Amazingly, I do have another chapter for you all. Now, we seem to really be getting into the plot-thingy, you know, the thing that was missing from the last chapter...

Anyway, for a while I will be focusing on three things rather than six or seven (because I realized that doesn't work): this, Dawn of the Dragons, and a new two or three shot that should be out very, very soon.

Disclaimer: Yes, I DO own XS officially now!!! AND I'm a part of the band Lifehouse, so I also own the song (entitled "Chapter One") that will appear in this chapter! And while we're at it, I'm also the president of three different countries: the US, France, and Japan! (Note the sarcasm.)

Chapter 9:

A week has passed since the last Shen Gong Wu was collected and the Dragons are starting to feel that training is monotonous. But they're about to get an unexpected visitor…

(We open in the dining hall in the Temple. The seven monks are eating breakfast, but they're no where near calm. The room is filled with chatter and food.)

Deja: Why doesn't another Wu show up? (groans) This is getting so boring.

Omi: Sometimes, my friend, we must wait a long time for Shen Gong Wu to appear and it can get most tedious.

Clay: Li'l buddy's right, I'm 'fraid. It ain't the first time we've been doin' nothin' but trainin' for a week. It's longer, usually.

Luz: There has to be something else to do around here, though. Don't you guys ever get days off?

Raimundo: Eh, rarely, sis. But if we do, don't take them for granted.

(Silence descends upon the group as they wistfully wish for a day off. Keep on wishing, kids. It isn't gonna happen. At that precise moment, there's a loud crash and the unmistakable scream of – who else? – Jack Spicer! The monks rush outside and assume their battle stances: Raimundo in front, Kimiko and Omi to both sides, Ciaran, Luz, andDeja in the middle, and Clay in back. Spicer faces them timidly.)

Raimundo: What do you want, Spicer? More Wu from our vault?

Jack: N-no! I swear! Let me explain!

Kimiko: (still in battle stance) Better make it quick, Jack. I've been wanting to kick your butt for a while now.

Jack: I promise I don't want any Wu. Melina went missing! Has anyone seen her lately?

(Everyone drops back into normal positions at this. They look at each other, shrugging.)

Ciaran: Sorry, Spicer, but no.

Clay: Don' look at me.

Omi: I am very sorry, no.

Luz: When did you see her last?

Jack: A few days ago. I, well, she sort of ran away after I yelled at her for not listening to me. I haven't seen her since, and I'm getting really worried. I thought, maybe, she came here.

Kimiko: (bits lip) We haven't seen her.

(A pause.)

Deja: Would…would you like us to help you find her?

All: WHAT?????

Deja: (cringes) C'mon, guys. We're all bored, aren't we? Besides, what if she got kidnapped – or worse? It's our duty to ensure the safety of others, isn't it?

(The others exchange glances and then agree reluctantly.)

Raimundo: Fine. Let's go.

Leaving a note for Master Fung, the Dragons, with Jack, leave in search of Melina. Little to they know they're being watched.

(In a dark cave, a struggling Melina is held by two large guards. Chase Young smirks at her and then sits on his throne.)

Melina: Let me go, you stupid-!

Chase Young: Quiet, girl! (stands and walks to her) Do you know why you're here?

Melina: Because you kidnapped me! Now, let me go!

Chase Young: Not yet. First we must lead them to you…

Melina: (stops struggling) "Them"?

Chase Young: Ah, ah, ah! That is not for you to know. Yet. It will come in time. Don't worry.

Melina: What are you planning?

Chase Young: (evil laugh) I'll explain…

The Dragons have been searching for Melina for hours with absolutely no luck. Eventually, they drop Jack off at his house, promising to keep an eye out for Melina. Later that night, they stay up, discussing.

(All seven Dragon's are packed into Rai's room.)

Kimiko: Poor Melina. I wonder where she is…

Clay: It sure is mighty strange, I'll give you that.

Raimundo: Don't worry, guys. She probably just ran away and'll be back in a few days.

Luz: Rai, we searched everywhere. Back home, we could always find you when you ran away, and Rio is ten times bigger than here.

Ciaran: (smirking) Rai ran away? (Rai blushes.) An' why would that be?

Luz: (conversationally) Oh, loads of reasons. Sometimes, he got angry at Mom because she was making him do chores. Other times, he said he was "following the wind," which we now know was true. But he always came back eventually 'cause he was afraid of the dark!

(Everyone laughs at this, teasing Rai playfully. The conversation then turns light, and Kimiko announces she's going to get a glass of water. She walks down the hall and into the kitchen.)

Rai: (as everyone continues talking, looks after her) Bathroom. I'll be right back.

(However, everyone ignores this muttered statement, so he slips out of his room unnoticed. He walks down the hall to where Kimiko stands in the kitchen.)

Kimiko: (hummed quietly to self) Sakura – Sakura –hmmm….

Raimundo: Kim?

Kimiko: (flips around, startled) Oh, Rai. Sorry. I didn't know anyone else was in here. What's up? (looks down at the glass in her hand) You wanted some too?

Raimundo: Huh? Oh, yeah. Yeah, I did. (He busies himself with filling a cup with water. Kimiko waits silently for him.)

Kimiko: Do you really think Melina will be all right, Rai? I mean, she can't be any older than thirteen or fourteen, can she?

Raimundo: Funny, you're just barely sixteen, yet you wouldn't say the same thing about yourself, would you?

Kimiko: That's different. I know how to take care of myself. I've been trained to deal with anything that might come my way –

Raimundo: (roughly) But that doesn't change the fact that you're just a sixteen-year-old girl!

(Stunned silence.)

Kimiko: (annoyed) Excuse me? Who exactly am I talking to here – Omi or Raimundo?

Raimundo: I-I didn't mean it like that. You know I wouldn't ever say something so idiotic. I just meant –

Kimiko: Yeah, well you know what? Just stuff it, Rai, because this girl doesn't want to hear it. (She storms off, leaving her half-drunk glass of water on the table. Rai sighs.)

Luz: (from Rai's room) Kim? Wha? RAIMUNDO!!! What did you do?

(Rai, still staring after Kimiko, doesn't answer. Instead he leans out the window of the kitchen, gazing up at the stars.)

Raimundo: Why do I always mess everything up?

(And there he stays all night long.)

Many hours later, Deja is unable to sleep. She tosses and turns, but to no avail.

Deja: Urg! Why can't I just stop thinking about it? No one else is this worried!

(Suddenly, Deja's Angels pop up on her shoulders. You know the like – good side/bad side types of things. They attempt to calm her down.)

Bad Deja: Just sleep. Forget about that Melina girl. She's only Spicer's sister, after all.

Good Deja: (to B. Deja) That's awful, you. Keep quiet over there. (to Deja) Listen to me. It's all right that you're afraid for Melina. Especially you.

Deja: I…I just keep thinking about…my mother. (G. Deja nods.) I mean, if she hadn't wandered off alone, then she might still be alive. What if that happens to Melina, too?

Good Deja: There's no way for anyone to know what will happen to her.

Deja: Stupid Spicer! Why did he have to be so mean to his little sister!

(A moment of silence takes place while an idea forms in Deja's mind. A determined look on her face, she stands up and begins throwing things into a rucksack. G. & B. Deja exchange confused glances.)

Good Deja: And what exactly are you doing?

Deja: I'm going to fin her. Look, this can't just be a coincidence. This had to have be…planned or something. It's just too suspicious for my liking. So are you guys with me or not?

Bad Deja: I thought you'd never ask.

(Deja sneaks out into the open air, unnoticed by anyone. As she starts her journey, she sings to herself.)

Deja: (sung) All the stars are out tonight

It feels as though I might

Make some sense out of this madness

Will it turn out right?

(She sneaks into the vault and takes a few Shen gong wu: the Golden Tiger Claws, the Tangle Web Comb, and the Star Hanabi. She walks back out and heads down the path.)

Deja: Who's to say where the wind will blow?

Good Deja: But where are we going? How will we find her? Why are we doing this, Deja?

Deja: Time will tell us if we're out of answers

When it stops

Climb back down to the beginning

Take it from the top

Who's to say where the wind will blow?

(She walks out of sight of the Temple, leaving Master Fung, who watched the entire thing, with a worried yet proud expression.)

Master Fung: What happens when all your dreams

Are lying on the ground

Do you pick up all the pieces all around

And if the world should fall apart

Hold on to what you know

Take your chances, turn around and go

Dojo: Are we gonna go after her, Master Fung?

Master Fung: No. This is her journey. It must be taken. We must let her go.

Dojo: But –

Master Fung: No, Dojo. Come. We must get our rest.

(Meanwhile, Deja is still traveling on.)

Deja: (notices a falling leaf) All the leaves are turning

And the sky fades to gray

Strange our life coincides

With the seasons of the day

Who's to say where the wind will blow?

Good Deja: What happens when everything is lying on the ground

Do you pick up the pieces all around?

And if the world should fall apart

Hold on to what you know

Take your chances, turn around and go

Bad Deja: Carry on, you say

Bring the best of everyday

All I see is struggling on the way

Deja: Maybe when the sun crashes through the gray

I can find the strength to make it through the day

Through the day

(She is now on top of a hill that overlooks the Temple. She stares down at it for a few minutes.)

Deja: What happens when all your dreams are lying on the ground
Do you pick up the pieces all around
And if the world should fall apart

Hold on to what you know
Take your chances, turn around and go
Take your chances, turn around and go

(She takes on last look at the Temple, then flips around and head down the hill to find Melina.)