Wanderings, V

by Laura Bryannan

You’re leaving?!?” Fuu shrieked. “But you can’t! We just found each other again. You can’t leave, Jin!” She threw herself into my arms and was in tears once more, but I had no doubts. I knew what I wanted.

Yes, I am leaving, Fuu. And you are going to come with me,” I stated firmly.

She backed away and looked at me, hiccupping, her eyes big as moons. “With you?” she asked. “But where are you going?”

To Ryukyu,” I replied, and saw wonder replace the sadness in her face.

Ryukyu….” she whispered. “That’s where he grew up, isn’t it?” I nodded. “You’d really take me with you?” I nodded again, and with a scream that stunned my ears her arms were around my neck and she was kissing me all over my face.

I had to laugh as I pried her off. “Fukashi,” I reminded her, “such displays are unwise.”

Oh, right,” she said, letting go. She grabbed my hand and started pulling me down the street. “Come help me tell Chiaki and Roku. They’re gonna freak!” We walked a few blocks, and then she turned into a nice little establishment that was obviously closed for business, but still had a light shining inside. She walked in first.

Fuu!” said two voices in unison. “We were so wor….” The woman’s voice trailed off when she saw me.

Look!” shouted Fuu, dragging me nearer. “I found him!”

This is the sailor?” the woman exclaimed, looking me up and down with a very confused expression. Fuu went red and I started chuckling.

Oh,” she squeaked, casting me a worried glance. “Um, no. There were actually two friends I was looking for…oh dear.” She was wringing her hands in her hakama. “I just didn’t tell you about this one,” she finished in a tiny voice.

I bowed formally. “I am Takeda Jin. It’s very nice to meet you both. Fuu has spoken of you fondly,” I said.

They were still looking wary and unsure, and their expressions got even unhappier when Fuu began telling them of her plans to leave with me. “Ryukyu!” they exclaimed, when they heard our destination. “But that’s a terrible place!” the man continued in a stern voice. “Young man, I don’t know why anyone would want to go there, and I’m against the idea of you taking a girl like Fuu to such a dangerous city.”

I opened my mouth to respond, but Fuu beat me to it. “But Jin’s the best swordsman in Japan!” she exclaimed. “I’ll be fine as long as I’m with him. I’m so sorry I can’t give you any notice or help you find a replacement for me, but I simply must go! Please don’t make it any harder for me. I’ll miss you both so much. You’ve been so kind.” The man opened and closed his mouth a few times, and the woman sighed.

I decided to leave the three of them to work it out. “I’ll come for you at daybreak, Fuu,” I said. “I think it’s best if you wear the clothes you’re wearing now, all right?” She smiled and nodded and then, with another bow to her employers, I left.

I stopped at the brothel hoping Daiyu might be there, but he wasn’t. I asked about him, but no one had seen him since earlier that day. Making my final farewells to the girls who weren’t busy, I beat a hasty exit as the groping and pinching got a bit much.

Bye Jin,” they giggled. “Come back as a customer next time, you handsome beast!” Sighing with relief, I made my way back to my room, but Daiyu wasn’t waiting there, either. It saddened me, but there was nothing to be done.

So, Fuu and I set sail the following day. I had been concerned there might be a problem about getting her on board but, even though they had no extra space, they allowed us to share the small berth I paid for (and charged her only half the fare because of it) and we were all set.

The day was blustery but sunny, and we were both very excited when the ship finally left port. Fuu had never been on a sea journey either, so we stood on the deck together watching the coast get further and further away. We enjoyed the trip for all of an hour before the rolling waves began to make us both ill. Yes, we were both horribly seasick for the entire journey. Suffice to say, it was possibly the most miserable twenty-four hours of my life, and perhaps Fuu’s as well.

It was early morning when we put into port at Ryukyu—a much busier, noisier and dirtier place than the port at Nagasaki, to be sure. We both breathed a sigh of relief when setting foot on the dock, and made our way out of the area. Locating an inn that appeared relatively clean and quiet, we dropped ourselves on the futons there and slept for most of the day, recovering from our journey.

Later at dinner we made our plans. Thankfully, we were both sitting on a little money, so we could take our time trying to find permanent lodgings and work. “How should we talk about ourselves?” she asked. “We don’t look like brothers.”

Perhaps we can be cousins.”

Are you going to keep your real name?” came the next question.

It was a good one I hadn’t considered. “My first, yes. My family name…I guess not. Any ideas?”

She looked down and blushed. “I don’t think I should use my family name either, but my mother’s name was a family name. Maybe we could use that. It’s Wakana.”

She peeked up at me, and I nodded smiling. “Wakana Jin. I like it. We’ll be Wakanas then,” I decided, and she beamed. “We’ll have to put our heads together to find work for you as well. I don’t believe your disguise would hold for long in a job surrounded by other men, and you can’t work in a teahouse as a boy.”

Maybe I can cook. Maybe I can run errands for somebody. I’ll figure something out.” She looked determined and I knew she was good for it. Fuu always pulled her share. We settled our bill and headed back to our room, and as I closed the door behind us the reality of the situation exploded into my awareness. I had asked Fuu to come with me. I had asked Fuu to…live with me!

The full impact of that hit me like a punch in the gut. It had all happened so fast, I hadn’t realized what I’d actually done. She was bustling about getting her things organized, not paying any attention to me at all. I was grateful she didn’t see me stagger and take the deep breath I required to steady my nerves. We would have to discuss our situation soon, but hoped we could muddle through for a little while at least. Suddenly I heard her heave a great sigh. She turned to me and her eyes were glistening with tears.

Come here,” she said softly. “I’ll share this with you.” She was holding something made of red cloth…his gi! I walked over and knelt next to her. She held it to her face and inhaled, then handed it to me. “This is the only place you can smell him, at the back of the neck.”

I did the same and, oh my god, it was him! I closed my eyes and I couldn’t move for a few moments. It felt as though my heart stopped. I don’t know how long I sat there breathing him in before I remembered she was there. I opened my eyes and heaved my own great sigh. “Oh Fuu. Thank you,” I said, still holding it near my face. I wasn’t ready to give it back to her quite yet. “Can I hold it just a little longer?”

She smiled and nodded. “I can leave it out somewhere, if you want,” she offered. “I told him a white lie that it was too damaged to fix. I probably could have mended it, although it would have looked crappy with so many patches. I wanted to make him a new one so I could keep this one.” She blushed and looked down.

I’m very glad you kept it, and so grateful you shared it with me,” I said sincerely, finally handing it back to her. “I think it’s a good sign the fates bumped us into each other, don’t you?”

She nodded in reply. I felt profound relief that she herself had brought Mugen into the space with us. I had been worrying she would focus on me since I was here and he was not, and there was no telling when, if ever, he would show up. “It’s always been that way before,” she asserted firmly, and I agreed. “I want to believe he’ll find us somehow,” she went on.

I do too. I think he will.” I smiled at her and she smiled back. Then we both looked at the mutilated gi in her lap. Again, I felt relief. We were both still focused on him, not each other. This was good. “Well, goodnight Fuu,” I finally said, getting up to unroll my futon.

G’night, Jin,” she replied, still puttering with her belongings. I fell asleep before she blew out the light.

It took a few weeks before we secured a place to stay, and in the process of looking for a house we got to know the area near the port relatively well. It seemed an unspoken agreement we wouldn’t look too far from there. A slight language barrier had to be overcome, but thankfully there were so many different nationalities represented in Ryukyu, we could usually muddle by. Enough similarities existed between Chinese, Japanese and the language of Ryukyu, that you could use a pidgin of what you knew and generally be understood.

In any event, most of the neighborhoods we happened upon were rough and not suitable for us. But as we explored further we finally found it—not in the greatest part of town, but in a decent neighborhood far enough away from the various red light districts not to be affected by them. On the corner of the block, it reminded me of our house in Aki, as it had two rooms, with a hearth in the front room. It even had a small yard out back with a stone fence around it. Fuu was immediately excited about getting started on a garden. With the money we had, we were able to put down the deposits required and lease the place for a year.

We spent the next few days hunting around for the things we would need to set up housekeeping. After I got over my initial shock at finding myself in Fuu’s company once more, it became quite enjoyable. She was different in her boy clothes, and it was interesting indeed. I didn’t know if she was doing it on purpose or not, but she pitched her voice lower and spoke more slowly. She seemed quieter and less…well, girly, I suppose, and I liked that very much. I had always felt relatively comfortable in her presence anyway, and I felt even more so now. We wandered around looking for shops that sold the various things we needed, and the air between us was easy and fun.

We bought two futons, linens and blankets, as well as a few pots for the hearth and bowls to eat from. Fuu wanted to buy some gardening tools so she could start preparing the ground in the yard for a garden in the spring. There was a privy in the back corner of the property that would need some attending to make it ready for us, so we got cleaning supplies, lime and other necessities as well. She didn’t mention how husband and wifey it was to be doing all this together, and I was grateful for that. I bought a roll of paper, more brushes and ink so we could draw in the evenings. And so our life together began.

In our wandering to locate household goods, we discovered a small neighborhood business district a few blocks away from our house. There was a general store, a greengrocers, a meat market, a public bathhouse, a few places to eat and a tavern. It was very handy to have such conveniences so close to home.

And, even better, spending time at the general store was how Fuu and I both found work. The owner of the store, Soong-san, had a father he doted on—a father who had decided it was time to write his memoirs. Through a coincidence too complicated to describe, he learned I knew how to write and immediately hired me to become the old man’s private secretary. I had been hoping to avoid another job with late hours like the one I had at the brothel, so I was very happy. Soong-ojiisan was an interesting man who had lived a fascinating life (if the story I was transcribing for him had any truth to it). I enjoyed his company and looked forward to spending time with him each day.

Soong-san also owned one of the teahouses on the block, and ended up hiring Fukashi as a support person to the cook. It was a great job for Fuu, as it kept her out of the way of the general public. And since the rest of the help were women, it was unlikely her cover would be blown working there. She said she really enjoyed not having to interact with customers serving tables all day as she had been accustomed to doing.

The pattern of our days fell into place. I was usually up first, and would stir the fire and get some water heating before going out back to practice my kata. Fuu was always up and dressed by the time I returned, and we would sit together and have breakfast before heading to work.

In the evenings I began to train her in sword use. She wanted to wear her father’s wakazashi, and I didn’t think it wise for her to carry a sword she didn’t know how to wield. We would go out to the back yard and work through the beginning forms together. These were routines usually taught to boys aged seven or eight but, since Fuu was a complete novice, that’s where we began. She was a quick study, I was pleased to note, and learned the ideas easily. Then we would make some dinner, chat and draw for a while then go to bed. Since our schedules were so similar, things worked out nicely for us, and I found life very enjoyable.

It was interesting to me how I had been able to put them both on a shelf in the back of my mind when I was on my own. It had even felt as though I was moving past my constant longing for Mugen, at least most of the time. But with Fuu there the feelings came back to me full force. Even though the situation between us was comfortable, it felt strange to be together without him. No matter how nice it was to have Fuu’s company again, it brought the fact that he was missing from the equation into sharp focus.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I found myself feeling awake again, alive again and horny again. The aching and openness was back in my heart and, while it felt uncomfortable at times, I was glad to know I was still alive in that way. I hadn’t realized how much I had been drifting back into my old dead self in those months I was alone in Nagasaki. It hurt too much to pay attention to it, I suppose.

But with Fuu in my presence every day, I found myself waking up again. The process began on the day we all met, and tentatively grew as we continued our journey together. The culmination of that awakening, looking back on it now, occurred in Aki—in the innocent bliss of our lives before Sara.

The last time Mugen and I made love in Aki was when I finally woke up for good. Something happened that evening and I was never the same. I’m still not exactly sure what happened, even now. But I can see the main reason I got so upset at his behavior toward Sara was because of that last time together. I was feeling so emotionally vulnerable I couldn’t handle all the attention he gave her and made many bad choices. Even though we had some luscious times at that inn east of Saga, our ginger adventure in particular, when I was alone at night I found my fingers tracing the scar on my arm and my mind returning to that last time in Aki.

The journey Mugen took me on that evening began strangely enough, considering Fuu was watching us. He lay down on his side next to me while I was on my back and we were kissing, his hand up the leg of my hakama. He touched and stroked me until it was impossible to lay still. But instead of pulling everything off so he could get his mouth on me, he just kept exploring with his hand. It was so nice, but so unlike him, I was very intrigued. When I was gasping against his mouth, I could feel him smile, then he sat up.

Untie yourself, K? I’m gonna go find the oil,” he said. He went hunting in the bedroom and I started working all my various knots, happy to note that Fuu was no longer in the house. I was untying my juban when he lay down next to me again, naked now, his cock glistening with oil. He scooped my knees up and curled around me. “Help me,” he whispered, and I took him in hand and put him where we wanted him to be. He pushed inside inch by succulent inch till he was fully seated, then set my legs down on top of his thighs. “Let’s see how long I can hold out if we don’t move too much, K?” he asked. I nodded. It sounded like an interesting game.

We kissed for a long while, his fingers tracing my ear, throat and shoulder; gently stroking, giving me shivers. Every shudder caused involuntary clenching that reminded me his full length was buried deep inside. The girth of it was always a little breathtaking. His touch felt so nice, and it was both relaxing and arousing me, but I was still very curious what he was up to. Eventually he pulled back.

Lemme do what I want tonight,” he demanded. I hesitated and probably made a face while I thought about it. He leaned in and nibbled on my ear. “Come on,” he whispered, “trust me.”

All right,” I decided, “I trust you.” More life-altering words I have never spoken before or since. He smiled and kissed me, and his hand began wandering again. Along my Adam’s apple, shoulder blade, then to my nipple, teasing it so that my entire body jerked in response. I bit down on his tongue, then let go when he stopped.

You said I could do what I want,” he complained.

I sighed. “I know, but must you do that?”

I must, I must,” he leered. “Now shaddup and let me play. I gotta feeling about this,” he insisted, shoving me with his hips for emphasis. I sighed again and closed my eyes, resigning myself to the undoing. He leaned down and we began kissing again, his fingers randomly stroking my chest and neck, and I began to relax.

Kissing Mugen is honestly one of the most erotic things I have ever had the privilege of experiencing, and that evening I found my senses jolted over and over again. With his tongue in one end and his cock in the other, there almost seemed to be a current between those two parts running through the middle of me. It felt so extraordinary, I was moaning into his mouth. I have no idea how long we kissed like that before he backed away, both of us panting.

Let me take you from behind. Lay over the table, K?” It took me a moment before I could muster the wherewithal to get up, but we managed to rearrange ourselves without disconnecting, and the sensations I felt inside as we moved were simply exquisite.

I was sitting on his lap with my chest on the table, head resting on my arms. He draped himself over my back, and I could feel him shuddering for a few moments. Then he began to touch me again, using both hands now. He stroked my thighs, which he knows I adore, and I immediately liquefied. He went on and on, sometimes moving high enough to caress my ass and lower back, other times massaging my calves. I was in bliss. The continual sensation of him filling me up in addition to his touch—my whole body began to feel alive and sensitized. It was amazing.

I didn’t want him to stop, but then he moved to my feet. Oh my god. I moaned in ecstasy. He knows what it does to me. There are times when I’d rather have a foot rub than an orgasm. I love it that much. In some dimly lit part of my mind I realized he was pulling a me on me. This is what I did to him. I would touch him, stroke him and pet him; take my time melting him. It was glorious to be on the receiving end of such attention. He was relaxed on my back, lazily massaging my toes…oh purr. I was losing all my strength it felt so good. Again I lost track of the time, aware only of the wonderful feeling of him stroking my feet and the fullness of him inside me. I never wanted it to stop. When I finally felt him stir I growled in protest without even willing it.

Come on, I want to move.” He backed out of me and I whimpered, having a hard time gathering my wits. The sensation of being suddenly empty was startling, and I didn’t like it. He grabbed me under the arms and helped me stand, walking us over to the little bench that always lived by the hearth. Kicking it away from the wall, he sat down and guided me onto his lap, facing him, straddling his hips. We both moaned as I brought him back inside and leaned against him, my head on his shoulder. He hugged me and I felt so languid and peaceful, it was heavenly.

How are you managing to stay hard for so long?” I inquired. I couldn’t remember a time when it had happened before.

Don’t complain,” he replied, his hands moving in long strokes over my back.

I sighed in happiness. It felt as though every cell in my body was tingling. “Ummmmm…not complaining.” I adjusted my hips a bit and he gasped. He rubbed my lower back and ass cheeks for a long while, then reached lower to trace the sensitive skin stretched so tight around him. I shuddered uncontrollably and didn’t feel as though I had the strength to lift my head from his shoulder. We were both panting and sweaty, I noticed, even though we were just sitting there, and our bellies were soaked with the juices leaking out of me. He spread his thighs apart a little bit so he could reach to my balls, and then teased and touched everything down there for so long I was unable to do anything but gasp and shiver. I had no will of my own left.

Every time I touch you like this,” he whispered, his fingers tracing around himself, teasing the skin where our bodies met for emphasis, “you clench me so sweet inside.” He kept doing it and I moaned as my body jerked like a puppet on a string. His attentions brought all my awareness to my lower half. The unmistakable presence of him inside me, the heart-meltingly sweet languor I felt as he teased the skin of my entrance.

I could actually feel an orgasm building inside me, even though I had no idea how it would come out. But there was a warmth growing in my gut that felt familiar and yet unfamiliar, considering it was focused more inside me than in my cock, which is where I was used to feeling such feelings. It was wonderfully strange. Then his hands moved upwards to my chest, slowly circling their ultimate targets.

”Hold on to me,” he warned, as he found my nipples again. I shuddered and cried out, my head jerking backwards off of his shoulder. I would have flung myself off of his lap if I hadn’t been hanging on to him as he’d told me to. He started gently enough, flicking at them both lightly as I gasped and convulsed uncontrollably, my head lolling onto his shoulder once again. I just clung to him for dear life, allowing the sensations to wash over me. He got more intense as my body got used to the attention, rolling and pinching.

I was amazed to feel myself getting ready to cum, and I imagine my hips were rocking against him, but I don’t honestly know for sure. All I was aware of was this amazing sensation growing deep inside me. It felt as though there was a line of flame running from my ass to my heart that was getting hotter and brighter. Then it just exploded inside me, almost as though the flames burst from my foundation, through my heart and up out the top of my head. Everything went white, and I don’t remember anything for a while. When I came back, he was hugging me and rocking us both, murmuring little somethings.

That’s right, that’s good…” he was whispering into my hair, “…oh man…so fucking sweet. Look at you, all melted and yummy…let me see….” He grabbed my shoulders and gently pushed me away, and I felt confused when I saw a look of concern suddenly replace the blissful one on his face. “Hey, are you OK? Did I hurt you?” he asked.

I’m fine. I’m wonderful,” I managed to reply, wondering what was wrong. He cocked his head to the side and reached out and caught a tear on his finger. I was crying and I didn’t even know it! I couldn’t believe myself. It didn’t feel as though I were crying. I wasn’t sobbing or anything like that, but tears were most definitely streaming down my face. “I guess I’m a little overwhelmed,” I admitted, dropping my head back onto his shoulder so he couldn’t see me in such a state.

You’ve never cum like that before, huh?” It wasn’t really a question.

Never,” I admitted with a contented sigh, feeling my consciousness blissfully slipping away into oblivion.

Now you know why I like cumming from just fucking.” I could feel him chuckling as he hugged me and continued to rock us both slowly. I had no memories of his orgasm, but I figured he must have cum because I could feel him getting softer inside me.

Thank you Mugen,” I whispered. “Something happened just now. I’m not sure what, but I’ve never felt anything like it before. It was amazing. Thank you so much.”

He pushed me away again so we could look at each other. “I felt it too,” he said with a dreamy smile. “Pretty wild shit!” He put his hands on either side of my face and pulled me into a kiss. It was deep and slow and sweet, but it didn’t keep me from slipping further into a dreamlike state. He’s so strong, he lifted me up as though I weighed nothing and carried me to the bedroom. He curled up behind me in his usual way and I felt so profoundly taken care of, so well loved, it was a wonder to me. I fell asleep feeling safer than I’d ever felt before, and it only became ironic after Sara arrived in our lives.

I couldn’t believe how being in Fuu’s presence brought all of those memories back to me in full force. The complete tenderness and openness I felt toward Mugen didn’t go away. A part of me looked at him as though he were some wonderful confectioner and I was a little child chasing after him for the goodies he had in his pockets.

I can see in hindsight that my jealousy toward Sara had been way out of proportion to his behavior simply because I couldn’t believe he could bust my heart open the way he did and then, just a few days later, come on to someone he had just met. But even though they were bittersweet, I was grateful those memories came back into my life again. I hadn’t realized how I’d been hiding from them when I was on my own. I was glad to have a reason to be alive again. Reuniting Fuu was a reason, and my body knew it.

I found myself paying attention to her in ways I knew I shouldn’t. She was so much more attractive to me as a boy that I was embarrassed and somewhat mortified by my feelings. I had never thought about Fuu sexually in all those months we spent together, but now I found myself drifting off into little fantasies about what it might be like to take her…from behind, of course. Possibly pretending she was a boy. It was pathetic, I knew, but the fact remained and I couldn’t shake it. There was something just…scrumptious about her in boy’s clothes.

As I mentioned, she behaved differently as well, even when we were alone at home. And I’m sure it wasn’t just her clothes. I believe she really was different, just as I was different. The horrific events before our parting and the months alone had changed us both. But it all added up to something I found very intriguing. I had no intention of ever acting on it, but I will admit it became fun to think about. I did everything I could not to be obvious about it but, as the weeks went by, I could tell we were both eyeing each other more. It wasn’t enough to make things uncomfortable between us, but our relationship was moving in a direction that was possibly dangerous.

I contrived to keep myself busy, lingering at the shops “downtown” as we called it, and coming home from work a little later than I used to. It was during one of those lingering excursions that I bumped into it—the thing that became my obsession for two weeks. Talking to Soong-san one evening I mentioned that the kimono I wore had been a gift, but it was too short and didn’t really fit properly.

His eyes lit up and he ran to a room in the back. “I know just what you need! Wait and see!” he shouted. He came back with a hunk of cloth wrapped in paper. As he opened it, my breath caught. It was a kimono in the most beautiful shade of red I had ever seen. Yes, red. Not bright red like he wore, but deep red with a lot of black in it. Not a burgundy or wine, but true red, just in a very deep tone. I immediately fell in love with it, but couldn’t picture myself in it. Me? Wear his color? Soong-san shook it out and it was magnificent, with a fascinating pattern woven into the fabric. Holding it up to my shoulders, it was apparent it would fit me perfectly.

I don’t know. I’ve always worn blue,” I said.

He shook his head. “Nah. This red is the color for you,” he replied firmly. “Look perfect with your black hair and fair skin.”

I eyed it longingly. Well, as I said, it became my obsession for two whole weeks before I finally gave in and bought it. I would go and take another look at it every few days and try to make up my mind. It wasn’t an issue of money. It wasn’t inexpensive, but neither was it out of my reach. The issue was whether or not I could let go of my old self enough to wear something so different. Soong-san indulged me, wise businessman that he was, letting me visit it as often as I liked.

Finally, however, he pushed. “OK. You go in the back and try it on. And then you look in the glass here and tell me it doesn’t suit you.” I hesitated for a moment and he pressed further, holding it out. “Indulge me Wakana-san.” I took it, deciding it might be wise to do as he asked considering he was my employer. When I returned he nodded smugly. “Ah yes. Much better for you. Look!” He held out a hand mirror and I could tell he was right. The color worked for me very nicely. I couldn’t deny it. And my heart wanted it very, very much, so I finally paid for it and wore it home.

Fuu was surprised, to say the least. “Oh my!” she gasped when she saw me, her eyes going wide. “Jin, what a beautiful kimono! Did you just buy it?”

I nodded. “Do you like it?” I couldn’t stop myself from asking.

Oh yes! It looks wonderful on you! I love it!” she enthused.

I’m glad,” I replied. “I’ve been lusting after it for weeks, and finally gave in.” After we finished our training for the evening, I always went downtown to have a bath with some of the other men working out with us. Fuu couldn’t, of course, but I told her to meet me downtown later and I’d buy her dinner. She smiled and said yes without hesitation, so we made plans to meet at the teahouse Fukashi didn’t work at.

I smell the food in my place all day,” she said. “Let’s go somewhere else.” It made sense to me. We were halfway through dinner when I realized there was a problem. Just as Fuu’s boy clothes made me look at her differently, she was most definitely looking at me differently at dinner. She kept staring…blushing when my glance caught her at it. It was unsettling. I could tell something was brewing inside her, and I became more and more nervous as we finished our food. Praying she’d work it out on her own, my prayers were not answered. I could tell by how red she was it was going to be something big. I was right.

Jin, will you make love with me tonight?” she whispered.

to be continued