This piece of work IS for the au challenge (SEE my profile), but somehow, it got lost in the Land of Illegal (and Probably Pernicious) Substances and sometime shortly thereafter joined an underground movement with some dork-ss slogan along the lines of "Fics of, for, and by Crack."
Which explains why it's retarded, I hope.
On Second Thought, I'll have…
The Blue Pill
"This," Katara indicates the girl in soft greens staring blankly at the far wall behind him. He is visited first by the notion that her stare is not vacant, but non-existent –that she is blind—and then that he knows her. "This is my very good friend, Toph." Both notions, apparently, are true. "You remember Toph, don't you, Zuko?" He nods slowly, suddenly wary. "If you'll recall, you once helped her to find her seeing-eye dog."
Zuko's mouth forms a fond, nostalgic half-smirk.
"I believe it was a 'seepy-eyes dog' at the time." He reminds them. Toph deadpans. Katara raps her hand sharply on the table top from her vigilant post beside it, next to where Toph sits across from Zuko.
"Focus, Zuko. And be nice to Toph." Katara adds, almost as an afterthought. "She bites." Toph crushes one of the three (innocent, hapless) meticulously aligned twinkies on the table before her to illustrate this last point, and Zuko has an unbidden flash of Katara decapitating a Teddy Graham the instant before she introduced his forehead to Jet's.
Zuko swallows heavily and finally takes a moment to survey his surroundings. It's very odd that the light is so dim, and as such, it's the first thing that holds his notice. It's also mildly perturbing that the only objects in the room are the table separating him from the two girls, and three twinkies resting parallel to one another (excepting the one on the far right, which was now an exploded-squishy-deliciously-creamy mess), perilously close to the edge of the table where Toph sits. He wonders vaguely if they drugged him; surely he should have understood that something was wrong with this situation before now.
And then he recalls that Katara had asked him to meet her by the gym after classes had ended, and that she had been wearing nothing but a bathing suit. He remembers noting the way it clung to particularly intriguing parts of her anatomy while he nodded his assent stupidly.
Underhanded, he thinks, and then almost groans when he then recalls that he'd been meaning to ask her what this was all about when he'd met her, but then she'd started leading the way, and he'd started following, and then he'd started to open his mouth to speak when the absent sway of her hips left him instantly and inexplicably brainless and distracted.
Katara is a deviant witch, he resolves, and looks at Toph as he asks,
"Why, exactly, am I here again?" The way Katara smiles is not meant to be inviting, and appropriately (as likely intended), it terrifies him.
…and also makes him wish he'd worn more loose-fitting pants because really, they were chafing horribly suddenly.
"You're here, Zuzu," Katara oozes (oozes, not says, damn it), and leans over the table in such a way that, horrified as he suddenly is by the situation, the intrinsically male part of him cheers.
Glaaarg…goes Zuko's brain, soundlessly, and he closes his mouth when it dawns on him that it's fallen open.
"because I have some questions for you. Questions which you will be answering, in full, and honestly."
"Um," Zuko says, from somewhere within her chest.
"I'm blind and even I can tell where your eyes are." Toph mutters, and Katara blushes violently before she redirects the conversation.
"Question number ONE." She heralds, and stands up straight, her arms crossed over her chest. Zuko is startled at first at his new ability to think coherently, or to process anything beyond 'uuuhhh' and 'boobies.' "Where have you been all these years? And why haven't you tried to contact me, even just once? Weren't we the best of friends? Did I not threaten you enough? Were you not completely dependent upon my life force to support your own? Clearly, I have failed in some capacity."
Um, Zuko thinks, and decides to tell her that that was more than one question, and that this was a sneaky, reprehensible ambush, and not the way you treat old friends, and that he really has no idea how he's supposed to respond her; she's putting him on the spot and he still hasn't had time to think things through all the way, and also, that she looks really, really good with her hair so straight and sleek and shiny like that, and DAMN IT why can't she just let him focus for three seconds,
"Shabranigdo?" He says, and drops his head soundly against the table top, because really, what more is there to say that he hasn't already (so very expressively) communicated?
"Um, Zuko," Katara says, and he is dimly aware that she sounds nothing like Katara, "those are not toys." Confused, he lifts his head off of the table, a thin string of drool dangling attractively from his chin.
"What are you--?" He stares. He stares because he knows that those aren't his hands fondling his girlfriend's chest, and if they aren't his, then he must devote the whole of his attentions to remembering where he's seen those hands before, so that he can cut them off of the impudent idiot daring to sully the honour of his bonnie lass.
He gives an experimental squeeze, just to make sure, and Katara smirks in his mind's eye, and he wonders what the hell Toph was doing in his dream, and Jin makes a fragile noise, and Zuko…
Crack+AU+No SleepThis Fic.
It wasn't even going to be a dream at first. It was supposed to be an interrogation session wherein Zuko was grilled (hopefully humorously) mercilessly by Detective Katara, and instead it turned into Zuko goggling at Katara Parts, and then I couldn't figure out how to redeem the story, so it turned into a dream, instead, abruptly and without warning. It surprised me, too. Mostly because it went in a direction about a gashmillion miles away from where I had intended it to go.
So if you're wondering why nothing explicitly dream-like happens in this fic, and why I would need him to remember events from earlier in the day if it is a dream, then wonder on, and I shall join you.
It was supposed to have a point, dammit.
Katara-ogling is fine, too, I suppose.
"Bonnie lass?" Who the hell knows. I sure don't.
Four Nerd-Awesome points for whoever guesses where Zuko's nonsense word ("shabranigdo") comes from. It doesn't count if you google it.
And Just For The Record, I hate writing in present-tense. Which probably explains why I've been doing it so often of late.
::post-script:: I heart Toph.