Alone Again

A/N: I've been feeling incredibly depressed lately, and honestly I think that it might have shown through this work. I fear I may have gone a little too far, and I hope that the wording's not too far off. I wrote it as I felt it. I had a great deal of difficulty beginning. In fact I had this originally to another song, though I changed it in the end. When I think back to when I even started it, I somehow feel that I was drawn into their way of thinking. Somehow I was able to understand them. (Not that I'm saying I believe this is perfect or anything.) I wasn't able to use the song to it's entirety, but I tried…a couple of the lines were just a little… difficult to work with.

Disclaimer: No, I don't own Xiaolin Showdown, or Jack, or Raimundo…though that would be so incredibly awesome if I did. If I could say that I had actually had a hand in creating such incredible characters. But I cannot. All I can say is that I merely own this fic… The song as well, does not belong to me. While I don't usually like to keep within the same artists works as far as songs are concerned, I couldn't quite turn this one down, it seemed to fit the best somehow…
"Blanket of Fear" by: Papa Roach

Jacks P.O.V.

I am awake, under this blanket of fear

The time ticked by slowly, reality distorted. His mind now bowing and collapsing due to his lack of sleep. He had been up for the past two days and though collectively he might have actually received four hours over the past two nights, even that was a restless slumber, littered with nightmares and other various disturbances. His mind was playing games with him. Cruel games, which he could never win.

In all actuality he hadn't been outside of his 'lair' in about a half a week now. For some reason he had just about lost the will…he didn't care about finding any Shen Gong Wu.

Through half lidded eyes he glanced towards his cabinet, the very place he stored the Wu he had collected. Honestly it surprised him that his last partner, whom had recently deserted him, only claimed one, leaving him with the rest. They were gone and once again he was alone to stew in his recently found thoughts of self pity and an ever growing resentment towards the world. He hated the idea of sitting around feeling sorry for himself, but he was at least granting himself the chance to 'recover'. He had so many thoughts running rampant through his mind right now.

And I must say None of the people I see belong here

Glancing about his room some more, his mind hazy as his view settled upon the row of 'Jack bots' leaning against the wall. For a brief moment he had almost believed they were all looking at him. Inquisitive expressions etched into their obscured, mask like features. He tried to look away but he still felt them. They were somehow asking him questions through their relentless stares. They bore through him, drilling to his very soul.

Taking a seat upon his bed, which lie across the room, he threw a spare blanket over his shoulders, pulling it tightly as he faced the wall. And yet, even that didn't seem to help. Still not satisfied he finally broke down…

"Look…I don't have any of the answers…so please, stop looking at me like that…" He semi-pleaded as he averted his attention downward, his hands idly fidgeting with the bottom of his t-shirt.

"If I knew anything, don't you think I would have told you? Wouldn't you think that me being here like this would be at all…strange?" Continuing to sit there, in the overwhelming silence he lowered his head, covering his face with his hands as he sobbed inwardly. All in his sad attempts to hide it from 'them'.

"Say something…I created you…and I own you, so answer me…" he spoke in a rather shaky tone now; all in his futile attempts at gaining someone's attention. "You should know me best…" He finished trailing off. He hated being like this, he hated knowing something so small could really get the best of him. He was after all 'Jack Spicer, evil boy genius', his confidence before had seemingly known no bounds and yet something had been planted, and over time it had grown.

Many times in his short lifetime, he had been called a loser, and told that he would never get anywhere. It might have been due to his own misfortune. The choices he had made might have been catching up with him. For he had chosen the path of darkness. Total destruction.

He had always viewed himself as evil. He proudly proclaimed it for all to hear. Maybe he didn't know any better, though in absolute retrospect he had somehow begun to believe that perhaps good and evil weren't quite as 'black and white' as everyone would have led you to believe. Just because he was up against someone claiming to be for the side of 'good' didn't necessarily mean he was 'evil'.

Shaking his head to the sides he only knew one thing right now. That no matter what he was he wouldn't change it for anyone. Even if it meant he would be alone. In a way he had believed that was his fate. He would live with his choice, it was too far in the game to change now.

Now everyone's asleep I am awake and I am dreaming

He was sure that everyone around him was asleep, and yet he wasn't so lucky. The insomnia taking over for yet another evening he longed for nothing more than the sweet serenity of sleep to envelope him. To allow his chaos torn mind to rest. And yet he even feared that. He knew that the moment he closed his eyes and allowed his mind to wander the nightmares would return. Why he had been cursed with such a fate was beyond him.

On the outside, though he appeared to be wide awake, on the inside he had been waging a fierce battle emotionally, as the game took another turn for the worse. In a way he had strongly begun to believe that he was dreaming, and yet he was awake. He looked down at his pale hands. They were bare, void of the biker gloves they usually adorned, and flexing his left hand before himself he watched with an acute awareness that he must have appeared insane. He didn't care. He was alone.

I believe it's time for the rude awakening

'Alone'. The word echoed in his mind until he had decided to stand up, casting his blanket aside. It would be a few good hours before the sun would rise, and he had to occupy his mind with something. Since sleeping was no longer an option.

He stood nearby his work bench for what felt like a good half an hour. Not a single idea coming to mind.

Just the dark thoughts that had threatened to overflow.

So, hold on to your dreams Because your nightmares might seem like they're your reality

Just beyond the gates of the temple the young brunette sighed. No turning back now. And as he allowed his mind to wander for a few brief moments, his gaze settled upon the Wu in his possession. Even until the very end, he felt as though he were disloyal. Theft now becoming yet another crime stacked high upon the other's in the past.

He had turned his back upon his friends, and he feared that he would only do it again and again. History repeating itself, on and on. The night, which had almost seemed to stand still for a time, had spanned out into a near oblivion as he now knew the true meaning of loneliness.

Many scenarios had run through his mind, by this point. His dreams of ever becoming a Xiaolin Apprentice fading ever darker into obscurity, he thought about his life, he had wondered about the time. His master might not have been able to forgive him; he felt he would never forgive himself. His nightmares becoming a reality he brought out his cell phone, and checked it once.

Nothing. Relief washing over him he once again tucked his phone away into one of his side pockets and took in a deep breath. His back now turned on the temple, it had all suddenly felt so very distant. He had made up his mind. He would leave.

Hold on to your dreams Because your nightmares might seem like they're your reality

Any and all dreams of his, slipping silently into the night he didn't say anything, he didn't need to. Written upon his features were the worries, doubts and fears of a lifetime, working their way through, and grounding themselves within. The mere notion of continuing seemed like a dream as distant as the stars in the sky and nearly as unreachable.

The void that had begun to engulf his soul, had begun to pull in with it fragments of his very being. The tighter he clung onto what he believed in, the further it was dragged away. Forcefully stripped from him, until there was nearly nothing left.

I believe The only thing we have to fear is fear itself And the man behind the curtain

As the moments ticked by, the stillness had begun to settle in. And though he was nowhere near his goal of a night filled with peaceful slumber, there was something in the back of his mind that had told him not to give in. Though, the longer he had stayed there, the more it seemed to fade away. Disappearing with everything else that he had once held true.

I heard him say "Dreamer's have become an endangered species, and I am aware of the rude awakening"
So, hold on to your dreams Because your nightmares might seem like they're your reality

A few tears running down his face he idly ran his hand through his hair. He had a few ideas begin to trickle in, and yet he brushed the bulk of them away. That is, until he was finally struck with a solution to his ever present problem.

He hadn't believed in drowning away your problems, in attempts to find the bottom of a bottle. It didn't seem to be his style. His deep, red, eyes followed along the bottom of the wall until it settled upon a clock in the distance. The sun should be rising now, which had actually been made apparent by the light that had begun to stream through his window.

Normally by this point, he might have been able to shake any such feelings, but he wasn't the same. His appearance might not have changed, but on the inside, he was gone. He felt himself nearly separate from within, and opening the drawer before himself he began fishing about, with only one goal in mind.

Finally, upon finding that soul possession, he pulled it out. Taking a seat upon the work bench that lie mere inches from him he carefully looked over the tool in his hands. He studied it carefully for a few moments, taking it all in, as though it would be the last thing he would ever see. A faint chuckle passed through his lips as he had found a certain pleasure in the irony, and pressing the slide he pushed the blade into view.

It shone in the bleak lighting. Though he realized once he was finished, it's luster would be brought down to a dull crimson hue. Such was the fate, as the life's light would flicker, darkness would soon follow.

He had begun to remove the lengthy, torn trench coat. The very thing that had somehow made itself a symbol of himself, and tossed it carelessly to the side. His wrists had seen better days and as he had studied a little closer, he had found that there were just a few things that could never be changed. He was afraid to live, and feared death, though he couldn't think of any other way.

Resting his wrist upon his lap he lowered his head in thought, then without any more hesitation he brought the blade to his wrist, and soon it had begun to pierce his milky skin, taking a toll as it soon drew blood.

Just outside, the young boy seemed to quicken his pace, as his attention had suddenly been snapped ahead. He had a sinking feeling within, and it had somehow directed him inside. He had followed his intuition before, and for the most part it seemed, it had never really let him down before. He hadn't been greeted by anyone yet, though he had just stepped into the door. Walking in, he had caught view of the sight.

I'm falling in my dream I finally hit the ground

As the blood continued to flow and his life slowly slipped from him, there were many factors involved in that next few moments. As short as the time was, what had lapsed had begun to feel like an eternity as he found himself falling backwards, his body almost forcing him to lie down now as it all had begun to take it's toll. The lack of sleep and the loss of blood catching up with him, pushing him backwards as he felt he could no longer support himself.

I'm falling in my dream I finally hit the ground

Continuing his head made contact with the cold metallic surface, bringing forth a small thud; followed by a quick wince.

I finally hit the ground!

Reality beginning to overflow, he hadn't even realized what had taken place, his memory faded, his head lolled to the side.

"Rai…please don't look…" Jack said, as he kept his vision straightforward. A slight blur coming to the corners of his eyes He wasn't quite sure if it were the side effects or if they were tears. Either way he had been both surprised and in a way saddened to see that of all people, Raimundo would be the one to see him in this sorry state.

"Jack…what were you thinking?" Raimundo asked him. Why was this? Why was he even there? He had wondered if this might have been payback for the times he had gone out, in attempts to spy on the other. He was now perhaps, returning the favor?

His concentration never wavering from the green, eyed boy before him he watched as the other had approached him so boldly. Feeling his arm lifted, he flinched slightly as he felt a bandanna being tightly wrapped about the injury, a slight whimper coming before it was gently placed beside himself again.

Glancing to the side he sighed, "I didn't think anyone would come…I figured I was doing everyone a favor…" Noticing the change in the other, he knew he had finally pushed it, but what was he supposed to do? He felt guilty, and yet, he wasn't sure why.

"You really are an idiot…and a coward through and through…did you really think anyone would be happy?" He heard the other say, and through those words he found a slight spark of truth. He clung onto them as he remained silent.

Raimundo blinked a few times, though had never lightened in his resolve. He had begun to believe that he had gotten through to the other. Though at that very moment something else had caught his attention. Reaching out he brushed the back of his hand to the tear, soaked cheek of his supposed enemy. And at first glance he had brushed it off, but he couldn't any longer.

The young red head had seemed to be stripped of everything. His gloves now missing, the coat on the floor, his goggles strewn across a pile of papers, but what had had him so entranced was the lack of makeup that had always adorned his features. With the missing piece it had all suddenly began to fall into place. And for the first time he could see that Jack was just a boy. A boy much like himself. He was broken and shattered inside, and it had never seemed to scream out as much as it had right then and there. He was scared. Raimundo wanted to help, so he did…the best way he knew how.

He hadn't received any response, though Jack was still stuck in the midst of his shock, and disbelief. So in turn, Raimundo had seen this as a chance to continue.

"…I don't expect you to change or anything, but promise me you won't do anything like this again…" He began, though glancing off to the side he went on, "To tell you the truth I don't think I can really do too much lecturing, I ran away from the temple. I tried to escape and now I don't have anywhere to go…"

This had surprised Jack, to a degree. While he had seen Raimundo do many different things in the past, he had never expected him to try and seek refuge with the enemy. He didn't believe that it was the boys style, and while he wasn't about to protest he hesitated slightly. He didn't want this to be like every other time. Someone would come, but they would always leave him in the end. Building him up, his hopes would soon be dashed as once again, he would be abandoned.

And yet he had sensed a sincerity to the other's word. He could tell that this hadn't been easy for him and in truth he didn't want to make things even more difficult. He never wanted to make anyone regret coming to him, even if it were for a small piece of security, something that he felt in ways he could never offer. His dark, bleak hiding spot didn't seem to suit someone so…incredible. He felt that the other had been looking through him, and yet he felt a similarity between the two of them. Raimundo was running away. And in a sense he was attempting to escape his fate. In the end, their goals had met somehow, and for the first time he had begun to see that there really were other's out there, who were trapped in situations comparable to his own.

And he felt accepted.

For a few moments he allowed this to sink in, and in the end he could only think of one solution. "Now…I'm still…a little light headed…but why don't you stay with me?" He suggested, though just as he did he had suddenly begun to feel the all too familiar warmth, as a blush began to creep across his features. He wanted so much to cover it, and yet he couldn't quite seem to find the strength. He had begun to feel as though his feelings had finally taken hold. He had been keeping an eye on the other for quite some time now, though for the first time in his life he felt that now, he could express them.

He watched closely as the other boy hopped up onto the table beside him, he even lowered himself, resting his hands behind his neck as a small smile tugged at the corner of his lips. "As long as you'll have me, I would really like that…" Lacing his fingers over his chest now he felt he had finally found what he had been searching for all along.

Though just as he had thought this, he suddenly felt a hand grasp gently onto his own, his attention drawn to the red head he lifted his head, as he silently observed the other. He had taken his hand into his own and lacing his fingers with the other he they held hands.

Taking in a deep breath, he wasn't sure what kind of response he would receive, though his hesitancy had spoken volumes. His nerves had been shot over the edge and back, so frayed, and now something had finally come to his aid. They were finally beginning to mend themselves, as he found himself in the company of the other.

Shutting his eyes slowly Jack attempted to smile, and though it was faint, it was there just the same. "I would like nothing more… Rai…?" He began, trailing off.

Perking up for a brief moment Jack had caught his attention once again. "Yes?"

"Would you think less of me, if I told you how I feel?" He asked, swallowing exceptionally hard afterwards.

"No…go ahead." He stated, a slight hint of consideration in his words.

"Well, I've been watching you for quite some time now…And if you don't feel the same, just let me say this anyway. I have to get it off my chest…I…I think I love you…" He finally managed, as he kept his eyes shut.

Pausing for a moment, Jack tried to decipher the silence. "I love you too…" He at long last heard, just before he felt the other place a kiss upon his cheek in response.

His eyes opening quickly he turned to look up at the Brazilian. Raimundo's deep, green eyes lit up, as his face too seemed to be stained with a familiar blush. Never had he expected such a reaction.

"Thank you…" Jack's said, his voice trailing off just as he sunk into a deep, dreamless sleep.

"No…thank you…" Raimundo whispered as he lowered himself once again, to place a kiss upon the sleeping boys lips. "Thank you…and…good night…" He finished. For the first time he was contented to stay right where he was, for he believed he had finally found where he belonged.

Hold on to your dreams Because your nightmares might seem like they're your reality

Well, there we go, I poured my heart out. I'm sorry about the little…spiel in the beginning…somehow I felt it needed to be said. I never wanted to get so…long? But somehow, I feel like I have been through a lot. Before then, I wouldn't have dreamt of writing anything like that, though experience had allowed me to connect. I hope this is okay…Please excuse the mushy ending…I couldn't help myself. Oh, and Raimundo didn't show up all that much for two reasons. 1.) He had the first one, and 2.) It didn't work with the song.

Well, If you get the chance, please review…I would really like to know what you think.