A/N: I still don't own LEGO Ninjago.

Hope you enjoy! Comment, if you please!

Man On A Mission: Part II


**Arwyn's POV

Glancing out of the corner of my eye at the ebony-clad ninja with his long, powerful-looking legs stretched out in front of him, I tried to ignore him and headed out of the office into the hallway.

OMG, he is gorgeous!

But then I caught myself. Sure, he had a smooth, handsome face, olive complexion, slightly roman nose, greenish-grey eyes, and heavy eyebrows. Sure, he had a sensual, cocksure smile and a confident, slightly husky voice. And, sure, he was tall and muscular, in armor and a uniform, but he was probably also an arrogant, egotistical womanizer, or some kind of jerk like that.

I had to stop thinking about him and finish my work. I had already made a fool of myself by staring at him when he took off his mask and hood. At least I was much less freaked out after that, and I realized then that the elderly Sensei Wu wasn't senile or delusional. Unless the watchful man in my office was part of a joke.

Somehow I made it through the last two hours, and finally decided to go ahead and entertain myself for the evening by going to supper with the ninja. I didn't get the sense that they were a dangerous cult or anything, so why not? I hoped I wasn't wrong about that, anyway.

After gathering my things and finally daring to speak to Cole for the first time in two hours, we headed to the exit. He stopped to open the janitorial closet and withdrew a large, golden farming implement. "What in the world is that?" I asked.

"It's called a scythe. And more. You'll see," he answered cryptically. Once we got into the parking lot, he glanced at me and carelessly threw the scythe forward into the open space. Before it hit the ground, a large, bright light flashed, then in its place was a hulking, four-wheeled vehicle he announced was the "Tread Assault".

I know it wasn't very attractive, but I couldn't help my gaping mouth. "Where did this thing come from?" I squeaked out.

He laughed out loud. "It's part of the power of the golden weapon. We'll talk more about it later. Let me help you into it." He held out his hands to assist me up onto the ledge, but I suddenly realized I had let my guard down and brought the shield back up.

"No, thanks. I can do this myself," I said, rejecting his offer and climbing fairly nimbly up to sit in the back of the cockpit.

Cole shrugged, then leapt from the ground to the cockpit edge, executing a perfect forward flip and landing gracefully with a smug look on his face.

Showoff. I looked away and rolled my eyes, but had to admit that his agility only made him hotter.

The ride to the Bounty was uncomfortably quiet. Cole didn't say much, maybe because he was letting me process everything, or maybe because he thought I was bitchy, which I really didn't mean to be. I was silent the whole way, also, since my apprehension was growing as each mile passed.

Staring out at the passing desert scenery, I wondered what in the world I was doing riding in a magical vehicle with a ninja I had just met, heading to a flying ship Cole said was docked a couple of hundred feet in the air over the desert outside of Ninjago City to meet with an elderly Japanese man about stopping evil in Ninjago.

Whaaat?! I'm either stupid or unconscious, I thought as the ship came into sight. I knew I probably should have told someone I was doing this, but they doubtless would have tried to talk me out of it.

Once we drove up to the flying ship's anchor—and it was flying, or at least hovering!—Cole called someone on his comlink thingy and asked them to send the cargo lifter down. I was appreciating that since I couldn't see any other way up except the anchor's chain, which didn't seem like the most efficient way to board. Although it would deter some unwelcome guests.

Turning in his seat, Cole held out his right hand to me, saying, "Give me your hand. I'm gonna change the Tread Assault back."

I looked at him cautiously and started to ask why, but thought better of it and slipped my left hand into his. His strong, warm fingers wrapped around mine securely, sending a tingle up my back to my scalp. They weren't soft, you could tell he was used to handling tools or weapons, but his nails were well-kept, and they were hands you didn't mind touching…or having touch you….

I was snapped out of my reverie when I realized the vehicle seat was no longer under me, and I was dropping toward the sandy ground. I gasped a little and threw out my right arm for balance, surprisingly landing squarely on my feet…with Cole's left arm wrapped around my waist, his right hand still holding mine as though we were dancing. I stood stock still for a moment, leaning against his muscular chest and abdomen, while he looked down at me. Again with that cocksure smile.

Feeling his warmth through my thin scrubs, I hastily pulled my hand from his, pushed against his chest, and took a quick step away from him with a mumbled "thank you" while blushing.

The ninja in black released me without a comment, though he kept the annoying grin, and reached for the cargo lifter as it neared the ground. Letting it settle in the sand, he wordlessly opened the small gate and politely motioned for me to enter it.

Looking up as Cole closed the gate behind him, I saw a head disappear over the railing. I presumed it was whomever was operating the lifter. "Don't be alarmed by all of the attention you're about to get," Cole informed me, probably having seen the same head. "We don't get a lot of visitors, and everybody's pretty nosy, like any family."

"Thanks for the warning," I muttered since I'm not a really outgoing person. It raised my anxiety level to think that I was about to meet a bunch of people I didn't know who would be very interested in why I'm here when I wasn't even sure about that.

I felt like I was on display as the cargo lifter rose up and over the railing of the ship, and I saw a multi-colored group standing nearby, eyeing us curiously.

When the lifter was on the deck, a ninja in white stepped forward and opened the gate for us to exit, bowing slightly as he did so. After walking out onto the deck, I returned the bow with a smile, saying, "Thank you."

Once again with a flourish, he answered, "You are most welcome, lovely lady."

Glancing nervously at Cole, I noticed an odd expression on his face as he took in the chivalrous greeting, but when he caught my look he smiled warmly. "Let me introduce everyone," he started. "We are the elemental Masters of Spinjitzu. The gallant one in white is Zane, Master of Ice. In red we have the snarky one, Kai, Master of Fire. Jay is the blue one, AKA Sparky, Master of Lightning. I am the Master of Earth, and the long-suffering leader of these three."

The ninja were all handsome, looked to be in their early twenties and offered me welcoming smiles and greetings, but shot annoyed looks Cole's way as he finished up with their introductions.

The young woman in red whom I had seen earlier in the morning was standing beside the blue ninja. "This is Nya, Kai's sister, and our Samurai and all-around support system," Cole continued. She gave me a bright smile and nodded as Jay put an affectionate arm around her shoulders. "It's nice to meet you again," she said.

"And this little guy is Lloyd, the ship's mascot and Sensei Wu's nephew," Cole finished up with a lop-sided grin at a young, tow-headed boy of about ten years who had stood with a shy smile by Nya, but grew irate at the title given by the ninja leader.

"I am NOT the mascot!" he defended hotly. Cole snorted with amusement and tousled the boy's hair, ticking him off more.

Gesturing to me, he announced, "This is Arwyn, our guest for supper tonight, which I'm sure is going to be great, since Zane cooked." The white ninja bowed again with a look of pride.

The ninja in red slightly raised a hand and began to voice a comment, but Cole held his palm up and said quickly, "Hold your questions for later. I need to get her to Sensei Wu ASAP," and whisked me toward a stairway and below deck to a shadowy hallway.

While he knocked on the door to Sensei Wu's quarters, I took a deep breath, trying to quell the nervous feeling rising rapidly in my abdomen. I caught the faint scent of a woodsy incense and felt strangely calmer. After receiving permission to enter, we stepped into the sparsely-furnished and dimly-lit room.

Serenely sitting in seiza on a tatami mat with his eyes closed and without the rice hat was Sensei Wu. Cole bowed low. "Begging your pardon, Sensei, I have returned with Arwyn."

The elderly man opened his eyes and looked up at me, smiling as though he was truly happy to see me, sort of like when I visit my parents. "Please sit," he requested. "You may go, Cole," he added without looking at the younger man.

Cole hesitated almost imperceptibly, then bowed low, replying, "Yes, Sensei," before leaving the room and closing the door quietly behind him.

Pouring a steaming cup of tea from a little blue teapot, Sensei Wu handed the cup to me and said, "Thank you for indulging me and accepting my invitation for dinner."

Sitting in seiza and taking the cup of apple-scented tea, I thanked him, then responded with a shrug, "Well, Cole made it kinda plain that I could come on my own or be brought here anyway."

Wu chuckled. "Cole is very responsible and dedicated to obeying me and doing his job well."

I nodded and sipped the hot tea, wondering when he was going to hit me with the big guns. I need not have wondered.

"Let me explain why I have brought you here…" Wu began, then proceeded to clue me in about everything from the First Spinjitzu Master to the prophecy of the Green Ninja and all there was in between.

As he went on and on, I grew more confused about why I was there. When he finally stopped, I just sat quietly for a minute, waiting for something else to happen, someone to yell "April fool". But, no one did.

As if he could hear my thoughts, Sensei paused, then continued, "You are here because a powerful force emanates from you, one that tells me you are capable of controlling all of the elements, mastering Spinjitzu, and conquering the evil threatening Ninjago. I believe that you are the Green Ninja, the greatest ninja, destined to defeat the dark lord." He paused a moment, then finished with, "I am offering you to join our team and fulfill your destiny."


Sitting there holding my teacup with both hands, I looked at the elderly gentleman like he had just said I was the new Dalai Lama or Bigfoot. I couldn't even think of any way to respond to that. "Surely you have the wrong person?" I finally said with a short, humorless laugh.

"There is a way to show you and everyone else that I am correct," he answered assuredly, rising and pressing a button on an intercom near the door frame. Nya came on, and Wu told her to gather everyone and to bring them and the golden weapons to his quarters right away. He then sat again and poured himself another cup of tea, refreshing mine without asking.

I sat a moment in stunned silence before I burst out, "There's simply no way I could do all you think I can!"

"You do not yet know the full capacity of your true potential," stated Wu placidly.

"But-but, I have a job and…and responsibilities!" I protested.

"All our paths should meander. If they remain straight, we miss opportunities and are stagnant," he calmly countered.

Not sure what else to do, I jumped to my feet on the mat, ready to bolt, when a knock came from the door. Cole's now-familiar voice sounded through it. "Sensei? You called for us?"

Wu gave his permission for all to enter, including Lloyd, who pushed his way to the front of the perplexed group. They immediately began questioning the sensei about what was going on, but he quieted them with a raised, open palm. Cole walked over with a reassuring smile and stood to my left, as if anticipating that he may have to prevent an escape, but it could have been as a show of support.

Wu then instructed Nya to place the weapons case she carried on the table against the wall just a few feet to my right. Without further ado, he popped the clasps on the case, raised the lid, and stood back as the others looked curiously on.

The four weapons resting in the case were already glowing with a golden light, which I took to understand they did not usually do, since everyone sounded a little surprised by the sight. Within seconds, they were pulsating with a brighter light. But what totally freaked me out was when they sprang from the case and flew straight at me.

I did a duck-and-cover with my arms while letting out a cry of fright, squeezing my eyes closed as I fully expected to be hit by all the pointy objects. Frozen in that position for a moment, I realized quickly that there had been no impacts, and opened my eyes tentatively.

Surrounding me was a glowing, green aura, and the four weapons, hanging suspended in the air. Beyond them were the shocked faces of the ninja clan, Cole's self-satisfied one, and Sensei Wu, who beamed with serene pride. "It appears that the Green Ninja has finally been disclosed," he stated with a small smile of satisfaction.

I couldn't make a sound.

**Cole's POV

A-ha! I knew it! She's the Green Ninja! That explains why Sensei was so adamant earlier that I find her and stay with her once I got to the clinic. And convince her to come back to the Bounty, no matter what I had to do. I'm really glad that didn't involve physical restraint.

I stood back a little from everyone and observed how all of them were handling this. When Arwyn had first been revealed, she had this deer-in-the-headlights look, turning to me and insisting there must be a mistake.

My first impulse was to reach out and hold her, comfort her, but I shook that off quickly! Where did that thought come from in the middle of the revelation of the Green Ninja?

Sensei Wu had then stepped between us and tried to convince her that there was no denying the fact of what she was, although he would not explain further. She still stood flabbergasted by the display of the golden weapons which were being returned to the case by Nya and Jay.

Kai seemed a little disappointed by the disclosure, but since he'd finally unlocked his true potential, I figured he'd get over not being the Green Ninja soon enough.

Lloyd appeared a little upset that someone had now been designated to defeat his father. I made a mental note to talk about it with him later.

Zane was congratulating Arwyn, which reminded me that it was past suppertime, and I was starving, so I herded everybody out of the small room, and we headed toward the dining area.

In the dining room, I seated Arwyn on Sensei Wu's right where he settled at the head of the long table, while I sat across from her on his left. She still looked somewhat disoriented and vulnerable, which was a different attitude than the one I'd dealt with earlier.

Back in the clinic parking lot, when she had proudly refused my offer of assistance into the Tread Assault, I had been a little put off by the rejection. That's why I pulled the stunt of dispelling the vehicle without warning her once we got to the Bounty. I was determined to get her to touch me in some small way.

I know it was a dirty trick, but it paid off when she ended up in my arms, one hand in mine, the other on my shoulder, looking up at me with wide, brown eyes, the wind blowing through her hair, that 'wow' body pressed against mine…

What the hell, Cole?! You can't be thinking about the Green Ninja that way! What would Sensei think? And she doesn't even seem that impressed by you, anyway.

My thoughts were interrupted when Zane brought the food out to the table and everyone dug in at once. Since Arwyn seemed shy about tackling Kai and Jay, I elbowed them out of the way, filled a plate, and set it before her. She thanked me quietly, giving me a brief look, and then proceeded to mostly push the food around with her fork in a sort of preoccupied way, eating little, although it was great.

I'm afraid Zane, sitting at the foot of the table, was a little concerned about her lack of appetite for the awesome baked chicken in red wine sauce with asparagus and something he called 'pomme frites'. However, he tactfully didn't say anything to her. I know he scored extra points with me for serving Italian cream cake for dessert!

During the meal, everyone talked excitedly about how we'd been waiting to discover the Green Ninja and how we were now going to train her. Arwyn was bombarded by several questions about her life and experiences. She politely answered every one, but only briefly, not volunteering much information.

Sensei sat silently listening to it all and looking at her often in a curious manner. I wondered what he was thinking about his newest student.

I kept quiet for the most part, so she didn't feel more under attack. She was getting enough nosy queries just from Kai, Jay, Nya, and Lloyd. Just watching her, I tried to keep the pressure low, figuring this had to be a lot to take in all in one evening.

Once the food was gone, Kai hopped up from the table saying, "Great food, Zane! Now let's take this party into the game room and get Arwyn acquainted with our other awesome talents!"

Lloyd seconded the motion, but Nya stood and cut in. "You're probably feeling a little overwhelmed about all this and kinda tired, Arwyn. Why don't I just bring you to my room and get some sleep clothes ready for you?"

That sounded good to me, as Sensei and I rose from the table, but when Arwyn stood, she turned and faced Sensei Wu, saying in an uncertain voice, "Actually, I want to thank you so much for your hospitality, and Zane, for the wonderful meal, but I'd really like to go home now and think about this before I make any decision about joining your group."

The room fell silent in shock, and everyone turned in her direction.

She wants to leave?!

I could only stare at her as she stood fidgeting a little, clenching her fists by her sides, looking purposely at Sensei, glancing only once at me.

The silence was broken by good ol' Jay as he blurted, "You don't know if you want to be a ninja?!" I shot him a look of warning.

Sensei Wu ignored him, nodded, and beckoned Arwyn and me to follow him as he left the table, the others gawking after us. Several frantic thoughts ran through my head as I watched her walk stiffly ahead of me to Sensei's quarters.

She can't leave! She's got to accept her destiny! We need the Green Ninja! How can we convince her to do it? How do you make someone accept something like this? What if we just can't? And I just found her, I haven't even gotten to know her yet…

We reached Sensei's quarters before I could let my mind run any further. I was the last one into the room and shut the door behind me. Turning toward Sensei and Arwyn, I saw she was positioned slightly away from me with her arms crossed in front of her, a look of determination on her face.

Ah, she has regrouped. Trying to seem relaxed, I clasped my hands behind my hips and stood with my feet apart, watching them.

Let's let Sensei handle this.

He faced her and began innocently enough. "I understand that this may be causing you great distress," he said with a calm intonation. "However, until you make your decision, it will be necessary for you to be guarded day and night by your four protectors, the elemental masters."

That's when he kinda screwed things up.

Arwyn's eyes widened, her face flushed, and she looked from him to me with irate astonishment. Her voice was louder and higher-pitched. "Are you kidding me? You think I'm the Green Ninja, and I suddenly lose my independence?!"

Oh, crud.

"I seriously do not need guardians! I can assure you no one is after me!"

"Your powers have been awakened by the golden weapons of Spinjitzu," Sensei patiently explained as I stood by ready to catch her if she ran, feeling my brow furrowing even as I attempted to stay loose. "A ripple in the force of Spinjitzu will have developed. The enemies of the Green Ninja will soon be aware of your presence and become a threat to you."

I cringed. This was not what she needed to hear. She threw her hands up in frustration, crying sarcastically, "Well, great! I agree to come here and automatically endanger myself to the point that I need bodyguards?! This is not right!"

I figured maybe Sensei Wu was not cutting the mustard, so I decided to step in and help out. Speaking evenly in an effort to calm her a little, I interrupted, "We won't stop you from doing whatever you want to do or going wherever you want to go." Okay, good start. "We'll just be with you wherever you are." Eh

"And that sounds alright to you?" she looked at me in disbelief. "I have done fine taking care of myself for a couple of years now! I don't need any help. And," she said with a scowl, leveling a finger at my chest, "How do I know I can trust you?!"

I glanced at her accusing finger, trying to think fast enough to come up with something that wouldn't upset her more. In a reassuring voice, I answered, "Our main goal here is to fight and defeat the evil that threatens Ninjago. We have to keep you from harm in order to do that. You could not be safer than to be with us." Sounded good to me.

With her hands on her hips, Arwyn simply stood and stared me down for a few moments without blinking. I returned her gaze coolly, still standing with my hands behind me, trying to look nonthreatening. Or as nonthreatening as a burly, six-foot-three ninja in black can look to a woman almost a head shorter.

Finally, she looked away, the scowl disappeared, and she said as if defeated, "Okay, fine. I just want to go home now if that's alright."

The tension in the room eased somewhat, and Sensei Wu seemed satisfied, replying kindly, "That is good. Cole will escort you home and take the first watch. Whenever you are ready, you can come to me again."

Bowing respectfully, Arwyn said quietly, "Thank you, Sensei, for being understanding. Good night," then turned toward the door.

I felt compelled to place a hand on her elbow just to guide her out, but she flinched at my touch, so I nixed that idea. Letting her step out of the small room first, I then took the lead down the hall to the empty main deck, where I left her briefly to run back to the bunk room to retrieve an overnight bag.

She's more like the ninja of ice than the Green Ninja. What do I have to do to get her to warm up? I mused as I stuffed toiletries and fresh clothing in the bag. But, then again, why should I be concerned about warming her up? She'll be a teammate, Cole, nothing else, another member to lead and protect…She can't be anything else.

I managed to slip past the game room twice without anyone inside noticing me. They were too caught up in their tournament to notice anything. Not that I wanted to avoid them, I just wanted to avoid all the questioning and get back to Arwyn.

Let Sensei Wu tell them where I was when they realized I was gone. I had answered enough questions while he met with her for over an hour before supper, and even then I had not had much to tell them other than she was invited here by Sensei.

Getting back up to the main deck, I found the newly proclaimed Green Ninja leaning on the railing, contemplating the clear night sky which sparkled with millions of stars. I hated to interrupt any peaceful thoughts she might be having, but I figured she may think I was creepy if I just watched her for a while.

She didn't notice my approach until I was right beside her, because she jerked back when I appeared on her right. Sorry, but I am a ninja.

"Ready to go?" I asked quietly as she relaxed a little. She nodded, looking over the deck railing. "Are we taking the cargo lifter back down?" she inquired.

"Actually, we're jumping over the railing and riding the Tread Assault down," I informed her with a big grin. This was gonna be fun.

She looked at me like I was nuts, but before she could do or say anything else, I impulsively did what I'd been wanting to do all evening. Slinging my bag over my shoulder, I reached out and wrapped my right arm around her waist, pulling her close to me, while drawing my scythe from its sheath on my back with my left hand.

"Hold on tight!" I instructed brightly right before I lifted her off the deck and leapt over the railing as she screamed a protest, her arms clinging around my neck for dear life, her face buried against my collarbone.

It was another cheap trick, but it was so worth it!

After a moment of free-fall, I barely thought about it, and in a flash of golden light, we were inside the Tread Assault and rapidly nearing the ground. As we landed safely and sped off toward Ninjago City, Arwyn released me and punched me really hard in the arm, gasping, "I am so going to kill you for doing that!"

Chuckling, I rubbed my bruised neck and arm as I steered the vehicle across the moonlit desert.