Chapter Twenty-Two:

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^ just one of my all time favorite Zuko Tributes (: let me know if you love it just as much as I do

Ruka (1)

Zuko tightened his grip on the rails. "What's he up to Uncle? Why didn't Commander Zhao arrest me?"

"Because he wants to follow you. He knows you'll lead him to the prize you're both after - the Avatar." Iroh responded.

"If Zhao wants to follow our trail of smoke, then that's exactly what I'll let him do."

I cocked a brow, "What do you mean? Don't you want him to not get Aang?"

Zuko left off the deck and I followed him. We went under the ship and Zuko got onto a smaller boat.

"Guards, let the boat down." Zuko ordered. "So this is your plan." I put my hand on my hip. "Great!" I started to make my way on but Zuko interrupted me. "What do you think you're doing?"

I shrugged, "Going with you."

Zuko shook his head, "No. Stay here."

"I need to make sure my brother and sister are okay. I'm going with you so shutup."

Zuko groaned - I'm sure he's had enough of me. As we were getting released onto the water, Zuko told his Uncle what he wanted him to do.

"Uncle, keep heading North. Zhao will follow the smoke trial while I use it as cover."

Iroh stroked his beard as we made it onto the water. As we made our way to Aang, there was an awkward silence. I cleared my throat and Zuko looked at me from the corner of his eye.

I started to whistle and he huffed, turning his body to me. "What?"

I shrugged. "Nothin'"

"Then be quiet."

I slumped my shoulders. "You're so mean."

"You're so annoying."

I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. We looked away from each other and silence took over once again.

I brought my hands down to my lap. "Uh, thank you Prince Zuko."

Zuko looked over to me confused. "For what?"

"Catching me from falling in the water... oh, and saving me from drowning back at the South Pole."

Zuko nodded then looked back forward. Without looking over to me, he said, "And thank you for putting out the fires. That helped greatly."

I shrugged, "No problem. I didn't want to go down with ship."

And I swear to the spirits, I saw a small, merely catchable smile.

We reached the temple where Aang and my siblings are. Zuko seemed to know where to go so I just followed him.

"This way." Zuko whispered. I nodded, following him into a room.

"Are you sure-"

"Sh." Zuko put his finger on my lips then pulled me back to the wall behind us. We heard shouting and shuffling coming from a room up ahead. We quickly made our way over and peeked inside. We started to creep into the room and when I saw Aang behind a large pillar, I smiled.

"Aang."

He looked over to me but before anything happened between the two of us, I felt a arms wrap around me and a soft material go over my mouth and nose. After a few seconds, everything went dark. (1)

>>>

(2) I semi-woke up to smoke surrounding me. I was being carried out and went I looked up to see who's arms were under me, it was Zuko's. When I looked behind him, there was Sokka and Katara looking ahead at... Avatar Roku?

What the heck happened to me? I'm dreaming, right?

I tried to make a sound, but nothing would escape my mouth. I kept my gaze up at Zuko and when he finally looked down to me, I saw a small sparkle in his eye. "I'm sorry for earlier. It had to be done."

"No prob- problem. I didn-n't want to go down with the Sh-ip-p." And before I knew it, it was dark again.

_

(1) I looked it up and it takes about five minutes for someone to knock out from chloroform, but for the sake of this, we'll make it like how it is in the movies.

(2) Same for here. It said it takes about three hours for someone to wake up after being knocked out from chloroform. But, Ruka did knock out again so I guess I did it kinda right lol.

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