Author's Notes: Okay, so I'm back... Sorry about that. More notes below the (incredibly short) chapter.


Chapter 4

"So... let me get this straight." The small blind earthbender started. Toph, he'd learned her name was. Daniel wasn't quite sure when she had arrived, but it was some time before he had come through the gate this time and she'd been terrorizing the team ever since. At least according to them. 'Just keeping them on their toes' to hear her tell it.

"You want to poke me with a needle and the blood that comes out will somehow magically tell you all about my ability to earthbend?" She asked. For a blind girl she certainly knew how to put her face in the the most over the top show of skepticism Daniel had ever seen.

"When is Aang coming back again?" He just managed not to groan the question.

"I don't know when Twinkles Toes will be back. He had some big crisis to take care of." Toph dismissed. "Katara never lets him go anywhere alone so he sent me and Sokka to watch over things here until he can get back."

"Right." Daniel nodded.

With them they'd brought two others, an old man from the Fire Nation named Iroh, and a young warrior girl from an island in the Earth Kingdom, her name was Suki. Daniel hadn't been back long enough to get a feel for the dynamic of the group, but he'd met all of them briefly when he'd come through the gate.

Daniel left to go find Sam. Maybe if Sam talked to her than she'd be more willing... or Sam would confuse her into agreeing. At the moment either one seemed more likely than him talking her into giving a blood sample. He deserved a break anyhow.

Elsewhere...

"Zuko – I'm telling you I've got a really good excuse this time!" Aang protested.

"Two weeks Aang!" Zuko continued on the rant that he'd started the minute Appa had touched down on palace grounds. "I've had to stay in the palace with the Earth King, Chief Hakoda, and Chief Arnook plus about a million delegates for the past two weeks! And I don't even have Uncle Iroh here! I sent a messenger to Ba Sing Se and they just got back saying he's closed down his tea shop without notice!" Zuko's voice was getting a little high. Aang clamped his hands down on Zuko's shoulders and shook him just a little.

"Would you calm down?! I have the weirdest thing to tell you and you're never going to believe it. Bigger and waaaay more important than anything I could've been doing here." Aang insisted. Seeing that he finally had Zuko's attention, he let go and stepped back.

"What about Uncle Iroh?" Zuko asked after a moment.

"He's in on this. He's up at the Eastern Air Temple, where all of it's happening." Aang assured him. "We need to go somewhere private and talk about this." Aang insisted.

"More important than world borders and civil unrest and having to completely restructure the political system of the Fire Nation?" Zuko asked.

Aang paused and scratched his chin as he thought about it.

"Mmmm, think less political and more 'completely alters the way we look at the universe'." Aang explained after a moment. Zuko stared at him, a somewhat dumbfounded look on his face. Aang just waited for a reaction.

"Well, shattering my worldview will probably take my mind off of my problems for a little while..." Zuko conceded. He led Aang away to find a more private chamber.


Author's Note: I put this out more for the sake of "Hey! I'm alive! I'm still working on this!" than anything else. It wouldn't have been so short otherwise. Anyway. I put this on hiatus for a little bit simply because I wasn't sure exactly where I was going with it. Then I read a whole bunch of Avatar fanfics recently, and found the novelization of the Stargate movie at a used bookstore... So I started getting ideas again. Really good ones that I hope I can pull off. We'll see.

On that note, anyone have a serious interest in beta'ing and/or collaborating on this story? I usually work without a beta, but I think I could really use one on this.