Samurai Champloo (c) Shinichirō Watanabe
A/N: This will be a short story.
Epilogue. Part One
In that moment, silence took over the world and her heart pounded in her chest. There was a moment of hesitation, but she knew. Dropping the bucket of water she ran to him, her arms spread out reaching for an embrace.
He didn't hesitate. His own arms spread, receiving hers.
"It's been a long time Fuu," the tall man said, adjusting his glasses just so. Fuu stepped away from the embrace and studied Jin's face, his body... a flash of sadness flushed over her. Drooped shoulders, tired eyes… he was withered.
Then she noticed the light scar on his lip. She raised her hand to touch it, half expecting for Jin to move or slap her hand away. He didn't.
"What happened?" she asked softly.
Jin shook his head, "Life," he gave her a small smile, "sooner or later I would end up with scars right?"
It was an attempt at a joke, Fuu knew, but she couldn't manage more than a nervous giggle.
"Do you want to come in?" she asked him instead, "I just finished cooking lunch; I don't think my son will be coming home until late at night."
"Son…hmm..." Jin said, more question than comment.
"Like you said… Life." Fuu smiled. She ushered him into her home and sat him down.
Jin was a bit surprised at the home, it was quite big, but small enough to be cozy. "Nice place." He settled down, slouching a bit as he sat.
Fuu was serving him tea when he had asked suddenly, "If you don't mind me asking, your husband?" She stopped, her smile disappearing for a split second.
He saw it though, "you don't have to say anything."
She served him rice and good chunks of meat, "it's alright," she sighed, sitting across from Jin. "He died two years ago from a disease…but it was bound to happen. My husband was already old and there wasn't much that we could do."
"I see..." Jin replied, not saying anything much. There was a silence between the two of them; it was neither awkward nor comfortable. Fuu just enjoyed staring at him; it's been too long… far too long. When the three of them have split up that fateful day, it was like a family going different ways. In some way, she missed the silent wisdom that Jin embodied. Seeing Jin again after twenty seven years made her want to see Mugen too.
So she asked, "Do you know where Mugen is?" the question was innocent enough, but when Jin looked at her, she already knew.
Jin saw that Fuu understood so instead he said, "Did you really expect him to live past thirty?"