[A/N: I started at water bending scroll because the beginning is the same. First book I wrote, feels like forever. Have fun and I hope you like Jano.]
Zuko and a crew men where practicing when the ship hit a sudden turn. "Someones' changed our course." Zuko went to the deck where Iroh and several others were playing Pi sho.
"What's the meaning of this mutiny! No one told you to change our course!" He shouted at the navigator.
"Actually I did. I assure you it is of the upmost importance." Iroh said rubbing his chin with thought of his game.
"Is it something to do with the avatar?!" Zuko asked hoping his uncle finally did something different.
"Even more urgent, it seems I lost my lotus tile." Iroh calmly stated while Zuko looked like he was about to burst.
"You changed our course for a stupid lotus tile?!" Zuko pulled his chest out to show more anger.
"See like you, most people underestimate it, just give me ten minutes to search the markets, and I can get on with my life." Iroh rose his brow. While Zuko breathed two deep frustrated breaths, then let out smoke from his mouth, filling the whole room with it. " I'm so Lucky to have an understanding nephew." Iroh said with a smile.
Zuko stood in front of an alley waiting for Iroh, he walked up with an unreadable expression. "I've checked. not a lotus tile in the entire marketplace!" Iroh seemed a little upset about that, but not as much as Zuko.
"It's good to know this was a complete waste of time for everyone!" Zuko snapped at Iroh till he saw her. Jano, shopping at a shop just across the street. The love of his life, if you saw him you would probably see love eyes instead of his golden ones.
"Not entirely, I always say the only thing better then finding something your looking for. is finding something you weren't looking for, at a great bargain." Iroh trailed off but Zuko did not even hear him.
He was walking blind sighted to the most beautiful girl he ever knew, wait woman. She was all grown up now, "now if we only had some wood winds." Iroh didn't even notice Zuko in the middle of the street, staring at her.
He missed her the minute he left the fire nation, now she was here. But she looked a little different, instead of her long black hair down it was up in layers. She was taller, wearing a long black and red gown.
"This will do just fine, thank you." She softly said handing the merchant some money.
He turned red, and melted at her voice. He was about to burst in excitement, he was speechless, he tried to say 'Jano' but it didn't come out. 'Come on your stronger then this!' Zuko shouted to himself. She turned to see him standing there dim witted.
"I'm sorry, can I help you?" Jano asked, but then realized who it was. Scar, golden eyes, perfect chin, that was Zuko. "Zuko!" She smiled almost the same way when they first met, but it was different, it was tired, and maybe saddened. She dropped everything and hugged him as tight as she could, which was very tight but Zuko didn't care, he was with Jano again.
Jano was no less happy to see him, but there was a small thought of how could she lie to Him.
"Jano. I missed you." Zuko still held on to her waist.
"You have no idea." She held back a tear, looking down at Him. She looked at his red dry scar. She felt guilty for some reason, she looked at it with no expression, would she think it was like looking at a monster? But she didn't, she was glad he wasn't deadly hurt and that's all that mattered.
"It's a problem, isn't it?!" Zuko suddenly stepped back with a hostile voice.
"No. And it never will be. I still love you." Jano put her hand so close to his scar. He grabbed her hands, they weren't soft anymore but they were still warm. Zuko did forget how kind she was, and not for her own reasons. Just for the sake of others. He forgot in the three years of searching for the avatar. Deep down he was doing it all for her, capturing the avatar and taking his honor back, it would mean being the fire lord later, for her.
Iroh finally saw the two standing next to the street, he walked over and feared the worst. "Jano!" Iroh said with a huge smile.
"Iroh!" Jano's warm smile returned to her pale face.
"Isn't it great uncle!" Zuko said with a smile.
"And he didn't want to come here." Iroh put his arms in his sleeve.
"I'm glad you did." Jano's soft voice sounded a little worn but still content. She started to pick up the thing she just bought from the ground, but Zuko picked it up first.
"Why do you need a baby's toy?" He asked holding it up and handing it to her.
She and Iroh froze, "It's for my cousin." She quickly stated. Zuko turned to Iroh and Jano hit her own head, she knew she should tell him, but her father told her not to.
"You're coming with us, right?" Zuko asked turning back to her with a smile he hadn't given in three years.
"Yeah, sure." She was unsure if she should go with him, but she couldn't leaving him right there. After three years of nothing Zuko had no intention of not taking her.
The two walked in silence, following Iroh. One might think since they hadn't seen each other for three years, they'd talk over each other. But he didn't know what to say and she wasn't sure what she could tell him without him questioning her.
"Why are you hunting the avatar?" She asked him.
"So things can go back to normal. And we can be together." Zuko was so sure of his words, but Jano knew nothing would go back to the way it was. Their son was three years old now, and Zuko had no idea. She couldn't do this anymore.
"Zuko. I-" "This place looks promising!" She was cut off by Iroh pointing at a ship. When they got in, it was full of rare artifacts.
"Oh this looks handsome!" Iroh said with enthusiasm, looking at a odd stone monkey with rubies as a necklace on it. Jano was looking at their paintings, one was a blue sun with a flying monster looking creature.
"Bold and odd." Jano put a hand on her chin. While a man was telling his captain about what happened,
"those kids, and that monk got away." Zuko heard this and immediately jumped in.
"This monk, did he have an arrow on his head?"
They went back to the ship to get a smaller boat. Jano followed Zuko around, not knowing what to do. Zuko went to his quarters to get a few things.
"Are you sure you want to come?" Zuko sounded concerned.
"I can't just wait here." Jano had actually never been in a fight before but she wasn't scared. "So this is where you live?" Jano looked around to just a bed and a table filled with candles.
"Yeah, now so you see why I need the avatar?" Zuko wanted her to understand, but She wouldn't.
"You could just come with me. You would still be treated like a prince there." Jano wanted him to just go with her so badly, yet she knew he wouldn't go.
"I'm sorry Jano, but I must capture the Avatar." She clenched her fist to stop it from shaking.
"Why! Have you every thought why?!" Jano suddenly started shouting in his face, he opened his mouth to say something but she wasn't done. "Besides, your honor and throne. Why?! Don't you ever think things might happen for a reason? You have a family! Right in front of you." Zuko saw that there was a different look in her eyes, she seemed desperate, worn, and defeated.
Zuko was still a little surprised, she had never raised her voice in front of him before. But she just wanted him home. Jano threw her arms around his waist.
"Please, just come with me." She whispered near his burnt ear.
"I can't. But once I get the avatar, we can live in the palace, and you can live like a queen." Zuko whispered in her ear. She shook her head, "I don't want to live like a queen. I just want you."
Zuko was stunned at that, but she wasn't lying, he just didn't understand.
"Sir, the ship is ready." A guard said from the door.
"I'm doing this for you, Jano." Zuko broke their embrace, walked to the door and kept it open for her to walk through. She sighed and followed him.
"Shouldn't we make a search party?" The captain asked.
"We don't have to, you said they stole a water scroll?" The captain nodded at this. "Then they'll be on the water."
Jano and Iroh were inside the boat, talking. "So tell me everything. And don't stop." Iroh said putting a hand up.
"Well, he's a boy and I named him Iroh." He seemed pleased to hear this, he giggled a bit and let her talk some more. "He's turning three in a few weeks. He looks just like him."
"We found them!" A guard rushing in and said to the others.
As they got closer they could hear Katara talking to herself, Zuko and the captain looked at each other, they knew they found they're target. Katara stopped in her tracks when she heard something coming from farther up the river. She went to look but felt a hand grab her shoulder, Katara looked up to find a pirate. She tried as hard as she could to make a water whip, it barely had enough power to hit him. As Katara ran from the pirate she just hit, she fell right in Zuko's grasp. "Don't worry, I'll save you from the pirates!" Zuko hissed.
Now they had her tied to a tree while the pirates, Zuko, Iroh, Jano, and his men all were in front of her.
Jano was the tallest person there, Iroh seemed like a midget next to her.
"Tell me where he is and I won't hurt you or your brother." Zuko threatened, Jano had never seen him like that before but she supposed that's what three years of banishment does to a man.
"Go jump in the river!" Katara shouted back.
"You need to understand, I need to regain something I've lost; my honor, in return I'll give you something you've lost." Zuko walked around the tree and pulled out Katara's necklace, and dashed it around her eyes.
"My mother's necklace!" Katara tried to get free again but it was no use, her necklace, the only thing she had of her mother was right in front of her, yet she couldn't have it.
"The others must be close, find them!" Zuko ordered.
Soon the pirates returned with Aang and Sokka in their arms. Yet they stood as if they were going to make a trade.
"Good work." Zuko calmly said grabbing the water scroll from Jano.
"I'm sorry Aang, this is all my fault!" Katara confessed, "No it's not." Aang tried to confort her.
"Yeah, it kind of is." Iroh stated.
"Give me the boy!"
"The scroll!" The captain replied, while both sides took stances for battle.
"I wonder how much this is worth?" Zuko formed a fire ball under the scroll. The pirates all gasped at the sight of it. "A lot, apparently." Zuko gave a smirk, "oh please, You really gonna trade a water scroll for the avatar?!" Sokka teased.
"This kids' the avatar?!" The captain asked.
"Sure is!" Sokka almost shouted.
"Shut your mouth, water tribe peasant!" Zuko boiled with anger, Sokka was going to ruin everything!
"Yeah Sokka, you really should shut your mouth!" Aang hummed.
"Keep the scroll. We can buy a hundred with the reward the fire lord will give us." The pirates all started walking of with Aang and Sokka.
"You'll regret breaking a deal with me!" Zuko and his men kicked flames at them but they all responded, and stayed in the smoke that the fire made. Meanwhile Jano and Iroh stood some what away from the fight, Iroh had his hand in his sleeves while Jano had her's on her hips.
"Are You hungry?" Jano asked to break the silence.
The captain looked in the fog that Zuko had just got in to, he was looking for him. Jano ran up behind him right before he grabbed Zuko's shoulder. She made a fire whip and swung it around his feet.
He hissed at her and moved forward. Jano made her whip into a fire ball and through it at the captain but he dodged it and got closer to strike. Jano tried to throw another at him but he dodged it and it almost cut her in the chest if she hadn't stepped back.
She lost balance and tripped to the ground. When she looked back up she saw the captain going for the opening. She made fire twirl all around her, and got back up, taking three steps back. When the fire went down she saw Zuko hitting the captain's sword with his wrest armor.
He looked furious, that the captain was fighting Jano. She could be hurt in the fight or worst killed. Zuko took a stance as the captain stepped back. They went back for more.
"Stop this, can you not see your own ship has set sail?" Iroh stated, grabbed Zuko's ponytail and completely turning him around, while put a foot on the captain's sword.
"We have no time for your proverbs, Uncle!" Zuko shouted pulling out his chest.
"It's no proverb." Jano calmly said pointing at the pirate ship.
"Bleeding hog monkeys" The old man ran off to catch it. Zuko laughingly mocked him and pointed at him. But he quickly changes moods as he saw the pirates stealing his own boat.
"My boat!" Zuko ran to the shore, while Jano and Iroh stayed behind.
"Maybe it should be a proverb?" Iroh said deep in thought about it. As Zuko ran closer he saw his boat go down the waterfall just down the river. He sighed and put his hands on his legs.
"Prince Zuko, your really gonna get a kick out of this." Iroh began, all ready giggling.
"The lotus tile was in my sleeve the whole time!" Iroh gave a huge smile and pulled it out with excitement.
"What?" Jano asked, not knowing why it was such a big deal. Zuko took a few deep breathes in anger and grabbed it, he was about to throw it but then Jano grabbed it and hugged Zuko. His chest still pacing as she put her hand on his brown and red armor. Jano throw the lotus tile back to Iroh, as her very presence calmed Zuko.