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Fiction: The Mirror

Title: The Mirror
Author: The Mad Hellcat
Fandom: Forbidden Kingdom
Pairing: Jason/Monkey King
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Forbidden Kingdom, and I am not making any money from this story. Do not sue me, sue the plot bunnies that gave me this story… they have more money than I do anyway.
Warning: I edited it, but that and a buck and get you something from McDonald's Dollar Menu.
Summary: Jason misses the Monkey King terribly and believes he sees him in a store in Chinatown. What he sees his a reflection in a mirror and what he gets is a ‘job’ in the Everything store and a boss who just seems to know everything…

“Boy, you can stare in mirror all you want, your ugly face will not change!” Ms. Chang said loudly from the counter. Jason smiled at the older woman, blushing his embarrassment and walked back to the counter. Ms. Chang ran the ‘everything’ store in Chinatown. You could buy combs for your hair and sesame oil to cook with, it was truly amazing. She always seemed to know what her customer’s wanted. He had never walked into her store, she was a terrifying woman. She had a regal presence, very commanding and bluntly honest. She could tear even the most confident man into tiny pieces. Jason wished she could have gone with him against the Jade Warlord, she would have eaten him alive!
He walked into her store a few weeks ago, riding home from visiting Old Hop, he thought he saw the Monkey King when he passed her shop window. He jumped off his bike and ran into the shop and asked the woman if she had seen him. She barked a laugh and told him about the mirror. “Passed down in my family, is supposed to show you your heart’s desire, you are the tenth person to run in here today looking for lost love, I need to move it from the window!” she shook her head.
Jason nodded and apologized for busting into her shop, as he turned to leave she made the oddest clicking noise with her tongue and said, “You come back tomorrow. I have work for you. If you work hard I give you discount on a decent kung fu staff, the one you use is crap, wouldn’t even use as a walking stick!”
He turned around and wanted to ask her how she knew but she laughed again, “I Chang, I know everything.”
And for a moment Jason believed her.
So he came back the next day and did whatever Ms. Chang needed, carried heavy boxes, stocked the shelves, waited on customers, cleaned… he was tired by the end of the night. He came back every day for a week and Ms. Chang did keep her promise and gave him a much better staff for only ten dollars. She offered him a discount on a tea set next…
It had been six months working for Ms. Chang. He had seen the Monkey King many times in the mirror and he would forget that it was only his imagination. Ms. Chang would have to yell at him to snap him out of it. Just like right now.
Ms. Chang shook her head as he stood next to her waiting for his next assignment. Normally she would bark an order immediately but she stayed silent. Jason wondered if she was not feeling well. The silence dragged on for what felt like forever, but it was probably only a few minutes. Ms. Chang looked at him out of the corner of her eye and asked, “Why do you do this to yourself?”
“What do you mean?”
“Keep looking in the mirror.”
Jason didn’t answer; he knew that anything he said wouldn’t make any sense to the older woman. He also was aware he was supposed to be trying to court Song Li and he did not know how Ms Chang would react to his lost love being a man. “Bah, don’t be so foolish,” she said, “I already know many things. You described him to me when you came into the shop, remember? What concern is it that your heart has chosen one of your own gender?”
“Song…”
“Pretty girl, excellent musician, but she is driven, so focused on a goal that she will never make time for love. No, she not a match for you.”
Jason nodded, his shoulder slumped slightly and Ms. Chang made that clicking sound again. “Kung fu warriors should never slump their shoulder. Stand up straight, boy!”
He immediately stood up ramrod straight and she laughed, “Now if only my children would listen as well to me. Now tell me, why are you not with your love?”
“I had to go home.”
“Bah, that is a stupid reason.”
“Old Hop was shot and…”
“And?”
And how can you tell a rational woman that ‘well you see he was a piece of hair from the Monkey King and he no longer exists. I can still see him within the Monkey King, but we don’t have a past…’ and she will send him immediately to a psych ward. “He changed.”
“And you think that lessens your time together?”
“It does if he doesn’t remember it.”
“Ah, memory issue,” she nodded wisely, “I see. Very painful. I am sorry for your loss. Maybe he gets his memory back, eh?”
“I doubt it, but thank you,” Jason tried to smile, but it wasn’t convincing. She patted him on his head before heading into the back. He looked over at the mirror and thought he saw the Monkey King and whispered, “I miss you.”
Suddenly he felt a pair of strong arms around him, holding him close, the tickle of soft hair against the side of his face, “And I you, Traveler.”
As suddenly as the sensation appeared it was gone as Jason turned around… another trick of his imagination. He took a deep breath and forced down the lump in his throat. Ms Chang was right… why was he doing this to himself? He needed to stop this. It just hurt too much…
Ms. Chang came out of the back carrying a wooden box and looking very proud of herself. She set the box down on the counter and opened it up. There were tiny bags inside with labels. The labels looked very old. “It sounds to Chang that with memory issue you never got to say what you needed to the other half, eh? Thought so,” she said as she looked through the tiny bags until picking out a dark purple bag. She took out a smaller bag made of what looked like cheese cloth the size of a tea bag and poured of the contents of the dark purple bag into it and tied the cheese cloth with string. It actually looked a lot like a tea bag. “That is because it is a tea bag,” she said, “you still have your tea set?”
“Yes,” Jason answered, a bit confused. What was in that tea bag?
“Good, now listen, fill the tea pot with boiling water and soak this tea bag in the pot for five minutes. This ancient ritual from the moon temple, if you complete it correctly you can meet your heart in the dream world and finally free yourself from the heavy burden you carry. You will no longer see your other in the mirror anymore.”
“What do I have to do?”
“After tea has seeped, remove tea bag and bury during the full moon, which happens to be tonight, go back inside and pour two cups, one for you and one for your other, while pouring the other’s share, repeat his name three times. Put up your cup, raise your cup as if you were toasting with your other, and state your purpose for summoning him and drink your tea. You will feel very sleepy quickly so make sure you are near your bed. You can clean up tea in the morning. Make sure you are not disturbed and remember, this is a sacred ritual so bathe before and wear clean pjs!”
“I’m not sure I am going to remember,” he started to say, unsure if he actually wanted to do the ritual.
She handed him the tea bag and a piece of paper, “Wrote it down for you, silly boy! Do not be afraid, Chang is all knowing, this will help you.”
He looked down at the bag and paper in his hand and nodded, “I guess it wouldn’t hurt.”
“He guesses?” she shook her head, “now go home. Prepare for ritual.”
“It’s only 5:30, the store isn’t close to closing.”
“Do not worry about store,” she said, “I close tonight. You need to get home to eat dinner, prepare for ritual and make sure mother not bother you. Go. Go!”
Jason put the bag and paper in his pocket, he knew better than to argue with her when she made up her mind. He grabbed his stuff and left the store.

“I think I am going to go to bed early tonight,” Jason told his mother as she cleaned up the kitchen.
“Are you not feeling well?” she asked.
“I haven’t been sleeping well,” he said, and it wasn’t a complete lie, “Ms. Chang gave me some tea to try.”
His mother turned around and smiled, “It is very nice of you to be helping her out.”
“She is a nice lady,” Jason said.
“Have you asked that nice girl from the Golden Sparrow out yet?”
“Mom!”
“I know that is why you go down to Chinatown,” she winked, “she is very pretty.”
“Mom!”
“Oh come on, it’s just your mother, who else are you going to tell these type of things.”
“Not my mother!”
“You should invite her over, I understand she is very musical, I can play the piano and we can have a jam session.”
“I am going to pretend you didn’t just say that,” Jason said as he stood up to make his escape.
His mother laughed and wrapped her arms around her son, kissing his cheek, “I just want you to be happy. I love you, sweetheart.”
“Love you to, Mom,” he said, “I’m going to go get ready for bed. Ms. Chang says this tea works pretty quickly.”
“I hope it works for you,” she said, “maybe if it does she wouldn’t mind selling me some.”
“I’m sure,” he said waiting for her to let him go but she didn’t, “Mom, come on!”
“Oh fine,” she released him, “go to bed. We can talk about your girlfriend tomorrow.”
“She isn’t my girlfriend,” he said as he ran up the stairs.
“That’s what they all say,” his mother yelled up the stairs.
Jason grabbed a clean pair of boxers and a white undershirt and laid it out on the bed. He jumped in the shower, washed his hair and scrubbed his skin thoroughly. He hummed a tune that popped in his head, which felt oddly appropriate for the ritual he was about to do. He felt a little silly doing this, but Ms. Chang was a bit on the all-knowing side and maybe doing something formal would get it into his subconscious that he needed to let the Monkey King go.
He got out of the shower, dried himself off well before putting his pjs on. He dried his hair and went to the kitchen with the tea pot. He turned the kettle on the stove on and put the tea bag into pot. When the water was boiling he filled the tea pot three quarters of the way full and put the lid on it, setting the stopwatch on his watch. He grabbed a thick hand towel and wrapped it around the pot before carrying it back upstairs. While waiting for the tea, he prepared for bed, brushed his teeth, turned down his bed, still humming whatever notes came into his head. The sense of calm he felt should have unnerved him, but he was totally relaxed. As soon as the alarm on his watch went off he removed the tea bag and put it in a tea cup. They did not have a back yard, but he did have a potted plant. He hoped the tea bag wouldn’t kill it, as he dug a whole in the soil and buried the tea bag. He looked up at the moon and grinned sheepishly, “I’m sorry, this is the best I can do.”
He went into the bathroom and rinsed his cup before sitting down on the floor next to the tea pot. He took a deep breath and cleared his mind. He opened up the pieces of paper, making sure he did everything correctly. Pouring the tea for the Monkey King first he said his name three times, “Monkey King. Monkey King. Monkey King.”
After pouring a cup for himself, he raised it and continued, “I reach out to you by the light of the full moon. I… I… please I need to see you. There are many things I need to tell… no, explain to you. Please walk with me in the dream world.”
Jason was not sure if those were the right words, but they did come straight from the heart and he prayed that was good enough. He brought the cup to his lips and drank the tea. It tasted like jasmine, mint and lemon. He set the cup down and waited. Nothing happened, he did not feel sleepy, he just felt… alone. Standing up to clean up the tea he suddenly felt his world shift. It was like he downed a shot glass full of NyQuil. He fell back on his bed and tried to curl under the covers, but his limbs were just not cooperating. His head felt so heavy so he laid it down on his pillow and there was darkness.

Out of the darkness came the Jade Warlord’s throne room, he was looking down into the firepit and the Jade Warlord had burst into flames and was falling into the lava below. The moment was frozen. He could move, but everything else around him was frozen in time. He turned to his left and saw the Monkey King looking down at the Warlord, there was something in his eyes, in his posture that Jason could not read, but he knew it was important. He wanted to reach out and touch him, hug him, to finally feel him. The physical appearance may be slightly different but he could see the man he loved in the Monkey King’s eyes. Jason forced himself to look away and back down on the Warlord. “I was afraid he would try to grab onto you when he fell.”
He looked back up and saw the Monkey King looking right at him, his trademark grin on his face, but his eyes were very thoughtful. “It’s you,” he whispered.
“You did ask me to come,” he pointed at Jason and laughed.
Jason could help but laugh with him, “I wasn’t sure you would.”
“You obeyed my call; it is only fair I return the favor. You said you wanted to explain something to me?”
“Yes, I did say that didn’t it?” he asked, a nervous grin appearing on his face.
“Why so nervous? It is only me.”
“I know. It’s just that I feel like I know you very well, but in reality we have only together for a few hours…”
The Monkey King laughed and slapped his own thigh, Jason couldn’t figure out what he said that was so funny, even to someone as eccentric as him. “I don’t understand,” Jason said in a small voice.
“I thought you knew.”
“Knew what?”
“The look on your face when I sent you home,” he said, “that look that told me all I had to do was say one word and you’d stay.”
“I would have.”
He stopped laughing and nodded, “I know.”
“So what did you think I knew?”
“I created the monk to help you find the staff, silly; I put a piece of my soul into the monk to make him more powerful. I was the monk; I forced myself to play the role perfectly so the Jade Warlord would not suspect what I had done.”
“You were the… you remember during the sand storm? The temple?”
“Of course,” he reached out slowly and stroked Jason’s cheek, “you were as eager to learn in the bedroom as you were in the battlefield. Very passionate; very tender, never in a million moons could I forget.”
Jason felt tears well up in his eyes as he rubbed his cheek against the battle roughened skin of the Monkey King’s hand. “I missed you so much,” he whispered.
“And I you,” he wrapped his arms around Jason and held him close, “if it were up to me you could have stayed, but all travelers must return home.”
Jason wanted to say it is not fair, but that would sound childish and redundant. He just held on to his love tightly and closed his eyes. The Monkey King laughed again, “What? Are you afraid I am going to disappear? I have no intention of disappearing tonight.”
He didn’t want to think about the morning, he just wanted to live in this moment, right here and right now. He felt his head being lifted and a soft kiss on his lips. Instantly, he kissed back, moaning his pleasure at finally being with him again. When the kiss was broken, even in the dream world you need to breathe, Jason noticed they were no longer in the throne room, but in a beautiful simple room, with a large bed in the middle of it. There were no paintings or decoration, the walls were wooden and the only other piece of furniture was a small table in the corner. He instantly felt at home here. “Where…?”
“We are at my home,” he said, releasing Jason and walking over to an empty corner before removing his armor and freeing his hair, “I always wanted to bring you here but I thought I would never get the chance.”
Jason did not know if he should undress, but he really wanted to. If nothing else he wanted to curl up naked in the Monkey King’s arms, have their bodies pressed together and memorize the feel of him, but Jason could tell from the gleam in his lover’s eyes that he was interested in more than just a simple cuddle.

Jason opened his eyes and felt totally relaxed. He was not quite awake yet as he sat up in bed and stretched. He felt a slight discomfort inside of him. He stopped, he had felt that sort of tenderness before after taking his lover inside of him, but he had not had that thick cock inside of him since he returned from the Forbidden Kingdom. Just to check he very carefully tightened his butt cheeks and the discomfort increased. He looked down and saw the bruises on his wrist where the Monkey King had held his hands above his head. That was impossible. It was just a dream, but it had felt so real. Wait, he was tucked under the covers. He was only wearing his boxers. He looked around, trying to force his sleep addled mind to make sense out of this. All thoughts stopped when he spotted the tea pot and tea cup. The tea cup was turned upside down. Crap, his mother was going to kill him. He gingerly got out of bed and walked over to the tea cup and found that the carpet was not only dry but not stained and the cup had been washed. What the hell happened? Maybe his mother? But why would she have left it on the floor? He picked up the tea pot and found that it was also empty and had been cleaned. He quickly put the cups and pot back on the shelf, forcing himself to take a deep breath.
There is no way in hell that what he thinks happened actually happened.
Wow, he needed to talk to Ms. Chang and found out exactly what was in that tea she gave him. Maybe this was still a dream? Jason pinched himself hard, but he did not wake up.

Jason showered, had breakfast and kissed his mother good bye. She teased him about going to see his girlfriend and asked him to invite her down for a jam session, but he ignored her. He had to get to Chinatown now, Ms. Chang’s store would be open in a few minutes and he wanted to catch her before the store was too busy. The bike ride was a bit much, the tenderness didn’t bother him, it was the bumps on the sidewalk, he could feel the Monkey King thrusting into him with every bump and it became very distracting. He dropped his bike off in the storage room and walked to the front of the store. Ms. Chang was making that clicking noise and running around like she was trying to be two people. “Is everything ok?” he asked her and she turned around, flustered.
“You not supposed to be here today, but I will put you to work anyway. My son appeared last night out of thin air, just like he always does, and I cannot spend time with him and run the shop.”
“Can’t he help?”
“Oh he can help, but the boy is too silly, too goofy to deal with customers. He will insult the elders in the community. No, much better if my little monkey stays away from the counter.”
“I’m sorry, did you say monkey?”
“Yes, that is what he reminds me of a monkey,” she sighed, “oh well. You work today, I feed you lunch and dinner, let you do homework when there are no customers.”
“You don’t have to do that, I am always glad to help,” he said as he stood behind the counter as she changed the sign to say “Open”.
“You say that now, you wait till he comes down and tries to help,” she threw her hands up in the air, “well speak of the monkey and here he comes.”
Jason turned to greet Ms. Chang’s wayward son, the greeting died on his lips as soon as he came into view. No, can’t be. This was impossible. Standing before him, staff in hand, was the Monkey King. He was dressed in a black and red outfit like Lu did on their journeys, he wasn’t sure exactly what it was called, but the man looked fantastic. His hair was down and looked like it was in a ponytail. He grinned and shook his finger teasingly at her, “Now Mother, I am not that bad.”
Now Jason knew he had a few options: faint, attempt to say something intelligent and probably fail or just stand their quietly until either of them notice him. He decided on the latter. “Boy, you have issues with authority.”
“So do you mother,” he shook his head.
“Yes, but I can pretend to get along with them and wait to insult them when they are out of my shop! Anyway, meet Jason, maybe he will be a calming influence on you.”
The man turned to face Jason and his grin got even wider, “So this is the man who has been helping you?”
Jason forced himself to move, he walked over to the son and offered his hand, “Nice to meet you, I’m Jason T…”
“I know,” Monkey King laughed and took Jason’s hand in both of his and held it, “I know who you are.”
“Behave, Sun Wukong, I will not have you picking on my only help! Go make a pot of tea, Jason go with him so he does not juggle the cups and break them. Again.”
“Brilliant, mother,” Wukong said as he dragged Jason into the back and out of Chang’s line of sight. He pushed Jason against the wall, his eyes sparkling with mischief and joy. He moved the neck of Jason’s shirt and smiled when he saw the bite mark he put there last night. “You did not have to miss me long this time,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows.
“I don’t understand, but right now I do not care.”
Wukong laughed hard before leaning down and kissing Jason.

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