AN: Set just after the series ended – the ending I wish would have happened.

Disclaimer: I do not own Samurai Champloo or its characters.


Fuu stood behind a tree and watched the two men as they walked away from her and down two separate paths. Her first instinct was to run after them - but which one would she have chosen? Her feelings for both of them were strong but they were different as night and day. And so are my feelings, she thought.

Mugen had surprised her when he had risked his life for her. He had played the part of the playboy who cared about nothing but getting laid, booze, and food. Sometimes at night, Fuu would lay awake thinking about what it would have been like if they kissed. The very idea made her blush even now. She wondered what Mugen would have said if he knew that she thought about him like that. Fuu was almost certain he didn't like her in that way. Mugen always treated her like the kid sister. His behavior had made her mad at first. She would have been better for him than the women he picked up on the road. But by the time their journey ended, it was evident just how much he cared for her – even if it was as a friend and not a lover. Fuu knew that Mugen cared for her more than he had for any of his one-night stands.

Then there was Jin. He tried so hard to remain alone and depend only on himself but even he couldn't hide the fact that he cared for both Mugen and her. Fuu had been so jealous when Jin spent those days with Shino. Although she tried to deny it, his affair with Shino had bothered her much more than Mugen's attention to other women. But why? She wondered if it was because Fuu knew that Jin truly loved Shino but Mugen didn't care for the women he slept with. It never really mattered in the end. Fate kept Jin away from Shino and he continued on their journey with Mugen and Fuu. Part of Fuu's heart still ached because she knew if Jin could have chosen, he would be with Shino right now.

Fuu stared at the paths they had disappeared down for a few moments longer and sighed. Her chance was gone now and so were they. She would never see the silent samurai and the arrogant mercenary. Damn, she thought, why does it hurt so much? It is not as if we were lovers or anything. She turned around slowly, taking one last look at the spot where they said goodbye and started to walk home.

The girl wasn't even sure where her home was. She didn't have a job anymore – Jin and Mugen had seen to that. At least I'll still have my home, she mused, remembering the small cottage she inherited from her mother. After sharing so many crowded rooms with Mugen and Jin, she hated the thought of living there alone. "Damn, I never thought I would feel this way," she said aloud.

"You know they say only crazy people talk to themselves." A quiet voice spoke behind her.

Fuu froze dead in her tracks. It couldn't be his voice, could it? If a stranger was behind her, Fuu knew she was doomed and she didn't even have a weapon but if it was him… I am so stupid, she told herself. The young girl turned around slowly – there was no one there. "What in the hell?" She picked up a big stick that was lying on the ground. I did not survive that journey to be killed going home.

Jin stepped out from behind a tree and into Fuu's attack. The samurai grabbed the stick and the two stared at each other for several moments, locked in each other's gazes.

It was Fuu that spoke first. "What are you doing, Jin-san? You scared me to death!"

"I passed some women and they told me there was a group of bandits in the area." Jin said, his voice expressing no emotion.

Fuu looked up at him and smiled. Although she did not say anything because it would embarrass Jin, she was touched he was concerned for her safety. "Oh, I haven't seen anyone. I'll be okay if you would rather travel alone. I can handle a few bandits!"

Jin looked away from her; he was unable to meet Fuu's eyes. "It is no trouble for me to walk with you. That is unless you have objections."

Fuu blushed at his comment. "Umm no, Jin-san. Why would I object? It is a long walk to my village." She was so pleased that she wanted to take Jin into her arms, kiss him, and do things to him that made her blush. But, that would not have been proper, so Fuu slipped her hand around Jin's and squeezed it softly. She was amazed when the samurai didn't pull away from her and continued to hold her hand as they walked. Fuu did not know it meant but for the moment, she did not care. Fuu was too happy for thoughts and in the moments that followed allowed herself to feel the bliss that filled her from being close to Jin. The girl who loved to talk smiled when she realized just how blissful silence could be.