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EVERYONE: Lightning's Lament (A Ninjago One-Shot)

BackSet

Wings of the Hegemon
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Description: Jay seems unusually down and it's up to Cole to find out why [One-Shot]. Rated E for Everyone.


Author’s Note: So, this is unusual for me. I don’t usually do fics based off of non-video game properties. I especially don’t write non-action fics. I dunno, this idea just came to me after watching How to Build a Dragon and I had to write it immediately.


Also, I learned that despite having been writing a Fire Emblem: Three Houses fic (I’m still working on it, don’t worry) for, oh god, two years I still can’t spell Monastery without a spell checker.


This fic takes place between Season 11 and Season 12.


Not much more I can say without heavy spoilers so let's go.


It was a bright and cheerful morning at the Monastery of Spinjitzu. Birds were chirping, the sun was shining, really it was a beautiful day all around. Because of this, Nya hadn’t even bothered to change into her Gi like she usually did, opting for a more casual outfit. Specifically, a blue and white striped tank top and jeans with a black leather jacket, a far cry from the Kimonos she used to wear. What a difference a few years could make to a person’s fashion sense.



As she headed towards breakfast, she passed by Jay heading the other way. Unlike her, his fashion sense hadn’t changed much. He still wore the same ratty jeans and T-Shirts he had always worn, though for some reason he was missing the blue jacket he normally wore. Come to think of it, he looked much more disheveled than usual with bags under his eyes and his orange hair being even more messy than it already was. More importantly, though, was that he was heading in the opposite direction from the dining room. He never missed breakfast, especially on days when Zane was cooking. The only person who liked food more than him was Cole.



“Hey Jay, what’s up.” She said cheerfully.



Jay stopped. “Hey, Nya.” He said despondently.



Nya was getting more worried by the second. Usually, Jay would take any opportunity to talk her ear off about whatever was on his mind.



“Jay, are you okay?” She asked carefully.



“I’m fine.” Jay replied sullenly, not even looking back at her. “Absolutely, 100% fine.” He then continued walking.



“Okay then.” She said slowly. “See you later.”



“Yeah, later.” Jay replied.



Nya proceeded to the dining room where the rest of the Ninja and Master Wu were already eating breakfast. Like her, they wore casual clothes instead of their Gis. Kai wore his usual red zip up hoodie over a t-shirt bearing a golden version of his lion emblem, Cole wore a black unmarked tank top - Nya was pretty sure she’d never seen the earth ninja wear sleeves outside of his older ninja gis and formal occasions - Zane wore a pink apron over a white turtleneck, seemingly having just finished cooking, Lloyd wore a green hoodie, and Master Wu wore his usual robes.



This morning Zane had made pancakes. After years of living with them, the nindroid had figured out each of their personal tastes and tailored his cooking accordingly. Lloyd had once asked him if it ever got tedious having to make at least seven different batches of pancakes whenever he decided to make them to which Zane had replied that it didn't but even if it did, he wouldn’t mind because he knew that it made his friends happy.



Nya grabbed her plate of pancakes and sat down next to Cole, who was already eating his. She leaned over to whisper to him.



“Hey, have you seen Jay today?” She asked.



“No.” Cole replied. “Which is weird, come to think of it. He never misses breakfast.”



“I saw him on my way here.” Nya said. “He seemed really out of it.”



“Now that I think about it, he seemed pretty down during training yesterday.” Cole said.



“Can you go talk to him?” Nya asked. “Find out what’s up.”



“Why me?” Cole replied. “You're his girlfriend. Shouldn't you talk to him?”



“And you're his best friend.” Nya pointed out. “And right now I think he needs a friend more than he needs a partner.”



“Alright, I’ll talk to him.” Cole said, getting up. “Where is he?”



“I think he headed into the courtyard.” Nya answered, pointing in that general direction.



----​



As Nya had said, Cole found Jay in the courtyard, sitting on the dragon statue in the center. He had his head in his hand and didn't even look up as Cole approached.



“Hey, Buddy.” Cole said, his voice laden with what he hoped was sympathy and not condescension.



Jay finally looked up. He had dark bags under his eyes. “Oh, hey Cole.”



Cole sat down beside Jay. The two sat in silence for a bit before Cole finally spoke.



“Jay, what’s wrong?” Cole asked.



“Nothing’s wrong.” Jay insisted.



“That’s bull and we both know it.” Cole said bluntly. He took a deep breath. “Jay, we’re best friends. You can tell me anything.”



Jay didn’t say anything for what felt like a long time. Then, he too took a deep breath.



“Cole, do you think I’m useless?” He asked.



Cole was taken aback. “What? No! Of course not! You can control lightning. How could that not be useful? Not to mention that you always manage to make us laugh, even if some of us won’t admit it.”



“That’s just it, though.” Jay replied, looking down again. “Is that all I am? Just the funny guy?”



“Uh…” Cole said awkwardly, trying to think of a reassuring response.



“Do you remember when we first started being ninja?” Jay asked. “Back when it was just the four of us?”



“Well, yeah.” Cole said. While he enjoyed being with Lloyd, Nya, and their non-ninja friends and was glad that his family had grown, he had to admit that some of his fondest memories were from back when it was just the four of them, just a band of brothers against the world.



“Back then I was an inventor. I made cool stuff for us and did maintenance on our vehicles.” He stood up and threw his hands in the air. “I made the original Destiny’s Bounty fly for goodness sake! With a little help from my dad.” While Jay still sounded absolutely exhausted, a little bit of his energy was coming back. He sat back down and looked at the ground. Cole opened his mouth to say something but Jay kept going. “Then Nya turned out to be Samurai X and it was nice for a while cause I finally had someone to talk shop with other than my parents but eventually I just kind of fell by the wayside when Zane got rebuilt and then PIXAL joined the team.”



“You didn’t fall by the wayside.” Cole argued. “You helped us build that dragon in the First Realm, remember?”



“But would I have if PIXAL was there?” Jay countered. “We only built that dragon because I was the only one who could come up with a plan. If PIXAL or Nya was there, I wouldn’t have to say anything because they’d figure everything out.” He sighed. “Cause who needs the funny guy when you have two super genius nindroids who never sleep and a beautiful girl who’s just as talented.”



Cole was kind of shocked. Usually, when Jay had complaints it was some big over dramatic outburst but this, this was pure anguish. Jay really, truly felt useless.



“How long have you been holding this in?” Cole asked.



“Years.” Jay said, tired from his rant. “Ever since the Tournament.”



“I hope this doesn't sound rude but what caused you to finally snap?” Cole asked.



“It was 7 months ago.” Jay said. “Remember how I said I didn’t notice the construction of the Hangar Bay?”



“Yeah.” Cole lied. Honestly, he didn’t remember a lot between the defeat of the Oni and when Aspheera showed up.



“That was a lie.” Jay said. “I did notice the construction and I wanted to help but all they had me do was give them tools when they needed them. I tried to tell them I could help more but they were too busy to listen so eventually I got frustrated and quit. So yeah, I did play video games but only after they wouldn’t let me help.”



It was Cole’s turn to look down. “Jay, I’m so, so sorry. This is all our fault. We should have paid attention but all we saw was a funny jokester who freaked out a lot.” He looked up and placed a hand on Jay’s shoulder. “You’re not useless and if anyone tells you otherwise just point me at them so I can punch them in the face. Remember what Master Wu said. As Iron Sharpens Iron…”



“Brother Sharpens Brother.” Jay completed. He smiled. “Thanks Cole, I really needed that.”



“No problem.” Cole said, wrapping his around Jay’s shoulders. “Now come on, let's go get breakfast. I’m sure Zane can heat it back up for us.”

----​

Author’s Note: So, uh, that’s it. Not gonna say much else to avoid ruining the moment. Instead let’s do some internal process stuff.


So there’s a bit of a retcon here where I imply that Nya and Zane also worked on the Hangar Bay with PIXAL when the show implies that Season 11 was their first time seeing it. I just think it makes more sense for the Bay to be built by more than one person, especially since PIXAL says we instead of I.


Here’s a little fun trivia for you, Nya’s civilian outfit is based off her modern one, Jay’s civilian outfit is based off his one from the episode “The Royal Blacksmiths” though he’d also have the buttons from his modern outfit if he was wearing the Jacket (Also, his hair is the old hair instead of the new one), Kai’s is also based off his outfit from “The Royal Blacksmiths” albeit with the generic Fire symbol replaced with his logo from the pre-SoG days, Cole’s outfit is his current outfit but without the guitar (also I’ve retconned him into always not wearing sleeves outside of his ninja outfits), and Zane’s outfit is inspired by an animated music video made by YouTuber CheeseyPies for the song Ninja Go (basically a secondary theme song for the series. It’s really good).
 
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