Tournament: Royal Rumble
Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ty Lee would have had a bigger role in season three if I did.
"It is now time for the night's final even," the announcer told the crowd, "Let's start the Royal Rumble!"
The crowd cheered loudly at the prospect of the final even. It had been a long, pulse pounding night. The tournament had been decided and Sokka was acknowledged as the victor. However, there was one special even left and the crowd eagerly awaited its start.
"From the North Gate are the members of the Water Tribes," the announcer called out as Sokka, Katara, and Paku walked out onto the platform. Sokka was still pumping his arm from his victory. Katara waved happily at the crowd. Paku simply strolled with calm dignity.
"From the East Gate are the members of the Fire Nation," the announcer called as the door opened to let out the prod procession. Ty Lee cart wheeled out first. Zuko and Azula walked out behind her practically trying to elbow each other off the bridge. Mai walked out with a board expression with the stoic Combustion man walking out last, towering over the rest of his group.
"From the West Gate are the members of the Earth Kingdom," the announcer called out as the second large group walked out. Toph walked out with a miffed expression from her previous loss on her face clearly intent on working out her frustrations. Bumi just cackled madly as he walked. Suki smiled and waved while jet raised his hook swords in the air for the crowd. Haru gave a wave as he walked out last.
"Last, but not least, from the South Gate is the sole member of the Air Nomads," the announcer called as Aang blew out the door in a whirlwind. Aang looked around at the forces arrayed against his lone form. What would normally be sadness over being made to acknowledge that he was the only of his kind was pushed to the side as he saw something very obvious about this fight.
"I'm going to be killed!" Aang said with certainty. It was the only outcome if everyone focused on him.
"Let the Royal Rumble begin! Fight!" the announcer shouted to signal the beginning of the bout. All of the combatants leapt to action and the air was filled with rocks, fire, ice, and water. All of the elements clashed to explosive effect as daggers, shurikens, and even a boomerang sliced across the crowded floor. Swords were drawn and cut the air as foot and fist collided with solid bodies.
Paku slid across the floor on a path of frozen ice in a circle around the Combustion Man. He whipped his hand in a cutting backhand and sent razors of ice whirling at the massive man only to have them crash against his metallic limbs. As the Combustion Man snorted up air to blast away the old waterbender, he was struck from behind by a boulder launched by Haru. He turned to retaliate only to have a tentacle of water wrap around his legs and fling him up into the air and towards the mote. He did have his revenge before taking the plunge by sending a blast straight down between the two attackers who had now turned on each other. They were blown apart and made splashes shortly fallowing the firebender.
Aang dodged blasts of blue fire as Azula closed in on him. She jumped over a strong blast of air and kicked a line of fire towards his head. Aang banished it to the sides with a swirl of wind then bound off in hopes of loosing his pursuer in the crowd. Agile as he was, Aang could not escape Azula's attention. Just as a fierce blast of fire was about to immolate him, he was unexpectedly saved as Zuko intercepted the blast.
"No one, but me is taking the Avatar out in this match," he growled to his sister then turned to aim his own attack at the airbender. Aang now found himself being chased by two firebenders bent on taking him down. In yet another odd, but fortunate twist, their attacks soon turned each other as they bickered back and forth over who would be victorious. The pair were soon focused solely on each other to the exclusion of all else as they turned their little corner of the arena into a wash of fire. For the time being, Aang was saved by sibling rivalry.
Sokka dodged, ducked, and stumbled around one attack after another. With fire, ice, and rock being hurled around, the arena was not a safe place for the non-bender. He was hoping to sneak by unnoticed long enough for everyone else to be knocked out. That did not seem to be the plan of everyone else though. A shuriken whirling by his head informed him that it was time for a rematch.
Mai charged forward with blades in hand. The arena was to crowded for her to maintain a distance, but with all of the chaos she could move closer without her target being completely focused on her. She let one three-pronged dagger loose towards Sokka's head then dropped down and slide along the ground towards his feet. Sokka predictably deflected the incoming missile, but could not jump in time to keep Mai's feet from colliding with his own. He was knocked into the air as she continued under him and landed on his face with an agonized groan and his rear up in the air.
Sokka hurried to get to his feet. It was to late though. He knew that he was going to feel a sharp pain in just a moment, should feel it before he could even turn around. It did not come though. Just as he got to his knees, he could see Mai lining up her shot. Before she could let the stiletto fly, a pink blur appeared behind her and she dropped to the ground.
"Hey there cutie!" Ty Lee exclaimed as she appeared before Sokka as he stood up and jabbed at him with her fingers. He hurriedly dodged the barrage of jabs as the contortionist flipped around him explaining, "I was really hoping to fight you in the second tier. Are you busy after this?"
Just as a paralyzing blow was about to be struck, Ty Lee was kicked from behind by Suki. "Find your own man!" Suki growled as the acrobat splashed into the water next to Haru. However, Sokka's would be savior turned her vengeance on him next. He went from dodging jabs to dodging sword slashes as Suki demanded, "SO this is where you've been. What, you would rather fight with her than your girlfriend?!"
Sokka sputtered out his defense as he leapt over a stay boulder launched by Toph and ducked under undirected flames from Azula. Their swords sprayed sparks as they clashed. Suki stepped into Sokka's defense and locked his arm. With a twist of her waist, he was sent sprawling across the floor. Sokka brought the blade of his sword horizontally across the front of his body and pressed his palm to the flat of the blade to block a downward cut from Suki. He curled his legs up over his body and kicked out, hitting her full in the chest and knocking her backwards.
Sokka kipped up to his feet and prepared to defend himself from the scorned woman's assault, only to find that his kick had inadvertently knocked her between Jet and Toph. Seeing that she was now embroiled with other opponents, Sokka started to backpedal to relative safety for hopes of a reprieve. Not watching where he was going, he stumbled as he stumbled into something, two somethings to be precise. He heard the joint exclamation of a male and female voice, "He-yyY!" followed by the sound of two splashes of water.
Sokka turned to look behind him. What he saw was a very angry Zuko and Azula staring up at him from the water. After a second, it struck him as to what had just happened. He happily declared, "I just took out two of the big, bad firebenders!" as he pumped his arms in the air.
His victory was short lived, however, as Katara pushed him hard from behind. His arms wind milled in a vain attempt to save himself, but seconds later he plunged into the water. As his head bobbed up out of the water and he spit out a stream of water, he heard his sister admonish him, "Watch where you are going Sokka."
Bumi stomped the ground with one heel then the other as though performing a mad dance. With each pound he sent a jut of earth up at Iroh. The aged firebender dodged the jutting earth, though one clipped his chin and nearly broke his jaw. With each step he whirled around the hammering mounds of earth so that he was a little closer to his opponent.
Once he was close enough, Iroh struck at Bumi with a barrage of jabs. Each one probed at the other man's defenses. Though old, both of the benders were in a frighteningly fit shape and capable of landing blows that would crush the bones of lesser men. Iroh finally went low and brought his hands together with his palms pointed towards Bumi. Pushing as he exhaled, he sent a great gout of fire at his enemy.
Bumi had been waiting for such an attack. Snapping his hands up he made a great leap, propelled up into the air as the ground itself launched him towards the ceiling. He rose up over Iroh then hit the peak of his arc and plummeted towards the ground like a rock. He struck hard, but the hard floor turned to cushioning sand. As he forced the ground under him down, he forced the ground under Iroh up, sending the firebinder hurtling towards the edge of the platform.
Iroh, however, would not be so easily undone. Curling his body so that it would spin into a tumble, he then kicked strait out towards the arena wall with both feet. A jet of fire burst forth and sent him flying back in the opposite direction. He rocketed backwards and plowed into Bumi. The powerful tackle sent both men rolling. Iroh came to a stop right at the edge of the platform, but Bumi tumbled clear off.
Katara's arms were covered in water that she lashed at Aang. The nimble airbender continued to leap and roll at each strike. A sweeping strike was aimed for a punishing blow to his head, but he frustrated her efforts by ducking underneath. Gritting her teeth, Katara whipped both arms forward and let the water fly. She bent them into thin disks as she exhaled, turning them into frozen razors.
Aang leapt between the two disks, drawing his belly in to stay thin enough (unnecessary, but no need in taking chances). He was just as serious as Katara, but his style was far more passive. He leapt behind her, twisting in the air so that he landed facing her back. Katara tried to spin to face him, but he just danced in a circle around her. He was a shadow to her every move, frustrating every attempt to strike him.
Katara finally tried desperate move. She drew her hands in, drawing a torrent of water straight towards herself. Just as the liquid battering ram was about to slam into her, she slid her left out and leaned down to her right. Against any other opponent the water would have been a devastating blow, but Aang was to fast and agile. Like Katara, he ducked down, however without paused he continued into a low spin even as the water rushed over his head. He completed his rotation while Katara was still off balance and whipped a whirl wind right at her. Katara was lifted up and whirled around as the cyclone cut across the platform. Iroh was nearly caught in it as well right before she was across the platform and being dropped in the water.
Suki and Jet dodged between boulders as Toph aimed for them both. The two non-benders slashed at each other as they weaved through a barrage of boulders to get closer to Toph. Soon all three were embroiled in a raging melee. Toph covered her body with a protective shell of rock armor. She struck out with her stony arms, trying to slam Jet then Suki and soon herself between both of them. Suki and Jet's swords carved off small chucks of rock as they struck at and past her. When Toph's attention focused on one opponent, the other would use her as a type of living cover and strike over or around her at the other non-bender.
Suki caught Toph's arm as she lashed out. It was not easy lifting the smaller girl thanks to the heavy rock the was wearing, but Suki understood how to use leverage and threw the earthbender to the ground hard. Suki then lunged at Jet with her sword leading. Jet parried that strike then the next. Her blade caught in hook of his sword. A hard twist of his arm and wrist forced their blades in a circle, resulting in Suki loosing her grip. The blade flew through the air and land to far away for her to retrieve.
Jet turned to a whirlwind of steel as he slashed with his swords. He was determined to take out his now unarmed opponent. He was surprised when she pulled out two fans and started deflecting his attacks. Still, his onslaught was so overbearing that she was pushed back until she tipped over Toph right as the earthbender sat up. With the two girls a jumble atop each other, he saw an opportunity to take out both of them and sliced down with both blades. However, Suki blocked his left attack with her fans while Toph raised a stone gauntlet to block his other attack. When the two girls looked at each other and exchanged a nod, he realized that he was in trouble.
Toph rolled back while lifting up her legs, giving Suki a boost to stand up quickly. Suki moved in quick. Her fans were spread wide so that she could slap Jet's swords together. She forced his blades in and down until the hooks and guard blades were pushed together. She folded a fan quickly then slid it in between the hand guards, effectively locking his blades. As soon as his defenses were down, Toph rolled on to her belly and slammed her palm into the ground. A blunt column of earth shot up and caught Jet square in the belly. He popped up into the air then smacked down into the water.
With their common foe disposed of, the two girls quickly turned on each other. Suki dived and rolled, coming to her feet with her sword back in hand. As she spun around she saw Toph stand up while shedding her rock armor. Suki charged forward with the tip of her blade leading. She leapt the clear the distance with a long bound. As she left the ground, Toph splayed her hands and parted the ground under her. She fell down into the instant foxhole as Suki soared above her. Suki landed off balance expecting the other girl to break her momentum. As she worked to regain her balance, the earth lifted Toph up. Toph twisted to face her opponent from behind. She gave a push with her hands that sent a wave of dirt to strike the Kyoshi warrior. Suki was sent stumbling off the edge of the platform.
Toph turned her attention to Aang and Iroh. The airbender was already nimbly dodging powerful kicks and punches from the older man. Taking an attack of opportunity, Toph struck forward and up. In a straight line between her and them, the ground splintered up as though some great hand was breaking through the crust. The eruption knocked Iroh off balance, but Aang used it as a springboard to lift up into the air.
Aang, high up in the air, surveyed the battleground. Most of the floor was torn up from earthbending, firebending scorch marks dotted the landscape, and there was even a mudpit created by waterbending. All in all, up in the air seemed to be the safest place.
Aang kicked out his foot in a sweeping arc that sent a blade of air racing towards Toph. Unable to "see" the attack with Aang no longer in contact with the ground, the earthbender took the blow hard and staggered back. Her tunic was torn and thin line of blood appeared on her stomach.
Aang formed up an airscooter as he dropped back to the ground. On the ball of air he zipped across the battlefield towards Toph. She could hear him if not see him, and started to shoot spikes of earth at where she believed him to be. Aang was to fast and to nimble, dodging around each with ease. He closed the distance, circling around her once to leave her confused about his position. He dismissed his air scooter and landed right in front of her. Toph moved to react, but by then it was to late. Aang's hands had already come together and pushed towards her. A strong gust of wind buffeted her backwards till she tumbled off of the platform.
Fortunately for Toph, there were plenty of people in the water to help her stay afloat. Unfortunately for Sokka that meant holding his breath as he was turned into human life raft.
Iroh returned to his feet as the earthbender was knocked into the water. He kicked forward a wave of flame towards Aang as the airbender turned to face him. To little surprise the nimble warrior dodged the attack and raced forward to close the distance. Iroh struck out with quick blazes as his opponent approached, scoring minor scorches at best.
With the battle joined in close, the two became a blur of movement. Iroh's fists and feet trailed flame as they sought the airbender. Aang moved quickly to keep one step ahead of the firebender. He danced around the older man, striking out with bursts of wind when he thought he saw an opening. The whirlwind and firestorm raged at an inhuman speed. The younger warrior ducked under high kicks and leapt over fiery chops. The older man reacted with reflexes belaying his age.
Iroh condensed a ball of intense fire in his hands. The head sized orb of flame radiated off waves of heat as he pushed it towards the young airbender. Aang struck palms forwards to send a dense lance of air to intercept the deadly sphere. The lance did halt the orbs movement as they collided and started to pierce into it. However, the mixing of condensed air and fire caused a blinding explosion. Both combatants was launched backwards with their cloths singed and skin reddened from the fire.
Iroh kipped back up to his feet and patted out a small flame on the tip of his beard. As the airbender rose up, Iroh slashed out with his hand. A fiery lash whipped across the battle field only to be cut in half by a sharp blast of air. Undeterred, Iroh charged forwards. He leapt high into the, intent on brining his leg down in a flaming axe kick.
As Iroh's foot descended like a flaming comet, Aang went into a low spin. His arms were spread out wide and one leg fully extended. As he whirled down into a crouch, winds whipped around him and drew up over his head. A cushion of air caught the firebender above him. He pushed up with his leg while pulling his limbs in. The air tightened into a swirling whirlwind. As he hit the apex of his spin, Aang set a hard stance and shot his arm forward. The whirl wind that spun Iroh around carried him through the air and dropped the dizzy firebender into the water.
"The Avatar Aang is the winner of the Royal Ruuuumble!" The announcer called out to the cheering crowd. Aang humbly bowed and waved to the applause of his fans. His victory marked the end of the festivities.
Author's Note: It is finally done. I'm amazed how long it took to complete, but I am pleased that I finished the story. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this and my other fiction. Unfortunately as I move on, I think this is likely to be my last peace of fanfiction.