Prologue 1 Frivolous Frustrations
[A/N]: Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. This is my first Fanfiction story ever and I hope you like it! I've gotten back into Samurai Champloo again. I'm hoping to spread the Fuugen/MuFuu love, my all time favorite pairing ever.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR NEW READERS in 2021: The earliest chapters (Prologues and Chapters 1-3) were written when I was 13-15 years old, back in 2012. They are going to be entirely rewritten and reposted by hopefully 2022. If you decide to trek on anyway without waiting, please excuse the extremely terrible, amateur writing, and I do hope you return to read the excessive overhauls and revisions. On another note, I spent the better half of 2021 rewriting Chapters 4-11 from scratch so you may see the drastic change starting there...
-So I'm hopin' you'll enjoy 'cause it's a helluva long fic. Read it, review it? Relax and sit back…maybe listen ta' a decent SamChamtrack. Or better yet, a few. And love yourself some Fuugen AKA Mufuu, just as much as…I do. *beatboxing in background…?*- (And this, my friends; is why I don't rap.)
Disclaimer: I do not own Samurai Champloo, Fuu, Mugen, Jin, Momo etc. If I did, there'd have been a sentimental reunion a loooooooooooooong time ago!
Prologue 1 Frivolous Frustrations
Wooden geta hit the same damn dirt caked road in another seemingly endless rhythm. It came to no surprise how tired, hungry, horny and especially bored walking the ex-pirate was. No danger, no thrills. 'A whole buncha' nothin'.'
For a multitude of days he'd somehow lost the sum of, Mugen journeyed the thoroughfare northeast in search of what…he wasn't exactly aware of anymore. Surviving on what little money from odd jobs wasn't the best idea… Really, the only thing good about it was no profession pegged the vagabond to one town. Roaming was the only way he knew. Besides the occasional jack-of-all-trades or mercenary work, a couple of thugs he was fully capable of beating up here and there provided the necessary coin.
It was sunset. The golden heavens of summer's heat surveyed his crestfallen pace from above. Beads of amassed sweat drenched the suntanned young man's forehead; too lazy to wipe off with a forearm. More than anything some decent rest was needed. He knew though—with a languor sigh—that stopping for rest wouldn't be an option.
Hopefully by nightfall, he'd reach his destination.
It never befell the wandering vagabond that dates were important to track—time being irrelevant when death was nearby at a moment's notice anyway. So, Mugen already lost track of the day they parted ways, and the exact span of time it'd been since then. Rather than being tallied for some pointless reason like days were, seasons were different in the regard that they could be felt and seen. This was how he took into account how old he was getting…and how much time must have past since then. Being summer, he figured that made their separation a little over a year now? Time flies.
Or maybe in his case, it felt too slow.
A full year of being alone, fully alone just like before…
Everything seemed so much easier when one could rely on your own capabilities, living, breathing solely for one's self. And that was the way he always perceived life was unregrettably lived to the fullest: through self-satisfaction. But then, his traveling companions stumbled along in the most unlikely of scenarios… He sometimes wondered how the hell he'd met them in the first place.
He went back to his typical wandering habits, living in the moment and not ever for a future. The times officials cornered the ex-convict were minimal for his standards—mostly from petty crimes that found themselves stacking suspiciously after each respective city he ventured to. Boring.
These steps he took, one after the next seemed pre-planned and normal. And the days seemed to grow longer now, more tasteless. They lacked that familiar excitement. Maybe because of the amount of time on that journey to find the samurai who smelled of sunflowers, Mugen somehow had gone and changed… Well, a little bit.
Time alone isn't what changes people.
As much as he hated to admit, he once found companionship and entertainment in them.
It seemed the birds on that path that had previously watched him with weariness now retired to their nests in the vegetation above. Their insistent chirping ceased as the sun sank lower into naught. Only one—a small, brightly feathered tanager—observed the vagrant in red with some odd, instinctual curiosity as it's head tilted to one side every time the man's clogs kicked up clouds of dust behind his heels
The loner wouldn't go as far as admitting to "miss" their colorful company; he wasn't that generous of a guy. Though sometimes, whenever he saw a man donning glasses torpidly sip a cup of tea from some distance away, he readied his sword for a quick spar. Never Jin though.
And when a little flicker of pink; that forsaken color stirred in the corner of his eye, he would stiffen his spine to brace himself for all sorts of whining… Or a young woman he'd see…never in the brothels he'd visited in the last year—or at least never the girls he'd pick to bed—the brown of her eyes would almost echo a voice so oddly familiar. And Mugen would grab her wrist out of the confusion of it all…until the woman's unfamiliar face and voice had been registered fully.
Never was that girl either.
Those figures cloaked in the most abstinent black—the crows…or men…whatever they were—had not cared to pay a visit to collect his tarnished soul this past year either. ...Made Mugen occasionally wonder if she chased them all off for good with her damn crying. She was, after all, the first person to truly cry for him, and the only person who had put her life at risk to save his own.
At the edge of death those times on their trip, as much as he also hated to say it …Mugen was planning on letting go. Didn't think he'd make it through for one more day to lie in the sun. But, it was always the man's thoughts of her or that same damn, unavoidable pleading voice that brought him back to the world of the living; as if waking from a staggering nightmare into a slightly warmer reality. A reality where she kneels beside him, tears streaking her saddened face.
Fuu was the one person who could do that to him. Make him come back.
Maybe that was the one reason why he always failed to forget.
'Wonder how the brat's doing…Knowin' her, she's probably gettin' into loads of trouble all alone this past year. Without me and Four-Eyes, she'd be stuck in a brothel or dead by now! I can't even begin to count how many times I saved 'er unappreciative ass…' Mugen thought. He yawned and stretched lazily, beginning to reflect more of their past. It was times like these, as the air laid stagnant and surroundings quiet, that memories returned. He hated that.
Argumentative, nagging Fuu brought the trio together and held them close like some type of (dysfunctional) family. The two men always dashed away whenever they got the chance. Somehow; just as easily they'd end up looping right back where they belonged…much to her content, and his infuriation. "It just turned out that way." Mugen used to reassure himself and her. But as time progressed, he developed something more, an attachment to the two? Why did he keep his promise to follow Fuu to the end?
He never left. Not until…
From his position on the road, Mugen tensed at the sound of a bush ruffle and reached for his sword.
After enough seconds passed, the same little tanager flew from the nearby hedges and landed some feet away, pecking at a grain laying on the ground. He eased his rigid composure with a small sneer. Danger was scarce when he wasn't saving someone anymore. 'Could be dead by now…She should'a really hired a 'tougher model' bodyguard like she always threatened us. Damn, that bitch needs it. We'd always be hullin' her outta trouble.' he then scoffed.
'Wait a sec, when did Four-Eyes ever save her? Like once or twice?! It was always me! Can't believe it took me this frickin' long to realize how lazy that bastard was! And they called me lazy. Hah! …The wench, what would she'd a' done without me...'
He began walking again, the clomping clogs clacking relentlessly within these movements. That damn bird chirped all high and squeaky—just like her—before it soon ascended to the sky, where he'd probably never see it again.
Just like her.
It was all so annoying. Mugen quickened his pace; soon to dismiss any conjecture or motivation as to why he was the savior of someone he so often considered hating. 'Must've been outta my mind.'
Another sigh billowed through the already humid air that hung like a thick fog he endlessly trudged through. 'The dumbasses better not be dead. Who am I kidding? Four-Eyes ain't.' Jin would be fine; he knew that all too well from repeated attempts at killing him! Closed off and quiet he may be...the samurai still could easily take out any above average warrior.
…Innocent and naïve Fuu though?
A strangely familiar pang erupted in Mugen's chest. Her large, childlike eyes filled with tears... He covered up this odd sensation with the sole feeling that ever sufficed in ridding it.
'...Does she ever leave me alone?! Seriously, five fucking times already? Who I should be thinkin' of, are women with REAL sex appeal. Slammin' bodies. Not some flat-chested plank on legs! Ugh…' Some unfortunate pebbles were jerked out of the fellow's way at the decision on liberating pent up frustrations. Walking for days with no human contact did things to people…
"GET OUT OF MY THOUGHTS!" The yell proved to be so thunderous; the several lithe trees covering the way must have shaken. It echoed palpably across the landscape. Seemingly no one nearby heard his sudden outrage, besides a few other forest critters concealed in the flora. They'd probably assume he was some drunken crazy person. It wasn't like he ever concerned himself with what animals or people thought either way.
This ironically…wasn't the first time in a year that insistent, unwanted memories of her assaulted him. He wished it'd be the last. Wasn't the first time. Not the second. Not the tenth either.
He passed more trees…more rocks…more bushes…more trees… After about an hour or more of the same monotonous walking, his weary eyes caught sight of the alluring lights of Yokosuka just down a sharp incline on the road. The last time Mugen stopped there was with Jin and Fuu on the painstaking lookout for a certain samurai…
"HELL YEAH! First frickin' city in days!" he shouted again aloud, exultantly, making it in decent time. There were promises of women too, women who he could easily forget in the midst of physical craving alone. And that was all he was used to. Nothing more than that.
Mugen began a sprint down the hill leading to the town with newfound energy he didn't know he'd had on reserve. Moments ago, he'd been nearly (if not completely) exhausted to death. For some reason before a brothel that would unquestionably provide a bed and sake anyway…he had the sudden urge to visit some cheap teahouse for some food, maybe a plate full of dango…and…maybe-
Maybe it was the fact that he expected to see…a particular waitress in pink awaiting his unannounced arrival.
~To Be Continued~
[A/N]: I tried to capture Mugen's character while still holding strong remnants of Fuugen. A bit OOC. I'd like to know what I can improve on or what I did well on.
Fuu: Eh? I thought I heard a familiar shouting in the distance…
Fuu: Just my imagination?
^^ It reminds me of the episode about Fuu's diary. Episode 12 The Disorder Diaries.
-Yeah. Thanks for readin' and leave a lil' review if you're not yet bored. Perhaps set me in a good mood, kinda like'a reward, if you possess the positive words. Hell, sometimes they can be stronger than samurai swords and more lovely than sunflower petals. I'll check it. Seein' the comments gives me the inspiration, the motivation. To keep typin' and writin', day and night without the slightest hesitation. Yokosuka's up next along with our favorite heroine Fuu's visualization. Until then.*Record Scratch…?* - (Okay, I'll stop. Rapping is not my strongpoint. But it was kinda fun! XD)
Prologue 1 End