i like that one scene from the ember island players where actor katara was like “i’ve always had eyes for you” or something like that to actor zuko and then katara and zuko awkwardly look at each other and shift away. i feel like a lot of people write it off as bryke trying to dissuade watchers from shipping zutara but like honestly??
the look they give each other is not one of disgust. they’re uncomfortable with the statement because guess what? oh shit, when they were in the crystal catacombs they saw each other in a completely new light (obviously not to the extent of being in a relationship but i’ll get to my point). so as a “delusional zutara shipper” i like to think they were more unsure of the prospect of where their relationship might be if the zuko betrayal never happened in the crossroads of destiny, rather than being disgusted at the statement
they were uncomfortable with the line because they probably realised it was lowkey true. that whole crystal catacomb scene when they were talking about their mothers and zuko’s scar and katara’s hate for the fire nation, that is a really significant conversation to have considering they barely even knew each other at that time? they were so quick to accept and trust each other (and if azula hadn’t manipulated zuko into changing his mind, imagine how immense that trust and respect would be at that same time)
so like yeah, they did always have eyes for each other. they always knew they trusted each other. they always felt as if it would be easy to work together. they saw themselves in each other, and were willing to put their past aside to work together. and it was ruined and yet even when they (katara especially) tried to hate the other, they couldn’t shake those thoughts of how quickly they would’ve dropped everything to give the other a chance. they had eyes for what could’ve been
for katara, i’d say she uncomfortably shifted away because she knows this and she’s thought about it a lot. for zuko, he did it because he also knows this and he regrets his decision to give their alliance a shot. because they had eyes for each other, they subconsciously knew they would make the perfect team even without directly knowing it