| Important Message!
The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
|More from Originalavatarnerdling||Adventure||G (all ages)||Positive||No update page|
THE WINDS OF CHANGEIt was a stormy night, thunder and lightning echoed throughout the dark skies of the Fire Lord's palace as rain crashed against the paper thin windows like rocks. A sharp whip of thunder shook the palace and Zuko shot up from his bed in a cold sweat before taking a breath and regaining his serenity. He looked to the dark room as the outline of lightning occasionally lit his chambers before fading back into darkness...on nights like this one, Zuko would always wake with nightmares and horrible memories, and what was worse is that he would wake up to greet them alone. Ever since Mai died, the poor Fire Lord has suffered internal turmoil almost single handedly---and thank the spirits for his daughter...she was his only reason for keeping sane. After what he did to Honora, lying to her, refusing to let her come home---she thought she had been banished, her heart utterly crushed...for months, Honora believed she had done something wrong---something to hurt her father so badly that he would cast her away without so much as an explanation. When young Honora came back only to find her mother had been dead for nearly a half a year, and this new woman, a grandmother she'd never met was taking her place---Zuko would never forgive himself for putting her through that...he had to remain a professional Fire Lord for his little princess. But, on these lonely, stormy nights, poor Zuko realized just how unstable he still was---the haunting images from his past---odd dreams of stress and paranoia...they unwound him every time the thunder clashed. With a sigh of aggravation, the Fire Lord rose and took a walk down the lonely hallway as the bright flashes of fire creeped inside through the windows. The guards were nowhere to be found, and not a single candle was lit; Zuko opened his hand to let out a small flame so he could pace around his palace to ease his nerves. He yawned and stretched with exhaustion just as a monstrous silhouette lingered on the other side of the paper wall. He jumped and looked again as the lightning lit the dark, but there was nothing there but the black shadow of a tree limb. Stressfully, Zuko continued his walk as an eerie hissing sound trailed behind him; he looked back the way he came only to see how long the hallway had gotten and Zuko started to wonder if he had he been sleepwalking because he did not remember making such a long walk... Groaning with exhaustion, the Fire Lord rubbed his head and decided to head back towards bed when a huge structure came crashing through the roof of his palace, splitting the hall in two and sending the astonished Fire Lord tumbling back onto the hard floor that was instantly drenched in rain.
"Whoa!" Zuko shouted, trying to scramble back to a stand as the rubble pinned him to the ground. Looking to the new gap separating his path, Zuko could only see the scaly, red skin of some large monster as it slithered through the debris to the outside world. Sharp slits of rain came crashing into the building, and lighting was flashing vividly across the black sky as Zuko stared helplessly towards the clouds and saw the ferocious gaze of a monstrous looking dragon glaring back down at him. Lightning was drawn to its slender, snake-like body and as the quick volts struck its skin, the entire beast surged as the lightning slid across the slick scutes of the great monster. The beast roared an ear shattering sound and shot open its mouth----a huge bolt of lightning shooting right out of the dragon's throat, coming instantly to utterly annihilate the astonished Fire Lord-----
"GAH!" Zuko woke, panting heavily as he looked outside at the storm. The storm raged, but Zuko only sneered at his window; it would seem the nightmares haunted him in life as they did in sleep---poor Zuko could never escape his torment, no matter where he should go. He grabbed his head and thought over his dream...it seemed so real...almost like a sign that the dragons were looking for him...needed him? He slowly sulked back under the covers and reluctantly pulled the covers over his head to try and get a little more sleep before the sun started peaking, but every time Zuko closed his eyes, all he could see was that golden stare from that massive dragon.
Over in Republic City, a large storm reigned there as well, rocking the shores of Air Temple Island as the winds roared through the United Republic. The Avatar too, lay in bed, tossing and turning while sour dreams haunted his night...
Aang was standing at the pillar of the Firebending Masters...the fire he held in the palm of his hand gleamed brightly as he awaited his judgment. Suddenly, the bright yellow skies turned black and a grim breeze came and took out Aang's fire; he gasped and looked into the tunnels, but immediately the rocks caved in and closed up the tiny cave entrance, a massive avalanche sealing the other lair as well while the pleading roars of doomed dragons snarled for help beneath the boulders.
"Don't worry, I'll get you out!" Aang's misty voice echoed...
"Aang!" a man's voice erupted.
"Roku?" he recognized...
Just as he was about to bend the rocks away, a scream drown out the sounds of the dragons---it was a familiar scream---the scream of Fire Lord Zuko? It struck Aang off guard and he looked around though he saw no sign of his friend anywhere---Aang went back to rescuing the dragons, but every time the Avatar tried to bend---he simply couldn't?
"I CAN'T EARTHBEND?" Aang shouted, looking around, "But, this makes no sense, I'm not in the Spirit World?"Suddenly, the thundering boom of a volcano erupted in the distance, and to the other side, a huge wave literally rose to block out the sun...the earth itself began to quake and in no time, the entire ground started to crumbled away---leaving the Avatar helpless as he looked to his hands for a little Earthbending---Airbending---anything? It was then, Aang noticed that his arrows had vanished and he gazed to his own hands for the first time, only to see that they were not his own... and as the waves of lava and water came closer to clashing together, Aang only saw the reflection of Zuko, starring with wide eyes back at him from each side. Aang gasped, the tiny strip of rock now shattered right from underneath him, and Aang fell into an endless, black abyss as the destruction above crashed just like thunder-----
"AGH!" Aang sprung awake; he grabbed his rapidly beating heart and took in a few breaths before he noticed his wife still sleeping peacefully beside him...the storm outside raged, but the room remained quiet nonetheless. Aang sighed and thought over his dream---this sort of odd chain of events only takes place when something important was about to happen. Roku's voice was calling to him...Roku hasn't spoken to Aang since he severed their bond back during the Yu Dao crisis forty years ago---even when searching for Ursa, Aang asked for help from Roku, but he never appeared to him in person...he only gave Aang signs and bits of memory to look at. Not to mention, Zuko's screams were all too real...the two must somehow be connected? In the morning, storm or no storm, Aang would need to find Zuko and they would have to talk about this experience...only the two of them really knew about Ran and Shaw, the two soul surviving dragons---and from what Aang's dream was telling him---they were in grave, grave danger---and so was Fire Lord Zuko.
By morning the rain had barely let up, but the Fire Lord was up and moving around on this dreary, gray morning, getting dressed and strapping three separate swords on his person. As he snuck past his own guards and servants, Zuko fled into the bunker where he kept his war balloons and he tossed a backpack inside the smallest aircraft---it was no war balloon by today's standards, but the old invention of the Mechanist's would do greatly for Zuko to sneak away overseas. As the Fire Lord climbed into the basket, he heard a defiant voice erupt through the silence, gruffly asking, "What do you think you're doing?"With a yell, Zuko fell to the floor, utterly discovered in the act of an escape---groggily he tilted his head back only to see his daughter tapping her foot with her hands pressed firmly to her hips for an explanation. "How is it you can sneak off without a soul noticing, and you can catch me the one time I try to leave?" he groaned ironically.
Honora was not amused... "I rise with the sun..." she scoffed coldly, before adding, "You didn't answer my question father...where is it that you think you're going? My wedding is in three days, so where could you be taking a slow, ancient, little hot air balloon, in the rain, at the crack of dawn?"
Zuko promised the Ancient Sun Warriors that he would never tell a soul about his journey to the lost city with Aang---and he's kept that promise for decades, not even telling his uncle who knew about the secret society, but a secret was a secret---he had to think up a lie and think it up quick... "Uh, Honora," Zuko eased, "I was trying to keep it a surprise...but I'm going to get you a little wedding present...it is an ancient Fire Nation tradition---going back generations for Fire Lords who watched their daughters getting married----?"
She gave him a frown and glared him in the eyes, "Hmm?" she stared, "I don't know what you're up to Daddy, but if you are not back by the morning of my wedding, I'm going to roast you alive---so, you better hurry up and scram before the guards see you and delay your plot."
"You're a good daughter my little Lotus, and I promise, I would not miss your wedding for the world...I swear it."
He climbed into the old balloon and Honora shrugged with a smile, "Our family may be full of lies and deceit, but at least we can always count on our promises keeping true... Do NOT make me regret this!"
He waved once to his daughter and lit the war balloon as he sailed out into the sky and escaped the Fire Nation with only minimal confusion from the citizens who saw the old balloon floating through the clouds. Watch out City of Ancient Ruins, here comes Fire Lord Zuko.
Similarly, Avatar Aang rustled Appa out of the dry sactuary of his Bison grove to strap on his saddle and reigns.
"Aang?" Katara's voice yawned, "Where are you going?"
"Sweetie?" he gasped lightly, "Did I wake you? I'm sorry, I thought I didn't make a sound?"
"Oh," she grinned tiredly, "You didn't, which only means something's up...so spill it."
"There is no hiding anything from you," Aang laughed softly...before confessing, "There have been storm clouds brewing---and something bad is coming...I have to help stop it before someone we know get's hurt."
"That's not a very good answer, Aang?" Katara questioned impatiently, "Who's in trouble, why sneak off? Where are you going?" The light drizzle of rain snapped into a drowning downpour in an instant, and Katara bent an umbrella of water over her head, before rushing over to her instantly soaked husband... "Besides Aang, you and Appa don't need to be flying in this weather! Can't this wait?"Aang took her Waterbending and held it up over his own head as she wrapped around him so they both remained dry. It seemed like a task that required much concentration on his part, but Aang was actually keeping Appa dry beneath an entire roof of Waterbending downright effortlessly; his hold on Katara's umbrella was simply for his own romantic effect. In fact, he grabbed her chin delicately and kissed his wife before sighing in reply, "No dear, this cannot wait. Don't worry I'll be back very soon---I promise."
"In time for Honora's wedding?" she wondered sternly.
"Time to spare," Aang smiled, "You get a ride with Bumi and I'll meet you there, I promise."
Katara stared unsurely into the mud, but wrapped her arms around his warm embrace before stepping back into the rain. Aang jumped to Appa and watched as his worried wife waved to him, not even attempting to keep dry as the hot fog of rain started separating her from his sight. "Come on bud, Yip, Yip."
Appa roared and shot off into the wet sky towards the City of Ancient Ruins. Aang knew Zuko would beat him here, and if his dream was correct, Zuko, as well as the Ancient Ruins, were both completely unaware of the dangers drifting to them in the harsh gales of this storm. Surely the winds were changing, but if Aang had anything to do with it, he had less than three days to stop fate from turning a happy, loving occasion into a terrible and disastrous tragedy.
THE DYING SUN
The entire journey to the City of Ruins, Aang had to act as a human windshield and Waterbend all of the water away from Appa's face. The great storm stretched across the coast of the Earth Kingdom, all the way to the Fire Nation Islands, where Aang and Appa finally landed. As they hit the flooded shore, Aang saw Zuko's old war balloon half drowned in the sea, yet also he noticed a pair of footprints continuing on towards the Ancient City.
"There's only one explanation, Boy," Aang gathered, "The tides are rising..."
Appa growled as the rain intensified, and Aang coaxed him into a nearby cave on higher ground, patting his fur as he soothed, "Don't worry buddy, I'll have Zuko out of here soon, but if something happens, I want you to get out of here, deal?"
Appa growled half-enthused and Aang shot over to the Sun Warrior's Secret City.
"Now..." the Avatar mumbled to himself, "If I were Zuko...where would I be?" He thought over his dream and added, "In my vision, I saw Zuko on the platform of Ran and Shaw... the dragons were in trouble... I guess that's as good a place as any to start my search?"
"Hello!?" Zuko called, though the sound of thunder easily drowned him out, "Hello? Is anyone here, it's Fire Lord Zuko---I'm looking for answers!"
He searched about the shrine of the masters, but none of the Sun Warriors came out... As he looked about the ruins, the altar seemed very forgotten and lonely---more so than usual."Zuko!?" Aang's voice hollered in the distance.
Astonished, Zuko turned to see Aang and he called back, "Aang!? What are you doing here?"
He took a breath and explained, "I had a vision that you and the dragons were in danger..."
"Really?" he pondered, "I had a dream that the Dragons needed my help?"
"Well here we are," Aang shouted over the rain, "Where are the Sun warriors?"
"They're gone?" Zuko gruffed in annoyance, "I've been here searching for them for hours...they aren't here.
"Gone!?" Aang bellowed, "Where would they go?"
The two men felt the earth rumble beneath their feet as the island shook and thundered. The tides were practically shaking the city and the tremors weren't helping.
"This place is unstable," Aang noticed, "I think the Sun Warriors must have gone to find shelter?"
"And leave behind their society?" Zuko scoffed, "After hundreds of years, you think a little storm would drive them out?"
"Well if you have another brilliant idea, I'd love to hear it?"
"We were sent here for a reason, Aang---we need to find out what before the whole island drowns or crumbles apart!"
Thinking hard, Aang yelled over to Zuko, "I have an idea, I'm going to try something!"
"Anything!" Zuko shouted, "But make it fast!"
"Watch my back!"
Confused, Zuko blinked and looked back at Aang, repeating, "Watch your---" But by the time he turned around, Zuko only noticed Aang meditating in the Avatar State, and the Fire Lord let out a sigh of annoyance just as the earth started to quake and the mountain suddenly decided to burst with lava... "Oh...great..."
Meanwhile, Aang's spiritual body was away in another land; he searched for some help but could only think of one person who could help at a time like this---and he hasn't spoken to him in over forty years.
"Avatar Roku!?" Aang called, "Please, I need your help!" The Avatar crept through the unfamiliar area of the Spirit World, feeling as though he were being watched, and he called again, "Roku! The Dragons and the Sun Warriors are in danger---We need your guidance...I---I still need---your guidance."
Roku appeared from the earth and stared defiantly at the old Avatar.
"Roku!" Aang gasped.
"I thought you were set on figuring things out on your own?" he stated smugly.
Aang bowed to the past Avatar and sighed, "Roku...I was wrong..." he admitted further by adding, "Just because I no longer needed your advice, did not mean I no longer required your wisdom and guidance..."
Roku gave Aang an odd stare and Aang continued... "I was blessed enough that you would guide me to Zuko's mother those many years ago...I never truly saw you to say thank you." He stood and stared at his former mentor, stating, "I've been having trouble controlling my wellbeing when using the Avatar State---no doubt I will probably collapse as soon as we're finished speaking...but Roku... The universe brought Zuko and me to this island for a reason... I just need to know what that is and then you and I will never have to cross paths again, if that is what you wish---I will understand."Roku chuckled and held out a hand to Aang, "It is not a spirit's place to hold a grudge against the living," he smirked, "I only stayed away because that is what you wanted me to do...I really never left your side Aang, never for a moment."
With a smile Aang let out a relived sigh and watched Roku as he frowned all so suddenly to tell him the news... "Aang...it has been one hundred years and the Great Dragons, Ran and Shaw have taken their final places in the cycle of life..."
"They're gone?" Aang gasped.
"Without a dragon, this unique island is at great risk of corrosion. You see, it is the dragon who keeps the volcano at rest and the island together from the core."
"Without the Masters, that means this island is dying...?"
Roku nodded, "Like a star in the universe, burning brighter than the sun, all things must die---in order for a new one to take their place."
"But Roku---" Aang argued, "There are no more dragons."
"Not yet, Aang," he grinned seriously, "Alas the dragon did not make it in time to save the island of the Sun Warriors...but it is still here, waiting to be born."
"What!?" Aang bellowed in astonishment... "There's another dragon!? Then why is everything on the island breaking apart, where are the Sun Warriors?"
"Like the dragons, the Sun Warriors are no longer in control of their home. For generations this date has marked the end of the warrior civilization and the end to the dragons and their way of life."
"The warriors are all gone?" he sighed, holding his head in distress... Then Aang realized something and exclaimed, "This storm was meant to lure Zuko and me to the island to save the last of the dragons, wasn't it?"
Roku nodded and answered, "Just because the Ancient Sun Warriors decreed this day to be the end of all life for the Fire Nation, does not mean the universe expects it to be so..." Roku started to drift away and he ended the conversation by saying, "Aang, you must locate the last of the dragon eggs---preserved for over a hundred years and hidden away---it is the last hope for the species survival..."
Aang gasped back to reality only to feel the wind rushing across his face as Zuko steered Appa away from oncoming magma.
"Zuko!" Aang yelled, grunting afterwards at the sudden tired muscles in his outstretched arm.
"Aang!" he replied, "Warn a guy next time you pick the worst possible moment to zone out!"
"Zuko," the Avatar gritted, crawling over to the side of the saddle to talk over the loud rain and vicious booming sounds coming from the volcano below... "The Masters and the Sun Warriors are all gone---they predicted this to be the end of all days---"
"I think they were right!" he hollered back ironically.
Aang shooed the words and pressed firmer, "The universe brought us here to rescue the last of the dragons! A-Avatar Roku told me that it was preserved and hidden away somewhere on the island for more than one-hundred years!"
"It takes dragon eggs that long to hatch..." Zuko informed, "And that much longer for them to die...they were cursed by the centuries to be tethered to one hundred year spans of life."
"But if you were and ancient dragon egg---" Aang winced, "Where would you be hiding!?"
After a moment of thought, the Fire Lord snapped and exclaimed, "The Sun stone!"
"You don't think---?"
Zuko gasped, "Preserved in gold and hidden in the chamber of the Dancing Dragon... The Ancient Sun Stone---it's really an egg!"
"You did---s-say it felt alive?" Aang pointed out...
"Hurry Appa!" Zuko steered, "Get us back to the ground---we have a species to rescue!"
They landed on the ground that was already flooded up to their knees in ocean water. Zuko pulled out his sword and Aang bent a huge force field of rainwater back to give them the advantage. With the ground now visible thanks to Aang's massive bending, Zuko attempted to redirect the glow from a palm of fire to open the door...
"Erg!" he snarled, "It's not bright enough!"
"Th-think of something then---" Aang struggled, holding back the rath of the ocean while still deliriously exhausted from his trip into the Spirit World.
"No chance you can bend the clouds, can you?" he pondered. The aggravated look on Aang's face was all Zuko needed as an answer... "I have one other idea, but I don't know how long it'll work?"
"We d-don't have that many options your highness!" he gruffed.
"Glow!" Zuko shouted.
"What!?" Aang spat back.
"If you can glow it up for a few seconds, I might be able to redirect the light and open this chamber..."
"Why do I have to do everything!?" Aang groaned sarcastically, before taking in a deep breath and mumbling.... "I'm sorry Katara...." Then in an instant, he was glowing and the force of the advanced state of bending cause the umbrella of Waterbending to span ten feet wider and Zuko immediately used the bright glow of Aang's tattoos to shine a streak of light into the symbol above the chamber.
"When we get in Aang, we'll unlock the secret pedestal, grab the egg, and break out of here before the lava gets down the mountain....are you ready?"
With the voice of the past Avatar's echoing his own, Aang grunted and roared, "GO!"
The door shot open and Aang shoved the massive collection of water away as the flood pushed the two men inside and caused Appa to crash against the door, plugging up the entry.
Aang was breathing hard and fell to his hands and knees in the water that was slowly rising in the exhibit. Zuko grabbed him, thinking that Aang had merely washed over with the tide and placed the Avatar at the statue. Tiredly Aang did the Dragon Dance with Zuko and in mere minutes the water was already up to their knees. The final move and huzzah, the golden egg was theirs!"Get ready to make a run for it!" Zuko warned, wading through the water to reach the trapped treasure.
With a single burst of energy, Aang shot the roof on the tomb to pieces and took his place next to Zuko as the eager Fire Lord picked up the golden sun stone. At once, the door slammed shut and already that weird adhesive slime was starting to bubble out from the floor, but Aang shot off the ground, through the sky roof and the men hastily boarded Appa and flew far into the air just as the lava from the mountain seeped passed the area, steaming all the water in its path.
Above, Aang and Zuko marveled at the Ancient City as it corroded away...hunks falling off into the ocean, and the remainder of the land melting into the sea and burning brightly from the massive eruption of the volcano.
"Wow..." Zuko gasped, placing the egg securely in Appa's saddle bag... "Aang, have you ever seen anything this horrifying---but also this amazing---before?"
Aang couldn't answer for the world around him started spinning until he collapsed on back of the Sky Bison and Zuko yelled, crawling over to his aid. Aang saw his face as though it was water above his own, the audio vanished soon after, and Aang found himself consumed by utter blackness yet again.
THE NEW ERA
Aang woke groggily in the sunny chamber of the Fire Lord's Palace only to see the Fire Lord clap in his face and smile, "Welcome back to the living."
With a groan, Aang asked, "Zuko? H-how long was I out?"
"Just the ride back over here... you've been asleep in the palace for about thirty minutes. It stopped raining a few hours ago."
"Really?" Aang was pleasantly surprised.
"Yeah, I'm sorry for asking so much of you back on the island, Aang," Zuko apologized sincerely, "I forget sometimes that you and I are getting old---even if you are the Avatar, we aren't as young as we used to be, you know?"
In a chuckle, Aang lied, "Oh... y-yeah, yeah...that's the truth."
In another clap, Zuko smiled again and ordered, "Well up and at em' old man, go get cleaned up...my little princess is getting married today and if everything isn't absolutely perfect, she'll roast me alive."
Aang showered and got dressed in the fancy Fire Nation robe that Zuko loaned him. He was now at the mirror, trimming his beard into shape and he knelt over to pick up the tool to shave with, when he looked back into the foggy mirror and got a quick intake of his angry wife standing defiantly in the reflection of the glass.
Aang screamed and nearly fell into the sink as Katara gave him a glare and folded her arms deliberately in front of her chest.
"K-Katara!" he gasped, "I---You---The door was locked---h-how did you even---?"
"Zuko told me all about your little secret adventure to save that gold egg," Katara directly accused, "You were out for a day Zuko said...You used the Avatar State, Aang---And, when you promised me that you wouldn't!"
"Well, since you're already yelling at me, I guess you wouldn't mind if I told you I didn't just go into the Avatar State, save a species, and reconnect spiritually with Avatar Roku---but I went into the Avatar State... TWICE!"
Katara turned on the faucet water to drown out her anguished whisper-yelling, snarling at her husband, "Don't you get a tone with me, Aang---you know what happens to you when you use that much stupid power!"
"It's not like I had much of a choice in the matter..." he sighed.
"I---I'm not even going to do this right now...it is Honora's big day, and I won't ruin it by skinning you alive. "
"I appreciate it," he smiled honoree-like.
"Katara growled and turned off the faucet... "Oh and by the way, Tenzin decided to show up today...we haven't seen our boy in the better half of four years, so don't make me spend the rest of this happy occasion fighting with you!" She gave Aang a look down and tossed one of his robes at his head, spitting, "I brought you some clothes...take off that Fire Nation robe, it makes you look like a cherry stem."
"Love you too Katara," he returned a look. She scoffed and fled the bathroom, leaving Aang to watch after her with a whiplash effect from her mood. He let out a breath and continued fixing himself up in the mirror before telling his reflection... "Well, that wasn't nearly as bad as I thought?"
In the gardens of the Fire Lord's palace, the closest friends and family of Princess Honora waited patiently for the ceremony to start. Honora's bridesmaids consisted of a palace friend from her childhood, Lin Beifong, and her maid of honor, Honora's best friend, Kya. The groomsmen consisted of Bumi, who acted as the best man, then Scopes and Skivvy. Standing at the altar a collected nervous wreck was none other than Captain Lee of the United Forces.
"Loosen up, Ace," Bumi whispered, "You look like your walking into war."
"That feels about right..." he took a few panicked breaths, "Are you sure that---"
"Up, up, up!" Bumi halted, "Bro, if anyone can make Honora happy it's gonna be you---or me...but you know, she said yes to you, so I'm here and I refuse to let you screw it up!"
"Wonderful words of advice Uno..." Lee let out a huff.
A fanfare played from the royal guards and in an instant everyone turned to see the Fire Lord walking his daughter down the aisle.
"Look alive!" Bumi spat quietly; Lee following his every order... "Up straight, chin high, smile big, and deep breath bro..."Lee took a sharp breath, but it faded all too quickly when he saw his beautiful, striking Fire Nation bride stepping down the garden path to the altar. She was gorgeous; her hair dark ebony flowing down her back, skin white like a star and her eyes as warm and golden as the sun itself... Honora smiled at Lee and dumfounded, he gave off that utter peaceful grin that any groom should have on their wedding day.
Zuko walked between his daughter and Lee before turning towards the crowd to give away his daughter's hand.
"Who gives this woman away?" he asked to himself, replying, "I---her father, Fire Lord Zuko do so give my beloved---"
"DAD!" Honora hissed through gritted teeth.
"Alright, alright..." he rolled his eyes... starting his speech and reading off a marital piece before looking to Lee and asking, "Son, do you accept the hand of the Fire Nation Princess Honora, and the title that goes with it? Do you promise to love and cherish this woman for the rest of your days and only spend them making her happy?"
Lee nodded and replied, "I do..."
With a much louder, amplified tone, Zuko rolled his head to his daughter and asked, "AND----my beloved little lotus, my baby girl, Honora---Do----"
"Yeah I do!" she interrupted hastily to avoid more of this embarrassment.
Zuko gave her a look, but Honora's stare utterly surpassed his own and Zuko clapped pulling out two handfuls of fire to hand to the young couple. Zuko stated in a very proud tone to the audience, "Then, by the power invested in me, as Fire Lord to the Nation, I now pronounce you Prince and Princess of the Homeland, you may unite your flames..."
Honora and Lee let out a chuckle and their fires meshed, creating a bright explosion that Zuko placed his hands over, until the fire died out and only the clasped hands of the two newlyweds was left in his grasp. Zuko added, "May your flames forever burn bright, and may your love never extinguish... you are now husband and wife...you may kiss the bride."
Lee and Honora still had a tight grip on each other's hands and they reached over them giving one another a life-bonding kiss as the audience clapped and cheered. Lee and Honora were now married and made the next heirs to the Fire Nation Throne.
A few minutes passed and Honora snuck up to her father and gave him a hug laughing, "Thank you for not crying or anything back there daddy, I'm proud of you!" she frowned a little and added, "Though...I could have lived without the stand-up..."
"I couldn't resist," he smiled, kissing his little girl's forehead before she jumped excitedly... "Well, where is it then?"
"Where is what honey?" he pondered.
"That big, fancy present you promised me," she teased, "Remember...a royal never goes back on their word."
"Oh..." he stammered, "Right... well... I wasn't sure how to tell you---but seeing as the place was destroyed, I suppose it's all alright to discuss? Oh, Aang!"
The Avatar walked over with a bright egg of gold wrapped carefully in his arms. He handed the sun stone to Zuko and he told her (and the onlookers who walked in closer) the whole story of the Ancient Ruins...confessing all that he and Aang, as well as what Iroh did to conserve it before fate left it destroyed.
"Honora this is the greatest responsibility I could ever entrust you with....so here..."
Honora held the golden egg and gasped as she exclaimed, "It's alive....th---is this what I think it is?"
"What you are holding is the last of the dragon eggs," Zuko nodded, "As the Royal Family it is our sworn honor to protect the creature no matter what!"
"It's beautiful," Honora awed, bowing her head, "Father, I swear to you that I shall guard this treasure with my life."
Zuko placed a proud hand on her shoulder and grinned, "I know you will...I am the proudest father in the world, Honora...if only your mother could see the young woman you've become..."
"So...does this make Honora the new Dragon of the West?" Sokka laughed, utterly ruining that touching moment there.
The onlookers all awed and looked to the bright egg in wonder before a sharp crack gave everyone there a massive heart attack and they shot three feet back in sheer terror.
"Oh my gosh!" Honora nearly cried... "What have I done?"
"Nothing," Toph cried out, "Get back people, that thing's gonna blow!"
Gently Honora set the large egg on the ground and Lee drug her away from it with uncertainty as the crowd backed away. The egg cracked straight through the gold and exploded in a blinding blast of sunlight before shattering into a hundred tiny chunks.Zuko looked down and gasped, followed soon by the startled murmurs from everyone else at the wedding. On the ground hatched not one, but SEVEN baby dragons, all about the size of an arrow, small and slender with infantile wings flopping around in the grass as the tiny creatures blinked into this new world around them.
"Holy dragon spit..." Honora teared up quietly...
"This is incredible!" Katara gasped, holding onto Aang in a way that meant she totally forgot that she was still mad at him.
The tiny growling cries of the baby dragons entered Toph's eardrums and she let out a chuckle, just as astonished as everyone else.
"I've heard about this," Zuko admired... "When more than one dragon hatches from a single egg---it means a great blessing is upon the Fire Nation for the next one hundred years."
"How's that for irony?" Sokka started, but Suki shoved her elbow into him again and he stopped being sarcastic.
"Wow..." Aang laughed, kneeling over to the tiny dragons...he held out his finger calmly and a baby dragon, the Orange one actually, slithered wobbly over and crawled into his hand, yawning sparks and squeaking in the cutest possible way that the old Avatar could help but laugh. Sensing their missing brother, the other dragons lifted their paper-thin wings and flapped clumsily onto Aang's body, clinging to his robes and sliding around on his head.
Zuko laughed as Aang froze in fear of crushing on of the tiny creatures and gradually he and Honora walked over and directed a few of them off. Making a kissy face at the yellow dragon baby on her arm, Honora wondered, "We should probably name them, shouldn't we, father?"
Lee pet the little dragon and nodded in reply to his wife's statement... "How do you tell if they're male of female?"
"I read somewhere," Honora informed, "that when you look into their eyes...you just---know, you know?"
"These dragons are our responsibility now," Zuko informed, "They'll be living with us for over one hundred years, so yes...of course they need good names."
Seven dragons...a red one, a green one, a blue one, an orange one, then a yellow one, a purple one, and a white one...Honora held the Yellow; Zuko the Red; the Blue one found a hiding spot right on Aang's arrow; the green stumbled all the way over to the Beifongs; that mischievous Orange one was already wide awake and gnawing on Sokka's ponytail; while, Katara held gently onto the little purple one that slept curled up in the palm of her hands; and the White one curled up on Lee's shoulder.
Sokka exclaimed, "Well, if it were me....I'd name him---"
"I SWEAR IF YOU NAME THAT DRAGON FOO FOO CUDDLY POOPS---" Katara erupted.
"For your information madam-know-it-all," he snickered, "I was going to say, Sparky!"
"I can live with Sparky?" Zuko shrugged.
"Should I be concerned that Sparky wants to eat me---oh, sure it's cute now but what about when he grows up to be the size of a----a---Hey guys how big do these things get anyway?"
"What's the biggest creature you've ever seen?" Zuko replied in a question.
Sokka shrugged, "It's a tie between the Serpent at Serpent's Pass and then the Unagi on Kyoshi Bay."
"I think dragons are a little bit bigger?" Aang frowned... Zuko adding, "Way bigger..."
Sokka whimpered and Zuko waved, "Don't sweat it...You'll be long gone before they get nearly half that size."
The crowd grew painfully quiet and Honora erupted gruffly, "Way to lighten the mood Dad..."
Zuko shrugged and took a good look at his little red dragon..."I'm going to name my dragon Dao."
"Like your sword?" Lee wondered.
"Sure, he looks sharp and strong...he's one dragon but he and his brothers and sisters are part of the same species, one part of the whole proud new generation of Dragon."
"I like it," Aang smiled, "I like it more than Sparky!" Sokka stuck his tongue out at the Avatar and Aang continued... "I'm going to name him Kuzon...We have a little history with the dragons..."
Honora gave him a wide grin and she looked down to her hands... "She---she looks almost like lightning...a little bolt of lightning waiting to strike---I'm going to call her, Charge. What about you dear?"
"Well...She's white like snow..." he started, "But, everyone knows that when fire is its hottest, the flame is white. Her name will be Tanwen."
"What's it look like, Lin?" Toph asked towards her daughter.
"It's green..." she replied.
Toph grouched, "I don't know what green is..." Lin stuck out her tongue and Toph stated, "Don't you stick your tongue out at me, Lin Beifong, you are not too old to go over my knee!"
Lin rolled her eyes and mumbled, "I still have no idea how you do that?" she caved, "Um...he's the color of the Earth Kingdom...seems to be brave enough to approach a Beifong, so...yeah...he has guts as far as I can tell?"
"Guts huh?" she chuckled, "Just like an Earthbender...Then your name is Chu Gar, how's that fit him, Lin?"
"Good mom," she smiled, petting the dragon because even she too became captive to its cuteness.
"Well Katara," Zuko grinned, "What's it gonna be?"
Katara looked at the little lizard-like creature and watched as it gracefully lifted her head and stared back up at her with its beady golden eyes; it was so calm and polite, not at all as feisty as her siblings. Katara--- "Call me crazy---"
"Crazy," Toph and Sokka high fived each other on that one.
Katara gave them a look and continued, "She is one of the last of these beautiful creatures...they fill the world with so much hope---they have overcome so much in one hundred years, but through it all they were still dedicated to hatch and save the species. She needs a beautiful name that tells the world just what she's doing for the dragons..."
"Get on with it...." Sokka groaned.
"Her name is Fidelity."
The team burst into laughter..."Oh man, and I thought Sparky was bad!" Toph cried.
As the team started crying they laughed so hard, Aang placed his hand on Katara's shoulder and smiled, "I think it's a beautiful name for a lovely dragon---given by the most gorgeous woman on the planet!"
With a blush Katara gave her husband a kiss and Fidelity glided down the air into the grass alongside her brothers and sisters. When in a circle, the little dragons formed a circle and blew a vortex of fire at one another; the flames circled one another and they formed a colorful vortex with a flame turning each color of the baby dragons. Zuko and Aang recognized such a beautiful display, but were still equally as amazed as everyone else.
"They think we're worthy..." Zuko mumbled to himself with a smile.
"No one will ever get their hands on these dragons..." Honora promised, "I'd sooner roast them alive."
"Yeah, they'll have to go through the Police Force too," Lin added.
"And the Councilman," Sokka nodded.
"The Fire Lord."
Katara stated, "The Water Tribes."
"The United Forces," Bumi and Lee agreed.
"And the Avatar..." Tenzin finally spoke, breaking his bond of silence since he arrived on the island.
"Seven dragons..." Zuko gasped, "W-wait.... Seven dragons? Where the heck am I supposed to keep Seven Dragons!?"
Later that night...
Zuko couldn't sleep...mostly because the seven baby dragons were attached to his robe and hair snoring tiny sparks and yipping every time one of them had a dream.
"I just had to ask..." he grumbled. The seven baby dragon snores made Zuko grin in defeat, but sternly he added in a hushed voice, "You all know this is just for tonight---a few months from now and we're not all going to fit, understood?"
- This is not the first time Aang and Zuko's dreams have crossed... Similar instances occurred in the comic The Promise Part One
- Ever wonder what Fanon Zuko would look like without his scars?
- Honora said she "Rises with the Sun"...This was first stated by Zuko to Katara in the ATLA episode: "The Siege of the North, Part 1".
- Ran and Shaw are the last of the dragons living on a Fire Nation Island where the Sun Warriors' ancient city is located.
- The Sun Warriors' philosophy that a single day marks the end of the world is similar to the Mayan Calendar and the apocalyptic 2012 fiasco.
- This is the first time that Roku and Aang have spoken directly since their break up in The Promise Part Three.
- Aang has had to use the Avatar State twice! It's a miracle he's still on his feet!
- In this fanon, it takes approximately one hundred years for a dragon egg to hatch and one hundred more years for them to live, before the dragons' life span ends. The Sun Stone however, has been preserved in a golden case for at least 700 years.
- The Warriors are not dead as this year suggests...one day, someone in Republic City may just meet a person with some incredible Sun Warrior tattoos.
- Honora and Lee fell in love in the previous year after the princess saw his bravery and courage.
- The new baby dragons in the illustrations appear different than described in the Fanon, but they're still just as cute.
- The Red Dragon was named "Dao" by Zuko, after his Dual broadswords. He will later become Fire Lord Zuko's main dragon.
- The Orange Dragon was named "Sparky" by Sokka...nuff said.
- The Yellow Dragon was named "Charge" by Honora, after a Lightning bolt. She will become Princess Honora's personal dragon.
- The Green Dragon was named "Chu Gar" by Toph and Lin Beifong as a tribute to the Earth Kingdom and the Earthbending style of kung fu.
- The Blue Dragon was named "Kuzon" after Aang's old friend, referenced to Dragon Days.
- The Purple Dragon was named "Fidelity" by Katara. Fidelity means: "Faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by loyalty."
- The White Dragon was named "Tanwen" by Lee. It means White Fire in Welsh. It is a known fact: Fire that is at its hottest temperature has a White flame. Tanwen will become Lee's personal dragon.
- Poor Papa Zuko...
For the collective works of the author, go here.