Romance in the bottom of my Teacup
Wow. Because of overwhelming reader response of...(checks stats) 9 people, and my own dissatisfaction with the ending, I have re-written it. All bow before my might!
Warnings: slash talk of sex, a few minor bad words
Disclaimer: Me not own Avatar.
"But wait, that can't be the end! That's not where you started!" Toph protested, swinging her arms wildly.
"Cool it!" I yelled. In a very manly way. "I'm not done anyways. If you'd just settle down!" Some people are so impatient. But you can't rush genius story-telling abilities. "Now, where was I?"
And then I couldn't get him out of my head for the life of me! Being the trained warrior that I am, you would assume that forgetting someone would be easy if you put your mind to it. But, as you will soon discover, I was not the one to go back to him. I was FORCED to do so. When I got home later that same night, everyone was asleep. I did feel bad, I'll admit, but that was mostly because I felt guilty for having anything to do with him! If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have felt bad. It's all your fault.
But anyways, I was lying there on my bed, examining my boomerang, when I noticed something was wrong! There was a little chip in the blue gem. It used to curve perfectly, and now there was this jagged crack that just grimaced at me every time I saw it. Well, the more I looked at it, the angrier I got. It wasn't fair that Zuko could return my property broken! That was just indecent. It was spiteful. I thout Zuko was above such pettiness. It seemed so treasonous, to break another man's weapons. I knew I had to do my best to remedy the broken situation.
Which is why, the next morning, I snuck out at the crack of dawn. Despite being morally opposed to getting up at that hour, I figured it would be best to catch Zuko when he least expected it: the day after I broke up with him. So, at any rate, I'm walking down the deserted morning road until I got to the tea-shop, and I was about to knock. And then I thought: no. I'll just sneak in, so that I have the upper hand! A most ingenious plan, if I do say so myself. So, I push the door open as lightly as I can, and it isn't even locked. I just walked into their house. Nothing out of the ordinary; I suppose it had a sort-of homey touch to it.
Using my genius tracking skills, I found Zuko's room. And let me just say: what a neat-freak! Nothing was out of place. Nothing but a small rug on the floor. Even the sheets weren't creased, despite being slept in for the night! He was lying there in bed, sleeping. I could see his chest rising and falling. I snuck in as quietly as is humanly possible, boomerang in hand. I don't make it two steps before I hear: "What do you want, Sokka?"
I was a little freaked out. Perfectly understandable. He was a master of disguises, pretending to be asleep. That's the only way he could have done it. And the next thing I know, he's out of bed, walking towards me like a psychopath aiming for dismemberment. I was really scared, what with him prowling like a tiger at my feet. You just know that, no matter how good you are, some beasts are best avoided. This is probably a good time to mention that Zuko does not sleep in much, if anything. So there he is, clad in some little loin-cloth thing.
Now, I'm not going to lie to you. As great of a warrior as I am, I have... needs. Needs that weren't being met, what with our constant traveling and a lack of adequate partners... so I was a tad distracted by Zuko's lack of clothing. I was looking at his torso, which, for the record, would have had any girl on their knees in seconds. I managed to remain standing. It took almost all of my strength to do just that. I know you doubt me, but if left in a room with Zuko's abs, you all would crumble into desolate piles of goo! That was the awesome power I was facing! Which is why I found myself easily trapped and disarmed.
"I repeat my question," Zuko spoke. "What do you want?" At this point, I had to make my case.
"My Boomerang," I began.
"Yeah, what about it?"
"You see the gem on it?" I continued.
"Well, when you returned it to me, I didn't realize YOU had scratched it!"
"Yeah. You did. So, it occurred to me that I broke up with you before realizing that you had broken my stuff. Therefore, We're still together until you fix it!"
"What!?" he yelled. "That doesn't even make sense!" (it did, and continues to make flawless sense.) "And this just goes to prove my point." He advanced towards me, until his arms pinned me to a wall. Remember, I'm not thinking straight here.
"What point?" I ask, because Zuko was obviously not being clear.
"That you're so afraid of commitment that you can't even admit that your in love with me."
"I'm not..." I began. In love with you, I was about to say, but he cut me off.
"See," he said, poking a heated finger at my chest. "You can't say it because you know it isn't true. But you're too afraid to be in love with me, your enemy, that you try to use a lame excuse (not lame, not an excuse) to make everything okay." At this point, he threw my boomerang to the floor. "Get out."
"What?" I said, not used to being commanded.
"I said get out!" He yelled, smoky tendrils curling out of his nostrils. "And don't come back until I become something more to you than some whore!"
I left very quickly.
"This brings us to the point that I began with earlier," I said, sending a glare at Toph for good measure.
"Wait, so Zuko forced you out of his house?" Katara began. "Than how did you get to talk to Iroh?"
"You will see, oh Miss Impatient One!"
I wandered about the city as much as I could for about a week afterwards, just losing myself among the people. Credit where it's due, Ba Sing Se is a great city to get lost in. I spent all morning circling the market, stopping to check out what people were selling. I wandered for hours, absorbing the culture. Despite being a warrior, I can appreciate culture, too. At any rate, I searched around for valuable things to add to our arsenal, haggling here and there. It was fun. But being in the hot sun really causes one to work up an appetite. Being as wise as I am, I brought along money for food. I ended up stopping for some roasted fish. It was very good, but saltier than I had expected. So I wound up thirsty, just outside of Iroh's tea shop! What luck I was having that day.
So I walked into the store, and the first thing I saw was that it was empty. Only Iroh was standing behind the counter, cleaning up the spills of tea. Normally, I would have walked right by, but I was desperately thirsty. So I called out in a parched voice, "Hello?"
He looked up at me, and said "I'm sorry, Sokka, but we're closed."
"How do you know my name?" I asked him. And I realized how tired he looked.
"Because you are all my nephew talks about anymore," and he puts down his cleaning rag to look up at me again.
"Where is he now?" I asked him, looking at him for an answer.
"He is not here." he began, putting a tea pot on some hot coals. It smelled like Jasmine to me. "Sit down," he said, motioning at a chair.
"You have to understand something," he said, lifting his small earthenware cup to his lips with calloused fingers. He inhaled, breathing in the scent of jasmine that swirled up to meet him before lifting the cup and taking a sip. He let out a satisfied breath. Then he set the cup back down on the table, next to the pot, steam still rising from the top of the spout. It reminded me of breathing, slowly exhaling air that was once mine. I lifted my cup up to my face, and poured some down my throat. I winced, it was too hot, and it left trails of fire in its wake.
"Long before Zuko was born, I am sure the fates decided his life was not going to be so pleasant." Iroh continued. "He has never had it easy."
I pushed my cheek up, leaning on my elbow, sideways on the table. I could see that, I supposed. I didn't want to admit it, but I suppose he was right. But I can't help myself. You'd be angry too. The dusty light of the afternoon filtered through the back window of the teashop kitchen. They were closed for the day. Sunday was useful in this city for talking with family. But I don't intend to spend my days trapped as a housewife, my life on the chopping block, because the only life I've got is being tied to the floor.
"Sokka, you are the best thing that has ever happened for Prince Zuko, even if he doesn't realize it." Iroh turned his attention out towards the dusty street, now devoid of travelers. Their house was empty too. Everyone else's houses were full of families. But not this one.
Speaking of families, I need to get back to mine. Loose-knit as it may be, I love them all for who they are. How we're still alive, I'm not sure. I should be, because I know that we've done it with strength, intelligence and luck. I'd like to say that the intelligence part was mostly me. So, I would have thought that we could face anything together. And we almost can. But I can't. And, despite being the smart one, I can't figure out how to fix the mess I've made.
So it was then that I made the decision that Zuko would be mine, and no one else's. I clenched my fist, drank all of my tea. I stood, and turned to Iroh, who sat expectantly in his seat, something of a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
"Thank you for the tea."
"It was my pleasure."
"I will talk to Zuko."
So that was what I did. I sat in the corner of that teashop for the rest of the day, absorbing the smells of an empty room, watching the dust on the ground, cleaning my boomerang. Every crack o the wall was filled with tension. I needed to stand up to Zuko! The whole room soaked up the frustration and anxiety, making a swirling vortex I was being sucked into. My stomach was in knots. But I tried to calm myself as best I could, and not to think about what was going to happen.
You see, I had a week to thing about Zuko, and a week to think about missing Zuko. I remember one night Aang was telling some joke that had to deal with flinging rice into the air. Everyone was laughing their guts out, and I just sat there, feeling sorry for myself. Katara, you even asked if I was sick. I thought I really was, because I felt like someone had ripped a hole in my stomach and all the desire to eat had fallen out of it. I would lie in bed for hours, just feeling unable to move. It took me a few days to be able to say that yes, I was in love with Zuko. And as I took it in, I felt marginally better. I could stand up and lift the shades in our government-appointed house, and I went out for a few walks. Of course, it helped that you all thought I actually was sick, so I had a lot of time to myself. In the end, I was able to walk int the city and wander for hours.
So I was very sure of my decision. I just had to let Zuko know. As you may have realized, acceptance is not one of Zuko's most notable qualities. So obviously, I was bound to be a little nervous. I mean, my plan put me at risk of third degree burns to my entire body! At any rate, I was tense. I wstched the day slip into later aftenoon, until it cooled into evening. My heart nearly exploded when I heard cat-like footsteps enter the shop. I stood, ready to execute my genius plan. And then he walked through the door. Zuko stood, in all his glory, and eyed me with disgust.
"You. I thought I told you..." At this point, I summoned all the courage in my entire body and leaped foreword, slamming him against the wall, and crushing my lips against his. I kissed as hard as I dared, and held onto his body, not giving him a chance to reciprocate. The kiss was heart-stopping. I buzzed with joy, and I couldn't stop. The world stopped spinning with my arms wrapped into his shirt, my eyes closed. And then magic happened, the kind of magic that makes you believe in aunt Wu. He kissed me back. Before I knew it, he had me pinned to the wall and I was okay with it. But I broke the kiss, desperate to continue the plan.
"I Love you." I said it. "Iloveyouiloveyouiloveyouiloveyou..." He just smiled, and then said.
"I love you."
And, I will not go into any more details about what happened that night. But rest assured, my limping the next morning was completely justified.
"So, we agreed to be together. But it does have it's problems. Mainly, we cannot see each other very often, because he is busy and because we are busy. So whenever we see each other, it tends to be very... intense. In fact, It often puts me out of duty the next day." All this i said to Katara, Toph, and Aang.
"I used to try to meet him at the teashop once a week. But then I stopped being able to do that, now that the avatar is in great demand and I have to act as chauffer," I said, turning to Aang with a disapproving glare. he looked down, knowing he is guilty.
"So, Zuko has started to ambush me whenever I go out after dark, and do merciless things to me all night. So it isn't safe for me to go out now, unless you want to put my butt at risk."
"So, begins Katara. "In other words, the answer is no, you won't take the trash outside for me now, because Zuko might rape you?"
Wow. That's a much better ending! It even has a joke. And yes, people who reviewed, you were right. It was too sad, and I wasn't happy with it. But now it's done, and it even has a joke! I am so good!
Don't make me beg for reviews! (I'll do it, too)