Chapter 4


Sokka moaned as he slept. Reaching out with his tanned arms, he groped around until he hit the pile of hay that had served as his bedding. Clutching it close to him, the Water Tribesman mumbled sleepily, and grinned in his sleep.

“Chicken...” he grumbled out, and let the silly smile cover his face.

Zuko watched the sight with a disgusted look on his face. Shaking his head, he took the water pail that he had especially prepared for his prisoner, and dumped it over the sleeping teen.

“HOLY!!!” Sokka woke up rather abruptly, and shot over to the corner, shivering.

“What the hell was that for!?” the soaked male yelled out in anger.

“To wake you up, and get rid of your...stench.” Zuko said with a harsh grin.

“Ha ha, you’re a laugh.” Sokka sneered, and stood while shivering.

The clothing he currently wore was the remnants of what he had been wearing with Katara, and Aang. It had started to rip due to the paces he’d been put through, and it had also started to smell as the wonderful Fire Prince had pointed out with his bucket of freezing sea water.

“You could have just yelled ‘r something...” Sokka complained, and widened his arms to peer down at his rags that were called clothing.

Stains from god-knows-what had spotted the front of the blue uniform he wore, but since it was wet now it was hardly noticeable. The blue cloth stuck to him as if a leech, or second skin. Zuko watched as Sokka twisted, and turned to look at different parts of his body to see how entirely wet he was. He  felt his eyes widen slightly in surprise as the man in front of him suddenly stretched upward, and raised his arms over his head in a wide yawn. As the muscles before him rippled like a cats beneath satiny smooth skin. So strange for one of such immature nature to have the grace of a feline. Especially if it was beneath such an exterior of the rough, and smelly attitude of his.

“Come on you moron, lets go...” Zuko commanded the other who groaned, and pouted in a most petulant way.

Zuko jabbed Sokka in the ribs as the other man whined about being cold and sticky. As he was moved out into the area with guards, Zuko could almost feel the other man shiver viciously. It seemed he was cold.


Zuko let a small sadistic grin play across his features as he thought of the other in such a state. It was obvious that the Tribesman couldn’t bend; some just didn’t have the talent. It was odd though, that The Avatar would keep him close anyways. Maybe he was better with weapons?

He didn’t really care in the slightest. Zuko took the cuffs he’d brought with him out of his belt, and proceeded to wrap them about his wrists. Sokka glared angrily at the Fire Prince, but let him have his way.

As Zuko lead Sokka up the stairs of his ship, he shaded his eyes as he stepped out onto the deck of his ship. Sokka immediately raised his own hands to guard his sensitive vision from the harsh sun.

“What am I out here for? I thought I was your prisoner...” Sokka said in an almost sarcastic tone.

“You are...but I’m willing to strike a bargain for you. It will compliment the advances of The Avatar and you...” Zuko proposed to the hand cuffed teen.

“Oh yeah? What could WE possibly want that you can provide?” Sokka said sneering at the other in the most unintimidated way.

“Peace.” Zuko said firmly, and Sokka glared at him.

“We want no peace if it means to be ruled by the iron fist of the Fire Nation...” Sokka spat out in distaste.

“I didn’t mean it like that. I want only peace for the Fire Nation in it’s own boundaries. This war is pointless, and has no meaning. The Avatar can control it’s own region or whatnot, but I wish to be the King of the Fire Nation. Do we have a deal?” Zuko stuck out his right hand as was preferred in the striking of a bargain when no peace treaty was available on paper.

Sokka stared at the proffered hand in an almost confused way. He looked back up to the scared man, and frowned. What did the Fire Prince really want from him? Was it possible that the Prince was telling the truth!? No, that was not an option. Fire Benders ALWAYS lied, and this would be just another of those times. He was trying to gain his trust! The back stabber!

“I will think about it. I want to know more of what you have in mind...” Sokka said in a surprisingly diplomatic, and uncharacteristic way.

“...” Zuko looked at the peasant with a calm face, but his inner workings were in turmoil.

‘What else could there possibly be to look over!! How dense is this moron!’ He thought to himself, his emotions at bay. It was going to take a long meditation session after this talk to relive the stress that The Gouka was building within him.

Every time he stood near, or spoke to the irritating boy his Hell Fire would flare inside of his body like a furnace with more coal added. It was roaring to reach out and incinerate every molecule around his own body. It roared out in the yearning of flesh, but with that of a whole different yearning that Zuko had yet to understand.

“Fine. We will go to the Hold to discuss details.” Zuko grumpily agreed, and turned away to lead the ever annoying Water Tribesman to the selected area.

“Um...ehehm?” Sokka coughed out in an almost snotty way.

“What do you want peasant?” Zuko whipped around, snorting his anger through the smoke that curled lazily from his nostrils.

“Could you un-handcuff me? I’m beginning to itch, and it’s not polite to discuss peace treaties when the other person you’re talking to is captured in such a way,” Sokka spoke, a grin of triumph starting to cover his features.


Zuko growled to himself as he stomped forward to unfasten the cuffs that held Sokka prisoner. As the hands of the Fire Prince brushed against the others skin, Sokka shied away wincing.

“Can’t control yourself can you?” Sokka spat as he rubbed his now burned, and raw wrists.

Zuko could barely maintain his composure as his Hell Flame roared, and DEMANDED all of his attention. The Water Tribesman was beginning to irk him so much, that his Gouka was starting to react to his hatred. It roiled, and writhed inside his body like a captured animal. Clawing for its release among his insides.

“You will do well to not speak to me as such...” growled out a very angry Zuko.

“I can do what I want, where I want if I’m going to help you with any peace treaty!” Sokka retorted with a lovely ‘know it all’ Sokka voice.

“If you still want to leave this ship with all of your skin intact, I suggest you have a little more tact when speaking to royalty.” Zuko reminded the other with the harsh acid of his cutting tongue.

It was strange to see Zuko being offended so easily by the younger Tribesman, but then again, the Hell Flame was not making  use of anything. If it was even possible, it seemed to work WITH Sokka, and by egging on the Fire Prince to loose control. The Hell Flame would do anything to be set free though, so it was probably just the result of little sleep, and no concentration that would cause Zuko to think about what the Hell Flame wanted.


As if it was even a sentient being. Sokka looked angrily up to Zuko as the other slammed a door open to lead the other to the Hold. It was a place to make peace treaties, but it was also known to be a trap at times for false pretenses.

“You really should try to control your temper...” Sokka said, pokeing fun at the Fire Bender once more.

It was so much more entertaining to toy with the Fire Bender than to go over some dumb peace treaty any day. Sokka better enjoyed the fiery look of impatience that the prince would shoot over to him every time he would piss the older male off. It was much more fun than any talk with a back stabbing Fire Bender could ever be, and it seemed to be working to his advantage!

As Zuko pointed out a seat to Sokka, he took his own, and looked up. The entire ceiling of the Hold was made of Ash Oak which tended to be much more resilient to Fire Bending than normal wood. It was carved with patterns of old Fire Bending magick users who worshiped the Sun as a god. Much like The Avatar, his people used to send offerings to the Sun God. The artistic definitions made by these religious folk are much more popular than their simple beliefs.

Everyone knew that only spirits existed, and they only lived to cause mischief, and discord in the mortal world. The ceiling of the Hold was covered in a huge mosaic of a burning fire ball. Every few inches, carvings of spirits and other such folk were carved into the wood sometimes deeper to make them seem darker.

Sokka also stared up at the walls, and ceiling of the old meeting place. The walls were not Ash Oak, more Cinder’s Hickory. It stood fairly well to Fire Bending, but was more resilient to letting in water than anything else. It was covered by great patterns of fabric that were red, and gold to represent the colours of the Fire nation.

“Nice place...” Sokka said looking back to Zuko.

“...What exactly do you need to know about this peace treaty?” Zuko quickly murmured out in a most annoyed way. It was better to get straight to the point of the problem.

“I just want to know, why don’t you intend on ruling the world, and killing The Avatar? What does one nation matter to you?!”  Sokka asked rather rudely.

Zuko quickly gained back his composure, and looked the other teen in the eye. It had been so long since another had opposed him like this.. Sure, he had his Uncle set him off multiple times, when Ziaoh had lived, he had been a pain in the ass, but never could he recall a time when a teenager had the power to completely rend him boiling with rage. Almost literally. The Avatar was just a mere bi-product of his lust to regain his country, and so it meant little to him. He wanted to RULE what he rightfully was born to do.

“The nation is my home. Not that you would know what I speak off, but I wish to rule that, and that alone. Your Avatar can own all he wants, but he is to leave the Fire Nation alone. I’m only willing to offer this truce because I have no interest or want in the war that my father is so forcefully  pushing upon my people.” Zuko breathed slowly to retain his calmed features.

Speaking so freely of his father in front of a mere Peasant, and badly at that was working his muscles into tight knots which would probably only be freed with a long,  hard meditation session. In the night, with many candles, and no one around to be burned when he released the extra energy stored from the Gouka.

Sokka looked  the Fire Bender with an unbelieving eye. Who was this man? He seemed to be the ice cold Fire Prince at one moment, and the angstful son the other. How cliche was it to have a banished Prince to only wanted his land and people back? What more could this character possibly want that he wasn’t telling him?

“Are you sure that’s all you want? It seems....only part of what you really want..” Sokka asked, cautiously stepping into hot water with the Prince’s mental capacity.

“...Do not question me Peasant...” Zuko growled out dangerously.

“Are you going to accept, or will I have to keep you locked up until you rot like a corpse in that dungeon?” Zuko spat out in distaste.

“...will I get food?”

Zuko just stared at the boy, and then stood. What kind of moron asked if they were going to get food over a peace treaty?! Was this incompetent little male so stupid that he would trade his entire culture’s freedom for sustenance!?

“Yes...” Complied Zuko, still stunned at what a moron Sokka seemed to be.




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