"After you guys were taken to your rooms," I start. My head is still throbbing, and everything hurts, but I'm just glad to be in the tournament. "Clouse took me to Chen, who brought me down some stairs, to a bunch of dark tunnels. He brought me to a cell... Kai was in it." The others gasp.
"Was.. IS Kai okay?" Jay asks.
"Yeah.. He's in a coma. But this is where it gets weird." I breathe slowly. "He told me... that Kai's life is in my hands; that if I'm out of the tournament, he'll kill Kai..." I try to hold back my tears at the memory. I look to my brothers' faces. Cole looks seethingly mad, and Jay looks confused. Zane seems like he is trying to decipher something. "But Kai was awake. He was aware, I'm sure!" I say.
"What makes you think that?" Cole asks.
"Yeah, are you sure you weren't imagining it?" Jay asks, trying to reason.
"No, guys, he said my name. Chen cut his arm, and he flinched slightly, I know it." I say desperately.
"Okay..." Jay says, though he seems to not really believe me.
"You know, guys, I've been wondering.. What does Chen have to gain from this tournament, why was he so desperate to get us here?" Cole asks. Zane looks to us.
"According to mine and P.I.X.A.L's analysis, it seems like the most logical theory for this tournament is that Chen needs something from us... why else would he want this tournament, and be so determined to get everyone here that he uses the lives of our friends as blackmail."
"But what could he want?" Jay asks. We all stay silent, thinking. Suddenly, it comes to me, and my eyes widen.
"Our powers.." I whisper to myself. "Our powers!" I say louder, gaining the attention of the others.
"That would make sense..." Zane says.
"All contestants! Report to the Great Room at once!" Chen's voice booms through the speakers, effectively deafening us.
"Well, I guess we'll have to finish this later. C'mon." I say, trying to stand up, with difficulty, grunting in pain. The others look at me with worry.
"You shouldn't come, Lloyd, you have to rest." Zane says.
"I'll be fine." I say through gritted teeth. Cole looks at me, doubtfully. Jay turns to look at him, but with an unreadable look. We all walk to the Great Room.
"Check the bracket for your competitors, fighters." Clouse says. We walk over to the crowded board, and I see that I, thankfully, am not competing today. Neither is Zane. But...
"No!" Jay says. There, right in front of our eyes, lays the bracket, telling us that today, the fight will be brother against brother. Jay looks over to Cole.
"This fight has been a long time coming." He says.
"This should settle it." Cole says. They both glare at eachother.
~time skip to battle brought to you by raspberry flavored bleach~
Lloyd has gone back to his room, with the aid of Zane. Zane has promised to come back and watch the fight, since there isn't anything we can do to stop it. I sit in my room in the opposite side of the arena as Jay, and think. I think about our rivalry over Nya, how stupid it really is. 'I don't even like Nya like that...' I think to myself. That's the whole reason I haven't been blowing this whole thing out of proportion. I don't want to fight Jay! That's actually the LAST thing I want to do. But it looks like I have no other choice.
"Let the battle commence!" Chen's whiney voice announces, along with the cheesy music. The doors open, and I walk out, squinting in the bright light. When my eyes adjust, I see Jay looking right at me, with a fire in his eyes.
"This is it." He yells, before lunging at me. I raise a wall of earth, wanting to delay the fight. I don't know if I can do this...
Jay uses his electricity as propulsion, and flies over the wall. He shoots me with his electricity, and I fly back into the wall.
"Ugh..." I groan, getting back to my feet. My anger flares, and I summon some rocks and send them to Jay, hitting him square in the chest, knocking him out of the air. My anger is instantly replaced by a burning guilt. I instinctively run to him to see if he's okay.
"Are you okay?" I ask frantically. He just kicks me back.
"You just want me to go soft. YOU JUST WANT ME TO BE TRICKED!" He yells.
"I DON'T WANT TO FIGHT YOU!" I yell, my voice cracking with emotion. He falters.
"You just want me out..." He says, uncertain.
"No Jay..." I walk closer to him, and he lets me. "Maybe neither of us have to get out." I say.
"How?" He asks.
"Uhm... I have a plan. Attack me, but not hard." I think that maybe if neither of us win, then Chen'll call it a tie. Jay comes at me as if we were sparring. He throws a weak punch, which I easily block, then send up a slow roundhouse, which he dodges.
"Boring! Clouse, spice this up!" I hear Chen yell. Jay looks at me with panic in his eyes, and the floor starts dropping out from under us. The Jade Blade sits untouched on top of the spire.
"Ahh!" Jay yells as the floor drops out from under him. I lunge forward and grab his arm. He looks at me, panicking. "Cole! I'm sorry! If I had just asked you to leave Nya to me instead of getting mad, this never would've happened to us." He apologizes.
"Jay... I... never loved Nya." I say through clamped teeth, holding his arm, trying to keep him from falling. He looks back up to me with his bright blue eyes, and a smile finds its way into my face, despite the circumstances. He reaches up with his other arm, and grabs my other outstretched hand. I pull him onto my little piece of safety. Despite the roar of the other contestants, and the angry tell of Chen, neither of us are really paying attention.
"Cole..." We're pushed closer together by the disappearing tiles, so close that he's basically in my lap. "Neither did I..." He looks at me, with a smirk on his freckled face.
"W-What?" I say, surprised.
"M-maybe in the beginning... but I've decided that I couldn't love her anymore." He says, a sheen of sweat has formed on my forehead. We are on an almost 5 foot square of ground, surrounded by emptiness for at least 10 feet, with the next piece of floor only 3 feet wide.
"Jay... you seemed so crazy about her.." I say. He just looks at me with those beautiful eyes, and I realize that the emptiness in my heart HAS been filled. Ever since I met him, I've felt more whole than I have since... the incident.
"Not since I found my true potential. But I couldn't bring myself to let her down." We've had to stand up to fit in the now tiny piece of ground.
"SOMEONE JUST TAKE THE BLADE ALREADY!" Chen yells at us. We are basically nose to nose, and I can feel his warm breath on my face.
"Besides... I've fallen for someone else..." He says, before smirking, and pressing his lips to mine. My eyes widen, before closing gently, and I feel the kiss. Even with all of the pressure, even with everything that's on the line, I relax. His lips are soft; the softest ever. They fit to mine perfectly, and we move our lips in sync. I can hear that the crowd has silenced, even Chen has shut up. I never want this moment to end. He pulls away. "Cole, I love you." He says, before jumping backwards, out of my arms, and into the trapdoor hole.
"JAY!" I yell, tears forming in my eyes, I lean over the hole, my arm outstretched. "I love you, too." I say, standing up. As soon as I stand, the holes close, and Jay is gone.
"We have a winner!" Chen yells, oblivious to what is happening in the stands. People are yelling, especially my friends. I don't care. I'm just staring at the ground, right where Jay stood; where we kissed. "Master of Earth moves on!" He continues.
"Cole!" Zane yells to me, running to me from across the arena. "Let's get back to Lloyd's room." He says gently. All I can do is nod because I'm completely in shock.
"Lloyd, we're back..." Zane says quietly, probably for my sake. Lloyd looks up with a smile, which melts off his face when he sees our expressions.
"What happened... Where's Jay?" Lloyd asks. I can't take it. I drop to my knees in tears.
"He's out..." I say between sobs. Zane kneels next to me, patting my back to give me comfort.
"Lloyd... something happened. Cole, would you like to tell him?" I nod. I have to say it. I stand up, pulling myself together. I sit down on the bed next to Lloyd. Zane joins us. I take a deep breath, and it all comes out at once.
"Jay and I had to fight eachother. We were fighting in the beginning, but then we teamed up. Chen obviously didn't like that, because the floor started dropping out from under us..." I look away, trying to compose myself; the tears have started building in the back of my eyes again.
"Go on..." Lloyd says gently. I take another deep breath.
"The floor dropped out from under Jay. I barely managed to grab his arm and pull him up onto my progressively smaller piece of floor. We started talking, and he was talking about how he didn't really like Nya anymore... at least not romantically." I close my eyes and sigh. "And then he kissed me." I say, a blush creeping onto my cheeks. I hear Lloyd gasp. "And then he jumped backwards, getting himself out, and leaving me to win." I finish.
"Oh, Cole." Lloyd says. "I understand completely." I look to him. He has a pained expression on his face, but not from physical pain, from emotional. I decide not to press him. We've all gone through plenty of emotional trauma on this damn island.
"Guys, our team cannot become divided further." Zane says.
"Agreed. We've already lost two brothers. I refuse to lose another. And if our theory is true, Jay is okay, but his powers have already been taken. Kai is hopefully still okay." I say. At the mention of Kai, Lloyd's face turns gloomy.
"We'll save them; don't worry." I tell him. Lloyd smiles sadly.
"Yeah, we will." Lloyd says.
HOPE YOU LIKED! PEACE AND PIZZA MY LITTLE ALLIGATORS!