wildforce71: Takeru smiling. Sort of. A bit. (Default)
[personal profile] wildforce71
Tigger's prompt was "RJ and Dominic, Pai Zhua, friendship." Not sure how well I did, but they are both here, it's set in the Academy, and they are friends. Enjoy? (Also, lame title is lame. It's my downfall!)



Friends in odd Places


It should never have happened.

The two students were several years apart. One was a legacy student, the latest in a line of powerful Masters. The other, while skilled, was constantly on the verge of flunking out due to his attitude. One was the greatest hope for the next generation. The other had been given up on by all but one Master.

They should never have met.

But the Power protects her own, even when they don't know it...



Master Mao was watching him practise again.

RJ absorbed the knowledge, examining it from all sides as he continued his kata. If the Master wanted him, he decided, he would ask. If not, he would wait until RJ was finished. Either way, there was no action necessary on RJ's part.

Mao waited until he was done, offering him a bottle of water. "Very impressive."

"Thank you, Master."

"Not Shark style, I see."

"No."

When RJ didn't continue, Mao prompted, "I'm sure you have a reason?"

"I'm...not sure the Shark style and I are suited, Master."

"I see. Have you spoken to Master Finn about this?"

"I've tried. My father doesn't always hear what is said." Shrugging it off, he added, "Did you want me for something, Master?"

"Yes. There is a mediation session tomorrow for the younger classes, and I am unable to lead it. I would like you to supervise." RJ nodded and he added, "I believe it falls during your session with Master Finn. I'll inform him you’ll be unavailable."

"Thank you." RJ bowed, turning away to gather the rest of his belongings.

"RJ? Have you decided what style you will study?"

"I am keeping my options open, Master."

"Good. That's very wise. One mustn't rush into judgement, after all." He nodded briefly, turning away.



"Sit still!"

Dominic sighed, shifting his position slightly. "I'm sitting on something."

"Yes. The ground."

"No, something sharp."

"Then sit on it! This is meditation, you can't..."

"Problem?"

The student overseeing their class had seated himself at the very back, behind everyone. Dominic, as usual, was at the very front.

He hadn't heard a thing. The overseer had come all the way up from the back, was crouched between them, watching with interest, and he hadn't heard a thing.

"No problem," Jarrod was already saying.

"No problem, Mas - sir." Dominic stumbled over the honorific.

"RJ. Having some problems...?"

"Dominic," Jarrod offered when he trailed off.

"Dominic," RJ repeated.

"No problems," Dominic repeated. "Everything's fine."

"Well, everything's fine apart from you disturbing the whole class." RJ rose from his crouch. "Go and find something else to do, and come back to me after this class."

Dominic scrambled to his feet. "Sir - RJ..."

"This isn't working." There was no censure in RJ's tone. "You're not in a meditating mood. Work it out as best you can and come back to me later, alright?"

Dominic nodded reluctantly, turning away. Jarrod caught his eye, shrugging sympathetically before settling back into lotus.

Dominic headed for the track, hoping to run some of the restlessness out.




The courtyard was empty apart from RJ when Dominic returned. The older student was folding the mats back into storage; Dominic joined him and they worked around the courtyard in complete silence.

"So," RJ said finally, turning to face him. "Trouble meditating?"

"I...sometimes have trouble switching off." RJ raised an eyebrow and Dominic sighed. "All the times."

"I see. What style?"

"Rhino."

"A very physical style. Show me your kata."

"My..."

"Any one you like, in your own style." RJ backed off to the edge of the courtyard, watching as Dominic fell into familiar movements.

"He's very skilled."

RJ didn't turn, watching the smooth movements. "He is, Master."

Mao took half a step forward, moving into RJ's peripheral vision. "You sent him out of class."

"He wasn't meditating, he was disturbing others. I think this is his meditation. Who is he?"

"Dominic was discovered by Master Guin three years ago, just before she left."

"And no other Master has taken him?"

"Not yet. Dominic is not appreciative of authority."

"I believe my father has said similar things about me, Master."

"Most children have it said at one point or another. Dominic has a good heart, and a smart mouth. And he doesn't always listen to the right one."

Kata finished, Dominic stood in front of them, waiting patiently.

"Very good, Dominic," Master Mao told him. Dominic bowed briefly. "In future when your class has meditation, you are to come to RJ and work with him."

"Master..." RJ protested.

"Yes, Master," Dominic said at the same time.

“Dominic is your responsibility,” Mao told RJ.

“I’m not a Master...”

“No, you are a student. My student. So you will follow my commands. Dominic is now your responsibility.” He turned sharply, walking away before either could respond.

RJ took a deep breath, closing his eyes for a moment. “Alright, amigo. When’s your next meditation class?”

“Sunrise day after tomorrow.”

“Alright. I will be in the gym at sunrise. I will see you then.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Ah – RJ.”

Dominic smiled suddenly. “Yes, RJ.”




“Left hand up, Dom.”

RJ watched as Dominic restarted the kata. The six months of their odd student-Master relationship had done the younger boy a lot of good. Channelling his energy into practise instead of attempted meditation had taken a lot of pressure off him and his technique was coming on in leaps and bounds.

“Good,” he said briskly as Dominic finished. “Remember to keep that hand up.”

Dominic nodded. “Are we done?”

“Yes. Apart from one thing.” He tossed Dominic’s towel and water bottle to him. “Master Finn spoke to me about your behaviour in class two days ago.”

“Master Finn...” Dominic very obviously reigned himself in, taking a sip of the water. “Yes,” he said instead.

“Yes...”

“Yes, I told him I hated the stupid Shark style and I wanted to train with someone else.”

“And then walked out of class.”

“Yes.”

RJ sighed. “You know I can’t allow that to go unpunished.”

“Yes.”

“Extra runs.”

“Fine.”

“And an apology to Master Finn.”

Dominic rolled his eyes, but he nodded. “Yes. I will apologise.”

“Good...”

“But I will not train with him.”

“Dom.”

“It’s the style, RJ, I can’t...Shark style’s too different. I can’t do it. And he won’t let me practise any other style while I’m studying under him.”

“He can be inflexible,” RJ agreed. “I’ll speak to Master Mao. Don’t go back to class until you hear from me.”

“Thank you.”

“But since you have no class, you can help the cubs clean and tidy around here.”

“Aw, RJ...”

“Cubs,” he said firmly. “Go find the Cub Master and tell him you’re at his service until I come back to you.”

“Yes, sir,” Dominic sighed, turning and trudging away.

Master Mao was teaching some of the youngest students. RJ silently joined in, staying at the back and out of their sight. He didn’t need to think about the simple exercises; it was as good as meditation, in a way.

Master Mao drew the group to a close and RJ stepped back into the shadows at the edge of the yard. The kids scattered, heading off to wherever they were going, and he turned to find Master Mao at his shoulder.

“Master,” he said calmly.

“RJ. A little below your level, aren’t they?”

RJ shrugged, eyes lingering on the last two kids, a boy and a girl. “We all started somewhere.”

“I hear your boy had a slight altercation with Master Finn.” Mao started to walk and RJ fell into step beside him.

“Yes. Shark style does not suit Dom any better than it did me, and my father won’t allow him to practise any other. He’s determined not to lose another student.”

“I see.” Mao considered it for a moment. “I will remove Dominic from Master Finn’s class and place him in mine. You will impress upon him that this arrangement can be reversed at any time, if I feel he is not making sufficient effort. You will remain his meditation supervisor. Where is he now?”

“I sent him to help the cubs until this was sorted out.”

“Good. Let him stay there for a day or two.”

“Yes, Master Mao.”

RJ turned, attention caught by movement in the courtyard. The two kids were still there, the girl just rising from tying her shoelace. Jarrod was coming from the other direction; pausing, he spoke briefly to them before laughing and heading off. The girl scowled, starting after him; the boy caught her arm, keeping her back.

“RJ?” Mao said quietly.

“It’s so dark,” RJ murmured.

“There is darkness in him,” Mao agreed. “But I think we can hold it at bay.”

“If you say so,” RJ agreed.

“Leave Dominic where he is for a couple of days. Take some extra meditation classes. You seem tired.”

“I’m not cut out to be a master, Master.”

“Time will tell.”




“You don’t have to go.”

“Master Mao told me to, so I’m thinking I kind of do. You might get away with disobeying him, but the rest of us don’t.”

RJ stood, deliberately leaning on Dominic’s duffle. “Dom...”

“I’m not expelled, RJ. He just wants me to go experience stuff.”

“Stuff?”

“Life. Everything. Everything that isn’t this.” Dominic gestured vaguely, managing to take in the whole Pai Zhua experience. “I’ve been here for ten years, RJ, Master Mao thinks I need to get the world out of my system before I can settle.”

“It’s not a revolving door...”

“He’ll take me back. When I’m ready. When they’re ready.” Dominic eyed him for a moment. “You’re not going to stay, either.”

“No,” RJ agreed.

“You shouldn’t.” He glanced around automatically before adding, “Get away from your father. It’s not healthy, I’m serious.”

“I’m perfectly happy ignoring him.”

“Hmm.” Dominic pushed him gently aside, closing the bag. “Well, that’s it.”

“Write me,” RJ ordered.

“I will.” Dominic bowed, a very formal movement in the usually informal boy. “It was an honour, Master.”

“RJ.”

He smiled faintly. “Master RJ.”

“Dom...”

“I’ll see you, RJ.”

He didn’t look back as he walked away.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-22 10:42 pm (UTC)
tptigger: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tptigger

(no subject)

Date: 2010-08-23 12:32 am (UTC)
daylight_darknight: (Forever Red)
From: [personal profile] daylight_darknight
Wonderful! I love your idea of how Dom and RJ met and got to be friends. They really work well as master and student with RJ's calm energy tempering Dom's restless energy. Great writing!

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