Now and Then
Notes: So here's the deal. I haven't really written anything non school-related in ages, and I recently decided that Xiaolin Showdown is the new love of my life. I'm not sure if this will go anywhere, be any good, or even last long enough to have an ending. We'll see! I just thought it would be irresistibly fun to try to stick two of my favorites together. This may turn romantic at some point, but I doubt it at the moment. No pairings right now. …Well, okay, some implied RaiKim and possibly others, but no pairings that matter. There are spoilers all over, too. Go watch the whole series, it's on YouTube. Very useful!
This begins when Raimundo opens Grand Master Dashi's second puzzle box… And goes from there to either after the end of the series or some time around then.
For those who are confused, I don't own Xiaolin Showdown.
"Dashi!" the Heylin witch cried, drawing back angrily.
The ghostly grand master grinned in delight. "Whoa, Wuya! The years have not been kind!" Before she could ready an attack he flew at her, pulling at her physical form with his chi and watching it fall away. The puzzle box that the young dragon of wind held sucked at the now-ghostly purple form.
"NOOOOOOOoooooo!" screamed Wuya as she disappeared. Dashi made sure the box stayed shut before turning to the Brazilian teen, who seemed rather shocked at Dashi, Wuya, and himself.
"Well done, dragon of the wind," said Dashi with a rare, entirely sincere smile and a thumbs-up. The boy turned to his friends with a grin as Dashi faded from view.
…But having put so much effort into getting here, why move on now? Dashi watched as the teenagers fled the crumbling tower. Four elemental dragons, one… well, dragon, and another kid. It was a boy with deathly pale skin, red eyes, and red hair who had some sort of machine allowing him to fly. Clearly not a Xiaolin dragon, by the look of his aura. When a bridge collapsed under the group, he paused long enough to watch the tiny dragon expand and catch the others, and grabbed its tail to join them in riding to safety.
"Huh!" the ghost said quietly to himself. "Dojo! We'll have to do some catching up when he's got a minute." He flew invisibly alongside the dragon and examined the riders. He'd met Omi, of course. A good kid, but way too serious. He'd get tired of living before he hit twenty, at that rate. Well no, probably not, what with that endless curiosity and wonder at the world. But still, he could have so much more fun with life.
Not like the dragon of the wind. Wind just tended to attract the best personalities, Dashi thought smugly to himself as the redhead lost his grip and had to use his backpack once more. Changing like the wind, seeing all sides of life, easygoing, carefree… Really, how much better could a person get?
Earth seemed good for the one in the hat. He just oozed down-to-earth sensibility and rock-solid loyalty. Probably as reliable as gravity, too. Not the element for him, but Dashi had always had a lot of respect for the patience of most earth dragons.
The dragon of fire clearly had at least the beginnings of a crush on the wind boy, if Dashi was any judge of things romantic (and in general, he was). Passionate, hot-tempered… yeah, fire and wind went well together.
And there was that poor sickly-white kid again, flailing around through the clouds of dust and debris. Making a mental note to look into that when he felt like it, Dashi followed Dojo to the Xiaolin temple.
Ohh, man, I could sleep for a week!" moaned Dojo, sprawling out in one of the temple's inner rooms. The monks were resting, and he had every intention of doing the same until…
"I seem to recall you trying that a few times before," said a familiar voice. "You even managed it a time or two."
"Ah! Wha- Da-!" Dashi made a casual gesture, and Dojo's voice was silenced. His mouth continued moving for a solid three minutes afterwards. The ancient spirit merely smiled as he watched.
"Finished yet?" he asked with a grin. Dojo glared. "I'll let you talk, just keep it quiet, okay? You know the extra attention's just too much hassle for me." He performed the gesture in reverse.
"How could you do that to me? As if I'd go telling everyone… I'm not completely tactless, you know!" the dragon huffed. "What're you doing here, anyway? I saw you disappear, figured you finally moved on."
"When there's still fun to be had and chores to sleep through?" Dashi snorted, grinning. "Not likely! So how's life been treating you? I see you've been eating well, at least," he said, with a playful jab at Dojo's midsection.
"Hey, I need to keep up my strength," the dragon said defensively. "All those Wu revealing themselves these days, and I always get used as the workhorse!"
"So I saw," Dashi agreed, letting his old friend keep his pride this once. "And by the way, I'm pretty impressed with this batch of Xiaolin dragons."
"Heh, pretty good, huh?" Dojo said proudly. "I'm helping to train them. They're all pretty good kids. Might be as good as you guys, some day."
"Maybe some day," Dashi agreed with a small grin. "So I want to know everything that's going on. Oh, first, before I forget, who was that other kid with you guys back there, with the red hair?"
"Oh, him!" Dojo laughed a little derisively. "That was Jack Spicer. Thinks he's evil incarnate. Tries pretty hard, but he's not too great at it. He's been teamed up with Wuya for a while, but he pretty much just tries to go with the winner. Even helped us on purpose once or twice. Kind of a clown. Two-faced, but harmless." Dojo shrugged.
"Hm, interesting…" Dashi muttered. Sounded almost wind-like. Might be worth another look. But in the meantime…
"So, how 'bout the past 1500 years or so, while I was getting some beauty sleep?"
"Well, you look pretty beat," said Dashi cheerfully, a few hours later. The little dragon was drooping noticeably. "I think I'll take a little spin around, maybe drop in a place or two… but I'll definitely be back to see you again! …Oh, and how 'bout you keep my visits on the down-low, at least for now?"
"Sure, of course," Dojo said with a yawn.
"Good, because… I'd hate to have to get into a discussion about those recurring dreams of yours. The ones you enjoyed so much? You still have those these days?" the grand master asked with an almost innocent smile.
"You promised you wouldn't mention that ever, ever again!" Dojo squeaked out, eyes wide.
"Of course I wouldn't," Dashi said with an easy smile. "Because I know you are a dragon of your word. See you later, old friend."
Dojo waved with a worried smile as the ancient monk faded into invisibility.
When Dashi took a vacation, he took his time. He saw the sights. He revisited old haunts, and made new ones. He checked up on dormant Shen Gong Wu, when he happened to be in the neighborhood. He saw some Xiaolin Showdowns. He visited Dojo again. He crept up on the occasional small child throwing a tantrum and said, "Boo." Some of them didn't wet themselves. He ran into Master Monk Guan, and that was a good time. Could've been better with the others, but probably the best this time could offer.
He checked up on some other old friends as well. Wuya was about the same as he remembered (and he was just slightly vexed that she escaped from her prison so quickly this time), but she didn't seem quite as quick-witted. She didn't give any sign of recognizing, or even sensing his presence. Chase Young, on the other hand, clearly knew something was off. Sharp as a pin, that one. Dashi couldn't help but be disappointed, though. He and Chase had always understood each other so well, got each others' jokes…
One of Chase Young's visitors who Dashi noticed outside his former friend's lair was familiar.
That's right, the redhead kid, Dashi thought to himself, watching said kid trying to butter up the ancient warrior, and failing pretty badly. It wasn't long before he was tossed out with a chorus of growls. The boy picked himself up and brushed himself off, looking rather hurt, but then turned back with a hopeful grin.
"O-okay! Maybe tomorrow then, huh?" There was no answer. His backpack sprouted helicopter blades, and he flew off into the afternoon sky.
More puppy-like than evil… A need for approval dripping from every pore… Optimism too, not the most common combination, Dashi thought, following behind the boy. I wonder…
So, worth continuing? I have another chapter and a half, and it will get better. There will be more Jack, and lots of him. Let me know!