Title: The Bet
Fandom: Xiaolin Showdown.
Word Count: 1,903
Summary/Description: Clay makes a friendly bet with Raimundo, with interesting conditions and consequences. Kiss-stealing, anyone?
Warning/Spoilers: No warnings. Takes place early in the show, before they become Wudai Warriors, because, well, that's when I wrote it. So, no spoilers, either.
A/N: Hey everyone. This is a RaiKimi short-fic that'll probably have about five chapters. I've got chapter two and part of chapter three written up, but that's it. I'm not sure how soon I'll be able to update. We'll see.
Disclaimer: Christy Hui is the proud and fortunate owner of Xiaolin Showdown; I am not.
"I must say, Raimundo, your performance in the Showdown today was most impressive," praised Omi as the four Dragons in training slid off of Dojo's back. "I could not have done it better myself." The small Chinese boy paused, seeming to take that point into consideration. "Well, maybe I could have, but nonetheless, you certainly mopped the ground with Jack Spicer's buttocks!"
Kimiko giggled, and Rai rolled his eyes.
"That's wipe the floor, little man," he said, patting Omi's head.
"That too!" the monk chirped.
The large green dragon shrunk back to normal size and slithered up Clay's back to hitch a ride on his shoulders. Just as the four teens reached the entrance of the Main Temple, their sensei walked out, hands clasped behind his back, his features ensconced in that ubiquitous, serious serenity.
"Ah, young monks. You have returned. Were you successful in retrieving the Hand of Hiko?"
"Sure thing, Master Fung," Clay drawled. "Rai here gave that Jack Spicer a good ol' fashioned Xiaolin butt-kickin'. Won us the Ring o' Nine Dragons, too."
"Ah?" The old man titled his head, looking pleased. "Very good, Raimundo."
The Brazilian shrugged it off.
"Yeah. I know. I rule," he said, with more than a little arrogance. He pulled the newest Shen Gong Wu out of his pocket. The Hand of Hiko was actually a glove; silver, with gems at the wrist and delicate runes running all over the fingers. When one slipped on the glove, it melded to the skin, forming a solid silver hand. When the Hand of Hiko, in its activated form, touched anyone, they were obligated to tell the absolute truth about whatever was asked of them.
"You have obtained a very useful Shen Gong Wu, Apprentices," Master Fung said, taking the mystical object from Rai. "You have earned yourself the rest of the afternoon off."
The monks hooted and cheered.
"Enjoy it while it lasts, kids," the green dragon said as he slid off of Clay's shoulder and followed Master Fung into the Temple. "My lower scales are itching, and a couple of boils have formed in unpleasant places. That can mean a lot of things, one of which being that a new Shen Gong Wu is about to reveal itself."
"'Kay, Dojo," Kimiko said. "We'll keep that in mind. But really, too much info," she added, her features twisting in distaste.
The four children were then left to decide what they were going to do with the rest of their afternoon. Though the showdown had been relatively easy, it had been tiring, what with the stifling heat and practically impassability of the African jungle they'd had to trek through to get to the Wu. After all that, they wanted nothing more than to enjoy a relaxing, evil-yet-inept-duo-bent-on-world-domination-less afternoon. Even Omi wasn't as frenetically primed as he usually was to run and jump and kick.
"I dunno 'bout 'chall, but I'm gonna have me a nice relaxin' walk," Clay said, taking his hat off and fanning himself with it.
"I'll come with you. I need to get in some football training. I haven't practised in a while, and I think I might be getting rusty."
"Oh yes, Raimundo. You said that you would show me some of your irate skills."
Before anyone could correct Omi, Kimiko piped up.
"I'll pass on this one guys. I have to go e-mail Keiko. See you guys later." She walked off, already pulling out her cell phone. They waved goodbye to her rescinding back.
Fifteen minutes later saw Clay beneath a large tree, hat off, reclining in its shade. Not too far away, Raimundo and Omi were squared off. The former was standing in front of a makeshift goal, and the latter was shifting the football between his two little legs.
"Come on, Omi," Rai urged. "Gimme your best shot." A roguish light glinted in his eyes. "Not that even your best shot could get past me." He smirked, knowing that that small barb would get Omi to do his best.
The small boy 'humph'-ed, and with a powerful swing of his little leg, sent the white ball spinning towards the left side of the goal. Raimundo lunged, but missed grasping the ball by a bare inch. It shot past him.
"Ah ha!" Omi cried triumphantly, pumping a fist into the air, a bright smile lighting up his face. Laughing, Rai pushed the ball under his arm and walked up the give his friend a hi-five.
"Yes. Now that I have mastered the art of football," the young monk chatted as they walked over to Clay, "I have only to conquer roping and videogames! Ah ha! I am truly… as you say… super-fly, eh?!"
Lifting the hat from over his eyes, the cowboy laughed a little at the Chinese boy's exuberance.
"Oh, yeah, speaking of video games, that reminds me," Rai said as he settled against the tree trunk. "Goo Zombies 4 has come out. Man, I need to get my hands on that."
"Won't that be pretty expensive, since it's just come out?" Clay enquired.
"Yeah," he sighed. "And I'm dead broke."
He slumped despondently for a few minutes, twisting his moue to the side, thinking. Soon, however, his eyes lit up with an idea. He sidled his eyes slyly to the Dragons of Earth and Water, smirking lightly. "Hey, dudes, how about you guys lend me the money?" He shrugged his eyebrows persuasively.
Clay laughed incredulously.
"Don't think so Rai," he said, shaking his head. "I invest my money wisely, and you my friend, are not a wise investment."
"I am thinking that I must agree with Clay on this one, Raimundo," Omi said, scratching his head.
"Aww, come on, guys," the Brazilian remonstrated. "You know I'd pay you back. Come on, I really want this game. No… I need it."
"Hmm." Clay rubbed his chin in deliberation. "What do I get out of this here deal?"
"Erm… the satisfaction of helping a friend in need?" Raimundo tried, smiling uncertainly.
Clay laughed once more, a rumbling sound, and shook his head.
"Again. Don't think so Rai."
The brunet put on his best pleading face – and his best was pretty darn good. The blond sighed, and wiped the hair out of his eyes.
"Alright. Tell ya what, partner. How 'bout we make a friendly bet?"
Rai turned to face him better, arching a brow and folding his arms across his chest.
"I'm listening." Omi, who had been practicing kicks and jumps and punches absently in the air, stopped to do so also.
"I'll buy you your little videogame, if you can…" He trailed off, considering.
"Yeah, yeah," Raimundo urged him.
"Steal a kiss from our girl Kimiko."
Omi blanched, and Raimundo drew his head back in surprise.
"Kimiko? Hmm…" He mulled on that one, biting thoughtfully on his lip. Steal a kiss from the Dragon of Fire, aye. He didn't know how he felt about that one. His feelings for the raven-haired techie were decidedly mixed. In some ways, she was like a little sister; he got a rise out of annoying her, and in turn she could be grating on his nerves at times. Connected with that whole notion of family, he sometimes got this almost scary determination to protect her – not that she needed it most of the time.
However, what was definitely not 'little' about her was that right hook. The girl could hit hard. And what certainly wasn't even close to sisterly was how he never failed to notice – with no small amount of begrudging – how cute she looked, unfailingly, each day, in every outfit, with every wild hairstyle. Nothing fraternal about that.
He was brooding over how much he really wanted Goo Zombies when Omi interrupted his train of thought.
"I am sorry Raimundo, but I am afraid I cannot let you accept this dare."
A thick black brow went up into an arc.
"Why not?" He wasn't sure he was going to take Clay up on his offer, but he wanted to know the little guy's reason for being against the whole thing.
"It would be most dishonourable… Even though it would probably feel very, very nice." The round face flamed red, probably reminiscing on the times he had been graced with kisses and hugs. He snapped out of it presently. "Nonetheless, Kimiko would not be very pleased. In fact, I am not even sure that you can give those things back once you steal them!"
In lieu of chuckling at Omi, Rai turned to the Westerner.
"I think I'll have to pass on that Clay. I'm with Omi. Not that it wouldn't be challenging – " and enjoyable, he didn't add, " – but girls are touchy about those types of things. And besides, you know Kim. She'd probably punch me into a wall by the time I puckered up."
The cowboy shrugged, and pulled his hat back over his eyes, his hands stacking themselves behind his head.
"Okay, partner. Suit yourself."
"Aww, c'mon, Clay. Maybe you could just alter it a bit…"
"Raimundo, my friend. Perhaps you and I could make a deal." Rai looked down at the Dragon of Water, who was grinning widely. He looked remarkably like a used car salesman. "How about… I challenge you to a match? No Shen Gong Wu; just two warriors testing their martial arts skills in a battle of fortitude and expertise. If you win, I shall provide the funds for the game."
Raimundo's eyebrows shot into his hair, his hazy green eyes cloudy with scepticism. Did Omi even have the money?
"I think I'll pass," he said.
Omi nodded kindly, and patted the taller boy's leg.
"I understand Raimundo. I would not want to fight me either. It would be most degrading on your part. Of course, I do not know what it feels like to suffer humiliating defeat like you do, but I can imagine why you would want to shy away from it so fervently."
His kindly-said, yet incredibly supercilious words were rewarded with a tetchy scowl.
"Dude, get off your ego trip already." He batted the little boy's hand away from his leg. "Anyway Clay, isn't there anything else?" He was edging closer and closer to pleading.
The hat was removed, and the lone blue eye peered up at him pensively. Presently, the cowboy sat up.
"But the stakes are gonna be higher this time," the Earth Dragon warned.
"Yeah, yeah." The Brazilian dismissed his words flippantly. "What do you have in mind?"
"I'll buy you your video game, and do your chores fer a week, if you can get Miss Tohomiko to kiss you." The azure eye twinkled. "However, if ya can't get it done in a week, you're gonna have to do my chores for a month. And that includes cleanin' my boots. And to make sure that you're not pullin' one over my eyes, we've got the Hand of Hiko."
The brunet's eyes lit up in interest. Get Kim to kiss him? He smirked, and rubbed his bronze palms together. Piece of cake.
"Clay, my friend, believe it or not, you've just made things a whole lot easier for me. I may not be able to dodge her fists fast enough to plant one on her, but when it comes to charm, man, I can't be beat." His grin stretched wolfishly wide. "You're on."
A/N: So, what do y'all think? Like it so far? The next update will depend on the response from y'all. So please review. :-)