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September 30, 2011
Previously on Around the World (Again)
The gang decides that they need to train again in order to defeat Long Feng and his followers. They decide to go to the Treetop Hideout to train with the Freedom Fighters.
Perfection, that's what the day was. The weather conditions couldn't have been better. The bright yellow sun was high in the beautiful sea of air, not too hot, not too cold, but just right. A magnificent, giant creature soared through the air, its fluffy white fur swaying the wind. It was flying over a beautiful green forest.
"So, Mr. Sokka's instincts, where exactly is the Treetop Hideout?" Aang asked Sokka, who, instead of Aang himself, was steering Appa.
"It's little bit further East, okay?" an annoyed Sokka answered. The gang had been criticizing Sokka's instincts since they left the Northern Air Temple.
"Well, that's very descriptive," Katara joked.
"Ha, ha. I'm dying of laughter," Sokka said, growing more annoyed by the minute.
"Guys, maybe we should leave Sokka alone," Suki told the others. "He is, after all, taking us to the Treetop Hideout. That's all that matters, right?"
"Well, thanks Suki," said Sokka. He no longer had an annoyed expression on his face. In fact, his face was filled with a beaming smile. "It's nice to know that someone appreciates my hard work."
Katara rolled her eyes, but didn't say anything.
"Did you just do that to cheer him up?" Zuko whispered to Suki.
Suki opened her mouth to speak, but closed it seconds later. She turned to her head to not face Zuko, but it couldn't have been more obvious that she was hiding a smile.
"Hey, guys, I think the hideout's near here. My instincts tell me to follow that path," Sokka explained, while pointing at a dirt path several feet below them. "Come on, Appa, Yip, Yip."
The bison roared and then began to descend through the forest trees. Once he landed on the ground, Appa waited for the others to jump off him.
"Okay, Team Avatar," Sokka began, "follow me. Come on, this way." Sokka started to follow the dirt path.
It wasn't until several minutes later, when Sokka finally said something after a long walk of silence.
"Here. My instincts tell me that it's right here." Sokka looked up at surrounding trees. "Aang," Sokka continued. "I need you to Airbend your way up through the trees. Maybe you'll see the hideout up there."
Aang nodded his head and began his way up the trees. Within a few seconds, Aang had disappeared through the great bunch of green leaves.
He jumped onto a wooden platform above the trees branches. Aang looked around and saw a wonderful sight. He didn't know what to say. The others, Aang thought. I have to get the others. Yeah, that's what I'll do.
Aang jumped back down to the floor.
"Aang, what is it?" Katara asked upon seeing Aang's wide eyes.
"You won't believe it, Katara. It's beautiful. There's- it's." Aang didn't know how to put it into words.
"Um....How am I going to take you all up? We can't use Appa because he might accidentally destroy the place. So, maybe...."
"What about the ropes?" Sokka suggested. "The rope-like thingies that we used to get up there last time."
"Yeah, the ropes. But there's a problem; I don't know where they are," Aang told him. "Maybe....." An idea popped into Aang's head. "Yeah I think that could work."
"Aang, what are you talking about?"
"You'll see, Katara. Okay, everyone, form a circle right there." Aang pointed to a spot near the tree he used to get up. "Okay, everyone hold hands." The others did as they were told, a curious expression on their faces. "On the count of three, I'm going to Airbend you all up there. I'll follow as soon as you guys reach the top. Okay, ready," The others nodded. "One, two, three!"
Aang began to move his arms to Airbend and, surprisingly, the others disappeared within the treetops.
"Wow, I can't believe it worked!" Aang said to himself and then began to climb up into the trees.
The others were all standing up on the wooden platform.
"So, guys, what do you think of it?" Aang asked, but didn't get a response. All the others had their eyes wide open and their mouths hanging.
The Treetop Hideout had definitely improved since they last saw it. The huts in which the owners slept in had gotten way bigger and were, in fact, painted a color. Some huts were painted blue, while some were painted red, and others were painted green. The combined colors made the place seem very colorful almost like a rainbow. In addition to the improved huts, the rope bridges were also painted and seemed much sturdier.
While the others continued to stare in awe, Aang noticed several teenagers zooming by on zip lines; there seemed to be many more people living here than before. It made Aang wonder what their purpose was now since the Firebenders are no longer evil.
"Come on, guys," Aang told the others, who all ceased staring when Aang spoke. "We have to talk to the new leader of the place."
And so they walked onto a nearby blue rope bridge.
"Where do you think the leader is Aang?" asked Sokka.
"I'm not sure, but I say we ask someone around here," Aang replied.
They continued to walk until the reached the end of the rope bridge, where a hut painted green was located. The hut had a wooden roof as well as wooden walls. A dark green door stood at the front of the hut.
"Maybe you should knock on the door, Aang," Katara insisted.
Aang nodded and did so.
A moment later, the door swung back and from the hut emerged a teenager.
"Yes?" the teenager said. He took another step forward.
The gang gasped. They had seen this guy before.
He had a hat on and a bunch of bows and an arrow hanging on back.
"Longshot?" Aang asked.
"Aang?" Longshot's eyes widened. Aang nodded. "Yeah, it's me," Longshot confirmed. He paused and then continued, with a smile on his face, "What are you guys doing here?"
"Well, it's kind of a long story," answered Sokka.
"I've got time. Come on in."
"Um, actually, Longshot, we can't," Sokka began. "We're looking for the new leader of this place."
"Well, you're looking at him," Longshot said.
"What? You're the new leader?" Katara asked.
"So, want to come in?" Longshot asked again.
The gang nodded. Longshot beckoned them in.
It was a beautiful hut. There were several wooden chairs as well as plants and pelts. There was also a bed in the corner. The walls were painted green, just like its exterior counterpart.
"So, um, how exactly did you become the leader?" Aang asked.
"It's a long story," Longshot said, smiling. "Sit down, guys."
"So," Longshot began after they were all seated, "how can I help you?"
Aang and Sokka told him them their story, starting with how they left Ba Sing Se to visit old friends and ending with how they needed to be trained again.
Longshot stared at them. "Let me get this straight, the man...who killed Jet...is now after you guys. Right?"
"And," Longshot slowly continued, "you want the Freedom Fighters' help to defeat him and his followers?"
"No, actually we would like you and the Freedom Fighter to help us train," Aang corrected him. "We have to defeat him and his minions by our self. I don't want anyone else to get hurt."
Silence fell amongst the hut. No one spoke until, "So, will you help us?" asked Katara.
"Sure. Of course," Longshot answered. He spoke in a serious. "But, are you sure you don't want our help? We'd love to help."
"No. Thanks for offering, but, as Aang said, we don't want anyone to get hurt," said Zuko.
"Okay, if you're sure," Longshot told them.
"We are," Aang nodded.
"Well, okay. Now then," Longshot stood up, losing his serious tone. "I have to gather all the Freedom Fighters."
"Do we wait here?" Katara said.
Longshot shook his head. "Follow me."
He lead them outside and walked to the nearest hut. He knocked on the door. A teenage girl came out.
"Yes?" She asked.
"Gather all the troops and tell them to meet me at One People," Longshot told the girl.
The girl nodded and walked away.
"What's One People?" Suki asked.
"One People is basically the Freedom Fighter's Town Hall," Longshot explained. "It's named so, because- Wait, I haven't told you how I became leader. You all need to know that in order for all this to make sense. Come on, guys. I'll tell you as we walk to One People."
They all followed Longshot across one of the nearest bridges.
"Okay, let me start from when you guys last saw us," Longshot started. After you left, I prepared my bow and arrow to shoot at anyone Dai Li agent that came near us while Smellerbee watched over Jet. Jet was gravely injured and there was nothing we could do to help him. So after Jet," Longshot stopped walking, his eyes shut. Silence followed.
"We understand." Aang placed a hand on Longshot's shoulder and smiled.
Longshot nodded and continued, "After that, we took Jet's body and, making sure there was no agent nearby, left the secret headquarters. We took a boat back here. We didn't know what to do with Jet's body. We knew we had to bury it, but we didn't know where. Finally, we buried it nearby here. Not far at all. Just on the outer parts of the forest. Anyway, I just knew Jet would've wanted to rest in peace near the hideout.
"After that, Smellerbee and I returned to the hideout. When we got here, there was no one around. They had all left. And one day we found out why. We went to Gaipan to get some food and we found out that the Fire Nation had taken control of Ba Sing Se as well as the majority of the Earth Kingdom. We didn't know what to do. We wanted to continue our 'fresh start', but we couldn't just sit around and let the Fire Nation continue the war.
"It took us a long time before we made our choice, but when we were just about to decide, news had spread that the war had ended. I couldn't believe it. The war had been going on for my entire life....and for it to end. It was incredible. So, then we thought about what we were going to do next.
"Smellbee suggested that we should gather all the Freedom Fighters and bring them back to the Treetop Hideout. She said that the Freedom Fighters' new goal was maintain peace around Gaipan and to continue having a 'fresh start.' It was a good idea, but there was one problem; who would be the leader? We didn't answer that question until we gathered all the Freedom Fighters. To gather them, we handed a stack of fliers, that we made, to several groups of passing nomads and asked them if they could hang them up in several towns. Luckily they did and, within weeks, we got the old Freedom Fighters back and even some new ones. We created One People, which, like I said, is the town hall in the Treetop Hideout. Why? So, we could meet regularly and talk about whatever was needed to talk about.
"We also redecorated the hideout and painted the huts to match the nationality of the hut's owner. It made the whole hideout really colorful. So back to the leader thing, we had to have a leader and at One People, we voted on who would make the best one."
"And you won," Sokka told Longshot, smiling.
Longshot smiled back. "Yeah. And that's about it. Wow, great timing, there's One People!"
Longshot pointed at a magnificent building made out of stone. It was painted white and had one giant door. There were a lot of people in front of the building. The Freedom Fighters' size had increased by a large amount since they were last there.
"Come on, guys. Let's get to the building." Longshot led the way on a walkway, located left of the sea of people.
They reached the white building. There was already a group of four people standing there.
"Hey, it's the river people," said one of the four people. It was a man. He had a hat on his head and his hear was black, his eyes gray. "Only....now there are more of you."
"Chong?" Aang asked.
"Oh great," Sokka said to himself, slapping his forehead.
"What are you doing here?" Katara questioned.
"Just traveling the world, as always. Going with the flow. Might as well introduce ourselves since you have new river people."
"Right. We forgot," Aang said, smiling. "So, Chong this is Zuko, Mai, and Suki," Aang told him, pointing to each respective member. "Zuko, Mai, Suki, this is Chong, Lily, Moku, and..I don't think we know that guy's name." Aang said to his gang.
The unknown guy shrugged. "It's okay."
Aang stared at him, a confused expression on his face. He blinked and said, "So, now you all know each other."
They greeted one another other.
"Now that you know why we're here, why are you here?" asked Chong.
"We're here to train with the Freedom Fighters," Katara stated.
"Longshot, we ready to start," a girl said. Her eyes were brown, as was her hair. "Hey guys," she said to the gang.
"Hey Smellerbee," Aang told her, smiling."
"Okay," Longshot began. "let's start."
"Wait," Sokka said. "Why exactly are we here?"
"We're here to inform all of the Freedom Fighters that you're all here and that you need our help to train. They help with that," replied Longshot. Sokka nodded.
Longshot turned to face the crowd. He spoke in a loud voice. "Hey, everyone. You're probably wondering why I summoned you all here. Well, the reason is, Avatar Aang and his friends have returned to the Treetop Hideout." A loud round of applause followed. The gang waved at the crowd. When they stopped their cheering, Longshot continued. "Why have they returned? I'll let Aang answer that." Longshot turned and faced Aang. "Aang." He pointed his head towards the audience. Aang walked forward as the crowd began to cheer again. The applause died down as soon as Aang opened his mouth.
"Hey everyone. Umm...We need your help to train-I mean, can you help us train?" There were murmurings throughout the crowd. "I know, it sounds silly."
"Yeah it does! You ended a war!" a member from the audience said.
"I know," continued Aang. "but, it's been a while since we practiced our bending. We've been living in Ba Sing Se ever since the war ended. There was really no need for us to train....That is, until now. We're facing a problem and we need to train up in order to solve it."
"What's the problem?" a person called.
"Um.. we can't tell you," said Aang.
The audience began to talk, asking why.
"The reason," Aang started to say, but no one was listening. "Guys, come on."
Sokka walked up to Aang. "Hey!" He yelled to the crowd; they immediately silenced themselves.
"There's a reason why we can't tell you," Sokka said.
"Which is?" called a person from the crowd.
"We don't want anyone to get hurt," Sokka explained.
Silence fell upon the crowd. Breaking the silence, Aang said, "So, will you help us?"
The audience nodded and Longshot told Aang, "Yes." Longshot smiled. "Let's get started immediately. How exactly do you want to train? Want us to attack you? Have you shoot targets? Defensive strategy? You name it."
The gang pondered about it.
Sokka exchanged looks with the others, nodded, and said to Longshot, "All. We want to train in every way possible."
Longshot smiled. "Come on, guys. Follow me... Let's train."
A day of long, intensive, training followed. The gang put all their effort into it. While they started slow, they quickly advanced and started to become the master benders they once were. After the sun set, Longshot offered two huts for Team Avatar, one for the guys, and one for the girls. They thanked all the Freedom Fighters and bid them a good night. They were going to stay in the Treetop Hideout for another few days before setting out to Omashu.
They fell asleep the second they lay in bed, exhausted from a hard day's training.
While the others slept peacefully, Katara, however, couldn't. In the middle of the night, she got out of bed and left the hut. There was something she wanted to do. She began to walk, quietly. As she walked across the guys' hut, she stepped on a loose floor board, making a creaking sound. Gasping, she picked up her pace, quiet as ever.
Using the ropes, Katara left the hideout and reached the ground floor. She walked, walked to the edge of the forest. For some reason, she had this weird feeling that someone was following her...
There it was. A headstone. The headstone. Jet's headstone. She walked to it. Reaching it, she saw that there was and inscription on it. There was just enough light to read it. It read,
"Here lies Jet, a brave warrior. With a complicated past, Jet eventually overcame that and died, fighting for his freedom.
Born – 84 AG
Died – 100 AG"
Katara kneeled down. She couldn't believe it. Right under her, was Jet, dead. She closed her eyes. They began to water.
Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder. For some reason, she didn't jump or react at all. She just continued to stay there. Finally, she turned her head and looked at the person whose hand was on her shoulder.
A bald teenager, with a blue arrow stood there, sympathy written all over his face. Katara noticed that Aang was holding a bouquet of colorful flowers in his hand. Handing them to Katara, Aang kneeled down next to her. Katara placed the bouquet next to the headstone, crying. Aang hugged her.
They stayed there for a few more moments before returning back to the hideout, Aang comforting her all the way.
- One People is based off Pathik's statement to Aang, "We are all one people."
First off, I'd like to apologize about the infobox image. The image shows the way the Treetop Hideout looked before. I couldn't find a better one, so, again, I apologize. Anyway, that aside, it's been over two months since the last chapter and I apologize for the long wait. It's a rather long chapter, but I really like how the it turned out, especially the ending. Originally, for the ending ("Midnight Walk" section), I intended to tell Aang's point of view for that section, but thought it was better to have Katara's point of view. Another thing: For some reason, I didn't want to show the training scenes. Personally, I think it would've made the chapter drag. Plus, the chapter was already long enough as is. I hope you all enjoyed it!
This chapter is dedicated to. LHD has been a very kind and helpful user. She's become an editor of this fanon and . She's also helped me with names for this chapter. While I didn't use the names, I still appreciate the help. Thanks so much LHD! I hope you stay on the wiki for a long time. :)
Please don't ask to be dedicated. And don't think that I'm singling out users when I dedicate them. You all are great and friendly users (as long as you're not trolls or rude). Don't worry, I have a great idea that will benefit everyone. You'll all see in the last chapter.
For the collective works of the author, go here.
|Around the World (Again) Chapters|
|Prologue - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Epilogue|