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...
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?
Everyone woke up with a start as a blood hurdling scream broke the cold silence in the Western Air Temple.
Everyone ran towards the noise that turned out to be Sokka who was screaming as if someone was pulling his skin from his body. He and Aang were sitting on their beds (both he and Aang shared the room for the night, as Aang didn‘t want to be alone), both grasping the right side of their chests hissing in pain. Haru then stumbled into the room; he too was grasping his chest in pain.
“Sokka! Aang, what’s wrong?” Katara asked them, as she bent the water from her water pouch. With the flick of her hands that water bended around her hands as she laid them on her brother’s and her lover’s chests. She then felt something nonhuman underneath her hands, something unnatural, something that was not suppose to be there, and it chilled her to the bone. She gasp in surprise as the thing that seem to come from their very souls suddenly snapped at her, as the water that she bending fell to the stone floor with a splash.
“It is Time.” Zuko said, approaching the group, breaking the shock silence.
Everyone whipped their heads towards Zuko who was standing in the door way. Most of them looked at him confusion, others however looked at him in awe, and Katara who glared at him telling them that he is not welcomed in her presence.
“Time? Time for what?” The Duke asked the firebender.
“The Others had called the Holy Counsel. It is Time to go to them.” Zuko said with no emotion in his voice, as he explained what was going on to the child.
“But it in the middle of the night!” Sokka wined, as the pain slowly eased from his chest.
“If we delay or ignore it, then the Call will get stronger and more painful then ever before.” Zuko said knowledge, folding his arms in front of his chest, remembering of what the Fire Priests taught him before he was banished. The only reason he remember all his teachings is because he wanted to show to his father that wasn‘t weak, to be better then Azula. “Of what you felt when you woke, is a warning of the first Call. The more we delay then the spirit of the dead will visit us soon.” he said smirking at the look Sokka gave him.
“I don’t want to die!” Sokka yelped, covering himself deeper into his bedcovers. “I don’t want to go!”
“You have to go, Sokka! Think about your Nation!” Zuko yelled back, shocked that Sokka could be selfish.
“What does this have to do with my Nation?!” Sokka yelled back.
“Just the other day you told me you want a part in this war. Well this is you part!” Zuko told him, Sokka giving him a look.
“Not like this! Give me a map and I’ll give you a plan of action! I don’t want to go to some… meeting and sit next to some table with… old people.”
Zuko looked at the water tribe boy in a weird look. He himself never thought about it like that. But he is used to be around meetings with ‘old people’, as Sokka complained.
“Sokka,” Aang said, making everyone turn to him. “Its just a meeting. It might not a big deal. It might be fun.”
“Yeah right.” Sokka muttered under his breath bitterly.
“Ah, Zuko.” Haru said. Slowly Zuko turned to the Earthbender. “Why is that I can feel the Call?”
“I don’t know! Is your family important in the Earth Kingdom?” Zuko said in frustration. Why must he have to be the one that knows everything? He is not a book!
Haru thought about it. “I don’t know.” he shrugged. “I heard that I have a crazy old great grandfather on my father’s side that is a high leader in the Earth Kingdom. I never met him through.”
Zuko nodded. “There you go. Because of your ‘crazy old great grandfather’ being High status in the family, you and your father felt it because you are in Holy Line. The Firstborns always the ones the feels the Call.”
“But I’m not the Firstborn!” Aang suddenly yelled. Everyone stopped chattering at once and stared at the Avatar.
“What?” Toph asked. Did they hear him right?
“I had an older sister….” Aang said slowly, not knowing what else to say. He suddenly felt foolish.
“Aang, it been a hundred years ago! You never knew your family, you said it yourself. Your people are dead. And you are the Avatar… So basically now you are the first born now.” Toph said to him.
Aang nodded slowly. “Yeah your right.”
There was silence again. Zuko stood in the doorway, taping his foot impatiently. They need to go now!
“You got an older sister?” Sokka asked breaking the silence. Why didn’t Aang tell them this?
“Yeah but never met her.” Aang said, not liking the fact that he knows so little about his family.
“What’s her name?” Teo asked.
“You don’t know her name? What did these monks do to you!” Sokka said surprised.
“All I know about her is that she was here, in the Western Air Temple with my mother. This Air Temple is the temple of where the female air benders once lived. I used to have a picture of her… before I got frozen in the ocean.”
“Oh I’m sorry.”
Zuko rolled his eyes. “Aang, we need to go.” he said.
“Now?” Aang asked.
“Yes now! Pack up everyone!” He said leaving. As he turned from them they then notice he had his backpack, bow and quiver was already sling on his back and his twin swords already around his waist. Did he pack up when everyone was sleep or the moment he felt the Call?
“And why should we listen to you?” Katara said, not moving of where she sat, between her brother and the Avatar.
Zuko then turn and glared at her. Why does she always question him?
“Because the Island is far from here. If we start early, we could make it less then a fortnight.”
“That makes since.” Sokka said turning to his sister. Katara glared at her brother.
Teo smiled. He was getting bored of this place anyway. “Come on, Haru, the Duke. Lets get packing.” Teo, Haru and the Duke left towards their rooms.
“I will meet you guys at Appa.” Zuko said to the four remaining people in the room.
Zuko sat beside Appa as the large creature moaned at him, rubbing his head against his back. He was surprised that Appa remembered him when he came to the group. If it wasn’t for the fact that Appa was his friend, he might have not been here at all. And for that he was grateful.
Just then Momo, the flying lemur, flew from the Western Air Temple building, landing on top of Zuko’s head. “Momo, get off of me.” Zuko snapped at the small creature, slightly pushing the lemur off his head and onto his shoulder.
Momo chipped at him and then ignored him, as he curled around his neck.
Zuko didn’t have the heart to push the small creature from his neck. Surprisingly, Momo’s warm body felt nice around his neck. When was the last time someone showed any affection towards him, besides his mother, his uncle and Mai?
Zuko sighed again, folding his arms in front of his chest, glaring at the entrance of the Temple waiting for his ‘friends’ to show up.
Just as Zuko was thinking of getting up and go look for the rest of the group, the group itself showed up.
Zuko stood up, as Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Haru, Teo and the Duke walked towards him, carrying their belongings. Aang’s face broke in a smile, as he saw Momo around the firebender’s neck. Just as the Avatar was close enough Momo leapt up, and curled around Aang’s neck. Appa roared happily as the group came closer.
“Finally.” Zuko muttered under his breath. Katara glared at him. Everyone waited to see if they were going to the fight. Katara then turned from him and got up on Appa, not looking at him.
Less then five minutes later, everyone was settled on Appa. Zuko sat the furthest from everyone else.
“Everyone on?” Aang asked the group, turning his head from Appa’s head.
Everyone nodded, as all of them were still tired to response.
“Appa yip, yip!” Appa then flew through the air. Aang watched as the Western Air Temple grew smaller and smaller until it was gone. He will miss staying there. Being there in the same home of where his mother and elder sister once lived before the War was both comforting and brought heartache in his heart.
They flew for hours, just as the sun was close creeping from the horizon. Finally, Aang, who was still on Appa’s head, was dozing off, so Appa, who knew that his companion needs rest, moaned and woke Aang up with a start.
Aang yawned, as he glanced at the sun that was just barely risen. He heard Zuko standing up and walking towards him. Aang slightly smiled, firebenders literally do rise with the sun.
“Aang, you need some rest. I’ll take over from here.” he heard his Firebending teacher said to him.
Aang nodded mutely, giving Zuko Appa’s reins without a second thought. Zuko watched the Avatar in amusement, as Aang stumbled on the settle, curling beside Katara for body warmth. He wondered if Aang knew of where he was curling up with up.
Zuko shook his head. He sat on Appa’s head, not knowing if he was hurting the large creature as he walked across its head and wondered how to control it. He seen the water tribe siblings do it. If they could, then he could.
“Okay… Appa.” Zuko said to the creature, not knowing if Appa knew of he was saying or not. Appa moaned in response, telling the young fire bender that he was listening. “Okay then. We must head south-east.” Zuko turned Appa around using the reins, shaking his head as he did this in annoyance. Aang was letting them north not south-east, maybe turned Appa when he dozing off. Maybe he should take over during half the night. Or at least take turns so they could get to the Island in one piece.
Zuko turned to the others behind him. All of them were in one big ball, cuddled close to one another. All night he slept alone on the other side, not wanting to get to close just in case one of the wakes up and freaks out.
As a firebender he didn’t need any body warmth to warm him up, as the energy that the sun given him the day before gave him enough warmth to keep him warm though the night.
Zuko sighed. ‘This is going to be a long day.’ he thought bitterly, hoping that group would sleep for few more hours giving him some peace.
The wind suddenly stopped.
Everyone stood up from their kneeling place, looking around themselves as if expecting something to happen, but didn‘t.
“That’s it?” Shui asked stupidly. Sophocles then smacked the young water tribe boy across the head. “Ow!” Shui yelped in surprised. “Why did you do that for?”
“Because you’re an idiot!” Sophocles bellowed at him.
Iroh ignored the two, as he walked up to Zhao, who was covered in blood and still chained to the ground. Zhao glared at him with hatred, still remembering of what happened during the Siege in the North Pole. Of how Iroh attacked him as he tried to kill the Moon Spirit. Of how Iroh became a traitor, with the help of his traitor of a nephew.
As Iroh approached him, Zhao had an urge to fry him to crisp, but didn’t. Zhao then remembered that they both were on the same boat; both of them are traitors to their Nation. Iroh who helped the Avatar by saving the Moon Spirit and his failing at the Siege.
“I thought you were dead.” Iroh said to him, releasing him from the chains. Zhao was slightly shocked that Iroh haven’t killed him yet and releasing him. Surly the former general would what he didn’t to him those short months ago.
“Looks like I wasn’t.” Zhao replied to him, not knowing what to say to his war friend.
Zhao himself didn’t know. The memories of what happened to him still haunted him to this day in his nightmares, and some were still cloudily. “I don’t know. When I was the cold water, the Spirit kept me down, as I was dieing, I tried to fight back… I ended up injuring my leg… the next thing I knew, I woke up at a beach in the Earth Kingdom territory.”
“The Spirit let you live. Did you thank the Spirit of doing so?”
Zhao then glared at Iroh in rage. “Of course I did! I had too for my honor!”
Iroh stood in front of the raging man, with out blinking or flinching. He was used to Zhao’s short tempter of so many years of being with him in war. “Come, Zhao, let me help you to my tent and clean you up from the blood.”
“I don’t need you pity!” Zhao hissed at him.
Iroh smirked. ‘Just like Zuko with his short tempter.’ he thought. “I don’t pity you.” Iroh told him. Just then he saw his friend Haruki walking towards them. “The Call has been sent.” he told his friend. “Now we wait.”
“Yes, Iroh. There is no looking back now.” Haruki turned to Zhao. “So you weren’t lying, huh, that you know Iroh? Come lets get out of here, the stench is killing me.”
“What are we going to do the bodies?” Iroh asked him, as the three started to walk out of the temple.
“Bury the dead over the ancient grave yard a few miles north. The bandit however we can just toss his body in the sea for the alligator-sharks to feast upon.”
Iroh nodded, as the two Order members that he didn’t know their names, picked up the body and walked out of the temple. The others, by using holy water washed the blood from the ground, cleansing the spot of thousands that was sacrifice at.
As Iroh, Haruki, and Zhao sat up a tent outside of the temple near the forest, they all sat next to one another, cross legged drinking tea in silence.
The Others had sat up tents from good walking distance from the Golden Temple, a place where anyone who would be sailing by the Island or flying by wouldn’t see them or see their camp fires if they were lit, even at night.
“What ever happened to your nephew.” Zhao asked him. Hoping to each some answers that he lacked since the Siege. He was also curious of why Zuko wasn’t with him. Ever since the Prince was banished, the Prince and his Uncle never left each other as if they were attach to the hip.
Was he dead? Captured? Or sitting on the throne next to his father, after killing the Avatar?
Iroh slowly sat his cup on the table. “He is teaching the Avatar Firebending.”
Zhao then did a double take. “Teaching the Avatar firebending.” he repeated Iroh’s words. The Avatar is alive? But then something triggered in his mind. “Zuko is not a Master. He is not worthily of teaching the Avatar firebending.”
“The Avatar trusts him.” Haruki said, sipping in his cup.
“He is not a Dragon! He is not even a Master! He is weak.”
Iroh had enough, he slammed his cup down with such force that it was lucky that he didn’t break the cup or the table. “Zuko is not weak. In my eyes he is a Master, for he is ready.” Iroh said to Zhao, with force in his voice.
“He is not a Master, until he passes his trials.” Zhao agued.
“He is ready.” Iroh repeated, and glared at Zhao.
The two firebenders glared at each, as both their hands then started to light up in flames.
“Iroh! Zhao! Enough!” Haruki bellowed out. Iroh and Zhao turned from each other, not saying a word. “When the boys get here with the Avatar and who ever are with them, we all will see if Zuko taught the Avatar good enough. We will test them. When the other Dragons get here, Zuko will do his trails. If he passes will then be granted the title Master.”
Iroh nodded. Zhao shook his head. He never did like the Fire brat. He will never admit it, but Zuko is a good firebender, for he did beat him in a fire duel.
“So how long will the brat--,” Iroh glared at Zhao. Zhao sighed. “When will Zuko get here?”
“If they are using the flying bison, they might get here in a fortnight, if they have no mishaps.” Haruki said.
Iroh sighed. A fortnight? That long?
Zhao too was the thinking of the same thoughts. “You would think that flying would be faster.”
Both Iroh and Haruki smiled. “Yes you would think so. But a flying creature is more questionable then a flying machine, Zhao. The flying basin may fly, but it is a breathing creature that gets tired and needs to stop ever few hours or so, unlike a machine that could fly in days, weeks, months, without stopping if it has fuel.” Iroh said.
Zhao nodded. It made sense.
“So what is the plan again for freeing the prisoners in Boiling Rock Prison?” Iroh asked Haruki suddenly.
Zhao looked up, sighing in agony as he so wanted to throttle them both. They both knew that he doesn’t like being someone fighting against his Nation, nor that he likes being ‘free‘ from his duty in the War. He is a loyal man that is only loyal to the Fire Lord! But how can he be loyal to the Lord, who views him as a traitor?
Iroh and Haruki laughed as Zhao glared at them with fire in his eyes, that made them laugh even harder.
“You both did that on propose!” Zhao yelled in annoyance. He is an Admiral, he could not be laughed at!
Iroh and Haruki only respond with a smile.
Zhao interiorly hated them both; for laughing at him and chaining him as a sacrifice.
‘Oh they will pay.’ he thought grinning.
(End of Chapter)