Yes! Another chapter! I'm feeling better today now that my puppy is home from the hospital:). So let's see if this one is any longer but don't get your hopes up.
I ran over to Sokka's room and opened the door. The dark room quickly filled with sunlight and I could hear the groan of a not-so-happy Water Tribe warrior.
"Five more minutes."
"Sokka, this is urgent."
He rubbed his eyes and sat up.
I looked down at the ground, somewhat guilty for walking him up like this.
"Aang, what is it?" he sounded both worried and irritated.
"I think I know what happened to Katara and Zuko."
"And you know how you lost your mom and his mom was banished?"
Sokka gave me a 'where are you going with this?' look.
"So what? You think they went on a save Zuko's mommy mission?"
I gulped and nodded. This didn't even seem to faze Sokka, though.
"You woke me up for that?"
"Sokka, aren't you worried that something could happen to them? What if they get caught?"
"Look- I know Katara and I know how tough she is. If she's in trouble, she can take care of herself no problem. Same with Zuko."
"That doesn't make me feel any better."
"Aang, relax. She'll be fine. I promise."
I sighed, nodded and decided it was a lost cause. No matter what anyone said I'd still be worried.
"We need to hide." I knew she was pointing out the obvious but it got me out of my daze. She grabbed my wrist and shoved me into the bushes and kneeled next to me. I felt something stab me.
"Ow! Careful!" I half-whispered.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to mess up your hair."
Her voice was still mocking me and I was getting irritated. When I opened my mouth to yell at her she shushed me. So much for that. We watched as two Fire Nation soldiers stepped out of the forest with Azula in between them.
"They headed west. My best bet is that they headed somewhere completely out of sight from where we are now. If they were in an Earth Kingdom city they would have been discovered by now. They probably went to the Western Air Temple. Go give the directions to the fleet. We're leaving immediately."
My jaw dropped and I heard Katara slightly whimper next to me. I turned to her and a tear slipped away and rolled down her cheek.
"Aang," she whispered. "No. No, no, no!" She covered her face with her hands and silently began to cry.
"We need to go," I finally said. Katara looked up at me. Her face was stained with tears.
"Zuko, we can't. They have war ships; the only mobility we have is by our feet and that'll never get us there in time. And what about your mother?"
I sighed. I had almost forgotten why we came out here.
"Look…there's a certain time for everything, right?" She nodded. "Well maybe this isn't the right time to find her."
"Katara, listen. Right now we need to help Aang. But I will find her weather it's before or after the war. Believe me. I'll give my all into looking for her but for now we need to get to the Western Air Temple before Azula does otherwise we could be in a lot of trouble."
Katara nodded again and wiped her eyes with the back of ther hand.
"But how can we get there in time?"
"I can help with that."
We both jumped and turned around. A tall man with dark blue clothing stood before us. He had long, straggly grayish brown hair and dark skin. His eyes were also brown.
"Who are you?" Katara asked.
"That is a great question." The man responded.
Katara and I gave each other skeptic looks.
"I'm Koda. And who might you two be?"
"Uh-I'm…uh- I'm Chang and this is my um…sister Wan…Chi."
I looked over to Katara nervously.
"Excuse me, Koda, but will you please pardon me and my brother for a moment?"
Katara and I got up then she pulled me by the wrist behind some trees.
"What? It's not like I could say 'Oh hi! I'm the prince who betrayed the Fire Lord and this is the Avatar's Waterbending Master girlfriend Katara. We can lead you right to him!' Come on! He could be with Azula!"
"Okay, first of all, I'm not Aang's girlfriend. Second; what are you paranoid!? The guy is probably from the Water Tribe or Earth Kingdom."
"Well he's obviously not an Air Nomad."
"Besides, Zuko. I've dealt with people like this in the past and they weren't bad. Well one of them was a psycho inn keeper but even she helped us and please?!"
Katara bit her lip and widened her eyes. It didn't matter to her. She just wanted to get back. And I could tell by the look on her face that there was no way I was going to win this argument. Just like all of the others. It was Katara: 1 million; Zuko: -20.
"THANK YOU!!" All of a sudden I was being hugged and I couldn't breathe. Her grasp was like a snake around my neck. I pushed her off.
"Okay, okay. But what if he is with my sister or someone else from the Fire Nation? We'd be leading him and them right to the others."
"We can fight them off! We have before! The important thing is that we get there before Azula. Isn't that what you said?"
I nodded, giving in and we went back to the man.
"We're in," I said. "How can you help us?"
Koda led us through a series of trees into the next meadow, which I recognized from our journey the previous day, and to a big bush. That I didn't remember.
"What's behind the bush?" I asked.
He walked over and brushed off the leaves revealing a basket with a red balloon attached. The red balloon had a Fire Nation insignia on it.
"You're fire Nation."
"What?" He laughed. "No, no, no."
"Then what's with-?"
"The insignia? My friend is an inventor and made these for the Fire Nation Army and I barrowed one from him but when I went to return it, the place was abandoned."
Katara's face lit up.
"You know the inventor!?"
"Yes! How do you know him?"
"I went to the Northern Air Temple and met him and Teo there a few months ago. He built the submarines for the invasion."
"Invasion? You helped with that?"
'Great. She blew our cover.'
"She's a Waterbender."
'Heck, why not?'
"Oh. I see. So you say you know Teo? I haven't seen him since right after the accident."
"Yes. You see, his family used to live in the Earth Kingdom. He lived near a large river. When he was an infant, there was a large flood. He was badly injured and his mother was…killed. He's been crippled ever since."
Katara looked to the ground.
"Oh. I lost my mother in a Fire Nation raid."
"And my mother was banished."
The man gave us a confused look.
"I thought you were siblings."
I gave out a nervous laugh.
"Well you see-."
"Nevermind that," he said. "Get in."
The three of us entered the war balloon and the man started the fire with spark rocks. Once we got high enough, we set our direction southwest- back to the others. Minutes of silence passed by before the man spoke again.
"So since you two obviously aren't related, who are you?"
I motioned for Katara to go first.
"I'm Katara. I'm from the Southern Water Tribe."
"Ah. So you're the girl who has been teaching the Avatar. I guess that's who we're going to go help?" She nodded. "And who might you be?"
"Zuko? Where you from?"
"Fire Nation. I'm not bad though- if that's what you're thinking. I mean I used to be but I've changed now and-."
"I get it. It's okay."
I sighed in relief. I thought the guy would throw me over. Well he probably would if he knew I was the Fire Lord's son. Good or not, it's a bad reputation to have.
We passed the forest about a half an hour later and now a large cannon came into view. Katara pointed to the ground.
"There it is!"
"It seems peaceful," Koda mentioned.
I gulped. "That's either really good or really bad."
A/N: Me and creativity of names don't mix. This is why I usually stick to fanfiction.