Love before the Storm

Disclaimer: I do not own Bionicle or Lego in any way. The events in this fic do not actually happen in real-time (well… sorta); I just like playing along and stuff.

"We are in a grave situation," spoke the giant Titan, "not only did we lose the Ignika, but it has flown into Voya-Nui Bay… almost on will." The titan lowered his head in worry. His name was Botar: Jailer of the Pit, "This is most grave news." He placed his enormous hand to his chin, staring of into space in deep thought.

The Toa Inika and Toa Nuva, Axonn and Botar stood on the beach, shortly after the Ignika, the Mask of Life, had flown from the Chamber of Life, where which the Inika had fought and defeated the nefarious Vezon and his steed, the Kardas Dragon. Their victory, however, was cut short, as the Kardas Dragon delivered one final attack on the destined guardian of the Mask, Matoro… thus loosing the mask out of his grasp. The Mask then flew into the bay on it's own whim. Just when it seemed that victory was assured, something or someone merely blew it away, making the quest more and more dangerous and tedious. It had been a trying few days for all of the Toa: the Inika, once Matoran from the island of Mata-Nui, became new Toa to combat the devious Piraka in the race for the Mask of Life to save the Spirit of Mata-Nui. Hearing the news of the retrieval of the Mask did not bold well for the young Toas, especially since they have to go under water… which they hated dearly, except for Hahli: the Toa of Water.

"How is this grave-bad news?" Toa Kongu inquired, with a hint of desperation in his voice.

"Because," began Botar, "the Mask of Life is now in the Pits: a place where the most dangerous and most villainous of creatures and individuals are sent for the most irredeemable of crimes. No doubt, the damned in the waters of Mahri-Nui would stop at nothing to claim the mask for themselves, just like the Piraka had. What they would use the mask for, however, is unknown. You six Toa must venture to Mahri-Nui as quickly as possible!"

Normally, when Botar gave a statement or a threat, it would be bound forever, no matter what the consequences were. But with a long and thoughtful glance, he saw the Toa Inika didn't seem too pleased to hear that they must depart so soon from land to underwater, especially going through a trying time getting to get a mask which costed many innocent lives and destruction, only to find the mask escape.

"I guess… you don't need to continue the search right now. It is increasing apparent that you are all tired and exhausted from the battle with Vezon and the Piraka." That's one thing the Inika could agree on. "I'll give you half an hour to collect yourselves. After that, you six are off. Now go! I must speak with the Toa Nuva with Axonn." And with that, the Toa Inika dispersed, some going with another of the team, while Botar, Axonn and the Toa Nuva had a long talk about what the next course of action will be.

The Sapphire Toa, Hahli, strolled on the sands of the coast of Voya-Nui, kicking some shells occasionally. All the while, her head hung low and a frown on her face.

How could this be?, she thought to herself. One minute we've won with the mask in our possession, then the next, we lose it and have to start back the start.

"When will this quest ever end?!" she yelled out, though it didn't come out to loudly. She sighed heavily, setting down on a large rock, sticking out of the sand. A sudden warmth surround her body; it wasn't a blistering heat wave… but a very comfortable and soothing warmth. She raised her head to find the Crimson Toa Inika of Fire; the former Captain of the Guard; and her close friend standing next to her.

"Hahli," Jaller spoke softly, "what'cha doing here alone?"

Hahli gave a quick sigh, "I don't know. Don't you find it strange?"

"What do you mean?"

"Whenever the heroes accomplish their mission and do good, something bad always happens because of it. We won the Mask of Life, but in the end, it was for nothing, just to lose the mask in the end. Remember when the Turaga were Toa? They defeated a powerful enemy, but… in a way, freed the Makuta to continue his menace on us all."

"Yeah," Jaller said dejectedly, but gave a quick smile. He continued with hope in his voice, "But I guess that's Fate for ya. I should know… I wear the Mask of Fate!" The two gave a chuckle before the Crimson Toa sat down beside the Blue Toa, "You shouldn't think of it as a burden; think of it as a new challenge and adventure. Besides, we have a Duty to fulfil for Mata-Nui and the Matoran we once were. As long as we stay United with each other, we can accomplish anything… it is, as they say, our Destiny." Hahli nodded silently, a small smile on her face.

"Then again," Jaller continued, "who knows what kind of creatures lie in that ocean. Better yet: what will they do with the Mask of Life if they get their greedy hands on it? We'll never know… but we won't let them take it, can we?"

Hahli nodded again, this time, more overtly. She always liked Jaller for his personality: he was strong, brave, positive and never afraid from a challenge. He had all the things she didn't: she was humble, quiet and never quite saw into her future before she became a Toa… or even before she was announced to represent Ga-Koro in the Kohli tournament with Macku. What exactly did Nokama see in her that no one else did?

The two sat beside each other uncomfortably. No doubt it was quite awkward, but neither complained or hated it. They greatly enjoyed each other's company, even when they were just Matoran. But now, since they became Toa, their Duty had limited their time together in harmony. This time was the break they've waited for.

"You know, Hahli," Jaller started, with a tint of worry, "That was quite crazy of you to dive into the bay for the Mask." Hahli remembered too well, with a grimace:

The Ignika sank deeper and deeper into the sea, just out of Hahli's reach. The area around her began to grow darker and darker as she descended. She could not let the Mask escape her grasp, she couldn't! If she did, she'd let everyone down.

With that in mind, she began to pick up speed, reaching closer and closer to the Mask.

'Just a little closer', she thought out-loud, 'Come here, you stupid mask!' Hahli was close to close to the mask… so close, she could grab it---


Her whole body jolted in pain. The Mask sank safely into the depths below, greatly to Hahli's dismay. Was the pain something in her chest or her head? She couldn't think… too much pain to think, too much pain to move… too much pain to do anything, but watch helplessly as the Ignika sank deeper and deeper into the abyss. Then, everything went dark.

She slowly opened her eyes into a blurry world of swirling colors and lights. The chaos soon returned to the normal world. The five other Toa Inika crouched down beside her, all with horrific worry on their faces… especially Jaller, looking like he was on the verge of crying.

"Is she alive-wake?" Kongu inquired, with hope in his voice.

"She's alright." Nuparu said gladly, with a huge grin plastered on his face. As Hahli got up, familiar hands helped her up and maintained her balance.

"How?" Hahli asked out-loud, "How did I---?" She noticed the giants, Botar and Axonn, kneeling down on the sands near the waters, while she and the others were situated on the grass of the coast. What were the Titans looking at? The Sapphire Toa couldn't see that well, but it looked like a tiny red figure, compared to Botar and Axonn. It looked quite familiar, "Is that---? Mata-Nui…" The figure was a Matoran, but it looked like a Matoran she hadn't seen yet. The Crimson Matoran were a mask she never saw before, while his figure looked like he was crushed. He had died saving Hahli's life and delivering a warning of a threat under the waves to the rest of the Toa, as the others briefed her afterwards. Regardless, the others were overwhelmed with joy that Hahli was alright, although Matoro, the guardian of the Ignika, had other thoughts to deal with on his mind.

"I know," Hahli replied to Jaller, "but I guess being a Toa can make you do crazy things huh?" Both gave a slight chuckle. Not a very good joke on her part. They soon looked away from each and into the sunset. It was a beautiful sunset: the bright yellow circle in the sky dipped into the blue ocean, with the fiery red melding into bluer and darker colors beautifully. It was sight to remember. Jaller placed his hand on Hahli's. Jaller soon turned to Hahli, blushing with a bright red around her cheeks, trying hard not to turn to look at Jaller at the moment. She failed, as she became captivated in Jaller's Golden eyes, all the while, as he started into the female's sky-blue eyes. They could not pull themselves from each others' gaze.

"You know what's funny?" he began, "I never really saw the sunset." A marvelled and stunned Hahli looked at him with perplexed blue eyes.

"You never saw the sunset?" she asked with a bit of amusement.

"Not really. Well, I may have seen it before, but I probably had taken it for granted. What with my duties to Ta-Koro, my journey for the Seventh Toa and journey to Metru-Nui… our lost home. You know… come to think of it, the sunset is a lot like you, Hahli." That made her jump a bit, making her heart stop for a moment. Her mouth and eyes widened greatly, much like the Pirakas' gaping maws.

"Excuse me?"

"Yeah," Jaller continued, "At first glance, you may be an ordinary girl with a simple exterior. But once you take a second and hard look, inside, truly, you are something more… something marvellous. Something… beautiful."

Hahli was touched. Never had she heard such words from an individual, except from a Turaga, but those were merely words of advice for encouragement and pride. This was different… this was special. Tears of joy hung from her eyes, as she tried hard not to shed a tear.

"I guess what I am trying to say is I… I… I lo---" Hahli placed a finger onto Jaller's mouth, silencing him. She spoke softly: "Let's not talk at all." She then pursed her lips together, closed her eyes, and slowly moved her head towards Jaller.

What's she doing? The Fiery Toa thought to himself, she put her lips together, closed her eyes and blushing. Is it that thing… is it that thing Turaga Vakama told me about?

'Jala,' the elder, Vakama, began wisely, 'it is time I taught you a very special lesson. A lesson on an emotion called Love.' It had been a cool Summer day. Turaga Vakama and Jala (when he was a Matoran) stood on the coast of Mata-Nui. The breeze was nice and refreshing, as tiny waves crept up the shoreline. A tiny Ussal Crab skittered near their feet.

'What is love?' Jala asked.

'Love is… how do I say… something magically… something wonderfully… something important for all living beings. Love is the emotion between a male and a female being.'

'You mean like an emotion between a Ta-Matoran and a Ga-Matoran?'

'Exactly.' The Turaga complimented his young pupil, 'When someone wants to express their love for someone else, they usually do nice things for their lover, giving them hints for love or just expressing their love overtly.'

The young Matoran took note, nodding his head. The Turaga continued: 'Another way to tell someone you love them or determine if ther love you is for the face to became a bright red---'

'Like Toa Tahu's Kanohi?' Jala interjected.

'Yes. They would also close their eyes in such a manner and purse their lips together. Like this.' Vakama demonstrated to Jala as he closed his eyes and pursed his lips together. Jala understood what his teacher was doing: 'That, my friend, is called a Kiss… and someday, you may either receive or give one to a very special girl.'

So, Jaller thought to himself, Hahli is giving me a kiss? Then, that means that she loves me too! I… I guess I must return the favour. He also glowed a bright red, no longer was his mask crimson. He softly grabbed the Sapphire Toa's waste a torso in a sorta of cuddle. He closed his eyes and pursed his lips together, just like Hahli's.

Their heart-beats raced, faster than any Phase Dragon could run. Nothing was on their minds; not even the other Toa; not even the Piraka, Vezon or the Ignika. All they could think of was each other… and they loved it. It was crystal perfect: the right setting the right atmosphere, no one to bother them. They closed in on each other, so close to lock li---


Both Toa jolted back to reality, hearts missing a beat. They let go of each others' embrace. They looked to the direction of their interruption. It was Axonn, looming over them with his humungous Axe mounted on his colossal shoulder.

"Toas," the Titan boomed, "it is time to go. Botar and the others await you at the Matoran village." He began to stroll slowly back to the forest when he stopped, only taking a few steps from the pair, speaking with inquiry: "Am I… interrupting something here?"

The Two Toa looked away from each other, with shameful and dejected eyes. "No," the Fiery Toa spoke out finally, "nothing at all."

"Good." Axonn nodded, clueless of what 'could' have happened. He began his trek back to the forest with the others. Jaller and Hahli waited for him to remain out-of-sight.

"I'm sorry," Jaller appealed to his lover, looking down dejectedly, "I guess Duty and our friends may never let us be together. I guess we better---" he was caught off when Hahli grabbed his head and planted a kiss, square on his lips.

Time seemed to have slowed down, like Tahu had used the Vahi again. The pair's lips were locked together in a spell called Love. Jaller look on wide-eyed into Hahli's closed-eyed face, which almost all of her Mask was bright red. Nothing he could do but admire this time with his 'love', as he closed his golden eyes too and held the Sapphire Toa in a sweet and gentle embrace. At that moment, everything was right in that world.

All six of the Toa Inika had finally rendezvoused at the Matoran village of Voya-Nui. The Matoran Resistance Force stood beside Botar and Axonn, thanking the Inika for their bravery and freeing them from the Pirakas' thrall. Botar had briefed the Toa of the Pit and of the underwater village of Mahri-Nui and the enemies they might encounter. All the while, with no on notcing, both Jaller and Hahli held hands, fingers bound into each. Botar finally raised his colossal hands and began speaking in a weird tongue. A giant portal opened on the side of one of the bigger huts. The Toa Ignika waved their good-byes as they entered the void, one after the other. After the last Toa, the pair entered the vortex, it collapsed into itself.

"Our hopes and wishes go with you," Botar spoke solemnly, "You are our last hope."

As the Toa Ignika got into the vortex, all too familiar lime-green eyes gleemed from the bushes, with a horned-spine running from the back of his head to the tail. His teeth glowed with a sickening fel green in a large frown. The billions on billions of Zaktan's protodytes shook violently, making it look like the Piraka leader shaking with inner rage.

"You may have won this little battle, puny Toa," he sneered wickedly, sounding like a mysterious echo, "but this war is not nearly over. I will have my revenge someday and I will strike when you least expect it. You and your petty virtues with pale in comparison to the power I have shall possess.

"You see… I know of all of the Makuta's plans… starting from his betrayal to his latest and malevolent plot to conquer. Even after all these years, I still remember when I found the Makuta's documents of domination. Someday… somehow… I will use this information to my advantage. And when I do… you Toa, the other Piraka and every living creature will know my wrath." He raised he topaz sword, which melted into his hand.

"Until that day," he finished with a sneering grin, a truly wicked grin, "good luck. You… will… need it." He soon blended back into the forest, awaiting his victory someday.

How do you like them apples?