I only wonder why I didn't think of this blip sooner
Zuko had been curious since he first heard of the Water Tribes. He guessed that he was 7, maybe 8. He had heard of their different customs, that they were as different and as opposite as light and dark, high and low, sky and earth... water and fire. In the Fire Nation, they never had even an icicle in the early morning of the coldest day; in the Water Tribes, they were always wearing coats and it was freezing even on its warmest day. They didn't even have a strict monarchy for their people while the Fire Nation ruled with an iron fist.
Among the cultural and elemental differences, there were some costumes he's heard of that intrigued him. For instance, carving a stone for an engagement gift. And Ice-dodging in a boat to be a man. But for the life of him, he still couldn't see what excited Aang so much about penguin sledding.
But somewhere in the thousands of moments of learning something knew about the Water Tribe, he had heard the phrase, "Eskimo Kissing." He didn't even know where he heard it, perhaps it was slipped into his uncle's many stories of his time as a general in the war. He couldn't remember, but the phrase rung in his mind ever since then. What was an Eskimo kiss? How was it different than any other kiss?
He asked his mother first, she was the closest person to him at the time. She stared at him a minute, then burst out giggling, covering her mouth politely. She then had to assure the young prince that she wasn't laughing at him, but it was just that she had never heard of such a thing before. Discouraged, Zuko asked the Royal advisors. They were baffled that he was curious about such a simple matter of Water Tribe customs. But from their constant babbling, Zuko knew he wasn't going to get an answer out of them; they probably didn't know either. He was desperate enough to even ask Azula. He only got laughed at and told that he didn't know any thing. He knew, though, that she didn't even know what an Eskimo was.
So, he let the simmering question die, and that's when every thing turned upside down. His mother fleeing the country, his banishment a few short years later, his search for the Avatar, and his joining of the Avatar's group. And now it popped up again as he and Sokka lounged just outside of camp when the question suddenly popped up again after so many years. They were both lying side by side in the short grass while the others sang and danced.
"What's an Eskimo kiss?" Zuko asked and Sokka tilted his head, giving the prince a peculiar look.
"Where did you hear that?" he asks back and Zuko shrugs, looking back at the Water Tribe teen.
"I don't remember," he replies. Surely a member of the Water Tribes must know what it is, "What is it?" Sokka sits up half way, leaning on his elbow to look at him.
"It's a greeting between tribe members." He replies an Zuko raises his eyebrow.
"I've never seen you and your sister 'kiss'." He comments and Sokka shakes his head.
"Its not a 'kiss' its... here." Sokka leaned over Zuko and the prince really thought Sokka was going to regularly kiss him, but only their noses bumped a few times before Sokka leaned back, trying to hide a smile, but it failed. Zuko stared at him, bewildered.
"That's it?" he asked in disbelief. After all those years of wondering, it was only one facial part above the lips. It was the most absurd and childish thing he'd every experienced.
"That's it." Sokka confirmed and Zuko snorting, hand reaching up and grasping Sokka's shirt, not letting him get away just yet.
"I like ours better." Zuko announced and made Sokka's lips meet his in a proper kiss. Sokka blushed brightly, as always, and let the prince have his own way, kissing back. After a moment, the kiss broke, "I'll still never understand penguin sledding."
"Hey, that's not a Water Tribe custom; that's a crazy, 12 year-old, Avatar thing."
Two mysteries solved in one day, Zuko smirked and, despite thinking it was a childish act, returned Sokka's earlier Eskimo kiss, making Sokka giggle.
Its cute, sappy, and I've had one too many wine coolers and ramen. Yum.
Send me an Eskimo kiss if you like it, please :D