ROAR! I'm tired of Kataangers always saying: "MUAHahaGUaaLAHARGHahahah!! Look and see! There aren't many episodes of avatar left! That means that Kataang is cannon! In your Zutarian faces!"
Well…you know what I have to say to that? (Besides STFU?)…Ummmm you remember Yue and Suki? Yeah, I bet you do...so you'd also remember that it only took about three 2-3 to develop both their relationships with Sokka?? And there are way more than 3 episodes left, so before I shove my foot up your butts, why don't you think about that?
Um...anyways...here is the one-shot I promised you!
"No, no, no Aang. You need to do it faster or else you'll loose your momentum." I demonstrated the movements without the bending for him.
"Like this?" Aang asked. He breathed calmly for a moment and then spun around with his arms outstretched, gathering water from the blades of grass around him. The water froze, forming sharp cones at his fingertips, and without breaking his stride, he flung them at the tree we were using for target practice. They hit just below where we hung the picture Aang made of Fire Lord Ozai out of noodles. He missed, but at least he got the move this time. I figured that we could finish this lesson tomorrow. If we didn't, then we won't get any of the food I made earlier.
"Yes, good." I wiped the sweat from my brow. "I think were done for today, Aang, let's go and get some dinner."
He bowed respectfully to me and skipped off toward where the rest of the group was camped, already eating some rice. I sighed, exhausted. Aang was getting better and better, every lesson was harder on me, he was just so good. His natural talent required me to constantly make up new moves, so I wouldn't be useless to him. I wanted to try my hardest to help him grow, but if I couldn't grow along with him…
I began walking back to camp, but then caught something out of the corner of my eye. I turned me my head and looked over to where it sat in the shade of the oak tree. I recognized him instantly. Zuko. He had been watching us this entire time, just like he's done for the last few days. I don't know what he gets out of watching us, but it was really starting to annoy me.
He's probably trying to find all of Aang's weaknesses, so when he finally attacks us, he'll be able to capture Aang. He's probably plotting with Azula. It's bound to happen, so I have to try my hardest to protect Aang from him. I didn't want him to hurt Aang like he hurt me. I didn't want anyone to have to go through that. I trusted him, and he practically spit in my face.
I glared at him and stomped toward the food. When I got there, I was happy to see that there was still a lot of rice left, a first for our group. I quickly grabbed a bowl, got some food, and dug in. About halfway through my bowl, I saw Aang looking around. "What is it Aang?" I asked him.
"Where's Zuko?" he asked, looking around some more.
"Over there." I said sourly and jerked my head in the direction of where I saw him earlier. "Why?"
"Well, he hasn't eaten yet…"
"So?" I asked indifferently.
"I wanted to give some to him before it's all gone."
"Well," Sokka interrupted. "I don't see him anywhere, so I'll just help myself to his helping…"
I turned around and saw that, in fact, Zuko wasn't there. The area we separated for training was now completely empty. Maybe he left us and is going to find someone else to burden. Good riddance. With any luck he might get eaten by a rabid skunk bear, or anything for that matter, as long as he doesn't come back.
Sokka grabbed for the last helping of food, but Aang stopped him with a stern look. "Why don't you go and bring Zuko his food?"
"What?" Sokka and I both asked at the same time.
"Yeah, I haven't seen him eat all day."
I scoffed at him. "There's no way Sokka is going to-"
Sokka cut me off. "Ok."
I looked at Sokka quizzically for a minute. Why would he be so nice to Zuko?
He saw my expression and smiled. "I'm only doing it because if I don't find him, I'll eat his food."
I rolled my eyes at Sokka, but inside I was smiling. I was just glad that Sokka wasn't going soft on me. "Ok, but take your sword." I warned him.
Now was Sokka's turn to roll his eyes. He picked up his sword, sighed, and slung it over his shoulder. "See you in a bit!" he yelled as he walked off towards some buildings.
I shook my head and went back to eating my food.
"Hey Teo!" Haru yelled from beside me.
"What?" Teo responded.
"Lets go exploring again, we didn't even go to the area behind that building with the fountain yet!" he said excitedly.
"Oh yeah, your right! Let's go!" Haru jumped up, and Teo followed in his wheelchair.
"Hey, wait a second." I yelled to them.
They turned around and looked at me, already inching away. "What?"
"Don't be out too long, its starting to get dark."
They looked at each other, smiled mischievously, and raced away.
"I mean it!" I yelled at their retreating figures.
I looked around the camp anxiously for Sokka, he was nowhere to be seen. He had been gone for three hours, which should have been long enough to find Zuko and give him his damn food. What if something happened to him? What if Zuko attacked him? A snarl came from my throat, and Aang looked over at me curiously.
I smiled reassuringly at him. "It's late, why don't you go to find Teo and Haru? Toph and I can find Sokka."
"And Zuko." He added as we left.
I sighed to myself. "C'mon Toph."
"Whatever." She spat on the ground and joined me.
I wandered around aimlessly for a while as Toph followed behind me until I got the bright idea to ask for Toph's help. She smiled at my request and started walking to my right. I almost slapped myself for not remembering that Toph could use her earthbending to find people. She probably knew where they were this entire time.
She stopped suddenly and started staring into the trees. She smiled mischievously and looked in my direction. "They're over there." She pointed into the trees that she was staring into earlier. I'm going to go back into camp now. See you later." She chuckled at something and left.
I raised my eyebrows at her strange behavior, but then I realized that her acting strange isn't out of the ordinary at all.
It was as I was walking to the area that I heard it. The cling of swords striking each other. A fight and from the sound of it, it sounded like a pretty good one. My mind flashed back dinner time when I had told him to take his sword. I sighed, he was just probably practicing or something, but from the sounds I was hearing, it sounded like he was fighting some one else too. I suddenly remembered Zuko. He always had two curved swords with him. Sokka bringing his sword had been just a precaution then, but now it sounded like it was a good idea.
A scenario ran through my mind. Sokka found Zuko in the forest with Azula plotting against us, my brave brother got angry and tried to protect us from him, so he engaged in a sword fight. I smiled proudly for my brother, gathered water from some of the trees, and ran into the clearing.
I saw Sokka first. Sweat was streaking down his face, and his bare chest was heaving. Sokka's mouth was open, panting air in and out of his lungs. I saw Zuko next. His bare back was facing me, but I could tell that he was about as tired as Sokka. Sweat glistened off his muscled back as it heaved up and down in exhaustion. It looked like Sokka had put up a good fight.
They charged each other simultaneously. They reached each other in the middle of the clearing with the clank of swords. Zuko spun, twisted, and jabbed with his swords, and Sokka was forced to back up as he tried desperately to parry his blows. I myself was waiting for the perfect time to jump in and help Sokka out, but it was hard to find a chance, both were making fast work out of each other. Although Zuko was clearly a better swordsman than my brother, Sokka was still able to block many of his blows.
Again swords clashed together, and they broke apart. This was my chance. I came toward Zuko quickly and ignored Sokka's look of surprise as I came careening out of the trees. I used the water I had grabbed from the trees earlier and whipped him in the back of his neck with it. I ran and stood beside Sokka in a defensive stance, holding the water out in front of me threateningly.
Zuko stared at me for a moment still rubbing his neck; his expression was one of utter perplexity.
"Um…Katara…what are you doing?" Sokka asked from beside me.
Still not taking my eyes off of Zuko, I answered him. "Helping you out."
Zuko's eyes shifted back and forth between Sokka and me.
"With what?" Sokka asked.
I scrunched my eyebrows and finally looked at Sokka. He was looking at me like I was crazy. "Weren't you guys fighting?"
He answered slowly. "We were sparing…"
I immediately felt like an idiot. My face turned red and I refused to look at Zuko. "Oh."
"Yeah, when I brought him his food, he was practicing firebending. I saw his swords, and since I had my sword I suggested we spar." He looked at Zuko and smiled. "Zuko's way better than I am, so he can help me a lot."
"Oh." I repeated myself.
"You know, he could probably help you out too." He put his hand on his chin and thought for a minute. "You don't get many chances to fight a firebender, so this could give you some advantages next time you need to fight one…"
I just looked at him, completely flabbergasted. But then it hit me. This would be a good opportunity. Yes, it would be nice to get the experience, but I'd also be able to fight him with absolutely no reserve. I wouldn't be confined to just mocking him anymore. I could get my revenge in a better way, fighting. Don't get me wrong, its not like I hate him or anything, I'm just holding a very stubborn grudge. I smiled sweetly at Sokka. "You know what? That sounds like a great idea, Sokka."
The red completely disappeared from my cheeks as I faced Zuko, eyes blazing. He stared back impassively, a blank expression on his stoic face.
"Tomorrow morning. Sunrise. Be there." I told him and stalked away.
"Sokka…what did you just do?" Zuko asked Sokka as Katara's silhouette disappeared into the trees.
"I don't know…and why did that sound like a death threat?" He asked back, equally confused.
I woke up about an hour before sunrise, as usual, and got a breakfast ready for everyone. I gathered fruits, nuts, and berries from all around the temples and sat it all down near the fire. I got some sugar out of one of the bags on Appa's saddle and mixed it all together in a bowl. I cooked that over the fire and toasted some bread with my firebending. I knew I didn't have to, Katara usually does, but I really wanted to get on everyone's good side. Even if it means making food for everyone.
I looked around at everyone's sleeping forms and sighed. They'd all be up soon, and the peace will be broken. I knew from experiences that the smell of food would wake Sokka and Teo, and they would be so loud that they would wake everyone else. And sure enough, a few seconds after I finished cooking the fruit mixture, Teo and Sokka were at it. They grabbed the bread and spread the fruity mixture all over it.
Sokka shoved the whole piece of bread into his mouth "Mmmm…Zuko, this is good!" he said through bulging cheeks.
"Yeah, Katara's food never tastes like this! You should cook more often." Teo said happily.
I nodded to them, acknowledging his compliment and began eating my own food as they talked loudly to themselves.
A minute later, everyone was awake due to their loud chatter. The got up tiredly and were drawn to the food by the smell of bread and fruit. They ate the food happily, complimenting me on my cooking skills, well…everyone except for Katara. Katara sat on the ground near the fire and refused to eat my food. I didn't care, really, more for the rest of us. If she thought that this was going to make me mad or affect me in any way, this was a very sad attempt to do so. So while she had her own private little protest against me and my cooking, I had a second helping. I smiled as I imagined that it was hers.
Katara stood up suddenly and looked at me. I took another bite and didn't react at all when she began speaking. "Let's go."
I just stared at her and took another bite, chewing slowly.
"Well?" she yelled angrily at me.
"…I'm eating…" I said slowly as if I wasn't sure of her mental capacity.
She just glared at me and I stared blankly back, after a while I could tell that she wasn't going to be the one to look away first. A battle of wills. And I never lost a battle of wills.
I took another bite, chewed slowly, and swallowed, never taking my golden eyes off of her blue ones.
The group's eyes flickered back and forth between Katara and me, not sure of what was going on. Sokka told them about our plans to train together as I finished my bread. They all gasped, except for Toph who started laughing, and started yelling at Sokka for his stupidity. They all knew that Katara hated me for some reason, although they didn't know why, and they knew that she'd probably try to kill me.
I got up slowly and brushed the dirt off of my pants before speaking. "Alright, I'm ready now."
By now, she was even more aggravated than before. She was practically seething. You might think I'm playing dirty by making her so angry, since now she won't have as much concentration, but I'm just looking out for my life. I don't thing she realized that I have more than one advantage here; she obviously knew that I am more powerful during the day, and the sunrise sent power coursing through my veins. Now, since we saw the dragons, I have become stronger than ever. Hell, I could probably defeat Azula right now if she found us. Also, I have a secret weapon, not a weapon actually, but a technique she didn't know about. The reason I had been watching her and Aang train since I got here.
We entered the training area and separated onto different sides of the clearing. The first thing I did was look around for anything that could prove useful in this fight. I saw nothing that could be helpful, but I did see things that could definitely make winning hard. I decided to dispose of those first. Rocks of all sizes littered the ground and large cracks were in the earth, a definite safety hazard. I picked the rocks up and tossed them away from myself. Damn Toph and her training. At least I clean up my messes after I'm done with Aang.
Everyone gathered around the training area and whispered excitedly. This was to be a battle no one would forget. The air buzzed with apprehension on their side, but on our side…it buzzed with tension. Katara snarled at me, her hand inching toward her water skin. I just stood there, calm and collected, confident in my abilities. I had to be if I wanted to win. If I wasn't good enough to win, then I deserved to lose.
She didn't waste any time in attacking.
She sent her signature move first, a water whip. It evaporated easily when it met with my fireball. Hello there water whip, meet fireball, I thought stupidly to myself and chuckled at my stupidity. Katara seemed to think that I was laughing with her, so she got even angrier. She gathered water into a globe, brought it back into her chest compressing it, and sent it out at me in the form of icicles. I sent some small fireballs out and dodged the few that didn't melt. One clipped my arm, and a jolt of pain went through me. I grabbed it, applying pressure so it wouldn't bleed a lot, and glared at her. She smiled triumphantly back.
I glared at her. "Is that how it's going to be?" I asked her dangerously.
She bared her teeth in a sneer. "That's exactly how it's going to be."
"Let's do this. "I told her and got into a bending stance.
She attacked first. She pulled water out of the trees and sent it all hurtling out at me in a large wave of water. I smirked; I knew exactly what to do. I copied her movements exactly; I had seen her teach this exact move to Aang before and sent an identical wave of fire straight at her. Our waves met in the middle of the clearing. An explosion of steam burst forth from the collision, obstructing my view of her. I could just imagine what her face looked like, surprised, angry, and annoyed all at the same time. Good, I've been practicing her waterbending moves since I've been here.
"What was that?!" she yelled at me once the steam dissipated.
I just shrugged innocently and created fire whips.
She quickly mimicked me as I lashed mine out at her. She used hers to block and I used mine to attack. This fight reminded me of the one we had in the catacombs of Ba Sing Se, but now, I'm a better bender. After that, I immersed myself in studying bending. I studied all types of bending and tried to do each move with fire instead. I came to favor the earthbending style, because the style of it was closer to mine own, but waterbending was a close second, even though it was by far the hardest to learn. I failed miserably at the airbending style. I'll probably never use that one; every time I tried it, it blew up in my face.
Katara sent blow after blow at me, and I blocked them each time, but I couldn't help but notice that she was attacking me savagely. She seemed to be filled with anger.
I shook my head at her; she's fighting just like I used to. Her emotions are getting in the way of her skill.
She drew a ball of water up from a puddle near her feet, and hurled it at me immediately. It turned to ice on its path towards me and picked up speed. I spread my arms, creating fire in each of my hands and waited for the lethal ball of ice. Just as it was about to hit me, I clasped my flaming hands around the ball, just like I was catching something. The force behind the ball made me stagger back, but the impact never came. The ball slowly melted in my hands and the warm water splashed to my feet.
I kicked fire out at Katara, and she defended my attacks, but her movements were slow and sloppy with fatigue. An idea came to me and suddenly, and I smirked.
I lashed out at her again waited until she blocked my move, and then I did it. I released the fire that was under my command, and I concentrated for a moment. I built up the fire that was inside me and intensified it. Once I was at my capacity, I sent a hot and powerful blast of straight through one of the large crevice that adorned the once level clearing. The ground shook slightly, and the crevice widened.
I shut everything out of my mind. I thought of nothing but the fire traveling through the crevice toward Katara.
I felt something wet hit my stomach, maybe it was another water whip, but I barely even flinched as I continued guiding the fire in her direction. I added strength to the blaze and made it go faster until it was just under her. I snapped my eyes open and struggled to raise my hands up, guiding the fire through the earth and straight towards the surface.
I spared a glance at Aang and looked into his eyes, telling him through this look what he must do. He nodded and jumped to his feet just as I stomped hard on the ground. (1)
The earth under Katara seemed to explode, sending her flying into the air.
Katara screamed loudly as she plummeted to the ground, helpless. Aang stepped directly below her falling form and created a strong current of air that slowed her fall until she was descending slowly and easily.
She got back on her feet, and Aang hurried away.
She looked at me with a look of anger and outrage on her face. I smiled at her, bowed, and walked away from her toward the rest of the group.
"Where are you going? I'm not finished with you yet!" She screamed angrily at me.
"Actually…" Toph stated smugly. "Zuko just won."
"Nice one, Zuko!" Teo wheeled over to me and gave me a high five.
"But…I…this is…urgh!" she stuttered.
I saw Sokka walk up to his sister. "You did a good job, sis, but Zuko did win." Katara glared at Sokka dangerously. "But you have to admit…He is a very powerful bender…"
Katara immediately stiffened. "What did you just say?"
"Nothing." Sokka shrugged. "Just that Zuko is one powerful-" (2)
Katara hit Sokka hard across his shoulder. "Don't you ever say that again!" She threatened him.
"And you…" She turned to me, and I saw a slight blush on her face. "Don't think I'm finished with you…"
She walked away with her head held high.
I raised my eyebrows at Sokka, who was just as equally confused with the situation.
"Nice one, Zuko, but I just have one question…" Toph walked up next to me and put an arm around my shoulder, pulling me down to her height.
"What is it?" I asked her.
"Where did you learn to earthbend?"
(1) - Imagine the move that Toph used in The Blind Bandit episode (the one when she made the giant cloud of dust/awesomeness) but instead of a dust cloud, an explosion of fire! ...Wow...I have an overactive imagination...
(2) - I shouldn't have to explain this one...Remember The Fortuneteller episode? Lol, every Zutarian knows that one...but I was referring to Katara's 'powerful bender' prediction.
HA! I finally got around to getting the book Pride and Prejudice! I am always hearing about how the book relates to Zutara and stuff, so I finally got curious enough to find out myself! So, I'm going to finish reading my Dexter books (which freaking rock btw...) and then I'm going to start it. I tell you what I think about this after I'm done.