Chapter Five – No Giving Up
“Mugen! Jin! Stop that!” It was a voice that I well recognized, having spent weeks traveling in her company. It was her voice that made me stop in mid-swing and look up the road, shock etched into my face. Even more astounding was that Mugen did the same, pulling back on his sword to glare at the intruder.
“Fuu!?!” I exclaimed, surprised that she would show up here of all places and times, especially since Mugen and I had only just recently found each other again.
“I can’t believe this,” she continued in answer, striding up to where the two of us stood in shocked disbelief. “We have only parted ways for one month, and already you two are fighting again!” Her eyes searched our faces even as she gave us her sternest look that never could do anything but make us laugh before.
“It is a bad habit…” I remarked slowly, wiping off my blade, and sheathing my sword.
“Tch, what the hell ever,” muttered Mugen, even as he put up his own weapon in the sheath across his back. He folded his arms and glared at her, face already forming a half-frown, half-smile that he was famous for.
There was a decidedly loud grunt of laughter behind her, and it was then that I noticed the man that she had been traveling with. I leaned only slightly to the side to see this newcomer.
He was a rather big man, not so much fat, but brawny. His arms were probably about as big around as my head, definitely more muscle than I held in my entire body. He was between eighteen to twenty-two, I had never been really good at guessing people’s ages. He had brown hair shorn so close to his head he may as well have been bald and bright cold blue eyes… hmm… so he wasn’t Japanese. He wore an odd assortment of clothes, well, considering Mugen perhaps not that strange. And he had a scar running from the bridge of his nose down at an angle to his right mid-jaw. Well, I would wait for Fuu to introduce him since he wasn’t doing it himself.
“Gods, it is so great to see you two!” continued the girl, emitting that high-pitched squeal that it seems all young females are fond of, as she wrapped me up in a big hug before I could even protest. I opened my mouth to speak, but just as quickly as she had attacked, she retreated and attacked Mugen, wrapping her arms around his neck. He reluctantly returned her hug.
“It has not been that long,” he griped, putting her down and pushing her away only slightly. She did not seem at all concerned by that.
“Oh, come off it,” she disagreed. “So, how did you guys meet up then? You will have to tell me all about it. Geez, I miss the old days so much you know?”
“Fuu,” I began patiently, interrupting her constant stream of questions. “Your companion?”
“Oh!” she exclaimed, eyes widening in surprise even as her hand flew up to cover her mouth. “I almost forgot.” Fuu turned around and reached for the man who had been standing silently behind her. Dragging him forward she planted him in front of us as if we were supposed to be checking him out or something.
The three of us glared at each other while Fuu continued to talk, ignoring the male pissing contest that was going on right before her.
“This is Kenji. Since you guys left I still needed a bodyguard, bad habit of getting kidnapped you know. Lucky for me, I found Kenji in the next town I stumbled into. He doesn’t even need a sword,” she squealed.
“Kenji, was it?” I said, not taking my eyes off the big man. There was something about the look in his eyes that made me shudder deep inside. He was cold, more frozen than even I, though it seemed a strange fire burned deep within the ice. An icy flame…
“I do believe that is what Miss Fuu told you, no?” answered the man, his voice deep and resonant. I could feel Mugen stirring beside me and I removed my gaze from the big man only once to glance at him.
It nearly bowled me over when I saw the look on his face. It was that of thinly disguised recognition, and not the good kind either. It was not a happy memory that I was sure of. His face had paled slightly, easily noticeable to someone like me who has spent many a day studying and trying to understand him. But to anyone else, he looked much the same.
My eyes flickered back and forth between Kenji and Mugen, wondering how the two knew each other. Prison maybe? No, Kenji had no tattoos. Before perhaps? Then Mugen spoke.
“Mugen,” he stuck out his hand in a gesture to shake the man’s hand. “You’ve got a helluva job on your hands.”
Odd. Now Mugen was acting as if he had never seen the man before in his life. I would have to get to the bottom of this, later, not now when Fuu could see. But soon… I wanted to see what could make the normally unshakable Mugen seem so… frightened.
“Jin,” I said simply, not elaborating anymore than necessary nor offering my hand out for greeting. Kenji looked like the type to get into a muscle contest at just a handshake. By the size of those muscles, there was no way I was about to greet him in such a matter.
“Great!” exclaimed Fuu, clapping her hands in excitement. “Now that we all know each other, how about we get something to eat? For old times sake?”
Mugen and I exchanged glances at the same moment that his stomach growled rather loudly. Now that I think about it… did we even have any money? Mugen had covered the expenses at the inn and the food in that town. I had absolutely nothing at all, not a single ryo.
Kenji laughed, his deep baritone startling me. “Bottomless stomach…” he muttered under his breath, shaking his head.
Fuu pouted. “Hey, we ate like two hours ago. Of course, I am hungry again.”
I changed the subject. “Where were you headed?”
The girl waved her hands vaguely. “Nowhere in particular. Just once I started wandering, I couldn’t stop.” She giggled at that. “You guys rubbed off on me.”
“Well then, Miss Fuu, which way should we go? Our group seems to have met in the middle from opposite directions?” questioned Kenji. He was remarkably well spoken, surprising me.
“I’ve had enough of that backwards ass town!” Mugen suggested. He folded his arms behind his head and started walking in the direction we had originally been heading. “I’m on to bigger and better things.”
“That farming town isn’t much better, you know,” Fuu commented, falling into step beside him.
I and the bodyguard, Kenji, moved to walk behind our traveling companions, the decision seemingly made for us.
Mugen shrugged at her comment, watching the sky above. Yes, just like old times. “So long as it serves food and sake, I’m there.”
“Jin ignored my question earlier.”
“Big shocker there,” I heard Mugen utter under his breath. Fuu didn’t seem to notice as she kept on talking.
“So, how did you guys meet up?” she asked again.
“By complete chance,” I answered from behind. I wasn’t sure if the two of us were going to tell her about our new relationship or not. Fuu was our friend, sure enough, but I didn’t know how she would react. Friends were something I had little of; I didn’t want to lose her as well.
“Yeah.” Mugen nodded. “Jin was broke as usual and I took pity on him.”
“Then you have money?” Fuu asked, getting excited.
Hmm. Apparently, her and Kenji have the same money problems as the three of us back in the old days.
Mugen shrugged again. Man of few words today. I wonder why. “Enough.”
“Where are you from, Kenji?” I asked the bodyguard, wanting to change the subject. There was something about this man that made me suspicious. I suppose it might have had something to do with that fleeting look I thought I caught on Mugen’s face; I cannot really be too sure.
“A small island you have never heard of, I am sure,” he answered, flashing a tight feral grin.
“Iyatoko,” he answered simply, his blue eyes shining coldly at me. 
He was right. I was unfamiliar with it. However, it did sound Japanese, and he certainly did not look it.
“I know what you are thinking,” he continued before I even responded.
Ahead of us, Mugen snickered. “I highly doubt that.” I heard him mutter beneath his breath.
“You’re thinking,” said Kenji, voice getting louder to enunciate his point. “That I do not look Japanese.”
Well, if that wasn’t obvious.
“Are you?” I asked, neither confirming nor denying whether or not he was correct.
He shook his head. “No. Iyatoko may be near Japan, but it is colonized by westerners.”
Interesting. I stowed that piece of information away for later use, only giving him a ‘hm’ in response. Ever the man of few words, I have to keep up the image. I can’t start letting people confuse me with Fuu, now can I?
“Is that all you have to say?” Kenji questioned, raising one eyebrow. “Hm?”
Mugen and Fuu laughed after exchanging glances. “We’ve known him a lot longer, and we still can’t get him to say more,” the girl commented, casting a mirthful look on her traveling companion.
“Strange,” Kenji murmured, shaking his head.
“No more than you,” I countered. I may be silent and thoughtful, but I am, by no means, strange, odd, or any word that may deem me anything but normal.
“Now, now boys, no fighting ‘kay?” Fuu laughed. “Do I have to toss a coin?”
“You wouldn’t tell us the real results anyway,” Mugen answered for her.
Fuu giggled. “Maybe not. But it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? The three of us traveling together? I kinda miss it, you know?”
Mugen scoffed. “Miss what? The hungry grumbling in my belly every time you tried to make me work? A wonderful trio the three of us made, when we weren’t fighting assassins we were trying to scrape up enough ryo to eat.”
“Yep,” Fuu agreed happily. “Those were the days…” She stared off dreamily into the skies, as if she actually missed it.
“Crazy ass female…” muttered Mugen under his breath.
I shook my head. Nothing had changed.
* * *
I frowned, staring at the hustle of activity that had accosted our group as soon as we stepped foot into the ‘backwards farming town’ as Fuu had so wrongly addressed it earlier. There were people absolutely everywhere! Kids, men, women, carrying packages, talking, laughing. It was ridiculous.
“This is your boring farming town?” Mugen questioned incredulously as he watched a group of people hanging up streamers and colorful decorations.
“It wasn’t like this when we left earlier…” Fuu whined out loud.
Kenji groaned aloud, shaking his head in frustration. “I had forgotten about the festival… we are never going to find an open room now…”
“But as long as we are here… we might as well enjoy ourselves, right?” Fuu asked hopefully. “Oooh, think of all the yummy treats that they are selling…”
Mugen rolled his eyes as I watched in silence. How could they have forgotten about something as big as a festival?
“I’ve got connections here,” Mugen mumbled aloud. We all turned to look at him in confusion, no one more surprised than I. “I can get us a room or two.”
“Been a busy month, has it?” Fuu questioned, giving Mugen a strange look that I am sure I would have displayed as well.
Mugen shrugged. “Just a job I pulled off for quick cash. Man owes me one.” He grinned suddenly, turning to look at me. “He might just have another job ready, too. He can hire both of us!”
“I suppose…” I said, not completely my sentence. There was really no need. Mugen took that as an affirmation of my agreement and nodded his head.
“I’ll go see Taka about the rooms,” he said, waving us off as he walked away.
I could only stare after him in wonder. Had it really only been a month? And yet some things were still so different.
Could only that many days really change a person? Am I so immodest to believe that I had something to do with it? And suddenly, more than before, I found myself wanting to know what the look I had caught earlier meant, and I wanted to know more about the mysterious Kenji. Something wasn’t sitting right and I intended to find out. I narrowed my eyes reflexively, not really intending to do so. I was going to ask Mugen tonight, as soon as I got him alone.
“Jin? Hello? Earth to Jin?” Fuu was trying to get my attention, waving her hand in front of my eyes like some deranged monkey.
I snapped back to reality and out of my muses to look down at the younger girl. “Sorry. What was it you were saying?” I asked politely.
She frowned and gave me a strange look, even odder than the one she had directed at Mugen.
“You’ve been acting weird. Has one month changed you that much?” she asked.
I shook my head. “You are imagining things. I think you have forgotten me, that is all.”
“Is that so?” she questioned, turning on her heels to catch up with Kenji who was waiting patiently for her. “We’re going to check out the festival. Are you coming?”
I shrugged my shoulders. Why not? It’s not like I was going to stand around and wait on Mugen. He could find us. Kenji doesn’t exactly blend in. “I suppose,” I answered her.
I moved to walk beside her and the three of us moved to enter the festival in the supposed dead farming town.
“You know,” she mused aloud without looking at either of us two men. “Mugen has been acting strange, too.”
“I see no difference. He is still brash, vulgar, and uncouth.”
Fuu giggled. “You keep saying things like that, but you know you consider him your friend.”
I did not answer. If only she knew that I thought of him as so much more.
We passed by a group of traveling musicians. Two men were making sounds with their mouths to some strange beat while a third was attempting to rhyme words to match the odd pattern of music from the other two. Because of this, neither the music nor the song really made much sense. 
”Japan is changing,” I muttered, watching the antics of the three musicians.
“Outlaws and Samurais are a vanishing breed,” responded Kenji. Odd choice of response for a man of his character.
“The values are still there, as well as the ideas.” I pointed out.
Kenji shook his head as Fuu looked between us in confusion. This conversation was well above her head. “Outlaws have values?… Japan is assuredly changing.”
“OH?” Fuu whined. “Why the serious talk, we are supposed to be having fun!”
“Gomen, Fuu,” Kenji said not looking the least bit sorry. “What do you want to do first?”
As if on cue, her stomach rumbled very loudly. Kenji and I exchanged looks. I guess we were going to eat first.
* * *
After Fuu had been fed, Mugen found us. He had gotten us two rooms at the local inn. I had felt my fatigue almost immediately and wanted nothing more than to return to the inn and rest.
Kenji had disappeared somewhere in the town, he had mumbled something about the red light area and some place called Lady Kisaragi.  Mugen just clapped him on the back and told him to go have fun. Fuu pouted but disappeared in her room. She had muttered something about a warm bath. This left Mugen and I to enjoy our room alone.
“Say, Jin… Fuu is in another room and Kenji is gone…” Mugen mused aloud.
I knew where this was heading. Mugen was as easy to read as a well-worn book. But I also had questions whose answers only he could provide.
“You recognized him, didn’t you?” I asked, changing the subject.
Mugen frowned from his perch on the bed, looking at me as I sat on the bed, legs curled up into a meditative pose. “Who?” I wasn’t stupid and neither is Mugen, despite all appearances, he knew exactly who I was talking about.
“Kenji, you dolt!! You knew who I meant,” I said with a roll of my eyes.
Mugen shrugged. “Nope. Never seen him before in my life.”
“You are lying.”
Mugen narrowed his eyes, giving me a glare. “I am not!” he hissed.
“Then why did I see that look on your face?”
“There wasn’t a look on my face so quit trying to make me mad!” argued Mugen in return. He folded his arms over his chest and stared at me.
I sighed heavily. “Fine don’t tell me. It’s not like I really wanted to know.” I closed my eyes and began to meditate. He could go do whatever for all I cared. If he didn’t want to explain anything to me that was his choice but that didn’t mean I was going to go pout about it.
I heard him move from his position on the bed but did not bother to open my eyes and see what it was he was doing. I felt arms wrapping around me from behind as he pulled me against his chest.
“Aw, don’t be like that,” he murmured, his deep voice treble in my ear.
“Go away, Mugen… I need to meditate,” I answered.
A warm wetness flicked across my ear sending a shock straight to me nether regions. Dammit! He knows how sensitive I am there! I feel his hand creeping into the folds of my juban and then my kimono, looking for the bare skin underneath my clothing.
“Come on…” he whined in his needy Mugen voice. “You wouldn’t let me earlier, and I’m so horny…” His roaming hand found my nipple and pinched it, rolling the nub between his fingers as he nipped again at my ear.
I moaned softly, nearly melting into his arms at the touch. Despite the cold anger that hovered on the edge of my emotions, I could not deny the desire that he aroused in me with just a single touch.
“How do you do that…” I murmured softly. “With just one touch… I am all yours.”
I heard him chuckle softly before he grabbed my head with his free hand and turned my face towards his, absorbing me in a kiss.
I slipped my tongue inside his mouth, invading the warm cavern. He tasted like he had snuck himself a dumpling while he was supposedly getting our rooms. Our tongues swirled around together for a few moments while he reached down my clothing to grasp my semi-hard cock, quickly stroking it to full capacity.
Suddenly, I pulled away from him and slipped deftly out of his grasp, to stand on the floor next to the bed. He looked at me dumbfounded until I slowly started taking off my clothes.
He grinned wolfishly before sliding off the bed as well, hands reaching for his own clothes. “And here I thought you were playing hard to get.”
I finished removing my under kimono and tackled him before he had a chance to remove the last of his clothes, not even responding to his question. We crashed to the floor, but that didn’t bother me. I landed on him after all.
Mouths met mouths as hands roamed freely over bare skin. I pushed his pants off of him so that I could grasp his straining erection in my hands. He moaned he moment he felt my touch. He reached up and grabbed the tie for my hair, ripping it out and letting it all hang freely. Dammit, now it was going to get tangled.
However, he knew the proper distraction technique. He leaned upwards and latched upon one nipple and all thoughts of tangled hair flew out of my head.
One of his hands groped along the floor and I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye. He seemed to be reaching for his pants. One finger caught the edge of it and he dragged them towards us.
I pulled away from the kiss, one eyebrow raised. “Why do you need your pants?”
He grinned again, before digging around in the one small pocket. He pulled out his prize and held it up for my inspection. “Just a little side trip I made today?”
I plucked the small bottle out of his hand and looked at it. It was a bottle of vanilla oil, usually used for cooking.
Sneaky little Mugen. I grasped the cap of the bottle off of it and pulled, the smell of vanilla wafting through the air. I smiled down at him. “Since I have the oil, I am seme.”
Mugen shrugged. “I don’t really care, just quit stallin’. I’m dying here.”
There he goes exaggerating again. I rolled my eyes and moved away from him, crawling off of his body.
“Where are you going?” he demanded, confusion etched into his face.
I had an idea. “On your knees,” I commanded.
He very well understood and obediently rolled over. I think sex was the only time I could give an order, and the wolfish man would listen to me.
I positioned myself kneeling behind him, pouring some of the vanilla oil out onto my fingertips. He wiggled his butt enticingly at me as he looked back over his shoulder.
I gently eased one finger inside of him, delighting in how much easier the oil made it. He moaned appreciatively, his fingers curling even as he balanced on his hands.
I quickly added the second and the third, the need to enter his body building up rapidly within my body. I had never been this way in my life. There was something about the younger man beneath me that made my sex drive spike up several notches. I wiggled the three fingers around inside of him, finally brushing upon his pleasure center. He keened, practically purring and bucked up, trying to take my fingers in deeper.
I complied by withdrawing them and replacing them with something far larger. I let out a long, slow moan as I entered him, embracing the warmth that that wrapped around my hard and needy cock until I was buried to the hilt.
“Uhn… every time…” I muttered out loud, eyes closed as I enjoyed the situation. He pressed back against me and I knew that he was tired of waiting.
I moved slowly in and out of his tight passage, reveling in the feel of him wrapped around me. He felt so damn good. However, Mugen was not satisfied with the pace.
“Gah! Harder, Jin!” gasped out Mugen, writhing beneath me even as he balanced on his hands and knees. “Fuck me!!” He pushed up his bottom at me trying to meet each thrust with one of his own.
“Shut up!” I huffed, playfully smacking his ass. “I’m in charge!!” He moaned as I did so.
“Ooh. Do it again!”
I readily complied, swinging my open palm against his backside as I increased the tempo of my thrusts. He wiggled his ass at me and moaned again. The sound of my flesh hitting his coupled with his needy sounds just sent more and more waves of arousal to my groans and I found my pace becoming more and more erratic.
I reached around with my free hand and grasped his erection firmly, stroking him with the same vigor as my eager thrusting. My other hand continued to smack and stroke his ass. He was turning into a moaning, bucking wild creature beneath me.
I paused for a moment, giving myself a different angle before I pounded into him again, aiming for that bundle of nerves that made his moans change pitch. He was already covered in sheen of sweat and his body glistened in the low lamp light. Gods, I just wanted to lick him all over.
Just then, he tensed his muscles and squeezed my length inside of him. I groaned loudly with the feeling, already on a sensation high. My thrusts built up into a frenzy as he moaned and uttered intelligible gibberish.
“…J…Jin…” he gasped and that did it. There was not much I could do after he called my name but come in a massive rush inside of him, pleasure coursing through my entire body.
“Gah…” I gasped even as he arched greatly and splattered all over the floor, releasing all of his built up tension in one great stream.
Panting greatly, both of us with shaking limbs we crashed to the floor. I tried to roll off to the side so that I did not crush him.
We lay collapsed on the floor. I was still lying partly on top of him, in my weariness unable to roll all the way over. I felt him shift beneath me even as I panted slightly and tried to move enough for him to be able to get comfortable. He rolled over onto his back and side, turning to face me.
Mugen leaned forward and kissed me softly before pulling away slightly.
”You know I meant what I said, right?” he asked. His words caused me to open my weary eyes. I stared into his somber face. Not exactly look someone should have after just getting fucked thoroughly.
“About what?” I asked, reaching forward to draw him towards me despite the fact that we were lying on a very hard wooden floor, naked for all to see.
“Loving you,” he answered simply.
“Yes, I meant the same.”
“Then listen to me and believe what I say,” he said softly, looking me in the eye. I sighed softly then nodded my head.
“I don’t know Kenji, can’t say I have ever seen him before in my life. But that doesn’t mean I have never met him.”
“That doesn’t make any sense, Mugen.” I sat up slightly, bringing him with me. I wanted to be alert to hear this.
“I know,” he responded, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. “But that’s the truth when you don’t have much memory of your past. In my mind, there are big gaping holes where there should be memories. I hardly know who I am.”
I pulled him close to me, suddenly feeling the need the feel his body against mine. “Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“Didn’t feel like you needed to know. It’s not a big deal.”
“How did you lose your memory?” I asked, not sure if I wanted to hear the answer to that question.
He shrugged noncommittally before yawning greatly. “I don’t really know. I woke up in a hospital somewhere wrapped in bandages unable to remember, but the barest details of who I was.”
Listening to his story, I almost just a bit ashamed of myself. Here I was getting all angry with him and he couldn’t even remember, much less lie to me about who Kenji was. Still, I knew that his subconscious recognized the man even if Mugen himself could not recall.
I pushed these thoughts aside when Mugen yawned again, obviously very tired. “Let’s go, Mugen. Time for bed.”
I got up from the floor and dragged Mugen with me, pushing him towards the bed. He collapsed upon it happily, snuggling down into the blanket. He looked entirely too cute and innocent when he did that.
Smiling despite my attempts not to, I lowered my tiny body down onto the bed next to him, pulling him close to me so that I could share his warmth.
“What about Kenji?” he mumbled sleepily.
“I’m not going to sleep just yet. I’ll get up before he comes in,” I answered him shrugging. I wasn’t sure if he wanted everyone to know or not. As for myself… I still hadn’t decided. Until then, we would have to be careful.
“Whatever…” he said in a sleepy voice as he slowly drifted away.