A Boundless War
Summary: Lately their usually friendly competition has become something more and has even involved Fuu! Now they are no longer battling with their swords but with their charm and appeal. Now, Fuu is the target. Who she chooses is the winner. Let the games begin!
Just about five hours straight of walking, I've come to realize, makes him irritable. She gets restless and he gets irritable. That makes for some very heated arguments along the way to slow us down. She had been kicking a small pebble along the path we were walking, and he gritting his teeth and mumbling curses under his breath the whole time. Although she didn't seem to even notice, let alone care, he was going to explode at any minute and I would have to be the one to calm him.
Sometimes Mugen didn't get that she was only a girl. So, she was annoying and ditzy and very clingy, but still I would never turn my blade to her. Mugen on the other hand wouldn't think twice… ne, he wouldn't think once either. He usually doesn't.
It was when Fuu accidentally kicked the rock astray and after it, forcing us to stand by and wait for her return, that Mugen finally lost it. "Damn you, you stupid chick!" he called after her, "Would you just forget the damned pebble and get your ass over here?"
She turned to glare his way and reluctantly headed back, without the rock.
"You are so brash!" Fuu shouted at her returned, "I can't believe you would get so worked up over something so silly."
"Just be quiet." Mugen ordered, "I don't like to hurt women, but if you leave me no choice---"
"Mugen." I said calmly, reminding him that I was two steps behind the bickering couple. He knew that I would not stand by and allow him to threaten her. Not that I had developed feelings for Fuu or anything, but I didn't approve of Mugen's crude ways. I wouldn't allow him to harm any woman. It was dishonorable and I refused to be seen with somebody of such low class.
"Aw, what the hell are you gonna do about it?" Mugen asked, his voice challenging me.
"Yeah," Fuu smiled, turning to face me, "Tell him, Jin!"
I let out a small release of breath in annoyance. Now Mugen wanted to vent out his anger on me, did he? I have to admit, I do grow tiresome of his childish, competitive ways but I can't help but give in. Mugen, after all, is the only swordsman I haven't overpowered. I could never back out of battle. It would be giving in.
I saw his hand reach for his sword and immediately did the same. Shoving Fuu to the side I took immediate stance as did Mugen. We did everything pretty much the same, though his style was very much messier than mine. Thus we began out battle of swords. We went on, swinging at each other, blocking the other's sword and ignoring Fuu's cries of protest. Finally it was over. Fuu had once again managed to end it.
She threw herself between us shouting nonsense about us being her chosen bodyguards and being thus we had to help each other rather than fight each other. The rest of our walk was an endless lecture from the annoying girl. But this time, Mugen didn't get too annoyed by it, nor did I. We had already taken out our anger on one another and that was that.
Finally we approached the village. It had seemed so small in the distance but as we entered it was quite obvious that the village was not as small as it seemed. Immediately the delicious aroma of a nearby food stand teased our noses. The familiar sound of Fuu's rumbling stomach also sounded.
"You guys," she said, in her whiniest voice yet, "I'm really hungry! You'd better earn some money for us to eat, got it?"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever." Mugen groaned. I caught him looking over towards the red light zone, however, and realized what he'd really be earning money for.
We occupied one of the abandoned huts we found. It was a bit messy, but I began working to clean it up and to set a fire. Fuu decided she wanted to bathe while she was waiting, and Mugen… just ran off being Mugen. Again, I was alone. After finished the chores left to me, I decided to rest a bit. I propped myself against the wall and shut my eyes.
I woke at the noise of somebody entering the hut. My hand immediately found my sword even before I opened my eyes. It had been Fuu. She was wrapped in her kimono, her wet hair had been let down. I noticed she was going through her things and decided not to bother her. It had been the first time I had seen her with her hair down as well so I decided to just lay back and watch her.
But I began to notice that her searching became more frantic and tears were forming in her eyes. She began tossing things left in right, not even regarding the other person in the room. When her thermos nearly smashed me in the head, I decided to put an end to it.
I cleared my throat to get her attention. She only continued to throw her luggage around like it was nothing.
Sighing, I said, "Are you looking for something?"
She gasped and turned to face me, her hair wild and all over the place. Her tears threatened to fall. "Please, Jin…" she begged in a shaky whisper, "You need to help me find him!"
"Him?" my eyebrow rose quizzically.
We stared at each other for sometime… it was actually a bit awkward, but soon enough the frantic searching started up again. I sighed in annoyance and said in a firm tone, "Please calm yourself and tell me what happened!"
This time she refused to stop or even to acknowledge me. With annoyance I got to my feet, approached her and pulled her to her feet by an arm. She whimpered in protested, but I grabbed hold of her shoulders and shook her lightly. "What is wrong with you!" I asked, "You're going crazy!"
She finally broke down. "It… It's gone…" I heard her sob, "The picture… it's…"
In a desperate attempt for comfort, she wrapped her arms tightly around me and buried her face into my stomach. She was so pathetic… dropping to her knees and giving in she cried. I couldn't get another word out of her, but I allowed her to cry quietly by my side, as agitating as it was.
Sooner or later, Mugen showed up. He stared at us with a baffled expression. It was then I noticed that Fuu had been clinging to my arm and had fallen asleep, her head resting against my shoulder.
"What happened between you two?" Mugen asked with a smirk.
"It's not what it looks like." I explained, "She had come in here and---"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Mugen grinned, "You don't have to explain to me, Jin. I know exactly what was going on."
"No… it's not…." I sighed and dropped my head. I was too tired to have to deal with this, "Just forget it."
"No, I won't." I heard Mugen say smugly.
"What did you say?" I asked, my eyebrows fluttering in irritation. I glanced up at him, but his back was to me as I watched him feed the fire.
"I'm going to take this as a challenge, Jin." Mugen said, I could just picture the cunning grin on his face, "We obviously can't beat the other with our swords… so we'll make this competition official, what do you say?"
"I don't know what you're getting at." I said just as Fuu dropped onto my lap.
Mugen turned to face me. "Whoever gets the girl wins." He explained, "It's quite simple."
"You mean…?" I asked, glancing down at the girl in my lap. I looked back up to face him, "But why? You don't get along with Fuu at all."
"So, I like a challenge." Mugen said, "I'm going to sleep, now. The games begin bright and early tomorrow morning."
I sneered, taking his comment as a mere joke, though I knew within that he wouldn't joke over something like this. I laid back, and shoved Fuu off of my lap… The clingy brat… I tried over and over again to tell myself that Mugen was merely joking, or just downright drunk. He couldn't possibly mean it…
But as the fire licked at my face, I realized that this was the beginning of a boundless war. We would compete, no matter the feelings of Fuu. Despite our journey together, Mugen and I would compete. It was inevitable now. We had no choice but to oppose one another. To battle for a girl's heart.
'I apologize, Fuu,' I said inwardly, 'But I have no choice but to participate. If I break your heart then so be it.'
I woke the next morning to the sound of happy chatter. I opened my eyes slightly. Mugen and Fuu had been eating fish together, talking as if there wasn't a care in the world. Quite strange behavior for the couple… That was when it hit me. He was striking back…
"Wow, Mugen," Fuu said, her face stuffed as she bit into her fish, "I can't believe you actually went to the trouble of catching us some fish! I've got to give you some credit."
"Of course." Mugen smiled smugly, glancing my way, "It was nothing, really."
"Shouldn't we save some for Jin?" Fuu asked suddenly turning to face me. Her eyes widened when she realized that I was awake, "Oh, good morning."
Stretching, I got to my feet. "Don't worry about me." I said, "I'll fend for myself."
With that, I left the hut. I actually didn't intend on getting something to eat at all. I decided to go and meditate by the lake. Following the path through the wooded area, I finally found the still waters and sat with my legs crossed. I tried my best to forget the whole situation with Mugen and Fuu and to concentrate on myself but I couldn't. In my mind I had actually been trying to scheme up a way to beat Mugen in his own game!
That was when I noticed it. A small canvas on the ground. I reached out and took it in my hand. Staring at the paining I realized that it belonged to Fuu. It was of a small child that resembled her greatly, and she was with somebody else, too. A man. They were surrounded by sunflowers. My mind should have immediately realized that this was the sunflower samurai that Fuu was with, but actually, to my own surprise all I could think was that it was the perfect way to draw Fuu closer to me.
I got to my feet and headed for the hut, but I didn't enter. I sat and waited for Mugen to leave. Knowing Mugen, he wouldn't sit around the hut all day. Not if Fuu had anything to say about it…
As I predicted, some time later I might add, Mugen walked out of the hut. I watched him leave, heading towards the village market. I smirked and entered the hut where I found Fuu finishing her fish up. I approached her and held out my hand.
She glanced up at me with a confused expression and giving up, I dropped the small paining into her lap. All that could be heard was a small gasp.
"Tell me who he is." I demanded, referring to the man in the picture.
She glanced up at me with pink tinged cheeks. "He's… he was my dad."
"Your father?" I asked, an eyebrow raised. She nodded and quickly hid the paining away in her things.
"I thought I had lost it." She told me, "I was so afraid, because it's the only thing I have left that reminds me of him… Besides you."
"Yes." She smiled with a faint blush, "Why do you think I chose you as my bodyguard? Because you remind me so much of him."
I smiled faintly. She was making this all too easy. "I see." I said, choosing my words carefully, "And you wanted to be closer to me because I remind you of your father, correct?"
"Ummm… wrong." She said, "I figured that since you and he are so alike then you'd be able to figure out where he might be."
"Oh, I see." I replied. So maybe she wasn't going to make it that easy…
"What are you two talking about?" Mugen asked, deliberately interrupting out session. I frowned his way, but he just smiled with feigned innocence.
"None of your business!" Fuu spat angrily at him, "Just leave us alone!"
I smirked inwardly. So Mugen wanted a challenge? Well, in that case, I'd give him the greatest challenge of all. He most definitely couldn't overpower me in wooing a woman. Even in Fuu's diary she had admitted that she was somewhat attracted to me. This would be all too easy. You can interrupt now, Mugen, but don't think you've won just yet. This war would continue forever.
Finally I've begun my Samurai Champloo story. I must admit that I've only seen up to the sixteenth episode, so that's where this story is beginning. From there. Sorry, but I'm only guessing that the sunflower samurai is Fuu's father. It doesn't mean that it's necessarily true. Well, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter!
Also, I forgot to mention that this story is both JinxFuu and MugenxFuu. I did the first chapter from Jin's POV, just because I thought it would be cool to see things through his eyes but next chapter might be through Mugen's POV. Or maybe Fuu's. Or maybe even Jin's again. We'll see what I'm in the mood for! Remember to review! No reviews, no updates!