Happy Father's Day everyone! Hope you enjoy this one-shot! :)
Lloyd was all alone.
It was a day Lloyd had been dreading for quite some time now. It was a day that he should be spending with his family. No, his father.
Yet here he was, sitting on the deck of the Destiny's Bounty. Solitary. The other ninja had left for the day, going off to be with their own families and to catch up with them, yet Lloyd was all by himself. Sure, his uncle was somewhere else aboard the ancient ship, but that still didn't make him feel any better. It just wasn't the same. It wasn't…normal. But then again, what was?
Nobody else was there, no one in sight, and he felt empty. It had been a week since the incident in Doomsday Comics, and Lloyd still had mixed feelings about the whole ordeal. Now he was older, more was expected out of him, which didn't help to improve his attitude. That meant the time to face his father was drawing nearer, and least to say— he wasn't ready. He needed more time. More time to think things over, more time to train, more time to cram in some last minute teachings. He shouldn't have wasted his childhood so carelessly. He should have used it wisely.
Even with the foreknowledge of the battle yet to come, what worried him the most wasn't the training bit: It was how easy everything was becoming. His powers were showing up more frequently, and controlling them was hardly a challenge. Of course he had his off days when they wouldn't cooperate with him at all, though overall they were seemingly becoming a second nature of sorts. That meant his true potential had to be creeping up on him soon, and he wasn't prepared. At heart he was still the same sugar-loving kid, a kid who wasn't ready to grow up yet, but now…
There simply wasn't enough time.
Sighing, the green ninja propped himself up on an elbow, using the wooden handrail enclosing the deck as support. His emerald green gaze searched the bright world of white around him, nearly obscuring the sapphire ocean of sky completely. Dejected, he released another breath. It was no use. There was no way he could prevent the inevitable.
He had to fight his father. And he had to win. No exceptions.
"I thought you had gone with the other ninja…" his uncle commented from behind him, accompanied by the noisy clunking of his bo staff. Lloyd spotted the the elder out of his peripheral vision, yet he still refused to acknowledge his presence. Couldn't everyone just leave him alone?
To Lloyd's relief, his Sensei made no more attempts at conversation, and the both of them just stood wordlessly, neither making a sound. The occasional gust of wind slightly rocked the ship every now and then, but the boosters underneath smoothly stabilized the vessel, so the effects went unnoticed.
A puffy, white cumulus cloud drifted into view, sharing an uncanny resemblance to that of his own father. Lloyd's heart ached at the lonesome reminder, his stomach clenching. It wasn't fair. Today was Father's Day, a day set aside in honor of those possessing the title. He should be spending the day with his own dad, not his uncle.
But his dad was evil. The Dark Lord.
"Lloyd… I'm sorry…" one of them finally dared to speak, and Lloyd felt pressure on his shoulder as his uncle's wrinkled hand gave it a gentle squeeze. As much as he tried to ignore the touch, he found that he couldn't.
"There's no need to apologize." At last, Lloyd turned to face his Sensei. He was taken aback by the dismal look in his uncle's blue eyes, which caused his insides to coil. So much pain…
"Y-Yes, there is. You grew up fatherless, then you lost your childhood… It's all my fault, Lloyd. Your father was bitten by the Devourer because of my stubbornness, banished to the Underworld because of my cowardice, and now he has the Megaweapon—"
"Uncle, if we hadn't given him the Weapons in the first place, Ninjago City would have been destroyed. Innocent people would have been killed. And last of all, we would've lost you…" the blonde trailed off, the unpleasant thought leaving a sour taste in his mouth. Even through the worst of situations, there always came something of the opposite nature. In that case, the ninja had gotten their Sensei back.
"That I know very well, but—"
"Butts are for sitting, Sensei," Lloyd's eyes narrowed, as did his patience. Why was Wu acting like this? He did nothing wrong, yet he was blaming himself. "You said it yourself. You know it was essential in the Devourer's destruction and saving Ninjago, as well as saving you too. Sensei, do you really think the ninja could've handled training me without your help?" Lloyd made an attempt at enlightening the situation, a blonde brow raised. But that didn't seem to have an effect on Wu's mood. From what Lloyd observed, his light blue gaze only darkened.
"I suppose you are right, nephew…" Wu licked his lips after a moment, swallowing. His hand abruptly left Lloyd's shoulder, moving to stroke through his long, wispy beard. A sign of finality. The green ninja could already hear the sound of his Sensei's bamboo staff thudding against the deck.
Though just as Lloyd began to turn away, his uncle's arms seized him in a firm hug, holding them together. Dumbstruck, the green ninja stood there with his arms hanging limp at his sides, until his brain finally caught up with them. He hugged his uncle back, except tighter. Much, much tighter. He never wanted to let go. He never wanted to be alone. Ever again.
Almost reading his thoughts, Wu said, "We are your family, Lloyd. We always have been, and we always will be. You will never be alone," his uncle patted his back, the motion both reassuring and comforting. Lloyd buried his head in the material of Wu's white kimono robes, his eyes burning with a passion. He knew that feeling all too well, a feeling that couldn't be ignored.
Even if he wasn't with his father, that didn't mean he still didn't have family elsewhere. Each of the ninja's cheery faces surfaced in his mind, and Lloyd found himself smiling, despite the tears surging from his eyes. And Wu continued to pat his back, not letting go. Never letting go.
Lloyd knew that he wasn't alone.
I thought there needed to be more Wu and Lloyd moments, so I wrote this. Wu technically was Lloyd's father-figure until Garmadon was cleansed of evil, and it feels like the writers didn't really explore that possibility as much as they could have.