Iroh’s tea shop in Ba Sing Se was named in honor of his son.
When Lu Ten was seven years old, he told Iroh that he wanted a nickname. Because his mother’s name, Luli, means ‘jasmine’ and his father had earned the nickname ‘the Dragon of the West,’ the boy decided to combine them for his own nickname:
"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.
Ok so I've seen some Kataang shippers admit that Kataang was forced and one sided, but they also say that they see no possible way of Zutara happening either at the end of 3 Books, I disagree with them of course I still think there is enough moments b/w the two where they could've been made the endgame couple even if Ehasz didn't get do his Book 4, plus even if they weren't end game at the end of Book 3 they were gonna be together by Book 4 if Ehasz was able to do it, what are your thoughts?
It will always be my opinion that Book 3 held more natural zutara development than kataang development.
Outside of the Headband, I cannot think of a single episode in which Katara shows feelings towards Aang that don’t breach the motherly realm. And, from other criticisms, we know that the Headband was a last minute episode thrown in to make kataang seem less forced in the finale, and it replaced an episode giving us further backstory for Aang.
Do you see that? He explodes on her because she doesn’t want to address the kiss or her feelings for him… and then pouts away and says he’s the one who should be scared of getting burned. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Aang is the boyfriend who doesn’t hit you…. he hits the wall and smashes plates to show you how bad it will hurt if he does hit you.
So, yes, you and the few kataang shippers are right… this relationship was extremely forced, one-sided, and down-right unhealthy by the end of Book 3.
I disagree with you, however, that making zutara as obvious a couple as kataang in the book 3 finale wouldn’t have been forced or out of left field.
They did have a lot of cute, shippy moments:
And some major emotional development together:
However, in total, we saw Zuko and Katara together as friends for only a handful of episodes. In order for Zutara to not seem forced at the end of the series, we needed one of three things:
2) Book Four, like Ehasz wanted. Book Three could’ve ended with everyone single, then picked up in the next season with Zuko and Katara spending time together outside of a war-torn environment.
3) If Book Three had to be the end: a moment where Katara expresses with finality that she is not interested in a romantic relationship with Aang… followed by a moment, framed very similarly to the kataang finale kiss, in which Katara joins Zuko on the patio of the Jasmine Dragon, and says a lot has changed. He agrees with her, they briefly touch hands, which morphs into a hug, and the scene fades out.
For me, any of these possibilities would’ve made zutara a natural endgame, whether it was confirmed in Book 3, or post finale with comics/Book 4.
Okay so I recently hit a follower and a fic milestone, and my immediate reaction was just to go, “oh, nice!” and eat some ice-cream - but then my sister, who is my conscience in human form, said, “Why on earth are you congratulating yourself? You should be doing something nice for the people who made this possible!” so in the end I went “Alright alright alright have this terrible ficlet I wrote in like 20 minutes”. Thanks for everything, guys!
“my dad is a cop and i just called him and he was like “hey i have a 17 year old boy in the back of my cop car right now that i’m running him to the station” and i asked if he was cute and my dad said “Hey, my daughter wants to know if you’re cute” and the guy said “i want to say yes, sir” and my dad started laughing so hard” AU based on this post . (It was supposed to be Zutara, but honestly? It’s basically Hakoda deciding to adopt Zuko)
the right to remain silent
“Are you okay with this, or do you want me to change the station?” Hakoda says. Silence greets him, so he glances into the rear view mirror at the boy sitting behind him, who is looking back at him with anger and apprehension and uncertainty written over his face. It’s actually a pretty impressive range of emotions he’s displaying, given the fact that the kid really only has one eye.