Sokka's Guide to Hunting

Sokka crawled around in the brush, careful not to make too much noise with dead leaves that seemed to be constantly underfoot. He could hear his companion behind him, making enough noise to wakethe dead leaves. With a roll of his eyes, he stopped his forward movement and turned his head to remind his hunting partner that silence was half the battle but for his trouble, he instead got head-butted...in the butt.

"You have to be careful," he said, fighting the urge to wag a finger. "Your prey will run the second it hears a noise so you have to be quiet. Stay away from the crunchy leaves and dried branches."

"Okay."

Satisfied, Sokka turned and continued on. He was pleased that his pupil was a fast learner and had quieted down his movements considerably. A tiger-seal would still hear him from miles away but it was a good start.

"Always keep to the shadows," Sokka instructed, a bit archly as he hadn't had a proper student in quite some time and was enjoying his newfound authority. "I know you're probably not a big fan of the shadows, but I'm sure whatever battery that keeps you going has some kind of emergency storage."

"Okay."

"Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly so that you don't make too much noise. You sound like a komodo-rhino."

The quiet rush of air was immediately extinguished. Sokka crawled to the base of a tree with a thick trunk. His back was beginning to ache from crawling around and he was relieved to be able to straighten up. Kaz scurried next to him and mimicked his posture.

"What you bring home from the hunt could be the only thing standing between life and death for your family so you have to take this very seriously," Sokka said, trying not to be obvious as he kneaded his aching back muscles against the tree trunk. "In the South Pole, where fresh meat is hard to come by, you can't let any opportunity pass you by. No matter how dangerous—or how cute—the animal is, you have to keep in mind that you have a larger goal. You have to feed your family. It's one of the few rules the Water Tribe has...well the Southern Water Tribe anyway. And that's where you came from so don't forget it."

"Okay."

"Good."

They dived back into the brush and this time Sokka upped the pace, proud when his pupil tailed him easily. His sharp ears picked up familiar sounds and he put up a hand, signaling that they had to stop.

And got head-butted again for his trouble.

"Sorry."

"Be careful," Sokka said through gritted teeth. "Now, we're coming up on our prey. Remember everything that I've taught you. Are you ready?"

"Ready."

Two figures in blue, fierce faces decorated with war paint, burst out of the well-tended bushes that peppered the royal garden. The smaller of the two immediately shot an arrow at the figure standing in front of them, crowing in victory when he hit his target. They celebrated the hunt in true Water Tribe fashion, holding their weapons aloft and howling at the sky. They were a sight to behold and would have frightened any regular person.

It could be argued that the Fire Lord was not any regular person but he was surprised...it was just that he didn't show it the way a regular person would have. In fact, he reacted in a way that would have made past Fire Lords proud.

The tea cup in his hand immediately burst into flames.

"Good hunting," Sokka said to his partner, holding out a hand to shake.

The little boy with the big blue eyes and proud warrior wolf-tail grinned, taking his uncle's prof erred hand.

"We got him," the young Prince cheered, punching a fist in the air.

"Sokka," Zuko said, eyes narrowed dangerously as he pulled Sokka's homemade honey-tipped arrow from the back of his pristine scarlet robes. "I'm going to give you a ten second head start..."

-fin-