"Zuko . . ." Amaya's voice caused him to glance at his aunt from the corner of his eyes while they walked towards the camp of Water Tribe men.
"What is it?" Zuko asked after a moment of silence. Amaya bit the inside of her cheek before glancing at him once more.
"I . . . never mind." Amaya closed her eyes and took a deep breath before snapping her eyes open. With a smirk, Amaya placed her hands on her hips when the small family reached the camp. "Alright boys! What's for dinner?!" Amaya ignored the glares sent her way by the Water Tribe and the sighs from her family. "Wait just a second . . . the Avatar is missing?" Amaya looked around curiously before Sokka answered her as he came out of a tent.
"Aang went to finish his training." Sokka glowered at the royals before his sister hit him in the ribs. After sending her brother a glare, Katara smile at the firebenders.
"Dad's inside, looking over some war plans. We'll take you to dinner, though. He'll be joining us soon." For a moment, Katara's eyes met Zuko and he fought back the urge to smile at her. He couldn't risk it, though.
"So, what's for dinner?" Amaya asked as Katara and Sokka led them to another tent.
"Stewed Sea Prunes!" Katara exclaimed happily.
" . . . Stewed . . ." Shizuko began.
" . . . Sea . . ." Yong picked up where his sister left off.
" . . . Prunes?" Zuko finished for his cousins. The three of them looked at each other before looking at Amaya. Amaya sent a sharp glare to the young firebenders.
"We're going to eat whatever they give us and not complain." She hissed quietly as Sokka and Katara walked a far enough distance not to hear the sharp whisper.
"Here we are." Katara announced as she opened a tent flap. Amaya smiled disarmingly at the siblings before entering.
"Bato . . ." Hakoda began as he looked at his best friend.
"Don't worry. If she tries anything funny, you've got your men to back you up."
"Have you forgotten that strange weapon of hers? It was able to render everyone useless."
"Hahahaha!" Amaya laughed as Katara told a story about Sokka. Her brother only sulked in the corner. Zuko calmly sipped his tea while Shizuko smiled softly at her own brother.
"Sorry to keep you waiting." Hakoda entered as Amaya calmed down. The Admiral waved it off.
"No, no need to apologize. I did impose in the beginning when it came to eating here."
Haku sighed and shook his head.
"Something wrong Commander?" A nearby soldier asked Haku.
"Nothing, Lieutenant. Just worrying how much Admiral Amaya is going to damage her mission . . ."
"Why do you say that, Commander?" Haku held back another sigh when he was asked this.
"Well, considering how much Admiral Amaya will try to 'spice things up' . . ."
" . . . Permission so speak freely sir?" The soldier asked and Haku nodded. "I think we need to run damage control."
"I wish we could. Problem is, this is a show of good will. Throw a bunch of soldiers in there to keep her in line and we've got a problem. Mostly from how much the Admiral hates being handled."
"Then we are screwed, sir."
"Yes we are." Haku nodded before turning his head when a messenger entered the room. "I don't recognize you." He muttered as he narrowed his eyes. The messenger bowed before handing Haku a scroll.
"From my master, Keizo."
Zuko quietly sipped his water as he fought back the urge to throw out the . . . stewed sea prunes. The smell did nothing to help his appetite. Glancing over at Yong, he discovered that his adopted cousin was going through a much similar problem.
"Prince Zuko . . ." Zuko looked over at his aunt when he heard this. She had narrowed her eyes as she stared down at her food. Hakoda was watching her closely along with Sokka.
"What's wrong?" Hakoda asked suspiciously.
" . . . Zuko . . . did you ask Keiko to come here?" Amaya asked as she looked behind her right before Keiko appeared, kneeling behind Amaya.
"Keiko . . . what is the meaning of this?"
"I have a message from Keizo, mistress." Keiko held out the scroll and presented it to Amaya. Hakoda watched Amaya as she took the scroll. Katara, remembering who Keizo was along with the firebenders, felt their eyes widen.
"Who's Keizo?" Sokka asked, distrustful. Amaya felt her eyes widen as she read the story and stood up.
"AZULA'S HERE!" Not a second after she announced this did the earth rumble and cries of alarm filtered through the camp. "Get our men down here to fight!" Keiko nodded when Amaya gave her the order and disappeared. "HOUKA!" Amaya called as she began to rip off the sleeves on her dress. They were too cumbersome to fight in. She also ripped off the bottom of her dress to reveal grey pants underneath.
"TORA!" Zuko called out as Amaya freed herself from her restricting clothes. The young adopted siblings looked to their mother in surprise.
"We will not run." Amaya declared as she walked through the tent flaps out into the battle. Shizuko pulled her flute out and so did Yong his mirror. The young firebenders had not been gifted in the bending arts so they were forced to rely more on their Shakaku. Hakoda had already dashed out of the tent with Sokka. Katara looked over at Zuko, both knowing that this would change everything.
"Be safe." They both whispered before darting out with Yong and Shizuko into the battle being waged outside.
Outside it was a war zone. Earth was flying around along with knives and a pink blur. The water tribe men were fighting the best they could however, they were outnumbered. Amaya had just entered the fray, Houka resting in her hands. Seconds later Tora landed in Zuko's hands. Katara summoned up as much water as she could before using it as though it was an octopus, the water around her in eight tentacles.
"Brother . . ." Shizuko trailed off before narrowing her eyes.
"I know sister. I will be careful." Yong spotted a spike of earth shooting towards him and put his mirror in front of him. The mirror glowed before the spike stopped and shot back at the one who sent the earth towards him.
"Ha!" Amaya shouted as she sent an arc of white light at a Dai Lee agent and cut through the earth wall he erected. The wall crumbled onto him. She noticed a pink blur heading towards her and brought up her Shakaku in time to block a jab aimed at her shoulder. "Ty Lee . . . Azula needs to face me if she wishes for me to fall in battle!" She announced before kicking away the pink acrobat.
Zuko weaved through the ranks of fighters, splitting earth whenever it came at him. All the while his heart beating like crazy, adrenalin rushing.
'Calm yourself! Do not lose yourself to bloodlust!' Zuko thought as he tried to keep a level head.
Trust me! Do not fear yourself!
His Shakaku called out to him.
Katara knocked down several of the deadly earth benders with water and froze them whenever she could, hoping to be able to render them useless in battle. She didn't have time to glance over at Zuko but she made sure to keep an ear open in case he cried out in pain. The waterbender also made sure to protect the Water Tribe men. They were her people, even if she served Admiral Amaya.
Shizuko expertly ran her fingers over her flute in a silent tune before swinging her flute up into the air. The flute, Ute, let out a piercing shriek before a sonic blast ripped the ground apart and threw back several earthbenders. She narrowed her green eyes as more Dai Lee agents tried to take her down. Playing several more notes she swung Ute to the side this time and watched as the Dai Lee were sent to the ground, unconscious.
Suddenly, the Dai Lee felt the earth rumble underneath them. Before anyone could do anything else, a green and yellow clad girl burst out of the ground behind the Dai Lee and stomped, sending them tumbling to the ground. Toph smirked and stared ahead with her milky eyes before swinging her arms to the side and the earth behind her pillared up, knocking back Ty Lee.
"Not this time!" Toph snapped.
Fire surged through the Dai Lee ranks, signaling Iroh's appearance along with the arrival of a good number of Amaya's crew. Fire and Earth were thrown across the battlefield without remorse. However, beside Katara, a huge wave rose up into the air. Katara glanced back in surprise before realizing it was from him.
"Aang." She whispered in joy. The water turned into ice shards before raining down on the Dai Lee, imprisoning many. However, for every Dai Lee agent that fell, two more took their place. Blue fire was blasted left and right as Azula, wearing light armor appeared. Knives were knocking down the firebenders that fought for Amaya and so was the well placed jabs from Ty Lee. It was a small army against them.
"Zuko!" Azula snarled when she saw her brother. Her eyes glanced over to Amaya. "Amaya. I never expected this from you. Zuko is weak but not you. You are the Black Rose of the West. Why betray your country?" Azula demanded. Amaya smirked as she looked at her niece.
"A spoiled brat like you wouldn't understand."
"So it's because of grandfather's hatred of you and father's hatred? Pathetic." Azula sneered and sent another blast of blue fire at her family. "I never imagined you to be soft hearted like Uncle." Zuko easily deflected the fire, surprising Azula.
"Believe what you want. But know this, you cannot hope to defeat me." Amaya smirked before sending an arc of white light towards Azula from her sword. The fire nation princess flipped over it and smirked.
"Is that the best you have, Amaya?" She taunted.
Aang watched in horror as Azula and her Dai Lee forces slowly beat down Amaya's and Hakoda's forces. He glanced at Katara before sighing. Raising a slab of Earth around him, he whispered an apology to Katara before he began to let go of everything. He could feel the cosmic energy rushing through her veins now. Opening his eyes as a white light shot up into the sky, Aang began to lift up into the air.
Amaya felt attention be pulled to the white light as the Avatar rose up into the air. In retrospect, she knew she shouldn't have done that. But it was too late. Her attention had been caught and taken off of the dangerous opponent that was her niece. Feeling the air become charged, Amaya realized what she had done. When she heard the crackling, she knew it was too late.
"Mistress!" The gasped out word echoed in her ears as a heavy weight landed on her.
"ARGH!" Aang called out in pain as knives lodged themselves in his back before another crackling filled the air, a blast of lightning hit his front. His grasp on the cosmic energy slipped away. Zuko watched, shock hitting him hard as Aang fell to the ground.
"AANG!" Katara ran to her friend and began to pull out her sacred water.
"Some Avatar." Azula smirked, not paying attention to those that she did not consider a threat.
"Azula!" Zuko snarled as he came crashing down at her, his heel connecting with her shoulder.
"Ugh!" The fire nation princess grunted before swiping at her brother with a flaming hand. Zuko managed to kick off of Azula just in time to avoid the fire. Azula resisted the urge to hold her swore shoulder as she glared at her brother. "So, you think you can take me? You, a worthless, banished fool!" She gritted her teeth before sending a blast of lightning at Zuko. She didn't expect him to redirect it at her, though. Azula thought she could dart in and attack while he was splitting the lightning with his strange weapon, like he had done so long ago when she was about to behead Iroh. However, she was mistaken and barely had time to dodge when Zuko sent the blast right back at her. The Dai Lee quickly surrounded Zuko.
Trust me. His shakaku called to him. It was only able to do so much for him unless he accepted the power that flowed through her, the power of Agni. Zuko closed his eyes and sighed as the earth rose up to devour him, courteous of the Dai Lee.
'Tell me what to do, Tora. I trust you.' He thought, hoping the strange weapon of Agni could hear him.
That's what I've been waiting for.
Hey, sorry I haven't updated in so long. I got caught up with a lot of other things. Well, I hope you like it, ja ne!