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

anonymous asked:

I really love the idea of Ehasz exploring Aang's dark side in Book 4 I sent your links to the book 4 idea to someone and he said that it's OOC for Aang to have a dark side and that it wouldn't make sense for his character since he was never shown to be a dark person in the first three books, your thoughts?

“In order to bend another’s energy, an Avatar’s own energy must be pure and unbendable. If not, the enemy’s corrupted energy can take over the Avatar’s energy and kill him. Ozai’s bad, red energy nearly overtakes Aang’s good, white energy, but Aang, being a pure, uncorrupted being, was able to overcome it and take Ozai’s bending away.”

That is interesting that your friend said that. This is actually a very great topic and another problem I had with Book 3′s writing. When I first read the Book 4 stuff on Aang’s inner darkness, I thought it it was great because it sounded far more Eastern, like the show used to be in Books 1 and 2. Everyone has a dark side. It’s part of being human to experience darkness. Aang having a dark side would not mean that he has some kind of “evil” side, like he’s a rapist or a murderer. Obviously Aang’s pure spirit allowed him to take Ozai’s bending without being corrupted. So, that isn’t what his darkness meant. It’s more akin to Carl Jung’s concept of the Shadow Self: :

“Shadow is understood by Jung to be your “dark side,” that part of yourself that you hide away—afraid to expose it to the light of day. Shadow is anything that you cannot hold as “I” in your self-definition—your less-than-noble qualities, including fear, rage, uncontrolled sexing, envy, greed, egoic pettiness, violence, frustration, depression, and more. It is in this context that Jung wrote “the most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”

“As a consequence for choosing not to take Ozai’s life - a darkness would start to bloom within Aang, stemming from the guilt of taking away the his bending; which broke the former Fire Lord’s will to live. Energybending is a dangerous art and has the power to corrupt the user. Aang needed to go on a journey to rediscover himself, this leads him to split up from the rest of Team Avatar and head towards the Air Temples again. Getting jealous over how close Zuko and Katara had become would partly contribute to this growing darkness.”

Aang’s darkness could range from guilt, shame, depression, anger, and jealousy. It doesn’t necessarily mean cruel or evil. And Aang is certainly not perfect. He was capable of feeling rage and he nearly killed the sandbenders when Appa was stolen. This didn’t make him a “dark” character. But it did mean that he was human and has a shadow side. He also has jealousy toward Katara. A flaw that could have been explored to make him more interesting.

“The dark and light within Aang alluded to him carrying the spirit of the planet within him, which was becoming unbalanced due to the stress he was suffering from energybending. Bryke later took this dark-light concept and used them to form Raava and Vaatu for Legend of Korra. Except in Korra, the Avatar carried only the spirit of light and not both though the spirit of the planet.”

In Eastern philosophy, dark and light are not viewed the same way as they generally are in the West. They are not simple good and evil, where Light has to vanquish Darkness. They are two forces that need to be kept in balance, neither being right or wrong:

The ancients taught that the Universe is in perfect balance and, as such, we live in a world of duality. Everything you see in the world has its opposite: light/dark, up/down, male/female, hot/cold.  The mental image that you present to the world (EGO) also has its opposite (SHADOW). The shadow is at the root of feelings of guilt, shame and self- hatred.  To truly experience happiness it is key that you accept ALL parts of yourself – warts and all. Making peace with the shadow side of life can be very difficult. For most of us, we have been given a vision of life and the Universe, where the power of the Light is considered Divine and the power of Darkness is considered something else. This creates a duality within us, which refuses to acknowledge the shadow in ourselves, and judges and reacts to the shadow in other people.

The shadow has a reason for existing; the shadow within us and within others has a definite purpose and power; it is part of hukam—the divine order of the Universe. It is the challenge through which we grow. It is the pain which brings us to even deeper levels of healing. The shadow forces us to face what we do not want to face, and make peace with what we do not want to acknowledge. The point of a spiritual practice is not to get rid of the shadow. In fact, it’s not even possible to get rid of it. Instead, the point of spiritual practice is to become aware of the shadow, to bring it out into the light, so that it does not take over your life.

In that state of humility, we can heal our own fractured sense of self. Rather than dividing ourselves into our “good parts” and “bad parts,” we can embrace all aspects as given to us by the Creator, and know that they all have a purpose. This restores us to a holistic vision of life, and it is in this holistic vision that ultimately we find peace, ease and happiness. To completely experience Self-Love we must learn to experience our Shadow Selves, and voyage into the dark, murky waters of the unknown courageously. Otherwise, every time we condemn other people for their shadow traits, we’re in essence condemning our hypocritical selves in the process. A whole and balanced self is a reconciliation of all parts, an inner unification. It is not an indulgence of the darker parts of our natures, but an acceptance and direct experience of them in the light of mindful awareness and deep honesty.

In Book 3 the underlying philosophy behind much of the writing became so much more simplistic and dumbed down. What I liked about Zuko was that his “dark” side was not an “evil” side. It’s interesting that your friend said Aang was not a dark character in the show. I agree with that. But neither was Zuko. He was not a dark character in the first 2 Books, but they wrote him as a dark character in Book 3. When he was going through his awakening, the aspects he had to confront were not his “evil” side. They were his shadow self. His shame, his self-loathing, his anger, his lack of self-worth. All the pain that his scar represents. All tied in to his Blue Spirit persona. Not evil, as we commonly think of the word. He was simply very human. In Book 3, they reduced all of his inner conflict to some vague and innate good vs. evil in him. Him betraying his uncle, hiring an assassin; all of this was explained by his inner good and evil. And it was written as something unique to him being descended from a “good” Avatar and an “evil” Firelord, instead of something that is part of the human condition. And instead of being able to achieve balance, it would always be at war within him. Very defeatist. Not a very good message to send, IMO.

Aang on the other hand was scrubbed clean of all of his flaws and darkness and had no inner stuggle. In Books 1 and 2, Zuko and Aang were parallel. Both were human. So, Zuko of course had a light side. And Aang had a dark side. In Book 3, Aang was the “good” one and Zuko the “bad” one. I actually somewhat agree with your friend that Aang didn’t have a dark side by the end of the show. He wasn’t allowed to have one. He was the perfect paragon of virtue, and he is always above everyone else. Aang was the “angel” while Zuko was “the devil” on Katara’s shoulder. That’s why he was so preachy and everyone is always telling him he’s so wise and moral. Sokka does it, and then at the end, Zuko tells him he was right about what Katara needed.

Aang: It’s been such an amazing experience to meet my past lives.
Yangchen: And what did you learn by meeting them?
Aang: Well … I realized that no Avatar is perfect. They all struggled and made mistakes. Like me.
Yangchen: Very wise.
Aang: But it made me wonder - why is the Avatar Spirit a human in every life? Wouldn’t it be better if the Avatar was an all powerful spirit that never died?
Yangchen: I don’t think so. The Avatar must be compassionate towards all people … and the only way to do that is to live with them. The Avatar must experience sadness … Anger .. Joy … and happiness. By feeling all these emotions, it helps you understand how precious human life is … so you will do anything to protect it. If you were an all powerful spirit living on the top of some mountain, you wouldn’t have much in common with an ordinary person. So the Avatar continues to take human rebirth.  And with each life, learns what it means to be human.

The thing is, writing the darkness out of his character actually makes him a much worse Avatar. If he cannot have a shadow side, he cannot fully be human and empathize with others. And that is the main purpose of an Avatar. To experience the human condition, so that he can be the bridge between the Divine and humanity. If he has no dark side, he is above everyone else and he cannot truly empathize with them or learn to love unconditionally.

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.


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.)

____________

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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