Expect Little Sleep Tonight

Description: Just how many times can one girl get kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel? And what happens when Mugen is Fuu's first customer? He'll help her escape right? Right! (Mugen/Fuu Romance, Post-series, Five-part, Warning: Adult Content)

Disclaimer: I don't own/create/produce any part of Samurai Champloo.

Warnings: Listen up! Adult Situations, Adult Content, Adult Language, and Violence (but it's done to the bad guys, so it's all good!) And the most important warning, there will be a Lemon later on, that means S-E-X, people (it's strictly vanilla-missionary, but if you don't like trashy romance novels then this is not the fic for you.) I'll post another Lemon warning when I get to that chapter.

Author's Note: This fic is five chapters in its entirety, mostly all written (a first for me). Updates will come after I tweak and rewrite each bit.

Citadel's Soapbox: I've been reading a lot of Samurai Champloo fics lately (most very, very good); however it shocked me to discover how many authors are calling Mugen samurai. Mugen is sooo not samurai! Okay, I'm off my soapbox.

PS- Wondering about my extended absence and when the heck I'm going to update my other two fics? Check my profile, hurricanes suck!

Chapter One: Fuu's Peril

'Yeah know,' Fuu thought bitterly to herself, 'some girls go through their whole lives following some blissfully, dull routine and they never ever have to go through the terror and many annoyances of being kidnapped! Not even once!' Fuu huffed over the unfairness of it all.

How many times could one girl get kidnapped anyway?

"Hold still," Koto tugged on her hair, until Fuu's head was tilted backwards and her eyebrows were pulled up, "or you'll get poked in the eye, kid." Gritting her teeth, Fuu allowed the senior prostitute to blacken her eyelids with the charcoal and ink mixture. Briefly, she wondered if she should be resisting more, but something told her that Koto wouldn't hesitate to purposely blind her just to prove her point. Besides, one of the goons that had grabbed her was standing in the doorway, leering at her and waiting for any excuse to manhandle her again.

The question wasn't just, 'How many times could one girl get kidnapped?'; the real question was, 'How many times could a girl get kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel?' Fuu suspected her two times were two times more then the national average.

Of course the other kinds of kidnappings, the hostage ones (it didn't escape Fuu's notice that she had been kidnapped so many times that kidnappings were now organized by themes), hadn't happened since she had parted ways with the samurai and pirate, Jin and Mugen. She almost missed those kinds of kidnappings. Sure, she had been roughed up a bit by some sadomasochist psycho, but after Mugen or Jin showed up, the hard part was done. She'd just sit back and wait to be rescued.

Not like this! Here was the promise of some sweaty middle-aged man paying what he would to rent a horse, just to sweat all over some shivering, young girl who was down on her luck. Or in Fuu's case entrapped and kidnapped!

It had all started that morning, while Fuu was stopped at a sweet-vinegar rice stand, reading her horoscope. Her Horoscope had read, quite simply, "Expect little sleep tonight," which in Fuu's opinion, was not the kind of warning to heed a day like this.

It should've read, "Beware smuggled pearls," or better yet, "That guy next to you is a crooked cop, don't buy anything from him."

But no, she wasn't properly warned, so when the undercover guard approached her and offered her a set of pearl earrings straight from the country of Shin at bottom rate prices, she jumped at it. Only to be promptly arrested for buying smuggled goods from the continent. How was she to know about the Shogun's embargo against Shin? She was just a small town waitress for crying out loud!

Next thing she knew, a bunch of ugly thugs were dragging her down into the red light district and the Shogun's agent offered her a choice: Jail or Brothel?

As soon as Fuu heard that she knew what kind of game was being played! She'd heard stories about these kinds of creeps, entrapping and framing pretty, young girls and blackmailing them into a life of prostitution. The cop got to pocket the money from the 'sell' and the yakuza got a fresh face and body for the flesh trade.

'I'm too cute for my own good,' Fuu thought bitterly to herself.

Of course, she chose the cathouse; after all, jails have bars, brothels have paper windows. Escape from a whorehouse would be much easier then a guard station. And if worse comes to worse, she could always hit some poor bastard with a vase again…

"Ouch!" gritting her teeth, Fuu tried to stay quiet as Koto pinned her hair so tight that it hurt to blink her painted eyes. Extravagant hairpieces and pins were poking out of her head with dangling metal ornaments and bright, cloth flowers. She might've appreciated them more if it hadn't been for the circumstances.

After haggling over the price of Fuu, the crooked cop had left the brothel 75 ryo richer (which vaguely insulted Fuu, the last time she was kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel she had been worth 100 ryo!) and Fuu was left in the charge of Koto, a thirty-some-year old prostitute with a no nonsense attitude about her work. She'd already boxed Fuu's ears a few times for fidgeting or whining or staring a little too intently at the back window.

Koto was now staring at Fuu, the lead-based, white face-paint in one hand; the fingers of her other were tapping her tobacco-stained teeth, as was her habit while she was thinking. Really, the brown stain of her teeth was the only unattractive thing about Koto. Though older then her peers and lacking their glow of youth, Koto more then made up for it in sex appeal. She was curvy and sensual, bawdy without being vulgar, and Fuu was willing to bet that what Koto knew enough about the bedroom to fill a library!

"Mmm," finally setting down the face-paint, Koto said, "Let's lay off the white. Keep your face natural and pink. They're selling you as a virgin anyway, you might as well look like one." Instead, the senior whore picked up the face powder and set about making Fuu a more 'natural', pale face. "Are you really a virgin, kid? If not, you better tell me, 'cause the Boss is gonna take bids for your 'first night'. He don't care if you get slapped around when some guy realizes he got ripped off. The Boss gets the money and you get a black eye."

Fighting back the urge to sneeze as a thin cloud of face powder settled around her head, Fuu blushed, shaking her head, "No, I've never…um, done it."

"It?" a penciled black eyebrow arched and Koto smirked, "You really are a virgin, kid."

"My name is Fuu," she muttered quietly.

"Not any more," said Koto, but not unkindly, "Best if you forgot 'Fuu' even existed. Now you get a new name for a new life," and the prostitute tried to muster some enthusiasm in her voice, "Most girls don't get to choose their new names, but the boss put me in charge of naming you. So, I'll give you some choices and you choose the one you like best, all right? Won't that be fun?"

Fuu half-heartedly shrugged her shoulders.

"Let's see, Hoshiko's a good one, very glamorous. Yoshe, that one's a little too common though. Umeko, Miki, Oki- no wait, we already have an Oki. Kura? Kura's very pretty. What do you think?"

Honestly, Fuu didn't give a rat's ass about a new name she didn't plan on keeping anyway. A dozen little escape scenarios were busy running through her mind and she wasn't really paying attention to Koto, until she heard the extended pause. What was the last name she'd heard? "Kura. Kura's fine, I like Kura."

"Kura it is then," Koto theatrically dusted off her hand and gently took Fuu by the chin, twisting her this way and that, "Very nice, very young. Now time to get dressed. It's twilight already and the midnight hours are our happy hours." Rising up to her feet, the senior prostitute unwrapped a paper-clad package and whipped out a bright purple kimono with a pale yellow nagajuban. Both the front obi and han-eri were bright red and Fuu was ashamed to admit to herself that she really liked these clothes. So what if they practically screamed, 'Lady of Negotiable Affections'? It was pretty and made of very soft cotton (though Fuu idly wondered why she couldn't manage to be kidnapped by a brothel that could afford silk).

Fuu was helped to her feet by Koto, "Take off that old kimono and I'll take it to the Boss. He keeps all our private things." This caught Fuu's attention and she glanced up at Koto, a little perturbed. "Yeah, I know it's a bitch, kid," the prostitute shrugged in apology, "but this is our lot in life. Normally, the Madam would handle all this, but she was skimming off the top and the Boss found out. The yakuza jacked the ex-Madam up something awful." Sighing, Koto picked some lint off of the purple kimono in her hands, "Pity, she wasn't half bad for an old crone. So I'm in charge until the Boss gets a new wrinkled bat to order us around and answer to him. The Boss knows everything we do, he knows who we talk to, he knows how much we get tipped, and where we go. If he keeps your private clothes, you'll have to go through him to get out on the streets. This way, he can keep tabs on you." Impatiently, Koto snapped her fingers at the goon in the doorway, waving him out with gritted teeth. The thug took one more suspicious leer at Fuu, before stepping out and sliding the door behind him.

Turning around, Fuu started untying her obi and asked over her shoulder, "Who is this Boss anyway?"

"Boss Yutaka."

Fuu suddenly froze for two important reasons. First, the name had shocked her. She knew she was in trouble, but she had no idea that the shit was this deep! Boss Yutaka? He was only the most prominent, ruthless yakuza boss this side of Edo. Rumor had it, that he had spread from gambling houses to brothels lately, but Fuu, not being familiar with the politics of the local flesh trade, didn't know he owned any cathouses in this town. Yutaka was a notorious badass and not someone to screw with! Even if she did escape, she'd have to immediately start her life on the run and get her skinny butt the hell out of town!

The second reason Fuu had frozen up while undressing was that her trusty tanto was hidden on the inside of her kimono. She knew it was there, but hadn't used it while being kidnapped, because she had been so outnumbered and the punishment for pulling a weapon on one of the Shogun's agents was death! Yet, she still wanted to keep the tanto on her person, especially if Koto was going to leave her alone for a few minutes. This could be her big chance!

"Oh," Koto glanced over at Fuu's bare back, "take off your bindings too. They'll only get in the way later on."

Pretending to be more embarrassed then she already was, Fuu kept her back modestly to Koto and slowly unwrapped the cotton bindings that covered her breasts and torso, careful to keep her pink-lacquered tanto hidden from Koto's view. She slid her kimono the rest of the way off and handed her clothes to Koto, always facing away from the woman. Clutching the tanto to her chest, she tried to make it appear as if she was simply trying to cover her nudity by grasping at her breasts and facing away.

Koto didn't suspect a thing. In fact, she even tried to lighten the virgin's modesty by gently teasing, "Oi kid, did you know you blush red on both sets of cheeks?"

Gasping, Fuu laid one hand on her bare bottom, as if she could feel the blush there. Then she realized how silly she must look, in the middle of the room, hand on her naked ass, and mooning a seasoned hooker. She started laughing.
Koto seemed pleased.

"I'm gonna go drop off these threads of yours. You get dressed and I'll come back for you," Koto slid the door open and having spotted the goon standing guard right outside, hissed at him, "You, keep your hands off that one, got it? She's supposed to be a virgin tonight, so stay-out-here!"

Grunting some committal snort, the thug went back to biting his yellow fingernails.

Now was Fuu's chance!

The minute that door slid closed, Fuu grabbed her new clothes and hastily threw them on, tying her obi in a haphazard butterfly-knot. True, the bright purple kimono would hamper her escape; it wasn't exactly subtle, but what choice did she have? She'd just have to count on her speed to get out of the city and onto the roads where she could manage a trade for a kimono a little less conspicuous.

She didn't have her geta either, so she'd have to run barefoot.

The only window in the room did not open. It consisted of panels made by thin, fine strips of bamboo that rice paper had been glued onto many times over the years. The wood was lean and easily breakable, but Fuu thought the snap of the panes cracking might attract the attention of the yakuza guard, so Fuu unsheathed her trusty tanto. Reminding herself of Jin, Fuu made graceful, quick swipes with her blade and quietly removed panel after panel. Thank the saints, she always kept her tanto nice and sharp!

'Damn, I'm good!' Fuu smirked to herself when she succeeded in making a hole just big enough for her to slip through.

The window was a little too high for her to crawl through on her own, but if she could just find something to step on…Snatching up a large, empty vase, Fuu carefully overturned it. She lifted up her kimono and gingerly stood on it. Good ole vases, was there nothing they couldn't do? Just as Fuu was easing her head and shoulders through the window, she recalled that a vase had actually been the cause of her first whorehouse experience.

And as if the vase she was standing on heard her unlucky thoughts, the traitorous thing started to tilt under Fuu's tiptoes.

"No!" Fuu whispered fiercely, while one of her feet suddenly slipped, knocking the damn vase over. Only halfway out the window, Fuu immediately fell onto the windowsill and knocked the wind out of her gut.

CRASH! So much for vases…

Wincing, Fuu knew there was no way in hell that the bastard standing guard wasn't going to hear that! Adrenaline spurred her into action, so that just as the thug was opening the door to see what she had broken, Fuu was using every ounce of her strength to lift her body up over the windowsill and literally throw herself outside.

Falling head over heels, Fuu landed on her back in the cold alleyway. The wind had been knocked out of her, yet again, but she didn't have time to catch her breath. She was up like a lighting bolt and tried to make a run for it, until she felt a sharp tug on her collar that chocked her protest right out of her throat and stopped her in her tracks. The yakuza goon had reached through the widow and had hold of her kimono!

"Get back here, you little bitch!" the man smiled a yellow-toothed grin, while he lifted Fuu by the collar.

"Let me," before she even realized what she was doing, Fuu swiped the blade of her tanto at the hand that threatened to reel her back inside, "GO!" Now if Fuu had been as strong as Mugen or Jin, she probably could've swiped the guy's arm clean off, but lucky for him, Fuu only achieved a deep cut that might've bled like a bitch, yet didn't leave any serious damage.

However, her slash did have the desired effect; the yakuza thug screamed and released her, clutching at his bloody arm. 'Feet, don't fail me now!' was the brief thought that lit a fire under Fuu's ass. She was up and running before her mind was even caught up. That goon looked really pissed! And if he caught her…well, if she didn't screw up her escape then she would never have to find out.

She burst out of the alley and onto the street, already filling up with its nightly multitude. Everyone was tinted pink from the bright red lanterns that shown everywhere and the smell of cheep vending food and warm sake mixed with the stench of human sweat. Out of the corner of her eye, Fuu spotted several yakuza guards standing at the entrance to the brothel. Immediately, she stopped running, hoping not to attract their attention. Her tanto lay securely inside her kimono, against her chest, a great comfort to her as she blended in with the crowds.

'Fuu, you are too damn good!' she allowed herself to gloat.

"Oi, the bitch is trying to escape!" Fuu froze, when she heard the voice of the thug she had cut booming over the street. Not being able to help herself, she whirled around to see him enraged and standing outside the cathouse door. As if he could sense her startled gaze on him, his face turned about and for one terrifying second, they made eye contact. "There she is!" he shouted at the other yakuza goons, pointing right at her, "Stop that little cunt!"

"…shit…" Fuu never really swore excessively, (at least not like Mugen, who would toss out a dozen 'mothafucka's in front of monks without blinking an eye), but when she did, she always had good reason to. Hitching up her kimono and trying to avoid someone stepping on her feet, Fuu spun about and tried to disappear in the throng of the red district patrons. She had a good head start on her pursuers and if she could just manage to give them the slip-

"Hey!" shrieking at the man that had just grabbed her by the arm, Fuu yanked her hand free only to be grabbed by some other helpful bystander, "Who do you think you are? Mind your own business!" She managed to wiggle free of that man too, but was in even more trouble. The whole crowd had risen against her! They were barring her way, tripping her, laughing at her, and trying to manhandle her into holding still. She should've known the type of sleazes that would hang out in the red light district would also stop a prostitute from escaping! After all, if all the whores could come and go as they pleased, who would there be left to fuck?

"Stop it! Let me go! Get out of my way!"

One of the yakuza guards had already made it to where the mob had trapped Fuu. "Not smart, girl," the young man made to grab Fuu by the back of the neck, but she gracefully spun about and kicked him with as much force as she could muster right in the jewels. Bingo!

Actual tears sprang to the guy's wide eyes and he wheezed, while slowly sliding to the ground. There, he stayed, not moving. Suddenly, the whole crowd abruptly backed away from Fuu; each clutching at their respective crotches.

Unthinking and in sheer desperation, Fuu unsheathed her tanto and yelled at those around her, "Now out of my way, or so help me-."

Pulling the weapon had been a big mistake, because she suddenly heard three more swords unsheathing behind her. She turned and watched as the yakuza neared her; the one she had cut was giving her a particularly manic grin. Her pursuers were now justified in using their blades against her. Oops…

Fuu had to make a decision. Fight and die or surrender and become a whore? Bitterly, she knew all too well what Jin and Mugen would've done. They would've fought (granted they would've fought and lived), but even if they knew they were going to die, they would've still fought. They were brave like that.

Not like Fuu…

Shink… the tanto blade fell harmlessly onto the cobblestones and Fuu slowly raised her hands into the air. "What?" she asked innocently with big, blinking eyes.

Her original guard stepped forward, blood trickling down his arm and his smile practically had fangs. Without a word, he raised his wooden scabbard and brought it up to strike Fuu about the head.

Startled, all Fuu had time for was to raise her hands reflexively and try to protect her face-

"Don't you dare!" suddenly, Koto was at the brothel entry and she didn't look at all pleased, "That face has got to sell tonight!"

"Shut your trap!" the goon threw back at her, but he did lower the scabbard and made no move to further assault Fuu, "I don't take orders from hookers, no matter how talented." He chuckled at the other thugs as if this was some clever observation.

"Don't be stupid," the senior prostitute marched into the street, "You may not take orders from me, but you take orders from the Boss and Boss Yutaka put me in charge of the girls! How am I gonna sell a busted face, uh?"

"Bruised whores sell all the time," he spat back.

"Not for 'first night' bidding, they don't," Koto eyed the tanto lying on the ground. Tsk-ing, she retrieved it from the cobblestones and marched over to Fuu. "Give me the sheath, kid," she held out her impatient hand. Wordlessly, Fuu took the pink-lacquered sheath and gave it straight to Koto. Fuu knew when it was time to argue and when it was time to kiss a little ass. Glaring down at her, Koto raised her pale arm and soundly boxed Fuu's ears so hard that they rang like Shinto bells. Fuu gasped in shock, but managed not to cry.

"She was escaping," one of the guards said, "She must be taught a lesson."


"Look what she did to my arm," the yakuza goon showed Koto where Fuu had cut him, "How's she gonna make that up to me? And what about what she did to poor Shoishi?" Apparently, Shoishi was the unlucky bastard that Fuu had kicked, because he was gingerly standing back up and nodding his head in agreement.

"Later," roughly, the senior whore grabbed Fuu's collar and tugged her back to the brothel, "There's a lot of money to be had for 'first night's and I won't have that ruined by you four wannabes. Now back to your posts and try to keep a better eye on the rest of the girls." She deliberately added that last bit to show them who was in charge for once. It wasn't everyday Koto got to exercise any authority over yakuza enforcers and she intended to live this one up.

Once inside the brothel, Koto spun around and Fuu flinched, thinking Koto meant to box her ears again. Instead, Koto was looking down at her, sadly, almost remorsefully. "You stupid kid," she sighed, defeated, "Don't you get it? There are worse things in life then prostitution and there are even worse things then death. By pissing off those bastards, you just made your life here a living hell. You need to lie low for a little while, keep your mouth shut, and do as you're told, got it? Maybe they'll forget."

But Koto didn't sound convinced even as she said it.

Fuu gulped and missed Jin and Mugen more then ever.


"Stop making faces, kid," Koto smacked Fuu's brow with her long pipe, "It's not like that works anyway. You'll only get the true freaks and perverts by acting like a child."

"Ouch!" rubbing the spot on her head where Koto had bopped her, Fuu begrudgingly gave up on trying to frighten customers away by looking hideous; after all, it's not like it helped the other time she was kidnapped and forced to work in a brothel.

"And don't start crying," Koto warned her, smoothing over a stray hair in Fuu's face, which was an oddly maternal gesture that had Fuu a little confused, "Crying attracts the real bad guys."

All the girls were out in the showcases tonight. Each painted and pinned like little dolls, each forcing flirtatious smiles or coy frowns, and each secretly wishing they were somewhere else. The haze from the lanterns tinted everything yellow and a little dim, a deliberate intention that was meant to hide some of the girls' imperfections and mask the age of the older women. The smell from Koto's pipe was the musky and sweet scent of flavored tobacco.

Outside their wooden showcase, Fuu tried to ignore the bellowing voice of the brothel-callers. It twisted her gut when she heard them describe her as 'pure as fresh, fallen snow,' and 'unspoiled soil, ready for sowing' or 'the tasty melon to be split'. Yet far worse then the shouts proclaiming her ripe virginity, were the potential customers that came to their wooden bars and pointed at her, talking as if she couldn't hear:

"That's the new girl, eh?"

"Doesn't look like a maiden to me."

"If she ain't really a virgin, do I get my money back?"

"She know any tricks?"

"C'mon, let's see the goods upfront!"

"Not a lot of tit, kinda scrawny."

"What can I get for forty mon?"

Many of these sleazebags had witnessed Fuu's earlier escape attempt and apparently, she made a good sideshow as the 'ball-busting new girl'.

"Gentleman, gentleman," the brothel-auctioneer appeared in the entryway, "let's not haggle in the streets like butchers and bakers. Come, come inside and we shall begin a gentleman's bidding for the lovely, little flower, Kura!" Still talking lewdly about their speculations on Fuu's body, the small crowd started to file into the brothel, leaving the other prostitutes to finally start gathering customers of their own while trapped in their little, wooden cage.

"You'll get used to it, kid."

"I don't' think I could ever get used to this. Trapped like an animal behind bars, treated like a horse to ride, and imprisoned. How can anyone possibly get used to this?" Fuu pouted, glaring at the other girls who seemed so eager to attract customers.

"Easy," Koto took a long drag off her pipe, letting the sweetened smoke waft out through her nostrils, "forget everything that made you what you are. Become empty, become hollow and it won't matter anymore. Take pleasure only in money and material gain, because that's all a life like this can attain for you. Forget that Fuu ever existed. Now there's only Kura and since Kura's not a real person, no one can hurt her." Koto said all this as if it was nothing, but the words were more powerful then any tears.

Forget Fuu ever existed?

Why, when Fuu even attempted such a feat, did images of Jin and Mugen appear like dark wraiths in a silver mist? Because, if Fuu never existed then she never would've have met her polar bodyguards. They wouldn't have taken their fateful journey and it was that unforgettable trip that largely defined who Fuu had become. She learned so much about herself and the world. There had been danger, yes, but also fun and feasting (rarely) and friends…oh, her dear, dear friends. She could never forget them, and because she couldn't forget them, she could never forget herself either. Not as long as Mugen and Jin shared her memories. Sometimes, she thought that those two were more apart of her then she was! Jin, her wisdom and maturity; Mugen, her pride and heart-

Whoa, no way! Fuu stopped herself before going down a familiar and painful road full of regret. She was not doing this again. Not over the likes of him

A change of subject was called for in Fuu's mind.

"I," Fuu hesitated in telling Koto, because the thought still felt strange, even to her, "I was the daughter of a samurai…once."

"What do you mean 'once'?"

"He died."

"Oh," Koto frowned as a potential client ignored her for a younger whore, "probably the best thing for it. The way of the samurai is going to shit. Hired hit men, superficial honor, slicing their bellies open for fools. Absolute clichés. What sort of hyper-anal morons still live like that, oi?"

At that moment, Koto sounded so much like Mugen that if the prostitute had started picking her nose and flicking boogers, Fuu would've not at all been surprised. Instead, Koto kept smoking her pipe.


Thick, wild hair was wet and sticking to his copper face. The blood from the scratches on his cheek trickled down his neck and stained his white shirt as water dripped from his long limbs. His punctured hand was raining droplets of blood that spattered the ruined floor of the church. He had never looked so tired to her; tired, bloody, and wet, but never defeated. Behind him, the ethereal blue of the water and sky shadowed his silhouette. His eyes traveled over her all too briefly, assessing her bruised face and bloody mouth and though there was no other clue in his appearance to show his feelings, his eyes flashed with rage. He had come for her.

This memory (however morbid) was wildly beautiful, like summer lightening.

Fuu suddenly had to blink back her tears, hoping Koto wouldn't notice. Whenever she remembered Mugen, just Mugen, this same image was always the one that taunted her. It wasn't because of Mugen's physical state (saints knew that she'd seen him mangled nearly to death numerous times before and after that). It was because of what she was feeling while tied to that cross, the hostage of three demented brothers. She had doubted him! She just knew he wasn't going to come rescue her. Of course, he would abandon her, leave her! After all, hadn't she released him of his obligations when she set out for the island alone? Even when Jin had mysteriously appeared behind the samurai sent to murder her, she hadn't been surprised. Yes, the state of Jin, his hair wet and blowing in the wind and his side bleeding profusely, had startled her, but the fact that Jin was there to save her was something she almost expected.

Not like Mugen.

He was the pirate, the rouge, the no-good-cruel-son-of-a-bitch that taunted and teased her ruthlessly. The blind fool that had deliberately not seen what was before him. That hadn't noticed her jealously when he visited cathouses or how much she fretted over him when he was hurt or how sometimes she'd pick a fight just so he would talk (yell) and pay her a little attention. He wasn't supposed to have rescued her!

But he did! And she was wrong, so very wrong about everything! What a fickle person she was not to have known him, not to trust him…

Have some faith in me, would ya? he had said to her.

She shuddered in shame, remembering his words to her. She should've known better. How many times had he rescued her before (not counting the time he was too stoned off his ass)? Countless times! One time was even from a whorehouse just like this one (though she actually wasn't there at the time, Suzu had filled her in on how he had come bursting into the wooden cage, sword bloody and demanding her). And how does she repay him? By doubting him. Mugen deserved better and the sorry fact that Mugen deserved so very little to begin with made her denial of him even worse in her eyes.

In the end, Fuu was the blind one.

'Ahh!' she thought, shaking her head to rid herself of these thoughts. This was exactly why she didn't want to think about Mugen! He was driving her crazy! And he wasn't even around…

Misunderstanding the reason for Fuu's obvious discomfort, Koto laid a comforting hand on Fuu's sleeve and said, "Don't worry, kid. It ain't so bad. Just lay back and think of Edo."


'Lady of Negotiable Affections'- Terry Pratchett quote.

This chapter was all Fuu, next chapter's all Mugen!

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