All of the respective characters featured in this fanfic are © to Takahashi Rumiko, Shogakukan Publishing, Sunrise, Viz and whoever else happens to be making any actual money out of this (i.e. not me).

This fanfic is rated PG due to the fact that it deals with the relationship between Bankotsu and Jakotsu, which means that there will be some slash/shounen-ai parts in this fanfic. If you don't feel comfortable with this, for whatever reason, then it might be advisable not to read any further. (Or - to put it more bluntly - you've got a back button; use it.)


At first things were simple.

Or so they seemed.

Friendship was an easy enough concept to understand. Two wanderers drawn together by chance or destiny. Two strangers finding companionship in one another. Two travellers, side by side, with a whole new world to explore.

You knew where you were with friendship.

Or did you?

Things were simple back then. Or at least they were less complicated. Life was lived for life's sake. The brazen clash of swords, the thunder of battle, the company of comrades – that was what life was for. There was no need to make things complicated.

But was that really all you wanted?

It was easy to say that life was good when it was the only life you'd ever known.

But life was never meant to be easy.

It was hard to say when life began to get more complicated. That was a complication in itself. Maybe the complications had been there all along. Fate had a wicked sense of humour, it was said. Perhaps chance had one that was wickeder yet? After all, how could something so simple suddenly become so difficult? How could something so familiar suddenly become so strange? How could you pinpoint exactly where and when a friendship became…

Became what?

At least you knew what it wasn't. It wasn't unusual for Jakotsu to fall in and out of lust at least three times a week. At least it wouldn't be anything new to him.

But this was different.

It wasn't until that moment that you realised just how complicated things had become.

No touching.

No flirting.

No teasing.

Three little words.

That was all it took. Just words. They were so meaningless and yet they meant so much. They were so trivial and yet so important. So simple and yet so deep.

They were barely a whisper, little more than the shadow of a breath. But they said so much.

When you thought about it, the lust wasn't really that difficult to deal with.

Love, however, was an entirely different matter.

Love. It was a word that everyone knew. Love was the essence of dreams, legends and fantasies. Love was the lifeblood of fools, charlatans and dreamers. It was the subject of a thousand songs, each one worse than the last. Love was every idiot's dream came true.

But maybe love wasn't like that at all.

Love…love was confusing. If, indeed, that was what it was. How could one word mean so many different things? How could such a simple word possibly express something so complicated? Despite all you'd heard about love, it was still very much a mystery.

Did anybody really know love?

You just knew that you weren't supposed to fall in love with your best friend. It didn't exactly help that the aforementioned best friend also happened to be another man. Another man who, strangely enough, didn't seem to be finding this any easier than you were. It wasn't what you'd expected. But that was just one of a myriad of surprises.

It looked like you weren't the only one who'd never been in love before.

But if this was love then love…love was crazy. Of all the people in the world, why him? Why you? It just didn't seem to make any sense…and yet that didn't seem to matter any more. You were supposed to know that this was wrong but somehow, it was beginning to feel more and more right. Everything seemed to be against you, yet neither of you wanted to give up.

Crazy. Absolutely crazy.

In a world gone mad, love is insanity.

Yet it was the only source of sanity you had.

So, was this love? You didn't know. Neither did he. Nobody seemed to have any answers.

But you had each other.

So you were both crazy. But it was craziness that kept you sane.

You were both still confused. But maybe you could figure it out together.

Love, whether by accident or design…it didn't matter. Words meant so much and so little.

Love, trust, acceptance…how much could one word say?

Everything and nothing.

Nothing and everything.

There were so many words, so many ways in which a person could describe their feelings.

Yet there could never be enough.

And yet, it no longer mattered. What mattered was that you knew what mattered, not what you should say.

Then again, perhaps there was one word that mattered.


That meant more than any other word could say.

Remember, constructive criticism is always welcome.