After Zuko had stopped yelling curses on the whole lot of the crew and tossing fire around to emphasize how much he wished for their souls to bleed in Koh's lair throughout eternity, he flopped to the ground and sat with his legs crossed panting for air. While Katara put out the small fires with her waterbending, Sokka edged cautiously towards Zuko who ignored him.

"Feel better?"

Zuko gave him a look that clearly stated better than words how inane and stupid he found that question.

"I'm so sorry, Zuko," Katara said as she walked towards them. The room now, on top of the damage done by the pirates and Mai, had smoke damage. "I feel like this is my fault a little."

"A little?" Sokka arched a brow at her. "Only a little? Try completely."

Katara sent him a glare.

"It is not comp-"

"Who stole the scroll?"

That left her gaping for a moment. Then she opened her mouth and shut it again, doing a very good imitation of a fish. Giving up, she crossed her arms and turned away.

"I love it when I win," Sokka grinned.

"This isn't about whose fault it is," Katara had not appreciated that last comment or how smug her brother looked. "It's about rescuing Mai."

"They're either motivated by money or revenge," Zuko said as he came to his feet.

"Wouldn't it make more sense for them to come after me then?" Katara asked.

"No," he started walking to the door and the siblings followed on either side. "You're a master waterbender; they're pirates. They wouldn't really be able to hold you. Besides, when it comes right down to it," he opened the door and the guards stood aside to allow him to continue, "all Captain Cheng is interested in is money."

"Exactly. They think all they have to do with Mai is take her weapons and she's harmless," Sokka blew bubbles out of his pipe.

"That's hardly the case," Katara said.

"Yeah, but that's what they think. Mai has an advantage here. As smart as she is, by the time we show up for the rescue, she'll have the crew pinned to the walls with splinters."


Mai, of course, agreed to cooperate for the duration rather than the time being, although she didn't clarify that part to the good captain. She'd been escorted to her new room by two of the ships crew. The first mate who was a thin little weasel-rat of a man with close set eyes and a wide mouth, wore Earth Kingdom green. The other was a big, burly man with long, dark hair, brown leather bracers wearing blue pants. And only blue pants.

Blue Pants told her she was pretty.

She told him to go suck a lemon.

Weasel-Rat laughed and said he liked her spirit but not to cause any trouble. It'd be better for her that way.

She'd thought he sounded like her mother.

She didn't know how many others there were or what they did. But one thing she was certain of: they didn't bathe regularly.

The first room was specially designed for firebenders down in the brig, but the rest of the ship appeared to be made of wood. Her new room was still below deck. On the way, she'd noticed stairs leading above.

Her new room was slightly bigger than the cell. There was a cot on the floor with a single blanket, a chamber pot in the corner, and a small port window that Ty Lee wouldn't even be able to twist through. There were no splinters and it was surprisingly clean. Either Captain Cheng required the crew to keep his ship cleaner than them or he had them clean it just for her. She decided it was the latter because it made her feel special. (FFnet seriously needs a sarcasm font, I swear)

She took all of this in a moment before she sighed dejectedly and put her head in her hands.

"I survive the war, boredom, and Azula, get the guy only to die in a tiny, little room…from boredom. I do not appreciate the irony."

She flicked her hair behind her before she slid down the wall.

This is where the plotting begins.

A/N: That is just pitiful how short that is. There is really no point to post this chapter yet. But I do it anyway.