big cracks in that wall of ice in my chest.


Undoing. I’ve been meditating on the experience of being undone. And while I am finding it fascinating to see myself become something I never knew I could become, at the hands of this…well, this fucking creature who does these things to me, I will admit that I can only play these games with him because I know what undoes him as well. I have my own ammunition and am not completely defenseless.

What Mugen wants most from me, and what I am quite happy to give him (most of the time) is my cock. Mugen gets laid and he’s undone. It’s the most luscious thing imaginable. A minute of fucking and he’s a different person. His face gets soft—that hard-edged, cynical expression he wears disappears. He looks like a child when I’m fucking him. The first time I saw it I had to remind myself I’m only a year older than he is. He seems so much younger than me. He is, in so many ways, just a big kid. I’ve always felt older than others my age. I guess I had my childhood trained out of me and he didn’t. You know, I don’t ever remember being as young as Mugen, in a way.

Undoing Mugen is something I must do or I will go insane. Even though I am trying to let myself go where he takes me, I can’t let him be in control most of the time. I just can’t. Some things about me will probably never be undone, and that is one of them. I am oldest, I am wisest, and so I do what it takes to remind him who’s ultimately seme around here. That I enjoy it immensely is just one of those amazing things in life I still can’t quite comprehend.

I am aware that, if Mugen had his way, I’d be fucking him more than I am. I guess that’s another aspect of myself that probably won’t become undone. I’m not as lustful as he is and that appears to be that. There are times when I genuinely don’t want to be sexual, with him or anyone else. This is cause for consternation, of course, which is why it would be great if he and Fuu…. Oh well, such dreams are probably too good to be true. In any event, he’ll go get a whore, sometimes he’ll get lucky with a local, I know he masturbates. Fine, as far as I’m concerned. When I want him I want him very much, but when I don’t I honestly don’t. So I suppose we’ve both been compromising. I’ve allowed him to lure me into things I didn’t really want to do and there’s been times he’s waited longer than he prefers. He probably thinks I’m trying to run a power game on him but I’m not. I’m just different than he is, in that respect.

Undoing Mugen. It’s always something he wants. He’s ever willing to be fucked, in my experience. No games, no pretense. Always simple and straightforward, “Fuck me Jin,” “Fuck me godammit,” “Fuck me you shit faced cockteasing asshole!” I always know where I stand. I make him wait for my full length. I’ll fuck him as long as I can with just most of myself inside him. That’s usually good for some interesting commentary.

First he’ll ask for the rest, then he’ll beg, then he’ll threaten and curse, and finally he’ll attempt some move to impale himself further. If I can hold out for a while, when I finally give him everything he liquefies immediately. That’s the best part, when he turns into the kid he was supposed to be before life kicked him around the way it did. I’m in continual amazement at what fucking does to Mugen. It makes me wonder if I’m missing out on something by not asking him to do it to me. I don’t know how many times I’ve reached for his cock after fucking him for a while only to have him move my hand away.

Don’t. Don’t wanna cum like that,” he’ll murmur. “Just fuck me, K?” So I do. Sometimes I have to do things I’m trying not to do, like pull my consciousness away from what my body is feeling and back into my head, just so I can stay hard for him as long as I can. When I start noticing that my own orgasm is lurking I’ll pull myself all the way out and then slowly give him everything. After that, I’ll just rock my last few inches deep inside him and that’s usually enough. Most of the time he’ll cum just from that—he’ll cum and neither of us has touched his cock at all.

The way I prefer to take Mugen is facing him. I always want to see his face if he’ll let me. He’ll start hiding the closer he gets to cumming, though. It’s quite charming. He’ll throw his arm up across his face, sometimes even both arms, and hide behind them. I’ve seen him biting his arm, too, in certain moments when I’m really pounding him right before I cum. I used to think he was hiding his face because he didn’t want me to see his responses to my…attentions, but yesterday he completely surprised me, and I’m still working on what it means.

I was feeling curious, plus I really did want to see his face, so I pulled his arms away. It took him a few moments to notice—I had been fucking him for a while and he was pretty out of it—but then he gasped, “No…can’t look at you!”

What?” I asked, not letting go of his wrists. “What do you mean?”

I can’t look at you. It rips me up. You’re fucking beautiful. Let me go!” I let him pull his hands away and he hid behind his arms again.

I was floored, to say the least. It filled me with so much hope it terrified me. Could it honestly be that I might have a real life—a real life with real people? It’s too precious a thing to comprehend. I want it so much I cannot believe myself. It feels as though my humanity depends upon accomplishing this. I never knew what I was missing, insulated from the world as I was, but now that I know what’s out here I want it more than anything I have ever wanted. Now that I’ve found some semblance of a real life, I will not give it up easily. My life is worth fighting for and, as my lover would say, that’s a goddamn fucking revelation!

to be continued