Summary: What would've happened if Mike and Bryan had stayed with their original idea of having Zutara happen and having Zuko goin the GAang during the crossroads of destiny?
Disclaimer: A:TLA belongs to Bryke and Nickelodeon
A:TLA Remakes: TCoD
"Aang what's exactly happened to Katara?" Sokka asked as the two boys rode on the giant sky bison. Aang turned his head toward the water tribe warrior.
"I'm not sure the only thing my vision showed me was that she was in trouble" he said.
"You'd think these avatar visions would be more specific from time to time. What's that?" Sokka said as he pointed to the earth moving below them. They flew closer to see Toph riding a rock wave.
"Need a ride?" Sokka called out to her. She didn't reply but fell off the rock wave.
"Ooh" the two boys said together.
"This coup must be swift and decisive. The Earth King and each of the five generals must be taken out simultaneously. Long Feng has placed you in my command while we overthrow the government. If I sense any disloyalty, any hesitation, any weakness at all, I will snuff it out! That is all" Azula said to the Dai Li agents. As they were dismissed Azula walked over to her two comrades. TyLee handed her a cup of tea and they began to talk about her speech and their plan.
"Well there are a few set backs the avatar, and my brother and uncle"
Zuko and Iroh stepped out of the carriage and looked at the front of the palace. Both of them staring in awe. When they walked in and began serving the tea Zuko could sense something was up when the Dai Li agents circled around them. Azula walked in and they fight started. Iroh jumped out of a hole he had made to escape but Zuko did not follow.
"What are you waiting for come on?" Iroh called up to Zuko who was still standing in front of the hole Iroh had made in the wall.
"No I'm tired of running. It's time I faced Azula" Zuko said before walking back into the palace to fight his sister. Zuko challenged Azula to and Agni Kai but she refused so he attacked. The Dai Li began to protect Azula and eventually bound him down. Zuko was taken to the crystal caves below Ba Sing Se where Katara was also being held. Katara was pacing around the cave when the door opened.
"You've got company" one Dai Li agent said as the other one threw Zuko down into the cave.
"Zuko!" Katara said in shock glaring at him.
Aang, Sokka and Toph had come back from the palace on Appa to see Katara. They walked into the apartment to find it completely empty except fro Momo who ran up and climbed on Aang's shoulder.
"There's no one else here" Toph said to her two friends.
"Katara IS in trouble. I knew it" Aang said.
"Oh no" Sokka said before Toph spoke again.
"Wait there's someone at the door" she said pointing towards the door, which someone knocked on seconds later, "actually I know who it is. It's an old friend of mine" Toph said walking over to the door and opening it. The person behind the door was no one Aang or Sokka expected to see. Iroh.
"Glad to see you're ok" she said smiling at the old man.
"I need your help" Iroh said as Sokka and Aang freaked out.
"You guys know each other?" Aang said pointing at Toph and Iroh.
"I met him in the woods and knocked him down. He gave me tea and some very good advice"
"May I come in?" Iroh asked politely. Toph nodded and the old war general walked into the apartment. He turned to the three children and began to speak.
"Princess Azula is here in Ba Sing Se"
"She must have Katara" Aang said before Iroh continued on.
"She has my nephew as well"
"Then we'll work together to fight Azula and save Katara and Zuko" Aang said to Iroh.
"Whoa there you lost me at Zuko" Sokka interjected.
"I know how you must feel about my nephew but believe when I tell you there is good inside him" Iroh said grabbing Sokka's shoulders gently.
"We have to save Katara and working together is our best chance" Aang said before Sokka could say anything more.
"I've brought someone who might be able to help us" Iroh said as he led the group outside where a tied up Dai Li agent sat on the ground tied up. Toph encased him in rock before Iroh untied his mouth. The Dai Li agent began telling the group of Azula and Long Feng's plans. Sokka pointed his machete at him while he spoke.
"Where are they keeping my sister?"
"In the crystal catacombs of old Ba Sing Se deep beneath the palace" the man said before the group walked away to find Katara and Zuko.
"Why did they throw you in here? Oh wait. Let me guess. It's a trap. So when Aang shows up to rescue me, you can finally have him in your little Fire Nation clutches" Zuko didn't answer her, "you're a terrible person, you know that? Always following us, hunting the Avatar, trying to capture the world's last hope for peace! But what do you care? You're the Fire Lord's son. Spreading war and violence and hatred is in your blood"
"You don't know what you're talking about" Zuko muttered to her.
"I don't? How dare you! You have no idea what this war has put me through. Me personally. The Fire Nation took my mother away from me" she said as she sat on the ground and began to cry touching the stone of her mother's necklace. Zuko turned his head toward the crying girl.
"I'm sorry" he said sincerely, "that's something we have in common" he said turning his entire body toward her. Katara stopped crying and looked over to him.
Toph touched the ground of the palace for a moment and then stood up.
"Well whaddya know there is an ancient city down there but its deep" she said before taking her earthbending stance and taking away part of the ground.
"We should split up. Aang you go with Iroh to find Katara and the angry jerk. No offense" Sokka said touching Iroh's shoulder lightly.
"None taken" Iroh said shrugging his shoulders.
"And I'll go with Toph to warn the Earth King about Azula's coup" Everyone went off and Aang started bending a tunnel in the ground to find the crystal catacombs while Iroh lit a flame in his hand to light the way.
"So," Aang started trying to make conversation, "Toph says you give pretty good advice and great tea"
"Thank you. The key to both is proper aging. What's on your mind" Aang bended away more earth for the tunnel.
"Well I met with this guru who tried to help me master the avatar state and control this great power but to do it I had to let go of someone I love and I just couldn't"
"Perfection and power are overrated I think you were wise to choose happiness and love" Iroh said and Aang bended more of the tunnel.
"But without the avatar state what if I'm not powerful enough?"
"I don't know the answer. Sometimes life is like this dark tunnel you cant always see the light at the end of this tunnel but if you just keep moving you will come to a better place" Iroh said as Aang bended away the last of the rocks and they reached the beautiful crystal catacombs. Back at the palace Sokka and Toph spotted general Hao getting attacked by two Dai Li agents. What they didn't know was that the other four generals were being attacked as well. Toph and Sokka reached the throne room and saw two "Kyoshi Warriors" standing near the king. TyLee came up to Sokka and started flirting with him.
"Uh I'm kinda involved with Suki" Sokka said rubbing the back of his neck nervously.
"Who?" TyLee asked before she was attacked by Toph.
"They aren't the real Kyoshi Warriors" Toph said and the king gasped.
"Sorry to disappoint you" Mai said as she took out her daggers and threw them at Toph who blocked them with and earth shield. The fight had begun between Mai and Toph while TyLee tried to pressure point Sokka.
"This fight is over" Azula said hold the earth king with a fire dagger near his neck. Sokka and Toph surrendered and Momo was incased in earth.
"Get them all out of my sight" Azula said before they were all dragged away by the Dai Li.
"I'm sorry I yelled at you before" Katara said walking closer to Zuko.
"It doesn't matter"
"It's just that for so long now, whenever I would imagine the face of the enemy, it was your face"
"My face I see" Zuko said putting a hand on his scar.
"No, no, that's not what I meant" Katara said regretfully.
"It's okay. I used to think this scar marked me. The mark of the banished prince, cursed to chase the Avatar forever. But lately, I've realized I'm free to determine my own destiny, even if I'll never be free of my mark" Zuko said taking his hand off his scar.
"Maybe you could be free of it"
"What?" Zuko said turning towards Katara.
"I have healing abilities"
"It's a scar it can't be healed" he said. Katara reached into her robe and pulled out a vial.
"This is water from the Spirit Oasis at the North Pole. It has special properties, so I have been saving it for something important I don't know if it would work, but..." she said as she walked over to Zuko. He silently accepts her offer and closes his eyes and Katara puts her hand on his scar. (Now this is the part where Aang and Iroh burst in but this time they don't) Katara and Zuko are only inches apart and Zuko's eyes slowly open. He leans in a bit closer and Katara's eyes flutter shut. They share a sweet and short kiss before one of the wall busts open and Iroh and Aang step out. Katara and Zuko are blushing like mad but are both smiling for one, what had just happened and two, for being found after all this time. Aang runs over to Katara and hugs her and Iroh does the same with Zuko. Aang is glaring at Zuko but Zuko only hugs his uncle back.
"Uncle what's going on?"
"We joined forces to save you" Iroh said smiling at his nephew. Zuko smiled back at him before turning to Aang.
"Thank you for helping my uncle find me" Zuko said to Aang. Aang's jaw dropped and he started to freak out a bit in his mind.
"Uhhhh you're welcome I guess"
"Zuko it's time we talked. Go help your other friends we'll catch up with you" Iroh said and Katara and Aang started to walk off. Katara turned back and looked at Zuko longingly. Before walking off again.
"Zuko are you feeling alright? Don't tell me you've fallen ill again" Iroh said putting a hand on Zuko's forehead. Zuko laughed slightly before answering.
"No uncle I'm fine but I think I know what I must do now"
"And what would that be nephew?"
"I know now that it's my destiny to teach the avatar firebending. I've realized I can never earn back my father's love so I want to help them end the war"
"I'm proud of you nephew but I feel there's something you aren't telling me"
"Ok if I tell you do you promise to keep it a secret?"
"Right before you came in with the avatar I kissed Katara" Iroh smiled widely at this.
"Yes maybe I will have grand nieces and nephews sooner than expected" Iroh said chuckling. Zuko was about to reply when Iroh was encased in crystal by two Dai Li agents and Azula walked into the cave behind them.
"I expected this kind of treachery from uncle but you Zuko, prince Zuko how could you?" Azula said to her brother who was glaring at her.
"Release him immediately"
"Zuko please come and help me" Azula said ignoring his demand, "I need you and of you help me with this plan you will have your honor back"
"No Azula I won't go with you. I still have my honor but you lost yours a long time ago"
"How dare you!" Azula shouted as she shot fire at her brother, "you two take the old man into custody I'll deal with my brother" Azula commanded as the Dai Li agents began to take Iroh away.
"It's ok Zuko I'll be fine just remember that I'm so proud of you my son" Iroh said with tears in his eyes as he was carried away. Zuko felt tear prick at his eyes as well but he wouldn't show weakness in front of his sister. Their fight carried on and Zuko had run into the room where Aang and Katara were walking through. Katara heard Zuko run in and began to help him. Azula spotted Aang and began to attack him as well. More Dai Li agents entered the room and fought Zuko and Katara. They fought back to back fighting the agents until they saw Aang go into the Avatar state. As he was about to attack Azula began to form lightning in her hands. She shot it at him and Aang fell as Azula laughed evilly.
"NO!" Zuko and Katara shouted together as they ran over to him. Zuko stood in front of Aang and Katara and took a fighting stance ready to protect them.
"Katara you need to get Aang out of here now I'll come find you in a moment" Zuko said as he shot fire at the Dai Li and Azula. Katara got up and ran with Aang in his arms. Once they were gone Zuko brought up a shield of fire and ran as fast as he could. The Dai Li began to follow but Azula stopped them.
"There is no need the avatar is dead we've won" she said as she watched Zuko run away. As he reached the opening he saw Appa and the others huddled around Aang's body. Zuko walked over and explained what he wanted to do to help them. Sokka hesitated but was shocked as Katara defended him.
"Sokka we should let him help us he's changed I know it" Sokka looked at Katara confused for a moment but sighed and nodded showing that he believed her. Toph had announced that Zuko was telling the truth so they all boarded Appa. Sokka flew Appa while Katara, Toph and Zuko huddled around Aang's body.
"Katara" Zuko said softly, "that water you have use it to heal Aang"
"But Zuko I promised I would take away the scar"
"I think Aang needs it more than I do" he said looking at Aang's lifeless body. Katara tried to smile through her tears and began to heal him using the water from the spirit oasis as the group flew through the air.