Fuu was older and not as innocent as she had been back then. Looking back on those days, on their journey, it all seemed like an entire lifetime ago. It was hard for her to believe that only ten years had passed since their journey ended. She smiled as she remembered his face. Fuu had been barely more then a child when they started on their journey. When they parted she never dreamed that, would have been the last time she would see him. Why, Jin? Why didn't you come to see me at least once? Mugen had, on several occasions. During most of his visits, they usually ended up doing things that she regretted the next day. His visits were fun. She could not deny Mugen's skills in the bed and being with him helped her to feel not so alone in the world. If he hadn't been so wild, Fuu might even have married him. She did love him in her own way, but it was different with Jin. Ten years and she still couldn't get him out of her mind. Sometimes she wished that the two men could have been one: Mugen's sense of humor and passion with Jin's control and honor. Fuu wondered if her feelings for them were why she had not married anyone yet. I can't help if I love them both.
Fuu walked outside and sat down on her porch. The sun was just starting to rise and it painted the sky beautiful shades of orange and pink. Her mind went back to the artist who had done a portrait of her. She drank her cup of tea while taking in the beauty. Fuu wished he was here to enjoy it with her. Mugen certainly couldn't appreciate the beauty of nature.
She was walking back inside when she saw it. "What is that and how did it get here?" Fuu wondered as she picked up what looked like an envelope sealed with wax. She hadn't head anyone last night. But that really wasn't a surprise. She and Mugen had been making their own noise. Fuu picked it up and continued walking inside.
She stared at the envelope, afraid to open it. Getting a mysterious letter like this couldn't be good. "Oh the hell with it, I'll just open it." She said out loud.
Fuu opened it carefully and started reading the letter. It was from a woman named Shino. She knew that name meant something but couldn't put her finger on it. Shino. I know that name.
I'm a friend of Jin's. He doesn't know I'm writing this letter but it is something I must do. He helped me when I had no one. If I wait much longer, it might be too late. He is not well but in his sleep he mumbles your name. Please come quickly. I'm not sure how much time… Just hurry.
Even as she read the kanji, it surprised her how much pain she felt. Jin, sick? He was the strong one. He could overcome any obstacle; defeat any opponent. No, it couldn't be true. She was going to wake up from this awful dream any minute now. A cold teardrop on her cheek told her this was no dream. Why was Mugen still in bed when she needed him? He had spent the night again but was still sleeping. His visits were getting more and more frequent. She didn't mind at all. At least when he was here she didn't feel so lonely and she certainly had learned so many things about sex from him. Fuu knew she probably should end things with him. How would she ever find a proper husband if he was around? Maybe someday she would, right now it was just too easy being weak.
More tears fell onto her cheeks and she dropped her cup of tea. She didn't even hear it shattering on the floor or notice Mugen walking towards her.
"Fuu, what are you doing? Throwing the cups around you---" He stopped in mid-sentence when he saw the look on her face. "Fuu? Are you okay? You look like someone has died."
Fuu wiped the tears running down her cheek. She didn't want Mugen to think she was a weak but the tears just wouldn't stop. "I'm sorry. I feel so stupid." She grabbed his shoulders and hugged him hard.
Mugen was stunned and didn't know what to do. He never was really good at times like these. Mugen just held Fuu and let her cry for a while. Even he knew that is what she wanted. He stroked her hair as her tears fell onto his bare chest. Mugen didn't ask any questions and he didn't speak. He probably would've said something stupid anyway. Fuu needed someone to hold her right now. Times like these made him wish he could be so much more for Fuu. She was the best thing that ever happened to him but most of the time he ended up acting like a jerk.
I don't know what it is about you Fuu, but you make me want to be a better man Mugen didn't have the guts to say the words out loud but hoped someday he could. He had the feeling though, that she already knew.
Fuu pulled away from him after what seemed like a long while. She blushed, embarrassed to fall apart like that in front of him. "I'm sorry, Mugen. It is just this-this letter came." She pointed to the paper on the table. "It's about him. Jin."
Mugen could read kanji but it took far too much effort. "Read it, Fuu."
She read the letter to him from Shino. It was hard reading the words again. Fuu almost started crying again but fought back the tears. She waited for Mugen's reaction, not sure what he would think, say, or do.
"We'll go, Fuu," he said. Part of him new it was the right thing to do but the voice inside of him was telling him not to go.
Fuu smiled at him. She didn't think there was a moment when she had loved him more. "Mugen…" She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a bear hug, almost knocking him down.
"Okay, calm down, already." Mugen said.
Fuu pulled away from him. "Okay, sorry about that. We should both bathe, and pack some things for the trip."
Mugen winked at her. "Bathe? We could save time if we did it together."
Fuu punched him in the arm. "Honestly, how can you think about THAT at a time like this?"
Mugen rubbed his arm. "Oww that hurt. C'mon Fuu, is there ever a time when I don't think about sex?"
Fuu blushed at his question. "I'm not even going to dignify that statement with an answer. I'll take a bath first. Why don't you get whatever you want to bring ready?"
Mugen nodded. "Okay, but you are spoiling all my fun. Can I at least watch?"
"GET OUT OF HERE!" Fuu screamed as she started walking to him towards him.
Mugen grinned at her. "No need to stop being a lady."
Fuu punched him hard in the stomach and Mugen pretended she didn't hurt him. But, she had hurt him more then he would ever admit. He did as she asked this time and prepared a few things for their trip, making sure the bottle of sake that he packed was full. Mugen had a feeling he would need to get drunk after seeing Jin. The thought of seeing the strong samurai, his formal rival, weak, disturbed him more then he cared to admit. He just hoped Fuu wouldn't notice. She might want him to talk about how he felt and he wasn't very good with words.
Mugen finished packing his clothes and thought of spying on Fuu but thought better of it. He'd behave himself today because it was obvious this was hard for her…just like it was for him. No matter how much he tried to ignore how he felt and pretend it didn't bother him, the pain he felt was all too real. Mugen opened a bottle of sake and took a swig. He didn't want to get drunk but hoped he could drink just enough to numb the pain.
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