A Stranger in the Night
It was late into the evening when we returned to the Destiny’s Bounty. Sensei Wu was on the deck, waiting for the ninja.
“How went the battle?” He inquired.
“It was a little intense, but we won!” Cole reported.
Sensei nodded to the earth ninja, then glanced at the rest. Kai was the first to hop off the blast cycle, but instead of leaving Kamara, or groaning at her to get off, he held out his hand to her. Kamara raised an eyebrow. He had to have been looking for an angle with the way he’s being so nice to me. But she wasn’t about to confront him while everyone else was around. Instead, Kamara slowly took his hand, and Kai helped her off. The blade cycle disassembled and Kai sheathed the Sword of Fire on his back. They exchanged additional glances before Kamara cleared my throat and announced:
“I’m gonna…Get ready for bed.”
She quickly slipped away, and into the restroom.
Nya leaned in to Jay and whispered, “What was that all about?”
“Oh, you don’t know?” Jay replied, “Kai’s got a crush on Kamara. He’s been trying to ask her out on a date, but the cat keeps biting his tongue.”
“Really?” Nya remarked, surprised, “No, he doesn’t tell me anything. Kai’s got a crush? You sure he’s not just being flirty?”
“Hoho no, trust us,” chuckled Cole, “If he was being flirtatious, it would not be to Kamara!”
Sensei Wu chuckled. “Well, let’s pray he will muster enough courage to ask; and be ready for the challenges ahead.”
Everybody giggled as Kai walked up.
“What are you guys laughing about?” He asked, suspiciously.
“Er, nothing” Cole replied, pretending to be casual.
Kai raised an eyebrow and folded his arms.
“You’re not talking garbage about me behind my back again, are you?” He inquired, hostily.
“No, no, no!”
“We’re not talking about you!”
“Yeah, it was something completely unrelated!”
“That does not recall in my memory banks.”
“Hmm,” Kai said, glaring at them, “Sure you weren’t.”
Kamara wiped her face with a towel, and started her way out of the bathroom. She could hear the boys chattering away loudly in their room. It was usually not hard to pass the their door without anyone noticing, because they were so noisy. Kamara was eager to meet up with Nya (they shared a bedroom) and talk about the exciting events that day. But this time, something different occurred. Kamara was about to enter her room, two rooms away from the boys, when she heard:
Kamara paused, and looked to her left. It was Kai. He was still in his suit. It seemed as though he had been waiting for Kamara to show.
“Yeah Kai? What’s up?”
As soon as the words left my mouth, I noticed he was sweeping one of his feet across the floor, in an act of nervousness. I turned to him.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing’s wrong…not particularly. I just wanted to ask you something.”
Kamara cautiously approached closer.
Kai took a deep breath.
“I…I want to get to know you better…” he said slowly, “But not by training and fighting together. I…” his voice trailed off.
Kamara couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Was she dreaming? This had to be a dream! One that was meant to make her anxious!
Just then, Kamara blurted out, “You’re asking me out on a date?”
There was silence. Kamara believed Cole, Jay, and Zane were listening in to their conversation after that. Then, Kai replied simply with:
“You? The one who’s hated my guts since we were first ninja?” I asked.
“Well, hate is a strong word” Kai added.
“Are you…wanting something out of me?”
“Am I being punked?”
Kai snorted, holding back chuckling.
“No. You’re not being punked.”
What has changed in him?
Kamara raised an eyebrow. I had noticed something different about him about a couple weeks prior. Kamara would notice him shooting glanced at me, almost as if he was closely observing. He hadn’t really blown up as much either. Kamara wondered if a seed was planted after the monastery burned down, when Zane had disappeared for those brief few days. He had been fighting with the team less and less. He would stay silent, and listen to instructions. Oh sure, he would sometimes whisper to whoever was next to him during studies and sometimes it got too distracting, but what high school kid didn’t do that?
“If I said yes, what would happen?”
At that point, Kamara had never dated before.
“My parents taught me to take those kind of relationships seriously. I felt as though dating hotheaded, impulsive fire ninja wasn’t the best idea. However, if this meant he didn’t dislike me anymore, I wanted to know why…”
“Can I think about it?”
Kai looked surprise, and a bit dejected.
“I just…I want to have some time before I consider it.”
Kai stared at the floor for a few moments.
Then, he lifted his head and said, “Okay, I understand. I’ll wait.”
Kamara nodded. “Okay…I’ll see you in the morning…okay?”
Kai smiled mischievously, “Are you going to make French toast?”
Kamara scoffed, hiding her giggling.
“Perhaps” She replied, winking.
“Well, goodnight Kai.”
The sounds of the wind awakened her. Kamara opened her eyes. Kamara’s senses were twitching, as she heard something over its currents. Footsteps. Kamara sat up. She looked at the clock on the desk on the other side of the room.
“No one is supposed to be on deck at this hour. If there was an emergency, we’d all be aware of it” she thought.
Kamaa gazed over at the other side of the room, which was Nya’s. Nya was sound asleep, with her back turned to her. Kamara was tempted to wake her, but decided against it. It was probably nothing. Still, it bothered Kamara not knowing who or what was making that sound. Carefully, and quietly, she crawled out of bed. Kamara tiptoed to the door and inched it open. She paused for a moment as she heard her sword-sister stir and turn over. Once Nya was still again, Kamara widened the door and slipped through.
The boat was creaking slightly as the wind blew harder. Kamara crept upstairs and opened the door to the upper deck. The wind blew through my hair and face. She closed the door quietly behind her, and stepped forward. She looked around. All the odds and ends that were there during the day had been taken down to the bottom storage, leaving the deck spotless. So it was obvious of the one aspect that was out of place: A person was sitting, legs crossed on the deck, looking up at the sky. Kamara was tempted to summon the windblade, but decided to wait, inching closer.
“Who’s there?” She called.
As the clouds moved away from the moon, Kamara could see more clearly who it was.
“Zane?” she asked, surprised.
The stiff blonde young man turned his head.
“Oh. Hello, Kamara” He greeted, with an odd, rigid smile.
Kamara raised an eyebrow. “Zane, what are you doing out here? You know we’re not supposed to be up for another three hours.”
Zane turned back and looked up towards the sky.
“Watching the stars.”
She didn’t believe him. Something wasn’t right. It would take a lot for Zane to break the rules Sensei had set for us. Watching the stars was not a good enough excuse. Kamara was going to withhold judgement one last time.
“You have plenty of other opportunities to do that. Come on, let’s get back inside!” Kamara insisted.
Then, Zane stood up and turned around. Suddenly, out came not his golden weapons, but simple silver shrunkens. He chuckled, menacingly. Kamara suddenly jumped back, whirled into her uniform, and summoned her Windblade.
“You’re not Zane! Who are you!?” she demanded.
The clouds covered the moon, and thundered threateningly above them. The stranger chuckled again. It was now dark, and Kamara struggled to see.
“I have come to collect the wind ninja” a low, masculine voice hissed, “and I believe I have found her.”
Kamara was about to open her mouth and shout for help, when suddenly, she felt something sharp pierce her back. Kamara grunted, as she felt a gooey substance enter through her system.
“Help…!” she cried.
But her voice was too weak to hear over the sound of the rumbling storm. Kamara could feel herself fading from reality. Before she completely left, she heard a voice from her right ear whisper with a slight accent:
“The Dark Children welcome you.”