Chapter 22: Family Reunion

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I struggled to keep my eyes open as I rode on Mushu's back as we followed Zuko and Zazu. "Zuko, are you sure we can't just...stop? At least for the night?" I asked before yawning for the 20th time. "We're close, that white fur could only come from the Avatar's Bison." I sighed before slowly dozing off. I felt Mushu's tail push me back onto his back, "Careful Kaida or else you'll fall off." "But, I'm so tired...." I mumbled as I squinted my eyes to see through my blurry vision. "Why are we tracking Aang anyways? You said Azula is after him too now if she sees us she'll drag us back to the fire nation as prisoners." "Not if we can capture him first." "I'm not helping you catch him, I've already told you that," I stated narrowing my eyes at Zuko's back. He glanced back at me before looking forward and keeping quiet. "That was your plan all along wasn't it? That's why you left." He didn't say anything, I stopped in front of Zazu causing him to stop walking. "Tell me the truth Zuko. Why did you leave?" "I don't know." "You don't know or you just won't tell me?" "I don't know! Alright! I don't know, I don't know if I left to capture the avatar. I don't know what I'm doing! I just..I don't know who I am anymore..." My glare softened as he looked down. "I'm a traitor to the fire nation, I'm the dishonored son to father, I'm nothing. I'm nowhere near as talented as Azula and I don't have a purpose like you...I'm useless...." I got off Mushu and walked over to Zuko. I grabbed his hand causing him to look at me, "You're Zuko. My brother. The person I look up to and care about most in the world. You are far from useless. It doesn't matter what anyone and I mean anyone else thinks about you. Not Ozai, not azula, no one. The only opinion you should care about is yours." I told him. He looked at me sadly, "I just want to figure out what I need to do. If I capture the avatar and take him back to father, we'll be welcomed back as heroes. But, at the same time what if I do capture the avatar and father locks us up as prisoners? My head keeps telling me to one thing and my heart keeps telling me to do another." I hugged him as he got off of Zazu, "I'm sorry Zuko...I just..." He hugged me back resting his chin on my head. "I know, let's just stop and make camp for the night." I nodded as he let go of me. He went to go find wood to make a fire as I got our supplies off of Zazu, "You know you and Ponytail have a lot of issues." I glanced at Mushu who was laying down near the supplies I set down. "I just wish he could stop for a second and think about how taking Aang to Ozai would affect the world. I know deep down that he realizes that capturing Aang would bring an end to the war and not a good end at that." I sat cross-legged next to Mushu as I finished setting up our small campsite. "Not to mention that knowing Ozai, he probably would lock all of us up as prisoners." "Well, not you. He'd probably use you as a weapon to wipe out more of the different Nations until it was only the Fire Nation left." I gave Mushu a look, "Thank you, that makes me feel so much better." He gave me an apologetic look, "Sorry, but you know it's true. If Ozai really is a crazy warmonger then he'd use anything to destroy the other Nations." I sighed and looked ahead of me, "I know, which is why I faked my death and I've been trying to keep my identity hidden from anyone who would tell Ozai the truth." Mushu was about to say something more, but Zuko finally came back with some wood to start the fire. He sat next to me after lighting it, the sun had started going down. I yawned suddenly remembering how tired I was, I laid my head on Zuko's shoulder as I felt my eyelids getting heavier. Soon I was fast asleep as I felt the warmth radiate from the fire in front of us. 

I watched as Zuko laughed with the others, Mira sat beside him with his arm around her shoulders. I smiled slightly at the sight of the two of them, "Kaida?" I turned to see Aang, he was bruised and bleeding in multiple places. "Why Kaida?" I turned to look at the others, but they were all laying on the ground dead. I tried screaming, but nothing came out. I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around to see Ozai and Azula, "You've done well Dragon. Very well." They laughed maniacally as I looked back to see miles and miles of fire, burning forests and buildings and people. The earth beneath me started to crumble and I fell down into the darkness, "Kaida!"

"Kaida!" I jerked awake covered in sweat, I looked and saw Zuko looking down at me. I sat up, "Are you okay? You were screaming." He looked concerned, I nodded slightly trying to calm down my pounding heart. "Sorry, it was just a nightmare." "That wasn't any normal nightmare Kaida. Your skin, it was turning into scales." I looked at him in shock, "W-What?" I looked down at my arms to see a small remaining part of scales on my skin before they faded away. "You didn't feel it?" I shook my head, "Where's Mushu?" I asked noticing the absence of my dragon companion. "He said something about finding food." I nodded before getting up, "Do you wanna explain to me why I just saw you growing scales and screaming at the top of your lungs?" Zuko asked standing up. "I told you, it was just a nightmare Zuko. I'm fine." He grabbed my wrist, "Kaida, you are not fine. What's happening to you?" I yanked my arm away from him and growled, "I told you I'm fine. Now leave it alone!" He stopped staring at me in shock, my face fell as I realized what I just did. "I-I'm sorry. I don't know why I snapped at you like that." "It's your dragon instincts." We turned to look at Mushu who was walking back over to us. "My what?" "Your dragon instincts, like how animals can tell when it's going to rain or when something bad is about to happen or when they're threatened. Although, as a dragon, it's more so offense than defense. Dragon's try to seem more threatening than we are, especially when our strength and abilities are being threatened." "So Kaida is technically a dragon?" Zuko asked confused as I was. "No. She's human, but the spirit that makes her the Dragon is what makes her more animalistic since it's a Dragon spirit. Which is why she grows scales and has a need to eat food dragons would eat. Like fire or other animals or plants." Mushu stated. "Wait, did you just fire?" I asked looking at him in shock. He nodded, "Yes. Since it's your main element it's one of the things you eat." "That would kill me!" "Uh, no. It would kill a regular human. Not you, Kaida. Besides, I'm not saying you should eat fire all the time, but say you're low on energy or you're wounded. Eating fire will help you, but sadly you can't eat fire you produce since it's basically like inhaling air." "Well, that's very helpful. Thanks. Now I definitely know I'm a freak.." I stated. Zuko placed a hand on my shoulder, "You're not freak Kaida, you're just...special." I looked at him unamused, "Just wait, one day I'm gonna get you back." He smiled slightly and started packing everything up. I got onto Mushu and followed Zuko as we continued heading towards where Aang was.

We got to an abandoned town and saw blasts of blue flames, Zuko and I looked at each other. "Azula." We got off of Mushu and Zazu, "Mushu stay here. Azula doesn't need to know there are still Dragons alive." "What? But if you-" "I know, but Aang needs my help and so does Zuko." I stated before running off after Zuko. I looked around the abandoned town for any sign of Zuko, Azula, or Aang. I was suddenly slammed into, the person and I rolled in the dirt for a bit before stopping. I looked up to see Aang groaning on the ground across from me, I quickly got up and ran towards him. I kneeled beside him and held his head in my hands, "Aang? Aang, come on wake up." He slowly opened his eyes and looked at me. "Kaida?" His eyes widened in shock, before sitting up. "Aang are you okay?" I asked as he hugged me. "I thought you were dead!" I smiled slightly to myself. "Well, what a surprise we have here." We broke apart and saw Azula, she smirked at me. "Hello, little sister, back from the dead I see. Father will be so happy to hear about this." I stood in front of Aang. "Don't make me hurt you Azula." She laughed, "You hurt me? I see you're just as much of a traitor as Zuzu and Uncle are. Too bad, we would have made a great team." She stated before throwing a blast of fire at us. I deflected it and sent a fire stream at her. We continued fighting each other. Eventually, both Aang and Zuko, who finished digging his way out of some rubble, joined me in fighting her. Soon we were joined by Sokka, Katara, another girl I didn't know, Uncle, Mira, and Mori. We all cornered her, "Well, look at this. Enemies and traitors all working together. I'm done." She raised her hands in a gesture of surrender," I know when I'm beaten. You got me. A princess surrenders with honor." I glance over at Zuko and then towards Aang before I'm suddenly hit by Azula's blue flames and everything goes dark. 

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