Chapter 1: Epic Mistakes
It was an accident, really. The whole situation stemmed from a combination of bad timing and unfortunate reflex. Now, Chase rarely made mistakes but apparently, when he did make one, it like everything Chase did in Jack’s opinion, was epic.
It had been a particularly bad day. Chase had tried and failed once again to bring Omi to the Heylin side and was feeling particularly annoyed about that fact. Jack walked in speaking of something or other, probably some complimenting nonsense that was as useless as it was ego stroking. Usually Chase would call his cats to kick the boy out and the problem would be solved, but, because Chase had been irritable lately, his cats were avoiding him as much as possible. Now that didn’t mean he couldn’t call them to deal with the problem, it just meant that it would take them a little longer to get to the throne room. So, he had more time to listen to Jack’s voice, and EVERYONE’S voice was irritating in his state of mind. Therefore, when the cats arrived to execute code Jack, throw an especially annoying intruder off the mountain, Jack started yelling and Chase just wanted him to shut up, to stop talking, stop whining, stop declaring his loyalty. Just-just,
That’s when it happened; Chase waved his hand unthinkingly sending magic, strong magic, in Spicer’s direction. Magic that would bind his word, magic that would silence Spicer, blissful silence. That’s how he ended up in this position, with his mistake staring at him in stunned silence. He nearly face palmed but settled for simple rubbing his forehead with the fingers of one hand. Of course this would happen.
Jack had known that Chase was having a particularly bad day, he had been at the showdown when Chase had won the wu and tried once again to convince Omi to become his apprentice, but Jack was thoroughly annoyed with the fact that Omi had rejected multiple times the opportunity that Jack would have killed to have. Omi had everything: friends, power, Chase Young and he got it without even trying because he was some kind of chosen one. Jack worked and worked and worked and all he got was rejection. All he wanted was a little guidance someone to tell him what he was doing wrong without belittling him in the process. Maybe, maybe if he stayed out of the conflict for a while focused on improving his robots and….. Wait that’s it his robots! Jack had a sudden idea. What if he simply had one of his robots train him?! He had already mastered Artificial Intelligence, maybe if he combined that with the recording of everyone’s skills he could actually be useful! Maybe he could be powerful! Jack would ask Chase what he thought of the idea…. plus he needed an excuse to see Chase and he might have to borrow one of his warriors to test the program.
That was how Jack found himself yelling in pain as the cats at Chase’s palace were a little rougher than usual and one’s teeth tore into his arm.
“I’m sorry, I’m Sorry! Just call them off I’ll leave! Please Chase! You know I'm loyal to you.There’s no need for this- ”
The throbbing in his arm intensified and he suddenly felt dizzy and weak… weaker than usual. He looked up at Chase’s horrified face, which quickly changed into one of annoyance. Hmm I have to look up a little further than usual. I must have fallen. My legs do feel a little weak.
But when Jack tried to stand he found he couldn’t. Completely confused, and a little worried, (had Chase blown his legs off?) Jack took a look at himself….
OH MY EVILNESS!!!!!!!
Jack was certainly not ok. Years of measuring and calculating told him that he was about 10.56 inches long, 16.02 inches if he counted his tail and as he moved and tried to stand experimentally, he realized he couldn’t have weighed more than a pound maybe a half a pound. He had four short legs and a short, thick tail all covered in covered in soft, thick reddish/brown fur tipped with white. His underside was white and brown markings were on his flanks and belly. He had a broad head a with two very small ears low on the sides of his skull. His eyes were large and red and, he learned as he almost bite off his tongue, that all of the teeth in his mouth were sharp. Jack tried to keep calm, but he looked down at his paws and nearly flew into a rage as he realized he had partially webbed toes and his claws refused to retract fully. He hissed GREAT!! Even as a CAT I’m a weakling freak, somebody up there hates me and when I find out who I’m going to destroy them…… as soon as I have opposable thumbs. Speaking of opposable thumbs how am I supposed to build robots again or cook or bake or……… NO! DOES THIS MEAN NO MORE PUDDING CUPS??!!!! I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT PUDDING CUPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jack’s eyes went round with horror and he started meowing in distress and pacing in circles at the thought. Then he nearly had an anxiety attack as he thought about what the monks and, God forbid, Wuya would say if they saw him. as a matter of fact didn’t Wuya live- Jack found he could suddenly move as he stumbled to his feet and tried to run for the door. He had to leave now! Before he took his first step he found himself picked up by the scruff of the neck as if he was a kitten. Heck maybe he was what did he know about cats and the others were so big. Jack paused as he realized something that nearly caused him to fanboy, fancat, whatever. He was one of Chase Young’s warrior cats! It had to be the most exciting thing in his life since seeing a live T-Rex. Hopefully it didn’t end in a similar manner.
Chase stared at his new lifelong servant. He realized that this meant Chase was stuck with Jack for eternity or until someone freed him. Yeah fat chance of that. If he was correct in his assumption Jack was a nearly full grown Flathead cat native to South Asia and one of the smallest wild cats in the world. Even as a warrior cat Jack was small, and thin. Chase would have expected Jack to be a white cat if he had actually planned it. Still he was quite the adorable feline. Chase signaled for one of the female panthers, Aries, to bring him to forward so Chase could examine him. He tried to bolt but Aries quickly had him firmly in her jaws. When she handed him off to Chase he seemed to be contemplating something. Chase found that he didn’t like Jack’s attention wondering when Chase Young his idol was holding him. So Chase did the first non violent thing that came to his mind to get Jack’s attention Chase pet him. Chase felt he had barely touched Jack when he found Jack arching into his hand purring for more. Jack’s purr was a soothing rumble that was relaxing to Chase so he continued. Chase didn’t even notice that he had relaxed enough to sit down on his throne till he found that he wanted to lean back and close his eyes. He sat Jack in his lap and continued to pet him all of the tension of the day simply melted away. When Chase’s fingers stopped their soothing strokes Jack looked up at Chase thinking he had done something wrong till he noticed that Chase’s eyes were closed an he was completely relaxed. So Jack decided to take a nap as well after all he was tired from all the shock and injuries that day and Chase’s lap was just so comfy. Soon the were both asleep Chase’s hand still resting on Jack Cat’s head.
Chapter 2: Adapting
Jack learns to be a warrior cat!!!!
It had been about a day since Jack had become a cat warrior and honestly, it sucked. Don't get him wrong, that nap with Chase? Heavenly, But everything else had been annoying to say the least. Chase had awoken and placed him on the floor before leaving to do whatever immortal dragon warlords do during their spare time. This left Jack to fend for himself and he decided to go exploring around the castle. There was only one problem. Jack could not get used to walking as a cat, no matter how hard he tried, and he had tried pretty hard. The only bright side to floundering around like a fish out of water was that his legs were short so there wasn't far to go before he hit the ground. Even this was a questionable benefit at best. Being Jack, he couldn't just hit the ground. Oh, no. First, he had to stumble into a wall, then nearly fall down some stairs, and trip over some other cat's tail before he finally, hit the ground... on his back.
Jack was now a mess of bruises and being carried like a kitten to the cat living quarters. He was pretty sure most of the cats were laughing at him. One sympathetic female tiger, Aura, took pity on him and he now apparently lived with her and her cubs, in what he was pretty sure was a nursery room, as he got used to being a cat. He was surprised to find that he could understand them as well. The soft growls of "This way Jack" and "A little bit less weight on your hind legs." Really helped Jack to figure out what he was doing and in three hours he could walk, albeit on shaky legs. He proudly walked around Aura, who taught him, and she nuzzled him in approval. "For one who is not a warrior you learn quickly Jack." It was the first time Jack had gotten honest praise from one from whom he could feel no ulterior motives. He purred in happiness and proceeded to try to nuzzle her back only to trip over his freaky paws which made her chuff in amusement. Jack stood back up and shook himself before hearing his stomach growl. He looked up rather embarrassed and watched as she turned around with her tail motioning for him to follow. Jack was curious as he carefully followed. He had always wondered what Chase's cats ate or if they ate at all. Jack was a little bit excited to learn something more about Chase, even if it was just about his cats.
What he hadn't expected was the room he walked into. Aroom which had clearly been created by magic. There was a small stream that lead to a body of water, bigger than a pond but smaller than a lake. It was surrounded by rooms that lead to different environments all filled with prey. Rabbits, fish, deer, you name it, and if it could be hunted it was there. The deer were especially fun to watch as it seemed that though they were in a compressed space, but, they could still run and be chased as if they had all the room in the world. Jack was rather amused that, for the cats, even eating was a training exercise.
Glancing around, Jack knew immediately that he would not be hunting the larger prey, he himself being practically kitten sized. So, he headed towards the stream. Ironically, Jack had always had an affinity for water. Swimming, Ice Skating, Snowboarding, Skiing, he tended to excel in water sports of any kind. So it was without pause that he jumped into the cool water and watched as the fish went by calculating in his head what it would take to catch one.
Flashing colors darted beneath the water and Jack decided it would be easier to catch the fish if he followed the flow of the stream towards the edge of the mass of water. He didn't notice that many of the cats had stopped to watch him with calculating eyes. Many were annoyed that Jack had joined their ranks, a mistake rather than an earned right, others were simply wondering what he could do, and a few were watching because they were worried that Jack would drown. They watched as Jack swam out to the middle of their little lake and paused he swam in place for a bit seemingly waiting for something. With no warning Jack was suddenly gone. Barely a ripple on the surface of the pond showed he'd gone under. All of the watching cats tensed as the waited and waited and waited. Aura was especially worried and she took a step towards the water only to find Jack emerging with a fairly large fish in his jaws. There were some growls of approval as Jack dragged his catch out of the water and over to Aura. He seemed steadier on his feet now as he placed the fish in front of her. Aura looked at him in surprise. Jack, knowing she was probably about to refuse growled "It is a thank you." And before she could refused was back in the water diving under for his next catch.
When he came back Aura had eaten half of the fish and apparently was planning to take the other half to her kittens. Jack settled down to eat his own meal and found that as a cat raw fish wasn't bad. He had barely gotten his second bite in when the fish was snatched by a playful young panther. Jack sighed. He was too hungry to be playing but he figured that this was probably some kind of training as well. So, he hauled himself up and began to chase after the panther as it darted around and taunted him. When Jack decided enough was enough He began to herd the young panther towards the stream. When he felt the panther was close enough Jack jumped forward claws extended and gave a frightful yowl. The panther dropped the fish as he jerked back, landing right in the shallow stream. Jack landed right in front of the fish, having never intended to hit the panther, and, after checking to make sure the stream was as shallow as he had thought it to be, Jack strutted off with a flick of his tail, his newly retrieved fish held proudly in his teeth. He felt he had done well if the amused chuffs were any indication. Maybe he had a small chance of being accepted after all, Jack was excited. He wondered what that would feel like as he ate his meal.
Later, Jack was sleepily wandering around the palace looking for a place to nap. A nice warm place, though no where could be as warm and comfy as Chase's lap. Jack wondered if Chase would let him nap there again. With that thought, Jack headed towards the throne room with a determined stride. He wanted a nap, he wanted Chase’s lap, and honestly, the worst Chase could do was say no, right? After all, Chase had never been known to abuse his warrior cats, and while Jack didn’t consider himself a warrior, he was most certainly a cat. It didn’t take Jack long to find him. Chase was looking into his spying eyeball, probably stalking Omi again. It was always about Omi. Jack walked up to the front of the throne and pawed at Chase's leg to get his attention.
Chase was bored. Chase was so bored he was watching Wuya watch herself in the mirror undoubtedly under the mistaken impression that she was attractive. Usually, if he was this bored he would be watching Jack, who was always amusing to watch, but Jack was a cat now and not a boy working on a new machine while muttering giddly how much it would impress his idol and how he would finally beat Omi for Chase's attention. In fact, he found it so amusing that he sometimes complemented Omi just to see Jack’s reaction. He didn’t do it often, because Jack depressed was no fun, but he tried to encourage the boy to improve this way so that showing his interest in the boy wouldn’t be humiliating. Still, the boy remained amusing as Chase waited. I had hoped that the boy would have been ready soon, but now…. Chase sighed as he dismissed the eye and thought about calling for Jack to see if he could be nearly as entertaining as a cat when he felt a paw on his leg causing him to look down.
"Why hello Jack, figured out how to walk have you?" Jack kitten, as Chase came to call him in his head, purred as he reached down to pet him gently on the head. What could he say, he had a fondness for cats.
"Why did you seek me out little one?" Jack answer was to leap up and settle purring into Chase's lap causing Chase to chuckle. Jack was nearly as entertaining as a cat as he was when he was human. No one else would dare take this liberty with him but Jack did it without thought as though it was natural to be curled up like a house cat in the Chase Young's lap being pet and purring sleepily. Chase relaxed though he hadn't realized he'd been tense, Jack was a wonder. Chase leaned back and let himself meditate as he continued the soothing motion of petting Jack. It had been a while since he had been so relaxed-
"Shen Gon Wu Chase let's go!" Ahh, and there was the bane of his immortal existence. Not only had Wuya's shrieking voice undone all of the relaxation he'd built up, but it startled his Jack kitten awake. The kitten hissed at the witch before leaping up to Chase's shoulders and draping himself there while glaring at the witch in distaste and annoyance. Apparently, as much as he wanted to be as far from her as possible he was unwilling to leave Chase's person until ordered to do so, a fact which for some reason pleased Chase immensely. He pet and scratched the kitten soothingly in an effort to bring back his earlier good mood, Jack purred but didn't relax completely as Chase addressed the witch.
"Why should I care if one of your magical toys has shown itself? I have no use for this one."
"Chase please must we do this every time?"
"Must you shriek every time you open your useless mouth?"
Wuya opened said useless mouth to reply but Chase, clearly done with the conversation, proceeded to teleport them to the wu's location.
When they arrived Wuya immediately went searching for the wu, some useless thing that could let you throw your voice, Chase decided to casually observe this round. Predictably, the monks showed and quickly spotted Chase.
Kimiko:"What are you doing here this wu isn't powerful."
Raimundo:"And what's with the cat? What you got to cold and needed a muffler?"
"That looks more like a kitten than a cat. Since when do-"
Jack glared at the monks then snorted quietly.
Seriously, do they have to announce their enemy every time? I mean it's not like we wander around with amnesia and need to be reminded of our names every time we meet. And don't they have a wu to search for? What's with all of the pointless questions?
Chase chuckled causing the monks to tense as he gave an extra pleasurable scratch to Jack kitten causing the kitten to be thoroughly distracted as it nuzzled him to the astonishment of the monks.
"Indeed, I am not the one the young monks should be worried about, but will it even matter now?"
With a gentle nudge to Jack kitten's chin he subtly directed his gaze towards the shine he had noticed in a tree just behind the monks. When he spotted it Jack gave an extra loud purr as if to agree with Chase before he leapt off of Chase's shoulder and onto Clay's hat startling Dojo. Dojo panicked and began to flail catching Jack on a foreleg. Jack yowled at the top of his Jack kitten lungs and chaos ensued between the dragon warriors. Clay stumbled into Raimundo, who fell on a screeching Kimiko and they all fell back towards Omi. Before they actually hit the unfortunate child, Jack jumped up to a tree limb and climbed the tree grabbing the choker shaped wu in his mouth. Jack looked gleefully at the chaos he had caused before leaping to land on a branch beside Chase and drop the wu into his outstretched hand. All of this while the monks were a groaning heap on the ground. Jack purred in victory even as he began to lick at the shallow wound on his leg. Chase noticed the injury and gently picked Jack up placing him back on his shoulders. When Jack kitten reacted with surprise even as he settled himself comfortably Chase said quietly, "You must never show your weakness to an enemy. We will have much to speak of later my Jack kitten." While Jack was still reeling over the nickname, Chase turned his attention to the monks.
"It seems you still need more training young monks."
"You may have pushed the sheep onto our eyes but you will not so easily be the winner of the noontime!"
"That's pull the wool over your eyes, and win the day Omi. As for the second one." Chase brandished the wu caling to Wuya before continuing. "I believe this means I have." And with that, Chase, and a whining Wuya, disappeared leaving confused and embarrassed dragon warriors in their wake.
When they arrived Chase immediately sent Wuya away. "If you can't find a way to retrieve it yourself then you won't have it. Now get out of my sight I've had enough of your presence today."
Wuya huffed as she stomped angrily out of the room and Jack blew a kitten rasberry after her. He cut his tongue slightly but it was worth it to see her flinch.
"Now, Jack that is not at all how a dignified cat behaves, we will work on that later. For now, we shall clean that wound." With a snap of Chase's fingers Jack found himself in Chase's bedroom. Jack looked around drinking in everything he could as he was, surprisingly gently, plucked from Chase's shoulders and placed onto the bed. Another snap and Chase wasn't as huge as he had seemed before, Jack was human again. Chase opened a jar on a stand next to his bed. He pulled on Jack’s injured appendage softly and as he spread the slightly stinging salve on lightly he started to speak.
"I dislike wasting time so I shall get straight to the point. I want to train you Jack."
Jack looked at Chase in stunned silence forgetting for a moment that he could talk. He got his voice back as his wound began to sting in a particularly harsh way. Jack winced, "W-why would you want me? I mean it's such an honor and I'm grateful but, why now?"
"The quick thinking and agility you showed in getting me this wu has proven that you have some potential. Also, now that you're my warrior, I prefer that you know how to defend yourself."
"Then, I can really learn how to defend myself? How to help you?"
"Yes my Jack kitten. I will also be getting you your own lab. There is no point in wasting your talent, however, I must insist that you improve on the design of your Jackbots as well as use your genius to learn something other than robotics. It is good for you to be more knowledgeable in general. We shall make a schedule later. Do you accept?"
"Yes yes yes yes! I won't let you down Chase I promise! You'll see, I'll be the best student ever!"
"Excellent. We shall start early tomorrow. For now," Chase snapped his fingers, sat on the bed, and put the once again kitten Jack into his lap. "I think it is time for a nap don't you?" There was a swelling and release of magic and then Chase was in his sleepwear. As they settled on the bed and both drifted off to sleep all Jack could do was sleepily purr as he thought Being Chase's cat rocks!
Dreams do come true for Jack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chapter 3: Changes
First full day
Jack awoke early the next morning to his name being called by Chase Young. At first he was confused, and he briefly considered an alternate universe theory, before remembering what happened the day before. He allowed his mind to catch up and reboot for a moment before abruptly sitting up and stretching. He threw off the covers and stood stretching again as Chase watched. “Good morning.” He said sleepily moving his head up to nuzzle Chase's neck. Jack yawned as he enjoyed the fact that he could get so close to his idol. Him, Jack Spicer, Evil Genius, not the cueball, not the kitty litter, not the annoying hag, but Jack was the one standing beside Chase in the morning as his apprentice. He quickly squished the part of him that whispered that he could possibly be more. As he enjoyed this feeling of acceptance, for once, he was slightly startled when Chase finally spoke.
"So it is natural.” He said, head tilted in interest. “All this time I thought you dyed it, I was wondering what invention you'd used to hide the chemical smell." Chase’s grin was mischievous his focused on Jack's lower body.
Jack looked down, confused, and when he realized exactly what Chase was looking at he yelped and he feebly tried to cover himself. Chase laughed and tossed some cloth at Jack.
"This is what you'll wear while your in human form from now on."
Jack looked at the cloth before carefully unfolding it to see what it looked like. Chase waited patiently for Jack's reaction.
"What is this?!" Jack momentarily forgot that the being in front of him could easily end his existence as he stared at the monstrosity that was his uniform. Chase struggled to keep a straight face.
"It is your battle wear Jack. It has been enhanced to help you train so you can be as quick and agile in human form as you are in cat form."
"As awesome as that is Chase, you couldn't have enhanced something else, anything else."
Chase pretended to think. "I do believe we have a maid uniform on standby, one of the
French ones, would that be preferable?"
Jack gave it some serious thought. ''Would I still have to fight the monks in it?"
"What you train in is what you fight in." This time Chase couldn't hold back his grin. "Though during showdowns your outfit will still change to the one in your hands."
Jack hung his head. "Fine" he grumbled sulkily.
And that his how Jack found himself dressed in a black shirt with tie dye dark red sleeves and tight black jeans with red converse and black gloves. These parts of the outfit were fine, even cool.
"Stupid, obsessive, perverted, dragon breath overlord." Jack mumbled as he looked at himself in the mirror.
Jack glared in the mirror at the cat ears perched on his head that twitched with his irritation as did the tail behind him. That's right, ears and a tail. The stupid dragon had made it so that Jack had ears and a tail whenever he put on the outfit. He was officially a neko, and not in the fun way. The hood had space for his ears so that they would be covered but visible and his jeans hung low on hips with a slit for his tail to slip through. These features were nothing like he looked in cat form, the tail was long and a light pinkish almost peach color with a dark red stripe down the middle and the tip was white as his skin. His ears were tipped in the same white color with one red stripe going down the back. And worst of all the tail… was fluffy.
"For the love of all that's evil! I look like a retarded skunk."
Chase personally loved Jack’s new look but he chose not to voice his opinion, instead simply reached over to gently pet Jack's head, paying special attention to Jack's new ears which were extra sensitive. Jack's face turned the same color as his hair as he purred and pressed himself closer to his master. Chase couldn't help but smirk again.
"Come Jack, you will get used to your new look. For now we must train and if you don't hurry we won't be able to have breakfast first."
Jack simply nodded as Chase talked, unable to really focus as long as Chase's hand continued to move in his hair. He nearly whined when Chase removed his hand.
"Oh, so you don't want breakfast?"
Jack blushed as he realized what he was doing but was unwilling to let go of Chase. Jack could finally cling without being scolded and he was going to continue to cling for as long as he could.
"Breakfast sounds good."
"Then we have to walk there Jack." Jack nodded but didn't let go.
"We cannot walk there if you continue to cling to me." Jack merely lifted his legs to cling to Chase's waist as his arms moved to around his shoulders. Jack's ears brushed against Chase's cheek as Jack buried his face into Chase's neck and nuzzled him Jack's tail wrapped around Chase's leg. Chase chuckled.
"Fine, but just this once, kitten. After this, you will be walking to breakfast in the morning."
Jack nodded and sighed in contentment but refused to move otherwise. His head was pleasantly fuzzy and his mind seemed to have frozen on cuddle without his permission. Chase chuckled and was content to leave Jack in human form, because it amused him, as he walked to the dining room. Chase's cats reacted in a range of ways which Chase ignored. Some were stunned and a bit concerned to see their master walking around with Jack Spicer clinging to his front, they would watch with wide eyes as Chase walked by as though there was nothing out of the ordinary. The second reaction was absolute hilarity. Both Jack and Chase could hear the chuffs and snorts and Chase could see the grins of the cats who laughed. Chase would smirk at these reactions and Jack chose to simply snuggle closer to Chase. Eventually though Chase had to arrive at their destination, the dining room.
"We're here Jack."
Jack at first tightened his hold slightly, he wasn't yet ready to let go and the trip, short as it was had left him a little sleepy and Chase was warm. Chase sighed, as amusing as his little Jack kitten was, and really those sensitive ears were tempting, Chase was actually hungry and the way Jack was clinging would make sitting a problem.
"Spicer." Chase said firmly.
Jack flinched at that, last name meant he was in trouble, Jack didn't want to be in trouble or rather, he didn't want the pain that comes with it. He forced himself to loosen his hold and slowly slide to the floor stepping away when he was done. As soon as his body was no longer touching Chase, Jack snapped out of whatever trance he was in.
"Chase, what just happened."
"What do you mean Jack?"
"Why was I all over you? It was weird and I couldn't think."
"You usually think? I couldn't tell before that incident with the wu. Speaking of which your training starts in 10 minutes, I suggest you eat fast." With that statement, Chase walked away. Jack stared after him a little angry at how he had just been dismissed but too hungry to follow after him and whine to annoy him. As Jack ate, he thought about what exactly had happened to make him a clingy mess. It definitely had something to do with the stupid outfit because Chase had almost seemed to expect it. Thinking back Chase had ruffled his hair and that had been fine until he touched his…. Ears. Ears! The stupid ears. Chase had pet them just before had mind had stopped on stupid. It was official Jack despised this outfit and would have to come up with something better and less dangerous before he ever fought in it. I mean cheeseball loves to touch and Kimiko is a weirdo. These things are dangerous. Jack thought as he ate. He had only half finished breakfast when Chase returned to inform him that it was time to train. Jack had looked longingly at his unfinished breakfast but knew better than to keep Chase waiting.
Twenty minutes later Jack found himself high above the ground in an improvised training room, where he was learning to use height to his advantage.
"You do best off of solid ground Jack. Flying, swimming, climbing, skating. Things that require grace, agility, and speed are where you excel."
Chase had the showed Jack a room with a large pool, tall ladders, ropes, pulleys, and both long and short wooden rods the stuck out of the wall like branches. It was an obstacle course to challenge the body and mind. Jack noticed small items hidden all around. Some had a slight shine to them, others simply blended with the environment. There was however one thing that confused Jack.
"What are those?" Jack pointed to a pair of what looked to be shoes at the front of the obstacle.
"Those, Jack, are skates. As I said you do better when you are not on solid ground. Those skates will be your assignment. You shall wear them every day as you build an improved pair that will allow you to take advantage of any terrain. You may start now."
At Chase's command Jack slipped on the matching skates and stood. He was surprised to find that they were easy to move in. Jack moved experimentally around the room as he got used them. Then he began jumping over obstacles on the floor. This led to him reaching for the ropes above the his head and swinging on those using his skates on the wall for speed. Chase watched Jack's play with an amused eye. It was obvious that Jack was enjoying himself and Chase was happy that Jack could find training enjoyable. Soon though, Chase remembered that he had one more thing to show the boy and it would help with his training.
"Jack, I need you to find three items around the room and bring them to me. I will judge you on speed and silence."
Jack looked eagerly around the room and leaped for the first thing that caught his eye. He was, in fact, so eager to please that he missed ledge. His hands just brushed the item, which looked like the Reversing Mirror, and fell swiftly. Yelping but used to falling Jack grabbed desperately around him for something, anything to stop his free fall. Arms whirling, eyes closed, and body braced for the pain of impact Jack didn't notice that he had stopped falling about 5 feet above the ground. As he cautiously opened his eyes and stared confused at the ground below him as Chase chuckled quietly behind him. Jack was analyzing why he wasn't a mass of bruises on the ground when he looked up, what he saw made him almost forgive Chase for making him a neko. Curled around one of the longer wooden rods sticking out of the wall, was his tail. Jack smiled as he curled his body back up in order to grab the branch with his hands and perch there examining his tail with a grin. Jack now was the proud owner of a prehensile tail. It reminded him of transforming into a monkey with his favorite Wu. Experimentally, He grabbed at a nearby "branch" with his tail and jumped using momentum to swing himself to the next wooden rod and grab it in his gloved hand. He grinned as he swung again gaining confidence as he progressed. Jack knew this feeling and so he could replicate it recognize how it felt to do it right and repeat the motions.
Soon with a beautiful combination of skates and moves he'd learned from being a monkey he was moving with confidence and speed through the room. He easily grabbed the item he'd missed before tucking it into his hoodie as he moved to drop in graceful free fall and dropped to grab a ropey looking item below it which he also tucked into his hoodie, which seemed to magically have endless room, as he used his tail to grab a passing rod and swing himself up to look for more items. He noticed one above him and one in the pool below. Jack happily jumped down into the cool water below.
It wasn't that Jack just loved getting wet, but the scientist in him insisted that he experiment with the magic Chase had cast on him. If he had prehensile tail. What else could he do? As Jack hit the water he felt a warm tingle of magic wash over him and make him gasp. When he did he quickly found that he could breath under water. He grinned as he did a quick check to see what else had changed. He of course, first glanced at his tail which he noted hadn't changed much. Disappointed he reached out to touch it to make sure and laughed as he found the nearly invisible fins on the sides of his tail. Jack played for a minute longer testing the strength and steering he could do with his tail. He soon remembered that he was being timed though and so Jack swim to a side of the pond where he grabbed the coin there and quickly made his way back up to the surface.
After he shook himself off he gathered the three items which he'd found out were Shen-Gong-Wu, and and held them proudly out to Chase.
"A little slow but an acceptable performance." Chase praised. "I trust you learned some useful new skills?"
"This outfit might not be so bad."
Chase raised an eyebrow as if to say 'You expected less from the awesome me?' And Jack laughed which made Chase relax. Speaking of relaxing Chase waved a hand and in seconds Jack was once again Jack Kitten and Jack Kitten was not amused. Can't a guy get any warning before being made to switch forms?! Well, at least this time I can walk.
"You need to be ready to change at a moment's notice Jack. It may be able to aid you in a fight against the monks. But we will speak on that later. For now," Chase scooped up Jack Kitten who draped obligingly around Chase's shoulders.
"For now I have something else to show you, that I think you will like just as much."
Jack purred despite himself. Chase chuckled as the relaxing rumbles soothed his shoulders. He walked through his place down hall after hall and made at least three turns before he arrived at the door he was looking for. He smirked as he felt Jack’s eagerness nearly radiate off of him as Jack Kitten stared at the closed door. Chase swung the door open to reveal a lab. Not just any lab, a state of the art lab with everything that any techy genius could ever dream of inside. Chase lowered Jack to the ground and turned him back into a boy, a boy who was gaping at the sight as if he couldn’t believe his luck. He looked all around in awe but his eyes stopped on the table on which he would make his future robots.
“Chase how did you know?” Jack said as he ran over to grab up the small iPod absolutely loaded with all of his favorite songs.
“I have my ways.” Truthfully, he stalked Jack more than Omi and Jack was the type to sing while he worked. “You may start remaking your skates now. I will pick you up in two hours.”
With that Chase was gone and Jack wasted no time starting on his new project, it had been too long since he had touched tech. Jack already knew what he wanted to do, so he grabbed a pencil and paper and started his blueprints.
Chapter 4: New Shoes
Jack upgrades his wardrobe and gets his first mission.
Two hours later, Chase checked in on Jack to see what progress he had made on his project. He opened the door hoping to find Jack dancing to some tune blasting from his headphones as he figured out some problem. However, that is not what he found. In fact, when Chase opened the silent swinging door what he found was an empty room.
Chase wasn’t to worried about Jack. His kitten wouldn’t have run away, and if he had then it would be a simple matter for Chase to bring him back, but it bothered Chase that Jack wasn’t where he had left him so he went in search of his Jack. Chase looked through the places that it seemed that Jack would be most comfortable in such as the throne room the cat room and Chase’s own room. He found Jack in the training room trying out the new gear that he’d just made.
His body had seemed to adjust to his new strength and agility fairly quickly and he was easily clearing the long distances between some of the rods and would occasionally drop down in a free fall only to flip just before he hit the water to land on top of it and skate across. As Chase walked in Jack was prowling silently as possible across the room towards a wu he had spotted in a smallish hole across the room. He paused on a rod seeming to think for a moment before jumping for the hole with his arms out stretched and when he landed Jack was Jack kitten. Jack kitten grabbed the wu in his jaws before moving fluidly towards the ground. About halfway there Jack threw the wu in mouth in the air and jumped after it. Then Jack, once again in human form, grabbed it out of the air and tucked it into his pocket landing soundlessly on a nearby rod. Jack then searched for the next wu. He spotted one hanging near the ceiling of the room. Ignoring the rods completely this time Jack placed his hands on the wall and started to slowly climb using his hands and feet. He gained speed with confidence and soon had the wu in hand. Looking down after he tucked the wu into his pockets once again, he spotted Chase. He waved at his idol before deciding to jump down to meet him. He pushed off of the wall and let himself fall for a couple of seconds before activating the boots so that he could fly safely down. After a solid landing, Jack began to gracefully skate towards Chase arriving before him with a happy grin.
“I fixed up the skates.” Jack said gesturing towards his feet proudly. “Is it time for dinner already?”
“You’ve done well. And as a reward today you don’t have to hunt for your food.”
Jack was extremely excited and fist pumped in his excitement.
“So does this mean that I can have pudding?” He said excitedly.
Chase made a face at the thought of the over processed junk food that the boy favored.
“We shall to wean you off the disgusting swill eventually.” Jack’s face fell, “But I suppose that for today you’ve earned the treat.” Jack purred in happiness and punched a first in the air, a sight that made Chase chuckle once again as he started out of the room leaving a happy Jack to follow him.
“You shall have to wait till after dinner of course but I think you would like what we are having.” Even that did not curb Jack’s enthusiasm and half an hour later the two sat as Jack explained how he had designed his skates to work.
“So basically they are constantly scanning the surrounding terrain and adjusting accordingly. I can skate, fly, they can even become regular walking shoes! I’ve also fitted them with a cloaking device so that they match any outfit and they also are fitted with a lockpick and a knife for emergencies.”
“Impressive Jack. All in two hours.”
“Actually it only took about thirty minutes to build.” Jack said dismissively, “The rest of the time I spent modifying the gloves and testing the equipment. I found that having a small propulsor on the back helps to give my kicks a little more… kick. So I figured why stop at the shoes? I modified the gloves to-”
“We’ll have to continue this conversation later Pet. We’re about to have a very loud visitor, you’ll want to change.” Jack was a little disgruntled that he had been interrupted but not upset enough to actually disobey the warlord. His transformation was as smooth as it had been in training as he sat on the table next to the warlord pouting rather than touching him. Chase was chuckling at Jack’s sulking as Wuya burst into the room.
“CHASE THERE’S A NEW….. wu.” By the time Wuya had finished her sentence they found themselves in a swampy area that was as humid as it was wet. Vines covered in moss hung from large trees covered in the same. Mud covered most places that weren’t water and the wildlife could be heard lazily calling out around them. Jack gave a disgusted glare at their surroundings, mindful of his white he lept into Chase’s arms. With a smirk Chase glanced at Wuya and waved a hand in a shooing motion. “Search to your heart’s content Wuya. And do try not to fall into a bog.” With a loud scoff Wuya flipped her hair and turned her back on them stopping off into the swamp to search with no concern of her surroundings. Chase on the other hand moved to perch lightly on a high branch Jack lying in his arms.
“You do not wish to search as well?” In answer to that suggestion Jack glared balefully at the mud below them, flicking his tail in agitation. Chase gave a quiet chuckle as he scratched Jack under the chin to make him purr. “Come now Jack, we can wash it off of you later. Why don’t you go search in the lake? At the very least you can find some fish.” Knowing that this was more of a test than anything Jack glared at Chase before jumping out of his arms and landing a human Jack.
He’d just reached the lake when, “Jack Spicer?”
Jack grimaced. He was not letting the monks see him with cat ears. Welp here goes nothing. He thought as he pulled up his hood and dove into the water to get away from the monks and start his search for the wu.
“Was that really Jack?” Kimiko asked looking back at the monks.
“He did not answer when I called his name.” Omi said scratching his head.
“I coulda sworn something was different about the varment.” Clay murmured.
“Who cares who he was, let’s focus on finding the wu!” Raimundo demanded. At his command the monks split up to search. As they moved, Chase faded further back into the shadows, watching.
Sorry I missed a week. Then I was sick Monday so missed that day too. But I'm back and better than ever!!!!!!!!!!
Chapter 5: The Kitty The Witch And The Warlord
The water was warm and dirty and Jack was annoyed as he searched it’s awful depths for some obscure wu that he didn’t know anything about. The first fish he came across was quite large and met a particularly violent and quick end at Jack’s annoyed claws. He decided to bring it up to Chase in hopes it would maybe be enough for Chase to let him off the hook. If not, it still would be nice to get out of the muddy water for awhile. As he moved towards the surface he noticed something from the corner of his eye. Jack quickly moved to the surface to drop off the fish before going back down to investigate. As he swam down to his previous depth he noticed that one part of the water was clean and clear, free of the mud and debris that littered the rest of the area. Jack followed a hunch and swam quickly towards the area changing into a cat for faster travel.
He ignored the fish that surrounded him and the plant life that brushed lightly across his fur as he carefully made his way to the center of the of the strange phenomenon, scanning the water. Finally, he found what he was looking for, a slender metal cylinder that seemed to be filtering the water. He dug it out of the sand and grabbed in his mouth. Smug, Jack started to swim towards the surface with his prize between his teeth. Second time in a row I’ve taken the wu right from under those Losers’ noses. He was moving quickly towards the surface of the water. He was almost there when he found the water surging towards the sky around him taking his small cat body with it. This could be Omi, guess the Cheeseball decided not to get wet today. Either way this is dangerous, if they see a cat with the wu they’ll still attack. With that thought in mind Jack reluctantly changed back to human form using his boots to propel himself out of the column of water. He dropped the wu into his hand and shook himself slightly as he made sure that there was no water in his ears.
At this point Jack was wet, sticky and annoyed.
“Do you have to sound so surprised when you see someone you regularly see hunting the same wu? No, I have not changed my name yet. And I assume your names are still the same as well. let’s skip to this part. I have the wu and once again you five have failed. I do hope this will become a habit.”
Without waiting for a reply, Jack dove past the startled monks and into the surrounding forest.
He found Chase fairly quickly and landed on a branch above him before dropping the wu into his hands.Jack settled onto the branch in a comfortable lounge his tail flicking lazily. His head propped upon his hand. A loud angry shriek echoed through the forest.
“Two for two master.” Jack said his ears twitching. “Do you think Wuya will be joining us or did she fall into a bog?”
Meanwhile, back with the monks Kimiko was in a rage. she was just barely keeping the urge to burn everything in sight under control. Raimundo was not as concerned “It’s Jack Spicer. What’s he going to do with a purifying rod? He’ll probably lose it in the next showdown anyway.”
Omi was quick to boisterously agree. “That is right we may have lost the little war but the battle is still fighting.”
Even Raimundo was stuck on the translation for that jumbled up idiom. It was Clay who finally translated, “Ah reckon he means, we have lost the battle but not the war’.”
“That is what I said.” Omi said happily.
Clay spoke again “Hey did any of y’all notice anything different about Spicer?”
Before anyone could answer Dojo peaked out from under Clay’s hat.
“No time for chatting guys I feel another rash coming on!” As he spoke he jumped down from Clay’s hat and started to grow so he could carry the four monks. Even in their shock there was an air of excitement as the monks moved quickly to climb onto the enlarged dragon It was Kimko who spoke first.
“Two wu in one day? That’s strange.” She said as they climbed onto their scaly friend.
“Yeah but at least we have a chance to crush Spicer.” Raimundo said as he hit his hand with his fist.
“His defeat shall be most humiliating!” Shouted Omi. Clay was quiet as he contemplated whether or not he had really just seen Jack Spicer with cat ears.
Jack at the time was purring as Chase pet his cat form. It was peaceful and relaxing as they waited for Wuya. True they could go search for her or even use the spy orb to find her, but it was so much more fun to let her struggle. They continued to lounge when Chase suddenly spoke. “Another wu as activated. What do you think Jack care to make it three for three?” Jack purred. “Yes I believe we will go, but this time let’s make this more… interesting.” With that they disappeared.
Wuya had been wandering around for a while, stomping and complaining about Chase and his new favorite pet, before the bugs distracted her. Wuya hated bugs and so swung wildly, hoping that none of them would touch her. This caused her to stop paying attention to where she was going. So it was no surprise that she suddenly fell or rather she sank. Yes Wuya had stomped waved and swore her way into a bog. After a frustrated and disgusted exclamation, she began to struggle and what started off as a slow sink into what felt like warm sticky mud quickly turned into a swift submergence. Rather than be still and wait for help Wuya took it upon herself to struggle harder causing her to sink faster, she was now up to her chest and still struggling. The air was filled with her curses of Chase Young.
“This is all his fault. That no good, low down, dirty, flea-bitten, mongrel-”
Just as the witch was about to sink completely under the bog she found herself in clean cool air. She seemed to almost float for a moment before hitting the cold hard ground.
“Wuya, you look even fouler than usual. I see you decided not to take my advice.”
Wuya hated Chase Young. She glared as she heard a laugh-like chuff from the creature in his arms. Yes, Wuya hated Chase Young, and his little cat too.
Chapter 6: Three For Three
When Chase and Jack arrived at the location of the next wu Jack found himself sitting on hard rock. Uncomfortable, he leapt to Chase’s shoulder, both to avoid the rocks and get a better view. Once situated, Jack glanced around to see where they were. A small craggy mountain in front of them a large crumbling cliff behind them. The scenery was beautiful complete with light vegetation and mountain goats climbing the side. It was peaceful and thump “Chase?”
Wuya was in an undignified heap on the ground. Chase sneered, “Wuya, you look even fouler than usual. I see you decided not to take my advice.” Wuya glared up at the two as she stood and tried to brush herself off but only succeeded in smearing the muck caked on her dress and skin. “Should I even both telling you not to fall off of a cliff? Or will you do so just to spite me?” Wuya huffed and once again stomped off again in response, forgetting that she wasn’t wearing shoes. Jack waited until a shriek of rage and pain filled the air before grinning and leaping carefully off of Chase’s shoulder. With a lazy salute of his tail, he was off to find the newest wu. Jack stayed as a cat this time because he found it easier to find a foothold. It was almost like the practice room as Jack leapt from rock to rock until he found a small crevice that glinted as he walked by. Jack unhesitatingly crawled into the small hole to find the wu he was looking a small bracelet with dark etchings and a glinting red ruby on the side. He grabbed it in his mouth ready to snag another easy victory only to feel himself being yanked up by his tail. Jack gritted his teeth forcing himself to not to drop the wu as he readied his claws. “Not so fast cat. You won’t be sneaking away with the wu this time.”
“No, but it seems like the purrrfect time for me to do it. ”
Suddenly there were three people grabbing a glowing wu and Jack found himself staring at Katnappe, Omi, and Raimundo.
It was Omi who cried “Katnappe, cat with no name, I challenge you to a Xiaolin Showdown. The game is last one standing wins. My Orb of Tornami, and Raimundo’s Sword of the Storm against Katnappe’s Golden Tiger Claws and No name’s Mountain Echo. ”
The scene shifted, and suddenly the four found themselves on Several levels of shifting floating rocks large enough for just two people to stand on. They called out the battle cry and Omi lept for Ashley as Raimundo went for Jack. Jack seemed to taunt Raimundo by jumping from rock to rock ,never pausing long enough for Rai to get a clear shot at him. As Rai got more frustrated he also got more reckless using his wind to chase after the cat. High above on an audience rock Chase smirked as Jack activated his wu using it to throw a voice saying “Watch Out!” Causing Rai to pivot and look for the source of the voice, just in time for Omi’s water torrent hit him in the back as it missed Katnappe. Raimundo fell and soon found himself wet and in the audience box. Jack smirked and moved on to the next battle. He waited patiently for Katnappe to come his way then sat on a rock just in front of her and gave her his best, “I’m a cute kitty pet me!” look. Katnappe cooed as she took the bait and reached for him. Jack quickly moved forward and snatched the Golden Tiger Claws and dodged the incoming water blast. He then used the Claws to appear behind Omi and shift So he could give the yellow monk a sharp kick to the back of the head before Katnappe was even fully off the stage. As Omi and Katnappe fell Jack landed hood up and wu in hand. Quickly he leapt back from the monks to land beside a smug Chase. “Well done my apprentice. Is that the third time?”
“Three for three master, just like you asked.” Just used Mountain’s Echo to change his voice slightly.
Frustrated beyond reason, it was Kimiko who shouted, “Who are you?!”
Jack grinned beneath his hood and the monks saw a glint of red. “You know who I am.” Said a low voice cryptically before, with a wave of his tail, both he and Chase disappeared.
The monks stared at the spot where the two villains once were. “Did Chase just say that was his apprentice?” Rai asked. Omi and Kimiko both nodded as they mechanically moved towards Dojo.
“And he says that we know him. But it’s not Katnappe.” Kimiko nudged the soaking wet, knocked out girl with her foot, “Who else do we know with a tail?” As they flew away from the mountain Clay inwardly smirked at the knowledge that Jack would be a formidable enemy. Since the rest would never believe him he was content to wait in anticipation for them to find out on their own. It was always nice to be the first to know something.
When they reappeared at the castle Jack was tired and more than ready to take a bath and rinse off all the dirt and sweat he’d worked up throughout the day. Chase was extremely pleased and ready to reward him. “This was quite a day, and quite a successful one at that, Pet. I believe you are entitled to a reward for all your hard work. Follow me.”
Tired dirty and hungry Jack still followed Chase without complaint as they weaved through the winding halls. Jack was almost asleep on his feet when the air around him started to feel warmer and steam drifted past his nose. Quickly, he looked up and saw that he was in a large beautiful bath area. The water was streaming and more seemed to constantly flow in from to large gaping dragons carved on both sides. Jack stood stunned as he took in the beauty of the smooth white steamy area. Soon though he felt a tugging at his clothes. Startled he looked down to see Chase tugging off his shoes. Concerned but too tired to care he let Chase undress him completely, moving only to help remove a piece of clothing. When Jack was naked, Chase swept him into his arms and moved slowly into the warm water. Jack closed his eyes in bliss at the warm water relaxing his muscles and the stream warmed his lungs. Soon He was practically asleep on the warm body behind him as a warm soapy hand moved over his tired body. A warm… soapy… hand? Jack’s eyes shot open and he found himself staring into the amber eyes of his master. Jack was too tired to flinch and instead just rose an inquiring eyebrow. Chase chuckled, “It is a man’s job to care for his pet, is it not?” Jack was too tired to care and was happy to let the, he blushed, very naked dragon lord do as he pleased.
He must have fallen asleep because when he next opened his groggy eyes he was being tucked into soft silk sheets. A hand swept gently through his hair and he heard Chase whisper in his ear. “Sleep my pet, you deserve a rest. Tomorrow you shall get your reward.”
And so with a smile Jack dropped off to sleep.
Chapter 7: Never Alone
Jack gets some much needed reassurance and you get a peek into his past.
The flashbacks suck I apologize.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Jack stretched as he woke up the next morning on Chase's luxurious bed. Some of his muscles were sore from yesterday and, finding that he was still a cat, he decided that a good hunt would help him warm up and then he'd see what Chase was doing before deciding what to do next. Opening his eyes at last noticed that he wasn't the only one in the bed. A little surprised Jack shifted so that he could see his companion and found himself face to face with a sleeping Chase. Sleeping Chase was something that Jack had never thought he'd see. It said something that even as he woke and started to move Chase stayed relaxed and asleep, his dragon and warrior instincts quiet. It made Jack appreciate this chance all the more and gave him an idea. As quietly and calmly as he could Jack crept out of bed leaving Chase to his slumber as he headed out of the room.
Once clear of the room Jack hurried to the Prey Room, as he'd deemed it, and immediately headed towards the pond. He slid into the cool water and once again watched the fish as they shimmered beneath the surface. He watched patterns and tracked trajectories and waited patiently for the perfect moment to strike. It came a minute later when a particularly large fish brushed past his tail. Immediately he dove digging claws and teeth deep into his prey. He let it flail and try to unlatch him until it tired itself out, before he dragged his prize back up to the surface. He happily ate his meal. The fish was soft and delicious. It made Jack think of his first time in the Prey Room, his first time being accepted. As he finished his meal he thought of how hard his life had been before.
As a young boy Jack was always alone. It wasn't that he didn't try to associate with people, he did, but no one wanted to be bothered with the young child. Little freak is what they called him, both behind his back and to his face. His parents weren't much better. It wasn't that they hated him, they told him, sometimes, that they loved him, but his father was busy running a company and his mother was a little too concerned with appearances to be around the frail little boy. In fact, often times when she was around she tried to make him into "the perfect little lady", hence all the lessons. It was less embarrassing to be seen with a frail girl than a frail boy. Neither knew anything about children and Jack himself had been an accident. His mother sometimes fondly called him their happy little accident. Everyone else called him a mistake. Jack came to the conclusion that the world was a cold place and humans heartless monsters. Sad and bitter Jack became increasingly withdrawn. It was around this time that he met his grandmother. Jack had thought at first that she'd be like all of the others, but she wasn't. She didn't call him a mistake or an accident or a freak, she’d called him by name, she'd called him Jackie. She took him everywhere with her and spent time talking to him. She was the first to discover that he was a genius and the one who introduced him to both robotics and evil. She'd called the people who didn't love him on sight fools and fiercely defended him against anyone who dared to say anything negative about him. She was the one who'd taught him the joy of flight and the thrill of making your own gadgets. The years he spent with his grandmother were some of the best years in his memory. But after ten short years she'd died, leaving him alone again. He stayed alone in her house surrounded by happy memories he could never recapture and longed for one who could love him half as much as his Gram.
The fish didn't seem as good as it had a second ago so he threw the rest to some cubs who had been watching him carefully. They mewed in happiness as they dug in. Jack smiled at them as he headed out of the Prey Room licking his lips and started in on the next part of his plan. As he walked he changed back into human form and headed for the kitchen. Cooking always helped him to calm down and Chase deserved some breakfast in bed.
Chase awoke alone in his bed, only mildly concerned that Jack had been able to sneak out without awakening him. Truthfully, he had planned to take the day off and Jack would be back when he realized that. He started to drift back to sleep when he heard his door open and someone slipped into the room. Almost immediately afterward his senses registered the delicious smells that came with them. The person, whose scent identified him as Jack, moved closer to the bed.
"Master, master." He said quietly. "Master wake up." Slowly Jack moved to touch Chase and Chase, feeling playful, grabbed him and pulled him down to the bed. Trapped in Chase's arms Jack squeaked in surprise. He looked up into very awake golden eyes.
"I see you've been busy my Pet. What caused this surprise?" Jack was a little afraid he'd done something wrong looked down as he replied. "I woke up early and figured you deserved breakfast in bed. I see how hard you have to work to be the best and I wanted you to have some down time, at least once in awhile. I'm sorry if you don't like it."
Jack cursed himself for being so stupid and disappointing his idol again. He thought back to how Chase had become his idol as he waited for Chase to scold him once again.
Jack had just had his eleventh birthday and his grandmother, knowing his love for knowledge, bought Jack a book that detailed the greatest villains of all time and their various strengths and weaknesses. It was complete with pictures character analysis and a list of their disciples/apprentices. Most importantly it detailed what made them the best and why. Jack loved it. It was split up into several simple but broad categories. Brains, Brawn, and Both. Immediately Jack flipped to the both section thinking he'd find someone whose footsteps he could follow. Turning to the C section in that thick book got him that and so much more. At eleven years old he'd fallen in love, at fifteen he'd met the object of his affections and at eighteen the object of his affections turned him into a cat. Yep it was a love story fit for a romance novel.
Chase watch as his cute apprentice sat in his lap with a sad look on his face. His ears were down, his tail lay limp and the boy seemed to be muttering something about stupidity under his breath. Really he was adorable. So, Chase took a moment to look his fill before lifting the kittens eyes up to his. He smiled.
"I'd love breakfast in bed Jack. In fact, you should probably serve it before it gets cold."
Jack's smile was blinding and Chase thought that maybe he could make up for some of the times he'd been a little too harsh. Chase also wondered what Jack's smile would look like when later that day, he'd gotten his reward. For now though, he sat and enjoyed as Jack pampered him with an adorable look of concentration on his face. The breakfast was amazing. Pancakes thick and steaming were spread with butter and doused in sweet syrup and decorated with tangy berries. Thick juicy sausage was set beside crunchy bacon and the eggs were cooked to perfection and sunny side up. The dragon lord enjoyed his breakfast much more than he was willing to show. Still he had to ask, "Where did you learn how to cook?"
Jack fidgeted a little as he fussed with another plate of pancakes before answering. "Well, At first I was mostly alone, the nanny was negligent and my parents were too busy to notice. So at a young age I learned to read cookbooks and care for myself, to some extent. When I was a little older I had to live with my grandmother." Jack smiled at the memory, "She couldn't cook to save her life, so, I had to make meals for the both of us. It became a way for me to relax and clear my thoughts. I don't get to do it as often anymore so this was fun."
Chase stared blankly at the young adolescent, amazed at how much he'd learned. The child had been living alone and taking care of himself for so long it was no wonder he fooled around during showdowns and was desperate for attention and approval. Some part of Chase was glad he'd been forced to give the child a chance. The more he discovered about the boy the more he appreciated him and the less he regretted tying himself to Jack. "Where is this grandmother of yours now? Won't she be worried you haven't come home?"
"She won't worry about anything anymore. She's dead. She died about two years ago, passed away in her sleep. I tried to wake her up in the morning and she wouldn't open her eyes. She should have been fine, she was just sleeping, but she wasn't and she died and, and... I never got to say goodbye." By the time he’d finished speaking, Jack was crying silent tears as he fought to regulate his breathing. He fought not to think about how still and cold she'd been, the small smile that had been on her lips as if she was simply having a good dream, and he tried very hard not to think about how she had left him all alone. Alone, he had been alone for a year before the conflict started and without that stupid puzzle box his father had sent he would still be alone now. As it was most people hated him some people tolerated him and no one really liked him. It had gotten to the point that he was so desperate for companionship that he was willing to let anyone use him between begging for his idol's attention. It was hard to be alone, when he was alone he started thinking, when he started thinking he cried, and when he cried he couldn't stop. He tried, he really tried. It was humiliating to crying front of the Chase Young, but he couldn't stop thinking and so he couldn't stop crying. "I-I'm s-s-s-sorry, I-I-I-"
And then the strangest thing happened , Jack felt a pair of lips on his own and when his eyes widened in shock he nearly went cross eyed staring at Chase's face. When his brain caught up to what was happening, (Chase Young, The Chase Young, was kissing him, Jack Spicer Evil Teen Genius) He closed his eyes, relaxed, and let it happen. If the growl of approval was any indication, that was the correct reaction. Chase pulled Jack closer and the comforting press of lips became a passionate battle of tongues as Chase moved his hand to behind Jack's head to tangle in his hair. Jack’s moans and sighs seemed only to excite Chase more causing him to pull the teen to straddle his lap with a startled squeak before diving in to continue the passionate kiss. Jack started to get dizzy from lack of breath and made a slight sound of distress. Chase let the boy breath only to attack his neck with teeth and tongue. Jack shivered and squirmed moans turning high pitched with pleasure. Chase chuckled against his neck before leaning up to nip his lips and start the process again. He started to move his hands, gripping everything from Jack’s hair to his thighs finding the points that made him grasp and sometimes moving to mark those points with his mouth leaving dark hickies behind. Jack moaned, cursed and begged for more without truly knowing what he was begging for or why his clothes were gone. Chase had to kiss the boy silent before he went too far. After a long time of savoring Jack, Chase ended the impromptu makeout session with a last nip of Jack’s lips.
Chase finally allowed the exhausted genius to fall panting to the bed dizzy with pleasure. He loved seeing Jack covered in hickies. Dark marks that would last that much longer on the boy’s pale skin. Chase trailed his hands along the marks with a certain satisfaction in his eyes as Jack’s eyes slowly refocused. Chase licked his lips as if savoring Jack’s taste. He gently grasped his chin and met Jack’s eyes. "You're not alone Jackpet you are mine . I don't abandon what is mine and I don't expect you to make such a mistake again. You will likely never be alone again."
Chase's husky voice was the only sign that he was as much affected as Jack by their making out. He leaned to softly meet Jack’s lips again. "Do you understand Jackpet? "
All Jack could do was nod.
Sorry I was away for so long I am running on nothing but fumes but I hope you enjoyed the chapter.
Chapter 8: Bamboozled at Bathtime
Bamboozled is a fun word don't judge me!
The rest of that morning was spent relaxing in the bathroom as Chase felt it was best if they both got a chance to relax between their hard work out days.In fact, it was necessary to ensure his newest pupil wouldn’t break. So, Chase carried Jack to a bath filled with hot water. Steam curled in the air, filling the room with the gentle relaxing scent of jasmine. Gently, Chase lowered Jack to the floor. Without pause, or any form of self conscious fumbling, Chase then began to strip as Jack watched.
Jack could barely look away long enough to quickly strip himself and slip into the water while Chase wasn’t looking. He nearly moaned as the warm water flowed over his skin, the way it softened his muscles and unwound the tension in his mind reminded him of a massage. Jack spent his time in the bath split between being elated that someone wanted him, a someone who had been his idol for years, and embarrassed because of "The Incident" he decided to call it in his mind so that he could stop blushing whenever he thought about it. Did "The Incident" mean something had changed between them? Was it a one time thing? Had Chase enjoyed it as much as Jack? Most importantly, why was Chase stalking him through the water?
Chase found himself in a wonderful mood as he brought his pet to the bath. He had staked his claim and tasted Jack, and Jack's cooking, for the first time. All in all it had been a wonderfully productive morning. So when they finally got into his hot spring bath which he’d had scented with his favorite flower, white jasmine, Jack seemed to be visibly embarrassed and then deep in thought as he avoided Chase. Well, it was only natural that Chase stalked him around the pool moving slowly towards Jack like the predator he was. Jack didn't seem to really notice at first, he moved instinctively away as Chase moved closer and remained in deep in thought. By the third time though, he was glancing at Chase warily as he moved around the bath, careful not to get trapped against a wall. Soon Chase began to move a little faster, actually hunting Jack now. Jack saw the shift and decided that he had a surprise of his own for the warlord. Carefully, he didn’t want Chase to think it was on purpose after all, Jack allowed for the Chase to maneuver him towards the corner of the large spring. Occasionally, he would fake a break for it and allow for Chase to block his way. Finally, Jack had Chase right where he wanted him. Jack’s back was pressed against the edge of the tub and Chase’s eyes glinted. Chase pounced, leaping towards his prey with speed and accuracy, only to meet with open air. Confused, and slightly disturbed, he looked around warily only to feel a weight on his head. A voice purred in his ear, “Looking for something master?”
Chase’s eyes widened and he reached up to pluck the Kitten from his head only to meet air again as his apprentice landed lightly on the floor beside hot spring, shifting fluidly back to human as he landed. With a teasing swish of his tail he turned to face his master still naked a hand placed teasingly on his hip.
“You didn’t think it would be that easy did you Master?”
Then Jack was gone racing through the halls a roar sounding behind him.
How long could he avoid the ancient warlord turned dragon? It would be fun to find out. He could already hear him racing down the hall behind him claws striking against the tile. Jack turned the next corner only to meet with some of Chase’s lions, two males and one female. They were alert because they’d heard their master’s challenge. With a smile he came up with a plan that would drive the warlord crazy and entertain Jack nicely as well. Jack gave them a particularly evil smile. “Hey guys! Wanna help me outsmart Chase?” The lions stared at him for a moment before giving him grins of their own. For all that they had been Chase’s loyal servants for decades it was always provided a thrill for a warrior to beat someone who was stronger. If anyone could do it, it would be the teen genius himself. Besides, they were always willing to help one of their own. Jack turned into a ct and they followed him as he purred out his plan.
Chase had been chasing his pet for an hour and had yet to catch him. Jack would disappear and reappear at random intervals and in random places. No human should be able to outpace a dragon this long and the boy even had the gall to find time to get dressed between the flashes of seeing him. How had he had time for that?! Chase was nearing feral as he turned a corner and spotted the teen lounging on his throne. He dove toward him with a terrifying roar. He landed on the throne, once again missing the apprentice. Furious, he turned to catch the teen as he undoubtedly scrambled down the stairs. As he turned crouched and prepared to pounce once again he was startled by Jack landing in his lap and wrapping his arms around his neck. Lazily, with a confidence and ease Chase hadn’t known he’d had, Jack drawled in a low voice,
“Hi babe, did you miss me?” and placed a small kiss on Chase’s draconic nose.
Chase was stunned speechless as he sat there in a crouch with a hot young teen in his lap. Even his dragon instincts didn’t know what to do. Chase with all of his wisdom and years of experience was frozen. Jack smiled slowly as Chase continued to stare.
“Chase~” Jack called trying to get the dragon to say something. Chase remained still.
“Hey, hey, Chase are you ok?” Oh, My, Evilness. I broke Chase!
Chapter 9: How to Break Your Warlord
Chase and Jack get visitors.
The warlord turned dragon sat frozen in place. His apprentice, the clumsy and overeager Jack Spicer, had outsmarted him, the fearsome, powerful, and legendary Chase Young. He had been hunting the boy for over an hour and now that he had him in his lap… He wasn’t sure what to do with him. Usually when he didn’t know what to do with something he destroyed it but… he didn’t want to destroy Jack. Having never had this issue before Chase took the time to analyze his next step. During this analysis Chase felt a slight twinge that caused him to once again pay attention to his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was that Jack was frantic. His tail was agitated fur standing on end and straight up in the air waving wildly back and forth. His ears were pinned back laying flat against his head, and his hands formed claws that had hooked onto Chase’s arms with little sharp nails that seemed to be trying to shake him. Cute little white fangs were showcased as he seemed to be saying something Chase couldn’t quite understand. Chase forced himself out of his semi meditative state and the words suddenly made sense.
“Chase! Chase! Wake up please! I’m sorry I tricked you so come back! Chase! Chase! Chase Please...” The last word was a near whimper and Jack seemed ready to cry. Well that wouldn’t do, and suddenly the dragon knew just what it wanted to do. Carefully, he unlocked his muscles and relaxed his body before pulling the distraught boy closer and nuzzling him gently as he let his chest rumble in a gentle purr.
“I am fine little one. Be calm.”
“Ch-Chase?” Jack’s voice was shaky and his red eyes shimmered with tears. His hands shook and he sniffled slightly.
“I do hope that you wouldn’t be in the lap of another dragon.” That got a slight laugh and then Jack seemed to relax. He released Chase’s arms and sit back on his lap. Jack balled his hands into two loose fists and used them to light hit the warlord’s scaly chest.
“Don’t scare me like that ever again!” He exclaimed amusing the large dragon warrior who chuckled and contentedly swung his tail. The fiery blush that covered Jack’s cheeks was very intriguing to the warlord. As if in retreat, Jack drew his hood over his head and rearranged himself so that he wasn’t straddling Chase. Chase only allowed him to do so because he sensed that something or someone was coming, and whatever it was absolutely radiated hostility. He didn’t tell Jack, he wanted to see if his apprentice could sense the would be intruder as well. Jack shuffled in Chase’s lap a bit longer, seeming to have a hard time arranging his tail comfortably and giving himself some time to calm down. When Jack had arranged himself to his satisfaction on the dragon’s lap Chase changed back to human form causing Jack to glare as he readjusted himself. “I just got comfortable.” He grumbled halfheartedly, but at least he was calm.
. Without a word the boy lounged in Chase’s lap hood up, ears alert and tail swinging lazily below them. He rested one foot on the ground with one hand on Chase’s shoulder. Chase decided that for this intruder he would make Jack’s colors resemble his own. a slight wave of his hand and Jack had black fur with green highlights and a sleek long black furred tail. At the transformation Jack realized that Chase could change him at will and gave him a glare that said they would be talking about this new development later. Then without a sound or a signal Jack was facing the front of the room ready for the coming threat.
Actually, Chase highly doubted that anything coming for him now would be threatening, in fact, a battle where he got to completely destroy his opponent was just what Chase needed to work off that excess energy that comes from not destroying confusing things. It might even be fun to let Jack join in to see what he’d learned, if there was anything left for him to fight.
The two villains didn’t have to wait long for their poor victims to arrive. Not two moments after they settled their opponents burst through the stone doors.
“Chase Young! Our last meeting will be the last time you and your apprentice humiliate us!” Raimundo was the one shouting for once as the monks blasted into the room. Landing in formation.
“Today we are going to put you up!” Omi Wasn’t one to be left out of the shouting whenever possible.
“That’s ‘take you down’ Omi.” Said a distracted looking Kimiko. She had immediately noticed how Chase and his apprentice sitting. They were comfortable with being so close, so intimate and Kimiko couldn’t help but to wonder who this new player was. So she decided to just ask.
“So Chase, who is this mysterious and powerful new apprentice of yours?” Kimiko almost choked on the word powerful but villains loved to brag and what better way to start them up then a compliment?
Chase had to hold back a sigh of disappointment as the monks arrived with their usual flare for destruction. Forget a challenge they wouldn't even provide a decent fight. On top of that he couldn't even destroy them, to do that now would upset the balance between good and evil and, to be honest, he liked what he had currently, he would destroy them when he felt like and this wasn't that time. So much for that plan. It was easy to put on bored expression as he heard their usual, eager but misguided, introductions. To be honest he was bored, he’d heard it all before and he would hear it all again. But Chase had to chuckle at Kimiko’s attempt to unmask his apprentice, he had no intentions of revealing Jack’s identity at the moment he didn’t want their interference or disbelief to mar Jack’s training. Jack sat in his lap simply staring at Kimiko, then he smiled, a simple brief glint under his hood. Kimiko watched the hooded apprentice lean to whisper in Chase’s ear and Chase get an unholy glint in his eyes as he looked at them.
“My apprentice has agreed to reveal their identity, if they are defeated by one of you in combat. You may all attack at once but in exchange they will not hold back. If you win they will reveal themselves and grovel at your feet in apology. Do you agree to these terms?”
The monks looked to Raimundo, he was their leader, it was up to him to make the final decision.
Raimundo didn’t even glance at his team, he knew his answer, “We accept. We won’t be holding back either, so be prepared.”His voice was a near snarl. He’ll regret underestimating us! The monks thought as one.
“Excellent.” Chase said with an unholy grin.
So very overconfident those monks that they never thought to ask, what happens if they lose?
Thanks for waiting.
Chapter 10: Be Prepared!!!
This is the fight you have all been waiting for written by a writer much more talented than me who can actually give it justice.
Chase began to grin as the hooded apprentice launched himself above the stairs with a push of his foot. A good burst of air from his boots lifted him high above the stairs leaving time for a flip before landing gracefully in front of the stairs his tail swinging lazily behind him. It was after the third heartbeat of silence that the tension in the room began to truly sink into all combatants. It seemed that the monks didn’t want to approach this new foe for fear of involving Chase in their grudge match, and Jack didn’t particularly feel like bodily launching himself into a 1 versus 4 melee quite yet. Then again, he didn’t exactly have all day and who was he to reject such a polite invitation to take initiative in the battle.
It was with an almost negligent flourish that Jack half lobbed/half pushed a barely flickering ball of fire in their general direction. The monks tensed, beginning to move through long ingrained defensive and evasive maneuvers before realizing that their timing would have been off had they gone through with what their instincts were telling them. Like, incredibly off. Like the orb, barely brighter than a candle, still wasn’t even halfway to them, seemingly too busy taking the scenic route towards them to be bothered.
Kimiko, seeing such a pitiful example of her own personal element, couldn't have kept the sneering smirk off her face if she tried, “You really call that a fireball?” she called out while preparing to show this upstart what it really means to play with fire.
Jack relished the opportunity to steal that smirk right off her face with his response. He reversed his previous flourish, but this time, instead of a ponderously puttering pile of pitiful pyres, a great tempest of highly oxygenated air leapt from his glove and roared towards the monks. “Of course not,” he said, the sarcastic superiority in his voice somehow fighting its way through the rushing winds that were trying to muffle him, “this is a fire storm.”
It figures that it would be the dragon of wind that would figure out what was happening first. “Jump. Now.” The command came, crisp and urgent, and Raimundo’s fellow combatants found their bodies following his words before they were even aware of why. Of course, watching the fleeting flicker of flames suddenly expand to engulf their previous position as it shot by, leaving scorch marks on the floor and bursting into near firework brightness against the wall, made them very appreciative of their current, non char broiled, state.
Though it seemed that the dragon of wind wasn’t done showing off his leadership prowess yet. “Clay, Flapjack him,” came yet another command with the same sense of crisp authority. Then, with a swiftness and coordination that begged Jack’s begrudging respect, they connected feet, moved into a pair of strangely symmetrical jumping squats, and rocketed each other further into their respective elements. Clay reached the ground right foot first with a thunderous crash and, in a move that had to have been taken straight out of a Saturday morning children’s cartoon, launched Jack into the air as if he were an albino, kitten-eared, pancake. Not only that, but Kimiko and Omi were already filling his flight path through the air with a plethora of icicles and fireballs. Really, the fact that he was heading straight toward to a smirking Raimundo with a maelstrom encased sword held above his own head was just icing on his metaphorical cake of elemental pain. Looks like someone got tired of losing all the time. Hell, if he actually took all of those hits then he might really lose.
And that, quite simply, wouldn’t do. The attacks from Omi and Kimiko were simultaneously the most urgent and the most simple to deal with. A small geyser for the fireballs and a minor conflagration for the icicles reduced both into a thick mist in a matter of moments. Jack considered himself particularly crafty for using the recoil from his own attacks to push his flight path away from Raimundo, even as the young dragon moved to maintain his attack position. He considered himself even craftier for using the mist from his defensive attacks as a smokescreen to force the assault of fire and ice to end before the monks had an unfortunate case of friendly fire.
But as much as Jack enjoyed patting himself on that back for coming up with plans on the fly, he knew that he would always be at his craftiest when inventing and creating. The shiny, new toys on his hands and feet were testament enough to that fact, especially the dozen or so surprises hidden within them. Raimundo was being kind enough to volunteer to be a test dummy; it’d be rude of his to not take his offer.
The first warning Raimundo had that their new combo move wasn’t working out to plan was when Kimiko’s and Omi’s attacks had been neutralized before doing any damage, or at least providing a decent distraction. The second warning was when he realized that he was all but isolated from his team by the white mist created by the clashing attacks. If there had been a third warning, he probably would have more strongly considered abandoning the combo to regroup with his team. But with no such warning forthcoming, he waited in position to bring the full force of a typhoon down on his opponent’s head and send him crashing into the earthen cage that Clay would undoubtedly be constructing below. In retrospect, he probably should have considered it a warning when he saw the apprentice closing his eyes as tightly as he could.
The muscles in his arms tensed in preparation to drop a storm hammer on his opponent when, in a flicker of movement, he saw the mysterious apprentice bring his hands together as far away from his own body as possible. Only, instead of the elemental or martial attack that he was expecting and moving to deflect, he found himself stunned by a nova of light and sound. His eyes refused to show him anything other than a splotch covered landscape of white, and he could barely even hear his own thoughts above the attacking army of bells ringing inside his head. He tried to get back his balance in the air but the world kept changing where the direction of ‘up’ was located and ‘down’ simply seemed to be on an extended vacation to Sucks-to-be-youville, Virginia.
Meanwhile, Rai wasn’t the only dealing with the effects of sensory overload. Jack had just learned a very useful lesson, that while his new body came with a lot of new strengths, it also seemed to come with some new weaknesses, like a heightened sensitivity to sound. He’d have to make a note to make something later to deal with that little problem, maybe a set of kitty ear plugs or something. He’d also have to test to see if any of his other senses had changed much and at what ranges would they become debilitating, but that was a research topic for later. For now, Jack would simply have to deal with the oddly rhythmic ringing in his ears from the backlash of his attack for the rest of the fight. On the bright side, if the aimless listing of Raimundo was any indication, then the flashbang feature in his gloves was even more effective that he predicted.
Jack moved in to knock Raimundo out of the fight for good only to find himself beset by a furious flurry of attacks in his general direction. He was forced to dodge for only a moment before retreating and watching curiously as Raimundo searched around for him. It was then that Jack watched as Raimundo simply seemed to lose his mind, swinging his sword around randomly while constantly unleashing gusts of wind that could only laughably be called attacks. While Jack had no idea why he would be wasting his energy like that, he knew enough not to let an enemy combatant finish pulling off an unknown plan. As quickly as he could, he aimed both sets of gloves and boots before firing the widest streams of freezing water that he could. The fact that Raimundo still had the presence of mind to even attempt to dodge was, quite frankly, ridiculous, but with neither sight nor sound on his side, it was only a matter of time before he fell like a bird with their wings clipped.
Jack revved up another, more focused, blast of ice water to make sure that Raimundo stayed out of the fight only to watch it get intercepted by a column of equally icy liquid coming from the smallest dragon. That was curious, he shouldn’t be able to see past the mist cover….that now had massive holes in it. Oh. Ohhhhhhh. That sneaky bastard! Raimundo had been trying to clear away the mist even though he couldn’t see so that his friends could give him some backup. And judging by the giant boulders that Clay seemed all too happy to be heaving at him right now, his plan had managed to work.
Despite that minor setback, even as Jack found himself dodging boulder after bone-breaking boulder, he couldn’t keep a smirk from creeping onto his face. By now, the monks had to be starting to realize just how bad their strategic position was. Their leader would be insensate for the remainder of the battle, and without their dragon of wind--that aforementioned leader--their ability to challenge his aerial superiority was limited, Omi seemed unwilling to fire water at him from a distance without Raimundo to easily remove the mist that his counter attack would make, and last but not least, Kimiko seemed to be busy with defrost duty for poor Raimundo. There is a reason why taking out the leader first is such a powerful battle tactic, and the monks were learning that lesson the hard way. Now if only he could get this annoying ringing out of his head; it was starting to sound worryingly like humming, a very familiar humming at that. Even Clay’s continued attempts to throw the entirety of the earth’s crust as him was beginning to sound like drum beats to his poor, battered ears.
Deciding to end this debacle before it devolved into a full on musical number in his head, Jack lifted both gauntleted hands above his head a brought them down on the nearest boulder with the concerted effort of countless tiny force manipulators. The effect of which convinced said boulder to stop it’s bird impersonation and try its nonexistent hand at emulating a rain storm...of rocks...many of which were sharp. It seemed that the monks were in luck, however, since Clay had packed an umbrella, read a freaking massive wall of stone, big enough for all of them to share. Jack could have sworn that he heard Clay’s voice yelling something after that but his ears were a too busy being distracted by annoyingly catchy tunes to catch his words. Though considering the earthen wall the monks had been hiding behind suddenly became a flying barrage of screw-everything-in-that-general-direction, he felt that he could make a pretty good guess. Probably something along the lines of, “Two and play this here game, partner,” or something equally texan of him.
It was only the combination of blessed, blessed gravity and just how high he’d been hovering in the air that allowed him to get off a hasty gust of wind to redirect most of the stone shrapnel away from him. Even with that defensive move, some managed to slip through and he was forced to protect his face and body with his arms and legs. The hits to the tip of his left kitty ear and right shin stung quite a lot. The hit to his pride stung quite a bit worse. He’d wanted to play with his food for a bit longer but if too many more surprises like that came up he might manage to actually lose this fight. It saddened him to admit it, but Jack conceded that playtime would have to end early. Oh well, he’d have to make sure that this finale was stunning.
Clay had already set up an even larger wall and launched a barrage of sharp silicates and massive minerals that Jack simply swept away with an outright tsunami of super chilled water. Clay provided his team with yet another earthen umbrella to weather yet another elemental storm behind, except this time, the storm never let up. Jack just kept on pumping out gallon after gallon of liquid pain onto their walled position as he slowly approached the ground behind the cover of his assault. He considered delivering some kind of one liner or gloating a bit but honestly, he was sore, had a headache, and he could swear that was seeing Chase’s warrior servants doing a musical dance number every time he blinked because of the insufferable song that was stuck in his head. So there was no preamble, no gloating one liner, no warning at all. One moment Jack’s machine covered feet touched the wet ground, and the next moment the monks screamed.
It didn’t take long for the monks to figure out what had happened. Clay and Omi had been ready to unleash devastation on their opponent as soon as their opponent’s attack ended. Kimiko had even finished thawing out Raimundo, and was well and truly fired up, pun fully intended. Omi had declared that they would leave Raimundo behind the safety of Clay’s wall and rush Chase’s apprentice from three different directions simultaneously, and it had been agreed upon as simple yet effective by all members with their hearing still intact. Omi had even come up with a clever use for all the excess water around them and was in the middle of gathering it when he noticed something off with it. It was oddly difficult to freeze. And then their muscles rebelled against their bodies, locking up and spasming randomly and painfully. Even though they’d all been focused on preparing their individual assaults, even though they’d been caught completely by surprise, even though they hadn’t even been able to see their opponent when they’d been attacked, they all--even Raimundo--knew instantly what had happened. After all, there is no feeling in the world quite like electricity running through your veins.
Meanwhile, Jack wasn’t just dawdling around and waiting for his opponents to recover, not that he’d ever completely stopped channeling electricity through the water. He’d decided to walk a circuit around the room, both to make sure that everyone as well and truly defeated to prevent any surprise attacks, and to make sure that they need any medical attention since electricity can be rather volatile at times. The first to be reached Clay who, as the closest to him during his surprise attack, was quite well done but still kicking strong. Guess they grow em sturdy in Texas, not so sturdy that an extra zap wouldn’t knock him all the way out but very sturdy indeed. Next was Raimundo who seemed to have drifted off into sweet unconsciousness, an electrified boot to the head made sure he stayed that way, but he seemed to be fine enough. Kimiko had enough fire left in her to make some very disparaging statements about his parentage and his personal life; she got an extra big zap. Omi, as the most likely to have found some way out of his attack, got two electrified prongs lodged in his foot from a safe distance. Possibly a bit anticlimactic, but better safe than sorry.
With all of the monks officially out of commission Jack turned to his mentor and bowed as the “music” in his head crescendoed and finally came to a stop. Now, he grinned at his mentor, it was time to take his prize.
What do you think?
Chapter 11: Read the Fine Print
When you don't read the fine print the consequences can be..... surprising.
Clay woke with a headache and a weight on his chest. He groaned, his body throbbed in pain. Everything was either a throbbing or sharp pain. He had a headache, his muscles felt like watery jello and his head felt like a bouncy house of mirrors. He groaned again. How had he gotten this injured? He couldn't quite remember, all he knew was that the weight on his chest wasn't helping. So he gathered together the scraps of his strength and pushed it off. There was a thump and then an irritated meow followed by wonderful relief. A voice came from the same side as the thump. "I think he's awake."
Clay groaned as the voice made his headache worse. "It seems you have not yet learned to hold back. Still if he is conscious then he can be useful to us. Very nice choice of reward Kit. Now if he was strong enough to take that then he should be....."
Clay's aches grew from a dull pain to a sharp stab, shooting through him as if he were being electrocuted all over again. He tried to scream but his throat was too dry and he soon dove into blessed darkness once again.
Jack, once again a cat, sat beside Clay and watched as with a wave of Chase's hand Clay's body began to spasm, his mouth open in a silent scream of pain his eyes wide and unseeing before he fainted once again his body twitching occasionally but his color now healthy. He looked at Chase head tilted quizzically.
"Healing is not one of my strong points, it is a art better taken advantage of by one with a soul. I can heal but it is not quick nor is it pleasant. If he survives he should be good as new by tomorrow at the latest, late evening tonight if he is as strong as I think." Chase watched as Jack fretted over his new addition. "Training resumes tomorrow. You have permission to watch over him tonight and tomorrow he swears his loyalty and you have a new training partner." And before Jack could even nod gratefully Chase was gone.
Jack spent the rest of the afternoon caring for the sleeping earth dragon. Making sure he was comfortable, or as comfortable as he could be since he was still on the floor and they hadn't prepared a guest room for him yet. In the end though, Jack had had a long day as well. One that had tested his skills, intelligence, and stamina. Now that his adrenaline rush was fading he was feeling exhausted. So Jack, as a human, changed the towel on Clay's head one last time, retrieved a pillow and blanket for his comfort and then exhausted, he turned back into a cat. Even though he'd been pushed off the mountain of a boy the first time it was still the most comfortable spot in the room. So he curled up on top of the sleeping boy to sleep.
The second time Clay awoke was a lot less painful than the first. His nerves calmed, his body cooled, his aches and pains a memory and the weight that was on him the last time he woke was now a warm comfort. He reached his hand out and felt fur which he grabbed up so he could sit up.
In an impressive show of flexibility the cat in his hand twisted out of his grip and trotted out of the fairly large room. Moments later while Clay was still trying to remember why he was knocked out on the floor Chase entered with that same cat draped over his shoulders.
"I see you are back with us Clay. Allow me to explain what had happened since you seem confused. You and your friends stormed my home demanding to know the identity of my new apprentice. So we made a deal with you if you all could fight and win against my apprentice he would reveal how identity to you. You and your monks fought and lost." Chase paused in his monologue to smile a truly cruel smile. He could see the young cowboy's memory coming back. It was time to show his hand. "I see you still look confused. Why are you here? Allow me to continue then. You see, so eager were you and your fellow monks to get your answers, so over confident, you never thought to ask what happened if you lost. The answer, I, or rather my apprentice, chose for his prize to be you." At Clay's horrified expression Chase chuckled. "But it is not all bad for you, you get to know the identity of my apprentice." With that the cat around Chase's shoulders leapt down to land gracefully on the floor. Once there it elegantly changed into the boy in the hood who'd caused all of this trouble. Slowly, he reached up and pulled it back. Jack Spicer smiled an almost innocent smile at the confused cowboy.
"Hello Clay, long time no see, at least not like this."
Clay didn't looked confused for long "So, it was you I saw flying out of the water that day."
Chase smirked. "If you knew why didn't you tell your friends? It would have saved you and your friends at least one beating. Though, I suppose your ability to keep things to yourself will serve you well as one of my warriors."
Clay drew himself up upset at the thought. "Now wait just a cotton pickin' minute. I would never agree to be one of your gosh darned overgrown warrior cats!” He insisted before mumbling. “More of a dog person myself."
Chase nodded. "I suppose that is your choice to make. Come Jack."
Chase turned to and began to walk away without a second glance at Clay and it seemed that that was that but Clay was uneasy. He couldn't help but think that it was unusual for Chase for Chase to give up that easily, something was wrong. So, Clay stood up quickly and a wave of dizziness overcame him. He couldn't follow right away and Chase was almost out the door.
"W-wait!" He called trying to shake off the dizziness. Chase didn't pause and something inside of Clay told him that if he didn't stop Chase now he'd never forgive himself. "Wait! Please! Where are you going?" His voice rose in desperation. Finally, Chase stop turning slightly to look at the off kilter boy. His face remained the same neutral mask as he replied. "Nowhere special, I just need to pay a visit to the temple. I'm sure that I can find some new warriors there and if no one satisfies me I'll simply burn it to the ground and make a new batch of soup. I am not one to be cheated after all, young monk, and as I'm sure none of your young friends have healed there is no one to stop me."
Clay was hit from behind hard. He fell to the ground and was trussed up quicker than he could yelp. He looked behind him to see one of Chase's warriors, a large Jaguar, sitting on his back. He looked back and Chase was walking away again.
"Wait, wait please! I'll join you! I'll join you! Just don't hurt them! I'll do anything!"
Chase's smile was truly terrifying. "Proclaim your loyalty to me young monk and your new life shall begin."
Clay took a deep breath and the two villains could tell that the words would be painful to the young monk, no, the former young monk. “You have my loyalty Chase Young and a Bailey don’t break their word.”
“Excellent!” With those words Chase gathered the magic that would bind Clay to him and make him a warrior that was now his to command. He shaped it to make sure the bond would be similar to Jack’s, Chase could see the benefit in hnis warriors changing at will and was actually planning on switching all of his warriors to this spell form. The more loyal a warrior was the more freedom that they’d have. They would be able to move and change freely without Chase’s command just like Jack. Once the spell was to his satisfaction he draped it over the boy and said the words to complete the ceremony. “You are now mine.”
Chapter 12: Past Sins
In case you were worried about the other monks here it is. Also Jack speaks to Clay.
The Song was Be Prepared from Lion King. Why? Because why not.
While Clay had his initiation into Chase’s forces, the rest of the monks awoke on a hill beside the temple. More precisely, Omi awoke. It wasn't a bad spot to wake up in, it was just a little far for the tiny injured monk to carry his equally injured friends. So all Omi could do was give a quick check for life before moving as quickly as his wounded body would take him towards the temple. As he moved, forcing himself to put on foot in front of the other, only one thought kept him going. "When next we meet the mystery apprentice he will be the one knocked out and that offensive hood will be ripped from his head. That way I can know who's face I am beating." The anger gave him strength and he picked up the pace urged on by the anger and fear that he wouldn't make it in time for his friends.
He ran on his weakened legs into the temple calling out for assistance. "Dojo! Master Fung! Master Fung! Anyone!!" Omi ran throughout the temple until he finally found them in the garden. "Master Fung, I need Dojo. It is most urgent!" Dojo Checked himself over quickly "I don’t have a rash so it can't be a new wu." Master Fung calmly spoke to Omi. "What is it young one? Where are the others?" Omi's eyes filled with tears that he harshly wiped away before answering. "They are on a hill outside the temple.” I was not strong enough to bring them back! We must hurry they weren't moving!" There were no more questions as Dojo slid off of Master Fung's neck onto the ground and grew in size. Master Fung called three monks to accompany him. Omi insisted on going as well and there was no time to argue. Once everyone was onboard Dojo took off and Omi directed him to a hill about two miles away. Once they landed the monks check the young dragons and sighed in relief at their continued breathing. The two were quickly loaded onto Dojo as one elderly monk looked around in bewilderment before turning to the youngest monk who was running low on steam. "Where is The earth dragon young one? Where is Clay Bailey?" Omi looked surprised then confused "I- I don't-" And as the last adrenaline faded from his blood Omi fainted and was just barely caught by the elderly monk. The monk hurried back to Dojo with the boy in his arms. He shook his head at everyone's questioning looks and Dojo took off for the temple flying as quickly as he dared.
Back at the mountain Clay watched all of this happen through Chase's seeing eye. Part of him was relieved that his friends were out of danger but a larger part of him was furious. As Chase dismissed the eye Clay turned to him and ranted.
"You went and left them in the middle of dangum nowhere? With their injuries? They could have died!"
Clay couldn't remember the last time he'd been so enraged. He opened his mouth to continue his rant when he was interrupted by the surprisingly hostile voice of Jack Spicer.
"Oh boo hoo. Get over it you overgrown housecat! You all have done worse." Jack, who was lounging in Chase's lap, had turned from lazy cat to bristling human to start a little rant of his own.
"Think back Clay I want you to put away those claws and think back really hard to two months ago." Jack's voice was a dangerous hiss.
"You oh so holier than thou monks broke my arm made fun of me and then flew off on your magical dragon into the sunset leaving me alone with my broken robots in the middle of a jungle miles from home or medical care." Jack's eyes blazed as he sat up getting closer to the startled cowboy as he continued his voice actually getting quieter more angry as he went on.
"Why don’t I count the ways you so called heroes have screwed me over? Don't worry, I'll keep it short for you just within the last two months.” His voice turned professional, even impersonal, but his eyes blazed in rage. “Two months ago broken arm in the jungle, a month and a half ago both my legs under a boulder in the desert, yeah that was a fun one, a month ago burns all over my body, beach, also a month ago frostbite, concussion, gashes, broken hands, dislocated shoulder, burns on my feet, a broken leg , oh and all those little symptoms you get from nearly drowning, arctic ah good times.” His voice turned sickly sweet as his glare sharpened. “That was the time you personally broke my helipack, remember?” His voice turned professional again. “Let me cut it even shorter. Three weeks ago you all broke into my home because I wasn't active.” His voice got more venomous as he continued. “You not only broke my brand new medical robot that I built for emergency care, you broke everything. My tools, robots, projects that I'd been working on for months! You destroyed all of the work you could find. Then when there was nothing else to destroy you broke my leg again and gave me a broken arm and quite a few burns and bruises to go along with it." Jack's blood red eyes practically glowed with his rage and the large Texan found himself shrinking back from the smaller albino as he continued. "And would you like to know who takes care of me when I get home? Who bandages my wounds, stitches me up, sets the bone and scrubs off the blood? Me." Jack leaned back still in Chase's lap hands folded professionally, voice detached and eyes hard. "You don't seem to care when you and you oh so precious friends leave someone half dead in the middle of nowhere so don't get all hysterical when someone does the same to you. Instead why don't you be grateful?" Jack's smile was one of flint. "I would have left them at the bottom of the mountain." With that, his cruel smile still in place, Jack turned back into a cat nuzzled Chase's chin, leapt lightly from his lap, and stalked off. Clay was stunned and horrified and Chase was amused.
"That boy has the mark of true evil in him." Chase said with a truly proud grin watching his young apprentice to stalk off to probably hunt and let off steam. "I can see you are surprised young warrior." Chase said gently shutting Clay's mouth and causing Clay's attention to snap to Chase. "You and your friends never thought of your enemies as humans, you refer to them vaguely in your mind as "the bad guy" or "villain" you justify what you do by saying they deserve it and then you put it from your mind." Chase tapped Clay's forehead before lounging once again. " Now go and follow your old enemy, what you learn may surprise you." Still in a stupor Clay was turned back into a cat and went on his way. "You have the mark in you as well young warrior."
It was surprisingly easy to follow to the angry genius through Chase's enormous home. Jack's claws clicked angrily against the polished floor, and the sound echoed loudly in the empty halls . So, even while still slightly in shock, Clay caught up with Jack easily, then padded behind him thinking.
They weren't that bad were they? After all, it had been Jack who'd chosen to be evil, who'd chosen to come against them again and again.
But what about the times he doesn't? What about those times when he disappears for awhile and we break into his house and destroy his things? What about the times he'd try to be good and we'd abuse him? And we call ourselves the "good guys"? Maybe this is what we deserve, maybe this is what I deserve.
While Clay was contemplating his place in life, Jack made an abrupt change in direction as if changing his mind about his destination. Completely unaware, Clay continued to follow in a daze. Finally after walking for awhile Jack stopped, moving aside afterwards so that he wouldn't get trampled by the larger cat whom he doubted was paying attention. They stood in one of the warrior training rooms. It was a large cavern that curved in a some shape far overhead. The walls of the cavern held seats that were made of stone and currently empty. The floor was covered in a mat that wouldn't soften any harsh landing but would make sure that no one was digging pebbles out of their back or face for weeks afterwards. The floor also had a moat that surrounded the dry fighting areas. The water was calm but it was quite a drop to the water, close enough that you could see the water but far enough away to make someone think before jumping.
Jack had been here to train with the other warriors against larger opponents with different fighting styles. The training was brutal but clearly worth the effort. Jack huffed as his great lug of a companion walked past him without noticing. Jack briefly stretched before deciding to get started.
Clay was brought back to awareness by a sharp bite on his tail causing him to wince in surprise before turning to face his attacker and receiving a sharp swipe across his muzzle for his troubles. Clay almost fell as he took several startled steps back, quickly shaking his head before finally focusing on his attacker. Jack crouched in cat form in front of Clay, his tail slowly lashing as he completely focused on Clay his ears slightly forward instead of aggressively pinned to his head. Jack flashed his fangs as Clay tried to make sense of the situation.
"Jack? Why?" It was all Clay could get out sounding both confused and wary. Jack glared at Clay raising himself gracefully from his crouch to stand staring at Clay a moment more before he began to pace. Jack stayed focused on Clay's eyes as he responded deliberately, circling him slowly.
"You know Clay, I've learned a lot in my short time living here. Most of it has been with Chase but his warriors have taught me as well." Clay followed Jack with his eyes, eventually turning his entire body to face him. He now knew better than to let Jack behind him and despite himself Jack was pleased. Jack stopped pacing but continued to look at Clay. "One of their most important lessons was this. There are two kinds of people in this world, predators and prey." Jack was back in an aggressive crouch. "I'm gonna make sure you never see me as prey again!" He snarled, darting forward to snap at one of Clay's forelimbs without giving him time to respond.
Clay was able to move a little quicker this time, dodging the bite but not responding in kind. "Jack there's no need for this," he said dodging another strike. "I don't see you as prey I've never seen you as prey."
Jack only got more vicious, moving faster and more recklessly as he responded. "Shut up!" Claws down Clays side, "Do you think I'm stupid?!" Bite on his hind leg, "You think, after how you treated me," Swipe and miss, "After all that you've said to me," the snap of teeth missing their target, "After all that you've broken," Another swipe and another miss, Clay was getting cautious. " You can lie to my face and say you don't see me as prey?!" Miss, miss, miss. "As just some weakling you can push around?!" One more miss and Jack knew that he had to calm himself down, he had learned from Chase that anger makes a fighter stupid. He took a deep slow breath before continuing his words slow and spoken lowly without looking at Clay directly. "I've know you and your gang of thugs for years. You do nothing but prey on the weak. You're a bunch of arrogant fools who think that because you can bend nature to your will, man should bow down and kiss your feet."
He looked up finally seeing in Clay's eyes that he'd hit a nerve. He moved to sit his tail draped daintily over his paws. He looked Clay in the eye as he continued, "Have you noticed, Clay, how easy it is for you monks to turn evil? Have you noticed that your evil sides aren't really that different from your regular selves?"
Clay took an aggressive step forward, "That's not true." He growled.
Jack cocked his head. "Really? Because both Kimiko and Omi have used the Ying yoyo or Yang yoyo without regard for the consequences." Jack started to scratch one of his ears seemingly unconcerned about the situation as he continued, "Sure Kimiko turned out fine but Omi switched sides and even after we, yes we, saved him from himself, he still ended up being Chase's new pet kitten." Jack watched carefully as Clay tensed, furious and getting more upset with every word. "But at least he had an excuse. Let's take a look at your proud leader." Jack kept his body language relaxed and completely non threatening as he destroyed the boy with his words. "He didn't need anyone to let out his evil side, all it took was the right offer and he was an old hag's evil dog."
A snarl filled the air, "Stop it Jack."
"Oh, don't worry! I didn't forget about you cowboy." Jack said with a smile his tail waving contentedly in the air behind him. "Slow and steady, proud and faithful, now nothing more than Chase Young's pet." Jack smiled sweetly, "Of course it was to save your friends, but don't feel bad, it would have happened eventually anyway. After all, evil runs in your fami-" Jack dodged.
Clay finally came for him a large paw slamming down where he'd been just a second before putting a dent in the floor. "Don't you dare speak of her!" Jack grinned, he had broken him.
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Chapter 14: Predator and Prey
Clay and Jack continue their confrontation.
Jack dodged Clay’s first attack with a smirk of pure sadistic joy. “What’s wrong Clay? Is it that I’m right?” He dodged another swipe. “You sister is one of the Heylin.” Another swipe, easily dodged. I just figured you that you would get lonely here without any friends-” Clay was getting angier, more sloppy, his hits easier to dodge. “I figured we could bring her here, have her join you. Or maybe the next time your Monk friends decide to stupidly attack-”
“Enough! You wanna feel like the vermin you are, You want to be hunted? You got it.” Clay’s voice was nothing more than a rumble that sent an odd shiver down Jack’s spine. Still he had to snark, it was his nature. “Finally, ready to play house cat? Ok, Tom, come and get me!” Both crouched low to the ground as they prepared for the fight of a lifetime.
Clay moved slinking low to the ground circling Jack slowly as Jack turned to keep him in his sights. It was silent as the two circled each other. They focused barely breathing as their bodies tensed ready for action at any moment. Suddenly, Clay lunged at Jack, Jack danced away and the fight was on.
Clay’s attacks were precise and brutal. Often catching on Jack’s fur before denting the stone arena as he missed again, barely. Eventually, Jack found himself herded towards the edge of the arena. He nearly grinned, amused. He was truly being hunted the moral monk lost his patience with just a few taunts. Jack clicked his tongue. “No patience, no anger management-” Jack dodged another attack, “No aim. Seriously, what are they- whoops I mean were, what were they teaching you at the temple? It's a good thing you're not there anymore it's a waste of your potential.” As Clay’s paw just barely missed him slamming into the ground in front of Jack. This time Jack was at the edge of the arena looking at Clay expectantly. The audience around them remained silent and interested. Their interest felt like that of vultures circling, waiting for a death so that they could feast.
Clay didn't move for a moment and Jack opened his mouth to taunt him once again before hearing the crack and watching as the arena beneath him started to crumble. “Well, shi-” he dropped as the ground disappeared from beneath his feet. Clay felt s
satisfaction fill him as he watched his smart mouthed tormentor fall. He turned to face some of the audience who remained scarily still and quiet as if waiting, as if the battle wasn't already over. Too late he realized he hadn't heard the splash of a body hitting the water below. He spun looking for Jack's small furry body over the side of the arena, he saw nothing. Then he startled as he heard a voice next to him, “Hey big fella, whatcha looking for?” Clay whipped around to see a human Jack hovering beside and slightly above him. “You-!” Jack grinned “Welcome to the heylin side.” And with the swing of a jet boot aided by a burst of air Jack kicked Clay in the head sending his large body flying across the stage like a ragdoll. Jack had calculated the strength of his strike perfectly. Clay bounced several times in the large arena hitting the ground hard each time before sliding to the edge of the stage. Jack tensed when Clay slid far enough for his head to flop off the edge but ultimately Clay stayed on the stage, he didn't get up again. For a moment it was silent before an eruption of sound suddenly filled the audience roared and yowled their approval. Jack bowed gracefully before walking over to pick up the large cat, several warriors, in an impressive feat, jumped down to the stage and transformed to help him. Ruffling his hair patting his head and hugging him affectionately. Aura was one of the warriors their excitedly congratulating him on his victory. She saw him as one of her own and he suddenly felt he had a mother and siblings. He had never felt more loved and accepted in his teenage years and he could often be found with either Chase or his new family (his old one hadn't even realized he was gone.) Jack chatted with her as they dropped Clay off in a solitary chamberas the did not want him to wake and attack the warriors in training he would be sleeping with afterwards. Jack pet him almost affectionately until Clay purred in his sleep. “One down.” He said quietly before heading of to play with his younger siblings and regal them with the tales of his victory.
As usual when he arrived at the nest (as he liked to call it) he was first greeted by his rough and tumble brothers who he let nimble on his long tail as they tried to move much more than they were able to. His sisters each greeted him with a nuzzle as they would likely sneak attack him later. After excited greetings from the kittens who had opened their eyes only a couple of weeks ago Jack wondered further into the nest where two other kittens had yet to open their eyes and ears. “Mama, I thought about what we discussed,” he looked at her. “I will name them. As four of the stronger kittens opened their eyes Aura had named Hazina, Aghla, Jasper, Nuri. There two quiet ones remained unnamed. Jack had noticed this and when he asked why Aura had explained that in her culture, they did not name the weak young children for fear that in death they would linger, not knowing they were dead and waiting for people to call their name. Naming also connected you to the child too firmly and mourning to much would cause you and the child misery as it unknowingly haunted you unable to move on. Jack still wanted to try to save the kittens but had decided to take time to think about it in order to respect his adopted mother's beliefs. He checked on them daily and Aura had seen the love and desperate longing fill him. She shook her head, he was already bonded. Undoubtedly he knew what it was like for people to give up on him. There was no one she could trust more to save these babies. “ You know the risks but if anyone can help them it's someone who's had to overcome weakness himself. Go with my blessing Gamal.” One of the first things Aura did was rename Jack as her own. Jack nodded, “Their names are Eris and Loki Gods of mischief, because when they finally do get moving, they'll make up for lost time.” Jack grinned as he and Aura gently moved the kittens outside the den before Jack transformed to human so he could gently carry them back to his room. He said his goodbyes and made the journey as slowly and gently as possible. Luckily Wuya was still sulking in her room so he was able to avoid her on his way there. Once in his room he settled them on a warm heat pad before turning into a car and curling around them. He was determined that the small long furred kittens would live. Near the heating pad Jack had set up both formula and a couple of computers, one for cat form and one for human form, so he could still work plan and schedule around his little bundles of joy. Jack was ready.
I have no idea where this story is going.
Chapter 15: Jack's Little Bundles of Trouble
Jack needs to relax
It took a week of steady, focused care and barely leaving his room, but finally the kittens opened their eyes. Eris was a beautiful kitten with a broad head and a thick ruff of fur that lined her back to her hips, every inch of her covered in such a thick mix of stripes and spots that her fur looked almost black. She had a long body with legs and a tail to match, seemingly made for running. However, Eris often seemed content to lounge around Jack, doing her best to follow him wherever he went and hissing wherever she sensed anyone else come near. Her red eyes gleamed with a shrewd intelligence, even at such a young age, and she seemed to only really like Jack and her brother, though there were others she would tolerate.
Loki was smaller than his sister with the same ruff, a smaller head, a thicker body, and sturdier legs. His head was lined with stripes, while his is body nearly popped with constellations of spots. His paws were broad, and his legs were as striped as his head. His tail was a bit longer with a gradient from stripes to spots. His brownish yellow fur had practically been taken over by his black and cinnamon spots and stripes. Loki was always the more curious kitten, so Jack had to make sure to keep a close eye on him. Loki wanted to explore everything once he could see. It was almost like his previous lethargic behavior was because his world was dark and boring, but now he wanted to know everything. “What is that? What is that? What is that?” Infinite questions seemed to sparkle in his large golden eyes as he looked around, though he was still too weak to move to far from wherever Jack placed him.
Meanwhile, Jack…Jack was in love. He was in love with the two little space Invaders that were now taking over his life. He cooed and purred over the beautiful and curious kittens. He loved them and wanted nothing more than to protect them forever. Even after they opened their eyes, it took another two days for Jack to leave his room, and even that took an explicit order from Chase. Still, even with Chase forcing him to go back to his routine for the most part, he had to take frequent breaks to feed the kittens. Jack could not be separated from th… his kittens, his little family.
Over the next couple of weeks Jack took his kittens everywhere. He made a little portable bed for them to sit in during practice, they watched avidly as he trained, tinkered, or sparred. When Chase suggested that there was a nursery for a reason, Jack was disgruntled but eager to show his little ones off. Jack also wanted to make sure they developed some of the social skills that he was so sorely lacking. He knew just where to take them.
Aura was the only one he would ever trust with his kittens. It had been weeks since they'd seen each other, so both were happy and excited. Jack introduced his two little kits again and proudly showed Aura their strength, intelligence, and beautiful eyes. Aura had been just as awed as Jack and agreed to sometimes babysit for him as the kittens got more active and he had to adjust his schedule closer to his original days. All in all it was a pretty good week for Jack, except for one thing.
Within the course of the same week, Clay seemed to have become obsessed with Jack. He was part of the reason the kittens needed to be babysat in the first place. Clay followed Jack everywhere. He was like a shadow, silent but constant, just not nearly as unnoticeable. It put Jack on edge, which put the kittens on edge which caused Jack to become more protective, which caused him to be irritable, snappy, and not nearly as focused as he should be during training. After the third time he'd had to correct Jack's stance, Chase had banned the babies from training since he was so distracted. The glare he gave Clay was so fearsome that Clay flinched as though he'd actually been hit. He left swiftly after that.
For all that he had disliked the monks, he'd never truly hated one until that moment. He had finished the rest of his practice with a child angry focus that had Chase nodding approvingly. He finished late but still hadn't been able to work away his frustration. So, rather than go pick up his kittens and possibly take this frustration out on them, Jack too a long relaxing bath, got dressed, cooked a wonderful dinner, and started on dessert before he calmed down. He sighed as he set a timer for his chocolate surprise. Jack was now calm and collected. He was no longer so agitated that he just wanted to hurt someone, anyone. He quickly cleaned the kitchen, put away the utensils he'd used, and set the table. He knew that Chase would be down soon, the dragon’s sense of smell was unparalleled. Clay, well Clay he would have to go find him and details him to dinner himself. Besides, they were long overdue for a little talk.
Chapter 16: Cat got your tongue?
Back at the temple, the three young monks were finally starting to heal from their wounds.
They’d been on bedrest for weeks, and as their bodies rested their resentment festered. How
dare those Heylin jerks treat them like this? They’d been left for dead a mile from the temple;
Omi had been in a coma for a week from overexertion. They all needed some form of physical
therapy and sometimes even thinking hurt. Kimiko had hands that shook slightly all the time and
burns that coated her arms, Raimundo still hadn’t gained back full vision and hearing, and Omi
had frequent migraines that required him to lay down or throw up. Out of all of them, the most
resentful was, surprisingly, Omi. He often vowed, out of Master Fung’s hearing, to pay the
mysterious apprentice back for every wound that he and his friends had suffered, and for the
loss of Clay.
That was another thing. Alongside this simmering anger was the worry. When the monks
awoke, they realized that they hadn’t seen their strong and steady friend since the fight. Why
was he not there with them? Was he dead? Was he captured? Out of all of them, Raimundo felt
most responsible for his disappearance. After all, he was the leader, it was his job to make sure
that plans worked and everybody got back safe and sound. He'd thrown them needlessly into
danger, and for what? A little curiosity? It wasn't worth losing Clay. They were friends, no, they
were closer, they were a family and Clay was the older brother many of them had never had. So
even as anger boiled in their hearts there was only one question on their minds. Where was
It wasn't hard for Jack to find Clay. Even if he was out of sight, he still lingered nearby. He was
just around the corner seemingly on his way to the kitchen. Jack stopped in front of the large cat
with his arms folded and his foot tapping. Clay looked startled, then sheepish with a dragging
tail and lowered ears. Jack raised an imperious eyebrow.
“So Clay, I seem to have a problem. There’s this giant cat following me around, watching me
like some stalker.”Jack began to pace, his hand on his chin, adopting a thoughtful expression.
“Now, I’ve already beat this animal down once and, while I wouldn’t mind doing it again,” The
grin he turned towards Clay was sharp and cold.
“I don’t have time to tame and retrain him to be a good little pest, and stay out of my way.” Jack
stopped to glare at Clay. “ So what do you suggest I do? Hmm? Would you have any idea what
his problem is?”
Clay flinched harshly before looking up at Jack. He was new to it but he tried communicating
“I didn’t mean to get ya all riled. The things you said really hit me ya know? Hit me where it
hurts. I was trying to find a way to say sorry that didn't sound like I was yanking your chain. I
wanted to get to know you as a person and stop thinking of ya as a varmint. I feel ashamed for
“Alright, alright I get it. Enough with the speech. I forgive you or whatever, now come eat
already.” Jack's words were harsh but his ears were flushed red and now he was the one
refusing to look Clay in the eye.
“Kami, you monks are so sappy. If you wanna hang out or whatever just say so, there's no need
to stalk me…” Jack began to mutter under his breath, ears still crimson as it spread to the back
of his neck. He was not used to being apologized to and even less used to people wanting to
hang out with him for any positive reason. Having thought that Clay was trying to find a chance
to hurt him again, this was a more than a pleasant surprise. Clay perked up as well, he began to
follow Jack down the hall before pausing once again.
“Jack? One more thing.”
“What? And it better not be any more sap!”Jack turned to face him and crossed his arms. He
was a bit on guard once again, knowing how easily and quickly pleasant conversations could
“Why’d ya choose me?” Jack relaxed as the question registered before a large grin spread over
his face, it was entirely evil and tinged with glee. Suddenly, he was no longer so shy, more like
he was when he first approached.
“Ah, so you finally decided to ask that, huh?” Clay nodded nervously. “Well, let's go over why I
didn't choose the others first.” Jack began to number them if with his fingers. “Raimundo, he's
the leader, right? Does he seem like a good choice? Wrong, he gets you all into brash situations
jumping forward without thinking. He's getting better, older wiser and all, but, I needed him to
react when I stole one of his precious people away. Raimundo will be tormented with guilt and
anger until he is forced into action by those feelings, possibly even while he's still healing and
almost assuredly alone. Alone and injured he'll be easy pickings. And you'll have another friend!
I'm thinking he'd look great as a jaguar.” Jack said thoughtfully tapping one finger on his chin
before shaking his head to refocus himself.
“Anyway, Kimiko.” He gestured with two fingers. “She'd have all of you rushing in here in no
time right? I mean it's like a quest out of some video game. Save the poor damsel in distress
from the dragon castle! Could have been fun. But, sadly, I can't deal with her by herself for long
periods of time. She annoys me. Plus, I can't stand how the cheese ball uses every single one
of her mistakes to define women as a whole.” Jack cleared his throat as he calmed himself and
He held up three fingers and began to Pace. “Speaking of Omi, why not baldilocks? I mean
Chase is practically obsessed with him right? Well, the same reasons as Raimundo actually. His
pride will be hurt, he'll rush in without thinking and then we got him. Will I be upset when Chase
starts ignoring me again? Hell yes! But I'm loyal to Chase and I'll have my kids for company.” He still looked frustrated and Clay saw him visibly hide it with humor. “Besides, you guys lose Omi
like every other week, you might not have had as strong of a reaction.”
He stopped and faced Clay once again. “So that leaves us with the gentle giant Clay Bailey.” He
gently stroked the cat beneath his chin with one finger. “You wanna know why I chose you?
Because after years of knowing you all, I noticed all of your quirks and, more importantly, your
roles in your team. You, your role is the stabilizer, Clay, the voice of reason, if you will. You see,
you guys function as a little family. Daddy Raimundo, Momma Kimko, Little brother Omi, and
you big guy are big brother Clay.” He stood up and began to Pace hands behind his back. “You
could convince them to stop, to wait, to think, to plan less crazy plans and partially comfort or
calm their dangerous rage.”
“Without you there, Kimiko is the next go to, but she takes longer to think of others than you,
she is a bit younger and a baby sibling after all. Kimiko will be too busy with her own pain to
stop them, and Omi won't tell her because he'll think that he shouldn't put her in danger, she is
just a female after all. He’ll think he can do everything by himself. Raimundo will think the same
for both of them, in addition to his guilt as the leader, and he'll want to fix his mistake on his
own. By the time Kimiko comes running after them, it should be too late.”
Clay stood frozen in shock. Did Jack know them that well? Well enough to use their individual
personalities and flaws against them! When had this happened and why weren't they paying as
much attention to their opponents? Arrogance, he realized with widening eyes. They felt that
there had been no need for it as they won their battles more often than not. They treated their
battles much like self-centered children and missed the chance to get this intellect, this cunning
observational genius on their side. It was too late now. Jack was a force to be reckoned with
and he was bonded to the one who'd given him the chance to shine, Chase.
Jack smiled then bent to scratch the large cat behind his ears, making him purr loudly.
“You're the glue that holds them together cowboy, though they barely appreciate you for it,
besides,” Jack's smile softened slightly, “You were always my favorite monk.” He stood, turned
and started walking again.
“Now come on, dinner's gonna get cold!”
Clay stood frozen for a moment. He snapped himself out of it and shook his fur before following.
Clay was glad to be a cat for once, fur was great for hiding his heated cheeks.
Chapter 17: When sh*t hits the fan
Sorry I've been gone so long but here's a new chapter so forgive me?
“I can't believe he treated me like that! He made a fool of me, the y made a fool of me! Him and his damn cat! How dare that, that glorified housecat and his pompous, cocky, overdone, prissy owner think they're better than me?! I am no servant, nor am I one of that man's pets! I am an ally, a powerful ally! Or at least I would be if I had my powers.”
“Wuya it's been weeks. In fact, aren't we here to furrrrget about this?”
“I know, I know.” Wuya sighed as she tossed a new pair of earrings and the matching necklace into…. some bag Wu she couldn't be bothered to remember the name of at the moment. It held infinite stuff or something, and Wuya was with Katnappe using it to go on a therapeutic shoplifting spree. She'd been raging about her humiliation at the hands of Chase's new apprentice for weeks and Katnappe had suggested it.
“But aren't you angry? He humiliated you too.” Katnappe shrugged, tossing a cat themed speaker into the bag as well.
“He's a cat, whoever he is, I can't stay mad at him.” That stopped Wuya in her tracks for a moment. Katnappe, unaware of the effect her words were having, continued her thoughts. “Who is he anyway? I don't believe I've seen that one before.”
“I don't know,” Wuya replied. Her tone caused Katnappe to pause and glance at her current partner in crime. For the first time in three weeks, Wuya was smiling.
“What? What are you thinking? You look like a cat toying with a mouse.” Katnappe moved back towards Wuya. Wuya's grin was all teeth as she outlined her plan.
The plan was simple, follow Chase's new apprentice until his identity was discovered then use it to humiliate him by telling his enemies. Wuya figured if he was hiding his identity, there was a reason. As a bonus, knowing his identity would give her something more to use to torment the arrogant fool. She could almost taste her victory. She had the shroud of shadows and near endless patience. Wuya would have her revenge.
After their talk, Clay and Jack reached somewhat of a truce. They trained together, ate together, and sometimes they had sparring matches, and sometimes they even hunted together, but for the most part, they kept to themselves. Jack kept to his schedule as it had been before Clay arrived with the only real change being he kept his hood up constantly when he was not in his cat form. It was not a big change but he'd scented Wuya skulking around and do better safe than sorry. It still didn't affect his schedule much, joist made him a little paranoid. Now that Clay was no longer following him around all the time with big, sad puppy dog eyes, Jack could get back to tinkering and playing with his kittens with what little free time Chase gave them. Currently, he was working on something to protect him should he ever be caught without his gear and Chase’s protection. He couldn’t afford to lose anymore, it was no longer just himself that he was representing, he was Chase’s apprentice and he couldn’t, no he wouldn’t, embarrass him. For today, he had an extra special project to work on.
While Jack was off doing only Jack knows what, Clay was standing guard. Clay had taken this responsibility for himself since Jack had explained his plans to him. He spent all of his free time watching, waiting for Jack’s predictions to come true. He was determined to stop his friends from ending up like him, enslaved to an immortal Heylin warlord and his mad scientist apprentice. It still surprised Clay that Jack had managed that. The little bean sprout was normally about as much of a threat as a newborn kitten. Come to think of it, considering his pallid constitution and how very martial guidance he’d received, and how very new the appearance of the apprentice was, Jack can't have been a cat warrior for long. It made Clay wonder what had caused that to happen, had there been a fight? As far as Clay knew Chase’s warrior army consisted of powerful warriors that Chase had defeated in battled and taken as a prize. They were servants as much as they were a trained army of nearly unstoppable force. Jack was no warrior though. Clay couldn’t imagine that Chase had fought him or even had to fight him down, nor could he imagined him giving into any begging on Jack's part or accepting any offer Jack may have made. There would have had to have been some extraordinary circumsta...
In the middle of this train of thought the ground shook. It came in a thumping pattern, almost as if some very large creature was coming towards the citadel. Clay was instantly on alert. He didn't have to wonder what made that sound for long as the Shen-Ga-Roo came bouncing towards the entrance. So the first monk had arrived, Clay was ready. At the door, the hatch popped open and, to Clay's surprise, all of the monks hopped out.
“I shall avenge my friends!” Omi shouted as they raced towards the lone cat warrior at the entrance. Clay stood staring at them in shock. Oh this, this was bad.
In the training room, Jack was working on some new techniques when the ground began to shake in a pattern he recognized. Cursing, he raced for the entrance, hood securely in place. Those stupid monks were back, had they healed already? It was too soon. As he moved towards the sound it stopped and Jack began to plan for each monk, until he reached the entrance.
“What...what the hell?!”
There it was an epic battle. It was Clay in his cat form, fighting alone against the four warrior monks. As he stared, one turned towards him.
“There ya are, y’no good, dirty, low down, varment!” A voice drawled before Jack was attacked by the one and only Clay Bailey.
Again, what the hell?!
Chapter 18: What doesn't kill you....
A peek at the monks.
Two weeks earlier
“I am so sick of this!” Raimundo's voice echoed in the halls.
“I can't fight, I can't train, I can barely move. I just urg!” Raimundo picked up a rock and tossed it as hard as he could into the garden. It traveled about three feet in total.
Kimiko sat beside him attempting to manipulate her element and steady her shaking hands. “I know how you feel. I hate this!” Kimiko swung her hand, extinguishing the already sputtering flames with the harsh motion. “I can barely call my element, much less hold it when I do. My hands won’t stop shaking. I can't even play my games like this!”
With a scream of frustration Kimiko attempted to call her fire while aiming a sharp kick at the training dummy in front of her. Her flaming kick connected with the post, but for all of the effect that it had, she might of well have missed entirely. To make matters worse, as the strike landed Kimiko's numerous injuries made themselves known, and with a yelp of pain, Kimiko fell to the ground. “I hate that stupid apprentice,” Kimiko said punching the ground lightly, “He had no right-”
“No right to what young monk?” The three monks turned to face the new addition to their conversation, Master Fung. “You seem to forget young monk, that it is you who barged into his home, you who challenged him to a battle, a battle which you had a dishonorable advantage in, and you who took a bet with unclear terms. So tell me young monk where was he in the wrong?”
Kimiko got a stubborn look on her face as she slowly and painfully got up from the ground. “Look at us Master Fung,” shrieked Kimiko waving her hand to include her friends. “It's obvious he went way too far! All of us will take weeks to recover and what if some of the effects are permanent?!”
“Such is the nature of battle young one.” Master Fung was calm in his statement, “You put yourselves in harm's way every time you go out and battle against the forces of the Heylin as do they. I do not believe that you yourselves have ever won your combats gently.” Master Fung paused as if to gather his thoughts. He took a deep slow breath and seemed to come to a decision. He opened his mouth to continue when a fellow monk caught his attention grabbing his shoulder to turn him and bring him closer to whisper in his ear. Master Fung's eyes widened slightly before he nodded and his fellow monk walked away. He straightened and turned to face his students.
“There is an urgent matter I must attend to young ones. We will speak on this at a later time. Consider this as you recover, there are few lessons to learn in winning but a multitude in defeat.” With a nod Fung and the monk hurried away from the injured, young warriors.
The monks were still weakened, angry, and plotting when there was a commotion at the front of the temple. The young monks supported each other as they hobbled down the hall. They had the determined limps of those both curious and in desperate need of distraction.
Kimiko paused briefly in their walk. “What if there's a battle? Won't we just get in the way.”
Raimundo smirked, “Battles aren't exactly quiet, I think we would have heard if there was fighting, or at least seen some injured.”
“Yes friend Kimiko, calm your excessive female emotions. They cause you to overreact.” When they finally reached the front entrance, Omi with more than a couple of extra bruises, they were met with the source of the disturbance.
There, on the ground, lay Clay, covered with wounds, dirt, and old blood. He was unconscious and still, worryingly so. The older monks had placed him on a mat in the courtyard and bustled around him as they examined, cleaned and healed his wounds. His left arm sat at a strange angle and one of his legs was clearly broken. Monks walked past them, into and out of the temple, with various supplies in their arms. One of the monks came back with restraints and a piece of leather. The leather was placed between Clay's teeth as several monks restrained him with manacles and heavy chains that glowed slightly with some kind of power.
“Is that really necessary?” Kimiko asked with a trembling voice. She went ignored as the monks continued to work on their injured friend. It looked like a scene from a hospital, busy, hectic, everyone had a specific job that they focused on entirely. Master Fung himself sat with Clay's head in his lap gently washing the blood and dirt from his face disinfecting and bandaging any wounds he found. His face was solemn yet thoughtful.
It was nearly silent through all of this, all the movement, adjustments, and even sharing tools and supplies went without a word. It was as unsettling as it was impressive. As the young warriors watched, two of the busy monks settled near Clay's left arm and another by the break in his leg. For a moment the monks were all still as if in meditation. Then without signal, silence maintained, one by one, they moved. There was the sound of a sickening snap and the grind of bone against bone as the monks started putting Clay's body to rights so he could heal. The sounds caused his friends to cringe and flinch as sympathy pains combined with their own healing wounds. Worse though were the screams.
Halfway through this careful treatment Clay awoke. His eyes snapped open and his muscles tightened as if they wanted to jolt and squirm. The restraints held strong as he attempted to thrash, eyes wide and pupils dilated as he deliriously fought his tormentors. Behind the leather between his teeth, his mouth opened in a muffled scream. It was a cry of agony. Kimoko couldn't take the sight and turned her head into Raimundo's shoulder hiding from the horrible sight and seeking comfort. Raimundo rubbed her head, using her touch to anchor him. Omi stared at his friend's suffering resolutely, feeling that to look away would dishonor them both. Tears trembled on Raimundo's lashes and soaked his shirt while Omi sat as still as death.
They felt helpless, so helpless, and weak. They couldn't comfort their friend in his pain. Couldn't save him from having to suffer in the first place. Hell they couldn't even save themselves! They'd been too weak to save themselves against that stupid apprentice. To weak to go back and save their friend and it was all just too much to bear.
In those moments as Clay's screams seemed to echo across the courtyard, two hearts hardened as hate filled three chests. They'd never hated an enemy before. They'd felt disdain, amusement, anger, and even fear, but nothing so deep and consuming as this. They could never let this happen again. They needed to protect their friends they needed to be strong, stronger than anything else out there. They needed to be better. Also, they needed revenge, revenge was pretty high priority and as Clay finally fainted from the pain they were determined to get it. That apprentice had no idea what was coming for him (or her). This. Means. War.
It took a month of healing and training for the monks to be ready. They w sure of their path, their way, of this war they were declaring on Chase Young and his new apprentice. Even steady Clay seethed with rage that egged them on, towards their goals. But now they were ready. The monks would inflict humiliation for humiliation and pain for pain. They would put this new little rat in his (or her) place, no matter who they hid behind.
The apprentice would pay dearly, and they would enjoy every second before they ripped off that stupid hood and made them grovel for forgiveness through their broken teeth.
Chapter 19: The Best Laid Plans...
As Jack dodged fake Clay's first swing, his emotions turned from bewilderment to rage. Whomever this was had ruined all of his carefully constructed planning. All that preparation, every single plan was for nothing! All because this asshole decided to use his hard work towards their own purpose. It was as brilliant as it was infuriating.
As these thoughts filled his mind, Jack continued to fight the interloper. Actually, it seemed like they were talking and Jack had been tuning them out, whoops. "I'm sorry, what did you say? I wasn't listening." Clay's face darkened and his movements seemed to shift slightly. As if whoever this was had lost their carefully predictable pattern of Clay's fighting style. Jack rolled his eyes. "You can stop doing that you know. I know you're not Clay and I can, quite literally, beat him in my sleep. If you continue fighting like him…" Jack mimed a theatrical yawn before moving swiftly around him and kicking his back, causing the fake to act through an equally fake stumble, “I might just have to do it again.”
The look of faux determination on the copycat cowboy only brought a smirk to Jack’s face. "Then I'll have to hand your ass to you like you're him." He purred, watching as fake Clay… Nope that name was too long, let's call him FClay. Flay? Nah, that was too cool. Fay? Close but something's missing, it was too close to fey and fey are badasses. Fy? Yeah that would work, in more ways than one. Jack chuckled out a soft, “fe fi fo fum,” under his breath. Anyway, Fy slowly got to his feet.
Fy took a stance only mildly improved from the one he'd beaten out of Ry, because Real Clay is bothersome to think too, only a couple of weeks ago. Jack laughed, brief and sharp, before narrowing his eyes under his hood and cracking his neck.
"So be it." He took a stance before speaking in a loud clear voice, though the words were directed at more opponents than the one directly in front of him. "This should be fun, I haven't gotten to squash the weak version of Clay in a couple of weeks."
With those words, Fy swung. Jack dodged. If the monks were as smart as they seemed to think they were, then they'd catch on to what he was implying. And as much as he was enjoying the breeze from Fy’s swings as he missed, Jack had better things to be doing with his time. With that thought, Jack dodged another sloppy punch and then leaped towards his opponent.
Beating Fy this time was so easy that Jack wasn’t sure if it was insulting or amusing. Whoever was playing his part was over exaggerating or simply didn’t know how to fight like a less experienced martial artist without looking like a clown. Their swings were exaggerated to the point of being ridiculous. “Seriously I think Clay would be offended by your acting, you’re playing him like an imbecile, a loser, an absolute moron, a chump-”
Jack had a whole list to run down in his head when he was interrupted by a blast of air to his back. That was gonna leave a mark. The blow, pun intended, was an attempt to knock him into Clay's next enraged swing. Jack was about to pull back, but this time he heard the attack coming from behind along with the crackling snap of flames and a nearly unbearable heat.
"Wudai Mars Fire!"
Jack was officially stuck between a celestial fire rock and a hard place. They had gotten better, and the old Jack would have fallen for it. Hell, the old Jack wouldn't have gotten this far. But he wasn't the old Jack, even if there wasn't time for them to meet the new Jack, The Apprentice couldn't allow their sneak attack to work. So with a grin, Jack grabbed Fy's clumsily approaching fist and allowed the momentum to carry him. That momentum propelled him up and over the fireball as he shrunk into his cat form. He was anticipating watching the delicious chaos that always occurred when one of the monks got hit by friendly fire, but even as Fy called out in pain, Jack heard another cry.
Water in the air around Jack crystallized into spikes, glittering and terrifying. The icicles pointed their tapered tips towards him as the little overpowered cheeseball held his hands in the air. Well, this was a new trick.
Jack curled his limbs around his squishier bits as the spikes shot towards his falling feline body. Time crawled around him as his mind raced to preserve his life. Could he transform? No, his human form would only give a larger target, and his equipment wouldn't work in time to save him. Would curling up into a ball to minimize his size help? No, the spikes seemed to be homing in on him too well to depend on that, and depending on his size as a passive defence would be the same as asking for a miracle right now. Welp, looks like he’d be going with a more active defense today. He was prepared to bat away as many icicle spikes as possible, to move and dodge as much as possible of this attack. A grim chuckle forced its way past his lips as he prepared to defend himself; it was time to see if cats really do have nine lives.