I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender Go easy on me, this is my first Avatar fic. ;) I hope you like.

Hunted Water

Out of Touch

Katara brushed a strand of hair out of her face. The giant bison, Appa, was flying high over the ocean. The waterbender glanced over the side of the saddle on Appa as she pulled her fur coat tighter around her to keep out the cold air. While on land, Katara assumed that the air was not so cold, probably warm. However, since the small group was so far up, the air was frigid. Katara let her thoguths wander to the water they were soaring about. The water was peaceful but she was too high up and they were going to fast for her to get any water from the ocean in order to pratice her waterbending. True, she could use the water they used to crink but in case something happened to break her concentration she didn't want to have to land just to get more drinking water. Letting a brief smile cross her face, Katara looked over at her older brother, Sokka, as he tried to rummage up more food for him to eat. Fighting back a giggle, the young woman looked ahead at the Avatar steering the flying mammoth. His face was set in deep thought as Katara studdied him. He was so young. 'It isn't fair. He's only a twelve year old. it doesn't matter that he is over a hundred. Mentally . . . .' Katara bit her lip as she stared at Aang. Her musings were interupted as Sokka flopped down with an exasperated sigh. Her eyes traveled over the empty bags as realiation dawned on her.

"Aang!" Katara yelled out as she crawled to the airbender as he steered. The young Avatar looked back over his shoulder at Katara with a questioning look sprawled over his face.

"Yeah Katara?" She glanced over at her brother who had thrown the bag aside when he found the bag to be empty.

"We need to get more supplies." Aang thought over her words as Momo scurried up his arm and curled up on his shoulder. "Aang?" Aang looked back at Katara with a frown, something that she was not used to seeing on his young looking face. He turned ahead and snuck a look down at the water.

"Well, we lost Zuko. As long as we don't see any firebenders I don't see a problem." Smiling, Aang looked back at Katara.

"Good." Sokka broke into the conversation. "I'm hungry." Katara narrowed her eyes at her older brother.

"You're always hungry!" Sokka sent his sister a wry glare.

"Your point being?" Katara crossed her arms in front of her and huffed as she looked away. Aang suppressed a small giggle at the antics of the two siblings. However, when Aang looked ahead of him at the blue sky his smile dropped. In the pit of his stomach something didn't feel right. There was an eerie feeling that ebbed at his mind. He could feel something out there. Something that was pushing him back. Aang wanted nothing more than to follow his instincts and steer Appa back, away from where it was. Far away. Even Appa felt it. Katara and Sokka did not notice it but Aang had to hold the reigns tightly in order keep Appa from turning away and flying away from whatever it was.

"Aang!" Snapping back to reality, Aang looked over his shoulder at Katara. A confused and worried look was etched onto her face.

"What is it Katara?" Her blue eyes stared into his soft gray ones.

"Aang . . . you've been kind of down lately." Aang smiled reassuringly at Katara.

"Don't worry Katara, I'm fine." With a small laugh Aang shook his head. "I've just been off in wonderland, that's all."

- - - - -

Zuko exhaled sharply as he sent a blast of fire towards his uncle. Iroh merely knocked away the fire with the back of his hand..

"Prince Zuko, you must remember your basics." A faint smile crossed his face as he stared at his nephew. "Perhaps some tea will help."

"Aaa!" Zuko yelled and sent another fiery blast at Iroh. The retired General stepped to the side and avoided it.

"I take that as a no?" A furious looked crossed Zuko's face.

"Uncle! I am trying to train and all you can think about is tea!" The prince bellowed. Iroh waved off his nephew's yell.

"You train too much, Prince Zuko. You need to relax. Otherwise you will end up an old man with an empty life." Iroh looked at his nephew as he stroked his beard. The prince glared at his uncle in his red training vest and pants. Zuko was not know for patience, but rather for a hot headed temper. It was easy for the boy to look menacing with his scar over his left eye. Especially when he glared.

"I'll relax when I have the Avatar." Hissed Zuko, causing Iroh to restrain from rolling his eyes. He wanted to get his nephew to relax and all he would think about was the Avatar. Iroh did not think that the obsession was healthy. But then again, it was the only way to redeem himself in his father's eyes so Iroh would not say anything. This time. "What is it!" Zuko snapped, causing Iroh to look behind him and see a crew member running up to the two.

"Sir! We have located the Avatar!" Iroh could have sworn he saw a flicker of happiness in Zuko's eyes. However it was gone as quickly as it came. Annoyance now filled his eyes.

"Well, why haven't you set a course!" Zuko demanded causing Iroh to look back at the solider, also curious as to why the ship had not changed course. The poor soldier pulled uncomfortable at his collar. Zuko tapped his foot impatiently as he crossed his arms and glared.

"Well, you see . . ." The soldier stammered nervously. Iroh raised an eyebrow wondering why a trained solider would be so nervous. True, Zuko could be intimidating but he was still a teenager. Iroh fought back a sigh. It wasn't normal for a man to be afraid of a child not half his age. But then again, nothing about Zuko was normal.

"Spit it out!" Zuko snarled as he threw his arm to the side, letting out alittle bit of fire.

"The Avatar has trespassed on cursed ground." Iroh glanced at Zuko, watching the boy's reaction.

"Cursed ground?" He echoed, clearly confused. "What are you talking about?" Iroh looked back at the soldier, wondering what he meant as well.

"Well, the ground . . . it is the Black Lava Lands." Iroh felt his eyes widen at this. Zuko, though he would deny it latter, nearly stumbled over in shock.

"The Avatar can't possibly be heading there!" Zuko muttered to himself as he pressed a hand against his forehead. Iroh looked the solider straight in the eyes.

"We cannot let the Avatar break it free." Iroh carefully instructed. "We need to set a course and go there." Zuko, finally coming out of the small shock snapped his head up and nodded.

"My uncle is right. We have to stop the Avatar. He won't know what it is." At this the solider began to protest but was silenced by a firm glare from Zuko. "Do not worry. I will be the one to walk on that ground." The soldier nodded and hurried back to tell the others what the orders were. Iroh looked back at Zuko.

"Prince Zuko . . . I will accompany you." A hand raised stopped any protest from Zuko. "I will not hear that I am in danger from it. I am too old to be of any use to it." Zuko closed her eyes and calmed himself.

"Very well." Iroh was silent for a moment, once more lost in thought. Both knew that the Avatar would try and help it. However, Zuko was the only one truly safe. And with that girl accompanying the Avatar, it would automatically go after her. Iroh looked up at Zuko. The boy was looking out over the water with a worried expression. Closing his eyes, Zuko sighed and gripped the railing. "Uncle . . . ." Iroh nodded.

"I understand, Prince Zuko. I will teach you what you will need to beat it. Your form is excellent so it will not be too difficult." Zuko looked back at his uncle with a smirk.

"You taught me well, Uncle." Iroh allowed himself a small smile.

"Yes." The smile dropped from Iroh's face. The retired General glanced out over the water. "Zuko . . . you are the only one truly safe from it."

"I know."

- - - - -

I hope you liked it. I don't believe that I've seen anything like this story, so it should be unique.

Please review! It makes me happy and being happy makes me write faster!