Could she trust them to stay with her...to still respect her...
Mugen glanced over and saw that Fuus' eyes were closed. Putting away his sword he walked over to start a fire.
"This fucking sucks Jin. How the hell did this happen?"
"It shouldn't have happened, but it did. All we can do now is help her to pick up the pieces," Jin replied.
Mugen thought that over for a minute and realized how very much like a family they were. A seriously fucked up family but a family all the same. He couldn't ever remember feeling this sense of belonging before. It was a new experience... one he'd never admit to anyone though.
"Maybe...maybe we should sleep with her again tonight. She....um...she really seemed to appreciate that the other night..."
He couldn't believe he was actually suggesting that, but really it would kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. They could protect Fuu and maybe...just maybe...she would take comfort knowing they were there.
Jin stayed silent for so long that Mugen was trying to figure out why the hell he had made such a stupid suggestion. He was such a fucking idiot! When would he ever learn, people didn't want him that close to them, they didn't even want to see him if they didn't have to.
He had just turned back around and started poking the fire with a stick when Jin decided to reply.
"I agree Mugen," he said with that same solemn voice that he almost always used. "It was good of you to suggest that."
Well whaddya know, Ghost-Boy had just paid him a compliment. Maybe his idea hadn't been so stupid after all...
He could feel Fuus' slight form curled up to his side, her breathing deep and even. Hopefully she would at least find peace in her sleep tonight, Jin thought to himself. She deserved a respite from what the waking world had brought her this day. So much had changed in the time they spent apart. They had each grown in some way. Fuu had proved to herself that she could be alone. Mugen had actually let himself physically show affection for someone, something that would never have happened before. He thought of the time they had spent apart and it saddened him. Mugen and Fuu were the only real friends he had ever known and he had missed a part of their lives that couldn't be reclaimed. He would never know exactly what had affected them and what had effected the changes he had seen in them. He could hear stories of what they had been through, but stories held all the emotion of...well....him, he admitted to himself silently. Although he had improved since he'd last seen his friends. That was the way he had grown. Jin remembered his meeting with Shino a few weeks before. They had sat on a bench outside the monastery and talked of what had happened in the last few years. Eventually both had realized that they needed to face the subject that each had been dreading. Shino went first. She said that, although it was difficult for her to tell him this, she had come to realize that what she felt for Jin wasn't what a lover should feel for her other half. She was grateful to him, and always would be, and she didn't think badly of him. Rather, she didn't think of him the way a lover should. She felt that he had been a wonderful friend when she had desperately needed one, and hoped he would continue to be her friend, but she just wasn't passionately, madly in love with him. She cared for him, true, but not in the way she wanted to care for her next husband.
Jin had given a mental sigh of relief when she told him that. He had been trying for days to decide the best way to tell her that he would keep his promise, but that it wasn't really the best option for either of them.
Shino had laughed at that and reaffirmed her belief that they should keep in touch and remain friends. She had then proceeded to give him some advice. Even though their time together had been brief, she had realized that he responded outwardly to very little. She had told him that one should keep ones' emotions under control, that is a good thing after all, but ones' life shouldn't be all about controlling those emotions. If they didn't leak through occasionally then what was the point in living and experiencing anything if you couldn't respect any event enough to show the proper emotion due to it?
They had parted ways shortly thereafter, Shino hugging Jin and bidding him a fond farewell. As he walked down the path, Jin had thought about what she had said. It did make sense in a way he supposed, provided he was exceptionally careful about when those leaks occurred.
Coming back to the present, he rolled toward Fuu and closed his eyes' to settle into sleep. His last thought before slumber claimed him was that Fuu really did look extraordinarily beautiful in the moonlight.
She awoke in the middle of the night to the feel of two warm, hard bodies. One pressed to either side of her. Oh No! Had she dreamt it all...was she still in that awful place? Opening her eyes, she slowly turned her head to the side...and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw Jins' dark hair and pale face illuminated by the moon. Thanks goodness, she thought to herself, it was most definitely not a dream. Turning her head the other way she saw Mugens' mop of hair, partially fallen forward covering his face, and heard his soft snore. So they had curled up with her after she had fallen asleep, she thought to herself...looking down she saw that, although both their bodies were next to hers, there hands were both respectfully away from her body. Neither one was, even in sleep, laying a hand on her. Fuu felt comforted by that fact. Maybe it was time to reemerge into the real world. She had counted these two as her closest friends and silently said a fervent prayer that her trust would not be betrayed. If either of these two men ever took advantage of her, it would shatter her more completely than any experience at that brothel could have done. Suddenly a thought occurred to her...a happy thought...one that caused hope to rise within her... Maybe...just maybe...with them by her side...she would be strong enough to fight against fate and what it had decreed for her. Maybe she could change her destiny if they stayed with her. Before, when they were on the journey for her father, she would have sworn to them that she could handle anything by herself, while on the inside shaking in fear at that very thought. She had proven to herself that she could do it, over the course of the last three years, just that she would really rather not. It was so much nicer when you had friends to lean on. At this point though, she would get down on her knees and beg them to stay with her if they tried to leave. Alone, fate would always win...together...together they could make their own destiny.
Rolling toward Jin, Fuu tentatively grasped the hand he had resting on his hip. She felt lighter already. Curling her fingers around his, she closed her eyes and drifted off ...into peaceful oblivion... with her two body guards turned friends there to protect her...to watch over her...and hopefully...someday...one...to love her...
A/N: Please Read And Review! (please!)