Chapter 23

A few hours have passed since Kai was put on bed rest at the Destiny's Bounty. The fire ninja was already bored to death. His room was isolated from everyone else due to all the medical equipment. Kai only had an iv to keep him hydrated while the other equipment was for progress or emergencies.

At the moment, Kai was alone in the room, but not because they didn't want to be with Kai but because part of his recovery progress was to allow Kai some time to be alone and heal without stress. It was also a mental exercise to see how well Kai handled being alone.

This made everyone on the Bounty uneasy. They just wanted to spend time with him but they needed to give him some time to reflect and heal from the trauma.

During this time, the ninja spent their time trying to find out what was wrong with Zane's forceful shutdowns when he tried to sleep. They were gathered in the dining room all trying their best to contribute while Jay was shining a flashlight inside Zane's chest.

"What if it's just a faulty wire?" Lloyd asked as he looked through a checklist. The list was for cars that randomly shut off, so it was a bit different but Lloyd looked anyway.

Zane shook his head, "I would be able to detect a loose or missing wire."

Jay turned off the flashlight, "Nya and I have checked everything top to bottom a couple times now. I really don't know what's wrong, Zane. You might have to go anything day without sleep."

Zane nodded, "I understand." Zane looked sad and disappointed.

Cole tapped Jay's and Zane's shoulders to grab their attention. He signed, 'Cheer up' then he switched to speak, "Let's see Kai" Cole's voice was extremely raspy and quiet. No one told him not to speak, instead they thought about Kai.

Nya then popped in from the kitchen. "I almost have dinner ready. We should take our bowls to Kai's room and give him some company."

Jay jumped up from the table after helping Zane close up his chest. "What did you make?"

Nya started to stir the pot. "I made chicken soup. Nothing too fancy but it was the way my mom made it. It's something light and easy that I'm sure Kai won't have any issues eating."

Lloyd helped serve some bowls, "Isn't this Kai first meal since.. you know?"

Zane grabbed two bowls, "Yes Lloyd. Luckily at the hospital today I got Kai to start eating ice so he can start getting used to the sensation again. Hopefully he is comfortable enough to finish his meal. If not, we'll have to find an alternate way for him to eat. I would hate to take him back to the hospital to give him a feeding tube."

Jay cringed, "Let's try to avoid that."

The group made their way to Kai's room. Jay started to speak excitedly about ways he would keep Kai company. But as soon as the door opened, Jay quieted down.

Kai was laying in the bed on his side. He was asleep and it was the most normal and comfortable the group had seen him. They quietly sat around the room and Zane set down the two bowls to attend to Kai.

Zane gently laid his hand on Kai's shoulder. "Kai?"

Kai's eyes shot open quickly and he paused his breathing to look around wildly. He sighed and relaxed into his pillow. "Hi" Kai mumbled with a scratchy voice.

"Would you like to eat something? Nya made a soup that she is certain you'll enjoy." Zane smiled at his hurting friend.

Kai rolled to lay on his back with a grimace. "Is it chicken?"

Zane nodded, "Would you like some help eating?"

Kai sat up against his pillows. He looked so thin and weak at that moment. "No"

Zane carefully passed the soup bowl to Kai. He hoped that his elemental power cooled off the soup to not burn Kai.

Kai slowly and carefully grabbed his spoon but didn't move till he was sure he could grip it tight enough. Kai dipped his spoon in the soup and the weight of the liquid tilted the spoon down and some poured back into the bowl. He put his spoon back into the bowl and on his next attempt he managed to keep the soup in the spoon.

With a slight shake in his grip, he brought up the spoon to his lips and blew on it. The group was eating their bowls in silence but all collectively watched Kai try and eat.

Kai stopped blowing the soup and frowned. "Some riveting stuff, huh guys?"

Zane closed his eyes, embarrassed. "Apologies, Kai. We are just very concerned whether you are able to eat at all. Would you like us to leave?"

"No." Kai looked down to his soup. "Company is nice. Spectators, not so much."

Everyone mumbled some form of a sorry and it was silent again with the occasional click of their spoons hitting the bowls.

Kai picked up where he left off and fished out some soup and brought it to his lips. Instead of blowing on it, he gulped it down instantly. To Kai's surprise, it didn't freak him out as much as he expected. With it being warm soup with flavor, he was very different from the traumatizing water from the gorge.

Kai smiled to himself when he tasted the nostalgic flavors. He glanced over to his sister who quickly dropped her eyes to her soup to respect Kai's want for privacy.

"Nice job, sis. Just how Mom made it." Kai smiled at his sister. Nya couldn't help but smile back.

"She always made it when we were sick. Thought I would continue that trend."

The silence was much more comforting as everyone ate. Everyone finished their soup quicker than Kai but he kept eating. Zane felt relieved that Kai was eating because that meant there would be no trip back to the hospital.

"How are you feeling, Kai?" Zane asked and set his empty bowl on the bed side table.

Kai gulped down the soup and with a click he set down the spoon. "Weird. My throat hurts but also feels kind of good." Kai painfully cleared his throat to prevent it from sounding raspy.

"Do I have permission to scan you?" Zane asked and put a hand on Kai's shoulder.

Kai nodded slightly, "Sure thing, Doc."

Zane kept his serious composure and started to scan Kai. "Your throat is inflamed, but that was to be expected. Are you feeling any concerning pains? Would you like some pain killers?"

Kai slowly shoved his bowl next to Zane's empty one. "Nothing that is out of the ordinary. Just a pounding headache." Kai explained and leaned back into his pillows. He closed his eyes and his head rested on the pillows and his shoulder.

The group started to clean up the dishes after sensing something was off and left just Zane and Kai.

Zane walked to the other side of the bed and started Kai's iv for pain killers. "Are you sure you are feeling alright?"

Kai didn't give any immediate response. He just mumbled something that was inaudible. Zane grew increasingly concerned. He leaned closer to Kai and put his hand back on Kai's shoulder.

Zane whispered to Kai, "Kai, please talk to me. Something is wrong. Your scan-"

He was interrupted by Kai gasping for air. Zane's mechanical heart stopped but he leaped into action. Zane lunged for the oxygen tank and quickly slipped the oxygen mask over Kai's face.

Kai took a deep raspy breath and coughed his lungs out. Zane sighed and closed his eyes.

"Kai… your scan. You are in quite a bit of pain aren't you?" Zane asked quietly and his head stayed down.

Kai calmed his breathing and he croaked. "I-I didn't want anyone to worry about me."

Zane clenched his eyes shut and he had to hold back artificial tears. "The irritation in your lungs is significantly worse than what I expected. And I'm sorry to say this if it brings you any more pain, but with that amount of damage from your near drowning experience I'm surprised you don't have any brain damage. I'm feeling very conflicted on whether I should take you back to Dr. Roberts because I-I…"

Zane, the nindroid, stuttered and he didn't do that often. "I don't want to lose you Kai… not again. We already thought we lost you once. The team was falling apart because we needed you. And I need you." Zane sucked in a breath and wiped his eyes. "I need you to be honest with me, Kai. If you are feeling unwell, tell me now. Tell me what hurts."

Zane and Kai locked eyes. Zane noticed the glisten in Kai's eyes. He was also on the verge of tears. "..It's difficult to breathe. Almost like I have to do it manually. The snake bite on my leg burns. I feel like I can't move my hands because they are burnt so badly."

The nindroid kneeled next to the bed and was eye level with Kai. "I'll do everything in my power to assist you mentally and physically. You aren't alone, Kai."

Kai gave a wobbly smile. "T-thanks"

"I'll be here every step of the way."

That was how the day ended. A stronger bond between brothers and Kai with a full stomach. Zane wouldn't ask for anything more.

Eventually everyone went to bed and Zane offered to stay with Kai for the night. The group agreed to have someone with Kai during the night despite the healing process of keeping Kai alone every once in a while.

It was finally a peaceful night with the group on the Bounty. That was the case till...


An update? O_O