33 Ways (Jack Could've Hooked Up With Chase)

By: CrystallicSky

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.

...

Thirty One -

The first thing Jack was aware of was a throbbing pain in his skull, shockingly similar to what he imagined a drill to his brain might feel like. Secondly was the all-encompassing ache in his muscles, followed by a vague feeling of nausea.

Groaning, he sat up in bed, squinting against the light streaming in through the window of the bedroom.

He had only just realized that it wasn't his bedroom when the sound of shifting covers called his attention to the other side of the bed, and Jack found himself locking eyes with Chase Young.

Thankfully for Jack's pride, he did not freak out or faint or do something otherwise girly and embarrassing.

He did, however, ask, "Shit, what happened last night?"

Chase, in counterpoint to his usual flawless elegance, looked just as groggy and hungover as Jack was feeling. Closing his eyes and running his fingers through his mussed and tangled hair, he shrugged. "I don't know," the warlord admitted, "but if you listen closely, you can hear our livers screaming in agony."

Jack blinked. "You don't remember?" he asked incredulously. "But…you have a superhuman metabolism or something. How much do you have to drink to get blackout drunk?"

"Quite a lot," said Chase. "A very great big Dojo's backside sized amount of alcohol."

"Yikes," was all Jack could think to say. His mind really was a blank as to how things had gotten to this point. "I don't even remember where all this alcohol came from. Was there, like, a Heylin party or something?"

"Yessssssss," Chase groaned, falling back to the bed. "It was an Evil Monster Bash. I asked you to be my date because I couldn't stomach Wuya clinging to me all night. You decided you needed some 'dutch courage', as the saying goes, and showed up already half-wasted."

Thinking back, Jack did have vague memories of that, being flattered at the invitation and then panicked a few hours before the party. The party itself was a blur, but Jack was pretty sure everyone else had been just as hammered.

"Oh," he said out loud. "Oh, yeah."

To that, Chase said nothing and Jack tried desperately to ignore the weighty feeling of awkwardness settling over him. It seemed pretty obvious that at some point last night, he and his idol had 'done it,' but as for details, Jack couldn't remember a damn thing and he was at a complete loss for what to say now.

I love you? No, that would be crazy.

So, was I the girl? No, awful.

Come here often? Oh, that was just dumb.

Was it good for you? Hell no.

Scrubbing a hand over his face, Jack hoped Chase didn't notice he was blushing and kept trying to think of something to say to him that wasn't idiotic.

Thankfully, he was saved the trouble when a familiar 'beep' sounded from the floor.

"That'd…be my phone," Jack said weakly, reaching down to the floor to retrieve it from the pocket of his discarded pants.

Displayed on the screen was a text message from none other than Katnappé.

Mornin' Jackie! it said. Saw you leave with Chase last night, LOL. He didn't work you too hard, did he?

Oh, lord.

The phone was placed on the bedside table and Jack sighed, thinking that he wished he knew the answer to Ashley's question even as he told Chase, "Katnappé saw us leave together. That basically means everybody knows by now."

Chase lazily sat up again, shaking his head. "They only really know what they saw at the party," he said. "If they know anything further, there's either some kind of surveillance in my own home that I am unable to detect, or we videotaped the whole thing and posted it on the Internet."

Jack went as white as his limited skin pigmentation would allow. "…we were both really drunk," he said at length. "Are you sure neither of us suggested Option Two?"

Both men looked at each other for a long moment…and then made a mad scramble for their nearest technology, Jack, his phone and Chase, his personal computer.

Quickly checking through a variety of his online accounts, Jack sighed in relief. "Okay, I didn't post anything," he said firmly. "If there's something posted, now you can't kill me over it."

Chase replied shortly from the laptop on his desk. "I haven't posted anything either," he said, "but there seems to be a very large video file that wasn't there before."

"So, we did tape it," Jack mumbled, pulling on his pants now that he was most definitely up. He scanned the floor with his eyes for a minute, but was unable to locate the shirt or the fashionable leather coat he'd worn to yesterday's party. Frowning and squinting over at the window, Jack asked, "Hey, uh…if it's not too much trouble, could you pull the shades or something? I don't do well with…um…sun."

"I'll do you one better," Chase said distractedly, waving his hand without taking his eyes off the computer screen.

Jack jumped as the window disappeared entirely. "What the—"

"It's a magical illusion," Chase explained. "I enjoy the view of the sky and the weather afforded by windows, but I dislike the idea of an additional access point in my fortress. Magical windows allow me to keep the view and the security."

"Oh. That makes sense."

This time, the following lull in conversation was filled by Chase.

"If you're hungry, you may find my jaguar, Diol, just outside the door and tell him to go get breakfast started."

"Oh, yeah," Jack said, "right, I can do that. Um…do you have bacon?" Immediately, Jack cursed himself for the stupid question, because of course Chase would have bacon, he's a lord!

Chase, however, did not treat it as a foolish question. "As much bacon as you want," he assured, but Jack noticed that he had yet to turn away from his computer.

"Did it get kinky?" Jack wondered, too far away to see the details of what was happening on the screen.

"There's about three hours of footage," Chase said. "There's not even any sign of sex yet. Are you worried I'll let you miss the 'good parts'?"

Jack flushed again. "No, no," he said hastily, "I just…I'll just…bacon."

Chase chuckled and Jack kept up a steady mantra of, 'stupid, stupid, stupid' in his head as he opened the bedroom door and looked for Diol to pass on the jaguar's duty.

Diol, thankfully, was quickly found and acquiesced to his master's indirect order, nodding to Jack to show that he understood before quietly padding off down the hallway.

By the time Jack wandered back into Chase's bedroom (because without the rest of his clothes or his helipack, he couldn't exactly go anywhere else), Chase claimed to be roughly two hours into the video that had been taken by way of skimming.

"Uh…so did we…?" Jack hesitantly wondered.

"Many times," Chase told him, fastforwarding through the final hour or so of the video. It was blurry and dark, but the…movement on it seemed clear enough. "I had no idea you were so flexible, Spicer."

Jack tried very hard to keep the blood from rushing to his cheeks again. "Yeah, well, I… You're, um…sexy." Again, Jack began cursing himself in his head when Chase laughed at him and really, really wished he knew how he was supposed to be acting right now because it seemed all he was doing was embarrassing himself.

"Come here, Jack," Chase invited abruptly and Jack stilled, staring at him.

"I…what?" he helplessly asked.

"Come here," Chase insisted.

And because really, he didn't know what to do, Jack cautiously approached the dragonlord even though he only had on a pair of pants and Chase sat before his computer wearing nothing at all.

Chase smirked at him the moment he was within grabbing distance and hauled the goth onto his lap, uncaring of the tiny squeak Jack made at the action.

"You're almost unbearably cute, Spicer," he purred, pressing a few feather-light kisses to Jack's neck. "Have you had drunken, indiscriminate sex before, or am I your first?"

Jack feebly attempted to push Chase away. "It…it wasn't indiscriminate," he protested. "I was drunk, but I mean…I obviously have standards—look at who I went home with!"

Chase laughed again. "You make a fair point," he conceded, making Jack shiver by trailing his warm, ungloved hands down his bare back. "However, you still haven't answered my question: am I your first?"

"What do you think?" Jack bitterly demanded.

"I think," Chase said, "that I am and I consider myself lucky to have gotten to you before anyone else wised up and took you."

What?

Jack blinked and jerked back, momentarily forgetting he was on Chase's lap. He lost his balance and nearly fell backwards onto the floor, but was caught and straightened before he could.

Muttering a 'thanks,' Jack revisited the question he had been about to ask before that particular embarrassment. "What do you mean, 'lucky'?" he asked. "You…you hate me."

Chase rolled his eyes. "Does it feel like I hate you, Spicer?" the dragonlord wondered. "Would I willingly make love to you for nearly three hours if I disliked you?"

"You were drunk," Jack snapped, "and I was, too. You said yourself you don't remember any of it and I know I don't, so…you probably didn't even want to."

"Jack," Chase sighed, sounding exasperated, "I was drunk, last night. I can assure you I'm quite sober now, and yet here you are, shirtless in my lap while I am completely naked and if you'll recall, I put you there."

Jack simply stared at him.

"Spicer, it has been a very long time since I've hated you," Chase told him. "Surely you've noticed how much better our relationship has become these past few years."

"Well, I…maybe…" Jack slowly admitted, "but—"

"No buts," Chase declared. "I invited you to that party because I didn't want to endure Wuya, yes, but also because of the likelihood of this exact thing happening."

Jack's eyes went wide. "You planned on sleeping with me?"

Chase smirked. "You give me too little credit to think it was a complete accident that we came to and left the party together, Jack. In fact, the only thing I didn't account for was the alcohol."

"You didn't plan to get drunk?"

"Not quite as drunk as I did become," Chase corrected, "and I mostly certainly failed to anticipate you already being half-soused before the party got underway. It really is flattering that the idea of being my date for the evening got you that nervous, but I would've liked one of us to remember last night's…after-party."

Jack made a face. "Well…we've got video of it," he reminded.

"Yes," Chase agreed, "but video is a poor substitute for memory."

Jack really did feel strange sitting in a very naked Chase Young's lap and not doing anything, and almost against his will, he opened his mouth.

"The great thing about memories is you can always make new ones."

Chase, appearing quite startled by the statement, stared at Jack long enough that he was sure he'd said something stupid again.

Right up until Chase began laughing.

"You make an excellent point, Spicer," he chuckled, pulling the goth closer to more firmly straddle his thighs. "It's pointless to lament the past. It would be best to simply enjoy the present…"

And though still feeling very confused and awkward, Jack felt leagues more at ease and smiled back as Chase undid the button of his pants.

Thirty Two -

"Chase Young, I come to you on a matter of great importance."

Chase raised an eyebrow at the small-statured monk before him. He had been…surprised, to say the least when Omi had decided to pay him this visit with no prompting whatsoever.

Omi must have rated whatever he had to say as very high priority, for he came to the palace alone (save only for Dojo as transportation) and offered no fight as he was peacefully led to its master.

"Changed your mind about remaining Xiaolin yet?" Chase wondered. "I'm still convinced that you would do much better as Heylin."

"Give it up, already, Young," said Dojo, perched on Omi's shoulder. "There's no way he's gonna join you!"

Chase frowned. "Do you want to be eaten?" he asked. "I can still do that, you know."

Predictably, Dojo went silent.

Omi rolled his eyes. "I am content with my position as a Xiaolin monk," he assured. "I am not here for myself. I have come on behalf of someone else."

Intriguing. "Really? And who might that be?"

"Jack Spicer."

More intriguing. "Spicer? Spicer went to you for a favor?" If Jack was willing to stoop so low as to ask a monk for aid, it could mean a drastic backslide in his progress.

Omi, however, shook his head. "He did not ask this of me," he explained. "I am here because I am Xiaolin and as a monk, I must not hesitate to help someone in need."

"Of course," Chase said, less than enthused. "And just why do you suppose Spicer is in need of your help?"

"Surely, you have seen it!" Omi exclaimed. "He is miserable!"

"Miserable?"

"Have you not noticed his absence from Showdowns lately?"

Chase had. Of course he had. He was deeply invested in Jack's potential and it would not do to lose track of him.

Aloud, he said, "I'd noticed. I assumed he was still recovering from that last devastating defeat you and yours dealt him."

Omi winced. "That was many weeks ago, Chase Young," he nonetheless argued. "Even Jack has admitted that it was not us that had gotten to him."

Chase blinked. "You actually went to see him?"

"Yes," Omi confirmed, "and it is his relationship with you that has upset him."

At that, Chase sneered. "We have no relationship to speak of," he said. In his own opinion, he thought he did an excellent job keeping his bitterness at that fact out of his tone.

"Which is precisely the problem! I cannot stand to see a…friend so dejected. That is why I am here."

Chase could not help his laugh. "I am certain Spicer would not approve of being called your 'friend.' Tell me, Omi, has he given you permission to confront me on his behalf?"

"He hasn't," the monk admitted, "but I did not ask. For what I am about to do, I do not need it."

At a simple thought from their master, the jungle cats circling Omi simultaneously stood and growled, low and threatening.

"And just what is it that you intend to do, young monk?" Chase coolly wondered.

"Forgive me, Chase Young," Omi said, removing a white orb from his sleeve, "but you two truly must work this out."

Chase stood immediately upon recognizing the Shen Gong Wu Omi had brought. His warriors were already launching themselves at the monk, but they were not quick enough to stop the Wu's activation.

"Orb of Hézuó!"

There was a blinding flash that enveloped Chase and when his vision returned, he found himself standing not in his palace, but in a small, all-white room with no windows, doors, or any other viable exit.

Omi had successfully sealed him in the orb and if Chase had any idea of what the monk was up to, he was not alone.

"Chase? He got you, too?"

Chase turned and just as he'd expected, there was Jack, sitting with his back against the wall.

"Spicer," he acknowledged. "Obviously, that is the case, as I would not be here otherwise."

Jack looked embarrassed. "Oh. Right." He seemed to be searching for something to say after that and eventually settled on, "So…what is this thing anyway?"

Chase sighed and took a seat opposite Jack. "It's called the Orb of Hézuó," he explained. "It has been used as a more extreme method of team-building when the normal tactics employed by monks to make their initiates cooperate fail."

"Why's short-sheet using it on us?" Jack wondered. "Is he trying to turn us good by making us learn the awesome power of working together or something?"

"According to Omi," said Chase, "you are upset about something. The purpose of this particular Wu is to force two or more parties to come to some kind of understanding. We are trapped here until that happens. It would seem that he is trying to cheer you up by forcing us onto good terms with one another."

Jack scowled. "That stupid little…I told him not to bother!" Crossing his arms over his chest, he muttered with no small amount of resentment, "It looks like we're gonna be in here awhile."

"Only if you are still under the impression that you must stab your allies in the back," Chase told him. "Otherwise, you could choose to be pragmatic, work with me, and we could be out of here in a matter of minutes."

"Oh, just leave me alone!" Jack snapped. "It's better to stab people in the back than to just wait around for them to jab a knife in yours."

Chase resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "I can understand why you might think it would always be that way. The monks and Wuya have hardly provided you with stellar examples of loyalty. However, you know me, Spicer and you know my code of ethics."

"You're damn right I do," said Jack, "and you've stabbed me in the back, too."

The sheer vitriol in Jack's tone as he said it was enough to give Chase pause. It would seem that Omi was not too far from the mark: Jack certainly appeared to feel hostility towards him, though Chase could not imagine why.

Nothing had changed between them recently and Chase was certain he had not treated Jack any differently than he always had.

"You stabbed me first," Chase pointed out. "Once that happens, I have no reason not to return the favor."

Jack gave him a baleful glare. "Do I have to bring up the T-Rex again?" he demanded. "'cause I'm not above that. What did I do to offend your honorable sensibilities that time, Chase? Why did I deserve that?"

Ah. So that was what Spicer held against him.

"You wanted to be mine," Chase said. "You had to learn the distastefulness of such a thing, to understand the betrayal even among evil, before I could allow you to be mine. Have you learned it? Do you understand it?"

Jack sneered. "That you're possibly the biggest dick on the entire planet? Yes, I know that! I've known that for years! You're a Grade A, first class jerk, Chase: you didn't have to teach me that."

"If that is so, you should not bear a grudge over my actions."

"That's not what's pissing me off," Jack growled. "I don't care that you threw me to a goddamn dinosaur, I care that you would. I thought that I—" He cut himself off for a moment, and when he continued, he sounded leagues less certain. "I wanted to be…more… Oh, just…never mind."

Chase, of course, was not an idiot. He understood the 'more' that Jack wanted to be. "If you speak the truth, then why did you seem to have no trouble whatsoever throwing me to the lava in Atlantis a mile or so beneath the planet's crust?"

Jack flushed deeply. "I react badly to life-or-death situations!" he exclaimed. "It's hard for me to trust people. I get that it was a mistake, I know that now. I wasn't thinking then!"

Chase frowned and irritation colored his tone. "I require you to be thinking if you insist on being a part of my home and my life!"

"That was years ago, Chase," retorted Jack. "Have you even bothered to give me a chance since then? Since I was a kid?"

"Of course I have!" Chase growled back. "I have given you every chance, and you still refuse to prove yourself to me!"

Jack only scoffed. "Well, stop waiting. I'm done trying."

Chase went very still. "…what?"

"I'm done, Chase," Jack repeated. "I'm tired of you stringing me along, so I…I'm done."

"You're…giving up." Even to himself, Chase sounded incredulous, but he couldn't help it. "You're giving up. You're…"

Jack only looked at him, scowling.

Chase gave a snort that was fury and disbelief and no! all at once. "Pathetic!" he declared. "You are pathetic, Spicer! I should've expected you to give up so easily."

Jack's eyes widened. "Easily?" he all but shrieked. "You think it was easy for me to get to this point? You…you think I just decided I changed my mind or…or got bored?"

"You are fickle," Chase sneered. "Am I supposed to think differently?"

"Five years is fickle to you?" Jack demanded. "Five, solid years of—of trying to get your attention, trying to prove myself to you, trying to just be yours? Five years of being pretty much crucified every time I did something wrong and earning the privilege to be ignored if I did something right?"

To that, Chase had nothing to say.

Jack scoffed quietly, curling into himself. "I get it, Chase. I'm not good enough for you. Nothing I do is. That was the thing I had to learn, the hard way, but I finally learned it, so I'm done."

Jack…had a few valid points. Chase had to admit that he had given Jack very little in the way of encouragement. He had…taken for granted that the goth would just keep trying for him. It had simply never occurred to him that Jack might need to be thrown the occasional bone now and then to keep him from losing hope.

Chase sighed. So, it appeared that he was at fault, as well.

"Perhaps…you are not the only one who has failed to live up to expectations…"

Jack looked up. "What does that mean?"

"I am a proud man, Spicer, but even I am able to admit when I have…erred." He reached out, touching Jack's shoulder. "It was never my intention for you to 'give up.' I want and have always wanted you to be mine."

Jack shrugged off the hand. He looked like he would've backed away, too, if he had not already been sitting up against the wall. "Bull," he said, clearly not convinced. "If you wanted me, why didn't you just take me? It's not like I never offered."

Chase shook his head. "It was meant to be a test of your devotion to me. You were still young when you made your offer. I had to be certain that it was truly me you wanted and not just some childish idea of me."

"It's always been you that I wanted," Jack said, wincing when his voice cracked. He took a moment to regain control of himself before continuing. "But I can't keep doing this. I'm not gonna spend my whole life waiting for you."

Chase was not one to beg and he didn't. He merely said, "I had thought I meant more to you than that."

Jack sighed. "Chase…you mean everything to me but despite popular opinion, I'm not a masochist. Five years and nothing to show for it…" The look he gave his idol was pained, but mostly just desperate. "Chase, if you want me to stay you have to give me a reason because right now, I don't have one."

Chase merely looked at him in response and Jack visibly drooped. He looked tragically sad. "Fine," he said, bitterness in his voice. "I get it. I—"

Chase cut him off with a kiss.

It was not a passionate kiss. It was chaste and gentle, at odds with the warlord's usual demeanor, but he felt the occasion called for it.

He was immediately rewarded for it by Jack, who kissed back without even the hesitation of shock so, so eager he was for the attention.

Yes, Chase knew, Jack had waited long enough for this.

Chase pulled away after a bit. "How is that for a reason…Jack?"

It seemed to take Jack a minute to speak. When he did, there was half of a smile on his face. "That…should keep me going for awhile. You really…want me to stay?"

"I want you, Jack," Chase said simply. "I thought I'd said as much."

Jack looked at him out of the corner of his eye. "You're not worried I'm gonna betray you or 'change my mind'?"

"I believe that you have…more than adequately proven your devotion to me these past years," Chase admitted. "I can see now that you want me as much as I want you."

Reacting to his words, spoken sincerely, the white room that trapped the two of them began to dissolve.

"Hey, it's letting us out!" Jack grinned hesitantly at Chase. "I guess we must've reached an understanding…"

Chase took Jack by the hand. "Yes," he said, "I suppose we did."

Thirty Three -

Kimiko giggled as the lantern turned pink in Clay's hands. "Me next," she said with outstretched hands, "me next!"

The cowboy obligingly tossed it to her and she caught it easily. Once in her hands, the glow darkened before phasing into blue. "I like guys," Kim declared. "What about you, Rai?"

Rai grinned at her. "Give it here," he said, "I'll show you!"

Kimiko passed the lantern, watching it brighten back up to pink.

"No surprise there, of course," Raimundo said, smoothing back his hair. "I've always had a way with the ladies."

Kim giggled at him. "Yeah, in your dreams, maybe!"

"I still do not see the point of this, my friends," Omi frowned at them. "The Fa Jián Lantern is not a toy for amusement purposes…"

Rai let out a sigh. "Aw, come on, Omi, don't go all authority figure on us. We're just using it how it's meant to be used!"

"I am not trying to be rectangular, Raimundo," said Omi, "but I simply don't understand what you find so appealing about this."

"'cause you haven't tried it yet!" The wind dragon bent down and shoved the lantern into Omi's hands. "See, look, it's…gray?"

The other monks gathered around.

"Well, looky there," drawled Clay, "it did turn gray…"

"What does that mean?" wondered Kim.

"It means that as a truly masterful monk, I have grown beyond the need for this lantern," Omi proclaimed. "I have no desire for the fleshy pleasures and none may tempt me with their girly wiles. You should all hope to reach that level of monkliness."

"So, basically, you're asexual."

Kimiko laughed, punching Rai in the shoulder and making him snicker, as well. Even Clay cracked a grin.

"My friends, you are missing the point!" said Omi. "The point—"

"Is that the Wu is mine!"

"Jack Spicer!" Omi tightened his grip on the Shen Gong Wu. "You shall not take the Fa Jián Lantern!"

Jack appeared on the scene as he usually did, with his army of robots behind him and a cocky grin on his face. "You can say whatever you want, Cheeseball," he sneered, "but we both know that Wu is going home with me!"

Kimiko snorted. "Probably the only thing that would," she quipped. "Is that why you want it, Jack? 'cause it wouldn't shoot you down?"

Jack frowned deeply, even as Raimundo laughed. "Burn," he said, high-fiving Kim. "Nice one."

Omi looked confused. "But he is not on fire. Kimiko was merely taunting Jack Spicer about his loneliness—"

"Yeah, thanks for that," snapped Jack, "but you can stop, now."

"Couldn't agree more, Spicer," said Clay. "What say ya' just skedaddle on outta here an' save yerself a butt-whoopin'?"

Jack scowled at him. "What, too scared to fight me, cowboy?" he demanded.

Clay duly rolled his eyes. "Spicer—" he started.

"Whoa, take it easy, Jack," Rai interrupted. "I don't think any of us want to tangle with you."

Jack paused. "…what?"

The sentiment was echoed by all of his fellow monks as well.

"Sure," Rai went on, "I really think this Wu belongs in Jack's hands, don't you guys think so?"

Kim was the first to catch on. "Ohhh, yeah. He's right: we've had our fun with it. Jack should take it."

"What are you talking about?" exclaimed Omi. "He is evil! He'll—" He was quickly muffled by Kimiko's hand over his mouth.

This, of course, made Jack more than a little suspicious. Unfortunately for him, he had no idea of the Wu's function and so had no way to know just what the monks were up to.

"O…kay, then," he said hesitantly. "I'll just…uh…take it…"

Clay frowned. "Fellas, I dunno—"

"Think fast!" Raimundo exclaimed, tossing the lantern at the evil genius.

Jack's eyes widened and he dove forward to catch it, fumbling with it just a little before getting a firm grip on it.

The Fa Jián Lantern quickly turned a damningly bright shade of blue.

Both Rai and Kimiko burst out laughing.

"Oh my god," Kim giggled, "that explains why his crush on me didn't last long! He's gay!"

Jack gaped at her. "Wh…what?"

"That explains so much," Rai laughed, elbowing Kim. "Hey, how many times do you think he lost a Showdown 'cause he was too busy checking me out?"

"…gay?" Jack's expression was that of one completely mortified. "I…I'm not gay, I…"

But he was not heard over the renewed bout of laughter.

Clay, however, was. "All o' ya', shut up!" he bellowed.

Everyone did immediately.

The big, blond cowboy ambled over to Jack, scratching the back of his neck. "Lookee here, Jack," he began. "I realize gettin' a friendly talkin'-to is rarer'n hens teeth for ya', but—"

Jack interrupted. "What?"

Clay shook his head. "Don't worry about the mule, son, just load the wagon."

Jack made a face at him. "I'm still not even hearing words in that."

"Look," Clay said firmly, "what I'm tryin' t' say is that lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n gettin' it back in—"

It was Omi that interrupted this time, wide-eyed and baffled. "We have cats, now?"

Rai facepalmed while Kimiko rolled her eyes.

"Seriously," said Jack, "speak the King's English, man!"

"I don't got no king an' neither do you - less o' course yer a fan of Elvis."

Taking that as his cue to lighten the mood, Dojo slipped down out of Clay's hat, strumming a guitar and wearing an Elvis-style pompadour wig. There was no sign of where he'd come up with it on such short notice.

Everyone watched him slither away in silence before Jack weakly asked, "Are you sure he's not the gay one…?"

Raimundo let out a bark of laughter. "Just admit it!" he pressed. "You're gay, dude! Oh, sorry: dudette."

Kimiko laughed and Jack flushed, indignant.

Clay sighed, muttering, "Lord, give me patience…" before returning his attention to Jack. "Jack, listen," he said. "The first thing t' do when ya' find yerself in a hole is t' stop diggin'."

Jack opened his mouth to speak.

"An' I realize that the news o' you bein' partial t' men is about as welcome as a skunk at a barbecue," Clay went on.

Jack scowled and made to speak again.

"An' I get that you keep wantin' t' say you ain't, but, well, you can put yer boots in the oven but that don't make 'em biscuits."

Omi blinked. "Booty biscuits?"

And of course, Rai had to mutter, "Bet Jack'd like those," which sent Kim into a fit of howling laughter.

Even as Jack hid his face in his hands, thoroughly embarrassed by now, Clay growled and stomped his foot on the ground, using his control over earth to send up a big mound of dirt just beneath Raimundo, tossing him several hundred feet away.

"Somebody needs to kill me right about now," Jack pled.

"Ain't nobody gonna kill ya', Spicer."

"Please," he begged, "it would be a mercy killing at this point."

"Look, we all'us kinda suspected," Clay said before pausing. "'cept for Omi 'cause he just doesn't think of sex - but... well, now... the way you pomade yer hair an' the make-up an' the shriekin' like a Calliope whistle at the least li'l thing... I mean, sure, ya' show up t' these things as full o' wind as a corn-eatin' horse, but truth is you're gay as hell, son."

"I understood…so little of that," said Jack, "and I still feel seven different colors of insulted and humiliated."

In the distance, Raimundo's voice could be heard. "If there's one thing you'd know about, it'd be colors!"

Jack winced. "Walked right into that…"

"I don't see how he could understand colors," Omi said. "He has no color to speak of except for that girly hair of his and the black he wears like a funeral ensemble."

Kimiko snickered. "Omi's got a point, girlfriend. What's your favorite magazine: Better Homes and Coffins?"

"For gays!" Rai helpfully added.

A bright-red Jack was throwing the Fa Jián Lantern on the ground even as Clay stomped again and covered Raimundo and Kim with dirt.

"Keep your stupid Wu," Jack growled, "and fuck you people! I am so out!"

Rai poked his head back up from the ground. "Of the closet, right?"

Clay glared at him. "Would you kindly keep yer yap shut, Pedrosa? I'm tryin' t' help the poor boy out, here!"

"Of the closet Rai mentioned?"

Omi's question was, of course, completely innocent, but it had Rai and Kim dying again immediately.

Jack glared fiercely at all of them. "I hate you."

Clay sighed deeply and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Omi, yer 'scused 'cause you don't know any better, but if those two damn yankees don't stop yappin', I'm gonna be madder'n a wet hen!"

There was silence for all of a few seconds.

"How about a wet cock? I'm sure Jack would—"

"Fuck. You," Jack snarled.

Raimundo grinned at him. "No, thanks: my lantern glow was pink. I happen to like the ladies just fine."

"Such an effective mediator you are, Bailey," mused a new voice. "You try to help Spicer, and yet you can't even keep that one silent for more than a minute or so."

Jack looked over, his face already falling. "Chase," he helplessly acknowledged. "I…don't suppose you could come back later. This is…a really bad time for me…" On top of everything else, the last thing Jack needed was to be further humiliated in front of his idol.

Chase, however, showed no signs of leaving. "I'm well aware of your predicament, Spicer," he said. "I am here to inform you there is no need for it to be any worse than any other time you've suffered the pitiful slings and arrows from these twits."

Jack blinked, processing Chase's words before grinning hopefully. "You're here to kill me before it gets any worse?"

"No," Chase frowned. "Quite the opposite." He turned his attention to the Fa Jián Lantern still on the ground. A flicker of his power had it rising upwards and towards him before settling in his palm. "Look," he instructed the goth.

Jack did so, a thrill of shock coursing through him as the lantern's glow became purple. He understood immediately. "Holy crap…really?"

Chase nodded in conformation.

Jack gave a short chuckle. "Well," he said, "I mean, if you…I guess I don't have to be all…y'know."

Watching this, Omi spoke up. "I am confused," he said. "What does purple mean?"

Chase glanced at the smallest monk and back at Jack, who still looked quite a bit embarrassed, despite his words. He grinned. "Perhaps a demonstration is in order."

Jack let out a very unmanly squeak as Chase caught him and kissed him, deeply and, dare he say it?, passionately.

The monks' collective jaws dropped.

Hell, Jack's would've if his mouth hadn't been previously engaged.

Chase eventually released Jack and turned to face Omi. "Now, what color do you get when you mix any form of red with any form of blue?"

Omi blinked. "Any form of purple."

"And what do the colors of this lantern – pink and blue – represent?"

"Pink indicates an appreciation of girls, while blue indicates—" Omi stopped with a gasp, abruptly understanding. "Holy mother of dragons, you like both?"

Chase appeared to shrug. "A thousand or so years is a long time, young monk," he said. "Plenty of opportunities to experiment. What one might think of as strange," he eyed Jack, standing at his side, and smiled, "can become exotic."

Jack blushed and for the first time that day, it was not because of shame.

"Much as I hate t' admit it," Clay interrupted, "'cause more often than not ya' think the sun done come up just t' hear ya' crow, this time Chase is right."

"I am always right," sneered Chase.

A very dirty Rai and Kim rejoined the rest of their group as Clay went on. "Look, the point is: ain't nothin' wrong with bein' blue, pink, gray, or purple. It don't matter what the color, so long as you ain't all hat an' no cattle."

Jack couldn't help but interrupt the somewhat guilty silence that followed. "Does that mean you have sex with cattle?"

And Raimundo and Kimiko were snorting and laughing all over again.

Clay, of course, found it infinitely less funny, and the two of them were dropped into a sinkhole.

Chase gave a darkly amused grin while Jack eyed the hole warily. He knew himself well enough to know that if the opportunity was presented, he would make another crack. Clay appeared to be at the limits of his patience and would undoubtedly not take it very well.

In light of this, Jack took a step backwards. "As…fun as today's been," he said, "I think I'm done. I'm going home." A silent nod had his Jackbots, still hovering around awaiting orders, flying off into the distance and back to the Spicer estate.

"Good idea," Clay agreed. "And to answer yer question, I do not."

Fully knowing it was a bad idea, Jack couldn't stop himself. "Right, you like pigs."

Clay glared at him and growled.

Jack meeped and prepared to run for it, only to find Chase standing protectively in front of him. He gratefully hid behind the man, peeking over his shoulder.

"Gather your compatriots, Bailey," Chase said firmly, practically ordering, "and depart before you join them in the pseudo-grave you dug open."

Frowning, Clay nonetheless appeared to take the threat seriously for he backed off, retrieving Kim and Rai from the sinkhole and guiding Omi and the rest of them away.

Omi, however, still had a goodbye to give. "Farewell, Jack Spicer! I wish you luck with your closet!"

Jack facepalmed.

"Yeah," sniggered Rai, "why don't you put in a window with some frilly curtains? Or—"

Jack was most definitely done with being a punching bag for the day and showed it by grabbing the Fa Jián Lantern from Chase and hurling it at Raimundo's head.

Spicer, Chase mused, was not known for his arm strength but his marksmanship was superb. That combined with the fact that the monks had not gotten more than few feet away made it so that the lantern clonked the wind dragon right in the head, knocking him out cold.

Clay tugged on the brim of his hat, nodding a thank you as he hefted Rai up and carried him over to Dojo, who had already grown big for the flight home. Thankfully, his Elvis outfit was nowhere to be found, though as he took off into the sky, he did drawl in a shoddy impersonation, "Thank ya' - thank ya' very much!"

Chase watched the monks depart with a sneer. "You ain't no friend of mine," he said and Jack laughed out loud.

Chase grinned at him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "And now, for more important matters."

Jack sobered quickly and stared blankly at him. "…like what?"

"Despite my statement that you should not fret so about this recent outing of your homosexuality…I can tell that you are very traumatized."

"Well…not really that tr—"

"Very traumatized," Chase insisted.

Jack blinked, confused.

"Enough so that even I, a prince of evil, do not feel comfortable with leaving you alone just yet. I do believe I should escort you home…Jack."

Hope colored the goth's expression and he eventually managed to speak. "I…yes. Yes, I think you should. Definitely. And…when we get there," he suggested tentatively, "you're more than welcome to come inside for…I dunno, coffee or something. Y'know, I mean, it would be the least I could do after you saved me from being traumatized even worse back there…"

Chase gave him a slow, wicked-looking grin, offering his arm. "Why, that sounds absolutely perfect, Jack. I accept the very tempting invitation."

The emotion that coursed through Jack right then was a very strange lovechild of relief and glee and he happily took the dragonlord's arm. "Great! You know where the place is."

"So I do," Chase purred and teleported the both of them away.

...

A/N: Guess what? This is still for Silvarbelle! :)

Thirty One - The drunken morning after. I had to do it. You know I did. XD

Thirty Two -A pattern I've noticed in the show is that Omi really likes meddling. This time, he's meddling in the love lives of the Heylin in a methodology similar to throwing two alley cats in a sack and letting them work it out. Good luck with that mess when they come out all pissed at you, Omi!

Thirty-Three -Okay, I think this is the funniest one in the whole collection, quite possibly because it was written with Silvarbelle. Whenever we collaborate on something, it usually ends up being random hilarity, awesomeness, or both.

She's the whole reason I wrote this fic (that, and I needed to motivate myself to write again somehow! XD), so much props to you, Silv! We make beautiful(ly ridiculous) fanfic together. ;P

And to everyone else, thanks for reading and thanks for sticking with me through what I totally realize was a long, Chack fic-less gap. Hopefully, this'll keep you going for awhile and if everything goes as planned, it won't take me another 7 months before I post anything!

But we'll see about that. XD