I wasn't really finding the kind of stories I wanted. Idk, I just wanted something dark that also focused on the effects it had on the others, so I guess here we are. I found a few good stories but if you have any recommendations, feel free to PM them to me. I need some good Ninjago stories, damn. I mean, there are plenty but not quite what I'm looking for.
WARNINGS: Blood, mentions of blood, fighting, self-harm, burning, memory loss. Overall just Kai having a terrible day, please proceed with caution if you find any of these topics triggering. If there's another chapter by the time you're reading it, you can skip to that, as it'll just be the aftermath.
Kai wasn't aware of much at this particular moment. Not really. Only that his blood stained his face, arms and legs and even the ground. It was everywhere, really. And through the haze in his mind, he was impressed. How it was possible he had so much blood in him, he'd never know. (Another part of him screamed about how bad that was. He had lost so much blood, too much blood-)
He throws a fireball at his opponent, no longer sure who he was fighting or why. His memory refused to work, his body was aching in every way possible, his blood was everywhere and his own fire was threatening to overcome him- to burn him.
It made him mad, really.
Whoever this was, whatever they did, they'd done something to him and now his own element burned his skin. He summoned another fireball into his hands, watched in a daze of fascination and horror as his own skin burned away from it, as if he wasn't the Master of Fire and instead someone with no relation to it. It burned his skin and it was ugly. The smell of burning flesh had gotten worse. He threw the fireball at his opponent again, summoning another two fireballs in his hand immediately and tossing those at him too. (He had come to love the burn, love the pain, even as it ate away at his skin, as it damaged his nerves and scarred him with no hope of recovery. He loved the suffocating smell of smoke, even as it wrapped around his neck and threatened to end him right then and there.)
His opponent - who was he again? Kai had hit his head pretty hard earlier, he couldn't remember anymore - threw a rock at his face and even as Kai dodged it, he knew it was a distraction. He didn't care. He sidestepped, his eyes following it's path even as it passed him. As it finally hit a boulder, Kai returned his eyes to his opponent who had, sure enough, approached him. He swung something straight at Kai's head - he didn't get to see it in time. Was it a bat? It felt like a bat but it looked like a metal pipe. - Kai didn't get to dodge. It slammed into his temple and Kai stumbled to the side.
His vision whited out and for the next few seconds, Kai wasn't really there. Memories flashed before his eyes, of training and lessons he had learnt, things that would surely be important right now, of memories of his brothers and sister, of their many misadventures and their great embarkments, of laughter and happiness, of the destroyed and rebuilt homes they called theirs, of love and family.
His vision returned, and he was on the ground. Just as quickily as the memories had come, they went. Kai forgot almost instantly about what he had seen. The only thing he could think about was how he couldn't die here, not today, not like this. He couldn't remember why exactly, but on the edge of his mind, he remembered a promise from long ago, forgotten but so far unbroken. It would remain unbroken as long as he had a say about it, even though he didn't remember what it was at that moment or the words spoken.
He was on his side. He rolled over so he was on his back, less like a sitting duck waiting to die. He threw his arms up, catching the pipe as it swung down towards him. For the next few seconds, they stayed like that. His opponent struggling to either pull his pipe away or slam it down onto Kai, who was keeping his grip firm and didn't dare let the weapon escape his grasp. Kai wheezed, the exertion and blood loss taking it's toll. He was so dizzy and he felt so empty and so hot. Everything was too much, but he kept fighting. Part of him wasn't even sure how to fight anymore but his body knew what it was doing. His fought with trained skills embedded into his body through muscle memory, and every now and then, he was just about aware enough that his mind remembered how to fight properly.
He switched his gaze from the pipe tithe face of the one holding it. He wheezed again. His opponent had messy blonde hair and blue eyes. When Kai first looked at him, absolutely nothing sparked in his memory. Zip, nada. He had never seen this person before and they didn't even look vaguely familiar. But then his mind- (he had taken too many hits to the head, too much damage, a concussion was certain and the damage could be life threatening if he took another hit, he needed to do something-) finally seemed to work again and a few memories slotted into place and Kai recognised that damned face.
Yes, he knew this man. He had tracked his family for days, been targeting Kai for weeks, had been stalking Kai for longer - they had estimated several months, potentially even a year or two. All for some stupid goal of targeting his element - yes, he remembered now. That was why his element was hurting him, the man had some sort of poison and had injected Kai with it and it had turned his element against him, his own body against itself. The man - what was his name? Why couldn't Kai remember his name?! - had wanted to erase Kai's element from the world, wanted to take his power from his body and destroy it, wanted to ensure there wasn't never another master of fire ever again, because his element was too dangerous. Untameable, unruly, uncontrollable, menacing, wild and chaotic. He wanted to snuff Kai's fire out and with it, Kai himself.
Kai had no intention of letting him. With a yell, Kai drew his knees to his chest as best as he could and then threw them out at his opponent, hitting him in the chest and sending him sprawling. He kept a firm grip on the pipe so when his attacker was sent flying back, it remained in Kai's grasp. Kai heaved, drawing himself to his feet. He coughed, wheezed and delicately held a hand to his ribs. They were broken. Heck, they felt broken under his fingers. He wiped the blood away from his mouth, realising he had been coughing it up. That wasn't a good sign. He threw the pipe away to the side. He felt dizzy. He wanted to collapse and go to sleep. Some stupid part of him was okay with just giving up and dying here if it meant he could finally rest but he would not allow that. Couldn't allow that.
He couldn't do that to his family.
Something clawed up his throat. Kai was sent back down to his knees as he vomited. He heaved, trying to catch his breath through the thick, smoked-filled air. Gosh, he couldn't breathe. He stared down at the pool of blood down in front of him, uncomprehending. Had that been what he just threw up? That couldn't be right, surely...
A rumble in the ground caught his attention and he looked around rapidly, a weak gasp leaving him. It hurt to breathe. Suddenly, his opponent was getting knocked to the side by something metal and Kai's eyes snapped to him as he was sent flying away. Whatever had hit him had been strong. His eyes went to what hit him, his blurry eyesight taking a second to readjust before he able to make out the figure. It took his damaged brain longer than it should have to realise who it was.
Cole stood there, breathing heavily and Kai's not so sure he's ever seen him so mad before. Then again, Kai's really not sure of much anymore. Two other people come running up from behind Cole and for the life of him, Kai just can't place who they are.
He must have spaced out or blacked out for a few seconds because the next thing he knows, they're not running towards him anymore, they're already at his side and he startles, flinching back purely out of instinct. His eyes dart towards their faces, trying to put a name to the face, trying to recognise anything, trying to remember any solid facts he can. He vaguely realises he's summoned his fire again (it's still eating at him, burning his hands beyond repair, taking away everything he is and destroying what it made him).
The figure in green is trying to calm him, his hands up in surrender. He's trying to speak to him, probably trying to tell him he's not a threat but none of his words register in Kai's head. They just pass right though. No, all Kai hears is the crackling of fire and the fall of rubble. His words don't register. He and the figure in blue are keeping their distance though, giving him his space and that is all he cares for. He needs his space and he needs to breathe.
They're not attacking him, so he begins to loosen up some. The fire lessens in his hand but it still burns his ruined hands, still damaged him and he uses it as a way to cope, to stay awake and focused. They're not attacking him, they're trying to prove they're not a threat, he thinks. He let's them do that, but he doesn't care let his guard fall. He's not stupid enough to do that and a promise left forgotten is still on the edge of his conscious, screaming words Kai can't hear but understands. He cannot die, not today, not like this, not ever.
They're trying to approach him. They're doing it slowly, as to not raise alarms but he won't let them. They're raising alarms anyway, with each inch they grow closer. He growls warningly, his red eyes flickering up to meet theirs. They stop their approach, backing up, hands up in surrender still. His eyes flicker to his earlier opponent who was knocked down. He's being tied up by the boy in black. Kai has forgotten who he is again.
His eyes flicker back to the two in front of them, watching them carefully, like a cornered animal waiting to be attacked. He is a cornered animal waiting to be attacked. His fire flickers in his hands, unrelenting. The damage is spreading to his arms. The one in blue cries out, begs him to stop using his fire, to stop hurting himself because "don't you see what you're doing to yourself, Kai?! Your fire is burning you! Please, you have to let us help you! Kai, please, wake up! Come to your senses!" And Kai only glares at him, not caring for his words nor his concern. His brown eyes are petrified, horrified, begging him to come to reason and constantly flickering between Kai's face and his arms. Kai doesn't care for what his fire is doing to him, it's a part of him (it's burning him, destroying him, hurting him. This is not the fire he has always known. Not the fire he has mastered and kept within him always. It's a raging wildfire and it is hurting him. It's never done that before but now it's lashing out at him and Kai does not care, for it is still his fire always, his responsibility, his element, his power and he will not release what he has kept with him for so long, he will let it burn him if it must-) Blue is still screaming at him to stop, tears streaming down his ash-covered face, begging him to let them help him. He reaches for him, for his hands, for his fire, and Kai does not let him get near. He jumps back, throws a fireball at Blue and immediately summons more fire, letting it rise in intensity. The fire spreads to his elbows. (It burns and it hurts but he cannot stop. He will not put out his flames because that is what he is trying to do. Kai will not let his flames be extinguished, will never let his flames be extinguished, even as it hurts him.)
Blue cries out in pain, clutching his arm which is now sporting a pretty bad burn. Kai feels no sympathy. He merely wheezes from the simple movement. Something is not right with his body. Is he dying? Is it the poison? Why is breathing so hard? Why can he not get the oxygen he needs? He just keeps on wheezing, unable to calm his breathing to a regular, heavy pattern.
The figure in green grabs Blue, pulls him back, holds him almost protectively, asks him if he's okay. Blue shakes for a few moments, sucking in breathes to calm himself, nods and then lifts his head. Kai expects to see anger or hatred, something that may indicate he's going to attack again, that he did not take well to being burned, but there's nothing of the sort in his eyes. All there is... is worry. Concern, fear. Kai's taken back because in his current state, he does not understand. Blue resumes his begging for him to wake up and to let them help him.
But Kai is a scared animal and he is still waiting to be attacked. His body buzzes with anticipation, ready to defend itself.
Green is still holding Blue by his unharmed elbow, likely ready to move or support him if necessary. Green looks a bit better than Blue, but not by much. He looks like a child that's absolutely terrified, with big green eyes that fascinate Kai. They're familiar but only briefly. Green is crying also, trying to get through to him but Kai genuinely can't hear the words they're saying anymore. Its like he's underwater because all their words are muffled and he can't make out a single one.
He realises he's getting weaker. He takes a few steps back, wanting some distance between his potential attackers. They still talk but Kai thinks they understand he wants space because they don't follow after him. They want him, desperate and terrified, but they don't move. It reassures Kai. Their words mean nothing to someone who can't process them, but their actions mean everything. Kai's legs give out from under him and he collapses to his knees, a hand going to his chest as he wheezes painfully. His fire relents without his permission. He cough from the impact and chokes on blood. It's blocking the little oxygen he's actually getting so he coughs it out. Either Blue and Green don't like that or they intend to attack him, because they're lunging forward and Kai chokes on his own scream as he attempts to get away from them. Blue grabs his shoulders and he's yelling something but Kai still doesn't understand what he's saying. He reaches up to push Blue away but he's not very successful. Blue doesn't even budge and Kai knows his strength is fading fast. He wheezes. He's weak and he knows it. Apparently, they do too. Green is clinging to his right arm, fussing over his burned hands. The fight has drained from Kai. They're not exactly attacking him, so he relents and let's them do whatever they want. He slumps in Blue's hold, wheezes, and watches them. Blue shifts to his left, supporting him and Kai begins to lean on him, too tired to resist. Green is yelling, calling to someone. Kai watches with hazy eyes, not understanding what's going on but refusing to leave himself completely defenceless.
Blue is trembling, Kai realises. He's trembling really badly. Kai tilts his head up, trying to see his face. Blue is staring at whatever Green is doing but Kai stopped paying attention to what Green was doing- he was fussing over his burns for whatever reason. When Blue realises that Kai is staring at him, he directs his attention to Kai. He's still crying and as his scared brown eyes direct themselves to Kai's eyes that are slowly returning to their normal amber colour, Kai feels as though this person is about to break. Like he's lost his last foundation and Kai finds that he doesn't want Blue to break, because he's gotten comfortable where he's leaning against him. His fire isn't hurting him anymore, just raging inside him, and they're not attacking him and it feels good to rest a bit. He doesn't want to move but if Blue breaks, he'll have to move.
He reaches up with the one hand that Green is paying less attention to and swats uselessly at Blue's tears. He's like a waterfall. The tears just keep on coming. It makes Blue sob and then the next thing Kai knows, Blue is wrapping his arms around Kai's middle and is sobbing into his neck. Kai blinks as the new position forces his head forward. Blue doesn't stop supporting him and he doesn't go plummeting to the ground and that's all Kai cares for.
He watches as Green sticks a finger in his ears, reporting something to no one. Kai blinks lazily. He wheezes. Green gives him a concerned look full of unadulterated fear and it's honestly a heart-breaking expression but Kai just can't bring himself to care. The figure in black joins them, skidding to a stop and discarding his hammer beside him. The sight of a weapon alerts him and he jolts, fire sparking in his hands, muscles tensing. He eyes the weapon, and even though it's on the ground, he waits for it to swing at him and hit him. Blue won't let go of him but he needs to because Kai needs to fight. Black and Green's eyes widen and Green says something to Black, who frowns. He picks up the hammer again and this time Kai lurches in Blue's grasp, fireballs burning at his skin again, ready to be the first to attack. Black tenses, ready to defend against him. Kai moves to attack but Blue's grip tightens, keeping him in place and restraining him. He hisses angrily. Green is grabbing at his hands, trying to put out his fire. Black turns and Kai's eyes follow the hammar like his life depends on it, but all Black does is launch it far away from them.
Kai blinks, surprised. He hadn't expected that. He needs to fight them. Despite that thought stuck in his head and his overall weariness, he feels the strength from his adrenaline fading. He glares at the hammer as it hits the ground, he waits for it to move, or for another attack. Black lowers himself back down again, holds his hands up in surrender and tries to reassure him that he means no harm. It takes several more long seconds before Kai calms down again, his fire fading. He's still tense in Blue's arms though, still wary. He watches Green with a renewed wariness. Green doesn't hurt him. He just goes back to fussing over Kai's hand, with his own renewed vigor. Kai wheezes.
Black and Green talk about something, hurried whispers of fear but Kai can't hear them. His gaze is focused on the new addition, watches what Black does. Black is holding his left wrist, his fingers pressing down and Kai feels his own pulse press against the fingers. For some reason, it seems to calm Black down. He looks much better than the other two but Kai gets the distinct feeling he's trying to hold himself together, like a dam about to burst but doing everything in it's power to delay the inevitable breakdown. He looks scared. He's not crying like the other two, so maybe that's a good sign. Maybe. He doesn't really know.
His hearing is starting to clear slightly. He tries to listen in on Black and Green's conversation but he still can't register their words, they're talking too much and too fast and he can't process it. He relaxes his muscles some, leaning back against Blue again where it's just so comfortable and less painful. Blue is shaking almost violently now, he might as well be rocking Kai as well. Kai wants to give a displeased huff but all he manages is a particularly pitiful wheeze. Black and Green give him concerned looks and they both look so equally terrified, he almost feels bad. He doesn't, though. He can't help it. He's just trying to breathe and all he can do is wheeze.
He doesn't like the looks he's getting, the too fast exchanged words that he just can't focus on, so he tilts his head to get a look at Blue. He's still sobbing but Kai finds that he doesn't mind anymore. It takes a while but Blue finally seems to realise that Kai is trying to look at him, because his face pops up into Kai's line of view, almost awkwardly. Kai searches his face, not sure what he's looking for. He wants to know what's going on. He wheezes and with nothing but sheer determination, forces words out of his damaged throat.
"T-ta...lk." It comes out as less than a whisper and takes more energy than it should. He slumps again in Blue's hold, his body finally relaxing again. His eyes flicker to the discarded hammer, just wanting to make sure it was still away from him. Blue sobs harder against his back and then takes a few heaving breathes. Black and Green try to reassure him and now Black is talking to him. Black still has one hand on his wrist and Kai feels his weak pulse push against his fingers still and another hand on Kai's shoulder. Green has switched to Kai's leg and Kai has no idea what he's doing. It hurts slightly. It looks like he's examining his injuries or something but Kai can't be sure, his vision is too hazy.
Kai's eyes flicker back to Black, staring at him but not really seeing. Black is talking directly to him now, slow enough at a pace he understands, unlike the hurried whispers of earlier, and Kai listens this time. He doesn't understand, per say, but he listens. It's oddly reassuring.
"You're gonna be okay, K-Kai. Zane and Nya will be here with the bounty soon. You're gonna be just fine."
"We've got you, it's all over now. The fights o-over, you won."
"Ev-every... Everything will be alright. You'll be fine. Just stay awake for me, okay?"
"We're here for you. You're gonna get out of this, got it? You're gonna... You're gonna live through this, you just have to hold on."
"Please just stay awake a b-bit longer, okay?"
He wasn't sure when Blue joined in as well, but he gladly focused on the sound of their voices. Green was talking to himself, his finger in his ear. Kai couldn't focus on him though. It was too much for him, so he just listened to Black and Blue whispering reassurances to him. Or at least, Black's steady voice reassuring him and Blue completely breaking down behind him. Black was stable, steady, just like a rock. But Blue was already gone, broken, having given into fear.
"Y-y-you'll b-be fi-fine, K-Kai."
"Just a bit longer. Zane, Nya and Sensei Wu are on their way as fast as they can. They're almost here."
"Don't worry, the bounty isn't too far off now..."
"K-Kai? Do-don't... Plea-please. Do-do-don't l-le-leave u-s."
"Keep your eyes open, alright?"
"I know it's hard, but you have to stay awake. Keep focusing on our voices, alright?"
"Well done, Kai. Just like that. Keep going. You can do it."
"Ke-ke-keep... Keep bre-breathing. I-I-I wo-won't for-forgive y-you if... if yo-you d-d-d-die."
"Everything will be alright. You're gonna get through this, and then you're going to get back to annoying us every day, alright?"
His eyes were closing without his permission. He tried to keep them awake but they just wouldn't listen. His eyes wouldn't stay open and it was frustrating. It seemed to set the others off as well. Blue was shaking him, screaming in his ear and blocking out Black's voice. He winced and wheezed.
The buzzing in his ear was back and he coildnt hear them anymore as he slowly shut down. The adrenaline had faded ages ago and he was so tired, he just wanted to sleep. They weren't going to attack him. They weren't going to hurt him. That reassured him enough that he could go to sleep, despite them begging him not to.
Something bright shone down on them and Kai hissed in displeasure. The light was hurting his eyes. Whatever it was, it was big. Kai growled, preparing himself for a fight again but Blue immediately pulled him back into his chest again, Black reassuring him that it was safe and okay. Kai doesn't quite agree but he also doesn't have it in him to fight anymore. He really doesn't. He doesn't have much anymore. So he lets go.
Kai slips into the darkness.