Disclaimer: I do not own Avatar: The Last Airbender or any related characters. This was written out of enjoyment of the series, and no profit is being made.
Ships: Toph/Aang/Zuko friendship.
Warnings: Spoilers for Day of Black Sun and extreme fluff.
"You need a hug."
"I do not need a hug."
She smirks that smirk. "You're lying."
"How do you kn-"
"Right," the firebender leans back on his palms. "Vibration sight."
"You need a hug."
"I do not need a hug!"
"Augh!" Zuko huffed. "Are you going to keep this going around in circles?"
"Yes," the blind girl replied. "Until you admit you need a hug."
"Who needs a hug?" Aang asked from the doorway.
"Zuko," Toph replied as Aang sat around the meager fire. Sokka, unwilling to trust and jump into friendship as quickly as Aang and Toph had been, had been giving the former prince the least amount of food he could possibly give him. Luckily for him, his younger sister was always out scouting the temple when he dealt out the rations; Katara had also been avoiding the prince, but her motherly attitude would have nothing less than equality in food.
Toph and Aang could've just told her and gotten Zuko equal shares of food more quickly. But (one must remember) the idea of having secret meetings smuggling saved food to an elder refugee-type in the middle of the night was too fun to pass up to two twelve-year-olds.
"Why do you say that?" Aang handed Zuko a piece of rough bread Teo had made in one of the old airbender ovens and sat down opposite Toph around the fire.
"Because, he's lying whenever he says he doesn't need a hug."
"I am not!" Zuko said through mouthfuls of bread.
Aang glanced at Toph.
"Lying," she confirmed, nodding.
"Why do you need a hug, Zuko?" Aang asked.
"Lyyyyy-innnnnnng," Toph sang.
"Fine! I don't know why I need a hug, happy?"
Aang smiled lightly, crawled over next to the teenager, and hugged him. "You know, Kuzon would get in moods like this too."
Zuko blinked. Kuzon...the name that had become synonymous in his mind for that one offer for friendship so long ago.
Toph shuffled over. "I don't know how fire-boy here knows about Kuzon, but can I get in on this?"
Zuko opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, a second twelve-year-old was added around his stomach. He blinked, feeling heat rise to face. At first, he stared determinedly at the far wall, until finally his eyes were drawn down to the two small bodies.
They looked like...the two most innocent things he had ever seen. Besides turtle-ducks.
(Spirits, he missed the turtle-ducks.)
And eventually they fell asleep. Hugging him. Him. Zuko.
Zuko decided his eyes were stupid stupid things to have. Because the last thing he remembered thinking before falling asleep with his arms wrapped around them was that he would never let them fall to his sister or father.
"Zuko, Aang! Wake up!"
A groan from both boys.
"Is it sunrise?" Toph asked.
"Unnh," Aang said as he leaned up to look across the room and through the doorway. "No, we still have a couple of hours to get back before Katara and Sokka get paranoid."
"I just came up with Zuko's nickname. Consider yourself Cuddles from now on."
"Welcome to the gang, Zuko! You're not a real member 'til Toph names you! Right, Toph?"
AN. Yeah, I'm looking forward to Zuko interaction so much. Zuko/Aang has been my OTF since the first episode I saw. (Yes OTF. I love non-slash so much.)
Also, Cuddles is totally stolen from xcgirl08's journal on deviantArt. If you're reading this, xcgirl08, I hope you don't mind. :D (goes off to watch fanvids.)