AN: Alrighty, Chapter 47 takes place during Season 3 Episode 5: The Beach! Various POVs as usual, so enjoy my lovelies!
"I'm so excited to spend the weekend on Ember Island." Ty Lee commented happily as she stood on the small ferry cruising through the ocean towards the island resort with Azula, Zuko, and Mai, "It's going to be great to hang out on the beach and do nothing."
"Doing nothing is a waste of time." Zuko snapped angrily as he stood from his seat on the bench next to Mai, "We're being sent away on a forced vacation." He stalked over and gripped the railing of the ferry with a scowl, "I feel like a child."
"Lighten up." Azula quipped sardonically from her spot leaning against the railing at the front of the ferry beside Ty Lee, her arms crossed over her chest, "So Dad wants to meet with his advisors alone, without anyone else around. Don't take it personally."
Ty Lee suddenly turned towards the Fire Nation princess with a curious expression, "Doesn't your family have a house on Ember Island?"
"We used to come every summer when we were kids." Azula replied nostalgically, turning her head slightly towards Ty Lee as she spoke.
"That must have been fun!"
"That was a long time ago." Zuko stated distantly, staring blankly at the rapidly growing island.
"Welcome to Ember Island, kids." Lo and Li greeted the four teens as they disembarked from the ferry and onto the dock that led to the smallest of the beach houses overlooking the water.
Azula, Zuko, Ty Lee, and Mai stared at the small beach house with dull, disappointed expressions before following the elderly twin women to the house.
"It smells like old lady in here." Zuko whispered quietly to Mai as the group the beach house, which was decorated in various shades of pink and purple.
"Gee, I wonder why." Mai replied sarcastically, glancing at the scarred prince with a flat expression.
Ty Lee walked further into the house and paused before a painting of two beautiful young women in yellow bikinis posing back-to-back.
"Who are these two beautiful women?" The acrobat asked, pointing to the painting as Lo and Li walked over to her.
"Can't you tell?" Li asked as she and her sister moved to stand in front of the painting, "It's Lo and me."
"It's Li and me." Lo said at the same time and the two women stood back-to-back, imitating the painting.
Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee looked at the elderly women with disturbed expressions while Zuko put a hand over his mouth and gagged.
"Ooh," Ty Lee cooed as she laid down on a bed with pink sheets and a seashell design and she rubbed the pillow adoringly, "I love the seashell bedspread."
"Are you serious?" Mai demanded drily as she walked into the small bedroom after Ty Lee and looked around in disgust, "It looks like the beach threw up all over it."
Ty Lee pouted and sat up on the bed as the others entered the bedroom, Lo and Li standing to the left of Zuko, Mai, and Azula in front of an elegant couch with purple cushions.
"We know you're upset that you were forced to come here this weekend." Li commented understandingly from beside her sister.
"But Ember Island is a magical place." Lo continued, "Keep an open mind."
"Give it a chance." Li added.
"And it can help you understand yourselves and each other." The two elderly women chorused together.
Lo reached over and grabbed one of the four smooth rocks on a table in front of her, "The beach has a special way..."
"Of smoothing away even the most ragged edges." Li finished after taking the rock from her twin.
Ty lee stood from the bed and walked over to her friends just as Azula yawned boredly.
Lo and Li suddenly clapped twice, "Time to hit the beach!"
They removed their pink robes, revealing the loosely-fitting bathing suits they were wearing underneath. Zuko blanched and took a step back in disgust while Mai lifted her hand, shielding the two old women from his view.
Xiaodan yawned and stretched languidly on the warm rock she was lying on like a contented pygmy puma, her orange eyes half-lidded. The five had found a secluded hot spring in the middle of a crater on a remote island and it was surrounded by volcanic rocks, walls, and several waterfalls. Almost unanimously, the five teens had decided to stop and rest there for the day.
The white-haired rolled onto her stomach and propped her head up on her chin, watching as Aang floated in the water before glancing over at Katara, who was wringing water out of her brown hair, Toph sitting on a rock a few feet in front of her then she looked over at Sokka. The Water Tribe boy was sitting on part of the rock she was lying on with a fishing pole in his hand.
"Aang, I know swimming is fun and all, but do you really think you should be exposing yourself like that?" Toph called out from her spot sitting on a rock, "Cover up!"
"What?" Aang asked innocently but defensively as he continued to float in the water with Momo on his stomach, "I'm wearing trunks."
"I know." Toph replied exasperatedly, "It's your tattoos I'm worried about. What if someone sees you?"
"There are walls all around us." Katara said easily as she turned to face the blind girl, "It's completely safe."
Aang grinned triumphantly as he continued to float backwards. Momo suddenly perked his ears up and chittered curiously, sitting up on Aang's stomach. The young Airbender tilted his head back and grinned excitedly when he saw a slide-like tunnel of water in one of the walls around the hot spring. He grinned and turned over, jumping over a small rock in front of the tunnel while Momo crawled onto his shoulder. From her rock, Xiaodan watched as Aang disappeared into the tunnel.
"Yeah," The white-haired girl called as she got to her feet and pointed towards the tunnel Aang had just disappeared into, "It's completely safe until he decides to do something idiotic like that."
Katara's eyes went wide and she looked at the older dual-bender with as stricken expression. Heaving an exasperated sigh, Xiaodan leapt into the air and propelled herself towards the tunnel with Airbending. She landed on the small rock in front of the tunnel then jumped inside, the sound of Aang's cheering reaching her ears as she used Airbending to push herself down the slide-like water tunnel faster.
"Hey, Xia!" Aang shouted gleefully when he glanced back and saw his sister sliding down after him, "Isn't this awesome?!"
Xiaodan laughed loudly at the elation on Aang's face, the reprimands dying on her tongue as she cheered along with him. Aang grinned widely and faced forward again, Momo clinging to his head and screeching loudly.
"This has got to be the most boring job in the Fire Nation." A Fire Nation watchman stated without amusement as he sat on the ground and fanned himself, while his fellow watchman cleaned between his toes with his sword hilt, "Nothing ever happens."
The second watchman turned his head and ducked down slightly, staring with a dumbfounded expression as two things fell out of one of the waterfalls and into the wide river they had been posted at. The first watchman crawled forward and pulled his telescope out, peering through it just as a young boy with a blue arrow on his forehead and a lemur on his shoulders surfaced from the water, followed by a white-haired girl with strange markings tattooed on her face.
"Let's go again!" The boy shouted gleefully, the lemur chittering in response.
"Yeah!" The girl cheered in agreement, thrusting her fist in the air.
The two watchmen stared in shock as the two teens leapt out of the water, revealing the blue arrow tattoos on the boy's body and even more strange markings on the girl's. The first watchman moved his telescope up, following the two teens movements as they bounced up the cliff nimbly, disappearing over the ridge.
The two watchmen shook with horror and shock, letting the telescope fall to the ground between them.
"The Avatar's alive!" The first watchman stated in shock as he looked at his companion with wide eyes, "We'd better send a messenger hawk to the Fire Lord."
The first watchman hurriedly wrote out a message then opened the messenger hawk's cage. The messenger hawk stepped onto the man's arm and the watchman quickly tucked the note message with a black ribbon around it into the case strapped to the messenger hawk's back.
"A black ribbon message." The second watchman said enthusiastically as they watched the messenger hawk fly away, "This is so exciting!"
The first watchman turned to look at the other with an unamused expression, causing the second watchman to chuckle.
Azula scowled slightly as she led the four through the beach, searching for an open spot to set their blankets down. Behind her Ty Lee smiled happily, carrying her bag while Zuko and Mai walked close together under the shade of an umbrella.
The Fire Nation princess smirked suddenly and sauntered over to where two young boys were building a sandcastle. The boys glanced up tearfully when she stepped on it and she smirked intimidatingly down at them. Her smirk grew when the two boys ran away screaming and she kicked the bucket they'd left after them.
"Hey, you need some help unpacking?"
Ty Lee started slightly and turned her head to look at the scrawny teenage boy who had appeared at her side.
"Sure. Thanks." She said with a bright smile as she handed him her bag, smiling cheerfully when he fell down from the sheer weight of it.
The boy grinned happily and began digging through the pink bag, pulling out and throwing random contents from the bag until he found a blanket. Off to the side on her own blanket, Azula watched the boy through narrowed eyes as he spread the blanket out. She looked away in annoyance and jealousy as Ty Lee gracefully laid down on the blanket.
Ty Lee looked up and squinted, bring her hand up to shade her eyes for a moment then she gestured towards the boy, "Could you scooch just a little bit more to the-" The boy instantly moved to the side and blocked the sun, giving her more shade and she winked at him, "Perfect."
On Azula's other side, Mai and Zuko sat on their own blanket under the umbrella. Zuko watched blankly as a laughing boy ran past them before a shell in the sand caught his eye.
"Here." Zuko said with a small smile as he held the shell out to Mai, "This is for you."
Mai eyed the shell disdainfully, "Why would I want that?"
"I saw it, and thought it was pretty." Zuko replied, his tone confused and slightly defensive, "Don't girls like stuff like this?"
"Maybe stupid girls." Mai scoffed and looked off to the side disinterestedly.
"Forget it!" Zuko barked angrily and threw the shell away, scowling angrily.
He glared at the sand in front of him, gritting his teeth as irritation filled him.
"You like her don't you? Your friend, the girl with the white hair the works with you? She's really lucky."
Zuko flinched slightly and clenched his jaw as he remembered the 'date' he'd had with the Earth Kingdom girl back in Ba Sing Se. He clenched his hand into a tight fist, a handful of sand pressing against his palm, as more memories of his time in Ba Sing Se bombarded his mind. Specifically memories about a white-haired girl with laughing orange eyes, a girl that he was desperately trying to forget. He stood quickly and muttered something about getting something to eat when Mai looked at him curiously.
"You are the strangest girl I've ever met." He snapped angrily and rubbed his face with his hands, as if that would get rid of the faint red tingeing his cheeks.
Xiaodan smiled cheekily at him as she turned to face him and began rocking back on her heels slightly, "Really? I thought I was the only normal girl you've ever met."
Zuko glared at her fiercely, his gaze so heated with annoyance it was amazing she didn't catch on fire. He continued to glare furiously even as Xiaodan ducked her head, her unruly white hair hiding her face slightly from his view.
"If it helps, you're the least strangest boy I've ever met."
Zuko's irritated thoughts faltered and he blinked at her in surprise, his mouth going dry as he stared down at her. He swallowed thickly, unable to look away the small shy smile she was giving him from under her hair. He wasn't sure how to respond to her statement, but even if he did what to say, she didn't give him a chance to.
"Stop thinking about her." Zuko hissed almost silently to himself as he walked, "It meant nothing. She meant nothing."
He knew he was lying to himself even as he said it and his heart lurched painfully in his chest. He shook his head, as if that would chase the memories from his mind and for a moment it seemed to have worked. He stopped in front of a small ice cream stand and bought two cones, turning to head back to the blanket where Mai was. Mai, who was his girlfriend now, who didn't know about the strange, annoying, and amazing Airbender he'd betrayed back in Ba Sing Se.
Zuko clenched his teeth and forced his Xiaodan from his thoughts completely, choosing to focus on the dark-haired girl sitting with a bored expression under their umbrella and he sat down beside her.
"I thought, since it's so hot... Here." He offered her one of ice cream cones and the scoop of ice cream promptly fell out and onto Mai's lap.
"Thanks." Mai commented sarcastically as she stared at the pink mess on her lap, "This is really refreshing."
The Fire Nation prince locked his jaw and looked away from her, his own ice cream forgotten.
Lying on her back on one a flat rock near the edge of the hot spring, Xiaodan stared thoughtfully up at the sky with her hands behind her head. She and Aang had gone done several different slide-like tunnels located around the walls of the hot spring, before Katara had called him over to practice some Waterbending forms. Not finding the slides as entertaining when she was alone, Xiaodan had reclaimed her sunning rock and had proceeded to cloud watch, letting the sounds of her friends and brother become background noise.
She smiled when she saw a cloud shaped almost like a teacup and unconsciously thoughts of Iroh came to mind. Her smile softened as she remembered the time she had spent with him before and after they reached Ba Sing Se. A familiar heaviness pressed down on her chest as thoughts of Iroh were accompanied by thoughts of Zuko.
The white-haired girl closed her eyes and took a deep breath before letting out slowly. She was so tired of feeling hurt and sad when she thought of Zuko, desperately wanting to let him go, but knowing that she couldn't. Despite everything that he had done and everything he helped his sister do, Xiaodan still cared for him.
Heaving another sigh, Xiaodan forced herself to relax and to take deep, even breaths. For what might be the first time since Aang had woken up weeks after the events of Ba Sing Se, Xiaodan allowed herself to just remember.
'Xiaodan scowled at the scarred prince as she straightened, tossing her waist-length white hair over her shoulder, "You really are nuts." She shook her head and threw her hands in the air in exasperation, "Just my luck to be kidnapped by a psycho, banished Fire Nation prince with a superiority complex. I bet the Spirits are laughing at me in the Spirit World."
Behind her, Iroh glanced at her over his shoulder while she continued to mutter to herself.
"Did Miss Xiaodan agree to this exercise?"
The white-haired girl turned around to face the scarred prince and his uncle, "No, she did not!"
"I don't need to ask a prisoner for permission to do anything!" Zuko snarled at his uncle, completely ignoring the fuming girl, "She is my prisoner and she will do as she is ordered!'
"In your dreams, Firebug!" Xiaodan hissed furiously as she stalked past Iroh and poked Zuko in the chest, "You can do whatever you want to me and I still won't do anything you tell me do, you little fire shooting, girl-hitting jerk!"
"Why you annoying, mouthy, little pest..." Zuko growled angrily and the two glared at each other, their noses practically touching...'
Xiaodan opened her eyes and smiled faintly at the memories of those first few days as Zuko's prisoner. They were at each other's throats nearly every time they were forced to be in the same space together. They would trade scathing insults and barbs until Iroh was forced to step in and separate them. She chuckled to herself and closed her again, settling into her memories.
Azula narrowed her eyes and observed several teens playing kuai ball a few feet away from where she and her friends were sitting. Standing gracefully, the Fire Nation princess took a few steps forward and tilted her head slightly, watching as a girl with pigtails leapt into the air and hit the ball, sending it flying over the net. She smiled slyly.
"Hey, beach bums, we're playing next." Azula called over her shoulder at her brother and two friends, "Ty lee, get over here, now!"
Ty Lee smiled cheerfully and flipped into a handstand nimbly, walking past the group of boys that surrounded her on her hands and towards Azula. Behind her, Zuko stood and took off his shirt, throwing it to the side while a group of girls stared at him dreamily, giggling and blushing. Mai rolled her eyes and walked over to where Azula and Ty Lee were already standing in the kuai ball field.
"See that girl with the silly pigtails?" Azula asked sternly as the four huddled together and they glanced over at the girl, who was juggling the ball with her legs, "When she runs towards the ball, there's just the slightest hesitation of her left foot. I'm willing to bet a childhood injury has weakened her. Keep serving the ball to her left, and we'll destroy her and the rest of her team." The Fire Nation princess smiled sinisterly, "Dismissed."
The four straightened and moved into their positions, the other team doing the same. Azula narrowed her eyes and threw the ball into the air, jumping up a moment later and kicking it. The ball flew over the net and past the other team, slamming into the ground before any of them could even hit it back.
The opposing team quickly recovered and served the ball back towards Azula, Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee. Zuko rushed forward and slid across the sand, kicking the ball up into the air then Azula ran forward and spun around, striking the ball with the back of her hand and sending it flying over the net.
The girl with the pigtails on the opposing team dove for the ball but missed and the ball bounced off the sand just in front of her fists, flying over the head of a teen standing on the sidelines. The ball rolled across the sand before coming to a stop beside to handsome teenage boys, who were lounging on the beach. The two boys turned to look at the kuai ball field curiously while one of the spectators of the game brought another ball.
Grinning cheerfully, Ty Lee leapt into the air and kicked the ball down after the other team had served it then she landed lithely on top of the net. The ball was served again and Mai ran forward, kicking the ball back over the net with her knee.
The two handsome boys smirked and tilted their heads slightly as they continued to watch the game interestedly, the more muscular of the two rubbing his chin thoughtfully while his friend pushed his hair out of his face slightly.
At the last point of the game, Azula ran forward and jumped onto Zuko's back for a boost then she kicked the ball hard. The ball rocketed forward, expanding slightly before catching on fire just before it hit the ground on the opposing teams side and exploded, catching the net on fire. The opposing team sat around the small crater the ball had created, looking bewildered and slightly terrified.
"Yes! We defeated you for all time!" Azula crowed with a maniacal grin as she stood in front of the burning net, "You will never rise from the ashes of your shame and humiliation!" She smiled cheerfully for a moment and looked at her brother and two friends with a calm expression, "Well, that was fun."
Suddenly, the two handsome boys who had watched the game, approached Ty Lee.
"I'm having a party tonight." The more muscular boy said with a smirk as he looked at Ty Lee, "You should come by."
Ty Lee smiled brightly at him, "I love parties."
The leaner boy smirked and glanced at Mai over Ty Lee's shoulder, "Your friend can come too."
Azula narrowed her eyes and stalked forward, "Uh...What about me and my brother? Aren't you going to invite us?" She crossed her arms and smirked when the two boys looked at each other skeptically, "You don't know who we are, do you?"
"Don't you know who we are?" The muscular one asked drily, "We're Chan and Ruon-Jian."
"Yeah." Ruon-Jian drawled snidely.
Zuko snarled quietly and started to walk towards the two boys with his fists clenched, but Azula held her arm out and stopped his advancement.
Chan sighed slightly and shrugged dismissively, "But, fine, you're invited. Just so you know, though, some of the most important teenagers in the Fire Nation are gonna be at this party, so try and act normal."
"We'll do our best." Azula replied sweetly, a sinister smile appearing on her face.
"Why didn't you tell those guys who we were?" Zuko demanded after the four had returned to the beach house for lunch with Lo and Li.
"I guess I was intrigued." Azula replied with a slight shrug from her seat across Zuko and Mai and beside Ty Lee, "I'm so used to people worshipping us."
"They should." Ty Lee commented, picking up a piece of fruit with her chopsticks and popping it in her mouth.
"Yes, I know, and I love it." Azula stated with a smirk before continuing, "But, for once, I just wanted to see how people would treat us if they didn't know who we were."
Zuko rolled his eyes slightly and glared down at his food, not bothering to mention to his sister that he knew exactly how people would treat them.
"Like waves washing away the footprints on the sand, Ember Island gives everyone a clean slate." Li intoned wisely.
"Ember Island reveals the true you." Lo added with a sage nod.
The two elderly twin stood up and clapped their hands, "To the party!"
Heading towards the Fire Nation Capital, the messenger hawk squawked a few times as it flew over a river, the black ribbon on its message fluttering in the wind. Suddenly, a large raven-eagle appeared above and behind the messenger hawk before it dove towards the other bird with its sharp talons spread. The messenger hawk squawked in fear as the larger bird attacked it and the messenger hawk tried to twist away, only for the raven-eagle to tie it up with the black ribbon attached to its message.
The messenger hawk squalled loudly as it plummeted towards the ground, where it landed with a small thump and began to struggle against the ribbon wrapped around it. The raven-eagle landed on the ground nearby and hopped over to the struggling bird, plucking the message from its canister and taking off again.
The raven-eagle flew for several miles before descended from the air again, this time landing on the metal arm of a massive, bald man with a third eye tattooed onto his forehead. The assassin brought his metal arm closer to his face and the raven-eagle presented the stole message to him. Taking the message, the assassin flicked it open then held it up at eye level, reading it impassively before it began to burn right through the middle.
Standing in front of an elegant beach house with her brother and friends, Azula used the door knocker shaped like a lion-turtle to announce their presence.
"Um..." Chan muttered in confusion after he had opened the door and saw the four teens, "You're a little early. No one's here yet."
"I heard you telling someone you'd be partying from dusk 'till dawn." Azula replied lightly then she gestured towards the setting sun, "It's dusk, so we're here."
Chan furrowed his brow in bemusement, "That's just an expression."
"We are the perfect party guests." Azula stated matter-of-factly and she hit the side of her hand against her other one, "We arrive right on time, because we are very punctual."
Chan shrugged indifferently and stepped aside, gesturing for them to follow as he turned away from the door.
"All right, listen." Chan said as the four followed him further into the beach house, "My dad's an admiral. He has no idea I'm having this party." He turned to look at Azula with a slightly stern expression, "So don't mess anything up."
Azula smiled in reply and Chan turned to walk away, so she hurriedly spoke, "That's a sharp outfit, Chan. Careful, you could puncture the hull of an empire-class Fire Nation battleship, leaving thousands to drown at sea." She pointed at his outfit, "Because it's so sharp."
"Uh..." Chan faltered awkwardly, giving the Fire Nation princess a weird look, "Thanks."
Azula smiled again as he walked away from her, then her expression flattened into one of disappointment as she continued to walk through the house, Zuko, Mai, and Ty Lee trailing after her.
Across the room, Ruon-Jian stood in front of a vanity mirror and fixed his hair. He quickly turned around and leaned against the vanity, flipping his hair out of his eyes.
"Hey!" He called out casually with a smirk when he saw Mai, "First ones here, huh?"
"He think he's so great." Zuko scoffed quietly then glanced at Mai walking beside him, "Well, what do you think of him?"
"I don't have any opinion about him." Mai stated blandly as they stopped walking, "I hardly know him."
Zuko scowled and looked at her with a vaguely accusing expression, "You like him, don't you?"
Mai sighed in annoyance and walked away from him. Zuko glanced over his shoulder and glared at Ruan-Jian before following his girlfriend.
"So how do you know Ty Lee?" A burly young man asked a shorter, leaner one after the party had officially started.
"I met her at the beach today." The leaner teen replied with a smirk, "She was pretty impressed by a sand pagoda I made for her."
A scrawny, freckled teen appeared, "Well, I met her first."
Two more boys joined the three and they all eagerly leaned slightly towards Ty Lee, who had been backed into a corner of the room.
"Look, i-it doesn't matter who I met first, 'cause I like you all." Ty Lee said with a nervous smile.
"But which one of us do you like?" The burliest of the five asked with a quirked brow.
"I don't know! I don't know!" Ty Lee squeaked in panic and she closed her eyes, kicking and punching out at the five boys.
The five teens groaned quietly and collapsed to the floor after Ty Lee chi-blocked them and she hurriedly cartwheeled over their limp bodies and walked over to where Azula was leaning against one of the pillars in the room.
"Oh, I'm glad you're here." Ty Lee stated in relief as she walked closer to her friend then she glanced over her shoulder, "Those boys won't leave me alone. I guess they all just like me too much."
"Come on, Ty Lee." Azula drawled drily as she crossed her arms and looked at the other girl scornfully, "You can't be that ignorant."
"What are you talking about?"
"Those boys only like you because you make it so easy for them." Azula stated flippantly as she looked away from Ty Lee, "You're not a challenge. You're a tease. It's not like they care about who you are." She looked over, her eyes widening slightly when Ty Lee began to sob and she reached out and grasped the other girl's hand, softening her tone, "Okay, okay, calm down. I didn't mean what I said. Look, maybe I just said it because I was a little..." Azula hesitated and glanced around before whispering, "Jealous."
Ty Lee's eyes widened and she stared at the Fire Nation princess in shock, "What? You're jealous of me? But you're the most beautiful, smartest, perfect girl in the world."
"Well, you're right about those things." Azula said matter-of-factly as she turned away and looked at the other party guests, "But, for some reason, when I meet boys, they act as if I'm going to do something horrible to them."
"But you probably would do something horrible to them." Ty Lee replied with a giggle then she smiled, "I'm sure they're just intimidated by you. Okay, look, if you want a boy to like you, just look at him and smile a lot and laugh at everything he says even if it's not funny."
"Well, that sounds really shallow and stupid..." Azula muttered then she turned towards Ty Lee with an eager smile, "Let's try it."
"Okay." The acrobat grinned and leaned against the pillar casually, deepening her voice, "Hey there, sweet sugar cakes. How you liking this party?"
Azula let out a loud and false laugh, causing the music to stop and the other partygoers to stop and stare at her in confusion and curiosity.
On the other side of the room, Zuko sat on a bench with Mai leaning against him.
"I'm bored." Mai stated blandly as another teen walked past them.
Zuko rolled his eyes and shrugged one shoulder, "So what?"
"So, find me some food." Mai ordered flatly.
"Sure." Zuko muttered in reply and stood up, walking towards the refreshment and food table.
While Zuko was getting Mai some food, Azula walked over to where Chan was talking to another girl.
"Chan, I'm ready for a tour of the house." The Fire Nation princess stated matter-of-factly.
Chan rubbed the back of his head and smirked slightly before handing his drink to the girl he was talking, her happy expression falling into one of disbelief. Azula smiled smugly and placed her own drink on the other girl's head as she past her, following Chan out onto a balcony while the girl glared furiously after them.
"Is this your first time on Ember Island?" Chan asked as he leaned against the balcony overlooking the ocean.
"No." Azula replied quietly as she rested her arms on the balcony a little bit away from Chan, "I used to come here years ago."
"It's a great place, if you like sand." Chan stated and he grinned when Azula laughed lightly, "Yeah, it's like, welcome to Sandy Land!"
They laughed together and Chan moved closer to Azula until he was leaning against the railing right beside her, smiling down at her softly.
"Your arms look so strong." Azula murmured flirtatiously, eyeing his biceps with appreciation.
"Yeah, I know." Chan agreed as he flexed slightly then he leaned down and kissed her gently before pulling away, "You're pretty."
Azula smiled at him and took a small step back, "Together, you and I will be the strongest couple in the entire world." Two blue fire balls appeared in her hands and the fire in the torch behind her turned blue as she smiled manically, "We will dominate the Earth!"
Chan balked and stared at her with a freaked out expression, his eyes small and sweat beading on his forehead. He quickly shook his head and began backing away from her.
"Uh...I gotta go."
Azula scowled as she watched him slide back inside the beach house, before her expression smoothed into a disappointed frown.
Back inside the house, Zuko picked random pieces of food and put them on a plate before turning and making his way through the crowd back to Mai. Suddenly, someone bumped into him, knocking the food from his hands.
"Hey, watch it!" Zuko snarled angrily as glared at the other teen then he pointed towards Mai, "That food was for my cranky girlfriend!"
The teen blinked and looked over, his brow quirking in confusion. Zuko frowned slightly and turned to look, his eyes narrowing when he saw Ruon-Jian talking to Mai. The teen put a hand to his mouth to suppress his laughter and pointed mockingly at Zuko before the scarred prince stalked towards Mai and Ruon-Jian. Zuko grabbed the other teen and twisted him around, shoving him away from Mai.
Ruon-Jian stopped himself from spinning and glared over at Zuko, "What are you doing?"
"Stop talking to my girlfriend!" Zuko barked furiously at the other boy.
"Relax." Ruon-Jian drawled mockingly as he walked up to Zuko, "It's just a party."
Zuko glared and took a step forward, shoving the other boy across the room and into a large vase with one hand. The vase shattered and Ruon-Jian grunted when his back hit the wall. Mai lurched to her feet and grabbed Zuko's arm, turning him around to face and glaring at him in irritation.
"Zuko, what is wrong with you?" She demanded angrily.
"What's wrong with me?"
"Your temper is out of control." Mai scolded him fiercely, "You blow up over every little thing. You're so impatient and hotheaded and angry!"
"Well, at least I feel something as opposed to you!" Zuko snapped back angrily and he gestured towards Mai with his hands, "You have no passion for anything! You're just a big blah!"
Mai pursed her lips and turned away from him, "It's over Zuko. We're done."
"Who broke my nana's vase?" Chan demanded indignantly as he ran up to Ruon-Jian, who pointed at Zuko, then Chan ran up to the scarred prince, "That's it! You're out of here!"
Zuko scoffed and turned away, "I was just leaving."
"Have fun by yourself, loser boy." Ruon-Jian called out mockingly as he walked up to stand beside Chan.
"Nice." Chan smirked at his friend in approval as Zuko slammed the door behind him.
Zuko bowed his head and stared at the sand as he walked, a frown marring his face. A large rock appeared before him and he walked around it, touching it lightly with the tips of his fingers as he moved. He stopped and turned, looking up at the large, secluded and clearly abandoned vacation house that faced the ocean. He stared at the house for a moment before heading off towards it.
He paused halfway up the stone staircase and turned to look at the grassy hills that overlooked the ocean. A memory of him and Azula running and playing in the grass with their father watching over them appeared in his mind and he quickly turned away, continuing up the path towards the house and he remembered standing on the porch of the house as a young boy, his father's arm wrapped around his shoulder as they looked at the ocean.
Zuko stared at the ground as he approached the house, walking up the stairs to the front door. He grabbed one of the door handles and tried to open the door, but it was locked so he removed his hand and took a step back, kicking the doors open forcefully. Zuko looked around for a moment then walked further into the house, up the set of stairs to the main floor where he paused, staring at the portrait of his family hanging on the wall.
He stared at his father in the picture then looked down at where he was sitting beside him, his father's hand on his shoulder. He remembered standing on the grassy hills looking out over the ocean with his father standing beside him, one hand on his back.
Zuko turned his head slightly and looked at the image of his mother, his breath catching as the memory of them playing with a ball by one of the many house windows when he was just a toddler. The scarred prince stepped towards the small table resting under the portrait and picked up a stone imprinted with his own baby hand print. Zuko lifted the plaster cast and placed his hand on it, covering the imprint.
Xiaodan yawned quietly and tucked her hands behind her head, staring up at the night sky reflectively. While her brother and friends got ready to sleep, she had moved to a flat rock to stare at the stars, still not quite ready to sleep yet. Placing her hand on her chest, Xiaodan rubbed at the spot above her heart as if that would take away the ache she felt there.
Her earlier reminiscing, while liberating, had also brought with it the heartache she had felt ever since Ba Sing Se, though now it was more of a dull throb. She would never admit it to her brother or friends, but she missed Zuko and as much as she didn't want to, part of her still cared about him.
Sighing quietly, Xiaodan reached up and brushed a wayward tear from her cheek then she stood and made her way back to her friends. She walked over to Aang and he gave her a concerned look when he caught sight of the faint sadness in her orange eyes, but Xiaodan smiled at him, silently reassuring him that she was alright before she laid down on the ground beside him. The young Avatar stared at her for a moment before lying down beside her to sleep.
The group had only been sleeping for a few hours when Toph suddenly jerked awake, sensing something strange.
"Guys," She called out as she sat up, her hands pressed firmly to the ground, "You're all gonna think I'm crazy, but it feels like a metal man is coming."
Xiaodan sat up and rubbed her eyes, "A metal what?"
Aang sat up beside his sister then groaned when a light suddenly shone in his eyes. He turned his head and looked up, staring in confusion at where the light was coming from. Sokka and Katara sat up on their sleeping mats, Sokka grabbing his sword as they stared at the figure standing at the rim of the crater the hot spring was in, moonlight reflecting off his metal arm.
"What the-" Xiaodan muttered as she squinted then her eyes widened when she saw the partially metal man inhale, his stomach tensing, "Move!"
She and Aang moved at the same time, Aang attempting to stop the ray of energy the metal man had shot towards them with Earthbending. The energy ray slammed into the large rock a few feet in front of where Aang had bended a small wall, creating a small explosion that sent the five teens flying backwards.
Toph grunted as she flipped through the air and landed heavily on her feet while her four friends flew past her. Quickly steadying herself, the blind girl thrust her hands forward, Earthbending a large wave of rocks at the metal man attacking them, but he simply blasted the rock wave with another of his energy rays.
Toph lunged to the side just in time to dodge the blast and Aang leapt forward, throwing his hands out in front of him and Airbending a shield just as the blast struck the ground in another explosion of fire. Katara ran forward when the blast cleared, Waterbending a wave from the hot spring at the metal man, who fired another energy wave. The energy ray hit the water, creating another explosion and covering the air in dust and steam.
The five teens threw their arms up to protect their eyes from the dust while Appa roared angrily, steam and dust billowing up from the hot spring.
"I thought I'd find you here."
Zuko glanced at his sister from the corner of his eye then looked back at the plaster cast of his hand print as he leaned against one of the support pillars at the entrance to his family old vacation house.
"Those summers we spent here seem so long ago." He commented quietly, still staring at the plaster cast, "So much has changed."
"Come down to the beach with me." Azula suggested as she turned away from the vacation house, "Come on. This place is depressing."
Zuko hesitated a moment then stood, leaving the stone hand print behind on the porch as he followed his sister down to the beach where Mai and Ty Lee were waiting, glancing at Mai as he walked past her.
"Hey." Mai greeted him hesitantly and he glanced at her over his shoulder.
"Where's your new boyfriend?" He asked drily, causing her to turn away from him angrily. He walked over to her and sat down beside her on the flat rock, "Are you cold?"
He reached out to wrap his arm around her shoulders, but she slapped his hand away with a scowl.
"I'm freezing." Ty Lee spoke and Zuko turned towards her with a small smile.
"I'll make a fire." He stated then he glanced back at the old vacation house, "There's plenty of stuff to burn in there."
Xiaodan ducked and covered her ears when another explosion rocked the hot spring.
"This is crazy!" Sokka shouted in disbelief from where he was crouched behind a large rock with the others, "How can we beat a guy who blows things up with his mind?!"
"We can't!" Aang said as he got up, "Jump on Appa! I'll distract him!"
"Aang!" Xiaodan called out in protest, but her brother had already run off and she cursed, "Monkeyfeathers! Alright, go, go, go!" She urged the other three into Appa's saddle then leapt onto the sky bison's head, "Yip-yip!"
Aang raced through the smoke created by the explosions then he leapt out of the smoke, Airbending himself out of the crater while dodging another blast from the metal man. He grunted as he slid down the crater wall into another area filled with rock pillars and he quickly raced through the pillars, hiding behind one.
He panted quietly as he listened to the heavy footsteps of the assassin running through the field of rock pillars and he peeked around the pillar he was hiding behind to see where the metal man went. His eyes widened when the metal man spotted him and shot another blast at him. Aang quickly spun away from the pillar and ran away just as it exploded.
Aang pushed himself off one pillar and dove behind another, landing in a crouch. He peered over his shoulder then quickly Earthbending the pillar he was hiding behind at the assassin, who blew it up with another blast. The metal man sent another blast at Aang, who twisted in midair, thrusting his hand towards the ball of light and using Airbending to propel himself away and to protect himself. The blast sent him flying through the air and he quickly twisted around, punching his way through another pillar which collapsed into a pile of rubble around him as he hit the ground.
The assassin ran towards the collapsed pillar, his metal foot thumping heavily against the ground. His dark eyes flickered from side-to-side as he searched for Aang and he paused beside the pile of rubble.
Aang, hidden beneath the pile of rocks with his eyes barely visible, opened his eyes briefly to look at the assassin walking past him before closing his eyes again. The assassin paused right in front of him and turned slowly, inspecting the pile of rocks critically. Aang suddenly snapped his eyes open again and lunged forward, completely encased in rock armor. He jumped onto the assassin's head before jumping away, just as the assassin fired another blast him.
Aang flew up high into the air, the attack exploding behind him and he let the rock armor fall of his body as he began to fall towards the ground. Appa suddenly swooped below him and Katara grabbed his hand, pulling him into the saddle and embracing him tightly. Sitting on Appa's head, Xiaodan quickly snapped the reins, urging the sky bison to fly faster.
"I'm okay..." Aang muttered as he held onto Katara tightly, Momo jumping onto his shoulder with a worried sounding chitter.
"Well, that was random." Toph commented from her spot beside Sokka.
"I don't think so." Katara said quietly as she let go of Aang and looked back, "I get the feeling he knows who we are."
Xiaodan dropped the reins and Airbended herself into the saddle, quickly embracing her brother tightly.
"I think you're right, Katara." The white-haired girl stated as she held Aang tightly, "As soon as we split up, he went after Aang. It was like we didn't even matter."
Aang hugged her reassuringly when her arms tightened around his shoulders.
"What are you doing?" Ty Lee asked as she stared at the burning family portrait Zuko had just tossed into the fire he'd mad.
"What does it look like I'm doing?" He snapped back in irritation, his arms crossed as he glared into the fire.
"But, it's a painting of your family..."
Zuko sneered at her angrily, "You think I care?"
"I think you do." Ty Lee said softly and Zuko rolled his eyes.
"You don't know me, so why don't you just mind your own business?" The scarred prince snarled before walking away.
The acrobat scoffed quietly and looked at the fire, "I know you."
"No, you don't." Zuko growled angrily at her, "You're stuck in your little 'Ty Lee world' where everything's great all the time."
"Zuko," Mai snapped impatiently, "Leave her alone."
"'I'm so pretty. Look at me.'" Zuko said in a high pitched voice, imitating Ty Lee as he walked away from the campfire then he did a handstand, "'I can walk on my hands. Whoo!'" He fell onto his back, missing the upset look on Ty Lee's face as he glared at the sky, "Circus freak."
Azula giggled and Ty Lee glared at her, tears dripping down her cheeks, causing Azula to fall silent and look off the side with her nose in the air.
"Yes, I'm a circus freak." The acrobat snapped furiously as tears continued to fall, "Go ahead and laugh all you want. You want to know why I joined the circus?"
Azula sighed in exasperation and rolled her eyes, "Here we go."
"Do you have any idea what my home life was like? Growing up with six sisters who look exactly like me?" Ty Lee demanded as she stood and glared down at Zuko from across the fire, "It was like I didn't even have my own name." She fell to her knees as more tears streamed down her cheeks, "I joined the circus because I was scared of spending the rest of my life as a matched set. At least I'm different now." She lifted her head up and stared defiantly at her friends, "'Circus freak' is a compliment."
"Guess that explains why you need ten boyfriends, too."
Ty Lee turned her head and glowered at Mai, "I'm sorry, what?"
"Attention issues." Mai continued blandly with small shrug and she crossed her arms over her chest, "You couldn't get enough attention when you were a kid, so you're trying to make up for it now."
"Well, what's your excuse, Mai?" Ty Lee demanded sharply as she sat up, "You were an only child for fifteen years, but even with all that attention, your aura is dingy, pasty, gray..."
Mai scoffed, "I don't believe in auras."
"Yeah," Zuko muttered as he stood up and turned towards Mai, "You don't believe in anything."
"Oh well, I'm sorry I can't be as high-strung and crazy as the rest of you." Mai retorted sarcastically.
"I'm sorry too." Zuko snapped as he walked around the campfire towards her, "I wish you would be high-strung and crazy for once instead of keeping all of your feelings bottled up inside." He gestured towards Ty Lee with his hands, "She just called your aura dingy. Are you gonna take that?"
As he stared at her expectantly, he pushed away the little voice in the back of his mind telling him that Xiaodan had never had a problem expressing herself.
"What do you want from me?" Mai asked drily as she laid back on her rock, tucking her hands beneath her head, "You want a teary confession about how hard my childhood was? Well, it wasn't. I was a rich only child who got anything I wanted..." Her voice began flatter and colder, "As long as I behaved and sat still, and didn't speak unless spoken to. My mother said I had to keep out of trouble. We had my dad's political career to think about."
"Well, that's it then." Azula mused idly from her seat across the fire, "You have a controlling mother who had certain expectations, and if you strayed from them, you were shut down. That's why you're afraid to care about anything, and why you can't express yourself."
"You want me to express myself?" Mai snapped and she stood up, her voice raising to a shout, "Leave me alone!"
"I like it when you express yourself." Zuko said quietly as he stepped forward and attempted to put his hand on her shoulder.
"Don't touch me!" Mai snapped as she jerked away from him and sat back down, "I'm still mad at you."
"My life hasn't been easy either, Mai."
"Whatever." The dark-haired girl snapped, "That doesn't excuse the way you've been acting."
"Calm down, you guys." Ty Lee stated hurriedly as she sat with her legs folded under her, "This much negative energy is bad for your skin. You'll totally break out."
"Bad skin?" Zuko snarled as he whirled around to face the acrobat, "Normal teenagers worry about bad skin. I don't have that luxury." He leaned forward and pointed at the scar on the left side of his face, "My father decided to teach me a permanent lesson on my face!"
Ty Lee's eyes widened and she stared at the scarred prince apologetically, "Sorry, Zuko, I..."
Zuko whirled around and clenched his fists, "For so long I thought if my dad accepted my, I'd be happy. I'm back home now, my dad talks to me. Ha! He even thinks I'm a hero." He laughed harshly, unaware of the smirk on Azula's face as he paced, "Everything should be perfect, right? I should be happy now, but I'm not." He spun around to face the three girls, "I'm angrier than ever and I don't know why!"
"There's a simple question you need to answer, then." Azula stated matter-of-factly as she looked at her brother, "Who are you angry at?"
"No one. I'm just angry."
"Yeah," Mai added curiously, "Who are you angry at, Zuko?"
"Everyone." Zuko replied sharply then he shook his head in frustration, "I don't know."
"It is Dad?"
Zuko gave looked at Azula with a vaguely panicked expression, "No, no."
"You're Uncle?" Ty Lee asked interestedly.
"Me?" Azula questioned then she smirked, "Is it Xia?"
Zuko's eyes widened and he shook his head rapidly, "No, no, n-no, no, no!"
Mai's eyes narrowed slightly and she looked between the two siblings for a moment before focusing on Zuko, "Then who? Who are you angry at?"
"Answer the question, Zuko." Azula pressed eagerly.
"Talk to us." Ty Lee pleaded compassionately.
"Come on, answer the question." Mai encouraged as Zuko shut his eyes and tried to block them out.
"Come on, answer it."
"I'm angry at myself!" Zuko finally snapped furiously and he slammed his clenched fists down, causing the campfire to turn into a pillar of fire, the three girls recoiling from the flames, "I'm angry at myself..."
"Why?" Azula asked quietly as her brother turned away from them.
"Because I'm confused." Zuko muttered wearily, "Because I'm not sure I know the difference between right and wrong anymore."
Azula scoffed and shook her head in amusement, "You're pathetic."
"I know one thing I care about." Mai said as she stood up and walked over to Zuko, wrapping her arms around him, "I care about you."
Zuko turned his head slightly and kissed her softly, ignoring the guilt that weighed heavily on his heart as he took the comfort Mai was offering him.
Azula began clapping her hands mockingly, "Well, those were wonderful performances, everyone."
Zuko pulled away from Mai and turned to glare at his sister, "I guess you wouldn't understand, would you, Azula?" He slipped his arm around Mai's shoulder and sneered at his sister, "Because you're just so perfect."
"Well, yes, I guess you're right." Azula agreed easily with a shrug, "I don't have sob stories like all of you. I could sit here and complain how our mom like Zuko more than me, but I don't really care." She paused and stared at the fire, her voice softening slightly, "My own mother thought I was a monster." The other three looked at Azula quietly and she shrugged indifferently, "She was right, of course, but it still hurt."
"What Lo and Li said came true. The beach did help us learn about ourselves." Ty Lee quipped with a happy smile as she picked up a rock and rubbed it happily, "I feel all smoothed. I'll always remember this."
Azula smirked and looked at her brother and friends slyly as she stood up, "You know what would make this trip really memorable?"
Chan opened the door and he stared with a dumbfounded expression at the four teens he had kicked out earlier.
"We've got some bad news, Chan." Azula stated with a smirk.
Zuko turned his head and glared at the teen, "Party's over."
Azula shoved Chan out of the way and the four entered, beginning to trash the beach house while the partygoers screamed and ran away. Zuko smirked as he walked over to one of the food tables and kicked it in half, Chan watching on in fear.
Narrowing her eyes, Mai whipped out one of her knives and threw it, watching with satisfaction as the blade sliced through some paintings hanging on the wall. Chan's eyebrow began to twitch and sweat beaded on his forehead. He looked up and balked, watching in horror as Ty Lee stood on one of the rafters before she flipped off the beam and swung forward, grabbing onto one of the chandeliers then jumping onto the second one as the first one crashed to the ground. She flipped through the air and landed on in a crouch, giggling happily as the second chandelier crashed behind her.
Azula smiled smugly as she watched Chan burst into tears then the four left the burning beach house behind.
Xiaodan pursed her lips and stared at the night sky, sitting cross-legged on Appa's head as the sky bison flew through the air. Behind her, the others slept peacefully in the saddle, but she was unable to join them in slumber. Her mind too restless for a peaceful sleep.
'Xiaodan stared blankly at the water she was boiling, her thoughts racing as she contemplated the best way to word what she wanted to ask the scarred prince. Finally she glanced up at him.
"Hey, Firebug?" She questioned quietly, using the nickname that had started out as an insult but had somehow morphed into a term of endearment.
She stared at him for a moment then looked at the pot of water, "What exactly is this?"
"It's a pot of water..." Zuko replied, giving her a confused look.
"I know what that is, you annoying little glowbug." Xiaodan muttered without venom as she rolled her eyes then she turned to face him and gestured between them, "I mean what is this, between you and me?"
She watched as the scarred teen turned and leaned his hip against the counter beside the stove where the water was boiling, his arms crossing over his chest as he stared at her with a thoughtful frown.
"Well..." He stared slowly, quirking a brow inquiringly at her, "You care about me, right?"
Xiaodan flushed and rubbed the back of her head, "Uh, yeah...Thought that was pretty obvious when I kissed you the first time..."
Zuko smiled and took her hands in his, turning them over. They stared at their joined hands, observing the differences. Hers were slightly smaller than his and her skin was darker, but both of their hands were calloused, his from using swords and hers from her staff. Xiaodan bit her lip, glancing up at him shyly from beneath her hair before returning her gaze to their hands.
"And I care about you." He said quietly, removing one of his hands from hers and using it to tilt her chin up so he could look her in the eye while ignoring the blush he could feel heating his cheeks, "I guess that could make me your boyfriend and you my girlfriend...If that's what you want?"
Xiaodan stared at him searchingly before looking down at their clasped hands, staring at the differences for several moments in silence then she licked her suddenly dry lips.
"I'd like that."'
Xiaodan uncrossed her legs and pulled her knees up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them tightly as she stared blankly at the moon.
Xiaodan stared at Zuko, her chest burning in pain as betrayal tore through her heart like a knife. His gold eyes, eyes that had looked at her with affection and warmth hours ago, now stared at her in shock and guilt. As she stared at him, pain in her heart increasing, one thought crossed her mind over and over; I trusted you...'
Xiaodan tightened her arms around her legs and pressed her face against her knees, tears slipping quietly down her cheeks.
Author's Note: Phew, this chapter was a bit of a pain in the butt to write, but I hope I did okay and that everyone is in character. Anyhooties, I'm not really sure if I'll be able to update next week since my dumbo rat Snowflake passed yesterday and it's been really hard for me to deal with since I've had her since she was just this little bitty thing, and her death has messed me up emotionally and I don't want to write anything when I'm in a comprised emotional state. Um... well that's it, on to the special mentions.
Special THANKS to everyone that faved and/or alerted! You guys are awesome-sauce.
Molly Grace 16: Thanks, I'm glad you liked the last chapter. I hope you enjoyed this chapter too.
Dream lighting: Yup, I hope you like this chapter.
TheDivines: I hope you like the flashbacks in this chapter. I'm not too good at angst, but I hope the angst in this chapter was okay. There will probably be some more accidental Firebending from Xia soon, especially in some of the upcoming chapters.
LadyAmazon: I know right? I always thought that was a little hilarious that Iroh and Sokka were the most productive in the episode. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
MidnightWolf191: Thanks, I'm glad you liked the last chapter. I really like Sokka's Master too, not only does Sokka finally get some limelight, but Iroh turns into even more of a badass. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
Becky: Haha, sometimes I'm not sure if I'm writing Xia into the episodes enough or if the chapter reads awkwardly, that's usually what I struggle with when writing her sometimes. Piandao is a pretty awesome, I like to think he's double the badass since he's not a bender and still kicks ass like nobody's business. I'm glad you like the sibling-bond between Sokka and Xia, I kinda always saw her role in the group as either the older sister or the laidback motherly-type figure, which I think is the opposite of what Katara does. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
Mira SeverusSirius Black-Snape: Haha, I'll try to have a lot of fluff when Zuko rejoins the group and regains Xia's trust.
FoShizzleMySizzle: I'm glad you liked the last chapter. Mai's a pretty cool character, especially her fighting style. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
RebornRose1992: Thanks, I'm glad you liked the last chapter. I hope you like this one too.
Hestia28: That's a good idea, I might do something like that in The Runaway or maybe Nightmares and Daydreams. Anyhooties, I'm glad you liked the last chapter and I hope you like this one too.
SinistrousDelirious: Thanks, I'm glad you think I inserted Xia into the last episode okay. I just hope I did the same in this one.
Mick the Guest: Haha, thanks, I'm glad you think my story is asterous. I hope you like this chapter.
PaganMommmyofOne: I'm glad you liked the last chapter, honestly I don't think I could not have added the Iroh scenes, the chapter would have just been weird without them. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
Lilnightmare17: Psh, heck no, Xia is gonna make Zuko work for her forgiveness. She's not gonna be an outright bitch to him, but she's definitely not gonna be exactly all 'happy-happy-joy-joy' with him. I hope you like this chapter.
88dragon06: Thanks, I'm glad you liked the last few chapters and that you thought everyone was in character. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
xRoosiee: I'll try to add more original material, but I don't want to really overpower the whole canon plotline too much. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.
Killyjillyfairfax: Haha, it's honestly been forever since I updated any of my Harry Potter stories, I've been trying to rewrite my Remus/OC story The Girl That Can't Be Touched but it's been proving to be surprisingly difficult to do. As for Zuko and Xia getting back together, that's probably gonna take a little more time. Xia may have been raised an Air Nomad, but she can hold a bit of a grudge and Zuko's gonna have to really, really work to get her to forgive him. Don't worry about asking questions, I love answering any questions my reviewers have. Now as for your actual question, Xia is not gonna be as hostile as Katara was, she'll probably treat him with more of a polite indifference, but she definitely won't be very forgiving either. Anyhooties, I hope you like this chapter.