Disclaimer: I doth not own anything or anyone except Tsume and any Shen Gong Wu I may spontaneously invent... XD AND I JUST MIGHT, CONSIDERING THAT I AM ME.

It was that one thing that set her apart from the others: She wanted to save Chase Young. The Prince of Darkness, the Dragon Lord, asshole extraordinaire... among other things.

Maybe it was because she was stupid. Maybe it was because she was overly sentimental and still lived in the past. Maybe it was because she was obsessed with trying to heal others and salvage what she could of them. Maybe it was because she always had a tendency to sympathize with darker characters in novels and movies, and would try to rationalize Chase's behavior like she rationalized theirs.

Or perhaps, it was just because she was having a hard time letting go of him.

Tsume Kagura had been around since the first days of the Xiaolin, training with Master Dashi and Monk Guan. She had been Chase's first sparring partner when she had first come to the dojo, and had lost to him several times. Each time he would tell her what she had done wrong, and give her the advice to commit herself to constant improvement - strive for excellence, not perfection, he said. Their very last match had ended in a draw, hand to hand and face to face, so close that if one of them had tripped they would have been kissing.

That night was also the last they had seen each other. When Chase had gone to meet Hannibal Roy Bean (whom Tsume now bitterly and jokingly referred to as "Hannibal the Cannibal, just sayin'!"), he had wanted Tsume to come with him, saying that if this worked they could be together for eternity. They had shared a kiss before they left, and Tsume agreed to come. It wasn't for the promise of Chase as a lover forever, though; he was her best friend before all else, and she sensed danger. Wary of Hannibal and the promise of eternal life without a cost, she followed with the intent to protect Chase.

The only one who knew was Master Fung, but in truth she had swallowed the soup as well, at Chase's pleading that he did not want to be without her. She couldn't deny that she didn't like the taste, but her stomach had immediately protested to the liquid's entrance. As every Xiaolin Dragon's abilities varied slightly, hers varied... slightly more than normal. As the Water, she had inherited something... unusual in her body's biological make-up. The monks didn't know what it was, but it had an effect nonetheless. Breaking down the negative aspects of the Lao Mang Long, her body refused to let it claim her soul, fighting it off and leaving her with immortality, plus turning her pink hair white from the struggle. The soup combined with whatever was inside her body also left her with the debilitating side effect of excruciating pain whenever she used a Shen Gong Wu or performed any kind of magical arts.

While the soup immediately affected Chase, he had transformed into a terrible creature and - probably unknowingly - did a number on her. As she had lie bleeding and in devastating agony on the ground, due to the Tangle Web Comb that had been in her hair because she'd been training with it, Chase and Hannibal left. Chase went on a rage through the small village, leaving her behind in physical pain, but that had been temporary.

The emotional pain he had left her in, however, had stayed with her to this day.

Tsume scooted, tired, away from her computer. Yanking her reading glasses off, she flung them carelessly at the wall with a sigh. She couldn't remember much else of that night. The next thing she remembered was Master Dashi finding her there the next morning, asking what happened, and the story spilling from her bloody, split lips. She had screamed, she had cried, and she had clawed at the ground in frustration. That had been when she discovered another horrifying side effect of the soup clashing with her body - the angrier she became, the more her appearance changed to that of a lizard like Chase had been.

She envied that part about him. He could change at will, choose to be a human or a creature at any time. But she had no control over it, just the gritting frustration of suppressing her anger so she didn't transform. It was hard but she had to do it. She couldn't let the young Dragons know what had happened to her. She knew they looked up to her as a former Dragon, especially Omi because they were the same element. The outcome would be disastrous if they found out how easily their friend and role model had succumbed to temptation, especially for someone as evil as Chase Young. As for the immortality, she had simply told them she had been part of an experiment as a teenager.

Biting back some disappointed tears, she stood up and rearranged the rock garden that sat on the shelf above her futon. "There," she breathed, shaking her head. "Now there's more feng and less shui."

She glanced back at the computer and the information she had been researching, then gathered up the things she would need. She had been studying this for months, and had found the information she needed on some obscure website about ancient Chinese remedies. To her surprise it mentioned the Lao Mang Long soup, which apparently had been used millennia ago as a cure for demonic possession, or what they had thought was demonic possession. Instead it caused the very thing it was supposed to be getting rid of, which to Tsume seemed to be a real pain the ass and a vicious cycle.

Where it listed similar articles, she found one that detailed the stories of at least three villages being destroyed by patients who had consumed Lao Mang Long. These people were pacified, but only through unusual and taxing efforts.

In these accounts, the dark priestess of the village was able to vanquish the evil that had taken over the Lao Mang Long victims. The method was far-fetched and dangerous, but to Tsume it did make some sort of sense. She had committed copious amounts of this information to memory over the course of about a month, storing duplicates of the articles under the most ridiculous names under the off chance that Master Fung would search her computer, or that any of the other Dragons would attempt to look at her files.

Now she had everything that she needed to perform the same method the dark priestesses had used.

It would take everything she had and more. It would leave her in a state where, possibly, she could die or be sent to another dimension.

But of course, that was her punishment for falling in love with someone like Chase Young.