A/N: I know, it's been over a month. Why was this chapter not up sooner? I'm not happy with it. At all. Here it is though. I hope you enjoy it.
Avatar: The Next Generation
Chapter 21: Be Careful
Zuko glared as he met his father's eyes. Ozai was about twenty feet away and seemed to have been just waiting for his son to make an appearance. Zuko didn't pay his wife and friends any attention as he made his way towards his father. In the same manner, Ozai didn't seem to notice Azula smirking at Zuko behind him. The two men's eyes never left the other's glare.
Aang followed closely behind Zuko. It wasn't that he doubted his friend's ability, but no one could take on both Azula and Zuko at the same time.
There was a tense moment as the four of them just stood facing each other. They were poised to strike at any moment, but none seemed to want to make the first move.
Then, Azula, always eager for an opportunity to fight Zuko, struck first. She sent a blast of fire straight toward Zuko. Zuko noticed it just second before it would make contact with him. I bent his own shield of fire to stop Azula's from touching him.
This seemed to set the ball rolling. Suddenly, Aang shot a blast of air at Ozai and Azula. The air pushed them both back from Zuko and Aang about twenty feet. This gave Aang enough time to glance at Zuko quickly at make sure he wasn't injured before Ozai and Azula could strike again.
Azula recovered quickly and was soon shooting fire and Aang and Zuko again. As the battle waged on, Azula seemed to be holding her own against Zuko and Aang, who wasn't using the Avatar state.
Ozai hung back. Even with his fire bending gone and having spent many years in prison, he was still very agile. He wasn't attacking anyone, but he was easily able to avoid any attack that came his way. Aang found it odd that Ozai was out in the open instead of hidden away somewhere safe. Unless Ozai had some way of fighting that he just hadn't shown yet. With this in mind, Aang fought his way past Azula towards the past Fire Lord.
Mai ducked as a sword was swung at her. As soon as it was gone, she threw a shuriken straight towards the rebel carrying it. He soon found himself stuck to the ground. As he hurriedly tried to free his clothes from the weapon, Mai set her sights on a different target.
As soon as he spotted the rebel running towards him, Sokka reared his sword back. He brought it down as the person came into range. His sword clanked against the man's helmet. Sokka knew the man wasn't dead, but he appeared to be unconscious. Sokka did a quick scan of the area, and saw Toph fighting a large group of people. He threw his boomerang that way and watched it slice the arm of one of the rebels. He ran forward to catch his boomerang as it returned to him.
Toph grinned to herself as she felt one rebel collapse after something hit him in the head. She could only assume it was Sokka's boomerang. Her suspicions were confirmed when she felt him catch the object as it soared back to him. Toph brought up a block of earth directly in a group of rebel's path. They didn't have much time to react and ended up slamming right into the wall. Then, she brought up a block of earth and sent it flying towards another group of rebels. She smiled as she thought about how much she'd missed this.
Haru quickly pivoted as the rebel attempted to pierce him with a spear. He earth bended a large rock towards the rebel from behind. The rebel had no clue what was coming towards him until he'd been knocked unconscious.
Ty Lee was running from three rebels when she spotted a column holding up the awning of a nearby store. She grabbed it and used it to swing herself around and back towards the men. She knocked them right off their feet. Ty Lee let go and angled herself so that she landed on her feet. She quickly blocked the rebel's chakra before they were able to move. She smiled to herself before getting ready for the other group of rebels coming towards her.
Kaimu slashed his knife through the air, but was unsuccessful in hitting his mark. The rebel had jumped out of range seconds before the knife would have sliced his skin open. Swearing in frustration, Kaimu ran after the rebel as fast as his feet would take him. His knife connected with nothing but air a few times until it finally found flesh. The rebel's neck poured blood as he collapsed to the ground.
Katara whirled around with the water creating a circle around her as she moved. She made it into a whip and struck the nearest rebel who went flying backwards from the pressure. She continued to move the water whip out as she spun and succeeded in hitting multiple rebels. After completing a full circle, she ran towards another group of rebels ahead of her.
Suki twirled her fans around as she ran through the group of rebels. She spun and kicked, knocking three of them out almost at once. She continued through the group. More and More kept coming. It seemed almost never ending.
“Well, that didn't work,” Ai said matter of factly as Ikuo sank to the floor with his back against the door.
Ikuo had spent the last fifteen minutes attempting to metal bend the door unsuccessfully. He had managed to make a small dent in it but nothing major. He apparently needed to work on his metal bending skills.
“What are we going to do now?” Ayame sighed as she flopped onto her back.
“There's nothing we can do,” Ai said, “We're just going to have to wait here.”
Ichiko let out a loud, frustrated groan, “I hate this! I want to be out there!”
Hajime laid his hand on her shoulder, “We all do, but there's no way to get out of here.”
“There has to be,” Ikuo was looking around as if an escape would suddenly present itself, “We just need to think harder.”
Saki rolled her eyes at the older children. “Isn't it obvious,” she scoffed. Everyone turned to look at her in confusion. She raised her hand to point towards an air vent high on the wall. “Honestly, do any of you read. Everyone escapes through air vents.”
They all looked at each other. Finally, Ichiko spoke in disbelief, “How did a five year old think of that when we didn't?”
“So, we'll go through the air vents then,” Ai stood up.
“I'm coming,” Saki said with excitement in her voice.
“Absolutely not!” Kazuna yelled at her little sister.
“But I'm the one who thought of the air vents!” Saki whined in the beginnings of a temper tantrum.
“You're only five,” exclaimed Kazuna.
“You're only fourteen!”
“Saki,” Ai began, “I agree with Kazuna. You need to stay here for now. You don't know enough bending to help. It wouldn't take long for you to get hurt.”
Saki crossed her arms in anger and frustration as she plopped down on the floor and began to pout. The other young children began to speak up as well. They also wanted to go.
“I'm sorry, you guys,” Ai addressed the group, “But none of you are going. The six of us,” here she motioned towards Ichiko, Ikuo, Hajime, Kazuna, and Ayame, “are the only ones that stand any chance out there, and honestly, we don't even stand much of a chance.”
The others began to quiet down. For a moment there was just silence. Then, Akiyoshi jumped up and ran to hug his sister. “Be careful,” he whispered.
“I will be,” she whispered back.
Soon, all of the siblings were in group hugs. Ichiko and Ikuo, who were in a rare moment of showing they actually cared for each other, even pulled Ayame into their hug, not wanting her to feel left out. After a few minutes, everyone began to break apart, and the six oldest began lifting themselves up into the air vent.
A/N: I hope next chapter will be better especially since it's the final chapter. I can't believe it. I only have one more chapter and an epilogue, and then this story is over. It's so weird.