what she means:
did Zuko ever meet that little boy from "Zuko Alone" again? that little gap-toothed troublemaker who treated Zuko like a brother? i know they parted on such bad terms when Zuko revealed his identity, and i really don't blame him because at that time Zuko was still kind of an asshole, but did they ever see each other after the war? did the little boy hear about how Zuko disowned his father and joined the Avatar? did he learn that Zuko was the one to fight Azula in that fateful battle? did Zuko visit an earth kingdom town one one of his royal trips and recognize him years later? did the little boy apologize for rejecting him? or did maybe he go to the fire nation to see if Zuko remembered him? did Zuko beg forgiveness for the crimes of the fire nation? did they make up? did they hug it out? did the little boy's brother survive the war? did he introduce him to Zuko? did Zuko insist on giving him the pearl dagger he tried to give him before he left? did the little boy accept it this time? did
↳ get to know me:favorite team → team avatar (open in new tab for larger size!!) Sokka: “I just wanted to say: good effort out there today, Team Avatar.” Katara: “Enough with the Team Avatar stuff. No matter how many times you say it, it’s not gonna catch on!” Sokka: “How about the Boomerang Squad? See, it’s good cause it has Aang in it - Boomer-Aang!” (art credit)
Azula is one of the most fascinating and complex villains in children’s media, or indeed in any media. She is both abuser and victim, both deeply cruel and deeply afraid. Often, discussion of her breaks into two camps, either she was born the way she is, or that she was abused, and she was made into the character we see onscreen by that abuse. Either she is a “psychopath” (an outdated term that has been widely misunderstood and keeps shifting in meaning), and she was born the way she is, and she either wasn’t abused, or abuse didn’t affect her, or she was abused, and how she was raised made her into who she is. I don’t think either of those positions are correct. There is no code that says that predators don’t abuse other predators, and there is nothing in the world that makes abuse magically not damaging. I have spent a great deal of time figuring out what makes this character tick, and what made her stop ticking at the end. So how did nurture and nature come together to make Azula? Bear with me, it’s a bit of a story.
You know, I like the idea of Zuko making the wrong decision in Ba Sing Se and being able to recover from that. But like, I’m also lowkey upset we didn’t get to see Zuko run off with the Gaang at the end of Book 2. What we had was good and dramatic but just imagine:
- 78% of Zuko’s S3 angst comes from his decision to side with Azula in Ba Sing Se so if he never had that moral quandary, it’s arguable Zuko would be more at ease with himself and the others especially given how good he was doing at the end of Book 2. Plus the Gaang (Katara especially) would be much easier on him so instead of being angry/suspicious, it’d just be super…. awkward… getting used to another member plus an ex-fire prince who used to chase them? Classic
- Also so like it’s very possible the Gaang could’ve escaped Ba Sing Se unharmed with Zuko’s help. The city was going to fall no matter what but Zuko probably could’ve stopped Azula lightening at Aang. My point being, that spirit water is still available and she did offer to heal Zuko’s scar… just a thought. It would come in handy when undercover if the traitor prince no longer has his obvious identifying mark.
- After about 5 minutes Sokka decided that Zuko was his new best friend, he’s a guy around his age who’s mature but also mischievous with a love of weaponry and strategy and yes. Zuko and Sokka are attached at the hip and it drives Katara crazy cause they get into so much trouble but she’s never seen her brother happier. Oh my god, when Sokka gets his meteor sword the two of them will spar all day. They get their weapons taken away frequently.
- Chief Hakoda sees Zuko has repented and hears .4 seconds of his story before trying to adopt him. (“You’ll love the Water Tribe Prince Zuko! Don’t worry, your new grandmother will fatten you up” “!?!”) Toph has to break it to Hakoda that Iroh has already claimed Zuko and Zuko meanwhile is overwhelmed by all this affection. Still, he’s honorary Water Tribe now
- Zuko interacting in normal Fire Nation towns. Think about it, he was a crown prince, he’d probably never been outside the capital city and then he was banished from the Fire Nation. He’s likely never seen regular Fire Nation life. It’s just as new and exciting for him (plus he helps them blend a little better)
- Zuko starting Aang’s firebending training, being a bit more gentle once he hears the reasons for Aang’s block. They walk through the basics and soon Aang slowly but surely begins to develop his bending. Zuko is able to learn from everyone too and, on a whim, decides to practice lightening bending. His mind is free of turmoil and is shocked when he’s easily able to summon the electricity. He scared the pants off his sleeping companions who think Azula has come to them.
- Katara and Zuko, mom and dad of the group. They just fall into sync parenting the often wild Aang and Toph while keeping Sokka in line. Zuko insists on helping her with cooking and cleaning up and is surprisingly good at it. She nags all the others about following Zuko’s example. Also awesome playful bending battles between opposing elements that always gets crashed halfway through by the others.
- Appa and Momo adore Zuko, Aang and Sokka are totally jealous. Appa because he knows Zuko saved him from Lake Laogai and Momo because Zuko is a literal heater and he can almost always be found snuggled with Zuko. But Zuko is, in general, very good with animals. Even better than Aang.
- Joking about Zuko’s past mistakes becomes a thing, it’s not awkward or snippy, they just love bringing up embarrassing memories and teasing him about it. It helps Zuko feel more at ease, he still feels bad for the things he did in Book 1, but they tease to let him know he’s forgiven.
- Like in canon, Iroh is captured in Ba Sing Se and Zuko is half mad with grief for a while afterward until he hears that Iroh was not executed but merely thrown into prison. He cried happily and openly when he learned he hasn’t lost his only remaining family member who loves him. He makes plans to break Iroh out on the Day of Black Sun.
- On a side note, Zuko tells the story of his mom and you know, you fuckening know, that Operation: Find Zuko’s Mom is a go. He doesn’t have Ozai’s confirmation but he still suspects she’s alive. They all agree to search after the war ends.
- Zuko gets along with Toph better than all the others, they get the whole idea of nobility and honor but also know when to let things loose. Firebending and Earthbending have similar principles so they gel together. Katara and Aang are relieved that Zuko is there to balance out Toph’s brashness with his own quiet stubbornness. He fits in so well, it’s weird to imagine him not always being there, he’s able to complement everyone.
- The Gaang realizes very quickly that Zuko’s self-esteem and sense of worth is below nothing. Years of emotional (and physical) abuse from his family, being told he’s weaker and worthless plus those years of shameful banishment means he’s got no confidence. Aang breaks down into tears when Zuko casually remarks that he likely won’t survive the war. He’s legitimately shocked to hear the Gaang would be devastated if he died. The team works hard to build up his confidence and let him know that they love him. It works wonders on his mood and even his firebending improves without that mental block. Team Avatar swears that they’ll defeat Ozai not just for what he’s done to the world, but what he’s done to their friend.
- Once relaxed and assured of his place, Zuko really opens up. He’s never had true humor in his life but he develops a cutting but wry sense of humor and more often than not finds himself chuckling at Sokka’s terrible jokes. His protective, stubborn nature is in full force and he would do anything to keep his turtleducks safe (he’s usually put in his place but he’s trying ok). Temper’s still there, it’s a firebending thing, but it’ll flame and go out quickly and people just get used to it. He gets playful with his bending and is not above pranks. He’s smiled more in the time before in the invasion than he ever remembers in his whole life.
Cause you throw your head back laughing like a little kid I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause he never did I’ve been spending the last eight months Thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end But on a Wednesday, in a cafe I watched it begin again
[Had a random inspiration while listening to this song. I had a story idea in my mind and I was supposed to make a small comic, but for now Ihave to settle for this little thingy]
This joke of Mai’s is one of the most common points brought up by people who want to portray Maiko as unhealthy and Mai as abusive and controlling. However, the context of the last time Zuko broke up with her is what makes this joke. Because remember the last time Zuko broke up with Mai, she saved his life.
Mai and Zuko have broken up several times in canon so far, two of those times before her joke. The first time, Mai dumps Zuko after he flies into a jealous rage over her talking to another boy, throws that boy across the room, and then publicly insults Mai when she gets upset. After all of that, Mai doesn’t retaliate, she just breaks up with Zuko and tells him why. There’s no punishment, no attempt to control him, just the acknowledgement that she can’t be in a relationship with him if he’s going to do that.
The second time they break up, Zuko dumps Mai, by letter, in order to join the Avatar. She is furious. He abandons her, he commits treason, he probably puts her in a very awkward position with Azula and even the Firelord, and he doesn’t even tell her to her face. And she tells this to Zuko when she sees him again at the Boiling Rock. And then, almost immediately afterward, after he has locked her up, she breaks out to save his life and help him and his companions escape. And when she faces Azula afterward, she clearly expects to die for it. Again, there is no vindictiveness here, no attempt to punish Zuko for leaving her, in spite of the fact that she is obviously hurt. Instead she performs an act of profound love and sacrifice.
And this is why her joke in the finale works, because when she tells Zuko “Don’t ever break up with me again,” she is reminding him, and the audience of the last time he did, when she “sav[ed] the jerk who dumped [her].” Zuko, it’s also clear understands the joke for what it is, since after giving her a nervous, guilty, little smile, he relaxes happily into her arms.
"We write notes to each other on the desk we share at different times and I never knew who I was talking to until I saw you stay behind after class to write on it and holy shit yoU’RE HOT" for zutara pls???
hi so sorry for taking so long with this prompt (it’s super cute by the way, thank you for sending it!!)
Zuko rolls his eyes at his notebook, though he continues to take down the notes. Some of the decisions the leaders of the past made were idiotic, but whatever. He’s got a final to study for, he can’t be bothered to mull over why dead men did what they did. He shifts his notebook to reach the edge of the page - and his eye is caught by the writing in the corner.
Graffiti on the desks has long been a popular tradition at this university, but Zuko has never bothered to pay attention to it. However, he’s intrigued by the blue ink etched into the desk. He moves his notebook aside to read it.
“May flowers grow in the saddest parts of you.”
He doesn’t know what compels him to grab his pen and press it into the wood under the phrase. Maybe it’s the gentleness of the words; it’s a terribly tender thing to wish a total stranger, but it speaks to that part of him, the part that’s been wounded and scarred.
“May the sun light the darkest parts of you.”
Zuko stares at the words, etched into the wood with red ink, fresh and glistening. He suddenly feels stupid - he doesn’t even know who wrote that, what is he thinking? Scowling, he caps his pen and flips his notebook shut, stuffing it into his bag when the professor dismisses the class. He leaves the room and he doesn’t look back.
When he returns to the desk two days later, he finds a fresh message in blue ink under the one he’d left in red.
“May the moon cradle you in your loneliest hours.”
His heart stumbles in his chest. Zuko glances around the room surreptitiously, but he doesn’t find anyone else looking his way. So the poet isn’t in this class.
Zuko looks back at the writing. He digs his phone out and takes a picture, feeling overcome with the need to preserve this conversation, to keep it on record somewhere, because this is the strangest and yet the most romantic and gentle conversation he’s ever had in his life.
The tip of his pen touches the wood, but he hesitates. He’s never been good with words - that he came up with that first line at all is a mini miracle. But he doesn’t want this to end just yet.
“May the stars provide you company on your restless nights.”
He stares at the words, and then he presses his hand to his face. What is he even doing?
Though he supposes Uncle would be proud of him for venturing out on something so romantic and exciting.
Zuko flops back in his chair. He’s been spending too much time with the old man.
Still, he peeks at the phrases again, wondering what he’ll get in response.
For Zuko, two weeks is a spectacular amount of time for something to be drawn out. He has little to no patience, and as fun as this game’s been, he can’t take the mystery anymore.
He needs to know before he explodes.
So he waits.
He waits through three periods, and just when he’s about to give up on discovering who this person is, he peeks through the door one more time.
His heart slams against his ribs.
There’s a girl sitting at his desk. She’s holding a distinctly blue pen in her hand, one she’s digging carefully into the surface of the desk - right below his last message.
She lifts a hand to bat away the thick curtain of hair that’s fallen over her shoulder, and Zuko’s heart flings itself forward once more.
She is beautiful.
He takes in the rich, warm brown tones of her skin - flawless, not a mark or spot in sight. Her nose is pert and slender, her mouth is full and tilted upwards at the corners as she writes. And when she lifts her head, he learns that her eyes are the brightest shade of blue he has ever seen.
For a moment, Zuko is breathless. And then his feet carry him forward, and he stops before the desk, standing awkwardly for several seconds.
“It’s you,” He finally blurts, and promptly turns a violent shade of red.
The girl lifts her head, eyes widening in shock, and then - and then an obvious happiness sweeps across her face.
She stands quickly and asks excitedly, “Are you my poet?”
He can only stare for a moment. No one has ever claimed him as theirs, especially in such a forward way.
Zuko blinks himself back to life and nods. “Yeah, I guess so,” He answers, rubbing the back of his neck shyly.
“I’ve been wondering when I would get to meet you!” The excitement in her voice is contagious, and it begins to spread through him like sunlight. “My name is Katara.”
Katara. What a wonderful name.
Clearing his throat, Zuko offers his hand. “Zuko. I’ve - I’ve been thinking about you too.” And before he can really chicken out, he adds, “Um, can I take you to lunch? My Uncle owns a great little tea shop.”
Katara grins. “I would love that!” She crouches down and grabs her bag, then moves to stand beside Zuko. “I was planning on going to the Jasmine Dragon today, I know it’s really popular, but everything there is just so great.”
Zuko ducks his head, grinning at his feet. “Yeah, that’s my Uncle’s shop. I think I can get you in.”
Katara gasps, and Zuko leads her to the door, holding it open with a bigger grin. He glances back at the desk as she walks past him, feeling absurdly grateful for that rickety old piece of wood.
a lot a lot of people asked for more modern avatar after this post, so here’s a bunch of scraps that i cleaned up, this time featuring SukI! I originally had a like, five panel comic planned out to explain that little zuko/katara scene at the bottom but idk if you guys know this about me but i’m rly lazy so inevitably that didn’t happen
5 headcanons about Lin and Zuko's relationship, please?
1. Toph had no idea what to do with a baby, and there was no way she was going to go to Katara about it. (There was also no way she was going to go to her parents about it, but that went without saying. Going to Katara was unthinkable, but not quite unimaginable, not like going to her parents.) So she showed up six months pregnant on Iroh’s doorstep. Iroh quietly passed her onto Zuko.
2. So Zuko was a part of Lin’s life since before she was born, but for most of her childhood, she was in Republic City with her mom, while he was ruling the Fire Nation. She mostly saw him when he visited Republic City for whatever reason, or when her mother sent her to the Fire Nation during school breaks to get her out of her hair. He always had a present for her, and he took her and Izumi swimming and sailing, and she thought he was just wonderful.
3. The first time she called him Uncle, he almost broke down crying.
4. There were a lot of times, especially as she got older, that she didn’t want to say something to her mother, or ask her a certain question, so she would ask Zuko. When she was little, she used to save them up for when she saw him, but as she got a little older, she started writing him letters instead. Zuko would give her advice and answer her questions, and talk with her about the world and what he had seen, and he was always honest with her, and never seemed annoyed that she would ask something. She learned a lot about honor from him, which might not have been the best, but oh well.
5. Zuko took all of the kids up on Druk at least once. Lin tried to pretend she wasn’t impressed. She was.
Sokka is one of those starfish people in bed. The guy can take up one of the huge beds in the Fire Nation palace all by himself (somehow). like he just fills up all available space. But he’s not the kind of starfish person that kicks other people off of the bed or steals the sheets (okay maybe sometimes that, but who doesn’t at least once in their life). anyways, Sokka tends to kind of just include whoever is sharing his bed space with him. he’s the ultimate sleep cuddler.
Zuko, on the other hand, is very stiff and confined when he sleeps. actually, that’s a little bit of a lie because as soon as the nightmares start (and they come most nights, have been coming since his mom left) he starts moving around, bunching up the sheets and curling into a little ball and he wakes up with a sore back and a cramped neck a lot.
Sokka helps with that. he doesn’t even fully wake up most of the time, just sort of grunts and rolls over and onto Zuko, or curls around him and pulls him against his body. on the nights where even that doesn’t help, he wakes up as soon as Zuko leaves the bed and waits for him. sometimes, if Zuko is feeling up to it they play Pai Sho together or Sokka will tell Zuko old Water Tribe stories about the stars and the moon. they do that until the sun rises and chases the nightmares away.
All of his dishes are vegetarian of course, but he makes cakes and sweets too! Aang's food actually looks really nice, photo-worthy, the kind of thing advertised in commercials. No one knows how he does it.
Skill-wise, she's one of the best, with the most experience cooking out of anyone. Katara will make just about anything except spicy food. It doesn't look too special at first glance, but her dishes are delicious.
He can feed himself but that's about it. Sokka's 'cooking' amounts to little more than Step 1) spear it on a stick and Step 2) cook over campfire. He doesn't bother with complexities with meals as long as it tastes good.
An utter disaster with meals; never learned to cook and has no intention of ever doing so. Never let her cook. If she volunteers, she's Trying to poison you.
Nothing really fancy, but Suki has been taught to make meals of the travel-ready variety, like mini-sandwiches and riceballs that are easy to pack on the go. Taste is good and requires little preparation.
He's actually not bad, if prone to occasionally burning his meals or dropping them due to clumsiness. Zuko copies the styles of people around him, so he tends to make lot of different dishes, with more spice than they would use.
Zero to sixty. Azula's food is either dreadfully bland or near-deathly levels of spice, there's no in between. A challenge for the courageous, Azula's meals are how you Weed Out The Weak.
Health-nut junkie, eats whatever allegedly spirit-cleansing food makes the rounds lately and pushes the recipes on others.