Happy valentine's people! I've been planning this since the season 9 finale, and I adore this ship! Enjoy :)
If there's one thing that stayed on Gayle Gossip's mind about Garmadon's sudden takeover of Ninjago City, it was the man in the brown gi. The way he had swooped in and saved her from those gang members, how he had been with the ninja, but no one knew who he was. He was like... some kind of secret weapon that they kept about, the bravest and best ninja of them all! He would certainly make an interesting news story.
But she knew that wasn't the only reason she wanted to see him again. To thank him properly.
But Gayle didn't even know his name, much less where she could find him. She could only hope that their paths met again somewhere down the line.
Little did she know at the time, 'her biggest fan' would soon make a reappearance in her life.
If there was one thing that stayed on Dareth's mind after saving his biggest celebrity crush from the Sons of Garmadon, it was how badass he had been. Perhaps he told the story slightly different inside his head, but as far as the Brown Ninja was concerned, he had leapt out of that armoured truck, barrel rolled through the air and landed smack ontop of the gang members, saving Gayle from a perilous demise.
But even so, he still wanted to see her again. He had had a crush on the news reporter ever since he had been her emergency camera man when the Stone Warriors attacked. Her confidence in the face of danger, the way she had come up to him and demanded that he hold the camera while she told everyone to evacuate. She spoke like it was his business, like he was a part of something. Dareth had never been spoken to like he was someone important before, well, despite his students of course. But after being in the ninja's shadow for so long, he couldn't help but be fascinated by the woman. He had wanted to stay in touch with her, but the pair had parted ways after that particular incident. Dareth doubted that she even remembered him.
Little did he know at the time, but he would soon make a reappearance in her life, whether he planned to or not.
The festive holiday of romance had passed, for Gayle, as it usually did. She went in to the office, did the news, ate lunch, went over the next day's stories, then left around four to go back home and hit the gym, or the snack bar. She had received valentines, of course, Vinny, a few interns and the janitor had all left cards, flowers and chocolates on her desk like they usually did. None of these suitors particularly interested Gayle, so she bundled them all up in her fancy reporter's bag and took them home with her. Those chocolates would come in handy for her usual traditions for this holiday - watching old rom coms alone and pigging out.
As Gayle made her way down the street to her car, reaching for her keys in her pocket, she suddenly got the strange sensation that she was being watched. She looked around wildly. The street was empty. Maybe from one of the buildings... no, that was ridiculous. The paparazzi would all be busy with the significant others.
When Gayle reached her car, parked by an ominous dark alley, that was when it happened. She felt a tap on her shoulder, and then something grabbed her and yanked her backwards into the alley.
"Let go of me you power hungry, you..." Gayle scrambled to get away from her attacker. When she looked up, she saw multiple attackers standing above her, smiling. Muggers. She should have been more careful!
"Well, what do we have here?" The leader of the muggers stepped forwards, cracking his knuckles. "Why, it's Miss Gayle Gossip from NTV News! You ought to have enough cash in that pretty purse of yours to feed my boys here down at the dive bar!"
"She's got a heck of a lot of chocolate!" One of the muggers remarked, emptying out Gayle's bag onto the dirty pavement.
"Wha- hey! Those are my things!" Gayle tried to shrug the man holding her off her shoulders, but his grip was firm. "You let me go at once, you, you... you rapscallion!"
"You sit tight!" The leader of the muggers snarled, raising a fist. "Or I'll-"
"You'll what?" Gayle snapped, trying to disguise her fear. If this came to a brawl, she would be pummelled.
"You're gonna let the lady go before I get angry!" A familiar voice called from the shadows. Gayle looked up and, to her relief and sudden happiness, a familiar brown clad face frowning at the muggers through the shadows.
Dareth never really did much for this certain day. He would either watch old rom coms with a self bought box of chocolates on his lap, or be nursing an injury a woman gave him for attempting to walk her home.
This year though, a ninja had called him with a help request. He couldn't say no when his friends needed him!
"And make sure the flowers are a direct mix of orange and red, she likes those." Kai said nervously. Dareth stood beside him outside the noodle house, holding the flowers that he would slip into Kai's hands at the just the right moment. He would be the wingman on the beginning of a romantic date between Kai and his one true ladylove, Skylor. When he had asked why, Kai had simply replied 'because you'll make me look better just by being yourself'. Dareth didn't quite get this remark, but rearranged the flowers just as Kai's nervous squeak announced Skylor's arrival.
"She's coming, Dareth, hide the flowers!"
As the Red Ninja greeted his date with a kiss and Dareth slipped the flowers behind his back, a sudden scream cut through the air.
"Let me go you power hungry..." Dareth's 'ninja sense' (as he liked to call it) was tingling at once. It sounded like it was coming from the alley nearby.
"Hey Skylor, glad you could make it!" Kai said with a small beckoning motion behind his back, a signal for Dareth to pass the flowers so Kai could smoothly reveal them. But Dareth wasn't watching for the signal. All his attention was focused on the alleyway. "Erm, Dareth? The flowers please!"
"Sorry Kai, duty calls!" The Brown Ninja called, already running off towards the alleyway. He threw the flowers back towards Kai, where they landed rather comedically on his head. Skylor laughed.
"Ninja GO!" Dareth cried, pulling on his hood and attempting spinjitzu. He spun until he was dizzy, then shook it off and darted into the shadows of the alley.
In the darkness, Dareth bumped into a ladder from some building's fire escape, causing him to stumbled back. He realised that he could use this to launch a sneak attack. Climbing swiftly up, the Brown Ninja observed the scene.
A woman was being mugged by some guys! Well that wasn't the sort of thing the Brown Ninja allowed! Not in his Ninjago City!
"You're gonna let the lady go before I get angry!" Dareth called and revelled in the looks of fear (confusion) that the muggers gave him.
Gayle looked up and saw to her delight, the man dressed in brown who had saved her all those months ago. He blinked in surprise as he noticed her.
"Miss Gossip?" He exclaimed.
"It's you!" Gayle felt a smile grow on her face. She was saved!
"Oh look!" The leader of the muggers laughed. "A chocolate ninja! Someone sent us a kissogram!" They laughed, and the brown ninja clenched his hands into fists. He was obviously about to go into his full badass mode. Gayle felt her heart flutter at the thought of seeing it again.
Dareth threw himself off the fire escape and landed on top of one of the muggers, crushing him under his weight. As the other muggers piled on top of him, determined to pin him down, Dareth managed to shrug them off as he stood. He didn't exactly have muscle on his side, but he did have weight.
One of the muggers behind him went in for a punch, but Dareth dodged and kicked him down. The rest toppled like dominoes. Their leader took one look at his fallen gang, dropped Gayle's purse and fled.
Dareth went over to Gayle and helped her up. She gazed upwards to the mysterious hero who had just saved her a second time.
"Are you alright, Miss Gossip?" He asked. His hand was warm through the gloves he wore, and firm. She smiled at him.
"I'm fine. You really took them out this holiday though." Gayle gestured to the groaning and unconscious muggers.
"Well, no one messes with defenceless women while I'm on patrol!" Dareth said bravely. He picked up her bag, the flowers and chocolate all spilling out of it. "You, erm, you sure have a lot of valentines."
"What can I say?" Gayle took the bag back, putting it on over her shoulder. "Fans. I'm sort of surprised I didn't receive one from you, my 'biggest fan'."
Dareth gave a small laugh, and jumped back up onto the fire escape with swiftness that surprised even himself. "I trust you can make it back to your car unescorted? I'm not meant to be out in the daylight." Dareth had no idea what he was saying. Playing it mysterious? Argh, why was he always messing up around women?!
"All mysterious huh" Gayle smiled. "Well, before you dash off to whatever emergencies await, shouldn't I thank you for your help?"
"Oh no, I don't need any payment." Dareth grinned beneath his hood and lay down on the fire escape, tilting his head back so he was sort of dangling upsidown in front of her.
"Oh I insist." Gayle inched closer and reached for Dareth's hood. Gently, she put her hands on the bottom of his hood and pulled it down, just over the mouth. And just like in the movies, their lips met in a passionate kiss. By the end of it, Dareth felt like a hero and Gayle was swept away.
"Thank you, Miss Gossip." Dareth smiles and pulled his hood back on again. "I will always remember you." He stood up.
"Wait!" Gayle extended a hand. "I, I don't even know your name!"
Dareth smiled, his eye twinkling.
"Just call me, the Brown Ninja!" He said with a grin, the leapt away, back towards the noodle house on the other side of the alley.
"Whoa!" Gayle exclaimed. Out of all the presents she had received, that kiss was by far the greatest.
Dareth's heart was racing as he stepped happily out of the alley, pulling his hood down. He ignored Kai's death glare and sauntered past, pulling the rose he had taken from Gayle's collection. His souvenir from the best day of his life!