For Now
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Xiaolin Showdown (Cartoon)
Jack Spicer & Chase Young
Jack Spicer, Chase Young (Xiaolin Showdown), Omi (Xiaolin Showdown)
Additional Tags:
Post-Canon, Older Jack Spicer, Retired Jack Spicer, Tired Chase Young, Suicidal Chase Young, Pre-Relationship
Published: 2022-05-02 Words: 3,410 Chapters: 1/1

For Now


Chase wanted Omi to succeed him. It worked.

Now what?

For Now

Chase pushed himself up, the simple movement requiring more effort than he could remember ever needing. He spit out the blood in his mouth, and stared a moment because it was red - human - and it had been so long he could barely recognize it as his.

The monster Omi had become, the monster Chase had so painstakingly created, loomed over him, and Chase nodded. "Kill me then."

"I will not," Omi growled. "I will show you mercy, not because you or do not deserve it, but because I must live with my actions."

Omi turned away, snapping instructions to the cats, who quickly scattered back into the lair. One jaguar remained, pressing himself against Chase to help the man stand.

"Diol-" Chase hissed. "What are you doing?"

You may have forgotten, but as your first, I was bound to you, not to your role. I would not leave you, the jaguar said.

Chase felt- well, it had been a long time since he felt whatever that emotion was. But he leaned on the jaguar as he was left to limp away from his old life.

Where will you go? Diol asked once the skull-like mountain entrance had disappeared behind the tree canopy and Chase had allowed himself to sit and think.

"I hadn't planned for this," Chase admitted to the jaguar. "I expected him to kill me." He leaned back against a tree trunk and winced as his ribs reminded him they were broken. Omi had kept going once the Heylin energy had left him, and Chase had been banking on that. He knew there was a risk that Omi wouldn't want to kill him, but he thought that the sudden mortality, mid-fight, would be enough to ensure Omi killed him by accident if not by intent.

The boy continued to surprise him.

Boy. Chase scoffed. Omi was older than he had been when he stopped aging; now he was, for all intents and purposes, seventeen again. Younger than all of the children he'd dragged into his games, who were now adults… the monks, Jermaine, Jack.

Rest, Diol told him, and Chase didn't think he had the energy to do much else at the moment. Diol curled up on his lap and chuffed, somehow managing to find a position that pinned him down without hurting more.

When he woke, Diol was gone and Chase found he was stiff and sore but marginally better than he had felt the day before. He stood and looked around, wondering if Diol had gone back to the lair after all, but before he could truly consider the option, the jaguar stepped back into the clearing.

There is water this way, Diol said, and fell into step beside Chase so the man could support himself with a hand on Diol's shoulders if he needed to, without having to ask for help. The stream was small but clear, and Chase knelt down to drink and then wash his face and hands as well as he could in the shallow water. He felt less sticky, an improvement.

"I could just finish what I started and die," Chase said, looking at his reflection in the water. He barely knew himself. His eyes were brown. His hair was dark brown as well beneath the mess he couldn't quite wash out in the stream, with no dragon-scale sheen to catch the light. His ears were blunt. His teeth were blunt. The only thing that wasn't blunted were his emotions, though he hadn't been aware they were dulled before this. 

I would prefer that you did not, Diol said calmly, reminding him that their destinies were still entangled. He might be tired of existence, but Diol would only live as long as Chase did, and he deserved better. Look on the bright side; you’re no longer stuck with me for all eternity. 

"Yes, only for the rest of my natural life," Chase frowned. The emptiness he'd felt had only increased with the lack of Heylin magic running through his body, and he reached, wondering if there was anything left. There was something there still - a soft breeze, his own energy that he'd learned to harness before any Heylin spells, and some dregs of stolen magical energy that had not gone with Omi. He had Diol, someone who depended on him regardless of whether he deserved it. 

And a human lifetime was not much, in the grand scheme of things. He would still get what he wanted eventually.

Chase drew himself up and looked at Diol. "I'm not yet sure where I wish to go from here. I need to get out of this- out of Nowhere. I need to get cleaned up. I need to access the resources I have in the mortal world, since that is my world now. I am lacking in allies and I would not give most of those who would know me the satisfaction of killing me regardless of how I feel, so I must move carefully. For your sake."

Diol nodded.  Who are you willing to show yourself to like this? Guan?

"He helped train Omi; I'm not sure how he would feel about recent events. I- I dislike that idea. The only other person I can think of who might not react badly is Jack Spicer, and I dislike that idea just as much."

It doesn’t thrill me either, but I agree that alternatives are limited.  At least it’s not Katnappe.  Diol shuddered.

The teleportation spell would use up most of the reserve Chase had left, but he didn’t exactly relish the idea of walking out of Nowhere either. He dug his fingers into the fur between Diol’s shoulders, summoned what he had, and pulled.  Diol pushed his own energy toward Chase as well, hoping it would help.


Jack Spicer was elbow-deep in a spreadsheet, trying to track down the coding error that kept breaking all the calculations and muttering dark imprecations against the program designer (fucking EXCEL! How dare Excel of all things stand in his way when actual programming languages bent to his will?) when Chase Young and one of his cats appeared in the middle of his living room.  He looked up at the sound, looked back down, and then looked up again in shock.  It was Chase, he knew it was Chase, there was no one else it could be, but it was Chase as Jack had never imagined him - filthy, exhausted, and unmistakably human.  “What - Chase?” he managed.

“I need- assistance,” Chase said, his voice strained as he tried to maintain his composure. “I do not have anyone else I can trust at present. Can I trust you?”

He surreptitiously dug his thumbnail into his cuticle to make sure he was actually awake, because this was much too close to his sweaty teenage fantasies to be happening.  “Yes,” he said, because what else was he going to say.  “Please sit down.  Can I bring you some water?  Soup?  Anything?”

Chase looked around at the furniture, and down at himself. “I think it might be best if I bathed before I sat on anything you like, if you don’t mind.”

“Oh!  Yeah, of course.  Right this way.”  He showed Chase the bathroom, including the trick to make the water hot but not boiling, and dug out the nice towels he’d bought for the guests he never actually had, but wow was he glad they were there tonight.  He made a mental note to thank his mom for insisting on them.  While Chase was in the shower, and he was trying very hard not to think about Chase in the shower, he pulled out a pair of sweatpants, a T-shirt, and underwear and left them on the bed.  Closing the door behind him, he went back to his computer and immediately found the error that had been plaguing him.

The hot shower was unimpressive by Chase’s usual standards, but it felt as good as anything he’d experienced in his memory. It took a long time to get the dried blood and dirt out of his hair, and he discovered a number of cuts he’d previously missed in the process. When the water was no longer warm, and no amount of repeating the arcane gestures Jack had showed him on the faucet would restore it, he stepped out and dried himself. 

The face in the mirror was just as unfamiliar as the one in the stream had been, and Chase couldn’t seem to keep his hair from falling across it, so he braided it back before finding the clothes Jack had left him and putting them on. They felt big on him, another sensation he didn’t really appreciate, but they were clean and dry and had been offered freely. Chase squared his shoulders and went back to where he had left Diol, wondering how he and Jack were managing.

Jack was in the kitchen, throwing together a stir-fry from what he had in the fridge, chattering inanely to the watchful jaguar, because it seemed weird to ignore him even if he couldn't understand him the way Chase did.  

"Thank you for your hospitality," Chase said, taking a seat at the counter. 

“You’re welcome,” Jack said automatically, pulling down plates and opening up the rice cooker.  “I’m sure it’s not as nice as you’re used to, but I hope you’re comfortable.”

"Frankly, right now nothing is what I'm used to, least of all myself, but it would be unforgivably rude not to recognize that you are doing your best." He looked at the jaguar. "Diol, have you eaten?"

I tried, but all the meat he offered me is cooked.  I’m fine for tonight, though, and he said he’d get something more suitable for me in the morning.

"I hope I did not… interrupt you more than was necessary," Chase said to Jack. He was trying to choose his words carefully because when he didn't focus, he seemed to find things overwhelming. 

Jack's home was full of things - things on the wall that must be what he considered art, shelves full of books, small toys, larger toys, papers, stacks of cardboard boxes or the smooth plastic and metal he'd come to associate with Jack's electronics, nests of wire that looked like birds might nest in them, and then another layer of the same things overtop. There were at least three different humming noises, and tinny music coming from the wires dangling around Jack's neck, and noises that were coming from outside of the walls that Chase couldn't readily identify. There was the smell of Jack's cooking, and the coconut-perfumed soap Chase had used in the shower, and some other perfume that smelled like orange blossoms that seemed to be coming from near the sink, and… 

Chase closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  Diol came over and pressed against his leg with a rumbling jaguar purr.  

Jack plated the food like he was going to be graded on it, carefully averting his eyes in case Chase got offended at being watched.  He was thinking about everything he’d noticed, and the whole situation, and his brain kept offering a solution that seemed impossible.  Chase Young could not possibly be an ordinary mortal. 

Chase dug his hand into Diol's fur again, because it gave him something to focus on, and breathed until he could open his eyes again. Food would help, he knew that, so he thanked Jack and began to eat.

"You have questions," he said after a few mouthfuls.

“Yeah, but it seemed rude to ask,” he replied.  “But I would kind of like to know what happened to you and why you’re here.  I mean, I’m happy that you’re here and I’m happy to have you, but.  But why are you in my house?”

"Omi has finally grown into his potential and seized my place among the Heylin powers. I had planned for that possibility, but not for surviving it, and I cannot say I know of many people who would help me in such a position."

“So you were…" Jack hesitated. "You were hoping he would kill you?  Like some kind of weird Heylin suicide by cop?”

"Hope is a rather stronger word than I would use, but expected, certainly."

Jack shrugged.  “I can’t imagine the cheeseball killing anybody, no matter how Heylin he got.  Is that the usual way people get to be Heylin?  Killing somebody and taking their stuff?”

"It is how I did it, and how Wuya did so." Chase shrugged, and in Jack's t-shirt he looked more like a surly teenager than seemed appropriate.

“Probably nobody briefed Omi on the rules,” Jack guessed.  “And most people would be happy to try and get you the rest of the way to dead, no matter which side they were supposed to be on, but not me, so you’re here?”

"Admittedly an assumption on my part, but you seemed like my best option."

“You’re not wrong.  About me, I mean.  I don’t even… like I stopped messing around with ancient Wu a long time ago, because I got tired of getting my ass handed to me and figured out I could build it myself a heck of a lot easier. I guess I just outgrew all of that mess. Anyway.  How can I help?  Other than basic hospitality, of course.”

"I have resources in a number of places, but I'm not entirely sure of the best way to access them. I know there is a great deal more paperwork required in the modern world than there used to be. Do you know a lawyer who would not require payment up front?"

“Yeah, I’ve got one on retainer - she mostly does patent law, that kind of thing, but if she can’t help she can refer us to somebody who can.  I can help with that, and I can pay whatever needs paying for now, until you get your stuff straightened out too.”

Chase grimaced. "That is a considerable offer, Jack. Are you certain?"

“I mean, unless you’re wanting to buy a superyacht, then we’d have to talk, but yeah.  I don’t bother with fancy surroundings because I don’t care about that kind of thing, but money’s not a problem.  Turns out people like magical toys that do random stuff and they’re willing to pay a lot for them.”  He shrugged.

"You seem much healthier than you were when I saw you regularly," Chase said.

“I grew up and got sort of responsible, who would’ve guessed?”

"Very few people, I suppose, but you always were surprising."

Jack tried not to show the rush of pleasure from the unexpected compliment, and instead tried to focus on his guest.  “Are you tired?  I imagine it’s been kind of an exhausting day for you.”

Chase had to think about it, long enough that Diol nudged him. "Yes, I think I am."

“You can have my bed for now.  I fall asleep on the couch most of the time anyway.”

"Thank you. Do you- should I help with the cleanup? I do vaguely recall how these things work." Chase hoped that feeling slightly sarcastic was a good sign.

“Nah, I just stick everything in the dishwasher anyway.  You get some sleep and we’ll figure out a plan of action in the morning.”

He returned to the bedroom, Diol walking as close beside him as the narrow halls would allow, and fell asleep fast enough and deep enough that he didn't even dream.

It was easier than Chase would have imagined to fall into a routine with Jack and Diol. Jack's lawyer is exceptionally efficient and well-connected, and introduces him to a lawyer no less efficient but somewhat more familiar with the use and abuse of international banking law. A somewhat complicated plan was drafted involving using a fake British passport to get real American or Australian citizenship, should he want it, and slowly new accounts were set up and funds were claimed and moved and sorted out with very little effort on Chase's part.

At first he kept himself busy reading through Jack's books, then following along when Jack suggested they go places, but not really knowing what to do with himself. He noted that Jack's schedule had seemed to adjust itself to accommodate his hours, and the food in the kitchen adjusted to his and Diol's preferences.

Sometimes Chase sat on the couch, reading, with Diol at his feet and next to him, typing away on a laptop while they both ignored whatever TV show Jack had put on, or increasingly sat in relatively companionable silence. It was comfortable.

“So have you thought about what you want to do?” Jack asked one evening.  “Long-term, I mean?”

"Not in a way that has produced any actual solutions," Chase admitted. "I am assured, however, that I will be able to move out of your home soon. I could probably speed it up if you wanted me to. Surely you miss your bed. I could be out-of-sorts somewhere out of your hair."

“Oh, no, you’re fine.  I was serious when I said I usually slept on the couch; at this point you may have slept in my bed more times than I have.” Chase could measure Jack's seriousness by the fact that he closed the laptop and put it aside, precariously balanced on the edge of his computer desk.

"Still, I've been in your home for some time and done very little to repay you the hospitality. I am open to your suggestions for my long-term plans. The closest I have so far is Diol reminding me that I'd talked about buying a bookshop in London some time ago."

Jack laughed.  “Like Aziraphale?  I mean - I don’t even have long-term plans for myself, I’m not the guy you should be asking for help with thinking ahead.”

"You don't? I'd assumed you'd just moved on to some other kind of world domination," Chase said, almost teasingly. "Thank you for recommending that book, by the way. I enjoyed the exotic mythology."

“You’re welcome.  Both authors have other books individually you’d probably like, too, if you haven't already stumbled on them.  And I decided that world domination is too much work.  I’d rather play around and make stuff, at least for now. If I figure out I want to do something else later, I'll do something else.”

"There is certainly a grand tradition of the wealthy, dabbling scientist," Chase nodded. "You could do worse for yourself."

“I’m kind of going for the borderline mad genius kind of vibe,” Jack said.  “Somewhere between Frankenstein and Steve Jobs.”

"What you're doing, it suits you."

“Thanks,” he said.  “I would’ve gone full-on Steve Jobs but I don’t like turtlenecks or capsule wardrobes, so.  Need more style.”

The first part of the sentence washed over him, but he could agree with the second. "Yes, you definitely have a strong sense of style."

“What do you like to do? I don’t feel like I actually know you very well, now that I'm not assuming your hobbies are making soup and trolling teenagers, so it’s hard to make a suggestion.”

"It's been a long time since I enjoyed anything," Chase admitted. "Reading, obviously. I used to paint, travel, write poetry, watch plays, sculpt… "

“Wow,” Jack said.  “You could - do that for a while?  Or take some classes, maybe?”

"Mmm, maybe," Chase nodded. "Let me think about it."

“There’s no hurry,” he said.  “You don’t have to do anything, if you don’t want to; no one’s going to judge your productivity. And you don't need an answer for forever, just something for now.”

"You're probably right. I should do something with my time; thinking too much isn't likely to help with anything."

"And-" Jack hesitated. "I like your company. I know with the resources opened up you have other options, but I'd like it if you stayed for now, until you have someplace you'd rather be."

Chase hadn't expected that. Jack had been very accommodating, a gracious host, but Chase had assumed that was due to leftover fondness from his childhood, the way one might display a favorite toy. "I thought you'd outgrown your crush on me and all of that mess."

"I may have outgrown the crush... mostly," Jack hedged, "but whatever it is that we have right now, I like it. I'd like to see where it goes for now, if you like it too."

Chase nodded. "Very well. Let's see how it goes for now."


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