New and last chapter. Hope you guys had as good of a time reading this fic as I had writing it.
WARNING: Violence in this chapter, but there always has to be violence in order to tell of the battle of good vs. evil, no?
Chapter 14: The Final Truth
"For the last time, Zuzu! Just go after her!" Azula shouted to her tradition-biased brother for the 8th time.
"She's not—!" Zuko began, but stopped himself.
Despite the fact that she was not of the Fire Nation, outer appearances weren't supposed to matter, but he felt a bit wrong to be falling in love with a woman who lived at the bottom pole of the world.
"It doesn't matter! Just go, for god's sake!" she snapped.
With a great shove, she pushed him over the railing and onto a wooden lifeboat.
"They went that way!" she shouted down to him and watched as Zuko started rowing.
It was probably a win-win for her; Zuzu would probably feel a slight debt to her for pushing him onto that boat and helping him get the girl so he might let her do what she wanted within the Fire Nation and of Zuzu died, she would be the heir to the throne.
Why hadn't that girl, Katara, come along earlier?
In the makeshift boat Haru constructed, Jun finished in binding Katara onto the ship.
"Poor little princess." She simpered, then smirked.
"It's not you I'm after. I've got much bigger fish to—." She started, then turned to Jet's warning call.
"Jun, STOP!" Pakku called as he directed the ship he was on closer to Jun's makeshift raft.
Sokka smiled triumphantly at the Ocean Witch and bit his thumb at her (it's an insulting gesture). Many more Water Tribe ships came from the distance and the 3 villains and its captor were vastly outnumbered. Jun laughed charmingly.
"Why, Chief Pakku! Ha, ha, ha. How are you?" she asked, oozing of venom-coated sweetness. Pakku held a large wave over her.
"Let her go." He snapped at Jun. At once, her face turned ugly.
"Not on your life, your kingliness. Either way, she belongs to me!" she snapped.
Pakku narrowed his eyes at her and Jun pointed the hilt of her skull whip at him.
"Daddy, I'm sorry! I didn't know! I didn't mean to—." Katara began, trying to say something, but Jet silenced her by holding one of his blades against her throat.
"Do not tell me you forgot our little 'deal'!" she said with relishing delight, then her gaze to him turned hard again.
"I made your life its 'happily ever after' as you wanted it to be all those years ago, and I can just as easily take it away!" she hissed at him. Katara watched her father closely and regarded Pakku as color had drained from his face.
"All those years ago, when Kana outright rejected you and found her true love in Prince Zuko's uncle, Iroh. All those years ago, when Kana realized her Firebending powers and then sought solace after she caught you all over her sister; the exact moment when she stopped loving you altogether. When she married Iroh and was SO much happier when she was there than she ever was and will be when she is with you!" Jun seethed.
Pakku's knuckles turned white as he tightened his fist even more.
"I did it; I did it to the full extent of our deal! I erased her memory soon after she came to the Southern Water Tribe, when she was 44 and took Hakoda away from her. I reversed her age so she would be young enough to bear you all of those children and all the while still be innocent, in the way YOU liked it and also scraped 20 of YOUR years off. I gave you that love potion to feed her so she would undoubtedly fall in love with you. I let you charm her back in love with you. And in return, do you remember your end of the bargain? You said, and signed a contract, that you would give me your youngest child when she or he came of age!" she cackled at the horrified expression on Pakku's face.
"Don't look so angry, Pakku. After all, did you not first come to me years ago; desperately in love with that woman but she hated your guts and you selfishly only wanted YOUR happily-ever-after and didn't even have a thought on how it would impact her! All I asked for was your youngest child and here she is! You have to hold in YOUR end of the bargain, or I could just give a wave of my hand and it would all vanish. Except…" her voice trailed off and she laughed again.
"You wouldn't dare." Pakku snapped, but choked on his fear.
"I would. And I could shrink Kana's age again, make her forget that she ever bore you all those children, and then let her go back to her REAL love, Iroh. And then YOU would have to witness everything. It's in the contract that I had the power to do whatever I wanted with your world." Jun giggled like a small child, holding out an aged piece of paper; Pakku's contract.
He grabbed it from her hands, tearing at the paper only to find that it repaired itself.
"You see? Both contracts, by the ones of you and your daughter, are legal; binding and completely unbreakable. Even for YOU. I'm guessing stupidity and selfishness run in the family?" Jun said mockingly.
"Pakku, what are they talking about?" Katara saw that her 'mother' Kana, had come out and heard everything.
"Tell her, Pakku. Haven't you always said that honesty always builds a relationship?" Jun sneered; this was all too easy.
"Of course, Pakku; I always was a girl with an eye for a bargain. The last daughter of the great Water Chief is very precious, yes, but I'm willing to make an exchange…" her voice drifted off.
"No, I've had enough of your magic and trades!" Pakku spat.
"Fine. I still keep your daughter because of HER promise, and now you're stuck telling EVERY LAST CITIZEN of your utopia on WHAT you did all those years ago, HOW you did it, and WHY. See if Kana stays with you after that." Jun snapped, but still held the contract out.
"But…you know what I want. Give it back to me, and I'll spare your daughter's life. Do nothing, and just watch as I shout out to your wife and everyone you know what you did those years ago! You've had the leverage over the years, but now the tables have turned! Do we have a deal?" she hissed in a low voice.
He had no choice; no control. He grabbed the paper with Katara's name on it and, scratching out her name, wrote his own.
"It's done, then!" Jun cried victoriously.
A sudden darkening of the sky and the sea seemed to have stretched out two arms and locked onto Pakku.
Kana stepped back, not only fearing the storm, but now fearing her own spouse; what had he done those years ago? Did it have something to do with all of those strange dreams she had?
"What have you done? What have you done?" she was shouting at him over the howl of the wind.
That face, he wished he had never seen in his lifetime nor wished to have even seen again. As a last will, he let go and let the water take him under.
"Father?" Sokka called hesitantly.
"Daddy?" Katara questioned, still unable to look up because of Jet's blade to her neck.
Seconds later, a bright flash of light escaped to the surface and Jun jumped out to reach it.
"At long last! It's mine!" she cried out in delight.
"You—You monster!" Katara shouted, using her Waterbending to outwit Jet and Haru then tackled Jun onto the deck of one of her father's ships.
Jun quickly pushed the little girl off of her.
"Don't fool with me, you little brat! Contract or no—AH!" she screamed out.
Turning, she saw Prince Zuko.
"Why you little troll!" she spat at him.
"Zuko! Look out!" Katara cried from behind Jun.
"After him!" Jun screamed at Jet and Haru. They obeyed her and managed to trap him.
"Say goodbye to your sweetheart!" Jun hissed, aiming a handful of strange magic at Zuko.
Taking a desperate move, Katara lurched forward and pulled Jun's hair as hard as she could. In luck, Jun misaimed and it hit Jet and Haru instead.
"Babies! My boy toys!" Jun cried out as she summoned what was left of Jet and Haru.
Turning, Jun unleashed a wave of powerful magic that forced everyone aboard backwards or overboard.
As Kana flew towards the Fire Nation ship, something happened to her. She landed in the water, close to the ship, and a ladder from above was sent down to help her.
Hesitantly, she grabbed it and the ladder pulled her higher and higher until she reached the top.
"Don't worry, Madame; you're—." Iroh stopped as he locked eyes with the young woman he just pulled up.
Jun had pulled out all of the stops for Kana; she was 19 again, having no remembrance that she had birthed 9 children to Pakku, and the exact age when she married Iroh.
Kana stared back; there was something familiar about him. That man in her dreams…she remembered! She remembered everything!
"Iroh!" she exclaimed out of joy; flinging her wet self into his embrace.
Iroh was equally amazed.
"Kana?" he murmured into her embrace.
Katara had jumped into the water and Zuko pulled her onto the small raft he was on.
"Zuko, you have to get away from here!" Katara exclaimed.
"I won't leave you." He told her and Jun rose into the sky, lightning at her hands and laughed.
"You pitiful, insignificant, fools!" she shrieked, raising her hands and the waves rose in command.
"Look out!" Zuko shouted as he and Katara were forced to jump ship.
"Now I am restored to who I used to be! The waves and the weather obey my every whim! The sea, the sky, and everything with it, bow to my powers!" she begins to wreak havoc upon the entire world.
From the far distances to Ba Sing Se, tumultuous winds and heavy earthquakes like never before plagued the city.
In the Southern Water Tribe, a huge blizzard blew from the oceans to them without warning.
Clouds covered every sky in anyone's sight; shrouding the Earth in complete darkness
"Watch out!" Iroh shouted; jumping in front of the blast for her.
Kana rushed to his side as he collapsed on the deck.
"No! Don't leave me!" she cried out in despair, hiding her face behind her hands. He couldn't leave her; not when they had been reunited just now!
Suddenly, a warm hand took hers away from her face. In front of her, it was Iroh when he himself was 22. He pushed a strand of hair away from his face and smiled.
"I'm not going anywhere." He whispered softly, leaning in.
She accepted his kiss; remembering what had been lost to her for so long
"Zuko!" Katara cried out as she was forced under the waves of the torrid storm.
Zuko, on the other hand, had another idea. He climbed aboard one of the ships Jun resurfaced and began to steer it in her direction.
As Katara managed to bend her way up, Jun attempted to blast her again and again. With out-of-control waves rising and boxing her in, Katara had run out of strategies.
Jun raised her hand and prepared for her final attack.
"So much for true love!" she laughed, and proceeded to blast her to oblivion
This was the distraction he needed.
Grabbing his dagger, a gift from his uncle, Zuko ran up the front length of the ship and jumped off.
He landed on Jun's back and, with no hesitation, plunged the dagger deep into Jun's left chest cavity; to where her heart was supposed to be.
The Ocean Witch screamed out, plummeting into the ocean as she felt her life escaping from her body. Both of them fell into the water and Jun sunk deep into the waves.
The sky began to clear up and the storms lifted.
The enchanted book Jun once held in her lair, the lock on it suddenly broke and every soul within its pages flew out; returning to their normal life
Pakku himself came from the waves and onto the Fire Nation wedding ship. His first sight was the young Kana, the one he had asked Jun to make her into, embracing a man around her own age and nearly sobbing with joy; most likely Iroh, he thought.
'She really did choose him over me.' He thought sadly. Within a moment, she noticed him and slightly broke away from Iroh to stare at him. He couldn't deny it anymore; it would now be the time to come clean. He went up to the couple and sighed.
"I—I hoped that you would never have found out like this." He whispered softly to her.
She only stared back at him, her eyes still saying nothing about how she felt inwardly.
"Years ago, after you rejected me, I heard of Jun the Ocean Witch and it was said that she could do wondrous things with her magic. For a price, always, of course." He began and Kana nodded.
"I went to her, asking if she could give me what I wanted." Pakku stopped, wondering if she should really know everything.
"And you wanted what?" Kana asked softly, not harshly like he had anticipated.
"I wanted…I wanted to reverse just about everything that happened for us. I wanted you to have been 16, the marrying age, and your entire memory erased. I even asked her to take away Hakoda. I asked also for a love potion. And the subject of payment was that I give her my youngest child by you when he or she came of age. At that time, I agreed; seeing only my unrequited love for you and desperate soul. So she did do everything for me. I gave you the love potion the first night you spent in the palace with me." He continued.
"And you felt nothing every time I said that I loved you? You were literally too caught up in your ideal happy ending to even remember that it was all false? And…those gifts you gave me were just a bargaining leverage to keep me silent about the memories I saw in my dream?" she looked up at him, shocked and confused.
"I always felt the weight of my promise to such dark magic eat me up on the inside each time you so much as smiled at me. For years, I tried to pretend but it was that exact reason that was why I became so distant to you; I couldn't bear to tell you. The entire spell would have been broken and you would have left me the moment you realized everything that had happened." Kana raised an eyebrow at him.
"Go on." Iroh said kindly, breaking the tension between the 2.
"If you left me, I just couldn't stomach the thought so I kept denying and lying to myself. Then, fate punished me by entrusting all of my prodigious powers into my last child with you, Katara. A prophecy was made soon after her birth that she would repeat your history by falling in love with a Fire Nation prince and that the spell over you would be broken; you and your love would be reunited. That was why I kept both of you within the tribe and sent guards with you two when you were doing something as small as going to fish." He said and Kana nodded; her eyes now steely.
He sighed, knowing that anything he had tried to amass in her the past years were gone.
"I sound like a spoiled little boy. I'll never be the man I wanted to be; for you, for myself, and for everyone. I wish I could've been the man you deserve." He said finally, turning away. As he was about to break out in a run, someone caught his arm and, as he turned, he saw Kana lean in and give him a light kiss on the lips.
"You were more that man today, with your honesty and sticking to your moral values, than you ever would have been living in that lie." She told him in a voice that carried true tenderness.
She then turned and went back to Iroh's side; where she truly belonged.
"Why didn't we become old again when Jun was killed?" Iroh wondered aloud. It was true; why hadn't they? Every other magic spell that Jun cast was neutralized after she went beneath the waves.
"D—D'you think we're stuck like this?" Kana asked curiously and Iroh turned to her."If we are, all the better to make up for those…lost years." He whispered and Kana nodded; reaching up to return his embrace
Zuko lay on the shoreline, collapsed and exhausted, while Katara sat on a stone near the shore, watching him. She was not allowed any closer to him than as far as the rock she was sitting on permitted, as ruled by her father.
From a slight distance, Pakku and Sokka watched.
"She really does love him, doesn't she?" Pakku asked.
"Which one?" Sokka asked from recently seeing the events to the fact that his father had bewitched his 'mother' and now Kana was in love with Iroh again.
Pakku stared at his only son.
"Well, it's like I always say, father: people should be free to live their own lives." Sokka stated.
"You ALWAYS say that?" Pakku asked, remembering when, 3 days ago, he'd said that all children should be kept under control and should not be pursuing things 'beyond the border'.
Sokka smiled weakly, not finding anything else for him to do.
"Then there's just one problem left." Pakku resolved, skipping over Sokka's obvious slip-up.
"And what is that, father?" Sokka asked.
"How much I'll miss…them both." Pakku replied and, with a push of his hands, the rock his youngest daughter was on broke away from its holds and moved Katara towards the shoreline.
She looked back with tears of happiness in her eyes and, after a smile, stepped onto the shoreline of the Fire Nation in her true form. Zuko, who had awakened, pushed himself up and the 2 embraced each other tightly and shared their first kiss
This time on the wedding ship, there was the true bride and groom on deck and a better priest to marry them both.
Sokka, on the side, is shoving food into his mouth when Jean (Cabbage man)comes at him, waving a knife, and Sokka ran towards the edge of the ship, jumping off and was safely rescued by his sister and placed next to Yue on the canoe.
People of the Fire Nation and Water Tribe alike attended the wedding; the union between two opposite elements, now uniting into a whole because of 2 royal members of their households.
Pakku uses the water to levitate himself up to where Katara and Zuko stood on deck. Katara came forth and embraced her father.
"I love you, daddy." She whispered then pulled away.
As a gesture of respect, Zuko bowed to his father-in-law. Pakku returned a nod of recognition, and then his gaze shifted to look for Kana. She and Iroh had just come up to deck, still in their younger bodies, dressed formally in Fire Nation clothes and jewelry.
When they came out, Kana smiled at him and waved, Iroh doing the same, and Pakku looked on a bit longer before dropping down to his canoe once more.
The ship begins to sail off and Zuko and Katara kiss once more as a melody rings forth and a people began to sing.
Now we can walk
Now we can run
Now we can stay
All day in the sun
Just you and me
And I can be
Part of your world
Ending Notes: Yeah! I loved doing this! I don't exactly remember the sequel to the movie, so if anyone wants to do the sequel, they have my blessing. (wait; I remember Ursula has a crazy sister...OMG, Jin could be Jun's crazy sister XD) Send me a PM or review telling me you did so and I'll check it out and review it.
About the IrohxKana: I like IrohxKana, ok? And besides; I'm already telling the 'story' in my Remembrance series: Book 1; Destination, Destiny; the Story of Kana (or as I renamed her, Yukihiya)
About the whole conversation between Jun and Pakku: I based this off of the scenes in the movie Shrek 2, but I think the lot of you already realized that by now.
So how'd I do?