This story is set twenty years after the last chapter of BaU.

Business as Usual, Epilogue
by Laura Bryannan

The three friends sat on the beach, watching as the objects of their affection stood waist-deep in the surf entertaining the kids.

"I'm so glad they came," said Fuu. "It's almost impossible to get them to Okinawa these days."

Yuki and Yatsuha nodded in unison. "Once Uncle Mariya died, Jin's fate was sealed," Yuki noted. "But he loves the dojo. More than he ever thought he would. I've never seen him happier."

"Is he still writing the Great Japanese Novel?" Yatsuha asked.

"Yep." Fuu nodded. "I don't know if he'll ever finish, but it keeps him out of trouble so...." She winked at the others as they chuckled.

"He should take lessons from you," Yuki said. "Aren't they making an anime out of your manga epic now?"

"Yes," Fuu replied, "although I'm afraid to see what they'll do with it. I signed away more rights than I realized."

"Your fans will love it no matter what," Yatsuha reassured her. "They're all rabid, aren't they?"

Fuu giggled. "Um, yes. Most of them are."

"And Mugen sits in front of his computer all day magically making money," Yatsuha complained. "I've never understood just exactly what he does. Have you?"

They both looked doubtful.

"He tried to explain it to me once," said Fuu. "It's like he's gambling on the markets, but more complicated than that, so...." She shrugged. "Who cares? He's rich as Midas and takes care of Jin well, but I can't believe he's still wearing that stupid beard. It makes him look like an old codger."

"No it doesn't!" Yatsuha cried. "It's too short for a grampa beard. I think it looks kinda hot. He was always so scraggly."

"He grew a beard when he finally could," Yuki snickered. "He'll never chop it off now, but I think it's hot too."

"Well, I hate it," Fuu decided, unmoved by their enthusiasm.

"Who would have thought Jin'd go so gray?" Yatsuha mused. "He's still as beautiful as ever, though. Maybe even more. All that silver looks really handsome."

"Wasn't his grandfather prematurely gray?" Yuki asked Fuu.

"Yes," she replied, "but his father was balding, so...."

The three shuddered.

"When did Mina-chan turn into a girl?" Fuu asked, eying the Hojo's eldest. "The last time I saw her she was in baggy Ts and shorts with skinned knees from skateboarding."

"She discovered boys this spring," Yuki told her, "and morphed into a different person."

Yatsuha giggled. "She's been flirting with Jin and Mugen all afternoon, trying out her feminine wiles."

"It's not funny," Yuki stated, frowning.

"Chip off the ol' block," Yatsuha sing-songed, poking him playfully. "We all spent years trying to grab them for ourselves. What can we expect?"

"I can't believe you're laughing about it," Yuki grumped.

"I can't believe we're all still speaking to each other," added Fuu. "Considering...."

"That was a long time ago," Yatsuha interrupted. "I can't even remember how it all got started."

"It was when I brought you to that cookout at the beach," Yuki informed them. "You fell off the deep end and the rest is history."

"Well, I couldn't help it," Yatsuha cried. "I don't think I've ever felt so jealous as I did over Fuu that day."

"Over me?" Fuu asked, wide-eyed.

"Oh, yes!" Yatsuha insisted. "I watched Mugen drooling over you and realized I had feelings for him I hadn't wanted to admit to myself. I pounced a week later, I believe. Of course, the situation was doomed from the start, but it was exciting while it lasted."

Yuki peered at her curiously. "Why was it doomed?"

"You know, hon." Yatsuha smiled. "We're completely unsuited and fought all the time. Of course, the fact that he was two-timing Jin didn't help either. Once I learned that...." She shook her head ruefully. "I don't think Jin figured out Mugen was wandering until he hooked up with you. Right, Fuu?"

"Um, maybe," Fuu stammered, flushing bright pink. "I don't really know for sure."

"That's right!" Yuki cried. "I remember. He was pretty down about it all so Yatsuha and I invited him over for dinner one night and we had too much sake and...." He trailed off, after peeking sheepishly at his wife who was giving him The Look.

"The three of you!?!" Fuu gasped.

"Arrrgh!" Yatsuha moaned, face falling into her hands, while Yuki grinned and nodded.

Fuu giggled and gave Yatsuha's shoulder a shove. "But weren't you and Jin, like, together for a while?"

Yatsuha raised her head and faced her friend with an exasperated smile. "For less than six months. You made the same choice as me, so you know. He's beautiful, an amazing lover, but living with him would drive me insane."

The three companions chuckled.

"The quiet of him is too unsettling," Fuu agreed.

"You managed to hang with the both of them for seven years, wasn't it?" Yuki noted. "So it couldn't have been that unsettling."

"Yes, but that's the key," Fuu replied. "I could handle the two of them together much better then either of them separately. Don't ask me why. It's just one of those weird things."

"But wasn't it something between you and Jin that finally exploded all that?" the persistently nosy Yuki asked. "When are you gonna tell us what happened there?"

Fuu looked downward and sighed. "It's way too complicated to talk about, and it's all moot anyway. I made the right choice for me, and for them too, I hope."

"How is Niwa-dono?" Yatsuha asked. "I thought he was coming today."

"There was a ad hoc kind of thing that got pulled together at the last minute," Fuu told them. "He felt he needed to attend. So, since it's just us, what's this big secret you two have been keeping from me? Isn't this as good a time as any to tell me what's going on?"

Yuki and Yatsuha eyed each other conspiratorially and glanced around the beach, insuring no one else was in earshot. "We're gonna let you in on a really big show," Yuki whispered. "Tonight after the guys have gone to bed. You're gonna stay over, right?"

"Well, yes," she said. "After all this mystery, how could I not?"

"It'll be worth it," Yatsuha assured her, "but you have to take a vow of secrecy before we say anything more."

Fuu giggled, unsure her friend wasn't pulling her leg. "A vow?"

"Yes," Yuki stated firmly. "A vow. Are you ready?" Fuu nodded and he intoned seriously, "Spiders, snakes and lizard's heads. If I tattletale, I'll die 'till I'm dead."

Fuu burst into new giggles as Yatsuha grinned, but insisted, "Go on. Say it."

"Really?" Fuu asked, incredulous. "Okay. Spiders, snakes and lizard's heads. If I tattletale, I'll die 'till I'm dead. What in god's name are you guys up to?"

"You'll find out later," Yatsuha said, refusing to end the mystery. "Just make sure Jin doesn't drink too much tonight or all will be lost."

"What?!?" Fuu eyed the partners in crime with exasperation, but both refused to utter another word.

Thus it was that poor Fuu had to wait until the after-dinner conversation at the Hojo residence had waned and all were making their respective ways to bed before she was motioned into the master bedroom by a delicate hand. Fuu snuck inside the room as Yatsuha listened until the door to the guest room on the other side of the house was heard to shut.

She turned to her husband, who was grinning like a Cheshire cat, and declared, "Okay. Let's go!"

A television against the wall flickered on to reveal Jin in blue plaid pajama bottoms sitting up in bed, facing the camera, reading a book. The sound of a shower running could be heard in the background.

"Oh my god!" Fuu whispered furiously. "You're spying on them?!? We can't do this!"

"Shhhhhhh," Yuki and Yatsuha replied, eying each other gleefully.

"What if we hear something we shouldn't?" she continued. "This could go so wrong!"

"We're willing to take that chance," Yuki replied, eyes challenging her to continue arguing.

"Agent 39, you vowed your support," Yatsuha reminded her gently.

Fuu backed down, sighing. "Now I see why you sent the kids off to their friend's houses tonight," she said, fidgeting nervously.

Soon a very naked Mugen wandered out of the bathroom, eliciting an, "Eeeep!" from all three watchers, and lay curled up on the bed using Jin's thigh as a pillow. All was quiet for several minutes, save for the movement of Jin's hand as it fell to the tousled head and gently began to scratch it.

"Did anyone ever get out of them what those cuttings are about?" Yatsuha asked. Faded to white, the strange pinwheels were still clearly visible on Jin's chest and Mugen's right cheek.

Her friends shook their heads. "I asked each of them more than once," Fuu admitted, "but I never got a straight answer. Pinwheels and me go way back, and Jin did once say...." She trailed off, smiling wistfully, but came back to herself suddenly. "It doesn't make sense. Why Mugen? They got those marks long before I was in the picture, right?"

Yuki nodded. "I first noticed them after Jin was attacked that time they cut his hair."

"The attack he never reported to the police," Yatsuha groused. "If he had, we mighta...."

"That's a long time ago, Detective," Yuki interrupted in soothing tones. "The asshole's dead and gone."

"Whatever happened to Mukuro?" Fuu asked.

"We never found the killer," Yatsuha replied. "It's one of those unsolved mystery things." She turned to her husband, eyes boring into him so fiercely he laughed uncomfortably.

"What?" he blustered. "Why do you still think I had anything to do with that?"

"Because I just know," she replied, pride leaking out from behind her stern visage.

"Well, one thing's for sure," Fuu stated. "This city has been a much better place since that gang broke up."

"You said it!" Yatsuha enthused.

All three startled when Mugen spoke. "How'd we end up staying here instead of our place?"

"I believe it was something about not drinking and driving," Jin replied.

"You never drink," Mugen noted, but shrugged and changed the subject. "Everyone's looking good. I'm glad we came."

"Yes," Jin agreed, smiling, setting his book down. "How is your stomach? I saw you indulging in a few things you shouldn't have today."

"It's okay," came the reply. And then, after a pause, a grumpy, "I'm too rich to have an ulcer."

"It's because you're rich that you have an ulcer, I imagine," Jin responded. "Don't we have enough money at this point?"

"Aw, it's not about the money," Mugen told him. "I gotta play the game. Make Okuru-san proud."

Jin glanced down at his lover fondly while the three watchers looked concerned. "An ulcer!" Fuu exclaimed. "Did either of you know about this?"

"Nope," Yuki stated, his face betraying the worry they all felt.

"How old is that Minami girl now?" Mugen asked, causing everyone within earshot to turn sharply toward the leering voice.

"She's fourteen, I believe," Jin told him, eying him warily.

"Man, she's a hottie!" Mugen exclaimed. "Prettier than her mom and dad put together, and that's saying something."

Jin frowned. "Down boy."

Yuki and Yatsuha watched the screen like hawks, and Yuki growled, "If that bastard lays...."

"No sweat," Mugen replied, laughing. "I ain't going there. But it's no sin to appreciate, right? I'm an art lover."

"An art lover, is it?" Jin smiled and the protective parents watching visibly relaxed. "So long as you admire from a distance, my man."

"Shit," Mugen mused, grinning. "If I touched their princess I'd wake up one morning to find my naughty bits severed and gone."

"Damn straight," Yuki and Yatsuha whispered in unison, willing him through the picture screen to believe it.

"Their two boys are growing up fine as well," Jin noted. "Much more intelligent and respectful than the usual ilk. As are Tatsu's children."

"Yeah, Tatsu's kids are great," Mugen agreed. "But it's too bad he married a gal who looked just like Kazu. It worked out okay for their boy, but I feel sorry for the girl."

Jin chuckled. "Yes, but she's a sweet child."

"I still can't believe Fuu chose Baldy over us," Mugen huffed. "When I think about them fucking I...." He trailed off, making a face as Fuu shifted uncomfortably in her chair.

"I've asked you more than once not to call Sensei that," Jin admonished. "After all the drama of our life together, I can easily understand why she would prefer such a man. And I'm glad to see them both so happy."

Mugen shook his head. "I don't get it. He's so old!"

"Not that old," came the reply. "I've had my moments of jealousy over his choice."

The three watchers gasped as Mugen cried, "His choice?!?"

"I told you long ago I had a crush on him."

Mugen made a dismissive gesture. "Fuu left us cuz of you," he stated firmly. "When are you gonna tell me what happened there?"

"That's ancient history, Mugen," Jin replied. "Who cares now?"

"I do. Spill," came the order.

Jin sighed and his hand stilled on Mugen's head. Frowning, he sat lost in thought for almost a minute before speaking. "Somehow, a discussion about having children went horribly wrong. I was surprised to learn she didn't want them—had never even considered being a mother—and she got it into her head that I saw her as nothing more than a brood mare. It was terrible...."

"But you did see her that way, didn't you?" Mugen challenged. "You talked about her continuing your aristocratic Takeda family line the first time you told me about her."

"I'll not deny I always saw her as the mother of my children," Jin admitted, "but I never saw her as only that. She was much more important to me than that, but the damage was done." He sighed again.

Mugen turned on his back to grin up at his partner. "I never woulda guessed in a million years. I always thought she didn't have kids cuz she had an old man for an old man. She never wanted any, huh?"

"No, she didn't."

"I was really pissed at you when she took off."

"I know."

"But I always thought it was cuz you did something royally asinine."

"Well, apparently I did."

Mugen shrugged, turning on his side again so Jin could resume his scratching. "I wouldn't know what the hell to do with a kid anyway and neither would you."

Jin smiled, inclining his head in agreement even though Mugen couldn't see. "You're right. She and Sensei are perfect for each other. She was there for him when his health demanded it and he was there for her when her father showed up."

Mugen growled. "Asshole. I'll walk out on you when you're a kid but hey, come kiss my ass now that I'm dying."

"I'm glad Fuu was finally able to resolve things with him, but it was hard for her." Jin shook his head. "You've got to admit, Sensei is better for her than us. It's been over a decade and I've never seen a stronger relationship."

"I don't care," Mugen groused. "It just ain't right."

For long moments all was quiet. The spies glanced at each other nervously as the conversation was wandering into dangerous territory, when movement in the bed brought their attention back to the TV screen. Mugen was sitting up, grinning, causing Jin to eye him with suspicion. "What?"

"I can't believe you got a hard-on scratching my head," he laughed.

Jin feigned indignance. "Is it wrong to enjoy pleasing you?"

"You're such a dork." Mugen climbed into Jin's lap, straddling his hips, as Fuu hid her eyes behind her hand at the blatant rearrangement of his equipment.

"The dork you love," came Jin's unfazed reply. His arms wound around the still-lithe waist, pulling their hips together. Mugen removed Jin's glasses and set them on the nightstand before lowering his head to kiss playfully, tips of tongues outside of mouths sliding and dancing. Once and a while one would capture and suck while the other sighed, but then the teasing would begin again.

"Twenty years on and they still kiss like that," Yuki mused.

"We still kiss like that!" Yatsuha cried. Yuki cocked a brow in her direction and she continued more quietly, "Well...sometimes."

He grinned and grabbed her up in a hug as she giggled. "Yeah, sometimes," he agreed.

They turned back to the screen to see the lovers' very open mouths locked together. Mugen's hips rocked more urgently as they kissed, but the pale hands roaming his back and ass remained languid. Finally he grabbed hold of the silver ponytail and yanked Jin's head sideways, eliciting a moan as he dove deep. Possibly in retaliation, Jin's right hand disappeared between the splendid cheeks presented to the assembled company and suddenly Mugen was shuddering, his toes curling.

Breaking their kiss, his head sunk to Jin's shoulder. "You can fuck me if you don't take all night about it," came a muffled voice.

Jin chuckled, tucking his feet underneath him to lay Mugen on his back. "And if I do?" he asked.

"Then you can explain to everyone tomorrow morning why you needed to keep them up all night with my howling just to show off your sexual prowess."

"I'm not showing off when I do that," Jin informed him. "I simply don't want to let you go."

Mugen snorted. "Shit! When did you turn into such a sap?" The spies were charmed to witness his flushed cheeks despite the huffy protest.

Jin lowered his head and they were kissing again as he slid the soft fabric of his pajamas against Mugen's cock. Pelvises pressed together, they danced a slow, sensual dance, with only their sighs and the wet sounds of their kissing to be heard in the room.

"Mmmm," Jin intoned, grinding into Mugen's hips seductively. "This is nice." At Mugen's blissful nod, he continued, "Are you sure you want to get laid, or are you just being accommodating? We could cum like this."

"Fuck me!" Mugen commanded. "I've been horny all day. Do that thing you do. No lube, when you move in your skin."

Jin frowned. "It'll be over too soon if I do that."

"Good. Then you won't pump me full of a gallon of pre-cum."

"My, you say the most romantic things."

Mugen giggled. "Damn straight!" He was soon singing a new song once Jin apparently pressed home. "Oh, yeah!" he murmured. "Right there. Mmmm, yeah. Perfect." Jin set a steady pace and all was peaceful for a minute or so, when the commentary began anew. "Hey, I thought I said a quickie."

"Patience," came the reply.

"No way!" Mugen looked frustrated for a moment and then a sly smirk erupted on his face. "Come on, lazyass. Don't fuck me like an old man!"

Jin's eyes flashed and Mugen suddenly found his left knee at his ear and his ass pounded with piston-like speed and efficiency.

"Guh! Oh, yeah!" he cried. "More, dammit!"

Jin obliged him. He reached for himself with one hand and thrust a knuckle of the other into his mouth, cumming as quietly as he could, which was not particularly quiet in the scheme of things. Yuki and Yatsuha thanked themselves, yet again, for sending the kids to sleep over at friends' that night.

Jin collapsed, panting on Mugen's chest. Tawny hands reached to stroke the pale torso, gathering the silver strands stuck to the sweaty back and pulling them aside so Jin could cool off. "I like the color," they heard him say as he ran his fingers through the long ponytail, "but it's not so silky anymore."

"It's completely wrong that you have absolutely no grey anywhere," Jin groused, his face still buried in Mugen's neck.

"You got it for both of us," his lover told him, grinning. "Even your goddamn pubes are grey."

Only a growl was heard in response.

Finally, after several minutes the two stirred. With Jin's pajamas around his knees, Mugen's observation about the carpet matching the drapes was apparent for all to see.

"Oh my god!" Fuu squealed. "It's true!"

They both disappeared into the bathroom and the three conspirators turned to each other. "So, was it worth it?" Yatsuha whispered. The others nodded enthusiastically.

"Somehow, if they still have the hots for each other all's right with the world," Yuki decided.

"It looks like we were worried about nothing." Fuu murmured. "They really do care."

Her companions looked bemused.

"It's amazing they can stand each other, but somehow they fit," Yatsuha agreed.

Eyes turned back to the screen as Jin wandered into the room, pajama bottoms properly back in place. He curled on his side under the covers and was possibly dozing by the time a still-naked Mugen returned to bed. He spooned against Jin's back, planting a kiss on the pale shoulder peeking above the blanket as Jin reached for the lamp switch. The room was suddenly dark, and the three spies could no longer watch, but only listen.

"Hey! How come you put your pajamas back on?" Mugen cried.

"Because we're guests here."

"So what?"

"Never mind. I'm too tired to explain it to you."

"It's great to see everyone still looking so fine."


"Shit! All that juiciness in the palm of my hand. How'd I end up with you?"

Jin's soft chuckle could be heard. "Ah, Mugen. Didn't you know that the tail always ends up on the ass?"

Mugen snorted. "Just so we're clear about who's the ass."

"Quite clear," Jin replied.

After a few moments came a quiet, "I like your ass...guess I'll stay stuck."

There was a rustling in the sheets. "You don't regret your choice?"

"Nah. 'S good. Do you regret it?"


A few smooches could be heard and all was silent for a several minutes until Mugen's snoring wafted over the speakers. The three conspirators shared a fond glance as Yatsuha turned off the equipment. "We naughty children should get to bed before mom and dad find out," she said with a wink.

"When can I get a copy of that tape?" Fuu asked her.

Yatsuha giggled. "Should I mail it to you or do you want to pick it up Monday?"

"I better come pick it up," Fuu decided, making for the door. "If you do this again and don't include me, I swear, I'll tell!"

"Never fear, Agent 39," Yuki smiled, "you'll be appraised of our next mission."

"Till then?" she asked.

"It's been almost three years since they last visited," he noted. "Maybe it won't be so long next time."

"Okinawa Espionage Unlimited shall never fail," Yatsuha declared, holding out her hand for the others to clasp. "I'll be waiting."

Fuu giggled, "Me too," giving her friend's hand a squeeze.

"Me three," said Yuki, joining the embrace. "Until then."