Â Â Â Â ……Chpt 1- The New Mission……
*Aprox 1 year after the defeat of The Pheonix King*
Team Avatar sat around the meeting table in the FireLord’s palace waiting to find out the reason they had been summoned so urgently. FireLord Zuko walked into the room causing everyone to become quiet.
“Hey Zuko, Is everything okay?” Avatar Aang asked standing up to greet his friend.
“I have some bad news.” Zuko started while looking at Aang and the rest of his friends. “Azula has escaped from prison last night. I’ve sent guards out looking for her, but she is no where to be found.”
“Well, this is just GREAT!” Sokka whined flailing his arms in the air. “The Lighting Loser Lady is on the run again.”
“Do you ALWAYS have to nickname everyone with stupid names?” Toph remarked obviously annoyed by his constant immaturity.
“Yes, and they’re NOT stupid! I happen to have a GIFT and I intend to…”
“Sokka not now.” Katara interrupted shutting her annoying brother up.Â
“What do you think we should do?” Aang asked Zuko. Zuko looked over at Katara and back at Aang.Â
“I have a few ideas, but I’m not sure you guys are going to like them.”Â
“We are willing to do anything to make sure that the world remains safe and at peace.” Aang replied as the others nodded in agreement. “What are your ideas?”
“Azula’s very crafty and knows that she can’t easily escape out of the firenation without being noticed so my thoughts are she is probably going to be residing in the small towns gathering soldiers and people who are against the Harmony Restoration Movement. She’s probably going to be creating an army of her own and win approval from the small villages eventually leading to a revolt.” Zuko informed.
“So we split up and search out the small villages to find her and take her down.” Katara stated.
“It’s not that easy… With so many fire nation loyalists already trying to start a revolt it’s going to be very hard to find out who is on our side and who is against us. They will stay quiet until Azula gives orders to attack.” Zuko replied sitting down with the rest of the gang.Â
“What do you suggest?” Sokka asked putting his hands on his knees.
“Aang, Sokka, and I will stay here and protect everyone in the firenation. Toph will go to the Earth Kingdom with Uncle and keep their eyes and ears open for any information on Azula.”
“What about me?” Katara asked.
“You will return to the Southern Water Tribe where you will be safe.” Zuko instructed.Â
“Are you kidding me?! Why can’t I be involved in this?” Katara Shouted rather than asked.
“Azula will be after you. You’re just bait, and we can’t afford to have you getting hurt or killed. It’s not safe here for you.” Zuko calmly replied.
“Well what about you? She has just as much of a grudge toward you! Plus I’ve already beat her once… I can do it again.” Katara blurted out.
“Katara, you beat her only because I SAVED you from HER LIGHTNING BOLT! You don’t stand a chance against Azula.” Zuko’s voice became even more impatient.
“I was The one who ended up beating her and SAVING you! If it wasn’t for me YOU wouldn’t be alive right now and SHE would be FireLord!” Katara shot back.
“Katara you are leaving for the Southern Water Tribe and that is Final! I will banish you from the Fire nation if I have too.” Zuko threatened.
“Katara..” Aang’s voice interrupted both of them. “Zuko has a good point. If you stay here Azula will be after you. You aren’t safe here. I agree with Zuko; for now, you need to go back home.”Â
Katara sighed, “If that’s what you two think is best..” Then getting up she left the room glaring at Zuko as she past him.Â
“She’ll be fine just give her sometime to cool off.” Sokka said to Zuko after she the slammed the door.Â
“I know. I’m not worried about her being mad at me.” Zuko replied dully. “Toph, you need to leave immediately and go to Uncle’s Tea shop. Give him this message when you get there. He will explain all the plans to you.”Â
“Alright Mr.Grumpypants I’ll head over there.” Toph jumped up and grabbed the scroll from Zuko’s hand.Â
“I’M NOT GRUMPY!” Zuko screamed.
“Sure you’re not.” Toph replied back while walking out of the room.Â
“Sokka and Aang, Â you should probably take Appa and go to the outer regions of the Firenation and begin searching for Azula. You guys can leave tomorrow if you would rather do that.” Zuko continued.
“What about Katara? How is she going to get to the Southern Watertribe without Appa? I assumed I would be taking her there to make sure she gets home safe.” Aang asked looking a little worried.
“There is no time. I will give her a small fleet ship to get back home with a few guards to keep her safe.. She will be fine Aang.” Zuko reassured.
“I still don’t like the idea of her being without us… But if you feel it’s safest and crucial to the mission… I will do what you think is best.” Aang sighed heavily and looked down at the floor.
Back at the firenation house the gang was staying in, Katara was packing up her belongings. Toph had already came and gone ready to start her mission, but Katara had no reason to rush since she was going home to do absolutely nothing. Aang and Sokka entered the house discussing their part of the mission. Sokka soon went into his bedroom stating that he had to pack and write Sukki a letter explaining the mission he is now a part of. Aang left Sokka to his business, walked into Katara’s room, and leaned against the door frame.Â
“I still don’t see why I have to go home at a time like this. I’m just as good of a warrior as Zuko is.” Katara complained to Aang while throwing some clothes in her traveling bag.
“Azula is just like Ozai, Katara. She is crafty and sneaky and can easily defeat Zuko if she wanted to. We are only doing what is best. I don’t want you hurt, Sweetie. I agree that you don’t need to be here right now considering the circumstances. The only thing I wish I could do is take you the Southern Water Tribe instead of you traveling on a ship without us..”Â Aang explained while walking up to where Katara stood beside her bed.
“I know what you mean..” Katara sighed looking at her bag. “I’m going to miss you, Sweetie.” She said while turning and hugging him.
“I’m going to miss you too, Sweetie. I will be down there as soon as I can… I promise.” Aang replied holding his love tightly. Â He released her from the hug and stared into her deep blue eyes. Slowly he leaned in and kissed Katara passionately, just as they had done that day outside of Iroh’s Jasmine Dragon Teashop.
The next day Zuko arrived and told Katara the ship was all ready and she needed to be heading out soon. Aang, , and Zuko accompanied her to the ships dock to tell her goodbye. Sokka gave his sister a long bear hug.Â
“Be safe out there sis. Take care of Gran-Gran and Dad for me, and write once you get there.” Sokka instructed while still holding his little sister.
“I will.” Katara replied as they let go of eachother.
“Hopefully you won’t hate me for making you do this Katara. Be safe.” Zuko stated coming up and giving her a quick hug goodbye.
“I’ll do my best.” Katara replied with a half smile on her face showing she was done being upset with him.
Â Aang then walked up to her and pulled her into him.Â
“This is going to be so hard not having you with me. I hate that you are leaving where I can’t protect you.. I’m going to miss you so much, Sweetie.” Aang said as his grip around her tightened. “I love you” he whispered in her ear then they pulled back away from the embrace.Â
“I love you too, Aang. I’m going to miss you so much!” Katara replied with tear-filled eyes. She then jumped back into his arms again.Â
“OKAY GUYS! You are giving me the Oogies AGAIN!” Sokka interrupted them putting his hands over his eyes.Â
Katara was about to jump down his throat for talking about his “Oogies”, but the Caption of the fleet ship called her name and told her they needed to be heading out. Katara gave Aang a quick peck on the lips and ran on to the ship waving bye to them. Sokka fell on the ground squealing in disgust. Aang ignored Sokka’s Oogie stroke and watched as the love of his life floated off into the distance. He felt a strong hand on his shoulder, “She’ll be fine.” Zuko reassured his friend.
“I know. It’s just going to be tough without her being with me. Ever since we have met we have never been apart for longer than a week. I’m going to miss her.” Aang said with a deep sigh as they both watched the ship disappear in the distance.