Bargain

A/N: A Fanfic Request by babbikitti. Her original request was: Jack Spicer kidnaps Kimiko one night to get all the shen gong and he, Wuya and Kimiko are in a place where no one ever goes...Death valley...Kimiko slowly falls for Jack but in the end it's Raimundo who gets the girl...You know what I mean...In the end an untimate showdown for almost all the shen gong wu(Raimundo has two. You can choose which one he has) And he wins. Meaning he gets Kimiko and all the shen gong wu. Takes place during season two of xiaolin showdown... I didn't get it accurately, but hey, I tried :D

Plug: Visit Blazes and Breeze (Rai x Kim) version 2. URL is in my profile. Thanks!

……………………….

"Okaaaay, Jack Spicer, give me one good reason why I should not toast you with my bestowed ability to burn through that awful fashion statement you call a trenchcoat into those organs residing within that lump of flesh you dare call a body," was Kimiko's furious statement released in several low hisses, hinting to the evil boy genius that a volcano was about to explode.

On him.

He decided to side with common sense for once. "Um…because if you burn me now, it would just be a total waste of energy when you can save it for finding our way home?"

"Our? OUR!" Her voice rose an octave, if it was even humanly possible with her pitch now. He could feel his ultrasonic sensors panicking though.

"Yes, yes. Our. The plural pronoun. You. Me. TOGETHER." He shrugged casually. "Look, whether you like it or not, we're stuck in this place, just the two of us. We have to find our way home by cooperation, or the desert vultures will cooperate on us."

Kimiko Toho made a 'hmp' sound, and then crossed her arms. "Of all the stupid things that can happen to me…" she muttered, sinking on the dry piece of stone that stood insignificantly amongst the other rocks and boulders of various sizes and shades and rough edges. "Baka…" Tucking her knees beneath her chin, she settled her face on her lap, mentally slamming herself for her absurdity.

Jack Spicer could only stand beside the groaning Dragon of Fire, somewhat feeling useless. What was a guy supposed to say to a girl in this sort of situation anyway?

A sort of situation wherein yesterday he made a deal with her that he would give her the Sword of Storm Sheng-Gong-Wu in exchange for her father's connections. She agreed immediately, but he told her that he had to make sure that his robot parts would be really delivered, so he asked her to come with him.

How was he to know that his self-built space air cruiser that he spent the whole day on yesterday just to polish and make sparkle would run out of gas amidst their trip? And that they would crash-land on a deserted scorching area that seemed to have been forgotten by the cartographers already?

Even an evil boy genius like him has limited foresights. But would someone as hot-headed as this female creature here understand his explanation? One look at her near-homicidal state and he knew his funeral anthem would be waiting if he even utters a single wrong word.

Kimiko, on the other hand, recalled silently why she even made that deal with their adversary. Oh yes, that certain Sheng-Gong-Wu happened to be the favorite of a certain Wind Dragon among the items, and she knew he would become more inspired in their training when he sees the weapon back.

"This was all planned, wasn't it, Spicer?" she snapped, finally raising her eyes again. "At this moment, a Robo-Kimiko must be in the temple again, fooling my friends!"

He grimaced. "Sometimes, you give me way too much credit." He put his goggles on his eyes and started to scope the place critically. "Besides, that is SO un-original," he muttered under his breath.

"Just so you know, Spicer, this is not the best time to go sight-seeing," she said dryly.

"Civilization is waiting for us on the other side of that valley," he informed her, putting his goggles back up. "My radio signal-picking ocular assistor caught some signals of cable TV there. And Space Ghost is playing!"

"Ugh!" She rolled her eyes heavenwards and got up, dusting her clothes. "Your stale jokes can almost be as bad as that of Raimundo's, you know?"

"He must be a really great guy then." Jack started to head for that direction when he turned around again. Kimiko was still standing on her spot, arms crossed, eyebrows arched. He did have to admit—even under the glowering rays of noon sun and the sand and sweat bath they had been experiencing for almost half an hour already, it was not enough to stop him from noticing how…distracting she was. In a nice, pleasing way. "Y-You're… I mean, are you coming or what?"

"What," she said simply.

A vein popped on his head. "Kimiko, if you still haven't understood the kind of situation we are in, allow me to recap it for you: we're stuck in the middle of a desert that's a virtual frying pan, and if we don't keep moving, we'll be the vultures' snack."

"I don't care. I'm not coming with you." She took out her PDA and sat down to work.

He rubbed his hands on his face, annoyed. For someone like him whose only taste of female companionship was the hovering ghost witch and the catty Katnappe, figuring out what to do next in this situation was next to the possibility of Wuya using a deodorant.

She gave him the briefest of glances. "Go. I'll find my own way back."

A stubborn crossing of arms from him. "I will only leave with you." Why so was a question he didn't bother dwelling on.

"Fine," she said, her eyes returning to the screen. The message was clear: he could stand there all day and rot himself out, but she wasn't coming.

On the other hand, Jack swallowed with much difficulty. Maybe the decision wasn't too wise after all…

…………………………………

"Calm down, partner!" advised Clay as Raimundo trudged out of the sleeping quarters, very furious. "Kim may just be downtown…or she's back in her home in Japan. You know—"

The Brazilian boy ignored him. Instead, he headed for Dojo, who was watching with much curiosity. "Can you sense where Kimiko's Star Hanabi is?"

The dragon carefully sniffed the air, and then shrugged. "If you're up to paying Jack Spicer a social visit then—"

"Let's go." He jumped up the dragon's back, just as Omi appeared, Master Fung walking directly behind him.

"Raimundo, I implore you to remove yourself from Dojo's posterior so we can all discuss the matter properly," said the little monk.

"I'm in a hurry—"

"The Dragon of the Wind must not be hasty in his decisions," said Master Fung, looking at the boy pointedly. "When made with carelessness, actions can only lead to destructions."

This made the brown-haired boy yield. Stepping down, he bowed in apology to the monk. "I'm sorry, Master. But Kimiko…"

"She left the Sword of Storm on Rai's mat," explained Clay.

Raimundo's fists clenched. "I remember…some days ago, she must have noticed how down I was when I lost the Sword of Storm in a showdown…but I didn't think…"

The Earth Dragon patted his back comfortingly. "Chill, Rai. What will Jack do to her?"

"Perhaps turn her into a lab guinea boar?" guessed the bald monk.

"A guinea pig!" Now Raimundo looked even more frantic.

"Um, little monk, you're not helping. At all." Clay turned to Raimundo. "Maybe she won it in a showdown with Jack. I reckon you're just overblowing things up like an oversized cow stricken by full moon madness! She may be somewhere else, shopping."

"Without asking Master Fung's permission?" asked Rai, crossing his arms.

"Maybe she was in a hurry," said Clay soothingly. "Like a freedom-loving wild horse struggling to untie itself from a stable post next to a really huge bull that lost its horn and resorted to weeping like a lil' girl!"

Dojo scratched its head. "How Clay manages to fit all his sentiments in one breath, I am still in the dark with."

………………………..

The heat was ruining her make-up. Like TOTALLY.

This was what Kimiko had concluded when she felt her foundation getting stickier by her PDA-clocked minute. She stole a glance at Jack Spicer, who was bent on the hood of his vehicle, tinkering with the engine.

A flash of guilt spawned within her. Out of uncontrolled temper, she had refused every attempt of Jack to try to talk sense and plan feasible ways to get out of their situation.

When he had given up, instead of leaving her alone, he stayed by her side, endured her bratty snaps, and had dedicated his remaining energy to try to fix their mobile.

She got up slowly. It was no use to bear grudges against him for making a robotic copy of her to steal the Sheng-Gong-Wus. Jack was right—they got into this situation together, so they would have to both work on the situation together as well.

He noticed her sudden movement. He turned her way, puzzled. "Kim?"

"It's Kimiko for you, buster." She placed her hands on her hips. "The batteries of my gadgets ran out."

"I believe I don't have charger with me now so—"

"And I'm bored."

"That's sad."

She snorted. "Amuse me then."

Jack smiled wanly. "Frankly, I am a poor entertainer."

"So I've gathered," she said dryly. "Well, tell me anything about you."

"Even if it's not amusing?"

She smirked. "No worries. I'm sure I'm bound to find something entertaining about your antics in one way or another."

Jack sighed. One clear disadvantage of having to hang out with robots always was that one forgets human behavior's peculiarities, especially of a woman's. Like right now, he didn't know whether what she said was nice or…not-so-nice.

"Why world domination?" she asked, plopping down the car seat.

"What's wrong with that?" he asked, clueless on why she made the plan sound so strange and un-natural. "Everybody's got dreams that each wants to make it happen. I have a motivation, and I have the tools. Mine happens to be taking control of the world powers. So why the heck not?"

She had to smile at the genuine bewilderment in his tone. "Why didn't you dream of becoming the world's best engineer or something?"

Jack paused, and then shrugged. "They are not ready for a genius mind such as mine."

Given her innate female instinct of curiosity— nosiness if facts should be blunt —she would have asked him for more details about his simple reply. However, the moment she saw the pensiveness that sparked in his eyes, she immediately decided against it.

"What about you?" he suddenly asked, raising his gaze to meet hers.

Startled, she was pushed into an auto-defense mode. "What about me?" she asked curtly.

Embarrassed yet determined, he refused to take his eyes off her. "You seem like you have your own plans. What made you decide to be a Xiaolin apprentice?"

"D-Destiny." That was the safest answer she had at that given moment. For inwardly, she too, didn't know how to answer that properly. Did she really decide? Was there even an option? She couldn't remember any multiple-choice-type of scenario then; just that she, as the Dragon of the Fire, should step into her role at once. Sort of fill-in-the-blanks.

"That's all?"

"What else should I cite?" she wanted to know. "I was given the power, and I am obliged to use it."

"Why didn't you use it to conquer the world?"

She choked. "Conquer? The world's WAY too big and complicated for me. I would rather be the master of my own life. It's more manageable."

"If you weren't a Xiaolin apprentice, what would you be?" he asked after a moment.

For some reason, she couldn't answer that one. Well, for one, her father would appreciate if she would help him with his toys business. But did she really want that? She couldn't think of anything else to do in her life, since all her life, she only busied herself with her PDA, her fashion statements, and her friends. She had never really thought about what kind of life hers would be when her mission in the Xiaolin Temple was through.

"Maybe I would still be a brat," she admitted sheepishly. "I know that our training under Master Fung is hard, but my experiences in the temple... I truly feel that I changed because of them. I still lose my temper, of course, but I have learned to rein it back and retrieve my cool. Because of this, I appreciated how important give-and-take is in any dealing in life.

"Because of Omi, I learned the importance of discipline and obedience to order and authority. On the other hand, Clay taught me how to be kind to everyone, and see their good points rather than their faults. Master Fung taught me the value of keeping my temper in check. Dojo taught me not to drink hot chili sauce so I won't burn my throat—"

Jack smiled from underneath the car hood that he was working on.

"And Rai… he taught me that he may have made many mistakes in the past, but instead of running away from the consequences, he struggles to correct his ways and make sure that they do not happen again." Kimiko's eyes turned tender. "I remember when he first lost the Sword of Storm. I had never seen him serious before, but when he saw how his overbearing ego led to the Shen-Gong-Wu's lost, he did his best to make up for it. I think… I think that is one of the best things I can remember about him."

A sigh escaped from his throat, making her eyebrows knit.

"What was that for?" she asked him curiously.

"Is that why you want to get the sword back so badly?" he wanted to know.

"Y-Yeah." Her face flushed in embarrassment. "B-But it's more about my duty as a Xiaolin Dragon of the Fire, y-you know!"

"I wish we've met in different circumstances, Kim." Jack finally closed the hood and straightened. "I think the engine's fixed."

She blinked. "D-Different circumstances?"

"You are a person I would be glad to know more about." He tilted his chin shyly. "I don't know a lot of people…I had never succeeded in making a truly human Jack Bot who would want to befriend me and understand me. A-And…you were the first person I got to talk to this way. It feels…refreshing." He gathered his words for a few more seconds, and then he continued, "I may never get this same opportunity to talk to someone about anything other than world domination, or how stupid I am about the more important things in life. I know a lot of physics, but I do not know the feeling of having someone to trade another for something important to me. After all, I still feel… empty. I-I'm not even sure anymore if world domination would answer that feeling."

"Jack…" She was at loss for words.

"We should be heading back. Rai what's-his-name…he should be looking for you already," the boy said, jumping to the driver's seat.

She rolled her eyes. "Fat chance. He absolutely holds no reason in hand to look for me. We're not really good chums…more like, vexing mates."

"What you said…sound synonymous." He smirked. "Your tone makes it seem so."

"Knock it off, Spicer."

…………………………………..

"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?"

Kimiko eyed the steaming Raimundo circumspectly. "Somewhere, doing stuff."

"Thanks. That's VERY helpful." He blocked her path to the sleeping quarters. "I thought I saw a Jack Bot escorting you to the temple. What's up with THAT?"

"Why would you want to know?" she asked innocently.

He paused, a patch of scarlet on his face. But then, vigorously shaking his head, he yelled, "JUST ANSWER MY QUESTION!"

Omi's head popped into the hallway. "Hey, my friend, Raimundo! Is there something above?"

She smiled at the little monk reassuringly. "No, Omi, nothing's up. We're just having a little argument. Nothing that we cannot fix." She watched him shrug, and then head back to the training hall.

"You're Robo-Kimiko, aren't you?" he demanded. "You came back to try to fool us again, huh? Well, you can't fool us twice! Uh-uh, not me!"

She turned to face him squarely, hands on her hips. "Rai, just one question."

"You haven't answered mine yet!"

She ignored him. "Why are you looking for me?"

He halted.

A triumphant smirk appeared on her face. "Hah! You miss me!"

"In your dreams!" Raimundo made a quick turn-around and marched away. "I was just…looking for you…to thank you…for the sword."

Her smile vanished.

"It really means a lot to me."

"I know. That's why I tried to get it back," she said quietly.

"No, I wasn't talking about the sword." He exhaled audibly. "I was… I was referring to your effort on taking it back."

It was her turn to look away, face feeling warmer too. "I-It's nothing much. J-Just a by-product of a business deal with Jack Spicer."

His eyes widened. Quickly, he marched back towards her. "You left…with Jack? Jack the Crackpot? Jack the little Teapot, short and stout?"

"Very funny." Her eyebrows arched quizzically. "Besides, what is it to you if I did?"

"I knew it! You ARE Robo-Kimiko!"

"Baka!"

"Impostor!"

Omi and Clay, who were listening to the two bicker, sighed together.

"Life in the temple is back to normal once more, I guess," commented Dojo as he chewed on a grape.

……………………

the end