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Chang eyes Sokka with distaste. His body planted firmly between the Southern Water Tribe warrior and his younger brother. Ready to attack if necessary; he doesn’t like where Sokka’s head is at the moment. Emotions are running too high for everybody involved; now that Katara wants to leave for the Northern Water Tribe it’s twice as bad.

            Carefully he turns and mounts Appa. His stomach flip-flopping slightly as the sky bison takes off. The bright blue sky coming within hands reach. He looks over at Katara and cringes, the girl looks happy but he can tell she’s one breathe away from crying. Please don’t let her start crying; he’s no good with girls, and worse with crying ones.

            Aang wants to turn around. “Are you crazy? If we go back they’ll kill you.”

            He places his right hand against his temple. He knew he was going to get a headache out of all this. Uh why did he have to be the sane one? He nodded, and Katara looks relieved while Aang has a look like happy mixed with uncertain fear. He really was too nice sometimes.

            When they return to the village is under attack. What looks like a boy no older than he has grabbed Kanna, saying something about an Avatar? Chang’s blood freezes, as Aang surrenders. Hurriedly he calls up his inner fire and aims it at the young firebender. He will not lose Aang.

            They look at each other; Fire Nation gold meeting Air Nomad amber. This princeling promises he won’t hurt Aang, so long as Chang agrees to surrender. With a heavy sigh Chang nods his agreement. Aang is taken to holding cell while he is taken to the Prince’s chambers. He’s greeted by a man with gold eyes, the man that the prince had called uncle.

            The chambers are austere and in shades of heavy crimson and dark browns. The only light coming from an assortment of meditation candles; the soft light making the room seem warmer. Between them is a teapot the rich scent of ginseng, reminding him he hadn’t eaten since yesterday’s dinner.

            “Please forgive my nephew’s abruptness. He is not used to such unique company.” The man says. His voice is rich and nuanced in a way that reminds Chang that he’s in the presence of royalty. He finds himself feeling oddly relaxed.

“How did you manage to be raised by monks?” Prince Zuko’s voice is sharp and demanding.

“I was left at the base of the Air Nomad temple. The monks found me and they raised me” he says simply

            Zuko looks skeptical, and the uncle looks considering. He finds the oranges and yellows as bizarre in this sea of crimson and brown as he is among such odd company. He feels sick; he just wants to go home.

            A sharp bang and a rush of air and he is free. He and Aang make it to the open air and he can breathe again. He and Aang take on the small fleet. Heat and air working for them until Aang goes overboard. For a few terrified seconds he believes his funny, fun-loving little brother is gone and his heart shatters.

            A few heart- rendering moments later his brother is back. No, not his brother, the Avatar is back. The mind shattering level of power is awe inducing. A disc of water circles freezing all the fire nation soldiers. A low rumbling and Sokka’s wild chatter later, him and Aang are now again reunited with Appa.

            Sokka and Katara are chattering wildly. Awe colors Katara’s voce as she asks why Aang didn’t tell them. His brother’s voice is small and he sounds so old; for a moment Chang is enraged at the masters for the pressure they’ve loaded on Aang’s young shoulders. They all fall silent; sleep claiming the water tribe siblings while he and Aang are lost in thought the wide blue sky stretched out before them. Wishing things could be different, for both of them.

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