Disclaimer: Don't own it, don't intend to make any money off of it.

Summary: Fuu was a gambler. Post-series one-shot. Spoilers.

Rolling the Dice

by Elementary Magpie

Fuu was a gambler. This is what she concluded about herself during the long, quiet days she nursed her former bodyguards back to their feet in the little house on Ikitsuki Island. Because what else had she been doing ever since that very first day in the teahouse except taking chances? Tossing that coin. Trusting them to keep their promises. Sending them away. Embarking on the whole crazy penniless vengeful journey to begin with. And the crucial point was that, despite the hunger and the danger and the occasional very real grief, it had been fun.

Realizing this, she also recognized that after this journey she could never return to simply waiting tables in a teahouse. So she decided to acknowledge the insight and make a change in her career. And as luck would have it, Sousuke owed her one.

So she settled her plans. She stood with them at the crossroads and said her farewells and admitted her deception. And started out alone on the long road back.

After a couple of hours, she heard light footsteps behind her, a quick, long stride. Just within a plausible traveling pace for a tall, graceful person. But not that far from just a little too fast as well. Her maybe-pursuer arrived at her side.

"Fuu," said Jin calmly. "Are you traveling along this road also?"

"Jin! What a nice surprise to see you! I am. But I thought you were going east," replied Fuu. "Something about finding a swordsmith on the other coast?"

"Yes," he admitted, looking at the road ahead of them instead of her. "But I remembered hearing that the master in question has recently moved his workshop up to Hiroshima. If I want someone to repair my katana as respectfully as it deserves, I really should seek him out first before I try the work of another."

Knowing Jin, this was probably even true. And knowing Jin, this was the closest thing to an offer that she was going to get. So: "Well, that's lucky! Would you mind keeping me company on the road for a while? As long as we are going in the same direction. I'd certainly feel much safer."

And with gravity he agreed.

A few miles later, they both heard more quick, long footsteps through the trees off to the side, coming up even with them at a fork in the road. The clatter of wood and metal was so familiar that Jin didn't even bother to loosen his sword.

"Yo!" said Mugen. "What are you two doing on this road?"

"We should ask the same of you," replied Jin. "Weren't you going northwest?"

"Yeah, I was," he dismissed a little too loudly. "But you should've seen the storm clouds blowing up in that direction. I thought, fuck that, I'm not getting wet. One way's as good as another."

Jin said nothing, but looked at him very sharply. Fuu stepped in. "Well, you are welcome to travel along with us, if you'd like."

"Can't really avoid it, can I?" asked Mugen. "Seeing as we're all on the same road."

They walked a mile or two in silence.

"So," asked Mugen. "Where are we going?"

Fuu lifted her chin. Not that it made her any taller compared to them, but it was always fun to imagine. "I don't know about the two of you," she replied, "but I am going back to that town with Sousuke and Osuzu."

In their complete astonishment, the vagabond and the ronin momentarily looked very much alike.

"That's…an interesting choice," commented Jin.

"You mean you liked being a prostitute?" asked Mugen.

"Of course not," she replied airily. "I'm going to be a dice roller. And that's the best place to start. Kawara Clan owes me one."

"Oh really?" scoffed Mugen. "And what makes you think that you can roll dice?"

"She's very good," said Jin repressively. "You would have seen that for yourself if you hadn't deserted your employer in the middle of the fight."

"Bite me," said Mugen.

And as she listened to them bicker, Fuu smiled to herself. She was a gambler, and another roll of the dice had just come up threes.

The End.