Intimacy and Other Problems
by Jain

Written for 14 Valentines: Women in Academics.

The problem with Fuu was that she had no tits. It wasn't that Mugen only did it with girls who could float without treading water, or even that he thought that they were prettier than flat-chested girls. Fuu was plenty pretty. Which was the second part of the problem.

He tried to explain it to Jin once, when a bottle of sake had put him in a sharing mood, and Jin quirked a skeptical eyebrow at him. "So you're saying that because Fuu has...smaller than average breasts, she's unworthy of featuring in your sexual fantasies."

"No, no, no," Mugen said, only he was drunk enough that it came out more like "nnngh."

"No," he added for good measure. "But if you're picturing a girl with breasts the size of melons"--he paused to contemplate that image, until Jin cleared his throat--"yeah. If you're thinking of a girl who looks like that, you don't really need to think about her, you know what I mean?"

Jin looked down his nose at Mugen. "No, I don't believe I do."

"'s're jacking it, right?" Mugen made the appropriate hand gesture, and Jin's face took on an even more constipated expression. "And so you're thinking about some girl's tits, and how big and soft they are, and about sucking her nipples, and maybe about what it would feel like to slide your cock right in there between them and just go for it, and before you know it, you're done. Game over."

Mugen squirmed a little as he finished talking. He was kind of too drunk and mellow to manage an erection at the moment, but that didn't mean he wasn't interested, and the press of his clothing against his cock was pure pleasure. He noticed Jin watching him and stopped moving.

There was a bit of a flush high on Jin's cheekbones, but he met Mugen's eyes easily enough. "I still don't understand what point you're trying to make."

"Oh. Well, the point is, with Fuu, if somehow you started thinking about her like that, you kinda have to move on from her chest at some point. Ain't no way you can get off between those little titties, no matter how cute and perky they are. So then you find yourself thinking about her mouth and her pussy, and then you start thinking about kissing her, and suddenly whatever you're thinking about, like, totally innocently, becomes this whole thing about this crazy girl that you actually know, and it's a mess."

Jin frowned at him. "Mugen, you truly are an animal. Leaving aside the curious fact that you think orgasming between some woman's breasts, and probably all over her face"--Mugen bit back a moan--"is somehow more innocent than kissing her, it sounds as though you're saying that the difficulty with sex is that you might actually know the person you're in bed with."

Mugen thought about that for a moment, and then shrugged. "Yeah, pretty much."

"Well, no doubt the women you bed are relieved to find that you're unlikely to become a repeat customer."

Mugen was lying comfortably on the floor, the chair having conquered him the better part of an hour ago, but now he struggled to his elbows. "Hey! Are you trying to say that you think I'm bad in bed?"

"Yes," Jin said calmly. "I am."

Mugen contemplated grabbing his sword and showing Jin just what he thought about that idea, but he had a sneaking suspicion that the fact that he couldn't sit up straight might indicate that Jin would actually win the fight this time. "Shows what you know," he said instead, his voice dripping with scorn.

"Given that I have less than no inclination to test my theory, I'll just have to rely on conjecture," Jin said, and stole the bottle of sake out of Mugen's lax fingers. When Mugen made a sound of protest, he kicked him in the side with his soft-slippered foot. "Shut up and sleep off your drunkenness. No doubt Fuu will want us to leave early tomorrow morning."

Which actually sounded like an excellent suggestion--the sleeping part, that is, not the early start--so Mugen fell asleep right there on the floor.

Mugen blamed the sake and Jin's polysyllabic words for the fact that he didn't realize until several days later that Jin had pretty much said that he wouldn't sleep with Mugen if he were the last man on earth. The fact that he remembered the conversation at all was a miracle, frankly, but he did, and now it was pissing him off.

He waited until Fuu was making little whistling snores in the corner of the abandoned shed that they were bedding down in before he said, "So, how long has it been since you last got laid?"

"Longer than you, I'm sure," Jin said, cutting off that potential source of mockery before Mugen could even begin.

"I bet I've done it with more people than you have," he said.

Jin shot him an annoyed look. "Possibly."

Mugen would have started feeling pretty good right about then, except for the fact that he was fairly sure that Jin was annoyed because Mugen was talking, and not because he was embarrassed over his lack of play. Still, Mugen had to work with what he had. "I bet I've rocked the worlds of twice as many people as you," he persisted.

"I suspect that would depend on how many of them were faking it," Jin said.

Mugen eyes widened, and he snarled in incoherent rage. Jin looked back at him unperturbedly. He was ready to inflict a little violence as payback, when suddenly he shook himself. Jin really didn't get any, and while he made a good show of not caring, Mugen was pretty sure that that was just an act. No way was Jin as aloof as he pretended to be...which meant that Mugen hadn't lost yet. He reached towards Jin, forcing himself to go slowly enough to not be an obvious threat.

"If you touch me, I'll kill you," Jin said.

"Scared you'd like it?" Mugen taunted.

Jin shook his head. "More like, concerned about what vermin might be lurking on your body."

"Hey!" Mugen said, indignant. "I bathed just last week."

Jin made a face, and Mugen let his hand drift closer, and only a few seconds later he had Jin's warm wrist in his grasp. The expression on Jin's face got even more put-upon, but he didn't yank his hand away. That made things a lot easier. Mugen rubbed his thumb gently against the delicate skin of Jin's wrist.

Even then, Jin didn't pull away, which meant either that Mugen was in, or that Jin was lulling him into a false sense of security and about to go for his sword. Mugen kept his eyes locked on Jin's and leaned in slowly, slowly to press their lips together in a soft kiss.

And then he just stayed there, breathing damply into Jin's mouth, until something flickered in Jin's eyes and Jin started to kiss him for real. Their tongues slid together and Mugen shuddered, unable to hold back his body's reactions any longer.

"'s not like this changes anything," he muttered against Jin's mouth, now that he'd pretty well reeled him in.

"I sincerely hope not," Jin said pissily, and started sucking on Mugen's tongue, which ended the conversation pretty fast. Neither of them had any oil in his bag, and Mugen sure as hell wasn't going to have sex with a guy without some kind of lubricant, so they ended up sucking each other off. It was good--Jin was good--and Mugen's only consolation was that he was better.

The only problem was, if Jin's comments as he was falling asleep were any indication, Jin thought the same thing, only about himself.

Mugen woke up spluttering and ready to kill when a bucketful of cold water splashed without warning onto his head. A glance upwards showed Fuu standing over him like a vengeful goddess.

"You never do...that again when we're sharing a room," she said, shaking a fist at him.

Mugen took a quick look down at himself, but he'd managed to drag his clothes back on last night before passing out. A glance at Jin showed that he was similarly decent. Which meant that she had to have heard them last night. "You could have just told us to be quiet," he said.

Fuu turned bright red, and for a second Mugen thought she was going to heave the bucket at him. "Considerate people don't need to be told anything at all," she said, and flounced out the door. "And we're leaving in ten minutes!" she shouted from outside.

He plucked at his wet shirt and grimaced. "I don't see why I'm the only one who got cold water dumped on him," he said.

"Maybe Fuu could only find the one bucket," Jin suggested.

Mugen glared at him. "She didn't have to dump the entire bucketful on me!"

"Ah," Jin said. "In that case, the only recommendation I have is for you to cultivate a reputation for being a considerate person." His tone of voice suggested just how likely he considered that possibility, and Mugen was pretty much forced to agree with him.

They were having a dry spell with regard to their cashflow, so even when they were able to find a town with an inn, they didn't have enough money for more than a shared room. If they were lucky "shared" meant only the three of them, and if they were unlucky, it meant the three of them and several other travelers, and sometimes the innkeeper's family, too.

A few days later, though, Mugen killed some bandits who had attacked him with no provocation--though he would have been happy to provide the provocation if it had been required--and he didn't have any problem with looting their pockets afterwards. Fuu stole the money right out of his hands, of course, but she was good about sharing, usually, so he didn't let that bother him too much.

Anyway, it meant that they had money for a real dinner and separate rooms. In the middle of Fuu's negotiations with the innkeeper, Mugen interrupted and said, "Just two rooms is fine." Fuu turned pink, and the innkeeper's expression went carefully blank. Mugen very deliberately didn't look at Jin's face.

Still, Jin didn't say anything, and after a moment Fuu said, "Er...that's right. Two rooms, please."

They didn't talk much at dinner, and Fuu went to bed right after. Mugen wanted a drink, but he didn't feel like facing Fuu's wrath if he put it on the tab, so he turned in, too.

There was only one bed in his and Jin's room. For a second, this made Mugen nervous, because what if Jin hadn't said anything earlier for his own inscrutable reasons and didn't actually want to sleep with him. Then Mugen shrugged. If Jin didn't like sharing the bed, he could sleep on the floor.

When Jin came into the room, though, he didn't even raise an eyebrow at the single futon. He just placed his bag on the floor and his sword within easy reach of the bed and started stripping.

Mugen watched with wide eyes. He'd seen Jin naked before--a lot actually, Jin had an obsession with cleanliness worse than any girl's, and was constantly making them stop at some bath or, if necessary, some river or lake so he could get clean--but this was different.

He had pale skin that was at least as soft as it looked and long, elegant limbs. Barely any ass to speak of, but Mugen remembered cupping that slight curve in his hands and didn't have any complaints. His cock hung thick and long between his thighs, just beginning to harden. When he was naked, Jin folded his glasses and placed them neatly on a small table and undid the clasp holding his hair. It spilled over his shoulders like black ink, and Mugen's breath caught in his throat.

Jin lay on the bed, on top of the covers, and looked at him with an oddly open gaze. Which, practically speaking, meant that Mugen couldn't decipher the emotion in his eyes, but he could at least tell that Jin had emotions.

He stripped his own clothes off at a breakneck speed and got into the bed. Jin was quiet and still next to him, but not in a stiff way. Mugen was pretty sure that Jin wanted him to be there; he just didn't know what Jin wanted him to do. He shrugged mentally; he was willing enough to do what made himself happy, if Jin refused to give him any direction.

Mugen placed his hand on Jin's thigh and slid it slowly up his side, enjoying the feel of smooth, warm skin under his palm. He leaned down to kiss Jin, and Jin wound his arms around Mugen's neck in a way that might have seemed delicate and girlish if Mugen didn't know that he could probably kill him in bare minutes from that position. Lucky for him that that wasn't Jin's style; there was a good chance that they'd kill each other in a swordfight one day, but they didn't have anything to fear from each other while they lay together naked and at least partially defenseless.

Jin kissed back for several long, lazy minutes, his eyes fluttering shut with pleasure. When Mugen started to get impatient and let his hand come closer to Jin's erection, though, Jin pulled back.

He licked his lips, and Mugen stared at the flicker of tongue and tried not to let what he was thinking show on his face. "There's oil in my bag," Jin said.

Another second to let that sink in, and then Mugen grinned. He reached for Jin's bag and rooted around in it until he found the small bottle. The scent of almond oil drifted out when he unstoppered it. Figured that Jin would want the good stuff.

"You looking to get fucked, or you wanna fuck me?" Mugen asked.

Jin didn't say anything, but he spread his legs slightly, and Mugen nodded. He could definitely work with this.

For someone as quiet as Jin usually was, he made a lot of noise when Mugen slicked his fingers and started teasing his asshole with his fingertips and tongue. Well, okay, maybe not a lot of noise, but the first time they'd had sex pretty much the only sound that had passed Jin's lips was some heavy breathing. Now he moaned softly whenever Mugen did something really right. Mugen slid his forefinger inside of Jin, and Jin actually gasped out loud.

"You feel good," Mugen said honestly. He wasn't surprised when Jin didn't reply. But Jin did hook one leg around him and kick him gently in the ass, as a signal that he was ready to be fucked now, which Mugen thought was better than a compliment, any day. Especially when he slid slowly into Jin's tight heat and watched his eyes flicker with emotions too hidden and mercurial to catalogue.

Mugen came first, which he'd kind of been expecting. For someone who rarely got any, Jin had some freakish stamina. But Mugen was happy to blow Jin after he'd caught his breath, fucking him with two fingers, until Jin sighed and came in Mugen's mouth.

Mugen wiped his face with the back of his hand. Not that he'd ever admit it to Jin, but he didn't have much experience--or any, really--with fucking the same guy more than once. He wondered if there was some sort of protocol he was supposed to follow. And then he snorted, because if there were, there was a damned good chance that he wouldn't bother, anyway.

Instead, he crawled up the bed to lie next to Jin and pulled the blanket over the two of them. They were both sheened with sweat, but the nights were cold, and any minute they'd start feeling it. Sharing a bed like this was almost more intimate than the sex had been; he could feel the steady rise and fall of Jin's chest next to him, and their thighs pressed warmly together beneath the covers. As an experiment, Mugen draped his arm over Jin.

Jin elbowed him in the stomach. "Don't crowd me," he said, while Mugen was gasping for breath. He didn't pull his leg away, though, which Mugen thought maybe meant more than the elbow to the gut.

"You're dropping your shoulder too much on that one slash," Jin said after their most recent encounter with a bunch of unhappy guards. "You're going to get killed someday if you keep doing that."

"What do you know?" Mugen demanded. "You don't fight like I do."

Jin sheathed his sword and started looking for Fuu, who Mugen had last seen dropping rocks on a guard's head from up in a tree. "No, but that doesn't mean I don't know your fighting style by now, Mugen."

They were exhausted when they stumbled into the town's one inn, so much so that Fuu didn't even bother to blush when Mugen and Jin headed for their bedroom. She just went into her own room and closed the door, and her light went out less than a minute later.

Jin dropped their bags onto the floor of their room and grabbed Mugen's arm when he would have lain on the bed. "Don't," he said. "You're filthy."

"So are you," Mugen said, as belligerently as he could when he was this tired.

Jin's face twitched with what might have been a smile. "I know. The innkeeper said that there was a bathroom at the end of the hall."

They shuffled their way to the end of the hall like old men, and lowered themselves into the steaming water with identical sighs of relief.

"The next time I suggest taking a shortcut through a mountain pass after a rainstorm, just kill me," Mugen said.

"It would be my pleasure," Jin answered, though his words were blunted by exhaustion. It was barely conceivable that he even meant them as a joke, though Mugen wouldn't bet on it.

After several long minutes, Jin roused himself enough to wash off the sweat and mud caking his body and even to clean his hair, and Mugen was damned if he couldn't do the same, no matter how tired he was. He scrubbed himself briskly--more in an attempt to stay awake than out of any real interest in the activity--and finished at the same time as Jin. "Can we go to bed now?" he whined, and Jin nodded.

They wrapped towels around themselves and Jin collected their clothes, holding them gingerly in his clean hands. He dropped them just inside their room, muttering something about finding a laundry the next day. Mugen just rolled his eyes and stumbled over to the bed.

Rather than follow him right away, Jin crouched to dig around in his bag and came up at last with a comb. He sat on the futon next to Mugen's prone body and started easing the comb through his tangled hair.

Soon the repetitive motion slowed and then stopped altogether, and Mugen felt a stab of some kind of emotion when he saw that Jin had fallen asleep sitting up. Amusement, probably. He hauled himself into a sitting position and grabbed the comb, then began to draw it carefully through Jin's wet hair.

Jin bristled, coming awake again like a startled cat. "Mugen, I don't--"

"Stop fussing," Mugen said absently. "The faster this gets done, the faster you'll let me put out the light so we can get some sleep."

Jin subsided surprisingly quickly after that, and Mugen pulled the comb through his long hair until it was smooth and shiny. "All done," he said, dropping the comb next to the bed. He got the lights and slid under the covers, then made room for Jin beside him. His thoughts were already fuzzy around the edges, and it wasn't any time at all before Mugen was asleep.

Despite his exhaustion, Mugen woke well before dawn. He turned his head and saw Jin's eyes gleaming in the moonlight as he watched Mugen.

"I didn't mean to wake you," he said--a statement of fact, not an apology.

"I know," Mugen said. "But since we are both awake..."

He'd never understood why Jin sneered at his directness when it came to sex, if being direct could get you results like this: Jin's mouth on his and his hands on Mugen's body and his cock hitting Mugen's sweet spot with every thrust.

Mugen clattered down to breakfast the next morning to find a familiar scene: Jin and Fuu were seated across the table from each other, and Fuu's face was bright red. As he got closer, though, he could see that it wasn't quite business as usual. Jin's cheeks were tinged a delicate pink, as well, and Mugen dropped onto the bench next to Fuu with more force than was perhaps necessary.

"What's going on?" he asked roughly.

Jin turned his calm expression on him, though Mugen could see the emotion swirling in his eyes. "Fuu has a proposal for us," he said.

"It wouldn't change anything," Fuu blurted out, and suddenly Mugen understood what she was asking. He grinned and looked at Jin, who gave him a small smile and a nod.

"Of course it wouldn't," he said generously, and wondered if Jin could tell that he was on the verge of an inappropriate burst of laughter. He probably could.

Fuu bit her lip, and Jin interrupted smoothly, "What Mugen means to say, Fuu, is that we would be happy to accept your proposal."

Mugen speared a dumpling with sudden enthusiasm. It wasn't as if he'd never considered this possibility before--or, okay, a lot. Mugen was nothing if not an opportunist, and he figured that scoring both Jin and Fuu made him at least twice as lucky as all the other dumb bastards in Japan.

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