It's amazing how yard work and pulling weeds out of a rose bush would inspire such a story. So, here I give you a tragic story about my favorite ninja, and my not so favorite ninja.
Chapter 1: A Turn for the Worse
Akali found herself to be the first one awake. Slowly, she turned to see Shen’s chest lifting slightly with each breath he took. She planted a kiss on her sleeping partner’s cheek before stretching, trying not to disturb his rest. Silently, she got out of his bed and dressed herself. As she began to reach for the door, she took one last look at Shen. A smile played itself across her lips before she left the small apartment the institute provided.
Although this act was not common among the two colleagues, there was still the fear of getting caught that lingered in Akali’s mind. What would she say if someone found her leaving Shen’s quarters? What would they think? Perhaps mission details would be a good excuse. Important mission details; finding herself tired and it being late, she stayed the night at Shen’s. Akali nodded to herself, satisfied with her excuse.
It wasn’t long before she found her own quarters. The morning was only dawning. All the champions that woke up early were already awake and doing whatever it was they did in the morning. Her muffled movement was flawless as she reached her door. Though a high-pitched raspy voice spoke up whom she recognized instantly, causing Akali to curse herself silently.
“Akali?” Kennen asked, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. “Where were you last night? I came by to ask you something but you were gone,” Kennen said, yawning afterwards.
Akali’s mind fumbled for the excuse she had come up with earlier. “Shen and I, discussing mission details. I was too tired to come back and slept over there. I’m sorry Kennen, I didn’t think it would take all night,” She explained. Despite the nervousness she was feeling, she had pulled off her excuse almost perfectly. Internally, she congratulated herself. “What was it that you wanted to ask me?”
Kennen shook his head, “It’s nothing. I’ve already taken care of it. I was just curious about something, but now it’s all ok. Just make sure to tell me when you’re going to Shen’s please?”
“I’ll make it a point,” Akali replied before entering her small apartment. The room had grown cold with her absence, forcing her to slightly shiver upon closing the door behind her. It was a complete contrast from waking up in Shen’s heated room. Immediately, she headed for her shower, slipping into it and turned on the water.
As the liquid ran down her skin, she began to think of how her and Shen’s charade had started. What was it that caused her to seek him out to calm her urges? We’re they honestly urges, or needs? It hardly seemed to matter anymore. The two had already done what was done and there appeared to be no sign of it stopping. As she began to wonder why she had even started going to Shen for her needs, she began to ask herself why she hadn’t earlier. He was wise, strong, selfless, insightful, and could weather even the worst of attacks. To her, he was the epitome of what every man should be.
Though that was far from love. She couldn’t tell herself that she ‘loved’ Shen. To do so would certainly impair his judgment and that was not an option. Shen had a strong responsibility; her companionship would only get in his way. Realizing this, Akali was simply satisfied with her uncommon visits and his willingness to give her what she needed. As long as they kept this under concealment, there would be no way it could take a turn for the worse. They could easily go on with their lives without any real repercus-
Akali’s body heaved as her stomach wretched, forcing her to double over in pain. A small torrent of fluids flowed from Akali’s mouth and swirled into the drain of her shower. She stood there, body heaving in periodical moments. When her episode was finished with, she stared down at her shower floor, shocked at what had just happened. She stayed looking down, taking deep breaths to calm her body. Could she have caught a virus? It wouldn’t have been the first time any of the trio had become ill. During their missions, they were almost constantly exposed to microbials that could have caused such a reaction.
She turned off the water to her shower and slipped on a robe before lying down in her bed. She wrapped the thin sheets around herself, feeling her strength sapped from her body’s violent affair. Sick, that’s what she was, or rather, that’s what she believed. There couldn’t have been another explanation. It was funny, she felt fine just before her shower. Perhaps she was too distracted in her thoughts to feel the symptoms her body was giving.
She curled up within the sheets, closing her eyes and letting the natural exhaustion take effect. Her occurrence in the shower told her to call the League offices and tell them she had contracted a virus and would be unavailable for summoning. That seemed like the right course of action for the day.
When Shen awoke, he noticed the absence of Akali’s body heat. He looked behind him and saw that she was gone. He never once cared that she left before he woke up; he understood her actions for doing so. Akali was the one who came to him; he felt no need to keep her longer than what she wanted. He hadn’t seen Akali as a companion, though he had slowly grown fond of the woman. Not once had it ever interfered with his duties, but the feelings were still there. It wasn’t his job to be void of emotion, only to be unbiased in his judgment. Those were his duties, and he had not wavered in it.
Shen stood up from his bed, taking in a deep breath before heading to his shower and getting dressed. He was about to start the trio’s training regimen. They all knew to meet in the mess hall and start their routine. After their five mile run, then they were treated to breakfast. After breakfast were arms and tactics training with a break in the middle for lunch. The regimen ended with another three mile jog before they were released to spend the rest of the day however they pleased. It wasn’t meant to improve their skill, it was made to keep them in shape and it had done its job.
He strapped on his ninjato and left the small part of the institute that was called his. At the mess hall, he found Kennen but there was no sign of Akali anywhere. Shen was confused. Not once had Akali ever missed out on the regimen.
“Kennen, where is Akali?” Shen asked his voice deep and his tone commanding. The yordle was taken back by the question and cocked a confused look at Shen.
“I saw her go into her room earlier. She told me she spent the night at your place, said something about mission details,” Kennen replied. Shen nodded his head slowly, deciding to go and find her for himself.
“Start your run. Akali and I will catch up later,” Shen commanded. Kennen nodded an understanding and left the mess hall. Shen, however, headed towards Akali’s quarters.
The ninja knocked on his colleague’s door. For a moment, there was nothing but silence. It took a while and repeated knocking till Akali answered it. In Shen’s eyes, she didn’t look well at all. Her eyes showed fatigue and her skin was slightly pale.
“Yes?” She asked once she opened the door.
“We have a routine to do, but I can see you aren’t feeling well,” Shen replied.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know where it came from,” She said, rubbing her temples. Shen pondered for a moment before deciding what he believed was the best decision.
“Take a day off. Tomorrow, you will give me twice the normal running distance,” Shen responded, his voice giving a strong amount of authority.
“Without question,” She said, closing the door.
It didn’t take long for Shen to catch up to the yordle. Even though Kennen was full of energy and fast, his height disadvantage worked against him. When Kennen first saw The Eye of Twilight, he searched for Akali, but found her missing.
“She is feeling ill,” Shen said, answering Kennen’s unasked question. “She’ll join us tomorrow if she is able.” Kennen felt content with the answer, not seeing a point in continued questioning.
The two finished their run and ended up back at the institute. Kennen had immediately headed to get his breakfast, eager to eat. Shen on the other hand, barely even touched the food he had gotten. He seemed focused on something, but Kennen knew not what it was. He could almost see it on his leader’s face. Something was occupying his mind. The yordle shrugged it off though. If he needed to know, Shen would tell him.
The two began their arms training. Kennen’s accuracy with his shurikens was almost unmatched by anyone else. He could hit a bullseye on a target three times in a row. Shen had become so quick with his Ninjato, only a twitch of his muscle left slashes in the dummy he practiced on. The trio was equally skilled in their respective weapons. Shen’s Ninjato was fast, Kennen never missed his mark, and Akali was swift in her slashes.
As Shen slashed with his ninjato, a kama stuck straight into the dummy next to him. It was perfectly placed in the middle of its target’s head. Shen turned back to see Akali standing a good distance away. She walked over, approaching the dummy and pulling her kama from it.
“Nice of you to join us,” Shen said to the woman.
“I started feeling better,” She replied.
“Then I expect those miles done by sundown.”
As the day went on, so did the normality of the trio’s training. Not many words were exchanged between them. Shen was confident enough in his two associates to let them train on their own without his guidance. They knew exactly what they were supposed to be doing and they had not failed him once. Once their three mile jog was over with, the three of them sat down, taking deep breaths to relax themselves. Kennen was the first one to depart, leaving Shen and Akali alone. As Akali stood up, Shen stopped her.
“Wait,” He said. Akali stopped dead in her tracks, looking back at him. “You still owe me five miles.”
Akali started running without hesitation, knowing that Shen would not allow her to go without finishing her training. To her surprise, Shen was running right next to her.
“Why are you coming with me?” She asked.
“I’m entitled to make sure you finish. Also, these roads are dangerous if you are to go alone,” He responded.
“I can handle myself.”
“I wasn’t questioning your abilities.”
The two ran in silence. So many questions appeared in Akali’s head but she refused to ask Shen any of them. She felt feelings for the man, but couldn’t bring herself to tell him. Only during her visits was there any sort of passion between them. Other than that, it was simply business for him. He showed no favoritism for either her or Kennen, which was good. At times, she had even forgotten he was human with the way he behaved.
At the end of their run, Akali felt considerably more tired than what she normally did. Why was that? Shen seemed perfectly fine despite having to run twice the normal amount of miles they did daily. She on the other hand, was practically gasping for air. Shen cocked an eybrow at her. This was not the way she was usually.
“Is there something wrong?” Shen asked lifting her up from her doubled over position.
“I’m just…so tired,” She replied, taking deep breaths. “I don’t know why.”
Shen placed his hand on her shoulder, “If tomorrow you feel ill, don’t bother coming to train with us. I suggest you find out what’s wrong before morning. I’ll give you one day, but I will still expect you to double anything you miss,” Shen explained. Akali nodded her understanding. With that, Shen walked away, heading straight for the institute's entrance.
Author's Note: I'm trying my best to replicate the dialogue of the characters and how they act. If somehow I do mess up something, I'm completely sorry.
Chapter 2: A Theory
“Kennen,” Shen spoke, motioning for the yordle to take the top lane of the Twisted Treeline. “Akali and I will take the bottom,” He explained. Kennen nodded his understanding, taking no hesitation as he ran towards his destined location.
The two remaining ninjas bought their items before making their way to the outermost turret on their lane. Silence deceived what the two were actually feeling. Shen’s mind was filled with tactics as he tried to make a solid plan for their team. Akali’s mind was filled with questions. Questions of Shen, her partner Kennen, and even what it was that was plaguing her.
“Uh...Shen. There is something important I think you need to know,” Shen’s summoner said in his mind.
“I’m listening,” Shen responded
“The other two summoners and I are detecting four life forces on our team. We’ve noted yours, Akali’s, and Kennen’s but this fourth one is unknown. It’s very small and almost undetectable, but it’s there,” The summoner explained.
Shen merely nodded his head “Understood,” he said as he looked at his colleague. The notions he were picking up seemed to be all pointing in the same direction. “Summoner, do everything in your power to keep Akali alive. I don’t care if I must be sacrificed to do so; I am forbidding you to let her die.”
“I understand sir,” The summoner replied. Shen was a very mysterious man, but he usually had everything planned out and wouldn’t tell anyone what they didn’t need to know. The summoner trusted the ninja.
The minions passed by the two and so the match began. The other team included Singed, Pantheon, and Ryze, who was going up against Kennen. The start was going just perfect, exactly the way Shen had planned. A few kills were made for his team.
As the game progressed it was obvious who was going to win. Shen could hear the summoners speaking about what to do and where to attack and when to retreat. It was satisfying to know that the summoners were getting results.
The game ended with trio being the winner. Akali hadn’t died once, Shen was happy about that. The case wasn’t the same for him. He died a multitude of times trying to protect his fellow ninjas, but in the end, it was all worth it.
“I owe you thanks summoner,” Shen said in his mind. “You protected my colleague at all costs.”
“I was just doing what you asked me. It’s really nothing,” The summoner responded.
“There is always room for modesty, but you must also be willing to give yourself praise,” Shen replied before he appeared at the institute once more.
The trio stepped out of the platform which led to Akali heaving and vomiting. A few of the summoners ran straight for her, asking her if she was ok and well. Shen barely batted an eye to her. He was absolutely sure his theory was correct. Tonight he would tell her what he believed, but for now, she needed rest.
A match was enough training for a day. On days where any of them were summoned, he excused them from their regular workout. The summoning process was strenuous on the body, and the matches were tiresome in themselves. The day was still young; allowing the trio to do whatever it was they wanted. Shen could always be found in the garden, meditating with Master Yi and Wukong. Kennen loved to pull pranks on other champions who stayed at the institute. Akali was the only one who didn’t partake in her past time. Instead, she headed straight for the medical branch of the institute.
The night was silent as were Shen’s steps as he approached Akali’s room. He opened the door, allowing a soft creak to echo. Swiftly, he slipped into the doorway, closing it behind him. At first look, he didn’t find the woman and decided to search her bedroom. When he peeked in, he saw her lying in her bed, eyes still open. She was wrapped in a multitude of blankets to warm her through the cold winter night.
Shen’s footsteps seemed to be amplified by the silence in the room as he made his way to his partner. Slowly, he sat down on her bed, placing a hand on her shoulder and rubbing it lightly. “Did you do what I recommended?” He asked; his voice not holding the commanding tone so many were used to hearing.
“Yes, the League medics said it could be a stomach virus,” Akali replied enjoying Shen’s firm touch. She sat up next to him, wrapping her blankets tightly around her to keep warm as Shen removed his hand from her shoulder. “I don’t know about it though. It comes and goes which is not something a stomach virus does.”
Shen sighed deeply before looking over at the woman, “I have a theory, but you may not like what you hear,” he said calmly, trying not to raise the wrong emotions in Akali. When he looked at the woman, her face was full of curiosity. Could he really know what was wrong with her?
“Tell me. I want to know what you think beyond anyone else,” Her voice still, but full of worry.
“It’s possible you might be having a child,” Shen said, looking at his colleague. Her reaction was one of shock to put it mildly.
“No! That…that’s not…possible,” As she said her belief, it began to seem more and more possible that perhaps Shen was right. The part that really stunned her was the fact that she hadn’t been with anyone else other than Shen. Her mind played with the theory. Was she really about to mother Shen’s child? “I haven’t been with…anyone else…” She admitted.
Shen nodded his head, “I know. Being The Eye of Twilight means keeping an eye on your peers as well,” He said to the woman. Her head rested against his shoulders as small tears began to build up in her eyes. Was she ready for such a responsibility? Could she keep up with her duties as The Fist of Shadow and take care of a young one? Would she be able follow in her mother’s footsteps? So many questions and so little answers, it was maddening.
Shen’s arms wrapped around the woman, pulling her closer to him. Her head rested on his neck, tears ran down her cheek and collected on the cloth of his shirt. He rubbed her back as she let out small whimpers.
“Why do you cry?” He asked gently, kissing her on the cheek. “You have no reason to be sorrowful.”
Akali’s head lifted from its position, looking up at Shen with watery eyes. “I don’t know if I can do this,” Her voice quivered as she spoke.
“Doubt and hesitation are the seeds of defeat, as you say. Keep your spirits high and you will find that you are able to do this. We’ve known each other a long time Fist of Shadow. You are strong,” Shen spoke, holding his partner tighter. She wrapped her arms around his waist, sniffling as her tears slowly began to stop their flow. Akali took a deep breath to calm herself and found comfort in her embrace with Shen. But just as she had grown comfortable, Shen pulled himself away from her. Cold air touched her skin when he left her.
“I must go. There are other matters that require my attention,” He said, taking a few steps to leave her room.
“Shen, wait,” Akali called out. Shen stopped and turned his head back to see what Akali wanted his attention for. “Surely these matters can wait…just a little longer?”
Without hesitation Shen replied “No. These matters are important to our stay here in the institute.” He headed out of her bedroom and the lodging soon after.
Akali laid back down on her bed, looking at the wall. She heard her door open and close as Shen left her apartment. For a long time, she stared at various places in her room. Contemplating whether to go to Shen’s apartment or not. Her excuse would not be valid if she were caught by Kennen once more. He would notice something was going on between the two.
Not once had she felt such a strong urge for Shen two nights in a row. It was like an itch that grew only stronger the more she ignored it. Finally, her will broke. Akali stood up from her bed, slipping on light clothing. Her steps through the institute’s halls were muffled by the sound of her socks on the stone floor.
When she arrived at Shen’s room, she found it to be locked. It was possible he was still out, attending to the matters which he spoke of. Desperately, she looked for him. Each step gave a soft sound as the pitter-patter of feet echoed through the large hallways of the institute. She had always seen Shen in the garden, perhaps that’s where he was.
Akali wasted no time getting there, but when she arrived, she found Shen. Internally, she felt excited, but it soon died out when she saw another figure standing in front of him. A cloaked figure, almost like a summoner, but in black robes was speaking to her friend.
“I have come to believe that she is having a child,” Shen said to the cloaked figure. “To be honest, it is my own child.”
“I knew it would happen sooner or later, it was only a matter of time before you two were to warm each other’s beds,” The figure said, almost in a disgusted tone. The man sounded old.
“With all respect sir, I do not like the tone you are using with me,” Shen responded, giving off a threatening aura himself. Akali had come to fear Shen when he was displeased with things, it made her shudder physically.
“To get back on topic, there are a few things we want you to do,” The figure spoke.
“Anything the council desires,” Shen responded.
“We want-“The figure stopped, looking pass Shen’s shoulders. “We are being watched,” He said, disappearing in a cloud of smoke. Shen turned around, drawing his ninjato.
“Show yourself,” He said flatly. He sheathed the blades when Akali emerged from the shadows. “Hmmm…not the person I would have expected to be spied on by.”
“Who was that?” Akali asked, almost angered by the fact Shen was keeping information from his two colleagues. Her face betrayed the anger she truly felt, keeping a calm look.
“He is a representative of the council. He was about to give me instructions before he noticed you,” Shen replied, walking over to the woman.
“When will he return?” She asked. To her surprise, Shen didn’t answer. He walked passed her and into the institute. Akali stood outside the door, shocked that he would withhold information from her. The three were trusted allies, yet there were things Shen didn’t tell them. What else did he refuse to tell her and Kennen?
Angered by his actions, she stormed back to her room, uncaring whether anyone heard or saw her.
Author's Note: I really wanted this one out earlier, but I got injured and have been in pain for the past two days. I took a few painkillers today and iced the HELL out of my ribs so I feel better.
Also, I started playing Akali to really get a feel for her dialogue and psychology. Yes, I love you guys that much that I spent 3150 IP points for a good story
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