as much as zutara

i’ve been bitten by the zutara bug once more so heres some headcanons no one asked for
  • if firelord zuko and firelady katara cant solve an issue diplomatically, they’ll both sneak out at night tsr ninja-style and solved the problem the old fashioned way. eventually when their kids get older they find out and also have to be included
  • katara often makes tea with iroh, who claims that tea tastes best when she’s involved bending the water to flatter her (i can totally see iroh lowkey flirting with her to piss zuko off tho)
  • for katara’s first birthday with zuko, he spends hours personally searching the fire palace’s ancient vaults and finds Southern waterbending scrolls to give her
  • eating together. sparring together. bathing together
  • also zuko is very invested in Southern heritage and culture and preserving and encouraging it even though they’re in the fire nation. he hires water tribe staff and advisors, and introduces new sections on the school curriculum to teach about all nations, customs and cultures. they even celebrate water tribe festivals together and honour their gods
  • of course they feed the turtle ducks together
  • as fire lady, katara has a massive role in politics, campaigning for the rights of marginalised people within the fire nation and beyond, and is a catalyst for seismic social change instead of just being the avatars gf lol im not salty
  • growing up in the rural, patriarchal South, katara never quite gets used to royal life and its perks, and is too polite to the servants to the point of awkwardness, much to the other royals’ amusement
  • she advocates for them getting pets. soon, the fire palace is brought alive by the pitter-patter of furry feet, and iroh claims it has never been better since her arrival
  • when katara is pregnant, zuko won’t let her lift a finger and frets constantly about the baby
  • katara tries smoking after being teased mercilessly by her husband for being uncultured. it’s the first and last time she smokes
  • their children wear blue and red, as well as purple. the royal family are responsible for starting a purple trend in the fire nation
  • iroh and hakoda are very close and tease their respective children mercilessly
  • they often double date with other members of the gaang. iroh regularly shows up late to these gatherings with a date of his own
  • katara loathes fire nation delicacies and introduces more mild, palatable dishes to the kitchen. the multi-cultural palace staff are eternally grateful
  • katara bemoans the dark décor of the palace and endeavours to make over the fire palace with iroh in zuko’s absence. katara thinks a hint of water tribe blue would brighten the place, as iroh tries to add earth green and air yellow to the palace. in the end, they settle on more windows and gold to replace black as katara bends more ponds in the gardens. she also hires master earthbending florists for the gardens. the palace has never looked more bright or more beautiful
  • at fire nation only events, katara dons traditional red garb with minimal blue. at multi-cultural gatherings she wears full water tribe regalia to honour her culture, and asks zuko to wear something blue also
  • they both swear by agni, as well as tui and la
  • zuko bans agni kais and discourages political marriages, using katara as an example
  • he always carries a small bottle of water with him just in case katara happens to be without her water skins
  • when she gets too homesick, he lets her to take time off (even when she refuses to) to waterbend, or visit home. as well as that, he constantly surprises her by having her family over to visit without her knowledge

feel free to add more!!!!

not sure if i’ll finish my piece for zk week this year in time (or if i like it enough to post lol) so have this super old doodle i found haha. maybe i’ll fix a zip folder with all my old zutara art some day  since i’m not reposting it, it’s wayyyy too much and too old :’)  

Not Your Average Zutara Fic Rec

So I’ve gone through a LOT of Zutara fanfiction, probably too much if I’m being honest, and finding good fics can be really hard. When looking up fic rec lists I’ve noticed that a lot of the lists are just the same select fanfictions recommended over and over (We get it, everyone and their mother loves ‘His Majesty Prefers Blue’ and ‘Stormbenders’ [I never finished HMPB, sue me]). 

So this list is for all of you who are in my shoes and can’t seem to find anything besides the same ten or fifteen stories recommended and are desperate for something new. Everything listed is complete! (If I listed the incompletes/abandoned stories I’d have a lot more chaptered stories listed… RIP ‘The Confrontational Approach’…) 

I have a lot of bookmarked stories that I have yet to read and am in the middle of (Almost caught up on @firelordandlady ‘s ‘Say Anything’!), so I’ll try to update this when I finish something I think deserves a recommendation. 

Chaptered

In the Same Candlelight by Like a Dove

In a world where there is no war, Zuko and Katara spend their summers together. Growing up is messy, embarrassing, and at times sad, but they think it might be okay because they have each other. Edited summary.

I know. I KNOW. I LITERALLY JUST SAID I WASN’T GOING TO RECOMMEND FANFICS THAT ARE ON EVERYONE’S LIST. But I NEED to mention this one. I spent so long not interested in this fic. I don’t like drastic AU’s, or modern AU’s. My taste is strictly canon divergence, so I didn’t think I would like this. I WAS SO WRONG. Trust me, if you are like me and don’t like big AU’s, read this anyway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Characterization is still so spot on, even with such a different take. Aang is precious. There is nothing but fluff, fluff, and fluff. It will melt you. You will probably die and your spirit will rise up smiling and beaming out rainbows and sunshine. That’s what happened to me. 

Lilacs and Lily Pads by sadladybug

A tale of clumsy courtship and calamitous court weddings, featuring awkward family encounters, floral mishaps, cultural complications, and good old fashioned fluff and conflict. Takes place in the five years following war’s end. For Zutara Week 2016. A prequel to Bones.

Clothe Me in Seasons, Dress Me in Snow is a very commonly recommended Zutara fic (And for good reason, I shed many tears reading it). But this two-shot (A companion to Bones, a smut one shot) by the same author is really underrated and beautifully written. It follows Zuko and Katara as they try to plan their wedding, as well as shows two scenes from before they got engaged that solidified the relationship to be one they knew would last. Just really well done overall and very very sweet. 

EDIT: I talked with the author and apparently it isn’t finished?? But they are apparently working on the next chapters so yay!! And each chapter is independent so it doesn’t feel unfinished.  

The Slow Path by Tazainian Devil

Eight years after the fall of Ozai, Aang returns to the friends he left behind - Taang, Zutara, Sukka

This is technically a Taang fic, and if I’m being honest I kind of just skimmed through the non-zutara chapters, but the Zutara storyline was good enough that I think it’s definitely worth the read. And the overall plot has a great premise. Be warned, it has a sequel that was never finished. 

Another Word For Alchemy by FanPanda13

Five years have passed since the Avatar defeated Fire Lord Ozai, and the members of the Gaang have all gone in their own direction. But when Aang invites them all to a Peace Summit at the North Pole and tells them of his new project, for which he will need their support, the group comes together again for adventure, fun and romance. AU. Zutara. COMPLETE.

So this fic is crazy for me. At first, it started as just really good natured fluff. The writing wasn’t anything fantastic (Although I loved how it broke the 4th wall and didn’t take itself seriously), and there were some definite OOC moments. But I had so much FUN with it. The plot (while definitely not the focus as everyone is more concerned about when Zuko and Katara will get together) was interesting, and there were some really sweet moments. It was also HILARIOUS and I had multiple moments where I genuinely laughed out loud. But then about five chapters before the end, the quality SKY ROCKETED. As the plot and mystery come together, the characters all come together in a moment that truly feels like it came from the show. Even the writing quality increases by a lot and I was genuinely shocked and impressed. Definitely recommend. 

Kyoshi Hold ‘Em by cupid-painted-blind

When a blizzard shuts down the fourth annual Peace Summit, the group has to find some way to pass the time. /Zutara, Taang, Jet/Mai, Jet/Everyone, Sukka

If you’re looking for a good crack fic, look no further. It’s post war and utter nonsense. Jet is alive for some reason??? No one questions it and he’s shipped with pretty much everyone. It’s funny, it’s decently written, there are drinking and sexy time shenanigans, and overall just lighthearted. Also, it does a great job of being a crack fic without crossing the line and becoming unfunny and just a trash fic. A lot struggle to find the balance and resort to going over the top and ridiculous, but this one does a really good job. 

Come With Me by Steamboat Ghost

Coauthored by fuzzytomato. Troubled over his newly restored honor, Zuko finds solace in the familiar guise of the Blue Spirit. In a chance meeting with the Painted Lady, a friendship is forged as the two heroes seek to help the Fire Nation’s neglected.

I’ll admit it: I’ve never gotten into Blutara fanfictions. I only read the first couple chapters of HMPB and dropped it after the tree scene. I don’t know, it felt really OOC for me and I may go back and read it again just because EVERYONE raves about it, but IDK. I’ve never been a huge Blutara fan because while I love the concept, I’d much rather see the Painted Lady and the Blue Spirit come together as equals. Most fics present Zuko behind his mask to Katara, and it feels imbalanced. There aren’t a lot of stories where we see their alter persona’s come together even though that’s the entire point of the parallel between the two. Insert this fic. I only wish there was a sequel dealing with Zuko in the Gaang after these events. Hey, a girl can dream. 

A Zutara Story Anastasia by LastSunset

Katara, the only suviving waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, joins two con men, Zuko and Iroh, while a fearful admiral chases for her death. A Zutara Story. Based on the movie Anastasia.

So this isn’t so much a retelling of Anastasia but with Katara and Zuko as it is a fanfic version of the movie but with the characters names and world changed. It takes a lot of lines from the movie. But WHO CARES? It’s Anastasia and Zutara!!! What more do you need??? 

Oneshot

this burden you bear by cowlicklesschick

Word travels, and war stories will be told round campfires and on freighter ships until every person in the world knows what Master Katara did for the new Fire Lord. She fights the burning in her throat at the thought of people knowing why she had to heal him in the first place. Post-war Zutara.

This is an angst-with-a-happy-ending, which I say is the absolute BEST type of angst. Katara deals with the guilt of what Zuko did for her as the Fire Nation celebrates what she did to save his life during the Agni Kai. The two come together beautifully while struggling to see the feelings they both share. Really well written and like I said, it has a happy ending, which we all need. 

The Best of Me by Laririn-Shadow

The night before his eighteenth birthday Zuko wraps a bandage around his left wrist. He has a country to run and no time for frivolous things. It will make everything easier if he waits. Zutara Soulmates AU

Soulmate AU’s usually aren’t my thing (With the glaring exception of one Until Dawn Soulmate AU, but that’s besides the point), but I really enjoyed this oneshot. It isn’t sweeping or insanely romantic and the reveal isn’t “OMG I’VE LOVED YOU THIS WHOLE TIME” But it’s a subtle love that grows, which I really like. 

snuggling dysfunctional cats by emletish

Toph thinks Katara and Zuko were a ridiculously, incredibly, stupidly adorable couple. There is only one problem, they were not actually going out. This confuses Toph. could stand alone or be read as a companion peice to my stalking series

Fun fact: Before this oneshot, I had only ever read one fanfiction over 200k words, and had no desire to read another one again. And then I read this. This one shot was so fantastic that it was the reason I ended up reading the ‘Not Stalking Zuko’ trilogy (Also by emletish), which totals almost 900k words because this companion piece had me so sold. Yeah, it’s THAT good. 

my salvation, he’s not anything by sarsaparillia

Let’s run away and start another war. — Zuko/Katara.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say? I love the ‘Let’s run away together, consequences be damned’ trope. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Time is Ripe by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2012 Day Seven: Seasons. There are many stages that a heart goes through before it can finally be ready for the love it was meant to have. The road is often a rocky one but eventually, it leads you home.

A oneshot for the Zutara Week 2012 prompt ‘Seasons’. Not too much to say about it. Short, sweet, and well written. What more do you need? 

Serendipity by Boriqua-chan

Iroh goes hunting for tea leaves and finds something…interesting. /Zutara week, day 1/

Secret relationships! Fluff! Happiness! And all from Uncle Iroh’s perspective!! Everything I love in one great oneshot! 

Too Close for Comfort also by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2010 Day Three: Pain. After watching “The Ember Island Players”, no one is in the mood for teasing. But a little slip of the tongue leads to the painful realization that the play was more accurate than they were willing to admit.

There are two Zutara plots/tropes that I am a complete and utter SLUT for. The first is the ‘Let’s talk about that EIP show’ trope. This is one of my favorites. 

The Color of Truth is Red by Mrs. Pettyfer

Written for Zutara Week prompt “awkward.” Zuko and Katara discuss the Ember Island Players.

Another post EIP oneshot

Enlightenment by Blade Quill

Choices are made on the day of Zuko’s coronation, and sometimes, enlightenment is just the simple truth at hand. Zutara. AU of the final moments of the Book 3 Finale

The OTHER plot/trope I’m a slut for is finale rewrites. LET ME SEE THEM COME TOGETHER AFTER HE TAKES LIGHTNING FOR HER. Ugh, I love it. 

Framework by profoundlycan

What if in “Sozin’s Comet” Katara had come into the room instead of Mai? Zuko/Katara. Prequel to Schema.

 Another finale rewrite! Let’s just get Mai out of the picture here… 

Lightning Shocks the Heart by drunkzutarafeels

Why do our hearts remain dormant until a climactic moment makes time stand still?

And here’s yet another finale rewrite. There is a really popular Zutara gifset that someone animated of the Agni Kai ‘Thank you’ scene, but Katara kisses Zuko after she hugs him. This is the fanfiction equivalent of that gif set. 

Sunrise by lewilder

The days go on and on, and even if she feels more comfort from the moon, Katara learns to cherish the promise of each new sunrise. Zutara AU, largely finale-centric. Oneshot.

LAST FINALE AU I PROMISE. Really sweet, starts right after The Southern Raiders and goes past canon. 

all the ghosts we cannot kill (we learn to love) by raisindeatre

Zuko and Katara; the moments we didn’t see. Or: Maybe we are all somebody’s ghost. And maybe sometimes we can be more than that.

“…My quarrel has only ever been with you, Zuko,” she says, his name sharp on her tongue. “This has only ever been about me and you.”

“You’re wrong,” he rasps, his voice rough in the late afternoon sunlight that falls around them, tangles them in golden nets. “This has only ever been about me and the Avatar. Not you and me. What we hold between us has nothing to do with it.”

This is a really beautiful one-shot that follows a battered, war torn and hardened Zuko and Katara through the scenes we DIDN’T see throughout the entire show. A Zutara must-read.

Drabble Collection/Series

And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Advocaat

A collection of humorous and crack-tastic oneshots corresponding to the days of Zutara Month

Really great Zutara Month themed drabbles, and it contains the only body swapping plot that I’ve read and really enjoyed. Also the chapters ‘Potential’ and ‘Festival’ are some of my all time favorites. 

Zuko Was No Coward by hootowl

Zuko was many things, but a coward he was not. A collection of Zutara100 prompts. Title may change.

Definitely some heartbreakers and angsty drabbles in here, but all well written and thoroughly enjoyable. If you read ANYTHING from this list, read chapter two of this drabble collection. I MELTED when I read it. It’s perfection. Aunt Wu’s prediction has always been a plotline I’ve loved in Zutara fanfiction, and this one just does it PERFECTLY. 

Zutara Week 2012 by ichilover3

A collection of oneshots inspired by the prompts for Zutara Week

Not much more to say. The first, third, and fourth prompts are my favorite from this series. 

Zutara Week 2015 by bianca_anna

It started at a tea shop and ended with forever. My entries for Zutara Week 2015. I hope you enjoy them.

Oh my GOODNESS. So they’re Zutara Week prompts, but all set in the same universe. The Zutara!Family depicted in these drabbles has become my headcanon. I’ve seen many a Zutara family, but this one is by far my FAVORITE. This is now my official family for them. I want the very last chapter fully animated because it’s so good and epic and I want more of this families adventures. 

But the monsters turned out to be just trees
When the sun came up, you were looking at me.

Just some random modern au Zutara. Angsty as always. (inspiration came watching Southpaw and drooling over Jake Gyllenhaal don’t judge me)

“You’re a store clerk and oh shit I just spotted my ex please let me hide behind your desk-thing” AU

I saw this prompt earlier and I HAD to do it for Zutara!


The thing about hearing your name being called out is that it’s almost automatic to look around, even if - like Katara - you knew the voice calling it and didn’t want to. The thing about having a name like Katara’s was that ignoring it wasn’t much of an option, either - how many other Kataras were likely to be walking around? The shock of dark brown hair heading her way was, even from this distance, unmistakeable.

Crap,” she hissed, jerking her head back around and quickening her pace, even as she knew it would do no good - Jet was on the track team. This isn’t hiding, she thought to herself as she slipped into the nearest store, some tiny teashop. This is a tactical retreat.

The empty shop was small and quaint and - most importantly - completely devoid of places to hide: it was all tiny tables and squashy chairs. The only possible place was the desk at the back where the cash register was, and she hurried across to it, ducking under the door flap to find, to her dismay, a mess of cardboard boxes on the floor behind the desk. It seemed there was only room for one person to stand, so, grimacing, she started clearing the boxes away when she heard someone clear his throat.

“Is this… a robbery?” asked the guy looking at her, who must have just emerged from a door she hadn’t noticed before - a store room, probably. “Because if it is, it’s a really bad one. I could hear you all the way from the back.”

Keep reading

What your Avatar: The Last Airbender OTP says about you:

Kataang: The happiest cinnamon roll. You have been with them since the very first episode when they gazed into each other’s eyes and that, for you, was it. You’re goofy and probably regularly make heart eyes at people (maybe even without knowing it). The most defensive of the shippers.

Zutara: You have so much angst in your blood that you have completely denied any and all claims that Zuko and Katara DIDN’T end up together. They loved each other so much and you are physically pained at their lack of canon, on-screen romance (because of course all the hardcore make-out sessions happened off-screen, duh). You have an unbreakable bond with literally every Zutarian. You’re artistic, and every song makes you think of them. LITERALLY every song. The most hardcore of the shippers and the snarkiest.

Tokka: The quiet, funny one in the friend group. Sometimes the things you say go unheard, but that doesn’t make them any less hilarious. You’re a sucker for hand-holding and cheek kisses. You identify strongly with either Toph or Sokka (or both). Your favorite kinda of relationships involve insults and sarcasm in the most loving way. The most dedicated of the shippers because even after the Korra finale, you still want to believe that Su Yin is the Tokka child.

Maiko: You had an emo phase in middle school that lasted a little too long. Maybe traces of it still linger, who knows? Maybe you cover it up with drama club or marching band? The dark, brooding types were always your weakness. When Mai betrayed Azula for Zuko, that not only sealed the deal, but broke your heart. Your stone-cold heart. Your humor may be a little dry or dark, but you can really be yourself around your good friends and they love every bit of you!

Yukka: You probably cry a lot. “That’s rough buddy” is your mantra.  You’re expectations for relationships tend to be a bit high and you’re extremely romantic. A person who can make you laugh is the only person you can see yourself being with forever.

Zukaang: Although you’re sure there’s something more than friendship between them, you share your head canons sparingly with outside shippers. A lot of people probably think you’re crazy but you know it’s there. You like to play matchmaker for your friends, even if they don’t know about it. The hero/villain romance is not only the hottest, but the most thrilling in your opinion. You’re read a lot of smutty fanfiction.

Sukka: The mom of the friend group. Your OTP is canon, yes, but it is forgotten as well. You’re the one who sits back and monitors the ship wars, not really wanting to be involved. Just silently knowing that you have the best OTP. Suki is a precious warrior princess and you hate when people leave her out of the team avatar posts. You’re a strong believer in love finding a way through anything. Long distance relationships come easily because communication is really what gets you connected. You probably like to bake or something.

Azuko/Katokka: You should probably never have children.

Tyzula: You’ll take anything…ANYTHING that implies that your ship is canon. You can be soft and gentle when you need to be, but only those who are really close to you know how absolutely wild you are. You might scare people around you with your vibrance, but everyone knows you and everyone likes you…even if it’s only a little bit.

Taang: Rough around the edges, but a total softie underneath. You love modern AUs more than you care to admit. You believe in young love, even if it’s just for the moment. Friendships can definitely last more than one lifetime as far as you’re concerned. An optimistic realist who, while seeing the facts and general perspective of a situation, can remain hopeful even in tough times.

Sokkla: Like a Zutarian, only angrier and a lot more sarcastic.

Tylaang: Fluff fluff and more fluff. Everything is fluff. You’re a dreamer and you probably still have all of your old stuffed animals somewhere tucked away (or maybe even on your bed I ain’t judging). You love the art of dancing, whether you’re good at it or not.

Toko: You like things to match up, even though you’re hella disorganized. Everybody has to have somebody. You might have started shipping it simply or even as a joke, but now you’re pretty screwed because you’re invested. Also, your ship name sounds like Taco. That’s a plus.

Jetara: Go watch Greese. It’ll help sooth the pain.

[What your ______ OTP says about you: part 1 ]

I’ve been thinking about Avatar: The Last Airbender for a bit, and I had a thought; Zuko and Katara fit that Beauty and the Beast trope. They certainly resemble a great deal of the Disney version. 

Zuko has to deal with prejudice about his face/himself, at times making him a bit isolated. Plus, in the episoide where he and Katara are trapped in the Crystal Cave, she says “Whenever I would imagine of the face of the enemy, it was your face.”

“My face,” he says, his hand going to his scar, “I see.”

There is so much here. (Plus, I have joined the Zutara train, and I don’t think I’ll be coming off it anytime soon.)