33 Ways (Jack Could've Hooked Up With Chase)
Disclaimer: I don't own Xiaolin Showdown or any of its characters, nor do I make any profit or attempt to with the writing of this or any of my other pieces.
Warnings: Language, homosexuality, implications of sexual situations, etc.
It was at least an hour past midnight when Diol padded silently into the dining room on his usual nightly rounds.
In a similar pattern to security guards, Chase Young's cats were assigned to patrol his grand volcanic palace in shifts. At any one time, a dozen or so warriors would be wandering through the halls and checking rooms for signs of an intruder or in a more general sense, something wrong.
Some might label it baseless paranoia, but some were not Chase Young, Heylin everlord in possession of thousands of priceless historical treasures, dozens of powerful Shen Gong Wu, and what Diol had almost always referred to as an 'assload' of mortal enemies who would love to see him toppled at any cost.
The jaguar had always greatly favored the graveyard shift, himself. Daylight was when his master tended to receive most visitors, wanted or unwanted. With Chase Young awake and on guard to face any company or threats to his reign, Diol felt his services as a sentry were mostly superfluous.
It was at night, when his master preferred to be sleeping that Diol felt most useful.
For decades, it had been that he would sleep through the day, be available for Chase's wants and needs in the afternoon, and go on patrol through the night. As such, he was privy to nearly all nocturnal goings on within the palace and as of late, he was beginning to notice a reemerging pattern that he hadn't seen in centuries, back before Wuya had been sealed away in her puzzle box.
Even in the dark, his feline eyes could see his master sitting at the dining room table, his forehead resting on his interlaced fingers.
"Rough night again, master?"he inquired softly.
Chase, likely already having been aware of his presence nonetheless acknowledged his minion by meeting his eyes. "You have to ask?"
Diol came closer, shaking his head. "This is the third time this week,"he said.
Chase sneered. "Don't remind me," and his tone made it very clear that this was an order.
"It's not my place to pry, master," said the jaguar, "but you can't keep on this way. It's really not good for you."
"It's not your place to pry, Diol!" Chase snapped. "Do stay out of my love life."
If Diol had eyebrows, he would have raised one. "How can you say 'love life' in reference to that woman with a straight face?"
Chase scowled, but remained silent.
"Did you even finish this ti—"
"No," Chase growled. "You know I didn't!"
"Don't you see that, in and of itself as a problem?" Diol wondered. "That it's happening…or not happening on such a regular basis that I can assume it and be right on any given occasion?"
The warlord sighed, resting his head against his knuckles once more. "Shut up, Diol," he said quietly.
If it were any other of his warriors, the request would be instantly obeyed. Diol, however, had been with Chase Young a very, very long time and knew precisely when to leave well enough alone.
Now was not one of those times.
"You know I'm right," he said matter-of-factly. "I'm merely hanging a lamp-shade on the issue for you: Wuya is shit in bed and she has no redeeming qualities to make up for it."
"Not true," Chase muttered. "She can sense Shen Gong Wu."
Diol stared. "You've said time and time again that you have no real use for Shen Gong Wu. Did that sound as lame to you as it did to me?"
"So, why do you keep her around again?" the jaguar asked. "It obviously isn't the sex, you'd be better off celibate. Her magical abilities are of no great use to you, she has the personality of a rabid weasel, and she isn't nearly young enough to serve as a trophy wife."
Diol did not miss the way his master winced at that final word.
"What purpose does she serve to you, master?"
"None," Chase finally admitted. "Is that what you want to hear? That she's useless to me? She is."
"Then why does she live here? We all hate her, you know."
Chase sighed, shaking his head. "I can't get rid of her," he grumbled. "We…have to stay together for th—"
"For the sake of evil?" Diol mimicked his master's earlier movement. "Please, master, you can't really believe that. If anything, she's deadweight to the cause of evil. How are you supposed to exercise your own evil machinations if you force yourself to suffer blue balls at the hands of that witch?"
"You're getting at something, Diol," Chase said, his tone weary. "Just come out and say it."
"Drop her," the jaguar answered without hesitation. "She needs you, not the other way around."
Predictably, Chase bristled at the implication. "Of course I don't need her," he declared, indignant. "She is nothing to me."
"So, kick her out on her freeloading ass."
Chase nodded. "You're right. This has to stop. I've started to dread sex, lately. Sex, Diol! That is a major problem. Wuya has to go."
Diol bared his teeth in a dangerous-looking grin. "I'm very glad to hear that, master. And, on the bright side, you can fill that witch's position with someone more competent."
"A replacement?" Chase eyed his minion. "You believe I should replace Wuya as opposed to simply getting rid of her?"
"What better way to piss her off than to prove how useless to you she was by replacing her within a few days?"
Chase raised an eyebrow. "A few days. You have someone in mind, then."
"Why not Jack?"
"Isn't your reaction enough? A few years ago, you'd have laughed in my face for suggesting it. Now, you're just asking for reasons."
"It would be lying to say I haven't thought about," Chase readily admitted. "Now that I'm ridding myself of Wuya, I could be persuaded to fill her place with a promising young apprentice."
Diol took that as his cue. "He is a genius," he pointed out. "He can build a robot or a machine to suit any need you could possibly have."
"True," Chase allowed, "but I have very few needs I cannot tend myself, with my own power."
"But why use the magic and effort if you don't have to?" Diol's hind legs relaxed his body into a sitting position. "Having Spicer at your beck and call would allow you to reserve your power for when it matters."
"He already is at my beck and call, Diol," said Chase. "You know Jack will do anything I ask of him. How does the saying go? Why buy the cow when the milk is free?"
"But is he loyal to you?"
"Of course he isn't," Diol answered his own question. "He learned everything he knows about evil from Wuya—and that witch hasn't got a loyal bone in her body. If you want that particular 'cow' to provide you with 'milk,' not you and whoever else manages to get into his good graces that week, you'll have to 'buy' him."
"And teach him loyalty?"
Chase tilted his head, considering it. "I notice," he said after a moment, "that you have nothing to say about the sex angle."
"What should I say?" Diol wondered. "I've seen you look at him, master. You think he's grown up rather nicely."
"I do," Chase agreed. "He's pleasing to look at. Though I will admit, I am…concerned with his lack of experience."
"Virgins are usually shit in bed, too," the jaguar agreed, "but unlike a certain old dog you've had the displeasure to rut, I'm willing to bet you'll be able to teach Spicer a few new tricks."
The warlord chuckled. "I'll give you that," he said. "Spicer it is."
Diol returned to standing on four legs when his master rose from his seat. "You're going to make a play for him now?"
"He's an insomniac," Chase shrugged. "He'll be awake."
"You're not going to kick Wuya out first?" the feline continued. "You're not going take Spicer as an apprentice and then come on to him? It's a bit soon, don't you think?"
"If I asked Jack to be my apprentice out of the blue, I'm quite certain he would come in his pants and then offer to do something salaciously indecent to me," Chase explained. "I'd rather cut out the middleman, if you catch my drift."
Diol winced in sudden understanding. "She did give you blue balls."
"Don't concern yourself over it, Diol, I'm about to remedy the situation. As for Wuya," he smiled, not a nice expression, "I've found over the years that it infuriates women far more to be discarded because someone else has already taken their place instead of ending things and then replacing them."
A thrill of wicked admiration caused Diol to grin his jungle-cat smile again. "You are evil, master,"he said with no small amount of approval.
"Never forget it," Chase shot back before teleporting out of his home.
Diol resumed his graveyard shift, content that his master was off enjoying a hot, young booty call instead of suffering with the old (very old) ball and chain.
"This is stupid," he muttered to himself. "Whose dumb idea was this anyway?"
"Yours, Master Jack," a passing Jackbot helpfully chimed in.
Jack flinched and glared at the robot. "Thank you, JB-2657, you can leave, now."
The robot did so with no complaint, leaving the goth alone at his desk, a dauntingly blank sheet of paper staring him in the face.
Prior to actually attempting this, it had seemed like a good idea. Then again, that could really be said for all 'helpful tips' to be found in ladies' magazines—which Jack really didn't read, or even subscribe to, honest! His mom must have left it out and there was nothing on TV and he had been so bored–!
Helpful Tips to Win Your Dream Guy, the article had promised. Stuff No One Should Ever Try and a Few Things That Might Work,the article should've have been titled.
Jack had been appalled by most of the magazine's suggestions, as a guy women were theoretically supposed to use these things on. Blatant lying and manipulation seemed like horrible traits in a significant other of any kind, and any relationship started with them was not going to end well.
Jack was very glad he didn't like girls, after all, if this was really the kind of stuff the desperate ones were apt to pull.
Even so, not everything on the list had been complete crap, so he hadn't dismissed it completely. Some of the things almost looked to be worth a try!
Well…that, and he was getting pretty desperate, too.
So far, nothing had really worked out.
His attempt to 'stop chasing and make him go after you' had resulted in not being followed. 'Flirting and dressing sexy' had failed before it had even got started when Jack realized he wasn't a social enough creature to have any idea how to flirt or in touch with his stereotypical gay side to know what kind of clothes to wear to be 'sexy.' The ploy to 'be seen with someone else, make him jealous' had only really hurt his self esteem when he remembered the hard way that the whole point of the thing was that he couldn't get a date in the first place.
But this last one on the list, Jack thought to himself, looking it over once more…this one was doable.
Does he know how you feel? Unless he's a mind-reader, you have to tell him or he'll never know! In person is the best way, but you could give him a call, too. Remember: be honest!
Jack would rather not humiliate himself completely with a face-to-face on this one (not to mention risk death and/or maiming if Chase didn't take it well), and he was pretty sure that a thousand-something-year-old warlord didn't have a publicly-listed phone number—if he had one at all.
A letter was good, Jack had decided, but fifteen minutes later, he amended the thought: a letter would be good…if he had any idea what to write in the damn thing!
Jack sighed. "What the fuck am I supposed to say?" he demanded of the empty room.
Of course, the empty room did not answer.
He sighed again. "Be honest, huh?" Red eyes glared at the blank piece of paper once more before Jack determinedly picked up his pen. "Fine. I'll be honest."
I would've done this in person, but let's both be honest: I'm a coward and you're scary as hell. Instead, I'm doing this through a letter, so you at least have to hear everything I need to say before you come and kill me.
I am totally, completely, and hopelessly in love with you.
Yes, you're reading that right and yes, I'm sure. A crush would've at least faded after a few years, but no such luck yet. It's been, what, seven, now? So, yeah, there's no uncertainty there.
If you're wondering why, that's a really stupid question. You're Chase Young and I'm not supposed to be head-over-heels for you? Get real.
You're the perfect…everything. I've never seen anybody as gorgeous as you, and I've seen a lot of beautiful models that needed photoshop, dieting, and tons of makeup to get that pretty. You leave them all in the dust by just rolling out of bed in the morning.
You're the biggest badass I've ever met in my life. There aren't even words for how awesome you are, Chase. The closest I can get is the sound it would make if the lightsabers of Batman and Chuck Norris simultaneously exploded in their battle to the death, with Michael Bay directing, and even that doesn't cover half of it.
As if that weren't enough, you're fucking brilliant, too. I've been in a lot of robotics guilds in my day and met a hell of a lot of other geniuses and I'm pretty sure it would only take you a few minutes to completely school them all.
And trust me, I know what I'm talking about: I have a badge.
If I didn't hate poetry so much, I swear to god, I'd write odes to you. I'd write an opera if I was musically inclined. I'd write a goddamn Odyssey if I had the patience.
But I hate poetry, I can't write music, and I'm so not patient at all. I'm awkward at this sort of crap in person, too. I can't flirt, my timing is terrible, and I can't read other people. Whatever primal instinct thing everybody else has that tells them 'this is how you attract a mate'? Yeah, I don't have that. I really suck at this and believe me, I know it.
I'm not even sure why I'm writing this. I can't be useful to you, not really. I still lose at Showdowns all the damn time and if I'm being real with myself, I'm not even that good at being evil (pardon the oxymoron).
All I know is, I am totally, completely, and hopelessly in love with you and I'm too much of a pussy to even tell you to your face.
I understand completely if you want nothing to do with me. We can totally carry on with business as usual – meaning no business at all. But keeping all of this bottled up would probably be the death of me.
Now that I think about it, not keeping it bottled up could be the death of me, too, so if you have to kill me now, I absolutely get it.
Jack held the completed letter in his hands and exhaled slowly.
Well. That was certainly honest.
Another Jackbot hovered up to the desk. Its optics focused on the sheet of paper filled with its creator's messy scrawl.
"Shall I mail your letter for you, Master Jack?" it asked.
Jack was very tempted to say no. He could have easily torn it to teeny, tiny shreds, as if he'd never written it. Maybe he should…Or maybe he should look it over again and make sure he'd said what he really wanted to say…
He shoved the piece of paper in the robot's face with one sudden, jerky motion. "Take it," he ordered, "before I change my mind."
The Jackbot did so, grasping the letter gently in its claws. "Where shall I send it, Master?"
"You don't have to send it," Jack said. "It's for Chase Young. You can just fly over there and hand-deliver it."
The machine dipped briefly in a bow. "Of course." It then made to leave.
"Wait, JB-354," the albino called in warning before it could exit the room. "Don't stick around after you give him the letter. Whatever he does when he reads that…" he made a face. "I don't want him to take it out on you."
"Understood," 354 replied. "Thank you, Master."
And then, it left Jack alone to wonder if he'd just signed his own death warrant.
As it turned out only an hour and a half later, he had not.
Jack had hundreds of questions, possibly thousands, but with a very insistent Chase Young holding him to the wall of his laboratory and doing things to his neck with his mouth that made the majority of his blood flow away from his brain, only one came out.
Chase paused just long enough to speak. "I appreciate honesty," he said simply, "and I'm very flattered by what you think of me."
It was Jack's only warning before being kissed.
"Jack," Chase declared and he immediately had the goth's full attention.
"Chase!" he exclaimed happily. "You said my name!"
Chase could just see the transformation of Jack's red irises to throbbing love-hearts in his mind's eye, not at all unusual whenever he was around. What was unusual was the lack of eye-rolling and general exasperation on his part.
Instead, there was a pleased smirk on his face as he stepped forward, eyeing the mechanical genius appreciatively.
"Jack," he said again, smirking wider as Jack visibly shivered at the sound of his voice. "I have been watching you for quite some time, now…"
"You have?" Such a statement might've inspired apprehension in a normal human being. Jack, far from normal, looked downright elated.
Chase nodded once. "I must say, I've liked what I've seen." He began walking, moving slowly around Jack in what could only be called a predatory circle. "The quality of your machines has improved," he noted, "your schemes have gotten leagues less inane, and in the past few months, you've actually managed to win several Showdowns." He paused just behind the goth, laying his palms warmly upon his shoulders. "As a villain, you've matured greatly, Jack."
Jack shivered again, trying and failing to keep himself from grinning like an idiot. "So, what are you saying?"
"Well," Chase drawled slowly, his tone low and seductive, "I have watched you grow from an inept boy to a very promising, very…attractive young man. I am not one to see such potential squandered, Jack," he murmured just at Jack's ear. "I want to have you for my own. I w—"
"Yes," Jack said, cutting Chase off. "I'm in. Sign me up."
"If you really need more convincing, I –..." Chase stopped and pushed Jack away, spinning him around to face the overlord. Jack found himself fixed him with an odd expression. "Wait," Chase said, sounding puzzled. "Did you just…agree?"
Jack nodded. "Yeah."
"You didn't even hear what I'm asking of you."
"Doesn't matter," Jack shrugged. "You're interested, right?"
"So, Chase Young is asking for my services, and I'm supposed to stick around for the fine print?" Jack scoffed, even as he smiled with obvious excitement. "Totally don't care about the details. You want me, you've got me."
Chase stared at him for a moment. "You're going to be living in my palace," he said warily, as if testing Spicer's agreement. "I'm asking that you give up everything you hold dear to serve me as I see fit."
"Okay," Jack agreed without hesitation, "lemme just grab some stuff and we can go!"
Chase remained speechless as Jack scurried about his lab collecting various items, only just managing to confirm that he would be providing basic amenities when the question was asked.
Jack came to an abrupt stop as he looked at the pile of items he had gathered. It was small, but obviously too much to carry in his hands alone.
He made for the stairs, offering to Chase, "I've got a bag and a couple more things I want up in my room. I'll only be a few minutes."
It was this statement that snapped the warlord out of whatever stupor he had been in.
"I was trying to seduce you just now," he called out to the retreating Jack, sounding as dismayed as a Heylin badass can manage.
Jack began making his way up the stairs. "Don't worry about doing that," he said. "I'm still seduced from the first time."
Chase blinked. "First time?"
Jack stopped a few steps short of the door out of the basement and turned to meet Chase's stare. "Remember the day we met?" he asked with a grin. "When you caught me and smirked that sexy evil smirk of yours? Seduced for life."
It took quite a lot of Chase's immense composure to keep from gaping openly at the insinuation.
Jack, however, seemed to care little about Chase's reaction to his words. He continued up to his room, excited by the prospect of his new life.
"So. You've done it, then."
It was not a question, but a statement, one made with indifference or perhaps slight anger. Even so, Jack grinned from ear to ear and replied.
"Yup! I saved Iceland and Fiji for last. Total pushovers, really, especially in comparison to the rest. Only took an hour for my bots to occupy 'em completely."
Chase's nose wrinkled, giving him an expression of distaste. "Your method is crude," he said. "You have no finesse whatsoever."
Jack only shrugged. "Crude, sure, but it's effective enough. 'Wreck everything with everything else' is a strategy I picked up playing Age of Mythology." He laughed abruptly. "My favorite units were the Petsuchos. It's kinda funny now that I think about it."
Chase only stared at him. "How so?"
"Petsuchos are crocodiles," Jack explained with a slight nod to Chase. It was clear he was indicating the overlord's dragon form, which strongly resembled a crocodile. "They were worshiped in Egypt as manifestations of the god, Sobek. Y'know, treated like royalty and dressed up in lots of gold and jewels. In the game, they shot lasers. About ten of 'em would be enough to demolish pretty much any building in under a minute."
Chase rolled his eyes. "You truly believe you can conquer the world like that, Spicer?" he demanded to know. "With strategies you derive from video games?"
"I already did conquer the world," said Jack. "I even remembered to start in Madagascar. There isn't a country in the world that isn't completely occupied and controlled by my Jackbots—they've all surrendered or been crushed. As for where I get my strategies," he shrugged, "games are great for planning war. Generals used to plan their conquests on chessboards or scale models. Just because the medium is different doesn't mean the idea isn't still the same."
The warlord said nothing.
"Besides," Jack coolly reminded, "my strategies worked on you."
That drew a growl from Chase. He refused to speak, still, but this time, it wasn't that he had no comment to make, but because he was unable to refute the statement.
Yes, Jack's strategies had worked: that was why Chase was here, on his knees in a cage. A titanium cage that he could so easily tear through if not for the mystical glow of dragonbane. While confined like this, he had no power beyond that of a mortal martial artist – a very skilled one, but mortal, nonetheless.
He cursed himself for the thousandth time for underestimating Spicer and allowing himself to be caught in the first place.
His catlike eyes traced Jack's every step as he casually wandered through the throne room (Chase's throne room!), pausing every now and again to inspect something a bit closer. The only thing that kept Chase from roaring in absolute fury was that Jack had not claimed his palace for his own—yet.
Chase knew very well that it was still possible for the young man to do so. His warriors were nowhere in sight, hopefully still alive, but Chase did not want to rely on that hope. If they were alive, they would have come to their master's aid by now. That they hadn't…
Jack immediately turned to face him.
"We've seen what happens when you get to rule the world," said Chase. "I'm sure you don't believe you owe me any answers, but I'd like to know if I can expect a repeat performance."
Jack smiled. "You mean, do I plan to imprison the monks and Bean, dress Wuya as a cheerleader, and strip you down and cover you with fluids?"
Chase frowned at the phrasing. "That…would be the gist of it, yes."
"Nah," Jack replied with a shake of his head. "The monks are too dangerous to keep alive, especially in the same prison cell. The only reason that other version of me got away with it, I think, is 'cause they were one short in that timeline. They're already dead in this one."
The warlord's eyes widened. "You—"
"Had them killed, yeah. I figured it was the safest course of action. As for Bean…I think he should go the same way." He met Chase's gaze. "You know firsthand what that thing is like. It would be…better for him to not be around."
"Cheerleader outfit," Jack nodded. "I had to hand it to myself, that was pretty hilarious. She deserves to be taken down a peg or twelve." He spared another glance to his captive. "You'll be getting the same treatment, too—sort of."
A scowl. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, in the other universe," Spicer reminded him, "I had you pretty much naked and being painted. This time…I'm hoping for completely naked and fluids that are a lot more fun than paint."
Chase stared at him. "You want me…to be your sex slave?" he all but growled.
Jack seemed honestly startled. "Slave? No, nothing like that. I was hoping it'd be a little more consensual."
"I fail to see how that could ever happen with me as your unwilling prisoner."
"This may come as a surprise, Chase," Jack clarified, "but I really have no intention of keeping you in that cage forever."
Chase sneered. "For the rest of your lifespan, then?"
"Shouldn't take me that long to explain what this whole thing is all about," his captor shot back. "You're only in there until you hear me out. No matter what your answer is, the cage'll be gone and you can do whatever you want."
"You captured me…so you could make a proposal?"
"Well, yeah," Jack said, as if it was obvious. "You wouldn't have bothered listening to me if I hadn't caught you and proven that I'm not the same, weak Jack Spicer I used to be. If not that, you'd have killed me for what you perceived as 'wasting your time.'"
And that, Chase had to concede, was true. There was no faulting Jack's logic there.
Even so, "If you speak the truth, then where are my warriors?"
"The cats?" Jack seemed almost as if he had forgotten them. "They're being detained. The bots I sent aren't authorized to use lethal force, so the worst they can do is tranquilize them. They'll be released as soon as I've said my piece."
Chase met the young man's eyes, reading what he knew of the mechanical genius and his expressions.
Jack was not lying.
"Fine," Chase said imperiously. "Start talking."
Jack smiled brightly at him, a strange expression for the man who had so very recently conquered the entire globe. "There's really not much to say. I want to rule the world with you."
"I am no one's minion, Spicer. If you expect me to serve you, you may consider your offer rejected."
"Who said anything about servitude?"
Chase watched Jack approach the cage he was trapped in, wary.
"I don't want you to serve me, Chase," Jack declared, sincerity in his voice. "You weren't born to serve, you were born to rule. Even I can see that, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"So, then, what are you proposing?" the warlord dubiously wondered.
"It isn't obvious?" That impossibly wide grin was back. "I want you to rule with me. Like a partnership."
"A partnership," Chase repeated.
"Well," Jack delegated, "maybe not a 50-50 thing. You are a lot stronger and you have way more experience than me. I'd be willing to take a second-in-command role for awhile until the status gap is closed a little."
Jack shook his head. "Completely serious. You're the warlord: you should be doing most of the ruling. I'm more of a lab guy, anyway. I'm better with tactics and equipment—and robots," he winked, "than ruling with an iron fist. Besides, could you imagine how humiliating it would be if somebody tried to challenge me to, like, combat or something for my rule? Anybody could physically wipe the floor with me at this point."
"You're insane," Chase said.
Jack frowned. "Not really. I mean, the way I figure it, I've already pretty much done all the work of, y'know…conquering the world, so all you have to do is step in and rule it for awhile. Not hard for a guy like you, and in the meantime, I can take notes, maybe get some pointers from you…oh, I'll have to figure out eternal youth, too. I've already got something in the works, though, I'm not gonna worry about it. But once I'm at that level, we can definitely both rule."
"And the sex? I'm certain I didn't imagine you mentioning that."
Jack thought for a moment, trying to find an appropriate explanation. "Coregents with benefits?" he tried.
Chase…looked at Jack for a long time, as if he couldn't comprehend him.
Really, he couldn't. The whole offer still sounded absolutely insane.
"Why?" he demanded. "You've literally conquered the world, Spicer. You're in a prime position to destroy all of your enemies. I, the greatest threat to your regime, am in a cage at your mercy… and you're offering everything to me in exchange for becoming what seems to amount to my apprentice? Just what are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking that I'd really like a place by your side," Jack said simply. "And I'm thinking I might be so in love with you that it borders on stupid."
Chase inspected Jack again. Again, there was only honesty in his eyes.
Eventually, he gathered his thoughts enough to form a workable sentence. "You, Spicer," he said slowly, "have a very extravagant way of asking for a date."
Jack chuckled. "I figured flowers and chocolate were overdone," he joked. "Besides, the world was the only gift I could think of for the warlord who has everything else."
Chase smirked. "Charming. Though I could really do without the cage."
White fingers reached into a coat pocket, procuring a key. "Before I let you out, I'm curious: are you gonna kill me or say yes?"
"You'll find out."
Jack almost reconsidered, but he had given Chase his word: he had made his offer and Chase had heard it through to the end. To go back on his promise now…
Well. That would hardly be honorable and if there was anything Jack's idol respected, it was an honor code.
Chase was incredibly pleased when the cage door swung open. He wasted no time in stepping out and rendering it to nothing more than scrap metal with one, solid punch.
His gaze then flickered over to Jack, who was staring at the wreckage with obvious unease. He wondered if he was about to meet a similar fate. He wondered if he should be running right about now.
Chase decided to end his wondering.
Jack gasped with a thrill of fear as a large hand closed around his throat. His brain briefly tortured him with visions of being choked to death and the sickening crunch it would make when Chase snapped his neck.
It was only when a pair of lips descended upon his that he realized Chase's hand was not squeezing with even the slightest bit of pressure.
Kissing back tentatively, more eagerly once he realized it wasn't a trick, Jack let his hands find their way to Chase's hips. The metal of the armor skirting was cool against his palms and the sensation grounded him enough to not be completely lost in the kiss.
Jack pulled away and smiled sheepishly up at the dragonlord. "You scared me for a minute there," he admitted, referring to the hand still holding his neck.
Chase smirked. "I meant to. That was for putting me in a cage, Spicer. I didn't appreciate it in the least."
"Sorry," said Jack. "I swear, it won't happen again."
"See that it doesn't. If it does, I think I really will kill you."
Jack understood that he was serious and nodded. "So…you're onboard with this? Coregents with benefits?"
"I could certainly do worse." Chase eyed Jack for a moment, quite liking what appeared to be slender muscle tone instead of the gangly awkwardness of years previous. The white and red of his coloring were very pleasing to the eyes, as well. "Much worse. But I do have two qualifiers before I accept your offer."
Jack tilted his head curiously. "Yeah?"
Chase nodded. "One: My warriors are to be released back into my command."
"You got it." Jack removed a device from his coat and typed a few commands into it before replacing it in an inside pocket. "They didn't go peacefully, obviously, so they did end up tranquilized. Soon as they wake up, they're yours again."
Chase gave a pleased smirk, but quickly returned to the matter at hand. "Qualifier Number Two, of course, is that Bean is mine to kill. I will not accept his death at anyone's hands but my own."
"Fair enough. He's kinda scary: I'd actually prefer it if you'd handle him." He seemed to consider something before asking, "And Wuya? You're okay with…?"
"Cheerleader outfit," Chase nodded. "Absolutely humiliating. It's perfect as is."
"Fine by me," Jack laughed. He then seemed to recall his close proximity to Chase and offered him a mischievous looking smirk. "So…that 'with benefits' part. Does that start later, or…?"
"Now works," Chase decided, dipping back down for another kiss.
"You had better have an excellent reason for this, Spicer," Chase said. "I was just about to have dinner."
Jack smiled at him. "Don't worry, it shouldn't take long. I've just got something to ask you that I've been meaning to for…well, a couple of years at least."
Chase resisted the urge to sigh. "Out with it, then," he said with a wave of his hand. "I may have an eternity to live, but I don't have all day."
"Sure, right," said Jack, "I gotcha."
To say the least, Chase was…surprised when Jack got down on one knee before him.
Jack said nothing and removed a small velvet box from his pocket. "Chase Young," he said solemnly, opening the box, "will you marry me?"
Inside the box was a ring, gold in a masculine style featuring a curved and ovular gem at the center. By the stone's array of colors and its scale-like crackle beneath a smooth, protective glaze, it had to be ammolite, currently one of the rarest gemstones in the world. Among practitioners of Feng Shui, it was even known as a prosperity stone for the traditional meaning behind the seven colors it possessed and its supposed ability to improve the flow of the wearer's chi.
It was a very handsome (and lovely) ring.
"No," said Chase. "I completely refuse."
Jack's face fell just a bit. The box was closed and put away. "Damn, I figured as much," he said, sounding somewhat disheartened. He quickly perked up, however, to ask, "How about having babies with me, then?"
Chase made a face. "That's impossible, and even if it weren't," he added at the hopeful look in Spicers' eyes, "the answer would still be no."
"Okay, okay," said Jack, getting back to his feet. "How about moving in together?"
"What? No," Chase denied. "Absolutely not!"
"What about meeting my parents?"
"Jeez," Jack put his hands on his hips, "you drive a hard bargain. Go steady for a couple of years?"
"I maintain my position, Spicer: no."
"Alright, how 'bout if we just have sex once or twice a week?"
"Where are these questions coming from, Jack?" Chase demanded. "And no, again."
"It's just a yes or no question, Chase, no need to get mad about it." Jack then appeared to think for a moment. "Okay, final offer: a one night stand right now."
"Spicer!" Chase snapped, clearly irritated. "You will stop these questions!"
"In a minute," Jack said. "Final final offer, dinner and a movie tomorrow night."
"No, dammit," Chase growled.
Jack's hands came up in a gesture of surrender. "Alright, fine, I get it: you're not interested."
Chase sighed, his shoulders dropping from their tensed position. "Good. Now, please, Spicer, leave before I maim you horribly."
"Soon as I know we're on for coffee this Friday."
Chase was tense again in an instant and a bestial snarl tore from his throat. Frustrated beyond all belief, he threw his hands up in exasperation. "Fine, Spicer!" he barked. "Yes! Just go, already!"
In the face of the unholy wrath of Chase Young, laughing was the last thing expected of someone and yet all of a sudden, that was precisely was Jack was doing.
Wary, not sure he really wanted to know at all, Chase couldn't help but open his mouth. "What's so funny?"
Jack smiled at him. "I only came here hoping for a coffee date," he happily explained. "I just said all that other stuff so it would seem more reasonable in comparison."
Chase's expression was completely blank at this news. His only outward sign of emotion was a singular irritated twitch of his eye.
Jack chuckled again at the very-much-provoked warlord and turned to leave. "I'll be by to pick you up around noon," he declared. "And I think I'll hang on to that ring." One red eye winked playfully. "Never know if I might need it again someday…"
Chase did not follow and Jack left the volcanic stronghold in peace. Feeling an oncoming tension headache, he finally gave in to the compulsion to sigh deeply and run his fingers through his hair.
Even so, he couldn't keep the barest hint of a grin off his face as he spoke to the empty room. "Damn that boy…"
Jack awoke to the undeniably odd sensation of someone climbing into bed with him.
His own instincts surprised him for once and at this development, the fog of sleep dispelled quickly from his mind as his body tensed and rolled away from the intruder. An arm seized him by the waist and panic began to set in, but before he could open his mouth to scream (and maybe stun the attacker with the destruction of their eardrums), he was interrupted.
"No need for all that, Spicer," he heard at his ear. "The hour is far too late for it."
Jack froze. "Chase?"
"How astute of you," praised the warlord. "Now, go back to sleep."
Understandably baffled, Jack did nothing of the kind, even as Chase settled far too casually amongst sheets and pillows that were not his. He stared for a few seconds through the darkness of the room, but his vision was too poor to see anything but a vague outline of the man and the arm still around his middle prevented him from reaching for the nearby lamp.
Jack wondered if he really should still be struggling, but mostly, he was just confused.
"Um…Chase," he said slowly. "Why are you in my bed?" He inhaled sharply with sudden horror. "Oh, god, I didn't miss something fun, did I?"
Chase's eyes flickered open, looking annoyed. The supernatural glow they held made the look more menacing, but Jack did not miss the fact that his idol looked very tired. "No," he said, "you've missed nothing. As for why, I was trying to sleep. I would appreciate it if you would be silent and do the same."
Again, it seemed to strike Jack that Chase was being very blasé about this whole strange, strange affair.
"Do you come here often?" he asked, hastily rephrasing at the recurrence of the nasty look. "I mean, is this, like, a regular thing for you? Sleeping…in my bed?"
Chase closed his eyes again. "It occurs with some degree of regularity," he admitted. "But I hardly see how that is a matter of any immediate concern."
"You talk far too much for 2:00 AM," Chase declared. The arm around Jack's waist tightened and he was yanked back down to the bed, his back to the dragonlord.
Completely bewildered, now, Jack did not fight it. "Why?" he managed to ask.
"I have my reasons."
"Currently irrelevant." Jack flinched when he felt himself being spooned (by Chase Young at two in the morning, what the hell?). "I would greatly enjoy it if you would be silent, now."
Really unable to do anything else at this point, Jack obeyed. Faced with the sudden realization that his Heylin idol of many years was a snuggler and wanted to do so with him was far too weird to process much else. Combined with the fact that this was apparently not the first time such an incident had occurred…
Well, Jack highly doubted his ability to get to sleep anytime soon.
Chase, as if sensing his tension, sighed deeply. "There is a lunar event that affects those of us deeply tied to the Heylin," he began.
"Once every thousand years?" Jack guessed.
"A good guess," Chase said wryly, "but I'm afraid it's annual: every hunter's moon, the lunar light becomes imbued with Xiaolin properties that quite disturb us on the side of evil."
Jack felt Chase shake his head slightly. "Not quite. The moon puts a damper on our magic while the goodness inherent in the light psychologically unnerves us enough that sleep becomes an impossibility. By the time morning comes, one such as myself would be easy pickings for any Xiaolin that think to challenge me if I were unable to make myself sleep beforehand."
"So, how do I help that?" Jack wondered, for Chase surely wasn't here just because the bed was comfortable.
"You, Spicer," Chase explained, "are in a unique position. You are not Heylin," Jack frowned at that, "but you're far from Xiaolin. I would call you neutral ground, but you do have evil leanings—just not specifically Heylin ones."
"And…being around me helps you?"
Chase made a noise of assent. "Your presence would prove calming to any powerful Heylin on this night, but I have long since made it known that you are claimed."
Jack paused. "Claimed…?"
"Yes," said the warlord. "For several years, I've had…dibs on you, as you might say."
Jack's eyes widened with abrupt realization. "So that's why Wuya cancelled our annual sleepovers!"
Chase snorted, tired, but obviously amused. "Well," he said eventually, "not that I need it, but with your permission, I'd very much like to sleep now—if you're finally done speaking."
Jack laid back down. "Yeah, sure," he agreed, "as long as you aren't gonna snore."
"I don't snore," Chase promised. "You do."
"No, I don't."
"Believe me, Jack, you do. Only occasionally, but you do."
Jack rolled his eyes. "Y'know, this being my first time in bed with a hot guy while aware of it, I gotta say: I'm disappointed that we're talking about my nasal noises and neither of us is naked. Just saying."
Chase grinned behind him. "If that's an attempt at a come on, Spicer, it's terrible. However, I'd be happy to remedy that problem in the morning after I've slept at least a little."
Jack froze. "Whuh…seriously?"
"Do I joke?"
"I don't know," Chase said airily, pausing only to yawn. "I imagine you'll find out in the morning."
Chase snuggled closer against Jack and said nothing more.
Jack, on the other hand, was pretty sure he wouldn't be sleeping for awhile yet.
It was with no small amount of trepidation that Jack approached the mysterious box.
His bots had recently brought it in, having found it on the front porch. The fact that it had made it there, past the well-guarded fence of the Spicer estate and the security system that should have at least recorded an intruder was enough to greatly unnerve Jack.
Several scans had been done on the long, rectangular package on the goth's orders, and yet they all proved inconclusive. There was no trace of any mechanical workings, explosive devices, or even radiation.
It was just…a box with something inside.
For a brief instant, Jack had wondered if his father might've sent him a gift without letting him know ahead of time, but the thought was quickly dismissed. Martin Spicer had stopped sending trinkets to his son years ago when he realized that Jack far better appreciated envelopes of money now and again to fund his projects.
"Are you sure it's not gonna kill me?" Jack asked a nearby robot, glancing between it and the package.
"Our scans indicated that it wouldn't explode, Master Jack," said the automaton, "not that it wouldn't kill you."
Jack glared. "Either your literal interpretation is stuck in overdrive or you're looking to get your sarcasm chip removed," he snapped.
With the strong feeling that the robot would be giving him a shit-eating grin if he'd built it with the capability, Jack watched it leave the room before turning his attention back to the box.
There were a few people he knew that would have been able to sneak something like this past his home's defenses. Unfortunately, the suspects were all Heylin, none of which Jack seemed to have a very good rapport with. The monks could have done it, but they were enemies, too (and besides, they had a very powerful penchant for leaving holes in his walls, not sneaking around).
Whatever this…thing was probably didn't bode well.
Jack sighed. "Well," he said to no one, "if it's gonna kill me, it's gonna kill me."
Acting on impulse before he had a chance to reconsider, he reached for the box, carefully tearing off the nondescript wrapping paper to reveal a cardboard box sealed with packing tape.
It just so happened that Jack had a box cutter on hand for the occasion, which he used to cut straight through the tape.
Cautiously, he opened it and glanced inside.
"The Monkey Staff?" Jack removed the object in question, smiling despite himself. As always, the Shen Gong Wu felt so very right in his hands and he was glad to be reunited with it.
Which brought to mind the conditions of his separation from it in the first place.
"Hang on," he said aloud, eyeing the Staff with a measure of suspicion. "The monks took you. How the hell did you end up here?"
Of course, the Wu had no answer for him, leaving him to turn back to the box it'd come in.
A minute or two of inspection yielded no clues. The wrapping paper was plain, the box had no markings on it to indicate its source, and obviously, there had been no postage or return address on it in the first place.
Curious in spite of his wariness, Jack looked inside the package once more to see if he'd missed anything. After feeling through the small sea of packing peanuts, he was rewarded when his fingers felt the texture of paper.
Following the Monkey Staff as the second thing to be removed from the box was a small note written in a script Jack did not recognize.
Congratulations on making it to eighteen years, Jack. Knowing your lifestyle, it can't have been an easy accomplishment.
Jack paused upon reading that. It was his birthday, wasn't it? He wasn't used to a big deal ever being made out of it. It must have slipped his mind.
According to law, you are now an adult in your own right. As far as society is concerned, you are finally able to make decisions regarding the rest of your life. In light of that, I believe you are ready.
Frowning as the note ended there, Jack turned it over looking for further explanation. It was blank.
"Ready for what?" he wondered aloud.
Jack whirled about, finding himself face to face with none other than Chase Young.
"Chase!" he exclaimed. "You…I…what?"
"As eloquent as that was," the warlord said, "allow me to explain. Yes, it was I who sent you the Monkey Staff."
"For your birthday," Chase said as if it were obvious. "You may consider it my first gift to you as my apprentice."
Jack eyes went wide. "Apprentice?"
Chase nodded. "You offered yourself to me for the same position years ago," he reminded. "You were too young. You had no life experience whatsoever. Your parents were still somewhat involved in your life enough to conceivably hassle me over your disappearance. It would have been inconvenient to take you as an apprentice, then."
"Convenient," Chase said with a smirk. "Like I said, you are an adult capable of making your own decisions. I trust now that if you say you wish to serve me, it will not be mere childish fancy: you will mean it completely. And if you do choose to accept and become my apprentice, your mother and father have no legal control over you to keep you from doing so."
"Since when do you adhere to mortal laws?" was all Jack could think to say.
"Never," assured the dragonlord, "but mortals tend to. This way, your parents ought to stay out of my hair."
Jack smiled. "I really don't think you'd have to worry. I haven't even seen mom in almost a year, now."
"Yes, well, either way, I'm going to need an answer from you, Spicer."
Abruptly, Jack regarded his idol with a suspicious gaze. "It's my birthday," he said warily. "This isn't a prank, is it?"
The statement might not have made sense to those who didn't know the date, but Chase was fully aware that it was the first of April, commonly known as April Fool's day (an unfortunate birthday, to be sure). "It's not a prank," he promised. "You have my word. Now, do you accept or not?"
Jack grinned wide enough that he was liable to injure something. Without warning, Chase found himself with an armful of Spicer when the teenager leaped onto him, arms wrapped around his neck.
"Hell yes," Jack declared happily. "Consider yourself stuck with me!"
Chase mused briefly on the fact that while he had only just taken the goth as his apprentice, he was already more than used to holding Spicer this way. He smirked.
"Somehow, I think that was already the case…"
"What in all the hells are you wearing, Spicer?"
Jack glanced down at himself. "It's not that bad, is it?"
"Despite the name of the article," Chase proclaimed, "a suit does not suit you at all."
And it most certainly didn't. Dressed in finery of the upper class, Jack should have looked sophisticated; elegant in at least some fashion. With the young man's clear unease in wearing high end clothing, however, it only accentuated his usual awkwardness.
He shifted from shiny dress-shoed foot to shiny dress-shoed foot frequently. The slight padding in the suit jacket created a broad-shouldered look entirely at odds with Jack's lean, slender frame. The colors weren't even right! Certainly, the black was normal but the shirt beneath was too white and nearly blended with deathly pale skin and the tie was precisely the shade of red that clashed most with both the napalm orange of Jack's hair and the cherry red of his eyes.
"Trust me," snapped Jack, sounding unsettled and anxious and angry all at once, "this was not my idea."
In all his years of knowing Spicer, not once had the genius been…upset…enough to speak to his beloved idol thusly. It was an intriguing thought and Chase suddenly found himself wanting to know why.
"What was not your idea, Jack?" Chase questioned. "And just what is it you've come here for?"
The dragonlord watched as Spicer set his jaw in determination, even as his hands clenched and unclenched at his sides, the very picture of uncertainty. What contradiction Jack embodied, truly.
"I…I need your help," Jack said, refusing to meet Chase's eyes. "I'm…supposed to get married in about an hour."
Chase stilled. "Married," he repeated slowly. "To whom?"
Jack shook his head. "Some chick," he said. "I don't really know her."
"And yet, you're marrying her."
"Not my idea," Jack reminded a second time. "My parents…they pretty much set the whole thing up. I think it's supposed to be a glorified business deal or something."
Chase resisted the urge to sneer and only slightly succeeded. "An arranged marriage in this day and age?"
He made no mention of the fact that his irritation stemmed mostly from the fact that such a marriage was pulling Jack away from him, just as he had been planning to finally make his move.
Jack, however, rolled his eyes. "People like to pretend we're all enlightened and it doesn't happen anymore, but it does. Especially when rich people are involved."
"You say you need my help," Chase spoke coldly. "If you want me as a best man for the ceremony binding you to some strange woman, the answer is no."
"What? No, no, it's nothing like that," Jack promised. "I'm…honestly hoping it won't even get that far…"
Chase looked at Jack. "Explain," he ordered.
Jack fixed him with a very serious, very sincere, utterly pleading look right back.
"Please talk me out of this," he said.
The dragonlord was able to veil his surprise at the statement well enough, and Jack continued.
"I really, really, really don't want to do this," the albino said with a shake of his head. "I don't even know this girl. I mean, I can't even remember if her name is Amy or Angelica or…or Anna… I don't even think I like girls, and now I'm supposed to get married to one?"
A shaky hand ran through neatly combed hair, unintentionally mussing it back into its usual style.
"The problem is, I don't know if I can get out of it now. My parents, her parents, her…they're all expecting me to…" Jack broke off with a frustrated growl. "I just figured if there's anyone who can really talk me out of it at this point, it's you, Chase."
"Me? And what reason would I have to do that?"
"I…I don't know," Jack admitted, a little desperately. "But I thought…I hoped that maybe…"
For the first time since hearing news of the wedding, the hint of a smirk tugged at Chase's lips. So, Jack was not too far beyond his reach, after all.
"You aren't heterosexual," he declared. He immediately had Jack's full attention. "I can tell by the way your body reacts to others. You have never expressed any kind of instinctual desire around females, and yet a sufficiently attractive member of the same sex has always been able to pique your interest."
Jack did not seem surprised by the statement. Instead, he gave a sigh of relief. "So, I am gay…"
"As the day is long," Chase assured. "Binding yourself in marriage to a woman would most definitely be a mistake. Without sexual attraction, the best you could hope for would be platonic love and if you can manage it, a few offspring to call your own."
Jack snorted. "I hate kids. They're loud and always sticky with something."
Chase grinned: Jack really did want to be talked out of this. "Children were always the intention in marrying you off," he pointed out. "Your parents are merely using you—your life and your future – as a bargaining chip in business dealings. They hardly have your best interests at heart."
"Right," Jack agreed. "So, fuck them. I don't have to do what they tell me."
"Of course you don't," said Chase. "You are intelligent enough to know what is right for you. Getting married to a girl you don't know isn't it."
"Yeah!" Jack chuckled derisively to himself. "Pairing us off doesn't just suck for me, it would fuck up her life, too. I'm not giving up Showdowns or plans for world domination for anybody. There's no way she could handle that!"
Chase nodded in agreement. "She, too, would be trapped in a loveless marriage, knowing that her husband's heart belongs to another."
Jack looked very startled just then, and very confused and Chase was more than happy to elucidate.
"Please respect my intelligence, Spicer," he said. "I have seen the way you looked at me over the years. I may have started as your idol and nothing more, but we both know that I am more to you than that."
Jack stared at him. "You…"
"Knew? Of course." Chase raised an eyebrow. "Who did you think I was speaking of when I brought up 'sufficiently attractive members of the same sex'? You ooze pheromones around me, Jack. Don't think I hadn't noticed."
Jack's white cheeks burned and finally, something matched the bright red of his tie. "I'm…sorry," he muttered eventually. "I didn't think you knew…I didn't even know."
"Don't apologize," the warlord said nonchalantly. "Seeing the fine young man you've at last grown into, I can honestly say that I am flattered by your admiration of me."
Jack shook his head, looking incredulously at Chase. "Are you…you're saying that…you, too…?"
Chase said nothing.
"Holy crap," breathed Jack, "this is…sudden."
"I had been planning to reveal as much to you gradually to lessen the shock," Chase lamented. "Unfortunately, I was not sent an invitation for your wedding and was unaware of it until today. Thus, it must happen before either of us were completely expecting it."
Jack appeared to be processing his thoughts for a bit. "Really?" was all he came up with.
Chase merely shrugged, a very un-warlord-like gesture. "You wanted me to talk you out of your impending marriage," he said. "I am simply giving you the best motivation I can think of."
Jack gave a short laugh. "Some motivation!"
There was a silence between them, filled only by a very mild tension.
Chase, of course, was the one to break it. "What will you do, Spicer? Knowing what you do now?"
Jack took a deep breath, releasing it slowly. When he turned to face Chase once more, he was smiling.
"You have to ask?"
Not twenty minutes later, a wealthy young woman by the name of Tabitha was sobbing loudly at the altar. Her furious mother and father were yelling vigorously at a mortified Sylvia Spicer while in the background, Martin Spicer was muttering all sorts of violent threats regarding his son with a piece of paper crumpled in his fist.
If one were to smooth it out and make the attempt to read it, it would go something like this:
Hey everybody, I just wanted to let you know that I'm not marrying what's-her-face. As it turns out, I'm gay and have decided to elope with my brand new evil dragon boyfriend. Sorry, but thems the breaks. Even though there's not gonna be a wedding, feel free to still eat the cake. There's really nothing worse than a wasted cake. Bye for probably ever, Jack.
A/N: Hey, look! It's a ridiculously overdue birthday fic! Like, two months and now that it's after midnight, one day after Silvarbelle's actual birthday.
I really should've started this damn thing earlier, huh? XD
Anyway, my page has been a 'posting stuff' dead zone for awhile and part of that was because real life has me kind of busy lately and part of it was because I was working on this massive thing.
What's that you say? It's not that massive? Well, that's because this is only Part 1. Part 1 of probably about 3 or 4, because this whole thing is about 200 pages long.
I guess that's what happens when you try to envision 33 different ways Chase Young and Jack Spicer could get together in honor of your friend who turned 33 awhile back. XD
Anywho, let's get on with the show!
One -Because Wuya is totally bad in bed. XD
Two -No comment.
Three -Poor Chase. Shot down in the middle of a seduction. XD
Four -...I've been playing a lot of Age of Mythology lately. I kept thinking about the Petsuchos and killing everything with everything else, and one thing led to another. XD
Five -Oh, Jack. One of these days, you're gonna annoy someone to the point of killing you and then Chase is going to have to get his gloves dirty killing them for attempting to hurt you.
Six - ...Jack would fail to question Wuya's motive for annual sleepovers, wouldn't he?
Seven -No comment.
Eight - I don't know why, I just like the idea of Jack ditching someone at the altar because dude, it's Chase. XD
And there you have it, folks: Part 1 of 33 Ways. Stay tuned for the other installments, too, and thanks for reading! ;P