Set after episode, the Firebending Masters. It was dinner time after Zuko and Aang arrived back from the Sun Warriors’ community. Aang, Sokka, Katara, Toph, Haru, the Duke & Teo, wait for the arr...
][Dragons of the West-
Summary: Set after episode, the Firebending Masters. There are many secrets that mortals in the past have long forgotten. Ever wondered how the War started? How the mortals in the Avatar world learned to bend the elements from the help of the Gods themselves? And how did the mortals then defended evil that wanted to take over the world? What happened to Aang’s friends before the War, after he disappeared? How is Zuko related to Avatar Ruko and Kuzon? Is Ursa still alive or she is dead? How did Iroh became a member of the Order of the White Lotus? What really happened to Iroh’s son Lu Ten? What really became the airbenders 100 years before? Ever wondered what became the other characters in the story after we never see them again?
What secrets would be discovered? And what is the cost to know them?
-It was later in the night when the group of kids and teens all sat around a glowing campfire; the moon was beginning to emerge from behind masses of clouds.
“I can’t believe you fell for it!” Sokka laughed. “Come on, even a blind two year old wouldn’t fall for that! I--can’t--believe--you--fell--for--it! The prince of the Fire Nation falling on his ass!” Sokka laughed again, rolling on the ground while clutching his sides.
Zuko was sitting on the other side of the campfire, his arms folded, glaring at the water tribe boy with hatred. His hands started to smoke. How dare this peasant laugh at him! If it wasn’t for the fact that he was now on his side, he would’ve been dead by now. The only reason he wasn’t dead yet was the fact that it would be dishonorable to kill him. Plus he wouldn’t have a sparring partner.
“But come on,” the water tribe warrior continued, “I saw it and got away! But you didn’t! What are you blind?” Sokka kept laughing, trying to get up from the ground but failed.
“Sokka, I think that’s enough.” Aang said, noticing that Zuko’s hands started to turn into flames.
“Why? Oh,” Sokka stopped after looking at Zuko, who looked like he was about to jump up and kill him.
There was silence, beside the sounds of quiet snickers from Sokka.
“But really, why didn’t you move out of the way?” Teo asked Zuko, wheeling closer to the fire for warmth.
“I didn’t see it,” he muttered.
Everyone was confused.
“What? You were looking right at it!” Katara hissed, not believing anything the firebender said. For all she knew, Zuko planned it.
“I didn’t see it!” he snarled again, standing up. He gave them all a glare, and then marched towards his room without looking back. As they watched him go they could see the glowing of flames from his hands in the darkness.
Just as Zuko disappeared from view, Sokka broke the still silence.
“What’s up with him?” Sokka asked stupidly.
“Do you think I hurt him?” Haru asked no one in particular. He hated the Fire Nation, but he was slowly accepting the Fire Prince, at least enough that he didn’t want to see him hurt or killed.
“Only his ego,” Katara muttered under her breath.
“Hey, Toph, you okay?” the Duke asked her. He’d been watching her since they came back to the fountain after the duel. The blind earthbender had seemed quiet and withdrawn.
Everyone looked at Toph. Come to think about it, she was being too quiet. Was she sick?
Toph looked up to them with blank eyes. She knew what was bothering Zuko, but it wasn’t her place to tell any of them. “I think I need to go to bed too.” she muttered before standing up.
“Oh okay,” Aang replied. “Good night.”
Everyone said ‘good night’ to her as she walked into the air temple. She passed her room, heading towards Zuko’s bedchambers. In each step, she wondered how she was going to tell him that she knew his secret.
She reached the end of the hall and knocked on the hard door.
“Zuko I know you’re there. I can feel you.” she called through it, pounding the door with all her might. “Open this damn door, or I’ll earthbend you out!”
The door finally opened.
“What do you what?” Zuko hissed at her, popping his head out. “Going to make fun of me as well?”
“Not this time,” Toph responded, folding her arms. “Let me in, we need to talk.”
Zuko didn’t want to, but sighed as he opened his door wider to allow enough room for the little girl to go in. She walked passed him as he closed the door. When he turned around he saw that Toph was lying on his bed. /‘Get off my bed!’ /he thought. “What do we need to talk about?”
“I know you’re blind in your left eye,” she stated flatly, not wanting to beat around the bush.
There was uneasy silence. /‘How did she know!?’ /he thought furiously. Only four people knew his secret; his father, his uncle, his sister and his girlfriend. And now /her/.
“How do you know?” he hissed, his voice filled with horror and anger.
“Hello? I’m blind here too,” Toph answered, waving her hand in front of her eyes. “I may be blind, but I’m not that blind. Any normal person would’ve moved from the rock. Heck, even the Duke would’ve moved from that slow flying rock!”
Zuko knew it was true, but hearing it made him feel worse. “I’m not that blind!” Zuko said, trying to make himself not seem weak. “I’m somewhat partly blind.”
“What?” Toph asked. “If you’re blind, you’re blind.”
“I don’t see like the others do, I see differently with my left eye.” Zuko explained to her. “I’m like you. You can ‘see’ through bending. You see through vibrations in the earth. I, on the other hand, ‘see’ with my firebending. Instead of seeing shapes or vibrations, I see heat waves.”
Toph stared at him, not sure she understood. “So let me get this straight, you see by using heat?”
“Yes.” Zuko nodded, sitting beside her on the bed.
“So when that rock came towards you, you couldn’t see it because rocks don’t give out heat?” Toph asked. It made sense to her.
“Not necessarily,” Zuko said, shaking his head. “I saw a faded glow of heat, but I didn’t know what it was at the time.”
“What do you mean?” Toph asked with an increase of curiosity. She never heard of anyone else that was blind who could ‘see’ like she could.
“When an earthbender bends earth, the earth that they bend gives out slight glow, there’s energy that surrounds it, gives it some kind of heat. Air and water are different. Water is cold by nature, I guess. Air is air, you know?”
“Yeah, I know.” Toph said. “When I first met Aang we fought in a match, and he glided his way across the platform. I couldn’t sense him in the air!”
“After that he told me that he was the Avatar, and asked me to teach him. Said that some guy named Bumi told him that he needed a teacher who feels the earth or something like that.”
“King Bumi?” Zuko asked her. The only person he ever heard of that was named Bumi was the king of Omashu.
“Ah, never thought about that. Do you think that could be the same guy?” Toph asked.
“I also know that you’re deaf in your left ear.” Toph said suddenly
Zuko did a double take. “I won’t ask how you know that,” he hissed at her.
Toph looked at him, smiling. “You just told me.”
It took Zuko a few seconds to realize what Toph said. He suddenly felt very stupid for falling for the same trick Azula pulled on him. “Yes, I’m both blind and deaf on the left side of my face. So what?”
“Nothing. Just saying that if you were deaf in your left ear you wouldn’t hear it coming towards you.”
Zuko couldn’t reply.
“Hmm, is this one of the reasons why you sometimes loose duels?”
“Yes,” he answered unwillingly.
Toph nodded. “I can’t imagine being deaf and blind at the same time! But yeah, you and I have lots in common now!” she said smiling.
“Yeah, sure,” Zuko responded, not knowing where this conversion was going.
Toph yawned. “Well, I’m off. Good night, Zuko.” She jumped off his bed and headed towards the door.
Zuko nodded. He watched as the earthbender left, leaving him to his thoughts.
It was late, Zuko could tell, but he couldn’t sleep.
Thoughts and memories started to drift through his mind. Thoughts of his father telling him that he was weak, saying that he was no son of his. Thoughts of his sister that was once his friend, betraying him to their father. Thoughts of his mother leaving him, and then finding out that she may be alive.
And where is his Uncle? He wondered. Was he alright?
Zuko sighed as he got up from his bed, grabbing his swords and cloak before walking out from his room.
Darkness dominated the outside world, as the moon was high in the starlit sky, the wind slightly ruffling his hair.
He sat on the edge of the cliff, letting the cool air blow past him as he closed his eyes to mediate.
Then he heard something from his right.
Zuko grabbed his dueling swords from his back and unsheathed them almost instantly, leaping onto his feet only to come face to face with familiar golden eyes.
-Iroh and Chief Haruki watched as the five elders left the stone building, leaving him and the Chief able to talk in private. Just as the last member bowed and left, Haruki spoke to him.“Do you think it is wise for us to call upon the Holy Counsel?” the Chief asked him.
“Yes, this War must end.” Iroh responded, telling himself that it was the right thing to do. Iroh admitted to himself that he was unsure if they did the right thing.
“Aye, this War must,” Chief Haruki agreed. “But is it wise to include all the nations? For over a hundred years this War went on. For thousands and thousands of years we and our ancestors were brutal to all the Nations, even at times of peace. We view the world as a battle field. The weak must die as the strong live to see another day. Our ways are foreign to them. If we call upon the Meeting would they arrive willingly or would they never return at all? I will not be surprised if they ignore the Call.”
Iroh knew that Chief Haruki spoke the truth. They didn’t know for sure if the others would come for their aid. But surely they would come to save their Nations, even if they had to aid with the Fire Nation.
He knew that the Others, more commonly known as the Order of the White Lotus, would help him. But would the Avatar and the other Nations as well?
“They will come,” Iroh told his friend.
Chief Haruki could tell Iroh wasn’t so sure to himself. He sighed. “Aye, they will.” /‘Hopefully’ /he added to himself.
“How was my nephew?” Iroh asked him suddenly.
Chief Haruki smiled. He knew that Iroh would ask him about Zuko. “He and the Avatar passed the Trial.”
Iroh smiled. “So it is true then? Zuko joined the Avatar?”
“Aye, he did.” Chief Haruki said, nodding. “You should be proud of him.”
“I am.” Iroh smiled.
“Like a father should be of his child?”
At first Iroh didn’t know what to say. “Yes,” Iroh responded slowly, not to sure what Chief Haruki was getting at. “Zuko is like a son to me.”
Chief Haruki nodded. “You should look for him. I will contact the Others. It is your duty now to find your second-son.”
Iroh looked at his friend. “I can’t-” he began, but was cut short when Chief Haruki stopped him.
“You must! I could see it in his eyes when I told him that you once came to do your Trial. When he heard your name his eyes clouded in wonder, pain and hope. He is worried about you; he wants to apologize to you.”
Iroh wanted to see his nephew, to see his face smile again. “Are you sure?”
“Yes,” Chief Haruki answered. “I believe he and Avatar are resting in the ruins of the Western Air Temple. They will leave soon, I think.”
Iroh nodded. “Then I must go soon.”
“Aye, you must. To ease both yours and his suffering, you both must talk. If you don’t put aside your past, you will both suffer forever.”
Iroh nodded knowingly.
“It’s getting late.” Chief Haruki advised, looking up at the dying sun from a nearby window. “You must hurry.”
“Good luck, my friend.” Iroh bowed to him. Chief Haruki responded with his own bow and then they embraced each other.
Iroh traveled as fast as he could go. The thought of seeing his nephew again brought happiness into his heart, giving extra energy into his step.
/‘It would be like old times.’ /Iroh thought.
He looked up and saw a cliff next an ocean. As Iroh approached he looked around. How was he supposed to get down there?
Then he saw it, a rope tied to a rock. He grasped it tightly, then slowly but steadily Iroh eased himself down the deep cliff.
Iroh felt his feet touch the stone ground shortly after. He dusted himself off then looked around. The Western Air Temple was slightly different then he remembered. It was more cheery. There was no other word for it. Perhaps it was like that because after so many years of not having people living in the temple it finally had occupants.
Then, in a far distance ahead of him, he saw a moving figure.
Not knowing what it was, Iroh hid next to a fallen wall. Slowly, Iroh approached the dark figure.
His eyes widened at what he saw.
He got out from his hiding place, just as his nephew suddenly got up from the ground, turning to him with his swords held tightly in his hands.
(End of Chapter)
Author’s Notes: Sorry for the long wait. Well, how did yeh like the chapter. Its long, juicy chapter, huh?
I know, I know. It was evil of me stopping there. But come on! It was over 2000 words! Give me a brake!
Well, I agree to few Reviews, this fic is going little tad bit slow, so I hope I accomplishment my goal of making it faster in the plot that I have in my head. God, I hope these plot bunnies get out of the head someday. Specially the one that I have since I was kid of the Novel(s) that I’m writing. Hopefully it someday get publish and written.
Well, you all know the drill. Click that cute, purplish button below and Review . Give me feedback! Makes the fic updated more!