Vayu watched helplessly as her airbenders were wiped out, and Agni cried as the deed was done, holding to his sister for dear life. She disappeared; some say she took the form of an animal native to the nomad dwellings. Others say she wanders endlessly, looking for one last airbender to guard and to guide. The most believed story was that she fought along with the airbenders, and was killed by a fire nation soldier.
Then she returned. Agni had not been expecting the visit; it was sudden, out of the blue. The tears that had stained her brown skin were gone, the mischievous gleam in her eye all the spirits knew so well had returned. She came, pleading to Agni "I fear your son, Zuko may succeed in capturing my last airbender. I have a plan to deal with him, please brother…"
How could he refuse? "I have no say over the fire nation. I left them that day; I lost control of my people as they lose control of their fire."
Vayu waited for the perfect moment, and soon it arrived.
Chapter 1: After Episode 13.
"Do not let him get away!" Aiding the Avatar in his escape had proven useful to Zuko after all. Able to locate his previous camp by searching all areas within rage of Zhao's fortress, Zuko had come upon a flash of orange; the Avatar. As always, Zuko's men fell behind and the Prince was left to capture the boy himself.
The Avatar took a sharp left, a maneuver that caused Zuko to fall over in attempt to keep up with him. He growled when he heard a light giggle. The Avatar wanted to laugh at him, fine. Zuko would have that last laugh, another thing to add to the list of 'What I'm going to do when I finally get my hands on that tattooed flying freak'.
He found himself in a clearing, a light wind blowing. Zuko readied himself for anything the Avatar could throw at him. Attack from behind, Zuko would hear it coming and duck just in time. A full frontal assault involving the Avatar and the water tribe girl, BAM! He'd trick them into attacking each other. Even in the water tribe boy commanded the giant bison to land on top of him, Zuko was convinced he would be ready. He ran each scenario through his head.
Of course, he wasn't ready. The Avatar came in at full speed, running in repeated circles around Zuko. By the time the Prince realized he was losing oxygen that not only gave life to his fire, but himself it was too late. He was gagging, suffocating. The whirlwind finally stopped and he fell forward into soft arms. Zuko could feel parts of his body twitching; he was like a fish out of water, still gasping for breath.
All at once he could breathe, the sweet, blessed air had returned to him. He tried to clear his mind; one plus one equals two, the last Avatar before Aang was Roku, the sky is blue… "You'll thank me later." A woman's voice, was it the water tribe girl? Zuko blinked and found himself surrounded by the Avatar and his company. He jolted upright, hissing.
"Look out, it's feral!" Sokka shouted.
Aang barely caught the lemur, catching the scruff of its neck. "Easy boy, we're not going to hurt you."
Katara watched in amazement as it went limp in Aang's arms. "What do you think happened to his eye?"
"It must've gotten into a fight with a bigger animal." Aang investigated the lemurs face. An exact replica of Momo lay in his arms, save the left side of its face. "How'd you end up all the way in the Earth Kingdom buddy?"
"Is there an air temple near here?" Sokka asked.
Aang thought a moment. "There's the eastern air temple… But I'm not sure if the priestesses had lemurs there."
Sokka blinked. "Priestesses?"
"Yeah. The monks lived in the northern and southern temples, and the priestesses stayed at the western and eastern air temples." Aang explained.
Katara continued to look at the lemur. The scar looked more like a burn… She shuddered, suddenly remembering Zuko. "What are we going to do with it?"
"Well, all lemurs get limp when they're held at the scruff, but we can't do that forever… I guess the best thing to do is let him go and see what happens." Aang rested the lemur on the ground, quickly walking backwards after releasing his grip.
Zuko didn't move. The word 'Lemur' rang in his head over and over again. Scar, fight, air temple, lemur… Good Agni, I've morphed into an endangered species.
"Is he dead?" Zuko heard the water tribe boy, Sokka, ask.
That's it, think I'm dead and leave me alone. Katara gingerly rubbed behind Zuko's burnt and half cut ear. Oh Agni that feels sooooo good. Zuko sat up and shook his head. No, that felt bad. Very very very bad.
"He's alive." Katara said gently. "Aang?"
He sighed. "We leave him. If he follows us, we can keep him, but if he doesn't want to travel with us we can't force him."
Travel, follow… The voice was right. I will be thanking you. As they took off to mount Appa, Zuko ran and perched himself on Katara's shoulder.
"Look!" Katara said excitedly.
Aang's smile grew. "This is great! Another lemur!"
"Another mouth to feed." Sokka groaned.
Katara ignored her brother and rubbed her nose against Zuko's. "Ready to go to the North Pole little buddy?"
Zuko smirked inside. Mission accomplished. "What are we gonna call him?"
"Zuko." Sokka offered.
"I like Pastry! See, his stomach is a light brown, like a chocolate cake!" Aang replied.
Zuko rolled his eyes. "We're not calling him Zuko, that's not nice." Katara commented.
"Well, what do you suggest?"
She shrugged. "Zuzu?"
Zuko paled. Cuddling he could deal with, the water tribe peasants he could tolerate, heck, he'd even accept the name Pastry! But for the love of Agni… Why'd they have to pick Zuzu?
Vayu smiled from her hiding place. "So it begins."
Believe it or not, there is a time line. This is going to take place shortly after episode 13 through a couple days past episode 16. Episode 14 (The Fortuneteller), 15 (Bato of the Water tribe) and 16 (The Deserter) will be presented in the same way, only with a Zuko lemur.
And the bit about the Northern, Southern, Western and Eastern Air Temples... All true. That's why we haven't seen any lady airbenders... yet.
Updates will be… varied. I may have two chapters up within two days; sometimes it will take a week to get one chapter up. Either way, I thank you for reading and apologize in advanced.
Avatar: The Last Airbender © Nickelodeon 2005
p.s. I came up with Zuzu before episode 2.01. Talk about your coincidences.