The Offer

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: I haven't seen the second Mortal Kombat, and I have no intention of ever doing so. So this fic agrees with the first movie, but pays no attention to anything that happened in the second.

Well, this is another plot bunny that attacked in the night. After I wrote Kombat Johnny and Rayden just wouldn't leave me alone. They wanted a first time fic of their own. I was considering it this afternoon, and when I got home Mortal Kombat was on TV. I took it as a sign and wrote the fic. So here it is.

A contract lay, unsigned, on the coffee table before Johnny Cage. He gave it another look and sighed deeply, capping the pen he was holding. "I used to love this," he muttered to himself. "A new contract, a new movie...I should be thrilled. So what's missing?"

"A purpose, perhaps?" a familiar voice interjected, a touch of amusement in the tone.

"Rayden!" Johnny exclaimed, his surprise showing in his voice. "I never thought I'd see you again."

Rayden sat on the arm of the couch on the other side of the coffee table. He looked exactly as Johnny remembered him. "Did you not want to?" he asked, "I can go."

"No," Johnny protested quickly. "Stay. But...why are you here? It's been months since Mortal Kombat ended."

"I don't see Sonya around," Rayden commented, glancing about Johnny's home.

Johnny snorted and put the pen he's been holding down on the table with a little more force than necessary. "She took off a couple of months ago. I can't say I was sad to see her go."

"No happily ever after, I take it."

"Not even close. She's bloodthirsty, you know," Johnny shrugged off an uncomfortable memory. "And she thinks I'm an arrogant SOB. Not exactly an opinion conducive to a lasting relationship."

"And the film business?" Rayden gestured to the contract that lay before Johnny. "You seem to be doing well for yourself," he glanced at their surroundings. The house was large, its furnishings, expensive.

"I've made one movie since the tournament ended, and I barely survived the filming," Johnny sighed. "It just doesn't seem to be important anymore, you know?"

Rayden nodded sympathetically. "Maybe you'll be inclined to accept my offer, then." Johnny raised an inquiring eyebrow. "I want you to help me to prepare other warriors to compete in Mortal Kombat for their own realms."

"You didn't seem to have much trouble here on Earth," Johnny commented. "Why do you need help now?"

"The people of Earth have a lot of faith," Rayden explained. "It is easy to find those who believe, in this world. Others are not so easy to convince. It would help me to have a warrior who has survived Mortal Kombat at my side."

"Sonya is off beating up the bad guys of this world, Liu Kang is helping Princess Kitana on Outworld, and everyone else is dead," Johnny mused. "I guess that means I'm your last resort." He didn't sound too pleased at the idea.

"On the contrary," Rayden countered, "you were my first choice."

"Why is that?"

"Of all the mortals who competed in your tournament, you were the only one to understand that it was your fight, for your world. Besides," Rayden smirked, "I like you. Liu Kang was irritating and I just wanted to slap Sonya."

"Besides which, I'm the best looking," Johnny grinned.

"There is that," Rayden rejoined, laughing at Johnny's startled expression. "I'll return later." With that, the god disappeared into a sizzle of blue energy.

After a moment, Johnny went to his office and unlocked a drawer, from which he drew a glossy black tile. He pressed on it firmly, and a moment later an image of Liu Kang appeared on it. "Johnny!" Liu said, surprised. "What's up?"

"Hey, Lu. I was just wondering...have you seen Rayden lately"

"Not since the tournament ended," Liu replied. "Why do ask?"

"He just paid me a visit, and I was checking up on something."

Liu shrugged. "Sorry, I haven't seen him."

"Don't sweat it, Lu. That's actually a good thing," Johnny replied. His friend looked confused but claimed he had to go and disconnected the link. After a moment's hesitation, Johnny picked up a more conventional means of communication and dialed a number.

As always, he got an answering machine. "Sonya. It's Johnny. Would you mind calling me when you get this? I have to ask you a question." He hung up the phone, picked it up again and dialed his agent's number. "Hi, Tom? Yeah, it's me. I'm just calling to let you know I've decided not to do that new movie."

"Johnny," Tom said, his voice made tinny by the phone, "this is just the kind of flick you used to love to make. Full of fights, hero gets the girl, you get top billing...what's the problem? Not enough money? Let's face it, Johnny, no one's gonna pay a million bucks to put you in a movie. Take the 250,000! It's a good deal."

"It's not the money, Tom," Johnny said, trying to rub the crease from between his eyes. "It just doesn't feel right..."

"250 thou doesn't feel right? It's the best price we've ever been offered. Let's face it, Johnny, you don't make Academy award material. One movie in seven months is not enough to keep you living the high life that you like so much."

"I know that, Tom. It's just...nothing I do means anything anymore."

"So sign the contract and donate to a couple of charities." Tom said shortly. Any other words he might have had were interrupted by a beep.

"I gotta go, Tom," Johnny said with some relief, "I've got another call. Talk to you later." With that, he cut off his agent and switched to the other phone line. It was Sonya.

"I got your message," she said. "What's your question?"

Johnny opened his mouth, then thought better of what he was going to say. "On second thought, maybe I'd better ask in person. Where are you?"

"Amazingly, at home. I'll be there in half an hour."

'Thanks, Sonya."

Johnny met Sonya in the driveway and walked with her back to the house. Sonya, as always, got right down to business. "Your question," she prompted.

"Right. Have you seen Rayden since the tournament?"

Sonya's face darkened with anger. "I'm not going to get into that with you again, Johnny."

"This has got nothing to do with that!" Johnny said hurriedly, suddenly glad that he'd insisted he see her in person. Otherwise, she'd be hanging up on him right now.

"Yeah, right. I stuck with you for four months after Mortal Kombat, Johnny, and for all four of those months you talked about two things," she held up two fingers to illustrate. "Your unfulfilling career, and Rayden. You're obsessed with the man, Johnny. Hearing you mumble his name in your sleep was just the last straw."

"I did not mumble his name," Johnny protested, sitting heavily in an armchair and unable to suppress a slight blush.

"No, you're right. It was more like a shout," Sonya said acidly.

"Just answer the question, okay?"

"No, I haven't. Why would he come to me?"

"That's all I wanted to know. You can go now," Johnny waved to the door.

"You've seen him, haven't you?" she asked, the anger fading. "Listen, I'm sorry. You just touched a nerve, okay? What happened?"

"He came to see me this afternoon. Just kind of appeared on the couch there," Johnny said. "He had a proposition for me." Sonya raised an eyebrow. "Not that kind of proposition! He said he wants me to help him 'prepare other warriors for Mortal Kombat'."

"Is this a one time thing?" Sonya asked.

"I got the impression it was a full time job."

"Then you should be happy. You can spend all your time with him instead of pining after him."

"I was not pining after him!" Johnny protested.

Sonya ignored him. "Or was he...less than you remembered?"

Johnny sighed in surrender. "That's the problem. He was exactly like I remembered. I'm afraid if I go with him I'll make a fool of myself."

"You don't sound like yourself, Johnny. Where's the cocky arrogance? The confidence?" Looking down at Johnny where he slumped in the armchair, her eyes widened in realization. "Well, shit. You're in love with him, aren't you?"

Johnny opened his mouth to deny it, then shrugged. "I don't know...I didn't know him that long..."

"You knew me for the same time," Sonya pointed out, "and you thought you loved me."

"But I didn't, truly."

"Because you were already half in love - or at least lust - with Rayden. Christ, you would fall for a god," she said, shaking her head.

"Who else could measure up to me?" Johnny joked, smiling a little.

Sonya rolled her eyes at him again. "Listen, if you want my advice, you have two choices. Be miserable without him, or maybe embarrass yourself and be with him. Who might work out better than you think."

Johnny sighed. "Thanks for coming, anyway."

"Checking up on me, Johnny?" Rayden said from the doorway.

"Jesus! How long have you been there?" Johnny asked at the same time as Sonya asked, "Checking up?"

"Not long," he answered Johnny. Turning to Sonya, "I told Johnny I made my offer to him first. I think he was checking to make sure I was telling the truth."

"He was," she said, and walked past Rayden and out the front door.

"Have you decided?" Rayden asked.


"It's later," Rayden grinned.

"I have a question," Johnny stalled. "Is this a full time deal?"

"Yes. Is that a problem?" Rayden asked, moving from the doorway to stand in front of Johnny.

"No, I just have to decide if I want to-"

"'Be miserable without him'?"

Johnny stared. "I though you said you hadn't been there long."

"I didn't have to be, to hear that," Rayden responded, a small smile playing over his lips.

"Oh, hell with it." Johnny muttered and, grabbing Rayden by his robes, he pulled the god in for a kiss.

Johnny half expected to find unresponsive lips, to be pushed away. Instead he felt himself embraced tightly, his lips stroked and his mouth plundered with as much passion as he felt himself. Their tongues tangled in a slick battle that had desire sparking in Johnny's groin and spreading through his body on a wave of heat.

"Wow," Johnny gasped when they finally pulled apart. Then he leaned in for another kiss. He wondered for a moment if he and Rayden could make it to the bed and then...they were there. Johnny blinked in confusion for a moment before he remembered who he was with and grinned.

Hands quickly stripped off clothing and the two men tumbled onto the bed together. Johnny delighted in the sensation of Rayden's weight pressing him into the mattress, then arched into the touch as the god nibbled at his neck.

Johnny found that Rayden was as playful in bed as he been during the tournament. He responded wildly to tiny touches...or perhaps it was because he was with Johnny. Certainly, Rayden's slightest touch sent waves of desire coursing through him. When he came, shuddering, in Rayden's arms, Johnny knew that Sonya had been right. He was in love with the god.

Fortunately, Rayden felt the same way.