And then there were two. . .

Chapter 1: Ashes to Ashes

Disclaimer: I do not own Samurai Champloo or any of it's characters.


"Mugen-Mugen, wheres Jin?"

"Just shut-up, they'll hear you. . ." He peered through the crack in the wall of the small hut they hid in, the light from the moon shone sharply on his face as he peered out at the deserted street. "He'll be meeting us soon, we got a boat waitin' for us." He took hold of her wrist suddenly and hauled her to her feet. "Come on, they've left the area."

They hurried out of the hut, taking the dark back alleys, just in case there were still Shogun in the area. He cursed when she stumbled, pausing to look down at her feet, then cursed again when he realized that she lost her shoes somewhere along the way. Her feet looked raw and he was mildly surprised she hadn't complained about it. He placed her on his back, and began to run. She clung tightly to his shirt, trembling from time to time when they heard the clashing of steel, knowing that Jin was buying them extra time to get to the docks.

"Oi, girly, he'll be alright, we both know I'm the only one who can kill'im." Mugen muttered, trying to be reassuring. "Alright," he said as he looked around, "Let's go, hold on tight."

They made it to the docks and just as the Ronin said there was a boat that looked like it was ready to set sail. He got on and set Fuu on her feet, before getting back on the dock to wait for the Ronin.

Jin met up with them as promised, but not alone as planned. The pirate cursed as the ronin walked towards the docks, his arms bound and a katana placed to his neck. His glasses were absent from his face and his katana were gone from his side. His hair flew freely in the night wind and his expression was as calm and stoic as death. Mugen heard Fuu's quiet gasp of horror and turned to find her staring wide eyed at the Ronin who stood surrounded by men all with katana.

"Bring the girl!" Shouted their leader, "Bring her and you both will be let free."

However, both men looked as if they didn't hear him, they stared at each other, both gazes hard and unwavering. They were both remembering something, and the pirate knew that the Ronin was prepared and ready to go through with it. He turned to look at the terrified girl beside him, not knowing how to prepare her for what was about to happen.

"Fuu. . ." Mugen said quietly and she jerked her head in his direction. Her eyes widened with realization and just as quickly her head jerked back towards the Ronin.

"NO!" She screamed, scrambling to get out of the boat. Mugen caught her around the waist and pulled her back, getting onto the boat, pulling the rope holding it to the dock free. A gust of wind set them off and Mugen held on tight to the struggling girl, wincing as she called out to the Ronin.

She went limp in his arms as she gave up her escape and he held her tightly to his chest, keeping her eyes averted as he watched on. He watched as the Ronin smashed into the man holding him captive, he watched as he freed himself from his bindings, he watched as he unarmed a man, for hours it seemed like he watched. . .

He watched as the Ronin killed twenty-three of his assailants, including the commanding officer, then as his sword hand was severed from his body, he watched as the ronin closed his eyes in acceptance, and as he was impaled, he then watched with one final swing of a blade, his friend's beheading.

Everything seemed so quiet, so surreal, it was Fuu's weeping that brought him back to the ground. He looked down to the sobbing girl in his arms and was relieved when she soon fell asleep. He set her down, laying her in a pile of hay that was piled in the small living area, shaded from the outside world.

He then set to work on getting them as from away from the area as possible, he wouldn't allow the Ronin's death to be in vain.


He allowed himself sleep, when he was sure that no one was following them, settling himself across from the sleeping girl, his sword resting on his shoulder. He wasn't sure where they would go, but for the moment, just being out on the ocean calmed him.

Fuu woke a few hours later, he knew the moment she woke, due to the way she sniffled and breathed. He opened his eyes to find her standing in front of him, biting her lower lip and hugging herself, her eyes glazed over with fresh tears. He sighed, setting his sword aside and opening up his arms.

"Come'ere brat." She immediately moved into them and he was surprised at how cold she felt, he pulled the red shirt from his body and tucked it around her back.

"He's never coming back. . ."She whispered softly.

He didn't respond and just pulled her closer.


He woke with Fuu stilled in his arms, but he was relieved that she didn't stir when he untangled her from himself. It was early in the morning, the sun had just broken the horizon, it wasn't something new for him to be waking this early. He tucked his red shirt back around her, then peeled out of his white one. He grabbed his sword. . .

. . .time to catch breakfast.

It didn't take long for him to catch some fish, he was so used to it, due to his pirate nature. He had them roasting over the small fire pit on the boat when Fuu woke.

"Knew you'd wake to the smell of food, come and get some breakfast, brat." She stood shakily and walked over to him. She handed him his shirt and he took it, setting it aside, giving her back a couple fish.

"Where are we going?" She asked softly, picking at her fish, not feeling hungry at all.

"I thought about it this morning. . ."He said, taking a bite out of his fish. "I think we should lay low for awhile, then we'll find a ship to the main land."

"We just left him there. . ." She said suddenly, dropping her fish, he acted as if he hadn't heard her and stood up.

"Since it's day break we'll have to get going, I don't want us spotted." He began to adjust the sails.

"Jin was our friend! We just took off! He's dead! He-He's. . ." He had enough, he rounded on her, grasping her shoulder tightly and giving her a good shake.

"Yeah! Fuck yeah! He's dead and there's nothing we can do about it now!" He let her go before he acted on the need to strangle her.

"Eat, you can grieve later."