Disclaimer: I do not own Samurai Champloo.

Warnings/Notes: Musings that probably make very little sense.


Goodbyes


He was trained in the art of the dying, in the shudder of a man's eyes as he moves in for the kill. From the time he could hold a sword, he could tell when it was caressing the current of wind to end an enemy's life, or less commonly, the user's.

It was natural that he noticed the hesitation in her body. The way her shoulders rose and fell as she chewed on her thoughts, working up the nerve to tell the story their journey had been founded on.

It began hurriedly, in a rush of adrenaline he only knew to compare to the first clash of his weapon against another. Soon enough, it evolved into tragedy that had ebbed from his veins as a child, pushing away and ahead until he could seldom discern himself from it.

He lived his life in dying secrets…Fuu's began from the moment "mother" left her lips, and did not fade, he lamented, with the close of her tale. This time, the voice that trembled as it spoke "the samurai who smells of sunflowers" was not moved by anger, but hurt, was not accentuated with conviction, but turmoil.

Anguish.

Something in his heart stirred as he pressed a hand to her shoulder.

"Can you still go through with it?"

"What do you mean?"

Her mouth curved downward once the words had left it, her eyes darting around the dark space to find a focal point far enough from her companion's eyes. He crouched behind her, silently demanding her attention without really needing it. Her mother's illness had been strangely vague for something that consumed the first half of her life, and her father's disappearance described in similar lack of detail for demanding the bulk of her later years.

Her fists and lips tightened as she forced a sob to the back of her throat, "Forgive me."

The words he needed her to say could not compare to the ones that hung in the silence her crying left him with.