Jay was humming as they walked down the half lit hallway. Humming.
And it wasn't the happy song Kai seldom heard during training or when the odds were with them in a difficult fight. It was… dark. The tune was agonizingly slow and creepy. Kai would've shut him up one hundred paces ago had the tone resonated less with him. The members walking between them said nothing but their sneers and growls spoke monologues.
Kai sighed, his stomach flipping at every step he took down the hall. The shadows flickered angrily at the 'intruders'. The stone, torch-lined wall almost would've been comical had the circumstances been… different. What even were their current circumstances? Only a week after the most recent intruder alert the two ninja were deemed trustable again and were sent with two men with definite attitude problems to collect something important. The whole task had screamed mal-intentions and yet here Kai was, suddenly wishing he'd said 'goodbye' instead of 'see ya later' three months ago.
Falling into step beside Jay, Kai hissed; "What are you humming?"
The blue ninja frowned. "It's a lullaby from my childhood, thought it was fitting."
"Well could you speed it up? This is not the ambience we need."
"It's not my fault you're spooked," Jay said in a sing-song voice.
Kai's mouth clamped shut as they reached the end of the hall and came to a set of stairs that led directly down into an iron door.
"We're here," one of the men (Tyler, was that his name?) mumbled, an ounce of dread in his gruff voice.
With another sigh, Kai moved to the front of the group and pushed the door open.
The undercover blue ninja froze.
Even from behind three people he could feel the deathly chill that escaped the room.
"FSM," Kai muttered, knocking Jay from his stupor. He watched awkwardly as his teammate wandered into the room flanked by two enemies.
'They're coming for us,' Jay thought bitterly, stepping into the room.
"I'm calling it." Jay flinched at the severity of Kai's voice.
"You can't," Jay croaked, surprising both himself and his partner-in-justice. "Every time I begged you to just radio in and end the mission after the planned two months came and went you said no, there are too many that depend on this group being shut down. You said that. You were too stubborn to go home with one failed mission." His voice was soft but the words yelled through their confined space.
Kai looked away, studying the stained floor. So Jay continued. "Sensei told us that it may last longer than anyone really wanted it to for us to be able to wipe the gang. If we just-"
"And what would Wu say if he saw whatever just happened?" Kai snapped, unshed tears glistening in his pained eyes. "What'll he say when two murderers step onto The Bounty only half dead but wishing for more?" The brunet sighed at the lightning ninja's flinch. "They hurt you, I saw it, I'm not the one with the worsening limp, or the one with a black and blue body."
Jay clenched his fists well past white knuckles. "If you're trying to call me weak just do it."
Kai rolled his eyes as he turned all of his remaining energy and attention to his wrist communicator. "Keep watch," he said, praying that the bracelet still worked after so long dormant.
The blue ninja obediently moved to the door, his heart hammering with hope when the bracelet came to life. The red ninja shared a promising smirk with Jay before activating the emergency radio. It was far from midnight across Ninjago but one of the ninja was sure to get their message.
"Hey, this is the Hot One, Lightning Mouth is here too. We're absolutely starving right now and could use a heaping bowl of Cole's chili. Over and out."
"Aw shucks," a familiar yet unwelcome voice boomed with mock hurt. Slug appeared in the now open door way, a single dark eyebrow raised. "If I make you some chili myself won't you stay?"
'Why didn't I hear him approach?' Jay mentally cursed himself before realizing: the door had opened to his left, meaning he was stuck in the corner between the door and the wall, invisible from virtually every angle.
"Sorry," Kai shrugged. "My big brother makes the best chili in the nation. I wouldn't dare touch another bowl."
Slug scowled. "Words can hurt Kai. Or is it Hot One?" He snorted. "And I thought the freckley kid was weird, it's too bad he's harmless." The leader's right hand began to pace the small room. "But do you wanna know what's really funny?" He stopped in front of Kai, whose glare only deepened. Uncomfortable, Slug turned away. "Kai, and Jay, and Cole are all names of the famed Ninja. Two of which haven't been seen in nearly four months. Can you guess who?"
"Did Cole get salmonella?" Kai asked innocently.
"Don't play dumb with me."
The red ninja gave a harsh chuckle as he spun into his fiery tornado. "'You stay up all night figuring that out?" A glint of true fear flashed across Slug's face before being replaced with cold hatred. The man stumbled away from Kai's spinjitzu as he tried to buy enough time for him to find his blade.
The cronie may have been stupid, but he sure was quick.
Kai gasped, the fire dissipating around him, the minuscule dagger now protruding from his stomach, blood already blossoming across his shirt. With the snap of Slug's shaking fingers two underdogs began dragging the shocked ninja away.
"Shouldn't we search for the blue one?" the smaller one asked.
Slug laughed. "Nah, he won't make any trouble. He's too small."
Jay was stiff as every possible emotion ran through his mind. Why did Kai do that?
And what was up with all the code language? The Master of Lightning shuddered trying to pretend Kai didn't throw himself away leaving himself to save the day.
FSM, this gang was so stupid.
A/N Spare me, I wrote this at 4 am lol.