Of Nights


He remembers those days, with the fierce wind in his face, the gulls cackling and whirling around the beach, the fire and the blood. He remembers growing up with Mukuro and Kohza and the others who didn't survive long. Not many did. The crow-men knew what Ryukyu was.

Mugen watches the campfire burn and Fuu listens to his voice, her doe-like eyes settled on his face.

He remembers the ocean, with her siren call. The way you learned to tell when her mood was changing, when it was time to sail and when it was time to kiss your ass goodbye. He remembers the days of piracy, Mukuro and his bloodthirsty grin, the feeling that this was life. Raw. Real.

Mugen remembers being held down by the guards while the government officials gave him his blue-banned tattoos. He was lucky. Others left without their arm. The screams of the prisoners that day still reverberate in his memory. He watches the girl as she, horrified, tries to imagine how it was. How it will always be.

He remembers the towns he has been to, the sights he's seen, and the people he's sliced. The blood and glory of it all. Strangely, he does not speak of the women he's bedded. Or maybe not so strange he thinks, looking at his young traveling companion and seeing how she drinks up his every word. Some things are not worth remembering.

When there is nothing left to look back on, at least for tonight, the two sit back and watch the fire burn itself out. In time, the girl turns and asks how could someone who has done so much in so few years be content to stare at a fire and wander around the countryside with someone as dull and inexperienced as her?

His only answer, and maybe one not so unexpected, was a very smug leer.

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