The night was young at the Xiaolin Temple, but it was aging rapidly as the sun faded further away. A breeze would pick up every now and then, sweeping leaves across the cold empty courtyard outside, while the moon kept glowing brighter and brighter in the starlit sky. It was at this time when two silhouetted figures could be seen creeping out to the middle of the training grounds for some secret martial arts exercises, right before going to bed.
One of the silhouettes started to whistle as he strolled nonchalantly into position. "Okay Kim, you know the routine. You're gonna wanna try to knock me down without having to burn me to a crisp first, got it?"
Kimiko was busy getting pumped, stretching and running in place. "Which is like another way of saying you want me to go easy on you, huh?" she replied as a joke.
"Actually it'd be like saying no 'easy cheating.'" Rai cracked his knuckles with a smile, preparing for action. "I won't use wind if you don't use fire."
"Fine then. Just keep in mind exactly what it is you're getting yourself into." Kimiko undid her pigtails and flipped her long black hair flamboyantly as she strutted past him.
"Heh," Rai scoffed at her phony narcissistic attitude. "Whatever you say."
The two young Dragons stood across from each other and took a bow, right as the natural-born wind whistled its way around them. Then all of a sudden they lunged for the attack, battle cries maniacally sounding.
Raimundo rushed in and tried a quick palm strike, only to have Kimiko block it with her arm and attempt a punch with her free hand. Rai grabbed that fist of hers and began pushing it back. Next he immediately ducked and swept her off her feet, but she reacted by rolling along the ground and then lunging again. Rai got down in a flash and kicked her in the jaw, causing her to stumble over and then reflexively make a backflip into the air.
Once she had found her footing again, Rai stood upright and pretentiously wiped his nose. "You're gonna have to do better than that," he advised quite wisely.
Kim was panting, yet she resumed a fighting stance nonetheless. "Teach me some of those Capoeira techniques and I am sure to make you proud, 'Shoku-san.'"
The Shoku Warrior grinned. "Ooh... weeell I hate to break it to ya," he began to admit, "but I don't think you have the bod," he finished with a senseless chuckle.
"Oh really? Let's see if your man hands don't have the dexterity of a hippo's foot."
"...Huh?" Kimiko instantly dove in behind him and used her tiny nimble fingers to tickle his neck and ribs.
"...AH-HA-HA! What're you DOING?"
"Ohhh... fightin' dirty."
"NO, but you CAN'T! Ha-ha-ha! New rule says you can't tickle your opponent!"
"Yeah-yeah, okay, I gotcha." Kim was about to put an end to the torture when she suddenly shouted, "Now here comes the WALLOP!" and elbowed Rai square in the side of the head. The mighty Shoku Warrior fell down flat from there.
While the triumphant monk brushed strands of hair out of her face her leader eventually arose from the ground to rub his head. "Good job Mayweather Junior."
"No applause necessary," said Kim with a simple hand wave. "Phew. May a particular Dragon allow me to get him to his feet?" She bestowed her waving appendage unto him. This, however, turned out be a mistake.
"Um, why should I? You never let me help you," asserted Rai out of the blue yonder.
"...Oh," Kim reacted, marginally bewildered. "...Is this a problem?"
The monk turned over so he could sit straight. "Nah, only the fact you never accept a helping hand with the littlest things."
Next Kim had to glance to the side before looking back. "Do you WANT to help?"
"Not necessarily... anymore." Rai found himself fumbling on that last word.
Kimiko thought about this and twiddled her thumbs together, contemplating ever deeper. "Hmm, ya know, I kinda need to 'talk' to you about something."
"Yeah? What about?"
"Well, for some time now I've been getting these... impressions," Kim began, staring off into the distance. "From, say, you."
To that, Raimundo only felt a sweltering wave of heat hit him. Not good.
"O-kay..." he spoke uneasily.
Kimiko held her arms behind her back. "Yeah, we haven't really confronted this little issue, but, oh boy..." she looked down, thinking about proper word choice. "...Ya know how we're 'friends' and all that, but it seems to me there's also this 'double-like' mixed in with the 'like.'"
"Whaddo you mean?" Raimundo brushed his palms against the cold stones beneath him.
"You know. The whole 'like-like' deal. And if YOU happen to feel it or anything. ...NOT that I really expect as such," she ensured jokingly.
"Uh, huh. Well, I dunno... why are we talking about this? What do you want ME to say?"
"Your honesty, that's what! C'mon, shouldn't be too hard."
"Look, can we change the subject? This is pointless."
"That would be a nice idea... but... yeah, I need to know. Now." Kimiko's attempt at light-hearted conversation wasn't working so well, and she was quickly losing patience.
Rai huffed and figured it would in fact be best to get something out. "Fine. How about... you're a very good person?"
Kim twisted her mouth a tad. "Uh, thanks? Looking for a bit more info, though."
"Well sorry, it's all I got. Now let's drop it." Rai lowered his head and massaged it as if he had a headache.
By this time Kimiko sincerely wished she could backtrack and rethink things. Yet more words kept coming anyway as she unwittingly compiled a scheme. "...Aaall right then, you're gonna make me assume more... more about you and me and just my 'pretty face.'"
Raimundo arose from the ground and cocked his eyebrow suspiciously. "...What're you saying."
"Hm, I guess I AM quite the catch," she continued, sighing and primping her hair. "Boy does that sound stupid. But... to you it might as well be the truth. Correct me if I'm wrong."
"Wait now, hold on!" Rai exclaimed in defense. "...Okay, yeah, SURE I might've been... crushing on you a little... not because of GOOD LOOKS though! I'm not struck dumb by 'pretty faces' didn't you already know that?"
"...Sooo you're saying I'm NOT a catch."
"WHAT? No, you've got great complexion; that's beside the point."
"Mind telling me your point?"
"I just did! See how whacked-up this is? Seriously you're my BUD or whatever." He stopped and slunk back down on the ground with a discouraged grunt.
"I know-I know! Don't sweat it." Kimiko then decided to sit down next to him, not making him any more at ease. But she was certainly aware she'd riled him up pretty good.
"But there IS somethin' going on, right?"
"Yes, yes and yes."
"...Egh, doesn't surprise me."
"Well look I'm sorry; there you have it, clear as the Crystal Glasses."
Kim laughed lightly in assurance. "It's okay Rai, I'm not particularly MAD or INFURIATED or anything."
"So what else WOULD you be, if not on fire?"
"You had to get it out somehow! Well uh, I'M the one who should be sorry, actually..."
"Really?" Rai paused a short while. "...Oh right. Yeah, you were playing those mind games weren't you. Gee..."
"Eh-heh-heh..." Kim smirked sheepishly however, hardly believing herself to have resorted to such "tactics." After a few seconds of gazing into dark nothingness, she loudly breathed in and out.
"Welp, anyway, I'm calling it quits." She returned to her silly mannerisms as she lowered her voice and peered at the monk sitting next to her. "Needa hand?"
"No." Rai kept staring away with his arms folded against himself.
"How 'bout a pat on the back then." She leaned over and did just what she said, which caught his attention, and proceeded to get up on her feet.
"OKAY, that's enough." He brought himself up as well, with a hint of self-reflective amusement in his voice.
Kimiko stretched high for the sky, putting that awkward conversation to eternal rest. "...You wanna have a little late-night pizza raid so long as Old Man Fung doesn't wake up?"
Raimundo yawned, and then he itched at his abdomen. "Naturally," he answered as easy as one-two-three.
The Fire Dragon reached and placed her arm on his shoulder as they left the arena, both of them exhausted for multiple reasons. The Wind Dragon, too, put his arm around her shoulders. Hopefully Master Fung wouldn't awaken and find the duo sneaking about in the kitchen for leftover pizza slices.