Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar the last Airbender or any of its characters. I own Koima.
Thank you all for your support, your reviews have given me strength to write the sequel. I chose to post it early. I hope you enjoy!
This is the sequel to A Koi called "Bird." Please read that story first before you read this one, or you will be lost and thrown into the fiery pit of corndogs and baked beans, a horrible death for anyone!
Stuck between Nations
Book 2 of the Koi trilogy
The Dragon of the West, retired General Iroh, relaxed into the table as the man continued to massage the tension out of his old shoulders for him.
"This was what I've been missing." Uncle Iroh sighed contentedly "Who would think drifting for three weeks on a raft with no food or water while sea vultures tried to pick out your innards could be so stressful?" Iroh glanced at his hotheaded young nephew, Prince Zuko of the Fire Nation. But Zuko sat in the doorway, remaining still and quiet. He pulled the lip of his straw hat down farther over his eyes to block out the harsh glare of the sun.
Zuko's mood was worse than ever, and Iroh had a feeling he knew why. Uncle got off the table, waving the man away and tied his robe about him. He went over to his nephew and sat down beside him.
"I see. It's the anniversary isn't it?" Iroh said solemnly.
Zuko looked up, but did not meet his Uncle's eyes, "Three years ago today I was banished. I lost it all. I want it back! I want my father not to think that I'm a failure. My father doesn't care about me."
Iroh tried to cheer his nephew up, "I'm sure your father cares, why else would he have banished you if he didn't care?"
Zuko's eyes narrowed. He got up and walked away from his uncle, down away from the hut. General Iroh looked behind him at the two men, "That came out wrong didn't it?"
Zuko walked down the dirt path into the garden, his eyes downcast. 'Three years…three years away from home, away from my family…' Uncle Iroh didn't count to him, his Uncle was always around him; he meant his father…
"Father…" Zuko murmured, clenching his fists tightly. The knuckles turned white and his nails cut into his palms, but Zuko didn't feel it, his mind was somewhere else.
'Damn you Avatar! You always manage to slip through my fingers every time. I will get you, I promise…'
A month out at sea, trying to survive on the fish they managed to catch and the water they caught using the sail to collect rainwater, they had barely survived till they reached the dock they were at now.
Zuko paused, temporarily stopping when he heard a girl singing sweetly just ahead, around the bend in the path. He stopped to listen to her. She has a wonderful voice, she sang sweeter than any other bird…
"You're everything my dreams have seen,
But, what are dreams?
I'm walking where my dreams have been.
But, what are dreams?
Can I believe these spells I feel?
I'm wary now.
Can I believe, or is this real?
I'm wary now.
Just like some new-born creature, I.
What are dreams?
A child in need of love and care.
Tell me what, tell me what, are dreams…"
Zuko felt a faint rumbling vibration coming from the ground, occasionally stopping, then starting again. He was not alarmed by this odd occurrence, though he was slightly peeved; He had told her not to do that here.
Zuko rounded the bend and saw her sitting in a patch of Caluna blossoms, the brilliant pale white of their petals contrasting sharply against the girl's raven black hair. Her back was to him as she played with rocks, not like normal Firenation children do, but bending them out of the ground and making them do aerial stunts over her hands. Zuko shook his head in disapproval, "Koima, you know you shouldn't do that here."
The girl whirled around and the rocks fell to the ground when she lost her concentration. Her brilliant amber eyes shone with relief that it was only he that had intruded in on her. She was the result of the union between the Fire Nation Commander Keijo, who had deserted the Navy, and an Earth Nation woman, Hana, whom he had deserted the Navy for. Koima was the daughter of the two, She had inherited her Fire nation features from her father, and her Earth bending abilities from her mother, making her the first hybrid the world has ever known….well, only Zuko and Iroh knew about her existence now.
The late Admiral Zhao killed her parents not long ago, it was his duty to kill the deserter Keijo, and another soldier killed Koima's mother. Everyone in Koima's village was killed; she was the only survivor. Koima was kept as a slave for Admiral Zhao for over three years before the Blue Spirit found and rescued her from her cage… but that's another story.
Koima smiled at Zuko, thank Agni she hadn't been found out, "Sorry Zuko." She apologized, "I couldn't help myself, it's been so long." People with bending abilities must bend every once in a while or their bodies will go through immense pain from not bending, Aches and pains, headaches, if you don't bend for a very long time, the person would die. Bending is the body's way of relieving stress and pain.
Zuko frowned, he knew but this was not the time, "Do you want to be caught? Do you know what they would do to you if they found out that you are an Earth Bender?"
Koima paled, her eyes wide in realization and terror. Zuko immediately regretted that he said that, it was only making things more stressful and worse. In truth, he was also scared what would happen to Koima. He shook his head, as if apologizing, "Nevermind. Forget I said that. Just be more careful, you can attract anything with that voice of yours." Koima nodded but still looked shaken, "Sorry." She murmured. She stood up and dusted the front of her dress off and straightened up, smiling at him.
"So what are you doing?…Are you alright? You don't look so well." Koima looked at him worriedly. It was in her nature to be so… caring, she was never happy when she saw someone not in a good mood or not having a good day. Moods were contagious; she always caught them when around others. But she doesn't know that Zuko had feelings for her, he had hid them from everyone, only Uncle knew how Zuko felt about Koi, even though Zuko had tried his hardest to keep it a secret, Uncle ended up finding out. Iroh had been in Zuko's room when Zuko came in, taking off the 'Blue Spirit' mask after he and Koima had kissed. Uncle had kept the secret also, and Zuko, in his grief, had broken the mask: Never to use it again.
Zuko avoided Koima's eyes, not allowing her to see the sadness in them, "I'm fine. I'm just trying to get away from Uncle for a while. Nothing to worry about." He covered up to dispel Koi's worries, but didn't succeed. Koima wasn't convinced.
"The Uncle part may be true, but that is not all that is putting you in a bad mood."
Zuko's temper flared, "I'm fine! Drop it!" He spat with more venom than he had intended. Koima flinched and averted her eyes to the ground, "I-I'm going back to Uncle." She said and ran past him, running back up the path.
'Fuck!' Zuko reached out to stop her, but she tore past him and ran back up to the floating village. Zuko watched her disappear behind Yukine bushes, he sighed in frustration, "Dammit! Now she's mad at me and thinks I'm mad at her. This is the worst day ever!"
What was wrong with Zuko? I have never seen him like this before, he had never, ever, snapped at me in the past. If only I had kept my stupid mouth shut and had listened to Zuko I wouldn't have made him mad. I had wanted to Earth bend so badly, surrounded by water for weeks was tiring. The last time I had used Earthbending was at the North Pole and that was even difficult because I hadn't done something that large in years. I found that singing made it easier to bend, getting over my fear of singing was hard, but since Admiral was gone…… I wasn't frightened anymore and found myself singing often without realizing it.
I ran back to Uncle Iroh, he sat on the floor of the hut drinking a cup of tea. He glanced up when he heard me enter, he smiled but is faded when he saw my face, and he frowned knowingly, "You had a brush with Prince Zuko didn't you?" he sighed.
I averted my eyes to the floor, ashamed and I nodded, "It's my fault really. I did something I was not suppose to be doing and I got reprimanded for it." Iroh seemed to sense that wasn't all that was wrong but knew what I was talking about. He stood up and closed all the windows and locked the door.
He turned to me, "You were Earthbending?" Iroh asked in a hushed whisper. I nodded, ashamed of myself that I had disobeyed the very man who had shown me so much kindness and one who had become another father to me.
Iroh wiped away a tear as it fell down my cheek, "It's alright, Koi." He said, "Don't treat yourself so hard. Be more careful though, Fire nation does not take well to Earth benders, as you know. But that's not all that you are upset about is it?"
I shook my head, "No Uncle. Is Zuko okay?"
Uncle Iroh sighed sadly, "No Koi. You may not know this, but prince Zuko was banished three years ago today. He's always a bit out of character on this day. I wouldn't take his words seriously; he might say things that he doesn't mean. Be careful around him for the time being." Iroh advised with a small smile.
Three years ago…. today? That long away from his home and family… I had never realized… I hadn't seen my family for three years also, but I could never see them again, they were dead. Zuko still has his Uncle and he can see his father when he captures the Avatar.
I nodded, "Yes Uncle, I'll be careful." Iroh patted my shoulder comfortingly, "C'mon missy. Let's say we go down to the shore ands take a walk. How does that sound?"
"That sounds like fun."
"Let's go then." Iroh took a small sack and we left the hut.
Tadaaaa! I hoped you liked the first chapter. The next one is where it really takes off! Let me know what you think please. I am adding my own twists to the story of course. Please leave a review! That would be great if you do.
Thank you to all of my reviewers. OMG!!! Yall are the best. I will start back posting on Run Away as soon as I can. I am very critical about two scenes in the story and I'm trying to fix them. I want only the best for yall. You'll thank me later. I haven't forgotten about you Jacinta. You're Sokka scene has all my friends at school drooling! lol.
The song is from one of my favorite singers, Enya. I listened to her when I was small and had trouble sleeping. I found the lyrics to that song on I really like songs like that….. Anything about dreams….even Toni Childs song. "Dreamer" It's great. I have a favorite quote; it's how I view life and everything in it!
"All that we see or seem, Is but a dream within a dream…" –Edgar Allan Poe. (Wow, who would've thought. I always pictured him being the Emo type.)
I like the title…it explains a lot in my opinion. It was going to be "Torn between nations." But she's not torn between them, she's stuck. Never belonging in one or the other. The next chapter will explain it a bit better. See ya!