The Bounty Hunter and The Old Masters
I had not been excepting us to go looking for Jun of all people. She had just sat back down in her chair after beating several guys in a second. Sokka looked at Zuko in shock.
"She helped you try and capture us." He nodded and walked forward.
"Yep back in the good old days." I had to agree with him things had been far less complicated a year ago. Jun saw us coming but didn't react beyond taking a drink from her cup.
"Oh looks its Prince Pouty. Where's your creepy grandpa?"
"He's my uncle and he's not here." She looked over at us and raised an eyebrow.
"I see you worked things out with your girlfriend." I jumped in my skin at this. I had no choice but to deny it.
"He's not my Boyfriend!"
"She's not my Girlfriend!" Zuko and I yelled at the same time. I was glad that we did. It wasn't time for everyone to know yet.
"I was just kidding. Get a sense of humor." She said as she turned back to her drink.
"We need your help finding the Avatar." Zuko said plainly. She raised an eyebrow and raised her glass.
"That doesn't sound like a lot fun." She said in the most board voice I had ever heard.
"Does the end of the world sound like more fun!" Zuko yelled at her as he slammed his fists on the table. Sometimes I was glad Zuko has a short temper it can be quiet helpful when getting people to help us. Jun looked up and saw how serious we all where and stood up. She may have been a bounty hunter but she knew when things where bad and really needed help. Zuko stayed next to me as we walked outside.
Appa was growling at her beast Nyla. Appa licked Nyla making them both stop growling. They heard us and looked our way. Jun held up a chunk of meat.
"Nyla." She called in a sweet voice. She threw the meat in the air and Nyla used her long tongue to grab it out of the air. She swallowed it happily as Jun walked over to her and gently stroked her nose cooing soft words to her. Nyla then shout her tongue at us and Jun pushed her mouth shut.
"Wow careful there. Ok who's got something with the avatars scent?" She asked. I climbed up into Appa's saddle ad picked up his glider.
"I have Aang's glider." I jumped down and landed with a hard thud. It took me a second to get back up. Once I walked over to Nyla she sniffed the glider several times before she began to walk in a circle. She did this several times. Then she flopped down on her stomach and covered her nose with her paws.
"Well what does that mean?" Zuko asked. Jun went over and petted her head.
"It means your friends gone." She said plainly. I couldn't believe it Aang couldn't be dead. He was the Avatar he had to save the world. He had to come back he always came back.
"What do you mean he's dead?" Sokka asked as he threw his hands up in despair.
"No. If he was dead we could find him. It's a real head scratcher." Zuko looked over at me.
"We can't wait for Aang. There's only one other person who can help us face the Fire Lord. I'll be right back with a smell sample."
I dug to the very bottom of my bag and found it. Uncles' sweaty, nasty sandal I had saved just in case I need to track him. I walked back over to Nyla and held up the sandal. Everyone covered their noses at the smell. Well everyone but me and Toph.
"You kept your Uncles' sweaty sandal?' Sokka asked in disgust.
"I think it's kinda sweet." Toph added in my defense. Nyla sniffed the sandal then turned her head.
"Let's do this." Jun said as she turned Nyla and they took off.
"Hey!" I yelled at them as we ran to Appa. Toph earthbened us up into the saddle and Sokka took the rains. There wasn't much to do as we fallowed Jun. We took sifts guiding Appa. Sokka had just taken up the rains for a very tiered Suki. Soon Suki fell asleep and being in the air Toph couldn't see anything. Sokka was watching Jun so I figured this was one of my few chances with Katara. I could tell she was trying hard not to fall asleep. So I slipped my arm around her waist pulling her close. She didn't seem to mind and she leaned her head on my chest and wrapped her arms around my waist. I kissed the top of her head and held her tighter.
To me sometimes it felt like Katara was going to slip away at any moment. Like the fog at sunrise. My worst fear was losing her. Right then I made a promise to the spirits to keep her safe no matter the consequences. Several hours passed when I figured out where we were headed. I lightly unwrapped Katara's arms from me and stood up. It was about time for me to take over and Sokka need to rest. I tapped his shoulder and he stood up. As I sat down on Appas head I began to think about what would happen when I saw Uncle. I figured he would be furious with me and want nothing to with me but I had to try. It wasn't long before I saw the wall of Ba Sing Se.
"We're going to Ba Sing Se?" Sokka asked. I brought Appa down next to the wall but on the outside of it. There was a massive section missing from the wall.
"Your uncle's just beyond the wall. Nyla's getting twitchy so he can't be far. Good luck." Jun said. With that she took off back towards the tavern. We all climbed off Appa and looked around.
"It's been a long day. We'll start out search again in the morning." I said. Toph made herself an earth tent and went to sleep. Suki and Sokka curled up together on Appa's tail and fell asleep. Katara and I laid down and held hands as we fell asleep. I wished I could have held her the way Sokka held Suki but Sokka would kill me if he saw me holding his little sister like that. In my dreams I kept seeing lighting coming at Katara and I couldn't stop it. It was horrible having to watch her get hit over and over and there was nothing I could do to stop it. It seemed as though the spirits where trying to tell me something I just hoped it wasn't that I would lose her.
There was an explosion of fire. We all were on our feet in seconds. I looked up to see who was attacking us when I saw Master Piandao, Master Pakku, Jeong Jeong, and Bumi. I was very confused but I couldn't help but smile.
"Well what do we have here?" Bumi said with his crazy laugh. The fire died away and they all came down to see us. Toph raised an eyebrow.
"We're surrounded by old people?" she said. I smiled as gestured to them.
"Not just any old people. These are great masters and friends of ours." I went up to Pakku and bowed.
"Master Pakku." He returned the bow with a smile.
"It's respectable to bow to an old master but, how about a hug for your new grandfather?" I could help smile and give him a tight hug.
"You and Garn Gran must be so happy to have found each other after all these years." He smiled at me.
"I even made her a new betrothal necklace and everything." Sokka came over and gave Pakku and huge hug.
"Well come to the family Gramp Gramp." Pakku pushed him off and I couldn't blame him.
"You can just call me Pakku."
"What about Grandpakku?" Sokka looked very proud of himself for coming up with the name but Pakku looked far from that.
"No, just Pakku." I then turned to Jeong Jeong.
"And this was Aangs' first fire bending teacher." I told Zuko.
"Jeong Jeong." He said with a smile. Sokka was in the process of greeting his master. When all the introductions where done Suki asked,
"Wait how do you all know each other?" Bumi smiled and raised an eyebrow.
"All old people know each other. Don't you know that?"
"We are all part of the same ancient secret society. An order that transcends the divisions of the four nations." Piandao said.
"The Order of the White Lotus." Zuko said with a smile.
"The white lotus has always been about philosophy, beauty and truth." Jeong Jeong said.
"But about a month ago a call went out that we were need. It came from the Grand Lotus, your Uncle, Iroh of the Fire Nation." Piandao said. Zuko smiled at this.
"Well that's who we are looking for." I said.
"Then we'll take you to him." Said Pakku, Bumi stepped forward suddenly.
"Wait there's someone missing from your group, someone very important. Where's Momo?" He asked as he was right in Sokkas' face.
"Momo's missing and so is Aang." Bumi backed up a tiny bit and patted Sokkas' chest. Sokka flailed his arms trying to keep his balance which to my surprise he did.
"Well as long as they have each other I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. Let's go." He shoot up into the air and off into the distance.
As we fallowed Bumi to their camp he told us how he escaped and set Omasu free. I had to admit it was impressive that one man could do it. But, it was Bumi we were listening to. We saw a wall of stone ahead of us and Bumi used his bending to bring down part of it. Inside we saw a massive camp.
"Welcome to old people camp." Bumi said. There was one large tent in the middle. Piandao put a hand on Zukos' shoulder and pointed to the tent.
"Your Uncle's in there Prince Zuko." Zuko walked over to the tent and sat down in front of it. Pakku showed us where there were extra tents for us but I wanted to go and talk to Zuko first. I walked over to him and sat down.
"Are you ok?" I asked. He looked down at the ground.
"No. Uncle supported and loved me in every way and how did I repay him? By stabbing him in the back." I quickly checked to see that there was no one around. I reached out and took his face in my hands.
"Zuko, you're sorry for what you did." He covered one of my hands with his.
"More sorry then I've ever been before." I smiled at him.
"Then he'll forgive you. I know Iroh still loves you because I love you." He eyes widened slightly at this.
"Katara I…" I cut him off by giving him a chaste kiss
"I know." Zuko smiled at me then stood up, let out a deep sigh and entered Irohs tent.