Hey, guess what? Another season 10 Cole angst oneshot! This one I did as a little something for my 1 year membership, or whatever you call it, I wanted to just make a little something for the occaision. Enjoy all this ninja grief!
Jay only felt shock. It was like a blinding, but numbing pain, suddenly Cole was there, half clinging onto the ladder, then he and the ladder were both gone. As the ship fired up and he clung onto the ladder for dear life, every one of his instincts was screaming for him to let go, go after Cole, save him somehow. But no, he knew that if he let go, he would die and be paralysed within the cloud. A fall from this height would kill someone of his size.
And Cole. He would have been frozen and then smashed to pieces on the ground below.
Jay couldn't focus on anything, all his thoughts had stopped, he couldn't accept it. After all they had been through together, serpentine, pirates, just the other day with Cole discussing Jay's proposal to Nya. There was no way he was gone. Just... no way. He couldn't accept it, he just couldn't.
Eventually he forced himself to climb up the ladder again, face them all, all the blank faces. He couldn't focus on any of them, not even Nya.
There was just no way Cole was gone.
He couldn't accept it.
He wouldn't accept it.
Not after everything, after all the danger they had faced together as a group, something as stupid as a broken ladder...
Jay couldn't accept it.
He didn't think he ever would
Kai didn't know what to do. He didn't know how to face the situation. He would have done anything, stopped time, dived into the cloud himself, anything to stop Cole from falling, anything to stop his brother from slipping away. He ran from the Bounty's deck to the wheel, grabbing it, trying to turn the ship around, go back, go back and find him. Jay could grab his hand, pull him up, he would be fine, Kai would do anything to make it fine. Anything to prevent himself from feeling this pain.
He would have done anything for Cole. Anything to bring him back. Any solution, anything to stop this pain. To stop their pain. Kai didn't want Cole to be gone. He didn't want his team to be torn apart like this. His sister blaming herself, he didn't want her to feel that pain.
As Kai wandered the Bounty that night, he was searching. Searching for something, anything that would fix this. Searching for his teammates who were all broken. Kai needed to fix them. The flame inside him was burning so brightly with determination, he didn't know what to do with it. So much determination, and a fat lot of help it would have for them.
For any of them. For Cole.
The reality was hitting him like a ton of bricks.
There was actually nothing he could do to fix this.
Guilt. That was all she could feel right now. If only she had remembered in time, the switch being labelled wrong... Nya could have blamed anyone. The townspeople for labelling the switch wrong. Zane for not fixing it. The news crew for being stuck in the stupid building to begin with, Jay for not grabbing Cole just in time...
She could have blamed anyone and the situation wouldn't have changed a bit.
But Nya blamed herself, no matter what, all she could think about was how it was all her fault, her fault, her fault...
She wondered if the others secretly blamed her. They had all insisted that it wasn't her fault, Kai especially, but Nya was having a hard time agreeing.
She wondered what Cole would think. If he weren't...
If he weren't gone.
Nya could have blamed anyone but herself. She could have blamed the townsfolk for wiring the lever wrong, Zane for not fixing it, the news crew for getting stuck in the building to begin with. She could have blamed Jay for not catching Cole at the last second.
She could have even blamed Cole.
But she didn't.
What were the odds? Such a slim chance, no, multiple slim chances of something like that ever happening, all adding up to this... the worst possible outcome of their rescue mission.
And what had started that chain of events?
Her, that's who.
Anger, sadness, distress, confusion... there were too many emotions going on inside the nindroid's head right now, his processor's couldn't handle anything else but his grief. Not being able to process wasn't the problem, no, quite the opposite. There was so much going on, his teammate's feelings, his own feelings, the Oni, Cole's death, the plans for the future, Lloyd's mission, PIXAL... He couldn't handle all of this. Not all at once.
And all stemming from a single issue. The Oni. They had caused his teammate's negative emotions, Lloyd's dangerous mission, and even what had happened to Cole. Zane felt a burst of anger towards their evil foes and, clenching his metallic hands into fists, Zane looked wildly around for something to punch-
Punch? Since when had be been this violent? Certainly not when his father had died. He hadn't really been angry, as his father was old and had already bought back a little time from the jaws of death. His death had been natural. The circumstances, less extreme. Zane had mourned, but not like this. Never before had he felt like this. Completely, how could he describe it... incapable. So swept away, so taken over by his emotions that he was a completely useless nindroid, a useless pile of scrap metal.
Just like how he had been when Cole fell. He hadn't helped or anything, hadn't shot an ice slide that Cole could cling on to, no, just stood there, watching, like a useless robot.
How he hated this sudden change in the situation, change in emotion. It was making him useless to the other members of his team. He was meant to be the smart one, the one with the facts, the one who could get to grips and cope with the situation. But now... Something was wrong.
It was all wrong.
And Zane was useless to fix it.
There were many things he had done to deal with complicated emotional issues when he had been younger. Curl up in a closet, cry into a pillow, steal candy, there were so many possibilities. But none of them would suit his status as the green ninja. He had to be strong for the team. But how could he just carry on as if nothing had happened! Cole was his brother, his older brother, the oldest in the team. Lloyd was the youngest, yet still had to be the most responsible, the team leader, he had to take care of the rest of them.
The rest of his family.
How in Ninjago was he going to tell Wu? Cole's father? Anybody, how the heck could he share such news? It was his responsibility to take care of these things, a responsibility he shouldered for the whole team.
Lloyd had never shied away from any responsibilities for the team before, not since the day Kai discovered his true potential and the weapons had lit up with all that green lightning. Since then, Lloyd had taken everything on his shoulders and had continued to do that with the rest of the team's issues.
But losing Cole was far more than a mere 'issue'. Losing Cole felt like losing everything to Lloyd, even though they could still fight the battle out there with the Oni. After Garmadon had... gone, Cole became a figure of responsibility in Lloyd's life, like an older brother. It was the closest thing to a father he had had at that moment in time. Then when Garmadon had returned as an Oni, Cole had continued to be that older brother figure, along with the rest of the ninja. Lloyd felt... like he had lost his father all over again. The same pain, just for a different person.
Lloyd couldn't fight such pain. He could fight Oni, gangs, serpentine, the other ninja for the video game consoles. But this pain that felt like a massive piece of his life had been torn away...
This was a battle even the green ninja couldn't fight.