A/N: So… hi? Man. I've been so inactive, haven't I? Well, this is me trying to get out of writer's block. Enjoy.
I don't own Ninjago… for now.
Pixal watched as they stumbled through the portal. Bone-weary and frozen they emerged. Suddenly the empty hole she's been fighting to avoid this long week is filled as he appears. She doesn't care how cold he is or register the telltale nicks that speak of decades of neglect. Right now, Zane's home and that's all that matters.
She makes way for Sensei Wu because she knows how much he blamed himself. The remainder of the team pulls her aside and tells her everything. The formlings, the ice dragon, and Vex. She's told all about how Zane lost his memory and how Vex spun an elaborate tale of power and a past life waiting to be redeemed.
Pixal knew how likely that was. After all, she was there last time he lost his memory. She remembered being held underneath Chen's extravagant palace with it's hidden passages and dark secrets.
The worst part was losing Zane all over again. She remembers the day he died with perfect clarity. She watched him explode into a thousand shards of ice taking the Overlord with him. The ice had coated the city. Even after it thawed she still felt it. Twisting this way and that inside her gut, stinging her eyes and squeezing all the life out of her. Cyrus said he couldn't fix her malfunction.
Then there was his funeral. The funeral she didn't attend.
She was glad she didn't go. She would've missed the happiest moments of her life. Zane was alive. Assembling himself right under her feet. She would never forget rushing down to one of the manufacturing levels. She had slid open the door and immediately all the ice that had plagued her for months melted away. Despite his new shell, it was so clearly him. His eyes were the same bright blue as always. They were compatible. They were together.
Until suddenly they weren't. A whirlwind of darkness and confusion and Zane was gone again.
Being dismantled hurt, yes, but it was nothing compared to what followed. Early on in their imprisonment, there seemed to be a parade of sorts in the narrow hall outside her cell. There was a blue glow in the cell next to her and the now distinctive sound of ice growing and splintering. Pixal could only pray these aren't the signs of Zane being taken apart like she was. And then, nothing. Left alone with the suffocating silence.
She used to count the seconds until the days became weeks and weeks turned into too many. She disabled her internal clock when watching the countdown to hopeless rescue became maddening. She didn't even know if he was on the other side of her cell wall. All she knew was that the other cell was quiet. Too quiet.
After far too long she hears it. The quiet clanking of chains and heavy breathing that is most certainly Zane's.
"Zane?" She hates how robotic her voice sounds. It's tinny and hollow after months of silence. But the voice she's longed to hear these past months doesn't answer and she knows he's not conscious. "Zane you need to wake up."
With a gasp, he is released from the darkness that held him silent. "Oh. It was only a dream."
"It's amazing you dream." She muses, almost without thinking. "I've always wondered what it's like. You've always been special."
"I- Where am I? Who are you?"
Pixal can feel her heart break a little. She doesn't blame him. Not really. But after everything, he doesn't remember her. She tries her best to fill in the gaps in his memory drive as they talk. And oh, she can hear it in his voice. He's so eager to learn and believe that he clings every word. She could tell him she was his enemy, his ruler, his adviser. He would believe it without question. He'd follow her to the ends of the realm without hesitation.
She was grateful for his innocent acceptance then. She never thought, never considered anything like this. A cold world that twisted him into a dark and weary figure. All because of the silver tongue of a stranger and Zane's own trusting nature.