Avatar: The Next Generation
Chapter 4: Ruined Plans
“Dad!” Ai exclaimed as she turned around to see Fire Lord Zuko standing behind her. “We were just...I mean we were...”
“Were you four planning to run off?” Zuko asked sharply.
“Not just us four,” Ayame mumbled under her breath, “Hajime and Ikuo were coming too.”
Unfortunately, Zuko heard her. “You four come with me.”
He turned and started to walk toward the palace. Zuko stopped two passing servants. “Notify all our guests and my wife to come to the meeting hall at once. Let all of the children sleep, except for Hajime and Ikuo. Have them come too.”
“Yes, Fire Lord Zuko.” They bowed and went to notify everyone who Zuko had ordered them to.
Zuko continued to walk toward the meeting hall with Ai, Ayame, Kazuna, and Ichiko trailing behind him. Ai, Ayame, and Kazuna all slightly frightened about just what their punishment was to be. Ichiko on the other hand was just pissed that they'd been caught. She was a little behind everyone else, and was walking with her arms crossed mumbling about how adults were all “stupid idiots.”
Once they made it to the meeting hall, Zuko sat down at the head of the table. The children sat down farther down the table, leaving room for their parents to sit nearer Zuko. They wanted to be as far away from Zuko (and their parents for that matter) in case there was yelling.
It hadn't been that long before their parents started coming in. Aang and Katara were first. When they saw their daughter Kazuna they looked both confused and worried. Sokka and Toph were next with Ikuo, followed by Mai, Ty Lee, and Haru. Suki and Kaimu came in last with Hajime following behind them.
Ikuo and Hajime sat with the other children while the adults sat down near Zuko. “Let me guess,” Hajime muttered darkly, “You four got caught.”
“Shut up,” Ichiko clearly wasn't in the mood to deal with anyone. She punched him in the arm as hard as she could without attracting attention from the adults. The longer it took for the adults to start yelling, the better.
“What's going on Zuko?” Aang was the first to speak up.
“I caught Ai, Kazuna, Ichiko, and Ayame trying to sneak out. According to Ichiko, Hajime and Ikuo were also going to sneak out.”
“You rat!” Hajime whispered loudly to Ichiko while Ikuo shot her a dirty look. She just punched Hajime a second time and kicked Ikuo under the table.
“I can't say for sure what they were planning on doing,” Zuko continued, ignoring the arguing. “But I have a feeling it had something to do with Azula.”
All of the adults turned toward the kids clearly expecting an explanation. Kazuna opened her mouth, but before she could get a word out, Ichiko covered her mouth. “We're already in enough trouble. You don't need to add to it!” She whispered so the adults couldn't hear.
Kazuna pushed her hand away. “You don't even know what I was going to say!”
“Knowing you, you were about to confess to everything.” Ai and Ayame muttered their agreement while Kazuna just looked guilty.
“They're going to figure it out anyway!” She said in her defense.
“How do you know?” Ayame asked, “And even if they do, the longer it takes them the better.”
Finally, Ai turned to her father. “We couldn't sleep. We just decided to go for a walk.”
“Along with a few sets of clothes?” Zuko, along with the rest of the adults, obviously were not buying it.
“We brought them just in case-” But the adults never found out what Ichiko's, probably rather elaborate and unbelievable, excuse was because at that very moment, a guard came running in.
He bowed in front of Zuko quickly then began speaking. “Fire Lord Zuko, sir. I'm terribly sorry to interrupt, but Azula has been spotted.”