I do not own Yo-Jin-Bo in any way. This is a fan fiction that is long overdue for my friend's birthday! This is the finished one-shot, that I did my best with!
It hadn't even been a year since they parted ways with their companions from the end of their bodyguard journey. More than half a year passed since Sayori and Ittousai set off on their own Journey of Redemption, and it was not easy. During their travels, many men foolishly attempted to pick fights with the blonde assassin, and even so tempted, Ittousai refused to unsheathe his sword. He soon became accommodated to winning fights with his words and fists, without having to shed blood, and all in the matter of self-defense; as well as protecting Sayori.
Today, the two sat outside on a bench near the road and outside a small rundown rest stop that supplied food and even a small bath to weary travelers, and so weary Sayori was with her stomach growling loudly. Ittousai would rather cut off his own arm before he let this woman, his woman, starve to death. With the little money they had left, Ittousai ordered two bowls of hiyajiru; both for Sayori.
"Are you sure you don't want any, Ittousai?" she asked, brows furrowed in worry as the man sat beside her, eyes closed and one leg crossing over the other, hands in his lap.
"Yeah," he murmured a response. "The servings are small, and I'm not hungry. Just eat."
Sayori said nothing as she turned her gaze down at her food, one bowl in her lap, the other sitting between her and Ittousai. Her stomach rumbled once more, and that was the last push she needed before she started to devour her meal. A violet eye peeked open, peeping at the unaware young woman before a small curve hit the edge of his lips and Ittousai scoffed at himself.
Now that they were out of money, he'd have to think of a way for them to get some so they could continue on. Before all he had to worry about was himself, and at the time he could use his sword to make a living, but now… Now he was stuck. What talents did he have that didn't involve his weapon? That didn't involve taking the life of others to feed himself? He no longer wanted that life, he didn't need that life at all…so long as Sayori was by his side. But, even if he can protect her without his sword, how was he going to support her? She can't sleep outside all of the time. She deserved a bed and shelter here and there, some warm food on a table as she relaxed in a large spacious room, and even a nice private hot bath.
Damn… Ittousai cursed himself as he closed his eye once more, chiding himself. He was a fool. All he wanted to do was pamper her. Him. Tatsunami Ittousai of all people. He had little knowledge of women in the first place, and now he thinks he knows what would make one happy? Well, it seemed only natural that anyone would want a comfortable place to stay…
Ittousai's ears began to ring. The sudden cry from a child catching his attention, and Sayori's as well; both looking over to the dirt road. A young boy around the age of ten or so stood by himself, shaking with tears in his eyes as he called out over and over for his father, passing by the little hut and people as he headed down the road, bare feet trembling on the pebbles.
"Poor thing," Sayori murmured. She rose from her seat, placing her bowl down to replace her, and Ittousai's golden brows rose before a scowl took place on his lips.
"Leave him," he said. "He's not our business."
"Ittousai, he's lost," she frowned in response. "We need to help him."
"Onna," Ittousai's tone was that of warning, but was promptly ignored as Sayori walked over to the young lad, and then kneeled down to his level.
"Hello," Sayori smiled at the startled child, who quietly responded with a greeting of his own. "You're looking for your Papa?"
There was a sniffle and a nod of the boy's head. "Y-Yes," he whispered as he wiped at his tears with his sleeve.
The boy shook his head. He didn't seem to know. Sayori sighed lightly, looking around and barely anyone in sight. Where could this boy have come from? It sure was…strange… She looked over towards her beloved and he only gave her look that said something along the lines of "I'm not helping you out. You're on your own."
"Okay," she chirped. "Where do you remember seeing him last?"
"A-At…the well…" the boy hiccupped, cheeks red and eyes glossy as he avoided Sayori's gaze.
The young woman bobbed her head in acknowledgement before going into thought. The well, huh? She didn't remember seeing a well on the way here… She looked over to the bench and her unhappy lover, and called out, "Ittousai, do you remember seeing a well on the way over here?"
"No," was the instant sharp reply.
Sayori sighed, "Please, Ittousai?"
Violet eyes went from the girl, to the two bowls sitting beside him. "Eat your food, it'll get cold."
Heaving the heaviest sigh he could muster, Ittousai stood up, "Eat. I'll take care of him."
Just as Sayori was about to retort, she froze. She stared in complete awe, eyes blinking as if to test how real the current situation was. "R-Really?" she choked out.
Ittousai stepped towards her, reaching down to grab her wrist and pull her up. "I won't say it again. I'll be back shortly," he murmured into her ear.
While trying to reclaim herself from the state of complete and utter shock, Sayori looked over her shoulder. Ittousai glanced down at the boy, the tips of his fingers barely touching the hair of the young one's head, and he leading him down the road. Heart racing, Sayori sat down on the bench and hesitantly continued her meal. She wasn't sure how to feel about Ittousai taking on this "volunteer work". She had never seen him once interact with a child, leaving room for worry, but on the other hand, she was elated and thrilled.
Wasn't this what the whole journey was about to begin with? Ittousai finding his human self once again? Even if he doesn't open himself up completely by the end of this, as long as he can take something from this it would mean a great deal to him. Or, at least that's what Sayori thought to herself. But, what would the end of this journey be like? Will they be going on like this forever? Until the last days of their lives? Until Ittousai can finally break away from the shackles of his father's ghost? All the people he's had to kill? Sayori then wondered as to whether or not such a thing eve crossed Ittousai's mind. Should she ask him? How could she? It wasn't really something she could pry into. But, asking once wouldn't hurt, right? They were "together" now, "lovers". They could ask each other anything and feel totally comfortable…right?
The young woman's head shot up, letting out a strange yelp as she noticed Ittousai standing next to where she was seated. She looked up at him and smiled, "Back already?"
The blonde male nodded before taking his previous seat with a slight grunt. "The father was looking around as well so it didn't take long at all," he replied.
"Is that so…?" Sayori's eyes fell to her dish, already finished with the first, and silence was cast upon the two of them. She placed the dish down, taking up the next and beginning her second serving, her eyes peeked at Ittousai only to find him completely staring at her. It caught her off-guard, and heart jumped within her breast. She stopped, pausing for a moment before turning to her lover. "Is…something wrong?"
"Is something wrong with you?"
Sayori felt her heart jump. Bashfully, she looked down at her food, "Um, Ittousai, may I ask a question?"
A blonde brow rose, an expression as though saying "of course, why even ask?" showing on his face, "Go ahead."
"Um, when…will this journey end?"
"Huh?" was the immediate response, though Sayori didn't repeat her words. Ittousai seemed confused, perplexed. She wondered if her words frightened him, or if he suddenly found her to be too stupid. He sighed, scratching at his golden locks, "Why do you ask? You want to stop?"
"Oh, no! That's not what I meant!" Sayori bit her lip. "I was just wondering, if you had any plans for the future. After this journey is done. When we're old? When we're dead? Next year? Did you…have any idea?"
Ittousai frowned, though he obviously seemed to be in thought by her questions. It was actually rather amusing, considering how at the moment his glasses were a bit crooked at the moment, one eye shining more than the other. "I never really planned for how long this would be," Ittousai replied. "I suppose once I can finally calm down and move on with my own life, learn how to be human completely once more…er…" the once assassin looked over at Sayori, a dash of pink on his cheeks from his murmurs. "Well…it'll be done, when it's done…"
"I see," Sayori smiled, seeming content with that answer; even more so when she moved the conversation elsewhere. "It was a little strange though, just a moment ago, to see you with that boy."
The blonde smirked, "His father wasn't too happy. He thought I was a kidnapper."
"Did he really?" Sayori laughed, and Ittousai smiled at her reaction, a warmth in his chest bubbling over.
Grabbing her chin, Ittousai pulled her over as he leaned down and captured her lips. Immediately, Sayori's cheek grew ablaze but her eyes soon fell, closing as she accepted and returned Ittousai's kiss. Any sign of affection from him was greatly received with arms wide open; both metaphorically and literally. And, it wasn't long before Ittousai released his lover, pulling back as his hand swept some hair over her ear, placing his forehead against hers.
"I love you, Ittousai," she whispered.
"I love you, Onna."
Sayori snorted, "'Onna'?"
A giggle. A quick peck to the lips. "Better."
Straightening, Ittousai smirked once more, "Just finish your food."
"Right. Oh, and Ittousai?"
"Wherever you want to go, and for however long, I won't hesitate to go with you, just remember that, all right?"
A blink, then another played at Ittousai's eyes before he nodded. "All right," he said, closing his eyes as he crossed his arms. If that's how it's going to be, then maybe we should stop in a town for a while and I should find some work to get some money. But…what could I do?
"Done~! Thank you for the food~!" Sayori sang.
Ittousaid sighed, I suppose I'll take whatever I can get when we get there. Silently, he reached over, only his hand moving over to grasp and squeeze Sayori's, gaining her attention quickly.
"Ittousai, is something wrong?"
The blonde only shook his head. He just wanted to bask in this peaceful moment if only for a second more. Maybe one day, he and Sayori will settle down, and they can have many more moments like this to cherish. But, that would be something the two of them would discuss for another day.
Thank you for reading!