A/N: Welcome to my Xiaolin story. It shows that Jack has at least some kindness in him.
Jack: Hey! Do not!
A/N: Do too! Now do the disclaimer, Jackie-poo.
Jack: (grumble) The authoress doesn't own Xiaolin Showdown, Walgreens, or Snickers.
A/N: Darn straight. Enjoy the fic!
Titile: Not Half Bad.
Summary: When Clay has an accident, there's only one person there who can help him. Can worst enemies learn to be friends?
"Oh, my God, Clay! Clay, are you all right!" asked Kimiko. Clay'd just had a showdown with Jack and he'd won by the skin of his teeth. However, not before sustaining a large gash on his stomach.
The showdown was a race to the top of a mountain. A mountain riddled with boulders. Clay'd gotten to the top and was grabbing the Wu (the Necklace of Jinai) when he slipped. He just managed to grab the necklace's chain when he began to fall, tumbling over boulders, one of which caught him on the stomach, giving him the deep gash. He'd won, but by the very skin of his teeth.
"Clay! What…you're bleeding," said Rai dumbly before fainting. Omi wasn't much better, vomiting in the bushes not far away. Kimiko just sat there, crying. Dojo was the only one doing anything, trying to get Clay's shirt off so he could get a better look at the wound. Pale-faced and trembling, yet at least he was doing something. Jack was the only one who didn't look squeamish.
"Stand back," he said, just as Dojo had ripped off the last button. The wound was flowing freely now, and Clay was getting paler by the second. Jack shook his head and ripped off a piece of his own shirt to clean the wound. "My house is closest. I can get cow poke here if you get spiky-head," he said to Kimiko. Dojo grew and Jack put Clay on. "Cue ball, if you're done up-chucking, I need you to take care of Clay. Make sure he doesn't fall off or anything. Kimiko, you watch after Raimundo. Dojo, follow me." Normally, the warriors and dragon wouldn't obey Jack, yet he had such an air of authority about him that they seemingly had no choice. Clay looked close to death and they didn't want that. Nobody wanted that. Not even Jack.
Jack took out his heli-pack and started flying North. A couple of minutes later, they saw a big, black house. "My place," said Jack. "I'll fly in my window and you drop off the dorks, okay?" he said to Dojo. He nodded dumbly. The instructions were carried out and as soon as they all got inside, Jack put Clay on his bed. He'd taken off his coat and goggles, and was just wearing a black tee-shirt and his black pants and boots. "I'll have to change my sheets," he muttered, then shook his head. "Omi, can you fill this bucket with water?"
Omi nodded. "Water!" he said, and pointed his finger at the plastic beach bucket. It filled.
"Kimiko, go get a rag from under my sink." He pointed to a doorway. She went in and got the rag.
Jack dipped it into the bucket and began to swab Clay's wound. Clay grunted and sharply in took breath.
"Nothing I can do, big guy," said Jack apologetically. "It's gonna get a lot worse."
"Like…how…" asked Clay weakly.
"You need stitches. The closest hospital is 60 miles away. By the time they got you there, you'd have died from blood loss. Take these," he said holding out a couple of his strongest painkillers, "and hold onto your hat." Clay shut his eyes tight and swallowed the painkillers. "Now," said Jack, "do you have a color preference?"
"I…always…did…like…blue…" he said faintly, then just laid back and said: "I'm ready."
Jack turned to Dojo. "There's a Walgreens down the street. Go and get some extra-strength Aspirin, or Bayer, or whatever says extra-strength." He handed him a $20. As an afterthought, he added, "What's your favorite candy bar, Clay?"
"Snickers," he said. "Why?"
"Wise choice." He turned back to Dojo. "A king size Snickers too."
Jack pulled out a needle and looked around for some blue thread before finding some under a pair of dirty socks.
"Have you ever done this before?" whispered as scared Kimiko.
"Yes…" said Jack softly before shaking his head again. He threaded the needle, then set to work.
Clay was breathing heavily. To him, it felt like he'd taken no pain killers at all. He'd never been good at fainting either, so he was forced to stay awake while Jack sewed up his stomach. He couldn't even imagine what it'd feel like if he really hadn't taken any painkillers. This was hell enough, thanks.
"We got it through, Clay…control your breathing, that'll make it easier…almost halfway, big guy, hold out, you can do it…there we go, halfway, knew you could do it…Dojo's back, take these…." Jack put a few more painkillers in Clay's mouth and mopped off Clay's forehead and his own. He'd been whispering gentle encouragements the entire time, making sure Clay controlled his breathing, telling him how far along they were. It had been about half an hour since he'd begun.
"Rai, wake up, please," said Kimiko. Jack had set to work again and she wanted someone to hold onto that she wouldn't crush. That's what Clay had been there for. She sighed, then smacked Rai to get him to wake up. It worked.
"Wuzza?" asked Rai. "Where are we?"
"You're awake," said a relieved Kimiko. She put his arm around her and nestled into his chest. "I'm scared," she whispered into the cloth.
Raimundo paused for a moment, and the surroundings, the smell of blood, Clay's moans, and Jack's talking told him where he was and what was happening. He pulled Kimiko closer. "He'll be all right. It'll be fine. Hush. Cry if you want, these clothes don't matter."
She took him up on his offer. Deep, raking sobs exploded from her chest. She gulped a few times, then said, "I don't want him to die."
"He won't die. He'll be fine. Don't worry," said Rai reassuringly.
"Damn…straight…I…won't…die…" said Clay. "Jack…tell…them…."
"He says, 'Damn straight he won't die,'" said Jack.
"See, Kimiko? Damn straight he won't die," said Raimundo, stroking her hair.
"I trust you," whispered Kimiko. "All three of you."
"We're almost there," said Jack. "I'm on the last two stitches." He leaned down to Clay and said, "Hear that? 10 minutes, tops."
"I…hear…ya…" said Clay weakly.
"Okay, Clay, we're close…" Jack pulled on the thread and Clay winced. "Sorry, sorry…last stitch is the toughest…we're through…let me tie it off…done," he sighed. "Took me one whole hour, but I'm done." Both his and Clay's hair were drenched with sweat, and he made no effort to straighten it. He pulled the Snickers out of the Walgreens bag and put it on his bedside table. He looked at Clay with a lot of respect. "You're a better man than I."
"You were the one who sewed me up, pard," said Clay weakly.
"Here," said Jack, handing two more capsules to Clay. At Clay's questioning glance, he said, "Blood rejuvenating tablets. You lost a lot. What blood type are you?"
"That's good. We have the same blood type," said Jack. He rooted through the bag he'd pulled the sewing needle and capsules out of and pulled out a big syringe. He plunged it into his leg and pulled up the stopper. It filled with blood. He then put it into Clay's arm and pushed down. "Congratulations. You've just had your first blood transfusion. That should get you started."
"Jack…why've you doing all this for me?" asked Clay.
"These three losers present too little a challenge," he said, smiling.
"No, no, hunh-uh, not gonna happen," said Jack. It was 7 in the evening.
"But, Jack," protested Kimiko.
"No buts, Kimiko. He's way to weak to travel anywhere just yet. Give him 'till tomorrow evening, I'll have a pair of Medic-Bots bring him over."
"Medic-Bots?" asked Raimundo. "I'm not sure I like the sound of that."
"Medical Jack-Bots. They have built in stretchers, and it takes two to carry one. They can bring Clay to the Xiaolin Temple. I'll show 'em where to go."
"All right. We'll see you tomorrow, Clay," said Raimundo. He climbed out the window and onto Dojo's back.
"Are you sure we should leave you here with Jack Spicer?" asked Omi.
"I trust him," said Clay reassuringly. Omi climbed out to Dojo next, after glaring at Jack.
"See you tomorrow, Clay," said Kimiko. "I swear to God, if you lay a hand on him, I'll kill you," she told Jack.
"Relax. He's safe," said Jack as she left. Suddenly it was just the two of them. "My parents are out of town, so it's cool if you stay here. I'm gonna grab some dinner from upstairs. Got a preference?"
"Whatever you're having," said Clay good-naturedly.
"Good answer," said Jack with a smile. He ran upstairs and returned with two bowls of cereal. They ate in silence, then Jack brought them back upstairs.
When Jack got back, Clay turned to him and said, "So, care to tell me the real reason you saved my life?"
Jack sighed. "Saw right through it, didja?"
"More transparent then a ghost town."
Jack held up his shirt. Going diagonally across his stomach was a big scar, as big as Clay's. After Clay'd seen it, he put his shirt back down. "When I was 13," he started, "just three years ago, I slipped and fell on a mountain. The exact mountain we were on earlier, in almost the same spot. My parents were out of town and I decided to disobey them and climb it. The only thing that saved me was my Heli-Pack. I used it to get to my house and then…" the took a deep breath, "I preformed surgery, like I did today, on myself. I didn't have anything to clean it off with, so the needle got all slippery and hard to hold onto. It took me two hours. I'd lost so much blood that I became weak and sickly, and I passed out for three days. When my parents came home, they took me to see a doctor, and he said I'd done it exactly right. My parents were just glad to see me alive. After that…I dunno. I just sort of faded. I became really interested in technology, and that's when I developed the Jack-Bots. From that day, though…I never quite recovered my skin color. I couldn't run, couldn't jump, couldn't join any of the school teams. I became a goth to find someone to join in with, but even they wouldn't accept me. Then, you guys and Wuya came along and gave me a new challenge, something to work for. I'm glad you did come along." He wiped his eye. "You're the only reason I wake up in the morning. The only reason I'm still here. Except for you four, I have no one." During the course of his story, he'd moved to the end of the bed and sat cross-legged on it.
Clay put a strong, Texas hand on Jack's shoulder. "C'mere," he said. Jack moved so he was sitting next to Clay's stomach with his feet dangling off the bed. Clay reached up and grabbed his hat. He put his hand into the brim and pulled out a picture of a red-haired girl in a blue dress with striking green eyes. She was hugging what looked like a younger version of Clay. "This is Flora. She was the first girl I ever really fell in love with. She loved me back, too. I got her and I matching promise rings and we swore that we'd get married and love no one else. We were 14." It was Clay's turn to start crying. He didn't bother to wipe them away. "Cancer took her." He pulled out his Xiaolin belt sash and reached into a pocket he'd sewed in. He pulled out a simple silver band engraved with the words 'Forever and.' "Hers said, 'A Day.' I always loved her, and I always will," said Clay, then layed back and closed his eyes.
"G'night, Clay. And…thanks," said Jack.
"G'night, Jack. Y'know, you're not half bad," muttered Clay.
Jack layed down on his cot on the floor and, just as he was about to go to sleep, wondered if things could always be this way.
Jack: (is crying)
A/N: Why are you crying?
Jack: (sniffle) That's…just...so...BEAUTIFU-HU-HUL!
A/N: (facepalm) Rate and review, peeps, cause that's really cool.
Jack: Will you hold me?