…Okay, I know this fic is something that I REALLY shouldn't do. Especially in the midst of a whole bunch of other incomplete fics that are screaming (quite literally from the readers) to be updated. But I can't help it!

This story came to me in the middle of the sweltering hot night and plagued my mind for long hours so that no sleep was gained. I just had to write it down. (sob)

A Samurai Champloo fic this time. This is a Jin/Fuu pairing story with a bit of Jin/Shino implications as well, and takes place after the series. It's a short, multi-chaptered fic. Don't like the pairing? Don't read it. Simple as that.

WARNINGS: I apologize beforehand if, for some reason, the characters are OOC. That and I will say that this will spoil some parts of the show. Also, I am fully aware that Jin does not have his glasses by the end of the series, but for the sake of this story, he got them back, okay?

Disclaimer: All rights to Samurai Champloo belongs to Geneon or Shinchiro Watanabe or Manglobe…or whoever it is that created this unholy anime that is currently my obsession.

We part again at the break of dawn

My dreams becoming distant memories

I am lifted up by the warm wind I sense,

Every time you held me chasing after you in the bright light

Sweet Nothings

By Youkai Yume

Chapter 1: If Walls Could Speak

Jin was never a man who contemplated loneliness. In fact, he was alone so often that it had become a way of life and was seldom a source of trouble for him. Yet, there are times when the memories of days long past would cross his mind—days in which he had not been quite so alone. But they were fleeting; only mere seconds in the days that he lived…if you could really call it living.

But he did think of them every now and then. It had been three years since they last parted ways. Three years since he had seen that cocky smile on that brazen so-called samurai and three years since he had last heard a certain loud girl complain about being hungry. Yes, it had been three years since Jin thought of gang fights, pirates or sunflower samurais.

And it had indeed been a very long time. It seemed almost an entire lifetime away in fact. But he could never bring himself to forget them, even if he did admit that he missed those heated spars that he had with Mugen when Fuu wasn't looking. Or the way Fuu would laugh when either of them did something stupid (or should he say when Mugen did something stupid). Sometimes, the memory of the sound of her laughter would tinkle in his mind, almost like a melody from a song long ago.

When he remembered these things, perhaps he did feel a tad lonely. If only for those few fleeting seconds in the days that he lived…if you could call it living. But again, he had grown used to it. That chapter of his life had ended a long time ago, and he would go on remembering them when he saw a sunflower or hear about a pirate raid from gossiping merchants.

Of course, those weren't the only things that Jin thought about. When it was raining, he thought of badly cooked eels and a woman on the bridge with a parasol held tightly in her delicate hands, looking intensely at the river below as she contemplated life and death. It came almost without fail, unbidden into his thoughts, the way she felt in his arms and his useless wish for the rain to never end. The last thing Jin remembered about Shino was her fading figure drifting into the morning mist towards a temple on the mountains, both vowing without words that they'd one day meet again.

That was also three years ago. It was time to withhold that vow.

He had been traveling for a couple of days now; his weary feet and growling stomach were constant companions; but Jin never seemed to mind. Like the loneliness, he was quite used to it. Besides, he had been through worse, though he had to admit, even after his fateful journey had ended it felt strange to be traveling without an obnoxious Mugen and a usually chittery Fuu. Something in his gut told him that all of it would be forgotten soon, but he wasn't sure if this instinct feeling had anything to do with Shino or not. He decided not to brood too much on it.

It had been a hot summer's day, the heat beckoning weary travelers to stop and rest with a drink to sate dry throats. Jin, unable to resist the urge, had headed willingly towards the nearest tavern in town in hopes of a few moments of shade and rest. He wove in and out of the unusually bustling street, the town still busy despite the hot weather.

He was so intent on reaching that tavern that he almost didn't hear the loud crash that echoed somewhere ahead. Almost didn't catch the string of curses from angry men that followed shortly after. The samurai lifted his dark gaze to the scene that unfolded before him, his eyes widening as they peered through glass lenses.

The crowd parted to make way for a group of men—part of some sort of gang, judging from their Gi shirts with identical symbols engraved on their backs. They were chasing a man with hair as messy as a bird's nest and eyes glittering as madly as a dog. A wild grin adorned his rough features and he was almost a red and brown blur when he drew out his sword.

The locals all scattered to safety, but Jin didn't move an inch. He had to stop himself from smiling as well.

"You little bastard!" One of the men snarled, "Who do you think you're dealing with, stealing from us! We'll chop you limb from limb!"

The man in red only smirked wider.

"You want it? Come and get it," the familiar voice mocked. Jin watched with amusement and pity as the men all foolishly accepted the pirate's dare. A sense of nostalgia began to wash over him as he watched the man in red fight, one by one taking the sluggish gang members down. He had that same cocky smirk on his face as he moved with uncanny speed in ways that made him think he might be part monkey…

When it was all over, he stood up straight to take a look at the handiwork that he had done. It wasn't long however, until his eyes caught sight of the familiar samurai clad in indigo blue that stood only a couple of feet away from where the small skirmish took place. His jaw nearly dropped to the floor, but he composed himself almost at once.

"Oi, is that really you, ya bastard?" He prodded, sword slung over his shoulder. Jin could only smirk in return before charging towards the pirate, sword already out of his sheath. He could hear him curse before going into a defensive stance, but just as quickly as it came, a look of surprise washed over his face when he realized that Jin was not aiming for him.

A strangled cry could be heard from behind him, and he turned to see Jin's sword pierced through one of the gang members that had somehow managed to sneak up behind him.

"Well what do you know, it IS you," he chuckled. "Jin."

"Mugen," the samurai acknowledged, cleaning his blade before returning it to its' sheath. Both were still grinning like it was their lucky day. "I see you still haven't changed. What did you do this time?"

Mugen laughed, his callused hands scratching through probably lice infected hair. "What? I was only doing them a favor. It seemed they were having trouble carrying all this loose change around them," he took out a bag full of money that clinked heavily with the promise of gold coins. "So I took it off of their hands for them."

He pocketed the money once more in his dirty red gi and gave him a lopsided smirk. "It's not my fault they're ungrateful assholes."

Jin restrained from chuckling at the pirate's logic but was silently grateful for it. It was…an unexpected reunion. One that both probably wouldn't admit to looking forward to. But the samurai shook his head and stepped closer towards Mugen, who smelled of sweat and dirt and other things that reeked unpleasantly.

And all he could do was ask him to join him for a drink.

"Alright," Mugen shrugged. "But you're paying for your own," he added, patting the jingling coins in his pocket.

How strange, Jin thought, that they weren't opting to openly kill each other right then and there without Fuu's reprimands. It seemed almost surreal to be sitting across from Mugen, doing things such as talking about memories from years past and having a civil (somewhat) conversation with him.

Bottle after bottle of sake was served, though it was more for the pirate than it was for Jin, as their voices seemed to buzz in the relatively empty tavern. Jin sipped slowly from his own cup, enjoying the burning yet at the same time cooling sensation that slid down his throat. He could hear Mugen chuckle as he did so.

"Don't be so modest," he slurred, taking another swig straight from the bottle, "Indulge a little! It's not everyday we come across sake as good as this." And it was indeed good sake.

Jin watched in morbid fascination as Mugen ordered another round for himself. He had almost forgotten how much the man could, how he said in his own words, 'indulge' in luxuries such as alcohol. He shook his head, declining the waitress's offer when she asked him if he wanted anymore as well.

"As much as I enjoy this reunion," Jin replied in his usual monotone but nonetheless sarcastic tone, "I'm sorry to say I didn't come all the way out here just to meet up with you."

Mugen laughed at this, almost snorting on his drink. "Thank god! If you really missed me THAT much, I was going to start to worry," he replied, wiping a few drops from his stubbled chin. "So, Jiny-boy," Jin winced at the familiar nickname, "What REALLY brings you all the way out here?"

For a moment, the samurai hesitated telling Mugen, assessing the situation into his mind and determining if the pirate was going to poke and laugh at him for being such a romantic or if he was going to partake in other more humiliating antics. He didn't put it past Mugen. After a few seconds of silence, he decided to tell him anyway.

"I am going to keep a promise I made to someone."

"Who is this guy, and do I know 'im?" He asked as if trying to sound interested.

"Her," I corrected, and it immediately bought his attention. "And no, I hardly say that you know her." And he actually preferred it that way.

"A woman? What woman could you possibly…Oh," The brazen young man let out a low chuckle, his head turning the other way to look at a few customers walking in. "That chick."

Jin mentally scowled at the word choice for Shino, but said nothing. He merely nodded. Closing his eyes, the samurai allowed his ears to follow Mugen's movements. Right about now, he could tell that the other man was leaning back.

"Yup, I'd say your three years are already up," the pirate mused. "Well, you must be happy, eh? You get to see your woman again."

Jin remained stoic and silent at Mugen's words. He wasn't sure how to answer exactly. Happy? Of course he was more than anxious to see Shino again after such a long time. But he wasn't sure if this brought him happiness…even though it should. But it seemed to him like it was the right thing to do. He had promised—even without words, to meet her again.

"For a second there, I thought you were talking about her," Mugen commented, his voice dropping a bit.

"Fuu," Her name had escaped Jin's lips before he realized it, and he found himself rather surprised at how quickly the image of the young girl had come into his thoughts. Across the table, Mugen nodded, taking a more leisurely sip from his sake bottle.

"Yeah. Remember? We made a promise to each other too. Well, she declared it anyway. But it was sort of a given, ya know?"

"…Yes," Jin's voice was a soft whisper, his mind playing back that one moment where the three of them stood at a crossroad. There had only been one question on their minds then, and that was 'What happens now?'

But he remembered…more clearly than anything else…the way she smiled that mischievous yet knowing smile, the pink blush on her cheeks spreading with her grin as her hazel eyes sparkled in the sunlight.

"Let's meet again, someday."

And everything would be all right, because she knew it to be true. They all did. He allowed a small smile to grace his usually grim lips, letting Fuu's voice fade into memory. "Yes, I remember."

A comfortable silence fell over the two young men. Something that was very rare indeed. For a while, both let their minds linger on the young girl that had once bound them—that still bound them together.

"It would have been nice to have a proper reunion," Jin added, taking a nother sip of sake. 'It would have been nice to see Fuu again.'

"I don't know about you, but I practically fulfilled that promise," Mugen said, his voice returning to its' loud obnoxious level. Jin couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at this.

"What do you mean?"

"Well," Mugen started matter-of-factly, "I've met up with both of you already, so I don't have any obligations to anybody anymore."

"You've seen Fuu?" the samurai asked with interest, an unknown feeling began to rise into his chest at this knowledge. The pirate shrugged nonchalantly, as if it was no big deal. "I see…" Jin didn't regard it as no big deal. For some reason, he felt something akin to jealousy in his throat. He envied Mugen for being able to see Fuu before he did. He had always thought that if anyone was to remember the vow they had all silently made, he would always be the first to answer to it.

But it was quickly replaced by curiosity.

"How…is Fuu?" The question came out soft, almost as if he was afraid to ask. Yet it held a hint of fondness that could only be held uniquely for Fuu.

"The same," Mugen answered, smirking. "She's not too far from here. In fact, if you keep going the way you are, you'd probably pass by her town. She's still loud, still annoying. She still eats like a pig—but not too flat chested anymore," both of them laughed at this. "But still pretty flat." The pirate emphasized his point by taking his hand and moving it down in a perfect vertical line, indicating the straight plane of Fuu's…endowments.

Jin could only shake his head. "That's not very nice…"

"Yeah well, like I was saying," Mugen continued, ignoring the samurai's defense, "She's still the same as ever. Except…" the playful look left his eyes almost at once, only to be replaced by an expression Jin had not seen before on the man.

Had he known Mugen better, he would have thought the pirate looked almost…sad. Jin stared after the him for a couple of seconds, not aware that he was holding his breath.

"…except…?" He urged. Mugen seemingly shook out of his sudden trance, the cold, hard look returning to his rough features. Turning to his sake, he drank deeply for a while, until it was completely empty. He stared at it, unable to meet with Jin's eyes.

"You…should really go see her."

And that was all he was willing to say to the samurai about the girl. Jin knew that if he were to broach the subject anymore, he wouldn't get anywhere. As the afternoon sky quickly turned to dusk, Jin found that he could not get his mind off of Fuu.

Go see her…

'Perhaps I will,' Jin thought to himself.

Their parting had been very brief the very next day. Mugen set off in one direction, and Jin in another with a distant vow that the next time they met, they would finally have their duel. At the moment, Mugen was far too hung over to fight at his best and his breath was so pungent with the smell of alcohol, Jin was sure it could blind a man at forty paces.

Still, it made the samurai feel heavier yet lighter at the same time seeing the pirate walk away again. He was perhaps the closest thing he had to a friend. He'd kill himself—and Mugen would probably help before committing suicide himself, before he would ever say that aloud.

His feet lead him, almost instinctively to where he knew was his destination. Though, his reasons seemed a bit blurred in the morning fog. Jin knew where he was going—to Shino. But there was a small whisper in the back of his mind that told him otherwise.

Jin almost felt guilty for thinking of Fuu when he was supposed to be on this journey for Shino. He also reasoned, however, that he had promised Fuu that he would one day meet her as well, if only for a short while. Then he would leave and fulfill duty to Shino. Besides, what was it that Mugen said? The girl lived in a small town that would be on the way to Shino's temple.

He would be killing two birds with one stone. Yes, it was better this way.

It wasn't too long, only a couple of days in fact, that he came across the next town. He had been walking nearly day and night after all, so he supposed that added to the quick arrival. Strangely enough, he didn't feel all too tired. But he was hungry. As he passed by the shops, looking for some sort of noodle stand or something, he idly wondered if this was Fuu's town.

But all thoughts were flown from his mind when he bumped into something—or rather, someone. The sound of something falling and crashing onto the ground could be heard, and Jin turned dark eyes to look at the contents that spilled on the floor.

"Oh no," a feminine voice muttered behind him, and he heard her shuffle and kneel behind him to gather her things. Immediately, the samurai kneeled down to pick up the fallen items as well.

"Please excuse me, I wasn't looking where I was going," he said politely. After picking up a bottle of what he presumed to be herbal medicine, he extended his arm to the person in which he so rudely bumped into. A couple of seconds passed in which he was still extending his arm out to them and they had not taken it. He began to feel uncomfortable.

"…Jin?" It didn't occur to him that he had not once brought his gaze up to look at whoever it was that he was speaking to. That voice seemed familiar…he lifted his eyes.


"OMIGOSH IT'S REALLY YOU!" The girl had pounced on him so suddenly that the air left his lungs, and he sat frozen as she laughed and cried all at once into his hoari. He couldn't move for a good long while, the shock never quite leaving his body. Jin was a person…who normally didn't like to be touched. But at the moment, he didn't seem to mind at all. Eventually, his strong arms wound around the small girl still babbling into his chest.

It wasn't until later that he realized just exactly where they were: in the middle of the street, on the dusty ground, with bottles of herbs and food scattered around them, and a gaggle of people staring—Fuu really was loud.

Jin promptly cleared his throat, the sound causing Fuu to look up at him through big hazel eyes.

"We're starting to draw some attention," he said quietly, a small amused smile on his lips. She only giggled then, the sound of her light laughter resounding in his ears. He had almost forgotten how pleasant it sounded.

Blushing in embarrassment, Fuu scrambled off of Jin and hurriedly put all of her stuff into the basket she was carrying. Jin offered her a hand up in which she gratefully took and motioned for him to follow her. Both were eager to leave the scene.

The whole time, Fuu was grinning from ear-to-ear. Jin almost found it contagious.

"Wow! How lucky! First Mugen, now you!" She started, almost skipping with her basket. "It's been such a long time, three years right? Oh wow, and you look just exactly as I remember you, Jin!"

The samurai remained silent, just content with hearing her voice again. It was at this time that he actually began to take a good look at her. She was still the same, just like Mugen had said. However, she did seem a bit thinner, perhaps even paler—enough so that when she flushed a pretty pink, it was a stark contrast to her skin. Still, she had that same cheerful smile and twinkling hazel eyes. He was sure that her hair must have grown a bit longer by now, and her kimono was still the color of vibrant pink.

And her chest? Definitely not as flat as Mugen claimed. He smiled.

"And so are you, Fuu."

She broke out into an even wider smile, one that spoke of honesty and warmth and loss of loneliness all at once. Her small hands suddenly twined with his large one, tugging and pulling impatiently for him to follow. He let her lead him, let her take him away from the bustling little town and towards a hill in which a house was perched atop.

For a moment, Jin's face faulted. For some reason, he had imagined her house to be surrounded in sunflowers. But all trivial thoughts were lost to the wind as her laughter permeated the air with a chime-like song, the feel of her hand tightening around his own as she began to run towards her home. He had no choice but to run with her, hearing only her giggles of "Almost there!"

And he couldn't help but think it endearing.

"Here we are!" Fuu announced, opening the screen door and ushering the silent samurai inside. "It's not much, but I've grown to like it." Careful to take off their shoes before coming inside, Fuu motioned for Jin to go ahead and make himself at home. "Let me put away these," she held out her basket, "I was just coming back from the market you know. Be out with you in a sec!"

He, however, was more interested in peering around her house.

"Would you like some tea? Don't worry, it's good. I used to work in a teahouse before I met you, remember?" She added when Jin looked at her curiously.

"Arigato," he nodded, settling down on a tatami mat at the table.

"How have you been, Jin?" She asked from the kitchen, and he could hear her moving around to get cups and water.

"Fine," came the short reply.

"Fine and…?"


The girl emerged into the main room, sighing a bit when she knew that he wasn't going to say much more than that. "Same ol' Jin," she giggled, bringing over a tray with tea and rice cakes. Jin gladly helped himself to one, noting that Fuu did a rather good job on them. Or maybe it was just because he felt famished at the moment.

"This is…a rather big house for just one person," Jin commented. "I noticed that there must be multiple rooms. Do you…?"

"Ah, no I live alone," she waved the notion aside. "If you want to get technical, this really isn't my house. You see it belonged to an old couple that used to live here. They hired me as their housemaid," Fuu explained.

"Used to?"

A sad smile came across Fuu's lips as she sought another rice cake. "Manabe-san got sick and just couldn't get better. He died about a year ago. After that, his wife never stopped mourning. I tried everything I could to cheer her up, but it didn't do any good. She died three months after. They were sort like grandparents to me…"

"I'm sorry," Jin said comfortingly, knowing how incredibly useless it sounded. But she only shook her head.

"It's alright. What's that saying they used to have? When a lovebird loses its' lover, it will wither away and lose its' ability to fly, and longs to die soon so that it will be reunited with its' mate. I'd like to think that they ended up together in the end," She finished with a note of wistfulness in her voice.

Jin sipped his tea slowly, never taking his eyes off of her. It was just like Fuu to be the romantic.

"In any case, the Manabe's didn't have any children, even though they had always hoped. That's why it's so big. So they left the entire house to me. I guess it all worked out in the end."

There was something in the way she avoided his eyes when she said that. Something that told Jin that it wasn't as simple as Fuu made it out to be. But there wasn't anything he could do about it, except apologize. And he had already done that.

"So it has."

"Ah! Jin, you have a bit of rice stuck to your face," Fuu pointed.

"Mm?" His hand went up to his left cheek. Nothing but unblemished skin.

"No! Not there, the other side!" the girl chuckled, soon to be laughing when the samurai did the same to the other cheek yet still missing completely. He was getting irritated, and wondered if she made up this grain of rice just to aggravate him. "Lower, lower…Oh! Just let me!"

Fuu took out a piece of cloth and moved to his side of the table, successfully wiping a piece of rice that had indeed been stuck near the edge of his mouth. Her giggling could be heard throughout the entire thing, and she proudly showed the kernel to him when she was done. "See? Now you're rice-free."

Jin's expression remained stiff. Although he felt a bit embarrassed that he had to have Fuu clean rice off of his face, he didn't think the idea of being doted on by her unpleasant. She laughed. He felt like laughing too, though mind you, he didn't. But it was very hard resisting.

And it was just like the reunion with Mugen, only instead of sake, there was tea. And instead of accounts of battles and bloodshed, they recalled all the moments when Mugen did something less than rational. Well, Fuu did most of the talking. Jin just nodded once in a while with his trademark "Hm" or "Ah." He also took note that whenever she spoke, she'd scrunch up her nose when she was agitated with a memory, or she'd get a happy gleam when she talked about food.

But he didn't care. He felt oddly content, just sitting here, hearing Fuu ramble about days long past as she shoved rice cake after rice cake into her watering mouth. Mugen had also been right about her eating like a pig. But then again, that was what made her Fuu. Jin smirked, knowing later, she'd probably become rather plump before snapping right back to her usual dainty size. Hmmm, no one quite like Fuu.

By now, the girl had rice all over her cheeks and lips. She didn't seem to notice however, and Jin found himself oddly amused, staring at the bits and pieces staining her pink-flushed cheeks and lips. For a wild, fleeting second, he contemplated cleaning her face just as she had done for him.

That notion was quickly shaken out of his head. Jin opted for telling her instead.


"Rsh?" She asked through a mouthful.

"All over your face. It's…a lot worse than me," he added with amusement in his voice. She swallowed, an audible gulp resounding in the room. Laughing nervously, she took out her piece of cloth and cleaned her face, successfully getting all of the rice kernels from her cheeks and lips.

Jin was relieved yet strangely disappointed at the same time that she had saved him the task of removing them for her.

It was getting dark outside. Both of them had been totally unaware of the setting sun until the sound of crickets could be heard. Fuu let out an audible gasp when she noticed the darkened state of her room and quickly moved to light candles.

"Ah, that's better," she sighed. "Time sure flies. I guess I rambled a bit much, huh?"

"It's quite alright," he replied, smiling. "I quite enjoyed it."

Fuu looked surprised at this, then whispered, "Me too." Then she frowned. "But I can't help but feel that you didn't come just to see me."


"Being the wandering samurai again, Jin?" a soft laugh escaped her lips, offering him more tea. He declined. He knew that she was waiting for him to tell her where it was exactly that he planned on going. Yet strangely, he felt as if telling her the truth…made him feel guilty. Though he didn't know the slightest why he felt ashamed of returning to Shino again. It was his obligation.

But somehow, he didn't want to tell Fuu.

"It's Shino, isn't it?"

Jin looked up immediately, his dark eyes catching with her own hazel ones, which seemed to glow in the candlelight. They were empty, sad, yet strangely calm and serene. Heh. It seemed he didn't have to tell her after all. She knew. They had all known.

"…Yes," the answer came in a soft whisper, almost blending in with the summer night. He bit back the strange urge to apologize.

"That's wonderful, Jin," Fuu smiled, which surprised him because he thought that was the last thing she'd say. "You'll finally get to be with her and live happily ever after."

"You're…okay with it?" he asked, disbelieving. Wasn't it she who objected the most to him being with Shino before?

"Why wouldn't I be? I mean, when you left her behind at that temple, you were moping around for the longest time. Mugen and I were just sick of it," the girl joked, although it seemed forced and he could hear a bit of bitterness in her voice. "I'm happy for you, really."

Jin scanned her face in the faint light of the moon and flickering candles, seeing only sincerity. Fuu really did…wish for his happiness. And for that he was grateful. But still…he couldn't shake off this feeling of guilt.

"I met up with Mugen on my way here," the samurai started, hoping to change the subject. Fuu's eyes seemed to glitter at this.

"Ne! Really? Haha, the last time I saw him, he was a mess! Not to mention still so rude! Did you know, once he went into my house he went straight to the cupboards to rummage for sake? Then he had the nerve to tell me to go buy him some when he found out I didn't have any." She huffed, crossing her arms. "I swear, he's nothing but a Neanderthal."

Jin allowed a chuckle to rumble in his throat. That was so like Mugen.

"Yes, well, he had a couple of things to say about you too."

"Oh? What kind of things?" Hazel eyes narrowed suspiciously.

"Not all of them were bad. But he did speak about you, about the last time you two met." He couldn't believe that he was disclosing all of this information to Fuu. He had never talked so much before in his life. She must have noticed to, but she seemed happy more than anything over this change. Still…

He noticed that Fuu's expression seemed to grow somber at his words, just like Mugen's had when he was in that tavern with him. A distant look crossed her face, and her eyes seemed to have lost that twinkle that he was so accustomed to seeing her with.

"So…he talked about me, huh?" She seemed to grow even more depressed when the samurai nodded yes. Her voice grew hesitant. "What…did he say?"

"That I should see you," Jin answered, a bit of concern in his tone. A bitter smile graced Fuu's lips.

"You know then…"

He wasn't sure what she meant but this cryptic answer, but decided instead to ask the question that he had asked Mugen before. "How are you, Fuu?"

"Better," she said almost immediately. "A lot better in fact. You could say I'm almost fine!" Her voice held that of false cheerfulness that was more apparent now than ever. This…disconcerted him. Almost fine? What is that supposed to…?

Before he could say another word, Fuu had stood up and began cleaning the table. "It really is getting late. I'm sorry I kept you so long. Well, since its night already, how about you stay the night?"

"I wouldn't want to impose."

"Impose?" Fuu scoffed. "I have about three other empty rooms, what else am I going to use them for? Besides, it's no trouble at all. It's not everyday a close friend of mine comes to visit." She kneeled beside the samurai, pleading with big puppy dog eyes that he knew she used all the time to get what she wanted… "I'm so glad that you're here…Please stay here just for tonight? I'll even make you breakfast and everything tomorrow!"

Dammit. She was too cute. Curse those big hazel eyes and pouty pink lips. Jin let out a sigh and nodded in defeat. Fuu squealed in delight before rushing off to get a room for him ready. This left the samurai all alone in the dark silence.

Jin leaned back, sighing slightly. Well, he supposed staying one night over wouldn't hurt. Besides, it'd be nice to sleep in a decent futon for once. He allowed himself a peering look at the pale moon outside, feeling a cool breeze touch his skin and effectively blowing out the candles.

It was in this moment that Jin noticed how truly vast and cold the house seemed, from the barren walls to the empty hallways. It could even be described as lonely.

+ End Chapter +


Admittedly not too much went on in the first chapter. I just wanted to get all of the characters in their setting, give some insight on character and thoughts, you know. I actually wrote this a long time ago and originally it was supposed to be a one-shot. But the more I wrote, the more ideas I kept adding, and the longer it got. When it was approaching over thirty pages, I decided to split it up.

Give all y'all a nice break for the eyes. (sweat) Also, the beginning quote of this chapter was from "Shiki no Uta" (Song of the Seasons) the ending theme song from the Samurai Champloo series.

Revelations and secrets run rampant in the next chapter so stick around! (I plan on updating this fic once every two or three days). Again, I apologize if things are out of context or if the characters seem OOC.)

PLEASE READ AND REVIEW! And I'd like to ask No flames please! Especially from those who are just going to insult me because you're close-minded over this pairing. Criticism is welcome, and all reviews are appreciated. Tell me what you think!

Thank You and Ja Ne!