they both know what it's like to be in aang's shadow

the dream we dream together here (Zutara Week 2017: Soulmates)

*shows up late with Starbucks* Anyway, this is my very late submission for ZK Week 2017, under the Day 6 ‘Soulmates’ prompt (namely: the idea that you see your soulmate as a ghost after s/he dies, which is… admittedly just a very flimsy excuse for me to write my two favourite things: snow and angst, but oh well)

A hundred years from now, dear heart,
We shall not mind the pain;
The throbbing crimson tide of life
Will not have left a stain.
The song we sing together, dear,
The dream we dream together here,
Will mean no more than means a tear
Amid a summer rain.

- John Bennett, In a Rose Garden

A List of Things You Learn Growing Up in the South Pole

1. Things disappear.            

Amongst the glaciers, transience is a concept everyone learns from childhood. Nothing ever stays. Snowflakes melt the moment you tip your face up to them, there and gone in a blink as they catch on your eyelashes. You wake up one morning to find half the village’s meat supplies gone, dragged by wolves into the tundra sometime in the night. Every year when the worst of the blizzards hit, there are always people who go missing, caught in the storm and unable to find their way home, their cries indistinguishable from the screaming of the winds outside the heavy folds of the tents.            

Things disappear. Mothers are alive one moment, and gone the next. Fathers kiss you goodbye and vanish over the waves, bringing all the men of the village with him as they sail into war.            

You dumb-dumb, Sokka says to her once when she is six years old, when he jumps triumphantly out at her from where she is hiding, giggling, behind the alcove where the Southern Water Tribe stores their firewood. That’s gotta be the easiest game of Hide-and-Seek anyone’s ever played. You gotta learn to hide your footprints, Katara. I followed them all the way here.            

She sticks her tongue out at him. I hate snow! If we didn’t live in the South Pole, you wouldn’t have been able to find me.            

Maybe, Sokka says. But I like it. I like seeing where people go, or where they come from. I like that people know where I am. He jumps away from her, sending a spray of snow in the air, his boots leaving a perfect imprint in the white. It’s like a stamp, see? I am here!         

Yeah, I guess snow isn’t so bad, Katara says. If we didn’t live here, I couldn’t do this.             

Sokka turns just in time for the snowball to hit him in the face.

(2. How to run from your brother.)           

Later, they walk home, Sokka keeping a firm grip on his sister’s hand as dusk begins to fall, as the Southern Water Tribe begin to light their lanterns. Katara looks over her shoulder behind them to see the trail of their footprints already vanishing under the falling snow. 

I am here, Sokka had declared, a wild and defiant clarion call. I am here! But Katara looks at her footprints which are already beginning to fill in, and thinks instead, I am disappearing.  

3. Things reappear.            

But the sea never takes without giving back. Amongst the glaciers, return is also a concept everyone learns from childhood. Driftwood you hurl into the ocean one summer washes up on the black shores the next. Star-flowers survive the ice and the hail to push their weary heads out into the weak sunlight every spring.    

The Avatar, a hundred years later, turns up in an iceberg.           

 And three months after his funeral, Katara wakes up one night to see Zuko sitting on her bed. 

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Good Stuff - THE TROOF ABOUT STEVEN UNIVERSE - Part 2

WARNING: If anybody’s got a clown suitcase, I would very much like to see it. And here’s part 1, if you wish to know more. Thank you, take care out there, and enjoy.

Steven Universe is a charming, popular show with a quad-polar fandom, and I’m only here to point out what I say is legitimately wrong with the cartoon. Simple enough? Fair enough. Previously, I talked about how their action is so basic, it’s inexcusable. Now for Point number 2, which is also my favorite:

THE VILLAINS:

I fucking love villains. Not just for the who, but why and how they do it. When bad guys like the Joker, Lord Dominator, DIO, or Him do their thing onscreen, I enjoy every moment of their threatening essence (except Jared Leto’s Joker, he sucked). Villains remorselessly do unethical, downright vicious, things to fulfill their goals while initiating setting up the heroes to correct these effects with their efforts and abilities. Steven Universe has villains, sure. Yet, after having so many chances, Rebecca Sugardaddy has failed to make them REAL villains, specifically the Great Diamond Authority.

Now originally, I was gonna compare the Diamonds to the likes of Fire Lord Ozai (Avatar: The Last Airbender) or DIO (JJBA); villains that work in the shadows and when they’re eventually revealed, they’re already a force to be reckoned with. But looking into how they and Homeworld is set up, there was no other villainous ensemble that could stack up with the Diamonds perfectly like the Gorosei from the anime One Piece.

Looking more badass than the US Government

Now these five gentlemen aren’t necessarily what make up the end all be all for the series, but above all, the Gorosei are the ruling leaders of the organization that controls the entire world of One Piece. They command the military, the police, and other agencies, like their investigative and espionage departments, and the only people that out rule these gentlemen are the descendants of those who created it several centuries ago. Like the Diamonds, they seek to maintain order and justice for the people of their world and doing so means taking on any sign of revolution (namely Pirates) that could damage not only their image, but their purpose. Both Authorities possess absolute rule over the many classes that are under them and their stance of power can be present with the many actions that effect the characters we focus on currently. The difference between the two ruling classes is nuance, aka a grey sense of morality, aka an actual sense of relatability. So when I see a series having an overall narrative villain, Steven Universe has shown me that sympathy should NOT be a factor in storytelling.

And their crocodile tears are not welcome either…

Now when I say this, I don’t mean you can’t sympathize with any villain you see. Most of the time, you can feel for the antagonist when their lives never were good to begin with, that’s namely how villainy starts out, therefore making their actions not so much justified, but understandable. Take the rogues gallery that are the enemies of Batman.

Every one of them has a story to tell and a method to their madness. Their histories weren’t as nice or as hopeful as they may have hoped, and you can feel their pain as their efforts to be successful at something grand falls apart due to the Dark Knight or life’s unforgiving nature. However, the sympathy stops there because none of these masterminds, with the Joker being an exception, serve as a main villain to Batman’s crusade for justice, they’re continuous rivals and one off stories that expand the DC Universe. No evil in Gotham is powerful enough because Batman’s story has no real endgame. Steven Universe and One Piece will eventually have an endgame. And while the Gorosei represent an Oligarchical commodity that separates its order seeking rule from their affiliating countries, The Diamonds have amounted to being under one system alone:

Originally posted by marcyandpeebles

Yep. Nazis.

And it’s weird I bring this up. For I would’ve thought to have called Homeworld an authoritative caste system where the gem you’re born with defines your class and status, coinciding with the gems’ natural abilities. The specific gems are given a role and everyone plays a part to maintain societal order, like what India has, with the Diamonds being the biggest and strongest gems and therefore are the de facto Matriarch of the gem society, you feel me? That would’ve earned a little sympathy from me, because the Diamonds losing Pink would’ve meant the massive changes to accommodate their order and resources might not have worked out so well and their image as leaders are slowly diminishing and that can explain the huge resentment for Earth and Rose’s Rebellion.

But no. Instead the Diamonds are a repressive totalitarian government that basically control everyone and everything, all the gems below to strictly follow and almost never question their line of reasoning, and they’re reasons for destroying the Earth has been summarized down to the emotional baggage and grudge that came with their failure long ago.

Originally posted by gemsingifs

CAN YOU NOT FEEL THEIR PAIN?!

Wanna know why I didn’t compare the Diamonds to Avatar’s Fire Nation when talking about humanizing the enemy and the connection couldn’t be more obvious? Because before Ozai is ever mentioned, The Last Airbender states very clearly that the Fire Nation is the region Aang and his friends need to infiltrate to stop their manifest destiny. And when we’re early hinted that Zuko’s not full on evil, it lets the audience know that not everyone is on board with those in charge of the Fire Nation invasion, leading up to Ozai’s big debut where we see that as the endgame villain, he’s irredeemable and has such a lust for power, that he’s recognizably the main drive everyone has to stop. Avatar did this right because little by little, the main enemy was narrowed down to a single force that hasn’t made itself known until near the end when his presence bear more importance. The same can’t be said for Steven Universe because Rebecca Sugar Rush presented yet another faint mistake.

The Diamond’s personalities are given to us before they’ve shown us who they are and what they’re capable of…

So we see Yellow Diamond as a vindictive, no nonsense leader that wants shit to get done and Blue Diamond as a more tender looking, yet no nonsense leader that’s grieving over Pink Diamond’s death and does whatever she can to move on and remember the fallen fondly. So, have they done anything before we’ve met them personally? Sure.

*They corrupted thousands of their own kind (because of the rebellion)

*Allowed experimentation towards shattered gems to make artificial fusion (because of the rebellion)

*Ordered a search and destroy on all “defective” gems that go against the Authority’s standards and prevalence while said defectives put themselves in a literally hole of despair for coming out wrong (Gaslighting)

*And let’s not forget the Cluster (because of the rebellion)

So yeah, quite a lot actually. Now you might be thinking, “But Monkey Network, what does those five old men have to do with what the Diamonds did?” Well, when you see the villainous shit the Gorosei have commanded, their actions are actually more relatable.

*Ordering the destruction of an island of archaeologists because they were secretly researching forbidden history

*Allowing a hit on their own government affiliated island to erase any potential surviving threats that invaded there

*Directing the Marines, or the front line enemies of our Pirate heroes

*And contemplating their system’s next move when updates arrive

Now I don’t know about you, but these gentlemen make up quite an authoritative class with understandable motives and relatable notions on running the world without necessarily being on the front lines. Kinda like the US over the years? Even when their level of corruption can be on par and we still know little of their true power and who they really are, they’re instantly better than the Diamond Authority because we can see why they’re in command, their thoughts and actions towards our heroes shows no sign of being sympathetic, and yet we see where their motives lie. I mean, their Government’s enemies are pirates. You know, Pirates? People who’ve robbed and killed and are the opposite of order? See where I’m going here? They namely go after our heroes who are seen to be the enemy even when the Pirates and plenty others consider them the enemy. It’s almost as if there’s a grey choice for the audience to wonder whom the real bad guys are. OooooOOh.

Also, quick side note. The Gorosei look fucking cool. Like their designs aren’t exactly human, credit towards Eiichiro Oda and his expressive designs, but they’re drawn with such a level of seriousness and stature that it presents their elder wisdom and grave subtlety towards a subject in a contrasting light to the pirates bombastic, emotional appeal. But the Diamonds?

This picture summarizes how I will never take them seriously, no matter how hard they try or how good Patti LuPone is

So, what has this amounted to? Basically, Rebecca Sugardop has given us nonthreatening villains that showed no sign of any redeemable qualities beyond their ability to mesmerize us with their acting. That and give us an episode that, in summary, tells the audience that killing an enemy like the Diamonds makes you no better than them. Yeah, I have to go there.

Originally posted by stevenfaces

I’ll try and make this quick.

This episode was Crime and Punishment done bad. For Crime and Punishment, it was an old Russian tale of a man killing a woman that’s rich yet unliked in the community because he believed it was for a greater good; implying that murder is permissible in pursuit of a higher purpose. Same can apply to Bismuth, having faith that in killing the Diamonds, Homeworld can be liberated from the oppressive elite. Here’s where that tie-in ends: the effect. In Crime and Punishment, the killer shows sincere regret towards his actions because it didn’t present any change in the community beyond the fact that an old woman got murdered and the only thing the she was despised for was being a greedy pawnbroker. What regret would’ve there been in using the Breaking Point on the Diamonds? Bismuth wasn’t set on killing any Homeworld gem around, just the leader who show that they mean and will mean business unless they’re fully out of commission. The show wanted to say killing the Diamonds is bad even when the effect of it could be good, but never offered any other method to success and just shunned Bismuth to dormancy until they need her again, proving she might have been onto something.

Originally posted by citystompers

Whew. So, what’s the tl;dr aspect of this since you probably won’t take this seriously. Well, call this a domino effect. Rebecca Sugar Pop is trying to make sympathetic dictators, which is itself an oxymoronic detail. In doing so, she failed to make them real villains. In doing that, there really are no real villains in the show. And when there are no villains, the conflict feels dry and absent. And without conflict, she failed at putting together HALF an overall story. And when you’re a coming of age story where it has to end on some note with maturity and change, after almost five years in the making, you just FUCKED yourself over when you didn’t even invest time in HALF of what makes an overall story of good and evil investing and engaging. Oh I’m sorry, what makes an overall story of a blurred line between good and evil. Investing and engaging.

I can’t care anymore. If they get redeemed, sure. If they end up dying like a tragedy, fine. They feel less like villains to overcome and more like stairs Steven has to step on to become a better person. Just let White Diamond be as grandiose and badass as Tumblr’s AUs of her, because again…

Originally posted by it-takes-two-to-mango

The fandom is doing the show a bit of justice

Three’s a charm

Summary: Zuko asks for some love advice from his best friend, Aang.

Word count: 4,898

Author’s note: You know how it’s possible for one person to be your best friend, but you can also be someone else’s best friend? Well, that’s the kind of position Aang’s in - Katara is his best friend (and vice versa), but he’s also Zuko’s best friend. I based my story on this.
I honestly have no idea how I wrote this mess. I just sort of had an idea about Zuko feeling down because of not getting back together with Mai. I needed a reason for him to be sad about it, but I also wanted to write Aang and Katara going penguin sledding after everything that happened in the Southern Water Tribe. Then somehow Hakoda got mixed in that plot because he has to see what a good boyfriend Aang is for Katara (+ father-daughter moments) and he can be a second father figure to Zuko. So there’s Kataang being adorable together, Zukaang and Zutara friendship, but the whole thing whirls around the Maiko relationship (without stealing the focus from what happens).
It’s such a mess, but it’s sweet and heartwarming! I love everything in it - how each relationship or friendship is portrayed and how the characters interact. I hope I did justice to them. The events continue from the ending of “North and South: Part Three”.

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anonymous asked:

A Zukaang super hero AU where Zuko has a fire power (duh) and Aang has powers can make him fly and communicate with animals.

I’ll take Zukaang Super Hero AU, but Imma change the powers on you a bit. 

Rating: R, because sexy times. 

Length: 3000+ words. It’s very long…

It was Aang who had to turn the television off. Zuko only stared at it. And with each moment that he let pass watching the pixilated, overly-bright angry face of the news room personality spew only made Zuko’s frown grow longer and longer. Aang swore Zuko’s eyes dimmed just like the TV screen.

“Don’t listen to that guy,” Aang said. “He’s a jerk. Everyone knows that. No one takes him seriously.”

“Yes they do,” Zuko answered. His voice sounded miles away and Aang’s stomach rolled with every inch of distance. He had just been laughing. Now his hands were gripping at his arms again, just like they always were. “That’s why he has a talk-show.”

“So what?” Aang pressed on. “You saved all those people, Zuko—“

“I burned that kid!” Zuko retaliated. “You heard him; the kid’s in the hospital!”

“Better than being in a grave, though, right?”

“Yeah; and I could have been the one who put him there.”

“You weren’t! You saved him!”

Aang had seen the whole even. How Lady Noir’s henchmen had wilted under the blasts of Zuko—the Fire Lord’s—streams of fire. How he had been able to push them back, away from the hostages, free the bridge. How the boy had lost his balance when his ropes were untied by the police. Aang had tried to make a grab for him, but The Fire Lord was faster. He caught the boy by the wrist and pulled him to safety.

He was only burned at the wrist. Zuko hadn’t touched anywhere else. He would be find. Fine, where he could have died. At the way the boy’s mother gushed over him and cried her thanks to Zuko, and how the boy clung to her, the burns seemed an easy price to pay.

“I saved him that time,” Zuko said. He lifted his hands and glared at them, their shine cutting hard shadows into his frown. “What if next time I lose control? Or I fall into someone at a fight and set them on fire? What if I cause an explosion?”

“Well—“ Aang offered a smile—“so long as you don’t hug Combustion Man you shouldn’t have to worry about that.”

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trezote  asked:

Azula, Mai and Sokka in an abandoned or empty place.

A/N: Sorry for the delay, but I loved this prompt and wanted to properly savor it.

The tracks led across the wet sand, a little line going straight up to the half-buried shipwreck.

Azula thought it was probably an Earth Kingdom vessel, or had been before it was beached and abandoned. Certainly, it was not one of the metal achievements of the Fire Nation, and it looked old enough that it might have been around back when the Earth Kingdom still had an official navy.

Now it was just garbage.

She turned to Mai. “And so the hunt reaches its ultimate destination.”

“Are you sure he’s in there?” The only expression on Mai’s face was a slight squint that could have been skepticism or simply a reaction to the brackish air. “This one has delusions of cleverness.”

“He’s in there.” Azula could admit that Mai wasn’t wrong, exactly, but as always, she failed to bridge the gap between observations and conclusions. “He doesn’t want to lose us. If he did, we might find his friends. He’d rather die than let that happen.”

Mai snorted. “I can’t even imagine being that fond of anyone.”

“Of course not. That’s what I like about you.” Azula squared her shoulders. “Come, it’s time to end this.”

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Shini’s Ultimate Fic-Rec List

For one of my lovely friends, who asked for some good fics:

Avatar: The Last Airbender:

  • The Undying Fire -features Zuko using fire for something other than destruction
  • Following Blue -Zutara, Katara gets into a bit of trouble and Blue Spirit helps her out
  • The Descent -Zutara, involves death and redemption, among other things
  • Avatar: The Comet’s Wake -Kataang, Sukka, takes place after Sozin’s Comet
  • Dancing in the Dark -Zutara, Katara trying to learn to dance properly with Blue Spirit as a teacher
  • Tempest in a Teacup -Zutara with Katara raised in the Fire Nation
  • Mask and Veil -Zutara, Painted Lady and Blue Spirit working together 
  • Hope’s Revival -Aang fails against Ozai, goes on the run with the Gaang until they land themselves in the past, and then they have to work hard to keep their secrets. Discontinued and still amazing
  • Reluctant Hero -The last Avatar was an Earthbender safe within the confines of Ba Sing Se, so why does Prince Zuko start bending elements other than his fire?

Best Authors:

Chronicles of Narnia:

  • Helen’s Children -snippets about how Helen’s children have changed
  • Trial By Fire -a ‘what if Edmund came through the wardrobe first?’ fic, really good
  • Nighttime Demons -aftermath of returning to London after Narnia, brotherfic
  • Keeping the Faith -Edmund and Lucy meeting up with Aslan early in Prince Caspian, familyfic
  • Never Let Go -Edmund believes Lucy when she stumbles out of the wardrobe, how will this change things?
  • Those Who Speak -features mute!Edmund who hears about the White Witch from Lucy first, not from following her into Narnia.

Best Authors:

D. Gray Man:

  • Man in the Mirror -more of a modern day DGM, very well done, Miranda is a primary and Allen is the best
  • Through the Web -Laven, modern day youtubers among other things, seriously the cutest Laven fic out there
  • Acoustics -MariexMiranda and Kanda being a dick
  • Campaigning for Heretics -another cute Laven fic, hasnt been updated in ages, unfortunately
  • Visitations in the Night -when the Order has Allen locked up and Lenalee sneaks in to visit, slight Allena
  • Haunts of the Heart -Allen goes missing on assignment…its all very mysterious
  • From Now Until Forever -Allena drabbles
  • They All Fall Down -Xover with Harry Potter, well written and molded given how both come from two very different times. Its a great read with Kanda, Allen, and Lavi assigned to protect Harry during DH
  • 100 -a series of unconnected Laven oneshots

Best Authors:

Doctor Who:

Harry Potter:

  • Three’s a Charm -Harry, Ron, Hermione travel back in time to fix the world, more bonding, nicer (slightly) Snape
  • This Dream’s On Me -X-over with Hobbit, Fili and Harry (fem) meet in dreams until she can make her way over to Middle Earth
  • Ethereal -X-over with DGM, Harry (fem) as Alma with kickass skills and some fluffiness between Kanda and Alma
  • Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past -Harry goes back to fix his mistakes, definitely AU, but the best timetravel fic out there, a lot on psychology and self defense
  • Erasing the Future -Harry travels back in time, Sirius is free and adopts him
  • The Aftermath -X-over with Percy Jackson with Apollo visiting FemHarry every so often, she ends up as the mother to a good few kids
  • Time To Put Your Galleons Where Your Mouth Is -MasterofDeath!Harry who ends up as the older brother to Sirius and Regulus, working hard to protect them from Voldemort
  • Not Who She Seems -X-over with Thor, femHarry as the daughter of Thor’s sister Ingrid (Lily) who suddenly finds herself to be royalty (and not completely human) and all that comes with it
  • From the Flame to the Spark -Ginny time travel, takes the world by storm, including breaking out Sirius of prison and being less clingy to Harry
  • Ritual at Summer Solstice -Hermione lands in the past during a full moon, RemusxHermione, somehow she ends up as the sister of Death Eater Augustus Rookwood, fluff is well done
  • The Little Prince -X-over with ChronNarnia with Edmund raising Harry in Narnia, seperated from his brother and sisters, very cute
  • Fred Weasley and the Time Paradox -Fred dies and wakes up at the beginning of third year, he and George are nicer on Harry and Hermione, generally good, but sadly hasn’t been updated in awhile
  • Harry McGonagall -Harry is raised by Minerva’s nephew, Harmony, lives in America so there’s a few differences, but a good read
  • Unintended Consequences -Hermione catches up with Ron before he disapparates, leaving Harry on his own, but he eventually teams up with Ginny, Hinny
  • I Must Not Cause Trouble -Geomione, told in first person from Hermione’s perspective, rather good.
  • Unforgivably Thick Jumpers -AU with Harry raised by Voldemort, takes place when he’s 17 and back with his parents and younger brother, Hinny, some sexytimes
  • Aspirations -Grey to dark fic that I don’t generally read, but it was done rather well, Hinny, things change in 4th year, Hermione’s after Harry
  • The Refiners Fire -Diverges after book five, eventual Hinny, more militarized DA that kicks serious ass
  • A Friend Indeed -Ginny befriends Harry 4th year and it snowballs from that, Ron featured as a bit of a prick, Hinny, NevillexHermione
  • They All Fall Down -X-over with DGM, the best DGMxHP done yet, Voldemort works with the Earl and Lavi, Allen, and Kanda are sent to guard Harry, joining him, Ron, and Hermione on their Horcrux Hunt
  • The Forgotten Daughter -FemHarry as a daughter of Poseidon, elements of greek myths strewn throughout the Potter years, part one of a series, really great
  • Quasars Between Us -X-over with Avengers with Loki as Harry’s father, Harry gets taken into SHIELD and that’s only the start of the mess
  • Order and Shadows -X-over with Yu-Gi-Oh! Yugi spends some time in Britain doing research, Bakura is actually a wizard, and Dumbledore thinks he knows best
  • A Set Up Gone Wrong -Ginny gets conned into going to a Ministry event and meets someone she didn’t expect. Hinny

Best Authors:

The Hobbit:

  • The Most Precious of Treasures -FemBilbo comes back to the Shire and gives birth to son Frodo and its only when some dwarves come along that they notice how much he looks like their king
  • Shot in the Dark -Bagginshield, Bilbo wakes up in the past, eagerly joins the quest and doesn’t care very much for his own well being
  • And I’m Your Lionheart - Bilbo stays behind after the Battle of the Five Armies and gets caught up in Dwarrow politics waiting for Thorin to heal
  • Stoneflower -Thorin shows up at Bilbo’s place after the BotFA after Bilbo’s taken in Frodo, lots of bonding and family things between the Bagginses and Thorin and Sam
  • Master of Wood, Water, and Hill -More of Bilbo and book-related things, like the Old Forest, I’m not really sure how to describe it, but its a great read with Bilbo as this sort of ‘speaker’ of the earth, I suppose
  • Back Again -TimeTravel!Bilbo with Bilbo as a Bounder that protects the Shire, features a lot of book elements, including the Dunedain and Aragorn’s parents
  • All That Is Lost -Bilbo disappears after the Battle and Fili and Kili find him later on with no memory of who they are
  • Strangers Like Me -Bilbo raises Kili after he finds him half-drowned, shows a kinder dwarf with more understanding of different species, languages, and customs between Hobbits, Elves, and Dwarves

Best Authors:

How To Train Your Dragon

  • The Dragon’s King -Cloudjumper takes away Hiccup with his mother when their village is attacked. Features a dragon-eyed Hiccup with a stronger bond with Toothless and a surprise visit by Astrid. Hiccstrid
  • Ice -Hiccup and Toothless find themselves trapped in ice after an avalanche and have to find a way to escape

One Shots That Are Pretty Cute:

Best Authors:

Inception

  • Life Goes On -takes place a few years after the Fischer job, centered around the life Ariadne and Arthur have together, fluffy and well written with great development
  • You Are the Risk I’ll Always Take -easily one of the best ArthurxAriadne, starting from the moment they meet, throughout the Fischer job with lots of fluff and a sex scene in the most recent chapter (avoid if you’re not into M)
  • League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -Cobb, Yusuf, Eames, Saito, and Arthur all show up at Ariadne’s university at separate times and her two friends try to pair her with various ones
  • Twenty Steps -the developing relationship between Arthur and Ariadne including twenty things she learns about him along the way

One Shots That Are Pretty Good:

Best Authors: 

Legend of Korra

  • Her Glory Throws Long Shadows -hasn’t been updated in ages but features a pre-Irorra and is amazingly well written
  • Shower Hours -Korra and Iroh meet in the shower, the smut doesn’t show up until the sequel
  • Soul of My Soul -Irorra drabbles that encompass Korra and Iroh’s adult life, including marriage, children
  • The Return -Korra returns to Republic City at 22 and deals with a certain number of problems, Irorra, MakoOC, Bolami
  • Let There Be Hell To Pay -Features Iroh as a nonbender, budding romance with Korra and Iroh, and Iroh, of course, being a gentleman

Best Authors:

Lord of the Rings

  • The Orc Under the Bed -cute fic about Elrond’s sons’ nighttime fears
  • Stay -Frodo tells a fellow hobbit his tale and considers staying or leaving the Grey Havens FrodoxOC
  • My Fairytale -Estel Elessariel awakens in the Third Age after throwing herself to her death in the Fourth Age, Tenth Walker fic, could be construed as Mary Sue, but its still a pretty good read

Merlin

  • Texts, Meetings, and Matters of the Literal Heart -Merthur modern day with Merlin and Arthur meeting when Merlin jumbles his phone number and texts him, cute with Arthur being in a lot of denial
  • The Adventures of Merlin -a series of ‘what if?’ oneshots that are very well written
  • Blind Trust -Arthur overhears Merlin and Lancelot’s plan to rid Morgause of the Cup of Life, magic reveal
  • Breathe -Merlin drags Arthur and the knights to a nearby lord and gets himself tortured for his troubles, general, friendship feels
  • Protecting the Protector -featuring protective knights towards Merlin
  • Fisticuffs -Percival comes across Agravaine trying to interrogate Merlin about Emrys and reacts accordingly, friendship
  • A Servant of One -The Fomorroh doesn’t stop Merlin from fighting not to kill the king
  • Debt of Honor -Merlin and Percival try to prove that Lancelot is a shade and Agravaine is up to nothing good
  • Too Far -the aftereffects of Merlin that leave Merlin traumatized, Gwen furious, and the knights guilt-ridden
  • Shade of Shadow -instead of finding Gwen and Shade!Lancelot kissing, Arthur finds a beaten Merlin. Drama, friendship
  • Through Other Eyes -the bond between Arthur and Merlin as see through the eyes of fellows and enemies
  • On the Wings of a Butterfly -Magic Reveal. Merlin’s use of magic has Arthur wondering if magic is all that bad.
  • A Fresh Perspective -deaged!Merlin and Magic Reveal that has small Merlin explaining how magic isn’t good or bad to Arthur who struggles to understand

Best Authors:

Miraculous Ladybug

  • heartstrings -Chat Noir chances a meeting with Marinette and feelings develop. Read this fic, its so good!
  • Freudian Slip -Marinette accidentally calls Adrien Chat during class and it only spirals down from there.
  • Spicy Sugar -Marinette and Adrien’s difference in attitudes between balancing school and superhero work
  • Fangirls -Ladybug gets a little jealous of Chat Noir’s fangirls

Best Authors:

Naruto

  • Because Roses Are Not Always Red -featuring Kakashi as a mute and Obito as his Jounin companion and translator, a series of one-shots
  • War of the Biju: Fourth Shinobi World War -after Pein’s attack, war is declared against Madara, Naruto as Hokage
  • Training the Avenger -Naruto older with younger sister Shizuka as the Kyuubi Jinchuuriki, alive Kushina, Naruto trains Sasuke after the massacre, NaruHana
  • True Potential -Shikamaru, Naruto, and Hinata as a squad under Anko, features a lot of friendship and fluffiness, and blooming relations between Iwa and Konoha
  • What I Wouldn’t Do -Amazing fic that only has two chapters, Boruto is attacked and nearly killed and Konoha is put on high alert to find the culprit 
  • survival of the fittest -Sakura and Shikamaru find themselves stuck in Iwa without allies on all sides and face many obstacles on their way back home, slight ShikaSaku
  • Team 8 -A ‘what if Naruto was on Team 8 instead of Kiba’ very well written and in depth, team development and NaruHina
  • Tale of the Setting Sun -Naruto with his mum’s red hair and graduating early, being placed on a team with different members than Sakura and Sasuke
  • Blind Stars of Fortune -Kakashi dies in the invasion and wakes up as a twenty year old, features kid Sasuke, Sakura, and Naruto being friends and the Uchiha in a good light
  • The Hidden Prodigy -Kakashi is a kid again, trying to keep the future from turning to shit, but sometimes things just don’t go to plan
  • Walking Backwards on a Tightrope -Timetravel with Naruto, Sasuke, Shino, Shikamaru, and Gaara, redemption attempt by Sasuke. Unfortunately, new enemies come for a ride. NaruHina, ShikaTema
  • Alive and Victorious -features predominantly Matsuri and Gaara and their relationship as it develops from teacher and student to lovers
  • Second Bloom -Sakura goes back in time, befriends Naruto and Sasuke, realizes some family ties she didn’t know she had, and foils Danzou’s plans. Discontinued.
  • The Lives Worth Saving -Naruto travels back in time after the shinobi lands are decimated, takes the name Haruki, is bros with Kakashi, and helps the Konoha 12 with their training
  • Leadership -summer Jinchuuriki camp, what could possibly go wrong? Best part is the friendship between Gaara and Naruto
  • Two Halves :: Story One -Naruto and Hinata are taken out of the village and trained by a spirited woman named Sora after Tsunade is made 5th Hokage, NaruHina
  • Learning to Have Fun -cute fic about Shikamaru and Sakura who get into a bit of trouble with a noble at a daimyo’s initiation, ShikaSaku, very cute and Shikamaru and Sakura are done very well I think
  • Meet His Parents -ItaSaku non-massacre, Itachi proposes to Sakura and then she meets his parents, but his mother is the real problem
  • The Crowing -Kankurou and Sakura speak after she saves his life from the poison Sasori gave him. Slight KankSaku
  • Indifference -Shikamaru as the Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi, a clear divergence from canon with Naruto disliking how much people expect him to be like his dead father, Shika has an older bisexual sister, Ino and Chouji very protective of Shika once they find out his secret
  • Naruto Hatake -Naruto raised by Kakashi and best friends with Hinata, there’s lots of bonding, family, and friendship with just a bit of NaruHina
  • Snap Shot -modern day with Gaara the Artist and Sakura the Photographer and how their romance buds in a not so typical way
  • Seal Shatter -Alive Kushina and Minato with Minato having amnesia from a seal and not knowing of Kushina being involved with him and Naruto being his son. Naruto causes a lot of problems by breaking the faulty seal, but this fic is a must read, I promise
  • The Sand Prince -influences by the Prince of Egypt, Gaara is raised in Konoha whilst Suna is under the tyranical rule of the Akatsuki, easily one of the best fics out there. GaaSaku
  • The First Shifting Grain -Gaara awakens in the past and has to deal with an assortment of problems, including his village despising his very existence. Right now, just focused in Suna
  • My Precious People -NaruHina, takes place several years after the war’s end, Naruto left the village and Hinata is a single mother. Deals with Naruto’s return and the group he was once a part of 
  • Naruto: Myoushuu no Fuuin -read this fic, it hasn’t been updated in ages, but its pure brilliance. Its a lot of Team 7 bonding with Kakashi. Naruto is a Fuuinjutsu prodigy, Sakura gets into Medical Ninjutsu earlier, and Sasuke isn’t as heartless and unfeeling as in canon
  • A Wrinkle in Time -one of the greatest timetravel fics. Naruto, Shikamaru, and Lee end up in the past. Nara Clan is showcased a lot, lots of bonding and friendship, relationships are in the background: NaruHina, ShikaTema, LeexAyame
  • Blade and Claw -Asuma raises Naruto after the Kyuubi attack and they live outside the village for the time being, Asuma!dad is the best, and Naruto’s smarter than canon, very inquisitive. A good read even if it hasn’t been updated in a while
  • The Duty -GaaSaku, Sakura is assigned to Gaara during the war and friendship develops into romance. Best GaaSaku as far as I’m concerned. Gaara and Sakura are done to perfection
  • A Family of Foxes and Snakes: Rewind! -the rewrite of an amazing fic, Anko teaches Naruto and they sort of adopt each other. Naruto, Shikamaru, and Hinata friends.
  • Kazekage -Akasuna no Sasori remains in Suna and when the Kazekage asks him to guard his wife pregnant with the next Jinchuuriki of Shukaku, Sasori is a little miffed.
  • I’ll Be Back Before You know It -ShikakuxYoshino, 12 moments of their lives
  • Rumors in Konoha -The rumor is Hinata is being married off. How does Naruto react? NaruHina

Best Authors:

Percy Jackson

Best Authors

Pretty Little Liars

Best Authors:

Sherlock

  • Study in Sherlock -a bit OOC, but its an alright Johnlock with John and Sherlock being in an established relationship before Study in Pink
  • Art of the Reasoner -Sherlock as an artist, lots of artsy stuff, somehow still manages to solve crimes, really great fic, worth a read
  • Believe in Sherlock -John tries to prove that Sherlock was the real deal after his ‘death’
  • Girl Talk -Sherolly, Irene helps out Molly in understanding Sherlock
  • Siblings’ Dilemma -featuring Mycroft, Sherlock, John, and Harry as siblings

Best Authors:

Star Wars/Star Wars: Clone Wars

  • Future Imperfect -Anakin finds himself in the future and has to talk fast to prove he isn’t an Imperial spy and keep his mouth shut when he finds a girl with Padme’s face and a boy with his
  • Fair Maiden, Shining Knight -the absolute best Sobiwan out there, featuring the budding romance between Sabe, Padme’s cousin and decoy, and Obi-Wan up into Attack of the Clones, continues on past Revenge of the Sith. Seriously, read this fic, its a legend
  • Shadows of the Future -Obi-Wan falls in Mustafar and awakens still as a padawan, features a great deal of QuiObiAna bonding. Obi-Wan fulfills the spot of protective older brother quite well, and the author weaves the relationship beautifully. Read this.
  • Never Gone -a bit OOC on some parts with the romance seeming to move a bit fast but I’ll put it up here anyways. A ‘what if the Council rejected Anakin and he returned to Tatooine fic’ with Anakin and Padme meeting once he’s older and in early Episode II
  • The Silent Song -Obi-Wan as a mute, but is written very well and very believably. Obi-Wan is the cutest Initiate, that’s for sure
  • Misguided Destiny -15 year old Anakin Skywalker finds himself in the future and Luke has to try his hardest not to give too much away. ROTJ
  • The Master -AU ROTS in which Obi-Wan manages to get to Anakin before its too late
  • About Turn -After Bespin, Luke accidentally reveals to the Alliance his relation to Vader. And absolute must read with Vader slowly embracing his care for his children. The format’s a little off but the story is great.
  • Where Catalysts Stand Down -Anakin and Padme flee Coruscant after Order 66. Anidala.
  • Visibility’s Edge -Anakin tells Obi-Wan the truth when his dreams about Padme become too much to bear. Anidala.
  • Crimson Ash -Anakin is killed during Order 66
  • Keep Breathing -Obi-Wan convinces Padme to live for her children and goes into hiding with her on Alderaan. Anidala. Obidala. This fic broke my heart.
  • The Finer Shades of Why -Order 66 is enacted early and Obi-Wan and Anakin are shot out of the sky. A seriously great read.
  • Fallen Legends -Anakin fails to clear Ahsoka’s name so Obi-Wan takes matters into his own hands to clear her name.

Best Authors:

Supernatural

  • The Bluest of Blue Eyes -Mostly Castiel and his brothers in heaven before he is assigned to the Winchesters, lots of brotherly love and showing a kinder side of Lucifer
  • Marked -pre-Destiel concerning Dean’s ‘escape’ from Hell via Cas
  • Plan B -God sends Castiel down to the Winchesters a few years early, features child! Cas and Dean and baby!Sam, and lots of friendship and family with Loki/Gabe making an appearance
  • A Case of the Rainbow Feathers -Humor, Castiel somehow gets his wings dyed the color of the rainbow
  • Touched -Castiel is dead, so why does Dean see him in a small boy with clear blue eyes and a head of dark hair?

Best Authors:

Young Justice

  • It All Started Fairly Normally -this is an absolute must read, one of the best fics out there, its pre-birdflash if you squint, but that doesn’t show up until the sequel. Wally is late for training and his teammates get worried, chaos ensues, lots of angst and family and friendship
  • Worthy -asking Dick Grayson out on a date is harder than usual, especially since his dad is the Batman, but Wally’s up for the challenge. Birdflash
  • Sub-Zero -Dick Grayson gets himself kidnapped and Wally rushes in to save his best friend from a terrible fate. Friendship
  • Damsel -Robin isn’t a damsel, however, Dick Grayson has to play the part of one to keep his secret identity intact. But being saved by Wally isn’t so bad. Birdflash
  • Coping Mechanisms for Idiots -After the Invasion, Wally’s got a few problems. He and Artemis are done and he and Dick are starting to speak civilly to each other (or are they?), and the pain is getting worse… birdflash
  • Chasing Robins -a cute birdflash fic about Wally’s complete failure at catching robins (or Robin in particular)

Best Authors:

Yu-Gi-Oh!

  • Queen of Egypt -Mana has to rule in Atem’s place once he falls ill and learns just how difficult Atem’s job as Pharaoh is
  • Of All the King’s Wives, -deals with the wives of Atem and one in particular with a lot of ambition towards becoming the Queen of Egypt and she doesn’t appreciate how Atem cares for her servant, Mana. Vaseshipping
  • The Pharaoh’s Lover -sexytimes with Atem and Mana who work very hard to keep their relationship in the palace a secret
  • Trusting the Future -The Pharaoh knows he’s dying but he can’t let his son Atem see, instead he notices things his son would rather keep to himself, like his feelings for his closest friend, vaseshipping

Yu Yu Hakusho

  • Retrospective Days -Hiei ends up in the past and if that’s not annoying enough he’s lost his strength and Yuusuke’s ‘dead’…might as well teach him a few things, it might be a long time before he get’s home
  • Sunny with a Chance of Lightning Storms -Shuuichi Hatanaka meets his future stepbrother and can’t help but be surprised.
  • The Earring -Yukina takes on a mission and finds a mute Hiei along the way, but will she make it out alive?
  • Change -Yukina stands out with her red eyes and seafoam colored hair, so she makes a decision to change
  • It’s a Promise -Yuusuke actually shows up at the end of the three years and meets Keiko at her school, none-too-pleased about a neighboring school boy trying to ask her out. Yuuko
  • One in a Hundred -a mission takes the team close to the Koorime Island and they find something they did not expect

Best Authors:

Home

I finally wrote a Zutara-story! Well, the end is Zutara, before that it’s mostly just Katara and friends. Honestly I don’t really know what this is, I guess it’s just sort of how I think Katara would react to the war ending (well, one of the ways, anyway. I have a lot of alternative perspective). But yeah, this is one of the ways I imagine Katara would feel/react to the end of the war.

I just love Katara so much, and I have a huge thing for Zutara. It’s not that I don’t like Aang, is just that I think he and Katara would grow apart after the war. I think they will always be friend, and they will always love each other, just not in that way.

When that’s said, I like the way Zuko treats Katara. From the very beginning he has treated her as an equal, even when she was just a child accompanying the avatar; he still treated her as his opponent, like a real threat, even though she was a small girl without any “real” fighting experience.

And since I’m already rambling about this ship, I just want to point out that in a alternative world where Zutara lives happily ever after – Zuko would totally be intimidated by Katara, like big time. I think he’s slightly afraid of what she could do to him, and I think that’s rather adorable and real. I also have this thing for Katara being sort of Zuko’s advisor (apart from Iroh, who totally ships them). I just think Katara would be really good at sort of leading the country, but indirectly. She’s kind of that menacing shadow behind Zuko that scares away any potential threat. (That does not mean she doesn’t think Zuko can’t take care of himself. It’s just that as the Fire Lord he has to be diplomatic and non-threatening, so Katara just sort of acts as his bodyguard because she’s badass and doesn’t take shit from anyone).

Now for the story: it’s just Katara travling after the war, visiting a few places before ending up in the Fire Nation and stumbling over Iroh who invites her to the Palace to distract Zuko. Or something like that anyway.

Read on AO3.


Home

They didn’t want to let her travel alone, after the war ended. Sokka said that they were finally able to get some peace, and Aang reasoned that they could finally be together. Katara countered with the need to find herself, but really, she needed to get away.

The war had changed them all, she knew that, but looking at her small, broken family she couldn’t help but think about another life. The war might be over, but a new one had started inside of Katara and she found herself longing for those old days.

So she convinced them to let her go, because no matter how long she was gone, she would always — always — come home. Even though they said they would let her do what she needed, she knew that Sokka and Aang followed her the first couple of weeks. She didn’t know why they eventually stopped, nor who’s idea it was, but eventually they disappeared and Katara was left to herself.

~~

It was lonely. Being home after the war had been lonely, too.

She didn’t fit in anymore, she’d realized. Sokka probably had nightmares too, but he also had Suki and they somehow made it work. Her father had fought wars long before they had been born, so this momentarily peace was normal to him; he would soon find another problem that needed his attention. Aang was a different story entirely. The war had changed him, too, but not the same way. He had woken up to the war having gone on for a long time. He hadn’t experienced it the way Katara had, and his view on everything was just so different from hers.

A small part of her was afraid of herself, and of how the others would look at her once they saw this ugliness inside of her. And most of all, she feared how peace would change their small, broken family.

~~

Her first stop was in the Earth kingdom.

She’d decided to stop by her little earthbender friend, mostly out of curiosity (not because she missed the Blind Bandit or anything). The little rebel was brash and rude as always, and the familiarity squeezed Katara’s heart painfully. This was her Toph, this was the little girl who did whatever she wanted when she wanted it, and Katara would always have to worry about her because if she didn’t, who else would?

Even though she loved observing Toph, she moved on quickly. She had places to go after all, or so she said. Toph didn’t pay too much attention to it. She merely slapped Katara on the back and gave her a toothy grin, “See ya’, Sugar queen!”

“Take care, Toph,” Katara replied and hugged the small earthbender. The hug lasted longer than usual, and Katara might have squeezed a little too hard. Toph didn’t pull away, in fact she hugged her back, her frame suddenly so much smaller.

Then Katara walked away.

~~

Kiyoshi Island was much like she remembered it, yet completely different.

She just thought about passing through, not actually staying, but when two familiar faces turned up, she changed her mind.

Ty Lee and Mai looked stunning. They were wearing Kiyoshi Warrior outfits, face-paint and all. Somehow it fitted them, and they looked much more at home here then anywhere else Katara had seen them.

They spent several long nights together, just talking about everything that had happened since the war ended. Ty Lee was the one who did most of the talking.

On the fourth night, Katara directed a question to Mai, one that had struck her some time ago. “How come you’re not in the Fire Nation?”

Mai’s face didn’t change, it never did after all. Ty Lee looked at her friend, as if she didn’t know the answer either (though considering how close they were, she probably did). Katara observed them; she noticed the soft smile on Ty Lee’s face, and how the back of her hand gently brushed against Mai’s thigh. She didn’t really need an answer, she kind of already knew.

~~

“We’ll miss you, Katara!”

Ty Lee hugged her, and it felt good. It was different from the hug with Toph, where she’d choked on her own tears and clung as if she were never going to see her again; this was the kind of hug that spelled friendship across boarders. The kind of hug that promised another meeting in the future; of long lasting friendship.

“I’ll miss you, too, Ty Lee.” Katara gave the other girl a great smile, then she gave one to Mai. “It was really great seeing the both of you.”

Something about the way Mai looked at her made Katara think the other girl could see right through her. Perhaps she knew how Katara was feeling, or perhaps she was just speculating. She didn’t know, and she wasn’t sure it actually mattered.

“I’ll come visit again,” Katara promised, then she left.

~~

Four months later she somehow ended up in the Fire Nation.

It hadn’t been planned, much like nothing about this journey had been planned. She just went where the current lead her, and so she was here.

On the outside, it hadn’t changed at all. The air was still thick with heat and water, almost touchable. The weather here was like its own being.

It wasn’t as uncomfortable as she remembered.

For the first couple of days she wandered the streets aimlessly. She observed the people at the streets, watched the children play. It was so peaceful, so normal (and she could remember a time when such moments as children playing in the streets had been foreign, dangerous, but almost sacred — when it first happened, it brought so much happiness to the people around, so much joy and hope. It scared her a little how normal it had become at such rapid speed; they were almost taking this sort of happiness and freedom for granted; already forgetting the dread and fear of the past).

She met General Iroh at a place serving tea.

Honestly, she wasn’t surprised. The man sometimes loved tea more than anything else in this world. He’d spotted her and walked over, taking a seat over her as if they were old friends. She didn’t mind, Iroh was one of the few people she genuinely liked.

“Master Katara,” he greeted. “What a pleasurable surprise to meet you here.”

Katara nodded to him, the softest of smiles playing on her lips. Her chest was blossoming with familiar warmth. “General Iroh,” she greeted back.

“Just Iroh, child, or uncle will do to.” He smiled at her, patting his big tea-belly. “May I ask what you are doing here?”

Katara sipped on her tea. “Visiting. Just… visiting.”

Iroh nodded, and his eyes were too knowing for comfort. Katara fidgeted in her seat, suddenly nervous. “Have you visited the palace already?”

She shook her head. “No, not yet. I wasn’t sure… I thought maybe you would be too busy.” You and your nephew both, she thought and suppressed the memories that tried to resurface.

Iroh clapped his hands together. “Nonsense!” he said. “We will always have time for the Lady Katara.” His smile changed into something that Katara couldn’t interpret. “I am sure the young Fire Lord would be grateful for the distraction.”

Katara smiled. “Then I’ll be sure to come visit.”

“Why don’t you come with me after this?” Iroh sipped his tea around a big smile. Katara did the same.

“Are you perhaps ignoring your duties to drink tea, uncle Iroh?” Katara bit into the cup to keep herself from laughing.

“God did not build the world in one day,” Iroh hummed, then gave her a wink. Katara laughed and some of the tension in her shoulders left. She gave him a heartfelt smile, feeling like she’d finally come home.

~~

“Katara?” The current Fire Lord looked struck by lightning, only he was more surprised by seeing the waterbender than anyone trying to kill him. Katara tried to hide her smile as she sent him a glare, placing her hands on her hips.

“Hello to you, too, Zuko,” she teased, before musing aloud, “or perhaps I should call you Fire Lord Zuko now, hmm?”

“Zuko is fine,” he huffed, still with that amazement in his eyes. “I thought you were still… traveling?”

She shrugged and plucked at one of the curtains, red just like the rest of the Fire Nation. “I was, then I figured I might visit, see how things are going. So how are you, Zuko?”

The young Fire Lord shuddered, not sure how to interpret the look Katara was sending him. He shook his shoulders and turned halfway away from her, looking out at the gardens. “It’s going better, considering how chaotic it was before.”

“General Iroh told me you’ve had quite the accomplishments.”

Zuko snorted. “Yeah, I’m finally acknowledge as the Fire Lord and it only took me half a year. Great accomplishment.”

Katara chuckled. “Maybe it’s a small victory for you, but I imagine it’s quite a lot more for your people — they have finally someone they can believe in, someone they can trust. That’s something the world have needed for a long time, you know. And now they finally have it, they have you.”

Zuko was still brooding (some things just never changed, and Katara found herself loving it; loving the fact that she still knew him). “I don’t feel very trustworthy; I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Katara skipped around so that she stood beside him, falling into the wall and watching the turtleducks play around in the pond. Zuko didn’t move away from her and that as well was a small victory, though she didn’t know exactly why. “No one really knows what they’re doing. We do what we think is right, and if it’s not, we try to make it right. Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s what you do about it that matters. You’re people trust you, not because you saved the world, but because you redeemed yourself. You’ve made mistakes — a lot of them — but you still tried, and that took courage. They see you, Zuko, they see all of you.”

He was quite for such a long time Katara thought she might have said something wrong, but then he spoke up, “I don’t know if that’s really so reassuring…”

Katara laughed. “It’s probably not.” His glare was like a physical touch; a warmth caressing her cheek, she patted his arm. “Relax, they have already seen you at your worst. We all have — so you can’t really do anything worse, only better! That has to be reassuring.”

He was still grumbling when she turned away from the pond to look at him; those golden eyes staring at her as if she held all the answers. She doubted she had them, but as she met his gaze, she decided that she wanted to. She wanted to help him find the answers he sought; she wanted to help him.

“I have no idea what they want from me, Katara,” he told her, eyes wide and gold and terrified. They were asking her to help, and she relished in the feeling of being needed, of being of help. She squeezed his shoulder and gave him her warmest, most reassuring smile she could muster — so wide it made her cheeks hurt — and said, “Good thing I came in time to save you, then!”

~~

He was pouting again, just like a little child. And she was laughing, eyes twinkling with mirth and happiness — pure happiness. “They listen more to you than they do me,” he complained.

Katara gave a hearty laugh. “I don’t give them a choice,” she said, stroking circles in his shirt. One of the turtcleducks quacked at them. “I give them an ultimatum, and you… well, you just listen to me.”

“Perhaps uncle is right,” Zuko mumbled, absentmindedly stoking the waterbenders hand. They lay beside the pond in the garden, the turtleducks playing in the water with stomachs full of bread and sunshine shining down on them from the sunset.

“And whatever has your uncle told you this time,” Katara smiled.

One of his hands started to fiddle with his pocket and then he produced a leather collar embedded with cobalt moonstones and one empty socket.

Katara held her breath, too afraid what would come out of her mouth if she opened it. Hundred of thoughts raced through her mind in the matter of seconds until she managed to push them away. No, Katara, she thought, he might not even be aware of the Water Tribes customs Yet, this was Zuko she was talking about, and he was aware of a lot of things she wouldn’t have guessed. Plus the comment about Iroh, and Iroh certainly knew a lot of things no one would guess.

Perhaps there was a small chance…

Katara sat with her heart in her throat and waited, still seated in Zuko’s lap and watching his hands — they were slightly shaking, but not clenched like they usually were when he got worked up. He was holding the collar ever so gently in his hands, a finger twitching every now and again.

She felt him more than she heard him take in a shuddering breath. His chest expanded and sank beneath her, his free hand clamping around hers suddenly. He was too anxious not to know, she briefly thought, then shut it down. This may just be his way of thanking her, his way of telling her how much he’d appreciated her help the last year, his way of—

“I-I know,” Zuko stuttered, “that we’ve had problems in the past.”

Katara pressed her lips together to not grin. “We fought just some hours ago, Zuko,” she reminded him — not that she thought he’d forgotten, it was how they’d ended up laying by the pond in the first place. She heard him sigh.

“Right. I know, but… I’ve really liked having you here, Katara. I like having you around…”

Her chest expanded with warmth and giddiness. “I’ve really liked being here, too,” she whispered, squeezing his hand which were still clamped around hers.

“Good,” he grunted, sidetracked for a moment — she knew he was sidetracked by the way his grip loosened around her hand, and then clamped around it again, as he remembered his quest, whatever that was. “Right. So we both like being here.” He stopped, realizing that wasn’t what he wanted to say. “I mean, we both like… we both like being in the Fire Nation—together. We…”

He was self-destructing. That sometimes happened. He wasn’t someone who enjoyed holding speeches, he rehearsed too much, clamped up, just like he clamped up around her hand. She leaned more into him, dragging his arm around her with their joined hands and cuddling into him. “Relax,” she whispered, and he took a deep breath before sinking into the tree behind them. “Now, don’t think about whatever you had planned to say, just say it.”

She had been here for over a year now. She knew how to handle both Zuko and the Fire Lord. He clamped up like these before other speeches, too, and Katara had gotten the hang of it to calm him down. They worked good together.

“Marry me,” Zuko all but blurted out.

So he did know, Katara thought smugly, then her brain caught up with his words and she sprang up from his lap, turning around to look at him. His golden eyes were staring her down, his eyebrow twitching despite his proudly puffed out chest. He had that posture again, as if he was trying to show her that he was strong, that he could handle anything. It always cracked her up, even now she found herself smiling softly, but it was dimmed by his question.

“Y-you are serious?” She asked, a little out of breath.

He nodded briskly. “Marry me, Katara.” Her lip wobbled. If this was some kind of prank, she would kill— “I want you to stay here, Katara. I don’t want you to leave. I l-like having you around.”

Katara let her hair fall around her face like a curtain.

This time, Zuko’s leg twitched. “I-I know about the Water Tribes custom,” he babbled. “But I know how much you love your mother’s necklace, but the collar is a little— not that it’s anything wrong with that— I just thought— Maybe it was a bad idea— I’m sorry, I—”

Katara fell face first into his chest. “You idiot,” she breathed.

Zuko lost it. “It was stupid, okay! I know! Sorry! I just thought—”

“It’s perfect,” she said, finally looking up and beaming.

“Y-you like it?” Zuko asked, eyes wide and so, so hopeful.

Katara nodded and let out a laugh. “Honestly, I was kind of hoping for this, but I was scared that you might not know…” She let the rest of the sentence drift off into nothing, then she blushed and said, “I really like being around you, too, Zuko.”

This time, Zuko also laughed; the sound was made up of pure joy and victory, and it was so ridiculous that Katara had to laugh, too, and then she was wrapped in his arms and she wrapped her arms around him in return and they were just this bundle of utter happiness.

They let go at the same time, drifting just enough apart for Zuko to bring the new collar forward and for Katara to remove her old one. She looked at it for a long time: the battered leather collar, worn out from time and weather. She fingered the pendant, carefully loosening it before handing it over to Zuko. He handed it with the utmost care and gentleness. It was as if she was giving him her soul and he was terrified of hurting it, even the tiniest bit. It made Katara’s chest swell even more with love for the young Fire Lord.

Zuko fastened the pendant on it’s new collar, then looked up at Katara. She smiled, leaned forward and lifted her hair out of the way. As his arms encircled her throat and neck, she could feel heat radiating from his skin and she shivered. As he fastened the clasp of the collar, he fingers lingered for just a second longer than necessary before they returned to their front and he took her hands.

He looked ridiculously happy.

“Katara…” He muttered, as if he wanted to say something, but had no idea how to put it into words.

Before he could start to babble again, Katara leaned forward and kissed him. His lips were warm and pleasant, his smell spicy and of warmth. All of him had come to feel like home, and she loved it. She loved him.

When they parted, she sighed and leaned her head against his shoulder, finally fully at peace with her place in the world.


Now that I’ve reread this piece of shit, I realize I got sidetracked somewhere along the way when I wrote this. And since I used like three days to write this (and since it’s my first time even writing a Zutara/atla fic) I’ve decided to post it anyway and rewrite it AFTER I’ve gotten some feedback.

But yeah, since this turned out to be somewhat of a failure I don’t know if the main idea behind this fic came through so I’ll just explain it simply because I’m paranoid and all (and because the title doesn’t really make sense, but alas I suck at titles anyway so…)

ANYWAY. The idea behind this fic was that Katara was born into the war, so it has just always been there since the beginning, and now that it’s over, she kinda feels lost. The South Pole has sort of become an outgrown pair of shoes (that favorite pair that you’ll always love and remember) but it just isn’t the same anymore because SHE isn’t the same and so I guess the logical thing for her would be to travel and just see how the world is dealing with the end of the war. She’s kind of looking for a “home” but doesn’t really know it herself I guess, and then Iroh comes along and he just makes everything better because that’s what he does.

Oh my god, I never stop talking. I’m sorry. I’m just leaving it here and God help me this is actually nerve wrecking.

I REALLY HOPE YOU ENJOYED SOME OF IT. LIKE EVEN JUST A SENTENCE OR SOMETHING. AND THANKS FOR READING.

(I’m really done talking now. Truly, so I’ll just go hide under a rock)

The Avatar’s Guide to Dating the Engineer

Korra is the avatar. Master of all four elements. Hell, she could even energybend. But this dating thing?

Let’s just say that Avatar Korra has it really bad for Asami Sato.

(Korra’s misadventures in the realm of dating Asami Sato. “Sequel” to The Engineer’s Guide to Dating the Avatar, where their timelines are more or less in sync.)

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1. The spirit world is cool and all Korra, but you gotta keep your eyes on the prize here. Focus on the task at hand. But even then Asami can be so distracting-ly attractive it’s driving you mad.

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