Dragon Of Wind
He's not sure if it's because he was the first, or because he just had a better handle on things, but Raimundo knew he was taking this much better then his friends.
He's can't say if that made him lucky or not.
Especially when Clay finally broke down and told him that Jack didn't understand why he had been apologizing, and his first thought was "Makes sense."
It's obvious, like them, Jack didn't truly understand what he was getting himself into when he placed himself into the World of Heylin and Xiaolin. But unlike them, he didn't have support from well…anyone. Didn't have anyone to teach him, oh, he knew Wuya no doubt tried, but having spent time with her himself, had the young monk firmly believing the Witch had failed in that department.
There was Chase, but that failed, especially with the way the immortal was so fixated on Omi. And the less there was said about them, the better.
No one was there to teach Jack, to tell him that despite the side he was on, even though he fought them. What they did to him, was wrong. The heat of battle was one thing, what they had done outside of it, did not reflect well on them or the Xiaolin way they were taught.
Hell, sometimes, Jack asked for their help. And it was often answered with annoyance and the bare minimum at best.
"Not to mention how often he helped us." Raimundo thought with a grimace as he made his way out the kitchen, snack in hand.
Sure, he went back to fighting them, and most times he only helped because it benefited him to do so, but he still helped when he could have easily said no. The monk wondered what would have become of them, had Jack declined, or chose to look the other way.
Kimiko, who didn't even manage to even say hello once the door opened, closed her mouth and flinched. Having come because she had asked him, Raimundo moved from standing behind to by her side. Huizhong didn't even glance at him, all attention on Kimiko who was trembling under the man's unrelenting gaze.
The door is slammed in their face.
"Well, we expected that," Raimundo told her after a long moment of silence.
"Yeah," Kimiko mumbled as she turned around and descended the steps to Dojo.
Climbing onto the dragon, both braced themselves for the take-off.
"Gonna try again?" The Dragon of the Wind asked once they were in the sky.
"Not for a while," Kimiko told him, rubbing her arm.
Raimundo nodded in understanding, it had taken a lot for her to work up the courage to come here, that courage was now gone. The moment Dojo landed, Kimiko slide off him and disappeared.
"You know, you guys are piling up a lot of frequent flyer miles," Dojo told him after shrinking, and slithering up until he was curled around the monk's shoulders.
Raimundo laughed, and the two head to the garden. Omi was there, mediating with Master Fung, not wanting to disturb them, Raimundo turned around and headed to the kitchen. After a thought, and a quick look through the cupboards, he decided on a recipe that his Mama taught him.
He wondered if Jack would like it.
Living the life that he did before becoming a monk, Raimundo had learned how to observe, listen and adapt, doing so helped to ease into the right persona that made it easier to fool a target or even his so-called "allies." It's a trick that he carried with him to the temple, and something Master Fung had noticed and often encouraged in a different more positive way.
Six months after gaining their very first Wu, Raimundo knew exactly what kind of teenager Jack Spicer was.
A lonely kid, most likely neglected by his parents, smart but clueless as to what he was getting himself into.
Sure, wanting to take over the world was bad, but people were not born evil. And generally, people hurt others because they have been hurt in some kind of way.
He saw all that.
He could have done something.
Slipped into that persona of a welcoming friend, false though it would have been, it would have worked; it's done so in the past.
And that made it all the more worse.
"Your friend not here with you today?"
Raimundo shook his head.
Huizhong sighed, "And what are you here for?" he asked.
"Wanna talk to Spicer, I mean, Jack."
In all honesty, Raimundo expected the door to be slammed into his face again, so he was very surprised when he was invited in.
"Have you had lunch?" Huizhong asked as he leads the teenager to the kitchen.
"No," Raimundo answered, looking around.
Every time they came here in the past, it was always through the back wall since it was the quickest to Jack's lab, they've never really bothered with other parts of the manor. What he was seeing looked nice, but also, kind of empty. And not because the manor was a big place.
"Well, sit down, and I'll make you something."
While Huizhong headed for the fridge, the young monk quietly sat down at the table in the corner, surprised at the sudden change in atmosphere. The kitchen felt warmer, inviting even.
"Jack's not here right now," Huizhong answered as he prepared two sandwiches, "we're out of mustard, good with just mayo?"
Nodding, Raimundo could make out at least three different meats and two different kinds of cheese from his seat. "Do you know when he'll be back?"
There is silence for a moment, then, "Why did you choose Jack as your apprentice?"
After cutting the sandwiches in half, Huizhong looked at the Dragon of Wind, expression soft as he answered, "Because he's an adorable, resilient, stubborn little shit with the most brilliant mind I've ever seen."
Raimundo found himself laughing.
"That sums him up pretty good."
Huizhong brought over the food.
"Too bad we realized it too late."
"That is too bad."
The sandwich was delicious.
He hated it.
"And here I thought Kimiko was the one with the fiery temper."
"Not in the mood Chase."
"I imagine not, however, surely, I'd make a better opponent then helpless trees."
Raimundo looked over his shoulder at the immortal. The usual smug expression on his face didn't annoy him as it usually did, which probably had to do with the fact that he took out his "fiery temper" on said helpless trees.
"What, you trying to make me your apprentice now?"
He's not too worried about being attacked, kidnapped or whatever the man had planned, despite their battles there has always been this weird honor between them.
"No, though the idea holds merit."
"Guess Wuya didn't tell you, I'd make a lousy one."
"Oh, she's told me about you two's brief partnership, numerous times. It still does not diminish the appeal."
Well, that was flattering.
"Oh, don't give me that look. I'm trying to be friendly."
"You being friendly is not a good thing."
"What do you want?" Raimundo huffed as he went over to where his towel and water was.
"I've noticed a lack of Wu searching."
"Stalking is illegal."
"Noted. I'm curious as to why that is."
"And you think I'd just tell you?"
"No, but I figured it's worth a shot."
".…Dude, how bored are you?"
Snorting, Raimundo downed half his bottle, he debated on what to tell the immortal, then "Have you heard from Spicer?"
"And why would I be talking to that little worm?"
"Sounds like we're not the only ones with a Jack problem." The Dragon of Wind thought, watching how Chase went from as open and relaxed as the man would allow himself to be, to closed off. Defensive, almost aggressive.
Which didn't make sense.
Chase didn't care for Jack beyond what the other teenager could do for him to further whatever plan he had. Jack developing new skills shouldn't do more than gain mild curiosity. And he knew it did, he had seen the way the immortal watched Jack, but there was something else.
"Don't know," Raimundo then shrugged, "don't know why you do half the things you do. Anyway, Wu hunting has been put on hold. Nothing special, just a bit of a break."
"Make of that what you will Young."
Gathering his things, Raimundo left.
At least this incident will keep his mind off things for a bit.
Kimiko tried again.
It was her third attempt.
No one was home.
"I'm almost tempted to try and break down his wall," Kimiko joked as they sat on the stairs.
"Don't think that'll help your case."
"No, but it'd be something."
"How did it get like this Rai?"
"Your guess is as good as mine."
A deep sigh.
The wind shifted.
It was going to rain here tonight.
".….Master Fung, wants this to be my last visit for a while."
"You should listen to him."
"Yeah, things tend to go better when we do."
"Thanks for always coming with me."
An hour went by.
Just because he was handling it better didn't mean he felt better. It didn't dissolve the guilt, the helplessness, and everything else he was feeling, didn't give him any ideas on how to help himself or his friends.
Which was why he was here, back home in his old room that he had shared with two of his brothers, sitting on the old familiar bed as he told his Mama and Papa of his sins.
"That," Mama said after a long uncomfortable quiet, "is a lot to take in."
"Yeah." Raimundo mumbled.
"No wonder the boy's master won't let you see him, I'm very disappointed in you Raimundo," Papa said, expression hard and angry.
Raimundo flinched, and lowered his head.
His Papa continued, " We raised you better then this, what have I and your Mama always told you and your siblings?"
The monk's lips tremble and his voice is wobbly as he recited the lines he's heard for as long as he could remember, "I-If you can, help others; if you can't do that, at least do no harm."
And boy, did he not live up to that saying at all, sure there was some leeway considering the situation with the Wu and all, but outside of that; he's shredded and stumped it into the ground.
Raimundo's throat his dry, tight, eyes stinging with tears, he looked up. "I'm-I'm sorry Papa."
Papa sighed, his expression losing its harshness, "I'm not the one you should be apologizing to."
Sniffing and he lowered his head again, Quietly, his Mama sat down beside him, gently she took his hand. He glanced at her and found he couldn't read anything on her face.
"We know how hard it was growing up here," She started, "and we know about the people you had been hanging out with before becoming a Xiaolin monk. It's one of the reasons why we were so adamant about you going, to get you away from there. However, despite us not approving of it, we had faith that when it came down to it, you'd do the right thing. And to find out that you have been essentially, abusing this boy, has broken that faith. "
Raimundo sniffed again, and quickly wiped away the tears, "I know…I mean….I'm so sorry Mama….I never meant for this to happen."
"But it did," Papa sat down on the other side of him, and wrapped an arm around his shoulder, "And now, you're facing the consequences of it."
Raimundo leaned against his Papa, tears freely falling, dampening the man's shirt. His Mama's voice sounded distant.
"This may not be something that can be fixed, but all you can do is try one step at a time."
Master Fung called them all to the garden, they were going home for a while.
He's pretty sure his parents had something to do about this decision.
Glancing at his friends, he noticed Clay' and Kimiko' expression.
….Perhaps, maybe not just his.
Raimundo stared, surprised.
He was expecting Huizhong.
"Come in, hungry?"
"A-Actually, I brought you something. Straight from the kitchen of Mama Pedrosa, who by the way says hi."
Jack looked at the wrapped plate, then shrugged, "Sure, why not."
They eat in the den, well it's the entertainment room, but it felt more like a family den despite its large size and electronics. Probably didn't help that they were eating in a pillow and blanket fort.
"Wanna watch a movie?"
He did if only to delay the inevitable. However, the fear of disappointing his parents again, and the fact that this was going to be the last time he'd see the other teenager for a while made him push through.
"Maybe later, we need to talk."
And they did, for a very long time.
Next chapter, we're back to Jack and Huizhong, with a little bit of Chase...or maybe a lot of Chase. I should probably give him more love...probably.