(137 AG) Cat and Mouse
Chapter information

The Darkest Flame



Written by

The Scollard

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(137 AG) Wave of Despair

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(137 AG) The Oncoming Storm

The group rushed up the staircase, chasing after Lee. Aang shot a blast of air in Lee's general direction, not intending to hit him, but perhaps scare him. The air hit the wall, its momentum dissipating.

"Not fast enough, Avatar" Lee yelled down towards them, having already lengthened the distance between him and the group. They continued up the staircase, heading higher and higher up the building. Toph elbowed the side of the stone wall, sending a pillar of stone flying out of the wall in front of Lee. He looked down and vaulted over it. Toph sprinted up in front of the rest of the group, crashing right through her barricade. Lee moved his hand backwards, melting his blade of ice. He turned his head around and shot the water at the ground. The water froze as it hit the staircase, causing Toph to lose her balance. Aang leapt up and caught her from falling backwards.

"THIS HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH" he yelled, as he shot himself up the staircase.

He flew over the ice, propelled by a large blast of air. He was gaining ground, and both of them, him and Lee, were approaching the tenth, and top, floor. He noticed the wall in front of him, and directed himself towards it. He placed his hand in front of himself, feeling the earth with the tips of his fingers. He used his bending to sink his hand partially into the wall, getting a grip which he could use. His feet were just off the ground, and in split-second, he kicked them into the wall. A pillar of rock shot out, pushing his feet forward, and sending him flying up the staircase, right towards Lee. The hitman was right in his path. As he approached him, he stuck out his hand. Lee, sensing something behind him, turned around to see the Avatar lunging towards him. A split-second later, he was lying face up on the ground, the Avatar grasping his collar. A look of shock, and perhaps a little fear, was covering the man's face. He glanced to his side, and smirked. He lifted his left hand from the ground, and flicked it sideways. Aang felt a blast of water connected with his side with such to knock him off Lee. Aang rolled across the floor, his stomach turning. He pushed himself up, and turned to Lee. The hitman was off the ground, his knees bended and hands out in front in a fighting stance. There was an orb of water right in front of him. Aang's instincts kicked in as he immediately rolled to the side, the water flying past him in a blur. Aang felt the droplets hit his robes as Lee's attack hit the wall behind him. Aang turned to Lee, now prepared to face the waterbender. Both were in their fighting stances, trying keeping eye contact with one another. Lee shot quick glances to his right and left, then raised his hands upward in a bending motion. A large amount of water came out of something near Lee's side. Aang quickly glanced over there, seeing a wooden bucket, water perhaps, hopefully, considering it was a hotel they were in, it could be something worse. Suddenly, Aang heard noises from the staircase. Toph, Lin, and Tenzin were close. Lee stepped backward through the doorway leading into the hall. Aang dropped his stance and ran towards his opponent, disregarding the fact that Lee was holding a large amount of water right in front of him. Aang pushed his hands back, sending out a blast of air that sent him flying once again towards the assassin. He reached out to grab Lee again, to stop him from escaping. However, he hit something instead, head first, and fell backward, landing on his butt.

"Ugh" he grunted as he rubbed his forehead.

The strange thing he immediately noticed was that the place where he hit himself was very cold. He looked up and saw a wall of ice blocking the doorway.

"Father, are you all right?" Tenzin yelled.

"I'm fine" Aang said, "Just bumped my head."

"You were going pretty fast though" his son replied, "We saw what happened, with Lee freezing a wall of ice to stop you."

"Toph!" Aang yelled, his thoughts turning back to the assassin, "What is Lee doing behind there?"

"He's running away," she said. "However, even though this is pretty big hotel, we are on the top floor, so he doesn't have many places to go."

"Alright" Aang said. "We should stick together. Lee is a very powerful bender, and considering his actions, I think he will fight dirty."


"So, Korra" Tenzin said, "Can you not picture it? A group of four benders separated from a ruthless waterbender by only a sheet of ice. The Avatar and the Police Chief, and their respective children ready to fight a dangerous foe. It's like a tagline to a play."

He chuckled.

"Umm, actually Tenzin, I can't" Korra said meekly, rubbing the back of her head, "You two have been kind of skimpy on the descriptions, so I've been picturing you as you are now."

Tenzin frowned.

"Well, Korra, you see-" he started.

"I think what he's trying to say, Korra," Lin said, interrupting, "it that you don't really see a need to describe certain details if you were there yourself, isn't that right, Tenzin?"

"Yes," he said, coughing and adjusting his robes, "exactly."

"Now, back then, as you probably have figured out from my actions, I was a lot more, how should I say it... full of myself. I had a lot of confidence, perhaps too much, looking back, however, I didn't talk much. I was confident in my bending, but not so much in my speaking skills. I usually let my mother talk for me, she had that confidence. Now, back then, let's see... Well, my hair wasn't gray, though my mother's was. She and I were both wearing our metal police uniforms, which, though you shouldn't quote me on this, were pretty much the same back then as they are now."

She smirked, then started rubbing her chin as if she was thinking hard on what she would say next.

"Tenzin, did you have the beard back then?" she asked.

"No, I did not" he plainly stated, "Me and my father were both bald, as per Air Nomad tradition, however he had a beard while I was clean shaven at the time. This didn't take place that long after Yakone's trial, so Aang would have looked similar to how he looked in your vision of those events. However, my father had aged a bit in the years after, and he his beard had started growing gray when we faced Lee. Both he and I were wearing our orange and red Air Nomad robes, and you know how they look. Can you picture it now?"

"Yes" Korra said, "I think I can see what happened back then in my head. Can you continue?"


The wall of ice quickly melted. Aang raised his arms, controlling the water with his movements, and bent the water back into the bucket it came from.

"Let's go," he said, lowering his arms and releasing his grip on the water.

They walked through the doorway into the hallway, the doors to the establishments various rooms running along their left and right. They stepped off of the wooden floor that made up the staircase area and stepped onto the long carpet that covered the hallway's floor.

"Aang" Toph said, "I can't see as well here. I don't think I could sense Lee in time for us to avoid him if he attacks us. We should be even more careful."

Toph shuddered at the thought. She hated feeling her blindness, and the vibration-absorbing carpet made this hallway feel more like desert sand than anywhere normal.

They continued walking, looking around the hall. It was very boring for a hotel, even as one as seedy as this, with bland pictures of Earth Kingdom vistas adorning the walls. Every so often, there seemed to a small wooden table with a vase on it. It also seemed that all the flowers, in all the vases, were wilted and dying. The colours of the place were all drab browns and dark greens. Even the tables were dark wood, and the flowers had lost their colour, that is if they ever had any in the first place. Suddenly, Aang heard a sound on his left. He walked over to the door, made a motion with his hands, knocking the door off its hinges with a blast of air. He looked into the room. It was as bland as the hallway, having gray wood floors and furniture as well as white walls, and not a glimpse of colour in sight. There was a man cowering in the middle off the room, older with gray hair, and definitely not Lee, in fact, it was probably the person who was supposed to be staying there. "Please don't hurt me" the man said, shaking, hands covering his face.

"Umm... okay, and besides, you don't need to worry" Toph said, "I am Police Chief Beifong and this is the Avatar."

"Oh, thank the spirits" the man said, "Why would they hurt us like this?"

"It's not spirits that are causing the problem" Aang said, "The problem is that a waterbending assassin is running around here killing people."

"Oh" the man said, pushing himself up off the floor and facing Aang, "I was so sure... but I suppose your explanation does make more sense."

"Well..." Aang said, rubbing the back of his head, "Have you by any chance seen this waterbender? He's wearing a trenchcoat and fedora, and is wearing completely black."

"No, I can't say I have" the man said, "Sorry, I couldn't have been a bigger help. I'll go back to cowering now, maybe if your man passes by here, he won't notice me."

The man walked over to the corner and sat down The group of benders turned and left the room, shutting the door behind them.

"Well... that was weird" Toph said.

They continued down the hallway, Aang and Toph leading the group, and Tenzin and Lin in the back. Suddenly, a loud crash came from behind them. They turned to see one of the vases shattered across the carpet. The flowers it once held lying on the wet carpet amongst the shards of broken porcelain. The table it had been laying on had fallen over, one of its legs broken in half.

"What was that?" Lin asked, suspicious.

"It's probably nothing" Aang said, "The wood probably gave out and snapped from the weight. Depending on how the maker of the furniture treats the wood, it can last incredibly long and stay sturdy, however, if they treat it poorly, this kind of thing can happen. And trust me, considering the quality of this hotel, I wouldn't expect them to go for high-quality furniture."

"You seem to know a lot about furniture" Toph said, "I still don't get it, Twinkletoes."

"I told you before, Toph, many times I believe" Aang said, "When me and Katara we're looking to get new furniture for Air Temple, she had me look into what makes something good quality, so that we could get something long-lasting that could last a generation or two."

"I always get a kick out of that explanation. It helps me relax, and be better prepared when we find Lee" Toph said, "Speaking of which let's keep looking for him."

Toph, Aang and Tenzin turned around and continued walking.

"I can see you figuring out the basics, Aang" Toph continued, "However, it's how deep you got into the topic that..."

Toph's voice trailed off as Lin focused. She had stayed behind, staring at the vase. Something felt off, not right, and she was determined to figure out what was troubling her instincts. She walked over to the broken vase, her mother's voice still audible, but faint. She could probably listen to what she was saying if she cared, but her attention was focused on the scene in front of her. She knelt down and picked up a shard of the broken porcelain. It was wet, as to be expected. She put it down and turned her attention to the table. She rolled the larger part of the table over to get a better look at where the leg had snapped. She saw where the wood had been broken in half, splinters jutting out from the sharp break, the darker wood exposing a lighter interior. She picked up the leg and touched her finger to the break. It was soaking wet. She looked at the ground below. There were only a few small droplets of water, probably from the vase, in the carpet near the leg. How did it get so wet then? She looked closer, and then she saw it. There was a small amount of water near where the bottom of the leg was. She looked closer. The water was in a square pattern, with a small, wet outline of the shape that was dry in the center. She looked at the leg she was still holding in her hands. It was rectangular, the bottom being a square. She put it in the center of the outline to test her theory, and... yes, she was right, the leg perfectly fit the outline. Suddenly, all the pieces came together in her head. A table, a leg already broken while a group of benders were trapped behind a wall of ice, the pieces being stuck back together, glued with exactly the same element. A waterbender waiting for the right moment to melt the ice, and let the weight and gravity create a distraction for him. Of course that would mean that Mr. Lee was... She barely had time to let out a sound before a hand wrapped itself around her mouth, and she was dragged to her feet and into one of the rooms. Suddenly, she felt something cold being pressed against her neck. She had a pretty good idea as it what it was.

"Miss Beifong" Lee said, in a mocking tone, "Don't you know not to split up while being stalked by a killer? It seems like common sense, but I do suppose common sense never was really common."

"What do you want?" Lin said, however, only muffled sounds came out.

"Don't try talking, or yelling" Lee said, "There is a reason I got one of you separated from the rest, it's easier to deal with all of you that way. I really wouldn't like it if you ruined the game of cat and mouse between me and your friends. Besides, they probably couldn't hear you anyways."

He waited for a bit. Lin could feel the sweat on her forehead. She was shaking, however, she couldn't even try to get out of Lee's grip, due to his blade. After a while, he spoke again.

"Now they definitely can't hear you" Lee said, "So now it's time to deal with the problem that is the police chief's daughter."

Lin tried screaming, but it was no use. However, Lee instead let go and threw here on the ground. She quickly pushed herself back up and into a fighting stance. Suddenly, however, she felt very wet... and then cold. She looked down, seeing her entire body encased in ice from the neck below.

"I love Republic City" Lee said, "The fact that every home these days has a source of water inside, it makes things a lot easier for me."

She tried looking to the left to see where the water came from, probably a basin near a pump or maybe a sink of some sort, however, she couldn't move her head at all. She looked back at Lee, giving up. He was walking towards her. Her body clenched up again, sweat pouring from her forehead as she wondered what he was going to do. He was probably going to kill her. She was going to die today, and death was one of the only things she was afraid of. He got closer, close enough so that they were staring each other in the face. Lee's expression was cold, dark, as he seemingly stared right into her soul. Lin tried to look away, but she couldn't. Then suddenly, his expression changed into the smirk he wore so often, the infuriating one.

"I can sense your fear, Miss Beifong" Lee said, taunting, "You fear me, what I can do to you. You know that with the flick of my wrist, I can snap your neck as though it were a twig. You aren't the only one to fear me, though." He leaned in closer as he continued.

"The firebenders I kill fear me so much that they gave me a nickname; "The Oncoming Storm". And oh, is there a storm a coming," he said, raising his voice.

As if on cue, she heard thunder in the distance.

"All my enemies fear me, as do my allies. I prefer to keep it that way. Fear is a powerful tool, when used correctly, as you will eventually find out" Lee said.

He dropped his voice again, suddenly growing quieter.

"Now what was that about twigs," he said, grinning.

Lin shut her eyes as she waited for the inevitable. The snap of her neck, the life quickly flowing from her body. However, she instead felt a hand grab her chin.

"I would really like to kill you, Miss Beifong" Lee said, looking straight at her, his voice dark and quiet, "But there are some consequences even I wish to avoid. You are too important, the daughter of the police chief. If you die here, what I'm planning will not work out at all."

He let her go and turned away. He walked to the door, and opened. Before he left, however, he turned back.

"And don't try screaming or yelling for help, Miss Beifong," he said. "If I hear anything, I will reconsider just how important you really are."

He left the room, shutting the door behind him, leaving Lin behind, immobilized in his trap. She didn't doubt that Lee meant everything he said, so she stayed quiet. Maybe someone would eventually find her.


"Lin! LIN!" Tenzin called.

It had been awhile since she went missing. When they left, they assumed that she was right behind them, however, they had soon realized that she was nowhere to be seen. Toph had gotten so worried, and the group had split up in order to find her. He was searching the floor below, the second highest floor, at the moment, while Aang was searching the top floor and Toph, the floor below him. He had looked in many of the rooms, which all looked the same, with the same gray wood floor and colourless walls. Tenzin was scared, walking around by himself, when, for all they knew, Mr. Lee was still hiding somewhere in the building. Toph insisted that they prioritize finding Lin, however, no matter the consequences. Aang knew, possibly from Katara, that arguing with a mother frightened for the life of her child was futile, and so they split up, seemingly against all sense. Suddenly, Tenzin felt a presence behind him. He turned around, expecting to see someone, but saw nothing instead. Still, the presence was there, he still felt as though he was being watched. He heard a creak behind him and turned, seeing nothing again. Suddenly, he felt a change in the air, the air pressure seemed to shift behind him. Airbenders were sensitive to these kinds of things, changes in air currents and such. Tenzin dodged to the right, turning to see Lee's ice blade sail by his face. Tenzin quickly moved his hands to the side, pushing the air and sending him backwards. As he flew, he turned just in time to see Lee slicing at him again. He was moving his hand in a horizontal slash. Time seemed to slow down for Tenzin, as Lee's blade caught his robes, cutting a gash in the orange fabric. Tenzin moved his arms out in front of him, and let loose a blast of air, which sent him flying into a wall, but more importantly, pushed Lee back. The hitman flew off his feet, landing on the ground in roll. Tenzin fell to the ground, thankfully landing on his feet. Lee pushed himself back up with one hand, and shot a glance at Tenzin. Tenzin let out another blast of air as Lee jumped to the right. Sadly for the waterbender, his dodge wasn't enough to get him out of the range of Tenzin's attack. Lee flew backward again, rolling down the hallway. Tenzin stepped forward, closing the distance between them.

"Are you regretting taking on an airbender?" Tenzin asked, "Where's Lin?"

"Your friend" Lee said, while pushing himself up, "I dealt with her."

Anger flared up inside Tenzin, uncommon for the teenager who tried to control his emotions at all times.

"Tell me where she is" Tenzin asked, his teeth grinding.

"You sound confident for one so young" Lee said, a grin on his face, "Wait 'till you experience the real world and all its consequences. Life isn't fair. The answer is no."

Tenzin moved his hand forward, sending another air blast at Lee. However, this time the hitman was too quick. Lee jumped to the side and opened a door, taking refuge behind the wood. Lee slammed the door shut, retreating to the inside of the hotel room. Tenzin ran to the door, and sent out a strong blast of air that knocked it off its hinges, giving a clear view of the room. He looked around, trying to find Lee, when he heard clapping. He looked to his right, where the sound was coming from. Lee was leaning against the wall of the room.

"The doors were ugly," he said. "I appreciate it."

Lee's attitude made Tenzin even angrier. Tenzin let out another blast of air, sticking to his winning strategy. Lee dodged, rolling to the side, the short distance between the two fighters allowing him to escape Tenzin's blast. When the hitman recovered his role, he already had an attack ready. He shot out his hand, sending a blast of water from his flask into Tenzin chest. The airbender was knocked backwards, falling to the ground. As he fell backwards, Tenzin moved his hands behind him, and sent out a blast of air that pushed him back up to his feet. Just as he stood up, another blast hit him in the side of his chest. Tenzin staggered from the force of the attack and as he looked up, he saw Lee move his hands and bend the water back into his flask. Suddenly, he felt himself slammed hard in the chest, the force pushing him back and pinning him against the wall, right to the side of the doorway. He looked up to see Lee's face right in front him. The hitman was grinning.

"This is too easy" Lee said, "Feeling trapped, airbender. Much like your girlfriend, it would seem."

As the waterbender was taunting him, Tenzin managed to wiggle one of his hands out from behind him. He shot out a stream of air, which pushed Lee back a tiny bit before dissipating. Tenzin put out his hands to send Lee flying back some more. He placed his palm out in front of him and shot out another wave of air. Suddenly, his hand was knocked sideways. He looked to see Lee gripping his wrist, pushing it to the side.

"Why are you holding back?" Lee said, "Are these novice techniques the only thing the avatar's airbending son knows? I expected better."

Lee words strangely rang true for Tenzin. He didn't know whether it was his concern for Lin's safety, or his attempts to control his anger, but he was definitely holding back in this bout. Strangely, he almost felt as though Lee were doing the same. However, his face hardened into a grimace, his eyes filling with resolve. He took in a breath big breath of air, and blew it all out at Lee. The wind blew with such a force as to cause Lee to let go of Tenzin's wrist, and to raise his arms to protect his face. Lee let out a laugh.

"My. My." Lee said, "This is much better."

The hitman flicked his wrist, his ice blade shooting out from its flask. He lunged at Tenzin, attacking Tenzin with a horizontal slash. Tenzin ducked under it, dodging Lee's attack. He slid under the waterbender, and shot out some small blasts of air. His slid across the floor, through the gap between Lee's legs. His feet touched the far-side wall, his felt his knees bend, and then he pushed, using his momentum coupled with his airbending to send himself flying through the air. He lunged at Lee, much like his father had done, but the hitman was much more prepared this time. Lee quickly raised his hands, and water shot out from his flask, hitting Tenzin in the middle of his lunge. Tenzin twisted in the air, quickly recovering. He flexed both of his arms out in front of him, and sent out another strong current of air. Lee pressed his feet into the ground to resist the wind, but nevertheless was pushed back a little. Tenzin's attack had dissipated by the time he landed back on the ground. He would never be able to win if Lee had his flask with him. Then he got an idea. He sent out a second blast that shot himself through the air towards Lee. The waterbender easily side-stepped Tenzin's lunge, but as he flew through the air, Tenzin reached out. It wasn't exactly Lee he was aiming for. Tenzin landed softly on the ground in a roll, stopping as he reached the wall opposite to the door.

"You've seem to have put yourself in a dangerous position" Lee taunted, "Wide open for an attack."

He swung his arms up in front of him, expecting an orb of water to appear from his side perhaps, but nothing happened.

"It seems" Tenzin said, revealing the flask he was clutching in his hands, "that you're missing something important." An expression made its way onto Lee's face for a second there. Tenzin got a good look at it, but couldn't understand what it meant. His face tensed up for a bit then, almost in what could be construed as minor annoyance. However, it kind of looked as though Lee were hiding a smirk of some kind.

"Well, then..." Lee said, his voice laced with what seemed to be a tiny bit of surprise.

He didn't even finish his sentence, if the sentence even had an ending, before he ran out the open doorway. Tenzin pushed himself up to his feet, leaving Lee's flask lying on the floor, and swiftly followed the hitman out of the room. Tenzin was angry, he would stop Lee single-handedly, and he would make him pay for hurting Lin. He gritted his teeth in frustration as he exited into the hallway, turning to see Lee running towards the staircase. Tenzin jumped up, crossing his legs in midair and pressing his right fist into the palm of his left hand. He felt a ball of air materialize beneath his feet, an air scooter, as his father called it. He leaned forward, closing the gap between him and Lee using the extra speed his scooter gave him. He saw Lee reached the stairs as he raced down the hallway, seeing the hitman clamber up the wooden steps. By the time Lee had reached the top floor, Tenzin was at the bottom of the staircase. His ball of air rode over the steps as if they were nothing. Both fighters were now on the top floor of the building. Tenzin was close to Lee, he had almost caught up to the hitman as they rushed down the top-floor hallway. He just needed to get a little closer.

Suddenly, Lee turned to the side. He opened a door and rushed inside the room. Tenzin relaxed his stance and let his air scooter dissipate. Tenzin hit the ground running. He stopped himself, his momentum dissipating, and turned, heading into the room Lee was occupying. As he entered through the open doorway, he heard what sounded like pieces of metal scraping together. He walked over to where the sound was coming from. The noise seemed to be originating behind another doorway, somewhere in the room. Tenzin walked over and peeked his head around the open door's frame. A block of ice flew past his head, seemingly coming from nowhere, before shattering into a million tiny fragments as it hit the wall behind him. He looked back into the small room where the ice seemed to come from. There, over a washbasin, beside a water pump, stood Lee.

"I much prefer sinks," Lee said, "but I suppose this antique will do."

He worked the pump again, moving the handle up and down, sending water pouring out of pipe, just waiting for him to use. Lee moved his arms in smooth, circular motions, the water moving out of the washbin in perfect sync with his movements. Lee shot his arm forward as Tenzin moved his head back in from the doorway. The whip of water shot out into the room as Tenzin pressed his back against the wall beside the bathroom door. Lee attack stopped in midair, the spheres of water hovering as if frozen in time, before shooting back into the washroom just as quickly as it came out. Tenzin thought to himself, trying to come up with a plan. He would need to somehow cut off Lee's water supply. Suddenly, an idea popped in his head. He stepped into the open doorway, already in a fighting stance, prepared for any of Lee's attacks. The waterbender motioned with his arms, moving some water out in front for him to use. He closed his open hands into fists, freezing the water into ice. He flicked his wrists and opened his hands towards Tenzin, shattering the ice and sending several tiny ice shards flying in that direction. Tenzin jumped, dodging Lee's attack, and sent out a blast of air, redirecting several of the shards' paths away from him. However, a few managed to hit him, but only cut tears in his robes. His cheek started stinging. He let out another air blast with one hand to keep himself off the ground and to disorient Lee. He touched his other hand to where the pain was coming from. When he drew his hand back, he noticed that there was a bit of blood covering his fingers. Lee's attack must have given him a minor cut or two. He landed back on the ground just as Lee shot out another water whip, Tenzin getting ever so closer to the pump. Tenzin hopped to the right, before pointing his palm at Lee as he dodged. He sent out another powerful gust of wind. The blast caused Lee to change his stance, canceling his attack. Tenzin heard the water behind him splash as it hit the ground. Lee regained his composure, and moving his hands in wild circles. Small orbs of water were shooting out of the washbasin at very high speeds. Tenzin kept moving, dodging most of Lee's water orbs, which burst like air balloons as they smashed against the wall behind him. Occasionally, an orb would connect with the airbender, but Tenzin managed to shrug it off. He was almost there.

Suddenly, the attacks stopped. Lee's supply of water had run out. This was Tenzin's opportunity. He lunged towards the pipe, elbowing Lee in midair, knocking his opponent to the ground in the process. As he grabbed the pipe, he placed his other hand on the opening, palm facing up. He shot a strong blast of air through the pipes, pushing the water back, and cutting off Lee supply. Tenzin pushed against the pipe, into a standing position. He heard Lee's voice behind him.

"It seems like our little engagement is over." Lee said, "So sad."

He was sitting down, leaning against the wall. The water had spilt out of his wrist flask.

"You don't have anywhere to run Lee" Tenzin said, "You will tell me where Lin is, and then the police will come and arrest you for murder."

Lee chuckled, then with a groan, pushed himself up.

"I don't think so" Lee said.

Tenzin walked towards him as Lee backed away through the door, keeping eye contact with the airbender.

"You have nowhere to run, Lee" Tenzin said, "My father will be here any moment."

"Well, I'll just have to kill you quickly then" Lee said, smirk on his face, "A man's surroundings, well, they can help him in so many ways when he fights."

Lee stopped in the middle of the room. Tenzin walked right up to him, confident. Their faces were only inches apart.

"Maybe you should pay attention to your surroundings, then" Tenzin said, "You don't have anything to use."

"Funny" Lee said.

Suddenly, the cracking of wood accompanied something hard smashing in Tenzin's jaw. It hit him from below, the force sending him flying up into the air. Lee reached out and grabbed his frozen flask before it could hit the ground. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort was done for Tenzin, who landed hard on his back against the wooden floor.

"I could say the same for you" the hitman quipped.

Tenzin's head was spinning, his mouth felt cold and numb. He couldn't concentrate. He could hear Lee's words, but could barely understand them. His head hurt, probably bruised in two places. He saw Lee attach his flask back onto his black leather belt. The hitman walked over to him and grabbed his robes, heaving him up from the ground.

"You know airbender" Lee said, "The thing about life, and people for that matter, is that they don't fight fairly. The only ones who fight with a code, who fight honourably, while they thrive in their refereed bouts, they would be the first to have the life ripped from them in a real battle."

He carried Tenzin towards the window.

"I could have easily killed you right when I saw you wandering that hallway alone, but I dedicated to lower myself to your fighting standards and have some fun. Life's not worth living if you're not enjoying it" Lee continued, "The fight, the conflict, is just as much fun as the killing itself. Playing with people, building up their confidence, that's all part of the enjoyment."

He opened the window and leaned Tenzin against the sill, his head leaning out into the open air. Tenzin looked up at Lee.

"People..." Lee said, his voice unusually quiet for gloating, "They can never see the bigger picture. It scares them. People like you always run headfirst in danger, ignoring the consequences, then you get angry when you realize you walked into a trap. The irony."

He looked out the window.

"All the time you walk through life, you are merely walking into a trap, laid by someone better than you, someone who understands the consequences." Lee said, his voice getting louder as he continued, "Someone like me, maybe."

He chuckled. Then, with both hands, he hoisted Tenzin up, bringing them face to face again.

"Let's see if you can fly, airbender" Lee said.

He threw Tenzin backwards out the open window. As the teenager fell, he felt the air rustling by him, the wind howling in his ears. Time seemed to slow down as he tried to airbend, but he couldn't do it. He couldn't get his arms in the right position, maybe, or maybe he was so disoriented he couldn't bend. The air caught in his robes, but Tenzin was sure that it wouldn't slow him down enough to save him. The building was high, ten stories, but it seemed like it was so much higher. He counted the individual floors as he descended. Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two... He didn't have much time left, if only his dad would forgive him for being so overconfident. One, and splat. Tenzin felt himself surrounded by a gooey mess. Spirits, the sight of him, all smashed against the pavement, must have been stomach-churning. So... this is dying felt like. Suddenly, he felt some in his mouth. He raised his hand and spit something into it, his broken teeth probably. However, the thing he spit out was red or covered in blood, it was... green. He lifted his head up and looked around, he seemed to have landed in a cart of some sort.


Lee's attack had still taken a toll on him, and he collapsed back into the cart. He looked up at the darkened sky, and felt something warm against his skin. A water droplet, the tiniest bit of rain. Oh no...

Author's Note

Well, that was long chapter, though a fun one to write. Some of you probably caught the Doctor Who reference I made with Lee's nickname. The cabbage cart was reference to both our favourite cabbage salesman from the A:TLA and also to Assassin's Creed, though I'm sure Tenzin didn't hear any eagle sound as he fell. The scene with Lin and the table is based on the "reconstructions" in crime shows (though more specifically, the new Sherlock Holmes films), where they show a condensed version of a crime or a previous set of events with new information revealed. I also threw in a very sneaky reference to Mass Effect, congratulations any (probably not many) who caught it. If you like this fanfic, please type up a quick review. Questions are welcome as well, and I will try to answer any you may have in the next chapter's author's notes. And if you have a problem with the fanfic, send off a review as well. I am open to constructive criticism (in fact, I wrote the conversation with Korra and Tenzin because I may have been a bit skimpy on the descriptions myself), and am always trying to find ways to make this story better (the aforementioned conversation being an example). Updates should keep coming regularly, as long as school doesn't get in the way, and even though I am working on a chapter for my other fanfic.

So... you may ask. What will happen next chapter? Well, let's just say that the Lee part of the story is coming to an end soon, and next chapter will involve a big fight. Will the Avatar manage to survive not one, but two Oncoming Storms.

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