Could We Have Been…

Final Author's Note

Well it's finally here people. The end. So sad, but it was going to get here eventually. I put this AN as a separate chapter so that I wouldn't make a mess out of the epilogue, I wanted to keep that short and clean. But I also wanted to talk to everyone who has been following this story through all its ups and downs.

This story has been amazing. I've never had such a following, this story was huge in its popularity (at least to me it seems huge), and I'm just flattered as hell. And so I figured I wanted to give something back a bit. It's not much but it's something.

But before I get into that I want all of you to know I'm taking a break from the Avatar fandom for a spell. I have this huge DBZ project that's been lying around for over a year now and I have yet to get it really going. And for me I can only work well in one fandom at a time. So for the next few months DBZ is where my efforts are going to be. But I will come back to Avatar. I love this fandom so much, the cartoon itself ranks up with Samurai Jack as one of my all time favorite cartoons. And after the reception of this story I'm a little more confident tackling another.

Yet even at the end of this story it feels incomplete to me. I mean there's some obvious revisions to make, chapter one is not in the style of the rest of the chapters, chapter five has horrible tense issues, and then of course the regular grammatical issues that my own eyes don't catch. So this story is going to be revised. But since this renovation seems so big though, I thought I might do a little more. I WILL NOT do another Zuko/Aang fic. Sorry, but I've mentioned this to a few people, there's no way in my mind to trump this story, not to mention this fic took so much out of me that I'm rather uninspired to work with this couple in a completely new project. But that doesn't mean I'm adverse to doing more with this story.

The show itself has been on TV a lot recently, and my sister and I have spent some quality time together watching. But in doing so I realized there was a lot I didn't do in this story and a lot of scenes I missed.

So this is where I need all of your help. I think it would be cool if all of you who reviewed and/or enjoyed the story and want more, give me scenes from the show, between the episode "The Blue Spirit" and the series finale for me to rewrite, like I've done with many of the scenes in this show. For example…"The Cave of the Two Lovers" (author does Sokka's trademark forehead slap) how in the hell did I just breeze over this. So there's a whole episode I need to do. But there might be little scenes here and there, like the scene where Aang's in prison ("Avatar Day") and he's talking to his cell mates about Katara. Gotta change that up. So you see my dilemma.

Now here's where you come in, I thought it might be fun for people to suggest scene/episodes they'd like to see redone to fit in this story. Obviously I can't do everything, but pick scenes that need to be changed, or you really, really want changed. But remember I'm sticking to canon. My only divergence was Zuko's decision in Ba Sing Se, and I'm pretty sure I covered what needed to be covered in regards to that. But feel free to give me bunches of scenes that need a little Zuko/Aang twist to them. I'm also not adverse to doing scenes not in the show but you would like to see in this story. For instance I did scenes with Zuko and Suki that never actually happened, but there were other small scenes like in chapter four, the final scene with Aang. I'm cool doing things like that.

So yeah, send me PMs, reviews, or emails about what you might like to see added to this. I'll start planning it all out, but I won't start any writing until my DBZ fic is done, remember that, so it'll be a while until you see the fruits of my labor, probably a few months. You've all been so great though, so I wanted to give everyone to opportunity to have some input in the finalization of this fic. I probably won't do every scene requested, but I'll make a list of the ones I will on my profile, and give updates there on my progress. And then I figure I'll just repost this story. So those of you on the Story Alert List, stay there or get there, because there will be more chapters added judging by how much I've missed, so you'll know when I've revised this story.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Even though I won't do another Zuko/Aang doesn't mean there isn't more of this adorable couple to be had in this story.

I also need a beta, but that's not quite as important, I can do a lot on my own. But if someone is a hardcore editor and is okay with me taking my time and being picky look me up, I really want this story to be the best it can and worth of the amazing reviews I've gotten. The beta job would only be for this story too, unless you're interested in more...but no need for more, this story is a big enough undertaking as it is.

Now my second order of business is to get a little more input from all of you. I'm thinking of planning out my next Avatar story as I revise this one and finish my DBZ stuff. I have three ideas in mind, but I thought it'd be cool to get some input before I start tackling one. Each would be a rather large story, probably not as big as this, but still an undertaking so I want to do one at a time. And I'd love to have a clearer idea of which I should do before the others.

First idea: Zuko/Toph. Call me crazy but I just got this idea one day and thought…cool. It would be a future story, set after the war and what not. Any Mai fans would not want to read it cause I have to get rid of her so Toph can move in. But I got this idea for an arranged marriage kind of thing. I've seen this done with Katara, but honestly I think Toph's a better candidate for a peace marriage. For one she comes from the Earth Kingdom, the largest and most war torn of all the nations, not to mention she comes from a very high standing family, meaning it would be a good alliance. I feel it would be a slow love that brews between them, something born of familiarity and duty. It just seems it might be a little unique, not to mention the two of them are my favorite characters of all time, so why not throw them together. I've never done a hentai story, but they'd be the ones I'd do it for.

Second idea: Jet/Zuko (that order people, I'm very particular about my seme/uke nomenclature). I've seen some fanart of this couple that made me think HOT. Wowza they are good lookin' together. The idea that sprang into my head though is very…dark I guess is the word I want. Not angst (well there would be that), but I'm seeing more dark and heavy. I'm saying torture, slavery, and other crazy twisted things. At least at first. I'm a romantic nut what can I say. Happy endings are a shoe in with me, even if the rest of the story is a rather tough thing to swallow. I'd still have to iron out the plot but I know where it starts and where I'd probably want to end it. There's also a second story I thought of for them, set when they first meet in season two, but it would end up structured a lot like this story so I think I want to wait a bit...or maybe not, maybe now's the time to do it. Anyway this one would be much lighter and more about romance, kinda love at first sight before all those nasty little secrets are revealed. Could be pretty cool, I don't know.

Third idea: Zuko/OriginalMaleCharacter. AHHHH! I actually want to do an original character. But this didn't come out of nowhere. This idea has been in my head ever since I started watching the show. For me I could never pair Zuko up with any of the other male characters (in my head at least) so I thought I'd just build a male character in my head and toss him in with Zuko. The idea stuck for me and hasn't gone anywhere. I've had several plot ideas, but never one that was completely solid, but I have ideas, and I think if I started really thinking about it instead of daydreaming about it, I think I could come up with something great. This story, more than any others I have planned for this fandom, would really be my baby. It's the first I ever thought of really. But I've seen such lashing out against Mary/Gary-Sues that I'm hesitant to do anything with an original character. I have no worry of a Sue thing going on, just cause I'm a gal and I'd be building a guy. Not to mention if I was to put myself in a story I wouldn't be with Zuko, I'd be the fangirl like Suki and Katara standing on the sidelines cheering. But still, I worry that the reception wouldn't be good because people would see OMC in the summary, and think 'no way.' I just want to test the waters. I love the idea, but just because I do, doesn't mean anyone else will. I'll probably someday write this story, but I may not post it cause I'm worried about reception.

So yeah, while it'll be a while till I start writing anything, it's never too early to plan. I just thought I'd toss these three ideas I have out at you, my audience, to see if you have any thoughts/opinions on the matter. I'd really love to hear what you think, both good and bad. It would really help me. I do plan to write all of these at some point, just gotta do them one at a time. I know the options I've given are not for everybody, and I'm not throwing them out there for some kind of voting, I just want to see the reaction I get with my ideas. Since I don't have a muse for this fandom I have a hard time nailing down what I want to do and staying motivated. So it's why I'm turning to all of you.

Oh one more thing. This issue hasn't actually come up for me but I see other authors do it so I thought I should too. If any of you have websites/archives of Avatar fiction and you want to host my story that's cool. I mean contact me and everything, don't steal, but I'd be honored. Now I'm not trying to tute my own horn but I thought I should throw that out just in case. If it doesn't happen no worries but I don't want any of you not to ask because you might think I would say no.

Well there it is people, my last AN for this story. But this is not the end of my writing in the Avatar fandom, merely the beginning. I've stretched my legs and now it's time for a run. Keep sending those lovely comments, and any ideas you have pitch them at me, and I'll see what I can do. If any of you want to keep in touch with me while I'm out of the fandom feel free to send me an email, having penpals is fun. Also I'm happy to help any of you with ideas for your own stories. I'm not beta material, but I can read over a rough draft and give you my opinion on plot and such. I'm a really friendly person and I love to help, sometimes I get caught up in my own writing though, but giving other people feedback and getting some of my own is really my biggest motivator for my writing.

I hope you all have enjoyed this tremendous and wild ride through my personal challenge of writing a story for a couple I don't ship. I really have learned so much from working on this, and I will forever be thankful that I did that first chapter, the original oneshot, and then I took it to this whole 'nother level. Thanks for sticking with me everybody, and hopefully I'll see you in the future in another one of my stories.