Avatar: Time Light and Darkness
A shadowy figure walked the near pitch black halls of Wa Shi Tongs library. Most of the shelves, containing a countless number of scrolls, holding the knowledge gathered by the great spirit of wisdom were completely covered in sand, after being sunk into the dessert nearly three decades ago during the hundred year war. It was by sheer luck that this man, garbed in a black cloak, his face concealed by a hood, was even able to be here.
Beneath his cloak he wore metal plate armor, held together with chain mail and leather straps. Across his back were twin broadswords, and across his chest were knives, held on by a leather shoulder belt. On his waist hung many pouches, containing various items, as well as a water skin. He had come to the library two years ago in search of specific, forbidden knowledge and artifacts, and now he had what he needed.
It was only a matter of time before he would be able to undo the destruction of the last five years, to undo the countless deaths of innocents, and undo the mistake made so long ago that had led to the fall of the three great nations, and prevent the lost that had shattered his soul, and destroyed his beliefs.
The fire nation had been the first to fall, with death of fire lord Zuko and Fire Lady Mai at the hands of Azula, now wielding a power far greater than she once had, far greater than that of any bender in history. With the power of darkness in her hands nothing stood in her way of taking the world for her own, declaring herself empress of the world, but this one man sought to fix it, and prevent it before it ever had a chance to begin.
Many had believed that Azula would no longer be a threat once Avatar Aang had stripped her of her bending, but what he had not known was that by exposing her to his spirit, which was pure and unbendable making it near divine in power, he had awakened the sleeping demon within her soul. Twenty years later, her power had completely awakened, and she freed herself from prison, and proceeded to exterminate those who opposed her during the war, trapping their souls for her own sick torturous experiments.
He came into a circular chamber that was almost completely free of sand and furniture. Setting down his heavy bag, he set to his work. He took a paint brush, dipped it in plain black ink, and drew a large circle around himself, three feet in diameter. Next he brought out several stone idols, each intricately carved. The first was blood red, in the form a dragon, which wrapped itself around an orange sphere, a jet of fire spewing from its mouth. Agni, the sun spirit.
The second of the idols was of two coy fish, one black, and one white. They were interwoven in a circular shape, and trails of water followed each of them, both resting upon a white pedestal, apparently made from ice. Tui and La, the lover spirits of the ocean and moon, from which the philosophy of yin and yang, good and evil in constant polarity was taken.
He then produced a statue of a large badgermole, standing on a large raised pillar of earth, fanged mouth open, neck craned back in a vicious roar. This was Beiwu, the spirit of the earth. He then brought out the final idol, it depicted a large sky bison, with long horns that curved down its back, wrapping around its large ramp-like tail. Aria the spirit of the sky.
He placed the four statues along the edges of the circle in even intervals, each one facing inwards. Bringing the brush out again, dipping it in fresh ink, he scribed the symbols for water, earth, fire, and air, each in front of its respective spiritual statue. Then he wrote in the center of the circle the three symbols of light, darkness and time, in an ancient tongue. His work finally done, he sat cross-legged in the center of the circle, and took a large scroll of parchment from a pouch on his belt, unfurled it and read the incantation silently, making sure it was thougholy memorized.
Placing his hands close together, he concentrated hard, and a small glowing orb of the purest light materialized between them, illuminating the whole of the chamber as the opposing forces of his hand exchanged energy and formed it together. Then, the man slowly began to recite.
"Water, earth, fire, and air, these are the elements from which the world was created, and by which the world is kept in balance. O spirits who wield the powers of creation and destruction, who wield the powers of light, open the sealed portal of time, through which the darkness that plagues this world may be destroyed, before it is able to creep forth from the void from whence it came."
As he finished he sent the sphere in of light in between his palms in four separate direction, entering each of the statues which each began to glow, Agni red, Tui and La blue, Benwu green, and Aria, white. The light shot from one statue to another, forming a ring of golden light.
Then the whole circle began to give of a strong ethereal light, nearly blinding the man who sat there. As he fell into the stream of time, plummeting into nothingness he spoke.
"Now it ends, as it began."
But what he did not realize was that he was being watched, and as the vortex of time slowly began to close, a figure with Jet black hair, clothed in black and red armor, hair pinned up in a bun with a lightning shaped holder, stepped out from behind a stone column.
"Well" the dark empress Azula said to herself amusedly. "What do we have here?" She raised her hand , keeping the swirling portal open. With the other she formed a dark purple sphere of swirling energy. It shattered when she tossed it to the ground, and dark mist hissed from the remains. Twisting her fingers in several elaborate motions, Azula manipulated the mist into physical forms.
The dark mist took the form of ferocious beasts. Half a dozen of them lay before her, sprawled on all fours. Fangs the length of broadsword protruded from their foaming mouths, and jet black spiky fur covered there bodies, covering everything except for its piercing red eyes.
"No need for you horde form today, Gronak. I have a mission for you that's stealthier than you usually prefer."
The demon spawn suppressed groans, then in a flash of purple light (these guys like purple) and formed together into their singular form, a tall man garbed in similar armor to that of Azula, with white hair that flowed to his shoulders, and the same piercing red eyes. The demon Gronak kneeled down on one knee, his arm crossed over his chest in salute.
"What is it that you wish of me Mistress?"
He asked in a low raspy voice. Azula chuckled, and pointed towards the swirling portal she was still keeping up with her own dark chi.
"Follow him, it seems he wants to change the past, I like the sound of that. When he attempts to act, you may summon me with this" she removed a crystalline medallion, also bearing her lightning insignia, from around her neck and placed it around her servants. "Give this to the young me, she will know what to do with it when the time comes." With this Gronak bowed, and dove headlong into the swirling time portal.
"You're right my friend" Azula whispered into the darkness of the library "It will end, as it began."
Twenty-five years ago two weeks after the fall of Ozai: Ba Sing Se
The two lovers continued to kiss passionately, perfectly silhouetted in the setting sun behind them. Memories of their year together came back in a flash, their first meeting at the south pole, learning waterbending together, their kiss in the cave outside of Omashu, the battle beneath Ba Sing Se, all there time together battling the firenation made them realize how much they cared for one another, as if it was destiny that they would meet, and fall in love
After what seemed like hours, Aang and Katara finally broke apart, staring dreamily into each other's eyes once again, his stormy grey, hers sky blue.
"I love you Katara" he whispered into her ear.
"I love you too Aang, I'm so, so sorry" she said back, still holding tight to his neck.
"Why are you sorry?" the young avatar asked, pulling back slightly, his brow furrowing in confusion.
"I'm sorry for what happened on Ember Island…..after the play I…."
"Katara you dot have to be sorry"
"Yes aang, yes I do" Katara said seriously, guilt etched across her beautiful features. "I'm not confused I never was, after Azula shot you I couldn't bare the thought of losing you. I know it seems so selfish now but…." She was cut off bye Aang pressing his lips firmly to hers.
"It doesn't matter" he whispered again. Katara smiled. "Now come on, we should get back inside before the others get suspicious" Katara giggled and took his hand, as he led her back into the Jasmine dragon, where the others were still relaxing. The two of them sat on a plush sofa beside Sokka and Suki.
"Come on it's not that bad!" Sokka yelled in defense of his mediocre painting.
"Sokka, I can paint better than that and I'm blind!" Toph yelled back from across the room, setting the room once again into a pique of laughter. "So" she said turning to Aang and Katara, a mischievous grin spread from ear to ear. "What have you two been up to?" The two of them blushed deep crimson.
"W-what are you talking about?" Katara stuttered.
"Come on Sugar queen" Toph said exasperatedly. "I could feel you two outside, either you were just leaning on each other, or you two were kissing." Once again Katara and Aang blushed so red that it made the fire nation insignia look pale.
"You what!" Sokka yelled aghast, as he saw the expression on their faces. He lunged toward aang, but was quickly grabbed by the ear by Suki.
"No you don't" she scolded him "Well it's about time you two got together" she said addressing the fledgling couple with a smile.
"Was it that obvious?" Aang asked as he put his arm around Katara's shoulder, peering nervously at the fuming Sokka still restrained by his ninja girlfriend.
"Well, yea" said Zuko from next to Mai who looked surprisingly happy for her usual gloomy mind set, "Why else do you think I tried to use you as bait so many times when I was hunting you guys?"
"I guess you have a point" Aang admitted, Zuko had tried to use her to bait him, an uncountable number of time and it had worked. At this point Suki released Sokka, and he slid back up on the couch, his eyes ablaze.
"Ok, I guess I should has seen this coming, but let me get one thing straight with you. You hurt her, I hurt you" he said pointing a finger at aang, looking at him with a glare that sent hivers down his tattooed spine. There was a long uncomfortable silence before Toph burst out laughing.
"You find that funny Toph?" Sokka asked bitterly. The steelbender took another moment to stop laughing before replying.
"Yea, one Twinkletoes would never hurt her. And two, you do realize you're threatening the single most powerful being on the planet right? I don't want to have to scrape you up after he's done with you."
"Wow I never really thought about it that way" Aang said, scratching his chin pondering the suggestion. "But you don't have to worry about it Sokka, you know I would never hurt Katara, and did you notice she's frozen you to the couch?" He asked pointing out that ice was covering him up to his waist, binding him in place.
"Hey what the heck!?" Sokka exclaimed while everyone burst into laughter once again, even Iroh as he re entered the room from the kitchen sitting down at the small pai cho table, sipping tea as always.
"Hey that's what you get for threatening my boyfriend" Katara said in a sing song voice, snuggling tighter into Aang's shoulder. "Don't worry though Suki" she assured the kyoshi warrior. "I'll thaw him out if you can help keep him line, ok?"
"With pleasure" Suki replied with a grin on her face, giving Sokka, who was still pouting a peck on the cheek. Sokka gave out a long sigh.
"Look, I'm sorry Aang, just big brother instinct. But just don't start making out in front of me okay."
"Not in front of me either" Mai and Toph said at the same time, looked at each other and broke out laughing.
"Well you'll just have to deal with it" Katara stated, leaning into kiss aang.
"Nope" Toph shouted quickly stomping her foot on the ground, launching the two through the wide doorway on an earth catapult.
"TOPH!" they screamed as they flew into the distance. An awkward silence filled the air until Zuko finally spoke.
"Um….. Toph, are they gonna land ok?" asked weirdly.
"Yea" Toph replied simply, crossing her arms in defense. : Knowing twinkletoes he'll land with some fancy airbending move, then we don't have to deal with them being all mushy gushy."
"I'm perfectly fine with that" Mai confided in her boyfriend. They all agreed, and continued the evening normally.
Twenty feet above them
The hooded man sat atop the magnificent roof of the tea shop, and gave out a sigh as he watched the young couple being flung into the distance.
"Toph, she never did change much" he said aloud, warm memories of the past, or the current present came rushing back. The time travel had not been as successful as he had hoped. For one, he had been sent back nearly a month too far, Azula would not be tried publicly until then and therefore would locked in a cell where he could not get to her without taking innocent life.
And second of all, he had ended up in the wrong location; he was aiming for the firenation capital city, but had came out in Ba sing Se the other side of the planet.
"Well, that's my luck for you" he thought to himself, taking a jug of whiskey from his belt and swigging generously. "That's the stuff" he thought, licking his lips. Unfortunately for him he would have to keep a close watch on the people in the shop below, and the couple that had landed in a fountain on the other side of the metropolitan city.
This would be no easy task, considering one was the avatar, another the firelord, and all of them considered heroes, hardly people you could easily follow without being seen, especially in full armor and more weapon than a battalion of soldiers. But above all his biggest problem would be Toph, I e were to so much as set foot on solid ground within a hundred yards of her she would instantly know who he was, and he was already meddling with the past.
He sighed. Why did his life have to be so complicated?
"Revenge can take you really, really far" he thought to himself. He needed a plan, and two came to mind. One, he could wait around a month until he could get Azula and kill her before she could rise to power.
Or two, he could take the life of Avatar Aang before he could strip her of her power and awaken the darkness in the void that was her soul, but that would result in massive drama from the people of the world, and if what he had read about tie travel was true, a time paradox.
As this thought crossed his mind he slipped the hood from his head, underneath was a large mass of tangled black hair that ran onto his shoulders. His eyes were a stormy gray, and an arrow was grafted to his forehead.
"I will save you Katara" The older Aang said aloud, determination melded to hisfeatures. "I swear it."