Title: The Photo
Summary: Many years after the defeat of Talpa, Jun is cleaning out his office before his wife does it for him. While he's doing this, he finds an old photo from his days with the Ronins and reminisces.
Rating: G but there is a reference to a slash couple.
Disclaimer: Ronin Warriors isn't mine, only this idea.
Jun sighed as he looked into the room. It was going to take all day to clean this mess up. He wondered why he had agreed to this, then remembered how his wife had been nagging him constantly. She was a very organized person, while he on the other hand was not. He didn't throw away everything compulsively like her and because of that his office had become somewhat similar to a rats nest.
And now he had to clean it up. His wife had said she wasn't going to be able to stand the sight of it much longer and as much as he hated the thought of cleaning it, there was no way in hell he was going to let her. She would just bring in a trash bag and start throwing everything away. Never mind if what she was throwing away might be important to him!
Jun surveyed the room and decided to start with the filing cabinet. Maybe if he cleaned everything out of that that didn't belong there, he could put his actual files in it. That in turn would allow him to uncover most of his desk from the various file folders covering it.
He opened up the first drawer and started pulling everything out. The contents of the drawer were varied, and most of them trash. He would never admit it willingly to his wife, but he realized that he was a pack rat. He kept everything until he was finally forced to throw some of it away in order to make room for more.
Almost an hour later Jun was almost finished with the filing cabinet when he found an old shoebox. He couldn't remember ever seeing the box before, so he removed the lid to see what it contained. Inside he found pictures, most of them from his childhood. He must have acquired this box when his parents had died. He'd probably just stuffed the box in the filing cabinet, meaning to deal with the contents at a later date. Lifting the lid off the box, he started to look through the pictures, smiling at the fond memories they brought to mind.
He was just about to put the box away to look at again later when he saw it. It was a picture of the Ronins, Mia, and himself. He stared at the picture. There was one just like it in his room, taken only moments after this one. Thinking back, he could remember Mia taking two pictures, but he couldn't remember ever seeing this one before.
He looked at the picture, carefully scrutinizing each detail. He was in the center, sitting atop White Blaze. The five Ronins stood around him, oblivious to the fact that the picture was being taken; Mia must have snapped this right before telling them to look at the camera. He had another picture in his bedroom, one taken just a minute or two after this one in which they were all smiling for the camera. As he looked at the picture in his hands, he decided he liked this one better.
Seiji stood to his right, a calm look on his face. He was probably thinking about something important. That was Seiji, always thinking about something. Behind him, Shuu was making faces. He had always been the one to make sure everyone laughed; that had been very important then, when there wasn't much to laugh about. To his right Shin was teasing Touma, trying to provoke him into saying something. Touma stood silently, as though he was ignoring Shin. The two of them had always had a complex relationship; they had danced the fine line between love and hate until they had finally reached a middle ground and then settled on love. Ryo was standing in the middle behind White Blaze, taking everything in. He had always been their rock, the one to keep them focused.
Jun sighed as he looked at the picture, it was hard to believe that it had been almost twenty years since it had been taken. Twenty years. Shuu had gotten married, and had five or maybe it was six children. Jun had never been able to keep up with all of Shuu's offspring. Shin had gone to university and become a doctor; no one had seen that coming. Jun thought about that for a second and then had to take it back; Touma had seen it. It was part of their relationship, Touma was always pushing Shin to do things he didn't think possible. That was what had caused so many arguments early on in their relationship. The two of them had settled down in Tokyo. Touma worked as a professor and researcher at the university and Shin worked at the hospital. Ryo was still in Toyama, working odd jobs. He had never been able to settle down to one job after they had stopped fighting. He had married Mia though, and she provided him the stability he needed in his life. Seiji was working at his family's dojo; after his grandfather had died he had taken over management of it. He preferred the quiet life he lived there and the other Ronins often visited him to take advantage of it.
They had all moved on with their lives. Looking at them in the picture Jun held in his hands, he would have never been able to guess that they had just finished saving the world if he hadn't been there.
Jun continued to look at the picture remembering the day it had been taken. It was right before the guys had all left Mia's and she had invited him over for the day. They had had a great time that day. With the threat of the world ending no longer hanging over them, everyone had been relaxed. They hadn't talked about plans for the future or details of the past. It had been a day just to live in the present.
A while later Jun hear his wife's voice calling him from down the hall.
"I'm in my office." he called to out to her. She opened the door and surveyed the room before remarking, "You haven't gotten very far. I was thinking you'd be at least half done by now." She came over to where he was sitting, looking over his shoulder at the picture.
"What's this picture of? Is this what's kept you from cleaning this room up?" she sounded exasperated. She had hoped he would actually manage to clean the room without getting distracted. "It's just a picture Jun. What is it about this picture that you have been staring at it and not cleaning? Did these guys save the world or something?"
He back at her annoyed face before replying, "Yeah, yeah they did."
AN: So this was just an idea that I had a few weeks ago and finally decided to finish it. There's not much to it, but I didn't want to scratch all the work. I had wanted it to be longer and for Jun to really remininsce, but that just didn't work out. I'm not a big fan of the ending, it's cliche to me, but it worked so I kept it. If you've read any of Anliya's work, you'll probably notice that my Shin and Touma have similarities to hers. When I was trying to figure out occupations I was haivng a hard time with Shin, so I kind of borrowed her characterisation of Shin and Touma, as well as Shin's occupation. So if you like that part of this fic, you should really go and read The Tale of Marise, it's a wonderful story!
Thanks for reading and please review!