This story takes place after episode 21, and contains spoilers for that episode.
Well, he’s alive and she’s dead and I’m totally fucked up. How the hell did this happen? I’m still trying to figure it out. For the past three mornings I’ve sat here and looked out this window and I’ve felt different each time, so I can’t get a handle on what’s up with me at all. It’s making me insane and I hate it.
The first day I sat here we were waiting to see if Sara would come around. I was really glad she wasn’t dead, but where the hell was he? The river wasn’t that deep, so if he had fallen and been hurt like she was, why didn’t his body wash up somewhere? I couldn’t help but wonder if he had just taken off on us. I would never have thought he’d do such a thing, knowing his samurai sense of honor and all. But then I would never have thought he’d dump me either, and he sure did that, so what the fuck did I know? I still didn’t understand why he and Fuu were giving me the cold shoulder in the first place. From what I could tell, I was being good as gold, so it felt really unfair.
So that first morning I sat there feeling really pissed. Sara had been such a mystery to me, I couldn’t help but be fascinated with her. The first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t read her at all. Usually I can pick up emotions and stuff from the people around me, even Jin, unless he’s meditating or tuned into himself the way he does sometimes.
But Sara was closed off just like she was in a box or something. It made me nuts, like she was a puzzle I couldn’t figure out, so it kept bugging me. I kept dogging her, trying to find a chink in her armor, but I never did.
It was really fun to have another gal around, especially one so nice and…well…as quiet as she was. In lotsa ways she made Fuu seem like a shrew. She never once bitched or nagged or tried to boss us around. It was great. And even though I hated her music, I thought she was really pretty, so I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to get with her. I wasn’t gonna actually do it—I’m not that stupid, with two lovers in tow—but hey, a guy’s gonna wonder, right?
And I figured Jin was wondering too. I knew he had a thing for older women, and she was definately older than us. She seemed like the type of woman he’d go for, too, considering she wasn’t such a brat like Fuu. And since me and Fuu were together, he might feel like he could pursue her, so I admit I kinda kept near her to keep him outta her space. At least, until I realized he seemed to dislike her. I couldn’t understand that either. It seemed unusual for him, and it made her even more interesting to me because of it.
So there I was, practicing being a person with her instead of my usual jerky self and all that it got me was in trouble with Jin and Fuu. We were all sleeping in the same space as we traveled, and since there was no way to get it on with either of them, I didn’t notice their feelings right away. But the way they were acting, you’d think I was fucking her right in front of them or something. It pissed me off, lemmie tell ya. If they were gonna treat me like I was fucking her when I wasn’t, why not fuck her then? But, to tell you the truth, I was too chickenshit to come onto her any further. I could tell she honestly appreciated my attention, but couldn’t do anything with it beyond that. She seemed broken to me, somehow.
So that’s why it really hurt when Jin just seemed to leave. I mean, as far as I was concerned, he left long before he walked away with Sara. One day I turned to kiss him and he moved out of my way so perfectly I didn’t get that he’d done it on purpose. I did the second time, though. And then I got to thinking…it had been over a week since I’d even touched him, or he’d approached me in any way beyond stupid small talk.
That’s when I realized he was really gone. He was avoiding me. Every time there was a moment we could have been together he just wasn’t around. I cursed myself for not confronting him about it at the time, but my pride wouldn’t let me. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, so all I could think was, fuck him! He deserved every ounce of shit I dumped on him the day he left. I hadn’t planned on hurting him, but he pissed me off so much I couldn’t help myself. It felt really good to do it, too!
The weird thing was, he didn’t feel dead to me. It didn’t feel like he was gone, so that’s what made me really crazy. It felt like he was alive, but had chosen to be somewhere else. I mean he sure wasn’t here! So I felt dumped, and that felt like shit. I couldn’t believe he said he didn’t want me. Oh, I could prolly still turn him on but I knew Jin. If he decided he wasn’t gonna give into those feelings, he wouldn’t. I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. I’d never been dumped by a guy before, so it was a new experience I could have done without. All the ex-lovers I had actual relationships with got killed on me. So they left, but not by their own decision.
Maybe that’s why my pride wouldn’t let me believe he’d really dumped me. If he was alive, he’d come back, so he just had to be dead! And his glasses—I could smell him on them and it just about made me insane.
I decided to go walk the river one more time. Maybe I’d see something I missed before. Plus it was too hard to sit there with Fuu. She kept switching between sobs and sniffs and glares at me while she tended to Sara, so I got the hell out. Even if I didn’t find him or any more clues, I couldn’t stay and deal with her any longer. I had enough shit of my own to deal with.
So that brings me to my second morning at the window, sitting there nursing my kicked ass and my broken heart. When I found Sara’s staff and picked it up, it was too heavy to be wood. I checked it out, found the blades, and my blood ran cold. I knew right away, the bitch was an assassin! I suddenly understood why she seemed like such a puzzle—why I couldn’t read her.
And then everything I felt about Jin changed completely. The bastard knew all along and decided to keep all the goodies for himself. At the time, I felt relieved to know that’s why he left us, but after fighting her it just pissed me off again. He tried to deal with her alone and look what it got him. She was fucking amazing—totally lethal. If it hadn’t been for Fuu she would have killed me, no problem, so I couldn’t believe he survived her. It was history repeating itself. My lovers didn’t dump me, they died on me. Why did he have to be such a fucking asshole?
Things changed immediately between me and Fuu, too. It was hard on her, seeing what Sara really was. And when she finally figured out that Sara probably killed Jin, there was no comforting her. Luckily she stitched me up beforehand.
That morning we sat at the window together and had a talk. I don’t know if we’ve forgiven each other yet, but we’ve called a truce. It’s gonna take me a while to deal with the fact that I owe her my life…again. I don’t know what the fuck is up with that, but I don’t like it. She wanted us to take off—to run away—but she just didn’t get it. I couldn’t run away. I had to fight Sara again. I owed it to him, if nothing else. If she killed me too, so be it. I got how scared Fuu was about going on alone, but there was no other way. My honor was at stake.
So I sat there that morning looking out the window certain he was dead. I felt like I was gonna die at Sara’s hands too, so I wasn’t pissed at him anymore. I wanted to fill myself up with him. I started trying to remember everything about him I could think of…how he was so much taller than me, the bastard. And if we were standing together in our bare feet he would draw himself up to his full height and make me stand on my toes to kiss him. He’d never bend down to me. It was something I loved about him, really. It felt right somehow. Of course, most of the time I was wearing my getas and we were practically the same height then, so I could conveniently forget how much taller he was than me.
The bottoms of my feet are all cracked and calloused, but his were really smooth. I don’t know if it was cuz he wore socks all the time or what, but it was really amazing to me how soft the skin was on the soles of his feet. His toes were really long (monkey toes, he called them) just like his fingers, and he used them like fingers too. I saw him pick stuff up with them lots of times, it was really funny. And if I was bugging him too much at night he’d pinch me with them and it really hurt!
The hair on his body was practically as straight as the hair on his head. Even his pubes had hardly any curl to them, and they cut straight across his belly (like a woman, he said with disgust). Mine are really kinky curly, and kinda trail up to my bellybutton. He had this little mole hiding in the right hand corner of his pubes too. It was really sexy, like this buried treasure I had to hunt for every time I gave him head.
His bellybutton was mostly innie, but it had this almost outie part that was so hot. He’d really get pissed if I messed with it too much, though, so I had to admire it from afar most of the time. Still, I always had to say hello to it every time we got it on, cuz it just called to me. I’d taste till he slugged me, then sadly go somewhere else.
He didn’t have any hair on his chest, but I’ve got a little around my nips. Of course, that was bad cuz it invited attention, which would drive me nuts. I hated it when he messed with them, especially when he’d grab hold of that hair and pull—yeowch—or touch it so lightly it made me squirm. It pissed me off that I couldn’t do the same back to him.
His eyes were totally amazing! I have gray eyes and so did he, and I really liked that for some reason. But my eyes are boring and his were definitely not. He said they were the color of mud, but it wasn’t true. They were the color of a thunderstorm, really dark gray with black around the edges. Mine are dammit-it’s-gonna-fucking-rain-all-day gray, much lighter and dull, if you ask me.
And his hair…well I could go on forever about his hair. It was even longer and silkier than Fuu’s. He didn’t wash it every day, so it was always where I buried my face if I could. Even if the rest of him smelled like soap, his hair usually smelled of his own scent. I felt like I could die happy if I could smell that scent one more time.
Well, when he showed up that night I thought I was gonna shit my pants. I was so fucking happy, I couldn’t believe it. He wasn’t looking too good, though, so we dumped him into bed. As soon as I got my hands on him I knew he had a fever. I could tell she’d cut him cuz his clothes were slashed and bloody.
He wouldn’t let us fuss with his wounds, but I peeked at them when he got into bed and they looked like they’d been stitched well and were healing pretty clean, so that was good. He had a big nasty bruise on his back, though, so I hoped his fever wasn’t from some internal damage. And, of course, the bruise that made me really cringe was the one I gave him, right below his breastbone. Ooops.
Fuu took his clothes and started mending them, and I cleaned the fish. We could only wait and hope he’d be OK. He dozed for a while and then we chatted a bit when he woke up. He admitted he’d left because he suspected her, the bastard. We all puzzled about what the fuck was going on, but he looked so shitty, I wanted to let him sleep. Just laying my eyes on him did me all sorts of good.
I sat there waiting to make sure they were both konked out before I went back out to look for her. I could hear it start to rain and thought, oh, just great. Fuu had fallen asleep over her sewing. I walked over and kissed her forehead—my yummy little bitch. I never had so much fun with a girl in my life. Then I turned to him. I thought it was strange that I’d told myself I’d die happy if I could smell his scent just one more time. Well, now I had the chance. I was glad he was there to get Fuu to Nagasaki. It made what I had to do seem less scary cuz I didn’t have to worry about her anymore. I knelt down and kissed his forehead too, then breathed him in for a few moments. I was one lucky bastard to have him, and I was really glad I got to see him one last time.
He stirred as I got ready to leave and said some pretty strange things. It all made sense once I fought her but, in the end, it didn’t matter did it? She went down only cuz she wanted to go down. It was like spearing fish in a barrel, and had nothing to do with my skill. The bitch let me cut her down.
After she stopped breathing I spent a long time sitting there in the rain screaming and swearing. I couldn’t get my head around what had just happened. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that I should be dead and I wasn’t because she pulled her punch. For the second time, she pulled her fucking punch.
Why did she do it? Why would anyone do such a stupidass thing? You’d think I’d be glad, but I wasn’t. I felt insulted. I felt used. I was more pissed than I had ever been in my entire life, so I sat there and pounded the ground and cursed at the sky. Fucking bitch. I picked her up and tossed her body into the river. I was afraid I’d start kicking her or something if I didn’t get her outta my sight.
I realized after a while that I was really cold. I didn’t know when I started shaking, but it was so bad I didn’t know if I could walk. I could feel that my wound from yesterday was bleeding. I knew if I didn’t get out of that weather I would be dead, so I made myself get up and dragged my sorry ass back to the house. I was so fucked up, I took the wrong path and didn’t even notice at first, but then I finally found it. I opened the door and stepped inside.
“Mugen! Thank god!” Fuu screamed, then she started crying. She jumped up, still sobbing, and started to pull off my gi. “You’re ice c-cold and s-soaking w-wet. G-get out of these c-clothes n-now.”
I dropped my sword on the floor and just stood there shuddering, unable to move. I could see that Jin had gotten out of bed and was sitting against the wall in his juban and hakama. He looked at me and raised his eyebrow, but he didn’t need to ask.
“She’s dead,” I said as Fuu managed to peel off the rest of my clothes and went to find somewhere to hang them. I sank down between his legs and buried my face in his neck. He hugged me and my body shook and shook. I could feel Fuu putting a blanket over my shoulders and he let go as she tucked it around me. Then she wrapped her arms around my waist and snuggled against my back, and he put his arms around my shoulders. It felt like I was home again.
The three of us huddled there for a long time. It took forever before I stopped shaking and started to feel warm, but I finally came back to myself. By then, Fuu had fallen asleep, and had kinda slid down into a little ball behind me.
It felt so good to be near him—to have him hold me like that again. The quiet of him is always good for me. Before I got to know him better I always thought his silence was this phony attempt to act superior or some other bullshit game. But the bottom line is that he knows how to be still, and when he’s like that I’m drawn to him like a moth to a flame, especially when I’m freaked out. Fuu’s energy is always swirling—happy, pissed, passionate, hungering. The only time she’s quiet is when she’s sleeping. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he isn’t alive or never gets worked up, he definitely does. But he knows how to turn it all off and just be. I really needed that last night. My head was too fucked up to deal with any more shit coming from anyone or anything.
After I stopped shaking and felt semi-normal again, I noticed he smelled really good, like he hadn’t washed in a while. Then it was like, oh yeah, he just got back earlier tonight, and she cut him up too, and who the hell knows where he’s been these past few days? I had forgotten all that for a while. I turned my head to peek, and could tell by the shadow on his face that he prolly hadn’t shaved for a few days either.
Jin always smells of sandalwood because of the soap he uses, but his own scent is so much better. He keeps himself too clean to ever smell it much, though. It always reminds me of when I was a kid. My best friend’s ma used to make these really yummy New Year’s cakes. One time I asked her what was inside—what made them smell and taste so different from all the other sweets she would make. She told me the special spice was called coriander. That’s what his own scent smells like…kindof exotic and darkly sweet. I love it! It made me hard to smell it so strong on him.
I wanted to get closer, so I untied the front of his hakama and juban and got them out of the way, needing to be skin to skin. He let me do it, and pulled me back to his chest when I was through. After a while I knew it wasn’t going to be enough. I backed away a bit so I could dig my hands into his pubes to get them full of his scent and to pull his cock out from where it was buried beneath his clothes. It was hard too, I was happy to see.
I spit into my hand and slicked him up. It wouldn’t be enough to fuck, but I didn’t want to fuck. I was still too freaked, and my body was hurting too much to do that. But I wanted him inside me. After some rearranging I slowly lowered myself onto him and we both sighed and bumped foreheads. He didn’t try to kiss me and I was glad. I was too freaked out to want to do that, either. He crossed his legs to support my ass, and then slid his arms around my lower back as I wrapped my legs around his waist. I was never more grateful for his silence than I was then. Even without speaking he seemed to know what I wanted, shifting his hips so he could get all the way in there, and it felt so good, so right.
It had been way too long since we were together like that, and something inside of me finally started to calm down. I felt like I was where I belonged after feeling alone for weeks. That he was letting me do it at all was a really good sign. Maybe he was taking me back. It was almost too good to be true. His fever made him nice and toasty to snuggle with. It made me feel really safe to be impaled there in his lap, with his arms holding me close and his breath against my neck. God, he smelled good! I lay my head on his shoulder and let go.
When I woke up this morning I was on a futon covered in a blanket. How he got me there I have no fucking idea. They were both gone, but there was some miso in the pot by the fire. I raised my hands to my nose and could still smell him, and my heart did a flip. I didn’t know what the hell I should do. I was really confused and angry and hurt…but really happy too.
I dressed, got a bowl of miso and sat by the window to try and figure myself out. The way he walked away still scared the shit out of me. I wanted him back like nothing I’ve ever wanted before, but I kept thinking about that old line, “screw me once, shame on you, screw me twice, shame on me.” Did I want to give him the chance to screw me over again? I honestly didn’t know.
I got up and started pacing the room, then heard the door open. He stepped inside and I turned to face him, bummed to see he had bathed and shaved. He walked over to me, and you could’ve knocked me over with a feather when he knelt down with his head lowered.
“Mugen,” he said quietly, “will you forgive me for assuming your interest in Sara was purely sexual? It didn’t dawn on me until yesterday that you may have been simply fascinated and trying to understand her, as I was. Will you forgive me?”
Man, it was just too weird to have him do such a thing, but my heart kinda melted anyway. I knelt down next to him and put my hand on his shoulder. “Look, don’t do this. It doesn’t seem right. I was trying to figure her out it’s true. I couldn’t read her at all, and it made me crazy. But…well…I was wondering about her in other ways too, I admit. Weren’t you?”
He looked at me and shook his head. I was glad to know it. In fact it was so good to know, I had a little peek at what he might have felt watching me drool over her the way I’d been. If I had to watch him lust after someone else…well, it would make me absolutely fucking nuts! I would hate it. It was weird enough watching him with Fuu, and the only way I could do that was cuz I knew he wasn’t really into her. It made me feel bad for her sometimes, cuz she had this little thing for him but I knew he didn’t feel the same way back. Oh, he liked her well enough, but he didn’t lust after her, thank god.
“Can you forgive me too? I was a shit, I know it,” I admitted. He leaned toward me and ran his thumb over the gash in my cheek.
“I intend to try,” he whispered, and then he kissed me. I mean, he shoved his tongue into my mouth and kissed me, resisting all my attempts to push him out. I felt invaded and it made my stomach all woogy. I fought him for a while but then I just gave in. He’d never taken my mouth like that before and I was getting all mushed out and really horny. When he let me go we were both panting.
“Are you up for doing anything?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “She got me pretty good. It’s hurting.”
“I’m probably more ambulatory than you,” he said.
“You’ve still got a fever, so maybe not,” I protested. “Look, I’m reeeeealy horny, but the idea of cumming when my belly is paining me like this seems scary. Those muscles don’t want to do anything.”
He gave me a wry smile, and sighed. “All right, maybe not,” he agreed. “Tell me, then, how you beat her. I don’t know if I could have, to be honest.”
I hung my head. I knew I was gonna have to own up to it eventually, but it was so humiliating I didn’t want to. I took a deep breath. “I didn’t beat her. She pulled her punch,” I admitted, and he looked surprised. “I saw it too late to stop my own blow. She let me cut her down. I couldn’t believe she pulled her fucking punch. For the second time, too.”
“What do you mean?” he asked. I told him the whole story. How she was gonna run me through the night before he came home, and how she backed off when Fuu jumped on top of me. He shook his head in amazement. “Do you know why she did it? Did she speak of who hired her?”
“She said she realized her boy was long dead. Jin, she was hired by the fucking Shogunate. Can you believe it? The last thing she said to me was, ‘I want you to live, Mugen.’ What do you make of that?”
“I’ve no idea why the government would send such a one after the likes of us. But I do know that, right now, I’m very grateful for your lust for her, as it must be why she spared you. I can imagine how hard it must be for you to deal with, but I’m too selfish not to be glad you’re still here with us…with me.” He reached for me and kissed me in that very seme way again, but instead of fighting him I just let myself melt this time. I felt like I could spend the next year kissing him and not have enough.
He pushed me away after a while, though, looking serious. “Mugen,” he said. “I can’t expect you to never feel attraction for another person. That would not be fair. But you’ve got to expect that Fuu and I may be upset if you do. That’s only fair as well. We all need to be honest about our feelings.” It was quite a speech from the likes of him, but I had to agree. I’d be freaked if he wanted to get with someone else, and I’m sure I’d want to show it.
“I know. I agree,” I admitted. “But next time, try talking to me if I piss you off, OK? Don’t just disappear. Can you promise me you’ll do that?” I knew the second it came out of my mouth I really needed him to make that promise. I held my breath.
“Yes, I promise to speak with you, and I’m sorry I didn’t before. I just didn’t know how to do it without sounding like a jealous fishwife.”
It was cute how embarrassed he looked. How does he always seem to do stuff that makes my knees weak? I wanted to kiss again so I went after him this time, reasserting my authority over his mouth. He let me. Hot damn! I wished to god my gut wasn’t slashed up. It was making me really horny to kiss him, so maybe it wasn’t the best idea. He resisted my pushing him away, though, and actually pouted at me. I laughed out loud.
“I can’t keep doing this, man. But look, you don’t have half your belly cut open. Let me do something for you. Let me jack you off.”
He arched his eyebrows in surprise. “You? Jack me off? You’ve never done it before.”
“So? I can do myself; I can do you too. Come on, let me do it,” I insisted.
He thought about it for a second then said all right, so I pushed him to lie down in front of me and started untying his hakama. I reached inside and found him, then brought him out. I did to him what I like myself, and it seemed to work just fine.
And then, the ultimate deja vu experience: Fuu walked in! She stopped in the doorway with her mouth open, holding a bag of something, who knows what. It was history repeating itself in the most amazing way, so I didn’t want her to run off. I glanced at him, and he seemed to get it as well. He gave me this I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening look and I grinned back.
“Come on, babe. Come help,” I urged her.
She hesitated for a second, blushing as usual, then smiled and walked over to us, kneeling on the other side of him. She kept her eyes on my face the whole time, it was really funny, so I grabbed her hand and guided it to him. She knew what to do after that, of course, and I was free to roam lower. But then I decided I should do it right, and got up to find the oil.
“Hey,” I said to her. “Hold out your hand.” She did and I poured some oil in it. “This will make it much more fun, I imagine.”
I smiled, slicking my own fingers up, and she looked at me and smiled back with the sparkliest eyes I’d ever seen. It made me glad to see her so happy. Then she went back to work, watching his face as the effects of her attention play across it, and it seemed like he was having a very good time. I teased his balls for a while, then headed for his ass. He opened his eyes and gave me The Look, but I wasn't planning on doing anything evil to him in front of her. When my fingers slid in, he was gone anyway. His eyes closed, his back arched, his hands clenched, and he started singing his getting-finger-fucked song for us.
“Unnnnn,” he said, and me and Fuu smiled at each other in appreciation. I could tell she was doing one of her businesslike hand jobs so, even with his staying power, he wasn't gonna last long. I concentrated on teasing him inside, trying to stroke that place in time to what Fuu was doing, and then his body began tensing in familiar ways and I knew he was really close.
Then I couldn’t fucking believe it, she went down on him! She caught him just before he came and took it all! His eyes flew open and he made the most amazing noise, I could never repeat what it sounded like in a million years. But he was being his usual responsive self, so I figured she was in seventh heaven. She raised her head and the look on her face told me she was, giggling as she wiped her mouth on her sleeve.
my. I don’t know what came over me,” she said
breathlessly. Then, in more familiar tones, “Jin we shouldn’t
be doing this to you anyway. You have a fever!” He smiled a
dazed smile and pulled her down into a kiss.
”Thank you,” I heard him whisper when they broke apart.
“Mmmm, you’re very welcome,” she purred back. Then she sat up and looked at me expectantly. I pulled up my shirt, pointed to my gut and shook my head no. She immediately looked concerned and jumped up. “Oh my god, you’ve been bleeding. We’ve got to get you cleaned up, Mugen!”
I grabbed her arm and pulled her back down next to me. “Shhh. Chill. I’m OK. Sit. I was just telling Jin that there’s some weird shit going down. It was someone in the government itself who hired Sara. If they sent her, there will be more. Are we gonna go on or what?”
Jin sat up and looked at her, his eyes clear again.
“I want to go on more than ever now,” she insisted.
I felt proud of her. “I’m there then,” I decided.
Jin nodded. “I will go on as well.”
”Thanks you guys,” she said, smiling, her eyes shining. Then she jumped up with a squeak. “Hey, I almost forgot! I brought home lunch!” And she ran to get the bag she brought in. I kinda thought she might like to cum herself, but it looked like food won out. That’s my Fuu! Me and Jin exchanged amused looks.
Things weren’t perfect, but they were a hell of a lot better than they were yesterday. I couldn’t believe we were all back together again. It was just too fucking good to be true. It felt like we might’ve tempted fate one too many times, though, and there was more shit to come. I couldn’t shake that feeling. I felt it before we left Aki and look what happened. I was still feeling it. But then Fuu spilled the bag and I forgot everything except stuffing my face. I realized we’ll just deal with it. We’ll fucking deal with whatever comes together.
to be continued