Jack Spicer, Xiaolin Boy Genius, took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. "Alright, so I know my last robot might have caused a few unfortunate accidents in the kitchen last week." Lifting up his freshly painted Maid-Bot, he beamed proudly. "But my new design will solve every problem a Xiaolin monk could ever have! Never again will I—or uh, anyone else—have to lift a finger for chores! Laundry, dishes, dusting, you name it, and she can do it!"
Master Monk Chase said nothing. Sitting quietly in the meditation hall, he eyed the robot with an unreadable expression and took a sip of his tea.
Jack decided to interpret his silence as a good sign. Pressing a button at his wrist, he released the robot and let it hover in front of him. At his command, it took a theatrical spin and a bow. Jack folded his hands. "As I am sure you are aware, we mighty Xiaolin Dragons have a schedule full of training, fighting, and using our brilliant minds. It would be a terrible waste to spend our valuable time on such, uh, tedious and trivial matters… like chores." Breaking out of his serious and professional persona, he dramatically threw out his arms to frame the robot. "So here is the answer to my—I mean, your—prayers: Jack Spicer's Maid-Bot 12.0!" He leaned forward a bit, bouncing on the soles of his feet and biting his lip. "So? What do you think?"
Lowering his cup of tea, Master Monk Chase raised an eyebrow and said, "I think it's quite interesting how much your robot resembles Master Fung's missing coffee machine."
"I—!" Jack gulped, somehow managing to keep his smile from faltering and giving him away. "Uh. You think so?" He overcorrected a bit when he swayed back to stand upright.
"Oddly enough, its head is shaped a bit like a lightbulb," said Chase, "specifically the one that disappeared from the dorm's overhead last week. And if I didn't know better, I would think its fingers resemble pieces from Master Fung's toenail clipper—"
Laughing nervously, Jack grabbed the robot and shoved it behind him. "Soooo I might have borrowed some stuff. It's a prototype! I'll have way better access to my own materials once I harness my element better, which I'll only be able to do if I spend less time on chores, by the way. I can get Master Fung a new coffee machine! Well uh, I think I can— I'd have to call my grandma—"
"Master Fung does not want a new coffee machine," said Chase, now frowning a little. "He wants his belongings returned to him. Take your robot apart and put everything back where you found it."
Jack's mouth dropped, and in what was definitely a rare sign of immaturity, he stomped his foot in defiance. "But Chaaaaase, it can do all my chores for me! And it could do yours, too, I swear! Why should I wash dishes and underwear when I could be doing something more important?"
"There is nothing more important than keeping your living space clean and safe for all its dwellers, whether that be your temple, your bedroom, or the entire world." Master Monk Chase finished his tea and stood. "But if you insist, the dismantling of your robot can wait. Go find Omi. Master Fung and I have something important to tell you both."
"Uuuuugh, fine." Turning around to shut off the Maid-Bot and let it drop into his arms, he narrowed his eyes at the elder. "But this conversation isn't over."
"It never is," agreed Chase with an exasperated sigh.
The two parted ways, and Jack dashed to his bedroom to toss the robot into the scattered chaos of metal and wire pieces littering his floor. Master Fung had spent years trying to curb his interest in building machines, and Jack's absolute refusal to cooperate was the main reason Master Fung needed a coffee machine in the first place. Half-built robots sat atop every piece of furniture available, squished between instruction manuals on his bookshelf and stacked on top of the dresser. Even Jack's wide-open underwear drawer held a glaring mechanical head amongst the strewn undergarments.
Jack peeked into Omi's room, far cleaner and emptier than his own. "That goody-two-shoes better not be training again," he muttered before trotting down the hallway.
To his complete lack of surprise, he found the bald little monk outside, springing off the foyer and into the rain. Effortlessly landing a front flip, Omi barely spared him a glance until Jack called, "Master Monk Chase told you to get your butt indoors."
Pulling himself out of his battle stance, Omi pointed at Jack. "If Master Monk Chase knew that my Lotus Strike lands an eighth of an inch to the left—"
"Oh no, one whole eighth of an inch?" Jack gave an exaggerated gasp and dragged his palms down his cheeks. "How will you live with yourself if the crack you give to your enemy's skull is off-center?"
"You mock me now, Jack, but the slightest error could mean the difference between victory and defeat!" Omi straightened his back and raised his chin a bit. "If you were as dedicated to the accuracy of your attacks, perhaps your robots would have better aiming skills than an average Stormtrooper's."
Jack scowled at him. "They're called Jackbots."
Breaking into a smile, Omi added, "Did you get my joke? They're like the Star Wars movie you showed me—"
"Yeah, Cheddar Head, I pieced that together." Leaning against the doorway, Jack pointed his thumb behind him. "Now get your butt out of the rain. Chase said he had something important to tell us."
As Omi finally strolled inside, he said, "Speaking of your robots, I assume your conversation with Master Monk Chase ended in failure once more?"
Still scowling while they started the walk back up the hallway, Jack huffed and crossed his arms. "He's lucky he's so pretty…"
Omi rolled his eyes but kept his expression otherwise impassive. "Jack Spicer, your infatuation with Master Monk Chase is a waste of your time and energy. He is far too old to pursue any romantic endeavors with you."
Jack flushed and tried to smack Omi upside the head, but the little monk dodged with ease. "Hey! You don't get to tell me what to do with my life. I'm the older one here! I'm the one who gives you advice and takes care of you, got it?"
Omi glanced at him. "Tie your shoes, Jack."
Bouncing as he lifted one foot to grab at his laces, Jack followed Omi back to the meditation hall. When Master Monk Chase and Master Fung strolled out to meet them, the latter's mouth pressed into a line. "Jack, where are your robes?"
Jack glanced down at his maroon t-shirt and khaki cargo pants. "Uh. I didn't want to get motor oil on them." Honestly, he wasn't sure where his Xiaolin robes were, though he vaguely remembered using the white pants like a napkin last night to wipe some black and red paint off his hands.
Master Fung closed his eyes for a moment and took a long breath. The little green dragon on his shoulder, Dojo, shook his head in disapproval, but Jack ignored him. Finally, the elder monk said, "Perhaps you could change into something more presentable before you meet the new students arriving at the temple."
"New students?!" Jack and Omi said in unison.
"Three, to be exact," clarified Master Monk Chase. "All Chosen Ones, just like the two of you."
Omi gasped. "Really? Do they know how to walk on walls and ceilings yet? Can I show them my Viper Strike? My Lotus Strike hasn't been perfected yet—"
"Perhaps, young monk, perhaps." Master Fung started walking, and Omi scampered after him like a puppy, still babbling about his martial arts.
Trailing behind Master Monk Chase, Jack wasn't quite sure how to feel. He hadn't hung out with other kids his age since he was in first grade, a year full of swirlies and purple nurples. Still, he'd grown a lot since then. If any of these new students tried to dunk his head into a toilet, he could always set his robot army on them, assuming Omi didn't pounce on them first.
Master Fung passed through the grand hall and through a doorway, and though Omi trotted after him, Jack paused at the door with Master Monk Chase. On the other side of the large, well-lit room, three young teenagers stood, and Jack took a sharp, surprised breath.
One of the three whipped his head around. Though his hoodie was drawn over his head, the teen's green eyes were sharp and piercing under his tussled brown hair. His white jacket's sleeves were short, showing off tan, muscled arms. Jack was pretty sure that if the phrase, "tall, dark, and handsome," was in a dictionary, this guy's face would be the picture next to it.
Next to him, a girl chattered on her mobile, which Jack immediately recognized as the pink version of the latest PandaPhone model. Though the two other newcomers towered over her dainty frame, her blue eyes gleamed with fiery confidence. Next to her, the perfect caricature of a sturdy Texan cowboy stood, complete with hat, boots, and a neckerchief. His arms and chest looked thick enough to break a truck in half.
"Oh no," Jack mumbled under his breath. "They're all hot."
"Are you alright, Jack?" asked Master Monk Chase.
Jack's mouth spread into a wide grin. "I am fantastic, thank you." As suavely as he could manage, he strolled into the room to join Omi's side. Other than a raised eyebrow from the hooded teen, no one paid him much attention.
"Omi, Jack," said Master Fung, "I would like you to meet Raimundo, Kimiko, and Clay."
At the first name, the hooded teen said, "'Sup."
"He said that?" the girl gasped to her phone. Looking up, she gave a distracted, "Hey," before returning to her phone chat. "No way!"
At the third name, the cowboy dipped his hat. "Howdy."
Omi tugged at Jack's cargo pants and murmured, "You and the girl must have a lot in common!"
"How do you figure?" asked Jack, waving awkwardly when Kimiko glanced at them.
"You have a shared interest in graphic designs on your shirts," Omi said, pointing at the star on Kimiko's blouse and the Frankenstein design on Jack's tee, "and she is also rude enough to have a conversation on her phone during an important meeting! You two must be kindred spirits!"
Eyes widening, the girl stammered, "Uh… I'm gonna have to call you back, Keiko." Face flushing red, she shoved the phone into her backpack. Omi gave her a smile that everyone in the room except Jack interpreted as "innocent."
Barely repressing another sigh, Master Monk Chase stepped forward. "Welcome to the Xiaolin temple, young ones. I will be one of your teachers here. Jack, Omi, why don't you give your new teammates a tour of the temple?"
Still thinking about how the number of gorgeous people in the temple had jumped from one to four, Jack almost didn't hear him. Omi, however, bowed to the group and said, "An excellent idea, Master Monk Chase! Welcome, new friends!" He glanced back when Jack didn't join him.
Blinking and trying very hard to stop gawking, Jack cleared his throat and straightened his back. "Yeah, uh, welcome! You guys, you're uh, you're not what I expected, that's for sure!"
"The best things in life rarely are," said Master Fung.
For once, Jack agreed with him.
Author's Notes: Yoooo, I'm alive! And I'm still writing Xiaolin stuff! Woohoo!
This will be my first attempt at an AU fic, one loosely based on an RP my roommate and I worked on a couple years ago. Here, Jack Spicer has grown up on the side of good, but he's still a mischievous little tech geek. He's left his mark on Omi, too, who's now savvier and sassier than his canon counterpart. But since Jack is on the side of good, then who replaced him on the side of evil? Hmmm, I wonder!
As always, feel free to review!