by Laura Bryannan
For many weeks Jin had been plotting. It was a relief to know his plans were now unnecessary, but he wasn’t going to throw the precious treasure away just because of that. In his head he had called it The Opium Experiment. He had been saving here and there and purchasing when he could find it. Originally, he had thought it would be a good way for the three of them to become close and open up to each other.
Well, that had already happened, thanks to the fates, so now his plans felt more like a game than an important scheme. He had acquired enough at this point to toss the idea out to his companions. The weather was warm and there were no squabbles brewing between any of them, so it felt like the time was right. As they sat around the hearth after work, he was ready.
“I’d like us all to take the day off tomorrow,” he began. They looked at him, then at each other.
“Um, OK,” said Mugen. “Why?”
“I have a gift I’d like to share with you both,” Jin replied, pulling a cloth tied into a small bundle out of his sleeve. He placed it on the table, and untied the string. Mugen’s sharp intake of breath let him know he was acquainted with the contents.
“Holy shit, it’s opium!” he marveled. “OK, I’m there. How about you, Fuu?”
“I’ve heard of opium. It won’t make me crazy or anything, will it?” she asked.
“Not at all,” Jin assured her. “It’s a very nice experience, actually.”
“Yeah, you feel as if all your problems fly away and you get really comfy and lazy. It’s great,” Mugen agreed.
“OK then,” Fuu decided, and the trip was arranged.
The next morning they set on their way, lugging a few mats and other supplies. Mugen knew of a good spot, far enough from the village to be private and near a small stream. It turned out to be very nice, and they spread the mats in a little cove of boulders and two large trees that provided good shade.
“We need to get a little fire started,” said Jin, so Mugen and Fuu worked on that while Jin pulled his stash and another bag out of his sleeve. The beautiful silk caught Mugen’s eye and he stopped to watch as Jin pulled his pipe out of it. It was clearly a very fine piece of work, made of silver or pewter with detailed enameling, in three pieces. Watching Jin screw it together, Mugen felt a wound to his heart he couldn’t quite understand.
It was easy to forget, he finally realized, that Jin came from an affluent background—that he came from a world totally alien to the one Mugen had known. Jin never flaunted that part of his life or put on airs so it was easy to forget, but seeing this made him remember. Of course he has his own opium pipe, expensive and well used to boot, Mugen thought. He’s a rich boy, so he’s had a rich boy’s experiences. Just like he had his own straight razor. Jin was the only person Mugen had ever known who had his own razor, steel being quite expensive and rare. In Mugen’s experience, a guy used his tanto or went to the barber. But the razor had never hit him like seeing Jin’s pipe did, so it was a bit of a shock and he wasn’t sure what was going on.
What Mugen was tuning into was the fact that Jin had had a somewhat unhealthy relationship with his opium pipe in the past. He was very fond of it; perhaps he even loved it. Opium had been the closest thing Jin had to a vice, and in the year before The Disaster he had been indulging more than he knew he should, alone in his room when there were no further responsibilities to fulfill that day. It was just such a lovely escape from his existence he couldn’t help desiring it.
However, he shuddered to think what might have happened if he had decided to indulge the night The Disaster occurred. He knew with complete certainty he would not be alive if he had. He’d put the pipe away after that. Bringing it back into his life again for this celebration was a big step, and he felt both excited and fearful about it.
By the time the fire was going, Jin had the pipe ready. They sat in a circle and he handed it to Mugen. Taking a long stem of grass, he lit it in the fire and held it to the bowl while Mugen inhaled. Then he did the same for Fuu and himself. Refilling the bowl they shared another and then another. By that point Fuu was looking surprised, but pleased, Mugen was purring and Jin was dreamy in that very familiar way he adored.
“It does make your problems fly away, doesn’t it?” she marveled.
“Yes ma’am,” Mugen laughed, and Jin nodded solemnly. They were quiet for a long while, enjoying the experience. Then all of a sudden Fuu began to quietly sing
Spring is coming, spring is coming,
Where is spring now?
Here in the mountains,
Here in the village,
And here in the fields.
As she began the second verse, she was joined by a clear baritone. She was so surprised to hear Jin sing, she faltered for a moment, but then smiled and continued with him.
Flowers bloom, flowers bloom,
Where do flowers bloom?
Here in the mountains,
Here in the village,
And here in the fields.
Birds are singing, birds are singing,
Where do birdies sing?
Here in the mountains,
Here in the village,
And here in the fields.
“That song goes so far back in my life, it actually brings back nice memories.” He smiled at her. “Thank you for helping me remember. Do you know it, Mugen?”
“Nope, never heard it,” he replied.
“What about this one?” Fuu asked.
Oh, rabbit on the moon,
What are you leaping for?
I shall leap, I shall leap soon
At the large full moon!
Again, Jin joined her, this time after the first line. They regarded each other fondly after they were done, but it was clear Mugen didn’t share their memories.
“Don’t know that one either,” he confirmed.
“Boy, I thought everyone knew those songs,” said Fuu.
“I don’t come from here, right?” he reminded her. “But what about this….” He began and they both erupted. They knew it too!
Little elephant, little elephant,
You have a long long nose.
Yes sir, my mother has a long nose, too.
Little elephant, little elephant,
Who do you like best in the world?
Well, I like my mother best in the world.
The notes Mugen sang were different in a few places, but they all knew it. It was really fun to sing together, who would have thought? And it was good that there was a song they all knew. It brought back long-forgotten memories in each of them, but the feelings were warm and gratifying, so they were content.
“Let’s sing it again,” said Mugen. They did, clapping and bowing to each other when they finished. “Man I love this shit,” he observed, stretching out on his back with his hands behind his head. Jin and Fuu murmured their agreement, and then they were all silent again for a long while, lost in their own thoughts and the blissful fog of the opium.
“Hey, no fair taking off, Jin!” Mugen called out. He could feel Jin’s consciousness wandering too far away, and he wanted to stop him from going any further. Even though he always came back eventually, Mugen didn’t want to wait for him. Not today.
“I’m not taking off,” a quiet voice argued after a few moments.
“Like hell you’re not. I can tell.”
Jin’s eyes narrowed, but he knew Mugen was right. He couldn’t help himself. He had used opium in the past to escape his body and the routine was ingrained enough for it to take over unbidden. Mugen growled, sat up, and then crawled over to where Jin was leaning against a tree. He took his glasses off and hung them up on a branch, then kneeled next to him. Taking his face in his hands he lowered his mouth and was glad to find him unresisting despite Fuu’s presence.
Jin was actually grateful to have help pulling him back into the moment—back into his body. It was pretty hard to ignore Mugen’s kisses, and the opium made everything seem so much more sensual and luscious than usual. They both soon forgot where they were and who was watching, aware of nothing but each other.
Fuu was transfixed. Watching Mugen kiss Jin felt like the most erotic thing she had ever experienced. Even though she knew they were lovers, and she’d had her own very sexual experience with Jin, she had ironically never thought of him as a sexual being before that moment. He was coming to life in response to what Mugen was doing. He was making noises!
It took her breath away to hear the little contented sounds he made, punctuated with a quiet moan now and again. The kiss went on and on and she felt like she was melting as she caught a flash of tongue or teeth every now and then. She didn’t understand herself, but she knew with all her heart she wanted to kiss Jin, too. She was going to ask him before the day was over, she promised herself.
Mugen was intrigued indeed. He didn’t know what to make of the situation but he could certainly understand it. When he went after Jin Fuu’s eyes were on him, but he could tell that within a minute her gaze was now elsewhere. She was no longer paying attention to him at all, but to Jin, and her energy was blazing up around her like wildfire. He could relate, so he didn’t condemn her. He thought Jin was the most alluring man he had ever encountered in his entire life, so if she thought so too it only made sense. Great minds think alike and all that. He decided he’d consider sharing after he’d had his fill, then he let himself drift into the sensations and turned off his thoughts. Kissing Jin was good….
Fuu cursed her nose. No matter how she tried to distract herself, she knew she was going to sneeze, and she knew once she did they would stop. She didn’t want them to. She wanted the kiss to go on forever. She pinched herself and tried with all her might to hold it in but it came out anyway, only somewhat muffled by her sleeve. They both startled, and Jin’s hands came up to Mugen’s shoulders, gently pushing him back. Mugen became aware again of the desire energy bombarding them from Fuu’s direction. He looked at her and felt generous.
“Want some?” he asked, gesturing toward Jin with an impish smile. Her eyes lit up and she didn’t hesitate. Ignoring the startled look Jin gave Mugen, she scooted over, not giving him a chance to change his mind. She was afraid to look Jin in the face, but when she did his eyes were warm and he held his arm out to her. When she got near, he scooped her up and placed her in his lap—the lap where her body distinctly remembered having a very nice time not too long ago, so she was practically panting when he slid his hand behind her head and pulled her face to his.
Within a few minutes of their gentle investigation of each other, they shared the same thought. It’s so different from kissing Mugen! For Jin, it was the first time he truly kissed a woman. His practiced non-response when Shino kissed him had sent a clear message to the perceptive woman and, after being rebuffed a second time, she had not tried again.
This was the first time he had kissed a woman since he had come to appreciate the activity, and gain some skill at it as well. Mugen’s kisses were always searing, demanding and thorough. He was almost always seme when it came to kissing, and Jin never questioned that reality in their relationship. Kissing Fuu was something else entirely. The experience was delicate and teasing. Jin was surprised to find her alternately bold, thrusting her tongue into his mouth to explore, and then demure, hiding back in her own where he would go get her and invite her back out to play again. She tasted of tea and miso from breakfast, and her own particular flavor that he remembered from That Night. It was lovely and he let himself get lost in it.
Fuu had never realized that there were different styles of kissing. She found the new experience intoxicating. Mugen tended to dominate things when they kissed. His tongue would be in her mouth most of the time—something she had never given a second thought to until now. Jin didn’t kiss her like that. She learned there was something like middle ground, and that’s where Jin was playing with her. It was wonderful!
Every so often he would enter her with his tongue—delve and explore and take over for a while, but then he would bring her back to middle ground again. After this happened a few times it dawned on her he might actually let her inside his own mouth, so she tried. He did! He didn’t push her out the way Mugen did. He opened his mouth a little wider and let her in. She moaned it was so exciting. She could feel him respond to her tasting and searching, and the sounds he made went straight to her lower belly. Mugen had never allowed her to kiss him; he was always kissing her. And while she was not complaining, as he was an amazing kisser, she was having so much fun kissing someone who let her take the lead now and then.
Jin always had an air of sandalwood about him and her body responded to the memory of that scent and all the good feelings she associated with it. She was lost in the sensations, unaware that after a while her lower half began to squirm. This activity did not go unnoticed by the two men in her presence. Jin opened his eyes and saw Mugen looking at him grinning, with eyebrows raised, obviously finding Fuu’s little dance in his lap pleasing. Jin gently broke the kiss and snuggled her into his neck. The squirming didn’t quite stop….
“You ever able to cum while you’re smoking this stuff?” Mugen whispered.
“Nope. Think it’s different for girls?”
“I wouldn’t know,” Jin said honestly. “It can still feel nice to try—at least that’s been my own experience. Fuu-chan, do you want to try to have an orgasm? Mens’ equipment stops working on opium, but you might be able to. You seem somewhat…um…uncomfortable.”
Fuu was feeling very aroused, no doubt about it, but the idea of having an orgasm, or even trying for an orgasm, in front of the both of them seemed a little daunting. It was true they had both witnessed her in that state separately, but to have them watching her together…she didn’t think she was ready for that.
“Um, well, I don’t think so,” she decided. “But thanks for asking. Anyway, it’s kind of nice to feel so horny,” and then she hid her blush in Jin’s shoulder. Jin stroked her back and she could feel him quietly chuckling.
“Horny is good,” intoned Mugen.
“Horny means you’re alive,” Jin agreed, and he kissed the top of her head.
“Let’s do some more. Can we, Jin?” Mugen asked.
“Mooooorrrrrrrre,” replied Jin in an exaggerated low voice, causing Fuu to giggle and Mugen to sputter. He lifted her off his lap and placed her next to him so he could prepare the pipe again. Another few rounds and they all found themselves a little more horizontal than before, dreamy and at peace.
“Let’s do something silly,” suggested Fuu after a long while. “What was your most embarrassing moment of all time?” The guys grumbled and hemmed and hawed, and she wasn’t sure they were going to go for it. There was a long pause.
“You first then,” said Mugen finally, “since it was your idea.”
“Um, OK.” She decided it was now or never. “I got a crush on a guy and bought into his BS enough to let him have me. Then I found out the next day he was married, with kids even. I was so humiliated I’d been so stupid, to waste my first time on a total jerk.” She held her breath, and so did Jin, as it turned out.
“Ah, who cares about first times?” said Mugen. “The first time I had sex I was too fucking young to even remember it. All that matters are the ones you want to count, right?” She nodded at him, eyes shining. He wasn’t going to be upset she wasn’t a virgin, it was clear. She felt so relieved! She looked at Jin and his nod of approval made her feel even happier. He too was relieved Mugen didn’t seem to care she wasn’t as good a girl as he might have imagined. The secret he had been forced to keep was now out in the open and he was glad about that as well.
“What about you, Jin?” Fuu asked, hoping to deflect any
further discussion of her misadventure with Seiji. Jin sighed.
”Well, all right,” he began. “When I was seventeen I declared my love for our youngest family concubine and vowed to find a way to help her escape from her life. Sounds pathetically familiar, eh?” Mugen and Fuu looked at each other. Yes, it did have a familiar ring to it. Suddenly Shino made sense to them.
“But that sounds sweet, Jin,” countered Fuu. “Why were you embarrassed?”
“The humiliating part was that my older brothers got wind of it and I never heard the end of it. The only way that could have happened is if she told them herself, which hurt me a great deal, as I imagined they probably all sat around laughing about it. She knew how I hated them, how they spent my entire life bullying me, and yet she told them—or one of them, at least. I retreated back to the dojo after that and could never face her again. I know now how naïve I was to propose such a thing, but I still can’t quite understand her behavior, even to this day.”
“How many brothers do you have?” Fuu couldn’t keep from asking.
“I had four. The first was twelve years older, the second ten, the third eight, and the fourth was five years older than me. I always knew I was an afterthought, and the only one in my family who cared about me was Noritaka, who was the one eight years older. My mother died when I was six, and it was Nori who convinced my father to send me to the dojo. I was starting to go feral in his opinion. It took him a year to accomplish it, but I was finally sent there at seven.
“It saved my life. Nori died a year later along with my other middle brother, and my father when I was ten. The only family I have left are my two oldest brothers, although it’s possible they’re not alive anymore either. I don’t care one way or the other. I always felt that when Nori died, my family died too.” He cleared his throat, feeling as if he’d said too much. “Enough about me. Your turn Mugen.”
“Well, I was gonna lie and say nothing embarrasses me,” Mugen began, “but since you’ve both told something real, I guess I will too.” He took a deep breath. “When I was fifteen I got tapped by the battlemaster of our gang. He was twenty and our captain’s Number One. His longtime lover had gotten offed, and he turned to me. I’d been mooning over him for years, but he never gave me the time of day before then. Up until recently I kinda thought of him as the best thing in my life, but I was young and stupid in those days, I guess.
“Anyway, he was mostly a good guy, but he drank sometimes and he had a temper, especially when he’d been drinking too much. We’d been together for a while when one night practically the whole gang was hanging out, and something I did set him off. I can’t even remember what it was, or if there was really anything at all, but he grabbed me—he was a lot bigger than me—and threw me over his lap, yanked my pants down and spanked me in front of everyone. He did it so hard and so long I started crying like a fucking baby. I couldn’t help it; it hurt too much.
I can still remember hearing everyone laughing and cheering him on. There were girls there too, so it was really horrible. And then….” He stopped and made a face, considering whether to tell the rest or not. “And then I came. I came all over the floor and his pants and the room got really quiet. I remember being the only one making noise at that point, which was even worse. Then he kicked everyone out, and apologized and kinda made it up to me, but….” He shrugged his shoulders.
“What happened to him?” Jin asked quietly.
“Dead,” Mugen answered. “When he got killed I hit the road. I couldn’t stay there anymore. After a few years with him there was no one else I could stand to be with. So I came here, landed my ass in prison, and the rest is history. I’d only been out for half a year when I bumped into you guys.”
The three of them regarded each other, taking in all the new information, and Mugen began to fidget. “Well, that was embarrassing. I’m gonna go for a swim.” And he dropped his clothes in front of them and walked over to the stream without a backward glance. Jin and Fuu both stared admiringly at the sight and then glanced at each other. Jin raised his eyebrow and Fuu giggled.
“I think I might do the same,” he decided. “Do you want to come too?”
“No, I’m gonna stay here, I think,” she replied. In the same casual manner, she could tell out of the corner of her eye, Jin took off his clothes. He hadn’t worn his juban or ‘doshi, so it was less work than usual, but it still seemed to take forever and she hoped she wasn’t blushing since she couldn’t help but peek at him now and again. She didn’t really look until he too walked off without a backward glance, then she let her eyes drink in their fill. His body was so different from Mugen’s, tall and willowy and fair. In some ways it looked as if he was delicate enough to be blown by the wind like a leaf. And yet she knew, from being in his arms, that his body was as hard as steel.
She decided that Mugen had a cuter butt, though. She’d never seen it before today, and concluded it was quite yummy indeed. For such a skinny guy, he had some cheeks on him, and she realized she hungered to touch them. Jin had the kind of behind one expected to see on a skinny guy. It was skinny too, no meat on it at all.
What am I thinking? she blushed, suddenly noticing what was going on her mind. I can’t believe I’m comparing their butts! Then in a burst of giggles, she collapsed, unable to get the images out of her mind. Oh well, I can think of worse things to think about, she decided, and happily watched the clouds float by but saw other, more delicious images, inside her head.
Jin found Mugen sitting in the middle of the shallow stream, the water up to his chest. He waded in and sat behind him, put his arms around him and lay his head against his shoulder.
“The opium was a good idea,” said Mugen. “Thanks for sharing it with us.”
“It was always something I did alone, so it’s been interesting to have a different experience of it.” Jin’s hand reached lower and began to stroke Mugen. Although the hand had lost none of its skill, Mugen got a little bit harder but not much. He leaned back into Jin and sighed, enjoying the sensations, even though he knew his body wasn’t going to get any further with it.
“We should go back and give Fuu a show,” chucked Mugen. “She can’t keep her eyes off you today.”
“Yes, I noticed that too. Strange….” murmured Jin, still continuing his ministrations.
“Not so strange to me.” Mugen had never really gotten over his surprise that Fuu had turned to him in the first place. It didn’t make sense. The only good quality he acknowledged about himself was his fighting skill. He couldn’t see what made him a good person, a good friend or even a good lover, so the fact that the two people he cared about the most seemed to care right back was pretty mind-blowing to him. Sometimes he could let it in and other times he could not. That Fuu seemed fascinated by Jin was completely understandable to his mind.
“If I sucked you off in front of her she’d prolly wet herself,” he laughed. “Should I do it?”
“Well, if you could actually suck me off, I’d consider it perhaps. But…well…I don’t want her to see me as non-functional as I’d be today. It would be too embarrassing. First impressions, you know….” Normally, tending to Mugen this way would get him rock hard himself, but not after the opium. His lower half felt quiescent, uninterested in doing anything but hanging out and enjoying the buzz.
Back at their little camp, Fuu’s curiosity was getting the better of her. She realized that if she stood up, she could just see them. They were sitting together in the middle of the stream, obviously talking, but they were too far away for her to hear what they were saying. Suddenly there was a roar from Mugen, and he turned and pushed Jin back into the water. A hand quickly rose from the depths, grabbing a hunk of Mugen’s hair and pulled him under too. She giggled as they wrestled, then her eyes got big as they both stood up and took some swings at each other. She knew she was blushing again, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the sight. They were such glorious creatures, she found herself feeling proud they were both hers…well, kind of hers anyway, she admitted to herself ruefully.
She couldn’t help comparing their construction to Seiji, who had been a blacksmith and twice the size of either of them in terms of his body. She didn’t know how such things worked, but she marveled that there was clearly no correlation between a man’s body size and the size of his equipment. Both Mugen and Jin were hung larger than Seiji, and she was very pleased to learn this fact about them. So there! she thought to Seiji-in-her-mind. She even stuck her tongue out at him and, though he’d never see, it felt good to do it. Then she sat down because it seemed they were getting ready to come out of the water and she was right.
“Hide your eyes, little girl,” Mugen called out. “We’re on our way.” She wondered what they would do if she watched, but figured it probably wouldn’t faze them one bit, so she couldn’t get up the guts to do it. Her face was demurely behind her hands as they came back, Mugen sliding into his pants in one swoop and Jin taking a bit longer to tie everything back on. They sat back down near her.
“The water’s really nice, Fuu,” said Jin. “We promise to leave you be if you want to jump in for a while.”
“Speak for yourself,” countered Mugen, poking him in the thigh with his foot. Jin rolled his eyes and pulled the string off his hair. If it got wet when it was tied up it was always difficult to untangle, so he didn’t want it to dry that way. Mugen and Fuu looked at each other in amazement as he tried unsuccessfully to card his fingers through the long wet mass.
“Oh Jin, I have my comb with me. Please let me do that. Please, please, please!” Fuu begged. Jin nodded, and Fuu got her bag and pulled the comb out of it. She sat behind him and began to work. His hair was finer than hers, she noted, and it was longer too—reaching halfway down his back. It didn’t take long to untangle, but she wanted to keep combing, so she did.
The gentle scratching on his head, neck and back would have felt nice at any time, but it felt particularly nice in his opium haze. He closed his eyes and let himself enjoy the sensations.
Mugen couldn’t get enough of the sight of Jin with his hair down. The guy was simply stunning, and he wished he hadn’t already shot down the idea of attacking him in front of Fuu, because he really wanted to get his mouth on him and make him yell some. Oh well, better luck next time boyo, he thought to himself. After a little while, Jin roused and reached for the silk string.
“Thank you Fuu, that felt very nice,” he said, ignoring her pout. He gathered his hair and tied it up again, smiling inwardly at Mugen and Fuu’s disappointed sighs. “There’s a little bit left, shall we finish it off?” he asked them. They nodded so he prepared the pipe one last time. They smoked and then all found it too much work to remain sitting, so they stretched out next to each other, and stared at the sky.
“Oh my, what a nice day!” said Fuu. The guys murmured agreement, and they all sighed in unison, then laughed quietly about it. They closed their eyes and listened to the birds and cicadas singing. The day was warm, but the breeze was nice. It was impossible not to fall asleep, so they slumbered, feeling safe in each other’s presence—and nothing evil touched them as they dreamed.