A/n: Many questions have been raised about the fact that this story is posted twice, and I think it's best if I answer them. This story is really two stories, on a Raikim, the other a Chasekim. They could be the same story all the way up to the point where Kimiko has to choose which man she wants, but the stories are different. So, Enjoy!
Kimiko sat staring at her new tattoo while drinking tea, waiting for the others to finish their morning routines before their training. Her black hair cascaded down her back to reach the small of her back, and unbeknown to her, it was curling itself gently and slowly as her eyes deepened into a deep shade of blue. She was completely unaware of the little changes happening to her, only aware of her sudden new tattoo.
"Good Morning, Kimiko! Are you ready to train today?" Omi asked as he walked in. Omi over the years had finally gotten a little height and was now 5 foot 8. But otherwise he looked very much the same, although older and less childlike. Kimiko looked up from her ankle.
"Yeah… I am…" Kimiko answered sounding a little far away and a hair softer than normal as she sipped her tea and continued staring at her ankle.
"You look different, Kimiko. Have you changed your hair?" Omi asked. Kimiko shook her head, her curls now suddenly abundant and silky, bouncing. Kimiko grabbed at her hair, looking at it.
"Funny, I don't remember curling my hair." Kimiko murmured. Clay walked in and looked Kimiko up and down.
"Good Morning, Kimi, you are looking mighty purty today." Clay exclaimed. Kimiko pulled at her hair. Some more.
"Thank you, Clay. How are you this fine morning?" Kimiko asked, placing her hands on the table in front of her. Clay, now 21, was still a large man, had also lost his boyish looks, gotten taller, lost weight and put on muscle. His blonde hair was a few shades darker as was his tan. But the kindness was still etched into his face.
"I'm great." Clay answered, pouring hot water from the kettle into a cup with a tea bag in it as he started getting ready to make breakfast. Clay looked at her for a moment looking slightly puzzled.
"Everything okay there, Kimiko?"
"I'm fine, why?" Kimiko asked.
"You look different. Your eyes are darker than usual, a much deeper blue. Your hair is curled and completely smooth. Your lips seem a little fuller and a little redder. And you look like you have something on your mind." Clay answered. Raimundo walked in.
"Morning!" Raimundo greeted brightly. Raimundo, almost 21, was classified as a hottie, a hunk, and one hell of a man. Muscles, edges, but a softness and kindness. Older and hotter.
"Morning!" Everyone greeted in return. Clay turned back to Kim while cracking eggs into a pan while throwing bacon into another.
"So what is on your mind?"
"Kim, did you lose weight?" Raimundo asked. "You look different. Love your hair by the way."
"If anything I gained weight. My clothes don't fit right." Kimiko answered.
"Well, don't smack for saying this but your rack got bigger." Raimundo added. Kimiko groaned.
"I know. I don't fit in my bras. I swear they fit fine yesterday." Kimiko answered. Clay looked puzzled as Raimundo grinned, glad he wasn't getting smack for his comment.
"That's what's on your mind? Your lady parts got bigger?" Clay asked.
"And my waist got a little slimmer, my hips are softer. And I do not remember curling my hair. No, actually that's not what's on my mind. It's actually my dream and my new tattoo." Kimiko answered.
"Tattoo?" Raimundo questioned.
"When did you get a tattoo?" Clay asked. Omi looked confused.
"What's a tattoo?" Omi asked.
"See, that's the thing. I don't know when I got it. I had a dream last night. I was walking through clouds of gorgeous colors. Like the colors of a sun set and sun rise and then the white fluffy clouds on a gorgeous after noon. And then a breeze comes by carrying sakura petals and my grandmother's voice. She told me how much she loved me, how she wished she could have taught me but my father refused to let her destiny be mine. I felt this slight burning sensation around my ankle I look down and there is this tattoo. And I woke up and saw this golden flash around my ankle, I look and I see the tattoo. I had never seen it before. Though it reminds me of the one my grandmother had." Kimiko explained.
"What's it look like?" Raimundo asked. Kimiko extended her bare foot out, revealing her long toned legs and her tattoo. "That's pretty."
"Interesting design." Clay added as he added the pans to the stove to cook.
"That is a tattoo?" Omi asked.
"Yes. A Tattoo is ink that someone put beneath the skin to show an image of sorts." Kimiko explained.
"oh." Omi nodded. Raimundo suddenly snapped his fingers and smiled.
"By the way Kim, I just remembered something." Raimundo started, looking mischievous in his devilish grin.
"What?" Kimiko asked, looking slightly nervous.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Shout Raimundo, Clay, and Omi. Kimiko giggled.
"How's it feel to be 19?" Raimundo asked.
"Besides the sudden changes in my body and on it, the same as being 18." Kimiko answered. Clay chuckled. Master Fung walked in.
"Good Morning, young dragons." Master Fung greeted them.
"Good Morning Master Fung." They chorused. Master Fung turned to Kimiko.
"Happy birthday, young dragon. You have a visitor." Master Fung turned to the Door watch a man walk in.
"Good morning Kimiko. Happy Birthday!" HE greeted.
"John! Hello! How are you?" Kimiko Greeted hopping off her stool and running over to him to give a hug.
"I'm as well as can be. Let me have a look at you." He held her out at arms length. Taking her chin in hand and turning her head slightly this way and that. "Flawless complexion, deep blue eyes of your mothers, your grandmother's nose, gorgeous cheekbones, full lips, and a gorgeous body. You look like your mothers. Your grandmother and mother, I mean. Beautiful. Though you have your father's forehead and have to say the shape of your eyes are his too. Goregous."
"John!" Kimiko protested, giggling. Raimundo glared jealously.
"Oh, it's good to see you." John exclaimed, pulling Kimiko into a hug. Kimiko looked at him when the hug was done.
"And how is it you still don't look a day over 30?" Kimiko asked.
"A gift from your grandmother." John answered. Kimiko laughed.
"And how is it she doesn't look a day over 21 even as a 70 something year old woman?" Kimiko retorted. John sighed.
"She doesn't anymore. She aged very quickly." John answered, his voice very solemn.
"May she rest in peace."Kimiko answered her voice soft.
"I guess you already know." John answered. Kimiko nodded.
"I dreamed about her. And you are here without her. And… Yeah… I can put the pieces together." Kimiko spoke softly. "Come meet the other dragons."
"Let me guess," John turned to the others, "The brunette is Raimundo, Dragon of wind, the Blond Clay, Dragon of earth, which makes the last one, but certainly not least, Omi, Dragon of water."
"Correct. Guys This is John. Man's practically my grandfather, He stood alongside my grandmother for… 40 years?"
"40 years and 14 days. Before she passed. And I am actually Kimi's Grandfather." John answered.
"Oh My God I'm part British!" Kimiko joked.
"So you aren't surprised?" John asked. Kimiko looked thoughtful for a moment.
"No, I'm not." She answered, shaking her head. "I suspected."
"Well, I found out last night." John answered." And I was surprised. Pleased, but surprised. I hope your mother knew."
"Well, Young Dragons, there will be no training today. We will resume training tomorrow. And Perhaps John will show us some tricks and teach us a few things." Master Fung announced.
"Why is there no training?" Omi asked.
"In honor of the Xiaolin Empress, who passed during the night." Master Fung answered. "John here was the master of her guard. "
"Xiaolin Empress?" Raimundo asked.
"I didn't know there was one." Clay answered.
"Makes sense, seeing as we have a Heylin Emperor. Why not a Xiaolin one." Kimiko explained. She light up and turned to John. "Wait, you were her guard?"
"I was. That's how I meet your grandmother." John answered. He smiled. "I was on sentry duty, overlooking one of the gardens on the board of the palace. Your grandmother couldn't sleep and was wandering through the garden under the full moon wearing a white dress. Scared me, I thought she was a ghost." Kimiko laughed. Raimundo looked at Clay as Clay Started cooking breakfast. Raimundo stood next to him.
"Kimiko's grandmother died last night. So did the Xiaolin Empress, John was part of the guard and her grandfather. Kim looks a lot different. What are the odds Kim's grandmother is the Empress?" Raimundo whispered. Clay rolled his eyes.
"Coincidence. I'm sure Kimi would know if it were." Clay answered.
"Her mother is dead. Kimi would be the heiress. She has a new tattoo that no one has any idea where it came from. She's gotten more beautiful over night. WE practically watched her lips get redder and her skin get smoother."Raimundo answered. Clay turned to him.
"You are being paranoid." Clay answered. Raimundo raised his eyebrow at him.
"Am I?" Clay nodded. Raimundo shook his head.
"But think about it, It's possible." Raimundo answered. Clay shrugged as he dished eggs and bacon out onto plates.
"Could be. But the odds of that are… nope I don't even know the odds. Move on Rai. Eggs and bacon?" Clay held out a plate. Raimundo took it without any comment.
"Thanks." Clay smiled.
Kimiko and John walked through the gardens.
"So tell me about the empress." Kimiko requested.
"Well, the empress… was your grandmother." Kimiko turned to him slightly startled. "She was Xiaolin Empress Sakura Syri Matsui. She is only the most recent of the long line of Xiaolin rulers. Her mother before her and her grandmother before her have been the last few rulers. Your mother died long before it was her turn to take the throne. "
"So does Aunt Kiko get the thrown then?" Kimiko asked. John smiled. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring. A silver colored ring with a sky blue stone gem that when the light hit it just right you could see a golden center. On either side of it were two large diamonds. The band had much smaller diamonds around it.
"No, my dear Princess. Your mother was older, making the throne rightfully hers. The crown passes on to you. As well as the responsibility of guarding this." John handed her the ring.
"It looks like an engagement ring." Kimiko exclaimed. John smiled. She looked up at him. " What is it?"
"There is a story behind that ring. It changes. Right now it is a ring. It was your grandmother's necklace. It changes from ruler to ruler. Your Great grandmother had it as a bracelet. Her mother, earrings. The blue stone, is said to contain the world's greatest evil's soul. The Emperor of Heylin."
"Quite. Each ruler has had to protect it. They could never go more than 24 hours without wearing it. It would weaken the spell. If Chase young regains his soul the world's balance will tip. If he wins it back by capturing it and slaying the ruler, than the world shall tip into darkness. If he earns it back, the world could tip into light. But no one knows the prophecy's ending." John explained.
"Indeed. Most of the prophecy has been lost to time. But the summary of it is a story of The Heylin emperor selling his soul to heylin, and a xiaolin Empress guarding the jewel, and he somehow getting it back and tipping the scales." John explained.
"How is it come to be lost?" Kimiko asked.
"Books have been destroyed, prophets slain. And with a long line of whisper down the lane, no one knows what it really is anymore. It is however rumored that there is one last place that will contain the prophecy." John informed her as they came upon a small pond with koi fish swimming through it.
"Where?" Kimiko asked.
"In the one place no one has been. There is a story that in the Palace, there is a tomb of the first Xiaolin Emperor, a prophet, who foresaw and told the prophecy. It is said that in his tomb, is his library. And in his coffin, a powerful weapon. It is said that the one to find it, is the one who will be the one to be the prophecy's ruler." John answered as he sat down on the bench by the pond. Kimiko sat down on the bench, staring at the ring.
"So… it's been lost due to violence?"
"In short, yes."
"Possibly. More than likely, yes. However, it might not be what happened. The war between Heylin and Xiaolin is long and bloody. Any Fraction of the Heylin side could have been behind it. But, also Xiaolin." Kimiko looked at John startled.
"There are stories of foul play amongst both sides. Jealous between lovers, jealous over power, station, or even money. Desire for power, money, love even. Nothing is truly black and white. That was Sakura's favorite saying. Nothing is black and white. There are shades of grey. There are hues of blue, yellow, and brown. There are Reds, and purples, pinks, oranges, and the colors in between. Only on TV and in dreams are things truly black and white." Kimiko smiled, remember her grandmother saying the same thing.
"'There is black, and there is white. But there is grey and there blue, blue as the sky, and yellow, as the sun in midday hour, and the orange of the lilies, and red as the roses by my garden gate, green as the sea on a stormy day, but silver by night underneath the clear moonlight.' Granma said that to me. In one of her many letters. Even when father forbade me to be in contact with her, telling me she was dangerous, we sent letters." Kimiko looked down at the ring and she slide it onto her finger." In her last letter to me, she said she was getting sick, and that she missed me, and the only thing that made it easier, were the letters we sent back and forth, and the dreams, the dreams of me being a powerful woman, equivalent to an empress. She said she suspected that she would soon pass. And that upon her death, I would be brought to her home, and there would be something to show me, something of mine, and something of hers, for me to claim."
"I will take you there soon, but I think it is best if we wait a little." John answered. Kimiko sniffed, a tear slipping down her face. She looked at John.
"How come she never claimed you? As her husband? If she loved you so." Kimiko asked, her voice wavering.
"Sakura said it was because she was a coward. That she didn't want me tied to her, for I would share her destiny." John answered. "But she was wrong. She was brave. She tried to protect me, because she loved me, and loved you, to know she would never get to guide you to follow in her footsteps. So she needed someone she could trust to guide you. I found a letter in my room when I left. Telling me that her body would wait 5 days before starting to decompose, her final spell, so I could keep you away long enough, that… that he could come."
"Who could come?" Kimiko asked, her eyes rimmed red.
"Chase. He comes after every ruler dies, trying to reclaim his soul. He destroy's the palace. Your grandmother did not want him to know that you are the new empress. Chase knows you as the dragon of Fire. If he were to find out, you would become his target. IF she claimed me as her husband, my life would have been tied to hers as a ruler. When she died, I would have. Where would that have left you, and the fate of the universe. The jewel would never have gotten to you, and the spell would have weakened and he would have gotten it back. Sakura had the gift of sight. She probably saw would have happened if she did."
"The gift of sight?"
"She could see the future."
"Oh…" Kimiko perked up slightly. " Will I see the future as Empress?"
"Who is to say." John shrugged." Each ruler has been different in their powers. Your great grandmother was able to turn invisible and walk through walls and levitate feet. Her mother would fly. Her mother could see through walls and anything she could see, she could hear. Her mother could read minds and her husband had extreme strength. And your mother as an heir, showed signs of an empathy, while your aunt, while not an heir but still a child of the empress, showed signs of minor magic. Magic that the all the rulers have. Your aunt, is currently in the palace, and will send word when it is time for the funeral and for you to come to castle. With your permission, your aunt and I will hold down the fort and 'rule' while you are away. "
"While I'm away…"
"While you are here. As a Dragon you should remain training, and it is probably safer for you. Your Aunt Kiko has the right to regent until you can rule, seeing as she is royal and one of the only remaining heirs to the throne. Your Aunt Kagame is on her way to the palace to also hold the fort." Kimiko shook her head.
"It's a lot to take in, in one day. My Grandmother… is dead… She was the Empress of Xiaolin, and I am her heir. And I have to guard, an engagement ring from the man whose soul it contains." Kimiko whined. She sighed. "Don't ask me to make any decisions right now."
"Of course. " John exclaimed, pulling Kimiko into a hug as she started crying.
Raimundo sat on the wall of the temple, watching Kimiko and John. Confused as John pulled out what looked like a an engagement and gave it to Kimiko, jealousy and confusion. Pain tore through him as he watched Kimiko cry when John pulled her into a hug. Raimundo growled lightly.
"You know partner, spying isn't pretty." Came a voice. Raimundo turned and looked down into the tree next to him to see Clay leaning against the tree.
"I don't know what you are talking about. I'm enjoying the view." Riamundo Denied.
"Enjoying the view of Kimi as she talks with her grandfather., and spying on her." Clay retorted.
"No, I'm enjoying the sunset."
"Which isn't for another 5 hours."
"i-er… I wanted a good seat." Raimundo floundered. "All the good ones might be taken." Clay laughed at him.
"Yeah, the good seat to see all of Kim. Instead of spying, tell her you like her." Clay suggested, climbing the tree to sit on the wall next to Raimundo.
"And what if she laughs. What if it ruins the bond we have as dragons?" Raimundo asked, looking at Clay who looked around him at everything, enjoying the good view.
"And what if it strengthens it? What if the two of you fall hopelessly in love and get married? Have three kids and a dog." Clay asked in return, before looking at him. " Rai, you will never know if you don't try. My Cousin Crystal, just got engaged back in the states. She fell in love with her best friend, Sean. She took a chance to ask him out."
"That's different. They were best friends."
"And Firefighters of the same station. Maybe not as big as what we do, but the two of them save and protect and need that bond as family to stay strong. You know who made the first move?" Raimundo looked at Clay.
"Little Crystal. Who has never asked anyone out in her life, who has never admitted to anyone that she liked them. She's very shy when it comes to that. But she falls so hard, she does not love gently. She made the first move, to someone far braver then she, who just like her, was afraid of ruining what they had." Clay answered. Raimundo shrugged.
"It's still different. If it fell apart they could change stations." Raimundo argued.
"Not true. Crystal doesn't move. She settles. She changes nothing, because she herself does not handle change, and because she cannot handle it, it scares her. Crystal lives where she grew up, in a house identical to the one she grew up in, across the street. They had to coax her over there. She has sworn if she leaves that company, she is leaving the service, and that will be the day they put her in the ground. While she cannot handle change, she is passionate. She loves that station and every person in as we love everyone here. Though perhaps stronger for her, since she does not love unless it is complete." Clay responded, looking out over the land.
"She could change if she wanted."
"Not really. Doctors say she has signs of autism. That if she is she extremely high functioning but she has issues with things that autistic people do. Florescent lights, change, certain tones and pitches of sounds. Doctors aren't sure if she is or not, and she doesn't care to know. She is as fragile as she is strong. " Clay answered. Clay looked at him. "Take a chance. IF little Crystal, shy and sweet, but outgoing when it matters most can do it, you can."
"Did you make that all up?" Raimundo asked.
"No, actually most of it is true. Crystal isn't autistic. Just problematic. Her brother is." Clay answered, making Raimundo laugh. Clay chuckled.
"So she does handle change?"
"No, that part is true. And the problems with high pitch noises. She says they give her migraines. And fluorescent lighting. She isn't autistic. And she does live in a house mostly identical to the one she grew up in. Same layout, different colors. Plus more yard and a finished basement and attic. She had a hard time expecting that. She actually had a hard time with her fiancé moving in with her at her parents house. She doesn't handle big changes. Engagement she handles pretty well, but it's still a big change, she had trouble." Clay looked at Raimundo again. "If she can do it, so can you."
"Clay, you are something."
"So are you partner, so are you."
A/n: thanks for reading I hope enjoyed. And I will admit the story of Crystal and Sean, actually is real. That's the story of my Fiancé and I. Review!