Chapter 7

Katara let out another sob as she felt her hair being stroked by The Avatar. The young woman rubbed at her eyes with her wrists, and let out a chocked laugh as she looked out at the young man.

“I...I’m sorry for crying Aang, but...I don’t know where he is!” Katara stuttered out, and felt her throat start to seize up again.

The Avatar, or Aang as he’s better known looked around wildly, and then gently patted the woman on the back again. “Don’t worry, we’ll find him! He’s not that likely to die!” Aang tried to cheer up the only girl he’d ever liked more than just a friend.

“Aang!!” She burst out in tears, and felt to the ground sobbing again.

“Shoot, not the right thing to say...” Aang dead panned, and started again patting the poor girl upon the back.


“Where the hell did they go!?” Sokka cried out angrily, and stomped down a boot. He wasn’t used to the maze that this ship had made itself into, and had quickly lost the women he’d been following.

Sighing, the Water Tribe teen sat in the middle of the hallway, and rested his cheek against his palm. As Sokka closed his eyes, he wondered what his next move should be. To go look for Zuko, to go look for the girls again, to explore the rooms....So many decisions.

Sokka pulled up next to the door that looked the same as any others, and he groped for the door knob. Pulling it, he opened the door to see a closet full of mops, and brooms. He slapped a hand to the side of his face, and sighed. It was useless, he needed a guide to help him even find air in this god forsaken ship. It was so difficult to ask for help to. He didn’t want to seem like a whiny, or wimpy kid who needed his hand to be held. Nope, he wanted to be....uhmmm...more helpful than helpless.

“Great.” Sokka challenged himself, and shut the door that he’d pulled open.

He looked towards the hallway he’d come from, and started to walk at an even pace back to the bridge where he’d parted ways with the Prince. Maybe he’d go above deck, and get some air. It did seem appealing at the moment. As Sokka was stepping through the hallways, he looked up towards the hatch that led to the outside world, and he grinned. Success at last.

“Finally!” Sokka proudly exclaimed, and opened the hatch.

Right as it was falling open, another warm body yanked it ‘open’ with a hard jerk. The motion caused Sokka to loose his balance, and yell out in alarm at the falling action. As he began to fall, a hand caught his wrist, and smoothly pulled him above deck. Looking up Sokka, watched as the Prince sneered at him with an expression very close to disgust.

“Didn’t I tell you to stay below?” Zuko asked the Water Tribe Peasant with a haughty tone.

“Uhm....I didn’t really care to thank you!” Sokka exclaimed angrily. His face started to heat as he thought of the Prince actually saving him from a few extra bruises.

“I don’t care what you want to do, or not. You do as I command, or I shall have to put you back in the prison.” Zuko looked up and down the bow. He was dry compared to the last time he’d seen Sokka in the lower holds.

This was also the first time he could see the other in the sunlight with out fire glinting off his hair. The first time he could actually see what colour’s his skin actually was, and if his hair really did gleam like bronzed copper. It turned out....the boy’s hair was actually quite lustourus compared to most.

“What are you doing out here anyways?” Zuko asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

As the motion caused his attention to revert to his hands, Zuko realized that the burning flame of The Gouka had started to soothe around the hand he’d caught the other with. It did seem true that the Gouka was appeased by the touch of the silly Peasant. It was really strange for his burning demon to be so tamed by the mere touch of another human being. It seemed Sokka would be his charger.

“I wanted air, you have a problem with that?” Sokka challenged with an angry glare.

“No. I don’t really.” Zuko responded smoothly while grinning.

“Well you ca-...wait...you don’t care?” Sokka started, but then stopped with confusion.

“No, In fact...I needed to speak with you anyways.” Zuko said as his grin started to turn slightly sadistic in a way.

“What...what do you want then?” Sokka asked, looking a little more perturbed than before.

“I need to speak with you about a virus of sorts. It’s called the Gouka. It’s a Hell Flame that I contain in my body to make me stronger. That’s why I’m the Fire Nation’s Prince. Only the strongest survive in a clan of Fire.” Zuko began, and motioned for the other to fallow him in a curt gesture.

As Sokka stared, and started to follow the other he thought about what the Prince had already said. A virus, of....fire was in his body? What kind of sense did that make to him? Zuko seemed so much more...intense than he usually was to Sokka. His hardened eyes were burning into him with a golden intensity he’d not seen before.

“The Gouka is constantly burning me, and trying to control my actions. The only way to cool that heat is with the touch of someone, or something important. It’s not known what, but from the rumors my family has it usually has been a person. The Gouka holder is known to make that person their Lord, or Lady to rule with them.” Zuko approached bluntly with the subject.

“Wait...wait, so this Gouka thing makes you get married so you don’t burn?” Sokka tried to understand, and he lifted one of his eyebrow’s in a questioning stare.

“If you must put it in such an ugly term...that is mostly correct. Nine times out of ten, the Gouka is appeased by the touch, and sound of that person. It is usually gratified for longer periods of time with sexual pleasure, and completion. It is as if water to a thirsty man on a dry day. The Gouka is litterally a heat that controls me.” Zuko said.

Sokka looked even more confused as he stared at the Prince. Why would the other tell him this kind of information when it could be his downfall? His weakness, and help Sokka escape this sad little ship.

“Why are you telling me? I would think you’d try to keep that a secret!” the Water Tribe member asked.

“I wish to perform an experiment.” Zuko replied simply, his grin settling into one that looked less evil, but more curious.

“Uhm....what kind of experiment?” Sokka asked, his face starting to heat up as the Prince stared at him with those unblinking golden eyes.

“What else? To see if you are the Appeaser to the Gouka.” with the last statement, Zuko reached out a hand, and grasped firmly onto Sokka’s right arm with his own left.

Sokka shuddered as the heated flesh made contact with his arm. He could feel the warmth travel in an almost two inch radius out from Zuko’s palm, and into his flesh. The coldness that he felt from the remaining water from his shower felt heated and made his arm relax into an almost jelly like state.

“Wha-“ started Sokka as he looked up to the Prince. In astonishment, he stopped himself, and let his mouth hang open in a shocked gesture.

Zuko’s eyes were almost completely glazed over in a reverence of something. His arm spastically clenched into Sokka’s, and the other winced. There would be bruises there later. Zuko was currently feeling something akin to a bucket of cool ice water on a one hundred and ten degree day. It was as if his entire being was dipped into cool water for no more than five seconds. But five seconds was enough to hook him tightly, and pull.

The radiating coolness came from his own hand which was in contact with Sokka. It did indeed seem as if the other teen was the Appeaser. How...strange. It wasn’t exactly horrible, but Sokka wouldn’t have been his first choice either. He’d have to make special arrangements for the other to have the same privileges as a Fire Nation Royal. He was now part of the ‘family’ to put it at an easier term.

No matter if the other was his enemy, he would now be forced into a society that would worship him. That was, if The Avatar succeeded in agreeing with his plan, and he became next Fire Lord. Sokka was be treated with the respect as if he’d saved Prince Zuko’s life. In a way, he had....or he would in any amount of time.

“Would you...let go?” Sokka grimaced, and started trying to pry the burning fingers off of his arm.

As his own nails dug into the flesh of the other, Zuko snapped to it and looked down upon Sokka. His eyes filled with curiosity, and only a hint of his usual arrogance. Sokka was really a strange creature, but he would be cultured into a man that the Fire Nation would be proud to call their Surrogate son. He would, be marrying their Prince after all. He’d have to be taught all the lessons of the life of a Fire Royal.

“Sokka....what is your full name?” Zuko asked with a small tilt of his head.

Sokka stared at the Fire Prince with a distrusting look, and finally let his head fall in defeat. Why would it matter if the Prince knew his entire name? “My name is Sokka Hyoushin. It means ‘Ice Quake’ in some....language....” Sokka ended. He never had really liked the sound of his name, so he never really bothered to check it out.

In truth, it was from a more Eastern tribal area of the world, but that’s not important. The fact that Zuko now had power of Sokka with his full name is important.

“Sokka...Hyoushin. Alright, you’re name will be changed later on though. You do know this?” Zuko said with a flip of his head in an arrogant manner. It was all he could do from grinning like a cheshire cat. He would own Sokka in a way that no other man, or woman for that matter could ever do. Sokka would belong to him, and him alone.

Sokka stared in silent surprise that changed violently into that of indignation and horror. “I will never change my name! What the hell would I do that for?! You can’t make me do that!” Sokka yelled out, bursting with rightchous anger.

“Oh, but you will. You belong to me know..” Zuko said with a soft and purring voice almost.

The older teen touched his fingers to the underside of Sokka’s chin, and lifted his face upwards. Leaning down to the other’s height, he grinned like a feline. “You belong to me now. You cannot do anything to redeem yourself now that you’ve been my prisoner, and dressed in my clothing.” Zuko said, and turned away.

“Ah! What the fucking HELL!? You have no right to CLAIM me, and you have no REASON to either! What are you getting at, you crazy Firebender!!!” Sokka screamed out, his face starting to change shades as his blood pressure shot up.

“I claim you for the reason that you have made apparent to me. You have the ability, for reasons still foreign to me, to conquest the Gouka, and cool its fury. Thus, you belong to me for you can control the heat from within mine. It is only a fair trade by all means.” Zuko explained to the other in a way that made Sokka think Zuko was only speaking of the weather.

“How can you be so CALM about this!? I don’t want to be owned, or have anything to DO with you! You are a Firebender Royal who plans on dictating his people like a bunch of farm yard animals! I agreed to help you get control of the Fire Nation with Aang’s help because your stupid father won’t let up!” Sokka spat out with an ugly tone.

“I will not tolerate insults to myself, or to my people I don’t care what you think to further say my argument, and I have no interest in ‘dictating’ my people like farm yard animals. I plan on ruling with a fist made of wood, but not iron. Something malleable and able to change but firm enough to build upon and with.” Zuko pointed out to the boy, and began to walk again, and dragged Sokka along.

“If you do not agree to stay here on your own will, I shall be forced to use means upon you that would not be so pleasurable. Means that would involve chains, cells, and many other items of discomfort.” Zuko cooly threatened the other male with a calm demeanor.

“GAH!! What is WRONG with you!!!?” Sokka cried out, and clutched his head in confusion.

One moment, you were enemies, the next you were a forced wife of him!




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