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The following story is indubitably fanon and should not be considered actual canon.
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A HEARTFELT PROPOSAL
Despite the separation issues, Sokka got up the nerve to propose to Suki when they saw each other at the Third-Year Reunion over on Kyoshi Island. It took much convincing on his part to switch the reunion from the Jasmine Dragon to Kyoshi Island, but for this special case, the gang agreed to help Sokka out with his plots. Sokka carved Suki a traditional Water Tribe engagement necklace, crafted almost as well as he once crafted his lost Space Sword---and for Sokka that's definitely saying something! The gang made a rather aloof entrance onto the island while Sokka snuck through the village in order to put his plans into action. The perfect way to do "this" was a thought that had been working around in his mind for months now, but as he inched closer and closer he suddenly forgot all about any plans he had made and was undoubtedly at a loss for words.
"H-Hey Suki," Sokka knocked lightly on the doorway of the Kyoshi Warriors' training hall, and he tiptoed in as the girls ceased their posing and fighting stances.
Suki turned and lit up with a huge smile as soon as she saw her long-distance boyfriend inching into the cabin and she immediately ran over to him and wrapped him in a massive hug. "SOKKA!" She exclaimed, "What are you doing here!? I thought the reunion was still in Ba Sing Se?"
"I wanted to see you more," he grinned.
There was a chorus of "Awwwwwww's" given by the warriors as they watched their leader blush right through the white face paint on her cheeks and she immediately ordered them outside.
"Hi Sokka!" Ty Lee giggled as she literally bounced outside with the other ladies.
He returned a meek wave to her and then went straight back to the reason he was here. "So Suki...I kind of had something special that I wanted to talk to you about."
"Oh yeah?" She grinned, "Well I haven't seen you in forever! Tell me what you've been up to! How's Republic City coming along?"
He started to sweat and his voice cracked up a little, "Oh it's---it's fine---you know, the usual stuff...uh but---"
Suki turned away and started yammering on about all of the places that she and the other warriors had seen on their journey back from Zuko's palace. Sokka, who was about to lose his mind, just reached right into his pocket and held out his necklace with the clenched eyes of a man who was about to stick his hand into a pythonaconda's mouth.
Suki was ending her story with a laugh, when she turned back and noticed the blue jewelry dangling in front of her nose in blurred vision. She leaned back silently and her focus came into play as she gasped and realized what exactly was going on.
"Oh," she sighed in shock and awe, "Sokka..."
They both knew that things were a little distant and frayed in their relationship. Sokka and Suki had been having trouble as a couple ever since the separation of their two lives, and although things seemed to still be a mystery when asked about their futures, Suki and Sokka agreed that they wouldn't want to spend another year apart from each other---and that was when Suki agreed to marry him.
"I know, it's rushing things---I mean---I just wanted to---I'm sorry I ever even---" Sokka paused, "Wait...Did you just say yes?"
She nodded, "I love you, stupid...now kiss me!" she laughed.
Sokka grinned with an entire weight now gone from his shoulders and he leaned forward to kiss his new bride as that familiar swooning of girls erupted in the distance. Sokka and Suki looked out the doorway at the entire mob of people listening in to their conversation with wide grins and cheers of approval.
"Well that's embarrassing..." they both blushed.
The two were married on Kyoshi Island within the following few days and Suki bid a temporary farewell to the Kyoshi Warriors and moved to Republic City to help construction with the rest of the team. It seems Team Avatar was gradually being drawn to one another, seeing as though it only took a few years of separation for the team to be living in the same area again---well, all except for Zuko who was the sole member of the team not residing in the thriving new city, but he was the Fire Lord after all, and he was needed most back in the Fire Nation, rather than the city. The reunion of Team Avatar in the city was short lived however when Sokka decided to move back to the South Pole to properly introduce his new wife to his grandmother, father, and the rest of his tribe. For some reason, the new couple remained in Sokka's village, no matter how badly Suki had to struggle to adapt to the snow. Hakoda even gave them a brand new house in the village and he had started hinting towards Sokka that now he might want to consider taking over as Chief of the Southern Water Tribe.
Back on Kyoshi Island, Ty Lee became the next in charge of the warriors after proving her worth and skill to Suki. Her first act as leader was to teach all of the Kyoshi Warriors even more Chi-Blocking lessons as well as issue a new mission to head across the globe, upholding the Kyoshi duties to keep order in the four nations. A few ladies did stay behind to protect their village, but as for the rest of the girls, they agreed that a new route of adventure was just what the world could provide for them.
Toph's new Metalbending Academy was thriving---but the school was at a standstill. Right now, Toph was on a much-needed trip to visit her parents who finally replied from that letter that Hawky delivered so many years before. Lao and Poppy replied back to Toph saying they were convinced she was going to be okay on her own---and if she could, they wanted to see her again and talk things through. It took a while for Toph to realize it, but all her parents ever wanted was to make things right between the three of them, and when Toph arrived at her parent's estate, that was exactly what they did.
"So," Poppy sighed contently, "Toph dear, how are things in your, um..."Metalbending Academy" fairing?"
She took a sip of tea and shrugged, "Okay?"
"And...all of this fighting that you've been doing---" Lao cringed, "It is all necessary?"
"Not always," Toph replied with a simple shrug.
Poppy fanned herself and breathed dizzily, "That story you told us---of how you helped to save the world--it all sounded tremendously dangerous!"
Toph blinked as the silence echoed throughout the room and she took another sip of tea before nodding, "Yup..."
"As for Master Yu and Xin Fu, they are well by the way," Lao stated in a tone. "They were found in that metal prison you placed them inside..." He cleared his throat and added, "With no food or water to speak of."
"Those buffoons had it coming. They put me in there first after trapping me in Ba Sing Se with a letter they forged to sound like Mom!" Toph argued, "Those two you hired to drag me back home were idiots, Dad."
"Yes well..." he grumbled, "There are a few matters that your mother and I wish to discuss with you before you make up your mind about leaving us again."
Toph sighed and held a hand over her face in distress, "Fine...what is it this time? I'm all ears."
"First of all," Lao directed abruptly to the letter in which Hawky had delivered to them years ago. "What exactly do you make of this young lady!?"
Toph gave him a look and Poppy snapped quietly, "Dear...she doesn't see what is on the paper..."
"Oh right," Lao wiped off his brow nervously and pointed again, "On the back of this letter from you---it is a wanted poster! "The Runaway" it says? Explain this to us young lady!"
Toph sighed hopelessly, "This is going to be a long visit..."
Eventually though, the visit with her parents commenced and it was not without its arguing. It seems that Toph wasn't the first stubborn Beifong in the family---it took hours and hours of compromising before everybody was on equal grounds.
"I hear you are friends with the Fire Lord..." Poppy smiled oddly.
Toph heard the tone in her voice and grew concerned as her tone stretched un-eagerly, "Yeeeaaah?"
"He's quite a handsome young man," She took a sip of tea, "He would make for an excellent suitor, wouldn't you agree?"
Lao and Toph simultaneously spit tea across the room.
"ABSOLUTELY NOT!" Lao exclaimed.
"For once I agree with him," Toph twitched, still red in the face.
Poppy huffed lightly, "He is of the highest caliber, a royal, strong, and he is very easy on the eyes let me assure you Toph. Plus, I hear he and his girlfriend are at odds at the moment...news certainly travels fast."
"Toph is still a child!" Lao argued, "An innocent, little girl! I will not have my precious daughter traipsing around with some dangerous Firebender prince! No matter how attractive he may be!"
"And, you lost me again..." she snorted hopelessly.
"I was her age when we married," Poppy stated, and then she leaned towards Toph and whispered in closer, "Don't worry dear, I've already made arrangements for you two to meet, I'll give you all the details later!"
"Please tell me you're joking..."
Lao steamed and rose to his feet, "What are you two whispering about! I want no more of this suitor business!"
Needless to say that by the end of the day, Toph was able to put all of their affairs in order, and walk out the front door while her parents shouted farewells. This time, Toph knew that she was leaving with her parents' blessing and that for once they finally understood her for who she is and who she wanted to become.
Of course...now she and Zuko would have to endure a very long, and socially mediated experience thanks to Toph's socialite mother. The poor high class teenagers were definitely not looking forward to that...but, Toph thought they might as well take the opportunity to blow some things up while the cameras were looking. Cultural bonding, yeah right...this was a set up for the thrill of a fake romance in Toph's mother's head. Zuko and Toph would not stand quietly for it, not in the least little bit!
TROUBLE WITH THE EARTH KING
As Far as Aang knew from the visit the "Freedom Fighters" had in Republic City, the Earth King was trying to equalize life there for everyone as he has been for the past few years---and in this task he was succeeding gradually. King Kuei was not alone in his efforts because Iroh and the Kyoshi Warriors were there in the city to aid him and Bosco; they made it their prime focus to finally fix life in Ba Sing Se once and for all.
The Earth King was becoming more and more active in his role for equalization, in fact, he has started spending more and more time in the city, interacting with his people as well as taking strolls throughout the outer wall of the city and meeting his visitors one on one as they arrive. He was becoming the most public Earth King in the history of Ba Sing Se, and his subjects loved him more than ever. To the outward eye it seemed as though nothing could go wrong there now that they had been having such a long streak of good luck.
It was almost seven months later, and Aang and Katara were visiting with Toph at her new Metalbending Academy in the city. They were just relaxing and enjoying each other's company, when a sudden knock at the door caught everyone off guard.
"I wonder who that could be?" Katara wondered.
Aang flew over and opened the door to greet this unexpected guest, only to see a very official looking Earth Kingdom Soldier bowing at the door. He extended his arms and handed Aang a letter, then he turned around and left with nothing but a humble and mysterious bow and an eerie chime of background music for some reason."Who was it?" Katara wondered.
"Some Earth Kingdom guy." Aang replied in utter confusion, "He gave me a letter addressed to all of us."
"Well, what does it say?" she asked.
Toph took in one large inhale of air and exclaimed, "Yeah, smell's fancy! What's it say Twinkle Toes?"
Aang pulled the extravagant emerald ribbon off of the parchment and read it allowed:
"You are cordially invited to attend the wedding of the 52nd Earth King, Kuei, and Lady Agatha Wong."
Aang mumbled a few more lines before he exclaimed out loud, "The wedding is in a couple of days!"
"King Kuei is getting married!?" Katara gasped.
"Didn't know he had it in him?" Toph grumped in shock.
"Who's Agatha Wong?" Aang wondered.
Katara snatched away the letter to make sure Aang was reading it right and she let out a fickle chuckle... "Son of a Sky Bison, it's true!"
"If we hurry, we can get Sokka and Suki down in the South Pole, and make it to Ba Sing Se just in time for Kuei's wedding," Aang pointed out.
"And Zuko?" Katara wondered.
"His name wasn't on our invitation, so I think he probably got one of his own?" Aang theorized.
Toph grumbled and sighed, "I'll need to hire a sub for my Metalbending Academy I guess. Tell me the truth, out of Penga, Ho Tun, and Moo-Chee, which one of those Lily Livers seems the most responsible?"
Katara and Aang gave each other a look and slowly backed out of the room to avoid answering the question. Toph noticed their absence and yelled out towards them, "I'm serious guys, come on! Which one of them is even the slightest bit NOT a completely unreliable moron!? Hey! Katara! Aang!"
It only took a day and a half to fly to the South Pole from Republic City; it was strange how much faster air travel could be when no one was hunting you down and no detours were taken to avoid an army that was hunting down the Avatar.
The Team picked up Sokka and Suki and headed to Ba Sing Se arriving just in time to see Zuko's War balloon land near the Outer Wall as he and Mai piled out and waved to the Avatar and his friends.
"Zuko!" Aang called, "You made it!"
"We were invited..." he shrugged.
"I just want to know who the lucky bride is..." Mai scoffed in a solemn amusement, obviously insulting this mystery woman in some way or another.
Zuko chuckled and kissed his girlfriend, utterly grossing out Toph and making Aang and Katara give one another a look of discomfort. Sokka was complaining about his oogies---well, try riding from the South Pole to the Earth Kingdom listening to a couple of adolescent newlyweds! BLECH!
"Not you too!" Toph gagged, "Ugh!"
"What's with her?" Sokka wondered.
"No idea!?" Katara lied.
Zuko cringed, "She's not still mad about that thing her mother made us do, is she?"
"What thing?" Suki wondered with a ghastly look of intrigue on her face.
"I don't want to talk about it!" Zuko's voice rang louder as he blushed and walked as quickly away from the group as possible.
"Whoa!" Sokka jumped, "What thing? Aang do you know?"
"Beats me?" Aang tugged at his collar, and changed subject "So...let's go see King Kuei, come on everyone, we can ride Appa into the city."
Soon enough, Team Avatar found themselves once again inside the Earth King's palace, which was a flutter with anxious wedding planners and eager citizens.
"Did any of you notice that strange mob outside the palace when we flew over?" Aang asked.
"Well, it is the Earth King's wedding," Suki smiled, "I'll bet his people are just excited."
"Whatever you say..." Aang shrugged unsurely, though that mob didn't seem the welcoming sort; they almost looked like a riot forming. Still, Ba Sing Se was a peaceful city now. There was no way Aang saw what he thought he did down there...no way.
"Avatar Aang, I am so pleased that you and your friends made it to my ceremony!" Kuei exclaimed upon sight of the team.
The kids rushed up and bowed to him all giving him a swarm of greetings until he stopped and motioned them all into his throne room and they took their places in the arranged seating areas.
"Hey look, Smellerbee and Longshot!" Sokka hollered, waving excitedly from across the room.
They gave him a meek reply and Suki made Sokka put his hand down because he was causing a scene and drawing in a few stares from the high class snobs who already gave them a few dirty looks upon their arrival.
"I don't believe my feet!" Toph erupted, "The Dai Li are here! I can feel in their uniforms---those jerks are using pure metal chains now! What the heck!?"
"I thought they were always metal?" Sokka pondered, "But wait...you invented Metalbending, didn't you?"
"Sokka's got a point," Suki added, "You weren't as strong a Metalbender back when you guys faced the Dai Li, you probably just never noticed it before. It seems like a simple enough mistake, right?"
"If not, you don't think they learned how to Metalbend do you Toph?" Katara gasped.
Toph thought about it and blew the hair out of her face, gruffing, "Those earth-jockeys aren't smart enough to learn Metalbending on their own. I have a bad feeling either Sokka's right----or worse, the Beifong Metalbending Academy is behind this---and I know three Lily Livered students of mine whose butts I'm gonna kick for allowing it!"
"Kuei told me that the Dai Li were driven out of Ba Sing Se with their leader, Long Feng, a long time ago," Zuko pondered, "And Uncle never said anything about them still being around here."
"Isn't that your uncle over there?" Mai sighed, pointing to the happy old man nearby who was serving tea to the Earth King's guests.
"Uncle!" Zuko waved, almost as eagerly as Sokka, and Mai hid her face in embarrassment before Zuko yanked the two of them over to speak with his long-missed and beloved uncle.
Suddenly, through all the mingling and all of the catching up, a fanfare played near the fancy door and everyone in the lovely reception chamber stood perfectly still, watching as the Council of Five pulled open the large double doors and a very decorated Bosco came walking up the aisle, dragging a robe of silk and flower pedals behind him.
"I knew it---" Sokka was about to blurt, but Suki jabbed him in the ribs with her elbow and silenced her husband before he could interrupt the Earth King's ceremony.The world grew silent as the woman now stood in the doorway, her gown a beautiful and utterly warming golden green, her face completely cloaked behind a silk veil. Katara snuck a look back at Kuei and saw him tense up, but smile all the while in such a rare way only the groom could get at such a heartfelt moment.
The mysterious woman made it up to the alter and the sage began his speech before the familiar words suddenly rang out... "Earth King Kuei, do you take Agatha Wong to be your wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"
"Oh, y-yes---of course I do!" he nodded nervously.
"And Agatha Wong, do you take the 52nd Earth King, Kuei to be your husband? In sickness and in health, in good times and bad, so long as you both shall live?"
The masked woman turned to see her groom and replied, "I---"
"DOWN WITH THE MONARCHY!" someone shouted.
The peace was literally sucked out of the chamber as the voices came echoing down the hallway. Kuei shielded his bride as the royal guards shielded him; meanwhile, the Council of Five and Team Avatar shot around only to see the mass mob of rioters that had somehow infiltrated the Earth King's Palace. They all bore signs and weapons of various sorts and kept chanting, "Down with the Monarchy! Down with the Earth King!"
Aang flew into the air and landed in the middle of the walkway, cutting the mob off from the rest of the crowd. He held out one hand in warning and yelled, "What are you people doing?"
They chanted again and Aang slapped his arrow, "I mean, WHY are you doing this? What did King Kuei do to make you so upset?"
Zuko and Iroh shot a look at the king, but he merely shrugged in confusion; afterwards a lone rioter came forth and he stated, "We don't want a King to rule us any longer, we wish for a council like the one that is rumored to be forming in Republic City! We want Democracy!"
"But, King Kuei is a great leader!" Aang urged to them, "Sure he was a little naïve at first, but now he's made everything right within the walls of this city. Why would you want to overthrow him now?"
"The Dai Li should never be trusted and he allowed them back in Ba Sing Se! The King is a young fool!" the rioter complained, "---If the Earth King won't step down, my people and I are prepared for war!"
A gasp rang out from everyone at the wedding and King Kuei merely arched his brows and took a step near the crowd. "You dare to interrupt my wedding!? I am no longer the mindless king that I was in my youth; I have seen and done more than any of the rulers who preceded me and you do not respect that!? I accept your declaration of war, I am not afraid anymore to fight!"
"Kuei!?" Aang gasped.
"I will not be made an enemy in my own palace!" he declared, "My word is final!"
"You will regret this!" the rioters growled.
"Dai Li, get them out of my sight!" Kuei bellowed as the benders escorted all of the rebels (and everyone else who was attending the wedding) away from the palace like a herd of Cattle-Pigs. Kuei turned to Zuko and still spoke in such a calm and angry tone as he asked, "Fire Lord Zuko, I was wondering if your people would help me in this dispute? Their rebellion has been growing greater in these past few months and I fear we could use your numbers to draw them back into line."
Zuko thought only for a moment, "Yes," he nodded, "We will help you create order again."
"Zuko!" Aang exploded.
"I am a monarch too Aang," Zuko pointed out persistently, "You understand why this is important to me."
"Whatever happened to avoiding foreign affairs?" Sokka groaned.
"This riot has been going on for months!?" Katara added, "Why didn't you send word to us, we thought everything was going so smoothly for you here?"
"I am a grown man and I can handle my kingdom!" he spat in a refined tone.
"And what the heck is up with the Dai Li!?" Toph roared, "Those guys are no good and now they're Metalbenders!?"
"They are?" Mai asked, remembering how they weren't back when Azula was in charge of them...or were they? She couldn't quite remember.
"I could feel it when they were chasing everyone out..." Toph pressured, "Those creeps were definitely Metalbending!"
"The Dai Li are now my loyal servants and peacekeepers, all former allies of Long Feng or the former Princess Azula were reformed and banished."
"Reformed?" Suki wondered.
"You mean brainwashed!" Aang snarled, "How could you!?"
"I won't explain myself to you---any of you. Now the Fire Lord and I have a war to plan out, so long Avatar Aang."
The Earth King and Zuko walked out of the room leaving everyone utterly speechless and Kuei's bride in tears at the altar. Aang thought he had to be dreaming, all of this was simply too much to bear, King Kuei had never acted so rashly before, and NO ONE KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON!?
"Smellerbee, Longshot, Iroh!" Aang called, "What's happened to this city?"
"I have never seen the Earth King like this," Iroh shook his head.
"We thought Kuei sent all the Dai Li away months ago!" Smellerbee informed, "I was just as surprised to see them here...they're his guards now is what Kuei said, but they all just showed up today!?"
"Somethin' around here ain't right!" Toph growled.
"This is Yu Dao all over again!" Aang bellowed, hands thrown into the air, "Come on guys, we're getting to the bottom of this right now!"
The group fled the Earth King's throne room and before exiting, Katara stopped and looked into the empty chamber at that woman in the golden silk gown. She was alone at the altar on her wedding day, and Katara could not help but feel sorry for her.
"Come on Katara!" Sokka ordered.
She hesitated, but Katara knew there was a bigger crisis going on at the moment, and she left the sobbing bride alone in the chapel.
CORRUPTIONIroh and Mai attempted to hunt down Zuko and King Kuei; meanwhile, Aang and the team shot out of the palace and saw the Dai Li coaxing out the upper ring guests and also the lower ring rioters. As the socialites ran home screaming, the violence from the unhappy lower ring citizens broke out into chaos and the Dai Li started attacking people left and right.
"Aang!" Katara hollered, "Do Something!"
He growled towards the scene and jumped into the air, separating the two sides in a rough wedge of wind.
"Avatar!" one of the rioters bellowed, "You're creating the council in Republic City! That is the law you want, so shouldn't the Earth King give in to your demands?"
"I don't have any!" the Avatar hollered, "The council is going to be made up from political leaders all over the world---it isn't even a council yet, these are just ideas we've been discussing with the leaders of the world, including King Kuei!"
"Yeah," Sokka agreed, "And, this whole thing is supposed to balance out the fact that the United Republic is a home for all people no matter where they come from, not set a specific system for the rest of the world. It's going to be their decision and theirs' alone!"
"In other words---" Toph screamed, "You people are freaking out over nothing! But, that's not important," she shoved the words away and pointed over at the Dai Li, "How did you monkey-moles learn how to Metalbend!? Moo-Chee taught you, didn't he!?" she mumbled to herself in aggravation, "That poetry writing, mushy, equalizing, hippie; I bet he taught it to you, I'll bet I'm right!"
"Please," Aang ignored, turning back to the civilians, "War is not the answer to your problems, it never is."
"Aang is right," Katara agreed, "And if you did have a problem with the government, you could have always talked with the Council of Five---they're in control of the military, I'm sure they would have helped come up with a control in the senate!"
"That doesn't excuse the fact that our King challenged his own people in war!" an angry voice called.
"The Earth King isn't himself," Smellerbee tried to explain, "Look, we've been living in this city for years, and we live in the lower ring, just like you. It isn't even a bad place to be in Ba Sing Se? The entire city is treated completely equal now, that's why you all can riot here in the first place!"
"Maybe the Avatar has a point, don't you all think?" Suki motioned, "Isn't peace and talking things out better than throwing away lives in a pointless war?"
The crowd murmured in agreement until the leader of the rebels headed out and said, "If the king will agree to our request at a council, then we can promise not to go to war."
"See? Isn't talking things out so much better than---"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, peace not war---" Toph gruffed, "Now I want to know why you Dai Li scum can Metalbend, take me to your leader, so I can kick his butt!"
As the gang tried to talk some sense into the townspeople, Mai and Iroh wandered through the halls of the Earth King's palace to his war room, where they saw Kuei standing at a lone table.
"Zuko," Mai began hastily, "We're here to talk some sense into you."
"Mai look out!" Zuko's strained voice warned, but it was too late and both she and Iroh found themselves pinned to the wall next to the Fire Lord, completely encased in small rocks.
The three struggled, but they could not break loose, and Iroh shouted to King Kuei, "What is the meaning of this?"
"By order of the Fire Lord, I command that you release them, NOW!" Zuko growled.
Kuei stared blankly towards the other side of the wall as though nothing happened, but then a low, devious voice laughed and strolled out from beyond the shadows; he wore a long robe of green like the Dai Li and he bore a long black ponytail and a sneer of pure evil.
"The Earth King is under higher orders at the moment young man," he said, "but don't get too comfortable, you won't be waiting here for that much longer."
"Who are you?" Mai asked, giving him a glare that would make a lesser man pee his pants.
"I am Long Feng, head of the Dai Li," he bowed, "---Or at least I was until your friend came in and started a mutiny a few years back!""What do you want with us!?" Zuko snarled, flames of aggravation flowing from his teeth.
"Revenge of course!" Long Feng replied with a dignitary tone, "On you and the other brats who caused my undoing. And, the best thing is, with Kuei under my control, I can turn this city into a raging madhouse in the matter of a day."
"You brainwashed the Earth King!?" Iroh was nearly astounded.
"Quite easily," he chuckled, "And the rioters---they don't care about the republic of Ba Sing Se, I merely needed a decoy to distract you and the Avatar."
"You can't just brainwash a massive group of people and then sentence them to war," Mai stated.
Long Feng was amused, "Of course I can, I've been doing it for months."
"You won't get away with this!" Zuko yelled.
Long Feng snapped his fingers together and three sets of rocks cuffed the mouths of the royal family as they continued trying to pry themselves free; meanwhile, Long Feng took a walk towards the Earth King's desk and snickered deviously before whispering into his ear, "Kuei, my people and I are prepared for war."
Kuei stood tall and gasped as his pupils grew wide and his eyes glazed over; he looked down at the tabletop with a look of hate, growling, "First I'll send the army and the Dai Li to extinguish this revolution, then we sail to the Fire Nation and take out those backstabbing Firebenders!"
"Very good sir," Long Feng smiled, "I will await your orders as I deal with the prisoners."
Kuei looked at Iroh, Mai, and Zuko like they were the worst people in the world, and he nodded abruptly, "Very good," he agreed, "Soon those liars, the Avatar, and the children will be out of our way to protect the Earth Kingdom Palace. Long Feng I'm sorry for ever doubting you."
"No worries my liege," the sinister man waved, "We all make mistakes."
The king nodded and went back to his planning as the Dai Li took the three captured Fire Nation royals out of the war room to parts unknown. Zuko only hoped Aang would figure out a plan, or Ba Singe Se as well as the world would be at the mercy of Long Feng and the corrupted Earth King.
"Was it a good idea to leave Smellerbee and Longshot in charge of the rioters?" Katara eased, "They aren't exactly the most rational people we know."
"They'll be fine." Aang assured.
"I hope Iroh and Mai had just as good of luck dealing with Zuko and King Kuei," Sokka stated as the gang walked down the palace hallway---confident due to the fact they calmed the Earth Kingdom rioters. It was so easy to sway them; it was almost as if they were waiting for someone to talk some sense into them.
"Get back!" Toph whispered, pulling the gang behind one of the large columns. In an instant, the Dai Li walked through carrying Zuko, Mai, and Iroh; all were captured and restrained in body cases of rock being taken down the hall. Aang attempted to take a step out to save them, but Sokka held him back and shook his head against it. As soon as the Dai Li were gone Aang shoved Sokka off and demanded an explanation, but Sokka merely said, "If we save them now, their leader will run. I want to know what's going on, and who's behind this. If we follow the Dai Li, they'll lead us straight to their hideout."
"Zuko went with the Earth King though?" Suki started, "So then, where's King Kuei?"
"I have a funny feeling that we're about to find out---" Aang gruffed, turning the team's attention to the massive amount of royal guards now looming behind them."You're all under arrest! Don't try any funny business or we'll be forced to show no mercy!"
"Oh yeah---" Toph started, but Katara stopped her and asked the guards, "Under whose orders?"
"Earth King Kuei," he replied, "You are to stand trial for your crimes against Ba Sing Se and your association with the Fire Nation!"
"Why is everyone we know going crazy today!?" Sokka huffed.
"I'm not sticking around to find out!" Toph gruffed, shooting the soldiers back with a wave of earth before calling, "Let's go! We have some Dai Li punks to track down and a Fire Lord to rescue!"
The team ran off towards the Dai Li, fighting the Earth Kings soldiers at every turn because apparently within the past thirty minutes Team Avatar had gone from Kuei's honored guests to Ba Sing Se's public enemy number one.
"How are we going to find them!?" Sokka wondered suddenly, "They destroyed the entrance to Lake Laogai years ago; where else could they all go?"
Toph skid to a halt and stomped the floor grinning proudly, "There's a cavern underground filled with statues---"
"So What!?" Sokka exclaimed.
Toph punched him gruffly and continued, "---And about a hundred Dai Li agents waiting to get their butts handed to them!"
"Good work Toph!" Aang smiled, "Let's put an end to this!"
Toph and Aang blasted a large crater into the floor and sealed it up behind them as soon as everyone was inside. They shoved the dirt right through to the basement and everyone landed ready for an all-out attack---but none came.
"Where is everyone?" Suki pondered.
"I think this was all a trap guys!" Aang started.
"What makes you say that?" Sokka asked.
Toph and Aang both knew what was happening in that instant and they pointed, each saying, "Him."
Everyone looked and from behind a large stone statue came a clapping man with a familiar face, and in an instant, everyone grew a look of contempt and readied their weapons.
"Long Feng..." the Avatar practically snarled.
"You're supposed to still be in prison!" Katara stated, "Now, what have you done with our friends and what's happened to the Earth King!?"
"And how did you creeps learn Metalbending?" Toph added persistently.
"How common of children," Long Feng snickered, "So succinct."
"Enough games!" Aang roared, "Where are our friends?"
Long Feng snapped and the Dai Li slid the three prisoners out into the open. He let out a hum and said, "Here are your friends Avatar, and I must applaud you that you were able to realize my trap so quickly."
"Spill it Long Feng!" Sokka shouted, "What are you up to?"
Zuko snarled fire right through his rocky mask and hollered, "He brainwashed the Earth King and the rioters; it was his plan to overthrow the government and frame King Kuei!"
Long Feng growled in irritation and reformed Zuko's silencer before he could give away any more information.
"You'll never get away with this Long Feng!" Aang warned, "Give up now, while you still can!"
"And now you seem to underestimate me young Avatar," he cackled, ushering his bounty of soldiers to the ground, surrounding Team Avatar from every angle "Dai Li, attack the Avatar and friends. Take no prisoners---" the evil man turned and walked into the shadows, disappearing with a final statement, "I have a king's reputation to destroy."
"Long Feng!" Aang called, swiping away the Dai Li agents with his staff. The sinister Earthbender vanished to the surface and the epic battle with the all new merciless, Metalbending, Dai Li agents was underway.
Back on the surface, King Kuei was unleashing war. People ran screaming through Ba Sing Se and the confused rioters found themselves actually fighting a war with their once beloved Earth King.
"I don't understand!" Smellerbee called to her partner, "I thought everyone was on equal grounds!"
Longshot shot about five arrows at a shade cloth filled with rain water and it flooded three of the Earth Kingdom soldiers before another few slipped on the remainder of the slick ground. Longshot stared over at Smellerbee as though he was answering her question, and he shrugged in confusion before going back to shooting arrows at people.
Smellerbee tossed a knife into one of the Earth Kingdom tanks, jamming the gears and causing the machine to shut down before she bellowed, "Where the heck is Aang!?"
Below, the gang fought off corrupt Dai Li agents as the people of Ba Sing Se fought back their government. They had to be evasive or the metal shackles used by the Dai Li would be their downfall. Toph managed to drive them back, screaming at each and every one of the agents she took down to tell her where they learned their bending before blasting them across the cavern. Aang managed to free Zuko, Mai, and Iroh and they joined in the gruesome attack before something unthinkable happened---a lone Dai Li agent started fighting back his own people, another joined in and soon there was a whole group of them taking out their own men. In moments, only these rebel Dai Li agents remained and everyone stopped fighting altogether.
"Who are you guys!?" Suki demanded to know."Unimportant," the agent waved, "After the Dai Li was disbanded, we each went on to new lives and new goals, some easier than others. Then when Long Feng returned and planned this massive coup, we played along, waiting for the right moment to stop him once and for all. You should know that not all Dai Li agents are as heartless as we appear."
"He's telling the truth," Toph informed.
"Now go!" the man ordered, "Save the Earth King and stop Long Feng, we'll deal with the remainder of the Dai Li."
Aang gave him a smile and instantly the entire group fled to the surface in pursuit of their task. Toph remained and pointed her finger right into the agent's face, asking one last time, "Do you think you can tell me where you learned to Metalbend, bub?"
He pushed her hand calmly out of his face and replied in a matter-of-fact tone, "Some poetic kid raving about hearts? He was going door to door in fact...picked up a few things from him, and eventually managed to adapt myself. I figure it was the same for the rest of the agents?"
"I knew it!" she growled, then she got a wide eyed look and asked one last question, "Hey...when you say you guys are going to "deal" with these other agents, you don't mean---"
"Brainwashing them to forget all about this place so they will live better lives?" he replied knowingly.
"Yeah..." Toph eased, "While you're at it, how about making them forget their training from Moo Chee? I don't want this form falling into the wrong hands, you know?"
"Of course," he bowed, "At your request we can forget the form ourselves, if you wish it."
Toph thought it over and gave the agent a sharp blow to the back, smirking, "Nah! You guys seem pretty worthy to me, and if you're looking for a job, I have two academies that could use a couple of honest people working in them."
"We are honored," he bowed, "Now go, Master Beifong, help your friends take back our city."
"Good luck fellas!" she called, shooting herself right to the surface with the others; meanwhile, the rebel Dai Li agent pulled out a lone lantern and started speaking in a monotone voice, stating, "There is no such thing as a Dai Li agent. I am but a standard commoner of Ba Sing Se."
The agents struggled but eventually they too stated repeatedly, "There is no such thing as a Dai Li agent. I am but a standard commoner of Ba Sing Se."
Above, Toph joined the battle zone to see the mass destruction taking over the once serene Earth City. Everyone was fighting and while Team Avatar ordered a cease fire from every face they passed, there was still the matter of the Earth King under the heavy influence of Long Feng.
"Katara!" Aang called, "Bridge us to the King's war tank, the rest of you keep these people from killing each other long enough for us to fix King Kuei!"
As Katara formed an icy bridge over to the massive earth tank, Aang shot inside and Katara froze the legs of the craft, halting the vehicle in its path of destruction. She held back the royal guards, clearing a peaceful path for Aang to reach Kuei and when he did the appalled Earth King rose in defiance.
"So, you've come to take my throne have you Avatar?" he spat, "Just like Avatar Kyoshi did to my great, great, great, great grandfather!"
"Kuei please, listen to yourself, you aren't a bad person, you shouldn't be punishing your people and your friends for crimes they did not commit!" Aang pleaded.
"Your words mean nothing to me. Now Avatar, prepare to be defeated!"
Aang looked around and blinked, pointing meekly, "Uh...by...you?"
"Yes by me!" he snarled back, "I have mastered the toughest forms of T'ai chi ch'uan!"
"King Kuei---" Aang stretched nervously, "I'm not going to fight you."The Earth King grabbed the pointy spear-tipped flag in the corner and came at Aang like a vicious animal. Aang avoided him in the tiny setting, swooping over his throne and the control panel as Kuei chased him around with the little spear.
"Please listen to me," Aang struggled, "Long Feng had you brainwashed, you really don't want to fight me."
In a battle yell, Kuei came at Aang and the Avatar was about to blast him with a gust of air, but a woman cried out from the doorway, screaming, "NOOO!"
It was Kuei's bride, still wearing her gown and everything. Distracted by her, Aang shot away Kuei's weapon and the woman rushed up to the king and gave him a good old fashioned slap on the cheek, stomping, "You have ruined this miraculous occasion in our lives Cookie!"
"Cookie?" Aang groaned in disgust from the background.
"Avatar, what has come over him?" she asked.
"Long Feng brainwashed him," he informed, "Obviously for a while because it's hard to snap him out of it."
"I see---" she grumbled sadly, before reaching into her sleeve and pulling out a solid gold pendant crested with a green emerald. She held it up to the snarling Earth King's face as Aang held him down with a set of earthy rock-cuffs... "Do you remember this Cookie? This is the pendant from your family that you proposed to me with. Look at it closely."
The king had no choice and he looked as the sunlight reflected into it and the sparkling gem flashed right into his eyes.
"Avatar, does he have a code phrase?" the strange, veiled woman asked.
"Yes," he thought it over. "Zuko told me that it's---" he began, but the woman shushed him and whispered, "Not out loud! Come whisper it to me."
Aang did and the odd woman flashed her pendant repeatedly and spoke in some other language it sounded like, repeating herself over and over again, "Raw rof deraperp era I dna elpoep ym, ieuK!"
Kuei's eyes glazed over and the woman spoke again, always flashing that pendant into the his eyes, "Raw rof deraperp era I dna elpoep ym, ieuK! "Raw rof deraperp era I dna elpoep ym, ieuK! Raw rof deraperp era I dna elpoep ym, ieuK!"
In a few moments, King Kuei gasped and he coughed back air as though he were once being held underwater; by his coughing, Aang released Kuei and he collapsed into the floor, groaning as he possibly was regaining his sanity.
"What did you do?" Aang gasped.
"It is an old trick I learned to outsmart the Dai Li. Always carry a flash and if you speak your code setting in reverse, it also reverses the effects of the Dai Li's mind games."
"How could you possibly know something like that!?" Aang was shocked.
"A nice young man with a familiar face taught it to me, actually."
Toph and the gang came rushing into the ship led by Katara and they alerted Aang that everyone was separated safely and snapped out of their chaotic mind state when they were defeated.
"Oh hello children," the bride waved, helping Kuei to a stand as he regained his balance with a massive headache forming.
"You!?" Toph gasped, recognizing the voice in an instant.
The strange woman lifted her veil and gave a wide smile to the team as each of them bellowed out in sheer astonishment, "Joo Dee!?"
"Yes, hello," she bowed, "I have fixed the Earth King and now we must reverse the effects on the other townspeople or they may still be activated by their code phrases."
"How do we do that?" Katara wondered.
"First, everyone!" she ordered, "Quickly, grab something shiny and follow me outside."
Slowly but surely, Joo Dee helped Team Avatar de-brainwash every single citizen in the riot against Ba Sing Se. The kingdom went into a rejoice just as the King apologized over and over again to all of his many subjects, and especially to his bride for making a mockery of their wedding day. Joo Dee laughed and they kissed briefly to the stomach turning disapproval of the other kids; Sokka, who had just woken out of his faint, merely looked disgusted and stated, "Oogie---" before falling back into a comatose state.
A week later after cleaning up the city, King Kuei and Joo Dee---or should they say, Agatha Wong---were happily married and the kingdom fell into a joyous celebration.
During the ceremony King Kuei met up with Aang and passed all of the happiness, he still asked, "Whatever became of Long Feng, Avatar Aang?"
"We couldn't find him," Aang sighed, "And the Dai Li were completely gone by the time we went back searching for clues.""I have to tell you Aang," Kuei gulped nervously, "I will not rest well until this madman is behind bars."
"Earth King Kuei," Suki started, "On behalf of the Kyoshi Warriors I know the girls would love to revisit the city and keep you under protection during this frightening time."
"That would be lovely my lady," he bowed happily, "Thank you."
"Yeah---" Toph added with a hidden smile, "I don't think you guys need to worry about Long Feng anymore. I'm pretty sure he got what was coming to him."
"What----what do you mean Toph?" Zuko asked as she popped a crab puff into her mouth and smiled wide with a hidden secret.
Long Feng was running away from the Earth Kingdom city on the starry night after his defeat, when five lone Dai Li silhouettes cut off his path and tossed their chains of metal right at him. Long Feng attempted to redirect the metal, but he could not budge it in the slightest and was utterly captured, struggling to break loose.
"What is this?" he bellowed.
"Platinum," that same rebel agent answered, "We find it to be rather, un-bendable."
"I---I know that voice---you're--- " But Long Feng never finished his statement for the agent shielded his mouth and the six figures disappeared into the shadows to be forgotten for all time by the public. Long Feng was never heard from again.
- The Third Year Reunion was the very first Reunion that was NOT held at Uncle's Tea Shop.
- The main conflict between Sokka and relationship actually "working out" outside of this Fanon, was that Suki would never have settled down and stepped away as leader of the Kyoshi Warriors---and of course, Sokka would never get over his love for .
- This is one of the few years Toph is ever seen with different styled hair, fancy clothes, or seen wearing make-up. The hairstyle she wears in the image of Sokka's wedding will later be worn by her daughter on a regular basis.
- The letter Toph sent to her parents was written in the ATLA episode: The Runaway.
- The idea that Toph's letter to her parents was written on the back of the Runaway Wanted Poster, was inspired by this image.
- Even though were uptight socialites, they have proven to be very stubborn and dead set on their beliefs, just like Toph.
- Poppy (like most mothers) loves to pry into her daughter's handsome and available guy friends' social lives in order to marry off her daughter. Lao on the other hand....not so much.
- By this year, all Joo Dee's and were removed from the city, and the city was now more variegated---or so they thought.
- Freedom Fighters because their former leader, , was tragically killed by Long Feng in the ATLA episode: "Lake Laogai". is the Leader of the
- This is the first time that Aang and Katara's eyes appear older in the Illustrations.
- On a lighter note, this is the first time that Toph has called Aang "Twinkle Toes" in the Fanon, but certainly not the last.
- Penga, Ho Tun, and The Dark One currently run the Beifong Metalbending Academy in Ba Sing Se for Toph, though they may be running it a little too leniently.
- Without stopping for a detour or being hunted by the Fire Nation, travel for the gang certainly is faster and easier.
- Suki and Sokka, as well as Mai and Zuko, have been married for nearly a year by the month of the Earth King's Wedding.
- When battling for Democracy, war is an easy solution, but not the one that should be taken in this case of Ba Sing Se vs .
- Smellerbee and have been living in Ba Sing Se for a little over four years---minus that brief time for rioting in Yu Dao.
- The Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se was renovated so nicely, that it has nearly surpassed the qualifications of the Middle Ring! Meanwhile, the Upper Ring is still the Upper Ring, but it allows a person from any part of Ba Sing Se to visit and shop there, if they can.
- Brainwashing is what the Dai Li do best.
- "The Crossroads of Destiny". was last seen in the ATLA episode
- Recap: The entrance to Lake Laogai was previously destroyed, so now the Dai Li plot in the Earth King's Statue Cavern under the palace.
- Not just King Kuei was brainwashed by Long Feng. Many citizens, soldiers, guards, and even a few of the Dai Li themselves were mind swiped to become sleeper agents for Long Feng's plan.
- The fact that not all Dai Li agents were soulless monsters was inspired by the main character in Minnichi's Fanon, "A Silent Hero in Emerald".
- Whether the good group of rebel Dai Li agents took Toph's offer to become Metalbending Instructors at her school is never truly answered.
- King Kuei's great, great, great, great grandfather was the 46th Earth King. He argued with in the game/ trivia article called Escape from the Spirit World#Chapter 2: Avatar Kyoshi.
- T'ai chi ch'uan is a martial arts form to promote peace and health---not so much for fighting Avatars.
- "Cookie" is King Kuei's pet name----Oogie!
- That's right! also known as "Agatha (Agi) Wong is King Kuei's mystery bride! She became the "Supreme Bureaucratic Administrator" under reign of , and King Kuei must have fallen for her smile or something?
- Joo Dee's real name "Wong" relates to the ATLA producer she was designed off of, Miken Wong. This was however unintentional and all around a very pleasant accident!
- The Dai Li Rebels captured Long Feng and most probably removed all memories he possessed of being evil, but the true fate of both Long Feng, as well as the name of the mystery leader of the rebels, was never fully established and remains a mystery to this day.
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