Disclaimer: I don't own Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Fifth Wheel

Zuko made a really weird face. Well, his scar tended not to help when he was being expressive most of the time, but this one beat even the ones where he'd have his healthy eye wide open and the other one still narrowed. It wasn't that he was angry, shocked or anything like that; no, his expression was something between nostalgia and disgust. And he was drinking tea. That was weird.

Sokka stared. It didn't exactly work, if you had thought Zuko to be a… well, sort of a dark tricky deceiver. Especially, that after having been noticed Zuko's face reddened and he put the tea down, and generally looked really miserable.

"You could ask Katara to make you some tea, if you can't make your own," Sokka magnanimously suggested.

Judging from Zuko's reaction it wasn't about who made the tea. So Sokka waited. He was quite sure that if he waited long enough Zuko would give him some clue. You could count on Zuko when it came to bluttering things out.

"I miss my uncle," Zuko said in a small voice.

Sokka waited. Frankly speaking, this wasn't that unexpected. Zuko might have been a complete jerk to his uncle during the fight in Ba Sing Se, but now—assuming his outlook changed and he was struggling with being nice and humble and all the jazz—it made sense for him to miss his uncle. Still, it didn't explain the tea. There was bound to be a follow up. For a good measure Sokka added an intense stare. Nothing made people squirm like an intense stare.

"The tea reminds me of him," the Firebender explained. "Um… It's just that I hate tea."

Sokka stared, only this time in bewilderment. Slowly, ever so slowly, he wrapped his brain around that answer. It twitched several times and bended in a funny way, before he finally grasped what Zuko just said, he was sure of it.

"You're such a hopeless…" Sokka groaned, searching for the right word, "…mushpile."


Well, I got inspired to write this by the last two episodes. It takes place either in a different continuity than the previous drabbles or somewhere between the first two and the later ones.

What else? Zuko needs a hug. 'Cause he's a mushpile.