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literature

DoBS-WAT Alternate Universe

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By ericmh126
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AU

"But I've come to an even more important decision, I'm going to join the Avatar, and I'm going to help him defeat you."

"Since you're a full blown traitor now and you want me gone, why wait? I'm powerless, you have your swords, why don't you just finish the job now."

"Because I know my own destiny, taking you down is…" The doors behind him burst open and Sokka, Aang, and Toph stormed the room.

"The Avatar is back!" Aang announced.

"… his destiny." Zuko finished.

"Toph, you and I will take the angry jerk," Sokka said. "Aang, the Fire Lord is all yours."

"Wait," Zuko stopped them, sheathing his swords. "I don't want to fight you. I've changed sides, I want to help you."

"You wanna what now?" Toph questioned.

"There's no time to explain, the eclipse is almost over. The Avatar won't stand a chance if he faces the Fire Lord now."

"But," Aang muttered, confused.

"Why should we trust you? For all we know this could be an elaborate tr…" Sokka started to argue.

"I'd love to continue watching this most amusing show, but I have to say, my traitor of a son is right about one thing." Ozai paused as he felt his bending return as the first rays of the sun shot from behind the moon. He lunged forward, summoning two arcs of lightning at his fingertips and firing into the group.

Feeling his bending return at the same moment, Zuko was the first to react. He caught the lightning in the tips of his fingers, the sheer power of the attack pushing back towards the door and the others. "Go now," he yelled to them as he channeled the energy down into his stomach, up and out his other arm, and back towards his father. The redirected attack exploded at the Fire Lord's feet and flung him against the back wall. When he rose, he saw the fire burning in front of him, but all four of his foes were gone.

"What was that all about?" Aang was stopped alone in the hall.

"I'll explain later, right now I'm going to free my uncle." Zuko acknowledged him as he ran by, Aang followed behind.

Above ground, Aang and Zuko sprinted into the prison tower and up the stairs, past an injured and frightened guard, to Iroh's prison cell. It was empty except for a second guard, lying in the corner by the busted bars.

"Where is my uncle?" Zuko questioned him, lifting him from the floor.

"He busted himself out," the guard admitted. "He was like a one man army."

"Zuko, we should go." Aang could see the soldiers swarming the base of the tower. Zuko dropped the guard and looked out the window as well.

"How…"

"Hold on tight." Aang answered before he could finish the question, his new glider popping out in front of him.

With the subs destroyed and Aang waiting for Zuko, the invasion force was forced to surrender while Sokka, Katara, Toph, and the younger warriors escaped on Appa. Aang told Sokka to have everyone retreat to the rendezvous point. From there they could plan their next moves. Katara now stood on the cliff edge scanning the sky for any sign of Aang. Spotting something on the horizon she ran for Teo.

"Teo, quick, let me borrow your dad's telescope," she told him. She focused in on the spec just above the horizon.

"What do you see?" the boy asked. "Is it Aang?"

"No," she sounded worried, "it's another war-balloon." Without even telling the others she ran over to Appa and jumped onto his neck. "I'll go take care of this, you warn the others." She told Teo. "Yip yip."

Speeding towards the balloon, water whips at the ready, she finally caught sight of its occupants, "It can't be," a chill went down her spin. "Why hasn't he tried to escape yet?" She wondered aloud.

As if on cue, Aang simultaneously leaped from the balloon and opened his glider, flying over to Appa and Katara. "Katara, stop," he warned her, "Zuko is on our side now." Her eyes widened in shock, then narrowed back at Zuko in disbelief. "Trust me. I'll explain when we land."

Back on the beach the gang was divided, Zuko stood on one side with Katara on the other, glaring him down. The others stood as intermediaries, listening as Zuko made his case to Katara. He went on about realizing his destiny was to teach the Avatar firebending and help him put an end to the war. She wasn't buying any of it.

"You can't possibly think any of us would trust you, can you? I mean how stupid do you think we are?"

"Katara, we saw him stand against his father," Sokka countered. "When we fought the Fire Lord, Ozai tried to attack us, and Zuko defended us, he redirected lightning back at his father."

"Why are you guys defending him? Don't you remember what happened in Ba Sing Se?"

"I know I've made mistakes in the past Katara, among others I was wrong to side with my sister in Ba Sing Se but I'm ready now to atone for those mistakes, just give me a chance."

"You want to make up for your mistakes?" Katara said spitefully, "Well, how about you start with this." She unleashed a torrent of water on him, slamming him against the cliffs and freezing him in place.

"Katara, what are you doing?" Sokka yelled at his sister.

"Sokka, relax, it's okay," Zuko said humbly. "I deserved that." He turned towards Katara, "I can tell it's going to take some time to convince you that I've changed, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to prove it to you."

Aang walked over to Zuko and started to unfreeze him, but Zuko stopped him.

"Wait Aang, make sure it's okay with Katara." Aang was taken aback by his comment and looked over at Katara, waiting for a cue.

"Go ahead Aang," she turned to walk away but froze mid-step, as if forgetting something. "I still don't like it, but I'll go along with whatever you think is right, Aang." She said over her shoulder then continued walking.

"Hey guys?" Haru walked in with Teo and The Duke, "This might be a bad time to mention this, but we've noticed several ships patrolling south of us. They don't seem to be coming this way but who know how long it will stay that way?"

"It's a Fire Navy base," Zuko informed them, everyone turned and glared at him, as if he himself had chosen to hide out so close to the base. "What? I was going to warn you, I didn't even know it was there until Aang and I were flying in on the balloon."

"So what are we going to do?" Sokka asked.

"I know another place we can go where we'll be safer for a while," Aang answered, "the Western Air Temple."

Moments later Appa and the balloon were ready for departure, Aang sat behind Appa's head loading everyone into the saddle.

"Zuko, just follow us."

"I don't think he'll have much a problem doing that," Katara scoffed. "I'm going with him," she added, surprising the others. "I want to keep a close eye on him so he doesn't try anything funny," she clarified.

Flying north towards the Western Air Temple the duo sat in awkward silence, broken up only by the sound of the furnace keeping the balloon aloft in the air. Zuko decided to take the first steps. "Katara, I..." but she interrupted him.

"Don't bother," she snapped. "You might have everyone else buying your 'transformation,' but you and I both know you've struggled with doing the right thing in the past. So let me tell you something right now; you take one step backwards, one slip-up, give me one reason to think you might hurt Aang, and you won't have to worry about your destiny anymore. Because I'll make sure your destiny ends, right then and there, permanently."

Zuko was struck speechless for the rest of the journey to the Western Air Temple. He knew Katara was serious, the passion and drive she showed him reminded him why he was doing this. The war had hurt so many people in so many ways, including the two of them in the balloon, but now there was hope and he was not going to mess up this time. The road ahead would be a difficult one, but rarely was the path worth taking not so.
Okay, I was re-watching ep. 311 Day of Black Sun part 2: The Eclipse, and I realized how close the gaang came to running into Zuko that day. So I decided I'd write an AU for if they did run into each other that day.

Canon-wise everything is the same up to Zuko's line "Taking you down is the Avatar's destiny" and returns to canon at the start of "The Firebending Masters" without any major discrepancies. I even took the liberty of using several quotes from both episodes and re-incorporating them in this version.

Seeing as this probably comes across as shipping neutral, this is going to be a stretch, but I never got around to doing Zutara Week 2010 Day 6: AU, so I think I'll make this my (2 month) late submission, for now at least. If the mods/admins for :iconzutara-week: don't approve, I'll take it down.

-Links-
Day 1: Family | Welcome to the Family
Day 2: Change
Day 3: Pain
Day 4: Date
Day 5: Harmony
Day 6: Alternate Universe
Day 7: Storm [To Be Posted]

-Disclaimers-
Avatar and canon dialogue is (C) Viacom
Comments3
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chubbyninja89's avatar
Nice job, hope there's a second chapter. ^___^
ericmh126's avatar
well, I don't have anything planned, my current project is Sen's Story, but I have drafted a part 2 for The Southern Raiders, I don't know when or if I'll ever get it posted though
chubbyninja89's avatar
Oh, that's ok if you can't. ^___^