Aright, sorry for you Aang, Katara, and Sokka fans. They won't be in this story. If you're looking for a not long/no romance story about Zuko, WELL THEN, you've made a good choice. I'm estamating only two more chapters about this length. There will be fights and some Uncle/nephew bonding. No OC's besides the Lord guy, but he's old and ugly. So bleh!
Disclaimer: Avatar: The Last Airbender and the characters within belong not to me.
Chapter one: Part one - Can't Fight What You Can't See.
The ship rocked furiously from side to side causing Ex-General Iroh to stumble at he walked. For once a cup of tea didn't lay between his fingers and his normally calm demeaner was shaken. They were being attacked, that much was evident, but by whom was a mystery to him. One of the higher ranked officers barked orders to some men and Iroh's gaze shot around the battle ship for any sign of his nephew. He knew Prince Zuko could take care of himself, but as rain poured from the sky; he feared his nephew was at a loss.
"We're being boarded!" Someone shouted and Iroh glanced around to find out by what. Other men screamed about not seeing the enemy and the entire ship was sent spiraling into an obvious state of panic. It only made sense that it was then that he spotted the teenage prince. The boy was fighting something but only a yellowish glow was emanating from his attacker. Other then that, it was completely invisible.
He took a speedy step to help but two arms that felt as cold as ice wrapped around him, pinning his arms and lifting him from the metal deck. He tried to move and burn the limbs away, but the cold seemed to suck away his strength. After only a few moments, it was hard to keep his eyes open and head up. He witnessed Zuko crash head-long into a cabin wall and fall backwards to the ground, but even the sight of his nephew getting bested couldn't get him his strength back. His eyes finally closed and he fell into darkness.
Chapter one: Part two - Monsters Within.
He awoke to the sound of thunder, but it was light and faded. He was inside of something. There were whispers encircling him and he cracked a tired eye open. A cave ceiling hung above him as he layed on his back and every now-and-then a few drips of water would hit his arms or legs causing him to jump at the contact.
"General Iroh," Someone said, calling him by what he used to be. A man's face appeared in front of him and helped him sit up. All the men from the ship were sitting idly around a claustrophobically small opening in a cave. The only door wasn't gaurded, and yet no one dared go into it. In fact, most people stayed a great deal further away from it then needed, as if it would suddenly shoot out poisonous gas.
"Are you injured, sir?" The man asked, trying to get his attention, but he barely listened as he realized his nephew was no where in sight.
"What has become of Prince Zuko?" He asked calmly and sat up onto his knees to get a bettew look around.
"We're not sure," Another soldier chimed in, avoiding Iroh's sturdy gaze. "When we were brought here, he wasn't with us."
"Tell me," Iroh said, gaining enough strength to get to his feet. "Why is everyone staying here and not setting out to find him?" He looked to the cave entrance/exit and then to the men again. Everyone's attention was now on him but he was used to it.
"We tried. Well, a few men did, but a monster lurks in that hall. It kills all that near the entrance and even some at a safe distance. We've lost six men, sir." Another man, about ten feet answered. Concern fluttered into his mind, but he quickly stomped it down. He had to keep a calm mind if they were going to get out of this.
"Do you know who has captured us?" He asked, finding the question to be dismissed by the entire cave. "No one knows?" He whispered, surprised.
"We couldn't see them," Someone said from the back of the cave. "They could be here right now!" A few other men shivered at the thought. They must've experienced the same strength sucking coldness that he had.
Before long, an uncomfortable silence fell over everyone and most listened for the beast that was down the path. Suddenly, the man closest to the door stood and backed further into the cave; wrapping his arms around himself and shaking. It only took a second for the rest of the cave to feel the same coldness the first man had felt. Iroh let out a sigh and glared as he saw his breath disapate in front of him.
Two men came out of the darkness carrying a semi-concious Zuko in their arms. Not caring about him, they threw him to the ground and turned around to leave. Iroh tried to move, but the cold was again draining him. As soon as the men left, the warmth flooded the cave and Iroh stood up and walked to his nephew. He dropped to his knees and pulled the boy onto his back. Outward appearance wasn't that bad save for a few cuts and bruises, but Iroh knew their was more to it.
A few other men had crowded around the prince and ex-general, while others observed that the water that once dripped from the cieling had frozen solid.
"Prince Zuko," Iroh whispered and layed a heated hand to the boy's face. He pulled it back quickly when he found it to be freezing. "Zuko... nephew," He called out more urgently and let out a sigh of relief when the young boy groaned and opened his eyes.
"Uncle, what has happened?" He asked, putting a hand to his head. The men around them went back to where they were and started chatting amongst themselves and Iroh helped Zuko get into a sitting position.
"We've been captured. By who? I do not know. Why? I do not know, but I do know that we're outmatched." He said and sat back a bit, giving the boy some space. Zuko only nodded and looked around. "What did they do to you?" Iroh asked, realizing that his nephew knew more then he was letting on.
"They questioned me," He answered, dragging the word "questioned" out and Iroh knew that though the boy had said questioned, he really meant something else entirely. "Why have we not tried to escape through that tunnel?" He asked, changing the subject.
"There's a terrible monster behind the darkness," Iroh said cryptically. "You did not see anything when they brought you here?" He countered, not believing his nephew hadn't seen a thing.
The boy shivered despite the damp-warmness of the cave and hugged himself tight. "It was so cold, Uncle," He whispered, letting some of the weakness he's kept hidden creep into his voice.
"I wish I knew what we're up against," Iroh mused and watched the cave's opening with careful eyes.
Chapter one: Part three
- Lord Liam and his Birds.
"Uncle Iroh!" His nephew's frantic voice cried out and he realized immediately that he had fallen asleep. His eyes opened and he shot to his feet. He gritted his teeth and clenched his hands into fists - it was all he could do to keep from falling back down when a burst of hidden fear and coldness slammed into his mind.
He looked around and saw all of the soldiers on their feet and a large man dressed in black armor holding tightly onto an utterly angry looking prince Zuko.
"You will follow us!" The man shouted and jerked Zuko in front of him. They both walked into the cave entrance and without hesitation everyone followed. Iroh pushed the numbing feeling in his toes and fingers into the back of his mind and concentrated on walking. Soon the cave transformed into a castle hallways. Paintings and fancy fournature lined the walls and everything had a red and gold theme.
They made it to a large throne room where a man sat at the front. Running along the room were gold perches. On each perch sat an either red bird, or a gold one and the birds also sat on two poles jutting out from the throne.
They approached the man and the gaurd threw Zuko to the ground, bowed, and took a loyal place next to the throne. The man that sat was old; a whispy white mustache flowed down his face and met with a beard and his skin sagged greatly under his eyes and on his forehead.
"Why have you come here?" The man asked, his voice booming.
"As I've told you before," Prince Zuko said, struggling to stand on wobbly feet. "You brought us here. We had absolutely no intention of stopping."
"Then why were you in our waters?" He shot out in defense.
"These waters were marked as the Fire-Nation. They're not yours!" Zuko shouted, losing his temper as always.
"Ah yes, the Fire-Nation. We're stronger then you, and you will regret ever claiming our land as yours." He said, getting to his feet as the two birds that were perched next to him jumped onto his shoulders.
"I doubt that," Zuko scoffed.
"Fine!" The man bellowed. "We will fight a fair fight. Your men against mine. If you win, you get to leave."
"You have more men then me, and mine are tired from our journeys. I'd hardly call that fight fair." Zuko said, glaring with both eyes.
"I will even our men out so that we both have the same amount and I will give you two days to prepare. In those days, you will have a nicer place to sleep and meals." The man said, stepping closer to Iroh's nephew. He watched them in mild facination.
"And what of us if we lose?" Zuko asked, failing an attempt to sound intimidating.
"I will get to do away with you all as I please," He said and turned to regaurd the soldiers. "My name is Lord Liam, and this island AND these waters are mine." He leaned his face dangerously close to the teenage prince. "I will look forward to having you," He whispered loud enough for everyone to hear. Zuko's stern glare faltered and what could pass for fear traveled through his features.
"We will beat you," He said, trying to sound strong, but everyone caught the emotions that he hid.
"HA! Gaurds, show the soldiers to their chambers and take these two to their room," Lord Liam said gesturing toward Iroh and Prince Zuko.
The gaurd did as he was told and lead everyone to where they would sleep.
"DAMNIT!" Iroh's nephew shouted and slammed an angry fist into the wall of their room. It was well decorated and two beds layed on a strange angle at the upper right and left corners of the room.
"Calm yourself, Prince Zuko," Iroh said and sat on one of the beds.
"How can I be calm when I know that we're to fight them and lose in two days?" Zuko shouted, again hitting the wall, but this time surrounding his fist with a wall of fire.
"We will think of something," He said gently and stood up. He walked over to his Nephew and took the boys arm. "Do not worry yourself," He continued. "I wonder if they have any tea."
Reviews get me going. Please, no flames, but friendly suggestion and ideas are welcome. If you see a spelling mistake, let me know. I lost my spell check program and feel like I am missing a HUGE part of me.
So if you liked it so far, drop me a line!
Until next time - SS