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Beauty On The Other Side.

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  No one was home. His friends were out for the circus, Wu and Misako off to Kryptarium for their weekly visit to Garmadon, the dark Lord enjoying the short company.

  He stayed home. He mostly did nowadays.

  Ever since IT started.

  Ever since the transformation.

 
*Flashback*

  It was a new day, almost a week from the fight with the Oni.

  Cole woke up to darkness. He knit his eyebrows, confused. He checked the time on his phone. It was a little after 5am. His alarm doesn't wake him till 6:30. Why would he be up so early? And on a Saturday even?

He dropped the matter. Putting his phone down, he pulled the cover over his body, wanting to return to his soft slumber-

  Then he felt pain.

  An aching pain all over his body, not enough to make him scream, but more than enough to hurt. He fell off the bed, landing on his left as he held his aching body.

  He didn't know how long he had been on the floor, time seeming to be still around him, but at some point he heard the sweet chirping of birds and the Falcon.

  The pain went on. It was giving him a migraine, numbing his senses, only able to hear white static and the pumping of blood through his veins.

  He forced opened his eyes, looking towards the door. He uncurled from his fetal position and crawled towards the entrance to the hall. Maybe the others would see him, or hear his groaning voice-

  Wait .

  What was that?

  He saw his reflection in the corner of his left eye in the mirror attached to the wall in his room. What caught him was the brief sight of the colour of his skin.

  He turned his head, then his body, and dragged himself across the wooden floor. He pressured his limbs to right himself to a sitting position. When he focused on the glass reflection before him, he swore he saw himself turn white out of fear, forgetting the aching pain as he stared at his face.

  His tan skin had changed to violet-black scales, shining under the rays of early sunlight. His ears were pointed, a bit longer than their original size. His iris' were like that of a serpent, glowing with their natural jade green hue. Two long horns protruded from his head, curling backwards around his ears, the tips at a near level to his eyes. His lips were grey, two pointed teeth sticking out like Count Dracula's. He already knew what the rest looked like.

  He looked down at his body. His complete flesh covered in the violet-black scales. His limbs having spikes run from the bends to their base, the knees and elbows having the biggest and sharpest, probably the width of his bones. His finger nails were claws to the length of one inch, looking so sharp like they could cut through stone like melted butter. His legs were longer, having double knees like a dragon in fictional tales. His feet were longer by a few inches, his toe nails were talons, also as sharp. He could probably use them for mountain climbing-

  Really, Cole? A thought like that at a time like this? He shook his head, catching the glimpse of another spike in the corner of his eye, attached to a line. He looked behind him, already guessing what it was.

  Attached to the lower of his back hip was a tail, the frame as thick as his leg covered in the same scales as his face and body, about two meters long, possibly longer if he stretched it. The tip had a spike in the form of a blade-like shape, having the length of his forearm. It could probably be used in battle.

  He then pondered on the thought curiously, wondering how a tail actually worked. He had always the living elements play with theirs. Maybe he could to? He had an idea.

  He look towards the door, remembering he locked it the previous night, not wanting Lloyd or Jay to ransack his room like the previous night. What they were looking for, he didn't know, but over heard from his Gaia friend as 'the rarest and most prized work of Fritz Donegen',well, from what she heard.

  Apparently they had tried for weeks to get it themselves, but when the Oni came, they had completely forgotten. Cole wasn't really interested in the character,this particular book caught his eye as it had an actually interesting plot, seeing as where it originated from, and so he then owned it. He couldn't even remember where it was kept, just that it was somewhere in  personal quarters.

  Thinking about his friends, his family, he was scared. He was scared that they would freak out if they knew, if they out about his...new form. Who knows how they might react? Bell would be accepting, having gone through the same process in her life, Zane as well as Lloyd and Wu. But what of the rest.

  What Kai say? 'Keep your distance, he might hurt us.'

  Or Jay? Would he even recognize his best friend?

  And Nya? She might freak out and attack him.

  Who knows what could happen?

  They might banish him from Ninjago-

  Cole shook his head out of the clouds, focused his mind on the limb laying limp on the floor. Concentrating on it only, he shakily raised the end, slowly raising it higher an higher, till it nearly reached the roof, showing his tail to be as long as 2.7 meters, maybe a bit more.

  He finally took notice of  the absence of the migraine and the nauseating pain of earlier. He stood to his feet, surprised at the new height. He could be about 6.7ft tall, or few inches more  now, maybe he could even be taller than Garmadon! Now that would be a funny sight to see!

  Cole remembered his previous thoughts. He didn't even know the cause of this, so he couldn't go to any of them for help. He will figure it out on his own, no matter how long it takes.

  * End *

  That was three months ago. Three months of thinking, and he thinks he's got it. But the only way to be sure is to confront the problem to Bell, which was easier said than done, since the girl was out in the wild, calling up her team mates to return home from their fun. If he was lucky, then she would likely arrive at late night or midday. If.

  He experienced new things since he changed. His senses were enhanced, in both forms. He could smell the smoke of campfire miles away. He could hear the wing flaps of a butter a few feet away from him if he focused hard enough.

  His emotions were a bit of a problem. He had to be careful, not to lash out in any form, lest he hurt someone.

  He nearly had a close call when he was talking to his dad on the , alone on the deck of the bounty, unable to see him due to the distance of the bounty from Ninjago. He was in the middle of hearing a nice story from his father when Jay had run into him, pushing him to the ground as he ran from an angry Kai. The fall made him drop his phone, and to his misfortune, Kai had ran over it, not caring about anything else except murdering the Lightning Ninja, be it out of a temporary annoyance.

  Cole had been so angry as he hasn't been able to connect to the last of his blood family, fearing for his safety, and the only opportunity in a long time being taken from him. It took a few seconds for him to see the scales growing on his fingers. He had to collect himself before going to his room. Locking the door, he was near tears at what he feared was happening to him. He calmed a bit, and accepted the peaceful sleep that met him.

  He had later realized that human form was not just affected in simple things.

  His strength was still still the same, but his body felt more accustomed to fighting that it has in the time that he was a ninja. He was more flexible, agile, fast and smart with his attacks and defence. The team had put it off as him combining dancing to fighting, as they have seen how talented he is in the skill.

  He had also been learning of his new body features. The scales were very strong, able to withstand the harshest of temperatures. He could put his hand in open fire or liquid nitrogen and neither would have effect. His claws and talons, as well as the spikes, were very strong, likely twice of the scales. As for sharpness, he had to be careful around everything, the features being able to cross into his human form. He had accidentally scratched a tear in Zane's titanium plating, but was lucky that the nindroid had been downloading antivirus software, and was unconscious and numb to the feeling. Till this day, Jay still wonders what cause it. He was even starting to think it was the metal-eating bugs they met up with on the comet-

  "I HAVE RETURNED." Its was obvious who that was, the user of the female voice sounding happy with an amount of energy that shouldn't exist, even for her species.

  "Must you always do that?" A slightly annoyed feminine voice with a slight British accent commented on her teammate's behaviour.

  "Well I don't do it every time..." The comeback came with annoyed tone, the energetic owner sounding ready to up and go.

  "If you two start fighting, I'm gonna pretend I didn't hear anything break." An older male said as his footsteps became damp, then the sound of a body laying on the couch was heard.

  "Dang, harsh man." A chuckle was heard, the owner having sat on the floor, presumably in front of the TV to play one of the various games owned by the ninja.

  "Like you wouldn't do the same Jackie?" The first male retorted, probably not interested in sleep as he first intended.

  Cole, greatful for the arrival of the Gaias, as they could each have a good idea of what happened to him.

  He closed his eyes, his scaly form reverting back to human flesh. Checking his reflection one last time, making sure he looked normal, he mustered up all the courage inside him, unlocked the door, and stepped out.