She stepped out onto the balcony and gripped the cold wooden frame. Her undone hair whipped around her head and in the faint glow of the moon, Katara gazed at the stars longingly. She smiled up at them as if they were her friends. They were very close to it though. They had guided her through her boredom. They had kept her company all night, when Aang and Sokka were off doing "manly" things.

"What manly things could they do in the rock walls of Ba Seng Se?" Katara whispered tiredly. Her eyes drooped and the wind had stopped whispering. It was so quiet. So peaceful…

She was falling in a cocoon of darkness. Her stomach didn't constrict, which was odd. She was actually enjoying herself. She decided it was because she knew someone would catch her. She could feel her presence at the bottom. She felt smaller. And then she realized she was younger. Much younger. She was maybe five. She looked down and she could barely make out the tall, smiling water bender at the bottom. Katara screamed and groped forward for something to stop her from falling. There was nothing. The last thing she saw was a burst of fire and her mother lying on the floor, the life gone from her soft blue eyes.

When Katara woke up, she was shocked for a split second. She hadn't really woken up, or at least, she couldn't have, she was still falling. Then it hit her. She was awake and hurtling towards the crowd below. People were already looking up and pointing. One man was running towards the ground that she would hit. In a matter of seconds she would die. She closed her eyes.

The ground never came. She felt two arms wrapped around her. Her eyes flew open and she looked around. She was alive, and she was lying in a man's open arms. He was looking down at her, but she couldn't see his face. He was wearing a mask. That was odd. It was a smiling blue and white mask. She liked it. It was a water bender mask. She could tell by the way it was crafted. She didn't care, he had saved her. He tilted her feet to the ground and she touched the soft dirt that she had just a few seconds later had wished wasn't there. She swayed alarmingly and he caught her fore arm. She looked up at him again.

"Thank you!" she said genuinely. He nodded and moved on. She was caught by surprise. She wanted him to stay.

"Sir!" she called, running after him. He looked behind him and saw her coming. She smiled. Finally. She really did not want to run bare foot through the streets of the crowded earth kingdom city. But instead he turned and bolted for the nearest alley.

"Oh no you don't!" she whispered, more to herself than the surprised onlookers. She also ran for the alley. She saw him duck behind down another street. She ran there and looked around. He was smart. There were crowds and crowds of shoppers Everywhere you looked, you could see giggling girls and nodding men. Instead of thrusting herself into the dangerous hordes of people, she looked around, studying every place that a person could hide. Finally she saw the mask. It was hidden beneath a shipment of crates. Crates, which were filled with blue fabric. Strong, smart, clever, this guy was not the normal earth kingdom tourist. She ran to the crates. She reached for the mask and saw that the person wearing it was not to be found. A man stepped in front of her.

"Sorry little girl. This isn't everyday fabric. You can't get blue just everywhere," he stated this importantly. It was only after that he noticed her blue dress.

"Well, that is my mask. And that isn't an ordinary mask. You can't get it just everywhere," she said pointing towards the laughing blue and white mask.

"Oh, well, why didn't you say so!" the man said, his big belly shaking dangerously.

He grabbed it and held it out to her. She once again reached for it. He snatched it back.

"That'll be one gold piece," he said malevolently. Katara considered the water whip, but decided against it. That wouldn't be fun.

"Sir, I will give you two gold pieces. One, for the mask, and another, if you would deliver it to my apartment. It's right next to the King's chambers on the 5th floor. It's the guest of honor's room." While she way explaining this, she watched with glowing happiness as the man's face turned four shades paler.

"No charge, go ahead and take it," he said quickly and thrust the mask at her, and by doing so, admitting his defeat.

While she walked away she studied the mask carefully. Something seemed so familiar about it. It was almost frightening…





Zuko knew he had to get to the avatar. He needed to make a truce. As much as it burned him to admit it, even in his own mind, he knew it was true. He had it all planned out. He would walk around the city in his mask, which from a recent discovery, was pasted on a very accurate poster explaining his criminal past from saving the avatar, to a murder in a deserted alley, to simple things like robbing a man selling cabbages. It was funny, but more importantly, perfect for his plan. After walking around for awhile, he would be caught and sent to jail. If he would just act like the incapable banished prince that everyone thought he was, he knew that the avatar would demand to see him. Then the fateful moment that Uncle always said would happen. He only way it could backfire was if the earth kingdom He walked around buildings and shops. He walked down alleys and in front of crowds. He walked everywhere, but with absolutely no luck. He was furious.

"Uncle was wrong! This will never work!" he told himself as he walked in front of a group of earth soldiers. They wouldn't stop him if he was running with a purse. He decided to do just that. He spotted over to a crowd. He knew he would find a lady with a purse there. He noticed they were all gasping and pointing towards something in the air. He looked up to see a girl falling from a balcony. Without thinking he stepped below her just in time and caught her. She looked around bewildered and he set her down. She looked drunk by the way she tripped. He caught her and she looked up. She said something he couldn't hear. He had stopped listening.

She was the avatar's friend. She was the girl that he had threatened so many times. She was the girl Uncle always called "that pretty water girl". He shivered. He turned and hurried away.

"Sir!" she called. He glanced back. It was her again. If he stopped, she would want to talk to him. He couldn't talk. That would be risking his identity to one of only three people in this entire city he didn't want to know that he was there. He turned around and ran for his life. He could hear her footsteps following him. He ducked in an alley, trying to lose her. She followed. He remembered going down this alley. The busiest street was just ahead. If he could just reach it before she caught him. He threw himself into the nearest crowd. He felt a weight lift off. And he didn't mean it like Uncle's proverbs. His mask flew off out of the crowd. He cursed, and the old ladies surrounding him shook their heads.

"They think they are all so grown up!"

"His father was probably the same way!"

He pushed his way through he crowd. He looked behind him. To his horror, the girl had his mask and was walking back down the alley.





A/N- I am a newcomer. My sis does the same thing, and I thought it might be fun. I am gonna try and keep up with her, but she is pretty darn good, so I am just doing this for fun. By the way her pen name is dream royale, so check her stories out! They are awesome. Give me reviews, good or bad!