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|Bitter Reunion Part 2|
19 November 2010
Bitter Reunion Part 2 is the forty third chapter of.
Team Avatar stays in Lee's village, hoping to rid it of the soldiers who oppress the citizens.
A Desert Showdown
The next morning, Team Avatar went into the village. They had the villagers hide within their houses while the team took their positions. Toph went to the entrance of the village that Sela told them about, while Zuko is on a roof near another main entrance. Sokka, Katara, and Aang covered the last entrance to the center of the village, with each keeping a metaphorical eye on their assigned entrance.
The three soldiers march into the town on their Ostrich Horses, two in front with one falling slightly behind. "All right, where are you cowards?" the leader calls out from the back of the formation.
"I don't see anyone sir," one soldier replies.
"We're busting down these doors," the leader replies. Obeying, the two soldiers get off of their horses and begin walking towards the doors.
Sokka's eyes widen as he watches his plans crumble from the roof of a building. "No..." he mutters as he sees the soldier's change in plans. "Go now!" he tells Aang and Katara while simultaneously throwing his boomerang and drawing his sword.
The boomerang flies to the city street below, and strikes the leader's ostrich horse in the knee. It is knocked down to the ground, and the leader followed to the ground. "What was that?" the leader says to his temporarily distracted subordinates. After a few moments of not seeing anything, he turns and sees his soldiers staring at him blankly. "What are you doing? Get back to work!" he orders, and the soldiers turn to continue pounding at the doors, and one of them gives way.
Aang swoops in, getting off his glider before he twirls it and knocks the soldiers back to the center of the city. The two land in front of the leader, and slowly get up. "What are you doing in this town?" Aang asks the leader, who had gotten back.
"Listen, kid: You don't get what we've been through. This is our way of life. You don't belong here, ruining our town's order." the leader replies. "You should leave us be."
Zuko comes from the other side, pacing up from an alley. "You just never learn."
"It's you..." the leader says while picking his hammers up. He goes to strike the ground with his hammers, but Aang is too quick. Aang twirls his staff and sweeps out the leader's legs, forcing him back to the ground.
"What's your name?" Zuko says, walking closer to the solder. "Answer me!"
"My name is Captain Gow. I will not lose to someone like you!" he screams as he tries to rise. Aang uses an air jet to pin him back to the ground, before sealing him in an earth casing. Gow struggles for a moment, before yelling orders to his soldiers. "What are you waiting for? Get them!"
The two soldiers charge Zuko and Aang, spears drawn. Aang swipes one with a jet of air, forcing him into the side of a building. Zuko runs to another, ducking and swiping at him with his foot. The soldier falls to the ground, and Zuko kneels and picks up his spear, snapping it in half and setting the pieces ablaze.
Aang's foe gets up and charges at them, but trips in the process. He looks up to see Katara behind him, bending her water back into its pouch. Aang stomps on the ground and the soldier was encased in earth.
Zuko looks over the two defeated soldiers, remembering how he defeated them before. "You will not make this town suffer any more," he says while walking over to the soldier he most recently defeated. "Where is Lee? Where is Gansu? Where are you keeping them?" he barks while grabbing the soldier's uniform.
"Those two? They're back at our camp," the soldier replies. The fear of the former Prince who defeated him effortlessly in their previous encounter still resonated, as it appeared like the soldier wished to hide.
"Where would that be?" Zuko asks, almost singsong in his tone.
"I'll take you there," the soldier manages to say.
"Good," Zuko whispers as Toph and Sokka arrive.
"They're done already?" Sokka asks.
"They're taking us to Gansu and Lee. Now, let's go," Zuko answers, while lifting the soldier up to his feet and motioning for him to lead them to their base.
After a lengthy period of walking, Sokka grew impatient. "Let's go," Sokka calls to the tired soldier who was leading Team Avatar to his camp.
"Just let me take my time punk," the soldier responds. He continues walking, eventually coming across several tents in a clearing in the forest. "Here it is. Now, let me go!"
"Fine." Aang lifts his hand in a fist, and lets his hand open. The rocks holding the soldier's arms together fall apart onto the ground, freeing the soldier. "Now, leave!" The soldier turns and runs in the opposite direction from the village.
Aang and the rest of the Team watch the soldier run away before turning around to look back at the camp. "I've got to get them," Zuko says as he walks to the front of the group. He walks further forward and into the center of the camp. There were five rock houses, one bigger than the others, which Zuko focused on first. He sent a fire blast at the door, breaking the rock before entering. "This is Gow's house. He would make a bigger house for himself."
"You know, Zuko, I could have found them much more quickly than by just breaking down doors. They're in that house over there," Toph says as she points to the far house in the camp. The group walks towards them, and Toph quickly breaks the door down. Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph walk into the house, to find a young boy and his father chained to a rock pillar in the empty house.
"Thank goodness someone came!" the older man, clearly Gansu, says upon sight of his child liberators. Toph walks over and Metalbends the chains, crushing them and freeing the family.
"Wow! It's the Avatar!" the child exclaims.
"It's time to take you home," Katara says calmly as she motions for the group to follow her out. Gansu's shoulders were clearly bothering him from the chains, so Katara began healing him. In the meantime, Aang walks out and blows his bison whistle in the direction of the village. He looks over to see Zuko staring at Gow's burning house. Aang walks over to his friend.
"What's wrong Zuko?" Aang asks him as Zuko continues to stare at Gow's house.
"I should have done more. Since I let them be, they continued attacking this town. If I had done more, then they wouldn't have been separated from their family."
"Zuko, you did everything you could do. It will be fine." Aang says, attempting to calm Zuko down.
"I know." Zuko turns as the two hear Appa soaring through the sky.
"We should get ready to go," Aang suggests to Zuko, walking over and hopping onto Appa's neck. Zuko agrees and climbs into his saddle as the group walks out of the prison house.
"I'll do some more when we get back to your house," Katara says to Gansu as they walk outside. Gansu walks up to Appa, and Toph raises him up to Appa's saddle.
"It's you!" Gansu says upon realizing who was in the saddle. "I heard you helped Lee. Thank you for helping him while I was away."
Zuko is shocked as he turns around to see Gansu. "Uhh, you're welcome."
"Wait, why are you wearing Fire Nation clothes?" Gansu says, as Sokka and Lee walk out of the house.
"It's because he's Fire Nation!" Lee yells from the ground. Toph lifts him up with the same move she used to raise Gansu, and lifts herself, Sokka, and Katara along with them. They get into the saddle and Appa takes off.
"What are you talking about Lee?"
"I never told you, but he's a Firebender. And he used to be the Crown Prince!"
"He's not a Firebender, that's not possible. Why would he help us if he was Fire Nation?"
"It doesn't matter. I hate him!" Lee declares.
"He's Fire Lord now," Katara begins in his defense.
"He's the one who stopped the war!" Sokka adds.
"I've always tried to help, I freed you when you were captured, I helped keep the Southern Water Tribe safe from rebels, and I helped keep the Earth Kingdom safe!" Zuko says in his own defense.
"I don't care!"
"Lee! Do you know what this man has done for you?" Gansu asks his son.
"I don't care!" Lee says again, turning away from the rest of the group and looking over Appa's saddle. The rest of the trip to Gansu's farm is spent in awkward silence. When the group lands on the farm, Lee quickly jumps off of the saddle and runs back to the farm house.
"Really, thank you for what you have done for me, my family, and the world," Gansu says as he gets off of Appa. He follows Lee in, waving back at the team before entering the house.
"Come on Aang, let's go." Zuko's tone spoke for itself.
"Okay." Aang whips Appa's reigns and gives his usual "Yip-Yip" and the bison soars into the air, heading for the southern Earth Kingdom.
As Appa flies away, Zuko looks over the back of Appa's saddle. "I'm sorry it didn't work out Zuko," Katara says quietly and comforting.
"So am I," Zuko's voice says, equally as quiet while slowly fading away. As he moves to turn to face forward, he looks and sees two small figures; the ostrich horse, the other one almost majestic in his stride, and leading his ostrich horse into the far edge of the village. "It's Sensu..." Zuko exclaims.
- No, we won't see any more of Sensu...
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