Chapter Six – Pushing Me Away
I can always tell when Jin is thinking about something. He disappears inside himself, and his eyes get this faraway look to `em, like he is seeing something that isn’t there. Not that it was hard to figure it out; he thinks more than I eat.
But that is beside the point… even amid the fun of the festival, the food and music, he has managed to be all locked up and gloomy.
I wondered what is thinking about. There were times when I wished that I could just open up his head and take a peek inside.
Annoyed by the gloomy atmosphere that had gathered around his head, I sidled up next to him and bumped him with my shoulder. He cast a look at me but didn’t say anything.
Frowning, I glanced quickly at Fuu and Kenji who were deep in conversation. Well, more like Fuu was babbling on and on, and Kenji was merely smiling and nodding. They weren’t looking.
So, I reached up and licked his ear. I could feel the shiver that ran through his entire body. “Mugen…”
“We are supposed to be having fun, but you’re acting like a stick in the mud,” I told him, punching him lightly on the arm.
“Don’t `hm’ me! I hate it when you do that!”
“I wouldn’t have to if you didn’t bother me, while I was thinking.”
“You are always thinking,” I argued in return. See here I was hoping that we could spend some time together and not fight. I wanted to see if there was something more than sex and anger between us. Seems like he didn’t care either way.
“Hm,” was his only answer.
”Dammit!” I growled, moving to stand in front of him and planting my feet solidly. He looked at me, an unamused expression on his face. Well… as expressive as a block of ice could be anyways. “You’re just a big fake, Jin!”
He looked at me through those glasses that he doesn’t even need. “Please explain to me exactly what you mean by that.”
I moved in closer, poking at his shoulder with one finger, lowering my voice just enough that Fuu can’t hear what I am saying being as I just noticed her and Kenji turning around and beginning to look. “You act all soft and nice after you’ve had a chance to fuck me, but outside in the real world you still treat me like a piece of dirt on the bottom of your high `n mighty feet!” A pretty good speech if I do say so myself.
He sighed. “You want to discuss that here?” Raising an eyebrow, he glanced around at Fuu and Kenji who were staring and a few strangers who had grown interested by my earlier angered `Dammit’!
“Are you two fighting again?” Fuu questioned, coming up to his and resting her hands on her hips.
“I think perhaps we should let them talk, Miss Fuu,” added in Kenji, grabbing her arm to attempt and pull her away. “Lover’s quarrel, you know.”
“What?” I exclaimed, as if he had just told the biggest secret in the world. Well, I thought so anyway.
“You would do well to hide your secrets better,” the Iyatokan muttered, trying to pull a now completely baffled Fuu away. But she seemed to be frozen to the ground.
I heard Jin sigh and returned my attentions to him. “What the hell you annoyed by now? We making too much noise and interruptin’ your `thinking’ time?”
I was angry. I couldn’t help it. He made my blood boil in so many ways. I wondered if there was anyway we would ever get along. I loved the cold bastard dammit, but was that enough?
“I am not in the mood to deal with your childish tantrums today, Mugen,” he said simply before starting to walk off into the crowd.
“L… lovers?” I dimly heard Fuu’s stammered question but promptly ignored her. I had to catch the ice princess.
I moved forward and grabbed his sleeve. He turned only slightly to look at me. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
“Somewhere away from you for now. I need to think.”
“Tch.” I let go of his arm and let him walk away without another word. I wasn’t some crying bitch. I wasn’t going to fight and whine and beg him to stay. Let the cold bastard walk away if he wanted to, he’ll see what happens when he comes back.
“Lovers?” Fuu repeated again. She was beginning to sound like a broken record.
I turned to glare at her and crossed my arms over my chest. “You got a problem with that?”
“No,” she answered stubbornly, shaking her head to clear her confusion. “I am just surprised is all.”
She giggled. “You have been spending too much time together. Giving me one word answers like that, sound just like him.”
“Tch,” I responded then turned my glare onto Kenji, the bastard who revealed our secret. “How in hell did you know?”
The Iyatokan shrugged. “Came back a little too early, heard some things I’d rather not hear again.”
“What were you guys arguing about?” Fuu questioned. She seemed worried or somethin’. I don’t know why though… it’s not like it was her boyfriend or anything.
“Nothing important,” I muttered. I moved past her and grabbed her arm as I walked. In turn she grabbed Kenji’s. “Come on, I’m hungry.”
“O… Okay,” she stammered as she struggled to keep along with me. I dragged the two of them with me through the freakishly happy festival, in the complete opposite direction where that ice block had gone.
“Nothing important, hmm?” questioned Kenji. “Then why did he walk off all alone?”
“He needed to think!” I answered through gritted teeth suddenly grounding to a halt. We were far enough. Fuu crashed into my back but Kenji pulled away, actually quite fluid in his movements.
“Fine,” the girl said, shooting Kenji a look. “We won’t talk about Jin.” Disentangling herself from my clothes, she walked over to the nearest fried dumpling vendor and bought us all some, carefully counting her money. Handing each of us one, we munched as we quietly walked through the festival, trying to avoid the entertainers.
I was fuming inside. Jin really was two-faced. How he could go from being an understanding sort of caring guy to a block of ice capable of chilling Nagasaki I don’t know. I can’t understand that type of guy. Not that I am the most fuzzy guy in the world but hey, at least I communicate.
“Mugen?” questioned Fuu, interrupting my thoughts.
“Eh?” I responded, munching on the food. I cast her sidelong glance.
“I really missed hanging out with you guys,” she answered, taking the supposedly happy atmosphere down another notch or two. “You, especially.”
“Uh, I think that I am really craving some rice balls!” Kenji exclaimed suddenly. He bowed slightly to Fuu. “I will return in a moment, Miss Fuu.” Without another word, he dashed off leaving me and the annoying girl alone. Ah, hell.
I concentrated solely on my food. If she wanted to have a heart to heart cry and talk session I was going to take off running faster than a lecherous monk chased by a furious father.
She began to talk then, hesitantly at first, but then gaining in strength. And the bad thing about her was, once she got started, it was kinda hard to get her to stop.
“You know,” she said. “I always thought that I would end up with one of you guys. Though I never could figure out whom I loved more. I think it was in the end that I finally understood. It wasn’t that I couldn’t chose, but more like I wouldn’t. Jin was kind in his own quiet and respective way… but you… you were mysterious and surprising. And I think that was what attracted me the most.”
I sighed heavily and put more effort into staring down my food. Hate to break it to her, but I’d been in love with Jin a lot longer than any of them knew. She never had a chance.
“Eh…” I wasn’t sure what to say. God knows I didn’t want to deal with tears… I hate seeing females cry… turns me to jelly you know? Especially since I have no clue how to handle that type of thing.
“You don’t have to say anything, Mugen,” she said, noting the confused expression on my face. “I just wanted you to know.”
“Why?” I asked. That was the best I could come up with. It didn’t make half a bit of sense to me. Why the hell would I WANT to know?
She giggled. “You guys are so cute together. It’s just funny that the two men I couldn’t decide between ended up making the choice for me.”
I shook my head. Girls were far beyond my comprehension. “Whatever.”
“So… did Jin ever tell what he was doing in the last month?” she asked, changing the subject.
“I thought we weren’t going to talk about him,” I pointed out. I was still miffed over his coldness.
She just continued to smile. “Well, did he?”
“No. Just that… well, never mind.” The only thing Jin had told me was that he was looking for me, but I certainly wasn’t going to tell her that.
“Oh,” she said. She appeared to be thinking deeply about something.
“Why?” I asked, suspicion rising in my mind.
“Oh, nothing,” she said, waving her hand to dissuade me. “There were some people looking for him this morning. I overheard them talking to the innkeeper. But you must have paid him good because he kept his mouth shut!”
“What kind of people?” I asked, now very interested.
“There were three of them, all males, and come to think of it, they were dressed a lot like Jin you know, all proper and such.”
“Did they carry daisho?” I asked, palms beginning to sweat. I remembered the times that samurai from Jin’s old dojo had come after him, and I wondered if this was the case now. If that was so, then Jin was in serious trouble. He was skilled sure enough, bout the only one who could beat me, but against three from his own dojo and training, he would fight and maybe kill one or the other, but he would die trying.
She put a finger to her chin as if that would help her think better, and closed one eye, squinting. “I know for sure two of them did, but I couldn’t really see the other. He had a mask on his face and wore a big heavy cloak.”
“Miss Fuu, I am sorry that took so long,” came Kenji’s voice suddenly rejoining the two of us.
“Fuck!” I exclaimed, pushing what was left of my food at Fuu, and sprinting off into the festival grounds.
“Where are you going?” she called out to me. I ignored her as I had to find Jin. He needed my help I was sure of it!
But where had he gone? My mind tumbled around these questions as I raced through the streets, eyes scanning the crowds. He was unusually tall and with those glasses, he should be rather easy to spot. I pushed people out of my way, even knocked down a few. I didn’t care. He was far more important than their pride.
Where the hell had he gone? The hotel? No. It wouldn’t give him what he wanted. Jin wanted silence… quiet… somewhere to be alone and think…
Damn, getting into his head was harder than I had originally thought.
…Away from the crowds and the music and the strangers… where I might never think to come chasing after him. Did he ever disappear back in the old days…?
That’s it! There was that one time after we split, and then I met Okura and he fought with that samurai dude, the one he recognized.
I jumped over three children playing an odd game in the middle of the street and dashed through a group of men making strange sounds with their mouths and attempting to match words along with the beat.
There were protests but I ignored them. For all I knew… Jin was already lying in a pool of his own blood.
Fucking no way!! Only I could kill him… only me.
I raced with determination, metal shod footwear clomping noisily down the crowded streets heading towards the one place I knew I would find him.
Alone… in the forest.