A/N: Well. Finally. Welcome. This is a story that's been, unfortunately, years in the making (ever since I first saw Avatar: The Last Airbender), and is very far from done. However, today is my first day of college, and I promised myself it would begin to be uploaded once I reached this point in my life. So here it is.
As stated, this is an Avatar/Digimon crossover; specifically, I'm crossing the universes created after the end of Avatar (two years after the fall of Phoenix King Ozai) and three years after the closing of the Digiworld for the Adventure 01 cast. This will feature both sets of characters equally, or as equally as I can manage.
This first chapter is the beginning of the first arc, The Beginning (as I call it in my head), and features the cast of Avatar.
In the palace, two guards stood watch over the throne room. Standing still, blinking only when they could no longer stop themselves and showing no outer emotion, both Firebenders had been hand-chosen by the Firelord himself. To some, their faces, vacant of expression, might have been proof of the underlying boredom that must besiege them. To others, the vacant expressions were a relief—nothing had happened to interrupt their monotone job. Wearing sleeveless red vests complete with the emblem of the Fire Nation, and shaved bald, these men knew their job very well.
Very few were allowed to pass through the overlarge doors to the throne room. The Firelord's most trusted advisors, friends, and allies, generals, rulers, and conspirers were only allowed in with permission from the Firelord, the request brought by a guard. Only two men could pass through those doors without invitation and unannounced—the penalty for not allowing the Avatar, the peacekeeper among the Four Nations and a personal acquaintance of the Firelord, admittance to see the Firelord was hefty, with no second chances.
The other man was Firelord Zuko's uncle.
As Iroh entered the guards' eyesight, both straightened imperceptibly. The brawnier of the two, but only by a pinch, opened the door as Iroh approached. The grey-haired man waved at the two, and, as he passed by, said, "Ugliamo. Nickset. I hope you are doing well. Tell me, does my nephew have tea, or should I send for some?"
The smaller man nodded in familiarity. "General Iroh. Firelord Zuko has been waiting. He seemed quite…agitated."
Iroh chuckled. "My nephew is always irate. I'll see why. If you would, Ugli, could you send some tea in? Zuko will have forgotten." The two guards nodded and bowed him in, closing the doors behind him.
The throne room was a vast misnomer. Throne hallway or throne stadium would have been more correct. Despite taking up only a small amount of the palace, the throne room was one of the largest single spaces in the castle, a lengthy rectangle of the signature red stone extending up to a dais where the throne sat. On it sat a man.
He wasn't a man, not yet, at least. Nor was he a mere boy. Firelord Zuko, the teenage king, as some had taken to calling him, was a youth of eighteen years. He had ruled the Fire Nation for two years after the defeat of his father, Firelord Ozai. Tall and strong, with dark hair tied up atop his pale skin, many would have easily called him handsome were it not for a disfiguring scar of burned flesh along the left side of his face, reaching around his eye to his ear. Many still called him handsome; in his red ceremonial robes he looked every bit the ruler he was.
As if in contrast to his nephew, Iroh had a different look. Grey hair and beard besieged his laugh eyes lining his wrinkled face. He was well fit, but two years of little physical work had helped him achieve his old standard of pudginess, leaving him looking every bit the friendly grandfather figure he could be.
"Zuko. You honor me with your presence," he said, slowly and articulately. He stopped in front of the golden throne, smiling slightly.
From the throne, Zuko looked up. "Uncle. You've come," he said, his voice slightly raspy and soft. He stood up.
Iroh shook his head. "You forgot the tea, I see. I never understood what I did wrong in raising you to make you so ignorant of tea."
Zuko smiled at this, and, jumping down from the raised platform, embraced his relative. "You haven't changed a bit, have you? How are the others in Ba Sing Se?" he asked, leading him to a small table with, of course, a tea kettle and two cups. Iroh sniffed the simmering liquid before pouring and tasting it. He smiled widely.
"I need to meet your tea maker. I would love to know this recipe," he said, taking another gulp of the hot brown liquid. "Everyone is fine. A little lonely. Have you thought about my offer?"
"Yes, Uncle, I have. I've thought hard about it. And my response is yes. I'll do it. I need to get out of here—it's great being Firelord, but I want a few months, weeks, even days to myself, without someone constantly offering comfort or asking questions. How soon can we leave?" Zuko said eagerly. Iroh motioned for him to sit down, taking another long draught of the tea.
Licking his lips, he said, "I have a ship waiting to take us back to the Earth Nation. If you can arrange things here for your departure, we can leave within the night." He thought for a moment, then nodded, looking pleased. "Of course, I need to find this recipe first."
"Then it's settled. Hmmm…do you think it's possible that we could find a flying bison to take us there?"
"That, my nephew, is a very good question."
"Okay, now move your arms in this pattern…that's it…see, you got it! Good job!"
"…was that supposed to do something, or just look like a creepy dance?"
A dark haired, dark skinned girl glared at her brother. She turned to a boy that looked slightly younger than she was. "Now you just need to learn the next basic pattern, Aang. Then we can put them together and work on this new technique I learned from Grandfather!"
The pale boy's jaw dropped, and he put his head down. "More? Katara, isn't six patterns enough for a day?"
"It's not like they're hard or anything. Come on. I bet we could get another in before Toph comes." Katara widened her stance, and faced the small pool of water in front of them. She started pulling a ball of water up, forming it into several different spheres. "Now, you start with pattern 4, remember, with the on and off pulling…"
The boy behind them grinned, hitting his boomerang into the ground next to him. "And then you do this, and form the water this way, and wait for the tide to come. Aang gets the idea. Come on, let's do something fun for once."
Aang started to nod enthusiastically, stopping when he noticed Katara's glare. "Yeah…um, no. I should get back to practicing…" he said, straightening out his yellow tunic over red pants. He started playing with the water, massing it into one great ball. "Hey, Katara, look what I can do!"
It gathered and gathered, until the pond was mostly empty. He made it fly upward, higher, higher…
"What're you all doing?" a girl's voice came from the other side of the pool.
The water fell down. Onto a young girl with black hair in a bun, a green and tan work dress on. She sputtered for a moment before screaming, "Aang! If you dare start flying, you're done for!"
Aang stopped in mid-jump. "It's not flying. It's messing around with the air currents," he said sheepishly. In the background, Sokka laughed on the grassy ground.
"Performing mojo on air currents doesn't sound as cool as flying," the girl said, punching her arm in front of her. As she did that, the ground formed a type of bridge over the pool, and she walked over. Her eyes were a faded green, maybe brown—her black bangs messily covered most of her face. "Now, what were you going to say to me, Twinkle-Toes?"
The bald boy grimaced and looked to Katara for help. She held a hand in front of her mouth, obviously laughing silently. "Um…sorry, Toph?"
The blind girl stopped in front of him; thrusting her hand down, she created a deep circular pit under Aang. He fell in, using Air Bending to lighten the fall. "Show me you've been practicing Earth Bending, and promise you won't do that again." She waited. Katara and Sokka walked forward, interested in seeing what Aang would do.
"I promise! Can't I just Air Bend?" the boy asked, feeling the dirt around him. He looked up.
Toph laughed evilly. "What do you think? Hurry up—we don't have all day."
Sighing, Aang looked around. The dirt was thin, grainy—the pool beside the land didn't move enough to make the landscape rich in nutrients. The ground was slightly wet, and that would help him if he tried going straight up—but the ground might not support him. He didn't have the knack that Toph had in Earth Bending. If he did something wrong, she'd just make the hole deeper.
He decided to use a technique she had showed him the day before. He locked his fists together, and started to wave them to and from his stomach. The ground beneath him churned, and slowly started to ripple upward, carrying him with its momentum. Slowly but surely, he filled the hole in, now at equal height as his friends. He jumped out of the dirt around him. "How's that?"
"You're getting better. Still sloppy, but not too shabby," Toph responded, smoothing the dirt over. Despite the lack of grass, the hole was no more.
"So. Dinner?" Sokka asked, looking to each of his friends.
Two years had passed since the defeat of the Phoenix King and the soon-to-be Firelord Azula. Power had changed hands; the new rulers included Firelord Zuko and King Bumi of the Earth Nation (having moved to Ba Sing Se from Omashu after one year of denying ruling). The Northern and Southern Water tribes maintained a steady contact with each other, each gaining more as families moved south.
Only the Air Nation hadn't changed. Aang, the one hundred and fourteen year-old Avatar, was still the only Air Bender known in the land. He worked hard at mastering the four elements, while growing to be more mature. However, his love for fun had, if anything, only increased with the passing years.
In fact, walking down a side-street in Ba Sing Se toward a small subdivision popular to many, Aang was almost taller than Katara of the Southern Water tribe. Sixteen now, she kept her hair loose but for two 'hair loopies' tucked behind her ears. She and her seventeen-year old brother, Sokka, with a 'warrior's tail' on the top of his head, moved around almost as much as the Avatar, visiting friends in all three Nations. Sokka, despite having lost his Space Sword and his boomerang in a fight against the Fire Nation two years prior, had recovered the latter.
Rounding the corner, the group of four could make out the sign of The Jasmine Dragon, a local tea shop in a nice part of Ba Sing Se. The cook there was well-known for his fine tea; Iroh wouldn't be happy with himself unless it was perfect. Over the tea shop was his home, the home of the four of them when they didn't want to stay in the palace. Three stories high, The Jasmine Dragon had become one of the key points of interest in the capitol, and one of the busiest accommodations.
The four didn't see it as the residence of an acclaimed tea maker, or as the dwelling of a previous Fire Nation general. They saw it as the house of a friend. Its white walls were well washed, the floors worn and smooth. A collection of tables outlined the walls, and the outside collection of seating grew with each warm month.
Team Avatar, as they had taken to being called, entered the tea shop, ignoring the temporary silence as the Avatar sat down in a seat. After the first year of frequenting this shop, most people had begun to view him as a normal teenager, albeit a teenager with power enough to shape the world.
"I wonder when Iroh's getting back," Toph muttered, putting her feet on the table. She crossed her arms, not seeing the looks she was getting by several of the upper class consumers from across the aisle.
Katara raised her hand to wave at a young waiter, indicating four drinks. "He said he would come back once he convinced Zuko to take a break. However long that takes…"
"Ah, once Zuko comes, it'll be like old times. The four of us, running from him…" Sokka said, leaning back against the wall. The tea arrived, and he took a deep sip, smiling in memory.
"I thought it'd be more like new times, the five of us hanging out. Unless you want to be running…" a slightly raspy voice came from the doorway. Sokka looked up and smiled.
"Speak of the Firelord. Hey, Zuko. How've you been?" Sokka said, staying seated as Aang and Katara went to greet him. Toph turned slightly.
Aang smiled. "When did you get here?"
"Just now. Uncle thinks I need a break, and I agree. I've left Corin in charge, my most trusted general. So, how have you all been?" he answered, sitting down. Dressed in normal clothing, his shaggy hair down and around his face and scar, no one seemed to notice the Firelord in their midst. Iroh walked in after him, heading to the kitchens.
"We've been okay. Traveling a lot, you know how it is with the Avatar," Katara said, putting her arm on Aang's shoulder.
"Enough with the small talk. We all know how life is boring at the palace, and life is boring with the Avatar. Come on, I found a really cool sea shell," Sokka said, putting a hand on Aang and Zuko's shoulders, pulling them away from the table. Toph laughed.
"Oh, because sea shells are such an interesting development." She worked her way to join the boys. "I've finally managed to get my actor's autograph!" she said, referring to a tall, husky boy that portrayed her in a play two years ago.
Team Avatar laughed at this, and walked upstairs.
Fight. Move. Breathe.
The words of a warrior.
A silken green robe billowed in the wind as the figure inside of it held her pose. A yellow crown-like ornament over brown short hair; white powder covering her made-up face. In her hands were two golden fans, gleaming in the moonlight. She stood still, one leg in front of the other, poised as if expecting battle.
Her gaze, silently appraising, observing her enemy, shifted without blinking.
If an enemy had been there, nothing could have held the girl back. As it were, in place of an enemy was a large egg, a sea-green color. She appraised it cautiously. It was just…wrong. It didn't belong here, a foreign object settled on Kyoshi. If only she had some way to prove it…
"Suki, what are you doing?" a girl asked, dressed in a similar get-up, her long hair braided down her back.
Suki ignored her and watched the egg. Maybe it would react to a voice…
Nothing. It was just…there.
"Suki? Earth to Suki. You there?" the other girl asked, looking skeptically at her friend.
Suki leaned back, taking a deep breath of the night air. "Yeah, I'm here, Ty Lee. But I'm not sure why that thing is."
Ty Lee looked it, standing at the same distance from it as her friend was. "It's an egg."
The first girl groaned in frustration. "I know it's an egg! But what is it? What kind of egg?"
Ty Lee shrugged. "Maybe it's an Unagi egg? Don't snakes lay eggs? I bet sea serpents do too!"
Suki raised her eyebrows. "If it's so normal, why don't you go any closer?"
"It…it just doesn't feel right. I don't know why. I'm scared to touch it," Ty Lee admitted, looking down.
Suki nodded. "Me, too…but I have to face my fears." Slowly, she took a step forward, the vegetation crackling under her weight. She crouched down, taking another step. And another. She was almost upon it. Hesitating only momentarily, she poked the egg with one of her open fans.
The egg quivered at the touch, then was still once more.
Suki inspected the egg again. Most of it was sea green, but along it also ran dark purple stripes. That wasn't normal for an egg. Unless it wasn't an egg. Unless it just needed interaction before it exploded…
"Ty Lee, back up!" Suki shouted, running backward, her eyes locked on the egg, if indeed it was an egg. She grabbed her friend and pulled her along, past several trees. Panting only slightly, she leaned against one of the trees, peering out from behind it to watch the egg.
It hadn't changed.
"What was that for?" Ty Lee asked, pouting.
"We don't know what it is. For all we know, it could be a bomb of some sort," Suki responded, eyeing the still egg with unmasked contempt.
"Maybe it just makes a really big omelet?"
The leader of the Kyoshi warriors rolled her eyes. "As if." After a few more minutes of the egg staying still, she left her hiding place, Ty Lee behind her, and approached the egg again. "What can it be?"
A teenager walked down the white walls of a long hallway. Her dark hair was loose, the candles that lit the building reflecting off of it, giving it a glossy sheen. A long red dress adorned her, the only accessory being a diamond necklace tight around her neck.
Nodding to a guard at the end of the hallway, she waited as he opened the door, letting her into a small room. Following, he locked the door behind them. The man, dressed in a plain white robe, flexed his hand, creating a small hole in the wall opposite the door, and then stepped back.
As soon as the hole opened, a burst of fire shot through. The girl ignored it, and the flame let out after a few minutes. Without expression, the girl spoke. "Was there a point to that little show?"
A rich voice of a woman came from the hole. "Well, if it isn't the traitor herself. Little girls shouldn't play with fire, Mai."
Mai's expression stayed the same, if not for a small yawn on her part. "Speak for yourself. I'm sixteen; you're the one that's locked up."
"Be quiet, you little wretch! If it wasn't for your leaving my cause, I would have won with no problems! No, you had to side with Zu-Zu. Everyone does." The voice was full of malice and scorn.
"Azula, you went crazy. Are you any better?" Mai asked, her face warming in concern.
"Ha! Now you pretend you actually care! My coward of a brother doesn't even dare to see me! What makes you so special?"
"Nothing," she responded, rolling her eyes. "I just missed my friend. I wish she'd miss me too."
"Friend? I was never your friend, you cretin. I have no friends," Azula said, spitting out the words.
"You're right. You're alone." Mai nodded at the guard, who made the hole in the wall disappear. They walked out of the room.
"Is she any better?" the girl asked, scrunching her eyebrows.
The guard shook his head. Sighing, Mai walked away.
"Zuko! Your Royal Highness! Wake up!"
Zuko rubbed his eyes and turned over, nearly falling off of the small bed. It was soft, but not nearly at the degree of his bed at his palace…he groaned and shut his eyes again.
"Firelord! Scar! This is your friendly wake-up call! Up and adams!"
There was that voice again. Along with what sounded like a pan being hit. Zuko ignored the sound. He was trying to sleep in for once…
The door to his room opened, and the covers were yanked off of him. He shot up, glaring at Sokka, who was holding a large pan. "What was that for?"
"Well, I tried the friendly wake-up call. So then it was time for the not-so-friendly wake-up call. You got to stay with the times!" he said, smirking as he left the room.
Zuko groaned once more and put his pillow over his face.
"Katara?" a soft voice said from the doorway. "Katara, are you awake?"
"Mmm-hmmm," was the answer. The door opened. Opening her eyes, Katara saw Toph come in.
"Katara, I…I found this on my nightstand," she said, holding up an overlarge egg, a dark grey color with brown dots and a few pink circles. "I normally don't feel at it…but, I don't know…something was on it." Katara rubbed her eyes and
"What is it?"
"Do you think I'd be asking you if I had an idea?" the blind girl asked, rubbing her feet on the ground. The entire complex of the Jasmine Dragon was stone, the benefits of living in the Earth Nation's capitol.
Katara stretched, and sat up. "It looks like an egg."
"I gathered that much from feeling it. Please tell me this isn't Sokka's form of a joke…"
Looking around her room, Katara noticed a light blue egg on her nightstand, complete with purple waves lining around it. "Wait, I've got one too…" She reached and picked it up. It was large and warm, as if it had just lain out in the sun.
"Wake-up call! Katara, Toph, wakey-wakey, rise and shiney…oh, you're already up," Sokka said, appearing in the doorway. "You've got an egg thing too?"
Katara put the egg on her bed. "You mean this isn't yours?"
"No. Mine is dark blue, with little triangles. I thought it was for the ultimate omelet," Sokka said, looking at Katara and Toph's eggs. "Do you think…?"
"Hey, Sokka, why is there an egg in my room?" Zuko asked, rushing forward with a plain red egg. "If this is your idea of a joke…"
"Stop blaming me already! I have no idea what those eggs are for!" Sokka said, crossing his arms around his pot.
Zuko entered the room. "So you all have eggs too? I wonder if…"
"Can someone tell me why I have a large egg? Not that it isn't cool, but…" Aang said, walking in, holding a light blue egg the same size as the others. "Why are you all staring at me like that?"
"So we all have overlarge eggs. Interesting," Toph said, sitting down on Katara's bed. "And they aren't Sokka's. Even more interesting."
Katara looked at her own egg. "Maybe Iroh would know how they got here, and what they're for…" she said, grabbing hers. She dropped it back on the bed. "It just moved!"
"Sister, that is what happens when you pick something up."
"No, Sokka, I mean it just wriggled."
Zuko looked at his. "I'm going to ask Uncle." He led the others down to the kitchen, where the day had started hours earlier. Iroh was looking at a newspaper, sipping tea. He looked up when the five of them came in.
"Up so soon? What is it?" he asked calmly. Toph held out her egg.
"Each of us found one of these in our rooms. Any ideas?" she asked. Aang, Zuko, Sokka, and Katara each held out their egg, Sokka having grabbed his before rushing downstairs.
Iroh leaned forward, his eyes widening. "Those aren't for omelets. Those are Digieggs."
"Digieggs?" Aang asked, saying the unfamiliar word. "What're they? I've never heard of them."
Iroh took Toph's egg and looked at it. Cryptically, he said, "They're not from here."
"We realized that. Where are they from? I've never seen them, and we've seen most of the world," Katara said, frowning.
"They're from far away. I have a feeling that something's coming. It'd do well if you all were prepared. Don't worry about them for now. It won't help you learn anything."
Giving the egg back, he took another sip of tea. Zuko looked at his egg.
"…that makes perfect sense…not."
Suki sat down in the grass, facing the egg. Ty Lee had given up hours ago, going back to bed without a second glance. But Suki couldn't fall asleep; she couldn't leave this puzzle unsolved.
"What are you?" she asked once again, before sighing. This was getting nowhere. It was a giant egg. Maybe its parent would return soon, and she could leave it in peace.
What if the parent wasn't friendly? If it was an Unagi egg, she didn't think it'd be too happy seeing its precious egg by a stranger. And despite the danger the Unagi presented, they were creatures, just like the Elephant Coy. It wasn't in her power to destroy it without giving it a chance.
She blinked. The sun was coming up. It was early morning now, her night spent up watching the peaceful egg. Groaning, she got up and grabbed it, fully determined to show it who was boss. To her surprise, the egg was warm, and it gave a slight tremor in her grasp.
It was as if the egg…liked to be held…
Suki shook her head, and carried the egg through the trees, heading back for town and her home. It was an egg. If it didn't behave, she'd serve it up as breakfast.
Mai woke up to soft morning light. She smiled gently. Then frowned. Next to her, on the ground a few feet away, was an egg. A soft pink egg, with orange rectangles…
Why was there an egg in her room?
A/N: Chapter 2 (The Beginning Arc) will introduce the members of the Digimon cast, in the 'real' world, as they...well, what do you think has to happen to make this a true crossover?