Never the Bride
Rating: PG
Pairing: Omi x Jack
Summary: Several years have passed since the quest for the Shen Gong Wu began. Jack and Omi share an odd balance of 'friendship' and rivalry. However, when Spicer reflects on their relationship, Omi must decide just how far he is willing to go to make his 'friend' happy.

CHAPTER ONE

"Prepare for a most humiliating defeat!"

"Like that line hasn't gotten old… at all." Crimson eyes rolled as Jack Spicer hovered via his Helibot.

"Well... it is Omi." Kimiko idly commented.

Years had passed since the young dragons first took on the duty of collecting and protecting the mysterious Shen Gong Wu. They were young adults, nearly out of their teenage years. As always, Jack Spicer, self proclaimed Evil Boy Genius, was one step behind. Sometimes he managed to be ahead of the game, but that was a rare thing indeed. The five stood in a forest clearing, each side waiting for the other to make the first move. Birds chirped calmly in the moment's peace, unaware of the inevitable destruction that always followed the struggle for the Shen Gong Wu, or worse yet, a showdown.

"Jackbots! Attack!" A pale finger whipped out to point at the four dragons as droves of bronze robots fired up their jet propulsion systems and rushed at the monks, a frightening array of weapons revealing themselves; from saw blades to scythe arms.

It was the same result as always. The robots would be destroyed by kicks, punches, Xiaolin powers, Shen Gong Wu, and then would come the gloating. Jack just simply stared at the smoking rumble of his robots. At least they managed to destroy them with 'clean cuts', and parts would be easily salvaged later.

"Like kicking your ass hasn't gotten old either, Spicer." Raimundo grinned as he kicked a robot head from knee to knee as if it was a soccer ball, launching it with a swift kick in Jack's direction.

"You know… I'd love to stay and chat, but I have to be somewhere soon." Jack dodged to the side to narrowly avoid the robot's head.

"Late for your mommy's sewing circle?" The Brazilian put his hands to his face and batted his eyelashes.

"Hey! I don't go to those because I want to!" Jack snapped before his tone died down to a whine. "I have to… she pays for my tuition."

"Oh yes! They have the most wonderful cookies and treats there! I certainly wouldn't want to be late." Omi grinned at the others, who stared at him with raised brows.

"How would you know?" Kimiko interrupted the confused staring contest.

"Jack is the most... Ow!" Omi grunted and rubbed his bald head. Something had fallen.

"Well, thanks, kids. I'm going to be late." Jack sighed as he inconspicuously tucked away a few extra nuts and bolts into his jacket.

"Late fer the sewing circle, Spicer?" Clay chuckled.

"NO!" Jack's voice nearly cracked and he huffed, folding his arms over his chest. "My cousin's wedding."

"Aww. Ain't that sweet. Going as the bride's maid?" Raimundo sneered.

"No…" Spicer growled. "As the best MAN." He was sure to put as much emphasis on 'man' as he could.

"Perhaps you could bring back some… cake? They have cake at weddings, yes?" Omi raised a brow and put a thoughtful finger to his mouth. "Kimiko was looking at big cakes."

"Hey. A girl can dream, can't she?" Kimiko shot back at the odd looks the boys gave her.

"I'll see what I can do, shortie." Jack swooped down to hop one foot off the boy's bald head.

"Hey! I grew some!" Omi waved a flat hand over his head as if it would prove his height, seemingly unbothered by the weightless shoe.

"Not much." Jack laughed as he pulled up and flew away.

"Omi. I really don't know what you see in him." Kimiko watched as Spicer disappeared into the distance, turning to look at her little friend. "You know he'll never be good… ever."

"Yeah. And I think he is a little on the 'tra la la' side, if you know what I mean." Raimundo added, but Omi simply stared at him blankly. "He is gay as they come." The Brazilian grunted bluntly with a roll of his eyes.

"Jack is just confused." Omi lifted a hand to rub the sore spot where the bolt had hit him. He, of course, was talking about the fact Jack still sided with evil.

Night drifted lazily over the Xiaolin temple, all were asleep except for a certain young monk, who was out for a bit of late night training, as well as guarding over the temple vault… from a distance. A fresh mountain breeze would occasionally billow down, cooling Omi from his rigorous training. After a few practicing moves, he perked an eye open, closing them allowed better concentration, but there was an odd sound in the air… a distant buzz.

"Jack Spicer…" Omi growled gently, not moving from his stance.

"In the flesh, baby." Jack shot a shotgun finger at Omi.

"Prepare for--"

"Not tonight." The taller boy interrupted as he landed soundlessly, his helibot retracting its blades.

"Then… you are here to join the forces of good?" Omi gave a hopeful grin, he always asked the question, and always got the same answer.

"No. I just came by to give you this." Jack produced a white 'take home' box and handed it to Omi.

The monk cautiously opened it, his curious expression beaming into a grin at its contents. "Cake!"

"Yeah." There was a slight hint of a smile, but Jack quickly changed it into an annoyed expression. "But I'm only giving it to you because cake makes you fat. And that is pretty evil." He seemed pleased with that reasoning.

"Aw. I'm afraid your plan has failed. I won't get fat." Omi scoot over a little before wrapping his free hand around Jack for a hug, resting his chin on the boy's shoulder. He had grown over the years, but Jack was still slightly taller. "Thank you!"

"Here is a fork." Jack held out a little plastic fork, but made no motion to return the hug, simply letting the boy latch on. He was used to it. "So you don't use your hands or… those stupid twigs."

"Chopsticks require much more concentration and discipline than forks." Closing the box with one hand, Omi wrapped both arms around Jack, giving him a squeeze before pulling away and gladly accepting the fork.

Jack gave a grunt at the squeeze and took a breath as he was released. "It is just cake…"

The young monk suddenly plopped to a sit, box resting in his lap. He reopened it and took a bite, using the fork, of course. "Mmmm… A most wondrous cake." Omi let the fork hang in his mouth, savoring the flavors of chocolate and icing.

"Well. Glad someone enjoyed it." Jack soon followed to sit in front of the other boy, their knees mere inches away from each other. His arms folded as he watched the monk enjoy the cake.

Omi continued to shove cake into his mouth, taking huge scoops that threatened to break the poor fork. After a moment of silently observing, he spoke up. "Are you sad about something, Jack?"

"Hmm?" He had been fiddling with his coattail and his eyes rose lazily to meet Omi's. "Not really."

"I think you are." Omi leaned forward, tiny bits of chocolate cake crumbs falling from his lips. "You're usually… louder. Much louder. But I suppose you cannot help it. Your mouth is very large."

Jack grunted. "I do not have a big mouth." He managed to mumble, keeping his mouth as small as possible. "And." He paused to glare at the innocently grinning boy, then sighed in defeat. "I'm just… well. I'm in college now, right?"

"Right." Omi nodded, taking another bite of cake.

"And I'm going to be nineteen this year…"

"Right." Omi blinked, unsure of where the conversation was going, but smiled nonetheless. "And you still live with your parents."

"Hey. I don't have to pay rent… and I can't exactly have a secret lair in a dorm." Jack's arms wrapped tighter around himself and he stuck out a pouty lip.

"And you are sad because of this?" Omi blinked, happily confused.

"No… Because of the wedding." Jack looked away, the side of the temple wall suddenly seemed interesting.

"Why would a wedding make you sad? Weddings are happy!" The monk nodded to himself with a pleasant smile. "Something with such wonderful cake MUST be a very good thing."

"Promise not to laugh?" Jack glared at Omi, trying to assert some sort of threatening power over the other… or at least make it appear so.

"Promise." Omi beamed.

"Well… As Wuya once said 'Always the Bridesmaid, never the bride.'" Jack rested his chin in his hands, which in turn rested on his knees. "And it is true…"

"I…" Omi raised a brow, looking terribly perplexed. "I thought you were the best man?"

"I don't know why I thought you would understand." Jack grumbled and buried his face in his hands.

"Say what you mean, then." A slender hand reached out to tug at Jack's as Omi leaned over to try to look at the other boy's disgruntled face.

"I'm too young to be thinking about this anyway…" Jack mumbled as their noses nearly touched.

"Well… thank you for the cake, Jack." Omi leaned in and pressed a gentle kiss to the other boy's lips.

"You're welco--" Jack began to return the kiss before he pushed Omi away. "Hey!" He nervously glanced about. "Someone could be watching."

"They are all asleep." Omi blinked as he was pushed away.

"So… what if someone gets up for a drink of water or… something!" Jack raised his hands a bit before sighing and licking off a bit of icing Omi had left on his lips.

"Why would they come outside?" Omi tilted his head.

"Because… well…" Jack stumbled over his words before glaring. "I just don't like you doing that where people can see… They'll… think things."

"Like what?" The monk's reply was simple.

"That we are gay!" Jack placed his hands back on his knees and watched the other with irritated eyes.

"Oh… Raimundo said you were gay." Omi pointed the fork at the other boy.

Jack twitched. "Oh?"

"Yes… He said something about you being 'tra la la'… but I am not sure what that means." Omi gave a simple shrug and sucked at some icing that had stuck between the prongs of the fork.

"This. Omi. This!" Jack leaned in to press their foreheads together.

"This?" Omi blinked and raised a brow.

"Us."

"Us?"

"… What we've been doing… it is gay, Omi." Jack grunted.

"We've been 'tra la la'ing?" Omi frowned slightly. "I don't remember singing…"

"You're so naïve." Jack sighed and placed his hands on the monk's knees.

"Then say what you mean." The frown remained.

Jack stared at the other for a moment, pulling back a little so his view wasn't cross-eyed. A frown seemed so unnatural on Omi. Though Jack would never admit it, it made him a little sad. Past all his desperation to be evil, something deep down was always hurt to see the monk upset; especially when he put the frown there.

"No." Jack mumbled as he leaned back towards him, eyes closing as he took Omi's lips into a gentle kiss.

Omi quietly leaned into the kiss. Jack was a mystery to him, but he accepted him in the belief that he really was good, just struggling with himself. The fork slowly slid out of his hand to land on the smooth stone floor of the courtyard as he lifted a hand to place the box beside him, giving the sleeve of the other boy's jacket a slight tug.

Jack broke the kiss and moved forward to climb into Omi's lap, a leg on either side of him. He rested his head on the monk's shoulder. His arms hanged limp at his sides as Omi gave him a tight hug. "You always get what you want, don't you?" the redhead mumbled.

"Over time, water can turn a mountain into a grain of sand." Omi put his head on the other's shoulder and locked his fingers together to make the embrace nearly impossible to break from.

"You sound like that old foogie…" There was little emotion in Jack voice.

"Master Fung is most wise." Omi quietly replied.

On the far end of the courtyard, in the darkness of the temple, the two were being watched. In the dim light of moon and stars, a figure stood, silent and calm among ancient pillars. Though he hadn't heard their conversation, he had clearly seen their actions.

"I knew Omi was a friendly kid but… jeez." A serpentine shadow slithered around the figure's shoulders.

"He believes he can help him, Dojo."

"Generally people don't lock lips with people they want to help..." The dragon mumbled.

"I trust Omi's judgment on this."

"It doesn't bother you at all? We just walked out here to find them… doing… that…" Dojo grunted.

"They've been doing it for years." The reply was calm.

The dragon raised a high brow. "Master Fung... You've been spying on them? That's kind of creepy." He mumbled and poked the side of the old man's head. "And Spicer is bad news. We've tried to give him a chance before."

"Perhaps. But I trust Omi to do the right thing."

Dojo glanced over into the darkness. "I think the right thing would be to stop what he is doing and go to bed…" Claws moved up over the dragon's eyes. "Ew. Teenage makeout-fest."

Fung turned to head back into the depths of the temple. "Omi is a very loving and caring individual."

"We can all see that." Dojo slithered to Fung's other shoulder.

In the twilight of the courtyard, Jack remained in Omi's hold, still not returning the hug. The monk leaned back a bit to look at the stars, enjoying the quiet comfort of the moody boy in his arms. Jack shifted his legs a bit, stretching them out to avoid them falling asleep. With a slightly irritated huff, he buried his face into Omi's shoulder.

"I think you got cake crumbs on my ass…" Spicer mumbled into the shoulder.

"I'm sorry." Omi's hand started to slide down Jack's lower back. "I will--"

"Hey!" Jack whipped a hand up to grab Omi's, pulling it away. "What do you think you are doing?"

"I was going to brush them off…" Omi mumbled innocently.

"I can brush myself off just fine." Jack kept his grip on the other.

"You forget I have two hands!" The monk suddenly burst into a laugh as his free hand moved to brush along the other's rear.

"Omi!" Jack practically wailed, his voice ending in a high pitched squeak as he squirmed violently in the young dragon's grip.

"You squeal like a girl, Jack… You're going to wake everyone." Omi put a hand over the other's mouth.

"Mrrf." Jack reached up to pull the other's hand away and stuck out his tongue. "Do not!" He shifted a little. "Come on. Lemme go." Omi reluctantly loosened his grip and Jack rose to a stand, minding his step to avoid the cake. "I just wanted to give you the cake." he huffed and folded his arms.

"Thank you." Omi smiled up at the other.

"Yeah. Well, you're welcome." The other mumbled as the blades of his Helibot began to unfold and whirr, ready to lift off.

"Wait!" The young monk reached out to grab Jack's pants leg.

"What?" Jack whined in annoyance.

Omi stood up and wrapped his arms around the other boy for one last hug. "Goodnight, Jack Spicer!"

"Hnn…" Jack reluctantly patted Omi's back, but still refused to return the hug. "Good night, Cheeseball." With that, he pulled away to fly off into the night.