Tag Archives: Jun

Avatar: The Spirit of Fire – The Old Masters

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Author’s note: In which all those weird old guys we’ve met and liked so far are back, there are strategies discussed and the final battle is due to begin.

Previous chapter: link

Next chapter: link

***The Old Masters***

Sokka’s eyes widened in recognition.

“Hey, I remember her. She helped you attack us!” he told Zuko accusingly. The prince shrugged and walked in, pulling Katara close to him in the process.

“Yup, back in the good old days,” he told Sokka over his shoulder. Sokka frowned at the comment and Zuko’s hand around Katara’s waist, but noticing some of the looks Suki was getting he hurried to do the same. Toph was too young to be noticed and Lia was doing an excellent job of death glaring anyone that looked at her direction. June noticed their approach.

“Oh great, it’s prince Pouty,” she sighed. “Where’s your creepy grandpa‌?”

“He’s my uncle, and he’s not here,” Zuko corrected him. June noticed the closeness between him and the waterbender and smirked.
“I see you worked things out with your girlfriend.”  The two teens blushed, remembering that particular encounter while Lia snickered in the background. “So what do you want?” the bounty hunter asked.

“I need your help finding the Avatar,” Zuko explained. June shrugged indifferently.

“Doesn’t sound too fun.” Zuko felt his temper flare. He slammed his hands on the table.

“Does the end of the world sound like more fun‌?” he yelled.

 

With a sigh, and a wish to be left in peace, June followed them outside. They found Appa ready to pick a fight with the shirshu.

“Nyla…” June called her pet, holding up a piece of meat. She scratched Nyla’s nose affectionately. “Who’s my little snuffly-wuffly… Whoa! Careful there!” she stepped back when Nyla made a move to let out its tongue. She turned to the teens. “Okay, who’s got something with the Avatar’s scent on it?” Katara climbed on the saddle.

“I have Aang’s staff.” She offered it to June who placed it in front of Nyla’s nose. The shirshu took a sniff and started walking around, trying to catch the scent. After a few moments it slumped to the ground and covered its nose with its paws.

“Well, what does that mean‌?” Zuko asked impatiently.

“It means your friend’s gone,” June answered, petting Nyla. Toph rolled her eyes.

“We know he’s gone, that’s why we’re trying to find him.” The bounty hunter shook her head.

“No, I mean he’s gone, gone. He doesn’t exist.” Frozen silence met the statement.

“What do you mean Aang doesn’t exist‌?” Sokka finally asked exasperated. “Do you mean he’s… you know, dead‌?” June shook her head carelessly.

“Nope, we could find him if he were dead. Ah, a real head scratcher. See ya.” She turned and mounted on Nyla.

“Helpful, real helpful,” Toph drawled. Zuko ignored her as he raced back to the saddle.

“Wait,” he called over his shoulder, digging through his pack. “There’s only one other person in this world who can help us face the Fire Lord.” He brought out an old, really smelly sandal.

“You saved your uncle’s sweaty sandal‌?” Sokka asked incredulously. Lia smirked.

“I think it’s kind of sweet,” she said her voice tight from holding her breath.

“Let’s do this.” June took the reins of Nyla and rushed towards the forest as the gaang rushed on Appa and after her.
They rushed through the Earth Kingdom, stopping at the outer wall of a very familiar city.

“We’re going to Ba Sing Se‌?” Zuko wondered out loud surprised.

“Your uncle’s somewhere beyond the wall,” June explained. “Nyla’s getting twitchy so he can’t be too far. Good luck.” She took off again. Zuko sighed tiredly and turned to the others.

“It’s been a long day. Let’s camp and start our search again at dawn.”

 

Lia opted to stand watch, too tense to sleep. Not feeling any threatening presences nearby, she let her eyes wander over their camp. Zuko and Katara were asleep holding each other while Sokka and Suki slept next to each other a little further away. Toph had made her customary earth tent. Suddenly the Spirit felt four presences approaching. She made a protective ring of fire around them at the same moment Toph woke up, waking everyone else in the process. Four men in white and blue robes walked out of the ruins of the wall. Sokka’s and Katara’s faces lit up in recognition.

“Well, look who’s here,” one of the men cackled giddily. Suki, Toph and Zuko looked at the Water siblings questionably.

“What’s going on‌?” Toph asked confused as Lia let her fire die. “We’re surrounded by old people.”

“Not just any old people. These are great masters and friends of ours,” Katara explained, bowing in front of one. “Pakku.” The old waterbender bowed back.

“It is respectful to bow to an old master but how about a hug for your new grandfather?” he asked opening his arms. Katara rushed to him, smiling happily while Sokka’s jaw hit the ground.

“That’s so exciting. You and Gran Gran must be so happy to have found each other again,” Katara said excitedly.

“I made her a new betrothal necklace and everything,” Pakku said before he was tackled by Sokka’s hug.

“Welcome to the family Great Gramp!”

“You can still just call me Pakku,” the man said dryly.

“How about Grand Pakku‌?” Sokka offered.

“No.”

 

Katara moved on hurriedly.

“And this was Aang’s first firebending teacher,” she explained. Zuko bowed respectfully to the man and he bowed back but before he had a chance to introduce himself, Lia materialized at her brother’s side. The man’s eyes widened.

“Well, if it isn’t my old flame…” she said playfully. “Glad to see you again Jeong Jeong.

“Lia,” the firebender said with the smallest hint of a smile, ignoring his companions’ looks of astonishment and disbelief. “Still as mesmerizing as ever.” She smiled back.

“Coming from any other man, I would have taken this as a compliment.” She kissed him lightly on the cheek before stepping back to stand next to Toph.

 

Sokka had walked over to Piandao, decidedly ignoring how weirded out he had been.

“Master Piandao,” he greeted bowing. The sword master bowed back.

“Hello, Sokka,” he said cheerfully.

“So wait, how do you all know each other‌?” Suki asked confused.

“All old people know each other, don’t you know that‌?” the crazed man, called Bumi, said cheerfully.

“We’re all part of the same ancient secret society. A group that transcends the divisions of the four nations,” Piandao explained more rationally. Zuko shook his head in understanding.

“The Order of the White Lotus.”

“That’s the one,” Bumi jumped in.

“The White Lotus has always been about philosophy, and beauty and truth. About a month ago, a call went out that we were needed for something important,” Jeong Jeong explained.

“It came from a Grand Lotus, your uncle, Iroh of the Fire Nation,” Pakku explained, addressing Zuko.

“Well that’s who we’re looking for,” Toph said, bored with the long winded introduction.

“Then we’ll take you to him,” Piandao said decisively.

“Wait!” Bumi explained looking around. “Someone’s missing from your group. Someone very important. Where’s Momo‌?” he asked Sokka.

“He’s gone. And so is Aang,” Sokka said taking a step back to put some space between them. Bumi shrugged.

“Oh well, so long as they have each other I’m sure we have nothing to worry about. Let’s go.”

 

They had been walking in silence for about ten minutes when a sudden shout made everyone jump.

“FOR THE LOVE OF THE SUN AND THE MOON ZUKO!” Lia huffed. “It was just harmless flirting! Besides, you weren’t even born then!” she stormed away from her brother. Sokka turned awkwardly to Bumi.

“So Bumi, how did you end up escaping your imprisonment in Omashu‌?” he asked.

“Escape‌?” the king said, bending his head to look at the teens behind him. “I didn’t escape, everybody else escaped. There I was, back in Omashu, waiting for just the right moment. I didn’t know what or when but I knew I’d know it when I knew it.” He went on to describe how he had used the eclipse to kick the Fire Nation soldiers out of his city.

“Wow, you took back your whole city all by yourself,” Suki said amazed in the end.

“So what about you guys? ‌ Did you do anything interesting on the day of the eclipse‌?” Bumi asked interested. Sokka and Zuko exchanged a look. Memories of the failed invasion passed through their heads.

“Nah!”

“No, not really.”
They had reached the inner wall were the White Lotus has set their camp.

“Well, here we are,” Bumi walked into the camp. “Welcome to old people camp.” Zuko looked around nervously.

“Where… where is he‌?” he asked.

“Your uncle’s in there, prince Zuko,” Piandao said, pointing at a far off tent. It crossed everyone’s mind how strange it was to hear Zuko being addressed with his title again.

 

Zuko walked up the tent but hesitated before going in. With a sigh he slumped to the ground.

“Are you okay‌?” Katara asked concerned, walking to his side.

“No, I’m not okay. My uncle hates me, I know it. He loved me and supported me in every way he could and I still abandoned him. How can I even face him?” Zuko asked, looking at her desperately. Katara sighed and took his hand.

“Zuko it wasn’t your fault. And even if it was, you’re sorry it happened, right?”

“More sorry than I’ve been about anything in my entire life.”

“Then he’ll forgive you. He will.” She kissed him lightly before walking back to where the rest of the gang was setting up their tents.
Taking a deep breath Zuko walked into the tent.

“Uncle?” he called quietly, to be greeted with a loud snore. Smiling lightly he sat next to Iroh’s sleeping mat, waiting for the old man to wake up. At dawn Iroh stirred and paused when he felt another presence on the room.

“Uncle, I know you must have mixed feelings about seeing me,” Zuko began hesitantly. No matter what Lia and Katara said he couldn’t help but feel that he was to blame for his uncle’s capture. “But I want you to know, I’m so so sorry, uncle,” he continued, his voice cracking as he tried to not cry. “I’m so sorry that I left you back there. I don’t know how I can ever make it up to you but I’ll…” he was cut off by Iroh’s embrace. His eyes widened in amazement. “How can you forgive me so easily‌? I thought you would be furious with me,” he said in disbelief.

“I was never angry with you. I was sad because I didn’t know what had become of you,” Iroh said without pulling away from his nephew.

“I taught Aang,” Zuko said simply. Iroh’s smile widened.

“I’ve heard so,” he said pulling back to look at his nephew’s face. “I am very proud of you. And I am so happy you found your way here.”
As soon as they walked out of the tent Lia and Toph rushed to hug Iroh, glad to see him again. They settled for breakfast and began filling Iroh in on their latest adventures. The subject eventually turned to Aang’s disappearance.

“Uncle, you’re the only person other than the Avatar who can possibly defeat the Father Lord,” Zuko said. Lia giggled at his mistake.

“You mean the Fire Lord?” she asked.

“That’s what I just said,” he snapped at her. Iroh looked thoughtful. “We need you to come with us,” Zuko insisted, turning back at him.

“No, Zuko. It won’t turn out well,” he finally said.

“You can beat him and we’ll be there to help,” his nephew insisted.

“Even if I did defeat Ozai, and I don’t know that I could, it will be the wrong way to end the war. History would see it as just more senseless violence, a brother killing a brother to grab power. The only way for this war to end peacefully is for the Avatar to defeat the Fire Lord,” Iroh explained.

“And then… then would you come and take your rightful place on the throne‌?” Zuko asked. Iroh shook his head.

“No. Someone new must take the throne. An idealist with a pure heart and unquestionable honour. It has to be you, prince Zuko.” The boy’s eyes widened.

“Unquestionable honour?‌ But I’ve made so many mistakes.”

“Yes, you have,” Iroh said gently. “You struggled, you suffered but you have always followed your own path, you restored your own honour. And only you can restore the honour of the Fire Nation.” Zuko looked resolute.

“I’ll try, uncle.”

“Well, what if Aang doesn’t come back‌?” Toph asked uncertainly.

“Sozin’s Comet is arriving and our destinies are upon us. Aang will face the Fire Lord,” Iroh said calmly. “When I was a boy, I had a vision that I would one day take Ba Sing Se. Only now do I see that my destiny is to take it back from the Fire Nation so the Earth Kingdom can be free again.”

“That’s why you gathered the members of the White Lotus,” Suki said, nodding in understanding.

“Yes.” He turned back to Zuko with a serious look. “Zuko, you must return to the Fire Nation so that when the Fire Lord falls, you can assume the throne and restore peace and order. But Azula will be there, waiting for you.”

“I can handle Azula,” Zuko said frowning.

“Not alone,” Lia cut off Iroh’s next words. “You’ll need help.” Her brother nodded and turned to his girlfriend.

“You’re right. Katara, how would you like to help me put Azula in her place‌?” She smiled at him.

“It would be my pleasure.”

“What about us‌?” Sokka asked, pointing at himself, Toph, Suki and Lia. “What’s our destiny today‌?”

“What do you think it is‌?” Iroh asked.

“I think that… even though we don’t know where Aang is, we need to do everything we can to stop the airship fleet,” Sokka concluded decisively. Toph smiled.

“And that means when Aang does face the Fire Lord, we’ll be right there if he needs us.”

 

Piandao led Sokka, Suki and Toph to the edge of the camp and presented them with an oversized lizard.

“Nothing runs faster over land or swims quicker than a giant eel-hound,” he explained as they mounted. “The airship base is on a small island just off the Earth Kingdom shore. You should be able to intercept the fleet within a day’s journey.” Sokka took a look at the map he was given and nodded.

“Thank you, Master,” he said.

 

Zuko and Katara would take Appa in order to fly back to the capital. Lia decided to stay and help the White Lotus. The prince turned to Iroh.

“So if I’m going to be Fire Lord after the war is over, what are you going to do‌?” he asked.

“After I re-conquer Ba Sing Se, I’m going to re-conquer my tea shop and I’m going to play Pai Sho every day.” Zuko and Katara smiled at that and Lia laughed a little. Being around Iroh was certainly refreshing.

“Goodbye, General Iroh,” Katara said respectfully as they prepared to take off.

“Goodbye, everyone. Today, destiny is our friend. I know it.”

Avatar: The Spirit of Fire – The Abbey

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Author’s Note: In which the author nearly didn’t upload because she woke up thinking it’s Sunday, Zuko can’t seem to catch a break, Katara is suspicious and the coolest minor character ever makes an appearance.

Last chapter: link

Next chapter: link

***The Abbey***

Iroh sighed contentedly, taking a sip from his tea cup. He would trust no one on the ship with his precious teapot and even more precious leaves, so he always made it himself. Although his nephew had never appreciated a quality cup of warm jasmine tea, Iroh knew better, always.

“See prince Zuko? A moment of quietness is good for your mental well-being,” he told the teenager sitting on the other side of the table. Zuko took silently the cup he was offered, unaware of Iroh’s worry. Ever since they had learned of Zhao’s promotion to admiral, Zuko had grown even more isolated. He refused everyone’s company, sneaking out to the woods almost every night. The old general was hoping that tea would once again work its miracle and persuade his nephew to open up. As the boy leaned to take a sip the whole ship shook, spilling the tea all over his armour.

 

They hurried on deck, Zuko secretly hoping it was the Avatar, but instead the saw a young woman riding a really big… something, yelling that she was after a stow-away.

“There are no stow-ways on my ship,” Zuko told her annoyed. The animal seemed to have a different opinion. It tore up a part of the deck floor and indeed found hidden under it a terrified man. The man tried to escape, but the beast hit him quickly with his tongue.

“He’s paralyzed!” Zuko observed surprised.

“Only temporarily,” the woman explained casually. “The toxins will wear off in about an hour and by then he will be in jail and I’ll have my money.”

“But how did you find him on my ship?” Zuko insisted.

“My shirshu can smell a rat a mile away.” She patted the monster affectionately before turning to climb on it.

“Well I’m impressed.” Iroh commented. As she turned to leave he checked her lithe body out once more before saying, “Very impressed!” Zuko looked at him annoyed.

 

Later that day Zuko walked into the forest. Normally he would meet with Lia on the ship, but his uncle was becoming suspicious and he didn’t want to risk it. He could always tell him the truth, but Zuko was reluctant to do so. Lia was a good friend and they were very close, but an outsider might take it the wrong way. Especially if the outsider was his uncle… And when he understood the truth he would hound him for all eternity for not being told from the beginning.

 

Zuko was so absorbed by his thoughts, he didn’t even notice he had reached the clearing. He was shaken out of his trance by the sound of rushing water. They had chosen that place especially because it was so close to a small river. Lia had begun to show him some basics on controlling earth and water. He sat by the river and run a mental list of the things he had to do on the ship. They had enough supplies to last them until they reached the next port, and his uncle had just restocked his beloved tea. The only thing keeping them there was the damage on the ship’s deck. His eyes darkened. That woman had left a mess and a half behind her. But she was obviously a bounty hunter, and a rather skilled one, so maybe he could use her talents as a refund. Zuko rose. Even without seeing her, Lia seemed to always help him. He dusted himself off and headed back to his ship. It was time to go hunting.

 

It turned out that his uncle knew where to find the bounty hunter. Zuko honestly didn’t want to know how. It was a filthy place, near the end of the woods. The prince had a feeling that almost everyone in there was an outlaw. He saw the bounty hunter from earlier in the centre of the room arm-wrestling a man twice her size. Zuko stalked forward, ordering people out of his way. He was in no mood for his uncle’s niceties. Sometimes the impolite way was the fastest one.

“I need to talk to you,” Zuko told the woman curtly as soon as he reached her table. She sighed.

“Well if it isn’t my new friends, Angry Boy and Uncle Lazy.” Her opponent was struggling – with no success – to free his hand. Iroh laughed at his description.

“Your beast trashed my ship.” Zuko insisted. “You have to pay me back.”

She didn’t answer at first, busy gathering the coins that went flying as soon as she defeated her opponent. “I’d love to help,” she said eventually, “but I’m a little short on money. Drinks on me!” she called right away.

“Money isn’t what I had in mind,” Zuko told her, succeeding in gaining her attention.

 

They walked outside and he showed her Katara’s necklace.

“I need you to find someone.” She took a look on it and raised an eyebrow.

“What happened? Your girlfriend ran off on you?”

“It’s not the girl I’m after.” As if I would hurt her. “It’s the bald monk she’s traveling with.”

“Whatever you say,” she told him obviously not convinced. What was with women thinking he was after Katara? Lia seemed to think the same, whenever he was ranting to her about the Avatar’s trail.

“If you find them I’ll consider the damage to my ship paid for.”

She scoffed and turned to leave. “Forget it!”

“Plus we’ll pay your weight in gold!” Iroh suddenly added. The bounty hunter turned.

“Make it your weight,” she told Iroh, poking lightly on the stomach, “and you’ve got a deal.”

He laughed. “You got it.”

“Get on!” she ordered them snatching the necklace from Zuko’s hand. She gave it to the shirshu, who smelled it, then hastily climbed on its back. Within moments they had disappeared into the night.

 

By dawn they had reached the ruins of an Earth Kingdom city, close to the Fire Nation camp where the Blue Spirit had made his first appearance. There was only an old lady there, watering a few meagre plants.

“Out for fresh air, are we?” she asked good-naturally.

“We’re looking for someone,” Zuko told her.

“I hope it’s not Miyuki.” The lady said worried. She turned to her cat. “Miyuki did you get in trouble with the Fire Nation again?”

“The Avatar has been through here. Let’s keep moving.” Jun, the bounty hunter, was now in her element and enjoying the chase immensely. She cracked her whip and they took off again.

 

Their next stop was at another city, this one near a volcano. They stopped again in front of another old lady. Zuko wondered hazily if it was becoming a pattern. He was tired from riding and his only comfort was the knowledge that they would be closing in on the Avatar soon.

“Why are we stopping?” he asked annoyed, shaking his head to get rid of his sleepiness.

“Because the girl must have spent a lot of time here.” Jun snapped.

“We don’t have time for this.” He snatched back the necklace and made the beast smell it again. It tried to lick him as an answer. “Hey, watch it!” he said angrily.

Jun and Iroh laughed. “Oh, look! She likes you!” Jun said in an exaggeratedly sweet voice.

“Care to hear your fortune handsome?” the old lady asked Iroh, smiling beguilingly. He winked at her.

“At my age there’s only one big surprise left and I’d just assume to leave it a mystery.” He barely had time to finish his answer before the shirshu starting running again.

 

By the time the sun was beginning to set again they had reached an abbey near the coastline. The shirshu was more anxious there.

“We’re getting close.” Jun said satisfied. They rode into the forest, when they came across Katara and her brother.

No Avatar? What happened? Zuko didn’t have time to ponder it as Jun spoke again.

“So this is your girlfriend?” she asked. “No wonder she left. She’s way too pretty for you.”

“Where is he? Where is the Avarar?” Zuko demanded fighting the heat that threatened to take over his face. To his surprise, Katara was bushing a little too.

“We split up. He’s long gone.” Her brother told him.

“How stupid do you think I am?”

“Pretty stupid. Run!” he yelled, grabbing his sister’s hand. They didn’t go far. The shirshu whipped its tongue out, hitting them in their backs and paralyzing them.

“What are we supposed to do now?” Zuko wondered out loud. The shirshu moved forward.

“It’s seeking a different scent.” Jun explained. “Perhaps something the Avatar has held recently.” Even as she spoke, the beast stuck its nose out and pawed the earth, having caught Aang’s scent on a piece of parchment.

 

They loaded the two Water Tribe teens on Jun’s “pet” and headed back to the abbey. Zuko, hoping against hope that nobody noticed, wrapped his arm around Katara’s waist, steading her during the worst parts of the ride. The girl noticed and wondered once more why the prince was bothering to care for her. He had spoken in his usual harsh tone, but the next thing she knew was his warm arm around her. And why had that woman asked whether she was his girlfriend?

 

Back at the abbey’s courtyard Jun’s shirshu was going in circles, clearly looking for something. That something was the Avatar who arrived, flying out of nowhere. It rose on its feet trying to hit him with its tongue, making everyone fall from its back. Zuko almost asked Katara if she was alright before he saw her smiling at the airbender. He felt jealously rise in him. He didn’t think Katara would ever look so happy to see him. Jun and her beast were knocked out of the way by the Avatar’s bison, even as the kid turned barely in time to block Zuko’s unrestrained attack. The prince felt his control over his fire thinning and trickling away as his anger rose. In a flash, Lia’s story came to his mind. Losing control now would only put everyone in danger. He tried to keep his cool but it was nearly impossible with Aang countering all his attacks and the memory of the boy’s offer of friendship still fresh in his mind.

 

Eventually both boys attacked the same time with equal power. They fell back with the force of each other’s shots. The Avatar barely had time to sit up when Zuko attacked him again. The little monk was getting better, just like the prince was, Zuko noted, after a particularly strong air blast. He slid down to level ground from the roof he had been perched on, while Jun took his place there. She only succeeded on sending the Avatar down the roof. Zuko smiled. Sending fire towards the monk, he cornered Aang against a well.

 

Aang was dodging Zuko’s attacks with increasing difficulty. The prince was getting better, he noticed, torn between admiration and annoyance. Suddenly something blue caught his eye. Katara’s necklace.

“You’ve got something that I want,” Aang said attacking again. Zuko followed his gaze and started. He had thought it was secure under his sleeve.

“No, you’re not taking this,” he muttered under his breath. He fought with renewed vigour, but Aang managed to steal the necklace, before jumping and hiding inside a well. Well past caring at this point, Zuko sent a huge fire blast after him, which was answered by a blast of even more water from the depths of the well. The pressure sent him flying to the nearest wall.

 

He was on his feet in seconds. He didn’t care about the Avatar anymore. He could escape for all Zuko cared. But he would have that necklace back. It was his only memento of Katara. He ran after the Air Nomad only to have his way cut short by the boy’s bison. Much to his annoyance it was Jun that came to his rescue. The Avatar was now cornered. Zuko smiled at his good luck. He would capture the boy and get the necklace back.

 

It was a good plan. And it would have worked if it wasn’t for a wave of perfume that hit them with nauseating strength. The mixture of scents drove the shirshu overboard. It charged around frantically, shooting its tongue out, whipping the air. Zuko got hit first and fell back. Jun was trying to calm it down and only succeeded on getting hit too. She landed on top of his uncle.

“Uncle,” Zuko whispered in a dazed voice, “I didn’t see you getting hit with the tongue.”

Iroh shushed him smiling mischievously. Once the Avatar and his friends left a young nun approached them holding a small bottle. She stuck it under their noses, curing them of their paralysis. They rose unsteadily on their feet.

“Thank you my dear.” Iroh said at the girl smiling heartily.

“It’s my pleasure to help the people of my nation.” The girl bowed and left, winking at Zuko. As she turned he caught a glimpse of red hair. Lia.

 

They returned to their ship and Zuko rushed to his room. Inside Lia was waiting for him. She had changed from the nun’s dress to an Earth Kingdom kimono, dyed scarlet. She looked as if she had been waiting for him for a good amount of time, lounging on his bed and even going through one of his scrolls. Zuko was in no mood for talking but couldn’t resist the temptation.

“A nun?” he asked her. “Seriously?”

“I had to improvise,” Lia answered shrugging. “You didn’t seem to have a problem with my presence there.”

“I had bigger problems,” he said sitting on the meditation mat.

“The necklace…” he heard Lia saying quietly. “There is something I want to show you in regard to it.”

He looked uninterested. “What? Did you snatch it right under the Avatar’s nose?”

“No, but still, you might find this interesting.”

 

Not waiting for an answer, Lia sat facing him and raised her right hand. She traced a perfect circle in the air, white flames following her movement. Inside the circle, Zuko could see the Avatar, Katara and Sokka sitting on the flying bison. The Avatar was speaking.

“I wish I could give you a little piece of home Katara. Something to remind you…” he trailed of.

“I’ll be okay,” Katara assured him.

“Still just a little trinket. Something like… this?” he said taking of the necklace.

“Aang, how did you get that?” she asked tying it around her neck.

“Zuko asked me to be sure I gave it to you,” the kid answered smugly. Zuko’s face fell. The last thing he wanted was the Avatar to take the necklace, but he had to admit it looked better on Katara’s neck.

“Oh that’s so sweet of Zuko,” Katara said. Her mind went back to their last encounter. Judging by his behaviour then it wouldn’t surprise her if he had really said such a thing. She smiled softly. “I owe him a kiss for making sure I got it back.” She turned to gaze at the setting sun, missing Aang’s disappointed expression.

 

Lia made the flames and the vision disappear.

“So, did I make you feel better?” she asked Zuko. He didn’t answer her, he was merely gazing were the flames used to be, a small, rather dazed, smile on his lips.