Disclaimer: Samurai Champloo is owned and produced by Manglobe Studios. This work is purely for entertainment purposes. I do not profit from this piece.

A/N: This is my first venture into the Samurai Champloo world. Hopefully, you guys like it. Let me know what you think!


He heard she was here—in this small, poor, pathetic excuse of a village.

Clouds moved across the moon, shrouding the fields in deeper darkness. The chilly fall breeze ruffled the already wild hair of the shadowy figure lurking amongst the trees.

Mugen could not see the point of being in a place like this. There was absolutely nothing here—no tea houses, food stands or gambling houses. Not even a back room brothel. Not a damn thing in this Podunk town except for a bunch of farmers and rice paddies. What could a waitress with little other life experience want here?

No matter. He would find out soon enough. Then, he was going to . . .

What the hell was he going to do once he saw her anyway?

It wasn't like he came to try to win her over or anything. He was not about to spout off a bunch of romantic bullshit to get her to travel with him again, even though that was exactly what he wanted her to do. Her annoying perky voice had rung in his head for the past two years. He could not help but think about her, but he was sure he was not smitten or anything.

Whatever, I'll just wing it.

It had not taken Mugen long to figure out where she lived, although it was not as like he had to look very hard either. A couple of farmers, late coming in from the fields, had told him where he could find her. She lived in a small house on the outskirts of the village—if a place this small could have outskirts.

The house itself was not bad. It seemed clean and comfortable enough—a nice size for a person or two. She even had a couple small gardens out front.

Quite the domestic goddess, aren't you, Fuu?

The original plan was to burst through her door and make himself at home, just like nothing had changed; like they had not seen or heard from each other for two years.

No better way to break the ice than an unceremonious entrance.

Mugen's hand reached for the edge of the screen, but froze when he heard the whispers that came from the other side of the screen.

Little wench has herself some company, it seems.

He snuck to the single window to try to get a better glance at Fuu's mystery guest. Tried, but failed. Unfortunately, all he could see were long shadows flickering against the wall—shadows that seemed to be moving suspiciously close to one another.

"Jin, I've never . . ." Her timid words fell away; too meek and too inexperienced to voice what she really wanted to say.

Oh, no fucking way, man. Him? Really? Is she stupid? Why him?

"It's all right," a familiar voice said softly; a silhouetted hand moving towards her, dark fingers running through her hair. "Do you wish to stop?"

"No, I just . . . I . . . I don't know what I'm trying to say." Fuu's voice was trembling, her uncertainty pushing her to the brink of tears.

"Ssh," Jin whispered. "You don't have to say anything. We'll go slowly. I won't hurt you, I promise."

"Okay."

The dark silhouettes fell into one as the tall man laid the small woman onto the ground. Mugen rose to his feet, frustrated for reasons he couldn't explain.

Son of a bitch, I should go in there and fuck up their night. Four-eyed bastard has it coming anyway.

He thought about it. He thought about it quite intensely, but he never did. He just walked away, the echoes of her soft moans ringing bitterly in his ears.

Much later that evening, stirred by the constant restlessness that always seemed to plague him, Jin slowly slipped from the futon he shared with his new lover, venturing into the cool night.

Despite the darkness, he could see a figure leaning lazily against a nearby tree. Spectacled eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "I thought that was you outside our room earlier."

Mugen snorted. "What gave me away?"

"Your shadow," Jin replied. "No one but you has hair like that."

"Hmph, whatever," he scoffed.

A long silence fell between the two men as they stared into the starry night. "So, you got the girl after all. She's always been into you, you know."

Jin shook his head. "She has feelings for you as well. Even after all the time that has passed . . ."

Mugen rolled his eyes. "Sure, if you say so."

"It's true. She couldn't choose between us then. She didn't want to betray one of us by choosing the other, so she let us both choose our own paths—paths that did not include her."

Mugen snorted again, crossing his arms as he stepped away from the taller man, moving back towards the forest road. "Still seems to me like she changed her mind."

"Perhaps, but if that is the case, it is only because I turned around first."